Monday 3 April 2017


“Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 
And never stops at all.” 

To collect, to gather, to accumulate... 

I like having my little collections - feathers, pebbles, dried flowers - picked up on walks and visits to different places. I like how some items bring back a memory of a certain time and place - the dotty feathers above were picked up during a visit to Trengwainton Gardens with an elderly relative. We'd had a lovely day, and there were guinea fowl on the big lawn in front of the main house - lucky for me there were some shed feathers on the grass which I swiftly pocketed!

Pebbles and shells collected from local beaches, and also from further afield - I have a lovely jug full of beach 'memories' from our visit to the Isle of Skye - but best not start me on that as I think I could probably write one or two blogs on our wonderful visit to Scotland!

Pottery pieces picked up in our farm fields, particularly after they've been ploughed. Who knows how old they are, or who used them!

Driftwood picked up from Porthkidney Beach, which is a local beach to us here in Lelant, just outside St Ives in Cornwall. Beautifully smooth and bleached by the sea and sun.

Vintage doilies and linens - I was lucky enough to inherit a small suitcase full of old linens and doilies - some of them can be incorporated into the felting process which can give some really interesting results.

Nature's pickings - cones, dried, pressed flowers and acorns. I recently tried using the pressed flowers for printing which was quite successful, so definitely something to explore further.

Teabag paper - used, dried, emptied and ironed. Some have been rust stained as well. These are great for collaging or drawing and painting onto.


I have used mussel shells to inspire recent work which turned out really well, so I'm going to delve into my 'collections' to get new ideas and inspiration. The whole using a sketchbook, exploring shapes and patterns seemed to lead to good things, so I think I need to slow down, take time to look and 'play' with ideas rather than just diving straight into what I hope will become a finished piece of work!! (so impatient!) 

Sketching and playing with shapes and patterns

Some finished pieces of work inspired by my sketchbook


I grabbed some time at the weekend to do a bit of felting. I gathered together a little bit of inspiration by way of driftwood, curly locks, rust stained chiffon and coarse wool roving. I had a light shade in mind, and laid out fibres around a resist to get a seamless shape. It was successful, though I haven't completed the 'mechanics' of hanging it as a shade I'm thinking that if it doesn't work out it would make a pretty good bowl!

laying out dry fibres and locks 

The fibres wetted out 

Drying after been rubbed, rolled, thrown, rinsed and reshaped! 

Nice textures! 

Those curly locks felted in well! 

Dry - and letting in the light! 

I laid the fibres out as thinly as I could, so that it would let the light through - I love the organic look and feel of it.

I could go into the felting process in much more detail, but there are so many resources out there which will probably do a better job than me! One of the sites I used to visit was Rosiepink which has a few tutorials on there. Books, Youtube, local classes - all just to learn the basics, and then just play at it! Anyone can do it - honestly! It's like a little bit of woolly magic!


I think I'm going to revisit my collection of feathers, and dig out my sketchbook and see if I can get inspired to produce some new art this week - I'll let you know how I get on in my next blog!


Well I hope you've enjoyed this instalment - do hope I haven't waffled too much! It would be great to hear from you - please leave a comment to say 'Hi!' or let me know what sort of things you just can't help collecting.

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XXX Have a great week! XX