Posts Tagged ‘fibre arts’

Midwinter Woolfeast is here again!

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Heads up Christchurch yarnsters!

The Midwinter Woolfeast is here again – your opportunity to buy from some of New Zealand’s most talented fibre artists and indie yarn dyers.

Come along to Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre for a day of visual, tactile and culinary treats and immerse yourself in the colour and opulence of the modern world of woolcraft. Learn a new craft skill and stay for some yummy refreshments.

Date: Saturday June 17
Time: 10am-5pm
Place: Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, 341 Halswell Road, Halswell.
Cost: Free entry
More information:

midwinter woolfeast

A sweet surprise

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

This absolutely gorgeous wee butterfly frock from Iwi Babe has a sweet surprise on the back: a pair of beautiful wings that flutter and catch the breeze as your little one plays. How cute is that?



We’ve teamed it with a gorgeous matching Christmas gift – a stunning hand felted monarch butterfly fairy from Tweedledee. Hang it on the tree and then let it loose to brighten up your child’s bedroom.

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See more from Iwi Babe here »

See more from Tweedledee »


Introducing Felt Arts & Culture emails

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

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Love New Zealand art, design and pop culture? Get curated collections from our Arts & Culture section delivered straight to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to Felt Arts & Culture emails or customise your email settings here »

Spring morning by Kirily Taylor
Original handcoloured woodcut by Liz Abbott
"Whisper" woven wall hanging by Mahana Textiles
Miniature sketch bowl by Wigleyware


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A glimpse into The Felted Room: the tactile, textile imaginarium of Sandra Grieve

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room is a mixed media artist who designs and creates eco friendly artworks: unique textile creations, needle felted sculptures, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, and much more – all from her cosy workroom in Wanganui.

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

What do you make?
Original mushroom, butterfly and dragonfly textile art, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, fibre sculptures made with New Zealand wools, fabrics and recycled treasures.

How did you get into your craft?
Ever since I was a little girl I would paint, draw and sew. My Mum was a florist and I used to go into her work and watch her create for many years.

After being a graphic designer for 15 years, I took a break from that to homeschool my son, and while doing that I came across a tiny little needle felted dog sitting on a staircase in an interior design magazine. I thought he was just gorgeous and so realistic, like a tiny dog that had shrunk. I literally went out straight away brought felting needles and wool, sat down and had a go at making one. That was the start of it all.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, I’m completely self taught.


Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Anything old, whether it’s fabric, thread or jewellery to embellish. My sewing machine is special as it reminds me of my Grandma every time I use it. She left me her sewing box and scissors which I use daily, and dearly treasure.

New Zealand wools are gorgeous to work with. I get huge enjoyment from using them for needle felting. Just the fact that it’s such an ancient art – using various very sharp specialised barbed needles which you work into raw wool, causing the fibres to bind and compress together to form your desired shape – this can take anything from hours, days or weeks to complete.

I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible.

What inspires you?
A beautiful blue sky sunshiny day right through to a overcast rain filled day. Nature is all inspiring to me, boundless colours found everywhere. Gorgeous pieces of fabric. My big brother and my son who always has a smile on his face and un-dwindling encouragement and support for his Mama. I’m also inspired by my Grandma who was a professional seamstress and loved to create many things.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I enjoy designing and creating original pieces. When you’re buying from The Felted Room you can know that everything is made with love and attention to detail. I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible. If it puts a smile on someone’s face, then that’s even better.


Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

The Felted Room

Describe your creative process:
Usually ideas just pop into my head! Usually after a lovely long sleep, although sometimes waking early to sketch out a thought on paper before going back to sleep. I create what feels right, especially when working with wool. My sculptures usually just evolve themselves into being as if they take on a life of their own.

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is a small but cute room under my house, built for me by my Dad. It still has the original stairs in the corner that make great storage. The room is filled top to bottom with all sorts of treasures. I’m surrounded by some of my work, my favourites being a large needle felted white rabbit and a giant moth that I adorned with a small antique silver ornate belt clip and mirror, that my Grandma rescued from the fire when she was a little girl.

All the furniture is recycled or upcycled: wardrobes with shelves added to store my wool, an old dining table cut to make shelves, and the drawers from my workbench were the town clerk’s in the 50s! Dad added a rimu top. Even my sewing table was made for me by Dad when I was in my 20s. You can shut yourself away in this space and totally lose yourself to the outside world, it’s lovely.

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Five words that describe your mind:
Imaginative, calm, grateful, flexible, creative.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. I loved how she was different to everyone else, Amelia thought and did things differently… a little like me only I wouldn’t go so far as to peg my lightbulbs out on the clothesline!

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
Lesley Eru is a truly inspiring person to me. She started her own business, Iron Alley, here in Wanganui. She always uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Lesley is living proof that with hard work, focus and determination you can succeed in what you set out to do with amazing results. Stay on track, start strong and finish stronger.

A favourite quote:
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein.

Tell us about your pets:
Sherbert and Luna are my British Shorthair cats and I just adore them. They were the inspiration behind my cat beds’ design and production, as they never wanted to go into cat beds I’d brought for them. So, I designed these and they absolutely love them – in fact its hard to get them out sometimes! From that I designed the small dog bed for my Italian Greyhound Chakotay so he wouldn’t feel left out either.

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What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Have diversity with your products. Good photos are essential, and using social media like Facebook. Designing and creating things you love, and having a passion for your craft is a must.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A small cat, it was so sweet I bought it and now use it for a pin cushion, it’s super cute and different.

What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
Exciting things are ahead, with so many new ideas waiting to come to life and be made for my shop The Felted Room, I can’t wait!

Sandra has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this stunning moth textile art wall hanging (below). This beautiful creature has wings fashioned out of gorgeous vintage floral and magenta velvet fabrics, and her body is a vintage brown faux fur with glass eyes and wire antennae. Measuring 34cm x 19cm, she’ll look stunning hung on the wall or simply placed around your home as if ready to take flight.

To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Sandra’s story and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 1 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.


See more from The Felted Room on Felt »


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No animals were harmed in the making of this trophy…

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Stag Wall Mounted Hanging, Faux Taxidermy by Fully Woolly

This friendly fellow is a very fine specimen of textile taxidermy, fashioned by Fully Woolly from repurposed vintage wool blankets and finished with the cutest button eyes. Wouldn’t he look gorgeous on your wall?

Stag Wall Mounted Hanging, Faux Taxidermy by Fully Woolly

Knit your own Joss shawl with Rosewood Wool

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Joss Shawl kit by Rosewood Wool with Truly Myrtle Designs

Joss Shawl kit by Rosewood Wool with Truly Myrtle Designs

It’s a knitter’s dream: the knit designer/yarn dyer collab! Libby from Truly Myrtle Designs created the most stunning, modern shawl with Rosewood Wool Romney 3 ply, and together they’ve created this fabulous Joss Shawl kit for you to make your own.

The pack includes two 100g balls of Romney 3 ply wool, enough to complete your shawl, and the Joss pattern emailed to you (as well as a digital copy in your Ravelry library).

There are two colour ways to choose from: Libby’s original design in Helter Skelter and My She’s Grown (so popular it’s now on pre-order, shipping the week of 7 March), or the gorgeous dark teal and mustard combo of In the Deep and Harvest Sun.

It’s perfect timing for an indulgent autumn project – order yours now!

My She's Grown 100gm 3 ply by Rosewood Wool

Stuck inside? Crafty ways to keep boredom at bay

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

When it’s cold and wet outside, that’s the perfect time to get making and crafting. We’ve got some perfect projects and crafty supplies to keep all you creative types busy over the winter months.


1. Stitcher’s delight.

If you love cross stitch and have an eye for the irreverent, you can’t go past Stitchology‘s retro and quirky kits. These kits for the modern stitcher come with everything you need to begin stitching straight away, and are suitable for all levels from beginner to pro.


2. Spin a yarn.

Who wouldn’t be warmed by colours like these? If you like to spin (or maybe felt) we have some gorgeous carded fibre for you, like this beautiful hand-painted merino from fibre2go.


3. All spun up and ready to go.

Knitters and crocheters, have we got the handspun goodies for you! From soft pastels to yarn in jewel-like brilliant colours, you’re sure to find something to inspire your next project amongst our yarns and fibres.


4. Get with the plan.

We’ve got you sorted for patterns too, whether you’re a knitter or a crocheter. We’re always enchanted by Honeycakes‘ patterns for warm woolies for the little ones, or perhaps you’d like something for yourself from Ami Ana‘s stylish range?


5. Supplies for seamsters.

Patterns, embellishments and accessories, oh my! We’ve got lots of innovative ideas and handcrafted haberdashery here on Felt that will make your projects truly unique. We’re particularly taken by El Pato Guapo‘s gorgeous trimmings and accessories – check out her range!

Whatever your creative urge, you know your project will stand out from the crowd when it’s created from our original, handcrafted craft supplies - so make sure you’re prepared for the winter lock-in!


Featured seller: FeltSoapGood

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Louisa Rull, the clever mind and skilled hands behind Felt shop FeltSoapGood, was born in Russia and came to New Zealand eleven years ago. She lives in Auckland with her family of four, her cat and her craft, creating warm, colourful and original things to wear and to share.

What do you make?
I make felted items from wool, silk and fabric. I started with felted slippers and hats for my family members as all of us find felt very warm, light and comfortable. Later I started making bags, scarves, cat caves and felted pictures.

How did you get into your craft?
When I grew up in Russia, wearing felted boots (‘valenky’) was just an ordinary thing for us suburban kids. The boots were always factory made, but warm and comfortable. My parents used to have 2-3 sheep on our little farm and my mom took care of them; she sheared them, cleaned the wool, washed it, spun it and knitted warm socks and mittens for our family and for almost all of our relatives.

feltsoapgood felted kids' slippers

Louisa at work March 2013

I learned to knit and crochet when I was six years old so I have got a long craft experience, however, I only discovered felting two years ago through the internet and was overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of felting. I started from making felted soaps for my family and childcare teachers. I have been felting ever since.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, I have a university degree in Mathematics.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I admire any wool which comes to my hands – carded and dyed with bright colours or humble and unwashed straight from the shearing shed. This summer I have done a bit of pot dying with natural materials – harakeke, walnut husks, onion skins and even some strawberry. The possibilities are endless but time is limited.

What inspires you?
I take my inspiration from nature – like making felted pictures of landscapes, flowers and animal pictures for kids. Also, raw wool – its natural curly locks of fleece and dyes are wonderful. I am still in the process of the finding my way using these materials.

feltsoapgood Lambs

feltsoapgood dry picture

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I like using New Zealand wool – local people can tell me the stories behind their fibre and I can see sheep grazing on lush pastures. Sometimes the people involved in the process become my friends or the other way around. Even being Russian-born, I find this land fascinating and its natural resources and beauty unmatched.

Describe your workspace:

I keep my carded wools and fleeces stored in plastic bags. Thanks to my husband I can put the ever-expanding collection on shelves, where I can easily see all of it and make my choices.

The felting itself takes place either on my kitchen bench, as there is running water which I need for felting, or in my garden where I can go wild splashing water everywhere around me when doing some bigger projects.

Five words that describe your mind: Creative, busy, inquisitive and ever-learning.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“Absolutely fabulous slippers, so comfortable and pretty. Girls wear them every day. Very very friendly seller. A+” From K.H.

Do you have any pets?

My lovely, smart cat Lucy often watches me felt in the garden. She was my inspiration for the felted cat caves, and she is still my model for some of them.

feltsoapgood cat cave

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
The last handmade item I bought was from Ireland, a hand knitted lace mohair shawl, feather light and very warm and cozy.

Make sure you check out all Louise’s fabulous felt creations in her Felt shop. Louise has also kindly offered one lucky Felt blog reader the chance to win one of her very useful felt laundry dryer ball sets. Wool dryer balls are the eco-friendly alternative to chemicals in liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets. They help fluff up your laundry as they bounce around in the dryer with your clothes – nifty huh?

Just leave a comment below, telling us what inspires you about Louise’s lovely work and why, and you’ll be in the draw. The draw will be made on Friday 23 May and is open to New Zealand residents only.

feltsoapgood wool dryer ball set of three

Winter is coming: are you prepared?

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Well the weather’s been a real mixed bag of late – balmy sun one day, freezing rain the next – it’s jolly hard to know how to dress to meet the day at this time of year!

The only way to deal with it all, we reckon, is to layer up with those woolly accessories – gloves and mittens, scarves and shawls, and even some snuggly hats – to survive the chill and make it through to that next yearned-for bit of sun. And what better way to warm the heart as well as your fingers than to choose a lovely warm colour?

Here’s a sunshine-inspired selection we spotted while browsing today:






There’s plenty to choose from, ready-made by our clever wool-wranglers, so make sure you peruse our accessories and clothing sections to find the fruits of their winter preparation. And if you’re strong in the fibre arts yourself, make sure you don’t miss the beautiful array of yarns from our spinners and dyers too.


Celebrating fibre arts in Auckland

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

‘Tis the season to be thinking of warm and snuggly woollies, and the clever folk of Creative Fibre Auckland have come up with a way to celebrate all things woolly.

If it’s fibre-related, you’ll find it at the inaugural Autumn Woolfest on Saturday 10 May from 10am to 4pm. The event will be held in Shed 2 at the Corban Estate Arts Centre, 426 Great North Rd, Henderson.

Creative Fibre Auckland tell us that, all going according to plan, Woolfest will be an annual event so make sure you don’t this first opportunity to shop your fibre-loving heart out, then fondly pat your purchases over a coffee at the on-site cafe.