Little Easter Goose

One small grey goose waddled off to a new home.


 He really is very small indeed...

There are still some spaces left on my May 10 chicken brooch workshop at the Fibreworks Oxford. If you'd like to keep me company, please contact the shop via the website.


Candy Buns and giveaway results

Back at the Fibreworks Oxford, trying my Candy Buns pattern on a group of never-before needle felters.

I was really pleased when a few people asked if it was ok to tweak the design - going off piste is great!

They were a great group, so much so that they were my first workshop to finish early.

And now my kits (also available in my Etsy shop)  are on sale there, along with my packaged needles. So if you're in Oxford, hop like a Candy Bun over to the Cowley Road if you want one and say hello to lovely Tasha and Lotty. 

Five days is a long time to be away from home. Someone was glad to see me.

 And now the bit you're probably been waiting for if you entered the giveaway. Using a random number generator thingy, the winners are - 

Louise Peers

Dara Carey


I will do your best to contact you directly, but if I haven't, please email me via my blog profile.

Thank you so very much to everyone who took time to comment and those who bought the book anyway. It briefly went to number two in the Amazon.com craft list. Sales are good, but your kindness is wonderful. 


My book and a giveaway

Last year, the most terrible of my life, also saw one of my life ambitions fulfilled. With ghastly irony, the offer from Harper Collins to commission my first needle felt book came just two days after Andy died, in January 2013. What should have been a joyous occasion was like ashes in my mouth. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered any more.

Yet this book was part of my future survival; I was left rudderless and precariously positioned financially. Somehow the mortgage had to be paid, the electric bill, the water rates, the council tax and now it was all down to me. So having been given a deadline extension and much sympathy from my publishers, I began designing the first patterns in March.

Believe me, when you have lived through your worst nightmare, when you have howled into the snowy night for your love to come back to you,  dreaming up cute toys seems like a monstrous irrelevance. And so the years of professional working kicked in and I immersed myself in making the best book I could, under the circumstances.  

Somehow I found the strength to get this book finished by summer last year, despite having to take a break to organise Andy's woodland burial. I worked seven days a week, 8-10 hours a day. I often found myself crying as I sat alone in my studio, just me and my felting needle. But I did it. And in the end, I rediscovered my love of toys, as I surrounded myself with more and more of them.

Most of the designs were new.

Some were old favourites, like the Roly Poly robin, who I've made many, many times.

And I was able to include a good section on techniques, including how to sew in eyes and how I get that firm, smooth finish people are always asking me about.

I also wanted to produce a book which had more challenging  patterns in - there are plenty of 'simple' needle felting books out there, and while I do have some very easy 'roll it up and stab' patterns, such as the Rainbow Mice, there are some more tricky designs for seasoned needle felters to get their teeth into. Over the space of four months, I produced a heck of a lot of creatures.

Although it is great to finally have my own needle felt book out, the person I wanted to do it for is no longer here. So these two lines are, for me,  the most precious part of it.

"This book is dedicated to the life and dear memory of Andy Macauley, 1971 - 2013. My Forever Love."

I have three signed copies of my book to give away - if you'd like to have the chance to win one, leave a comment here so that I know who you are, and I'll do the draw next week, when I return from my workshop at Oxford Fibreworks. I'll also pay the shipping costs to wherever the winners are in the world. so all you have to do is enter and keep your fingers crossed!

If you don't want to leave it to chance, then it seems to be available in major book shops all over the place, as well as  Amazon UK and Amazon.com. It's also available as a Kindle edition and iTunes. Harper books in the USA have also published it, so my American friends should have no problem in sourcing a copy. I do hope that people like it.



Hares and more

Back from Cinderhill Farm, having slept lots and had a really satisfying workshop. 

The lambs are popping out now, triplets and twins born last week. They've been in the warmth of the barn since birth, but were being put out to grass.

Quite wonderful to see the lambs nibbling at grass instinctively, although only a week old - and the 'mums' tucked in with relish.

The new farm shop 'The Pie House' is now open for business and extra help bought in. it is light, clean and lovely, selling local produce and the farm's own meat.

 A nice selection of cheeses too. I do like a good cheese photo.

A few hundred pasties were being made, all by hand, for weekend orders.

Two geese came to live at the farm (genders as yet unknown), which pleased me greatly as they are a favourite of mine. Once out of their crate, they waddled off up the hill and settled in at once. Such beauties.

I did some solitary communing with the pigs in the first real sunshine of the year. All of us grunting happily for the sheer pleasure of the warmth.

 And finally, the workshop - a small one, to open the year. Two returning people from last year, which was so nice.

I'd set a pretty demanding challenge; to make a hare - my simple moon gazing design -  within the day. 

As usual, the farm laid on three square meals. two of which consisted of home made cakes.


 At the end of the six hours, with lots of hard work, they had made all a gorgeous hare, each with it's own personality. So rewarding and to hear how everyone had enjoyed themselves.  And great to meet a fellow blogger, 'Compost Woman', who has done a more in-depth blog post about her day, here with lots of photos.



Whistle stop blog post, as I am up to my neck in *stuff*. My polar bear pattern in 'Mollie Makes Weddings' - on Amazon UK here and Amazon USA here.

My kitten pattern in the latest issue (37)  of 'Mollie Makes'. Available as a 'real' magazine here or as a digital download here.

Off  to Cinderhill Farm soon to do the first workshop of the year on March 8th - there are two places left, if anyone fancies it, details are here . I can count on one hand the amount of times I've been anywhere since November last year, so I am very much looking forward to my adventure. Not to mention seeing my dear friends, meeting my workshop students and cooing over the newborn lambs. 

I'll also be launching my first kits, 'Slinky Fox' at the workshops. It's been a long process, but I will soon be bringing out kits on a regular basis. I will return with photos of lambs. And chickens. and more pigs. And goats.


Around the Wrekin

Having been cooped up working for several weeks, enduring the UK storms, I was driven to go rambling yesterday, when the sun came out and the temperature rose. I explored a lane a mile away, to see if I could do a circular walk. The Wrekin popped up round every corner; there it is nestling under the clouds.

So long since I wandered down a quiet lane for a proper walk, my legs a bit wobbly from lack of exercise.

I haven't taken so many photos since Andy went - oh I've gone through the motions, but without the enthusiasm of old. What quiet joy to find myself immersed in snapping the countryside.

Something round every corner, and finding the most delightful little scenic bridge.

There's the Wrekin again, popping it's head up.

Lots of trees down, fallen giants succumbing to the recent high winds. I walked all afternoon, using the Wrekin and the Long Mynd as my landmarks. I underestimated the distance though and it was a long trek without a map.

For the first time since moving to Shropshire nearly two years ago, I felt a real connection with the landscape and I cannot adequately express what relief and hope it has given me. Even though six miles was somewhat too far for an out of practise wanderer.