I was looking through my pictures and I came upon this tree stump. I told you didn't I that my pictures usually start from SOMETHING, usually SOMETHING specific-ish. I knew I couldn't make a picture of a tree stump though so I thought and thought and thought and the idea of a squirrel popped into my head.

I'd like to say this guy came from a photo - hmmm, sadly not, I'm not quite that good at photography! - he came from an RSPCA book. There was an illustration that just suited my tree stump, so

I decided to felt it (because as far as copywriting is concerned, felting a piece changes it completely - you loosely base it on something but carding the wool often makes the colour of a picture more intense plus you needlefelt it according to artistic licence thus making it your own).

As for the vegetation, I looked at the photo again, there was some heather already there in

this case. For the foreground artistic licence once again took hold, my imagination ran wild, and I thought "conkers"!

And, I came up with the squirrel peeping over the tree stump. You see, sometimes a picture comes together just like that!

I decided to make the background dark because I wanted the squirrel and the stump to really dominate the picture, thus I filled as much as I could muster felting-wise with squirrel.

I couldn't help but think of Squirrel Nutkin you see, of Beatrix Potter fame, because eating a conker whilst everyone else is engaged was exactly what I had in mind...and it didn't

start out like that...that's the joy of felting a picture, you don't quite know what it's going to turn out like!

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Hello there,

Now you're probably wondering what I'm doing going over old ground again, but what I'm trying to do is take the pictures I've done, and tell you their story...


Believe it or not this was my first attempt at felting after the stroke! I'd done a wee bit of soap felting but nothing like the pictures I used to do.

I wanted to do something safe and secure (feeling a bit vulnerable) but couldn't decide what. In the dining room where I keep all my wool sat a calendar, several years old. I looked through it and was bewitched by this little pussy cat which sat looking at me on the page. So I decided to felt it, just as an experiment, and the rest of the picture - the blues and vegetation - appealed to me as well....(think the poppy idea was my own though!) You see, after you've felted a picture it becomes your own because it changes according to how it's felted.

But it wasn't pretty what I felted. I almost felt inclined to pack the whole thing in BUT decided to persevere. And it took quite a long time with my felting needle to get it looking shipshape (ish!) again. It's tough working one-handed. Took a while to workout how to thread a needle let alone the embroidering and beading stage!

I also knew for this exhibition I wanted my pictures to be framed, so after visiting the framer, I armed myself with some A1 grey board, and swathes of polyester for lining.

I freely admit I got someone involved when it came to measuring the sides of the picture (Maths was never my strong point), drawing straight lines (something I find rather difficult at the moment) and cutting everything up (I have a fear of finality!) I did however successfully manage to stitch the lining to the back of the picture!

And there we have it....my SILENT STARE

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