Welcome to the Savvy Sister's Blogg

Wendy (my sister) and I had this idea to create an on-line community for like-minded women (both young and old) who wanted to share knowledge, skills, ideas. Generally supporting each other in the same way neigbours would support each other in the days when you knew who lived next door or down the road!

Day by day we are building on this idea - our blog will track our journey and you are welcome to join us.


ps. The photo is of 3 sisters who used to live in our home town - our dad took this photo in the 1960s.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Latest News

Quite a bit of news for this posting - firstly our Savvy Sisters Facebook page is up and running, please take a peak:


We are still waiting for our website but will let you know as soon as it is available.

Also - I received my ITIL certificate on Saturday, after the long slog to get it I am now very proud to be an ITIL Expert and the owner of a lilac (I think it is lilac) badge, if you blink you may miss it, its at the bottom of the photo!

Over the weekend, I experimented with the 3 dimensional method of felting around a former - usually when I make a bag I fold the edges over; however, this time I decided to leave them and then cut away the excess.  I've made an Apple iPhone case and think its turned out quite well - a bit organic looking but most of my felt making seems to turn out that way. 

iPhone Case

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Wendy's Huge Birthday Muffin lol!

Happy Birthday Wendy for yesterday.  She had a lovely surprise when she arrived at work, colleague had baked and decorated an amazing, large muffin for her birthday!

Happy Birthday Wendy
I wanted to make her something for her birthday too - so I got out my Silver Art clay at the weekend and made her a small pendant.

 I used an old button I bought from the last Stitch & Craft Show I visited to make a mould out of quick setting modelling clay.  Once the modelling clay became hard, I pressed the Silver Art clay into it - making the back concave to reduce the overall weight.

I left it in the mould overnight, taking it out the following morning and after a quick sand with ultra fine sandpaper, fired it on the gas hob for 8 minutes.

Once fired and cooled, I brushed off the white coating with a wire brush and painted the leaf petals with some Gold Art paste that Bob & Scott, my husband and son bought me last Christmas.  Left it to dry for 1/2 hour before firing the pendant again, this time for 5 minutes.

I followed the same procedure as before, removing the white coating with the wire brush, then carefully sanded it with ultra fine sand paper.  Using the burnishing tool I made the whole piece shine beautifully.  Last step was to drill a hole, fit a silver loop and add the chain - and et voila:

I used a scrap of felt to make the small buttoned pouch.

I had another attempt at the process with a larger button, but this time for some reason the Gold Art paste didn't fix to the silver ribbon pattern.  So - I used some sulpurising solution to give it an antique feel:

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sweet Little Slippers

I just had to add these sweet little slippers that Wendy has made - you can make slippers for any size, but possibly not as cute as these.

Wendy's Disaster Turned Into a Success

The beauty of felt making is that if something doesn't turn out quite as expected it is possible to turn it into something else.

This weekend Wendy decided to experiment by making a whole bag in one complete piece of felt, unfortunately the handles didn't work out. So, she cut them off and made a smashing make-up bag.

Felt is so versatile - don't worry if what you make ends up looking like a dogs dinner, cut the felt up and use to make a mobile phone case, purse, flower the list is endless - its so easy to recycle. I often use scraps of felt to make small buttoned jewellery pouches for my handmade jewellery - it just adds a lovely finishing touch.

Problem with the handles
Make Up Bag
 Handled bag turned into a make up bag

Friday, 20 May 2011

Noodes & Next Workshop

I've ordered a whole load of items for the starter kits, my conservatory is rapidly filling up and I can't blame my husband this time!

Today a large box of swimming noodles arrived - these are for the rollers, yesterday 500 bottles for the vinegar and soap, 500 bottle top waterer for sprinkling the soapy water and a 40m roll of tuile netting for holding patterns in place. Next step - I've got to put them altogether, a bit of a mammoth task.

We've finally booked our next felt workshop - its going to be on Saturday 23rd July at the Comeytrowe Centre, Taunton. Wendy and I are so excited!! Email me - on jill.nutton@sky.com if you'd like to come and want more info.

I've also been experimenting to try to find small items that can be easily made within 5 to 10 minutes for when we hold stalls/stands at craft shows - first attempts are these two flower brooches, we want them to be simple so people can have a try themselves. What do you think?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wendy on The Stall

Routing through my Dad's old slides, I came across some lovely photos of Wendy sat next to Mum's market stall.  We were born to start Savvy Sisters!!  She looks soooo cute with her pudding basin haircut....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Our Mum, Jean

Mum has been felting - as I mentioned in a previous post, she started off Wendy & I's love of crafting when we were very little.  She is very creative and as a brilliant eye for colour, I've added some of the photos of her at work below.

Mum was also very entrepreneurial in her day - she started many a successful business from a market stall selling wool and children's clothes back in the 1960s, opening a second hand clothes shop in the 70s and selling hand-made cards in the 80s & 90s.  All to help make ends meet for our large family - she has 5 children, all grown up with children and in some cases grandchildren of their own.
Completed Wall Hanging
Using Pre-felt
Mum on her market stall in the 1960s

Selina Came To Visit

Selina Barker, my coach from the Screw Work Lets Play programme, stopped off from her travels around the UK in her camper van called Beryl.  Selina was returning from in Cornwall & Devon and popped in to have a go at making the felt bag inside Beryl.

We videoed the whole process and Selina is going to edit it into a video for Youtube - it was great fun.  Here is an excerpt from the video - we are making the handles!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Tea Cosies & Website News

Sam, who attended our first workshop has been a busy bee with her felt starter kit and has emailed us photos of two lovely tea cosies she made.  She has grand plans and as she lives and works in the Yorkshire wolds would like to make some felt pictures of countryside around her - hopefully she will email us photos of these too.

We've commissioned a web designer to build our website - so hopefully won't be too long before we can start our little business up properly.  Wendy and I want to have different sections on our website - an area for selling materials and supplies, another for crafters to sell their finished wares, a forum for sharing knowledege and supporting each other, a gallery and a blog - a proper on-line community. 

Another avenue is to sell our starter kits at craft shows and exhibitions - so we have been busily bulk buying the components parts for the kits ready to make up our pretty bags.   Next step is to find a show!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Fran's Bag

Here is another pretty bag from the workshop, this one is Fran's - you can see the ripples of silk hanky through the felt.

Just two more and we'll have a full house of photos - so come on Aniko and Kat, we'd love to see your finished bags!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Ali's Bag & Exam News

Ali has emailed me a photo of her finished bag, I love the wispy white against the blue. 

Ali's Bag
We had such a lovely day at the workshop and are now planning our next one so watch this space.

I've finally taken my ITIL exam and passed it so I can concentrate on converting my conservatory into the Savvy Sister's office.  First step was to move all of my husband's junk out of the conservatory into his shed - next step is to move mine in ;-).

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Donna & Denise's bags

Wow, Wendy has just emailed me photos of Donna's and Denise's completed bags - they are a amazing and considering they were all the same style at the workshop each one is so different! 

Donna's Bag
Denise's Bag

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Received - First Completed Bag

Sam, who attended our Felting Workshop, has emailed a photo of her complete bag and its wonderful - she says she is planning on making another at the weekend!  Its great when others love felting as much as us. 

Sam's finished bag

Monday, 2 May 2011

Success at our First Workshop

Seven lovely ladies attended our first Felt Making Workshop on Sunday and they all made wonderful felt bags.  Everyone was friendly and relaxed just as we had hoped and Wendy and I learnt loads that we can take forward to our next workshop.  What a great day!

Wool Fleece ready for Workshop

Drying Flat Pieces

Making Handles

Teasing the Fleece

Laying the Fleece
Last Layer
Taking Shape
Bags Drying