Distractions

I’ve been very distracted so far this year.  I’ve been seriously studying 2D needle felting as I’ve joined a paid online course and want to do well because I’ve got plans to do portraits of both my dogs.  I’ve put the 3D needle felted sculptures to one side at the moment although I’ve every intention of getting back to those once I’ve mastered the 2D stuff.

Before the course started I had a go at this snow hare.   Room for improvement but doing this sort of got me hooked which is why I signed up for the dog portrait course.

I started practising noses and eyes.

I sent a photo of this one to Mr. TIalys when he was in the U.K. and he thought one of the dogs had done something on the carpet!!💩

I progressed slightly although they look weird as stand alone features don’t they?

Both my dogs are mostly black and, unfortunately, the wrong colour fibre was sent to me so I couldn’t really make a start.  I did have lots of brown though so decided to follow the workshop for a Jack Russell even though I don’t have one, never have had one and don’t know anybody who has.  All good practice though.

Ooh, a bit spooky. Also this eye is too big really but I carried on regardless.

I’m counting this as a partial success as the ‘too big eye’ impacted on the rest of my markings and I made a complete mess of his chest hair but, as it was my first attempt, I’m trying to be kind to myself.  I am quite proud of the nose though.  Also, it does actually resemble a Jack Russell so it can’t be all bad.

I just put it in the hoop for ‘show and tell’ purposes. It will actually go in my ‘Progress Portfolio’ so that when I get better I can look back and laugh at my early attempts – she said, hopefully.

So, I’m going to try to replicate this photo of Stan which was taken before he had any grey hairs but is a favourite of mine

I’ve made a start by transferring the image on to some linen and, now that my 50 shades of grey (and black) have arrived, I will try to immortalise dear Stan in felt.  Of course, I didn’t think about ordering any red fibre for the bow tie did I! 🙄

My other main distraction – and reason for lack of blog posts – is the possible, well probable really, relocation back to the U.K.  Nothing to do with Brexit I hasten to add.  A difficult thing to achieve when our needs are many and varied including displacing multiple animals, a husband who needs commuting facilities, the need to be within a short drive of one of our daughters, the need (well, desire) for workshop space and a largish garden (very difficult to find in the South of the U.K. at a price that is achievable by people other than film stars and Lottery winners) .  To say nothing of the time it takes to sell property here in comparison to the U.K.   I am so sick of looking at houses on the internet and am dreading the whole thing.

On the brighter side, I’ve been doing some patchwork as the new round of F2F (foot square freestyle)has started which means, I will be making three blocks each month for the next ten months for me and the other nine participants in our chosen colours.  The first up is Tracey of It’s a T-Sweets Day and she has chosen Christmas colours – red, green and Christmas pudding brown.  I can’t show you the blocks I’ve made for Tracey as they are on their way to her now and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Hopefully, see you next time I take a break from the felting, foundation paper piecing and freaking out about moving.

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  1. #1 by Mandalas in Pyjamas on February 28, 2020 - 15:46

    I don’t envy you house hunting, particularly from another country! Check out Norfolk, more affordable than some southern counties.

    • #2 by tialys on February 28, 2020 - 16:04

      Has to the be the South I’m afraid due to husband’s work and location of daughters.

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on February 28, 2020 - 15:47

    I love your little dog, and the eyes are amazing. They have so much life and sparkle in them.

    House hunting/ moving/selling the very very best of luck. We are also trying to move house and have two failed purchases behind us. Honest it’s two steps forward and one back, and I am truly fed up of the whole thing. I really thought we would make progress this week, but no, we are still waiting on bits of very important paper. My hope of a move before Easter looks remote, maybe by May….

    Enough from me, yours will probably go like a dream. Meantime we always have crafting to keep us sane!

    • #4 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:35

      I know you’ve had a hard time of it Cathy. France has a much quicker process for completion but it’s much harder to sell in the first place. We have a lot of land here and a big house – there’s no way we can afford anything similar in the South of England so we’ll have to be prepared for quite a downsize and, if it wasn’t for so many adopted animals, we could downsize a bit further. We’ll see what happens. Good luck on receiving your ‘very important papers’.

  3. #5 by craftycreeky on February 28, 2020 - 15:50

    I think your needle felting is amazing, you definitely have a flair for it. Good luck with the househunting 🙂

    • #6 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:35

      Thanks Margaret.

  4. #7 by Pat on February 28, 2020 - 15:50

    Oh I’m so sad you’re moving back to the UK! Although I hope it goes well for you and that it’s not too stressful. Keep on patching babe! ….. X

    • #8 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:38

      It’s already bloody stressful and we haven’t even started yet. With our usual house buying/selling skills, we seem to have chosen a time when the global economy is about to go into meltdown and everybody’s staying put. I will, of course, keep on patching, felting, dressmaking, whatevering, wherever I am. xx

  5. #9 by claire93 on February 28, 2020 - 17:08

    well done on all the needle-felting progress. Snow hare looks lovely, and you’re getting very good at noses!
    Good luck with selling your house in France (I’m sure you’ll have no trouble there!) and finding somewhere within your price range in the South (which will probably be the biggest challenge). I don’t envy you, the idea of packing & moving while in the same country is bad enough, but getting everything coordinated with The Channel in between will make it more difficult. Not to mention getting pet passports for your rather large family of cats & dogs!

    • #10 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:40

      Well, the dogs have got their passports sorted but I’ll leave the cats until we have a definite moving plan. I might have to try to re-home a couple of them as we are thinking of going into rented accommodation in the U.K. first while we’re getting sorted and rental properties that welcome any animals – let alone 7 of them – are hard to find.

  6. #11 by Wild Daffodil on February 28, 2020 - 17:44

    Very impressed with your needle-felting – I didn’t know you could felt onto linen.
    I tried doing some on a long train journey once and it has stayed in its bag ever since.
    Good luck with the move.

    • #12 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:41

      The time has to be right. I tried it a few years ago and didn’t take to it all, now I love it. If I manage to produce a really good portrait eventually, I’ll definitely be hooked for life.

  7. #13 by magpiesue on February 28, 2020 - 18:52

    You’re doing well with the needle felting. Those noses are pretty amazing. I do not envy you the prospect of moving, especially from one country to another. Know that we are here to commiserate and rejoice with you as necessary. If only we could be helpful in person!

    • #14 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:41

      Aww! That’s so sweet of you Sue.

  8. #15 by Laurie Graves on February 28, 2020 - 19:20

    Wonderful felting! I love them all. As for house hunting…Oh, my! Hope it goes well. My husband and I like a show called Escape to the Country, and one thing we have noticed is how very expensive the house are compared to where we live in central Maine. (Southern Maine is much more expensive.) $500, 000, more or less, gets you a nice but normalish house. Holy cats! Anyway, best of luck.

    • #16 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:46

      The U.K. – especially the South of England which is where we need to be – is hideously expensive. The house we have here would probably sell for about 5 times what it’s worth here, in large part due to the amount of land we have which is at a premium in the U.K. It’s very difficult looking at houses on the internet where the Estate Agent gets all excited about a house having 0.25 of an acre. 🙄

      • #17 by Laurie Graves on February 29, 2020 - 16:05

        Can’t “like” this. Some parts of the U.S. are exactly as you described with the south of England. Son of a biscuit! Don’t know how people with average jobs and incomes manage to live there—San Francisco comes to mind. Many can’t and must travel long distances to their work. Don’t know what the answer is, but surely something must be done so that decent, affordable housing is available to all.

      • #18 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 17:16

        Affordable housing is a very sore point in the U.K. Precious land is sold to property developers who promise to build a certain percentage of affordable housing on it and then – oh what a surprise? – due to unexpected costs/taxes/building regulations etc.etc., the affordable housing isn’t affordable any more and it’s all expensive housing instead.

      • #19 by Laurie Graves on February 29, 2020 - 21:11

        Yup, same thing happens here, especially in New York City, where one of my daughters lives. Sigh.

      • #20 by DawnGillDesigns on March 1, 2020 - 13:02

        quarter of an acre is something to be excited about ;-)* But, you are right, so many people who treat the property market as an investment, and so the prices go up and up. Very best of luck with it all. Commuting distance of London triples prices it seems.

        *(speaking as someone with 2 full allotments because we can’t afford a house with a decent garden, in Exeter, Devon)

      • #21 by tialys on March 1, 2020 - 13:45

        When we lived in England I was very excited about 0.25 of an acre too and, to be honest, I would be quite happy with that now. Trying to keep much more under control is very difficult when I’m not the gardener of the family and the one who is doesn’t have enough free time to keep on top of it. Now I’ll be happy with enough for the dogs to do their morning and last thing at night wees and perhaps enough space to throw a ball for them in between walks, somewhere to sit out on a nice day, some nice flower beds and a manageable veggie patch I live in hope.

      • #22 by DawnGillDesigns on March 2, 2020 - 09:49

        😉

  9. #23 by katechiconi on February 28, 2020 - 20:45

    Oh dear, the move’s official, then…. My brother found a decent sized house with 7 acres of steepish hillside in Somerset and a view of Glastonbury Tor for a price that didn’t require the sale of his firstborn, in case it’s of interest? Love your doggie noses, and the Jack Russell is excellent – good shine on the eyes and nose, always so important for realism. I think you’ve got a genuine talent for the needle felting, and I’m hoping for great things from Stan’s portrait.

    • #24 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:52

      I’ve already offloaded my firstborn as she’s living with her boyfriend now although, as I recall, he didn’t give me any money for her 🤣

      We have acres of steep hillside at the moment and, to be honest, I’m finding it a little difficult to traipse up there with the dogs nowadays but at least it means nobody can come along and plonk another house (or collection of houses) there.
      We are looking in the South West as it’s where Mr. T’s working at the moment plus both daughters are settled there. If he has to go into London again in the future though – which isn’t beyond the realms of possibility – it’s not the most well connected place in England.
      Have you noticed that, as soon as we are talking of buying/selling/moving, the stuff has hit the fan with the economy and the movement of people? I think we might not do anything too drastic until things have settled down a bit.

      • #25 by katechiconi on February 29, 2020 - 22:11

        It all sounds horribly unsettling, but needs must, I suppose. Do let me know how you get on.

      • #26 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 22:32

        Of course. I don’t intend to suffer alone 🤣

      • #27 by katechiconi on February 29, 2020 - 22:54

        Hahaha!

  10. #28 by Kim on February 28, 2020 - 21:22

    The felting looks great – I was tempted to ask for more details of the course but the last thing I need is another interest!
    Good luck with the house move.

    • #29 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:53

      Well, if you change your mind, just let me know – she really is an excellent teacher – there are videos galore and she covers all the different types of dog coat.

  11. #30 by anne54 on February 29, 2020 - 01:13

    That is a wonderful photo of Stan ~ that appealing doggy look that he has. I know you will do him justice, because you have done such a good job with the Jack Russell. Buying, selling, moving across the Channel. You don’t do things by halves, do you?!

    • #31 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:54

      He’s a handsome boy isn’t he. He’s a bit older and greyer now but I really love that photo of him.
      As for the move, I’m dreading it.

  12. #32 by thecontentedcrafter on February 29, 2020 - 04:22

    I’m so impressed with the life like look you have achieved – the eyes and nose are spot on I think. Sorry you will be moving, I’ve enjoyed having someone I know in La Belle Francais 🙂 Still knowing how the UK house selling process works it could be a while……. Good luck with it all!

    • #33 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:56

      The UK house selling/buying process is a nightmare. We might do the sensible thing and rent something first so we don’t buy something we might regret later. Just got to find a landlord who’s an animal lover. 😺😸😼🙀😾🐶🐶

      • #34 by thecontentedcrafter on March 1, 2020 - 07:43

        I’m sure you will find just the right place in the end. Just keep calm and carry on as they say 🙂

      • #35 by tialys on March 1, 2020 - 09:01

        😘

  13. #36 by lovelucie1 on February 29, 2020 - 08:26

    Sorry to hear you need to upsticks back to the UK. I think many of us envy your seemingly idyllic life in France. How long have you been there? Good luck with it all. At least you have a new portable hobby! I think you’ve found something else that you truly excel in!

    • #37 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 13:57

      We’ve been here fifteen years – the longest time I’ve ever lived somewhere. I’m trying to think of it as a new adventure but finding that hard.

      • #38 by lovelucie1 on February 29, 2020 - 14:52

        Yes, I’m not surprised. X

  14. #39 by kathyreeves on February 29, 2020 - 14:41

    I think your first dog looks beyond amazing! As to house hunting, I feel for you. Maybe all of your blog contacts will bear fruit in the form of a lead on a great house. We can hope anyway. In the mean time, felt on!

    • #40 by tialys on February 29, 2020 - 17:20

      Thanks Kathy.
      You never know what will come out of blogging and, in the meantime, i will certainly felt on.

  15. #41 by nottaholiday on March 1, 2020 - 01:30

    Oh wow – that does indeed qualify as a distraction. I have a recurring dream/nightmare where husband has sold our house and tells me we have to leave the next week., Some people’s nightmares are tidal waves and crumbling teeth (had them too) but the house one occurs on a regular basis. I’m sure that would make for an interesting couch session should I ever require therapy. On the flip side though, we have been kicking tyres on an idea of making a French base for when we retire (this makes us sound like we’re terribly terribly wealthy, which is a far cry from reality lol). If you have the energy I would love to pick your brain about owning property in France.

    • #42 by tialys on March 1, 2020 - 09:04

      No problem – although some things will be different for you not being a member of the EU – as we once were 😥
      Just email me on thetialys@gmail.com and I’ll help if I can.

  16. #43 by sew2pro on March 1, 2020 - 21:33

    Hi Lynn, love the felting and look forward to you doing handsome Stan justice in the (probably not very near) future. But alarmed at the other news. As has been mentioned above, yours seems like an idyllic corner of the world (and after 15 years you must have so many memories) wheareas life in the South East/Greater London is relatively stressful requiring a thick skin. But for what it’s worth, we moved exactly 2.5 months ago (a week before Christmas!) and are thriving in the new, more suitable space change. We’re only 1km from where we were before which I realise is a much lesser upheaval than your situation would be, but the ‘chain’ process was protracted and you’re not sure anything is going to happen until it’s about to happen. So yes, I can see why renting would be a sensible half-step. Wishing you all the best anyway!

    • #44 by tialys on March 2, 2020 - 09:34

      Thanks Marijana. Sometimes the endless administration, paperwork and waiting is worse than the move itself isn’t it? I’m glad you are happy where you have now settled and the moving process can be consigned to memory. It will be harder for me to go back to the U.K. than for the husband as he never really built a life for himself here, not being here for a big part of the time. My friends are the only people he knows here so he won’t miss them the way I will. Still, with him and both my daughters back in the U.K. it seems odd to spend so much time apart. I could move over and live in the lovely flat he’s renting right now and leave the house here to sell as and when but it’s not possible because of the dogs and cats. I can already see that it will be difficult to find pet friendly accommodation which is still close enough to his workplace to be convenient – maybe even more difficult than finding a permanent house – but at least a rental will enable us to move on more easily when we find the ‘perfect’ one. I do feel very unsettled right now but I’m sure everything will turn out fine eventually. x

      • #45 by sew2pro on March 2, 2020 - 22:14

        But at least relocation to UK with pets no longer involves a long stay in quarantine. I’ll never get over the loss of the dogs we had to leave behind in the eighties and nineties (my mum and her husband lived/worked in Africa and Asia). We knew they’d be cared for but we also knew they could not be as loved as they were by us, and yet we left them, probably heartbroken.

      • #46 by tialys on March 3, 2020 - 08:46

        Oh, that must have been so awful. I remember lots of heartbreaking stories of dogs left behind or stuck in quarantine at that time.

  17. #47 by Alison Toni on March 2, 2020 - 01:06

    We are 4 years away from “re-pating”, and I’m scared already. Everyone I talk to says it’s harder than leaving. Good luck!

    • #48 by Alison Toni on March 2, 2020 - 02:57

      Forgot to say I love the felted dogs!

      • #49 by tialys on March 2, 2020 - 09:21

        Thank you.

    • #50 by tialys on March 2, 2020 - 09:22

      Where are you leaving and returning to?

      • #51 by Alison Toni on March 2, 2020 - 11:28

        We’re in Santiago, Chile and will be going home to Edinburgh. We’ll have been here for 15 years at that point.

      • #52 by tialys on March 3, 2020 - 08:44

        Wow. That will be an enormous difference – distance wise, culturally and, dare I mention the weather?

      • #53 by Alison Toni on March 3, 2020 - 11:10

        Please don’t mention the weather!!

      • #54 by tialys on March 3, 2020 - 11:21

        O.K. 🥶🌂⛄
        😱

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