Friday, 6 December 2013

Homeless Mouse Works For Cheese (Mark 2)

This is my second incarnation of 'Homeless Mouse' I had the idea quite a while back - as I was homeless myself when I was in my teens - so I thought it made sense to turn a chaotic and painful time into something that was lighthearted.

The first time I made Homeless Mouse I hadn't been needle felting for long, so although I liked the idea, I wasn't as happy with the result as I am now. Hope you like him. He has a home now, by the way :)

Below is Homeless Mouse Mark 2, and at the bottom of those photos, is Homeless Mouse Mark 1, so you can see the difference. Happy felting! Love Mrs Plop x

I am now 'Redundant Mouse' :(

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Felting Without Cruelty-Ethically Produced Fleece Fibres for Needle Felters & Felt Makers

Animal welfare is extremely important to me, and as a needle felter, I owe it to my animal friends to only use ethically produced, cruelty free wool. Finding it however was another matter! Back when I first started needle felting and I didn't know any different, I did use Merino wool, and now I literally shudder at the thought. (there are lots of links about Merino wool and animal welfare on the net and some links below) But when I found out about it, I stopped using it and I would never use it again.

I decided the best way to find the ethically produced fibre that I needed was to try and source it locally. Luckily I found it and I now have a few people who raise their animals well, in excellent conditions and the animals are not raised for consumption. If you want to find ethically produced fibre it helps if you live in a rural area and you can ask around locally, but if you don't, it's a case of contacting farms as close to where you live as is possible. It's a lot of research but worth it when you find what you're looking for! It's just a shame that ethically produced wool is not widely available. This is something that needs to be addressed.

However, one UK farm are making a difference. Newmoor Barn The Ethical Fibre Company, based on the borders of Devon and Cornwall are committed to producing and selling cruelty free fibres.They supply ethical wool tops and wool batts as well as raw and washed fleece for felting, spinning and fibre art needs.

Here is a fantastic information sheet produced by Newmoor Barn, titled 'Know your Fibre' NB the photos that accompany the article are all of beautiful fleece that can be purchased from Newmoor Barn. There are lots more for sale on their website too at

Know Your Fibre By Amanda Braggins of Newmoor Barn Imagine a world where fibre artists can have access to a fabulous range of natural animal fibres and textures in a wide array of beautiful colours but be able to have the piece of mind that the animals that supplied the fibre have been treated with care and respect. It’s very easy for an artist to get caught up in the wealth of colour and textures begging to be purchased to create beautiful fibre and textile art with little thought into what happens in growing and processing these raw materials as we use them to create our beautiful and wonderful creations.

 We are constantly being encouraged to consider where other important items in our life come from. Air miles on Fruit and Veg, human exploitation issues on cheap clothing and animal welfare in the provision of meat and eggs, not to mention the oil industry. But why as artists are we not considering these same issues when it comes to our fibre? The last time you purchased fleece did you know where the fibre came from? The animal? The farm? Or even the country it came from? Can you be sure the animal was treated with care and respect? Do you think your art would look the same if you knew it hadn’t? Lured bythe bright colours wonderful textures or the cheap price? In the current economical climate we are all on the lookout for bargains and deals in all areas of our life but surely we have a duty to make sure that when we do get a bargain it’s not at the expense of another human beings or an animals freedom, happiness or safety.

 At Newmoor barn we raise a herd of happy Angora goats. Using their mohair to produce a range of art and crafts products and we know that raising happy healthy animals takes time, dedication and money and produces a superior product. We also source and buy a variety of fleece from local farmers to wash, dye and card to sell to artists. We buy direct from small local farms so that we can inspect each individual fleece and know the animal it came from, pay a fair price, and ensure we only buy fleece where we can see the animals are treated with care and respect.

We process our fibres by hand on our small farm, no factories full of machinery and underpaid workers here, (just us, smiling!)But its not all dome and gloom. There are ethical supliers out there. These natural fibres also tend to be of a higher quality as they come from animals with freedom to roam allowing good nutrition. These fleeces are often processed on an individual basis rather than being thrown in with other fleece. If a farmer has thousands of sheep can they really keep on top of issues such as foot rot, fly strike, lice, worms? This often leads to cruel practices such as mulesing in the merino population. Are we prepared to let an animal suffer just so we can have that particular look? You are spending time making wonderful pieces that you have designed and handcrafted and don’t wanted it tainted by the oppression and neglect of the animals, the farmers, people who process it, or the planet.

Know where your fibre comes from and care where your fibre comes from and the next time you pass a field of sheep give them a nod and thank them for their fibre. For more information on animal welfare issues surrounding the fibre industry you can check out our website at

Merino wool information links:
A Link to PETA
Blog from  frankandfaith - The Truth behind Merino Wool
A Link to PETA

Beautiful items created with ethically produced fleece from Newmoor Barn....

Dark Woods Felted Wall Hanging, Felt Picture made with ethical fleece
Earth Tones Mohair Shoulder Bag made with our own vegetarian mohair
Flowers Pink and Purple made with ethical fleece
Some of the residents at Newmoor Barn. Living the good life! :)
goats climbing trees
Barry The Angora Goat Kid
Angora Goats enjoying the evening sun

Monday, 5 August 2013

Wet Felting: How To Make 3D Felt Vessels Using Flat Resists - Our new book!

From Lyn & Anne of Rosiepink - the Queens of Wet Felting :D
Click the linky to buy & download the e-book.

I have absolutely no idea what 'using flat resists' means, since I am a sculptural needle felter and I work with dry wool, but I know there are a lot of people out there who would like to learn how to do this, and there are no better teachers than Annie & Lyn at Rosiepink

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Little Carmen Miranda Needle Felted Mouse Wearing A Tutti Frutti Fruit Hat Vintage Style

My latest needle felted creation. I hope you like her :) Love, Mrs Plop xx

This little mouse adores Carmen Miranda! She loves to play dress-up and she has been busy! She has gathered fruits and collected jewels, a few treasures that she found washed up on the beach from a shipwreck :) And with these she has made a tutti frutti fruit hat, just like her idol Carmen Miranda. The necklace she found is a little bit long across her little fat tummy, but she loves it anyway, and the tiny gold rings she's found are perfect as bangles.

She is completely OOAK (one of a kind) there will never be another one like her. 

She is for sale in my Etsy shop here: Little Carmen Miranda Mouse by Mrs Plop's Shoppe

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Why I love Betsy Badge

I love it when you find an artist who makes exactly what's perfect for you and your home. For me, I love animals, and lavender, Shabby Chic and French styles. Betsy Badge has all those elements rolled into one. Handmade by UK artist, Caroline Field.

I'm a big fan of her work. I bought one of her gorgeous lavender sachets recently. It arrived really quickly, and I love it! She even threw in a beautiful hand embroidered card with the same design for free! How nice is that?! I was also really impressed by the personal touches in the packaging and presentation. That's why buying handmade is so great, it's the kind of personal attention to detail and care that you would never get in a big faceless corporation!

You can find Caroline Field's Shop on Etsy here: Betsy Badge
And here on Facebook:

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Needle felted Guinea Pigs

I'm making these Mini Guineas to order. They are made from 100% Alpaca wool, completely ethically produced, as are all my needle felted animals. If you would like your own Mini Guinea, check out the listing in my Etsy shop here: Custom Needle Felted Guinea Pig by Mrs Plop's Shoppe

Love, Mrs Plop xx

And here are some cute photos of some real ones for guinea pig fans :)

Vicki Diane's Meet The Artists Exposed Treasury

Mosaic Flamingo by Vicki Diane Designs
I'm chuffed to bits to have been selected to feature in the lovely Vicki Diane's Meet The Artists Exposed Treasury! Vicki has been collating these wonderful 'Meet The Artist' treasuries for over 5 years. She gives so much support to so many artists! Thank you Vicki! Check out her fab designs here: Vicki Diane Designs

This is the treasury she's featured me in. I'm third row down, second from left. With my boy, Fred <3 Do check out the treasury and all the brilliant artists featured in it. Love, Mrs Plop x

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Custom Order Needle Felted Budgerigar Bird

Latest order finished yesterday :) I was asked to make a needle felted budgie for a lady in the US. He is the first budgie I've made, and the second bird I've made, the other one being a penguin. I'm happy with the way he turned out.....

His legs and claws were tricky to do, and kind of had me thinking so hard at one point that my brain just sort of shut down temporarily, as it does when I think too hard lol! :D I tried pipe cleaners at first, and quickly realised that was a no go, it just looked all wrong. But thankfully wire did the trick, lots of bending & twisting of wire, and covering with flesh coloured wool sorted it out.....Tada! El budgio :)

If you would like a custom order of any type of needle felted animal, please see my little Shoppe on Etsy here:  Mrs Plop's Shoppe

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sleepy needle felted lion in my garden

Shhhhhhhhhh! Don't wake him up! :)

My latest needle felted animal is made from 100% Alpaca wool, ethically produced, from animals in my local area. (as all my felted animals are) He was great fun to make, I especially loved making the pink pads on his paws :D

He is for sale in my Etsy shop here: OOAK needle felted sleeping Lion by Mrs Plop's Shoppe

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Crafting For A Cause - Crafters/Artists! The UK's Pound Dogs Need You!

This week things are starting to come together. In some ways, maybe a bit too many things. It's all good, but I'm juggling so many projects, that trying to divide my time between them without compromising on any of them, isn't an easy task.

As well as being Mrs Plop and needle felting, I'm in the process of launching a charity album for pound dogs on death row in UK pounds. This came about because I ran a dog rescue up until quite recently and I'm also a musician/songwriter/general pain in the backside as musicians often are ;) Yes I know that's a generalisation, but it's kinda true in a lot of cases. (My parents are musicians, my husband is one, my brother in law is one, my cousin, another cousin, and so on etc etc. So that's how I know ;) )

Anyway, I'm waffling again. Get to the point! Ok! Quick history: Me and 'him indoors' (my lovely husband) wrote a song together some years ago, and it became the charity single for death row dogs. (quick stats: one dog is un-necessarily destroyed every hour in a UK pound, due to lack of space - pounds are just overflowing with unwanted dogs :( ) Funds were raised via downloads of the song. We had an alternating list of rescues on our beneficiaries list, and we raised over 3,000! Then all these musicians from my husband's songwriter forum heard about it and were so touched by it they each wrote a song for the dogs to add to our original song. Tada! The charity album for death row dogs.

Except we're not quite there yet. Thankfully him indoors is a website designer, and bless his heart, he's working madly on the album website, trying to fit it around his paid work. I'm also working madly on the content side and with any luck we'll have it finished this week.

I decided to donate 30% of any sales from My shop, Mrs Plop's Shoppe to add to whatever funds come in via album downloads. I would love to donate all of the money from sales of my felted animals, but if I did that, our own dogs would go hungry! 

The album website is here: You Could Save Me - The Charity Album For Death Row Dogs 
Please check it when you can, as it will soon be live. Your support would be greatly appreciated! 

If there are any crafters/artists out there who would like to donate a percentage of a sale or sales to the cause, I would love to hear from you! We will be having a 'Marketplace' on the site for handmade items with a link to where folks can buy your item, so as well as helping the dogs, you can be sure your work will be seen by a wide audience. 

Just email me, Catherine, at

Thank you :) xx

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Lotties Trinkets

Featured Artist Lotties Trinkets

Share the Love, Blogger’s Unite

This Weeks Featured Artist on Share the Love, Blogger’s Unite is Lise Spence-Parsons of Lotties Trinets!
You will find fabulous, handmade jewelry piece at Lottie's Trinkets! Truly One of a Kind designs that you can wear with pride! Make a statement with a gorgeous jewelry piece by Lise!
FindLise On:

Are you On Fire for Handmade? Grab the Code for your Blog HERE

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Website driving you nuts? Ask my other half to make you one. He's fab!

A pic of Anthony

Today I will be pimping my husband. Not literally! Obviously. LOL! But, if you want a genuinely brilliant website, he's your man. Well, actually he's my man, but you know what I mean

He's freelance, so he's not all corporate nonsense and he really DOES care about his clients. He won't do it for free (ooh err mrs! Well, he will for me, otherwise he gets a slap) but he is very reasonable, and everyone NEEDS a good website. It's more than worth investing in a website made by someone in the know. One that is user-friendly, clean and professional, knows how to get the most traffic from the right content, and is SEO optimised (a site that google LOVES, and that's about as technical as it gets from me!) Nobody wants a site that looks shoddy, takes centuries to load and is impossible to use. Free sites may cost nothing, but they are horrible. There is no other word for them.

I'm always astounded at what he does and how he does it. It's literally another language to me!

His client list is impressive, but he doesn't charge the earth. He just charges the right amount for quality, and doesn't get all hung up about negotiating. And, he's extremely kind, which always helps immensely! I must have done something right to be married to a man like him!

Here's a testimonial from one of his clients: Lucinda McAlpine - Horse Guru & Dressage Guru. It sums up what's brilliant about him indoors :

"Anthony came highly recommended and he did not disappoint. He took the time to find out what my business was all about,and translated it into a website that has turned visitors into customers. His aftercare service is second to none and is always happy to answer questions no matter how simple! His integrity shines through and he is a pleasure to deal with. - Lucinda McAlpine"

Anthony is also happy to help you with technical issues and glitches with your existing site (if you have one) or with computer issues, he's also a computer tech - whatever is making you tear your hair out, he can fix.

TO CONTACT: His name is Anthony Lane (you can call him Mr Plop if you like, but I'm not sure he'd like it lol!!) and you can contact him via EMAIL to:

Here is an example of a website Anthony created for Estervan Interior Design:

Estervan Interior Design
Branch of Design

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

RSS Designs in Fiber

Featured Artist RSS Designs in Fiber

Share the Love, Blogger’s Unite

This Weeks Featured Artist on Share the Love, Blogger’s Unite is Ruth Sandra Sperling of RSS Designs in Fiber! Beautiful Home Decor made with Love by Ruth!
Find Ruth On:
Artfire   Facebook   Twitter   Blog   Pinterest

 Are you On Fire for Handmade?

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Needle Felted Cocker Spaniel

My other half has been happy this week as my latest needle felting project has silenced all my usual constant babbling and waffling on about anything and everything.

I've worked very hard on making this little Cocker Spaniel. He began his existence as a wolf. Well, that's what I intended on making. But he insisted he was meant to be a Cocker Spaniel. So, here he is :) Woof!

His listing is in my Etsy shop here: Needle Felted Cocker Spaniel by Mrs Plop's Shoppe