50 Sandwiches With 50 Fillings

Since the Bakerloo Tapestry, I haven’t embarked on any really big projects so I decided now was probably the time to go mad again and make my fingers bleed from so much sewing. After a trip to the cash and carry, I came back with 50 plastic sandwich cases which I plan to fill with fluffy sandwiches. Here’s the first of the sandwiches of which the filling is dubious!

Cheese, pastrami and crocodiles

Dip dip dip dab dab dip dip dip

When I was in art college, the hardcore group of reprobates that we were, we used to snort sherbet and citrus polos. I’m not sure if the result was purely psychosomatic or not but it appeared to make us all very hyperactive.

Dip dabs made up a massive part of my childhood in that I used to drag my Dad round Bath city centre to various shops full of fluffy animals that must have been exasperating. He got his revenge by dragging me into Dixons and HMV to compare the prices of packs of 25 recordable CDs. The aim was to find the best deal, no matter how small the difference in price. The packs of CDs were never purchased, just looked at as if part of some sort of ritual, in the same way that I had to go into every chain of Clinton Cards. Just in case….

Next was John Menzies, which later became WH Smith and then even later, demolished as part of the Southgate Shopping Centre redevelopment. Dip dabs were purchased from here for the grand old price of 0.19p and I got the penny change for a twenty pence.

It’s these sort of memories that act as an anchor of detirmination when making new soft sculptures. They are very particular and require materials that are “just right” in accordance to the reminiscence.

Bread that is not long

Also known a shortbread. I don’t know why it’s called shortbread, I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation but all that is irrelevant because these are made of felt, thread and little beads of sugar. They all have beady eyes that follow you round the room as soon as you’ve taken the lid off the tin. They are now in Scotland getting back to their roots with a friend of mine who is their new owner.

What’s Your Beef?

A question asked by many vegetarians and meat eaters alike but my wooly beef mince is suitable for all palates. I came across this wool completely by accident at one of Brighton’s local wool stockists and I literally did a double-take when I saw it. It looks so shockingly like a really fatty version of the real thing, I grabbed it and ran to the till with elation.

Several hours later, a bit of clear PVC and some embroidery, I unveiled this little beauty. Wooly mince! Om nom nom nom nom…….


The Bakerloo Tapestry

Lucy Sparrrow has lovingly embroidered a giant map of the London Underground.

It took the 23-year-old 42 days to create the 9sq m tapestry which is made up of 2,400m (2,625 yards) of thread and 142 buttons.

‘One of the hardest parts was getting the scale right,’ said Miss Sparrow. ‘It was tough fitting all the station names in.’

But her plans to display the piece of art on the Tube network have been scuppered by Transport for London bosses who say she will have to pay for the privilege. ‘This is something that as an artist I stand strongly against – much art is a labour of love and its a bit of a kick in the teeth to an aspiring artist to put heart and soul into a novel creation only to be asked to pay for other people to enjoy it.’

The Brighton-based textile artist next plans to make tapestries of other subway systems at home and abroad and eventually to make a full-sized car out of felt. She has been making sculptures and embroidered artwork since she was ten years old.

Her felt creations include a telephone, a giant box of crayons, a tin of sardines, a cello and even a heart monitor.

‘It would be fair to say I think faster than I can sew. I find myself constantly inspired and am always looking for my next interesting and unique project,’ Miss Sparrow said.

I’m Switzerland on the subject

Guns don’t kill people, penknifes do. Luckily, this one doesn’t though because it’s too soft. Constructed out of felt (quelle surprise), sparkly thread and some carefully positioned split pins, this penknife is totally harmless. I made this about a year ago after some orange scissors which have since gone missing which means I’ll have to make another bigger and better pair. How much more of a classic example of “chocolate teapot syndrome” do you need? This thing couldn’t even cut a wet sponge!

Should have called it Rookiebix….

I am the first to admit that I’ve really been slacking this month when it comes to Feltisms. I just got back from causing trouble in Ireland and I found that sitting in an empty room (my babies are still at the gallery), I was even missing the cramp in my hands that I get when I’ve been ODing on the knitting needles.

So once again, it was back to the sewing machine and a felt drawer consultation before embarking on the latest addition to the team. I was out taking photos with friends in Ipswich when we stopped briefly in a cornershop when the cereal aisle caught my eye and I was drawn to the yellow boxes. I was almost kicking myself as to why I hadn’t thought of it before…..wooly Weetabix!

I sometimes have a block and think that there can’t possibly be anything more to make until there’s a breakthrough like this and I see that there’s too much stuff to make. It’s overwhelming trying to decide what will look good and what will turn into a flop (not a good one).

Introducing…..The Wooly Weetabix.


Prehistoric Investigative Feltism

A heavy title for such seemingly nonchalant little felt dinosaurs but note the lack of eyes on them. This missing feature is rare for me because I usually like to add buttons or sequins that they can see out of to give them some life (eyes + window = soul) but it felt wrong today. Other things that I have made like the fish have eyes because they know that they are going to be eaten so the prospect of heading towards someone’s mouth is expected. Felt dinosaurs on the other hand are different in the way that they have been shrunk rather than blown up which means their brains are going to be smaller too. Once their minds have been reduced, I wouldn’t like to risk giving them vision vessels for fear that they might get overwhelmed and self-destruct in some horrifying act of breadcrumbed cannabilism.


Les doigts de poissons

My fondest memory of eating fishfingers is on a Thursday afternoon after I had been to my piano lesson and it was a rush to get tea on the table before picking up my sister from school. It was usually fishfingers, pasta and beans with lots of salad cream and ketchup mixed together so it turned pink. On the telly would be the Chuckle Brothers, followed by Fun House or Finders Keepers. Sometimes if my sister was staying at school for “prep”, it would mean another two full hours of glorious telly that consisted of Space Precinct and Tomorrow’s World (I was an uber science geek back then).

So following the trend of things that remind me of being small, here’s my felt version of the kiddie favourite. Long live fishfingers.


Bury my heart at wounded knee

In the last three weeks, I have cut my leg reasonably badly-twice. Both wounds were very treatable and within a couple of days, they didn’t hurt anymore. However, what does one do when a wound is too deep to heal by steri-strips alone? Well that’s where the Rookinella branding once again comes to the rescue. These giant felt plasters are specially designed to deal with big wounds…..inside and out. They especially help with soul punctures, broken brains and hearts that have split in half.