I do so love playing with inclusions in felt – pieces of shell, glass and stones that I pick up from the beach on my walks can be included in the pieces I make. This bag and purse set were inspired by the waves on the sand and the amazing artwork that nature creates from these movements over time. I was astounded one day to see the normally bland sand decorated with hundreds of little fronds of burgundy and pink seaweed.

As artfully arranged by the sea!

So I wanted to make another bag similar to the one I made for a special friend’s birthday. And I ended up making a matching purse to go with it.

I started by blending several different shades of blue merino wool with some shiny angelina fibres using my new fiendish device – a hackle – made by my clever husband.

blending wool fibres on a hackle blythwhimsies 2015-11-05 08.09.08

Here’s my wool layout with white nepps, curly wensleydale locks and pieces of silk throwsters waste.

seashore purse wool silk shells layout blythwhimsies 2015-11-05 08.59.24

I also added some gold mesh fabric and, of course, some stones and glass from the beach. This does make for a rather lumpy package when it comes to rolling!

I added embroidery and beading as well as some more delicate shells. Small cuts reveal the included stones and glass and I sewed in some beads to the ‘holes’ where I completely removed some of the stones.

Here’s the bag with its long felt rope shoulder handle and a shell button fastening.

and here’s the purse.

The silk laps give a gorgeous irridescent quality to the inner flap reminiscent of abalone shells.

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