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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Fabulous Felt

No, I’m not selling one-of-a-kind felt purses.  But I could.  Or I should.  I just love them.

These are ours.  Actually, they’re the girls’. I surprised them with these and they probably cannot fathom their cool-quotient, so I’ll have to focus on fulfilling my own fashion needs in the future, since they only pull them out on the rare occasion to humor me.

I possess a few felt purses which are delightful, but not with me in my present locale.  My excuse?  I don’t have time to keep transferring all of my stuff from purse to purse to purse, so I’m usually “boring black”.  Goes with everything, you know!

But I do have some felt purses and I enjoy them whenever I can.  Many come from far-flung places like Italian mountain villages or Nepalese mountain villages.  Must have something to do with the mountain villages’ refined air at certain altitudes, making otherwise normal people feel that they can be very crafty… and they are-!… or living in such remote environs that makes working at Subway a non-option… so they end up working with felt.

I think felt is lovely.  I don’t believe that any animals were harmed in its manufacture, either.  Well, perhaps a few of the sheep experienced chilly moments if they were shorn and it became snowy up in the mountains….

I’m sorry.

Keep in mind that this is not the felt of our childhoods, those flannelgraphs that were created with thin pieces of felt that adhered right to the felt board.  Talk about the early forerunner of Velcro, without any of the snagging that inevitably can result with that product.

I first saw felt in… a mountaintop village in Italy-!  Yes, it’s true. (We get around.)  We were on our way to visit our first son in Russia, and trying to help along the process (hellooo, can anyone relate?), and we just happened to be in Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary, and they had told us back in June that we would probably travel in September, so now it was already October, and we might as well just book tickets to Moscow, we were almost there, anyway, and–.

The agency didn’t see it that way.

“Don’t come,” they e-mailed in a heart-rending communique’ received late one night in a foreign country.

I’ve collected far too many of these communique’s when I’m abroad in far too many countries.  Why is it that the whole world falls apart if I take one day off???

So… where were we?  Ah, a hilltop town.  That’s how we ended up in the remote, hilltop town where artists seemed to congregate and felt items.  We could not change our tickets (we tried) in order to come home, and we could not stay where we were.  That’s why it was off to exile in a perfectly lovely Umbrian town that’s mostly pedestrian, and has a funicular to come up and down the mountain.

That’s where I saw the felt, which is nothing but 100% (non-washable) wool, washed a few times in hot water in the washing machine.  You want it to shrink and meld together, like a good ribollita in a chilly Italian mountaintop town.  There is hand-felting, too, which is an entirely different process, which sounds quite labor intensive and actually fun, but since I never have any free time, I’m not thinking it’s going to happen anytime soon.  And knowing me, and how my crafty experiments tend to turn out, it would probably be cheaper to jet over to Nepal for the day, climb a few mountains, and come back with mounds of felted items.

Now, you can see felt objects for sale most anywhere in the world.  My sister-in-law brought me something from their bike tour through Ireland.  A few pop up in street markets, or museum stores, or on Etsy.

I’ve seen hats, coinpurses, tote bags, slippers, what do you think of my flower-petal scarf?  It’s hard to get a good photo of it, but it’s really an eye-catcher when worn.

I love the luxurious feel of thick felt in the winter.

Do you have any sensational or sophisticated felt?



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    /Users/guetersloh/Desktop/felt swirl purse.jpg

    I don’t have any, but you got me interested and I want this one. I found it on the internet.

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