Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Faux Taxidermy

I bought this gorgeous craft book with some Christmas pennies and find it very inspirational. I've missed the boat now for some of the seasonal projects but I am determined to make some polar bears for Christmas 2014. They are irresistible.

The designer behind the Tilda brand is a very talented young Norwegian girl called Tonne Finnanger. There are a number of books in the range which are all very seductive. We know how those big colour craft pictures draw us in don't we? But this book does have some full size patterns as well, which are very helpful.

So helpful and seductive that my friend Anita felt compelled to try her hand at making one of the iconic Tilda dolls. I think she has turned out very well. Anita went to a recommended materials supplier which in hindsight we decided probably wasn't necessary. Using substitute materials would have reduced the cost of the doll quite dramatically.

I understand making dolly was time consuming and the knitting pattern was a little problematic but the result makes it so worthwhile. She's an absolute picture.

Meanwhile I've been trying my hand at a bit of faux taxidermy. I've always wanted to have a stag's head on the chimney breast above the fireplace in our drawing room. Something like this.

This beauty is from a company in Scotland called Deeside Knitwits.

After some Internet searching for a form to use as a base, I changed my mind and opted for a ram's head instead. Which is now complete and up in the drawing room but not on the chimney breast as it clashed rather with the wallpaper.

I knitted the covers for the horns and the Fair Isle neck piece from oddments of wool. The fabric pieces I got from Freecycle apart from the Welsh tapestry nose and ear backs, they're from an old handbag. The eyes are vintage bone buttons and the creamy faux fur around the base of the horns was removed from my old Monsoon granny slippers before I threw them out last year.

I'm super pleased with it. Friends that have seen it keep asking me what its name is. I'm darned if I know, it's definitely not Gordon. Any suggestions?


  1. Loving ram lamb, you did a super job! I too have long since dreamed of a stag's head in my hallway. The faux taxidermy variety is much more appealing but I suspect this is an art outside my capabilities!

  2. Superb - because of his nose, what about calling him Cadwallader after my Welsh sheep farming ancestors?

  3. I concur with the name Cadwallader, and you can call him Wally for short. :-)

  4. What a great post Jean and very inspiring. The ram head is fantastic, I love it. Looking forward to hearing about your craft workshops :)


    1. Thanks Fi. Just waiting for a little bit better weather for the workshops. Not too long I hope.

      Jean x

    2. Yes don't blame you. I shall keep my fingers crossed for better weather soon. Let me know when the dates are out so I can spread the word.xx