Monday, 9 July 2012


A long long time ago I walked into the library and searched for something new.
I'd read my way through The Chronicles of Narnia over and over again. 
I'd read almost all of the Patricia Lynch books I loved so much. I'd devoured all the 'Fairy Tales' books..the big thick serious fairy tales from China, or Russia or wherever the book took me.
I pulled out a narrow navy blue book I hadn't noticed before, and opened it.

 I was intrigued straight away. I loved that I was being addressed by the author. I'd never heard of him ..or her...I didn't know. It was someone called 'Tove' so it could have been either. On the next page was a map of Moomin Valley. 
It was the beginning of a lifelong love of the Moomin Stories by Tove Janssen. 
No one else I knew had read them. 
They were mysterious, fascinating, sad, and sweet. The creatures who appeared in them had names like 'Too Ticky' ''Snufkin, 'Sniff' and the 'Snork Maiden'.
 They lived in a beautiful place and were very influenced by the weather and the seasons.
My favourite characters were The Hattifattners. Silent enigmatic and still. They met in the night forest and bowed to a barometer on a pole.
Later, as a Primary School teacher I introduced my classes to them and then my own children, and then the Moomins became TV stars and were no longer my own discovery.
I believe there is now a Moomin theme park.
To my mind, the line drawings of the author are far superior to any multicoloured models.

 When I was making these I was strangely reminded of the Hattifattners.
 I made one, two, three, more.
Then there were six. 
 Six in a square set, then six in a row
 Then there were eight

 and now....ten.
Not brooches.
Gathered on my sewing table, no doubt swaying and dancing while I'm asleep.
What next?


marigold jam said...

Oh I remember those tales too. Love your little fabric pieces I do hope they won't dance off in the night to some mysterious never never land!

Carol Q said...

aw how nice to be reminded of the Moomins and the Hattifatners Jackie and of course the Snork Maiden. What great names. I can see why your stitching reminds you of the Hattifatners lol. gorgeous colour combinations as ever.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I've never heard of these stories, but how charming the pages you've shown look! From the drawings I see there, it's obvious where your inspiration came from in your own creations. I have to check our library to see if there's any of the stories there!

Thimble Fingers said...

I've never heard of them, but they sound fascinating. Just adore your Hattifatners - lovely happy colours.

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

I never new the Moomin's came from a book! I loved the TV show. The book looks fascinating as do your creations. I like the idea of them all swaying in the night.

Heather said...

I love your felt Hattifattners. It's fascinating to think that the seed of inspiration might have been sown in your mind when you first read those lovely books.
My two youngest daughters loved them too.

Marga said...

How beautiful! gr.

Plum Cox said...

Fabulous! Now off to send a link to this site to another Moomin fan.

Rachel said...

Goodness, clearly something my extensive childhood reading missed. I'll have to look them up, as anything that lingers so long in the memory is worth knowing about!

FeltersJourney said...

Oh I love this post! I enjoyed watching the Moomins on TV when I was young, and then my children enjoyed them - my son was always scared of the Groke and the Hattifatners (funny lad).

The original drawings are beautiful.. I can see why your brooches remind you of the hattifatners drawing (and of course your brooches are STUNNING!) I love the thought of them dancing and swaying while you sleep :)

Whitney-Anne Baker said...

Now that you mention it, they do look a bit Hattifatnerish. I still call my daughter the Snork Maiden sometimes and my husband is sometimes referred to as the Hemulen for reason lost in the mists of time. So glad you reminded me of all things Moomin. Of course the minute you make a theme park of anything it's ruined.

Gina said...

I've never come across the Moomins before but I do rather like the idea of things called Hattifatners! And such beautiful drawings. Beautiful little fabric pieces too.

Helen Suzanne said...

ooh yes I can see Hattifatners too :) Love the moomins and your pieces

Lynda Howells said...

I haven't heard of this book either and l collect children's looks gorgeous. And your "not brooches" are devine......let us know when you decide what they are. Oh and by the way the colours are to die for.xxxlynda

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

I love to think of the shenanigans they're up to while you sleep!

Robin Mac said...

What fascinating books - I don't remember them from my childhood so perhaps they didn't make it to Australia, or perhaps they were written after I had reached my teens. I certainly don't remember the TV show, but I am glad they inspired your fabulous felt pieces. Cheers

Pirjo La said...

Oh, how beautiful hattifattners you have made. I am very excited that you have read of the Moomins long ago. Tove Jansson was a Finnish artist and she loved to live on a very smaal island in the middle of the sea during summertime. She really was like her Moomins!
Pirjo from Finland

Jackie said...

Pirjo La I am excited that I have a real Finnish Comment! Have you ever seen a Moomin? Or indeed, a Hattifattner?
I don't expect you have but its nice that you can tell me about Tove Janssen.

Rosie said...

I used to LOVE the Moomins! Thank you for reminding me, and I see exactly what you mean about the brooches ....

Karen said...

Beautiful little works of art, I've never seen anything like them before. You are very talented!

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

More scrummy stuff :-)
Anne x

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