Goodbye to old friends, hello San Fransisco!

My wonderful time spent with Sharon, Emma, Mark and Chris in Loomis has finally come to an end.  The Tin Thimble is truly a family run business and everyone who passed through the gates during my visit was friendly, fun and fired up with fibre and fabric fever.  Sharon and I stayed felting until almost 12pm each evening, when you are with someone like minded it is definitely hard to take a break and we both wanted to spend as much time sharing our experiences and having fun while felting together!  I REALLY enjoyed both the complex felt bag and the nuno mosaic workshops, most of the participants actually attended the two courses so by the end of Monday night we were really like one big happy family, all be it a rather tired but happy family!!!  Here is a picture demonstrating how amazing the nuno mosaic scarves turned out, Susan had to fly and catch a plane but hopefully I will have a picture of her gorgeous piece as soon as she gets home and has time to photo it.

MArni, me, Sharon, Jenine and Brenda showing off their beautiful nuno mosaic scarves!

You can also see some of the complex bags although not all were totally finished at the end of the workshop; there is a LOT of work involved in designing and felting a project such as this and Sharon’s is the only fully felted one in this picture, it is GORGEOUS!

Onwards to San Fransisco, amazingly gleaming in the sun when I arrived and the warmest I have ever experienced here to date.  I really need to stop talking for a day or two (my voice is on the blink!) and fully prepare for an action packed weekend at Knit One One in Berkeley and Urban Fauna Studio in the Mission District, SF.  We kick off the weekend with an evening felt jewellery class in Knit One One, if you are thinking of participating please SIGN UP NOW because we need another two people to make the night work and tomorrow is obviously the deadline for sign ups!

World Felt Day will be brilliant, my first return workshop will be taking place in Urban Fauna and I am so excited to be sharing loads of interesting techniques for creating unusual felt accessories, CLICK HERE if you would like to join us.  On Sunday we have another workshop at Urban Fauna, this time felted vessels and the place to SIGN UP IS HERE!

Off to bed now (aka having a glass of wine with Jamie and Blas before I head off!) so I leave you with some more fabulous photos from the wonderful workshops at Tin Thimble, another update tomorrow.  They may be all over the shop (Irish for all over the page!) but I know you’ll forgive me since the felt is definitely drool worthy!!!

Brenda's silk laid out and ready to cover with two VERY light layers of merino

Modelling the completed nuno mosaic scarf!

Susan including beautiful hand dyed silk in her lay out

Patti and Sharon concentrating on laying out their silk

Jenine throws a pose!

Marni with her amazing first piece of nuno felt!

Fabulous texture from different weights of silk and a gorgeous vintage scarf

The beautiful Sharon from The Tin Thimble with her really amazing wrap

Patti added a romantic ruffle to the edge of her wrap

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Horrendous journey to textile heaven!

Technical problems twice on the runway in Dublin meant a change of plane and a missed connection in Paris. Diverted to SF via LA and human error Paris meant another missed connection LA. Eventually arrived SF ten and a half hours late but all the horror of the journey has been pushed to the back of my mind by the wonederful welcome from Emma, Sharon, Mark and Chris at the AMAZING textile heaven The Tin Thimble in Loomis!!! Tommorow we start day one of our complex felt bag class and hopefully I will take some pictures and post them to the blog so you can all see the fantastic felt that is being created and the inspirational surroundings and friendly faces.

My beautiful felt phone cover, burnt due to my impatience

I never did get to stitch the fish skin closure to the little felt phone cover I made yesterday afternoon.  Stupidly I got impatient waiting for the felt to dry and decided to leave it in my oven for a short while.  No problems there (I have used this trick before when I need a piece to dry quickly) except I forgot all about taking it out again and by the time I remembered the beautiful creamy white felt had become an aged yellowy colour! 

Wool neps and hand dyed tencel surface decoration

 

I did however, manage to take a picture of the front with my iPhone, email it to mysef, save it to my pictures and post it here now, amazing!  Once I get a few apps downloaded I hope to be able to post directly to the blog.  The tencel shines beautifully in the light and the wool neps give a nice texture but I think that you should be able to see a slightly browner/yellower colour at the top of the little cover and the reverse view is even more burnt.  I also have a small pocket on the back for my Moo cards, really handy and I am just going to use the cover for a couple of days until I get a minute to felt another one!

More preparation for my US adventures and a little light felting relief …..

Gathering the felting materials to bring with me on Tuesday evening is not a problem, getting into the studio and negotiating the tables as I left them for felting the large rug is.  I am just going to have to grit my teeth and do a little bit of tidying up as I go along, at least it will make things more organised when I return home but I HATE tidying as you all must know by now! 

This morning I wrote and emailed off an article re. ‘Felt Naturally’ in Silkeborg as requested by Grima (the Danish felting association) and then I called over to Carmen for a bite of lunch and to deliver some Icelandic felting wool to one of her workshop participants as ordered for a community project in Wexford.  Writing about the fabulous time I had at the felt symposium in Silkeborg refreshed my mind about some of the techniques learnt and shared there, I can only hope that participants in my workshops in US will have half the fun that I had and also learn something new to boot.  It is absolutely amazing to think that at this exact time next Sunday participants will be finishing their bags during the second day of the first Complex Felt Bag workshop at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, northern California!!!

Since picking up my new iPhone 4 yesterday afternoon I have been trying to get to grips with some of its features, hopefully Blas from Urban Fauna Studio in San Fransisco (felt accessories and felt vessel workshops the first weekend of October!) may be able to help me with getting used to the phone and will give me good tips.  Apparantly the tarriff that I am on here in Ireland is totally prohibitive in the US but probably I will be able to access a computer somewhere in Loomis and keep you all updated with progress at the first workshops!  I felted a simple little iPhone cover when I got back from Carmen’s and once it is dry I am going to stitch on a little closure using some soft and supple fish skin from Iceland.  Alan sparked off the idea for the opening on the cover so as soon as I have it all assembled I am going to try to take the picture and upload it straight to the internet from the phone, wish me luck!

………?

No title to this post as I am saving all my energy for thinking and organising prior to my departure late on Tuesday night to catch my 6.30am flight out of Dublin on Wednesday morning!  I need to be available to check in a minimum of 4 hours prior to boarding so guess that means a midnight journey, ah well, can’t sleep at all anyway I am so excited!!!

Today I got some more washing done, sorted out my ESTA authorisation, prepared some stuff for packing, bought the new iPhone4 (thanks Alan for my birthday gift!),  planned a little felt cover for it, got some lovely locally grown veg on the range and have a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at my hand as I wait for Katie Taylor’s World Championship bid on RTE in a couple of minutes!