Help please!

Is it just my computer or does everybody reading my last post see some text to the right of the main section and have the links and email subscription button etc. moved down the page to the left???  I do want to upload some more workshop pictures taken during my amazing US trip and I also want to write about my favourite finds in Rhinebeck but I don’t want to play around with things too much and stuff the blog up totally.  What is going on???  Is it just me or can everyone else see what I do?  Thanks for the suggestion Lindy but you look great in the pictures so I don’t think that is the solution!!!  Comments please ……

Pictures at last!

My blog/computer seems to be working to order this morning so as promised here are some pictures from the Monday accessories workshop at the KIA! 

Laying out short fibred merino on top of silk for the nuno scarves

Deb's dreadlocks in place at the end of her scarf

Oops, I spoke too soon, so frustrating but I have only been able to upload one picture.   What on earth is happening with WordPress?????  Will try again later …..

The jewellery ladies!

Wonderful nuno felt scarves and fabulous felt flowers (amongst other gorgeous pieces!)

I was delighted that several of the participants from the complex felt bag workshop stayed over in Kalamazoo to join us on Monday for the felted accessories workshop.  We started the day with a quick look at some of my work and then I gave a simple felt flower demo using the short fibre merino I that I love to work with (available online from either Wollknoll or Filzrausch) before everyone launched into flowers of their own!  This was a great way to get warmed up and after a very short time everyone had made a couple of flowers, some of them using a resist and multi layered.  After this we discussed what accessories everyone would like to make and then the group of 12 divided into two sections, one to work on nuno scarves and the other to discover some of the tips and assorted ways I use to create felt balls, cords, dreadlocks, cubes and all sorts of components useful for jewellery, buttons, closures and the like.  I particularly like to show people how I felt balls and cubes starting with a square wad of fibres, this method was shown to me by Australian sculptor and felter Anita Larkin and was a revelation when I first learnt it! 

URGGH, for some reason I am not able to upload pictures here this morning so forgive the lack of eye candy, there must be a technical hitch.  I will try again tonight and hopefully I will be back to full speed tomorrow morning, off to tidy the studio this Bank Holiday Monday.  To keep your imagination fired why not have a look through Dawn’s Facebook album sharing the wonderful time we had together with Horst, Janice Arnold and just mooching around at Plainwell Icecream Parlour and visiting beautiful Lake Michigan.

THANKS and pictures of the beautiful felt created at the KIA workshops!

I’m home safely at last and bowled over when I look back at all the pictures I have taken over my whirlwind felting trip to the US.  Four weeks sounds like a LOT of time to spend on the road but in actual fact the time just whooshed by although I lived every minute to the best of my ability and LOVED every second spent with fibre friends both new and old!  It’s just not possible to thank everyone who contributed to my wonderful experience individually on the blog and I would hate to leave anyone out unintentionally so to everyone who made me feel totally at home and SO welcome everywhere I travelled THANKS!!!  Thanks to all the organisers, hosts, friends, workshop participants and blog followers who really made the trip so special and thanks to everyone who gave me unusual gifts along the way, fibre, chocolate, rolling mat, sequin waste, artificial fabric, inclusions, fabric, vintage trimmings and other little items either difficult or impossible to get here in Ireland.  I love them all and hope to show you pictures here as soon as I start to incorporate them into my felt over the next few months although in case you are wondering I am eating the yummy chocolate, some things are just a step to far when it comes to adding inclusions!

Now for some pictures as promised from the fantastic complex bag workshop at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, pictures to follow tomorrow from the felted accessories workshop and then over the weekend pictures from my visit with Dawn and my trip to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck with Heather! 

Cyndee and Lindy adding surface detail to their bags

 

Detail from Sally's bag

 

Wonderful bags created at the KIA weekend workshop

Wonderful, wonderful Rhinebeck!

Just the shortest of notes to say how much Heather and I have enjoyed our two days at Rhinebeck!  The whole experience was fabulous and as soon as I recover from the train, bus, plane, bus and car drive home I promise to sit down and blog properly about both the Kalamazoo felting workshops and the Rhinebeck experience complete with loads of pictures and links to peruse!!!  I am off now to pack my bag and then hopefully we will have an early night and a good (read BIG!!!) breakfast tomorrow morning before Heather drives me to the station to catch my 11.40am train.  Until then …..

Heading off to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival this morning!

I have had such a wonderful time with Dawn over the last week and a bit, both on our trip to Horst and then staying with her and her family in Plainwell and during the workshops in Kalamazoo.  It was really hard saying goodbye at the airport (Americans are a BIT more emotional than us cold Irish!) and heading on for Minneapolis but great to arrive safely to a VERY wet destination and meet another blog reader Heather!  I was lucky enough to arrive in time to go straight to the opening of an art exhibition at Heather’s work place and see the gorgeous hat she has displayed there which lookes absolutely marvellous.

Heather in her gorgeous hat!

We then drove to a great Italian restaurant for a tasty meal before returning home for an early night in preparation for all the exciting fibre madness that is going to take place this weekend at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in NY!

KIA workshops, Weaver’s Guild talk, more photos and into ‘Horst Style’ production this morning!

Great weekend workshops at the KIA, successful talk (at least I THINK so and I think that they do too!) at the Weaver’s Guild meeting on Monday night, visit to Saugatuck and Lake Michigan yesterday and into Horst style production with Dawn this morning, only downside is that I have almost NO voice left and I definitely will need it for visiting with Heather and heading to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival this coming weekend!!! 

Dawn and Horst hamming it up for the camera working on our first full duster!

I still need to download my images from the complex felt bag and the felted accessories workshops that happened at the KIA in Kalamazoo from Saturday to Monday but the work created was so inventive and fabulous, you will LOVE the results!  Possibly I may get a little time to do some computer stuff when I get to Heather’s house tomorrow evening but today Dawn and I are felting some scarves and hopefully two sleeveless waistcoats using Horst’s method (small sander and time permitting!) as well as dying them, fingers crossed we have time to complete everything because I would love a new vest to wear the the Sheep and Wool Festival!  Good friend Kristi has kindly set up a Snapfish room (check it out!) where we can share pictures of all the fabulous bags, flowers, pieces of jewellery and nuno felt masterpieces created over the weekend so I am just going to post the info directly here and hopefully some more of you will share your images!  Message from Kristi …….. Join Felting Weekend with Nicola – I created a room where we can share photos, videos and projects! We can also write messages to the group, order prints and gifts of each others’ photos and more. Please feel free to add your photos too!  In order to join or view this group room, you’ll need to enter this privacy code nicola.  You can also copy the web address and paste it into your browser:
http://feltingweekend.snapfish.com/snapfish/otsc=SYE/otsi=CRI

Dawn unloading our first duster from the dryer - beautifully dyed by Horst in some of my favourite colours!

Our second AMAZING creation, now proudly winging it's way back to Ireland with me!!!

Trying out one of Horst's soft and cuddly but oh so stylish jackets!

First pictures from our time with Horst!

Dawn following Horst's directions to attach a roving skirt to a ready prepared bodice

Dawn and I had the most AMAZING time in Streetsboro, Ohio with Horst, Jess, Gina, Choxie and Panzer, Choxie and Panzer being a Pomerarian and a Corgi respectively!!!  We can’t thank them enough for their warm hospitality and Horst’s mother for all the wonderful sweet deserts she brought every day, peach cobbler, apple crisp, cheesecake with cherry topping, German chocolate cake and some tasty and seasonal pumpkin cookies, reading through this list it’s amazing that we didn’t return to Michigan 2 stones heavier than we arrived late on Monday afternoon!  I know from all the emails and Facebook comments I am recieving that you are really looking forward to seeing some of our photos from the visit so here goes with just a couple and as soon as the Kalamazoo workshops are finished (I had a marvellous time today) I promise to write a longer post and share the finished dusters (THREE!!!) with you.  I do hope to add some more pictures to my Flickr account tomorrow evening but in case I don’t have time after the complex bag workshop is over please bear with me as I still need to prepare my presentation for Monday night’s talk to the Kalamazoo Weaver’s Guild!  To give everybody some background information (for all of you who are SO envious out there in cyber space!) we started our ‘Horst Couture’  induction on Tuesday morning by learning how Horst attaches an organic style duster bottom to a partially felted bodice, watched as he wetted it out, worked with personally adapted electric sanders, rinsed to remove the soap, dyed the duster by hand (he is a master colourist!) and then fulled the dyed coat in the tumble dryer before removing it to a fanfare of trumpets just ready for Dawn to model and me to take some photos!  The second day when Horst was off teaching we prepared HUNDREDS of various attachments for the next few dusters (petal like attachments, leaflets and loops) and spent some time that evening working out exactly what we would be doing on the following day as well as watching while Horst dyed the bottom of 8 sleeveless vests in preparation for further work the next day.  It would also be fair to say that we prepared 5 large bags and 4 ‘pocklets’ but equally true to confess that not all of these worked out exactly as we planned.  We nearly died laughing when we discovered how disasterous some of these bags (purses) turned out to be but more about this and loads more photos to follow in the next post when the KIA workshops have finished!!!  I also can’t resist adding another photo to today’s duo, Dawn modelling a fun fur hat which we just happened to find in Horst’s studio and I’m sure you will agree looks absoultely stunning when modelled by her!

Dawn looking absolutely stunning!

Dawn modelling the amazing finished duster (which now sits proudly in her closet ready to be worn to the Weaver’s Guild meeting in Kalamazoo MI on Monday night!)

Super San Fransisco workshops and onwards to Michigan ……

Well, I have just spent a fun filled five days with Jamie and Blas exploring the Mission District and facilitating a ‘Felt Accessories’ and a ‘Felt Vessel’ workshop organised through their wonderful Urban Fauna Studio.

A detail of the fabulous wall art from the Clarion Alley Mural Project, North Mission

The two workshops were pretty hectic but I hope that everyone was happy with the results,  I certainly was happy with the creativity evident and the range of beautiful pieces felted!

Anna, Barbara, Jamie, Bonnie, Flo, Rosalind, Natalie and me (from L to R)

During the Saturday workshop participants all worked on individual projects and by the end of the day everybody went home with either a felt bag, nuno wrap, piece of jewellery, iPhone cover or a piece of nuno  felt yardage. Different techniques new to participants included felting around a resist, a simple way of incorporating long cords and including resists between layers of wool at the layout stage which are then cut into in order to expose underlying fabrics once the felt is fulled.  Blas also started a little memory stick cover (thumb drive to you in the US!) in between looking after everyone at the venue and was delighted to finish it at home, repair his memory stick and have a TINY felt pouch perfect to protect this delicate piece of computer equipment!

Blas's felt memory stick cover!

Three people choose to return again today for the vessel workshop and it was very interesting for me to see how some of the wool varieties I am NOT used to working with felt!  Participants used a variety of wools including Corriedale, Romney and two unidentified wool batts and everyone left with a beautiful felted vessel.  Several of the pieces need a little more work fulling over the next day or two although in every case we got a good idea of what the finished piece would be like, the extra fulling is just to make sure that they are strongly felted and hold their shape no matter what.  I would like to post some more about the workshops but I need to finish packing my bags and head off to the airport in two hours so will leave you with some more pictures from the weekend.  Tomorrow morning I am getting picked up by Dawn at Grand Rapids Airport and we are both travelling on to visit and felt with Horst, I can hardly wait to meet them both!!!

Flo's vessel showing the window she created exposing some wonderful colour within

Me, Jamie, Anastasia, Bonnie, Flo and Leslee (from L to R)

Anastasia with her gorgeous bowl incorporating lichen

Bonnie looking stunning in her funky dreadlock necklace!

Natalie's brilliant felt clutch incorporating some of her own hand dyed roving!