Staying in the west of Ireland tonight with Alan’s parents, was in Dublin since Monday evening (bit of a story), home early afternoon tomorrow then hopefully dry enough to photo my latest felt vessels. Apologies for lack of updates, will probably give you an overload next week!

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays to all my felt and fibre friends of every relegion (or none) wherever you live in the world.  Even though we may be physically apart it is amazing how close you all feel through this incredible medium of blogging!!!  Especially wonderful is to have met a lot of you in person both last year and this Fall, hopefully I will meet many more online friends when I return to US during 2011!

Carmen has been really unlucky to have had her flights home to her parents in Gran Canaria cancelled due to the snowy conditions and the absolute earliest she is now potentially able to travel is the morning of 29th December.  The up side is that we have now spent the last two days felting together (I am working on my ArtL!nks project and it is finally going well!) and she will be joining me tomorrow for another day of felting and a celebratory Christmas dinner of garlic prawns, roast duck with apple sauce, brussel sprouts with chestnuts and a yummy gluten free Christmas pudding made with ground almonds instead of the flour.  I had been planning on travelling up to Dublin for the day to be with my family but the road conditions are just impossible to navigate in my long wheel base truck, it is rear wheel drive and useless on the ice.  We will also felt on Sunday so watch out for some photos of my latest pieces, I am really excited about the direction they are leading me!

I leave you with a picture taken about an hour ago showing how pretty Clasheen looks in the icy conditions. 

The view towards White Mountain this afternoon

Snippets …..

Washing machine not working while I wait for a spare part to arrive by post, big freeze continues although we at Clasheen seem to have escaped a lot of the snow this time, having problems sewing two felt and silk cushion covers together (surprise, surprise), plenty of food and drink in the house, heating working so all is not lost!  Will be working on my felting kits over the next few days (just finalising the designs and writing up the instructions) and getting my hands wet felting tomorrow, how I miss it if I have not had a fix for a day or so!!!

Pictures of a little felt clutch

Yesterday Alan and I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening enjoying a Christmas get together with friends.  I wanted to make our hostess a little felt gift and decided on a clutch with raised detail in a beautiful plum and cerise two sided felt. 

Clutch purse with raised detail

I  have to stress that I don’t actually like stitching yet and seriously doubt that I will ever but working using the method Vanda taught the result for me is definitely worth a sore neck and a lot of curses!  Although the end result looks deceptively simple there is a lot of work involved in making a piece even one so small as this clutch.  Aside from the fact that the two sided felt is worked from up to 10 layers of wool a lot of attention needs to be paid when stitching the raised areas, the seams have two different stitches and the bound edges a kind of woven topped blanket style (my words, not Vanda’s!).  For this piece I wanted to experiment with forming the purse from the one piece of felt and not stitching seperate pieces together as I have previously done for my other bags.  The flap is also integrated into the purse and I had wondered if it would be possible to get a good shape where it folds over due to the thickness and rigidity of the felt.  This didn’t prove to be a problem however as once I washed the area where detail was raised (to remove the pencil guidelines) it was not difficult to fold the flap while wet and dry the purse slowly to achieve the top edge.  Anyway, I definitely will make some more styles of this clutch as I feel they have a miriad of uses, camera, phone, money or make up! 

Stitching still not perfect but I can live in hope!

Stocking up and (almost) a couple of pictures as promised!

Although the last lot of snow has almost melted everywhere forecasts predict heavy falls here again from tomorrow afternoon starting in the West of Ireland today.  I have spent this morning stocking up on meat for my freezer, going to the bank, posting some parcels for across the water, carrying in kindling and in a nutshell getting essential duties out of the way in case I get totally snowed in once more!  The temperature has dropped by at least several degrees since I got up, the sky has darkened dramatically and the wind is now blowing strongly making it difficult to take any successful pictures of felt created to post to Flickr or here on the blog. 

I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!  Heavy hail/sleet is now assaulting the house so I am very glad I made the effort to drive to Borris this morning!

Anyway, enough talking.  Here are two pictures (or maybe not!!!) taken in the gloomy outdoors, my latest Vanda Robert inspired bag and a gorgeous light weight nuno felt wrap.  For the bag I used some 50% gotland 50% merino blended wool batts from Denmark and another similar quality wool (think it might also be the same combo although I bought it on a different trip from a different supplier) in wonderful shades of Autumn.  I added some leather leaves and a horn button (all gathered from various trips to US!) and finished it with a cord handle which I made using some wonderful hand dyed silk yarn by Jamie of Urban Fauna Studio in San Fransisco.    The wrap is felted from some of my Cloverleaf Farms hand dyed merino and silk hankies, the cotton cheesecloth I dyed with Rite under the supervision of Sharon at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA.  Pretty cosmopolitan bag and wrap don’t you think?  OK, you are going to have to look at my Flickr photos to see the bag and wrap because for some reason WordPress has lost the run of itself and my whole visuals jumped all over the place when I uploaded the photos.  First time of trying they wern’t visable at all and then the second time previous posts went into the sidebars but the images still weren’t where I wanted them.  Sorry!

Felt bags, slippers, order arrives and snow melting after 17 days!

Spent a happy day felting and stitching with Carmen today, bags and more bags, photos tomorrow. Yesterday I managed to drive down my road for the first time in 17 days, snow currently melting but loads forecast for weekend and into next week again. Oil arrived yesterday, my wool has arrived, I stocked up with fuel for my stove and had the last session with Borris Active Retirement. Check out the wonderful booties Dorothy made for her little grandaughter’s Christmas presents by clicking on my Flickr link to the right! Will write a proper post tomorrow on the computer, sending this via my phone!

Felt and frustration!!!

Another felt bag with relief stitching

UUGH,  I am SO frustrated!!!  I wrote a post yesterday afternoon in the freezing cold but for some reason the internet connection went down and I couldn’t add images or get it online.  Just now I have rewritten the whole thing, added some pictures and then lost everything in the publication, how annoying is that.  Unfortunately I am going to have to head downstairs again in a few minutes because it is absolutely freezing upstairs and I am trying to eek out my oil and just heat the lower level.  I am now snowed in for a total of 12 days and counting, amazing for Ireland in late November early December although probably just as well that I lagged my water filter with some felt otherwise things could be a lot worse than they already are!

Anyway, here are a couple of photos of another felt bag a la Vanda Robert completed during my enforced incarceration and if you pop on over to Flickr you will find some more as well as a few pictures of the beautiful landscape at Clasheen in the snow. 

Detail showing stitching at the top and how the leather handles are attached