I’m nuno felting like crazy, or am I just going crazy???

Yesterday evening I felt as if I had finally lost the plot. I have so many things that I need to be doing as well as so many things that I should be doing but my brain just went into melt down and I didn’t seem able to get anything accomplished! Finally and with a sense of relief, I realised what the problem was. Chrisse has the most amazing wearable nuno projects to share with everyone in our next book (just wait until you see some of her clever designs!) and I had got stuck in a great big rut since Christmas feeling that I needed to felt some large, stylish garments too. With my impatient temperment and total lack of sewing skills I am never going to be able to draft patterns like Chrissie and the miriad of fantastic seamstresses out there, why was I trying to be someone that I’m not??? The new designs that I was working on have been floating around in my head for well over a year and are all based on simple shapes and rectangles, easy peasy in my mind but not easy peasy to bring to fruition as things have turned out. My eureka moment came last night when I realised that I had been nuno felting these new wearable designs like mad over the last few weeks but just wasn’t enjoying myself, it was way too stressful and I couldn’t concentrate properly or relax and just settle in to the process. Having fun and enjoying my felting is what it is all about for me. I love sharing tips and techniques when I teach and to not enjoy my work was a new experience for me, as a result I have decided to go back to basics and write about the sort of nuno felting I most love to create myself! I’m leaving the larger garments to others at the moment but I have decided to take lessons this year and get to grips with pattern drafting and using my sewing machine to the best of my ability too!!! Taking the amazing workshop with Lisa Klakulak last summer inspired me to stitch into my felt and lose my greatest fear of sewing so I think that with a bit of determination there should be no reason I can’t master a few really basic patterns. From my perspective there will be plenty of new projects and ideas in the book that I haven’t written about before and loads of helpful tips about the various tools I find that make life easier. As with ‘From Felt to Friendship’ the new book is about our experiences nuno felting, where we get our inspiration from, what we find works and what we find doesn’t. I hope that it will give people an insight into how we work as well as being inspirational and fun, I know anyway that I can’t wait to try out some of Chrissie’s ideas and projects for myself!!!

 

 

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U.S. workshop news and a few pictures

I’m working on descriptions for the workshops I’ll be teaching in U.S. this spring and hope to have everything sorted and up on the blog by Monday. Time is tight today so I’m just going to leave you with two images of a clutch I stitched up last night, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Marble effect vintage button and loads of lovely nuno texture

Large felt clutch

Felting kit winners!!!

Thanks SO MUCH to all of you who entered the felting kit giveaway, you definitely gave me some nerve wracking hours today as I tried to collate the entries and make sure that no one got left out of the draw! Eventually, between comments on the blog, new likes, comments and shares on FB as well as shares on your personal blogs the final tally was 105 entries, whew!!! I transfered all the names from the various methods (people could enter several times as you well know by now) into a numbered list and used Physic Science to randomly select the winning numbers.

The winning names matched to the numbers are as follows….. 99 – Tracy Dalke (comment on blog) 5 Gay Moller (comment on blog) and 62 Rosemary Finlayson (share on FB), congratulations!!! Please can you all email me with your full contact address and let me know if you would like a ‘cool’, a ‘warm’ or a ‘clashing’ coloured felting kit, I’ll be putting them together first thing tomorrow morning to go out in the post after Borris Market on Friday.

For those of you who are interested in trivia I think that Gay and Rosemary both live in NZ and Tracy is in Montana, the biggest percentage of entries came from the U.S!

Showcase snippets and back online at last!

It’s only been 29 hours since I stupidly headed for an overnighter to Dublin and mistakenly left my phone at home charging, it feels like YEARS!!! I’m back now and trying to catch up with blogging, comments, emails, Etsy orders and FB as well as trying to collate all the entries to the felt kit giveaway so that I can let the random number generator choose the winners! I’m guessing it’s going to be tomorrow morning before I finally have everything sorted (I also need to get food in the oven and do a bit of work in the kitchen and studio) so please bear with me if you are waiting for the giveaway results or expecting a response to a comment or an email.

Although I really could have done with my phone for taking pictures and jotting notes yesterday I did have a wonderful time attending Showcase at the RDS with Niki Collier and Leiko Uchiyama. Japanese felter Leiko and I have missed connecting with each other during her last two visits to Ireland so I was really lucky this time that she was stopping over for one one night on her way back to Japan from U.S., it was great to finally meet up in person!  I spent from lunchtime browsing the trade stands with the girls and getting ideas (or clarifying ideas!) about the direction in which my felting could potentially be moving in order to make my business more financially viable in the future. I particularly enjoyed the Crafts Council exhibits and the ‘Year of Craft’ wrap up reception as well as meeting up with friends and fellow textile artists/producers Kate Ramsey (Fabulous Felt), Philip and Mary Cushen (Cushendale Woollen Mill), Breda McNelis and Camelia Shanahan (Meli Bondre). Bernadette Fox also had some interesting new fibre and mixed media pieces while Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann of Bombyx Mori had some lovely felt hats, clothes and accessories.

My favourite of Kate's designs, a wonderful silk and merino wrap

Blog giveaway, last 12 hours to enter!

Well there are only 12 hours left to enter my first ever blog giveaway. If you would like to win one of the new felt pouch/wallet kits (including the tutorial) that I am offering from my Etsy shop please just hop on over here and follow the instructions to enter, there are 3 kits up for grabs! The winners can let me know if they want a kit especially made up in warm or cool colours, winners announced on Tuesday.

Each kit contains enough materials to make two pouches this size!

YES, I’ve now got some confirmed dates for 2012 felting workshops in the U.S. to share and a second date for Dawn’s hat workshop in Ireland!!!

What can I say, I’m SO EXCITED to be returning to facilitate felting workshops in U.S. in 2012 and wanted to let you all know my confirmed dates as they stand right this minute!!!  I’m planning 2 trips, one in the spring and one in the fall so if you live anywhere on the U.S. side of the water and would like to discuss me teaching, please just shout out loud NOW!!!  I will be updating my workshop page in the middle of next week with more details and workshop descriptions as they get sorted but for the moment here are the dates and venues that are confirmed as of last night.

  • 11th and 12th May – Lexington, KY workshops organised for the second time by the wonderful Jan Durham, master of the dye pot! Provisions have been made to add an additional date if numbers dictate, one day costs $165 including amazing food, both days $300. Please email Jan and she will answer questions and take your reservations.
  • 18th, 19th and 20th May – Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, a first time experience!
  • 25th and 26th May – Plainwell, MI workshops organised for the third time by international traveller and felter extrodinare Dawn Edwards! Please email Dawn if you have any questions or want to book your place.
  • 29th and 30th September – I’ll be returning for the third time to join the wonderful mother and daughter team Sharon and Emma from The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA. Please email Emma if you would like to jump on the bandwagon early!
  • October – TBA

Whew, isn’t that all SO EXCITING???

Also, I’m stoked because Dawn’s ‘Fantastic Felt Hats’ workshop on Saturday 21st April is now booked out so I’ve made the commitment to organise a second workshop, the date will be Sunday 22nd. I booked the venue for both days this morning, we will be working in Borris Hall which is right in the centre of Borris town itself and beside a couple of excellent spots to eat, drink, sleep and have what we Irish call ‘the craic’!!! If you have any questions or are interested in attending on Sunday please contact me asap as there isn’t much time to express your interest, several places are taken already and I expect the day to be booked out shortly!

I hope you all have a great weekend and please remember, there are still almost two and a half days left in which you can enter my felt pouch/clutch kit giveaway.

Blog giveaway and hat workshop update!

Finally, finally, my felt pouch/clutch kits are assembled, packaged, the first batch are available from my newly re-activated Etsy shop and I’ve just returned from posting the first order off to U.S.! It’s amazing how tiring it is to get everything sorted, sounds silly I know but you try to track down clear plastic bags of a suitable size, weigh the wool and gather the mohair off cuts, write the tutorial so that it’s easily understandable, locate cardboard bag toppers and bubble envelopes when you live in the sticks and then tell me it’s not a tiring job!!!  Eventually I got a big batch of freezer bags locally (thanks to some very helpful shop assistants who found them in a store room I think) only to discover that they were exceptionally flimsy, ah well, they were extremely good value and they will make the packages lighter to post!

The bag toppers I made today

The bag topper issue I solved by editing a template from Office online. In the future I’d love to have a really personalised one that I designed from scratch but this year I don’t want to be distracted from getting my work and supplies out there just because I can’t have every last thing perfect. The kits will also be available from Borris Market every Friday to compliment my new range of felted items and I’m hoping to build up a selection of tutorials with time, first steps first though.

To celebrate the fact that I have finally got it together and reached one of my January goals by launching the kits I would like to have a blog giveaway and offer 3 people the chance to win one for themselves! The deadline is midnight GMT on Sunday night and you may enter the giveaway by…..

  • Leaving a comment here on this post
  • ‘Liking’ Nicola Brown – Clasheen on Facebook and leaving a comment there saying you would like to enter the giveaway
  • Sharing a link to this post on your blog and let me know you have done so
  • Sharing a link to this post on your Facebook profile and make sure to tag me so that I can enter you in the draw

For each of the above actions that you do I will enter you in the draw once, the more you do the more times you are entered! I’ll use a random generator on Monday to select the 3 winners and post out the kits next Tuesday, remember the deadline to enter is midnight GMT on Sunday 22nd. Start spreading the word!

The ‘Fantastic Felt Hats workshop with Dawn Edwards on Saturday 21st April is now full, woo hoo!!! I’ve started a waiting list for everyone else hoping to participate and make a fantastic hat with Dawn, providing we get enough takers (and there’s no reason why not!) I will organise a second date, possibly on Sunday 22nd but maybe a week day depending on what is easiest for us here. Tomorrow I will be emailing all the confirmed participants and if you are interested in going on the waiting list please don’t leave it too late to contact me!!!

Well that’s all for now. I still haven’t got my studio tidy out and reorganisation finished but I do feel that I am starting to make some progress.  Alan mightn’t agree however and nobody has yet asked me why there is now garden trellis in my larder!