Beautiful swirly felt beads

Yet again I've deleted a post before uploading it from my iPad, I'll get the hang of this Blogsy yet but until then….. darn! What I wanted to share today is a picture of the beautiful felt beads made this morning by my group of parents at the VEC in Carlow. This was our third and penultimate session, next week Nuno felt samples. I'm SO impressed with how productive these ladies have proved to be, our co-ordination Marie has generously allowed participants to bring fibre home to practice with so some amazing pieces have been felted over the last three weeks. After our final session we're going to take pictures of the full body of work, I think that you'll all be amazed how much has been created! For now, here's a picture of todays beautiful swirly beads.

 

My Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival workshops 2013

I accidentally deleted the previous post as I was just about to publish so forgive me now if I'm brief.

On Saturday 18th May I'll be facilitating a full day nuno scarf/neckpiece workshop at the KSFF and on Sunday 19th a half day fun felt flower class, two classes if we get enough sign ups over the next couple of months! Roo Kline from Moonwood Farm is sponsoring the yummy hand dyed alpaca and delicious embellishing fibres we'll be using for the nuno felt workshop and I'll be bringing some of my favourite short fibre merino from Ireland as well as a selection of different fabrics for participants to choose from. Thanks to Roo's very generous sponsorship this class will only cost $100 per participant including all fibre, fabric and embellishing materials, thanks Roo!!!.

The short fibre merino I'm bringing with me is also what we'll be working with for the flowers on Sunday, here's a picture of some which were completed during the 2012 classes, so stunning and colourful. The price for the flower workshop is $30 per person plus $10 for the materials, participants can expect to make 3 flowers each during the class!

 

Keep an eye out on the KSFF website as booking for all their great classes should be possible shortly, as soon as I know that it's live there I'll post a link here on my workshop page.

 

Beautiful flat felt and flowers!

I've no brain power left to write today so thought instead that I'd share a couple of pictures of the fabulous felt created by students over the last two days. Congratulations to you one and all!!!

First off here are the wonderful pieces of flat felt created by Anita and Ariane, they even had time to felt a flower each yesterday, pretty impressive for their first time felting!

Secondly here's a group photo of the beautiful flowers felted this morning by the parents group I'm working with at Carlow VEC, fabulous result ladies for our second time felting together!

 

A short little film from The Tin Thimble!

Thanks to Maggie Celeste Worden for filming some of the felting workshops I facilitated at The Tin Thimble last September, Maggie's now posted the edited video to YouTube so if you'd like a look here's the link. It's really a snapshot from several days, a little of the nuno felting, some other snippets and a few nice shots of The Tin Thimble itself. Thanks Maggie!

 

Flower bolos, fun, funky and versatile!

I've just completed the cords for 4 flower bolos this morning as I want to bring them with me to Borris Food and Craft Market in the morning. Here's a picture of one way to wear them, head on over to Clasheen on FB to see two more ways to accessorise an outfit!

I'm just going to grab a quick lunch then into the studio to gather my things for the morning.

 

Simple, stylish and colourful flat workshop

I just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know that I’m offering a workshop exploring the basics of flat felting for beginners and improvers next Tuesday, 22nd January at my house in Clasheen, Ballybrack, Borris, Co Carlow from 10.15am until 4.15 – 4.45pm.

Flat Felt Sample

Flat Felt Sample –  I don’t know why this is showing upside down but never mind, I can’t seem to change it!

During this workshop participants will have fun learning and experimenting with the fascinating technique of wet felting. Working with a selection of colourful wool and adding silk, linen and other vegetable fibres each participant will have the opportunity to felt a beautiful piece of flat felt suitable to be framed, used as a place mat or stitched into a clutch bag or book cover.  Improvers will have the opportunity to learn new techniques such as including found objects and resists into their work during the layout stage of the felting process. The emphasis during the day will be to have fun in a creative and supportive environment, participants may expect to leave with the knowledge and confidence to replicate the techniques learnt successfully at home!

The fee for this workshop is E75 including all materials, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Participants are asked to bring their own packed lunch and wear comfortable, warm clothing, the workshop will run from 10.15am sharp until 4.15 – 4.45pm with a break of approx one hour for lunch. Please contact me asap to reserve your place, I have a maximum of three places left!

2013 felting workshops

I’m confirmed my dates for teaching in the US during May and Portugal in June so am now really trying to concentrate on writing up the workshop descriptions. No matter how many times I promise myself I’ll start a file to collate and store all this info once more I’m floundering around trying to put words to paper, words obviously that will give potential participants an idea of what I’m hoping we will cover during the classes! I’m also sorting out dates for upcoming workshops at Duckett’s Grove, watch this space. Anyway, the dates are now on the workshop page so please excuse me while I go and strain my brain some more…..

Alpaca nuno felt neckpiece

Since meeting Roo Kline of Moonwood Farm at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival last May I’ve often meant to work with the fabulous samples of alpaca fibre she gave me, I never seemed to find the right moment however as 2012 just seemed to be so crazy and I wanted time to think of something nice that I would felt for myself! I often took the bag of lusciously soft alpaca out of my special stash box but until today when I also pulled out some deep purple ponge silk from another box at almost the same time I couldn’t make my mind up what to make.

Luscious hand dyed alpaca locks and shimmery firestar laid out on top of rich purple ponge silk

Anyway, suddenly the hot oranges and purply pinks of the alpaca called out to the rich purple silk, immediately I decided to felt a small neckpiece and couldn’t be happier with the result. Susan McFarland of Susan’s Fiber Shop gave me a gift of some glittery bits at the festival too, amazingly the colours matched the alpaca perfectly so this really is a Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival neckpiece!

The pic below will give you an idea of what the finished neckpiece is like, I couldn’t get a great shot however because the light was fading and the wind was rising. I’ll be teaching nuno felting at the festival this year so if you’re interested in felting something similar why not come along and join me? Next week I’ll felt a simple closure and include a beautiful large glass bead made my Toni Lutman in CA, I didn’t take a pic of the bead yet but the colours just sing against the purple and orangy gold.

Alpaca, firestar and ponge silk neckpiece

Nuno felt wrap and scarves

The weather has been a lot brighter today after a very wet start this morning, good news for me as it meant that I could snap a few pics outside of my nuno scarves and the wrap I felted earlier this week.

Simple scarf combining ponge silk, merino and silk throwster's waste

Simple scarf combining ponge silk, merino and silk throwster’s waste

I’ll start with one of a simple scarf, this was felted combining ponge silk with some of Leiko’s beautiful hand dyed superfine merino and embellished with hand dyed silk throwster’s waste, a welcome Christmas present from Carmen. I love teaching this scarf as a beginner’s nuno felting project, it’s always successful and such a beautiful way to learn a new technique! The second picture is of a large mosaic style scarf felted combining my own hand dyed cotton gauze (dyed under the watchful eye of Jan Durham and written up in this post last spring!), more of Leiko’s merino and a whole selection of different weights of silk fabric. Good friend Carole buys silk pieces by the weight in the US and then we do a swap for mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill, Cushendale is a wonderful source of locally produced knitting yarn and weaving just down the road from me here at Clasheen. I totally forgot that I needed to send Carole another pack of these goodies so many apologies, I’ll head over to Philip Cushen next week and get them in the post to you asap.

Mosaic style nuno felt scarf

Mosaic style nuno felt scarf

Anyway, I also had a small pack of beautiful hand dyed teeswater locks and some firestar fibre in my favourite shades of acidic green, it’s strange to say that although I’m not a glitzy kind of gal at all I really do love the sheen and shimmer from the firestar!!! The printed silk in this scarf was part of my stash from the US, in fact I remember buying it in the Salvation Army on a foray with Sharon of the Tin Thimble but it could just as easily have been from one of the many trips I made with great friends Dawn or Merridee either, I LOVE these silk gathering events!

Firestar adds a shimmer in places

Firestar adds a shimmer in places

If you’re interested in seeing more images of these pieces plus some photos of a large green wrap I made on Tuesday please check out this album on FB and do like Nicola Brown – Clasheen while you’re over there, only of course if you do like what you see!!!

Cow hair, scarf closures and important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’

I need to confess, the raw fleece and cow hair iPad cover I felted the other day was not a success, in fact, I could go so far as to say it was a big disaster!!! Cow hair is very slippery and likes to protrude through the layers of wool in any project, I did know this from previous experience and was happy to use it to my advantage in the little vessel pictured.

Back CameraWhat I did for this narrow mouthed vessel was lay the hair against my plastic resist, encase everything in several layers of lamb’s wool then felt them together. The hair worked its way through to the outside during the felting process and ended up as an interesting surface detail, I love this piece. For some lunatic reason however I decided to include cow hair in the iPad cover even though I was able to predict a hairy interior, stupid! I loved the idea of raw fleece and cow hair combined but unfortunately the resultant felt is shedding like crazy both on the outside and the inside of the cover. The soap I used, the felting net, the utility room and my kitchen are covered in loose strands of the hair days later, you know by now how much I HATE cleaning and tidying so you can imagine how thrilled that makes me feel!

Anyway, yesterday I knuckled down to felt 23 flowers with ring backs with a lot more success, these are multi functional acting as colourful scarf closures and are also one of the components of my flower bolo.

IMG_4530The flower bolo has proved to be a best seller since I came up with the design prior to my trip to the wonderful Tin Thimble last September. It may be worn in several different ways and as all my stock of them sold in the run up to Christmas I decided to felt more for both the studio and design shop at Duckett’s Grove when we reopen the first weekend in February. It was really nice to work with bright, cheery colours for the flowers and I’ve continued this theme today while working on some nuno felt, pics tomorrow, weather permitting.

Finally for today, I just wanted to let you all know some important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’. Due to circumstances beyond my control I regret that from this point forwards purchasers will no longer be able to get a free set of templates for Chrissie’s designs when they order the book. This was a unilateral descision taken by Chrissie, she is however making them available from her at an additional cost of £2.50 per template.