The Tin Thimble prepares for Felt Fest!

It's been wonderful here in Loomis since I arrived late on Tuesday evening, unfortunately I left my lead for charging all my devices at the studio so I've only a little battery power left to use now. Today The Tin Thimble is in full organisational mode for the Felt Fest, the shop has already been totally stocked up with yummy fibre and embellishments so now all that's left to finish is setting up the tables and allocating all the work areas. You can check out all the workshops available here, just in case you suddenly find an opening in your diary for the weekend!

 

More pics from Lexington!

I'm all out of sync now with posting workshop updates but here're some pictures of the fabulous felt completed during the workshop last Friday and Saturday in Lexington. The final picture today is super host Jan Durham's amazing nuno wall hanging which she started on Saturday then finished at home last night, beautiful work on Friday and Saturday everyone, I really enjoyed my time with you!!!

 

Right now I'm at the airport in Dallas Fort Worth waiting for my connection to Sacramento so no more writing until tomorrow or Tuesday, watch out The Tin Thimble, I'm almost there! For now, here are those pictures…….

 

 

 

More pics from Lexington!

I'm all out of sync now with posting workshop updates but here're some pictures of the fabulous felt completed during the workshop last Friday and Saturday in Lexington. The final picture today is super host Jan Durham's amazing nuno wall hanging which she started on Saturday then finished at home last night, beautiful work on Friday and Saturday everyone, I really enjoyed my time with you!!! Right now I'm at the airport in Dallas Fort Worth waiting for my connection to Sacramentoso no more writing,watch out The Tin Thimble, I'm almost there!

 

 

 

Beautiful naturally printed/dyed scarves in Lexington!

Yesterday evening I had a lovely time sharing the technique of natural printing/dyeing on silk with some members of the Lexington Fiber Guild. We met in Jan's house late in the afternoon, by half past eight everyone had created a really beautiful scarf coloured with a selection of eucalyptus leaves, tea, onion skins and rust. I know that some purists would say it's necessary to leave the bundles simmering for longer but although some participants initially intended doing this they too ended up joining in the unwrapping!

Here's a picture of the beautiful scarves after they were revealed.

Next post I'll blog about the marvellous things being created during the two day Lexington workshop, brilliantly organised as usual by Jan!

 

Having fun felting, KSFF reflections and preparing for the workshops in Lexington!

I've been having great fun with Jan this week, scouring the local Goodwill stores for printed silk (she's still in training but a quick learner Dawn!), exchanging skills, brainstorming ideas, felting and preparing for two days of workshops in Lexington this coming weekend!

My first task was to finish felting the nuno scarf I laid out last Saturday at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, it's really interesting to see the contrast between the scarf that Jan felted and the one I've just finished. We both chose a western inspired colour scheme of chocolate ponge silk with brown and teal shades of alpaca plus loads of Roo and Elizabeth's beautiful hand dyed bamboo for surface embellishment. Jan also added some of her own dyed cotton gauze on top of the alpaca and I used quite a lot of Firestar for added glamour and shimmer, I love them both!

At this point I have to say that I LOVED every minute of the KSFF!!! Teaching for the full day on Saturday but only half a day on Sunday was a perfect combination. I was able to have a good chat with Roo and Elizabeth on Friday evening plus check out my workshop space, having Sunday afternoon free gave me plenty of time to do the rounds of all the stands, see the animals plus pick up a tonne of yummy fibre to bring home to Ireland, not ALL for me mind you, some for Anita who's looking after my studio while I'm gone. The organisation of everything was SPOT ON, thanks so much to all the committee and helpers who were friendly, helpful and put on a wonderful event!

Yesterday I shared the open resist method of making vessels with Jan, in turn, I was inspired by a wonderful teapot she felted at a Pam MacGregor workshop to try including a handle in one of my own vessels. I love this exchange of ideas and brain storming, I've now an idea in my head for some new bags with long shoulder straps (purses!), I doubt that I'll get to felt them though until some time after I return from teaching in Portugal! This week long residential workshop is now fully booked but if you live within shouting distance of Lexington why not come and join us for our workshop here next Saturday 25th May!!! If you're interested in more information or reserving a place please email me ASAP, if you don't have any idea what to make don't panic (because I'll help you) and if you need materials in a hurry Jan will bring extra on the day if you let her know which colours you prefer.

I'll leave you today with this picture of my new vessel drying, I call it 'Ode to Pam'.

 

Beautiful felt flowers!

I love this picture taken after my workshop at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber festival today, check out the beautiful smiles and fab felt flowers. We started our first flower just using short fibre merino but adding plenty of bamboo for embellishment, the second flowers included a stem, silk, bamboo and loads of lovely alpaca locks from generous sposnors Alpaca Fiber Solutions! I'm heding for an early night now, well done with the flowers ladies, I look forward to seeing some of you again next weekend.

 

Nuno felt scarves!

Today's workshop was great fun but HARD work, nuno felting is always an interesting process involving a gentle touch initially coupled with plenty of rubbing and rolling then finally some aggressive throwing to loosen up tight muscles and encourage the felt to shrink! I'm going to upload a picture rich post today, plenty to see from the lovely colours and work produced, my brain is too tired to write many words though. Drool over the supplies and colours so kindly provided by Alpaca Fiber Solutions and be amazed by the beautiful scarves the ladies all felted!!! I don't have a picture yet of the Nuno samples Chris was working on or Jan's finished scarf, I'll try and take pics of them tomorrow.

Alpaca locks ready at the start of the day
Silk fabric and embellishing fibres
My samples ready to show how some of the fibres look when felted
Carolyn, Nancy and Julie laying out their scarves
Pat's scarf in the foreground, Jan laying a scarf and Chris working on some samples
Chris's first sample underway
Julie's first ever piece of wet felt ready to embellish, it's the top scarf in the following picture!
BEAUTIFUL colours and textures in theses four finished scarves! Alpaca is wonderfully soft but doesn't travel through the silk to the same extent that merino would, this gives a highly textured effect on the reverse side but of course I forgot to take a photo of this, sorry!
Pat, Carolyn, Julie, Jan and Nancy
Pat modelling her stunning scarf!
To end the day some of us headed over to show Roo and Elizabeth what had been felted during the workshop using their beautiful fibre. I'll leave you with a picture of the ladies at the Alpaca Fiber Solutions booth (we say stand at home), the light is not the best but I think you can get the idea. From left to right……… Nancy, Julie, Elizabeth, Roo, Pat and Carolyn, see you tomorrow ladies!!!
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

All set for nuno felting tomorrow!

Jan and I spent a very active, happy and tiring day trawling Lexington for printed silk then headed over to Masterson Station Park so that I could check out the workshop space for the weekend and say hi to Roo Kline and Elizabeth Taylor. To say that I was excited to get first dibs on their AMAZING fibre would be an understatement, if you've signed up for either of my workshops this weekend you're in for a BIG treat!!! Everything with the exception of some naturally coloured black cloud like fibre is hand dyed in a beautiful range of contrasting and complimentary colours. For the weekend I selected luscious alpaca locks, bamboo tops, silk hankies and Firestar, the colour range is glorious! Roo and Elizabeth are also going to offer all my students a discount on any fibre they purchase from them during the festival and I've already bought a massive bag of goodies to use myself when I get home. Anita, who's minding my studio while I'm away, is also going to get a lovely slice of heaven! Pictures tomorrow, until then adieu.

Lexington and the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, here I come!

I've got a little lay over at Chicago Airport on my way to Blue Grass, Lexington so thought I might write a short blog post and upload it later when I have an Internet connection. My wonderful stay with Dawn in Plainwell Michigan is over, our two day felting and printing/dyeing workshop was a blast, I spent such fun time with friends and once again I had a BRILLIANT time, thanks so much Dawn and Morry for having me!!! Now I'm en route to stay with Jan and Bruce, great friends and always a hoot to stay with too, I'm really looking forward to catching up with them later tonight!

This weekend I'm teaching at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival then next weekend it's the workshops that Jan is organising and running. These have always been great fun and Jan is a master at putting on a super lunch too, there are a couple of places left so if you'd like to join us please don't forget to email Jan or pick up the phone!!! Tomorrow we'll head over to the festival grounds and check out the space I've been given to teach in for the festival, last year there was plenty of room but not too many tables so fingers crossed well have enough for the classes. On Saturday I'm teaching nuno felt scarves/neck pieces working with alpaca locks, silk and fabulous embellishments, on Sunday I'll be teaching felt flowers. I'm really looking forward to catching up with both Roo Kline and Elizabeth Taylor tomorrow too, they're sponsoring the fibre and embellishments on Saturday via their business 'Alpaca Fiber Solutions' and I'll definitely be buying some of their deliciously dyed materials to bring home to Ireland myself.

Next week Jan and I will be doing some natural printing and dyeing together to check out the local flora and fauna, on Thursday evening I'll be facilitating this topic at a private workshop so fingers crossed we'll find some interesting plants or dried material to work with! I'll leave you now with a picture I love of Dawn taken at our last lunch today, she's wearing one of her Nuno felt scarves which she dyed during the workshop last Saturday and its closed with one of Anne Murphy's (Eala Enamels) wonderful enamel brooches. A little bit of America meets a little bit of Ireland!

 

Beautiful felt and natural printing/dyeing from our Michigan workshop participants!

It's impossible to write properly (in a short time frame) about the wonderful two days felting and natural printing/dyeing we had in Michigan, thanks Dawn for your wonderful organisational skills and thanks a bunch to the lovely group of fun, creative ladies who joined us. Some people arrived with a clear end goal in mind, others came willing to be inspired whilst still others came with an initial fixed goal then changed it once we had chatted and they had seen other possibilities which they wanted to explore! Whatever the motivation and the differing aims, this group brought together such humour, friendship fun and yummy food to our days, we had a blast!!!

I've posted a bunch of pictures to my personal Facebook page and some collaged images of the felt and natural printing/dyeing to Nicola Brown – Clasheen, they're not tagged or titled yet but I'll sit down to do this when there are no distractions or thrift shops to visit with Dawn. Here are a few to keep you going however, great work everyone!