My exciting news today is that I've booked a stand at Showcase 2014, the premier creative Irish expo of the year. Preparation time is going to be tight as the event takes place from 19th to 22nd January, never let it be said that I don't like working under pressure, countdown starts tonight!
Today I made a final trip to Ikea and collected the shelving units I've been waiting for plus another 88 clear plastic boxes, whew, at last I think that I might have got the studio revamp sussed. Rex is not so impressed however, here he is supervising the unloading of the truck tonight, totally switched off might be a better description!
Early in the morning I'm going to start boxing the last of my felting and natural printing supplies then at 10am my friend George is arriving. We're going to paint the studio then in the evening I'll have the fun of assembling the Besta units before I attach them securely to the walls. I'm also planning on loading the truck with rubbish and recycling tomorrow, on Thursday then we'll have a clear run replacing all the filled plastic boxes and adding the final touches to my new space. I can't wait!!!
I’ve taken the plunge, nothing dramatic to many of you I’m sure but I’ve finally bought clasheen.com as a domain name. All my old blog traffic will just be redirected so no need for anyone who’s subscribed to updates to panic, as if you would! Deciding to do this was a stupidly big jump for me, my brain said of course it looks more professional but my heart said I’d grown so fond of http://www.clasheen.wordpress.com that I couldn’t bear to change things!!! Anyway, the drama is over now, I’m going to register too with Guaranteed Irish then subject to getting accepted with them I’ll then have all my new business cards, flyers and point of sale materials printed.
Apologies about the lack of communication this week, things just seem to be getting busier rather than quieter. A lot of what I’ve been up to has been one off sort of stuff, I attended an excellent workshop about merchandising, my truck had the DOE test today (to make sure it’s roadworthy for another year, yes is the answer) and I’m going to be pretty busy with Borris Food & Craft Market in the morning and a full bag making workshop at Duckett’s Grove on Saturday. I’ll take pictures of my stand tomorrow and upload them to Facebook, for the moment however here’s a picture of a small bag I felted many years ago. I’m thinking of reviving the design to teach at workshops.
(Photography by Bernie McCoy)
It's been a crazy, crazy week, apologies to anyone who may be waiting for me to respond to emails or similar, shout out loud if you think that I've forgotten you, it's certainly not intentional! My week to date in bullet points…….
- Returned from Cork on Monday and tried to unpack everything constructively
- Demonstrated felt flowers and gave a talk to a lovely group of ladies on Tuesday, took photos of the saree silk wrap/scarf that I have for Amy, sorry though that I haven't managed to upload them here, technical issues
- Should have been at a training day on Wednesday but it was postponed until next week, instead planned to felt but instead spent the time trying to get washing and paperwork done
- Thursday, spent hours weighing materials and preparing for a workshop then taught 20 wonderful ladies flat felting. Until the afternoon, neither I nor the organisers knew that their would be 20, as it was they turned away another 5 phone enquiries!
- Up like a bird on Friday to catch that proverbial early worm!!! Brought a lot more stock than usual to Borris Food & Craft Market as we were having a coffee morning in support of the 'Save Our Heartland' group. The aim of this group is to stop a line of HUGE pylons ploughing across our beautiful rural landscape, please visit us on Facebook if you would like to read more and/or help us in our endeavours. In addition to all the funds from our regular market teas, coffee and cakes I had personally pledged 10% of my takings for the day to the group. Thankfully we had an excellent turnout and raised quite a bit of welcome funds for the campaign. I was also really happy with the feedback about my extended range of products, I sold a couple of larger interior accent pieces and some flowers so I'm definitely going to make the effort and bring more stock to the market in the foreseeable future!
- Today, Saturday, I was supposed to be facilitating a two day workshop this weekend at Berkeley Forest House but unfortunately there were not enough bookings this time for Alexis to be able to host the event, Instead, I'm teaching tomorrow at Duckett's Grove so is anyone wants to join me there for a beginners and improvers say email me ASAP or give me a bell, there are only two spaces left.
Whew, I'm hoping you can see why I haven't been the best correspondent this week!
Although I don't have a store devoted to selling my work online please don't hesitate to contact me if you've seen a piece you like at a show or anywhere here on the web! I'll happily package gifts and post worldwide. Here's a picture of how I presented my scarves and wraps at the Glucksman, Kraft boxes, a hand printed gift tag and tied up with natural coloured linen or twine.
As a guideline, gift boxed naturally printed silk chiffon or ponge/habatoi scarves cost €45 each, etamine (finely woven merino) or silk/wool blend scarves cost €65 and large printed nuno felt wraps are priced at €120 upwards depending on size, all excluding postage. Simple nuno felt scarves start from €40, simple saree silk nuno scarves from €80 and more complex mosaic nuno scarves and wraps start from €120, again all prices excluding postage. Hopefully the SumUp attachment for my phone and iPad will arrive this week (similar to Square in the US) enabling me to take credit card payments over the phone or in person, I can also bill via PayPal for those who prefer.
Anyway, I'm now debating taking the rest of today off! Emma and I arrived home from Cork at lunchtime and I'm definitely a little tired now. I'll collect some sloes while out walking Rex (for sloe gin), then I'm going to put a stew in the oven, while that's cooking I'll have a bath and wash my hair. I had been planning to felt another saree silk scarf this afternoon, at this stage I think I might leave that until tomorrow!
I had a lovely weekend filled with fun, friends and plenty of selling. Thanks to the Lewis Glucksman Gallery and their friendly, professional staff for hosting a wonderful craft fair, hope to see you all next year! Here's a picture taken by one of their guys, I think that the smiles say it all.
I'm pretty exhausted now and relaxing in my B&B, thanks Emma
for being such fun and willing partners in crime!
On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November I’ll be facilitating an exciting ‘Fabulous Felted Accessories’ workshop at Berkeley Forest House, New Ross, Co. Wexford using Ann Bernstorff’s 19th century costume collection to spark the flame of inspiration. During this two-day workshop we will tour the collection then explore and experiment with a variety of wet felting techniques, the weekend goal will be for participants to felt a selection of buttons, belts, brooches, bracelets, necklaces, purses, closures or other small three-dimensional items. The techniques learned may all be translated later into larger three-dimensional felt or clothing projects and this workshop is suitable for both the beginner feltmaker and the more experienced. Found objects and treasured bits and bobs may all be incorporated into the felt so participants are encouraged to bring along a selection of their favourite stash items and we will work together to combine them with wool and create unique, funky, felt accessories. Here’s a picture of one of my first pieces of felt jewellery incorporating found objects, the spiky things are actually old bristles from a yard brush!
Felt beads, found object and sterling silver clasp – photographed by Bernie McCoy
The fee for the weekend is €200 per person (€500 for residential guests arriving on Friday night), this includes all tuition and felting materials, a tour of and access to the 19th century Costume Collection of Ann Bernstorff, tea/coffee during the class and a scrumptious lunch each day! Please contact Alexis for further details or to book a place on 056 7754975, 085 2207706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.