Happy holidays everyone!

Apologies for the lack of posting over the last week or so. Rex had an accident the Wednesday before Christmas and the normally hectic round at this time of year (market, pop up shop, Christmas celebrations and family time) has revolved around making sure he is comfortable and not left by himself for too long. In typical border collie style he was chasing a car up the lane in the dark and came back on three legs, although X-rays showed no broken bones the vets think that it may be soft tissue damage and take as long if not longer to heal. Anyway, today I'll be felting a wrap and getting a pot on for a bout of natural printing this afternoon, eucalyptus leaves also make a seasonal decoration for the front door!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful holiday season whatever your beliefs, stay safe and best wishes for a fabulous felt filled 2014!!!




A tidy printing and dyeing studio?

Work progresses slowly but surely on organising the garage as an efficient storage space cum printing and dyeing studio. Thanks to buddy George some of the larger items that were stored there have now been shifted and delivered to new homes, I've also taken the decision to sell (at a good discount!) some lovely hand made jute/hessian tool belts and fishermans smocks which I've been holding on to for sentimental reasons. These are stock that I held on to from a previous lifetime, I'm planning to post some pictures to my personal FB page later today so if anyone local is interested in any of them I'll bring them in my truck to Borris Food & Craft Market tomorrow morning.

On the felt and naturally printed side of things, I'll be bringing this silk/wool blend printed wrap to Borris too, I've a few sculptures in the pipeline, my last five silk scarves to wash out and iron in time for tomorrow, a selection of new fabrics ordered to print over the festive period and yesterday I updated my Showcase profile with new text and images. I'll leave you today with an image of a large nuno felt wrap/throw and a small silk cushion, this one is printed with rose and blackberry leaves from my garden with a little bit of onion in the dye pot.


Selected gifts to suit all tastes, a few images from ‘Carlow Made’

This afternoon Liga and I worked together in the Carlow Made pop up shop. When we weren't chatting to customers talking about the different makers and processes used we spent some time staging our own little photo shoot! Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite, the others are in a FB album I've just set up on FB. Please click the like button while you're over checking things out there, obviously though, only if you do actually like the range of work represented!






Felt and natural printed work at the ‘Carlow Made’ pop up shop

This afternoon I'm spending a little time catching up with computer things and not rushing around quite so crazily as most days of late. Yesterday I had my first stint manning the 'Carlow Made' pop up shop with Ornat, the shopping centre was actually very quiet considering it's so near Christmas but our group collaboratively had a good day sales wise. I'm not trying to force my work on any of you but if you are considering buying a naturally printed scarf, wall hanging/rug/runner or cushion/pillow for a stylish Irish made Christmas present please don't leave it too late! I sold three naturally printed silk scarves at Borris Food & Craft Market this morning so the scarves that are currently in the pop up shop are the only ones now available until I finish another batch. I have about five waiting to be washed out and ironed, whether I get these finished before Christmas is anyone's guess at present, just saying, if you want one or two (complete with their tagged gift boxes) get them sooner rather than later!!!

I'm uploading this picture too just to let you know the position in the shop where my scarves are hanging. Friend and fellow 'Carlow Made' participant Catherine Sothern is also selling naturally printed work (FB fans may remember pics from a workshop at Casheen where I shared the technique!), Catherine's scarves are in front of her lovely cushions and vintage inspired hats while mine are opposite the shelves with the rest of my felt and printing. Do let me know if you're coming in and want a chat or a bit of personalised help, I'll be in Carlow most days in the run up to Christmas Eve but obviously I'll be working from home a lot too!


Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair

I had a lovely day yesterday meeting friends, past students (now friends!) and first time visitors at the annual Duckett's Grove Christmas Fair. Sales were brisk, the weather amazing, the crowds had fun and everything was brilliantly organised as always by Eileen O'Rourke from Carlow Tourism. I particularly loved the Killeshin Pipe Band, they marched past my studio twice playing their hearts out and followed by a trail of people enjoying the craic! Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.


Felting completed, printing tomorrow, ‘Carlow Made’ pop up shop open for business!

I've felted three white wraps working from the now calm and tidy refitted studio, tomorrow I've a full day of natural printing on the cards then Sunday sees the frenzy of the annual Duckett's Grove Christmas Fair, my last day at the DG studio until early in 2014. As you may realise there's not much time left spare currently to write very much, I will however share some photos from the 'Carlow Made' pop up shop which is now open for business, it's starting to feel pretty festive around here at last!

Thanks Carlow Enterprise Board for organising our signage in time for our first day of trading yesterday, I think that the shop looks pretty welcoming, don't you?
Liga and Catherine having fun on the first of the setting up days, our location slap bang in the middle of Carlow (Superquinn) Shopping Centre couldn't really be any more central!
This last picture was assembled using autostitch, sorry if there is a bit of a blur where two photos have been joined together! From the left, Emma's jewellery, my naturally printed wall hanging/rug, Jim's ceramics, my felt, naturally printed silk homewares and accessories, Emma's paintings and Ilona's own designed and knitted hats, scarfs and cowls. Do call in if you're in Carlow town any day, we're there during the centre opening hours right up until Christmas Eve, late opening until 9pm every Thursday and Friday! You can also keep an eye on our activities on Facebook, don't forget to shout out loud if you see anything that you'd like to buy.


Studio update and Carlow Made pop up shop

The exciting time I've been waiting for has finally arrived, fitting everything that's necessary back into the studio again! Thanks to a lot of hard work by me and my buddy George the walls and ceiling are painted, the floor has had a rudimentary wash (I'm debating sealing the slate at a later date), the new shelving units are fitted and installed, I've sorted the majority of my supplies into new lidded clear plastic boxes (you'd be proud of me Vinitha!) and tonight I'm putting everything necessary back into the space, note that phrase, everything necessary!!! I'm determined not to fill it with items I really don't use on a regular basis, the garage is undergoing a revamp too so that'll be the area where essentials for less frequent use hang out from this time forwards. Two transformers also need to be replaced in the spot lights so this picture from earlier looking from the utility room into the studio does look dark, it'll give you a little idea of how clear the floor is now though, more pics when everything is installed again and I can say that the revamp has finally finished!

Tomorrow I'm collecting plinths and getting my space organised/installed for the Carlow Made Christmas pop up shop. I think that this is going to be an excellent retail opportunity for all of us, we've secured a marvellous space in the Carlow (Superquinn) Shopping Centre thanks to the efforts of Liga and Maria and the collection of artists and crafts people is both varied and of a consistent high quality. Do consider us when you're planning your Christmas presents, supporting local, working artisans really does keep money moving around in the local economy, it also means high quality, affordable, one off gifts!