Another flat felt picture workshop is underway

I'm just taking the opportunity to post these pics of work in progress while Brid and Brenda are having a break for lunch and a walk outside. We're here in Duckett's Grove working on flat felt pieces, thank goodness it's a bit warmer in the studio today, not much, but a bit!

Brid chose to 'draw' her design on a background of natural brown French roving and Brenda selected soft white short fibre merino for her base. Both have used a selection of mohair, silk and shimmery Firestar to lay out the surface detail, I think they're going to be wonderful when they're felted!

 

Beautiful felt flowers

Although is was FREEZING at Duckett's Grove yesterday I had a lovely afternoon facilitating a 'fun felt flower' workshop. Next Saturday is a beginners and improvers full day workshop, we'll be working on flat felt pictures so if you'd like to join us please email me ASAP! Check out these beautiful flowers from yesterday, I love the different colour combinations!

 

 

A couple of pics from the weekend

I spent a lovely day on Saturday at my studio in Duckett's Grove helping Andrea felt her first bag with integrated handles and flaps, isn't it wonderful?

While she was working on this I was felting some more beads to combine later in the week with polymer clay pieces, I love the cabbage like swirls in the cut ones.

 

Upcoming workshops at Duckett’s Grove and look what Debbie created incorporating one of my flowers!

I've had a pretty frustrating week computer wise, thanks goodness for the iPad otherwise I might have gone totally mad! Next weekend I have a felt bag workshop happening on Saturday 16th February in Duckett's Grove, the initial process is the same for vessels and other three dimensional objects so if either bags with integrated handles, pockets and flaps or strong, sculptural vessels are your thing please email me asap to book your place. On Saturday 2nd March I have a beginners and improvers flat felting workshop happening, again please email me if you would like to book a place. These will both be intensive hands on classes where you will leave at the end of the day with a beautiful finished piece and the knowledge that you will confidently be able to repeat the process at home by yourself, more details over on the workshop page.

 

Before Christmas I met a lovely South African lady called Lizette at Borris Food and Craft Market. She bought some of my naturally printed and dyed nuno felt to bring home for gifts and also selected a few flowers in nice bright colours, felt and silk are wonderfully lightweight to transport so make perfect presents for anyone heading off in a plane!!! Anyway, Lizette is back here for a visit and called in to say hi again at the market on Friday. With her she brought me a gift of the latest 'Bead Book' magazine sent from her good friend Debbie Rijns, director of education at Precious Metal Clay South Africa.

In the magazine I was thrilled to see that a tutorial for one of Debbie's mixed media necklaces features one of my felt flowers combined with a beautiful PMC leaf, copper wire, beads and cord. Above is a picture of the second page of Debbie's tutorial. Thanks Debbie for creating such a lovely necklce incorporating the flower and I really appreciate the credit and mention in the magazine!

 

 

 

Duckett’s Grove is the place to be today!

It's a fabulous day here in Duckett's Grove, clear blue sunny skies definitely put everyone in a good humour! I spent the earlier part of the morning finishing the reorganisation of my studio and writing up some blackboards with updated workshop information, now I've just finished emailing off details to the manager for the new Duckett's Grove website, this should go live sometime early next week.

As a result I was horrified to realise that my 'About' page here on the blog was totally out of date, whoops. I've now rewritten it, it's far from perfect (I want to add in exhibitions etc.) but at least it's more current that what was previously there. Feel free to have a look and please let me know if you see any glaringly obvious mistakes.

At lunchtime Emma and I headed outside to have look at a wonderful miniature remote controlled helicopter camera. The owner was very nice and gave us a few demos of how it worked, he's been taking arial shots over the ruins this afternoon, fascinating stuff! Stupidly I didn't ask his name but did give him my business card and ask him to post some of the video footage to our courtyard Facebook page, I'm really looking forward to seeing a different view of the buildings and surrounds.

 

 

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…..

Reviewing, recharging and renewing for the months ahead

It’s that time of the year again, reviewing events past, recharging the creative juices and looking forward to a renewed sense of artistic direction for the months ahead. Thankfully my cold is definitely on the mend today and I did actually manage to felt an experimental iPad cover this morning incorporating raw wool and cow hair (see pic above), more about that next time. I am still taking a cough bottle but at least I can think straight again, I just need to answer outstanding emails and respond to queries over the next few days, drat!

2013 is shaping up to be another exciting year on the felting front. Carlow County Council have been working hard to seal and secure all my windows and doors in the studio at Duckett’s Grove so hopefully that’ll mean no more freezing days trying to felt in the cold. All the studios and the design shop will be open again from the first week in February, Madeleine in the tea rooms is actually open this Sunday too as there’s an organised walk for families in the afternoon and she’ll be offering yummy cakes and hot drinks then as per usual.

In addition to facilitating workshops at Duckett’s Grove most weekends I’ll be starting several VEC funded courses over the next few weeks, once they’re up and running I’ll share the individual details and try to take pictures of the work in progress. May will see me travelling once again to teach in the US, I LOVE these trips and am so looking forward to catching up with you all again!!! I’ll be in MI, KY and CA, details to be added to the workshop page of the next few weeks as the workshop descriptions get sorted. In June I’m returning to beautiful Dominio Vale do Mondego in Portugal to facilitate our second residential felting week. It was fabulous last year and I’m very excited that many of the participants are attending again, we’ll have a ball!!!

Also on the teaching front, my wonderful friend and fellow Felt United partner in crime Dawn Edwards hopes to make a return visit to Ireland during 2013, obviously for a holiday but I’m happy to say I’ve also persuaded her to facilitate another hat making workshop! This trip I really want to take Dawn across the country to visit the Aran Islands, they are so stunningly beautiful and one of my all time favourite places in the world!!! Initially we had thought that this might take place early in the year but now we’re working towards a later date, as soon as we know we’ll let you know all the details.

I had also intended on sharing my thoughts here about the various craft fairs and events I participated in recently, unfortunately I’ve run out of steam now is so I think I’ll call it a day if that’s OK! WordPress have interesting annual reports available for all their blogs, click on the link bellow if you want to see some interesting facts about Clasheen!

https://clasheen.wordpress.com/2012/annual-report/

 

Crazy schedual and free personalisation of ‘niki & niki’ felting tools from now until Christmas!

My crazy schedual continues! This weekend I was very happy with my sales at Duckett’s Grove, not so happy with them at Mount Juliet but then it’s early days there still.

Later today, I’ll be heading into Carlow town to stock up on more lighting for Mount Juliet and set up both my work and Leiko’s in Tullow Street for the Creative Carlow pop up shop. It’s a bit of a juggling game at the moment trying to gauge which stock to have at which venue, I mustn’t forget the market in Borris on Friday and the two day Christmas Fair in Borris House this weekend!!!

'The Minimilast' felting roller from 'niki & niki'

‘The Minimilast’ felting roller from ‘niki & niki’

There’s still time to order your ‘niki & niki’ felting tools for Christmas. At the moment you’ll need to get them from Niki Collier’s Etsy shop as I’ve no more in stock, we’re also offering free personalisation on each tool over the next two weeks, just our way of saying thank you to our customers!

Felting frustration…

I’ve had a pretty frustrating morning on the felting front, two failed attempts at a new style bracelet and only one relatively successful result. My plan had been to get a lot of smaller jewellery items felted this weekend as I need to think of splitting my stock for both the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet and the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair next week. I’m actually going to call it a day and start a massive tidy up instead. While I totally suck in the household department (with the possible exception of cooking in fact!) I so need to get sorted in advance of Christmas, once next weekend arrives it’s outside events right up until the night of 24th. Starting afresh on Monday morning with a clean and tidy house should help get the creative juices flowing!