Personalised felting tools now available, HELP PLEASE and turmeric update!!!

I’ve been attached to my computer since 7am this morning but I’m happy to say that the  ‘niki & niki’ range of felting tools are finally available to buy online!!!

'The Prodder', 'The Minimalist', 'The Modest' and 'The Big One'

Niki Collier and I are also really excited to offer an optional personalisation service whereby customers may have their own name (or maybe that of a friend!) branded on any tool, this service will cost E6 per item and up to 10 digits (including spaces) may be inscribed. I always label my own tools with a marker when I head off on my travels so this strikes me as a perfect but much more stylish solution, now it will be easier to keep track of all my equipment on the go!!!

The final names that we have selected for the tools are ‘The Big One’, ‘The Modest’, The Minimalist’, the ‘Mini Minimalist’ (all various lengths of rollers) and ‘The Prodder’ (shaper), thanks to everyone who had suggestions about naming the prodder!!! Head over to my Etsy store to see what we currently have in stock, I’m trying to add an ordering option for ‘The Prodder’ and ‘The Mini Minimalist’ because they’re already sold out, I was sure I should be able to do this on Etsy but maybe my brain is just too tired now! I’ll have another go again tomorrow but for now if you are interested in either of these tools email me and I’ll add you to the waiting list. I promise not to lose your details, see the next paragraph below!

The Prodder

HELP PLEASE The internet connection has been horrendous today so it’s taken almost 12 hours to get there, in the meantime I’ve been getting messages via email and Facebook from interested felters and that’s where I’m calling out to you. Since I first blogged that the tools were almost ready to launch (just over a week ago) I wrote down pre-orders on a piece of paper, but where on earth has that bit of paper gone??? If I haven’t already emailed you a request for payment this afternoon via PayPal please email me immediately, followers of this blog will already know that I’m disasterous when it comes to paperwork, sorry but unfortunately that’s the truth so if you want your order posted on Monday I will need your details again please. I did think that all the ‘prodders’ were already ordered but now I can’t remember all the names so apologies, Kim you may be in luck yet! Anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who does contact me again, I’m really sorry about this but I can’t do anything other than ask.

Finally for today, I’m getting a lot of people asking me about the staying power of the turmeric dyeing I did, the answer is that I just don’t know yet! I did research things a bit on the internet first, most people seemed to have no problems and I’m hoping that the vinegar I added as a mordant will be sufficient to help the colour remain fast. If not however, I’ll just re-dip again to bring back that lovely rich yellow!

Sue’s fabulous felt purses!!!

Today’s post shares pictures of two beautiful purses felted in Michigan by my friend Sue. I first met Sue last May at one of the Plainwell workshops organised by great buddy Dawn Edwards where she chose to felt her first vessel complete with craters, ever since then we have kept in touch via this blog and through Facebook. When I started offering my new felting kits on Etsy Sue ordered one in a beautiful soft butterscotch shade, don’t forget you can custom request your favourite colours and I’ll oblige you if I can! I also included two buttons, one vintage and the other a lovely shiny kind of bronze colour with a very interesting opening where you sew it on.

Sue's beautiful clutch complete with vintage button

For her purses Sue combined the butterscotch fibre from the kit with some wool and hand dyed locks she already had in her stash, laid out some silk scraps on top for embellishment and added the mohair off cuts and cotton gauze, also from the kit. Once felted she added some machine stitching to both the purses and a long leather shoulder strap to one, aren’t they FABULOUS??? I can’t wait to meet Sue again at the 2012 felting workshops in Plainwell on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May, then I’ll be able to hold the purses and admire them in all their glory!!!

Sue's gorgeous leather and felt shoulder bag

Blog giveaway, last 12 hours to enter!

Well there are only 12 hours left to enter my first ever blog giveaway. If you would like to win one of the new felt pouch/wallet kits (including the tutorial) that I am offering from my Etsy shop please just hop on over here and follow the instructions to enter, there are 3 kits up for grabs! The winners can let me know if they want a kit especially made up in warm or cool colours, winners announced on Tuesday.

Each kit contains enough materials to make two pouches this size!

Blog giveaway and hat workshop update!

Finally, finally, my felt pouch/clutch kits are assembled, packaged, the first batch are available from my newly re-activated Etsy shop and I’ve just returned from posting the first order off to U.S.! It’s amazing how tiring it is to get everything sorted, sounds silly I know but you try to track down clear plastic bags of a suitable size, weigh the wool and gather the mohair off cuts, write the tutorial so that it’s easily understandable, locate cardboard bag toppers and bubble envelopes when you live in the sticks and then tell me it’s not a tiring job!!!  Eventually I got a big batch of freezer bags locally (thanks to some very helpful shop assistants who found them in a store room I think) only to discover that they were exceptionally flimsy, ah well, they were extremely good value and they will make the packages lighter to post!

The bag toppers I made today

The bag topper issue I solved by editing a template from Office online. In the future I’d love to have a really personalised one that I designed from scratch but this year I don’t want to be distracted from getting my work and supplies out there just because I can’t have every last thing perfect. The kits will also be available from Borris Market every Friday to compliment my new range of felted items and I’m hoping to build up a selection of tutorials with time, first steps first though.

To celebrate the fact that I have finally got it together and reached one of my January goals by launching the kits I would like to have a blog giveaway and offer 3 people the chance to win one for themselves! The deadline is midnight GMT on Sunday night and you may enter the giveaway by…..

  • Leaving a comment here on this post
  • ‘Liking’ Nicola Brown – Clasheen on Facebook and leaving a comment there saying you would like to enter the giveaway
  • Sharing a link to this post on your blog and let me know you have done so
  • Sharing a link to this post on your Facebook profile and make sure to tag me so that I can enter you in the draw

For each of the above actions that you do I will enter you in the draw once, the more you do the more times you are entered! I’ll use a random generator on Monday to select the 3 winners and post out the kits next Tuesday, remember the deadline to enter is midnight GMT on Sunday 22nd. Start spreading the word!

The ‘Fantastic Felt Hats workshop with Dawn Edwards on Saturday 21st April is now full, woo hoo!!! I’ve started a waiting list for everyone else hoping to participate and make a fantastic hat with Dawn, providing we get enough takers (and there’s no reason why not!) I will organise a second date, possibly on Sunday 22nd but maybe a week day depending on what is easiest for us here. Tomorrow I will be emailing all the confirmed participants and if you are interested in going on the waiting list please don’t leave it too late to contact me!!!

Well that’s all for now. I still haven’t got my studio tidy out and reorganisation finished but I do feel that I am starting to make some progress.  Alan mightn’t agree however and nobody has yet asked me why there is now garden trellis in my larder!

Beautiful felt ring arrives in the post!

By the time you read this I will be part way through my two day workshop with Charlotte Buch at the ‘Felt Naturally’ symposium in Denmark! 

Beautifully packaged treasure

Last week I fell totally in love with a little ring created by Kate aka Tastykaeru and I was thrilled that it arrived in the post right on time to wear for my early morning departure to Grima’s exciting felting get together.  Opening the package just confirms my thoughts that judicious beading and stitching can really add another dimension to hand rolled felt.  Kate’s Etsy shop is a pleasure to browse through, jam packed with gorgeous but simple embellished jewellery and at such amazing prices it is difficult to decide where to start!  Green being my FAVOURITE colour to wear for the last few seasons I finally decided to break the bank and buy this little beauty!!! 

Nestling in the black satin

Last day of sale and internet connection problems today

Having internet connection problems this morning possibly due to heavy winds so for those of you waiting for an email or a reply to a question please bear with me until tomorrow!  I have decided to leave my few specials on Etsy for today in case anyone else has been experiencing the same problems but tomorrow supplies only will be available there.

Special offers and the power of Twitter as my new boutique felt store goes live!

Exciting news, at least for me!  Although it is going to take a couple of weeks hard work felting new summer stock, photographing work already completed and uploading everything to my new exclusive boutique online store CLASHEEN, as of last night the store is live and I have already made my first sale!!!   

After a lot of soul searching and research, I decided like my good fibre friend Chrissie Day that Etsy is not really the market place for my one off designs.  Big Cartel offers a much more boutique shopping experience and if I were quite honest customers who appreciate hand felted designs are the demograph that I am aiming to attract.  To this end, all my felt wearbales and new interior/exterior design range will be exclusive to the new store although I will still be offering a limited selection of supplies from the middle of May on Etsy.  These will include an interesting  nuno felt scarf kit complete with silk/cotton fabric, merino, silk fibres and an instruction video!  For the next week only I have a selection of experimental felt accessories avaiblable at a discount of 40% off their original price as a stock clearing excercise so if you want to snap up a  bargain head over to Etsy now, these items are sold as seen and anything left after Friday 7th May will be de-listed and not offered for sale again.

I also have two nuno felt scarves/wraps on special offer at my new store and look forward to having regular specials and seasonal items as we progress through the year.  It is going to take a little getting used to but the system as operated by Big Cartel appears to use a simpler way of uploading items than Etsy (not complaining about Etsy, it served its purpose for me).   I discovered this afternoon that once an item sells it is still visable to the public although it does say sold out if you click through to the description.  This is something I need to keep an eye on but once I get the hang of things I think that it will be a lot quicker and easier to maintain the store as well as having a much more luxurious and individual look about it although I’ll let you all be the judge of that!

Lastly the power of the internet is a wonderful thing.  When the boutique store finally went live late yesterday afternoon I posted a quick tweet for all of you following me on Twitter, congratulations to Olwyn who is now the proud owner of this gorgeous felt vessel! 

Felt vessel combining C1 and Herdwick

Fit to burst!!!

I am so excited about my planned trip to the States that really I am fit to burst!   Without giving too much away before I actually clarify dates, workshops, costs etc. and tie things down properly it looks as if I will definitely be in the Philadelphia, Michigan, San Fransisco, Loomis and Eugene areas and if any of you are in areas somewhere in between (or really anywhere else in fact!) please don’t hesitate to email me and we will see if we can set something up if you are interested!!! 

Inspired by my daffodils!

 

Thanks so much to everyone who has already been in contact and I will acknowledge you all fully here on the blog and publisize the workshops as soon as I get my head screwed on and we have events confirmed in our diaries.  It is looking at this stage as if Alan and I will fly over for our holidays, I may do a workshop or two when he is with me and then after he flies home I will stay for another couple of weeks (or as long as it takes!!!) for some totally fabulous fibre fun!

Some more shibori pictures and fabulous new wool arrives!

My second shibori experiment on St. Patrick’s Day was this simple cowl, again felted using merino, cotton gauze and silk. 

Spice shibori cowl

This time my design had a hole at one end through which the cords pull through from the opposite end to close the cowl, hope this makes sense!  I love the combination of cerise, orange and raspberry wool as I think it gives the cowl a lovely warm and spicy feel.  The cords were very easy to incorporate into the body of the felt and this is a design I am planning to play around with a little, possibly make my next cowl a little longer and a little narrower.  Check out my Flickr photos for a full range of images from both sides of this piece.

Yesterday morning my latest order of silk arrived from Wollknoll and boy am I EXCITED!  When Lyda Rump was here for our workshops in February she was saying that they now were dying some fantastic wool similar to that which I usually get from Filzrausch, a short fibred19 micron merino.  I asked Sonja Fritz is she would be able to include a kg of various colours with my order for silk and I was blown away by the subtlty of the shades and how beautifully soft and easy this ‘Kap’ wool is to work with.  There was a PERFECT rose shade (I have never got anything quite as beautiful in this colour before) and it just cried out to be felted with one of Lyda’s gorgeous hand dyed silk chiffon scarves. 

Hand dyed silk chiffon with the softest nuno shibori

Again I decided to experiment with a little shibori.  My aim with this scarf was to emphasise the gorgeous colours from Lyda’s dying so I decided just to add wool at either end and not cover the chiffon completely.  This created a fantastic and light scarf which would be an amazing present for someone allergic to wool, only the silk would be touching the skin when you throw the scarf around your neck!  I have uploaded both these shibori pieces and my recent Zebra cobweb felt scarf to my Etsy shop this morning so if you are looking to treat yourself to a little uplifting pressie now is the moment!

My first experiment podcasting about my felt!

This is not a proper movie I know but here goes with my first experiment adding both an audio and a visual element to this blog, please have a look and let me know what you think!  Thanks again Ken, John, Alan and Cathy for facilitating such a great ArtL!nks event yesterday and thanks also to friend and professional photographer Bernie McCoy for the beautiful images of my bag!