Taking pictures of nuno felt and an opportunity to help make a difference

OK, it’s not totally blowing up a gale outside but it is pretty difficult to take pictures of completed pieces for the book without everything almost heading over the fence and into the field, nuno felt can be so lightweight, help! I’ve been trying to wrap up so many things today, I’m not finished by a long shot and in fact can’t see much light at the end of the tunnel yet. I have however managed to get some washing done and out in the wind to dry and shortly I’ll be taking a break before returning to the computer in the evening. I feel like I’m tied to the thing at this stage and would love to be in the studio felting instead, not a hope this weekend unfortunately!!!

I'm offering a large collaged nuno wrap in colours of their choice to the winning bidder in the Helping Herd auction. This image is just to illustrate the sort of wrap I'm talking about!

For those of you following me on FB you may have seen that I’m part of the Helping Herd, a group set up to raise funds and help Chris and Christina Silver of Earth Art Cashmere to get back on their feet after a fire devestated their farm in Novia Scotia. An online auction is currently underway (until midnight on April 27th) for some beautiful hand made goods and supplies that have been donated, I’m offering a large collaged wrap which I will felt to order for the winning bidder. Please consider donating something to help this worthwhile cause or placing a bid on one of the items that are already online, I wouldn’t blog about this if I didn’t feel it was important to support other fibre producers and artisans when something as dreadful as a fire has impacted on their livelyhood.

Finally for today I’m heading back outside to try and take some photos again, wish me luck!

I’ve just had a great couple of days felting!

Now that I’ve made the descision to stick with felting my favourite nuno accessories and home accents all the pressure is off for my section of the new book.

Heart cuffs and brooches, a few of the many!

Yesterday was good fun, in the morning I did a little stitching on some cuffs and brooches for the market tomorrow and in the afternoon Kate Ramsey arrived and we felted and chatted together at the kitchen table. I was experimenting with some beautiful Portugese rare breed wool (more in another post) and Kate worked on some of her gorgeous flowers and scarves.

This morning it was back to nuno felting and just before Carmen arrived I had a brainwave about a new design for a bag!!! It was great to have someone with an objective eye to bounce ideas off so after about half and hour of discussion and drawing I set to and started laying out the first section. Thanks to a swap I did with Carole Dysart just before Christmas I have a lovely big bag of silk off cuts; some hand dyed, some textured, some heavy, some shiny and some with sparkly threads running through the weave. I selected a large pile of pieces ranging in colour from pinky blues through to lovely apple green and chose a turquoise Kap merino from Wollknoll to use as the base. This bag is felted in two pieces, one nuno and one regular felt, it’s not quite finished yet but when Carmen was leaving she did say that it was her favourite ever of any bag I have made to date! No more info now because the design will definitely be in the book. For those of you who are asking, Chrissie and I hope to have all our writing and projects for the book completed and edited by the middle of March, it will then be published and available as a hard copy and eBook before the end of the month.

I’m heading off now to catch up with some paperwork, grab a bit to eat and pack the car for tomorrow morning.

 

As a result I had an idea for a new bag design this morning, totally out of the blue but I am really thrilled with how it is turning out!!! Carmen was here felting with me and I was able to bounce ideas off

Short little felting update!

I’ve run out of time yet again today so I  hope you don’t mind a very brief post!  Felting highlights of the week to date include …..

  • Monday – Fun felting workshop with Borris Active Retirement
  • Wednesday – Birthday trip with my friend Jan to beautiful Mount Usher Gardens where I took pictures of foliage turning for future reference and inspiration
  • Thursday – Email arrived notifying me my nudibranch got accepted for the ‘Seascapes’ exhibition, Philip and Mary from the wonderful Cushendale Woollen Mill bought 10 copies of ‘From Felt to Friendship’ in advance of Graiguenamanagh’s weekend book festival and I had a good round of golf to come in 5th place in the second last big competition of the year.   YAY, this was a good day!!
  • Friday – Another fun felting workshop, this time with clients of both the Wheelchair Association and NCBI (National Council for the Blind in Ireland)

I’m just off for a short walk with Rex now and then need to try and tidy up the kitchen YET AGAIN, help!

Summer buffet and book launch invitation!

To officially launch our recently published book ‘From Felt to Friendship’ and celebrate meeting for the first time, UK author Chrissie Day and I would like to invite you to a summer buffet at Clasheen this Saturday 20th August!!!  Food and drink will be available from 1 o’clock until 3pm, the book launch will take place at approx 4 pm.

Please feel free to bring a friend, it would be great if you could RSVP however if you are definitely coming so I have an idea of numbers for the food!

DIRECTIONS – At Kyle Cross take the Ballybrack road for approx 1/4 to 1/2 mile, Clasheen is down the first small farmers lane on the right hand side.  As a marker Ballybrack House is on the left just before the turn for Clasheen, my house is the old farmhouse on the left 1/4 mile down the lane, hope to see you there!!!

 

Our book is published!!!

I am so excited this evening, finally our book is published and I have ordered the first 3 copies!  If you’re reading this Emma, I hope you don’t mind but I have used your name and address to send the first copies to and I am actually expecting them to arrive at The Tin Thimble a day or so in advance of our workshops on 13th, 14th and 15th!!!  Last night I didn’t get to bed until 1.55am so forgive me if this is a very brief post, I want to put a couple more notifications out tonight then it’s early to bed and early to rise.  Thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful support and encouragement, this book’s for you!

Finally …..

Finally finished the last page of our book about 5 minutes ago, just uploading everything to Chrissie now and tomorrow we hope to have the ordering details ready to go.  It’s ten to one in the morning in Ireland and I am off for a long soak in the bath, back to full blogging powers sometime over the next two days!!!

Fish skin and felt, a perfect combination!

Yesterday I spent the whole day stitching and finishing the fish skin and felt bag I have been working on, it’s one of my favourite projects from the new book because as well as being created from colours I love I just know how handy it is going to be when travelling!  Amazingly I added a zip to the inner pocket, I don’t want any disasters with my passport and tickets so the safer I can keep them all the better.  The stitching actually took six hours, I couldn’t believe it but at least I am happy with the final result and hopefully the book should be finished by the end of this week (tomorrow is our deadline!) so I will be able to reveal it in all its glory then!!!  My thumb and one other finger feel a bit strange today, slightly tingly but nothing to worry about, now that I know what a thimble is for maybe I need to invest in one, what do you think?

Carmen is here today and we are working away together.  I have been writing and editing this morning upstairs but I am heading down now for a bowl of goulash and then it’s back to the needle, need to stitch some simple pieces of jewellery together!

Fit to be tied …..

I’m fit to be tied right now and in case this is not a saying that you are familiar with it means so frustrated that it is almost impossible to do anything at all!!!  Alan’s computer is archaic (I’m still glad to be able to use it for email though, thanks Alan!),  I have just lost everyting I posted to the blog this morning so am having to scrawl this out and call it a day now, apologies.  I had written a proper post about my latest nuno felt scarf, the progress of the book and a litle about my US trip but unfortunately all will have to wait until later as I need to drive over to my friend’s house now and work on the book, thanks Cathy and Martin for being so patient and allowing me to work at your house on functioning equipment, it’s much appreciated!

Glass beads glisten against the shimmering silk and merino felt …….

Glass beads glistening against the silk and merino felt

I hadn’t intended posting any photos of new work that will be going in the book but couldn’t resist this shot demonstrating how the glass beads glisten against the felt in this silk/merino scarf!  It is pretty bright lightwise this morning so maybe the colours are slightly bleached but you can really see how the high percentage of silk in this fibre combination (50% silk 50% merino) shines when felted and how it also lends a great sense of movement to the piece. 

As many of you know already I have been having HUGE computer problems that still are not sorted two weeks after I started to seriously try and address the issue.  My techy guru posted me an external drive last week when he was having difficulty transferring things remotely and would you believe it my flies are just refusing to transfer over to this new drive for me too, URGH, a lot of work to do today so no felting I fear!  The up side of things will be that once I get all the problems ironed out Chrissie and I will be finally able to share our files online, see the layout of the book, edit and adjust things to our heart’s content, in short, do all the necessary to put the thing to bed, bliss!  Thanks for all your positive messages and comments about this upcoming publication, I hope you won’t all be disappointed!!!  I am also going to be uploading a HUGE amount of photos to Flickr during the day, this will mean that I don’t have to store them anywhere else, at least that’s the idea, hoping it will work.  Some of these photos may be old work I never blogged about before and some of them may be new or unseen, not sure yet exactly what files I still have lurking on the computer!

A little about our new book and just a glimpse of some raw materials from yesterday!

Working on our new book has really forced me to write down ideas as they come into my head and document projects on paper more than I would otherwise tend to do, for me a lot of my documentation is through this blog but sketching more is really helping me clarify ideas and leading me to explore them in a more systametic way than I have being doing previously.  Chrissie is brilliant at this anyway and I really look forward to seeing some of her sketches and musings when she comes to stay with me in April for our final efforts to put the book to bed and get it available online.  I don’t want anyone to get the idea our book is going to be the bee all and end all of felting techniques, it’s not!  Rather it is an idea of how we both work as well as a demonstration of how we translate our thoughts and ideas from the inspiration stage into the finished felt item.  

Stunning 50/50 silk merino blend from Cloverleaf Farms

I love gathering up my raw materials at the start of any project, the possibilities seem endless at this stage when all the beautiful fibres and colours are gathered together just waiting to be selected.  Sometimes however, I find that having a wide selection of different fibres to work with can bring on its own worries and often just getting started is challenge enough for one days work alone! 

Yesterday was one of the good days.  In the morning I selected some stunning 50/50 hand dyed silk/merino roving which I bought at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival from the wonderful Joan Berner of Cloverleaf Farms, one of my all time favourite suppliers now!!!  I wanted to use it for a very special project and demonstrate how a small amount of luxurious fibre could create the most beautiful scarf imaginable!  Although I am not showing you a photo of the finished article imagine the glistening sheen of clear glass beads against the wonderful and subtle variations of colour in this blue based combination which Joan has called Sapphire.  I based the scarf’s design and colours on the beautiful blues and greens in the clear waters off La Gomera in the Canaries and Kos in Greece.  Wearing this piece (if I keep it for myself!) will bring back happy memories of holidays shared with Alan, the glass beads are NOT sewn in after the scarf is felted, wait for the book to see how I include them in the lay out stage!!!The second piece I felted yesterday is waiting on my table now to be transformed into a sleeveless vest/wrap type of affair, probably NO sewing again but maybe a couple of judicious stitches around the collar region, I’ll have to wait and see how it drapes once I cut out the armholes and put it on my manequin.  Again I loved gathering the supplies for this one, originally I had a big pile of silk fibre and hankies, beautiful Blue Faced Leiscester, linen fibres (all of these hand dyed) and some different colours of silk chiffon fabric.  In the end I felted this piece using ‘Chili Pepper’ BFL roving from Joan, silk hankies, silk fibre (again from Joan!), two colours of silk chiffon and then added a fine layer of orange merino because I wasn’t sure that I had enough BFL to make the vest strong enough.  Chrissie is really the master at the nuno felted jacket, I did however want to include a wearable piece requiring minimal stitching in the book, I know I could have done a bigger seamless project but really that’s not what I do every day, this type of felting is much more suited to my organic kind of style!  Anyway, here is a glimpse of some of the raw materials before I made my final selection.  Technically this wasn’t a nuno piece having more fibre than fabric, today I hope to felt a highly textured nuno wrap, one of my all time favourite projects! 

Hand dyed BFL and silk from Joan teamed with some lightweight silk chiffon