Good news, disappointing news and some beautiful felt too!

I’m sorry I didn’t get to blog yesterday. The morning just seemed to rush past and in the afternoon I started a new series of workshops with Borris Active Retirement, Leiko arrived back mid day too and what with one thing and another I never got to fire up the computer at all. I’m now waiting at Duckett’s Grove for one of my US blog readers to arrive (Hi Mary!) and after that I’ll try and pick up a winter jumper (sweater) in Carlow and see if I can find some more props for the studio.

The big news I’d like to share with you all today is that I received a call yesterday confirming that my submission for an exciting school arts projects has been selected subject to confirmation of the funding!!! This was the submission that I frantically worked on last week, it’s a fantastic opportunity to work with 480 pupils plus teachers creating 4 large textile panels, felt based but with plenty of other materials too I think! I don’t want to jinx anything at this stage but as soon as we get the financial go ahead I’ll let you know the full details.

On the opposite side of things I didn’t have my work selected for the Crafts Council’s upcoming ‘Beauty in Nature’ exhibition. This was a big disappointment but a good lesson not to count my chickens before they’ve hatched!

I’ll leave you today with two images, Joan, Mary and Mary with their beautiful first flat felt pictures and Dorothy modelling the amazing sleeveless jacket she felted during our last series of workshops and stitched during the summer. Congratulations ladies!

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Busy, busy …

It’s been a very busy week so far and I am just grabbing the chance to write an ultra quick update on the run. The ladies I felt with in Borris Active Retirement Group completed outstanding pieces in our session on Monday afternoon and if you check out my recent Facebook updates I have uploaded all the current pictures there, sorry I haven’t yet mastered the art of doing this using the phone. My back kitchen/garage/larder restructure is almost complete so by Monday I hope to be back in the studio and felting like crazy once more!

Tonight I collect Istvan Vidak with Carmen and tomorrow I will be cooking lunch for everyone and helping with the exhibition opening, I am really looking forward to seeing Istvan’s beautiful felt.

Beautiful bags, hat and jacket in progress this afternoon …..

After a really busy morning manhandling the cupboards in my old utility room I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in Borris with the felting ladies from the Active Retirement Group.  This is now my fourth session working with the group and we had a 3 hour session today in order to get some bigger projects underway.  Dorothy is felting a body warmer, Betty a hat and Myna, Una, Jo, Ann and Mary are all felting bags, some with integrated handles and all with optional inside pockets!  Jo’s bag is almost finished, Dorothy’s first large piece of yardage is done and everyone else is at the rubbing and rolling stage with their bags.  I’m EXHAUSTED now so I’m just going to leave you with a picture of Mary’s bag when it was laid out and a close up view, the handles are going to be wonderful with it!  ‘Till tomorrow …..

Mary with her bag laid out and ready to felt

Close up of Mary's beautiful bag

Mena’s beautiful felt beret and large bag!

As mentioned in the last post Borris Active Retirement had a ‘show and tell’ exhibition last Wednesday and I think this great picture of Mena with her felt beret and large bag sums it all up!  Still having ongoing computer problems (and now no anti virus protection) so apologies for the short post, they will be this way until things are finally sorted, hopefully by the weekend if all goes well. 

Mena's beautiful beret and bag with integrated handle!

Nuno felt, show and tell, picture of the beautiful felt bags created at the workshop on Saturday!

It is 14.52 as I sit down to write this post and although I had planned to felt from dawn to dusk today I haven’t managed to get one piece of wool or silk laid out yet, UGH!!!  I have decided to keep this brief …..

  • My project for the day is a nuno felt collar.
  • Borris Active Retirement had a fantastic ‘show and tell exhibition’ last Wednesday – I am currently downloading all the pictures that I have been emailed from the afternoon and hope to upload them to Flickr tomorrow.
  • Saturday’s felt bag workshop was brilliant and unfortunately the following photo does not do either the participants or the bags full credit!  It was lashing (wet and windy in Irish!) when we had finished, photography was difficult and two of the bags need a little bit of finishing.  I’m guessing you will get the idea anyway, I was so impressed with the individuality of the work and will blog properly about our day next time I get a minute.  Agnieszka has already posted a couple of pictures about the progress of her bag to her blog and I am guessing we might get a clear picture of the finished bag there before very long.  Her spinning and dyeing is like eye candy anyway so I think that you will enjoy browsing her work even if it is a few days before the completed bag is revealed!!!
  • My computer is really having some problems so I am on call for a friend to take remote control once more while he removes everything that is loaded on it and hopefully starts from scratch to iron out all my issues!
Mary, Agniezszka, Gerd and Helena with their wonderful bags!

 

Felting photos from yesterday!

Little felt vessel sitting on the wall

Dorothy, Betty, Una, Mary and Ann behind their fabulous bags!

Time is of the essence at the moment, apologies  for the lack of words but do head over to look at yesterday’s photos and here is one of my little vessel inspired by the ancient stone walls around me. 

I have just uploaded a load of photos from our wonderful afternoon yesterday to Flickr, Mena, Dorothy, Betty, Mary and Ann choose to felt large bags with integrated handles, Una a kindle cover and Helen a needle felted landscape into a wet felted background for this, our final session of the current series.  It is fantastic to review just how much knowledge the Borris Active Retirmement ladies have learnt during the last year, we have had three series of 12 hours each and by now all the participants are able to felt quite complicated bags, hats and vessels using the resist method, flat felt landscapes, needle felt embellishments and beautiful fun jewellery and accessories.  Everyone seems a dab hand with a needle so much of the work has been embellished with stitching and beading at home, beautiful teapot covers, bags and cushions have been stitched, lined and finished as the pictures on Flickr show off to best advantage!!!

Little felt vessel and Horst’s workshop almost booked out already!

Just a really quick post, I felted a gorgeous small vessel on Friday and Horst’s workshop is almost booked out already!  Pictures of the vessel tomorrow, off now to load the truck and meet the ladies for Borris Active Retirement’s last session today.  Apologies to anyone waiting for a reply to an email, I’ll get you later tonight!!!

Announcing felt bag workshop at Clasheen and some pictures from Borris Active Retirement!

Not so simple, not so complex, I am delighted to announce that I will be facilitating a ‘felt bag workshop’ here at Clasheen on Saturday 19th March!  This is the perfect opportunity for improving felters to explore the possibilities of designing bags with integrated handles, pockets, flaps and interesting closures.  We will discuss and examine some of my own work and then each participant will design and felt a small or medium sized bag of their own!  Please check out the workshop page for further details and email me asap if you would like to attend this workshop, I have only 3 places left!!!

Mena having a laugh with Dorothy and Mary while working on her first felt beret!

I am a little tired today both mentally and physically, all morning I have been fine tuning several proposals and still haven’t unloaded the truck from yesterday’s session with the Borris Active Retirement Group!  Before I head off to do that now I am going to leave you with a fun picture and if you head over to Flickr you will see some more images of the beautiful work all these ladies are creating!!!

A moment of calm, beautiful new scarf and some fun felting photos!

Surprisingly I am ahead of myself time wise this morning.  Both letters of acceptance for the Arts Act Grant and ArtL!nks Bursary completed, one wash finished and another ready to go into the washing machine, paperwork underway to sign off on the work completed with the Borris Active Retirement Group, washing up done and some pictures uploaded to Flickr, amazing considering it is still only 10.18 here in the land of the leprechaun’s!  EDITED TO SAY that obviously this time saving was too good to be true!!!  For some reason WordPress is behaving very strangely this morning and I can’t seem to get the images where I want them and the captions in the right place.  Forgive the odd lay out of this post but hopefully you get the meaning!

My beautiful woven silk scarf from Tisserande

I promised you yesterday I would post about the wonderful swap package I recieved from Gill aka tisserande as part of the Spring Clasheen Crafty Swap on Flickr.  The colours of the stunning silk scarf Gill wove for me look absolutely amazing when pictured beside the dark purple aquilegias and fresh spring greens of the honeysuckle.  Until I read the little enclosed note I wasn’t sure what the fibre was but am happy to confirm it is woven from spun silk, bourette silk and sari silk, so soft against the skin and it drapes beautifully!!!  The other goodies included some yummy fibres, amazing walnut dyed tussah silk, alpaca tops, bamboo tops and a nice creamy soya fibre.   Gill also included citron flavoured organic chocolate, wooden buttons, a great French cookery magazine (yes, I can understand 90%!) and a lovely hand made card.  Thanks so much Gill, I love it all!!!  If any of you are interested in checking out Gill’s textiles you can visit her Etsy shop, you won’t be disappointed! 

Over the course of the last 5 weeks I have been having great fun felting with the ladies of the Borris Active Retirement Group.  We have covered topics including flat felting, ‘cords, balls and flowers’, simple felt bags using the resist method and nuno felt scarves. 

Mary working the stem of her flower

For our last session today participants are going to be selecting from my stash of beads and buttons to complete the jewellery and other projects they have been working on over the last while and everyone will have the opportunity to felt one last flower or other small item as a wrap up to the course. 

Dorothy and Betty rolling their scarves in harmony

I have had such fun sharing the joys of felting with the women (no men from the group decided to participate!) and considering none of them had ever felted before the work produced has been absolutely amazing!!!  We have decided to have an exhibition and a ‘show and tell’ of all the completed work a little later in the summer.  This will give members who were not able to attend an idea of what they were missing and our plan is to have another session of workshops later in the year as all the participants would like to take their new craft further! 

Una working her beautiful silk chiffon and merino nuno felt scarf

These pictures of some of the women felting are from our session last week (thanks Michael from taking the shots) and hopefully I will have more to share with you tomorrow if I remember to bring my camera with me later today! 

Anne felting her flower