Things are hotting up slightly

While Borris House Christmas Fair at the weekend didn’t exactly rock my sales boat too much the atmosphere was lovely and by the end of yesterday evening I was happy enough with how things had gone. Mount Juliet Christmas Village on the other hand has been extremely disappointing so far, great if you are bringing your children to the Santa train (as 10s of 1000s are!) but totally hopeless to date as regards customers browsing the stands and making actual purchases. We’re committed to having our stand there until 9pm next Sunday evening so all I can do is hope that more visitors come this week to the fair itself as opposed to the train.

Creative Carlow pop up shop

Creative Carlow pop up shop

This morning I had my first working stint at the Creative Carlow pop up shop on Tullow Street, I enjoyed myself and made a couple of good sales too thank goodness! Now I’m at home trying to catch up with the blog and a few household chores, washing, cleaning, tidying etc. but everything will never be done before 24th and neither will presents be sent abroad in time for Christmas delivery or indeed purchased before the big day itself for some of my Irish buddies. I’m annoyed with myself as I had really hoped to have everything bought or made by now, presents posted and cards sent, possibly I under anticipated how busy I would be travelling to and from all the outside events. Hopefully everyone will understand and enjoy their gifts even if they are a few days late, good friends will anyway so fingers crossed!!!

Our stand at the Creative Carlow pop up shop this morning

Our stand at the Creative Carlow pop up shop this morning

One thing that I am happy about today is that I was able to add another mannequin to our display and change around stock for Leiko and myself this morning in Carlow. While it’s not the best picture (rain has prevented any pics outdoors) you can see the sleeveless top I finished the other afternoon now displayed on a mannequin. As I mentioned before, it’s a real juggling game trying to keep each venue looking good with a variety of different items and colourways, tomorrow I’ll have a go at revamping our space at Mount Juliet.

Finally for today, I had a lovely time visiting Jim and Tina Behan at his house/ceramic studio on my way home from Carlow. Tina had selected a couple of felt pieces for herself over the weekend and I was able to trade with Jim for some fabulous eastern inspired wood fired tea bowls and pots. I’ve always adored this work of his so was in seventh heaven, thanks Jim and Tina!!!

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I’m feeling pretty pleased this evening following a surprisingly successful bout with my sewing machine!

I’ve had a reprieve from manning the stand at Mount Juliet today, instead, thanks to Leiko and Emma, I’ve spent the whole day finishing 5 abstract landscapes and creating a vest from a wrap! Basically, I got my super duper straight stitching sewing machine out of cold storage, wound the bobbin and just got to work adding some free machine embroidery to my latest flat felt pictures. Those of you who know me well understand how stressful I find sewing, however, I would like to say that in this case the correct equipment does make a difference, no broken threads, perfect tension and at the end of the day new framed work to bring to Borris market in the morning and Borris House Christmas Fair over the weekend. I was starting to wonder had I been crazy investing in my Janome 1600P last year, fear not though, I’ll definitely get myself organised and continue to do some more stitching in the new year, possibly at Duckett’s Grove considering it’s too cold to felt there at the moment. Pop over to Clasheen on Facebook page to see some photos of the finished work, all these landscapes with the exception of one were felted using a selection of the naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on recently. The odd one out is a piece of needle punch felt which I also naturally printed/dyed, it was then felted onto a backing of undyed needle punch prior to stitching, I’m quite pleased with it and must try some more of this style after Christmas.

Armed with a successful start to the sewing day, I finally was brave enough to cut armholes into a short wrap that I felted last year. This wrap was made in white with a border of black, I dyed it using acid dyes when felted and although loads of people commented on how much they liked it at Duckett’s Grove it never sold.

Armholes underway

Armholes underway

Anyway, after cutting the armholes I pinned the raw edges, tacked them (basted) and having changed the foot on the sewing machine back to a regular one stitched twice around the edges. I’m thrilled with how this turned out, a lovely vest which I hope to take pictures of tomorrow.

A hectic couple of months teaching, making and being on the road lies in store!

I don’t think it’s going to be possible to write long posts over the next couple of months, please bear with me during this time, short and snappy will be the name of the game! I’m crazy busy at the moment thankfully and don’t want to miss the opportunity of having a successful time selling this festive season, I really need to keep the cash flow moving. In addition to my regular gigs at Borris Food and Craft Market each Friday and Duckett’s Grove at the weekends I’m teaching a lot and taking up my duties for FeltUnited, I LOVE doing this so all is good but it’s just that I then need another 12 hours every day to felt and produce new work!!! From 8th December to 23rd December inclusive I’ll be participating in the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet, On Sunday 9th December it’s the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair (link below), on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December I’ll be at the annual fair in Borris House and then for approx 2 weeks in the run up to Christmas as a member of Creative Carlow I’ll also be participating in their pop up shop, phew!!!!!

Last Friday design student Norma joined me for work experience, she’ll be helping for 10 days totally over the coming weeks and her next session is the weekend after next. Katie joined me yesterday for work experience this week, she’s a 4th year transition student and actually my great friend Sharon Jackson is her art teacher! She’s definitely choosen a week where we’ll be out and about a lot, 2 sessions with Borris Active Retirement, one birthday party for a group of 9 year olds and then the market on Friday, I’ve then got the weekend at Duckett’s Grove to myself.

Thanks to you all for your lovely messages, comments and emails about Dawn’s and my promotion to FeltUnited, we hope to do you all proud and really appreciate the support. I’ve got to fly now, bundles to unwrap and a nuno felt wrap to throw!

Christmas at Duckett’s Grove!