Wonderful scents wafting through Clasheen, felt laptop cover

Some wonderful scents are wafting through Clasheen this morning as felting friends have joined me for a home made cosmetic workshop facilitated by Anna Brown.  The morning session is well underway as I write this post and the most delicious scents are courtesy of fresh herbs from my garden and essential oils brought by Anna and some of the participants.  These are mixed in various combinations with other natural products (eg. epsom salts, beeswax and vegetable oils) to form ‘kind to your skin’ hand salves, lip balms, bath bombs, exfoliating scrubs, bath salts and more.  I am hoping to give all my friends and family hand made Christmas presents again this year and was planning on creating glamourous gift packages combining felt and some of these cosmetics.  As with last year I urge any of you who have not already done so to sign up to Buy Handmade and support artisan producers from all around the globe.  Especially in these difficult financial times it makes sense for us to support each other and promote the wonderful handmade products available locally and for sale via the internet.  This afternoon I will be participating in the cosmetic workshop and then later this weekend I hope to felt a laptop cover for myself, time permitting!  Because I don’t tend to carry my laptop around too much I keep putting this project on the back burner.  Obviously I do have a regular cover but for ages have been hankering for something a bit more stylish and individual.  Anyway, now is the time for action, watch this space because if I am happy with the result I might also make a few of these as presents for friends if requested!

Evening classes and using an electric sander when felting!

Started today with a big clean up around the Rayburn, maybe it didn’t like me putting my felted coils in it or something but on Friday the range decided that enough was enough!  Anyway, I had just got a delivery of oil so maybe the last dregs were a bit dirty or something but it cut out on Friday afternoon just when the new oil had arrived.  To be honest it was a good opportunity not to relight it and take the opportunity to give it a good ‘Spring’ clean.  Right now it is recieving a service and by this evening it will be as good as new, hot food and water at last. 

Anyway, once I had cleaned the range I was able to start felting.  I had already decided that today was going to be the day when I tried my big floor sander out on a trellis scarf.  Carmen lent me a small mouse sander previously but although it did work the experience today was a 100 times better!  I laid out my wool on the smooth side of bubble wrap, wet it out as usual with warm water and olive oil soap (making sure not to over wet) and then laid a piece of laminate floor underlay on top of it.  The main thing to remember when using a sander is that electricity and water don’t mix so you must be CAREFUL.  I then placed the sander on top of the underlay and turned it on at the full setting, WOW, the fibres almost blended together instantly.  The sander just replaces the need to rub your hands over the bubble wrap loads of times before you start rolling, it doesn’t replace the rolling or the hand made nature of the felt when you are felting and fulling.  It also wouldn’t be suitable for every item you wanted to make but for the trellis scarf it was brilliant at getting the sections where the wool crossed to felt together.  In the morning I am going to take a few pictures, weather permitting and I will post them to the blog.

Several friends have asked me about running evening classes so I am happy to say that I have decided to run a 5 week beginners course starting on Thursday 30th October at 8pm.  Give me a call on 087-2789740 or email me if you are interested in attending the course.  All materials to make at least one item each evening are included in the price, tea and coffee will be on tap and each class will cost E25.  I can guarantee that they will be fun!  You might even get inspired to create all your own Christmas presents or a few special ornaments to hang on your tree.  Other times and days by arrangement.