Felt and driftwood ring

By the time I had finished my proposal for Cashel Arts Fest, had a chat and some lunch with Carmen, Mariate and Alan it was four o’clock and we (with the exception of Alan!) were all ready to get down to a bit of felting (or sewing in the case of Mariate) for the rest of the afternoon.  Carmen laid out a gorgeous scarf and I started to decide exactly how I was going to make a ring using merino and a well worn piece of driftwood collected on a recent trip to the beach.

Felt and driftwood ring

It took ages deciding which piece of driftwood to use as when you are a confirmed hoarder like me it is difficult to use anything from your stash in case you mess it up and end up wasting the piece!  I had a couple of minutes trying to work out how to attach the bit to Alan’s small drill but eventually decided just to run with my own Makita and not worry about the concequences in the event of any misadventure!  Choosing the colours for the felt was easy, the dark patina of the wood lent itself to orange, yellow, wine and green Autumnal colours, no surprises there.  Overall I was very happy with the end result and plan on wearing the ring tomorrow when I go to a podcasting course organised by ArtL!nks.  I also felted another ring using bone and merino and then made an experimental cuff using merino and some very sequined jersey fabric that Carmen got as waste from an Irish dress designer.  Unfortunately it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get to felt again but now that I have got started combining felt and found objects I will be planning some more pieces of jewellery and then hopefully some bigger three dimensional projects which are floating around in my head at the moment.

Silk, buttons, bits and bobs …..

As well as fantastic scenery and lovely people one of the great pleasures of holidaying in another country is picking up little notions along the way.  Moving on along the coast Alan and I had a great time at Elk beach just a little south of Mendocino and I was lucky enough to find some gorgeous pieces of abalone shell which I am going to incorporate into some felt jewellery when I get home.  I have also been on the look out for small interesting pieces of driftwood and these are plentiful to collect at some of the more wind swept beaches all along this stunning stretch of the coast.  Alan bought a picture called ‘Lemons on the Table’ by Peter Suezek from Sunshine at the Mendocino Arts Centre and also another painting on board at the Arcata Artisans Co-Op.  We have been extremely lucky while staying at the Fairwinds Motel, 1674 G Street here in Arcata that the owner Al Lukiman just happens to be a computer guru who used to work for Warner/Chappell Music.  Al very kindly showed Alan exactly how he can connect to wi-fi wherever we go so hopefully now communicating every couple of days won’t be such a problem as it was before!  As a result Alan has been able to concentrate on a bit of paper work that he needed to get out of the way while I was able to trawl some fantastic fabric and fibre shops here and in Eureka.

Buttons, ribbons, yarn and cowls

Buttons, ribbons, yarn and cowls

Talking you through the image on the left some of my booty from Arcata included hemp twine from the natural store on the square  (sorry there is no name on the receipt and I just can’t remember what the store is called), the gorgeous ram’s head and horn buttons on the bottom left from Fabric Temptations while in Eureka I picked up the fabulous large buttons, the heart buttons and some amazing colours of pure silk ribbons from Heather at the North Coast Knittery, email address info@northcoastknittery.com.  The two cowls are part of my travelling crochet project, the cowl on the left is made from some gorgeous soft merino I received in a Ravely swap while the shell pattern cowl on the right is from the Noro Furisode that I blogged about in the last post.

Fun afternoon Felting!

I have just finished a fun afternoon felting and chatting with Carmen!  I needed to complete some pieces to show the curator how I am progressing towards my work for ‘Breaking Out’, an exhibition with the Crafts Council and really had to get stuck into things this weekend.  Because of being totally tied up with the organisation of the Irish Green Gathering recently and having had that accident with the glass I have really not been actively creating as much as usual.  It was great to get stuck in and work towards a couple of pieces that I have had in mind for some time.  When I was up in Enniscrone recently I collected shells, stones, seaweed and driftwood from the beach.  I also managed to find a great piece of polished horn which takes pride of place in a chunky necklace that I finished this afternoon.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get a couple of pictures of the work up on the blog, fingers crossed that my photography will be passable after the beautiful images that Bernie McCoy took not so long ago!