Blog giveaway, last 12 hours to enter!

Well there are only 12 hours left to enter my first ever blog giveaway. If you would like to win one of the new felt pouch/wallet kits (including the tutorial) that I am offering from my Etsy shop please just hop on over here and follow the instructions to enter, there are 3 kits up for grabs! The winners can let me know if they want a kit especially made up in warm or cool colours, winners announced on Tuesday.

Each kit contains enough materials to make two pouches this size!
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Last day of sale and internet connection problems today

Having internet connection problems this morning possibly due to heavy winds so for those of you waiting for an email or a reply to a question please bear with me until tomorrow!  I have decided to leave my few specials on Etsy for today in case anyone else has been experiencing the same problems but tomorrow supplies only will be available there.

Special offers and the power of Twitter as my new boutique felt store goes live!

Exciting news, at least for me!  Although it is going to take a couple of weeks hard work felting new summer stock, photographing work already completed and uploading everything to my new exclusive boutique online store CLASHEEN, as of last night the store is live and I have already made my first sale!!!   

After a lot of soul searching and research, I decided like my good fibre friend Chrissie Day that Etsy is not really the market place for my one off designs.  Big Cartel offers a much more boutique shopping experience and if I were quite honest customers who appreciate hand felted designs are the demograph that I am aiming to attract.  To this end, all my felt wearbales and new interior/exterior design range will be exclusive to the new store although I will still be offering a limited selection of supplies from the middle of May on Etsy.  These will include an interesting  nuno felt scarf kit complete with silk/cotton fabric, merino, silk fibres and an instruction video!  For the next week only I have a selection of experimental felt accessories avaiblable at a discount of 40% off their original price as a stock clearing excercise so if you want to snap up a  bargain head over to Etsy now, these items are sold as seen and anything left after Friday 7th May will be de-listed and not offered for sale again.

I also have two nuno felt scarves/wraps on special offer at my new store and look forward to having regular specials and seasonal items as we progress through the year.  It is going to take a little getting used to but the system as operated by Big Cartel appears to use a simpler way of uploading items than Etsy (not complaining about Etsy, it served its purpose for me).   I discovered this afternoon that once an item sells it is still visable to the public although it does say sold out if you click through to the description.  This is something I need to keep an eye on but once I get the hang of things I think that it will be a lot quicker and easier to maintain the store as well as having a much more luxurious and individual look about it although I’ll let you all be the judge of that!

Lastly the power of the internet is a wonderful thing.  When the boutique store finally went live late yesterday afternoon I posted a quick tweet for all of you following me on Twitter, congratulations to Olwyn who is now the proud owner of this gorgeous felt vessel! 

Felt vessel combining C1 and Herdwick

Large experimental landscape felted at last!

Yesterday I was able to finish the large felt landscape that I had started at the beginning of the adverse weather conditions recently.  You may remember that I had been playing around laying out loads of different fibres and broken up pieces of cobweb felt for my design, it had been languishing for the last couple of weeks damp in my bath!  

Landscape prior to reworking

 

Anyway, here is a photo o f the piece yesterday morning before I got down to re-wetting and fulling the felt.  At this stage it measured approx 85cm X 49cm and you can see that the sky area looks slightly pinkish.

I boiled up a couple of kettles (STILL no heat or hot water!) and immersed the felt into a basin of hot soapy water.  It took a bit of dunking and squishing before the fibres totally absorbed the water but once I was sure everything was saturated I soaped heavily and then rolled the piece firmly using my old bamboo blind.  Because I was aiming for a nice textured surface and didn’t want too even a surface I didn’t roll for too long, just enough to totally felt the piece and once finished the completed landscape now measures 77cm X 49cm. 

The finished landscape

As you can see from this picture of the finished landscape the sky now is white with grey wisps for clouds and extremely pale pink strands of gauze streaking it in places.  It is hard to describe how like the mountains surrounding me these colours actually are.  Where my farmhouse is situated at Clasheen the Blackstairs Mountains  almost enclose me and every morning I am woken up to an ever changing view for inspiration! 

Silk threads highlight the hills

 

The finished landscape is now ready for a new home!  To me it is completed as it is and would be a wonderful reminder of Ireland for a special friend.  I do think however that if there are any needle felters, embellishers or stitchers out there it would also make an amazing base to work your magic on!!  I am going to put the landscape up for sale in my Etsy store as soon as I have had a coffee (internet connection permitting) and am happy to include some extra fibres if anyone would like to play around and embellish the surface some more.

Back in the felting saddle at last and new companion blog Clasheen Uncut!

I had just written a long post about my first felting workshop o f 2010 and aggh, the internet connection went while I was uploading the data and for some obscure reason the whole post was lost bar the tags.  Forgive this extremely short and abbrigged version but I am terrified that the link will go again and  just want to update you on Saturdays return to the felting saddle!!!

On Saturday printmaker and papermaker Sylvia joined me in the morning for her first felting experience.  Luckily the water was back in time although since I’ve been on the computer this morning my immersion has given up the ghost, loads of loud electricial noises and now the wretched thing appears to have stopped functioning.   Thankfully the kitchen range keeps the downstairs of the house realtively warm while the central heating is not working so once Sylvia had selected her wool this is where we decided to lay out her vessel.  She used a combination of apple green, teal and white Icelandic wool with some blue mulberry silk, white cotton gauze and white tencel tops (at least I think that they are tencel!) for surface decoration.

Sylvia working the inside of her felt vessel

 

If any of you would like to have a go felting with the Icelandic wool it is GREAT for vessels.  I am offering simple felting kits and wool for sale through my Etsy shop, just let me know if there is any special colour that you require. 

Sylvia with her beautiful completed felt vessel

 

I am sure that you will all agree Sylvia’s finished vessel is amazing, what a great first felting project. 

Before the internet connection gives up the ghost I just want to announce my new blog Clasheen Uncut!  This is the place where I will ramble about all my non felting projects so why not pop over and have a look if you can spare the time.

Felting kits for sale in my Etsy store at last!

My first batch of felting kits are finally up for sale in my Etsy store as of this afternoon.  I can’t believe how long it has taken to get to this stage, really I am kicking myself they were not up earlier but truthfully I just seem to have been totally snowed under with other important things as you may have guessed from my recent posts! 

Some of the wool for my new flat felting kits

Each kit contains between 110g and 120g Icelandic wool in mixed colours, a small bag with various embellishments which might include beads, buttons or fancy yarn, bubble wrap and full written instructions on how to make your flat felt masterpiece.  The kits make ideal presents for crafty male and female friends, both adults and children alike.

After Christmas (not going to be too ambitious about the date this time!) I will also be offering nuno felt kits, felt jewellery kits and simple felt vessel kits.  Realistically I need to write up clear instructions for all the tutorials, order in  more silk for the nuno kits, cut out resists for the vessel kits and basically take some good images of each individual kit to upload to Etsy.  The weather has been so bad here recently that I have not been able to take individual shots of the flat felting kits (they kept flying off the table this afternoon in the wind!), at the moment I only have the one photo but in the absence of any others I guess it will just have to do for now!

New tutorial, felting kits and photos as promised of the nuno felt scarflettes

At last I have my flat felting tutorial written and can start to put up my felting kits for sale in my Etsy store!  It needed the craft fair this weekend to really focus me, not having access to a printer at the moment is a big pain but hopefully next week I can get out to buy a new one.  Eventually I have decided that each flat felting kit will include simple instructions  (with a more detailed version here online), bubble wrap, wool batts and some nice extra bits and bobs of fibre to add surface decoration and design to the felt.  This afternoon I am going to email the instructions to my good friend Jan and hopefully she will be able to have some printed for me to include in the kits for this weekend at Raheen Craft Fair.

Meanwhile, the weather has been very dull this morning, rainy and cold, so forgive my photography skills if these images look a little bit grey and lacklustre.   As promised here are the two nuno felt scarflettes made using the same silk, one with turquoise and the other with hot orange merino.   

Detail of orange nuno felt scarflette

 

Detail of turquoise nuno felt scarflette

 

I love the surface texture of these pieces, the silk seems to be a little thicker than chiffon but not as thick as ponge, I’m not sure exactly what it is but I think the end result is nice!