Exhibition set up at last and sneak look at latest Wikio rankings

This morning I made the final adjustments to my space at Grennan Mill Craft School and decided enough was enough, 7 vessels, 2 sculptures and 1 framed piece with a little free machine embroidery.  It’s always nerve wracking but exciting participating in any show and since this is actually my first solo exhibition the stress and worries about the felt I am showing and how the work is displayed are amplified about a thousand fold! Alan was brilliant setting up smart little spot lights on industrial looking tracks for me and Eileen’s plinths look great now that I have given them another couple of coats of paint.  The little holes in the wall are all filled in and painted again as is the radiator and this morning I finished cutting up hundreds of business cards which I printed last night, of course if my house and studio were tidy and organised it would be possible to locate my beautiful professional cards which are just lurking somewhere in all their pristine glory, that’s another story!!!  Fellow exhibitior Brendan Brennan and I helped Grennan Mill director extrodinare Alex Meldrum put up directional signs in Thomastown and now all our fingers are crossed for warm weather tomorrow afternoon to get everybody in a good mood for the official opening at 5.30!  I’ll try and take some pictures then but hopefully we’ll be run off our feet and they might have to wait until another day.

I’m delighted to say that I am still in the top 10 for the latest Wikio knitting blog rankings, here is the sneak preview for this month …..

1 pennies per hour of pleasure
2 needled
3 Daisie Days
4 Confessions of a YarnAddict
5 ysolda
6 The Woolly Adventures of a Knitting Kitty
7 Clasheen by Nicola Brown
8 Wendy Knits
9 Little Cotton Rabbits
10 Lixie Knits It
11 The mogs blog, the meanderings of a cat through yarn and life
12 Dyed in the Wool
13 glittyknittykitty
14 Northern Lace
15 Carolee Crafts
16 Chatiryworld
17 mooncalfmakes
18 Art Yarn
19 Quelle Erqsome
20 Purlpower

Ranking made by Wikio

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Addled …..

At this stage I am totally addled and don’t know whether I am coming or going as regards the finishing of my work for Kilkenny Arts Festival.  Thanks to Carmen, Jean and Cristina who all have kept me sane over the last couple of days and Dawn and Chrissie who have put up with some depressed and frustrated emails, you guys are the best!!!  Constructive and objective advice from good friends is just what I needed, now I am felting one last piece today then tomorrow I head over to my buddy Eileen‘s house first thing in the morning.  Eileen really stepped up to the plate today when I discovered that the plinths I had been going to use are not actually available after all, big panic that is thankfully all sorted out now, thanks Eileen!

On another note I was blown away by all the birthday wishes I recieved on Saturday, amazing the power of the internet!!!  It just goes to show that we really can make true friends online and once the fuss of getting my show set up in Grennan dies down I am really looking forward to spending a week or so tidying up around the house and doing some weeding (not sure how effective that will be, it’s like a jungle outside with all this rain we are getting!) in advance of Chrissie’s trip here later in the month.  Imagine this will be the first time EVER that Chrissie and I will actually meet in the flesh!!!  We are planning a party to celebrate the launch of our book, please keep Saturday 20th August free in your diary if you would like to visit Clasheen and  have a chance to meet Chrissie yourself!

a meeting of minds…
By Chrissie Day and N…

Whew ………………………

Since Saturday I have  enjoyed a very successful Lady Captain’s Day at Borris Golf Club, uninstalled my work from the Blueprint exhibition, played 18 holes in Castlecomer as practice for Wednesday’s golf match, delivered my work for the final round of judging in the National Craft Competition and attended a ‘Lease and Legal’ meeting at the golf club!  Whew, I am making myself tired so off to bed now in prep for my match tomorrow, felting resumes on Thursday!!

Short felt and golf update update with a little bit of knitting thrown in for good measure!

I have been really busy this week catching up with all the jobs left undone over the last while and preparing for my Lady Captain’s Day at Borris Golf Club which is taking place tomorrow!  On Wednesday I had an interview at the Crafts Council which might lead to me being on a panel of makers called on if residencies or projects are looking for textile artists in this area although because I have already participated in a project last year they have said that new makers will get preference.  Today Carmen and I are giving a felting demo at our local country market in the morning and this afternoon I am invigilating at the Blueprint show in Carlow.  Yesterday night I as I followed the latest matches of the World Cup I cast on for Jane Thornley’s stunning Feather and Fan organic wrap because I wanted something to do while I was sitting in the exhibition space minding the work.  Yes, this is knitting I know and I never thought that I would be enjoying getting stuck into any knitting project except something chunky worked with recycled fabric or plarn!  Purely by chance as I was searching the internet seeking patterns for torn fabric worked on huge needles I managed to stumble into Jane’s site and info re. a knitting retreat in Taos, one of my all time favourite places in the world!!!  I became totally hooked instantly.  The organic mix of yarn and fibres which Jane champions really appeals to me and the freestyle shapes she has designed look a perfect match for some of my Blue Fish linen and hemp!  Still no word from the American Embassy re. my vias requirements so I am planning on trying to actually see someone when I am in Dublin next week delivering my piece for the final round of the National Crafts Competition judging.  Ordering the wool today for the rug that I have been comissioned to felt, should have probably ordered it a week or so ago but just don’t seem to have had the time to settle down and deal with the ordering process!

Opening photo, unwinding a bit, stunning package in the post …..

Unfortunately the photos I took of my work on Friday evening as the Blueprint opening got underway are not good quality. 

Blueprint Exhibition for Eigse

I thought you might like to see a shot of my set up however and when I am in Carlow during the week invigilating I am going to bring my bigger camera and try to take some better more detailed shots.  The two larger wall hangings and a small framed piece are hung on the wall to the right and overall I was happy enough with how the felt looked on the night.  I don’t think from this photo that you can get any idea what the inside of the grey pod (on the plinth) is like but I felted some ovals of black sequined fabric into the light grey inside and these pick up the colours in the large grey wall hanging and the small grey textured piece on the front of the other plinth.  Thanks to my friends who made the effort to attend the opening, it was much appreciated!

Today I am unwinding a bit, answering a few emails, uploading a few images to Flickr, hoping and waiting for a call from the American Embassy re. what exact visa I need to travel on this Fall and since the postman came (or woman as it was today) drooling over the most AMAZING package I received from Jayne as part of the Ravelry Colour Swap number 7.  Head on over to Flickr if you would like to see the full package and to Clasheen Uncut to see a close up of the most LUSCIOUS fibre and hand made button but for now be prepared to admire the amazing ‘Ishbel’ that Jayne dyed and knitted especially for me ! 

Ishbel - dyed and knitted for me by Jayne!

Opening tonight, short American update at last and advance notice of special felt sale!

Just about to hop into the bath before heading to Carlow for the opening of both the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival and more specifically to finish hanging (or draping!) my pieces for the Blueprint exhibition, one of the fringe events.  I did bring most of my felt in on Wednesday but took it home in the evening (didn’t want the undyed pieces to get filthy until all the tidying up was finished) and also the plinths that friend and sculptor Eileen McDonagh was kind enough to lend me for the show.  Once I saw the space I had been allocated it became obvious that I would only be able to hang two wall hangings and not three as planned but instead I have been allowed to drape one on the ground (this particular piece is actually a rug anyway!) beside my plinths and I actually think that this livens up the space nicely and provides a splash of colour in the centre of the room.  My worry about this had been that some of the members of Blueprint might consider it craft (as obviously it is, the criteria for this group is non functional items) but anyway all’s well that ends well and the rug stays on the ground!  I gave both plinths a fresh lick of white emulsion and overall was happy enough with the lay out of my space, will take photos today hopefully and let you all be the final judges!!  Because this is a non-curated event participants are free to show what they want within the confines of their own area.   The art work on display is therefore both interesting and varied.  Although not everything is to my taste it will never be at any exhibition, this is part of the excitement and I do feel that the group will have a positive response from the public when we open tonight at 6pm!

A VERY short American update, everything will be sorted next week I hope ……. Michigan dates 9th, 10th and 11th October, Loomis probably 25th, 26th and 27th September and San Fransisco and Berkeley between 29th September and 7th October!!!  I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

Next week I am going to put up quite a few items in my new online shop and have a very special sale.   I will be donating a large percentage of every purchase to a really good cause so please tell your friends as soon as I have all the info announced!

Exhausted, elated, frustrated …….

Exhausted ….. wrists tired, brain worn out, plinths to paint and work to finish for the Blueprint exhibition in Eigse.

Elated ….. felt delivered for the South East Textile exhibition which opens on Friday 11th June between 6 and 8pm in the Watergarden, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, all welcome!  The show continues for two weeks and features a mixture of textile disciplines and styles showcasing the work of both experienced and new members of this exciting group; been called for an interview to a panel I am very interested in; adult and child felting workshop confirmed as part of the Cashel Arts Fest in November.

Frustrated ….. spent approx 4 hours yesterday trying to finish my final piece for Eigse but in order to get the finished dimensions I wanted fulled it so firmly that the really complex series of resists inside became one with the felt, eventually just cut it up into tiny pieces in frustration!

Lastly ….. don’t expect any sense from me for a couple of days until my work is delivered and installed.  Next week I am taking some time to relax without deadlines and will be in touch with everyone re work, emails, swap buddies, potential American workshop hosts, in short all of you waiting for a little slice of my time!