Felting crazy, I’m having a busy few days but who’s counting?

I’ve been felting a lot, working on a comission and trying to finish some pieces over the last few days.  Today I have also had to finalise my presentation for the Crafts Council (promoting a craft business through social media, to be delivered at the RDS tomorrow), been to Cushendale Woolen Mill, filled up the truck, been to the bank, taken some pictures and uploaded 6 brooches to my Big Cartel store.  I’ve also taken the decision to change the default currency in the store to Euros.  This is an effort to reduce my stress levels (ha, ha!) and save some time, hopefully it will mean I actually get more work online for sale, that’s the idea anyhow!  On Friday I will be at the Knit and Stitch Show having a good look at all the lovely goodies on offer as well as facilitating a mini workshop at the ‘Learning Curve’, please give me a buzz or call to the Feltmakers Ireland stand if you are at the show and we can have a coffee!!!

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Nuno felt scarf and wrap pics at last!

Today I managed to take some pictures of the nuno felt scarf and wrap I felted using some of Kool-Aid dyed merino and ponge silk from the weekend.

Peaches and cream nuno felt wrap

No, we don’t have Kool-Aid here in Ireland but I am lucky to have a good US friend who knows I love it (NOT to drink but to dye with!!!), thanks Kristi!  It’s also on my ‘to buy’ list when I visit Jamie and Blas, Sharon and Emma, Dawn and Jan, the special friends who are so good to host felting workshops on my amazing trips across the water.

Incredibly, not only have I taken pictures of the two pieces but I also managed to revisit my Big Cartel online shop and get them listed earlier this afternoon.  Woo hoo, finally I have some items for sale again and not just languishing in my wardrobe!  I am also just about start a new page to update all my links and let you see which websites and blogs I follow, for today however enough is enough, I need to cook some food now and have a tasty supper!!!

Nuno felt scarf with matching flower brooch

Wonderful workshops with Lyda Rump underway!

Sorry about the lack of posts since last Tuesday, I am TOTALLY engrossed in Lyda Rump’s visit and our wonderful felting workshops!  Lyda arrived from the airport on Wednesday and Thursday was spent together visiting Cushendale Woolen Mills and Kilkenny city.  In the late afternoon friend and Irish feltmaker Maureen arrived and the rest of the day was spent chatting and having a ‘show and tell’ of Lyda’s felt!  The following morning another felting friend Cristina arrived to stay and then we were all set for more friends and participants to come for the felted accessories workshop.

Gerd's glam brooch

Here are just two pictures from the first day’s workshop to tantalise you, full report and loads of pictures to follow over the next few days when I have time to stop and catch my breath! 

Detail from Maureen's neckpiece

Some simple felt accessories fit for a ball (well maybe an informal Golf Club dance!)

Tomorrow evening I have to show my face at the Golf Club Captain’s Dinner.  Being on a budget I was wracking my brain deciding what to wear (it is informal this year which is unusual) when to my absolute delight I found my ‘lost’ black velvet trousers!  I managed to pick up an inexpensive plain turquoise top that compliments them perfectly so today I set myself the task of creating some eye-catching accessories to glam up the outfit.

Turquoise and black nuno felt brooch with Victorian button

Turquoise and black nuno felt brooch with Victorian button

My mother is lending me a gorgeous diamante bracelet of my grandmother’s and I wanted to make a matching nuno felt brooch using this fantastic Victorian button for the centrepiece.   I was lucky enough to pick up the button in a charity shop while in the States and the nuno felt seemed the perfect setting to really show it off!  I cut out a rough circle of pongee silk, laid one layer of short fibred merino on top and within a very short space of time the brooch was made.  Not being too fussy about the evenness of the circle makes for a simple organic shape and I like this brooch so much that I think I will make some more of them tomorrow morning and put them up for sale!

My next project was a small black evening bag and for this I used an old resist that I already had and made it a little bit smaller.  I wanted a clutch (purse for those of you over the water) which was easy to carry and not too big, something just to keep a little bit of money, car keys and the obligatory lip balm that I always manage to mislay!  To jazz it up and tie the whole outfit together I have just finished another nuno flower to stitch onto the flap, this time using turquoise silk felted with a deeper turquoise merino.

Exciting news re. felting wool, Clasheen Autumn Swap and last chance to view Sculpture in Context

There never seem to be enough hours in a day to fit in all the things that I really want to do.  Luckily my flu is now 90% over so I am starting to plough through all the paperwork and outstanding letters/emails etc. that built up over the 4 weeks while I was away from home.  My exciting news of the day however concerns the Icelandic wool that I will soon be selling from my Etsy store, I haven’t linked through this time because I need to wait until the wool arrives and get the images uploaded first!  The colours are fabulous and as well as offering different weights of the wool for sale I also intend putting some fun kits together with clear (hopefully!) instructions on how to make various different items.  The Icelandic wool is superb for structural work, bags, vessels, sculpture, light shades etc. and also could be used for warm scarves although would not be as soft as merino when worn directly against the skin.  Please let me know what you think about putting felting kits together, I was thinking along the lines of …..  beginners flat felt, simple felt vessel, felt purse, felt flower, felt necklace, felt brooch etc. and then a kit with instructions for a first nuno felt scarf using the fantastic short fibred merino I import from Filzrausch.  I would include all the raw materials including embellishments and any findings, clear but simple instructions and enough bubble wrap and resist where necessary to complete the project.  All comments gratefully received!

This Thursday is the deadline for all Clasheen Autumn Swap packages to be on their way across the globe!  If you have been one of our gang participating this time please remember to get your goddies out and then to leave a message of thanks and pictures to the Clasheen Crafty Swaps pool on Flickr as soon as you receive your own package.  If for any reason you are going to be a day or two late getting to the post PLEASE just leave a message on our message board.  Everyone understands if a delay occurs (so long as it is not every time!) and it just relieves the pressure on both ends of the swap.

Next Monday I will be taking down my felt ‘Cascade’ from Sculpture in Context so if you have not yet visited the Irish National Botanic Gardens in Dublin to view the exhibition now is your last chance.  Check out this article from the Irish Times.

Article in the Irish Times

Article in the Irish Times