I love this picture taken after my workshop at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber festival today, check out the beautiful smiles and fab felt flowers. We started our first flower just using short fibre merino but adding plenty of bamboo for embellishment, the second flowers included a stem, silk, bamboo and loads of lovely alpaca locks from generous sposnors Alpaca Fiber Solutions! I'm heding for an early night now, well done with the flowers ladies, I look forward to seeing some of you again next weekend.
I spent a great afternoon facilitating a 'Fun Felt Flower' workshop for Geraldine and her lovely granddaughter Orla at Duckett's Grove yesterday. During the course of the two hours, Geraldine and Orla felted two flowers each (the first without a stem the second with) while I felted two myself and finished a commission of a flower bolo which I'd started earlier in the morning. Instead of felting a third flower each the ladies went for a stroll around the gardens then headed home with wool and embellishments to have for another day.
They'll felt together again and show Orla's mum how the flowers are made, what a great birthday gift from any granny to her granddaughter!!!
I haven't forgotten that some of you are asking for instructions about how the stems are made and attached, it's been CRAZY here with mum's move and the Gaelscoil project etc. but I do promise to try and get it done for you sometime later this week! Now I'm heading to the bath, then Duckett's Grove and then back home to do yet more organising. I've been up since early this morning and already have the truck full of useful items that I don't need to deliver (to a friend who works in the community) and yet more boxes to bring to the recycling centre. Onwards and upwards……. emails, flights to Portugal, Facebook messages and other online stuff will be dealt with later tonight!
Gosh, it took me 50 minutes to drive approx 11 miles to my felting class in Myshall last night and over one hour to get myself home, thanks snow! I took a less hilly (but longer) route on the homeward journey, a rear wheel drive pick up truck (without 4 wheel drive) just doesn't cut to the chase in wintery conditions, especially considering our rural hills never get gritted or salted.
Nevertheless, the participants who managed to weather the icy conditions created a beautiful array of sunny looking flowers, well done everyone!
Although is was FREEZING at Duckett's Grove yesterday I had a lovely afternoon facilitating a 'fun felt flower' workshop. Next Saturday is a beginners and improvers full day workshop, we'll be working on flat felt pictures so if you'd like to join us please email me ASAP! Check out these beautiful flowers from yesterday, I love the different colour combinations!
Check out this yummy box of fibre I received from Roo Kline this week complete with beautiful handmade shawl pin!!! Roo and Elizabeth from Alpaca Fiber Solutions are the amazing sponsors for my nuno felt neckpiece workshop at this years' Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, we are going to have a ball!
I can't wait to dive in but I so want to felt something special with this, I'll be bringing the samples along with me to all my upcoming US workshops.
Alpaca of this quality is a total pleasure to work with, it's not a fibre easily accessed here but once you know a good supplier…..keep them!
On the everyday side of things my current project is coming along really nicely at the Gaelscoil in Carlow, to date I've worked with 300 pupils and by next Monday afternoon another 150 will have had their first experience felting! As a result I've not actually done a lot of felting at home myself over the last two weeks as my fingers are all wrinkled by the time I leave Carlow and my back's aching, I've been trying out a few polymer clay ideas instead. Thanks Elaine (editor of the polymer clay section at Craft Gossip) for linking to the post I wrote recently about my first 'official' necklace, it's always nice to get a thumbs up. I'll be facilitating a felt flower workshop at Duckett's Grove on Saturday so I plan on felting quite a few flowers and other small items then! I'll leave you with a link to a picture of a flower head piece that Mary felted this week (Mary was one of my super students at the VEC recently), I think that it's gorgeous.
The last few weeks have been interesting and fruitful, I finally feel that I’ve established a sustainable routine and am starting to both felt a lot more and feel a bit more creative. It’s always difficult when you work both for yourself and from home, external demands can be difficult to ignore (others find it difficult to believe if you are at home you actually are working!) and it’s been a learning process adapting to a new studio space and creating work to display there. Working from Duckett’s Grove on Friday, Saturday and Sundays has meant that Clasheen isn’t as untidy as it would usually be (I’m not saying that it’s tidy because unfortunately it’ll never be that!!!) but it does mean that on Mondays it’s easier to continue with or start another project because there are not 101 things to clear away first!
Little three dimensional experiment from Friday
Another big advantage of being in a different setting for part of the week is that I have a lot more time to reflect and think. Up until now I’ve had so many ideas that I’d like to develop swirling around in my brain but never seemed to manage to get the head space and time to think them out properly. Attending Dagmar’s workshop in July allowed me discover different ways of achieving the results that I want and this weekend I had another eureka moment about how I could make a particular shaped vessel that I’ve been wanting to felt for ever so long! The Crafts Council have a call out at the moment for a textile exhibition titled ‘Beauty in Nature’ and I’ve decided to submit three pieces, a large vessel in this new shape (created using the open resist method), a sculpture loosly based on the same shape and some eco printed nuno felt, no pictures yet until I’ve finalised everything and heard back about the submission.
Louise and her mum with the beautiful flowers they felted yesterday!
I did upload pictures from yesterday’s ‘Fun Felt Flower’ workshop this morning to my personal page on FB, for some technical reason I can’t link to the album or share them between my actual FB pages at the moment but if you’d like to see more of Louise and her mum’s fun afternoon yesterday head over there and check out the relevant album!
Well, that’s all for now. I need to head downstairs, wrap and steam a scarf for another eco print experiment (a pale pink pashmina that mum gave me to be printed with a large bundle of eucalyptus leaves from her garden!), felt the sleeveless jacket that I laid out last week in preparation for a fitting tomorrow morning and then light the stove and relax for the evening!!! Wish me luck, I’ll try and post pics to FB as I go along but doubt that I’ll manage to get to emails until tomorrow.