Woo Hoo, it's almost time to head to the airport and collect the wonderful Dawn Edwards, I can't wait, in the meantime it's all go, go, go!!! Here are a few photos in place of words, don't forget that tonight's the night I'll have a small television slot on Nationwide's feature about Ennis Creative Arts Centre and there are a final few places up for grabs at Dawn's fantastic nuno felt hat workshop next weekend. Please contact me ASAP if you'd like to join us in all the fun. Now for those pics……
Gathering patterned, beaded and sequined silk to utilize for nuno felting, I have to confess that on this particular day Dawn and I spent over fours in the one shop, roll on next week!
A beautiful nuno felt hat that Dawn has just felted incorporating vintage lace, here's the full workshop description for those that might be tempted to felt a hat, the dates are Saturday 5th April or Sunday 6th.
This abstract landscape incorporating alpaca and silk is a sample for my full day workshop at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, I'll post upcoming US workshop updates next week hopefully, basic details are over on the workshop page here.
Finally for today, I just love this picture of Linda modelling one of my shorter naturally printed nuno felt wraps at Borris Food & Craft Market a little earlier! This one was printed with rose and blackberry leaves from my garden plus a selection of eucalyptus leaves from Co. Wicklow. I've just had a call from her and she's coming back in to buy it to wear for her daughter's wedding, do I see a trend appearing?
I’m delighted to announce that Dawn will be teaching a second day of her ‘Fantastic Nuno Felt Hats in April, please click here to view the online class description and email me asap if you’d like to book your place!!! Just to remind you what one of Dawn’s nuno felt hats looks like here’s a picture.
emerald green and black felt cloche
Isn’t this an absolute beauty???
I’ll have a selection of goody bags available to purchase on both days, these will have a selection of stunning beaded, sequinned and printed silk to include in the hats so for those of you not having this in your stash, don’t panic!
I’m thrilled to confirm the 5th April nuno felt hat workshop that Dawn will be teaching at Clasheen (or a nearby location in Borris) this April, click here for all the details!!! Eight places have already been provisionally booked, please shout out loud and email me asap if you’d like to be included in all the fun. As soon as the ten places are filled I’ll start a waiting list and if the numbers stack up we’ll run a second day on the Sunday. I actually forgot on the flyer to include the payment details, a 50% deposit will be required to hold a place and the balance is needed by the beginning of next month. OK, I’m off to unwrap some bundles now, bed early and teaching second and third class at Ballymurphy National School in the morning!
I had a hard time of it trying to keep my fingers and hands warm at Duckett’s Grove this weekend. Felting on Saturday morning really was freezing, I’ve only got one electric heater (which is very expensive to run) included in the studio so I finally decided to do a little beading and finishing of projects for Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday.
Most of you know well by know how much I HATE using a needle, however it was very satisfying to end the weekend have brooch backs stitched to a lot of flowers (all delivered to the design shop now) and my latest felt hat beaded. Pauline in Duckett’s Grove Design came up with a novel way of displaying these flowers, she’s requested a long green ‘stem’ which we’re going to suspend against a white background and pin all the flowers along the length, I think this will really show off the mix of colours well! I might include some tendrils with leaves too, it all depends how much time I get to make this before next Friday.
Tomorrow I’m excited to learn the pine needle technique with Leiko, it’s very much more precise than the majority of the felting I usually do, please wish me luck because I think I’ll need it!!! We’ve decided to defer the last two days of the projected retreat, not enough interest at this time of year and unfortunately we didn’t get it together in time to advertise it with the Crafts Council and the VAI. I will be doing more natural printing/dyeing myself during the week and post pictures, I need to get ready now to have another felt jewellery session with Borris Active Retirement.
I tried out a couple of new display ideas at Borris Food and Craft market this morning based on some of the recent research I’ve been doing. Definitely having a well stocked stand has made a difference, it’s almost too full compared to my usual minimalist style and I find it a mental struggle to have so much stock on display, it does seem to work however when it comes to attracting the customers!
All set up and ready to trade
Raising my table (on bed risers bought with Dawn during my MI sojurn) proved quite interesting, I liked the fact that my felt was more accessible and the small table that I placed in front of the main display added another dimension to the effect.
Logs as hat display stands
Finally for today, I LOVED the logs I positioned my two new hats on, why I’ve never thought of these as a display stand before I just don’t know!!! If you’d like to see these pictures in a bigger size just head on over to my personal Facebook page (link on the right), there are a few more showing different aspects too.
I’ve been researching ideas for home made displays wanting to get different height levels to add interest, check out my new board on Pinterest if you would like to see some of the ideas I’ll be putting into practice this festive season! Last night I tried out a cardboard Christmas tree and it worked really well, I just need to get some gold spray now and I’ll get into production mode. I’d pinned another idea recently about attaching an upturned wooden bowl to a wooden kitchen roll holder and using it as a hat stand, the new board has this and other ideas, hopefully it will inspire me to create seasonal interest at the studio, Borris Food and Craft Market and the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet.
Felt hat incorporating naturally printed and dyed silk
This morning I felted a highly textured hat (really a soft edged beret) incorporating some of the smaller pieces of naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on lately. I really want to have nice items to offer customers that compliment each other, I won’t be making many of these but I do think they’ll work wonderfully with some of the nuno felt scarves that I have been enjoying making. Here’s a picture of the finished hat, check out my new album on FB if you’d like to see some pictures of it at the lay out stage.
Thanks to everyone who has expressed such an interest in our ‘niki & niki’ felting tools, we’re blown away by all the orders and inquiries and thrilled with the positive response we’re getting from everyone who has already tried them out!!! Our latest batch of prodders has just arrived to be posted asap and the rest of the tools should be here shortly for those of you who are waiting! Apologies also to one friend and customer who has not yet recieved their package, if it doesn’t arrive any day now we’ll be posting out a replacement as soon as the new delivery of rollers arrives. We’re also considering offering registered mail as an option in the future and letting the purchaser choose whichever postal option they want, this would be less stressful for us in the event of any losses in transit. In response to the numerous enquiries we’ve been getting here is the basic info about the various tools again and in future when I get asked the questions I will have a definite link here to direct people to!
Meg fulling her hat at Dawn’s workshop with our prototype mini minimilast
Firstly I’ll reiterate that the tools are the result of a collaboration with great friend and designer Niki Collier, between us we are offering you tools that we both find invaluable in our own felting studios. I like to roll on top of the bubble wrap at the early stages of the felting process then directly on the felt as it gets stronger and is in the middle of fulling to shrink; several of my projects in the new book ‘Nuno Felting with Nicola Brown and Chrissie Day‘ used the rollers and the vessel used the prodder! Handmade and hard wearing, all ‘niki & niki’ felting tools may be personalised with your own name for an additional $8 up to a total of 10 digits including spaces, never lose a valued piece of felting equipment again!!! Niki is preparing a little care note to post with new orders but suffice to say that a good quality wood oil is perfect for keeping your tools in tip top condition, don’t forget to rinse off any soap also at the end of each felting session. Now for the sizes and prices excl P&P, this is charged according to which country we are posting to…..
The Big One – total length 56cms and an active rolling width of 36cms – $60
The Modest One – total length 50cms and an active rolling width of 30cms – $47
The Minimilast – total length 24.5cms and an active rolling width of 21.5cms – $40 The length of this handleless roller makes it perfect for using both hands together directly on top of the ridged surface
The Mini Minimilast – a shorter handleless roller which we have been testing, final length and prices to be advised shortly
The Prodder – a handmade wooden prodder with a curved end that is a wonderful aid for stretching and shaping felt vessels and sculptures – $11
NB Please remember that I will be away teaching for the next 3 weeks, back for 1 week and then off to teach in Portugal followed by a weeks holiday there, back for one week then off to participate in a 6 day masterclass with Dagmar Binder in Scotland! In tandem with all this excitment and travelling I’m trying to set up my studio in Duckett’s Grove properly (from afar!) and look after the people who will be staying at Clasheen to mind the house and Rex in my absense. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to emails or questions immediately and if I do respond I won’t be writing a missive!!! I really appreciate all your kind comments and wishes for my trip to the US, I really can’t wait to be back and am so looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, I wish I had Dawn here though to help me with my packing!!!!! I’ll leave you today with Meg modelling her finished hat with Dawn, you can check out some of Meg’s other beautiful and stylish hats at Meg Kavanagh Designs!