Felting photos from yesterday!

Little felt vessel sitting on the wall

Dorothy, Betty, Una, Mary and Ann behind their fabulous bags!

Time is of the essence at the moment, apologies  for the lack of words but do head over to look at yesterday’s photos and here is one of my little vessel inspired by the ancient stone walls around me. 

I have just uploaded a load of photos from our wonderful afternoon yesterday to Flickr, Mena, Dorothy, Betty, Mary and Ann choose to felt large bags with integrated handles, Una a kindle cover and Helen a needle felted landscape into a wet felted background for this, our final session of the current series.  It is fantastic to review just how much knowledge the Borris Active Retirmement ladies have learnt during the last year, we have had three series of 12 hours each and by now all the participants are able to felt quite complicated bags, hats and vessels using the resist method, flat felt landscapes, needle felt embellishments and beautiful fun jewellery and accessories.  Everyone seems a dab hand with a needle so much of the work has been embellished with stitching and beading at home, beautiful teapot covers, bags and cushions have been stitched, lined and finished as the pictures on Flickr show off to best advantage!!!

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!

A moment of calm, beautiful new scarf and some fun felting photos!

Surprisingly I am ahead of myself time wise this morning.  Both letters of acceptance for the Arts Act Grant and ArtL!nks Bursary completed, one wash finished and another ready to go into the washing machine, paperwork underway to sign off on the work completed with the Borris Active Retirement Group, washing up done and some pictures uploaded to Flickr, amazing considering it is still only 10.18 here in the land of the leprechaun’s!  EDITED TO SAY that obviously this time saving was too good to be true!!!  For some reason WordPress is behaving very strangely this morning and I can’t seem to get the images where I want them and the captions in the right place.  Forgive the odd lay out of this post but hopefully you get the meaning!

My beautiful woven silk scarf from Tisserande

I promised you yesterday I would post about the wonderful swap package I recieved from Gill aka tisserande as part of the Spring Clasheen Crafty Swap on Flickr.  The colours of the stunning silk scarf Gill wove for me look absolutely amazing when pictured beside the dark purple aquilegias and fresh spring greens of the honeysuckle.  Until I read the little enclosed note I wasn’t sure what the fibre was but am happy to confirm it is woven from spun silk, bourette silk and sari silk, so soft against the skin and it drapes beautifully!!!  The other goodies included some yummy fibres, amazing walnut dyed tussah silk, alpaca tops, bamboo tops and a nice creamy soya fibre.   Gill also included citron flavoured organic chocolate, wooden buttons, a great French cookery magazine (yes, I can understand 90%!) and a lovely hand made card.  Thanks so much Gill, I love it all!!!  If any of you are interested in checking out Gill’s textiles you can visit her Etsy shop, you won’t be disappointed! 

Over the course of the last 5 weeks I have been having great fun felting with the ladies of the Borris Active Retirement Group.  We have covered topics including flat felting, ‘cords, balls and flowers’, simple felt bags using the resist method and nuno felt scarves. 

Mary working the stem of her flower

For our last session today participants are going to be selecting from my stash of beads and buttons to complete the jewellery and other projects they have been working on over the last while and everyone will have the opportunity to felt one last flower or other small item as a wrap up to the course. 

Dorothy and Betty rolling their scarves in harmony

I have had such fun sharing the joys of felting with the women (no men from the group decided to participate!) and considering none of them had ever felted before the work produced has been absolutely amazing!!!  We have decided to have an exhibition and a ‘show and tell’ of all the completed work a little later in the summer.  This will give members who were not able to attend an idea of what they were missing and our plan is to have another session of workshops later in the year as all the participants would like to take their new craft further! 

Una working her beautiful silk chiffon and merino nuno felt scarf

These pictures of some of the women felting are from our session last week (thanks Michael from taking the shots) and hopefully I will have more to share with you tomorrow if I remember to bring my camera with me later today! 

Anne felting her flower

‘Spring Swap’ update

Just a very short post today to let any of you who don’t already know that the Spring Clasheen Crafty Swap deadline has been extended allowing all of us (me included!) to post out our parcels no later than Friday 14th May!  Check out the group on Flickr over the next couple of weeks to see all the fantastic goodies that are winging their way around the world brightening up someones day and sharing our love of fibre and crafting.  I have a hectic day lined up today as blogged about yesterday over at Clasheen Uncut and if you want to enter a competition for a fantastic nuno felt top by Chrissie details are also over on the companion website!  I promise that wet weather or not pictures WILL be taken tomorrow and uploaded to the web and I will also have details of an exciting vessel or bag workshop that I am facilitating at the end of the month.

Pictures of my new fabric and felt neckpiece design

As promised here are some pictures of my new style (loosly based on a Lyda Rump design) fabric and felt neckpiece. 

Printed silver fabric and black felt bead neckpiece

The scarves that I have used in my first two prototypes are a 20% silk 80% linen mix and the beads are wet felted from some of my gorgeously soft short fibred merino.  When I was taking these pictures I thought again how perfect this style would be for anyone who  is allergic to wool.  The felt beads may be moved around the scarf and never touch the skin therefore anyone finding wool itchy would never come in contact with anything irritable.

Detail of printed fabric and felt bead neckpiece

I formed one long felt bead around a wooden dowel and just before I had finished felting cut the piece into five even pieces.  The black beads perfectly compliment the silver printed fabric and I am still deciding if I will add small seed beads to the turquoise neckpiece (pictures on Flickr) or leave it as is, plain and simple.  As mentioned before I sewed the ends of the scarf together and covered the join with a felt bead.  It would of course be an option not to do this but leave the ends open, this way the scarf could be wound around the neck in the normal manner as many times as wanted leaving the ends free to sit to the front or to the back.

I am off now to have a quick snack for lunch and then set in to a long afternoon felting in preparation for Sunday’s craft fair!  Until tomorrow …..

Mystery of the lost post, incorporating pongee silk and the Clasheen Winter Swap

Well, I have just spent an extremely frustrating and puzzling time trying to locate my blog post and images of the printing on felt from yesterday.  I knew that it had gone live thanks to your welcome comments so imagine my surprise this morning when I was giving a bit of a demo on blogging to a couple of colleagues from the tourism course and discovered that it had gone!  I double checked that I had published it as a public post, kept opening and closing the website until finally I decided to check out my date setting (Alan’s spring clean is not as good as earlier envisaged!!) and voila, the problem is now solved.  This got me to thinking how many of my other posts will now reappear? Time will tell.

Yesterday afternoon I made a stunning merino and ponge silk scarf in black, dark turquoise and light turquoise.  I tore the ponge into squares and strips and laid them in a design on top of the soft merino and then covered the rest of the surface in light turquoise mulberry silk.  The ponge felted into the merino beautifully and the mulberry silk adds a sophisticated sheen to the whole scarf, definitely a design to be repeated.  This will be uploaded to my Etsy store tomorrow morning and hopefully will find a home as quickly as the nuno wrap which Carole bought yesterday, thanks Carole!

Before I sign off for the afternoon (fever has returned and I am just going to call it a day) why not check out the Clasheen Crafty Swap pool on Flickr to see the fantastic goodies that participants have been exchanging in our current Autumn swap?  The Winter Swap is now open for sign ups so if you didn’t know about it before or you have been a little bit apprehensive about joining don’t!  In order to participate you just need to join our group on Flickr (only takes a minute or two to sign up) and then Flickr mail me with your details, everyone welcome so please tell your friends as well.

‘Felt in Focus’ group on Flickr and Sigrid Bannier’s arrival on Thursday

Before I left Denmark to travel home to Ireland I borrowed Holly’s computer and set up a Flickr group for ‘Felt in Focus’.  The idea for this is that the participants and organisers can share photos and continue friendships by participating in the discussion board through the group.  Why not have a look at the photos for yourself to get a flavour of what the various workshops had to offer?  I emailed the organisers today and hopefully they will be forwarding the info about the new group on to everyone who attended and over the next few weeks we should see a lot more images of work in progress and the finished items!

Sigrid arrives on Thursday and I am looking forward to catching up and learning from her again!  There are still a couple of places available for the nuno mosaic workshop on 5th, incorporating found objects into your felt on 6th and the lampshade 2-day workshop on 7th and 8th August.  Please contact me if you are interested in attending, all materials are provided and fun is guaranteed!

Felt vessels and great swap package

I have now uploaded some images of the felt vessels that I made for the Blueprint exhibition to my Flickr account.  With the exception of one bowl I decided to use all undyed fibres and keep the theme simple and stylish.  Probably the vessel that I am most satisfied with is a grey and white bowl with three oval pebbles stitched on as embellishment. 

Natural wool, stone and linen vessel

Natural wool, stone and linen vessel

Carmen gave me some raw linen thread to use for the stitching and I must say it does lend to the overall effect.  It really reinforces the thought that I have to get a bit more comfortable with a needle, judicious stitching can really enhance the style and feel of an item particularly when the thread has been chosen with care to complement or contrast.

The Clasheen Crafty Swap for Summer is well underway now, currently we have 98 members in our group and the numbers are growing weekly!  Swapping is a brilliant way to make friends and swap goodies with partners from all around the world, my most recent and wonderful swap package arrived on Monday afternoon from krobin in the Ravelry Cowl Swap.  In this secret swap we had to knit or crochet a cowl for our partner, send yarn and another cowl pattern and also include a few little extras taking into account the likes and dislikes of our swap buddy. 

Fantastic swap package
Fantastic swap package

My brilliant package included the hand knitted cowl, 3 crochet hooks, chocolate, yarn, pattern, pretzels, incense, my favourite ginger and orange bath lotion, ginger soap and some tasty chai tea!!!  Need I say more, EVERYTHING is me to a tee!

For my secret partner I crocheted a cowl in a silk/merino mix and finished it off with three buttons from my stash, hopefully my buddy will like it as it is in her favourite autumn colours!  I have bought some locally produced yarn from Cushendale Wollen Mill and yesterday got some chocolate and little extra goodies when I was in Carlow to complete my package.  Hopefully I will get it all together this afternoon (in between some dreaded cleaning in prep for Alan’s arrival home!) and it will be winging it’s way to the States tomorrow morning. 

Please bear with me through internet problems!

Sorry about the lack of posts over the last few days, I seem to be having internet problems coupled with almost no time to investigate the cause!  For some reason my gmail is up the creek so I am having problems with comments and this morning I had problems accessing WordPress.  Anyway, if you want to have a look at an experimental piece that I made recently check out my Flickr images, it is a small ‘rug’ made using the Osman technique but emphasing the bumps and ridges formed where I laid out less wool.  I like the effect and am planning a much larger scale piece, this one was designed using swirling water as inspiration and for the larger rug I am debating creating a mountain inspired abstract landscape.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I will get time to write a proper post, off to get ready for another day on the road!

Brilliant new felting book, wonderful swap package and new Clasheen swap news!!

Wow, I got some GREAT packages in the post last night!!  Check out Lizzie Houghton’s new book ‘Felting Fashion’, it is brilliant but especially if you are interested in creating wonderful nuno felt wearables!

Felting Fashion by Lizzie Houghton

Felting Fashion by Lizzie Houghton

I first read about this book approximately a month ago (it was pre-publication at that stage) and then members of Feltmakers Ireland who attended the International Feltmakers Association AGM raved about it when they saw a copy.  I was delighted to see that it was available through the English Amazon site although I think that it might be October before our American counterparts get it on the other side of the world.  Anyway, do try and get your hands on a copy if you are at all interested in felting clothes, the images alone make it worth the small investment, my copy cost less than E20 incl p & p from ‘The Book Depository’. 

Nuno felt berets and hats

Nuno felt berets and hats

Just a quick tip re Amazon, I always check out the used books first.  Although it sounds strange they are nearly always new and a fraction of the price of the actual ‘new’ ones!!  Two other textile related books that I had ordered arrived yesterday as well as did my amazing ‘Felted Purse (Bag) Exchange’ swap package from Darlene.  This exchange was organised through Ravelry and using my colour preferences my swap buddy Darlene (Ktoggal on Ravelry) made me a gorgeous knitted bag in reds, orange and plum which was then fulled in the washing machine. 

My gorgeous bag from Darlene

My gorgeous bag from Darlene

I LOVE the bag thanks Darlene and all the extra little goodies are gorgeous, I particularly love the scent of the blackcurrant mineral bath soak!!  Would you like to participate in the new Clasheen swap???

NEW CLASHEEN SWAP  For this next swap I thought that it would be a nice idea to exchange something small, handmade and wearable such as a corsage, piece of jewellery, scarf or a clutch bag.  Please sign up via the Clasheen Crafty Swap group on Flickr, it would be great to have participants again from all around the world!!