Stunning Mendocino!

Merridee and I had a lovely time in Mendocino, staying and socialising with friends Susan and Dale by night and felting with a lovely group of ladies by day! Working with participants who have different experience levels is always good fun and interesting, a stunning array of purses, jewellery and nuno wraps were created over the course of the three days and I also had time to discuss design ideas more extensively with one of the experienced felters, hi Flo! I really enjoyed myself watching as each project progressed and I think you'll see from this photo rich post how everyone seems to be happy with their felt, not to mention laughing and relaxing while spending creative time felting together. Thanks Merridee for all your expert help and thanks Susan and Dale for your fun and generous hospitality!

Merridee, Flo, Patty, Sasha, Zanna and me
Flo, Sasha and Zanna
Patty and Merridee
Flo
Sasha's lovely felt beads work brilliantly brilliantly with this fused glass bead that she made

Zanna's fabulous first nuno felt wrap includes silk from two saris that her father gave as a gift to her mother

Flo

Flo, Patty, Sasha and Zanna

I love this picture of Patty, Sasha and Zanna hamming it up for the camera! One final shot for today, Merridee and I joined Susan and Dale for a walk after class one evening, what better way to end the day thank watching the sun set than with friends, wine, cheese, olives and beer!!!

 

 

Wonderful participants from Lake Tahoe and last minute accommodation available at Mendocino!

Merridee, Keith and I have just returned from our action packed felting and natural printing retreat at Lake Tahoe so I'm finally online again after an Internet blackout for the last week. It's going to take me days to recoup and catch up with things but I really wanted to post a picture of our wonderful participants to whet your appetite for more to follow!

From left to right, modelling their first completed nuno felted and printed scarves………. Mariou, Lupe, Julie (kneeling), Leslie, Patty and Tina, great job everyone!!!
There's one room unexpectedly available at the Mendocino Art Center for the three day felting extravaganza this coming weekend (I'm staying with friends of Merridee's therefore the room they had reserved for me is free!) so if anyone is debating considering joining us and felting like crazy, now is the time to shout out loud!

 

Packing plus a Mendocino felting extravaganza suggestion!

As I gather my clothes, samples and supplies ready to pack for my exciting trip to California and Canada I'm doing what I always do, trying to keep my suitcases light! One of the things that I'll definitely be packing is this large multifunctional nuno felt wrap made yonks ago, it's marvellously light and warm thrown around the shoulders but because of the curve I created along one edge also works well as a skirt if needed. It's also going to fit in perfectly with the new Autumn/Winter colour scheme I'm hoping to wear, red, purple and orange with just a few touches of black and lime green!

It got me thinking about how much I'm looking forward to revisiting Mendocino, the landscape, coastline and beautiful setting of the Mendocino Art Center are all so inspiring and I can just see myself felting another large wrap while I'm there, maybe in abalone colours this time! For those of you who will be joining me (and my super assistant Merridee) to participate in the three day felting extravaganza from 27th to 29th September we have plenty of time to tackle larger projects, this wrap has oodles of texture and was felted using the tumble dryer method so none of the traditional rubbing and rolling. I also used a technique when felting it which I'll share during the workshop for cutting out precisely shaped pieces of lightly woven fabric, ideal if you have a design in mind and you want to be really controlled in your detail. Although my design for this one may look very random it actually was not, surprised? Sooooo, if you'd like to experiment with larger nuno felt wraps, shrugs etc. at Mendocino, this is your chance.
Another thing that I'm looking forward to felting is a new red or purple shoulder bag for myself plus some smaller three dimensional pieces of jewellery. Because of all my preparation for the Glucksman Craft Fair at the beginning of November I do seem to have been felting a lot in white recently, obviously this was because I've subsequently naturally printed these pieces and white was the way to go. Mendocino is the perfect excuse to burst out with glorious colour, bring it on!!!
 

 

Preparing for the future…….

These days I seem to be doing a lot of preparation, all good! I'm…..

  • felting, naturally printing and gathering samples for my upcoming retreat with Merridee at Lake Tahoe and the felt/printing workshops in Vancouver and Winnipeg
  • prepring for a three day felting extravaganza at the Mendocino Arts Center (I think there may be a couple of spots left in this one, details on the workshop page) and planning an interesting vessel with handles to bring to same
  • wondering how much colder it'll be in Vancouver and Winnipeg than CA and trying to work out what I'll need to pack for my trip!
  • clarifying exactly where I envisage the main sales side of my business to move towards during 2014 and 2015
  • continuing to experiment with natural printing and dyeing to extend my range of skills
  • working on my packaging materials so that I have a really nice range of gift boxes complete with naturally printed gift tags in time for the Glucksman Craft Fair at the beginning of November
  • starting to wash and finish scarves that I've printed over the last month or so, I need to deliver more to the design shop at Duckett's Grove as happily they seem to be a hit with the visitors

All this is in addition to the usual teaching, market and DG so yes, it's busy here at Clasheen! Here's a picture of some new gift tags drying (prior to ironing) followed by a shot of a printed woven wall hanging fresh out of the dye pot today.

 

 

Studio de-clutter and de-stash underway, some bargains to be had for the taking!

Business plan done for a grant application, cash flow to finish (before tomorrow night unfortunately!), simple new kraft boxes in various sizes have arrived (no more struggling to make packages in brown paper bags look pretty when under pressure!), abandoned the exhibition application I was working on as I just wasn't happy with my blurb, bit the bullet and ordered a new printer, it's arrived and up and running, I'm now tackling the studio reorganisation once and for all! As a result I'm really making an effort to keep everything that I know I'll actually use in the immediate future, everything else I'm going to declutter and sell off at a really good price. Hopefully I'll then be able to buy more storage boxes or raw materials……… and so the cycle starts all over again!

So, is anybody interested in buying a large woven plastic rug to use instead of bubble wrap when felting larger projects such as rugs? I've 5 or 6 of these to sell at €20 each, they measure 1.4 x 2.3 metres and I imported them from Turkey years ago when I thought that I'd be felting more rugs. Obviously I'm keeping a few for myself but it's unlikely I'll ever be using 8 at the one time! They actually are used outside in warm climates as a sort of patio rug, just saying in case someone might like them for that purpose either, colour ways blue as pictured and wine.

The next items that I'm de-stashing are some fabulous knitting yarns, many of them were picked up several years ago in San Francisco and cost up to $25 per skein or ball. When I started felting I found it really difficult to get interesting yarns locally to add to the surface of my felt. As a result I went a bit mad whenever I discovered something particularly yummy, justification was easy because I took up freestyle knitting for a short while, reality bites now however and I doubt that I'll ever knit up anything with the 7,000 yards of fabulous hand dyed silk yarn I invested in (I won't tell you what that cost), that's not for sale unless I get a really good offer, but the rest of everything is. Here's a picture of a few balls, I've plenty of different colours and different fibres although they do mainly tend towards the golds, greens, reds and purples.

Finally I'm putting together goody bags filled with oddments of fibre and embellishing stuff. At present they're earmarked for a friend @ €3 per 100g but at the rate I'm going I may have extra bags to sell, these are perfect to use for embellishing pictures, flowers etc. and when teaching, loads of small amounts of various fibres (yak, silk, wool, bamboo etc.) in totally random colour ways, basically whatever I lay my hands on that I know I don't need for my current projects.

Please email or ring me if you're interested in anything, I need to get the lot shifted before I head to teach in Lake Tahoe and Mendocino, the rush is on while I'm in the mood for re-organisation!

 

 

Short note and Autumn workshop at Mendocino Art Center – early notice!

I'm having a fabulous time here in Portugal, first during the workshop at Dominio Vale do Mondego and now travelling with Alan and having a holiday. Sorry about the total lack of Internet activity, I had no coverage at all in my Quinta during the course of the workshop so I'm grabbing the opportunity now to write a quick note whilst staying at Estela's marvellous old town house in Eixa. Estela and I first met via facebook then at the week residential last year, this year she was a returning participant and now Alan and I are having a brilliant time seeing a little of the real Portugal!!! I'm going to blog properly and post plenty of pictures of both the workshop and the holiday as soon as I get home next week, for now I leave you with a link to an exciting three day workshop that I'm facilitating at the Mendocino Art Centre in California at the end of September. I'll also be posting full details of the felting retreat that Merridee and I are facilitating together at stunning Lake Tahoe during mid September, it's an exciting time to look forward to!

http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/Fall13/Brown.html