Just organising swap partners tonight and a little bit of nuno felting!

Just organising the swap partners tonight for our first Clasheen Crafty Swap of 2011!  Welcome to all returning swappers and a big hello to our new members, you are going to love this event!!!  I am almost back to normal today, probably about 90% of my usual self with just a bad cough periodically but nothing much else to worry about.  There were two meetings (golf club, what else!) I should have been attending tonight and another tomorrow evening  but I have put in my appologies because an early night snuggled up in front of the stove calls, not a drive in the current wild wet and windy weather.  This morning I felted a highly textured nuno scarf and then knuckled down to felting a one off wrap, a bit more unusual this one but you will have to wait for more details and some pictures tomorrow!  My ArtL!nks vessels are really calling out to me but I just want to get a couple more smaller projects out of the way tomorrow and then from Wednesday onwards I can start the really large vessels and get a good run at them.  ‘Till then …..

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Wrapped up in merino ….. and swap update

Thankfully my proposed Saturday workshop has been moved until next weekend as this flu, while getting a little bit better is still a long way from over.  It is so frustrating to go from hot to feverish and bathed with sweat in the blink of an eyelid and tired to exhausted in the space of those same few seconds!  I have been trying to stay in bed for most of the day (memory foam is a LOT more comfortable than lounging around on the couch) in an effort to shift this dose asap but yesterday evening I just had to do something fibre related (must have been feeling a BIT better!) while watching some mindless television in front of the stove. 

Soft merino cowl

Recently I received a skein of gorgeous handspun ‘pancake and lulu’ merino in one of my all time favourite colours from Suzy (aka Hollyhill) in a swap on Ravelry.  I wasn’t totally sure if there would be enough yarn to knit a cozy cowl for myself but happily things worked out just perfectly and this afternoon I have been able to keep my neck snug.  Do excuse the bug eyed photo but it was the best I could do taking a photo of myself with my phone camera, in fact I think my eyes look more swollen in reality after the last few days anyway!

Clasheen Crafty Swap update ……. Promise to get partners assigned by Monday at the latest, just give me one more day to recover from this dose.  Anyone wanting to sign up this late pop over to our group on Flickr and I will include you in this round.  Thanks Kirsten for jogging my dozy memory!

Still waiting, felt flowers in the making, creative spinning

I am still waiting for my delivery of Icelandic wool to arrive in preparation for the large rug I am felting my father’s cousin Sylvia, hope there is no charcoal getting in the way!  In the meantime my sister commissioned me to create 36 small felt flowers to adorn her new Stranne table light from Ikea.  This is a spin off from my own lamp which I updated at Christmas by adding stylised flowers to surround every little light bulb, everyone seems to like it for some reason.  Anyway, I used flowers left over from my Sculpture in Context piece so just added whatever I had left over but for Suzanne’s lamp I am making them from scratch in colours that she choose on Sunday.  Yesterday I started the production by felting two 8 flower batches and this morning I intend felting 16 more before loading the truck and heading of to a teaching engagement this afternoon.

Stunning hand painted roving from the Dancing Farm

On Friday I recieved a wonderful swap package from Suzy aka Hollyhill in the New Year Secret Scarf Exchange on Ravelry.  It included this fantastic hand painted roving from the Dancing Farm which in addition to looking forward to felting with it has inspired me to try out spinning with a spindle for the first time in an attempt to add some handspun yarn to me freestyle kniting!   Not  having any spindle myself I have adapted one (using a piece of bamboo, a CD and some rubber bands) and this evening when I am back from teaching I am going to have a try armed with Gaia traditional crafts beautiful book Creative Spinning.  This is such a wonderfully bulky amount of gorgeous fibre to recieve and in my mind’s eye I can see several beautiful and light felted scarves and some yummy yarn all created from the one gift from Suzy, thanks for this great swap package!!!

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!

I am still swooning at this wonderful box full of surprises!!!!

My fantastic swap package

I discovered to my horror over the weekend that I only have until the end of this week to finish three sculptural pieces ready for a joint exhibition in June (need to get to the venue beforehand) and complete my submission for the RDS and Crafts Council of Ireland National Crafts Competition.  This has really put me under tremendous pressure especially as yesterday the large piece that I was working on turned into a total disaster and eventually I just cut it up in frustration.  Imaging then my delight with this beautiful upcycled box of gifts from Jasmine aka Natures Whispers that I recieved as part of the Spring Clasheen Crafty Swap, it really made my day seem brighter!  It is hard to describe how perfectly Jasmine captured my personality and likes and dislikes when preparing this amazing swap package to post to me so I am just going to let some pictures do the talking and will blog properly about the AMAZING and unusual fibres (vicuna, possum, cashmere and angora!!!!!) as soon as I get a chance to try them out!  

I love this text and the hearts!

It is also incredible to think that Jasmine only started starting felting her amazing nuno scarves earlier in the year having followed my tutorial here on the blog and to say that what she sent me blew me away is an understatement.  The wonderful scarf is felted from merino, bamboo, silk tussah and angora; the silk, angora and bamboo were dyed with daffodils and the merino with lilac twigs from Jasmine’s garden.  Each end of the scarf has beautiful embroidery and shisha mirror work (instructions enclosed so I can try it myself!), I really, really must try stitching again as this extra detail totally finishes the scarf beautifully.  I don’t know if Jasmine has ever seen a picture of me in one of my Blue Fish linen pieces but I have collected a whole collection of pieces in combinations of straw and green and this scarf compliments them perfectly!  Check out my Flickr photos to see more pictures of this fantastic bundle of gifts and see what else was enclosed in the beautiful upcycled box but for now I leave you with a couple of images of my amazing new scarf!!! 

Beautifully felted and embellished scarf from Jasmine

Stunning detail

‘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.

It’s wild, windy and sometimes wet outside and I’m wrecked today!

In case you are wondering ‘wrecked’ is slang for exhausted in Ireland and that is my state today, not anything worse!!!  I finally finished my bursary application yesterday morning after working almost non stop over the preceeding days.  Luckily I managed to drive to the ArtL!nks office in Kilkenny and deliver it in person just before the deadline and then I had to rush back to the Golf Club to officiate at a party to say thanks to the club secretary who was finishing her job after 12 years of hard work and friendly service, thanks Nollaig (Christmas in Irish!).

Today I slept in until half past nine, unheard of for me and now I am just trying to catch up with things like washing up (not done for three days, horror of horrors!) before I light the fire, grab a glass of wine and crash out with a good book to recharge.  Tomorrow is another day as we say here so for anyone waiting for a reply to an email or any other such like apologies, I can’t do another thing today so will be back in action on the morrow after a good nights rest!

PS Just read my headline before uploading this and remembered I was going to post a picture of the gorgeous cowl I got in a Ravelry swap this week as the picture might give you an idea of how unsetteled the weather is here at Clasheen today!!  The sun is shining right now although it is very cold and we have already had torrential rain, hailstones and loads of rain.  By the look of the mountains more rain is on the way!

Stunning cowl for the stormy weather ahead!