Busy, busy, busy

I have had a very busy day today rushing around the place and packaging orders but at last I have some time to rush off a quick post.  Tomorrow is going to be another tidying up and destashing day in preparation for my first Winter workshops this Saturday.  To remind you here is what is on offer ….. 

Saturday 7th November FELTING TASTER SESSIONS 

Take some time out for yourself and join me for either a morning or an afternoon felting taster session.  Using wool, silk, fabric scraps and other embellishments explore the basic technique of flat felting.  Discover the fun and freedom of creating with fibre and leave at the end of the session with a beautiful piece of felt suitable to frame, stitch into a bag or use to cover a favourite book.

Workshops cost €25 incl materials and times are either from 10.30am – 12.30pm or 2pm – 4pm, please note that all workshops will start on time!  Email me asap if you wish to reserve a place.

Once the studio and house is finally totally tidy (will it ever be???) I will be free to start work on a new series of felt vessels and sculptural pieces.  Making the large bowl yesterday has really whetted my appetite for the Icelandic wool and I can’t wait to have some time and mental freedom to create some more unusual shapes and sculptures.  I love the natural browns, greys and white but the dyed wool is also beautiful, choices, choices! 

The other great news today is that I have got full financial and grant approval for planting approx 8.5 acres of deciduous trees.  My vision for the future is to have a beautiful amenity woodland complete with yurts (in selected clearings once I start thinning) for all those felting friends who come here to have fun and learn with me and all the great invited international felting experts who take time out to visit this rural part of Ireland.  It’s really going to be full steam ahead now as the grant approval is dependent on all the fencing and planting being totally completed by 31st of December THIS YEAR!

Exciting times!

Wow, so much has been happening of late that I don’t know where to start.  I’ll try to get this in some sort of order but guess it might just become one big long ramble.

My addiction to felt continues!  Last weekend Carmen (my friend who is responsible for getting me started) and I travelled to Dublin for the agm of the Feltmakers Federation.  Such a nice group of talanted and sharing people is a rare thing to come accross.  After the nitty gritty of the meeting was dispensed with we had an interesting presentation from Una Parsons, the CEO of the Craft’s Council followed by an excellent discussion by Sheila Smith.  Sheila is a master at the art of felt and has written to my mind the definitive book on felting called ‘Felt to Stitch’.  We oogled her wonderful creations and I am really looking forward to her next book, watch out for it in the late summer.  Today, Carmen and another friend Jean came to my studio and I showed them how to create cobweb scarfs, they made very beautiful creations.

As a result of the encouragement and advice received to date I have decided to offer workshops at Clasheen titled ‘Fleece to Felt’.  Aimed primarily at the beginner, these days will offer an ideal chance for stressed out individuals to get in touch with their creative side amidst the beautifull surroundings of the Blackstairs Mountains.  Browse my books, gain inspiration from the landscape and leave at the end of the day with a masterpiece that you have created over the course of the day. 

The purchase of the land surrounding my old farmhouse has been completed a couple of weeks ago so I guess you could say that I am a small holder now!  Brilliant if a bit scarey, at present I have the land rented out to a friendly local farmer so now I can gaze out on horses and young cattle every day.  This week I had an appointment with Chris, our brilliant local forrester to discuss my plans about planting several acres with broad leaved trees in the next dormant season.  Chris has gone home armed with my wish list, natural looking planting, indiginous trees, damson, crab apple and other wild fruit trees mingled in etc. etc. and he will be preparing a plan for me, almost like the floor plan of a house!  I am really looking forward to seeing what he will come up with, we are also exploring the different possibilities of applying for a grant to cover some of the expenses.  My vision is to have a really special amenity area, woodland walks planned from the start and a spring at the top of the land will be included in the ‘floor plan’ as an area of special interest and bio-diversity.

A big note of thanks to Artlinks for the wonderful service they offer.  Last week I attended two of their professional development courses, ‘Business Mentoring for your Creative Practice’ and ‘Marketing your Creative Work’.  This week I am booked into ‘Photographing/Documenting your Creative Work’ and ‘Blogging for Beginners’, guess that is the one I really could do with tonight!

Better go now, my job as competition secretary at Borris Golf Club steps up another gear in the morning, the President’s Prize to the ladies beckons!