Crazy cowls from gorgeous weavers waste!

Far too much going on at the moment with not enough hours in the day to write about it properly either here or on my main felting blog Clasheen but I just HAD to share with you my latest happy accident!  On Friday evening and Saturday morning some American fibre friends called to visit with me and we had a great time discussing all things Ireland and all things wool, yarn and felt related.  I am not going to mention their names yet from a security point of view until I know for sure they arrive safely home but as soon as I know their 4 week trip to Ireland and the UK is over I will link through to their website and hopefully you will see all the exciting textile adventures that they have been filming along the course of their travels.

Lilac mohair crazy cowl!

AARGH!!!!! 

I have just lost all the rest of this post in the publishing and unfortunately I really don’t have enough time to write it all again.  Forgive me for the resulting brevity now but what I really wanted to mention was the gorgeous weavers waste I picked up at Cushendale Woolen Mills over the weekend.  These balls of wide wool ‘yarn’ are off cuts from the selvedge edge of some of the mill’s woven home textiles and wearable wraps, I think that they knit up into wonderful and funky cowls!  Check out Flickr for some more detailed images of this lilac and an ocean blue cowl but if anyone is interested in purchasing one of these cosy and fun pieces I am happy to bill you directly through PayPal at a total cost of $38 including P&P to anywhere in the world!  Please email me if you would like to order either the lilac or the ocean blue cowl.

Some great tutorials from ‘very purple person’!

I love some of the great tutorials ‘very purple person’ has posted on the internet especially the ultra simple cowl and hand warmers created from an upcycled scarf!  When I am drooling and admiring other crafters and artists work I always have my brain in gear thinking of ways to adapt the various shapes into my feltmaking and since I am SO TOTALLY out of time for the rest of this week drooling is about all I can do at the moment!!!

Upcycling billboards and the like!

Several years ago while Alan and I were travelling in the American South West we spent a happy afternoon in the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  One of the items we bought in the shop there was a fun wallet for a friend which had been made from recycled old billboard vinyl.  This morning while trying to sort through a backlog of emails and other internet stuff I discovered this great website selling upcycled items called Shop Only Green and lo and behold items upcycled from billboards form part of their product range!

Billboard messenger bag

I particularly like this messenger bag which seems a steal at $24.99 but unfortunately unless you live in the States it doesn’t seem possible to make a purchase online.  What’s a girl to do but make a trip to the States?  Watch out America, I plan to arrive sometime at the beginning of October, more to follow shortly!!

Successful weekend and pictures of my first fabric art journal

Well, we had an excellent day yesterday for the Captain’s drive in at Borris Golf Club.  The weather was fantastic, over 140 members participated, the finger food went down very well and luckily my drive was long and straight, definitely a day that will stay in my mind as a great start to the 2010 golfing calendar.

Fabric art journal

As promised on Saturday, here is a picture of the fabric art journal that I made during the workshop with the South East Textile Group in Castlecomer.   We all started by deciding what size we wanted to our covers to be.  Sheila, our excellent facilitator for the day had a great selection of recycled cardboard boxes which we were free to choose from and I choose a piece large enough to make a journal suitable to hold A4 sheets of paper.  Without going through every last little step taken we basically spent some time working out our design ideas, created stamps with foam and wood, colour washed our base fabric if we wanted (I sponged mine with diluted orange and gold inks) and then printed and painted the design on top.  Once we were happy with our printed fabric we ironed it, stuck paper on top of our cardboard and then stuck the fabric down on top of the paper paying careful attention to areas such as the corners. 

I decided to make a couple of stamps based around Autumn berries, the rosehips look more like carrots however and the berries like bubbles but overall the design holds together pretty well I think, especially since drawing is definitely not one of my better subjects! 

Rosehip and berry detail

I liked overprinting with the stamps until all the colour had practically left the design and in the middle of the journal I didn’t print any hips at all but just a lot of berries.  I also started to make my first impression of each stamp on paper and these little extra pieces I will now cut up and use to decorate some hand made cards to give to friends whenever a birthday or special occasion arises. Another very enjoyable aspect of the day was the interlude when experienced member Carmel gave us some interesting excercises to do relating to colour mixing and colour perception.  All in all the day was extremely worthwhile and I can definitely see myself creating more of these journals especially as a project combining recycled materials and hand made felt with children.  The only thing left to do now is attach a button or piece of wood to the front of the cover as a closure and I like the string that I used for a loop as I think it’s definitely in keeping with the earthy Autumnal theme.  My only reservation at the moment is does the design look very 70’s?  Sort of dated roller blinds for the kitchen????

Recycling centre, art notebooks and golf

This is a really quick post today but I promise that from next Tuesday onwards time will not be such a pressing matter ….. hopefully.

Recycling – Don’t you just love those great centres where you just might pick up something to take home at the same time as trying to get rid of all your own packaging etc.?  On Wednesday I had a great discovery whien I found a man about to dump a collection of huge big stainless steel light shades in the scrap metal container.  His son is an electrician and they were tidying out a shed, obviously I snapped them up and have a couple of projects earmarked for them already, what a joy it is to have a truck to transport all these unexpected and welcome findshome!

Art notebooks – Spent a happy day with the South East Textile group today, our workshop this month was about creating fabric covered art journals.  Wait ’till I take some photos on Monday of what I made, never ever throw out those cardboard packages books arrive from Amazon in as they make an amazing base for these journals, recycling again!

Golf – Captain’s Drive in at Borris Giolf Club tomorrow.  No clothes ready (some not even washed yet!), house dreadfully untidy, guest just about to arrive for the night, no food prepared yet ……. argh, talk soon!!!

Another upcycled jumper bag and plenty of activity here at Clasheen!

All round it’s been a pretty productive day here at Clasheen ……

  • Hedge cut down the lane
  • Well up and running again at last
  • Upcycled bag sewn 
  • Orange flower wet felted and beaded to embellish bag (sold already!)
  • Gorgeous nuno felt scarf made and uploaded to my Etsy shop
  • Pins added to the back of recent brooches – to be uploaded to Etsy tomorrow

I am really pleased that I have managed to stick to my New Year’s resolution to date (not that we are very far into 2010 yet!) and finish projects instead of leaving in my stash to lanquish.  My virtual felting twin Dawn Edwards in USA also has the same difficulty beading and stitching so this year we are going to try and support each other and overcome this phobia!!  For my latest upcycling project I fulled a gorgeous and soft jumper in my washing machine, unfortunately the jumper had grown and grown until it was almost too big for me to wear at all.  Once I had washed it with a couple of pairs of jeans the fibres had come together beautifully and I was able to cut it easily and stitch it up into this practical and fun bag. 

Green and orange upcycled bag

The green cuffs from the jumper were perfect for leaves and the orange flower was wet felted from merino with a piece of cut up nuno felt in the centre!  I stitched some coral coloured beads into the centre for a bit of a lift and then my friend Cathy, director of ArtL!nks snapped it up for her friend!

More water woes, busy day felting and golf club this evening!

This morning we had a really hard frost and much to my dismay the pipe from Tom’s yard to mine froze so NO WATER yet again!  Carmen was coming over for lunch and to felt for the afternoon so imagine my horror to discover I couldn’t wash the dishes!!  By about half past two the ice had melted so luckily I was able to fill up the tank in my attic in preparation for a bath before my golf club meeting tonight.  I also switched on the washing machine again and at the end of the cycle discovered that my alpaca and cashmere jumper had shrunk to almost nothing.  Luckily I anticipated that this might be the case and have another upcycled bag planned for a rainy day later in the month, a friend has my sewing machine (not that I use it often!) so I will wait until she brings it back.  Off now for a quick spot of tea and toast, then a bath and off to a managment meeting at Borris Golf Club.  No rest for the wicked!