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!
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.
Yesterday afternoon I spent quite a bit of time playing around with Paint, the computer programme that is and not actual oils or acrylics!
Detail from English Garden, a nuno felt scarf/wrap
I wanted to create a banner for my new online boutique store and selected a section of this image to use as I love the colours and the textures of the printed silk and merino nuno felt scarf/wrap. It took me quite a bit of time copying, pasting, rotating, adding text, reducing the pixels etc. but eventually I was happy with the result and you can check it out below!
My new banner
Today I have been discounting felt accessories for a blow out stock clearance in my Etsy store and from Saturday 8th May only supplies will be sold on Etsy and all felted wearables and interior/exterior felted items will be exclusively available from the new store.
I am so excited to be planning a fall felting trip combined with another road trip through more of the wilderness areas that are so stunning in the United States. Next week when I get a submission out of the way I am going to really sit down and try to work out all the logistics but to date the workshop possiblilties (and a couple of definites!) include Michigan, Philadelphia, Eugene, Loomis and San Fransisco, I can’t wait!!! Because Alan will be travelling with me for some of the time I am trying to have a longer block of workshops at either end of the trip with possibly a couple of single days during the middle when Alan may be with me as well. My biggest decision will be whether to fly initially to the East Coast or start the trip in San Fransisco. Alan is a great procrastinator and difficult to tie down with dates so if I can’t get him to make a final descision I am just going to go ahead and book the flights sometime at the beginning of next week if possible, this pinning down must be a man thing!
Detail of nuno texture
If you think that you might be interested in discussing the possibility of hosting a workshop please email me asap and we can have a chat about what is involved in the organisation. Topics that I am happy to cover include mosaic nuno felt, felt jewellery, simple felt bags, complex felt bags (two days necessary), incorporating found objects into your felt, balls, cords and flowers, nuno felt scarves, simple felt vessels, the list goes on and I would love to hear from you if there is something not listed here that you would like to see covered!
Yesterday evening when I returned home from the Green Party Annual Convention I switched off all the lights as my contribution to the global ‘earth hour’ to heighten awareness of global warming. Because the main farmhouse here is all whitewashed (with powdered lime) the candles I used during this time glowed beautifully against the soft white of the walls and ceilings. Speaking of powdered lime, my friend Martin Lyttle is creating a lot of stone dust in the yard down the lane as he works on his brilliant limestone cherries, a percentage for art commission he was awarded by Wexford Co Council. On Saturday I took some photos of Martin and well known sculptor Eileen MacDonagh as they worked to expose the underside of the largest piece of stone ready for Martin to continue his carving.
Just a short post touching base and letting you know that I should be back to full blogging potential sometime before the end of the week hopefully! Check out Clasheen today if you don’t already know why I have been off the radar for the last couple of days and also to get some inspiration for fibre frolics via some of the great blogs that I regularly follow. I ordered a few books from Amazon last week to continue my exploration of upcycling projects and last night just before I dropped off to sleep I had an idea for a crazy and amazing nceklace using broken glass and felt, hope I can make it work! Off now to have a long hot bath, I am soooooo stiff after my jog down the mountain last Saturday, why didn’t I bring my mobile phone with me in case of accidents?????
Wednesday’s talk and demo to the Borris Active Retirement group went very well and now the ladies are interested in participating in some felting workshops so all in all a good day was had by everyone!
My swap package for Krystofer - note the hand made gift tag!
Before I left the house to go to the talk venue I packaged up and posted my latest swap package to Krystofer in San Fransisco. This was a great Ravelry swap to participate in, check out one of the scarves I felted for this in a recent post at Clasheen. I also made gift tags from some of the stamped paper I had left over from last weeks fabric journal workshop, upcycling and recycling is one of my favourite pastimes.
Another favourite activity of mine is golf, as if you haven’t already realised. My good friend Remmy took some excellent photos of all the action last Sunday so here are a couple for you to peruse as men’s Captain Pierce Brennan and yours truly prepare to beat the life out of a couple of little white balls!
Captain Pierce Brennan with me just before we teed off
Head down and watch that ball!
If you are a regular follower of Clasheen you will know that I have had a busy weekend felting, chatting, eating and generally celebrating my friend Carmen’s birthday with some of our joint friends! Although it has been pretty hectic and I definitely have a throbbing head at this stage I have managed to fit in a little time each day to continue with my first Saori free weaving project.
Saori weaving on the loom
In some ways I am horrified when I look at this piece objectively to realise that the colours are not dissimilar looking when woven to those I selected for my first clothing project ‘Ella’, pictures on Flickr. Obviously I am drawn to certain shades of green and gold but I did think that the varigated wool from Noro would not be as pink as it turned out but more gold, mustard and green as the outside of the various balls looked before unrolling. Not withstanding the similarity of colours it will be interesting to see when the fabric is off the loom exactly how ‘free’ I have allowed myself to be with my design throughout the weaving. My idea was to be very random with my weft colours and also to have uneven thicknesses of yarn, not so sure what it will actually look like but finally the warp tension seems to be more even so hopefully it will soon be ready and removed from the loom.
I am off now to get some things together for a podcasting course I am attending tomorrow morning. This is organised by ArtL!nks, a brilliant 5 county initiative which is very supportive of all the arts disciplines here in the South East of Ireland. My house is still not up to scratch after my recent water woes (if I am quite honest I don’t think it will ever be totally clean and tidy!) and I am in the process of washing as many clothes and household items as possible every day while trying to get them dry in front of the range and draped over clothes horses all around the house. Tomorrow night is another meeting at the golf club and on Tuesday or Wednesday I need to bring my truck in to the garage for a filter change and a little more work left over from the last service. Hopefully by the middle of the week I will have my weaving finished and then comes the interesting part of trying to full the fabric, cut it in pieces and then stitch it back together to make a soft and funky t-shaped top!
After a very, very shaky week things are really turning a corner and looking up at last. At the risk of boring you all to tears I ended last week by getting a bad cold, felt rotten all weekend, had three golf club meetings on Monday and another on Thursday, a major submission for an Arts Grant to complete before three o’clock yesterday, awful problems warping my loom and then HUGE technical problems which resulted in me throwing in the towel and investing in a new laptop this afternoon! Whew, got that all off my chest so onwards and upwards.
My loom is now warped and the weaving is well underway. This was the first time that I tried threading 5.5m of warp and for anyone used to weaving this might not be a problem. For me however, it all came apart when the threads leapt off the peg I was using and fell on the floor, panic, panic, panic but I perservered and eventually got the blasted thing completed. Or so I thought! Maybe it was the texture of the paper I used to wind along with the yarn but for some reason I just could not get the tension correct, it appeared to keep getting looser or slipping but to be honest I really don’t have a clue what was happening. Eventually I just decided in the Saori spirit to get on with it, what is free weaving after all if not the freedom to do whatever you want with your weaving? I thought that I would end up having to cut my work into pieces and try wet felting it but after about a metre of weaving the tension is starting to even out and hopefully will be all right for the rest of the piece. I am trying to weave a long, long piece which will then be cut into lengths and sewn together to form a very simple top, pictures and more info to follow tomorrow.
My very exciting news this evening is that I have been longlisted for my main blog Clasheen in the ‘specialist’ catagory in the Irish Blog Awards 2010! Thanks so much to catagory sponsors iQ Content and congrats to all the other nominees, it really is a very long longlist!