Check out this fantastic competition to win a beautiful jacket from Chrissie!

Friend and fellow fibre addict Chrissie Day has posted an amazing competition on her blog giving one lucky reader an opportunity to win one of her beautiful waterfall nuno felt jackets! 

You need to submit a combination of colours to Chrissie (minimum of 4) that best talk ‘May and food’ to you and sing out that message.  This gives you a huge range of colours to choose from and the prize will be one of Chrissie’s amazing waterfall jackets made especially for you in your selected colours!  The closing date is May 31st and there is one entry per person.  Please email Chrissie at chrissieday@me.com to submit an image of your block of colours.  Check out images of these tops on Chrissie’s Flickr and start planning your colours now!

Playing around with Paint!

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, earth hour and moving an extremely large stone!

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.

Pricing debate yet again, new craft social networking site, where to sell???

Over the last few weeks I have really thought about the pricing debate yet again.  Last night I revisited out earlier conversations on the subject and checked out this link (thanks Dawn, very provocative) before taking experienced nuno felted Nancy Schwabe’s advice and looking into selling my felt on Artfire and Boticca.  There is no doubt in my mind that actually seeing and handling the felt prior to buying is the ideal scenario but sometimes this is just not possible and selling over the internet seems an ideal way of broadening the net of potential purchasers.  I have had some very nice feedback recently from purchasers of my merino and nuno felt scarves so know that they have been happy with the quality and price of my work but still the question remains, where is the best ‘virtual’ place to sell online if you do not have an ‘actual’ venue to stock in your locality?

Before I get too steamed up on the pricing issue I just want to alert those of you who haven’t already discovered it to a great new craft related social networking site appropriately named ‘My Craft Corner’.  I discovered this by linking through a couple of blogs last night (really sorry but in my excitement I lost the original link) and it appears to combine the attractions and functionality of Ravelry, Flickr and Facebook all on one site, kind of ready made craft porn for all us addicts out there!  If you do pop along and decide to join please be sure to make me one of your friends, my user name is Clasheen, what else!!

Lilac and blue nuno shibori

Getting back to selling online, I just added a gorgeous cobweb felt scarf and a couple of nuno shibori beauties to my Etsy store last Thursday.

Another busy day ahead and pricing work for sale!

Another busy day is in the making ……. visitors at 10.30, fitting blinds for my neighbours at 12.00, mother calling over for coffee and a walk through the new woodland plantation at 14.30, load mountains of recycling into the truck, meeting and more visitors at 20.00, when will I have time to do any actual work???

I have decided that the best thing for today is to enjoy catching up with all my visitors, fit the blinds, get the recycling loaded and at least try to finish uploading more new pieces up to my Etsy store.  Since Lyda Rump has returned to the Netherlands I have had great fun creating a selection of small brooches using merino, glass and fabric as well as two beautiful and light nuno felt scarves. 

Detail from 'Indian Summer' nuno felt scarf

It has been difficult for me to try and price this work fairly especially as a lot of Irish people don’t seem to understand that I have to upload everything in dollars, just the way the Etsy site works!  As a point of reference, if a piece retailes at $54 that equates to approx E40 and if it retails at $30 that equates to E22.06 or 19.16stg.  In case you are wondering why I haven’t put the correct symbols with the figures my computer seems to have a mind of it’s own and I can’t find them anywhere!  The two scarves that I have already uploaded are both priced at $54 which I think is a bargain (they would be a lot more expensive in the gallery where I have felt accessories for sale) but my feeling is that I want and need to sell my work so there is no point being too precious abour the price.  I need to earn enough to get by on but nothing excessive, this then frees me up to experiment with larger sculptural pieces, a direction that I am very interested in persuing for the future.  Does anyone else have any ideas about pricing?

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!

Resumption of essential services!

Patsey my plumber has just left and I am thrilled to say that my well has not collapsed, my central heating is now running and I have hot water again at last!!

  • Water – check
  • Well in sound health – check
  • Heat – check
  • Electricity – check
  • Internet connection – check
  • Time to craft today – uncheck

Life is good however.  Yesterday evening I ran the washing machine to full some jumpers again that had previously been shrunk either deliberately by me or mistakenly by a friend!  These I will make into some coffee cozys and upcycled bags, my wonderful swap package from Gretchen inspired me to route the jumpers out last night so more to follow about the process next post.  For now I am off to do a big shop, try and get some pink or plum coloured tights and then I will be having a big hot bath in my very own bathroom!  Ah, the luxury of not travelling down the lane to my neighbour’s farmhouse and having hot water again of my own is bliss.  Tonight I am chairing the ladies club committee meeting at Borris Golf Club so any felting and crafting activities will just have to wait until tomorrow. 

My new nuno mini which I want to buy tights to match