Posted in Craft Fairs/Events, Duckett's Grove, Fairs/Events, Felt, tagged Borris Food and Craft market, Borris House, Christmas Village, Creative Carlow, Felt, felt wrap, Felting, FeltUnited, Mount Juliet, nuno felt on November 20, 2012 |
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I don’t think it’s going to be possible to write long posts over the next couple of months, please bear with me during this time, short and snappy will be the name of the game! I’m crazy busy at the moment thankfully and don’t want to miss the opportunity of having a successful time selling this festive season, I really need to keep the cash flow moving. In addition to my regular gigs at Borris Food and Craft Market each Friday and Duckett’s Grove at the weekends I’m teaching a lot and taking up my duties for FeltUnited, I LOVE doing this so all is good but it’s just that I then need another 12 hours every day to felt and produce new work!!! From 8th December to 23rd December inclusive I’ll be participating in the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet, On Sunday 9th December it’s the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair (link below), on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December I’ll be at the annual fair in Borris House and then for approx 2 weeks in the run up to Christmas as a member of Creative Carlow I’ll also be participating in their pop up shop, phew!!!!!
Last Friday design student Norma joined me for work experience, she’ll be helping for 10 days totally over the coming weeks and her next session is the weekend after next. Katie joined me yesterday for work experience this week, she’s a 4th year transition student and actually my great friend Sharon Jackson is her art teacher! She’s definitely choosen a week where we’ll be out and about a lot, 2 sessions with Borris Active Retirement, one birthday party for a group of 9 year olds and then the market on Friday, I’ve then got the weekend at Duckett’s Grove to myself.
Thanks to you all for your lovely messages, comments and emails about Dawn’s and my promotion to FeltUnited, we hope to do you all proud and really appreciate the support. I’ve got to fly now, bundles to unwrap and a nuno felt wrap to throw!
Christmas at Duckett’s Grove!
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OK, it’s not totally blowing up a gale outside but it is pretty difficult to take pictures of completed pieces for the book without everything almost heading over the fence and into the field, nuno felt can be so lightweight, help! I’ve been trying to wrap up so many things today, I’m not finished by a long shot and in fact can’t see much light at the end of the tunnel yet. I have however managed to get some washing done and out in the wind to dry and shortly I’ll be taking a break before returning to the computer in the evening. I feel like I’m tied to the thing at this stage and would love to be in the studio felting instead, not a hope this weekend unfortunately!!!
I'm offering a large collaged nuno wrap in colours of their choice to the winning bidder in the Helping Herd auction. This image is just to illustrate the sort of wrap I'm talking about!
For those of you following me on FB you may have seen that I’m part of the Helping Herd, a group set up to raise funds and help Chris and Christina Silver of Earth Art Cashmere to get back on their feet after a fire devestated their farm in Novia Scotia. An online auction is currently underway (until midnight on April 27th) for some beautiful hand made goods and supplies that have been donated, I’m offering a large collaged wrap which I will felt to order for the winning bidder. Please consider donating something to help this worthwhile cause or placing a bid on one of the items that are already online, I wouldn’t blog about this if I didn’t feel it was important to support other fibre producers and artisans when something as dreadful as a fire has impacted on their livelyhood.
Finally for today I’m heading back outside to try and take some photos again, wish me luck!
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For the first time yesterday I felted a wrap in a ‘new to me’ colour combination, turquoise, chocolate and copper. Today I felted a larger wrap using some of the same fabrics but adding a few small pieces of gold metallic mesh too. Unfortunately the light was very strong today and it was difficult to get good pictures, time was against me too as I’m still trying to gather stuff for my trip to Bulgaria but here are a couple of photos just to give you an idea of what they turned out like!
Ponge silk, hand dyed silk chiffon, cotton gauze and bronze fabric
Two chocolate, turquoise and bronze and/or gold wraps
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Posted in Book, Book with Chrissie, Felt, nuno felt, tagged cotton gauze, Felt, felt wrap, merino, Nuno, nuno felt, silk on March 2, 2012 |
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Yesterday I was very busy felting! I’m going to be away unexpectedly next week (thanks George for stepping up to the mark at zero notice to house and Rex sit, Annette I’ll be in touch about July!) so I need have to have a batch of wearables ready for the golf club tomorrow morning. While I’m away there’s going to be a fashion night there so thanks must also go to Lady Captain Eileen Kelly who’s going to organise someone to display and look after my pieces! My beautiful new cotton gauze arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Charlotte Buch so I decided to felt some nuno wraps combining this with short fibre merino, ponge silk and sari silk from my stash. Killing two birds with one stone I also took pictures of the process, these pieces took a long time to lay out but were fulled in the dryer and that’s how I could felt more than one in a day. This processes is one I will be exploring in the new book with Chrissie and is wonderful for anyone who finds nuno felting either tiring or time consuming!!! Talking of time I must dash now, here’s a close up shot of the finished wraps, note how using the same fabrics but a different colour fibre results in complimentary but very different end results.
Turquoise and apple green merino combined with the same silk and cotton surface fabrics offer two different end results
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, tagged Craft Master, Felt, felt wrap, Felting, Niki Collier, Nuno, nuno felt, nuno felt wrap, Pam de Groot, Sheila ahern on September 21, 2011 |
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I spent a wonderful time with friend Niki Collier, her husband Rem and their beautiful children Coral and Tanya in Dublin yesterday. Niki and I had a felt filled day planned, inspiration, discussion, chat and action, it certainly lived up to and surpassed all my anticipation!
Striding out in the urban landscape
During the day we walked to collect the children from their respective pre-schools and this was an opportunity for me to wear and Niki to photograph the stunning piece she felted at the recent Dublin Pam de Groot workshop organised by Feltmakers Ireland. Initially this softly draping nuno piece was designed to be worn as a long shift, once I tried it on and looked at myself in the mirror I asked Niki would she mind if I tried it on with the intended neck opening as an armhole, voila, this incredible wrap was born!!! We had great fun chatting and pausing as we walked along and it was totally fitting that the wrap was photographed in the urban landscape that was its inspiration. Congratulations Niki on a very special piece!!!
Out and about in Dublin
During the afternoon Rem took the children out for a while and Niki and I settled down to our felting. I’m thrilled with the two new bracelets I made and promise photos tomorrow, they are the first in a new series of work I’m creating inspired by Irish dry stone walls. In the evening our felting friend Sheila Ahern joined us right on time to watch this weeks episode of Craft Master, a current Irish television series focusing on craft in Ireland. Sheila is involved in the production of the series and her official title is ‘Craft Advisor’, Niki and I thought the programme was excellent!!! Alan travelled up from Bagenalstown to join us for dinner and we had a wonderful meal, the highlights included a yummy salad accompanied by a Bulgarian speciality drink (unfortunately I can’t remember the name, maybe I drank too much!), stuffed aubergines, seasonal vegetable stir fry, roasted tomatoes with garlic and a fantastic tasting fillet steak for the meat eaters, it was a meal fit for a king!
Little Tanya is making me smile!
Today I headed back to Niki’s in the morning to collect my truck and have a good cup of coffee (I stayed in Alan’s Dublin pad for the night), after that I drove to Ikea to make some final choices for my utility room/back kitchen. This part of the house has just not been working in its current layour so over the next week I am going to dismantle all the units, drag them out to the garage and reinstall, then I get to have fun putting together and finally fitting what I hope will be the work space from heaven, I’ll update you as it progresses! Unfortunately this does mean that I won’t be going away for a short holiday with Alan as we had planned, he just can’t get next week off but luckily we hadn’t booked to take account of this eventuality occuring. Ah well, he did suggest he MIGHT wrangle two weeks off at the beginning of November so I’m not totally ruling out a holiday yet, for the moment I’ll live in hope!
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Posted in America 2011, Felt, nuno felt, workshops, tagged a billion acts of green, Earth Day, Felt, felt mobile, felt shawl, felt wrap, Felting, mosaic nuno, Mount Leinster, Nicola Brown, nuno felt, nuno felt shawl, nuno felt wrap, nuno felting, nuno mosaic, recycled materials, The Tin Thimble on April 22, 2011 |
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Happy Earth Day! Today is Earth Day and to celebrate I am throwing open my studio this afternoon and sharing a simple way of making a beautiful waste felt and recycled material mobile. This pledge ticks the ‘recycling and waste reduction’ box and is my way of joining others aiming to achieve ‘A billion acts of green’. In the evening I will be joining Cathy, Martin and other green friends for a walk to the summit of Mount Leinster followed by a party and some great music, Kiwi with an Irish twist!!! Check out this event here on Facebook and do come and join us if you are free. Places are limited to 6 for the mobile workshop but because I only made the pledge on Wednesday I am not actually sure if anyone will be joining me. If not never fear, I am going to make my own mobiles anyway and take some pictures of the finished pieces so you can all share the process online tomorrow!
Sharon's beautiful nuno mosaic wrap
Due to circumstances beyond our control plans have changed for my workshops with Sharon and Emma of The Tin Thimble, Loomis, CA. Instead of us heading off for the fibre retreat as planned, we now have 3 days of workshops happening at the wonderful studio in Loomis instead, a special two day nuno mosaic workshop and a one day felted accessories workshop. Details of both workshops as well as a full materials list will be posted here and to The Tin Thimble’s website later today or early tomorrow but for now I am going to share two pictures of Sharon’s amazing nuno mosaic wrap from last year.
Stunning textures in Sharon's wrap
This stunning piece of wearable art was felted during one highly intense day, imagine the possibilities for a designing and creating a beautiful origami style jacket, wrap around skirt or large wall hanging when having the opportunity to play around with this technique over two days???
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Posted in Book, Felt, nuno felt, tagged BFL, Blue Faced Leiscester, book, chiffon, Cloverleaf Farms, Felt, felt book, felt scarf, felt vest, felt wrap, Felting, felting book, Joan Berner, Nuno, nuno felt, nuno felting, Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival., scarf, silk, silk hankies, wet felt, wet felting, wool on March 26, 2011 |
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Working on our new book has really forced me to write down ideas as they come into my head and document projects on paper more than I would otherwise tend to do, for me a lot of my documentation is through this blog but sketching more is really helping me clarify ideas and leading me to explore them in a more systametic way than I have being doing previously. Chrissie is brilliant at this anyway and I really look forward to seeing some of her sketches and musings when she comes to stay with me in April for our final efforts to put the book to bed and get it available online. I don’t want anyone to get the idea our book is going to be the bee all and end all of felting techniques, it’s not! Rather it is an idea of how we both work as well as a demonstration of how we translate our thoughts and ideas from the inspiration stage into the finished felt item.
Stunning 50/50 silk merino blend from Cloverleaf Farms
I love gathering up my raw materials at the start of any project, the possibilities seem endless at this stage when all the beautiful fibres and colours are gathered together just waiting to be selected. Sometimes however, I find that having a wide selection of different fibres to work with can bring on its own worries and often just getting started is challenge enough for one days work alone!
Yesterday was one of the good days. In the morning I selected some stunning 50/50 hand dyed silk/merino roving which I bought at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival from the wonderful Joan Berner
of Cloverleaf Farms, one of my all time favourite suppliers now!!! I wanted to use it for a very special project and demonstrate how a small amount of luxurious fibre could create the most beautiful scarf imaginable! Although I am not showing you a photo of the finished article imagine the glistening sheen of clear glass beads against the wonderful and subtle variations of colour in this blue based combination which Joan has called Sapphire. I based the scarf’s design and colours on the beautiful blues and greens in the clear waters off La Gomera in the Canaries and Kos in Greece. Wearing this piece (if I keep it for myself!) will bring back happy memories of holidays shared with Alan, the glass beads are NOT sewn in after the scarf is felted, wait for the book to see how I include them in the lay out stage!!!The second piece I felted yesterday is waiting on my table now to be transformed into a sleeveless vest/wrap type of affair, probably NO sewing again but maybe a couple of judicious stitches around the collar region, I’ll have to wait and see how it drapes once I cut out the armholes and put it on my manequin. Again I loved gathering the supplies for this one, originally I had a big pile of silk fibre and hankies, beautiful Blue Faced Leiscester, linen fibres (all of these hand dyed) and some different colours of silk chiffon fabric. In the end I felted this piece using ‘Chili Pepper’ BFL roving from Joan, silk hankies, silk fibre (again from Joan!), two colours of silk chiffon and then added a fine layer of orange merino because I wasn’t sure that I had enough BFL to make the vest strong enough. Chrissie is really the master at the nuno felted jacket, I did however want to include a wearable piece requiring minimal stitching in the book, I know I could have done a bigger seamless project but really that’s not what I do every day, this type of felting is much more suited to my organic kind of style! Anyway, here is a glimpse of some of the raw materials before I made my final selection. Technically this wasn’t a nuno piece having more fibre than fabric, today I hope to felt a highly textured nuno wrap, one of my all time favourite projects!
Hand dyed BFL and silk from Joan teamed with some lightweight silk chiffon
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, tagged bag, Clasheen, Cloverleaf Farms, Felt, felt bag, felt purse, felt wrap, Felting, nuno felt, nuno felting, The Tin Thimble, Urban Fauna Studio, wrap on December 16, 2010 |
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Although the last lot of snow has almost melted everywhere forecasts predict heavy falls here again from tomorrow afternoon starting in the West of Ireland today. I have spent this morning stocking up on meat for my freezer, going to the bank, posting some parcels for across the water, carrying in kindling and in a nutshell getting essential duties out of the way in case I get totally snowed in once more! The temperature has dropped by at least several degrees since I got up, the sky has darkened dramatically and the wind is now blowing strongly making it difficult to take any successful pictures of felt created to post to Flickr or here on the blog.
I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IT!!!!! Heavy hail/sleet is now assaulting the house so I am very glad I made the effort to drive to Borris this morning!
Anyway, enough talking. Here are two pictures (or maybe not!!!) taken in the gloomy outdoors, my latest Vanda Robert inspired bag and a gorgeous light weight nuno felt wrap. For the bag I used some 50% gotland 50% merino blended wool batts from Denmark and another similar quality wool (think it might also be the same combo although I bought it on a different trip from a different supplier) in wonderful shades of Autumn. I added some leather leaves and a horn button (all gathered from various trips to US!) and finished it with a cord handle which I made using some wonderful hand dyed silk yarn by Jamie of Urban Fauna Studio in San Fransisco. The wrap is felted from some of my Cloverleaf Farms hand dyed merino and silk hankies, the cotton cheesecloth I dyed with Rite under the supervision of Sharon at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA. Pretty cosmopolitan bag and wrap don’t you think? OK, you are going to have to look at my Flickr photos to see the bag and wrap because for some reason WordPress has lost the run of itself and my whole visuals jumped all over the place when I uploaded the photos. First time of trying they wern’t visable at all and then the second time previous posts went into the sidebars but the images still weren’t where I wanted them. Sorry!
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, tagged circular shawl, cropped top, Felt, felt cropped top, felt poncho, felt shawl, felt wrap, felted, Felting, hand dyed silk, merino, Nuno, nuno felt, nuno felt poncho, nuno felt wrap, nuno felting, poncho, silk, silk fibres, top, Wollknoll, wrap on April 30, 2010 |
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Well, it is lashing outside this morning and for those of you not familiar with Irish expressions lashing means very heavy rain! I had been planning on photographing some nuno felt scarves and wraps before uploading them to my new boutique but obviously I need to wait until we get a bit of a break in the weather.
The good news is that I had a guilt free morning finishing fulling a large piece of nuno felt, I laid it out yesterday afternoon and had got it to the rolling and fulling stage before having to call it a day. I love creating pieces that can be worn in more ways than one and this piece definitely fits the bill. Basically it is a large reversible square with a hole in the middle and worn with corners pointing down it is a poncho, corners to the side a cropped top and if you fold it in half along the diagonal and roll the long edge slightly it makes a great warm wrap perfect to throw over your shoulders when the evenings get cool.
I don’t know how I suddenly ‘re-discovered’ the lilac muslin yesterday that I used for the base but with a house as tidy as mine every day in an adventure ploughing through piles of ‘stuff’! Anyway, the lilac is wonderful with some of the beautiful sweet pea shades of light pink, blueberry and raspberry coloured kap merino from Wollknoll. I also had some stunning hand dyed silk lap left over from a project earlier in the year and this just gives nice extra colour and texture to the surface of the wool side. As the project progressed I was having huge debates with myself as to how or where I was going to cut into the square to create either an opening for the head or alternatively two arm holes which had also been in my mind. What I decided to do was wait until the nuno felt was almost finished shrinking and then pin or drape the felt over my manequin before making the decision. This worked well because immediately the poncho style looked good, now I want to make another large piece of flat felt but round this time. This one I will cut with two armholes and create a circular shawl loosely basing the design on this adaptation of Barbara Pooles. I think judging from my draping and folding this morning the circle will drape better for a sleeveles top than the square. If you haven’t already enjoyed this short video take a look now and I promise to upload pictures of my ‘Sweet Pea’ poncho/wrap/cropped top just as soon as the rain stops and I can take them!
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, Swaps, tagged Clasheen Crafty Swap, Clasheen Spring Swap, Felt, felt wrap, Felting, linen, merino, Nuno, nuno felt, nuno felt wrap, nuno felting, silk, Wollknoll, wrap on April 12, 2010 |
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The weather here is FABULOUS today, hot, sunny and not a breath of wind. OK, I am going to have to ammend that to hot, sunny and loads of wind because of course as soon as I nipped downstairs (my ‘office’ is upstairs as is my dining room!) the wind had picked up tremendously and I wasn’t able to photograph my latest nuno scarves as planned.
Apricot and cream linen nuno wrap
I was however able to take some pictures of this beautiful nuno wrap which I created by felting merino and silk fibres into a base of cool crisp linen. The linen is in graduated shades of apricot through to cream and to my mind this would be a wonderful piece to accessorise a simple outfit as the style is sophisticated yet subtle. I can just imagine throwing it around my shoulders over a cream or terracotta ensemble and feeling cool and comfortable at a wedding or other such Spring or Summer function. It took me ages to make up my mind what to actually do with the linen as I have had it for ages in my stash but had been waiting for the ‘perfect’ project to use it for. Last week I was checking out some small balls of merino tops I got recently from Wollknoll and suddenly realised that there were some great shades of apricot and teracotta that would work brilliantly with the colours of the fabric. This was my first nuno experience working with linen and I must say that I loved felting with it. I wear a lot of linen myself (which I order from Blue Fish in Taos, New Mexico) and love the feel of the fabric, the casual elegance and comfort which it lends to any outfit totally suits my personality (ha, ha) and I adore the fact that it drapes well and washes brilliantly which is a big bonus. I did find that it shrunk a lot during the felting process and I really like the crinkly texture in the finished wrap.
Apologies to everyone who was waiting for their partners this weekend for the Clasheen Spring Swap, I am running a couple of days behind time so just wanted to let you all know everything will be organised on Wednesday, I promise, I promise! As a result of my total sloppiness (aka totally snowed under as usual!!) if any of you would like to join in at this very last minute sign ups will now close tomorrow so you have a few hours left tonight. Click through to our Clasheen Crafty Swap Flickr Group, read the rules, sign up and welcome to the Swap!!!
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