Sweet Nothings Retreat…..

Sweet Nothings Retreat

 

I am thrilled to announce that I will be offering two wet felting workshops in France this coming July. The workshops will be held at Sweet Nothings Art and Crafts Retreat in the beautiful Charent region. The retreat is owned and run by husband and wife team Natalie and Lawrence, originally from the UK, and you can read how they came to be running a business in rural France by clicking here.

The price is €700 sharing a twin or double room or €850 for single occupancy of a double or twin room. As Natalie says…”once you’ve arrived each week is fully inclusive, you really don’t have to spend any money at all.  We feed guests well and provide wine and snacks.  I provide airport transfers also, from Bordeaux, Bergerac and Limoges, also Angouleme / Bordeaux train station.  When not in the workshop you will also have the opportunity of going on a couple of trips, again at no extra cost. If requested I can organise payment by instalments for guests, which some people find useful.“

During your six day retreat you will have three workshop days and, with a maximum number of six students per class, there will be lots of opportunity for one to one time. A small class also allows for lots of flexibility so we can tailor your project to suit your specific wishes/needs rather than all having to work on the same design or template. This also means we can accommodate absolute beginners alongside those of you who may have experience of Wet Felting but want to experiment or develope your technique further. On booking you will be sent a (very) short Requirements List of items to bring – nothing that can’t easily be packed for travelling!

15th – 20th July Nuno Scarf/Collar – In this workshop we will be working with Superfine Merino and silk fabrics, learning the basics of Nuno Felting, to create a beautiful, soft scarf/collar. Each student will work at their own pace and, once finished, you have the option of relaxing or putting your new found skills to practise on another item such as , Necklace or Bracelet. Being both practical and decorative, the beautifully soft, extremely lightweight Necklets bridge the gap between a scarf and a necklace and are ideal for wearing under a jacket on cool evenings. The necklaces and bracelets introduce another technique, differential shrinkage, which allows us to create interesting, undulating surfaces on a flat plane. Once again, each of the additional projects will be totally unique and these can be further embellished with hand embroidery and beads. It’s your retreat…you decide!

15th – 20th July Superfine Merino Scarves and Collars

Nuno Necklets – perfect for wearing under a jacket
Nuno Felted Necklace and Bracelet

22nd – 27th July Wet Felted Wallhanging – In this workshop we will be covering a variety of techniques including wet felting, needle felting, free motion stitch and hand embroidery to create our own unique wall hanging. It is suitable for any ability from absolute beginner to the more experienced felt maker as well as being a great introduction to free machine embroidery for those who haven’t yet tried it.

Using photographs or sketches as our source of inspiration we will begin by designing our layout and colour scheme. There will be examples to look at as we explore the different techniques we might use to create our pictures. The main body of our work will be wet felted, using loose fibres to “paint” our pictures. We will also explore the use of our own hand made pre felts, needle felting, hand and machine stitching to add areas of detail. Students can work to any size they wish, working on a large scale and concentrating on the one project, or working to a smaller scale and having the choice of an add-on felting project or simply enjoying more “free” time!

22nd – 27th July Wet Felted Wall Hangings
Flower Meadow – Merino wool, wet felted and machine embroidered.

If you would like more information about the workshops I will be offering please use the contact form to get in touch. If you have any queries regarding the accommodation or would like to make a booking please do that via the Sweet Nothings Website.

Lutradur Forest Workshop…..

Day two of the Lutradur Forest Workshop saw the ladies layering and stitching their Forest designs to their base fabric.

As often happens in a workshop, although all of the ladies worked constantly over the two day’s and the quilts are looking terrific, everyone has some finishing off to do at home.

Clare is adding clumps of bluebells to her Forest floor, hand embroidering them with Colonial knots

Janet’s design featured trees in leaf as well as these wonderful old gnarly tree stumps

Sue created lots of depth with her shading

Clair based her design on a photo she took while visiting a Canadian lake in the Fall

Janice is making lots of individual leaves which will be added to the foreground on the right of her design

Patricia has created a very strong contrast with her dark foreground tree and the lighter grey trunks in the background

Lyn will add stitched detail the her ferns to create interest in the foreground

Thanks to Nicola at the Simply Stitch Studio for being a wonderful host and to all the ladies for their enthusiasm and hard work.  I will look forward to receiving photos of your finished quilts.

Lutradur Forest Workshop….

A Walk in the Forest art quilt by Karen Lane

Walk in the Forest

Today was day one of a two-day Lutradur Forest Workshop at the Simply Stitch Studio, Wetherby.  Using my “Walk in the Forest” design as a starting point, eight ladies have begun the day designing their own “Forest” art quilt which will consist of several layers of Lutradur fabric.  Today the Lutradur has been cut out and painted and tomorrow we will begin layering and stitching the fabric in place.  As you can see from the photos not only is each design unique but also each student is displaying a distinct style of their own.

The ladies start by drawing out their design ideas on paper

The Lutradur is cut out and painted

Cutting out foliage using a soldering iron

This is where we are at the end of day one…..

Tomorrow we will bring all the main elements together and stitch them in place before adding any foreground detail and hand stitching.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how these pieces develop!

 

The Big Textile Show 2018…..

Nuno Necklets made with Superfine Merino and Silk fabrics

I’m looking forward to exhibiting again at The Big Textile Show at the end of this month.  It’s being held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.  Last year was my first time as an exhibitor.  I just loved meeting the visitors and discussing my work as well as getting to see and hear about everyone else’s creations…….fingers crossed it’s as much fun this year!

I’ve been busy making a selection of Nuno Necklets for my stall.  These are extremely lightweight as they are made from Superfine Merino and silk fabrics.  I hope my visitors like them as much as I do!

For more information about the The Big Textile Show visit www.thebigtextileshow.co.uk

 

Nuno Felted Collar Workshop…..

Last week saw eight members of the Belchford Felting Group come together for a Nuno Felted Collar Workshop.

Using the “tile” technique we combined superfine Merino fibre with silk fabrics, most of which were bought from local charity shops.  All of our collars were backed with Uzbek silk for a wonderful, soft feel against the skin.

Jacky has her tiles laid out…..

…..and after Felting.

Margaret working with beautiful, bright colours…..

……and working on the other side

Alison chose a warm, Autumnal colour palette…..

…..and Alison’s finished collar

A close up of the beautiful Indian Silks

Robyn’s Collar is ready for fulling…..

…..and the finished collar looks great!

A close up of Carols work

This one is Sheila’s

Close up of Yvonne’s Collar

Val’s finished collar

Everyone did a terrific job and took home something that’s not only unique and beautiful but very practical too!

Abstraction…..

Abstraction – 27cm x 14.5cm Mixed Media

This is Abstraction, the finished Mixed Media piece I’ve been working on for the past week.  The theme was set by the textile group Jeudis and my interpretation is purely non-representational.

The shapes, formed by laying out and felting the Merino fibres, fabrics and silks, have been traced with free motion stitching which in turn has produced ridges and valleys, adding to the overall textural effect.

For now it’s got pride of place hanging in the lounge in a simple, flat profile black frame…..

Tyvek Seed Pod…..

I developed a ganglion on my right hand as a result of making the bird mask last week.  It’s giving me some gip so I’m resting the hand for a while and doing a few pieces that don’t require a strong grip.  Yesterday it was a Tyvek Seed Pod incorporating sari silks and acrylic paint…..

Today I made a start on a mixed Media piece with the theme “Abstraction” which was set by the textile group  Jeudis which I became a member of a couple of months ago.   I’m combining free motion stitch with painted Lutradur and wet Felted Merino, for now it’s work in progress…..

Abstraction

 

Bird Mask Workshop…..

Bird Mask Workshop with Gladys Paulus

Last week I attended a wonderful four-day Bird Mask Workshop with Internally renowned feltmaker Gladys Paulus at Big Cat Textiles in Newburgh near Perth.

Gladys has been high on my list of tutors I’ve wanted to work ever since I started felting.  Her three-dimensional work is exceptional and she is such a warm and generous tutor.

The first layer of fibres are laid down around a resist in the shape of a birds head.

Layer one of my bird mask

I chose to make my mask using Bergschaf fibres and originally he was going to be a red kite……I soon realised I wasn’t going to achieve that aim in the time we had so he morphed into a generic bird of prey!  Apologies for the fuzzy images but with a four-day schedule time was always going to be tight so photography wasn’t high on my list of priorities!

Sandra making her Blue Jay

Diana working on her Cockatoo

Caroline shaping her mask

Liz was always one step ahead of the group!

Sharnie working on her Lapwing

We all learnt such a lot in the four days and everyone came away excited and very pleased with their finished piece of work…..

A gaggle of bird masks!

My bird of prey mask

Thanks to Gladys for an inspirational workshop and many thanks to Alison and Netty at Big Cat Textiles for looking after us and being such wonderful hosts!

Mixed Media Necklace…..

This week I came across a fabulous Mixed Media Necklace tutorial by Australian feltmaker Wendy Bailye in Felt magazine.

I love “statement” jewellery so couldn’t resist having a go at this project.  I’ve used a combination of Merino and Bergschaf fibres with found items, perle thread and black annealed wire.

This one is an Autumn themed choker necklace combining one of my Lutradur leaves with Merino fibres…..

Escape…..

My latest art quilt has been made in response to the Cranwell Contemporary Group challenge titled Escape.  When the theme was announced my first thought was of “escaping” to the Scottish Highlands……this area has to be my absolute favourite away from it all destination in the UK.

Art Quilt with the theme “Escape”

Escape

I worked from memory, rather than looking back at photographs, as I wanted this piece to suggest a mood and a feeling of being in this area and not a specific, identifiable place.   The colours are very neutral and muted, built up using Inktense paint, layered fabrics, Mulberry bark and silk cocoon strippings to create a textural surface.  The finished quilt is 28” wide x 40” high.