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….

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!

 

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!

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!

The Final Show and Tell…..

My first stint at tutoring a residential weekend came to a close this afternoon with the final show and tell at Cober Hill.  It’s been a terrific three days spent with the 18 creative ladies from the East Yorkshire Embroidery group.  They don’t shy away from putting in the hours and the effort to learn a new skill but at the same time they certainly know how to enjoy themselves!  We’ve had lots of chat, lots of laughs and the ladies have produced lots of wonderful work.  It’s worth remembering that for many this was their first attempt at feltmaking……..

A huge thank you to Maggie and Carol for giving me this opportunity and I hope to work with you all again sometime in the future.

E.Y.E.s Residential Weekend…..

This weekend I am up in North East Yorkshire teaching wet  felting at the E.Y.E.s (East Yorkshire Embroiderers) annual Residential Weekend Retreat.  It’s being held at a wonderful venue called Cober Hill, overlooking the North Bay Area of Scarborough.

Out of the 18 ladies attending sixteen are creating wet felted pictures while the other two are here doing their own thing.  We met up on Friday afternoon and after a brief introduction got straight on with planning our designs and laying out our fibres.

After a three course dinner the ladies were straight back in the studio and hard at work rolling, throwing and generally fulling their work.

I’d been warned that some of the group would be working all hours and I found myself staying in the studio until 11pm with Ruth who was the last woman standing!

This morning I heard one lady was in the room and working at 6am……I certainly wasn’t!!!  Most of us resumed work straight after breakfast adding needle felted elements and beginning to free motion or hand stitch into the felt.

There is some fabulous work being created and I reckon we are going to have a really impressive “show and tell” tomorrow lunch time!  Watch this space…….

Nuno Felting Day Two…..

Nuno Felting day two at East Keswick and the ladies used view finders to identify areas for adding stitched detail to their Felted work…..

There were some wonderful designs taking shape as areas were enhanced with stitch…..


Thanks to Nicola for hosting the workshop and to all the ladies who took part and created such wonderful work.  I shall look forward to seeing some of you again on my return visit in September.

Nuno Felting Workshop…..

Weve just finished day one of a two-day Nuno Felting Workshop at Simply Stitch, East Keswick and what a productive day we’ve had!  10 ladies are taking part and today they experimented with different lightweight fabrics, combining them with Merino fibres to produce beautiful new Nuno fabrics.

And a few close-ups showing the wonderful textures achieved….

Tomorrow we will be using apertures to identify areas to be embellished using hand and/or machine stitching.

Merino and Silk Collars…..

Today’s students were Jenny, Felicia and Anne, three friends from the Derby area who travelled up for the day to make Merino and Silk Collars.

As you can see from the photos of their finished work the ladies did a wonderful job and achieved some fabulous textures.  They even got done in time for a quick Tyvek demonstration and each made a Tyvek brooch.

Felicia’s finished collar

Jenny’s finished collar

Anne’s finished collar

Jenny, Anne and Felicia…..all hoping the damp, cold weather continues a while longer!

It was a pleasure working with you ladies.  I hope you all enjoy wearing your new creations and go on to make lots more!

Photos From Day Two…..

As promised photos from day two of the Yellow Poppies workshop in Hemmingby…..

Lou was the first to finish. Having worked so fast she even managed a second piece of work!

Lou’s Felted wallhanging with yellow 3D flowers

Janny’s Felted wallhanging with 3D red poppies

Zoe’s red poppy wallhanging

Wet Felted wallhanging with floral design

Trish’s sunflower wallhanging

Maggies  floral wallhanging

June’s red poppies and dragonfly

Elaine’s Landscape with swan and dragonfly

Ellie and Brenda still have work in progress so I will add photos of their finished work as and when I get them.

Ellie’s Yellow Poppies work in progress

Many thanks to Ellie for inviting me over to Hemmingby and to all the ladies who took part.  It’s probably too late to tell you now the workshops over but, as you may have already realised, felting is very addictive and can seriously improve your health….you’ve been warned!