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.

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

 

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

 

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.

Wet Felted Fish…..

Last week I did a one-one Workshop for Alison who wanted to learn how to make a wet felted fish.  This wasn’t to be any old fish, Alison made it quite clear that she was on a mission to create a Wrasse as part of a local community project.  I’d never heard of a Wrasse so immediately turned to Google to see what it was we were aiming for.  I discovered that there are over six hundred species of this fish with two being native to the British Isles, the Ballan Wrasse and it’s more colourful cousin, the Cuckoo Wrasse.

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We decided to work with a combination of Bergschaf and Merino fibres.  This was the first time Alison has Felted around a resist but she took to it like a fish to water (I had to get that in somewhere!)

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This is how he looked once Alison had got him home and dried out, prior to embellishing…..

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…..and this is the finished Wrasse complete with hand embroidery and an impressive set of dentures!  Isn’t he handsome!  Well done Alison, can’t wait to see what you make next!

 

Textural Necklace…..

 

This is my latest “Ullapool/Ardmair” inspired piece.  I wanted this textural necklace to capture the atmospheric beauty of the monochromatic grey days and the grey pebble beaches, punctuated by the yellow/green of the seaweed and the lichen on the rocks.

The necklace is made from grey, taupe and white Merino with just a hint of yellow added.  It was embellished with Colonial knots made using Madeira metallic threads.

 

 

 

Concertina Hat Workshop…..

Back in the Summer I read a post on the Felting & Fibre Studio about a concertina hat workshop being run by Teri Berry.  It sounded really interesting but at that time I couldn’t commit due to holidays and other workshops.  Fortunately Teri’s first workshop was such a huge success that it is being run again this month.   As a result I’ve just finished my first wet felted Merino concertina hat and I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I’m now looking forward to trying out the next design which is Teri’s wacky but wonderful “Snail Hat”…….watch this space!

Side view blue/green hat

Ladies wet felted blue/green hat

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Too rear view of blue/green hat

 

Sculptural Collar…..

This is the finished blue and pink Merino sculptural collar which I started last week at Felt Inspired in Belchford.

Wet felted Sculptural Collar made from Merino wool.

Wet felted Sculptural Collar made from Merino wool.

I used a press stud fastener to hold it in place and added a wet felted floral detail including three leaves, two cords and a ‘rainbow bead‘.  I learnt the rainbow bead technique from the wonderful Dutch felt artist Annemie Koenen.  They take a crazy amount of effort to make but are so beautiful it’s well worth it!

Side view of Sculpted Collar

Where does the time go…..

I can’t believe it’s been a month since we started the felting group in Belchford.  Where does the time go…..

Once again we had eight ladies gathered for a felting session.  Val and Karen couldn’t make it this month but we welcomed two new faces, Ann and Sheila.   Sheila brought her current project to work on which is a very handsome needle felted owl…..

Sheila and her owl.

Sheila and her owl.

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Adding feather detail on the back.

Ann began working on a needle felted landscape and I’m loving the colour scheme…..

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Rosie was busy with her beautiful new wool making more vegetables (we’re starting to suspect an obsession here!)…..

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Looking good enough to eat!

Looking good enough to eat!

Olga was working on her sketchbook ideas for new projects…..

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Olga working on ideas in her sketchbook.

Pat was busy with embellisher…..

Pat busy on the embellisher

Pat busy on the embellisher

Janet made a wet felted bowl and then did some more work on the lovely picture she started last session….

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I started another Merino collar which will get finished at home…

Fibres laid out ready for felting.

Fibres laid out ready for felting.

All in all another enjoyable day in Belchford.