Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Upcoming Events Including Edinburgh Yarn Festival and New Things for 2018

Hello and welcome to my belated first blog post of 2018! I think all bloggers and podcasters experience periods in their lives when updating their areas of cyberspace fall by the wayside for one reason or another. I have definitely gotten out of the way of blogging the way that I used to but my working year has changed so much since I first started my little cottage industry and the focus has definitely been on the making as opposed to the marketing.

I have been extremely busy behind the scenes though. I had a hugely successful 2017 with a variety of events starting with Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, a few craft fairs and a highland games during May and August, Perth Festival of Yarn in September, more local fairs in October and finishing up with The Handmade Show and The Loft at Ardross in November. Keeping stock levels up for these events is a full time job plus I run my online shop and supply a few local gift shops and galleries as well. I do take a bit of a break in July but 2018 is going to be even busier!

It all kicks off mid March with a return to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I was SO delighted to be selected to exhibit at this wonderful event again. It is way over subscribed with vendors and it feels like a great privilege to be exhibiting again in 2018. It is a three day event this year running from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th March. The Thursday is advance tickets only and is sold out already. If you haven't got advance tickets for the other days, you can still show up on the Friday or Saturday and if you are prepared to queue, you will get it.

I have been working hard on getting some new images ready to have produced as gift items. Already in stock are these sets of four luxury coasters.

'Drying Day at the Bothy' has been a favourite image since I created it in 2016 and was really successful as a printed card so I have added it to the coaster set and to the pouches. Mugs will be also available soon and it is back in stock as a card.

Multi-purpose Pouch £7.95

This year I decided to add more A5 notebooks to my range. I have usually gone for the small square format but found that these designs worked will as A5. The pages alternate between plain and ruled and I have managed to keep the price at £5.95.

My Lens/Screen Cloths are back in stock and available in six different designs. I have had to put the price up to £4.50 though as my supplier has put their prices up but it's still affordable and a great gift idea plus they really are good at cleaning!

I had all these bags made and put them in my Etsy shop last week and two of the designs have sold out already but I plan to have them all available again at EYF.

Living in an old cottage surrounded by trees and fields, you really notice the subtle differences as the wheel of the year turns and we start to experience more light and the first signs of Spring. If I had time to go and arrange a nice photo I'd share with you the lovely way the sunlight comes in through the kitchen window at this time of year. We have really deep windowsills and don't get the sun coming in all year round, only at this time in February and later in the Autumn. Time is short though and staging photos involves dusting so you will just have to use your imagination! :D
The point is that I was inspired to needle felt some Spring lambs onto these keepsake boxes and as I am impatient to see the daffodils, I embroidered some of them as well. 

Keepsake Box £45

I'm hoarding my stock of these to take to EYF and should have about six available, all slightly different. I will also have other keepsake boxes in various sizes.

New for 2018 are these little needle felting kits featuring my Pretty Bird and Dolphin designs. The kits contain a needle felting sponge mat, needles, fibres, threads and beads plus the design drawn out on a wool base fabric as well as written instructions. I hope to have a third kit available soon which will be released at EYF.

Available now on Etsy

What's keeping me the most busy is building up my stock of needle felted earrings, brooches, pendants and shawl pins in time for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I'm trying to make as many as I can in all different colours.

I've added a slightly larger brooch to the range with the cottage and sheep design on it and will have a few with highland coos too!

The cow and cottage brooches take so much longer to make though so there won't be as many of them available but I'm trying my best to have a good few ready for EYF.

Highland Cow Brooch £22

Just six weeks after Edinburgh Yarn Festival I will be taking part in Open Studios North Fife for the 8th time! I can't believe it's 8 years since I first took the plunge and applied to take part in this event. I think it really helped me in lots of different ways to build my creativity into a full time job. 
I will be using the venue at Ladybank that I always use and plan to have lots of kits and fibre packs available this year as well as my full range of artwork and jewellery etc.

For full details about this event visit the website here 

Hot on the heels of Open Studios will be Aberdeen Yarn Fest on Sunday 13th May at Double Tree Hilton in Aberdeen! I'm not sure how I will cope with having a stall at this just 6 days after Open Studios but it's a great opportunity and a chance to take my wares to Aberdeen where I spent 4 years back in the 90's as an art student.

Later in the year on August 17th and 18th I have been invited to exhibit at EWEfest which will be Scotland's first wool festival of it's kind. It's to be held in Dundee at Slessor Gardens which is on the water front near the new V&A museum. This looks like an exciting and ambitious event that I am very excited to be involved it! 

As you can imagine, there is a lot of work involved in preparing for these events hence the lack of blog posts! I do try and keep everyone up to date with what I am making via Facebook and Instagram so do pop over and say hi if you use either of these. And if you are coming to any of the events mentioned above please introduce yourself! It's always lovely to meet people in real life as well as online 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Half Price SALE!

My End of Year Half Price SALE is now on!

Mostly pendants and earrings, some seconds and some end of line, all half price.

Pendants were £26 now £13
Earrings were £18 now £9

I have included a couple of cushions that were £40 now £20

 and one canvas print that was £30 now £15

Sale runs until end of January. There are 70 items still available. Click here to view.

I'll be back in the New Year with updates on new work and previews of what I will be taking to Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year. It's going to be a busy 2018! 

Wishing everyone all the best x

Thursday, 7 December 2017

December Update with Lots of Gift Ideas

Well, that's all my craft fairs and events over for 2017 and what a fantastic time I had taking my wares out and about! 
I had to expand my stall at a few of the fairs I did as I struggle to fit everything on a 6ft table now.
Below was my stall 'In The Loft' at Ardross Farm Shop on the last weekend of November. I thoroughly enjoyed being back here near Elie. Although it was an exceptionally cold weekend, lots of people turned out for the fair and the fellow artists and makers were great fun.

This month I have been making as much of my work available online as I can. Lots of photos taken and edited! My Etsy shop is stocked right up with lots of lovely gift ideas.

My lens cloths are back in stock with two new designs added.
Hare Among The Wildflowers and Drying Day at The Bothy.

At £3.50 each these make a great little gift or a treat for yourself.

I also have some new canvas prints in. Light weight and easy to post. 
All these ones measure 20 x 20 cm at £20. 

I had a few seascapes printed as well. 

I think these two go particularly well together.
 20 x 30 cm

and I have a few larger ones at 35 x 35 cm 

My tea towels also make a great gift, easy to post.

£10 each, machine washable at 40Âșc. I washed and ironed one just to make sure and it came out beautifully.

My little keepsake boxes have been flying off all over the world and I only have one left in this size and a couple of smaller ones at the moment.

7 x 7 x 7 cm 

I'll need to make more background felt and get some more made this week or next.

I have lots of pendants and earrings available in various shops and galleries including Silver Linings in Perth, The Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld, The Rowan Tree in Falkland and Maisie and Mac in Cupar.

I am doing my best to keep my Etsy shop stocked up with them as well with more earrings being added today. 

Pendants £26, Earrings £18

I love making my leaf and bird brooches and have quite a few listed. 

Brooches £12

My next event will be Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March! It's a three day event this time from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th March at Edinburgh Corn Exchange. The social space is being expanded and with the market place running for three days, it's set to be even bigger and better!
The Exhibitor list is available to browse on the EYF website here

 I am so excited to be there again in 2018! This is such a vibrant and inspiring event and I am already planning my wares and thinking about how best to layout my stand.
If you are planning to attend, it is best to sign up to the EYF mailing list as important ticket info is sent out in January.

I will also be taking part in Open Studios North Fife in May 2018. 

That seems like a long way away but these things have to be planned well in advance and you can take a sneaky peek at the participants list on the OSNF website here . It's quite handy having a name that starts with A. It often puts me at the top of the list! 

I'll leave you with this photo I took in Anstruther last week on a rare day off. I'm very much looking forward to some time off over the holidays, a chance to gather inspiration and recharge in readiness for a busy 2018!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

New Tea Towels Now In!

I'm very excited to finally have my new Aileen Clarke Tea Towels in stock! I started the process for this idea on September 1st. I have wanted to have them made for years and finally found a UK company to work with.

The original artwork was made using traditional felt making techniques including needle felting with hand stitching and embroidered details. The image has then been professionally printed onto 100% cotton.

Measures 48 x 80 cm 18 x 31 inches. Machine washable at 30°

£10.50 plus p+p

I have them neatly wrapped in cellophane sleeves ready to ship. Makes a great gift and can even be framed!

The tea towels are available on Etsy here or from me at my upcoming events.

I will be at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 19th November.

And on
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November - The Loft at Ardross Farm Shop, Elie, East Neuk of Fife - 9 - 5 pm Free Entry

I'll be very busy over the next two weeks making stock for these events. Other new printed items include these two coo cushions.

I also have some bags with a few different designs on them. They are polyester and fold away into a pocket or handbag. Make great project bags too!

This week has been spent making lots of keepsake boxes in various sizes.

Harris Tweed and Felt Keepsake Box


I also have lots of my textile and resin jewellery available both online and from me at the events mentioned above.
You can also find this jewellery in The Rowan Tree gift shop in Falkland, Maisie and Mac in Cupar, The Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld and Hecla Gallery at Cockenzie House and Gardens.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Upcoming Events for October and November 2017

Events season is upon us and you can find me and my work at the following places; 

Saturday 21st October 2017 Pitcairngreen Village Hall Craft Fair. Pitcairngreen, by Almondbank, Perth. PH13LR 
There is a small entrance fee which includes tea, coffee and cake.

Saturday 4th November 2017 Falkland Craft Market, Falkland Community Hall, Back Wynd, Falkland 10 - 4 pm Free Entry

Sunday 19th November 2017 The Handmade Show, Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth, Scotland, PH1 5HZ 10.30 - 4.30 pm Free Entry

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November - The Loft at Ardross Farm Shop, Elie, East Neuk of Fife, KY9 1EU, - 9 - 5 pm Free Entry

I had a very successful day at Falkland on October the 7th and look forward to taking my wares to all the events above.

New this month are these merino and silk felt ivy leaf brooches. The brooch pins on them are extra long, making them useful as shawl or scarf pins as well.

Harris Tweed Bird Brooch 

I got into making some green felt using my embellisher machine last week. I have included lots of Shetland fibres as well as green sari silk. This technique produces lots of lovely texture. I then used the felt to make these sheep brooches and keepsake boxes.

The fabric for the sides of these boxes came from Kingcraig Fabrics in Brora. I bought the fabrics to line my boxes but decided they were too nice to be hidden away on the inside all the time.

I also made some new Dragonfly Pendants in vibrant blues and purples

I bought some new fibres to play with while I was at Perth Festival of Yarn. Took me weeks to get around to using any of it! The first piece to emerge was this little cottage picture. I used fibres from a beautiful batt bought from Blue Moon Indigo. It had really subtle strands of pink through it and I added a hint of yellow and green to give a subtle rainbow effect in the sky. The end piece turned out to be quite bold in colour with the purple hills and bright red roof and as it's slightly bigger than my usual pictures, it really 'pops' and makes a cheery splash of colour on the wall. 

Lastly I have been working on quite a big piece that I am having printed up as tea towels. They should be available in the next two weeks but in the meantime, I have had the image reproduced as a canvas. It's a great size at 38 x 61 cm and can be hung on the wall as is ir be framed. I don't supply the frames but your local framer should be able to do this no problem.

I look forward to seeing some you over the next few weeks. 
All contributed content © Aileen Clarke