Tuesday, 22 May 2018

May Update 2018

Both of my big events for May have been and gone and what an incredibly busy time it has been! There were only six weeks between Edinburgh Yarn Festival and Open Studios and two of those weeks were the school holidays so that didn't leave much making time but I managed it somehow and Open Studios North Fife 2018 was a huge success and one of my busiest ever!

I moved into my usual venue in Ladybank which is kindly lent to me by Gillian McIntosh of Kingdom Osteopaths. This little place was going to be my permanent studio a few years ago but I found it more time effective to work from home so the building was sold to Gillian who now runs a successful practice offering a variety of treatments including osteopathy.
I get to move in for four days in which I recreate my studio and transform the three rooms ready to welcome visitors over the Open Studios weekend.

I was completely overwhelmed by the response to my work this year and received 434 visitors over the three days!

My new artwork for 2018 was inspired by a quick trip to Dingle on the west coast of Ireland that we managed to squeeze into the school holidays in April. 

We usually go in July or August and I completely switch off for the two weeks we are there, this time however I was very inspired by the April light which was moody and changeable and I worked some felt seascapes from these photos I took around the Dingle peninsula.

Wine Strand at Ballinrannig

Wild Atlantic Bay £195

Canvas Print £45 Available

Coumeenole, Slea Head

The Wild Atlantic £195

Canvas Print £45 Available

I also got chatting to local photographer Dave Lee over a pint in Foxy John's and he very kindly sent me some photos taken from his hill farm.
I used them as a basis for this piece below.

West Kerry Sunset £195

I also made this felt piece inspired by the wild montbretia we see every summer in this area of West Kerry.

West Coast Montbretia £145 Available

And this little sunset piece also features the montbretia.

Montbretia Sunset £95 Available

All these new works will be in my 2019 Calendar which will be available in August.

Other work on display during Open Studios included the original felt art for my tea towel.
This is the largest detailed piece I have made to date and I was delighted to see it framed at last.

Cottage, Cove and Coo £385

Tea Towel £9.95 Available
Also available as cards and notebooks.

Delphinium Cottage £145 Available

First Lambs £245 Available

Open Studios is always a great opportunity to display finished work but it is also about sharing information about the processes and materials used so I get my friend Kirsty from Falkland Felts to help me explain the felt making process to visitors and offer some short demonstrations. We had great fun this year and we also put some kits together so people could have a go at needle felting at home.

I have some fibre packs still available in my Etsy shop. These are little 'bits bags' made up with a variety of fibres from my own stash, suitable for small wet felting and needle felting projects. 

It's always exciting to have something new to show people at events and I was over the moon to reveal this new collaboration with local wood turner Mike Kelly.

These beautifully turned boxes are inlaid with my artwork making them truly unique and an unusual gift.
The wood is polished to a lovely sheen and they feel soooo smooooth!

You can read full details about each box in my Etsy shop here

Turned Wood Boxes £65

Just a few days after Open Studios it was off to Aberdeen for the first ever Aberdeen Yarnfest! Amazingly I still had stock left as I had worked incredibly hard to make enough and topped up my range of shawl pins etc in the couple of days in between.

My husband and daughter came too and we made a weekend of it as the Double Tree Hilton Hotel where we stayed and where the yarn fest was held, has a swimming pool etc so they enjoyed that while I got busy with the event.

You never know what to expect with a new event but we were all rushed off our feet from the minute the doors opened in the morning right up to the last hour. Everyone from the organisers and stall holders to the visitors could not have been nicer and a great day was had by all!

I have serious yarn addiction now after vending at all the yarn festivals and have a fair few shawls/scarves crocheted with my purchases. 

Acer Shawl in Sock Yarn from The Border Tart/Blue Moon Indigo at EYF 2018

Above is the Acer Shawl I started just after EYF using a pattern from The Crochet Project and hand dyed yarn from Blue Moon Indigo. I really love wearing it so I made another in a gradient yarn I bought on Etsy from Bilum in Hungary. I had seen their beautiful yarns at EYF 2017 and just couldn't find anything else as nice so I treated myself and the results were worth it.
Both of these shawls used 1 x 100g/400m skeins.

Acer Shawl in Slika Yarn from Bilum on Etsy

I also bought a random skein of purple yarn at EYF 2018 from Fig Tree Yarns but is was only 284m so I went on Ravelry and looked for a suitable pattern and found the Boomerang Scarf for Crochet. This is a great little pattern as you can use any yarn, any hook and any stitch as long as you keep the increase and decrease the same on each row and it only takes 4 hours start to finish for a 284m skein!

Boomerang Scarf in Cricket Yarn by Anzula Luxury Fibres from Fig Tree Yarns at EYF 2018

This is a really wearable scarf and I have teamed it up here with one of my own felt flower shawl pins. 
This is the shape of the boomerang scarf hence it's name.

I made it again in this Mochi Plus yarn that I got from my neighbours, Albayarn, at Aberdeen Yarnfest. It came out a lot longer and skinnier than the purple one and I'm not sure why but it's still wearable and goes with my Autumn/Spring coat. Again I have teamed it up with one of my own shawl pins, a range of which I plan to have available in time for Perth Festival of Yarn in September.

Boomerang Scarf in Mochi Plus by Crystal Palace Yarns from Albayarn at Aberdeen Yarnfest 2018

I have added lots of things to my Etsy shop over the last week including these new rings and pendants.

The rings are adjustable and are very comfortable to wear. they adjust from the side so that they don't pinch underneath. 

The pendants are very elegant and great for wearing with summer necklines.

I have also topped up my usual range of felted Sheep Jewellery, Keepsake Boxes and Brooches.

Sheep Brooch

Sheepy Shawl Pins £18

Sheep and Cottage Brooch £22

5 x 5 x 5 cm Keepsake Box £30

7 x 7 x 7 cm Keepsake Box £35

10 x 10 x 6 cm Keepsake Box £45

Harris Tweed Bird Brooches £14

Harris Tweed Leaf Brooches £14

Find all these and more in

Little Lamb Lens Cloth £4.50

My next event will be at Aberfeldy Highland Games on Saturday 11th August held at Wade's Park across the bridge from Aberfeldy. 

Then I will be at Perth Festival of Yarn on 8th and 9th September. It is advisable to buy tickets in advance for this. See the website here for details.


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