Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rush Week

Merino with silk threads and cotton
crocheted snowflake
This week is passing in a blur.  I am working my PR skills like crazy, trying to get the word out on the workshop in (yikes!) three days!  The first one is always the hardest, but once the word is out then things fall into place.  I suppose that is providing that people will enjoy themselves!!  I think they will....

We have three outstanding instructors, a lovely setting, and great food--what more could you ask for?  Food shopping and prep tomorrow after work and then Friday afternoon will be spent getting the room ready and baking desserts.  All things going well, we should have a great time on Saturday!  I will take lots of  pictures....

So, plan to arrive at 1030am to register and have tea/coffee and homemade scones.  You will have time to get acquainted with other participants and check out the pop-up shop we will have there.  There will be quilting supplies, yarns for crochet, and some felting fibres.  I had planned to have lots of hand-dyed fibre goodie bags for felting, but my large order was apparently not received online, so we will be rather limited.  I will bring ordering catalogs so people can see what is out there to order and get an idea of pricing.  Check out our Facebook page 'Lámhdhéanta' for more information about the workshop and instructors.

I have started felting Christmas stockings!  Two down, a zillion to go. The weekend's activities will stop production for awhile, but then full steam ahead next week!   And once my order comes in, it will be hats, hats, hats!  And perhaps a few pairs of slippers....
Resist-felted, hand-dyed Merino
stocking with hand-dyed tussah silk

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Educational Opportunity....

Well, we are all back in the swing of Autumn and life is returning to a somewhat normal pace.  I have been taking classes with Una Ní Shé for the past few years and she is starting another creative embroidery class in Dingle on October 14th for eight weeks.  You finish in time for Christmas holidays and then she will be teaching a FETAC textile course in February for a much longer session.

Una is very easy-going and an accomplished felt maker.  I owe my love of felt to her :)  She's good at giving instruction without INSTRUCTING, if you know what I mean.  Encouragement without telling you how to make your piece.  We dyed pieces in the last class and stitched, learned reverse applique, and learned a lot of new stitches.  She will be using a lot more multi-media techniques this time, including wax resist, printing, and collage.

A piece-in-progress from Una's last class
This is the official blurb....Please join us for our fun and inspired course where students are introduced to creative embroidery while also developing skills in mixed media materials, including printing, wax, collage, stitch, and dyeing. This 8 week course is starting at an Mhainistir in Dingle, Co Kerry on Thursday, October 14, 2010. The cost is €45.00 and will run from 10:30-1pm. For further information, please ring Jeannette at 066-9152280.  You bring the imagination and we will provide the tea and biscuits!

So!  You have been duly informed.  If you are able to get to Dingle, I highly recommend it :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

After the Wedding

My head does not ache, despite having plenty to drink and getting to bed after 3am, but my feet sure do!  We danced the night away at Siobhan and Thomas' wedding and it was fabulous!  The bride was gorgeous and the groom was very sweet in his speech at dinner.  A great night, really. 

I finished my dress the morning of the wedding, just in time.  I thought I was going to have to wear the felted top wet and smell like a sheep, but I ironed it dry and left in on the laundry line to air in the breeze.  There are plenty of mistakes, but I suppose I am the only one to see most of them.  I ran out of silk chiffon to nuno felt the sleeves, so I had to do them pure Merino, which was a bit warmer than I wanted.  I cut down the neckline a bit lower and over the shoulders to balance it.  If I ever do another dress, I will try to do the whole thing chiffon.  It was hard for me to see the whole thing seamless, but maybe when I start tackling seamless creations then the patterning will make more sense then. I initially made the bodice far too big and I had to add darts and cut it down. I was very happy with the texture and colour, though.  I am glad to have it behind me as it took up so much time with the learning curve and I have a lot to get to this week.

Hope it doesn't spoil the surprise, Woollove!
I have to get started on (YES!) Christmas items.  I am felting Christmas stocking samples this week.  I am going to try and resist felt them and see how they turn out.  And I think the scarves will sell well, so I am felting more of the silk and Merino scarves as soon as my order arrives.  I did a book cover that I sent to Woollove as part of the Clasheen Summer Crafty Swap.  You can see the pics on Flickr.  It turned out well and so I will start a series of those because I think they will sell well for Christmas.  I'd love to receive one! 

The view of Dingle Bay from the Skellig Hotel
This week I have started cranking into high great the publicity on Lámhdhéanta.  The first workshop in the series is on September 25th in Dingle from 11-4pm.  You can drop by at 1030am and have a cuppa and see what we will have to sell there in our supplies shop.  Options in the fibre day are: beginning crochet with Orla Breslin, felting with Una Ni Shé, and patchwork with Nikki Foley.  I have a Facebook page under 'Lámhdhéanta' with more information or you can email  All are welcome and it should be a great day.  The price is €65 for the day, including all materials and a fine, handmade lunch.  All instructors are very talented in their field and reside in West Kerry.  While I will not continue to use exclusively Kerry artists/creators, we simply have too much talent in the area to not start with the people around us that are making wonderful and diverse pieces.  I think that Dingle is also a wonderful place to come to for the weekend and if anyone is travelling over to Dingle for the workshop and would like to stay overnight, I can recommend decent accommodation. 

Okay, must feed the Small Boy and do a few mundane and decidedly uncreative household chores.  Has to be done!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes...

Yesterday was stunning, the kind of postcard day in West Kerry that makes your heart sing and so glad that you are lucky enough to live here.  Blue skies, a light breeze, and 2,000+ people in Dingle for the 2nd Annual Dingle Marathon.  Fionn and I were signed up to volunteer down at the finish line, handing out goodies as the runners entered Dingle once more.  The forecast was given very poor for the day, so we were very lucky and since most of the runners were not from Dingle, it was even luckier to be able to show off the Peninsula at her best.  We handed out goodie bags from the sponsors, water from Kerry Spring, and passed out t-shirts to the breathless finishers.  I have to say, there was a fantastic atmosphere and the operation was very well organized.  There was great music from a slightly mad Kerryman (never did get his name, but he kept the crowds going) and the locals and visitors alike hung around longer than I thought they would.  Fionn got to hand water to the finishers as the crossed the line and even got to put a few medals around their necks.  Great fun and a wonderful afternoon. For all the events that are put on in Dingle, this one is great: good PR  and money for the town, lots of visitors who seem a largely positive bunch, and the whole lot is cleaned up and tidy afterwards. Win-win!

I had a mad week full of two children's birthday parties, work, sewing labels in clothing, and trying to get a dress sewn/felted for the wedding next Saturday.  I need to just take a look at measurements in my studio tomorrow and we might have a nearly finished dress!  I might want to add a bit of embellishment around the waist area and I need to felt some cobweb felt for fluttery sleeves, but we are nearly there.  I will post photos when I get it done! 

My very grownup little boy started the boy's school for 2nd class/Ranga Dó this week.  He was very nervous about the Irish, but when he got home the first day he told me "Mom, I hate my old school and I love my new school!  We got to play basketball!"  Boys.  They can be bought with food and sports.  Here he is with the new school uniform, which he wore the first day and then he will wear the blue polo shirt and navy track suit bottoms with the sports jacket.  He would live in track suit bottoms if I let him.  I am just relieved that we are off to a good start.  It seems like homework is going to average an hour this year, so it may be hard to get a lot done in studio until he gets it done.  I know he is supposed to start doing a lot of it himself, so once we get a routine going I am hoping he evolves into my little self-starter! 

Not many pics this week as I am getting ready to photograph EVERYTHING for ETSY this week.  Weather forecast is not good...sigh.  Weather has been very good on Sundays, but it's hard to get people to drop everything and model on a Sunday as they often have family plans.  Perhaps the sun will shine only in Dingle once again this week and I can snap everything quick!  Must finish dress and felt some kind of vessel to nicely present our cash present to the bride and groom.  And this week I start Christmas items!  If you think I am a bit daft, then you are forgetting that it takes time to make these lovely, handmade items.  Only 112 days left til Christmas!!!