Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Bit Lost in the non-Winter

New hat.  I so wanted to bead the felt decor
after machine embroidery, but with sales
so low, I can't justify the work for the prices
I can getting.  The new economy line, I think!
It's mid-January and we are in the middle of a very mild winter, especially compared to the last two years.  My family in Seattle and friends in Boston are despairing the cold and snow and ice, but here in Ireland we are getting a reprieve from the nastiness.  I hope to God it means that we might actually have a beautiful summer also, as the rain this year has been fairly unforgiving.

I closed my studio this week and it was hard work. Condensing another house into my small house is not easy and I found a place to store my felting tables until I can find another workspace.  My house is like a bomb site. I look at the boxes and bags everywhere and I hardly know where to start, but I know I have to make a start of it or I will go nuts.  There is space in the spare bedroom to store supplies and possibly sew, but there is only room on the kitchen table to lay out small felting projects.  The full dye kitchen is much harder as there is so much STUFF to store and I think it will just have to go out to the shed and hope the weather doesn't ruin it.  Mildew seems to be breeding with alacrity and as soon as I get the clutter under control, I need to wash walls with mildew killer and start painting.

Using a lot of gray to foil brighter colours.
Since most of my colours are hand-dyed,
it really makes the vibrant ones pop.
About 5 of my framed textile pieces were damaged with mold/mildew while in my studio.  It must have happened over Christmas when I didn't have the heat on.  I need to take them apart and do repairs so that I can get them up on the wall where they will be safer from children and accidents.  They are certainly cheering my house up no end.  I am so sad about failing and burned out that I haven't even picked up my crochet hook, but that's probably the thing that I need to do.  Floundering is not good, but I am craving quiet and time alone to figure out what I will do with my felt.  I need to get Internet sales going on Etsy or somewhere else, but I need to organize the house first so I can look clearly at designs.  And I want to focus on design work as the newer designs are selling the best, so I know I am on the right track. In the meantime, I have a part-time job I started selling ads and I am hoping that this will bring in some much-needed income. Typically, it is mostly commission, so I will have to keep the head down and the Skype on to make some progress.  It is about time for SOMETHING to succeed as I will also need funds for the next attempt at a studio or flogging my felt.

In the meantime, I am heading up to Showcase tomorrow to have a look around and meet a few people.  I need feedback on my designs and time to look around and figure out where I am going next.  Can't wait to see Pat Lawless' stand as he got a commendation from the Craft Council and the fabulous Garry Marcham will be up there also.  If I can't succeed, then at least people I know and like should succeed!!

The mentor that I requested has finally arrived after three months wait and we need to put our heads together and see if we are agreed on what to do next.  He is suggesting I change my business name and re-brand.  I will have to be convinced!!!


  1. Keep the faith! You're being challenged to figure out a new path. Sometimes you need to ask your muse to be patient, very patient; or re-imagine your work: smaller? natural colors? to remain true to yourself. It's discouraging to feel that you're losing momentum. But the artist's life is like a great big compost pile: pretty much everything can nurture you. Tending your art is like tending a fire, and it's OK to do other things while tending a small fire or keeping the coals alive. The important thing is that it's the fire of YOUR passion; this will nurture the quality of your work through hardship.
    I wish you all the best! - Ann Pangborn, "Wooly Bliss Feltmaking"