Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Artisans Craft Fair tomorrow

I have got some nice and simple designs in preparation for the Artisans craft Fair in Limerick
First of all I made the lacy scarves:
fairly normal stuff there (nothing unusuall about it) . Used 18 mic merino wool, dyed afterwards.

Also I have been making some silk scarves with wool inlays.

finally some hats (dyed afterwards)
this one is an experiment (with cut out flaps of felt)

I know some of the stuff is not very artistic but this is what sells :). I think I am not going to be dyeing the lacy scarves into two colours because it takes too much time and it distorts the design :)

More could be seen at my stall.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Sunday ..

I am slightly tired these days and somehow very much focused on my design ideas.
This morning I was actually making a scarf sample. What has come up looked like a butterfly. So I was so interested in the idea of a butterfly that when making my brew (tea) I poured the water to tea container instead of my tea cup. Now I am offering very concentrated tea essence to anyone willing to take it :)
The outcome

On Saturday I went to sell at Farmers Market in LImerick (and because the customer profile is different there I have mostly sold little things like flower brooches). I was standing next to a lady who sold jams. She was soo nice to let me hide behind her gazebo during short torrential downpour. 

It is really good to get some interesting feedback from people. So apart from earning little money from selling your products I would recommend this to everyone. You might get very positively charged for the rest of the week!

I went mushrooming today:) with Ania. Here her dog has sniffed a little mushroom (at the very bottom of the pic). Not joking! it seems to know where these things grow. 

Look at all of these beauties! Mushroom picking is one of these primeval instincts, which I link to hunting gathering needs of human life.

we have also found a fantastic photographic spot which  I will be supplying with the article about feltmaking to my local newspaper. Here investigating :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some ideas for a cheap display

Since I have started my hat making (and there is a lot of them to finish now but I am waiting to get the KateHuset hat forms from WinghamWoolwork), I was thinking about some cheap ideas for a stylish display.

So I have purchased a styrofoam head whilst in Vancouver (there they cost 6.20 $). The problem with these is that they get easily scratched and dirty. So I have covered these with bits of newspaper (I have used a PVA glue).

Although the coating looks nice enough I think I have to coat it with an additional layer of polish. Has anybody got an idea which one is suitable for this job?

To complement the head (and to stabilize it a bit) my friend has bought a kitchen towel holder for me (3 euro).

 I have also bought a mug holder to use for displaying the bracelets (cost 5.99 eu).

 Have you got any nice, cheap and nifty ways of displaying your work?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

just a preview...

I have been working a lot to make scarves for christmas sale. Here they are stored in plastic ikea container.
 But more importantly I have continued experimenting with my hat making. And with this one I am particularly proud of myself. I came out as an accident but it is the most favourite of mine so far.

not finished and needs some more pinching and vaporising and dyeing.
I have used Wingham woolwork hat block here and merino 18 mic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The case against and for olive oil soap and Fairy washing up liquid.

I have been having a break for the last few days, I cycled in preparation for my visit to Clonakilty. I am going to be teaching but also exchanging some feltmaking tips there.

But throughout those days I have been thinking here and there about the uses of good old olive oil soap versus all available Fairy washing up liquid.

 First the price:
- Fairy costs 1.18 eu in local shop whilst a bar of Oliva is 1.50 (it is way smaller than the one pictured wchich is 600g).
- I need a one 125 g bar of soap for a day of intensive feltmaking. A Fairy bottle would last for over a month.

There is a general question of ecology when using lubricants in feltmaking, so probably the best idea is to use Ecover, the so callled ecological washing up liquid. However just like olive oil soap it washes out very quickly (What I mean is that it is soaked up by wool pretty quickly and needs frequent top ups of the solution).

So if anybody is practicing something more ecological i would welcome any suggestions!

The case of lathering:
- oliva is gentle for hands and lathers well but this is very quickly soaked up by the wool (loads of top ups)
- ecover lathers less well and requires frequent top ups (it is difficult to wash the residue from the product)
- fairy lathers too well but does not require too many top ups, hence it is easier to wash the residue from the final products.

The question of the amount of lather:
- if there is too much lather,
when felting with ecover it results in less felted spongy surface of felt
when felting with olive oil soap the product shrinks far less than it would normally, and felts a bit slowly
with fairy it is very difficult to felt with overdosed solution.

although I would like to use more ecological solution, Fairy is the most cost effective liquid to be used in my opinion.

Any other suggestions welcome!