Sunday, February 27

a busy ol' week

well, i don't quite know where this week has gone!

i got back from a long overdue trip to see my family in london on monday night.

it was great to see everyone again and i really enjoyed the trip my mum and i took to the william morris gallery, wonderful - even if it did take three hours to get there on public transport!

then before i knew it, we were off to edinburgh on wednesday for m to read at 'the ghost of shatner', which was held as part of the let's get lyrical festival.

i really loved the idea of this event, which was an experiment to see if song lyrics would stand up on their own, no music, no accompaniment. each reader chose a song that was important to them, gave a little intro and read the lyrics, which worked remarkably well.

a really well organised event, in an amazing venue but a bit of a late night for a work night which meant i slept most of the way home in the car. you can find pics of the event here: flickr - including a rare photo of m and i together that i actually quite like! and audio recordings of all the readers: here.

if i can recommend only one, it would be the last reader of the evening, stephen barnaby who 'read' rasputin by boney m - an absolutely hysterical performance and i can't remember the last time i laughed so much!

friday saw some much longed-for sunshine so m and i headed off out with the nature bag for a walk, heard lots of birds but didn't see that many but we did see lots of mushrooms! it was glorious to be out in the sunshine again, although it was a little windy at the top of the hill ... (as i had hoped to show you but the video i took won't upload for some reason and now i can't even get it to play again, aaaaaargh!!!).

yesterday i went to my first workshop in far too long a time. part of my goals for this year is to learn new techniques and get back to having fun playing with feltmaking and i certainly ticked both of those boxes! i went along to hat in the cat, which is co-owned by jeanette sendler and alison mountain, for a chunky wall hangings workshop and i had a ball.

test piece

this was the first time i had ever worked with raw fleece and i loved it! we were also able to use fleeces that had been washed once and others that had been washed twice, it was amazing to see the difference. but i loved the raw fleece, a lovely warm brown with hints of caramel and oatmeal through it. it was a total aladdin's cave with so many different types of fibre to play with: merino; shetland; cashmere; viscose; soybean ... there were so many i can't quite remember them all.

detail on test piece

it was also a good opportunity for me to see the benefit of making a smaller test piece, which we did in the morning, before jumping in to the bigger piece we made in the afternoon. this is something that i haven't tended to do in the past, partly because i'm so impatient but i'll definitely be changing the way i work now. i love the textures in the final piece, not too sure about my use of colour though ... perhaps it'll grow on me?!

chunky wall hanging with lots of gorgeous chunky surface texture

we also had the chance to have a play at lunchtime and made some felt balls (or 'shapes', mine weren't really ball-shaped when they came out of the washing machine).

and now i'm off to help out some friends who are having a work-party to clear their field and build a fence, followed by the first bbq of the year!

ahhhhh it's so lovely to see the sunshine and blue sky after the fog, rain and bleurgh of the past week. hope the sun is shining on you and you're having a great weekend :)


Angela said...

looving the chunky wall hanging. I do sometimes do sample pieces - whenever I'm unsure of an outcome and especially if I want a specific finish to a piece. Sounds a great workshop. What for you was the difference between once and twice washed fleece? I'm really curious

Ruth said...

The chunky wall hanging is gorgeous! Looks like you had a blast at your class.

narkeymarkey said...

thanks angela and ruth, it was a fantastic day!

i think the second washed fleece felt softer but had less of the lanolin still present, looked brighter and was a bit fluffier - it didn't have so many clearly defined locks which is why i went with the raw and once washed fleece, to get more of the natural texture from the fleece.

(not a very scientific explanation but that's how it appeared to me, the end result might also depend on the fleece being used?)