Wednesday, 8 November 2017

New Tea Towels Now In!

I'm very excited to finally have my new Aileen Clarke Tea Towels in stock! I started the process for this idea on September 1st. I have wanted to have them made for years and finally found a UK company to work with.

The original artwork was made using traditional felt making techniques including needle felting with hand stitching and embroidered details. The image has then been professionally printed onto 100% cotton.

Measures 48 x 80 cm 18 x 31 inches. Machine washable at 30°

£10.50 plus p+p

I have them neatly wrapped in cellophane sleeves ready to ship. Makes a great gift and can even be framed!

The tea towels are available on Etsy here or from me at my upcoming events.

I will be at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 19th November.

And on
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November - The Loft at Ardross Farm Shop, Elie, East Neuk of Fife - 9 - 5 pm Free Entry

I'll be very busy over the next two weeks making stock for these events. Other new printed items include these two coo cushions.

I also have some bags with a few different designs on them. They are polyester and fold away into a pocket or handbag. Make great project bags too!

This week has been spent making lots of keepsake boxes in various sizes.

Harris Tweed and Felt Keepsake Box


I also have lots of my textile and resin jewellery available both online and from me at the events mentioned above.
You can also find this jewellery in The Rowan Tree gift shop in Falkland, Maisie and Mac in Cupar, The Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld and Hecla Gallery at Cockenzie House and Gardens.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Upcoming Events for October and November 2017

Events season is upon us and you can find me and my work at the following places; 

Saturday 21st October 2017 Pitcairngreen Village Hall Craft Fair. Pitcairngreen, by Almondbank, Perth. PH13LR 
There is a small entrance fee which includes tea, coffee and cake.

Saturday 4th November 2017 Falkland Craft Market, Falkland Community Hall, Back Wynd, Falkland 10 - 4 pm Free Entry

Sunday 19th November 2017 The Handmade Show, Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth, Scotland, PH1 5HZ 10.30 - 4.30 pm Free Entry

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November - The Loft at Ardross Farm Shop, Elie, East Neuk of Fife, KY9 1EU, - 9 - 5 pm Free Entry

I had a very successful day at Falkland on October the 7th and look forward to taking my wares to all the events above.

New this month are these merino and silk felt ivy leaf brooches. The brooch pins on them are extra long, making them useful as shawl or scarf pins as well.

Harris Tweed Bird Brooch 

I got into making some green felt using my embellisher machine last week. I have included lots of Shetland fibres as well as green sari silk. This technique produces lots of lovely texture. I then used the felt to make these sheep brooches and keepsake boxes.

The fabric for the sides of these boxes came from Kingcraig Fabrics in Brora. I bought the fabrics to line my boxes but decided they were too nice to be hidden away on the inside all the time.

I also made some new Dragonfly Pendants in vibrant blues and purples

I bought some new fibres to play with while I was at Perth Festival of Yarn. Took me weeks to get around to using any of it! The first piece to emerge was this little cottage picture. I used fibres from a beautiful batt bought from Blue Moon Indigo. It had really subtle strands of pink through it and I added a hint of yellow and green to give a subtle rainbow effect in the sky. The end piece turned out to be quite bold in colour with the purple hills and bright red roof and as it's slightly bigger than my usual pictures, it really 'pops' and makes a cheery splash of colour on the wall. 

Lastly I have been working on quite a big piece that I am having printed up as tea towels. They should be available in the next two weeks but in the meantime, I have had the image reproduced as a canvas. It's a great size at 38 x 61 cm and can be hung on the wall as is ir be framed. I don't supply the frames but your local framer should be able to do this no problem.

I look forward to seeing some you over the next few weeks. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Hint of Autumn in the Air

Living in rural north Fife, surrounded by barley, wheat and oat fields, it is impossible not to notice the transition from summer to autumn as the fields turn gold, the harvest is cut and bales start to dot the landscape.
Our roadsides and hedgerows are abundant with rosebay willow herb and every year the contrast of cerise pink against the colour of the ripened crops captures my imagination. 
This year I just had to have a go at including some hay bales in one of my needle felted pictures.

This is loosely based on a scene I see every day on my walk around our area. There is a riot of willowheb and grasses growing up around a dry stone wall with a wee cottage away in the distance. 

After needle felting the hay bales, I built up the flowers and grasses using machine stitch and embroidery.

The finished piece. 
Barley Field Cottage 22 x 22 cm in a 39 x 39 cm frame 

Some autumnal colours made their way into some of my felt sheep jewellery this month as well. 

Sheep Pendants £24

Brooches £18

New to the Aileen Clarke Crafts range of gift items are these high gloss, super cute Fridge Magnets. 
They measure 5 x 5 cm and make a great little gift or treat for yourself.

I also had these Lens/Screen Cloths produced using my designs and they are just the best thing for cleaning your phone or tablet screen as well as making your glasses sparkle!

Lens / Screen Cloths £2.95

They come packaged on card in cellophane making them a perfect little present and light weight to post.

Also new this month are these fabulous bags! They measure 40 x 50 cm and fold away easily into a hand bag. They are really strong and washable. These are not in my Etsy shop yet but will be coming with me to Perth Festival of Yarn on Sunday 10th September.

It is advisable to buy tickets online for the festival as only a limited number will be available at the door and it's first come, first served.

I'm really looking forward to the day, not only selling my wares but meeting up with friends only and new and seeing what all the other vendors have to offer.

I have been playing around with a bit of crochet over the summer. I'm just making it up as I go along and it's just for fun, not for selling.

Not sure if this idea is really working or not. I taught myself how to make the crochet flowers and thought I'd add them as a row onto this shawl. They are only tied on at the moment but I'd like to figure out how to make them more secure and carry on crocheting, making them a part of the shawl or maybe I should leave them as a trim. Or maybe I should have made them less three dimensional. 

It's fun to experiment and learn as I go.

Monday, 14 August 2017

All Aboard for Perth Festival of Yarn! Sunday September 10th 2017

I'm back from my holidays and already making and creating in readiness for my next run of events! I started the season with a stall at Aberfeldy Highland Show and Games at which I won a rosette in the Best Small Trader category! This was my first rosette for anything ever and I was chuffed to bits with it.

I had a great day and was in the craft marquee alongside David at Moulin Yarns and we were dishing out flyers for Perth Festival of Yarn at every opportunity. 

The line up for this year's event is just fabulous with many of my personal favourites coming along.

I will of course be bringing plenty of felt sheepies with me. This lot are in my Etsy shop just now. All £18 each.

I also have some new designs printed on notebooks. The pages alternate between plain and ruled. £5.95 each.

Lots of new cushions just arrived today! The artwork has been digitally reproduced onto suede effect fabric which gives a lovely soft feel but is completely washable and durable. 

These two seascape designs are new additions to the range.

And for something a bit different, I had this standing stone picture made as a cushion and I love the way the fibres look real in the print!

Cushions measure 45 x 45 cm

I have a few more new things arriving from the printers in time for PFY and hope to have lots of new artwork ready as well.

I do have some originals available.

Wildflower Croft is in my Etsy shop just now.

Look out for an update between now and 1oth September and remember you can keep up to date via Facebook and Instagram

Thursday, 8 June 2017

West Coast Inspirtaion

We have just enjoyed a long weekend camping in Ullapool and I thought I'd share some photos from our trip! 

We arrived at the campsite on the shores of Loch Broom quite late in the evening and after getting the tent up, were rewarded with this beautiful sunset.
The breeze got up enough to scare away the midgies so it was possible to have a glass of wine on the stony beach. 

After the sun dropped below the horizon, all these beautiful colours were reflected in the water with the seaweed creating a really interesting effect.

I always wake up really early in a tent but usually manage to doze off again. Not so last Saturday as someone was very inconsiderately flying a drone back and forth at 6am!
I gave up on sleep and went for a walk along Shore Street and got this lovely morning view of Loch Broom and the harbour.

Needless to say I was a bit tired for the rest of the day but we invigorated ourselves with a dip in the sea at Achmelvich.

There are two beaches at this lovely little spot and we walked over the headland to the second one for a more secluded swim. It was gloriously refreshing (ie freezing!) and we managed to get dried and dressed before the rain showers blew in.

Just up the coast a bit is beautiful Clachtoll. I really wanted to camp here but for the time we had, Ullapool made a better base. I have been round this bit of coastline before but it was ten years ago and I didn't really remember it. I also did not do my research properly and missed the opportunity to visit Ripples Crafts as by the time we passed there, it was too late to visit.

We did walk out to the broch though and really enjoyed the sea views.

I have rarely enjoyed a cup of tea so much as the one we got at Flossie's Beach Store. Having been up so early, hiked over headlands and swam in the sea, I really needed a cup of tea!

We got back to torrential rain in Ullapool which thankfully stopped by the time we got into our tent. I took the photo below at 11pm! I couldn't believe how much colour there was in the sky at that time of night.

On Sunday we took it easy again and went for a gentle stroll along the coast at Achnahaird. 

We were tempted to swim again but it was really breezy and we were enjoying being warm and dry.

After a tea stop at the Summer Isles hotel in Achiltibuie, we back tracked and walked the ridge at Knockan Crag which gives stunning views through the hills to Stac Polly.
We only got rained on a little bit and it was a really accessible walk. 

We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Argyll Hotel back in Ullapool on Sunday night and came out to this view over Loch Broom late evening. No matter what the weather does in this part of the world, it can be stunning, wild, tranquil or atmospheric. We really enjoyed our long weekend and now I must put some of the inspiration collected here and on Skye back in April, into my work!

A couple of new things in my Etsy shop this week include these two cushions.

Wee Coo Cushion £40

Lambing Time Cushion £40

You can also find an exhibition of my work at Lagom Felt Studio in Crieff.

Tracy has a selection of my framed pictures, brooches, pendants, earrings, cards and calendars in her beautiful shop until the end of June.

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke