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.












Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Merry Month of May

Ah, the merry month of May has nearly been and gone but what a busy month it has been for me! 
Open Studios North Fife 2017 was a great success with nearly 400 visitors to my venue over the three days. Here I am with all my work on display. A few visitors thought we had set up shop permanently but sadly it was just for the weekend. It was great fun playing at shops but an important part of Open Studios is giving people an insight into how things are made and a sense of the spaces that artists and makers work in.




I did my best to recreate my work space by bringing all my fibres and tools and putting them on display as well.



This year I had Kirsty Tudor from Falkland Felts helping me with the demos which left me free to talk to visitors. 


My seascapes were a big hit with both the piece above and below selling and commissions being taken. The two pieces below right are canvas prints. I have two owls still available in the 20 x 20 cm size. So many people commented on how the canvasses really look textured like the felt originals.


I wasn't able to slow down too much after Open Studios as I then only had three weeks to prepare for the Outlandish UK Gathering which was on Saturday 20th May in Aviemore. I have been taking time in the evenings though to enjoy local walks and the glorious May sunshine we have been having. This wee patch of bluebells is in our garden!


The Outlander event was great fun to attend. Here's my stall next to a rather scary Jamie.


I made a few items especially for Outlander fans which went down really well.
I have one Standing Stones box left. I didn't use tweed for this one but used a gorgeous rust and green tartan instead.


Felt Trinket Box £45



I also made some dragonfly jewellery.

The Shawl Pins are £18



Pendants £26 with a choice of 16, 18 or 30 inch chain.


Also available in the dragonfly range are these A5 notebooks. The pages alternate between plain and ruled making them perfect for sketching as well as keeping notes.



My 2018 Calendar is here! I was super organised and got it ready in time for Open Studios.
It features 12 prints from some of my most popular felt picture designs. The calendars also open up to double the size, giving a whole calendar page to write on.


Calendars £10




I made lots and lots of boxes in the run up to my events so all these are now in my Etsy shop as well. They range from £30 - £35, £45 - £48.


New textile and resin jewellery includes these elegant heart pendants and earrings. Some of these are away to The Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld and Lagom Felt Studio in Crieff.


I have lots of felt sheep jewellery in stock. This is a great time to purchase these popular items as come Autumn time, I struggle to keep my online shop well stocked as I am busy with events.

The rest of May I have been busy catching up with household jobs that get put off during crazy making times. I have quite enjoyed a week or so of being a domestic Godess! Back to the making in June though as I start preparing for Perth Festival of Yarn in September.

This is shaping up to be a very exciting event and as I have taken up crochet for fun this year, I am even more excited!


This is a shawl I made using fibre I purchased at Edinburgh Yarn Festival, some scraps I was gifted and some hand spun that I bought on The Isle of Skye. I totally made it up as I went along but now I am excited to buy interesting yarn and actually think about what I will make with it.


So that's all from me this month. You can keep up with what's new on my social media, especially Instagram and Facebook. I uploaded a couple of videos of my work space but haven't figured out how to upload to the blog. I should probably ask the nearest child for techno advice! :)




Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Open Studios North Fife Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th April & Monday 1st May 2017!

Open Studios North Fife is this weekend and I have been incredibly busy preparing for it. 
New framed originals plus a large range of items printed with my art work as well as lots of textile jewellery and felt accessories will be available.
You can find me at Venue 25
64 Commercial Road, Ladybank, Fife, KY15 7JS
10 - 6pm each day
Full details and map on the website here



I have been excited to see how my felt artwork looks printed onto box canvases and can honestly say I am delighted with the results! The prints retain the textural and tactile look of the felt and it's hard to tell that they are not originals. 
I have four sizes available.
20 x 20 cm at £20
20 x 30 cm at £30
35 x 35 cm at £40
and
50 x 50 cm at £80

20 x 20 cm Box Canvases £20

My wee collie dog picture featured above proved to be very popular earlier this year so I have made another, again on a background of Shetland fibres. I think it looks like the sheep have got themselves over onto the headland and are thumbing their noses at the dog!


'Ba Ba Baa-Baa Baa'
£95

My son was home from Ireland for a week during the Easter break so we hived off to Skye for a few days as a family. It was a wonderful time spent together and we enjoyed incredible views out over the sea from our accommodation and were enthralled by the April showers changing the light every five minutes.
This simple felt seascape came out of my head the day we got home as a result.

'Sound of Sleat - Light on Water'
£125

Another new original is this piece below. I purchased a pile of hand dyed Shetland Fibre from The Wool Shed in Orkney earlier this year. I ordered by phone so had to trust what they sent me and I was not disappointed! The colours are stunning and I put lots of them into the background here.


'Lambing Time'
£345

I'm pleased to say that this design works especially well on a cushion cover. I have my cushions professionally produced. The image is printed onto suede effect fabric which retains the soft feel of the felt but is durable and practical as the cover can be zipped off and washed.


Cushions £38 
(Open Studios Special Price. Normally £40 online)

I also made the original artwork for this wee coo using the Shetland fibre. Now available as a mug, card, canvas print and shopper bag.


Mug and Gift Box £8.95 (Open Studios Special Price. Normally £9.95 online)



Cotton Shopper Bag £6.95


I sold out of nearly all my felt sheep jewellery during Edinburgh Yarn Festival last month so I have been very busy making more. I think I will be burning the midnight oil this week to have as good a range as possible ready.

New to my range of brooches are these mustard and grey Harris Tweed birds with the Celtic heart beads. Quite a different colour way for me to use but I had the tweed in my stash and felt sorry for it always being passed over in favour of my favourite purples and blues.


Harris Tweed Bird Brooches
£12

I have also made lots of lots of my textile and resin jewellery. 


Textile and Resin Pendants
£26
I have 16", 18" and 30" chains in stock.

Earrings, Bracelets and Shawl Pins also available.



I nearly sold out of my textile trinket boxes at EYF as well but have been able to make a new stock of all sizes in time for Open Studios. Probably not as many as usual so it's first come, first served.


I'll leave you with some photos from our recent visit to Skye. 


We found this little stream and pool near Loch Shianta. A most enchanting spot.


Loch Shianta - The Healing Loch with it's incredibly blue water. We just love this place but have never been when it's warm enough to put more than a hand in the water! I'd love to swim in it.


We love the Quiraing and always take a walk here when we visit Skye. 


Mossy wall in The Fairy Glen. Another most enchanting place.


The Fairy Glen with it's grassy tors and hillocks.



Love the colours and textures of this lichen stone.



The view from our accommodation at the Dun Flodigarry Hostel. We love the Staffin area and the Trotternish Ridge and the hostel provides great family accommodation in this area.


And lastly, the view back to the mainland and the Trotternish Ridge and the Old Man of Storr with a dusting of hail stones and snow.



If you are interested in any of my new work but can't make it along to Open Studios, I will be doing an Etsy Shop update next week, probably Wednesday 3rd May.





All contributed content © Aileen Clarke