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
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'

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'

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'

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

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

Textile and Resin Pendants
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.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 - What an incredible couple of days!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 has been and gone and what can I say except what an absolutely wonderful event it was yet again!

This year I had a corner booth in the main exhibition hall and I loved every minute of it. There are so many ways you can set your stall out in a 2 x 2 m space but I chose to go with my traditional way of having all my work on display with me standing behind. It worked really well and thankfully there was plenty of room on both sides for people to browse.

My friend Jayne who is also a felt maker, Jayne Gillan Designs, flew over from Ireland to help me out for the two days. I'm so glad she did! It was super busy especially on Friday and the two of us were kept busy all day selling and chatting. I was overwhelmed by the response to my work and delighted that so many had studied the vendors list before hand and made a beeline for my booth to snap up what they had seen online.

I escaped a couple of times to do some shopping.
My first purchase was this fascinating pompom yarn from Ananuca. I'm planning to crochet it and make some wearable bits and pieces with it. 

I hardly had any time over the two days to take photos but got some quick snaps of my neighbouring stands on Friday morning.

This is Amanda Perkins Crochet Blankets. We were totally oooing and aahing over them and Jayne bought the Rainbow Blankets pattern book.

Next down were Bilum, a lovely group of ladies from Hungary with the most stunning collection of hand dyed yarn. We definitely had a mutual appreciation for each others use of colour.

Across the way was The Fibre Co  from Cumbria with a beautiful collection of yarns and patterns. The samples they had made up made me seriously want to take up knitting!

I also had Tilly Flop Designs across the way from me with her witty collection of knitting and stitching cards and prints. 
Everyone's stands were stowed out all day each day with the vendors and visitors all full of enthusiasm and a mutual passion for all things fibre related.

I feel I was quite restrained with my shopping. I only bought what I plan to use immediately in the run up to Open Studios. Fibre batt and throwsters waste from Spin City, pre felt and art yarn from The Threshing Barn, sari silk from The Border Tart and a wee ball of Bulim's beautiful hand dyed yarn.

Having been to EYF as a vendor before, it was lovely to catch up with some other exhibitors especially Lindsay Roberts who's business The Border Tart keeps me inspired with her indigo dyed fibres and sari silks and who has been very encouraging, CC Almon from Java Purls  who is a riot of fun and all things pink and who's books SOLD OUT during EYF! Well done girls! Tania Ashton Jones aka TJ Frog who's company I missed this year as we were in different areas of the venue. Tania specialises in Dorset Buttons and has taken up podcasting so do check out her website for updates. There will be one about EYF no doubt! 

There were lots of podcasters there over the two days and I had the pleasure of meeting Lori from Intuitknit for breakfast on Friday morning. We arrived outside the venue at the same time, both dying for coffee and sustenance so we ate together and had a good blether. A lovely way to start the day and make a new friend :)
I was very touched to receive this beautiful handmade wooden shawl pin as a pressie.

All in all I can say that EYF 2017 was a massive success for me and I only just scratched the surface of what it was all about really. There was so much going on outwith the market place with classes, knitalongs and even a ceilidh! But from what I have seen from peoples post on Instagram etc, everyone had a blast and came away inspired and excited about their purchases and their weekend's shenanigans. A massive thanks to Mica and Jo for the work they put in to organise this unique event. They think of everything down to being able to order lunch to be delivered to your stand! Easy to eat, delicious lunch too! So much appreciated x And of course a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by my stand! I enjoyed chatting to you all so much and thank you for buying my wares!

You'd think I'd be having a rest after such a busy few weeks preparing for EYF but I can't as Open Studios North Fife is in just six weeks time! I have so much to do! Got to get stuck into my new stash for starters!

I have done a little shop update today though.

Rainbow Cottage Farm is now on Etsy

I sold out of Sheepy Earrings and Shawl Pins and plan to make more as soon as I can but I have listed what I have left here.

The full list of artists and makers taking part in Open Studios North Fife can be viewed on the website now and the brochure is available to download.
We are also now on Instagram so do pop over and follow us there is you are an IG user 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Day of Rainbows, Some New Makes and New Arrivals.

Saturday was indeed a day of rainbows in more ways than one!

I decided to take a run over to Strathearn Fleece and Fibre near Muthill in Perthshire to stock up on some lovely hand dyed fibre.

Linda rears blue faced Leicester and texel sheep on her farm and the fibre she has available as rovings and as spun yarn is just a treat for any fibre lover.

I got well stocked up with all my favourite colours and can't wait to get started with it this week.

I also popped in to see Tracy at Lagom Felt Studio in Crieff as she has very kindly asked me to be her featured artist later this year.

Tracy offers a wide range of felting fibres and materials as well as some spun yarns, drum carded batts, feting kits and various notions. She also offers tuition. You can check out her website here for more info.

I'm looking forward to exhibiting here late May and throughout June.

Last week I enjoyed working with my stash of hand dyed North Ronaldsay fibres from Orkney. These fibres give a lovely rustic look to landscape pieces and are very enjoyable to work with.


Having needle felted my first collie dog back in January, I had another go and set this one to guarding a little flock of sheep on the hill.

'Gaurding the Flock' 

This matching piece I have just called 'Three Sheep' and priced it slightly lower at £75 as there was less work involved.

It has been a busy time preparing for Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 which is less than three weeks away on March 10th and 11th.

I have been hoarding my makes and not putting them on Etsy as I am running out of time to make things.

Here are some finished trinket boxes that will be coming with me to the event.

I have also had a delivery of new printed products including mugs, mouse mats, zipped pouches, notebooks and cards. These are all available on Etsy here

Some new Sheep Brooches and Pendants have also made their way onto Etsy. I probably won't be adding any more until mid March.

If you are planning on coming to Edinburgh Yarn Festival, you can see the venue layout here
You can find me on stand J6.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there.
As usual, if you have any enquiries about my work, please feel free to email me aileenclarkecrafts@yahoo.com

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Dates for your Diary 2017

2017 is shaping up to be another busy year kicking off with Edinburgh Yarn Festival on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March. 
The festival is held at Edinburgh Corn Exchange and I will have a stand in the main exhibition hall this year which is very exciting. I have started making stock already!

Lots of Sheepy Shawl Pins, Brooches, Pendants and Earrings will be coming with me as well as new mugs, coasters, cushions, notebooks, bags, pouches and more!
Tickets go on sale soon. For more info see the EYF Website here 

New Harris Tweed and Felt Trinket Boxes are on the work table as well. 
This size measures 7 x 7 x 7 cm at £35
Other sizes include 10 x 10 x 6 cm at £40 and 12 x 12 x 7 cm at £45

I'm concentrating on my big events this Spring rather than trying to do lots of little shows in between so my next event after EYF will be Open Studios North Fife at the end of April. It's a week early this year so that it falls on the May bank holiday weekend. Brochures will be available mid to late March.

I will be at my usual venue in Ladybank and hope to have lots of new framed pieces made as well as my usual selection of jewellery and gits.

For daily updates you can find me on Facebook and Instagram

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke