Hello once again .
I hope you are all well and have enjoyed a good year , and are now prepared for Christmas .
We completed the year's workshop calendar for this year at Artison on November 19th in which we saw some splendid foxes made ! Take a look at the photos on the workshop page , these are just a few of them . We had a lovely day as per usual and it was great fun and a pleasure to see everyone as I had met many of you in previous workshops from the past . We always enjoy our stay over in Masham , and it was strange as we said farewell and drove away from Artison this time not to have a fixed date marked in the calendar for a return visit , for reasons which I covered in September's news letter under the paragraph Looking Ahead I enjoyed all the workshops this year at Greystoke, Masham , and of course over in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire, at Shirley's in Fangfoss . Thank you so much to all of the venues .
I have a few ideas for projects, and kits which I would like to make available in my Etsy shop and the nativity kit I introduced last year has been well received and some have gone out with the optional animals , the donkey and sheep which are to the same scale and can be added to the nativity scene. The small hare kit has been going out as fast as we can put them together on the run up to Christmas as well as the felting pads in both sizes . Quite a few of the metal multi needle holders went out also, in the last few weeks and I still have a couple left from the batch I had made if anyone would like one before they are gone , as I'm not sure when I will be able to get any more done ?
We have been continuing to enjoy getting out walking in the fresh air when time and weather allow .
Whilst over in Masham , although the weather was quite foggy and damp we still managed what has become our regular walk down to the Marfield Wetland nature reserve , while back here in Cumbria we've had a couple of nice walks up the fells on a lovely Autumn day up Latrigg overlooking Keswick and a very Wintry one up one up Grisedale Pike last Sunday . Sadly the cloud came down before we reached the top of Grisedale and what should have been spectacular views did not materialise with visibility down to just a few yards .
I'd just like to say thank you all once again, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas ,and best wishes for 2024 !
The sun was shining as we approached Skipton yesterday. I had my ticket for Yarndale and Richard had a walk planned to fill in his time. There was already a queue of eager crafters waiting outside the Auction mart, at this event you are allocated a time of entry, mine was 11am. Walking in you were greeted with crocheted buntings and the famous Yarndale knitted sheep.
Click on pictures to enlarge
I was on the hunt for anything needle felting but was distracted many times by the lovely stalls, there was so much colour but also the chance to feel the wool, like another lady commented to me it's very tactile and so nice to touch.
There was so much yarn for knitting and crochet, needle felting - I did find a couple of my favourite suppliers and a few new (for me that is) Adelaide Walker who supplies everything for the felter and spinner, they have so much choice, I stopped to say hi. Also The Threshing Barn, I cannot pass their stall without a purchasing wool. The Makers were also there, I find are very handy for supplies including wire and tools.
I stopped at Annie Brown Needle Felting ,drawn in by her beautiful work on display and very cute felted characters, after chatting to Annie I learned that she also teaches workshops as well has having her own sheep, I couldn't resist her handmade cards pictured below.
Amy Collin Farm to Fibre had some lovely locks, she is based in the Peak district, I bought Leicester Longwool and Jacob, very soft ! I like these for my Nativity kits and Owls.
I also purchased a hand felted broach on a card (gift for friend) from Felt by Bridget her felted hats are quite amazing!
A fab day out, a bonus is the Farm shop literally next door so I was able to visit that too before heading home.
It is starting to feel Autumnal, the beautiful scent of sweet peas have gone from the garden, the beans are in full production and the young winter veg seedlings have been planted out.
It is also time to prepare the autumn classes, I am looking forward to visiting Masham again. The first workshop is hares taking place later this month, followed by another hare and Herdwick in October, the last one is foxes in November.
Next year sees a big change for me, I haven't any pre arranged workshops for 2024, it wasn't an easy decision , but it will be difficult to plan too far in advance due to more family commitments which have arisen in recent months, and to cancel a workshop , possibly at short notice is something I'd not like to happen .Classes that have to be rearranged create problems for the venues and also the inconvenience to the people attending , who I know on occasions have fitted the class into their break/holiday or have booked over night accommodation locally.
I am of course continuing to run the Etsy shop and hoping I have time to create some more felted sculptures myself , which is exciting, and possibly start putting the occasional pieces of work in the Gallery more often .
I've had a planned workshop schedule for so many years now and it will be strange next year, because I always really look forward to and enjoy the visits to Greysoke , Masham , and for the last couple of years at Shirley's near York in the village of Fangfoss. There have of course , been the other lovely venues both locally and not so local where I've been invited in the past , but above all I've enjoyed the company of all the wonderful people who have made the days so enjoyable and fun! Thank you all so much for your support .
However ! There may be a chance of a "pop up" workshop at short notice , if possible , and if it fits into schedules, in which case you will be duly informed .
As we all know when we get older, the most precious commodity is time, which is finite , and has to be wisely spent and shared when you can . We have been trying to spend as much time with our family which includes elderly parents, daughter and Grandson who lives about four hours drive away and we try to see as often as we can, they grow up so quickly which we are discovering as Grandparents. Richard and I still like to get out walking in the local fells as Autumn is nearly upon us it's a wonderful time to be outdoors, we have recently made the effort to get out more often and are feeling the benefits.
Back to the needle felting . It does not seem to matter how many years you spend at the craft , there are always some new ideas . Whether it be kits or other projects , I have endless ideas I'd like to put into practice , and this Winter should be an ideal time to get stuck in . I will of course keep you informed of what I've been up to . Richard is still doing his fantastic cushions , but his time has been a little curtailed recently too , we haven't even had chance to drop into Viridian Gallery at Keswick lately either , but we'd like to get something in there soon .
The Etsy shop has a new addition which is the complete Nativity scene so that you may if you wish buy the figures and animals in one box set which will save a few pounds , they are of course also available separately. I am looking forward to the pictures of nativity building I can hopefully share again on the run up to Christmas.
Yarndale takes place this month, I have my ticket! it will be a fab day out to Skipton, I believe the event gets busy, I was advised to buy the ticket in advance as there are time slots to enter, there still seems to be slots available on both days.
Maybe I shall see you this autumn at one of the upcoming workshops, if not I do hope you can make time to enjoy your needle felting at home, sat beside a cosy fire, what will you create this Autumn and winter?
All the Very best,
June 24th I visited Cumbrian Wool Gathering just south of Kendal. I had a fantastic morning/through lunchtime and obviously spent too much! 😄 well maybe not, the lovely wool will get used in the kits and projects coming up.
Adelaide Walker (it was lovely to meet Simon and Angela) they had plenty to offer and I did make a bee line to stock up on their lovely wools, also a new one for me was Hill Radnor which I believe is a welsh mountain sheep a rare breed so I am keen to see how it felts, it is a top so a lovely feel to the wool. They were also able to provide me with my Southdown top, Swaledale and some colours I needed.
I also visited Threshing Barn's stand, they have some beautiful blends and I topped up on some humbug -the colours do remind you of the humbug sweets, along with some Corridale roving, and shades of green.
I also met Trish and her daughter at Artisan (formerly Norwegian wool) who had many samples which were useful when searching for a particular colour, they were kept very busy when as I popped by.
I also met the lady who has Ullswater Felt Art and could not resist her new addition of coasters, there were Herdwick and Red squirrel designs, these were her own art on the coasters and are fab, I'm very happy with this purchase!
Other stands I purchased from were Coastal colours, wonderful blends and Velvet Sixpence, also blends for top coats.
I didn't get any photos as I was too busy taking in all the fibres and wonderful items on display. When I was outside with my new wool stash I sat for a while and enjoyed the sunshine, I got talking to a lovely couple up from Manchester who had also enjoyed their day and were packing their car boot with fleece (that was my one disappointment, I didn't find a Herdwick fleece) the lady said it was a much better event than the one held near them as you could browse easily and plenty to see with many choices, I hadn't much to compare with as the last one I went to was Woolfest which is sadly no longer running.
So, the next one will be Yarndale, in Skipton, very excited about this one in September, if you are going then you may need to pre book a arrival time. I'm sure there will be plenty more fibres needed by September.
Happy felting !
Hi Again !
Just a brief update as we head into the Summer, I expect that you are all enjoying the warm weather which seems to have been a long time coming this year . It has been quite dry and pleasant where we live, but a cool Easterly breeze has often kept the temperature quite low , which is nice when out walking or busying in the garden . and we have had a couple of nice walks up the local fells recently the last one was Dale Head which we ascended from the Honister Pass .
On to the workshops, we have recently completed two at Quirky Workshops in May , the Herdwick doorstop , and hares , thank you to all who attended , it was lovely to see everyone for another couple of enjoyable days . This week there are two more , Herdwick on the 15th of June , and the ever popular hares again on the 17th . I look forward to seeing you if you are attending .
We have also added a new picture kit to the range available on the Etsy shop , it's a while since we did so , and Richard came up with the Barley Field , ( no doubt inspired by the current Summer sunshine ) .Just click the picture at the bottom for more information .
Unless I have something to report , I'll be back with a newsletter as we enter the season of Autumn as another year rolls on , so enjoy the Summer , and have fun being creative !
Bye for now !
I hope you are all enjoying your needle felting and the weather as it hopefully continues to improve as we are well into the Spring . It has been a bit chilly in these parts with the North and Easterly breezes taking the edge off the temperatures , we usually have a pair of blackbirds nesting in our garden and they are busily tending it in the clematis which festoons our wall.
The workshops began in March with an enjoyable trip over to Shirley's in Fangfoss where a great time was had, and some lovely hares and Herdwicks were produced . Please take a look at the workshop photos page .
Our first workshop of 2023 at Artison near, Masham , to which I was looking forward and which I was all prepared for had , unfortunately to be cancelled due to me being quite ill . I was very disappointed to have to do that , so apologies Sue and Gaynor and to all affected , but we have rescheduled some dates. I am back there in the Thursday and Friday of next week , as I write this when we will be making the ever popular Herdwicks again .
The Etsy shop is still ticking over with the wool felting pads still being a top seller , and the small hare kit , owls , and the felted pictures as well . Still debating whether to start shipping overseas again . I put this on hold due to the Royal Mail Chaos earlier in the year , and could do without chasing stuff up that may go missing or be delayed , because it's virtually impossible to talk to a human on the phone these days to sort things out with these big organisations. Looking ahead , the events of the last few days will mean I shall have to attempt to work around the fact that my Mother, who is in her 80s and was quite independent became immobile in a painful manner quite unexpectedly, and what seemed literally overnight due to an issue with the bones of her spine, and the initial opinion seems to be that it is not temporary , but we shall see.
On a happy note , we spent a wonderful week with our Grandson at Easter, when he came to stay , a week in which he climbed his first mountain , in fact he ran up half of it ! He also loves playing on the beach and probing the rock pools for all the interesting flora and fauna therein. Being from Derbyshire , where you couldn't get much farther from the coast, the seaside is still a big novelty and makes us appreciate the natural features of our locality, which we so often take for granted .
Enjoy the rest of the Spring and the Summer and above all have fun with your craft, and of course every thing else !
Best wishes .
"March the month of many weathers, which comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" and it's already, a busy month in the gardening calendar, well as far as seed sowing goes, my first peas and beans along with onions, tomatoes aubergines, peppers, marigolds, cornflower, potatoes well yes there is no more room in my porch area or sunny windowsill !
A busy month also for workshops, all roads lead east, starting off in Fangfoss near York this week for hares and Herdwicks followed by hares and foxes later in the month at Masham. I am very much looking forward to our trips away and needle felting along with the class. We can't seem to stay away from this area, we visited York last month with our little grandson, telling tales of arrows flying, battles long ago as we walked the old city walls, and round Clifford's Tower, Jesse is at the age where medieval battles are magical stories.
There has been quite a bit of disruption with shipping overseas since "computers were hacked" at Royal Mail, and we have customers in the U.S. mainly who have been so patient but now with back logs the last parcel took 2 weeks longer to travel so we have halted overseas shipping until things improve. Our own handmade wool pads are always most popular in the Etsy shop along with the new gift and starter kits. Also, I'm pleased to say at last, that I can bring along to the workshops the new metal handled ones which people have been enquiring about . They are a limited supply which I had made , there isn't much room in the car it's filled with the materials for the workshops!
Needle Felting advice
I often get asked about where to learn a little about needle felting. You tube is pretty good for advice, I particularly like Phillippa's Felts, she has built up quite a good channel now and has a very practical and honest approach, another channel in the U.S. this time is Living Felt, she has an absolute wealth of knowledge and will give live tutorials on varied projects, just two I can think of of the top of my head, there are many more out there. Books, I don't have a lot on needle felting in my library, the ones I really like The Natural world of Needle felting by Fi Oberon, I would recommend if starting out , the pictures are good and clear and helpful when making larger items in contrast ie smaller items is Needle Felting Workshops by Jenny Barnett, her beautifully presented book also with clear instruction to create her lovey animals. I'd add to that my most recent purchase British Sheep & Wool, published by the British wool marketing board. A page on each sheep and it's wool properties with pictures of our lovely woolly friends and loads of info. Oh and for our little grandson, Sheep in the field introducing sheep (got to start them young ) and the lovely story of Mr Puddlebrush in the Lake district with the Herdwick, pictured above.
I'd really like to visit at least one Wool festival this year, sadly we no longer have Woolfest here in Cumbria but I have spotted this ! Cumbrian Wool Gathering 24th/25th June, in Skipton N.Yorkshire there is Yarndale 23rd/24th September, Bakewell Wool Gathering 14th/15th October in Derbyshire, these are strong possibilities so maybe planning ahead and reserving dates and buying tickets in advance is a good idea, in my case if there is a river nearby for fishing or a mountain to climb then hubby will be happy too.
Hello everyone !
I hope everyone has managed to stay warm enough during the cold snap, which at least brought us some sunny dry days on which you could wrap up and get out and about, which now seems to be giving way to what in recent years, seems to be business as usual for Christmas by way of mild wet and windy weather .
Talking of Christmas time , the nativity kits which I put together for my Etsy shop this year have been well received , and I've had some smashing photos sent to me of ones that people have completed . I will put a couple of examples below which Amanda , and Julie sent to me . Look at that splendid stable too . It is fantastic to know that the videos which we put together with the project have been helpful too, as I try to present them as if I were at one of my workshops . I intend to keep this kit seasonal but may offer them a little earlier next year , the videos are in place now and it took a while longer than we thought to film and edit this year . There is also a sheep kit which makes two figures, and the donkey which are available separately and will be available all year , they can be added to the nativity scene as I made them to that scale .
I also have to include a picture we took of the small flock Ryeland sheep which appeared in a field close to where we live they were so cute and very friendly too .
I would also like to take the opportunity as we approach the end of another year to thank everyone who has supported my Etsy shop , and attended the workshops this year not forgetting the venues which have hosted them , and inviting us back again in 2023 . Keep an eye on the relevant page on this website for the 2023 workshops if you would like to attend any of the classes. I look forward to seeing you .
Have fun , a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming New Year 🎅
Hello there !
I hope you have all enjoyed the Summer and are now looking forward to to getting out and about during the new season now upon us and enjoying some of the lovely scenery nature has on display at this time of year . I shall be at Masham next month, where the picture on the right was taken for another workshop at ArtisOn , where we'll be making a fox at the first workshop , followed a couple of days later by the ever popular Herdwick doorstop class.I look forward to seeing everyone .
We've had some enjoyable days at Quirky Workshops , Greystoke , since the last news letter , see the workshop photo page to see some pictures of what we made .
Metal Needle Tools ...
During the last year or so , quite a few people have been asking me for the metal multi needle tools which many of you will have used in my workshops . Well I'm pleased to be able to let you know that I have now had some made locally and have a limited number available if anyone who would like one . Thank you for your patience to anyone that's been waiting . I had to get enough made to make it worth while and keep the cost reasonable , so I left it until now , due mostly to the uncertainty and general chaos of the last couple of years . I'm very pleased with the new batch and they can be found by clicking the photo above which will take you to the listing in my Etsy shop
Felted picture kit . Masham Market Place.
I mentioned my upcoming workshops at ArtisOn which is of course located at High Burton just outside Masham. I was asked by the Mashamshire Community Office based in the Market Place if we could come up with a felting kit for them with a Masham theme ? We thought immediately about a picture kit , as these are ideal for beginners too. We also thought that the market place and the Church of St Mary's , would make an ideal subject with the entrance to the church yard flanked by two magnificent trees one of which is I think , a distinctively coloured copper beech and there's the buildings either side which are also typical of the area. Just like my other picture kits you are provided with a template on a piece of A4 hessian material and the wool required , you will however , need a felting surface to work on , an inexpensive foam pad is fine if you are just starting out . At present these particular picture kits are only available from the community office in Masham , so if you would like one , or as a gift for someone new to felting call in or get in touch with them .
My next update will probably be on the run up to Christmas , and that will be another year which has just flown by ! Enjoy being creative, and most of all , have fun !
Hello once again , and where has this year gone ?
The Summer Solstice has passed, but if you are up in the North West of England you could be forgiven for thinking that the calendar had got stuck some time in March ! Looking out of the window now it's raining (again) the wind is blowing hard (again) and the temperature is about 12C . Despite this my vegetable garden has done quite well and I've had some good harvests , the carrots and garlic has done particularly well , as well as my aubergines, but it's hard to believe that people farther South are complaining about the heat and lack of rain as I watch tending their gardens wearing shorts and vests on their videos !
As for the needle felting , we have now completed several workshops since the last news letter, as you'd expect, since that was in January , I see ! We've just had the first one of the year at Quirky Workshops , which was also the first one in which we made a new character , "the fox " which was great fun , and there's another one this Thursday June 30th , you can see the pictures on the workshop photo page .
During the Spring and Early Summer , we've also been at Artison , in North Yorkshire , and done a couple over in the East Riding , at Shirley's art studio in the beautiful village of Fangfoss where I visited for the first time this year. I've enjoyed them all so much and would like to thank everyone who attended and the venues for their hospitality , I'm looking forward to the rest of the workshops on the calendar , details of which can be found on this page . I look forward to seeing all of you who've booked .
When the weather has relented my Husband and I have been getting out for some nice walks on the local fells , and even some of the hills over the Eastern side of the Pennines along the Cleveland way . Richard got his amateur radio licence last Autumn and gets involved with something called "Summits on the air" which for those who don't know, basically involves going to the top of hills and mountains erecting an aerial and talking to as many other radio operators as he can for half an hour or so . We had neglected our fell walking over the last few years and it was something we enjoyed, so this has at least got is back into it , and as you can imagine from the photos below , it generates a lot of curiosity from other walkers !
Have fun !
Hello once again !
I thought I should update the news letter page as it's been a while and wish you all a happy New Year while it's at least still January ,(probably February by the time you read this ). I expect that you are all looking forward to to the longer warmer days of Spring and that you have been keeping busy during the Winter with some needle felting projects..
My 2022 workshop calendar is on the relevant page of this website . The first two of the year are at Artison toward the end of March and early April. The first of which is the "bunnies" class which was originally one of the classes postponed from 2020 , yes that was two years ago ! What a carry on it must have been for the venues which host our workshops during this time , having to sort all this out. The new for 2022 fox workshop seems to have been well received , one class has fully booked at Quirky workshops, there is possibly a space or two left for the other both in June , with another one at Artison due to take place in October along with a herdy. These classes will both be bookable form February 7th .
I have also been booked for a couple classes which are taking place in York, this will be nice as York is a place we know well and have visited many times , over many years for holidays and short breaks .
We were pleased to get a small amount work into Viridian Gallery at Keswick prior to Christmas . We have as I have mentioned in recent news letters, missed our once regular trips to the galleries , but because of all the upheaval of the last two years , we've not actually been needle felting much at all ourselves as we've been involved with preparation for the rescheduled workshops and also , the Etsy shop has been very busy , so we have been making up kits and of course making the wool pads , Also some materials have become harder to source on a regular basis than they used to be , which is just another sign of the times . It's satisfying to know however, that each time a kit or some equipment goes in the post there are people out there enjoying their crafting and whiling away the short cold days of Winter being creative . It's also great when I occasionally receive a photo of a finished project with which it's creator is justifiably proud , particularly if they are new to needle felting which they often are .
Since the last update we have spent some enjoyable time with our Grandson who is now three , and his parents . I am also preparing for this years vegetable growing in the garden , which I got back into last year and thoroughly enjoyed, this year seems even more exciting as I am eager to grow more this season. My Daughter and Son in Law have also managed to acquire an allotment opposite their home in Derbyshire complete with chickens so they should be well supplied with eggs and veg' too.
Their rooster would be a fine subject for a needle felting project I think , do you ?
Here we are in Autumn once more and the last of this year's workshops was completed on the 23rd of November. This was at Quirky Workshops Greystoke and we made the ever popular hares . Thank you to everyone who came along and contributed to a great day out , and I have to say that the finished hares at the end of the day were fantastic . I was impressed particularly as the whole class were completely new to needle felting and not only were the results amazing , but we completed them in very good time . Well done to every one . there is a group picture of the hares on my page Workshop Photos , where you can take a look and see if you can spot yours .
As some of you might be aware quite a few of my workshops this year , particularly some of them at Artison were ones postponed from last year and rescheduled , which is quite an unenviable situation to have to sort out particularly as things have remained pretty uncertain .
The new owl kits I mentioned in my last news letter have been well received with a couple going over the Atlantic to the the United States . The owls are always fun to make as you can use a variety of colours and textures .
Looking forward to next year, I have a couple of new characters to add to the choice of workshops available for you to attend . They are pictured below . I hope you like them ...
If you don't hear from me again before Christmas , have a lovely time and make the most of the Winter , particularly those crisp sunny days when they come along .
Best wishes & thank you to everyone for their support and interest .
Hello again everyone.
I notice I've not written anything here since the Spring , but it's not because there has been nothing going on . Far from it , If you have a look at the workshop photos , you can see there have been several workshops some of which were of course rescheduled ones . Thank you to everyone for coming along and making them so much fun , and supporting them through all the uncertainty of the last year or so , and of course hats off to our hosts at Quirky ' and Artison for keeping it all together in very trying circumstances.
I have been asked at several of my workshops if I have any new classes planned in future? I will take this opportunity to let you know that I will have a couple of new characters to introduce to you in the not too distant future. The sculptures are made , but I won't be releasing any pictured until I'm happy that I've put together the method which we can follow in class and have them completed during the day. I can however tell you that the projects will be something substantial like the hare sculpture , and the Herdwick door stop .
Something else I have been busy with is putting together a new kit which is now on my Etsy Shop . This time it is an Owl Kit , which like the Three Sheep kit , and the small Hare Kit I have also taken advantage of video instructions . These appear to have been well received by the people who have used them , and it also gives me the opportunity to explain what I am doing like I would in the class , and you can also do it at your leisure as once you have the links you can access the videos when you want ( you can even download them to your own PC if you wanted, there are several ways to do this and if you're not sure how , someone you know usually will , I have always found ) . You can watch the video introduction to the new owl kit here, If you would like ?
On the subject of video , I have been asked if I do Zoom type workshops ? Although I can see the attraction I have at present no plans to do it myself just yet . There is of course the logistics of getting the materials to the participants , but my own experience with these video conference things , which I believe they are called , is that there always seems to be someone who's screen freezes up or the sound goes off due to a bad internet connection . It's bad enough when contacting family members , so for now , the thought of having eight or ten people on at the same time and this happening is a bit daunting !
See you soon !
Hope everyone has been making the most of the dry but cool Spring ?
Not updated this page for a month or two , but at least this time I can report that we have the first workshop of the year under our belt . This was a Herdwick doorstop class which took place at Quirky Workshops , Greystoke ,and thank you very much to everyone who attended and made it such a wonderful day after such a long lay off . Also to Annie who has worked hard to get the workshops up and running again , as well as having to work with all the current rules and restrictions , not just for our classes , but all the others too. I will post a couple of photos on the website which were taken on the day. We also paid a visit to Artison where I have two workshops in one Weekend at the start of June . I took the opportunity to drop some of the more bulky materials off early , as we will be staying over and won't have room in the car for our luggage and two workshops. It was also an opportunity to catch up with Gaynor and have a look at some of the modifications to the set up of the room we'd be using ,as they have not yet had their first workshop of the year so far.
It was nice to be able to get a couple of items into the Viridian Gallery at Keswick since they opened . We made no items during the Winter as there has been so much uncertainty with businesses opening times , but we delivered a slightly modified design Herdwick doorstop which I forgot to photograph and it sold the first day ! and a cushion Richard made with a fox design . Also because of the uncertainty of the workshops, a lot of our preparation which is normally done well in advance of the event has been left until the last minute when we were more certain that things were going ahead .
I hope you have found some time also to get creative, there have been plenty of our kits posted to keep hands busy. Watch out for the new picture kit of the narrow boat on the canal scene which will be in the Etsy shop soon !
Enjoy the warmer weather which must surely not be far away (despite us getting caught in heavy snow on the A66 near Bowes the other day).
Best wishes . 🐑
I hope you are all doing OK .
As you may be aware , if you booked any of the workshops this year, the ones which should have taken place up to April have been cancelled , and I'm awaiting news from Quirky Workshops and Artison for any updates on the situation for the ones scheduled from April onwards . Hopefully there will be some good news to report , but like with everything else at present there are more questions than answers.
One thing which has become apparent is the amount of people who seem to be getting involved with crafts to keep themselves occupied .With the Winter weather and everything closed they maybe looking for more creative ways of spending time away from the negativity of the TV .
Looking back to last February's newsletter , we had just made the first of our picture kits which I asked Richard to design , and twelve months on they have proved to be very popular and he added a couple of more designs to the range including the Swaledale scene, another Lakeland scene , both including the sheep associated with these areas of course plus a Highland scene complete with Highland cow. All the 3d sculpture kits have been popular too and we've been sending things as far as Singapore and Thailand in the East and the USA in the West .
It's nice to get correspondence from customers too and also photos of their finished projects. Just look at this excellent Swaledale picture which Angela completed. She's added an extra sheep .
I really appreciate feedback from customers and to see their pictures adding their own touches to personalise the project . We often get that in the workshops with the hares and the Herdwick doorstops which all adds to the fun !
With the galleries still closed we have not been making anything ourselves , we have been kept busy putting kits together for the Etsy shop and making the wool pads which have also become popular . I intend to make a start on something soon as I am feeling the urge to make something , perhaps I will undertake a larger project which is something I've been wanting to do for a while now , since the ram's head commission I did which seems ages ago .
There's not much more to add , so I'll say goodbye for now , and hopefully have some news on the workshops next time .
Best wishes .
I would imagine 2020 is a year which has been memorable for the wrong reasons , to most ordinary people around the world . Hopefully though, you have all been able to find a way to enjoy your crafts and the outdoors during some of the better weather we have had .
With all the uncertainty , I have not had the amount of materials in stock that I usually have for making hares and other things which we usually put in the galleries, not knowing if it would be used ,and we've missed having our regular delivery trips. materials had to be kept in stock of course to cover the workshops which were already booked however we did not know if or when they would run, or if the shops will be open ? We did get a few items into the galleries during the period they were open ,and it would be nice to get at least something to them in the next week or so . It must be really frustrating for the galleries .
Our Etsy shop continues to be busy .
Much of our time recently has been spent putting together and packaging kits while also making up the wool felting pads which as become our best seller and are now going to various parts of the world which is wonderful. We have also introduced a new picture kit which has been well received , and is a variation on the original Lake and Mountain picture, it can be seen in the accompanying photo here. People round the world are obviously immersing themselves into crafts , with other forms of entertainment and travel being curtailed . Indeed many of our customers have told us that they are trying needle felting and other things for the first time when they order .Thank you to all our Etsy customers !
I've not updated this part of the website since September, with nobody knowing whether they are coming or going , there's been little to report since then, with only one workshop which we managed to get in at the beginning of October at Quirky Workshops where Annie has valiantly been doing her best to keep things going for us all . This workshop was the Herdwick doorstop , which again was well attended with everyone's contributions making it another really enjoyable day out. There is more good news as the scheduled November hare class which was cancelled is taking place on the 15th December , which anyone who's booked will no doubt be aware by now . I look forward to seeing everyone there. Beyond that I encourage everyone to keep an eye on Quirky workshops website for any developments in the New Year , and hopefully ArtisOn will also have some news by then too. I will try and get some photos from the next class onto the website on the usual page for you to look at . I'd like to thank everyone who's supported the workshops at Greystoke this year and made them a success in very trying circumstances which I know has been a nightmare to administer and organise .
Make sure that you have an enjoyable Christmas and happy New year !
Hello all !
Here we are again entering the next season in nature's calendar , and I hope during the Summer you've been able to negotiate your way through the ever changing and confusing rules and regulations and make the most of the pleasant weather we had .
Our workshop photo gallery is looking a little sparse this year , but if you take a look you'll see we had some great hares, owls, bunnies and Herdwick doorstops made by those who attended the last two classes at Quirky Workshops . A big thank you to all who attended and made them such enjoyable days .
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the next workshop, again at Quirky this Friday , 2nd October when we'll be making Herdwick doorstops once again .
Next year I would like to introduce a new subject into the schedule , I have had a couple of ideas of my own, my mallard (pictured) is one , plus a few put to me by some of you . These include, Sausage dog draught excluder , Highland cattle , fox, otter and a Red Squirrel. It would be interesting to get some feedback , then I can see if it is feasible to do it.
As for the rest of this year , there is one more class on the 24th November making hares .
Hopefully next year , Artison will also be back on the calendar, running the classes they had to move over from this year .
In the Etsy shop I have added some bagged wool as requested and I shall try and make some more of our own batts. The wool stab pads are hard to keep up with but fantastic to get such positive feedback, kits in store- proving popular are the picture kits and Sheep kit, it is also good to hear that the Youtube tutorial for the Sheep kit is getting positive feedback so maybe I will have to make another for the next new kit.
Please do get in touch if you have any ideas you would like to add or enquiries, I love to hear from my woolly friends baaaa..
Best wishes ...
Here we are well into the Summer now and at last we have a couple of workshops to add to the "completed" list rather than the cancelled , or postponed this year. We had the hare class on the 25th of July and made the bunnies on the 28th . A big thank you to everyone who came along and made both days so enjoyable and such a success . Annie at Quirky Workshops has worked so hard during the uncertain times thrust upon us this year to get everything prepared for the classes she hosts , mine being just one of them . The logistics of rescheduling many classes and cancelling others must have been an absolute nightmare on top of everything else and I'm sure I speak for all who attended when I say she has made a lovely job of the new room in the barn and has managed as best she can to retain the atmosphere you've always enjoyed when at the classes .
An added bonus for us on the day were the family of swallows in the nest on the staircase leading up to the workshop . The parent birds were in and out during the day feeding the young birds who were peering out expectantly between their visits
One thing which Annie has introduced was the projection screen and camera set up which I used for the first time to demonstrate close the up work . Normally every one will gather round my table to watch during certain parts of the project . Now there is a small GoPro camera which when needed , I set up on a tripod overlooking the work and it is projected live and in colour , as they say, on a large screen behind me . I think both Annie and myself were a bit so so about having to introduce the tech' into what is essentially a traditional craft class , but I have to say it worked well and served it's purpose whilst not being to intrusive .
Unfortunately all classes, including of course mine , which were scheduled for 2020 at Artison have now been cancelled, which is obviously disappointing for everyone involved, Sue and Gaynor also had a huge task shuffling and eventually rescheduling courses to take place next year .
As we'd already booked our self catering accommodation for the trips in Masham, we decided to keep the bookings and used them to also book an apartment in the building for our Daughter and family, as it was our Grandson's second birthday . the weather was warm and sunny , and we were able to get out on some of the lovely walks in the area , including the beautiful Hackfall woodland with it's follies and other features . It was also nice have a chance meeting with Gaynor from Artison on one of our earlier walks . She was busy carving an inscription into a piece of masonry in an outbuilding of a farm by the footpath we were walking along .
I think one of the things which has been highlighted this year is that no matter how reserved we think we are as individuals being completely isolated is not natural for us humans . You realise this when things we take for granted are suddenly denied us , whether it's your church , pub or even the homes of your family and friends , or getting together to share an interest , for many this may be the only contact they have with others , so enjoy the rest of the Summer and have fun!
The next workshop at Greystoke is on the 25th August , when we will be making our old friend the hare , and I look forward to seeing eveyone there .
Best wishes .
Hello to everyone.
I hope you have all managed to get outside and make the most of the lovely weather most of us have experienced during the Spring . Though at the time of writing, it is a lot cooler and very windy here .
I would guess , that no matter how many Spring times you have behind you, that you've never had one quite so bizarre as 2020. Outside, nature continues as it always has done , our resident garden blackbirds have fledged yet another brood as they have done for the last few years , the hawthorn is in blossom and the daffodils and bluebells have come and gone and the woodland is carpeted with the beautiful , and tasty wild garlic, with their bright white flowers and lush leaves . The human world however, could have well been living an episode of the the twilight zone since March , for those of us old enough to remember that series .😀
Sadly, there are no recent workshops to report on , but be assured that Annie , at Quirky workshops, and Sue and Gaynor at ArtisON have been working tirelessly to try and reschedule all their postponed bookings , I'm sure everyone appreciates this is a great undertaking and on behalf of us all , I'd like to thank them for their efforts .
I may have mentioned last time that , we had a bit more activity in our Etsy shop , which I'm assuming is due , unfortunately, to the physical shops being closed . One of the things which has proved very popular is the Lakeland picture kit which Richard put together as shown in the February News blog . He has since put together a new one , inspired by our happy memories over the years from our time spent in north Yorkshire . This is a kit where you can create a Swaledale scene , featuring of course a Swaledale sheep . This too has been very popular with a few going overseas . Take a look at the short video Richard has filmed demonstrating this kit taking shape on the videos page. this kit is also on Etsy
You may be aware of the wool felting pads which I use in the workshops , and you may also have bought one for yourselves ? I made them to a size which I have found best suited to most projects , from the larger things like doorstops and hares we make in classes, down to the hedgehog and bunnies , Richard also uses them for making the cushions . However, I had an email the other day asking if I had any smaller ones about half the size . I had considered making a smaller version but was unsure if there was a demand for it, so it appears there may be, we have now made a few and have them listed in my Etsy shop .
That's all for now, and hopefully we'll soon find a way out of. .........
The Twighlight Zone !
Best wishes everyone.
Hello everyone .
First of all , I hope you are all well . I have not written a news letter since February , but then again these are very bizarre times , with uncertain times ahead no doubt.
We completed the first workshop of the year in March which was appropriately enough the hares , but If any of you have booked on any of my classes since then, at Quirky Workshops or Artison , you will be aware that everything is now up in the air , with any classes that were scheduled while the current situation continues having been cancelled or hopefully rescheduled, if possible.(and it's not just our felting classes affected obviously) . All this will be a problem , to say the very least ,for Annie, at Quirky, and Sue and Gaynor at Artison , who work so hard to make everyone welcome and ensure these events run so smoothly. A difficult job at the best of times. Then there are the galleries , Viridian in Keswick , Thornthwaite , Gallery 2 down in Windermere and Blue Poppy in Appleby . Like many other businesses , they have been forced to close their doors during this glorious Spring weather at one of their busiest times of the year , and I'd like to wish Diane, Oliver, Bill and Lisa, well . See you again soon.
So , with everything else being on hold we have been making use of the fine weather by going outside and carding a couple of Swaledale fleeces which we have not previously got round to processing , and with the forecast set fine for the next week there's some Herdwick fleece to sort out too.
There has been some activity in the Etsy shop . I can only assume this is due to the fact that people are using their enforced spare time to be creative , they can't really get out too often I suppose . The things which have been popular, are the Lakeland picture kit , and the new three sheep kit which I have just put together . This one is accompanied by tutorial video instructions which can be accessed from this website . I've wanted to do this for a while but never got round to it , as it's quite time consuming , and then Richard had to edit it and upload it . Time is something we have found ourselves with however , and so that's all done now , and I'd be interested to get some feed back to hear how useful the videos are .
There's not much else to say really , we had intended to visit our Daughter and Son in law so are missing both of them and our Grandson , We are at least able to make do with Skype or Zoom , and fortunately therefore , did not miss out on his first few words a week or so ago , but , everyone reading this, will be in the same predicament of not being able to visit or be visited .
That's all for now , and hopefully the next newsletter will be a much more upbeat , and I'd just like to thank everyone for their support and wish you all good health and hope to catch up with you all soon !