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.