Hello all !
Just wanted to share an idea for a felting kit which you can make yourself . I asked Richard if he could come up with a template for a straight forward design which would look effective when finished , and not take too long to make .
This is the first one. It's the typical view which we always seem to see when out on the fells . A Herdwick sheep , (or often several) either peering over the crest of a hill , or over the bracken looking to see what you're up to ! It should suit anyone who just wants to try needle felting . If however, you have some experience , then the basic template can be used & you can add your own creative touches, it is approximately A4 size . I hope to have some of these available at the workshops too . Check on the website over the next week or two .
With regard to emails .Over the last couple of years at the workshops , many people have added themselves to the mailing list , and I've sent out the occasional heads up , but this year I'm just going to suggest that everyone checks the website on this page for any updates . There 's been a few problems with the emailing lists , some people have not received the messages, or for some reason they fail to send and I receive strange error messages . I may also use facebook to let you know if there's any updates here too.
See you soon !
Hello everyone !
I hope you all enjoyed Christmas & New Year , January is already past , and there are now early signs of Spring here in the North West . Primroses growing in some hedgerows , the crocus and daffodils seem to have beaten the snowdrops this year, and the buds are starting to open on some of the hedges sprouting new leaf growth .
We spent December and January taking a little bit of a break . We spent time with family over Christmas and enjoyed some time with our little Grandson who was just recovering from a cold . He did benefit from some good sea air on the beach at St Bees , and also enjoyed a trip to the marine aquarium at Maryport a few miles from us .
As far as the felting goes , we've been preparing for the first few workshops of the year , the first of which is in March . Details for the 2020 workshops are here
The Hedgehog kits which so many people requested last year have proved to be very popular, as well as in the UK , quite a few have gone over the Atlantic to the USA , along with a number of our felting pads which people seems to like too . I always use the pads myself . I wanted something which was hard wearing and a nice size , and I also wanted something which had a white side , or a side I could use for white wool , meaning that the darker wool would not contaminate the work because of using the same surface .
Richard , has completed couple of his cushions too , including a highland cattle design which he's never done before .
Something else which was much sought after were the Metal needle holders which take up to 6 needles . Those who've been to the workshops will have used them and seen just how well they work , the extra weight adds momentum giving the needles more impact adding to the efficiency , it also means they are easier to use . Of course a lot of people wanted one for themselves . We were, temporarily , able to get a very limited supply of them specially made last year , but they quickly sold out, and I've been asked if we can get any more ?
Well I'm excited to say , that we have now approached a local engineering business with the tooling to manufacture some for us . They will be very similar to the previous ones but we've asked them to make a couple of small alterations to the ergonomics , which we think will make them look and feel even better ! Can't wait to see the finished product and give them a try ! Of course I will put photos on the website when we get them .
I am now working on an new idea which will add a little more variety to the workshops . I didn't have the time to do this last year . Again I will keep you posted
Looking forward to the rest of the year and meeting everyone at the workshops , both new and familiar faces alike .
Where did 2019 go ? After a particularly busy workshop schedule , it's hard to believe that Friday's hare workshop at Greystoke was the last one of the year . Thanks so much to all who attended , it was lovely to see everyone there on such a beautifully frosty morning , and as usual there were some brilliant hares departed from Quirky Workshops along with their proud creators ! A few photos can be viewed on the workshop photo page . Indeed , thank you to everyone who's attended and supported the classes this year and beyond . Also a big thank you Annie , at Quirky Workshops , Sue and Gaynor over at Artison in Yorkshire , and Beverly , just down the road at Fobbles , for hosting the classes and all their support . You'll find links to their individual sites on my links page .
Something I particularly enjoyed about this year was the introduction of a couple of new workshops , namely the hedgehog , and the bunny . I have had people showing an interest in a class to make these two animals in previous years , so I was pleased to be able to bring them to you and see some excellent results , again head over to the photos to see for yourself .
I also had the idea of making the hedgehog available as a kit . I spent some time preparing a kit with some detailed written and pictorial instructions , which I think will be helpful , and I'm now pleased to say that I have a few ready, I will add them to my Etsy shop.
This year has been quite an interesting and eventful one . The felting pads which we designed , have been very popular . Most of you will have used them in the workshops this year, these are also available at Etsy
Richard has been getting more creative and adventurous with his cushion designs , and although it's been a very busy year for workshops , we've still tried to have some items present in the wonderful Lakeland galleries we are associated with . We will also be updating the video tutorial page of the website over the Winter , and replacing them with ones of better quality like the latest one we've just uploaded on wrapping techniques and attaching eyes (useful for the hedgehog kit) . I am now able to narrate the process rather than just put written instructions up on screen as we have a camera with a decent microphone now .
On a more personal note , we have enjoyed seeing our Grandson take to his feet and begin walking the road of life , and we've also helped settle him and his parent's into their lovely little home after their move, and we look forward to spending some time with them when they come to visit during Christmas .
Next year's workshop schedule is all set , with many of the places already booked and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone , familiar faces and new comers alike , and as this will likely be the last news letter of 2019 , I'd like to thank everyone once again for their support , and wish you all the very best for Christmas and the coming year .
Hello Again !
Autumn is well underway , and I hope that you are all getting out and enjoying the colourful display put on by our deciduous trees before they finally loose their leaves until the Spring time . This photo was taken in Masham when we were over at Artison for the Herdwick Doorstop workshop , which was great fun once again , and we all had a lovely day and a fantastic lunch as always . With the weather turning very wet outside as the day went on , where better to be than indoors felting ?
While we were in the area we went for a walk from Masham on the footpaths over the fields and came across Marfield wetlands nature reserve . This is a beautiful place , consisting of gravel pits which have become mature lakes and a haven for wildlife . We sat in one of the bird hides one evening overlooking one of the lakes , the walls inside are filled with photos and information , there is even a pair of binoculars provided . We met the gentleman & his wife who fill up the numerous bird feeders . It tuns out they manage the whole reserve pretty much on their own on a voluntary basis, which must be very challenging work . They seemed to love what they do and it must be rewarding to see people like us enjoying the results . If you visit , do leave a small donation to contribute to the bird food which attracts a wide variety of wild birds close enough to get some superb photos .
Earlier in the month , on the 12th October , we were closer to home and made hedgehogs at Beverley's Fobbles workshop . As can be seen from the photos , we had some great results . It was also nice to catch up with Ruth , a friend from my childhood who I'd not seen for some time . well done everyone , and thank you to all who attended and made it such a great day .
There is only one more workshop left this year which is the Hare, at Quirky Workshops on the 29th November .
The workshop dates for 2020 have already been released by Artison , a lot of places have filled very quickly which is fantastic! Quirky Workshops bookings will be live from 6am on the 3rd November ( tomorrow at the time of writing this ) . Next year at Fobbles we have a new workshop, details will follow next month.
Hope to see you soon !
The Autumn Equinox has just passed for another year, and the Sun is making it's journey through the sky a little lower towards the horizon each day . The stubble fields left after the harvest attract the attention of lapwing and wood pigeon flocks , and the swifts have long headed South & only a very few swallows remain before they too will have gone in a week or so , all signs that a new season is upon us .
We ended the Summer ourselves , with a hare workshop at Artison , on the 19th of this month, where we were made welcome once again by Sue and Gaynor . We all had a fabulous time as usual , thanks to everyone who came along and worked hard to produce some more fine characterful hares of which you should all be very proud !
It was also very interesting to watch the stone carving workshop which Gaynor was running . They were outside enjoying the glorious late Summer weather , they may have said they were enduring though as it was quite hot out there . The clicking of chisels carving stone and dull thud of needles felting wool , continued throughout the day . I have to say I was really impressed by the beautiful designs the class had carved into the stone tablets they were working .
We made the best of the weather the following day as we had stayed locally and decided to go for a circular walk of about four miles round the Masham area , which took us through fields along side the picturesque River Ure and one of it's tributaries , the River Burn which ended with a brief stop for refreshment at the Theakston brewery tap , where we sat outside in the warm sun .
.Autumn got off to a great start yesterday at Greystoke 's Quirky workshops hosted of course , by Annie . On the drive through , I took a moment to pull over and take a photo across Bassenthwaite Lake towards the South East & Kewsick , with the early morning sky looking so dramatic and Autumnal . I met a lovely group of new people who had came along to make a Herdwick sheep doorstop for their first time . Thank you all so much for a fun and enjoyable day and I think everyone was justifiably proud of the flock we turned out at the end of the day ! The day was all about stone and wool , as once again , we shared the venue with a stone carving workshop ran by Pip Hall , but this time Annie was getting herself involved , making a superb job of her carved stone name plaque . It is fun and interesting mingling during the day with the other classes running alongside our own and taking an interest in each other's work . Some photos from both the September workshops are posted on the workshop photo page as usual .
This year's workshop calendar is almost complete with only 3 more dates to go , hedgehog , Herdwick and hare , respectively . Keep an eye open also , for the 2020 workshop dates to be announced soon , and I will catch up with you next month !
Thank you and best wishes .
I am always looking at ways I can improve and make our workshops a great experience. Careful preparation makes the day go smoothly making for a more enjoyable day. I have prepared some of the new kits to try out at the next Herdwick and Hare workshops this month. I have just about managed to cram all the woolly materials into your individual bags.
I hope everyone is having a great Summer and making the most of the mixed weather . The blackberries are starting to ripen and the rosebay willowherbs beginning to cast their downy seeds to the wind , indicating that we have the next season of Autumn to look forward to just a few weeks away .
We managed a couple of days visiting our Grandson just before his first birthday which he enjoyed celebrating at Sundown Adventure land with his parents and his paternal Gran' ,who was able to be there . It's a theme park for younger kids where we once took Heather during one of our camper van holidays when she was a small child , and where they now just happen to live a few miles away from , so she thought it fitting to take her own first child for this special day .. We returned home to get ready for the hedgehog workshop .
The hedgehog workshop I have just mentioned was the first one I have done . As this is something which people have requested , I have spent a lot of time over the last few months putting together something which we could complete in a day and that I could be confident you'd be happy with at the end . This was held in the new upstairs workshop at Annie's Quirky Workshops which was again, lovely , with it's rustic charm , and plenty of room ! Please have a look at the workshop photos and see for yourself how well the hedgehogs turned out , they're impressive & a credit to their creators . There's always room to tweak the way I do my workshops if needed , but I felt this first hedgehog one went really well and the preparation beforehand had been worth it , as with the bunny workshop which was also new for this year . Both were the results of feedback from people who attend the classes so it was good to be able to deliver .
The next workshop was on the following day and we again took advantage of Annie's new work space for a hare workshop , where , once more we had lots of fun and some brilliant results at the end . If you follow the link above once again, you can see them looking splendid in the surroundings of the new work shop don't forget to click the photos to enlarge them .
The felt "stabbing pads" which I make have again sold out on my ETSY shop , however we are making some more , to replace them , they seem to sell quickly , so if you'd like one , contact me directly . They are £12 + £3 postage . If I do have any in stock I'll also take them along to the workshops .
The next classes are Greystoke again, at the end of this month making Herdwicks and hares , respectively . If you are attending , I'll look forward to seeing you there !
Hello, once again !
First of all , thank you to all who attended the Quirky Workshops "Summer Solstice" owl workshop on the 21st June , and those who came to make some fine hares a couple of days later at the same venue . Again , we had a super time , and if you haven't already done so , have a look at some of the splendid results on the photo page from both the above days .The next workshop is the Herdwick Doorstop , on the 28th of July at Quirky Workshops again .
I had planned a short break in the workshop schedule so I could get caught up with a few things including trying to get something into the galleries , and also to visit our family and particularly to spend some time with our Grandson who's approaching his 1st birthday .
We've just returned from an enjoyable week with our Daughter & family. The weather was fine and we had a couple of nice days out with them , including a visit to the local air field where the sounds and sights of the light aircraft held young Jesse's attention for the afternoon (and Richard's). Richard & I had also planned , while we were down there , to walk part of the "Cuckoo Way " , which follows the tow path of the Chesterfield canal from the point where it joins the River Trent North of Gainsborough back to our Daughter's , a distance of about 30 miles I think . We took the train to Gainsborough and booked a couple of B&Bs as overnight stops for the return walk , which took us through some picturesque countryside and interesting towns like Retford, which was quite pleasant and which we'd never visited before , also Worksop where we stayed on the outskirts , and never really got a look in the town centre . We only had 5 miles to do on the last day , but due to Richard's Achilles tendons becoming stiff we thought it wise to get Heather to pick us up to avoid aggravating the situation . Despite the fact we walk a lot locally including the fells , Annie ( at Quirky Workshops ) had actually warned us that walking long distances on the flat when you are not used to it puts constant pressure on the same parts of the feet and legs as opposed to ascending and descending hills . With hindsight , trainers or his soft boots may have been better than the leather hiking boots with hard soles , as my feet were fine , but we really enjoyed the walk, I did feel a little unprepared, next time I won't be!
Lastly, we were contacted a week or two ago by Kathy Cartmell who runs the on line publication Qerky Art Magazine .(nothing to do with Quirky Workshops) . Kathy asked if she could write a piece in the July edition which is all about woolly crafts, and is out now, about Annis's Hand Felted Creations, how we started and what we do etc . This , of course was really appreciated . If you are interested in crafts of all kinds you can visit. www.qerkyartmag.co.uk/qerkyartmag/ and perhaps check out the magazine .
See you Soon !
As we approach the middle of June , and the outside temperature feels more like October We've had a busy time felting . As well as a couple of outstanding commission orders I've had to complete , we've had the "Bunny" workshop at Fobbles hosted by Beverly . There were some splendid specimens turned out by the class , which was fantastic , as the rabbits were a new workshop introduced for this year, which I'd spent some time preparing the best methods to use to construct them on the day .
Next we were off to Annie's Quirky Workshops for another hare class , and we ended the month of May with Sue & Gaynor at Artison on 31st . We also started the June campaign there too on the following day June 1st , when we made some more hares. Thank you very much to everyone who attended all the classes , and to our hosts at their respective venues for making it all such an enjoyable few days. Have a look at the Workshop photos from the above classes .
We took the opportunity to make the most of our trip to Artison and stayed on a couple of nights self catering at a fine old building in Masham which has been divided into apartments . We enjoyed fine weather & some lovely walks round the picturesque town , with the obligatory visit to the Theakston and Black Sheep brewery tap houses for a quick half pint .
We also had a walk round the beautiful Hackfall woodland which Richard had discovered while I was at the hare workshop . This is a splendid woodland full of native deciduous trees such as beech & oak . Part of an estate dating back to the 1700s there are some fascinating water features and interesting buildings round every turn it seems . and full of wild woodland birds . We never managed to spot any Wuzels though !
We are half way through the month of May already . The leaves are on the trees and the swifts have arrived reminding us that Summer is just over the horizon .
May got off to a fantastic start with another trip across to Artison on the 5th , which was the Bank Holiday Weekend when it was all happening in the area . The Tour of Yorkshire cycle race passed through nearby Bedale & then on Sunday through Masham which was the day of our hare workshop .
We all had a thoroughly enjoyable day , and again it was so good to meet some new people and catch up with some familiar faces from previous visits , and I have to say once again , there were some excellent hares turned out , as I'm sure you'll agree if you look at the photos taken on the day , well done to everyone , and thank you!
Yesterday , my Mother & I attended a fascinating presentation given by a friend of mine , Susan Denham - Smith , at the Beacon Centre , which is beside the harbour in Whitehaven . I first met her several years ago when she was managing a local gallery , and it was there where my idea for the Herdwick doorstop was first on display, which so many of you reading this will have now made for yourself, or purchased , not to mention her giving me the confidence to do my first ever needle felting workshops , for which I'm always grateful !
Susan has the Wild Wool Workshop , which is situated on the banks of the picturesque Ennerdale lake , overlooked by the surrounding fells , hidden in one of the more tranquil corners of the Lake District . If you would like to see traditional wool spinning and weaving demonstrated , using wool from the local Herdwick sheep , buy her products , or even have a go yourself , then this is the place . There are even camping facilities , or you can stay in their "Wild Wool Barn " accommodation .
Susan is very knowledgable about the Herdwick sheep breed and their history, as well as working with their wool , this meant that during the presentation I picked up some really useful tips on how to wash and prepare raw fleece which I use myself . She also told an intriguing story about the connection between her farm house and well known Lake District authoress Beatrix Potter , of Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle fame .
Susan also likes a challenge , you could say . She intends to climb all 214 of the Wainwright Fells ! With a spinning wheel , with which she intends to spin Herdwick wool on top of them all ! The spun wool will be made into rugs which will be sold in aid of the Calvert Trust who organise outdoor activities for the disabled, so check out http://www.wildwoolworkshop.co.uk/ . for alll the information about Susan's activities and her business.
The next workshop of my own is on the 18th of May when we will be needle felting mountain hares on the summit of Helvellyn ! ... Only joking !
It is in fact making "Bunnies" at Fobbles in Holmrook with Beverley , on that day, which is much nearer to sea level . Looking forward to seeing everyone there .
Then on the 27th , we'll be back at Annie's Quirky Workshops making Hares . Then back over to Artison for two days of hares and Herdwick Doorstops , on the 31st so May is a busy month for workshops . Great !
There are a couple of extra dates added for August due to demand , get in touch if you are interested in booking a place .
There are now a limited number of the heavy metal needle holders available to buy, I had some made , as so many people have been enquiring about them , and I must say I'm really pleased with them .
See you soon !
I received a couple of Swaledale fleeces from a local farm a few weeks ago and They've been waiting in the garage for the weather to improve , so I've made use of the dry spell to get them washed and dried ready for use .
Hello again .
This is just a quick update as I return from another thoroughly enjoyable workshop over at
Artison in North Yorkshire . Thank you to Gaynor & Sue at Artison , and to everyone who came along to the workshop and made it such a great day ! A special thank you to all on this occasion due to the fact that some of the class lost the first hour or so due to being caught up in the aftermath of a traffic incident which brought the A 1 to a halt heading South . Hopefully no one was hurt , and it's a sobering thought when inconvenienced by situations like these , that someone else is obviously having a much worse day than you are .
When the ladies did arrive though, they pulled out all the stops ( or in our case, needles ) to make up for lost time which helped us to overcome the situation and produce a nice flock of Herdwicks at the end of a lovely day . I am looking forward to the trip back again shortly , for the Hare workshop on the 5th May . There are, as usual a few images from the day here .
After we'd loaded the car and said farewell to Gaynor , we headed back to Ripon where we stayed overnight , before heading further on down the Great North Road to stay for a pleasant couple of days with our Grandson , and of course his Mam & Dad !
Spring has arrived !
Our resident blackbirds who have made our garden their home have fledged their their first young of the season . For the past three years or so we have been putting out meal worms and the female bird has taken to flying down and "asking" for them when she sees you appear in the window Her & her mate raised three broods last year and judging by this years early start , they have ambitions for this year too . Richard also had his first sighting this year , of the osprey on Bassenthwaite lake yesterday too .
We are now well under way with the busy 2019 workshop schedule , having just completed the third one yesterday . They've all been at Quirky Workshops so far , beginning with the hare class on March 1st . Next was the Herdwick Doorstops on March 27th , and the one yesterday April 7th was something new for this year , The Bunnies , which went very well . As usual each everyone attending made each class a really enjoyable experience and contributed to the relaxed , and fun atmosphere , and once again it was fantastic to be re-acquainted with some familiar faces from previous occasions and to welcome some new ones . Thank you all ! have a look on the workshop photo page if you'd like to see some photos of those days & the great results .
This Weekend, I'm looking forward to heading back to ArtisOn at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with the Herdwick doorstops . I'll be posting some pictures as usual , so keep an eye open . If you're going along , I'll see you there !
Best wishes .
We have just returned from our trip to Grassington , in the beautiful upper reaches of the River Wharfe , where we spent a very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the company of the ladies from the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild . I was contacted by them last year & asked if I would present a demonstration of my needle felting for them, so I'd like to thank them so much for giving me this opportunity to experience something a little different from what I am used to, which is running my workshops . I had some time to think about what it was that I was going to say and demonstrate , bearing in mind that I could be speaking to some very accomplished crafters with a lifetime of experience , and this turned out to be the case . Some of the ladies , I was informed had experience in various types of felting also .
We arrived at the Wharfedale Rugby Club , which is where the Embroiderers' Guild are based. This was in a beautiful location , and from the room on the upper floor where we were , there were splendid views of the surrounding fields and hills of the Dales .
We arrived around 12.30pm to set up, and had approximately two hours of time to fill , so I had decided to go through the various stages of making one of my hares, with the help of ones which I'd previously prepared to various stages of completion in the Blue Peter ," here's one I made earlier " way . The drum carder was taken & Richard demonstrated how he set up the carder, and makes up a batt of wool for the doorstops . We had also taken various pieces of work to display, and a projector which was very useful, & kindly lent to us by My Father in Law , Eric, this could be connected to the laptop so Richard could be kept busy showing some photos to help with our presentation . We never actually got any photos of the event ourselves but the ladies have some on their site if you follow the link in the paragraph below .
The time passed very quickly , as it does when you are enjoying yourself , and we learned a lot from the wealth of experience which the ladies present were more than happy to share with us. Some of the work they do themselves is outstanding and we only saw a glimpse of what they actually do . We were shown a photo of a piece of work which was particularly outstanding , and I believe won them a first prize . It depicted a Swaledale sheep and dry stone wall scene . The detail, right down to the lichens and moss on the stonework was fantastic , and it would have been nice to have seen the actual work it's self .
So thank you very much once again to Grassington Embroiderers' Guild for their warm welcome , and a very enjoyable experience ! Hope to catch up with you again in the future .
Afterwards we had decided to stay overnight down the road at Skipton . I recently learned that Skipton is actually ,and very aptly named "sheep town" in olde English. "Sceap tun" , sceap meaning sheep , and tun , meaning town/village .
The theme continued as we found a lovely old pub in the town centre called " The Woolly Sheep Inn" located , where else , but on "Sheep Street " ! They also had a wonderful selection of Yorkshire beers at the BAAA !
I f you are ever in the Skipton area and need accommodation I would thoroughly recommend The Pinfold guest house . This is room only , but there are numerous cafes etc which do breakfasts in the immediate area as well as restaurants and pubs . The room was really clean and comfortable with lots of nice little added extras all at a reasonable price .
A belated Happy 2019 to all !
I Hope everyone had a good Christmas & New Year .
We enjoyed the company of Our Daughter and Son in Law and our grandson who came to stay with us for his first Christmas . It's hard to believe we are one month into 2019 already and almost too late to write a January news blog .
The end of last year was really busy, with the last few workshops , orders , and trying to keep at least something in the galleries , particularly the hares and sheep doorstops. Some of which, were to be surprise gifts for Christmas , which was very nice to learn , including a couple of Richard's cushions . I had to close my order book before Christmas for hares and Doorstops until March, just to enable me to get on top of things and to prepare for the first few workshops of 2019 .
We will have some new kits for this year , and I've also been working on a new design of stabbing cushion which I've been trying out for myself and which I'm really excited about . I have already made a few , and will be making them available to purchase soon , if you would like one .
I am always very grateful when I receive any correspondence , particularly from anyone who has purchased one of our creations or received one as a gift . This is very rewarding and much appreciated . I'd really like to share with you the latest one sent by young Jason who'd been given one of my needle felted soldiers as a gift . He took the time to do a splendid drawing of his soldier and it really made my day when it arrived with the post .
Thank You Jason !
During the next few days we will be going into the Yorkshire dales, where I have been asked to do a demonstration for a crafter's guild . This will be a new & different experience to running the workshops . and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to introduce some more craft enthusiasts to what it is we do ourselves, and visit them in their picturesque corner of the Dales . Hopefully the weather will stay reasonable for our trip and the roads will be ice and snow free .
We have been quite fortunate in general with the weather since Christmas time , haven't we ? We managed a couple of days to make the most of it on our recent visit to our Daughters , on the way down, we stopped off as usual for a coffee at Thorpe farm near Greta Bridge on the A66 where we took a few photos of the young Herdwick rams they had in the animal enclosures there . we had a lovely walk with our Grandson along the picturesque Chesterfield Canal one beautiful frosty morning too .
Looking forward to the rest of the year , and hopefully catching up with some of you at the workshops , whether you are returning or it's your first time .
Best wishes !
I thought that I'd wait until the last workshop of the year was completed before doing another post Yesterday was the last one , when we made some more splendid hares at Quirky Workshops . A big thank you to another group of lovely people , it was so nice to spend the day with you all !
As I mentioned in the last update , November was to be a busy month for workshops and after the two Quirky dates we took the show on the road , with two more dates , one at Masham and another one a couple of days later, about 30 miles to the NE of there in Stokesley where my hares and I were booked for a surprise birthday party , which turned out to be a lot of fun !
We based ourselves at Masham, in a very atmospheric old building which has been converted into individual self catering apartments . We were greeted by a smashing view over a field looking toward the village . There were four fine rams in the field , the breed of which I'm not sure , and they were accompanied by several pheasants who always seemed to be there , like all pheasants they seem to strut around as if they own the place , and then run away at high speed like the Roadrunner when disturbed. Very beautiful and funny birds .
The Black Sheep Brewery could be seen from our accommodation , so after we had something to eat , and as you can probably guess , we called in to the visitor centre bar , where they serve nice coffee as well as their range of cask ales , of which Richard had a pint ( or was it two ? ) .
The first workshop was at Artison , on the 21st of November where Herdwick sheep were the project for the day . It was nice to have Gaynor , who's one of the proprietors of Artison join us as part of our class, after a last minute cancellation along with her sister who'd booked on the workshop . Thank you to all for a very enjoyable day . The day went very well and we actually finished a little earlier than the time I had told my photographer , ( Husband) to come and get some photos of the fab ' flock , and their creators at the end of the day . He arrived however , as the last of you were leaving , so if anyone has any photos to put on the gallery page that you want to send me, I'll put them up . Below are just a couple . Aren't they splendid ?
That was on Wednesday . Thursday gave us a chance to go out for a walk and prepare for the workshop at Stokesley the following day . The weather was very grey and drizzly with the temperature barely above freezing , and at this time of year it hardly gets daylight under those conditions so we drove down to Ripon , put on our water proof gear and had a good walk down the canal tow path, which was at least dry underfoot . By 3pm it was starting to get dusk and we returned to Masham.
We were up early on Friday morning and had a decent drive up to Stokesely, which is a very pleasant village on the Northern edge of the Yorkshire Moors . I was met by Ronda at the village hall which was a lovely building with plenty room for us to work in and good facillities . As Richard and I set about preparing the workshop materials and tools , Ronda and the other girls prepared the room for birthday girl , Sue who was unaware of what was happening. It was lovely to be involved in the surprise , and to see her reaction when she , and her other friends arrived for the workshop . I had a great day with really fun group of ladies who turned out some brilliant hares with some real characters among them as you can see in the pictures below. Thank you all for having me there as part of your special day , I believe that there was yet another surprise arranged for Sue at the hall that evening which I'm sure was very much appreciated too !
Looking back , 2018 has been an eventful and busy year . During the Spring there was the annoying inconvenience of stay in hospital with appendicitis which meant that I had to cancel and reschedule a workshop for the first time ever , but the rest of the year has been very positive with the high point , welcoming our Grandson Jesse , into the family , who is our first Grandchild ,and will be visiting us , all for his first Christmas .
It has been a privilege to continue supplying our work to the wonderful galleries and shops in the various parts of the county please pay them a visit , they all have an amazing display of different artwork and crafts .
It's been a busy year for workshops , and I've fitted in as many as I have been able to . I have enjoyed them all , and am very grateful to all who've attended and booked my services , and I hope next year , to meet any of you who were not able to get booked this year . I am learning all the time from the workshops , especially about how I can make them run as smoothly as possible . Some of you who have been to earlier workshops have noticed and commented favourably on changes I have made to the preparation side of things.
The hare workshops are very popular and I think we've come a long way with the pre workshop preparation which gets most of the more basic but time consuming stages done leaving you to concentrate on needle felting which is what you are there for . The hare is of course, the more time intensive workshop , and because every day goes differently the workshop can and often does run over the approximate finishing time . With this in mind , we do mention this when the classes are advertised , However we've noticed during the year that some people may have arranged to be collected at the end of the day , or have made other commitments for early evening . For anyone who has had to leave before the very end, I make sure they have got to a point where they can be given the equipment and materials to finish at home using what they have learned during the day , but for next year's hare class we will advertise a later approximate finish time for the Hare .
The workshops are very rewarding though in so much as, everyone leaves with a sculpture that is a credit to them and one that is as individual as they are themselves . A couple of people have even sent me photos of the hares they made and entered into their local craft fair and which won first prize , which is fantastic ! Don't forget , that for 2019 I am adding a Bunny, and a Hedgehog to the choice of
workshops for you .
As this will be the last update of the year , we'd like to wish you all Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and thank you all for your support .
Despite us not scheduling any workshops for October as we knew it was going to be quite a busy time, with our Grandson and his parents planning a visit for his christening ,
We thought , that before November when there are several workshops taking place, we'd get ahead restocking the galleries , most of which had just about, or completely sold out of our work . However , the things we did manage to do have been selling as well , because we are approaching Christmas no doubt . So we are still trying to restock and working round the preparation of the workshops .
November was always going to be busy with five workshops planned . There were two consecutive days of Quirky workshops in Greystoke. Last Tuesday when we made the hare , and Wednesday 's Herdwick doorstop class. Once again we all had brilliant time, thank you for the positive feedback, it was fantastic meeting some wonderful people and having some familiar faces again from previous times as well, which is always lovely to see, also to hear how they are now progressing with their own needle felting projects. At the end of both days , the results were fantastic , and I must apologise for not managing to get any photos for the website gallery this time . If any of you ladies got any ,and want me to add them just send them by email and I'll do that . Thank you to everyone who attended and made it such an enjoyable experience !
The next workshop is over in Yorkshire at Artison on Wednesday the 21st November . and a private booking in the North East , then back to Annie's at Quirky workshops on the 30th for the final workshop this year . Look forward to seeing you all there !
Check my workshop diary page for 2019 dates . More will be added soon .
There was an Autumnal feel in the air as we headed East for yesterday's hare workshop at Quirky Workshops . There was a fresh breeze the leaves on the trees are starting to change colour and the air was full of fine drizzle , the deceptive kind that wets you . There were breaks in the cloud where shafts of light broke through illuminating the fells . When we arrived at the village , the sun was lighting up Greystoke Castle against a backdrop of blue/grey clouds with a bright rainbow arching over the scene . We managed to avoid the showers while we unload the car and prepared the coffee for when people started arriving .
I'd like to thank everyone for their input yesterday & making it such an enjoyable day yet again , as I may have said before , I thoroughly enjoy the workshops and meeting so many different people . Time, and leisure time in particular is a precious commodity , and It's an honour when people choose to spend a day of that time at the workshop felting . This is why I always like to make sure we've done as much as we can in preparation so that it is as enjoyable as it can be, and goes as smoothly as possible . It's so satisfying at the end of the day to see the splendid results from people who have limited experience in needle felting , and in many cases no previous experience at all . Whether it's the Herdwick doorstops , hares , owls or anything else , and yesterday was no exception , all the hares were superb ! Well made and with their own character and "expressions" as they should do in my opinion . See for yourself on the Workshop Photo page Well done everyone !
I learn so much from the classes myself , through talking to you all and seeing for myself where I can improve things like equipment and my own methods For example , broken needles are a fact of life , but through investing in different holders which are not only more of a pleasure to use , but I have been able to reduce the amount of needles broken noticeably , after all you want to spend your valuable time felting , not changing needles . Also It was nice to hear yesterday from someone who'd been on a previous hare class that one of the changes I made to the preparation was an improvement , so thank you again .
The next workshop is on Saturday 15th September , so that's next Saturday at Fobbles over in the Far West of the county at Holmrook where we'll be making owls . Look forward to seeing you there ... It will be a HOOT . guaranteed !
As well as all the preparations for the workshops which will be taking place over the coming weeks , we're gradually working our way through items which have been ordered, it has been so busy but we now have some packed ready to deliver , then I shall be starting on stock for the galleries and finishing off the orders.
I've received some very nice , encouraging messages and cards from people who have enjoyed their day at my workshops over the last few months . Thank you all very much ! It's brilliant to know that you have left with the confidence & enthusiasm to continue your needle felting and are making things , which is the purpose of my workshops .
A fine example is the email I received recently from Helen, Hammond who was at one of the hare workshops . Helen also purchased some equipment and materials from me and set about creating another hare whilst on holiday . The end result was "Zelda" who ended up being exhibited at her local village show and winning first prize ! Well done , and have fun with the raw fleece you've acquired Helen !
I am now looking forward to this Sunday's workshop which is at Greystoke once again , and meeting all those who are attending ... It's going to be fun !
It's been a busy and happy three weeks , which we've spent at our daughter and son in law's down in East Derbyshire , preparing for the birth of our Grandson . It was nice to be there to welcome him into all our lives & be able to help out at home during the days before his arrival. On the 8th of August we were greeted by a beautiful sun rise at the dawn of a very special day, as we set out to take Mother & Father to the birth centre at Chesterfield a few miles away .
The felting equipment was taken along (not to the birth centre) and I was able to just about complete 3 hares before we had to return for the Herdwick Doorstop class at Quirky Workshops Yesterday . Richard also managed to complete a cushion with Barn Owl design which is currently on Etsy . We recently bought some discrete embroidered labels to attach to our finished work , something we've been going to do for a while and have finally got round to doing . Thank you to Woven Labels UK who have a good choice of designs which you can personalise to your requirements and preview on their website.
It was nice to be able to do our work outside in the warm sunshine and fresh air looking out to the East over the patchwork of wheat and barley fields between us and the M1 motorway which was far enough away in the distance of this scene so as not to impose upon it .
A big thank you to all who came to the workshop at Greystoke yesterday and made it such an enjoyable day ! Again it was great to see some familiar faces again from previous classes , and at the end of the day we had a fine flock of Herdwicks to pose for the camera as you'll see on the workshop photo page .