Sunday, 11 August 2013

Show day on Shapinsay

Tuesday 6 August was show day on our small island.  Perfect weather for showing cattle, sheep, horses, ponies and poultry as well as family pets.  The Horticultural Show took place at the same time and the school hall was filled with an assortment of crafts, jams, cakes, biscuits, fruit and vegetables.  Sadly I forgot to take my camera.  I'll ask someone if I can copy their photographs.

I won four prizes for the following exhibits - three 1sts and a 2nd - fair chuffed.

This bag is made out of some wool I had spun and knitted into a jumper.  I wore it for a while but it was never quite right - the jumper that is not the bag.  I have used the bag.  I think the picture is a bit too bright.  I really must get to grips with a good editing package.

The hens featured in this batik belong to a my friend Sian from Graemsay.  Obviously they are not this colour but I took a photo, enlarged it then traced the hens.  Easy when you know how.   I made the batik when I was doing the Applied Textile Design course at Orkney College.  I embellished it with hand embroidery and beads more recently but wasn't sure what to do with it after that.  I did look at various frames but nothing seemed to work.  The Show spurred me on to do something and I ended up stretching it over an artists canvas.  It has worked quite well although this picture doesn't show it fully.  Sian has an interesting blog about life on Graemsay - I recommend you take a look. You'll find pictures of her hens, cake, sunsets, views towards Stromness, more cake and Buttons plus much more.  Buttons has four legs. 
This bag was made from a long piece of machine knitting which was then felted.  My love of making things out of felted knitted wool began at Orkney College. 
My last offering was a watercolour of Domino (on the left) and Dindy, two lovely cats that are no longer with us.

I am already thinking about what I might exhibit next year.  I wont leave it so late next time.  Well I say that now...

Friday, 26 July 2013

'Made in Shapinsay'

What a talented bunch we are on Shapinsay.  June saw 16 adventurous, arty, crafty souls take our wares to town where we had booked the Venue for a week in order to have a pop-up shop.   Sorry about the reflections in the glass but these snaps from the street give you a taste of our exhibition.  We took over  two windows.

Window 1 - Information about Shapinsay and a live exhibit

A few of us spent some time in the larger window demonstrating our craft.  Pat the artist painted, Louise did some needle felting and I did some spinning, others also contributed to the display.  It could get a bit hot in the window and we weren't in there all the time.  It was a fun experience though and we certainly got the attention of people walking past

The second window was the window of the shop area.

Window 2 - looking to the left of the window

Window 2-looking to the right
The majority of us were able to do a stint in the shop. The week was successful on a number of levels, not least the opportunity to promote Shapinsay as a place to visit. 

Some of our goods have been taken down to Tomb of the Eagles to be displayed on a 'Made in Shapinsay' shelf in their shop.  Exciting times.

At the suggestion of a friend I have been experimenting with the brooches I make from felted jumpers.  Instead of sewing on a brooch clip I have threaded them through a coloured wire.  I bought some different coloured wires from Bead Pop in Aberdeen.  I am happy with the end result as they sit quite nicely.  More fun to be had with this idea I think.

I still have earrings in mind so watch this space. 


Monday, 10 June 2013

More hats from felted jumpers

Here are three more hats that I have placed in the Smithy.  I decided the fair isle pattern might appeal to visitors.  I'm rather fond of the first one and the third one.  So far I have sold a scarf, a brooch and a felted   bracelet.   I'm never going to make a fortune but it is fun and you do get quite a buzz when someone buys your wares.



Not long until 'Made in Shapinsay' has a pop up shop in the Venue. We open for business on Monday 17 through to Sunday 23 June.  If this venture is successful then we will confirm the provisional booking we made for December.  It's exciting and a bit daunting at the same time.  We overlap with the beginning of the St Magnus Festival so there will be plenty people wandering around in the

evenings.  Evening opening hours have been built into the rota.  Thanks go to Claire Evans for introducing the idea and bringing people together. 

Orkney Arts and Crafts are due to set up their summer exhibition in the Town Hall at the end of the month.  I am going to put in scarves, hats, brooches and felt bracelets.  I also plan to do some necklaces. A picture of the prototype to follow.  I have to thank Joan Greig for the idea.  Joan hung a brooch that I had made her from a small silver chain. I had been thinking earrings - but then I'm always thinking about earrings.  I may well put in some hanks of hand spun wool as well.  I have asked for 25 swing tags - perhaps a bit ambitious.  Just as well hubby has taken over in the kitchen.

I'm looking forward to Woolfest, Cockermouth, Cumbria 28/29 June.  I have planned to visit this event a few times but circumstances have changed at the last minute.  I'm saying no more in fear of jinxing this trip.  There is the added bonus of meeting up with friends we have known since we lived in Cumbria over 35 years ago.  

Well I better press on, the smell from the kitchen tells me tea will be ready soon.  No - it's not a burning smell.  Hubby has everything under control. 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

What do you do on a blustery afternoon?

Q.  What do you do on a blustery afternoon? 
A.  Card, spin and take a few photographs.

Having browsed through The Ashford Book of Carding by Jo Reeve I decided to rummage through my stash of  coloured fleece and play with my drum carder.  I have had a drum carder for a year now but have only recently put down my hand carders.

I decided to blend two different shades of green with red and a burgundy.  I passed the layered slithers through the carder four times. Layering the colours one on top of the other gives a 'heathered' yarn as you can see below.  Had I fed the slithers of different colour in side by side the end result would have been stripey.

The following picture gives you an idea of the final batt

I produced six batts and set about spinning and playing the fleece.  I produced a 52g hank of double knit wool. 

Yesterday's attempt was orange.

This orange hank was the result of blending three different shades of orange and only two passes through the carder.

The beginning of the week saw me experimenting with shades of grey - each hank was produced from different proportions of grey, dark grey and white Shetland fleece.  Nothing to do with a book you might of heard about. 

All of these will be incorporated into scarves for sale in the Smithy on Shapinsay and the Made in Shapinsay event at the Venue in Kirkwall next month Monday 17 - Sunday 22.  I have been thinking about selling hanks of hand spun wool. 

I haven't just been spinning, oh no, hats have also been on the agenda - more later.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

At last

Phew - the pictures aren't as good as they could be but you'll get the general impression, hopefully.

Well it's that time of year again when the Heritage Centre opens it's doors giving the good people of Shapinsay a chance to set out and hopefully sell their crafty endeavours.  There is also a very good display of artifacts under the banner of  'Old Ways in Bygone Days'.  The restaurant has also been refurbished and is looking very smart and inviting and offers a tasty selection of meals and home bakes.  The shortbread is excellent.   I think you must be due a visit.

This is the scene that greets you as you enter the exhibition and retail area upstairs.  There is a selection of hand knits, jewelry, pottery, photographs, prints, textiles, preserves and locally handmade soaps to tempt you.  I was sure I had cropped this photo and saved it but I think this isn't that version.

Here is a selection of my bracelets and brooches made from felted jumpers.  I enjoy making them and every one is individual.  You maybe can't see so well from the pictures but I often do a mixture of needle felting and embroidery on them as well as adding buttons and beads. 

I wonder if anyone will be interested in these hats?  The purple one has a brooch on it and the orange on has three buttons from the original cardigan. 

Another exciting development is the formation of the Made in Shapinsay group which will be in The Venue, Kirkwall for a week from June 17.  More about that later.

I am pleased to have been able to post some pictures although I seem to have been unable to access some that I had cropped.  Better that you come along and have a look for yourself.  Meanwhile I am going to get a grip on how I file my photographs.  I am also off for a browse round the Quilting Museum in York.

Back soon.

It's been a while

It's been so long that I have forgotten  how to upload photographs.  I have been sitting here for quite a while now to no avail.  You'll have to take my word for it that I have been busy making hats, felted brooches, felted bracelets and a few scarves.  They are now for sale in the Shapinsay Heritage Centre.  I have a photograph of the display at the Centre to share as I have not been alone in my crafty endeavours.  It's all very frustrating and serves me right for not paying enough attention to this forum.

I shall persever and hopefully got myself sorted out.  Speak soon.