workshops

The Workshop Wagon!

I would like to introduce you to my Project - The Workshop Wagon. The idea was born out of the reactions I saw from participants at my workshops, especially those who find it hard to access arts and crafts, whether through ill health, finances, social or learning barriers.

The Workshop Wagon would travel to hard-to-reach people and places, carrying all the wools, tools, and materials required to engage and motivate everyone - the workshops have been described as encouraging, soothing, therapeutic, confidence-building, and fun!

To begin, the workshops would be free/donations based, and as they become established, the funding would increase and they would become self-sustaining - I would also support this by ring-fencing some of the funds I receive from private workshops, ensuring their progression and success.

I would love for more people to help us launch this innovative project by donating to the fundraising - if you follow this link below, you can either donate, and/or share the link with your friends and family. The gift that felt-making gave to me following my cancer treatments and remission, needs to be shared with others too - AND - each donor receives a thank you gift in recognition of your support!

Many thanks for all your support. This project is in honour of all those who battle with hardships in life, and proof that good things can be found in the darkest of times. Let us keep that legacy going forward for others too.

https://www.gofundme.com/ffolkyffelt

 

Invitations and inspirations

As the nights draw in, and the lights begin to glow, the evenings by the fire are increasing as I busily make more felty creations for lovely requests and fabulous fairs!

As you know, the Words and Wool exhibition is in its 2nd week , and we had a fabulous preview, with lots of visitors, lots of bubbly, and lots of sales, we were rather surprised and very happy :-)

I have also had some exciting inviations to join new venues as a tutor, to have work displayed in a gallery, and to sell some handmade goodies through a new website - more details once everything has been made and confirmed ;-)

I have discovered some wonderful places, met some amazing people - and bumped into some very lovely and supportive customers too! The encouragement and sharing of ideas between us all is very important I think. We could hide away in isolation, not daring to promote ourselves, perhaps from nerves, or perhaps fearing others will ridicule or criticise, and that is a difficult set of ideas to climb over! But if we do dare to peek over the hill, if we wave at others passing by, and marvel at their ideas, share their smiles, show others our favourite makers, then we are making connections, making friends, inspiring others and ourselves, and I think that creates a better world for us, for our art, and for those that follow on from us, including our children {by 'our' I means the children of the Earth, for I know we don't all have the same kind of homelife as our neighbours ;) }

I have wobbles, moments of 'am I sure??', and a few niggles of doubt, occasionally a big loud ARGH! Yet a combination of loving friends and family, encouraging supporters and a little streak of stubbornness, keep me going. And that means I make more, explore more, and my daughters benefit from a busy mum helping them form their lives and dreams too.

So this is really a big THANK YOU blog, and I hope you will continue to walk along with me in our adventures - here's to almost too much fun! X

Green Man 2015 - review

What can I say?! Once more the Green Man festival proved to be one of the most weird and wonderful events of my year!
This year my youngest daughter and I were ridiculously excited by the prospect of camping in a caravan during the festival! We pulled up in glorious sunshine on the Tuesday with my amazing friend Francesca ( http://www.francescakay.co.uk/ ) and erected my marque, caravan site and all the gubbins to fill my stand for 4 days. Thank goodness, as the next day was SOGGY, and whilst D sat in her bunk bed reading, I pottered in the marquee, decorating and setting it out ready for the fabulously friendly hordes on Thursday...

One of the things I LOVE about GM, is my 'regulars'... the enthusiastic kiddies and grown-ups who come back to the festival each year AND come and visit my workshops to see what they learn THIS time! It is wonderful to be part of their festival experience and to be making good connections, and know some of their smiles will be due to the Queen of Felt's magic felty HQ! (Francesca christened me the Queen of Felt and I rather like it!).

My faithful friends who volunteer to help me turned up the next day and we helped hundreds of folk make handmade felt from 9am-4pm every day... this year however I changed things around a little - we finished wet felting at 4 instead of 6, and from 4-6pm I ran "Teatime Tutorials", where a smaller and more sedate group learned how to needle felt instead - WOW that was popular! 

I then closed the workshops at 6pm, and kept the shop open (which also runs all day) until around 11pm - you meet a rather more bonkers customer in the evening and we always have a good giggle! 

The extra special event was a farm veterinarian with a booming voice like Brian Blessed, who fell in love with my needle felted sheep's head, Blodwyn, and who declared he needed to buy her and love her forever! This brought me great joy and a pang of sadness at letting her be adopted ;-) But by a VERY fabulous family... bye-bye Blodwyn!

The rest of the evenings is then spent catching up with friends til about 1 or 2 am, then a lovely hot choccy with baileys in bed with a book to wind down, before leaping (ok, ok, not leaping, shuffling maybe) towards the kettle for breakfast and to begin all over again by 9am.

There are many highlights to my GM week; seeing folk go away smiling when they thought they were not going to be able to make anything lovely at all, then discovering they could... small joyful faces who find out how to make magic turning wool into felt.... the occasions when someone walks up grinning, saying, OOH, I follow you on your Facebook page, and here you are!! and having lovely long chats.... providing an oasis of happy calm and creativity in a field full of mud.... seeing my faeries find adoring fans and be adopted by them.... having giggles in bed with my youngest.... laughing and dancing with friends old and new... the Green Man effigy go up in glorious flames and fireworks Sunday night... and finding my own bed to collapse happily into Monday night...
 

THANK YOU to everyone who helps, supports, donates wool or funds, brings me coffee or chai, and all the hugs and smiles - love you all.