Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scotland - Day 5

Ok. This is it.

First stop. St. Mungo Church or Kirk.

There is a museum of Religious Artifacts and Life which was very interesting. Several Belief Systems were included that I didn't know much about. I always find it helpful to have a bit of background on beliefs when talking to people. The last thing you want to do is offend someone.

I did that one time. Killed a spider in front of a Buddhist friend. He was horrified! Sorry. Didn't know.

I found it amusing that St. Mungo was a stanch Christian and the J.K. Rowling name the witch and widard hospital St. Mungo in her books. Funny. To me at least.

This was a cool miniature map of the Kirk and surrounding areas. Love the copper patina that has built up over the years.

The Museum of Transportation. Since my father collects Petroliana (Gas Station stuff), we decided it would be a good one to go into.

Loved this motorcycle with double side car. I'd use this! Me and the Kiddies snug inside. Room for groceries in the back. Roy driving through the pounding rain. That's what I meant by I'd use that!

This one is for my sister in light of her recent purchase.

This is my ultimate car. I love the Citroen Dolly. I have to say, that if I could have any car in the world, it would be this. Don't ask me why, but I love it. It would have to be two tone though. If I could had any car in the world.

It faintly reminds me of my VW Bug that I had for 18 Years. First car after graduating for High School. I loved that car too.

The ultimate Petroliana Collectible. Might have been Dad's favorite bit in the museum.

Rows of trams. Really cool. Would have love to ride these instead of the Dublin Bus!

Scotland - Day 4

Nearly done.

Day 4 and 5 were spent on the Glasgow bus tour. Gorgeous weather both days.

This building is in the George Square in the centre of the city.

DD was in charge of the camera for the most part on the tour. She takes great pictures for the most part. Above my average.

Got a late morning start and did the complete tour first. We then went to the Botanical Gardens since it was such a nice day.


The Armadillo Performing Arts Centre.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Scotland - Day 2-3

Day 2 - we hired a car and drove up through the Highlands. The scenery was amazing. So weird! Most of the mountains were green, but no trees, just a mossy shrubs.

The weather changed as we drove. Rain, fog, sun, but all in all, the weather was on our side.

We went to Fort William to ride the old steam train on the Harry Potter route. Really a great trip and the train was cool. It took us out to Skye and back. About a 4 hour trip total.

After the train we drove up to Inverness along Lockness. Gorgeous windy drive canopied by trees with castle ruins along the way.

The next morning we drove back down to poke around in Lockness to see the illusive beast. No Joy there, but we did find cute little cafes and the staircase lock system that was transporting boats upstream. Really ingenious.

Lovely Angus Highland steer

Stopped by the Rare Breed Croft (farm).
I got a bit of Hebridean Sheep fleece. Black, not brown, black. The owner said she just composted it because there was no use for it. YIKES!! She said she would be more than happy to send me some : )

Unicorn Elvis. I thought these were mythical creatures. Who knew??

Mr. Angus

Lockness itself.

Mr. and Mrs. Baggy Pipes

Lovely views on the way back to Glasgow. People were out in hoards walking and climbing the river and cliffs. Looked like fun.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scotland - Day 1

Get ready to be killed with pictures. Better than me narrating!

Tall Ship - Day 1

The last of only 5 Clydebuilt sailing vessels still afloat in the world available for restoration, the Glenlee launched in December 1896. She represents the final development of the cargo carrying sailing ship after 5,000 years of sail.

Looking up to the crows nest. Wouldn't want that job!

Mom and Dad working together over rough waters!

Nice iron gate leading to the ship.

Why did we have children?? Put them to work!! AAARRRR!!!

This was the underside of a ship. Loved the colours and distressed look of it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Feltmaking at the Zoo

Wow, it really hard for me to blog in chronological order these day. Before we went to Scotland, I did a feltmaking workshop at the zoo. The kids were at the zoo all week for camp. They did many activities and art projects. Thursday is felt this month.

Kids range in age groups of 5-7 and 9-13. We had 25 in the morning with the younger groups and 25 in the afternoon with the older. Quite a group. Eleanore and I wrangled those kids and taught them how to make a beautiful work of art.

We decided to use batts (large sheets of carded wool) as the base and let them decorated with wool yarn and pieces of pre-felted wool. The did great work and were very open to having clean hands. It is a great craft for kids to learn and easy to clean up with large groups.

I did a couple of samples for them to see the variety of what they could do if they wanted. I have to say, the boys are much better felt makers than the girls. More power and energy to burn makes good friction.

Back for more punishment next week!

Friday, July 25, 2008

50 Years

Wow, 50 years of marriage. Today is my parents 50th Wedding anniversary. Amazing life together they've had. Several moves around the country, 3 wonderful daughters, 8 gorgeous grandchildren and many lifelong friends. Congratulations to Mom and Dad.

This is a little sneak peak of something that I made for them. They will get it later when they return home to the US.

Close up of some stitching, embroidery and layers of silk and organza. The muslin was painted with acrylic paints and the picture was printed on fabric in the copy machine. I set it with an iron afterwards.

Guess my textile class paid off!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Anita Larkin Workshop

Anita Larkin is an amazing artist. She works in all mediums as a sculptor. What a treat to have her email us to see if we'd like to have a workshop while she and her husband were visiting Ireland.

We had never heard of her and were very curious. Imagine our surprise to find fantastic things made in felt! YES! Please come teach us.

She's lovely and so is her family. We met in the Dublin Botanical Gardens for lunch and had a great time getting to know her.

Fantastic neck pieces!

The technique is truly inspiring and the felt is amazingly dense without being really heavy.

Nothing like hers, but we started out with basics. Felt Balls - morphed into any shape you want.

Ropes - another amazingly fast technique for making ropes fast with all sorts of attachment applies in the process.

Wire in coils. How to make them so the wire doesn't come out the one end after the felting.

This is my wire coil. I decided I liked the lumpy bits in, so I stopped felting the centre and ended up with "The Small Intestine". It still needs shaped around the neck.

Felting around objects. I done this before, but the way she taught things really made sense. Wrap the object in bubble wrap, felt for a bit, cut a hole, remove the plastic and continue felting. It makes really hard, dense felt.

Really great workshop, excellent time with the ladies and a very inspiring tutor!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Off To Scotland

Well, not really today, but tomorrow evening, Myself, DH, DS, DD, DM and DF are all off to Scotland. That is after doing a childrens Felt Making workshop at the zoo!! We'll be back in 5 days and will get to ride this!! It's the Harry Potter Train!! Yippie!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Group Project

This project was done as a memorial to one of our members that passed away last year from Breast Cancer. Her husband donated all of the fibre and fabric to the Feltmakers Ireland Guild. We decided to do a piece to donate to the hospice that she was in for a time.

Feltmakers Ireland has done many group projects in it's time. Members also do them on their own with schools, hospitals, special needs facilities and others that request it. It really is enjoyable and each session is widely varied.

Dympna was an amazing felt maker, embroiderer, florist and many other creative elements. Plus her personality was sparkling. Humor was her constant companion. Lovely to know, for some, and lovely to get to know through this project.

As a group we met 3 times over the last 6 months and sorted through ideas for the project. Quite the task. 15 women, lots of ideas. We decided to have a design team to coordinate theme, size and style. Yikes!! There are so many directions that we could go.

On the last Saturday we met together, things really came together. We decided at one point to do 2 pieces. One for her family and a larger one for the hospice.

The black background is the larger piece by far. It's about the size of a tall door. 7 foot maybe.

This is the initial layout for the white one. Dypmna loved hearts and flowers. We'd made tons of pre felt pieces. These were all cut into hearts and the flower pre felts were used as is. There was still lots left over. We didn't start the white piece that day, but the black was nearly finished.

This is our last Wednesday session. I decided that it would be a great opportunity for some of the ladies that didn't participate in the other sessions to get an idea of what is involved in a group project. We ended up covering the entire surface with a fine web of silk.

It really brought the whole thing together.