Saturday, 22 November 2008

being heartfelt by Liz

At last -today was the day where the long awaited outing to the Heartfelt Studio of Liz Brown in Ayrshire too place. The places had been booked out for weeks, but some last minute changes in the lives of our two new friends Mary (the one who paints pictures with wool since the Portal projects) and Alison (the one with the red hair) meant 2 spare places which quickly got filled with Naomi's little Emma and with Jude, a Galgael friend with already quite some felting experience.

After some getting lost in rural Ayrshire, our 3 cars and 11 folks arrived safely in the Studio in Ochiltree for a most amazing day of 'being heartfelt by Liz'. There is simply no other way of putting it. We were all totally blown over by Liz's great Irish heart, her superb craftsman and teaching skills and scope (how else could do 11 different projects in a studio that usually holds a max of 8 students!), and the absolute unending manifoldness of felt products for sale and on display, one more magical than the other! A true inspiration to each one of us. Best to be seen on our "Galgael folks being hearfelt by Liz" photoalbum

There are also 2 videos capturing some lovely moments of Liz teaching us how to felt ropes and beads - And if you get a chance, visit her website, and sign up for a course or buy some of her beautiful heartfelted goods.

You want to know to was part of the party and what they did?

Anna (from Helensburgh) and Alison (the dark haired, our Portal felter #1), who had missed the beginning of the Portal felting classes caught up with picture felting first, and then learned how to felt flowers for brooches and embellishment.

David (the 10 year old son of Jackie), who has, as it turned out, the perfect felter hands albeit never done it before, started with a picture, too, and then made a seamless vessel., as well as a rope and beads!
Jackie and Laryna made a big bag each.
And Naomi (lucky devil!) got to make a nunofelt scarf on the big table, and her little Emma learned lots more felting as she already knew with making beads and ropes, and als helping the grown ups to full their projects when they got weary. Something also David did - to help the adults with the fulling!

Debbie made a beautiful merino hat, Himalayan style, and Anneruth also laid her hands on making a hat, a rimmed one, but from her own wool, a carded blend of white Wensleydale and the white bits of her fawn Alpaca fleece.

Jude courageously dug her hands into a pair of boots with earth fairy flaps, and Sarah-Jane - well... she got started on her big project: felt-puppets for a story telling project which she is planinng for next year and beyond! She at last had a go a seamless felt (the hand puppet glove) and nunofelting (the puppet dress). She will still have to needlefelt the head at home.
It was such a relief for the nunofelters to be able to make use of Liz's 'Seffa Pinky Bling Bling': the felt rolling machine! Aye, felting is hard work esp on the delicate fabrics which need endless rolling!
We all came away later as planned but also richer as expected in new skills, through doing and watching, new inspirations and new glorious felted things and deepened friendships.

Thank you so much, Liz, for heartfelting us all!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Sgioba Luaidh visiting Galgael

This Friday was a very special day, because at long last Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh (The Inverclyde Waulking group) came to put on a show at Galgael. If you have follwoed this blog ehre you will have met them already several times - at the Woolfest in July, and then Frances and Innes at an informal visit. This time they came in full strength - 8 women and Archie. They donned theiur Highland crone costumes and then never got cold in the big cold workshop, waulking the cloth with full throated waulking songs, bringign alive the history of the Isles, singing of feuds and fights (and there was lots in the times when these working songs were sung in very hamlet and town!), and of course, of the joys and sorrows of love and parting.
One hour before lunch and one hour after - it sure was a feast of witnessing the hypnotic spell cast by these vigeourous songs, and now and then also the longing lilt of a spinning song.
The guys (Navigating Life Trainees and trainers) were spellbound, and touched to their bones by something they may have never heard before, but which touched them in their blood with the power of past generations.
Some even dared to have a go at the waulking themselves, and learned soon that the grab&throw handmovements of the cloth are not that easy!

It is best if you see all the pictures on this album:

and better still if you see and hear the 10 wee video clips on the urban.clansman youtube channel

Here is one tiny taster of a beautiful spinning song sung by Frances whilst Innes was spinning and our women were teasing wool:

So, remember to visit &

for to see some of the show, and visit also, the group's website and learn about their story - and maybe invite them to your group, too. It is great fun and they have many registers they can pull, with their big repertoire and vibrant vigour, as well very modern IT support (very educative and imaginative slideshows!)

We know we want them back - knowing also they loved the madness that is Galgael - and we would like the harp next time (February?), too, and then also (in early summer?) try out the songs in the boats to the beat of the oars, as many of the songs have been sung by men to the rhythm of rowing.

So, lets open the song books of the past,

and thanks be those here who make them last..