Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Body and Soul Festival 2011

OK, its about time I put some pics up of the festival. I've just about recovered. After 2 days of sunshine most of my camping gear is cleaned and dry, and I'm feeling a bit more restful. I don't have many pics of the festival itself. It was a busy weekend, (albeit a bit stressful with regards to my crappy marquee and the crazy weather). Its going to take a few posts, so first of all I'll just deal with my stand, and the stuff I made for it.


There were only 6 of us in the Greencrafts area, but it was lovely none the less. We had a beautiful setting just on the edge of the woods, and even had our own mini acoustic stage to look at!


I had a very definite picture in my head about the space I wanted to create, but unfortunately it didn't come out exactly as I planned. I wanted it to look kind of circusy, but in a homemade kinda way. Instead it came out as crazy ole granny kinda space, but sure, it was cheap and cheerful!!

Firstly I made a load of lining. I realised how crap Ireland is for sourcing and buying festival/party stuff. I could
n't find anyone in Ireland who stocked marquee lining, yet in the UK you can get all kinds of fire-proofed lining, in a range of colours and themes. (Anyone looking for a business idea out there? I reckon this could be a good one). So, I spent the best part of a week ripping up old sheets and duvets from the charity shop, and sewing them into panels. I lined the whole inside of the marquee and the roof with these panels.

Next I made some doily discoballs. I've blogged before about the prototype. I made a few of these, but unfortunately I had to squish them a bit to fit them in the car, so I had to blow up more balloons inside them and leave them in, Sure it added a bit more colour! (I will post the pattern for these soon!)

My mushrooms made a regular appearance,
and this time I added in a few fabric windmills. (Again, will post tutorial soon!)

I brought my spinning wheel along, because the plan was to just sit, chill and spin, as part of my demonstrations. I haven't had a lot of time to spin lately, and I was using it as an excuse. There is something so primal about the spinning wheel, that makes everyone, male or female, stop and want a closer look. Its like having a great big stop sign outside the marquee!! I even had a great chat with 2 young lads about the spinning jenny and the Industrial Revolution. That kinda thing makes my day. I love history and especially textile history, so it be able to sit at a festival, spin and talk history, well, it is kinda special.

I don't usually get it together to sell much at these festivals. To me they are more about promoting craft, textiles and trying to get people to have a go. But I tried to make some festive stuff, to sell this year, because between insurance, petrol, and other expenses, its getting tougher each year. I made a load of flowers, as brooches, clips and hairbands. I am a total Japophile, yes it sounds rude, but I just love Japanese arts and crafts, their aesthetics, their clothes, gardens, etc, etc. So, when I was looking to make flowers to sell, it had to be kanzashi.

Making Kanzashi

I love these flowers. They are a little bit fiddly to make, like fabric origami, but the result is beautiful. The proper Kanzashi use silk and rice glue, but instead I used scrap fabric and sewed them together. But I'm delighted to have sold a few, gives me the excuse to make more!

Since I was selling fabric flowers I decided to do a fabric flower workshop. Not Kanzashi, but a simple folded flower with scrap fabric and a bit of netting. They are easy to make, and everyone who made one, seemed happy. Here's a pic of my good friend Aideen, who was my rock at the festival (when the wind was blowing hard, the rain falling, the field flooding, who made me breakfast each day). I don't usually get the chance to have a break during the day, but she did a few workshops for me, so I could go for a wander.

I also want to say a big thanks to Conor, our handy-man for the weekend!

I have posted a good few pics on Flickr, and as I said, it will take a few posts to cover all the activities of the past month. Its been hectic! New tutorials, patterns, and more news, but that'll have to wait until day.

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