Sunday, 25 January 2015

Thistle's, Sheep and Forward Planning

January is usually a month to enjoy a bit of creative play time but I have had quite a few commission's to work on over the past couple of weeks and I'm constantly thinking ahead to what I need to make for shop orders and upcoming events so I haven't really had time to just play around with materials and let the creative process take over.

When I am working on commissions there is always a waiting time for felt to dry though, so I put that time to good use and made this picture last week.

The thistle's are a new addition. I hadn't tried them before. I began with using embroidery thread for the stems and leaves but it was too stark so I unpicked it all and needle felted the stems in two tone fibre instead. It has given a much more natural look.

I added some sheep and framed it and it sold as soon as it was finished. I have a request for another similar but will get one up for general sale as soon as I can.

I enjoyed needle felting the thistles onto the picture so much that I thought I would try an individual one on a brooch. I really like the three dimensional effect. I used little French knots to secure the felt and to add texture but I will try some tiny seed beads on the next one to see how that looks. The added 'bling' might be nice.

I was nearly out of Sheep Jewellery for a few weeks there but I have been working very hard to replenish stock in my Etsy shop.

Pendants £25

These pendants and brooches are now available. I'll be working on more earrings this week.

Brooches £18

Two dates for your diaries are March 14th and 15th for Edinburgh Yarn Festival at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 11 Newmarket Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ
I will be there with all my woolly wares.

Although it sounds a long time away, Open Studios North Fife is on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May this year and all the participants are already working hard behind the scenes to bring you a wonderful weekend of inspiration and creativity. It is the 10th Anniversary year and some extra projects are in the pipeline.

I will be at my usual venue in Ladybank

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hello 2015!

What a difference a couple of weeks makes! January always feels so different to December doesn't it? One day we are in the depths of the deepest darkest month, a couple of weeks a few parties later and we are out the other side with the light getting brighter and the winter sunshine lasting just that wee bit longer every day.

I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and got a bit of a break over the holidays.
We did all that we wanted too with walks walked, snow sledged, shops shopped, songs sung and time spent with family and friends. It was a busy couple of weeks and I don't feel like I have made anything for over a month! 

One of the highlights of our holidays was taking another trip into highland Perthshire and walking beyond The Hermitage over to The Rumbling Bridge.

It was a glorious day with a light frost on the ground making it much less muddy for walking.

In all my years visiting The Hermitage I had never taken the path up and over the moor. It was beautiful.

 The Braan River tumbles spectacularly down an incredible drop under the Rumbling Bridge, giving the bridge it's name. It was actually really hard to capture on camera for fear of falling over the edge of the bridge or down the steep sides of the gully.

It looks lovely and calm here in between the little falls in the distance and the great drop just a bit further on.

Another highlight was going in search of some snow! We promised our daughter and her wee friend that we would take them sledging so we set off for Glenshee in the hope that the snow they'd had hadn't melted yet.

It didn't look too promising on the journey up but as we rounded the bend at Cairnwell we could see there were plenty of patches suitable for sledging.

I got very wet because I landed in a burn but we will gloss over that!

The view coming back down the glen was stunning.

As the sun rays broke through the clouds the whole scene before us changed and we were treated to a little dancing light show.

The two weeks of madness were rounded off with my Mums annual party where songs were sung, tunes were played and plenty of food and drink were enjoyed.

I'm trying my best to get back into work mode and started by making some new felt yesterday.

I bought the fibres before the holidays and was very excited to finally use them. Not sure what I am going to make yet but I have a few ideas ruminating. 

My SALE is still ongoing and can be found here
Many items are Half Price including my 2015 Calendar. 

My next event is Edinburgh Yarn Festival on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of March. I know it's only January but if you are into all things knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving and dying, you will want to add this event to your Calendar now.
Here is a link to the list of vendors attending. It's very exciting! I'll be working on all things felty and sheepy for my stall.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Annual SALE now on.

My annual SALE is now online in my Folksy shop.

I have many items available at Half Price or less.

Pendants from £10

Earrings from £7.50

Brooches from £7.50

Prints from £18

Only one available of most items.
Guest check out is available.
You can see everything on offer here
Items are displayed over two pages. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I'd like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who has supported me and my work this year. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to lots of good things in 2015.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


I've been trying to update my blog for over two weeks now but keep getting interrupted with one thing or another. I've had these photos of Loch Tay loaded since the end of November! First thing I would like to say though is a big hello and thank you to all of you who follow along by email notification. It's great to have you all there and I appreciate your interest in my work.
Things have calmed down a little bit since the craziness of October and November but I still have lots to keep me busy.

We took a day off a couple of weeks ago and drove up to Loch Tay on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon to revisit all the places that my husband and I went to on the day he proposed 12 years ago.

I have always loved this area and never tire of going back. 
After so many dull days in November, it was wonderful to see the sun again.

The Autumn colours on the north side of the loch shone gold in the late afternoon sun.

It brought to mind the words of The Loch Tay Boat Song

'When I've done my work of day
And I row my boat away,
Down the waters of Loch Tay
As the evening light is fading.
And I look upon Ben Lawers
Where the after glory glows,
And I think on two bright eyes 
And the merry mouth below.'

The sun was gone by the time we reached The Hermitage but a bright moon shone through the trees.

Back to what's new though, I've been busy making lots of jewellery for wholesale orders and got some made for my Etsy shop as well.

Only two bracelets available at the moment.
£20 including Gift Box

Lots of pendants and earrings though.
Pendants £24 and £20
Earrings £18

It is very difficult to convey in a photo the iridescent qualities of the fabrics I use in my jewellery. When I add the glass or resin on top, it magnifies the iridescence even more so I have tried to capture the effect in this video clip.
I know I need to work on my videoing skills but you get the idea.

The square pendants measure 3.3 x 3.3 cm and really catch the light beautifully.

These earrings are all on handmade sterling silver ear wires made by Anne Miller at Newburgh. I love Anne's ear wires. Each pair is slightly different and the quality is excellent.

I have closed my order book for cushions and coasters as they take a while to get to me and then have to be posted on and may get delayed with the busy post at this time of year.
I do have one of each of these in stock and ready to post though.

Harvey the Highland Cow measures 30 x 30cm
£28 plus p+p

And I have these two larger cushions at 45 x 45 cm
£38 plus p+p

They have both turned out well but I particularly like the greens and blues in the one above.


I also have a few sets of coasters ready to post. 

They come gift wrapped and well packaged for safe delivery. I can also add a note and send directly to the recipient at no extra cost.

Coasters £14.95 plus p+p

I've had a wee commission to work on this week which has been nice. Some new felt making supplies have also arrived so I am looking forward to putting them to good use.
I love making felt for the sheer pleasure of seeing how the fibres work together and the spontaneous results that ensue. 

I've been toying with the idea of having some knitting bags printed. This is quite a nice sized jute bag with one of my pictures printed on it. I'll continue developing the idea and let you know when they are available.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Cushions and Coasters Now Available

I'm delighted to announce that a range of Aileen Clarke Crafts Cushions and Coasters are now available to order!
These three sample cushions arrived yesterday and I'm really pleased with them.

They are really vibrant and printed onto suede effect fabric making them lovely and soft to the touch. The quality of the print really retains the tactile look of the original fibres used in the picture.
These three designs are available to order now.

Lunasa Cottage
45 x 45 cm 
£40 including the cushion insert

Hannah's House
45 x 45 cm 
£40 including the cushion insert

Deep Purple Hills
45 x 45 cm 
£40 including the cushion insert

The larger cushions are available on Etsy now here 

A smaller 30 x 30 cm cushion is also available at £30
email me to order at

The coasters have turned out really well. They are printed onto hard wood so no cork backing or felt that gets wet and messy.

The print has a glossy finish making each coaster wipe-able.

Set of Four Coasters 
Choose four the same or a mixed set.

Each set of four comes Gift Boxed making the perfect ready made present.
There are lots of designs to choose from here

All my events for 2014 are now finished so everything that I have available for sale is now listed in my Etsy shop

I have added more Pendants, Earrings and Brooches today.

Pendants £24

Earrings £18

and Brooches £12

I have made so many of my Textile Trinket Boxes over the past few weeks and nearly sold out of them yet again.
These four 5 x 5 x 5 cm ones at £28 are still available.
I hope to get a few in the larger sizes made this week.

I really enjoyed my run of Craft Fairs and Makers Market throughout October and November but I'm glad I am not having to work to a deadline every week. It becomes quite exhausting. I still have plenty to get on with though with keeping my online shop stocked and a few commission pieces.

Feel free to get in touch with me about anything you see here

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke