Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Rounding up - one year on. Irish life and online teaching.

Oyster catcher feathers from my local bay.

I have lived in Ireland for a year now - and I can safely say it is the best thing I have ever done. It was a big leap from Brighton, but so worth it. Where I live now is so very quiet, so different to where I lived in Brighton. I have made great friends here and have been accepted by the local community. 

It has taken this long for me to find my reason for being here in this beautiful place. Which direction my work is going to go - I have fallen in love with seaweed and have become quite passionate about clearing our local beach of plastic. I never felt I could make any kind of  difference while living on the South Coast of the U.K. Here on this remote tip of County Clare I feel I can make a small difference.

Ross Bay on a very chilly afternoon. My house is on the hill.

 As the tide goes out, it leaves behind beautiful compositions.

I just love the layers of seaweed.

Playing with Bondaweb backed polyester organza and a soldering iron.

Kind of seaweedy . . 
Starting to experiment with painted Bondaweb and sparkle.

More painted Bondaweb and sparkle.

I am collectiong limpet shells with holes in to stitch onto - something. 
To be decided.

On the estuary side of the peninsula are the most stunning combinations of colour and texture. Fabulous strata. This will also be the inspiration for new work.

Making such a dramatic move did worry my friends, they kind of understood, but wanted make sure I was coping over here. Consequently whenever I was home in Ireland this year, at least one friend was also here with me - just checking!! There were quite a few - and it was good to be able to show them around my new area.

Mary and Claudia at the Bridges of Ross.

Jill walking the labyrinth at Vandeleur Gardens.

In 2018 I will be home more and traveling less. I will only be traveling to the textiles shows in the UK. (More details in my diary on the right).

I won't be seeing this view so often.

The only 'face to face' teaching I will doing next year will be on my Look. Draw. Stitch weekends here at my home. Bookings have already begun. Most of the bookings are from ladies in Ireland and the UK, but I do have one from America and one from South Africa. I start in January and have a great group of ladies coming to play. For more information go to  land-_sea_and_sky

So I will be having less of this . .

. . and more of this - me being filmed for the Sonas Studio online workshops 
by the ever clever Jayne.

Me during filming.

I am very pleased with how the online workshops are going. We have wrestled with the technology and appear to have a pleasing formula with the actual videos. I met a lot of the students who have enrolled on at least one of the online workshops at the shows this year, and they have been pleased with the format and style of the workshops. The biggest benefit seems to be that you can work at your own pace in your own time - for up to 6 months.

We will be adding several new workshops next year - watch this space!
I have been getting emails from students who want to placed on the waiting list for the next run of Manipulating with Heat. There is no need for a waiting list. The workshop starts enrolling on February 16th.

My greatest passion, Experimental Textiles Online, is now enrolling ready to begin late January 2018, and we have students. I can't wait to see what the students get up to. The course will last for 6 months, the students will then have another 6 months working with me online to help them develop a piece of new work that has developed from doing the course. Skype is a wonderful thing. I have been able to interview interested students and we will use it for tutorials.
My online workshops are the reason I want to be at home more next year - I want to concentrate on supporting my online students. I will be back to venturing further afield in 2019.

While I am feeding all the passions I have already mentioned, I hope to be able to create a plastics/textile studio from this outbuilding on my land. 2 thirds of the space will be my textiles studio that I will share with a local textile recycling venture I shall be launching later next year.

A great space with an amazing view.

As well as recycling textiles - I love recycling beads.
This pic show 3 of my recycled bangles.

Some of you will know I have always been interested in working with plastics. I have been doing so since 1985 and my first diploma in Creative Embroidery. My degree is in Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics and the first book I wrote was Hot Textiles. I seem to be coming full circle now as I am cleaning the local small bay whenever I can, clearing up all the plastic.

My first collection - 2 very full bags in 10 minutes.

I am now collecting all that I can and starting to wash and sort it. I will then start to plan what to do with it. I will be melting a lot of it - care has to be taken as some plastics will give off harmful fumes.

Melted and pulled plastic.

I have worked with chipped plastic for a while now to create jewellery. 

At some stage I hope to be able to invest in a small machine that grates/chips plastic. In the meantime I need to find someone locally who does it. 

So - I have coped and developed. Met students online from all over the world and found my reason for being here, not a bad 12 months. You have to have a plan, make it happen. It isn't luck!!
Let's see what happens in the next 12 months.

The view out to sea from the Bridges of Ross
Wherever there are loose stones people will leave behind a heart.

I am off to start making some silk paper bowls and finish my jewellery for a local Christmas market this weekend. And I MUST get on with my receipts for my accountant!!!!

Bright and chilly today.


Hello Jill - you will soon be here agian.
Hi Diana - glad you had a great birthday - love to you both.
Hello Tod - I have SO many plans. x x x x

x x x


  1. What a lovely post. A real sense of belonging and a coming together. So happy for you xx

    1. And I am so glad you could be here to see it all. x x x

  2. A lovely round up of the progress you have made in a year, especially the past few months when things have started to fall into place. Looking forward to sharing the journey xxx

    1. Ha ha!!! Yes - there is no escape for you . . x x x x

  3. Fantastic 2017 for you, I’m so glad it worked so brilliantly. Looking forward to following you in 2018. Your profile will make a difference as you investigate used plastics. Xx

    1. Thank you Chrissy, I love the fact we are in contact, each on the other side of the world to the other. I hope to make a small difference and raise awareness. x x x

  4. So pleased the move has worked out well for you Kim. xx

    1. Thank you Lin, it was all planned - but you never quite how things will work out. It has worked beyond my wildest dreams. Now I just need to work out how to give a little bit back. x x x