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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating our Cool Cats sessions

Big thanks to everyone, mothers and grans, sisters and brothers, and esp to the kids who came, explored, created and stored our stories.

We had a lovely Celebration with sharing lots! Such as Ruth telling us the real story of St Nicolas! 
See above.

And here to the right see Mary telling her story of how her by us all now so well known and loved cat Minxy and with wee Niamh making sure everybody got their treats!

 You can read and download the full story of Mary's here:

Homebaked goodies and candle lit memories will be still nourishing us for months to come.

We, the  Making Space volunteers, together with you all, really appreciated your feedback which assured us that all hard work and hustle bustle madness, interspersed with real still magic moments, too, was well worth it and that we will get our heads and hands together in the new year to devise a new series of after school sessions to delight us all, big and small.

In the evaluation: You told us that above all you love story!
That you took things away with you to explore at home (and many a kid shy in the sessions has been heard secretly telling stories to their friends, and playing with their story board scenes at home).
You told us you found making the characters a bit tricky, and easier to make the scenes.
And you told us you like to explore different crafty mediums!

Well for the latter - we felt mad hatters, you gave us a challenge to chew over!
Watch this space!

Now to see glimpses of the whole 6 weeks, which actually become seven weeks, why not take some time to enjoy the slide show below,(or see them in the album here) remembering the moments and different stages
well done everyone! :

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A visit to the Steiner School Christmas Market

The Edinburgh Steiner School Christmas Market in simply the best Christmas fair in town!

 Here is only a very small excerpt of the full show from yesterday as we came along so late we 'only' managed to see, taking ages soaking up the atmosphere and marveling at details:

OR, better still, go here to see their own pictures

It is so heartening to see all ages so full of enthusiasm and care, and we got the perfect gifts and loads of best of the best cakes in the still open Viennesse Cafe!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cool Cat Story Board making stage 1

It all started with a Cool Cat, called Minxy, discovered by Mary Sinton. Minxy inspired her a lot so she sat down to retell her adventures in poetry form. Then came another idea - how about if there were children who would like to tell her and other stories to each other making story boards and characters out of felt?

Well, lets cut a very long story short and let you see the 6 + 1 week of action at West Street Arts Centre with the Making Space team here by you clicking on the link to  "Felt Storyboard Making for Cool Cats photoalbum here" and treat yourself to a wee slide show of how it all happened with 10 - 16 children in the cosy big room, with open fire and the helping hands of parents and friends.

The 2D felt-craft action was in 6 + 1 stages:
  1. decide and design your back ground ground image (outdoor or indoor scene)
  2. find the colours of wool you need and a background cloth and start laying out the coloured fibres on it
  3. using a felting needle and a foam mat, stab away till all the fibres are ok settled, asdd and adjust details as you go along
  4. apply the process of wet felting and then let fabric dry
  5. meanwhile make paper templates of your characters and translate them to a pre-felted fabric, or go  and needle felt straight away, add the personal details and dream up your stories...
  6. cut strong card board just a tiny bit smaller than you felted back ground and use double sticky velcro tape pieces to adhere your back ground
  7. play time and story time can begin!

And here hear a little bit of one of Minxy's adventures read by Mary herself:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Cool Cats": 6 Felt-Story-Board Making sessions

As the night draws in early, come on in and gather round the fire in West Street, to listen to Mary's poems and stories of Minx the cat, and then listen to each other's catty tails, and turn them into your very own story board: one that is, like your characters, handmade out of felt!

Please book your place now, as places are limited.
It could be possible for children to attend part of the course, if attendance can be balanced with other participants and if everybody can make it for the final session, which will include a sharing of all the work!
From a Gruffalo Felt-Storyboard session in a Nursery, some time ago
In the Cool Cat story board sessions we will start the background image or your choice with needefelting upon a blanket for firmness, and then leave you to decide whether you wish to proceed with wetfelting for smoothing the surface or leave it fluffy.

Small pieces of flat-felt figures will be created as the 'actors' or 'special scenery' for your story board to be moved abut as you tell your story.

Handmade felted story-boards are unique and alive. The vibrancy of the coloured wool fibre enhances the imagination, and the living touch of the breathing fibre stimulates the senses. It is both therapeutic and educational, and it has unlimited potential for all ages to develop it to your heart's content!
the beginning of a story board by a 7yr old - during the arts festival this year

The difference between 'story-board' and 'story-scape' is that the former is held up or stood up vertically, like a framed picture, and the light weight flat felt figures or special details get stick-stuc on it to create the specific scene. Whilst a 'story-scape' lies horizontally like a landscape, and is often also called 'play-mat'.  3D figures and objects (felted or non-felted) can be moved about on it.
You will have seen our storyscape adventures over the last year, won't you?
(if not, or to remind yourself - just do a search on this blog)

Being creative with felt for story board and storyscape creation is taking hold around the world these days. 
Be story board inspired by following the links under these 2 pictures:
A beautifully nuanced felt tree with story pocket 
more story pockets on this magic mushroom house mat

What Making Space Penicuik prides itself with:
we, the self organising volunteers, work on this simple principle: we give our gifts, that is our time, our skills,  to you,
and you, who are the reason that we have fun, give us what we need: material and venue costs, and your enthusiasm and creative input.

We would love it if more and more people would get self-organising on that simple principle of skill sharing & developing, in creative abundance. For and with all ages!

We are in a mutually supportive relationship with 2 local organisations, the Penicuik Community Arts Association, and the Penicuik Community Development Trust.

The Cool Cats Story-Board sessions are brought to you by local artists, crafters and writers Mary Sinton and Jenni Thomson, plus an occasional input of Ruth, another story-weaver.
They are looking forward to hear and see your very own heart-felt catty tails!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

back to normal ? - almost!

Just a very quick post - instead of a long festival report:

 check out this album with ca 200 pics of the recent festival fun

enjoy it all here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117445521233701725799/FestivalFibresPDAF2012#
And to confirm: this Saturday 'crafting in the community as usual in townhall.

Proper festival feed back? - Well, aren't the pictures speaking enough for themselves?
It is over to you now to give us any feedback - that is if you have your hands free, and not attached to your felting projects that is!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn Weavings

So - the Arts Festival and long weekend as been over now for days already, and it is time to look ahead what the autumn brings for us.

Ruth had had fun gathering nature's gifts for .Nature Weaving" activity tomorrow in Cuiken Primary (no townhall session therefore tomorrow, everyone, please take note!)
and, with a bit of luck and with Vicen's help, you guys might make something like this tomorrow in Cuiken Primary:

There will also be God's eye weaving today, at Cuiken Primary, with Vicen, and some felting with Jenni.
You can find some really nice range of examples of God's Eye weaving being checking this google image search out here.

Have fun
be the sun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Festival fibre of wool, - and of poets and music!

has had some great moments this PDAF 2012!

The best way to view and to re-member them is via our Facebook photoalbum which you can see even if you are not signed up for Facebook by going to this page here:

PDAF 2012 on the roll now!

 just click on line above and then you will see something like this:

By then clicking on the individual picture - this picture opens up larger and also reveal a line or two about the story connected with the picture

 and, like in the case with the picture above, it might even have a wee conversation on it, and give witness to what we might be up to in the autumn now next!

Hope you enjoy browsing and letting us know what you think?

You can reach us here, or via Facebook or via popping in to see us today in the library, drop in firbecraft between 3 and 5pm, or in town hall on Saturday, with Pictish Stone painting at the craft fair there. We love to see you and hear what you recommend and are enthused by.

What has been so far the most precious moments was when we see how creating pictures with wool fibre lightens up the soul and fires the imagination of folks of any ages. - from under 3yrs of age to above 80yrs of age!

We would also love it if you would take some time and watch this wee video from last week's Writing Space event, Inspired by Art, where we mainly filmed clips of the music. We hope you will be blown away too by the skill and zest of the young people:

Monday, September 3, 2012

come along... paint with wool .... its so cool... all ages and stages of life .... drop in / free flow ... if full, wait your turn and choose a story or image or character you wish to re-create as magic wool picture, or even in 3D (depending on your skill and time available)..
In the Penicuik Library, between 3 and 5pm!

First session TOMORROW!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Felting to Music at Loanhead Music Festival

This was just soo good: Live music accompanying the felt and fibre craft enthusiasts!

Great to meet so many nice people, making music instruments and fine crafts, and above all making music, all together in a big but cosy hall (Loanhead Miners). This family Saturday event was part of the Loanhead Music Festival (http://www.loanheadfest.co.uk/ ) and really deserves a huge round of applause! Reminded me of the Shetland Music Festival in spirit somehow. 

The fact that the parents came for to chill out with the music allowed a few very lucky youngsters to have a splendid extra long crafting session, felting in tune: butterflies, rainbows, ladybirds, mice, - hm...  what else? Some butterflies ended up in hairbands, as it is very popular. And some of our beloved story space creatures, the fox, the tiger and the owl, walked and flew off with their very chaffed new owners to our tearful but gracious goodbyes....!

You will find some last evidence pf their existence in our Making Space menagerie here on this photo album https://picasaweb.google.com/117445521233701725799/AtLoanheadMusicFestival

Ania started practising for our coming Saturday's session, back in Penicuik townhall: weaving "God's Eyes", a beautiful simple and versatile little charm, known all over the world - from Mexico, USA, Great Britain to Russia:

Our New Summer Programme

Today we are in Loanhead!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catch-up and Wetfelting class this Saturday

wetfelting a shoulder bag
The weeks and months fly this year, and we are as always still here. A bit more quiet than last year, taking our making space very much as a healing space, a home coming space, nurturing relationships and responding to requests like the other week to go to Leith for a Crops in Pots Party

and next week one of us will go to a Permaculture workshop weekend to weave and felt suns and butterflies for the garden. Just watch this space!

Jenni and Ania and some kids get together every Friday now usually in West Street, to get out of the house and get things done that way
like this teddy (on Gabrielle's sun!) here for baby (well done Ania!)
This week, tomorrow, on Saturday, we gather in the Arts Centre, Room 1, for an All-Welcome Wetfelting Class. Come and join us and refresh or newly acquire your wetfelting skills. Between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm.  If you come early enough you might even have time to start and finish a wee 3D project! Not as big a bag as the top picture of course, where Jenny worked her shoulder bag, a project from over 5 hours. But a small purse like this here just might be possible ?

a wee purse, during a 3D workshop last year

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter Eggs and more - bearing wool!

That was Ania's idea - to try it out: to cover eggs with wool! Above you see Ruth's 'painted with wool' egg drying out, and here you see Ania's in a warm multicoloured coat:
The great thing about these eggs is that they hollow, in good old continental tradition: blown out eggs, to be hang of spring branches to decorate the Easter Table or hall.
Blowing out action was a great laugh, as noone here had ever done that yet!
It is so easy! And it gives an excuse for pancakes making afterwards!
Here is an example of how it could look when hanging:

We have another two weeks to get crafty with eggs - and we made a good start today, as you can see also here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117445521233701725799/SpringIntoSummer
As well as other explorations of a lovely Saturday session ion the Arts Centre this Saturday (because the townhall was taken over by a wedding today!):
Meeting of 2 newly born Easter Hares!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

More crafty sharing from the fab NSEW event

So many people young and old explored felt making in the theme of endangered butterflies and bees !
So many ideas and options as to what to make ...

 pictures, hair or jacket decorations ...

and some folks would have loved to try their hands on this kind of thing:
2 of Shirin's silk butterfly scarves + a mobile
The butterflies (Here it is Common Blue and Frittilary) are felted  into the silk, and so are their food plants (Birdsfoot Trefoil, clover; and dogs violet). The detail and delicacy is astounding! Hope someone really nice will buy these master pieces!  Go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/shirincraft and/or  https://www.facebook.com/shirincraft / https://www.facebook.com/shirincraft#!/shirincraft/photos,  and enquire about them if you can not find them there.

You are also welcome to try your own hand at an impression in felt of a butterfly, like this little boy here, looking and learning from the beautiful fact sheets Sue from CEH had made for us:
The 2 Saturdays - prepared by us (6 folks from MSP) and the CEH folks (dozens of them!)  for by about 2 months, were a huge success, and made us want to do similar things more often. 'Similar' meaning
  • working with people of all ages, or specific ages in the context of a themed event (science; story; learning)
  • either offering a wide range of felt craft products making, or focussing on one or a few of them all (hair decoration; brooches, mobile, window or wall hangings, pictures, scarves)
 What was so inspiring this time was being part of a science event, and being able to add even more spice to it with our fluffy worlds!
To see more- you best visit our big album there https://picasaweb.google.com/117445521233701725799/FeltCraftAtOurWorldInMotionPartOfTheNSEWMarch2012#

which also includes footage from our story scape, the story of the farmer who changed from fertiliser with high nitrogen content to a wiser farm management (see extra blog post to come!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shirin in action!

Really good to be able to observe the hands of a good crafter, finely feeling and laying and shaping the fibres into flower form!
We recommend you 'like' Shirin' page :-) !
More of Shirin's works on the album from this picture onward.
Looking forward to have Shirin and you all with us this Saturday at Penicuik Townhall, 10am - 2pm, for a World in Motion!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Felt Craft At 'Our World In Motion' Science event

ready steady go - the story scape is ready
Much felt craft fun was being had at the 'Our World in Motion' free fun science and art action as part of the National Science and Engineering week with CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology); story scape about butterflies vanishing and what to can do about it - and butterfly and bees, and flowers on sticks. on hair and silk...

Best click here for the pictures to show you a little bit of it all..

All the preparations to make the different butterflies and bee finally paid of and the displays and samples, and the make-and-do busy bee atmosphere was ever so catching!
Shirin's blue butterfly mobile

and another butterfly  hatching! (looks like the frittilary)

and Sue wrote this :

"Our National Science and Engineering Week events in Penicuik last
Saturday were great, and very well attended.
Huge heartfelt thanks to the helpers for setting up on Friday evening,
and for manning the day on Saturday. I was particularly touched that 5
young scientists associated with Edinburgh University gave their time
freely with great enthusiasm and big smiles, and that the Making Space
team provided a much-needed artistic balance to the event. Our speaker
in the evening made a great (and entertaining) job of bringing Hadron
Collider Physics within the grasp of non physicists at his talk.
More this Saturday!
**I could still do with another helper or two, as I'm expecting an even
bigger turnout this Saturday going by the feedback we received. Any

I really hope I'll get some more time to see all the science stall next Saturday! Probably just wishful thinking ;-)  So many butterflies to catch before they vanish, not because of the nitrogen pollution  but because the they found new homes and make space for more busy hands on table!

Hope to see lots of folks next Saturday ! For this Saturday - lots of thanks to all the helpers and new found friends !

Oh, and don't forget to visit this album with all the preps (click here)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Save our butterflies and bees!

Like butterflies in the pupa stage - Making Space has been very hidden and quiet these last few months - but behind the scenes a busy bee buzz was and still is going on !

Part of the
 you will find us here - as part of a fun packed science action hall - exploring with you the story of happy again farmer kids, who inspire their father to 'waste not want not'!

There will be opportunity to make bugs and blooms, and to sign up for more Making Space felt craft fun!

You can peep a bit here to see how we have been getting geared up hitherto - click on link below: