Sunday, December 18, 2011

Market day

Just playing with my new phone and its marvelous capabilities to post on the fly! Happy last market of the year vendors and patrons!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Here's a post compiled of things that have been recently made and sold before I could even get pictures uploaded of them, and a couple goofy outtakes from our shoots. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hello world!

Sorry I lacked any new posts over the past couple of weeks, it's the silly season you see, which means approximately 2 months of charming chaos!

Nevertheless, here are some recent goings on here at the 'Pot.

Sunday just gone we had a wonderful inaugural workshop in our new space and it went swimmingly! What a lovely day was spent playing with fibre and chatting with new friends.

Felting 101 was our agenda. Learn what felt is, how it works, where it comes from, and the many many wonderful things you can do with it. We made a piece of flat felt, though the creative little gems I had in class that day all put a little 3D effect into their flat felt pieces. Colour me impressed at their chutzpah to just go with what they were feeling, and really imbue that into their artwork.

Here's a snap of their inspired creations:

Next on the agenda is Kid's Yuletide ornaments felt making workshop. We'll do some wet felting, and a little needle felting, and create some traditional icons to adorn our festive homes with.
This takes place on December 21st from 9-Noon. If you'd like to sign your child up just email, comment, or give us a call on 0403 493 111 Generally the kids workshops are best for age 10 and up solo (feel free to still attend if you'd like) or under 10 with an adult helper to accompany.

Felt making, for all ages, but importantly at more tender figures, is a sensory experience that engages and stimulates. For children with sensory integration hurdles, or who are shy or find it hard to connect, felt making is therapeutic and impelling for your child.

They also get to learn a bit about world history, the many animals and plants we use as resources in our societies and how felt is put to use in the global community.

Class sizes are intimate, so each participant receives plenty of one-on-one time and has all their questions answered. If there is any class you are interested in, please sign up right away, as spots are limited and fill quickly.

Next! We will be at the Tamborine Showgrounds Country market this Sunday 8-2. The last big one before December 25th. Drop in and check some names off your list!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

The Felting Pot will be at the Mount Tamborine Country Markets this Sunday 8-2, at the Tamborine Showgrounds.

This is a good old fashioned market ripe with native flora (fauna to pet and ride!), bottles and bottles of homemade time tested chutneys and cordials, hand poured candles and beautiful soaps and beauty products made from fresh goats milk, the green shed produce barn, honeys, baked goods, candies, and of course a plethora of immensely talented crafters and artists showing their wares.

Bounce houses, mini go karts, pony rides, petting zoo, food carts galore! See you there!!

Our opening weekend went swimmingly by the way, thanks for the support!

Closer to the home-front,  things are so lively around here these days!

Along one side and throughout the back yard of our house is a thriving nature corridor. I sat my phone in the window sill the other morning at about 530am to record the movements and mutterings of many a little songbird. This part of the world is famous for its bird life.

We have King Parrots, Lorikeets, Crimson and Pale Headed Rosella's, Sulfur Crested and the elusive Glossy Black Cockatoos. Minors, Bower Birds, Butcher Birds, Magpies, Kookaburra's, Whip-birds, Tawny Frogmouths, Pheasants, shall I continue?

Lots of birds. All wild, but most of them quite tame, or at least inquisitive and friendly enough to know we have food that they like. Primarily raw meat, and bits of bread leftover in the children's lunchboxes.
So most days a few different varieties visit, and get a nice feed.

We're about to bring another bird breed to the property. This being the faithful domestic chook. We have wanted chickens for a very long time. Forever, even. When we moved in here, we were sweetly surprised to see a relatively strong, secure chicken shed set up at the end of the yard.
We got to work using found materials and erected a second enclosure, a moveable pen the layin' ladies can really get their chicken-ness going, under the sun, out of the shed/run area.

We also fashioned a brooder box for them to live in while they're still very young. Right now they're 2 weeks old.
They'll live in the brooder in the laundry under light another few weeks, then move to a not yet built chicken tractor on the deck.
We will pick them up next week, from down the road where they were laid, hatched, cared for until 3 weeks when their gender will be mostly obvious and we'll know what we're getting. It was all a bit of luck in finding them. We get our eggs currently from the same  retired wife and husband team who run a tight homestead.
They raise a few breeds of duck, and mostly Favorelle chickens, with a few bantams on the side. We buy a couple dozen duck eggs a week, and usually a dozen hen eggs.

I called her up to peck her brain about raising chickens, and she told me about a secret clutch of found fertile eggs she was incubating on the sly in the laundry. Supposed to be downsizing, you see, but fertile eggs in spring are a difficult thing to pass up. She wasn't planning on keeping the chicks once they were hatched but hadn't advertised their availability yet, so how many do we want?!
There were 13 eggs, 10 that hatched, 1 that didn't and 2 that died shortly after hatching. So far, it is thought that 8 of them are female, and that's how many we said we would bring home.
The boys in this breed from a very tender age show a black spot around their wing area, Mother Hen has come to learn through years of raising this old world French breed of chicken.

I'm excited about chickens in general, but extra excited that we happened upon the right phone call, at the right time, and have snagged some really gorgeous Heirloom chicks from a wonderful family farm. The chicks were ready to hatch a mere 5 days later, and it's now about the same before we bring them home.

Here's a pic we took of them on Monday:

Picked up their shell grit, food and bedding today. All we need now is 8 suitable monikers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Workshop Information and Dates

The Felting Pot Studio is opening tomorrow! Come and have a feel anytime 10ish to 4ish. Children encouraged!

20 Main Western Road,
North Tamborine

0403 493 111

Here are the workshop dates to see us through the rest of 2011. You may sign up by calling, emailing, texting, or in person. A $10 deposit is required upon signing up. The balance payable on the day. I can take mailed check, money order, paypal or bank deposit.

Workshops include all supplies, half-full day tuition and refreshments. You will leave with a finished piece of art, and the skills to make many more.
Children's workshops are perfect for age 10 and up alone (though you're most welcome to stay and watch!), or under 10 with an adult accompany. Only one fee for child/parent.

Class sizes are kept small, so that I may give personal attention to each participant. Sign up now if one of these appeals to you. Ask a friend to sign up with you. It's a great girls day out.
If you don't see a day that suits you, get a small group together and request a custom class or party.

Felting is a form of meditation, exercise, fine art, science and love. You've gotta feel it.

Felt making 101. Beginners class.
We will make one piece of flat felt, embellished for either wall or tabletop display. 
Sunday 4th December

Yuletide Ornaments. Children's class.
We will wet and needle felt ornaments relating to traditional festive icons.
Wednesday 21st December

Nuno Felting. Beginner class.
We will learn the technique of "Nuno" felting, which is bonding the fibre onto a pre-existing fabric, such as silk or cotton. We will make one long piece of nuno to be used as a scarf, table runner, etc.
Saturday 7th January

Frame -able Felt. Children's class.
We will make a felt picture of the artist's choice, frame with found natural objects, and take home ready for hanging.
Monday 16th January

Resist Felting, Making a Bag/Vessel. Intermediate class.
You don't have to have felted in one of our classes before, but it's best if you know a little about how wool reacts during the felting process, as this is a more intensive class than basic flat felting.
We will make a piece of 3d felt using the resist method, which can be sculpted into various bag styles.
Saturday 28th January

More workshops will be announced as these are completed. Of course contact us at any time should you like to organize a custom class or party.  You bring the wine, I've got the wool!

The Land of Milk and Honey

We live on this mountain, 1800ft above sea level. When you drive down the mountain you're pretty much in the sea. You can smell it at least. We share the mountain, or the mountain allows us to share her with about 7000 other residents.

The majority of the residents here are artists - in the traditional sense - but also in the DIY-creative-self-sufficient sense. People who have built their amazing homes, or amazing homes for their chickens and ducks, their alpacas, goats, their one pretty bedroom-eyed Jersey cow, their immaculately groomed pooch, mini replica's of the real thing for their kids, spoiled as they are just to be living in a place like this.

There is a large established community garden with shade houses, open plots, chicken shed, tools, machines, and marketplace out front on the weekends from which to procure fresh produce plucked from the fertile volcanic soil.

The entire of the mountain area feels a bit like one colossal community garden, There are fruiting trees dotting the area. Mulberries, wild raspberries, strawberries growing in the grass on the roadside, citrus galore (my favourite are the blood oranges), figs, passion fruit, of course the omnipotent avocado, which is the very roots of the agricultural economy up here.Stone fruits are starting to push out furry little buds that will one day in the coming months hang heavy with fruit, at the perfect level for small hands to gather and devour.

Most people are proud of their gardens up here. It makes for a magnificent Sunday drive, anytime of the year as there's always something going on, usually relating to the natural attractions of the area. Springtime on the Mountain just happened which is an open gardens trail. Magnolia, Peonies, Roses, Jacaranda, among literally hundreds of other flowering trees, shrubs, vines. All in show for you and I to gasp and fawn over.

If you don't have a prize winning rose garden, and possibly even if you do, you probably have a wonderfully producing life sustaining veggie patch. Chards of every colour, cabbages and kale, roots like radish, beets, turnip, parsnip, potato, yacon, corn, peas of many variety, gourmet lettuces from all over the globe, ginger and garlic and onion and herbs, oh the scented herb gardens, as you brush past on a cool morning walk and the air around you rises up in a glorious fresh aroma, sparking your imagination and your appetite.

We have a darling little herb garden out the front, under our huge magnolia tree, where you're directly transported to Scarborough Fair when you allow your bare feet to touch the yielding loamy mulch.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Marjoram, Peppermint, Dill, Lemon Balm, and an Eggplant. Soon I'll transplant some pumpkin from the back yard that's going crazy. And down the back we also have the makings of a salsa garden where we intend on putting a handful of different tomatoes and capsicum (bell peppers for you yanks), coriander (cilantro), chili peppers and maybe some amazing garlic. Have you tried fresh garlic, right out of the ground? It is juicy and sweet and bursting of bold garlic flavor. Amazing. Makes you cringe when you have to buy those bags of dried up shriveled old imported garlic at the grocery store. Yuck.

We co-maintain another very large garden plot on my parent's land. We're currently extending it to be double the size it currently is. So far we have a variety of herbs, Bay tree, Galangal, Turmeric, Giant Rosemary bush. Rainbow chard, silverbeet (Swiss chard), lettuce a-plenty, corn, kale, broccoli, snow peas, Brussels sprouts, lemon grass, chives, mint, capsicum, cabbage, pumpkin, whatever I have forgotten which is bound to be one or four things. Elsewhere on the property there are lime, ginger, kaffir lime, mandarin, lemon, a couple dozen avocado trees, and a row of coffee trees.

We harvested the coffee trees a few weeks back. I'll post about that with accompanying pictures next time!

A vast portion of our vegetable intake comes from the food we plant from seed, grow and harvest out of the same virile red dirt our children dig in every day.

The rest, on good weeks, comes from the people living around and among us, doing the same thing. Striving for the same end goal.

This place is a foodie mecca. Every Sunday you can visit "The Green Shed" which is the local producers market, open from 7-noon. If you grow your own gorgeous local organic fruit and veg, or make preserves, fermented dairy products, specialty baked goods, you can become a member and sell your products to other residents here for very little, and bring home quite a nice profit.  Or you can just visit, shop, chat to locals, make friends, get good growing tips on anything you could imagine.

The mountain boasts a world-class cheese factory, brewery, too many to count award winning wineries, a distillery that takes you into another time and place (one of my favourite spots on Tamborine), coffee plantation, restaurants, cafes and delis oh my!

 I invite you to come to our mountain and see for yourself. This Saturday November 5th would be the perfect day, but really any day of the year you will find yourself right in the center of delicious.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Felting Pot Gallery opens!

Saturday November 5th Is the day our Gallery/Studio opens! If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, pay us a visit! Family friendly, tell your siblings, your friends, their friends, your parents, your parent's parents, your teachers, the guy next to you on the bus, come on. 20 Main Western Road, North Tamborine. Lots of parking out front. Tons to do on the mountain! Share the news please!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Filling the Ranks

We have recently promoted our Son Sebastian to staff photographer. And appointed my Sister Bea as sign writer.

The strapping young professional:

The sneak I saw of some doodling I think was meant for the sign looked incredible, I can't wait to have it on a canvas we'll erect on the facade of the gallery.

Here are some of Sebastian's photographs. We promised him $1 per photo used in the Etsy store. I think that was a touch generous and this kid is going to be rich, quick.

We won't talk about

The 5 months that have somehow been and gone since my last blog post. No, we'll just give that time to the ether.

Present time, things are swell! The Felting Pot is growing, spreading it's branches out. We recently moved into a space that functions as our family home alongside a gallery and studio. It's an old timber house in the back, and the more modern brick addition in the front houses The Felting Pot in all its woolly wonder.

The home front it replete with 70's charm, yellow counter tops in the kitchen, mod brown tiled back-splash. Bare wood floors. Worn wood floors. Lots of soles have walked on these wood floors.
There are two fireplaces - the main one, an open fireplace with traditional mantle being ridiculously boarded up and unusable. The other being in the gallery, and really of little help in warming the bulk of this drafty old house.
It fits us like a perfectly felted slipper, available in our etsy store.

So we are on Main St, in our mountain town of 7000 people. A mountain famous for its galleries and strong artist and cottage industry community.

The entrance is a weird space, taken up primarily by a big unsightly wheelchair ramp that was part of commercial zoning code. It's currently serving as a miniature, affixed skate/scooter ramp and monkey bar set. Eventually our pieces will be strung from it, wrapped around it, hanging from invisible threads, curtaining the windows and door, setting the scene. Cushioning the couch where you may sit and take in the view, flick through a book about felt, or a felt book. Have a coffee, or maybe just feel one. A veritable felt emporium.

Take a class!
The ramp takes us to the first section of the original house. On sawhorses lie two heavy wood doors, that make up my studio space. Next to me at the window is a towering mess of fleece scraps, looking something like elf vomit, within them if you were to look, you'd find CW madly needling away.
Very shortly, this space will also serve as a workshop studio, where you would do well to sign up for a class. Workshops will wander through many forms of felt. Start with a beginner class and felt your way through. Yurt summer project anyone?

We have markets 2-3 times a month, and that number is increasing over the rest of the year. I've been terrible about updating the Facebook and blog with these dates and locations, I know! Now that we are connected, it will be so much easier to stay in touch. We have the large 4 day art show we showed our work at in April coming up again, in October. This will take all of our stock so we'll likely open the gallery doors shortly after that, Beginning of October.

Etsy is in dire need of re-stocking, and I have probably near 100 pictures on the camera no one has ever seen, not even myself! Things keep selling before I have them properly documented, which is simply stupendous, naturally, but also a tad sad.

This week is hereby deemed 'get with the times' week. I hope you'll all join us as we skip through it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Leave your hat on

Just a few of the many many pieces I have madly hattered the past couple of weeks. A preview of what you'll find at the forthcoming shows! More pictures to come over the next week. I haven't any internet access at our new home yet so my postings will be sporadic at best. But rest assured, I'm steadily felting. Idle hands and all that....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long Time, no Blog

After a whirlwind couple of months, I am happy to announce that The Felting Pot is back in business and very excited about upcoming shows and market dates that are keeping our hands in full felting action almost 24/7.

The big news is that we are now felting from a lovely new location, an entire hemisphere away! Nestled on the border of Palm Groves National Park on Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia, we are in love with our new habitat. Instead of felting out of the garage in an alley in Plain-oh, Texas, trying to drown the sounds of emergency crews and suburban hullabaloo, we are peacefully serenaded by a plethora of Australian native songbirds, the wind in the tall tall trees, and the squeals of wonder from our children each time they spot a funny looking animal they would never have seen hopping or scurrying around in, well, anywhere but here...

Last week we were asked to be published in a local rag. Unfortunately the paper didn't run any of our pictures, and heavily edited the article. But, here is the original, which is now also our 'About Us', although edited there, too...

Aptly named, 'The Felting Pot' is an espoused couplet comprised of Annapurna and CW Moongrove who together have found themselves fashioning a veritable fibre fusion.

Annapurna, born and raised in Beechmont, has nurtured her creative calling almost from conception. Instructed by her (also local) mother from a young age, she has made felt throughout her life. At seventeen she decided to leave a promising career as a floral designer behind and elope with her Texan CW into the wilds of the future. While there she developed interests in myriad arts, handicrafts and traditional skills including doll making, book binding, horticulture and fermentation. After several years of childbearing, rearing, and experimenting in various fields, Annapurna settled on felt as her medium of choice and hasn't looked back.

CW, a graduate of the University of Texas, holds a bona fide B.S. in Literature and Philosophy in one hand, and a barbed felting needle in the other. If he isn't vivisecting Nietzsche or constructing a fence from raw eucalyptus, he's breathing psykhe into fantastical felted creatures.

The ancient art of felt making is rich with history. Developed before spinning or weaving, it is the oldest textile art, dating back to the dawn of man. It is a non-woven fabric produced by taking animal hair fibre and layering, wetting and agitating it into a solid sheet of matted fibre. Specimens of felt have been unearthed by archaeologists in historical locations such as Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark was said to have come to rest. Excavations in Europe have also found perfectly preserved thick felt caps, horse bridles, blankets, gloves and more that date back to the Bronze Age, some 5000 years ago. In many parts of remote Central Asia, nomadic people continue the tradition of felt making heavy within their communities, constructing their moveable dwellings, called Yurts or Gers in Mongolian, from thick blankets of insulating felt made primarily from sheep’s wool.

The Moongroves have spent the past 8 years felting away in the United States, and have recently come to settle on Mount Tamborine with their three wild and woolly children.

You can join the woolgathering by following the felt makers in their follies, at or by friending them on Facebook and keeping abreast of their upcoming shows and market dates where you can feel what they felt.

If you're lucky enough to be a local, drop in on the twice annual craft extravaganza being held at the Vonda Youngman centre here in North Tamborine over the Labour Day weekend - April 29th - May 2nd where over 50 local artisans will be displaying their wares. Proceeds from the day benefit the local fire station.

The following weekend on Sunday May 8th, we will be in the Lost World Valley, at Worendo for the Arts in the Olives festival, which is a perfect way to spend Mother's Day with the whole family. Workshops for young and old, food, and browsing the booths of talented artisans.

See you there!