Last night I enjoyed a wonderful evening sharing needle felting techniques with creative women at Art Mind and Soul Studios in the Fort Andross mill. This renovated brick mill sits beside the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine. The interior has been beautifully renovated into office and artist studios, the building is also home to restaurants and antique shops. Art Mind and Soul recently opened their doors as a center for the visual arts community. It's a wonderful place to hold workshops, create for an hour or two or rent a small studio space.
My approach to teaching this needle felting class was to hand everyone a kit full of supplies and impart as much technical knowledge as I could. I demonstrated wet and dry felting techniques along with flat and three dimensional construction. The joy of needle felting is that you immediately start poking fibers together with a felting needle. I was thrilled with the originality of the finished projects. They were stunningly beautiful raised designs abstract to illustrative on wool felt rectangles, charming three dimensional hearts and even a few white bunnies.
If you missed out on this workshop, don't fret I'll offer it again soon with a different theme and new construction techniques. I'm looking forward to sharing Polymer clay millefliori beads and stamped charms on Feb 23 and Pysanky egg dyeing on March 28. If you're a parent of young children please click the sidebar link to find a listing of my inexpensive family workshops also held at Art Mind and Soul studios.
The other hit last night was my mums' raspberry coconut bar recipe named 'Louise Cake'
My parents are British, my mother kindly converted the amounts from weighted quantities. For the sake of the workshop I doubled the recipe and baked the bars in a 11"x13" metal brownie pan, I needed 35 minutes to brown the crust.
Preheat the oven to 350
Cream 1/2 cup of butter and 2T +2t of sugar together.
Add 2 egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar.
Stir in 1 cup +1T of flour and 1t of baking powder.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a greased 7"x11" baking pan.
Generously spread raspberry jam over the 'crust'.
Whisk the 2 egg whites until they're stiff.
Fold in 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 cup of sweetened coconut.
Gently spread the topping over the jam.
Bake 20 minutes until the top puffs and starts to brown at the edges, let cool completely before cutting into squares.