It has been a hectic few weeks since Christmas. Len has decided to retire from his job as a priest in the Episcopal church. This means that we have to move out of the rectory where we have lived for the last 30 years. In turn, that means that my business, Anna Macneil, also has to move out.
For some years I have been saying that I didn't have enough space for all I wanted to do. Bedrooms have been taken over as children fled the nest, but even at that nothing is really exactly as I would like it. We briefly toyed with the idea of building a house that would accommodate all my textile things, but finance and difficulties over planning consent put paid to that. So the next step was to find an industrial unit to rent. Easier said than done. Small units in Inverness are as scarce as hens' teeth and for some reason it seems to be more financially worthwhile for big businesses to leave a building empty than to let it for a reasonable (low) rent.
However, on Wednesday, thanks to a friend keeping her ear to the ground, I heard about a possible workshop and went to have a look. The place is ideal in many ways although it needs a bit of work to make it suitable as our new studio. I signed the lease for it on Friday and over the next few weeks we will be building an internal partition wall, replacing light fittings, moving shelves and painting the kitchen and the ceiling (currently both yellow!) - not necessarily in that order!
From 1st April, our new address will be : The Workshop, Inchmore, Kirkhill, Inverness, IV5 7PX. I have to investigate whether I can keep my existing phone number, but email, website and mobile will certainly remain the same.
The workshop is a lovely 150 year old wooden building. Originally it was a joinery workshop, but in recent years it has been the home of Pat-chis Corner - a lovely shop selling supplies for patchwork and quilting. The owner recently retired and sold the business. The new owners have moved it out to their own home at Beauly - another 5 miles or so along the road.
My plan is to create separate areas for sewing, embroidery and feltmaking and in addition, a small area to use as a shop. The workshop is on the main road through the village and particularly in the summer months, it is a popular route for tourists. So, if you find yourself in the area, do come and visit. We have still to work out things like opening times, but we will be happy to welcome you whenever we are there.
The kitchen is quite basic - and yellow! - but it has two sinks which means that it will be good for the rinsing stages of feltmaking. I am looking forward to having space to run classes - email me if you want to be added to my felting mailing list and I can keep you posted of any events that I arrange. I can also do one-to-one sessions at any time to suit you, so do let me know if you want to take a class.
I suspect that I may be too busy over the next few weeks to post much, but I will have my camera with me and will try and keep a record of how work progresses. As soon as we know when we are opening the information will be posted both here and on our website. Why not sign up as a follower of this blog? You will automatically be told when we do a new post.