Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter White


I am trying to get a wrap done every two days, but there has been a lot of LIFE getting in the way. I am not completely sure this one is done, but it's done enough to get a couple of quick photos while there is day light. No good shots to show of the back yet, but perhaps I'll have a change in a few days to get one for you. Thank you for popping in.
Felt Happy,
Shalom,
Suzanne
Photo: New wrap.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scarfing it up!



Over the past few weeks, I've been working on writing proposals for teaching, adjusting to my daughter and Son-in-law living with us, assisting my husband recovering from cataract surgery, and have a terrible longing to make felt. Finally I had a chance and here are the results.  I am making them in white and then dyeing and over dyeing. Actually the red one was over dyed again, but no photos of that just yet.
Felt Happy!
Shalom,
Suzanne

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wisconsin Classes! Hat, Bag and Bird Pod!!!

Just a quick pop in to tell you about some upcoming classes in January 2015. I will be at Bahr Creek Llama and Fiber Studio, about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee, WI   It is one of my favorite places to teach, one because I love Brigitte and second, Wisconsin is like my second home because of the friends I've made there.  It's always great fun and lots of sharing. Can you join us? Information below.
 
Suzanne Higgs (Hooked on Felt) will once again be doing felting weekend at Bahr Creek, January 16, 17, and 18.

Friday, January, 16 9:30-5:00 will be the HAT CLASS. Making a hat in a workshop is one thing, but learning how to design hats for a lifetime is quite another. Learn to create a uniquely designed hat, how to make multiple designs, and how to design styles for your face shapes. If your goal is to just make one hat, don't miss this class either. So much fun!!! Class size limited to 10.

The PURSE WORKSHOP will be Saturday, January 17 9:30-5:00. In this workshop you will design your bag, create pockets, inside and outside if you wish. Endless possibilities in design works. class is limited to 10 so call early to reserve your spot in the class.

BIRD POD WORKSHOP, Sunday, January 18 9:30-5:00
About 8-9 years ago I made a rather large pod that still hangs outside of my home. Wrens nest in it every year. Since then, the felted bird pods have become a wonderful handmade item for bird lovers worldwide. In this workshop, you will design your pods, use many surface designs elements and you will be working with Finn wool, due to its sturdiness. These are great for yard ornamentation, and unique gifts. The first time you see the wrens in the pod, it is a wonderful thrill!!

email demaster@bahrcreek.com or call 920-668-6417 to reserve your spot in the class. I will send you a complete list of what to bring and more info on the class
(4 photos)
 
Felt Happy!
Shalom,
Suzanne

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fabulous Finn and C1

 Pam MacGregor introduced me to Finn Wool this past  year. I can say without much difficulty that I was resistant to trying it, because I love to make wearables, especially hats and nuno. But once I relented and tried it, I was hooked on the stuff..

When I am making the bird pods I want them to be very sturdy, almost pottery-like in their firmness. Finn does that beautifully.

A friend gave me some C1 to try, as it is her favorite. I did one pod in C1 and had very nice results. However, the hairiness of the Finn better as it grabs surface design elements a bit better, for my purposes.
 I am on my way to making about 40 of these, and it will probably be more, because I just love the simplicity of the shape, the usefulness of the pods, and I am looking forward to SPRING. The hats remind me of winter, while these remind me more and more of the coming spring and the return of our wonderful songbirds.
This white pod probably will not go outdoors. I really just made it for our home.

Felt Happy!
Shalom,
Suzanne

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fancy Finn Wool

 About 8 years ago I started using tulle in some of my work, the first a vest that I'd sandwiched with very light layers of merino wool. It sold immediately and the sparkles were softly visible, it was done on the silver dotted tulle shown in the picture below. I kind of cast it aside for a bit, but in September, I pulled it back out and started using it in my hats, bags, vessels and now in these bird pods


Here is a picture of some of the tulle that I've used. Most of it I've picked up at fabric shops, some at re-sale shops. Some are just lightly decorated, some are bridal tulle with beads, sequins, glass beads, pearl beading, lovely threads











Finally a pic of one of my favorite bird pods. It was just simple fun to watch it all come together.  I do love the white one and the "fancy" of it, and the idea of it being a wedding pod. I guess i like them both for very different reason.
Felt Happy!
Shalom,
Suzanne

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pods with a Purpose and ANNOUNCEMENT!


Since I've started working with the Finn Wool, I've found that I can hardly stop making these crazy little Bird Pods..."pods with a purpose".  I have an art show coming up this Spring ( If that ever arrives) and am focusing on making these " small houses". I made my first pod for birds about 8-9 years ago. It is still used each year by tiny wrens...hence the opening looks so small. If it is much larger, other birds will come in and kill the wrens babies or destroy the wren eggs. There is no need to clean the wren houses. Spiders will move in after the wrens leave and lay their eggs. When the wrens return, they will bring mites with them. The spiders will eat the mites and the babies will be bite free. How cool is that!  I am not saying that Finn is the only wool that can be used, but is holds up well, lends itself to be sculpted in some fashion. It keeps its shape beautifully. This is a combination of Finn Wool, C1 and merino and silk. I am selling Finn on my Etsy site for 40.00/#
I have more Bird Pods of FaceBook under Hooked On Felt if you'd like to see more. I do shrink these a bit over 100%.
Last year I was invited to teach in Pueblo West, CO and spent 3 wonderful days meeting some lovely women. This year I have been invited back to Colorado in June to teach at Estes Park Sheep and Wool Festival. I will be teaching hats and these lovely pods. I think sign up starts in March. I am thrilled to be going back to that lovely state.
Shalom,
Suzanne 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Some of the fruits of their labors



I had a perfectly wonderful time while in Wisconsin...perfectly wonderful freezing time in WI!  It was sooooo cold.  One day we had wind chills at -45 degrees....the day I got stuck in the snow and my eyeballs nearly froze. The weather was bitter, but the women who attended the class were warm and curious and fun..Photo: Brigitte DeMaster's nuno wrap and hat from the class this past weekend.  I'll be staying here longer than expected. ...seems Michigan is closed.The three day workshop covered Dyeing Silk and Nuno Felting , Felt Hat  and Felt Bag making. There are some really nice examples of what was achieved...all of them first timers
I especially want to point out that on a few posts back, I had found some tulle with synthetic velvet flowers on it. The results of that fabric are on the first hat shown. I think it looks like the roses are floating.

That's all for now!
Shalom..
Photo: Suzanne Petzold Higgs, Brigitte DeMaster, Wendy Drossel,  not done yet but getting there. I think I like it!Photo: And this one too.Photo: Inspiration translation. Judy RicciPhoto: Deb's very first felt hat.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Upcoming Three Day Workshop in Wisconsin January 2014!

I am so pleased to announce that I will be teaching at Bahr Creek Llama Fiber Farm and Studio for three days the last full weekend of January; the 24th, 25th and 26th. nuno, hats and bags. For more information, please contact Brigitte DeMaster at #920-668-6417. Each class is $125.00 which includes materials.  Three days of felting, plus a house to stay in and food. It us going to be great fun. I hope you can join us. Call soon, classes are filling. I apologize for not posting this sooner.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Found These Finds

 I am making a felt hat for my cousin, and needed a mid-day break from the rolling, and rubbing, and rolling and tossing, rolling and slamming...you know what I mean.

I know it is Black Friday and it is my usual wisdom to avoid all shopping of any kind of this day, but the overwhelming urge to get to the local thrift shops simply became too much and I went out for about an hour. (It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be).

I found a few really nice things and these two lovelies that will soon be used in some of my felts, one is on tulle and the other is a synthetic fabric that I've experimented with in the past with pretty good results. I am hoping it will happen again because the design in this fabric is way too fun. 
So what wonderful fabrics have you found?

Look for the overlays on holiday dresses...great fun, Oh and wedding dresses are often filled with beads and sequins. It's a bit harder to come by where I live, but it does happen.

Felt Happy!

Shalom,

Suzanne



I did finish the hat for my cousin Teri Lyn. It is merino wool with some of the decorative tulle on the surface.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I remember when I used to sleep at night....

The challenge these days is staying awake as I've returned to nursing full time and am working third shift. It's HARD!...very, very hard. My body is all messed up and my mind even more so. My morning is when most folks are heading off to bed and my nights are when everyone else is awakening to start their days. I have coffee at night and a glass of wine in the morning. Does this sound crazy to anyone besides me? Then when I get a day off, I have to flip back around to being a day person. I am totally fatigued and more confused all the time! But, we do what we gotta do and stand thankful for the work.


This past July I picked up some lovely polka dot tulle and used it in this black hat that has sari silk, synthetic organza, and the tulle. For as long as I've been teaching nuno one of the common phrases is that if you can blow through it, you can use it. Well....the tulle should have been a given a long time ago. I've since been collecting bridal and gown materials, some with sequins, beads, wonderful metallic threads, etc....if fact, the more the better. Gives the finished product the appearance of a lot more work that what was actually done. I am not one to sew, beading eludes me, but if it is the fabric that I apply to the felt is already beaded and sequenced...I am delighted!



 I did learn some valuable lessons along the experimental way.
One this green hat, the black tulle almost overwhelms the sari
and the hat. There are three pieces on it and it looks okay, but
I think it would have looked better if the same color wool was
under it so the the dots showed up, not the tulle or netting.

So with that knowledge...





I made this black and grey hat....and the netting does not show up to the casual passerby. The texture with the tulle changes the felt a bit, makes it firmer, and in some cases a bit more bump-ally. (new word!)






It also changes the way in which the felt shrinks if the hat is not covered with the netting. It's a goodly amount of experimenting, but I think the end results are well worth it 





This hat has tons of sequins and lovely metallic threads. Because I used two colors of wool, the blending of those colors through the felting process "hid" the tulle nicely.




With the white hat, the netting was all white and all that remains on the surface is the design of the sequins, beads and polka dots. It turned out pretty nice and I think that it will simply sparkle on a cold winter day or evening.

I am going to encourage you to get to your local thrift stores and buy up those gaudy dresses with the beads and sequence all over them. Way too fun!





I am also making as many of these bird pods as I can. I love, love, love working with this shape and the Finn Wool. It is just an amazingly wonderful felting, sculpting wool. In fact, so much so that I am now selling it in my etsy shop. (see side bar) 



 I leave you with these:

Heavy sequins





LOTS of bead work! (felts in beautifully)





Sequins with flowers!




more sequins and flowers.








Felt Happy!

Shalom,
Suzanne

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In a Few Short Days...

 In a few short days I will be driving off to Pueblo, CO to teach for three days and then spend some time with my friends and fellow fiber artist Donna Gower.  Donna is a magnificent weaver and I am honored to have several of her pieces in my home.

I am looking forward to the 20+ hour drive, the vast expanse of flat land as I drive through Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska and then the dauntingly beautiful Rockie Mountains off on the distance horizon. I can already imagine John Denver singing "Rockie Mountain High" running through my head.

 The car is all packed except for the final few things, I'll fill the tank tomorrow afternoon, and hope to  leave by 4AM on Thursday. My father in law and husband are starting the " she's leaving and we don't want her to go" phase of my getting ready for a trip. In their defense, I spent all of yesterday dealing with the excited/sadness of this trip and leaving my home and my men. Dad is quite dependent on me for his social interactions...we play well together. He does miss me terribly when I leave. Jim and I just very simply do not like to be apart for any reason, but we do understand that some things just need to happen. With all of that being said, I am now very excited about the trip to CO.

 I wanted to share the bird pod that I made several years ago and the wee wrens that are raising their fledgeling there. It is one of my larger pods that they chose this year and the pod is noisy these days, with the frantic calls of ' feed me". I imagine that they will have flown away by the time I return home, but I am hopeful that they will raise a second group of hatch lings in the same pod. Wrens are small birds and fly pretty fast. Trying to get a photo of them was a real task. Their songs just totally make me smile. Their sound is "happy"
I've been making a hat a day for the past few weeks, As Hillevi Huse says...." a hat a day.....".  I think that is great!

I have a great many ideas in my head, but making hats is when all of those ideas congeal. It's not that it is mindless for me, it's that it is familiar and my mind can wander. I keep the drawing book close by.

Brief question: do you want me to continue to blog or not?
So much happens on FaceBook and I am wondering if I am duplicating and boring .

Blessings to each of you!

Felt Happy!

Suzanne

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pueble Colorado Classes in June!

Final plans being wrapped up for my 3 days of teaching in Pueblo, CO in June on the 25th, 26th and 27th, dyeing and nuno, Day 1, samples and embellishments 1/2 day and talk Day 2, bag or hat Day 3. I'm checking on the cost but I think with classes and material fees, it is around 250.00. Will double check on that cost and post it as soon as I have it. To sign up, call Carol Snow at 719.859.4609



 Shalom to you,
Suzanne

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Margo Duke and me

This is top that I made and Margo Duke did the collar work on. I love collaborating with other fiber artist, especially some one as talented as Margo.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Change of mind

 Just a brief note here tonight. This skirt and vest were  made from two simple rectangles. I have to work in a small area, and have to work simple. When I started making this fabric, a warm winter coat was planned, but, oh, it's great to be a girl and change ones mind.

That's it for now.
Felt happy!
Shalom,
Suzanne


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Unbelievable Sorrows and Blessings

 I will be teaching in a few weeks as posted below. There is still room in the workshop if you are interested and you'll need to contact Brianna for placement.

Since last I wrote an actual entry, soooooo much has happened, an unbelievable amount of sorrow and sadness. When I wrote my last entry of any consequence, Joyce had died and I was taking care of Doc. I had promised Joyce that I would take care of him, and I did. Doc died 5 weeks after Joyce died. Cause of death was heart attack, but the truth is it was a broken heart. They were married forever and he simply could not manage life without her. Every night when I helped him get ready for bed, he'd say, "Well, maybe tonight is the night I die." I miss them both so much. I was then hired by their estate to help close it all down and get everything ready for auction and putting the property up for sale. That is finally coming to a close.

While all of this was going on for 5 months with Joyce and Doc, our Granddaughter Mollie's fiance' was killed in a drunk driving accident, my father in-law, who is living with us suffered a series of medical problems that took him to the hospital, then nursing home for 6 weeks and now back home with us. Our last wee chihuahua started to bleed out and we had to put her down. One of my husbands dear friend died, my mother announces to me that she is having TIA's and my father fell and broke his hip, developed pneumonia, a UTI with MRSA and died.

It feels as though I have gone from one sorrow to the next, with no break. My cousin asked me at the  funeral for my Dad if I was tired of being strong all of the time. I responded that I was afraid that I don't know how to be weak. There are days that I want to just stay in bed, but I am blessed with the love of a good man who allows me extra sleep, but not to the point of hibernating and hiding from life.

I did get to teach to the Midwest Felting Symposium, The Michigan Fiber Festival, Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, some private classes. Felt has been the "Sweet Release" from reality for me. I've not made much, but I think that is okay for right now. My suspicious is that all of this is going to settle into my soul, become a part of who I am, and then come out as a new expression in felt for me...or maybe not. It's just float time right now...and that's okay.

Mom did get to spend about a week with us and together we made a nuno wrap for her. She loves it, and I love her. What great memories.

Please do not think that I want your sympathy with the writing of all of this. Life happen, and sometimes it happens in rapid succession. Do not be sad for me. This is more of an explanation of where I've been and the roads I've traveled lately. I am fine. The blessings with all of the these trails have been equally unbelievable. There is balance...I just have to wait for the pendulum to stop swinging.

Felt happy...and I've missed you all too.
Suzanne