Friday, November 29, 2013
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.
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.
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
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)
LOTS of bead work! (felts in beautifully)
Sequins with flowers!
more sequins and flowers.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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.
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 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!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Shalom to you,
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Friday, November 16, 2012
That's it for now.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
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.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Fabulous, Funky, Fun Felt Hat
or a Wild and Wooly
Wonderful Bird Pod
Class at Bridosha Farm!
Class will be held Saturday, November 3rd begining at 9:30 am
Full day class where you can learn how to make a beautiful felt hat or a lovely bird pod and leave with your creation!
In this workshop we will explore the wonderful experience of creating a one of a kind seamless felt hat or bird pod of your design. There are so many options for multiple pockets, surface design elements, like silk fabrics, locks, prefelts, neps, and other fun stuffs. While no experience is necessary it is helpful if you have made felt before the class. Please don't let any inexperience prevent you from taking this opportunity to learn to make wonderful felt.
Wool fibers, silks, hand dyed locks, wool neps, pattern and resist materials, plastics, trays, raw locks will be provided
You will need to bring:
2-3 old towels
Black magic marker
Bed risers if you have them (wal-mart, for about 10.00)
Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Bring snacks and drinks of your choice; lunch will be provided.
A ballbrouser if you have one, can be purchased from Susan's fiber Shop 1-888-603-4237 for about 25.00. Nice to have, but is not required.
One gallon bucket with large sponge
Kiss My Face bar of soap, any scent will work just fine
A sense of fun and wonder!
Class is hosted by Bridosha Farm in Westphalia, Michigan
Class will be taught by Suzanne Higgs of Hooked on Felt
Limit: 12 students
This is a full day class beginning at 9:30 am
Fee is $100.00; $25 deposit will hold your spot!
Please contact Brianna Schneider of Bridosha Farm at 517.256.1806
Space is limited, this will be first come first serve
Monday, May 28, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
About 7 weeks ago I got a phone call from dear friends, Tom and Joyce, asking me to stop by as soon as I could. I went immediately and learned that Joyce had stage 4, fully metastasized lung cancer that had spread to her brain, bone, bowel and liver. They wanted me to be her nurse for the duration. I did and that is why the entries here have been few and far between. Joyce's struggle ended April 13. Helping Tom cope with this incredible loss is time consuming, heartbreaking, fatiguing and rewarding. I will miss Joyce very much for a very long time.
In the past week I was able to put all of the finishing touches on the (purple) Gillian Hunt Hat, which is being shipped to Scotland today. This was an artist exchange between me and Gillian. The prints she sent me as so wonderfully beautiful. I've got to get them framed and hung. They are splendid and I think I may have gotten the better end of the deal. Gillian's work is outstanding!
I also made the White on White on White on White Hat...white 15.5 micron merino with white bombyx silk roving, white silk neps, white wool neps and white 5mm habotai silk. This 15.5 micron wool from Ashland Bay is also most like working in wet paper the minute it gets wet. It begs to felt. The habotai silk nearly disappeared into the wool. Now I am anxious to make a wrap using the fine micron merino.
There is much to do in the days ahead. I've been asked to write about felting for the Michigan Fiber Festival's e-magazine and I've got to work on that, classes are just around the corner at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and I need to prepare for them. Orders to ship, thoughts that need to be put down on paper and drawn out, dyeing silk fabrics, batts to get made for spinners, laundry, cleaning, life stuffs, all needs to be done. Much of my life has been on hold these past few weeks with Joyce...now on to getting back on track.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Dad is happy in his "Man Cave" and is in good humor and doing quite well. I cannot even begin to say how happy I am that he is living with us. Perhaps it is because I am from a large family, it just feels right, even the extra laundry, food, appointments, dishes, etc....it just all works for me. Thankfully, it works for him too.
On a daily basis, I am caring for a dear friend who has terminal cancer, and my beloved husband Jim is taking over the task of cooking for her and her husband. They have no children and we have, for the time being, become their children. I had thought about going back to nursing full time...I didn't know it would come to me. They asked me to be her nurse and I am honored and humbled...and very sad for my friend.
About the hat above:
I was rummaging through some of my stuffs when I came across some of the old yarn samples I'd had from when I had the shop....hmmmmmmm....could those yarn samples be polka dots? or rosettes? or some kind of interesting surface design? Well, the answer is always "YES" ( ...which loosely translates into "try it...yes it worked, or yes, you have to try another idea") So, with that I took the wee samples from several different companies and made up the little colorful polka dots and used them on the surface of the hat. I like the effect of additional texture and the colorful pops on the black hat. The pieces on the brim are also bits and pieces of left over silks, sari silks, and cheese cloth. My mind is gathering ideas for small snippets of yarn for further applications.
The other thing that I wanted to mention is THE MIDWEST FELTING SYMPOSIUM in Madison, Wisconsin . I will be teaching there for two days and am hoping to take some classes as well.
- Patricia Spark Albany, Oregon
- Pamela MacGregor McClure, Ohio
- Marlene Gruetter Scottown, Ohio
- Suzanne Higgs Plainwell, Michigan
- Anna Gunnarsdóttir Akureyri, Iceland
- Regina Doseth Klaipeda, Lithuania
- Margo Duke Mount Airy, Maryland
- Pam de Groot Blue Mountains, Australia
Some classes have already filled, but the talent that will be there is outstanding. I wish I had the time and $ to take each class. If you've not been to this event and wonder if it is worth it, I can tell you with great certainty, it is wonderful. It is filling fast so don't wait to register. I think there is a discount for registration prior to May 1st.
Blessed Easter and Happy Passover.
Shalom and Felt Happy!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Is probably one of the most AMAZING sites I've found, via another felt maker, on the world wide web. Inspiring, great photos, SPLENDID IDEAS, and great at the "show and tell" of felt making. Just thought you'd like to know...I hope to try them all!
Shalom and Felt Happy!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
This is the hat for Gillian. Have a few finishing touches to put on it, then off to Scotland it goes. I love trades with artists work I truly admire. I pray that she likes her hat as well as I do her photography. I hope it is worthy.
Felt Happy and Shalom,
Friday, March 30, 2012
I 'met" Gillian Hunt of FB and fell in love with her incredible photography...the two nature photos. Gillian has agreed to trade these to photos for one of my hats...made especially for her. I am beyond DELIGHTED! I've wanted some of her art for some time, now that will happen. Happy dance all over the place!!!!! Her incredible photos will go in my green guest room. I may start a Gillian Hunt wall! I think these photos will look wonderful in the green guestroom.
The hat that Gillian wants is like the turquoise tam with the hand dyed silk, only done in purples and pinks. I am looking forward to making the hat for her...and trying to make it as special as I think her photos are. I'll try to rememeber to post it here when get it done.
This great moment in the sky happened as I was leaving my friends home a few weeks ago. the whole sky was a series of different clouds, light and shadow play...hard to take your eyes off it. I shot the cloud here from my cell phone. Wish I had had a really good camera on me. I love this photo of the clouds...so reminded me of being 8 years old and watching the clouds in new mowed grass. It was a great moment to capture and I was very happy to have my cell on me with enough charge to allow the camera to work.
This is one of the hats that I was able to complete this week. First photo is of it before felting, the second is finished. I may have to cut the resist down a bit. I used a synthetic organza on the surface. Love the texture it created!
Off to bed. Are you making felt? What are you making?
Shalom and make Happy Felt!