Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wonderful Workshop!

Oh what a day we had! Everyone was supposed to make hats with the exception of Barb who I was going to help make a flat resist bag. As it turned out, folks changed their minds and the whole day turned into an open workshop. It was wonderful, everyone learning from everyone.

Barb knew that she wanted to do the flat resist bag and wanted to learn adding pockets. She put one large pocket on the inside with two smaller pockets on the out side of the bag. Since Barb is an accomplished felter, I wanted to push her a bit farther and had her use the synthetic organza over the flap and on the outside pocketed areas. The results were absolutely spectacular! The felt was strong, the organza puckered beautifully and I even had a beaded dangle that matched the colorways perfectly, which of course, I gifted her immediately. It just so worked! Nice Job Barb!

Allison and Susan were going to make hats, but at the last minute, changed their minds. (It's so good to be a girl!) Allison made the black bag with the pink surface design. She used 6 very thin layers, needle felted them, then did the wet felting. For a first timer, the results were amazing! She has a strong sense of herself, color choices and design were well executed. She plans on adding some beading and a snap closure. she also put a pocket on the inside.

Susan blended two different types of merino wool, one fine, one medium, and her results were slightly different. While the wools felted well together, it did not have the smoothness that I think we had both hoped for. She is going to add more texture and color to her blue and brown bag and do some sewing on it and then send me a photo of it completed. She has a very strong new knowledge of what she did well and what she can improve on. If her passion for felting is an indicator of things to come, she is going to be a very good felt maker!

Jen has made felt before using the needle felt forms, so we decided that using the new larger form for her would be a good choice. It would give her the opportunity the make folds, turns and curves, and a larger area for surface design. Her results were truly wonderful. Great smooth felt, lovely design, well planned and made her very happy, though very tired too, I'm afraid.

My wonderful husband made a tasty lunch for us, spinach and spring mix salad with mandarin oranges, cucumbers, walnuts, and chicken breast served with toasted sesame Asian dressing, served up with a large glass of apple juice. I think it was a hit. It was for me and I have so much respect for a man who treats his home guests so well. I am married to a PRINCE!

I hope everyone got some good and well deserved rest after their day of really hard work. Nice job gals. I'm proud of each of you!

Now off to clean up the remains of the dining room that I was too tired to do last night.

Happy New Year Everyone!
Shalom and Joy,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Felt Mama's

I've been thinking a lot these days about my “Felt Mama's” and how much they mean to me in ways that they may never understand. I want to take the time to tell you of my appreciation and admiration of them. They are amazing women. These women gave me encouragement, hints, challenges, shoulders to cry on, inspirations that I could share with them, dreams that I could tell them, goals to reach, and they gave without limits. There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for them, I would not be making felt today. I am so honored to call many of them friends.

Barb Marr handed me my first felting needles and said go play. From that small act, came the needle felt foam forms and the beginning of my business. Thank you Barb!

When I wanted to learn to wet felt, I placed a call to Ruth Walker who told me to treat the wet wool like I was stroking a butterfly's wings, until I had a fabric that could handle the pressure of rolling. That opened up the world of felt making for me. Thank you Ruth!

Susan McFarland who has been a bouncing board for me for a good many years. She thinks as fast as I do and I love that about her!...and we can both speak at the speed of light. (I think we talk a different language when we talk together). Her efforts with the Midwest Felting Symposium have opened doors, windows and blown the roof of felting for me. Thank you Susan!

Bonnie Ahrens taught me to trust the the the wool. I do now. Thank you Bonnie!

Ewa Kuniczak taught me flat resist and smooth felt, good hand felt, good drape felt. Thanks you Ewa!

Rub the bump came from Sue Pufpaff. Early on I would get a crease in my felt. Sue taught me how to get it out. Rub the bump! Thank you Sue!

Pat Spark taught me to learn form everyone. What a valuable lesson that is! Thank you Pat!

My granddaughter Marie taught me that there is no such thing as too much color or texture! Thank you Marie!

Now, maybe all of these things don't seem like much to the more experienced feltmakers, but these are the treasures I take to my felting table each day. The books are great, the videos wonderful, but these women, their faces and their hearts travel with me. When I teach, each is mentioned by name, along with the felting tips they gave me. I want them to know that what they gave to me, is being given to others and their kindness toward me goes on. I think my “Felt Mama's” are the BEST!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Elfing ourselves!

It's been a time of great fun, family, friends and frivolity this Christmas time. I received the Susan Boyle CD that I so wanted. Happy Christmas to me! Our daughters and grandchildren also decided to "Elf" us. What a funny thing that is! We sent it out to many friends so we could share the laughter.

As I said, I've been doing a bit of crocheting and this is one of the hats that I made. It can be worn as a tam or as a cloche. I am making them for my friend in Wisconsin to sell in her shop. This one is made of alpaca yarn. It is so soft, warm. I'm working on several others for her as well. It is just to to sit quietly and enjoy the snow, my family and the fact that there is quiet in my day.

There will be a class at my house on Wednesday. I was not anticipating another teaching opportunity, but it has come together rather rapidly. Looks like the house will be full of fiber and new feltmakers! I think we're going to have a ball!

Monday, December 21, 2009


While watching the news the last few nights, I've been playing around with some very small, old pieces of felt, trying to look at them with new eyes. Since making bags is part of the classes I'll be teaching this next year, I wanted to look at these small pieces for decorative closures on the bags. With a ton of beads that I never seem to use, this might be the answer for the small pieces of felt and the much neglected glass beads. These small pieces of felt come from color experiments. If I am unsure about how a colorway with look in a completed state, I'll make up sample-felt. From the looks of my stash, I'm unsure about a lot. I think these pieces could also be made into small pins for simply wearing felt on a small scale, an accent on a hat, splash of color on a sweater, or maybe even a pendant of necklace. Gotta do more thinking on it.

Oh, Happy Winter Solstice! I never really think of it as the first day of winter, I think of it as the day we head back toward Spring! I love winter, love wearing big bulky sweaters, warm shawls, hand made wool socks, felt hats, mittens, the quiet beauty of big snow flakes, the striking beauty of white, the geese in huge flocks flying overhead, the gentle hibernation that happens in me. I love winter, but honestly, sometimes, does it have to be so cold!

Wanted to ask you, have you found a felting blog that should be added to my growing list? If so, please let me know. There are some fantastic artist out there and I'd dearly love to plug them here.

God's Peace to you,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

DAZE of Rest and Recovery

Seriously, I am still a bit dazed over the whole 10 day show thing. While I am thinking felt, I am not making felt. I think it must be that time when the ideas store up and then will burst forth at some later date. The time now is spent looking for upcoming art shows in early spring, looking at the fiber art show schedule, getting some crocheting done for the pure pleasure of doing it and putting things away from the trip. There is still much of that to get done.

I'll be teaching a lot more this year than last year. The phone has been busy with offers to teach. Classes are filling before I can get them put up on the blog or posted locally. Have a class between Christmas and New Year. Who does that? What was I thinking????

I am putting some items up on ETSY. The one in the photo is one of my favorite hand dyed scarves with random acts of felting all over it. The color alone is great, adding the felt just makes the texture a bit more interesting to me. Listing things take so long for me. But it is a time of taking it easy, so I'll not berate myself for being a slow lister.

There is snow falling, it is quiet in the house, peaceful in my heart. I am so glad that felt happened to me. I love everything about it. I think my favorite moment is when the wool almost become liquid in my hands, just before it becomes felt. It is superb moment for me. Has anyone else experienced that? It is most noticeable when I am making felt beads. Love that feeling!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


"Usually, we live peaceably together, except there was the time when he sold him a horse, but delivered a mule." ...a line from one of my favorite stage plays, Fiddler on the Roof. I think that is how I would sum up the total experience of the 10 day show. We had 17-21 inches of snow, depending upon where you were in Wisconsin, followed by the ever lovely ice that follows a melt and re-freeze. Most of the crowd was there to experience the German themed Christmas atmosphere, to do some shopping and of course, eat the wonderful foods that were there. We were lead to believe that the show was juror ed , but when we were setting up, we knew differently. They were looking to fill booth spaces, that was the process. Suffice it to say, I am so glad to be home.

I met wonderful people, people who "got it" about the felt or wanted to know more about the wonderful textile. Several hats in particular got a lot of attention, ones with the hand dyed yearling mohair and the ones with unusual fabrics in the surface design, such as the velvet, silk, gauze, chunky yarns, or the ones with unusual lines. I think the total number of hats I sold was 24 by actual count. All in all, really not that bad and with the other felt items that were sold, the nuno/laminate felts, pincushions, scarves, etc, it was all ok. I was surprised at how many of the wool and silk scarves sold. I think for many, they are comfortable with silk, and they are intrigued by the combination, so they are comfortable making the purchase even if they are unfamiliar with felt. It was a great learning experience in many ways.

In the days ahead, there will be much family time, and I rejoice in that. There will be time to reflect on the great gift of Christ's birth, more joy in that as well. I believe the final days of this year will be full of family, friends, wonderful foods, quiet nights and simple joys all around us. But, I know I have a lot to think about as well... Felt ideas that keep going through my head, thinking about going back to the art shows for finished goods and blending my time between art shows and fiber art shows, wondering how much I can physically accomplish to build my inventory, and getting class schedules put together. It's going to be a busy 2010!

Looking back in thanksgiving, looking forward in hope, looking up, listening.
Blessed Christmastime and Shalom,

Monday, November 30, 2009

No More Felt!

With the number of hats, scarves, and miscellaneous other stuff that I've completed over the past few months, it is good to say, "No more felt !" Now is the time to clean up, create order, pack the big van, make sure all of the labels and prices tags are in place, everything in order....well, most everything anyway. I'll be leaving Wednesday morning and will be away for two + weeks for a 10 day art show in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin. I'm packing a lot of warm clothing, as the show is in a large tent and I imagine I'll be near freezing for the entire 10 days. While I am passionate about winter, I prefer to look at it as opposed to be out in it.

Did I meet the goal of 200 hats? Sadly, no, I did not, but am going with 100, so the glass is half full!

The purple hat is the last of the one for the show. The other item shown here might be of some interest to those of you who felt using mohair with your wool. This is a dog grooming tool, by Wahl, battery operated so no messy cords to deal with. It is wonderful for "shaving" wool and mohair fibers. This one came from Tractor Supply Company and cost about $20.00 USD. Sometimes I do use mohair in the fiber blends for my hats and this little tool takes care of the "Fuzzies" very nicely. I've also used it on Icelandic wool which is a bit too fuzzy for my hats, but love it in bags. Simply yummy for bags. I've not tried the tool on sweaters, but for the felted hats, it's great.

I wanted to share some of the nuno/laminate scarves that I made, but just haven't the time.

Blessings to you all, stay warm and make great felt!
Shalom and Joy in your days, good rest in your nights,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Gathering and Out Look, Thanksgiving Day 2009

Blessed Thanksgiving to each of you. One can hardly help but to look back over the year and find an abundance of undeserved gifts and treasures of the spirit to be thankful for. I am humbled by the love of my Lord, my much adored husband, precious children, family and friends. I don't take love lightly. The kind of love that lasts, no matter the circumstances, that kind of love is not to be taken lightly.

My prayer is that great love surrounds you too.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New felting table!

For a long, long time I've wanted a much larger work area. I've fumbled between the dining room oval table, two 4x2 foot tables pushed together, or whatever other combination I could come up with to create a suitable area to felt on. This past Sunday, a 7x4 foot table was deliver to my home. I've put bed risers under the legs to give me the additional height that I need and it perfect! Not only is it perfect for felting, it will be perfect for our weekly dinner gatherings and the upcoming holidays. I am so thankful to have this table in my home. I've done some clothing items, but am looking to do more. This additional work space will greatly assist in that goal.

About these hats:
Green hat was made with flat resist and the shape was much like that of a socking cap with a very long tail on it. The silk on the surface is 5mm hand dyed cut into random shapes.. Shaping the hat after it was felted was a challenge all onto itself. Sometimes that additional fabric is hard to shape when it is wet. But ...I learned a few things in the process, so it was good. The 5mm silk takes a bit longer to settle into the wool, whereas silk gauze happily joins up.

The brown and white hat is a combination of blue faced Leicester and merino. The blue face felts a bit differently, but is wonderfully soft and firm.

The pink one is all merino. I was just doing some color play with the hot pinks and lime. I think it is kind of a sweet hat, very soft.

I leave in 8 more days so I've got to go make felt. Hope you get to do so as well.
God's Peace to you,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Silk Laminate Scarves

Some time ago I dyed these scarves, and do to the winter weather that will soon be upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere, I decided to nuno or laminate felt them. If you click on the photo, you'll notice a difference in the pucker of the scarves. They are the same kind of silk and super fine merino wool was used on both of them. The difference between them if the amount of wool that I used. On the pumpkin colored scarf, I used two ultra thin layers of wool, on the floral colored scarf, I used a single layer of wool. Isn't it amazing what wool can do. No wonder we love the stuff!
Make good felt and have joy in your day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Putz'en around

Added some sprites to the a fore shown purple hat and made a couple of nuno/laminate felt scarves today. The other is still drying so I'll try to get the photos of it up for you tomorrow. It's time for a glass of wine, feet up and relax. The wrap is an iridescent purple silk with the colors of pumpkin, olive green, teal and squash. I love both sides of these wraps. Eventually, I'll have them up in my etsy shop, but for now, these are going to the 10 day show in Wisconsin.
Shalom and joy,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aren't These Great?

Slept most of the day, really needed it as I work a bit too hard yesterday. Wonder what I think I am gaining by working too hard one day only to lose the next day completely. Gotta re-think that whole thing.

A few nights ago, a woman called to ask about needle felting forms. We had a lovely talk and then today, she sent me these photos of her first hats on the Needle Felt Hat Forms from Hooked On Felt. Color me impressed! How about you? I love the detail work in them and the colors. Her name is Jean Melton. We are planning a workshop for sometime in December. I think we're going to have a ball!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two For the Road

Healing is coming slow on the elbow and shoulder, but I am getting some other things done. These two hats are the efforts of the past couple of days. I think the blue one is my favorite. The purple one is growing on me. It is intended to be for a child, not something I normally do, but did last night.

Today is set up for the Kalamazoo Weaver's Guild Christmas Show. If you are interested, please look up the Kalamazoo Weaver Guild web site for the details. Wonderful artistry there, to be sure. Usually I am participating, but it just isn't going to happen this year. There is too much on my plate to even think of adding one more thing. Sometimes it is just that way and somethings go to give. I hope that the show is wonderful for everyone, but I especially hope it is good for my felting friends. There are great feltmakers in our area.

Shalom and Happy Felting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Listening to the the inner voice

I have a friend that learned to needle felt then wet felt them from me this past August. I am so proud of her works that I am posting them here for her. I helped a bit with the shaping and do-dads, but not much. Her name is Bernadette Keeler. I think it might be a name and talent we'll be hearing a lot more about. The best of students, IMO, come with no pre-conceived ideas, just the desire to learn. They don't want to copy someone else , or mimic some thing they saw someone else do. I am most amazed at their ability to listen to what happens inside of them, and to the creative spirit God has put in all of us.
Bernadette, take a bow! I am so proud of your work!

BTW, these are her first hats, so if you'd like to comment and give her encouragement, please do.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ok, so I did do some felting....

At the Midwest Felting Symposium two years ago, I purchased this silk from Lori Flood. So while I am on the hat making hiatus, I was able to make this laminate/nuno felt wit my right arm only. While some prefer the wool side of laminate felt, I prefer the silk side. I like the wool next to my skin and the romance of the silk to the outside.

I laid the fibers out on the bubble wrap, bubble side up, then laid the silk on top, wetted down the fibers and the silk, then applied another bubble wrap with bubbles down. Then I took out the sander to do the felting. It took a long time, but I didn't have to roll, thus saving the left arm from further damage. I left portions of the silk not felted. the drape is very nice on this felted wrap.

I am now off to find the top of my desk and perhaps get some things organized.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The left arm has fallen off

Seriously, my left arm has become worthless. I've got a blown bursa at the elbow, torn rotator cuff, and a shoulder that is screaming "STOP FELTING".
I am going to be taking a few days off to let everything cool down. The pain is getting to me and when I am in pain, the creative juices go dry. I know I should learn to use my legs for the rolling, but I've always found it awkward. I may try laminates or make some dads and do for embellishments over the next few days, but I've got to lay off the hat making. 200 hats was a lofty goal but I have to live in reality. Right now, reality really hurts.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And then came Monday

Had high hopes of getting several hats done today, but it is not to be. The pink one was made today, but that's all for now. I am sure that I'll not make the goal of 200 hats. There will be great joy if I get to 100!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's all about the Mannequins!

Just when you think that you might be making an interesting hat, or making good felt, you soon learn that it is about the mannequins! I get so many folks emailing or writing about how good the mannequins look. So without further adieu, let's give it up for the mannequins and share the details on them.
#1 I purchased them on Ebay
#2 The heads are movable so they can be positioned and pack up easily. Great for photos and booth display.
#3 I use the cheap wigs that can be found easily these day, post Halloween. I cut the hair and style it for my uses if necessary.
#4 I am looking for used natural hair wigs, so if you know of any, I'd be happy to learn about them.
Ok, let's hear it for the mannequins!
Off to make hats so I can show off my mannequins . (who knew it was about the mannequins?????)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I see a full moon rising

I did not make these hats today, they are the works of the past two days. There are no dishes done, (still hoping the beloved husband will volunteer to do them) no laundry done, (we still have clean clothes, so what's the rush) and most of the leaves are still all over the yard (where are the leaf fairies to take care of them???) and still I feel a sense of accomplishment in getting these hats done and the garbage taken out, orders shipped and even had coffee with my dear friend, Dawn Edwards. ( It's been a good day and a stunning orange moon is rising. Life is good! Nearly any day I get to make felt, is a very good day.
I hope yours was wonderful too!
Peace to you,

Friday, October 30, 2009

Five Felt Hats

Here are the labors of the past two days. I am very tired, but I am liking the hats very much. What do you think?
The details:
The blue hat is made of merino with silk fibers on the surface. The burnt orange hat is made of hand dyed merino and has silk fibers on the brim, with silk fabrics in black and white on the surface fora very shadowy effect. The white hat is merino. The pink/red hat is made from merino with prefelts cut into squares and placed on the surface for design. Lastly, the multi-colored hat hat metallic fabric on the brim, with silk and metallic fabric on the surface


Monday, October 26, 2009

Hats and then some

I'm heading off to bed so I'll not write much, but these are the labors of my hands the last few days. Blew the bursa on my left elbow so this has been a somewhat painful process. I'll try to write more about these tomorrow.
Shalom and Peace,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Slicing Felt-Felt Slasher

Ok, I have to admit I am loving the feel of cutting felt. I am using a rotary cutter and having a ball! (I know that this is not the norm, but that's never stopped me before.)

I am however going to stop and say I am sorry about using myself for a model..there is simply no one else around here right now except my beloved husband and he will not put this felt on! My eyes show my fatigue and I am sorry to share those tired eyes with you.

I made vertical cuts first and then let them become the fringe on the wrap. Then I made one horizontal cut so that I could use those "fringe parts" for a tie on the wrap. I found that the horizontal cut was too much, half a cut would have sufficed for the ties. Letting it drape with my arms through the openings serves it better than without.

Off to eat something wonderful and planning on getting to bed early this evening.
Blessings to each of you

Suzanne--the felt slasher!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Felt United Event and beyond

There is the photo of Barb Marr and me together after our day together, teaching and exposing folks to the wonder that is felt
We had some folks who were knitters only and have fallen in love with felt. YEAH! I think that eventually, we'll be teaching some classes on the joy of feltmaking!

I am making hats, but not nearly at the pace I need to be. I've got to get some cleaning done and lots of paper work needs to be completed before I can get back at it. Cleaning can be a great way to let the mind wonder and the thoughts play among themselves. So tomorrow, the brain gets to play while the house and paperwork get done. ....I wonder what the top of my desk looks like?

What are you making today? I hope it is filled with joy!
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for more on Felt United!