Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Post...

Final post for 2010.

Happy 2011 to each of you. May it be filled with promise, creativity, enough triumph and tragedy to keep you humble and aware of the blessings that surround you each day. May you have wonderful sunrises to greet you and spectacular sunsets to sleep you, may your arms be filled with often with the people you love, and your heart overflowing with joy often, the kind of joy that brings tears to your eyes. This is my wish for each of you, and I wish it also for myself.
God bless you,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Little Girl with a Ball

We're settling into the cold weather here in southwest Michigan. We keep our heat at 60 degrees (15.5 Celsius), wear warm wool sweaters, turtleneck shirts, and several layers under that, oh yea, and long underwear or leggings. I think it is so funny that 60 degrees in the winter is cold, but in the early Spring, we'd open the windows to let in the fresh air and warmth. We also "spot heat" where we are with our Eden Pure infrared heating unit. Works out pretty well.

It's been a busy time with family and most likely will be until the years end . I've not had much time to make felt, but did make this small bag for my sister who has a birthday late December. I still have to get the handles on it, write her a note and send it off to her.

And speaking of birthdays, I had another one this year. I am delighted to have made it thus far. This is an ancient photo of me when I was a year old. Love the has Disney characters on it. How fun is that?

Several of my friends and I are planning on bringing the delightful and very talented feltmaker, Andrea Graham ( see my sidebar) to the greater northern Ohio/southern Michigan area in the near future. We will need to have 12 students to bring her in. Are you interested in attending? Do you want to tentatively sign up? Do let me know.

I'll be back as soon as I make some felt!

I wish you all deep Peace and Joy in this Christmas, because:
Luke 2: 8-14
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Monoliths, Cappuccino, and Four Dreaded Women

It's a quiet Saturday morning, gray skies, bits of clutter that needs attending to, a hot cup of cappuccino at my ready, and am compelled to blog a bit.

This week Sharon Costello, of Black Sheep Designs, announced the Felter's Fling line up on her website. So many talented felters will be there, teaching, sharing, making memories. I'd like to go. Will have to see about that. Here is the link.

I think you'll be impressed with the line up she has provided this year.

So while I 'm reading through the list of folks who will be at Felter's Fling, I come upon the YURT Guy link and begin anew, my search on line for monolithic or dome or yurt living units. I love them. My ideal living space has become the dome. For those of you who read this blog often, you know of my passion for monolithic structures. There is something in the simplicity, the womb or earth shape, the safety, the unusual, to be sure, that attracts me to the shape; finding them rather comforting. However, there are some things that make them look rather stark as well, and that I find less attractive. However, while looking on line for monolithic homes, I found the one that combined so many features that I like, mixing the traditional with the unusual--creating beauty and balance. If you are interested, here is the link:
I could so live there!

The Four Dreaded Women are pins that have been ordered and they will be on the way today. They are time consuming to make. I've enjoyed making them, but am unsure if it is something I want to add to my product line. Maybe they will be what I do on those days when my arms have fallen off and I can finger felt only.

Cappuccino is gone, time for me to get moving. Blessing surround you....look!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tunic/Overdress Concept Piece

I've been working on some simple pieces, on a slightly larger scale than I am accustom to. My work space is limited. This is one of the projects that I've finally brought to fruition. It is a simple tunic / over dress, one I would wear over a turtle neck sweater and leggings and some jazzed boots. It is not sewn all the way down the garment, just from natural arm hole to the waist, the rest of it is rather free flowing. While not my colors, I hope it will find it's rightful owner.
I hope I'll have more "concept pieces" to share with you in the weeks to come.

For now, I am feeling very flu like and am thinking I might head back to bed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

TA-DA, Jami's Bag is done!

Okay, these are the final photos of the bag for my niece. The leather straps were custom made for the bag. I think they are the "saving grace" on the bag. Tomorrow, it gets sent to Jami. I hope she likes it.
There, one less thing that "has to be done". Yeah, I love it when that list gets smaller.

I'd like to have you go take a peek at another blog I've come to enjoy more and more. Her work is feminine, delicate and lovely. Let me know what you think, okay?
What are your favorite blogs and why?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flops +

Success and failure and frustration and re-inventing .... the way things are, right now.

I had put a nice, long, hard felt handle on the bag for Jami. I had sanded the bag with an electric sander, then rolled it for about 4 hours and was getting pretty tired. I threw it in the dryer on "air only" to let it flop about a bit while I took a break. When I opened the dryer door, one side of the handle had pulled away for the bag. I had this awful sinking feeling, wanted to cry and hoped secretly that the felt fairies would show up and make it all better. They didn't. I was stuck trying to re-think the bag and salvage it from nearly being thrown away. I finally decided to cut handles, and have now taken the bag to a friend/seamstress who is going to add leather straps to it. This is being done so that Jami has the option to carry by hand or throw over her shoulder. (Can a woman ever have too many options?) These are not my final photos of the bag, just showing my progress, if you want to call it that. This bag is 6 layers thick. I think I'll not do that again. I do love how the silk and wool play together on the surface.

The other item shown here is a wrap cloak that I've been working on. This is my second one and I wanted to add a collar to it. The collar is a stolen piece from a different " failed piece", cut and sewn into place on the cape. It turned out so nicely. I am well pleased with the results on the cape...and so thankful I didn't have to model it.

Looks like a very busy week ahead of me. Dear Jone ( pronounced Yona, long o) will be leaving for Finland on Tuesday,(so going to miss her!) taking care of some family needs, doctor appointments, dental appointments, yada-yada-yada...that kind of week awaits me. I'll pop in here when I have something to share.

If I forget to tell you how much I appreciate you all stopping by, let me do it now. Just knowing that you stop by helps me feel less isolated. Thanks you so much. You are THE BEST!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Start of Jami's Bag

Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for! Could we ever count the blessings we receive daily? I could not.

Tuesday, I thought I'd get started on the rather large bag my niece has requested. I cut the pattern/resist. Got the wool, the silk fabrics, the do-dads I was going to add, started the handle and then promptly felt overwhelming, crushing fatigue. Took a 4 hour nap! What's up with that?

After the a fore mentioned nap, I did get the handle finished. The lay out completed on Wednesday. It is 6 layers of fine merino wool with silk fabric and tussah silk and little wool blebs of turquoise. I must confess I have no clear vision of what this bag will look like when it is completed. I'm flying by the seat of my pants and hoping for the best. (so what's new about that?) I'll work on it a bit today as time allows.

We (Jim and I) are having a very low-key Thanksgiving dinner this evening. I'll be working at the Plainwell Community Center serving dinner to our community if they need me. Love doing that. It is just the coolest thing to see folks from all different walks and stages of life, sitting together, enjoying the foods, and each others company. On any other day, their paths might never cross, but on this day, they are neighbors sharing in a moment. It is amazing to see and to be a part of the celebration.

May your day be over-flowing with things that remind you of the gifts that surround you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The all day Wrap...

My slow, rainy day Monday was indeed slooooooooow! Seems like it took all day to get anything done! I started this nuno on silk gauze early in the morning and didn't get it finished until about 9:30 PM. Talk about putzy! I'd start, then stop to do something else, then come back and leave it again. Truly, my ADD ruled the day.

The colors that I dyed the gauze are gray, blue, crimson and plum. The merino wool colors are hot orange, cinnamon and purple. The close up shows the colors far better than the "live shots", because again, we are dealing with bad lighting. The lay out was very random (... see ADD gone wild!) leaving many open areas to form puckers and bubbles. I love that more and more in the nuno/laminate felts. I wish I had asked Jim to get a couple of shots of the "wool side" of the wrap. Maybe I can ask him later...maybe.

Next on the list of felts to make is a large bag for my beloved niece, Jami. She is a teacher and wants a large felt bag for carrying her "homework" home with her. She's asked for it in brown. Not a color I usually work in, so there will be some creative challenges for me. I hope I'm up to it.

My Mom sent this little video my way. She knows I love watching the humming birds. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. What a rare treat for this young man!
Well worth it if you take the chance to watch, really wonderful.

What are you making these days? Are you having fun? What is your favorite thing about felt? I am asking because I really want to know.

I am thinking about doing a give-away for my blog readers. If I do, what would you like me to put up for a FREE GIVE AWAY?

Gotta go.

I hate it when I am the only model I can find!

I wanted to show you the final results of the nuno/laminate felt wrap. It was dyed in shades of blue, gray, green and soft plumb. the wool that was added was olive, navy and plumb-purples. I adore this wrap, and really wish I had done it in colors that were more suited to me. (I rarely wear blue.) I imagine it will look quite lovely on a blond. This wrap rates pretty high on the "flutter factor" and I love that about it.
I have to admit that the photos are not very good, lighting is bad, my husband is not thrilled at doing this for me (but he won't model it either!) and I am the model....need I say more!
Woke up this morning to 60 degrees and raining. Not bad for November 22, in Michigan. Love rainy days, the coffee tastes better, the day moves slower, wool felts faster and I have time to breathe!
Shalom and happy felting all day long!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Random layout, delightful surprise!

This post will be brief and to the point today. I simply have too much on my plate, as usual.

The past few weeks I've been playing a lot with nuno felts, dyeing the silks and playing with the lay out. On the piece I am going to show, I did a random layout, and am thrilled with the final results. The photos explain it, so I can be brief today.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wish I could chat longer, but I really can't right now. I'll be back soon.
Shalom, and Good Sabbath to all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Learning to expect the unexpected....well, trying

I've put too much pressure on myself to get too much done this week. How do I know? Nothing got done and I've a headache today and tons of guilt about not getting anything done!

It started Sunday with no water pressure in certain parts of the house...the really important pasts of the house, like bathroom area and kitchen. Our small city of Plainwell does the fire hydrant flushing and when that happens, all kinds of iron and lime and other stuff gets released into the water system. For the past several years, it's cost us dearly in plumber fees. It will lodge in our pipes and literally bring our water pressure to a trickle. Not good for showering, not good for a houseful of people for our Sabbath celebration and not good for felting. Yesterday it was all fixed....until next time.

Monday, sculptured hat. It was made from some roving that I'd picked up from and indie-dyer who was experimenting with some new dyes. Well, I know her dye works are wonderful, so I think it is the dyes that gave her trouble. Anyway, the thing is, as I was rolling the hat in cotton fabric, something I do often when I am finishing a felt, the dye began to bleed out onto the cotton fabric. It took my breath away with the muted colors and textures that unexpectedly happened. I quickly snapped a photo of it for myself, and have decided to share it with you.

This entry really has very little to do with felting, but with the unexpected beauty that God offers up each and every day, no matter what we did or didn't accomplish.

BTW, the hat that I made had to be over dyed and I'll share that within the next few days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Already?

I can hardly believe how fast time is moving....must be a true sign of aging, and not one that I appreciate much. However, it does bring to mind that time is limited and therefore, one must work hard to even try to get some of the ideas brought to fruition!

This past week has been spent trying to get some felts made, dyeing silks for nuno felt that will be up soon, (I hope), planning some workshops, writing proposals for next seasons teaching schedule and just in general trying to pull it all together, however in very short, attention deficit disorder spurts. (It's not easy being me!) It will all come together, but not necessarily as I had hoped. I could just eat and felt and think my days were completely happy. There is just this other stuff that has to be taken care of too that I find disruptive to my day. I find myself multitasking on a level far bigger than I am. (Washing silk, cutting silk, dyeing silk, writing proposals, opps forgot about the dye pot, phone calls....layout on a nuno, another phone call, roll the felt, check the dye pot, shipping orders, did the dog get her medication? and what's for dinner? roll the felt some more, HUH, are you talking to me?) Anyway, it's been that kind of week. I'm glad I have anything to show for!

First photo is of a hat that I made this week, the background is of a silk that I dyed in olive and a hunter green color. The olive split in the dye bath...I love when that happens because all of these wonderful under and over tones emerge to create something incredible and unpredictable. I love that!

The other pics are of silk that I dyed and the champagne and brown nuno is from a silk that I got from Elis Vermullen. It was too pale of a color in champagne for me to feel comfortable with so I over dyed it and then applied the wool to it. It is a small triangular shawl. The texture is just wonderful and I love the color play on it. I added some orange, purple and black wool. It has a very autumn feel to it. Thank you Elis!

It's the end of the sales season for me and I have only 4 hats left, no nunos except the ones I've started to make. I think with all of the ideas running through my head, it's going to be a nice winter to stay inside and create.

Also wanted to let you all know that the Felt United site is up and wonderful! Do take a peek! There are more than 1000 pictures of felts from all over the world, incredible felts! Amazing felts. I love this medium!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Alas, I didn't get it!

I had hoped to get some photos of the wraps I'd completed before they sold, but it didn't happen, just this one. This wrap is being worn by Channel 7, Detroit, news anchor, Kim. She did not buy it, just modeled it for me. She is beautiful and sweet!

All of the nuno felts sold, so I am busy making more. The whole week has been filled with dyeing, felting, dyeing some more and felting some more. Tonight I am having dinner with good friends and am looking forward to the break. Sometimes, my brain just hurts form the ideas and color combinations going through my head. I'll never have enough time to get all of the ideas completed! I'm sure you all have the same problem, don't you?

Peace to you all,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fiber Expo

I'm off to the Fiber Expo here in Michigan in a few short hours. Since getting back from Rhinebeck, NY it's been busy here, dyeing and felting, mostly scarves. These are just some photos of the pieces that I did. I didn't get a chance to photograph them in their wearable state. Hopefully I'll get to do that this weekend.

Have a blessed weekend and happy felting!
Oh, did you see the moon the past few days/nights? Outstanding!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Autumn in New York and Thank God for Rhinebeck!

Each year I look forward to Rhinebeck and the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. When all other shows are down or slow, Rhinebeck never fails to be an adventurous, profitable and beautiful show. The buyers are educated, knowledgeable, share openly and teachers are outstanding! It is my favorite show, hands down. We had some pretty severe winds on Saturday, 50 mph gusts and the booth took a bit of a beating, but it survived. Sunday was a perfect autumn day with stunning color, sunshine, 68 degrees and lots of people. Check out the parking lot...and that's only part of it!

Little Ms. Ammie came to see me again this year! I love seeing her. We've been fiber friends for 3 or 4 years now. It is always wonderful to see the changes in her. What a lovely young woman she is becoming! She is wearing the red hat, that I think looks wonderful with her full crop of great hair! The hat was made for one such as this. It went home with her.

I'm home and happy to be so. I leave again for another show this weekend. Then the travels will be over except for teaching commitments. I am looking forward to the "down time" and spending time at the dining room table creating and experimenting with felt. What an incredible gift felt is!

Happy felting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Women in dreads/ Strong Women

My parents are the "snow birds" in our family. Mom has already traveled to Fla., but before she left, we got to spend an afternoon with her. This is a photo of my mom and four of her five daughters. The three boys couldn't make it to have dinner with us. One sister missed out too. I so wish this photo would have been of my mom with all of her girls. Maybe next year. My mom is the most amazing person I know. I've thought long and hard lately about the love of a mother. It is that one rare love that I have that no one else can ever have for me. She knows all about me and loves me no matter what. My mom is as close to me as my heart. I cannot imagine my life without her. Even thinking about life without her puts a huge lump in my throat. It is good to be loved. Each one of her children has been taught astonishing strength in weakness, calm in the storm, steadfastness when everyone else leaves, do the right thing even when it is the hardest thing. I am so blessed by this woman. I hope that your mom is a blessing to you too.

Perspective: I've asked my mom to refer to me as her first born instead of her oldest child. I remember being 13 and loving being the oldest...not so much anymore! First born sounds better to me the older I get!
The time has come for me to get packing for Rhinebeck NY. I am not finding much time for felting, but I am making these brooches, these wonderful "dreaded women". They look great as a pin or brooch, wonderful as an additive on a bag, great closure on a wrap. They are time consuming, different and for now, about all I have time for. I'll be packing the van, making some final "bling batts' for the sale and planning the booth space. It's about a 14 hour drive and hopefully this year we won't run into snow! It was so cold last year. I am praying for good weather.

I am getting a lot of emails concerning classes. I will be planning some in November. If you are interested, please let me know so I can add you to the list. Also, let me know what classes you are interested in.

Got to get to bed... it's nearly Monday!