Saturday, February 27, 2010

Flim Flam Man

I was walking through the grocery store on Thursday just looking for stuff to eat, when a song I'd long loved, and had long forgotten about popped into my head. I began singing it to myself...because no one else would want to hear it, (and though I've never tried it, I think spontaneous singing in public is probably frowned on in Plainwell.) It stayed in my head for days, but I've enjoyed every minute of it. The song? "Flim Flam Man" by the very talented, singer- poet, song-writer, Laura Nyro. For those first brief moments of that song being played in my head, I was delightfully 20 years old again. It is wonderful that music is able to transform us, transport us, to bring joy, hope, tears, laughter, and memories. It is a true sweetness in living.

Then I began thinking about Laura Nyro and her wonderful lyrics. Her songs, sung by so many others, had literally cocooned a great span of my time on earth. Just some of her songs include: Wedding Bell Blue's, Blowin Away, Stoned Soul Picnic, Sweet Blindness by the 5th Dimension, Spanish Harlem by Ben E. King, Stoney End and Time and Love by Barbara Streisand , And When I Die by Blood Sweat and Tears, Eli's Comin' by Three Dog Night, La La Means I love You by the Delfonics, Up On The Roof, by the Drifters, and that's just some of her incredible song writing. Laura died in the late 90's from ovarian cancer I think. Of all the songs she wrote, Flim Flam Man remains a high favorite of mine and I am so glad that it spontaneously popped into my head.

I have been making felt. I've been working on some nuno / laminate felts. I am still amazed by the amount of shrinkage that occurs with these felts. The texture is simply yummy. The turquoise hat is made of a merino and angora 50/50 blend. It has a very soft halo of bunny on the surface. The scarf is felted with 100% merino.

It has been a day of resting, sleeping a lot, down time, and I've enjoyed it very much. Tomorrow will bring new joys, new energies, and it's own song. I'm so glad that Laura Nyro will be there, refreshed in my musical memories.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Subtle Changes

While I was doing the lay out for this laminate / nuno felt scarf, I decided to play with the lay out a bit to see if it would bring about the subtlest of changes on the surface of the silk. It is very subtle, but it did make some very nice different patterns in the silk. Now I am wondering if by leaving strategic places on the layout if I could create a design that would actually look like something, flowers perhaps. I am random in texture and color play, so that will be an idea for someone else to try, but if you do, I'd like to know if it works. Maybe I will try it with geometric designs. That might be fun.

Looking over my show schedule for this year, I've come to realize that my stock is rather low and I need to kick start the felting again. I see 12-16 hours a day ahead of me, but I count it all joy when I am making felt. I never get tired of making felt.

Oh, the hat, well, it was blue and I just never really loved it, just thought it was ok. Well, as you know, I am prone to throwing things in the dye pot, and this hat fell victim to the GREAT DUNK. I love it now, and it sold immediately. It has a deep chestnut color to it, even though I over dyed it with black. The color is warm, rich, soothing now. I love what happens in the dye pot. Now, I'll miss this hat!

I hope you get to spend your weekend with people you love to be with, that your ideas are overflowing, that your efforts are appreciated and that your felts give you joy.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy, Flashy,Toasy Feet

"How Beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!"
- Isaiah 52:7

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
- Psalm 119:105

It is a good day, it is a very good day. Had some morning errands to run, but when I got back the mail had arrived and there was a package for me, from the beloved Brigitte! In the package were these beautiful , hand knit socks. A while back, the marvelous Martha, had sent me a pair of SVEN's in this bright gold color, that I'm still unsure if I'll have the moxie to wear them, but I did have to show them off. I cherish hand knit socks. They are so special to me. I love these shoes, but what to wear with them? Got any ideas?

Off to dye more stuff.



(This is what I wore to dinner with friends tonight. They loved the shoes!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Hat that I'll Miss

This hat sold today and is on it's way to France, however, I will miss it a great deal. The colors were so much fun, so ethereal, and the felt was really strong. I hope the woman who purchased it will love it as much as I did.

Several weeks ago I had made another felt vessel, but when it was all said and done, it did not rock my world. So into the dye pot for good dip it went and I love the results. I first over dyed with hot fuchsia, then lilac. The colors underneath were all over the place, from greens to blues to reds and oranges. The dye pot allowed for a wonderful variation on those colors. The neon purple thingies are flattened silk pods. I love how they took the dye, wonderful color! there are also glass beads in the felt on the far left side. I think they are probably visible in an enlarged photo. I love the way they play with the light.

I am dyeing merino silks today and planning a bag for a bit later this afternoon. Again, I am struck by too many ideas, and not enough of me.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Island City Art Hop HUGE Success!

Ms. Allison finished up her boots in time for the wonderful Island City Art Hop last night. She decided to bead the rams on the outer side of the boots. They got many comments of high praise and unfortunately, they did not sell. They are so lovely, I'm sure that they will.

The Plainwell Art Hop was a a huge success, even for me in a rather out of the way location. I can only imagine that many of the folks that were in the "walking" part of show had a wonderful response to their exhibits. The main part of the hop was in the downtown Plainwell shops, all walking distance from each other. The weather was wonderful, cool, crisp, clear, no wind, not snow. It really was just wonderful for those that attended. I sold a ton of stuff and came home with far more money than I ever thought I would. Sold a bunch of hats, wraps, felted soaps, and have made wonderful contacts, including several galleries that I want to carry my items. I did not expect much, but much was delivered from this first time Art Hop. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and brought home as much money as I did. Suffice it to say, I was shocked at my earnings. Thank you Plainwell and surrounding areas! I am honored that you spent the time and the money with me.

Since I closed my shop several years ago, there are so many people, customers, that I don't get to see anymore. It was such delight to be able to see them again. We kinda got the chance to catch up, share, talk about classes, and just be together.

Today, I will unpack the van, put stuff away, answer some emails, pack up the orders, talk with my mom, take a nap, have salmon for dinner, a glass of wine before bed, a count the many blessings of this day. Today, I will rejoice, give thanks, and be glad in this day.

Shalom and joy to you,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Scent of a Woman on Felt

This past Sunday, my dear friend Alice, along with 16 others, was here for Sabbath dinner. After we ate a wonderful feast, had good fellowship, and a good bit of laughter, Alice wondered out to the front porch (my mini shop on the front of our house--that has no insulation, is all glass and where I freeze all winter, and get slow roasted all summer) to find my felted bracelets. She immediately took two of them. Alice has purchased several of my felt hats, scarves, vessels in the past, but the jewelry was quite a different thing. In the past, Alice and I have long talked about the joys of wearing felt, how the scent of the woman becomes a part of the fabric in a unique way, we think, maybe unlike other fabrics. We find this to be especially true in felt jewelry and felt hats. Alice, like me, does not like to coolness of metal jewelry. These felt bangles solve the problem of coolness next to the skin, provide some warmth, and hopefully, some pleasure to the wearer and the observer.

There are two 100% felt cuffs that were then beaded, then there are several that are felted beads strung together, and then there are the wooden bangles that are encased in felt. All have been great fun to make, the beading is getting more enjoyable ( now that I keep my cheaters close by) and so far, I think folks think they are kind of pretty.

Now to get ready for the Plainwell Art Hop.

is a blog for bag gals to check out. really lovely stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shalom to you,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Plainwell's Art Hop

For many years there have been local art hops, but this will be the first in Plainwell. It is this Friday night from 5-9pm with local business's opening their doors to artists to share their space. How gracious of them! If you live near the area, and the weather is permitting, it would be great to see you there. There will be three felt artist showing their goods. One is my friend, Dawn Edwards and myself. I will be presenting Ms. Allison's works as well. I am so proud of her artful eye.

This is the vessel that I made several days ago, now with the arrangement in it for the Art Hop Sale.

The green eye glass case has many eyes on it, one of the beaded. It it has a cord to hang around the neck, for those of us, (like me) who have a tendency to lose our cheaters or spare glasses. This was made of all merino and merino silk, with the merino silk on the inside so not to damage the glasses. I've wanted to get to some bags, but time is slipping away too fast, each day, faster and faster. Though this is relatively small, it took a good many hours to get it done. This is one of those things one makes for pure fiber play, not to sell. It might be a very nice gift too.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bright Lights and Cheaters

Over the past few days I've been working on some felt vessels. I'll have more to show in the days to come. This one was created over a flat resist, using Lincoln-Teeswater cross, with some angora and merino added to the mix, along with hand dyed silk roving and silk fabric pieces (5mm) on the surface. It is so thick, so strong, it stands beautifully. I think I used 8 layers of roving to build up the strength and sturdiness and felted it really hard. In its final state, it measures 13x13.5 inches. After it was dry, out came the BRIGHT LIGHTS and CHEATERS! (Oh my, these eyes are getting old.) Doing the bead work was a challenge unto itself. It's something I usually do at night, and the lighting in our home is not great. The beading was fun, but challenging. I may still add some more things to this vessel, but for now, I'm giving my tired eyes a rest.

Everyone who has seen this piece thinks that it is a stone...exactly what I was hoping to achieve.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ms. Allison

I've been working with a young lady, Ms. Allison, who has long enjoyed my hats and is now learning to make felt herself. She was in a class a few entries back and made a black and pink bag, that was wonderfully made. We've struck a deal. I'll teach her something felt related for a day then she'll work in studio for me for a day. She is young, she is eager to learn, she is talented and I so enjoy her company. She is a dear.

Here Allison is working on a pair of boots with flat resist. She also used prefelt inlay for the ram design. She is going to embroider around the ram in black yarn to make him pop. The boots were made from a lincoln-teeswater cross wool. The results were spectacular.

The fingerless mittens I made. I started them out as a lime green but the color was too intense for me and lacked a great deal of personality, in my opinion. I over dyed them and now think they has a decent personality. (Sometimes I wish a plop in the dye pot would change my personality, especially on those snarly days.)

I've also picked up a couple of new books over the past few weeks. One looked great for interior design and felt, but to my dismay, it was all commercially produced felt, not that that's bad, it was just not my focus. Some of the ideas are pretty cool, and I may try some of the ideas in the future. I'll try to get them listed in the next few days.

Lots going on in life right now so it may be a bit before I get back to the blog.
Make happy felt!