Monday, June 28, 2010

What makes felt so fascinating, so fabulous, so addictive?

I've been thinking a good bit about my love affair with felt, nearly a 10 year passion and journey. As I am looking forward, and knowing full well, that I'll no longer be able to spend the amount of time with the beloved wool as I have in the past.

About 7pm last night I decided I wanted to make a felt hat. Hadn't made one in a long while so decided to do it. Dishes were done, the house was quiet, it would be good to get my hands back on the wool. I selected the resist, the fibers, the colors, the surface stuffs and poured a small glass of wine. So began the hat making of last night. (Wine is not the usual part of it for just was last night.)

All the while, I kept thinking about going back to nursing, being away from home 8-10 hours a day, having to give up the fiber art shows, and the loss of personal independence. After running my own business for 10 years, going to work for someone else might be a difficult transition. But things are what they are. I live in Michigan. Our economy is awful. I have skills that can bring in much more money that fiber art (nearly anything would do that!)

What about the fiber am I going to miss the most?
I think it comes to this; I am going to miss the continual fascination of being a part of creating felt, watching the fibers come together, the fluidity of the fibers melting into each other, forming structure, taking form, transforming from individual fibers into single fabric. It is just such fabulous stuff, it's just so fascinating to feel it happen. I will miss the daily dose of making felt. Felt is my addiction, and I am not ashamed.

There is also the loss of personal goals. I have long wanted to be a really good felt maker. That takes time and practice, successes and failures, experimentation, understanding, tactile knowledge, something almost visceral. There are too many ideas in my head that I wanted to get out on felt. Making felt is what I want to do the rest of my life. These are goals I have to release.

I've been in denial, experienced anger, tried to bargain, certainly experienced depression, and at long last, have come to some level of acceptance that life is going to change. I can either whine and complain about it or get on board for the changes that God has provided for me.

It will be several months before all of these changes come about, so for now, I am going to enjoy the incredible, fascinating, fabulous gift and challenge that we call Felt!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fascinating Felt, Felt Fabulous Workshop Date Set

These are just some hanks of the yarns I spin while Jim and I watch TV at night. Though I'd love to, I can't be felting all the time. These will go off to a local shop.

Since I closed the shop some years ago, it's been very difficult for me to teach more than one or two people at a time, and usually at my dining room table, surrounded by a house that needs to be cleaned, desperately! However, I have 5 women who have asked me to teach them at one time, so I had to search for a place to do a workshop. I've found the perfect place and a wonderful group of folks to work with. I am opening the class room up to additional students, so if you are interested, please do contact me and pre-register for the workshop.

Felt Fabulous Making Workshop*

Pre-registration is required

First Come, First In

What: Flat resist one of a kind hat or a multi-resist felt bag-students choice

Where : Otsego Area Historic Museum, 218 N. Farmer Street in Otsego, MI

air conditioned! Large work area

When: August 7th , 2010, from 9am-5pm

Cost of class: $65.00

I will supply everything you need to make your project.

Students need to bring:

2 large bath towels

Apron if desired

Calculator, design ideas, black magic marker, sharp scissors

Something to drink—especially water

Sack Lunch and snack

Wear clothes that can get wet, be very comfortable in your clothing choices.

If you have any questions, please call Suzanne at 269-685-6189 or on cell 269-330-0115

Monday, June 21, 2010

Construction Zone

Seems as though I'll be making pods for a good bit. Have orders for them and am enjoying the randomness of designing in my head!

This one is very much like the first in shape and design. I am planning others that will be more abstract in shape. I'm tempted to hang is outdoors, but knowing how fast the birds moved in last time, I'll not chance it. I am however very, and pleasantly surprised at how natural they look hanging from a tree limb. It doesn't look showy nor peculiar, simply interesting. I can imagine a whole backyard filled with lots of different color, shaped and designed pods, filled with feathered friends from many places. It would be nice to become "their summer home" stop.

The fact that these are like wombs to me and that there is life in's good enough.
Much Peace to you,

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Kids In Town Loving Felt Too!

On a whim, I decided to hang the felt pod outside of my office window Sunday late afternoon. After my walk this morning, I was delighted to find a pair purple finches moving in! They are busy bring nesting materials into the pod and singing orders to each other. Some of the sticks that they brought to put in don't exactly fit, so there is a small pile of sticks gathering under the pod. Pictured here is the squirrel that I thought would move in, but the finches got there first. Their noise is like music! I cannot even begin to express the absolute joy I am experiencing knowing that these beautiful new friends have moved into the pod I made. I am nearly giddy with delight and reminded that simple joys are surrounding me everyday.

I know I have to hit the books and get back to studying! Exam day is coming up soon. Last week was a lost week. Our daughter Dianna fell down a flight of stairs and broke her ankle in three spot. I had to take her to Mackinaw Island where she was scheduled to speak on Tuesday, returned Wednesday, doctor visit on Thursday, and her surgery is scheduled for this week. Seems I am getting some close up and personal nursing in before the exam!

I've been making spinning/felting batts, doing a bit of spinning, and planning my next felt projects. Most of these will have to wait until the exam is over, however, even the planning of them is mental delight. If you are interested in some of the batts that I've made, my friend Carolyn is selling them in her Etsy shop. You can see them at: They are wonderful to spin, and pretty nice for felting as well. I use commercial and hand dyed merino, silks, angora, kid mohair in nearly all of them. Here is a picture of one of the batts, part felted, part spun.

Off to enjoy the day. I hope you find blessings in yours!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Mandolin Pod

It's been a bit since I've spent any time here, and it is likely to be a good bit more before I get back here. I am getting ready for the upcoming show season, teaching, and studying for the state boards every moment I can. I've missed blogging and sharing, but somethings got to give and it is my time with you all right now.

The mandolin pod is made out of hand dyed Lincoln/Teeswater cross with a silk cap overlay and seed beading at the orifice. I made it so that it could be hung from a tree with a loop handle. If I were a squirrel, I think I'd like to live in this pod. It would be soft, quiet, comfortable. Not being a squirrel, I can only imagine that it might be kind of nice in there...almost womb like.