Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
My current venues are:
this blog, obviously, Indiepublic, FaceBook, Hooked n Felt website, Flickr, Ravelry, Etsy, Google +, ...and probably a couple of places that are not coming to mind right off the top of my head, like Pinterest and Linkedin. When does it all just become too much? Too much time, too much energy, too much information, too much invasion of creative space? Really, are all of these necessary? Why?
Got thoughts? Would love to hear them...and what is it that brings you back to this blog? What would you like to see here?
...anyway, I've been making a goodly number of flowers for the galleries that I supply and I've been dyeing 5mm habotai silk for nuno felting. You can find the new fabrics on my etsy. I am in a good spot on the energy-meter and that feels wonderful...coming out of the holiday funk....yeah!
Good Peace to you and Shalom,
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I've been dyeing a good bit, but only for myself. This is a newly listed piece of 5 mm Habotai silk that I dyed and named BREATHLESS because the colors simply left me that way. I adore this piece of silk. I've too many projects in front of my right now, so this one has to go up for sale. I do wish my old camera could capture the nuisances of the colorways. Totally YUMMY colors.
I've been making and selling a lot of hats and tams and so have not made much felt lately, but decided that I would make a few small pieces of felt jewelery pieces. This is one of them and yes I did do some hand sewing on it...but it was just a few stitches, so I don't think it really counts as sewing, does it?
About 4 years ago, I was given a huge book on needlework, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, applique, crochet, macrame, pacthwork, rug-making, quilting and lacework. I am most interested in the embroidery stitches. Pam MacGregor, http://www.tarveycottagestudio.com/will be here this next week and I hope to have her show me a few of the stitches. She does amazing, yet very simple, stitch work. She does "elegant simple" the best of anyone I've seen. I am very much looking forward to the time with her. We will also be doing some experimentation with the Feltscraft.com Rolling Machine during her three day stay. Should be more fun with felters!
We had our first real snow this week. Already I am looking forward to the long hours of white, gray, cold, but not the shoveling, of the lovely white stuff, so much. There is an amazing stillness in winter that is astoundingly beautiful. A full moon on newly fallen snow...what a memory, what a sight!
Off to go enjoy the rest of this day.
Happy Felting, Shalom,
Oh, One more thing:
Sometimes we want to do good... but we don't know where to help.
Dear Linda is a fellow-feltmaker who could use the goodness of our hearts, our prayers, thoughts, encouragement and obviously any financial support we can give her as she struggles with the payment of specialized cancer treatment. Please think about it and help if you can.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I've been crocheting a good bit lately. My shoulders have taken quiet a beating with so much felt-making and now it is time to simply sit and make hats of a different sort. I love theses snood, tam, rolled hats. They can be worn in many different ways all from one style. Love making them! ...and I get to watch movies while doing it. Can you tell I am having some very nice afternoons?
About my brother...he is doing better, home with his family and recovery nicely. Thanks so much for your concerns and prayers.
This is a hairy little thing made from wools that had been gifted to me. I had no idea how they would felt, and this is the vessel that came from that experience. I wish it were a bit shorter, but all in all, it was fun.
The first felt piece shown is also an experimental piece, a piece still in "process". I've not a clue as to where it is leading me, but I am going to enjoy the journey.
Good Sabbath and Shalom,
Friday, November 18, 2011
We are trying not to turn our furnace on and as the temps drop out of doors, it gets more and more difficult to find ways to keep warm without the furnace. We have three "hot spots" in the house, the bathroom and my studio/dining room/office and Jim's office. We have little space heaters in these rooms to chase away the chill, and I, of course, keep a felt hat on to stay warm. Our little "QUEEN" Frankie, the chihuahua, has found the perfect solution to keeping her skinny self warm...a full fleece of Icelandic wool. Oh yes, it is good to be the QUEEN!
My brother, Jason, remains in the hospital, is having trouble with speech, balance, has passed out or possibly another stroke. Had a rough night. Please continue your prayers on his behalf. We appreciate them and pray that God honors them all.
ps: Nice article on felting...enjoy!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I hope to get some more nuno done tomorrow, and some dyeing as well. I've not made a hat in so long, I wonder if I still can. Must try to do one sometime soon.
Just got a phone call that my brother has had a stroke. He is 14 yrs. my junior, just set a Guiness World Record for number of pull-ups in one minute (67!!!!!!!) and is in really great health. We are carriers of a genetic disorder called "sticky platelet syndrome" and stroke is very common, very early. Another brother had a stroke at 23. He survived, but is monitored very closely. This news has quite overwhelmed me. If you are a person of prayer, we would appreciate your prayers.
Gotta go for now.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
That's it for tonight. What did you make today?
Shalom and Happy Felting!
yet another choice in the design process....
Sunday, November 13, 2011
For several years I've been talking about forming a feltmakers group, FELT CLUB, that would meet periodically throughout the year to share, encourage, teach, and help each one become better skilled at the art/skill of feltmaking. At the class that I taught in Otsego a few weeks ago, it was brought up again and this time, Dear Karin was there to really push me and help me in the process. Since I am not by nature a terribly organized person, I need help in that area. Karin is innately organized and well connected in the community, while I tend to stay mostly to myself. It looks like FELT CLUB will start in January 2012 on a Saturday. Further details will follow as Karin and I get them worked out, but for now, we need to know if you are interested in becoming a part of FELT CLUB. This is not a commitment, just need to know if you are interested. Karin and I are also looking to keep the cost very reasonable so that many can join. I'm asking that you respond to this blog post or contact me through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When we meet it will be from 9AM-5PM with a pot luck lunch. We will be able to work on felt projects, build community, enjoy each other. We are looking for ideas and hope that you will freely share ideas for FELT CLUB. For example, a study of differing types of wool/fibers, so that we could each make a book of felted fiber samples. What would you like to do at FELT CLUB? Don't be shy, we need all the ideas you very talented, creative women have to make this a great experience for all of us.
I hope to get the skirt done this week. I cannot stop dreaming about it. At least in my dreams, it looks wonderful. Now to bring it to fruition.
Shalom and Happy Felting!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Each class is one day only, but you will have choices on which day works best for your schedule. Space is limited and it will be first come first served. For more information call Kelly at Your Local Yarn Shop, 2171 Columbia Ave W Battle Creek, MI 49015
Do you have any idea how terrifying it is to stand in front of a group of eager workshop participants and tell them that you know absolutely NOTHING about the color wheel...and they are counting on you for dyeing techniques? Sometimes I wonder what I am doing even teaching dyeing. Am I out of my mind? Okay, let's just not go there right now... but I can teach what I know...how to dye the silk, float color, get intensity, pattern and make beautiful nuno. So far, the classes have been successful...but I am anticipating that one failure that is due to occur. Grrrrrrrrrrr!
I have a nuno skirt in mind, so much so that it is infiltrating my dreams on a nightly basis. I've simply got to get the table cleared off and get it laid out and get rolling! I've been drawing in out, thinking, planning, making samples, discovering shrinkage rate...now is the time to implement!
There are so many family things going on right now, aging and ill parents, moving them into appropriate living spaces, doctor appointments, packing up their apartments, disposing of things, selling things, oh it is all exhausting. Makes me what to get rid of everything in my home so that my children never have to do this for me. Then, I look around at just the wool in this house and know they will have to put on a fiber festival here in our yard if I die.
One of the gals whose work I took with me to Rhinebeck is Elynn Bernstein. Her web site is:
www.amanostudios.com Please go check out her clothing line, it is simply amazing. Ellyn makes amazing coats and her nuno is simply lovely! I was so honored to rep her delicious felts. Love her style!
Sorry about the faceless nuno felts. After a day of work, I looked tired and cut off the face on purpose. Some days, it just ain't that nice to look at!
If you can come to one of the classes, that would be great. If you can't, will you share the information with a friend?
Thanks for popping by!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Whirlwind of events lately, have taken their toll on my energy. Rhinebeck, NY was a wonderful event, then off to Ann Arbor, MI for Fiber Expo, set up, tear down, drive 14 hours here, sleep best you can then off to the next place, again, another 14+ hour drive, total exhaustion. Finally, I am home, back where the food is outstanding, the arms are warm, the eyes soft on mine, the bed is mine. Home, my favorite place to be.
I taught a nuno felt workshop this past Saturday, and I've just got to say that it was the hardest class I've ever taught, the most rewarding, the most honest, and I gave the most I've ever given in a class; so much so that I was unable to get out of bed on Sunday from the total fatigue of it all. From now on, I will always teach this way.
Thirteen wonderful women showed up for this dyeing and nuno felting workshop. I was so honored by their presence and absolutely in love with the works they produced. Each one was unique, totally beautiful, well executed, simply spectacular. I expect to see so many wonderful things in nuno coming from these gals. The whole room had great anticipation as we all monitored what the outcome of the wraps. I'll be quiet for now and let the pictures do the talking. Ladies, do take a bow. Your handiwork is lovely!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I've set up a nuno felting class for Saturday, October 29th, at the Otsego Historic Society building, 218 North Farmer Street from 9AM-5PM in Otsego Michigan. We will dye the silk and then nuno the silk, like what I've shown in the photos above. Space is limited, it will be first come first serve so do let me know as soon as possible. You can let me know on Face Book or via my website email which is: email@example.com Cost is 125.00 for the day. I will supply silks, dyes, mordant, and wools. Will have a complete list of supplies later. Remember, space is limited, first come first served.
Please bring with you:
lunch and water to drink
LARGE glass bowl that will never be used for food again
3 old towels
pool noodle if you have one
apron, if desired
we will be working in dyes so wear old clothes in case an accident happens or a plastic apron.
The class is now filled.
See you all then!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I'll tell you all about it when I get back. I am really looking forward to the travel (14 hours) and seeing everyone. I hope one of the folks I see is you!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
The colors for this years FELT UNITED event are red, blue and purple. It should be exciting to see what we all come up with. Please do come and join us if you can. It won't be the same without you.
See you there!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Last weekend was the Wisc. Sheep and Wool Festival, where my friend Brigitte DeMaster and I share a booth. The weather was PERFECT, and we got to see many familiar faces and friends. Dear Martha Steines repeatedly stressed to me that I had to enter the dress and cape in the design competition. I've never entered any such thing before so was very reluctant to do so. Finally I relented and entered. Martha was such an encouragement and I got "Best in Show". Shocked and humbled, I was. There were gorgeous items in the design category. I was really honored to win and happy that I have friends who push me out of my comfort zone. God bless you Martha and Brigitte. You bless me always! (My friend Zelda is wearing the nuno dress and cape in the photo, I am wearing one of my nuno scarves.)
While at both the Michigan Fiber Festival and Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, I got to see Chris from Briar Rose Fibers:
Chris usually dyes beautiful yarns, but has started dyeing silk bricks that are so spectacular! I've posted the link and let her know that I was going to share the information with you all. I do a lot of dyeing of silk fibers...this stuff blows my socks off! Great colorways, very good prices. Let Chris know you found the information here, please. Are these silks YUMMY or what?
Often I am asked to teach and have decided that with the upcoming show schedule, I have only one more option for teaching this year, unless there is a miracle. So, I've set up a nuno felting class for Saturday, October 29th, at the Otsego Historic Society building from 9AM-5PM in Otsego Michigan. We will dye the silk and then nuno the silk, like what I've shown in the photos above. Space is limited, it will be first come first serve so do let me know as soon as possible. You can let me know on Face Book or via my website email which is: firstname.lastname@example.org Cost is 125.00 for the day. I will supply silks, dyes, mordant, and wools. Will have a complete list of supplies later. Remember, space is limited, first come first served.
The days are becoming tipped in autumn, a fresh coolness in the air, birds flocking together, spiders laying eggs for next years' crop of spinners. The sky looks bluer, the clouds whiter, a fullness of time fills the abundance of this good earth and the goodness of God seems exceptionally clear during these shortening days of daylight, even the moon seems brighter somehow. These are days of early morning walks with sweater snugly wrapping my shoulders, a felt hat on my head, an awareness that these days too are limited before the winter white envelopes us. I love these days of color tipped trees and cooler weather. They are my favorites always. I remember more easily now the days of harvest on the farm, the canning of tomatoes, pickles, beets, corn, peaches, pears...the days of final hay cutting and baling, all things harvested, fields cleared, the rush to get it all done before the snow. Just writing this has brought back a vivid memory of warm apple cider on a field trip I took with my daughter... hay rides, root vegetables, cool air, and cold nose kisses. I love this time of year.
Okay, I'd better stop before I get lost down memory lane and can't make it back.
God bless and Shalom,
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I love-love-love teaching. You get to meet the neatest folks, build friendships, laugh a lot, and watch together the wonder of felt happen. The joy of watching that for the first time with someone who has never done it before, is just a pure pleasure treasure for me. Do you remember the first time you made felt? Do you remember that lovely feeling, that smile?
Okay, now about the nuno dress...
It is a project that I've been working on for some time and there are other components that I hope to add to it as time allows, but for now, here is " the skinny" on how I created the fabric.
1) dye Habotai silk ...I used 5mm
2) cover tables with towels, then cover towels with 2mm plastic large enough to cover your project or table surface
3) lay out silk on the plastic and apply thin wisps of super fine merino wool
4) wet fibers and fabric with COLD SOAPY water
5) cover with another piece of plastic large enough to cover your project or table surface
6) massage with a large sponge the entire surface of the wool/silk for about 10 minutes...a wet sponge works best to rub over the plastic.
7) then roll everything up on a pool noodle, except the towels, firmly, but not tight.
8) after that, then roll your roll in the towel and begin rolling . ( I roll 1000 times in one direction, then un-roll and roll from the other end 1000 times...and yes I actually count them all.)
9) then flip and begin the rolling again.
10) if the wool has not migrated through to my satisfaction, I begin again, and usually do roll a piece about 8000 times. (long arm roll, not short little rolls)
11) then I rinse and toss into the dryer, wet but not soaking, on AIR ONLY to do the tossing for me. It produces incredible texture and saves my arms a bit. This process in the dyer must be closely monitored, say like every 5 minutes to make sure the fibers are not sticking to each other and that they continue to migrate through the silk. Allow to bang around in there until you get the texture that you want on your finished product. A couple of tennis balls help a bit too.
Nope, no bubble wrap...I want the warmth of my hands as close to the feltmaking and fibers process as possible. I also do not use a netting over the wool. I figure that with the nuno laid out between two pieces of plastic, the wool has no where to go except into the silk. Pulling the netting up has disturbed the fibers for me in the past, so I simply do not use it anymore.
This is how I make nuno, and there are many other ways that create wonderful results. Everyone does something different and each piece reflects the hand of the maker. Do you have some pointers to share? Would love to hear them! I hope this "how to" is helpful to you.
After the fabric was made, it went off to Emy Myner, a skilled and creative seamstress, who helped me with the design and details of the dress. I wanted a very simple dress because the fabric and color are so striking. I think we achieved our goal. I am hoping to have some professional photos taken of the dress very soon...but like I said, I am taking a breather...it's been a busy three weeks.
Photos by Jim Higgs and Beth Pulsipher.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I'll be teaching at the Michigan Fiber Festival. I was informed by the workshop committee that I have some openings remaining in the multiple resist bag class. The details are on the Michigan Fiber Festival website,if you are interested. The other classes have filled. I will not be teaching any nuno classes at this event, but nuno will be incorporated into the bags if desired.
So much to do, so this is all for today.
Be Happy and touch others with your gifts,
Thursday, July 21, 2011
is where I'm heading off to in a few short hours. I just returned from beautiful Asheville, NC and home just long enough to catch my breath, do a bit of dyeing, unpack and re-pack the van, do laundry, answer a few emails, pack orders, pay bills, all while under incredible heat indexes. I can not function well in this heat, so I keep ice packs on my person at all times. We do not have central air, only a small window air conditioner. It at least dries it out...or so that's what I am suppose to say, right?
Sold most of my nuno while in Asheville, so I am heading off to Castle Farm with very little other than newly dyed silks. I have one I am working on, but that may be more than I can accomplish right now. The air conditioner is keep the house at 88 degrees. Can you tell the heat is bothering me?
I leave you with these photos of the newly dyed silks. I am getting requests to teach a nuno class in October. Are you interests? If so, I need to hear from you so that I can finalize the dates.
Shalom and good felting!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I got to thinking about how our felt bird pods....(you've made one, haven't you?) are really green and they last a long time even left out of doors throughout the year. I just love the versatility of felt and felt products.
This is a small sample of the next project I am working on. It may be mid August before I get it all done. I am the slowest feltmaker ever!
Off to get more stuff ready to go.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Hi Suzanne, Well, last week I taught my sister-in-law to nuno felt and she is now obsessed with it. Her very first project was on black silk. She made peonies and daisies and it turned out gorgeous. We have ordered more silk and are inviting another friend over tomorrow to do another project. It really can become addicting and so fun to see what happens. I really would like to try to make a tunic like you showed us at the workshop. Do you have any suggestions? Would I only felt the center section of fabric? Do you have a photo of your tunic anywhere on the internet? Anyway, wish you were here to help and to see the enthusiasm that your class has engendered! Warm regards, Pam
Iron Mountain, MI
As you know if you are a regular reader here, I cannot sew! and seek to work in uncomplicated lines. My focus this year is on two basic shapes: rectangles and circles. The tunic is one such rectangle. Here is how I did it:
I laid out the hand dyed silk on my table top with a good amount of fabric, evenly draping off the ends and sides of the table, then nuno felted the table top fabric only. the a hole was cut for the head in the center of the rectangle and it was sewn from waist to arm pit area only. Tie were applied to the back of the tunic so that it can be sized that was. It is pretty simple to do...it has to be, I did it! (Need I say more about that?)
Hope it helps my friends in Iron Mountain and beyond.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
You will be the talk of the town, wearing this creation! Using hand-dyed merino prefelts, needle & wet felt techniques that are unique to prefelts, you will create a fab & Warm neckwrap you will be proud to say “I made this!” Basic glass fusing will be discussed. Minimum Age for Class:18, Students should bring 2 towels, sharp fabric scissors-beginners are welcome!
Location: Vendor Booth
Material Fee: $45.00
Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Total Cost: $135.00
Felting with Pre-felts-Making a unique hat with Jone Rakoski
A fab way to create a hat! Using hand-dyed merino prefelts you will needle and wet felt your way to a hat you will be proud to wear! Needle & Wet Felt techniques will be taught in a way that is unique to prefelts. Hat construction and unique embellishments are on the agenda! Minimum Age for Class:18, Students should bring 2 towels, sharp fabric scissors, hat block (could be bowl, pan, tin etc.the size of your head)-beginners are welcome!
Location: Vendor Booth
Material Fee: $45.00
Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Time: 6:00 PM
Total Cost: $135.00