Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Promises Kept

Through a series of unfortunate mishaps, Kim had taken a class several years ago, traveled long distances, paid good money, only to end up making her project out of SUPER WASH WOOL! Can we all understand her grief, sadness, disappointment, frustration? She came away with a glob of wool. I was there, not teaching, but still there to see it all happen. I cried with her and then offered to teach it to her whenever we could arrange to get together. Yesterday was that day.There was HUGE success. I am sorry that I don't have the final results to share with you just yet, but they are coming soon. Since I like small groups best, I invited Evelyn to come join us for the day. I think we all walked away at the end of the day feeling very blessed to have been in each others company and to have had such great success. I think that sometimes God has us wait for some things because there are greater rewards awaiting us somewhere in the future. How could Kim and I have known that God had prepared such a day as yesterday for us? What a blessing indeed.

Hope your day and your felting is a blessing to you and to others!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It is enough

So anxious to try out some of the things that I learned from Pam...I got a prefelt that was purple and nutmeg, applied some textures in the middle and felted it firmly. Then did a 'discharge" on the entire piece after I put the fabric into a fan fold. I like the result. My husband sees North American Indian pottery, Pam sees something oriental, I see a woman dancing and lifting her hands in praise. I would do things differently now that I see the results, but it is a learning thing, and I am looking forward to more adventures in the dye and un-dye pots!

I am pleased to announce that I've been asked to teach at the: Crooked River Fiber Fling Aug 4-7 2011. I'm not sure if all of the classes are up on the page yet, but it looks like it is going to be a wonderful event and venue. I hope that I'll get the chance to meet some of you while I am there. Others who are teaching are listed below. Nice bunch of talent.
The Fiber CAFE of the Peninsula Art Academy presents

Sharon Costello, Sally Melville, Suzanne Higgs, Carol Adams, Joan Brasaemle, Gerrie Hotton, Jennie Hutchings, Mary Kapenekas, Rosanna Ludwig, Cris Welch.

I hope to get a bunch of samples completed this week for the upcoming classes. My ADD is really bad right now...I do things I want to do, not the things I should. Got to work on getting my "get focused" and follow through. So hard sometimes, just so hard. But today I'll finish the scarf I laid out and then put things away so I can think better. Though I am in a state of scatter, I am so filled up with joy and peace, and that is good enough and far better than I deserve!

Happy felting and Shalom,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

4 Days of WOW...

I've just come home from 4 incredible days with Jone Rakoski and Pam MacGregor at Pam's studio in Ohio. I am overwhelmed with the information shared. We did things like Goodwill shopping, looking at hardware, going out to lunch, going to garage sales, hypnotizing chickens, talking late into the night, and felting. There is no way I can share all of it---this entry would be a book, but I can share some.

In the first photo there are several items that might be of interest. The green scarf and book Pam gave to me, as well as "Bad Girls of the Bible", a battery operated dremmel and sea shells. I've long loved Pam's books made of felt. This one is made of some of the hand dyed merino silk that I'd given to Pam last spring. The scarf we did some discharge on to our happy delight.

Jone laughs at me because I drink instant coffee...life moves fast around here, so it's become convenient for me. She picked up this two cup coffee maker, some coffee, sweet sticks with lavender, and made the soda cover. I'm drinking "fresh ground coffee" as I write this. YES! She would be so proud of me...and that way I'll have it available when she is here.

Being with other felt makers is joyous. Being with these two incredible felt makers was fantastically joyous. I nearly cried when I left. It was I was filled to over flowing.

Are there those people in your life who fill you up? I hope so!

Happy Felting and Good Sabbath,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One thing leads to another

In August I acquired some cormo wool top. Oh my goodness, is that stuff soooo soft! I thought I'd try it out on some felt over silk gauze, and add some sari silk and silk roving. Initially, the whole project was done in white, except the sari silk. While I've used the sari silk a lot, I've never had the fabrics "run" before. This time it did, with gold bleeds and purple bleeds on the wool and silk...and so one thing leads to another. After the scarf was felted, I over-dyed all of it in s bold yellow for just a few minutes, then took it out, twisted it up randomly, put some blue in the dye bath and let it soak some of that dye up for a bit longer. Thought I would like the bold side best, but not so much. I like the muted, water color effect the best. Moreover, it is reversible with two completely different looks. I like that aspect a lot. After all the work to make sure the sari silk melded to the wool...I like the softer side better...go figure!

I leave Wednesday morning with jone to spend 4 wonderful days with the incredible Pam MacGreger, feltmaker, amazing and generous! If you want to see her amazingly spectacular works, do take a peek at her website listed below.

Anytime you get the chance to take a class from Pam, don't even hesitate. She is an amazing artist, communicator, source of creative thought and design. Pam has been a teacher in her professional life, but from personal experience, Pam is a natural teacher in her personal life as well. I am so looking forward to spending the time with someone whose work I am totally in love with, and who is becoming a friend. We will have good felt talk, felt making, great food and wine, peaceful evenings on the porch. We've been planning this trip for months. I am so excited to spend the time with her.
Until next week, good felting adventures and Shalom,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wrapped in Felt

For several months now I've wanted to make a wrap out of the prefelts that I've acquired from Jone Rakoski. With "Spring busting out all over" it doesn't seem like the right time to make the wrap, but when it calls to me, I have a hard time ignoring it. This is one that was dyed in olive greens, and while I adore that color a lot, I decided that I wanted some plumb overtones on the prefelt. It was dyed it in purple/plumb to give it some lovely hues of all of the colors. The silk was applied for contrast and movement and visual stimulation.

Working with prefelts (merino) usually provides at least a 30% shrinkage. I really didn't want to lose even that much of the width in the process. Before I started felting it, it was stretched in all directions and throughout the entire process, I continued to stretched it more than I normally would do. The drape turned out lovely. It is about 9 ounces of complete comfort.

The fiber from Bahr Creek Llama Studio came in on Thursday. I've got to do some experimenting with it before I teach the classes using their fiber. For the hat and nuno classes we will be using merino top, but for the bird pods, we will be using raw llama fibers. They have a colorful herd of 30 llamas. I've got to perfect it before I teach it. It is a different hand to llama and alpaca than to wool. Stepping out of my comfort zone...hope I don't stumble too much!

Some have questioned me about the lichen photos...will I translate to felt? It is a hope that I will. I've got some ideas...now to bring them to fruition. So many ideas, so little time and so little of me. I fatigue more easily now, so it all takes me a bit longer these days. Still, felt is patient with me and I with it. We will get there.

Side note to the felt coffins is this blog spot:


About 7 years ago my husband sent the link to me at my shop. I thought the ingenuity was spectacular, the thought, comforting. A body wrapped, rather than boxed, just sounds more loving to me. We wrap precious things, babies, gifts, heirlooms, fragile things, things we love. I like the idea of wrapping the remains of someone loved.

"Dust you are, and dust you shall return"

Just seems to make the whole process more natural.

Pam MacGregor said she thought of putting her ashes in a cement ball, having it dropped to the ocean to start a new coral reef. How cool is that!

On a happier note...it's the weekend! I hope yours is filled with good things that inspire you, family and friends, and renewed wonder in the Creation God has given to us.
Shalom and Good Sabbath,

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rest in Fleece: Woolen Coffins Offer Green Goodbye

Rest in Fleece: Woolen Coffins Offer Green Goodbye

There is something comforting in this thought. How often have some of said we could just lay down in the wool and stay there? I have very often. I'll have to share this with my husband and friends. I've thought of making my own urn for ashes and this helps me in that process of creating such an urn. I've thought it "not fancy" just simply to hold the ashes to be buried in.

Recently one of my small chihuahuas died from a brain tumor. Her ashes are still here in the house until the frost left the ground. I think I will make one for her ashes.

Hope this post isn't too depressing, just interesting and thought provoking. I think a felt shroud would also be lovely... your thoughts?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

GRRRRRRR and success as well

Pathetically, I am down to one hat! ONE HAT! Yikes. Of course, that means that sales have been good, but one hat, come on! I usually have about 40 on hand and am just simply out of them. So I did make one and here is the front and the top of it. It is double hooded and very warm. I love the color and texture play. I may have to keep this hat for myself....maybe.

A few months ago I received a pre-dyed silk scarf from a dear friend of mine. I decided to use it in a nuno felt. I worked and worked and still in the end, I am disappointed. I think that it is a tighter mm than I thought and the fibers did not migrate the way I had hoped. It is just about make it as a soft nuno but not one that I would sell. It just isn't up to my expectations of myself. Too bad too, because I really like the colors.

But that is part of the process, don't you think? Finding out what works and what doesn't work.
I hope that the efforts of today will be more successful.
I wish the same for you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lichen, Woods, Workshops Coming

Usually I walk a mile in the morning at one of several stores around town until the warm weather arrives here in Plainwell, Michigan. It was dark and raining this morning and I got a late start. I like walking very early before the stores get busy. When I arrived at my destination, they were already busy so I decided to go to the woods to "just look". What an excellent choice for the day! There was beautiful, spectacular lichen. I took some photos via my phone and most of them are up on my facebook page. I am struck by the subtle colors and incredible shapes lichen take on. The smell of the woods in the early spring is lovely too, very earthy, sweet, sometimes musky...and with the soft rain and overcast shies. It was a lovely time there. I love rainy days. ( You might want to click on this photo to see the detail. It is lovely to see the moss on the lichen!)

Over the past few days I've been trying to finalize three workshops I've been asked to teach in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin at Bahr Creek Llama Farm and Studio. I think we have done it. Bahr Creek Llama Studio is having sheering days on their very large herd of llama. They have a huge turn out for this annual event.
So here is the line up:
Felt Bird Pods
-Wednesday, May 25th, 9:30AM-2:30PM, cost 55.00 + 20.00 material fees.

Nuno Felt-Thursday, May 26th, 9:30AM-2:30PM, cost 55.00 + 25.00 material fees.

Sculptured Wool Felt Hat -Friday, May 27th, 9:30AM-2:30PM, cost 55.00 + 20.00 material fees.

For more information on these workshops, please contact Brigitte at Bahr Creek. She told me that the classes always fill very fast so if you are interested, I'll encourage you to act with haste.



If the classes are over filled, I will stay one more day to teach.

The scarves below are the ones that I've dyed for the nuno felting workshop at Bahr Creek. The colors turned out so softly lovely. I am thinking I'll have a hard time letting go of these scarves.

I am also counting down the days until I get to go spend an extended time with Jone, the amazing, and Pam, the incredible. Looks like we're going to manage a felting get away. YES!!!!!

Well, off to go felting for the rest of the day.

Joy in the day and Shalom,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hook, Line and Sinker

The dreaded cold is finally starting to abate and I am so grateful. I've been more sick with a cold than I was with this one, but this one was a shape shifter----one day nausea, next day non, one day no voice, ear ache, croupy cough, the next day none, but all through it, incredible fatigue. I really do think I am over it and happy to be past it.

About 4 months ago after I fist learned to make the fish with the incredible Pam MacGregor, I was asked to make a bunch for a yacht group in Chicago. Not inclined to be real thrilled with production work, I asked Jone Rakoski to work with me on the project. By the grace of God she said yes!...and we got to work together, in her studio, which I loved.

Jone works primarily with prefelts, where as I work mostly with roving. For this project we used prefelts that Jone had dyed, along with some rovings. Day one was design, then gather prefelts, calculate peices that we needs, begin pattern making, and plan the rest of the project. Day two, we each made three fish, and day three we did as well and day 4 again three fish. Finishing touches, like eyes applied were done by Jone and we breathed a collective sigh at the production being over. What Jone and I find most interesting is that we used the exact same pattern, fibers, soap, water, etc and our fish look so entirely different from each others. It always amazes us that each persons hand to the feltmaking process is uniquely their own. The two fish featured at the top are our faves.

The fish were cast out of the net in front of the clients last night. They loved them! ( oh good!)
I think Jone and I might end up being "fish mongers".