Back in Drivers Seat

January 13, 2010

Sparing you all the sorted details of my recent illness, I can say with all confidence that I am back on my feet. Today, I not only accomplished many neglected household chores, I had a long lingering lunch with girl friends then completed the day by felting three new items. The luncheon was a birthday celebration (another Jack Benny year) which was casual and liberally laced with laughter, amongst some sobering moments and followed with a nice cup of coffee and talk of a new book club readings from turn of the century.  The birthday lady received a felted “date clutch” in shades of red.  I am calling my little clutch purses—date clutch as they comfortably  hold lip gloss, ID, credit card, a hanky and house keys secured with a magnetic closure.  It was such a hit with everyone that I was commissioned to make three new ones for out of town daughters.  My photography studio which is a separate room from my art studio has three stations, one is a postal  center with all the necessary supplies for sending parcels, another section is for gift wrapping, ribbons, boxes, and the other is (was) set up for photographing. Naturally, with the holidays, this room got abundant use and I needed the black backdrop for a project, the lights became caddywhompus and completely disassembled one-step after another, consequently, I would not expect photos from me anytime soon.

Back to my saga of my 2.5 week of sickness while in bed recuperating, I made use of a new gift , artist markers. I spent many days sketching  new ideas, filling pages with doodles, researching material ideas for new projects,  exploring possible revenue avenues with potential  trips  for teaching.

Several afternoons last week I thought my ills was gone so I spent several days processing, dyeing and carding alpaca. I over-dyed some natural gray alpaca wool with shades of cerulean, algae green and midnight blues resulting in deep and nice jewel tones. I, also, had natural brown alpaca which is very soft but is definitely courser than the other alpaca that has amber-bronze undertones that I over dyed in shades of nutmeg, cinnamon, cordovan and cherry wood and a burnt umber and a few hanks of burnt sienna. It is exciting to discover that I quickly understand the slight variances in the wool. The courser fiber does not felt easily and seems feeling tacky (I acquired this wool over the internet) Even though I have rinsed it, thinking it was not dyed properly.  I am beginning to wonder if these wools have been dyed with something other than professional acid dyes.  Sadly, I am no longer interested in wool that I have not touched; I suppose this is one of the curses of knowledge. I am certain there are excellent suppliers out there but I have been burned once too often to bother with buying unseen/ untouched. One source sent yarn that had been card after it was spun and made it into roving. In theory, this seems like an acceptable idea but it tends to over work the wool , weakening the fibers into short pieces, it is not acceptable for felting at a professional level.

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