Yes, Dawn

March 12, 2012

What is more amazing is that I have not felted in weeks, minus the little gift soaps. My excuse is there are so many other things barking at my ankles for attention, like planting grass seed, or spring flowers, house cleaning, and the worst culprit of all working for moolah.

Experimental Vessel

March 6, 2012

My idea for this Nuno vessel is to paint on the dye THEN finish fulling it because the vessel is very soft at this point and barely will hold its shape.   The vessel is merino wool made with a resist template and the final layer of silk gauze.  Once it is painted, I will complete the fulling process and draw the design in tighter since fulling shrinks the wool.  I am excited to see how much control I lose over the design. Previous vessels that had white gauze applied in a nun fashion received the dye differently.  The silk tended to be several shades darker than the wool even though they were painted with the same dye at the same times and process identically.  I am unsure why this surprises me, because different fibers traditionally have absorbed dye in varying degrees.

last night

March 3, 2012

My shoulder is still healing so all I can physically do is felting soaps.  These are felted wool covered hand made soap.  The covers are made of merino wool and is felted so it hold the handmade soap that tends to melt allover the place when moisture hits it. Some people like to just keep them as decorative items. the small are $5.oo USD large 10.00 USD plus shipping.

gift soaps

Customer colors available upon request. Mothers Day is not too far away and if your mom is like mine,  consumable items is about all her house can accommodate.

Hooked on wool Soap

March 2, 2012

 

Yay,  I was able to work in studio every day this week.  Yes, even when yesterday was 75F and today snowing at 30F normally the drastic change messes with my moods to be flexible. I am still intrigued with covering hand made soaps that are not THAT attractive but so yummy on one’s skin. What is there to say about such functional items when it is past my ability to stay awake.The luscious colors combined with the baby soft wool makes one want to shower with all of them at once.

while I was photographing my newly felted soaps,  I was so excited by my new phone (8 megapixels) I wanted to see how well it would capture details of a felting piece.  In this piece I wanted to see if I could capture flat locks. I felted a piece made of layers alpaca, mohair,  merino and  unscoured, uncombed Icelandic lambs wool.  the locks are sort of nuno felted on. If one looks carefully you can see the brown alpaca hairs that have migrated to the surface. 

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More Wool covered soaps

March 1, 2012

If any of you have used handmade soaps, then, you know how easily it melts with any amount of moisture.  These wool covered  handmade are great for the shower.  The wool holds all the suds and  any melted soap instead of it rinsing down the drain.  I rub mine withe the shower scrubby and tons of lather is made.  I like to make little guest soaps,  that guests can take home with them.

Flippant

February 29, 2012

For those of you who may read my blog but really are isolated from my quirky sense of humor, I should mention that my last posting was meant for fun. A prospective candidate does not have to be handsome, wealthy he just needs to find me as his true north of if he needs a GPS to just get home, then I should be the all encompassing center of his universe.  wink. Ywah, that is why I am single as no such person exist, we all are the center of our own respective universes or is it universum which would make it multiverse?  Spelling was never a high point in my list of qualifications.    No art work today as I am off to my part time day job in a data center, so I can pay for unnecessary expensive trinkets like android 4G  phones, solar power chargers, blue tooth gadgets  as well as necessary items like food, clothing, shelter and supplies for ART and someday a coveted German Pfaff sewing machine

Happy Leap Year Day

February 29, 2012

OK,  I am making a list and checking it twice,  Who am I going to ask to marry me on this leap year day of Feb 29th? ? The only one I smart, rich and creative enough or who could stand me is now gone to the afterlife.    There is another but I have lost contact with him since he left the country.  Guess I will have to wait for another 4 years perhaps a new list will evolve. Off to studio………….maybe I will do a leap year painting.

She has returned.

February 24, 2012

Oh, how I would like to make the statement that I am BACK, yes back as in felting but it is increasingly more difficult to make plans. Yesterday, I knew I needed to felt and since the rotator cuff is still squawking at much activity I just let it have sample of this beloved activity.  It seemed that little gift soaps covered with merino wool and accented with hand-dyed wool was just the activity.  I dyed the bright turquoise in the fall of 2011. Wow has it really been that long since I did serious felting.  I have a proposal in for a workshop at a library ( 50 miles away) Since the facilities are limited covered rocks about the size of these hand crafted soaps are the focus of the workshop.  I love having these around as they make a special unexpected gift or consumable thank you gift besides food plus the soap has a much longer shelf life.  I experimented  a bit with each bar, trying to discover the easiest and more effective way of not only demonstrating the technique but allow success for each student.

It seems placing the soap on a piece of bubble wrap then layer with wisps of wool and topped by the outer  compositional layer was the best and most successful.

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Mixed Media Brooches

February 13, 2012

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The base of these brooches is vintage buttons that belonged to my mother’s paternal aunt, who was an expert seamstress.  She was a gracious dignified lady who lived through the depression years and learned to recycle EVERYTHING, which is so in vogue in 2012.  When a garment saw its better days, she removed all the notions from it; she removed zippers, buttons, decorative trims then cut the fabric into usable squares and this was something she did in 1950, 60’s all the way to her death in 1990’s. I was fortunate enough to inherit her stash.  I got bags of zippers in every spectrum of the rainbow and bags of buttons.  They are abalone, bakelite, and wood, metal and some are plain beautiful 1950’s large buttons.

I regret not photographing the vintage buttons used in these brooches, as they were simple, plain with no decorations on them.  I used commercially made wool fiber to epoxy to the back so I could stitch the antique beads.  Yes, she saved broken necklaces and bracelets too.  I am so grateful for her frugalness.   The Mary Kay, Cherry Red and Pink are composed of a larger button with a smaller one mounted on top. The seed beads are intermingled contemporary with vintage and the fascinating attribute of the vintage is they are faceted.   I added a description on each brooch but I discovered the format of WordPress does not present the description in the gallery format.

Felted Postcards

February 9, 2012

I adore postcards,  and have collected them for over 40 years, even though the internet can take us to exotic lands, postcards are a signal that some one thinks of you even while they are gone.  Over the years, I  have been in several multimedia post card exhibits and it is great fun.   I would like to see  a twist on the travel postcard event by  creating felting post-cards about HOME.

This challenge is called “Postcards from Home” and features small (4 inch by 6 inch) pictorials of scenes from you home environment: landscapes, perhaps a historical  point of interest.  Some suggestions to get you thinking about a pictorial postcard:  the natural environment, such as mountains, deserts or coastal scenery; native flora and fauna; images of agriculture such as farms, ranches and dairies; man-made scenes, such as towns and cities, bridges, monuments, museums, and theme parks; historical images from home past; and recreational settings.

Deadline:  August 15, 2012
Open to all
Size:  4 inches by 6 inches (traditional postcard size
Writing may be included
Make a label for the back of your postcard containing the following information:

Postcard from Home Challenge 2012
Your Name and Address
Title of Postcard
Location of scene

On a separate piece of paper, please include a short paragraph explaining the scene you felted and any additional information that you wish to share.  This information may be used in promotional materials and articles concerning this challenge.

Bring the finished postcards, or mail* the finished postcard to me.  I will document and photograph each postcard. I would like to take a display of these postcards to various exhibits. We have a Final Friday exhibit here in my hometown of Lawrence, KS. There is First Friday in Kansas City, MO. There is a large possibility of several national venues for a traveling exhibit but locations are undisclosed at this time.

 

Leave a response if you might be interested.  The pieces will be auctioned off for a charity fund raiser TBA later. So this is a mere feeler for a response.  I may extend it to fiberart postcards, since  my circle of acquaintances extend way into the fiber world: weaving, surface design, beading,  hand made papers,  fabric design, dying, indigo, baskets etc. i have yet to decide.  What a great way to get your work SEEN by a groups of people.

NO felting again

February 8, 2012

The physical therapist is putting some action back into my rotator cuff but not enough for felting.  I  am hoping that my shoulder will be much better and strong enough for making some Valentine handmade soap. Here are some samples I put together last year.  A librarian contact about a workshop  and we have discussed paperweights and I believe this technique would be nice.  The alpaca did not felt well but the Icelandic lambs  wool was superb, and naturally the good ole standby merino  wool.

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rotator cuff

February 6, 2012

Yes, I am still nursing my rotator cuff issues thus working in studio is terribly limited.  Here is a chair that I recently sold along with the supply of blank (canvases) chairs.

New project

February 4, 2012

I have been working on this for 2 months but my day job has so rudely interrupted my process.  It involves, merino wool with silk wrapped in a spiral around the cylinder of wool  that was created with a resist and loose locks left unfelted. Then,  direct application  of acid dye  was applied after  a 4 inch PVC pipe was inserted into the felted cylinder and scrunched  using a Japanese method.   I found it interesting that the silk dyed a different shade of blue even though both the wool and silk were white.

This is a detailed of the piece that is 9 inch circumference with a height of currently 17 inches but with the copper tubing  it will extend it to 24 inches. The copper tubing and  the base is still in design stages but as soon as the piece is completed decent pics of piece will be posted.  I am very excited about this piece but currently I am still mending from a rotator cuff injury, which is adversely affecting my ability to felt.

Activities

February 4, 2012

I have been working on this piece off and on since January.  I have had tremendous interference from my day job activities, including a week trip to NY for training on robotics tape storage (Stortek) finished with actual work.  I had a great time, lots of wonderful food:  from  uptown diners to local grills like Kodiaks laced with people who speak as though they are from a foreign land with thick accents.  My instructor was  great fun even though he spoke so quickly there was always a 15 second day in my processing the words.

Hot Instructor

Greeting at Airport

The jet lag lingered for several weeks  because I had to acclimate back to Kansas life.  Several friends went out to a Japanese steak restaurant where they cook the food at your table and for entertainment they flip bits of food at the clients  trying to entice them to catch the food as if they are  Shamoo  at Seaworld.

Steak cooked Japanese style.

Elegant stacking of used taxes

Nicki cooking our dinner

Sad hats

January 3, 2012

Hi   from Midwest USA and I am sending you the best for the New Year.  It is good be back online after the dreadful holidays. I bolted out the felting gate , determined to not be defeated by a bit of wool .  This was my fifth attempt at a beret and once again, it has become a vessel.  I tried it on my head for shape even while still wet and it was so humongous it fell to my shoulders.  (Heavy sign)  I fulled it  bit more when I gave in to crushing defeat by  I admitting  I am not “meant” to make hats, I shall leave it for Dawn and Nicola.  Here is a side story to prove my non-wearable challenge.  When I was in high school my aunt was teaching me to knit, I made a beautiful mitten that fit with the utmost precision. The second one was so large (my stitches became looser) that I could put BOTH hands into ONE mitten. I pitched the craft until  my son was born, when I tried again but this was a sweater for a toddler.  Remembering the loose mitten fiasco of several previous decades, I tighten my approach to the knitting. I suppose most people would just take a class and struggle through teaching ones self.  Anyway, the stitches were so tight, it made the sweater weight nearly 10 pounds and he  only being 25 pounds fell down because the sweater was so heavy.  It was more like a rug than a cuddly warm sweater. OKOK slight exaggeration but it would break your toe if you dropped it. Therefore, I am not a knitter except for a few straight knitting  no purling winter scarves.

 

Back to my newly created vessel,   I inserted a beach ball, filled the ball with air and it fit nicely, so all evening I mentally thought of ways to finish the vessel with hand applied thicken dye finished with machine stitching.  This is really my first object of my winter felting session as my headband idea died. I thoughtlessly put wool on both sides of the silk so it totally covered it.  I must have had some good distracting music on too loud and lost my way in the endeavor.  Since I am taking a trip to New York where the winters are wicked windy and cold; I bought a lovely wool hat similar to this style   which  upon my return from NY, I will wear  on bad hair days or just when I need to run out for quick errand. Therefore, hats are officially off my felting list.  It seems necessary for success to stick with what I know: making wall art instead of wearable art.

Cuban-Coffee

December 20, 2011

 

 

 

I had a hankering for Cuban coffee so I made my first cup.   In my 30 years of drinking various types of coffee from soy lattes to espresso to just home dripped, I have never enjoyed sweetened coffee. Yet, today this Cuban sweeten coffee is the best.   I have misplaced my demitasse spoons, so yes the spoon looks gigantic in comparison to the espresso cup; nonetheless the coffee is delicious!!.

Anna Feathers

December 17, 2011

I have been working a great deal in data centers lately with no energy to even step into the studio nonetheless, I think about making art incessantly.  This piece graces a wall in my bedroom.  It was made several winters ago of Lambs wool which felted so easily it was completed in less than an hour. The single line meandering throughout the vessel was not stitched but added on top with only wisps of lamb’s wool to cover the bronze embroidery thread. I cannot identify the feathers, as they were a gift from crafter in Ireland and they accent the vessel as naturally as they would a hat. The large piece is an agate pendant with a small 14K  gold finding.  As most of you collect things I enjoy the feel of vintage costume jewelry bakelite  and celloid. The surrounding beads, I collected from vintage necklaces.

Oh yes, I have a nice collection of items screaming to be used.   One can see that I wrapped the agate with brass wire and assembled the beads.  I had an exhibit and gallery had few pedestals so I came up with a way of displaying the items by making wall plaques with a shelf.  This shelf was constructed with Plexiglas formed into an L shape and mounted onto a piece of oiled cherry wood.   

Locks

December 15, 2011

Lately my day job has eaten up my time and I am too exhausted to get to the studio after work. It seems my excitement with wool is waiting for the cold winter months to set in. I was looking forward to making a beret to hide my unsightly hair while if grows from the spiked dew I wore for the summer months.  It was just too unmanageable so instead of felting a beautiful head covering, I got a fabulous haircut, by Jody Seitz, which is excessively adorable to hide under a hat.  NOW, my motivation to felt a wearable item is in gone.  For nearly two decades ago, I did silk scarves and the proverbial unusual socks for Christmas gifts, but I took a long pause from that work.  I had a nice inventory left but it has finally dwindled, thus people are clamoring for my wears.  Friends and relatives got felted items last year and they met with gratefulness but the regret was seen in their eyes “Where are my silk scarves and socks”?  HA HA.

I am at least trying to get momentum even if it is with posting older work.  The chalice (2009) looking vessel was my first attempt to work with locks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended a fiber group who had just returned from a fiber workshop with Elis Vermeulen demonstrating exactly what I attempted on my own.  As you can see in my vessel the success of a demonstration even though, I did not add near enough locks.  I was extremely apprehensive about them felting on top of one another so I placed only a minimal number of locks even though they were side by side in the lay out stage.

 

Today, I am free of my tech work and so I would like to devote myself to the studio. It is only 5 AM here so let us see how the day unfolds. Perhaps today is the day a new vigor will ensue.

Lindee’s Wrap

December 13, 2011

My dear friend Lindee knitted this lap warmer especially for me while she was vacationing in Colorado.  She drew inspiration from drop dead gorgeous colors in nature:  the shadows in the Rocky Mountains, the crystal clean waters of mountain stream, the meadows green with vegetation and the crimson of the setting sun.  I think she captured the hues with tremendous accuracy. She is a vibrant personality with energy unmatched.