Monday, November 29, 2010

How I Spent the Weekend

      With the onset of the colder weather, I've been hearing lots of comments about cold heads. Since the much lamented departure of his hair, these comments start every year about this time and then the hunt is on to find what is left from last year's head wear. Since his six month stint in the Yukon, it appears that toques are in short supply around here so I took this past weekend to make my dearly beloved a special and very warm wool hat. 
     I have very recently received a pound of lovely long grey locks that have been overdyed. My friend Linda in Ohio thought they were a bit coarse but good for outer wear so she sent them to me to practice my spinning. They are a lovely mixture of lilacs, reds, greens and blues. Don thought he might like the greens and blues so I picked them all out, and spun up a fine two ply. The yarn was beautiful with such natural looking tones. It reminds me of the forest floor .. or moss growing on  rocks. Very inspiring. 


      It knit beautifully into a hat and I thrummed the inside with some plain undyed fleece for super extra warmth. He's quite thrilled with it and loves the warmth from the thrums. A special thanks to Linda Koch for just knowing I would love this wool. The yarn has a lovely halo as the locks are quite curly. I'm going to begin spinning up the reds and lilacs for the same purpose so if anyone wants one, let me know and we'll talk. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Delicate Wool Scarf with Beads

     Here is the finished scarf. The knitting part was pretty easy once I got onto the pattern. I think this was the first triangular scarf I've ever made. 

     Many thanks to the Troll from Norway for modelling for me. The husband flatly refused. Once it was washed and pressed out, it hangs really nicely. 

     The beads stand out and although it's very hard to photograph the effect of the crystals .. they're there and glitter like crazy when the light catches them just the right way. 

       It certainly was a lot of work to spin all those beads into the yarn. I think the end result was worth it. Not sure it would be a practical item to retail though ... as the hours involved are great and it's only a scarf so I can't price them highly enough to make it worthwhile. They will remain on my " special commissioned items " list and will be made only on request. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beaded Yarn

A little blurb about the yarn I'm working on. I started with some lovely Corridale roving in a solid medium grey color. I pulled off little whisps and, using a needle threader, I added #8 seed beads and 4mm crystals.

     I added the beading roving wisps to the first single ply, trying to keep it as fine as I could manage. The seeds are placed every meter or so, and there is one crystal for every 10 seeds. It's shown here on the bobbin. 

     I also finished painting my wheel. Cute eh? There are some flatback crystals on it as well ... you can sort of see them here. They glitter like mad! 

     I made another plain single ply from the same roving and plied both singles into a double. Shown  here is approximately 120 yards of fingering yarn on the niddy noddy made by my husband. 

     This is the yarn wound into a ball and all ready to knit. 

     This is the yarn knit into the pattern I selected for a triangular shawl. Now, I just have to do all that two more times and I should have a very nice shawl to add to my inventory. Keep in mind it has to be washed and blocked out to get it to drape and hang properly. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stepping Back

     Yes, I know I've been very tardy with the blog but I really have been rather busy. We just wrapped up the In Hants Christmas Craft Show this weekend. We both pulled a shift in the canteen and had to just generally be around in case there was a need for more staff. The show itself was a great success. The revenue was flowing again this year. That's such a good sign as last year was pretty much a dismal bust for some sellers. My husband didn't do very well with selling his woodworking, and another gentleman was practically giving away his intarsia pieces but they weren't moving either.  All my small needle felted sculptures sold. I have a bunch more that need to be made right away too, as I have an order for Colorado, and I need some on hand for next week in Dartmouth, so I'm thinking of getting started on some of them this evening. I have to make a bunch of small birds and a couple of Woolfins. I'm up to G with the names of the Woolfins, so I'm thinking of a fishing outport kinda guy named Garge and a female named Hilda. I haven't dreamed up a persona for her as yet. 

     The spinning has been going very well and I have a great stash of wool yarns for my felting projects, as well as some for knitting mittens. I just love to knit mittens. My next plan with the wheel is to make some laceweight beaded yarn for a drapey triangle scarf/shawl. I using grey Corridale roving and size 8 white opalescent seed beads. There will also be a generous smattering of 4mm Bermuda Blue crystals throughout. I'm hoping the project will turn out a very elegant piece. 

     On the wet felting scene, I've taken a step back to catch up with some bookwork. I purchased Uniquely Felt and I'm not making anything else until I read it all, cover to cover. It's an amazing book and I'm now going to be able to correct bad habits, do things the correct way and have all the methods and reasoning right at my fingertips. I can't believe I was muddling through the process so awkwardly. I'm hoping all this knowledge will be making the felting process more enjoyable. A couple of projects are stewing away on the back burner of my brain just waiting for a chance to emerge and evolve into 3-D tactile objects. Stay tuned for more creations. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learning to Spin (Trials and Tribulations)

     It took several days, but I think I've got it! Finally and not without some pain and frustration. Ok, the first thing I did wrong that was of any major significance, was to not realize that my feet were creeping forward on the treadles. It was a new thing to me ... trying to coordinate both hands and both feet at the same time. There was a lot to think about and I just forgot that my feet were not in the correct position, until my left big toe slid over the front of the treadle and under the frame. That was a major shock to the system. My husband found it terribly funny and kept asking me to demonstrate the "emergency brake" again! Thankfully, I wasn't going too fast and the toe is fine ... it didn't even bruise too badly. 

     After a few bobbins full of junk, I finally got the tension and twist to a place where it was acceptable. Here is the two ply I spun from some long curly locks that were dyed by my friend Linda Koch from Ohio. It's a fine weight ... almost a lace weight but not quite. Lace weight was what I was striving for so much more practice is required. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happiness is .... A New Kiwi!

     Feeling like I've died and gone to heaven, my head is still spinning just like this new Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel. I've been searching all over for a used wheel but all I could really find within a reasonable geographic distance were old antiques. They aren't suitable for today's modern fibers and techniques. Well, last Wednesday, my sweet darling hubby decided it was a wonderful day for a drive so where would I like to go for a day trip? My answer was quick ... Gaspereau Valley Fibers.
     I had previously done business with these people and wanted to see their shop, so off we went, headed for Wolfville. It certainly has a great location. It's in the cutest valley I've seen in quite sometime and the property is adorable. The shop is a converted garage and so rustic, yet inviting with tons of restoration. The original wooden interior is a perfect spot for wool. It's roomy and well stocked, with a large open area for their workshops. The lady waiting on me was friendly and helpful and much to my amazement, my darling hubby was convincing me I really had to have that Ashford Kiwi that was already set up. We tried to rationalize the cost and Don was insistent that since my birthday was fast approaching and Christmas too near for comfort, that the spinning wheel would cover all those and more quite nicely. Well, it certainly gets him out of gift shopping. Who was I to argue and I've been in wool heaven ever since. You can see that I've painted my wheel. It still needs to be varnished, but it hasn't been still long enough. I'm simply having a blast with this thing and wonder why I never did it sooner. Mind you, I've been getting lots of help from internet friends, which is very welcomed at this point. My skill sets have been improving and I've progressed to the point where I can turn out a fairly decent knitting yarn in a two ply. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


     Some of the "in progress" pieces my husband, Don Karney is working on in preparation for the craft show. These still have to be varnished and have a base attached. 

Spun Out!

     This is the finished product. A nice neck warmer scarf with a matching brooch closure. It's the zig zag scarf pattern from Lion Brand Yarn ... a very fast and easy knit. I used size 8 needles since the wool was still rather bulky. It's very eye catching, to say the least. Microwave dying with food colors produces a very bright color when used full strength. Watering down the coloring will produce more muted tones so perhaps next time. I still have at least seven pounds of this local wool and carding it is a lot of work. Unfortunately, it wasn't washed properly, so it's very hard to card out. Some tiny bits aren't usable for anything other than embellishment on other projects and lumps of texture. However, most is good if somewhat time consuming. I'm going to use it all as free is free and I'm not letting it go to waste. I also whipped up the beaded brooch to match this wool.  Once it's pinned on, you can just slip the scarf on and off over your head if you aren't worried about messing up your hair. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Playing With Colors

     Here is 55 grams of 100% local wool, which I have spun into a singly ply, then dyed with food colors. It's almost what I was aiming for, but I went a little too heavy with the yellow and turned almost all the blue into the bright green tones. 

     All is not lost however. The next batch of single ply will be all blue, then it will be plied with this to make a strong, bright mitten yarn which will be incredibly warm. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wool Mittens

     Done. I spun enough of this yarn to make a pair of heavy wool mittens. Look how lumpy it is. That is because I'm not that great yet at drafting it into the twist, but I'm getting better at it. Next yarn project will be to spin a smoother yarn of two ply. I want to make enough for a whole skein, then dye the yarn before knitting it. These mittens are well knit and will be nice and toasty warm this winter. They kind of remind me of thrummed mittens due to the lumps of wool throughout. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Puttering Around ...

     Well, these days my husband, Don, is hard at work in his woodshop making some scroll sawn products for the craft show next month. Therefore, he's tracking all sorts of debris up through the house, which is keeping me busy with Mr. Vaccum. I've got most of my products packed up for the show, and that leaves me to make some sort of thing to display some of the smaller jewelery items. I have to go for a little walk out back later, as I'm thinking of cutting a small hardwood and trimming back all the branches, then spray bomb it some Christmas color and secure it in an attractive and simple base. That ought to solve the problem rather nicely and after all, it is a pre-Christmas show. 
     Since we had several days of wet and cold weather, I've been playing with some little critter designs, trying to capture the cute factor. Who's old enough to remember the Ookpik rage? I was a kid but I remember everyone had to have one. I got one at some point and it was really cute .. all furry and big eyes. Of course, ookpik is simply the Inuit word for snowy owl and it's more correctly spelled Ukpik in the Canadian north these days. However, they were to die for cute so here is the rendition I came up with. These are needle felted and around three inches in height. The feet and tail form a tripod allowing them to stand alone. 

   Yesterday I began spinning again, using my drop spindle. I have so much natural white short staple medium wool from meat breed sheep here to card. Since I've already carded a bucket full to the needle felting stage to use for core wool, I decided to try spinning some and make at least 100 grams. Here is the start of a fairly fine single ply. I've mixed in some long staple BFL (oooh .. so soft and silky) at about 25% that was dyed a lilac color. Today I'm working on the other single ply, not yet photographed. I'm mixing in about 50% violet dyed Corridale and then I will be plying them together. I hope it will be fine enough to make a thick pair of mittens. At least that is my goal. If it turns out a bit too coarse, I'm not sure what it will be turning into. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Felted FiberFish


      Here is the finished Fiberfish. He's actually very handsome and has lots of bling thanks to the many, many beads and crystals adorning his fins and gills. This is my first project of this kind and he was, admittedly, a challenge. I first had to figure out how to make his fins and gills, which I ended up doing separately, then needle felting them to the body. The rest was done in one seamless piece using resists ... note the plural ... as there were separate ones for the dorsal fins and the tail, then a space before the body resist. Yes, he was an engineering challenge to begin with. The material is an art batt I received as a trade from Linda Koch. It was amazing as it contained tons of different fibers, a great deal of which were synthetic, so felting was going to be difficult. I underlayered it with the bright blue as I wanted a contrast. That was Corridale roving. After the wet felting process was taken as far as it would go, I blocked it out and stuffed it with plastic bags, added the fins and gill and worked on the beading while it dried. It hangs in my front window now, and Don came up with the idea that since there are five panels to that window, I should do an installment of five sea creatures hanging there to simulate an fantasy aquarium. I think he's on to something there as I've been giving it some serious thought and I really want to take this a bit farther anyway. I've been thinking about a jellyfish which would give me practice in making thin coiled ropes. Perhaps later on, some aquatic plants or other undersea life. I find it an inspiring concept, so I think after the craft show next month, I'll be delving into this project if I'm not too swamped with Christmas commissions. 

     And speaking of the craft show: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Never Met a Fiber I Didn't Like

     Having lost a small bet with my hubby, today was totally devoted to housework so I didn't get too much done in the studio other than some clerical junk. Managed to file some documents and pictures so I'll be able to access them again, and worked on labels and business cards for the November show. I have to pop out this evening for a bit, and I have a meeting tomorrow night as well as more housework chores for during the day tomorrow. It's turned out to be a rather busy week so far. 

     Since I haven't had a chance to complete the embellishments on my latest project, I wanted to take this time to comment on this wonderful fiber.  Shown above is the pitiful remains of what was a gorgeous art batt, carded by Linda Kotch in Ohio. It's a mixture of pretty well everything you could think of and it's so beautiful! I couldn't wait to begin something with it, and I came up with an idea for a wet felted 3-D hanging sculpture, which will be the subject of my next blog. 

    Oh, and I also had some time to play with my little sweetie pictured here. She's such a good girl! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Needle Felted Meerkat

     I really enjoyed making this little guy. He too was done while I was recovering from the flu, as needle felting requires far less energy than wet felting. He's done really really tightly too, as I wanted him to be able to stand on his own without putting wires or sticks up inside his body. Once again ... he was an experimental piece, but he turned out so well. If he doesn't sell in the November show, he'll probably find a good home as a Christmas gift. 

     This little meerkat's eyes are Miracle beads and have a reflective glow all of their own in certain lighting conditions. It's really kind of eerie until you get used to it. There were a lot of hours that went into him due to the density of the felting. Since I've never seen a meekat, I relied on pictures from the internet and the pattern on his back came out ok. Perhaps next time will be a bit better. I was starting to get the hang of it toward the end of the pattern. 

     You can see here how his rear feet and his tail, also very tightly felted, form a tripod to support him.       

     Finally, in this last picture, you can see that he's just darn cute!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Needle Felted Sculptures

     I've been down with the flu for over a week. It's nasty and lingering. It makes you wish you were dead. However, I did manage to catch up on some needle felting that had to be done. It's been awhile since I've made anything needle felted and I find my style has changed a bit. I seem to be much more into detail than before. Well that's a good thing. Since I was pretty much confined for several days, I used the time to get started on my list of things to be done by Christmas. I finished the little beaded ring in no time, and then made the sea horse brooch. These are both orders to go to the city. 

     That left a couple of larger sculptures to be done. I tackled the trout commission and it turned out rather well, but took a couple of days. I'm sure it will find a nice home. 

     The next project was a pair of earrings I had started. When I realized the pattern was a bit more time consuming than I had thought when I started them, I had put them aside for an occasion such as being laid up for a few days. 

        That nearly caught me up and I only have one more commission lined up right now, which I will begin working on today. I've taken on the chore of cooking something nice for supper as well, since I'm feeling better now. I have a project ready to start with the wet felting too, but that will have to wait until this awful cough subsides and I have the energy to work the wool. 

     It really feels good to be all caught up this early in the process.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flashy Felted Slippers

     This is the second pair of slippers made in the wet felted technique using a resist. I love the way the colors worked out. I made the inside with violet and mulberry, then put two light layers of yellow over top. Lots of ultraviolet Angelina and a wisp of yellow to lock it in.  A bit of embroidery, a suede sole and presto ... my new slippers. They're nice and warm too. 

     Using this technique, you can make several different styles. It's just adjusting the length between the feet. You could make boots if you wanted to, but would have to enlarge the instep so you could get your feet inside. After separating the feet, you can change the style by how you shape the opening. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Felted Slippers

     It's been ages since I wrote here. Much time has passed and really, very little has happened. My husband has come home from the wilds of the Yukon, so my routine has been totally disrupted, and I'm just now trying to get back to work. We endured a solid week of extreme heat and humidity, which was followed by hurricane Earl. There was a small amount of cleanup to be done after that. It's been an exercise in self discipline, but I'm semi back into the swing of creativity now. 

     The first project is this pair of rather large slippers. They're all Corridale roving. I made them for my husband, so he had some input. The inside is beige and the outside is olive green, with a couple strips of prefelt across the instep and some white and grey curly locks hanging from under the folded over flaps. Hubby loves them. The fit worked out well and they're both the same! That's quite a feat for the first pair, I think. For soles, I cut up an old heavy suede vest and cemented two layers together, then punched holes around the outsides with and awl, so that I could sew them to the slippers with ease. I contact cemented the soles on before the sewing, taking care to keep the glue away from the sewing area. They stuck on good and solid. I was rather surprised at how well the cement worked. The picture above shows them drying outside. They look a bit wooly but I've since given them a haircut and installed the soles. I haven't been able to get them off hubby's feet long enough to take another photo. 

     The next project is a pair of these for myself. They will be a lot wilder in design and color and I plan on making the soles only one layer of leather. I'm pleased with my first effort so I'll strive to make mine even better. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beaded Magnetic Bracelet

     This has been a busy week so far. I've been trying to get everything caught up, all the bills paid and the house cleaned up as Don is coming home, finally, on Saturday morning. Only two more sleeps! I haven't been working with wool as it requires more space and I'm trying to tidy up, so I've been filling in a few spare hours with this beaded magnetic bracelet. All the black rounds are magnetic hematite, surrounded by #11 seed beads. As usual it turned into something more elaborate than I'd envisioned at the beginning but it was fun to weave, if a bit time consuming. 

     I took a small break in my routine yesterday, and drove into Dartmouth for a great cocktail party. Nice buffet and sangria punch and so many friends. When I left, I think I counted a total of sixteen .... in a small apartment! It was really nice and even though I left rather early in order to get a couple more hours work in last night, I had a great time and was very glad I went. 

     Oh, and I have a new pen pal! Hi Linda in Ohio! We've been bantering back and forth on Facebook and we seem to have lots in common, so that's going to be fun. 

     Once I have the studio all cleaned up ... sometime today I hope, I have to start taking down some of my displays in order to make room for Don's things. He likes to fill up a couple of shelves with some of his tools, paperwork and art as well. I've been hogging the whole room for the past six months and even though he has the whole basement for his woodworking shop and pool room, he really does need some storage up here for some of his other things. 

     This bracelet has given me an idea for a great necklace and earrings which would go very well with the new African style dress I just purchased. I see shades of green and gold. The rosettes aren't hard to make, just tedious but they're fun to weave together, so that will give me something to pick away at for the rest of this week. I'm also beginning the process of going through my inventory and deciding what will be going into the In Hants Craft Show this fall. It's an important show so I have to make sure everything is properly labelled and priced. I need to work on displays for the jewelry too. I want that stuff at eye level this year and have to make some things to show it off. Well, the laundry is done now so I'm off to do more housework. Can't wait until Don't plane lands. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm on a Big Rant!

     I just returned from having a coffee and a chat with an old friend of mine, who happens to be a high school teacher. The more I think about part of our conversation, the more I want to let loose and rant. After all, ranting is rather fun once in awhile, and you feel so much better after getting it all off your chest. Since my husband is still up north, and the dog doesn't care, I'm left with no other outlet than going on a big one right here. 

     Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, those of genteel manner and sensitive feelings might just as well stop reading now as this is apt to get ugly. First, my disclaimer: I, in no way, manner or form, claim to be an expert on the following issue. Nor do I take any responsibility for your health or costs incurred from the shock that I might actually have an opinion of such prejudice on this subject. You've all been fairly warned. 

     'What do you mean; no marks are deducted for misspelling?' My retort even surprised yours truly in  it's ferocity. What the Sam Hill has public education come to? Are you just an overpaid babysitter? What ever happened to spelling? Honestly, I was mortified, that in today's world, education is stretched so thin that essential skills have been dropped from the curriculum. First it was music, arts and drama that vanished ... but this? This is criminal! 

     While once again patting myself on the back for my early life decision not to have kids, I could only shake my head in disbelief. Back in my day, in public school, in very early grades, we had to learn to spell. We not only lost marks in subjects other than spelling, but we could actually flunk the whole year for not being able to spell, and it very early on pointed out those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. We could spell pretty well by the third grade and spelling was an actual subject. I admit I hated it and dodged it at every opportunity. However, since my mother was a school teacher before she was married, I didn't get away with much. Back in the days when kids still got punished for bad behavior, a common detention activity was writing lists of complicated words over and over. I was no angel so participated in this process on a regular basis. All through my formal education, spelling was important and had to be correct. Even in the workforce ... technical reports had to be correct in every way. Nobody was going to tell us how to spell a word either! Didn't matter what kind of crisis I was in, the reply was, "Go look it up in the dictionary." There was no computer so you actually had to get your fat ass off a chair, walk across the room and lift a large book off the shelf .... and open it.  OK, so you had to be able to almost spell a word in order to do that ... and that involved thinking about it on your own. I managed. Why can't the kids today? 

     So I'm told everybody uses Spellcheck. Well, I use Spellcheck too but I don't rely on it. What about when you get all the choices to choose from? You kinda have to know the difference between those words or your document is still worth diddly squat. I know my mother is reading this and getting a good laugh. Her spelling and grammar is only less perfect than God's, and I'm sure she's already found some errors in this rant. I don't care .. and I don't claim my spelling is always correct, and I know I tend to use slang to create a mood, but it's a damn sight better than what passes for correct these days in a whole lot of media. The bottom line is this: Kids today can't spell worth a crap and they're not going to learn unless its taught and taught early. What is spelling now? An extracurricular sport? Right up there with the chess club and the bridge club and the Reach For the Top team? Geeksville! Only a select few brain boxes are remotely interested and  passionate about correctness. By the way, those are the kids who are going to get the really high paying jobs after university. Take note of that parents. 

     See .... ranting is a good thing. I'm feeling better already. I'm still disgusted though. I am aware that heavy emphasis is put on spelling in private school. Great ... and I certainly admire the education taught there. What about the other 90% of children who aren't privileged enough to attend these fine schools? This, folks, is a very sad state of affairs. I'm appalled that public education is stretched that thin and my tax dollars are paying for this ridiculous excuse for an education. The classrooms are so overcrowded that the teachers are hard pressed just to maintain order, and hopefully a few will absorb the lessons. I guess it all just makes me sad. I am also thankful. Thankful that I had the proper education in public school and thankful to my parents for making me do the work. At least I don't look like a total idiot when I post something publicly. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Journal Covers

     It's been awhile since I've written here. Been busy with social events, most notably the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in Truro, Nova Scotia last weekend. I've finally recovered from sleep deprivation, dehydration and sunburn and back to my normal self. I just finished up a series of journal covers for the craft show in the fall. I was able to find the journals at a very small cost so can keep the price low in hopes they all sell. This week has been very hot so working with wool has been put aside until it cools down a bit. In the meantime, I'm catching up on housework. My husband is returning next week from six months working in the Arctic so I have to give the place a good cleaning while the clutter is at an all time low. 
I've been looking at more work from various fiber artists and have decided to attempt something new. Not sure how it's going to work out as there are some technical issues that I don't know how to do, but I'm going to wing it and hope for something great to evolve. Stay tuned for progress on that. Here's a couple more pics of the journals. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Playin' Around

     I've been experimenting again ... and while I'm doing that, have satisfied a need for a small case to carry my business cards. They always seem to get messed up on the corners in my wallet, due to the heavy traffic in there, I'm sure, so I needed something just for them that would keep them clean and free from rubbing against other things. 

     The experimental part was playing with the Angelina fiber. Up until now, I've just been gently "sprinkling" the fibers over the second to last layer from the top, then applying a very thin layer of fiber to lock it in. I've been finding that very time consuming as I have to pull it apart and almost let the air place it on the fiber. It always seems to take me a long time to place it. Then I have to be so careful not to cover it with too much wool or it vanishes completely. I was also finding that some of the fibers were coming loose and falling out. My solution was to bond the fiber to itself first by pressing it with the dry iron between a folded piece of paper. It will only stick to itself. This creates a flat sheet of Angelina which I can now place were I want it and cover with a very whispy layer of wool. Because it's bonded, I like the look when it sort of bubbles in spots and no fiber is lost. The extra sheen is amazing too. 

     This will probably be my last attempt to photograph this effect as it's just not working. I can't seem to capture the effect at all. This photo sort of gives you a vague idea of what I'm talking about. You can't really see the fiber, only the holographic shimmer it reflects as the light hits it. I'm truly in love with the effect and tend to use often in small projects. Now that I've discovered that bonding it works better, I'm thinking of using it in sheets with resists for slits and cut outs as well, Oooohhhh ... the possibilities! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Jackets

     With the passing of another long, summer weekend, I've suddenly realized I've been getting lazy and just enjoying some good weather. It's dryer now and the nights are cooling down. Sleeping is bliss again and the mornings are perfect for any chores as heat isn't an issue until later in the afternoon. 

     I've been satisfying my artistic needs with a couple of wet felted book jackets for myself. As always they are experiments in technique. In this case, setting the curly locks and blending the colors. I got to play with my beads for awhile too, making embellishments for them. They are covering my two favorite sketch books. I especially love the one shown above, mostly because those colors appeal to my tastes. 

     I think I would love the red tones as well had I used a whiter background. Both of these were done with two resists, for the front and back covers of the book. I did the inside in a thinner felt as I didn't want too much bulk. They have a simple single snap sewn in closure under the flap. 

     My first attempt at this project was a miserable failure as this wool shrunk 40% during the process and the end result was too small for the book. The insides were a bit bulky as well so I think it's looking for a home as a cover for some sort of storage folder ... perhaps a CD case. Who knows? I will either find a use for it, or it's going into my scraps pile and will be used as prefelt in something else. All the little scraps can be rolled up and used for textural elements on felt. There is virtually no waste. 

    I now must go attend to a few domestic issues, and then I have an idea for playing with some Angelina fiber for a new project. It looks like it's going to be another lovely day, so I must accomplish something. Bye for now. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heat, Humidity and a Handbag

     The same thing happens here every year. We get roughly two weeks of damp, hot weather where you need to engage in multiple cold showers and you can't get dry enough to get dressed. I do not have AC. With the size and design of my house, it would cost a fortune, and it isn't feasible anyway, since it's only unbearable for approximately two weeks. There are ways to stay cool, and I've been trying to do just that, felting for short periods of time late in the night when it's bearable to handle wool. Now I have completed this bag. I don't have the handles made yet and will work on those later today or possibly tonight. It's supposed to rain today but there's not a cloud in the sky as I write, so it will be very hot long before any rain comes. Then it will be all steamy again. Please enjoy the pics of this pretty bag. The client ordered the fringe on this shape of bag. It's a large piece so will hold lots of items.