Saturday, June 19, 2010

Big Doings

I can't believe that my long anticipated trip to Shakerag in Sewanee, Tennessee starts today! Way back last August I made the decision to attend a workshop with India Flint on Eco-dyeing. This is a very big deal for me since I don't usually travel like this (normal vacations involve a week camping in the Northeast)  AND I don't spend this kind of money on my own personal interests. I will be leaving for my friend Joei's house this afternoon. But first I have my youngest son's graduation to attend. He and his sister came over last night to put their creative talents to work on decorating his mortarboard. His brother and sister both had John Deere  themed embellishments on theirs, but Josh pulled out all the stops and put the whole farm on his.

The creative team at work.

I just hope it will hold together!

Along with all the must-dos such as planning and packing, and appointments for a crown replacement at the dentist, and an ultrasound for my stomach, I was able to find some time to work in the garden and make these (though they are not completely finished, I will do some stitching on them...maybe on the plane).

But the best part of the week has been seeing these little peeps come into the world. Though it happens everyday, be it plant or animal, this entering into the world to begin a new life will always seem like a miracle to me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Teaching landscape

I am going to be teaching how to create a landscape in felt on August 14th and 15th up in Charlotte, Vermont. This will be a kind of retreat where the workshop participants can stay in the home of the lovely and talented Linda Veilleux of Innovative Fashions . Her home is in a part of Vermont that is dear to me because of spending so much time there visiting my grandparents in Burlington and Grand Isle. Here is the view from Linda's deck.

The peak of Camel's Hump is hidden under the clouds.

These shots were taken last fall when I taught the same class. Here are pictures from that class, unfortunately I don't have any shots from the first day when we did the wet felting
After the pieces had been wet felted they were further developed with needle felting. In that way the class is an introduction to both the wet felting and needle felting techniques.

The main focus of my classes is to teach students some of the basics of landscape painting, especially how to render a sense of depth in a scene. What I would most like my students to take away from my class is the ability to really SEE things and in so doing find a greater appreciation for the world around them.

Here are some photos of happy students at the end of the class.

The lovely lady in the front on the left is our hostess, Linda Veilleux. It was a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Catching up

May and June are always very busy months and this year has been no exception. This is the time that the yard and gardens need the most work; keeping up with weeds in the flower beds and planting the vegetable garden. I am only doing this work halfheartedly this year, I think because last year was such a terrible year for growing anything. Besides getting the garden growing there are always lots of extra happenings such as proms and graduations.

 My baby boy's senior prom...his graduation is less than 2 weeks away, which is so hard for me to believe.

My daughter's graduation.

Hard to believe this silly girl is a distinguished graduate school scholar about to receive her masters!

All of these things and problems with stomach pain have left me with little time or energy for posting or felting, etc. I did do some work stitching this old piece on the drive to Ithaca for graduation. 

(last shown here in April's 'Un Natural Dyeing' post)

I was finally able to give my friend the felt piece that I made for her graduation back in mid May so I can post about it now. She loves manatees and has always wanted me to do a drawing of them. Since I have been having fun with my nuno felt imagery I decided to tackle trying to do one featuring these adorable creatures.
I  started with a layout of wool with some prefelt...

Then came a background piece of hand dyed silk, strips of silk for sea grass, and prefelt cut to the shapes of the manatees.

Next I added pieces of grey silk cut to cover the prefelt manatee shapes, and more silk, wool and various other fibers.

After it was felted I started giving definition to my grey manatee blobs by stitching an outline.
Then I further defined the manatees by drawing and shading with a fabric marker. I also needle felted on some locks.
Then I added some beads for eyes and stones and shells on the sea bed.

I chose a piece of crinkled cotton gauze and a frame with a wavy pattern for the mounting.
Here is the finished piece...