Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another Landscape finds a home

The day after my last post I had a wonderful surprise. I went to the lecture given by the juror for the West Hartford Art League's "Out of the Loop" exhibit. Ed Johnetta Fowler-Miller spoke about her art and how she went about the jurying process for the show. I thought I was just going there to listen, and pickup my piece so I didn't worry about how I looked. I had been moving hay and getting the chicken's winter quarters set up before the talk but I figured I would just sit in the back and be unobtrusive. (Now I think there is a rule that if you leave your house looking horrible it is almost guaranteed that you will be in a situation where you so wish you had at least brushed your hair before you left. If you leave looking put together you won't see a soul. Problem is I forget about that rule.) Well, when I walked in the only seat was in the front and since I was wearing my felt coat Ed Johnetta came up to me and said "You're one of the felters Which piece is yours?" I said "Yes" and when I pointed to my piece I was shocked to see a red dot indicating that it had been sold!! I still can't believe it. This is the piece...

Ed Johnetta also said that she would be having me stand up during the talk... Gulp! Well, there were several artists there who also had pieces in the show so she had us all stand up by our pieces. Lucky me...my piece was dead center on the wall that the audience was facing...uggg! Then she has us all speak about our pieces....YIKES!!! I have no idea what I babbled about since my mind was not functioning. I was still trying to process the fact that the piece was sold. It is so strange because I only saw the piece hanging 3 or 4 times and now it was no longer mine. And since I had put a hefty price on it and the show was small I never thought that it would sell. I had been thinking about what I was going to do with it when I got it home since it was so big. It always feels like a piece of me is being sent out into the world.

I feel like I didn't get a lot of felting done last week. I did make my niece a pair of slippers very similar to the ones I made for myself at Joei's house. My niece was giving a small, invitation only concert. She is a very talented singer but quite reclusive so the only time others got to hear her sing was at the yearly recital given by her vocal teacher. It was a huge step for her for many reasons and I was so very proud of her. I wanted to do something to let her know that. No photo of the slippers :(

I also felted three new heads. My sister wanted a couple to give as gifts. She thought they would make fun candy dishes. I loved the idea. Reach in the mouth of the monster head to get a candy! I made the mouths a bit wider for a hand to fit in and made the base wider too. I wanted to get them done before the concert as I would be seeing my sister then. That way I would not have to deliver them. I got them done except for sewing the eyes on and I was able to finish that while Sis looked through my scarves for another gift. So nice to have those checks coming in...though I think I spend them all on more wool! Here are the new heads...

I was asked how big the heads are when I posted photos on Facebook so I took this picture for a size comparison....somehow i felt that a big bottle of cheap wine and a few bananas would be perfect for the job.

This week I have been doing some of the dreaded Christmas shopping and working on felting some yardage for a gift. I want this item to be really warm but not heavy. This has been one of those projects where things go wrong. The first thing was that I started laying it out and discovered that I was not going to have enough of the black short fiber wool. But luck was on my side here because though it was Sunday (they are closed Sunday and Monday) there was a class taking place at New England Felting Supply and Ariel said I could come up and buy more wool. So on Monday I laid out dyed grey silk fabric, two layers of short fiber merino and then some angora that I had left over from when I was raising the rabbits.

I had a problem when I went to wet it out, though. I was distracted and couldn't find my usual water bucket. I grabbed the dishpan and added some water and soap to the water that was already in it. After spraying about a third of the piece using my ball brause I noticed a bleachy smell. Turns out the 'water' in the dishpan was a bleach and water mix that my Dad had been using to clean something. A month ago I wouldn't have worried about it too much except in terms of color loss. But just recently there was a discussion on the Feltmakers List about using bleach to determine if something is 100% wool: if it is wool it will break down...crumble... dissolve...disappear....finito... gone! And to me that was much worse than some color loss. I HAD to rinse it..but carefully since I did not want the fibers to felt before they migrated through the silk fabric. It was a swampy P.I.T.A. Thankfully there was minimal damage. Next up was trying to find the garment pattern that I planned to use. I knew I had it before the Thanksgiving studio clean up but I could not find it anywhere until today. Here is a photo of both sides of the fabric, the bluer grey side is the silk side.

I am thinking positive thoughts that it will be smooth sailing from here on....at least I am trying...but next is the machine sewing and that does not ever go smooth! It is very tempting to give up on this one.


  1. Congratulations!!! (Or should I say Drat!!! I was hoping you'd give that piece to me for Christmas)So glad someone recognized how truly fabulous it really is!!

  2. Since misery loves company, it is sort of nice? to hear that I am not alone in making mistakes that cause myself more work and fretting . Love the bird houses....(at least I would love to live in one if I was a bird ).

  3. Congratulations! No wonder it has been sold. My 4 year old daughter just saw the piece and she asked wether there were fish living in it ;))) She thought it was real water!
    Mattie (Filz10A)

  4. Sorry Joei, Some man bought it for his wife for Christmas. So it is going to be a Christmas gift...just not yours :P
    I love you Joei :)

  5. Hi krex, Yes, it is nice to know that others make similar mistakes. We are all human after all. What is funny about the bleach is that my Dad felt that it was his fault for leaving the bleach solution in the pan...and the fabric is for a vest for him! So when he asked if the felt was ruined and I told him I could still use it he said "We'll just keep this (the mistake) between you and me".

  6. Oh Mattie your comment made my day. I just love kids. Give your daughter a hug from me. I think I may do another underwater picture since this was so successful and I did not get much time with it. We can show it to your daughter and see if it works as well:)

  7. Congratulations on selling your piece. It is gorgeous. Glad that the bleach didn't ruin your fabric all together. I'm sure it will all come out right in the end!