Friday, April 22, 2011

Ray of Hope

I have been feeling a bit lighter since last week's post. I think this is due to many factors. It has been a bit sunnier, I have been sleeping better, family 'stuff' has been easier, taxes are done, and I taught my last landscape class until mid May. Less stress = an easier and quieter mind.
My class last weekend was one of the best I have had. I only had four students, all of whom were a joy to spend time with. It was so nice to not be pulled in so many directions and to be able to give lots of time to each student. Plus, Chris White was able to take steal a few minutes from her busy schedule to spend some time with us. She has been such a wonderful friend and mentor to me, it was really nice to be able to reconnect.

Here are photos of each student's piece as they developed during the weekend.
Here is Lisa's piece laid out,

wet felted,

 and after needling.

This is Pat's piece laid out,

wet felted,

and after needling.

Here is Sherril's piece laid out,

 wet felted,


in progress adding some needle felting (I love photos of artist's hands at work),

and at the end of class.

Here is Janice's piece laid out,

wet felted,

and after needling.

I was so inspired that I worked on a new landscape that I am actually liking. I hope I can get myself to finish this one; I am running out of finished examples to take to class.

But the most uplifting thing this week has been watching what I call 'chick TV'. I bought chicks at Tractor Supply (I should not be allowed in that store when they are having Chick Days!) and I have been so enjoying just watching them. Vicki and I went in to get just a couple of ducklings which I have wanted for a long time. They were out of ducks that day but we couldn't resist these,

two Leghorns, two Golden Comets, and 6 white Silkies. 
The next day one of my hens decided it was time for HER to have some chicks. She has gone broody and was sitting on 6 eggs at last count. She is on the favorite nest so the other girls just pile in and lay their eggs next to her. When they leave she puts their eggs under her too. I will have to isolate her if I want any eggs for myself.

In this photo the broody is in the front, a hen is laying in the back and one is standing trying to find room.

Vicki went back to TSC a couple of days later and got not two but FOUR ducklings...

AND two bantams...

and two Black Astrolorps. (I will admit that I approved the Astrolorps since I love my Miss Lucy so.) I guess instead of being a crazy cat lady I am a crazy chicken lady...or now that I have ducks and a visiting? parakeet I may be a batty bird lady.

I could spend hours just watching them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pushing Through

I have avoided writing a post in the hopes that my spirits would improve. I am trying hard not to be a 'Negative Nancy' but this depression does not seem to be easing. I am still waiting to see if some improved weather will help. A friend pointed out to me that we have had a lot of cloudy cold weather that is more like November which is typically a down time for me. I always feel a bit better on sunny days. There have also been some difficult times with family so it is not all chemical but if things don't improve soon I may need to change meds. I have been busy too and even the good things can be stressful and stress causes the delicate balance of mental health to go out of whack.
Here are photos of some of the things that I have been busy with. I was very lucky to be picked in the guild lottery to take the Illuminated Felt workshop with Sharon Costello. I was still inspired by the forms forms we saw at the bulb show.

Since there are wires in the leaf/petals the shape can be altered.
 I liked it enough that I started another one when I got home.  

It is straighter than it looks here.

I love the light that these lamps give off.
Next I had the guild meeting. Unfortunately I was not with it enough to take photos. We had a really good presentation on mounting, framing, showing, and conservation of textiles given by Robin Blakney-Carlson and her sister Susan Blakney
I had an exhibit submission deadline the following week that I was going to submit an existing piece to but then decided I didn't like any of those enough so I would make a new piece. I didn't like that one either so in the end I did not submit any thing. The piece I made could be added to so that it would work better but it lacks a focal point, so it will be added to the pile of unfinished landscapes. 

That week I also hosted two friends who were taking Andrea Graham's pods class at New England Felting Supply. After we had dinner they continued to work on their pieces. I was going to do some more stitching on my woods lamp but I could not watch them wet felting and not play too. So I made this weird thing.

I had a one day craft show after that and made this while Vicki took care of the booth. (I had told her we could do the craft show if she took care of everything so all I had to do was 'be there'. She did a really good job).

 The funny thing was how well they fit together with no intention on my part.

Tomorrow I teach at New England Felting Supply but then I have a nice stretch of time without anything on the calendar during which I plan on playing with fibers and taking care of myself.