Sunday, November 18, 2012

Late November Already?

I can't believe how fast this month is going by. I knew the last two weeks were going to be busy but things got even busier when my Dad had to go into the hospital for a few days. He is fine now but it did make things a bit extra stressful, and I am a stress monger anyway. November is never a good time for me depression wise so I have to give myself a pat on the back for how well I have been holding up. I know that my working with the wool and doing the felting really helps my mind.
Much of the busyness of the last two weeks has been business. I went up to Glens Falls NY to help my friend Robin (who kindly volunteered to be show coordinator!) and other Guild members hang our Creation Myths exhibit at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake. It was while driving back from the gallery to Robin's that I got a call from Dad in the hospital. I would have driven straight home but 'home' was in the middle of the Nor'easter that blew through the same area as hurricane Sandy. Lucky for us we were on the edge of both storms. When I got home I had to deliver my pieces to the Wesleyan Potter's and deliver my things for the Open Studio in Hartford. In between those two deliveries I found out Dad was getting out of the hospital. This was on Friday night and I got lost in Hartford trying to get from the open studio over to the hospital....for over an hour! And Dad was waiting for me....and Hartford is a scary place at night when you have no idea where you are. It was horrible and I totally lost my self control...driving when you are sobbing is never a good thing.
I recovered enough to be able to teach my flower class the next morning. I even got compliments on my teaching...from an art teacher! I remembered to take a couple of photos this time. Here are a couple of the flowers.

Since we don't have enough time to make the flowers into a brooch, I let the students choose a few beads and take a pin back to sew on at home.

After that I was able to relax a bit and just do some felting for the upcoming shopping boutique. I made/finished a couple of bags.

This was a bag I had started a long time ago but hated the way the colors came out. So I over-dyed it using some resists. I love when it happens that fixing a flaw makes a piece better than the original idea ever would have been. This is so true of life too. Often what we think of as mistakes or bad times turn out to be beneficial in ways we can't imagine at the time.

I decided to couch some wire on and love the look. I am going to do this again. Oh goody, another technique to explore!

 This bag has one of my marbled silk pieces on one side and some black lace on the other.

I used a wool from New England Felting Supply called People's wool for this bag. My understanding is that it is from a local wool pool. I love the felt it makes but it was not really right for this project. Choosing the right wool for each project can be difficult especially as I explore more types of wool. Learning what Chris White calls "fiber dynamics" can be so interesting; especially when using combinations of different wool types. Yesterday, I was finally able to explore the dynamics of a fleece that I bought earlier this month at the New England Fiber Festival. I bought an Icelandic fleece from a friend of my daughter. It was not the best fleece (quite a bit of VM and second cuts) but I love supporting a young local farmer. Here is the raw fleece; I really like the colors.

And it made a great felt. This sample is felted in the grease. I used mainly the undercoat (thel) at the bottom of the sample and then a mixture of both coats toward the top. I placed a few locks at the very top of the sample.

 I love the way that the outer coat fibers (tog) loop up to the surface of the felt.

I think I am going to make myself a pair of shoes with this wool. I am also saving some of the locks for hair on my NoBodies. Here is a new one I made. It is also the smallest one. He is not named yet, but I am thinking Tiny fits.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shows coming up...

I will be participating in an open studio Hartford with four other Connecticut feltmakers next weekend.

Also next weekend I will be teaching how to make felt flowers here at home. On Friday I will be dropping off my pieces for the Wesleyan Potters Annual Exhibit & Sale which opens on Nov. 23rd. This year I am putting in 6 pieces. Here they are all framed and ready to hang.

 'Whim-sea' is a piece I made when I was just sampling several different fabrics to see what kind of textures they would make.

I had fun beading and when I found the scull bead I had to add it. It is like one of those decorations that people add to their home aquariums.

This piece started with a piece of hand dyed silk. I could just picture the white area looking like a sun beam though the clouds. This was made when I was staying at my friend Joei's house waiting for my dead car to be fixed (It could not be saved). I had only brought a few supplies so it was like an exercise in using a limited palette.

This piece was going to be an art card for our guild exchange but it was too big to fit in the envelope.

I forgot to take a picture of this before I put it under the glass so I can't really get a good photo with out reflections. It is framed in a deep frame like a shadow box and I called it 'Beach treasures'. I started this piece way back when I took Liz Clay's class. Gosh, I love it when I can get myself to finish old pieces.

The other two pieces I have already shown in other posts. Though I did not show this one in its frame.

Now I need to make some scarves, shawls, bags, etc. for a couple of other holiday sales. Such a busy time...