Monday, December 26, 2011

Art in our house

My daughter is a very talented young woman and is working hard on her art. She is hoping to get into Rhode Island School of design, and I hope she does also.

Sometimes its hard living with an artist when you are in a small house and both want to create at the same time. I cannot sew when she is drawing because we both need the kitchen table. Since her work is homework and needed for portfolio, I let her draw.

 She was always easy to entertain as I could carry crayons or a pencil and paper with me everywhere and she would draw happily. She still draws happily, and often I come across objects in the house with drawings. Recently the lids of the creamer in the fridge had faces.

Tonight it was "meat face" drawn with a fork on the plastic covering of defrosting meat. Temporary artwork.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Scenery from the South

 Even though its winter and the trees are bare they still look beautiful to me.

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.
William Wordsworth

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Falls Lake Rec area - inspiration

I love getting my inspiration from nature. When in North Carolina I was able to sneak off for an hour and take a walk at the local recreational area. I love the textures and colors.

Love the bark on these trees. As I was walking in the one area you could smell the pine trees.It was a relaxing walk.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wedding and a walk in the woods.

This past weekend we drove to North Carolina to attend my beautiful niece's wedding.  We left at 5 AM Saturday, got there around 1230PM had lunch, checked into the hotel and off we went to the practice and practice dinner.  It always amazes me the positions that my daughter can sleep in. This is how I found her at the dinner. The friends that they have down there are very generous, and friendly.

The next day I had time to go for a walk at Falls Lake Rec Area.  I find walking along the shore very relaxing.

I took a bunch of photos for felting. Great texture pictures that I will post next time.  Here is a quick look.
I played driver and took Jim fishing, got lunch, Picked Jim up, took Julia to the church, came  back to hotel, picked up Kim and Jim and back to the wedding.

 The bride was beautiful and the groom handsome. He is in the military and may be deployed soon. A very nice young man and amazingly calm throughout it all.  Bethany, is a long arm quilter and has just had a book published with her original designs.  She used some of her designs on the wedding cake which was yummy.
Arrived home last night around 530PM. It was a hectic three days and really nice to be home again and see my doggies.   I have so much more to tell. I want to show pictures of the lake walk and tell you all about her book which I find inspiring. More to come tomorrow.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas is coming

We have had great weather this weekend. Its been fairly warm for December which for us means 50's F.

I was able to get this picture of our Flagpole Christmas tree lit up at night. It looks like it is twinkling when the wind is blowing gently.

Inspired by this, I got my santa collection out. I did not put all of them out because they will not all fit anymore. Some of them are very old. The one in the center was my fathers when he was a kid. Not sure how he survived when our house burned down when I was little but he did. I have to find the other stockings cause one is not enough. Hopefully we will be getting our tree up in the living room this week.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas lights and UFOs

Today we put our outside Christmas lights up on the flagpole so it looks like a tree.
 Great weather for putting up outside lights.  We have been doing this for quite a few years now so its fairly routine.

I will take a picture in the dark so you can see how pretty it looks.

I have also been trying to clean up the house and get it in order.  Found this UFO - Unfinished Object and decided to finish it.  Its a white wool on a white cotton gauze with winter trees which I felted then thread painted then felted again. It had no back on it.  First I blocked it using some home made blocking boards that I made with wood, foam insulation and fabric. I wet the piece, threw it in the spin cycle to spin out the excess water then pinned it to my blocking board. This made the edges nice and flat. I then sewed a piece of muslin on the back so I can hang it up, and I did have it hanging in the window.  Now I need to finish the rest of my UFO's.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving this year

This year we had our Thanksgiving at home with Uncle John and cousin Joe.

We eat early because its easier for John. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato cassarole, greenbeans, salad for dinner.
 and John brought the pumpkin and apple pie for desert
 Julia and Joe having a cousin moment. And no that wine is not hers.
 And Moose enjoying his bone.
A great meal and I am thankful to have people in my life who want to enjoy it with me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Felting with Heather

To make a long story short, I had to go to Michigan this fall to find a woman who lives close to me that I could felt with. I was very lucky to meet Heather Woollove. She is a really wonderful person who has great insight and is fun to felt with.

Although I was supposed to be at the Northeast Feltmakers guild meeting this weekend I was unable to attend.  As it turns out a very dear friend, Bryan, passed away suddenly and I was at his funeral on Saturday. On Sunday I had a felting date with Heather.

I arrived at her house to the smell of blueberry muffins and coffee and we chatted for a bit. I got to see more of her wonderful felt.  And the muffins were awesome, I might add.  Then it was felting time. I had seen and heard her talk of her peanut purses and I wanted to make one. I am not a purse maker normally, although I may take it up now. 

She had her studio set up already to go I just needed to add wool.  I have never been happy using a resist and seeing the results, but learning Heather's technique has changed my outlook.  I used a gray merino on the inside and a black merino on the outside with a silk design on the front.  My merino felted up nicely and I learned how Heather stuffs her bags to dry.  I took out the stuffing this morning to take a few pictures.
I still need to do the inside pocket and add a closure to the flap. But I cannot wait to use this  bag.
At the end of the play date, we traded wool and silk and flax with each other and I went home.

Thanks Heather!!.  We have to set up another felt date, perhaps at my house this time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New felting book to read

I was looking somewhere online and saw this new felting book. "From felt to fabric, new techniques in Nuno felting"  By Catherine O"Leary. So I ordered it and it arrived the other day.  What a great book.  I have other nuno felt books which are nice too, however, this one I find inspiring.

Her idea of creating nuno prefelts that can be cut up and used in other pieces I find very inspiring. Right now my felt studio is in the basement of the house and with all the rain and flooding we had a lot of water in the basement so everything got moved up to the table.  I do also felt small pieces in the kitchen. With this nuno felt technique of making nuno prefelts, I could make small pieces in the kitchen and then when I can get back down to the studio, I will be able to use them in a bigger piece.

This book is not for the beginner because it does not offer the step by step. It is more focused on design.
I love the colors and its a great inspiration.  The author is from Australia and I have never met her before.
Its produced by Lark Crafts for $19.95 but I picked it up via Amazon for much less.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tileworks, Fonthill, and Doylestown

I have some friends visiting so I took them to Doylestown, PA for the day. Its a cute little town, with neat shops and some pretty interesting things. One of them is the Moravian Tileworks and Fonthill.  There was a man named Henry Mercer who built these with concrete and tiles. These pictures are of the tileworks. Its a functioning pottery where they make tiles today.

Mercer also built a 6 story castle called Fonthill which is a museum and can be toured. It is facinating to see the tiles and mosaics that he made or collected from around the world.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Felt United Day

In honor of the third international day of felt, 
I created this piece at the Creative felt Gathering. I finished it up on Saturday.

It was designed to be a knapsack, messenger bag with a front pocket for a water bottle and an inside pocket. The red leather strap was made from an old leather jacket that was hanging in the attic, waiting to be recycled. It is connected on one side to a loop that was incorporated into the design and has a clip on the other end. The loop on the bottom can be used to clip the front flap and also to have the leather strap threaded through for use as a knapsack. I used it this weekend and I do like it.  I like the versatility of the strap.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Creative Felt Gathering Part 2

I learned a lot at the Gathering. People from the Ohio, Michigan, and surrounding areas are nice. Having Fibromyalgia I should not have driven ten hours by myself. Felting is something I love to do with other people.

I have finished enough of my cuff to post a picture. I made this in a class, where we first picked a piece of glass that Jone had made in advance. Then Pam MacGregor taught us the cuff part. Although green is not one of my colors, it did look good with the glass piece I selected and I was able to add enough blue to like it a lot. The other Linda gave me some fun metal beads to add to those I had and it enhanced it. I need to add a few more.
A little about Fibromyalgia for those who are not familiar with it, what happens is it causes much pain for a person almost all the time. Sometimes, the lining between my ribs becomes painful and it is hard to breathe which makes me hunch which makes my back hurt.  I get foggy in the head when I am tired. Pain makes me grumpy.  Different parts of me hurt on different days.  I cannot ignore this but have to find ways to incorporate it into my life. I went to bed early there which helped. Sometimes the pain and I have very different ideas on what we want to do.  I ended up leaving a very fun event a day early because of that.  Next year if I go, I will either not drive the entire way myself, or I will plan to go early and allow a full day of rest before going to the gathering. 

One of the days I did really well (pain wise)was on Wednesday when it was a day off for the regular teachers.
In the morning Amira Mudfaery taught us a technique using chicken wire. I did a fish because that was the first thing that popped into my head.  Then she showed us a technique using roving, wire and a drill. I was not sure what to do with that one, so I decided to make a habitat for my fish. I was really happy with the end result.
I need to take a better picture so I can send her a copy.  Its been a long time since I have done sculptural work and I really had fun doing it. I am slowly finishing up my pieces this week and will post more as time goes on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Creative Felt Gathering 2011

I survived the Creative Felt Gathering in Michigan. It was fun, exciting and exhausting. It was about a ten hour drive from Pennsylvania to Michigan, just me and Gumby. Here is Jone, Pam and Elis at the welcome meeting.

 Gumby working hard rolling my felt for me.
Almost finished piece that I did in Elis roving class. I wish I was not so tired that day or I would have done something different.

 The class with MudFaerie was tons of fun. I need to take a picture of my piece from that class.

My mittens that I did with prefelt with Jone. This was fun and I need to make more mittens.

Then the resist dying class with Chad. Like opening a surprise package with every one.

Really foggy on the way home. I left a day early because I was so exhausted from the drive there that I knew I would not be able to work on Monday if I drove ten hours on Sunday. . More details later......

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nature's weaver

I am amazed by spider webs and how beautiful and effective they are. This one, was built this morning just outside my front door.  I walked by it and did not see it until my daughter pointed it out to me from inside.
Not only was it a beautiful web but unless the sun was hitting it just right it was invisible.  An effective trap.

And then it was gone. We did not touch it but it is almost like the spider dismantled it and moved on.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chickens on my mind

I need to make another piece for the creation myth exhibit for the NEFG show next year and was talking to my artist friend Lori. She is currently doing pottery so I was thinking of incorporating felt and pottery. Thus the above was born.  Its Chicken legs with holes for me to attach felt to the top.  I cannot wait to see what it looks like when it drys and is fired and I finally get it to work with.  I already have a name for the piece but am not telling yet. I am excited about this collaberation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baltimore Grand Prix and MICA

We took a trip with friends to Baltimore for the Grand Prix and added in a tour of Maryland Institute College of Art.  My lovely talented daughter has this on her college list. Very nice school. I like the public transportation and the downtown area seemed nice.

Now on to the Grand Prix. What a great time we had. Traffic getting in was not bad at all, we were able to walk everywhere or take public transportation.
Great fun