Category Archives: Felting

At the Eleventh Hour…

Haven’t seen much of you lately. At 230 this afternoon, the art that is lost in this mess moves to the Florida Craftsman Gallery and I’ll head down to feed the hawks and owls. And then, I hope to begin the road back to the real (clean and tidy) world. Somewhere in there are some pumpkins to be carved or baked or both.feltmess1(“Retire! Get a hobby!” he said. Here’s Rich, happily reading the morning paper with his cup of coffee. )

feltmess(McCloud is the guardian of felted Christmas ornaments. At night, they turn into wild birds that need to be subdued…)

See you soon!

 

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Will it Felt?

Around here I play a variation of the David Letterman game,’Will It Float?’ It’s called,”Will It Felt?” Take this piece for example, which didn’t photograph for beans. But as a diversion from producing felted fruit and angels at a high rate of speed for upcoming holiday shows, I’ve been working on this ‘Sedona’ piece that is large and hopefully, good and frame-able. It has a staggering amount of effort into it, not to mention a lot of mulling it over time. There’s an underlying wool pre-felt in shades of golds and browns. There is a massive run of raw silk hand-dyed in reds, oranges and yellows. There are hand-dyed silk cocoon hankies accented with purples, blues and oranges. And there is wool from some hapless Corriedale that’s been dyed in blue/gray tones and some of same dyed orange. After all that there are hours of layout, rearranging, moving, tweaking, poking, pulling. Finally, we come to the question: Will It Felt? Not everything does and a lot of what does, doesn’t do it the way you think it might. I’m afraid to start; once you add soap and water that could be the kiss of death. It’s one thing to trash a bowl with several hours work and 8.00 worth of materials; it’s another to wad up something like this and throw it in the trash. Or give it to the cat for a cat blanket. McCloud has been eye-balling it constantly because it’s on his glass top coffee table. I believe he thinks I’m doing this all for him. At night, I put crinkly plastic and tin foil strips around it to keep him off but it’s only  matter of time…Anyway, this is taking my mind off not winning the Wolf/SubZero 50,000 kitchen sweepstakes. Sort of. But then I think: “If only I had that 10 ft run of Cambria stone countertop with the giant farmstyle Kohler sink at the end, this thing would be a lot easier to tackle.”

Anyway, I’m busy and I still have to run over and feed the birds and then the neighborhood annual Halloween porch party is tonight. I’m wearing a tiara, long gown and a giant satin sash that reads, “Miss Understood.” I think I’ll carry a bouquet of coontie fronds with Mexican sunflowers. Have a great weekend!sedona1

(This didn’t photograph well. That patch up in the upper right doesn’t really look like bovine intestines.)

Humbly pleased with my efforts

When my father was still alive he would call on Sundays and every conversation opened like this: “Hey there, it’s your dad! How are you?”  And I would say, “Hi, Dad. I’m fine, just always busy with the kids and a full work schedule.” And he would say, with total sincerity, “Well, aren’t you lucky?” He was so right.

I’m still busy, with a crazy deadline of Oct. 1 for all things Christmas and holiday. At this point I do relatively little besides lay out felt at night, wet felt in the morning, go feed the hawk in the pouring rain (and she took her time, thank you very much, pulling out the mouse guts as sheets of rain left me looking like Girls Gone Wild in wet t-shirts, age 58. Not pretty.) and go back to laying out felt at night. I’m sorry. For the time being, I’m the blog neighborhood deadhead. And I really miss you all. But hey! The work of Christmas is over by Halloween.  I’ll be around. I hope you are all well and happy.

I finished this piece yesterday- it’s been a challenge to do large vessels because I don’t use any artificial stiffeners and they start to collapse under their own weight while wet. This one is 14 inches in diameter, pure merino wool and bombyx (mulberry) silk and I like the sparkle. I was inspired by some of the Hubble photographs, even though I know those are photoshopped on the color end. This one is not and it definitely reminds me of the night sky up at Lost Loon Lodge. It’s called Northern Lights and is going into the Florida Craftsman Gallery the beginning of October.

Take care, be well.northernlightsbowl2northern lights bowl

Fuzzy thinking, wine and cheese

Last night I had one of those dreams that goes on and on, in great detail, and manages to encompass just about every worrisome aspect of your life, past, present and future. I’ll spare you all the details except this one: At some point I was visiting my parents to try and help them get their aging, out-of-control house in shape only to discover that Bud had hired a work crew that consisted of two college age social work students and 275 seven year old children from a home for delinquents. When I asked him why he said that the sheriff’s fund had called asking for a donation and that was what he had agreed to do.

All that by way of saying life is happily out of control around here. I spent the last year worrying that if I really decided to try and market my felted works I’d be rejected at every turn. Last week I went bravely out into the world, feeling quite sick to my stomach, and approached the best gallery and then the nicest knitting store in St. Petersburg and came home with orders for over a 125 items for holiday sales- all due by October 31. What’s that odd thing people type online for great bursts of laughter? MWAHAHAHA!

And so, the house is hopelessly awash in wool, fuzzies on and under everything and we’re all choking on hairballs.

needle holder1(Ya, they’re really nice, all hand dyed merino top, silk bombyx and lovely batik fabric linings. Seamless.)needleholder2(every knitter needs a set, don’t you think?)ornament2(the sparkle in these doesn’t photograph all that well, but they DO sparkle)

And so now the question is, what to charge? I tend to ask too little, always thinking it somehow “isn’t nice” to ask very much. The problem of course is materials, time, commission, etc. means that for a mere 483.00 per item I could earn 10.00/hr. Kidding. But you get the idea. If I price the ornaments in the 20-25.00 range which seems about right for the gallery setting it’s a certainty that I remain Rich’s chattel for a few more years. And that means, every time I ask him if he would do the litter box he still has that snappy comeback: “Sure, if you want to run these 40 pages of statistical analysis for me…” But, IT’S ALL GOOD.

Thanks for all your support around the Lincoln Park Zoo docent issue. I rarely get all up and political here but that one leaves me steaming. Really steaming. So, thanks.

On Friday I whipped out the vacuum and we took a break to have some friends over for a wine and cheese party. That was more entertaining fun than I can remember. A fine, funny and uniquely different lot, everyone got along famously. We have been getting some foods from Rosas Farm near Ocala- all organic, local, artisanal- and we’ve been very pleased. We ordered ground beef- about 5 pounds will last the month in spaghetti and burgers- and it was incredibly juicy, tender, flavorful and had very little fat content. And of course, it all came from one cow, as opposed to a thousand standing in a pen full of manure.

The cheeses were a real hit. We had six total and paired each one with exactly the right wine, champagne or Oktoberfest beer. I printed out the description and origin of each and put it next to the tray. I added a big tossed salad of microgreens, grapes, some fresh ciabatta bread, crackers (not Ritz), two sorbets and some organic dark chocolate. It was a lovely table, really simple and elegant. And fortunately, I forgot to put out the chocolate. Oops.

cheese

I am really sorry to hit and run like this but I have to make 4 felt penguins by the end of the day…I agree with Mary’s note on Facebook this morning: I expect you all to keep entertaining me with your news and photos.

Me and My Evil Twin

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eviltwin1