Monday, September 12, 2016

Nuno Scarf Class

We had such a great time Saturday in our nuno-felting class! There were 4 very artistic gals who attended and made absolutely glorious scarves, each one unique and different. They started out with a silk chiffon scarf base, either black or hand-dyed in a medley of harmonizing hues. Then they added hand-dyed and solid merino wool fibers in their chosen design: twirling vines, leaves, big robust flowers, swirly circles. Lastly they added the "icing": bamboo, silk fibers, Angelina, wool nepps, all sorts of goodies. Then came the soap, water and agitation, and finally, the shrinking and felting. What beautiful works of art each of them created! And every one so different as they chose their own personal color palette. We really need to get back together and wear our scarves when they're completed and dry, so gorgeous!

Sawtooth Scarf Dyeing

We had a "Taste of Art" silk scarf-dyeing class at Sawtooth a couple of weeks ago, and what a fun and adventurous group of gals we had! These girls were not afraid to try new things and "think outside the box", and you know me, I'm always the first to encourage someone to just try it, why not? Some of them experimented with some different resist techniques using bamboo sticks and string, others really went wild with their colors. It's always a wild ride to see the end results when using vegetable dyes, as some of the more unstable colors (like black) will separate into 2 or more other colors, like indigo blue and green (go figure!) I guess it's the combination of 2 or more colors that make up some of the more complex colors of dyes, and when exposed to the heat, they separate. At any rate, their scarves turned out gorgeous! I know they'll enjoy wearing them to all their autumn festivities.

Friday, September 2, 2016

SECU House Wool Beads

We had such a good time felting wool beads at SECU house last week! I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about the class this time; normally I look forward to teaching there and sharing my skills with patients and their family and friends. It's really nice to be able to do something I enjoy and help others forget their problems for just a little while, it helps me forget mine too! But this was the first time I had been there since my dad passed away from cancer on August 12, and that was still fresh on my mind. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to minister to other people who were going through the same thing I watched take away my dad.

But all went well, once we got started, I was able to put my life on the back burner for a little while, and everyone made beautiful wool beads! We also had a male grad student who made a wool bead representing "earth", and he was going to turn his into an ornament, while the ladies made necklaces with theirs. All in all, everyone had a good time felting and visiting. It's always a blessing for me to get to help others, and I hope it is for them.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Presentation at Pineapple Fabrics!

I'm so excited and honored to be presenting my lecture on "How to use Pineapple Packs to expand your Creativity" at Pineapple Fabrics August 26 & 27 at 10 am. This will be a free event (although you might want to touch base with them if you know you are coming, web-site and will have the added bonus of being held during their awesome end of summer fabric sale! If you've never been to one of their sales, you are in for quite a treat. Pineapple carries a wonderful variety of new fabrics from contemporary to traditional, and during their sale they mark their fabrics down to unbelievable prices! Not only will you find beautiful batiks, modern prints and traditional small prints, they also carry solid cotton fabrics in every color of the rainbow as well as extra-wide quilt backing too. Truly there is something for everyone in their selections, and then there are the beautiful Pineapple Packs they put together, they are like little works of art.

What, you might say, is a Pineapple Pack? Well this company has done half the work for you with these little gems. Pineapple Packs are a set of pre-cut fabrics that are beautifully coordinated to make up your projects perfectly. They come in several different types of cuts such as 2-1/2" jelly-roll strips, 5" charms, 10" squares, bonus (oversized) fat quarters and more. Not only that, there are lots of complimentary project sheets you can choose from to make up your Pineapple Pack! With the cutting and coordinating done for you, your project will be a breeze to stitch up. And there are so many designs to choose from: pet projects, tote bags, and sewing accessories among others. Each Pineapple Pack has a name depending on which cuts are included, and the corresponding project sheets have the same name to make it easy for you. And I cannot tell you how nice these folks are, they go out of their way for outstanding customer service - often a dying art these days (but not here!)

I am thrilled to be presenting a new design and several variations of it which will be free during my lecture! I'll be sharing lots of tips and ideas on taking this style and doing more to really stretch your creativity. I hope you'll join me at Pineapple Fabrics in Archdale, NC on these dates for inspiration and a great time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My birthday!

I got to do something fun with my son and friend on my birthday weekend - go see the new Ghostbusters movie! I have been a huge Melissa McCarthy fan for years, I love her gutsy strength and how she stands up unapologetically for herself and the average woman. But her role in this movie was almost tame compared to Kate McKinnon, what a hoot she was! And I really loved her hairstyle, avant-garde and powerful. I tried tweaking mine a bit last night as I was getting ready to visit my family, OK it's a bit more challenging to duplicate Kate's do when you have kinky curly hair, but here is my version along with my sis. Next time I'll try some stronger stiffy hair gel!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wooly Flowers

This is the perfect time of year to celebrate the beauty of flowers in all their glory! We have so many varieties blooming to draw inspiration from, I love to take pictures and save them for color and shape ideas, or just pick some fresh flowers to add a touch of joy to my table. So many of my designs are drawn from nature, after all, you can't improve on God's work. Here are a few wooly flower creations to get your creative juices going.
 One of my student's flowers from my "Double-layer Flower" class, just gorgeous.
 Wet-felted flowers from my video, so many color choices and fun to make!
My "Wooly Flower Basket" class, these aren't felted but are made of Woolfelt enhanced with Rit dye. I do have a pattern available for this last one which includes patterns and directions for making all the flowers and leaves shown as well as the actual basket itself, great for holding dried flowers, scarves, jewelry, napkins and silverware, incoming mail, etc.

The wet-felted flowers above are based on my video about How to Wet-felt Fanciful Flowers, you can watch a little preview and order it at the bottom of my Home Page of my web-site. Have fun creating!

Monday, July 18, 2016

My newspaper article!

I was so honored yesterday to be a featured artist on the cover of the Arts section of the Winston-Salem Journal! You can read the article here:

Quite an honor coming from the city boasting the first arts council in the entire country and also home of the acclaimed NC School of the Arts. This was such a blessing to be recognized in this way, and a bit of a surprise, it all happened so fast! I was thrilled to see that my mom got some well-deserved recognition here too, she has always been such a help to me and everyone around her, and she is also my biggest fan. Could not have done this without the help of my kids too, they are techy geniuses and manage my web-site and Youtube video as well as being my "constructive critics". I wouldn't be here without my support team! 

Some of you have been asking about my felting, and I thought I would post some close-ups of the green nuno-felted hand-dyed silk scarf shown in the ensemble in the newspaper picture. With the purple one in front you miss the rich details of the green scarf, so here are a few pictures of the felting I did on the ends. I used white merino wool fibers to felt the basic flowers accented with silk, bamboo and sparkly Angelina fibers, and I also felted a smidge of metallic mesh in the center of the full flower. I used hand-dyed variegated green wool fibers in a combination of merino and bamboo for the vines and leaves. The scarf is a hand-dyed silk chiffon generously cut for wearing as a shawl if desired.

Happy felting, hope this was an inspiration for your own creative projects!