Sunday, July 25, 2010

Celebrating Mucha

Who knew? I was so surprised to find the Google logo rendered in the style of one of my favorite artists yesterday, and delighted to learn that Alphonse Mucha and I have back-to-back birthdays! Hmmm...maybe they're really close, like he was born a couple of minutes before midnight, and I was born a few minutes into the next day...we could share a birthday only 5 minutes apart (OK, plus a hundred years or so also.) celebrate Mucha's birthday, I decided to pull colors for my impending challenge from some of his work; here's some inspirations and embellishments for a new design, finished project photo coming soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rainbow of Wool

The "lazy days" of summer are starting to fly by, counting down now toward the fall shows and getting busy! Today I placed my first fall order of wool, even though I have over 70 colors of Woolfelt, you'd think that would be enough for anyone to choose from. But I like having lots of colors for folks to use in their pin cushions, penny rugs and such, that way they can do some shading and highlighting within their applique, use it for flower variations, etc. Am also working on new pattern designs, and will post them when they're done, hoping to shoot some photos next week...they're turning out so cute. And of course I'm gearing up for my fiber art classes at the shows, teaching lots of wet-felting, needle-felting and pincushion designs this fall...Patterns & fibers & wool, oh my!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feather for her Bonnet

Sometimes finding just the right embellishment for a project can be as simple as looking in our own back yard. OK, so none of these feathers were actually in my yard per se, but my son did find this beautiful hawk(?) feather on one of our nature walks through a local park, and wouldn't it look grand adorning my "Sun 'n Fun Hat"? I think it would add just the right touch...although I still love this flowing black plume I found for one of my first samples I made up from a thrift store beaded velvet dress for a group challenge! Can't say I enjoyed sewing this fabric, though, and it was a stretch velvet knit too, making it even more difficult. Still I love the end result...but I have since made 4 hats from this pattern out of Woolfelt, just as attractive and much easier to sew!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tranqwool Scarf Class

Today's nuno-felted scarf class at Tranqwool Knitting Provisions in Salsibury was so much fun! We kept the group small and cozy so we could felt inside the shop, nice and cool and some great music to (rock 'n) roll to. The gals were all friends and had experience in felting, and what a wonderful, easygoing class we had. They each put their own unique spin on their scarf with colors, layout and fibers, rolled their silk, wool 'n fiber noodle "sandwich" like experts - and nobody complained, not even once! I do think it helped to have a gourmet lunch prepared by "Chef Brian", Jenny's hubby, who surprised us with bacon-wrapped shrimp and pineapple roll-ups, ham 'n cheese sliders, a delicious vanilla-mint iced tea (and no, it wasn't from a box!), and a home-made Key Lime pie to die for! OK, so I totally broke my diet for one meal, but it was worth it, and I only ate one slice of pie, not 2 even though we had permission to eat 2...^_^

At any rate, I was glad we were inside when the storm rolled in, lotsa noise and even a welcoming rain. Didn't slow these girls down in the least, and their scarves just felted up beautifully, lots of gorgeous texture on the back, ruffles both wide and narrow, texture and sparkle...I'd love to see them when they dry! Here's a look at the scarves and also the awesome food...and I hear Chef Brian will be back again for August's Nuno-felted Scarf Class, I can't wait! Jenny's shop is pretty eye-catching too, with tons of great yarns and samples to inspire.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wet-felted Flowers

This week I've been felting flowers and vines, lucky me! I love wet-felting with wool fibers, blending the colors, adding accents like vines & tendrils, buds & beads. Finishing them up is always the most fun, you never quite know how they're going to turn out once the wool "takes over" the felting's always a surprise in the end. =)

These are some samples of flowers I'll be teaching in classes in the upcoming months. I'm teaching the Wool Flower Lariat in Houston this fall at International Quilt Festival, I'm so excited to be part of their teaching faculty this year! We're also doing a class on Wool Beads, and I'm doing a demo on Needle-felting Tips 'n Tricks at their Saturday Sampler. I'll be vending both Market and Festival, so I should be full of ideas and inspiration after that!

Waterworks Art Gallery in Salisbury is also giving me a day (Nov. 20) to teach wet-felting this fall - yay! This time it's for grown-up girls, we'll be making these pretty flower brooches along with some other projects, what a fun day that will be, and close to home too. And last but not least, the gals at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival this year made a special request for me to teach these flowers at the 2011 show...your wish is my command! I look forward to seeing my felting friends in Hampton again next year.

"A Flower in a flower..."

This is what my daughter Maxi said when she saw our colorful zinnias, and I thought that was so sweet, and observant, too, I never thought of them that way! We had a little cook-out the week of the 4th, and Steve picked mason jars of zinnias and set on the outdoor tables, we had a big fan blowing and the stereo outside and waited till evening, it was so nice to have the kids home with their friends and family all together. We feasted like royalty on grilled steaks and veggies, corn bread salad with fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and frozen cookies and ice cream, yum! As hot as it's been, I know I will miss summer when it's over with all it's rich bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Every year I like to raise zinnias to have plenty of cut flowers in and around the house, and this year they have not disappointed in their brilliant colors. They really do seem to have the tiniest of flowers surrounding each center, and look so pretty when mixed with the lilies, glads and bachelor buttons.

Summer flowers

What blessed music the rain makes! I walked down to my neighbors the other day, and my feet sounded like they were walking on autumn cornhusks, the grass was so dry. But we had a little shower yesterday, and tonight are getting a wee bit more, thankfully. Our garden has mostly dried up, bummer...we had some yummy tomatoes, so good and sweet! The cantaloupes and watermelons have been sweeter and juicier too with all the sun.

I don't know how the summer flowers have survived all this heat, let alone flourished the way they have! We've had some gorgeous blooms, including a unique kind of sunflower that actually changes colors as it matures. This one started out dark maroon, a very deep red, then turned to a beautiful rusty burnt orange, and finally finished up in the traditional golden yellow, I'd never seen anything like it! Really pretty blooms. Can you see the small yellow one in the background in the top photo? It started out like the big one in front, and before they opened, they were dark blood-red!