Saturday, March 14, 2015

My first YouTube video!

I'm so excited, just uploaded my first YouTube video today, here's the link  The video shows how to machine-stitch the spiral fabric flower we use to embellish one of the hats in my #190 "Downstairs Fascinator" pattern. The pattern gives directions, too, but there's nothing like a visual to really see how it's done. This is a great flower to use on not only hats but purses, wall hangings, or just to wear as a pin. Lots of different fabric types can be used to create different looks: cottons, batiks, bamboo felt, silk dupioni, linen, the sky's the limit! As we're celebrating our 25-year anniversary this year of our company Annie's Keepsakes, I thought it would be the perfect time to do this how-to video to go along with our Fascinator Contest which goes on all year (first place is 25 items from our company! See our web-site for more info, we have a special page dedicated to the contest.) So be sure to check out our vid, a special thanks to Patty who filmed it and also my son Nick who edited. Here's a few pics of what you can do with these easy fun flowers.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wooly Wrapper Mixed-media Class

Our second day of class at Mid-Atlantic was so much fun! Most of the students were able to come, although we were in a band of bad weather that stretched across the middle of Virginia into Virginia Beach, and some of the girls were snowed in from that area and couldn't make it in.

But those who did all had a great time I think! We played in shaving cream with inks to marbleize wool, then stenciled designs over the marbled backgrounds. Each student did their own amazing little works of art and had fun creating and experimenting with some new techniques. We also dyed silk ribbons to coordinate with the wool, and even pearl cotton to use in decorative stitching on their future projects. Lastly, we heat-set everything and dried the inks, then needle-felted flower centers and such to add a bit of texture. Each student's work was unique and gorgeous, here are some pics of their wool, I hope to someday see the beautiful projects they use these in!
 This was a beautiful piece, she added a wonderful gold needle-felt center to the flower too.
 Love her chartreuse background she mixed and marbled, and the purple coneflowers just popped!
This clever gal used a mask technique to add a flower "behind" the blue flower, love it!
I love the clean lines and colors of this very elegant piece, can't wait to see what she uses it in!
 And I also love the layering this student used in her mixed media art piece, she chose a busy background and layered her stencils over it and then painted details, very rich!
 This clever girl combined a couple of stencils for her flowers, and then layered her curly fibers for her flower centers, just gorgeous. Each student truly put her special spin on her art, I can't wait to see what they do with their pieces...maybe they'll bring them to the show next year so I can see!

Vessel Class, despite the snow!

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival was quite the adventure this year! We drove through light snow all the way to Virginia, and made it to Hampton just as it was starting to get pretty rough, the road in had almost turned into a parking lot. I was so thankful that we were staying at the Embassy and could walk over to the show every day, driving in snow is not for this Southern girl! We even got a room on the "preferred level" of the 10th floor, which seemed to mean we got a Keurig coffeemaker, I didn't see anything else that was different, but hey, works for me.

Anyway, we set up Wednesday with a mess on the ground but at least nothing was falling out of the sky. Not so much on Thursday, it snowed much of the morning...but my felting girls in my vessel class braved the snow and came on out anyway, we were only missing 1 or 2 students! (This is why we're the renegade class lol.) And they made the most awesome vessels! Each one was unique and special in color, shape and design, just as each student was so unique, they were all fabulous and fun, we had a great time.
 Love the green and purple fibers this very talented student chose, gorgeous!
 My fave colors, very soothing shades of teal and green with pops of purple.
This great vessel is reminiscent of a globe, what an art piece!
 This truly reminded me of a ceramic or stone vessel, love the gray and acid yellow palette she chose, and the plum bamboo fibers were the perfect accent...she also lined it with the yellow!
This clever gal made a nice big vessel with a frothy rim to serve as a candy bowl at work.
 Love the happy colors and asymmetrical shape of this one!
 Beautiful tones of blues and purples with shots of fuchsia.
 Soft hues of lavender and pink molded into an oval vessel, what a beautiful creation by a first-time felter!
Everyone loved this turquoise vessel with lots of pops of color, a bit like an aquarium! All the vessels are still wet in these pics, so I know how gorgeous they must have been when they dried and the beautiful colors and luster of the bamboo and silk came out. The girls did a fantastic job!

Nuno at The Fibre Studio in Winter

Way back when we scheduled a nuno-felted scarf class at The Fibre Studio in Charlotte...who knew then that we'd be having all this snow and ice? We didn't really know until the day before the class if we were going to be able to go or not, they were still calling for snow that afternoon! And we did have lots of big white fluffy flakes...for about 10 minutes, and then thankfully, it cleared up.

So our class scheduled for the next morning was a go, and I think we were all excited, some of us had been cooped up with all the ice on the roads for a few days, plus this was a group of friends so I think they were all looking forward to spending time together and learning something new. But things were not to be smooth sailing yet! I ran into a traffic jam as soon as I hit Charlotte, and a couple of the girls called me on my cell phone wondering what was going on, the police were blocking up the exit ramps, and there were no cars on the northbound side of the interstate; sure enough I glanced over, and oddly enough, no traffic over there at all! Well to make a long story short, guess who was lunching in Charlotte that day? Joe Biden, who knew? I quickly called the shop and Debbie guided me through a back way/short cut, and it wasn't long before we were all there safe and sound, ready to have some fun.

And what fun we had! I really enjoyed spending my day with this group of friends, all extremely talented and artistic. And the scarves they made were just gorgeous! Each unique in their design and color choices, these gals really did a great job. Here's some photos of the finished scarves, enjoy!
 This mother-daughter team chose colors a bit similar with very different effects, love them!
 Very unique, I'd never had anyone do a tone-on-tone scarf before, especially black, stunning! Rather Victorian in feel, and a nice symmetrical layout.
 This was a beautiful artistic scarf with a very contemporary feel and lots of yummy textures!
  Loved the pops of blue on this vibrant red and purple scarf, and her wool nepps were just the right touch.
 Absolutely exquisite, we all loved this beautiful scarf in teals and purples.
This great scarf was full of fun and happy colors, lots of texture!     I can't wait to see what the next class does, we're going to let them try dyeing their own scarves with some instant-set dye and then felting them, lots of fun ahead at The Fibre Studio in May!