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!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Silk scarf Dyeing Class

Recently at Sawtooth we had a special day of "Taste of Art" classes for a travel group making a stop in Winston-Salem. Taste of Art is a fun way to dabble your feet in a particular art technique and come away with a unique, finished project.

I really enjoy doing the silk scarf-dyeing, my students come up with some incredible color combinations and patterns! And there is something about classes at Sawtooth that is so inspirational, you can almost feel the creative energy in the room as students are releasing their artistic vibe and spirit, it is so rewarding and fun just to be there. Here are a few samples of the silk scarves from this group, everyone got to dye 2 scarves and they were just exquisite! I look forward to teaching this TOA again on August 19.

Wet-felted Wooly Flower Class

We had a great time felting these flowers at our Wooly Flower Class at Sawtooth! A couple of the students were repeat students that I always enjoy seeing and visiting with, and they are quickly growing in their felting skills along with being sweet gals too.

We also had a group come up from out of town for a special Mother's Day celebration, and they had never felted! And we had a lady who drove all the way from Virginia to take this class, she was kind of a newbie too, and really did an incredible job. All the flowers turned out just gorgeous!! One of the gals went home and felted about a million flowers the following week, I think she really enjoyed it. (She must be as obsessed as I am!) Here are a few pictures of my students with their beautiful work.

SECU House

I had the privilege of visiting the SECU house a few times in the last couple of months to visit with the friends and families and patients who are undergoing treatment at our local hospital, and what a blessing it was for me. I took my wool fibers in all sorts of colors along with sparkly Angelina fibers to get our bling on and harmonizing ribbon and glass beads, and we had a good ol' time felting wool beads and making jewelry. We had our "felting parties" in the dining area where there were tables to sit and felt and chat, and there were also snacks available. Each table also had a pretty centerpiece with a hand-written sign of encouraging words, it was such a healing and inspirational atmosphere. On the other side of the room, an organization would bring their sweet dogs and sit with folks and visit with their pets. I really meeting the people and teaching them to felt, each person left with a beautiful hand-created wool bead necklace they could wear back to their room or home. I hope I was able to bring a bit of joy into their lives, and they could forget their troubles for a little while.

Spring shows

I didn't sign up for many shows this spring, as I moved to Forsyth County, my hometown, and what a whirlwind it's been! I did go up to Hampton, VA for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, and was thrilled to win a Judge's Choice ribbon for my "City Lights" ensemble. The focus of course is the scarf, I used the "cracked mud" technique of nuno-felting using a silk chiffon base for the scarf, and wool, silk and Angelina fibers for the colorful accents. I employed a geometric pattern to harmonize with the dress fabric, which reminded me of a night-time cityscape, thus the name. (I'm also a big Charlie Chaplin fan!) Here's a pic of me with my award-winning ensemble, tired but happy.
Another show I participated in but did not travel to was the yearly Spring Quilt Market. Each year Spring Market is held in a different city, alternating from east to west coast and also central America. This year it was in May in Salt Lake City, and I heard it was a wonderful show! I've traveled through Utah and seen a little of the city, it is just beautiful there.

So although I was unable to go, I did send some of my work to be on display. One of the vendors who displayed my work was National Nonwovens, the Woolfelt company I buy my Woolfelt from and also some of my fibers. They are always coming up with beautiful new colors of product, making my job as a designer so much more fun! Here is some of my work on display in their booth at market.
 My "Partridge on a Pear Pincushion" model on top of National Nonwovens new Woolfelt colors at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah!
 My Gingerbread Placemats & Mug-rugs greeting customers by the fibers in the National Nonwovens booth at Market, Paul setting up the booth.
Lots of Woolfelt projects in my new Crafty Critters book to display at Market!