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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Workshops and Trunk Show Presentation!!!

Be sure to join me for several exciting events. I'll be doing trunk show presentations/workshops in several locations - more information will be posted soon.

Artistic Artifacts on March 20 in Alexandria, Virginia

Quilting Adventures on April 16 (evening) 17 and 18 in Richmond, Virginia

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tampa Trip; I Signed an Embellisher!

This cheerful row of houses sitting in the sun along the water's edge was created while I was getting ready for my trip to Keep Me in Stitches, Tampa, Florida. I love creating cottages and houses, it's just so much fun to add the tiny details such as fancy doors and windows. It has a new home now with my dear friend, Karen, who picked me up after the event had finished to take me to her lovely home in Clearwater; we had a great time touring Tarpin Springs checking out the Sponge Farm and having dinner at the best of the Greek restaurants, Hellas (mmm, yards of fabulous mouth watering Greek pastries too).

You can't really tell from this picture, but this fluffy flower has about 12 layers of silk gauze - I'm going to add a pin back. Great to dress up a sweater or a hat. My mind was in a sunny mode (unlike real life) while getting ready for the trip. I was tickled when one of the students who purchased an Embellisher asked me to sign her machine! A first for me and so funny!

Valentines day is fast approaching, so why not whip up a few hearts to share with those you love; you could make some small ones to hand out. A very special Valentine for those you care about and a perfect way to use up your scraps.

Ready for Tampa - these packs of bright colors contain silk velvet, wool, silk gauze and dupioni, yarns and curls all dyed by me and the other packs have a delicious assortment of curls just waiting for the labels to be added.

Monday, January 11, 2010

As Promised - Felting using a Sander

Very little time this weekend - Birthday celebrations kept us busy - on both Saturday and Sunday (I'm very lucky, thank you for everything Mom, Pamela, Gordon, Andi and girls as well as for all the gifts and cards in the mail) but I did manage to squeeze in (just a little) time to play with my new toy.

This piece is very thick and is several layers of wool with various fabrics on top - love my sander :-) great texture that would have taken me hours to achieve just by rolling - it still needs some stitching and beads when there is more time.

My thoughts on this: I wondered "what if" I machine-needled wool through silk dupioni and then used the sander to felt it - turned out to be a great idea and one worth exploring further. I had painted some pieces with dye and color coordinated the wool with the colors on the silk - this would really be magnificent for crazy quilt squares; this piece still needs some more stitching by hand and some beads.

This is a different area of the same piece.

The photo just can't capture the areas with the soft subtle colors of this very soft and flowing piece - oh, and I also pulled threads from the edge and used them in the felting.

My cordless sander: I used two layers of rubber shelf lining under my piece to help cushion the vibrarion and when I kept the sander moving, the vibrations were manageable; still needed earplugs though. A good thing is that the charge doesn't last forever - maybe a good hour? so the temptation to overdo and do nerve damage is probaby helped by this since I worked for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. I purchased the battery charger that takes one hour to charge the 18 volt battery. Drawback is that the bottom of the sander is velcro so no way to attach anything to the plate to keep it catching from the wool; but that little point is very handy to get into small areas. Solution was to use heavy plastic over the top of the piece. I began using bubble wrap but a tiny area got a hole and it began "grabbing" the wool through the hole - scary moment - Yikes!
Bottom line is that I love it, expecially for those times when you want to speed up the nuno process. I just can't wait to use it again!

Friday, January 08, 2010

In Tears (of Joy)

A wonderful tribute from my wonderful firstborn, Andrea. This weekend I'll post pictures of the B&D cordless sander that I got for my birthday! I began trying it out last night but didn't get too far - phone calls kept me quite busy all evening so the felting will have to wait until tomorrow!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

My Hat

I've wanted to make a hat for as long as I've been felting but something always got in the way. I fell in love with Jannio's hats on Etsy, in fact I purchased a gorgeous deep red one (I'll have to take a picture) but Her Majesty has a rather large head (yes, she does) and it's a little on the small side but still worth having nevertheless. If you want one, go to Etsy and find her - she's in France and the quality is just superb and she's very accommodating. Anyway, I decided to try my hand at making one - I wear hats all the time and it had to be a little fancy and elegant but functional and warm and it's all of these. I wore it last week and felt just like a princess :-) That's the beauty of getting to a certain age, you can wear what pleases YOU! The turned back brim frames the face and yes, it's quite large!

Using up the Dye

I took a wonderful dye class a couple months ago using clamps and resists - the black piece with the dots and the silk with the circles next to it were the pieces from class. Since I wanted to use up the extra dye in the dypots, I decided to do a few experiments.

A little shibori on the peach and resists were used on the green.

These are some of my favorites dyeing first in a lighter shade before clamping and overdying.

These turned out just fabulous - dye painted on paper and which is then clamped to the silk and I was pretty thrilled to see how great these turned out. The one in the center is actual groups of very tiny muted flowers.

Trunk Show in Tampa!

I'm getting my trunk show all spruced up for the Keep Me in Stitches event in Tampa on January 22. Join us if you can! Call KMIS for more info

Three Bags Full

I've been dyeing for three days now - a custom order for class kits. A ton of merino, curls, 9 yards of silk gauze, yards of silk velvet and some dupioni that I've overdyed (blah original color) with some very interesting results - I love working with these colorways but I think I need a change about now!

Worth Waiting For

Here's our littlest guy - now you see why we were so excited - he is just the SWEETEST - we enjoyed a whole week with him as well as great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day parties.