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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Our home is surrounded by tall oaks intermingled with sassafras trees that seem to "glow" from within during this Fall season -- what a glorious site as I look out my studio window. Here is one of Her Majesty's on going projects that is being developed -- again I have to wait for the scrumbles (for those who don't know about scrumbles, you are really missing out!) and the pieces felted to match "tell" me what they would like to be. Whether or not I can accomplish it is a different story!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I realize that it is a long time between postings but I have been working on four new projects -- the first in a series of Samplers for machine needle felting that I hope to launch very soon. Once I've found the right partner(s), I'll post some pictures. During my travels, I've found that there is a great need for simple projects for those who don't have access to classes and want to gain confidence, learn techniques. The machine needle felting trend is starting to really catch on as I said it would three years ago! Keep tuned for more about this first "Sampler." . . . . . . of course, there is always the book that is coming along nicely. The other item that I've spent lots of time working on but more time pondering over is the hand dyed wool garment. It helped when I recently purchased a dress form (thanks to Project Runway, my FAVORITE show!). I have finished designing the front and let the "curves" tell me what to do. Now the challenge is to piece the remaining fabric for the back and to incorporate some of the same design elements, i.e., curves and texture. The pictures you see here are where we are now -- will it be a vest or will it be a jacket? Will it be a winner . . . . or will it be an "out" and have me disappointed with the results and force me to begin all over again to create something else? I'm trying to take it slow and allow it to come to life. Oh well, it would make a very pretty bag!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This morning, as I was faced with some hand dyed wool felt leftover over from my watercolor landscape class preparation, my creative spirit perked up her sleepy head. Some of these pieces are a nice size and mostly blue. Not only was the wool too wide but needed to be "squared" so I saved all the edges which were thick and thin but also quite pretty in soft shades of blue and green. Her are beginning pictures of this experiment . . . . . . keep tuned to see what happens!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On September 17, I'll be teaching the Watercolor landscape (you can see the picture on the June 29 post) at Randy's Quilt shop in Greensboro, NC. I met Randy last year when I taught class at Babylock Tech in St. Louis and I'm looking forward to seeing him again and meeting Debbie, his assistant. This class is really fun and allows students to be creative using a variety of roving, yarns and ribbon embellished on to a hand dyed wool background to create their dream English countryside. The completed piece can be used for a wallhanging or would be fabulous framed in a shadow box. I've done quite a few landscape pieces -- the first was made for a birthday gift using Harris Tweed. It was purchased in Lewes on the island of Stornaway where it originated. It makes it all more special because we visited my Mother's cousins who still live there and who used to be Harris Tweed weavers. In fact, Mom's uncle who was a Minister was instrumental in visiting London and taking the necessary steps to protect the name from those foreign companies attempting to steal and use it for their inferior cloth. Every yard of authentic Harris Tweed is identified.

Thing have been busy in the Queen's studio these past few weeks as every spare moment has been spent updating samples and preparing for upcoming events. On September 8 I'll be teaching a bag class and on September 9 presenting my trunk show at Creative Sewing in Columbia, SC. I'm very excited that I'll finally meet Evy of "A Bit of Stitch" and Peg, the owner of the shop. If you have an embroidery machine you really must check out Evy's designs. This is the bag that was designed for class using a collection of sumpteous materials in soft salmon and green and the Babylock Embellisher of course.
If you have an embroidery machine you really must check out Evy's designs -- she is just so imaginative and clever. Her dimensional Sugarplum Fairy is simply amazing -- for the past two Christmases, I have stitched many complete with their sparkly ballet dresses, posed and hung them from the chandelier for our own families version of the Nutcracker. The grandchildren love them and they make wonderful tree ornaments.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Her Majesty is doing a Happy Dance today -- the sun is shining and the flowers are very happy -- especially the Goose Neck Liatris! (she's not quite sure that the spelling is correct but they are gorgeous nevertheless - all pointing their dainty goose-like heads in the same direction). Mind you, she's not complaining at all about the recent rain as the palace garden was crying out for water -- but a week of steady rain was a just a little too much. The Queen has been "painting" with fiber again, but this time it is all about soft watercolor hues -- here is her latest endeavor. Put your daily tasks aside and imagine taking a walk through this dreamscape English countryside and getting lost in the scenery -- can you hear the bubbling brook hidden by the trees? When you are tired, you can retire to the upstairs room with the gabled window, rest on the feather bed, close your eyes and listen to the songbirds.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I feel sooo lucky to have won the first prize at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for my blue shawl (pictured below). This festival is by far my favorite. For those who love color, fiber and animals, it is pure balm for the soul. Whenever I travel and teach I always let everyone know just how much fun it is (no wonder it is becoming so crowded!) -- I truly plan my May "life" around it! Besides, it takes place about 10 minutes from my home! There were some pre-festival workshops and I took a dyeing class that was to "dye" for! Thanks to the instructor Carol and to the students on either side for putting up with me -- I can get pretty focused and took way too much fiber to dye. I'm posting a picture of the finished Apricot Shrug that began as Apricot "fluff" earlier in the blog.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

. . . and a couple of test "scrumbles" -- still thinking about what shape will transpire

Here is the confection of tasty yarns selected by Her Majesty from around her Kingdom, near and far, to complement her apricot nuno felted piece - what will transpire? keep tuned to find out . . .

Monday, March 20, 2006

. . . . a close up for your viewing pleasure!

Here is a picture of the apricot "fluff" which has been Embellished and is now a fluid piece of nuno felt jus waiting here for Her Majesty to decide just what to do next!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One more for today while we are on a roll! I have been on a mission this past two weeks collecting yarns, plain and fancy for more scrumbles as I am completely addicted! . . . and THEN I blended various fiber in the same melon and apricot colorway and add tiny touches of pink curls and green silk to create a lovely soft roving -- it is calling out for me to play -- at this point I have no idea whether or not it will be another shawl or a jacket but here is the beginning picture -- yummy, delicious colors.

The Queen is on a roll now - Spring has awakened her "muse" and there all kinds of ideas dancing around under her "crown" -- how to make them materialize is another matter! Perhaps one of those Palace Fairies will help.

Several projects underway and are in various stages of completion but I hope you will have as much fun looking at them as I do creating them.

Here is a crazy patch pillow top I have been working on -- the next step is to add some beads. I did embroider a flower on my Ellegante and embellished it down, then surrounded it with whatever tickled my fancy - I adore working with silks and roving -- the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Queen has returned! Sorry that Her Majesty's blog had to be put on hold for a while but she has been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d quite thin lately!!! (if only that were possible!). I'm hoping to get back in the swing now and be able to post more frequently. I've had some requests for a picture of my completed free form crochet/knitting shawl which I combined with a nuno felt technique that I developed after many hours of experimentation (of course that was created using my sweet Embellisher). I'm also including a close up of one area -- the top part is the nuno felting that is mainly in soft blue and aqua hues and then I used surface crochet in order to incorporate some of the other colors used in the knitting/crochet to tie it all together.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Although this piece is far from being finished, it is coming along nicely (my "bliss time is over for today) and I've added some silk hankies, silk carrier rods and the tiniest little wool crimpy curls that I've ever seen (adorable). Keep in mind that you must allow your muse to take over here -- you will have no clue where these colors and texture will take you -- just take one step at a time and decide what the next step will be when you get there. Great fun and very relaxing.

Once the colors have been determined then I began using my very favorite "baby" to Embellish down the fibers as a background.

Here we go again. Among the wool felts received the other day was a piece of lavender that I wasn't sure what to do with (colors look quite different online sometimes) so my "muse" told me that we needed a challenge; we put the orange and blue piece aside for the moment and started shopping through the Queen's stash (THAT is what it is there for anyway) and came up with a colorway to please the senses. This is what we came up with. The idea being to begin with some colors and then go from there.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today, I finally took the plunge to create a blog which I hope will serve as a tool to share some hints and techniques for those of you who love to play with color and texture too.

I'm an admirer of Joseph Campbell who tells us to spend some time with our "bliss" daily in order to restore our energy. My bliss is playing with a rainbow of fibers of the softest silks, mohair and wools that range from sleek and silky or combed into luscious waves or locks that are tight and crimpy in texture. The variations are never ending so my voracious interest continues to be fed. I hope yours will too.

My newest obsession is free-form knitting and crochet and my shawl that started out to be a cape is almost finished -- I had a basket full of "scrumbles" which are small pieces crocheted or knitted or a combination of both -- and then these are pieced together. This is all more fun when you have the task of selecting a colorway -- I love introducing a "surprise" color into the mix. This process reminds me of the broken china mosaics or the crazy patchwork quilting that I also enjoy. This shawl began with a piece of nuno felt created with my Embellisher using silk chiffon, fiber and water soluble stabilizer in a sort of basic triangular shape and has emerged much like a butterfly as a soft, ruffly, fluffy creation. I need to take a rest from it for a couple of days before I determine what the next step should be.