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Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting for Win

John Winston that is! They are on their way as I write this; they left this morning and will be here by this evening - it's a loooong way from Hilton Head, SC to Mt. Airy, Maryland. I'm praying that they will be safe traveling over the recently snow cleared roads as they get closer.

This is the antique sleigh that we had stored in the attic. My Mom worked for 25 years for a school that used to be an orphanage in Washington, D.C. and when they found this little sleigh in their attic she brought it home for Jenni who is our youngest - the older two would never fit in this! I remember taking Jennifer (Win's Mom) to a little friend's birthday party in the neighborhood when she was two years old in 1978. It had just snowed, and was too deep for her to be able to walk through it, so dressed in her white hand-smocked (by me!) tea length dress, leggings and white fur coat and covered with a snuggly blanket, I pulled her to the party. Oh how I wish we had a picture of her then, sitting in this little sleigh with a warm furry hat over her long dark hair holding her little gift :-) Isn't this little dolly a dear? - he is one of the ten "stinky kids" who's motto is "Always Be a Leader of Good."

Wonderful memories and more to come . . . . . . . . . .

Merry Christmas to all of you - Blessings to you and your family!

Felt Playmat

I'd planned to make a warm blanket for Win when we took him out on the antique sleigh we had stored in the attic but as I began work, I thought about how practical that would be when he goes home to SC. I then decided to make a rug that would double as a playmat. He loves "Thomas" and trucks so I thought it might be fun to have something to pretend with. It's a good size 3' x 4' and quite thick, in fact too thick for me to manipulate well while wet so I stuck it in the bathtub and "stomped" on it - I felt like Lucille Ball stomping on her grapes! It was a riot, but it worked great! (glad my husband didn't take a picture) It lays really flat and has a lovely texture that you can't quite see if the photo. It had five layers of wool before the surface decorations were added. As you can see, there is a railroad, a little road, a pond, clouds, tiny birds (hard to tell on the photo), tree, houses, sun and a hill. When he is older, he can play trains, cars, boats or people. I'm so pleased with it - now it just has to dry

Feast or Famine

There have been no Blog posts recently because it's hard to bake, felt, shop and decorate while sitting at the computer (and, oh yes, how could I forget about my job and all that entails working at a Church during this Christmas season!). Anyway, I make little hand sugar cookies, iced with Royal Icing and dusted with edible gold every Christmas as everyone just loves them. I have a few different "hand" cookie cutters but this size seems to work best. This year, I decided to add what I feel - I'm so grateful for everything we've been blessed with and wanted everyone else to share the Love. These are the "practice" cookies, left for my husband to enjoy while I had to attend a late night meeting. The recipe I have is for 12 dozen but it only makes half of that number. I do it in stages: make the dough and cut into 4 sections, wrap in wax paper and chill until I get the time to bake a section at a time or all if I can manage.

Snow Men

I do love snowmen and have a special collection. These first two are among my favorites, are made of fabric - muslin? and painted in the softest tones of blues and greens - they are so well done, I wish I had purchased more of them. The detail is unbelievable.

Of course, I do love this little "bobble head" guy - too sweet!
I felted a snowman pillow as a gift for my assistant at work - she loves snowmen too. He has a tiny pointy carrot nose that I stiffened with textile medium but my camera battery just went dead, so a picture of him will have to wait :-(

Snow Princess

I just couldn't resist this "Snowflakes" sign and then I found a Snow Princess a couple of weeks ago - I'm wondering if she is the one who "commanded" this past weekend's 24" snowfall? If so, she's been very naughty as she's caused havoc with our plans to have our SC family with little Win. They were supposed to arrive this past weekend and you know the rest! This picture was taken early evening on Saturday and it kept snowing through the night. Good thing I'm on vacation this week since we have along winding driveway through the woods so I'm not going anywhere for a few days. I only hope that our family will be able to make it for Christmas Eve and we always have the family party; this is baby Win's first and some in the family haven't met him yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sunflowers to Brighten the Day

Missed my usual weekly post - I've been under the weather with some sort of sinus/respiratory problem but I did manage in between resting to play a little. Sunflowers are always welcome and cheerful in the garden. We can't have any living in the woods but a few weeks ago, when I was preparing for our "French" dinner, I found the most gorgeous bunch of the very sturdy smaller variety in the grocery store of all places and they inspired this imaginary garden. Although you can't see them easily in the picture, the flowers are surrounded by green stitched leaves. The background was wet felted, then machine needle felted and stitched before being wet felted once again. It was difficult to capture the color on the bottom portion since it's a dreary day so I had to take the picture indoors. I'll be putting this on my Etsy store after I have a change to enjoy it a little.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Barely Enough Time!

It's been a challenge to say the least but I've finished four cuffs, two pins, one neckpiece, one belt and one quite large felt. They are finally ready to add to the Etsy store. I'm really pleased how they turned out - I hope you like them as much as I do.

The felted and stitched yellow wool and silk cuff has a mother of pearl buckle closure.
This fancy felted neckpiece has a felted button closure, is lined with silk and edged with curls

The blue cuff is finally finished too with a felt button.

This is a rather large and sturdy felt with butterfly markings - suitable for a small rug or for cutting to make a fabulous bag.

How about a belt to fancy up those blue jeans - stitched detail and a mother-of-pearl buckle.

Another blue wool bracelet with red roses and edged with curls. Felt button closure.

As promised, the first of my destashing of my trunk show - a fancy bag with silk ribbons and wool curls.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


These were custom "Snippet" orders - each is experimental pack is unique and includes all sorts of hand picked (by the Queen!) color coordinated goodies; wool fiber, curls, yarns, silk ribbon, hand dyed silk velvet, fabric, silk hankie and silk rods.

If you'd like to order one (or some!) just e-mail me:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy, Busy, Bee

Busy felting - you probably think I'll never get these listed on Etsy (promises, promises) but I have to do things in stages due to time constraints and work responsibilities (computer work must be done in the early morning or evening) and the plan is to list these by this coming weekend.

Rust crewel cuff; fancy button. Machine needle, stitched and wet felted.

Pink flower pin - machine needle and wet felted.

Pretty posy pin - with ruffled top and curls along the bottom.

Yellow rosy cuff with mother-of-peal buckle (doesn't show here).

Sample green bag from my trunk show.

Blue cuff with pink flowers - felt button.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cuff and Samples for Etsy

I've begun making some things for my Etsy store and love the colors in this cuff - the base is a gorgeous blue silk Dupioni with lots of tiny purly curls from my stash machined into the background with vibrant pink flowers on green vines. All it needs now is some hand embroidery and/or beads and a closure to finish it.

Since I love to experiment and have soooo many samples (would take toooo many hours to go through these for my trunk show) so I've decided to sell some of these on Etsy including my red vest - I love it and learned so much from making it but I just can't keep everything. My trunk show (3 containers full) just won't hold any more so I'm going to have to be brutal and send some of it to new homes. Stay tuned.

Gift Bracelet

This bracelet was made for a very special person - my cousin and hero - she's been battling cripling Rheumatoid Arthritis since she was three years old - and she just reached a milestone . . . . . . drumroll - she's 50 today !!!
Congratulations wee cousin, Karen. I love and admire you for your sheer grit and determination. I can't even imagine how you've managed to be so strong after all the years of pain, treatment and surgeries you've been through, Oprah doesn't have a clue of just how much she's missed by not having you on her show for your birthday. You are so giving and cheerful even when you are suffering; a true miracle. You are so loved.

Fall Felted Belt

This is a felt belt, machine needle felted, stitched before being wet felted. Rings were added on one end and it almost has a tapestry look. Parts of it looked like the picture I chose for my postcards to hand out at Houston (this is the back of it) - I'll include one with all of my orders. I couldn't take any more pictures because the samples I took to Houston are traveling to Rhode Island at the moment for a show.
It looks great with a grey sweater over grey jeans - just the right "punch" of Fall color.

Monday, October 19, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame

That's right - 15 minutes! That's precisely how much time you get to do your "Schoolhouse Presentation" in Houston. It wasn't enough that's for sure as there was a lot of interest and many questions about the wet felting process. I could have gone on for hours about my passion! I met the same group of ladies that attended my demonstrations a couple of years ago when my first book was introduced. I wish I had gotten a picture of these ladies - so friendly and all decked out in their creative best - all very talented and I'm flattered that they think I know enough to follow my work. I even met some people that read my Blog! It truly is a small world. Although Martingale hadn't arranged for any demos this time, I managed to get some time at the Babylock booth as my followers (and some new ones too) were desperate to learn more - the folks at Babylock were kind enough to let me use their machine for as long as I needed - luckily I had brought a ton of supplies and some sample fiber packs that were "ripped" open and attacked! This is the only picture of me (I really don't like any pics of myself) but my beautiful and VERY creative firstborn, Andrea, was my helper and model and we got stopped everywhere we went with questions about who made the vests, bags and wraps. We had some great times - fancy dining, shopping, gazing at the amazing creativity of the very talented quiltmakers and even made time to loaf a little - well deserved for Andrea who is a busy Mom who has a husband, two daughters, two dogs, mice and a horse (as well as a very responsible job from home helping kids!) Isn't she great? (also the kindest person you'd ever want to meet)

I'm the luckiest Mom alive to have three such caring and wonderful children who are all doing a great job with their own families!!!

This is one of the booths we were very impressed with - we spent lots of time admiring the setup and the well arranged color groupings of all these fabulous ribbons, buttons and buckles. I spent hours there (as well as some $$$) and had a difficult time not buying more.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Finished Felt Belt

I finally finished my silk/wool belt by adding a silver button with deep blue center from my stash - the wool ties that I had originally planned just wouldn't look or feel right on this piece since the wool is sandwiched in between the silk on front and back so it doesn't show - a button seemed much more appropriate and I'll wear it with tailored pants in a soft mocha and cream silk shirt - looks fabulous as it has the most beautiful glorious shades in a silk burnout and has ruched so much during the felting process - it has a little ruffle along the bottom; the back of the belt is a sheer orange irridescent silk. This belt will also add a lot of character to a dress or skirt so I think I'll get a lot of wear from it. It's definitely one of my favorites.

New Felt Belt

This is a felt belt to wear with jeans - I thought it would be a fun surprise for Andrea to wear while we are away :-) As a Mom, I always love giving surprises (as I love getting them too!) - it's a nuno that wraps around and ties in front - I hope she'll like it. Life is so short, I believe in living in the moment and making the most of each one we are given.

Surprise Birthday Gift

I knitted and fulled this bag a couple of years ago and finally added some snazzy lining complete with pockets this past weekend to give to Andrea, our daughter, for an early Birthday gift. We are leaving for Houston on Thursday and I thought this would be a fun and sturdy bag to hold any "goodies" we may find. The lining matches the flowers and I used fusible interfacing to give it more body and I LOVE it - now I'm ready to knit another one.

Tweaking, tweaking, and more tweaking

I've spent more time tweaking the fit on this vest - I did want it loose but fitting more through the waist so I rewet the waist area and worked on it a lot and ended up taking in some darts at the back - what a difference it made and now I'm completely satisfied with the fit.