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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Prolific Weekend!


This is Valentine's Weekend!  Nothing special planned, but had a very sad funeral to attend, and then proceeded to make felt.  And make more felt!

I've been looking for a workshop that I could reasonably attend sometime this year.  So far, I haven't found any that seem feasible - without spending megabucks and traveling very far.  I found a beautiful something new on a FB group for felting workshops, only this was an e-book offered by Merina Lanari on Etsy.  Using materials I had at home (cheesecloth, kitchen string, and of course, merino and silk fibers from my stash), I followed the directions - way mostly!  I seem to never follow patterns or instructions, preferring to use the inspiration and go my own way.  I think it worked!  And it is a technique I can apply to other types of nuno felting.  So I am happy!  It's very textural and dimensional.  I'm not into dyeing (yet!) so at this point, I'll be making these in natural colors (white and ecru).

Then....I decided to make some pin cushions, using supplies in my stash or given to me by other artists.  All four are made differently from one another and turned out to be different sizes and consistency.  But they are all fun, functional, and cute little gifts.

And then I decided to make a black, gray, and white nuno felted scarf including an experiment with cotton threads as a surface design element.  VERY effective, as it just pops on the black and gray wool.  The other side has a number of different silk fabrics in the color theme.  Happy with all these results....but not a little tired!

   

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I'M BAAAAAAAACK!

This morning I received a lovely message from someone who must have inadvertently stumbled upon my last post - NOVEMBER of 2014.  So perhaps it is time to resurrect this blog and at least bring you up to date with my happenings.  And there have been numerous happenings in my life!
It's so interesting to me that my last post was about the disarray of my supplies for all my creative endeavors.  Because in May of 2015 we put our house on the market, intending to downsize - for numerous reasons.  In July we purchased a condo (1000+ less square footage than our house!), and in September we moved.  We had as one of our goals to still have a studio space for me, and surprisingly, the new space is actually more convenient, more compact, and more amenable to felting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and more in a lot less space.  I am actually quite pleased with this new set-up.

Our condo is in a wonderful location, close to shopping, cinema, restaurants, groceries....just about everything, and 15 minutes closer to my gallery.  My galley kitchen provides a perfect space for felting on a very long counter with upper ledge to keep materials dry, but an adjacent sink for the wet work.  Only drawback that I can see is not being able to engage in  very large projects.  If and when I want to do those, I will go to a friend's studio.


We had a beautiful storage unit with counter built in what is also my study and sitting room (also with pull-out couch/bed) and affixed a counter in the very large closet for my sewing machine and lots of other supplies.  It is all so much more efficient than what I had in my house.  And the kitchen has more cabinet space, so my most used felting supplies are right there.  Only the fiber and fabrics are in my studio/den which is only a few feet away.  All in all, this move has had a  a positive impact on my art work.

I have been focusing on nuno felt wraps or scarves that can also be used as wall hangings and table runners.  I have one hanging on my wall in the living room; when I want to use it as a table runner or wear it, I simply pluck it off the wall.  It is equally functional as wearable or decorative art.  In addition, my newest work includes felted journals, felted soaps, and an attempt to use up yarn stash by knitting and crocheting Cozy Cowls, Holey Cowls, and other neckwear.

So....I'm back!  Moved and settled in and able to create better than before.  Condo living also makes for less indoor and outdoor work, so my time is freed up more.  We are happy!

As always, you can see examples of my work on Flickr, FB, the Scarf It Up website, and the Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts website.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

MOJO RETURNS!

No kidding!  I feel like a new woman, but one with so many ideas now and no time to pursue them.  THAT frustrates  me enormously!

I attended the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild show at the Raleigh Convention Center yesterday.  What a beautiful show!  Now filled with inspiration and new ideas, I am experimenting with a small felt today, but I also want to finish my Jane Thornley knit creation so I can wear it to work tomorrow at Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts.  And it's Sunday, so my usual chores remain (changing sheets, all the wash, and making a trail down the middle of my place - at least.

I have wondered recently why I have no ambition to entertain, and now I understand why.  I had thought it was due to the upheaval (literally and figuratively) of moving, but now we are mostly settled, so it's time to devote to me and my craft.  Tough decision!  Need to nurture friendships and maybe develop some new (that's a completely different story!) in our new environment.  I would much rather just make my felts and keep on knitting.  I wonder what that all says about me and my priorities.

Here is the Jane Thornley design in stages of progress:





Thursday, November 05, 2015

LIFE HAPPENS!

March 4 was the last time I published anything on this blog!  That hardly seems possible, but then a few things have intervened:

  • Prepared to downsize and sell a house
  • Bought a condo but hadn't sold the house yet (June) - never a great idea!
  • Prepared the condo (painting, electrical work, custom unit for living room, custom studio design for me!, sliding screen door, reupholstering some furniture, etc.)
  • FINALLY sold the house (September!) and moved
  • Granddaughter's wedding in SC (August)
  • Trip to MA, CT, PA (August)
  • Visits from family from France (October)
  • The passing of a dear friend and neighbor (October)
That's enough to recall for now.  Meanwhile I'm still trying to get settled in the condo - downsized from almost 2900 to 1800+ square feet and manage to create some new work in felt, knot, and crochet.  My sales have been good for the past couple of months, so that is inspiring me to get going. I've found space in the new place to do it....as always it's a question of blocks of time to do it.  And it still involves using my kitchen counter once again, and in this galley kitchen, that means working around meal prep times and having it cleaned up nice and tidy!

I'm going to try to update this blog more frequently going forward - TRY!!!  I very recently documented my nuno felting process, and will post that in the next couple of days.  Many people have asked me how it's done, so rather than talk about it, I have photographed it.  That plus the resulting explanations will follow very soon.  Above is a taste of the resulting work.







Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Ww WON!!!! Thanks to all who voted for us and to those who support us every day of the year!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

SCORE Small Business Championship!

Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts is honored to be entered in the SCORE Small Business Championship, in which two small businesses from each state have an opportunity to win $1000 from Sam's Club, an all-paid trip to a SCORE celebratory symposium/training, and a full-year of additional SCORE mentoring. Since SCORE Wilmington was involved from the start of Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts eight years ago, we have grown and flourished under their guidance, workshops, and more.  We are on the "Top-Rated" list's first page right now in this championship and could use your vote!  Please watch our video and vote here.

You can vote now through February 12 when the voting ends and the judging begins. 


 Let me tell you the story of creating our video!  Pat Holleman, President of Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, and I determined to make this video, restricted to 30-60 SECONDS!  We prepared the script, she delivered it, and I served as videographer…..I with absolutely NO video experience (except what I produced for a brief demo for a SCORE workshop many months ago, thank you Toya Wilson-Smith.)

So we met last Sunday at our gallery, ready to do it with script, iPad, and tripod in hand, and we determined to do it BEFORE the gallery was to open at noon.  Since neither of us have video-editing experience, it had to be one take!  But of course, there must have been 20+ takes in a 2+ hour span of time.  But first there were issues with my iPad brightness and then sound, her Galaxy and my tripod, barking dogs in the hallway and at our favorite coffee shop 2 doors down (Java Dog), people walking in before we opened, getting the tripod NOT to creak as I turned it to view most of the gallery, and on and on.  There was a lot of laughing and groaning together (we can be silly at times!), and this is the final result!

So now we need your help to keep us in the running.  SCORE Wilmington has been instrumental in our success, and we are very grateful to Sara Raleigh, our lead mentor, for the support and encouragement shown in our short but successful 8-year enterprise.

WISH US LUCK!!!

We will certainly let you know the results!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

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