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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Remember the ROADKILL????

There's always a story!  I told one of them a while ago about the REAL roadkill.  Today I learned of another, once again relating to my work.  If you haven't read the first one (or if you just haven't got the stomach for it!), here is another.

I had coffee with my friend Sandy today, and she is a hoot!  She had asked me a while ago to make her a nuno felted brooch to "match" her array of animal prints.  I gladly complied because I had a number of such prints in silk that would felt into the wool nicely.  Here it is - er….um….was!:

Today she told me that she wore it to some friends' house on an evening when she had outfitted herself from head to toe in animal prints.  Some time later, she realized that she didn't have he brooch but had no idea where she might had left it or lost it.  After scouring everywhere, she gave up on it - and never told me…UNTIL TODAY!

Months later, she returned to this same friend's house where friend produced an almost unrecognizable "animal!"  What happened, you might ask…..it had apparently fallen off while she was entering her car after the dinner, where it subsequently was run over by her own car and probably several others before being discovered in the driveway.  Such is the outcome of the Roadkill Brooch - not to be outdone by the roadkill scarf!

I think I'll have to make her another with care instructions included.  You can't leave your "animal" in the driveway and expect it to survive!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Perfect Rationale!

I've been absent from blogging mostly because I've been so busy - lots to report!  The result of the "lots to report" is that my house - truly almost the entire house - is in disarray due to my new passion for wet and nuno felting!  I don't have a studio per say; I have storage and some work space upstairs in the bonus room (called a FROG - Finished Room Over Garage in NC!).  But the only place I can do the wet felting is in my kitchen.  Here is where and how I must store my supplies:

  • The merino wool roving and other fibers are in the laundry room.
  • The silk and other fabrics - which consist of thrift store scarves, dresses, skirts (the larger size the better!) - are both in the laundry room AND in an under-bed storage container underneath the bed in the bonus room (which also serves as a guest room when needed where I can actually sleep SIX if needed!)
  • Yarn, buttons, beads, sewing machine, threads, recycled jewelry, etc. are upstairs.
  • Most of my knitting needles and crochet hooks are in my everything bag with some additional ones upstairs.
  • Felting tools (bubble wrap, solar pool, cover, rug mats, palm washboard, netting, pool noodles, towels, soap) are stored in both the laundry room and in one of the cupboards in the family room (right off the kitchen!)
  • My work space for felting has to be in the kitchen because I have a large island at counter height on which I can spread the pool covering.  It is still not large enough to consider doing another seamless vest, so that may be a one and only.  More about that in another post!  And I need access to hot water!
I think that covers it!  Thinking I'll need to stash it all today as we are having some guests over tonight for dinner.  Planning my precious work time and space is critical (but really I'd just like to leave it all in place so I could work at my leisure!

To be continued……….!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Felting workshop with Beth Marx coming up soon. Sooooo excited!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Salvaging a Disaster - or TWO!!!!

The trials and tribulations of a felt artist!  Too many disaster recently, so I'm trying to rectify the errors but also to experiment even more to create something good from disasters.

First Disaster:  I bought some wool yarn at one of my favorite thrift shops in town, Bargain Box of Wilmington.  It was marked 100% wool, but it did NOT mention "Superwash."  For those unfamiliar with that term, it means washable wool.  It WILL NOT shrink or felt.  Two nights knitting it to make a bag; two cycles through the washing machine and absolutely nothing!  Not one iota of shrinkage.  Not willing to throw it away (just yet), and liking to repurpose materials, and focusing on hand/wet felting now, I decided to experiment with it.


No photos to show the subsequent process!  :(

I covered the bag with ALL the scraps of BFL roving that have been hanging around for years, deciding to call it "The Scrap Bag!"  No easy task, because truly the pieces were smallish and rather shaped like pencil roving, so it took forever to cover it.  Two layers on each side with a resist inserted inside the bag.  I had hoped the roving would merge THROUGH the knitting, connect to the layers underneath, and create a grid-like patterning throughout.  NOT SO MUCH!!!




I started on Sunday, felted it yesterday, and by this morning, I came to the astounding conclusion that this will not work!  So…..this morning I pulled out the knitted bag (it was attached but not securely), and I've been working on fulling it every since.


 Once I pulled out the knitting, I actually had a bag that I thought could be worked.  It has some holes and a few strange configurations, but it looks like it can be a reversible bag once I finish with the fulling process, decide on and add embellishments, repair (somehow!) the holes (maybe freeform crochet and needle felting!), and make a strap.


I am determined to make this work.  And next time, I will follow the specific directions and videos provided by Fiona Duthie in her current Felted Bag workshop.  I'm getting inspired to try again after seeing some of the bags created by fellow workshop participants.  I'll get to this AFTER the Beth Marx workshop in mid-October.

BTW, I threw the knitted white "bag" in the trash this morning!
FINAL photos coming later, after I figure out how to finish it and add a strap!
Stay Tuned!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

State of the Art, Art of the State at Cameron Art Museum - September 20 - February 12


It only happens every three years, an event that features artwork from anyone in NC!  The work is accepted (no jurors, no fees) during a 24 hour period only, and the opening reception takes places only hours later.  It is an enormous opportunity to display one piece of art, speak with world-renowned curators, and see the huge variety of mediums, talents, and scope of creativity that exists in NC.

The event itself is awesome.  The process is daunting. The video posted on Cameron's website is of the 2011 event, when they gave themselves just ONE HOUR between accepting artwork and the opening reception.  More sane this time, but just as crazy for the staff, artists, curators, staff, and many volunteers!

I arrived at about 8 PM hoping it would be less crowded.  I had number 455, and they were only at 360 or thereabouts.  I had forgotten my phone but had my iPad and the museum's wifi, so I knew I could settle in and wait.  After talking to some artists I didn't know, I found a group of artists from my gallery, Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, sitting at a table in the cafĂ© right near the bar.  They had numbers before mine, but I knew I'd be well-entertained at least for a good while.  Thanks to Dick Heiser, Marilyn Blackard, Melanie Walter, Dianne Masi, and Pat Holleman - and then later to Pat and Harry Hart - for making it an TRULY enjoyable experience!  Much laughter and discussion, serious and not so serious!


I decided I didn't need to speak to a curator - although now I'm sorry I didn't - so my wait time was only three hours!  My erroneous rationale was that they probably didn't know much about felting.  My entered piece is this nuno felt wrap/shawl/ wallhanging/table runner, called Sea Inspiration.  I brought it on a hanger for display, knowing they would not have space for a mannequin.  In addition, I didn't want to be minus mannequin through Feb 12 when this show ends.

Imagine my delight when I saw the TOP panoramic photo on FB with my piece centered in the image! I does indeed have a very nice and prominent spot, which I noticed the moment I walked through the entrance to the exhibit.  AND….there was NOTHING else like it in the display of almost 700 artists.  HAPPY!



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