Sunday, May 31, 2015

Purple is the New Green.

I am fairly well-pleased with the latest iteration of the Tree Man/Green Man/Wood Spirit face, as well as a successful attempt at the 3D bark effect. I used all merino this time, and the felting was much better.

I am thinking seriously about sending my jury fee to the Artist Boutique in Greater St. Louis this November.

A Life of Lemonade


I don’t like to fail, and who does? Sweetie poked gentle fun at my dismay last night, when the new technique for 3D scales/tree bark didn’t turn our right. He said, “Things come so easily for you and when they don’t turn out right your first time, you get upset. I have had to work hard all my life, and I never seem to get it right on my first try. It’s so easy for you.”

I told him that I only do things I’m good at. I mean, I still don’t and won’t drive a stick shift. But I am good at fiber, and I feel comfortable with wool and cotton and yarn and fabric. I don’t feel comfortable with clay or metal or glass. 

But I also try to think the steps through, and I study each step and if there is something I get stuck on, I do research. By the time I am ready to actually do the thing, yeah, it should work. My default is to expect success or near success on my first try, every time, because of the dry runs I've taken in my imagination, or mind's eye, or whatever one wants to call it. 

I have been seeing the 3D scales effect on different items on Pinterest, and I read a tutorial, (translated from Russian but with lots of pictures,) and I said, “Ok, got it.” And I did, pretty much. I felt confident that I could construct the face of a Green Man, or Tree Spirit. What went wrong were the eyes and then the type of wool may have played in, along with not enough felting, and maybe too much silk fabric. I will study on it today, and try again tonight.

And all is not lost, as I salvaged some good bits. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Righty Tighty

Not much to report today. I helped hang a little quilt show at the Art Center and I dyed more roving. One day, that box will be empty.

These are the current pins.

Tomorrow, CWSG's spinning study group that I sort of organize meets in Columbia. I call myself their 'Fearful Leader.'

Oh, and the new dishwasher and refrigerator arrived and were installed yesterday. They are both the sorts of thing that didn't need to get bought right this minute, but I am getting too old to wait to have enough cash in hand for every purchase. I'll be able to pay this off, along with a major car repair, plus Snoopy's vet visit for a slipped disc, in a couple of months.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gator Got Your Grannie

I have never made poke sallet before, but I ate it once when my Aunt (pronounced ain't) Bobbie cooked up some when I was young. She made sure to tell us how poisonous it was, but she had prepared it correctly and then fried it with egg so it was safe to eat.

I did my due diligence, and studied several Youtube videos then whacked off the top 8" of my several poke berry plants stripped off the leaves then stripped the veins from the leaves. Two soaks in salt water, then boiled down on the stove top. Last step is to fry with butter in a hot skillet. I've done all but the last step, but will do so tonight, and if I survive, I will post again.

The liquid that the boiling produced was very yellow, and so I thought, let's just see. Will it produce dye? I drained off 4 cups and put in some wool roving.

The addition of alum made the dye bath opaque. I let it cook for an hour and then let it cool.

This morning, the wool was pale yellow and wash fast.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Some restrictions may apply.

Not much to say; it's a very quiet day here. Sweetie is off from work, and I am inside hiding from the outdoors. I have 6 tomato plants to stick in the ground and after yesterday's +2" of rain, that shouldn't be too hard.

I made flowers last night, using a resist and a technique I found on the innertubes. The gold one shows the double layer of petals best, but the purple ones are more attractive. I am, of course, thinking of how else I can use this idea for something more interesting. Not that flowers aren't.

And I am ever so slowly working on a pair of socks from some of the hand dyed yarn that didn't sell last fall at the Holiday Exhibition and Sale that CWSG stages every November. It is sport weight, not sock weight, so I am using size 2s with 60 stitches. Uncharacteristically, I am making one sock at a time.

That is my project bag it is laying on, an early felt foray.

Oh, I did make up the kits for my flower felting class that I will be giving shortly, at our local Art Center. I think this is something I could take and teach elsewhere, maybe the Art House in Fulton, or somewhere in Columbia. I only made up six kits, but it is amazing how six of any one thing adds up; 60 pin backs, 6 ounces of dyed wool, 12 pieces of bubble wrap, 18 pages of instruction.

Now I need to dye more wool, and I may even need to buy more merino this summer as that big box I bought when I was still doing Bunny and the Beast blends is half empty. I also am completely out of yellow dye. I have no idea how that happened. Dharma has what looks to be good wool for a good price, so I will get a couple pounds of that and 8 oz. of yellow dye.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The easiest part of Spring Cleaning.

Wool I have, and some is better suited to felting than others. I don't remember what breed I used for this recent vessel, but I know now that it doesn't felt much or easily.

I'm sure I will find some use for this bag o' fleece, but I'm not loving it right now.

Round resist measured 9 inches; finished pot is about 5.5 inches tall.

A flower is a flower, so I will embellish the center and add a pin back.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

If there are dry places, wet them down.

Nuno felting; pieces of silk cloth on wool, cover with a web of silk cap. The glass eyes follow you as you walk by.

About 5" by 7".

I had made a whole face at first , but I reckon I need to work on making mouths more realistic.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Offer void in Canada.

What I did last night. I made nuno monster eyes with the usual suspects of felt and this piece of silk from a very 80s blouse.

I like the texture. I have been striving for a more dragon/alligator/sea turtle texture and I think I am onto something here. I could spend a week doing more of these.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Redeem only at your veterinarian.

So. I've had these scarves and magic markers since last fall. My first attempt to paint a scarf was less than stellar, but I saw something somewhere that made me try again. Behold. I liked it so much that I wore it to Columbia today.

The concept is simple, but my execution needs work. I drew small dots and circles on a silk scarf, this one was straight out of the bag, then used a q-tip to put a little drop of rubbing alcohol onto each dot. I used pink, red, and orange markers and some I did twice. Patience is the trick - the alcohol takes time. Also, it works best on top of paper towels, or an old dish towel. I now have a pink dot dish towel. I will try paper towels next.

The scarf is now ready to rock, and is washable, too. Last night, I washed a scarf and will iron it, then try this again with blue and green.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oh, Lord - Would you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

 So. I took the red and black vessel from my previous post and turned it inside out. It was okay before, but just okay. Now, it is much more interesting.

I got the idea of doing that from the aqua vessel. I fucked around with it way too long, and then I used cotton cord to run 5 or 6 rounds of gathering around the upper half and then left it to dry.

The next morning, it wasn't dry. Maybe I should've waited, but I didn't, and I took out the stitching and it was a mess. Again, I fucked around with it, and turned it inside out.

I did decide to do the gathering bit again on another piece, but this time, I plan to leave the cord in place. The felt fabric effectively hides it.

And in the meantime, I make little pins, which makes me very happy.

It felt so right

red vessel and resist

monster eyes

Fuzzarelly Fibers, resurrected
Since I have this blog, I may as well try to use it again. Facebook lured me away for way too long, with its ease and near instant gratification. But something is missing from that experience. It's as though Facebook is the Condensed Readers' Digest version of everything I want to say and show. 

Last summer, I bought a kit to make felted flowers and I didn't touch it until Christmas. I look back now at those sad little flowers that I was so proud of and wince a little. As I know I will do with these little things in a few months. (But maybe not.)

Felting is not something I thought I would ever care for, in spite of a great lecture given by Martien van ZuilenFelt MakerTeacherWriter - Home at the Columbia Weavers' and Spinners' Guild in 2014. Her main topic was Mongolian yurts. I remember I thought, Well. That's interesting, but I am just not into felt.