Friday, December 31, 2010

In With The New Year and New Habits!!

This week has gone by in a haze of coughing sneezing and sleep! We have all succumbed with the younger recovering much faster than the elders!! SIGH!! We are all coming around however and looking forward to the New Year to come. I have spent parts of several days down in the studio finding bare floor, filling the outdoor garbage can and organizing. I am making great progress and I will be sharing some images with you soon! I also ahve gessoed some jouranl pages as I am determined to get more disciplined at using my journals to focus my efforts and to become more productive and less scattered. We shall see. I ahve so many ideas racing around in my head at any given time, that I am often paralyzed by not knowing which project o wrok on when. My jpurnal should help serve as a receptical for the chaotic idea traffic snarl in my head.

So tonight I am planning on sitting down in front of the fire with my black pen in hand and emptying my brain of the creative ideas taht i ahve been trying to track. I simply added some watercolor squares of paint to the pages to provide boxes to contain the river as it flows out and onto the page.
As I was recovering this week, I picked up another quick knitting project. I amde this Moebius cowl from a ball of blue mohair that was left over from a past project. This was a very interesting project that is created using a long circular needle and tworows of caston stitches that run like a rainroad track till they finally end in a single twist.
The definition of a moebius shape (strip) according to Webster's is:
Mö·bius strip (mā′bē əs, mō′-)
a one-edged geometric surface with only one continuous side, formed by giving a 180° twist to a narrow, rectangular strip of paper and then connecting the two ends together
also Möbius band
Origin: after A. F. Möbius (1790-1868), Ger mathematician
This was great fun and knit up in about 3 hours, including figuring out the cast on. there is a great You tube video by Knitter Cat Bordhi, that covers the cast on in depth. Got to love You tube!!!

You can see the single twist at the top of the above picture. Once the knitting was done the scarf was done- no seams no blocking - ready to wear!!! I am wearing it now in fact and it is so nice and warm, with no scarf ends to worry about dragging thru one's soup!!!
I was warned by several knitting friends, this project can become addictive!! I am going to make several more in various sizes (they can also be pulled down over the shoulders to become a wonderful warm shawl.
Today we decided to travel up towards DC, to IKEA, to check out the selection of sofas. We have had our current sofa for 18 years. It has had two new slipcovers and has been hauled across this country several times and has survived for 9 moves. It is tired , poor thing . We lucked out at IKEA and found what ewe wanted almost immediately and at a wonderful price. The worst part was waiting int he warehouse area and then the unpack of the boxes to stuff the whole thing in the back of our Ford FreeStyle. Year sof packing and moving have made both Tom and I very skilled packers and despite sceptical onlookers, we got it all in!!!

Here is Tom amidst the unpacked parts on our family room floor.
The dogs were quite stressed as we dismantled the old sofa and lugged in out the door. They were not happy!!! More unexpected human behavior, throwing off their doggie groove!!! I was about to put the couch throw blanket into the wash but decided that it might be better to wait. As you can see Buddy agreed!!

Pepper, on the other hand, climbed up on the recliner and sat there sighing heavily, registering her discomfort with the whole event. It seems that some things will take some getting used to, or not!!!
So we are going into the New Year on the mend, chasing this wretched virus out the door! I want to thank all of you for all of your wonderful comments and support . It is the companionship,comments ( I love, love, love getting comments) and friendships that I have made thru blogging that keep me at it. I never imagained how much of an impact this blog would have on my art life and my personal life in general. I hope taht the new Year holds wonderufl things for all of us and that we can all grow in our mindfullness of others who have needs greater than our own!

Monday, December 27, 2010


as the buffet was laid and the plates were passed, the ham carved and the garlic mashed potatoes and home made cranberries added to the spread, the tickle in the throat worsened and the sneezing commenced!!!
My brother had commented on Face Book , that I was insane to try to paint rooms the week before entertatining the family on the Eve of the big day. I must admit that I do often consider myself a bit whacked, but unless one has a hard deadline do things really get done???? The powder room turned out beautifully by the way, and the wallpaper had been torn and waiting for removal for at least a year- the time was upon us!!! I guess that I was burning the proverbial candle at both ends... enter a nasty cold virus!
We had a lovely dinner and exchanged gifts. Once our comapny had left, we finished wrapping and filling stockings and then I collapsed. Thankfully, the kids are not anxious to rise at the crack of dawn on Christmas and are quite content to sleep in. We had a leisurely stocking opening with hot coffee and a wonderful pancake breakfast thanks to Tom and his fabulous pancakes and then a nice civilized package opening. By noon I was back in bed for a three hour nap.

So I don't have wonderful family photos to share this year. I took a few for personal memory purposes but theya re not Blog worthy. We had a very nice quiet Christmas and I am on y way to beating back this virus and getting a hold of my studio mess that has threatened to overtake the house!!

On Sunday we did get a bit of snow but nothing like what had been predicted for Virginia. All of my friends and family in the Ct, MA and NH area have gotten the full attention of this latest snow storm. Better to have it go north as they are very well versed in dealing with large amounts of the white stuff. We got about an inch and it was pretty.

Today we had wicked winds and full sun and some blowing snow and I went at my mess with new found energy. Progress is actually apparent!!!!!

This evening the sun set in a glorious show of purple and pink and provided new inspiration for art quilts and journal pages to come!!!
I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday and I look forward to a year full of blogging friendship, sharing and artful inspiration! Have a very safe and Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't Judge a Book By it's Cover!!!

Several years ago after my Father-in-law passed away, my Mother-in-law asked us to help her clear out Jim's office. Jim was a brilliant man. An Electrical Engineer who was very involved in all sorts of projects including the design of the GPS system that we all have in our cars. He was one of two or three that came up with all of that. So his office was full of scientific texts from high school to present day. Math books, Engineering , Physics, Calculus, Scientific Trancendentalism you name it, he had it. There were several hundred of them and my mother-in-law didn't want them but was loath to throw them away. I took away 5-6 boxes full and shared many with my art group- they were full of cool graphs and diagrams and technical drawings, none of which most of us could not have a hope of understanding but which looked really cool. I asked her if she thought that the family might like to have a journal made from one of his old texts- he had signed his name in each one and many had stamps of where he was working at the time. She thought that my plan was brilliant so I set off to creat journals for all for Christmas. That was 4 years ago!! This year I ahve finally gotten around to it, just barely. The glue is still drying and I have one left to stitch the signatures into!!!
I took out the pages, reinforced the spines with a variety of fabrics and then stitched three signatures of pages onto another piece of fabric that I glued into the covers. I saved all of the pages that Jim had signed and then added the signature to the recovered inside cover of each book. My neice Jennifer attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated two years ago with a degree in Art, so her journal got the signed cover page that included the location of his office from when he taught at Carnegie Tech. Both of Jim's sons are Engineers several times over so choosing a text for their journals was easy peasy!! My brother in law is an Accountant, so he got a special math text and his wife, and Jim's daughter, got a combo Math Engineering text as she is in the field as well. My nephew is getting a degree in Graphic Arts with computers and so I made his journal from a book titled Principles and Practice of Radio Servicing. ( If he asks me what a Radio is I am going to smack him!!!!!)
I am planning on making journals for my kids and husband, but they will have to wait till after Christmas as 9 journals is all that I could handle right now! ( That glue is still tacky!!!)
I did not do anything fancy on the pages- just plain white mixed media paper so all can add what ever they wish. It was very tempting to add pockets and interesting papers and perhaps I will if I create more journals from the pile of books that I ahve left. For now I think hope everyone will be pleased with the simple stream lined approach!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hustle and Bustle!!!

Yet again I find myself short on time and long on lists of things to do!!! It has been almost two weeks since my last post and I can't remember when I have neglected my blog and my wonderful Blogging friends for so long!!!! SiGH!!!I just have a short glimmer of time to offer you some of the sights of the season here in our little corner of Virginia. I have bread turning in the bread machine, journals to finish and gifts to wrap!!
I found this lovely ruffled Poinsettia in the market last week and had to ahve it as a centerpiece for our holiday table. I love all things ruffley!!

This year I found an imitation Feather tree to use as my Art Tree but I had not rmembered that I had so many wonderful ornaments from past Art Swaps. The little tree is there somewhere!!!

(BTW- I am looking for 9 serious art swappers who would be interested in a 12 Days of Christmas Ornament Swap for 2011- I am organizing it in January so it does not sneek yup on me again next November!! I already have 3 participants, so give me aholler or leave a comment and I will get back to you in January!!Becca decorated the tree this year and did a marvelous job and had a wonderful time doing it all. It is such fun to ahve a daughter who treasures each specail ornament as much as I do!!! the men around here are not into such things- auniversal guy thing , I believe!!MG_7183.JPG">I found this adorable little Yeti ornament at Ten Thousand Villlages this year. He is hand crafted in Nepal and made of wool and wool felt. Every tree needs a Yeti watching over it, don't you think??? The gal at the store said that the shop could not keep these in stock and there were no supplies left int he warehouse to restock!! I am not the only person who has a Yeti on their tree it seems!!!

The mantle ahs been decorated and the wreath that I made several years ago, has been hung..
(I love the little rechargable LED votive lites- they flicker just like real cnadles and last for up to 4 days without a charge- very neat when you don't want o ahve to fret about lit candles burning down the house!!)
Here is a better picture clarity wise- although I really dislike how the flash flattens everything out- but I thought that you might like to really see what was on the mantle!!
This will probably be the year of the Owl for Becca's christmas as she is so in love with these wonderful creatures. we will forget that they are hunters and terrorizers of songbirds and little woodland creatures for teh duration of the season!!! Here is a wonderfully fluffy little fellow atht I found for one of her special ornaments for the year. As Becca's Birthday falls on December 17, (she turned 14 this year!!!!!! EGAD!!!!!) I always include a special ornament or two amoung her other gifts. It is a little tradition that she really looks forward to.
I will resume normal blogging habits immediately following the holiday so I hope taht you will all check back in a few days!!
For now I want to wish everyone all of the Joys of the Season no matter what you may be celebrating!! Remember to count your many blessings, remember those who are so much less fortunate, find Peace and strength in the love of those around you and squeeze in a bit of creative time along the way!!!!
Now I have bread to roll out and shape for it's third rising!!! Ho Ho Ho!!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Splashing About in the Resin Pond!!

Several yewars ago I took a wonderful class with the Fabulous Susan Lenart -Kazmer. I ahve long been a fan of her amazing work and since taking the cold Connections Class I ahve seen her at various events and always have a wonderful and inspiring chat with her. She has an infectious personality and spreads inspiration and creativity wherever she goes. Susan ahs worked very ahrd to develope her new resin product known as ICE. I am probably one of the last people int he mixed media art world to try this product and I don't quite know why I waited so long!!!! I have heard raves about ti for a very long time and seen fabulous works created with it, but somehow I have felt timid about giving it a go. Well now I have jumped into the Resin pond and the perverbial water is just fine!!

In the heart pendant and earrings above I used bits of my fabric paper and combined wire, a tiny key and some old sheet music to create the resin filled and coated pieces.
The earrings are as light as feathers and are so suited to the season.

In this bronze bezel , I placed a small oval of sheet music as a background and added a tiny piece fo green beach glass, a tiny shard of purple clam shell and a tiny perfect lucky stone, alll gathered on the beach this summer. Finally I have a wonderful use for these itty bitty treasures!!! I also added a bit of Nauset Beach sand and a few blue glass seed beads.
(the pictures of these resin pieces do not do them justice, but don't be shy or wary like I was. Create your own pieces with the ICE Resin.!!!)

Here are some fabric paper/ mini canvas collage ornaments that just needed a bit of sparkle, so I brushed ona thick coat of the Ice Resin. The resin makes the fabric/paper glow and the depth added is just wonderful!! There will be much more experimenting to come!!

I want to thank everyone who has sent me comments and congratulations about my election to the Board fo Trustees of FCCA. Our First Friday Opening to the Holiday show that I spoke of in my last post, came off very well!! I had a great group to help and everyone was very complementary of the show and the art. I also got many compliments about the piece that I had in the National Show. It was a wonderful evening of meeting many wonderful people who appreciate art and artists! So thank you all very very much for your encouragment and support!! It really means so very much to me!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A VERY Quick Update

I am very quickly checking in to give you all an update on my week!! It has been a mad whirlwind , to say the least.!! Just recently I was asked to join the Board of Trustees of the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts,( from now on to be called the FCCA) here in Old Towne Fredericksburg. I was very flattered and after a bit of cajoling I agreed to have my name put on the slate of new trustees. At the annual meeting in November, I was voted onto the Board. At the following Board Meeting I was asked to take on the job of Corrdinator of the Members Art Gallery. The Members Gallery is on the bottom floor of our historic building. The House is known as the Silver Smith's House. It sits on Sophia Street in Old Town Fredericksburg and was built in 1785.
The busiest month for the Members Gallery is December! Of course it is!!!! What had I gotten myself into??????????????? I was assured that I would have lots of help and agreed to take on the job. This past week ahs been dedicated to getting this show up and running and the opening is Tonight. Upstairs in the Frederick Gallery , in the same building , is the Opening of the SMall Wonders National Show. I am so excited to ahve apiece in this show and it is the first time that one of my pieces has been accepted to a National show.!!

So last Sunday starting at 2pm, any Member of FCCA could drop off up to 4 pieces of art to be entered in the Members Holdiay Show. There was no entry fee and the art poured in. As soon as we had the inventory sheet and the show labels we set about to hanging. Now I ahve hung plenty of pictures in my many abodes but never have I dealt with such a volume in such a small space and in sucha short time. Fortunately There was A SYSTEM in place and I ahd wonderful people appear to help me get all 140 plus pieces hung and placed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The two pictures above give youa n idea of how densely we packed the pieces. it is very reminiscent of a Salon of the 1800's in one of the great European cities of art!! Ceiling to floor and every space in between!!!

What made it all even more exciting was we had no idea what forms the art would take, nor really what kind of size variteies we would have to deal with. THis served to make it all the more fun, and nerve wracking!!!
I don't know what I would have done without the help of so many wonderfully genreous aqnd creative people!!! My wonderful art pal Leslie Brier was with me the entire time and when folks stopped by to meet me and to talk to me about "important" concerns, Leslie just kept right on working!!!I also ahd the expereince and vast knowledge of artist and Membership Chairperson Shirley Whelan to lead me thru the day , as well as the hanging help of Norma Woodward, Leah Fromer Lee Cochran and many others. We got it done and I was back home again by 7:30 that very night!!!!
The Energy of Love
This is a fabulous mixed media piece with detachable necklace by Leslie Brier. I don't expect that it will last the evening without being purchased!!!!
These are three of my submissions. My work is very different from the vast majority of FCCA Members. My friend and phnenomenal Textle Collage artist Lorie McCown are doing our very best to introduce more fiber arts ot the area. ( Both Lorie and Leslie have wonderful pieces upstairs in the Small Wonders Show along with me.)

I also have a selection of my felted and beaded ornaments for sale.
Once all of the art was installed I spent a good deal of time decorating with tiny white lights and freshly cut holly in big white jugs. We have two huge bushes on our property that are loaded with beautiful berries so I got some pruning done while gathering the decorations!

Here you can see Santas Elves roller skate assemblage, First Night Baby and a beautiful Resin Necklace and Earring set all created by my pal Leslie!!! This artistss talents are truely astounding!!!

Here is my peice Cardinal Care as it sits upstairs in the Small Wonders Show. I am beyond thrilled with the placement and setting for showing off my textile collage piece. it is flanked by some glorious oils of chickadees and Barn Swallows by a very talented Local artist ( I will have to insert her name here later!!)
This is Leslie Briers fabulous Assemblage titled Goddess of the Kitchen. She takes center podium in the first room of the Frederick gallery and I fully expect that she will be sold tonight as well!! She is created with all sorts of wonderful vintage kitchen gadgets and has a wonderfully whimsical personality!!
This week was also the time for dropping off holiday wares at Liberty Town. Tonight will be the opening of the December Show there as well.
Here you can see a display of several of my owls and some of the miniature canvas collage ornaments that I created. (I have already ahd to restock my owls twice - perhaps I am not charging enough!!??)

And here is a rather difficult to view picture of a display of more of my holiday items for Liberty Town. I amde several Journals that I collaged with vintage text and then covered with painted paper towels. Hopefully folks will give functional art gifts this year as I had lots of fun creating these pieces!!!
So I ahve been very busy away form the computer and have missed visiting blogs and keeping up with everyones fabulous work!! I must rush off and change and get down to the burg to set the table for our First Friday Opening. FCCA Members gallery and The Frederick Gallery is defintely going to be the PLACE TO BE tonight!!!!
I will be back after a Fiber Arts Guild Brunch tomorrow and a bit of a sleep!!!!!
Have a wonderfully festive and happy holiday weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snow People Ornaments

>I am in full Holiday Creation Blitz mode as I write!! I wanted to let you all know that I have just added a few of my very special little Bottle Snow People Ornaments to my Etsy Shop!

And till December 5, 12pm EST, I have SUSPENDED ALL SHIPPING CHARGES on any purchase from my shop!!!
I have a very limited supply of these darling little bottles that make up the bodies of these Snow People, so I will not be posting many of these. They stand 3.25 inches tall and make darling tree ornaments!! You can see all of the details HERE!

This little snow person is snuggled up in a bit of vintage crocheted lace that is fastened
with a wonderful vintage rhinestone button.

A bit of felted wool sweater warms the neck of this Snow person and her bottle body shimmers with frry fibers and old pearls.

So don't forget, Free Shipping on all orders palced by SundayDec 5 at midnight !!! All Esty Shop owners are small business people so don't forget to buy at Etsy and Buy Handmade!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

May I Introduce you to One of My Heros..............

On this Thanksgiving Day I have so very many things to be Grateful for, right up at the top is my wonderful family. My family is spread all over the globe today and I include many of my wonderful blogging friends amoung my Family. I have Family family spread from Seattle to Jahalabad, from Dar Es Salaam to New York city, from Virginia to Massachusetts and we are all so connected!!
The Family member that I want to introduce to you as my HERO is my baby brother, Peter Jensen. Peter is currently living in Dar Es Saalam Tanzania, his wife Elise, is in Jahalabad Afganistan, his eldest daughter is at Colgate University and his youngest , the amazing Kate, is taking care of her dad, in Dar. Peter sent out this Thanksgiving Letter to our immediate family today and I want to share it all with you. No one can talk of his work in Africa as Peter can. If you are so inclined to follow his travels, see his fabulous photos and learn about the world and the very simple changes that we can all make to help save our planet ,you can find him on Face Book - Peter Jensen , Dar Es Saalam. Tell him his sister sent you, if you want to friend him!
(Elizabeth inserts photo here)

So here is our letter from my fabulous brother. Hang in there through the family locator bit , till he gets to the meat of the letter- or I should say compost of the letter.!! You will quickly see why I hold him up as a Hero!
Here goes:

"Happy Thanksgiving from the far side,

I hope this finds you all well, happy and warm on this lovely Thanksgiving Day. Here in Dar it is a whopping 98 under a brilliant sky. Elise is enjoying turkey with the troops in Jalalabad, Mali is with her old school mates in New York City, Kate is soon to be home from school and looking forward to seeing the latest Harry Potter with me on the weekend, and me? well.....

I started the day (after a nice breakfast with Kate before putting her on the bus to school) with my customary sunrise (ish) walk with Nala along the majestic sea cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean and the city of Dar es Salaam. The name, Dar es Salaam, means Haven of Peace, and from my vantage point this morning with the large puffy clouds and crystal blue water in the harbor, it certainly looked to be living up to its name. About an hour and several lost pounds of sweat later we came home to enjoy a long glass of water before popping a huge turkey in the oven to be enjoyed with friends later this evening.

And then - what else do you think I'd do with my day off? - Nala and I, well mostly me, she just lounged in the shade, made yet another compost pile. This one from a large pile of grass i rescued from the side of the road and the leaves of a large neem tree that had been felled to make room for a new gate at a property down the road. All that lovely green was blended with the stockpile of brown leaves I have waiting for just such an occassion. The pile I made 2 days ago has already hit 150 degrees (thanks to all those bacteria) so I suspect to see the same in this one. With a bit of time still on my hands I loaded 5 large buckets of 3 month old compost into the back of the car and headed to the Peace Corps office. The guards looked at me with surprise (I was kinda sweaty and gross) but nodded knowingly when I said I had some compost to add to the growing maize and cowpea plants in our demo garden. The garden had been planted with the early rains about 10 days ago and the seedlings were standing tall and happy at 6" so it was time for a bit of "side dressing". now - I could have done this on a "work day" I know, but, well, gardening the way I do it is kinda sweaty work so its a bit rough on the keyboard afterwards...

My sidedressing chore completed i snapped a few photos to record the moment (look for them on FB later) and returned home for that much needed shower and to check on birdzilla in the oven. Its about to come out but I will wait for Kate to come home from school so I can teach her my "special" gravy technique...its all in the rue ya know...She and I are joining several friends at a nearby home for a big feed. Kate made her fabulous lemon squares and peanut butter swirl fudge brownies (what else would a diabetic bring to the table??) last night and we will be proud of our offerings to the table.

(Elizabeth inserts photo here)
Peter talking compost, one of his very favorite subjects.
You may think my composting story a bit odd for a Thanksgiving letter but it has a my roundabout kinda way. We are always thankful for the food on our tables (we are, right?) but we must also be thankful for the farmers who grew it and the truckers who delivered it to the stores. these days of climate change (I mean really - look at Seattle!) lets think of the carbon footprint of the food on your table. What is the impact of all this food on the planet we all so deeply care for? Did you know that for every acre of farmland under production in this world, tons of topsoil is lost...every day. Without replenishment, this thin layer of topsoil upon which we all depend may soon be relegated to a museum display much like the last native tree in Niger is but a photograph on the wall of the museum in Niamey. And when I talk of replenishment..i mean compost and other ecological farming practices taking hold across the planet as we speak. The Green Movement for Africa is underway. And I do NOT mean Green Revolution...For every compost pile we build, that much less smoke comes in our windows and goes up into the atmosphere..and that much more of the Greenland icecap will remain to keep our weather patterns within the realm of "normal". If you think I exaggerate (well of course I do...) well, so what. This is all about thinking global and acting local.

There are many people in this world who struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day...think about that. less than $365. What many people earn in a what subsistence farming families try to live on in a year! They do it - but just barely. and when some major shock happens in their lives, such as a drought, fire, flood, illness, loss of a job...the ability to bounce back, to be resilient, just isnt there and they become one more family with weak knees and heavy hearts in the long line outside the World Food Programme relief tent.

My work through the Peace Corps and other groups aims at rebuilding a sense of hope and resilience with these very people. It is thrilling work. It is empowering work. It is tiring work. But it is deeply moving and rewarding on so many levels to see HIV+ widows, who had been struggling with so much, find some joy and hope in the gardens they have learned to grow with the Peace Corps Volunteer they have as a neighbor. Through the simple act of converting "waste" grass and leaves into loamy soil a glimmer of hope and eagerness for life begins to return. It seems maudlin and simplistic perhaps. But the answer to global poverty and hopelessness lies less with the high tech solutions of the Green Revolution and more with the low tech actions of ecological farming practiced on the less than 1/4 acre gardens across the mountain slopes. To hear a woman say to a PCV about to go back home, "I will miss you. My life may not be long, but it will be deep", is all the payment one ever needs to receive...well - maybe not when I look at those college bills, but you get my meaning.

SO... tonight, please raise a toast to the glorious food on your table - and to the farmers around the world who got it there...and to all those out there without a feast to enjoy, let us say a prayer and spend a moment to think of ways to rebuild and maintain our amazing compost pile at a time!

Peace to all and to all a good night.

Warmly (indeed),


With the simple composting syystem that Peter has developed and is now teaching all over Africa, barren spaces immediately next to homes go from this:

To this!

Peter has developed a three day training session where each garden is built and the process explained. This is all done using home made tools and local indigenous seed and plants.
In June , when Elise's tour in Afganistan is done , the family will pack up and move to Bangladesh for a 4 year posting for Elise, as the head of Womens Health and Education, and where Peter will continue to train and teach the glories of compost and the bounty of food security that it can bring to the hungry peoples of the world.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trees Of Hope Artist's Tree

Several posts back I presented a felted ornament that I created for a fundraiser for the Tree's Of Hope auction in Fredericksburg. All of the funds raised form this Gala and Silent Auction of beautifully decorated tree's including our special Artist's Tree will go to HOPE HOUSE Domestic Violence Shelter here in Fredericksburg. Local Artist Susan Ishi outdid herself creating a magically creative tree with 40 Oranaments created by local artists, based on the color Red. One of my favorites is this Red Cardinal framed against a turquoise sky! Simply Stunning!!

Just behind the artists manequins outsteretched hand you can see my fleted and beaded silk wool and velvet ornament. To mix in with the little manequins , Susan added paint brushes that had been dipped in thick metallic paints and the tree skirt was an artists canvas dropcloth of course!!! The drop cloth which had been sprinkled and splattered with red and green paints was beautifully swathed around the base of the tree.

In the photo above, to the right of the red tipped brush you can see one of several fuzed glass ornaments that were made for the tree. As many of us know from decorating our own trees, it is very easy for some ornaments to be missed or not seen till the tree is at the curb during take down, but Susan had prepared for this eventuallity as well. She really did think of everything!!!

Just beside the tree, Susan had placed a large Ornament Legend with pictures of each ornament and the artists name. There are so very beautifull creations on this tree, and who ever leaves the highest bid will have a fabulous collection of little art gems from some of the best known artist in Fredericksburg, and then from me!! I hope that this becomes a regular part of the Tree's of Hope event and perhaps next year we can fill several trees!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fixated on Felting- for the Moment

I have been fooling around with fiber ever since I taught the workshops with the grade school students last month. I can't seem to get enough and I have so many ideas and techniques to explore!! This post is going to be a quick rundown for what I have been creating lately. This is a small felted collage stitched Journal that I have just listed in my Etsy shop. These journals are approximately 4 x6 to 5x7 inches in size and are left with their organic felted edge so they are not perfectly squared off. I have added a panel of sun printed ferns to the front of this woodsey blue/green journal and it is lined with stiff interfacing and a wonderful piece of hand dyed cotton from a women's fiber arts cooperative in Africa.

I have stitched in three signatures and each holds roughly 40 pages each. You can find all of the details here.

Here is another journal, this time displaying a blossom sun printing enhanced with tiny seed stitches.

This one also has three signatures and is lined with interfacing and a lovely purple and blue batik fabric.

You will find details about this journal spelled out here.

This piece was much more of an experiment. I used red and purple wool roving and wool curls and added some vintage doilies and lace bits to the collage and felted and fulled till all of the components were part of the piece. I thena went in with needle and thread and added little red glass seed beads and crystaline silver clear beads to add more interst and sparkle. The beads do not photograph well in this picture, I need tog et some better phtots that capture the details before I list it in my shop. Sometimes the hardest part of this whole process is getting photos that adequately represent the work and details included in your work!

My friend Leslie gave me the wonderful brass stamping to add to the front to continue the circular lace look theme. I am pleased with how this piece works, if I can only get some good shots of the bead work!!!

I am also quite pleased with the circular motif in this fabulous ruby red batik. I already had this fabric in my stash! Imagine that!!!!

I have also created several wool cuff bracelets made from fulled wool sweater parts. As I was taking apart a fulled sweater I cut off the front button placket. You know, the band that has the button holes on the front of a cardigan sweater. I started to think about using the button holes as a means of connecting and I came up with these fried egg flower embellished cuffs.
So the cuff base is the placket and the button hole closes the cuf by looping over the green button. These are such fun to wear , they are very soft and they keep my wrist nice and warm. i will be listing several in my shop very soon!!

Next came some fun little flower felted pincushions. They are super simple to whip up and consist of a felted ball of wool yarn sitting atop a petal shaped piece of fulled sweater . that all sits atop a vintage wooden thread pool that has been covered with a strip of fulled cashmere! I added a few bead embellishments to further the flower effect. These are also listed in my Etsy Shop.

I carried on with the rolled wool yarn balls and created some fun little beaded felt yarn ball earrings.

As you can see I was into rolling and felting balls! This time I went to a larger size, added some ribbons and metalic mesh bits, lace and silk fibers and will complete these with beadwork.

They will all become beaded felted tree ornaments. The cool thing about these sparkly beauties is one does not have to worry about shattered glass ornaments should your favorite feline take to climbing your tree, or your toddling two year old grab on to have a closer look!!! Soft and unbreakable fiber art to the rescue!!!

I have already delivered the earrings and the Ornaments to Liberty Town and they seem to be catching the attention of a few customers. Always a good thing!!!!
I hope that you are all finding a few moments to explore your creative ideas these days and can get some art time in for yourselves as the busiest time of year is right around the corner. I'll be back soon!! Happy November!!


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