Monday, September 13, 2010

Keeping All the Plates Spinning????????

Sometimes it seems that I have so many things to pay attention to, I cannot possibly get anything done!! Lately I have had lots to do but I seem to be managing to get alot done. Not sure how long this will last but as long as I can keep the plates spinning, at varyiing speeds mind you, I will be happy with whatever I can achieve!!!
I ahve been working on developing a felting project for m upcoming stint as Visiting Artist at Fredericksburg Academy. this year I ahve decided to present the 50 5th graders and 42 4th graders in Mirinda Reynold's Art Classes with a felting Collage Project. This is in the early development stages but I am very excited about it and feel like I am almost ready to proceed tot he supplies gathering phase. As I only have an hour with each group for the entire project, I am required to be as organized as possible. This is not a strong skill set for myself personally but when I ahve to present and pretend that I am organized, I can usually pull it off!!!

Each collage will end up being approximately 5x5 inches and We will incorporate all sorts of fibers into the collages. We will start by talking about the mechanics of the felting process, how important the felting process has been in our human history and then I will show a wonderful You Tube video showing a group of Mongolian tribesmen creating their shelters with felted fibers. You can see this marvelous video by clicking here.

This is a close up of the mini collage shown above. You can see bits of lace, ribbon yarn, plastic mesh onion bags, and silk fibers locked into the wool roving. I am so lucky to have wonderful Blogging friends who are talented felters and textile artists to call on for advice. I continue to be so very grateful for the internet, as without the web I would never have met talented stars like Elizabeth Armstrong.
Elizabeth has served as a wonderful friend and resource with her talents and experiences as a teacher of huge and complex felting projects with large fgroups of young students. Thank you so very much Elizabeth, with all of your suggestions and tips, they will prove invaluable!!

Here is another sample where I have incorporated several pieces of silk fabric scraps.

I love the effect that can be achieved by adding the silk with the wool. The puckering and added texture happens when the wool is shrunk and the silk is gathered in with the shrinking wool fibers.
While my felt samples were drying, I created some silver wire wrapped charms from some sea glass that a dear friend had sent to me. My friend has a large collection of Mermaid's Tears as she calls them, and I ahd offered to wrap some of her favorite pieces so she could include them in a charm necklace that she is creating.

I made two charms using the glass that she sent me and then I created a speciall charm with one of my favorite natural beach talismans .

I wrapped a very small special Lucky Stone in sterling silver. I am very pleased with how these turned out and I am planning on creating more charms for future projects. A bracelet full of lucky stone charms would be fun as long as it didn't get too heavy!!!

Late last week I was graced with a wonderful treasure of someone else's trash!!! I could not believe my good fortune when my friend Anne offered me some "bits of left over wool and silk yarns". Never one to turn down offers of free fibers, I welcomed the boxes. Feast your eyes on what I found when I removed the box tops!!!

Now this is fastidious organization!!! Isn't this beautiful!!!!

This top box is mostly silk yarns.

I just love how this fiber artist wound this last little beige bit of yarn on this vintage curling rod!!! I assured Anne that I would make good use of all of these fibers and I plan to use many of these wonderful colors in the supplies bags that I create for the Felted Collage project with the 4th and 5 th graders. They will make wonderful color bits in the collages!!! It is amazing how these treasures make their way to you when you let people know that you are willing to gather items that things that other's consider useless!!!

On Saturday, we had a glorious calm and sunny day, kissed with a hint of dry fall air, just marvelous weather!!! I jumped on this opportunity to whip up a few more samples for my upcoming Sun Printing Workshop on Sept 25th.

Here I used a linen napkin and many differnt botanicals gathered from the roadside and daisies from my garden.

Here you can see that I used Acacia leaves, and Golden Rod.

I also did several samples with non herbacious mask elements. I did one with my favorite plastic doily and then another with a mixture of nuts ,bolts, washers and plastic gears. I also included t-pins from my sewing supplies.

Yesterday we traveled up to George Mason University to meet Matthew for lunch. He is doing fabulously well considering he is only starting his second full week of classes!! HE traveled into DC on the Metro by himself to go to the Smithsonian for a class assignment. ( I know that this event was a much bigger deal for Me than it was for him!!!) He is very excited to be so close to all that DC has to offer and now has the confidence to take full advantage of all of the opportunities that the area offers. In several weeks, Greg Mortensen, author of the fabulous book Three Cups of Tea, will be lecturing at Mason! I told Matthew that he would be hosting his Mom on campus as this was not an opportunity that I am going to miss!!!
Becca was very excited to eat in the fabulous Southside Dinning Hall at Mason. This building has won many awards as a completely "Green Structure". This is NOTHING like the dining hall that I ate in at college, believe me!!! The kids are able to choose from all sorts of food offerings during every meal. They use small plates and there are no trays available so kids cannot load up their plates and trays with tons of food that might go to waste. They are free to get seconds and thirds but they have to get up and go get it and maybe think twice about doing so. Any food that does go into the clean up area is composted and sent off to a farm where the University then purchases fresh veggies! How COOL is THAT!!!!!
Becca and I first headed to the amazing salad bar and Becca finished her meal with a frozen yogurt cone. The setting and decor is lovely and beautifully designed and we all had a great time. I could not get over the cool design and colors of the condiment containers, and as I always have my camera with me, I took full advantage and shot a few quick pictures. Matthew and Becca were shaking their heads and keeping their distance and not claiming me as their mother!!! I am not sure what the students who were eating there thought of the crazy lady taking pictures of the mustard and ketchup containers, but I don't care. We must take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves, RIGHT???????

Now come on, can you blame me??? Aren't these containers cool??? I love the design and the colors!!!

Matthew showed us the class sign that all of the incoming Freshmen signed upon their arrival. Becca found his name and I just had to grab a picture. I think that Matthew will be glad that I took this picture eventually!!!

IF you look at the top of the yellow curve you can see Matthew's sginature!
AS I still have a few plates spinning after this very busy weekend, I need to get going. Errands to run, Dye mixes to make up, work space to clear, lots to do!! I hope that all of you have a happy and productive day!!!


Anna said...

Wow Elizabeth...and I thought I was busy! I LOVE those boxes of silk. You need to photograph and paint those. What a picture. I carried my special stone you gave me way back when in my pocket during our whole move. I needed all the help I could get!! Hope you have a lull in your schedule and can come for a visit....

Vicki W said...

I hope Matthew enjoys Mason. My nephew is a Senior in music there. It's a beautiful campus!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Lots of pretties in this post! I am very impressed that you are doing the felted collages with the students. I bet many of them would never have heard of such a thing. Can't wait to see what they produce!

dosfishes said...

Wow, what a stash and I can see by your felt samples you will have plenty of fun with this. Thanks for your comments. Yes, dog hair multiplies the minute you sweep up, it appears instantly, I agree. The purple tinted was just a cardboard filler that I made purple
in PS Elements and am going to use in a project later.
I wish I had created it from scratch, but no such talent...
xox Corrine

Deborah said...

I'm always impressed by your creativity and how much you accomplish. I think I've dropped my plates lately.

Jane LaFazio said...

Wow! you are a busy bee. LOVE the felted collages! gorgeous--lucky kids.

Martha Lever said...

That felting piece is wonderful. I love those colors and all the other yummy colors---oh and love the charms too!!! Yes, you have been busy!!!

Marilyn Rock said...

You ARE busy! WOW! Beautiful post; love the felted collage, the boxes of silk and your charms. Good stuff to Matthew!!!! xxoo


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