Saturday, August 17, 2013

Needle Felted Friends

Look!  Inch-worm is visiting LadyBug and has brought her a picture. 

All three "friends" are needle felted wool.  The ladybug and the picture are mostly two-dimensional pieces.  The inch-worm is a three dimensional piece.  I asked my children what I should make next and my son piped up, "a green caterpillar with red spots".  I hope an inch-worm is close enough!

Monday, August 12, 2013

HGA "Shuttle, Spindle, Dyepot"

The current issue of HGA's "Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot" arrived this week.  I must admit, that I am not a big fan of the magazine.  I used to flip through them in the library, but never check them out.  This issue however surprised me!  

There is an article on photography.  I'm learning that I need to learn more about photography. Between this article and my class with Stephanie Metz, I know I need to get a tripod!

There is an article on effective guild presentations.  The author starts with the reality that most fiber guilds have members with a wide background in weaving and in order to create an effective presentation you have to "hold their hands" or "connect the dots" for them otherwise the presentation goes over their heads.  I have seen some of these issues over the years and was thrilled thought behind the ideas presented.

Waffle weave on rigid heddle loom.
And, there was an article on weaving waffle weave on a rigid heddle loom.  I've had my rigid heddle loom warped for months now and haven't woven a bit on it.  A plain weave scarf was a great demo item for school children, but wasn't exciting me!  So, I'm weaving the scarf in waffle weave.  At this point I have no idea how it will turn out--the piece is still on the loom--, but I'm weaving it!  And that makes me happy.

So, hooray for a great collection of articles in SSD!  They helped make my day!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Needle Felting with Stephanie Metz

Needle felted sample pieces using additive techniques. 
I was able to take a week long needle felting course with Stephanie Metz last month.  The course was at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  The school was amazing!  There were lectures every night, there were opportunities to view the art happening in other classes, and the library was wonderful!  I didn't like the location of the school--it's in downtown Gatlinburg, TN.  Gatlinburg was a weird sort of blend of Las Vegas Strip and Frankemouth, MI touristy town.  It was awfully strange to me!

While at school, I finally caught the cold my family has passed around this summer.  (It probably didn't help my perspective on Gatlinburg any!)  I lost my voice on Wed. and spent Thursday and Friday going between classroom and the back seat of my van where I could rest.  It was not ideal.

Stephanie was a wonderful, supportive instructor.  There were fifteen students in her class and the range of experience was huge.  Some of the students had backgrounds in art, others (like me) had no formal training.  We spent the first two days felting and observing Stephanie's demos.  She would come around and discuss our work with us multiple times during the day.  I loved listening to some of her questions.  She would ask things like (I'm paraphrasing here) "Does it look like what you envisioned for the piece?",  "Are you comfortable with the way it looks?"  She would also provide direction and correction.  The most common correction was to use fewer needles.  As a class we had the tendency to use more needles than the size of our pieces merited!  Then Stephanie got sick (a stomach flu that her kids had been fighting and she had hoped to miss!) and was mostly out for a day and a bit.  The last day we spent the morning doing critiques as a group and the rest of the day discussing photographing our work.

I came home and was out for a solid week with this cold, and am still fighting the last little bit of it after yet another week  When I sit down to rest, I pull out my felting needles and work.  I've done some flat felting/adding dimension pieces, a few heads, and a "bowl" that looks a lot like an upsidedown tri-cornered hat.  I've been perusing web sites looking at photography set-ups and contemplating where I could set up a mini photo station here at home.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


My local art gallery, Athens Art, had a brown bag lunch series this summer.  Unfortunately, I missed all but the last one.  But the last one was good!  Marianne Ballenger did a "make and take" discussion on bookbinding.  As part of the discussion we each made a fan fold book.  That's my cute little book in the photo  The plaid cover is wallpaper.  The blue lining is just a flat, blue paper.  I don't know what the inside paper (that we folded) is.

The two best things from the presentation (aside from seeing some good friends there...That was probably the best part of it!) were 1)learning there is a paper store not terribly far from here--Twinrocker Handmade Paper!  and 2)learning Marianne's "if you can only have one reference book" book title--Cover to Cover by LaPlantz.

Of course, I am working on a project with a looming deadline.  So, my excursion to the paper store is going to be after my project is done!  There is nothing like a project with a deadline to make me want to start tons of unrelated projects!

So, while I didn't go to the store, I did fold some signatures from copy paper and followed an on-line tutorial for coptic binding and made this cute little book.  I'll need to make a few more of these for practice.  My stitches are a bit wobbly and the holes in my signatures are a bit misaligned....but, I made the book and I'm hoping to make more.