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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Felting My Way Forward

It's been a busy Summer and I can't believe we're into September...however, a wonderful paddle with the group SUP Kingston on my paddle board this morning was just the height of Summer. It was so good to get out as I had spent last week indoors mostly at a workshop with Australian felter Pam de Groot.  It was hosted by Lesley at Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton.

The workshop was 'Mosaic Dress'....well, when we came to designing out garments I said you'd never get me into a wool dress...I'd have a hot flash and rip it I made a did one or two others.

First we needed to create our 'prefelt', this is what we were shooting for.

This is my layout before wetting....we had 6 metres to work on! It took all of Monday and them some!

This is one of the dresses Pam had made that she brought to show is. It is a wonderful combination of dyeing on wool and silk. Modelled by Lesley's lovely daughter.

 After spending Tuesday with one wall of the room full of tables with burners for the dye pots this is what I ended up with. I cut up my 6m of prefelt into random bits...I didn't really know what I was going to do with them but I knew I needed enough colours and pieces to create the mosaic garment.
Some of these were dyed solidly and others the shapes and resists were marbles, discs, rubber bands, string, a wine bottle, pvc piping.....

Wednesday & Thursday - here are two shots of the back while I was playing with what to put where....
.....what to do with those circles and squares....hmmm

Here is are my pieces wetted down for the front, with my resists in place....

Lots of work for two days and we all ended up with most of our garment done....maybe a bit more tweaking at home.
....and here is my finished vest, I finally got the buttons made!

And...after a little more work at fits!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Getting Older....Another Road Trip

Well, I am, as well as everyone....(the alternative is just not an option just now....too much life to live). Anyway, August 15th found me turning 65 in another country, on one of our road trips. This one took us by WEBS in Northampton MA in the USA, an even though every CAD $ I spend is really only about .76cents USD they give enough of a discount to even it out somewhat.

My WEBS purchases.

I had also wanted to hit New England Felting but I wasn't travelling alone (with my other half) and circumstances left us hitting Northampton MA as they were closing...5pm! We've lots of time on our way back but they're not open on Sunday's. I'll have to make another trip someday. I did pick up some hand dyed roving at WEBS but ... it's just not the same!

As usual, I'm all about design when we travel and the inn - Proctor Mansion Inn, we stayed in in Wrentham MA for my birthday treat (a Jimmy Buffett concert) was old and being restored. The rooms were beautiful and the new owners have taken care to keep it as it was originally bar the bathrooms and electricity. It was beautiful and a wonder too. I had to take a photo of this floor which was in the area which would have been servants and's a wooden floor painted to look like marble tiles...they've left it alone.

Here is a shot of the ceiling in the formal dining can't believe all the decoration folk used in their homes (well, the better off) back before TV! All this is hand painted and it was all over the mansion.

I'm hoping to head back next year and won't miss NEF!!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Joining Kingston Fibre Artists.

Recently I was asked to join a very interesting group...Kingston Fibre Artists. This is a small group of women who gather to work on and promote their wonderful work with textiles, fibre, dyes, needles, beads....etc. I have always attended their group shows (about two per year) and been asked if I am a I can say yes.

I was driven to a secret location and not really but I was picked up and driven to the country home of one of Frankie LeMonde-Munier for a yummy lunch. It was also the birthday of Sylvia Naylor a longtime friend, so we got to eat our cake too!

This means I will be putting a piece of my work in the Mississipi Valley Textile Museum show Timeless Textiles. Now that's exciting as it's one of my favourite places and I love to visit Almonte ON.

A new thing I tried was to use the inspiration I got from one of my sister's  photographs. She is now Judi Goldie Photography and I found this one photo that sent me to the dye pot and digging through my dyed silk.

Photo by Judi Goldie Photography

It was fun and a challenge trying to get the colour....I used three or four in my pot. But I think my translation was pretty good....I plan to do more in conjunction with JGP.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Shopping - Silk & Pink Wear!!!!

Last year on our way down South we got stuck in horrible traffic on our way though Hagerstown MD so we deeked off the highway and found ourselves on 15 Southbound towards Gettysburg. What a find...the countryside was beautiful, even in the rain, and we drove past a corner junction in the hamlet of Lucketts with some beautiful old vintage is Lucketts Store, in Louden County VA.  The one pictured here is almost a whole field with a couple of buildings and tents full of antiques and vintage finds on the weekends. You can't miss the pink spotted cow!
This year we stopped here and ventured into this pink room full of vintage clothing, mostly prom dresses!!!!!!! What a treat! All things to wear to a garden party on MadMen and before!

Are there enough ruffles?
I think this little number might have been worn by one of the mothers of a prom queen...I thought it was beautiful! Wish I could have seen it on a mannequin.

Deep in one of the rooms we came across some bolts of silk, now, my husband, who is a great shopper glommed onto this one and I'm still not sure why, but he's really good with colour and just held it out in front of me.  I said I'd recover the cushions in our living room as we have a beige sofa and chairs. The tag on it said $20 which isn't bad for silk as I've made dresses from silk I got from Designer Fabric Outlet in Toronto and paid $18 a yard back in the '90's. When I asked if I could get a couple of yards we were told $20 was for the bolt!

When I got home and measured it there are 3.5m of silk....a bargain! Cushions covered....and maybe a little something for me!
One of the things I love to do when down in the Outer Banks (NC) is go bead shopping. I have no time at home and they have lots of bead shops where vacationers can go in and make items on a rainy afternoon, on a 'girl's' weekend away or when the guys are out windsurfing on the sound.  (I used to windsurf but now I wait for the wind to die down so I can go out on a SUP ... stand up paddleboard). So I grabbed these as inspiration in the way colours are put together...I'll work some ideas into felted jackets. The little black and white shells have holes in them...I'm sure I'll use them somewhere.

Now I'm back home and need to find space somewhere to stash my new purchases until I can use them...leaving them out to look at just clutters up an already packed studio!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gone Shoppin' (Yarn that is)

Once again on our way down to the Outer Banks for that first hit of wind surfing for my other half and some early SUPing for me (stand up paddle boarding) we have to stop at yarn shops.

My dear knitting buddy and friend Rose is now living in State College PA so she took me to her fave yarn shop to mooch about and get me a treat! 

We went to Really Clear and I got a skein of Sari silk - Leilaniarts and a skein of hand painted Merino wool from Rhichard Devrieze.                                                                                                                        I think I'll make another Swiss cheese scarf out of the yellow...maybe mixing it with some purple.                                                                                              The sari they this space!
On our way onto the Outer Banks I had to stop at Knitting Addiction in Kitty Hawk ... where the Wright brothers first flew, (my other half frequents a place called Wind Addiction!) The shop is huge, two level and amazingly huge place with the most comprehensive selection of yarn for miles around. Run by a Jeanne Shrader...who puts up with people like me tearing around the place once a year like it's the only yarn shop on the planet (well sometimes it is when you've been in a car for hours and hours).

I am a lucky girl as my husband treated me to some balls of yarn...he tends to follow me around saying 'get that' when I start drooling over a skein or ball. We all know yarn can be expensive but he puts his money where his mouth is....this is what I got this time. Besides the two balls of Regia to add to my sock stash, a pen and a bumper sticker I picked up what I got last year but different colours. Two balls of Crazy Zauberball....probably just for my own scarf collection. and a skein of Bamboo Bloom Handpaints from Universal Yarn which I will use to accent my felted jackets.

Driving away we went around the back of the shop and found this!!!! Jeanne's Yarn Truck...a year old. She has a name but I'm afraid I've forgotten it.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fashion Show at Passionate Artisans

Ooh, Spring Fun!  Passionate Artisans, where I have my work in Kingston, is having an artisan fashion show on Sunday April 26th at 1pm. 28 Bath Road, Kingston.

Here is Lynda talking to Bill Hall of 'WS Daily' yesterday

Here's Bill talking to a couple of the artisans....('s me).

I'm desperately trying to get my taxes finished....actually I just took them to the accountant, then work on some new work for the Beach Studio Tour next weekend.... about overloaded. I think I have been doing too much volunteering and must cut back in order to get my work done.

Beach Studio Tour

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Colour & Shapes

Though I'm nowhere near a knitting machine, wool or anywhere that needs wool at the moment my mind is still working on design.

Christmas lights still 'round the studio door!
Wandering around the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean I'm bombarded by colour and it's wonderful...especially during a Winter of white on white with white accents at home in Canada! Fortunately our home is yellow so that adds a little colour to the scenery while I've been shovelling out the driveway...and there is, occasionally, beautiful blue sky. 25 years ago, when we were first/last here, I'm inspired by the colour.

Marigot, then, had a harbour filled with dozens of brightly coloured fishing boats which inspired my multicoloured striped cardis. I just dove into colours then.

The green of the palm trees is such a beautiful can get some ugly man made greens, and though here there is the red and green we normally associate with Christmas...the red here has a lot of pink in it and it's balanced with the white.

I love yellow, but it's a hard colour for most people to wear and needs to be softened with tones that compliment the  this pink or the periwinkley blues of the window and lacy boards. Here white is used to soften the acidity of the yellow.  I also love the patterns in the baseboards interspersed with the green pointy fence posts....the border of a jacket or sweater which is all coral?

This is one of my favourites...wandering along the boardwalk in Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St Maarten I spied these pointy roofs down an alley. Two blues - sky & walls - with the stunning orange of the tiles...yum. I see a periwinkle or mid blue jacket with strong orange accents...somewhere.

Ravenous but still not 5pm we headed to the Hard Rock cafe and downed two 'Lenendary Burgers' (I won't have to eat for a week!)  and watched one of the cruise ships head out to sea. Of course I had to take a pic of Michael Jackson's jacket ...from the 70's or '80's I think. Great colour combo - orange & silver...or grey - and maybe work up the swirly pattern on a mylar sheet or program it into your Brother pattern library.

Try other colour on white, work a glittery yarn into the swirl pattern and silver beads where these 'bobbles' are.

Lumbering along the boardwalk after those monster burgers we came across this little girl who, we were told, was three that day. I asked her if she was making pudding as she stirred whatever was in the ash tray with a loose piece of wood from the picnic table....don't you just love her dress!!! Knit something in cotton and either dip dye it or hand paint with dyes. Or just find yarns with these strong colours...very 'island'.

This just spoke to me in the softer colour combination and the stripes and blocks (ventilation holes). This creamy banana yellow is much easier to wear.

Believe it or not this is part of the police station down on the Philipburg boardwalk ('s concrete, no boards...and it wasn't there 25 years ago). Once again orange and blue but with the deep pinky red of the roof.

Last but by no means least here's another part of the pink house with the yellow and blue with the green pickets.

Why don't we paint our houses like this in Canada...wouldn't that look stunning in our brilliant Summers and really jolly up our white (or dull slushy) Winters.