Sunday, September 30, 2007

Family and Folly

A couple weeks ago I traveled to visit my mom and brothers. First stop was Colorado Springs. We drove to the mountains and stopped by Bishop's Castle, a sort of roadside attraction. Bishop is a man with an alternative agenda who started building this castle in 1969 and has been working on it nearly daily ever since. He is very anti-government and cannot live in the castle even one day or it will be considered a home and therefore taxable.

It really is quite amazing. One can walk to the top of the turrets (signing a waiver first). Bishop has done all the welding and beautiful scroll work. The dragon even breathes fire!

Hand made signs abound.

On the way we saw this really cool totem in front of someone's cabin.

This is my adorable mom, Darlene. We saw these letters in Anthropologie (one of my fave stores!) and we didn't even arrange them like this.

My three brothers and mom enjoying some cool ones.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Felting Day

I've just joined a felting study group associated with Potomac Craftsmen. This group started just a year ago with a small group of women. There are now about 12 of us and nearly all of us are novice felters, taking up the craft only recently. Well, you couldn't tell that by the items these women brought for show and tell. Many of them have taken workshops over the summer, some classes lasting 2 weeks. These women are a talented bunch. Above and below are photos of two felted rugs that Nan is working on. They are so beautiful in person, the colors are amazing and the felting is so well done. She raises alpacas and uses their wool in the felting process. We ooohed and aaaaahed, and of course, fondled.

Roz made this autumnal jacket at one of the summer workshops.

I can't remember who did this tam but we all loved it.

Sharon took a class on creating Victorian clothing. She even welded a hoop for a hoop skirt! This is a head piece that she felted with a lovely flower on the side. Sharon is a clothing designer and has crazy sewing skills. She can take felt material and create a tailored jacket fit the runway.

And then Sharon brought out this device and asked everyone if we knew what it was. There was dead silence (quite a feat for 12 women!) and then someone asked, "Where do the batteries go?" That got us all laughing, because we were all thinking the same thing! It really is some sort of tool for pulling the felted wool into shape. I can't remember the official name though, but I'm sure it works great.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cut up Cardigans

I was cleaning up my office (crafty space) and discovered many UFO's (unfinished objects). It seems I like to knit a back, two fronts and one sleeve of a cardigan. I then get bored with it and set it aside for a number of years (gasp!). I found three, yes, three cardigans like this. One other cardigan I'd managed to get nearly everything done except the collar but I didn't really like it. So instead of ripping all those stitches out, I gathered them all up, marched into the laundry room and threw the whole motley bunch into the felting machine, I mean the washing machine. Hot water wash, cold water rinse should do the trick. Pictured above are a few of the pieces before felting.

I had used some non-wool yarn in the striping of this sweater so of course the novelty yarn didn't felt.

This is the back of one of the cardigans in 'Mermaid' color. I think I'll make a purse out of it.

Before and after felting a front of a cardigan.

The purse is from the front of the cardigan pictured in the previous photo. I cut flowers out of the felted pieces and sewed on buttons. I'll probably use these on other purses.
I have enough 'felt material' to make a few bags and lots more flowers. So now it's time to start another cardigan. Maybe I'll be able to get this one completely finished. I'll keep you posted.