Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Felting Day

I've been meaning to get these posted for 6 weeks now. My felting group brought in a Turkish felter, Mahmet Girgic, for a workshop on the Osman technique on felted rugs. Above is a sample of their work. The colors are amazing and the felting is perfect. Mahmet is a master felter from Turkey, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, using traditional felting methods with more modern designs.

His felt pieces resemble paintings, with the colors flowing gracefully.

All his wool is vegetable dyed.

We spent a few hours laying out our design. Using prefelt, a base of wool lightly felted with muslin, we laid out wet wool, patting it down a bit. This was like painting with wool and we could get quite detailed designs.

These are the mats that Mahmet has made in Turkey.

Our pieces are laid carefully onto the mats, 5 or 6 at a time.

And then the rolling began. This is called appropriately 'kicking'. Zita and Judy made quite a good team.

Ann and Nan giving it a go, totally concentrating so as not to fall.

We then unrolled them from the mats and continued to vigorously roll for at least an hour. Mahmet said we should keep rolling for a couple more hours to achieve the tight look he desires in the felt. This takes more energy than one might imagine, even for a manure, dirt, rock, hay hauler like me. Ann is getting critiqued on her rolling style.

Six hands are better than two when it comes to rolling!

Then Mahmet showed us how a true master felter does it. He was rolling so briskly that the camera couldn't keep up.

And these are our finished felt pieces. JoAnn's dog.

Zita's modern piece.

Judy's fish in the sea.

Nan's traditional design.

Renata's art deco style.

And a close up of the detail she achieved.

Francine's modern design (and no, she's not naked!)

My plate of beets.

Christine 'painted' Starry, Starry Night.

Bev's design was from a photograph of her daughter-in-law, Kelly, on her wedding day.

Ann's landscape is from a photo taken in California.

Not only did Mahmet and Theresa teach us felting techniques all day, but while we broke out the wine, they prepared and cooked a delicious Turkish meal for us! Best teachers ever!!!

Mahmet chopped mint, tomatoes and garlic for at least a half hour.

And this is the delectable feast we got to eat. WOW!

We ended the night with laughter, our bellies full, our arms tired and thrilled to meet and spend the day with this felting duo. Thank you Mahmet and Theresa.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Over the Pond for Rain

Last month our very bestest friend from Cambridge visited for two days. It was lovely, sunny, warm and wonderful the day before he got here and the day after he left, but the two full days he was here, the skies let loose with a torrential downpour of rain. I was hoping to show him something other than typical English weather, but it wasn't to be. He did take pictures of the rain coming down as he hadn't seen rain like that before. It tends to spatter and spit in England, not pour from the skies. My hope was to bike on the C&O Canal to Harper's Ferry but we did walk around the town with the 10 other people who were out in the wet.

We parked the car and walked across the former railroad bridge, which is now a ped bridge. We looked out over the confluence of the Shenendoah (I love the sound of that word) and the Potomac rivers. We kayak here often and it's fun to look down on the rapids that we play in.

I like the backs of buildings as well as the fronts. The backs show the building's true character.

If you're looking for a fixer upper, this could be the place.

Clemens wearing a very silly American hat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Frilly Flowers

These tulips are now done showing off their fantastic blooms. The one above has been altered a bit with my photo program and I love how the color was intensified. Below is the real blossom.

This particular tulip resembles a peony, it is so large.

And this one was my favorite this year. The delicate green with the pale pink was just the perfect blend of soft colors. New colorway for yarn?

There are a few plants that do extraordinarily well on Dancing Leaf Farm and bleeding hearts is one of them. This one was just planted last year and it's now like a shrub. I love this plant with the little hearts hanging all in a row.

And luckily lilacs are another one that I can just get in the ground and they just take right off. I'm trying to get many varieties from very deep purple to the palest pink. This is my favorite spring flower. I pick huge bouquets and place them all over the house. I love the old fashioned scent, reminding me of old aunts and hankies.

Tulips just make me smile!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Casey, one of our golden retrievers, get so matted, muddy and mangy that I have him sheared every spring. Forrest wanted him to have a 'lion' haircut, with his chest fur left long and a tuft on the tail. But I told the groomer to just cut off all the hair as it gets so dirty, especially in the front. She did leave a tuft on the tail though and Casey seems to really like it. He did come home looking quite ashamed at first though. Being shaved shows how really fat he is. Time for a diet, Casey!

Tasman is gloating a bit because he does not have to be shaved and is rather proud of his smelly coat.

Casey got over it quickly and was soon out rolling in the grass, feeling pretty
good about life.

Men Working?

How many men does it take to fix a hole in the road? Answer: 7. I looked out the window and saw this scene in my front yard. Six men hanging around and one guy working. Supervising is such hard work.