Sunday, August 26, 2012

Felting with Orikiri Cutouts

My felting group got together recently to learn about orikiri cutouts and incorporating them into
 a felted piece.

I made a flowy one, with bits of wool and a cutout or two, felted onto silk.

And another one that is reversible, with wool on both sides.

Our instructor, Sachiko, lives in Australia, but is originally from Japan. Orikiri is the art of folding and cutting to create shapes. Similar to the more familiar origami (the folding of paper), the base material is first folded, then cut, like the snow flakes we made as kids. Sachiko also incorporates weaving into her pieces.

We first learned the weaving technique on construction paper.

Then used various colors of prefelt to weave in and out, forming an organic, free flowing design.

 We cut out prefelt in various designs

laying them out on a silk base.

Sachiko brought many of her finished pieces to offer us inspiration.

Lots of silk on silk (with wool in-between)

I chose this lovely, whimsical shawl as a jumping off point.

My supplies were ready

 Forming loose circles

 and placing torn and cut pieces of thrift store silk 

 I had my shawl ready to start the felting process.

 Everyone else did intricate weaving and cutouts for their pieces.
I knew I just wouldn't have the patience for this so I did just a few cutouts.

A sample to show us the weaving technique using various colors.

After laying out the design, we got busy rolling to start the felting process.

Our group does eat well at these workshops. We ate the first night at my house (where it poured down rain) and the second evening at Bev's on her deck.

It was a lovely evening and Bev's crape myrtle was in full bloom.

Our view from the deck, overlooking Bev's gardens and fields.

Since the derecho had cancelled our last day of our felt workshop in June and we didn't have a chance to see our finished coats, we brought them to this workshop and had a little shoot.

Both these workshops were three days of felting fun. But my felting days will continue as I'm participating in a 5-day workshop in a couple weeks in Michigan. This is more up my alley....five different teachers, a different project every day. Now to just find time to do more felting at home before I forget everything I've learned!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Barn Raising Sort Of

Houston and Forrest finished the post and rail fence a couple weeks ago. But since pulling wire is super hard to pull tightly, I hired the rest of the fencing out to a local contractor. I've know Ron Magaha for decades. His daughter and our oldest son went to school together 30 years ago. He does great work. He's recently done a total renovation on a neighbor's place, two houses up and a kitchen redo on my closest neighbor's place. 

 Three men showed up with big tractors and attachments and got right to work, cleaning up the pasture, cutting down dead trees and even mowed the field. The put in posts, put up the wire and gates and made the field an enclosed area for my sheep again. But while they were there, with all that equipment, I thought that with the new fence looking so spiffy, the barn looked mighty shabby. 

 So out comes the big cherry picker and off comes all the old wood. I'm saving all the wood (nice old hardwood with chippy white paint on one side) to cut into uniform lengths and sell. I'll use some for table tops or shelving or whatever else Krista and I can come up. (I scored some seriously large table legs today for free so maybe the old barn door will become a farm table). 

But I hadn't realized that when the walls come off, EVERYTHING inside is exposed to the public. Yikes! Old sleds, junk, shutters, windows, doors, pipe, wood, etc. I asked them if I could throw some stuff down before they put up the wood. I think they viewed me as a bit of a crazy woman, up there in the heat, throwing shit down. They all cleared out pretty fast.

 But soon the barn was beginning shape up.

They also power washed the roof, painted the lower roof, but dead wood out of two trees, built three doors and even built the chickens a new coop. Oh, and they moved the big propane tank to inside the fence. 

The dug down nearly 2' and buried the wire that deep. It's totally critter proof now.

Who wouldn't want one of these awesome machines?! One night I measured the width of the bucket with my feet, then walked the width of the back of the barn lot. Yep, it could just make it. So they also cleaned out the years of sheep poop and hay that had built up so I couldn't even open the hay gate any longer. It would have taken me all day to dig through all that and move it and they did it in 20 minutes!
 Yay, gas powered machinery!

At times I was working right along side them and was wondering how much money I was making. I asked Ron to put me on the clock.

So now I have my fence back, along with a new gate. I picked this gate out because it had maximum bars for drying yarn.

The chickens are so happy with their new crib. But color me thrilled to have this screen door (that Penny had given me years ago) to WALK into the chicken run. Before I had to bend over at the waist and crab crawl to get any wayward eggs that were in the run. I spent 20 minuets just opening the door, going through, talking to the chickens, then going out again. I think I'll put a spring on the door so it can slam. That's such a great summer sound.

I let the hens out while I cleaned out the main area. They couldn't wait to get back in to check it all out. 

Seal of approval from Rhoda. I do need to bling up the coop a bit. Maybe Chirp will donate some furniture to the place. I am sooooo glad to have this all done. : ) Now it's time to move the sheep back. But Forrest is my sheep wrangler and he's going away for a week, so my girls won't get to see their new digs quite yet. I hear they're quite happy at Ann's though.