Whoo boy! I have been doing so much lately, I haven't had time to blog. I need to catch up. A couple weeks ago 7 of us from our felting group travelled to Michigan to take a 5-day felting workshop. This was my kind of workshop as there were 5 different instructors teaching us 5 different things. I get a bit bored taking 3-day workshops so this was a perfect ADD type retreat. Our first day was making these fun and funky little creatures. But more on that later.
Bev, Paige and I drove up in a day, arriving in early evening. Creative Felt Gathering is held at Dainava, a Lithuanian religious retreat center. We stayed in a sort of dorm room, Bev and I sharing a room. In the mornings we would get coffee (damn good, rich and strong) and walk down the lane towards the pond.
The fog rose in the morning, making everything seem unworldly.
Sandhill cranes entertained us on our morning walks. They perform a dance, usually for mating but also for staking their territory. This must have been the case, as they mate in May. They mate for life, usually around 30 years.
Sandhill cranes make a very loud bugling sound, which we heard from a distance, getting louder as they approached. Similar to a honking geese, the sound is deeper and stranger.
I was a bit familiar with them, as they were near the Missouri River in South Dakota.
Our first day was off to a fun start with Andrea Graham from Ontario, Canada. She is known for her amazing pods and has branched out to creating these delightful little monsters.
She's showing us how to make the pointy things protruding from the bodies of the critters.
All her whimsical creatures sport bright colors, bumps, tags, wild hair and legs.
Arranging floral wire creates them their legs, usually three and bending them this way or that, gives them their personality.
Her felting is perfect, very smooth and takes a long time. (around 5-7 hours).
We started out with a mess-o-wool, wadded up to form the body and wrapped with wool yarn. Next comes the prefect to wrap around the body, sometimes embedding marbles.
Mr. Bee Bop Bojangles is the right.
Everyone's turned out so different. That's what fun about these gatherings of creative spirits...the talent is amazing.
They just make you smile!
We took them all outside for a little photo session near the rocks.
They seemed to come alive and really like the fresh air. Except Carrot. He just wouldn't get up.
We worked outdoors whenever possible. Here's Zita happily rubbing away.
Jone, the super organizer/felter/teacher/comedian kept everyone entertained while teaching a late afternoon class.
Lithuanians are known for their carvings. I don't really like the traditional cross (can't religion be about happier things?) but these cross are a thing of beauty.
Set upon a hill overlooking the pond, the crosses form a large circle.
A bench in the circle of crosses provides a nice viewing point overlooking the pond. A great place to watch the sunset and the emerging stars in a black sky. And to review what we had learned in our fun day of felting.
More projects in the next posts.