Thursday, March 27, 2014

On Pins & Needles

I've been needing a little traveling needle case. Going back and forth to Krista's to make our critters, I'd forget needles, scissors and pins. So when Kathy of our felting group proposed making a felt needle holder, I said yes, yes.

We started out with a flat piece of prefect, placing a resist on the inside to form two flaps, like a wallet. Scissors can be tucked in to the pocket.

Kathy made a perfectly smooth, tightly felted holder.

 Bev added cutout prefect for embellishments. We were just making the outside cover this day, adding our pre made felt pages for the inside. 

This was the initial inspiration.

Grace's was a hot fuscia pink. She won't misplace this!

 Renata added silk fabric to the front of hers. You can't tell, but there's a beautiful feather pattern on the right.

Paige laid on wool yarn with bits of green between.

Renata had done this one previously. The stitching is done after it has dried. 

Roz is always our fastest felted and had already moved into hers as we were still felting.

More pages could have been added, but two pieces, making four pages seemed enough.

Zita sent me photos after she had embellished hers. 

So Zita-like!

group shot

I always take shots of things in the personal studios that catch my eye. This is recycled silk saris, torn to make yarn. This yarn works great for embellishing.

Zita's idea board in the background and one of her lovely silk shawls.

I liked how she had decorated her magazine storage files with squares of her felt. Loved the 'FUN' category! 

I really appreciate when we learn a technique that is so practical and we come away with a great project. This has already proved to be very useful. Thanks Kathy for a great tutorial. 
Can't wait to make more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Asheville for the Arts

A few weeks ago, three of my girlfriends and and I travelled to Asheville, NC for a little artistic getaway. We're all artists ourselves and needed a little recharge and a kick of inspiration. I heard where every person out of three is some sort of artist in Asheville. And I believe it! We visited so many studios, boutiques, galleries, all full of wonderful, original arts and crafts. This is a glass blowing studio, open air, where the fires were glowing and folks were blowing away.

We walked and walked all through the downtown area and got peeks into interesting alleys.

Annie, myself and Seal taking a colorful break. The weather was divine, after all the brutally cold weather we've had. It felt so good to soak up some sunshine!

'Chirpy' art.

There are many artisan run boutiques in the area and this was one of the more interesting ones. A tailor was working away on what was to become a corset.

He practiced in France as a corsetier, bringing his expertise to the States. The corset he was just starting was for a full figured woman who would be wearing this day and night for up to year to transform her body to an hour glass figure. It's a type of training one's body has to go through to achieve this look.

This is a finished one, priced at $190. My body shied away from that tight lacing. Oof!

Here was the darling corsetier helper.

This adorable young woman was trying on dresses for prom. 

She looks like a princess. I thought she'd be the hit of the ball!

Girls ready for shopping!

A galleria filled with awesome shops, including a great knitting store.

I like old rusty stuff so this fence really got my attention.

and to top it all off, a spine from something HUGE….like a mastodon or something!

Loved this sign. 

Asheville has it's own pub cycle. Yep, you sit on these stools while pedaling through the busy streets downtown while drinking beer from many of the city's local micro breweries.

They make you sign a waiver first. duh! I wonder how many people have fallen off the seats.

The River Arts District is in an old warehouse area where artists are now creating, painting, building, blowing and making art.

Everywhere one looks there's sculpture, color, jewelry... eye candy for sure.

and of course, wine. good wine, good times.

and in case you need to stop the wine, plenty of wine stoppers to choose from.

We scored this great little Arts and Crafts cottage on Airbnb. It was in a very quiet neighborhood and was absolutely perfect for us. The entire house was just $125 a night! So darn cute! The owner had even left a bottle of wine, cookies and chocolate for us. I highly recommend it and will rent it again when visiting Asheville. After just a few days in this beautiful town in the mountains, we all felt relaxed, recharged and ready to go home and create.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Radiant Orchid Shawl/Vest

Our felting group met last week to try a shawl/vest. Mine is a shawl at the moment, but with holes cut for arms, it will turn into a loose style vest. 

I'm kinda sorta afraid to cut holes in it.

I used a wool prefelt for the base, along with a large piece of silk chiffon, crinkly silk and mohair locks, all dyed Orchid at the same time.

This was my pile of materials at the beginning. I chose to edit it down to just a few silk pieces for embellishment. Not like me at all.

I've been using vintage silk saris from 
India that I get on ebay. 

I never know what I'll be doing with a piece until I begin. I thought that this would be all helter skelter like I usually do, but when I started to lay it out, linear was what came to mind.

I always do a brooch to match.

Arm holes or no arm holes? Hmmmmm