Monday, August 13, 2012

Blog Migration

I've migrated all my three blogs back into one. I am going to start posting again ... So go to

Monday, April 30, 2012

Needlefelting Class

I taught another needle felting class. The yarn shop, Recycled Lamb, the class is at has moved to a beautiful new building with an actual class room with great views and shoppers can come and see what we're doing and get inspired. A great atmosphere! I'm liking doing just a full day rather than the typical 4 evenings once a week. I took some pictures of some of the finished works.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ukrainian Egg Dying

Ukrainian dyed eggs - a wax resist process
It's that time of year again. I'm just home from being gone several weeks with a new grand-daughter born. When at the little grocer I frequent the checkout gal says the fresh hams for Easter have just come in. EASTER! I've not even thought of it, let alone a meal, and who's coming our way. BUT, I also just got an email from my youngest son saying he wants to bring several groups of friends to do eggs this year. I still have the dye in canning jars from last year ... I wasn't going to buy new dye, since they can be reused. But then my other son said the same, "We want to bring some couples to dye eggs". So I'm going to order new dyes to have on hand ... just in case. Like did someone compromise the yellow last year? ...

For years I've ordered my kits/dyes from the Ukranian Gift Shop. And click here to see last years "how-to" post with lots of pics.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Needle Felting Class

Needle Felted Gnome

I taught another needlefelting class - this one in one day, rather than dividing it up into 4 evening once a week classes. Everyone is different and I love seeing the differing personalities created!

I did the typical starting out with doing a flat picture so they could get used to the barbed needles. I should have taken pictures of them. Once they were well along and could fine tune them at home to their heart's content, we started on three dimensional wool sculpting.

I always have them start with the head, then the body and attach it to the head and then clothe it. I have them think about whether it'll sit or hang from a wall. Standing is harder - the legs and torso need to be heavily needled so stiff enough to stand. That would take more time.

They start out with a slight idea of what they want - usually a female. But as they go along, usually the face will take on a personality and lets you know it wants to be a male, or a fairy, or a gnome, or old, or young ...

The next one is the one I made as we worked the stages together. Since everyone pretty much goes with flesh tone wool, I choose to go out of the box with working with another color. I actually love this creature! I love it's expression.

My needle felted example unfinished - but I love it so far!

Friday, February 24, 2012

This was online - maybe Facebook. I love it! It is so true in my life.

I remember YEARS ago when in college, I'd put my sewing machine away, thinking I'd not use it now that I needed to use all my extra time studying ...

Oh, but I was going crazy! I pulled out my machine and spent a bit of time creating, and as I sewed I could feel myself unwind; thoughts became ordered and crystal clear.

Never, never think creativity a waste of time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dyed T's and socks

Stan with t-shirt and socks I dyed
Monte's partner in geology called wanting more socks. He loves my hand-dyed bamboo socks and wears them all the time. He will go down in geology history for many things, including his typical attire: Wild T-shirts with lizards, iguanas, dinosaurs, etc plus my hand-dyed ones. I did a serpentinite print from a photo on the front of a shirt and sponged on dye around it (on this shirt the print faded as he's washed it a ton, the next one I did differently). And when not in the field, he still wears shorts, even in winter and then sandals. So my socks are well exposed for all to see.

So this week when pulling out socks for both him and Monte (all my family asks for more socks), I saw that I had a t-shirt his size and decided to do one for my Grandson. Monte had also labeled a pair of his pants to be dyed black and a pull over shirt brown.

Accordian pleated and lots of clothespins

Here's Stan's shirt. I folded it accordian style from an off center at the breast then clothespinned every inch. I scrunched it into a plastic basin, along with socks and the toddler T. The dye I poured over was a mixture of 1/2 black, 1/4 cobalt blue, and 1/4 deep yellow.

Toddler T and socks
I'm sure he'll love the T and will tell me some rock tale the shirt tells.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hand-Knit Baby Dress and Booties

I knit a dress and matching booties for my first Grand-daughter Scout. It's knit of washable variegated sock yarn.

Beautiful Little S in hand-knit dress and booties

Bootie close up

Dress close up - love the differing shoulder buttons

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I made curtains for my grandson's bedroom. I knew I wanted to dye the material. After looking through all my textile books for an idea, I settled on over-dyeing them for richness and depth - the book Tray Dyeing provided the inspiration. The material is an unbleached muslin. The lining includes a blackout material, then there's a sheer behind them.

Dyeing in a tray with bottom pleated and upper scrunched, then dye poured in.

Overdyed with fuschia and chartreuse
Overdyed with black

Since I did these last summer, I'm not remembering ... I vaguely think they ended up too black, so I'd have retied and bleached them. I know I did this on aprons I dyed a couple Christmas's ago. Rather than immersion dyeing of the final black, I should do the low-water way, like the tray dyeing ... Still learning.

I do have more plans ... Making separate animals that can somehow be attached to the curtains - maybe just pinning, so removable over time. Like now the room will be shared with a little sister, our first grand-daughter. Initially, I'm thinking elephants, lions and monkeys. Maybe some birds and even flowers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Hand-Knit Hats and Scarves and Sock Earrings

Handknit hats for little S and E
 For Christmas gifting I knit some hats and scarves. I used washable variegated sock yarn and a coordinating gray. The lower part of little E's hat has several purled rows, then a couple knit gray rows, so that the sock yarn would come forward and the darker gray retreated. Little S's hat every few rows, after the hat was knit, has chained gray, creating scallops. Then I added the ear flaps and crocheted an edging adding tasseled ties.

Splarah's hand-knit hat and scarf
I took into account Splarah's dark brown hair and blue eyes for her hat design. I bought several varieties of the new ribbon looking "yarn" that pulls out into a lacy effect. It's slower knitting than normal, so it's not something I want to do a lot of, but I supplied several people, including myself some of these scarves.

Little E wore his hand=knit hat all day

Hand-Knit Sock Earrings
I've posted before about these sock earrings I've knit for years. Probably all my friends have a pair now and I've sold some.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nuno Felted Scarves

Some day I'll show tutorial steps in nuno felting. I'm still working the art and perfecting it, if there is such a thing. These are some of what I've done ...

Nuno Felted Scarf on cotton gauze

Nuno Felted Scarf on cotton gauze

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Felted Wreaths

This is my second Christmas of making these wreaths. This year I wet felted the wool to the styrofoam wreath, then needle felted on the details. Some are wrapped with a coordinating wool yarn. I'll make the leaves and some other details separate, needling on a foam pad, then adding them to the wreath.

Felted styrofoam wreaths

Felted styrofoam wreaths - 2 stacked
I've mentioned before, probably in the felted egg post, that the styrofoam needs to be the rough, not the smooth kind for needlefelting.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Felt and Jewelry

In my current felting jag, I made this jewelry set. I'd bought the jewelry blanks at Hobby Lobby. I needle felted a long strip of the blue-green background, then cut it in squares to fit the bracelet blanks and one to fit the necklace blank. Then I needled in the small designs in colors that would go with an outfit I wear. The picture shows the jacket. I'm going to be making more felted jewelry!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Greenhouse Gardening

Plant shelf with heat coils and grow lights
I'm back to blogging again. My commitments are past; my color design class, after a year, is over. I've been busy exploring various textile crafts and taking pictures but not taking time to write blogs.

Lettuces and Greens
My plans for now? To get my garden spaces cleaned up and ready for this year's growing season. Spring flowering bulbs are starting to bloom and things are greening up and starting to grow. I anxiously await this time of year ... 'Anxious' because some things die from lack of Winter moisture, or pocket gophers and voles. I have started veggie and flower seedlings in my greenhouse: broccoli, cauliflower, kale varieties, tomato varieties, and favorite flowers.

I will not bother with growing carrots, radishes, beets, or lettuce again over winter - too labor intensive and a huge electricity draw for keeping it warm. What I will always keep going tho are herbs. I enjoyed having fresh herbs all winter: chives, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, basil, mint, oregano, sage, and thyme (I should have typed some of those in the song's order ... it's now running in my head!). The grapevine's leaves are filling the entire greenhouse ceiling space and Monte keeps looking for newly forming clusters. The clematis vine that twines into the grapevine is just now starting to flower - it's the deep violet Jackmanii variety. Tomato plants in the corner have been giving us cherry tomatoes, but I don't know if I'll grow them over winter again either.

Entwined together: Potted Fig tree, tomatoes, and grapevine

Mock Orange - been babying over a year; seeds from Monte's family homestead

More Ukrainian Egg Dyeing Info

I'm cleaning up the dining room table of all the Ukrainian Egg dyeing tools. I have a box the jarred dyes return to along with all the kistka tools, candle holders, beeswax, how-to instruction sheets and then the vinyl tablecloth. This year there's cartons of undone raw eggs to put by the box in the garage too. Will I pull it all out to make Christmas tree ornaments next fall? Every year I say I will ... We'll see. Varnished, blown out, and hung with silk cord and tassel would be beautiful!

I took some pictures of eggs that got left. Gary made the egg faces. Most people took home their eggs. I save cartons prior to Easter so they can be cut up for protecting a few eggs. Like most of the gals who came to my Spring Tea did two eggs. Friends stayed on into the evening dyeing more. Then, as I was starting to put everything away the Easter weekend Dawson texted me saying he was "bringing lots of friends to dye eggs ... and by the way, we're staying for supper". I had no plans. We had homemade pizzas for supper - a dessert one with brie, chocolate chips, and sliced cranberry sauce was delicious. I want to make it again for improving the recipe.

Something I thought I should mention, to add to the dyeing instructions I've posted about, is the use of bleach. My boys are big-time into the use of bleaching their eggs. You can see in the above picture the back eggs that are quite white. Most of these started out as black eggs, waxed, and then bleached. Travis's egg with the birds and the sunset below, started out black too. He probably bleached it several times, but beware ... excessive bleaching can weaken the egg shell. I bleached one of mine, wanting a truer green after the scarlet, but I didn't wash the egg after bleaching - with soap and water! Bleach will affect the dyes. My egg didn't take the green dye evenly. I hope I didn't wreak the dark green dye. Monte's still got his serpentenite egg in there ... waiting ...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

My wool bean-bag nativity I made is still displayed on an old travel trunk in the dining room. Maybe the trunk will become my seasonal table for differing displays. I don't pack my creche away anymore. There is a high bookshelf above the windows in our great room that it normally sits on except at Christmas.

For Palm Sunday years past I put a Jesus figure I made from wool on a donkey surrounded by paschal lambs on our kitchen table. I'll have two tablecloths at varying angels that are a deep green and purple. I like to bring palm fronds home from church and add them to the table as well. This year I added a cross and nails to the creche scene and Jesus on the donkey with the lambs in front.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Tea Ukrainian Egg Craft

Merengues spread with jam & cookies
Veggies & 3 dips - boiled small potatoes are the favorite!
I did it again - I had another tea crafting party. Like my Valentine Tea crafting party I posted about, I invited people to tea and learn the art of Ukrainian/Pysanky egg dyeing. Needlefelting was the other craft option. I did a post about the Ukrainian wax resist dye process earlier, so see it for the details. This time I made some desert along with the sandwiches and scones (see my kitchen blog for recipes). The favorite was banana bread spread with Nutella and a Granny Smith apple slice.

Ukrainian Egg Dyeing

Ukrainian Eggs and a Needlefelted Picture

Hanna and Phill needlefelting

Relaxing, eating supper with friends

Dawson using Kistka tool with beeswax on a raw egg
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