Woman with Felt Slippers

Even though I’ve been really tired lately (from staying up way too late felting, oh, and working too), I’ve been rather pleased with myself. I had a couple of the dolls that hadn’t gotten any love or attention from me in a while, so I finished them, or nearly so.

photo She’s made of paper clay, bamboo skewers and felt. She has a body underneath of styrofoam balls. I like her bunny slippers! I may make some for myself sometime in the near future. 

I have to fiddle with my iPhone to make it able to take pics, so that’s all I’m sharing right now, but there’s another one, a little creepier than this one. Stay tuned…

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Felting Fingerless Gloves

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I’ve been felting again, and my living room is full of fiber! I made a pair of very warm fingerless gloves for my friend’s birthday present. I acquired a bag full of wool and a panel of felted wool from a very nice lady at my local yarn shop, Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia.

I’d been thinking and thinking about how to make these things, because wet felting is very messy and requires some space, of which I’m in short supply. I opted for needle felting on top of my panel of felt. I was originally loathe to cut it up, but what the heck. I can make all kinds of things out of it, so I’m going to destroy it to make more things, like a bag and a couple pairs of fingerless gloves.

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Oh my God! It was a ton of work. It took hours and hours, but I like the result. Good thing she’s a chilly willy, because anyone else living in Portland would think they were too hot. They’re built more for folks in Minnesota!

I was inspired by a pair of felted fingerless by Vaida Petreikis on Flickr. These ones are cooler than mine, which look nothing like them, but they’ve launched me into this new venture of fingerless wearable art.

I’ve been debating on whether or not to begin a new pair… Oh hell, why not?

Posted in Fingerless Gloves, Needle felting, Uncategorized, Wearable Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illustrating my book

Hello! Just thought I’d make a quick post. I have been feeling a little under the weather for the past 2 days, but don’t want to lose my momentum.

A few years back, I had a community garden in Santa Monica, CA at Ocean View Farms. It was a really great place to have a garden when you live in a condo. They had meetings every so often, and one person there sent out an email that she wanted to do a children’s hour. I emailed her back and said that I’d like to write a children’s book for that involving gardening. Well, I took a while to get the book done, and the children’s hour thing fell apart before it ever started, but I do have a book out of it. I put pics up from the Interweb, so I couldn’t sell it, but I thought I’d just start painting pics for it now, with the goal of self publishing soon.

I once painted about 54 paintings in a 3.5 month period for a deck of cards called Sacred Commerce Cards, authored by Bettie J. Spruill, so I know I can kick out some product!

My painting style and process consists of having a goal, projecting some image onto a canvas, and then fumbling around until I get what I want out of it. I’ve never been formally trained, so I don’t know how to do it gracefully. Oh well.

Here’s a not quite finished frame:

Polo is checking out some carrots.

Polo is checking out some carrots.

 The book is about a little mouse named Polo who loves pumpkin and how he has to wait till it’s planted, growing and then ripe. It’s called Polo and the Pumpkin. Hopefully I’ll get my mojo back soon and resume jammin’ on these pics. I’m in process with three at the moment, but have a lot more to do.

 

Posted in Artist, Bettie J. Spruill, Farmer, Garden, Mouse, Painting, Pumpkin, Quan Yin, Sacred Commerce Cards | Leave a comment

Is Your Style Just Part of You?

I’d really love some feedback on this, if you’re an artist or writer, or a creative person. I can’t help noticing that whatever I do, it looks like something I did, even when I’m trying to do something else. Case in point, I was inspired by this:

felt teddy

(I’m sorry, but I don’t know who made this. I found it on Pinterest.)

…and I came up with this:

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Interesting…

I’ve been looking for a certain website since I started this post to find images of something else that has inspired me big time, but I can’t find it. Suffice to say that even though these dolls looked cute and strange, and I was immediately taken with them, my dolls turned out to be much more of something that comes from my inner me, I guess. I wasn’t trying to copy exactly, but just sorta. It’s weird how much of a left turn I take on these things.

Do any of you fellow fiddlers of materials have a similar experience? I’d love to see some images of what inspired you and what you created!

My day yesterday consisted of working on finishing three of my dolls and doing some actual “work” in my business capacity. I like how they turned out, especially the moth one (I decided yesterday that it had to be a moth). I did something I had been afraid to do until yesterday: I committed to the hat and actually glued them onto the dolls. Ulp! Now it’s permanent.

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Notice the fancy new hat?

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Screwfoot is my first, and the one I love most. He’s so po’ widdo with his little messed up leg! This striped one looks like a chess piece to me. I like it so much more since I switched hats!

Now I have more dolls to finish, and since I got in a shipment of some new, larger eyes, I’ll have a great time messing around with NEW dolls!

 

 

Posted in Art dolls, Artist, Felt hats, Needle felting, Painting, Paper clay, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fibrous Too-Mores

I’ve been really jazzed about working with fiber lately, after taking a fiber spinning class. The week after the class was the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado (I recently moved back to CO). What a great place that was to visit, especially after having just taken that spinning class!

Did you know that there is a ton of information to learn about fiber? No, really. There’s actually a thing – a real thing – called “The Itch Factor” pertaining to different types of breeds of fiber producing animals. Absolute truth. So I’ve been spinning with wool from the Coriedale, the Romney sheep and the CVM – California Variegated Mutant. Nice name!

I had to give back the spinning wheel yesterday, but for 3 days straight I was spinning my heart out, wanting to get as much done as possible. I have 8 hanks of double ply yarn!

Spinning wheels are pretty expensive, but I found one on Etsy for under $200! I can’t wait to get it!

Dying is my favorite thing. I learned that you can make dye from onion skins! You can also make them out of iris leaves, beetles (cochineal, a very expensive dye for reds), and a lot of other things. I had no idea!

I dyed some fleece with synthetic dyes the other day, and they are so intense, color-wise. OMG!

So wool is my life now, and I see it everywhere. Here are some pics of what I’ve been up to.

I've been spinning for three days

I’ve been spinning for three days

The fruits of my dying labor

The fruits of my dying labor

This wheel was on loan to me.

This wheel was on loan to me.

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Late Night Involvement

Well… I tried to go to bed early, but to me that just means giving up. 

So I puttered. And I have put some more (not finishing, just MORE) touches on my little winged creature. The lighting in my house is TERRIBLE, so I couldn’t see the yellow blotches until I took a pic in the kitchen. But not bad for a couple of hours of passing the time until I go to bed.

Tomorrow I’ll finish this paint job and move on to decorating the hat!

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When Your Day Job Calls…

…And mine did. Literally. My client called me late last night to ask where in the hell his engineers are. I’m a recruiter by day and an artist/crafter/bum by night. And sometimes by day.

Well, I snapped out of it and began a serious endeavor to find said engineers. Programmers, actually. (Know any in the Silicon Valley who may be looking for work?)

How do you transition from your art addiction to living in the “real world”? For me, it started with that phone call. And doing a bit of guilty searching at midnight for programmers. I got a text and an email from my client and a prospective candidate late, late, late, because they were doing a Skype call to Europe. I went back to sleep, but I can see that my other life is calling.

So today I took a much needed shower. Little paper clay dolls don’t care if I’m showered up or not. In fact, I think they prefer me to be “au natural”. But the mindset is still there in the showering. I hate showering, because it’s usually the same old thing, and it’s boring. But today I was thinking about this post, so it was good, even though I think I only shaved one leg, being so distracted!

I changed the sheets on the bed too. I checked my email. I even have makeup on!

So now, the only thing left to do is to work and find qualified professionals. I work in my living room, which doubles as my studio, so my latest painting endeavor is looking at me while I look at it…

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But I’m putting on my professional hat now…

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…and I’ll be on my merry way. Till 5:00, that is!

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Find the Right Hat

Have you ever had moments (or days, weeks, even months) where all you wanted to do was create? To the detriment of everything else, like bathing, cleaning the dishes, preparing healthy meals and even doing your day job? Me too!

In fact, I’m in that cycle right now. The only thing wrong with it, besides greasy hair, dirty dishes and meals on the go is that sometimes they miss you at your day job.

I’ll come around. I always do.

But let’s talk about hats, ok? I guess I’m wearing my artist hat right now, since that’s all I want to do. I have been playing around with these paper clay figures, and then I discovered needle felting. So now everyone gets a hat. And that’s fun for me, because I absolutely LOVE making these little fairy hats. In fact, I’d like to have one myself.

“Screwfoot”, my little amputee, had a very fine turban made from an old tie-dyed t-shirt of mine until I tried on him the lovely pink hat that I made for the angel doll. Well! It was just such a match that I had to make another hat for the angel/insect/whatever it is doll. So that’s what I did today.

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Stay tuned for more developments… and more hats! I just need to finish these guys and move on to the next ones.

Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be able to wear my day job hat and put the artist hat on afterwards.

Posted in Art dolls, Artist, Needle felting, Paper clay | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

I just read “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon

 

Show your work

This book, “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon, which I found in the bookstore at the National Art Museum in Washington, D.C. appealed to me right away. It’s small, yellow, and has funny little drawings and urban haikus in it. I bought it at the end of June, and finally finished it yesterday.

It’s so inspiring! It inspired me to get a blog going of my artwork. The basic idea of this book is to share what you’re doing creatively. It suggests that you don’t post images of food, but of your work. It suggests that we not live in a bubble of private creativity, but to be public with our process. It never would have occurred to me to to that. I’m more of the wait, wait, wait for it… TA DA! kind of artist who wants to show a finished product rather than the journey.

But no more. I think that this book may have been one of the things that got me into the kind of groove I’m into right now, where I’m working on a painting, making dolls out of paper clay, and needle felting, all at once. And writing.

I’ve just started working with the needle felting, which I’m really crazy about, and have also just tried paper clay. I didn’t even know needle felting existed, and had never heard of paper clay before a month ago! Now I’ve got 5 dolls in various stages of preparation and some of them get hats made of felt.

Austin Kleon suggests that we read other peoples’ work, check out other folks’ sites and artwork, and be a part of the open source community of people who create things. It’s such a refreshing mindset! Don’t be mysterious, be available. And create a buzz just from your excitement and interaction with others. I love it.

At the end of the book, he says to post whatever we’re working on right now.

So here goes…

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They are in various stages of being “finished”. The felt girl and the felt animal (whatever it is) are finished. I obsessively worked on the animal from the feet up for two days, and couldn’t stop, so I made the girl. Then her hat. Hee her! Told you I was into it.

I love the “Screwfoot” doll. And the strange angel doll. None of the paper clay people are finished, but it’s fun to be in process with them. I’m loving this renaissance moment of mine!

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