Besides my reused sweater mittens and my reused tee shirt jewelry there are other areas where I try not to buy new. Nowadays I love to shop the thrift stores - much the same way I used to love to shop at Macy's - for just the right addition to my home decor. I found this pillow sham this week, it measured 30" x 24", something like that. The colors were perfect for my kitchen which is a bit wacky in orange and red. And already quilted and a nice softly used feel.
I thought the mitts turned out swell! I used my mitten pattern; just enlarged it a bit.
I ended up with 3 mitts and three pot holders. All for $1.19. Feeling very clever. :)
I have spent the past few days making cards, both generic and Christmas varieties. Below are some examples. These are fun and fast - part of the charm of making them. I do not have the attention span to complete large projects. These are perfect for my seemingly limited ability to focus for extended periods of time and I am able to get my ideas out of my head and into and onto something tangible.
I love the Christmas trees and the glitzier the better!
Poinsettias have always been a favorite of mine.
And of course sailboats for an all occasion card!
I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather. I love October and am now looking forward to winter. Happy Autumn All!
I seem to be a seasonal blogger. To describe my summer seems too daunting, however, I do want to share some photos of the art camp and campers. Windover Art Center in Newburgh, Maine has been around forever and this year I was lucky enough to score a teaching position.
We worked in fiber; processing wool from my sheep and our projects ranged from beads to slippers.
We also made a variety of items such as tee shirt jewelry and blue jean bags. Old tee shirts and jeans were scooped up at the local Salvation Army and from donations.
I am hoping to teach again next summer. It was such a wonderful experience. Love the kids, love their energy!
Now, I am busy making mittens, pillows and pouches out of repurposed sweaters and wool jackets. Posted below are some examples.
Aproximately 15" by 15"
All recycled items: zippers, wool and tee shirt material for the loops.
I am at number 50 or so mitten wise. I have lost track!
I am posting a few pictures from yesterday when we sheared our small flock which is a motley crew of corriedales and a mix finn/babydoll breed.
This is Thorin, a corriedale awaiting shearing. He is our big guy and is not very happy to be in a small pen.
And here he is on the left, also not very happy after what he just went through. (they do recover quickly)
Below are my finn/babiedolls. The darker one, Belladonna, is the mama of the white ones, Pippin and Merry.
Here they are after their very first haircut. (they were one year old last month). I am very interested in how their wool will felt. Babydoll's fleece is not that great for wet felting, however, I am hoping that the finn in them will counteract that.
In March, I went to a workshop in Easthampton, Mass. I had posted a detailed account of my adventure and sadly, some jerk with nothing better to do scammed it and I was unable to delete his/her post. I had to delete the entire entry to get rid of the stupidness. Lesson learned. I now moderate my blog which I suppose I should have been doing all along.
I am going to repost a couple of picture from my trip; it really was fabulous. Lisa Klakulak was the instructor and if you haven't seen her artwork, you should: http:www.strongfelt.com/ . It was a four day workshop, I learned so much, had a great time, picked up some lovely fiber at New England Felting Supply and made some friends as well!
Yesterday was a day full of snow with a fire going in the fireplace and the aussies laying at my feet (or laying out in the snow, which they love just as much).
Today, the sun is bright and I have always meant to get a picture of this stream, which is on my way home from Bangor. Today was the day.
My *new* sheep are not so new anymore and fit right in. They still let me handle them and pet them and it is such a sweetness I cannot describe. Thorin is the big one and Merry is one of the newbies looking at me. They all have a coat of snowy ice on their coats.
All of the above and much much more...this is Maine to me and I am in love.
While I have been working on the Barrens in my spare time, I just discovered another Maine artist doing the same. Check out Kathy's beautiful barrens scene here: http://www.studiointhewoods.blogspot.com
For the large boulders found in the barrens I tried something new. I flamed the edges of a brown sheer to make it curve or *poof*.
Then I put a little extra sheer inside the poof and stitched them down.
My background is a piece of synthetic type of velvet.
Below is my version of the barrens in winter. Two different approaches; two beautiful creations. (in my opinion. :)
This piece is long in the coming. Several years ago when I first discovered free motion stitching, thanks to a book by Ellen Anne Eddy, I thought I would try to depict a picture of the blueberry barrens when they are burnt. It did not turn out. I had neither the skill nor the understanding of the barrens that I have today.
I am somewhat obsessed by the barrens and for those of you who have seen them, for good reason. Vast areas of wilderness Maine are covered in wild blueberries. In the spring they blossom and summer finds them loaded with berries and during that time they are harvested in a back grueling method old as...well, old. In the fall the fields are burnt for purposes of bugs and proliferation (this was done by native Americans long before the first European came along) and in the winter they are a deep scarlet red - all winter long.
I cannot describe the vastness of the barrens in the downeast area of Maine. One could become lost easily; they seem to go on and on. I am not the first artist to attempt to depict the barrens, nor will I be the last. Below please find my latest attempt (and best thus far) of the burning of the barrens.
While rummaging through a box of indispensable stuff/junk, I discovered this card which my brother sent to me several years ago. I noticed the simplicity of the pattern and how appealing it was. Thinking to see if I could freehand draw this with my machine, I gave it a go.
You can see below I did freemotion stitch the bottles and stem. I used french knots for the seeds of the flower. I placed a sheer to the right and stitched. I had a bit of trouble with my tension as you can see, however I like the way this turned out. I placed it on card stock and it is now ready to be sent to my brother. :)I am posting this on OTWF. Check out others inspirations!
Before I start I must confess to being one of "them" and know that no matter how long I am here I will forever remain so. However, I could not love Maine more if I came from generations of Mainers.
This morning I looked through a pictorial book, Maine 24/7, for perhaps the hundredth time. There is an introduction written by Bill Nemitz, a columnist with the Portland Herald and I would like to include some of the passages interspersed with some of my depictions of Maine:
"We call them "from away". They often ask why we choose to live here in Maine, where the winters are too long, the summers too short, and the shopping centers so scarce that we actually named our largest one "The Maine Mall". They wonder how we can get by on so little, yet still hang signs at our borders that boast, "Welcome to Maine. The Way Life Should Be."
Pretentious? We don't mean it that way.
It's simply the truth.
Life in this corner of the country is, now more than ever, not easy. The mills that once churned out shoes and textiles are long gone. Our proud fishing fleet struggles to stay afloat in a steadily rising tide of federal regulations. The brightest of our children leave for college and, much to our dismay, often never return.
Yet we stay. And we adjust. And we presevere.
...which brings us to the true essence of Maine-and the reason we choose to stay.
Maine, in a word, is beautiful.
From the granite outcroppings at West Quoddy Head, where the sun
first touches the nation each morning, to the majesty of Mount Katahdin,
Maine is a place where people the world over come to look, to smell, to
feel the simplicity of nature as it goes about its business. And from
the lobsterman to the logger to the musician, it is a place whose
people cherish nature's business as they go about their own.
No, it isn't easy. And as long as we stay, with our ghost mills and wicked winters and our mall named after the whole gosh darn state ,it likely won't get easier anytime soon. But if there is hardship in Maine, so is there pride. And if living here is a challenge, so is it a blessing.
I was visiting Jackie's Art Quilts blog yesterday and she was discussing using scraps of leftover fabric. I mentioned I used my scraps for small or mini art pieces. Below are a few very recent examples.
Of course my lupine love continues. Above the background is an old quilt I made probably in the 70's, I used a breyer to paint it blue, I added some darker blue organza a bit off center, embroidered my lupines using french knots. The leaves were appliqued and then a bit of free motion stitching.
Here I used combination of paint, applique and thread sketching.
Lobster boat, using applique and thread painting.
My depiction of the Rockland Lobster Fest with the bright tents and foggy harbor. Applique and thread painting.
Route 9 is also known as The Airline by Mainers and stretches up to Downeast Maine. The moose heading onto the highway is not an uncommon sight here and there are many MVAs each year due to their wandering onto the road.
All three pieces above were made using old woolen coats/sweaters and small fabric pieces.
And finally, these I cut from an old quilt made in the 80's. It has been loved and used to death, but had some pieces still good enough to use to make valentines
Click on the pictures for a larger view. I am off to finish making my valentines!
Living in Maine with my best friend,Sam, four sheep and a llama, nine ducks, two dogs, one pony and two fish. Oops, make that six sheep now. Working with fiber whether it is paper, felt or fabric, pleases me. The feel of the fiber is important - the tactile aspect of my projects give me as much pleasure as the visual.