Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Felted Fun and a Trip to Visit my Pig...

Well I spent most of the winter organizing my workspace.  I found some time to design some shawls that are going to be perfect for classes.  As a matter of fact, I head out later this next week to spend two days teaching a new design to a group of wonderful ladies.  

Here is one of the shawls done in blue and green.  The base fabric gives an extra special effect and adds another layer of texture that makes this a fun shawl to felt.
Another fun class is the ginormous flower class.  I enjoy wetfelting flowers more than anything!  These are extra special because of their size.

So enough about felting, today I got a chance to visit an organic farm that specializes in selling organically raised meat and milk animals.  I will be picking up my little pig in a few weeks or so. I'm thrilled to be able to raise this pig on non-GMO food and know that my family will be able to eat the healthiest pork that they have ever tasted.  :) The farm was beautifully situated and every single turn I made I was able to see happy and healthy animals enjoying a beautiful day.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Surface Texture Project

I have been spending the past few weekends felting small projects.  These projects focused on adding texture to wet felting.  For the final portion of the class we had to incorporate as many of the techniques that we wanted into a project.  I made a wearable. which is not something I do a lot since I don't really have the opportunity to wear them here in Florida.  My base was cotton but many of the techniques included silk.  It was fun using something other than silk for the large portion, I did not have the anxiety of ruining an expensive piece of silk for a project that I was not sure would turn out.  I dyed the merino, silk and all of the added fibers, so I was able to ensure that my colors would work together.
Here is my final piece.  I added a jersey back to create a vest type top.

Lots of texture was created with the techniques.  I'm currently working on a sketch for a bag.  I definitely found some techniques that I like better than others, but all in all, it has been a fun learning experience.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy Spring?!

Happy Spring!  Yes, I know I'm a bit late.......

With the wonderful weather we have been having, we have been spending our time at home working on the property.  The garden has been replanted, pastures are being cut, our pine grove has had many trees removed, and more gates have been added. We have an old 1949 Ford tractor that now has a finish mower on it, so cutting the pastures and up fenced areas is much quicker!  It took me a bit to get used to driving it, but I am feeling much more confident and am just happy that it won't be hours and hours of cutting anymore.

 On the animal front, the alpacas have been sheared, the goats are being silly and growing, and Snow our Great Pyreneese got a summer hair cut, knock on wood, everyone is healthy and happy.  

And last but not least, on the fiber front, I have been crazy busy.  I travelled to Sarasota to attend another SWAY Fest and had the chance to learn from Suzy Brown, AKA WoolWench, and spend time with some super fabulous gals.  I also took a free form crochet class from Heather, from Girl With a Hook, and made an adorable leather pouch trimmed with hand spun in a class taught by Debra, owner of Picasso's Moon yarn shop.  Wonderful weekend!  

I have also been completing a 6 week intensive, but fun surface design class in wet felting, I have so many new ideas now incorporating some of the techniques I learned with some designs that I will be teaching at SAFF.  I truly have been blessed this year in all of the learning opportunities I have had in the fiber world.  

In 10 days I will be transitioning into my summer break and watching my baby graduate from High School!

I am looking forward to a slow summer of readying for SAFF in October and enjoying my family, both of the 2 and 4 footed variety.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I was interviewed by Spin Artiste!

How cool is that?

If you want to check out the interview and have a chance to win a felted flower, then head on over to Spin Artiste Interview read the article, leave a message, and like my Facebook page.
 :) Kelly

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Conquer the Igloo

Had to share the babies fun on the new to them igloo.  Silly goats are always good for a smile!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

A little, felting, spinning, and weaving.

A few weeks ago I made a yarn for a class that I am taking.
I was able to incorporate wet felting into my spinning.  I started by wet felting my vines, I added leaves to some of them, while others I left plain.  I also finished some of the ends off so I could leave them free hanging in the yarn while others were only felted in the middle leaving the ends us felted so they could be drafted and spun as part of the yarn.  I fell in love with this yarn and wanted to try adding wet felted flowers to the mix.  

Here is the fiber prep for spinning with the wet felted flowers and vines.  I included super soft mohair from my goats that I dyed a deep green.

Here is a picture of the finished spun yarn.

I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate this yarn into a weaving, but had no idea how I was going to accomplish my goal.  I decided to go pull other fibers for the weaving, and "wing", the rest of it.  

As I wove and added textures, I realized this weaving was coming together without much planning and I figured that since I wanted an organic feel to the weaving, that I was open to letting it just happen.  I am thrilled with the final result and now my mind is spinning with possibilities of incorporating all 3 of these fiber arts into one.  


This definitely screams Spring to me!
Happy Creating!

Friday, March 21, 2014

SAORI loom in da house!

My new SAORI loom arrived!  I purchased from Weavin Place SAORI Style on ETSY (awesome peeps)

It was amazingly easy to set up, and within 10 minutes, it was ready.  

I decided to try and stick with a few colors that matched a beautiful hand-spun thick and thin yarn that I spun last Spring.  The poor yarn has been moved around my workshop all year.  I never found the perfect project for it, until now......  

I started the weaving one evening once the weekend settled down and finished it bright and early the next morning.  Since I am using it for a table runner, I folded the ends over and gave them a quick stitch on my sewing machine, it was quite fun cutting off the fringe.

I am thrilled with the "visual movement" on the weft sections that I used the thick and thin yarn.  It gave me some ideas that I want to try out on future weavings, but for now I will write the ideas down in a note book since my brain seems to be stuffed with fiber ideas.  The loom is ready for another weaving and I'm excited to see what magic occurs when I get the chance to settle myself down in front of my new toy!
Thanks for stopping by....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tutorial for some wool candy....

I posted a picture a few weeks ago of this
on Facebook.

A friend then asked if I could tell her how I did it.  So I typed up some basic instructions and emailed it to her.  I am pretty sure these type of felt rolls were one of the first things I learned how to felt.  To this day I still enjoy making them and have even added them as elements to my hand-spun yarn.  I decided to add the instructions here to my blog.  I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SAORI Weaving Class

A couple of weeks ago I headed up to Northern Florida to take a SAORI weaving class.  I have seen so many beautiful weaving projects come from these workshops that when I saw one offered in the same state, I jumped on it.  Needless to say, it was time well spent. I had the opportunity to spend two FULL days weaving to my hearts content.  Instead of taking my rigid heddle loom, I decided to rent a SAORI loom for the workshop.

 What a fabulous loom it is!  I learned so many cool techniques from our instructors and saw such creativity from the other workshop participants that I came home energized, with new ideas filling my head.  After MUCH discussion with my better half, I decided to order a SAORI loom of my own!
Today the tracking info made it into my inbox, and I am tickled pink that it will soon be here.  Here are a few pictures of my finished wall hanging.  It's a sampler of many different techniques and of different types of materials.
Yes, I think I did get a bit carried away.....I'm going to need to find a very tall wall for this!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wet Felted Fingerless Mitt Tutorial

Today I felted.  I decided to write a free tutorial to go along with it!  I hope you enjoy it and will share it with your felting friends!
Link to the PDF


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nekkid Goats

Twice a year I get rewarded with beautiful curly fiber from my sweet fiber goats.  Up first for their cuts were the angoras.  Billy, Chessie, and Annie worked hard growing beautifully soft and curly fiber.  They were quite upset and spent a week or so trying to figure out who these "new" goats were..... Silly creatures did not even recognize each other.

Above is a photo of Billy, one of my angoras in the middle of shearing, look at that shine!

The Pygora's are still little imps, so they were much quicker to shear.  They are still as cute as ever even though they have no hair.
Here is a close up of some of their curls.

Now all I need to do is get it washed up so I can create something wonderful with their fiber!

The alpacas are due to get sheared in April, and I cannot wait to get my hands on their fiber again, it was stellar last year and is looking just as prime again this year!

On a professional note, I will be teaching wet felting and nuno felting at SAFF again this year.  I will be posting more later about the specific classes.  I loved the experience last year and am thrilled to have the chance to do it again.  :)


Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Experience and Silk Overload

Whew!  What a whirlwind these past few months have been.  The Southeast Animal Fiber Fest (SAFF) has come to an end and I find myself with weekends to spend how I choose.  More on that later, now I want to share about the workshops!

I had a fantastic time teaching at SAFF.  Imagine getting to spend 4 full days with
women who are brimming with creativity and getting to play with wool and silk the whole time! Lots of smiles and laughter were shared and I was astounded by the many ideas that came from everyone.

The only drawback to being a newbie to teaching large groups (20 felters at a time), was making sure I had enough supplies to give them a large choice of colors.  All of the nuno classes incorporated silk hankies into the designs.  So I dyed 3 lbs, yes, 3 lbs of hankies!  I had every color under the rainbow available and realized at the end, I truly could have stuck with about 1 lb. and had now I have HUGE mountains left over. Horrible problem eh? ;)

So that is what inspired some new designs I am playing with. This new design is EVERYTHING I love.  Color, over the top texture, silk, and cotton.  The style is what was described to me by a close friend as natural, earthy, very boho.  Okay, I'll go with that.  I'm not much of a bling gal, so there is something about this combination of materials that really pulls me in.....and I get to use the hankies!  Win!

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me through my rambles. Off to visit the critters.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Wrap-up

Once again I find myself with a gap since my last post.  But boy has it been busy around here!  

The bulk of my summer break has been filled with ordering supplies, dyeing silk and wool, and making samples for SAFF in October.  It has been a huge learning experience already and as always, lessons are being learned.  The classes are filling up and my excitement is growing!!

In between all of the prep for SAFF,  I made a huge decision to leave the district that I have spent my entire teaching career.  After the decision was made, panic set in and I wondered/worried that I may have made a huge mistake.  What if I could not get a job in the district that I now live in? Oh the sleepless nights that were endured....... I applied for 2 positions and got interviews and the happy news is that I did get the position I wanted and am anxiously awaiting the start of another hectic but rewarding school year. Whew!  Now the sleepless nights are full of the standard beginning of the school year nightmares that include losing my class or the entire class refusing to listen, sigh....even after 13 years, these dreams come back like clockwork!  

On the fiber front, back in May, I had the opportunity to sign up for a workshop taught by Australian Fiber Artist Michelle Snowdon. This workshop took place last weekend in Sarasota.  Hands down, it rated at the top of any fiber workshop or learning I have had the chance to be involved with since the beginning of my fiber journey.  Amazing is a word that can be used to describe both Michelle and her work.  Check her out:

And......of course......animal news.....

We have 2 new members that joined our goat herd.  Twin 8 week old Pygora (pygmy/angora) fiber goats.  Mimi is the female and Moe is her brother.  Once again our farm is experiencing the craziness that new goats bring!  

These little imps can fit through some of the tiniest spaces and have kept us hopping.  Yesterday, as my daughter and I were wet felting a fleece rug outside, she, my daughter, looked over toward the pasture area and gasped.  Of course her gasp got my attention quickly and my eyes followed the direction that she had already started moving.  And what did I see you ask?  Well it seems that little Moe had decided to squeeze between the large gate that leads into one of the alpacas pastures.  So when my daughter looked over all she saw was this little tiny goat sitting on the WRONG side of the fence, totally oblivious to where he was.  Luckily, this pasture was being rotated and the alpacas did not have access to it.  I don't think that they would hurt the goats, but I do know that with all of those long legs and curious noses, it could have turned into a problem.  Thank goodness all is well that ends well!  The babies are doing great and  the other goats are super interested in them because of their teeny tiny sizes.  Knowing that these will be the last babies for a LONG while, I am enjoying every single second I can with them.  

Once again, thanks for the visit!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Warped Again?

I was sure I had gotten over the rigid heddle weaving bug.....I even sold my loom.  I was positive all I wanted to weave were triangles on my tri-looms.......  

Yeah right......  :). Look what the UPS man delivered.

So once again I am warping and weaving and loving it! 

I am currently working on my Ashford 32" rigid heddle loom and am loving the yardage that I can get with this loom!  The project that is currently being woven is a messenger bag body.  It is using a variety of mill spun and hand spun.
I guess I better get back to work or this will never make it off the loom!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Design and a Silly Goat!

Quite a few months ago I created a few smaller weavings on a tri-loom with the idea for a new design.  Finally, after many months, I have completed them.  This bag was taken from raw fleece that I processed, dyed, spun and then wove.  I absolutely loved every step in the evolution of this bag.  Two more are awaiting straps, which I am weaving currently, and will be finished shortly.

Now onto my silly angora doe Chessie.  She decided she needed to join me as I was laying on top of a picnic table in one of the shady areas of a pass trough pasture.  Silly goat, trying to give me a kiss! ;)
Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Sun Go?

Once again this post has me shaking my head at how fast time has flown since my last post!

As typical here in Florida, we have been having afternoon thunderstorms.  While I love how green it makes the pastures, it creates a whole other level of mess when you are dealing with animals.  

Here is the glorious green grass in the goats paddocks.  These are 2 shade/rain shelters for the goats in case they don't feel like running back to the barn.  I personally think they are a waste since my goats seem to love running around like fools in the rain.  

Case in are two of my dodos who love to sit in the rain....they are soaked!

Before the rain started, I tried a round of solar dyeing in 1/2 gallon mason jars.  I was happily surprised at how successful it was and plan on (once the sun comes back) continuing this daily throughout the summer. 

Here is a shot of the dried fiber ready for some fluffing.
Just a reminder that sign up for my classes at SAFF are open!  Drop me a line if you sign up!

Time to feed the critters, more later-happy creating!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New goat and a new "old" barn!

I cannot believe it has been a month since I posted last! It's been a busy time here for sure. Where to start......

We have a new fur baby that joined us here at Sunshine Oaks Farm. She is a little angora doeling named Annie. She is such a tiny little thing, especially when I see her next to my other angoras. We introduced her after everyone else was sheared so it was complete pandemonium here for a week or so while everyone established their rank in the pecking order. Since Annie is the baby, of course she came last.

The next bit of excitement for me around here was the conversion of an older pole barn on our property into a closed barn that became the goats new home, complete with stalls, water, and electricity! After much work, and excitement, the goats are in their new home and they seem pretty happy. They have access to 3 new paddocks and have spent their days foraging for just the right snack.

Thanks for stopping by!