Sunday, November 25, 2012

Secret Stash Submission

I recently had a chance to participate in a secret stash challenge through Spin Artiste.

Here is my submission:

“When I first signed up for Secret Stash, I was super excited. Then, that excitement turned to slight feelings of pure terror! What in the world have I gotten myself into I thought?!
Needless to say, when I saw my stash package I was excited once again! Believe it or not, I had just been tossing about an idea of using neutrals for a project — what perfect timing for this challenge. I knew once I saw the locks, what I wanted to make. I decided to incorporate my two favorite fiber arts, wet felting and spinning, into this project.
I added the base wool for my bag to this project and used part of the fiber from the batts in the kit to add texture and color to the bag body. The locks were wet felted so that they would hang on the front flap once the bag was cut from the resist. I wanted the entire bag to be seamless, that included the bag handle, so when I removed the resist I actually cut an inside flap smaller (this became a pocket) than the outside flap, the extra felt from that flap became my handle and did not require me to sew one on after the fact.
Once the bag body was complete, I then had to decide how to incorporate hand spun that I made using the rest of the fiber batts and locks. I decided to couch down a rope of hand spun (using the yarn provided) along the top of the locks on the front of the bag. The extra hand spun was fashioned into a tassel that was added to the bag handle. On the smaller inside flap, I used more of the yarn to blanket stitch it to the body of the bag and then crocheted a simple chain stitch edge onto the blanket stitch. I cut a small area out of this section and it now is the perfect place to stash my cell phone. I had such a great time during this challenge, and loved the limited supplies. I think it forced me to think outside of the box and made me realize, sometimes less is much, much more! I hope this all made sense! I had a blast! Thanks for this fun opportunity!”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Messenger Bag

I have been on a bag felting frenzy. I decided that since we have such a short cold weather window here in Florida that I should focus on making felted objects that can be used year round! I do have a bit more to add to this bag, but wanted to share anyway.

The entire bag was wet felted over a resist and is seamless, that even includes the handle. I love the textures that the locks add to the bag and will be adding handspun yarn to embellish the front.  This is my 2nd bag like this and I really find it holds tons. It is big enough to carry folders.  I have found you can never have too many bags!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spinning dresses, knitted shawls and wet felted journals....

I have been on a creative bender so to speak! It's amazing what being around positive creative people can do for a gal.

This week started with an idea that I had over a year ago while in a class at SAFF.   I decided to spin my wedding dress.

Now before you start freaking out about it, let me state that this dress has NO sentimental value to me.  It was a dress that I wore on my wedding day, but it was not what was important to me that day.  I had a wedding to appease family.   As a matter of fact, I was across the country the entire time my wedding was being planned!   I would have been quite happy having a get together with friends and a keg of beer...those were the military days. For the record, I am still with that same guy and the dress has followed us around for the last 20 years.....

I decided to deconstruct the dress and remove the lace, and beaded bling.  I knew I did not want to add wool, I just wanted to spin the dress material and then ply with a white chenille with the lace, buttons, tulle, and bling added to the plying chenille.  I core spun the material.  I was pretty amazed that it actually worked!

042 (600x800)039 (600x800)

I finally have decided to work on a VERY SIMPLE knitted shawl, as in a knit stitch and yarn over is all I need to do.  I am using a commercial wool yarn that has really pretty colors in it.  I am enjoying the knitting and have some ideas on the next one using more yarn overs in the middle to open it up more.....

048 (800x600)

And finally, I am having so much fun making journals.  I have also finally realized why working inside out is go great, I can add all kinds of lumpy bumps to the felting and they get felting in nice and tight! You can easily see this in the cream journal and the rose color journals.  The purple journal was wet felted right side out and the ribbons are not felted in a well as the other two.  Also on the cream journal, I tried wet felting burlap pieces.  The texture is great, but as a warning if you want to try this, sew the perimeter of the burlap before you start, it will help keep the pieces in place once you start felting. I can thank Heather , she is my felting inspiration.

047 (600x800)

Whew, I have been busy, but have still spent the majority of my time with my babies- you know you couldn't get away without a few animal pictures!!!!

023 (600x800)035 (600x800)
Have a fabulous day!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A felted bag of curls and locks...

Yesterday I busted out the long locks. I decided it was time to try them out on a felted bag.

I used a resist for this bag and tried felting it inside out. I do have to say, I like doing it this way when adding embellishments such as locks, ribbons and pieces if pre-felts. At the last minute, I remembered to add a different color dot to the side I used the locks. I am happy with the results and am going to keep refining this shape. I have plans to work on a natural colored one today.

Also I had to add another picture of Toby! He is all puppy and when he snoozes, he snoozes hard!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Roos, Puppies and yarn!

Lots to share today.  It has been quite crazy around here.  Remember those roosters I posted about a bit ago?  Well they have been kicked out of the hen house.  They decided to start acting like roosters when I would go get eggs from the gals.  The last straw was when I opened the door to the coop to be met with a face full of rooster.  He cut my eyelid and I'm sorry to say I drop kicked him before I realized what I was doing.  Don't worry he is fine but my eye was pretty sore.


After talking my husband down from culling the boy, I decided to let them (both Frank and Paul) go free range in one of the open pastures.  May the odds ever be in their favor......(gotta love The Hunger Games!)

I have a friend who is a foster for puppies here in Florida.  She will usually post those heart string tugging pictures of her foster puppies on Facebook and usually I have an iron will and resist all ploys of these wonderful foster peeps......until I saw this face....

This will teach me to get on Facebook...... Now he (Toby) is home with us, we are in love,  we are worn out from puppy antics, and we would do it again in a heartbeat! He is a bundle of energy and loves following me around while I am taking care of the animals.

And finally, I will leave you with a yarn I spun last night.  I used my rainbow dyed BFL top.  Once I finished my single, I chain plyed it.  I really like the color blocking I was able to get.

Well that's it from me, I am off to spend my morning with my dear friends at our weekly guild meeting.  Toodles!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October already!

I cannot believe that October is already here!  I have been anticipating this month as much as a little kid anticipates Christmas.  At the end of the month I will be heading to Asheville for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest.  I have 2 classes scheduled this year, one is Traditional Rug Hooking, and the other is called Nuno meets Hand Spun.  I really had to think hard on whether to take a felting class. The class areas are not heated and I remember how cold it was last year- I felt sorry for the felters because they had wet hands.
I'm sorry, but this Florida gal froze last year- I  took a spinning class and remember my toes being numb with the cold! 

This past month has been a busy one!  I participated in Peace Felt for the 3rd year in a row, I will post my wonderful gift from my partner in a later post. :)

September also found me wet felting new shawls and scarves, and I even sold a few.  I also sold my first skeins of hand spun yarn and participated as a vendor in my first Farmers Market.
I took a class recently on embedding stones into felt and have made a few cuffs. The class was given by Pat Riesenburger from Urban Stitch Studio. I have slowly been embellishing them and have enjoyed the process, I also was able to use some vintage buttons from my collection.
DSCN4201 (800x600)

I finally completed a knit bag from my handspun, and am looking for inspiration for the handles.  So far nothing I have come up with is making me happy.  I do remember seeing some nice pieces of leather at Earth Guild in Asheville, so I will check for some on my trip at the end of the month.  The batt used for this hand spun was made by my daughter.
DSCN4189 (800x600)

The animals are doing well and we have been having fun with the silly goats.  We finished a pasture area for them and they have been enjoying the nice dry weather.  These two, Chessie and Billy will be sheared in November.  They are growing some beautiful mohair!!  Billy even has little curls growing at the end of his ears.  I am smitten with my fluff balls.
My little guy Clyde, who was so sick when we got him at 1 week old, has really done well over these past few months.  When he was sick, he would sit on my lap because he was very weak and it really seemed to calm him.  Now he expects to have his daily nap on my lap and I'm not quite sure what I will do as he gets larger.   He is such a sweet boy and forgave me for making him a wether.  His fleece is turning into ringlets, and has a beautiful sheen to it.  I will be shearing him and his twin in May.

The alpacas were not too sure what to think about the new next door neighbors and spend their time humming and rushing the fence, the goats, well, they didn't seem to care too much about them!  So funny to see how the alpacas react to anything outside of their "normal".

  Snow, one of our LGD's is such a sweet dog and loves hanging with the goats.  Peaches is still very wary of us but has also been a great guardian for the goats.  It makes me so mad at times to think that someone abused her.  I can get her to stay in the barn if I ignore her when I walk into it.  Then she will let me brush and love on her- it will take time.
Action shot of Snow, he loves to hit the ground with his paws and run around me!

I am still waiting patiently for cooler weather, but have noticed a drop in the humidity more over the past few days.  I want to do more of this.....

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!
XO- Kelly

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Art Yarn Decorating

Back in early Spring we were packing our entire life to move to a new home.  I was and am not a fan of packing at all, and was overwhelmed to say the least!  When I finally made it to the garage and saw the amount of packing that was still left, I will admit I, for a millisecond, thought about tossing a match into the room and hoping it would all go away.  Instead, I had a garage sale.  When it came to the seasonal decorations, I decided I would sell it all, well almost all of it.....

Fast forward to the beginning of this week.  I decided I wanted to decorate my fireplace mantle.  Then I remembered....I sold most of my decorations......uh huh...sure did!  I knew my DH, who never complains about a thing, would not be a happy camper if I ran out and bought all new stuff.  So, I decided to challenge myself to decorate without buying anything new.  Tuesday evening found me in my fiber cottage making a batt that was chock full of texture and deep rich Fall inspired hues.  I decided to spin it uber thick, and then coil ply randomly.  What I ended up with is one of my favorite hand spun yarns to date.  I then when on a search throughout my cabinets and the little bit of holiday storage to decorate my mantle.  I am thrilled with the result!!  Art yarn can be used for more than weaving, crochet, or knitting.  It almost reminded me of my Christmas tree garland from last year.  Here are some pictures of the results!

DSCN4136 (800x600)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Found my Groove

Happy Friday!!

Well I have a couple of new projects to post, but they are only part of what I have been working on lately.  I have taken a jump off the grid so to speak and have been using my time to create, I am enjoying the solitude of my days and spending time outdoors with the animals.  That being said, I also enjoy interacting with positive peeps, and have been doing that weekly with a local group of ladies spinning and playing with fiber.  And recently I started a pottery class at a local gallery.  It has been 17 years since I have worked on a potters wheel and I felt like I was all thumbs!  I am enjoying the process and am enjoying my time!

I am still spinning, but have really been focusing on my felting. Once again I am participating in Peace Felt.  This is my 3rd year and I am very excited to see how my project is received. If you are not familiar with Peace Felt, Click HERE for more information.My project which was wet felted, is drying as I type.  I will post a picture after my partner receives it!

Next week I will be dyeing and will invite a friend over to share my crazy technique.  I have a huge shipment of wool coming, the Merino is here, but I also am expecting BFL, Alpaca, Angora, Silk and an order of 6 lbs of yarn! It will be fun!

So here is a picture of a journal I made.  I gifted it to my sweet friend Ellen.  I went to the local middle school and worked the book fair for her during the school day.  She is a media specialist and loves to write, so I thought this would be perfect for her!  Thanks to Heather for the template!!

The next project is a nuno felted cuff.  I found yards and yards of silk that I must have been hoarding.  I did not remember buying it, but found it all when I was unpacking from our move!  I made a shawl, and this cuff. I am still adding beading, they are teeny tiny beads so it is taking me FOREVER!!  It's very lightweight and I am in love with the texture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wet Felted Journal from Heather

On Monday I received a wonderful wet felted journal in the mail from my phenomenal felter friend Heather!  We made a trade of wool but in different forms.  I really liked the most recent journal she made and shared on her blog using yarn as a wrap.  When I commented on what a great idea it was to use yarn, she suggested a trade.  Well of course I jumped on that, because Heather makes beautiful felt, and my momma didn't raise no fool!  In trade, I sent her a box full of my hand spun yarn.  I sure hope she likes what I sent as much as I like this journal.  She asked what color I would like and I told her any neutral color would be fine.  Oh boy did she deliver! The colors and textures are just what I love.  Here are some shots of her beautiful work!! 
DSCN3988 (1024x768)
Outside Cover (front and back)

DSCN3992 (1024x768)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blue Lattice Shawl

I mentioned in my last post that I was getting ready to start a shawl based on the lattice idea.  This one I created using BFL fiber.  This fiber is in my experience does not wet felt as easily as Merino fiber, but if you like a wool that has a nice texture, then this one might be one for you to try- you will need to spend a bit more time ensuring that your overlapping areas are completely felted.

It is next to skin soft, not as soft as Merino, but I feel is much harder wearing than Merino.  I dyed this batch of wool top using various shades of blue.  Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist when I start choosing dye colors.  A little of this, a little of that.....FUN!

DSCN3982 (1024x768)

The final shawl is about 5 foot long and about 2 1/2  foot wide.  I added some more long locks as a fringe at the end and in the middle, they will fall along the back when the shawl is worn.  I love, love, love the texture the BFL added, all I need to add are the hot fix crystals which should be here by tomorrow!
DSCN3983 (1024x768)DSCN3981 (1024x768)

Tomorrow, a post about a beautiful journal cover gifted from a wonderful friend!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wet Felted Lattice Scarf with Long Locks

Yesterday was a fun day of wet felting and dyeing fibers!  I spent the early morning testing out my fall colorways.  I have decided on 4 different colorways that I will use to dye a variety of fibers.  I will be adding them into the shop in about 2 weeks.  This is the first time I have tried using consistent colorways and I am excited about it.  Also, investing in some larger fiber processing equipment was a great idea and will open many new avenues for me.  To think that I will be able to make my own top using fleeces that I have purchased makes me happy!

So anywho...after all of the dyeing, I was able to layout a scarf that I have been wanting to try out.  I fell in love with Chad Alice Hagen's lattice scarves and have been kicking around some ideas in my head.....I have some embellishment to add, but I am waiting for some of the supplies to come in the mail.  I used some of my stash of long locks for the ends of the scarf.  I had been trying to decide if I would spin them or felt them.  I am glad that I decided to felt them, and now have many more ideas for these long locks!  I have decided I really like the openness of this scarf and feel it is much more practical for Florida weather in the winter where we are pretty mild, although this will be worn when I head to Asheville this Fall!

As soon as I finished this one, I sketched out a large wrap using the same technique.  I have finished pulling the fibers (shades of blues) and will work on it today.  Stay tuned!
Detail of locks on scarf

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meet the Alpacas and Goats!


I decided to give the animals their own pages.  I have started with the goats and alpacas.  Off to mow the pastures!  Enjoy!

The Alpacas

The Goats

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roosters in da house!?

Today is an animal post, yes, I do have some felting to show off, but that will be next.  When we decided to get chickens, I said I only wanted girls.  So I mail ordered some Ameraucana gals.  Well I got gals, and some boys.  I really was not too sure at first and then remarked to a friend that it sounded like my girls were cock a doodle doing...She said "You have Roosters!", I was still in denial saying "No, I think my girls are confused!"  

Well, my girls are not confused, I have myself 2 roosters!

I really do not want to get rid of any...they are my babies!  So far we have had no fights and Fifi, who is now known as "Frank", seems to be the head rooster.  Poulette, now known as Paul, has decided not to challenge his standing.  So, as long as peace reigns  in the "Chicken Kingdom", they both shall stay.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Finished shawl turned bag.....

I thought I would finish this shawl quickly, but I have not been feeling very creative lately. You know that feeling when you feel as if you are going through the motions, not really into what you are doing? Yeah well, I've been there....
I actually had to spin more yardage for this shawl. But, it is done and because the hand spun is so thick, I am going to turn this into a bag. It would be great as a cowl if I lived in Alaska, but since I do not foresee that move happening any time soon, it will be turned into a bag. My next post sees me moving back to my wet felting roots. I think I have enough yarn to weave with for the rest of my life, so I am moving myself back to what I love. I will still spin, but I miss wet felting and so I will show you a nuno felting project next time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spinning, Felting, & Weaving

For the past few weeks I have been working on a special project. It includes all of my favorite fiber hobbies into one. I bought a beautiful gray Lincoln wool fleece a few months ago and knew I had to do something special with part of it. I lock spun it with some of my hand dyed purple fibers. I then felted a pile of flowers using the same purple fibers I included in the yarn. Once I finished the flowers I spun a single with the leftover purple batt. Using a tapestry needle I strung the flowers onto my purple single and I plyed it to my original lock spun yarn, sliding the felted flowers up onto the plyed yarn. Now I am on the final step of weaving it on my tri-loom. I'm about 1/3 of the way done, but I love the results so far!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My New Craft Cottage

For the past few years, I have been felting, dyeing, and spinning all over the place! Not having a dedicated space has meant that I have had to limit myself on some of my projects because we have not had the room to keep projects out for a period of time. Fast forward to a month ago. We had a modular building built and delivered. My wonderful husband them installed electric and an A/C in it for me. I painted the walls and had a textured floor put in. For the past few weeks, I have been moving my fibers and crafting supplies in. Slowly but surely, it is starting to take on that cozy cottage feeling. I have plenty of space to set up my large table for wet felting and outside have my fiber table for working on my raw fleeces. The decorating will take time but so far it's perfect!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our new LGD's

Yesterday the Florida Great Pyreneese Rescue called to let us know they were ready to bring our new rescues to our home. They had 2 dogs who were turned in from a farm that was liquidating their animals due to an illness in the family. These dogs had been together at the previous rescue home and needed to stay together, so we adopted them both!!

Snow, the male, is HUGE! He is a sweet dog who started working as soon as he was taken off his lead. He had a broken right leg a few years ago and has a slight limp, it sure does not slow him down. When he was turned in to rescue his hair was matted on his back end. So they had to shave him down. He looks just like a cream lion!  He is quite fond of the goats and walks to them with his tail wagging.

The female is Peaches and she is bonded with Snow. She had a rough start. They believe she was abused as a young dog, so she is very timid. She is going to take some time to trust us, but it looks promising because she let us approach her without running away.  She has the sweetest face and is very alert, she also went right to work once she was taken off the lead. It sure was something to watch them both work the perimeter of the property together.

I am going to enjoy getting to know these two sweet dogs, we are happy to have been able to give them both a forever home and are happy that we now have LGD's for our goats, chickens, and alpacas!
Peaches sitting in the shade under the pole barn.
Snow and Morgan getting to know each other.  Look at his haircut, he looks like a lion!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TDF and other new stuff

So today was day 4 of TDF.  I did no spinning today.  My alpaca Jack was gelded today so between checking on him and keeping all of the other animals cool, (the heat and humidity has been awful) I had no time to play.  Jack is recovering nicely and I did get a moment to get my craft area packed up and ready to move into my new workshop- that will happen tomorrow!

Tomorrow we will have a home visit from the Florida Great Pyrenees Rescue.  We are looking to add a LGD (livestock guardian dog) to our family.  We have so many coyote around here that I worry non stop about our animals.  I am hoping they will approve our fencing and allow us to adopt!  Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.  If we are able to get a LGD, then I will be able to add Gulf Coast Native Sheep to my farm!

Off to dream land for me!

Friday, June 15, 2012

New weave and other ramblings.....

DSCN3794 (800x600) by Felting Sunshine

I recently purchased a smaller tri-loom to work on some projects (it is much easier to use up the smaller skeins of hand spun). I am currently working on a weave that I am making from a Romney fleece that I purchased at SAFF last October. I spun up a bunch letting curls and tufts of crimp escape the twist so that it is a fluffy and highly textured yarn. I plyed it with some fuzzy mohair to add to the texture. I will weave two of these and sew them together to create a slouch bag. I am hoping to enlist the help of my mom in creating a material lining with some pockets.

In between the rain and bottle feeding the baby goats, I have been washing fleeces. When we purchased this home, they left a brand new top loading washer, I have seen so many people wash fleeces using these but have never been able to since my own washer is a front loading machine. My wonderful husband hooked it up for me and I have been able to wash wool every single day. I might just start making a dent in those 20+ fleeces I have......

On the animal front, all of the critters are doing great. Chessie, our doeling angora, is loosing her kemp fibers and the mohair that is coming in is dreamy soft! I cannot wait for her first shearing!!!! I am on the hunt for another girl with white fiber. The farm I got her from just recently had a buck born, but my husband and I have agreed we don't want an intact male. If he was white, I would snatch him up in a heart beat and make a wether out of him. I will be patient...... :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

The animals are moved!

Saturday was the day to bring Challenger and Capt. Jack home. Challenger has been agisted since late December at a local place and Capt. Jack is an Alpaca that I purchased and brought to the farm on Saturday.  So now I have two boys here, one is a rose grey and the other is a medium grey. 

The boys are only 6 months apart in age, ans so far are getting along well.  Only a few air spits the first day and none since that I have seen.  They each have their feeding stations and are calmly eating, which was my biggest worry.  They are loving the sun, the grass, and Challenger of course has been loving the hose.  Capt. Jack is not too sure of the hose, and when I squirt it at his legs, he sort of high steps like a horse, but he makes sure you spray all of his legs by turning, so it must not be too bad!

The funniest thing that has happened so far deals with the "poo pile."  Since we have all grass, it is quite a pain to rake all of the beans while the rake gets tangled in the grass.  So earlier Sunday morning we brought dirt into the pasture and made a "dirt poo pile".  Challenger was so gracious as to poo along the perimeter, but hey, it's a start.....Later that day I looked over toward their pasture while I was in the lower part of the property cutting grass.  I saw that Capt.Jack was sunning himself.  Awww, I thought with a smile, he's settling in.......on closer inspection, I realized he settled in alright, right on top of the "poo pile!"  I will say today, he made himself a new sandy area and has decided the "poo pile" may not be the best place to rest.....thank goodness- and yes, he got a nice spray down after that!

On the goat front, we brought Chessie home.  She is a chocolate brown 100% Angora gal who is a little over 1 month old.  I cannot wait to get my hands on her soft ringlets for spinning!!  All 3 of the goats are having fun and keeping me laughing at their antics.  We will finish their yard next weekend, but they will only spend days out there until they get a bit bigger and we have finished building a goat house that they can be locked into at night.  We have coyotes (although we have yet to see them on our property) so I want to make sure they are safe.

Needless to say, I have been busy, but have loved every single second of it!