Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Wool Felted Purse and Glorious Autumn Colors

Hello Everyone, HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Michigan where at the moment we are soaking in Autumn's most brilliant hues. We've had heaps of rain so the air has been cleansed by the cold and rain. This year it seems like with us getting so much rain and wind the lovely Autumn leaves have been stripped earlier and they now lay like hand prints on the ground.

My sweetie has worked in between rain and wind storms picking them all up with the lawn mower. Even today he has worked for endless hours at this task. But before the wind and rain brought down all our Lovely Autumn Colors I took some pics posted at the end of this post.

The above beautiful hand dyed wool from natural garden dyes I brought home with me from Germany 5 years ago this week. In the last few weeks I have started using it. The above photo you will see three wet felted ball I made from these lovely wools. I have been very busy stitching trying to get some of my Christmas projects done. It seems like this year I am behind in everything.

I took some precious time recently to create a wet wool felted purse. I have been wanting to create one for several years but never seem to know exactly on how to go about it. In September I took a wet felted class and learn so very much. Kelly Brandt taught me how to make wet felted wool slippers which I will post about later when I finish them. I learned the techniques in this class that I needed to create this purse. I used the lovely nature dyed wools I had brought home with me from Germany that the "Wool Lady" dyed. The Autumn leaf I needle felted.

In the above photo you can see I created a wet felted flower and added a wee lovely button to it.

The above photo shows the inside of my Autumn Purse.

Isn't this "Burning Bush" grand colors glorious. Unfortunately, it is not in my garden but when I look out my front picture window I feel very privilege to be able to enjoy it grandeur. It is in the neighbor's back yard across the street from us. It must have been growing for many years to be so huge in size.
This is our Norway Golden Maple. It set off to the right side of our yard and when it is in its full color and the sun is shining on it is incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately all the wind and rain has left the branches looking like skeletons. Maybe that is appropriate for this day is Halloween.
The next season will soon be upon us. It has already snowed in the upper part of Michigan. I read a wee lovely poem I thought I would share with you all. It reflects exactly how I feel about my friends.
Every FRIEND is like a "Snowflake" unique in beauty and design. Each sparkles in a different way, some are playful, some refined. But, unlike fragile snowflakes that fade when the sun appears, friends grow yet more beautiful with every passing year!!!
I wish you all a lovely Autumn. I also want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who always leaves me wonderful and kind messages to read.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Earth Loom And A Beautiful Deck, Gazebo

My Sweetie and I both loves nature and wildlife and we feed our birds year around. This past summer I discovered a book called, "Zati, The Art of Weaving A Life" by Susan Barrett Merrill. In this book Susan helps her readers understand the centuries-old metaphor, entertains us with beautifully written archetypal stories, and guides us to a more fully understood life of love, awareness, and healing. This book has stunning photos coupled with eloquently written text help open doors to our inner thoughts and coax our inner and outer lives into synch, and show us that peace is possible. I showed "My Sweetie" a photo of the "Earth Loom" and he told me he could create one for me. It is 10 foot high and 5 foot wide and he made this in two hours. Isn't it wonderful?

In this book there was many different kinds of "Looms" shown. I fell in love with the "Earth Loom". It is a living symbol, planted into the ground and the weaving are a gift of friendship. Earth Looms may be made with indigenous materials and my husband and I chose Sunflowers, Cornstalks, Cattails, Autumn Leaves in which the birds and squirrels can feel off of during the winter months. This afternoon my sweetie and I both weaved in our findings from nature and truly enjoyed this art of weaving.
This is an up close photos of the bounty of nature we weaved into our Earth Loom.

My Sweetie is a very kind, caring and giving person and a very talented wood artist too. Last summer he renovated our screen-in sun room and created it into a living space that we can now used 7 to 8 months of the year. The next two photos are of the finished deck and gazebo. Then the rest are the photos shows the process of how he created this wonderful project for us.
This Spring we decided to add on a small porch off the sun room which turned out to be a lovely deck instead. I mentioned in passing that I always dreamed of having a Gazebo so I could sit outside even when it was raining and listen to the sounds of nature and not get wet. "My Sweetie" said, if you would like a Gazebo and then we will add a Gazebo too. I could hardly believe he was serious but he truly meant it. "My Sweetie" started this project the middle of May and finished it the middle of September. He created this lovely Deck and Gazebo all by himself working on it after work for an hour or two and on weekends when we were not busy with family commitments.
While "My Sweetie" worked on the Deck and Gazebo I decided to add a couple more flower gardens around it. Then with the help from my Mom we created the patio block sidewalk along the front and side. Now this was really hard work but we did it together. I will never forget how wonderful it was to work with my mother on this project. We actually finished it while there was a misty rain coming down.

This is a photo of "My Sweetie" hard at work. How he ever did all this work by himself is beyond me. He is such a very talented wood crafter.

We only had a couple of weeks in September to really enjoy our new deck and gazebo but plan to have lots of family BBQ next summer.
I give thanks everyday for my wonderful husband. I feel very blessed that our lives came together. WE will be married 5 years this coming November and I hope we have many more wonderful years to spend being together.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Natural Dying and Having Great Fun at International Day of Felt

The past couple of weeks I have been very busy doing some experimenting with Natural dying with Black Berries on several different kinds of material. I used some lovely Icelandic wool and curls which turned out a pinkish lavender color. The curls did not seem to take the Black Berry very well. I also used plain muslin and cheese cloth and some laces which turned out to be a very pretty muted lavender color which I really liked allot. The process I used to dye my fibers is called "Making Natural Dyes from Plants-Pioneer Thinking" and is explained below. My friend Jasmine in the UK at "Nature Whispers" shared this site with me.

In the left pot I prepared my fibers by simmering them in hot water for one hours in 1/2 cup of salt to 8 cups of water. To make the dye solution double the amount of water to berries. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. After the fabrics and wool was simmered in the hot salt water bath I rinsed them with warm water.


This is what my fibers looked like after 24 hours of soaking. I then washed the fibers in my kitchen sink with mild soap and cold water until the water was clear. I then dry the fibers over a small drying line outside. Then I iron the fabrics and lace. A few weeks ago I also dyed some muslin with Blue Berries which turn out to be a muted shade of Lavender too.

I really enjoy creating wet wool felted balls. Above is a photo of the Blue Berry dyed muslin and my wee wet felted wool ball from Merino Wool.

October 3rd was "International Day Of Felt". 2009 was designated by The United Nations as the International Year of Natural Fibers. Felt Makers around the world celebrated by joining together and displaying their lovely felt.

I traveled to visit "Barbara at Marr Haven Wool Farm" in Allegan Michigan who was hosting an event to celebrate The International Day of Felt. Above is a photo of Barbara in front of her shop standing beside a lovely wet wool felted banner in beautiful shades of Orange. Barbara also created the lovely wool hat she was wearing along with the knitted vest. Thanks Barbara for hosting this wonderful day for us.

At the door of Barbara shop were corn stocks with very colorful Autumn Leaves wet felted by Barbara.

Above is some fibers I bought from Barbara Fiber Shop. I also bought the book called
"Water Color Felt Workbook by Pat Sparks". The other two books I bought at the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival a couple of weeks ago.

The above photo was taken inside of Barbara's shop. Lots of very lovely fibers.

Here is a display of very beautiful wet wool felted jackets created by Sue Pufpaff. Sue owns "Pufpaff's Fiber Processing Mill".

This display of very colorfully and lovely scarfs were created by Barbara. I truly enjoyed my day of felting and shopping. It was really great spending time with very creative felted maker who willingly shared their felt making talents with us all. Thanks to all.
I am feeling a bit sad that I have been so busy I have not had time to visit my blogging friends site or even stitch. We are going away again this whole weekend to visit with my family on the East side of Michigan. Long drive!! I hope to get back with my blogging friends next week. I have missed chatting with you all.


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