24 November 2011


Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and I am full of thanks for so many things.

There is so much to be Grate-Full for. Not just the 'big' things like comfortable shelter, family, stability, employment, friends, health, heat, food - but for the myriad small things that make up my life. I'm grate-full for my IPhone that lets me be creative even when I am on the go, for the people that support me, and for those that allow me to review their wonderful books or products, for the paints, pigments, stencils stamps etc that fill me art table with inspiration, the cup of tea that warms me, the birds that flock to our feeders and fill me with joy, the soft purr of my cat in the middle of the night, the vintage fountain pens that I use with pleasure and that have been held by so many hands before, the comfort of long time friendship, the sound of my husband coming through the door after work.  You get the idea - there is so very much to give thanks for that it's had to fit in onto a page - or could I even document all of things for which I am thankful?

I took this photo of a local lake this week - as usual while I was on my way to work. I think it rather sums up all that of the simple things that fill me with peace and comfort. I am able to live and work in a place that fills me with peace and joy, a place where everyone knows each other (a double edged sword at times!) and where we have no stoplights, no crushing rush-rush (one visit to the mainland last week reminded of this harsh reality of city life), very little 'keeping up with the Jone' - a place where we stop to let deer cross the road,  where you know you will find a friendly hello from every shop-keeper and where 'being' is more valuable then 'having'.

My wish for everyone is that you will be able to enjoy the comfort of friends and family on this and every other day; that you will rejoice in laughter, love and the small creative, magical moments that make up your life. 

Thanks to you for stopping by to say hello!

12 November 2011

From Felt To Fabric: New techniques In Nuno Felting' by Catherine O'Leary

* * * * *
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600596674
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches 
When I was given the opportunity to review this book Lark I was excited. his book is right up my alley! Nuno felting has had a wide following for many years and this book takes the nuno felting process into a new direction. Catherine O'Leary has produced a beautiful volume - and introduces us to using a variety of fabrics (silks included of course!) on top of felt to create a wide range of fantastic textures, modular units and endless possibilities. I think this book will have wide appeal for all textile artists, felters, clothes mavens, and, most certainly, nuno felters! I love finding a familiar technique used in a fresh, stylish and utterly delightful way!  This is really an excellent book and it should have a place in your permanent textile arts library!
Some wonderful new ways to create fabric from modular 'new' nuno felted units.

Creating a new piece of fabric & cutting out modular units.

Endless possibilites

From haute couture to utilitarian the possibilities presented in this book are myriad.

The usual method of preparing nuno felts - with a twist!

This page shows the some of the best ways to use the new nuno felting for garment construction to emphasize the draping qualities.

11 November 2011

Happy Veteran's Day! In Memory Of My Uncles!

I was closest to my mother's family. My uncles were my heros. My special uncle, Jim, was in the Army ,  Jack was in the Army and garnered several purple hearts and a Silver Star. Billy was in the Air Force and continued his aviation career after leaving the service. They all gave during World War Two. My grandmother carried a life long aversion t o telegrams and telephones. She was so worried about them all. They are all gone now but I al am glad for them every day - proud that they were my uncles.
Here is the oldest, Uncle Jack enjoying a little family time - you can see how young Jim and Billy still were when Uncle Jack joined the services! The other two wonderful people in this photo are my beloved grandmother and grandfather. Hero's all in my heart. I wonder if my mother was taking the photograph!

Let us all remember the sacrifices made on our behalfs.

07 November 2011

New Eco Dyeing Experiment

I couldn't resist some of the Japanese Maple Leaves on the lawn last week. I felt like I wanted to gather them all up and save them for the winter. An unpractical idea of course! I wanted some prints that actually showed the images of the leaves. I used some silk charmeuse for the bottom layer and then placed the leaves down and topped it with a layer of bleached harem cloth - something that I was pretty sure wouldn't take the leaves dye. I used hot processing/ hot immersion technique and was tickled with the results!

The big surprise was the fabulous leaf prints that showed up on the harem cloth. I had used some alum on it and was quite certain that it would not act like the more normal soda that one would normally use for cottons.
The silk charmeuse came out rather lovely although I did make a mistake and printed on the wrong side of the charmeuse. The right side is pretty but the leaves are not as distinct.

Another surprise was the lovely silk chiffon below. I had wanted some small sized leaf prints for a project and figured that, since I had had some nice results with the two swatches above, that I could so the same process. I places leaves on the chiffon and layered it with cheesecloth, bundled and wrapped it carefully and then hot processed/hot immersion-ed it. Surprise !! I got NO leaf prints but a lovely solid, vibrant yellow green. I think I had not soaked the chiffon in the mordant (alum) long enough. At least that's my best guess. I didn't get the leaf prints I had wanted but I did get a lovely piece of fabric that I know I will use for something nice!

I have to admit to finding the endless magic of the process to be invigorating, mysterious and utterly addictive!

04 November 2011

Nature Made Going To Work A Beautiful Thing This Week!

The people who know me well know that getting up in the morning is not on my "favorite things to do" list. I've had this difficulty since I was a youngster so it is unlikely to change! I do love mornings once I am up however. This week the drive to work just truly made my day and made getting up in the morning a special treat. I've been doing some photographic experimenting in how to angle the camera and still be able to obtain a decent photo through my windshield glass. In photography school we were taught that a photo can, in fact, be taken through glass, if an angle is used to minimize the reflective qualities of glass. This simple trick has enabled me to take these photos through the windshield of my car this week. Of course, being in a car traveling 45 MPH adds an extra unknown quality- but sometimes - like this week - its worth it to risk taking a photo in the hope that at least one photo will be good enough to capture the feel and quality of moment.

When I saw the trees shining in the distance (top photo) I knew that there would be a spectacular sight waiting for over the hill. I did slow down a bit because I was determined to capture this amazing sight.  I'd be willing to bet that the person in the truck behind me was probably getting edgy about my slower speed. Oh My! As I turned the hill I saw this dazzling image (below). It was like the trees had been painted with a brilliant, golden light. My jaw was dragging the floor I'm sure!

My theme this week was, quite obviously, "sunrise". The photos below were all taken this week at about 8:00 Pacific Daylight Time. I am going to be soooo bummed this Sunday when we turn the clocks back. I never much like it - but the season of "dark squared" is just a part of life these days.
A fog bank was hugging into the valleys this morning and the sky was filled with color.
I think one was taken on Tuesday morning.

Another color filled way to begin the day

More fog banks. Not my favorite thing when I want to fly - or get on the ferry - but fog banks are one of my favorite things to look at.

By mid day the skies were clear and filled with glittering, colorful cloud formations.

This week, these gifts of nature really did make getting up to go to work a pleasure.

All Aglow

The sunrises this week have made getting up to go to work worthwhile! Today's gift from nature was truly awe inspiring!

You should be able to double click for a larger image. I'm experimenting with mobile posting. Tell me how it is!

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Location:San Juan Island Wa