Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting stuff ready...

I will be laying out more scarves today and a bag and have them ready to take to a gallery along with some of the above decorations for *gasp* Christmas (Argh. yuck.) I'm waiting for some special cello bags to package them in groups of three. They look like candy all wrapped up! Such delicious colours. Gosh, I love wool!

Today I also have a customer/client picking up a wooden "branch" from my Liberatio Captivus series that was commissioned last week. It was a pleasure to do as I know the recipient and fellow artist. Oh, I can't wait to work today!!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Week...

Yesterday, it was still dark as I left my sleeping family and the overcast skies were, once again, closing their lids as I headed home. I had a lovely day with a favorite group of mine that are always happy to be together, laughing and teasing. They are wonderful hosts and I look forward to visiting them each time they invite me. Our hostess, Sandy, managed quite well to fit us all in her generous dining room in her charming, eclectic home. With every turn one found stacks of books and visual delights from travels or treasured heirlooms. I wished I could hear the story behind each one, as I am sure there is one.
We made simple felted beads (needle and wet felted) and flowers at our wet felting "station". They all turned out very nice and I was surprised at how fast they all worked. It was a laid back teaching pace and, did I mention, a great day? Thanks, lovely women. I look forward to next time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wising I had an extra day every weekend!

Scarves from yesterday... (Yes, I know. Same old, same old)
The bag I laid out while scarves were on le Machine! When I take scarves off machine to re-roll, I put the bag layout under the table. Works well.

Scarves after fulling, in a heap, waiting for me to full the bag so they can all be rinsed and spun together and finished.

off the machine and ready to full (by hand)

My "extra" day! spent hours cleaning out the garage, cleaning up dye kitchen (see under window?!) Ready to dye some silk for more scarves. I need to do a little more setting up!

Today is a pseudo-long-weekend for us, as today is a "P.A." day for the schools. It is like the clock stopped and we are given an extra day. I just love it. The weekend is alway full of all the things like chores and the like and to have an extra day that I don't have to drive is like having 2 extra works days. I had one of those weeks where everyday I had a mid day interruption. All it takes is someone needing a half hour or hour of my time and it takes me out of the studio for the whole day. Even on a good day, my day is short, but add an interruption, and I am screwed. This day is making up for last week and I plan on making good use of today as well. Making scarves and bags again, shipping them out and then....I am going to work on some ART!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 reverse order

Tah Dah! A cute bag (post below) (C-1 pelsull from New England Felting Supply)

The other side of said cute bag

Awww, poor crumpled felt after rinsing and a go 'round in the laundry spinner. Does not look too promising, but I have faith.

See resist? See shrinkage rate?

Gettin' there...still fulling.

felted enough to cut out holes for handles. Don't cut too early, folks.

Inside out cutting resist from pocket.

Cutting out main resist.

Oop, there it is...resist starting to buckle while fulling.

All laid out and wrapped around edges. Not felted yet.

After watching my students make some great bags this weekend, I could not resist (I know, boooo) making a bucket bag today. It was helpful that I spent over 3 hours on the phone yesterday on conference calls, so I was able to work while I listened on my handy-can't-do-without headset! Layout is possible on the phone, anything else is too loud. I ran water once and wondered if they thought I might be in the bathroom!
The first call was over an hour, so I tidied my space and put away things from the weekend. The evening call was 2 hours and, in that time, I did my lay out, wet out and very little felting, maybe 10 minutes and picked up where I left off today.
A couple of students asked how long it would take me to do a bag. This small bag took me 5 hours start to finish and the break down is this...
-2 hours+ for layout and wet out
-1 hour hand rubbing felting
-2 hours fulling, rinsing and shaping
This is a small bag (oh, 12 x 13) with no 3D elements, so if it had been more complex or with a handle you could easily add a couple of hours. Just a rolled strap takes 1-1.5 hours. So, there ya' go! Easy stuff and I feel like I deserve to pour myself (another) cup of coffee, and tidy up for another project! What are you waiting for?

Monday, October 18, 2010


(Note: used caution while googling "whipped")

Okay...fabulous weekend teaching. 11 wonderful students + 4 lbs c-1/Pelsull + soap and water = 11 really great bags. I was lots of work, but I was so happy to have a group of local students that already know the basics. I have lots of infomation to share and with beginner students, it is just not possible to get to some of the finer details and they are not at a place where they are ready to understand. So, this was a particularily rewarding class in my own town. How far we have come here in Kingston! I know I promised pictures...would you believe that my batteries died!? I will have to ask all my students to send their pictures, so give me some time!

Today, I had planned on getting some work laid out and a few neglected household things, but a forgotten gym bag has thrown a monkey wrench in my day, par for the course of late, I am afraid. I fret not, as I have a nice open window before I teach in Ottawa next week to do some work. I'll keep you posted!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

What lies ahead...

I spent the day packing up for 2 days of teaching in a great space that is actually almost next door. I am loving the short commute! I still need to pick up some items, but I am ready to go to teach 11 students 'Felted bags with 3D elements'. I hope they are all ready to work hard!

Now, I know you are wondering. The image above is of a heart stopping, mouth watering, artery clogging, salty, fatty plate of yumminess. This, my readers, is a popular Canadian dish called "poutine": fries, cheese curd, gravy.

I have been trying to get a little more fit after being painfully aware that my skinny jeans were feeling a little too, well, skinny. This being said, I am now craving everything I should not be eating. Isn't that always the way?? It just so happens that there is a brand new place in town dedicated to the culinary delights of poutine. I will happen to be a couple of blocks away from it's doors this afternoon and have made the decision to check it out with the kiddos. Big question is will we walk the couple of blocks or drive. I really should save my energy for the weekend, no?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three Hundred

Wow! There are 300 of you that are now "following" my BLOG! Awww, gee. Thanks so much!

Not sure how it happened, but I guess you told 2 friends and they told 2 friends, and so on...and so on. In any case, I am so happy you are all here to listen to the bitching, occasional condescension (sorry) and me on my soap box but, most of all, to see my process in trying to produce good work and live my life as a full-time artist.

I think putting it all here (in almost 500 posts) has helped me take a birds-eye view of my art practice and really consider how little time I spend in the studio. What I do has evolved as needed to accommodate family and other demands such as teaching and my own learning. I feel, once again, that I am shifting gears as I keep my galleries in stock and seek some opportunities for some commission installation work. Once I complete my artist in residency, I have several winter months to nest, hole up in the studio and lose myself. I can't wait.

I love to teach feltmaking. I enter an alternative universe and wonder where the day went. It all just seems to happen! That being said, it is a significant draw on my energy and charging up for the next run means some down time that is elusive of late! I teach a 2 days bags class this weekend and will post images of what we create. After that it is my studio time and I look forward to sharing it all with you...all 300 of you!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Waterloo...and a few of my favorite things

Yes, food! After a frenzied a.m., my wonderful host, Mary, magically whipped up this beautiful lunch for me.

Felting women (and wine)

A stunning array of samples- the fruits of our labour
I had such a great time in Waterloo at the amazing Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery and hope that they will invite me back soon. Mary, with the OCC, was a very understanding person as final details were ironed out and was a great host along with her husband and cute-as-a-button son (He is "two point five"). Thanks so much.
Emily at the gallery was as warm as the fleece in the sunny window and I hope we cross paths again soon. She is really super. My students worked hard and each made 2 samples incorporating several techniques. They are well on their way.
I will be teaching a 2 day bags class this weekend and can then get some work done for galleries. I need to sit and make a list of my committments and look forward to blocking off some serious studio time, limiting my web surfing/facebook/celebrity gossip/cnn/ procrastination habits!! I'll keep you posted on twitter (just kidding)

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From Oscar

From Oscar the Grouch to Oscar Award...(laughing). Thanks for turning it around for me, Viltariet with the comment on my last post! The perfect metaphor for my day, really. One moment I was in Oscar's trash can sipping latte's from an old paper cup on a sofa, circa 1972...and then a couple of phone calls and emails later I felt like a star. Ahh, the ups and downs of it all.

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Feeling Mean

I personally believe that Oscar is misunderstood- a creative genius seeking acceptance. Just my opinion.

I am feeling mean today for standing my ground. As a rule, I just want everyone to be happy (delusion #1). Second, I expect certain aspects of my business to be concrete (Yup, delusion #2)
And, as an artist and business person, I expect to make more than minimum wage...need I say it?

I wonder if Oscar can find some space for me in his can today?! From what I recall it is pretty spacious :o)

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Contracts...always have one.

No matter how informal things seem, or if you are doing business with a friend...always draw up a simple contract. I had a recent situation where I received a contract and was surprised to see a few gaps that were an issue...they were never resolved after several communiations and I moved on. Business is business.

I recently saw a flyer advertising an upcoming workshop I am teaching for a group and there were several major errors that would have never been there had I been sent the information for approval. No biggie, it's all good and getting figured out. This being said, we are still fine tuning things and have not yet put together a contract, which would include things like approval of marketing materials...Good lesson for me to follow my own advice. Yes, we are artists, but we are also business people. If someone scoffs at a contract, they do not take your business of being an artist seriously. It's just smart business to have a contract...'nuff said!

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus