Thursday, March 19, 2020
Well life has changed a LOT since my last post! Schools, restaurants, bars, salons, gyms, churches are closed. We are now staying home and practicing social distancing. Such a difference in the past week when Sid and I celebrated our birthdays by going out to dinner and I did a luncheon presentation for the Sons of Norway. Now people can only get together in groups of 10 or less here in Minnesota. We did attend a St. Patrick's Day party of nine people, but now we are definitely hunkering down at home.
We're lucky to have freezers full of lamb, pork, chicken, duck and quail. And even a little venison thanks to the deer Matt hit last May. We're not so lucky in the toilet paper department though. I don't know why everyone decided to hoard toilet paper. We do have plenty of handmade goat milk soap too. And spring in on the way so we can start some vegetable seeds. I have enough hay to last until July -- I think.
I recently discovered LoveNotions downloadable patterns and started sewing clothes again. I love the fit and the ease of sewing using their patterns. Anyway, I stocked up on knit fabric and made some tops earlier this year. So I was all set when I saw a post on FaceBook this morning for making face masks. Here's the link to the pattern: https://turbanproject.com/patterns
I haven't felt the need for using a face mask yet, but if we get sick, we'll definitely need to wear them and they're very scarce, even for the hospitals and medical establishments. Someone on the FaceBook post suggested making a little pocket and sliding in a coffee filter to make them more effective at filtering the air.
Here are some more links for information about the effectiveness of DIY facemasks and what materials work best. We all need to do our part in this pandemic, and hopefully more of us will make it through.
I've got about 30 pounds of washed wool to ship out to Zeilinger's by the end of the month. And I plan to do my taxes. And hopefully we can get a nice garden in this year. Shearing is scheduled in two days, too. I will definitely be busy here at home!
Monday, March 09, 2020
I've got a date set with the shearer in less than two weeks. It won't be a minute too soon. The sheep are getting their fleeces dirtier everyday.
The contacted printed nuno felt tunic class at North House Folk School went well. Each one was unique with the students bringing in a favorite top to use as the basis for their resist pattern. And the colors they chose were fun to see.
And Grand Marais is always so beautiful in the winter. I love the Blue Water Cafe for breakfast and the Voyager Brewing Co. We lucked out with our hotel too. We got 20% off the room for being North House participants PLUS two nights FREE after Sid repaired the toilet in our room. It pays to travel with a handy man!
I've got some new dates set for classes this summer and fall. I will be teaching a smaller version of the felted fleece class. It's easier to do a smaller version because most places don't have the proper facilities for doing the full fleece class. That class requires LOTS and LOTS of hot water, a floor with drainage or an outdoor covered space, a MINIMUM 4 x 4 foot workspace for each student, and temps above 50 degrees. At this point, I'm only teaching the full felted fleece class at North House Folk School (July 23-24, this class is full, but you can join a waiting list) and in my home studio by appointment (see contact info tab).
Thankfully I got a teaching grant from the American Swedish Institute last summer which makes it possible for me to teach the felted fleece technique on a smaller scale to a lot more people. We can work in trays so that means we can work indoors with no worries about the weather being too cold or too windy. I will be teaching this class at the American Swedish Institute, Mpls, MN on Saturday, July 11 and at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista, MN on Saturday, Oct. 3.
I'm also developing instruction for new, more artistic applications of the process so that people can use it for wall hangings as well as rugs, pillow tops, and chair pads. I will be teaching this version of the class at the Midwest Felting Symposium in DeForest, WI, Aug. 3-5. Be sure to check out link to see all the cool classes that will be offered that week.
Also, I am planning to have a fiber booth and teach something (maybe Tomte, nisse, or gnome and/or Knitting with Longwool Locks) at the newly created Minnesota Fiber Festival in Cambridge, MN on Saturday, Oct. 17. And I plan to teach Knitting with Longwool Locks at the American Swedish Institute in the fall also.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
I've been getting ready to teach a Nuno Felt Tunic class this weekend at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN.
Saturday, December 14, 2019
I had a great time at the American Swedish Institute's annual Christmas Market, Julmarknad, last weekend. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth, the staff at the Swedish Institute for all their help, and all the other vendors who were so kind and supportive. It's a really nice family event complete with photos taken with the coolest Santa ever.
I sold quite a few of my Felt Pelts, thanks so much to all who purchased one (or two!). I've posted the ones I have left on a new tab on this blog, Pelts for Sale. I accept PayPal or credit card payments and can ship them out in time for gift giving. The sheep are busily growing more wool and I'm looking forward to doing their fleeces again next spring/summer.
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
We got over a foot of snow this weekend, there was a lot of shoveling to do, but it looks like a winter wonderland out there.
The snow comes just in time for the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis' annual Christmas Market (Julmarknad) this weekend. I will be there, sharing a booth with my friend, Sue Flanders (Kilns of Flanders pottery). We had a great time last year and are excited to do it again this year. The weather forecast is good, no snow until late on Sunday. Yes!
I've got over twenty felt pelts to sell. This includes several of my Gotland cross lambs' fleeces and some large Icelandic fleeces, imported Spelsau fleeces with LONG locks, and a huge white Dalesbred fleece.
I've also been making tomtes, goat milk soap, hair conditioner bars, lip balms, and other woolly goodies. Still lots to do to finish up.
Swedish Institute in Minneapolis this weekend, Dec. 7-8. There will be lots of activities and vendors, a bake sale, and of course, the beautiful Turnblad Mansion exhibits to explore.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
This is my new tractor. It was my dad's tractor for many years and now I will have it. I always wanted it. It runs like a top from what I hear.
I was happy to see the sun shine for a couple days in the last few weeks (after the snow fall). I took advantage of some nice days to make three Icelandic felt pelts and a large Dalesbred fleece I picked out at the class I taught in Maryland last month.
In late September I taught my felt pelt class again for Sherry Tenney in Maryland.
It's always fun to share the magic of felt pelts and traveling is a great way to meet some very interesting people.
After returning home, I did three respite sessions with area seniors and their helpers through an East Central Regional Arts Council grant written by Lakes and Pines Community Action Council.
Next are four sessions with Head Start kids, 3-5 years old.I'm adjusting the project after the first session proved to be too much for the kids and the teacher. :-) Hopefully by starting out with some pre-felts, the project will match their attention spans better.
Oh, there is still room in the Raw Felted Fleece Chair Pad or Pillow Top class I am teaching at the Textile Center in Minneapolis on November 9th. Here's a link to sign up if you're interested. https://textilecentermn.org/product/raw-felted-fleece/ I have lots of Cheviot fleeces that will make for some nice cushions, but students can bring their own raw fleece too.
Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Sure enough, Smokey had her twins while I was teaching up in Grand Marais. They are already a month old and still very black.
She delivered without any problems, thankfully. My son, Matt, did a great job getting them settled in. Thanks to my neighbor, Denise, who came over and made sure all the lambing protocols were followed: jug the family; clip (the cords), dip (the navels in iodine), and strip (the wax plus from the teats); and some Karo syrup water and good hay for the new mom.
We got 16 big rounds in the barn yesterday. It feels good. We're hoping to get another ten. Then we will be good for a whole year.
I taught a couple more felted fleeces classes. One at North House Folk School in July and one at the American Swedish Institute last weekend. So fun!
What a nice town and what a great class!
Sid fished for trout while I was in class. They were delicious with some locally grown corn on the cob.
I just found out that I've been accepted to the American Swedish Institute's Julmarknad again this year! I'll be sharing a booth with my potter friend, Sue Flanders. It's time get started on my felted Tomtes!
Well life has changed a LOT since my last post! Schools, restaurants, bars, salons, gyms, churches are closed. We are now staying home an...