Monday, April 27, 2009

A Mental Health Day

I took a mental health day today. Working 7 days a week has been too much for me with lambing at the same time. Cordelia is due tomorrow and Hattie is due on Saturday.

No, I didn't spend my day cleaning house, quite the opposite in fact.

I decided to stay home and work on a felt piece commissioned by a friend. I got out all my fibers and bubble wrap (actually pool liner), set up my tables, etc. I started in on the commission peice, but I soon realized I was being called to do a portrait of Lena (a Shetland Mule) using the wet felting technique I learned in Ewa Kuniczak's class last year at the Midwest Felting Symposium.

First I laid out the black background. One layer horizontal, one vertical. Wet it down with warm soapy water and added two more layers, horizontal and vertical. Then I wet them down and was ready to do my "painting"with wool roving...

I used only natural colored wool from own Shetland sheep. It is a very limited color palette.

Next it needed to be rolled up in the pool liner and worked back and forth about 50 times from all sides.

Then I rubbed it and used the cordless Ryobi sander that I got for my birthday this year. I didn't use it too much, so can't really say if it was a big help or not, but I can say the felting went pretty quickly, so it must have helped.

I rolled it up in a towel absorb the excess water and I couldn't resist pinning it up on the back of chair to see how it looked.
I guess I'll need to crop some the excess off the right and the top... I will needle felt the details as the last step before matting and framing.

But that was not all I did today. This morning I fired up the incubator and put in 8 goose eggs. I've been itching to incubate waterfowl and the geese had 16 eggs in their nest. I'd like to check for fertility anyway. The geese didn't seem interested in setting yet, so I guess it's up to me. I'll probably bring the goslings up to the sales barn when they hatch.

And this afternoon when I collected the chicken eggs -- whoa! Look at that big brown double yolker, it's bigger than the mud-stained goose egg I took out of the incubator for comparison. Ouch, that must have hurt! I was thinking I would try and hatch it too. Last time I tried to hatch a double yolk egg, the chicks died at the hatch. I wasn't home to assist them. I thought maybe this time might turn out differently, but then I realized I don't have a rooster, so there will be no chicks. Duh!

Then I got the mail and found an acceptance letter for an art festival in Nisswa, MN this summer. I really have to get more felting done!

9 comments:

  1. You are SO talented, Becky! That portrait is beautiful!!

    It makes me want to do one.

    Yeah. In my spare time...

    (then again ~ YOU havee no spare time either!!)

    ;-)

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  2. Thanks Nancy. There's still a long way to go shaping it up and bringing out details with needle felting. But I am thrilled with the wet-felt painting technique.
    Yes, spare time is in such short supply these days. And you're going to California in just a matter of days! Then you'll be lambing, so much to look forward to.

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  3. Ditto to what Nancy said... You are sooo talented! I love it!

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  4. Lovely, lovely portrait. I am partial to black/white media (pencil, charcoal, scratchboard) anyway!

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  5. WOW Becky! That is a great portrait of your ewe! I haven't done any felting for quite awhile and this inspires me, thanks!!

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  6. Gorgeous. What a beautiful portrait that is, and you did such a wonderful job at it. You truely are very talented.
    Tammy

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  7. Your portrait of Lena is absolutely beautiful!

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