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Showing posts from January, 2011

Fiber Art, Minnesota Grown and Broody Hen Update

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It's been another busy week here. I taught two Nunofelt scarf classes on the 17th and set up another one on March 18th at the Pine Center for the Arts in Pine City, MN.

I've been working on matting and framing several new pieces. After reading Jeanne Carbonetti's latest book, "The Heart of Creativity" I let my ego step aside and just let the pieces flow out of me - this resulted in SIX new pieces. The one above is made from the scraps of my felt jacket and twigs from the pasture that I collected last fall. Now comes the uneviable task of framing them all. That's the worst part about doing 2-D work, IMO.

On Thursday Casey Derosier from Minnesota Grown came out to interview me for her Livin' La Vida Local blog.  Wednesday I should have been cleaning the house, but I was frantically framing those felt pieces. 
So Thursday morning I quickly straightened up the house as best I could before Casey arrived at 10 a.m. It was a good thing I did because I didn'…

Broody Buff Chantecler Hen

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Patiently waiting....

Last time I saw her off the nest, she had nine eggs. That was over a week ago when I separated her from the rest of the flock.  She's setting so tight I wondered if she might be frozen solid in there. But when I put my hand in she growls so I know she's still alive.  Apparently she's eating and drinking the water I set out for her before it freezes up.

I haven't candled the eggs and I didn't start any backup eggs in the incubator.  I didn't want to hatch out more chicks than she can keep warm.  We'll just go with whatever she manages to hatch on her own. 

The hatch is due to begin on Jan. 29th.  Here's hoping that our one-eyed rooster isn't shooting blanks!  That can happen to a rooster if he gets a frostbitten comb.  The Chantecler breed was developed to be hardy in cold weather and they don't have large combs. Keeping my fingers crossed, it's been a long time since we heard the pitter patter of little chick feet arou…

Master Felter's Class in Mora?

Lots of exciting things going on here this week!  One is a secret for now, but the other needs to get out there right away -- here it is.

I am working on organizing a possible master felter's class to be held this coming September in Mora, MN.  (Mora is 65 miles north of Minneapolis.)

Elis Vermuelen of Zeeland, the Netherlands will be the instructor of the two-day session. Elis is the co-founder of FeltUnited, International Day of Felt. She is an outstanding artist and felter. To see her work, visit her website or checkout her blog link to the right.
Exact dates for the workshop have not been set yet, but the possibilites are sometime during the week of Sept. 12-16th or the 26-30th. Project possiblities are a wooly bag or boots, a spikey hat or scarf.

Once I find out the level of interest, I can move forward to finalize dates and project(s). The cost of the 2-day workshop is looking like $250 plus materials.

If we go with the last week of September, we may be able to offer a gla…

A Productive Day

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I feel like I got a lot accomplished today...I learned something new, dyed some BFL/Tencel batts for my scarf classes next week, and updated two hats that had been big flops.

First I learned how to make my own French Vanilla coffee creamer! You all probably know how to make it already, but it was a revelation to me. Stan and I are addicted to that stuff and it's expensive in the local grocery stores.  WalMart (25 miles away) has it cheaper, but driving 50 miles roundtrip seems a bit counterproductive. So this morning I finally Googled "how to make coffee creamer" and found out that all I have to do is combine a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk with 14 oz milk (we drink skim milk) and a tablespoon of vanilla in a glass container and mix thoroughly. Wow! It's so easy and I actually think it tastes better than the name brand stuff we've been drinking.  Also, I don't need a science degree to decipher the ingredients, it's just sugar, milk, and vanilla.  …

Another Felted Jacket

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I finished another felt jacket yesterday - well, I still need to add the buttons and decide on pockets or not - but the hard parts are finished anyway and I'm already thinking about the next one. :-)

I thought I would share the story of its development here.
I like incorporating silk gauze into the felt for added strength and drapability. So the first thing was to dye 4 yards of silk gauze black so it would blend in with my natural colored Bluefaced Leicester fiber. I had Zeilingers woolen mill in Frankenmuth process my BFL fiber into 2 pound batts 45" wide x 80" long.  So all I have to do is peel off a layer and place it on the silk.  The silk gauze is on a sheet of plastic with bubble wrap underneath - all the layout is done on my kitchen counter.  The bubble wrap is actually a sturdy pool cover - 40" wide and 8 feet long. I put another thin layer of fiber perpendicular to the first layer.

Once it's completely covered with the two layers of fiber, I wet it down…