Monday, September 27, 2010

Pre-felts made, next comes the RUG

What a weekend, making pre-felts with all kinds of people!  From the littlest toddlers to grown ups...

Some worked in gallon size ziplock bags, some stomped the wool in the kiddie pool, that was so much fun to watch!

My son videotaped the action on Saturday. I so appreciate his help and also Judy Broekemeier's help in recruiting volunteers to stomp on Sunday.  Special thanks to all the wonderful young people who abandoned their shoes and socks and stomped!

And this is a shot of what they did with all that stomping.

The best part for me was seeing the participants' faces and telling people all about felt and how it is made from WOOL - no spinning or knitting needed.

I now have 50 squares in yellow, blue and green and two big dark blue chunks to incorporate into a community rug. Lots of work to do this week to get ready for my FeltUnited exhibit on Saturday, October 2nd! (Complete details on that are in the previous post.)

Oh and for all you knitters, I had to get a photo of this adorable little girl and the cute sweater her grandmother knitted decades ago. It has been worn by several family members over the years and it's still in great condition.  I think I can figure out how to make one like it by tweaking a somewhat similar EZ pattern knit from the top down in 'Knitter's Almanac'.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Felting Demos & Fiber Art Exhibit

I've been going crazy trying to keep the rams separate from the ewes and getting ready for my big grant projects this weekend and next weekend.

The public is invited to join me this weekend in making felt for a community rug.  The felting sessions will take place at the Sticks and Stones Art and Cultural Festival from noon to 2:30 and 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25th and from noon to 3:00 on Sunday on the grounds of the Kanabec History Center in Mora, MN.

The weather forecast looks good for doing a rug stump in a kiddie pool, but I will also have the option of felting in ziplock bags for those who don't want to get their feet wet.  Participants can even make themselves a felt pin to wear proudly on FeltUnited Day, October 2nd, 2010.

Which brings me to the second part of my grant project, my FeltUnited Fiber Art Exhibit at Made of Mora on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from noon to 4:00 p.m.  This is where the completed community rug, made from the prefelts created by participants at Sticks and Stones, will be unveiled. 

In keeping with the spirit of FeltUnited, I will have my recent felt pieces on display and I'm inviting other felters to join me in displaying their felt creations too.  The colorway for FeltUnited this year is yellow-green-blue, let me know if you've got something in that colorway to display and we'll reserve a space for you.  Felters are invited to wear their felt creations too.  We'll take photos to submit to the official FeltUnited website for inclusion with photos of other events taking place around the world on that day.

Okay, no time to spare now, it's back to work for me.  Hope to see you soon!

This activity is funded in part, by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds provided by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Boys will be Boys/Getting ready for WSWF

 Last Friday while I was working at the fair, our BFL ram, Ward Harwell, managed to get in with the ewes.  Fortunately Stan noticed and got him back in the ram pen with a bucket of corn. Then when I looked out at the sheep on Saturday morning, there he was again in with the ewes.

I took the camera along to document the possibility of February BFL lambs, but I forgot to put on my glasses. When I got up closer, I see that Socks, our wether managed to accompany Harwell this time.  I decided to let Harwell have his way and I put the BFLs & Socks in a separate pen.  That way I can feed them separately from the Shetlands.

While I was out there with the sheep, I distinctly heard a goose next door.  The neighbor boys have gotten into poultry this summer and I wondered if they had gotten themselves some geese too.   So I stepped over our newly fixed fence...

(freed from the huge oak that was pressing down it just days before) and took a quick look at the boys' bird pens.  No geese in there, just chickens.  But when I looked up I saw this:

So I took a couple photos, zooming in so I could get a better look when I downloaded them to the computer.  I mentioned to Stan that I saw a bunch of geese in the neighbors back yard hanging out by their chickens.  Well, the next day Stan is chuckling away and tells me the neighbor boy asked if I had seen geese in his backyard.  It turns out the neighbor kid was up in his tree stand with a goose call the whole time and had gotten a good laugh out of watching me taking photos of his decoys.  What a stinker! I really do need to wear those glasses whenever I go outside.  I didn't realize Saturday was the opening day of the early goose season.

I picked up the last of my inventory at the state fair today.  Not much to bring home thankfully. Next year I will be better prepared. Working in the booth was a real education -- so many people!  Friday morning's cold temps were a real boon to sales of hats, mittens and socks.  :-)

On Sunday we went to my dad's place in Wisconsin.  It used to be our family cabin, dad moved up there to live about 20 years ago. I remember all the summers we spent canoeing and swimming in that creek and the nearby lakes. It's cool to see our kids carrying on the tradition now.  In this photo, my sister and brother are in the canoes...
And now to get ready for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI this weekend!  Our 1997 Chevy Venture has 231,000 miles on it and Stan was nervous about me taking it on yet another long trip like that. 
This "after the storm photo" from last month shows my little red van.
But that little thing just keeps going and going like the Energizer Bunny.  The problem with it is the windows can't be trusted to go back up once they go down and the back hatch door can't be trusted to actually open.  Lots of little things like that add up and it's getting pretty rusty.  So this morning we bought ourselves another Chevy Venture:
This one is a 2003 so we're in the current century now!  I like the fact that it's the longer version, I wonder how many dog crates full of sheep it will hold. 

Getting ready for Christmas Markets!

  I'll be doing two Christmas markets this year. The first one is at Sapsucker Farms in Brook Park, MN Nov. 18-19th. And the second one ...