Thursday, March 19, 2020

DIY Face Mask - Life in the Coronavirus Pandemic

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:

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!
Take care everyone and stay home if you can.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Thinking Spring! 2020 Class schedule

The trumpeter swans are back which means spring is right around the corner. And my flowers are blooming -- including my Lady Slipper Orchid!
 Since our master bedroom is like a greenhouse, we've had grape tomatoes all winter.
And I planted some zucchini and cucumbers. They are blooming like crazy up there already.
And with the time change this weekend, the clock in my studio is back to the correct time again. Yay!

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.

I got a new-to-me 2008 EL King Ranch Ford Expedition a couple weeks ago. I just love driving it! We will have no problem pulling our travel trailer with it this summer and it's a very comfortable ride. Not to mention with the extra length it can haul all my stuff when I do a vendor booth or teach a felted fleece class. My Envoy couldn't quite hold it all. And it's got tons of bells and whistles, even the running boards are automatic!

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.

Spring and Summer Classes 2024

  Well, it's April and the sheep have been sheared.  The chicks have arrived in the mail and Easter is behind us already.  Time to start...