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Archive for the ‘Glasshouse Country Arts Trail’ Category

More felt in the library

Thanks to Beerwah Library, I have some of my felted work in the display cabinet.  I originally left two shelves empty for other artists from the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail to exhibit.  As only one was needed, I went over to the library yesterday and filled up the bottom shelf as well as topping up the original case display.

Here are photos of it now from the front and back of the case.

Display of felt in the library glass cabinet from inside the library

Display of felt in the library glass cabinet from inside the library

Display of felt at the library, taken from the front.

Display of felt at the library, taken from the front.

I am very grateful of the opportunity to show my work at the library, it is a great service they provide and it is always a treat to see other people’s’ displays both in the glass cabinet and on the walls.

Creative shopping

When I was in Aldi the other day, I found a couple of pasta drying racks, that look like mug holders with longer, thinner wooden hanging posts.  I bought two of them and have used one of them here to display a few of my summer scarves.  It allows you to see how transparent they are, where the tissue silk has not been felted.

Black jewellery holder

Black jewellery holder

I also bought a tree-shaped stand that looks like it is for jewellery.  It was a christmas red, but I sprayed it yesterday with some matt black.

I’ll use it in my market stall to hang some of my felt jewellery off.

Don’t you love it when you find things that you can re-use in a different way to how they were intended?  Creative shopping at its best lol.

Felting workshops for kids over the holidays

While I was at the library I was approached by on of the coordinators who asked if I would like to run some felting workshops for kids over the Christmas holidays.  Of course I said a big fat “Yes!”.  So now I’m working on a couple of ideas to present for the library to choose from.

This will also be something I can use at other events, where simple felting experience workshops can be presented.

Meditation idea for felt mobile

In the meantime, when I was meditating the other day, I had an image pop into my head of an idea for a felt mobile, that I’m going to experiment with this weekend.  When its completed, I’ll post a pic of it.

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Felt making and Arts Trail

This weekend has been very eventful!

Arts Trail – Open Studio

The Glasshouse Country Arts Trail has an open studio few days coinciding with school holidays – from Saturday just gone until Wednesday.

As last time I was fortunate enough to be able to share Sandra Price’s studio which is in her home on the main tourist route from Glasshouse Township to Beerwah.  It was a very pleasant weekend and we actually spent Saturday making conversation more than making art as it has been such a long time since we saw each other.  But it was very rewarding as conversation flowed with cups of tea and a tad too much chocolate…

I managed to complete my rose as a brooch by stitching the clasp onto the back, so it is now more than a pretty felt flower, but can be worn as well.

Sunday was more productive for both of us. Sandra worked on her elephant painting which was a development fascinating to watch as she brought beautiful Mma Tembo to life using a monchrome palette.  I am eager to see it finished.

While Sandy painted, I felted.  Because I was feeling quite tired this weekend, I couldn’t face a large project that would require lots of physical work, so I made two smaller pieces.

Miniature country scene

The first was a little country scene that I was going to use as an insert for one of those pre-made cards that has a frame cut into the front so you can put a painting behind.  I went a bit made with the wool layout though and the whole painting turned out too large for the card.  As luck would have it, Sandy happened to have the perfectly sized embroidery hoop which she suggested as a frame, so I attached the ‘painting’ to some cotton fabric and stretched it into the hoop.  Some of the corners sit just over the edge of the hoop but I rather like the effect.

Country scene 'round' felt painting 15cm

Country scene ’round’ felt painting 15cm

I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how this turned out.  Sandra really liked it too.  I will definitely make more of these.

Blue glass vase cover

The other smallish project I gave myself was covering the second of two tall slender glass vases I bought the other day.  If you read my recent post, you’ll have seen the first one which I covered in cream/orange.

This time I wanted to experiment with a completely different look.  I went for a covering in totally different colours, and laid in such a way that a lot of the glass would show through.

Colour palette of merino wool

Colour palette of merino wool

I chose dark blue, turquoise, lime green and cream as my palette.

I also used blobs of silk noile for details, and some ever gorgeous and lustrous silk tops.

Blue vase silk used

Silk noile and tops

 

The resist for this pattern was the same as for the last vase, as I knew it would give me a perfect fit.

I’ve never made anything 3D that is open weave before, so this was guess work, but I’ve got a couple of pics of the layout front and back, that I’ll show you.

As you can see, I’ve arranged the wool in such a way that it snakes up the vase.  I had no idea if this would work, or if it would end up all crumpled down the bottom of the vase like some old woman’s stocking, but I couldn’t resist giving it a go!

Here are the layouts, front and back:

Blue vase layout - front

Blue vase layout – front

Blue vase layout - back

Blue vase layout – back

As you can see, I made the base fairly solid, and also had a rim at the top, with the rest of the wool winding around the resist.  I varied the pattern using silk noile and silk tops.

As it wasn’t a large piece, it didn’t take a lot of work, but I was glad that it shrank to a size that it perfectly fits the vase.

Here is the finished result:

 

So while I made only two small pieces over the weekend, both were new territory for me, and it’s always good to stretch your creative boundaries!

 

Aside

Arts Trail and Library Exhibits!

I’m a bit excited and also a bit spread out in Beerwah this week!

The latest Glasshouse Country Arts Trail is on to coincide with the school holidays and I am exhibiting with fellow Arts Trail member, Sandra Price at her studio this weekend until Wednesday.

At the same time, I am displaying some of my felt at the local library for a couple of weeks in the glass cabinets at the front of the library.  I will also have my Mt. Coonowrin wall hanging displayed there, as an example of the variety of uses of wet felting.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

I must say, it’s heart warming to have these opportunities of sharing what I love with my local community.

 

I had to shave my piece of felt … and eat toast!

I know, that sounds a bit bizarre, but let me explain.

With the upcoming art exhibition to be held in Beerwah in October, the pressure’s on to make more felt wall hangings to exhibit.  I already have Mt. Coonowrin, which I have documented previously on this blog, but one’s just not enough.

Today was the day to make another one.  I’ve been researching my subject, collected my materials and all I needed was a free weekend and when I woke up to the clear bright day this morning I couldn’t wait to go home and get stuck in.  When I say ‘go home’, I’m not a party animal who woke up in a strange house this morning after a drunken rave the night before.  I have recently taken on another part time job dog-walking and pet/house sitting.  It’s great because it is a rewarding job and I can fit it in around my other life commitments.  I’m house sitting at the moment, thus ‘go home’ meant leave the doggie for the day and do my felting at home.  Not to mention spend some brief, welcome time with hubby and son.

The toast incident

Arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed, I breezed in only to meet my teenage son in his pj’s yawning a “Morning Mum” with half-closed eyes.  This was followed by the sound of an electric toothbrush buzzing in the bathroom – hubby was making himself personable!  While I waited for him to finish his ablutions (don’t you love that word?) I hovered in front of my computer noticing a yellow stick it note in the middle of the screen.

“Your dinner for tonight’s in the fridge so you don’t have to eat toast, you touchy thing! … Luv U”

Aw, what a sweetie, he remembered my melt down last week when, stressed at juggling an extra job, trying to organize myself, emotionally detach from hubby, son and my own dog, bring in the washing and get to my next assignment before sun down so I could feed a farmyard of chooks (Australian for ‘chickens’) and ducks, I forgot to take dinner with me and had to revert to toast.  I’m a bit of a foodie, so toast was just not the same as dinner.

The next afternoon while pretty much repeating the previous day’s schedule, I managed to throw a guilt trip at my son who was taking for everrrrrrrr to get some chore done that is his job anyway but which I wanted him to do before I left for the evening.  I had good reason for that at the time, but can’t for the life of me think what it could have been now.  That’s how important it was in the overall scheme of things.

“Oh for goodness sake, hurry up!!!  It’s because I was rushing yesterday getting your uniform ready, that I left my dinner in the fridge and had to survive on toast!”

At which point hubby stuck up for son from his vantage point in the office around the corner…

“Don’t pick on him just because you weren’t organized!”

I was feeling so bereft by that time, because oddly enough, despite loving going on holiday and always wishing to be living in some other, more exotic place – which my assignment was – I was feeling desperately homesick and wanting to hug son, hubby and dog all at the same time and tell them I loved them.  I’d so looked forward to coming home that afternoon, so I could spend some warm and fuzzy time to make up for my transition into Agent Aannsha Dog Sitter.

Only instead of Happy Families, I’d managed to create a minor drama where my son was crotchety for me guilt-tripping him and hubby was rightly taking his side.  A silent tear escaped the corner of my eye and I opened the fridge to take last night’s dinner for tonight with me and escape before I began sobbing.

Too late, I choked one back as I opened the fridge door.

“What’s the matter?” Baz stood behind me quicker than I could take my things and run.

Well, I blurted it all out in a blubbery blobby mess that caused a puzzled look to crease hubby’s face.  He didn’t understand me.  He never does when I melt down.  To me it is perfectly natural and totally understandable that inner tumult can result from a few changes in routine and everything that comes with it.  But to Baz, I had turned into an alien and he couldn’t fix a problem he didn’t have any reference for.  God love him.  I do.

He hugged me warily and I tried to get it together and explain logically what was going on for me.  I couldn’t, so I wiped my salty face on his jumper and pulled away still watery. But I had no time to wallow in self-pity, I had animals to feed.  I left via my son’s room where I sincerely apologised to him for being mean. He is such a forgiving fellow and hugged me with the force of ten men. Then with a lot still hanging mid-sentence, confused and a tiny bit raw between Baz and me, I got in the car and drove off.

Later that night, I texted Baz only to find that Baz – a man whose longest text to me yet had been “ok” – had texted me:

“Still lu ya, U touchy bugger”.

The most adorable thing a bloke could tell his missus.  I melted and in an instant the whole drama dissipated.

…So, the message on my pc was in reference to the toast drama.

What about having to shave my felt?

After Baz came out of the bathroom all squeaky clean, I asked him if that meant I had dinner for tonight.

“You do, it’s chilli con carne.”

“You’re a dream, thank you.”

Big hug.

Half an hour later, Baz off scuba diving, Luke chilling in his room, I set to making my felt painting.

Why I had to shave my felt

The subject of today’s felting is of an entry way north, along Moffat Beach – one of the beaches in Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, near where I live.

Pic of Moffat Beach thanks to Caloundra Tourism website

The ocean is blue, the sand gleams white in the sunshine, and there are sandy walkways to the beach through sea-grass lined with wooden railings and shaded by trees that are very pleasing to the eye.

At this point, I would like to acknowledge Gusha Visual Media who have inspired my latest work with some of their photos of the Sunshine Coast. In particular, Moffat Beach, which is so beautiful, I wanted to try and capture the scene in felt.

I beganMoffat Beach sky sea layout with a piece of cream pre-felt 60cm x 60cm as the base.  Starting with the sky, I laid several shades of blue, and thin white clouds, then laid the water in deeper turquoises.

Moffatt Beach full layout less treeThen I laid the white strip of beach and followed with the brown-sandy colour of the path, which I underlaid with brown alpaca to add depth.  After that I added the greens of the grasses. Next came the wooden railing and the shading.

Moffat Beach full layout less yarnHappy with the overall background, I put in the tree using black mixed with white and ochre, and short whispy pieces of yarn for the leaves.

Moffat Beach full layoutTo finish the work at this stage, I added the silks and yarns to give interesting detail and lustre to the overall painting.

As my feet were very sore – that’s a story for another day – I laid the work on a 60x60cm canvas on the lounge coffee table so I could sit for the couple of hours it took to do the layout.  I wasn’t sure how much wool would float away as I carried the piece over to the kitchen bench for felting, but I walked slowly and it all remained intact.  Once the canvas was removed it sat on the bubble wrap, on a towel to catch the excess water.

After soaping, rubbing, rubbing, squeezing, heating, rubbing, heating and rubbing some more, the picture was finally felted to my liking.  I rinsed the soap out, final rinsed with a bit of vinegar and spun it in the washing machine.

As I ironed it flat, I noticed that where the brown alpaca had been laid down, it had migrated through the other colours and the long fuzzy wool filaments covered the bottom half of the painting obscuring the other colours and details!  I forgot to take a photo at this point, because I was concentrating on fixing the furry mess!  After trying to snip it away with scissors and realising that would take all afternoon, I got a fresh disposable razor from my hubby’s stash and proceeded to shave the wool off the painting!

Despite being worried about losing the underlying detail, and messing up the finish of the felt that was left, I knew I couldn’t leave it furry, so shaved away.  I removed a very large handful of alpaca and was happy to see the rest of the painting was intact!

Re-ironed, I was satisfied that the painting was pretty good and after hanging it out to dry overnight, I’m looking forward to adding the finer details with needle felting and embroidery tomorrow.

However – Note To Self – only use alpaca in a felt painting if the painting is of a teddy bear or something else that requires a fuzzy finish!

That’s definitely a tip I’m going to put in a Felting Book when I get round to writing one!

Anyway, here’s the felted wall hanging of Moffat Beach, awaiting embroidery and needle felting.  Felted size is approximately 50cm x 50xm.

Moffat Beach felted

Goodbye felt scarf ‘babies’

I had a lovely day at the Glasshouse Markets today: friendly atmosphere, warm company, good coffee and tasty brownies.

At the market today, I said goodbye to most of my felt scarf ‘babies’ who all went to good homes. Thank you ladies for finding the scarves that were meant for you – some of them are travelling as far as Melbourne and also New Zealand!

Another great day at Glasshouse Markets

Another great day at Glasshouse Markets

Market Stall, Art Exhibition and Auction … and Arts Trail all in October!

We’re all starting to get excited about the Glasshouse Country Festival that is being held in October.  There will be a twilight Glasshouse Market on Friday the 18th October.  Also as part of the festival, the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail that I belong to is having an art exhibition over the weekend 19th/20th October, with an art auction on the Saturday evening.

Immediately following this weekend for two weeks, the members of the Arts Trail will have our open studios, so anyone interested can come and see our work and meet the artists in person.

Felting workshop for children

I have also been asked to run a fun felting workshop for the local primary school children.

I’ve got my work cut out for me now!

NOTE TO SELF:

> Create more scarves for the twilight market stall,

> Make several more wall hangings for display at the exhibition

> Organise workshop to felt pens with the primary school kids

Real 'felt pens' drying - pens, felted with wool.

Real ‘felt pens’ drying – pens, felted with wool.

> Get some multi-vitamins!

Open Studio Weekend 2

Despite it being a wet wintry weekend, Sandra and I enjoyed another shared studio experience.  While I think the weather put a lot of people from coming out so we only had a handful of visitors over the two days, we were very creative.

Sandra’s painting

On Saturday Sandra worked on a calla lily:

Sandra’s Calla Lily

Yesterday, she painted two in a series of three intuitive paintings, plus several beautiful bright birds and trees on small canvases.  I love how Sandy can change style according to what she’s painting, so she has a variety of work that can be appreciated by many. Sandy drying her artHere’s Sandra drying one of her intuitive paintings.  Let’s face it, with the cool and damp weather, rather than sit around watching paint dry, you’ve gotta love technology and a handy hair dryer. Don’t you love the colours she’s using?

You can read more about Sandy’s painting at her blog: Hearts Landscapes.

Aannsha’s Felting

On Saturday I made a small ‘earthenware’ coloured round bowl about 13cm in diameter.  I used a muted pale blue with maroon wool and a splash of orange wool, then accentuated it with maroon sari silk threads and mulberry hand-dyed silk rovings. I then created a cobweb scarf using pale blue and pinks, a nice combination that I haven’t tried before. I was happy with how I laid out the wool rovings as the resulting scarf had a good structure that was semi-translucent and having small holes across the work which is a mark of cobweb felt.

Felt 'earthenware' vase and pinkblue scarf

My felt bowl and scarf in front of Sandra’s painting

The experimental vase that looks like an upturned hat!

On the Sunday I gave myself a large project, wanting to experiment with a vase/vessel using a flat resist. The two round bowls I’ve made so far have been made using a circular resist.

Vessel making is a new avenue for me in felting, so when I decided to make a taller vessel, more like a vase, I wasn’t sure how to start.  I went for a flat resist and threw myself into the project giving myself permission to like any outcome however outlandish, as this was an Experiment.  It was actually a very big project and in order for the ‘vase’ to be sturdy enough to support its own weight, I had to work it very hard.  So this baby took all day to create!

I started with bright green, followed by a muted, earthy blue and did four layers alternating these colours one for each layer.  When I got to the decorative layer I went mad with orange, lime green, maroon sari silk, brown alpaca and red/grey silk hankies. When I finished laying out the top layer, it looked like something the dog had thrown up on to be honest.  But I was out on a limb and determined to see it through.

Decorative top layer of vessel - aka dog's dinner

Decorative top layer of vessel – aka dog’s dinner

At first, it wanted to become a handbag and I struggled to go beyond a hesitant decision to stop at that point, knowing that a bag would be a good outcome.  But no.  I wanted a vase or a vessel of some kind and that was what I was determined to make. I worked on it some more until I had gone beyond the handbag stiffness, and knew at that point I was on the other side.  Where the vessel resided.

We stopped for lunch and had a salad.

Once more into the fray dear friend.

Occasionally I surfaced over the green brown thing it was becoming, to look enviously at Sandra who was producing beautiful work after beautiful work – she really is industrious!  I noticed that she too though was questioning her own colour choices and was surprised at how her own intuitive paintings were developing.

Eventually, when it was way past cup of tea time, we both stopped.  Sandra was all out of paintings, and I had finally mastered the beast!

The final result was totally different to what I’d pictured when I started, and certainly a world away from a handbag, but quirky though it is, I love it.  It’s a vessel that could be an upturned hat, as my son proved when I brought it home, but I reckon it works.

In my attempt to flatten the bottom and create an even oval base, I used a plastic bowl that was shorter than the vessel.  By the time I’d pushed the base into shape, I noticed I’d inadvertently pushed down the sides, creating deep wrinkles.  Wow, that was a great accidental serendipity!  I turned the top over by about four centimetres to  contrast the lovely lime inside with the now muted and gorgeous autumn shades of the outside.

Stepping back, I noticed the brown alpaca fleece fuzzing out in places, that adds interest. It stands about 20cm  tall and 18cm wide. Here are some pictures showing the process and finished vessel.

What would you use it for?

Did Sandy and I morph artistic styles? (Cue Twilight Zone music)

One thing Sandra and I noticed was that we’d both apparently switched colouring styles.  Most of my paintings and felt carry bold, warm colours, while usually Sandra’s work tends towards blues and pastel tones – well some, not all of her work.  This weekend though, I was favouring earthy colouring and using muddy browns and blues for the top layers of my work, while Sandra found herself painting in bright vibrant hues.

We’re both intuitive by nature and as we worked, both occasionally uttering, “Wow, this is an odd choice of colour for my work”, we also both came to a vague conclusion that we were possibly somehow ‘tapping into’ each others’ brains and morphing our artistic palettes!  There’s no proof of that of course, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. So, that was our weekend.  I am looking forward to next weekend when Open Studio weekend 3 gets underway.  What will we create next?

Two other blogs about yesterday’s open day

Sandra’s sister Susan came along yesterday and has written a lovely post on her blog, Daydream in Colour, about her experience.

Susan is a budding felter and I was very happy to be able to do a demonstration for her, so she and the other ladies who were there could see first hand what a great process it is.

It is lovely to read Susan’s blog because it gives another perspective of the Open Day from a ‘visitors’ point of view. She’s also taken some more great pics.

Thank you Susan.

http://daydreamincolour.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/glasshouse-country-arts-trail.html

And here’s a report from Sandra Price the lovely artist who has allowed me to use her studio as well to show my work.  The report is on her blog, Heart’s Landscapes, of yesterday’s Open studio. I’d just like to say here, that it was very inspiring being able to share with Sandra, and being surrounded by her wonderful diverse art work.

http://heartslandscapes.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/open-studio.html

Visitors having a go at felting

Our first open studios has arrived – this weekend: 22nd/23rd June!

Here’s some more information on the Open Studios for our Glasshouse Country Arts Trail, which opens this weekend.  I’ve included a link to the blog page below for those interested. 🙂

As a member of this trail, I will have my felt art available for show.  From next weekend (it runs over four weekends), I will be giving demonstrations on how to make art at the studio.

Our first open studios has arrived – this weekend: 22nd/23rd June!.

 

I’ve been away, but I’m back and on a Trail!

I’ve been quiet on the posting front for a month as I’ve been visiting my mum in the UK.

It was difficult to gain access to the internet as, at 92, my mum isn’t on line in any way, shape or  form!  I also spent time with her, my sister and some of my relatives and friends – some of whom I haven’t seen in 25 years, so that didn’t leave any time for felting.  Plus the fact that mum lives in a very small unit and her kitchen bench wouldn’t have been big enough to make anything larger than a coaster, so I left my wool and silk at home in Australia while I went on my UK trip.

I’m back now though, have got over the jetlag that hits you when you’ve travelled forward in time … I think it has something to do with the magnetic fields, but who knows… and I’m ready to get creating again.

My current project isn’t as photo-friendly as my felting, as it is a ‘personal growth work book’.  I won’t share any more details at the moment because it is still in the writing stage and I don’t want to give away any spoilers!

After I’ve got that under my belt, I’ll be focusing on more scarves as it’s winter here now, and I also want to experiment with some more vases as I really liked how the turquoise vase turned out.  I’ll be working towards a local art exhibition in October too, with an auction as part of that, and the vases plus a couple more wall hangings will be projects that will keep me busy from now until then! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves …

One thing I am also excited about though is that I am part of a local arts trail – and we have a WordPress blog called: the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail

We are having our launch dates this June and July, specifically,

22 and 23 June
29 and 30 June
6 and 7 July
13 and 14 July

and if you’re in the area you are welcome to come along and meet all ten of us who are a group of diverse artists, yet who have studios in a relatively compact area.  If you’re interested in meeting us and viewing our art, check out the Arts Trail blog brochure and map.

In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of my recent trip:

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