Thursday, 31 May 2018

Wool Bear

I didn't get as far with this as I had hoped. Things kept me busy till after noon.

I spent some time looking at the patterns of the bears I had done and decided I needed to start fresh. This photo has been sitting in my files for awhile.

Very distracted bear!

What drew me to this guy was the shagginess of his coat. I loved those tags of fur, probably un-shed winter coat.
I went over the fleece and started cutting off the paler twists of fur from a chunk washed section.

After projecting this photo on the wall, I traced the outline onto thin stabilizer.
The remaining darker wool I finger combed into a light handful and then ran it through the felting machine and anchored it to the pattern.

Small bits soon build up.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Landscape With Bear - Final

Two hours finished the thread painting and an envelope finish.
I still have one more embroidered bear but I think I'll save that and move to the felting.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

One Hour Mountain Landscape with Bear

The fleece is taking a full 24 hours to dry.
To keep the ball rolling I decided to use the two bear samples in my stash in a mountain + water theme.
Having a large and ORGANIZED stash makes this very simple and as I've had pointed out to me many times, not over thinking things does speed up the process.

So this was how my scene went together in one hour.
Using the embroidered bear as a starting point I set the size of the piece at roughly 14 X10. He still needs some trimming but that will come in the finishing of the scene.

 This small piece of painted pink and blue was chosen to suggest dawn.

 Using a remnant from the mountain scenes a few weeks ago I cut off a corner to make a peak.

The tailings and foot hills of the mountains are muted colours. The first flush of deep green brings the forest closer.

Using the woodsy material I double cut a 6 inch piece and then layered them to give more definition.

Now we're down to river/lake edge so the grassy ground is a fresh bright green. Some darker olive is shadow and the gravel or beach come the rest of the way.

The water is made using two different materials interspersed to give life and movement to the water. A thin line of folded white cheesecloth defines the water edge.

And last the bruin. A bit of cheese cloth around his ankles adds the splash of running water.
So working this out took one hour. It's all just layered, no glue or pins.
The EASY way to finish is to apply a layer of neutral netting and stitch it down.
That's tomorrow.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Time to Get Back to Work - Cleaning the Fleece

Well, the heat has driven me back inside. It's even too hot to paint fabric, so it's time to act on some of those jobs that needed doing to prep for future work.
Like......washing the rest of the fleece.
My sister has asked me several times over the last few months, so I'm going to do some 2D bears. I thought the texture of the wool would be a nice change from cotton or ultrasuede. The plan is, after the shape is fixed I can tart up the bears with hand needle felting. I've thought about this long enough so today was fleece washing day.
It only took about an hour but it will take a few days to dry outside.

When I opened the bag where I had stored the main portion of fleece since February I was greeted with the overwhelming scent of barnyard and lanolin.  Rather nice, for a former country girl, but I didn't want the air conditioning to pick that up and have it linger for a few days. So into the washtub.

The WHOLE thing.

I knew it would be heavy and fragile. I placed a piece of chicken wire (left over from the bunny trials) on the bottom and placed the fleece on top. After a couple of washes in cold soapy water and about 5 rinses till the drainage ran pretty clean, I decided that was enough.

I used the chicken wire to lift the water soaked fleece onto a spare oven rack placed over the washing machine. I manually squeezed out a lot of water using the chicken wire to aid with turning.

The whole, not quite so drippy, mass was carried outside on the oven rack and laid out on a towel.
So there it will sit now for a few days to dry.

After it drained all night I ran it through a spin cycle to get the remaining drips. I didn't spin it before as it was so unwieldy and I knew I wouldn't be able to get it balanced in the tub without it separating into chunks. And now it's sitting on a drying rack on the back porch.

(I must remember to wash that oven rack before I bake hubby's cookies.
At least my hands are lovely and soft.)

Friday, 25 May 2018

Final - Finishing a Workshop Piece

Back in March I attended a workshop with a number of my friends given by Maggie Vanderweit.
It was an abstract workshop and I came away just as confused as I went in but with four unfinished canvases.
There was one that stuck with me and because a worm had burrowed into my subconscious, it itched all these months.
Well I'll be seeing Maggie in a few days and I felt the least I could do was FINISH a piece from her workshop.

I had attempted it several times spending searches on line for possiblilities, but it always came back to the Monster from the Netflicks series Stranger Things.

So here IT is in all his nightmarish glory.
Maybe he'll leave my head now ..................and haunt somewhere else.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Such a Busy Time of Year

Has it really been almost 2 weeks?
After such a long dark winter I guess it was natural to move out into the Spring sunlight and not want to come back into my basement studio.
Some spring gardening chores can't wait so when Nature gives the sign, it's a race again the clock to get things done so that you're not interfering with or damaging the beds. I have very full perennial beds in both sun and shade so there is a lot of baby sitting to do in May.

We also made a couple of forays out into the local woodland trails to catch Spring with my new camera and I did manage to get some wonderful photos without trying. Some of the material will reappear in my art.

Such a show of Trillium this spring.

A few years ago I picked a handful of 'forget me not' s from an abandoned civic area and now I just toss the spring remains into the empty corners knowing they will brighten the day next year.

I thought the tulip bed would be gone in a flash but a spell of cool weather has given them a long show.

 These lovely dwarf iris have a lovely but brief show each year. They only last a day or so.

But the blowsy and cheerful Bleeding Hearts will be around for quite a while. I'll spend part of the summer reining them in again and banishing all their children from various corners of the other beds.

And of course one of the main joys in the garden are the birds. The first of May I put out my feeder and the 3rd of May I received a visit.

I have four feeders but they still squabble all day.
And my year round crowd change their dress for the season .

But with all the feeders I maintain all year I have some other visitors as well. Just a tad messy they are, but still part of the scene.

There are a lot of others but I don't always have my camera within reach. I'll capture them sometime.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Finishing a Piece............. a Year Later- Cardinal Pair

I started the Cardinal pair a year ago last March. Even though I bound it and showed it, I was not happy with the balance. So I sat on it.

I had added leaves, cut them off and then left it for a year.
It wasn't until I went walking with hubby in the park I finally realized how to finish this piece.

The missing item were the feathery flowers on the maples.

So this piece evolved, from awkward buds and leaves

to  nearly naked branches

and finally to Spring 2018, lots of content and better weight.

Three single strands of embroidery floss, different shade of green, were threaded through the tiny bud. Each is about 2+ inches long so they fall, float and flutter the way they should. 

NOW this pieces is finished.
A year is not to long to get it right.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The 3 Sisters - Final

All these needed was contouring.
I covered each with netting and then using the 'rock' colour as a guide, added some highlights. The trees were lightly traced to add dimension to the foreground.
The light sparkle in the trees is the netting and the mono filament thread.
I bound these with a wrapped facing primarily because I couldn't decide what colour to use as a binding!
A nice job to finish the hand stitching in the spring sunlight.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Gramma Day

With lots of different things going on this week, I decided today, I would just retire to my sewing room and make a couple of hats for my grandson.
I found a very easy pattern on line and made two reversible hats in two sizes. He's growing fast and at seven + months, you just never know what will fit. So I made one for 6 to 12 months and one for 12 to 18. Either way that should see him through the summer and if he winters south at all this year, he's still got a stylish hat to wear.

And when I finished and came back up, I discovered we'd had a violent wind storm go through, 100 km winds, shingles torn of every house that I can see, including mine.
I didn't hear a thing.
Ah .....the oblivion of focused creativity.!

And because I was given this cute Bug fabric, I had to make one more.......because hats get lost, blow away and left behind.