Friday, May 29, 2009

Please ignore this...just some curious requirement for a blog directory :). Technorati Profile

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not your everyday Yurt!

(click any image to enlarge)

"A yurt?", you ask? Well, I did, at least. Yurts are round structures built with a wooden frame and a felt cover in Central Asia. In the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, part of their "Fashioning Felt" exhibit is a contemporary interpretation of a yurt by the studio of JA Felt (Centralia, WA) that is stunning. The photo above is the main room, and below is the roof of the structure.The roof is a beautiful composition of felted diamond shapes felted onto silk organza. By felting the wool with the organza, JA Felt created a light-filled space of pattern, texture, and!
And the longer I stood looking, the more details I noticed like the "gems" they applied to the felt that was at the top of the 'wall' (left) and lettering they added onto the felt (right).

If you are interested in how they made the elements in this beautiful structure, here is the link to the Cooper-Hewitt You Tube video:
It was really a fabulous exhibit with so many different felted materials that had distinctly different characteristics and uses. It was incredibly inspiring and, though I am certain I won't be making a yurt anytime soon, I might be trying my hand at some of the techniques on a tad smaller scale :).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Squeaky Toy Tribute

Last New Year's Eve, we said goodbye to our playful girl, Pansy. She loved her squeaky toys... a LOT! And she had plenty of them. So when she passed away, I decided to make a little sculpture out of them as a grave marker. We buried her along our trail that goes around our woods.
I just finished and "planted" her sculpture, so now we'll be reminded of her and her antics whenever we pass by. Besides her toys, I also added beaded wire thingys that have washers and nuts on them. She loved shiny things almost more than her toys. Her food dish is at the bottom and her dog collar is attached to the pole. (You can click on the images to enlarge them.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Meet Carol Cypher: Beader and Felter Extraordinaire!

Last week, my husband and I were in Brooklyn visiting my step-daughter and son-in-law (very fun trip :) ). We went to the Cooper-Hewitt museum to see their "Fashioning Felt" exhibit. (IYIYI - more on that in a future post.) While in the exhibit, I met Carol Cypher (left). Her hair had been..., well... felted! She had strawberry blonde dreadlocks that were...well...beaded!! How fun is that?! We started talking and I couldn't help noticing her wonderful necklace. It had big round 'beads' made out of colorful felted fibers mixed with equally colorful and textured glass beads. Oh, and she had felted a flower pin full of felted petals of beautifully blended colors. She mentioned that she does workshops both on beading and felting as well as being the author of books. But it wasn't until I got home and really looked at her card that I realized she is the author of a book I had requested (and got!) for Christmas, "How We Felt". It's a terrific book, very inspirational as well as instructional.
If you are interested in her books or workshops, visit her at .

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Hot off the sewing machine, here is my latest creation. And I think I'll keep it for myself :). I've been having so much fun mixing up fabrics for my purse organizers, that I decided to mix it up on a new summer purse.

For those of you unfamiliar with this purse design, it has three "pockets", 2 zippered and the middle pocket divided into 4 vertical compartments. The middle pocket is open, but the compartments are snug enough to hold on to my cell phone and sunglasses even if my purse falls over. I've come to prefer this design for my everyday purse because it can handle a long (or short) strap. Alas, my shoulder can't take a short strap for very long :( .

For you do-it-yourselfers out there, this is the "Belt It Out" pattern (see ), medium size. I cut strips of fabric about 1-1/2" wide and the length of the main bag pattern piece. I stitched them together lengthwise and cut out the final piece from that. I only did this to the front and back pieces. The other pieces are one piece of fabric but all are bright and colorful.

So there's my latest fun...and it has my name written all over it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tips for my T.e.a (Take everything anywhere) Bag pattern

For the uninitiated, I have designed what I call the T.e.a. Bag and sell a pattern for it as well. And for those who are initiated (read: those who sew and have that pattern!), here is a tip from a fellow sewer, Etsy handle bholg933, who has made two T.e.a. Bags so far:

"Outstanding pattern, beautiful and very useful bag. You will definitely need a strong denim needle. Pattern calls for designer weight fabric, but if you baste two layers of lighter weight fabric together it will turn out just as good. I've made two bags so far and both materials work equally well. "

Thanks so much for the tip!

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Art for your heart * Fun for your soul"

"Art for your heart * Fun for your soul" is the byline on the Arthead Studio website. And it is fun, fun, fun! And clever, too. Deborah Kracht does so many different, very colorful, and fun pieces using wool fibers (she needle-felts them) and/or found objects...and paint! I bought a felthead that is entitled "Anger Management". It hangs on my studio door and makes me smile everytime I see it. Her website, , is worth visiting. She also has an Etsy shop with prints of her watercolors as well as some of her felt and recycle/found object pieces.
And she has an impressive Show schedule. So you might be able to catch her live and in person. As with most art, seeing her pieces up close is even better than the photos, so much easier to see the details and fun to see what titles she has named them.

I find her pieces inspiring. They are a reminder to me to have fun with my creativity AND that there's a LOT you can do with a thrown-away colander and bottlecaps!

All photos, and the title of this posting, are Deborah's from her websites.