For the long MLK holiday weekend, we took a much needed trip to Mammoth Lakes for some skiing and relaxation. I have to admit that the cold was a bit challenging for me after the temperatures in LA have been so beautiful (in the 70s), but, we had a super nice time. Only one minor ski injury for my middle boy W occurred, which he is speedily recovering from.
I don’t downhill anymore. My feet always get cold on the lift, so cross country and winter walks are more to my liking. After a long day on the slopes, I talked my husband into taking a quiet walk with me along the snow covered bike path in Mammoth which goes by an historic settler’s cabin named for it’s original inhabitants, the Haydens. It was about 4 in the afternoon and the light was so beautiful.
This past fall I started exploring the wonderful old craft of needlefelting or wool felting as many call it. In the beginning I created a simple pumpkin shape and then a more complicated raven, with wire feet and beaded eyes (which are hard to see in these photos) I have been searching for a fall raven buddy for some time now, and this media enabled me to create one which fulfilled my expectations. I went for a shaggy, friendly look. What do you think?
For a examples of incredibly adorable animals you can make with needle felting, check out the work of natasha fadiveeva and victor dubrovsky.
After seeing their work, I was inspired to make some gifts for family and friends. Enter the nesting hummingbird and the snowy white barn owl. I make some simple nests with eggs too, but, the little birdies were just too cute. The beaks are made with round toothpicks which I painted and glued in place.
Initially, when I decided to try felting, I went on line in search of supplies and found a woman in Pennsylvania that sells the wool from her White Romney ewe named Annie. What could be more personal and special than knowing the name of the sheep that your wool comes from. I even tried natural dying some of the wool with onion skins to add to my original pumpkin. The color came out a beautiful golden yellow, but, didn’t seem rich enough for my gourd, so I am saving it for something special. For now, I simply use Annie’s wool for creamy areas on my owls and also some organic shapes I’m playing with for use on a mobile. More on that later.
I’ve seen felting supplies at Micheal’s of all places, so I’m anticipating a surge in this artform. There are so many different applications that you can use this media for — purses, applique, miniatures, children’s toys and many others. If you want to explore, there are pin boards on pinterest or you could simply google “wool felting” or “needlefelting”. Marie Spaulding with LivingFelt has lots of videos on YouTube as well. I use their core wool for my pieces, and although I have to pick out some plant bits, I like the bulk that it has and felts very nicely for my birds.
I just added these rocks to my etsy shop today. Love the crocheted stones that some fiber people are making, but, since I don’t know how to crochet, this is the next best thing.
I also added a print and the original for this octopus piece to etsy. Most octopus always look so scared, but, this fellow is just relaxing and hangin’ out.
There will be lots more originals and prints of my art to be added soon.
My sister-in-law k, tells a story about when she was a girl and got her first pair of glasses. On the ride home in the car, she noticed, to her amazement and wonder, for the first time, birds flying in the air that she had never been able to see before. To this day, she is very fond of birds and keeps feeders and water in the yard so she can enjoy them up close on a regular basis. She is especially fond of hummingbirds, which only come to Colorado in the summer months. This little hummer is for k. Happy Birthday sister… a bit late.
My focus for that past few weeks has been drawing again. Whenever I get hung up creatively, drawing brings me back to center. I’ve had this moleskin for several years now, and it’s almost full. My next step is to paste over the pages that I don’t like with new blank watercolor pages and keep going. It’s looking pretty ragged, but, I like it. My son, C gets to sketch in it too when he needs to busy his hands at a restaurant or in the car. The fact that he has added his doodles, just adds to it for me. These are a few of my recent drawings that I wanted to share, which I created with a new micron pen set. Wish I had more colors.
Lately, I’ve been working on some great little porcelain eyeball boxes for Halloween and I’m very excited to say that I just listed them today at my etsy shop.
We have a large plate glass window in the front of our home. Although I love the light and view from the window, some of the small birds nesting around the house have made the fatal mistake of flying into the glass. I am searching for ways to prevent future bird fatalities, because it truly bothers me that these beautiful creatures are taken away. I can’t help myself though. When I find them in the driveway, I have to pick them up and study them. They are tiny and delicate and I’m drawn to them… wanting to study their feathers and leathery feet… the delicate layers of their wings.
Farewell little bird. Fly away home.
Gold finches and other neighboring animals frequent our water fountain by the front steps. This is Jake, our 12 year old yellow lab. He is such a sweet boy and really is my best friend.
Yesterday, I mentioned how green the desert was. Today, you get to see. I also forgot to mention that we were treated with incredible rainbows all afternoon long and then the sunset, oh, what a sunset! It’s been dry here in So Cal. The lightning and rain were a welcome change.
Back from a nice long weekend in Arizona celebrating my father’s 80th birthday with family. Even though the trip was short, it was a welcome break from the routine here at home of unpacking and arranging. Even the quiet two lane highway was relaxing compared to the overcrowded freeways of LA. The desert was so green from all the rain this summer and the cactus were fat with water. Check out this sunset shot I posted on instagram, which was taken on the way up from the desert floor into Peeple’s Valley. It was breathtaking and awe inspiring. My little camera phone doesn’t even come close to capturing all of the colors and depth of field that we saw with our good ol’ human eyes.
Here at home, the crepe myrtle tree in front of our house is showing off with this incredible lacey flash of magenta pink. It’s so rewarding to discover the plant species and cycles of this new yard.
In our new house, which is two stories, we have a very narrow, steep and straight stairway which cuts through the middle of the house. The steps are paved with pretty terracotta tiles, which, I’m sure at some point, I’ll break my butt on. The only source of light is a generic light fixture which hangs in the middle of the far wall at the bottom of the stairs — the style of something you might see in a closet. Although I think the people who designed and built this property did a great job overall, this particular feature of the house is a black hole. I have been contemplating what to do with the space. Because of the height of the ceiling, and the narrowness of the walls, I have decided to do some sort of mobile or hanging art installation. I came across the art of Pae West, a Pasadena native, which completely inspired me. Besides, it’ll be much more pleasant having this to look at while I lay on the steps recovering from my impending wipe out, don’t you think?