Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gearing up for Mighty Tieton

November 29 - Dec. 1  we will be at the Mighty Tieton Holiday Show.  We're gearing up with felted wool, wool balls, pin cushions, and assorted treasures.  We're really looking forward to the trip.  We've set up a 10 X 10 sales space in a spare room, and we're working on making a great display.  Each year we learn a little more about how to travel to shows, and create vibrant displays that share the thrill we get from wool felt.

Today I started with some felted orange hand-dyed wool with fringe.  We picked up the fabric from Pendleton Woolen Mills outlet store in Portland, OR.  They had bins of light-weight blanket remnants with a square-on-point pattern woven into the wool.  My Etsy partner, Finch, hand-dyed the piece a vibrant orange.  It has a wonderful mottled affect.

I played with quite a few  color combinations including this set of cream, aqua and orange.  I knew it wasn't right when Finch compared to the the colors of the Miami Dolphins.  After ruling out most of my felted wool stash, I realized another texture might be a better counterpoint to dynamic orange.  I decided to introduce cotton.  I landed on this circles print from my stash  - "Native Arts" by Robert Kaufman - and I was set.

Last week I went to the Northwest Quilt Show in Portland Oregon.  Eight hours total drive time and a couple of hours on the show floor.  But it was worth it.  The quilts were inspiring and the vendors were great.  I splurged on the  Sue Spargo book, Creative Stitching.  I was dying to give some of the stitches a whirl.  And this project created the platform.

Although the iPod sleeve was looking great with its funky fringe folded down and its wild base, my theory is "enough is never enough."  So I set to embellishing.  I love how it turned out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cat Pad

Our cat, Mieux, has a penchant for going where she should not.  That's how she came to live with us.  One morning, my friend's car, parked on the street in front of the house, had been rifled through and left in disarray.  When we popped the trunk to see what remained, out jumped a half grown kitten.  I used to think perhaps the hoodlams who ransacked the car left her in exchange.  Knowing her better, as I do now, I believe she may have climbed in of her own volition during the break in.  Any small opening has a magnetic attraction.  A split second after she spies it, she's in it!

Or on it!   Whether it's piles of felted wool waiting to be packaged, fabric grouped in a bin, or stacks of quilts out for display, Mieux knows how to make herself comfortable.  The sewing table is just about her favorite place to be....but only when I'm working.  Shooshing her off just doesn't work.  She silently slinks back as soon as I'm not looking.  I've recently decided to use to human psychology with Mieux and "redirect" her to a better place.  Her very own felted wool Cat Pad.

I asked my friend and wool dyer, Finch, for some scrap wool.  She dug deep into her recently purchased wool remnants bag and pulled out some narrow pieces that we didn't know how we would use because they were a heavier weight of wool, and filled with thread stitches joining separate pieces together.  A few days later she produced this lovely agean  blue wool felt.  I was ready to start.  Mieux couldn't wait to help.    I improvised using the characteristics of the pieces.  There were dye lot labels that read "BE", spiky fringe, and lines of white joining stitches.  To this I added a few kitty instructions to BE PLAYFUL and BE SLEEPY.

Sometimes,  Mieux uses her cat pad. 
And sometimes, Mieux still goes where she should not......