Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's an Illness I tell you ...

.. An Illness!!

I'm going on vacation for a week. At the most I'm only going to have an hour to maybe two hours in the evening before going to bed. And I'm packing projects to take with me.

Yes, Projects! With an "s" ... as in the plural!
What am I thinking? But then .. if I don't take extras with me, what if I change my mind and want to start something other than what I brought with me? That surely would be a stress-reducer, right? Then why am I so stressed trying to make sure I pull all of the fabrics and fibers I need before I leave the shop tonight? It's not like I can't run over to the shop from my house only 5 minutes away! (sigh)

I've pulled "Night Song" from Blackbird Design's "Tis Halloween" stocking collection leaflet ... you can see this one at upper right. Fabric ... check! Fibers ... check!

Then, yesterday on my way home, I had to pull everything for an oldie that I've just discovered from Ewe & Eye & Friends .. "Christmas Sock". Don't know how I ever missed this cutie .. I'm going to do him over two on 18ct Olive Green Cork linen with Weeks, Crescent & DMC Perle #5 and some Whisper thread. It'll make up that way to a 'full sized' Christmas stocking to hang from my mantle next to the wood stove! (E&E&F did theirs on 32ct linen). Love that sheep!!! And .. I now have all the materials with me at home to do him with!

We had just received the newest charts from Hinzeit yesterday afternoon and had to place a reorder today for more! In looking to see what all had to be ordered, I looked again at "Vintage Halloween Crow" .. and HAD to grab this one to stitch up too! (I must have a blackbird thing going .. but actually think it's the 'candy corn wing' that sucked me in!)
I'll frame him in the frame shown from Kay's Frames, but can't decide if I'll use the 28ct Natural Light Jobelan the designer used ... or if I'm going with 28ct Heritage from Picture This Plus instead. The hand-dyed is calling my name, but it's a bit smaller cut than what I should be using. Decisions, decisions .. I'm getting stressed again!

Good thing there's the Bristol (NASCAR) race tonight .. I can at least get a start on one of them!
Wonder if I'll actually finish all 3 or just start .. and go on to something else that attracts my eye.
ohhhh .. sparkly!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Debby Is My Name and Felting Is My Game!

Actually, now I'm "DEB" since I already have a "Debbie" working for me doing the computer emails and order stuffs .. try to cut down on any confusion, don't ya know?! Everyone still thinks I'm her and she's me and .. oh well.

When I was on my rushed trip last weekend running around the state, I picked up a couple of well-used scarves (2 for a buck, can't beat that!). I wanted to try some Nuno Felting on my own, since the last scarf (which was also my 1st ever scarf!) was made in April while I had an instructor present. Now I'm on my own.

Of course, it was a rainy part of my day off yesterday and I needed a place where I could 'stretch out' and not worry about getting everything around me wet. I decided upon the garage - put up a long table, gathered my wools and silk cap and fancy dancy ribbons and yarns, along with big sponge, pan for water, towel for me (thinking ahead for once!), and all that good stuff needed to nuno felt.
Got really hot in the garage really fast .. so opened the door up to try to get a bit of a breeze going so I could at least breathe. Nick was outside with me, running out of the garage into the rain, running into the garage out of the rain, running out of the garage .. well, you get the idea. I
finally decided to just ignore him (until he came back, not only soaked but full of burrs). Then I let him inside .. let Dave have some quality time with his dog.

This was my first project completed. The scarf started out as a white silkish LONG scarf, so I ended up 'coffee dying' it when I was through with the felting. You can't really see well here, but there are metallics running through it in some yarn as well. The image on the right shows you what the back of the scarf looks like ... all puckery and with a really neat texture look!

Then I decided that I might as well try one more. This scarf (at right) started out as one of those 1960 styles with printed leaves and flowers all over it. Much longer than the 'brown' one (which shrunk up about 30% when completed). I felted the edges (instead of allowing them to ruffle as above), and then left long pieces of wool to end up as edging trim at either side.
I covered the entire fabric with fine splotches (technical term!) of green and pale green/white wool, bits of yellow silk and some dyed green Border Leicester wooly locks. When the felting and fulling was complete, I didn't really like the way it turned out .. the locks didn't felt in as well as I wanted and were really fuzzy, popping up from the surface. So, I thought about it over night while it dried, and this morning added some glass beads to a couple of the trim ends and then started to apply some other beads ... round, square, big, small, beveled ... atop the locks that were misbehaving the most. Attached them with green hi-luster blending filament at the start .. and then when I decided I'd been swearing long enough, switched over to just regular floss. I'm not a 'glitz gal', but this little bit of glam was what saved the scarf from the trash heap.
While on vacation this next week, digging through donated used and mostly crappy stained clothing for the Humane Society's White Elephant Sale .. I'll be on the lookout for silk scarves, icky flowered silk blouses (that I can cut up!), and curtain sheers .. maybe a bit of lace too. All to be used on future projects!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writing N Felting N Vacation Time!

Back from my rushed weekend of trips up and down state. My 40th High School Reunion was held on Saturday in the backyard of one of my former classmates homes. Beautiful weather .. couldn't ask for better! Great food .. good drinks .. fantastic time seeing many I'd gone through school with and trying to sort through who's who without looking first at name tags! Pretty good .. didn't recognize some until I saw their name and then I wondered WHY I didn't recognize them - of course that's who they were! Others, as soon as I heard their voice, I knew immediately! Some recognized me .. some not right away .. only one guy didn't remember me. (HUH!!!) I'm home for the week and leave again on Monday for another trip up to Cheboygan, this one will be a week long and is considered an actual vacation for me!

Wanted to share my latest creation with you ... his name is Raleigh! He's not quite a full grown dragon yet and still has that baby cute face going for him! He stands aprox. 7 1/2" tall and is covered with hand-dyed Buffalo fleece! There are a few sparkly threads here and there that give him a more magic look. Have to admit .. I'm rather proud of him! (he wasn't a kit .. just an idea)

Bought a book on Nuno Felting for me as a gift at the Fiber Fest last Friday (as well as another Needle felting book AND a cool basic instructional book on Drop Spindle Spinning). When I was away this past weekend with all my running around, I found a couple of long silk(ish) scarves at a rummage sale, and plan on seeing what I can create with these doing the Nuno Felting. Maybe tomorrow - I'm taking one day off this week. It's supposed to rain, but I can work in the garage floor with them and still be 'outside but dry'. Otherwise, I always see what Sunday brings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

... N Things

Went to the Fenton Art At The Park on Sunday .. in 85 degree actual heat, 77% humidity, bright blue skies .. but we went. And it was sooooooo sad! The event ran Saturday and Sunday, but due to torrential down pouring ALL day on Saturday, they obviously cancelled. And there were only about 7 artisans who came back on Sunday to show. Of that, 1 had pillows, 1 had ceramic tile work, 1 glass blower .. the rest had jewelry. So .. Dave and I walked around for all of about 15 minutes, looked at some antique cars and then went home. There's always next year!

Found a new series of books to read! Semi-fantasy, The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine. Downloaded the first book on a 'whim' to my Kindle and read it cover to cover yesterday! So last night, before I went to bed, downloaded book 2 & book 3, so I could continue the series. Had to read myself to sleep .. too HOT to just try to go to sleep!

Kitties didn't really enjoy the heat yesterday either. They were insistent on going out into their 'pen' (aka the outside safe world), and while the pics of Padame look like she was content, she didn't stay out that long. Came in just long enough to get cool and catch her breath, then wanted back out again for another 3-7 minutes.

As bad as the dog .. in and out, in and out .. but at least Nick had the sense to lay quietly on the cooler ceramic tile in the front entryway .. with the exception of the couple of times he played in his 'swimming pool'. wet dog!! (we don't have AC in our house, but with the windows closed up tight for two days and nights, and with a couple of fans going, it wasn't bad inside at all ... until you tried to go to bed, that is!)

Strange .. I HAD a picture of Mocha ... but it seems to have disappeared! As soon as I figure out what happened to it, I'll post it. (she's such a pretty girl!!)

Gals are giving me 'the look' ... guess I'd better stop blogging and get back to work. It IS Monday after all!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Stitching N Things

I'm done! I finished Blue Ribbon Designs' "Americana Panorama" on 40ct Silk Gauze! That was more of an undertaking than I thought it would be .. due to my not reading the chart as carefully as I should have before starting. The leaves on the trees and the flowers (in the bird square) were a bit much! oh well .. it's done and it looks pretty durn cool!

In the second (bottom) photo, I placed the color fabric it was stitched on .. and am choosing a similarly colored matt board to use as the mounting board.

Now to start some needle felting again! I have something in mind to put in each attendee of my October A Stitchalot Weekend's goodie bag .. we'll see if that idea comes to fruition!

Sunday, Dave and I will go downtown to Fenton's Art In The Park (if it doesn't pour like the weatherman thinks it may)..that's always a fun couple of hours browsing the different artisans. Sometimes I buy, sometimes just walk around. Then next week will be my crazy drive all over Michigan weekend. Michigan Fiberfest, Cheboygan High School reunion, wedding shower in Pinconning.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stitching N Changing Colors 101

I keep forgetting to put this in my shop newsletter, so I guess this will be the place to talk about colors and designs and stuff.

Kathy wanted to stitch up Homespun Elegance's "Witches Stitch Too", but she decided to change the fabric color ... the designer did hers' on 30ct Straw Linen. So Kathy pulled all the fibers that were to be used in the design (fiber colors that would actually be 'next' to the fabric; not colors that might be 'inside the stitched design' and would not affect how they would look on the fabric all by themselves).
She chose 30ct Glen Ellyn Blend linen instead .. it had more of a Halloween-oogy-green look to it.
The only color that wasn't going to quite work was the green DMC at far left. This was the color for the Witch's face and tended to blend into the Glen Ellyn too much. So she pulled, in the same color family, a green that was 2 shades darker .. and that one will work perfectly!

If you're wanting to change colors on a design .. maybe it's a wedding design that you want to personalize the wedding colors to; or a Mirabilia fairy you want to stitch for yourself, but the colors would never go in your 'room decor' .. it's relatively easy to do.

If changing the background (the fabric color), do what Kathy did and place all the fiber colors that are going to be next to the fabric (without backstitching) to see how they look. Trust me .. your eye will let you know if they work or not!
If changing the colors in a design like the ones mentioned above, you want to either get yourself into your LNS, or grab your DMC color chart (a valuable tool!).

Now, look at the shades that are being used in the design and compare them to the same shading range on your DMC color card. This way you can see just how the color varies within the shading of that color family.

For example .. look at far right: I've marked 4 colors - 3 that are light to medium light blue and 1 that is the darkest blue in that color family. I don't want to do blue .. I want something else!
If you wanted to change to lavenders or pinks or roses, you would follow the same shading ranges within the color family you are choosing to change to.
The lightest blue in the color range you are changing from would be the equal to the lightest lavender or pink or rose in the color range you have chosen. The next two colors in the light blue family would be the very next two colors in the family you are changing to. Then, since the darkest blue is the 3rd color BELOW the other blues being used, you would choose, in your lavender, rose or pink family, the color that is the 3rd color below there as well. You now have the exact shading you were going for! Does that make sense?

You probably will find, if you're doing flowers for instance, that the greens in the leaves and stem now do not go well with your new color family. You will need to look at the colors in green you were to use and match, with your Color Chart, to the same shadings within the different color families of greens. And then, put those greens against your 'new' design colors to see how they relate to each other. Again, your eye will tell you good from bad. The chart here at right shows two greens in the medium range, so when I found how the colors in other greens ran, where they fell within that color family, I was able to find substitutions with the same degree of shading within other color families.
Hope that makes you feel more confident about changing the look of a project you've been considering!