Monday, October 31, 2011

fiber arts today; wet felting

Last year when Dillon and I were heading to Florida on spring break to check out Full Sail University, I posted on my facebook status where we were heading. A friend from New Jersey, contacted me and told me that a fellow Artfester, worked at Full Sail and that I should look her up. We hooked up on facebook and then when Dillon and I arrived in Winter Park, we met her (the sweet Cami Smith)
and her husband out one evening to get acquainted. So through facebook we've been able to keep in touch and then when I knew I was heading down this way, Dillon and I went over to her house for brownies and ice cream one afternoon. (yum) - as I explored her artsy, cool house, I spied a project on her table and inquired what she was working o
n. She works in fiber arts and she said that it was wet felting. I shared that I hadn't tried it before and thus our art day was hatched!

another Artfester, Jane, was contacted and plans were made for today. We met up around noon and jumped right into FUN! After showing us what we were going to do and how to do it, we began to work on our pieces. I decided to make a garden after seeing one of Cami's pieces.

here's Jane modeling the latest in wet felted hats or a bowl; whatever you want it to be!


here is what my piece looked like as i began the first few layers


here i am starting to add more layers and you can see my picture developing


next it gets sandwiched in
between screen netting and i'll begin the wet, soapy process of agitating the wool


here Jane and Cami are agitating and kneading their pieces


at last I am done with the wet, soapy, wringing and kneading process


i was tempted to clip some fur from Stanley and rove it into my piece!


Now i place my piece in the middle of this bamboo curtain and roll it up tight. then i begin to roll the curtain back and forth to further tighten the wool


here is my finished piece. (from this stage anyway!) now it needs to dry au natural



on a fun note, on the way to Cami's house, I stopped at for coffee and had the most incredible chance encounter. I ran into Starbucks and a nice gentleman bought me a coffee and then we started chatting. I told him I was there visiting my son who is attending Full Sail. He looks at me and says, "I'm the president of Full Sail! (of course I don't believe him and say, "no you aren't"!) Anyway, he was so sweet, gave me a big hug and said he would send dillon an email!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

glittering away

today ive been glittering 70 chipboard birdcages; another part of the kit i am assembling for Artistic Affaire in May. Dillon's patio is shiny with german glitter glass!

Monday, October 24, 2011

hello from Florida

having a great time down here in Florida, while i visit Dillon at school. he has a busy schedule, so i brought projects to keep me occupied. today i begin foil wrapping 140 pieces of glass that will next be soldered. im teaching a class in May called "The Social-lite" for Kim Caldwell's next Artistic Affaire event ti be held in Manhatten Beach, California. the theme is Breakfast at Tiffany's. we will be altering a lampshade and these soldered pieces will be the focal point of the chandelier.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bravery- repost

for those of you who asked to see it again. here is what I read at the Art-is-You Art Retreat:


 I wanted to share with you a little story  from a blog post I did last year.  I received so many emails and comments about this particular topic that it gave me pause for thought;  about how deep down, we humans are  really a lot of like. We all go through trials and tribulations. Some more than others.  And we all have a story to tell about how we carry ourselves through life.

I begin my story my sharing that last year I rented a u-haul trailer and left New Jersey to make my way to Minneapolis where i was vending at  an art retreat. Along the way, I stopped  and stay with friends to break up the drive.

As i pulled out my driveway with the trailer attached to my car, I was a little nervous.  Okay, i was a lot nervous. I was getting that queasy, knotted stomach feeling. I’m sure you know that feeling. Sure, I've driven across the United States twice alone (and once with a 14 month old baby), but I'd never pulled a trailer before. It seemed a little intimidating to me.  And I’m rarely intimidated by things.  there are things that I use to do without a thought as a younger girl,  that now that i am older, i spend more time questioning “what i am doing and  even wondering, “can i do this"? i'm not sure why or when we start to question ourselves now that we are older. but I see it again and again with other women too.

Is it because society confines us to certain rules and we get caught up thinking that we can't wear something because magazines say that "at this age, you should be dressing like this or wear your hair like that"? or is it because other people look at you and say "wow, you are crazy, i'd never do that". I do believe that society puts pressure on us to behave in a certain way and it is easy to buy into that way of thinking.

We were going to do some practicing with the trailer before we left. Me being a Virgo and a Girl Scout, I like to be organized and prepared, but alas, there was no time. My husband tried to give me some pointers as I was rushing out the door, but i too distracted to actually process them. I was nervous for a few miles as I got use to the trailer and  tried to remember some of the things that he had told me. It didn’t help that my blinkers decided not to work that day.  I started to think about what was making me so nervous and then mentally analyzed them in my head. i needed to conquer this now, or it was going to be a long drive! The more i drove, the better I started to feel. This isn’t so bad, I thought.

I think one of the reasons i was nervous was, because pulling a trailer was a first for me. However as i began to drive, it occurred to me that the other drivers did not know that i was nervous or that I had never pulled a trailer before. For all I know, they are looking at me thinking, “wow, look at that cool chick hauling a trailer”. To them, I probably look like i knew what i was doing - so i started internalizing what i like to refer to as "perceived confidence".

Growing up in the Navy and moving around every 2 years, there were many, many times that i was the “new kid”.   Do you know how hard it is walk into a new classroom with everyone staring at you as your teacher mispronounces your name yet again?  At an early age, i learned to walk into those situations with my head held high and "act" confident. they didn't know i was nervous and i certainly wasn't going to tell them.

As an artist, blogger and instructor, I come in contact with many women our age. They email me, leave me comments or confide in me. The pattern that I have seen over the years is that many women that I meet along the way have similar qualities. One of the same things I see over and over again, is lack of confidence. There is a fear to try, a fear to be heard and a fear of  making mistakes. This fear often haves them so nervous that they aren’t enjoying themselves. I’m here to ask you, what is making you so afraid? Let’s try and remove the fear and practice walking around “acting confident”. You don’t need to tell anyone your nervous just to make your fears known. Hold your head high and tell yourself that you are a strong, confident and beautiful women. Believing starts from within. It’s like that  Christmas cartoon, “just put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door”.

On the last leg of my journey back home,  as  i was saying goodbye to a friend, she said to me "you are so talented and fearless. I find it inspiring". As i hugged her goodbye, I left with a smile on face. That’s just about the best thing anyone has ever said to me.

During some of the televised events for the ten year anniversary for 9/11,  my ears perked up when i heard someone say, “Pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing”. This is so so true. When you think about it, who, but you, knows that you are pretending?
tomorrow i head out to Florida to visit Dillon. this will be the first time i've seen him since he left last month. he is doing really well, but quite busy at school. i'm so looking forward to seeing him. I'm driving down, taking the rest of his stuff that didn't make it on the first go round. i'll probably stop around the va beach area for the night before continuing on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Art-is-You 2011

Here are my pics (and a few borrowed photos as well....). Please forgive the pictures; between an upgraded firefox (hate it!) my photo enhancing program doesn't seem to be compatible and i just don't have the time to make them  "perfect". so enjoy as is.................

what can i say about this year? each year gets better and better! It's always great to see old friends and meet new ones. My friends and i made the most of it, per our usual, and had many laughs, many drinks and much silliness. There were touching moments, tears were shed and hopefully inspiration was endless.

I gave a speech on bravery, which i will share a copy of in another post. Hopefully i can find someone who took some video of me speaking. 

enjoy the pics!

and for a special treat:

slide show!