Monday, March 29, 2010

No Picture Day

I had a bird all ready to show you, took the pics, plugged in the camera card reader...and nothing. Jiggled the connections, took out the card, reinserted it, replugged the reader...nothing. So now I am waiting for Mr. Real Photographer to come home from work and show me (again) how to connect the camera up to the computer directly, and I guess that is how I will show you pictures for a while.

Anyhow, here's a link to the info from Cornell on the yellow warbler, the bird I was all ready to show you.

I took most of this weekend off from felting work. We did a bunch of work around the house on Saturday, and I planted the raspberry canes I got from Marlene at my co-op. Well, first I double-dug the trench, and sifted the soil of the millions of rocks that sit 6 inches under the surface here. I was immensely gratified to learn that there actually is a limit to the rock layer and there is soil under it. Is anyone planning on building a rock wall anytime soon?

Yesterday I got to be silly and ooh and aah over baby things at a baby shower, and then came home to watch the Return of the King with The Boy, who's not been feeling well this past week.

I'm back at it today, chugging away at that braided rug - it's now 22" wide. I'm aiming for 48" so I'm almost halfway there.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Food Waste Friday and more

I'm happy to say that this week there was no food waste! I was inspired by reading Frugal Girl to use up all the bits and pieces in the fridge. I made what my mother used to call a "Mama' Mess", combining a fresh cauliflower that I roasted with a stuffing I made from a lot of bits of leftover bread, biscuits and muffins, and I even threw in a leftover sweet potato that was threatening to live in the fridge for the next month. Topped it with melted cheese and it was really good!

On the felting front, I needed to make a bird with color so today's bird is an eastern blue bird. Click here to connect to Cornell for info and to hear its song.

Works in Progress

I've got a couple of long-term projects going. Here's how the commissioned braided rug is looking today:

And I'm working on a new Green Man in fall phase. I've got a bunch of leaves felted - here they are:

I'm about ready to start shaping his face after I make a few more leaves. I think I need more reds, and maybe a little more dark green.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

White Throated Sparrow

Yesterday I posted a song sparrow. When I was researching its song on the Cornell site, I double checked that I hadn't confused the song sparrow with the white throated sparrow. I hadn't - but was reminded how much I love the white throated as well. I've only seen one up close once, but I still remember it (I was doing dishes and it was foraging in the leaves outside my window). Here's its song from the Cornell Lab. I hope you check out the Cornell site - it's quite wonderful if you're a birder, probably even more so if you're an amateur like me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Song Sparrow Returns

Yesterday when I went for my walk in the park, I was thrilled to hear that the song sparrows have returned. Their song is, for me, the essence of spring and summer. I think that's because the first time I was ever aware of them was on a vacation with my parents on the Cape. We were walking to breakfast one morning, and there was a song sparrow singing its heart out (or defending its territory) on the post of a fence that was supporting a blossom-covered rose bush. You can hear a song sparrow's song here, at the Cornell Ornithology Lab website. It's a wonderful site with all kinds of birding information. You'll need to click on the "song" button.

If you'd like to see more of my felted song sparrow, you can go to my Etsy shop.

I was excited to hear on Saturday during my walk that wood-pewees have returned, too. I don't felt them as they are rather dull colored, but I love their cute little call of "pee-a-wee". Here's a picture. I tried to paste it in, but I don't think blogger will let me do that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Food Waste Friday

I've taken to reading The Frugal Girl and every Friday she takes a photo of the food she's not used in the past week and had to throw out. I don't have a photo, but I bet you can all picture a banana gone way past its time...

I'm going to a baby shower this Sunday and last night as I was drifting off to sleep I was thinking about the gifts I will bring. I have a red cashmere ski hat with a white pom pom (made from recycled sweaters, of course), and a felted ball. I like to make the wrapping a useful part of the gift, so I think I will make a couple of flannel burp cloths to wrap the hat and ball in, and put it all in a basket. I also like to make things as "green" as possible, so I'll look to see if I have any nice flannel I can recycle; if not, I'll get some new soft flannel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bunny Time

I've had bunnies on the brain lately. I try really hard not to market things for Easter, as I'd like to have one holiday that's not all commercialized. We don't even do much with the Easter bunny at our house, other than to have our real Mr. Bun help deliver the baskets on Easter morning. All that said, I just feel like making bunnies lately.

I really like this view.

For the next one I want to card some gray wool in with this color and see if I can get the color of the Eastern Cottontails that live around here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring into Summer

Yesterday after I posted my Green Man, someone commented that I needed a Green Goddess to go with him. Well, she's rather pink, but here she is. She's quite old (made her a few years ago) so she's a wise woman. I was thinking of the abundance of the berry harvest when I made her; thus her name, Spring into Summer.

We used to have 2 rows of raspberry bushes at the back of the property where we lived, and we picked berries to eat, and berries to freeze, and we even made raspberry juice one year (it was so good!). The fingers used to get so pink! That's the reason for her pink skin.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Man

I think I've posted a picture of this guy before...but I am so excited about all the green things popping up that I just needed to put him up again. He's needle felted onto a backing made of a recycled sweater; each leaf was individually felted and then felted on to his face, and then the details were added.

I'm working on two big projects right now: the braided rug I've mentioned before, and a green man in Fall tones. So far the Fall Guy is just a few leaves, but I can't wait to see more of him develop.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chippy's Awake

It seems each year when our chipmunk comes out of hibernation I need to make at least one to celebrate. So here's this year's needle felted spring chippy.

If you'd like to see more views of him, and you're on Ravelry, look for my notebook under my Ravelry name, thanksforwool. Or you can see him in my Etsy shop.

It's been raining here for almost 3 full days. The streams are just about full and so are the wetlands. They say it'll be nicer tomorrow. I hope so ~ I want my walk, and I don't do much walking in the rain!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flowers and Booties

Today's work is to load a bunch of stuff into my Etsy shop. I have a number of baby booties made of reeaally soft fibers: angora, cashmere and, if you will believe it, possum fur. I found this really soft sweater, and it was made of New Zealand lambswool and possum fur. It's really fuzzy and amazingly soft.

The slippers above are made of lambswool and angora. I call the pattern "Elfkin Booties" because that's what I think they look like. They never fail to elicit squeals from any female who sees them. : )

One of the flowers....

These are the booties made with possum fur.

Another flower, made of angora, so it not only has soft colors, it's really soft to the touch, too.
If you'd like to see more, check out my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finding New Paths for Old Things

Lately I've been a conduit for materials. I have some scrap booking friends who gave me tools and papers they were no longer using, thinking that the Boy would have fun with them. He wasn't interested, so I asked my food co-op if anyone would be interested, and I had a couple of takers.

With my husband's mom's death, there have been many, many things traveling through. Dad is still going through her clothes, which have found a happy home at Southington Social Services. Last week he sorted through her sewing room and brought over several boxes and bags. I'm keeping threads, sewing elastic, and some delicious Icelandic wool as well as flannel fabric. Someone from my co-op will take all the odds and ends, like hooks and eyes, laces and trims. There were about 50 zippers, and I've listed those on Etsy to see if other crafters are interested in using them.

I try to recycle everything when I cut up clothes to make them into other things. When working on a rug and cutting up coats and skirts, I save the linings, zippers and buttons. I use the buttons and hand the linings and zippers on to others who will use them. And I've already told in past posts how I use all of a sweater when it gets cut up.

Don't throw anything away if it still has life in it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Weekend's Work

Here's what I've felted over the past couple of days. I've done them mostly with my right hand, and my left arm is very happy with me for that. The felting with my right hand is getting quicker and a little more exact, and I'm very happy with that.

On Saturday I had the NOFA winter conference here in CT. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, meet new friends, and to go to a couple of the workshops. I had a beautiful spot for my booth by big windows, and I was able to soak in a bunch of sunshine. I was thrilled to see that folks like the slippers and skirts I've made. I'll be making more~

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creative Explosion

This week I feel like something exploded inside me, and I'm making things that I've thought of before, but never got to doing. Maybe all that letting it sit and perk inside me has come to fruition?
So anyway, here are some more slippers. I'm still experimenting around with weights and feltedness of sweaters before I put the slippers in to wash/felt. These came out a lot smaller lengthwise, and wider than I had hoped.

I've had a number of visitors to my booth suggest that I make wool longies for babies and little ones. For some reason (like I couldn't figure out how to do it from sleeves the way they said) I haven't tried. Amazingly (lol) I was able to find instructions - easy ones- on the internet. Who'd'a thunk? So here's my first try. The red ones are made from sleeves.

This green pair is made from the body of the sweater and I like how they came out funkily wide-legged. Some hippy child will probably like them!

Next is a bag from an amazing sweater. I had to buy this sweater, the cable pattern was so awesome. And I knew it would become a bag. It didn't come out as wonderfully as I had pictured, but I'm happy enough with it.

Here's a closer view so you can see the pattern.

Next is a market bag made from a sweater that felted up realy thick and sturdy, yet big enough to make a big bag. That's a happy thing.

I've also done a little needlefelting, too.

Today I'm off to the Billings Forge market, and I need to label all this stuff. Saturday is NOFA's Winter Conference - really looking forward to that!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another New Way to Play

So many of the women who see my sweater skirts for little girls have said, wistfully, "Can you make them to fit me?" that I began to really think about how it could be done. All of the little girl skirts I make are made from just one sweater, and for the most part that isn't workable for adults. So here is a way to make it work - the gored skirt. Each of these panels is made from the sleeve of a sweater.

The waistline is made from the bottom of a sweater and has an elastic waist band inserted to give it a little bit more stretch.

Another great way to recycle!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Double Recycled Sweater Pillow

My box of scraps was full and the overflow looked like a pyramid! It was time to make a pillow. I chose a wool/angora/nylon blend (recycled sweater), so it's really soft and cushy. It's stuffed with woolly scraps, and feels nicely solid. Even the flower is made from scraps, and the button is from an old sweater. Once, twice, three times recycled.