Reflecting on Materials

wool roving

My studio

I KNOW there are a lot of art junkies out there just like me! I think one of my greatest fears is that when I die? …that’s the day my family will discover what an art supply junkie I really am! One of my favorite things is to hang out in my studio on a lazy day (I agree – sometimes it’s hard to remember what those are!), and not really even create anything.  I roll the balls of merino wool back and forth between my hands and just imagine how they would look and feel felted dramatically into a lavish creation that, in my mind, is already complete.  I might drape the silks over my arms to luxuriate in their texture, or lapse into daydreams filled with memories of how my favorite cotton batiks came to find a home in my studio  (…Was this from that little shop on the Kenai Peninsula when we had to stop to find a bathroom?  How about that one from Charleston? Or maybe it was a gift from my daughter when she went to Hawaii and hunted all over the island for a quilt shop for me…?)  Whatever the daydream, reveling in the colors, the books, the textures – it’s all just heaven and the perfect way to wile away an afternoon while those sparks of inspiration ignite in my head.

Sometimes it’s not all about the process, but just appreciating the delicious bounty of what you can work with to kickstart your imagination. Maybe…just maybe, my fear of discovery will keep me living long enough to create all those pieces I see in my mind’s eye…

Embellishing a felted blanket

Humboldt Journey


Today’s the day! I’ve assembled all my metallic threads and painted silk medallions in preparation for completing my piece, “Humboldt Journey.”   This is my 2nd favorite part of a project, after the initial excitement of diving in – adding the frosting that ties all the elements together.

What I love especially about felted projects is that they are reversible and you can create a counterpoint to your main theme on the back or inside, that will further emphasize the ideas you are expressing.   Machine applique and free motion quilting are two surface design elements that can add even more drama to your textile project and take it to still another level.  This added detail is a great complement to the felting process, allowing you to express another viewpoint in tandem with your main concept.

Shiva Paintstiks are easy to use and are essentially oil paint in a crayon form.  Their versatility allows you to achieve so many vibrant effects on materials you might not even consider painting on.  They are permanent and color-fast when applied properly.  Here is a link to a video made by Dharma Trading Company that describes them in detail.