Sunday, September 27, 2009

Glow Sheep Bag done!l

Glow Sheep bag is done. I got it whipped into place last night and did the sewing on it and the lining plus 2 pockets done today. What I love about it is that the purples in the felt match the purples in the sheep which was hooked in early spring. The felt was made earlier this month during my felting frenzy out of a combo of black Shetland, Jacob, brown Icelandic, dyed Karakul and Lincoln then carded and blended on my carder into big batts. I was aiming for close to dark purple and managed to achieve it happily. The darker colors are the hardest ones to do especially with the food and cake dyes and I have to overdye and blend with the natural dark colors of the sheep breeds to get dark colors. Navy blue is the hardest color to get along with deep reds.

I used a piece of tie dyed ctton in bright blue, purples and greens for the lining and added a large and small pocket to the inside. I had to make 2 small handles about 1" wide because of what fabric I had left and to make sure they were solid and sturdy. I forgot to measure the finished bag but estimate it to be about 18 x 24--good size for carrying projects. If it doesn't sell I might keep it for myself.

I'm going to try and get the cats paw runner done. I got the the stuff out of it and had to make up a batch of black strips as I used up all I had cut on dino rug. I may try to get some more done on Greenman before the show but doubt that I will get it completed before the show.

Tomorrow I'm going to start work on new designs and mats to sell at the festival, then look at what I can put together out of my fabric and fleece stashes for kits. Now if I can come up with hooks between now and then for kits and demoing.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Here Be Dragons Finished!!!!

Finally today I got Here Be Dragons Welcome mat finished. It measures 29 x 28 and is hooked in old t-shirt cottons from some of my favorite tie dyed t-shirts and some black ones. I say farewell to my favorite blues and lavenders swirl shirt, my Con-Cat sci-fi convention 1989 shirt, and a burgundy and purple pocket T. This was done on rug warp with a Black Peaches and Creme cotton yarn to make it 100% washable.

Also finished today the linings and final finishing on 3 felt bags. Now I'm working on the Glow Sheep insert and making it into a bag. Only 2 weeks to go until the festival and I'm hoping I can get everything done.

I got some more burlap to do canvases for sale at Hobby Lobby. I wish I could offer better backing fabrics but I was lucky to be able to buy 9 yards of fabric today @ 1.99 a yard. It was a choice between fabric and putting money on my cell phone. Fabric won out. I really hate being this broke where 20.00 is a lot of money to me. I am praying very hard that some of the things I'm creating will sell at the festival as we need the money so badly. I am hoping too that I get at least one commission to do a rug. It won't solve our problems but it'll at least help. I'm good at creating things, I'm just not that great at making money with them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pumpkin Salad bag finished

I got my Pumpkin salad bag finished Sunday complete with cotton burgundy and small black check cotton lining with added pockets. It measures 19 x 22 and is designed to carry large projects. It's going in the SC State Fair.

Out of the rest of salad fabric I got 2 more bags I have to put linings in.

Canteen bag 12" round

Medium size tote bag 14 x 16

Other felting projects--

Spiral Gray rug 36 x 36 done in all natural colors Karakul fleece

Glow sheep bag in pre sewing progress

A blues and purples piece I haven't figure out what it's going to be yet

And today I finally got the outer border finished on dino rug and will be spending tomorrow whip stitching the edges and giving it's final finishing--yeah. It's going in the SC State Fair. I decided on it because it's all original rather than Walk Me which has some problems on it's braided border which didn't come out as well as I hoped it would as my braiding still has a ways to go and WM is based on one of my cross stitch patterns. I was also afraid that WM would freak the fair people out because it's a fantasy dragon and this is the Bible Belt South--dragons don't go over very well here with mainstream SC folk. I figure WM will do better with me at the Heritage Festival since it is in front of the SC State Museum and gets more art lover and open minded people coming to the festival. I have lots of run in with locals with my paintings over the years so I tend to air on the side of caution when presenting any of my fantasy art work locally.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Felting and making bags

It's raining today off and on for the next couple of days so I'm glad I got a bunch of the felting done when I did. Today I am making bags out of the felt done so far. First is a bag using a pumpkin with cats paw background I hooked for a Rughookers Yahoo Groups swap as an insert in a bag from the "salad" piece of felt. I got it inserted into the felt last night and have to sew up the sides and add a lining and handles to it. There's enough left over for a second bag without an added insert. The pumpkin one will be going in the SC state fair. Still haven't decided which rug is going in the fair yet. I've only got to the 7 or 8th of October to get stuff in for it. Then the Fall Heritage Festival is the 10th, with a demo at the state fair on the 16th, and finally SAFF in Asheville, NC at the end of the month.

I really hope I make some money at the festival as I need to get backing fabrics for my projects, especially for the RH mag ones--I'm out of everything and there is no money right now for anything--really. Playing this month's bills is scary. I don't use credit cards or charge anything so if I don't have cash on hand I can't buy anything. I'd rather not have than have a massive credit card dept I can't pay off. If I didn't have stashes of fiber and other things I wouldn't be able to do anything at all. I hate being this broke but it does force me to be even more creative and inventive with what I do have.

I have 2 more hooked pieces to add to purses-- my glow sheep done last Spring and a hooked dancing star. Still deciding if I need to make more felt before I put up all my equipment and fleece.

My article on hooking with fleece is a go with Rughookers Magazine, I will be doing a small oval rug for it and be doing a step by step instruction for the fleece hooking and it will come out next fall sometime. I feel very honored that they are letting me do this and hope my article will get more people to try using fleece in their hooking.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This weekend and part of the week is for felting. I've run out of all the hand made felt I had made up and have been having to make up new batches for my purses and other stuff. I haven't done this in almost 2 years as I didn't have studio space or room to do it. We've been eating over the shop as the kitchen is full of fiber, dye pots and plastic for the floors. I'm dyeing up batches of fibers for both the felting and for my fleece hooking. I've used up a lot of my colors already on projects and am also out of a bunch of shades so I'm doing both the felting and dyeing at the same time to minimize the mess.

Yesterday I got one 30 x 8 foot piece of purse fabric done, though it might end up a shawl. Have to see how light weight it is after it dries fully. I'm calling it Fall Salad as it looks like a fiber salad before and afterwards.

It started out as going to be all dark browns and I started getting low on what I had to work with brown wise so I carded up some miscellaneous fall sort of colors and layered them on top then started adding more and more until I had a sort of fiber salad going. It used Jacob, Black Welsh Mountain, Black Shetland, and Icelandic for the browns, Lincoln, Karakul, Columbia, Merino, Jacob, Icelandic and Shetland for the colors. It took most of Friday to layer and card up enough to have the thickness I needed for the felt. Then it was about 4-4 1/2 hours doing the actual felting. I'm a bit out of shape on this so it took longer than I usually take. I now have a table to work on where as before I was felting on the floor for large pieces like this. The table is better for my back but I was still exhausted and hurt a bit after I was through doing this. At 59 I am really starting to feel my age and what is scary is that I'm in better physical shape than some of my kids.

Here's the finish piece. I'll try to get shots of the backside tomorrow.

I'll be doing a purples and blues piece tomorrow and try to layout a green one, maybe to do a another greenman bag. I also need to make up some fabric for my swap circle project as I will be doing it into a tote bag like I did the Ravens. The felt I just made was going to be for that but I'm not sure if it will work now.

Sheep rug is finished as a hanging now. I got the straps and rings on it. One project down upteen to finsh and time slipping away.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Patterns For Sale

If anyone is interested I have 2 of my snowmen canvases for sale right now on The Welcome Mat under Yard Sale.

The original version as a handpainted needlepoint canvas back in '95

I have my Barbarian Snowman (42 x 38) on JoAnne Fabrics sage green burlap. Has 4 to 5" margins. It's designed for either narrow or wide cuts. It is based on a needlepoint canvas I did in mid 90's, that later got translated into a cross stitch design for Stitcher's World magazine in 1989, along with an original design for a female Viking snowlady? The original did not have a background so I have added a snow barbarian horde landing on a sea shore with their long ship in the background and a sea serpent. Great for a kid's room (this was going to be for one of my grandson's but don't have time to do it and can always make it again). It was created when I was doing a big order for a needlepoint shop and had done one too many cute snowman, I also have snow ghosts, snow vampires, snow Frankinsteins, snow Cthulthu's, snow TV stars, and other snow characters. Will gladly give color suggestions and help as needed on this. $55.00 plus shipping to your zip, Paypal only or will trade for backing fabrics.

Done as a needlepoint canvas in '96

My Patchwork Snowman pattern drawn on monk's cloth. It was designed to be a large stand up figure aproximately 15 w x 24h. It has a 3 to 4" margin on each side. I would recommend narrow to medium cuts 4's to maybe 7 cuts. I can also provide coloring guides for this or make suggestions. The design is based on one I did for handpainted needlepoint canvases in the 90's and was later translated into cross stitch patterns for Stitcher's World magazine to be part of the Snowman Tree skirt in 1997. $40.00 plus shipping to your zip. Paypal only or will trade for backing fabrics.

Just email if you are interested at

I finally got my knitted bag with hooked sheep pocket finished today. The yarn for this was all done by me from a couple of different breeds of sheep, and the fleece was dyed first, carded into different color batches then spin. I made the pattern up as I went along and was knitted on wooden straight 11's mainly while I was in Wales. Then I sewed the bag and threw it into the washer and dryer to felt (several times as some it refused to felt up--Tunis and Suffolk do not felt very well). I was not really happy with the results because the handle was too long and not right and I couldn't figure out what to decorate it with--it really needed something so put it up for almost 2 years. I came across the bag and my little test sheep done in all fleece on burlap done last Fall and it finally clicked together. The sheep looked great on the purse and I hadn't figured out anything else it could go on. The sheep needed it's edges finished and I found some leftover of the green yarn from the purse so I just did a simple whipped edge. I was just going to sew the sheep on the bag but then saw it was just the right size for a pocket. I found some dyed teal with colors close to the yarn and sewed it to the backside of the sheep, then I whipped and sewed the three sides to the purse to make a pocket on the front.

The handle I took loose from the bag carefully as I had really sewn and whipped it on there. I cut out segments from each end of the strap, found some wooden rings and made loop on each end of the strap. I took the leftovers I had cut off from the strap and reattached them to the purse and to the rings. It had shortened the strap to the right length and looked way better than it had. It has a 2 button closure. I didn't line the inside of the bag and am still debating whether it needs lining or not. This is definitely a one shot purse as I really knit then felt.

Later today I am going to get the raven bag done. I found a large piece of teal wool which I may or may not dye==still debating on that--for the back of the sheep rug. There's also enough to put either a sleeve on do straps for hanging. Then I'm trying to figure out what to do with the small "Glow" sheep 11 x 14 and one of my finished stars 8 x 8. Might have to create some new felt for them as all I have left unused is a very hot pink piece for a purse with a pick speckled end which won't work with either of the hooked pieces. I'll figure something out. This week is get all the almost done projects done before starting on new ones. Though yesterday I did lay out some new designs on some monk's that may be going in an article for RHM next year on fleece hooking.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Project--Snowman

New Project this week one of my snowmen adapted from my cross stitch and needlepoint designs. I started him Saturday the 29th after I got through with the sheep rug. It's not as far along as I had hoped it be because of staying over at my daughters and helping with the three grandkids. She's recovering very well and is almost back to her normal self.

The snowman is all in fleece on burlap and has a matching back that will get hooked too to be a standup figure. This will be my first one. I'm doing him in xmas colors for my display at the Fall Harvest Festival Oct 10th. I decided to do him with cats paw circles instead of patchwork or swirls as I have done some of my other snowmen. I've already got some mini snowman drawn out to hook too. And I have been playing around with some more Vogee dolls too since Halloween will be coming up too. Now that I'm home I'm hoping I can get his front hooked up by Sunday and start working on his backside.

Right now I am debating between putting either the Dino rug or Walk Me in the SC State Fair. I have to drop off my entries Oct 7-8, so I'm debating which needs to go in the Festival and which needs to go into the fair. Any opinions?