Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 Blue Ribbons!!!

My Blue Ribbon Bag!!!

I got the result of the SC State Fair judging and I've gotten two blue ribbons so far. The first for the pumpkin salad felt bag and the other for a skein of yarn I had spun from one of my dyed teal and blues combo of Lincoln and Mohair spun 2 ply sportsweight. I guess I'm a better spinner than I thought I was. On my Dinosaur rug and my handspun Welsh wools original design knitted lace shawl I won't know until I go to the fair Friday with the Conagree Fibre Arts Guild to do a demo if I have any other ribbons or a mention. They only post 1st prizes on line on the fair site. This is my first ever win of anything for my crafts.

I did get some design work done today before I hit the computer. I laid the first of my designs for the RHM article out on the linen. I'm going to do an identical one on the other piece. One is going to be worked with my fiber blends of rovings and the other is going to be done with commercially available rovings. This way too I can figure out fiber amounts for the project both from my fibers to make kits and how much one needs to get from an on line store or a fiber shop. I also managed to get the central design out of the leftover linen to do a one sided stand up figure and just for grins I might do it in wool strips to see how it looks. I'm in the early stages of color planning for this and with all my dyeing done for the felt and for sale fibers I have a bunch of colors all ready done up that I have to sort through to see what amounts of each I have. I am still thinking about the border I did for the design and am still not sure whether I like it or not and whether to change it for the second one. It looks okay but I keep thinking it's not quite right. I had to come in early so I didn't get a chance to play more with it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Project--Tribal Butterfly

Okay, I'm in a better mood today. I'm checking out some possibilities with galleries and shows to market and sell my felt and rug designs. I'll see what comes from my inquires.

To make me feel better I started a new project. One of the designs that didn't sell was a Tribal Butterfly that was based on some tattoo flash I had made up a couple of years ago when I was thinking about being a tattoo artist and was apprendicing under an old biker tattoo artist for a while. I have a number of tattoos on my body, mainly ones I have done myself and I think all my children (adults) have at least one tattoo somewhere on them. To us it's art, abet a bit permanent but still art. I get some weird looks from ladies my own age locally because I guess respectable ladies don't have tattoos but to me is was another medium to try my art on.

Back to hooking-- The design is 34 x 37 with a 4" border surrounding the 28 1/2 x 30 inner design. The border is blank right now until I figure out what I'm going to do in it. Maybe either more tribal swirls or writing something about butterflies, the spirit and freedom they symbolize to me. Butterflies to me are comfort, joy, freedom, imagination let free, and a bunch of other happy feelings, doing one tribal style is adding the primitive to it, the primal, spirit of the forest, nature and just life in general to the mix of emotions I feel from the design.

It is on burlap (sorry that's all I had to work on) and I'll be hooking it in sheep fleece again. I'm continuing my experiments in it to in preparation for writing my article on hooking with fleece for Rug Hooking magazine. I still have to finish the designs for the article and submit them to my editor for final approval before beginning hooking. I still have to line up fiber for making kits for the article designs and am working on that through emails and calling.

For this design I am using some of the fibers I had carded and bagged for my show. While putting bags together I discovered I had bunches of blues dyed up, way more than I realized that I had after I went through all my different bins and tubs of fiber. These are sky blues, lavenders to medium blues and purples with touches of pinks mixed in. The main body of the butterfly will be in deep purples with touches of bright medium blues. The background will be in different shades of the blues and lavenders from very pale ice blue to a medium lavender color towards the edges. I'm using fine and primitive hooks on this. I do wish it could have been on linen or rug warp but can't buy any right now.

I still have to finish a felted vest made entirely from white mountain Welsh and Badgerface sheep. It needs a bit more wet felting and then I'll be able to add a lining. I also have the round felted rug to finish with a backing and embroidery. I had also found a unfinished dragon purse too to do in my going through my supplies last week. The dragon design is getting put on the piece of blue felt I did last month.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Depressed and Frustrated

The Fall Heritage Festival at the SC State Museum was a total bust--$6.00 and free stadium chair that someone had left behind. Just feel like all those months of non stop working 7 days a week since April have been for nought. The only rug everyone wanted my my granddaughter's Cat rug which was not for sale. People did like Walk Me dragon and the other dragons. I had WMD hung up on a long pole suspend between a step ladder and a bunk ladder so you could really see it. They loved Greenman. I had some minor interest in my crocheted purses and some in the felted ones but no sales. The only thing that sold was 2 small bags of fluff for spinning. We didn't have that large of a crowd became the local USC football had a home game at noon, and we have the big Walking With Dinosaurs show here in town. I'm not sure what other events were also going on. Very little interest in my new rug canvases. I had done up some new dinosaur rugs and some pillow sets, new angels, angel cats, tribal animal designs, abstracty type designs, snowmen, sheep, and some of the Chinese zodiac characters.

This is the worst I've ever done at at show and I needed to make some money very badly. I just feel like a total failure and that I've let my family down by not being able to contribute or pay back what I've spend in craft supplies the last couple of years to at least justify my being an artist. Maybe I had too high of hopes for this show--I dunno. I'm not even sure whether my work is good enough to continue trying to do it, especially since no one wants to buy it either as finished work or as canvases. I'm not even sure what to do with it all now as I can't afford to do another show any time soon and I'm never had any luck selling on line. The few times I've put canvases up for sale no one has been interested so I really wonder if my stuff is sellable at all? I was really hoping for a break or a miracle.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dyeing Again and Greenman

Today was spent mostly dyeing up batches of fleece for projects and to sell at the festival next weekend. I did about 9 or so big batches using my two 6 qt pans and my 12 qt pot. I started in at 8AM and quit finally around 2:30. My kitchen looks like a rainbow herd of sheep exploded. I have 2 screens set up to dry the fleece on with a fan blowing on them and had another batch outside drying too. I finally got some good deep blues and purples, along with deep greens. These are always the hardest colors to get right and I had to double dye these to get them dark enough. I started with dark gray fleeces--Navajo-Churro, Jacob, and Shetland but still had to dye them twice to get them as dark as I needed. I also took time to wash a Lincoln fleece I must have missed in previous fleece washings, and I still have another one yet to do. These are the last of the Lincoln's I got from my friend Barb in Iowa.

This is the outside batch

After the sheep dyeing and lunch I debated on starting in on the carding I still have to do to have some bags of roving for both spinning and fleece hooking but I was too wiped out physically--maybe tomorrow on the carding. I did re-frame Greenman and had started doing some work on him yesterday and decided to work on him again to day. I'm almost through with the upper left side except for one leaf. I might even get him mostly done before the show at this rate. I have promised myself that I will get him done before the end of the year. I'm still blanking out on what to do with the border. I alternate between Celtic knots, or acorns and oak leaves, and also the different names of the Greenman.