When this blog first began, it featured all things quilty and was titled Art From The Heart. Years go by, interests morph, horizons expand, and all of a sudden you realize you are a quilter, yes...but also a spinner, weaver, knitter, crocheter, mixed media, fiber artist. The art is still from the heart, but the new name reflects my excitement with all things fiber! It's Fantabulous!
I awoke this morning, just predawn, and lay there quietly 'coming to'...when the final line of a poem flowed through my mind. I knew it was from 'Hyacinths For The Soul', (title I knew it by) but was curious as to its real title and correct wording for it has been years since I memorized this poem. I went onto the ever illuminating www. and found what I was looking for.
If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft And of thy simple store two loaves of bread alone are left Sell one, and with the dole, Buy hyacinths to feed the soul. James Terry White, In Saadi’s Rose Garden, 1907 (inspired by 1300's Persia writer, Saadi’s)
I think the 'message' applies to art and creativity today. And I am sure my memory shoved this poem to the forefront after a conversation I had with an artist just a couple of days ago.
She was sighing about the 'good ol' days' when she was painting large pieces, selling for $2500 a piece, and it was no unusual occurrence to sell $10,000-$15,000 worth at a large show. Now, she says, the economy has made it a tough sell for a small piece at $25. That got me started thinking on how the first classes cut from the curriculum in schools with ever shrinking budgets are art and music-the Hyacinths that feed the soul.
Yes, we all have to eat, clothe our bodies, pay the rent and endless bills...but sometime today, get out the tools of your art and create a garden of food for your soul.
Hidden Talents' owner, Sally Rose H., has invited Bell, Hook and Spindle, Lindy Weber (me!) to 'move in'!
Hook and Spindle is in the process of setting up a woolly, spinning,
fiber art supply mini-shop in the 'Back Room' of Hidden Talents! Come and
I will be putting in place all the stock currently available on the cyber Bell, Hook and Spindle; wool in all its glorious forms-roving, batts, Bling Batts, yarns, needle felting supplies and kits.
Thread flower kits, Warm and Natural batting by the yard, PFD 100% cotton yardage for dyers, dyeing kits, thread for thread painting
and the photo canvas, woven interfacing (my preference), a few batik bolts (to start with), adding in antique buttons
and rick racks and assorted embellishment elements.
I know I am missing something...or somethings! As I build up the store stock I will add to this post. If you are ever in the area, stop, come in and check out the 'back room' which will be Bell, Hook and Spindle's earthly home for now!
Today is a Saturday. A Saturday on which I am scheduled to teach a 'Know your fibers & De-icking Wool' class up at Hidden Talents. I am also looking forward to attending the bi-weekly meeting of the spinners/weavers guild, which includes our usual potluck. And, this past Thursday I had a woolly student come to my home to learn to dye wool with food grade, commercial acid and natural source dyes. Which of course gets me itching to dye again.
So, up at 5 a.m., by 9:30 a.m. I have space dyed a half pound of merino wool, baked 4 dozen molasses crinkle cookies, got the pot of multi-bean soup/chili cooking and continued yesterday's washing and drying of laundry. I tell you this, because I cracked myself up with the number of times I was adding spices to the chili and found my hand hovering over the dye vat on the front stove burner. Caught myself every time, but some calls were closer than others!
Even though I had the microwave timer going for the dye vat, I would also have the microwave going to reheat my latte' and the stove timer was called upon to monitor the cookie baking progression. Whew!
I am ready, ready, ready to go have some fun with wool today!
Have a good one yourself!
I continually look for 'good deals' on fiber new to me...I want to try everything at least once, so I know what I am talking about! My latest purchase is Perendale/Romney blend, advertised as a great fiber for beginning spinners and for felting. I will buy more for felting, because I had too much fun spinning these fibers. They spin into an appealingly rustic looking yarn, which inspired the packaging I chose to showcase them.
I love the wonderful 'chain of events' that can spark my creativity. In this case, a friend of mine, has a friend of his, who has a simple sawmill set up where he makes planks for projects (or something!). He gives all his odds and ends to my friend, who saws them into even smaller bits, then uses them for kindling for his work shop stove. He has the loveliest stack of artistic firewood right outside his garage. Lindy lusted for those bark encrusted bits of wood. He generously let me paw through the pile. And here is the end result!
And the pin cushion creation shows no immediate signs of slowing down, let alone stopping. Here are the latest two.
I learned this descriptive phrase while reading the memoir 'Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet' by Catherine Friend. (you don't have to be a fiber freak to read, enjoy and laugh out loud at this book!)
I was recently gifted with a bag of American Bison 'fluff'. Being a granddaughter to a woman who raised two kids and a husband extremely frugally during the depression era, and the only daughter of that frugal grandmother raising me to be equally frugal, it comes as no great surprise that I will say yes to pretty much anything free...and I love trying out exotic fibers anyway!
The reason bison/buffalo fluff is so expensive? Woman hours I would think, sheer number of woman hours to clean it.
Okay, I have some consideration for my audience and refrained from taking pix of the sink full of buffalo, mud, grass, tick seed, cheat grass, alfalfa stocks and leaves and what all else was in that wool. Suffice it to say, YUCKY! But the pic above shows the buffalo drying after several soapy soaks and rinses.
The fiber got carded, which helped fling out some more debris, then spun from the batt. Rustic and lovely!
Then I spun some super soft Shetland and sat down to attempt my first 2 ply...
Uneven, thick and thin, truly a beginner spun skein- but I am ecstatic! That is what makes me a fiber freak!
It is becoming apparent I will needle felt a pin cushion out of anything that doesn't outrun me-even teensy cute little baby shoes!
This cushion embellished with girly lace...
And this one has tatting. 'Ship's Wheel' is what my Grandma Wilson taught me. I can still tat that if I take the time to think it through, but I never did get beyond the one pattern.
And I was able to spin the nasty wool I told you about yesterday. The problem seemed to be really heavy lanolin, so I soaked the wool in warm sudsy water (twice), hung it to dry and tried again this morning. Still heavy with lanolin! (Only soap and hot water got it off my hands) And this, after the original owner had dyed and bathed both the Merino and her Shetland...hmmm... So, though I will use it for mermaid hair, it hangs a little lank, even though over spun into highly energized yarn!
Sally, owner of Hidden Talents Art Supply, and I have the March calendar pretty well nailed down. I will let you know here if something changes.
I am gearing up, making 'things', for The Vintage Faire (April 27, 2013 at the Okanogan Fairgrounds). So, here are the latest artistic wool creations-
Needle Felted Nest
Spring and Robins will come again, won't they?
Basket Pincusions and nest
Easter will be here soon!
More woolly pincushions ready to be finished.
And these are my newest idea. Mini clay pots holding needle felted pin cushions.
At our last Spinning/Weaving guild meeting a member handed me a bag of this wool. She had purchased some Merino wool, at a price 'too good to be true' that was horrid.
She tried to fix it by blending it with her own delightful Shetland's wool, but was still unable to get it nice enough to spin. "Here!", she said. "You can needle felt it or use it for stuffing! I don't care. At least it will get used for something!"
So, I teased it mercilessly and sent it through Greta. I think I can get an art batt out it. And if I CAN spin it, it will make marvelous mermaid hair!