What did I do this summer vacation?

As any student and teacher knows, each fall offers a chance to review what one did over the summer months. What adventures came my way?  How did I use those days to further my craft? What did I do exactly?

Normally I can’t explain what I did. Days flow into other days; books read pile up on the floor or are pushed onto book shelves with too many other books.  I count how many days I went swimming or how many friends I saw for lunch. . .

But these days, no longer a teacher, I get to think over my work.  So this is a kind of retrospective out loud–a kind of retelling what I did do– to the blogosphere. How did I grow? What did I learn? Where am I going from here?

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The above picture shows most of the most I did this summer minus a few key pieces.

One piece–Back to the Garden– is in the member’s exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum.

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That piece is my favorite because I worked at it with a variety of fiber skills: neeflefelting, nunofelting the flowers beforehand, embellishing with beads and embroidery. I went outside my comfort zone. It is also felted rather than nunofelted. It is light but sturdy and has a beautiful backside. See?

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What I learned from that work motivated me to try capturing images in felt.

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I loved the colors here and the way the felt moved the figures to make them dance.

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I knew that my work was changing when I started grabbing colors and different textures and testing them out in Summer Garden. With bits of silk, wool,  sari silk, handspun, locks, and-dyed cheesecloth, beads–a fiber artist’s palette– all placed on the table with just the concept in mind, I created my garden.

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I turned the scarf into a vest with felted in loops and vintage buttons and a practical garment was born. This vest was bought by a fb follower just hours after posting!

From there I experimented with art batts from Louise Player of Spincity UK who mixes together wonderful fibers into beautiful batts. Felters, check out her Etsy site!

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This came from one of Louise’s batts.

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This is another I called “Dark Night” that I turned into a vest with a horn button. It is nunofelted.

As I became more confident,  I just started playing with other wool fiber such as coldswold.

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Cotswold is rare in the US and possesses a beautiful curley texture. It is heavier than merino so it is better suited for colder climates but the texture is lovely– youthful, cozy. I love the feel of it.

I dyed my own cheesecloth for nunofelting to deepen the color and lighten the garment. It captures the wool in a supple way.

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I have experimented in other ways: some that didn’t work such as the tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric design that just wouldn’t cooperate.

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This is the unfelted version. The felted version?  Better left unseen.  But mistakes and other oddities happen as one expands into the unknown.

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This is such an oddity. I tried a different shape. I may have rescued it with embellishment but we will see.

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Also the court is out on the two faced scarf made with the base of a prefelt.  I am not sure I like prefelts. The lime colored one is my first. We will see.

So, what did I do for summer vacation?
A lot of exploring, trying to capture images and dreams, learning to work with different fibers—and just having a lot of fun doing it!  Thank you as a reader for indulging me as I write myself into understanding what I learned.http://www.facebook.com/pullofthemoondesigns

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