After building the half wall and fitting in my work table, I realized the wall was in my way! I took it out, and built up the beam above so I could also take out the center support post in the middle of my studio, which was in my way also.
I like this so much better, and it only took some thinking to figure our how to arrange my shelves so there is no loss of shelf space.
After removing the divider wall I had put in previously, and rearranging my supplies, I was ready for the first felting workshop in my new studio. With a heater, electricity, hot and cold running water and a microwave, we had all the conveniences of being in the house.
It was a pleasure meeting Diane and she worked on a beautiful merino wool and silk scarf using the soft felting technique. The little locks of wool she added along the edges were from a different type of sheep I dyed last season..
I decided to try my hand at felting my handspun yarn. I read about it in one of the spinning books I have. Now that I have tried it, I really like it.
First, you spin the wool. The first time I tried it I just spun just a little bit and made it into a ball, which I then felted and unspun. After that I tried making full skeins and felting them. Below, you see a full skein that is ready for felting.
To felt a skein, you put it in hot water and full it, then take it out and with soap, you lather it up and agitate between your hands. I like to fold my skein so it doesn’t get too tangled and felt it as if it were a ball.
Below is a picture of the felted skein which has not yet been unspun.
After the first felting, the skein must be unspun by turning the spinning wheel backwards and gradually moving the yarn onto the spindle while untwisting it.
This creates a beautiful and interesting texture in the felted yarn. Then the yarn must be felted again to increase its strength. Below is a picture of the final product, after drying.
The more it is felted while twisted, the more defined and interesting the texture when finished.
Below is a picture of the three stages next to each other.
Below is a picture of the first little bit I felted and unspun. All of these examples are with Merino wool.
I’d love to hear from anyone who tries this or has tried it.
The insulation you see between the rafters is a stiff foam insulation about 4 inches thick. This came from a greyhound bus station. It was given to my sister Cheryl and I after she found it online. I think she requested insulation through Freecycle. This insulation was bound for the dump but we were able to collect and use it instead.
I am very excited to be working on the designated art studio area in the cottage finally. Once this art studio area is finished I can move all my art supplies out of my very cramped living room studio and into the cottage studio.
Moving my art studio will allow me to open my home back up for family gatherings and more comfortable entertaining of friends. .
I am looking forward to decorating my house for the holidays this year 🙂
I have had a recurring dream, at least once a year, of being at high school or college, not remembering my class schedule, where my locker is, or the combination. Finally getting to my class only to find it is over, I’ve missed most of the semester, and I have not paid my tuition, or I haven’t graduated yet. I think this is often a recurring dream for many people.
Last night my “recurring” dream was dramatically different. I dreamed I was at high school. I knew my schedule. I knew where my locker was. My books were in order. I was part of the popular group of kids, which was not true in real life high school for me, and I was actually helping incoming freshmen know where to go and what to do at the school on that opening day.
As I lay in bed pondering this huge shift in my school dream, I realized it had something to do with feeling like I belonged with a group of people in a learning environment. Here’s what I believe triggered this change of perspective and also the shift in my dreaming.
On Saturday I went with my daughter to a huge gathering of the guilds (art guilds) at the Oregon Convention Center because she had a ceramic piece on display there through her high school. I decided to wear the yellow and grey outfit I made and the felted necklace I made to go with the outfit. I even put on some makeup, which I seldom do normally. I wanted to fit in and feel confident among all those accomplished artists. As I walked through and around the many booths at the convention center, I was repeatedly stopped by others who commented on my unusual necklace, telling me how gorgeous it was! I was very pleased having others appreciate my work. It was validating to me.
As I was talking with another fiber artist at her booth, she encouraged me to join the Portland Weavers Guild because it is open to all fiber artists. She suggested that I would find my tribe there. I felt so excited about the idea I went home and began researching the guild. I decided I would join.
When I dream about Trackerschool I always feel completely at home and part of that tribe. Now I have another tribe to feel at home in. I think it is interesting that Trackerschool did not change my high school recurring dreams, but meeting these other artists and being invited to join their group did.
Connections and relationships are what life is all about in my opinion!
My “Paradise Petting Farm” website is found at http://www.paradisefarm.sitey.me It is still under construction but you can see some of the things I am going to be offering.
This website, micheleballantyne.com , my WordPress site, will remain my blog place and my art place.
My “Survival Skills” website is under construction and will be for children and their families. We will have friction fire workshops, debris huts, cordage, primitive pottery, camouflage, and awareness games including capture the flag in the dark using camouflage and two camps with fire pits for the team to sit around and guard the flag. that game is all about stealth and being invisible, not about running or speed. Really fun!