Where has the year gone? It has been almost a year since my last post. A lot has happened since then! Lets see...
Last May, after 14 months of unemployment, my husband started working in Bessemer, Alabama as a foundry engineer. This was a difficult transition for us. I went to visit in August, and then again in November for our 24th wedding anniversary. We did something extra special. We drove to Destin, Florida to the Henderson Park Inn for a lovely weekend getaway. We had a beautiful room overlooking the water. When we arrived, it was late evening. Paul, having been landlocked for the last six months, just couldn't help himself. "Honey" he said. "I have to go to the beach, now!" Even though there was only a half moon, he went down to the water's edge for a late night walk. And yes, my husband came back with a pocket full of shells that he managed to find on the snow white sands in the dark!
Paul came home at Christmas, and of course, his "girls" were very glad to see him! And he was very glad to see his girls! (And even me!)
Last fall, my sister commissioned me to make her a felted handbag to be inspired by Georgia O'Keefe's iconic Poppy paintings. This was a dream project for me. The bag itself was knitted and fulled. Fulling is felting by way of shrinking in the washer. Remember when you accidentally shrunk your favorite wool sweater when it was put into the laundry hamper by mistake? This is a form a felting! The large poppy flower was made of wool roving, wool fibers before they are spun, felted with a barbed needle over a hat form. The petals were
then wet felted with an electric sander (covered in a plastic bag and well grounded!) for a firmer sculpted texture. The center of the flower had beaded fringe accented with Swarovski Crystals. The back of the bag featured a needle felted poppy garden "wool painting". The bag was lined in red silk with lots of pockets of course!
Another major felting project was a knitting tote that features my favorite flower, the iris.
This was also a knitted and fulled bag in two shades of green, with a garden of needle felted iris. The bag is lined in a purple batik print cotton.
I love knitting shawls. Especially lace. It is fascinating to watch the pattern of lace grow from the needles, transitioning from one row to the next. A friend of mine says that before a shawl is blocked it looks like "dryer lint". Afterword, the full effect of all those rows of pattern emerges into something wonderful!
No, I have not forgotten my brides. This year I have been exploring some new "old" techniques of manipulating ribbon that I read about in a reprint of a 1923 booklet about fashioning ribbon. I designed Roses, Pansies, Violets and Lilies to use in brooch, fascinator/headpiece and other jewelry design. I have enjoyed adding fabric elements into my jewelry design. Ombre Taffeta wired ribbon is a natural for these projects as it allows for natural looking shading with in the flowers.
Last year, I was able to purchase some beautiful French silk tulle. I have been wanting to make silk tulle veils for a long time. Below are the first two of the new Silk line:
So, what's next? More veil designs with ribbon flowers. More silk tulle. New fascinators. Fulled handbags. And knitting. I am always, always knitting.