Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas, Christmas Christmas Goodies!

Well!  This little elf has been busy.  But busy for everybody else and haven't been doing any for my immediate gift receivers.
Life is such that we're older now and the gift giving dynamics have changed.  For our parents it's become just a money exchange, not gift giving, so it's good to just do Christmas Card exchange.  I really have become less materialistic and more for 'fellowship' i.e. spending just quality time together.  Like a good potluck meal. I don't mind gift exchange, but I would prefer it be meaningful small tokens.  i.e. notebooks, art journals, coffee certificates, cookie bags...something like that.
People that I talk to are either on the far extreme where they literally spend thousands of dollars and buy anything and everything just so there are gifts under the tree and others are quite modest.  Just keeping it to a one gift minimum.
It's whatever works for your family dynamics.
It should never become a financial burden.  For some families "Christmas" is the main gift giving time of the year where they lavish all manner of gifts from bath goodies to trips and such.  Like I said, it's whatever works.
I just never seem to get it into motion in time because I am either working too often and the days I get off are spent painting, felting etc. or the days off are spent on commission work and blogging on my other sites that I have to generate income.
I have been uploading some new pictures of my Original Drifting Saints that I have been commissioned to do as well as those for sale at my Artfire shop!
Here's my latest which are also uploaded to our Scrum Sisters Studio web site.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Felting Terms

I am posting this for a few friends who are new to the world of felting and wanted to know some of the terminology used in some projects they are interested in.  I am also going to post some of my favorite authors/books that I have used to learn by and to get inspiration from.

Felting Terms 101

Roving - Roving is often confused with 'top'. Roving is a bit more tangled and has different lengths of fibers. When it's pulled off the machine in a rope (the wool fiber), it's roving, when it's put through another process called combing, the short fibers are removed and it leaves all the long fibers behind (in one direction). So really it's 'tops' that you are buying from many vendors.  Generally you used roving to spin into a yarn because it's softer and the 'top' to make a worsted yarn. (smooth and tighter together)

Sliver- this is what you get when you draw or pull wool fiber from the roving.  It's generally referred to as the thin, fine tuft that is laid down to begin making your felt.

Batt: A length of carded felt primarily done by large drum carders, (a bed of barbed felting needles)  and as the needles pass through the fibers the lower layers are pulled up through the top layers.  Smaller batts can be made hand carding too. (some circles call felt batts pre-felts) 

Blending: This is when you mix fibers of different colors or combining different types of fibers together.  i.e. two dyed colors or wool fiber with silk tops.
Carders: Equipment used to separate wool fibers and/or blending different types of colors of wool for spinning or making felt. Carders have fine wires set in leather or synthetic rubber cloth attached to a wooden base.The same for hand carders.  Example of a drum carder and an example of a hand carder.
Carding: Using carders to tease and open wool out to separate the individual fibers.
Felt: A fabric resulting from interlocking and entangling wool fibers by way of moisture and friction.  They fibers are transformed into a compact mass and become felt.
Felting Needle: A long needle with barbs on the end. Used for hand, machine and industrial felting. The barbs on the needle hook onto the fibers and interlock them with each other.
Fleece: Unprocessed wool taken from a sheep or fibers taken from alpacas. (I don't know if its used for other animal coats.)
Fulling: After the felting process is complete, it is rubbed on a rough surface, thrown gently and even slammed on the work surface to force the fibers to become more intertwined and firmer.
Inlay: This is a technique in felt design in which pre-felted pieces are placed on a background batt of wool fibers and the whole piece is then felted together.
Cotton Muslin: Soft loosely woven cotton fabric.
Merino: A breed of sheep producing a beautiful fine wool that is best for making clothing from when it is felted. They are bred mainly in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
Micron: The measurement of fiber thickness. The lower the number the finer the fiber.
Nuno Felt: is a fabric felting technique developed by Polly Stirling, a fiber artist from New South Wales, Australia, around 1992. The name is derived from the Japanese word "nuno" meaning cloth. The technique bonds loose fiber, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze, creating a lightweight felt.

Pre-felt: The fibers are laid for felting but are only felted until they are matted but not yet shrunk. It is then rinsed, allowed to dry and used in a design.
Resist: A plastic template used in making hollow felted formes to prevent layers of fibres felting together for example: hats, bags, boots, pockets, etc
Scales: The hooks which can be see on the wool fibre under a microscope. Felt is made from the wool when these hooks interlock and tighten the fabric.
Staple: The length the wool grows on the sheep. It can be long or short staple
Throwing: A process in making felt. The bundle of felt is repeatedly dropped gently or can be slammed. This process is done at the end of the felting process. The fibres hook together even more and the felt becomes firmer

I hope you find this helpful!  Stay tuned, I'm going to be uploading some pictures of some of my "nuno" scarves soon!


I love this site, I read their posts daily and have used many of their suggestions.  So I want to give them some recognition.  http://www.artpromotivate.com  Check them out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A new Endeavor to supplement!

I have joined a networking team so that I can earn enough money on the side that I no longer have to rely on a 9-5 and can concentrate on a full time artistic life!
EMPOWER network has a really good offer that also has a fool proof step by step plan on how to generate sales residually every month just by blogging! The cost is $25, which is peanuts compared to others out there, where you have to have an autoship product in order to stay in the profits.
So, that's where my blogging time has gone, writing about everything and anything that strikes my fancy for the day!  Check it out! Empowernetwork.

September Chills!

Boy!  I can't believe that it's been since July that I have posted last.  Tsk, Tsk, shame on me!  My computer however, is on the fritz, I cannot for some reason get it to connect to the Internet, so until I can afford to bring it into the shop, I've been sneaking time on my hubby's computer!  I also have a laptop down in my "woman cave" (basement studio), however, it's extremely difficult to sit and type with the set up down there.
I use it mainly to play music and video's while I work.

We had a very successful Art in the Park first weekend in September, however, I am always disappointed to  find out that a number of items of mine were stolen.  I had hand felted and sewed together several pairs of baby booties from Alpaca fleece, really darling!  I will have to see if I have some images of them in another spot as I cannot find any pic's.

A couple of pic's from our Exhibit that was held for the whole month of August.  We had some good reviews and feedback for that as well.  Below are a couple of my paintings and felted work (large!) and smaller one. I've named them starting with the first; "He loves me, he loves me not..."; Heart-throb; In the beginning there was only love and the last piece is "Love yourself, it gives you wings". These pieces were specifically made with the theme of "love", so we geared our work around that theme.

I have another show and sale this coming weekend 29th and 30th - Greenhouse Artist Showcase, which will be held at a local Greenhouse and gifts business.

I've also been charged with overseeing this years community involvement painting that will go up for auction at the DeGroot's Greenhouse fundraising Gala. The theme is "Dancing Under the Stars".  So I have come up with an idea where I can make this painting somewhat cohesive once all the "participants" have contributed their part in the completion of it. I'll post a pic just before the show of what I have done to start it and what it looks like completed.

Hope you all have a sparkling weekend!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Took a little mini vacation to Lexington Michigan area. Lovely little town and area.  It doesn't matter to me, as long as we stay near water! The temperatures have been above normal and it's difficult to get anything done, but I did manage to get some good nature photo's for some art idea's I have.  Been having a hard time of it getting my muse going. We have an exhibition in August and the theme is to be around "love". Whatever that looks like.  So...between that and the upcoming Art in the Park, I've got my creative work cut out for me!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Decided to tweak the page a bit to reflect the current banner I am representing myself with!  I had made this blog before we (Scrum Sisters Studio) had an official web site, but thought it best to represent it wherever I can!
Did a demo at the store yesterday to promote upcoming wire crochet class and one of the store managers asked me if I knew anything about 'cartridge' paper.  I said yes, but we don't carry it.  I thought about this again this morning and wondered why we don't see it much at all here.  I haven't even heard about it since the 80's when I purchased some from my watercolor teacher when I was taking a class there (Lethbridge, Alberta).  Cartridge paper is a very heavy paper that is used a lot overseas but not so much here in North America.  Not even sure where my instructor got it that many years ago, but we were discussing the different types of paper that can be used for watercolor painting and I had chose to try it because I was really experimenting with 'wet, wet, wet' watercolor abstracts!  I really liked it, bought some off of her at the time, couldn't find it anywhere else after I had used them up and just went back to using the heavier watercolor paper at the time and pre-stretching it etc.   So, interesting.  Does anyone know where you can buy Cartridge paper in Canada?.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Show is coming up fast! Got to get the studio in shape, the 'sisters' are working at it!  I've been so busy with work and recently joined a new marketing venture that was (I hope!) an answer to prayer as money is tight!
Our Art in the Park show is only one month away and I have some inventory to build up and need to get in to the studio and do some more work.  I'll be setting up the frames and silk scarves tomorrow outside seeing as it's going to be sunny and hot out, that speed up the drying process for sure and then tomorrow night I'll work on either painting, jewelry or fibre art.  I have my canvas all ready to go for the fibre piece I have in mind, just now my home "studio" is 1/4 the size I had before so I'm not able to flit from one table to the next. I have to tidy up one project before I can go on to the next...sigh.  It is what it is until I can change it!  Hope your all enjoying the beautiful weather and talk soon!

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Monday, June 04, 2012

Aah, the weekend is over, albeit I worked both days, I did get in a little free time to visit our local annual art-walk in down-town Sarnia!  http://www.sarniaartwalk.com/ We had just enough time to visit some favorite booths and pick up some art pieces from local artisans.  I also bought tickets and entered into a draw.  We had our pick of Artists "boxes" to choose from an early event there was a 'plein air' challenge with approximately 15 local artists of various talents. The brochure listed them and a picture of one of their paintings/works to give an idea to the public of what they do.  The day of art-walk these artists dispersed through out the area and painted/created a work of art based on a view/subject of their choosing, that work was then donated to the draw. Each ticket proceeds went to Gallery in the Grove. (my favorite and home town!)  I definitely bought tickets and one of my ticket went into Ariel Lyons (a well known watercolor artist) box.  I loved the way she painted and depicted a tree that was planted out in front of one of the store fronts at art-walk.  Well this morning I received a call that I won her painting!!  Whoooohooo! I am ecstatic about that! I'll definitely post it once it's in my possession.  I think I may bring it to work and select a frame for it first, but that'll take a week, oh well, we'll see how it goes. Not much else has been done in the studio lately other than 'playing' with all types of media on my Kumihimo disks with wire, ribbon, felted ropes....I also received a new shipment of silver wire so, I'll be gearing up to put some of my drawing/concept ideas into what appears to us as reality!  <3

Friday, June 01, 2012

The first one shows a work in progress. The initial frame I had to set up my silk scarves in wasn't working, so I was trying to come up with a quick way I can set up this type of scarf and I purchased some inexpensive 1X2's, some finishing nails( with wood glue), glue gun and clothes pins.  Worked excellent!
Just as promised, these are my latest painted silk scarves.
First day of June!  Can't believe that I haven't put anything down since the beginning of May, wow, literally time has been a blur and continues to speed by! As promised, the stones for June!
Agate, Alexandrite, Amber, Aventurine, Citrine, Chalcedony, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Pearl, Moonstone, Ruby, White Sapphire, Sapphire, Tigers Eye...wow you have all the good gemstones!  LOL

Anyway, we'll be busy readying ourselves for an upcoming sale and exhibition.  Will post pics. In the interim, I have my latest show and tell uploaded to Youtube featuring the latest felt bracelets/banges...I have dubbed them "Brangles!" tm  Enjoy!  I'll  post some of my scarves in a minute!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Happy May! Well, my whirlwind days have kept me away from blogging! For shame, because I really want to keep current and perhaps build an audience and network and hopefully start something locally for felters/textile lovers!  I am a mixed media artist first and foremost though, love painting, jewelry design, quilt arts, beading and felting! So there will always be a mixture on this site.  I do want to post May stones for those interested in the wonderful list of traditional, ancient, modern and astrological stones for the month of May! Here they are:
Green Agate, Amber, Azurite, Aventurine, Carnelian, Chrysoprase,citrine, Coral, Garnet, Pearl, Rose Quartz, Sapphire, Tigers Eye, Turquoise and White Sapphire! What an amazing choice.  For the metaphysical aspects of these stones visit my tab Patti Cook at www.art-eh.ca if I don't have it there, email me and I will certainly send you the information.  I have some wonderful resource books here to consult!

I have an Art Fair that I'm participating in a couple of weeks so I've got to get busy with my inventory! Just received my new batch of silk scarves and gutta so will be painting some new scarves, have been itching to make some felted bangles and I have a book full of sketches for jewelry that I want to make. Just finished wire wrapping 8 Auralite-23 crystals. There is a lot of debate on the authenticity of this wonderful Amethyst crystal. It has been found to also host at a minimum 17 different minerals/metals, so the benefits are extra for the owner. I have a cool link that shows a large one with lots of pictures! http://dosmangoes.xanga.com/608945917/item/
This picture above is a beautiful macro picture of the crystalline structure of Auralite Amethyst. Our beautiful Mother Earth gives birth to such beauty! 

Friday, April 06, 2012

Hello April!

Well after a surprisingly warm beginning to our season, we're now back on track with temperatures for Spring. I hope that there was no damage to the fruit trees because of the early warming. Some experts are saying it was 2 weeks earlier than normal and temps were far higher than we've experienced before, so there is a danger of losing some fruit trees...hope not.

For you lovely ladies celebrating their birthdays in this awesome spring season, the following is the list of stones best suited for you!
Amber, Aventurine, Blood-stone, Coral, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Jasper, Opal, Ruby and beautiful Turquoise! If you are going to invest in Amber, be sure your source is reputable, there are a lot of fake resins out there claiming to be amber!

Friday, March 02, 2012

The stones for blustery March!  Which is also my birth month!  the 17th, St. Patrick's Day, is the day that many remember too, so I am blessed that every year I hear from friends from all over the country!

March Birth Stones are:
Amethyst, Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Diamond, Jade, Jasper, Malachite, Opal, Ruby, Sapphire and Topaz!  How about that for a choice, gorgeous!  For a breakdown summary of what their metaphysical properties are visit our (Scrum Sisters Studio) website at www.art-eh.ca

Heave!  Sigh! Wow! It's March 2nd and here I am.  It's difficult to imagine that I will never enter the doors of my little cottage by the lake again after 25 years of doing so...change is as good as the rest 'they' say, whoever 'they' are anyway...
Life. My partner and I have chosen to 'consolidate' after 7 years of back and forth between our respective homes and after getting downsized, and having difficulty securing work, it was decided to sell my home, pay off debts and move in with my honey.  He's a bit overwhelmed though as even though we both knew how much 'stuff' I had, once it came into his place and his garage...well.
I have given a lot of 'stuff' away and plan on doing another round once we unpack etc. here, but in the interim, at least I was able to set up my "work and play" area here! During all of this, I also began working in a frame shop which is very interesting and will enable me to 'frame' my own artwork with professional materials and quality! It's just enough hours to put towards my 'living' here and give me 'time' to continue to create and be involved in my 'art'.  Sigh, so happy about that!
So, I'll be putting this place together slower that I had to 'move' out of my place or we'll see what happens.  H's place needs some TLC, but it has some great bones.  A beautiful century home with 10' ceilings, so it's got 'space' original crown moldings, wooden floors and doors, so it's got a cozy feeling.  A new kitchen and a new bathroom, which of course happen to be the two most expensive rooms in any home to renovate!  Sigh, onward we go!  March!  My birthday month too!
I will make a separate post with March's stones.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whew! February has flown by, but not without a moments rest! I am relocated and have been moving all the 'stuff' one accumulates over a period of 25 years into our new residence. Ridiculous!  I have given bags and bags and boxes of clothing and items to the Goodwill charities, no time for a garage sale! Haven't had much time to create, but will sure be happy when the dust settles and I can get right into it again!
I want to post February's stones as it's getting near the end and we'll be ready for March's!
February Stones are: Amethyst, Blue lace Agate, Aquamarine, Blood-stone, Cat's eye, Garnet, Jasper, Opal, Rock crystal, Ruby, Sapphire and Turquoise!  Now go get yourself some!

Below are pictures of my latest project.  I wanted to get some samples 'out there' to help promote beginner classes!  Enjoy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My word!  It's the 25th of January already!  Amazing.  I have been seeing a lot of jewelers pushing their 'Garnet' beauties for the January babies and I thought that I would post a different spin to educate those among us that do not know.  EVERY stone on this planet is beneficial to each one of us.  They hold a charge, frequency or vibration (toe-mate-toe; toe-mah-toe...) whichever suits  your verbiage.  Those vibrational frequencies match certain organs in our physical body, but also benefit our metaphysical body. However, those that are identified under a specific birth month resonate higher for that individual.
Here is the list for January!   Amethyst, Agate, Emerald, Garnet, Hematite, Jasper, Lapis, Onyx, Opal, Rose Quartz, Ruby and Turquoise! 

I'll post each months stones on my blog for your information!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wow!  We had our first winter snow storm of the season this past Thursday, but unfortunately with that came a serious 22 car pile up on the major highway we have coming through our way.  We got another 2 inches today. HOWEVER, the weatherman is saying it's going to melt come Monday!

I have been chomping at the bit to get sitting down and doing some serious creating on some Art Quilts that I have had on the creative burner as well as jewelry designs!  My studio has been moved to a whole new place, my sweeties house!  But this time it's been split between three floors!  The basement has been cleaned and shelves added for all the 'inventory' the main floor room is housing the tables for now until the bonus room on 2nd floor gets a cleaning and paint job prior to moving them upstairs!  I hate being in limbo!  I am waiting for someone to buy my home too, so that I can just start my new life with my honey!

Here's a couple of designs that were done for a commission.  Bracelets are the most popular item that I sell and I love customizing them for that special birthday gal!

These two are for January and May birthdays.  Top one is January using traditional, modern and metaphysical stones identified for the month. Amethyst,(I used chevron, nuggets and beads) Ruby, Aquamarine along with vintage glass hearts and hand blown glass beads.  May has a nice blend of Carnelians, Moss Agate, Green Banded Agate, Aventurine, Citrine, Amber, Azurite, Bronze fresh water pearls, with some nice azurite beads as well!



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I hope that you all had a wonderful beginning, here it is already January 4th!  December was busy and both emotionally and physically draining.  We lost a beloved member of our family on Christmas day when she took her last breath. I thought that to be quite serendipitous, we buried her husband 3 months prior from Cancer as well.  Such a disgusting disease!  Brings on so much pain and suffering for everyone involved. We loved her so much.  They were the matriarchs of our family and Christmas gatherings will forever be changed...

We're off to a brand new start. 2012. It brings some anxiety and some excitement. (I am excited!) It seemed so far away to me as a child and now, here we are!  I intend for a prosperous year with new beginnings and lots of art pieces accomplished!  I also intend for every one of my brothers and sisters of mother earth to come together in peace and raise our consciousness with our beloved Gaia! There is a lot of information out there for those wishing to find it on how to raise your consciousness levels.  It's not found outside of you though! The kingdom is "within". Go to a quiet place and meditate for a few moments for for many, it's up to you. But be in a quiet place and quiet the mind and connect with our creator.  It takes time, but you will soon feel more at peace and it's gets easier to 'stay' in the moment.  I can say that with confidence because if this ADHD adult can do it, anyone can!

Okay.  I'll sign off for now.  The following pictures are gifts I made for friends at Christmas!
The first is a 'loaded' bracelet with different grades of aquamarine, blue sapphire and silver filigree beads, the second pair of earrings are 14k gold levers and 14k gold plated wire. All beads are genuine Swarovski Crystals!  Aren't they gorgeous!  The last is for a October born fiery, lovable gal so I chose the red stones in her birth month. Coral, Rubies and garnet make this "Lady in Red" so special!