Baa Baa

Last fall I started using more wool in my work and exploring adding needle felting to the mix. Through the kindness of a friend who was no longer interested in using wool, I was gifted a large bag of multiple colors of roving. Another friend sold me her embellishing/felting machine and later sent along a bag of mixed colors of wool.

My normal thrift shop haunts turned up some small bags of colors as well as a bag of raw wool. You can see it is really dirty, probably why it was only 50 cents! A bargain for a pound of wool.

Now my issue became how to clean this. An internet search produced a few possibilities. First clean it with Dawn basic liquid soap or Orvis Paste. Well, that got the dirt out but not the stains.

Internet to the rescue again. I found an older blog with experiments whitening raw wool with hydrogen peroxide. Honestly, what did I have to lose?

My first batch in the peroxide bowl did great. It whitened up to an off white color. I’m happy with that. The rest of the wool is being washed and then laid out to dry. I may try some hair lightening peroxide to see if I can get a brilliant white. Yeah yeah yeah…I know I can BUY white wool and white locks but what’s the fun in that? I will save some of the locks and curly bits to use for texture as is. The rest will be hand carded.

I used some of my Christmas money to purchase some high quality felting needles. I plan on using my machine for large areas and my needles for details. I have more wool coming in extra colors and I am watching some outstanding tutorials on YouTube.

I am excited about the possibilities to incorporate this into my work!

Blocking Out the Light

The light pouring in the 4 large 6ft wide windows in the front of the gallery shop should have been a blessing. But it was a curse. The scorching summer sun was frying some of the textiles.  So we have been forced to block the windows with shutters and curtains.  The curtains will be pulled back when we are open to the public but will remain closed all other times.



A Tiny Little Art Start

Just a Note ATC_jpainedawes

A tiny start with some tiny art while I’m on intermission.  Our Arts in the Cards theme for June was music/rhythm.

My mother sang on  WDZ radio in Illinois as a young woman. I have stacks of her sheet music with much of it having damage. I used some for the background on these cards.  With Inktense pencils I illustrated the way I see a single melodious note.

Wabi Sabi and my 2011 word

I will be working in my studio today, attempting to get something creative accomplished. My word for 2011 is Perseverance.  This has recently been difficult because of a severe RA flare that began before the holidays. My father was visiting and I had no choice but to persevere through the pain. I decided to destash with Etsy and have been persevering getting started but it has a long way to go. 

That brings me to how my Word andWabi-Sabi relate. If you aren’t familiar, here is a definition of Wabi-Sabi:
 Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.”

I read an article that compared Wabi-Sabi personalities to NOT Wabi-Sabi personalities. I discovered that in the entire list given, I am Wabi-Sabi. Because of a few acquaintances who couldn’t possibly relate to this concept, I had been trying to accept their way and persevere. There I was in black and white! Maybe that makes me the odd man out, but that’s okay.

My word last year was Acceptance.  I have finally accepted that some of the activities I was involved with simply weren’t working for me. I was persevering and trying to make them work but finally had to accept defeat. I don’t do that willingly. 

My life will be much freer now that much of the toxic emotional clutter is gone. I am feeling great relief that I can get back to my creative life and continue to be Wabi Sabi.