Thursday, January 20, 2011

Signs of Life In a Sad Winter Garden and More Felting

Yesterday the sun was trying hard to come out but , again, the fog won. I went outside a few times, took a look at my sad, dead garden....
and decided that the time had NOT come for being outside yet. I can hear the little "Help... help." coming from every corner but, other than pruning the roses and picking a few weeds, I'm not ready for working the soil.
Then I saw this,
...an early Narcissus blooming outside the gate. The fragrance was so overwhelming and nostalgic it filled my eyes with tears. It could have been that I was just cold because the sun had disappeared again and the wind was starting to move things . I picked the little bunch of springtime and walked back into my garden.
I showed Carl the flowers and told him to smell the wonderful fragrance. I tickled his nose with the flowers and he tried to eat them.
I brought the Narcissus inside with some parsley and  put a small container of it in the kitchen window.
This morning the sun shone brightly in on this lovely reminder that Spring will come and the garden is waiting for it's arrival.
I've done some felting with more of Sandy's fleece. This time I took some gray fleece that I had ordered from Knitpicks and some beautiful purple wool of Sandy's and added ribbon to it.
This is what I started with.
And this is how I laid it out. I did about 6 layers, including the ribbon.
The last layer was very thin. Just enough to hold the ribbon in place when I felt it.
Here's a close up of the fibers....

Then I wet it down with soap and hot water, wrapped it up in bubble wrap and did some arm exercise while I kneaded the fibers into fabric.

And then, for a while, without the bubble wrap.
Until the whole thing starts to hold together and becomes a solid piece of felt. I rinsed and squeezed and stretched it to get the shape I wanted and now I have another piece of felted fleece that I will use later . This was an experiment to see how fleece will felt with ribbon in it. The ribbon is not wool so it doesn't shrink.
When it was dry I was quite pleased with it. This is just the beginning of trying other things that I can incorporate into the fleece. It's so exciting to see what happens and how much you can do.
Here is the piece of felt after it had been rinsed and dried. It could have been felted longer but it would shrink more and the ribbon would pucker. I like this level of felting. 
You can see the ribbon pattern.  The ends felted around on the other side. It all felted together well and I like the way it looks.
I told a blogging friend, Kerry from Vancouver Island, that I need some ideas for these pieces of felt. She told me that  my "happy mistake", the one that I machine felted a while back, would be a great necklace with bling and buttons on it. I could sell them to movie stars for big bucks and become famous in my old age. She didn't say "in my old age", I said that. But what a great idea it is and I will see what I can do.
I'm open to more suggestions. I can cut them up or use them in one piece. The colors and the shapes are so wonderful that I could just hang them on the wall as artwork. Let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I will finish working on a purse that I'm making out of a man's old wool vest. The fun never ends.

12 comments:

Chef E said...

That is so cool Mrs. C! I love it...and she is right you could become famous! You already are to me...cannot wait to see what else you make!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hello Dear Connie,

I live up above the fog, so this week has been clear, sunny, and "warm" by wintry standards. My early daffs dance so beautifully, albeit solo. Soon spring will arrive and the gardens will burst with colorful life, but I am daily ever so thankful for those little pips of January sunshine I planted when we first moved here.

I can smell the beauty you describe, even if dear pupster thought it a tidbit treat. ; D

I join you in keeping those thoughts of spring banked up in embers of memory; and I celebrate the brave little flowers of January!

Whosyergurl said...

Narcissus! Love it. I also love the pics of the old, dead garden.
Hang in there.
We got a lot of snow today.
It just keeps coming. (Southern Indiana)
XO, Cheryl

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

boy are you having fun. And I am desperate to go to that shop in Amador City.
Like what you are doing with the felt.
Cuffs? With interesting buttons?
j

Kerry O'Gorman said...

8 WEEKS officially till Spring! Love the new piece...maybe you could do tiny collages in each square of seasons or flowers or trees? Looks like you're having fun...maybe one day, in one or anothers kitchens, we will collaborate. Cheers!

Madeline's Album said...

What a wonderful find in the winter time, flowers blooming, spring is not to far off. I love the piece you felted. Anxious to see what you make out of it. It is still cold here and we got a few more snow flurries, and they call this the sunny south. Have a blessed day. Madeline

Eve said...

I love your spring fling!!! And what creativity!! Just a beautiful piece of felt!!

Roslyn said...

Wow I am in awe, you are really getting into this felting thing & I thought it was just for shrinking woolen yardgoods!!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Aw, do you really already have blooming flowers?! If that didn't make your day a bit less foggy, I don't know what would!
Love the pic of Carl and the Narcissus - that's a beautiful shot. :-)

Peg @ Bloomfield Farm said...

I can't believe your have the first flower of spring already! My yard is covered in white stuff and it's too cold for it to melt. I am SOOOOO ready for spring and flowers!

Your felting looks beautiful too. I really like the added ribbon. Very clever!

Karen Deborah said...

BEAUTIFUL! You need to meet my friend Jeanine she recycles old wool and dyes it. Once it felts she strips it and makes hook rugs that are scenic designs. She is amazing. You are also amazing. I love that purple piece.My garden is anguishing too, we have had one very gloomy gray and freezing cold winter this year. We are having 3 days of sun and the hunny and I are making hay while the sun shines. I have a long list of winter chores this year.

Paxie said...

I can actually smell that flower and they are calling for snow tomorrow. That's okay...I now I had my dose of Spring to last me.

I'm guessing you don't have flabby arms like me.