Monday, November 3, 2008

Home (?) from Art Fiber Fest

I really wish last week and all the house stuff hadn't have happened so I could still be basking in all the fun and wonderful things I learned at Art Fiber Fest. I had such an amazing time. The people were wonderful. I was immediately welcomed by everyone who had been coming for years, including Gail, Betsey, Laura, Debbie, and Carol, and we were quickly old friends. We stayed up late (okay, late for a sleep deprived mother of four) talking and working on projects in the dorms with all the girls. We were often joined by Darlene, Pamela, Teri, Gwyn, Alma, and Lori . I was also befriended by Jodie and her stepmom Susan. They had travelled from Arizona and Hawaii. Everyone was so accepting and encouraging.
The first day of classes I took Lisa Engelbecht's Book of Intentions. We worked on creating an ABC book based on our dreams, goals, and hopes. I have to admitt that I didn't get very far. I got hung up on the lettering and wasn't happy with anything I did. I enjoyed painting the backgrounds but that was about it. I did at least learn that I don't find my handwriting on fabric particularly beautiful. I'm sure practice would help, but I don't think that is a direction I really want to focus upon. It also didn't help that I didn't get any sleep the night before. The beds were awful and my back hurt from the springs. There was also a light right outside my window and I could hear everything someone flushed the toilet. I finally gave up sleeping around 6am, showered and went for a walk. The next three nights I folded up an extra blanket and used it to fill in the dip in the bed and cusion the springs. After that I slept I was able to sleep at least a little.
The next day I learned Nuno felting from Mary Stanley. I love my scarves that I made. We felted wool fiber onto silk chiffon scarves Mary had dyed for us. For the first I accidently got an extra long scarf that had sneaked into the pile. I am so happy that I did because the length was perfect. I felted some vibrant mohair locks I brought from home and some whispy merino wool in cool blues and purples. On the second scarf I took a more aggressive approach. I added two thicker layers of wool and also tucked some metallic yarns under the wool. I then felted the back side with swirls and angellina fiber. The scarf ended up much shorter from all the felting. It makes a great accent piece.
The last day I took Tracy Lampe's Funky Chunky Yarn Lumps. We learned to spin thick, chunky yarn on a drop spindle. I absoluelty loved it. I love to just touch and play with fibers. I got to do that and make something wonderful at the same time. Plus, I have very dry skin and working with the wool was magic. All that lanonlin left my hands feeling beautiful. The dark red yarn was my first batch. We used natural colored roving and then dyed it with Kool-Aide. This is a combination of Grape, Strawberry and Lemon. The red was definetly the strongest color. I then made three more "lumps" from fibers Tracy had previously dyed. I came home with a garbage bag of fibers and ready for a spinning wheel.


StegArt said...

Love your felted items. Your yarns look totally fabulous!!!!! I find too, that the lanolin helps give me wonderfully soft hands.

Helen Conway said...

Beautiful scarves!

Fran├žoise said...

Your scarves are gorgeous! Love the yarns too.

Genie said...

Love the scarves and yarns wonderful colours, glad you had a good time

Judy said...

Great scarves. Glad you met up with Mary. I'll be seeing her tomorrow at our monthly ATC trade.

Deb's Artful Journey said...

Hi Nikki,

It was so great meeting you at AFF! I thought this was a really great year.

I was thrilled when I learned that you are apart of 12x12! I've been following your group for awhile now and love your quilts.

I loved reading about your AFF experiences. That also must mean that you have recaptured a bit of your joy after your house falling through. I am hoping that you'll find something much, much better with private art space for you!



Alma Stoller said...

Hi Nikki,

It was so nice to meet you there.
What fun this retreat was.
Hope to see you again next year.

be well,

art spirit said...

Hi Nikki, just found your blog! Love your scarves...great photos. Hope you can join us again this year!