Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nuno felted wearable inspired by Casa di Giulietta

The finished Casa di Giulietta poncho modeled by beautiful Taylor.

Work in process on the Casa di Giulietta nuno felted piece.

The graffiti love wall in the narrow archway corridor before entering Juliet's balcony courtyard in Verona, Italy was my inspiration to create this nuno felted wearable poncho really known as a tabard, the open sided garment worn by knights during the middle ages.  

Bronze statue of Juliet right outside the famous balcony.

I loved the graffiti archway and was more taken by it than the actual balcony, well known per those fictional characters Romeo and Juliet, which is the real tourist attraction. 

Taylor is modeling the tabard inside out.  Her jewels really frame the stand up collar.

Thank you Taylor for all your love and support.  You are the BEST of the BEST.

Monday, October 12, 2015

One-on-one vest class at Studio 907

Darling Julia from the Washington DC area found me on the Internet and made contact with me about taking a private one-on-one workshop.  She and her husband planned to be on vacation in California in October so we scheduled it during that time.

Julia arrived at my house, aka Studio 907, and we hit it off immediately.  It was like having a good friend coming over to hang out with on a Sunday afternoon. She was an experienced felter but had been struggling making garments.  I knew our time was going to be limited so I had suggested via our email conversations that we make a simple pull over top but Julia really wanted to learn to make a garment with an opening in the front.  I knew I would have to keep Julia on a tight schedule to complete the vest in one day and she not only met but exceeded my expectations.  She made an outstanding vest.  She was so proud of herself that she left my house in the late afternoon wearing the vest despite the 90 degree record heat!

Julia laying out the roving for the back of the vest.

Julia working on one side of the front of the vest.

Gorgeous colors and design.

The design of the back of the vest is complete.

Julia is rock and rolling.

Julia's reversible, seamless vest is a real work of art and fits her perfectly.  It is as beautiful on one side as the other.

If you are interested in a one-on-one workshop at Studio 907 in Long Beach, CA or interested in a group workshop, please send me a comment here or email me at:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dyeing in Tuscany

It looks like a picture postcard but that's me outside our rented villa in San Gimignano wearing one of my felted wearable vests and getting ready to be picked up for the one hour drive to Prato to visit Gaia of DHG (Dyeing House Gallery).   

Knowing I was going to be in Tuscany in October '15, I contacted Gaia months ago and asked if I could come visit.  Not only did she say yes, she also graciously invited me on a tour of the dyeing house which is about 20 minutes from DHG's Prato location.  

And BTW, you can shop on-line and buy directly from DHG; they ship worldwide.  For more info, click HERE.

It was such a pleasure to meet Gaia and learn about her family's dyeing business and how she got started selling beautifully dyed roving, silk and other fibers to felters.

My visit to DHG was a real highlight of my trip to Tuscany and I thank you Gaia and team for opening up your facility to me.  Hope to see you again in the future.  

Donatella was so gracious to assemble my order and vacuum pack it so that it was easy for me to transport on my flight back to the USA.
I was like a kid in a candy store buying product at DHG in Prato, Italy
Any speaking of candy store, these are DHG's Sugar Candies.
Gaia in the lab area of the dyeing house.
Cones ready to be submerged in a dye bath.
Dyed cones
Amazing to see the enormity of the process for commercially dyeing cones, staple and sliver.
Wool being wetted down before dyeing
Wool coming out of the dye pot
A big thank you to Gaia and Donatella

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Temecula - 2015 Fiber Retreat at Namaste Farms

Temecula is southern California's wine country and just 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.  It is also home to Natalie Redding's Namaste Farms where I was teaching a beginning nuno felting workshop as part of the Fiber Retreat that Natalie and Laura Spinner created for two consecutive weekends - the last one in August and the first in September.

And despite the incredibly hot weather, the retreat was so rewarding and fun complete with farm cooked meals and all the ambience of a true working farm. Students had choices among several classes including my nuno felting, hand-spinning and painting long locks.  

I met some amazingly talented and good hearted women, some of whom traveled to California from out of state and even out of the country.  I so enjoyed teaching the limited sized classes where everyone came away with a beautifully created nuno felted scarf.

While I was teaching, Joe and the dogs relaxed at our VRBO vineyard cottage and also ventured out to delightful Old Town Temecula which has been around since 1882 when the California Railroad came through the valley and local investors created the first Bank.  Joe reported that the dogs throughly enjoyed their lunch from the canine menu at Texas Lil's.

Early Sunday morning, we saw the hot air balloons overhead which is another one of the fun things to do in Temecula.

Natalie Redding and her family stared on the reality show called "Shear Madness" and life at Namaste Farms lovingly lives up to its namesake.  The place is filled with animals of all sorts including numerous cats and dogs and roosters and chickens that freely roam the expanse.  But the main purpose of the farm is to raise superior fiber animals and oh what gorgeous fibers grace the farm. It is outstanding to see Natalie, former model turned shepherdess, live the life and to throughly dedicate herself to what she truly loves.

Laura Spinner is Natalie's BFF who flew in from New Jersey for the co-created Fiber Fest.  Laura is a genius at hand-spinning and if I'm not careful, I may find myself getting into yet another hobby...stop me please!

Life on the farm.

Felters just wanna have fun.

And we got a chance to wine taste and enjoy Temecula before and after Namaste Farm's Fiber Fest.  Our absolute favorite winery, which we got to visit with our good friends, was Lumiere Winery which is a family owned, boutique winery without the hustle and bustle, buses and crowds that accompany the big corporate wineries.  We loved the gracious owner Martha and all that we learned from her.  We'll enjoy what we bought from her and will certainly be back.

And for a super fun evening and a delicious steak dinner, in an authentic looking old time saloon, be sure and try the Gambling Cowboy  which is on the third floor of a old looking wooden structure in Old Town. The food was absolutely delicious and the margueritas were sublime.  Don't remember much after the second one!!

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