Thursday, September 4, 2014

Home, Home on the Range

Sulphur Creek Ranch, Idaho - Labor Day 2014 from Beth Marx on Vimeo.

Click above to watch my five minute video which captures our adventures at Surphur Creek Ranch.  Enjoy and thanks for watching.






What an incredible long Labor Day weekend we had. In a recent article in Pilot's Get-Away Magazine, Joe discovered the amazing fly-in to Sulphur Creek Ranch, which is in the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness Range in Idaho. We decided to fly the five hour trip (with a stop for a picnic lunch in Elko, Nevada) with our three dogs.  It was their longest trip ever and they were all great passenger; Tucker actually gets a kick out of standing on the seat to peer out the window.  We bought a cush memory foam dog bed at Costco and put it in the back seat for Juma, the Ridgeback.  I sat behind Joe with little Oliver on my lap.
 Tucker of course flew co-pilot up front with Joe. 


The lodge was the hangout for indoor recreation and relaxation and where we gathered with the other guests and our hosts and cooks, Valdeen & Kiere and Rick & Sylvia, to enjoy their delicious home cooked meals.


  

Our rustic log cabin, called the Dog House, was appropriately selected for us.  And although we were off the grid for four days, the Ranch generated its own electricity so we slept comfortably and were glad for the electric blankets and electric space heater especially when we woke up to a chilly 31 degrees.


Of course I took some projects with me and in addition to making some felted soaps, I beaded the vessel I had recently made while teaching at Namaste Farms.

First time fly fishing.


Gorgeous scenery everywhere, you couldn't take a bad picture if you tried.
Joe, our pilot is the best.  
Juma, Tucker and Oliver had the time of their lives.

Turn it sideways and it looks like a Rorschach test.

Not quite rolling in the hay! 
Over the river and through the woods....
Always thankful to have projects to work on.  I cannot have idle hands.




Felting Workshop at Namaste Farms


Recently I had the opportunity to teach a two day beginning felting workshop to the beautiful and multi talented Natalie Redding, her two daughters and a few close friends; some furry and winged ones joined us too.  Natalie, is the owner of the awesome Namaste Farms in Temecula, California where she raises champion Wenseleydale and Teeswater longwools.
Beth and Natalie
Jade and friend
Laura Spinner

Natalie and Jory

Natalie, Naomi and Laura check the progress on Natalie's felted dog bed.


Everyone is thrilled with their felted vessel.

Some of the many, many sheep at Namaste Farms
Another felting friend.
Natalie raises llamas and alpaca goats in addition to sheep.

Each felted vessel was a work of art and everyone was so pleased.  Natalie was still working on her felted dog bed but promised that she'd finish it soon.  








At the end of the workshop, Joe and I had a chance to go wine tasting at a few of the local Temecula valley wineries which have outstanding, award winning wines.  Our first stop was Keyways Vineyard and Winery, just a few miles down the road from Namaste Farms where we sampled some delicious hand crafted wines and bought a few bottles of white.  



Then it was off to the Bailey Vineyard and Winery where we bought a half case of 2007 Meritage at a special price.  Oh, it is so delicious and we have already enjoyed a few of the bottles with good food at our local Long Beach favorite restaurant, Nicks on 2nd.



Next stop Callaway Winery for wine tasting followed by dinner at Callaway's Meritage Restaurant which offers al fresco dining and outstanding food prepared with seasonal local ingredients.  We enjoyed our food, a bottle of Callaway wine and the complete ambiance including incredible panoramic views of the rolling hills and vineyards. 



Monday, June 2, 2014

Wind and Sea Nuno Felted Shawl

The weather is warming up and I suspect that we're in for a hot summer.  None the less, the southern California evenings are cool and a wrap is almost always necessary.  This shawl is perfect for those crisp evenings when you want to keep warm but still look summery. 
I started with a large piece of hand dyed silk and then added roving, more silk fabric, silk fibers.  I embellished it with nuno inclusions of mirrors, beach glass, cocoons, yarns, sari silk ribbons, pearls, crystals and more.  I created craters, spikes and holes and used a closure of the mirror through a hole.  This piece can be worn so many ways and inside out looks great too.

I hand dyed the silk fabric and the cocoons using acid dyes and the microwave dyeing process.

I laid out my design on bubble wrap (bubble side up), wet it out using a ball brauser, covered it with another sheet of bubble wrap and started the agitation process with Heartfelt Silk's beautifully hand made Palm Washboard.




















Friday, May 23, 2014

Urban Grunge


To live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area is to live in a megalopolis. I live just 20 miles south of LA in Long Beach and the grit, grime and grunge of city living becomes a tapestry of every day urban life. On my daily dog walks I hustle along sidewalks that are cracked and covered with words, with arrows telling me where to turn, lines showing where to park, and stenciled numbers indicated the not to exceed speed limit. Vivid colors abound in the form of orange cones, purple recycled bins, yellow street signs, graffiti inked walls and chalked sidewalks.  These colorful and stimulating streets sights are a part of my life and inspired me to create an urban grunge nuno felted shawl.  Modeled by my local coffee house server, Sammi wears it oh so well.




 I started the shawl by laying down various pieces of silk, some hand dyed and some from vintage saris. I added a layer of gray merino roving. And then the playing started as I got into my grunge mode. I applied some prefelts creating the yellow parking lines, colors and textures. I applied some painter's tape so I could later cut into it creating the cracked sidewalks. I added spikes and craters and nuno inclusions of things found on the sidewalk like stones, beads, coins and bullet casings (really though I have never seen bullet casings on the sidewalk so that was my artistic license). I added cut up modeled prefelts to look like worn out gum and dirt. And other things were thrown in like Habu's paper yarn,silk hankies and words and numbers printed on silk.










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