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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vest Workshop Video

Ten like minded women joined me at the American Legion Hall in Los Alamitos, CA for three glorious days in March 2014 for a nuno felted seamless vest workshop.  An unlikely place for a felting workshop but a very hospitable and comfortable place indeed complete with an attached bar!  Fortunately none of us were driven to drink! 

The workshop was about making a simple vest pattern from one of our own garments.  I taught how to size it up to account for the shrinkage during felting.  And I made it so easy that no one had to use a calculator...go figure which is not what any one had to do, a pleasure I'm sure.  

Once we made the paper pattern, we transferred it to the plastic resist.  We then spent the next few days playing with wool roving, silk fabric and other goodies to create a seamless felted vest. One felter, Alison, even used batts from her own Alpaca which felted up so beautifully.  Everyone was so pleased with their finished vest and I couldn't have been more satisfied with the results.  Not only were the vests so uniquely creative but they also were felted and fulled to fit each figure perfectly. 

Check out the video below showing each felter creating their reversible seamless nuno felted vest and then modeling their beautiful creation.  It's 7:42 minutes of joy!  

Click the bottom right icon next to the word Vimeo to enjoy it  full screen.  


Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Reveal - Eco Printed Vest with Teeswater long locks

I had such fun creating this short nuno felted vest which is stylishly shorter in front and longer in back. I made it on a resist using Opulent Fiber's luscious fine white Merino roving and white silk 4mm gauze.  I sandwiched one layer of roving between the two layers of silk.  I added Teeswater long locks that I purchased from beautiful Natalie Redding from Namaste Farms.  Look for her on Shear Madness on the National Geographic Channel.  Before I put it in the eucalyptus dye pot for 5 days, I sewed on felted balls as buttons and used yarn to do a blanket stitch around the buttons holes.  And while making this, Robbin Firth's Heartfelt Silks jumbo palm roller was a joy to use and saved so much rolling time.  Thanks Robbin.

The vest before going into the dye pot.

 The front of the vest.

 The back of the vest.

 Preparing my eucalyptus dye pot. 

 Creating a bundle from the vest.

Securing the bundle with rubber bands and twine.

Here's the bundle afer 4 or 5 days in the dye pot.  Ahhhh...the reveal is so exciting.

First look and I'm so pleased.  I love the color, the eucalyptus print and how the Teeswater locks took the dye. Very organic, earthy and so, so many ways to wear this.  Inside out, upside down, buttoned (also so many ways) or left open.  Wear it with a tee shirt or with just a cami or tank underneath.  Wear it with jeans or to make a statement with a dressy outfit.  I love it!  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lentil Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Lentil Stuffed Poblano Peppers with a side of Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

There's a middle eastern market called Super King, not too far from my house that makes for some interesting treasures.  My creative juices start flowing when I'm in a market like this and I get excited to go home and start creating without a recipe.  I spotted some beautiful poblano peppers that looked like they were calling out to be stuffed and decided to base my culinary experimenting around them.  Bought some squash, zucchini, an eggplant and some fresh peeled garlic gloves in jar (make it easy on yourself). I Already had the tomatoes and yellow pepper in the frig.

Come join me as I create my very own Middle Eastern inspired vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers.  They're stuffed with a mixture of lentils and veggies and topped with a tomato, onion, garlic mixture.  They are absolutely delicious plus they're heart healthy and loaded with nutrients and fiber.  Enjoy.

Slit the peppers down one side, while still keeping them whole, and remove the seeds.  Drizzle some olive oil on them and roast them on a cookie sheet for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees.

On a separate cookie sheet place the tomato halves with the cut side down, sliced onions and garlic and roast them in the same oven as the peppers.  This will be the sauce for the stuffed peppers.

Use a food processor to slice all of the other veggies and toss them in a dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.  I used the beet and horseradish mustard and the pomegranate balsamic vinegar from We Olive in Belmont Shore. All of the products there are deliciously unique.  Roast the mixture for 35 minutes at 450 degrees.  Some of these veggies will go into the stuffing for the peppers and the rest can be used for a side dish for this or another meal.

More goodies from Super King and cooked lentils from Trader's Joe's refrigerator case.

I thought these Brown Rice Breadcrumbs from Whole Foods looked interesting and are a good healthy and gluten free choice.  I added them to the food processor along with the lentils, a few red peppers from the jar, one egg, salt and pepper and some of the new spices from Super King, which I had never used before, called Aleppo Zaatar and Lemon Comand.  I also added some of the balsamic roasted veggies and for good measure, I threw in some crumbled feta cheese.

Process the roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic in the food processor with 1/4 tsp cinnamon, salt and pepper. Put half of the mixture in the bottom on a roasting pan.

Stuff the peppers with the lentil mixture and then top with the remaining tomato mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.


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