Saturday, March 3, 2012

Morning Walk

A quick walk to Starbucks, then through the park to the dog park before we head to Las Vegas for the weekend.  Ahhh...the sites and sounds of the morning.
Joe with Starbucks, Juma, Tucker and Oliver

Meeting new friends at the dog park

Oliver doing his second to the favorite thing!

Juma spots a squirrel in the tree

Fly fishing in the park

A dog's nemesis

Wow, how fun is that!

Beth and her boys.

Knitting - May every stitch you knit bring you closer to that calm, clear space in the center of your soul.

Knitting - May every stitch you knit bring you closer to that calm, clear space in the center of your soul. by jpbeth
When I got Kim Klassen's BEYOND LAYERS challenge to come up with a mood, a word or phrase, the word that came to mind was KNITTING.  Knitting can be very descriptive, it’s a noun, it’s a verb, it’s even a type of stitch.  The knitting in the photo is a freeform knitted shawl, inspired by the amazing Jane Thornley, that I knitted without a pattern using both knit and pearl stitches with lots of textured yarns, ribbons and beaded threads.  

Knitting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  My mom and maternal grandmother, who lived with us part of the year, were always knitting.  I’d come home from school and they’d be sitting in the family room knitting and chatting away, my grandmother in Yiddish when she didn’t want me to know what was going on (no wonder I’m paranoid!!) and my mom understanding but not being able to  converse back.  The house was always clean and a home cooked dinner was always ready when my dad got home from work but now I wonder if they rushed to get those things done just to be able to sit down and enjoy their knitting. They would knit the most beautiful sweaters, some with gorgeous yarns like mohair which was very fashionable at the time, some with interesting stitches like cables or popcorn or they’d do intarsia knitting with intricate patterns.  I always had new and glorious sweaters to wear to school some for style, some for warmth.  My Barbie was styling too.

I was 10 when I knitted my first sweater, a soft and pretty textured gray and burgundy yarn.  It seemed like it took me forever on those thin needles and I think my mom had to finally finish it for me.   As an adult I knitted on and off but really got into it with the onset of the eyelash yarn craze - I was knitting scarf after scarf.  Scarves turned to sweaters and accessories.  When my husband died suddenly seven years ago, I looked to my knitting to help me get through my grief.  Sometimes for a few minutes, I would even forget that I was a widow and that my loving husband was gone.  I have read that the rhythmic repetitive movements of knitting are important in that they induce a form of meditation which can be very effective in treating depression and chronic pain.  It helps put into perspective any traumatic issues that would normally dominate your waking thoughts…a state of mind where you're not mulling over the past or fretting about the future.

Later I discovered felting which is where you shrink your finished knitted project in the washing machine, any and all mistakes are washed away and completely hidden...too bad we can't live our lives like that!  Gifts of felted purses, eyeglass cases and slippers abounded.  And knitting is social so you can knit and still converse (unless or course you’re knitting a complex pattern where you need complete silence).  I’m a lucky girl in that my new beau has a private plane and I’ve had the opportunity to fly to some awesome places; of course my knitting is always traveling along with me.  I can be his co-pilot listening and holding up my end of the conversation while still knitting away and making something from nothing.  Making something from nothing, what's better than that?

In this photo I used Kim's textures 'Simplicity' @overlay 45% and 'Confidence' @ hard light 78%.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hand made greeting cards - Lanai, Hawaii

Hand made greeting cards from my Lanai, Hawaii photos
I've made some blank note cards from four of the photos I took in Hawaii (see below).  I manipulated them in Photoshop, printed them out on photo quality paper and mounted them on beautiful deckled edge 4x6" card stock.  I signed them all.  An envelope is tucked inside.

If you're interested, you can purchase a set of these 4 unique cards for just $12 including shipping.  Just post a comment below or pop me an email at:

Hawaiian plantation homes in the early days may be                              generally described as having a low-profile wood  fame with vertical plank siding. Large porticos were also common. Perhaps the most distinct feature of these Hawaiian plantation homes was their roofs which tended to be wide-hipped with deep-bracketed eaves.
The name of the architectural style comes from the plantation laborers who came to Hawaii from China, Japan, the Philippines, Portugal and many other countries to work on sugarcane plantations, and to a lesser extent pineapple plantations, rice farms and other agricultural endeavors. The plantation style was often used in the homestead areas that housed plantation laborers. in size and reflecting a unique Island charm, Hawaiian plantation style architecture blends nicely with the Hawaiian environment. Hawaiian plantation architectural style is somewhat similar to what is known on the mainland as a bungalow style home.  
A rare an delicate beauty(pertaining to this orchid or you!)
My hand made greeting cards

Painterly Effect

African landscape

Mareeba Wetlands -  North Queensland, Australia
Here are two more of my shots that I enhanced in Photoshop using Kim Klassen's painterly method.  Check out the giraffe below.  I am learning so much in Kim's Beyond Layers class and just love this stuff.  A link to Kim's blog is under my Blog List.

Giraffe in Botswana

Giraffee in Botswana by jpbeth
Giraffee in Botswana, a photo by jpbeth on Flickr.
I'm currently taking Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class and the assignment was to do a painterly effect on a photo. I started with this photo that I took in Botswana of this big, beautiful lone giraffe which we came across after just getting out of our canoe from the Okavango Delta. Pretty awesome to find him right in front of us while we were on foot.

Lanai orchid

Lanai orchid by jpbeth
Lanai orchid, a photo by jpbeth on Flickr.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nuno Felting Workshop - Lanai, Hawaii

Thank you to the  Lanai
Arts Center for inviting me to teach a two day sustainable professional development weekend workshop in nuno felting preceded by a artist's reception on the Friday evening.  The island of Lanai is beautiful and the people are gracious and caring.  The workshop was a huge success and very fulfilling to me.  I already got notice that one of the newly made scarves just sold in the gallery.  Adding nuno felting to the repertoire of the fiber artists will be a huge kudo to both the artists and the Lanai Arts Center.
Rona modeling her newly made nuno felted scarf

Day 1 - Nuno Felted scarves hanging to dry

DAy 2 - hand dyed nuno felted scarves

Harriet modeling her periwinkle dyed nuno felted scarf.

Nat modeling her nuno felted scarf.  Started out with black silk gauze.

Nat modeling her hand dyed nuno felted scarf.  Started with white prefelt and white silk gauze.

Joy felted in fringes from an old scarf to add some pizazz.

Dr. Sharie and Eric collaborated to make this gorgeous scarf which they gave to me.  I am so jazzed!

Alicia felted this to look like Van Gogh's Starry Night - great job and it already sold in the gallery.

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