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Starry Night Done

I swung into action last week working on my project for a Postmark’d Art trade and posted about it here.  The process for me is always one of adding, viewing on the wall, and adding.  It began to look more painterly to me here.

One of the lovely things about felting on the black batting is that it’s easy to steam with the iron and have it come back to almost 100% full size. I steamed from the wrong side to avoid melting the tulle on the front. I’m getting closer to being satisfied with it here.

Beads were in order, then I trimmed and cut the final piece into nine 4″ x 6″ pieces.

And here they are ready to mail.

I used clear MonoPoly filament on the edges because I didn’t want to disturb the design by creating a formal border. I think it’s appropriate that one of these postcards will be headed for the Netherlands. I hope all of my trading friends will enjoy their piece of this larger work.

This is not the first van Gogh project that I’ve done. When I bought my felting machine in July 2008 I was eager to get acquainted with it. I dove straight into creating a swirling sun in the van Gogh style.

As you can see, this was a much larger project creating 21 postcards.  I placed snips of cotton fabric onto white felt, covered it with tulle and needled it. I have traded and sold all but one — the very center.

Work in Progress: Starry Night

Today is the 159th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. Happy birthday Vincent! The words to Don McLean’s hit song Vincent has been swirling around in my head for several days now and, unlike other times when I’ve found it annoying to have a tune linger this long, I’m enjoying its calming effect.

Postmark’d Art currently has a group making and trading postcards inspired by van Gogh and I’m part of that particular group.  At first I thought I would use one of his sunflower paintings as inspiration but when Janet Hartje sent her postcard with sunflowers I knew I’d jump on my second choice — that wonderful swirly night sky.  And (drum roll) this is another opportunity to use my needlefelting machine. I say it’s Kismet!

Focusing on the top right corner of the sky — it has plenty of drama — I’m using a piece of black batting as my surface to needle wool roving into. I covered the first layer of roving with a very fine netting that has flecks of sparkle on it. Most of it has been removed here.

Hum along with me and stay tuned.

Starry, starry night.

Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,

Swirling clouds in violet haze,

Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue.

Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,

Weathered faces lined in pain,

Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand.

Inspired Gifting

It’s always nice to know that you have inspired someone to action through your own actions. Well. . . almost always.  Just before coming to my home for Christmas dinner, my friend Shari discovered her lint trap was full of pink lint. Remembering my recent post on needlefelting my own dryer lint (be sure to read the 12-13 posting too), she did what a good friend would do — she tied a bow around it and popped it into a gift bag.

It did get a good laugh!

I think that re-gifting this would be a nice idea, don’t you? Yes, I’ll do something with it. Recycling is what we call it today. And since this is such a “personal” gift, it may become a birthday postcard. Or perhaps, since it’s a joint-venture lint collection, maybe an anniversary card. Who knows? I’ll look to the new year for new direction and inspiration.

Meanwhile, don’t save your lint for me. Be inspired to use it yourself.

Lint Landscape

The Lint Landscape is done! And I’m quite pleased with it. It seems to have a nice structure, movement and a bit of whimsy.

Whodathunk that a mundane weekly task like laundry could lead to the creation of art? I’ll admit that needle felting has been on my mind lately — but this little landscape would not have come into being if I had not be observant enough to notice the great color of the lint. This has been a great reminder to keep my eyes and ears open to the possibilities that are at hand every day.

In what unlikely place have you found inspiration that drove you to your studio?

Distracted by Dryer Lint

I cleaned out my lint trap the other day and couldn’t throw it out. You see, I usually toss the lint so frequently that I don’t have much to toss. Thanks to my recent slovenliness in this area, I had a nice 1/4″ deep pile of lint in an interesting shade of gray. Well, one can’t just leave lint lying about. I did the only thing I could do….I hooked up the felting machine.

This is rather like punching room-temperature butter. In no time I had a nice “background.”

A simple landscape is developing.

It seems to be calling out for some additional thread work and beads. I’ll be able to get back to this in a day or two. I’m not going to feel too bad about letting this interrupt my threadpainting project — this is a small piece and I’ll be back to the sun print next week.

I’ve felted dryer lint before, but it has been quite a while. I created some bark postcards that were a lot of fun. I never know when inspiration will hit. Perhaps I should let the lint trap fill up more regularly.

More Needlefelting

Yum! I am loving the hand of these needlefelted pieces. Here is the second half of the crewel-embroidered snippet I found. The cording on the edge was tied around a Christmas gift last year. It’s so fun to repurpose things that come into my life — especially in unexpected ways.

And here is the first of two postcards using wool roving. That is variegated silk ribbon embroidered.

I must acknowledge a strong influence from Beki Ries-Montgomery, a Oregon artist I trade fabric postcards with through Postmark’d Art — just one of many artists that have taught me so much.

Needlefelting

I’ve turned half of the crewel-embroidered fabric I needlefelted into a postcard. The fabric included a metallic thread stitched around much of the individual motifs, however, after needlefelting the metallic thread was cut too much to leave hanging here and there. So I removed the tidbits of broken threads and added my own bling with some beads. It still looks rich and exotic.

I am beading the second piece of this fabric now and I’m thoroughly enjoying the hand work. Even with the felting treatment, the pile on this fabric is deep enough to bury the beads into it, making handling a very pleasant thing. And what fun it is to use the felting machine again! I will get it humming again soon.

Needlefelting

The needlefelting machine has been idle for simply too long. Time to dig out the wool roving and do something with it!


And look what I found while pulling out the roving. It’s an embroidered snippet (about 6″ x 8″) of who-knows-what that my cousin left me from his estate. It looks like crewel embroidery done on black bridal veil.


It felted easily. Though there was an outline stitching of a coarse metallic something-er-other that I’ve been pulling out. It’s pretty exotic looking….perhaps some beading.