In all my busy-ness I had almost totally forgotten that I had some ornaments in another Lark book, this one called 'Tis the Season to Be Felt-y" by Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio, those champions of fun felt projects.
I don't do a lot of felt sewing of this type any more but looking through the book made me want to rummage around in my supplies and set aside some quiet time to stitch.
There are lots of adorable and retro-inspired projects in this book but I was tasked with making something a little earthier and muted. Working with recycled garment wool that I dyed, I made little pears and a partridge to hang in the tree.
I'll be taking these little guys into the gift shop at work.
If you'd like a copy of the book, Amazon has it for a great price right now. (and if you choose The Crossing Arts Alliance as your charity for Amazon Smile, a wee fraction of a percent of your purchase price will go towards supporting the arts in my area. Thanks!)
We have two new friends, apparently dropped off on our doorstep, as happens when you live in the country.
Our Empty Bowls fundraiser was a great success, allowing us to make a nice donation to our soup kitchen again. It's a lot of work, but a really rewarding project.
I've been doing some needling on pieces for a show that opens on the 20th. I now officially have 4 pieces in various stages of completion. At this point it's a mystery which one/s will be done in time.
I really need to hide away and reconnect with my art for a while. Anyone have a spare hermit cave they can lend me?
Here's something different. Last week my youngest boy and I took a cigar box guitar workshop being offered by my work (The Crossing Arts Alliance)
Neither of us play the guitar, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to learn the art of low-brow luthiership from maker and talented tattoo artist Tony Powers and co-teacher Brent Shepard.
These two have made CBG's from everything from cigar boxes to oars and cookie tins. In the hands of Tony and Brent these things sound great.
We were given the basic pieces of the guitar to assemble, decorate, and string.
My boy with his new geetar.
Everyone added their own flavor to their instruments.
Mary from LPTV was there to film and you can see the clip here
You're surprised to see mushrooms on mine, right?
This class was so much fun. The teachers made it very accessible and were able to handle any missteps we students made, and it was so cool to have one of them playing throughout the class, giving us hope that we might make something that sounded half as good. And, it's always fun to learn something new, right?
On Saturday I spent the day at a TEDx talk and have come away feeling really inspired and uplifted. I was also introduced to the music of Corey Medina, who moved from New Mexico to Minnesota (on purpose), and I am utterly entranced.
Our second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is coming up this Saturday, and I'm so proud to be a part of this event. Last year we raised $5000 for the local soup kitchen and we hope to raise more this year.
I am donating a couple of bowls this year, including this little mushroom-inspired one, which by the way, has sparked inspiration for me in a big way (more to come, hopefully).
If you are not familiar, Empty Bowls is a nationwide grass roots effort to raise awareness of, and combat, food insecurity in our communities. Next Saturday, Oct. 24th from 11am to 2pm, The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd will be hosting the event at the Franklin Arts Center. For a $20 donation, guests are invited to a simple and delicious meal of soup and bread, and are invited to choose a handmade bowl to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.
If you are local, I'd love to see you. I'll be running around but will be adequately name-tagged so please stop me and say hi if you make it out.
I've had a big week and there are other things I'm excited to share with you.
Just overnight the leaves got their cue to turn and my woods are a subtle wash of golds, rusty oranges, and mossy greens. In a few days they'll brighten and then they'll fade again, leaving the brown oaks with their lichen-encrusted trunks to be the focus.
I love the golden light, the smell, the crinkly leaves, the jeans with flannels, all of it. I don't even mind that fall is the precursor to winter, which seems to be the longest season of all here in Minnesota. Hey, winter is alright, it just overstays its welcome, that's all.
The next few weeks are going to be busy at work with fundraisers, kids events, and upcoming shows, but I aim to make time to do some stitching, do some baking, and get out in the rustling leaves.
In the meantime, I've made the last of this season's acorns, just two sets. They're in the shop today.
We're having a fundraiser where I work in which almost 50 of our artists have created artwork on 8"x8" canvases that will be sold starting Sat. Oct. 10th. We were to make a piece that was representative of our "style" and this is what I came up with.
The first thing I did was to take the canvas off and use just the frame. I needled my scene and, in wanting to keep the 8"x8" size, "framed" my piece with leather belt pieces.
It looks at home on the forest floor but it's actually meant to hang on the wall.
Those ants found their way into my piece, I'm sure, because of this encounter.
For those of you that are local, please join us on Oct. 10th from 10-2 in the Crossing Arts Gift Shop in the Franklin Arts Center for this fun sale, mingling, and snacks. Each of the pieces will be available for sale for $50 or you can take your chances and place a bid at $25. If no one outbids you by the end of the month, the piece is yours. There are some beauties to be had, and it's for a great cause.
I saw a lone dandelion stalk illuminated in the rising sun this morning. By the time I grabbed my camera to capture it, the sun had moved past it. I captured it anyway, and instead of an illuminated orb I see stitches.
There's been a secret I've kept from you all, one that gets carefully omitted from photos, and oft-discussed with my husband. A giant, unsightly beast, whose mere presence raises my blood pressure. An eyesore representative of just another project left uncompleted, hidden under tarps. Given to us as a gift, we (ahem, husband) imagined happy family adventures on the road but it's yet to be moved. I've threatened to call the scrap company to haul it away a dozen times only to be reminded that it has new tires, and it's one part away from running, and we've already started to gut the inside, and we have paint!
It was in a conversation this weekend that I began to see it differently; as an opportunity rather than an eyesore.
But oh holy buckets is it an eyesore.
We had started to gut it a few years ago and just look at this mess.
I do dig that plaid seat though.
So it seems I have myself a new project and maybe, just maybe, lil fish studios will be on the road someday soon.