Laughing Dog Arts

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stuff I have accumulated #1

Rummaging through my valuable supplies, looking for cool stuff to attach to my current dooleybobber, I came across these items.  I likely picked them up at some garage sale.  Here is what every woman needs, a Sew It Yourself skirt kit.  Make it tonight!  The fabric is of undetermined fibers, but what a deal!  Only $1.00!!
Complete with instructions!!  It is as easy as 1-2-3!

Can be fit to any size from  8 to 16!  I'm about a size 8 but I haven't had a 20 inch waist since I was 14 years old.  I think yesterdays size 8 is today's size 2.
 If you are needing repairs on your brassiere or garter belt, help is available.  I have the Perfect Fastener for you!
Hose supporters.  I'll bet young people these days equate hose with record albums and rotary dial phones.  If they had any idea what those things were.  Come to think of it, they would be right to equate all those things together.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down vintage lane.

Be well. 
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Needle felting machine arrived!!

It's here!  My new Janome needle felting machine!  Also called an embellishing machine.  It doesn't sew, the needles in it are felting needles which means they have little barbs on the ends that cause the fibers of whatever it is you are running them over to push down and stay down when the needles come back up.  This machine has 5 needles but there are others that have different numbers of needles.
Of course I have been playing with it today.  Above you can see a couple of samples.  The orange one on the left was a wet felted piece that I needle felted some rayon fabric pieces down, shaped a flower.  The red and green one I started with a piece of batting and began needle felting bits of roving down, then added some scrim and ribbons to form the circles.
Above is some work I did on the piece I wet felted and showed here in my last post.  I think I liked it better before.  I'm not liking the purplish bits I put on.  since I took the picture I also have done some bead work in it.  Not sure if I will continue with this one or not.

Here is a shot of my ironing board, covered with my bags of colored roving. My blogging friend Maggi sent me some suggestions at my request so I shall be trying them out.  Also I bought the Quilting Arts In Stitches emagazine and there is a good article in it by Jane LaFazio with video showing how she needle felts her pieces on her machine.  Maggi suggested I try putting a piece of organdy under the needles to see what kind of texture they provide after felting.  Oh Yeah!  Very cool, they turn into little caterpillar like bits.  Fun!  Okay, gotta go, I have a play date in the studio!

Be Well.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wet felting

I'm getting excited about the embellisher machine I recently bought.  It hasn't arrived yet but I am busy creating some felted pieces that I will be able to play around with once it arrives.  Above you can see a piece that I began on Saturday night.  It is built on top of a piece of plain cheesecloth so it is Nuno felting.

Here I am showing the cheese cloth background with the colored roving on top. 
The next step is to wet it all down before I roll it up in plastic bubble wrap and spend a bit of time rolling and felting the fibers.
Here is the same piece after the felting process is finished.  I am intending to cut this up and use bits and pieces in other dooleybobbers.  I needed some hand made felt as opposed to the  commercial craft felt.
Then I made this small piece, incorporating some silk fibers as well.  The silk is held by the wool fibers but doesn't actually felt by itself.  I will be embellishing this with hand stitching and beading.

  I received a few comments about my creative mess in the previous post so thought I would show you the equally creative mess on what used to be my dining room table in the house.  Or maybe it is purely a mess?  It is certainly no longer a dining table.  My whole house is a big mess.  I don't have time for cleaning, there are more important things to do.  Art needs to be made!  Cleaning only comes before creativity in the dictionary.

I hope you are all safe and snug in your cozy homes. 
Be well.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Full Moon Fever

I think I have it. Full moon fever. Or maybe it is just the glass of wine I drank. When I looked up and saw this moon outside my window I really didn't think I could capture it with my little hand held camera but the picture didn't turn out too badly. It was great to have a dry sunny day today after all that rain. The dogs and I really enjoyed our walk even if we did have to wade through the creek to get out to the field.
When I was visiting my friend Mary yesterday she showed me these stones she found in a creek near her home. We can't figure out what they are. Do any of you know or have a guess? Evidently there were lots of them in the creek bed.
The holes seem to me to be man made. I'm guessing some kind of fishing weights, maybe hand made by Native Americans.
Or maybe not. I don't know.

It is my cousin Karen's birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!! When you going to come out and see me? It is also Audrey's birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUDREY!! I hope you both had good days. I did. I hope you all

Be well.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dooleybobber #11

Before I show you the dooleybobber I want to show you my table top.  As you may be able to tell, I have been working on various projects.   You can see bead work, card making, CD burning, my S&B project with chip boards, the dooleybobber, book making.  Blank books, not the other kind of book making where you need a bookie, heheh.

This above is the beginning of my most recent dooleybobber.  When I looked at it, I could suddenly see the loose black strands as hair.  I remembered that I had a paper clay face somewhere.  I found it, debated if I should paint it but I rather liked the stark white of the face against the vivid colors on the wool background.
The photo doesn't show the detail on the face very well.  I just used a mold that I purchased to make the face and painted it with gel medium as a sealant.  This piece really told me what it wanted.

Dooleybobber #11 or She Loved the Moon
almost 7"x7"

On my walk one day I realized the turquoise beads I had would look good as a necklace.
I had these little felt heart beads from my friend Anja that seemed to fit in well.
A bit of blue sheer fabric wanted to be behind one of the hearts. 
I recently bought some copper sheets, and cut one of them to serve as a moon for the piece.  Added a few beads here and there and some tiny star shaped sequins and there you have it.
 I have wet felted a couple of small pieces in preparation for my next dooleybobbers.  These are nuno felted to fabric.  The one above is on some cotton cheese cloth and the one below to some colorful gauzy rayon.  I'm looking forward to playing with these pieces.  You can get an idea of their size by the cutting mat behind them.  Fairly small.
Like any true Oregonian, I love this season of rain.  I also love the sun of course, but these warm rainy winter days are a part of my soul and I enjoy going out for wet walks with the dogs, then coming back to a cozy wood stove and a cup of steaming hot coffee.  Yes, I am a coffee drinker, not a tea drinker!  I'll pick Starbucks over the tea shop any day.  Not that I have occasion to go to either very often.  Sometimes I have herbal tea at night or maybe just a cup of hot water.  I drink more hot water than tea but there is no drink quite as satisfying to me as a good strong cup of hot coffee.  A bit of cream, please!  
I think we have skated past the flood waters this time around so I will sleep better tonight.  I hope you will all
Be well.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Random photos

Rock Stack

I use Picasa, a free photo program from Google, to play with my photos.  They are easily transferred to my blog. 
Pear with Leaves
                             It has many features, such as photo collaging. 

You can stack photos on top of each other and see them both at the same time. 

This one is not even adjusted, it is frost on my window. It doesn't need anything to make it more interesting.
This photo has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was very hilarious. Not that incontinence is hilarious, but pairing it up there on the sign in the grocery store struck me as very funny.  Maybe persons suffering from incontinence read and write a lot?

It is raining here and we are under flood watch again.  Good day to stay inside and work in the studio.  I got the Tallest Man on Earth CD today so I shall listen to that and play.  Hope you all are also able to spend time with your art.

Be well.
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Journal making class

What does the above photo have to do with a journal making class you might ask? I'm just showing you what we woke up to on the morning of the class.  Snow!  It probably doesn't look like much to you people who are used to snow but around here, things grind to a halt when it arrives.  Practically, anyway.
So instead of 10 people at the class, there were only 4 of us, counting me.  That was fine though, really.   For my very first teaching gig, 3 students were plenty.  April generously allowed us to have the class in her house (Thanks, April!) and we had plenty of room on her big table.  She also put out snacks, and one of the other students, Charlene also brought some banana bread.  Good snacks!  Thanks!

Jan, April, Charlene, Cathy 
I taught a basic, one signature book with the end papers glued to the front and back covers.  I wasn't teaching journaling.  I wanted to show how easy it is to create a hand made journal.  We started sometime after 10am and finished easily by 2pm.  That was with lots of talking and laughing too.  Oh yes, and eating of snacks.

Charlene's book 

Cathy's book

April's book

We all intend to do more work on them at home, I'll show you mine later after I finish embellishing it.  For now it looks pretty boring.  I think everyone is jazzed about the possibilities of these simple books.  Easy to make as gifts or for yourself.  I'll show some books I have made in another post, some of them I have posted before.
Thanks to April for hosting, Cathy for coming the longest way (clear from Portland!) and to Charlene for attending (and bringing snacks! don't forget about the snacks!).  Maybe we will do it again after the weather is better so those people who had wanted to come can do so.  Until then, 
Be well.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Forest for the trees

I love living here in the NW corner of Oregon.  It does rain a lot, but I grew up here and so am used to it and I actually like it.  Keeps things green.  There are lots of deer around, we surprise them on our walks frequently. 
It's quiet and peaceful here.  Usually.  My property borders the State Forest and for more than 30 years I have enjoyed that beautiful second growth forest as my seemingly private playground.  It is called second growth as opposed to Old Growth because it has already been logged once and the forest now is what has grown back either naturally or been replanted.  State forest is pretty much a tree farm these days.  Now they replant immediately after harvesting the trees and it only takes about 40 years (only!) for a tree to grow big enough to be harvested.  Things really grow here, it is essentially a temperate rain forest, you can't stop things from growing.
Approximately 40 year old trees.

So I always knew that some day they would be coming with their saws to cut down "my" forest.  The day has arrived.  This week began with men in hard hats cruising through the woods, putting up stakes marking the boundary between my land and the state forest.   On Wednesday the men with the saws showed up.  All day long I hear the buzz of the saws and the "plonk, plonk, plonk" of the wedges being driven into the cuts, soon followed by the sound of the last sigh of the tree as it leans over, branches swishing through the air, finally hitting the ground with a loud reverberating crash.  I hate that sound.
I am thankful that for now, they are only thinning this section of the forest.  I am thankful that I have a strip of land between me and the state forest so I don't have to see the trees coming down.   200 feet doesn't sound like much but it is enough.   Otherwise, the photo below shows what I would be seeing when I look out my front window.
We all use products from the forest, either in lumber or paper products.  At my house we recycle as much as possible and we reuse lumber until it is too rotted to be of use and then sometimes I carry it back into the forest and lay it down in my paths to help keep my feet out of the mud and let it finish rotting there.

We can get a permit to go into the logged over areas and collect firewood from the leavings for heating our house.  The waste in the forest is unbelievable.  The pile of wood the men are cutting on above is what they leave.  There is twice that still on the ground scattered about.  Well, it can rot and furnish nutrients for the next trees that will grow there.  I don't have to be happy about it though.  I heard a story the other day about a researcher who unknowingly cut down the oldest living organism in the world.  A tree, I think it was a bristle cone pine, that was over 4000 years old.  4000 years old!  I cried when I heard that.  That poor tree, standing there for so long, only to be cut down so a researcher could count the rings.  It makes me sick.   Well, there are worse things in this world, but I'd rather not think about those things. 
We collect a lot of firewood to heat the house and the studio.  I don't call my BF Chain Saw Man for nothing!
That saw in his hands is not one he uses.  He collects them too and that is one from his collection.  Weird, huh.

I feel better, getting all that off my chest.  I'm not looking for sympathy here, just keeping you all abreast of what's going on in my life.  Tomorrow is my journal making class so maybe my next post will be about that.  Until then, 
Be well.

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