The Needle-felting Machine!

The needle-felting machine. You saw it and you just had to have it! Now it is home and you are staring at it in the box. What to do?? Should I open it? If I do then I will have to try and use it…but I am scared!!! It looked so easy at the demonstration. I saw all the cool things you could do with it.

I was hooked!

But now here it is and I am afraid to open the box.

Does this sound familiar? You saw the cool fabric that was being made and you had so many ideas.

You saw how you could use your scraps of leftover fiber, fabric, ribbons, yarn & more. I don’t want to break any needles but I want to try!

Don’t be afraid! Take it out of the box.

Get a scrap piece of muslin or felt as your base. Lay out some fine wisps of roving on the base. Put it under the needles and here you go! It’s like machine quilting in a way. You run the machine faster then you are moving the piece. I usually put the pedal all the way down and then move my piece slower. If you move too fast and change directions quickly you will break needles. So do be careful.

Here is a cool blog I found; http://janeville.blogspot.com/2010/06/1.html on making a piece using a needle felting machine. She lays it out step by step with great pictures!

rainbow series pink yellow

If you are looking to learn how to use your machine and want one on one, step by step instructions I am available for lessons. Please contact me at anitahomespun@gmail.com

I would be happy to get you started!

Happy creating!

Anita

Fun & Funky!

I was on Pinterest this morning and came across this cool idea for a journal cover. It was from the blog post of Expression Fiber Arts. What a great way to use up small bits of wool, ribbons, and other scrap fibers and jewlery! I think this is my next project!

https://blog.expressionfiberarts.com/2013/11/30/how-to-make-a-fun-and-funky-felted-journal-cover/

Off to do some Holiday visiting!

Happy Creating!

Anita

The Pineapple

SYMBOL OF HOSPITALITY

The pineapple as a welcoming icon can trace its roots to Christopher Columbus, who brought he succulent fruit back to Europe from its ancestral home in the late 1400s. Believed to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay, Columbus “discovered” the fruit in Guadeloupe in 1493.

Legend has it that captains would mount a pineapple on their gateposts outside their home to signify a safe return home. They were also an invitation to visit, enjoy food and drink and hear tales of the sailors’ adventures.

In colonial America, hostesses would place a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece at the table when entertaining visitors in their homes. Visiting was the primary method of cultural exchange as well as entertainment, so hospitality was central to colonial life. The pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests and became the dessert for the meal.

I have loved this image for a long time and always wanted to make it into a project. Here is my interpretation of a pattern I found by Vicki Stratton Designs

I chose to use hand-dyed wool for the stem at the top of the pineapple. Instead of individual leaves I made it in 3 pieces graduating the color from dark to light.

Here is the finished project… a table runner. It still needs quilted but I am excited about the colors. I had enough pineapple material left over so I made a bag with the motif. There is still fabric left to make another pineapple motif and I may just make a pillow too!

Kits will be available soon!

Happy Creating, Anita

I

Artistic Block

I love this quote! It wasn’t until just recently I finally figured this out! All my life I wanted nothing more then to be a fashion designer, a writer, an artist. I think you can see…it was just about being a very creative person and having the ability to express my feelings in an artistic way for the world to see.

While I dabbled in writing my passion was to become a designer/artist. Over the years I have had some successes but just never quit reached the level I envisioned. I didn’t have a lot of self confidence and struggled with my self image.

All my life I have been overweight and just could not take it off. Before I got married, I did lose a bunch but it wasn’t a healthy way of losing it.

anita wedding

I felt fantastic. However, because I did not lose it the right way I gained it all back and more!

anita may 2015

Over the years I did all the diets and felt miserable. While I did eventually become an Occupational Therapist and had a successful career,  I never realized my artistic potential.

It wasn’t until I was taking yoga classes that my instructor told me when I got my health under control my creative and artistic side would shine and fall into place!

Boy was she right. After I retired almost 2 years ago, I finally got into a  program where I started losing wt. and feeling stronger. I began to have success and feel better about myself and my future.

camp apollo

I learned about exercise, which was good and I did gain strength and built muscle and lost fat. However it became too much and my body started to hurt all the time. I also learned some about nutrition but I found myself in a holding pattern.

OK, so you may be wondering what does this have to do with creating. It has to do with energy and feeling good about yourself so you can express yourself no matter what your passion is.

2018 collage

So what happened to change everything. Several months ago I met Keith Klein and his program Lean body Coaching and everything changed!

Keith, a certified nutritionist, has been in the business for close to 40 years. He has taken on the food industry to reveal their lies and helped people realize the hidden fat in foods that are advertised as good for us! Did you know that oil sprays state 0gms of fat is a lie? Actually there are over 900 in one can!   His program reveals this and so much more.

I started my 6 month journey in this program with my own coach,  personal cookbook and food plan customized to my goals. Everyone is so professional and knowledgeable and eager to help you succeed! I never feel hungry & the food is amazing because I have learned many secrets for cooking this food myself 🙂

Bottom line is I have gained energy and my mind is clearer. I have taken a more reasonable approach to exercise and feeling so much more in control of my lifestyle. As a result I have been able to focus more on my art and am happy with the time in my studio.

stanley
If you are stuck and feel like you are not in control of your lifestyle, spinning in circles then I suggest checking out this program. It sure helped me begin to really understand how to lose the fat and create a sustainable lifestyle eating food made from nature and not made by man!!

If you are ready I suggest to check out the program at
http://www.leanbodycoaching.com?fp_ref=anita65

Happy Creating!
Anita

Stitching time…

Over the past several months I have done multiple wool paintings. These were wet felted and are in need of being finished. Finishing means putting in some machine stitching, hand stitching, extra needle felting or other embellishments to add extra texture and depth to a painting.

One of my favorite artist in this media is Moy Mackay

Her work is absolutely stunning and so inspirational. moy AFTER-THE-STORM-MM17_48-F88-X88CM-£1995-220x170moyMM18_43-HEATHER-VALLEY-GRAZING-220x170                             moy MM18_17-GRAZING-ON-WASH-DAY-1-220x170

These paintings have all been made using wool and other fibers. She creates such detail and texture in her pieces.

I just received her latest book The Art of Moy Mackay I have her previous 2 books and they were awesome but I am blown away by the detailed information in this book. I can’t wait to get into it and pick up ideas to finish my pieces and create some new ones! 🙂

Happy Creating!

Anita 🙂

spring flowers

flowers

Brrrrrrrrr…..it’s cold outside! Negative numbers the last two days 😦 But, I am turning my thoughts to spring. Currently I am working on a new wall hanging inspired by the picture above; featuring penny flowers 🙂

Background will be a dyed piece of wool with sky and ground. You fill in your garden with wool applique and stitching. It is a great way to explore new stitches or adding beads and other embellishments! I’ve got my pennies and threads ready to go!img_32355b15d

If you are not sure what stitches to try, Creative Stitching by Sue Spargocreativestitching

Now off to dye some wool background pieces and get stitching!

Happy Creating! Anita ❤

New Program in 2019

Can you believe we are almost at the end of January in the new year! One of my goals for 2019 was to be more active in the community.  Barb of Bee Happy Quilting is always telling me people ask for wool. She sends them to my studio (not far away) but they never seem to get here. So we decided I needed bring the wool to them!

Two times a month I will be at Barb’s shop with my hand-dyed wool. There will be samples to view and kits to buy along with various sizes and bundles of wool. I will be featuring something new each month! For February there are two projects of which both have kits.

I have also dyed some pretty pink and red wool colors….YUMMY!

pink and red wool

To keep up on new things happening you can check out Anita’s Homespun on Facebook 🙂

The next event will be February 6th. See you then!

Happy Creating! Anita 🙂

Is it wool felt or felted wool?

Dyeing wool fabric. When done wool is felted.

I get asked this question all the time. People want to know if they are the same or different.

The answer…they are two different things…let me explain!

Felted Wool: This fabric that has been woven on a loom. It needs to be shrunk so the final fabric can be manipulated without fraying. It can be easily cut and used in wool applique projects. The process is fairly easy.

How to felt wool: Whether felting wool fabric or a wool sweater from Goodwill, the process is the same. Felting wool requires three conditions — heat, moisture and friction — which can be provided by your home washing machine and dryer. Here are a few tips for successful felting:

  • Use a hot-water wash, a cold-water rinse, and the usual amount (per load) of whatever laundry soap you have on hand.
  • Set your home washing machine for the load setting that will allow free movement of your goods, but don’t use too much water or they will float at the top and not get enough agitation or friction. If you desire a thicker, more shrunken finish, wash the sweaters in a load with your regular laundry. The weight of jeans and towels agitates the wool and enhances the felting process.
  • Dry the sweaters in the dryer on high heat. This step tightens the felt further, and sometimes makes felt that lacks body become full of it!
  • If, after one cycle of washing and drying, you still haven’t achieved the desired felted texture, try repeating the process one or twice more.
  • After your sweaters have felted enough to hold a crisp edge when cut, remove them promptly from the dryer, smooth them out, and stack them flat to store until you’re ready to use them. This keeps wrinkles at bay and the need for ironing to a minimum. It also allows for maximum visibility of your material palette.

When drying make sure to not dry completely. You don’t want to get wrinkles to set in by drying completely. Now you are ready to cut your material for your project!

wool applique

woolfelt-group

Wool Felt:

Wool felt is not a WOVEN product. Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers or wood pulp-based rayon.

colored_felt_cloth

YOU DO NOT NEED TO FELT THIS PRODUCT! If you put it through the washer like wool fabric you will end up with a Brillo pad!!!! LOL

You can however create a fleece-like look by getting it wet, squeezing out the water and putting in the dryer on regular setting. Again do not over dry! You can learn more about wool felt at National Nonwovens

Try a free project. free projects

When should I use wool felt or felted wool? It depends! Wool fabric is more expensive then wool felt (unless you are getting sweaters and felting them). If you are just starting out you may want to purchase a kit with wool felt. Some people just love wool and they do not want to use anything else!

Can you use both? Absolutely! There are no rules. I have used wool for the appliques and then attached them to a wool felt background.

Wool applique on wool felt background.

You can also applique either on to cotton fabric and turn it into a quilt. I tend to do this a lot.

All these quilted wall hangings have cotton, wool, and/or wool felt on them.

There you have it! I hope that helps! You can keep up to day on what I am doing in my studio by following me on Facebook

You can also find me on Pinterest

Happy Creating! Anita

Husband and Wife passions!

sid-brush-hog          img_0692

This is my husband. His passion…being in the outdoors, especially on the farm. He absolutely loves tractors and working on them. He was so proud when he finally finished his restorations on this model and could put her to work (yeah!!!, I don’t know why they refer to them as a “her”?). As you can see his favorite color is also red. I have to confess though he loves them all; we even have some yellow in the collection.

He can spend hours in the garage working on just one tiny aspect of putting something back together. Why? I guess that is the age-old question. I asked him once why he loved working on these old things. He said “It’s a challenge! I like to make things work better then they did when I got them”.

He is working on his last big project for now. Things have changed in our life and we will slowly be downsizing the farm. That’s OK though because his next love is fishing and hunting. Fishing always takes a back seat because of the farm work in the spring an summer. He is sooooooooo… looking forward to more fishing.

We used to fish a lot when we were going together. Trout, salmon on Lake Erie, bull head (fishing at night!), and northern pike. We went all over.

lamb

This is my passion! Isn’t it cute 🙂

I love all fiber but mostly wool. Every since my Dad got that first sheep when we were kids I have loved them. cheviot

I always wanted to raise sheep. As I have gotten older I can see it may be easier and more economical to purchase wool already shorn from the animal…LOL We’ve raised horses and beef cattle but now sheep. My husband is not enthusiastic about it as they raised them when he was a young kid. Our horses; Star, Molly & Garnet, are all gone now, just cows.

When we were first married I moved in with my husband on his father’s farm. My dowry was a pig, “Miss Piggy” and two chickens. One named “Miss Priss” and the other one did not have a name. My father-in-la made me a beautiful chicken coop (notice I did not say husband!). It was quite a palace…LOL My mother-in-law continued to use it for years after I left. She loved her chickens.

Sorry, I got a little off topic there…Anyway, I love everything about wool. I love dyeing it, spinning it, felting it and of course knitting or weaving with it!

cranberry-sangria        rainbow-spun

There are so many possibilities with it in it’s raw state. However, my first real introduction to it was using wool fabric. I love the look of applique quilts but I did not have the patience for doing all that turning under! That is when I discovered wool applique. (More on this another time).heart-applique-2

So back to passion. What exactly is it? The dictionary defines it as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. I guess that applies to my husband and I, but what keeps us doing it over and over again? For that answer I went back to my Occupational Therapy knowledge (Did you know OT   celebrates 100 years as profession this year!)             1950-coal-miner-occupational-therapy-rehab-kp-vallejo2

Mihaly Csikszentmihályi, psychologist. https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow

mihaly_csikszentmihalyi
Happy looking fellow!

Mihaly is someone we reference a lot in OT. He recognized the state of flow during some of his research. What is flow? Also known as the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. It’s about getting lost in what you are doing. You lose all track of time and even the feeling of hunger (OMG maybe lose some weight!) or being tired.

WOW! I have experienced this many times. I will get onto an idea about something and I come out from the sewing room and find my husband has gone to bed (at least he leaves one light on for me)…where did the time go? It is in those moments that I feel most productive and accomplished!I’m not sure how long one could stay in that state. Days? Weeks???

So I guess the bottom line is you first have to really love something (passion) to keep you doing it for an unconsciously long period of time (flow). Yep! that sounds about right…

Please tell me your story about passion or flow. What get’s you excited and lost in time? I would love to hear.

Happy creating! Anita