Studio Glimpse…

Alternate titles that came to mind: The Aftermath.  Or: Waste Not.

This image shows a jumble of my hand-spun yarns and prefelt scraps, left after I tidied up my work tables from laying out yardage for some new Rhapsody Rose Corsage pins.  One of the aspects of feltmaking that I value is how useful every “leftover” element may be.  There is very little waste, and most materials are biodegradable or reusable.  The green prefelt bits and yarns will be used in surface design work on other pieces.  Of course, I have a large bag of bits of fiber that are too small to be saved…


Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm  Comments (2)  

Everything Takes Inordinate Time…

…I am not complaining.  The things that are labor-intensive and love-intensive just take a lot of time.   Here are three photos that show a Rhapsody Rose Corsage Pin: out of the package, in the package (pardon the glare off the plastic card “sleeve”), and a close-up detail of the little bow I fashioned from some of my hand-spun yarn that embellishes each package.   I hope they convey some of the energy and vitality of hardy spring flowers — some that are now blooming and others just peeking up through the earth in my garden — even though as I write this, it’s actually snowing.  Can a flower be described as “fearless”?  How much healing and optimism can be offered up in a small labor of love?  I hope my work makes you smile.

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm  Comments (2)  

Simple Rhapsody

This scarf is so light-weight, it’s almost a “cobweb” felt; but the mid-layer of this silk/merino/cashmere provides delicate softness, graceful drape and supple strength.  It’s double-sided: soft pink on one side, and deep rose on the other, with delicate silk fibers embedded into the ruffles all around the edges.  The photos show different ways of arranging the same scarf with a few different “Rhapsody Rose Corsage” pins.

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 11:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Studio Goal

While working on the most recent group of “Rhapsody Rose Corsage” pins, I thought of the expression “something lost, something gained” when I examined the results.  I like the whimsical quality of the pins, as well as knowing they will wear well because they’ve been crafted to be durable.  But there’s a softness in the layout before the pins are felted/fulled — a delicate quality — that I am able to preserve in Rhapsody Rose scarves, but that I have not figured out for the pins.  I think this is due to the abundance of silk fibers I use in the layers of the scarves; vs. the merino and Finnwool for the base layers of the pins; and also due to the difference in processing: each little pin is cut out and individually worked to strengthen the felt.   In the coming days I’m hoping to create some “Rose” pins that will retain more of the soft, lustrous quality of the roses in the scarves, but that will still be sturdy and durable pins…


Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Felted Antidotes

After being felted, then individually fulled, and beaded with a variety of vintage buttons and beads as well as some glass beads,  six “Rhapsody Rose” corsages are ready to have pin backs carefully stitched on.  I love creating them and I love how they make people smile.


Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 2:17 am  Comments (1)  

Studio Visit: Second Glimpse of the “Rhapsody Rose Corsage Pins” Lay-out

Here are the not-yet-felted pins, all fluffy and layered and waiting to be covered, wet, felted, cut into shape and fulled; then beaded and finished with pin backs.   If you click on the photo you can see the various fibers and fabrics, as well as those curly, shiny kid mohair locks.

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Studio Visit: “Rhapsody Rose Corsage Pin” Lay-out with MOOD Fabrics


The image above shows the start of laying out fibers for some “Rhapsody Rose Corsage” pins.  In the center of  my workspace, I’ve arranged three layers of various fibers, including several green colors of merino wool and a fluffy Finn wool in deep moss green, on top of bubble wrap that’s placed on top of some plastic shelf liner to keep the bubble wrap from sliding on my work table.  These fibers provide the base for the flowers, as well as providing some green “prefelt” yardage from which I’ll cut leaves for other work.  On top of this green layer, I place strips of silk fabric, including some of the silk fabrics from MOOD.  I nestle tendrils of curly kid mohair locks and my hand-spun yarns to overlap the strips of silk fabric; then cut leaves from green “prefelted” yardage I’ve previously made and arrange these leaves on top of the other elements; and finally I fashion a rose from some of my hand-spun and a few bits of silk fabric strips &/or some wisps of merino fiber, and place the rose on top.  I’ll craft four or five closely-spaced designs in this layout, then cover/wet/felt them.  I’ll carefully cut out each “corsage” while the fibers are still wet.  Finally, I’ll “full” (work to shrink) each Corsage individually, and gently coax the various elements into final shape.


Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

MOOD Fabrics

This past week I had the pleasure of buying silk at MOOD Fabrics in the NYC Garment District.   Even though I bought a small amount of fabric, the folks at MOOD were, as always, so helpful and kind.  And as before, just being surrounded by so much exquisite fabric was inspiring.  The image, above, shows the four different fabrics I purchased — and which I plan to combine and incorporate in a variety of scarves and other felted pieces this spring.  I thought it might be interesting to show some parts of the process of transforming silk fabric and wool and other fibers into a felted scarf…

Inspired by these four, half-yard cuts of silk, I gathered fibers to card and spin into art yarn.  The above photo shows yarn that incorporates strips of the “burnout” lavender silk and iridescent gold/pale blue silk chiffon fabric.  Sparkling next to the just-spun yarn, a string of vintage crystal beads I recently found at Apple Hill Antiques in State College, PA.

The third photo, above, shows the medley of yarns I spun that were inspired by the four MOOD silk fabrics.  In the coming days I hope to post images of how these yarns will be transformed into felted scarves and “Rhapsody Rose” corsage pins.    I’m grateful for the amazing and affordable fabrics at MOOD, and for the people who work there, who make shopping for fabric such a pleasant experience.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm  Comments (1)  

New Rhapsody Rose Pins

Three new Rhapsody Rose pins…

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Working on the current “Rhapsody Rose” series has been instructive — and as I’ve experimented with varying type, color and amount of different fibers, sometimes the result shimmers with an opalescent quality of movement and reflection of light.   An abundance of silk and cashmere brings a quality of weightlessness and delicate softness to the drape, so they are silky rather than bulky, and they do not add  much warmth when draped loosely; but these scarves when wrapped close are cozy and warm, and in this way they’re very versatile.  I’m aiming to create some Rhapsody Rose scarves that will have this opalescent quality and a shimmering radiance of different colors.

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment