Wednesday, January 28, 2015

workshops in February

February is a busy felting month for me. I have a couple of classes scheduled at the Franklin Arts Center, two at the Northland Arboretum, and a hangout scheduled for the very end of the month. Busy, but fun!

Feb. 5th is full, but there are still openings for the sheep class on Monday, Feb 9th from 5:00 to 9:00pm at the Franklin. Class fee is $20, or $15 for those bringing their own needles and mats. Register by emailing me at lilfishstudios(at)

I'll be teaching a felted mushroom class on Monday, Feb. 16th from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. Class fee is $25 for Arb members, $30 for non-members.
Register by calling the Arb at 218-829-8770

We'll also be doing some wet-felting at the Arb and making felted stones on Feb. 27th from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Class fee is $15 for Arb members, $20 for non-members.
Register by calling the Arb at 218-829-8770

On Saturday, Feb. 28th from noon to 4:00pm I'll be hosting a felting hangout. This is free of charge and a great way to mingle with other felters, try out some new tools, share tips and advice, and just hang out with other fiber enthusiasts. Join us in room 127, the Teaching Space, at the Franklin Arts Center. No need to pre-register, just stop on by.

To be notified of upcoming classes via email, register on the 'workshops' page of my blog, HERE.

Monday, January 26, 2015

flat sheeps

My youngest and I did a little wet-felting together this past weekend. It's fun for her and she gets clean hands so it's really a win for both of us. Plus, how cute are these guys?

The roundish sheep is perfect for a coaster. See?

I've been wanting to teach a wet-felting class and I think it may be a riff on these flat little guys.
What do you think?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

a friend on your hat

I started this little gnome back in December while teaching some friends how to make Santas. I had completely forgotten about him until my youngest, the finder of everything, brought him to me yesterday. I had wanted to make a wee owl to perch on his leafy hat, so I did just that this morning.

I'm looking forward to playing a little more this weekend and finishing up some of those UFOs. (unfinished objects)

Hope your weekend is great.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

what emerges

When I'm teaching a class of 10 or more it's common for the students to each work at a slightly different pace. When I'm asked to demonstrate a technique, like how to blend color, or how to make an eye, I'll end up doing so a couple of times. When class is over, I end up with something like this wonder from my latest bird class.

A 3-eyed, 1-legged, purple whatsit. Who, I'll admit, I find kind of endearing.

The "owl" from my recent owl class ended up with one eye and three beaks. I'd show you, but the cat thought he was irresistible.  I have a sheep class coming up on Feb. 5th. We'll see what emerges from that one.

Happy Tuesday, all.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

mounded with fiber

If you dare walk past my wool fort I will throw wool balls at you.

I'm dyeing wool today and that's not an optical illusion, my kitchen table is mounded with fiber.
My version of heaven.

Happy Sunday, all.

Friday, January 02, 2015

a wandery path

I like days like yesterday.

Though I feel lucky to have a great day job, I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my working from home days. I miss being able to flit from project to project, idea to idea, pollinating my soul, so to speak. I always got a lot done, but admittedly not in an organized, straight path kind of way.


Though I didn't wander and experiment yesterday with soul-filling tasks, I did get to do a little of this and a little of that. Mostly practical things that I hadn't until now made time for like cutting the beads off that shirt that was headed to the rag bag, prepping that wool in the corner for dyeing, and putting my new greeting cards in their cello sleeves. Nothing terribly exciting, but satisfying nonetheless. There's a lot of merit in being a straight path kind of person, but it's not a natural state for me. I have to work at it whereas the wandery state feels so innately comfortable.

How about you?
Are you a straight-as-an-arrow, organized sort of person?
Are you a wandery, I'll-get-it-all-done-eventually kind of person?
Are you something else all together?

Do you feel you balance productivity and enjoyment well?
That's something I want to work on.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

necklaces in the shop today

A couple of stitched stone necklaces will be headed to my online shop today.
A little bit of shop-tending before making my daughter's birthday cake, wrapping presents, and packing for a weekend away. Much to do, much to do.

The happiest of holidays to those of you that celebrate.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

random thoughts on a Sunday

Stitching on small stones that I plan to string up on leather as pendants. I haven't made pendants in a long while so I thought it was time.

I wanted to say a big THANKS to you that voted for my nonprofit on Thursday. Though we didn't win the money, it was such a great feeling to see familiar names among the likes. Thanks for helping out and for supporting the arts. You're my heroes.

I ugly-cried my way through the first chapter of 'Wild'. A good, hard, cathartic cry. I'm not quite ready to carry on with chapter 2 yet but my chest feels lighter. I guess I needed it.

I'll be doing a needle-felting demo on Jan. 3rd at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd, MN if anyone is in the area. Some of my favorite local artists including my friend Haddie, and Bob and Amy Carls from Ripple River will be there too, along with new friends Carla Benjamin and Peg Serani. We're doing a little drive for the food pantry so bring along a canned good if you stop by. 4-8pm. Would love to see you.

It's the christmas season and I haven't had any egg nog. There's something wrong with that. On my to-do nog.

Speaking of the holiday season. I know this time of year can be really rough on some people. To those of you out there that struggle...HUGS. Big hugs. Tonight is winter solstice, and the returning of the light.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Monday, December 15, 2014

found the color

I finished that stone I was working on.
I was looking for color...I definitely found it.
I hit a point with this stone where I had "just enough" going on, then barreled past it, and you know... I'm totally okay with that.

I'll work on the "less is more" concept another day.

gimme color

Another foggy morning in the north woods.
Such strange weather. A month ago it was so bitterly cold I didn't want to leave the house and now the snow is almost melted and my ducks are happily wandering the yard, splashing in puddles.

In need of color (and finished work for my Jan. 3rd show), I started growing flowers on this stone. We'll see how it ends up.

Happy Monday, all. I hope your week is colorful and bright.

Monday, December 08, 2014

a full weekend

I've really been looking forward to some good productive working time and I got it, for the most part, this weekend. Between my dayjob, teaching classes, and hauling a teenager to and from driver's ed (gulp), there has been very little time for my work.

 Despite a full house and chores to do I managed to finish a stone and get a start on two new landscapes for a show I'm doing on Jan.3rd (more on that to come) .

I was pretty pleased with my productivity, especially considering this happened too...

More to come on that later too.

In the meantime, have a glorious Monday, all.

Friday, November 28, 2014

twinkly trees

I keep a row of blue jars on my mantel, each with bits of nature in them. Feathers, rose hips, dandelion puffs, a nest...and now...

a sparkly forest.

I gave myself permission to play today, and this is what I did. I've been enamored of those jars with the little bottle brush trees in them. I tried making bottle brush trees...not my thing.

Instead I went with wool and made a simple treescape, needling a string of mini LED lights in the largest tree and tucking the battery pack up inside the lid.

Just enough twinkle.

Happy weekend all.

slack Friday

I've given myself permission today to do any ol' thing I want, as long as it isn't work-related, involve cleaning, or generally considered productive. Or involve elbowing my fellow humans out of the way at some retail store.

I might make some decorations for the house, or work on that stuffed animal for my daughter, or maybe just sit and watch the Blue Jays and Chickadees visit the feeder. Perhaps there will be a nap. I will most definitely eat that ramekin of creme brulee that's sitting in the refrigerator. 

We will see.

Happy Slack Friday, everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

owl be having a class and it will be a hoot

(sorry for that title, that was terrible)
I spent some time yesterday working on some wee owls for the next class I'm teaching.
I've found a great group of women in my community that are excited about learning to needle-felt, and we add a few new ones to each class. We needle and chat and have snacks and it's great fun.
The next class will these little guys.

A tree full of wee hoots.

This owl will not have any of your shenanigans. He will not have them.

This owl might not either.

Each is simple in shape, perfect for a beginner, but fun enough for someone who is more experienced.

The class will be Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 8:00
at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd, MN
More details to come.

Monday, November 17, 2014

a good day to meet some sheep

A very cold Monday off of work turned out to be a great day to meet some sheep.
I'm always on the lookout for local wool so it was to my delight that a local fiber person, who just happened to be a sheep owner, walked into my place of work this fall and struck up a conversation. My friend Mary and I traveled down to see her and her darling sheep and came home with big bags of wool and even bigger smiles.

This little sweetie pie really liked me my camera strap.

nibble nibble nibble

All the sweet faces! Even though that guy was head-butting some other guys, he was still very cute. So is his photo-bombing friend.

Snacks! Sheep like snacks!

What a great day. Hope yours was as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

mailing mañana

A batch of "First Timer's" stones are packaged up and will be in the mail shortly.  See, I was going to go to town yesterday on my day off and pick up some more shipping supplies but then this happened...

and I decided that maybe I would stay inside by the wood stove instead.  Today though, I will be on the road and to those who ordered stones, rest assured they'll head off with Marv the mailman, mañana.
(I forgot to bring the pumpkin in from the outside table before it snowed, can you tell?)

Have a warm and wonderful Tuesday.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

well that was fast

Just the other day I checked in on the mushrooms in a tree and mentioned that I would check on them again after the first snowfall.  Turns out I didn't have to wait long.  So here we go, mushrooms in snow.  

I'll check on them again at a later date.

In the meantime I'm stitching a few stones.  It seems that my soul is rebelling against the grey (and now white) landscape and I'm reaching for the sun in the form of wool stones.

I'm going to do one more "First Timers" grab bag since I still had some folks who wanted a stone but didn't get one last time.  I will do that this coming Sunday at noon, my time.  (Central time)  So folks on the east coast that will be 1pm your time, folks on the west coast that will be 9am your time.  I wish there were a "just right" time for everyone to get a chance at a stone but there doesn't seem to be.  With the demands of my day job and my family life, I just have to squeeze them in at my own "just right" time.  I hope you understand.  Someday I'll be working for myself full-time and then it will be different, but until then...

Happy Thursday, all.


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