Thursday, April 28, 2011

Versatility of Felt

The other day I finally found a tiny bit of time in the studio for some felting. I really need to be spending more time there, as I need lots of new items for my booth at the Francisco's Farm Art Festival in June. So.... I got to work.

First I made a flat piece of felt that incorporates cotton scrim, alpaca, fine merino, locks of our sheep's fiber, and silk. (I would later add some stone buttons). The piece is especially thin and transparent, you'll soon see why!
I love the various textures of this particular piece, it's why I love felting so much.
After some trimming and stitching, the flat piece was turned into this:

These are always difficult to photograph, but I hope you get the drift! I can hardly wait to do the next one.....
Pin It Now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hunting... or Finding?

It was kind of funny, two different family members called yesterday for advice on hunting for morel mushrooms and a cousin was talking about it on Facebook. I think it's probably prime time in Ohio, but in this part of Kentucky I believe the time has passed for morels. Perhaps I've made it sound easier than it is, as the timing is of great importance (they only last for a few days before shriveling up or being eaten by wild animals) and just being in the right place to find them is critical- there is definitely a lot of luck involved!
We have found morels on only a fraction of our farm's wooded areas, and there doesn't seem to be a common denominator with the the two areas they've been discovered, other than that there is plenty of shade. If you read what the experts say, you'll see a diversity of opinions about what kinds of trees to look under, etc.
A grey morel, the best tasting (we only find a few of these here)
The morels we found this year were in about the 2nd week of April, which is almost always when we have found them. It has been an exceptionally wet spring, as it was during the banner year for morels that we had two years ago (last year we didn't find ANY).
So, my best advice is to take your time and enjoy the woods. There is something very relaxing about getting out into nature, especially in the springtime when so much new life is happening before your eyes.
Your eyes will become trained to spot the shape of a morel, but don't dismiss everything else you see on the forest floor (can you spot the two small morels in the picture above?).
There is so much beauty in the shapes, textures, and colors you'll see.
Even the lichens are beautiful if you take the time to look.
The "morel" of the story? If you're REALLY lucky, you'll fill the sink with these (small morels from this year's harvest). If not, well you'll have been lucky anyway... just to get out and enjoy nature. My next foraging experience? We're going to forage nettles this week, stay tuned!
Pin It Now!

Monday, April 11, 2011

All over the place!

If this blog seems to hop all over the place, it's because that's how life has been lately! We did get to Florida for spring break, the first time my husband has ever gotten away for the whole time with the kids. Siesta Key is as beautiful as I remember, and hadn't changed a whole lot in the 25 or more years since I'd been there.
We also enjoyed an afternoon at Venice Beach, looking for fossilized shark's teeth. I found two small ones, the kids mostly enjoyed the sand and surf. They got along GREAT on this trip and handled the long drive there perfectly, too. It made for a very pleasant time.
This is who we saw on one long walk on Siesta Beach! He drew a crowd, as you might expect.
The sunset also drew an enthusiastic crowd. There's just something awe-inspiring about watching that huge burning orb drop into the ocean before your eyes, even though it occurs every single day.
I also got to see a long-lost friend from the neighborhood where we lived when I was in junior high and high school. We've been writing for the past year or so, our lives having gone very different directions. It was great to see him and introduce him to the family.

There has been a LOT going on at the farm, will post about our new cria and hope to have lambs as well in the next few days so check back soon!
Pin It Now!