Category: Art


My Newest Passion


In the last couple weeks, the chairperson of the charity organization I belong to called me. Some nice person had donated wool to our group. Most of the time people donate yarn. Often it is of their own stash that they just don’t have the time or have lost interest in yarn arts. In Hat Huggers we take that yarn and knit, crochet, or loom knit items for the needy. But wool, straight off the sheep?

Ms. Carol (chairperson) has had sheep and recognized that the wool was in a ‘rolag’. Yeah. I thought, whatever that is. Quickly my brain dismissed the word. I kept calling it a hank of wool. But all of this sent me on an educational adventure. I soon learned, though not solid in my understanding (feel free to correct my definition) that the rolag is the first level of refinement after being sheered and washed. It is like a long rope of wool. There are still bits of hayseed and knots of wool. Apparently, this wool had been of several cuttings so some parts are shorter than others. This makes it a bad candidate for spinning. So Carol wondered if I would be willing to learn about felting. Would I? Of Course!

I have been very busy since finding books, or YouTubes, or Pins of felting. The more I read and watched the more excited I was to give it a try. Think molding with clay without the mess!

Carol gave the mass another washing and even put it through her carding machine. I think that makes it a batting or roving. I think batting because the bag of wool she gave me had a lot of seeds and stuff in it. I couldn’t wait to get started felting so I followed instructions of Sleepy Mice. They are so adorable! BUT

BUT I don’t have the tool she uses to wind the wool around. I used something similar to a chop-stick. I got the head and body too far apart. Now that I look at it, it looks more like a seahorse.

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This is just the core as this level of wool is too rough and. well, ugly to use for the finished product. I’ll be getting some nice roving on Wednesday to finish this guy.

Meanwhile, I have a bag full of the rolag that just feels awful. I have no carding machine, not even the hand carders or even dog brushes that can work in a pinch. But I have short hair and in no need for a couple of brushes I used to use on my long hair. So I improvised and have been carding all day.

That first bag (left) is the rolag as Carol gave it to me. The brushes follow. I pulled out a couple of the puffs of wool I had carded and the bag on the right is what I carded today. I think it is enough to start another needle felting project. I want to try the mice but I saw a simpler rabbit that might be better for a first project. I am hooked! Even if we never get wool donated again, I will keep trying my hand and maybe even sell my projects to support my habit. 🙂

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By the way, I am still in love with loom knitting and looking for ways to incorporate both hobbies. It has been a fun busy summer.

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One GorillaOne Gorilla by Anthony Browne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another I picked up at the library to beef up my lagging reading goal. So glad I did!

The artwork grabbed me even before I lifted it off the shelf. It reminds me of Eric Carle’s illustrations. Maybe a little more detailed?

I had to laugh out loud as I was selecting the tags for this book. You see I read the pictures, the names of the animals and oooo the pictures. In tagging I realized: THIS IS A COUNTING BOOK!

A teacher or parent could have loads of fun presenting new information each time this book is read aloud. Even beyond young children the science presented about primates could launch several discussions about the different classifications. Field trip to the zoo! An art class using water colors. Oh… and we can learn our numbers. I suppose that would be the place to start. But again–The pictures!!! They inspire me to get out my brushes and paints. I need to learn how someday. I must grow beyond drawing!

Check it out, read it aloud to a small child. Smuggle it into your room and enjoy the illustration!

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Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People ProblemsHelp Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems by Janet Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve fallen behind in my reading goal for this year so I decided to include a few picture books or other short books to catch up. Most of the books I’m reading lately are quite long. So these are a bit of a relief for my eyes and energies.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Jumped out at me when I visited the library last. I loved the cute dog on the cover and decided that would be a good one to try.

The idea of a dog answering letters for other dogs with people problems was delightful. I loved the sneaky letters after Mr. Mutt’s reply from Queen the cat were hilarious. I loved that Mr. Mutt was able to give charts to prove his answers (though I wonder at his fact finding abilities–seems rather fake news to me). Still, the dogs reading said letters would be grateful to see their desires as proven fact. A great introduction to charts and how they work!

And while I think this was all fun and games, I think a good pet owner would insert proper care for said pets when reading this book aloud to a child. After all, if a child were to read this to his or herself, he might think it okay to give pets people food or sugary foods, or follow other advice not so good for a dog or cat. Still, read with a sense of humor it could be a fun book for parent and child or teacher and students to share.

And did I mention the illustrations? They were awesome! Fun read!

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Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children's Books - Picture Books for Kids - Story Books for Children - Beginner Book for Children - Age 3-7Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children’s Books – Picture Books for Kids – Story Books for Children – Beginner Book for Children – Age 3-7 by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We live in the desert outback of Oregon. When you picture Oregon, you probably see green trees and oceans. This is mostly sagebrush and sky. I love it. There is room to breathe and did I mention sky? Many of us don’t have grassy lawns, between critters and the amount of water it would take to keep it green, it seems silly to attempt. So instead my family and I have dedicated to saving bees and inviting hummingbirds into our yard. I think because of the heavy snows of the winter we have a lot more vegetation than usual. More butterflies. And just yesterday I saw a Mourning Cloak. I realized I hadn’t seen one of those for decades.

And then this little sweet book comes into my life. How adorable the grasshopper and caterpillar are! I love how the author explains why the caterpillar needs to eat so much and about the pupa stage. The pages are colorful with butterfly backgrounds and the Rangoli designs on each page above the main characters. Those are inspiring me to try my hand at drawing them.

This book is great for the early reader but great fun for a read aloud and learning about everything from caterpillars to India and lots of art to play with. All while learning to read. I would have had a ball reading this with my kids back in the day.

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Just Coloring

Thanks to Linda G Hill for reminding me that I like to color. Here’s what I’ve done on my two coloring books I got for Christmas a couple years ago. Yeah, I don’t do it very often.

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G Hill.

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Cleverly, (not so much, really) I have combined #AtoZChallenge with One-liner Wednesday! Check them out and come and play–and color!


Source: About — Samantha Mitchell

Here is another of the impressive artists I was lucky to meet at the Playa last Sunday. Her work is so Zentangle like each thin line of the grains of wood placed with consistent and patient care. Please check out her website: http://www.samanthadylanmitchell.net/


Source: LowDown blog — Tidal Grove

I have to admit that Rebecca Welti had the most exciting artwork at the retreat. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was in junior high. That passion never left me even though I was told math would be involved so I pulled myself out of the possibility. But Ms. Welti is self-taught and her passion for the tiny marine beings is contagious. Those strange space aliens are all microscopic creatures of the deep. She wants to make action figures and trading cards for folks to get more involved in this wonderful field. Please go check out her website to learn more. http://www.rebeccawelti.com/


Note: Videos may auto start with sound so be prepared. Metal (Art) Beautiful metal statuary made from recycled car parts. (Via Pinterest) Walking (Life) I was talking with my parents a while back a…

Source: 5 Interesting Links for 10-30-2015 | Tales to Tide You Over


Zentangle For Beginners: Elevate Your Life With Zentangle Art, Patterns and Shapes for Creativity, Focus & Well-Being (Zentangle, Zentangle for Beginners, ... Zentangle Basics, Zentangle Books)Zentangle For Beginners: Elevate Your Life With Zentangle Art, Patterns and Shapes for Creativity, Focus & Well-Being by Charlotte Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of the freebie Kindle Zentangle books I’ve read so far, this has been my favorite. It was well written, describing the process of getting into the tangle, with zen and scientific results. I got so anxious about this just being wordy. But finally! There are enough illustrations of good Zentangles to give the beginner a chance to decide if this is for them. Worth the price (free) and maybe even worth a little more. After all, you can pick up most of this information from the website: Zentangle.com. Still it is nice that the author shared very different artists work. Try it, you’ll like it!

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My Intro to Zentangle Art


I can’t believe that it has been nearly three years since I discovered the magic of Zentangle. A good friend of mine mentioned it as something he likes to do. He uses his designs in wood burning projects.  I started researching this form of art. Zentangle.com is the best starting place.

When I finally could afford it I bought the kit from the website. Here are some of the goodies in that cigar box kit.

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At the top of this picture is my little gold Zentangle drawing pad I found in the dollar bins at some store. This is what I try to organize the different designs that you can click on at the top of the Zentangle site organized in alphabetical order. As you can see there is a little chart that has 20 designs to choose from. That’s for the beginner who needs a little nudge to get started. The 20 sided die is to make the choice easier. There are the special pens and pencil and shadow-maker. There’s a CD to get you started and an instructional booklet to learn the first picture. Which you draw on the included little cards. Here is my first:

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As is my usual bent, I got into this Zentangle thing and made two more within a couple days.

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I don’t know why this last one ever got finished. I didn’t seem to shadow anything. But see those two teardrop shapes? I could never figure out how to deal with them. I think that was why I gave up on it. Now I like those white empty spaces so I think I will just shade here and there and start something new.

I haven’t done much since those projects except occasionally keep up my alphabet design book. Now that I have read those two books I reviewed yesterday I feel this art calling me. It’s time!

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