Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thanks, Joan!

I received an award from Joan over at Mudranch awhile ago…and I have been so busy creating that I am just now blogging about it! If you also follow my farm blog, then you may be thinking that you are seeing double! I was lucky to be awarded this award by two very creative ladies within a couple days of each other - thanks!
I already posted who my favorite authors are on my other blog, so I am posting 7 of my favorite felting/fiber books on this blog...
1. Uniquely Felt by Christine White
2. Felt by Robyn Steel-Stickland
3. In Sheep's Clothing by Nola Fournier and Jane Fournier
4. Wool Pets by Laurie Sharp and Kevin Sharp
5. Felted Bags, Boots & Other Things by Cendrine Armani
6. Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Fuzzy Felted Friends by Saori Yamazaki
7. How to Raise Sheep by Philip Hasheider (features some of my pictures!)
Now for the 7 blogs I would like to award…
and now for those that would like to see what I have been busy creating!

The dogs are custom orders and the others are for the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival that is sneaking up REALLY fast :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

My love affair with Vistaprint continues...

I ordered my first business cards through Vistaprint last year and have been back several times for more business cards, rack cards, postcards, tote bags, t-shirts, and small/large signs. I have been really happy with all of the products and if you sign up for their e-mail exclusive offers then you can get a lot of the items for free - just pay for shipping!!!

While I was at the dog show a few weeks ago, I was approached by a vendor asking where I got the bag that I was carrying around? I told her that I made it and showed her several others that I had with me (I was delivering a few). She was over the top excited about carrying them in her booth along with her Custom Kagaroo Show Leads. What an opportunity! She has a few of my bags as samples and will be taking orders. I needed to get some tags for the bags and a sign. Vistaprint, here I come :)

My items came today and once again I am thrilled with the results!

Here is the sign that I ordered. They have a LOT of designs and you can order multiple items with the same design to create some branding for your company. I love the combination of blue and flowers in this design!

I ordered business cards to use as price tags. I put care and cleaning instructions on the back.

This is a re-order of the rack cards for my studio.

Just for fun and for wearing at the fiber shows I got to, I ordered a couple t-shirsts. I was a little concerned about how the quality was going to be, but they are awesome. This was the first design I picked...

and this is the second design. I really like both of them - but this one is my favorite!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A little ugly for some pretty!

I have been on a mission to find a really good wet felting soap. I have used Dawn in the past, but I have switched to rubbing a bar of soap over the wool to begin with and this works really well. The problem with most bars of soap I have tried is the amount of suds it creates - mountains and mountains!!! My mom reps for a line of French soaps and I recently ordered some Olive oil soap.
Another wet felter calls these big blocks of soap the 'ugly' soap. They certainly aren't small and delicate.

They are a traditional marseille cube made with 72% olive oil. They are unscented and pure - making them perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. Wikipedia had some very interesting information regarding this soap - Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea, olive oil, and the alkaline chemicals soda ash (sodium carbonate) and lye (sodium hydroxide) together in a large cauldron (usually making about 8 tons). This mixture is then heated for several days, stirred constantly. The mixture is then allowed to sit, and once ready, it is poured into the mould, and allowed to set slightly. While still soft, it is cut into bars and stamped, and left to completely harden. The whole process can take up to a month from the start before the soap is ready to use.

Even more interesting is that this soap has been made around Marseille, France, for about 600 years, the first recorded soapmaker in the area in about 1370. By 1688, Louis XIV introduced regulations limiting the use of the name savon de Marseille to soaps made in and around the Marseille area, and only from olive oil. Today this law still stands (although the regulations now allow other vegetable oils to be used).

The felting results are fantastic!!! It suds nicely, but not too much. I used it to make the backgrounds for the following two wall hangings.

This is Gretchen...
and this is Edda.
A very lucky lady had a friend and husband order these wall hangings for her birthday. These are her two favorite dogs and they wanted them on a mossy green background. I am thrilled with the results and I hope she is too!