We don’t celebrate Boxing Day in the US so I didn’t have any idea really what it is. I looked it up and Wikipedia says that it historically in Britain was “a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.” So Happy Boxing Day to anyone who had to work on Christmas Day!
Each year I like to look back over the blog here and on my personal site and see what I might have accomplished over the year. Sometimes it’s easy to forget all that you have done in a year and that is one reason I really like to blog about what I do. It keeps a record of my fiber art.
I started the year by taking a couple of online courses from Gail Harker about circles using your sketchbook. And after looking back through the year, I worked a lot in my sketchbook. I sketched a bunch of flowers, made lots of circles, collages and made some stamps and stencils to use on my sketchbook pages.
Here’s a recent page that I made with snowflake stamps and stencils.
My local fiber group is still going strong and we made everything from Ukrainian eggs, discharge dyeing, gradation dyeing, mixed media paintings, soy wax batik, shibori to clamped dyed felt. But the thing we did the most often was silk screening. That seems to be one of our favorite activities.
Here at the studio, we had four great challenges based on artists including Jackson Pollock, Stewart Stephenson, Claude Monet and Land Art. We had some great entries from everyone and I did manage to complete all four challenges this year.
Other felted items I made this year were phone sleeves, slippers, cup cozies and a Holiday postcard for the Felting Forum Christmas Exchange. I also made a Wensleydale felted lamp shade and a piece of cut shibori felt.
I completed some machine stitched pieces including “Ice Flowers” seen above and a piece for the Totem Exhibition. I also stitched up some clamp dyed felt into zippered pouches.
I started a collaborative project with my friends Nanci and Deb. The “girls” is an applique piece that was based on one of Nanci’s sketches of people who visited my store. We will be having an exhibition and we’re also making a book. So you’ll hear more about that in 2015.
In February, my husband, my friend Paula and I set up the yurt at the Mini Maker Faire at FVCC College. It was a one day event and was tons of work to set up the yurt but it was great to educate people about what wool is (no sir, it isn’t made of dryer lint) and demonstrate felting. I also taught three classes to high school students in how to make a felted phone sleeve in April. Other miscellaneous things included dyeing wool and cheesecloth as well as making numerous cat toys to sell at the store.
Another thing that I have been working on is developing an online class in surface design techniques on felt which will include paper fabric lamination, using thickened dye for stamping and stenciling, soy wax batik, screen printing techniques and hand as well as machine stitching on felt. It’s taking a bit longer than expected but hopefully will be ready to go in 2015. So keep your eyes peeled for more information here.
So as usual, when I look back, I have done a lot more than I thought. Here at the Felting and Fiber Studio, all of us have had a pretty busy year judging from all our posts. Also, Marilyn joined us this year and has been a great addition to the team. Thanks Marilyn!
We’ll soon be posting about what’s going to be happening in 2015. We’ve come up with a great idea for the challenges and I hope you’ll enjoy them. All our best to everyone and we wish you happiness, good health and as much time as you want to play with fiber! Thanks for supporting us here and on the forum. We really appreciate you all.