Year End Roundup 2020

Year End Roundup 2020

The year 2020 has been a strange one for many of us. For me, I sold The Purple Pomegranate, the craft gallery I have owned for 20+ years, in mid March just before the pandemic hit here in Montana, USA. It has been a bit of an adjustment for retirement, pandemic and continuing my Level 3 Stitch course online. I have learned new ways of communicating with Zoom and GotoMeeting as well as working out the best way to stay on track with my artwork and playing with fiber.

So is it a curse or a blessing? “May you live in interesting times.” I think it’s all in the attitude and I have tried to see the positives in the past year.  One of the positives for me, has been spending much more time in my studio creating. I haven’t shown you my work for my stitch course but I have spent many hours working on homework and I’m currently creating a large wall hanging. I won’t be showing any of that work until after the course is completed but much of my year has been spent enjoying the exploration into design, learning new stitches and creating multiple samples to move forward with my wall hanging.

Each year I like to look back over my posts and remind myself what I created that year. Many times, I have forgotten all the details and it’s good to see the projects and ideas from the year.

Differential shrinkage and wool layout experimentation was a big part of 2020. I had started these experiments in 2019 and continued looking at different methods throughout the year.

Some of these ideas worked better than others but I learned something with each trial or sample.

I also looked at adding texture with machine stitching but never ended up making a pod with this texture.

I took a break from experimenting on shrinkage and created a felt necklace for the first quarter challenge.

Nuno felted landscapes are one of the items that I sell in a gallery in Bigfork, MT and I decided to create more. The first was this Whitefish River landscape.

The next was of Flathead Lake.

Then another idea for differential shrinkage for the second quarter challenge.

Then I got back into another nuno felted landscape. This one turned into a very slow stitch project that is still ongoing. Some people have asked why I don’t use a different technique that is faster than the tiny hand stitches. Of course, it could be done much faster, but for this year, it has been a nice change to spend the first 30 minutes of my day, by adding seed stitch or detached chain stitch to this slow moving landscape.

So here’s the last iteration and there is more to come so you’ll be seeing this slow stitch project going into 2021.

There was one last nuno felted landscape which was based on Montana wildflowers. All of the landscapes are still sitting around because I haven’t done the finishing and framing bit. I have to quit procrastinating and get that done!

I then went back to experimenting with differential shrinkage and using felt rope. This was the first try and a bit of a disaster.

This was the next try that ended up looking like a felt dill pickle.

The next two experiments turned into yard art and finished up the experiments with felt rope and how it affected structure. I decided that I liked using prefelt better than felt rope for structure in creating differential shrinkage.

For the third quarter challenge, I created a hat that included some differential shrinkage that actually didn’t work out all that well. But since I don’t wear hats, it wasn’t a real loss.

Here’s an experiment with a mystery fabric and nuno felting that I created to sample laying the wool only in one direction and how that affected the shape of the scarf.

For the fourth quarter challenge I made a set of snowman ornaments. These made great gifts for friends for the holidays.

This is the card I created for our annual holiday card exchange. More plans for this design in the future!

That concludes my journey back into 2020 and I am looking forward to an exciting 2021 where I might be able to venture out of the house at some point! All the best to you and yours for a wonderful holiday celebration (even if it’s socially distant) and a wonderful new year for more creativity and fiber goodness!



16 thoughts on “Year End Roundup 2020

  1. It’s lovely to be reminded of your projects for this year and you seem to have settled into retirement quite happily.

    In theory ‘lock down’ would seem a blessing to those wishing for a bit more time to create but it doesn’t seem to have worked that way for everyone. Many people struggled to deal with the isolation and worry, and it’s been a challenging year for those who earn their living through selling handmade items at fairs and other public gatherings, so let’s hope 2021 will see the end of the pandemic.

    I don’t know the author but I keep hearing this witticism: “I’m staying up on New Year’s Eve – not to see the new year in but to make sure this one leaves!”

    1. Thanks Lyn, 2020 was definitely a stressful year for many people. It has been challenging to say the least and I know small businesses and especially artists have taken a big hit. I am ready for this year to leave and the pandemic to become a thing of the past. So I guess we’ll all be staying up to see the end of 2020 🙂

  2. A year of changes indeed, Ruth!

    I like this roundup sort of post, it’s inspiring me to have a written account of my makes for 2021… My favourite of yours was the necklace, but the “dill pickle” takes the prize in being the most amusing 😀

    Let’s hope we all stay creative in the upcoming year, whatever it might bring us. Happy holidays!

    1. Thanks Leonor! I would love to see an account of what you have created each year. One of the reasons I like blogging is the record it gives me over the years. Yes, the dill pickle was a laugh and actually still is as I have it sitting in my studio and it makes me smile when I see it. All the best to you and yours and to a better 2021.

  3. It is nice to look back and see what we have done this year. I will be happy to see the back of this pandemic too. I’ve missed going to shows but also I miss meeting with people in person just for the fun of it. It makes me happy that I have met so many wonderful people on line through felting and the blog, and that some have become good friends. We help each other get through the hard times.

    1. Thanks Ann, it’s nice to review the year’s work. It has been a hard year and here’s hoping that 2021 is fabulous in comparison. I have enjoyed meeting people online too and it’s been a godsend this year for sure.

  4. It’s amazing how much you’ve achieved in one year and I remember each as you’ve posted about it….some have made me smile, some have made me just admire, others have made me think or given me a ‘what if’ thought etc.
    My favourites have been the snowmen ornaments (I hope you have made each recipient smile) and your Christmas card of which I hope to see more.

    2020 – isolation, no travel (even local), no freedom, no shared meals out, no mooching around shops, no shared contact & hugs, etc, etc….it will be good to leave it behind. But it has given me one thing….increased ‘appreciation’ of all that I will have to look forward to.

    😘 to you for your continued hard work with TFFS
    Also 😘😘 to U,D & E

    1. Thanks Antje, it’s nice to make you smile 🙂 Yes, I think we all have an increased appreciation and gratitude for the good things in life. Happy Holidays!

  5. It’s great to look over at least a part of what you’ve created this year and I’m looking forward to seeing your course work when you’re able to share it. I love your experimental approach and your willingness to share what you try and the failures along with the successes.

    Well done for keeping the site going: the blogs and posts are engaging and so positive and in such a difficult year it has been a great way of reducing the potential isolation. It’s lovely to have an international felt and fibre family and I look forward to lots more next year.

    1. And here I thought you were trying to hide out with an anonymous comment Lindsay! 🙂 I am looking forward to sharing my course work, I should have months of posts with that. I do think it’s important to show that all projects don’t always come out as expected. Thanks for being part of our fiber family! Happy Holidays!

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