A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Unless The Camera is in Another Room

hummingbird on top of fountain

From the archives: Anna’s Hummingbird perched on the fountain, September, 2016

You’ve probably heard the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I looked up the origin of the cliché this morning as I watched a hummingbird splashing about in the bubbler atop our fountain. The concept isn’t new, but the expression is only about one hundred years old.

BB (Before Blogging) I would have enjoyed the hummingbird experience for what it was: a gem of a moment that I might have missed if I hadn’t looked out the window at just the right time. Ten minutes earlier, as I watered the indoor plants, I mused that I really should get out there with the hose and top up the fountain.

Instead, the receding water slowed the fountain pump allowing the tiny bird a chance to sit in the bubbler and spin in a circle while splashing its wings. Pure joy!

AB (After Blogging) I’ve realized that I want to share these special moments with you. Our global blogging community fits neatly into another cliché; “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

On the subject of gifts, I’m traveling to Oregon next week to spend time with blogger Marlene from In Search Of It All. We’ve connected for years through our blogs, then graduated to emailing, Facebook, phone calls, texts and finally our first face-to-face.  I can hardly wait to give and receive the in-person hug we’ve been trading virtually for years.

In March I’ll be traveling again, a trip two years in the making: I’m off to New Zealand, where my friend Pauline of The Contented Crafter and her two daughters will host three blogger-turned-friends from Canada and the US. It’s a trip of a lifetime.  I still can’t quite believe we’ve pulled it off.

While I hope to capture photos worth a thousand words, I know I’ll be gathering incredible memories with special women. I’m looking forward to sharing more of them with you.

 

Season’s Greetings

fluffy under the tree

Fluffy under the tree, 2011

My friends in New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere are already celebrating Christmas so I’m putting my well wishes here mid-day so I can split the difference.

If you’re celebrating now then you’re not reading this anyway, but you’ll know that I’m thinking of you.  If you celebrate tonight or tomorrow, wishing you lots of good cheer.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, wishing you a wonderful Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thanks for following along.  Your presence here is  a gift of joy.

Merry Christmas!

The Art of Felting: Warm and Beautiful

felting processFelting, simply put, is matting wool. The art of felting has been around for centuries with many conflicting stories as to its origin. This Wiki article sites:

Sumerian legend claims that the secret of felt-making was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash. The story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that while fleeing from persecution, the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks.
Felt making is still practiced by nomadic people (Altaic people) in Central Asia and northern parts of East Asia (Mongols), where rugs, tents and clothing are regularly made. Some of these are traditional items, such as the classic yurt (Gers), while others are designed for the tourist market, such as decorated slippers. In the Western world, felt is widely used as a medium for expression in textile art as well as design, where it has significance as an ecological textile.

What I do know is that it’s a lot of fun. Merging the wool fibers creates, a warm, durable and water-proof felt, used for centuries. The artistic possibilities, beyond the basics are endless.

My talented friend Liz held a felt-making workshop for a few friends on a visit home from New Zealand.  She’s become quite the expert.  We started with a small pile of wool fibers and a few basic tools, and left with a finished piece.  Liz is also a gourmet cook, a talented seamstress and a gifted fibre artist. You can see more of her work in the Facebook Album Fibre Art.

I wet-felted pieces in orange and black, then combined them to make a small Halloween hanging. I dry-felted the pumpkins on top,adding the orange felted cord at the end.  It’s my new holiday favorite.

felted wool pumpkins

Laura joined me that day, and crafted a beautiful multi-layered piece in white and blue.  She dry felted and embroidered flowers to the piece, then made it into a purse. A certain gardener turned 50 that year, and unwrapped this stunning purse for the occasion!  Getting older has its pluses.

felted wool flowers

Felted Wool Flowers

felted purse

Felted Purse

The Process

It can take a bit of finesse to create beautiful pieces of felt, but the basics are simple. GFWSheep offers a tutorial to get you started.

Halloween Countdown

Felted pumpkins

Felted Pumpkins