Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Tasha Tudor Day!

I've been asked to do a post about Tasha Tudor on this Tasha Tudor Day. Much has been said about this independent, creative, wildly talented, eccentric woman. If you have never before heard of Tasha Tudor please Google her. I can't possibly sum her up in a paragraph or two.

What is it I admire about Tasha Tudor? What can I say about her lifestyle, her artwork, her independent spirit, her talent, that hasn't been said before? While I primarily admire her for forging along against the grain and creating her own reality by living the lifestyle she wanted to live; on a more practical level, I admire her perseverance and her patience.

I've been told I lead a Tasha Tudor lifestyle. Yes, I spin, knit, dye, cook from scratch, heat with wood, garden, can, make bread, raise animals, make dolls, dip candles, turn wood, etc. But I know I'm nothing like her. I am a product of a modern society who admires the skills of the past and tries to attain some of them. Tasha Tudor seemed to not even be of this time. She was a modern embodiment of a woman of the 1830's. She said so herself. And in looking at her life and some of the skills she had we get a snapshot of a mindset that is practically nonexistent in this day and age.
Yes, I shear my own sheep, wash, card, spin and knit the wool. This is fun and very satisfying for me. But the fact that Ms. Tudor (for I think it's a bit too familiar to call her Tasha) grew flax, painstakingly processed this plant into a softened fiber worthy of spinning, spun it, warped her loom, wove it into fabric, finished this fabric, cut (!!!) the resulting fabric into pattern pieces and hand sewed these pieces into beautiful shirts for her family... This blows me away. The time, the patience, the skill involved in so many areas to see this through. I can't imagine her level of satisfaction at the finished product. And the perseverance she had to see it through to the very end.

It demonstrates a pace of life and the possession of an attention span practically unseen in this day and age. Ms. Tudor's hands and mind were always engaged. I'm sure she didn't' space out in front of the television or computer, or waste time with video games.

Her level of skill and craftsmanship in all she did, her patience to see her projects through, the creativity involved in fashioning new worlds out of the things she made (I'm thinking of her dolls and all their very real lives and interactions!) These are some of the many fine traits of Ms. Tudor's I wish I could posses.
So this afternoon I'll have a cuppa tea and look over my favorite non fiction Tasha Tudor book, Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts, and plan my next project...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wool Dolls at the Fiber Farm Tour!

I'm pleased to announce my participation in the Olympic Penninsula Fiber Farm Tour on September 17-18th! I will be selling wool dolls and figures at Barry and Linda Taylor's beautiful farm/business: Taylored Fibers in Quilcene. For those unacquainted with my work I'm posting photos of the kind of figures I will be offering during the tour. Please note: I can't guarantee these exact dolls will be offered for sale. Some have been sold and others are in process.

My needle felted figures are made from wool roving and dry felted with a single felting needle. All facial features are sculpted from colored wool.

Some will be poseable, like this sassy Autumn chick with red dreds:

Some will be tea cozies.... ...and some haven't told me who they want to be yet....
And Christmas is not far away! I'll be sure to have some Santas ready .... There will be seasonal characters such as shown in my December 2007 post (scroll down)! I love the Brownie and the elves... And because I'm incapable of resisting thrift store woolens so you'll find dolls like Frances (above) and Ed (below) . They're made out of felted cashmere, lambswool and hardy Harris Tweed.. The faces on these dolls are embroidered and they have detachable wings made out of vintage quilts.
There will be so much going on at Taylored Fibers (and all the other farms on the tour). Do stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Lambs

So I haven't posted to my blog in over a year. Now my old Easter photos are relevant again! I'm so behind I'm timely...

But I had to post a couple photos of my lambs, born April 1st and 2nd. Fulfilled a lifelong dream of sharing my life with sheep last summer when I purchased two Icelandic ewes. Borrowed a ram lamb from a friend for the fall and sure enough, he did his job. Got two sets of twins from two ewes who up until this point had only produced single lambs. More babies than I'd ever thought I would have!

I ended up with three rams and one ewe. I can't have that many sheep on my property so having three rams made it easier to decide who to keep. The boys will be butchered this fall and I will keep the ewe lamb. She's the black one shown above. Her name is April. Her mother, Belle, has a wonderful fleece and I was hoping for a colored ewe lamb out of her and I was fortunate enough to get just that. The little white one had a rough start and had to take a bottle once in a while so he runs right up for a scratch..So sweet.

These are Icelandic sheep, a primitive breed that is sheared twice a year. Wonderful wool, wonderful meat. They are cousins to the smaller Shetlands. You can read about them here.

It's a joy to watch all the lambs bounce and run around together. Certainly makes it seem like spring around here.

I'll try to post more often. Certainly more than once a year!