Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

Fiber Arts Fest recap

The Fiber Arts Festival this past weekend went amazingly! I don’t know the official numbers yet, but I heard we had around 400 people on Saturday, which is right on par with last year. I had so much fun. I was demonstrating needle felting, which is what I always do, which is just crazy hectic and busy. I don’t just demonstrate needle felting myself, I teach people and let them try as well, so I tend to end up with two tables full of people learning to needle felt. I believe I had 8, maybe 9, stations set out with foam and felting needles and they were all full throughout most of both days. It is fun but exhausting. I love people’s reactions, the adults are always amazed at how easy it is, and the kids just love the colors and making pictures. And of course everybody enjoys getting to stab things with a needle. But I think my favorite part is to see the things that people make. I don’t usually think of taking pictures of the stuff that gets made, but this year I got a few.

We also have an exhibit every year, and this year we got lots of amazing pieces. Sadly I didn’t get the chance to really see everything because I only managed to see the exhibit Friday night while we were putting it up, and several of the pieces arrived Saturday morning. So I missed getting pictures of some things, but I’ll post a few of the pictures I did get, because the pieces are beautiful. I entered my Serenity and a group of hedgehogs (the ones that are in town) and managed to win the People’s Choice award for the hedgehogs. And really, how can you compete with multicolored hedgehogs? My mom said all of the entries got some votes though, so people enjoyed all of them, which is a great thing. The exhibit doesn’t have any sort of judging component, so there is no first place or anything, just the People’s Choice award, which is something I really like, people should be able to share their work without worrying about being told it’s not good enough.

I always try to get at least a half hour to an hour each day to wander look around at the other demonstrations and the vendors. I got quite a bit of new roving, and had lots of fun chatting with all the vendors. And I discovered this great little company in Fargo called Modern Textiles. Once I saw their postcard I realized that I’d seen it sitting around my mom’s house, but never really looked at it. I talked quite a bit with Connie, one of the owners, and she was very nice and extremely enthusiastic. They’re looking at opening up a storefront in town and she asked if I would be interested in teaching embroidery classes there, which would be so cool! She was talking with my mom quite a bit about the ideas they have for the store and it all sounds so cool! I’m really hoping it’s part of a trend toward the local craft/art culture growing, cause we really need that.

All in all the weekend was a big success and lots of fun! And after 10 hours of sleep last night I am feeling very much recovered from the hectic lead up and then very little sleep for the weekend. And I am feeling really inspired, finally! Apparently what I needed was a weekend full of fiber and talking with fun crafty types to get the creative juices flowing again, because today I sat down and worked for two hours on a project that I’ve been trying to get done for a month or so. And it felt like I was only working for about 10 minutes! Hopefully the inspiration lasts, and now I’m totally going to go and spin for the first time in over a year to take advantage of all this creative energy I’ve got!

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Yarn bombing!

Preparations for the Fiber Arts Festival continue apace! Hehe, I’ve always wanted to use that phrase, it’s fun. For the Festival we decorate the park with some yarn bombing, and this year my mom had the idea to put afghans up on the fence that is around the park. You know, for publicity and stuff. So today my brother and I went out and helped her put up the afghans, along with some crocheted sleeves on a few trees and poles. And now, pictures of the yarn bombing!

Kumihimo Kits

Goodness I am behind on posting, sorry. The slow posts will probably keep up at least until after the Fiber Arts Festival (August 10 and 11!) and maybe a week or so beyond. I just don’t have any projects done or any new ones starting cause I’m busy getting ready! But I mentioned the kumihimo braiding kits in my last post so I figured now would be a good time to explain them more in depth.

So my mom wrote the instructions in the kit. And she cuts out the foam cards that the braid is worked on, as well as cutting all the strings, which is good cause I don’t have the patience for that. Or the string. So she prints the instructions, sticks them in the nice little plastic bag with the foam thing, two sets of strings, and either a clip or a keychain ring. And then she gives them to me.

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So then I double check the number of strings in both sets (I started doing this after discovering a kit that was short a string in one set, so I figured I should double check them all), and get one braid started. I like to give the braids a fancy loop at the top around the hardware so I start by making a knot in the middle of the strings and doing a short braid on one half of the strings, with the knot on the other side of the card.

Once I have a braid that looks long enough to loop around the hardware and still have a little slack, I untie the knot, put the hardware on the braid, and loop the hanging parts of the strings back up to the top of the card, through the hole. This is the hardest part of the whole process cause it’s hard to get things to stay in place. Once I have all the strings on the top of the card I re-distribute so that the top and bottom halves of each string are in the same slot in the card.

Then I start braiding again. I like to braid just until the strings are sitting nicely in the slots and there is enough of the braid that you can see there is a smaller loop and a bigger main braid.

The braiding is done by taking the third string to the right of the empty slot and moving it to the empty slot. And then repeating that over and over and over and over and over… It gets kind of repetitive when I’m making a lot of the kits. This makes a pretty small braid, great for using as a decorative cord or a drawstring, but you can make much bigger and much more complex braids using the kumihimo technique. There are all different kinds of patterns, including flat braids like the one in the picture of the kit I got at the Fiber Arts Fiesta.

That’s the kumihimo kits in a nutshell. They’re pretty easy to make and kids just love them so they go like crazy. Now I’ve just gotta quit procrastinating and work on the second bag my mom gave me to finish, too bad I don’t have another long car trip or a boring job with time to sit working on them, *sigh*.

 

Preparations

I’m back and the reading binge has been taken care of! And now I’m furiously working on preparations for the Fargo Fiber Arts Festival, which is just 3 weeks away! I’m getting people signed up to volunteer at the Sit and Knit/Crochet tent, getting needle felting demo supplies together, writing up directions for the Sit and Knit/Crochet, working on yarn bombing things, and so much more. And that’s my excuse for not having any new projects finished, or even started. I do have a bit of decoration, for the Knit and Crochet tent, that I made to show you. I also have a cool little craft apron my mom made for me, which she is making for all the volunteers. And I’m working on finishing up these kumihimo, Japanese braiding, kits that she and I make. So I’ll give you pictures of those.

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Sorry about the bad formatting. I also happen to be out of town for a wedding so I’m working with the wordpress mobile app, which doesn’t deal well with pictures. When I get home I think I’ll take more pictures of the kumihimo kits, and probably post about those.

At the Fiber Arts Festival we also have a non-juried, non-judged exhibit that I’ll be putting the needle felted Serenity and an array of my knitted hedgehogs in. Did you know that the technical term for a group of hedgehogs is an array? I just discovered that, pretty cool. So I’ll give you some pictures of all the hedgehogs together, which may be part of a post all about the Festival.

Abq FAF final exhibits

I’ve got four exhibits to go in this post, but it shouldn’t be much more to the post than the others. I had totally forgotten that I took some pictures of the rug hooking exhibit, so I figured I’d toss those in with the ones I already had planned for this post.

First is the quilt exhibit, and there are a lot of these pictures. This was the biggest exhibit, and was actually split up into two locations cause there wasn’t space in just one! There were some very nice pieces with some interesting techniques and textures. Overall I quite enjoyed the exhibit.

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So it seems that I lied when I said this post would still be about the same size as the others. In fact there’s twice as many pictures as in any of the other exhibit posts :-D. The thing is, when I write a post, I don’t upload any of the pictures until I reach the point where I want to use a picture, at which point I upload them all. And this time it was a lot of pictures.

Anyway, next is the youth exhibit. I thought it was great that they had a youth exhibit, and there were some very nice pieces, and of course, some that were definitely not great pieces of art or very well made, but I have no problem with that because the kids tried and I figure they must have enjoyed making them if they put them in an exhibit. I chatted a bit with the woman who was manning (or should that be womanning?) the exhibit, and she said there was a little girl who came by and was incredibly excited to see her piece on display in a case, and was thrilled that she got a ribbon (all the kids got participation ribbons), and for that I would gladly look at a bunch of absolutely terrible pieces, it was just a plus that there weren’t any that I would say were terrible. I didn’t take many pictures of the youth exhibit though, lots of the pieces were very similar in a way that suggested they had been made in a class, so I took pictures of a few of the more unique pieces, cause I figured you guys won’t be interested to see a bunch of sloppy pieces that are all about the same.

Next is the clothing exhibit. I’m not really that in to clothes, unless they’re medieval clothes, in which case I get quite intrigued, but a few of the clothing pieces caught my eye as worth sharing.

And finally, the hooked rugs exhibit. This is the one I forgot I had taken pictures of, but it’s a good one. I have done a little bit of rug hooking and enjoyed it well enough, though I didn’t fall in love with either the process or the end product. But I really liked some of these pieces. I know I wouldn’t have the patience, and may not have the skill, to make most of these designs that I liked the best, but they’re just those pieces that inspire you and make you want to try the technique, convinced that the result will be amazing. I might try rug hooking again, I do have the hook tool now, but probably not for a while. And now I will stop rambling and show you the pictures!

 

Well, that wraps up my coverage of the Albuquerque (I’ll be glad not to have to type that anymore!) Fiber Arts Fiesta. It was a really fun event to go to, and I hope you enjoyed the pictures, but I’m ready to move on in my blogging. I think I’ve used up enough time, and I’ve got a bit more work done on various projects, so I’ll have something to post about. I’m going out of town this weekend so there won’t be any more posts until next week, but then I’ll give you an update on my two big knitting projects, the Dreambird and the Kimono Cardigan, and I have a needle felting project to share!

Abq FAF Mixed Media and Knitting Exhibits

The mixed media exhibit is the first one I saw when we walked in, and at that point I was a bit confused and thought it was the only exhibit. Anyway, I think this was my favorite exhibit out of all of them, even the knitting exhibit. Maybe it’s because there isn’t really a “traditional” way to do mixed media pieces, but I’ve always found them to be much more consistently unique and personally expressive than other genres of fiber work. Some of the pictures are quite blurry, I apologize, but these ones were all taken with my phone and some are the very first ones I took with my phone, before I figured out how to get the best pictures out of it.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the knitting exhibit as well, of course. I say knitting exhibit but this is actually the hand knitting exhibit, there was also a machine knitting exhibit which I didn’t look at very closely or take pictures of. I don’t dislike machine knitting but it just doesn’t interest me, and the finished pieces just never seem as complex, at least the ones I’ve seen. There were two or three more beautiful lace shawls in the exhibit that I took pictures of but I haven’t posted them because they came out so blurry that even I won’t  make you look at them. Which is a shame really, cause they’re beautiful pieces.

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I’ve really only got one exhibit left that I have many pictures of, and that’s the quilt exhibit. I also have a few pictures of the sewn garments exhibit and the youth exhibit, but that’s a total of about 6 pieces combined on those two. So those exhibits will be what’s coming up next, and then I’ll have to start actually putting work into my posts again! 😉

Abq FAF Embroidery and Crochet exhibits

For some reason I don’t really feel like writing much today, but I will share more pictures with you, cause I’m sure you’re eager to see them. The format for these is the same as the last post, if the label for the piece is not visible/legible in the original picture, then there is a close-up of the label following the picture, to make sure everybody gets credit for their work.

 

The embroidery exhibit appeared to have been a competition with several categories along the lines of non-original designs, original designs, and colcha embroidery. I think the categories were a bit more complex than that, but that’s really the salient information. If I didn’t mention it before, each exhibit was put together by the appropriate guild in Albuquerque, so the formats of the exhibits varied a little bit, as did the sizes of course.

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I will admit that I generally don’t find crochet as interesting as other techniques. I don’t know what it is, it just tends to seem boring to me, and I don’t find basic crochet stitches to be very visually appealing. That being said, I found some really beautiful pieces in the crochet exhibit that just struck me. So it seems I just haven’t been looking at the right crochet stuff.

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