The Blessed Craft Fair and Exactly What I’ve Been Doing With ALL My “FREE Time”

Friday, February 19, 2016

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This year I decided I wouldn’t embark on a grandiose sewing/craft project. I brought along a recently completed wool felt project with the idea that I would add a little to it and be done. I also brought along several unfinished things and promised myself that this year, while on exile in the desert, I would catch myself up, so to speak. The idea that one or two of these unfinished items could end up as Craft Fair entries also had some appeal. I got carried away in the flurry that surrounds this event. I’m not the only one here who falls victim to this siren call. There happen to be several of us who wish to make it known that there is a LOT of crafting and sewing diversity here in the middle of nowhere. Here’s a little idea as to what I’ve been doing with the time that hasn’t been spent doing laundry, dishes, etc.

Project #1 was a quilt top that I had made many more years ago than I wish to admit. I added a small border, and proceeded to free-motion quilt it and then bind and finish it. This all sounds pretty simple. It wasn’t. I’m not a quilter. This was a big chunk of material to deal with on my small-overcrowded dinette table. When I finished the quilting, my first thoughts were that it looked like a toddler had completed the work. My second thought was that I hoped it could be viewed from afar. No such luck. I entered said quilt in the Craft Fair. Folks could view it so closely that every miss-stitch was visible. Ah well, it’s the thought that counts.

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The quilt/wall hanging that I thought I would NEVER finish…..Done!

Project #2 were these wonderful little knitted chicks that were completed just after our old washer died we replaced it with a new more modern and less forceful machine. They needed to be felted via a nice hot wash in a very energetic washing machine. The FOY laundry just happens to have those wonderful, older, small washers with a giant impeller that agitates the life out of everything. They felted quite easily, I added their beaded legs and a nice bow and then decided they needed a basket to go with.

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Project #3 began with a fabric covered cotton clothesline basket to go with project #2.   When I finished the first basket, I felt that it competed with and took away from the chicks. So, I made two more fabric-covered baskets to coordinate with the first basket.

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Fabric covered clothesline baskets

Project #4 came into being when I realized that I wasn’t going to use a basket with my chicks and that the weather had turned hellishly hot. The chicks needed something to complete their display, so I used a paper mache’ technique and pieces of a brown paper bag and made a small nest. Then, because this was so much fun, and the HOT weather and lack of any noticeable humidity allowed it to dry almost instantly, I decided to make a paper mache’ teacup. Oregon doesn’t grant us this quick drying time for anything. Taking advantage of the local climate-related niceties seems prudent. This may not be the last paper mache work that happens this season.

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Paper mache’ teacup

Project #5 was the re-design of a Christmas angel ornament that I had purchased many years ago at a holiday craft bazaar. My dear daughter had admired it; I thought it was in desperate need of an update, so I re-did it my way, times five.

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The original angel

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The “new and improved” angels

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Heads on a stick. This is for one un-named friend.  It’s still funny, and not such a bad idea.  (Actually, it’s angel heads waiting for the glue to dry after receiving their hairstyles and halos.)

Project #6 was really the only thing that I had intended to enter into the Craft Fair. It was a collection of 5 wool felt birdhouses that I had made about a year ago and refer to as: birdLand. (That’s right, little “b” big “L”) I thought I would make a couple more birds to go with it, and those birds needed to be more colorful. I made 9 more little birds and then set out to build a set where they all could be displayed. It began with a lovely aged piece of corrugated metal that was (unbeknownst to me, found by a friend) left at the dumpster. Because I needed something to hold this backdrop up, Craig took me for a ride in the Jeep on one of the back roads that surround this place.

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This little garbage dump of someones was a treasure trove of rusted and interesting things.

We went in search of large rocks. With my head hanging out the window like a dog on a car ride (not our dog – we don’t allow that kind of activity. I’ve seen cartoon pictures so I know what this looks like.) I was on the lookout for not just rocks, but other things that might add detail to my setting. I found some rusty cans, sticks, lath, wire and of course, rocks…..big substantial rocks.

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So. Much. Good. Stuff.

So, there you have it. I actually entered 6 items in the Craft Fair. birdLand won a second place ribbon.

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birdLand

First place in that category was a beautiful hand appliquéd tablecloth that took its creator a year to finish. It was stunning and we were told she would NEVER do another one. We all make those hasty decisions in the heat of the moment.

Let me say it again: many of us do what we do, not for the competitive aspect, but as an expression of what lies deep within us. The heart knows what the hands have touched. And the hands release that which was trapped inside.

Know this my friends: Art. Is. Life.

Peace to you

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