Friday, September 20, 2013

Fiber Journey Catch UP!

Okay, I've been slack about blogging my fiber journey. So many fun things have happened over the past year that I hardly know where to begin. Rex and I spent last Winter in Florida at a sweet little sheep farm Oak Hammock Farm. It was the perfect backdrop for all the dyeing, spinning and felting with my friend, Debi Schaibly. There were a few art shows that I exhibited in and even won another Merit Award at the Suncoast Arts Fest. One of my favorite things to do is visit Picasso's Moon yarn shop in downtown Sarasota. It worked out great to get a few of my fiber friends from Brooksville (and Debi) to all go at the same time and have a mini spin-in at the Moon. Lastly, I was able to teach some of my nuno felt clothing designs to fiberistas in Florida. All this in two months! Back on the Island last Spring I became the Mad-Felter as I dug in with both hands to create. You see, I had put myself in a challenging position. I needed to produce work enough to supply a local gallery, a retail boutique in Ashland, Oregon and to present at a weekly art market...not to mention several large art festivals I had committed to. Not surprising, the Summer is already over and I find myself wondering where it went? I've learned a few new tricks to add to my arsenal and cannot wait to incorporate them into my nuno felt wearable designs. I'm vowing to post more blogs and have even written a list of things to blog about for instance: "Felting resist patterns vs. yardage and over-sized pattern pieces," "manipulation during pre-felt stages," "patchwork felting," "silk sandwich felting," "Study of rouching and shibori," and I'm sure there's more. But for now I must dye tons of wool and silk in preparation for SAFF, my favorite teaching gig happening next month in Asheville, NC. My workshops are filling up, which makes me quite happy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Teaching Nuno Felting

The student has become the teacher. Last weekend I had the time of my life visiting a sweet little town in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia. The women of Clifton Forge were amazing. I stayed in the finest B&B ever...The Red Lantern Inn. Proprietor, JoAnn, showed the finest southern hospitality. Finally, the Clifton Forge School of the Arts was the perfect venue for the class. Helen was a gracious host and Henrietta...the resident artist is a true delight. We made nuno scarves for two days and I left behind loads of silk blanks, hand-dyed merino and handspun yarns for future creating. Felt new friends! If ya'll eventually get bored with making scarves....I hope you'll have me back to teach 3-D nuno felting a vest/coat.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Life Is Good!

In a sea of reality shows, negative news and political spin headlines it can be a real challenge to stay creative. It seems like it's always times like these that yield the best music and most incredible art. I suppose it's much like the way cream rises to the top of fresh whole milk. Is it from looking at things differently... with an open mind and asking ourselves..."what would be better?" Or is it from a deeper place within? Does it originate from our collective conscienceness... our SPIRIT? Whatever the source...LET IT RISE! Today I shall create with abandon. Ahhhh, Life is GOOD!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer's End

Songs and poems have been written about it, movies have been produced about it. The end of summer is such a bittersweet time. Last night as I was driving to the final Art Market in downtown Friday Harbor I had a feeling of melancholy..."why does it have to end?" I asked myself. It was the final Thursday night Art Market and after four weeks,I was beginning to really enjoy this little island event. For the past 16 years in Florida I had forgotten what "change of season" really is. I'm now reminded that it's a chance to shift thinking, clean closets, and start new ventures. It's a cycle of life...for nature and humans. Part of me wants to collect firewood and the other part wants to wear sandals just a bit longer. The cooler nights bring thoughts of wood fires and snugly clothing...hey, maybe North westerners will be open to the idea of my woolys now. All Summer I have been told at shows that they just are not ready to think about this. Again, I had forgotten how the change of seasons affect people. Summer is so short here...the message is to live in the season! But for now I shall continue spinning and felting in anticipation of the cool breezes coming our way.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Things First....

Moving is stressful. Make it a 3500 mile move and I think you can multiply the stress. Alas, we all made it safely. Bear was amazingly well behaved...Huey, too! Rex was a trooper when the chips were down. It is all a distant memory by now, as we explore our new and strangely foreign surroundings. San Juan Island,WA is a magical place and our cabin and property is very special. Since arriving, we've seen deer nearly every day...we have a resident bald eagle that visits our highest tree. We have seen loads of Canadian geese, a red fox (simply gorgeous) and some little grouse-type bird with blue fans on top of their heads. There is so much exploring to do we hardly know where to begin. We have been to the beach and I've started a new rock collection, we started to uncover the raised limestone gardens which are overgrown by blackberry brambles. I'm happy to report that my fiber art didn't miss a beat. The best way to handle the stress of moving? GET SPUN! My second day here the weather was simply amazing so I sat on the cabin porch with my wheel and spun up some very colorful art yarn. I enjoyed it so much I made another skein soon after. Look for new postings on Etsy and Ralvery very soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

To Create or Produce? THAT is the question.

Can you be successful at fine art shows and still be true to your original design style? As a rookie on the show circuit, I've come to realize that what the public buys can sometimes influence future designs. In a perfect world, we would continue to design what our creative genius wills us to make. How does one balance these two influences if they are far apart? Is it like yin and yang in life where sometimes you mass produce and other times let the creative flow? I wonder if there's a happy median. If you spend too much time producing product, will your creative juice stop flowing? For now I shall stay with the flow and see where my new designs take me. Afterall, if the many crafty people who come into my booth and ask exactly how I made something actually went home and copied my work than I would have nothing new to share with the world.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Hello, my name is Patti Barker and I'm a fiberholic. I must say, I used to think of that term as a coin phrase, or slang for the day. Now my relationship with fiber is crazy. I totally understand. I get it. If I'm away for any length of time I begin to miss it. It occupies my mind until I return to play. I am so happily reunited with renewed inspiration. It's not just fiber. It's all the things you can DO with it. Dye it...blend, spin, weave, felt it, etc. Inventing new ways to pull it all together, using ideas from all directions of life. The creative exploring has me obsessed. I'm taking it one day at a time.