Intro to Nuno Felting-basic scarf class!

Classes have been so much fun these past few months, but with the weather warming up and the sun shining more brightly every day, it is time for us to visit Nuno felting once again!

Intro to Nuno Felting-basic scarf class will be Saturday, April 18th, 9am to Noon at the

Potwin Presbyterian Church, 5th and Washburn, Topeka.

nunocheesecloth  DSCN1679

Nuno felting is a wet felting technique that encourages the wool fibers to migrate through a base fabric, laminating them together to form a beautifully light and drape-able fabric with wonderful texture. We will create a simple lightweight scarf, perfect for spring through fall, which will be ready for you to soak in a simple setting solution and dry when you leave the class.

We will go over the basics of Nuno felting,  and you will have an assortment of alpaca colors from which to choose to pair with the undyed base fabric! The cost is $60 per person for the 3 hour class, and all supplies are included, as are the tools needed during class. I certainly hope that you will take a look at your schedule-you won’t regret it, and you’ll be armed with information to continue creating Nuno style when you leave! To RSVP for the class, email me at annasplaceofholding@gmail.com or reply to this post. I hope to see you at class!

Anna

Felting as therapy?

Definition: ART THERAPY is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well being.
(http://www.arttherapyblog.com/what-is-art-therapy/#.VQorCeFCZEo)
Why felting as a form of therapy?

First and foremost, I must stress that I am not an art therapist. I have not received any training in art therapy; I merely have recognized certain therapeutic benefits through my own journey in felt making as an artisan. Again, I am NOT an art therapist.

Now that we are clear on that point, I say again, why felting as a form of therapy? During the past seven years that I’ve been felting, I have taught hundreds of people how to needle felt, have taught others how to wet felt, and continue to teach classes both on my own and as a member of the Potwin Fiber Artisans (www.potwinfiber.org), and I have discovered that 99 percent of the time, students leave my classes enthused, surprised at their unknown abilities to create, and, generally speaking, much more relaxed and happy than they were when they came into class. Why?

Well, my tag line of “Stab something into existence” certainly helps a great deal, as does my KISS (keep it simple sweetie) method of teaching. In fact, I’ve borrowed a line from the great Bob Ross: There are no mistakes, only happy accidents”. But I think it is more than that. I think that we’ve become so alienated from our imagination and from our innate creative abilities through education, work, stresses of everyday life, that taking a two or three hour break to create something allows our very souls to get a breath of air. I often advise friends who are in the midst of a stressful season of their life to “Breathe-just breathe” because we ALL have a tendency to scrunch up, hold our breath, tense every part of our body in the face of stress. I can’t help but think that our souls do the very same thing when all of our life is planned and scheduled, rushing from work to home to bed to work, ad infinitum.

Felt making involves every sense-you can’t help but notice the different textures of the wools, silks, and yarns as your hands pick out the fibers you will use to create a piece of felt; and even washed wools still have the scent of the animal on them. When you’re needle felting, you hear the ‘squink-squink’ of the needle going through the fibers; when you wet felt, you hear the rubbing of your hands over the soapy wet wools. And the colors and crimps you see: so many combinations, so many ways in which to combine them. Of course, if you’re not careful, you may stab your finger while needle felting, causing you to lift the offended digit to your mouth where you’ll taste a drop of blood, or you will be rolling your wet felt project so well that a bead of sweat will run down your face to your lips. Either way, you’ll taste the saltiness, fully engaging all of your senses as you felt.

With all your senses piqued, you find a rhythm in the process, and in doing so, allow your soul, your spirit to engage in the process, letting go of thinking and becoming one with the felting. I have seen students struggle in the first 30 minutes of a class only to find their rhythm and be so completely enveloped in their project that they have to be told the 3 hour class is nearing the end. They look down, and realize that they have created something wonderful: a unicorn, a bearded lady, a platypus, a gnome, the list goes on and on. The best part? Nearly every one of my students had never felted before, yet they leave the class with a creation of their own, the satisfaction of having made it themselves, and the biggest grins!

Meme War RobotMeme War Ninja    IMG_0538

So my question to you is this: when was the last time YOU took a creative break? If you can’t recall, then it’s overdue. Come to one of my felting classes, arrange a private class and I’ll come to you with all the supplies, or invite me to your office for a creative team building activity. Classes range from $25 to $60 per person depending upon the project, with an average cost of $35. Take a planned class, or contact me to create a custom class-I promise, you’ll be glad you did!

Until next time, go stab something into existence!
Anna

RESCHEDULED!

I hope that you will join me in this fun and beautiful class-the colors you’ll have to choose from, as well as the beautiful silks to add shimmer and luster to your flowers will fill you with the colors of spring, just in time to prepare your own floral bouquet for Easter and Mothers Day! To RSVP either respond to this post by commenting, or send me an email at annasplaceofholding@gmail.com

See you soon!

Why fiber arts?

I thought it was about time I let you know my answer to that question.

I grew up in a home where my parents, WWII babies, learned from an early age to make the best of what they had on hand. They were each one of eight children which meant that they learned from their parents, who were children during the Great Depression, that you saw the treasure in everything around, and you made it work for your needs. As a result, I grew up with hand-me-downs from my aunts, which I then passed on to my little sister; I also grew up surrounded by creativity. whether that was growing your own veggies, or altering a dress, or taking something apart to make something new. So it is no surprise that I became ‘crafty’, learning to sew, learning to crochet, wishing I could paint like my mom, trying out every creative outlet that was presented.

But nothing lasted long, nothing seemed to be “IT” for me, until I won an online giveaway of a 4 ounce hand painted roving.

Now-while I had tried nearly everything, I knew that I did not want to learn to use a spinning wheel (more about this at a later post), so I wondered just what the blazes I was going to do with this beautiful fiber aside from petting it! I happened upon a ‘teach yourself to needle felt’ kit, figured the cost was minimal, and gave it a try.

IT.

Finally, I found the ‘IT’ that pulled my other loves together and made a whole. Felting. After two months with those 2 needles from the kit, I had covered nearly every horizontal surface in my home with needle felted pretties. And-BONUS-I discovered that the fibers acted very much like watercolors in the way they blended together and finally found my wish to be a painter come true.

But there is more.

Felting came into my life at a very dark and low time, and I discovered the healing power of creativity. I had a way to work through my pain and sorrow, had a therapy that enabled me to stab things into existence, or thwack things to stabilize the felt…I found a light at the end of the tunnel, I found hope in the joy I received when I created. I found my purpose.

I also was blessed to have found a group of individuals who wanted to keep the fiber arts alive and well, a group that would educate and encourage others to find their joy in creating. Potwin Fiber Artisans (www.potwinfiber.org) was born out of the love of fiber, and the desire to help others through that love of fiber to spread joy. I am lucky to have stumbled on my purpose, both individually as an artisan, and collectively through my participation with PFA. A portion of my class fees and sales go to the organization to help it continue to grow as a non-profit organization, to help others find the joy in creating. And I’m glad that PFA is working alongside other non-profits in the area to help keep people warm.

I would invite you to consider joining PFA and me in our efforts to reach out to others, to help others discover the joy in creating with fiber, to educate the state in the beauty and necessity to keep these heritage arts alive and well in the 21st century. Who knows? You may discover “IT”.

Blessings,

Anna

FELT THIS! FELT FLOWERS

FEBRUARY CLASSES:

FELT THIS! FELTED FLOWERS CLASS
This class will be offered on BOTH Saturday, February 7th and Saturday,February 21st due to popular demand!

9am to Noon at the Potwin Presbyterian Church located at 5th and Lane, all supplies included for $25. We will create three flowers via wet felting techniques: a country rose, a calla lily, and a tiger lily.

Minimum class size 4; maximum class size 12

Come join the fun and create some lovely flowers that will bring you beauty year round!

Anna

(You can view the sample flowers at my facebook page!)

FELT THIS! Mini Masterpiece class-Saturday!!

WOW-January is off to a wonderful start-first class of 2015 was on the 10th, and we had a great little group of needle felters stabbing some fun creatures into existence! Then Winter Woolfest in Wamego last Saturday where friends, fun, and fibery fabulousness was had by all. And next Saturday, the 24th, we will be creating mini felt paintings based on landscape pictures! I am so excited to see what everyone creates!

There is still a little room in the class if you have been considering giving wet felting a try. 9am to Noon on Saturday, January 24th, at the Potwin Presbyterian Church, located at 5th and Washburn. All supplies and necessary tools are provided for the $45 class fee, and you can RSVP for the class by replying to this post or by sending me an email: annasplaceofholding@gmail.com

I would love to see this class be full beyond belief! All you will need is a simple picture for inspiration, and a couple of old towels to transport your completed painting home after class. You can do this-and the colors and textures that you will have to select from will amaze you…so come join us!

Anna

Bodega Bay painting

FELT THIS! Classes for January!

Happy Christmas everyone!

As we prepare for this most magical season, I am encouraging you to set aside some time to do something fun for yourself in January! RSVP’s being accepted now for the following classes:

FELT THIS! Create a Creature-$25 ($10 materials fee included)
Using needle felting sculpture techniques, you’ll stab something into existence! All supplies included, and you’ll leave with a creature well under way, if not completed!
Saturday, January 10, 2015
9am-Noon
Potwin Presbyterian Church at 5th and Washburn

FELT THIS! Mini Masterpiece Felt Painting-$45 ($30 materials fee included)
Using wet felting techniques and an inspiration photo you bring with you (simple landscape/skyscape/etc.), you’ll learn how to build up the layers of fibers and colors to create a small felt painting. You’ll have the opportunity to utilize several of my specialty felting tools, and learn tips and tricks of wet felting that I’ve learned over the years.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
9am-Noon
Potwin Presbyterian Church at 5th and Washburn

If you would like to take either or both of these classes, please email your RSVP or comment here so that I can plan for the right number of students. If you would like to pay your class fee ahead of the class, I can contact you to make arrangements (and I do take credit cards).

I wish you all a warm and wonderful Christmas, and hope to see you at class in January. Until then, go felt something!

Anna