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art to wear

Nuno felt workshops with Nancy Dorian

I have a couple of classes coming up in December …
One at Bead + Fiber in the south end of Boston
http://www.sphinxnow.com/beadandfiber/store/products/felting-felt-nuno-scarf-1-session-100-30-kit-skill-level-beginning-thru-advanced/

AND two others at New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, MA
http://www.feltingsupply.com/product/dec-13th-nuno-felt-cutwork-scarf-nancy-dorian/
http://www.feltingsupply.com/product/dec-14th-nuno-felted-scarves-nancy-dorian/

I also do private instruction in my home studio …

COME AND PLAY!!

dec2012

Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 8:48 pm.

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Fletcher Farm workshop

Hi Everyone!

I have a very special weekend workshop coming up at Fletcher Farm and would love for you to join me.

We’ll be hand-painting silk yardage and then creating wonderful artwear using Nuno felting techniques.

You can find out more about the class and sign up HERE.

If you aren’t the artsy type, please pass this on to someone who may enjoy the class.

~ Nancy

Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 12:06 am.

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workshops

2013 schedule

Dancing with your Heart – A Soul Journey with Yoga & Art  ~                August 9-11 FREE workshop with Allie Middleton & Nancy Dorian            (back by popular demand) Wiawaka Holiday House, Lake George,          New York (518) 203-3101 www.wiawaka.org

 

Nuno Ribbon Felt Scarves  ~  July 27    New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Mass  (413) 527-1188  www.feltingsupply.com

 

Nuno Felted Scarves & Silk Dyeing  ~  July 19-21                                 Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont
(802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  July 13  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~   June 29     Northampton, MA
Private workshop

 

Nuno Felted Scarves & Cobweb Felted Scarves ~ June 21-22  Pleasant Mountain in Brownfield, Maine                                                                         (207) 452-2687   www.pleasantmtfiber.com

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  May 18  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Ribbon Felt Scarves  ~  May 11    New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Mass  (413) 527-1188  www.feltingsupply.com

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  April 13  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  March 16  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Ribbon Felt Scarves  ~  March 9    New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Mass  (413) 527-1188  www.feltingsupply.com

 

Nuno Ribbon Felt Scarves  ~  February 23    New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Mass  (413) 527-1188  www.feltingsupply.com

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  February 16  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  January 19  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


 

2012 schedule

Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  January 14  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  February 11  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  February 18  Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Holyoke Mass (413) 532-0465   www.holyokecac.org


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  march 17  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  March 24  Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Holyoke Mass (413) 532-0465   www.holyokecac.org


Cobweb Felted Scarves & Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~                              March 31-April 1  Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont (802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org

 

Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  April 14  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Nuno Felted Scarves, Cobweb Felted Scarves & Felted Journal Covers ~ June 22-24  Pleasant Mountain in Denmark, Maine                                       (207) 452-2687   www.pleasantmtfiber.com


Nuno Felted Scarves & Hand-painted Silk Painted Scarves  ~  July 7-8 Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont (802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org


Dancing with your Heart – A Soul Journey with Yoga & Art  ~                August 18-19 FREE workshop with Allie Middleton & Nancy Dorian      (back by popular demand) Wiawaka Holiday House, Lake George,          New York (518) 203-3101 www.wiawaka.org

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~ September 22  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  October 13  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~ November 17  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net

 

Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  December 15  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass      (617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net



2011 schedule

Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  January 15  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  February 19  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Nuno Felted Scarves & Silk Dyeing  ~  March 3-6   Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont (802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  march19  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  April 16  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Rust Dyeing & Nuno Felting  ~  May 15-21 Snow Farm, Williamsburg, Mass
(413) 268-3101 www.snowfarm.org


Hand-painted Silk Scarves ~  June 25   Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont
(802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org


Nuno Scarves & Silk Dyeing  ~  July 29-31   Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont
(802) 228-8770 www.fletcherfarm.org


Dancing with your Heart – A soul Journey with Yoga & Art  ~  August 26-28   FREE workshop with Allie Middleton & Nancy Dorian               Wiawaka Holiday House, Lake George, New York
(518) 203-3101 www.wiawaka.org


Nuno Felted Scarves, Cobweb Felted Scarves & Felted Journal Covers  ~  October 13-15 NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck, NY www.sheepandwool.com


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  November 12 Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass (617) 426-2323 www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  November 19  Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Holyoke Mass
(413) 532-0465 www.holyokecac.org


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  December 17  Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323 www.beadandfiber.net



2010 schedule

Nuno Scarves & Wraps  ~  August 28 & 29   Fletcher Farm in Ludlow, Vermont
(802) 228-8770
www.fletcherfarm.org


Bead + Fiber Teacher’s Show  ~  September 3 – October 10 at Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass  (617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  September 11 Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Nuno Felted Scarves  ~  September 19    WEBS in Northampton, Mass
800-for-webs   www.yarn.com


Fiber Twist 2010  ~  September 25
Health & Fitness Center at Yankee Candle in Deerfield, Mass   www.fibertwist.com


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  October 16    Holyoke Creative Arts in Holyoke, Mass
(413) 532-0465  www.holyokecac.org


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  October 23    Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Nuno Swan Shawl  ~  October 30 & 31    New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Mass  (413) 527-1188  www.feltingsupply.com


Fiber Festival of New England  ~  November 6 & 7
Eastern States Exposition  1305 Memorial Avenue  in West Springfield, Mass

(413) 737-2443   www.thebige.com


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  November 20    Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323   www.beadandfiber.net


Nuno Felted Scarves  ~   December 4     San Diego, CA
Private workshop


Nuno Felted Scarves  ~   December 5    Two Sisters & Ewe  La Mesa, CA www.twosistersandewe.com (619) 460-8103


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  December 11    Holyoke Creative Arts in Holyoke, Mass
(413) 532-0465  www.holyokecac.org


Nuno Felted Scarves  ~   December 12     WEBS in Northampton, Mass
800-for-webs   www.yarn.com


Hand-painted Silk Scarves  ~  December 18     Bead + Fiber in Boston, Mass
(617) 426-2323  www.beadandfiber.net

Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 4:10 pm.

9 comments

nuno ribbon felt scarf workshop with nancy dorian

Saturday, february 27th 2010 9-4pm at holyoke creative arts center

Shake off the winter doldrums and join me at the holyoke creative arts center for a day filled with COLOR and creative energy!

lucious

Using Nuno felting techniques, be prepared to be elated as you transform layers of silk, wool roving, ribbon and novelty yarns into gorgeous flowing fabric. In this one-day workshop we will cover layout, felting, fulling and finishing creating your own art-to-wear! No felting experience necessary.

You can register at www.holyokecac.org/signup.htm or call (413)532-0465

Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 5:13 pm.

4 comments

Wild and woolly: New England Felting Supply in Easthampton is a crafter’s paradise

Join us for my first workshop of the year next Saturday, January 3o at NEFS. To reserve a spot, call 413-527-1188 (Tues – Sat, 10-5) or email sales@feltingsupply.com

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This is a wonderful feature story about New England Felting Supply and owner Chris White. NEFS has been one of the main springboards for my felting career. They carry my one-of-a-kind nuno ribbon felt scarves in the storefront, showcase my hand-painted silk yardage as a base for nuno felt and offer the nuno ribbon felt scarf class that I teach.

Wild and woolly: New England Felting Supply in Easthampton is a crafter’s paradise
By Margot Cleary
Photos by Jerrey Roberts
Friday, January 22, 2010
Don’t be put off by its industrial-sounding name: New England Felting Supply.
And don’t be put off, either, by its stock-in-trade: billowy cloudfuls of feathery-soft fluff from frolicking farm animals, in all the colors of the rainbow, which sounds suspiciously like My Little Pony turf.
In fact, Christine White’s venture is a canny blend of the practical and the fanciful. She’s managed to turn her passion for the craft known as felting – in a nutshell, making sturdy fabric from wispy bits of wool – into what she says is the only business of its kind in the country. Working out of her Easthampton headquarters, which serves as a retail shop, classroom and mail-order warehouse rolled into one, she buys wool from shepherds, cleans it up, then sells it to crafters who use it to create stylish one-of-a-kind scarves, utilitarian trivets, whimsical fantasy figures and more.
Business is good, White says.
*****
Everybody knows what felt is, of course: the plain Jane workhorse that’s a staple of everything from homemade hand puppets to the liner in your car’s trunk. Easthampton, as it happens, has long been a major source of the material, thanks to National Felt Co. (now known as National Nonwovens).
The offerings at New England Felting Supply, though, are different. Rather than deal in the dregs of the textile trade, the way industrial felt makers often do, it specializes in virginal raw materials – clusters of luxurious wool, some in the original sheep-y tones, others dyed in hues so exuberant that they belong in a box of brand-new Crayolas.
The art of felting has a long tradition in other parts of the world – think Scandinavian troll dolls, or wool clogs – but it never really caught on in the United States.
Until now. The Internet, White says, has spiked interest in what was heretofore a fringe craft. While she won’t give sales figures, she says, “I basically caught a tiger by the tail.”
*****
There are two approaches to making felt, both predicated on a distinctive property of unspun wool: It has countless little fishhook-like barbs that are prone to getting hopelessly tangled up in each other.
Needle felting is as simple as can be: Loose clumps of wool are poked repeatedly with a needle, a process which makes the wool denser and denser, thanks to those little barbs, until it becomes flat, and holds together. Wet felting is a more complicated process – but not too complicated – in which those same sorts of wool fibers are stretched and shaped and wetted down and rolled out by hand, layer by layer, until they, too, become flat and hold together. “It’s tough,” White says of felted wool. It may look delicate, but even the most spidery cobweb-like designs will not unravel.
(Felting, by the way, does not mean purposely shrinking a knitted item to make the yarn tighter, even though such items are often referred to as felted. That’s actually a process known as fulling.)
Making felt is not for the person who likes crisp designs and precise measurements. It’s all about fuzzy edges, and shifting contours.
*****
White, who is 47 and lives in Belchertown, discovered felting roughly a decade ago. A geologist from New Mexico, she was newly arrived in western Massachusetts – her husband had taken a job at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – and unemployed. She was also facing back surgery and a long recuperation. She needed a hobby, she decided, so she took up knitting. “I knitted all winter,” she recalls, “without anyone to teach me.” She picked it up quickly, and soon was branching out from traditional items like sweaters into abstract shapes – 3-D cocoons, she calls them. Someone who took a look told her she should forget about yarn and work with the fiber in its purest form: unspun wool, straight from the sheep.
White, a high-energy, talks-a-mile-a-minute type, got a book on felting and stayed up all night reading it. In less than a week, she’d hatched the idea for a business. “I do things with intensity,” she says.
With no formal training, she began making and selling simple felted objects like place mats, purses and oven mitts. She also began teaching other people how to make them. She called her cottage industry Magpie Designs, which is fitting, she says: “The magpie can’t turn away from strings and little glittery things” – the exact sorts of adornments that add extra texture and interest to a felting project.
And one other thing, she adds: “The magpie talks a lot.”
*****
White says she enjoyed making felted objects. What she really enjoyed, however, was what went into making them: “Right away I could see that it was the wool and the process itself that really got me excited.” That, she says, is what led to her business.
New England Felting Supply is housed in a 1920s-era block on Easthampton’s Cottage Street, part of an artsy little cluster that’s sprung up in the last few years. Custom furniture business Nojo Design and KW Home, a home furnishings store, are right next door; Nashawannuck Gallery, which sells art and contemporary crafts, is just down the street. White’s spot, as folks who have been in town for years like to note, once housed the Majestic Theater, a former vaudeville house that became notorious in the 1960s and ’70s for showing X-rated movies.
White is tickled by the building’s colorful past. “It’s the home of formerly loose women,” she says cheerfully, “and now loose wool.”
She moved her business into the Easthampton space in early 2007, after a few years of running a sort of underground operation in her home (felters would pass the word, she says: “Come to Chris’ house and buy wool”).
Even so, for the first couple of years in Easthampton the business retained a semi-clandestine, clubby feel: Customers had to make their way along a warren of side streets to a parking lot out back, and enter the building through a nondescript, slightly rusty metal door.
Inside, they found a different world: handsome brick walls, pressed-tin ceilings, a space that’s both cavernous and cozy.
The cozy part is thanks to the merchandise: barrels and bins of fluffy felting wool, in that rainbow of Crayola colors, practically begging to be touched (a little touching is OK, White says, but not too much, or the wool will lose its loft). When she was in the planning stages, she says, she knew exactly what she was after: a general-store sort of feeling, with wool that customers would ooh and aah at, then weigh out on scales by the ounce. The penny-candy approach, in other words.
White likes looking in the shopping baskets of her customers, to see what color combinations they come up with. Who would have thought that that garish pink could look so good? she’ll sometimes marvel. She favors subdued colors herself, slate grays and earth tones that suit her background as a geologist. But she also stocks plenty of wool in what she describes as “bright Michelle Obama colors.”
She carries flat batts made from merino, which she calls the Cadillac of wools because it’s so easy to work with, and specialty varieties like curlicues of Karakul, perfect for the beards of troll-like dolls. There are wools from Norway, Finland and Australia, and wools from local farms and 4-H’ers. White says she’d love to be all local, but there just aren’t enough sheep around here – and enough breeds of sheep – to keep her supplied. Through regular trips to agricultural fairs and word-of-mouth, she’s built up an international network of shepherds. Exactly who and where they are, she won’t reveal: That’s proprietary information, she says.
In addition to all the wools, New England Felting Supply stocks books and videos and novelties like the “I Felt the Stars” calendar by Alaska artist Kay Petal, featuring famous figures crafted in felt – Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Mr. T. There are kits for making things like the decorative doodads that White has dubbed Beede Balls, after their creator, Beth Beede of Northampton (easiest felting technique ever: layer wet wool on a rubber ball, cover it with pantyhose, then bounce the ball over and over until the wool compacts and turns into felt). There are notions, including glass eyes for dolls (“a little bit fun, a little bit creepy,” White concedes); swaths of silk dyed by local artisans that are used as the basis of felted scarves; cellophane bags of embellishments like wool nubs and fancy ribbons; and piles of pool noodles, those foam toys kids use for swimming, which felters repurpose to roll out layers of wet wool.
White says that customers get more than the materials for felting. She and her staff can provide expert advice about how to work with those materials, either by answering questions on the spot or through classes. Fall is the busiest season for retail sales – people are stocking up on supplies for woolly holiday gifts – and White offsets the ensuing slowdown by focusing on workshops in the winter. On Feb. 13, for instance, New England Felting Supply will offer a session on making “Illuminated Ice Caves,” based on the Beede Ball technique; it will run in conjunction with Easthampton’s monthly Art Walk, which for February has a Fire and Ice theme. Other classes are listed at www.feltingsupply.com.
Mixed in with the retail merchandise and the classroom set-up is White’s mail-order business, which accounts for a significant portion of her sales. She receives much of her raw wool from thousands of miles away, and then, after she’s seen to having it processed and packaged, often turns around and ships it thousands more miles. Huge cardboard boxes are stacked everywhere, and the sound of packing tape being stripped from a dispenser creates a kind of white noise.
****
This past February White expanded into the front section of her space, opening a small shop on Cottage Street to sell finished felted goods.
They don’t come cheap. Felting may be simple, but it’s labor intensive. Felting can also be forgiving, in a free-form sort of way, but that very quality means that some projects risk turning into a muddled mess. Creating something exquisite is an art.
A pair of fetching baby booties by Easthampton felter Jean Gauger is $40; Gauger’s lush “butterfly” shawls, which White says are wildly popular, are priced from $550 to $650. White’s own round place mats, made from natural-colored wool from Northampton’s Sojourner Farm – she calls them tortilla mats, and says, “With these and a margarita you’re good to go” – are $42 for a set of four. In the window is the piece de resistance: an olive-green upholstered chair by New Hampshire artist Nicole Chazaud Telaar that’s adorned with dozens of sewn-on swatches of felted wool in myriad colors. It’s called The Flapper Chair, and it’s $6,000.
*****
Felting, finally, is getting some respect in the United States. Last year the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City mounted an exhibit called “Fashioning Felt” which drew more than 100,000 visitors. White notes that the exhibit showcased felt through the filter of fashion design – one more sign that the medium is morphing from earthy-crunchy craft into something more.
Despite her supply business, despite her teaching, despite her book, White shrugs off any suggestion that she might deserve at least a little of the credit for that.
“Felt does that on its own,” she says. “The wool is amazing. I feel like I’m an ambassador.”
Margot Cleary can be reached at MCleary@gazettenet.com.

Posted 4 years, 11 months ago at 4:10 pm.

2 comments

wow … more media attention! nice mention in the times union in albany NY

Anyone who has a fiber addiction will be in good company here.

http://blog.timesunion.com/fiberarts/

My friend Harriet Levy, an avid knitter and spinner, wrote a fun piece about the dangers of knitting. Pick up those needles at your own risk!

I must confess … after learning to knit at the tender age of six,

I went on to crocheting, then sewing, needlepoint, pottery,

dabbled in weaving,

stained glass, jewelry, driftwood, shells and feathers, beads.

then, knitting over-sized garments and bags to then shrink down to felt

… onto silk painting and hand-dyeing silk yardage

which naturally progressed to nuno felting and dyeing my own roving

and, oh ya, did I mention I just bought a spinning wheel?

suzie_pro_side

Posted 5 years ago at 3:27 am.

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we had a great nuno felt workshop at WEBS

My class at WEBS filled quickly, so we added a one day workshop on sept 20 to accommodate the waiting list. what a wonderful group of talented women! everyone’s scarf is absolutely gorgeous. I still have space in my tuesday night class at Holyoke Creative arts. 6-8pm $45 plus materials.

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Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 12:45 am.

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Hand-painted silk yardage anyone?

Love, love, love creating this luscious yardage! When the weather is nice, I’m outside dyeing and felting. So inspiring being out in nature with all the great colors and textures. Can’t help but take my inspiration from it. Many are like Monets on silk! I’ve been offering my silks by the yard at New England Felting Supply and to my students when I teach. This stuff is so wonderful to felt on. I use it for my base in some of my scarves. I’m going to sew up some silk ponchos or wraps with it, too!

yummy

monet inspiredmonet 3lusciousfavmonet4on the line 2more moneton the line

Posted 5 years, 5 months ago at 4:10 pm.

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people just can’t get enough of this felting stuff!!

flipping

COOL HUH?!

These workshops are soooo FUN!  And it seems that people just can’t get enough of them. Every time we offer a nuno ribbon felt scarf workshop at New England Felting Supply it fills right up and we end up with a waiting list. So what do we do? We schedule another class of course!

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it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 and voila the finished product!

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Well, there is a lot of rolling, massaging and adjusting in between there. About 4 hours worth. These scarves do take a lot of elbow grease and determination to bring to completion. An average scarf can take anywhere between 6-8 hours. Quite labor intensive, but it’s a labor of love and look at what you get!

Posted 5 years, 7 months ago at 1:29 pm.

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progress on the new studio for felting and fibering

I decided last fall to move the studio to the house. That way I would save a ton of time and money by not going back and forth all the time. When I was here … I always needed something there and vise versa. Not to mention cheaper rent and besides it helps get the laundry done when the studio is next to the washing machine. Well … you know how moving can be. Some of us sail right through it and everything is set up in a day. Let’s just say I’m not one of those people. We moved the studio in late October and by December I decided I had to have that area of the basement sheet rocked to give it a more inviting feel. So, I enthusiastically jumped into that project (quite possibly to prolong the unpacking part of the process) and took progress picture as I went. Now that it’s April I am finally getting around to posting them. I’m telling myself it’s not because I’m stalling on unpacking the studio, but that might have something to do with it. If any of you artist type people out there are anything like me, you have so much stuff to make stuff with …. that it’s hard to get organized enough to make stuff. But, alas, the desire and need to “make”  is becoming overwhelming and soon that studio will be ready to roll! Who knows … maybe I’ll even do a few mini-workshops here!

before

getting-there

first-sheet

SHEETROCKING

finished

unpacking

Yay! I’m getting there!

Posted 5 years, 8 months ago at 10:06 pm.

6 comments

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