Tuesday, March 26, 2013

American Robin Moves Back into the Neighborhood

Here in Colorado, we are all a little giddy about the next week of weather, as some warmth of Springtime in the Rockies has begun! If you share my love of this time of year, I can also share my excitement about the Robin family that has already returned to scope out their nest on my front porch. This is the fourth annual homecoming for these robins, and I like to believe this romantic couple will raise another successful family under my watchful eye.

The American Robin is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning from its winter range. Robins make their nests from long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers, with a little gooey mud as the finishing touch. There are abundant robins in our part of Colorado, and I have learned that the American Robin ranks behind only the Red-winged Blackbird as the most abundant land bird in North America.
Harmony Point Needle Felt Pillow

It is exciting to watch this couple inspect the remains of last year's nest. The colorful male is beginning to hang out in the trees near the porch most of the day, where I suppose he is guarding his home from other prospective nesters. Robins are most active during the day, and before the eggs are laid, assemble into large flocks at night. They eat a lot of bugs: beetle grubs, earthworms, and caterpillars, which is fine by me, along with fruits and berries. Once all the snow that is on our lawn melts, these birds will have a feast on earthworms that pull up easily from the wet grass! One of my favorite parts of Spring is sitting on my porch with that early morning cup of coffee and listing to the cheerful, almost continuous Robin song!

I have made many Robin-inspired fiber art items over the years, and I am sharing one of those items in this post. I would love to hear about your bird nesting joy in the weeks ahead. Spring fever is by far the best kind of fever, don't you think?

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday -- Fantastic Fiber Art

There are many talented fiber artists who light up around wool, linen, felt, yarn and knitting needles. I have to admit, I have that condition. When I was a freshman in high school, I was taken by my sister into a huge fabric shop in San Francisco, and allowed to wander for hours, touching the fabrics and enjoying the colorful textures. I am not ashamed to admit that I got a little weak in the knees as I experienced the bounty of fabrics in that store! It was the beginning of my love affair with textiles.

I have found nine other ladies who also adore fibers and creating their unique designs with them. In fact, you may be on the look-out for inspirational fiber art finds. I hope you enjoy this Top Ten List of fantastic fiber art.

Jannio of France

Merino wool is one of my favorite materials for fiber art design. Jannio presents a lovely example of Nuno-Felting of Merino wool onto cotton fabric in this light, soft and warm Red Spring Hat. This talented Etsy artist felts a hat specifically for you, making sure it fits your fabulous head! I am especially fond of the three hamdemade felt flowers she adds to this charming design. You may want to purchase it in the Spring, but I suspect you could wear it most of the year. You can find out more about Jannio here.

Becka Rahn of Minneapolis

Do you ever get the feeling that sometimes, less is more? When I saw this tiny weaving loom with hand-dyed yarn, I knew that its tiny size is what made me swoon! Made from laser-cut bamboo plywood, Becka has woven a charming "Rhubarb" design in gentle shades of green and red. As she points out in her wonderful Etsy shop, you could hang it from a Christmas tree. My fiber artist friends would LOVE to have one of these little gems placed on their next gift, instead of a paper bow! Hint, hint. You can find out more about Becka here.

Deborah Brackenbury of Fuzzy Logic Felt

After working with felt myself for most of the past five years, it is pretty clear that I am a big fan of the stuff. That said, I have never worked with felt the way Deborah works with felt in Norman, Oklahoma! Her contemporary take and color-blocking are both elegant and modern. I suspect that Deborah is younger and hipper than I am, and I applaud the way she adds life (and shall I say logic) to that fuzzy wool that I love so much! Her color combinations are part of her winning formula, and I hope you will have the chance to look at her Etsy shop to see what I mean. You can find out more about this talented artist here.

Elena Rosenberg of New York

Alright, dear reader, it is time to pick up your knitting needles! Or, maybe if you're like me, it is time to set those needles aside and let the real pro knit your next striking wrap. In my wildest dreams, I would knit like Elena. Her work is feminine and sophisticated. I can imagine that wearing one of her Capelets made with bamboo and silk in a rich color, like this luxurious pumpkin orange, would stop traffic everywhere one went! I would be so demure when folks ask me, "Did you make that?". I would shyly reply that no, I did not, but I know the wonderful artist who did! You, too, can get to know Elena on Etsy as well as on TAFAlist, the welcoming home of Textile And Fiber Artists on the web. Learn more about this lovely confection here.

The Lint Balloon in Ottawa, Canada

If you follow my fiber art, you may know that I love birds. I have just begun incorporating Peacocks into my designs, and I think I waited so long to do this because the majesty of the male's feathers just intimidated me! You will not find any such hesitancy at The Lint Balloon. In this bold necklace design, 36 needle-felted feathers are adorned with glass seed beads and dark blue stone beads. The artist finished it all with a handmade button clasp. I am told it is a little over 3 inches long in the center! You may be just the right person to wear this necklace to a gala, an art show opening, or your own birthday party! And if this jewelry item is as breathtaking to you as it was to me, you will surely want to see what else is in store at The Lint Balloon here.

Celina Mancurti of Tampa, Florida

I am so charmed by the eco-friendly artistry of Celina Mancurti! I originally found her work in magazines and then I looked her up on Etsy to learn more. Celina works with organic linen, which is my favorite foundational fabric, as well. This charming apron is made with fibers from the flax plant, and the pocket has been beautifully hand-screen printed with water-based inks. (Celina even sews the apron together with organic cotton thread!) This apron is all the rage with foodies and home cooks who put energy and time into the conscious sourcing of their food's ingredients. You can machine wash and dry the apron, and it will just get better looking with time (like us!). I invite you to visit Celina's lovely Etsy shop here and see all the charming screen printed fabrics she has for you to choose from.

Susan Carlson of the Felted Button

We have already talked a bit about knitting today, so to honor the other popular needle-work of crochet, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Susan Carlson. This popular Etsy artists adds lots of bright colors to her Utah town, and many places around the country, where crochet is no longer just your Grandmother's relaxing passion. Susan has created this charming Ombre Ruffle Blanket pattern to help beginners as well as a seasoned crocheter succeed! The lovely shades of purples used are but one example of how you could graduate colors in your own piece. How about reds/oranges/yellows for instance? And if you are getting ready to decorate a nursery, you can play with either shades of blue or shades of pinks! I am excited to tell you that there are 35 other delicious patterns at the Felted Button along with ready-made items galore! Susan is brightening up our world with crochet, and I hope you will let her brighten your day here.

Stacy Corday of Sew Stacy on Etsy

The colors and textures of this Calypso Scarf were my first attraction to Stacy, a fiber artist in Charlotte, North Carolina. This photo just makes we want to reach out and feel the soft textures! When I found out that this design, which is ready-made for you, is created using varietal yarns from her stash, I liked her even more! I run an environmentally friendly studio here in Colorado, so I applaud those who also use-up their art supplies, instead of trashing them...even the little bits of leftovers can become works of art! Stacy tells us that this scarf, while highly textured, is not itchy, and she will gift wrap it for you! It is 46" long and 7" wide infinity scarf, and its bright colors mean it will go well with most everything in your wardrobe. There are currently 189 items in Sew Stacy on Etsy, so take a peek and enjoy!

Grace Gerber of Larkspur Funny Farm

I have known Grace for a couple of years now, and I adore every item I have purchased from her shop, the Larkspur Funny Farm! When I saw the listing for this gorgeous handspun yarn, and I heard Grace's story about its creation, I knew I wanted to share that sweet story with you.

"Creating this yarn was truly beyond my control. You'll understand why when I explain it's evolution. I had some of my sweet LFF Sugar's Mohair fleece stored in my fiber room that I was planning to save just for me. The dear Sugar passed last year after living 21 years - 15 of which was with me.. He had buttery soft fiber with such a sheen. Before I realized that it was Sugar's fleece I had carded it up with a very soft pale gray Llama fleece from a local 4H'er and my best silk. When the batts where done I sat at the wheel and just began spinning. A wonderful single was created. When I finished spinning I placed the skeins in a dye pot with my special recipe but since I was sleep deprived I had not noticed that I had not turned on the heat. So after two hours of sitting in a cold dye pot I realized my mistake and turned on the heat. Well, this created a very faint variegated silvery Turquiose Teal.... It is just Amazing!!!. There are 152 yards / 139 meters in the skein. It is 10 wpi or which is considered a heavy sport weight yarn. It is a balanced single yarn with a very even thickness for a handspun single."

Do you see what I mean! Grace and her animals are a beautiful source of handspun, hand dyed, and lovingly prepared soft fibers for every craftsperson! With my whole heart, I recommend Larkspur Funny Farm, where The Spirits are High and the Fiber is Deep! You can learn more about Grace here.

Top Ten Item: Funny Animal of the Week

Thanks for stopping by, Georgianne

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fiber Art for your Walls

Every wall has a story to tell. Are your walls white and empty? Does your current color theory include any shades you didn't even like in the 1970s? Or, maybe your colorful home is ready for a fresh addition? Adding unique art to your walls is a super-quick and satisfying way to wake up your walls. Being brave about adding color to your home can begin with a small leap of faith.

We hear it all the time that adding sparkle to a room's decor is the "cherry on top" when it comes to decorating. The accessorizing phase of decorating can certainly be a lot of fun, but sparkling elements are not required. For instance, wall art does not need to be shiny, under glass, or loud any any way to add the spark your room deserves. Textiles are a great example of a sparkle-worthy item that lends interest, emotional impact, contrast, and style to your home. [Original fiber art wool tapestry, Winter Sunset, 2012, Georgianne Holland.]

As you select wall art made with any artistic medium, keep in mind the 60-30-10 guideline for color in home decor. Your selected dominant color should take up around 60% of your room's space. Choose a secondary color and use it in about 30% of the room. Your pops of color choices can then take up the remaining 10%. These percentages seem to make for rooms that are both well balanced and relaxing. It is even said that keeping the darkest tones near the floor, medium values of your colors on the walls, and the lightest shades near the ceiling of your room also add to the balanced results. [Inspirational room is a Jodi Cook design.]

Once you get the overall colors of the room set up, adding art to the walls becomes an easier task. The overall colors in my home are tans that lean toward gold, a chocolate brown, and a soft robin's egg blue. In individual rooms, I have added interest by decorating walls with some pops of orange, and in other parts of the house, a bright apple green. I have taken my basic scheme from nature (no surprise there, I suppose) and I do use a variety of textile arts in my decor: hand-stitched quilts, a beloved embroidery made by my mom, and needle felted wool in warm earth tones. I love using textiles as decor because they add a warmth and satisfying texture that helps me feel cozy in every room of the house!

Some of my favorite pops of color in any room of the house are the people who share that space with me! They are the true works of art that I value. I predict that you are a work of art yourself and don't particularly want to have a home that is cookie-cutter in any way. I love using one-of-a-kind textile art in my home because opening my home to others is a great joy of mine, and folks seem to enjoy walking from room to room, looking for unique, hand-crafted items in an exciting range of colors and textures.

How would you describe your favorite wall art of all time? I would love to hear from you. Visit the Nestle And Soar wall art collection today to see my ever-changing collection of fiber art for the wall.

Thanks for stopping by, Georgianne

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Website for Eco-Chic Fiber Art Lovers

The past six months of my life here in Colorado have been electronically creative for me! A strong focus on online technologies is an unnatural devotion, and I tease by telling others that I am high fiber, not high tech. Luckily, this huge technology project has been managed by a team of experts who have guided me and educated me in the ways of the web. I am pleased to announce the launch of my newly designed website, Nestle And Soar, a colorful and fun resource for those who love to fill their home with original and elegant home decor.

One of the most exciting features of my new website is the Customize It! page. Many of my collectors have asked me to make a fiber art piece especially for them, in colors and finishes that exactly match their home's decor. With this feature at Nestle And Soar, we've made it easy for folks to order their own special item. It's very exciting!

Do you love lush textiles and pops of color? Green luxury in home decor means dressing up your space with statement pieces that reflect the beauty of nature without damaging our ecosystem in process. My fiber art pieces showcase hand needle-felting and embroidery created with organic fabrics, hand-dyed wools and sustainable, fair-trade business practices. I invite everyone who loves to decorate with limited-edition fiber art designed and master-crafted in America to visit Nestle And Soar online!

I also invite each of you to subscribe to my simply elegant newsletter. Published monthly and filled with gorgeous photos and artisan interviews, you will also be among the first to learn about reader discounts and new Nestle And Soar fiber art collections! I hope to hear from you: would you tell me about your love of textiles, nature-inspired art or how you add to the green luxury in your home?

Thanks for stopping by,