Our 2015 Felt United Theme is…’HOME’

April 23, 2015

Greetings all! Well, can you believe it? It’s time to announce this year’s Felt United theme, which for 2015 will be … ‘HhomeOME’. What does home mean to you? The word likely brings up different images for each and every one of us, so we greatly look forward to seeing how you define and interpret ‘Home’. It may be an actual geographical place, or perhaps a place you envision only in your imagination. It may be a source of identity or a state of being. It may be a feeling of security/insecurity, comfort or pain.  Whatever you envision, we invite you to explore through your felt creations, what the word ‘Home’ means to you.

Just a reminder that Felt United is celebrated around the world on the first Saturday of October, this year,October 3, 2015. In addition to your photos, which we look forward to seeing on the Felt United Facebook page, please also consider how you might be able to share your love of feltmaking with others. Perhaps a collaborative effort, or a gathering with other feltmakers to share your love of felting through an exhibition, perhaps an open studio, or something as simple as inviting a neighbor/friend over to see what you do. Whatever you decide to do in celebration on October 3, 2015, know that your feltmaking friends are celebrating in some way all around the world. Please be sure to paste a link to your event on the Felt United Events page.

Lastly, just a few reminders, regarding Felt United membership:

“Acceptance into the Felt United group indicates that you agree to post photos of felt inspired by the current theme only (this year’s theme is ‘Home’). In order to have your photo approved and posted to the Felt United Facebook page, we are requiring that all submissions include a short explanation of how the image relates to the ‘Home’ theme. Do not upload images with links to selling sites. We ask that you give due consideration and thought into what you post and make this a meaningful experience for all. Again, this year, we would request that you limit your photos to no more than three images per submission and we would appreciate no more than one submission per week to be uploaded by any individual member due to the rapid expansion of our group (now at over 5,300 members…wow!).

Here’s to creativity, worldwide friendships, and of course, feltmaking. We hope that you will find this year’s theme, as with the themes of years past, to be a path for us to get to know one another better….this year by learning about you and your connection to home.

Together, We Felt United.

Dawn Edwards and Nicola Brown

Your Felt United Co-Administrators

Happy Felt United Day!!!!

IMG_5460While it’s still Friday here, I know that some of you are turning the page on Friday and have moved on to Saturday, October 4, 2014 in your area of the world. Wherever you are, we are sending our best  wishes for a very Happy Felt United Day! Be sure to post your photos onto the Felt United Facebook page. We will try to get to the approval of those photos in as timely a fashion as possible….both Nicola and I will be felting the day away. too, so we’ll add photos just as soon as we finish our respective days. Nicola is hosting a fabulous day at Clasheen in Ireland where they’ll be creating a fantastic collaborative wall hanging, enjoying a potluck supper and having a fun stash swap/sale. Wish that I could be in two places at once….sounds like such fun! And, I am with felt artist, Robbin Firth, of Heartfelt Silks, where we’ll be felting and eco-printing felt hats in Hudson, Wisconsin, located on the beautiful St. Croix River. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing to celebrate the day, I hope that you will enjoy every minute, knowing that your felting friends around the world are celebrating right along with you. I know that we’re all looking forward to seeing how the day unfolds around the globe.

It’s been a great week leading up to Felt United Day…We’ve gained many new members (can you believe that we’re nearing 5,000 members?) and have had many wonderful Peace inspired photos posted. We hope that you’ve enjoyed this year’s Peace theme, which was inspired by the late humanitarian, Nelson Mandela.

We thank you all for so generously sharing your heart and talents with the group. You are such an inspiration.

Here’s to creativity, peace, worldwide friendships, and of course, feltmaking.

Together, we Felt United,

Dawn Edwards and Nicola Brown

Happy Felt United Day!!!!

October 3, 2014

FeltUnited

IMG_5460While it’s still Friday here, I know that some of you are turning the page on Friday and have moved on to Saturday, October 4, 2014 in your area of the world. Wherever you are, we are sending our best  wishes for a very Happy Felt United Day! Be sure to post your photos onto the Felt United Facebook page. We will try to get to the approval of those photos in as timely a fashion as possible….both Nicola and I will be felting the day away. too, so we’ll add photos just as soon as we finish our respective days. Nicola is hosting a fabulous day at Clasheen in Ireland where they’ll be creating a fantastic collaborative wall hanging, enjoying a potluck supper and having a fun stash swap/sale. Wish that I could be in two places at once….sounds like such fun! And, I am with felt artist, Robbin Firth, of Heartfelt Silks, where we’ll…

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Happy International Felt Hat Day…September 15

September 15, 2014

Friend, and Online Editor at Fiber Art Now magazine, Cami Smith, shared with me that Monday, September 15, 2014  is International Felt Hat Day. Now how did that escape me? Thank you for the heads up, Cami. Of course, every day is International Felt Hat Day for me😉 I hope that you’ll join in the celebration by wearing a hat, or looking at hats. I’ve attached a few images of some of my creations at the end of this post.

I love this quote, “When you wear a hat, you become the dream that started when the hat was conceived.  The original energy that was put into the hat doesn’t die; it only changes forms and owners.  The dream doesn’t die; it is passed on, sometimes from generation to generation.” ~ Unknown. I hope that one of my hats may still be worn in generations to come…That would be a very nice continuation of the dream.

Happy International Felt Hat Day! Dust off your Felt Cloche, or perhaps your mood leans more toward a felt crown. Whatever your disposition decrees, do celebrate. And, if you need a hat to join in the celebration, be sure to stop by….I think I have a few to spare.

Here’s to hats and felting, and the combination of the two.

Dawn Edwards

Felt United 2014 … Two Months (and a tad) and Counting

August 2, 2014

FeltUnited

Can you believe that Felt United day is just a little over two months away? Yes, Saturday, October 4, 2014 will be here before we know it! I hope that you have begun to formulate your thoughts and ideas as to how this year’s theme, Peace, might be represented in your felt work. We’ve heard from a few of you that this year’s theme is in some ways, more challenging….How to interpret such a subjective theme in your felt work. But, as always, you are more than rising to the occasion…in wonderful and thoughtful ways. I’ll share a few of the images of the ‘Peace’ related felt art that have already been submitted at the end of this post. And, if you wish to read more about those images and/or the artists who created them, just head over to the Felt United Facebook page.

We hope that you are being inspired by this year’s theme and we look…

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PEACE AND THE COURAGE OF THE SEED…

July 31, 2014

 

My piece for this year’s Felt United theme….PEACE

PEACE AND THE COURAGE OF THE SEED…

Dawn Edwards

Peace and the Courage of the Seed by Dawn Edwards

‘Peace and the Courage of the Seed’ by Dawn Edwards

This year’s Felt United is fast approaching. Felt United, for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is a day set aside and celebrated annually on the first Saturday in October, so this year on October 4, 2014. The hope is that feltmakers from around the world will all join in to celebrate in some form. This year’s theme is Peace and I’ve entitled my creation, ‘Peace and the Courage of the Seed’.

Seedling in the Parched Earth

Seedling in the Parched Earth

I am always intrigued by the sight of seedlings which somehow sprout up in the most barren, parched patches of earth…. despite the seeming impossibility of life growing under such conditions. This is proof, in my opinion, that nothing is impossible … life, hope, peace … It is all possible, even under the bleakest of conditions.

I love this quote by world renowned poet and philosopher (who coincidentally lives in my area), Mark Nepo, who wrote:

“As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.”

Together,  We Felt United…Peace

Peace and the Courage of the Seed by Dawn Edwards

‘Peace and the Courage of the Seed’ by Dawn Edwards.

 

Dawn Edwards Felt United Peace submission close-up

‘Peace and the Courage of the Seed’ by Dawn Edwards, Close-up image

Our 2014 Felt United Theme is…..’Peace’!

May 23, 2014

‘It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world…and at peace with myself.’ ~ Nelson Mandela

 

Inspired by the above quote, our 2014 Felt United theme is ‘Peace’!WORLD PEACE 690755601231355790

 

Nicola Brown and I (Dawn Edwards) have been friends for a number of years, meeting long ago over the internet through our love of feltmaking. We have had great fun during our years of getting to know one another along with visits to one another’s homes/countries, having just recently spent several weeks together…I at her house, she at mine. During this time, we of course discussed this year’s Felt United theme. We’ve really enjoyed the color and elemental themes of years past, but thought that it might be a good time to put forth a more subjective theme. What we came up with: ‘Peace’ inspired by Nelson Mandela. We feel that it is a very relevant topic, and one that offers you much artistic freedom, and at the same time, it is a theme that will require some thought.

 

Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95, and many of us have been drawn to one of his great legacies, ‘Peace’. Mandela showed us how to disarm violence, and demonstrated great strength and conviction in the doing. His greatest legacy was the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. Somehow, even in the midst of hatred and/or despair, and living more than a quarter of his life in confinement, he preferred nonviolent protest actions, coupled with conviction, strength and dignity. What an amazing human being, and though he has left us, his spirit will continue to guide us.

 

We hope that you will be inspired by this year’s theme and we look forward to seeing your photos and hearing how you might celebrate International Felt United Day. Felt United is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in October…this year’s date being October 4, 2014. Have you begun to make plans yet? Perhaps an exhibition, a collaborative effort, or a gathering with other feltmakers to share your love of felting, or ????? The possibilities are endless. Once you decide, be sure to paste a link to your event on the Felt United Events page.

 

When adding your photos to the Felt United Facebook page, if it’s not readily apparent how your submission relates to the ‘Peace’ theme, please add a short explanation. We have many, many talented artists in our group and I envision numerous creative interpretations on the theme. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind over at the Facebook Felt United page at times….we’ve been growing by leaps and bounds – now at over 4,200 members – and as always happens with rapid growth, we’re still trying to navigate how best to keep up with the growth and change. We’re very pleased with the growth of Felt United, but you can imagine that Nicola and I are limited by the amount of time that we are able to spend on the computer on any given day (we receive no pay as page administrators, so do need to work in order to put food on the table and wool in our stash😉 , so we do delete photos that don’t appear to be in keeping with the theme. Our apologies if we’ve ever deleted a photo that was related, but not readily apparent to us. Your adding a short explanation to your photos will really help us out.

 

Also, just a few reminders, newly implemented this year…so if you haven’t checked the membership rules recently, you may not be aware of these:

 

“Acceptance into the Felt United group indicates that you agree only to post pictures of felt inspired by the current theme, ‘Peace’, and we ask that when posting pictures, to please make sure to leave a short note describing the ‘Peace’ connection/inspiration. Please do not upload images with links to selling sites and also limit the volume of images that you post so as to give equal access to everyone. We ask that you give due consideration and thought into what you post and make this a meaningful experience for all. Our request for 2014 is that you limit your photos  to no more than three images per submission and we would appreciate not more than one submission per week to be uploaded by any individual member due to the rapid expansion of our group. Thank you.”

 

I love Jan Waller’s thoughts on this year’s theme. I’ll share a snippet of her note. She states, ‘I think we will see a much wider range of work this year, the theme is much more subjective and I for one welcome it, otherwise we will just have hundreds of doves and peace signs. This is a great theme that allows artists to open up their minds and interpret……I don’t mind explaining how my work fits into the theme, but I also don’t want to be spoon fed what to think of another artist’s work – I like artwork to make me think….we will see a lot more of that this time around. It does raise an interesting question – is it for the artist to explain or for the viewer to interpret?’ Great question and thoughts Jan….Can’t wait to see your submission.

 

In closing….a little video that I think you’ll enjoy….at about the four-minute mark you will hear Nelson Mandela’s quote, ‘’It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world…and at peace with myself.’ Nelson Mandela will live on as a symbol of peace, hope, and of change for so many around the world.

 

Here’s to creativity, peace, worldwide friendships, and of course, feltmaking. Looking forward to your 2014 Felt United interpretations.

 

Together, we Felt United,

Dawn Edwards and Nicola Brown

Your Felt United Administrators

 

‘I Went to the Woods’

March 14, 2014

Nature provides for us a sacred space in an otherwise hurried world. For this handmade felt vessel (created with Bergschaf wool, assorted fibers and  embellishments), I envisioned images of the forest floor, and the words of Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

We have a nature preserve not far from our home and I frequently walk along the trails. Though it is within the city limits, once inside the preserve, one feels quite far removed from neighborhood sights and sounds….no honking cars or blaring snowblowers or lawnmowers, no streetlights…only the crunch of leaves and pine needles under foot and the sounds of the river flowing next to the banks. Our dog, Yogi, loves to walk along the paths, he sniffing at all of the glorious scents left behind and digging under the lichen covered barks fallen from the trees. These walks allow me time to be swept away/lost in thought. I can, in these moments, relate to Thoreau’s desire to live simply and spiritually and his words resonate as I listen to the ‘sounds of silence’ and reflect upon that which is important in life and for that I rejoice for this glorious earth upon which we have been so blessed to live.

Update: I entered this vessel into the April 2014 Westminster Arts Festival, a juried exhibition of the visual arts. This year’s theme was, ‘Earthcare: Reconcile, Restore, Rejoice’, which explored the connection between human beings and the natural environment. The exhibition was located at 1515 Helen Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was awarded with the Committee Prize Award, which helped me to purchase a much needed new laptop computer. Thank you Westminster Arts Festival. 

“I Went to the Woods’ Felt Vessel by Dawn Edwards

Dawn Edwards, shown with Committee Choice Award check

Dawn Edwards, shown with Committee Choice Award check

Close-up of naturally dyed silk and assorted fibers on the vessel.

Close-up of naturally dyed silk and assorted fibers on the vessel.

Close-up image of Burr Oak acorn on the vessel.

Close-up image of Burr Oak acorn on the vessel.

Burr Oak Acorn

Burr Oak Acorn

Happy Felt United Day!

October 5, 2013

While I have yet to go to bed to close out my Friday, I know that some of you are already waking to Saturday, October 5, 2013. So, I’m sending out my wishes to all of you for a very Happy Felt United Day! Be sure to post your photos onto the Felt United Facebook page. I know that we’re all looking forward to seeing how the day unfolds around the globe.

It’s been a great week leading up to Felt United Day…We gained over 150 new members this week and have had many, many wonderful photos posted. Thank you all so much for being such a welcoming group and also for your willingness to share your talents. You never cease to inspire me.

One more note of thanks….a big note…Thank you Elis Vermeulen and Cynthia Reynolds for dreaming up Felt United. It’s been such a joy in my life. So Happy Felt United to both of you, too…You did such a good thing.

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Wishing all of you a most wonderful day, as…
We Felt United

Happy Felting all,

Dawn

Counting Down to Felt United Day…October 5, 2013

September 30, 2013

Just a few more days until Felt United Day. If you’re free on Saturday, please join me at the lovely Design Street, 115 W. Bridge St., Plainwell, Michigan, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for a Felt United Open House/Exhibit, including works from artists, Ingrid Garrod, GlitterGirl Feltworks, Shirley Topp, Tamara Luke Hosler, Deborah Barnes Hall, Catherine Niessink, Barb Bare, and myself. Hope to see you on Saturday.

FeltUnited

Well, we’re less than a week away from the 5th Annual Felt United Day which takes place on Saturday. Wow! How did that year zip by so quickly? Did it for you, too? I hope that you have made plans to commemorate the day in some way…The possibilities are endless. Perhaps you’re taking part in an exhibit, an Open House at your home or studio, a fashion show, a collaboration with other felt artists, a feltmaking demonstration for friends and family, teaching, or simply brewing yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoying all of the images on our Facebook Felt United page. There’s certainly plenty of inspiration out there. Thank you to all who have already posted or who soon will be.

Be sure to note the Facebook Felt United Events page, too, as there are several posts listed for events in Latvia, Lithuania, Scotland, and…

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The Little Mermaid Revisited…

June 28, 2013

I was recently asked to create a piece for an exhibit, Inspired by Children’s Literature, curated by Maryellen Hains, for the Carnegie Center for the Arts, 107 N. Main St. in Three Rivers, Michigan. The show is a collaborative group showing of over 20+ artists each exploring their childhood memories. My piece, The Little Mermaid Revisited, is hand-made felt created with Australian Merino wool, Wensleydale, wool locks, silk fibers and fabrics, yarns, shells, beads, and bark cloth (tapa). My Artist Statement reads:

“My piece was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Little Mermaid. In this fairy tale, the mermaid exchanges both her voice and her tail, for legs, hoping to win the love of a prince and earn an immortal soul for herself. I hadn’t recalled the sadder parts of Andersen’s fairy tale, only remembering the parts that I loved and the beautiful images in my book. I think the moral of Andersen’s story relates to trying to be something that you are not, being content with who you are….Finding your own voice or not losing it in the first place… All good lessons. I’m glad that I revisited this story as an adult, which gave the story new meaning for me. My felt mermaid tail can either be seen as the tail that the mermaid lost, which has washed upon the shore, or perhaps, a happy ending to a somewhat sad tale…A new tail found for the Little Mermaid to re-enter the sea.”

Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of novels, poems, and plays, Andersen is probably best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen’s fairy tales, while oftentimes thought of as stories for children, actually present thought-provoking life lessons, touching on issues of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity, tales that transcend age. I am pleased to share with you my take on The Little Mermaid, as presented through my chosen medium of felt and hope that if you live in the area, that you might take the time to visit the Carnegie Center for the Arts.

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