About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Lake Winnipeg"
My first attempt at wet-felting a picture.
I'll be spending more time rolling this piece this afternoon.

It's been an interesting journey to wool. I'd been talking with a friend about how much I disliked using toxic products for paintings, particularly the varnish that provides the wonderful finish that I and my clients appreciate. I started investigating other options at our local paint shop. There are some eco-paints out there, some that may or may not contain arsenic and/or other not-so-desireables, but the price point is such that I'd have to change and severely limit my present process. Additionally, I couldn't find a responsibly-supportive varnish alternative. What started out as a wonderfully pleasant, soul-feeding experience of abstract expressionism was now becoming a cerebrally-bathed exercise. While all this way going on, I was continuing my weekly wanderings through our local thrift shop and realizing there were certain items that seemed to have a semi-permanent life on the shelves - doilies, bags of raw wool for quilts, pillowcases, etc. Every time I wandered by these items, my brain went into upcycling mode until one day I bought a bag of wool and went home to research. I was surprised to learn that wool has all those lovely benefits mentioned in a previos post, and was thrilled to think that I could become skilled at making pieces with such a natural and easily-sourced material. I've been looking into where I can find locally-produced roving, asking experienced felters about the likelihood of being able to use the thrift shop wool (my previous post tells the story of difficulties I've had with felting it), and building skills through researching online and trying my hand at felting something small every day. I'm hoping to be able to find a local alpaca farm that cleans and cards from its own alpacas. In the meantime, I'm also experimenting with basic felting/fulling of premade wool items. It feels so enriching to be working with wool.

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