Nov 21, 2010

needle felting madness

Here are a few pictures of my latest experiment - needle felting. I took a piece of old felt, not a very good one really, and began to play with whatever came into my mind. It's a little like using colored pencils and doodling. Just a random floral pattern. I love doing it, but I wish the piece of felt didn't look so much like a piece of ragged cowhide. I think I might make this piece into a wall hanging, since the fiber is really not evenly felted. It's really heavy in some places and has spots so thin that a hole could appear with the least bit of wear. The piece was felted by the residents here at the ranch, so I think it must be one of their first efforts.

Nov 18, 2010

The Bad and The Good of it.

One of my guys here at work turned violent a couple of days ago, during a temper tantrum, and hurt one of the staff members here at the ranch. You see, mentally, neither one of them is more than 12 years old. The one who had the tantrum is more like 6 years old most of the time. He talks about himself and others as if they were all kids, and he watches the QUBO channels, which is all cartoons all day. In reality, he's 48 chronological years old. When he has a tantrum, he goes through all the motions and emotions that a little boy has. The big problem is that he hits, kicks, and throws things just like a little boy, but he's a stout, strong guy and hitting and kicking and throwing stuff gets dangerous for anyone around him. He's hurt 2 staff members in the last 6 months and is on notice that next time gets him on lockdown in the psych ward at the hospital till he gets a psychiatric eval. He honestly didn't get the seriousness of it until I told him that next time I'll call the sheriff. He knows that means that he might have to spend a night in a place where criminals have to stay, which is not where he wants to be.

One of the results of this vocal, physical, and emotional uproar from this person is that Porter is reacting. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in a more forceful way than before. He's barking at people who come in the door and rushing the door to see who's not stopping to wait to be invited in. People here tend to knock once and walk in, and Porter is all about checking them before they enter. Another thing is that he has been sounding the alarm at nothing...and then getting embarrassed about it. His hair trigger is too hairy and goes off for no good reason really.

One of the benefits of working here at the ranch is that we have several angora goats and a couple of alpacas here that are strictly kept for fiber. So I have been learning a lot about the end of fiber working that I have never really had much experience with - the shearing, skirting, picking, and carding of fleeces. And there are lots of scraps of dyed fiber that are used for needle felting or thrown in the trash, so I've been playing around with blending colors and fibers on the carder and also the needle felting. I'll have to get some photos of what I've been's so much fun! I end up doing a lot of it at night, after all the residents have gone to their rooms. I tell them I'm working on my secret projects, so they don't try to follow me around. Remember, my guys here have the mentality of little boys between 8 and 12 years old. They think I'm a secret agent right now, working on my secret projects down in the basement. Hope I don't get to carding too fast and blow the house off it's foundation!