Lee Charlton: The Five Question Interview

Lee Charlton is the artist/owner at Felting Farmer Lady where she creates sculptures with wool, spins, and knits. She also sells hand-dyed fibers, roving, and handspun yarns for other fiber enthusiasts.

She lives on a small homestead farm in Central Texas with her husband and a host of critters.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

We moved to Bastrop County in 1985 along with a group of friends when we found a most beautiful spot of land in the western part of the county.  It just happened to be in the Elgin ISD.  We raised 3 children here, all of whom attended the Elgin public schools.  In 2005 we bought a sweet little farm just south of Elgin which we share with 2 sheep, a pig, 3 donkeys, an old bull, 4 dogs and a cat.  The farm welcomes all sorts of visitors and especially the grandchildren.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

I am not one that holds still well and love when my hands are busy.  Taking wool and creating beauty just fills my heart, it’s plain and simple.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I have always done crafty things but until I retired in 2011, had never attempted an art form that needed to be developed over time.  In the last five years I have learned to keep at it over and over and over again until what is in my mind communicates with what my hands create and the result pleases me. I have learned how to run a small business, all sorts of social media promotional stuff that is a pain but necessary and tackled creating a website which I am quite proud of.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Hmmm, I have to divide my time between creating product for my on-line business (I sell wool to others who do needle felting and spinning so process a lot of raw wool by washing and dyeing) and my own creating.  Needle felting is creating sculptures with wool.  I also spin yarn, knit and most recently, have dived into botanical printing. Botanical printing is a process that draws out the tannins from leaves onto wool/silk and cotton fabrics.  I use natural dyes to modify these prints as well.

This time of year I am busy planning upcoming workshops, doing taxes and all the fiddly stuff one has to do. I have several large projects swirling in my head that I want to tackle this year.  Spring will be a lovely time to get started.

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie! A good apple pie is the essence of life.

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@feltingfarmerlady
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Friday Favorites: Knit Porn, a Party & Food for Thought

BBC Knit Porn is a thing, right?

This week I’ve been knitting and watching Sir Edmond Hilary, Everest and Beyond and making comments about every hand knit sweater that appeared. Steve asked me if this was a thing with knitters, and did we all talk about it online. There usually is quite a bit. I remember we all went crazy when Bletchley Circle aired. I’m surprised to not find a lot of discussion about these knits online, as they are all spectacular.

Food for thought

I’m embarrassed to admit this but we waste a lot of food in my household. And by we, I mean me, because my husband is far less particular about eating deli meat and leftovers that have been in the fridge for 3 days. I was made very aware of this when I was volunteering at our community food pantry and humbled by how happy the clients were to receive a clamshell pack of almost gone strawberries that I would have tossed or thrown in the compost heap. Ahem, the compost heap is one way I rationalize waste.

I’ve recently started utilizing curbside pick-up at my local grocery during the work week. Not only do I believe this is saving us money, but it’s virtually impossible to get distracted by all the lovely berries and fresh greens when I’m adding things to my online shopping cart.

This Real Simple article has great tips for reducing food waste at home. Keeping a “waste audit” is a great idea.

Knitting together community for 11 years

Tomorrow our favorite LYS Yarnorama (that’s local yarn store for the non-knitters) is celebrating 11 years of (insert fiber metaphor here) community in the tiny town of Paige, Texas. Weavers, knitters, spinners, and fiber obsessed have been making the weekly trek from Houston to be part of a community of fiber enthusiasts and friends.

The other night at our She Creates Union meet up, Susan talked about what the community she started has come to mean to her. It’s not my story to tell, so that’s all I say. Perhaps she’ll elaborate herself on her own website. It was lovely, and made us all bit misty.

Everyone who knows Susan and John, knows they have created something very special, and so obviously needed. Susan is a brilliant, patient, talented, and funny woman who nurtures us all in our endeavors to make beautiful things with our hands.

I like to brag that I was her first customer. Susan reached out to me on this blog before she even opened her doors, inviting me to her opening.

Let’s go back in time to read this blog post about my first visit to Yarnorama. I obviously felt that something special was going to happen there. Read the post here

Find out more about the weekend festivities here.

www.yarnorama.com

My fellow makers of She Creates Union will have a Pop Up Shop at Yarnorama tomorrow. Come on out and support women artists and enjoy the bluebonnets along the way.

www.shecreatesunion.org

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