Saturday, June 19, 2010

Horse Riding, Reiki, and Yoga!

An unlikely combination you might think, but it actually goes together quite well. I had a chance to experience this first hand this morning at the Rock C Ranch near Rosanky, Tx. Beth and Charlie Parrish manage this 51 acre property out amongst windy prairies, surround by pines and live oak. Here they teach people to relax and enjoy the incredible experiences First we got to know the horse, Bentley, a Throughbred/German Warmblood, first grooming him and feeding him some treats. Then we moved on to a little bit of yoga as taught by Ms Virginia, the ranch's Yoga Instructor. The centering and grounding exercises really let you relax and breathe and loosen all those little tensions that you didn't know you had. After stretching a bit with the yoga we went out to the round pen and thought about mounting up.
Okay this is where it got really interesting , because I hadn't been on a horse since I was 14... I had had a horse and a few lessons but my whole horse horse endly rather stressfully after a few years... so while I still love horses I had to love them from afar and just think that riding wasn't for me.
So faced with this huge animal almost 18 hands high was really quite something. Even with the mounting block I didn't think I could make it in that tall tall place. I was excited and really scared of not making it in the saddle. On the ground his back was a foot and half above my head.. and I'm not exactly the most athletic body shape ever. But Beth and Charlie are so kind and super patient. After some creative thinking and a little panic attack and break on part... I did get on eventually! I watched my husband ride and he had never been on horse at all! And Charlie did some reiki on me to help me release the stuff I'd built up in my first attempt. Then I tried again and was able to make it on! It was very very cool. I loved Beth's gentle instructions telling me about why to tighten these muscles or straighten here.. it made alot of sense. Things I'd forgotten or just hadn't ever heard when I was 12 or so. And Bentley was so sweet and calm and really patient with me too. I dismounted with out wiping out and collapsing on the ground. So think all in all my first lesson was a great success and I really am looking forward going back. They call this inspired riding and I can definitely say that I am inspired and touched by the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nuno Felting and Silk Dye

So its hitting 95 and up, and I don't have an indoor studio! Who cares! I'm refusing to let it stop me; so I have been outside sweating buckets on my porch. I ordered some silk and some acid dyes hit youtube and google for some instructions and fearlessly plunged ahead. Dyeing isn't that hard I think I'm getting the hang of it. I also think its helping that I'm dyeing small pieces and I'm using a second hand microwave to steam set my silk.
Nuno felting a laminating technique that involves marrying silk and wool into this new luscious creation. I'll probably be explaining this process later on in detail with pictures... I mostly want to show you my first result. The silk is the base fabric and the wool is mostly along the edges as well as stretching delicately across the center of the piece. I dyed the silk lilac, purple and yellow to match the hand dyed wool roving I had. I include some mohair locks too provide luster and interesting texture. This is a scarf that start out approx 18" x 72" and shrank down to around 15" x 60". The wool fibers are actually driven into the silk so that they come out the other side.. it makes the silk wrinkle and pucker in the where ever the wool is. The silk is glossy and smooth between. This piece reminds me of the inside of irises.