habitual growth - a mixed media, collaborative installation

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Habitual Growth by Alexis Ortiz, Julia Gootzeit and Katie Schofield

"Individually, we are one drop.  Together, we are an ocean."  -- Ryunosuke Satoro

Habitual Growth by Alexis Ortiz, Julia Gootzeit and Katie Schofield, is a a beautiful and seamless collaborative installation.  It was impossible to differentiate the mark of one maker's hand from the other.  More impressive was the how the installation took on nuance of such varied settings.

 Was I on the ocean floor?

©2011 Lindsay B. Obermeyer, Habitual Growth by Alexis Ortiz, Julia Gootseit and Katie Schofield

In the forest?


Or taking a stroll through a meadow?

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Habitual Growth by Alexis Ortiz, Julia Gootzeit and Katie Schofield

Think fungi, coral, bark.  As they write in their statement, "[The] work revolves around the process of creation in which ritualistic motions are repeated, producing an accumulation of simple forms. As the daily act of making becomes habit, the forms grow and intertwine. The different textures and materials are juxtaposed to create an imagined habitat of symbiotic relationships. Natural and industrial elements interact - eating, regurgitating, sheltering, mimicking, covering, and encrusting one another."

Habitual Growth is on exhibit at Fill in the Blank Gallery until August 20th. 

CHA Summer Trade Show, Designer Showcase

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Designer Showcase, Lindsay Obermeyer The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
~Emily Dickinson

The last few days have flown by in a craft-filled whirl.  Oodles of inspiration, fab new products, reconnection with friends, I had a great time!  

This is only my second participation in a Craft & Hobby Association trade show, and my first time participating in the Designer Showcase.  For me, the event was 100% amazing.  I met publishers, writers, and firmed up connections with several companies.  Folks always ask me if such events are worth it and I have to give this one my double thumbs up.  If anything, the professional development workshops make attending worthwhile.  I learned tips from a PBS producer and two tv craft hosts on how to present my work for consideration, let alone how to be natural in front of the camera.  No, I'm not going on tv anytime soon (well, maybe YouTube...), but I stored the knowledge for future use.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Designer Showcase, Lindsay Obermeyer

For me half the fun is in the preparation.  I had a blast designing what I presented.  Over the course of the next few months I will be posting full project sheets so you can make them too if you wish.  So stay tuned for them!   (See I'm getting the hang of tv lingo....)

The other half of the fun was seeing what everyone else has been doing.  My background is in textiles, but I am seriously tempted by all the mixed media that's happening.  Check out the work of Shannon M. Bielke of Sha & Co, www.shaandco.net.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Shannon M. Bielke at CHA Designer Showcase

I love her journals.  They were shaped like houses and unfolded like one would take a tour through a home.  Too amazing!

Here's Laura Foster Nicholson of LFN Textiles, www.lfntextiles.com, at her booth.  She designed every bit of paper, fabric and ribbon featured on the table.  She's even wearing a jacket she made from one of her fabrics!  One of these days I really need to try Spoonflower.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Designer Showcase Laura Foster Nicholson

Sifu Design Studio

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu8

"Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket."

 --  Charles Simic

My recent visit to Sifu Design Studio and Fine Yarns Store proves my theory that yarn stores reflect the personality of their owners.  Opened by Lisa Whiting just 4 months ago, Sifu is making its presence felt in the Chicago area.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu4

The shop is filled with both new and vintage yarns, contemporary and vintage patterns, buttons, threads, books and more.


Lisa is an established designer with several of her patterns having recently been published in Vogue Knitting.  


She brings her aesthetic to every aspect of her shop.  Mixed media these days tends to imply work on paper, but with Lisa it's the blending of knitting with embroidery, beading with crocheting, wire with buttons.  Anything and everything can go into the mix.  Don't you just love her rings!

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu7

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu3
 ©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu2

She's recently received certification as an eco-friendly shop with her various green measures, including a small outdoor basket of thrums for the birds to use in their nest building.  No bit goes left unused!  

As a designer and artist, she supports others by featuring their work in her shop.  I LOVE these embroidered "patches."  I'm thinking that a small collection of them would look fab in my kitchen.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Sifu1
Sifu Design Studio is located at 5044 N. Clark in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.  Hours are T-Th 11 to 7, Fr 11-9 and Sa & Su 10-6.  Call (773) 598-5797 to obtain a listing of her classes.

Chicago Craft Social, Needle Felt Gerber Workshop

Needlefelting- finished alexis

"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity."  -- Bo Bennett

I've been without a working camera for the past few months.  Though I have a cell phone camera, it just isn't up to the job, but I'm fortunate in that others send me pics they have taken.  These come from Alexis.  She and her mom were two of the 18+ participants in my  needle felted gerber daisy pendant workshop at the Chicago Craft Social this past March.  

As you can see, everyone had fun learning the technique and were successful in creating their own daisy pendants.  

Needlefelting- finished mom

Needlefelting- middle
Needlefelting- prepping

Thank you to Clover for supplying us with their great tools and roving!

chicago craft social


"I affirm - simply, surely, and unequivocally - that I am a creative person."

 --  Eric Maisel

I love to make for the sake of making.  The process is like a journey with few signposts to guide you. Playing, puttering, sketching, dreaming, they are all a part of creativity.  

I came to fall in love with needle felting simply by giving it a try.   Since those first few studies, it's become a passion.  With just a few tools, I can fashion sculptures from roving.  I can embellish a beret or purse.  And I can make light weight, chunky colorful pendants.  

March 26th from 1-4, you will find me at the Chicago Craft Social.  I am so excited!  Clover USA is sponsoring my pendant making workshop, supplying all the necessary tools.  YEAH!  I used to sell oodles of Clover products back when I owned the Weaving Workshop, so it is a special thrill to be working with them in this capacity.  

You need to check out all the other wonderful workshops happening at the Chicago Craft Social.  There is time to take three workshops within the afternoon. Learn to make coin purses from duck tape or headbands from t-shirts, all while hanging out with friends and meeting new folks.  


©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Alex
"What a strange power there is in clothing."  

-- Isaac Bashevis Singer

My neighbor Alex stopped by my place a few weeks ago to help with moving a few things.  I loved that he was wearing my hat.  He commissioned it after seeing me outside photographing hats for my Etsy shop.  I thought he was kidding.  I tend to think of my hats as feminine.  Alex proved me wrong. Actually he was rather miffed that I hadn't taken him seriously. He liked my designs and appreciated the quality of my knitting. Lesson learned. I need to rethink my entire hat collection as either unisex or consider some as more masculine than not. I especially love the fact that he asked for his name to be embroidered on it. I asked if he wanted block lettering. I stereotyped again, thinking a block font would be more masculine, but Alex preferred my scripty style.

Another happy customer sent me a picture of herself wearing her custom beret. I love how it goes with the poinsettia! Stacy is great. Being an artist herself, she has an amazing sense of color and style. ©2011 Stacy Ruba Enjolive Beret in Persimmon
Her commissions have also given me pause for consideration.  Now I'm thinking of lines with specific themes.  Day, dawn, dusk, midnight.  Persimmon, key lime, banana and blackberry.  Perhaps some inspired by imaginings of characters from favorite novels.  Hmmmmmm.  Many possibilities to consider.

friends helping friends

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer HeartFelt photo credit Larry Sanders
"But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end."
~William Shakespeare

In preparation for the trade show, I've been running around tying up loose ends.  It is at times like this that make me ever so grateful for the friends and colleagues in my life.  

Today I condensed several errands into one when I stopped by Girl Metro.  Girl Metro's stationary is gorgeous!  Think luxurious, that wonderful creamy paper begging for the scribbles of a fountain pen.  I wanted to purchase some for business notes.   When running late and needing to make another stop at a paper store, Richelle, fellow member of the Chicago Craft Mafia and the proprietor of Girl Metro, offered some from her own stash.  It was perhaps a small gesture, but it meant a ton to me.  One less stop, great advice on trade shows, plus wonderful paper and stationary.  I love these win-win moments in life.  

Earlier in the day, my old pal Kate rang with answers to a few questions I had emailed her.  She and her business partner Jamie took their business Egg2Cake to the New York Stationary Show last spring, so she's been a great source for info.  You have to check out their product line.  They say it is playful, I say it's downright funny.  If you are a mom (and even if you aren't), you'll love their Momglish™ Dictionary.

If you can't tell, I'm excited about the show.  To illustrate a bit of what I can do, I've been making new items.  The piece above is a pin, for hat or lapel, needle felted with merino.  I love its colorful simplicity.

Photo Credit: Larry Sanders 

'tis the season

©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Beret Blocked
"The web of our lives is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together."  -- William Shakespeare

I just finished blocking several of the berets I made for the upcoming holiday craft fairs.  I love them! Warm, cheerful, full of color.  A bright note to dull winter days.  They are my antidote to the dark and drab winters of Chicago. 

You can find them and more berets and beanies at these upcoming holiday markets:

November 7th, 10-3, Emanuel Congregation Holiday Market, 5959 Sheridan Rd., Chicago (Rogers Park neighborhood).
November 19, 20, 21,  Friday 4-7, Saturday, 10-3, Sunday 11-5, Steerterville Artisan Market,  Northwestern University Lurie Research Center, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago (Streeterville neighborhood, near the Museum of Contemporary Art). 
November 20, 10-5, DIY Trunk Show, Pulaski Park Auditorium, 1419 Blackhawk, Chicago (Wicker Park neighborhood).
November 26 - December 24, Su/M 12-5, T/W/Sa 10-6, Th 10-7, Fri 10-8, Christmas Eve 10-2, Out of the Box Artists' Holiday Gift Boutique, 7423 W. Madison, Forest Park, IL. (I'll personally be at the boutique Fridays 12/10 and 12/17.)
In addition to my collection of beanies and berets, I'll have a small collection of knit purses and moth repellant herbal sachets in 4 wonderful scents - cedar shavings,  rosemary / peppermint, lavender / thyme / rosemary and clove / lemon peel / black pepper.  

a little perspective

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Breast Cancer
 "Where the material ends, art begins."  --  Etienne Hajdu

I work in a small studio located in the lower level of my home.  It suits me, but there is one disadvantage, there isn't the space to pull back from my work.  I don't really see how it will look outside my studio until I have the work photographed.  The distance the lens offers, let alone the space of my photographer's studio, allows for perspective.   

Larry's studio is often where I make the decisions for display.  A zillion questions run through my mind.  Does that work need the viewer close up?  How will it look from 10 feet back?  Should it be on a pedestal?  Does it work better on the floor? Wall?  Suspended from the ceiling?  How should it be lit?  From above?  From the side?  You get the idea.

The lens, while offering the space needed for visual reflection, can also distort.  The piece above is the size of a soccer ball, while the ones below are no larger than 6 inches in diameter.  

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Multiply and Divide 

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Virus Green and Virus Blue 

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Growth 

I'm loving these new pieces. (You have to hold them, they feel amazing!)  Breast Cancer (the piece at top) is needle felted and embroidered while the others are just needle felted.  The process allows me to both add and subtract depending on how I work the roving and needles.  It's a flexible medium begging me for more exploration.  

Photo credits:  Larry Sanders

a few sculptures

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Virus
"Sculpture and painting have the effect of teaching us manners and abolishing hurry."  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this sentiment, though I'm not convinced of its reality, especially as much of the contemporary art I see in galleries focuses on violence.  I understand the purpose of such art, but I don't like it.  I won't stop to ponder it.  I glance and keep on walking.  I crave beauty, even in those things that are potentially dangerous, such as the viruses I have recently been making.

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Ocean Virus

  ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Virus Blue 

Photo credit:  Larry Sanders