Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Adventure Begins!

Many of my felting friends have asked where I have been hiding. Well, so much has happened in my life over the last 5 years - it all seemed to come to a frothy head this past year and I just sort of crashed and checked out of my online world. My needle felting has been a lifeline - the characters that want to come out of the wool seem to call to me and no matter how blue I get, I find the motivation to bring another one to life!

Besides my own life-changing cancer journey and my life-changing discovery of needle felting, the last 5 years have brought the loss of my dad from cancer, the loss of a dear friend from cancer, the loss of a beloved pet from cancer and the difficulties of living half of my life away from my husband (he works away from home for two weeks at a time.) Did I mention how I struggle to get through each long, dark, cold Alaskan winter with my sanity intact? Ethan and I have been married 24 years. One of our secrets to longevity is knowing when it's time to make a change. We both agreed it's time, once again, to rearrange our lives!

Are you ready?? Drum roll please...

We are leaving Alaska and taking my Felt Alive show on the road. We purchased a new-to-us home on wheels and are packing up the two dogs, a bunch of wool and felting needles, our computers and a few bare necessities. We are heading for destinations unknown! We plan to be on the road by early-mid October. Thanks to modern wireless technology I will continue to operate my online business from the road. We hope to visit all 48 states and tour Canada as well. I plan to blog about our adventures, hopefully write a book and meet many of my online felting friends along the way - and meet many new ones too! We have already began to schedule workshops - the first is in Kalispell, Montana in May of 2010. I am hoping for leads from my online friends for contacts for shops and events that may be willing to host Felt Alive needle felting classes.

View Larger Map

This is the first leg of our journey. Nearly 3000 miles from Wasilla to Washington. We need all the well wishes we can get for a safe journey. The weather is getting cold in the northernmost parts of our journey.

Here is our new home - we have lived and worked in tight quarters before and we actually make a pretty good team!

35' Class "A" Dolphin by National RV

We call her "Flipper"

She is quite roomy inside with a 12' slide-out.

Lucky thinks this is going to work out fine!

Yes, my dogs are huge but they seem to love being in their new home. I get a real sense of peace in there and if Dad were alive, we would likely not be able to get out of the driveway without him. He would be so happy we are being so adventurous!

And my dolls love hangin' out!

It's their new Felt Alive mobile!

Hal, the Tourist is ready to lead the way!!

And a few pics from our first outing in a campground near Willow, Alaska.

Spike is always the lead dog when it comes
to staking his claim.
Lucky will cover his claim momentarily.

Moose Poop on the trail.

Gorgeous but deadly mushroom!

And here is my new DVD set that will help fund our travels. It was a long project and truly a family effort. I filmed myself using two high-def video cameras on tripods - I literally had to hug the tripods while filming - it's a good thing I have long arms or it may not have worked out so well. Ethan and my nephew, Ben, did the hard work of editing and producing it. It turned out better than I could have hoped for. 10 hours of unscripted, narrated instructions as I demonstrate bringing a needle felted doll to life.

So this is my first official post on my brand new Felt Alive Travel Blog! We don't know yet where the roads will take us or how long we will be traveling before we decide to settle down. I will keep my schedule posted on the sidebar updated with dates and events. Please follow my blog to follow our adventures!


FELT 4U said...

What an interesting life you lead.

ingermaaike said...

Absolutely awesome and I wish you well on your new adventure!

I will be looking in often :-D

Anonymous said...

I purchased the new Art Doll Magazine and saw your dolls and fell in love. I now want to learn all I can about needle felting. You are truley an inspiration! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am no longer working because of the disease. I have found art to fill the void in my life. I have always like drawing but have now found a new way of art that I would like to learn. Thank You. Jane
Please come to Wisconsin and teach a class. I will be following you on your adventure. : - )

Karen said...

Kay i'm so PROUD of you, Well Done woman. You know i'll be following your awesome journey. :))))

gunknitter said...

Hei, Kay ! I wish you good luck on your tour and hope you get a lot of exciting experience !!

Good felting tour !

Thanks for the super-duper-needles, I love them !!

Gunilla aka Feltangel said...

I will "follow" you on your journey and be with you in spirit and mind !

BIKY said...

i wish you the best

I admire your work

Danni said...

Kay your adventure sounds like so much fun :)
Ive had so much fun with your dvd's and im sure lots more fun to come!!!
i wish you all the best for your future :)
take care :)

Kay Petal said...

Thanks you guys!! I have so many mixed emotions about this but I know in my heart we are going to have a great adventure. Life is too short to not take any risks and miss out on something wonderful!

And Jane - I have tons of family in Wisconsin; your gorgeous state is near the top of my list to visit.

evalyn said...

Bon Voyage! Sounds like a Most Excellant Adventure to me.

Two events to think about where teaching opportunities are available: The Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene OR, annually in June AND Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Canby OR annually in October.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic adventure! I wish you a save journey and hope you find a lot of inspiration on your way.
Be sure I will be reading all about it!

You go girl!!!

Eukje, Netherlands

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Come to Pittsburgh! We'd love to have you! I am envious.
Best of Luck!

LoveTree said...

I love your work Kay, you inspired me to get going and start creating.!
I pasted some contacts for you below:
Always the third weekend in August:
Michigan Fiber Festival
P. O. Box 744
Hastings, MI 49058
phone: 269-948-2497

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Sept 10-12 2010