Friday, December 31, 2010

As the new year looms.....

As the New Year approaches one begins to think about resolutions……well, some other ‘one’ begins to think about resolutions. Me, for one, always breaks resolutions which leads to a feeling of failure. So, better not to have any and feel good about myself.

Last year I vowed to clean out and organize all drawers, cabinets & closets, one item a week even if it were the smallest drawer. Started out gang-busters, then I’d think about it and not do the weeks drawer, then I just stopped thinking about it at all. Well, isn’t playing with fiber more fun I ask?

But I always have goals to reach for, if I don’t get there, it’s ok because I’ve worked toward those goals…..that’s an accomplishment in itself. I need to keep repeating that to myself, over and over again.

So one of my goals this year is to give myself a break. I tend to be hard on myself if I’m not producing to sell, I feel like I’m frittering my time. So, what does it matter if I sell a few less scarves, or a bit less roving? The world won’t come to an end nor we will starve….we especially won’t starve as I’m not sure how much I really contribute to the household, I’m probably a liability when it comes to spending money. So my friends, if I start obsessing over having to get things done to sell or show rather than taking time to relish in every moment of the day even if it’s just sitting on the deck watching the hummingbirds please take me by the shoulders, shake me and ask me what in the world am I doing.

So, with that goal in mind spring the other goals of the year – to do more artistically that benefits myself, my family or friends. I have a desire to spend more time at the sewing machine, I’ve got quilts planned for the beach cottage, linen sitting waiting to be sewn into jacket & pants, more fabric for tops that’s been sitting patiently for a few years now. I’d like to spend more time spinning and creating from my handspun. Something I’ve talked about for a number of years is creating clothing from my handwoven fabric, I’ve only touched on that goal, would like to spend more time working toward it. I’ve also got a beach cottage with furniture waiting to be painted and seaside d├ęcor waiting to be made.

So now we come to the mental health part of my goals – I do cherish and am grateful for everyone and everything around me but I don’t spend enough time thinking about it, life just gets in the way sometimes. A few quiet moments each day spent thinking about all I’m grateful for will be good for my mental health, it will force me to slow down and take in all around me. So my word for the year is ‘Gratitude’. If you follow Bonnie Tarses’ blog you’ll understand where that came from – if not, check it out sometime, she had post on December 28th on picking her word for the year.
Lastly, this year I’ll be trying to work on the art of saying NO – I’ve gotten better at it but still end up saying yes when I should say no and then beat myself up later for it. So, those of you who hear a NO come from my lips don’t take it personally, it’s just me taking care of me.

Finally I just want to say that I’m grateful for all of my friends out there, those I’ve met personally, those I haven’t. I wish you all a peaceful year to come. Thank you for visiting.....and if you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post thank you for sticking with it, if you didn’t that’s ok.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finally......

......I finished spinning and plying this yarn - I made a career out of it or at least 6 months of my life. It's not that I'm an especially slow spinner, it's just that I haven't been spinning much, been dyeing, weaving, knitting and sewing instead. And I've missed spinning, the hypnotic rhythm of the wheel, the feel of the fiber slipping between my hands...very zen. What is this fiber, you ask? It's a merino/tussah silk blend from Ashland Bay Fibers, colorway is called Lilac. I spun it to go with another merino/tussah (already spun, thank goodness) in the Concord colorway. I plan on weaving these two yarns, maybe in a twill, maybe a shadow weave, undecided right now.....also undecided what the project will be, depends on how far it will go. Oh yeah, there's 808 yards of this, it's a bit smaller than a fingering yarn size.

I have some thoughts on the year to come, those will come in another post.......

Monday, December 27, 2010

Finally done..........

These socks out of Zauberball sock yarn are finally finished - they've been on the needles for months but then I would only work on them here and there while at a meeting or sitting and waiting somewhere. I love the color changes - have a couple more balls in different colorways sitting on the shelf.

As soon as I finish the towel warp (up until yesterday hadn't touched it in over a week) I will start thinking about new projects for the year. I have a guild challenge I want to start planning (more on that later), a holiday table runner project to plan - it's for a multi-guild exchange, and I've got tons of $$$ sitting in a huge bag from Fabric Depot (since September) for making 3 quilt tops for the beach....will probably have them long arm quilted once done. And then there's the usual weaving & dyeing projects for selling.

I did get back to spinning last night, the merino/tussah in the lilac colorway that's been on the wheel for months - even started to ply the two bobbins last night, hoping to finish that up in a couple evenings. Plying is so danged boring, especially when spinning so thin that the bobbins never seem to empty. 

Now off to the loom........

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sisters, sisters..........

No, I have no sisters but if you've ever watched the movie White Christmas you know the song. This movie is a must for me every year. I grew up loving musicals, used to watch them on the old black & white tv in the basement while sewing or crafting. The holidays just aren't the same without White Christmas. Sam got tired of watching me search for it to come on tv every year so a few years back I found it in my Christmas stocking - I can watch it whenever I want and multiple times if I'd like.....although Sam would prefer not to see it again after sitting through it once with me. So, today seemed like the perfect day to get it out to watch it while weaving. And a cup of perfect hot chocolate complete with a gourmet marshmallow was the icing on the cake, or as my friend Yvonne said, it's food porn. I recently discovered these from Marshmallow Heaven, they're made nearby in Rogue River. Today's marshmallow of choice was called Cinnamon Joe - yum! In searching for their website I found that they have many more flavors I didn't find in the local candy shop, Sandi's Candies - I think I need to try them all.........over a long period of time........

I'm trying to finish up some gifts - this is a very simple towel pattern from Handwoven magazine, one of my favorites. I started out with very elegant tan on tan towels since I need neutral colors but just couldn't stand it so out came a variegated pink - love it! I've pulled out a variegated blue jean color to use next. Nothing like working right down to the wire on gifts, not a usual trait of mine and it stresses me........

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Decor

Oh I am so bad......this is the 3rd year in a row I haven't put out holiday decor. I've got one big tall skinny tree and 3 country smaller trees along with boxes and boxes of ornaments and holiday decor. My big tree is normally covered with my own handmade ornaments, handmade ornaments friends have made and other ornaments that were gifted, a wonderful memory tree. Two of the small trees have fiber related ornaments and the final tree all my handmade japanese temari balls and origami cranes. But alas, this year these 3 ornaments are all I have out, I never even got to buying a wreath or swag to put on the gate. Where does my time go - no time for decorating! The little mouse and sheep ornaments were made by my friend Karen of Liongate Farm - she's got a website, blog and etsy shop. If you love sheep as much as I do you must check out what she has for sale - they are soooo cute. The snowman was made by Karen's neighbor Amy, I got it in an ornament exchange on Sunday.

Now that I've shown off my holiday decor, or lack of it, I'm off to thread the heddles & reed with a warp destined to become towels for holiday gifts - yikes am I ever cutting it close!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Almost forgot.....

Almost forgot that Bailey wanted to share his picture on the blog today, this was taken a couple weeks ago on the beach. We were working on our Christmas cards (this is a little part of it) in the pouring horizontal rain.....wasn't raining when we walked down onto the beach....... Anyhow, this is my starfish snatcher pooch, and that is not one of the many thousands of native starfishes found on the rocks, that is one I bought for $4.99 that he was  running around the beach with!

No, I didn't fall into the deep abyss known as the holidays.........

......I'm still here, just too busy to post. Last week I was working busily getting ready for my booth at the Pacifica Winter Arts Festival. This event has always been good to me financially, even last year when the economy was off I did well. But this year someone new was organizing and thought very little of advertising/promoting.........so the usual crowds didn't show, even those that just came for the musical entertainment and never spent any money. I suppose I sold enough to make it worth driving out there for 3 days but just barely, it was a lot of hours lost driving and sitting. Very sad for the event......it takes a lot of time to put something like this together, all for not if no one knows or is reminded it's there.

So, in the midst of trying to finish up gifts and get them shipped I got two new toys. Actually the iPad is a toy for both Sam and I, been playing and learning (circle in left lower side is not part of it, it's the reflection of the chandelier). Also got a new phone this week, all I've done so far with that is record my voicemail message, figure out how to make a call and retrieve messages, more play time to come picking my ringtone.

This morning all gifts (and some orders) to be mailed were dropped at the post office, 3 trips worth, thank goodness I print my postage online so I don't have to wait in that long line - just drop them at the counter and run.

Still have a few small gifts to finish up and a long warp to get on the loom and woven in the next week - yikes! Whatever happened to the days when I started gifts during the summer and had them finished by fall. Need to put it in my calendar to do that next year....or just make donations to worthy causes in everyone's names and not make a thing!

Eventually more pix will come but since I'm working on gifts I can't post them, never know who is reading my blog........