Saturday, December 28, 2013

Whew! What a month!

This December, 2013, was crazy!  I know, everyone's December is crazy.  Mine was a bit more stressful than usual, because our lovely daughter, gave birth to another beautiful baby girl.  Grand daughter #2 is Sydney Makayla.  She's as beautiful as Grand daughter #1 is, our little Princess Jia Michelle!
The photo above, is of the two girls, each at 2 weeks old.  New baby Sydney on the left, and Jia on the right (who's now 3 years old!).

Both girls have birthdays in December now.  10 days apart. Three years apart.  Wowsers.  Not to mention, Christmas thrown in there! 

As I mentioned previously, I have a new drum carder from Fancy Kitty - their Kitten drum carder.  It's wonderful.  I am preparing to dye up all kinds of goodies to add into batts.  I spent the morning yesterday, mixing dyes.  Someone that is a well-known fiber artist, on FB asked if anyone had any fake cashmere, dyed a certian colorway.  I do have the fake cashmere that I just purchased, but undyed - but, because I had mixed up all the dyes, the ability to run downstairs and dye it up, was immediate!  Therefore, I did.  I wasn't thrilled with the way it was coming out, and I ended up having to take a break to chat with my cousin (we chat on IM every Fri night), and when I went back, I had a new view of the fiber, and was much happier after working on it a bit more.  I cooked it, let it sit overnight, cooked it again this morning, rinsed it, put it in the spin dryer (I LOVE that thing!) and put a fan on it.  It was completely dry 3 hours later.  It's really pretty - and if this person doesn't want it, heck, I'll use it!  Fake cashmere is nylon - a very soft, spinable, nylon - almost silky.  Next to skin soft.  Lovely stuff.  Here's a pic:

The colors requested were black or gray, turquoise, greens and dark blue, and violets.  I have all that in this 3.4 ounce bit of fake cashmere!  The photo seriously does not do it justice!  It's so pretty in person. And did I mention.....soft?

I think I'll make some other fibers in this colorway also....

I haven't really spun much - I really NEED to get back to spinning....I did corespin some fiber but it was only about an ounce, and didn't go very far.  I don't have photos yet.  It was the first batt I made on the drum carder.  Since then, I made another batt, and it is quite a bit larger - over 4 ounces.  I'm really happy with it.  


This batt has blues, greens, yellows, and sparkly stuff.  There is really sparkly stuff (Angelina) in the center.  There are other fibers that are sparkly and soft too, like silk and nylon, and hand dyed.  It's yummy, squishy and so pretty!  Oh, and there is some very small silk pieces cut up in there to make it a bit lumpy art batt.  This batt is for sale in my ETSY shop.

I will be working on a schedule, being more in tune to actual production, whether it will be spinning, making batts, weaving, or dyeing, at the start of January. I have a show in the end of April to be prepared for, and we have 2 10x10 spaces for that one.  I want to be able to fill it and have people have room to walk around and have lots to choose from, to include batts, yarns, dyed and undyed fiber, and finished items.  I'm hoping to double what I made last year at the same show.

That's about all the news from me for now.  I hope your Christmas or other holidays were wonderful and joyful and full of good things, and all your wishes came true.  I also hope that you have a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year on Jan 1st. 

See you in 2014!  Take care.
Martha











Friday, December 20, 2013

Art with Heart

So here I am again, apologizing for not keeping up better with posting.  There's been a LOT going on. 
On December 11th, 2013, we welcomed Grand Daughter #2 into the world.  Little Sydney is adorable, and she's teeny weenie.  No photos as I don't really have any good ones yet.  With GD#1, I got lots of photo ops, but not so much with #2 so far.  I'm hoping Christmas will allow me to get a few. 

I was also in a slump - a creative slump as well as just a general slump.  I'm back now though!  Although, Blogger seems to be giving me some issues, so I am hoping this post does get posted!

I started making dream catchers.  I've always loved dream catchers, and I did make a few that were from kits a few years ago.  When I wondered what to do with some of my art yarn, I decided the yarns would work wonderfully with the dream catchers - since the fiber arts theme is really fulfilling my dreams.  I crocheted the first dream catchers, and they are smaller, and priced in the range of being smaller wall art.  My larger dream catchers are not from spin yarn, but from roving/top that I have on hand, along with feathers and beads and sinew or linen or yarn that I have on hand, for the webs.  I'm really enjoying the creativity it allows me to have, to build each dream catcher differently.  These are each one-of-a-kind.  OOAK as the shortcut that is now widely used.

Here are some of the dream catchers I have available in my ETSY shop. 

Green Dream Catcher




Neutral Dream Catcher
The top one is 10" wide
The bottom one is 14" wide.

I'm not sure how else to photograph them  to make them more appealing. I've tried taking them outside, but the background is too busy.  So here they are, hanging on a white wall - because that's the only color wall I have in my house!  Well, the bathroom wall is turquoise but there isn't enough natural light in there, to take decent photos.  :-)

I just placed a large order with Ashland Bay for a lot of add-ins type of fibers.  I hope to get busy dyeing those after Christmas.

Oh!  More news!  I have a new drum carder, so I'll be working on making batts.  Below is a batt that I made as a sample for me to try.  It is 1.9 ounces, and I've already spun it up.  I was told, however, that I should be able to get 4-5 ounces of fiber on this drum carder, which means, I'll be trying that soon! 

Batt

I'm preparing for the April show in Powhatan, VA.  End of April.  I only had a month to prepare last time, and this time, I'm hoping to be better prepared, and have many more items for sale along with fiber and add-ins, both dyed and undyed.  I'm also going to start working on spinning more yarns!

We went on a drive last weekend to check on the yarns I'd sold to a yarn store.  The drive is beautiful going out there, all mountains and winding roads, and farms and all sorts of abodes.  I love my new camera.  I took lots of photos.  Then this week, I saw this saying posted, and I absolutely fell in love with it.  Using PicMonkey, I used one of my photos and the saying, and made this to put in a frame in my office/studio:


That's about it from me. Short and sweet.  If you're looking for my shop, click HERE
Thanks,
And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in case I don't get back before those holidays happen!