Friday, June 12, 2015

What's Happening!©

I've been busy again.  I love making and the more I make, the more I love making!

This is my latest wall hanging.  Titled: Fall Into Winter
This wall hanging is based on what I see when I'm looking out my window in the middle of late Fall into Winter.  Trees that have no leaves; brown leaves sitting on the ground; brown grass; cold; barren; then, eventually, snow.
Materials include: hand spun yarn, locks; commercial yarn, cotton and wool; wooden beads; hung from a Japanese Maple branch.

©Martha Manigross
I've also been going NUTS with making rope bowls/baskets.  I made one with a cover on it.  It's perfect for hiding that extra roll of toilet paper.  All neutral colors so goes with anything/everything.

©Martha Manigross
I've also chosen to change the name of my business. I think it still has to be under Spinning My Wheel Fibers, but I'm going to go by "Martha Manigross, Fiber Heartist."  I need to work on getting another website built, and it's going to have to include a shop to sell from.  Doing the research for this overwhelms me to no end......but I'm going to have to dive in as I have a TON of stuff I really NEED to sell, and Etsy just isn't doing it for me anymore.

I'm setting up a new photography area.  I have the foam backing, the neutral (gray) fabric to cover the foam backing, the pins to hang items from, the light bulbs which are 35W but have 5000K (whatever that is) which you can't buy in stores, so have to get online. What a freaking joke that was - it took from May 19th to June 8th for them to arrive!  Once I get it set up, I'll take photos (appropriate, no?) to show the setup - IF it works.  It's based on a tutorial I found online.  Guess I'll have to find that again so I can reference it here (if it works).

My Saori loom is empty of a work in progress right now, because I took the last project off (see photos below). I'm contemplating what I want to make next, with a specific idea in mind - I just have to figure out the yarn I want to use in it.  I think I'm going to start working on Fall and Winter wear....my problem is, I want to do just ONE more summer top as the ones I've made are too heavy for the really HOT weather we're now having.  I realized, after reading someone else's post, that I'm beating WAY too hard, and that makes a heavier, thicker fabric. DUH.  Beating hard has always been my way.  I need to lighten up!  So maybe I will work on that first, then start the Fall and Winter wear.


©Martha Manigross

©Martha Manigross
The shirt above is one of my favorites.  I am still working out my body shape and how to fit myself.  A WIP in itself.

I also have been having a blast watching the Hummingbirds outside my office window, and living room window.  The birds are INSANE!  Chasing each other around constantly.  Crazy!  Here are just a few of the 100+ photos I took and most of them are really amazing.
A male and female sharing:
©Martha Manigross
This male is very protective of this feeder - he chases absolutely everyone else away!
©Martha Manigross
©Martha Manigross
I have to say, I'm really liking the photos I took, especially how the background is very blurred and looks like lights shining (to me).

That's about it for now.  I'll be busy "making" again so I'll get back when I get back!

Take care and thanks for letting me share.

Martha






Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Forever Evolving.....

It seems I've only been able to post something on my blog about once a month.  Mostly, lately, because I'm still healing from the knee surgery, but that only explains the last 2 months.  Ha!

I've become addicted to a new craft.  Making the rope bowls/baskets.  I guess they are sort of a combo basbowl?  Bowlbask?  I dunno.

Here is a photo that has most of the things I've made since starting:

©Martha Manigross
There are coasters, bowls, baskets, and one little handbag style.  They are all useful.  Some I've made, aren't in the picture. I have one holding my headphones over by the t.v. (where I use my iPad and sometimes want to hear something on YouTube).  I have one very small one holding my Ikea measure tapes I use to measure when I'm weaving.  I have one that I use on the floor, that holds the rope I make these with. I have to unwind it from the holder it comes on, so it's not all twisted while I'm trying to sew it.

The one on the far right, holds 4 bathroom type hand towels.  PERFECT size. I'll be making more of these to sell.  The one on the far left under the other bowls, is with black thread.  I don't like it at all.  Someone might.  I dunno.

There are some coasters there in the front too.  They are nice - work great.  I have a couple we use ourselves.

A friend asked me to make one she could put 4 prescription medicine bottles in to place next to her bed.  I sent her one and it fits perfectly. She's happy with it.  :-)

Most of these have been sewn with regular quilting thread from the large spools available in some stores (like Wal Mart and JoAnns).  These things go through thread like crazy!  One or two have been sewn with upholstery thread, that is very strong.  I did, however, figure out the hard way, that those spools of thread have a lot less on them, than the average spools of thread.  DUH.  I went through 2 spools (winding bobbins included) making 2 small bowls!

I also tried some variegated thread on one of them, and it's quite subtle, which I don't mind.

However, I tend to like the thread that blends in the most - a cream or beige thread.  The zig zag actually is shown INSIDE the bowls, where the outside shows the underneath part of the zig zag.  I like the neutral look of this.

I have not sold any yet, however.  Sadly, I've put a couple on Etsy but no takers yet.  People are still going to my Etsy site to view fiber stuffs.  Since I'm getting out of the fiber selling side of things, it doesn't really do me any good to have the views.

I'm convinced that evolving my business to the "made things" side is going to be even more difficult to market and sell, than the fiber selling side was.  If it were up to me, I'd still open a physical shop, and sell both types of things.  Of course, for the optimum advantage, I'd have to open the shop in a well known, well shopped area - and that - I can't afford.

So evolving from reselling the fiber, to selling made goods, is going to be even more challenging than I thought.  However, I'm enjoying MAKING so much more than I was just reselling fiber....so it's all a trade-off.

Now, I am trying to find events I can sell my items at, that won't cost me an arm and leg to attend.  I'm also looking for galleries I can submit to, for juried shows that both show and sell.  It isn't easy!

I'm almost finished with a 5 yard weaving that will be cloth for another garment.  It's sort of an eclectic mix of patterns and colors because I was in various moods while I was weaving.   I'm not sure how cohesive the look will be of the cloth, but I decided not to worry about that!  Isn't that the entire idea behind Saori???  Why, yes, it is!

I'm also working on changing the name of my company.  It needs to be something more......evolved....more general....more......I dunno.  Since my first and last name both begin with M, I'm thinking of a large M and the rest of my first and last name after it.  I'm pretty sure I can't do it here, which will also make it difficult to do on a business card but it can be done....  I've seen it elsewhere like that.

Anyway, that's about it from me.  I'll try to keep up better from here on out, but no promises.  No one really reads this anyway.  It's sort of an outlet for me, that's all.

Take care,
Martha