Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I wish I had a bumper sticker that said real friends make sure you never stop creating or maybe even better would be real friends know that creating keeps you sane or something like that.

My friend Teresa over at Homestead Notes (growing, writing, creating) is the person my bumper sticker would be referring to.  When I was giving up on knitting, she mailed me a a pattern for knitted sox to keep me going, when I told her I wish I could bake like her she sent me an awesome cookie recipe to get me baking, and most importantly when I don't say anything at all she knows exactly what I need - like the wonderful wolf fabric she sent me yesterday.  It came at the perfect time, bringing a smile to my face after learning that the injunction to stop the wolf hunt has been denied.  Yes, fabric with beautiful wolf faces makes me smile in the midst of all the idiocy of hunting and trapping.

Teresa knows that one key to inner peace is being creative.  Whether that be writing, making soap, knitting or baking... creativity is the spice of life :-)

So this post is for you T - Thank you!!

The beautiful wolf fabric Teresa sent:

My first lace scarf.  I'm actually about to finish it and it only took me 2 months. Yay! (don't laugh but I'm thinking I might frame it. LOL!)

and... the awesome cards I received in a swap.  I don't have pix of the ones I sent to others but here is what I received back:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I wanted to share some of the cool things I picked up at the Shepherds Harvest Fiber Festival.  I haven't been motivated to use the weavette yet since I'm just getting over being sick but I couldn't resist spinning some new yarn.

I spent hours wandering around the fiber festival looking for romney wool because I had read that it was the best fiber for new spinners but out of all the vendors only one person was selling it and unfortunately it's not roving :(  I bought it anyway but have yet to try it out.  I'm thinking I need to prep it a bit before using it because there are bits of hay throughout the fiber.  Once I figure out what to do I'll probably attempt to color it.

I hunted forever and finally found a niddy noddy.  I learned the hard way that this tool is pretty necessary.  I wrapped my spun fiber around a book and then couldn't get it off.   With the niddy noddy I know just how much yarn I'm wrapping and won't have trouble removing it.

I also found a small weaving square.  I really really really wanted it and after many failed online searches I am happy to have found it at the festival.  Now I just have to figure out how to use it.  Should be simple.

One of my best finds didn't come from the fiber festival but I wanted to share it anyway.  I was browsing at the Yarnery on Grand and found some polwarth wool top.  I'd not read anything about polwarth but the label on the fiber said it was a long fiber which is best for new spinners so I bought it.  I'm soooooo happy that I did because, so far, it is the best fiber I have spun with.  I tried the Merino Wool after having such a great experience with the BFL but the Merino made me want to give up on spinning.  It was horrible.  I'm sure the wool is awesome for someone but it wasn't for me.  I later read that the Merino fibers are too short for new spinners and often lead to failure.  Now that I have the polwarth I am back to my spinning addiction :)  NOTE TO TERESA: this is the one I mentioned sending you if you'd like to try it.

If anyone is interested in learning to spin and feel like I do, that the wheel is way too expensive to begin with, I suggest picking up the book "respect the spindle."  I took a short spinning class but I found the book to be a much better teacher.  

Monday, May 14, 2012


We hit the great Shepherds Harvest Fiber Festival over Mother's Day weekend.  Lots and lots of fun things too see; angora rabbits & goats, llama, alpaca, and sheep.  We ate fried pickles dipped in horseraddish sauce and fried walleye.  The Shepherds Harvest and the State Fair are the only two places I'll eat fried anything. LOL!

Here is Aiyana learning how to spin.

One of the many angora rabbits.  This one is a french angora just like our bugs.  I never let buggsies coat get that thick though which is why I don't have much angora to knit with.

Lots of fiber supplies.

Middy enjoying the animals.

How sad is this.  I've dreamed of having an alpaca farm and yet I can't tell you if this is an alpaca or a llama.  That's ok though.  After learning about all the work involved with these little creatures I won't be buying livestock anytime soon.

This is called skirting.  I'm not entirely sure what that means since we missed the demo but there was a sign on the side that said "skirting."  My fiber lingo, unfortunately, is very limited but... I'll get there some day.

I'll blog about what I purchased next : )  Lots of fun stuff.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to learn how to spin. When I was about 7 my school took a class trip to this pioneer camp, possibly Murphy's Landing, and it was the first time I experienced the world of spinners. I knew instantly that I wanted to be one of those ladies dressed in period garb completely engrossed in their fiber. It looked relaxing and fun at the same time. It wasn't until years later that I learned what those women were actually doing.

So as the story goes, I had big dreams of spinning but no dream of learning to knit or crochet. Mom taught me the basics of crochet when I was around 8 more as a way to keep me from bugging her while she was knitting or crocheting and not because of my desire to learn. As for knitting, that came much later. I broke down and took a class last year; still haven't finished a complete project. Knitting is NOT for perfectionists. It is quite painful to find flaws that can't be corrected without a complete tear out :(

Anyhow, now that I've learned the basics of knitting I decided it was time to spin. I chose the drop spindle as my introduction into the world of fiber and spinning. I wanted to jump right into the wheel but they are expensive and I needed to be sure I enjoyed spinning first. Well, it turns out that I love love love it! It wasn't easy and I'm still fine tuning my skills but I enjoy how relaxing it is. I'm also finding I have a new appreciation for all the fibers I can work with. The only negative is and always will be is the product I waste learning. I've not been happy with my first bunches of yarn and therefore tore it all apart. I keep hoping the perfectionist side of me creates something fantastic and hopefully I'll even knit it into something awesome :) for now it is all practice, practice, practice.

For anyone contemplating learning to spin I say go for it. The spindle is great cuz it can be taken anywhere and I only paid $19 for mine. I like spinning when I go to my sisters house or when I'm waiting in the car to pick up my kids at school; couldn't do any of that with a wheel.

All I need to learn now is how to set the yarn and how in heck I go about incorporating my rabbits fur. Who knows, maybe I'll buy a herd of alpaca some day. So much to experience and so little time. *sigh NOTE: Teresa, we're still going to have that alpaca farm ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I received the most awesome bars of soap and a bag of natural laundry soap in the latest swap. There was no theme, just a deadline. We swapped out on Sept. 1st. After years of smelling EO's and FO's I must say that this latest swap was full of the most fabulous scents EVER! Thank you ladies for your friendship and continuing to share your creativity year to year :) I can't wait to use everything!!






Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Things are somewhat settled and stable on our end so I've decided to return to blogging. Of course, I missed it like crazy and would peek in time to time just to make sure I wasn't missing out on toooooooo much.

So glad to be blogging and can't wait to visit my blogroll and start posting again.

First thing I want to share is the beautiful handmade gifts that came from my dear friend Teresa over at Homestead Notes. Teresa and family are so creative. She made me two envelopes out of a chicken calender. Since the photo was taken I've framed the chicken and put it next to my buddha statue on my "meditation alter." It makes me smile so I want to see every day. She & her son made two soap dishes and a lizard pendant. My oldest has fashioned the lizard pendant into a necklace. The soap dishes have found homes in two of our bathrooms. Thank you T for such wonderful gifts (((hugs)))

While not blogging I did manage to attend to my little garden more. It is growing great guns after all the rain we've had. We still don't have the rain barrel hooked up (OH HUBBY WHERE ARE YOU???) - I'm going to guilt him into that today.

I was worried all the rabbits in the backyard would eat my little garden but the chicken wire seems to be doing its job. So far, nothing crawling underground and eating up my veggies **crossing fingers, knocking on wood here.

I must say, I'm a slow learner. When the pot says "plant 12 inches apart" it really means 24". I swear, every year, my plants, flowers, whatever I plant, ends up smothering each other. What is the secret???

This is the challenge for the rest of the summer. See this bench? This is what my entire backyard looks like. A JUNGLE. The more we cut down, the more that grows. The people who built our home and lived here until we bought it basically did some landscaping in 1983 and then let it go. There is mulch and garden rock in places it shouldn't be. Paths are covered by green foliage. Since it is in the 90's today and super humid I've given up on the yard and decided to clean house instead.

We have decided the backyard will become a fairy garden. We have the plants lined up that we want (thanks to those who gave advice on that in an earlier post). We have some plans on how to set it up. The girls want it to look like the hobbit trail at the Renaissance Festival so we are working on that :)

Well, that is enough for now. Time to wash dishes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


On top of being a soapmaker I love love love papercrafting. I'm a colors and creativity junkie (although I really can't color coordinate anything to save my own life - thank the God's for Stampin Up!) The more color and the more creative someone is, I'm totally there! I always google random things like "soap chunks" or "trifold cards" to see what cool things people are making. Yes, it can be quite addicting. My head and my eyes are hurting for it.

Recently, during one of my many sleepless nights (those are normal for me so no worries) I came across the SOAP BOX. I'm not a huge fan of round soaps (does anyone else have trouble washing with those???) but when I saw the soap box, ideas started to fly.

So... I decided to give the SOAP BOX A try. My little white ribbon is pretty pathetic in comparison to the gorgeous ribbon bunch used in the tutorial but hey, this was my first attempt ;)

For anyone who might be interested in creating a box of your own, the creator (Kitty Franken) has offered this PDF FILE of instructions to the public through the SCOR-PAL website. It is really quite simple to make. All you need is a little color and creativity and your good to go :) Oh, don't forget the paper and tape :)