Mar 10

I’ve thought it over long and hard, talked it over with Scott and have done a lot of praying.  The decision is that I’m going to take this year off from teaching formal workshops.  The work to prepare for them, the lost weekends teaching them…  well, I need to spend some time working on the house, yard, and my own creativity.

And that’s the main reason for this decision.  In the past year or so, I have produced very little.  Oh, I’ve done a sock here and there, but even the naturally-dyed Shetland vests have seen their second winter.  So, by not teaching, I will be freeing up my time to do what it is I really want to do, and that is create things.

I’ve been very jealous of Judy, Cindy, Theresa and, now, Sharon with the sewing and my sewing machine has been giving me sad, puppy-dog eyes lately.  I have neglected it far too long.  My looms just have their backs to me and are pouting.  I can hear my spinning wheel sobbing in its bag.  Oh, we had fun together at the retreat, but it is afraid it will be next year’s retreat before it sees the light of day again.  I just can’t continue doing this to them, now can I?

There, I’ve said it.  It has not been an easy decision, but I think it is the best decision for me at this point in time.  Next year, I may go back to teaching on a limited basis.  We’ll see.

Feb 5

When I went to bed last night, the weather service was predicting snow with accumulations of “up to an inch.”  When we woke up this morning, we found this instead.

While not blizzard conditions, and not nearly what the northeastern part of the US have gotten, this was considerably more than an inch.

This is looking down our road toward our closest neighbor’s house (which we lived in from Dec 1989 until Sept 1994).  I don’t know if you can see it, but only one person had braved going down this road so far.

But, you know, it is pretty.  And it hides the ice under it very well.  Poor Scott fell with his first step into it (he’s okay – he’s well-padded), and I fell once while going around and taking these pictures (I’m well padded, too  🙂 ).

The only trouble with all this unexpected snow is that we had intended to go to town and sell some books at Half Price Books,…

But Bettie got stuck in the driveway.  See her back by the barn?  That’s as far as she made it today.  With the ice under the snow, she slid at the corner and broke through the ice over the grass.  We tried to get her out, but tomorrow it will have to be AAA who gets us out.  They had too many emergencies to contend with this morning and we aren’t an emergency.  So, they asked if we’d call back tomorrow.

So, today, Scott and I have loaded several auction items into eBay (our user name is storyart).  It’s mostly Dungeons and Dragons stuff, but there are several vintage clothing patterns and all five volumes of The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery.  She wrote Anne of Green Gables as well as a myriad of other books and stories.  I’ve had these for years, read them multiple times, but it is now time to pass them on to a new owner to read and enjoy.

Also, I worked out on the Wii for an hour this afternoon, but I think I’ll take it easy for the rest of the day.

I got all the Fiber Binder Club packages sent out yesterday, so they are on their way.  I hope that wherever you are, you are warm and dry.

Jan 31
Sneak peak and another FO
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I’ll give you a bit of a sneak peak into February’s Fiber Binder Club selection.

The February slection should be going out in the mail tomorrow, if the weather will allow it.  We are supposed to get a lot of ice and freezing rain starting this evening, and if we get what they are predicting, they might be a couple of days late in getting mailed.  The state police are known for arresting people if they are caught driving when they’ve declared it unsafe.  I love you guys and want to get these into your hands, but not enough to risk jail time.  Sorry.  🙂

And then there is the third hat out of my ugly yarn (and, yes, it’s being modeled on a jar).

And I had enough yarn left over to make a pom-pom for the top.  This one went to one of my co-worker’s daughter to wear to the barn where they have horses.  It’ll keep her noggin’ nice and toasty. 

Stay warm!

Jan 1
Happy New Year!!!
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Welcome 2011!  Now, get out of your finery – we have a lot to get accomplished.

Dec 31
This is it…Good-bye!
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Well, if the last day of the year is supposed to set up what the new year is going to be like, then 2011 is going to be productive, indeed.  But before I tell you how busy my day was, here is the last Year of Seasons picture of the year. 

This was taken at noon, and by the time I got home, there was no snow to be seen anywhere.  It got up into the mid-50’s here, today, and we had a bit of rain, but only enough to wash away any remaining snow in the shadowy areas.  The only snow still remaining anywhere is in those huge piles of the dirty stuff at the edges of parking lots.  It was nice having a white Christmas, but I am glad to see it gone for a while.  How long?  Who knows.  This is Indiana.  It could be 0 degrees and snowing to beat the band in the morning, but I think not.

Now, as for today, besides a quick trip to Indy to get some supplies at the art supply store and to run a few errands, I have been busy finishing the winding of all that Shetland yarn in preparation for weaving with it, cleaned about 1/4 of the kitchen – but it is thoroughly cleaned (even ran vinegar water through the coffee maker), wound two long skeins of dyed sock yarn into smaller skeins to make it easier to wash, washed it and rinsed it, washed part of a fleece, lettered a comic page, got the picture above processed, and now, with my shower behind me, I’m thinking of getting into bed and reading for a bit before going to sleep.

What?!?  Am I not going to stay up and see Baby New Year arrive?  Nope!  He’ll get here just fine without my assistance, and I have a lot more to get done tomorrow, so I need to have my beauty sleep.  For all of you who do stay up, raise a toast for me, and if you are at a party, please take care and get home safely.

See you next year!

Dec 16
You Asked For It!
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I just updated the Dyed in the Wool store with several new items, and there will be more coming as the weekend progresses.  The new items uploaded were as follows:

And the other tie-dyed items Sandy and I made over the weekend that will not be going up into the store are as follows:

Why won’t they be added to the store?  Because they sold before I could get them uploaded.  People are loving the socks, so I guess that means “Back to the Dyeing Table!!”  Seriously, we sold them as fast as we could show them to people.  One lady bought 8 pairs!!

This is so much fun!!!

Sep 29

I took another walk yesterday at lunch, took my camera along with me, took LOTS of shots to dig through to show you how pretty it was… and cannot download them.

My camera is on its last legs and I’m about to chuck it.  It’s an old camera that Scott used to use and it wasn’t a very good one even then.  When my own camera died a few months ago, I took this one out of storage, dusted it off, and put it to work as much as it can work.  

I’ve gone so far as to price a new camera to see where I can get the best deal.  I wish I could get an SLR, but that will have to wait down the line.  It’s going to be another point and shoot.  Oh well. 

So, until I can coax my camera to give up its treasures or until I can get a new camera, my blogs are going to be less than illustrative.

Good news, though, is that Scott and I have found a local screen printer willing to print on my shirts for a reasonable price.  Scott is taking the tie-dye shirts for The Trading Post for Fiber Arts and some black T-shirts for Johnny Saturn on Friday.  We are so thrilled about this!

And, today, Sandy and I got a pound each of carbonized rayon from bamboo fiber to spin.  We’ve hear that it spins like a dream, but it’s a bear to ply because it has great memory.  So…  I was wondering if this would be best used as singles for weaving or for knitting a shawl.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’d love to show it to you…

Between Sandy and I, we have 5 DVD’s of different techniques to watch – from Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont, to How I Spin by Rita Buchanan, to more tie-dye patterns, to The Gentle Art of Plying by Judith McKenzie.  I’ve started watching Rita’s DVD and I was amazed at what I learned.  She’s funny, too!  I love the pig puppet!

I hope you are having a good week so far.  I am!

Sep 15

The third and final part of our trip to Wisconsin last weekend wasn’t actually at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Fair, but was part of the trip up there and back. 

A few years ago, there were wind turbines being built in Northwestern Indiana (Benton County).  Scott’s and my annual trips to Chicago meant we watched them and we were excited as to what they meant.  But once they were built, they just sat there, not working. 

You can read these articles about these turbines and get a history of them and how much power these turbines can produce. 

http://www.indianaeconomicdigest.net/main.asp?SectionID=31&subsectionID=64&articleID=47321

http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2009/07/environment_win.html

On the drive to Wisconsin, Sandy and I saw the turbines in action for the first time, and we stared in awe and wonder at them as they slowly turned, creating electricity from the wind.  It was hard to drive because of watching them, and we decided that, on the way home, we would stop and get pictures of them to share.  Time was too precious to do it on the trip north, but we talked about them for quite a while once we were passed them.

Once we started home, we both reminded each other that we would stop and get pictures.  Long before we actually reached them, we began to see them towering above the horizon and we were thrilled all over again as they grew larger and larger until we were among them once again.  I thought to myself how overwhelmed Don Quixote would be if he came amongst these rather than the traditional windmills.

We pulled off onto an exit that would allow us to see them in all directions to take pictures.  While we were there, another couple stopped on their way north and asked us to take pictures of them to email to them and they would take pictures of us in return with these wonderful gentle giants in the background.

They are so sleek and graceful – like pinwheels for giants’ children.

And in every direction you looked, they were there, each with blades turning in the wind.

Here are Sandy and I with them in the background.  As you can see it was quite windy even on the ground.

Lastly I took a short video of them in action so you can see what they looked like.  Aren’t they beautiful?

Aug 10

Unfortunately this post is not about cooking food, but cooking people!  Goodness, gracious it’s HOT here in central Indiana.  The heat index is 99 degrees here and the humidity has dropped to 59% (from a high of 93% this morning at 6).  I usually walk each morning from 7 until 7:30 with another lady in my building at work, but not this morning.  There was a heat advisory out this morning and I heeded it.

So, what am I working at the moment?  Yup!  Wool! 

Here is where I am at on the newest pair of socks.  I love this colorway and am going to enjoy them this winter.

And here is the warp for a scarf I am getting ready to weave.  This yarn is Kauni and Susan, my LYS owner, picked it up while on a trip to Denmark.  Each ball is marked with a code for the color, but the balls don’t look alike because each is started at a different part of the color sequence.  While the yarn I am using as the warp started at a lovely copper color, the weft yarn starts at the oak-brown color, then goes through the color sequence from there.  This ought to be a very pretty and interesting scarf when I am done. 

And I have some lovely copper beads that I intend to use on the fringe to dress it up a bit.  If luck is on my side, I hope to get it woven off in the next week, then I’ll do the fringe, wet finish it, then steam press it with my press.  I think it will be perfect for the autumn, and I wear these colors quite a bit.

I’m hoping that working with these items for the cooler weather will either cool me off by thinking of crisp, cool autumn mornings, or will give ol’ Ma Nature a hint to give us a bit of a break.

May 25

I have had so much happen lately, it’s going to take a few days to tell it all.  I wanted to start telling you over the weekend, but our internet computer is starting to wimp out on us (okay, it IS over 10 years old) and just bringing up Photoshop took nearly 5 minutes.  I gave up and let Scott do his magic, but by the time he got the old beast running half-way decent, it was past my bedtime.

Let me start with what happened on Saturday and combine it with a Colors of May post.

Scott and fellow comic book artist, Paul McCall, drive up to Ft. Wayne to attend Summit City Comic Con for the day.  They both had tables in Artists Alley and both did quite well.  This is Summit City’s first year and Scott said they had it set up far nicer then anything he’s seen before. 

While the cat’s away, the mice will play!  Instead of spending the day cleaning on my studio, I played!  With the whole day to myself and not having to worry about what Scott would enjoy (or not enjoy as the case may be) doing, I gave some serious thought as to what I wanted to do.  And it quickly became this!

 

This particular Kiln Creations is in Noblesville, Indiana, which is only 15 minutes from home.  I have wanted to paint a plate since I heard about it, and Saturday was the day!  Elizabeth, the lady running the place for the day was really nice and we chatted about weaving, gardening, dye plants and Neil Gaiman books while I carefully tried to recreate my logo on a piece of bisqueware.  Luckily, pencil marks disappear when the plate is fired.

  

I am really pleased with what I did.  I am no painter – shoot, I can barely draw and my art tool of choice is Photoshop – but I think I did a good job for a beginner.  This took about 2 hours to do, and I had so much fun I can hardly wait to do it again.  I think the hardest part is waiting the week for the plate to be fired to see what it looks like done.  The purple and green should be much darker then in the photo and I’ll be curious as to how the sheep will turn out.  Personally, I am really proud of my shuttle!

  

After I had finished painting, I was hungry (it was 3:30 and I had had breakfast at 6 that morning), so I went to a little shop called Alexander’s, which is also on the square in Noblesville.  They are really known as an ice cream shop, but I got a nice chef salad, then splurged for two pieces of South Bend Chocolate butter toffee covered with milk chocolate.  Yum!!!

From there, I decided I needed to walk off a bit of the candy, so I walked around the square and took pictures of the flowers.

 

The roses were absolutely beautiful!

 

The courthouse looked lovely all drenched with sunlight.

 And then I saw something I had never seen before….

 

 A tree wearing fishnet.  I’m sure it is being shunned by all of the older trees for its “unbecoming” attire, but it stood there proudly, showing off its modern glory.  What do those older trees know about tree-fashion anyway?

When I got home, I walked around the yard and took other pictures of flowers.  Remember this bush that I wacked the heck out of and said that if I had killed it I wasn’t going to be heartbroken?

 

Well, obviously not only did I not kill it, but it is thriving!!!

 

It even has flowers on it, which the humming birds will be thankful for.  Of course, I still don’t know what this bush is called.

 

 And then there are my peony bushes.  I have three different varieties.  First to bloom was this delicately colored white with a slight pink blush to it. 

 

The second is this wonderful, frothy pink.  It reminds me of a girl’s first prom dress and I think this one is called Strawberry Sherbet (if I am wrong, please correct me on this).  I love this particular variety.

The third one has not bloomed, yet, but it should any day now that we have lots of sunshine and hot, muggy temps.  It will be a deep wine red.

I think these are called Sweet William, but I am not for sure.  Again, please correct me if I am wrong here. 

 

My purple spirea is blooming, also, and these bushes have grown a lot since last year.  For some reason they have decided to double in size, which is great!

At my office are these sweet little pansies.  I just love the wee money faces on pansies.

That’s it for today!  If you are having the same type of hot (mid to upper 80’s) and muggy weather we are having, try to stay cool.  Also, think of me tonight while I ride around on my tractor mowing my grass for the first time in two weeks tonight.  With all the rain last week, there was no chance to mow it during the week.

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