Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dreams about wrapping paper

I have pretty vivid dreams every night. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they aren't. I'm reading Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing--a very fairytale-esque tale with tidbits of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, the Princess and the Frog, and Dracula--it offers a lot of material for dreams (so many gossamer dresses!)--and yet last night I had an anxiety dream about wrapping a birthday present for my niece (oh! I'm seeing a connection here--I gave Briahnna a copy of this book for her birthday!). The dream took place in a small gift shop with shelves and shelves of wrapping paper, beautiful, exotic wrapping paper and I couldn't find anything that would work. I'd reach for something thinking it was it, and then it would be different when I actually had it in my hand or it would be the wrong size. I was on the brink of tears, feeling like I wouldn't get it wrapped in time--I could hear the kids coming. And then it wasn't a shop anymore, but my sister-in-law's house (though it looked the same) and I was telling her that I'd replace whatever I used and feeling anxious about that.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Uh oh!

There was a little bit of an accident yesterday and a certain 21-month-old asked for "beads!" and an unsuspecting grandfather thought that the case was one of Hannah's toys and let her have it. Of course, as soon as she opened it (she is clever!) Granddad knew it was Mama's toy, not Hannah's. So I have a little bit of bead-clean up to do.
The bead soup that my students use in classes just got a little bigger.
I'm still working on Anne's pin. I found a bit of the silk to cover my messy stitches on the back--so I'm stitching that on. I just need to add the pin back. I lost a beading needle for a little bit in the play area--but was so relieved when I found it again. I don't want Hannah to have any negative associations with beads (or any crafts for that matter!).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring has sprung

After all the snow we got in December, I wasn't sure we'd see spring until June or July--but now the sun is out and tulips are bravely pushing through to greet the sun. I'm enjoying it as much as I can--since I know that (and all Coloradoans know this) we're totally going to get dumped on again--and most likely after all the buds and leaves are out. Springs tend to be in like a lamb and out like lion here. I'm resisting the urge to work in the garden because I know that those little shoots will need that compost protection for a little longer--or maybe until June. Seriously, we've had snow in June before.
Are you wondering what this next photo is? I'm making Anne's spindle pin into a pin. I couldn't resist adding a little colorful fiber from the mittens I've been making into it secretly (I guess it isn't so secret now that I've blogged about it! Oh well! It was feeling pretty secret last night). I usually add wool to my bead pieces to poof them out a little--I have a lot of wool on hand. Imagine that. The next photo is the piece nearly done--I need to add a piece of fabric to the back to cover up my messy stitches and then a pin back and I can ship it off to Anne who had the winning bid on an undesigned piece of her choice at SOAR 2006.

I'm doing some teaching this spring--maybe you're interested. I'm teaching "Make a Heart Pin" next week (Friday March 23rd) in Fort Collins, Colorado for the Fort Collins Chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild of America--contact me for details--they have a couple openings. Also, I'm teaching at Bead Expo in Oakland, California--and there are a couple spots left in the Spiral Heart Pin class--it is the same class as the one I'm teaching in Fort Collins.

Something happened to my photos in this post--so I reloaded them. And while I was doing that I added in this photo of blissed-out Lulu the cat enjoying the spring weather. You wouldn't know that she's about 14 years old by the way she runs around. Hannah says, "Lulu loud!" And it is so true. Lulu loves to talk, loudly--especially when the baby is sleeping.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Anne's Spindle Pin

I finished Anne's spindle pin--and just have to make it into a pin to send to her. Here's the photo I started with--my Adam Mielke spindle in a pile of baby alpaca. It was a challenge to convey the soft clouds of fiber with glass beads--but fun to spend time with both spinning and beading on this project. I estimated that it would take 9.65 hours to make this piece and it ended up taking a little longer--11 hours and 5 minutes. I worked on it from January 14-February 11th. I have another small piece I need to do before I start on the next bigger piece--a continuation of the spinning fates. I'm in a bit of a pickle and I need to figure out how to manage the next few months. I need to make a number of new pieces for an exhibit at my alma mater in October--but aside from the time I spend sleeping (and I do love sleeping! I'd hate to give that up) I don't know when I'm going to make them. The day job is important--not only to help provide food and shelter for my family, but also because I love it. And beading while Hannah is awake is just not possible. So I go back to the sleep thing again. Well, I'll figure this out--but if any of you have ideas, please let me know!

Friday, March 02, 2007


I've been having fun with unspun roving lately! I've been working with Northern Lights space-dyed top from Louet. It is an unspecified wool that is 28 microns and is drafted into a narrow top and then stamped with color. When you predraft it for spinning or knitting the colors blend really nicely and look like they were handpainted. It is really easy to work with as unspun roving. I've been making samples to full. It turns out that I love making samples. I made eight swatches--four different needle sizes, two color ways, two samples for each needle size so that I could full one and keep one as the before sample.
So here you can see the two color ways worked up from left to right: US size 3, US size 6, US size 8 and US size 10 needles, with 2" ribbing, 2" stockinette, 2" garter, and 2" moss. The top samples are the fulled version. For the US size 3 version I split the top in half lengthwise before I pre-drafted the fiber.
And here are the mittens I knitted following the pattern in Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" (and that it is!) for the next to smallest size. I haven't fulled them yet. I'm working on a pair in the lollipops colorway right now on US size 10 needles. It fits me! Same pattern, just bigger needles.