Thursday, October 14, 2010

Showing and sharing

Our guild meeting this month featured me for a moment of trunk show fame. I have been thinking about the event for a while and had trouble deciding what is the appropriate number of items and what are the most meaningful items to share. I could have backed up a truck and unloaded bundles of hand dyed yarns, hand spun yarns, sweaters, pillows, socks, scarves (oh the scarves!) baby clothes, afghans, more sweaters, wraps, bags, felted stuff, woven stuff, you name it. But I decided that a sampler that says who I am in a couple of simple totes would work.

So, if you were at the meeting, I hope you appreciated the attempt at brevity and the edited sampler. Now you know what I like, I hope that you will keep me in mind when you see wonderful things on sale and would like to alert me!

We had a great little environmental workshop as well. I made a great little felt covered bar of soap (more are likely on their way) and am bringing home all kinds of colorful plastic bags from a collection at school that will be wonderful totes. (Like I need another bag of any sort!) But hey, the landfill has me beat!

I met a couple of new friends and saw some that I have been missing over the summer and generally the night just flew by. What a great bunch the fiber gals is always a pleasure to show and share with this great group of friends!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

She lives!

(African Penguins....soooooo cute!)

Yes, I am still around, only in a much different place, mentally. I am the lead in my art department and have a few adjustments to make in my schedule at school and at home. No, I have not stopped traveling. This past summer was a treat. Not only did I get to spend my first summer at our log home in the mountains, but that bit of heaven was interupted by an 11 day excursion to South Africa!

(African Elephants.....sooo huge!)

Everyone knows how I love to discover people, culture and the world in general. So take those ambitions and increase the intensity to "beyone belief" and you would have my summer experience.
(African termite mounds.....sooo strong!)

Now, I am not saying that all is perfect in the world, nor even in my own little corner. We arrived to the cabin only to find that it had not been winterized by the previous owner (in the contract!) so when the pump came on, the water came out! All over! Luckily it had not cracked the water heater and leaked over the winter. Yin/yang, I choose to look on the bright side. The plumber came out, literally as it said on his truck, "The Plumber" and he got us going.

My family was on their way to visit, so we were busy tidying up, making beds and painting. They arrived only to find on the second day that the septic seemed to be BACKING UP! "The Plumber" came again and suggested we have it snaked. Did I mention that we live in the mountains? The snaking fellas got lost on the mountain for 2.5 hours and couldn't call since the cell service is almost non-exsistant. My husband and sweet son in law dug up the line and found the crack, replaced the pipe and got us going, again. We then got a land line so that we could call out and receive calls...such a luxury!

Our neighbors out there are awesome, they are like a new family in the new area and we miss them terribly since our return.

As for knitting, I have been fiddling around with unfinished projects, something that I rarely have, but have recently accumulated for one reason or another. I have also found that almost every female at school is pregnant, so I have an excuse to make sweet baby clothes. Never have, never really thought about it, love it! So fast, so cute and so reasonable...well, comparatively since I have always made full sized sweaters and paid full sized prices for the yarn even on sale.

Check out the Ravelry and see the latest!

As for pictures, I have posted travel albums to "Where have I been?" a Shutterfly site, I "think" that they are available to see, let me know if you need an invitation, I am new at this!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Frogging and Blogging

Knitted Wire "Scroll book" from the EMU international book exhibition

Once the sun starts to shine and the weather makes me dream of summer, the urge hits. "Neaten the nest" I say. This is when I realize that the clothes that I have been keeping in hopes that I might actually need them one day (when in reality I have not needed them for the past few years), frees my spirit to pack bags and mark them "donation."

The other wonderful thing that happens is that I feel free to really examine the strange junk that has been accumulating and decide what has creative potential and what is just plain ridiculous to keep. I threw away labels from yarn, knitted long ago into projects. I threw away business cards and postcards announcing sales that are now meaningless. I kept the hundreds of chicken wishbones that my grandmother saved for perhaps her lifetime...potential??? Yes, and also a bit of family history.
After the NCECA clay conference in Philly last week, the neatening was made a bit more difficult. A wonderful artist Isiah Zagar made a presentation on his "Magic Garden" and the mosaic murals that decorate the cities less attractive areas. This work was Barcelona's Gaudi come to life in our country! He used EVERYTHING to create a colorful, rich and beautiful space. Boy, do I have the materials to decorate all of Royal Oak! Where to start?????

"The Magic Garden," Philadelphia.

My latest attempt to get control over the accumulated projects and materials has been in the area of stash and UFO's. I am not usually a non-finisher. If I have unfinished projects, maybe a sweater half knit or one foot of a sock, it means that I am uninspired and realizing that the yarn has a greater purpose. Time to frog.

I was raised to finish what I start. But my own sensibility has evolved. Why waste time and materials on something that is not pleasing? I no longer finish the book that started ok, but was not holding my attention. I don't watch the whole dvd movie if it is not any good. So, why not save my energy and yarn for greater things?

This week I am reclaiming my time and my yarn (not to mention the needles that occupy each project in each bag) through careful frogging. All the while, I am dreaming of the exciting new projects that are on the horizon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friends and Fiber

What could be better? Friends and fiber are all anyone needs for a grand pick-me-up! Add lunch, dessert, coffee and a bunch of laughs and all is right with the world.

I had spent the first week of my Spring break in my house, dreary grey outside and no car. Better yet, the 1200.00 quote quickly turned into 2500.00 to bring my baby back to the road and my freedom! But she is back...and ready to take us to Philadelphia for the clay conference on Tuesday.

So, the lure of a fiber outing was becoming stronger every minute. No, again, no, I do not need any yarn. No, I do not need any tools or wool of any sort. Yes, I went, yes, I spent.

The six of us traveled to Ohio to the Black Swamp Spinner's Fiber market and loved every moment that we shared. We found a new yarn shop...chock full of yarn in an older home, also chock full of ladies with their yarn, tools, snacks and a dog! But we made our way around and found some goodies.

The Market had less actual yarn than in the past, and I have sworn off roving for a little bit, until the cupboards and buckets and cabinets find spaces for new friends. But it did not stop me from some luscious cashmere from Briar Rose, a fair-isle sock kit, a "pope soap on the rope" (a gag gift for a family member) three beautiful handspun skeins and of course some "happy yarn" for a pair of socks that will make me feel....well, Happy!

I am starting a new sweater with yarn from my stash, good girl, putting aside my cable sweater that is a hit and miss project requiring concentration, and planning the knitting packing for this weeks road trip to Philly.

My mood is up, my car is back and all it took was a day with my friends and fiber!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The sun finally shines (at least part of the days) and my cat is rolling in its warmth as it streams through the windows. I prefer to notice her in the strong beam of light, rather than the dust that the sun highlights during this glorious time of the year. Spring cleaning...hmmmm..not yet. I am just so happy to be able to sit on my porch and read after school, walk into town and, of course, check out all of the new yarn and patterns for spring.

I started another Clapotis with Noro's new cotton blend laceweight, only a scarf width for this one. I got about two feet done when I realized that it was not structured enough to benefit from the unraveled bits, so I frogged the whole thing and began again, knitting the same pattern, diagonal with the ridges, but no unravels. It looks great! I think that it will be terrific with tanks and tees this spring and into the summer evenings (or chilly dining).

My contract for teaching next fall includes fifth grade, so I am doing some extra research into projects that will be exciting for the kids next year.

Only one more week and I hear whether or not I am being awarded a National Humanities Grant for this summer, keeping my fingers crossed!

I am on spring break right now, and alas, no big trips outside of the country. I am excited to be attending NCECA, a clay conference, in Philadelphia with my a mini summer vacation where there usually is none! We will be seeing friends that we met on our trip to Korea and I can't wait to spend time with them.

On the fiber burner.....just a couple of possible workshops that combine art and fiber. One is at Miami University in June and the other is at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, not far from our cabin. Hopefully, the next couple of weeks will spell out the reality of my summer plans.

I guess that I have avoided the inevitable dusting for long enough...that sun, that tremendous sun, how it shames me into housework!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Long time, No.....?

I managed to neglect my blog since the holidays. That is a record! Somehow I have even managed to neglect reading my friends' blogs as well.

The excuse is simple. Just like everyone else, I have been busy.

Busy knitting, of course,
but also keeping up a steady exercise routine,
working like crazy,
attending my guild meetings,
going to knitting boot camp and doing (most of) the homework.

Check out my Ravelry page, new pictures that prove that I exist!

I have dyed yarn,
wound and labeled it for the Yarn Harlot's presentation at Detroit Public Library 3/13/10

I attended the Spinner's Flock fiber sale, even bought some hand-dyed and already spun alpaca and yummy roving that looks like a peppermint twirl!

I got out the spinning wheel and spun some of my stash,
spent hours and hours trying to sort and clean one of my fiber rooms (yes, only one of the rooms).

I am listing a cottage for sale and purchased a cabin in the mountains and even a little spare land next door.

My husband fell 9 feet off a ladder onto a wood floor and is fine (was sore and pretty worried).

Now for the taxes, and hopefully, another post before everyone forgets me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Jim and Linda's Annual Holiday Sale!

We Invite You To Join Us Once Again At The Ceramics Studio
on the Marygrove College Campus
on Dec 4th & 5th
From 11AM to 5 PM

Pottery, Sculpture, Fiber, Jewelry, Photography

Not sure where the ceramic studio is? Ask security at the gate when you arrive for directions to the Art Annex.

Marygrove College
8425 W. McNichols
Cash or check accepted