Enter Summer in Ontario, stage left:
Introducing: Le Monster Berry. Yup, that’s real. Not a photoshop berry, a juicy, fragrant strawberry, extra giganto-sized. Ontario has some of the richest farmland in all of Canada. The fresh vegetables and fruits here stagger the imagination, given the harsh winters. It’s a vegetarian’s paradise.
Summer for a fibre artist means festivals: Sheep festivals, wool festivals, the whole fleecy goodness of it all, weekend after weekend. O Festival Season, How I Love Thee… But this year, as the lolcats say, I haz a sad: Our vacation budget was spent on Buddy’s surgeries this past spring, so no festivals for Sandi.
I confess to pouting for a few minutes. Then I took one look at Buddy, and I realized: Totally worth it. Pout-be-gone!
With that, I sat down at my beading table and made up some sparklies:
It’s been months since I spent any serious time beading. I felt so blocked up every time I got anywhere near my beads. This time, I patiently gathered up some pretties that seemed like they belonged together, and then wired and wired till the earrings appeared! It was such a rush putting those together. That first pair was like breaking down a wall somewhere inside me. The next beading session after that was much easier. I’m glad my bead mojo is back!
Friends Are Good
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a certain BFF, who said that a group of my forum buddies really wanted to see me in person, and they were all going to the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival, and I should come. I could stay at her house, and share her hotel room, and blah blah no pressure blah blah but we would LOVE to see you blah blah blah.
Let’s see. Sheep. Friends. Festival food. The sound of baaaaing in the morning air…
Sign me up NOW.
That’s how I came to be driving to Syracuse, New York on Wednesday, May 26, to visit Jennifer for a day before we both drove on down to the festival.
However, not everyone at Chez Wiseheart was happy about my going. As I was packing up the car to leave, my cat Tim laid out his terms: Either I stayed, or I would have to take him with me.
I somehow managed to get out the door catless, although there were loud yowls of protest as I shut the door behind me. (Poor kitty. But Nicholas was staying home, so it’s not as though he was being abandoned to live on the street or anything.)
Jen told me that I would “know it was the right house, because there would be yarn everywhere.” Seeing as my own house fits that description, I was dubious about it helping me find anything but some random knitter’s home.
I walked into her garage, took one look at her basement, and started laughing so hard I had to drop my bags to the floor so I could bend over and put my hands on my knees. I somehow climbed rather breathlessly (and still giggling) upstairs to the main floor, where I just had to keep on laughing. The bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining room…it was true. There was yarn EVERYWHERE. (I was laughing so hard I forgot to take pictures. Whoops.)
The reason there is yarn Everywhere in Jen’s house is that Jen does this for a living:
Jen’s a dyer, the creative mind behind Holiday Yarns. She gave me a one-on-one workshop on how to handpaint yarn this past week–but that deserves its own post.
Nora, Jen’s delightful 7-year-old daughter, is just as creatively gifted as her mother. She made a little video of me one evening, and giggled when I tried to take a picture of the videographer at work:
(Note the gallery of mermaid drawings on the fridge. All artists must have a muse.) Nora is adorable. She giggled when I rearranged the mermaid Barbies in her bathroom for her, so every time I used that bathroom, I would move the dolls and horses and unicorns around a bit for her amusement. (I think her dad, Eric, was a bit puzzled by the sudden appearance of a winged Pegasus next to his toothbrush.)
Before I went to bed that first night, however, Jen and I had to evict the current resident. We kindly gave her the best chair in the house, the one usually occupied by the aforementioned (not to mention long-suffering and ever-patient) Eric. We put handmade socks on her feet so she wouldn’t get cold. And we made sure she had a laptop (Eric’s, of course) hooked up to the internet so she could check her Twitter account whenever she wished.
There she is, folks. The biggest Barbie I have ever seen. Scary, really. The creep-me-out-factor was why she was removed from the guest bedroom. I’ve watched too many horror films to let a child-sized doll sit there and watch me sleep all night long.
(“In theatres this summer: Chuckie Wants a Sweater! Chuckie kidnaps a knitter and forces her to knit him a cabled sweater on size 0000 needles in laceweight yarn. See the shackles get tangled in the yarn. See Chuckie’s wrath as she drops a stitch. Imagine the HORROR if the sweater doesn’t fit!”)
Oooohhhh-Kaaaayyy. Someone’s imagination is just a leeeetle too active.
Jen and I had a great time.
Then, there is Rocco, my new suitor:
He’s Jen’s cat, but he’s apparently decided his heart is big enough to share. Every time I used the washroom, I would find Rocco waiting outside the door for me. Every morning when I got up, Rocco would be curled up outside my door. He snuggled, he made kitty biscuits, he purred, he showed his belly, he drooled.
Rocco is in love. When we left for Massachusetts, he looked devastated.
Now I have cats in two countries waiting for me to come home.
Next time: The Festival!
photo courtesy The Linnet Knits
P.S. I promise to blog about Jen’s dye lessons. I also want to tell you about what it’s like to dye yarn when a certain 7-year-old is in charge…