wonderful adventures

It’s a big day for me, because 30 minutes ago I handed over two months’ worth of work to a really nice Fed Ex employee with bright pink streaks in her hair. The two months’ of work is a Project I did for Piecework magazine, and with luck, it will appear in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue.

I wish I could show you pictures, I really do. How about pics of some of the ingredients?

B Bonn Buttons pt 3

Those are vintage mother-of-pearl buttons donated by one of you lovely readers. I needed Lots of mother-of-pearl buttons for this particular piece, and at least a dozen people from here, from various Ravelry groups, and from the loving churchfolk in my parish, donated buttons. It was great fun for a couple of weeks, getting packages from all over the place, and pouring over every button, wondering what its story might be.

That alone was enough to make the project a joy.

However, I also had a wonderful time coming up with the design, choosing which buttons ought to go where, and watching as the piece came together. I enjoyed all this so much, that I nearly forgot that I hate embroidery.

I do. OK, not hate. Maybe I Strongly Disagree With Embroidery. And yes, the fact is that I end up doing a ton of it, for all sorts of projects. CRAZYPANTS.

But this piece was special, in that I poured a lot of my own heart and soul into it. Wait till you see it. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

tulips 3

Stringtopia! Winter Retreat! Sarah Swett! All The Things!

Inbetween embroidering buttons on things, I had several adventures. First I went off to Syracuse to teach at the wonderful Fiber Retreat, now in its third year, run by Susan of the Yarn Cupboard. Laura Nelkin was there, and Jill Draper, and Melissa Jean, and Jennifer of Holiday Yarns, all with bins of goodies for us to lust over, fall in love with, and manage to find just a bit more rom in the budget for.

Scenes from the tiara class I taught…here’s our rockin’ bead table:

bead table

And here are a bunch of “I may not be a princess but I have an ATTITUDE” folks, wearing their own creations.

happy tiara class

Apologies to any of the above who were trying to hide from the Mafia. (I think the tiara is a great disguise.)

The other classes I taught were Sweater Finishing, and “What is a Schematic, What do I do with it, and How Can I Make My Own, and Why Should I Care”? They sound dull, but we were all enjoying ourselves too much to notice the dull stuff.

beth class

Then, STRINGTOPIA. I took three days of classes from Beth Smith of The Spinning Loft  (above) and three days resisting the wares of Morgaine from Carolina Homespun. I loved Beth’s class on processing and spinning different sorts of wools; I failed to resist the charms of Morgaine’s traveling fibre shop (again). There’s a whack of Columbia roving and a smaller whack of Muga silk waiting for me to come play with it. (Soon, my preciousssss, sooooon.)

And last weekend, I was fortunate to take a workshop from Sarah Swett called the Value of Wool. Not value as in money, value as in colour. She laid out about a half-dozen fleeces in various shades from white to brown to black (all CVM, wow!), and set about teaching us how to make a colour gradient using just those five or six colours. We tested the gradient by wrapping around card stock, then put our values to work (hee) by one or more of three assignments: A Fair Isle swatch, done with value not colours; a simple embroidery (ACK EMBROIDERY IT FOLLOWS ME, precioussss, IT VEXES ME) piece, and then a self-portrait in needlepoint, using values and embroidery lines to sketch out basic features. I just couldn’t get anything resembling a face to show up on my canvas, so I thought about it for a minute (what represents ourselves just as much as our faces?) and came up with a  passable needlework of my right hand.unfinished hand

It’s not finished, clearly, but you get the idea. I think it’s kind of cool.

And in other news, we have acquired a rather large stuffed dog whom TimKitten believes is real:


Tim has nose-kissed the dog (which we have tentatively named Daisy; we did not realize it was to be a member of the family, so were unprepared with names), Tim has rubbed cheeks, tried to groom an ear, done a bellydance for Daisy, and several times, has curled up next to Daisy like a fellow pack-member. We’re enchanted by this behaviour, especially since Zoë is too afraid to come anywhere near the thing.

OK, my brain is signalling that its batteries have run out, and I need to sign off now. I’ll be back, because I have tons of stories and photos and things to catch up on with you.

And in lieu of Chispas, here are some adorable baby animals to make you go all warm and smushy inside:

bring me another smurf

Oh hold on. Wrong folder. So sorry. Here, let’s try again:

baby phant

And finally:

baby paca

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and I will be posting again sooner than you think!

Thanks for making each day an adventure to share…

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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6 Responses to wonderful adventures

  1. Holly says:

    Love the babies, have a great weekend 🙂


  2. Pat aka westies says:

    Hi Sandi,
    Good to hear from you again. Glad that you have enjoyed the various retreats,etc. that you attended. Sounds like really interesting stuff. Wish you were going to teach someplace in North Carolina so that I could take one of your classes. Look forward to your next post. Take care and stay well.
    Pat aka westies


  3. Nancy says:

    It’s always great to hear from you and see what you’re up to. Am totally jealous of the folks who took your tiara class; hope to have that opportunity someday. Hope you’re hanging in there and that there’s sunshine (both literal and figurative) in your world.


  4. astrbear says:

    Sarah Swett is awesome! Her work is just astonishing, and she’s a delight to spend time with. She was the speaker at this year’s Whidbey Island Spin-In — what a treat!



  5. Arla says:

    As a crafter, I can think of nothing more representative of a person than their hands. My grandmother’s hands were soft and yet weathered from years of working with all sorts of things…yet what I remember most of her was her warm and caring heart and her sooooo soft hands; your needlework of your hand made me think of her…thanks for sharing.
    So glad that you have had such a great adventure teaching and being taught…would love to participate in one of your tiara seminars, but alas, we are separated by this vast country we now call home…unless you and your man would like to venture westward…


  6. Marta says:

    Hiya – I’m a bit envious of all your May activities. I’ve always wanted to take a class from Sarah – her tapestries are amazing!


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