Let’s start this month off right, with an image of unparalleled beauty, which I hope will sweeten your day.
RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT!!
That is the silliest tradition, to say that the first day of each month. But there it is.
Now that we have completed the proper rituals, here’s the REAL image of unparalled beauty to carry with you throughout the day:
This is Háifoss, Iceland:
(photo from the collection of Habetrot on Ravelry; photographer’s name in the depths of my notes and thus not here, apologies, I’ll keep looking)
No, that isn’t one of my vacation pictures, although goodness knows, I wish it were. I keep hearing Iceland is one of the most gorgeous places on earth; if that photo is any fair representation, it really ought to be on my bucket list.
Except that I don’t have a bucket list. I just now realized that. No bucket list. It’s not that I don’t have things I would like to do, see, or experience; it’s that life has taken so many unexpected turns for me these past seven years that who has time to work out a bucket list? I’m too busy holding on for the Wilde Ride!
Remember the Sasquatch Pelt? Well, it’s all washed and dried now, both largish bags of it (not an inconsiderable feat given the outrageous humidity around these parts lately), and it turned out to be a lovely, shiny pelt with different sorts of fibres in it. This makes sense, given that it is a Double-Coated Shetland: It has the long outer fibres and the softer undercoat. I haven’t separated out the two, since the carded results are actually softer than I would have imagined, and the different colours and textures make for a nice effect.
I decided I wanted to see what five different spinners would do with a lightly carded mix of Sasquatch and silk:
The spinners are Rosemary, Rachel, JJ, Enting, and Aubrey, just for the record. I told them this was an experiment to see what five different spinners, with very different styles of spinning, would do with the same unusual batts. I told them they could process the batts further if they wished (any way: combing, more carding, whatever), and spin it any way they wished. Results not given a deadline, because, what fun is that? So if and when the spinners send me photos or status reports, I’ll pass the info on to you. Should be interesting.
Never, Ever, Say Never…No, I mean REALLY
I used to quilt. I used to quilt a lot, and I even managed to get one quilt shown at a conference gallery:
The last quilt I did was the following year, methinks, and I finished only the top:
Literally FIVE SECONDS after I managed to take that shot, the same scene looked like this:
Ahem. Yes, Master. Your Chair. I apologise for not remembering this fact.
This little Halloween quilt top is machine-pieced, and as you can see, is basically a log cabin/courthouse steps variant. I thought the use of colour in the blocks to form the design was very clever. (Pattern from: Holiday Happenings by Christal Carter.)
Just for grins, here’s the backing I chose:
There’s also a fair bit of applique and embroidery involved. Funny how I keep saying I don’t like applique and I don’t like embroidery, but somehow a lot of my quilts end up with acres of both.
Anyhow, somewhere after I finished that top, I swore off quilting. It’s a spendy hobby, it takes tons of time, and I was a busy knitting magazine editor who needed to be living every second of my life with either a red editing pen in hand or a knitting project clicking away. No More Quilting, said I. Everytime someone showed me an excellent quilt (I worked in a craft publishing house, for pete’s sake, there were photos of gorgeous quilts all over the place), I Just Said No.
Then, here at my little church, I helped hand-quilt the top of a lovely
queen-sized king-sized quilt that my church is raffling off to help fund building repairs and so on.
I believe the top was pieced by the venerable Queen of Crafting, Dorothy Stewart, whose name is always spoken with a mixture of reverence, love, and awe at all the work this 90-year-old woman can do. Several of us helped with the actual quilting; I think, if memory serves, that the square I quilted is top row, second from left. I also did a bit of the fan block to its left.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ P.S. Yes, there really will be a raffle for this quilt. If you are interested in buying raffle tickets, let me know. $2 each or 3 for $5, I can hold onto the stubs for you for the actual drawing (in November, you’ve got time), and I’ll work out a way for the money stuff to happen in a secure/trustworthy way. NO PRESSURE, but there’s the info just in case you fell in love with that quilt and would like a chance to win it for your very own house. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This, of course, was so much fun that I couldn’t help myself:
Why yes, I am doomed. What makes you ask? (The sewing machine dominating my worktable and the piles of fabric next to it means nothing. Nothing, I tell you. Mere props. No big deal. I can stop anytime I want to.)
Actually, I think this is good for me. I’d sort of come to a block in my knitting that I couldn’t quite work through; when I can’t knit, I often find that I am blocked in other creative endeavours: spinning, fibre prep, and, of course, writing.
It’s taken the entire month of August to get things shaken up enough so that I think the blockage is slipping. I think the quilting helped–different media, different way of looking at colour and design, different parts of the brain engaged.
I might even get a killer quilt out of it. And I have already started hand-quilting Mr. Boo, for which he is quite grateful. He was feeling a bit neglected, I think.
The Return of The Chispas–Small Sparks of Inspiration
- Microsoft Excel. Say that phrase and gasps of dread and horror are heard throughout the land. But one man, a hero for our times, has found a way to turn the forces of evil to work for the Triumph of The Good: He makes Spreadsheet Art. And I’m not talking dopey cartoonish stuff. I’m talking museum-quality…oh, just go see for yourselves.
- Sometimes it is really hard to grasp numbers and statistics, particularly when it comes to vanishing species and vanishing habitats. Mr. Shimuras has found a way through art to make these concepts concrete and vivid for all of us. (He’s also created a race of crayon meerkats, but perhaps that is beside the point. Or perhaps, it IS the point. You decide.)
- I may have posted this deep sea mystery previously, but as there are updates, plus new videos of the little scamps caught in the act, I thought it needed a reprise.
- And what would Chispas be without a cute animal photo…or three?
EVERYONE INTO THE POOL…IT’s HOT!
Somedays, you really should NEVER answer the doorbell. Cuz those sheep will try to sell you the fleece right off their backs.
This cat clearly knows something we do not. Or else, it is taking something we are not.
And then, the Return of KittyZilla:
Finally, I wish you peaceful, compassionate arms to rest in.
Till next time. And I’m trying to queue up some posts for you so that it isn’t a month between Sandi Blog Sightings. Plus, whilst on holiday in Boston, I was cajolled by a certain tall camelid into buying some Giveaway Llama presents. So, there’s that to look forward to…right?