Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stitches Midwest and other shows

I just took this photo of my front rack to use as part of my new business card and to have a memory of what colors I have as I leave to go to Schaumburg. I am a little excited about the show, but dread the drive. My intern, Caitlin, is going with me, so it should be a fun road trip.

The nuno felted shawls above were an order from Pasadena. I am happy to say that all of those orders have been filled (although a new one was placed by one person who had ordered, who understands that the show comes first), so I can start off with a fresh slate.

I have been juried into the Tempe Festival of the Arts for the first weekend of December and I am doing the Pasadena Bead and Design Show again Jan 12-15, 2012. I will for sure be teaching nuno felting and drop spindling and will offer one other choice. Anyone planning to attend, who has a preference, should express interest now.

I am putting it in writing, so I will have to stick with it. I am not going to spin dog hair for anyone from this day forward. It takes way longer to spin than my own yarns, there is not enough satisfaction, and it does not pay the bills. I have a need to create lovely and inspiring things, and dog hair is not it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Accidents and Inspiration

You know that someone really cares about you, when they find something truly unique and actually buy it because it reminds them of you. My sister, Paula, and my step-mother, Vicky, were out shopping the other day and came across this ram. I hated to put something inside it, because it has a lovely colored bowl inside the body, but it is a great way to display mohair locks.

At last week's show in Pasadena, I was asked to design a sweater in moss green. Since I was already ordering something from the Dharma Trading Company, I decided to just go ahead and buy three bottles of the moss green dye. I filled both dye pots with a variety of fibers - kid mohair, Suri alpaca, Shetland Border Leicester lamb, and Merino off my ram and walked away. When the dye was all absorbed, I rinsed the fibers out and lay them on my drying racks. I was amazed at the diversity of color that I got. It split between dark moss green, bluegreen, emerald green, and yellow green. The milk fiber barely absorbed any of the dye. I had planned to card all of the fibers together for a textured yarn. Now it will have the Monet look - all shades randomly blended. It was a happy accident, since the colors are gorgeous!

On my way back from Pasadena last week, I took a detour to pick up Garfield from my son. He has been failing for a while and after an expensive vet visit which said he tested fine, we decided to let him come hang out here. It is hard to watch an animal fade. I have given him the roam of the areas outside the studio since he loves to sprawl in the heat. Once or twice, he looked like one of the birds was going to be his. He has been losing weight all week, but seems better today. I am giving him dry food and addding probiotics over all of his food. He ate with renewed appetite tonight and things are solidifying. At any rate, he is happy hanging out in a mohair basket (older stuff, which I will eventually spin - so no longer for sale since he is sleeping in it and I am not going to move it for now.)

I finished 5 pounds of dog hair/Shetland. Still have more to do, but I need to fill the racks for the show in Schaumberg and a few smaller orders before I get back to it. I have been spinning supercoils almost exclusively, since they sold out in Pasadena. I have done a few fall shades (on the right) and hope to get a few skeins of the Medieval collar yarn spun. If it is black, it will sell. The orders are for white and black supercoils. I need more time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inspired - Pasadena Bead and Design Show

Due to a slight mix up, I ended up in a large room and was very excited to see my designs presented as a gallery. My shop now seems too small! Most of the yarns that you see on the first rack are gone. All of the yarns from the last post are definitely gone.
I flew in my sister, Paula, to help me with sales. She has an awesome ability to spot trends and can recognize unique works of art. She not only helped with my sales by modelling my pieces, but went around helping other vendors with theirs.

Paula has a very flamboyant grace and was so obviously a natural model that she was asked to model my pieces and some others at the fashion show. I missed that since I had a class scheduled - and I have to admit that I did not even know that they were doing it. She was a definite hit and so was my work.

All shows are great for inspiration. I came away with new ideas for colors, a few possible designs, opportunities for travel to teach, and new places to do shows. I met lots of artists, who work in different mediums, and made several new friends.

And, very importantly, I am able to repay my husband for the feed bill loans that he has provided for the last few months. He is truly great at watching over the animals at home. I can never thank him enough for freeing me up to travel. He says I take it for granted - he has to reschedule his own trips occasionally - but I don't. It is easy to get someone to throw food at them morning and night, but very hard to find someone who can recognize an animal in distress. Anyhow, I thank him for it.

The latest batt off the carder. It is a blend of Black Shetland lamb and dyed mohair (it has the shine.) I plan to spin thick/thin and elastic yarn for the slouch hat, and supercoils with whatever is left over.