Fiber artist Sara Renzulli of Sarafina fiber arts (Elkton, MD) was in town this week teaching some needle felting classes at Ephemera (new craft shop in town!!!). Her attention to detail is mindboggling--please check out her work on her site and in her etsy shop!!!; I had no grandiose dream of perfection...just a hope to make something recognizable. There was a choice of three classes: bunny, sheep, and fox... one on each of three consecutive days....lucky me had day 2 available, because -- of course--I HAD to do the sheep!
(yes, that IS a sheep. of course, you recognized it!)
We started with wires and formed an armature.
Then we started wrapping and layering with wool roving...(ah ha! a use for all that roving that has accumulated during aborted attempts to spin !)
There were some doubts along the way that those bug eyes and that squatty face were going to turn sheep-like....but by the end of class...
We had a whole flock. I think Sara was pretty pleased with everyone's efforts!
My little guy, though, really looked like a lost little sheep when I got him home, until....
:: best intentions of taking the grands and going to an airshow to see the Blue Angels; they had soccer games and baseball games and couldn't squeeze in a road trip. It was OK. I did laundry instead.
:: this junky little pumpkin took me more time to unscrew the canning jar lids from their jars than it took to assemble (mine has 19 lids---because that's how many I could scrounge up; the "stem" is broken cinnamon sticks)
:: I pulled out some more fall decoration; said goodbye to the front porch geraniums and welcomed some grasses/mums/ornamental cabbages to the porch pots
:: Got our little guest house ready for company next weekend; rearranged rugs, changed sheets, just generally spiffed up a bit and added a dab of fall decor.
:: did a clean sweep of the back patio; replaced some dead somethings (so dead I couldn't even identify what they originally were) with some beautiful purple (!!!!) asters
:: saw 9 to 5 at our community theatre ; always fun. made me want to see the movie again.
:: worked the community kitchen--fed about 130; a reminder to count my blessings everyday.
:: enjoyed (really enjoyed) having not a single day in the 90s all weekend long......I think we can start pretending it's fall!!!!
A little of this....a little of that....not much of anything....
I've been waiting for fall since....oh, about mid-June. I've waited long enough. This weekend was spent wishing and dreaming....and--
:: making acorns. I've made these before and somehow they all seem to get given away. A new batch now awaits the celebration of autumn
:: baking apple crisp. Made the house smell like fall
:: crocheting around a coastal rock from Maine. Before the airlines charged for luggage.....and before there was a weight limit....I brought back some (actually LOTS) of these wonderful coastal rocks. It reminded me of that wonderful October trip and how Maine is really one of my favorite places to be, especially in the fall
:: pouring over Autumn decorating inspiration -- lots of pumpkins, mums, and harvest colored-love
Now if I can just get the thermometer to cooperate (note: picture taken in the shade!)
(an online friend was talking about 'mood' decorating; when I really think about it----the seasonal rearranging and fluffing and spiffing I do around the house is just getting the 'home' to match the 'mood'; I like that---and now I don't have to wait for temperatures to drop or the calendar page to flip!!!--bring on the candy corn, bittersweet, and apple cider!! Does anyone else re-decorate to get the right mood? )
Road trip!!! And it was a really really really fun one!
#1 Daughter and Miss V and I headed to Atlanta Thursday. A six hour trip turned into about a nine hour ride...the lure of Target was too much to resist, and that put us just late enough to land right in the middle of Chattanooga's rush hour traffic. Oh, well.
Destination: Stitches South. We've all been to Stitches events before. Actually a lot of Stitches events, and have taken a load of classes over the years. This year...we decided to go for just the market---and needlepoint classes.
Friday morning, found us here.
We discovered Cast-On Cottage years ago and at least one owner ago....when #1 Daughter and I took a class there with Vivien Hoxbro. It is still one of my knitting highlights; a member of the Atlanta guild generously offered us a place to stay----and Vivien stayed there, too.
Fast forward...... a new owner--and a slight change when Teresa combined the yarn shop with a needlepoint shop. Two years ago when we last visited, we all bought needlepoint (#1 daughter still had the receipt in her bag, and her needlepoint pretty much hadn't been touched.)
I had put my piece on a frame. That was about it.
Miss V was the one who "organized" us, decided we all needed to take a lesson and get back into this, and what better weekend than Stitches???
They both really got into this. Our teacher was great--and fun. But, honestly, how could I concentrate on needlepoint when I was looking at this?????
Cast-On Cottage in Roswell, GA really is one of the nicest yarn shops I've ever been in. Comfy chairs all over--an available computer to check out ravelry patterns (and stuff in my queue), lots of samples made up, and THE BEST yarn selection ever. Just about everything I had on my "wish list" for the market, I found right here. (and remember, my list was rather long!!) I had a ball. We spent the better part of Friday here, and I left the better part of my allotted market $$$$, but by afternoon we decided we really did need to at least cruise the market before the fashion show (for which we had advance tickets).
Isn't he cute? He was the "greeter" in the market! Maybe not quite as many vendors as in years past, and some of the "big" ones (Kansas Yarn Barn and WEBS) weren't there, but that didn't keep us me from getting into major fiber trouble again...twice in one day. (You'll have to just keep checking back to see all that I bought--I can't bring myself to write it all down. )
The fashion show was fun. We probably did more knitting than watching, but, then, that's what we always do. Can you believe, though, I won a door prize???? A shawl kit!!! Right down my alley. I actually really liked that shawl, too. (It's going to be in the summer Knitter's Magazine, so I didn't get to bring it home.)
Some of the best parts of these kind of weekends, though, is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Being inspired...and humbled...
This is Cee Cee, the 9 year old who is responsible for the Elephants for Joplin. She's been knitting since she was 4, has raised an amazing amount of $$$$ for the children of Joplin, and has big plans for expanding her mission work. Isn't she adorable?
And of course, learning new skills.
Help out a friend, and never stop knitting...is that great, or what???
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Wednesdays!!! I sit with my paper and pen and make what seems to be endless lists of gotta read books. And Amazon.com loves Wednesdays, too--because it seems that I submit an order every week. The book/s come in a couple of days--and the cycle starts all over again!
Homespun Style is from last week's book order. While the photographs are a bit more colorful than what I usually gravitate to, the premise, styling, and ideas are all inspirational and "me". Sort of wabi-sabi on steroids. Things reused, repurposed, redesigned--not perfect, handmade with love sometimes more than precision-- which give a house the sense of home and personality. I'll spend many more hours with this book.
Reading....The house I loved, by Tatiana de Rosnay (Sarah's Key); just started it. It takes place in Paris in the 1860s when Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann began a city-wide renovation that destroyed whole neighborhoods in order to make Paris a "modern" city.
This week I also joined the rest of the world and squeezed in Downton Abbey season 2 before the free episodes disappeared from PBS. I'm hooked.
On the needles....the blue silk (La Luz) is Piper's Journey, another garter stitch shawl with a simple lace edging applied after the main body is knit. And the tan is very slowly becoming the Java socks using Madelinetosh sock yarn for PapaGeek. At the rate he's been wearing his other handknit socks, they will be worn out before these are done. (For years I extolled the virtues of handknit socks and was pretty much ignored. The proverbial--be careful what you ask for.... I have a whole lot of knitting to fill up his sock drawer the way mine is filled!)
Join Ginny for more book ideas and project inspiration--and Tami to see what others have on their needles! Happy reading! Happy knitting! I've got to go now and start making my new list!!
In 2005 some friends and I spent a knitting week in Shetland. We stayed in Busta House--an inn dating back to 1588--where we had classes in traditional Shetland lace and fair isle; we toured the Jamieson woolen mill (and bought yarn--imagine that!), met basketmakers (and bought baskets--imagine that!), visited with Wendy Inkster, of Burra Bears fame (and brought home Milton O'Yell who has been a very loyal friend to me and my grandchildren) and saw puffins up close and personal. All in all we had a marvelous time with the locals we met and the group we were with.
Lerwick was home base, but we spent a good deal of bus time exploring the main island of Shetland. Our wanderings took us past crofts (farmland) and croft dwellings; we toured the Shetland Crofthouse Museum.
When I saw this on Ravelry, I couldn't resist. (Made from assorted partial skeins I can't ever seem to just throw away.)
Four years ago I was rescued adopted. It has been the most fabulous, wonderful, happy, loving, super, duper, stupendous, amazing, incredible, over-the-top, outstanding, lickable four years imaginable. I ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ LoVe ♥♥♥♥ my family (especially my mom!) (especially my "boys") (especially my dad at 3 in the morning). I'm a pretty lucky guy.
So, I don't know why I do stuff like this....
I think I might have gotten another check in the Naughty column. Let's not tell Sandy Claws. OK?
I've been on a finishing kick...digging out things that have gone to the depths of the stash and trying to find the love for them that I obviously once had when I enthusiastically began them. On my last dive into the black hole of the stash projects, look what I found!!!
Five (5!!!) felted, stuffed snowmen!! I thought all they needed were their faces, arms, and hats and scarves. (See the finished one in the back?) WOW. I'm on it. Dragged out the beads, the embellishments, and....... the directions.
I think I know why I quit. According to those directions, you need to put the arms on BEFORE stuffing. oops Most likely, when I figured this out last year, I had run out of time to undo and be fiddly with this finishing stuff. (So much easier to just toss in the closet!)
But, this time I was listening to a good audio book (The House of Silk, a modern rendition of a Sherlock Holmes story), and I had a free afternoon--so out came all the snowmen guts. As long as they were disemboweled, I decided to stuff them with polypellets to give them a bit more stability, weight, and flexibility, and any time I can figure out TWO reasons for undoing something, I consider this very much a win-win!! Can you see? They're happier already!
THEN, to makes things even better---when I dug out the bag of alpaca (Frog Tree sportweight) that I use to make them, there was a baggie in the bottom that had three hats, already felted!
So we all got to listen to Sherlock together.
Let it snow!
(I know I'm new to this blogging community, but you all have made me feel so much a part of it, I want to say thank you by offering up one of these snowmen to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment--by next Wednesday--Dec. 7--and either the Candyman or Jay-Bob will pull the lucky winner's name. Good luck! Please note: these are NOT toys; they are stuffed with polypellets and the arms are strung beads on wires--all choking hazards should the snowman come apart!!!)
Joining Ginny for Yarn Along and Tami for WIP Wednesday.
I'm usually not home for Halloween. For the past 10???!! years I've met friends for the famous Canton, TX flea market. This year we decided to delay our girlfriend trip a couple of weeks, so that means---I get to Trick or Treat with Jay-Bob and the CandyMan ( this is his FAVORITE of all favorite holidays!!!!!!!).
If it's cold, I'll don this. It's really very purple even though it looks blue in the photo--purple, orange and black look very witchy, don't you think?
I've been told in NO uncertain terms (by #1 Daughter) that my job on the Trick or Treat outing this year is to keep PapaGeek under control. She's had it. She's done. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm getting into.
Every year he dresses the same--Dilbert, of course. (You already knew that, didn't you?) He has this GIANT Dilbert rubber head, and naturally, he can't see out of it well on a sunny day, but in twilight he staggers around, off and on the sidewalks like a drunk. He's also rather exhuberant in costume--and terrifies all the little ghosts and goblins. He thinks they are playing along--and just gets more excited, too. (Big kid--at heart-- in rubber head=trouble!). My job, according to daughter--keep Dad contained. (I MEAN it!!) Great.
The wicked witch and Dilbert--I think there might be a sit-com here. ♥♥♥