Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jan 31, 2011

Patrick's Birthday - 2011

Jan 29, 2011

Finished Objects!!

I am inordinately proud of this stack of Finished Objects - completed between November and early January. Imagine also in the pile,  the two scarves I knitted for my brother and husband.

What's really amazing (to me, anyway) is that only one of these items was an actual UFO.  The stripey shawl on the top of the right hand pile. (one skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn, Simple Yet Effective Shawl - it's quite mini.)

I'm not sure what the temporal criterion is for an object to be granted the UFO degree, but I believe that more than 6 months of languishing on the needles is required.  And much time should have been spent in the knitting equivalent of a black hole, which doesn't even begin to form until 6 months have passed. I think Simple Yet Effective was begun in 2009, so it's fully qualified.

Of the rest of the pieces you're looking at, none were begun before late October.  You're looking at
4 shawls, 1 shrug, 3 scarves of my own random stitching, 2 looooong entrelac scarves, 1 woven, stitched hat. Add to that the knitted gifts I gave (2 scarves and a shrug) and that's for me an amazing record of completion! Maybe I'm not inordinately proud. Maybe justifiably proud!

I'm running back here to edit this post to add:

I completely forgot to give credit for some of my industriousness to Martha at RiverWools. She had a fun event in December, called Knit Down, Crochet Down, Weave Down. Leading up to that, we reported finished objects, and received for each one a ticket for a drawing at the mid-December party. Obviously the more things you finished, the better the chances of a prize. I won a $35 certificate towards any class of my choice. 
My choice would be using it towards the upcoming weekend retreat with Gwen Bortner, author of this book:
who will be doing workshops in kumihimo and working magic with entrelac!

Labels: ,

Jan 26, 2011

Birdwoman's Council Cloak

Weelllll, not quite a cloak, but I love the alliteration.
I worked on this piece in the late fall. I began with a woven triangle, picked up stitches around it and then knitted it the rest of the way.  I used 8 different yarns (my working title for it was Eight), changed colors whenever I felt like it. It's mostly stockinette, with a band of seed stitch and occasional garter.

I want to put some kind of magickal medallion at the point of the triangle and maybe dangling from the ends, as I did in the Serendipitous Soul Shawl.   (See, I love alliteration!) In fact, this shawl was inspired by that one. See that post for more construction details.
I pulled it out to wear at the opening of the fiber art show I was part of last October and loved wearing it so much I couldn't believe I hadn't made others like it. And immediately began this one.

And why Birdwoman?  Well, sometimes things just come to me as I'm working, bits of stories, characters.  As I was finishing this piece, wondering what elements I'd use for the medallions or charms, I just saw/felt a being called Birdwoman, and she was attending a great meeting for which she wore special garments. It seems like I might do a series of these cloaks for others attending that meeting.  I will have to see what unfolds...

Labels: , , ,

Jan 24, 2011

Vintage Button Jewelry

Very happy to have time to get back to playing with my vintage buttons and beads. I have, well, not tons, but pounds of them and I really want to use them more in my art and fiber work. 

Here are a couple of things I came up with over the weekend.
 A pendant:
and a pin:

Not sure what these will become, but the combination is speaking to me...

Right now, I'm using black artistic or bare copper wire and trying to maintain the integrity of the buttons.  I know there's a lot of discussion here and there about crafters who use vintage and antique buttons, who take off the shanks, drill holes in them or otherwise alter them.

I wouldn't do that to a truly antique or rare button, but most of the buttons I like and prefer to make things with are vintage plastic or cloth buttons, neither very rare or expensive.  That red square above is likely Bakelite, a plastic which is collectible, and one of my favorite types of buttons.

And now, back to weaving my length of Saori fabric to use for 6 hats. I'm at #4.

Wishing everyone a mindful, creative day!

Labels: , ,

Jan 19, 2011

Solmate Socks

For two years now, I've run a special fundraiser for the memorial fund in my son Patrick's name. The fund is at a local nonprofit, The Maple Center for Integrative Health, and the money is to go to workshops and programs which promote the use of expressive art as a healing tool.  For four years, we've presented a major workshop focusing on meeting the challenges of loss through creative work.

In addition to grant money from ArtsIlliana, ArtReach and private donors, this workshop has also been supported by more than $1,000  raised for the programs through the Rock Your Socks fundraiser.  The more I find out about Solmate Socks the more proud I am of being able to run this FUNdraiser (and it has been fun!)

I knew at the beginning that Solmate uses yarn made from recycled cotton and that the socks are made in the USA and that they are committed to fair practices in labor and in environmental responsiblity. Then last year I found out that the remnants, seconds, etc. are used by a wonderful rag rug weaver, Hilary, who has created an amazing studio and life in an old  house in New York state. She calls her studio Crazy as a Loom Weaving Studio. When I wrote to her last year to say how delighted I was to discover the further green practices of Solmate, she very generously donated one of the Solmate Sock Rugs to be sold for the fund! (Yup, I bought it. It's my prayer rug now.)

And now I discover yet another Solmate Sock-related item (scroll down just a bit on her studio page). Hilary has created a potholder or looper loom (from recycled wood!)  and sells it along with a huge bag of Solmate Sock loops (enough for 8 squares.) I love this loom - it's 9" square, larger than the ubiquitous red metal looms usually found for potholder weaving.  And I love the loopers in those great Solmate Sock colors. 

I'm looking forward to making squares with Sophia, we've already started one. But I'm also looking forward to use this in some of Noreen Crone-Findlay's projects for potholder and small square looms.
Her book, The Woven Bag, is chockful of them!


Labels: , , ,

Jan 18, 2011

Saori Weaving - Hat

Now that I've completed most of the public project for my grant, it's time to begin the work that this grant is primarily for: my personal growth as an artist. I'm beginning on a small scale and this hat seems the perfect vehicle for beginning to learn how to use Saori weaving in garments.  One of my goals was to integrate various fiber arts I love, and this little cap combines weaving and knitting.

First I hemmed the ends by zigzag stitching each end twice, then turned the edge under and did a straight stitch - these ends are the cap edges.

Then I used black carpet warp and gathered both selvedge sides by crocheting across twice, once right into the weaving, every 1/2 inch or so, then into the first row of crochet, every inch or so.

 I made two fan-shaped pieces of knitting, using short rows and one of the yarns in my weaving, Noro Furin, so they are both different in colors. I used these pieces to cover the gathered edge and anchor it in a semi-circle, so that the hat shape appears.
 It's very neat on the inside as well, as the fan covers the gathered edge on the inside.  I machine-sewed the inside part and hand-sewed the fan on the outside.

I'm now making a long length of Saori woven fabric, about 12 feet, which I will use to make 6 more hats. It suits my sometimes short attention span to weave a whole different set of colors every 2 feet or so.  I am making enough for each hat so that I can make the side pieces in weaving on some of the hats.
As for my public project, the Earthpeace Banner Project, I'm working on all the photos I've taken and updating the page.  I hope that will be the subject of my next post!


Labels: , ,

Jan 4, 2011

First Dark Moon / New Moon of 2011

Ooh, nice timing, Moon! My simple ritual is just what I need to begin a year in which I'm intending to release and let go of things.

I was thinking today that I don't have to only let go of Big Stuff (like Fear, Worry, Slothfulness, 2,000 books), but I can also feel great satisfaction in letting go of or changing little things.  The Big Stuff is worth focusing on, but I suspect that working on little things will also lighten and brighten my life, as they add up.

For example, I had a cutting mat hanging on the side of a work table and I was always bumping into it, and it just irritated me. Yesterday, I took a couple of minutes to do something about it, hung both it and a mini-ironing board in a very accessible and yet out-of-my-way spot. I am perhaps inordinately happy about this, but happy I am!

So this year at Dark Moon/New Moon, I'm going to do the work I need to do on the major things that aren't serving me well, and I'm also going to find some wee little thing to change or finish or let go right then.

Oh, and today I pulled out the fixin's for another freeform woven/crochet wrap and got started putting it together (all the woven pieces have been done for months.)

This is to be Spring Meadow Shawl - tri's woven from my stash of the discontinued Noro Blossom (#5.) It feels really good to get started on this. It feels really good to walk around my work area and not keep brushing against that cutting mat!

Labels: , , ,

Jan 3, 2011

New Year New Word

My word for this year: RELEASE

Yup, for my 60th year of life, I'm going to let go of a whole bunch of Stuff - inner as well as outer. I'm going to ask everything if it serves me. If the answer is yes, then I'm going to ask if it serves me well. If the answer is no, it must go.
Over the holidays, I managed to get a lot of knitting done, several things that had been languishing on the needles and a few new things.

I made a scarf for my brother which I kept thinking would look so nice on my husband, so I made him one, too.

This is Araucania Panguipulli, Colorway 9. This yarn looked like it would be so interesting worked up into something, but I had it hanging about for ages - didn't like a thing I swatched.  Then I did it in a basketweave pattern and loved it!  This brown colorway is rich and organic looking, kept reminding me of a tree trunk.
 A Weaving Wednesday at RiverWools
(Love my great Cafe Press tote with art by my online friend Ira Joel Haber)

I am determined not to be so busy as I've been for the past 6 months. I hope to write a bit about it here over this week.  It's been a fabulous, fulfilling, productive time but stressful all the same.

I'm looking forward to the next 3 months as my winter retreat, and to a whole year of letting go of things, of taking those blessedly deep breaths that relax me head to toe, and of devoting myself to creative work. Blessed be!

Labels: , ,