Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hello there!

I'm still around. Life has just taken over in every way.
I'm still knitting and spinning. I've been wanting to bead and sew, but just haven't found the time yet.

I have finished socks for daughter #3, a Kwoosh shawl, lace socks for me, socks for hubby, and some other things I can't recall now. I've recently casted on another asymmetrical shawl, a sweater for me, socks for me, hubby, daughter #2, and birthday socks for my son. So, I'm staying busy.

I've done some spinning on my wheel (which I really need to get back to), as well as some spinning on spindles).

I'll have to get some pictures of my projects.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Some Finished Objects and Some New Projects

I have more photos to share of things that I've been working on.
There are some beading pieces, seedlings for the garden, houseplants, etc.

Turquoise/Gold Netted Collar

Coral/Gold/Black Netted Collar

Polymer Clay/Leather Cord Necklace

Oilcloth Zippered Pouch

Plantain Salve (herb/weed gathered from my yard and infused in Olive Oil for 7 months!)

Lime/Honey/Sugar Scrub

Mother of All Plant (from One leaf given to me by a friend - yes, plants grow up from the leaves when placed on soil!)

Some Seedlings started this month

Experiments with Sweet potatoes (grown last year), Rose Cuttings, Broadleaf Thyme cuttings, Avocado Pits, and Moses in the Boat cuttings

I'm always busy doing something, trying something new! Fun!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I've been doing

Ok, I promised photos last time I posted. Here they are:

This is a netted bead necklace. It's been done for months, but I was unsure of how to do a beaded closure. I had it sitting around until it screamed at me to finish it. So, I winged a closure, and it actually turned out well.

Next up is homemade bread. I've made two so far. The first time I made a bread was more than 15 years ago! LOL! It was time to try again. It turned out well. The holes are from the fork I stuck in it. LOL!

Here are my paperwhite bulbs that I'm forcing to bloom. I love the smell of paperwhites, but this is the first time I've grown them. I did plant some outside in the fall, but since I wanted to bring in Spring a bit earlier indoors I am growing some inside. I can't wait for that smell to perfume the whole house!

I've been making my own skin care products, and what fun that has been! Here are some lotion bars that I made for the first time. I love how they turned out, and so easy! I didn't have any molds, so I improvised and used cupcake liners.
Oh they smell.... so good!

I've combined some of the fiber projects I'm working on currently.
Knee high socks for my 12 year old daughter, cotton with silk noil on the tahkli spindle, and some alpaca/wool/silk/mohair blend on the Jenkins turkish spindle.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Wow, it's been more than a year since I posted! It's crazy. I keep wanting to, but life keeps getting in the way. Well, it's a new year, so I'll be doing things a bit differently. I'll stop neglecting this blog for sure.
I've gotten into so many new things! I decided that I wanted to be less of a consumer, so I've been busy learning to make things myself. Here's what I've learned to do over the past year:

* Sew - Been wanting to learn this forever, so I finally pulled out the new sewing machine that hubby had purchased for me the year before. I don't know why I procrastinated on this for so long. I enjoy the process. I haven't made much, but at least I know I can do it. I made a zippered pouch by watching a YouTube video, and with hubby's help.

* Beading - Learned to do beading from my good friend, Montez. She got me started with peyote stitch and I took off from there. I have two necklaces that have been waiting for months for closures. I'll be finishing those up soon.

* Homesteading - Well, not completely, but I've been making a lot of my own products that I formerly bought. One in particular is Kombucha. I was buying this weekly for my daughter, as a way to help boost her immune system and as a way to lessen eczema and asthma. I must say that it has help her a great deal.

One day, I decided I would try to make it myself. I found a recipe on-line and was successful with it. I've been adding flavorings like, anise, ginger, hibiscus, lemon. It tastes pretty good, and my daughter likes it. Money saved there.

I've also been making my own cleaning products with simple ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar. I'm about to venture into making my own laundry detergent next. I have all the ingredients ready to go!

Also, I've been making my own skin and hair care products. I use to make and sell products many years ago, then stopped. And, I had been mixing my own body butters for years, but wanted to really get into making other things as a way to save money and to prove that it could be done. I've been making facial cleansing grains, facial serums (which can also be used on hair and body, since I like multi-purpose things, deodorants ( because the aluminum content, among other shady ingredients in store bought is scary), toothpaste, salves, and more. All the items are made using natural and organic ingredients, many of which I already have in my kitchen. Making these items has really taught me that much of what we discard is useful for many things, if we just use our imagination. I've shared with friends and co-workers who all like my products. That was a great confidence booster!

Of course, my garden was a big thing last year. I invested lots of time and energy and a little money into making it better and more productive. Since I live in a big city, I don't have much land space for gardening as I'd like, I had incorporated lots of containers for growing in. It's been a success so far. I am really looking forward to Spring, to experiment with growing new veggies and flowers, and to see how the soil amendments I added will make for a more productive and healthier garden. With seed saving and collecting, I'm definitely ready to go.
I definitely want to learn canning next.

Recycling, re-purposing, and re-using MANY things.

*Weaving - I'm been messing around with weaving on a small scale. I've done several small woven pieces on a homemade cardboard loom. Yes, cardboard! And using some very early hand spun yarns that I had saved up. Everything turned out wonderful. At some point, I'll make a larger frame loom, so that I can make larger pieces.

* Spinning - I finally had the courage to attempt Navajo plying again, and I just love how my yarns turned out. It's a technique that I'll be using quite often, especially since my spun singles turn out so darned thin. :)

I think that about covers everything.

My perspective on life over the past year has surely changed, and I believe by incorporating some new ways of thinking, I have enhanced my life and the lives of my family greatly! I'm loving the new and improved me.

Hopefully, next post I'll have photos to share.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Return from MIA....

Ok, so I've been MIA for a while. I have been sucked into a whirlwind called life. So much has happened, and there were bouts of anxiety. I have, however, succeeded in working myself through it all. Through it all I've had my crafting! Crafting has saved me - again! I have been able to finally use the sewing machine that my loving husband brought for me during mother's day 2012. I have been learning about beading techniques - so much fun and possibly a whole new addiction for me! I even learned how to weave on frame loom! Crochet has made a resurgence in my life! I've completed two wonderful shawls, and a shawlette - mentioned in a previous post - and have started a fourth! Spinning has slowed a bit, while I knit, crochet, bead and sew. This blog has been sadly neglected. I am hoping that I can change that and be a bit more consistent. So as not to end this post without pictures, I will share some recently completed work, as well as some works in progress. Fan of tassels shawl Amita shawl Shortie Shell capelet Shetland/alpaca laceweight handspun dyed in indigo and bonus indigo dyed ginned cotton Ginned cotton blended with bamboo and mulberry silk Ginned cotton with bamboo/mulberry silk and natural green cotton Honey cowl Babydoll southdown/German Angora /Kid Mohair laceweight - to be plied Bowtie pie crochet shawl Unknown wool 90%/10% sparkly trilobal nylon (which I couldn't capture in the photo!) Cheviot wool blended with mulberry silk

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pictureless post

There's nothing like eating the food grown by one's own hands. I just ate some cabbage from the garden, and baked tofu seasoned with herbs from the garden. It was awesome! I was worried that the cabbage wouldn't be too good, because the bugs had been going at it for so long. But the largest of the four cabbages was firm and ready to harvest. I washed the leaves really well, and washed it again. I cooked it with a drop of olive oil, sea, salt, garlic and fresh onions from the garden. The tofu was sliced and seasoned with Oldbay seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, fresh onions, lemon thyme, lemon basil, sage and baked in a pan lined with a tiny bit of olive oil. All herbs and onions grown by me. The taste...incredible. I'm a happy gardener.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Busy Bee

I've been busy with crafting...squeezing in time when I and there. In dyeing news: Here's some fiber that I recently over-dyed. I dyed this merino/angora/silk top a couple years ago, but there was too much white still showing through since the dye had not penetrated the fiber completely. The fiber was too compacted, I realized later, and that's why my dyeing attempt wasn't successful. I overdyed it again with similar colors, using dyes I got from Lie.ttle Barn, while at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. They were only $2.95! You know me...always looking for that bargain. It turned out much better this time. What do you think? Since I had so much dye stock remaining, I decided to dye a laceweight skein, as well as some short stapled polypay fleece I got from a shepherdess in Michigan. In knitting news: I finished the pink shawl I was knitting out of my handdyed, handspun cheviot singles. Here it is blocking simply. I didn't want to block too heavily since it's a thin singles yarn. So, just wet the shawl lightly and hung it over the rail in the back yard. I love it. Many years ago, I spun a yarn from mohair and angora - one ply of each. Then, years later, I knitted some glovelets. One night, I lost the right glovelet. I was so bummed! Now, a few years later, I discovered that I had some of the same yarn left over. I guessed that it would be enough to make another glovelet. So, yesterday I knitted another, during my commute to and from work. I was literally sweating the whole time because I wasn't sure if there would actually be enough yarn. What you see hanging from the top of the glovelet is all the yarn left! Five inches! Whew! Talk about cutting it close! I also had a piece of scrap left over from the first time which I can use to sew it up. I was so happy that I had judged my yardage correctly that I immediately started another pair with some alpaca/angora yarn that was also spun years ago. Notice I an using straight needles to knit these glovelets. I haven't used straight needles in years! I pulled these well used, vintage needles from my needle stash. Notice they are made in France! In spinning news: I am participating in Tour de Fleece, a spinning gathering of sorts on where spinners set spinning goals and try to achieve them during the Tour de France. I am spinning cotton for Team I Spin Cotton, and silk noil for Team Support spindlers. Here are my efforts: Cotton: Silk noil: Silk noil