Sunday, January 31, 2010

Great Birthday Gift!

A portable, personal-sized snowman!

So cute!!

Even though Jim didn't notice it at first, Bailey ran right up to it and knocked it over.

Fortunately it was easy to reconstruct!!

(This was one of my lame-o gifts to Jim on his birthday!!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Fuzz Fest

So much fun at the Fuzz Fest today!!

Chatted with Patricia Morton of Treeditions about dyeing, warp painting, upcoming workshops and bead leno.

Marveled at Hal of the Angora Hutch, spinning angora directly off the bunny - and at the bunny remaining calm despite all the hubbub.

Tried spinning on a spinning wheel for the first time ever!! (Can you see the tiny needle-felted figures on the table in the background??)

Saw so many of my favorite knitters and weavers, plus met new knitters and weavers!!

I snapped just a few pictures at the very end of the day, and totally missed out on seeing Sarah Haskell with her prayer flag project until we were cleaning up.

A busy and fun event!!!

Related posts:
Fuzz Fest Announced
Fuzz Fest Schedule

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bookmarks: Good Save

Remember last week when I lamented the sad fate of my pitiful bookmarks??

Your comments helped me so much....and in fact saved this project.

I was bummed enough to consider Susan's idea of building a bonfire and burning the bookmarks.

I loved Barbara and Charlotte's idea to make the bookmarks into cards. Luckily I didn't rush right out to buy card stock and accouterments.

Because the first advice I followed was to aggressively shrink the bookmarks as recommended by Susan from Thrums, Delighted Hands, Barbara, Lady of the Loom and Sara from Fabric N Fiber Fanatic.

To secure the fringe before washing, I zigzagged a piece of fabric to the loose threads. It worked fine, but I was curious if you know of a better technique.

And it worked!!!

I washed them on the delicate cycle with warm water, then dried them in the dryer with a few towels and a chenille scarf on warm. I pressed them on the rayon setting after they were dry.

They shrunk enough to tighten up and hold together as bookmarks without giant holes.

This isn't my most successful project ever - mostly because my idea that I could combine red and green in this way wasn't my best idea. (And a bazillion people told me that beforehand, but I still had to try it to be sure!)

Front and back views

I think these bookmarks will be fine tucked into Christmas story books as gifts next Christmas.

Thank you so much for your great advice in the comments on my original bookmark post! I'm so happy to have 4 bookmarks to give away, rather than a sad chain of 5 malformed bookmarks cluttering up my Completed Projects notebook.

Not to mention that it's still January, and now my gift bin is getting fuller!
Late for Christmas 2009 = early for Christmas 2010!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stash Building

I used to wonder how weavers ended up with so much yarn in their stashes.

When I first started weaving, I'd find a project I liked in Handwoven, order yarn and weave it.

Deborahbee recently asked how I ended up with the yarn in my stash. I have a stash now, so I can do more experimental work without knowing what exact yarn I need or how things will turn out.

My main sources have been:

Your local weaving or knitting groups might have something similar. (When I say local, I drive an hour or an hour and a half to the weaving guild meetings I attend. )

Big yarn stores with discount prices

That's the warehouse at WEBS. For some reason, I have trouble finding WEBS bargains online, but in person I can always find bargains!

Yarn shopping when I travel

Other craftspeople who have yarn they don't want for whatever reason

The chenille weft for this beach scarf came with the loom that a friend purchased used. When I said the yarn was perfect for my mother-in-law, the yarn immediately came home with me.

Sometimes at holidays I get the gift of yarn.

I have friends who've found yarn at thrift shops, yard sales, or on Ebay.

How do you build your stash??

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


"Streets" is the assignment this week at Digital Photography School.

Tough assignment for me. In all of my photos of streets, there were things that really spoke to me - trees, buildings, water. Still, I couldn't quite capture an image of a street that was really satisfying for me.

I walked around in Portsmouth and Exeter, New Hampshire for several hours in search of pictures. I feel like I need a week's extension at least!! But here's what I have:

Now that I've said all that, and been disappointed with my photos, when I see the final collection I'm not so disappointed. Of course some topics are really inspiring to me and others not so much. All part of the creative process.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guest Bath Towels: Getting Started

Sometime during the holidays, I started thinking about my next weaving project.

  • My kitchen towel drawer is overflowing with towels
  • I love handwoven towels and want to make more

Choosing yarn colors

  • The ocean-colored yarns in my stash seem like they'd make a great set of towels

Goals for this project:
  • Weave towels for our guest bathroom that look good in the room and are nice to dry your hands on
  • Use some of those stash yarns
  • Weave with 4 shafts on my Toika
  • If I end up with a few towels for gifts, that is never a bad thing!

Tile floor

Colors that look good in the guest bathroom

Colors that fit my ocean theme, but don't look good in that room

So it begins.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Colors of January

This month, there's no avoiding snow and ice as I take pictures of color combinations found in nature.

It's getting more and more difficult to find hints of color outside, as the palette of the world around me shifts toward white and wintry.

I'd love to see the color combinations in the natural world around you!!



Ice on the Oyster River

Snow-covered furrows


Rose hips and the Lamprey River


If you want to join in the fun, it's easy:
  • Post photos of the colors in nature this month on your blog - linking back to this post so your guests can find everyone else's entries
  • Put a link to your post in this MckLinky list, including your location!!
The list will be open until February 1. Can't wait to see the colors where you live!

Previous months:
Colors of December
Colors of November
Colors of Late October

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Fuzz Fest Schedule

Next Saturday, I'll be at the first Winter Fuzz Fest in Exeter, NH. (More details on the event).

Events scheduled that day include:

10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30: Stories read to children
11:00 Guided tour of the building
1:00 Demonstration of dressing a loom
All day The Human Loom
All day Prayer Flag Weaving

There will be 19 groups/vendors as of this morning. There will be demos at several of the tables in addition to the demos listed.

If you're looking for me, I expect to hang out with Weavers East and the Weava Diva. (There will be signs on their tables and a map at the door of all the different vendors and groups.) I may even have a borrowed loom that so you can try weaving on it!

Hope to see you at the Fuzz Fest!! Stop by and say hi if you can!!

Here's my little photo map to help you find your way! (Of course, Google Maps will work better!)

Water Street & the Bandstand


Town Hall & the Congregational Church

Through These Doors!

Into this big space

Next Saturday, I expect this room will be full of yarn, looms, spinning wheels and fun!!

Hope you'll be there too!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eastern Screech-Owl

Every winter I go a little owl crazy!

Lately, there's been a bit of a buzz about an Eastern Screech-Owl hanging out at Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH, USA.

Photographers & the owl - Paparazzi NH Style

Blessed with a sunny morning without other commitments, Jim and I headed over in hopes that we could spot the owl.

The owl is pretty easy to find....spending the bulk of its time perched in the broken area of a big tree right next to the road.

According to other birders on the scene, sometimes the owl will duck down into a hole behind where it's sitting in these pictures.

Jim watched the owl for over an hour from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. It yawned, it blinked, and once it kind of rocked back and forth from side to side. The light was great for photography the whole time we were there.

It was surprisingly warm yesterday, sunny and 30 F (-1 C). While Jim photographed the owl, I took a walk along the ocean, and spent a little while in the car knitting my red gauntlets. The main parking lot at Odiorne was plowed with plenty of space for birders, walkers, cross-country skiers and nature-lovers.

Related posts:

Snowy Owl in December 2008
Great Gray Owl in April 2009

How can you find out about bird sightings where you live?
Birding on the Net
We have an email subscription to the New Hampshire birding list - but there are links to birding lists all over the world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Assignment: Landscapes at Digital Photography School

Lamprey River, Newmarket, NH

Luckily, when Jim and I took our photo safari for January colors, I also shot some landscapes I can use for this assignment! Who can resist the vistas at Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, NH? I'll have the January colors up soon.

We now have about a foot of new snow on top of the light snow-cover in these photos.