There have been some events in the news that made me think about community. Our global community is changing and shrinking much like our fiber community is. It made really think about the people that I’ve spent time with over the years. The business started some 14-15 years ago or so. I wish I had kept better track of all of that but my business started fairly organically and I’m not great at anniversaries, just ask my husband.

Over the years I’ve met so many amazing people and we’ve been a community.

Without this community I don’t know where we’d all be. Do you feel the community around you even if you’re just online? If you have a question, does someone not come to your aid with the answer?

When a fellow vendor at a show needs help, there’s often someone there that can help or at the least be a sympathizer to whatever issue it is.

No, not everything all the time works out the way we want it to. What in life does? To expect to have it always our way isn’t the way life nor community works. Shop owners, teachers, students, spinners, knitters, hookers…. we’re all in this together.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

So let this be a formal thank you – to all the rising tides in my life.
(not all of you are in the pics I found, you know who you are)

Posted in life, spinning, Spunky Eclectic | 3 Comments

About me?

I haven’t done any of those meme things that get passed around and it’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this on the blog.. A friend posted this on FB so I’m filling it out here.

1. Person you were named after?
No one. My mom said she gave me the shortest name she could think of because she wasn’t sure if I’d be smart enough to handle a long name. (yeah, she’s funny)

2. Last time you cried?
Yesterday – I got sappy at my daughter’s dance recital.

3. Do you like your own handwriting?

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
My favorite is to have NO lunch meat. Even when I ate meat, I didn’t like lunch meat.

5. Do you still have your tonsils?

6. Would you bungee jump?
Yup. I’ve always wanted to. Never had an opportunity.

7. What is your favorite cereal?
Oatmeal. I know. Boring. In a perfect world, I’d still eat Cap’n Crunch PB

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take off?
Nope. And later me curses past me almost every time.

9. Do you think you’re strong?
Mentally, maybe not so much on the physical.

10. Favorite ice cream?
Black Raspberry or Strawberry Feta

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
Any knitwear? No? Eyes… unless they’re walking away then butt. What? I can’t see eyes from behind.

12. Football or baseball?

13. What color pants are you wearing?
Leggings aren’t pants

14. Last thing you ate?
Baby Bel

15. What are you listening to?
My dog being weird.

16. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Burnt Sienna

17. Favorite Scent?
The smell of outdoors on my skin

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
Good chance it was Beth Smith.

19. Tattoo or piercing?
Yes please.

20. Hair Color?
Blonde through the middle and brown on the sides and a little grey throughout

21. Eye color?

22. Favorite food to eat?
Pizza or Tacos.

23. Scary movies or chick flick?
Scary. RAWR!

24. Last movie you saw?
Parent trap (the old one)

25. What color shirt are you wearing?

26. Favorite holiday?
Halloween (my kids are already working on this year’s costumes)

27. Beer or Wine?
Coffee? Tea?

28. Night owl or morning person?
Perky, annoying, morning Person

29. Favorite day of the week?

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Spring Show Season

As a dyer and fiber worker there are times it’s hard to let things go. Really hard. My spring show season has come to an end. It’s now time to load the online shop, and decide what I get to keep.

This batt. Did I mention that LilBoog has started to make them?

This Cormo roving

These locks from Romney (green) and Angel the CVM (orange)

This Romney roving that I had to sample a little that really should be a sweater.

And I haven’t even really got into all the yarn I wanted to keep.

There is one colorway that people kept touching and I secretly hoped they wouldn’t buy. Two of them were sold. It’s a OOAK color and there’s one skein left. I think we know what’s going to happen. Maybe I’ll show you when I make it into a shawl. I don’t want you to try to talk me out of my last skein.

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Elderberry Syrup

There were a bunch of sick people at SPA last weekend and even more that came down sick after. I keep hearing of people falling ill. It is that time of year. Thaw starts, we get out more, we pass on germs and voila colds are all over the place again.

I used to get sick at almost all of the events like SPA. Closed area, weak immune system and the next week I’d be feeling awful sneezing and coughing. I’m not saying that doesn’t still happen but now I put my defenses up so that if I do get sick, I know I’ve done everything I could to evade it.

One of the things I take is those little Vitamin C packets like Emergen-C. It’s easy to drop one of those in a glass of water and drink it down. Gotta stay hydrated at these things you know. Another piece of my arsenal is a product from do-Terra. They’re little beadlets called On-Guard. These 2 products I can leave in my purse and they don’t take up a lot of space so when I forget my herbals, I have them. They’re meant to be on the go and that’s just what they do. Great travel companions.

I couldn't find my pic from fall so this is from

I couldn’t find my pic from fall so this is from

My favorite part of the sick arsenal is Elderberry Syrup. Not the stuff you get from the store, that stuff is weird and kinda gross. In a pinch though, it’s better than nothing. I make Elderberry Syrup a couple of times a year (unless we get sick more and use it all up). Today, I thought I’d share this recipe with you. It’s morphed and changed over the years and I know it’s possible I’ll change it again in the future but this is what I am using right now.

1 cup Elderberries (dried)
1/2 cup Rose hips (dried)
3.5 cups of filtered clean water
2-4 Tbs of fresh chopped up Ginger
1 full cinnamon stick crushed
1/2 – 1 tsp of Cloves
1 cup of honey

I like the spice and warmth that Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cloves add to a syrup. Cloves in particular is a very powerful herb. If you have wee kids that are using this syrup, I would recommend using only 1/2 tsp of cloves. And in general, know you and who is going to take this. If you’ve never made it, start out with the lower amounts and see how it works for you. Moderation is always important.


-In a medium saucepan add in the water with everything except your honey. That’s only added at the end.
– Bring it to a boil, don’t forget to stir, reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The key here is to have the liquid reduced by half. Depending on where you are depends on how long that takes. So I always check at the 30 minute mark and gauge from there.
– Remove it from the heat and let it cool to the point that it’s safe to work with.
– Strain through a mesh strainer to so that all your left with is the liquid. Save the liquid and add discard the used berries and herbs.
– Add the honey when the liquid is warm but not hot. If you’re using raw honey, too much heat will kill off some of it’s benefit so be cautious as to when you add it. Honey blends easier when the liquid is warm but you don’t want it to kill any good stuff. So use your discretion and know that wee kids shouldn’t have raw honey anyway.
– Bottle it and store in the fridge. Mine usually stays fresh for about 4-6 months.

You’ll notice in my picture the cap on my mason jar is a plastic one that I wrote on. That’s just Sharpie. I can run that lid through the dishwasher and that writing will stay. I rub it with ghee, and the writing disappears. If you have those plastic lids, feel free to write on them all you want.

If you forgot to harvest and dry elderberries and rose hips this fall… You can pick some up at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Stay healthy and maybe next post I’ll show you some weaving I’m working on.

Posted in health | 2 Comments

Skin care

Every so often someone will ask me what I do to take care of my skin. I don’t think my skin looks particularly special like a babies bum but I’m happy with it and it feels good. With the care I put into it I expect it to be healthy. I don’t put on a lot of expensive creams but I put in some effort most of the time

Now, there is the knowledge that your skin will reflect how you take care of your insides…eat well and your skin will show it but sometimes there are things that can help your skin just generally look better. More importantly, there are things that can help your skin feel better.

Remove your day from your skin.
Makeup obviously should be removed but there are dirts and things from the day that settle into skin. Unless of course you live in a hermetically seal very clean box. Find a routine you like is probably the best way to keep up with it. I have a “must do” routine and the routine that takes me about 90 seconds longer.

My evening routine always consists of using one of my oils to remove makeup from my skin. I don’t use soap on my face unless there is a definite reason (like deep cleaning the barn).
Sweet Almond oil is usually what I use. I pay special attention to cleaning off my eyes but I apply it everywhere and then wipe off with soft baby washcloths. Then I use witch hazel on everything but eyes (using a clean corner of the baby washcloth). My cleaning portion is done there. That’s what I do every night. If I take 90 seconds more time I apply *Vitamin C serum, CoQ10 Serum, and then a heavy night lotion (yes, I like the Olay Regenerist line, smooth cream, ok fragrance, absorbs quickly). I don’t wait between each application. I just apply.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll add in an eye cream. The 2 little tubs I use as a night cream (I got them both as sample sales and they feel equally good), the roller bottle is an am application that I rarely use.
Why rarely? It’s a little stinging. It’s good at what it does. It reduces puffyness and bags. Because it doesn’t feel great but does a good job, I keep it around and use it on the days when I feel like I need the extra help.

I can’t apply another lotion on top of all this without letting what I just did dry. I have a bunch of different lotions that I really like. There isn’t necessarily any particular reason to do one over another… Honestly, if I had the ability to make a decent cream (I’ve tried and failed) with the oils and bits I like, I’d just make my own and use that almost exclusively. As it is, I have a lot of cream. These are a couple of my favorite extras.
Some are evening, some are day use.

In particular, I use the Regenerist and the CeraVe that I’m going to talk about next, almost interchangeably. Which bottle do I grab at first? When it comes to replace them, I’ll probably just stick with the CeraVe because it’s less pricey.

The morning routine…
Tone my face with Derma e. I don’t see a marked difference in the witch hazel and this. Again, I’ll probably go with the less expensive one. Particularly because my kids use witch hazel to remove their makeup too. I do an application of *Vitamin C Serum, then I apply face cream with SPF in it and and CeraVe or the thinner Regenerist Serum…. or sometimes I put on one from my extras. As my mood varies. When it’s all dry, I put on my primer and makeup. I don’t wait in-between lotion applications but I do wait for it to absorb before makeup. Usually in the morning I start to put on the “face care” while brushing my teeth and prepping for yoga then I do makeup after yoga. On days that I can’t do a full yoga practice I just occupy myself for 5 minutes (make coffee, brush teeth, get dressed, straighten my hair) or so and its enough time to dry.

Products….Brands…. Reviews….
Now – Sweet Almond Oil – I’ve been using this for years. Soap so rarely touches my face. I’m not sure why I don’t use coconut oil instead. It is slightly better for your skin but I do like this oil and will continue at least for the time being. The only time I use a different oil is when I use an oil I formulated for an Ayurvedic thing that I use on my whole body. Which is a couple of times a week.
Toner – Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel with Cucumber and Derma E Anti-wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Toner. I like both but the Thayers is less expensive like I mentioned. Even if the kids didn’t use it, I haven’t felt a difference between them and would probably stick with Thayers.
Vitamin C Serum – Timeless – I have tried another brand and I have one more I want to try. I really liked the Timeless though. Vitamin C Serum has a shelf life so be careful where you get it from. It smells bad when it’s expired. I’ll try the other one I have that just arrived (because this one ran out) but if I don’t like the new one more, I will be going back to Timeless next month.
CoQ10 Serum – Timeless – This is the only one I’ve had and I like it so I’ll likely stick with this one.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer – this is good, absorbs fast. Not my favorite fragrance but not bad and goes away fast. My face feels softer because of this… that’s good right?
Eye Cream – Bare Minerals and Clinique – I don’t know if either of these do anything for my eyes. I won’t likely bother with a specific eye cream at all once these are gone.
First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller – Stings a little at first but it does it’s job.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – so thick! Slow absorbing. I love love love this cream but it does extra time to absorb.
Rose Hip Oil – this is a gorgeous fragrance free oil. I keep meaning to make a mix of this, Evening Primrose, and Sweet Almond for my face then I’ll use it daily. This oil absorbs quickly and well leaving a little shine which is fine for an evening application.
CeraVe Renewing System, Skin Renewing Serum – I like the cream well enough but not sure where it fits in my menagerie of creams. Unless I figure it out, I won’t get it again.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Facial Serum – this one and the other next cream, I use interchangeably and because of that, this is likely my last bottle. I want to simplify now that I’ve tried a bunch
CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM – There is an AM and a PM version. The difference is the SPF. Since I use a high SPF in the Neutrogena I don’t need the AM version. I may try it when my bottles of Neutrogena wear out. I might not. I am happy with the Neutrogena.
Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF – Its thick but it goes on well and absorbs quickly. I can’t tell you if the SPF is doing it’s job other than I haven’t had a burn on my face since I’ve been using this. Don’t get it too close to your eyes though, it is stingy at the eye area.

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Winding a Stick Shuttle

I figured with the first installment of 2017 weaving club shipping soon, I’d give a little tutorial on winding a stick shuttle. Ready?

I’ve seen a lot of people winding this way:
This adds bulk to the center of the stick and you can’t add a ton of yarn or it’s going to be too big for your shed. I use a figure 8 wind on at the sides of the stick. Back to front on the top slot…
Keeping it at the side go to the back and out the front of the bottom slot….
You can see the path it takes:
Over and over until you feel it’s filled (I’d put more but this is just an example):
And then repeat on the other side.
It may take a wee bit of coordination to get use to at first but it’s a good thing to learn if you don’t do it already.

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Goal setting and the planner

There’s a new thing I’ve started in my planner with goals. I don’t usually plan out goals on paper. I’m generally a pretty focused person and reach for my goals without needing to see them on a page. Lately I feel a need to have something more concrete in my planner about my goals. I think having a written page of goals each month can be just what my list making heart needs.

Now, I’m still not doing a big yearly goal thing. I made some general notes for the year but things being how they are, I don’t exactly know what my year holds. Sometimes a goal is something that you can knock out and do, other times there may be something you want that other responsibilities might get in the way. This doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy thing to do, it just becomes a dream and not a goal. A goal needs to be something you can knock out. Something that is achievable.

For example, a general goal for a fiberist might be to get more consistent in their spinning. The dream portion of that is winning an award at a fair. This can all be broken down in a handy worksheet to help make that goal achievable.
This is my example of such a worksheet.
And here it is filled in with my ficticious goal.
Well, maybe not all filled in. I left some blank spaces because there may be something in that class that I need to add. Maybe there is something that I need to change? These could be written in with pencil. In my experience the main steps might not change but the mini steps off to the side there (that I didn’t finish filling in) seem to be what change most often.

You’ll note that I have my little bullet squares there. I’m using the filofax now because I like to move my pages around but if you’re using a regular book – pages set up like these are super easy to keep in your bullet journal.

Finally at the very bottom is written “What’s Next” – As I tick off the little boxes, a new idea or goal inspiration might come to me. That’s my spot to write notes for ides of the next step or the next goal or an expansion on the current goal. I find these pages not only help knock out a task or a goal but they help inspire more.

Sometimes a habit tracker is what will help me reach a goal and can be a line item in one of the steps. The mini step that says “15 minute coffee break” and the “2hr Friday spin” can both be added to my version of a habit tracker. I have daily habits and weekly ones.
You can see that I haven’t written anything in yet but my daily goals have personal things like Vitamins, Yoga, Meditate, and Study. My work goals are things like Leave it neat?, Emails, and Dye. Sometimes my habit tracker isn’t about new habits. I like to have a few gimmees tossed in there. Then weekly goals are things like Herbals for sheep/goats and Update Quickbooks files.

So my fictitious goal up there could be added to the habit tracker in both the sections. “Spin 15min a day” in the daily section and “2hr weekly spin” in the weekly section. This is just how it works for me and in using it, I’ve upgraded and changed it a few times. Overall though, I like a tracker like this. This kind of thing is just what a list maker needs.

Now that I’ve gotten all into the specifics and daily goal work, let’s pull out our focus a bit and I’ll show off my monthly goal pages.

I wanted pretty pages and I don’t care if they’re all only on one side of the page. They’ll be fun to archive like this so I can see what I was thinking at the time. My original thought was to put each page as a header page right in the weekly planner as each month begins but for now I’ve chosen to keep them all together in one section at the front of my monthly calendar.

My though too, is that when I archive this year they’ll be a great monthly separator. I can have these as header sections and make notes about what I did each month toward goals or I can archive all my goal sheets. Something journal like or even just a list of happenings. I haven’t clearly thought it all out yet but they’re in my book now and I’m using them.

Final thing in my goal section of the book is the accomplishment section.
I thought it might be fun to have a couple of pages where I jot down the goals I finished in any given month. Short form as opposed to writing out a big flowery journal which I might do (as noted up there). This will be a completely visual way to not feel like I screwed off all month long. Some of my goals are light weight but some are lofty. I think it will be cool at the end of the year to see at a glance, a note of what I managed to accomplish each month all in one space.

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