The Journal. Again.

When I last posted about my journal/planner it was in August and I was using a Midori field notes size planner. I have a lot of Field notes books. They’re easy to carry around and they’re small. If I want to take a smaller bag, it’s perfect to throw that in.

Here’s the thing; This size is great when I’m on the go, but it sucks for day to day and work planning. There is just too much going on in my day to have this size work for me. I tried. It doesn’t work. About a month ago I upgraded to the larger planner.
Both of these are Maverics from Chic Sparrow

The larger planner holds more, it’s just more. Right out of the gate the smaller size was a little bit of a struggle and I was tweaking and trying to make it work. This one, is just working. Let me show you what I have going on in there.

First I stuck some Midori plastic pockets on both inner covers. In hindsight, I should have gotten the deluxe versions of this journal that had pockets of leather already in there. It’s ok, These are working.

My first book is my food diary. New week so you don’t have to look at how horrid I ate last week. That wasn’t planned but it did work out well in my favor.

My next book is the planner. The way this is laid out is perfect. You can see there isn’t much for this week yet and that I’m using post it’s liberally. There are a few things that I know can’t be finished in one week. Instead of rewriting each week I’m carrying them along on a post it every week. If the stickiness dies before these action items are crossed off, I’ll have to accept a stern talking to.

My final book in this one is the one with notes. I still have my field notes planner with all the other things in it and another Midori set up for sketching and painting. This makes this book the perfect size.

Instead of getting a new plastic pocket insert for this size, I stole the one I had in the Field note size. It’s maybe not absolutely perfect but it does work. And you can see my postit note holder. You can also see all the receipts that I carry around until I process through them and there are full size papers that fit in here (folded like a letter into 3s). I make liberal use of the clips and pins to hold all the books just where I want them.

All in all, at the moment, this is the perfect planner for me. I’ll of course let you know if that changes.

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All the things…

I missed blogging but I haven’t stopped creating and doing. Instead of actually making a full and real well written blog post today I’m going to just mention all the things I might want to talk about in the near future with pictures…

I’ve been spinning things.
This is some Spunky Eclectic Remix from last month’s limited edition colors.

Weaving is still really big on my to do lists.

As is sewing. I made 3 of the Washi Dress recently.
And today just cut out for 3 more. Yeah, that’s right, I layer the fabric and I cut 3 out at once. The last bunch took me about 1.5 hours to sew them all together production style.
I’ve cut out a few more of 100 Acts of Sewing #2 dress. There’s a bunch of sewing coming up. Production style that will hopefully result in a bunch of new comfy clothes that look good with leggings. That’s right, gearing up for Thanksgiving! I have 3 dinners to go to so these big smocky dresses are important.

I have changed up my planner and I really really love it.

I’ve been knitting and crocheting. I have a free pattern to get up for this beauty:

Last but not least, I have a couple of makeup reviews.
I’ve never done them before but as I age, my makeup has changed so much and I want to share what I’ve figured out. Which may be something every other makeup wearer has already known and I’m late to the game but still, I’ll eventually post about it.

Phew. I think that’s it. Next time I post here, it will hopefully be a real written blog post.

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A Tale of Two Muslins

A long long time ago I warped up one of the floor looms and wove off a bunch of tweed. I didn’t really pay attention to length or width. I wasn’t sure what I wanted otu of it so any size fabric would work, right? The fabric was exactly what I hoped for but it didn’t fit any conventional pattern for a jacket that I had. I have no problem making my own patterns on the fly but still, I procrastinated. Now, I want it bad enough that I’m willing to do what it takes to make a pattern.
I took a piece of muslin and cut it to the exact dimension of the piece of fabric I had. I had an idea but I needed to cut up some fabric I didn’t care about first and see how it works. Last night this is one of the things I needed to play with. It worked out so I took out some of the seams and cut into the woven tweed.
It’s all cut now waiting to be put together…. I’m hoping this jacket will pass as my “Rhinebeck Sweater” in a couple of weeks.

Hot on the heels of Beth and her skirt, I needed to finish this one that I recently pulled off the Rigid Heddle. It was finished during my Weave-kend. This one I had measured and warped accurately for what I wanted. I was using my standard A line skirt as a pattern. I wanted it to be fully lined so I made a little muslin just to be sure that it all worked out as I thought.
Look at how that fabric goes with it.
And it’s a good thing that I made this muslin because I changed my mind and I’m making a modified pencil skirt instead of A line….More on this to come.

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I teach.

I remember being in Kindergarten doing those crazy little pages that they have kids do; “Draw what you want to be when you grow up”. I always drew a teacher. Though, at that time, I was planning on becoming an elementary school teacher. I kept this theme running right through college when my major was “Art education”. Sometime in highschool I had fallen for the arts hard and I knew that I needed to teach a specialty. Little did I know how specialized that would become.

Fast forward to today when I’m a teacher of the fiber arts. I’ve taught knitting and crochet but really I specialize in Spinning and Weaving. This was the wonderful class I taught over the weekend in Rhode Island.
If you live in the Rhode Island area and don’t already belong to this guild, why? They’re an amazing group of people and you need to really think about joining.

I came back from that class and along with regular work waiting for me is my next teaching assignment. Rhinebeck. I’m teaching 6 classes there over 4 days. Seems like a hectic schedule but I think I’m up for the task. Right now I’m working on polishing up outlines, my handouts, and making new samples. I don’t know why this is a habit of mine but I’m always making new samples when I have a class.

Somewhere along the way I figure out a better display or come up with a better way to describe and show off a particular technique. I don’t show it here but for the Gotta Have Shades Class, I decided I wanted larger samples and I ditched the notebook they were in. So all of these samples are being moved and transferred into a new home.

Or maybe I’ve just decided to ball up a sample and use it.
Then there is all the prep. Like the Get Fleeced class needs to have new fleece prepped and chose. Which one do I chose?
Maybe I’ll pick up new ones in Fryeburg in a couple of weeks… All the classes have some amount of prep. Soon, my whop will be filled with bags like these:
All kinds of goodies. Bags and bags and bags of fibers will be put together. Actually, I should be hitting the dye pots. Some of these classes use a ridiculous amount of fibers. If you’re in my classes, I hope you’re ready to make yarns. If you’re not in a class, why not? I don’t teach a lot of these classes outside of a workshop so this is one of the last few chances for this year to get some of these classes.

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The production sew

Most of my crafting is about process. Sometimes I’ll start a knitting project and not ever finish it. That’s perfectly fine by me. All the process and never a product. It works for me with the knitting and sometimes the weaving. Not that I don’t love it when I have a new sweater but I’m good with ripping an unfinished project if that’s the way it goes.

Sewing is usually not like that for me. I sew to have a garment and I have a production style way of doing it. My time is always limited so the way I do it is about getting the most bang for my buck. I often only have 30-60 minutes to work on things so I separate things out into processes. It may take a little time before I have anything finished but when I finish, I’ll end up with a whole bunch of items at once.

Part of my production process has to do with the places I like to do things. I like to do all my cutting at the shop where there is a big table in the back where my Mom does her ceramics. First, I lay out all the cloth I want to work with. We won’t even talk about the size of my cloth stash right now.

I pair them up with all the patterns I want to make. You can see some don’t have a paper pattern on it, sometimes I use a piece of ready made clothing (often one I’ve made) as a pattern. Those that don’t have a pattern on top of them, that’s what will happen to them.

That process usually takes up my 30 minutes. The next time I’ll cut everything out. I’ll keep the patterns with the cut out item and sometimes there are more than one which actually makes seaming up easier.

The next time I have time, I will seam like a madwoman. I have a serger and part of my madness of seaming but not finishing is that I would have to move my chair from one machine to the other. But also ironing in-between sometimes. I know what that sounds like but it’s true. So I’ll do all the edges that need to be serged and I’ll do all the seaming that needs to be done on the serger. This is an invaluable thing for knits. Then I’ll iron all the hems and plackets and edges and whatnot that needs to be done. This is my little stack of ironed items. 1 Washi Dress, 2 No2 Dresses, and one A-line skirt.
The other night when I was seaming I had a few other items that were knits and a couple of items that I needed to think about before ironing. The next time I get a chance, I’ll do all the hems, edges, make buttonholes, add buttons, and put in zippers. Then I’ll have a few new items to add to my wardrobe.

That’s not to say that I’ve forgotten about weaving for cloth….
I have these 2 pieces, a couple more pieces on looms, and another one that is getting a custom pattern that I’ve started a muslin for. Maybe I’ll talk about all of those soon. Weaving cloth is still pretty much my obsession at the moment.

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This weekend is going to be a weave-kend. All weave all weekend. I’ve been fairly obsessed with weaving at the moment (in comes in waves) so I’ve decided that I need a whole weekend to work on these things. I warped all the looms.

Well. I had every loom warped. Last night I finished up the project on the Cricket 15 inch (you can see the cloth there in the front). I might just stick with the 5 looms that are warped and see what I manage to complete over the weekend.

L to R:
1.Ashford Knitter’s Loom 12 inch – Panda Sock in Desert Rose – destined to be yardage for a shrug top
2.Schacht 20 inch Flip – Alpaca Tweed – this has been on the loom forever but not a single pic woven. What doesn’t get finished by the end of the weave-kend is just getting cut off and tossed.
3.Schacht 15 inch Flip – Ivory Cotton and tan linen for some wash cloths
4.Schacht Cricket 10 inch – Targhee Classic in Little Black Dress – pairing it up with some Noro Kureyon for a scarf.
5.Ashford Rigid Heddle 16 inch – Summer yarn in Little Gecko – destined to be yardage for a top.

Right now, I’m going to take this 3.5 yards of cloth out for a heavy wash/full. Some day it’s going to grow up into a skirt.

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Bizness – Lists.

This post here is going to serve as the second post in 2 series. I had a feeling the Business posting would continue regardless of comments (because I have things to say sometimes) and the Bullet Journal or journalling in general is an ongoing process for me. Back at the beginning of 2014 when I made my First post about the Bullet Journal I wasn’t sure where that would lead. The bullet journal was a revolution for me. I talked about all of that already in my posts about the journals recently. You can read about all of that in these posts of mine:
Bullet Journal
Bullet Journal 2.0
State of the Journal

Today, I want to talk about how lists (and journals/planners) impact business. They can be really important to running a business smoothly. You have things to do. Right? Sometimes tiny things, sometimes HUGE things. When the tiny things are todos, they can be easy to do on the spot or push aside. If you push them aside, maybe they get forgotten until they become a more immediate thing to do. Some people manage well without lists but many people don’t. I’m one of those people that needs lists in order to function well. Without lists I only see the big items that need to get done, I get stressed out, and I need to see that I’m accomplishing things. Lists are the things that save my bacon.

There are many ways in which to make lists and there are many postings online about other people’s lists. I’m going to show you one of the ways that I make lists and if this just doesn’t suit you, look around. There are many online tutorials and ideas. Or start with one way and then change it to work for you.

First: When I have little things to do I jot them down.
Take vitamins.
Drink more water.
Do a dye batch first thing
Run to the grain store.
All of those things I can likely remember but having a few things on a daily list that are easy to cross off can be the icing on your day. LOOK AT HOW MUCH I GOT DONE!. No, don’t read the items, just see that I filled in all those little boxes (see bullet journal to know what I mean). Plus it helps me not forget. Because if I had to push one of the little items to the next day, I’m less likely to forget it tomorrow if it’s listed.

HUGE list items. Let’s say my HUGE item is that I’m prepping for a fiber show. That could be a list item but seeing that can be overwhelming. It’s easier for me to break it down in chunks. I also assign it deadlines because that’s what I need. Solid deadlines.
Here’s an idea about how to get ready for vending at a fiber show:
And then I break it down into dated chunks:
I can then put those individual bullet items into the planner part of my journal. That particular page can get labeled and indexed like you would in a bullet journal and referred back to. Every time you do a show, you can see if these times work for you or if you need to tweak them one way or the other. If you have this listed like this, then put out in your planner, you have the list here to refer to in the future and in your planner, it helps in the immediate.

Let’s say that I had a Teaching gig – Just writing that in my planner is not going to help me. Those things can sneak up on you if you’re not expecting it.
samples, fiber for students, project sheet for them, outline for me, pack fiber and project sheets
I might even break some of that down further into which colorways the fibers are dyed in and when I’m dyeing them. If I need to order stuff like threads or something for a corespinning class, I need to have that all ordered in enough time to get it shipped in if I can’t just go pick that up somewhere. That seems like a simplistic list. I can break things out into smaller and smaller chunks and assign them deadlines so that I can get this all done in time. So when the day comes to teach, I can pack up my bags, load the truck and head out.

All of this sounds terribly organized doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll show you a picture of my desk or my closet sometime so you can see where my organizational skills fall down. Your lists can be on paper or digital. I tried digital and it just doesn’t work for me. I need the paper. I need the tactile feel. Also something about physically writing something out makes it more of a concrete thing in my mind and I remember it easier. If writing doesn’t work for you – use digital. But make your lists so you can be more effective.

Find what works for you. Like I said previously, if what you’re doing isn’t broke then there is no reason to fix it. If something could work better, change your methods.

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