Light a Candle…

I still doodle and dabble here and there. I don’t do it as much as I’d like and I certainly haven’t lately. I’m not sure why I’ve been busy this past month but I was. I did a painting for Jay’s birthday in July that I never posted about here. I instagrammed the stages and layers. Since I have the pics, I figured I’d blog about it.

Watercolor paper – cold press
Brushes (of course)
White Calligrapher’s Ink

darkness1I sketched out the basics of the woman’s face – basically an oval and 2 curved lines then a line going back to represent where the hair would be and filled it in quickly with a wash of color.

You can see the color bleeding around, that’s fine. I didn’t do it intentionally exactly but I didn’t also wait for areas to dry before adding paint so I knew some bleeding would happen. The dots you see are from me tapping with my finger tips. This colors but also depending on how hard you press, can damage the paper slightly which will change how future colors react.


darkness2Next layer.
You can see that I just added in mostly more of the same colors. Or similar colors in order to make them a little deeper.

I also started to add in some of the shadowing in the face. Some hair whipping around her face and more finger tapping in the background and hairs.

There’s still some bleeding you can see between the hair and background, this is still ok at this point.


darkness3ok. The color is a tad distorted here. It is a little more dull than the last stage but it’s not quite this washed out. I wasn’t exactly being careful to get accurate pictures and you can tell.

More layers on everything. The hair got a little darker and the background got a little more dull.

The face got a little more defined.

When the background dried some, I added in more hair whisps.


darkness4This is the true color of the background – It’s more dull than pictures 1 and 2 but it’s not nearly as dull as it shows in #3. The face though looks pretty washed out here.

This stage, I did obviously spend more time on the face than anything. The hair got some activity but I started to put more shadows in the face and started to really define the features.

All those bits of hair flying around…



I think there were 2 washes added between the last step and this one.

The colors of the hair and background are pretty well set here. The hair needs to be a tad more defined. I put another level of definition in the eyes and you can see I added color into the lips.





Since it was very dry when I got to this step, I was able to add in some very defined and thinner lines to the hair. Lines that don’t happen when it’s super wet. In real life, you can see the hair swishing behind the words.

Finally I got out some white ink and I added in this phrase. I also used the white ink to define a little more in the eyes and around the mouth.

The colors aren’t super accurate but you get an idea of all the layers and such that can go into a painting. This one really didn’t feel like it had as many as some that I do.

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Let’s talk a little bit about boucle.
Well….maybe let’s not talk about it so much as look at it. It’s so pretty!

I’m turning this Wensleydale singles yarn:
Look at it plied, so pretty
Into a boucle
Fluffy curly boucle.
I’m thinking it needs a sparkly binder but more on that later…

This is actually taking me a while. My hands seem to be aging faster than the rest of me. I’m having a hard time with aches lately. Making specialty yarns like the boucle is causing my hand to cramp up oddly in ways its never done before. I am making a lot of yardage and it’s pretty thin so I just need to be patient and work at it in small intervals. Thank goodness I have several wheels because it doesn’t hurt to continue to make singles!

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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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