Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Hang on to your seats and take a tour with me of Piver's Fun House. When I first saw my friend, Piver's home in Cumberland, I was amazed, astounded, astonished and awestruck. I was a bit of a dork though cuz all I could say was "Wow! Neat! Ohhhh! Cool! Wow!" Piver is not only an artist but one of the most creative spirits I've ever met. She is a professional jewelry maker, creating 'cold connection' pieces out of metals that weave, wobble, wiggle and bring smiles to the wearers. Along with her husband Andy (art director of the local arts council), they have helped bring Cumberland out of the doldrums and into the fun-drums! Cumberland is an up and coming art scene city.

Upon entering this 6000 sq. ft. place, you see Piver's bureau where she stores her own jewelry to be put on as she's walking out the door. As you'll see in subsequent scenes, she uses shag lavishly.

A collection of purses, always ready to go.

This shaggy sculpture greets you as you walk up the steps.

Their dog, Zoo, is the official greeter.

Kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen island made up of hundreds of bouncy balls.

Her studio looking down from the third floor.

Piver's indoor garden.

One of the bathrooms and yep, that's electric pink shag on the ceiling.

Bathroom vanity. What to do with a hundred pipe cleaners.

An old tank Piver painted.

Who would've thought to use circular saw blades for decoration in the bedroom?!!!!

A collection of gauges...

...and bike wheels

A ball sculpture made out of old industrial street sweeper 'brooms'.

Piver went through a mannequin phase, wildly painting the figures.

When doing the many crafts shows they've participated in over the years, they've collected an array of art and objet d'art.

This is one of their first aquisitons. It's about 20'x20' so you can see the scale of their place.

That's it for now. I forgot to take a pic of my favorite piece in their home, their dining room table which is the full front end of a 1964 Ford pickup truck. Next time.
If you'd like to check out Piver's wonderkind jewelry, click.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Knit, Knit Away

I'll be introducing my new colorway 'Sunrise' at the Sweet Sale February 10. It's a combination of fuscia, orange and purple. A customer had come to the last tour and was wearing a gorgeous gauzy scarf in these colors so I wrote them down, experimented with the orange and finally came up with the right sequence. Hope you like it. I was going to call it 'Cheer Up' but am saving that name for another colorway. I'm knitting the wrap, Justify, from I had a bit of a struggle with it, so had to start the picked up stitches again.

This shawl was supposed to be a sweater. What is now the neck part was previously the bottom of the sweater. I got about 1/2 done and decided I couldn't figure the rest out so abandoned it for something more fun to knit. (like handwarmers!) It was crumpled in my UFO basket, and I pulled it out and thought it'd make a cute shawl if turned upside down. So I picked up the stitches along two sides of the triangle, did an increase on 2 rows so ended up with about a thousand stitches (not really, just seemed like it on the bind off row) and now it's an adorable shawl I called 'Ladybelle'. I have to figure out the pattern, so look for it soon.

This is a simple diagonal knit pattern.

It can be worn with one end wrapped into a flower with a shawl pin (or knitting needle like the one shown). I'm going to kit this up and include one of my shawl pins in a coordinating color.

My friend, Mary, recently had a birthday so she got some of my Dancing Leaf Farm wrist warmers. She's modeling them along with a vintage lucite bead bracelet that Seal made for her.

I knit these with Peace Fleece with Loopy edging. the pattern is Voodoo from

And it was Piver's birthday too so she got a pair of whacky wristwarmers knit from bits and pieces of novelty yarns. Way cool! I would've added blinking lights if I could've.

The Einstein Coat for kids. This is from the Knit Stitch Book by Sally Melville that nearly everyone owns. I used my Waltz in the 'Copper Canyon' colorway with burgundy Peace Fleece as the crocheted edge accents. I need to make a fused glass button for it now.

My Emergency Sock kit has been a great seller. This is Marisol yarn, a superwash merino that is fabulous and really stretchy, perfect for socks. This is the Fruitti Tutti color. My friend, Marsha, visited Morocco awhile back and brought 5 kits with her. She was traveling with 4 of her girlfriends, all of whom knit so she gave each of them a kit. They all knit emergency socks in their down time, mesmerizing the locals with their wild knitting skills. A couple finished both socks, one finished one sock and the others promised to finish them soon. I thought this was a splendid idea and will do this the next time I travel with knitters.

Wintery Day

I absolutely LOVE the snow. It blankets the frozen ground and covers up all the bare patches of lawn and makes everything just lovely. Isn't it much quieter when it snows? I feel I need to whisper. I grew up in South Dakota so I was used to snow from October to April. I just wish it'd snow more so we would all be used to it. In the foreground above is our little Christmas tree from this year. We had to take down our wonderful blue spruce because it had been damaged too many times by wind and replaced it with this Douglas fir. Grow fast little fir!

I walked around in my jammies and Uggs taking these pics. Hopefully I wasn't being filmed for "What Not To Wear".

I got this metal hand from an artist in Oklahoma. It's about 4' tall and always blows over in the wind even though it weighs abut 40 pounds. It resembles our logo for Countryside Artisans.

This is a barn cupola that my friend, Penny, gave me from her 100 year old barn.

Nadina in the snow.

Major snow weenies.

Felting Folly

This is how it all begins. Well, not really, because it really begins with the sheep and their wool. But this is the washed, carded and dyed roving ready to be made into fantastic felted pieces. This is an example of my 'Fiber Folly', a bag full of a variety of colored roving.

I had a small felted purse class with just 2 sisters (one from CA and one local).

Even though they started out with the same size template, the purses ended up very different sizes.

I belong to a felting study group that meet once a month at a member's studio. Sharon has the most fantastic space and creates amazing pieces. Above is a scarf and coat that complement each other nicely.

A grand display of her many nuno felted scarves.

A natural colored fleece vest.

Sharon bought this headpiece at an art show. I don't know the artist's name but her work is impeccable, I mean PERFECT! I was in awe of the beadwork.

This photo does not do this hat justice. The flower is whimsical and wonderful.

I'm working on a commissioned piece. This is the before....

...and this is the after. MUCH smaller, in fact, too small. Hafta try again. This will become a small rug in my studio.

I have another felting class tomorrow and we'll be making more felted purses. Felting a purse makes for a good workshop as I cover wet felting, dry (needle) felting, making felt balls, 'snakes' for handles, and a few kinds of embellishments. I made this purse awhile ago, but it's one of my favorites, probably because of the colors.

An example of beaded embellishments on a simple bolero.