Thursday, April 30, 2009

Almost Here! Maryland Sheep & Wool Fest

This is my studio floor, covered in yarn, ready to be skeined. I've dyed over 100 lbs. this week. Luckily it was hot and dry the beginning of the week so the yarn dried almost immediately. But now it's raining so I have yarn EVERYWHERE in my house, on all the furniture, on the radiators, on the beds. I've been overtaken with wool! Following are pics of just some of stuff I'll be taking to S&W. I have a new space outside. As you enter the festival, take a left and I'm the third one down on the left (SO5 in the booklet). I'll have skads of yarn on sale!!!!

This is how it looked in my side field when it was sunny.

Sock Hop yarn, ready to go to market!

Mohair roving in all the colors of the rainbow.

Mohair in Carnival colorway.

Fairy Batts, a combo of wool, mohair, Angelina glitz, bamboo, soy.

I'll have plenty of Slubby yarn

New pattern, Cable and Squares Pullover made with Peace Fleece yarn

'Going to the Barn' Handwarmers and Hat, made with my own sheep's wool yarn.

One of my 'Lambscapes'. It's needle felted, then wet felted. I'll be teaching a class on this in the near future.

A brooch for your favorite knitted piece.

My hand made fused glass buttons.

Hopefully I'll see you there. Stop on by for a little free something.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Studio Tour

I've managed to pull the studio together for our spring studio tour. It was a close one though. I was vacuuming and washing the deck floor fifteen minutes before opening. I set some goals for myself (make 20 pieces of jewelry, dye 50 pounds of wool and 20 pounds of roving, put a few new kits together, get all the gardens weeded and mulched, write 3 new patterns, knit about 100 things and on and on). I did get the rug vacuumed.

Fresh spring colors and a new piece of fabulous fabric brighten up the space and make me happy.

Plenty of roving and felted purses.

Come on out and have a picnic. The table and chairs are ready, the view is great and it's gonna be a really nice weekend. Yay spring!

My new semi-solids.

Who needs a felt rock? Silly, I know, But aren't they cute?

When I was out in Missoula I bought two yards of this colorful fabric at this great store, Selvedge. I then picked up a few pieces of felt and some buttons, and a couple more small pieces of fabric. I finally put them all on the counter to pay and was mildly amazed that everything was color coordinated. I guess I'm into the orange, red, lime green and teal. Hey, a new colorway! A week later at a bead store I picked out beads in , yep, the same colors.

Some of the bracelets made with the beads.

I made lots of spring flower brooches with my hand dyed felt...

...and a few more 'Lambscapes.' Hope you can make it out. But enjoy the weekend, whatever you're doing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Merry Easter!

My mom made these beautiful little mints. While visiting her in Arizona, I noticed them on her table. She had made hundreds of them for our wedding, 26 years (!) so I was happy to see them (and eat them).

I posted this pic last year but thought it was worth repeating. Sparkleberry and her 2 lambs in showing off their new spring, colorful coats. Have a great day and hope you find lots of chocolate.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Montana

Driving to Montana (from Utah) we just missed the snowstorm that hit the night before. It was a white wonderland though. It's hard to tell the landscape from the skyscape here.

We visited our friends, Beckie and Gary, whose wedding we attended last July. They have a reclaimed timber company, taking down old mills, barns, other buildings and recycling the usable wood. This is their property outside of Missoula where the business is located, along with their little cabin and shop.

There's a ping pong table set up in the shop so we had a mini-tournament.

The furnace looked like a piece of sculpture to me, like a cartoon rocket or something.

It really cranked out the heat too!

There were these cone things around the top and bottom.

Lots of unintentional vignettes around.

Forrest has a new girlfriend who we met while there. This is Kimberly. She's a sweetie. Having three boys, I always bond with their girlfriends (even remaining friends with them when they break up). Kimberly wanted to learn how to make jewelry (score!) so we went to Michael's and bought heaps of materials and tools and spent an afternoon making earrings and a stretchy bracelet. She and Forrest are coming to Maryland in May so we'll continue to the next step of creating bracelets and necklaces using crimp beads.

We had lunch in their cozy cabin, a 10 x 10' structure. We looked out at the cool, rainy day while staying comfy in the heart of the cabin, talking, laughing and reconnecting with family and friends. Good times!

Out West

While out west a couple weeks ago, my mom, my friend, Mo, and I drove from Phoenix to Lake Havasu the long way around. We went through Sedona, up Oak Creek Canyon, to Flagstaff, then on to the Grand Canyon and finally to Lake Havasu. Above is the typical view of Sedona. I really do like the landscape there, so different from the lushness of the east. But Sedona has been developed and become quite touristy. It's just too bad the national park system couldn't have bought it years ago before the onslaught of too many houses and roads and tourist kitch.

A number of years ago I saw an episode on HGTV about an eco-village somewhere near Phoenix. We happened upon it, after taking a random exit to get gas. This is the entrance to Arcosanti, an experimental town in the high desert, designed according to the concept of 'arcology', a combination of architecture and ecology. It hopes to contain 5000 people, but at the moment only 100 people live there. They make and sell cast bells to make money.

The structures are all concrete. It's very futuristic looking.

This is looking down to the cafe from the gallery up above where the bells are displayed. I liked the shapes in this pic, cirlces, sqaures and rectangles.

Looking out at the desert.

We spent a brief time at the Grand Canyon. It was rather cold (in the 20's and really windy) but Mo and I did get a short hike in. I hadn't been to the GC since I was a kid and I probably thought it was boring then. But now I see what a wonder it is. Fantastic!

I plan on coming back and finishing the hike to the river.

Lake Havasu, the home of the London Bridge. I find this the silliest thing ever. To take this old English bridge and plop it down in the middle of the desert, just doesn't make sense. But there it is. Mo was really smitten with the idea of it though as her folks are from England found it all amazing. She did get them a souvenir of a wee piece of the stone on a card.

Spring break was in full rowdy mode. LH is a prime destination for college kids to practice debauchery. My mom's boyfriend has a boat and he was showing us some of the highlights of the Colorday river, one being Copper Canyon. This is where the spring breakers go to park their boats to party hearty. The boat above is a commercial pontoon, a floating bar really. There's a stage where the scantily clad pretty girls dance to a loud, booming beat (the canyon walls make for great acoustics). The floating attachement to the pontoon is the bar where one can buy drinks, snacks and even pasties. The guy with the mike yelled to us four ladies (ages 52-74), "Show us your boobs!" Yeah, right.

Whenever I visit, I like going out to the Desert Bar. It's only open Sat and Sun from Labor Day to Memorial Day. (summers are too damn hot). It's a 5-mile bumpy, dusty off road ride about 5 miles from the highway. Started in 1983 on an old mining site, it has become a popular place to listen to music while drinking down a cold one. It's run with solar power.

There's live music all day. Music, dancing, wine, nice weather, ahhhh!

The wall behind the stage

looking in to the outside bar area. There's also an indoor bar called the Nellie E Saloon, named after the mining claim.

Every year the owner has to make an improvement to the place in order to keep the operation going (government says). This past year he improved the ladies bathroom. WOW! This pic does not do it justice. It's a huge room, open to the desert view. The sinks are make of cut stone with copper basins.

This is the view while washing washing your hands.

The stalls are divided with welded metal walls. I don't know what it is about rusty metal, but I just love the colors.

Lots of jeeps and many more 4-wheelers tear up the desert then stop in for some beers and go tear up the desert some more.

The owner bought this firetruck in the 80's to bring water to the site. He now has a 360' deep well.

Lake Havasu City is recreation central, with the river being the main draw. But all the fun is engine powered: massive speed boats, personal water crafts, 4-wheelers, and lots and lots of water consumption. There is no conserving of water that I can tell. Plenty of swimming pools, yards that are watered on a daily basis and cars being washed in the streets. The one thing that it does have going for it is that it has no street lights, except for the main street through town. It makes for a nice night sky.
My favorite thing to do around Lake Havasu is to take this hike to the Colorado River, down a wash, through slot canyons, up on cliffs and finally ending up at the river. I'm glad to be back home though, in our nice, green landscape and spring in full force.