Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo Shoot Indoors

The barn that I photographed Seal in front of is on Jeri's farm. I love visiting her at her beautiful home. The last time we were there was at her birthday party back in July (where I couldn't find my keys!) and now there's a light dusting of snow on the ground. We were greeted warmly by Jeri and she welcomed us in to her cozy abode. To our surprise, she had tea, coffee, crumble, fruit and yogurt prepared like an English breakfast. Charming!

We talked for over two hours, catching up with the months that have whisked by.
One of the reasons that we came out was to deliver our artwork to Jeri.  She is participating in an art show in a couple weeks and has offered to take about 6 artists' work. Above are three copper vases by a local metal smith, Kenny Braitman.

A stone mason worked his magic on the fireplace wall, the posts on the porch and a long retaining wall in the front, using local stone.

Another artist friend, Meg Romero, creates incredible whimsical wooden objects and furniture, hand painted in amusing colors. 

This particular box holds their dog brush. It looks like it should hold something very precious, like an important document or special piece of jewelry. Jeri has such a lovely home, filled with artists' work. It's always a pleasure to visit, like going to a gallery. Thanks Jeri and can't wait to come back!

Photo Shoot

 I finally finished knitting two more shawls out of my 'Biggie' yarn and a scarf out of my 'Happiness'. A perfect opportunity presented itself...a beautiful model to sport my items and a weathered, rustic backdrop to photograph against.

 I've noticed in my years of shooting models (that doesn't sound right!) that some are naturals where every photo is great, just click, click, click, my job is easy. 

 Biggie yarn for the poncho in Grey Mist colorway.
 One has to be comfortable in front of the camera ...

 and my friend, Seal, is one of those.

 She's playful, silly, gorgeous...

 and shows off my things so well.

 Don't you just want to knit everything she's modeling?!

 Happiness yarn
 I've known Seal for nearly 30 years and she's one of my closest and dearest friends. 

 It's scary how much alike we are. We show up wearing nearly the same clothes time and time again, we pick out the same paint colors (out of the hundreds we have to choose from), buy similar home decor accessories and usually know what the other is going to say.

 We have the same curly hair and we've been mistaken for sisters. Although now I've been asked if she's my daughter! Yeah, if I had her at six!!! Gotta contact that plastic surgeon! 

Biggie rectangular shawl in Forest colorway.

Thanks to the next top model.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clearly a Smart Move

Oh my! Can you believe how clean those windows are?! For the first time ever, I hired a couple people to wash all 36 of my windows. I could have kissed them! They did such a great job.

 I can now see all the colors outside. Hey, it's autumn!

And they did such a nice job, I had them clean my entire house. I really do like cleaning, it's therapeutic and calming to me. But after being gone for so many weekends and spending days getting my life back in order, I just couldn't catch up to where I feel my house is clean and organized. Call in the big guns...two petite women, a dymano duo. It feels so good to know those dust bunnies are gone from under the bed before they became dust cows. Hmmmm, maybe I'll have them visit me again in the spring.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Falling into Bedford

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!!! Did you hear my "Whoopeee"?!!! This was the last away show for 2011 for me. So many miles, so many hotel rooms, so much carrying crates of yarn. How do crafters do it weekend after weekend? But this was a great way to wrap up the shows. I spent the last four days at the Bedford Springs Resort, relaxing with 60 other knitters. I taught a silk dying workshop, so it wasn't all just laid back fun. 

Bedford Springs is a high end resort, originally built in the early 1800's. It was restored a few years ago to its original splendor.

I got out a bit, taking a short walk across the bridge to a few of the springs that make this area so popular. My stupid knee went out again the day before I was to attend the retreat, so I was hobbling around on my peg leg. I had brought my bike along, hoping to get a ride in, but no way, Jose.

 The view back from the bridge.

 The weather was chilly, but nice, especially compared to the early snowstorm we got a few days earlier.

The food... The entire retreat is an eat-a-thon. When finished with the massive breakfast (cheesy eggs, French toast, biscuits, bacon, ham, 5 kinds of bread, 6 types of jam, home fries, a dozen types of cereals, 7 kinds of fruit, etc,) we make our way up to the classrooms. In case we worked up an appetite climbing up the dozen steps, a smorgasbord of food awaited us. Crescents, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, pastries, fruit, coffee, sodas and sparkly water.

At night, we had a fashion show, Chinese auction, and plenty of knitting time. A cosmopolitan gave a nice boost to the evening.

I hit the lottery on a roommate. Barbara is a fashion designer in New York City. Formerly from Lithuania, she has a wonderful accent and a  beautiful personality. We bonded immediately, having a lot in common (our husbands are both professors in the chemistry department, we are both coffee snobs and of course, we both have a love of fiber. 

In her spare time, she creates these awesome coats, repurposing old sweaters and working her magic into these artsy wearables. I fell in love with this one.
It was a bit big in the shoulders, or I might have come home with this one.

Barbara was one of the teachers, helping students create scarves, embellishments or cutting up a cardigan to make a vest. Here's one participant with her fringed neck wrap.

I taught Shibori techniques on silk scarves. We filled up the dye pots, wrapped the silk scarves in wood, clips, clamps, string, marbles and rubber bands, placed them in the dye and waited for the surprise when they were unwrapped. Everyone loved their final neck wrap.

I had suggested to the participants to bring an apron but this student forgot hers so made one out of three of the resort's plastic bags. She even modeled it for the fashion show.

Barb (on the left) is the organizer extraordinaire. She pulls it all together, never getting frazzled and makes it all seem so easy. Her sister-in-law and mother came along to help out.

Josette entertained us with putting any number of things in her hair.

After 6 shows in 7 weeks, it was nice to kick back a bit at the resort. All my expenses were paid and I even got to set up tables to sell my yarn. The women were so fun and we all had a great time. I even had time to sneak away with some of my Cumberland friends, who picked me up to go antiquing in Bedford. It's been a great fall season but I'm happy to put my crates away (until Sheep & Wool Fest), spend more time on the farm and in Cumberland, and to get all those orders out from all the shows!