Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Polar Vortex

New buzz words for this year…polar vortex. I was lying in bed the other morning, I thought of what the colors of polar vortex would look like. 

I thought that it should have a light blue because I pictured glaciers in this polar vortex, a wee bit of grey, because it's a bit gloomy when the temperature doesn't get about 10 degrees and white for the ice and snow.

I came across this picture/map of the polar vortex. Yep, all those colors.

I dyed some Hustle and Slubby up
 (after attempting a few batches that had too much turquoise in them).

Now to knit me up a warm, toasty scarf to wear out in this here Polar Vortex we're havin'!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wavy Felt Pins

My felt group got together last week to make felt pins with folds in them.
Kathy led us in this organic, free form and fun way to make folds in felt.

We were told to bring a 10" x 10" piece of prefelt with silk in it.
 Of course, I had to make mine bright and colorful, throwing in bits of angelina.

We then taped off the prefect where we wanted the folds to be. 
We could also put in a resist to form balls.

Here we all are, fast at work in Kathy's gorgeous studio. She recently had this studio added on to her house, with plenty of windows and light, and a great view of the Severn River. It's so nice to get together once a month with these creative women.

Our finished pins. They look a bit like sea creatures.

Put on a hat, they are a bit of whimsey.

Since it was such a lovely day, we took a walk down to the river. 
This is Kathy's neighborhood.

Bev and I invited ourselves back to sea kayak and bike when the weather is warmer. We'll probably do more felting, taking advantage of Kathy's awesome studio space. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Color of the Year…Woot!

Pantone just announced their color of the year….Radiant Orchid. I do love this color. Last year's color was Emerald Green and I did not embrace that color at all. Ewww! It's great for an emerald, in the outdoors and maybe a dragon, but I don't want it in my house or on my yarn. But Radiant Orchid is a color I can get behind.


I thought I had the color pegged with my Rose dye color. I didn't want to have to mix colors because I'm not that accurate on the mixing part and it's hard to duplicate. But this was tooooooo pink.

At the same time I dyed my tried and true lavender to see what that would do. Nope.

So I had to mix fuscia with a bit of violet and voila! Orchid!
I know this looks a bit dark and deep orchid, but it's actually a wee bit lighter in person. I can't go too light because I've tried lighter colors before and I find my customers just don't buy it. So I have to go a bit darker.

Here they are, too pink, too purple, just right.

'Oh Orchid' will be available in the shop soon!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Another Year

Every year I want to do more, see more, experience more and 2013 was fun, busy, energizing and relaxing and a bit sad. All in all, it was a great year.

Since winter is my down time, I like to get a few projects done before my shows start up again. I tackled the bedroom since I was sick of the deep colors, orange ceiling, purple accent wall and 3 green walls. 

It's now a soothing grey with new rugs, a few DIY projects….

…a painted white bed (that Houston had a fit with but I 'accidentally' primed it then had to paint it!)

I needed a new jewelry holder so collected some materials that I already had...

and put together my favorite jewelry organizer ever. 

We travelled to Austin for a wedding in April. Drove through Texas Hill Country to Fredericksburg and toured around a bit.

The delightful wedding couple, Glauco and Kristin.

Late April is getting-ready-for-sheep-and-wool-fest time. Claire was skeining non stop and

her sister, Grace, was busily putting kits together. They even had their younger brother putting labels on skeins. I struck a jackpot with this family. Hard working kids, all of them. 

Because of days and days of rain, I had to turn my house into a drying station. Fiber and yarn everywhere.

In May Forrest graduated from grad school at GW. So proud of that boy!

Got to go on our annual bike trip with my Cumberland girlfriends. The route they chose was 50 miles a day. My knee stayed ok for about 35 miles, and I called it a day.

In June I finally convinced a surgeon to operate on my knee and he pulled out a chunk of bone that had dislodged years ago and floated around in there causing major pain at times. Yay! 

Vacations included going to Krista's beach house on the  North Carolina coast and 

a trip to New England, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont, visiting friends along the way.

I insisted on having lobster and this place didn't disappoint.

Kermit and Debbie live nearby in Brunswick, Maine.

Sarah and Doug near Winthrop, Maine

Jaime and Jeremy in Burlington, Vermont. Houston and I had driven up and while he went to a conference, Krista met me in Vermont and we visited her daughter (Jaime) and her boyfriend, Jeremy. Krista and I did some yard saling, picking up some sweet treasures along the way.

Krista and I are still fixing, painting, repurposing, and refinishing furniture along with making crafts for our business, Chirp.

We go picking in barns…

…at thrift stores...

and our trucks usually look like this…
or this.

We worked in Krista's pool house when it's too hot or too cold.

and in the barn when it's just right. This was after surgery and I was supposed to keep my leg elevated.

We've done so many chairs this year, we lost count. 

Made barn wood hanger things out of my old barn wood.

And put together some nice dining sets.

We saw some changes though. We left Stylish Patina (which also changed ownership and is now Sweet Clover).

Ginger  & Spice closed it's door in November.

We joined the Blue Hearth in Poolesville and are there right now.

We hauled our goods to four shows, setting up shop at Luckett's and Chartreuse. 

Summer brought beautiful sunny days.

Time on the river

and time on my bike.

Four of my girlfriends and I did a bike trip on the Allegany Passage in Pennsylvania and Maryland in October. The weather was cold (in the 20's) but we bundled up and were actually warm, even when it snowed. 

But our biggest event was our son, Aramin and our daughter-in-law, Deidre's wedding party. 

We hosted their wedding shindig on the farm and I had so much fun bringing a vintage vibe to the party.

Michele and Forrest 

Georgia and Garrett

Two of my three brothers and my mom came out from Arizona and Missouri.

My mom, Darlene, me, Deidre's mom, Tanja and Deidre

It was super fun and I am so happy to have a daughter!

At summer's end, we got invited to a 'dirt to dinner' party on our friend's farm. It was a beautiful evening and was so nice to share a meal on their beautiful farm.

The saddest part of the year has to be losing our beloved golden retriever, Casey. It hurts to even write this now, even though it's been a four months. 

He was just the goofiest dog, always bringing a smile to our faces.

He went on adventures 

and was happy to just be on the deck. Miss you so much boy.

But we added another joy to our family, Baloo. He is actually Forrest's dog, but spends a lot of time on the farm. Forrest is going on a walkabout to southeast Asia for two months so Baloo be here full time. Trapper took a liking to him immediately. 

He started out just a wee one...

and turned into a monster dog. We don't know how much he weighs because he broke our scale, but he has to be about 115 or so. He just turned one year old so he's still a bit of a puppy.

We also lost our oldest sheep, Sparkleberry. She was such a dear little sheep, so friendly. 

Dancing Leaf Farm yarns has had its busiest year ever. Between shows, tours and on line sales, it's kept me hopping. I'm lucky to have a job that I love. 

One of my favorite shows is Rhinebeck in New York.

I got back into making soaps this year. More soap making in my future too.

And to making more felt shawls.

I'm selling them at a local shop in Frederick, The Muse.

I had a trunk show there last February.

And every year I promise to do more spinning. Winter is a great time for this.

I had a new yarn for 2013, but it's already sold out and I can't get any more :(  Stay tuned though because I'm about to work with a local spinning mill to design an exclusive Dancing Leaf Farm yarn!

To all of you who made this year wonderful and to all my friends who give me inspiration and support, Happy New Beginnings on this new year of 2014!