Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What does Tape, Ribbon and a Printer have in common?

I love creating things from scratch. My daughter will tell you that if you go away overnight, when you come back, make sure you turn on the light because everything has changed.

I was working on some signature tags the other night and my eye kept roving to the wall behind my dinette table. I have changed the theme of the the kitchen/dining area but had done nothing to the wall. I searched the internet for something out of the ordinary but cheap without success.

My eyes fell on a signed poster that I had of Venice Carnivale. The creative juices started to flow. Now I ask you, when you see poster tape, a poster, ribbon and your printer; what comes to
your mind?

I am not sure what you thought of but I saw those items and the first thing that came to my mind was to make a wallpaper border.

Since I have lots of images that I use in making my signature tags, it did not take me long to discover that I had numerous images of Carnivale mask. This is the results....

I do not have a blank wall anymore.

Wonder how long before I get another idea and come up with something else?

Stay tuned.

I am off to start knitting my tote for the International Tote Exchange, and possibly work on the convertible gloves for the Mitten KAL. Oh, I also have to finish warping my loom for the scarves I am making and spin some yarn for part of the design on the tote. Where does all the time go?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

You have to be Warped to be a Weaver

Thought that I would show you a few scarves that I have woven for myself and also tell you about what is on the loom.

Because it takes me so long to warp, I am warping to make two scarves, one for a male co-worker as a Thank You gift and one for me. The warp is Bambu purchased from Cotton Cloud at 30 epi (ends per inch) and the pattern is from an issue of Weavers that I really liked but had to make a couple of changes to make it fit my scarf.

It was my intention when I purchased the yarn to have the warp and weft in the same yarn. However, now that I have started to warp, I read a post stating that the yarn stretches. This has caused me to rethink what I am going to use for the weft so we will just have to see. Since this is the most epi that I have ever warped, I am taking my time and praying alot.

I put on an extra yard of yarn to sample and finish as if I was making the final item, rather than put on a small amount of yarn and have to warp for the larger project once it looks okay. Something else that I discovered was that by warping with something smaller than I was actually making did not show me the drape or could I see how the complete pattern was going to work on the finished project. I am also saving all my samples, whether I like it or not, to make a quilt someday with my handwoven.

The first piece was made on my 4 harness Norwood 22 inch workshop floor loom about 8 years ago. The fiber for warp and weft is a wool/silk blend. I made this scarf for my father so it is shorter than what I normally make.

The second scarf was made on the same loom about 5 years ago. The warp is Dragon Tail varigated rayon and tencel , the weft is tencel.

The last is 2 years old and it was made on my 8 harness Ashford table loom. This is the loom that I take with me when I travel because it folds flat even with the warp on it and the table makes a great stand for my warping board. The swinging beater and the placement of the levers is very smooth. I have been toying with the idea to sale my 8 harness to get the 16 harness Ashford table loom. Someone told me that this loom does not fold as flat. Even with this new knowledge, this is still something that is very much in my mind.

The yarn for this scarf is tencel and Dragon Tail varigated rayon for the warp and tencel for the weft.

As you can see I love weaving with tencel which is a wood based natural fiber. I purchased some white silk but have not had a chance to give it a try. That will be my next weaving project. I want to dye the yarn and weave a shawl for my trip next year.

Beside my Ashford and Norwood looms, I have a 8 harness 45" LeClerc jack loom, 40" Gallenger counter balance loom for my rugs, and a triangle loom that I have not used for quite a while. I find that I use my Ashford even when I am home because it sits in the living room.

My next post will be to show you my latest sewing projects unless something else grabs my attention.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Paint Shop Pro

I thought that I would show you a few Signature Tags that I created in Paint Shop Pro. My daughter had gotten me interested in Signature Tags a few years back however when my computer crashed, I lost them. Approximately 4 months ago, I became interested in them again but wanted to make my own. A good friend introduced me to a PSP (Paint Shop Pro) web page creator that also makes signature tags that she calls miniature art. With her help, I have been enjoy a new hobby.

I am also working on making animated signatures. This is the first hobby that I have ever had that cost "nothing" once you buy the program. At some point, I plan on making digital scrapbooks using all I have learn making the tags.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One Skein Knitting project finished

Interweave Press published a book by Leigh Radford entitled OneSkein. The book showed a lot of fantastic knitted items you could make using one skein of yarn. Once you signed up you where assigned a Secret Pal for you to send a skein of yarn for 2 months and the third month you sent a knitted or crocheted item using One Skein.

My secret pal has been such a dear and the skeins I received were exactly what I would have chosen for myself. As impressed as I was in how she knew what I would like without us ever meeting, the item she knitted for me is something I will cherish. I am still trying to imagine how anyone could knit on toothpicks. Yes, I received a scarf pin, with beads, knitted on toothpicks.

Can you believe this piece of art. I wish the computer had feelavison because it is so soft. I thank her again and again.

My secret pal is getting fingerless mittens from me. I use them mostly in the winter when the steering wheel is cold and I just need something on my hands until the car warms up.
I have to get these into the mail for her and I need to start on another pair for myself. I lost the ones I keep in the car.

I really do weave, I will show you what I up to in the next post.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Carpentry Project is Complete

On Saturday, my daughter and I took a trip to Adamstown, PA, to go antiquing. There was one problem, nothing is open on Saturdays. A lady that we met came to our rescue so that it was not a wasted day by telling us of a place that had artist studios in Reading, PA, called GoggleWorks.

I will visit GoggleWorks again. We found artist studios for anything you can imagine from bronze sculpture to pottery. The highlight of my visit was meeting Janna Carrozza of Handwoven Designs in Studio 321. Janna is a teacher by day and works in her studio as often as she can. When I met her she was warping her Macomber loom with tencel. She uses natural dyes and fibers in her weaving. A friend was visiting when my daughter and I were there. I did not get the young lady's name and I am quite sorry because she was fascinating to talk to.

Some friends have asked that I show them some of my projects. I am always working on something and usually work on 2 or 3 things at a time. I do love making things for my home. I keep telling my daughter that I am going to stop making and buy real furniture, however everytime I go the furniture store, it only gives me more ideas. I end up heading to the hardware store.

The first picture you are looking at is the table I made for my bedroom. My children always tell me that my bed is my office. That is true, and normally I can not find my book, glasses and more than once I almost fell asleep with my laptop on my lap. I finished this table last night. It is on wheels so that I can push it back and forth. Yes, everything is black and white (today). I change the colors of the floor with floorcloths and make my own pillowcases. With black and white as a base, I can change colors of everything else in the room every day, which I am known to do on occasion. By making my pillowcases and floorcloths, I just need a solid bedspread and I have a new room.

The second picture is a picture of one of the walls in my living room. I've collected posters from lots of places and wanted to display them. However, I did not want my wall to look like a teenager's bedroom. I decided to put the posters on foamcore, use my little Rotozip saw (gift from my son-in-law) to cut out parts of the poster and put this on thicker foamcore to make parts 3-D. Unfortunately, the photos do not show how 3-D the posters really are. Under the poster is my loveseat that started out as a loveseat with a back but with the help of my power saw, is now a chaise.

The third picture was suppose to be the legs of my cocktail table but for some reason I got the living room wall twice. Could not figure out how to delete it. The fourth picture is the top of my cocktail table. Once I had a very formal wood and glass table, I gave it away because I was tired of cleaning the glass. I had a table from Ikea that I had purchased probably 20 years ago when I had a den. I painted the table to reflect ME. There is a quote about "family" on each side and my children's name on each end.

This gives you a glimpse of where I live and what I love. I am working on some weaving and knitting that I will share with you in a future post as well as my weaving studio and sewing room. If you would like to see more of my home or want to just chat, let me know.

Until later....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Age is just a Number

I have finally found away for my family and friends to keep track of me.

I love learning and trying new things as well as seeing new places. Convenient since my job as a Claims Adjuster for disasters has me traveling all over the US and I even Canada. I am normally away from home about 3 to 4 months but last year's Hurricane Katrina however had me away 9 months. While in those places, I am always on the search for yarn, weaving, and fabric shops. Yes, I weave-spin-knit-crochet-machine embroidery-sew-needle felt. I take my loom, sewing/embroidery machine and spinning wheel with me where ever. You should see the look of the person that cleans my room in the hotel when they see my temporary studio.

As well as my love of travel and fiber crafts, I like to ride my recumbent bike, paint floor cloths, do photography, make digital picture albums, make signature tags with PSP (Paint Shop Pro), and go to Walt Disney World (would love to visit all of the Disney parks around the world). In fact, my daughter got married at Walt Disney World in 2002 and took the Disney cruise for her honeymoon. Check out her blog. Spending time with my son and daughter is my most favorite thing.

This blog will keep you informed of my discoveries, what I am working on whether it is fiber related, painting, or carpentry. You will also hear about my dream vacation next May. I am taking a Rick Steves' "Europe through the Back Door" tour. I plan on finding Internet Cafes where possible and sending home reports. The trip is three weeks starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands and ending in Paris, France. I will stay an extra week, and hopefully my family will come over that week so that we can go to Disneyland Paris (we are a member of the Disney Vacation Club). I also want to go to Lyon, France which is about 2 hours from Paris.

Hope you enjoy my ramblings and pictures of where I am and my many projects.