Looming Projects!

Looming Projects!

  Anyone who has visited my Facebook page recently would have already heard, multiple times.. that I have a new obbsession occasional craft activity, enabled by the arrival of my wonderful Saori loom. Its my very first delving into weaving. Why? (various loved ones did ask this of me) My daughter instantly cracked up because, well, in one episode of ‘Big Bang Theory’ Sheldon loses his job and slowly goes insane, this  insanity expresses itself in various odd activities including weaving. My Mum wondered if I was going to have time to indulge in another craft, and my husband (bless him) saw flying euros speeding out the window at an even greater rate of knots than previously. My littlest one however, (he’s 4) was very enthusiastic, and after seeing the loom just for a few moments was already keen to try it out himself. It went pretty much the same way as his attempts to drive the car. His legs are just too short to reach the pedals, however he really liked to catch the shuttle and send it flying back, and he is convinced that we are making a bag for him. In some way. In any event 😀 the end result is I have this beautiful new loom in my living room, constantly beckoning me from whatever I am doing, its calling me now..’weave…weeeeeave……WEEEEEAAAVVVEEEE’ I have a Saori loom, because: I think its beautiful, it has treadles, and apparently I require both foot and hand activity with fiber, it has shafts, and a cute shelf to put my scissors and yarn on. Its very pretty, but Saori weaving is not a loom, Saori weaving does not require a Saori loom, as far as I know it can be done on pretty much any loom, even a cardboard square with notches cut in and yarn wrapped around to make a warp. Saori weaving is a philosophy, and its what grabbed me and pulled me into the whole concept of weaving, because it fits perfectly with the yarns I make. Saori weaving was developed in Japan only about 40 years ago, and the idea of it is total freeform, no counting, no pattern to follow, no repetition of design (unless you want it), its like weaving for the activity of weaving. This of course resonates with me, as I love to spin simply for the activity of spinning! I am hopeless at maths, and I have never been good at following patterns, or rules either for that matter. (I was a total punk rock rebel as a teenager too). I decided that this is a style of weaving that fits me perfectly, and the yarns I create. Already I am...

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Photographing the Yarn with WoolWench

Photographing the Yarn with WoolWench

Its here at last! I finished the little ebook I was writing! It started out as an idea, having enjoyed compliments from lots of people about my yarn photos in my Etsy shop, I thought that it might be really useful for others if I shared what I had found out! This is actually my second Etsy shop, the first is still there but I sadly have very little time to look after it! My first shop contains my artwork, dolls, cards, bits and pieces. I learned HUGE amounts from setting up and running this shop. I learned about getting into treasuries, about how vital good photos are to successful selling, about branding, and about telling stories. ‘Etsy’ people were saying over and over ‘tell a story, people want to hear the stories behind what they are buying’ – sure it makes the whole thing a unique and intimate process, I could understand that! But what they never said was HOW to do that! Gah. And clearly in my first shop, whatever that all was, I wasn’t doing it. So when I set up my new yarn shop, it was with some specific ideas about what ‘should’ work, how I wanted to create a ‘cohesive’ look, and what I wanted to convey with my photography. I think it mostly worked, there is still a lot of room for improvement. But this is the cool thing about having an online store – finding ways to connect to people on a more personal level, and overcome the obstacle of distance to make that connection. So I wrote a little book that got bigger. Ok dammit, I just talk too much XD I got started and I couldnt stop! I hope you enjoy it and find something you can use from it. Please feel free to share it – and if so please share the Videos and Books page so people can download it here, rather than sharing the book itself, I love to have people come by themselves, maybe they will stop and say hi 😀 Suzy...

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New Newsletter!

New Newsletter!

Just a quick one this time, but a little something that I got a kick out of today 🙂 I was very lucky to have been blessed with a pretty awesome childhood. My mum is a very creative person and never let us sit around doing nothing, even on a rainy day 🙂 We frequently had our living room table covered with an abundance of craft and art stuff, including several cones of yarn which I still remember vividly, one was a mustard yellow and felt like a coarse carpet yarn, another was bright green, what a combination! Yet I was very happy making various versions of these Gods Eyes, happily wrapping yarn around and around to make this lovely patterned item to hang on the wall. So my little mini tutorial in todays newsletter is a ‘how to’ wrap your own Eye of God yarn and stick art! I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any other ideas for things to do with these – items to add, threads to use, as well as potential end uses, please come back and share in a comment here! I would love some more inspiration! You can download it from THIS PAGE just scroll down to the last newsletter on the page, that is the newest! If you havent registered yet for get the download just follow the ‘register’ instructions and then login with the temp password you get in the email once you registered. Happy wrapping...

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Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

It only takes about an hour to drive from here to The Hague. Its a really nice city, Dutch center of government, home of many embassies and diplomats, site of the wonderful Peace Palace, a truly international city. And this extends even to the yarn stores! Woool is a lovely little shop packed with fibery goodies and creative activities, Pauline runs regular workshops and knitting groups, and she has a great eye for colour, its a visual feast as soon as you walk off the narrow street and into this cosy shop. And today it was truly an international hub of creativity. During the open day today the shop was buzzing with activity, I found myself speaking to people from all over the globe, UK, US, Holland (of course!) I heard a South African accent, me the only Kiwi, and did I hear a Scottish lilt at some point? And the focus of the day, fibery creations. There were people poring over knitting patterns and books, discussion about stitches and designs, others browsing the yarns and making their selections, and there was a lot of interest in the activities of myself, doing some corespinning from a multi-mixed up batt, Victoria Logan was there with her stunning animal creations ( http://www.victorialogan.co.uk) Andre was spinning on his Louet, from various bags of raw wool originating from, among others,  the Dutch Blauwe Texelaar breed, and Patty, with her wonderful Saori looms, a great attraction that took everyones interest young and er, less young! In the above picture you can see Patti demonstrating the Saori Piccolo loom, it was a major hit with the kids that had come along with their mums, and it was impressive to see how fast they picked it up and started creating fabric! I am quite seriously wanting this loom pictured below, (this VERY LOOM) to be my own. See my name written all over it? SEE? Patty is a Saori Dealer, her website is still under construction but she can be contacted via the email address listed on her page Here . She is a very knowledgeable weaver and happy to answer questions (at least, she hasn’t gotten sick of me asking them all the time, yet!) Anyway, I did more than just drool over the loom, really! Here is the proof! Above is my spinning from the afternoon, a soft and super bulky chain ply (navajo ply) made from one of my batts, which I especially packed with extra sparkle! And here below, are some of the yarns that are now in stock at Woool, hanging on the wall! I do believe there were some sales involving my yarn, and some batts too I think, and I know Pauline...

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A Lovely Blog Award!

A Lovely Blog Award!

The Lovely Blog award is a really cool way of acknowledging someones blog, and creating an opportunity to connect in a really cool way. Thank you so much Christiane for passing this award along! Christiane has a really awesome site – Three Ravens – and the idea is that, on reciept of the award, you make a post revealing 7 things about yourself that might not be known, and then nominate up to 15 more blogs! Easy Peasy 🙂 Christiane’s revelations confirmed for me that she really is the radical, interesting, creative, and colourful person that I thought she was, I hope my own revelations will also be interesting! So, here are some facts about me that I seriously doubt I have ever blogged about or mentioned before: In my early 20s, after a year performing with a Street Theatre group in my home town, I spent 6 months travelling New Zealand doing street acts, stilt walking, performing with giant marionettes (while on stilts), and ‘assistant’ to a fire-eater. That was when I first started making stuff, beginning with the marionettes, which I still create when the mood moves. During the tour I was attending a Performing Arts Festival in Christchurch, when there was a bit of a buzz during the evening festivities as a little guy named Peter Jackson arrived, word was that he was going places in film. He seemed like a nice guy 🙂 My mum is an inspiration to me, always patient, generous, an amazing yoga instructor, and only ever sees the best in people and situations. I appreciate this more and more as I get older and wiser! If I could go back and do anything over again, it would be the holidays we had as kids when my (hippie) parents would take us for weeks on end in our VW kombi van touring around Northland NZ visiting their hippie friends; potters, artists, flower growers, wood turners. We would camp on beaches, in secluded forests, swim in waterfalls and explore nature. Once my brother and I found a Yeti footprint by a stream. Its true! And I think my Mum still has my shell collection, me and my Dad would comb the beaches for treasure, my favourites were the little coloured scallop shells and shiny Paua shells, which I still love and use in my yarn inspiration and photos. Looking back on it, it was pretty idylic, and I really could do it all again! Another scarce known fact, I love gardens, watching BBC gardening programs, and visiting garden centers. However I seem to be utterly incapable of ‘actually’ gardening myself. I can only weed plant or hoe with company. I did however spend...

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