Most Splendiforous Giveaway Post!!!

Most Splendiforous Giveaway Post!!!

Wow – over 4000 likers on my Facebook page?! I am so honoured to be able to share my obsession love of fiber with so many people. The whole thing is sometimes a little like a runaway train, I dont know where its heading but I am happy to be on it with so many friends. And its such a great enabler, I really like this technology and its ability to shrink the world and put us in contact with each other so effortlessly (well on a ‘good’ facebook day anyway!). It allows me to share ideas, get feedback, its a mutual inspiration source, and the fiber eyecandy found online often leaves me speechless, in a good way. So to celebrate this new landmark in community I would love to share my newest project with you! There will be TWO CHOICES in this giveaway, because although I find it difficult to admit, I am aware that not everyone spins or wants to spin, and I dont want you to miss out ūüôā So one choice is for spinners and fiberistas, and the other choice is for people who love to knit or crochet or even felt! CHOICE ONE Did you all see the big trend right now with the blending boards? To make art rolags to spin from? Of course you did, if you have the internet you cant have missed it!¬†Theyre awesome right. Well coming soon I will be¬†making blending boards for sale, hand painted and decorated by me and using the excellent quality Louet Carding cloth! So my giveaway shall be one of my first hand painted WoolWench design blending boards!!! I will be selling these in two versions, one plain undecorated, at an awesome price, and one a bit more expensive model that’s decorated in my own design, each will be a unique piece of art, individually created to order. And I will be giving away a painted board!¬† Most boards I have seen online are selling for at least $120, so even though my board is going to be quite a basic board in terms of function, it WILL be pretty and with the Louet carding cloth, you know its going to work really well to blend your fibers and last you a long time! ¬†I am excited about these and I really want to share and not be the only one thats excited! ūüėõ These are a combination of two of my all time favourite things, fiber stuff and painting. I cant wait to get them made and using them and in my shop! ¬†CHOICE TWO And if youre not a spinner… and would like something that isnt a blending board, I would be...

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Art Yarn Spin Group – Epic First Event!

Art Yarn Spin Group – Epic First Event!

Hi everyone! This is just a quick post to catch everyone up with information and all the contacts made at yesterdays amazing lovely delightful Spin Group day and International Meet-up! I will make a much more detailed write up and you will see it on the Spin Artiste blog soon, because this whole international link-making concept is something both Arlene and I are in love with and her blog is really a hub for ideas and sharing at a global level. If you havent seen the blog yet you can find it on the interweb here:¬†Spin Artiste So yesterday is still aglow in my heart today. It is such a lovely feeling as a spinner/fiberista to have a houseFULL of like-minded people, it was abuzz with talking, laughter, excitement, ideas, and sharing. This is truly a great community! It was a big pleasure for me to share my space and time with everyone in such a productive and fun way. Pictured here are Hetty, Lia, Marijke, Caitlin, and Monique, while we were chatting with Pam and friends! An added bonus on top of this was the (glitch-free) Skype session with the equally fun and talented spinning group that meets at Pam Blasko’s Dreams Come True Farm in the USA! Whoot! I will keep all the juicy details of our exchange for the Spin Artiste guest post, but let me just say this, on our side of the ocean there was much admiration for the women farmers we spoke with and information swapped about the different fibers we all have access to in our respective countries. We learned, shared, and talked fluff, what could be more perfect than that! Ok so the next mention goes to the cake… firstly, Monique made a gorgeous loaf that was all winter spices and nutty and lovely, thank you Monique! I finished off the last of it with my coffee this morning. I also made a cake and a number of people requested the recipe. There is a little story behind it… I ‘might’ just occasionally mention online that there are a few things I miss from New Zealand, and some of those things include food items. Possibly all of those things. So you can imagine my complete delight when I recently had a package arrive with a spare part in it from Majacraft, and discovered that not only did it contain my spare part but also some baking soda (hard to find here in baking quality), a little classic NZ choc, and a Banana cake recipe from a well known kiwi cook. I am very grateful to Glynis for her thoughtful additions, I know how busy things are at Majacraft! Ok so the...

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Headaches and the Death of Inspiration?

Headaches and the Death of Inspiration?

This is a quick post with a dramatic title! Ok it is OVER dramatic. Inspiration is alive and well in the WoolWench house, it only took a short trip to the beach and returned with a suntan, a souvenir beachball with a happy face on it, and a whole bunch of new ideas. Phew. I guess this happens to everyone sometimes, a brief hiatus in clear thinking, self doubt creeps up and insinuates itself in everything you do and thought you were pretty happy with, suddenly you find yourself wondering what you thought you were doing in the first place, questioning your ability to even successfully boil an egg, and feeling very very small in relationship to this whole universe/infinity thing. Its big. And it hits a bit like a runaway one of these: Luckily we are ALL endowed with Wolverine-like powers of regeneration. I might have mentioned Dr Who-like regeneration but he comes back completely different, most of us are more like Wolverine and come back pretty much the same as we were before, although maybe with that much more determination and experience. So I had a week of headache starting with a migraine. Blah. I sobbed my story on Facebook and got some lovely support and helpful suggestions. I took them. I rested, and I broke out the Vitamin D. I also ate some yummy Berry and Biscuit Whittakers chocolate (thank you Glynis!). I took the little guy for a walk at a nearby park, did some shopping, and watched Anna Karinina. And I did some spinning, nice simple spinning to relax with ūüôā Nothing but some nice music playing and the whirrrr of my Aura. THeres something incredibly theraputic about using your hands together in this kind of unison, and your feet too, you make your own rhythm, like breathing. Your brain can switch off and you are just there, in the moment. So you see, while the inspiration was gone, it was only temporarily replaced with self doubt and questioning. Although, I think those things are always there, they usually dont have the strength or the power to actually overwhelm the usual drive I have to create stuff. Experimenting with fiber always excites me, I just have to let go the worries about what other people will think of my creations, if they are ‘good enough’ and if they are even interesting to anyone but me. ¬†I think those are normal worries right? But they shouldn’t be so bad they stop me doing anything or beating myself up over what I do make. And its the same for you too, when they sneak attack you, send me a message, let me remind you how awesome...

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Some Stuff, an Update!

Some Stuff, an Update!

So things have settled down and life is going on a little as normal. My 4 year old has his second ear infection in so many weeks, and its snowing, which in many ways is very lovely. Yesterday the trees became utterly white and the ground covered in sparkley snowness. I know a lot of people find the snow mostly just a hassle, but having grown up in a part of the world that gets none, I find the whole environment transformation really fascinating and enjoyable. Ok ok I admit it, to my inner child its just like being in a fairy tale, or Lucy when she first discovers Narnia ūüėÄ     This week I have some exciting things to report. The first of which is a feature of my Shelob yarn on the Majacraft Blog!¬†¬†Thats quite a treat! I am sure everyone knows by now that I love my Aura and the beautiful design of Majacraft products, so to see my yarn design on their page is a real honour for me. The yarn itself is one I dreamed that has several steps to its creation, which include coiling a corespun coiled yarn, and wrapping in silk fibers. I really love the layers its possible to create with fiber, developing not just different levels of texture but also of colour. I made a mini video tutorial to share the technique, you can see it on You Tube HERE¬†,or if you are one of my US friends you can watch it HERE because the first link won’t work for you. I have loads more ideas for using this technique and experimenting with colour ¬†layers, so watch this space! This dark yarn version is going to join the LOTR collection of yarns on my website, to represent the giant spider Shelob that attacked Frodo in the Two Towers. I almost felt a bit spidery myself as I spread and wrapped the silk! Second bit of news is that I have a new article coming up in the Dutch spinners and dyers magazine ‘Vezel’ (Fiber) formerly known as the ‘Spin en Verfkrant’. I met the publisher at an Etsy event in 2012 where I was selling yarn, and he asked me if I would be interested in writing some articles for the magazine, so of course I said yes! The article is in dutch, carefully translated for me from my English text by my husband, and in fact this was a learning curve for us both as we searched the fiber specific terms, because although he speaks dutch as a native (he moved here from Italy when he was 10) the fiber world does have its own vocabulary in every...

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Candles

Candles

Life. Its a complex thing huh. Just as you think youve got the hang of it something happens and totally throws you out of your comfort zone. If you are connected to my Facebook page, you may have seen that this last week saw the passing of my Mother in Law. She had been ill for a very long time, but the expectation of this eventuality of course cannot lessen the impact is has on her family. She was a strong woman whose presence was a very¬†definite¬†one that couldn’t fail to make an impression, good or bad, she will be missed. This is a time when I think its important to stop and re-assess priorities, goals, and maybe reshuffle things in head and heart. Its easy to get into that comfort zone of routines, expectations, daily activities, and taken for granted relationships, and I dont think there is anything wrong with that, I think it must be human nature to find that zone and groove along, finding satisfaction in familiarity and security it brings. But yep, sometimes things happen that remind you to stop and smell the coffee, and this is one of those times. So what is important? To me its family, friends, creativity and inspiration. In my mind, none of those things could exist¬†independently¬†of each other, and the¬†existence¬†of one is crucial to the existence of the others. In family and friends we find inspiration and creativity, and with inspiration and creativity we find (and make) ¬†family and friends. These things together, in my heart and mind, equal happiness. And happiness is meaningless unless you can share it. Sadness and loss are part of all this, as they remind us also of how blessed we are to actually feel that loss, it means we have loved and lived and shared our lives and happiness with others. I guess thats pretty much all I needed to say in this post today! The only thing to add to this is a wonderful buddhist quote that sums up something that I believe deeply: ‚ÄúThousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.‚ÄĚ Original watercolour painting. Copyright Suzy Brown...

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