Announcement! Launching the Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate!

Announcement! Launching the Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate!

Here we go!! I am very excited to tell you that Arlene of Spin Artiste and I, have been super busy  together these last months developing something totally new, an online, interactive Creativity Boost educational Course for Fiberista’s! I am very proud to announce the upcoming launch of the ‘Journey for the Golden Fleece, Fiber Creativity Certificate’! Yes you got that, there is a certificate involved! This is an 8 module, 10 month long course, its very comprehensive, with projects, spinning, self reflection, discovery, and culminating in a final piece to create. It involves the creation of at least one new yarn per module (we will have a gallery to show them off!)  plus some study and journalling time. I think its pretty epic 🙂 Here is how it all started.. Firstly I have to say I am lucky. Very very lucky. I find myself in a life in which I have been  fortunate enough to have gained some measure of the biggest gift of all, wonderful friends, people who bring inspiration, joy, creative ideas, and a willingness to share these things with me. I am grateful for this every single day. Because these wonderful people are my enablers. I’ll tell you how this works 🙂 Once upon a time, earlier this year, I was skyping with Arlene (Spin Artiste) and now, I don’t remember what we were chatting about, but at some point, ideas started bouncing around. I love this. Ideas that ricochet back and forwards so fast that it becomes a blur of creative thought, each one feeding the next as the idea expands and grows into something wonderful. This is impossible to do alone! This utterly requires the input of at least two people, preferably two people who get excited about the same things, and are on the same page about their goals, life views, and creative direction. I have found this in Arlene, who has quickly become one of my best friends and whom I admire immensely for so many reasons 🙂 From that wild skype chat came the idea of an online course, something that anyone could take part in, that encompassed all my ideas about education being a holistic process, not only a string of techniques and skills to be learned, but an ongoing process  of discovery that is guided by the participants, that encourages individuality, self reflection, and the highest value placed on freedom of self expression. I discovered that Arlene and I found similar inspirations and shared an excitement about all the potential that can be found in combining learning about spinning with self exploration, in a way that helps people find their own voice as artists. This has all led to...

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Like Trying to Shape Water

Like Trying to Shape Water

Where does inspiration come from? Its something we often have to wait for, it doesnt always come when we want it to. Its lack is found in the blank piece of paper, the empty bobbin, the undyed fiber… Is inspiration like some kind of fickle friend who thinks only of themselves and comes and goes from our lives like a butterfly in the wind? Unreliable, untrustworthy, mostly never there when you want it to be. Thats how inspiration often feels to me. Annoying. Sometimes it can be gone for days, only to return in a rush, which tends to be either like the sun suddenly coming out and pouring its glow all over your skin in a delightful warmth of ideas, or its like the outpouring of beans when you accidentally tip the coffee jar over on the bench and you cant move fast enough to catch the overwhelming escape of thoughts and creativity. Inspiration, you ARE my fickle friend. But. IF inspiration was more like a constant awareness, a consistent and continuous flow of small sparks, something we could count on to always be available, always be the same shape, would it still be.. inspiration? I might curse the days when I know I have creative tasks to perform and inspiration has failed me and not even arrived on the doorstep to be ushered in and put to work. I might find frustration in the blank pages and empty bobbins, but I am starting to think that if I was in a constant state of inspiredness, I would far too quickly take that for granted and treat it like part of the furniture. I think the edge would go off it, the excitement would go out of it. Maybe I would wake up every morning with the thought that, oh yes, another idea, doesn’t matter, I will have ten million more in the next hour anyway so who cares. So today I am going to work on valuing my downtime, loving my blank paper and appreciating its potential to excite me and fill me with a will to be active and alive and inspired, and I am going to work on living with a full appreciation of how much I love my fickle friend despite its tendency to hide when there are deadlines and run away when there are demands! I will work on accepting that I am not an inspiration machine, stop requiring myself to be able to switch inspiration on and off at will, and let it come as it pleases, to be welcomed by me with open arms and a vast amount of appreciation at whatever time it decides to show up. Today my inspiration...

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An Abundance of Wheels and the Landelijke Spindag (Netherlands)

An Abundance of Wheels and the Landelijke Spindag (Netherlands)

TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY! Can you believe it? 230 spinners all together and all spinning at the same time!  Last weekend was the annual gathering of the Landelijke Spingroep (National Spinners Group) of the Netherlands. This group functions a bit like a guild, organising demonstrations at events, hosting information about regional spinning groups on their website, and of course, organising this national event once a year. And yep, its a biggie! Many people arrive on the Friday evening and stay till Sunday afternoon, with the main events happening on the Saturday. There are lots of pics in this post, because there was so much to see 🙂 Patty and I arrived on the Saturday morning, after a bit of a drive through some very pretty dutch forests and villages, thatched roofs and narrow streets and much greenery. And we were right on time for the THING, yes, the THING everyone had been waiting for, the market! This was spread around various ‘rooms’ and halls of the venue, a warren-like conference center in the middle of the forest. We wandered from room to room and emerged eventually with a few scores, I got some Yak from Mandacrafts, travelled to us from the UK, and I also scored some Dutch raised Corriedale, yet to be washed and reported on but STASHED 🙂 And of course my usual market day purchase of some intense coloured bamboo silk from Woolness (a lovely couple who not only import silks from India but also produce a pretty awesome range of wool related tools made of recycled materials – check them out! ) I was scheduled to run a couple of short workshops in the afternoon, so caught a bit of spinning time first. And I was in good company! Check out my spinning bud Patty’s wheel! Yep it is, its a Golding and wow is it smoooooth. I think these wheels make a pretty good set! Patty was spinning super fine on the Golding, and it has the perfect ratios for lace weight, she was barely treadling. I was busy with some corespinning and making some sample yarns for the workshops. There were some very old wheels, such as this 1859 model and we spotted this super cute little Louet, which is unfortunately no longer in production: The workshops were great. The day was organised with about ten workshops on offer, and the chance for people to get to a couple of workshops in the afternoon. They were quite short (one and a half hours each) so really just time for people to get a taste of the activity, great for inspiration and creative idea sharing!  My workshops were full and I was impressed (again) with...

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