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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Lost in NZ

Lost in NZ

Wide open spaces, long sparkling deserted beaches, deep valleys and distant snow capped mountains. See why I haven’t posted for a while? I have had some weeks now in New Zealand, and it sure is GOOD to be home 🙂 I am sure many Kiwis experience this, no matter how long I am away, Aotearoa NZ is always going to be home. Its as though there is some deep connection between the essence of who I am, and the contours of the land, the colours of the landscape, and the waters that flow through and around it all. This doesnt seem to lessen over time, and everytime I come home I appreciate it more and more. So I am not going to give you a blow by blow description of my travels, instead I am going to share with you some of the things that have excited me about being here and the special experiences that have given depth to what we have done in the last weeks. Firstly, let me just say this. ROAD TRIPS! I have been doing quite a lot of driving around since arriving in Auckland, and I am so enjoying the NZ roads again, quite the opposite of the smooth, flat, and straight European motorways. Oh yes, here we have narrow roads, lots of ups and down hills and mountains, and of course, many many corners. Its so FUN to drive, and not feel like I am having to negoitate an obstacle course of other traffic, speed bumps, parked cars, and roundabouts. This is ‘get in yer car and drive’ country and I am really enjoying the freedom. To enhance this experience further, in our rather old and squeaky rental ,we have only the option of radio but thats ok because we are permanently tuned into The Rock and there are plenty of turn the music up and seat boogie opportunities, making even the occasional stuck behind the bigass Mac Trucks haulin logs moments quite bearable. So some highlights and THINGY moments. Here we go. Of course there was MAJACRAFT, the visit to the mothership, complete with Glynis’s home cooking and splendiferous pudding experience, some really good hammering time for Lucca (my 5 year old) that Owen set up in a clever no-fail way to keep him busy building his own Majacraft creation, and a cool workshop tour with Andy, including of course our cooperative creation of my awesome new go-anywhere weaving tool. Which still doesnt have a proper name! Perhaps we need a little game for that, hmm, watch this space 😀   Anyway, I had an amazing time in Tauranga, we stayed right by the Mount Maunganui surf beach, which was magic for...

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Looming projects

Looming projects

Firstly, if you just want to see a video of how I do a direct warp on my Majacraft loom, just scroll to the end and there it is! Otherwise, read on.. 🙂 Its been a little while now since I discovered weaving as a new obsession  creative pass time. Since then, my house has become a repository for random cones of yarn, baskets of mini skeins and odds and ends off my bobbins. The boys from Belgium (Bart and Francis) with their amazing supply of beautiful, weird, and wonderful threads, keep moving to the top of my ‘shop there’ list, and yep, I have already collected two looms. I remember when I got the first, my beautiful Saori loom, the woman I bought it from (thanks Patty!) told me at the time that it was the first of many. I didn’t believe it. However.. she was right. I love weaving on my Saori loom, its a floor loom, it has treadles, two shafts, very simple and is very smooth to use. But it soon became obvious that it had some limitations that I began to find a bit well… limiting. I wanted to get away from having everything in stripes across the fabric, clasped weft, with its pointy spikey look didnt really interest me, I wanted to let the art yarns free to dive along the length of the fabric, to give them some room to stretch out rather than trying to confine them in relatively short backwards and forwards rows. So Pattys prediction came true. For the last couple of weeks I have been using my second loom, the Majacraft Dynamic Heddle, and its doing just what I had hoped, its letting me spread the yarns I want to really see all of, out along the warp. I can do this with it because of the different sized dent segments, some big enough to carry all sorts of crazy yarns, and then I can move mix and match these segments in the heddle. I dont need to tell you how cool this is, it really opens up a lot of possibilities for warping and the materials you can use. In my most recent warp I even added in strips of sari silk, and in previous weaves I have used coiled and bobbly yarn with no troubles at all, even a big puffy thick and thin single survived its weaving journey with no adverse effects! I was also able to do stuff like this, adding in a bulky yarn to the weft then carrying it up with the warp, through a dent and weighted on the other side to weave it into my design. Then when I had enough...

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Big Assed

Big Assed

Just in case youre looking for something to really get the adrenalin pumping, if you havent found the major sized crafting equipment created and supplied by my spin-sister Christiane and her mate Rob, then today is your lucky day! These gargantuan sized knitting needles and crochet hooks will really take you to the edge of extreme crafting, designed for the fearless by the fearless, these are truly momentous pieces of equipment. You could use these for rug making, funky wall hangings, huge cushions, or dammit, just put these up as decoration on the wall with or without knitting attached, there will be no doubt about your crafting leanings. I have been admiring these from afar, I love all the stuff coming out of Christianes studio, hopefully next year I will be there in person to play. She also has a great blog, I particularly love her Community Thursdays and awesome internet finds. Shared inspirations, happy days, lovely people. Blessed. Ok you can find Christiane and her gear here at Three Ravens  and shes also awesome to chat with on FB right HERE – lets give her a surprise and tell her I sent you from my...

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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 🙂 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! 😛 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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