Workshopping

Workshopping

I have a few things to share this week. The first and most important thing is the one about connection. This is where I get a little teary eyed and filled with amazement and thankfulness that my life is blessed with some of the most wonderful people. I had one of these moments today, sitting at one end of a room that was filled with fiber, yarns, spinning wheels, and people. I struck me how much I love being in this environment, how lucky I am to have connections with people like my friend Alet, who organises events like this, and Esther who brings her energy and creativity and shares them like this, and both are people who transform the lives of others with the things they do. This is something really cool to be a part of. The last few days, teaching with Esther, and the evenings working on our weavings and spinning together, have been a really great experience, learning, laughing, sharing ideas and getting excited about the same things. So I wanted to share that with you too, because I think its always good to take a moment to stop, and appreciate the positive things in our lives. And no matter where you are at, if you look, you will find something. At least thats what my generally optimistic brain tells me, and I really hope that is true ๐Ÿ™‚ And the workshops? Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ We have carded, rolagged, combed, hackled, and of course SPUN ALL THE THINGS. We have had some ‘aha’ moments, and certainly some ‘oh thats how it works!’ experiences too. Its been awesome to have the opportunity to share this with Esther and I have learned and laughed a lot and am totally enjoying this opportunity to teach together. I think we make a good team! Our first workshop was with the beginning art yarn spinners, a fantastic group with much enthusiasm, humour, and talent, they made some really amazing yarns. Today we started with the second workshop for the more advanced art yarn spinners, so we are planning a nice range of yarns to spin, with the goal of also weaving them on the second day, and we have something special planned for that! So this is an update post, and I will be back later this week with an ‘its over’ post and more photos and, no doubt, with a sense of sadness that its over and also anticipation for the next one ๐Ÿ™‚ But for now, ENJOY THE DAY....

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Weaving togetherness

Weaving togetherness

I love how ideas can start as little precious sparks and, given the right conditions, in a short time can become a blaze. ย A little discussion between me, Esther, and Donni, in which we decided to make a nice collaboration and weave each others yarns (yes – way cool right?!) turned into a whole new group on Facebook especially for Majacraft Dynamic Loom owners (or those who have it high on their wishlist!). I mean, why should we be individually hogging all the fun! Shared is always better ๐Ÿ™‚ So what do we have? Its our own group space on Facebook, where I hope we can share lots of inspiration and ideas, making the most of the features of the Majacraft loom that make it unique and interesting. Now that I have had mine for a while I am feeling quite comfortable with the warping, and the plain weave possiblities, there are a huge range of reed segment sizes so I know I can use any of my art yarns. Next up is playing with the double heddle potential, which effectively turns it into a three shaft loom, so I can create repeating patterns, but with art yarns! I am visualising very textured lockspuns woven into a twill pattern, for example. I will be sharing progress on the group page! With the wide range of weaving experience of the group members I am sure that I will get some great tips and feedback on the process and will learn a lot. I am also very excited to be sharing the group page admin with Esther Rodgers (Jazzturtle) and Donni Grant (Loom&Arty), both really creative people! I am looking forward to posting about our collaboration project, and we hope to run some fun challenges for group members to get stuck into with us in the near future! So this is where our little sparking idea has taken us so far, who knows where its going to end up?! Maybe we can one day run a Majacraft Loom Play retreat for hands on face to face experiences with group members! Or perhaps we can organise swaps, competitions, even exhibitions, there is always so much potential when you get a bunch of creative people all in one place and the ideas bouncing around ๐Ÿ™‚   If you have a Majacraft loom, I’d love it if you join the group too. If you dont have one (yet) but are considering it, come and join...

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Turning Ground Hog Day into Fluffy Unicorn Day

Turning Ground Hog Day into Fluffy Unicorn Day

I just realised how time passes so quickly… I swear, honestly, sometimes it feels like groundhog day in my house! Same routine, same scenery, same activities, same supermarket, same post office, same laundry pile same food same things to pick up off the floor same… well.. same life! When its like that and you think back over the past couple of weeks, it seems like it was really just all one day with no distinguishing features to make it stand out from the line up. ย Sounds more dull than a dull thing doesnt it. Well luckily I can find a few things to give me a kick in the pants and un-ground-hog day my life! In fact, one of them is in full view most of the time, and even when I am not using it, a simple glance is enough to remind me of some exciting, and more than redeeming experiences of recent life in the WoolWench house! (If youre wondering, its still all here! Indiegogo )I mean, right now, its post summer vacation blues, and the regular routine has started up full steam, with school runs, early mornings, and the usual ‘what are we eating tonight’ brain-bleed. I also have the tail end of a migraine still haunting me, and the anticipation of the near future dread of the dark cold winter mornings looming in front of me. Maybe I am not alone in this! We were lucky in New Zealand to have longer days in winter than we get here in Holland, and I never took my daughter to school in what felt like the middle of the night, while here in Holland, I know that around Christmas time it will be just that. Now this isnt a total bitch-fest for me, there is the consolation of all the white twinkling christmas lights being out, the potential promise of snow, the hot chocolate and the glowing christmas tree. (love all that!!) Its just, I am not a morning person, thats the hard part! But I am already thinking about how to manage the dark days. Its kinda lame… But there ya go, its me. So when I need a pick-me-up I can glance over at my beautiful wheel, with its amazing Elvish engraving, its lovely warm colour and beautiful rounded edges. *aahhh* There is nothing Ground-hog Dayish about that wheel or the events surrounding its journey here. That also reminds me of the wonderful weekend when it was delivered, during the JazzTurtle workshop, a truly amazing experience in itself ! I loved the yarns everyone made and all the stuff I learned and the contacts I made. That in turn reminds me of that weekend being...

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The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

Last month I did a big thing. Well it was big for me at least! I had been thinking about it for a while but was very uncertain about if it would fly or plummet screaming into the firey heart of Mount Doom in the biggest crash and burn in the history of er.. crashy and burny stuff.   I had been dreaming for ages about a new spinning wheel. Not just any wheel, but what I fondly renamed (in my head) The One Wheel to Rule them ALL (mwahahahaha!) the Majacraft Aura. I absolutely became obbessed with fell in love with my precioussssss the look of this wheel. Its made with beautiful Rimu timbers, native to my homeland New Zealand, ย it also fills me with pride that Kiwis (New Zealanders) are producing such quality equipment as this, and Majacraft, along with Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff) designed this in a stunning organic looking form that is also incredibly functional. SO functional in fact that it earns its One Wheel title (IMO) because it is capable of spinning a huge range of yarns, its so very adjustable that it can be used for many different styles of yarns, and particularly the big chunky art yarns with crazy integrated objects – exactly what I couldnt do with my reliable but small orificed Ashford. I was already selling my yarns quite happily in my Etsy store, but then I discovered crowd funding. People make a project, and ‘the crowd’ (aka internet people) fund it! Project makers offer ‘perks’ or items in return for financial support for their projects. ย I liked Indiegogo, it has a big range of fundraisers running and lots of funky arty indie projects. I made the decision to close my eyes and take the leap! I wrote the story of the One Wheel, and made my presentation video to go with it; described by some as ‘epic’ I hoped like hell that I wasnt going to annoy Majacraft with my odd references to Lord of the Rings. I found out later that Andrew Poad himself is something of a major LOTR fan too, the whole thing ended up quite serendipitous ๐Ÿ™‚ breathe in, breathe out, calm and centered…. calm and centered….. Anyway.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made my campaign, my One Wheel Fundraiser! I had listed a range of ‘perks’ at different prices, mostly including at least one skein of handspun yarn. I hoped someone would like it and I was a bunch of jittery nerves by the time I hit the ‘go live’ button! ย But it worked. It really actually worked! I did quite a bit of researching, looking at other campaigns and figuring out what was cool and what wasnt,...

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