Author Archives: cindy

Ann Roberts Retrospective

Yesterday I had a lovely day trip up to Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph – checked out shops, had lunch, and wandered around the Clay and Glass Gallery.   That was definitely the highlight of the day as they have an Ann Roberts Retrospective and exhibition on right now. They have a LOT of her incredible work, displayed wonderfully. But better yet this weekend she is there doing handsculpting demos. It was lovely to watch her hands molding clay into the shape of a bull. She was depicting the story of Europa and the Bull, a story she has depicted a few times in the past. She had with her a couple of her ‘rejects’: these beautiful sculptures sitting only as examples of her path, where she wants the work to finish. I couldn’t help but mutter ‘stunning rejects!’.

Here are a few shots of Ann working and of her work currently on display:

 

Breakfast of Champions

It’s a nice morning – cool but sunny. I made blackberry sweet cream crepes and bacon. I woke up early and went to the potter’s guild to unload my bisqueware and organize the insane amount of buttons that now need to be sanded, dusted and glazed. A trip to the pottery supply house is in order for some time this week so I can get a banding wheel and new glazes. I have about a million things to do before I go on vacation.

Some spinning is getting done. I have actually been getting through a lot of my fibre stash which feels really great and makes me feel so ready for Maryland Sheep and Wool in a couple of months. I have made a pact with myself that I am not to buy any yarn. It needs to be all about fibre, felting supplies and weird stuff. I have way too much yarn. So much yarn that it makes me vision my own mortality and how much of it will be used before those dark days are upon me.

And this brings me to day 1 of OOD, or Object of the Day rather…

For those who know me really well, it is already known that I am an avid dollhead collector. This is not the same as a doll collector. I really am only interested in the head. I either use the other body parts in an artwork, or end up donating them back to goodwill with the hope that someone could love a headless doll. I also thrift for them, seek them out in antiques stores and obsess over them online from places like Germany, which are by far my favourite. This particular doll was picked up somewhere in an antique store in Ontario (I want to say in the KW area) in a big white house that was really cold. I got it with one other dollhead for about 10 bucks and when I brought it to the counter, the lady lovingly said ‘Aww….do you restore these? How nice. My husband wanted me to just throw these in the trash but I thought someone might want them’. So, I left her with the idea that I would restore this doll into something of Victorian beauty. But actually, no – it stays as it is and joins the happy menagerie. There is just something about dollheads that really appeals to me. They aren’t even funny to me…but they have some kind of dark..class. It’s weird but I see them as though they should be in design magazines. I guess this is why I am not an interior designer and why my house is kind of like a scary art circus maybe.

Pods and Prep

I have been a lazy blogger – but not a lazy maker. My day job has been really demanding of late and I have been preparing for shows which will bombard my life in April.

I have been working away on felting pods, dyeing yarn, spinning, potting – new bowls and buttons and all sorts on their way. I am also thankfully preparing for a much needed vacation in a couple weeks.

 

I recently decided I would join the Neilson Park Creative Centre and the Etobicoke Spinning and Weaving Guild so that is a nice thing to be excited about and have some more involvement in. I hesitated for a long time to join a guild because I am not a good rule follower when it comes to my work and I have been in a lot of guilds and groups where your work can get sort of …bossed around, or stifled by those around you. However, the folks I have met so far are wonderful. I am just going to try not to dedicate myself too much to responsibilities on a board type situation. I do enough of that already and I am feeling like in the next few years I need to take a hiatus from those sorts of things to allow myself more time for research and development on my craft and to discover new things and organize what will work for me on a longer term basis.

I should also mention the shows that I have coming up soonish!

April 14th – Stitch n Kitsch

April 21st – PENDING – Waiting to hear if I made the cut to get into the Made by Hand Show. I know there were about 60 extra vendors than the venue had room for so we shall see.

April 28th – Downtown Knit Collective – Knitter’s Frolic – I will be in The Black Lamb’s booth with all my goodies.

I am also happy to announce that I solved an issue I was having with a few dyes that I recently purchased. I had a couple of customers advise me that their yarn was bleeding a bit of colour when they washed it. Of course for a yarn dyer, this is a BIG deal so I immediately started researching the issue and found that for a few dyes I use there have been some recipe changes and they need to be mordanted a little differently. So, I have worked out the kink and tested it and now all will be well. Thank you to my customers who let me know about this problem. Things like this cannot be fixed if they are not identified.

And, I have managed to finish the Dark Birdcage hat for a recent show that I entered.

 

I have done a lot of photography today, and I am planning on updating this blog more and doing sort of an ‘object a day’ thing where I may not have anything to say..but I will try to post pictures frequently of things that inspire me, that I covet or make. I think this will be a good way for me to get myself back into blogging. It’s good ‘me time’.

 

 

Noodles and Doodles and Such

It’s hard to believe that Rhinebeck and Maryland vacations have come and gone and once again I am up to my ears in show preparation and loads to do but I am doing it with as much love and passion as I can and trying to just breathe when it comes to real world work stuff and stress. I have come to a bunch of big decisions as it relates to my future, further education and career moves – it’s too early to talk about now but I am already feeling warmer inside thinking about big changes.

Rhinebeck was fantastic – I got some great fleece, lovely yarns and some sweet gnomes from http://www.goinggnome.com/ who are probably my very favourite gnome felters. I myself have been working on loads of wet felting and I am planning on expanding my own wet felting knowledge and figuring out more techniques so that I can invent my own and add to my educational repertoire a bit. I also got to spend a bit of time in Catskill, NY and did some great antiquing – my biggest find were some amazing old doll mods.

Maryland was quite relaxing and filled with loads of fun. I got to see some a great Shonen Knife performance at The Ottobar. Also, The Degenerettes and The Quarantines were awesome.

I was totally stoked at just how energized the performances were. Shonen Knife are such a fun group – they really love what they do and it shows so much, and they just put on a really fun, high energy and happy show.

I got to have a nice day of relaxing going hiking at Susquehanna state park, one of my favourite places, and that was really great. It was a lovely fall day and it was gorgeous. I came across a lot of really lovely mushrooms, some big spiders and even a little red salamander.

Then we went to an amazing haunted house at Eastern State Penitentiary and it was freaky, but fun. It was cool because we got to see the cell corridors, which were creepy and learned a bit about just how terrible prison life was back then when things were really a lot more about punishment and penitence and not at all about trying to make people heal and become better. There was Al Capone’s cell and the a weird story about Pep the dog who did a life sentence for killing the governor’s wife’s cat.

We also did some antiquing in Ellicot city and in different parts of Philadelphia, went to PA dutch country and kitchen kettle village. We ate too much good food and hung out with friends. It was overall a great time.  I have learned that shopping at Wegman’s dangerous. I can never leave there without spending a fortune. Also this time I found awesome baby cake making machines and picked up one for making mini donuts and one for making whoopie pies. The website of the people that make these, and have fun recipes is http://thebabycakesshop.com/ but I have been winging it and just making up my own.

The one in front is a carrot cake with raisins, with a cream cheese icing, rolled in crushed chocolate covered almonds. The one in back is a devil’s food cake with a fudge icing rolled in ground candy cane Hershey kisses and ground candy canes. They were awesome.

And, the boy brought me flowers. This has been a nice weekend.

Requiem Dream Toast

I am between travels as I write this – just returned from NY for Rhinebeck! (NY Sheep and Wool for you non-fuzzies) and heading on out to Maryland next week. But tomorrow is the Woodstock Fleece Festival so ya’ll should come on out and see me. I will be in The Black Lamb booth with Laurie selling many pretties.

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about the new love of my life, well, actually my husband’s life (as he was kind of a birthday present) – oh yes! Meet Toasty!!!

He is almost 12 weeks old and has finally reached 1 pound. He is a deliciously sweet puppy with a great attitude, and is unbelievably cute. He started puppy classes last week and handled being in class with all bigger dogs like a champ. I could not be happier that we got him. He’s awesome.

He is always climbing on Lulu and she has been very motherly and sweet about the whole ordeal. She loves him to bits.

Rhinebeck was a blast – I got some lovely fleeces, yarn and only a wee bit of fiber. It was great fun on Sunday though going antiquing in Catskill, NY and then driving through Albany. There are a lot of great flea markets and galleries and I got a lot of great stuff…he’s a peek – sorry for the bad photo.

I got a lot of great anthropomorphic ceramics, a box of dental molds, incredible doll molds from a pre-50s NY factory, fat quarters, little art pieces – great stuff.

Albany has this weird half-egg shaped building, among a ton of lovely, historic buildings.

Cutest goat at Rhinebeck:

Not much else happening, but look at these lovely mushrooms from my backyard:

Massive Shop Update!

The shop has been updated with a massive amount of new yarns!

First off, my new line of worsted weight merino hand dyed yarn – Wink Wink Worsted. You can get it HERE. And a sneak peek:

And, the Fall 2011 colours of Bootsie sock yarn are posted! You can pick them up HERE! And a sneak peek:

Plus, Candy Sprinkles has been re-stocked! Right HERE!

And, there are new shades of Foot Fetish – Merino/Cashmere/Nylon fingering weight! Right HERE!

Up Anomaly’s Creek

Summer is really winding down quickly here in Ontario. It has been really chilly but I am not bothered – it’s making me want to update my Fall wardrobe and wear scarves and go to evening outdoor events where you can bundle up with hot cider and listen to live music – that sort of thing. Nesty.

I think sometimes when I am trying to give a name to my blog posts that I get sort of frazzled ..trying to figure out how to give a title about everything I am going to write about so it ends up looking like ‘Random Art Show, Some Food Stuff, Dog News, etc’ so from now on I am going to raise the stifling curse on myself and give random one-liner names of words in my head at the time. Why is it important anyhow?

So, the Kitchener-Waterloo knitter’s fair was a great success. My wares looked lovely in the generous booth space and there were many patrons, and overall nice people. I got to meet some people I know from Ravelry, in person and with the boys there to help me, it was not overwhelming at all. I really started preparations for the show ahead of time so I set myself up for success on the big day. Here are some shots of my booth!

The overall booth

Hand Dyed Yarn Wall

Candy Sprinkles Yarn and Fiber Goodies

Octopi Yarn Bowls, Test tubes of Beads, Bamboo Lace

Stitch Markers, More Bamboo Lace, Buttons

So, I think I am all finished for canning season this year, except husband is going to try to pickle some insanely hot Thai green chilies that we used 4 ounces of in our salsa. The salsa turned out completely yummy. So, for this year I did huge loads of salsa, canned whole tomatoes, canned chopped tomatoes, plum butter, strawberry jam, candy apple jelly, dill pickles, and rhubarb marmalade. Today is farmer’s market day though so one can never be sure if something else might catch my eye. I am thinking something apple, but not apple sauce would be nice.

Mat and I have started podcasting again, after over a year of not doing so. So, for Muststashyo listeners, you can download the new episode here: http://www.muststashyo.com/ We are working away on the next one too and it will be recorded and uploaded on Sunday probably.

I also have a massive yarn update on it’s way – a new link called ‘Wink Wink’ of hand dyed worsted yarns perfect for hat and cowl projects. And, I have the new Fall 2011 Bootsie colours as well as some new merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn. Here’s a peek:

Bootsie sock yarn

Wink Wink Worsted

Lastnight was a lot of fun too – I went to the Brampton Indie Artfest at The Rose Theatre and we saw The House Plants, The Shuffle Demons, some great art installations, heard some poetry slamming, ate organic cotton candy, and saw a lot of smoking hipsters. The best part of the night would have to be The Shuffle Demons though – they sounded great and reminded me of when I was a kid and used to hear them playing their music from across the street. There was a little old lady who lived across the street from me as a kid and the least sax player/singer of the band was married to her daughter.

I am heading back for a second night tonight to see Lily Frost and some other acts. Anyhow, the work day beckons and I should listen.

PS! Worldwide Spin in Public Day is this weekend – so find an event near you! http://www.wwsipday.com/

Gearing Up for KW Knitters Fair

It has been a busy week and I am working long days of the day job and long evenings of show preparation for Kitchener Waterloo’s Knitter’s Fair.

Much yarn has been dyed and photos need to be taken. I did up a little indigo dye pot yesterday for some indigo tie dyed in fingering and worsted weights and I really love how it turned out.

On the weekend I made a little piece of wall art – from miniature furniture for doll houses..I was thinking it was quite Alice in Wonderland feeling and imagined a whole wall made of this…would be fun!

We got to dogsit our neighbour’s lovely St. Bernard. Her name is Kelowna and she is a giant ball of love.

I got this amazing phang spindle from my girlfriend Janet – it is entirely made by hand from a local Wax Myrtle tree – how amazing is she?

Ok, billions of things to do…so I must say adieu! Dog kiss!