Author Archives: cindy

As Summer Winds Down…

I have been having a really nice summer full of good friends, fun events, good food, much love and learning some new things. This past weekend I was at the Textile Marketplace at Lang Pioneer Village. They were having the ribbon cutting and opening of their new weaving room and it was such a fun event. This is a wonderful place to take kids, or just hang out at. There are so many charming people and really interesting exhibits. I have dyed a ton of new Bootsie sock yarn and Wink Wink Worsted weight and unveiled it at this show. I am really trying to gear up for the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter’s Fair on September 10, 2011. That will be one of the largest shows I have done, and this time I am doing it without The Black Lamb and my good friend Laurie as she is off on a lovely UK knitting tour. Anyhow, here are some highlights from the weekend at Lang.

This is the new weaving room – it has a huge Jacquard loom inside.

I was not only in attendance as a vendor, but also as a spinning demonstrator. There were all sorts of demos going on all around the park. This lady was weaving rag rugs.

Women in period costume were doing some wonderful natural dyeing over the fire pit and they were even selling the Lang natural dyeing booklet. I picked one up – it seems a nice introduction to the basics of natural dyeing without getting too overwhelming – really well defined and organized recipes and instructions.

And, much to my delight there were all sorts of sweet beasties to play with including a really adorable chicken and duck that lived together in sweet harmony. They were the nicest pair of birds I have ever met. They were so cute and would come up and ‘gossip’ with you. Of course by this time my camera had long run out of battery life. Anyhow, here are some of the other sweeties.


And a couple shots of my booth..

My birthday also passed on by on August 1st and I was totally spoiled and had a wonderful weekend in Prince Edward County. My husband made me this amazing ‘PCOOKIE PCAKE’ which is…loosely understood as a custard pie with a giant chocolate chip cookie on top and then a 2-layer chocolate fudge cake on top of that. It was insane decadence.

I have also become a woman obsessed with knitting Tiny Owl Knits’ Beekeeper’s Quilt . It is so fun. Even Hippo agrees!

The other day when I was sitting outside knitting thinking to myself all morning ‘Dear Cicada up high in the tree, please go visit another neighbourhood not so close to me’ when all of a sudden BLOOP, right in my lap he came tumbling on down. I affectionately called him John Cicada before hanging out with him a bit and then hiding him in the crotch of my lilac tree where the birdies couldn’t see him.

He agreed with me that knitting is a great social event.

River with the Puppies and a Nice Dinner

It has been a decent Saturday. I dyed up some merino for the steampunk gauntlets I will be making for a secret friend, along with some other wool that was hanging about asking to be dyed. So, the drying racks are a bit full. I have cut the pattern for the gauntlets and need to get some more foam wrap to make templates for more felting ideas I have in my brain. I actually finished another of the pod sculptures a couple of days ago. Here’s a process photo and the final piece.

I feel like I got quite a bit done today. I got up really early and went grocery shopping, gave myself plenty of time to putter around and organize a few things, and then headed out to the river with the puppies. They had a fun time. Lulu seems to be more ambitious about doing a little swimming these days.

There are some little signs around this park that we hike at warning about this invasive plant species called giant hogweed. I had no idea that this stuff can cause allergic reactions and that it is even evasive. I remember picking the white umbrella like flowers from this plant when I was a kid. Anyhow, I saw some wee little snails parasailing on one of the flowers and it was neato.

Some of the snails are really tiny and cute. Check this one out next to Mat’s hand (wearing the awesome Kinekt gear ring I got him) for size comparison.

Then after a nice hike we all came home and bathed the puppies and I made a nice, light and modern antipasto and focaccia for dinner.

Bloomfelt Workshop with Marjolein Dallinga

I had the absolute best weekend ever! I treated myself to something I never get to do – go to an art workshop. I am usually the one teaching workshops but it was so refreshing and full of spoils that I actually got to attend one by someone who inspires me so much – Marjolein Dallinga of http://www.bloomfelt.com. She is an incredible felter, originally from Holland, who now lives in Canada and sometimes teaches workshops. Her work is incredible, so much so that she costumes for Cirque de Soleil. However, all of that aside, I found Marjolein to be a wonderful, kind and sincere person who is able to bring people down from the speed, stress, and obsessiveness of a consuming environment. She basically puts into perspective how you should enjoy the process of everything you do, think about what you are giving of yourself in your work, and how you can define yourself as an individual artist or maker. I still have many of her poetic words swirling in my brain and I just want to run, or perhaps stroll, with all of the inspiration she filled me with.

Marjolein taught us so much about the felting process, pre-felts, and taking care. I feel really good about the pieces that I made in the workshop but I also know where I need to strive for improvement and search to become closer to a fine, finished, piece. She gave us really great artistic challenges including restricting oneself to only consuming the smallest amounts of fiber, working with colours we disliked and transforming our visions. We did 3 projects and they took every bit of the 3 days. Felting is hard work but I can’t wait to jump back into it!

The first day we made gauntlets – these are mine – we were to use about 30g of merino for the entire project although mine are over by almost 20g as it was my first time ever wet felting. They look, feel and fit amazingly though I will work harder for finer material.

The second day we created both of our pre-felts for what would become our finished sculptural pieces on the final day. The first one we worked on from a circular shape and it became this amazing felted pod like piece.  The challenge was to use colours we loved on the inside and colours we hated on the outside then to determine if we felt differently about them at the end of their transformation. I definitely do – I now love the colours and find them very soothing and oceanic – very close to my happiest inspiration.

The final project was this shell like sculptural piece. The inside was done in a variety of colours that make us happy with the outside being a range of colours that represented the range of our moods. I really love this one. It started as a giant egg shape and became very erotic at the end of the process.

There are more details in my Felt set on Flick here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/studioloo/sets/72157627172188958/

I have so much more to blog about but it is time to get off to Stitch n Bitch. 🙂

Grow Old Along With Me

So, what have I been doing since the last time I blogged in early June? Oh….shows and sales, workshops, and um, getting married!!

So, I was married to my long time sweetheart, Michael, on June 15, 2011 and it was really and truly the best day ever and the finishing point to a very long road, and the starting line to what I hope will be a very long, exciting journey filled with laughs and joy.

I have never been terribly fond of posting photos of myself, or sharing them even. I find that when photos are taken of me, I often don’t look like myself or I just feel drained when people photograph me. I feel like they take a little piece of my soul away. I apologize if that sounds a bit drama queen/Lady Gaga-ish but it really impacts me. It’s weird and something I used to think I needed to work on, but now something I am quite content in feeling. Anyhow, I will share a few pictures because it was a big day.

This was wedding 1 of what will be a couple of wedding-ish ceremony type things that we have not worked out yet. This one needed to happen so we can start the next step relating to immigration, etc. I am thinking some time around our 1 year anniversary we will do something …but we haven’t worked it out yet. We don’t want to stress ourselves to pieces but we want everyone to come out and party with us. So, details to follow on that one….

We had a little honeymoony in Niagara Falls and it was really nice, perfect weather and just a relaxing, beautiful time. Here are some highlights:

June is the Busiest Month Ever!

June has proven to be the busiest of months ever but if you want to see me, you can do so this weekend and I will have lots of new goodies at shows I am super looking forward to. It’s so nice it isn’t all cold and rainy so much these days – making me really want to get crafty and inspired. So, this weekend are the following shows!

Stitch n Kitsch in Kitchener/Waterloo!

More info here: http://www.stitchnkitsch.com/

And on Sunday, Art in the Park at the Neilson Creative Center in Etobicoke – this is my first time doing this show but I am really excited. A few months ago I did a really nice fibre festival there and it was a lot of fun. I will be an indoor exhibitor so come out and see all the wonderful artists! More info here: http://www.neilsonparkcreativecentre.com/special-events/art-in-the-park

I have been such a lazy blogger but I chalk it up to living life – planning my upcoming nuptials and figuring out a bunch of things. I am so looking forward to August when I feel like the most of the work to be done will be over. Phew! Then back down to crafty business. So, if you are following me on social networks, blogs, ravelry, etc. and have noticed I have been super quiet – this is why. For those of you interested, I also do plan to start podcasting with Mat again for the Muststashyo project, as well as very soon I will be planning for Worldwide Spin in Public day and need to start advertising and getting the sites up to date, and so on. So, expect all of that to come from me soonish.

Here’s a little sneak peek at some paintings for the Art in the Park show:

And, my plants are doing really nice in my sunny window – look, the cactus is blooming! First time in a few years!

And, now for some yarny goodness!

Oh, and there are so many more, and new hand dyed sock yarns, lace yarns and worsted weight. So much stuff. I will be doing a website update after all these shows too and will post about that when I get there.

Puppies!

Pictures from a day that make me super happy – I saw these guys hanging out in a car waiting for their owner to finish eating her lunch. They were so cute I took a million pictures and baby talked to them for almost an hour. Holy cute, right?

A Question of Evolution

Baby orangutan sitting around looking cool = Orangutan funny

Mat sitting around looking cool = Mat funny

Baby orangutan making a funny face = Orangutan funny

Mat making a funny face (with half a beard nonetheless) = Mat funny

Baby orangutan with something weird on his face = Orangutan funny

Mat with something weird on his face = Mat funny

Baby Orangutan looking pensive in deep thought but totally unable to be taken seriously = Orangutan funny

Umm…..

All pictures and suggestions in this post were used without Mat’s knowledge or consent. The baby orangutan from Toronto zoo was in on it the whole time though.

Great Dye-ventures!

I have been a dyeing machine lately – and received a nice new shipment of bamboo lace, merino/cashmere/nylon  and merino/seacell fingering weight yarns. The Etobicoke Fiber festival was also a couple weeks ago and I had a great time – it was really well organized with great volunteers, good attendance and a lovely space. The weather outside is making me feel energetic – it’s warm and breezy – really nice. Spring may finally be peeking it’s head out.

Last weekend I did a bunch of dyeing. I bought a load of silk cocoons and needed to get them dyed so I setup a bunch of dye jars and got to work. Being the waste-not want-not kinda girl that I am I decided to dye a bunch of silk carrier rods along with the cocoons and then fill the rest of the jar with this amazing wensleydale fleece (all young locks) that I bought at Rhinebeck. A great decision it was. If the upcoming photos do not make you drool, then you are not a fibre maniac like me – and I understand that.

So here are the jars with just the cocoons all lonely:

Then all filled up with locks and carrier rods too:

So now things have been drying away for a few days and I am left with this amazing palette of colours.

This is a yummy skein of merino/cashmere/nylon in the colourway ‘Anjou Pear’ that Mat and I dyed up – it’s part of a new line of yarns we are calling DALI-CASH, named after Salvador Dali and a promotional part of our podcast – yes, Muststashyo will be making it’s return very soon. We just had a lot going on – work, life, etc. but we think we will be able to get recording again. Mat has already started writing and I have an idea and plan to record something tomorrow night. I have SnB tonight so no dice.

And some of the new merino/seacell – this yarn takes dye so nicely.

There is also new bamboo aock yarn!

And bamboo lace!

I have managed to get some knitting done also! I just finished the ‘I Heart Poms’ hat which I call ‘Wrath of Poms’. I made it from Malabrigo Rios – that yarn is so decadently amazing.  And, the pattern is so simple and cute – it cinches at the top so has a nice shape.

I made this cute, bubbly, cowl for a friend also. It was a lot of fun to make – my first experience with dropping rows of stitches, on purpose!

Sorry for the mannequin boobage. The knitting crowning achievement lately however happened lastnight when I finally finished the Flutterby Socks I have been working on forever – not because they are hard, just because I have been distracted.

And, as socks go – a pair off the needles and a new pair on – Nutkin will be next, from Malabrigo sock yarn in ‘Primavera’

In the next couple of days. I will be updating Studioloo with a ton of new lace and sock yarns, as well as new plush toys and handspun art yarns. So stay tuned…

Out of Blog Hibernation

Holy cow! I have failed at blogging recently, but it’s not because I haven’t been up to much. I have just been focusing a lot of doing different life stuff. I have joined a gym and I am working on a lot of personal health goals, and I have been up to a lot of fun stuff. But, I think I am ready to try to keep things in my online life up to date a little bit more.

So, each morning I still wake up and get to see my wee Poppy doing something cute, like sticking his tongue out at me.

The puppies have been doing really well although sometimes they perform self-imposed pillow seperation.

Lately I have also been feeling more creative with making breakfast. Breakfast is a meal that I struggle with. I am not really a breakfast person. I think it’s a genetic thing – my parents aren’t breakfast people either. However, everyone around me these days are breakfast people. So, I have been playing in the kitchen with some fun things. I will write up the recipes for both of these a little later so you can try them out for yourself.

First off – Sausage Fudge Pancake with Sugared Pecan Topping  (or as the boys call it – Pigs in a Mattress). I decided I needed to make something really special to go with this single press bottle of 2o1o maple syrup I splurged on. And it was totally worth it. Imagine a fat pancake with fresh organic breakfast sausage and bits of yummy dark fudge in the middle, sprinkled with sugared pecans and baked golden brown. Yes, it was that delicious!

Then I experimented with chicken and waffles and this has become a bit of a favourite for any meal when we are feeling like we have spent enough time at the gym. 🙂 Waffles are one of those easy go-to favourites that are really hard to mess up, and the batter is my dad’s old family recipe.

I have also been really busy with fiber related things. I will be getting studioloo.com updated this weekend with a bunch of information. First off, I have confirmed that I have the following shows coming up – with dates and links below:

April 2 and 3 – Etobicoke Fibre Arts Festival

June 11 – Stitch n Kitsch

September 10 – Kitchener Waterloo Knitter’s Fair

As such, I have been preparing and starting to get lots done. I am planning to do a lot of spinning in the upcoming weeks as well as a lot of dyeing and making loads of other things. I recently updated yarn stock at The Fibre Garden so if you are in the Niagara region and looking for some new yarns from me, check there. It’s a wonderful shop with lots of unique fibres. I will be adding a bunch of art yarns to my site this weekend, if not sooner.

I have also been dyeing up more bamboo sock yarn, and will have bamboo lace next week to get started in the dye pots.

And there has been mass felt making – beads and freeform!

I have been very busy with pottery as well. I am now participating in my pottery guild’s executive as the coordinator for monthly meetings and workshop planning. It has been nice scheduling guest artists to present to the members each month and also gives me a chance to do lots of baking. Right now, the boy and I have been making buttons like crazy!

I am hoping that winter starts to make more of an effort at going away. I really want to get to work in my backyard and try to turn it into a multi-purpose space this year. I need room for outdoor dining, the BBQ, and would like to have a bit of a garden. I see much pruning in my future.  I just want to get planting. Work has been unbelievably busy lately that I am behind in to many things. But, I am inspired by the lovely things I come across. Sometimes I find such pretty pottery that I can’t help myself. I recently picked up this plant pot – glazed amazingly in a colour and texture I could never get in non-toxic glazes I am sure.

And with spring, comes new shoes! These are my new shoes for the season. They are so cute and comfy. They are made by Groundhog shoes and are environmentally friendly.