Category Archives: Good Karma

Pretty Things

Some days it is hard to feel positive when you have to see things you really despise in politics, social issues, the environment and so on. I have decided recently to try to do my best to clear my life out of these things by getting rid of media, people, and other exposures to things that don’t make me happy. On my own I am able to seek out the issues that make me passionate; I can fight good fights without having to constantly be bombarded by people who feel opposite of how I do.  I think that social media makes people really angry, pseudo-anonymous, and really geared up to fight, shout their opinions regardless of how they could make others feel and so on.  I have taken a step back recently on how that makes me feel – and how I want to basically portray myself more as a full human being, instead of just someone who has a certain view on a specific social topic. There is more to me than just the fact I support a certain decision. That being said however, I am really torn because there are certain people who I love for what they do, but not who they are – and that can really be a hard thing to deal with. I guess that is a good reason to not ‘friend’ someone on social media – instead ‘like’ their pages where they discuss their art, their business, etc. This being said – I am removing a few people from my social media websites so that I don’t have to be blindsided constantly by political things that I have no power to change – things often that take place in a country I don’t even live in. I know that we don’t have the power to agree, but I want to have the power still to respect the amazing art that is pumped out of these people.

It has been an insanely busy week – I have gotten so much done so that I can go away and spend some rare time with my family on a camping trip. I have dyed and packaged 3 new fun yarn kits/lines for KW knitter’s fair. I have done a full load of pottery – new yarn bowls, vases, bowls, cups, and more – some to join me at the Art in the Open market and some for KW knitter’s fair.  I have gotten a lot of work done at my day job. I have dyed a ton of yarn….and spun a lot too! I am bringing my spinning wheel on this camping trip and I hope to get some great, relaxing spinning time along with some kayaking, hiking, photography and just relaxing.

Here’s a peek at some faux cashmere I dyed – one braid of several different colourways. This is such a nice fibre to dye.

 

And a peek at a yarn I spun this week with some nice wool flowers. I actually got to spin this at my knit night at Whole Foods – it’s such a great place to do creative things. I find you get a lot of positive attention.

 

I bought this beautiful burl from the exotic wood store some time ago and my husband/business partner/slave finished staining and sealing it for me this week. He is truly the blessing of my life and helps me with so many creative endeavours that I cannot even think of ways to possibly thank him enough for all of his patience and support. I am very lucky.

 

There are still about a million things to do tonight before I head to bed early to prepare to wake up at 5am for the market so I should get packing clothes and toiletries, and washing yarn, and so on! I leave this post with a picture of a sleepy, unimpressed Poppy in his new gnome costume.

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.

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:

Meanderings of a Small Town Girl

So, my birthday was August 1st and celebrations only somewhat simmered as of lastnight. That is the sign of having really good friends and family. And, I can say, I am blessed with that.  I went to Prince Edward County, the home of my birth, last weekend to visit the family, have much cake, beaching, and barbecue. It was a lot of fun. I am mildly bothered that someone has managed to tell the tourists about my favorite secret beach though. Having grown up in the small town I did, a big part of me wants it to stay somewhat close to what I remember, but things can’t obviously stay exactly the same. I am fine embracing change but I have to admit that I am somewhat overwhelmed by the tourist trap my hometown has become. It is now an art haven, food haven, wine country extravaganza of things that …well, it never actually was. I feel sometimes like it is a facade of glamour that hangs it’s halo around an otherwise normal, but beautiful place. Being the lover of art, literature, food, and all those things that make us human, I am happy that these things have moved there, but a part of me sort of feels distressed that the purveyors may claim they were always there. I sort of feel like they uproot the roots of the real people who live there and grew up there. It’s maybe a silly feeling but I am sure it is not a sentiment I feel alone. Seeing the changes in the farming industry, and a general scale down of the farmland makes me wonder how a lot of the locals feel. I know that my family now have to travel to land in the middle of nowhere to feel like they have ‘escaped’ and, home used to just …a constant escape….at least from things like cellphones, traffic, noise, pollution, etc. but it can sometimes not feel that way. Anyhow, enough of my passive wondering about the state of things. There was a lovely outdoor art show on while I wast there, with painters painting out in the street, and a street sale with craft and local vendors.

I was able to have my favourite pizza, favourite submarine sandwich and favourite ice cream all in one weekend…what can be better than that? This is a funny video I found from my favourite sub shop, Imperial Submarines, made by a local radio DJ (I think…) as you will likely also judge from his voice. You can get a real feel for how sweet the family that owns the shop are. They are lovely, and people that I grew up around. Just good people…

Also, guess who got an iPad for her birthday? Oh yes…and I have to say, they are awesome. I think that I still like the Kindle better for reading books however, mainly because it is ePaper so easy on the eyes, and it is more lightweight and small. But, the iPad is amazing for browsing, applications, reading in colour, magazines, etc. It is really nice and I am a spoiled brat.

I also stopped into Rose Haven Farm Store to replenish a whole new stock of art yarns, so if you are in the area and want to check them out…pop into the shop.

In other artsy news, I am working on a line of custom spinning supplies, including some plying threads. I came up with the idea because I am always looking for ways to make things more my own. So, I started working on my own plying threads and I just really loved the control over being able to chose the colours, texture, fibre content, weight and so on. Here’s a peek at one. There are a couple in the shop and more to come very soon!

This week I am planning an adventure in growing some hollyhocks. I learned recently that hollyhocks bloom every two years and the colour they bloom depends on how they are pollinated. Being that I love surprises, I think these have to be one of the most interesting flowering stalks. I did some research and learned about how to take care of a condition called hollyhock rust, which is like a rusty-ness that occurs on the leaves and can impact other weak plants in your garden. These are my little pods, drying up and waiting for their chance to be planted.

A couple of years ago, I was trolling the Freecycle lists and I came across a post from a man who was clearing out a huge collection of Playboy magazines. So, being the curious artist and reclaimer that I am, I messaged him telling him that I would love to pick them up and use them for art projects. A little while later he messaged me back telling me the story about them. They belonged to his late father who had recently passed away. The entire family had no idea that he had this collection, and his mother was a bit disheartened by these taudry bits of literature so he was hoping I could get them ASAP. I headed to his place that night and he relayed to me his relief in that an artist contacted him instead of some creepy pervert. The whole situation was a laugh for both of us. So, I now have all of the Playboy magazines printed from the early sixties to the mid-nineties. Some, I preserve, and some I use for art projects. Recently when wandering around The Value Village, I saw this whole box of 12 matching, tacky gold frames.  In the interest of unique wall art….a plan was born and now all I have to do is hang these pretties.

Mat and I are working on the next episode of the Muststashyo podcast. I am hoping to get it done for this weekend depending on how things go. This has proven to be a very busy summer.

Lastnight I spent a great evening with my friends in Richmond Hill – one of my favourite knitting groups and just awesome people. We have started to have these little birthday celebrations each month to mark the birthdays of our friends from the group. It’s a great idea. I received some beautiful yarn, liquer and a lovely necklace from my lovely friend Kittynne. It’s a beautiful ceramic pendant necklace from http://www.etsy.com/shop/surly and yes, yes, it has a MOUSTACHE on it!!! Yay! The girl does lovely work, and custom orders!

I also wanted to mention something else that is dear to my heart, because of my friend Stacey…it’s Kayak for a Cure! Stacey is a really sweet, genuine person and a cancer survivor. She’s fun and awesome and doing her part to raise money for cancer – something that I think we all can relate to, unfortunately.  One thing I have to say that I can find joy in when people have a serious illness, is that it changes them. In many cases of people I have been close to, and in Stacey’s case, you can see such a bright light that comes from them…a whole new appreciation for life and those around them. If you have it in your heart, please check out her story and donate some money to the cause: http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?px=3684970&fr_id=6600&pg=personal. If you have some time to sit and read her story, you will see how her sweetness, intellect, wit and charm shine though. She is a survivor of  chondrosarcoma which I only learned about lastnight, in detail. It affected her skull base and she had to go through much healing and recovery, but she is now bright as a sunflower, getting back in her boat and doing something really positive! So, be inspired and donate some money to the cure and maybe send her a kind word. 🙂 Or, if you are into kayaking and want to participate check it out – http://kayakforacure.org

Help Haiti!

I’m sure many of you read the Yarn Harlot blog, and so know about Knitters Without Borders and their support of Médecins Sans Frontìeres. But in light of the disaster in Haiti, and the good work that MSF does, I’d like to point you to Stephanie’s post from yesterday, and to encourage you to give. As every artist, crafter, knitter, sewist and needleworker knows…every little stitch, every little bit, counts. There are lots of ways you can generate some money including:

– Talk to your local craft group, SnB, quilting bee, etc. and see if they want to do a bit of funding/fundraising and donate as a group.
– Destash some yarns or other craft supplies and donate the money you make to the cause.
– Donate a portion of your sales (of crafty or artsy items you make) to the cause.
– Convince your company to donate some money.