Lately, with all going on in the news, and in the world, I have been feeling kind of like I could turn back time to when the internet just felt more exciting, and big! We all had webpages and blogs, and seemingly endless avenues to visit and find other creatives. Then social media came along and for some time it was a nice curation of friends, family, and inspiring people we followed down the many roads the internet provided. It seemed easier. However, at least for me, now that same tool feels kind of limiting in that I don’t really want every part of my life connected. I want to have privacy. I want quiet time. I don’t need distractions like a social media feed to cause me to stare at a device for an hour instead of spinning a yarn, playing peekaboo with my daughter or taking part in something educational or relaxing. I’m also starting to feel like it’s taken things from me. I notice a change in productivity. There are some positives but like many notable tech leaders, I am starting to see more negatives than positives for me personally.
So, I’m mixing it up and using the time machine in my mind to go back a bit to how things were when I was happier about the internet. I’m updating Ravelry again, blogging, listening to podcasts and spending less time in general offline. I’m online for my day job and that’s really probably going to be about 90% of my online hours. I’m also debating about how I want to sell my work online. I’ve been terrible at doing shop updates for a multitude of reasons. It’s a lot of work photographing everything, writing descriptions, uploading it, tagging it, advertising, it. I’m not excited to do all that. But I might do something like have live sales or sell on Instagram, where I am posting pictures of both my progress and final items anyhow. It seems like a logical move to try to streamline everything.
I’m also getting back into sewing, which I have not done in a very long time, and I am spending lots of time just spinning fun art yarns. I’ve decided to refocus a bit more on that than on dyeing millspun yarns. I think the market is oversaturated a bit right now – although there are a ton of amazing dyers out there. I just find I have more fun creating yarns from scratch. I will still do small runs of dyed millspun from time to time but more as a special release.
Also, the Frolic is coming up really soon! Come on out and see all our new goodies!
Taking part in this challenge kind of got me invigorated to get caught up on a few things that I do, but they have been slacking a little. This is one yarny thing I am working on. So, a long time ago I was a part of a group on Livejournal that is now defunct. It was the original ‘Fiber Friday’ and each week a theme would be delivered to us and we would do something in the fiber arts to respond to it. As years past, and technology changed, I emailed the original creator of the group to see if she would mind if I took it over to Ravelry but it seems she too is no longer online. So, I went ahead and did it and the Fiber Friday group now lives on both Ravelry and Facebook. Admittedly I had not been doing the weekly updates. Life gets busy and I am not at a computer all the time these days. So, I decided to put together the graphic that can be used on all the sites and other social media and people can work along with it as they can. Feel free to participate! Tag your posts with #fiberfriday2017
Other than that I have also been working on trying to complete making a series of geeky themed yarns as I will be taking part in the Niagara Artist’s Spotlight at The Geekery Pub next weekend. The latest one I am working on is My Little Pony themed.
I also decided that as I am on maternal leave this year that I should try to take up some new learning and have settled on focusing a little more on textiles – specifically embroidery and cross-stitch. Cross-stitch had always seemed like such a dated craft to me until I came across The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and I am in love with their totally cute patterns. I am currently working away on the first of the Happily Ever After SAL (stitch-along) stories – The Owl and the Pussycat. I am finding it very addicting and trying hard to balance my time between this and the things I must do!
On the embroidery side of things I have been working for some time on the #bohosal, which is really big on Instagram. It’s a floral piece that I am just having fun with. I recently picked up the Boho Embroidery book and I would recommend it highly – it is fully of amazing photos, inspiring projects and great instructions for even the new stitcher.
I am a little bit late but I have decided I am going to get a start on the Yarn Love Challenge. I think the time is so right to have this kind of activity to keep my mind in the right place and focused on the things that truly define my happiness and my life. Fiber is a big part of that and has introduced me to some of the greatest friends and inspirations that I have ever had in my life. So, please feel free to follow along on the blog and follow my challenge, and take part for yourself. I would love to follow your journey as well. The challenge can be found here or under the #yarnlovechallenge hashtag on social media.
While the blog has been somewhat quiet for a while, behind the scenes Studioloo has been extremely busy planning for the lineup of shows we have coming up:
Aug 14th – Fibre Artist’s Marketplace at Lang Pioneer Village in Peterborough, ON
Aug 20/21 – Twist Fibre Festival in St. Andre Avelin, QC
Sept 10 – Kitchener/Waterloo Knitter’s Festival in Kitchener, ON
Oct 15 – Woodstock Fleece Festival in Woodstock, ON
And…then from there, we aren’t yet sure if we will be doing more shows for 2016 and will have to see how things go as I am due with Babyloo on December 3rd!
Also, you will likley notice that studioloo.com is looking very empty right now. This is becuase I am in the middle of redesigning it entirely, and also will begin to sell Spinolution spinning wheels again soon. So, there will be lots of new changes coming up and many fun things to share, real soon. Meanwhile, come on out and see me at a show. 🙂
This weekend is Stitch n Kitsch! I will have a lot of new yarns, limited edition and never before released! So, come on out and see us at Stitch n Kitsch – my setup is right inside the entrance door. There will be a lineup of amazing local artists from the Kitchener-Waterloo area with lots of goodies for your holiday shopping, or to spoil yourself a little! Hope to see you there!!
This weekend is Kitchener-Waterloo’s annual KW Knitter’s Fair! We will be there in booths 69 and 70 and I will have a ton of new things for this show – including a few new small batch lines of yarn and some other goodies!
It’s almost time for Twist Fibre Festival and I could not be more excited! Over the last few months when not at shows or out adventuring, I have been working away on lots of new fibres, yarns, kits, garments and more more more for Twist. Admittedly my shop and website updates have been kind of sporadic – it’s tough to manage all the things I do, so I have stopped guilting myself about it and simply decided to update things when I can.
Anyhow, back to Twist! Twist takes place in August in a really beautiful part of Quebec. It’s a really nice place to visit and the people are really creative and lovely. I noticed a totally different vibe about this show – people were open minded and interested in the more fringe stuff that I like to create, rather than just standard yarn + pattern = garment.
I sincerely recommend you making Twist a part of your summer fibre activities – you will definitely not regret it – plus, there is good food, and beer, and workshops (including mine!) and more!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the workshop – I would love to hear from you. Sign up! It’s going to be a blast and you will get access to my secret treasure trove of fibres and nature finds. I have also found a really amazing woodcarving tool kit that you will get to take home and have some really fun ideas.
So, I know I am a bad blogger, but you can find me most days posting to my Studioloo Facebook page. 🙂
But also, I am hoping to blog a bit more now as I have setup a kitchen workstation to help me be in a more central part of the house to ensure that I update my website more, blog more, and overall inspire myself to be on the computer enough so no one sends a search party. The truth is that as an artist I am often totally immersed in what I do these days and I don’t feel as eager to post it all online – editing photos, creating buttons, web updates, etc. I do enough computer stuff in my day job so I would rather be felting, spinning, making making making. But I will find balance.
Other than that I have been working on a couple of things – a workshop I hope to be teaching this summer, and a new pattern that I just published on Ravelry – using one of my handspun art yarns and one of my bootsie-loo sock yarns. The Artful Umbrella Tree Shawl is a lot of fun, and I will be putting together some custom kits for it. It is a lovely marriage of my yarns and a really fun knit. It will help you expand your creativity and learn a few new skills while still being suitable for yes, a beginner knitter!
I will be photographing a bunch of new yarns soon – lots of bootsie-loo and some wire core handspun. For now I have posted a huge handspun art yarn update and there are lots of goodies ripe for the picking. Check them out here! Also, if you are one of my US customers, there is no time like the present to pick up Canadian yarns as our dollar is so much lower than yours. That is a great benefit I try to take advantage of when international shopping.
Spring is on it’s way and I am planning my garden – how about you?
Summer is finally here! Lots has been happening around Studio – major house renovations and all sorts of stuff. I know the website has been a little quiet lately, and I have been opting to take a bit of a hiatus from Ravelry, Facebook, and any other social networking. I just find it all a bit overwhelming and it tends to detract from actually getting real things done. So, these days I am focusing things, getting lots done, and focusing on more in-person shows, and stuff. But, very soon I will be revamping my office to allow me to do more daily website updates, blog updates, etc. I still likely won’t be on social networking much – except for Studioloo blurbs and pictures on Facebook and Instagram. It’s really working out nicely for me not to spend hours of my day scrolling through stuff. We have to balance life…not make ourselves too available all the time. For me, it’s especially important as I have a day job, dogs, family, and so on.
Last weekend we had a big yard sale and managed to knock out Phase 2 of cleaning out the garage – getting rid of old artwork and antique stall stuff that we no longer want to hold on to. It was a fun, successful day. Having a yard sale is a great way to connect with neighbours and meet people.
Most of what I have been doing lately has centred around home renovation and preparing for Twist Fibre Festival in August. I have been dyeing loads of yarn, and still have a lot more to dye, and I have been washing loads of fleeces from my haul at Maryland Sheep and Wool.
This week we are also putting in hardwood floors in our living room, and painting away all the ugly beige. My to-do list is a little bit of a nightmare but I am working through it.
So, if we haven’t chatted in a while ….this is why. I will return to civilization shortly..I promise.
Well, it’s been a busy, quiet Winter, and I have developed some bad habits but despite this unrelenting snow, I am going to kick my life back into gear. I guess we all feel this way at this time of year. I have been wasting my time doing so many things…facebook….playing games on my iPad where I am far too committed to building fake towns, and feeding fake animals and destroying blocks and things. That…needs…to….stop! Now! But, the good news is that I have not only been wasting time. I have been doing a lot of cool things that don’t happen on the internet.
I have been a supreme hermit and I am pretty sure that my friends are likely convinced that Mike is keeping me in a cage in my studio, but that’s not the case. Trust me, I am still shaving my legs and making art and having fun. I have really fallen in love my our new home and I have been working on it most weekends and evenings. I have been reading more, watching lots of documentaries, having date nights, playing with my dogs…including our new rescue dog and so much more.
But, it is time to balance and come back into the light. I have a bunch of plans to accomplish things I have been wanting to work on for some time, and I have an action plan.
So, this period of quiet is over, starting with the upcoming Knitter’s Frolic. So, I am going to start blogging again, and updating my site. I am planning on scaling back some parts of Studioloo…things I need to abandon to create anew. Looking forward to growing and changing more and more.
Also, my show schedule so far is updated: http://www.studioloo.com/upcomingshows.htm