Category Archives: Photography

Inspired Weekend

It has been a really great weekend of getting work done! I have put a new face on the Studioloo website which I am quite happy with and will be putting up a lot of listings. I have finished so much work that is not currently posted on the site. I took a bit of a hiatus from the duties of running an online shop. It’s a lot of work – the photography, photo editing, writing descriptions of products, uploading photos, updating inventories, carts, e-commerce, FTP’ing information, website updates, and so on! It can be somewhat exhausting at times. But, I do love to get my work out to a broader audience than those in Ontario. I really enjoy selling my work in person as well – it’s nice to hear people tell you their plans for your yarns or how something you made will accent their homes.

I have done a lot of spinning this weekend. I think I caught the spinning bug remembering Janice Rosema, an incredible fibre artist who passed away last week.  She was a great inspiration to me and overall just a really sweet person. We are having a little spin-along in the Ravelry art yarn community HERE.  Feel free to join in or post your photos of your inspired works for Janro on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #spinforjanro.  I also did a bunch of crock-pot dyeing of rovings and yarns and managed to finish a bunch of administrative work for shows I am applying to and so on. My to-do list is getting a lot shorter.

There has been a lot of snow here lately so I have been fighting off my cabin fever just working away on things, doing a lot of home cooking and watching documentaries. They have included ‘Sweetgrass’ – a doc about sheep herders going through the Rockies with their flock, a documentary about all of the craziness and politics of the Barnes’ art collection and it’s foundation, a documentary about the making of South Park and how each episode is done in only 6 days, and a bunch more.  I am a documentary addict at this point.

I have also been working away on my Beekeeper’s Quilt and have passed the 300 mark. 300 Hexipuffs! Holy cow – one day this will be a quilt. I also designed a few charts – one of Catbus (for Studio Ghibli fans) and a few for Adventure Time. They are below:

 

 

 

Have a happy Family Day or President’s Day long weekend!

 

Apparently…I am crazy when stagnant!

My poor little pup, Toasty, developed some kind of illness in the middle of last week and through the weekend so I stayed home with him…all….weekend. I have really come to the point in my life where I can’t ever stay inside the house for an entire day. I don’t know why…but it makes me insane…and makes me think about how I could be doing a million different things but I just sit there…and watch TV.  It’s bizarre but I think a testament to the human body and mind needing nature, activity and stimulation.

So, I looked at my to do list from last post…let’s see how I did:

1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.

Ok, not too bad…I finished 4 of 10 things but also managed to finish a few things not on the list…like teaching the husband to weave the rope rug I have been working on so he can help me and as a result I finished 2 more circles and he finished a couple. Here are mine:

 

And, I made really good food, including lovely beef short ribs. Here’s a photo mosaic of the process:

On Sunday I finally broke down and had to take a walk. Toasty was starting to feel a lot better but still just wanted constant sleep so we packed him up in his own little, cuddly crate and walked the beach. It was a nice, inspiring walk and was very nice in that I felt like part of a busy, artsy city. It was quiet and had freshly snowed.

The swans that I visited throughout the summer were there. I photographed these babies in various stages of their growing up process. Now they just look like baby swans but in an adult size.

There were guys filming a music video, singing and playing guitar. They had a cool, little rolling track that the camera could move farther and closer on.

There was even a lady letting her wee bunny take a run around on the beach. He was wearing a cute, little purple sweater and I even got to give him a little cuddle but I only managed to photograph his butt.

Then I collected a lot of amazing drift wood, some charred and a bit piece that looks like a bird head from Beetlejuice or something. I love it!

 

And there was much knitting hexipuffs for my ever-loving Beekeeper’s quilt.

And, in the shop there is a big new art yarn update! Check out the shop here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm

Take a peek at these handspinnies!

Also, I am in the middle of re-branding, dyeing, and photographing a ton of new sock yarn and other yarns. But, my best friend, Mat of Manspun fame has also written a lovely sock pattern for use with my yarn.  It’s called Man-Tastic Socks! and works for men or women. It’s a fun knit and great with variegates, solids or semi-solids!

Pick up your copy here! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/man-tastic-socks

 

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.

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’.

 

 

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.

Great Fall Weekend!

It is the nicest weekend! The weather is beautiful and the leaves are starting to change. On Friday I bought some beautiful Indian corn from the farmer’s market and hung it on the front door. The colours are so exquisite.

Funny enough, I cast on the Aestlight shawl in a really similar colourway of Creatively Dyed Calypso.

I replanted a bunch of small succulent cuttings and they are growing up nicely.

On Friday night I went to the ballgame and saw the Jays beat the Orioles again. It was a fun game and a nice night – not too hot and the seats were 100 level so it wasn’t so cramped. I think going forward I am going to always sit in that level. It’s overall nicer – the food is even more decent, not as many vendors interrupting the game and just better in general.

The other thing I am working on this weekend is getting all of my bisqued pottery waxed because I have to glaze this week for next weekend’s firing. Here are the backs of my waxed buttons:

Yesterday I went downtown to the fashion district on Queen and bought a bunch of nice beads from Arton beads, some yarn from Americo Original and had an awesome lunch at Rivoli. It was my first time there but won’t be my last. I had the Laotian Spring Rolls – they were really yummy. My company had the macaroni and cheese (with peas…yum) and the Siam Wookie Balls – not just a hilarious Star Wars reference but these awesome little sticky rice balls coated in toasted sesame seeds. They were chewy, crunchy and had a nice toasted taste. Really yummy!

Then we wandered through Chinatown and Kensington market and I stopped into Lettuce Knit’s new digs.  The new space is nice and I picked up a beautiful skein of Madelinetosh Prarie and some cute bumblebee buttons.

Don’t Stress, Figure it out, Make Lists, Do..There is no Try!

 

It is a somewhat busy day in the office, but more busy with anticipation of what is to come later this afternoon than burdnened with early morning tasks. There are things I could be working on but I am mostly just trying to plan out my day without feeling panicked I won’t get everything done. Lately I have been feeling bothered by the empty office, false lighting and buzzing ….the random buzzing. There is something about the office environment that involves many things making buzzing noises. I can often drown them out and I am today listening to the latest ‘Cast On’.  It is relaxing me and helping me stay somewhat on task. I am also thinking about the fact it has been ages since I last recorded an episode of Muststashyo. The next episode is basically ready to go, just needs an agenda and to be recorded. I think this whirr of feelings has more to do with so much change coming in my life, but also summer and the want to just be outside.

I have a major sense of overinspiration lately that leaves me somewhat unable to accomplish anything. Every time I think about doing one thing, I think of how many more ‘one things’ I have on my list.  I have been trying to attack this by bringing to my Monday night knitting group, a project that nears completion. Then I work on it and try to finish it while I am there. I got quite a bit done on a piece of altered art I am making but realized I need tiny nails to finish the rim.  So, tonight, the hardware store is on the list.

I need to spend some real time on my big giant priority – aka THE BUSINESS PLAN. There is so much more to tell about this but I am not there yet. Rest assured, dear blog readers, I will share my exciting news once I have it tacked town, tied up and smiling. I’m nothing if not kinky right?

The Farmer’s market is finally open. I am heading there this Sunday. It is open Fridays and Sundays in this city. I can’t wait to stock up on all things fresh, green and local. I have these visions of doing so much more once I have my feet firmly planted on the ground I want them to be on. Canning, pickling, preserving…galore! A bit part of me would love to be a domestic goddess/artist and I think soon I will have some sort of taste of that…even if I will have to be on overdrive to ensure success. I can do that. I’m no stranger to that.

Lastnight I cleaned my bedroom and I have purged thus far 2.5 big blue recycling bags of clothing. It’s amazing how much clothing I have. I used to be a crazy clothes shopper. Nowadays I don’t shop too much at all, unless it is something art related. I have also found myself in a situation where I have art supplies until the end of time. I often get these ideas that require me to run to the store, buy all the materials and set everything up. But then as time goes by and I still have had no time to make things come to fruition, I put these things away, into the studio. My studio needs to really be attacked – but not with purging, with finishing. So, that’s that.

I was thinking of doing a 101 in 1001 kind of arrangement. I might try to do 101 things in 1001 days. Make a counter and such…but I think first I will just try to list things I need to do. It’s healthy.

1. Business Plan
2. Find good accountant
3. Talk to a bank
4. Discuss much with L and S relating to TBL.
5. Renovate basement
6. Get M here
7. Update resume
8. Finish Doll Feet dyework
9. Podcast Episode 10
10. Prepare fiber palettes
11. Muststashyo page on Studioloo website
12. Update non-fibery pages of Studioloo
13. Make plush and birds
14. Whale painting
15. Take sewing classes
16. Guitar lesssons
17. Find a voice coach
18. Raw food diet planning
19. Dog training
20. Set weight loss goals and achieve with a plan
21. Research urban farming and what is allowed in PH
22. Organize Spin in Public Day in PH
23. Raise money for Sea Shepherd
24. Work on book
25. Design workshops
26. Wake up Yarn a Day
27. Set spinning goals
28. Etsy destash
29. Gnome
30. Altered art
31. Clean house
32. More hooks added to window in kitchen
33. Finish enough pottery for another bisque
24. CofC application
25. Foot therapy
26. Publish Muststashyo pattern
27. Yarn club
28. Fiber club
20. Tea order
21. Cashmere and Bamboo order
22. Contests
23. Clean out garage
24. Garage sale
25. Recipe database
26. Master Spinning Course
27. Find local fleece
28. Monthly Projects for Artists Project
29. Curriculum design
30. K for M
31. M Painting
32. Type up kiln instructions and save
33. Keep food blogging
34. Organize beads
35. Finish knitting WIPs
36. Finish blue skirt appliques
37. Finish mending things that need mending
38. Find blue paint, mix and paint bedroom
39.

Wow, really, I am out of things to do already? Brain block…I will add to this later, maybe..or maybe not. I know there is much more than that. Although most of these are BIG things. Photos throughout this post were used because they make me happy, and I have taken no recent and relevant photos to add to this post. And, my blog needs photos. It just does. 🙂

A Bit of a Lovely Weekend

I went back home for the weekend past and it was such beautiful weather and very pretty outside. We took the ferry from Prince Edward County to Kingston and it was nice. I have always liked taking the ferry, just looking out over lovely landscape and feeling the wind on your face, smelling the lake. It’s nice.

And, on the way to Little Bluff the following day, I saw this little bun..

I spent a beautiful Sunday at Little Bluff. This is from the top of the cliff looking down on the stone beach.

The ground was really nice, dry and cracked.

Then I went down to the beach and took a swim in the crystal clear water. It was a little cold but nice because the stones are so warm.

Then, on the way home, Poppy was really sleepy.

Long Weekend Bliss, Knit Like a Jester and Stuff!

It has been a fantastic weekend! Saturday was spent hanging out at The Black Lamb and doing some letterboxing and hiking in Port Hope. We managed to find this letterbox hidden in the rock cut and it was just a nice afternoon, despite the flash rain shower that seemed to happen just as we were hustling to stamp the letterbox.

This letterbox is planted along the Ganaraska river which is littered with beautiful scenes like this:

After searching out this letterbox, we took Hwy. 2 toward home again and decided to take in all the country air and nature we could find. There is this big field of cows that I love to visit on this route and this time there was a donkey hanging out with them. He was so adorable and when I started to talk to him in my signature ‘oh my gosh cute!!!’ babytalk animal-lovin’ voice, he came running right up to me and was adorably sweet.  Case in point…

We stopped along a stony beach and hid a letterbox, near the town of Bond Head. Then, we made our way into Oshawa and the rest of the routes going back home. I saw this weird anomaly at a car dealership – cars in a dumpster.

Sunday was my day of focusing on web design and lightening the load of the day by drinking lots of summer beer and taking breaks now and then.

Today was really nice too! The weather warmed up and I got some spinning done, photographed the new line of Bootsie sock yarn that will be coming, managed to design and order new business cards and yarn labels and just generally answered a lot of emails that needed answering and got lots done. I got some time in at the pottery studio and have a load of thrown forms to carve and embellish. I am thinking up some new fun themes. There is still loads for me to get working on but I am trying not to overly stress myself about any of it. Today is the day of the floating dandelion fluffs.

I think tonight I will do a bit of spinning and planning out my knitting project for a knit-along that I am doing with Velma and Jacey of our friend Tracy’s court jester cowl.  This will give me a chance to actually knit something with my art yarn which I have been meaning to get to forever. Here’s my beautiful Tracy modelling her own design:

If you want to join in and knit this cowl with us, you can find more information here on Ravelry. Ok, time to get spinning this palette: