Tag Archives: art yarn

Longwood Gardens, Vacation Recap and Spoils in Winter

I am back from a very fun and restful vacation! Among my journeys was a beautiful visit to a lovely B&B called Sweet Water Farms. I would definitely recommend this B&B – the cottages and the house are so beautiful and they have really awesome dogs, which for me is always a super bonus becuase I love dogs! They also have sheep, fainting goats, horses, whirpools in the cottages, a hot tub, pool, nice breakfasts, etc. etc. etc.

Before arriving at the B&B however, I was treated to a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens, which I cannot begin to gush enough about. What a vision this place is! This is a massive property with a huge indoor and outdoor garden – all sorts of incredible and rare breeds of plant, flower, bonsai, tree, cactus, etc.  Right now they have a show called Orchid Extravaganza running. It’s amazing. Here are a few of the tonnes of photos I took. The whole set is here.

This was one of my favourite flowers:

Some of the orchids:

It was so nice to get inside the greenhouse, the minute you walk in the smell is heavenly. You feel like you are in the garden of Eden or that spring has just injected itself into your soul, right through your nose. I wish I could somehow express the delightful smell of this garden. They had a room with lovely, fragrant citrus trees.

 

I also didn’t know how awesome a nectarine tree is – they grow so interestingly, all spread out very wide. As such, the garden grows them against these gates to support their branches. I am not sure if you will be able to tell how this tree is shaped from the small photo below but worry not – here is the big one.

I was also dumbfounded by the hall of bonsais they have. Some of them are decades old. They looked like diverse forests, in a tiny format, in these little pots. This one has been growing since 1949 but the oldest I recall was 1929 (but that was only when I started to pay attention to the actual dates so there could be some even older).

Next to blow my mind were these great big flowers:



They look like a big fist before they come into bloom.

The entire garden has a romantic, beautiful feel to it and it would be an amazing place for events..they have a lovely ballroom, a giant organ the size of several rooms and you can peer into the back of it at all of the working parts, chimes and knobs.

I definitely have a lot more to talk about form this vacation. It was a lot of fun. I went to an amazing import/antique store, loads of yarn stores…did a little stash enhancement and just generally spent some good time away from the stress of the day to day 9-5. It was much needed and despite falling back in to the crazy schedule, I am still feeling renewed.

One of the nice things about coming home is that I received several packages from Ravelry swaps I have been part of. One of the greatest presents I received was my new Cloak of Ravens that was knitted by my swap partner.

It was from the Mythology swap, in which my partner chose to focus on Freya.
I learned so much about the Norse goddess Freya and wow, what a beautiful mythical being.

Here are a few pictures of my stash enhancement:
Schoppel-Wolle Ambiente (from Lovely Yarns in Hampden)

Claudia Handpainted in colourway ‘Red Wagon’ (from Nangellini in Philidelphia)

Alchemy Juniper (from Loop in Philidelphia)

Since getting back I have been feeling very much like getting lots of things done, prepping for upcoming workshops, etc. and I did manage to get a little shop update done yesterday.
There are a couple new art yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm
A couple new sock yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/yarnpages/bootsie.htm
A load of new spinning fibers here: http://www.studioloo.com/spinningfibers.htm

I am also in the midst of preparing the next Muststashyo podcast and shop update. So, much to do but I’m planning to have fun doing it.

WIPs, Lots of Socks and the Need to Plan

I finished a big art yarn update in the shop lastnight. Here’s a little peek:

The beginning of each year always makes me feel like I need to lay down some kind of plan for all the events that I have coming up and jot them down on a calendar and make sure I am not planning on being in two places at once. This year is no exception. I have already been pleasantly surprised at how many requests for spinning workshops and invites to speak at guilds and such I have received. I am really looking forward to it. I always love meeting spinners of all skill levels and getting a chance to open up a few horizons here and there.

Also, I received my copy of 50 Socks – 50 States and I really love it. It is very nicely rendered on linked PDFs that share some info. about each state and of course, the sock pattern:

You can get your own copy here.

This week I am going to try to tackle one of my many work-in-progress knitting projects that has been sitting by the wayside. I think I will start with this one:

It is a sort of freeform capelet that I started one day while knitting with some Ravelry friends at The Purple Purl. I need to work on the shaping and I am planning on trimming it possibly with this scallop edging. I need to knit a bunch of red and black mohair poppies that will attach to it as well.

I have been taking photos lately of little nooks and crannies around my house because I love seeing what people covet and collect.

This is on a bookshelf in my house…here live a few gnomes, antique cameras, doll heads and one of my smashclocks. In the month of January so far I have donated 2 full car loads of ‘stuff’ that I no longer need. I am on this mission to purge and get rid of as much stuff as I won’t die without as possible. I feel lately like I want to spend my money and energy more on doing the things that allow me to live my life, not create my life inside a house/box. I think that is a happier way to spend my time. Of course the collector inside me is screaming a little…

I need to make beautiful things that I can give away so that I still experience the joy of creating but I don’t have a life full of objects that overwhelm me. This is why I am so excited about being on the last of 3 sessions of local pottery classes until I am allowed to join the pottery guild and take on a new creative path. Here are a few of the spoils from my last class:

I also make a teapot and a yarn bowl that I am really in love with. This is another art with endless possibilities and opportunity to learn.

Tonight I am off to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I had planned to see it lastnight but wanted to stay home and check out the new Kids in the Hall show ‘Death Comes to Town’. I am so glad that I did. For those of you who love Kids in the Hall like I do, you will totally understand. For those of you who don’t know them at all, they have a really great, sometimes raw humour.  Here’s a look at the trailer. It’s not for kiddies or the delicate flowers of politeness:

A New Studioloo for 2010 and Other Stuff!

Welcome to the new Studioloo blog and website! I decided late in 2009 that I needed a new space to keep up a daily blog with loads of pictures of what I am up to and share things like recipes, photos, patterns, etc. So, this is it! There are also a bunch of improvements to Studioloo in general – namely the shop! It is scaled down with a focus on fiber arts and has cart functionality, finally!

I have for some time enjoyed doing the graphic part of web design, but have fallen out of love with the coding and configuration of it all, hence why this has taken so long. The many ecommerce options out there all present a lot of different kinds of challenges but I have settled on a solution I am happy with.

Anyhow, January has me feeling really renewed with a focus on wanting to be creative and find new ways to live my life and prepare myself to be more involved in the things I love doing. This blog will be a reflection of that and a frequent window into my life and what I am working on. I have a huge yarn and fiber update underway. I didn’t want to do it right away, but instead allow myself to focus on getting the current stock up on the new platform. I have yet to add all the non-fibery artsy things that I do to the shop. That will come with time.

For those of you who aren’t already aware, I started the Muststashyo podcast late last year with Mat from Manspun and I am really enjoying it. I have dyed up a few skeins of our Cindlebar Matstash bamboo sock yarn that we do for the podcast. We are working on some fun colour development for 2010 among a few other fun projects, giveways and so on.

Mat has also been working on a bunch of yarn for his shop – really yummy merino, cashmere, nylon sock yarn that he has hand dyed in some awesome colours.

Another thing I want to focus more on is photography and recording my process in creating things. I used to be really good at that but in the last year I have had a lot of business goals and personal ones that have pulled my time away from this. So, I am going to try to get back into that. I have been trying to photograph my fiber palettes in the ‘before the spin’ stage a lot more. I find them to be really inspiring and fun to remember and look back on. Here’s one that I spun up this weekend for a line of yarn called Transcends that I am trying to stock up on. It is characterized by long colour repeats that actually only appear one time in the skein.

The theme for this one was purple so all of the fibers in the yarn have purple incorporated in some way, either as the main colour or as flecks in a coordinating colour.

Here are a few other yarns I have finished in the last week or so:

Gold Rush of Sugar:

And an action shot:

And this one was a lot of fun. I mentioned it a bit on the last podcast – Bird and Button Consortium. This was just a phrase that popped into my head one day and came out of my mind as a yarn. It was a lot of fun to make. I carded up really soft batts of merino, seacell, bamboo, soysilk and gold angelina. The yarn is a natural white with a bit of hemp and gold sparkle and throughout it are vintage buttons in really lovely patterns and adorable little birds.

So, welcome to the new blog and the new studioloo!