Tag Archives: studioloo

Where I Craft – Yarn Love Challenge

If asked where I craft, really, it’s everywhere. I tend to have very busy hands all the time, and my home studio, although it has it’s own place – my entire basement….it kind of spreads around the house. I am decent at picking up after myself however, and when finished with things, taking them back to the studio. I had this idea when we first bought a house, having bought a bigger house than we needed for dwelling to be able to incorporate my studio, that I would be able to separate work/craft and life, but the truth is – I need my craft, all the time. I need something to do when I am watching TV or hanging out waiting for dinner to cook, or spending time with the dogs and baby, or even chilling outside. I need to do the stuff I do; I need to make. I feel like i always have a million ideas in my head and getting out a certain amount of things productively prevents me from exploding.

The first thing that I worked on when we bought the house was my studio, to ensure that I could remain productive and prepared for shows and sales despite the craziness that takes place when you move. I am very lucky to have a large studio with a dye kitchen, pottery room, area for skeining yarns on my skeiner, yarn stash space, big library card catalog to organize all my goodies, and a cozy knitting/crafting nook with TV for background noise and good lighting.

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to setup a little pop-in shop for when people want to come over and do a little shopping, but the real reason is so that I can organize all of my products that I sell at shows. It makes it really efficient to see what I have, and tell what needs to be made. It also inspires me because I really enjoy looking at the breadth of my work.

I also keep a lot of things to inspire me in my studio – scraplets of things, found objects, interesting art and collections.

I also have a few other spaces around the house that I setup as cozy spaces to both store spinning wheels in an intentional and functional way, and also act as a change of scenery or quiet space to create. My library is one of them.

One of my other favourite things to do is work outside. I love that I organize Worldwide Spin in Public Day and get to spend time outside spinning, and encouraging others to do so. I love calling up a bunch of friends for a Sunday Crafternoon and hanging out somewhere outside in a woodsy area or near water and just talking, laughing and making. It’s the epitome of the good life. This is my spinning setup in my back garden.

Close-Up: Yarn Love Challenge

I decided to share close-ups of a couple of recent projects that I have been working on. The first is of a freeform crochet hat that I recently finished, spun from my own handspun art yarn. I am always in love with bright cherry red and robin’s egg blue/teal colours. They were my wedding colours and the colours that always play in my mind. This is the Belle Bonnet – a hat that has been crocheted with my own yarn that has slubs of red, felted wool and stems of tiny red flower buds. On the one side I incorporated a commercially made red, polka-dot commercial ribbon yarn. I am very in love with this hat for it’s modern feel, and bright happy colours. It was fun to make.

And, then below is a little closeup of the fibres I was working with and the teeny adorable bunnies that I am incorporating into a ‘Little Bunny Foo Foo’ yarn I have just completed. This is a brief look at how a lot of my yarns come to fruition. I tend to really enjoy spinning addins into my yarns, and working with themes. I do a lot of thrift shopping, antique store hopping, estate sale hunting and attend a lot of vintage shows to find interesting and creative materials to add to my yarns. I also handmade many of the materials that go into my yarns such as wood and felted beads and buttons, fibre flowers, and ceramic sculptural items. My studio is a bit of a chop shop for toys and all sorts of things are made for the creation of yarn.

Introduction – Yarn Love Challenge

Thanks for visiting to follow me along on my #yarnlovechallenge. My name is Cindy, and I have been a maker of something pretty much all of my life. From the earliest influences in my young life I was taught to try to make something from nothing and I have been obsessed with that concept ever since – both making, and trying to make use of existing things that I have in my stash, or that I can create myself or find in my journeys. I started to sell my work in 2000 and the first iteration of Studioloo as a business actually started on a website called Diaryland.com. I started out selling random things that I was making at the time – sculptural dolls, toys and mosaic and mixed media clockworks. I then started making several other things – t-shirts, fridge magnets, and the crochet bug bit me. I was taking part in a lot of online trading groups – making mixed tapes, making homemade fridge magnets in a group I created called ‘Fridge Love’ and starting to think about making garments and working with yarn. I had been influenced in my youth a lot by different knitters and crocheters and eventually found that the kind of yarn I wanted to use to make things with didn’t exist – so I embarked on figuring out how to make my own yarn. From there, my path narrowed creatively with hyper focus on fibre and I got my first spinning wheel and began to spin yarns – immediately being inspired by themes and the concept of yarns that were functional beyond just the standard traditional use for yarn. I made a lot of hats – sculptural and wild, and I made a lot of other things. You can take a look at a lot of my projects in my Ravelry Notebook.

Fast forward all these years later and I have progressed my fibre education to include hand dyeing, handspinning of mostly art yarns, needle and wet felting, knitting, crochet, weaving, and making a lot of the embellishment items that can be used with fibre goods. I continue to run studioloo.com , sell my goods, and participate in many art and craft shows each year. I have also expanded my hobbies to working with clay, wood, and textiles.

In November, I became a mother to my sweet Matilda Bee so my days are now enriched in so many more ways with baby coos, tiny clothes and the feeling of family that has never been so strong and wholesome. I am blessed with a husband who is very involved in the overall process of my craft and business and I am able to balance my career, art and family life with his support. Most days my updates happen on Instagram or on my Facebook page.

Busy Bees of Summer

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.

Studioloo’s New Navigation and Plushies!

I try to life live in a ‘good thing a day’ kind of way meaning I like to try to make little improvements to things as much as I can, when I can. So, I spend some time making the navigation of Studioloo more visual, with less text. It’s always the designer’s toss up to decide if you want to gamble on using images instead of text because I think when you take any kind of technical education or have technical job experience, you always think of these users who really want to buy your stuff but their computer might be from 1982 so the graphics load really slowly and they only have 800×600 screen resolution. I am slowly stepping out of these dark age concerns though because I really like the look and feel of images better.

So, the shop now looks like this, and I like it better – http://www.studioloo.com/shop.htm

 

As I noted in my last post, it’s going to be a busy weekend with Saturday in Brampton at Art in the Open and Sunday in Peterborough at Lang Pioneer Village’s Festival of Textiles. So, if you are in the area of either , come on out and visit me.

Yesterday I also received exciting news that I was accepted in Visual Arts Mississauga’s Art in the Park show on September 22nd.  This is a beautiful space with indoor and outdoor galleries. Last year’s show was a lot of fun with food trucks, great artists and live music. I will be out on the lawn.

vamshow

 

I have placed a few new handstitched plush toys in the shop. Grab them now or they are destined for Art in the Open tomorrow.

All available plush can be found here: http://www.studioloo.com/toysandplush.htm

Have a lovely weekend!

Summer buzz!

I know this blog has been really quiet, and I sort of have too. I guess that is what happens when life it this crazy whirlwind of summertime activity and building my house into the happy little nest that I need to make my brain work. I have been on many adventures so far..making the nooks of this new house more comfy for me, my husband and our fur-family. I have a lot of fun things coming up however. I updated the ‘upcoming shows’ section of the website so you can keep up with me. A great place to find me or my stuff is the Art in the Open event every Saturday in front of the Rose Theatre in Brampton. It works in conjunction with the Farmer’s Market so you can see me, get yarn, and stock up on awesome produce in one fun morning!

 

The studio is coming along nicely with most parts pretty much ready for production work now. The last thing to get done really is the installation of a big restaurant kitchen sink that I indulged in to allow myself an easier place for all of the dyework. This week I am hoping to get it all setup so I can start dyeing up some new yarns. I am going to have a new line of bootsie-loo sock yarn and lots of mini-loo mini skeins fresh off the presses in a couple of weeks.

This upcoming weekend I will be at Art in the Open on Saturday and then heading down to Peterborough for Lang Pioneer Village’s Festival of Textiles. I will be selling my wares and doing art yarn spinning demonstrations. There will be a lot of other fun things going on – natural dyeing demos, live music, animals, historic buildings and other fun museum stuff. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday.

 

This summer has been nice but really busy. I am looking forward to taking a bit of vacation soon because things have been really non-stop, but in a good kind of way. I have been working a lot and trying to find a new balance living in a different city with a different routine. I have not been online a whole lot as I have so much real life stuff to get done. I think I am somewhat addicted to working on projects around the house. There is just so much to be done, in phases. The next big project will be putting my library together – a room I have dreamed of having for ages. It’s safe to say that I have a lot of books and it will be nice to have them in their own little home where they belong. That way I won’t feel so guilty for having so many books. I think it will be a nice room to relax in, leave your troubles at the door and get lost between the covers of a good book.

It’s also almost Wordwide Spin in Public day – September 21st! So, I am in the process of doing a lot of planning and populating http://www.wwsipday.com with lots of activities!

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

 

Poor Week and Summer

It’s about time I update this blog. Admittedly I am so bad at blogging – I blame life…and well, Facebook. Somehow it seems so much easier to chicken-tap a little writing there. I have truthfully been taking a hiatus from a lot of places I used to write – Ravelry, and so on. I just feel like I want to spend more time living, not writing about living – so that’s what I have been doing.

But, this blog is sorely missed and I want to re-focus some of my wasteful energies to it. Because I have something to write about today, it seems about time.

This week I am decidedly poor. Well, not really, but I am doing a little project on ‘making due’. I have had a whole bunch of expenses with a lot of business stock ordering and preparing for lots of upcoming shows so my bank account is sort of complaining back to me. I am not truly too poor or anything like that but I am not wanting to spend money right now. I am just feeling anti-spendy. Mike and I have decided this week that we are going to not do a big grocery shopping – we are going to eat what is in this house. We might cheat to pick up some essentials though – eggs, milk, butter. But that is it – only those staples.  This will be a 7 day project and I will be doing little updates with our meals and what happened.

Today’s lunch was the first of these ‘poor man’s paradise’ we are creating. We found 2 frozen burgers in the freezer and had some hamburger buns left over from the BBQ the other day – so Mike BBQ’d them and I was tasked with making a side dish in the time it took him to BBQ. So, I came up with a salad made of…

– Cubed watermelon (leftover from a few days ago and packed nicely in the fridge)

– Pumpkin seeds (from the freezer, organic)

– Grilled pineapple (the rounds from a can, asked Mike to grill them for me while making the burgers)

– Elderberries – (from the farmer’s market – last year, frozen)

– Rosemary and apple mint (from my front porch herb garden)

The salad was really yummy and the elderberries melted and gave a bit of a nice coating on the grilled pineapple. It was really refreshing.

I will be posting a big huge art yarn update in the shop on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek:

 

Up Anomaly’s Creek

Summer is really winding down quickly here in Ontario. It has been really chilly but I am not bothered – it’s making me want to update my Fall wardrobe and wear scarves and go to evening outdoor events where you can bundle up with hot cider and listen to live music – that sort of thing. Nesty.

I think sometimes when I am trying to give a name to my blog posts that I get sort of frazzled ..trying to figure out how to give a title about everything I am going to write about so it ends up looking like ‘Random Art Show, Some Food Stuff, Dog News, etc’ so from now on I am going to raise the stifling curse on myself and give random one-liner names of words in my head at the time. Why is it important anyhow?

So, the Kitchener-Waterloo knitter’s fair was a great success. My wares looked lovely in the generous booth space and there were many patrons, and overall nice people. I got to meet some people I know from Ravelry, in person and with the boys there to help me, it was not overwhelming at all. I really started preparations for the show ahead of time so I set myself up for success on the big day. Here are some shots of my booth!

The overall booth

Hand Dyed Yarn Wall

Candy Sprinkles Yarn and Fiber Goodies

Octopi Yarn Bowls, Test tubes of Beads, Bamboo Lace

Stitch Markers, More Bamboo Lace, Buttons

So, I think I am all finished for canning season this year, except husband is going to try to pickle some insanely hot Thai green chilies that we used 4 ounces of in our salsa. The salsa turned out completely yummy. So, for this year I did huge loads of salsa, canned whole tomatoes, canned chopped tomatoes, plum butter, strawberry jam, candy apple jelly, dill pickles, and rhubarb marmalade. Today is farmer’s market day though so one can never be sure if something else might catch my eye. I am thinking something apple, but not apple sauce would be nice.

Mat and I have started podcasting again, after over a year of not doing so. So, for Muststashyo listeners, you can download the new episode here: http://www.muststashyo.com/ We are working away on the next one too and it will be recorded and uploaded on Sunday probably.

I also have a massive yarn update on it’s way – a new link called ‘Wink Wink’ of hand dyed worsted yarns perfect for hat and cowl projects. And, I have the new Fall 2011 Bootsie colours as well as some new merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn. Here’s a peek:

Bootsie sock yarn

Wink Wink Worsted

Lastnight was a lot of fun too – I went to the Brampton Indie Artfest at The Rose Theatre and we saw The House Plants, The Shuffle Demons, some great art installations, heard some poetry slamming, ate organic cotton candy, and saw a lot of smoking hipsters. The best part of the night would have to be The Shuffle Demons though – they sounded great and reminded me of when I was a kid and used to hear them playing their music from across the street. There was a little old lady who lived across the street from me as a kid and the least sax player/singer of the band was married to her daughter.

I am heading back for a second night tonight to see Lily Frost and some other acts. Anyhow, the work day beckons and I should listen.

PS! Worldwide Spin in Public Day is this weekend – so find an event near you! http://www.wwsipday.com/