Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day 31, Mother of All invention

Yes, necessity inspired me tonight.
I usually use a piece of paper money for my book mark but Nessa (#2) commented on its decadence.
So tonight when I was pooped out from all day running about ( I saw Donna ! just back from Halley's very first movie ! )
and I thought I couldn't possibly make a thing I remembered I should get a book mark not worth stealing.
So here is my book mark with tails and beads made on the embellisher.

This last installment winds up my make a thing a day project.

I did enjoy these minutes of making each day and I confess I would have copped out many a night if I didn't have you holding my feet to the fire or rather my promise to you. So thank you for this opportunity. I will be glad not to have to make anything tomorrow , though I may do so because I'm in the discipline of doing so now.

I found frequently even though I couldn't think of a single thing to make if I came down to the fertile field of my studio and dug my hands around in the dirt and seeds so to speak , something would grow. A weed, a flower, a tree, a blade or maybe good wholesome food for some other adventure later , no matter the outcome of this digging in, it was all worthwhile toward the effort of invention.

Especially the popcorn !
Happy New Year Everyone , to health, laughter, good cheer and endless visits to The House Of Invention.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day 30 , Thinking of fabric buttons

Today I was thinking I'd like soft wool decorative buttons for my shawl or bags or what ever I'm making so I started experimenting with that idea.
I had some thick felt, I upholstered it with kimono silk, added a needle punch element and did some embroidery on it.
Thea says it looks like an expensive cookie or chocolate!

Make sure to be making something on New Years eve to show the new year who 's the boss in the the creating time for Creating Dept.

Finishing Fridays... that's my resolution, using part of every Friday to finish my mile high pile of hooked rugs, they are hooked just not bound.

Just so you know Jo... I'm wearing last years Bed sweater.... that's just where I'm heading right now !
January 4th, is Sunday class day, are you coming ?
We'll be glad to see you. Cost $20. Goodies and beverages served.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 29- Dye Job

The other day I was at a great recycling store for clothing called The Patch.
It was BAG day , you buy a bag for $20 and you fill it, I'm am an expert at filling the bag.
Especially with cashmere sweaters, for my " bed sweaters", I'll explain that later.

I found a sweater that looked like Christine would wear it ! It had various textures of sweater sewn in strips to make the front.
BUT the colours were not Christine.
Here it is in the dye pan.

With dye in it.

All dyed but still wet.

Christine it looks a bit like the desiree cassarole dye !
It was from the bottom up
Aljo Dark Red
Majic Carpet Red Violet twice for rich impact.
Majic Carpet Red with Majic Carpet Yellow pored over it.

Bed Sweater: cashmere or mohair or angora or merino sweater you wear over your night wear all night long because you have a wood furnace that doesn't last all night and sleep below a window. A must have for the fashionista in 2009.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 28- Unusual Creation

Well, this is a bit strange.... I did create this with a little bit of help .... from her dad.
And I did show her how to hook, so I guess I did make this event in an abstract way.
Oh Yeah ! my girl's a hooker.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Posting to This Blog

Joanne asked a great question, how do you post to my blog ?
All you do is scroll down to the bottom of the letter you wish to comment on , click on the comments link ( will have a number included, 0 if no one has commented before you or the number of comments made ) and a window pops up giving you a comment box. Type what you want to say and post it.
Though you will have to wait a bit before seeing it as I have my comments set to be moderated to keep unwanted blather at bay.

If you wish to post a picture , you need only send it to me and I will post that.
Give it a whirl !

Day 27 Whole night of trying to knit !

Something in the round again tonight !
BTW did you get a load of the cool reflections in the popcorn bowl yesterday ?

Here is out trial piece of trying to do what the addi express instructions calls plain knitting but I'm calling flat knitting.... we keep dropping stitches, it is most aggravating.

I finally gave up and had Honey try it, he also had stitch hop !

I was intending to knit a shawl tonight but left my suri dream yarn and switched to turquoise cotton to better see what was happening.
That's Honey of the flat stomach you can see in the picture.

Also I have been happily giving away my decorations right off the tree as people are coming in to visit, I'm so glad I made these things !

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 25 What I made today!

I hope you all had a lovely day. It was very busy here as I'm sure it was for everyone.
Here is our tree with the created ornaments from my challenge this month.

Children have returned to their homes with bellies and hearts full.
Though not created today..... Here is a picture of the two best things I've ever made in my life!

Here is Number 1 modelling her Granny gown which was my big secret project all this week.
It practically turned into an pre civil War ball gown !
She loved it.

I received an addi king size knitting machine from Germany and had time for only a bit of fun. I knit a totally ridiculous band and made it into an impromptu hat fit for a clown !!!

Will post more exciting things in near future.

I did some remedial work on my scene from yesterday and this "photo booth " in my new computer really helps me see what's wrong.
Trees too much alike, going same direction with same height !
I thought I wanted to add a creature but I don't want one now that I fixed up the tree. BTW - it is easier to machine felt something together than it is to remove it. I think I made my sky a bit dirty with the dark threads that were hard to pull out.

To answer Lauri, this is a familiar scene in my area, where we are surrounded by marvelously blue water and lovely escarpments. You can see the escarpment from both sides of Colpoys Bay this view looking east from my side of town. Very peaceful indeed. I like to work from photos, they don't move !!!
Tomorrow is clean up day in the studio !! It is about time !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 24 What I finished today

Merry Christmas All, I wish you all the best and safe travels tomorrow if you are out on the roads.
Today I finished off many SECRET things, and in that spirit I'm showing you something I was working on quite a while ago but started to complete on my Embellisher.
I want to alter the tree in the middle and make it shorter and add a bird which I have to create when I'm not so tired, I also broke my first needle ...... will make this part of tomorrow's project and I plan to knit tomorrow also.
Something really grand about everyone being so grown up !!!
I had tried to make something out of roving and a beautifully dyed nylon, BUT IT WAS TOO UGLY FOR WORDS let alone a picture !
Look yonder at something with a sliver of potential....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 23 Hooking !

Well, I did make some other things today, also secret....., same as yesterday.....
But I had time to hook some sky around the new moon. I love hooking, so peaceful and exciting at the same time to see the colours come alive.

A picture of the rug where you can see a bit of the overall creation.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 22 It's a secret !

Yes, I cannot say what I'm building today but will post a picture after the holiday is over. Suffice it to say I built something.
But it does involve the things pictured . Please note, no siamese were harmed during this experiment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 20 What I made today !

Today was a knitting and a hooking day !
Tomorrow I'll try to take a picture of my whole rug for you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 19 Hooking day , What I made today - Greased Lightning

Today I hooked , I'm trying to get a bolt of lightning placed well in the sky, it hold all parts of my rug together both thematically, and visually !

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 17 Little Bird, This one's for you Christine

This bird is made of felted marbelised wool with cotton floss stitching with a knit and felted wing and beak , a stripette topknot and a beady sharp eye.
Tomorrow the hookers who come to class will be making their own fun ornament from a vast array of stuff I've put out.
I will take pictures for you to see.
People are so creative !

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 16 - I'll raise you two hearts

Tonight I made two puffy woolen red work hearts with melton cloth, embroidery floss and roving stuffing. Red makes me happy !
Meant for presents, I hope they like them !

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 15 What transpired

Here is a snowman I made out of scraps of wool fabric and a bit of roving.
I only learned to miter properly on the last corner... and wish for better twiggy arms.
Next time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day14 More pointed things- Todays Creation

Today I built a flower decoration out of hand dyed floss , a wild recycled skirt to heavy to hook with and a nice bit of silk yarn I dyed and a shell button.
In the holiday rush, be sure to take a breather every now and then.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 13 Stars in my eyes- What I made today

I love sweaters and you can only wear so many.
So I collect them to cut up and create with and even hook.
Here is a sweater star stuffed with sweater bits and whipped with ribbon yarn with sparkly thread.

Making ornaments for your tree?
Make sure they are light in colour so they show up !

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beautiful Angie and Baby Seth and Creating

Aren't they lovely ?

I just wanted to talk a bit about my creations that seem paltry or that I describe as such.

I have a philosophy about making things, it is better to make anything than make NOTHING.
So I take good creations along with the bad, you learn lots more from the off the wall stuff or the things that don't work out than you will from a smooth sailing project.

If you aren't making mistakes are you really making anything ?
Mistakes =creating.
Have a great day !

Day 11 What a pitiful creation for today !

I'm sorely lacking in ambition, had lots of lovely people here hooking and I'm tired out though I can't say I did much.
Angie, my delightful worker bee, she restored order to me with a running commentary that keeps us both pondering and enjoying life! She is a gift from heaven and not just because she straightened out my wool not dyed yet storage room. That would take the patience of a Saint. She brought baby Seth who charms the hookers like crazy.

Here it is CRAZY bookmark #2 for The Hour I First Believed,by Wally Lamb.
You saw it here first !
I hope tomorrow is the hooking day.. we shall see.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 10 What was created today

Tonight I am TIRED. The snow fall has been unrelenting and I was here on my own, so driveway clearing fell to me two days in a row and it was heavy. Then this afternoon Honey asked if I wanted to go skiing.I did. It was good, and I was remarkably energetic but I bet I'll sleep like a baby. I forgot I missed the silence of the winter woods and the tiny sounds my poles and skiis make... that is if I can hear it over my grunts , groans , and heavy breathing.
So tonight I was coming down to clean up the studio for tomorrow's hook in and I spied some stuff I had out to  show Erica about needle felting and I made this toggle button , or ornament, or what ever your imagination can come up with ! Looks like a colourful curling stone ( purely Canadian reference ) It is made from my hand dyed yarn and a white needle felted ball, probably meant for part of a snowman. I plan to do better tomorrow and have a before and after picture of some hooking , you all remember what that is ..... I hope I do !

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 9 What we made today

Tonight Erica Scott came over and we made wet felt sheets in light , medium and dark fleece.
It was a lot of fun and Erica is going to use the felt to wrap jars for an experiment on insulation factors, how much does colour affect heat retention. She will pose several experiments to help the kids visiting the Outdoor Education Center decide what would be the best way of life for them for successful survival if they came from another planet to Wiarton. Today I believe shovel hands would be helpful as it has snowed steadily for over 28 hours. It's starting to look a lot like the picturesque North pole type movies we see at this time of year.
Here is what we made with tools and various wools used:

Here is happy Erica:

One of my good creating friends Dawn donated the wool long ago to me and she will be glad to know what we are doing with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 8 What I made today

Here is what I made today, brooch with the swirl, a piece of knitting, a dryer sheet. fancy yarns and cord.

Brooch with dark border silk fabric, dryer thread snarls from washing wool, fancy cord, wool fabric, stripette from hooking hydrangea picture.

( Double Chin made from potato chips ) LOL!

I also mastered the art of knitting and reading today, and not an audio book, a real one, I am so proud of myself. Imagine doing two things you love at the same time !!!
I hope you don't mind the brooches because I already made one but this is something I do regularly, I call them assembled treasure brooches.

Have a great creative day !

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 7 What I almost couldn't make today

Another power outage almost prevented me from making today's project. We heated supper in the wood furnace !! I can hardly wait for my gas stove. Wonder what is going on with Ontario Hydro....
But just in time the lights came on and I could do my creating.
Here are the things I was inspired by : ( they were made by the wonderful Jeanne Langston, ( star ) and another wonderful lady who goes to Caraway rug school, if you know who it is write in ! I'd love to give her the credit for being so inventive with that heart shaped brooch.

Here is what I made

We had a terrific class today, Pam got ready to do her cats paw rug which she drew, placing circles that she will make more organic by starting in the center of the circle with a wavy shaped spot and continue to hook out from.
Debbie was preparing and finishing off several stockings to give as Christmas gifts. She made the cuffs a variety of colours of similar values, it worked up magically !!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 6 What I made today

Today was a knitting day. I love to knit things with a great yarn called Sockotta. It is not easy to find in Canada, but recently Patons came out with a similar looking product. I'm taking it for a test run by making another drop stitched shawl.

It has you knit the whole thing then drop a stitch every seven as you are casting off.
Here is what it looks like when it is finished.  It is marvelously comfy, this was knit with sockotta. Really it's made for sock making but I like it for "other" things, like thread for penny rugs, it looks wonderfully marled.

Here is today's Paton sample of the wonderful scarf /shawl pattern. 

Day 5 improvement of colour

Here is what the colour of yesterday's wool in real life, how come it is so blue in the last post?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 5 what I made today

Here is a part of the yd of wool I dyed today for a background for a cats paw type rug.
In a giant dye pot..... wet the wool first , have the dye in the dye bath before adding wool. Add acid after the 10 min. point. Heat until water is clear. Rinse thoroughly, hang or throw into dryer to dry.
One part black
One part turquoise (majic carpet )
Two parts blue
1/8th part moss green
1/8th part bottle green

I can hear you right now... what are you talking about you crazy woman ... parts ????
Well, here is the story.. I dyed a yd. so my basic part was 1/8th tsp.
You might be dyeing a 1/4 yd so for the same value you would need to have your basic part 1/32th tsp.
Ratios are so much easier to expand or contract.

Go forth and create you amazing beings.

Chelsea Rolls over Medium Dark Purple


In this picture you can see the wool before dyeing on the bottom right. The chelsea rolls arrayed out on top of it, and to the left is an echo I placed on top of the wool in the pan with natural wool to show the colours of dye I used on each one. Though the beginning colour is not eggplant you can achieve similar interesting variances.
The best dyeing advice I can give you is just go for it, you can't really go wrong. If it seems implausible, you should really try it. Like I said to Christine today, this idea , to go for broke is what separates the men from the boys.

A Bolt of Eggplant - what can be done ?

On Tuesday I had a great question :

Well, it's -22C on this overcast Tuesday morning around 9:30 and it's just starting to get light. The dull morning reminded me of the whole bolt of dull egg plant coloured wool I purchased last year and what to do with the dang thing. It doesn't bleed much and really, it is just simply brown.
I wanted a rich egg plant wool like the photo showed, any suggestions to bring it to life?

Eggplant is a deep rich colour but it can be terribly boring as well.
My advice for anyone with a plethora of one dark colour ( equals boring ) is to divide it into 8 parts, the amount you divide is up to you, according to your needs for a background say.

Find 8 BRIGHT dyes.
I overdye the each piece of eggplant with one of the bright dyes. 
Colours I might use: 
red violet
red brown

You will end up with an array of lovely off shoots of eggplant, some warm, some cool, some dull some bright, but all dark.

You can also make chelsea rolls with eggplant in smaller pieces about 1/16th or 1/8th of a yd works.
Use 8 pieces of wool, the same 8 colours. They will co-mingle and create a pieces of interesting spotted array that all go together. 
Here are the instructions for making generic Chelsea rolls.

The Chelsea Roll
Using only one fabric like natural or a blue or gray you can have lovely variations to use together in tons of ways. Textures work wonderfully too. If you use a variety of colours in your chelsea pan you will get a whole different set of miraculous set great wool. This is what I choose to show you.

You need:
8 or 12 pieces of wool about 18" long and about 4" wide in colours of your choice.
Wet the wool using synthropol, jet dry or hair shampoo without conditioner. All of these will wet wool almost immediately. It only takes a few drops.

I call this THE CHELSEA ROLL because our wool looks exactly like a chelsea roll/cinnamon bun sitting in the pan. Look for a flat pan like an cake pan or any flat surface pan with some depth. If each piece of eggplant is 1/4 yd, I would use 1/4 tsp of dye in 3/4 cup of water, make sure your pan is deep enough to hold the water needed to dye 8 pieces of wool.Once a kitchen tool is devoted to dyeing that's the end of it’s cooking life. If you have no pan go to the grocery store and pick up an aluminium cake pan. When you use it place it on a cookie sheet for ease of moving in and out of the oven.

For more dynamic results use one colour of dye per piece of wool.
One of the biggest hang ups we have as dyers is the inability to just go with something, we think we need exactly what dyes are suggested. Making substitutions can really free us up to use our eyes more instead of recipes.
If you chose colours that are alike, greens, blues, purple or yellow, red, orange that will get you a blending type of wool, you could use for a hill or water or sky.
If you choose colours from around the colour wheel you will get lots more interesting variations. When colours bump into each other they create new colours. Try both ways. See the side bar to help relate the dyes to wool and what you desire in the end.

Don’t forget to add a pinch of citric acid crystals to each dye formula.

Have your pan ready, your oven on at 350˚F , your water boiling, your dyes picked, your wool wet.

Pick up a piece of wool place in your pan and roll it in a spiral.
I usually grab hold of the end of the wool strip and start turning it around like I’m getting pasta on a fork, do this loosely. It should look rose like. Do all 8 or 12 rolls.
These rolls can touch each other in the pan and I encourage them to do so.

Here is what one roll looks like.

Next prepare your dye. Dye the rolls one at a time. Pour the dye directly onto one wool roll. Let the dye go where it may. Continue on until all the rolls have received their anointing of dye.

Using a bottom of a jar or a specially assigned potato masher press down firmly on each roll in the middle of it once. Don’t clean the jar or masher. between rolls. Don’t touch the wool again please. I beg you. Please don’t add more water or cover. Place in oven until the water is clear.

Here is what they look like in the pan after dyeing. These were dyed with greens over medium colours but you can imagine what will happen with darker ones.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 4 - What I made today .... My podcast

Hi ,
 This podcast involved 6 long days of labour..... to hear it click on the red title Day 4 What I made today .... my podcast
You heard it here first !
 I hope you enjoy it and I hope I improve a great deal doing it.

Here is a picture of the Eureka Moment ! And no crying or dirty diapers either.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 3 What I made today

Hi All,
 Here is what I made today, sorry it's another brooch made from a sample bit of noro yarn knit up, then felted with the machine to a dryer sheet , then I added other fun bits on.
 If you look carefully you can see Birdie and a clean studio too.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dec 2 - What I did today

This is part of my out of the box project I just did .... it was due last June, you can't say I don't have perseverance. It represents the idea of colour ......part of the "tools"  I  have represented in my box. You might wonder why I'm thinking about inside a box when I was to think outside it.
Sheer perversity. By the way I had a success with my my kiltie and felting it up, thank goodness.

Making it fuzzy

Today I'm going through pieces of beautiful recycled wool sent to me from an angel in Virginia, Heather. I'm making the dollar bin glorious.
Heather has the wonderful knack of getting those twill woven kilts to thicken up ! You know what I mean.... felt in way that makes it easier to hook with.

I recently tried to shrink up some of these but I can't help but blame my washer. It is a newer model, still top loading though.
Even on heavy duty and twice washed I can't get the fluff I'm looking for.

I just put it in again, some where I read it might take 5 times in the washer to make this happen with these new low agitation models. It is kinder on our clothes but a weak tool for the fiber artist.

The gas line was installed today from road to house so soon, like my favorite saying I will indeed be cooking with gas. And dyeing of course.

Off to make something for my December challenge and clean the studio - just look at the state of it !
This photo was taken by my new computer !

Monday, December 1, 2008

Creation and Expansion Part 3

Your word to explore this week is LAYERS, this could be hens, clothing, onions or political intrigue.
What comes to mind ? What develops from there? Have an adventure with your Creative Visual Journal.

Make a thing a day program Day 1

Here is a brooch I made using all manner of silk and yarn and wool.
Proud I got a good start.

Oh !
I delivered my purse to Marci today and she really loved it. I got lots of hugs and thanks,it was FUN to make someone so happy.
She said she might be by tomorrow to visit the beast in her lair !!
Those are my words not hers.

Happy Creating !