Saturday, January 31, 2009

Catkins Diet

Pidge has been on the "catkins diet" (just like atkins) now for over 3 months as per our vet who said she will just keep on plumping otherwise. Stinky wet food twice a day and constant meowing and whining for most of the day. Recently, Albert and I decided we'd rather have a fat cat who cries less and stopped with the canned food. As a compromise, we've started feeding her a dry food without wheat, corn or soy. Pricey stuff.

And how does she show her appreciation? Wakes me up crunching on a dry rigatoni next to the bed that I'd dropped in the kitchen yesterday making lunch.

(notice the backwards ears- a clear sign she is being naughty)

In other news, finished the springtime scarf and started the next. I'm trying something different this time and not cutting the first scarf off of the warp. Usually, I'm impatient and want to see the completed scarf, take photos and post online immediately. Leaving the scarf on saves me about an hour of setup (tying the warp back onto the front beam and balancing tension).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daffodils and Tulips

Here's what I've been doing today. Some springtime colors to look at with a foot of snow on the ground.
Here's what Pidge has been up to.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forget me not

Wow! Sarah is another artist participating in the Forget me-not show. I get such a kick out of her embroideries (so funny) and love that heart sweater!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I happened across this short video about a woman who knits miniature sweaters and other garments (and I mean miniature). I haven't figured out how to embed the youtube clip here yet, so for now enjoy this link!

Hanahou Gallery Show

Vivienne Strauss is a fellow etsyian who will also be a part of the embroidery show at gallery hanahou. The below photo is one of the pieces she'll have in the show. I just love the applique/embroidery mix, not to mention that frenchman!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Forget Me-Not

Going to be in NYC in February? I was invited to a part of an embroidery exhibition at Gallery Hanahou. The opening reception is on Friday, February 6th. Wish I could be there to see so many embroidery artists in one place. Below is one of 3 tiny pieces I made for the show.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Vancouver Scarf

This coloring in this scarf was initially inspired by a photograph of silverware in a Martha Stewart magazine. Once I got it off the loom it reminded me more of Vancouver. At the end of high school, I was lucky enough to travel there on a trip to Alaska. I was only in the city for a few hours while waiting for our ship, but it was one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been. Everything was icy blue and white, there were mountains all around and no litter anywhere. If only we could all live like Canadians.

We're off to Pennsylvania for the weekend and I wanted to post this new scarf before we left. I got to play around a lot with the German Bird's Eye pattern and there are so many variations. This scarf got the last bit of the handspun wool Brian had given me over the summer. Sad to see the end of it because it has a great soft texture and creamy color. Soon I'll have to stock up on more yarn...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Craftzine Entry

What a fun surprise today to find myself (thanks Nogeeshik for emailing me the news!) as an entry on a blog I read all the time looking for great ideas and inspiration. See it here... Thank you craftzine!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blue and red scarf

The lighting was great for taking photos today. I'm guessing all that snow reflection is responsible. Here are a bunch of a scarf I'll post on etsy later today. The lampshade below inspired the color scheme- taken from my journal and probably Anthropologie.

I have fun finding all the different ways to wear the scarf because of the shifting patterns and color play. This one is extra wide because I used a warp already existing on a new-to-me used table loom and can be a shawl or scarf.

Table loom

This is one of the new table looms that I recently acquired from my mom. When I received it, it already had a beautiful and wider than usual warp in bold blues. The scarf I will post later today was made while getting to know the loom and learning its quirks. Keeping proper tension is the most important part in weaving and one finds unique ways to constantly adjust the warp threads so they all stay even- paper clips and bits of cardboard, an empty black film container filled with coins and tied with string.

Tables looms are much smaller than traditional floor looms and a lot easier to manage because of it. When we moved it to our third floor apartment, I hid in the other room and held my breath as Albert and Brian awkwardly maneuvered/hoisted it up the stairs. Lots of metal tings and rattlings, lots of wooden squeaks and clunks. Brian had to disassemble some major pieces to even fit it through the doorway.

This photo shows the 4 levers that raise and lower the 4 harnesses to create different patterns (depending on the order and number of levers pressed). This was the major change in working out the rhythm of weaving. The floor loom has foot petals and I am constantly moving my feet and swaying my body with each pass of the yarn. The table loom seems more clunky to me- I found myself standing while weaving and awoke the next morning with surprisingly sore arm muscles. It will be a good teaching loom and allow me to have 2 warps going simultaneously.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Roses and Cream Scarf

LinkIt's such a bright sunny day today and out my windows giant icicles drip drip and occasionally crash to the ground. It was a great weekend helping Albert, Jon and friends work on a film shoot ending with a tasty breakfast to send off our friends who are headed back to Baltimore.
I am back to work.

The above photo was my inspiration for this scarf I just posted on etsy today. I really love that mustard wool yarn- it looks so punchy next to so many colors. And a rather ho hum variegated rosy yarn looks so lovely and delicate when woven within the color scheme.

It's been a while since I've updated the shop and I've been thinking of how to approach these slower post holidays months. I'm hoping to weave even more and build up an inventory-maybe I'll have enough later in the year to try my hand at a craft show or sell in some local shops.

I've also been spinning more lately with my drop spindle (maybe Rachel can scan the neat polaroid she took this weekend and send it along :)) The next big investment may be my very own spinning wheel.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Scarf in progress

(Thank you Rachel for lending us your camera!) Here are a few images of the new scarf I'm working on and one of the photo I used for inspiration. Our friends Rachel and Phil are visiting for the weekend so this is a quick post. Next week I'll be putting 2 new scarves (at least!) online, so stay tuned.

The pattern I chose for the new warp is called German Birds Eye and has 4 or 5 variations.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The importance of being cozy at work

Pidge (despite approximately 22 hours a day of an ornery, whiny attitude) does find moments of peace. Or perhaps it is just that I restrain her in various baby bjorn-esque blanket enclosures and she is forced to stillness. Either way, she creates a little hot pocket to keep me cozy. Today I'm finishing the last of 3 new embroidered pieces for an art show I was asked to be a part of at a gallery in nyc. They're tiny illustrations 1 or 2 inches tall of Pico the cat.

This week, I'm borrowing my friend Rachel's digital camera so that I can finally update 2 new scarves for etsy and post a photo of my sister Rachel's cat, Peabody (the polar opposite of this blog's namesake; his purr machine runs 24/7 (Pidge is broken)).

(update: I finished the third illustraton and quite happy with them. To stick with the theme for the show, they'll be presented in embroidery hoops- but, when I get them back I think I'll finish them like the other pet portraits in bound fabric squares.)

I dressed the loom with a new warp today.. 11 yards of blues, greens and whites and now need to stretch out- the task is meant to take place with two people at the front and back of the loom. Instead, I climb into the middle and lean and bend and contort to wind the threads on evenly spaced and tensioned. I'll take pictures of the process some day and post.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rachel's Christmas Gift

Here is the gift I was most pleased with this holiday season. I found the bird mobile pattern on several craft blogs throughout last year and had it tabbed for months. My sister really liked it and I think it will look great in her room. The birds were quite fun to sew- picking fabrics and using up scraps. The assembling of the mobile was such a challenge! My brain hurt trying to get everything to balance and just when I'd added a bird and branch - it would throw off the balance of everything that came before. I drew pictures of seesaws and chubby kids to help me figure out where fulcrum needed to go. I think I made it much more complicated than it needed to be, but that's okay.

Hard at work in 2008

A busy day today of cleaning- the apartment and my desktop while it snows blustery outside. Two hours of great music just ended (the students aren't back yet at RIT who usually host the time slot on the radio and so some automatic playlist picked the tunes and they were fun) and I just posted 3 entries. On a roll I guess to make up for the month of no posts. Below are 3 images I called Albert in the living room to take in December while hard at work on some portraits. I am transferring my drawings onto the fabric using a light table Albert picked up at a garage sale over the summer. It still smells musty when the lamps heat up, but it is quite handy. The Goo (one of Pidge's nicknames) was snuggly on my belly, and though it made working a bit of a challenge, I couldn't bear to move her. Plus, she served as a natural heating blanket.

My kitty bump.
The Goo from my point of view.

Christmas Cardinal

Here's a little cardinal portrait that was commissioned for my friend Brian's mom. I just love the polka dots.

So, without a camera, I can only describe what I've been creating lately. I finished the warp on my loop (was able to get 5 scarves out of 11 yards of warp- which is one more than I had anticipated.) I have a scarf in rich rosy reds, golden yellow and cream with hints of grey-blue sitting here waiting to be photographed and put on etsy...

Last night I wound a new warp for the next series of scarves- in grey-blue, seafoam green, cream with thin stripes of sort of a dark brown-green tone. While recovering from a messy bout of stomach flu the first week in January, I finally went through a stack of Martha Stewart magazine and some various others and pulled a bunch of images and color schemes for my inspiration journal. Organizing the clipped pictures afterwards I gathered a bunch of beautiful images of etched silverware, aged wallpaper, a series of plates hung on a wall and a gorgeous grouping of Astilbe in silver vases. These will provide me with plenty of material for 5 scarves.

Another holiday gal

Here's my friend Rachel's mom's pup, Annabel. This little charmer has a jeweled necklace with swarovski crystals- oh my, so fancy!

p.s. Thank you Brian for all your great photo reference!


Happy new year...! It has been a long time since I've updated. My excuse is that the on button for our digital camera is broken. And what is a post without photos? And laziness. But while I work on figuring out a game plan for said camera (which so far has involved google searchs- one site suggest using a safety pin or whacking against a wall, another to disassemble the camera and superglue some parts together, the 3rd a quote to fix it that costs more than the camera did), I can at least post photos of last year's holiday commissions.
This is Moppit. What a lady!