Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Facebook Follies

I've started a Craftsteader Facebook page.  so if you can go there, please "like" me.  It feels a little odd to have only one like (me) on the page.

Thank you, dear reader.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No need to travel: Fleece finds me

Meadowsong Alpaca's Thriller arrived at my doorstep this week.
My quest for fabulous fibers to spin has reached the tipping point:  I no longer need to travel to fiber festivals, wonderful fleeces just come my way.  Exhibit A: this lovely fleece from Meadowsong Alpaca's in Michigan.  Diane, of Meadowsong, a quality alpaca grower thoughtfully e-mailed me about a lovely fleece grown by her new boy Thriller.  The photo doesn't really do it justice, which is good because I'd hate to have people swooning while reading this blog on their I-phone or something.  Yep, it's really that lovely.  Honest.

Lovely strings of Citrine nestled in luxury.

To represent the loveliness, I posed a couple of strands of Citrine I purchased a Kasey's Beads in Naperville, hopping to allow this semi-precious stone to reflect the beauty of this precious fleece.  Oh, it sunk right into all that soft, fluffy, spin-able loveliness.  Okay, I'm using too many superlatives. Got it. 

Just to let you know, this fleece is going to be the cornerstone of my hand woven throws made with sustainably grown fiber that will one day be the cornerstone of my Etsy shop, once it opens.  In the meantime, maybe some rally nice Citrine and quartz crystal jewelry?  I love using natural stone because I do believe it imparts some positive energies to the wearer.  Plus, stones will stay nice looking, bright and clean even when worn against the skin.  I'll be working on my Etsy page, my new web page (you can still go to http://www.whorlwindweaver.com for spinning tips while it's under contruction, and I have a New Facebook page.  It's all under Craftsteader.

More green beans grew overnight.

While my fellow crafters enjoyed a lovely day in Allegan at the fiber festival (I'm not rubbing it in east coast, but mother nature has been merciful this weekend) I was slaving away in the garden, picking and tying up tomatoes, cleaning out the dying squash in the garden proper and finding more and more green beans.  I swear,  a green bean can grow overnight because the ones show in this picture were not there yesterday.

We like to grow sunflowers for the birds.
 Abbondante, is how I would describe the garden.  I can speak Italian now because after all the work and a trip to the bead store and Trader Joes, I sipped an Italian Red they sell called "Bastardo" and listened to Pavarotti cranked up from inside the house.  Okay, I used Google translate, but really it was a fabulous day yesterday with blue skies and enough breeze to keep away ravenous mosquitoes.  Sorry for this mention, my East Coast readers, but we also get a certain share of the wrath of global climate change.  Remember, we had Jim Cantore stationed in Chicago last winter for the thundersnow blizzard.  Though, a blizzard isn't so bad as long as you make it home from work before it gets bad and have stocked up on dark chocolate and red wine.  Plus blizzards bring moisture in the solid form--work to dig out but it doesn't seep. I do feel for you guys.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mystery squash revealed!

016 by Craftsteader
016, a photo by Craftsteader on Flickr.
This squash had been growing out of my compost heap since early summer. As you can see, it has taken over the entire "fence wall corner" behind our shed. I had no idea what kind it was, but it appears to be a winter squash of the acorn variety. I got a look at my first fruit today. I think it is the result of some squash seeds I chucked last year, including possibly a squash that had "gone by.' It is nice to see something growing so well! I am pleased. My zucchini is doing awful. Next year, I'm planting it right here!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rainy Saturday = Crafting Holiday

There's something wonderful about waking up to a Saturday rife with dark clouds rolling across the sky, rumbles of thunder and storms spewing downpours, runnels of water in the gutter, grass glistening with wet.  Ah Paradise!

My kind of rainy day gray: a chance to get caught up!
A rainy day means Freedom to stay inside and to spin and card to my heart's content.  I might even fire up the dye pot because the cool rainy air means I can open a window and keep the smell out of my house.  I woke up fired up to get going, and have already filled half a bobbin of luscious kid mohair from Tallgrass Farm and carded myself a small pyramid of batts. Free creative time is the lifeblood of the craftsteader.
Yep, the carder needed some exercise!
I'm just a wee bit behind in my pledge to have spun this entire fleece by the end of August.  But determination, and a few good downpours, and I'll up caught up and meet my deadline.
A pleasant pyramid of Tallgrass Farm kid mohair batts to spin.
 I'm way behind because of vacation, and then some medical issues that cropped up--everything is turning out okay, but as you know, the in-the-middle-of-it stage is really not fun and not conducive to keeping up with hobby projects, which include this blog and some of my activities on Ravelry.  I was so caught up with what was going on in the non-hobby part of my life that I haven't been able to create ideas for the August round for my team on the Nerd Wars group!  Yep, even one's geeky side can be chewed up and spit out by adversity.
My personal assistant lends his moral support to all parts of my life.

But life continues, and things do get better, and though  there might not be a Santa Claus, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if we should walk through storms with our head held high, we will never walk alone.  Is that enough mixed adages folks?

The rain didn't stop me from checking the garden for goodies.
So I'm back again with crafty things to share on this lovely, grey rainy crafter's holiday Saturday. Woohoo!  May you all have lovely days of creating beautiful things by hand.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winning Wildflowers!

007 by Craftsteader
007, a photo by Craftsteader on Flickr.
This gorgeous indie dyed BFL braid is aptly named Picking Wildflowers. I won it from Wildberry Moon in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece. I think she still has some in stock, if you want to visit http://www.wildberrymoon.com/. I'm looking forward to spinning this.