Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apple Picking Trip in New England

Bella and I went on her nursery school's annual apple picking field trip yesterday. Kind of a misty, cool day - a real switch from last year, when it was blazing hot.

Drew is prepared... (Bella thinks he's wicked funny.)

Yum! Though, while we were picking apples, the mosquitoes were out in force - we need a good frost to kill those little suckers off.

Some fall color for niece Timothea, who is missing it while living in the U.K. It's just getting started here...
Classic New England stone wall.

They had a little farm area for the kids to run around in, too, after we picked apples.

Comparing pumpkins with her friend Regan...

Neat. If we ever have a farm, she can handle the tractor-driving duties. :)

A really fun trip, and it certainly makes it feel like fall!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Second Day of Open Studios - Wow Am I Tired

Phew, nothing quite like being "on" for two days in a row, I was really drooping by the time 5pm rolled around yesterday at WAS. I thought the foot traffic was a little lighter, but I still managed to sell two more scarves (despite the sparse look of my display racks - they really do sell better when they have company), and I wrote my first-ever wholesale order (six scarves, to be delivered on November 1st).

So, all in all, a very, very successful weekend! Man, though, I don't know how people on the art/craft show circuit do it. I feel like I could sleep for a week. But I get to do it all over again this coming Saturday for our normal First Saturday Open Studios. Here's hoping I can get a couple of pieces finished before then - my racks are looking pretty sadly bare.

The other fun aspect of the weekend was having my little loom set up with a play warp for people to try weaving on. A surprising number of people gave it a whirl - mostly kids, but some grown-ups, too. I had a huge amount of fun explaining a little bit and then watching them try.

It's interesting how you can kind of read how much information people want - some people just want to throw the shuttle, make a mess, and have fun with it for a couple minutes, others want to learn a little bit more about what makes good cloth. Also interesting to see that sometimes thinking too much about things bogs people down - some of the best novice weavers were kids that listened just enough but then didn't worry about things too much and actually managed to have a reasonably even beat and non-wonky selvedges. The whole experience made me realize that I might really enjoy teaching, some time down the line (enough on my plate at the moment!).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Open Studios - Holy Smokes!


So today was the first day of the Lowell-wide Open Studios - it was a rainy but not particularly cold day today, so I was really unsure of how well I'd do... Happily, I was an early bird today (setting up my small loom with warp for people to try weaving on), and I sold several scarves before the Open Studios even officially started at 11am.

(A pretty bad picture of my inventory in my studio before Open Studios actually started.)

All in all, I sold TEN scarves! Wowzers! Five of them never even made it into my Etsy shop - including all three scarves from the Not for the Faint of Heart warp (loved weaving those, such fun colors)...

Turns out I only took photos of *one* of these completed scarves - whoopsie...

Another lesson I learned today - I need to come up with some kind of code to write down on receipts so that I know who bought which scarf. I know which scarves sold, but mostly just be default, not to due to any kind of competent book-keeping on my part.

So, all in all, a very successful day. No idea if the success will continue in to tomorrow - my racks are starting to look a little sparse, I need to rearrange things a bit. And boy do I need to weave more!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weaver's Guild of Boston

Goodness, I meant to post about this a while ago - we had our first Guild meeting of the year a couple of Wednesdays ago now. Always nice to catch up a little bit with people - and I'm finally starting to get to know some of the people there. (I'm pretty shy in social situations, not that great at putting myself forward, so it's nice to be getting a bit more comfortable with this lovely group of weavers...)

It doesn't hurt that I volunteered to be an officer of sorts - I'm the Yearbook Assistant this year, and will take editing the whole thing next year. Not a hugely terrible job, but you have to be comfortable with computers. A nice side bonus is that I got to install the Guild's copy of Pagemaker on my computer.

The afternoon speaker was the very engaging Patricia Palson - a former Guild member who now lives the weaving life full time, selling at various high-end craft shows throughout the year - including Paradise City, coming up. (I really, really want to do this show.)

I so want to be her when I grow up! Not sure if I'll ever get to the point of sewing jackets like she does (I loathe my sewing machine, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual), but I would love perhaps to expand into custom yardage, and create fabric for people that are on speaking terms with their sewing machines... Maybe someday. For now, my plate is quite full enough. (Stressing out this week - Open Studios, plus a custom order, plus the project for Handwoven, I've bitten off more than I can chew, I fear.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lowell Open Studios - Coming Up!

Goodness, I can't believe it, but it's almost time for the Lowell-wide Open Studios - this Saturday and Sunday, from 11am - 5pm each day. Check out this link for a list of participating artists!

I'm actually going to bring my little loom over to the studio, warp it up with some 8/2 cotton that I have lying around, print out some treadling patterns, and let people have a go at weaving. It'll be interesting to see what kind of fabric results!

So, things are pretty crazy/hectic, trying to get things off various looms, finished, tagged, etc. To say nothing about cleaning up my studio, rearranging things a bit - I still haven't painted my studio door! Completely lame. But I have been weaving...

And I made some good progress this morning on a custom piece, which is always satisfying...

My lovely yummy toffee scarf has found a new home!

I engaged in a bit of bartering for it with my absolutely fab friend Eve who has a studio down the hall from me (La Sal Mountains Studio) and will be getting a really lovely piece of glass artwork made by her in return for a lucky relative's Christmas present - shhh, don't tell!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy People Dancing

Oh my gosh. My fantastic niece, Timothea sent me this link today:


(It's a video on the Astronomy Picture of the day website).

I'm too lazy to figure out how to embed video in blogspot, so, run, don't walk, and watch it! I'm serious. It completely made my day. I bawled like a baby. Stuff like this (almost) restores my faith in humanity.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Busy Season?

Fall is in the air in New England... (Though, of course, as I write this, a warm front is coming through, bringing heavily humid air with it, yucko.) The leaves are already starting to change a little bit - kind of early this year, but not surprising after a very cool August.

We had Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios on Saturday September 6, and I swear if was the hottest day of the summer, it was horrible. Humid, rainy, everybody was sweating - not a great environment to sell scarves in!

But, when I got home, I discovered that a very lovely customer had purchased this scarf:

from my Etsy store. Excellent.

I shipped it off to her last Monday morning and then got a lovely note from her saying that her husband had appropriated it as soon as it arrived and could i please make another one for him? Even more excellent! so, I'll be making one in more manly colors (black, greys, blues) as soon as I can manage to finish weaving this warp:

I am seriously thinking of calling this series of scarves Not For the Faint of Heart or something like that. The colors are a lot of fun - black, purple, deep red, orange and bright pink in the warp, mostly purple and black in the weft with stripes of orange, red and pink at each end and in the middle. Yeah, it's colorful.

Apparently, I'm in the mood to work with bright colors. Does anyone else get those moods? I try to kind of balance out my color schemes for my store and studio, but sometimes i just a hankering to mix, say, orange and pink and make my eyes pop a little. And other days I prefer working with more serene color combinations...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Long Summer Hiatus

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted... Life got pretty crazy there for a while, and I lost my motivation for blogging, as well, though not my motivation for weaving. Never that!

To sum up about Convergence - it was a whole heck of a lot of fun. The second two classes that I took were about color theory - no pictures, really, to post, but they were good classes, and kind of confirmed for me that I do better than I think I do with the color stuff... In the first, we did a series of exercises with hues (setting up a grey scale and then choosing colors from a huge amount of color chips to go with each hue on the scale - a great exercise, and, I found, a lot easier when I just went with my gut and *didn't* use the little grey scale finder that the teacher gave to us). In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have signed up for two classes on color theory - they were both very good, and either one on it's own would have been sufficient (the teacher for the second one, Ruby Leslie, brought a huge amount of her very fun samples with her to illustrate how colors work together - also fantastic!).

Those colors work together, I think, at least in real life... The scarf is a little more warm than this picture shows. Kind of toffee-ish. Yum. (This is one of my old standby patterns, made in Bambu7 from Silk City.)

The exhibits were amazing - I didn't get to see as many off-campus as I would have wished, including, I'm ashamed to admit it, missing Kathy Roig's piece in the Weave and Resist exhibit (wah! lame!). But the exhibits that were in the Conference center were a lot of fun to explore... And the yardage exhibit took the cake. They hung the pieces from the center of a rotunda in the conference center - really gorgeous, so you could get the full impact of them length of cloth, or go up to the second floor and see them up close.

I've been playing with some really yummy variegated yarn that I found at Convergence lately:

I am actually going to be working on a project using this yarn for Handwoven Magazine very soon! More of the yarn is on it's way, courtesy of Earth Guild's Dragon Tale Yarn. I'm very excited about this - the design is based on the ruffled scarves that I've posted here before, and, hopefully, the project will turn out as Madelyn van der Hoogt and I hope it will and it will get published... Fingers crossed!

In family news, Ms. B started preschool today...

Who is that big girl? Goodness. (Took this picture a week or so ago, actually.) And Mr. Conall is growing like a weed...

Who is that big guy?? These pjs are a riot - I didn't realize it when I bought them, but all the little animals on them actually glow in the dark. He glows all night long. Hooray for Carters!

At any rate, for anyone who has actually been wondering - sorry about the long break, I hopefully it won't happen again. And very many thanks to anyone taking the time to read this now, after all this time... I hope all is well with all of you!