Thursday, July 30, 2015

Olga's poppies

Our fiber group was fortunate to recently have spent a lovely summer day, sharing our fiber projects, surrounded by Olga's lavish flower gardens. Her poppies were definitely the stars of the show. So much so that it made me wish I was a painter, especially seeing Judith putting some of that beauty to paper wth her water colors.

As always at Olga's I take so many pictures that I don't have time to play with editing them all. But here are some of my favorites and I even remembered to take some pictures of our show and tell fibery goodness, too.

Olga's mowed path goes around these daisies
Barb B's bamboo scarves/ Kathy's yardage for a vest/ Barb M's knit baby blanket and Janet's overshot sampler
Anna's quilt
Elian's naturally dyed yarns/ my collapse weave shawl before collapsing it.
Anna's beautifully sewn dress/ the moving ladies
Judith's watercolor sketches

Janet's overshot sampler

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A tale of two towns

Well not much of a tale. Just a treasure trove of unique shops that I discovered on the way home from the Midwest Weavers Convention in St Paul last month. What mostly had me yell STOP to my poor hubby, was seeing an assortment of rugs hanging outside a shop called Cultural Cloth In Maiden Rock. Serious jackpot; that made my fiber lovin heart, skip a beat. The delightful owner Mary Ann Wise has an obvious passion for supporting women artists from developing countries around the world. I ended up going home with a felted rug picturing a folk art horse made in Afganistan. I would love to go back for one of their classes. The rug hooking one coming up this weekend looked particularly wonderful

For a good blast of color the shop across the street should fill you up. From the riot of flowers outside to the to the uniquely artistic Mexican icons and mini shrine to Frida Kahlo, Secret Heart Gallery Is a joyful place.

Stockholm is the next town down the road, with the ever popular Stockholm pie Co., a lovely gallery (name forgotten) which had some of Kelly Marshalls weavings for me to go all fan girl on, a cool salvage shop and to top it off a Scandinavian shop. We are lucky we made it home at all.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Midwest Weavers Conferance

St. Thomas University in St Paul, MN, hosted this year's Midwest Weavers Conference. With tours to places like The American Swedish Institute, The Minneapolis Art Institute, and Fairbault Woolen Mill and many classes with some of the weaving worlds' biggest rock stars. Classes like; Doublewave with Jennifer Moore, Crimp Cloth with Dianne Totten, and sigh...Designing Rep Weave with Kelly Marshall. How could I have been so preoccupied to have spaced out registering before the deadline. Too much "daughters graduation party" on the brain, I guess.

With only a little bit of whining, my hubby agreed to a road trip with a stay at the beautiful St. Paul Hotel. I don't think that he has ever seen me in full fiber frenzy mode, usually he is doing his own thing and I am with fellow fiberholics. He did a lot of bemused smiling, and sitting and playing on his phone. And in an apparent effort to win best husband award; even though I had dragged him through the yummy vendor hall...twice, went through 5 rooms of incredible weavings on display and drove to the Textile Center, he agreed to come back after dinner to attend the fashion show. It was really fun. Where else would you see a lineup of middle aged women in their handwoven bathrobes, strutting their stuff. Still makes me smile.

Despite not taking any classes, I was inspired enough to be anxious to get back to my looms. And Jim must have been processing some of what he saw, cause as we headed into our home town the next day, he asked what 8/2 meant on some of the yarns he saw. Guess he was paying attention. Talk about earning some hubby brownie points!

The vendor hall


Exhibits of the teachers work
A little bit of heaven

Exhibits by local weavers and knitters
St. Thomas university
Mermaid dress woven with plastic bags and lights in the train
Small Works exhibit at The Textile Center

Kelly Marshall's rep weave rug
Exhibits by various guilds



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer gathering at Barb's

Summer is truly here and I can't think of a better way to spend a day than getting together a car full of friends, for a road trip through the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin. Even better to have the destination of our newest fiber friend Barb's lovely country home. We enjoyed seeing her flock of (I believe)Cormo sheep under the watchful eye of Gandolf, her guard llama. He definitely gave us the once over. Dashing fellow.

Barb's studio is the perfect set up for any fiber endeavor and she has her fair share of fiber tools. Anyone with a deadly looking fiber picker, earns my respect. With the kitchen set up in this studio my mind went to all the fun she could have dyeing. And then to make me love her home even more she has the perfect porch to sit and spin on, surrounded by woods

Barb also demonstrated wool combing. Another somewhat life threatening adventure. Anytime you are playing with a tool that has double rows of 4 inch sharp tines, you really need to pay attention. The part where you use a diz to pull the fiber into roving just goes to show once again that wool is magic.


My little demo was the white shawl I had just pulled off the loom. We dunked it in a bowl of hot water to watch it magically collapse width wise because of the Habu wool crepe yarn that I used in the weft. It will be fun to show this off when it is dried, at the next weavers meeting. I love the springy life it gives to what is usually a flat fabric.

Thanks Barb and Dave for your hospitality and a glimpse into your animal and fiber filled lives.

Nan showing some indigo dyeing she did in Japan

Barb's bamboo scarves
Woman's hands




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

spring day at Carole's

Our May weavers gathering at Carole's couldn't have had a prettier setting. Her property is smack dab in the middle of an old apple orchard that was in full bloom. We spent so much time laughing and chatting, eating so much great food, and oohing and ahhhing over show and tell projects; that I didn't get outside for many photos.

This post is quite a bit after our gathering so although specific memories have faded, I can recall laughing so hard that my sides hurt after listening to some of Elin and Bonnies stories. I am looking forward to many more stories that this group of women share each time we gather. There is always something new to learn and I am sure more laughter to share as this group continues our 2nd Monday fiber gatherings. Thanks Carole for hosting us this time.

Oh Barb, how can you finish a new rep weave rug for every meeting???

No one left hungry

A loom with a view

Redbud in bloom/ Anna's new sweater/ Alabama Studio sewing books

Susan's scarf with Barb B's handspun soysilk/ new Avalanche Loom labels/ Kathy's new handwoven yardage

Carole's twill shawl/ baby blanket/ Carole's mosaics in progress/ Judith's next overshot project

I went home and had a talk with my orchids after seeing Carole's

Thursday, April 23, 2015

spring gathering, spring joy

As expected when I decided to invite the weavers to my house for our April get together, there was a threat of snow overnight. If you know my driveway, you don't invite friends over when it might be snow covered; and have them remain friends. However all turned out well and it even warmed up enough to drag our chairs onto the porch and do some sun basking along with some eagle watching. News flash: we climbed the hill the other day to see the nest a bit closer and this year we actually saw some chicks. Oh glorious day! I am very proud for my eagle parents. They have been diligently siting on the nest since mid February.

Rachel was brave enough to join us for a refresher spinning attempt after having taken my beginner spinning class at our fall fiber fest. And I am happy to say that yarn was created! I hope that she is able to join us again.

There was so much good food and merriment in abundance that I forgot to take very many pictures. I did get one of my Apple Cake (recipe from The Smitten Kitchen), while it was in the pan cause I had little faith in it actually coming out of the pan. It did and was pretty tasty. Her cookbook has been inspiring some fun eating, although the popcorn cookies got mixed reviews from my family. It seemed genius to me also that two of my favorite snacks would be even better as one.

All in all life is good. A temporarily clean house, another white warp on the loom (got to get off this white kick), three looms with something on them ( not saying that the boundweave has been on the Glimakra for at least a year) and eagles drifting on the sweet smelling spring breezes. Ahhh...
Bald eagle

Mississippi river,  ice free and beautiful

Magnolia tree just starting to bloom
Denise's twill weaving's, Kris's needle felted guy and my apple cake

the last prom...bittersweet
Winter Birches scarf in linen, silk,alpaca and cotton with bamboo inlay
Popcorn cookies...good in theory