Friday, January 22, 2010

Once again, we have a crazy morning around here. At least, last night we all turned in early-- 9:08 to be exact. After a couple of late nights followed by early mornings, I just couldn't do it. Actually, I never could. In college I was going to bed at 10pm to be ready for those 8:30am classes. Pregnant, I was in bed by 8pm. My bed time has now settled around 10:30. I'm just not productive after that. The kids use it all up. One problem with this set up is I'm not really a morning person either. As I write, it's after 8am and I'm not fully awake. I'm really a middle of the day person--late morning and early afternoon are my most productive times. It seems to work for me at the moment, as long as the chaos and to-do list doesn't become overwhelming. Yesterday was volunteer day at school, so there was no art around here. But Tuesday and Wednesday were a productive days. I pulled out some of the some of the fabrics that I quilted and painted before Christmas and got to work. My newest creations are these Art Quilt Cuffs. They make wonderful, warm bracelets for the winter. I've never been a jewelery person in past, but I'm enjoying exploring the medium. I also made a bunch of Treasure Boxes, both big and small and inchies for cards, tags, and bookmarks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ugly Duckling Art Yarn and Time to Just Do It

Good Morning. Another sleepy day at the Wheeler house, but at least this morning the sun is poking through the clouds and the sunrise was gorgeous. I have to admit that, like many people, I have a very hard time with January. It's dark. It's cold. I just feel blah. Pretty much every January it's the same story. Some years I force myself to do a little more, some years less. I know that just getting started always helps. I need to create. I need to exercise. I need to get outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. And most of all I need to not feel guilty about all the things I should be doing and just don't have the umph to do. I guilt will bring me to a sliding halt every time. So this year, I'm just going to do it in the moment and not worry about all the "shoulds." Baby steps! Every moment is new--a chance for a new start, new resolve, new opportunities, new ideas.
My hope is to warm up my writing skills again and get back to blogging. I know that I've been very neglectful over the past year and a half. I'm always so distracted with life. My head is swimming with everything. It's time to add a little clarity and get some of it written down.
I'm finally bringing a little order back to my house after the holidays and have time to create a little. I've played with my birthday toy, a Louet drum carder. Time to use that big box of fiber that I brought home from Art Fiber Fest fall 2008. I spun 10 skeins of what I call "Ugly Duckling" art yarn. I just started throwing everything into the carder. It didn't really matter the fiber, the color, the texture. It all went in. The colors are definitely more muted than I typically work with, but I really like the way they turned out. The little flakes of color are so fun and the combinations a surprise. The majority of the yarns are a soft brown from a large amount of dark, natural fiber. I did concentrate the pink in two batts, creating a brighter base for all the color. I think my favorite is a soft cream with flecks of pink and green and even some bright sparkly green firestar. I spun them very bulky. I noticed it was a little harder to do since I have been spinning thinner and thinner. I had to make a conscience effort to not draft the fiber significantly. Four ounces of fiber yeilded about 50 yards each. They each have their own character and are fun to explore. For now, I'm putting them up in my Etsy shop, but as the perfect project comes along I will steal them for myself.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pink Explosion

I've been playing the fabrics that I created for my "Pink Refractions" quilt. I had a request from an Etsy customer for a pink treasure box since the red one sold before she could purchase it. The request inspired me to bring out the sewing machine (still my daughter's since mine is waiting for a part on backorder) and get to work. I've made several treasure boxes for the Indie Banditas Valentine's show on Bainbridge next month. I also made some small, individual chocolate sized boxes for gift giving. And I couldn't help making inchies. I've used them on a pile of cards and plan on making some little notebooks also.
I thought I would share my photo shoot set up. Typically I would try to take photos outside, but the weather has not cooperated. The days have been wet and dark. There hasn't even been enough light to charge the solar flashlight. Instead I set up a couple chairs drapped with a sheet on the dining room table. I used the chandelier and added a clip on light. With the six light bulbs I was able to have enough light for an in focus shot. I did need to do a little color correcting from the light bulbs, but I pretty happy with make shift set up.