Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Clay and I

It has been a long time since I've shared art school happenings.

The Art of School

I thought I'd share a few projects that I've been working one at school.  The first is from my 3-D class.  Our assignment was to use dowel rods and found wood to create a structure that rocked, was at least 4 feet in length and to find a place in the art building to install it.  We then had to paint it to camouflage it in the setting of our choice.   The project was all about line.  I love the natural arcs of the found wood and echoed it in the few dowels that I used. The color is a little off with the camera phone, I also wish I could have shown the rocking motion.

The next piece is a split lip bowl that I made with some help of my instructor, Ruth Reece.  She is a fantastic teacher and I really enjoy learning from her.  I love clay and wheel throwing pieces is challenging and so rewarding.  Of course, I've had my epic fails.  I've gotten the feel for bowls, but my body and mind are having some challenges in downsizing to cups.  I have to make four bowls and four cups for the class.  We have six weeks left to do this and I have time to practice, fail and hopefully succeed.  I'm starting to dream about ceramics now in addition to quilts.  I guess I'm well and truly hooked.

Curious about the process of making a bowl?  Here is a lovely video that shows the art and makes it look very easy (hint: it isn't).

Camp KIP

It has been awhile since I mentioned this, but Camp KIP is fast approaching (April 21-24th).  It will be a bit tricky as I'll miss classes on Monday and Tuesday.  I still have to clear it with my instructors, but I'm set to go.  Registration closes on March 11th so if you want to go - register soon!  I'm planning on packing a wheel or two as well as some knitting projects.  It will be good to have a getaway and I'm looking forward to meeting new people.  Maybe I'll see you there?

Spinning Around

I mentioned the other day that I received my wheel parts back.  When I purchased my CPW, a few of the parts were in need of attention.  The bobbin and whorl were chipped.  The flyer was missing some hooks and the wheel needed a footman (was transfers the motion of the treadle to turn the wheel).  I sent them off to Merlin Tree to be made new again.  I received a large box last Friday and I was delighted by what I found inside.  The old bobbin was repaired and the whorl too.  I thought the wheelwright would have to start from scratch, but he recycled and made them pristine.  I'm in awe of the work that was done.  It is amazing that something so old, can be still used and still look so beautiful.  This wheel lived in a barn for many years.  Thankfully the barn was dry.

New leathers have been added and some other problems fixed beautifully.  Now all I have to do is clean up the wheel, remove the old finish and reseal everything.  I'm hoping that I'll have nice weather next week to do the job on the patio.  I still have to measure for the footman and call in the size that I need.  I'm using a coat hanger as a temporary fix.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Twas the Week Before Break

Hope everyone is having a good week.  I'm in the homestretch for Spring Break Part I.  The two schools I attend do not match up scheduling wise so my break will be in two parts.  I'm not complaining.  I'm feeling ready for a break although it will be a working one.  I have lots planned for next week.  My wheel parts came from the wheel restorer (more on that on Thursday).   I need to clean and work on the finish of the wheel.  I also have a fair amount of dyeing that I've been thinking about cooking up.  I then have a sculpture for one of my classes that will need some attention to be ready for a critique.

On the Needles

My Schoodic Cardigan is chugging along.  I'm really really enjoying the yarn.  The green is flecking here and there with various incarnations of greenness.  I have a lot of knitting to go, but I'm enjoying it.

Sew Anyway

My quilt is also coming along nicely.  I'm having a fantastic time combining colors and seeing the stack of arcs grow.  I need 120 arcs so I'll be at this for a bit.  My goal is 2-4 a day depending on my time.  

I've been discovering some of the lovely quilt shops in my area.  So inspiring for colors and shapes!  I've been finding inspiration in unusual places as well.  I have a pile on my worktable of scraps from sewing.  It is so dynamic with the lines, textures and colors.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Colorful Regrouping

The week is over and I'm settling in for some time to regroup and make progress on personal projects.  I love Fridays.  I don't have to be anywhere and generally they are work days.  I can set my own schedule and my own pace.  Today is a day "off."

I've been hoarding the season finale of Downton Abbey and soon I'll tuck myself in to watch it with some tea a friend gifted to me.  I have a sweater quantity of yarn finishing dyeing for the new Hannah Fettig pattern, Schoodic Cardigan.

This means I have three sweaters in my pending knitting pile.  My Cassidy is on hold while the yarn is back ordered.  The sweater that I'm spinning Allistar's fleece for, The Autumnal Cardigan (also by Hannah Fetting, is still in progress of spinning.

So it looks like the Schoodic Cardigan will beat the others to the needles.  My first knit sweater!  Once the  yarn is dry, I'll swatch for gauge and be off and knitting.

After I catch up with the folks at Downton, I'll probably wander into the studio to do some quilting.  I'm making progress, but I have a lot yet to do.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Add Quilting to the List

I am finally feeling human again from the attack of the sinus monsters.  Our weather has been so weird here in the Midwest.  One day it is warm, the bugs come out, the spring flowers grow a little more out of the ground and people start sneezing.  The next day it is chilly and the birds look a little put out by the sudden change.

It was pointed out today in class that we have two weeks remaining until Spring Break.  Yikes!  That means the halfway point of the semester is crashing into us soon.  There is so much to do and time is running out.

Sew Anyway

I'm finding enough time to do my own thing.   This past weekend I attended my first quilting class.  What I was afraid of happened.  I loved it.  I remembered how much I love to sew, sort through fabrics, and think of ways to put them together.  And so, I'm in big trouble again.  I come from a family of fantastic seamstresses.  My mom even quilted a bit here and there.  I'm not really surprised.  My thought for beginning my textile studies was to bring all my past experiences and unite them together into a working whole.  So I took another step towards my destination.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend passed along some back issues of Quilting Arts Magazine.  If you haven't seen this periodical, you must flip through it sometime.  These quilts aren't the ones I had as a child.  They are textiles brought to the next level.  They are what I've been longing to do.  I've been tucking myself in at night with an issue.   I've found a lot of fine art techniques (printmaking, oil painting, etc)  brought to a very traditional craft medium.  It is exciting and I can see it pushing my color studies to another level.

My class was excellent and the teach was fantastic.  We learned a lot of basics, learned to paper piece a quilt and got a move on for the class project.  I learned about a fantastic new to me seam ripper that makes sewing a whole lot less awful.  I am throwing out all my old ones!  This one is flat and has the blade at the tip.  No more fiddling with a thick, bulky one that only tightens stitches!

I have a lot more work to do before I reach quilt stage, but this is my start.  The middle spike pieces were finished during class and the rest of the squares are cut and waiting to be assembled.  Can you say hello color?

Shop Update

My big accomplishment is a shop update.  I've been dyeing and working on items for a few weeks and I'm very pleased with how they came out.   Everything was listed last night and is up now for your browsing pleasure.  Mister already snagged a skein of yarn for socks!

Some highlights:
Silk Hankies
Spinning fibers

Missouri grown hand dyed Shetland roving

Sock Yarn

Handspun/Handwoven scarf

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Under Pressure

The week has flown by and it has been a doozy!  Between a three hour critique in one class, work and sinus pressure I've been feeling a little under speed.

Feeling a little brain numb with a sinus headache today so I'll just share with you my antiquing find of the past weekend.

An old sock blocker!  I brought it home and put it up next to a modern sock blocker.  The wood is worn smooth.  It might not look like art to some, but it makes me happy.

I'm preparing for a major shop update that will hit next week.  Look for sock yarn, silk hankies, spinning fiber and perhaps a little more!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This posting is a bit tardy, but I hope you'll forgive me.  It is about being thankful and I'm having an abundance to be thankful for.  Yes, I know it isn't November, but I don't really need to wait for an assigned day.

I just need to say thanks.  First, thanks for reading this and for posting your comments and sending your private notes (thecloistered lamb at  It is great to get feedback and to see what's on your mind.

Next I'm thankful for art school.  This is a constant source of wonder, surprise, struggle, inspiration and contentment.  Many times I have holy crap moments, when I realize that I get to sit and talk to artist all day and make art.  I'm humbled by the opportunity to do so.

I'm thankful for color.  The other day I was mixing color for an art project, my teacher came over to say that I got the perfect match for the color.  It was wonderful to get that feedback.  I love color.  I love the way that I can tweak or even just experiment.  Color is fantastic.

Here is a sample of what I've been up to this past week.  On the right two braids of fiber and silk hankie for the shop.  They will probably be listed this coming week.  The braid on the left is currently being spun on the Dutch wheel.  I thought it might be interesting to put the wheel next to Julia, the CPW.  Amazing size comparison!

Finally, I'm thankful for my family and friends.  I have amazing supportive flock of people around me.  I constantly learn from them, laugh with them and hold them close.  

I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ewe-Niverse of Possibilities

Time seems to be speeding up!  My semester is chugging along and I'm enjoying my classes immensely.  I had my ceramics class today and I'm already looking forward to class on Wednesday.  I'm jazzed about my art history class and my 3D design classes as well.  Each day has its own joys and by Friday, my day "off," I'm pleasantly exhausted.

I still haven't managed to snap a photo of Mister in his new hat.  I started and finished a hat for me out of the lovely falkland handspun yarn I shared with you.  Perhaps I can get both pictures taken this week.  

From the Dye Pot

I've been doing a bit of dyeing lately.  I dyed this lovely BFL sock yarn using mixed acid dyes and a resist to leave white flecks.  I call the color Ewe-Niverse.  Perhaps I was inspired by a work by artist, Thomas Joseph.  I purchased a card from my LYS of this print.


I have also been dying up some spinning fiber.  Here is the wild result of a color experiment.  Once it is dry, I plan to spin it up on my Dutch wheel.
Loom with a View

I splurged a bit lately.  I recently joined up for Spunky Eclectic's weaving club.  This means that I'll receive yarn and a pattern a few times a year.  Since my loom is often left with a pending project, I decided another loom was in order.  You see the rabbit hole gaping open, don't you?  One loom leads to another, which leads to another....  

I decided to pick up Schacht's Cricket loom.  It is small, super portable and perfect for weaving in bed while watch series on Netflix.  I can also take it on trips and to my knit night.  It came the other day and within hours I had assembled it, warped it up and began a project.  I'm using my Ewe-niverse yarn along with Cascade's heritage silk sock yarn in a silvery gray. 

 Coming soon....

I forgot to share this a few weeks ago.  I signed up for a quilting class.  I have a feeling that I'm about to fall down another rabbit hole.  I've been wanting to take a quilting class since I was in high school, but I never managed to make it happen.  I was at a fabric store picking up a pattern and some fabric for a new knitting bag (on the right - yep, that is sheep fabric!).  Upon entering the store when I saw a sample quilt that just gave me a kick (pattern book on the left).  My class is on a Saturday in few weeks and I'm very much looking forward to it.

In honor of rabbit holes, I'll leave you with this video.