Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Needlefelted Rose Collage

Needlefelted Rose Collage, originally uploaded by confections.

I needlefelted this one cookie-cutter style with a new mold from Clover. I love to do my floral sculptures totally freehand, but I can't resist a new tool. The fiber is a hand-dyed wool and mohair "Forever Random Carded Batt" from La Lana Wools in Taos, New Mexico. The color is "Concha". Bought it on a train/road trip with my sisters and nieces and nephews two years ago. I have lots of fiber in my stash :)

Needlefelted Rose (two)Needlefelted Rose

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vermont Farm, Sunday Dinner 1909

This amazing early photo was sent to me by a long-lost cousin along with some genealogical research done by her son. What a gift! My mother's family comes from Vermont, and this photo was taken in Caledonia County.

I know quite a lot about my Great-Aunt Jean Elizabeth, who is pictured on the far right at the table (click the photo for the full image). She had been a school teacher for many years, then married a distant cousin and returned to the family homestead from Pennsylvania, where she was born.

In May of 1910 she gave birth to a daughter, but tragically my great-aunt died in September of 1910 of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. She was just 36 years of age. Her daughter was raised on the homestead in Vermont, married and moved to Ohio, and lived a long life (she died at 88 years of age).

I love working with the puzzle pieces of genealogy and am overjoyed when bits like this fall into my lap. I will leave you with an image of Jean's infant daughter, being bathed by her mother, and one of her being held naked in the summer garden in a rare candid for the time. Women hold up half the sky!
Baby Jean Elizabeth GalbraithGreat-Aunt Jean with her daughter

Monday, April 7, 2008

Red Rose in the Marston House Gardens, San Diego, California

On an excursion to the Balboa Park area in San Diego yesterday afternoon, my sister and I encountered this perfect fragrant red rose along one of the garden paths at the historic Marston House.

It was such a lovely harbinger of spring (along with two cotton-tail rabbits), I had to share it with you.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may!

GatherYe Rosebuds

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Basket Full of Potential

Basket Full of Potential, originally uploaded by confections.

A small basket full of fiber ready to spin: included here are Merino, lambswool/Corriedale, handpainted Blue Face Leicester, and handpainted Targhee in the "Clematis" colorway (the latter from Susan's Spinning Bunny).

The solid color rovings were spun into the wrap-and-roll technique coil yarn featured last week.

One of my favorite spinning tools, the bottom-whorl hand spindle shown above, was handmade of old wood by Rick Reeves and purchased many years ago in Pennsylvania at Autumn House Farm.

Enjoy your spinning and creating!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Indra Batik Ragamuffin Handspun Cotton Rag Yarn

I love batik fabrics and have quite a collection, including an antique piece that a friend of mine brought back from Bali in the 1980's. I'll have to photograph that piece and share it with you.

This handspun Ragamuffin yarn features a distinctive modern batik in earthy tones--one of my current favorites and available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Handspinning Technique

Detail of corespun yarn, originally uploaded by confections.

The Spring 2008 Spin-Off magazine came the other day, and I have been inspired to make the novelty yarn featured on the cover, a soft coil-style yarn spun with a new technique developed by Sarah Anderson called "wrap-and-roll".

To make the yarn, first spin a soft slightly thick-and-thin singles yarn, load some crochet cotton onto a drop spindle, put the soft singles onto a tensioned lazy Kate; then sit down at your spinning wheel and do magic!

Holding the crochet cotton taut in your non-dominant hand, spin the drop spindle clockwise and simultaneously wrap the soft singles around the cotton core thread on the counterclockwise-turning spinning wheel for a length of about twelve inches.

Next, slide the singles wraps up along the crochet thread toward the orifice of the wheel until they gently touch, then wind on and begin again. It's very addictive and satisfying and labor intensive. Like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.

Has anyone else given it a try?

Here is the Spin-Off magazine cover and two short videos on YouTube.

Wrap-and-Roll Technique corespun yarnBobbin of corespun yarn
Collage of Corespun Yarn