Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

OMG Bread

January 21, 2010

Okay, I’m totally late on the bandwagon for this one, but if you haven’t heard of, or have yet to try, “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” then go here and do it.  I may never buy bread again.  And I like buying bread.  I even like baking bread the work-intensive way.  But not every day.  This, I can do every day.  Seriously, it’s easier than making Kraft Dinner.

P.S.  I don’t have a baking stone, so I just used a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Still got a beautiful crust.  Tonight:  pizza!


November 16, 2009

I’m afraid they’re only vaguely related to textiles . . .  On the way to the big Christmas craft market on Friday I suddenly remembered that I had my camera with me, and could take pictures out the car window.  I switched to black-and-white mode (because it’s oh-so-artsy) and went at it.  I think I took about a hundred in the 15-minute drive through town; these are some of my favourites.

And for a special bonus, here’s the cat looking almost unbearably cute.

Alpaca Farm Tour

September 27, 2009

Today we went alpaca hunting.

And found some!


Thanks to Alpaca Canada’s Alpaca Farm Days, we took a road trip out to Aldergrove to visit the lovely alpacas at Sterling Farms.  They breed maily Suri alpacas (the dreadlock ones), which are even rarer than Huacaya alpacas (the fuzzy ones).  We had a fantastic time, there was nobody else there when we arrived so we got all kinds of one-on-one attention from Marilyn, the owner.  She was very nice, answered all of our questions, and absolutely made me want to have alpacas of my own.  ‘Cause, you know, I needed the encouragement.

The herd was sheared in August, so I didn’t get the full effect of a covered-in-hair-alpaca.  I’m afraid they look a bit silly freshly shaved.


That said, the cuteness of the babies (baby alpacas are called cria)  totally makes up for it.




Aren’t they adorable?

On top of the piles of alpacas, she also showed us their cashmere goats.  These two young ones looked soooo soft, like fluffy little puppies.



I think maybe this one wanted to come home with me.  I could pass her off as a dog, right?

Sadly, I had to settle for some fibre that wasn’t attached to an animal.  Boo.  Oh, well back to the real world now – homework, homework, homework.  Which, since I’m in art school, consists mainly of drawing and spinning, which I would probably be doing anyways.  So I guess I can’t complain!

But first, one more gratuitous nursing shot:



Studio Tour

September 20, 2009

Yay, art school!  Hmm, that probably means I need a studio space that’s actually workable, not covered in the leftovers from six months worth of projects . . .  Every time I clean my studio, it gets just a bit more organized than the last.  By the time I’m completely happy with it, it will probably be time to move.

I live in a two-bedroom garden level suite (I think that sounds much nicer than “basement suite, but it’s above ground and quite nice, really!”) with my boyfriend.  Which is much better than a normal roommate because a) he doesn’t get too mad when I get art/fibre-y stuff all over the living room and b) we sleep in the same bedroom, which means there’s an entire room for a shared studio.  And c) he does my laundry, but that’s probably TMI.

Anyways, over the past few days I’ve had a great procrastinating from homework cleaning spree, and the studio looks fantastic, if I do say so myself.  So while it still looks nice, you get a private tour.

We’ll begin with the wall you see first upon entering the room.  This is the only wall that doesn’t have a window or a door or otherwise space-inhibiting thing, so it does most of the storage duty by means of several sets of shelves, plastic drawer-tower-thingys, and hooks.

Left Wall

The empty space in the top left is where the table loom hangs when it’s not in use.  Below that is the sewing machine and machine embroidery stuff.  The high shelf is most of my knitting yarns and books.  I’m sorry, it’s one of the smallest stashes I’ve ever seen a picture of online.  Nothing worth bragging about there.  In the middle is the bulletin board, which I have finally actually hung instead of having it propped in various corners.  In the two white sets of drawers are current projects, sewing supplies, and other random things.  On top of them are baskets with current projects that are actually being worked on.  To the far right on the metal shelves are the dyeing supplies and equipment.  Shoved in the space between the metal shelves and my desk are two hockey tape dummies, one of me and one of Boyfriend.

Moving along clockwise, is the wall that is mostly window.  The sun hits at about two in the afternoon, which is awesome in the winter, but deadly hot in summer.  The desk is in front because, well, it’s the only thing short enough.

Window Wall

The main occupant of the desk rotates between laptop, sewing machine, and serger.

The serger hides in the cupboard underneath the desk:

Serger Cupboard

The drawers are mostly full of thread:

Thread DrawerI love those adjustable drawer organizers, they do an excellent job of keeping the thread from going everywhere.

Next up is the drawing/fabric storage area.  The second level with lamp and ferns is a recent addition, after deciding to make the room a cat-free zone.  At least until I can trust him to sleep quietly in a corner instead of climbing on everything and wreaking havoc wherever he goes.  Two plastic tubs holding spinning fibre hold up the board that my pencils etc. sit on, and most of my fabric lives underneath the drafting table, along with various large flat things that don’t fit anywhere else.

Lamp Sillhouette


Drafting Table

Fabric Storage

Continuing around, we come upon the bookshelf that until yesterday was crammed full of stuff.  It still kind of is, but there is WAY more space than there was.


On top is my home-made swift.  The next shelf down is where my other spinning stuff is, along with my camera and tripod.  Next is artwork that will eventually go up on the walls, and our growing collection of nifty boxes.  Below that is more drawing stuff, magazines, and, um, assorted.  Lessee . . . under that is another project box and my new calligraphy stuff.  The next one down is actually completely empty, it just doesn’t look like it.  And on the bottom shelf is my iron, a box of yarn leftovers, and a box of Fimo.

The next stop on our tour is the door alcove, which turned out to be a horrible picture so I’m not posting it.  There’s an ironing board hanging on the back of the door.  That’s about all you need to know.  Oh, and this picture on the wall next to it leading back around the corner and into the studio:

Fencing Picture

And now we’ve reached the final wall, which is Boyfriend’s section.  Mostly.  His workbench sits on our brilliantly improvised floor made out of a piece of plywood covered in stick-on vinyl flooring tiles.  My inkle loom and mini tapestry loom do live on top of his workbench.

Randy`s Desk

Inkle Loom and Drill Press

Dishing Stump

And, last but not least, I have pictures of some of the silk, cotton, and paper dyed with my woad:

Woad Dyed

Sorry for making you wait so long, I’ll try not to let it happen again!

Fibre Art Festival!

August 23, 2009

Apparently I have to stop announcing my intentions of posting “tomorrow” because it seems to have the terrible result of me ignoring the blog for several weeks.  And if you’re wondering, no, I haven’t taken pictures of the woad-dyed silk yet . . .

However, I do have pictures of What I Did on My Weekend, which in this case was going to the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival.  Dad, Sister, Boyfriend and I hopped on the ferry Saturday morning to spend the day immersed in fibre-y goodness.  Here’s a view of the harbour, for a taste of our surroundings:

GibsonsNot a bad place to spend the day, eh?

First we wandered around the town a bit, and the booths that were set up along the main road.


Spinning Guild

Booths and harbour

ViolinsI’m afraid I didn’t take many pictures, but it’s a neat little town.  They had musicians rotating all day, most of which were pretty good.

Boyfriend and I had lost Dad and Sister some time in our wanderings, so we decided to walk up to the high school where the classes and Merchant Mall were.  There was a shuttle bus, but we’d just missed it and didn’t feel like waiting.  I knew approximately where it was because I’d been there two years ago, and it wasn’t too far in my memory.  I was . . . kind of right.  The actual distance was not far, maybe eight blocks.  But the part that you don’t notice when you’re a passenger in somebody else’s car is that the road is basically vertical.  I tried to take a picture to convey just how steep it was, but I’m not sure it turned out too well:

Down StreetThis was from about three-quarters of the way up.  We walked basically from sea level all the way up, plus another two blocks that I would have considered uphill if we hadn’t just climbed Mount Everest.

Anyways, after a rest and some lunch, reunited with Dad and Sister, it was time to hit the merchant mall.  Yay!



This is the booth of the woman that I got my spinning wheel from.  She has some great books, and lots of unusual fibres and blends.



I love the take-out containers full of roving!




Mmmmm, silk . . .







The colours!  I need to do more weaving.


Some awesome handspun on the right, there.  This is the booth that was there two years ago that had a Louet Victoria on display.  Without them, I never would have gotten my lovely wheel!

Yeah, there were a couple of good things . . .

What with tuition looming and all, I only bought one package each of three fibres that I hadn’t tried before (cotton, hemp, and silk hankies) and some lace bobbins.  The one time I tried doing bobbin lace I liked it, but I was using popsicle sticks weighted down with masking tape.  I’m sure you can imagine how easy that was!  And I got an early Christmas present, too – The Intentional Spinner, which I have been coveting for months since I first heard about it.

After that, there was nothing else to do but wander back down the hill for ice cream before catching our ride back to the ferry.  All in all, it was a lovely day.

So far today I have tried spinning the cotton and the hemp, which I may or may not post more about some time in the future before something cooler comes along and I write about it instead.


July 20, 2009

This is Boots.

Boots 3

He belongs to the two little girls who live upstairs, but he’ll take attention from anyone.  In fact, he insists on attention from everyone.

Boots 2He likes to “help” me in the garden.  Generally this involves lying on the plants, trying to snuggle when I’m weeding, and then chasing the droplets from the watering can.

Boots 4He’s also developing a taste for pretty coloured yarn.

Boots 1 He’s cute, reliable, entertaining company any time I feel like going outside.

Boots 5

Which happens a lot, so it’s a good thing I like him!

Monday Afternoon in the Park

April 6, 2009


Old bird nest.



Tree shadows.



Trees and field.



Tree, crow, guitar man.






Cherry blossoms.



More cherry blossoms.


March 17, 2009

Anybody remember my first post, written a whole month ago?  Wow, to the day even.  In which I stated that I was applying to third year at the big art school in town?  I may have even complained that I wasn’t going to hear from them until April . . .

I got in!  I just discovered the acceptance letter in my mailbox.  Conditional on my final transcripts from this year, but I’m not even remotely worried about my grades.

Everybody do a happy dance with me!


February 17, 2009

Most of my energy recently has gone into an application portfolio for art school, yay!  Which has, as of Saturday, been submitted, so I have time to do stuff for myself again.  For the curious . . . some pictures can be found here. I won’t say that I’m completely happy with the final results of my efforts (it was rather a last minute decision to apply, so I didn’t have time to make anything specifically for it and a lot of the pieces are on the older side) BUT . . . I did the best I could, now I just have to wait and see if they liked it or not.