All great art is a form of complaint. - John Cage

Most anarchists are gentle people.
-Anna Zilboorg

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Care Package

Tsahai knew last week was a hard one and so, she baked a big batch of cookies and sent them on over.  So kind!  And the cookies are really good.  It's the thought that counts, but it helps if the thought accompanies some really good cookies.  Thank you Tsahai!

Homemade cookies in a baker's box.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finn and Mommy-Mommy



Family Portrait

Fairy House


Hand Carved Bowl

Fabulous Kindergarten Teacher

Nest of Nests

Neil and Finn with Wyatt

Monday, September 26, 2011

State of the Studio Address

Studio light, 11:18am.

I was going to post an image of the orange canvas tote
with undyed cotton webbing handles
that I sewed yesterday (all by myself!),
wait for it,
Finn asked to use it as his school bag this morning
and carried it off to kindergarten.

How cool is that?

Here are some material shots at least of Sunday's projects
(you might notice that the studio table is filling up again. . .).

  The "Diminishing Rib Cardigan" and leftover tote bag materials.

Hand spun for the "Diminishing Rib Cardigan".

Chaos a'creeping:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wood Blocks

Daniel Chaffin, a maker of exquisitely beautiful and wholesome furniture here in Louisville posted to facebook the other day that there was a pile of scrap wood (hardwoods!) on the alley side of his shop, free for the taking.  With visions of fighting a horde, I zoomed to the alley side of his shop and found this gorgeous sight (no horde):

I took a small batch home and asked my lovely husband:

(the miter saw is in his studio) if he would cut the wood down
in to block sizes for Finn:

and he said yes, just mark the cuts.
So, here is the wood,
marked and ready for transport to the studio:

Next Thursday, when the lovely Jenna:

is over to watch Finn, she said she will help to sand the blocks so that they are safe for play.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guardians of the Sheep: Great Pyrenees

 Farm dogs and sheep guards.  Sid:

And Suzy:

Our own Pyrenees-mix, Han.  More alarm clock than guard dog:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More on Mobley

The Sorceress's cache:

Her Dragon in my herb garden:


Today was Shearing Day at Sweet Home Spun - and the launch for a project I have been working on for the last four years.  A long, long, long time ago, I wanted to knit a sweater for a sheep.  Specifically, I wanted to transform a sheep's fleece into a sweater for that same sheep.

First, I had to learn how to knit: 

As I headed down that road, I came to know some special master craftspeople.  First, I met Angie.  Angie Mobley.

She was our teacher for Parent-Child classes at the Waldorf school here in Louisville, Kentucky.  (I think she might be a sorceress.  She passes her hands over any given material and suddenly: a bit of magic.  Here is the link to her blog:  The Indigo Rabbit.)  She led me into the world of wool and handwork. I love her so, so much.

Then I met Kristen.  Kristen Matly-Dennis.

She owned and operated the famed Knit Nook for five years until her MFA in writing, a new baby and a rotten economy led her to shut its doors.  I spent forever hours in her shop learning the craft of knitting.  Now she is my good friend.  We were supposed to go to the Yellow Springs Fiber Festival: A Wool Gathering tomorrow, but she just drove 2500 miles to Massachusetts and back and is unable to gear up for another road trip just yet.  I will have to post photos for her.

Next, I met JoAnn.  JoAnn Adams:

JoAnn taught me to spin.

It is an ongoing process, of course.

I met JoAnn at the fiber festival in Corydon, IN and over the past three years, have become her most avid student and a most appreciative friend.  So avid and appreciative, I suspect she expects to find me hiding out on her property some day.  I love her dogs, her sheep, her Low-Dutch Meeting House, and her.  If I get within 5 miles of her farm, I break out in a twang and start talkin' 'bout the holler.

Last year, JoAnn and her husband, Sam, decided to "give" me a sheep.  I say "give," because I do not have any place to put a sheep, and so, she lives at Sweet Home Spun, is cared for, bred and shorn at Sweet Home Spun.  Basically, I get to dream about her.  We call her "Baa".  We are never sure exactly which one is Baa.  Whichever one comes when we call is, in that moment, "Baa".  TODAY, Baa's identity became very specific.  TODAY is the day that Baa was shorn for the first time and her fleece designated as the one that I would spin and return to her as a sweater.  Meet Baa:

Here are her before and after poses for the day:

My job this shearing day was to assist in skirting the fleeces.  To skirt a fleece is to pull all the vegetation, dried excrement and matted clumps from the edges and to shake out what will fall.  The lanolin coats your hands and your clothing develops a general dinge - great, great fun.  Here's a fleece on the skirting table:

And here are few links for the day:

After the fleece is washed, carded and spun, I can begin to knit.