Friday, February 26, 2010

one afternoon

You may know, that the heart of our dining room is a beautiful large table, which comes in quite handy for formal dinners (once) or homework (almost daily) or crafting/painting with the kids (often) or crafting/knitting with friends (once a month).
When Amanda, aka Mrs. Soulemama invited her readers to think about the highlight of our week it took me a moment. Then I realized that my favorite time last week was a painting event at said table a few days ago. Not just did I thoroughly enjoy watching the kids do their artwork, but also did I love that we all worked on something similar, we all painted.

Here are the kids finished pictures, water colors combined with oil pastels. I don't think it is hard to guess, who did what.

But it was not just this creating in harmony, that made the afternoon special, but also what I was working on.
For quite a while I had been wondering what I would like to make as a larger design in rug hooking. And the idea of a rug that incorporates designs/pictures of the kids was just the "rough draft" until it hit me how I wanted to do it.
I started going through boxes with old artwork. I found pictures that used to be my favorites, others that symbolized important phases in the kids' lives or typical drawings that I've seen over and over again. The Giant Squid. Lewis was obsessed with the Giant Squid for a while. Snakes, another object of fascination for him when he was five, frogs, too. Halloween, everyones favorite. The little girl, always drawn by Fiona with the hair growing out above the ears. The green horse, a framed picture on the wall. The butterfly, for a while Fiona drew nothing but butterflies.
The idea how to put it all together came naturally.

And now I guess it is obvious, what made this afternoon so memorable. A feeling of being connected in a desire to create, at the same time remembering what we have shared in the past and to get a glimpse of where we come from and maybe also of where we are going.
I really don't know if mine will ever become a rug, but all these paintings will always remind me of a very special afternoon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

working hard

I just got the latest fiber order in. Gorgeous mohair fluff from Kid Hollow Farm in Virginia, where Pat does a fantastic job of dyeing the fibers and creating gorgeous color combinations. If you are a spinner you MUST check out their fibers, there is nothing comparable available in New Mexico.
While I have been knitting a lot of fingerless mittens this winter, the ones that I made from the handspun yarn from their stuff were my favorites.
Not that I ran out of fibers (are you kidding? Me? Never!), but I swear, this stuff is like chocolate, totally addictive, you can never get enough and you always want to try new flavors/colorways. I got a bunch of new colors for fingerless mitts similar to these on Flickr, that will be available for sale. Send me an email, if you'd like to preorder mittens in a certain colorway.

And this lovelyness, a whole pound, has my name on it - these are so my colors, and I'm thinking sleeveless sweater??!!

This morning I was leisurely strolling through the house (yeah, right, leisurely!), when something moving on the floor caught my eye. I'm thinking "Dead spider? Moving? Not possible." I take a closer look and I see this tiny ant, no not a carpenter humungo-guy, but a little sugar ant dragging the dead corpse of a spider along, attached is a tiny bit of wool fluff, too.

I watched it for a long time, tried to capture a good shot (hard!) and was just amazed.
Somehow this also reminded me of myself in front of all those mountains of fibers!
Tonight the spider corpse has vanished, and I have a date with my wheel.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Have I mentioned that I am spinning?

This is what I spun two days ago, washed it yesterday, ready today for the photos in fresh snow.
100% handdyed baby mohair locks, softest grade, 1 3/4oz, 20yds.
This is for sale directly from Sheeponaspring for $ 19.25. Contact me within about 10 days, if you'd like to purchase the skein, afterwards it will be available at Fiber Chicks in Old Town (for a higher amount).
There will be more colorways available soon, I will keep you posted.
This is how the yummy stuff looks like before it's worked with the wheel, fibers were purchased at the Taos Woolfestival last October.

And this is the gorgeous stuff that Dalis brought from Maryland. I love purple!

More pictures yet to come of more rovings, that I ordered from farms in Virginia, so many colors, I have a hard time choosing!
Time to go, off to the wheel, again in the company of "Weeds", sometimes the Olympics, and today maybe orange mohair locks...
I hope you have a great day, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the good and the bad

The itch was real bad after Amber got her fabulous new double treadle Lendrum up and running. So this weekend I finally pulled my wheels out and got spinning. I spun up some batts of wool-alpaca-silk blends and plied the gorgeous rusty mohair yarn, that I had spun a while ago. Yarn is wet from a brief bath, so pictures have yet to be taken. Fun.

There was also a date with husband, which brought us to Old Town and - what a lucky "coincidence" :-) - to the relatively new yarnshop Fiber Chicks. They have one whole wall dedicated to consignment yarns and part of my newly spun yarns will soon be available for sale there. Good.

On Sunday then I had a visitor from my Maryland past, my oh-so-talented friend Dalis, here on Ravelry! I was thrilled that she made time for me, even brought me some fiber goodies! If your travels ever bring you to her area in Maryland, just north of D.C., you have to visit her little shop with a big selection of high quality yarns, fibers and related items on her farm or checkout her beautiful handdyed yarns available on Etsy here.

Time flew by and she had to leave too soon.

- Travel safely, friend!

Ready for the bad part?

Here is a look back to last summer, when Lewis tore a ligament in his foot just the day before we flew to Germany. Trampoline injury. Splint and crutches, pain and real bad swelling. Fortunately grandma owns this little cart and this is how we'd wheel him around.

Yesterday, total deja-vu, other kiddo, trampoline, After Hours Pediatrics, Emergency Room for X-rays, fortunately no fracture. And here she is today, foot up and swollen real bad, little Miss Bigfoot.

Spends the day on the sofa, ice on as much as possible, getting spoiled by her mama.

My kids and trampolines don't go together. We don't own one and never will.

Not compatible. Period.

Friday, February 19, 2010


You probably all know that I love wool and fibers. I knit and spin, I dye and felt, do embroidery and crochet, hey, I even occasionally do some other crafts as well.

That love for fibers as well as my dear friend Amy recently got me into an exciting and fun new hobby and I took a class in rug hooking with the immensely talented Cathy Kelly.

While I have yet to finish my first project, a hooked flower after a design by my daughter, I have been accumulating a new stash of woolen fabrics, all of them thrifted, coming from woolen garments. Just this week I was incredibly lucky and found two pieces, a skirt and a vest, which were made from the most gorgeous wool fabrics.

One of the treasured rug hooking pieces that I own is this album cover that Amy made for me.

If you are curious and want to see more examples of what lovely woolen fabric can be transformed into, go check out Brenda's work on Flickr, one nice example to be seen here or here by Dulcy.

But there is another important news, that I need to share. I opened my own SHOP on Etsy! Ta-dah!

I'm starting off slow with this hand dyed roving, a buttersoft blend of wool and baby alpaca in shades of green with hints of purple and pink. There will be more roving for handspinners and some yarns in the future, so check it out, add me to your favorite stores and spread the news!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

these days

Sunday, Valentine's dinner. I got orange.

Yesterday. Gave the kids the typewriters from Goodwill.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I still love you

Even though this could or even should be about my husband since to this day we have been married for 12 years, this is not about him. (Happy anniversary, my love!)

Nor is it about my sweet son, who spread mud all over the house this morning. Hmpfff.

Or my equally sweet daughter, who was very .... hmm, I shall call it "uncooperative" last night.

No, inspired by Cathy's post about tea here I came to think about the change in my habits when it comes to hot beverages, that is latte vs. tea.

While in my twenties I used to drink a lot of hot tea, flavored black tea. Most likely everybody did in the 80s, right?! Habits changed towards coffee (I spare you the details) and right now I have my latte every morning, sometimes one in the afternoon, sometimes an espresso after dinner and have been the proud and happy owner of an ECM machine for 4 years now.

However, tea has never been forgotten, I had my cup of rooibus off and on. And I've always loved to shop for handmade tea mugs, I'm very specific about the shapes that I dig.

Pretty much for all my adult life I've been hunting for vintage tea tins, most of these being German flea market finds and now they have come back to being well used:

Just last year I got back into tea, that is brewing a pot in the afternoon, my favorite for quite a while being "Viennese Delight" from Collectibilitea here in Albuquerque, but - boohoo - they closed, which brought me back to Kroegers in Hamburg, Germany.
I admit it, I shamelessly use my connections over there (thank you Oma and Doris!) and have stashed up on flavored green and black teas. Think marzipan, caramel, strawberry cream, Hawaiian sunset...! Kroeger's is the best, bottled water, preheat your teapot, 3 minutes, a bit of honey, yum.

This good stuff is stored in above mentioned tins and there is a whole drawer dedicated to tea now.


I do indeed still love you, my dear ECM!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

just two things

One of the noteworthy happenings in our house is definitely when the kids are crafting. That's when my heart jumps with delight, when they choose paper, glue and string over gameboy, TV, anything that requires electrical power!

Just a few days ago the Valentine bug hit Fiona and she got busy.

Days like that leave me thoroughly content.
Then there is music.
I have been hunting for a song, which - unfortunately - is not available through iTunes, though it really should be. This one was real popular in Germany, not sure about the US.
And if you are ready for a good laugh (the video is from the 70s, think shoes, dance moves, etc.) and you feel like some movin' and groovin' click here and have a fabulous day!
P.S. Thank you, Su.