Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back to Longmont for The Farmer's Market!

'Nuff said, be there - Boulder County Fairgrounds Tomorrow until 1PM. Revel in the delicious local foods, peruse the handmade goodness. What could be better?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fuzzy Fibers

Fresh off the drum and ready to spin! Fluffy smooth batts made from a blend of my home dyed wool, commercial corridale and magic (AKA mylar sparkles). It's a great summertime turquoise and a great way to spend my day sitting on the porch spinning in the shade...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sheep to Shawl... or what ever else you want to knit...

This brain looking mass? Actually a rather dirty fleece that has been stuffed in my closet for three years... eeew! Actually part of my package deal when I bought my spinning wheel off an older lady, so it's mystery wool. I was dubious as to weather I could make it usable, but I figured a great way to start off washing wool at my new house.

And wow! It cleaned up just fine, and the nice crimp appeared to prove that it is in fact off of a sheep. The lanolin is rather set in to this wool, so my heavy scouring still left it rather greasy - makes it tougher to spin but makes the finished product very durable! The wool was high quality, not at all brittle, anf it fluffed up nicely for dying...

I dyed several hunks when I was dying my last batch of yarn, but the colors on the fleece were very different from the colors on the yarn. Luckily my new yard has a great clothes line just great for drying wool. In Colorado it's so dry anyway, and just a few hours in the sun left it totally ready for carding.
I carded it down at the craft shop, as I'm waiting for my drum carder to come in. It's amazing to watch lumps of wool become huge fluffy batts, then as you spin they magically shrink back down into a skein of yarn. Pictured is my dusky rose skein, but I also carded a blend of purples with mylar sparkles! (Can't go wrong with sparkles!)

After the yarn sits stretched on the niddy-noddy to relax the twist a little I twist it into skeins and put it out for sale! With all the warm weather I should be washing and carding a lot this summer, so come by my shop and stock up for all your winter projects...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lemonade Weather -Etsy Finds

The weather is getting warm here, time to sit in the shade and sip lemonade! Here's some of my favorite finds from etsy, on the theme of lemonade - starting with this travertine (that's stone BTW) tile from AngelEllie. Truely a message we can all get behind!

If you're having a get together, consider some of these cute tags from Inkblossom. They could be invites, place cards, gift tags or just decor! The lemon slice is just begging people to come take a sip.

Now how could we talk about lemonade without finding something to enjoy along side it? Look at these luscious treats from Lollidreams - a feast for the eyes and the belly! Cake and chocolate coating with a lemony touch, bring them to an afternoon tea or simply horde them all for yourself.

If you want to accessorize yourself with this delicious summer theme, consider this darling hair bows from FiveSisterzShop. Nothing is better in the hot weather than letting your hair down, but keep it out of your face with a little ribbon covered fun!

How about good advice for life? DearColleen has the right idea, why settle for lemonade... I myself, when coming upon great deals of citrus, prefer to make margaritas! But maybe that's just me. So if you need a reminder of how to deal with life's difficulties snap these up.

Simple, petite, cute! This clutch purse from CristianMarie is a little package of summer sweet. Lush colors that make you crave a cold drink... Imagine bringing this to your next picnic, yard party, gathering in the park, or just out on the town.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Means it's Costume Time!

Yay! It's finally time to take all those ideas that I've been scetching and translate them into fabric! First off is my Victorian/Steampunk plan, the fabric is an awesome brocade that came to me in a pile of donated fabric pieces. The skirt will be made from some maroon curtains I dumpster dived, while saves me enough money to buy corduroy for a bolero.
It's nearly impossible to find true steel boning in this town, so I use spiral boning and heavy double seams for support. The back laces up, and the sides will lace too as soon as I get more grommets. Now I just need the super secret tech to avoid falling out of it while riding my bike...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Estes Wool Market 2010

So it was a dark and dreary weekend, but we headed to Estes anyway, with the promise of knitting goodies and cute critters. I bought three fleeces, an alpaca, a debouillet and a lincoln; so I have plenty of washing to do this summer. Can't wait until I get a drum carder! And then, just because we can, here's a parade of cute fuzzy things, in no particular order...

Friday, June 11, 2010

We be Stashin'

Estate Sale score!!
Mom and I went to a sale in a home rumored to be the abode of a former yarn shop owner, and we were not disappointed. Tons of vintage yarns, all sorts, and all in original bags and boxes with sets of 10 and 12 skeins intact! (Moth free to boot!) I picked up quite a pile, and in fact had to pass over the boxes of fabric since I was full up.
There were mostly older yarns, but this little gem is five skeins of koigu sock - lusciously soft and fabulously colored. It was in with bags of WIPs - ugly holiday sweaters and licensed character baby blankets... a glimmer of good taste in a sea of unfortunate crafts.

There were oodles of mohair blends, and much of what I got was mohair/angora or baby camel. Including 24 skeins of fuchsia bouclé - Mohair sweater here I come! Super fluffy and fuzzy, I'm happy to see it's bounced back after being stuffed away for many years!

Much of the rest was acrylics and such, but I did get this great sparkly wool blend just perfect for me (single ply, natural fibers, medium weight, glitter...) So now I have started growing a "real" stash with large-project quantities of yarns, in in 70 years I'm sure my estate will look like this one :p

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm Dying Squirtel...

New yarn! Three skeins of lovely sock weight BFL wool yarn. I finished spinning for this batch the other day when we lost power for a few hours (power station explosion, crazy!) since our old-timey crafts are totally off the grid! The yarn is fine and even, and smooth... gotta love BFL roving!
I was inspired for the colors to mimic a peacock, indigo purple, plum/fuchsia and a nice rich turquoise! The colors are more hushed than my usual tones, but still colorful! Look for it in my Etsy Shop today!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Denver Handmade Craft Fair in June

Last weekend the Denver Handmade Craft Fair invaded the farmer's market at City Park. It was hot, but the weather didn't keep people from coming out to pick up some groceries and browse the handmade goodness. Many thanks to all the vendors who came out, and I'm looking forward to July 4th! There's going to be almost twice as many crafters, and I am still accepting applications so get yours in now...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Breakfast of Champions - Berry Tartlets!

Nothing like a balanced breakfast of thick flaky pastry and sweet ripe berries! It's like individual pies for your morning enjoyment...

I used a mix of fresh and frozen berries, all with no added sugar! Tho in a pinch one could use a good jam instead. With spring strawberries showing up my next batch will feature those! Most of the berries were whole, but the largest black berries were cut in half (which stains the fingers a nice indigo)

I made a standard pie crust pastry, salted butter and flour. For a light but still nutty tasting crust use whole wheat pastry flour, or mix half and half whole wheat and white flour. Cut it together with a pastry tool, and add just enough cold milk to convince the whole mass to coalesce. You can cover and put in the fridge overnight for an easier to work with dough, but we who have more skill than patience just soldier on...

Roll out your dough with just enough flour to avoid a sticky mess. Cut out a circle of dough using the pan as a guide. I happen to have pot pie pans, because you can make a lovely tart in a pie pan, but a terrible pot pie in a tart pan! The dough needn't extend up the sides so just the diameter of the tin is fine.

Plop a few spoonfuls of your berry mix into each tin and fold down the sides to just curl over the berries. Put them in a preheated oven (to 300F or thereabouts) and bake until the top edges brown and the berries are dark. An awesome treat, and not super sweet, so if you want to serve them for dessert add a pile of fresh whipped cream to the top!

Enjoy them hot (with ice cream perhaps!?), or wait until the next day, they will still be just wonderful. I great way to pair the fruits of the season and a crisp yummy crust...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All Moved In Yay!

Can I lay down now? I finally got everything out of the old apartment, cleaned every inch of it, and started unpacking at my new house! I now have a craft room with space to stack all my fabrics on shelves instead of stuffed into boxes, and the spinning wheel doesn't have to be in the living room corner.
I have a real cutting table, and I'm no longer confined to a closet! (Mixed blessing, the big window lets me see what a nice day it is outside.) Hopefully this will help productivity, especially as this house stays nice and cool all summer.
I got first pick of the bedrooms naturally, so I picked the 50s den, complete with shag carpet, faux wood paneling and even a fireplace! (It's gas, don't let the decorative fire tools fool ya.) All I need now is a vintage recliner, a smoking jacket and a regal looking dog...

The garden work also continues apace, with tomatoes peppers and eggplant in the ground and looking happy. Every day I discover something else that needs to be done, like turning on the sprinklers and discovering there was one covered by the compost pile... Don't let anyone fool you, having a house is lovely but it's also a lot of work! I hardly got a day to recuperate from moving before I was cleaning gutters and trimming bushes. Now to get the plumbing working :p