Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Open House at Leola's Studio

This weekend, we are having an Open House. Come and join us or have breakfast at Pioneer House, stop for a bit of fudge at Beaver House Fudge (yum - they have the best Fudge Twizzlers...) and then have a coffee at Black Coffee and check out the paintings by Theresa Shand and some textile pieces by me, check out the yarn at The Loom, collectibles at Abby Gabby, consignment clothing at Gigi & Lulu's, the wonderful furniture, antiques and thrift store.........AND, Leola's Studio!!!!! where we will also have refreshments. Maybe Whip Whip Whippy the cat will be there and Bun Bun the rabbit! They appear when least expected, but do keep an eye out for them in the parking areas!

I will try to post a little more after this weekend, it has just been so very busy - lots of new ideas coming in all the time and many a wonderful student, learning about the fabulous world of textiles.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Craft fair-itis!!!

Well it is that time of the year when one must be prepared to assist in the Christmas madness - at the studio we are just mad! Lots of activity, what with students wanting to learn how to weave and make a couple of projects for gifts, getting ready for craft fairs, packing up, setting up, packing up, and setting up - such joy there is in taking the studio out into the world - and the feedback we get is fantastic, so it is worth the extra work I suppose, but mostly I just want to be in the studio to create, explore, teach and share the world of textiles - that is my joy. Thank you all for contributing to that joy - without you it wouldn't be as exciting and fun.

The Fleece and Fibre Show was fabulous and thanks to Annie and her committee, it was a success. We did have fun and I met so many people - thanks everyone for being so supportive and encouraging. I met with the committee for next year and I am very excited - more on that when we have information - just be sure that it will be great and inspirational.

There has been so much happening that I can hardly think of what went on. Suffice it to say, that a lot of creating has happened - we have new spinners and weavers in our midst and the world is richer for it. Watch out weaver's guilds, as you will soon have new members. Oh, on that note there is a Tzouhalem Weaver's Guild Show and Sale in Mill Bay until December something

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Ahead!

Fleece & Fibre Fair
Saturday October 23rd
10 - 4
Island Savings Centre
Before I forge ahead, I want to remind all of you about the Fleece and Fibre Fair in Duncan this coming Saturday October 23rd at the Island Savings Centre - 10 - 4. See you there!!!

My friend Annie has done a superb job in organizing it and I saw her today in all her finery looking so very glamourous. Thank you so much for all the work you have done, I can hardly wait for Saturday - wish I were more ready!!!

It has been some months since I have written - not because I didn't want to, but because I have a difficult time finding time to do so. I was told recently that I should write something every week, but I can't work it in in my style of communication I guess. I value those blogs that are always updating - it is so interesting to read other's adventures but I cannot always read every blog either.

So I will try to keep this under 3000 words! Lots of pictures and how much time I have - my man towels are waiting to be hemmed!

The summer included lots of great discussion - one being the tea towel debate....having only sold traditional hand towels, I was surprised at what other weavers were selling their beautiful tea towels for. Poor Daphne and Karen had to listen to my diatribe for some time about the value of the weaver and the fibres and the structure and the length of time that they last whether cotton or linen etc. etc. So I held my ground and have sold all my hand towels for what I asked - weavers, you are skilled whether it be a tea towel or a scarf, towels should not go for less than they are worth - and they are a thing of beauty - a small art piece that women and men can use every day in a functional way - ahhh, such pleasure. Enough said.

The resident cat, Whippy, was scarce through the summer, along with Bun Bun the one-eyed
rabbit. However, they would appear when most of the tourists had gone for the day or early in the morning. I planted catnip in the spring for the cat, but it wasn't until this one day he finally found it and plopped himself next to for the whole afternoon, next to the cat teapot planted by Annie..........oh Whippy, you are a silly cat and so loved.

One of the best things I have had happen, is to have this wonderful young woman drop into the courtyard garden - Taryn, my new apprentice. Hardworking and a total joy to have in the studio, she is so very enthusiastic in learning anything and everything to do with textiles, especially weaving. Her very first warp was wonderful, she wove her first blanket in pink and the second blanket in natural colours and just recently purchased by a First Nations woman to wear in the Big House - now that is an honour.

This summer also presented me with a woman who is making a Leola's Studio adjustable weaving bench made from sustainable wood from the Cowichan Valley. It is a reasonable price and they are lovely. I will be bringing a couple to the Fleece and Fibre Fair this weekend - hey I will have a booth there too - I hope to see you there.

I have a few things to do before tomorrow morning so I am going to end here for now and continue after the Fleece and Fibre Fair. Leola's Studio has been open now for one year and we hope to have a little gathering open house near the end of November to celebrate the year and to have a Christmas show and sale as well - but more on that later. Hope to see you this Saturday! If you are interested in classes, let me know and we are still meeting on Sundays for knitting and spinning or crocheting or just come and have a chat.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sundays at the Studio

I have the good fortune of having a lovely and lively group of women that meet on Sunday to knit and spin and 'yarn' about anything and everything - and learning something new every time. I invite you to come and enjoy the fabulous women (so far no men, although the travellers that pass through have many comments!). We usually begin around 10 and stay until we tire. I pick up my Cowichan Knitting Sisters, and then the day begins.....

Now what have I been doing this month? - a month of plenty and some changes also. My studio is expanding!!!! Well, a little room is all, but what a difference it will make - but renos are a big upheaval and so far I have been patient, but I am getting antsy. The reno, the heat and the many tourists that have come by, have made the studio exceptionally busy. However, it will be great to have all the floor looms (except my Cherryville loom, as she needs to be the centre of attraction - she's my best friend in all the world and we have been together since I was 16...) in one room, the student table looms will be in the entrance and near the best light, the warping area will be in the floor loom area as well. And the little sewing room is in the new part - a very small space, but it works.

The teapot garden is growing more teapots! One week, there were seven new ones and even today I noticed a couple of new ones. Thank you to all that may have 'planted' one. Yesterday a family of ladybugs moved in....

August has been a continuation of dyeing. My friend Ann and I have gone just a little crazy since our cotton dyeing escapades, which we continue as we design double corduroy and discuss the 'king's road' in great detail and the whys of pile and shag rugs and how they might translate to other functions and uses. It seems we have gone more crazy with this but we are having a heck of a good time and I have to blame her for sleepless nights - it is just too stimulating.
We dyed a lot of wool, but we started dyeing these wonderful blankets that Ann gets woven in PEI from her mohair.........although we have only technically dyed three blankets, we have already prepared and designed about 50 more! Horse troughs and block and tackle are some of the future ways of assisting us in our elaborate designs. For the most part, we had a wonderful time and our artistic needs were being met.

These goats are the inspiration and their mohair provides many a spinner, weaver and knitter quality fibre to create beautiful projects. I miss having mohair goats - I still have fibre from them, but they have since passed on and I am fortunate to have Ann's goats to fill that emptiness. Aren't they so pretty? Oh yes, the blankets......well, when these blankets are wet and hot, they are heavy and uncomfortable to move around, so we had great fun dealing with this, and Binder Bob the dog, didn't help much either - he moved too close to the burners and singed his hair and continued to 'help' us throughout the day - we kept putting him outside, but forgetting there was another door open and getting back to dyeing these heavy blankets and there he was again. Gave us yet another laugh though.

We likened the blankets to Tony Onley landscapes - please forgive us for this, but there are shadows where we would dip the blanket in a little more, a little more and so forth, that would then give us all these hills and valleys - and you just have to have been there I think - we weren't sure that they were really weird or really beautiful - it is quite wonderful to work big though....

We managed to fit in some time to pick some transparent apples, the whole time planning the next project, the next dyeing binge, and the next weaving exploration. We met again to put a warp on and when we realized the extent of this one small technique - and the endless possibilities, we were like two children just discovering Christmas or something - luckily there were no witnesses to our dancing and screaming outside the studio - or maybe it would have been a great thing to see!

I had brought some apples to a regular Whippletree friend who told me all about the blackberry/apple pies she was making but had no more apples................well, the next day I received a pie which I shared with Ann - have you ever cut a pie in half with a pair of scissors?? It works like a hot damn.

I am also teaching younger textile students and my youngest, Hannah came for a class after holidaying, and made a great bag that was a felted wool sweater and needlefelted it with polky dots....we had a lovely afternoon together creating and also planning the many things one could make with a shrunken sweater. Never, ever, throw out a shrunken sweater!!!

One the most important part of August is the big sale at THE LOOM!!!! 20% off all regularly priced knitting yarns.......lots of beautiful fibres. It is not too late to get more for your stash collection if you can't decide what you need! Karen and I put a display in the window of all the new beautiful cottons, linens and cottolins available too - although not on sale, there are some lovely new colours. There is some new Fleece Artist spinning braids just in too, although I have one student, not to be named of course, that seems to be able to smell the new Fleece Artist fleece!!!!

Well, I think that is about it, there is so much that happens on a daily basis at the Studio, that I can't get it down - the conversations and the connections that happen surely would blow anyone's mind is about how I can only describe my daily life - everyone contributes to the creativity of the universe and I am so very grateful that I can be a part of that. The generosity that abounds is most amazing. Thank you all for being a part of it. I leave you with the latest solar dyeing - tansy and queen Anne's Lace. I put a pinch of iron in the tansy and the jar of liquid turned it squid inky and the queen Anne's lace is light celery green. It has pennies, but I think I will put a pinch of copper in with it to give a better mordant............has anyone heard of the pennies and ammonia method? Hope to see you soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July is almost over and it has been so full!

I cannot believe that this month is almost over and I have so much to share and so much to do - yikes!!! I will try to bring the last two weeks up to date - I believe solar dyeing and spinning were my topics. The wool was dyed and the colours are very subtle, but next to the original colour (I used Eastwin Farm mohair/wool), they were quite striking. The surprise colour was bracken fern - there is almost a mauve-y pink tinge to it. I didn't use very much and feel if I cooked the normal way, the colours may have been darker.

The market continued until this last week when we decided to stop and wait until next year and hopefully begin with a bigger vendor base. It was magical while it lasted and I really do think that it will be successful. We will work through the year to make sure of that. There were so many great positive comments and that will inspire us to work towards a great market for 2011. Thank you all for participating and supporting all of the vendors and enjoying the 'hidden jewel' of the courtyard. We will still continue to meet in front of Leola's Studio to knit and spin and whatever you would like to do, on Sundays. My Cowichan Knitting Sisters will be there too.

The Studio continues to be very busy and full of stimulating conversation and creative people. My friend Karen brought in some beautiful boas that seem to be quite popular already.

The wrap that it is resting on is woven with a cotton warp and the weft is Merino Stripes, one of my favourite wefts - Annie helped me weave it and it is quite a classy little piece, if I don't say so myself! Sure does look pretty with the boa, but the boa sold of course! The boas have gone to Kelowna and one to Newfoundland. I love the image of beautiful fibres travelling throughout the world.

Dyeing seems to be the July activity. My friend Ann came to the studio with a project that we felt we needed to do as we had been talking about it for months - cotton dyeing. I had my wonderful young Chloe (mommy to the beautiful sweet sheep that came visiting a week or so ago!), who tie dyed while we made skein after skein of cotton, linen, cotton chenille and cotton bias tape - which was gorgeous and oh yes, a small ikat warp (another resist method, the warp tied with plastic strips to resist the dye, then when warped on the loom these resisted areas will form a pattern - a pattern we worked on for hours - not!!

We stirred and tied throughout the day, and a young woman from Courtenay way dropped in to bring a book back about resist dyeing etc., and joined in the fun, so she went away with a bit of fabric tie dyed. One has to wait with tie dye for the colour to cure - so I didn't get to see how they looked. We did the ikat the discharge method as well.

The warping mill in action - I can hardly wait to see the warp - Ann took all the dyeing home to warp - so I have to wait. She is very busy too, so I will be patient, but maybe I will phone......the ikat will have cured by now. Our favourite colour was the ecru and lemon yellow together. We are using Procion MX dyes that are amazing in their intensity and I usually get them from Maiwa in Vancouver.

The ikat we made just a little darker, so one part more of ecru. The other colour was aquamarine and the last dye was 2 parts olive green and one of lemon yellow.

The finished 'nests' - I am so excited. It was so much fun and we were quite tired from the stimulation - the more we saw the fibre changing and becoming new fibre, the more we drooled and dreamt of all the things we could do.

So I thought Friday was stimulating...........the next day, whilst working at the Loom with Karen, our order that she and I worked hard on a week or so ago, came in. Gaye with her new hip drove to the store, picked me up and drove to the post office where we picked up the order, dashed back to the Loom and then Karen and I took it out back to the Studio and began to sort and more drooling ocurred...........cottons, linens, cottolin, hemp ..... what can I say?
And so some tea towels waiting for sister tea towels to be woven with the new beautiful colours.
So now we have dreams of tea towels , and sauna towels and runners and lovely shawls mixed maybe with some mohair or cashmere. Yes we fibre addicts can dream about tea towels - such a satisfying project, and especially if they are woven with some linen, they are pretty much guaranteed to last 100 years......

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I love Lucy!!

It has been some time since I wrote only because I have been so busy - and I am having a wonderful time being busy I must say. I will try to bring my blog up-to-date, so it may be somewhat longwinded.
I have been doing a fair amount of spinning and teaching spinning. The fleece I have been spinning most recently is Shetland and I am in love with Lucy's fleece. My friend Alberta, one of the best shepherds I know, has wonderful sheep with wonderful fleece. I have been spinning in the grease and it is like one long staple - it just doesn't end.

I plied it into a boucle and it looks very pretty - stockpiling for a future project. I have been combing different fibres together and getting some interesting yarns - will have to take some pictures.....

Then of course I have been talking about doing some natural dyeing, so I thought I had better stop talking about it and do solar dyeing came to mind, much like sun tea. I used to do it many many years ago, so now in the day where everything seems to be eco minded, I thought it would be fun. I picked St. John's Wort, bracken fern, yellow dock and sow thistle and put them in jars with water and let the sun do its work.
Ever the educator, I labeled and put examples of the plants next to the jars. I left them for about 5 days and then yesterday strained and put back into the jars along with some mohair/wool from Eastwin Farm. I used alum for them all and put some pennies into the dock and wort....they are quite beautiful already - lovely shades of green.

St. John's Wort - it looks yellow but it is quite green unless it changes tomorrow!!!

And Yellow Dock - which is my favourite - a lovely celery green. A fellow spinner came by and told me about buddlia being a great dyeing plant - so save your spent blooms for me!
Then there are marigolds, coreopsis, St. Anne's Lace, tansy, goldenrod, and on and on, never mind all the seaweeds and lichens - it is never ending and I want to dye it all. I have to look for my copy of natural dyeing by Jane Patrick - a very old publication that I contributed to, and it was full of different dyeplants that were tested for light and colourfastness.

Every day is rich with activity at the Studio and I meet many extraordinary people. Well I also meet other 'people'. I had a student of mine come by The Loom where I was working today and said she had to show me something...................

Yes, a couple of very pretty sheep came to visit - Clune Forest lambs all groomed and behaved as they had been at a 4H workshop for showing sheep. I did keep an eye on my roses that Karen gave me.....
One of the wonderful parts of my daily life at Whippletree is having coffee and goodies from Black Coffee - the best coffee on the island. And their soups are wonderful. My camera is always at the ready and I couldn't resist taking the following picture - Creamy carrot soup in the courtyard - nothing better under the cedar trees where so much happens on a daily basis - whether it be my Cowichan knitting sisters knitting on a Sunday, cool on a hot day because of the trees, to my spinning classes spinning in the rain but very dry under these dear cedars.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Market at Whippletree!

Just a little reminder about the market at Whippletree - we have started and our third one is on this Sunday - we hope it will grow and become the place to get fresh veg and the best art and crafts in the valley. We are still small, but the vendors that come love it. The courtyard lends itself to this kind of market - music and belly dancers too! If you have something to sell, or would like to entertain, please email:

I will write later and put a picture on of the market.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Studio work and other textile joy

I have been trying so hard to get to this blog, but I have been busy getting ready for the Baby Fair with Oma Gosh! Designs, so soon that will be finished with for a few months before the next one. And then we have the Market @ Whippletree Junction starting on the 13th, with the day before being the World Wide Knit Public Day all in the courtyard outside my studio! Lucky me - I am very excited. This photo is of a little poncho I am making today using Mochi Plus - a favourite yarn that has lovely repeats to it. Just imagine a little one with a colourful poncho on. I have made a few in the cream and pastel colours, but felt that colour was in order!

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of taking a spinning workshop with Anne Field from New Zealand - what great fun that was. It was all about exotic fibres and although I was nervous, I was able to manage very nicely and everyone was lovely and welcoming. Lucky me. I took a picture of my spinning wheel (a Schacht) - isn't she pretty and riding on a ferry!!!!

So now I am dyeing and spinning and picking and carding, and fleeces keep coming my way - so much wool and so little time to enjoy it. I was trying to spin at least 2 hours a day, but somehow I am doing about 2 hours a week. Expectations can be so high. Anyway, I am loving what I am doing and just wish I could do more.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I have just visited an amazing website for those of you that are facinated by the tartan. This man apparently has been weaving for only a few years and he is a genius. For me tartans have been too slow and too precise for my patience level, but I have been inspired to look into it again. One of my students is really crazy for them, so I put her on to this website so she can drool. Whenever I have done a tartan, I, of course would put crazy colours and threads together to maintain my interest - always breaking the rules! The tartan I have pasted in was the one I did for my mother-in-law many years ago - and I set it up correctly but I used shiny reds and greens and a boucle white. It was fun and fanciful rather than a 'true' tartan. I wish I had the stole that I wove for her - it would be interesting to see again.

The studio has been very busy with students, Oma Gosh! Designs and selling used weaving and spinning equipment. I love being in my space and sharing what knowledge I have and hope that I can be as inspiring as Tartan John.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Imagine a day...

Imagine a day....
...when the peace of a forest
and the strength of a mountain
become a cathedral
for your heart...

This day has been filled with such energy that I am exhausted by it. And it is all extraordinarily good filled with generosity, goodwill, kindness and creativity. There are very good people in the world and I just happen to know some of them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spinning and memories

I was thinking today about how I have been spinning and being in the zen zone - lots of memories coming back. This spindle whorl appeared while I was looking for something else which was odd, as I had been thinking about Simon Charlie ( I believe I took a picture at the museum in Duncan (I'm not sure where I got this photo) and I believe it is Simon Charlie's...anyway...) I was thinking while spinning, about my Cowichan princess daughters and our visit with Charlie in his carving studio which is just down the hill from my studio. The girls really were humbled by this great man and I was glad that they had the experience before he passed away. So that is just one of many memories that passed through my mind while spinning some incredibly beautiful local wool.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spinning out of control!

Spinning seems to be my new obsession.......can't spin enough and the dyeing is getting a little out of control as well. I have carded wool I have dyed and I am also dyeing in the fleeces - getting it clean at the same time........and just spinning in the grease. I was given some Shetland fleece to play with and I am loving it - the natural colours are amazing - lovely browns. I will post some pictures tomorrow. I will be attending a spinning workshop - spinning with exotic fibres, so I am warming up and I am trying to spin at least 100 grams a day - a goal easily accomplished I think. Then my dear friend Ann came by as I knew she would and did we ever have a good gabfest and she told me about Gotland wool, so now I have to have some of that. My new friend Alberta who has the Shetland sheep knows lots about fleece and was able to educate me about Romney and then my friend Annie gave me this amazing fleece from Wales (the breed is from Wales) called Clune Forest (not sure of the spelling) - but it is amazing much fleece, so little time. Had two students today as well, and wow they made beautiful warps. I am so very satisfied with my life today. And welcome full moon - the Beltane moon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am loom rich these days - but have been also been selling equipment - not mine, but others that have brought in equipment, I use it while it is residing in the studio and then when someone comes looking for a loom, or spinning wheel, off it well. I have also been weaving double weave pickup, thanks to a local guild having a workshop and my demonstrating to a student that didn't know what it was, and I was pulled in by the technique. Hadn't done it in a long time - but it is so easy and so effective. I, of course do not weave it traditionally - had enough of that weaving with wool on one layer and linen on the other - the Swedish way! Loved it at the time, but then discovered other threads to use.....

The Studio has been busy with lots of tourists coming through already. I have been going to the studio earlier and earlier to get some concentrated work done...

I took a couple of pictures - an 'arty' picture of my newest teapot - the 25th one and it is a 25th anniversary teapot with wedding bells on it and all.

And the newest warp - bags with simple double weave pickup, or as I always called Finn Vav

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ms. Daphne has a brand new bag!

My friend Daphne wandered in and I with my glasses off, (as I was sewing hats and literally had my nose to the machine), I flippantly said I am busy, but instantly remembered the long awaited bag - on with my spectacles and there the bag was in all its beautiful and colourful glory. What a glorious 'garden' of colour and beauty. This bag was knit in a technique called entralac (sp?) and is knitted basically from the top to the bottom, the tiers getting smaller and smaller - and the knitting this way and that.........a lot of work that only ones that have tried it know and really appreciate the skill involved - a priceless bag but at the right price........

It was a good spring cleaning day and the time to begin with projects for Oma Gosh! Designs. So the hat making has begun and a lovely day to organize our time for a baby fair and the coming Market at Whippletree, of which I will write about as I begin to feel we have enough details to share - it will be on Sundays starting in June in the Courtyard at Whippletree Junction, south of Duncan - there that is what I know so far!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not a day goes by.....

A busy week so far - lots of weaving done and I will post some pictures eventually - perhaps when finished. The teapot garden continues to get a lot of attention and the garden is full of weeds!!! I have good intentions of getting back to the weeds, but the studio calls. I managed to make a couple of little moss gardens in kitchen strainers! I planted a pansy in each of them. Gaye then told me I should have used some fleece to hold the moisture - I still can....

A few weavers have come in and told me they were taking a double weave pickup class with Alison - I want to take a double weave pickup class!!!! However, I decided I would play on my leftover twill warp and see if I could remember - I used to do a lot of it at one time - sure enough, this small voice echoed through my head, "pick up what you don't want to weave!" and away I went, and Goddess bless the weavers that were excited, I got excited too - so of course I have to do something but most probably nothing traditional (have had my fill of traditional all those years ago) judging by what I did on my leftover warp - sky's the limit!!! I love finger manipulated weaving and at one time that is all I did - where is all that stuff anyway?

I am taking a spinning workshop with Ann Field next month - the Loom is sending me. I am so excited as I really need a refresher and now with all the added knowledge too - like MICRONS. Thanks to Jennifer of Pacific Sun Alpacas, I have my micron card I carry around with me. And the class is all the exotics and I have a Schacht spinning wheel - I will really be 'uptown'.

My new friend Aurelia and I are getting together to view her spinning - maybe exchanging weaving lessons for spun fibres!!!! She is a crazy spinner and can spin in her sleep! She uses natural dyes (madder, cochineal, indigo etc.) - I can hardly wait. Loving her energy.

I guess what is hitting me today is that not a day goes by without people taking pictures of the teapots, but also not a day goes by without someone coming into the studio and inspiring me, motivating me and presenting me with gifts of potential textile art. I thank all of you for making everyday the best day so far!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inspiration - Colour

"Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a Way of Being." - Frederick Franck

Off to Providence this morning to help Betty put a warp on - we threaded the loom really quickly and rolled most of it on before I headed back to the studio. I have about 5 warps on the go, but felt I needed to finish with my alpaca phase. I spun some alpaca that Jennifer of Pacific Sun Alpacas gave me and then I busied myself with her beautifully dyed alpaca. I felt that I needed to use it immediately and so I did - everything was orange today and so began the Pacific Sun-set warp.......I even planted onions in my garden today which in my mind were very big orange skinned beauties already, instead of these spindly Walla Walla seedlings.

So I realized as I was making this Pacific Sunset warp that it was really like cooking - the stock or foundation which is the alpaca and then the spices or embellishments to support the foundation........I loved the colour although challenging in some ways, but the skein was full of colour - orange, yellow, coral, pink, gold, magenta etc............lots to work with - and so there is Cascade Merino and Paton's Classic Merino, Crystal Palace Party, one of those ladder yarns, Sublime (cashmere, silk & merino) - a great support system for the Alpaca. And so I am happy as the warp is happy. Now what to use for weft? Probably a beautifully dyed mohair from Creston - Riverstone Yarns and my all time favourite these days - Merino Stripes...........

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The day begins for me with Whipple the cat greeting me beneath the big cedar tree next to my studio.......I feed him/her and begin my day. Some days are easier than others - today I didn't have a student or Annie to structure my day, I had me, a tired me and that is when I bounce from one project to of all days, I felt I should spin some alpaca, and my day began........part of my day is taken over by the people that are walking through the courtyard, often to the public washrooms, but also to peek into the stores and my studio. This of course colours the day with conversation, some sales and stimulation. Well, alpaca seemed to be the theme today, as no sooner did I play with the alpaca - I realized that I needed coffee and over to Black Coffee to get my java, then to say hello to Gaye at The Loom, I ran into these two amazing women - one being a ferrier and the other an alpaca shepherdess.......well, what a day the day became. I learned so much about alpaca (not like sheep at all!) and Jennifer came back with this beautifully dyed Grade 3 alpaca knitting interesting and to top the day off - I met this beautiful couple and their child from Denmark - he being a tattoo artist and when I say artist, I have never seen such incredible body art - he uses old techniques from the Inuit and Maori...I suspect that he is also rather well known as he travels the world demonstrating his art - didn't catch his name, but he said he would email me - I told him when I figured out the tattoo I wanted and where, I would give him a call - and a trip to Denmark would be fun!

One more teapot today and a new birdfeeder came my way. Tomorrow an early start at Providence to transfer a warp to loom for Betty and then my dear friend Annie will come and help me weave. I love having her in the studio - she motivates me.