Giving in the Name of Fairy

Initially, this was going to be a post about how I’ve been inventorying again and putting things on Etsy.  And then I thought about it a bit.

It’s Spring – the sun is shining, flowers are sprouting everywhere, and festivals will be happening soon.

I have been having a rough week, and I could use some laughter.  So what I am going to do is create a giveaway. (yay!)

The rules:

    1. Write me a poem.  A limerick, to be exact.  As in:

There once was a fairy named Jane

She was unfortunately very plain

She was tricked by a fox

Put into a Box

And this fairy went rightly insane

  1. You can only win once.
  2. Multiple entries are appreciated, but will not increase your chances.
  3. Make them FUNNY!
  4. You have to comment on this blog – not on Facebook.  You do not need an account to comment here.  I want everyone to see what you are writing so we can all share the laughter.
  5. EDIT: it has to be about fairies or some fantasy some such.

The winners:

  1. One winner will be for the poem that makes me laugh the hardest (gets first choice of prizes)
  2. The other winner will be drawn randomly.
  3. (you see that, TWO chances!)

The Deadline:

April 1st (how appropriate!)  Winners will be announced on Monday, April 2nd.

The Prizes:

These are one-of-a-kind, never to be reproduced, hand made wings by yours truly.  They have been bouncing around in my inventory for a while, and I really want them to find good homes.  They are made from satin on one side, and a sparkly organza on the other.

This pair is an antique gold on the back and a dark burgundy on the inside, coupled with dark burgundy ribbon and spirals.

This pair is dreamy white on one side, and nighttime blue on the other, with white satin ribbon and white spirals.

The “U” shape you see in the center is a fantastic design feature.  I used to do squares, but I like this much better.  It holds the wings securely in place – no flopping or drooping for you.  It also allows you to slide the bar down the back of a dress or bodice so straps aren’t necessary (I can’t help but picturing the white wings with a beautiful strapless wedding dress!).

The wings are comfy, they flutter, they’re lightweight and sturdy.  I went running through a rainstorm once with wings like this on.  Apparently, it looked magical.

This particular style of wing is called “Celeste.”  That’s my own title, so don’t try to look for them in general.  I do have tons of them, but no more that are two-toned like this.

Strands of Technology

Last night, Odin pulled up this really amazing piece of technology.  We were watching videos of what innovative people have done with it, and I was awestruck.  In the past, we have geeked out about fibers together.  He asked for advice on sewing fiberglass fibers through layers of support to strengthen something (I didn’t get the gist of the conversation past fiberglass fibers, I was still wincing from the thought of handstitching something like this.)  I watched him use carbon fiber to strengthen the mast of his wind surfer (which he snapped in two by the end of the summer).  We talked about the use of spider silk, which unfortunately is not commercially produced that we could find.  However, I am curious about knitting with spider silk – what are the structural properties?  How would it feel on the hands? In a swatch?  Would it be similar to silk or would it be stiffer, heavier?

This discovery coincided with a post by Knitgrrl about knitting and e-Readers, and I spent my day considering where technology has taken Knitters, and where Knitters have pushed technology.  E-Readers have become rather popular in the knitting community because of their ability to store patterns and allow us to manipulate those patterns to suit our goals.

The latest edition of Knitty offers a really cool pattern for those of you with touch screen anything.  Touch screens make hand-knit mittens and gloves a little useless, as you have to remove the handwarmer to operate the phone or iPad or whatever.  Teknika is a pattern that utilizes Conductive Thread (available for purchase here) and combines it with stranded colorwork for a fashionable and useful glove in this modern world.

After doing some searching, we found Talk2MyShirt, a site focused on wearable technology.

The device that inspired this train of thought is the Arduino Lilypad, a small circular, programmable disk that can be sewn into just about anything and programmed to do just about anything.  This video on YouTube has a display of many things that it has been used for, and it is kind of mind-boggling.  One of the things that caught me off guard (and really shouldn’t have), was the assisted knitting purse, which holds patterns in it and relays them back to you via light sequences.  There are so many possibilities to incorporate this technology into our knitting, my head is reeling!

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Just A Weekend

I have searched the house ruthlessly for the camera, and discovered not too long ago that Odin had taken it to work with him.  This is my frustration.

Ellette and I are packing up for the weekend.  We are staying at Rose’s house with other folks, because Rose lives 15 minutes from the Renaissance Faire site.  And, pray tell, why should one wake up at 6am when one could wake up at 7?  We are putting together our costumes, accessories, necessary equipment, food for the weekend, changes of clothing, child occupying devices, yarn, games, and wine.  We are almost finished.

Packing like this – for two days in which we will be housed in the comfort of someone’s home – makes me feel a tad foolish.  How much could one person need?  Then I remember I am packing food for 3 people, games for the dozen of us that will be at the house, two sets of costumes (which, truth be told, I do not want to spend any more time in than necessary – you have to be mental to want to be strapped in to a heavy velveteen bodice in 95* heat for more than 6 hours – or maybe at all!), two changes of clothes (one for self, one for munchkin), pajamas, soap (because we are sweaty and dusty by the end of the day, and nobody wants that in their house), and nobody wants a bored 6 year old.  Or a yarnless pixie.  Heads could roll.

Writing this just reminded me that I haven’t actually packed my toiletries or herbal first aid kit yet.  Be right back.

Last weekend, I spilled blue dye on the sleeve of my not-chemise.  I was looking to replace it anyway, so on Monday, Odin and I went to Vogue Fabrics to find appropriate fabric.  This afternoon, I finally got around to sewing up a chemise (which I had wanted to take a photo of for you, but Odin has the camera!).  I think it is one of my finest pieces of sewing yet, since I actually followed the instructions instead of looking at the pattern and improvising.  It may help that no buttons or zippers were involved this time.

So, chances are I will be MIA for the weekend.  I have several ideas for next week’s topics, including a search for UFOs and some wonderful photos of the DaVinci wings.  Keep checking in!


Don’t Tell Me You Are Bored

It is, in case you haven’t noticed, summer.  With summer comes the absence of school, of a schedule, of a house free of child.  For someone who works from home, this is difficult.

This is the first summer we are spending in Chicago, the first time I do not have family to call on or childcare at my fingertips.  I have enrolled Ellette in a 3 day a week gymnastics camp for the summer, so that I can stay on the schedule at the coffeeshop.  However, even though that gives me plenty of time at home, that is not very productive time.

Ellette is an only child, an only grandchild, and is used to being adored and doted on by those grandparents.  She has always been surrounded by classmates, or visiting family.  I simply do not possess the time (and often patience) to spend every minute of my day with her.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are rough for both of us.  I have deadlines to meet and she has the energy of a 6-year-old.  She cannot stay cooped up in the house all day, I simply do not have the ability to take my work to the park with me.  There are no electrical outlets for my sewing machine.

Today, we walked to the Brothers K Coffeehouse to get out of the house for a moment.  I consider this a somewhat productive venture since we were out of coffee anyway.

While there, I asked Ellette to help me write a list of everything we can do this summer, as well as things she can do by herself.  I stressed (and have been stressing since) that I need uninterrupted time to clean up my studio and work on stock, that I have commissions that need to be completed this week and those are things she cannot help me with.

I know there are parents out there in my situation – a house full of kids for the summer and a fragile sense of sanity to bear them through it.  So, I will share my list with you!

To do together:

  • nature hikes and picnics
  • baking experiments
  • Sidewalk chalk murals
  • Museums and parks

To give yourself a break:

  • Teach your young one(s) how to knit or crochet, and give them little instant-gratification projects.  I gave Ellette some crocheted butterflies my grandmother has made and told her I could teach her how to make them, and she is very excited about it.
  • Painting – still life, abstract, whatever! Set your child up with paints and a smock and tell them to paint whatever comes to mind – what they see in the room, an event or person, or how they are feeling at the moment.
  • Learn to tend a garden – this will get your child outside and learning about the environment.  Kids love to see that their hard work pays off with flowers or vegetables.  You can sit outside with them while they work and put in some valuable knitting time!
  • I have this book called 365 Days of Crafts and it is wonderful.  Inside it’s pages are ideas for everything!
  • Ellette and I collected branches on our walk home from the coffeehouse to make fairy furniture and houses.
  • We have buckets of plastic beads and thread and Ellette has been making her own jewelry.
  • A collection of flower pots, plates, and cups can be painted and put to use.  Children will appreciate having their artwork used around the house.
  • A large collection or books and magazines for the young readers can keep them quietly occupied for hours.  Trips to the library are even more exciting.
  • Ellette likes to draw pictures, write letters, and make cards for our friends and family far away from us.  When she is finished, we put them in an envelope and send them off!  She practices reading and writing while letting loved ones know we’re thinking of them!
  • If it comes down to it, make a list of chores your child(ren) can do unsupervised.  If need be, place a value on each chore, and when the child saves up enough points, they can decide a reward.  For instance, sweeping the floor is worth 2 points, doing the dishes 5 points.  10 points can be turned in for ice cream, 20 for a trip to the beach, etc.  Ellette doesn’t tell Odin she’s bored anymore, because every time she does he responds with chores she could be doing.  When he is watching her, she finds ways to occupy herself.

While this isn’t everything, it is enough to get you started!  If you have any ideas to share, please do.  Everyone can benefit from this information.

In the meantime, I am trying to finish two pairs of wings, a dozen top hats, and I have just been inspired to knit a complete chess board!

Another Random Friday

In no particular order:

  • It’s SPRING!  Today was the first warm weather and sunshine day with flowers blooming and people out walking and playing.  The past week or so has been rainy and chilly and depressing.  I was getting awfully cranky.

  • I had today off.  I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I did go grocery shopping, talked to someone about my dieing car, and knit.  A lot.
  • I knit these:

  • Which, after dinner, I felted into these:

  • Most of this is leftover wool that I wanted to experiment with.  The yellow is Lamb’s Pride (don’t remember the name of the color), the black is a Berroco – I think?  The reddish brown is a new yarn I bought at Windy Knitty – called Monteza from Classic Elite.  It is 50/50 Wool and Llama.  I like how the stitches disappear when felting (the Lamb’s Pride is still too distinct) but it is so fuzzy!  I suppose I will have to make a decision once the item is complete.
  • Speaking of yarn, I fell in love at the yarn store.  To this:

  • Yeah, I thought so.  Madeline Tosh Merino.  It is ridiculously soft and squishy and dangerous.  I want to knit with it forever.  The colors are so intense.  And not just this green either!  All of them were like this.  The blues and reds.  Amazing.
  • Ellette is having a sleepover tomorrow.  She’s busy cleaning her room now.  I should be cleaning the house, too – but I imagine two six-year old girls will be romping around and causing enough trouble.  Why do twice the work?
  • Tomorrow, while the girls are out of the house with friends’ parents, I am going to be making Plushstaches.  This is currently my sewing station:

  • You guys have a good weekend.  I’ll let you know how many staches I get done tomorrow.  And maybe we’ll have a photo shoot.  Just maybe…

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