Friday, 7 December 2012

Hello Hello!

So much has happened since I last made a post!  I'll try to keep a long story short.

In April my husband found out he got a wonderful new job working as computer tech for a school division, which required us to move out of the city, and we found an affordable acreage near the town of Bruno!  This filled out hearts with joy, since it's a dream we share to live and raise our children in a country setting. But it was a long summer spent waiting for our city home to sell, and renovations on the country home to get finished before we could make the big move.

Now we are actually here, and it feels SO good!  For awhile I was afraid the baby would arrive before we'd actually had a chance to move, and that I'd be nursing him amidst a pile of unopened boxes, but as it turns out he decided to be fashionably late. Handsome baby boy number 2 arrived at supper time on October 3 and stole our hearts away with his first not so tiny cry. He weighed 9lbs 3 oz and was almost 22 inches tall.  Yet another potential football player!  Between hubby and the two boys I'm already having visions of the piles of ginormous, smelly, size 14 shoes inhabiting my porch!


I'm also super stoked to announce that plans are in the works to transform one of the outbuildings here into a fiber studio in April 2013!  It's also a huge relief, because in the move I was made to face the sheer enormity of my fiber stash, which includes a great deal of collected equipment for workshops.  Also, I'm drowning in yarn.  Mostly found at bargain stores, garage sales and second hand places, most of it is Really Useful Stuff. Hard to pare down!!  But there really isn't much room in our house to stash all this stuff, especially with two kids and all the equipment they come with.  Sooo for the time being I have two looms looming in my living room, and the rest of my stuff packed to the ceiling in the spare room downstairs, waiting for a proper home.  I am very thankful to have a hubby who supports (enables) me, and doesn't mind that he can't use the front door because there is a loom in front of it, or that the house craftsplodes around holidays, or just before a craft sale, or most times just because "I had an idea".  He's awesome.  I love him dearly. 

On September 24 2012 I wove the final threads and cut the Rose tapestry off my loom. I have yet to do the finishing and framing, but it's off!  My tapestry loom looks so empty and sad now.  I guess I'll have to get started on another. :p




I took these details from all kinds of angles to try and give a better idea of the surface textures.  It's SO hard to photograph fiber art!

Just the finishing and framing to do!

Best Wishes during the Holidays and Always!
Happy Creating!


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Celtic Braid Inkle

I finally finished this! I often find pick-up and overshot patterns too tedious and still love the act of plain-jane tabby the best...but IT'S SO PRETTY.

I hand dyed the dishcloth cotton that was used for the pattern threads with short colour changes, using those sponge brushes. Then I lined up the colours as best I could on my inkle loom. There is always a little ikat-like push and pull because of the way the string heddles influence the yarn. On a separate note, I've found that if I do horizontal bar pattern using variegated for one stripe and solid for the other I get a comparatively smooth-looking transition. So if you have a pick-up pattern that calls for the horizontal bar structure as a base, variegated can be ultra sharp.

If anyone is curious about my technique for hand painting my cotton for inkles, just buzz me a note and I will set up a little picture tutorial!

I've been busy prepping for a weekend workshop on basic inkle weaving. It's going to be so much fun! I love teaching, and sharing in creativity with other people! I hope one day soon to have a large studio space on an acreage outside the city, where I can host retreats for all kinds of wonderful fiber related adventures. It's been my dream since I graduated from ACAD, and it might be within my reach sooner than I ever imagined!

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Are you celebrating St patty's tonight? If so, please have a green beer or an Irish Car Bomb for me! I'm going to have to settle for some green candies or perhaps do some rolled dough clover cookies! At least the morning sickness is passing! :)

Happy creating!


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Colourful Fluffy!


I'm trying this cool kettle dye technique where you submerse a bunch of fleece (I'm using one of my bags of finer white alpaca fleece from Fluffy) in just enough water and citric acid or vinegar solution to really saturate it in a big pot on the stove. Soak it for ten minutes then bring it up to a simmer. Once it is hot, sprinkle light amounts of dye onto the surface of the fibre and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. Poke open the fibre to reveal white areas, and sprinkle another colour. Simmer again to set. Do this again and again until you are satisfied with the effect. It is okay if there is still a bit of white left. The water should be mostly clear. Cool the pot, drain and rinse the fleece gently in room temp water. Avoid agitating it or it might felt.

Supposedly when the water is hot and acidic and the dye gets sprinkled on, most of it "strikes" the fibre as it touches. After 20 minutes most of that colour will be set.

For the turquoise and yellow I used double the amount of blue and sprinkled it one side of the pot (so a half moon). I let it steam for 1o minutes, then prodded the fiber with a spoon and let the last of the turquoise dye settle on the white side. This made a very pale blue, whole the original area was super intense. I then sprinkles some golden yellow onto the paler section, but didn't agitate it halfway through, I just let it simmer for the full 20.

This is the second dye pot. I sprinkled, set without agitating, flipped and opened the fibre gently, then sprinkled etc until I had dyed most of the white areas. There was still white/pastel areas when I dumped the pot but it's really quite lovely.

If you are curious about this or want to try it at home this is the link to the Youtube video that inspired me!

Happy weekend!


Note: Because I was using Procion MX, I DID NOT open the canisters and sprinkle freely in my kitchen. I took the pot outdoors and wore a dust mask and gloves. I don't like to have those little particles floating around my house/kitchen. They take to the air immediately when you open the containers and from what I recall from college they are carcinogens. They are fine once dissolved though, so I do simmer my dye pot in my kitchen.

Friday, 24 February 2012


I was on the phone with my auntie, and she said someone posted a link to my blog online and that my DIY cardboard box inkle loom was quite popular! When I checked my stats today, HOLY MOLY!

COOL BEANS my inkle loom is on Pinterest! I only recently signed up on Pinterest and it is just a teeeeeny bit addictive. You basically pin links to all the things you saw that you loved online, and if you click on the images later it takes you right back to the source. So it's like a groovy visual bookmark.

Okay enough capslock for now. I was just so excited! Thank you to everyone who has visited, and definitely thank you if you gave this a try!

In other news for the past 2 months I have been up to my ears in crafty stuff. So thoroughly that I've been neglecting to make my usual updates. This changes now. :)

Speaking of addictive internet things. YouTube is SO my friend right now. I've found so many cool and informative videos for chain mail jewelry, spinning art yarns, weaving etc, and it's made me so excited to TRY ALL THE THINGS. Oh..did I say I'd stop it with the Caps? oopsie.

Yep. This manic vibe your getting? That is actually a regular February thing for me. I assure you, I am crafting with the same intensity and attention deficit-ness as I am typing.

Okay here are a few images of what's been going down in HeartsonFibre town.

Chain Mail is SO much fun. I wish I had better tools, and a better knowledge of metals and strength etc. Nevertheless the things I have been able to create have been super exciting even though they may not be of marketable quality. They are nice enough that I can enjoy wearing them.

This one is sort of a chain mail lace collar:

And I call this one Blue Goddess. Made for a friend. The arms of the goddess stretch up around her neck:

My camera is still dying slowly. but I got one half decent shot of this emerald green one. it is salvaged from a bunch of fine chain necklaces found at a flea market, and the beads are recycled from some long beaded necklaces I found at Salvation Army.

I call this one my bleeding heart:

And wouldn't you know the cleanest pic my camera took was this close up:

These Scale Mail flower pendants are fun to make, and look great! Make them in any colour!

All the rings and scales I used to make these pieces of jewelry were ordered from this totally amazing local shop called The Ring Lord. Check it out! There are some great videos on the process of creating the rings and the armor, and there's a really wide selection of metals and colours!

I don't know if you remember but last summer I emailed a lovely lady regarding some ugly batts for spinning. Well her and her husband run a Parrot rescue in Iowa, and when she sent me the batts she included a few beautiful Parrot feathers! They sat and sat because I really wanted to make something lovely with them. Well I chose two and worked them into this set of chain mail earrings:

Thank you again, Abi for the batts and the feathers! I'm still thinking on how to use the others!

Soooo, I'll leave off here, but rest assured there will be a post soon with all the spinning and weaving updates. My next tutorial on making string heddles for your DIY loom, threading it up and weaving a project will be up shortly as well!