The Knotty Sheep Shop

Sunday, December 30, 2007

After Christmas Snowflakes

Ah .... Christmas! I miss it already. Is it OK to say that there are only 361 days until Santa stops by once again??

I don't partake in mall shopping therefore, I miss the return frenzy. My gifts were either made by moi or fellow artists. It felt good to support those who use their hands to make their living. In most cases, I find those that create tend to walk gently upon the Earth. Some artists even support great causes/charities ... yep ... you don't get that at a mall.

Of course, now, I totally feel 'back on track'. The visiting has waned and food preparations have returned to normal. The decorations are still up and they will be for at least another week. I hate to let go .... good byes are difficult. :(

But while the festivities have ended ( I don't *do* New Year's Eve ) - it is time to knit for those in need. This weekend, I parked myself in one of my favorite chairs to knit for Macuwita sni . Diesel urged me on.

I started
Kathleen Taylor's Snowflake Hat.
I used some Dale of Norway Hauk that I had stashed.

Of course, with the Patriots playing some history making football - I knit & knit & knit some more.

I dropped the needle size down to a 2 ... and I do love the way the Hauk knit up. Check out it's innards ....

All in all a good weekend. The Pats are 16-0 and Macuwita sni is getting a new hat! Bring on 2008!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Well, it is here - the most special night of the year.

It is the night of miracles & magic. Of mystery and moments. It is the night of memories - I think each of us would love to be a child once again.

I remember the anticipation of Santa. Just when I thought I couldn't fall asleep because I was about to burst from excitement ... it became morning and my stocking was so stuffed, it couldn't hang any longer. Santa placed on the chair to the right of the fireplace. Yep - I had the right, my sister had the left .... we never deviated. I guess that was the beginning of a tradition - my stocking still hangs on the right, my husband's, the left.

Christmas has such glorious memories for me! As an adult, I do understand that some folks remember their Christmas' differently. Yesterday, while in Church, I noticed during the final prayer that the man in front of me was holding a picture of a young boy in his left hand. A small girl swayed on his right. But, the man stood there, holding this dog-eared, laminated photo of this happy & handsome boy with his eyes closed and in deep prayer.

The tears welled in my eyes as we moved into song. I wanted to know more: was the boy ill? Did he pass?? I respected his moment of silent prayer and said one of my own ... to the little boy in the dog-eared, laminated photo. Merry Christmas to you ... the man in prayer and the little girl who knows Santa is coming tonight.

When I returned home, I found myself quietly surfing Etsy. I noticed a 'call to arms' for a pre-Christmas disaster. A young mother (and shop owner on Etsy) had passed away in a motorcycle accident and she left 2 small boys behind. All the details are Here - there is a long list of items which have been donated & the proceeds will be sent to the young boys ... a paypal account has also been set up: fund_for_dawns_boys [!at] and an adorable photo of the boys is HERE.
I hope Santa stuffs their stockings extra, extra full tonight ...

Please shop from the wonderful lists of donated items OR send a contribution, no matter how small to their paypal account. Dawn was a single mom and I don't know how I would proclaim the magic of Christ's season to these young boys ... I know the proper Words would be given, but it would be a struggle.

Tonight ... do light a candle & say a small prayer for all those who suffer. While we rejoice and await Santa & the birth of a small babe - there are many whose hearts will break.

Next year at this time, maybe Dawn's boys will be holding a dog-eared, laminated photo of her while swaying to the sound of an organ. But for now - I hope their hearts heal in time ....

Merry Christmas to you ... and may we all use this coming year to love one another, help one another and respect one another. As Oprah says - the New Year is "another chance to get things right"! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas - 8 Days and counting!

I am having a hard time believing that Christmas is just over a week away. Seriously, when did *that* happen?

While not totally ready - there is a quiet calm about me. I don't understand why I am not stressed ... although, why go looking for trouble?

In my mind - my thoughts are already embroiled in the makings of Christmas 2008. WHAT? AM I crazy?

Most likely ... YES! To add fuel to the fire ... or yarn to the stash as it were - I am on a journey to knit 25 Christmas Stockings. My thought is to use these stockings as an 'advent calendar'. You know, hang one each day until finally, the last one is hung on Christmas morning.

Don't think even Martha Stewart has come up with that!

The "Gold Brocade" was the first .... this "Reindeer Peace Fleece" is the second ... Holey Moley .... 23 more to go! Woo-WHOO!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In search of TREASURE!

A couple of weeks ago, I entered into a Treasure Hunt that the Etsy for Animals artists were sponsoring on ETSY. It was a journey through various artists' shops in search of animals. It was fun ... and a way to see the talent that makes up EFA!

Well, I won! My treasure arrived yesterday and all I can say is "WOW"! My box o'treasure was not only stuffed to the breaking point - the treasure is FAB!

There was a totally 'hot' Christmas hostess apron from Akcupcake; beautiful crocheted wash cloths from Tantalizing Stitches; a beautiful purse from Midnightrabbits; fun & funky earrings from This is It Creations; a beautiful lampwork heart from Rosebud 101; an awesome knitting bag from WSHKR; a whimsical card from Unique Grabs; beautiful mini sculptures from Nanjo Dogz; and additional FUNness from Carelia and Spiral Kins!

I find it very cool & inspiring to be in the company of such wonderful, generous and talented folks.

Yes - Christmas is coming ... time is of the essence, but it is never to late to support artists who support the animals! After all, New Year's is just around the corner - the Epiphany on January 6th .... I will even dare to mention Valentine's Day. Special events & holidays always seem to POP up quick .... SHOP EFA! - we have you covered!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Love my new stamp!!

Faithful readers of this blog know that I love Etsy! It is a wonderful community of artists just bursting at the seams with talent. They are creatives waiting in the wings for their moment of discovery! (What rocks is that **I** am one of those creatives too!!)

Anywhoo - most of my Christmas shopping has been done on Etsy. I love sitting in my slippers mulling over goodies and creating my own wish list - ( which is actually rounding the bend and coming up on mile number 2! That is one long list - but the talent is that extraordinary.)

One of the items I recently purchased was for The Knotty Sheep. I had wanted a 'thank you' stamp for a bit. I thought it would be fun to stamp my orders as they leave the studio - it kind of says "Hey - I am 'in business'!"

Enter Sweet Papery! I saw Farrah's stamps and viola ... 'thank you' became 'thank ewe' and the rest is history!

It is official ... the orders leaving the studio are cool!!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Guernsey is almost finis!

The Guernsey is almost finis!

Yes - I am very excited. It is a Designs by Louise pattern. Perfect for the beginner who wants to be a wee challenged. I mean... this guernsey has a fun 'tree' pattern with likeable mock cables. This isn't your plain stockinette/garter stitch beginner sweater! This pattern held my interest and knit up quickly in worsted weight Peace Fleece.

This was the first sweater I can remember knitting that had the sleeves picked up from the body of the sweater. This will make seaming ... EZ PZ! AND who doesn't like EZ PZ seaming??

If I don't put my Christmas Tree up tonight ... I will finish it. Hmmm .... what to do?

Part of a sleeve, the neckline & seaming or a Christmas Tree?? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Friends make your Spirit sing ....

Friends make your Spirit sing .... and your heart burst open with JOY!

Thank YOU Stasia ... This Knotty Sheep still has tears in her wee eyes!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow means Spin

Yesterday was one of those gray, winter days. A storm was brewing - a cold, raw wind blew against the windows.

The wood stove was crackling ... Diesel was lying all snoozy & dreamlike - it was to be a 'spinning day'.

Jacob was the perfect choice. A little gray - a little lofty. I spun it almost 'lopi' like. It was plied, not only for durability, but also to allow the colors to dance together.

While this isn't the best photo in the world to show you the delicate color shadings - you just might be able to see it's loftiness.

Of course ... if you are looking for "colorful" color shadings ... do check out my
Plum Wine Swingin' Singles currently available the "Etsy for Animals Shop"! 100% of it's purchase price will be going to Little Angels Pug Rescue!! How cool ... this month at EFA it is totally "Hug-a-Pug"!!

Who will be lucky enough to purchase "Plum Wine"?

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Etsy for Animals

I typically don't watch the news. It is disappointing and I feel completely overwhelmed with the state of the world: the poor economy, the wars & discord, the violence, the illness .... If you accept these messages - you become one without hope. That goes against my very being. We need hope & faith to get us out of bed in the morning. There is a huge difference in being informed about current events and the devastating sound bites that are used to tantalize.

I like selling my fibers on ETSY. It is a community of artists that make me want to push my creative limits. *THAT* is a good thing. What I truly love about it is the fact that I have hooked up with fellow artists who love animals as much as I!

Etsy for Animals is a shop where individual artists donate their pieces to assist animals in some way. Yes - I am repeating myself here as I have already posted about this wonderful group of global animal lovers ... but when I *see* what is out there (when I briefly ran to the [gulp] mall this week ... ) for Holiday Gift Giving ... I say "Ewwwwww"!

Instead ... Support the Holiday Trifecta!! Choose your gifts wisely: A gift that will not only please the recipient, but also the artist who created it, as well as a selected charity ... Yep - Holiday Trifecta!!

Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

knit - knit- knit- SPIN!

The weather here is slowly turning into Winter. I have seen a few snow flakes ... felt some gusty wind chills and had hot tea in front of the wood stove.

I am lucky ... I have a warm hearth and wool sweaters. Hot tea and an LL Bean snow jacket ... I was saddened to read that some children on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation spend their winters running around in sweatshirts. Did I mention that they have already seen 6 degrees ... fahrenheit??

Once again, I ask you to join Macuwita sni - it is Lakota term for "I am not cold". It is my hope that you may find time to knit a hat or a sweater for a child in need. I know times are both busy & strained ... The Holiday season is here ... and $$ seems to stretch less far. Reality hit me today when I found out a fellow artist/small business owner has begun to rely on food stamps. Another told me that we all need to use our Given Gifts - no matter what they are - for the betterment of humanity. I knit - therefore I am.

Tonight - in front of the wood stove, I will be working on the never ending guernsey.
The back is done - and I am finishing the front soon. I can't wait to start something else for the kids. Sometimes the best gifts don't need wrapping.

On that note - I have been a wee bit creative. Summer is fast approaching on the other side of the planet!! Maybe I can interest you in a
"Frozen Sherbert Cocktail"?

(Suffice to say ... even those of us with snow flakes swirling around our ears can take comfort in wool which is glowing with warmth!) Please support independant artists everywhere!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Small Buisness Slave

I would like to admit that I don't classify myself as a 'small business owner'. A better description would be a 'small business slave'.

The Knotty Sheep keeps me on my toes & my house full of wool. Life is good.

Being on Etsy is a learning experience. I found security & familiarity eBay. While I still have a presence there, I am forsaking the comfort of it's cyber arms for the wonders of a new, exciting & unknown venue. Exhilarating yet tinged with fear.

I held a Cyber-Monday Sale - (starting on late Sunday for Knotty Sheep fans ... please
join - it is always to cool to get advance notice & first dibs on stuff!) It was exciting but, it wasn't overwhelming .... This was the floor of my studio this morning:

I am SO grateful for the items purchased.... thank you for your interest in my products!!

So - in celebration of being a SBS (that is small business slave) - I created a new product line .... "Yarnish Garnish Yarn" (tm). Yep - trademark protected ....

"A Glacier in My Drink" is dancing with whimsical originality!!

Got to love that!!

I close now as my dye pots are simmering, the wheel awaits & the dog needs to go out.

Do check out ETSY for your Holiday as well as future shopping excursions .... the artists are exceptionally talented and if you purchase from us - know that you are supporting our deepest dreams & making us glow. Doesn't *THAT* just make your heart flutter a wee bit??

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, November 26, 2007

CYBER MONDAY 25% Off Sale!

I will make this post short & sweet .... it is CYBER MONDAY!

Shop The Knotty Sheep / ETSY and save 25%! Yes .... it is TRUE ... the infamous Kitchen Sink Battz as well as my delectable handspun all at a savings to you.

Buy one - Buy all ... just please wait for a revised invoice from moi prior to sending payment. :) (This will arrive later in the day, after I return from 'the day job'!)

Sale ends tonight, Monday 11/26/07 at 11:59 pm - ETSY time, which is US East Coast.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Love ETSY!

I Love ETSY!

I love that it is providing a worldwide connection between artists & customers. In this day and age of junk & recalls - it is wonderful to have a 24/7 venue where high quality, individually made art pieces can be shared on a global scale.

Sure, The Knotty Sheep is there ... and 95% of my Christmas shopping will be ESTYed! But, there is something more to this whole scene - it is the fact that other artists care - not only about each other & their products, but also, the world at large.

Phyllis has highlighted ETSIANS who donate a portion (if not all) of their sales to charity! How very cool that someone has taken the time to do such a neat thing!! I am humbled as she has selected to include moi!

EFA: Etsy for Animals, is a group of artists who donate items to the EFA shop. 100% of the monies collected from purchases made will benefit a different animal organization monthly. I am honored to be part of such an esteemed group.

In this season of Thanksgiving & Merriment ... choose your gifts wisely. I think a gift that will not only please the recipient, but also the artist who created it, as well as a selected charity is truly a Holiday Trifecta!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Creating is FUN

Creating is FUN! I love to create my art on a daily basis. My current medium of choice is wool. I can't remember the last time a day went by when I didn't play with it. DyEing, carding, felting, knitting, spinning ... each has become a form of mediation - a prayer if you will. Wool has become central to my well being.

I am grateful for the friendships I have developed thorough The Knotty Sheep. My customers love my "Kitchen Sink Battz" (tm) ... and I enjoy creating them as I truly feel I have the best customers in the WHORLED!

"A Shot Glass of Egg Nog" is fun!

So is "Frosting on the Christmas Trees"!

But, then again, "Hard Candies in the Snow" *is* total whimsy!

Thanksgiving is almost here .... and today, I am so darn grateful for my customers! In fact, I will be VERY grateful for the next 3 days!

Curious?? I hope so, because I would like you to be a customer too! Please join my little group for notification of new product and SALES! I do not spam you ... but, I do let you know when delicious new batts & skeins abound or when there is, shall we say a 20% off sale going on ..... Sign up HERE - The Knotty Sheep truly does provide art to a spinning WHORL! (tm)

Friday, November 16, 2007


I am GREEN! Not due to envy or sickness ... I have just been so interested in the color green this week.

It *might* be due to the upcoming holidays ... you know, the red & green thing - but I am no so sure. I have always 'dyed' wool in color bursts - very rarely going from one end of the color spectrum to the other. C'est la vie ... I am green.

Frosting on the Christmas Tree is green ...

So is 'I Have Kissed Frogs' ....

One really cool thing about color is the degree of 'color' is limitless. Call hue - call it value ... call it neat!

Either way ... today just call me GREEN!
Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hug a VET today!

Today is Veteran's Day. If you see a veteran offer him/her your thanks as well as love. Say a prayer of gratitude and offer it those who sacrificed it all in the name of freedom. I thank you all ..... and Dad (who received a Bronze Star) - you are my hero!

Veteran's Day also means that November is here - AND that we are creeping towards the middle of the month. YiKes! Time is vanishing, Christmas is fast approaching & I must get cracking on so many different things!

Macuwita sni is off & running. As I type, it is 36 degrees F in Eagle Butte. YiKes again, baby that is cold. Let's send those kids some WOOLIES!

Kathleen's top down sweater is looking FAB and I completed the back of my Guernsey yesterday .... YiPpEE!

I am 4" into the front ... so hopefully, this week should see that completed as well.

My new Kitchen Sink Battz (tm) were completed last week as well! Colder temperatures are perfect for spinning up some Chocolate Penguins!

More will be coming this week ... the dye pot is already full and skeins are a soaking .... yep - Life is GOOD!
Please.... Hug a VETERAN today!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Macuwita sni begins - the Gold Brocade ends

Macuwita sni has begun & morphs into something a little different everyday!

Excitement is felt - knowing that those who need good, warm woolies will be receiving them. Frustration is felt too ... knowing that more knitters/crocheters are always needed. The more sweaters, hats, mittens & vests received for the children of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation .... the better. Collecting the woolies is ongoing - it is totally 'at your own pace'. Please consider adding a "Macuwita sni" project to your knitting bag OR consider donating a completed woolie knit in honor of a friend or loved one this Winter Holiday season ... totally a JOY! JOY! situation.

I started a sweater yesterday out of Peace Fleece. I am really glad that I don't fit into a child sized 12 - I want to keep it! :) 3" into it - and I already love the little details that show as well as the "Glasnost Gold" color.

One item I can keep is the Gold Brocade Christmas Stocking I finished! (Well, it does still need the hanging 'loop' and it does still need to dry a wee bit.) But - off the blocking board it came for photographic purposes .....

I LOVE it! Hmmm ... I am truly loving the 'golden tones' this year!

AND ... one tiny shameless plug - Black Belt Babe is now ON SALE! Ah .... Life is good!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Be charitable ....

"Be charitable" .... I grew up hearing this phrase & bought into it's meaning hook, line & sinker!

Of course, the added phrase "Charity begins at home" also followed shortly there after. I always had trouble with its meaning as I figured it kind of canceled out the process of 'being charitable'.

I am not here to argue semantics or partake in a philosophical discussion ... to me, tapping the shoulder of the Good Karma Fairy is easy and reachable!

Last year, The Knotty Sheep collected $180 (from sales) to donate to Greyhound Friends! I am pleased ... but I need to work harder so I can donate more next year to PitteLove Rescue ... get those wallets out in the open ladies & gents ... The Knotty Sheep is open 24/7!

But wait - that isn't all! There is a new charity that needs our woolen hand knits!
Macuwita sni translates to "I am not cold!" For the thousands of children on the Cheyenne Sioux River reservation in South Dakota ... we knitters & crocheters would love to hear "Macuwita sni" from your lips!

Who is joining me?? Let's knit the world into a warmer place!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Gold Brocade grows!

I managed to get a bit of knitting done! It had nothing to do with the weather OR the fact that the Red Sox /World Series games stretched into the wee morning hours (the World Series that they WON - BTW!!) YAY - SOX!

I was able to complete so much knitting because I love watching the pattern develop on the Gold Brocade Christmas Stocking!! The Gold Brocade grows & I am enthralled with the process. Fair Isle is awesome ... I think we each have our niche in the knitting world - I suppose mine is FI. Perish the thought that I will have to do steeks..... sometime.

And just so you know - my spinning hasn't been tossed by the way side. I have been able to do both spinning & knitting at a pretty consistent level. Check out my latest endeavor: Scrumble Skeins .... WhEEEEEEEEE!

One thing of interest ... November is almost here & I must decide if I will do a 'painting a day'. The thought is intimidating .... I kid you not - but I have recently fallen in love with ACEOs. (Art cards, editions & Originals) which are 2.5" X 3.5" works of art. Pretty cool - don't you think??

Want to see my first purchased one? Then you must check out Kathy's BloG! Seriously, who would not have fallen in love with "Wild Baby Iris"?

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming & I, for one - am just SO excited.

We had our first frost last night which kind of 'seals the deal' - winter is coming too. I have toyed with the idea of pulling a fair isle sweater out the cedar chest to wear today ...I want to embrace the chill.

I don't think I am overly eager or weird. Growing up with cold & snow - I find the winter season to be one of comfort. Of family time & fireplaces! Of home cooked meals and home made mittens! Of course - the excitement of a future visit from Santa always made the cold, dark days & nights a little warmer.

Yesterday, I started the Gold Brocade Christmas Stocking. While only on row 17 - I am absolutely loving the rich color combination the Strikkegarn yarn is providing.

I didn't realize how much I missed doing fair isle .... It is supposed to rain tomorrow - wonder how much knitting I will get done this weekend? Tea & knitting, anyone??

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Lost Points Shawl is Finis!

The Lost Points Shawl is Finis!

I like it a lot more than I thought. Truth be told, while knitting, I didn't enjoy the process. Yes - some of it was my twisty, curly Q needle - but, the 'Melody' yarn gave me stress. It's 'laddering' invited mishaps when my mind strayed ... I didn't want to have to 'think' while knitting this piece and, well, concentration was key.

But - as I said - it is finished! Here it is ... in all of it's Glory! (I am thinking I will give it to the woman who cuts/styles my hair this Christmas. She is both fun & funky with short black spikey hair. Talk about a perfect match!!)

One present down ... many more to go!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In a Vortex

In a Vortex .... that is what happens when I am taken out of my routine. Work was extra busy last week, add to that what I guess some would call 'the flu' and well, I feel as though I am still swirling in circles.

It isn't *so* bad ... I mean, the Red Sox are in the World Series and I did manage to finish the "Lost Points Shawl" (photos hopefully tomorrow - it is blocking and well, it looks like crap on the beach towels I laid it upon as I wasn't overly confident that the running red dye wouldn't stain my bed ... ) Add to that the the 'Simple Pie Child's Vest' I knit for Charity is *the* photo of said vest in the Ravelry data base! I am just TICKLED about that!!!

Anywhoo - with all the swirling and twirling - I have been doing a lot of spinning. Heck, Diesel is pretty happy that he is involved!

I know ... to him, this spinning thing sure beats knitting!

I should be 100% soon ... I mean, I must start my Christmas Stockings!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Knitting can be SCARY

Today - I am so very glad for spinning!

It is wonderfully relaxing. There is something about the rhythm of the wheel & the blending of colors as they fly through one's fingers. It is a truly magical experience - Case in point: Engraved Invitation. I love the way it looks against the black backdrop - so surreal yet with a hint of attitude!

Of course - knitting can be relaxing too. But, sometimes it is just plain scary ...

Need I say more?
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A new shawl was started this weekend

A new shawl was started this weekend! I am unsure as to if it will stay & live with me OR if it will begin its journey with someone else.

It is the Lost Points Shawl. The 2 different yarn textures are a radical couple. Novelty ladders hugging bamboo ... but, it is interesting!

I know there really isn't anything to see in this photo - but I more or less wanted to show you why I need to stop storing my circulars in their packages and get one of those hanging-circular-needle-things. Momma Mia - this needle has been mocking me since last Friday. I figure by the time the shawl is completed - it might not be a curly cue any more ... I wish!

I located a wonderful artist this past week .... need some inspiration - check out Rebecca Darlington. Her ART just blows me away!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Creativity in Motion

Creativity in Motion - yep - that is what I have begun calling my inspired moments!

The come at some very strange times - but who is to argue with the Muse? When she strikes ... her Spirit must be captured! Not to worry - she won't mind. Her energy source can never, ever be depleted. In fact - when her Spirit is held captive - she becomes stronger & stronger. How cool!

How am I being inspired? This may sound totally nuts - but I am cooking for Diesel! He is loving his steamed vegetables & cooked meats with his kibble. His coat is extra glossy and I am having a ball.

AND - check out these Christmas Stockings! Not only inspirational ... but "WOW"! Shame on Stasia for tempting me! Seriously, how can one throw COLOR & fair isle in front of my pretty eyes and NOT
expect them to gloss over in sheer delight? I had been thinking of
those Christmas stockings all day ... all night ... non-stop since my wide open orbs first processed their beauty! Suffice to say - a package will be arriving on my doorstep soon!

Creativity in Motion ... methinks this Mini Easel will be arriving soon too! Got to run ... Diesel is hungry!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Creative Juices are flowing .....

The Creative Juices are flowing ..... how exciting!

There is so much I need & want to do. I honestly do not know which I value most at this moment - the 'need' or the 'want'. I know that we would all be happier if we could squeak in an extra hour (or 3) per day to fulfill the wishes of our Creative Muses - but, alas - I dare say, sometimes we can not seem to devote 30 minutes of our day to the things that gratify us the most.

Time to change people!

Grab those needles ... those pencils ... those paint brushes and even those cake & cookie pans! Creating should never, ever take a lengthy backseat to anything. I know this next statement is harsh ... but many a time we don't create because we make (gulp! gulp!) excuses. There, I said it!

I am a the Queen of Excuses and trust me, I can wear my Tiara proudly. No MORE!! The Tiara is off - but the Magic Wand is in hand .... I urge you to play TODAY. There is no time like the present to begin a Creative Journey!

Need sparks?? Well, I am revisiting the book Where
Women Create.
It is amazing to see where these featured artists work their magic!

You can do it .... Your Creative Muse needs to giggle .... Life is always better when you laugh!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Vacations are a *good thing*!

Vacations are a *good thing*!

Even though I never travel far ... being at the Beach with loved ones does soothe the savage soul.

On a day to day basis, we get 'caught up' in the routine, the mundane. It is 'the same old, same old' - rarely does a new experience or 'refreshing breeze' pop into our lives. How can it? We are so busy with jobs, and kids, and pets, and bills and so on ... that a 'category 5' could hit us head on and we might not notice.

I didn't do anything great by "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" standards ... but it was great by my standards. I was able to watch my dog enjoy fragrant beach aromas ... I was able to watch DH have a ball wrestling with Blue Fish and I was able to stop doing the 'same old, same old' and to just BE ... to hear waves instead of traffic. To smell salt air instead of exhaust fumes. To appreciate the sea gulls diving at bait fish instead of picking up litter on my front lawn (left by those who insist throwing out trash from their car windows isn't littering!)

Of course - spinning & knitting were at the top of my list. Is there a better way to relax than to enjoy the fiber arts by the sea with either a glass of cab sav or sav blanc at my side? .... Nope - methinks not!

So, my JOYness got a work out:

So did a spindle or two:

And of course - the wee needles! Charity sox will hopefully be done this week:

Yes - vacations are a *good thing*. I am just hoping that I can parlay my thoughts & energies into new creations while forgoing the mundane - well, maybe after I pick up the lawn litter.
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sometimes - It's a Wheel ....

Sometimes - It's a Wheel .... Sometimes spinning is all about production.

I will admit to loving the meditative state spinning provides: it is relaxing & stress reducing! I feel my blood pressure lower and the endorphins surging! I will also admit that sometimes I need some 'big honkin' skeins' to get me through a project.

Enter: The Wheel!

I feel that the added bonus of wheel spinning is the caloric burn. How can one NOT consider it exercise when hands, arms, feet & legs are all in sync in a woolen dance??... (That is a discussion for another day.)

Over the next week, I will be bopping here & there. BloG posts might suffer, but I do look forward to see how much I can do/create in set period of time!

This is what I have been doing over the last 2 weeks .... instead of "WhEEEE" - today it is "WHEEEEEL"! Comments - Please!
Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sometimes - It's a Spindle ....

Sometimes - It's a Spindle ....

Sometimes that is *the only thing* your mind & body can think about. Weird, I know.

I haven't been in the knitting frame of mind of late. Again, weird. Over the last several weeks, with Motu being ill, I had taken to bring a spindle with me outside when it was her potty time. It allowed me several very precious moments of creation & sanity.

While Motu was still with us, DH & I had been discussing the importance of 'moments'. Each one is so valuable - but most are dismissed without much thought or consideration. While seemingly important in bunches ... the single moment seems to have no purpose no rationale to our industrious minds. It's life span is brief ... but then again, so are ours.

Appreciating moments is work ... hard work. But, imagine all that we can do in a life time of moments! Imagine all that we can appreciate too.

While I freely admit to being a Wheel Girl - moments sometimes are best served by a spindle! Check out my Grenadilla wood Bossie!

And then again, sometimes our spindle-moments are best served when passed on to those in need .... if you have extra yarns you don't want - maybe you could take a moment and pass them on to Heavenly Angels in Need I did!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yesterday, September 20, 2007 .... My Motu crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

My heart is broken. There is a huge sadness & emptiness that I am sure will diminish in time - but today, I am numb.

We shared our lives with her for over 12 years. To NOT see her this morning, waiting for her breakfast was nothing short of strange.

I miss you, Mo .... I love you too. And thank you for loving me ....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Looky what I did while listening to Gregorian Chants by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos .....They are called Move Heaven & Earth! Inspirations are boundless!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I debated on whether I should write about the fact that my Motu's last days of her journey on this planet are coming to an end. It is a sad reality that pet moms & dads face on a daily basis.

My friends have spread so much love around her - that I know her *next* journey will be made easy & comfortable. Thank you, dear friends.

But, nervous energy is abundant! It is actually a good thing to get so much done. Random spindles with fiber softly caressing their shafts - which had been long forgotten - have been resurrected: spun & plied!

Spindle spinning is perfect where mobility is a priority. If you are new to Spindles - or would just like to gain some insight - try NANnette's Spindler's List! It is a chock full, jammed packed list with SO MUCH info - your head will literally SPIN!

One of the little doo-dads I obtained when I first started spindling was a wee niddy-noddy. PERFECT for those full spindles I dare say!

This weekend - I also managed to finish my 'Classic T-Top' Sweater for charity. I want to mail my box to the reservation in a month ... hopefully, I will be able to put one or 2 more things inside!

Time to go hug Motu .... and Diesel & Kiwi. In times like these - hugs are even better than knitting or spinning! Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hearts are broken and enlightened everyday. Sometimes people break hearts - sometimes it is disasters. While neither situation is good - it is 'people' who can make things better.

I am blessed by many things. 'People' is one of them. Sometimes disasters occur & our 'people' can't save us from them.

My fiber artist friend, Ann, is incredible. She teaches. She creates. She spins. She weaves. A little known fact about FAF Ann: she rehabilitates squirrels.

Ann has 'people' too. Chris, Mike & Jessica Beatty run the Florida Wild Mammal Association. To rescue & assist animals like squirrels, foxes, raccoons - it all seems quite exotic to me. They, on the other hand, have made it their life work.

Unfortunately, their hearts broke when disaster struck in the form of a Fire. While their 'people' couldn't prevent the fire ... their 'people' are stepping up to the plate to help them.

Maybe 'we' could all become their 'people' too. Having 'people' is good ... having even more 'people' is better. Donation addys are listed on their website. Whether if you have $2 or $20 to send - I am sure that the Beatty's would be most appreciative.

As FAF Ann pointed out when she first broke the news of this disaster (and I for one will use myself as the example here ...) sometimes I mention stashes or projects lying in wait. Sometimes I mention the need to declutter the studio when it is jammed packed to the windows ... and sometimes I just love the fact that I have 20 - 30 fleeces waiting patiently to just become something. How weird to have absolutely nothing but the clothes on your back? That is food for thought ... but they lost that too. And the animal's food as well.

Please consider becoming one of the Beatty's 'people'. New sock yarn is nice ... but when you have nothing, having new socks is better!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Motu watch continues. I will admit that her wound is not healing - the location of it could not be worse. I do have hope but I am also realistic. I know she is failing. Last evening, while I had her outside, she noticed that DH was home before I did. She tried SO hard to run to greet him. Of course, since I walk her in a sling under her hind legs - she couldn't run, but - oh - how she wanted to.

I appreciate her zest and her non-complaining. When she tries to lie down, I assist so she will lay on the side that is best for her wound. I don't know what to expect when I take her to the vet this week .... good thoughts & energies appreciated.

Of course ... watching Motu means more knitting time. I finished one half of the Classic T-Top Sweater. The other half has already been started .... woo-whoo! I love the fact that someone in need will wear it this coming winter. Three cheers for wool!

Lucky for me today is gray & misty. A perfect day to snuggle with dogs & knit!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

For those of you on the "Motu" watch ... she is doing as well as can be expected. (For those of you new to "Motu" - she is my elder dog - the Grand Dame of the canine world in which I live.)

Her leg sore is still ever present. Part of that is due to it's location (she always lies on it & uses that particular portion of her leg to move, get up and /or walk. ) Her age is also making the healing process take that much longer. Suffice to say ... I have probably used at least 5 miles of tape & gauze.... it is a good thing those First Aid classes have paid off.

My Motu now wears a shoe on her paw constantly. While offering protection from the constant friction of walking & moving - it also provides a safe haven for her bandage. My Grand Dame likes to rip off her tape & gauze. This is no easy feat - although she does make quick work of it. Since the sore does need to breathe on occasion ... I have taken to putting a food container on her leg as a wee bit of protection.

It has helped a bit ... but just like a child, supervision is the key! So ... while I sit & knit on my latest charity endeavor ... The Classic T-Top Sweater - I will be knitting with one eye on my Motu.

(To prove she is a Grand Dame - don't think she will put on a 'lamp shade' without a fight! She is still feisty and - if it isn't a crown - she isn't wearing it!!)

Off I go! I must make sure her bandage is still in one piece. Send healing thoughts her way - or maybe just some bandages!
Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day in the US has come & gone. To me, the unofficial start of Fall has begun. Soon, sweater weather will be beating upon my door and I, for one, will celebrate its arrival. Cooler temperatures mean more knitting, spinning, dyEing & carding!!

Three day weekends mean there is more time to be spent with folks you love. It also means that there are a few extra moments to reflect & take stock of current events, both in *the* world & in *your* world. I did both.

The internet has made me some wonderful, cherished friends. Friends so treasured, I would be lost without them. You all know who you are ... thanks for being there and picking up my head when I feel defeated & my heart when it has been shattered.
I also thank you for the kick in the knickers when my journey leads me astray. You guys are the BESTEST!

Three day weekends are also for creating ... I finished the Cashmere Baby Red Sox!
Cute, or what?

AND .... here is some REALLY great news!! .... I also opened up another Knotty Sheep! Of course ... it will be stocked with all sorts of fun stuff! What do you think of an Apricot Mango Margarita?? to kick off the Grand Opening??? WhEEEEEE .... Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As an artist - it is hard to 'make a living' just doing what you love. I envy those who can sustain themselves with their art - no additional job necessary.
I admire the fact that their competitive edge has kept them one step ahead of their competition and their spunk has kept them in constant contact with their fans. I strive to be that type of artist.

What I don't admire or envy is someone that totally steals an idea. That individual is not an artist .... it is just someone who lacks imagination to create on their own. For that, I feel sorry for them.

In the scheme of things, maybe someone like that will be able to support themselves on stolen ideas. But, how does one sleep with a clear mind ........

I am proud to say, I am making an honest living with my art! It may be a tiny living - but it is all mine. Yes, my 'real job' starts up again next week ... heck, an honest paycheck is always a *good* thing! AND ... as of today, The Knotty Sheep has collected over $150 (taken from MY sales) to be donated to GREYhound Friends! For that I thank you - my customers - very, very much!

I thank you also for supporting my work ... and I hope you continue to do so! I truly love what I do. If you love my batts, fibers & yarns ... please pass the word to fellow fiber addicts! I would rather dye & card wool than cook dinner .... DH will totally understand! :)

On that note - I leave you with a photo of my Hanging Garden Shawl! I love it.

Remember: Imaginations create ... those that don't - copy.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It looks like the Hanging Garden Shawl just might be completed this weekend. I am so excited. After being on Ravelry for just a few short weeks - there are tons and tons of things I wish to create .... Much to the chagrin of my spinning wheels.

While conversing with Talullah Chris - I finally realized I hadn't spun anything in about a month. That is a long time for me. So, I found a few lonely
Kitchen Sinks
in the studio & I took them for spin. There weren't that many ... but, I did have enough to produce some modest singles. Both bobbins are resting now - they will be plied very soon.

Creating is about balance. I have heard some people allow themselves 'knitting days' & 'spinning days' - but, I am not one to slot myself into a time schedule of sorts. I create on a whim ... and sometimes I have 15 minutes to complete a couple of rows of my project d'jour. Sometimes, it makes more sense to sit and enjoy the rhythm of the wheel. Yep - balance.

Suffice to say - take a peek at a bobbin of singles from 'Eunice', a finn x sheepie!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Over the course of the next day or two - if you could toss some good vibes into The Big UNI for my Motu - I (we) would be most grateful!

Faithful readers know that Motu is in her Golden Years. She has a few age related bugga-boos that she takes on like the true Champion that she is. Now - a sore has developed on her leg that just won't heal. Scrappings were done today ... and we are all keeping our collective paws & toes crossed.

Well - since bad news dwindles in it's intensity when there is something 'fun to do' ... suffice to say .... "Methinks I am Going Batty!"" Join me??

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I love to dye & card wool. I will admit that I usually don't participate in these endeavors as much in the summer as I do when the temperatures fall. There is just something about standing over a hot stove "cooking" wool soup that is unappealing.

Carding can be just as unsavory. I mean, standing and twirling wool around a drum carder is just 'eeewww' when it is hot.

Well, I have been fortunate these last 2 weeks - the temps have been hovering in the 80's. It makes life around wool a wee bit more bearable!

My wool soup:

Turned into:Sawyer

I am *really* looking forward to FALL!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, August 13, 2007

This is COOL! .... So very, very cool!

Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist fame has bestowed the title of Rockin' Girl Blogger upon my big, fat head. Wanna see my award?

WOW - I am speechless! (Which, to tell you the truth, doesn't happen all *that* often!)

Anywhoo .... part of the award is to pass it on those who inspire .... to those who ROCK! I therefore pass it on to my friend STASIA. While she currently is in a parallel orbit to what is called 'cyberspace' (think new farm, lots of animals and NO high speed internet .... )- she is a true champ & inspiration to me on a daily basis!

My other awardee: KRISTIN! She is such a Kreative!! She is a typical Muse who surrounds herself with color, family and animals! Did I mention color???? Love it!!

All of these women (Melanie, Stas & Kristin) share their talents & knowledge with the world. Thank you .... YOU ROCK!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A few things of note today!

The first is Ravelry! Holey Moley!! I don't remember when I actually 'signed up' for this ... but - Gee, I am REALLY glad that I did!!

Next is I have found the best dog cookies EVER!! Motu & Diesel have given these babies "2 PAWS UP!" Natural ingredients, ( I mean 1 whole POUND of free range turkey!!) - and they are baked on request. Can we say " super, super, fresh?"

Stop by Rusted Designs and let Jennifer know Motu & Diesel sent you!! Buy & extra bag for your local shelter .... it is a win/win/win. (Your pups get wonderful cookies /shelter pups get wonderful cookies and you are helping to support a fellow artisan!!)

Must go work on the "Hanging Garden" ... fall is coming & projects need to be completed! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I treated myself yesterday.

Yep - I really, *really* did. Now, it is "Game ON"! The "Hanging Garden Shawl" will be knit upon all day ... and all night. I managed to do about 20 rows after my 'treat', just in order to prepare for its arrival.

Did I *need* it? Nope. Did I *want* it? Obviously. Last week, Talullah Chris & I were discussing how we used to always wear black. All day - everyday. It was "in". Now, I am all about 'color' and I am trying to get different shades into my wardrobe.

Check out my 'treat" and yes - I purchased the color shown ...
Monet Lavender
. Lucky, lucky me purchased the last lot too.

I can't wait until it arrives. Won't the "Garden Cardigan" be perfect for those chilly Autumn Evenings? .....Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Faithful readers and friends know how much I love dogs. Not only my dogs ... but all dogs. Not only do I love them - I respect them. They are unabashed personalities who flaunt their individuality on a daily basis. Kind of like a huge parade float making its way down a 'Main St.' which is a little narrow. I think that is neat.

Today - there are a few 'dog' things I would like to mention. First is this great T shirt from the Humane Society. Football season is almost here .... nothing like sitting on the side lines cheering for your team wearing this Retro Football Shirt! LOVE it!!

Second is
"Merle's Door"
- a wonderful book / a really great read from author Ted Kerasote. All I can say is "WOW!"

Last but not least .... Ringo Needs a HOME! My Motu & Diesel just sponsored Ringo on PitBull Central. Please pass the word .... the internet makes this part EZ!!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yes - I have been knitting on "The Hanging Garden Shawl" ... no new pix. It is still in that 'wrinkled new baby' phase. I still have a wee bit over 4 pattern sections to complete - although I am now thinking I might add a fifth. Fickle, fickle me!

I did manage to play with the carder! Want to peek at "I Roasted His Chestnuts?" While the temps have been HOT & HUMID - I felt I needed to be creative with the title - I am TOTALLY thinking Winter! ;)

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!