Category Archives: art

Piles of wool before I sleep!

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There is a small mountain of yarn I need to knit through. I won’t be able to do it all tonight, but I’m hoping to have most of it done by Friday. I’m feeling kind of lazy right now, plus there isn’t really that much to show, but I will post a picture when I am closer to getting through my project stack. What (if any) handmade projects are you working on?

just one more day a week? is that to much to ask?

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over the next two weeks I will be teaching a group of homeschooled children a weaving workshop as part of their teacher’s desire to add handwork to their waldorf inspired curriculum. I have plans to add some tutorials up here about how to create your own small loom, and then how to work with the loom, but that needs to wait until a0 after the kids have had their lessons, and b) after I get more of my Christmas knitting done. Most of my day today was spent building 8 picture frame weaving looms. the first, was the prototype, to make sure it was doable with the vision I had in my head for how it should work. there were supposed to be six others, one for each of the children in this homeschool group. I had made it through 4 with flying colors. the fifth, including the prototype, cracked, and the nails came loose. this was a problem because the nails need to be able to hold up under a little bit of pressure, to handle the warp threads. my heart sank, and I began to panic, thinking about the details of when and how I was going to get out to the store to pick up another frame, and how that was going to cut in to the time I wanted to spend this afternoon creating a sample so that the kids could see what I’d be showing them to make.

while digging through some boxes in my basement looking for a container filled with finishing nails I had bought for the sole purpose of building my own large scale looms, I came across some picture frames that were the right size for the looms I was building, but didn’t think twice about them because I bought more frames just for this project. when I remembered this, after spending a few minutes freaking out, I realized I had averted a crisis. My hands are sore from hammering in well over 100 nails to create 7 pint-sized looms (8, if you count the one I broke and had to abandon), plus the sanding, and other prep work I did to get them warp-ready for Tuesday, and the sample I created. I’m not really complaining. I like when my hands or feet are a little sore – it’s a reminder of a day well spent. However, in this case, the day well spent with sore achy fingers means that knitting tonight will be slow-going, or a no-go.

I remember while I was planning my wedding, it seemed like for every thing I accomplished and was able to check off my list, there were 5 more things I had forgotten about, or just learned I had to do – and my list grew exponentially (or atleast that was how it seemed). the night before my wedding I was busy doing some project, which in hindsight was entirely inconsequential, and it would’ve been better if I had gone to sleep instead, but I just had to finish this one last thing. and then it was another one last thing. and then another. well, you get the picture. I think that night I got three hours of sleep, and my husband got 2, because he too was working on a project that just had to get finished. (I don’t think 5 years later either of us remembers what those projects are)

for the last few years, a majority of the Christmas gifts I have given have been handmade. I find gift-giving for my loved ones increasingly challenging year after year when they tell me that they have everything they need, or I’m racking my brain trying to come up with a clever, personalized gift that I hope they will enjoy and my mind is as blank as the snow is white on Christmas morning. I can’t help but feel like I die a little inside when family members just ask me to gift to charity in their name. Giving to charities is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like there is a little kid in all of us that delights in opening a real present over the holidays. (assuming of course, that you celebrate such holidays). this is how I came to give handmade Christmas gifts to most of the people on my list. I know it will be something they enjoy, because I get to watch them unwrap it and see their face light up as they realize I’ve made something just for them. no one else has exactly the same thing. I know they enjoy the gifts, because I can see the signs of wear on the object as the months, or years go by. It doesn’t really seem to matter how early in the year I start, about two weeks before Christmas, I am in crunch mode, knitting/weaving/and felting like a mad woman trying to get everything done for get-togethers with different friends and family. it doesn’t help that in those last two weeks of hard-core crafting, I also always seem to add a few more projects to the list, for people who I had absent-mindedly left out of my handmade Christmas gift list. it’s not even like it’s the same people I leave out every year. I just need more time to get it all done!

I would love to have an extra day a week. In those extra 52 days a year, I would be able to use them to do all of the long laundry list of craft projects I have, but can never seem to find all of the time, energy, money, space & proper weather to be able to complete. I get a lot of projects accomplished every year, and I’m not complaining about what I do get accomplished. there is a part of me however, that always wishes I could do more. Like the lamps in our bedroom that I bought from a local sally ann a few years ago and are a shiny shade of gold. I’d much prefer they were silver. I have the spray paint to complete the project, I just need a sunny day that isn’t too cold, or too hot, with no threats of wind or rain or snow. in Ottawa, where the winter seems to last a good solid 6 months, and then add in rainy days and windy days, that leaves very few optimal days for an outdoor spray painting project, or as I like to call it, because it sounds awesome – a lamp revamp!

I say we stage a revolt. or sign petitions. ask a higher power to add in an extra day a week (and if they just won’t budge, what about an extra hour a day?) there is a miniature muffin pan that has been calling my name, sitting on my kitchen counter asking for me to christen it with it’s first batch of miniature cupcakes. I don’t even want to tell you how long it’s been sitting on the counter. you might laugh. or cry? in an extra hour a day, think of all the baking I could get done? and some extra art projects too! surely, that’s not too much to ask for. right?

we all tend to make time for the things in our lives that are important to us. sometimes things are important, but we make excuses for a variety of reasons. Moving in to 2014, I’d like to make a more conscious effort to make more time for my art. it makes me happy. brings me joy. and could very likely turn a profit. but I have to start. having more time to make art means spending less time doing things that maybe don’t matter so much, or prioritize how I spend the hours in my day. I’m sure we can all relate, right? atleast once a week, I think most people ask themselves, “where did today go?” or “where did the last hour go?” or some variation.

the prompt for today over on blogher.com was “what do you wish you had more time to do each day? in a few word, the answer for me is: make stuff.