Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Days' Worth of Carding with the Rover

From here...

to here:

Close up of some of the rovings. All were made with 2/3 Ashford Corriedale of two colors and 1/3 of Louet Merino of a single color.

Luna, the rover's new owner, liked the yellow bump so much, she said: "I almost want to take it home". LOL. I would have given it to her if she wasn't going home with the rover. ; )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paula Simmons' Rover No. 1 has left for a new home

The new proud owner is Luna Ortiz of Blueball Mountain Spindle Needleworks in Hardin County, Kentucky. She, Allan,and her two college boys, Will and David, picked up the machine last night.

Monday, November 02, 2009

HandMade Mart, Part II

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Emperor is has a new home

Just above is my new imperial spinning stool from Stil Novo Design. It's two inches shorter than my humble Amish-made spinning stool from The Mannings in Pennsylvania (photo just below). Not a problem since my all-time favorite Majacraft wheels have adjustable height.

The Stil Novo stool is recycled white oak wood from French wine barrels and the curves were made using the natural arch of a barrel stave. It has a very oriental design so the designer calls it The Emperor Seat. The stain on the seat and the sides are from the red wine previously held in the barrel. The stool was polished off with a rich cherry chocolate finish. Yum!

Note: The round rugs are from Ikea, available in magenta, Egyptian blue, spring green, and orange.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bus Driver

It was Spring 2006 and we had just returned from New Zealand. While there I had gone to the Majacraft Magic Weekend and met and roomed with Pat Old, a spinner and certified wool handler.

Back in the US, Mr. JumpSheep grabs his coin collection to add the new ones from this recent trip and he decides to get rid of bus coin tokens that he had come upon previously. He asks, “Do you know someone who might find use for these?” I immediately thought of Pat as she and I had fun attaching objects to handspun yarn at the camp. She is, in fact, the other person in my avatar. I mailed the coins to the North Island where Pat breeds sheep and I received a “thank you” email saying she hadn’t quite thought of what to do with them, but that she’d find something…

Fastforward to this Fall and I received an email from Pat with picture of what seemed like a necktie made of handspun yarn. She wrote: “You sent me some bus tokens to spin with, and it took me ages to figure out what I would do with them. I finally spun a sharl yarn of overdyed grey finn fleece with the tokens attached at the ends of the snarls. I plied this with a scouring pad that I had ‘unknitted’. I knitted this tie and called it ‘The Bus Driver’! It caused some laughs in an exhibition recently.”

Pat added, “I am currently writing a book on spinning and it is at the very stressful proofing stage. Thankfully Glynnis ( of Majacraft) is helping when I get brain fade! So look out for ‘In a Spin’. Hopefully it will be out by Christmas.”

Meanwhile, Pat and Glynnis and the other Majacraft regulars are getting ready for Lexi’s appearance in New Zealand scheduled for February 2010.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get This! Sheep Pendant in SpinOff Magazine

Got my Fall '09 issue yesterday at Barnes and Noble and saw this feature for myself. It wasn't a surprise, though, as Lynn and Gayle had already emailed me as soon as they got their SpinOff copy in the mail last month. A BIG Thank You! to SpinOfff editor Amy Clarke Moore whom I met at Guido's Party during the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last May and, of course, to Stefanie Berganini who writes the column, "Get This!"

By the way, a belated BIG Thank You! to Amy Singer of, whom I met at Jenny the Potter's booth at the same festival. I was buying a cloche (looks like an inverted bowl with a hole on top; keeps the knitting yarn from rolling off too far) and Amy was Jenny's cashier! I'm shy, but nothing can restrain me from doing a little shameless promo! The result was in the "Cool Stuff!" section of the Summer '09 Knitty issue.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

FOR SALE: Pat Green Seven-Drum Roving Machine

For complete info, see ad posted in the Housingcleaning Pages.

November 2007 Blog: Paula Simmons' Rover No. 1 finds a new home.

See bumps produced with the equipment here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homemade Mini Photo Studio

While I'm away in Torrance, CA for Sarah Hornik workshops, Larry fashioned this setup. The lamps came three in a pack from Ikea. The Ikea wastebasket was idea from Hadar Jacobson.

Bamboo stairsteps as weighted bases, Ikea lamps, Ikea wastebasket and scrap.

Homemade adjustable riser (wood and an old handled set screw on a leg from an old lamp, hammered to a point).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Would you like to teach spinning in this idyllic town in Chile?

One of my favorite events during the year is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival because it allows me to cross paths with interesting people. This year I had the chance to meet Silvia Fernandez-Stein. While Silvia does not spin, her son, Guido, does. And Guido, whom I met through Ravelry, introduced us.

Guido had read about Charkhas for Africa and he emailed: "Could you talk to my mom? She wants to do something similar in Chile."

So Silvia and I sat down at Guido's MSWF party and she told me of what she had in mind for her town in Chile.

Silvia is offering a free two-week stay in her three-bedroom house in Cobquecura named La Loberia to spinners who can organize themselves to teach spinning to the women of the village. You see, Silvia would like to empower the women of her town to learn skills that turn can into a self-sustaining cottage industry. The spinners' only expense would be the air and land transfers to and from Cobquecura (about 200 miles from the capital, Santiago) and the daily subsistence, which would be about $20/day.

La Loberia, built in the early 1980s, was restored in 2005 by Silvia and her husband, Robert, a city planner who was a Peace Corp volunteer in Chile. It now functions as a bed & breakfast, museum and cafe. See the "before and after" photos of La Loberia here.

Another goal of Silvia's is to bring attention to the threat of pollution to Cobquecura now that a pulp mill recently started operation in the area. She and other environmentalists are concerned about the tons of contaminants that will be pumped into the Rio Itata and endanger an entire stretch of the coastline.

Cobquecura is apparently a cool town for, and of, women. Below, some of the dynamic women of Cobquecura. Silvia is in the center.

If you are interested in going to Cobquecura for a spinning retreat -- and conducting a workshop for the local women, let Silvia know by email.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Process: Bronze

I used Hadar's Clay which is bronze in powder form (also available in copper).

Just out of the kiln.

Scrubbed with a metal brush.

Filed, burnished, patinated and polished. Finished off with copper jump ring and chocolate-colored silicone cord.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More sheep, more chocolate-makers

A few months ago, I started working with precious metal clay (PMC) and, at the same time, learning metalsmithing. While working with metal sheet seemed difficult because of the drilling, sawing and soldering involved, I was finding PMC more challenging because it would dry out before I was satisfied with the result.

So, I started working with polymer clay, testing designs on it before trying them on PMC. Unfortunately, polymer by itself is not very interesting and -- not wanting to just discard the tests -- I thought of finishing them just like Tamara of blockpartypress had been showing on her blog.

Silver, copper and bronze clay pendants headed for the kiln.

Pieces in polymer inspired by Tamara's work. However, I only do fine-fleeced friends and chocolate-makers.

Here's a clay rendition of another of my dad's drawing of the chocolate-maker.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

JumpSheep pendants make it to

See under Cool Stuff! here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

My dad's drawing

The drawing was done in the 1980s for me to make an ex libris rubber stamp. My name used to be underneath the frame. I reduced the size to 1" x 1.5" and had the rubber stamp made to make silver pendants using Precious Metal Clay. Here is the result. It's a woman in a Philippine 1800s dress frothing Spanish-style chocolate in a tsokolatera with what we call a batidor. The chocolate is served in demitasses because it's thick.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Strip-Cut Construction in Glass

Layout on paper.

Pattern bars surrounded with strips of glass in pink striker color. The piece is dammed and fired in the kiln.

The strips of glass strikes into a deep cranberry color.