twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

It’s Glittery! April 30, 2015

Filed under: life — kathy @ 10:21 am
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This is going to live in a lovely frame!! I don't need to return it to redeem it!

This is going to live in a lovely frame!! I don’t need to return it to redeem it!

Wow! Would you look at the beautiful certificate I got in the mail yesterday from Elizabeth and Forrest?! I will treasure it forever!!

It’s so special!! Pictures just don’t do it justice—it’s hand painted and glittered, and look: my name is on it! Joy! and smiles! and so much gratitude. And peace. So much peace. The fact that I was able to communicate my feelings and have them understood brings me personally so much peace and joy.

I am so filled with gratitude right now for all of you, my dear friends. Thank you one and all for your kind words and encouragement. The little girl deep inside feels very nurtured right now. Thank you.

Edited to add: I just found out that this lovely piece of art was created by Forrest! He is so very talented—you should see some of his beautiful photography, too! Oh, I am so excited to soon be able to spend time with so many dear and creative people at Squam!

See the sweet card, too?! Even the packaging was soooo pretty!

See the sweet card, too?!
Even the packaging was soooo pretty!


Spinster April 15, 2015

The Kromski Sonata-it folds so I can travel with it if I want!

The Kromski Sonata-it folds so I can travel with it if I want!

Make that a happy spinster. 😉

For years I’ve been wanting to learn how to spin. I tried a drop spindle, but it was just too annoying tedious for me (I’m rather impatient, I’m afraid) and the drop spindle went to Bug (she, BTW, totally took to it and became wonderful at it, so there was no loss there.).

A few years ago after a reasonably successful Holiday Open House, I decided to buy myself a lovely, handmade single-treadle folding spinning wheel from an artisan on Etsy who had a shop called “Overland Handcraft.” It was a lovely wheel (which I’d never sat down to treadle/try before I bought–mistake number 1), and after I received it I realized I needed some help from an expert, so I took a private 2 hour lesson with the delightful and knowledgable Sandi Luck of Purlescence Yarn, came home, and immediately welcomed houseguests for the week. That meant I didn’t spin for at least a week after my class and so forgot nearly everything I’d learned (mistake number 2). Worse, the lovely Overland folding/travel wheel I bought had a funny little glitch that made it try to fold up on itself every time I tried to use it (mistake number 3).

My lovely--but not quite right for me--Overland wheel.

My lovely–but not quite right for me–Overland wheel.

Enter Captain Romance, and after one of the best Christmas gifts ever–a gift certificate for a new wheel, six–yes, six–learn to spin classes, again with Sandi, trying 3 (or 5 if you count the ones I treadled but didn’t actually use) different wheels during those classes, and 3 or 8 gin and tonics, I now am the proud owner of this gorgeous walnut Kromski Sonata. I named him Gabriel. I am so full of gratitude.

Okay, plied it looks pretty cool, but as a single...embarrassing!

Okay, plied it looks pretty cool, but as a single…embarrassing!

For whatever reason, it took me a couple of classes to really understand what I needed to do to spin the way I was supposed to. To be fair, a bit of my trouble was due to the strokes I had when Bug was born. But I have to say that there were classmates who sat down and were at once spinning stuff that looked like kitchen twine or embroidery floss. Mine looked like crap novelty yarn. I was devastated, and truthfully, embarrassed. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a remedial spinning class, but wished I could’ve slunk away to find one. I mean the teachers were very nice about it, but it was frustrating. I’m usually great with my hands. Sigh. You know, they say that you should enjoy this early “lumpy bumpy thick thin yarn” because you’ll never be able to do after you learn the right way to spin. Ha. They didn’t know about me. I don’t think I’ll ever have trouble doing thick and think yarn again if I want to. But I digress.

Anyway, I refused to give up, and after changing the wheel I was using, and watching lots of YouTube videos for moral support, I was making kitchen twine, too! Yippity! This is so much fun that I spent nearly all day Sunday spinning, and could barely walk the next day because I’d overwhelmed my ankles. Well, they didn’t hurt while I was spinning.

It's a little hard to tell with this dark shot, but it's really pretty thin and even.

It’s a little hard to tell with this dark shot, but it’s really pretty thin and even.

Yup, you can call me spinster, now and I certainly won’t be offended. 😉


Here goes… April 2, 2015

My entry, "the epiphany box"

My entry, “the epiphany box”

So last time I was here I posted a snippet of a VIP (Very Important Project) I’d sunk my teeth into. I didn’t mean to be a tease or anything, I just didn’t want to reveal anything until it was finished and winging its way to the contest I was entering. And believe me, this project took up nearly every moment since I first showed you. Everything–well nearly everything–in my life got sidelined. It was exhilarating to be so immeshed in a thing so creative. It’s been ages since I felt that way. In a nutshell, the contest challenge was to take an old Squam Art Workshop tote and repurpose it into…well something else. The prize is a scholarship to any 2015 or 2016 session of Squam the winner chooses. How could I resist the challenge? And though the concept/idea of what I wanted to express was quite clear in my mind, for the better part of the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with exactly how to turn it into art. The only thing I knew was that I’d be cutting apart and embroidering the tote for a cover of some sort. At first I thought I’d make a lovely handcrafted journal and fill it with writing and drawings. I set out at once to teach myself to make a book with an exposed coptic stitch spine. Ha. Easier said than done. Plus, I kept wanting to incorporate three dimensional items into the journal, and wasn’t able to figure out how to do that and make it work the way I wanted. The only answer was to toss my control freak self out the window and, as Elsa would say, “Let it go.What I came up with was this: the epiphany box. Here’s the idea: Everything you need is within you: the moment I read the sentiment on the tote, the idea for my entry was clear. I wanted to illustrate how, after taking Elizabeth Duvivier’s (the creator/founder of Squam and all around amazing goddess-woman) “The Magic of Myth” course last spring, I realized that the way I wanted to live my life was inside me all along. I wanted to show how my heart had opened I was inspired to listen and jump back onto my creative path. IMG_2675Holding that memory, I took a deep breath and began to reconstruct the lovely tote into a suitcase which would represent the beginning of that journey–the epiphany I had a year ago. To more deeply illustrate “Everything you need is within you,” I hand-embroidered and reverse appliqued the poppy so that it reveals itself from behind a “window” in the linen. It scatters its seeds (antique French glass beads), planting ideas and spreading its joy wherever its seeds land. I then applied the hand-embroidered piece to the case which I’d painted with scenes of poppy fields all around the sides and on the back. I sewed seven giant “poppy seeds” of black felt and placed them inside the bottom of the case; tucked within each felt seed I placed a little glass bottle to represent a gift or skill that I feel I possess or have reclaimed.

The little bottles that'll go inside the felt "poppy seeds."

The little bottles that’ll go inside the felt “poppy seeds.”

Examples of a few bottles--"Writer," "Fiber Addict," and  "Jeweler."

Examples of a few bottles–“Writer,” “Fiber Addict,” and “Jeweler.”

The "Lover" bottle next to a  filled "poppy seed."

The “Lover” bottle next to a filled “poppy seed.”

Beneath the poppy seeds in the bottom of the box I put a drawing of where my heart felt stuck before The Magic of Myth class. The drawing I made inside the top lid illustrates the release of creativity and love I felt bursting back into my world during the class, much like the poppy’s release of seeds.

The drawings...I'm so happy with them. Why has it been so long since I drew anything?

The drawings…I’m so happy with them. Why has it been so long since I drew anything?

Even though I love to write more than just about anything, the exercise of drawing again filled me with a mixture of thrill and terror. Could I still draw? Would I be able to draw what I saw in my mind’s eye? You be the judge if it’s effective, but I ended up happy with the result. What I found was that the process of drawing was so exhilarating that all I wanted to do for nearly a week was draw. Sigh.

Suitcase with seeds piled inside.

Suitcase with seeds piled inside.

The box is on its way to Rhode Island now for judging and I can’t wait to find out the verdict. But I feel, in my own heart, with the reconnection I’ve made with drawing and embroidery, I’ve already won something, you know? What do you think? I’d love to hear…



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