Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekending 9/29/2014

This past weekend I spent as a demo spinner at DJ's Classic Alpacas for National Alpaca Farm Days. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday at the farm.

 I set up a small table and had some bags with me.

Spinning up an alpaca batt.
 I brought Li with me on Sunday and he did some spinning.
 And met some cute alpacas.
 I also taught him how to ply-Here is Li plying from a center pull ball.

I educated a lot of people about just what you can do with alpaca fluff-there were many people there. If you get the chance, you should find an alpaca farm near you and see if they have days when you can come and meet the animals.  They are so cute.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Brazen Friday 9/26/2014

One of the things that I have done this week is prep for doing a spinning demo and selling a few things at DJ's Classic Alpaca as part of National Alpaca Farm Days this weekend.  I am taking some of my bags and some of Katie's alpaca blend yarn to the event and if we sell a few things, Yippee!  and if we don't, no biggie.

I made some signs to put up on our little scootch of selling space.  I especially like the new tag line I came up with for my bags.  It reads 'Brazen Stitchery: Bags For The Fun At Heart'.  I totally dig it.
 Also, if you live in or around Mansfield, TX, some of my bags will be featured in the MAFIA booth  at the Wisteria Street Market tomorrow.

I have also been working on batting for my participation at the MAFIA location for the upcoming DFW Yarn Crawl.
So, busy busy!  Feeling like there are not enough hours in the day.  My goals for the shop this week are to get Octobers Phat Fiber contribution dyed up, batt everyday, and dye up some self striping yarn.  'Tis the season to get witchy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Workin' It Wednesday 9/24/2014

Well, I managed to finish the baby blanket.
It is from skein of bulky yarn form Joanns.  I just kept crocheting in a granny square pattern until I figured I did not have enough yarn to make another round.  Voila!  No sewing together, and only 2 tails.  It's not as big as I wanted, but I figure if nothing else, it's good for epic games of peek-a-boo.  Next time I will get 2 skeins so that it is more of a toddler sized blanket-this one will work for a baby blanket, just not much beyond that.

This is a good video for mastering the granny square. Granny Square Tutorial.  This is the one that I used this spring to start my granny square journey.  I have made granny squares to go in a group blanket, made a traditional granny square blanket, made a dual yarn continuous baby blanket, and this blanket that uses one skein of bulky yarn.  Apparently it's been the year of the granny square at my house.

This week, I am picking up the test knit that I abandoned a few weeks ago and finishing that sucker up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekending 9/22/2014 The BPAFF Edition

I am home from Blackland Prairie Artisan and Fibre Faire and it was fun.  It was not air conditioned, so there was definitely some sweaty moments, but the organizers kept the cold water coming, so that we vendors could do our best to stay cool.  We had one small fan in the booth which helped a great deal, but next time we will definitely have more.

Here is what my portion of the booth looked like.

Self Striping Selection.
 Variegated and Tonal Selection.
 Fiber Braids Selection.
 Bag Selection.
 Dinner Friday night-Entree by Chef Boyardee, Side Salad by Golden Chick.
 Dinner Saturday Night-Entree by Hormel, Side Salad by Jack In The Box.
The Salad from Golden Chick was much tastier than the one from Jack In The Box.  I highly recommend their side salads.  The Jack in the Box side salad was everything you'd expect from a fast food side salad.  So, not very good.  But I needed the veg.

Breakfasts both mornings included eggs, a waffle, fruit, coffee, and juice.  The waffle and maple syrup really added to the calorie count on breakfast, but it really was the one area that I splurged on food wise while away.  The first morning, I had one waffle.  The second morning I split a waffle with Katie.

Katie at breakfast day one.
 Me before breakfast day one.
 Me hooking at the hotel at the end of day one.

We got there Friday afternoon-set up(I ran out of hangers for my bags, so we had to swing by Dollar General), then went to the hotel.  I was crashed out not too long after 10.  At the end of day one, Katie and I both were crashed out BEFORE 10.  Ah, The Wild and Exciting Times Of A Vendor.

Sunday was slooow patron wise, so we mostly just hung out with each other.  We had few sales, but all of them were high quality.  I taught a few people the mechanics of spinning, and a couple of them went home with drop spindles.  There were two lucky ladies that went home with SpinOlution wheels-a mom and daughter team that are beginner spinners.

Then at 3, tear down began.  I helped tear down the booth, getting all of mine, helping get down Rebecca's, helping get down Taya's, helping Katie get most of the grids disconnected.  Then we loaded up Katie's truck with the Burleson haul, and headed home.  But not without a stop at Starbucks for a slated carmel machiatto frap.  Mmm, mm!  Other than the fact that the barista gave us talls instead of the grandes that we ordered it was delicious.  We were too tired to turn back around and go in to get the correct size.  I also got a protein snack because I was verra verra hungry.

I call the picture-'What I Got Instead of French Fries'
 Then we headed home where I got good hugs from the boys, happy tail wags from the dogs, and indifference from the cats.

I stretched out on the couch as soon as I was able to, and my employee in charge of dog snuggles made sure I got my quota.

It was an exhausting and fun weekend and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Brazen Friday 9/19/2014

First off, Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, Matey!  I think this day is so fun.

Today I am headed out to go to Blackland Prairie Artisan and Fibre Faire.  I feel pretty ready.  It's gonna be a busy morning running errands for last minute stuff for the show and grabbing a few things at the grocery so R won't have to.
 I have 3 of the big Ikea bags filled with product, a bin of waterfall hooks, and a bin of other various necessities for the booth.  Plus Bunny(the wheel) and an overnight bag.  

I need to grab a couple of heat and eat type meals for dinner, the hotel has breakie, and I am planning on having protein bars and fruit for lunch.  I am trying to make this trip as thrifty as possible so that my profit isn't eaten up with trip expense.

Final count:
120 Bags
87 Skeins Yarn
27 Braids Fiber

Batts just did not make the cut this time, so I guess I will be debuting those at the DFW Yarn Crawl in October.  I did not have the time to make more than a few.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Workin' It Wednesday- 9/17/2014

Well, as I predicted last week, I am deep in the throws of getting ready for the show this weekend.  BUT, my house is clean, my children are schooled, and we are eating homemade food, so I feel pretty good.  But most of my creative brain power is going towards the shop.

But I did start a sock last week.
But alas, even that proved to complicated.

So, then I started this granny square blanket for a friend with a wee baby.  I am just gonna keep going until I run out.
My goal for this week is to survive the show and work on any of the WIPs I have.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Well, I HAD planned on going to the zoo with the family so that this weekending post wouldn't be only photos of shop stuff, but alas and alack, our radiator blew on the way to the zoo.  Luckily, Katie was able to give us a ride home.

Here is a picture of one of my support staff.  She's in charge of making sure that I have a dog to pet.
 This is the cool FasTurn apparatus that Taya lent/gave me to use for making drawstrings.  It's pretty amazing.
 And, it always seams (ha, see what I did there?) like when I make myself a deal like 'I will Just finish stitching THIS and then go to the bathroom', that's when something goes screwy.  This time, I broke a needle among other things.  I had to pirate the needle from the Viking to continue because I lent all of mine out during Camelot prep.
 I finished 3 big totes on Saturday-along with 4 knot bags.
 This dog makes me laugh so hard with his sleeping on his back with his mouth hanging open routine.
 Yesterday was label day, so I labeled mini skeins for the shop.
 I use address labels that I then cut out and keep on the backer paper.  I stick it to itself in a loop around the mini skein.
 I am also trying to be better about having a thorough inventory before and after the show.
 And, well, I wasn't really gonna share this yet, but I have decided to budget my calories with a goal towards weight reduction.  On weigh in days, I am going to start taking a selfie to mark progress in a pictorial way.  I am down 18 lb from February.
This week will be filled with more prep for the show this coming weekend. Not.  Panicking.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Brazen Friday- 9/12/2014

I have just posted new items to my Etsy Shop.

Here are some of the things I listed.
Batts, rolags, self striping yarn, variegated yarn, and mini skeins.

I also worked out yet another new bag design.  This one has dual fabric, boxed bottom, interior pocket, and wrist strap.

I will be debuting it at Blackland Prairie Artisan and Fibre Faire.

Lots of plans for much creating this weekend as it's the last weekend before the show next week.  Whhheeeee.  Not. Panicking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Workin' It Wednesday-9/10/2014

So, as I predicted, most of my creative energy is going to preparing for BPAFF.  Gasp!  Only 10 days away!  Not.  Panicking.

I haven't done very much in the way for personal crafting.  But I did finish up the 4 ply I was working on.
This was a plying pal type thing from Fiber Addiction.  Two plys are merino, 2 are BFL.

What am I gonna work on this week?  Your guess is as good as mine!  I will try to work on my frankenblanket but that's about as ambitious as I think I can get.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Well, it was an uneventful weekend at the old homestead.  My mother promised the kids that when they saved up $100, she would match it for them.  So, between Liam mowing a neighbors lawn, our lawn, and me remembering to give him allowance(when their bedroom, desk, and bathroom are clean), he got his $100 on Friday.

So, he bought himself a Nintendo DSi.  I gave him the weekend to be a tech zombie.  Along with O, who inherited the old Nintendo DS.  It was a quiet weekend with me occasionally reminding them to drink some water.  Starting today, normal screen rules apply.  One hour a day on school days, and then 2-3 hours a day on the weekend-That's usually when they watch a movie.

Anyway, with the boys staring at screens, I was able to work 11 hours on Saturday and 12 hours on Sunday.  I am fully aware that I cannot keep up that pace in normal life, but when I have a fiber show coming up, I really have to commit to long hours.  I am planning on working a more manageable 30 hours a week when I do not have a show coming up.

This is what I worked the most on this weekend.

The new design has nice stiff interfacing and 5 inner pockets.  I kept the basic design as far as the straps go, but changed the way I did the bottom from a gusseted bottom, to a box bottom.

I hope you guys had a good weekend!  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Brazen Friday-9/5/2014

I woke up feeling a little dizzy and have been extra tired today.  Here's hoping that this doesn't turn into anything.

This has been a 'research and development' week at the shop.

I have had some trouble with my sewing machine this week.  When I has helping with costumes for Camelot, the Viking got an injury and just hasn't really acted right since then.  That came to a head this week when I was expecting her to be a marathon girl.  She just needs to go to the shop.  But I need to sew, so I brought out my backup.  She doesn't do button holes, but I can deal.

I started the rework with my Medium bag.  This is what the original design looks like.
 This was rework number one.

 Wrist strap-a bit long.  Drawstring, not yarn, now of fabric, but a bit short.  and the bag is just a bit too small.

Rework Number two looks like this.
 Good lengths on both the drawstring and the wrist strap.  I also tried adding an inner pocket along the seam.
I didn't like how it turned out.

Rework number 3.

Added a pocket to the outside and used the same fabric for the wrist strap.  Feels closer to done here.

But, I wanted to shift the pocket and gusset the bottom.
Rework number 4.

I also changed the position of the wrist strap on this one-having it from the top, not the side seam.  but don't really like the look of the gusseted bottom.

Rework number 5.

This, I think is the winner.  There is still a tweak I'd like to do-I'd like to go back to using a button hole, but the older machine doesn't do them very well.  So I may set up the viking and see if I can at least coax her to do button holes.  I boxed the bottom instead of gusseting.  I like this look much better.

I also started reworking my 'double double' drawstring bag.  That's double fabric, double drawstring.
This is what the original looks like.  This is just a basic lined bag.

I sat down to rework this yesterday.  I started by adding interfacing.  So now, she stands on her own.
 I also made a drawstring casing instead of using button holes.
 AND, I added an interior double pocket.  This one is unlined, but future bags will have a lined pocket.

I am pretty proud of this design and other than a few tweaks to construction, I feel like this is a good place to be with it.

I also have been batting this week.

And now, I am gonna go curl up with a book.  I have two full days scheduled and need a night 'off' so I can be productive this weekend.