Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chinese Dinner, a Flash, & a Distraction

Well, not really a distraction.  I've just had a little trouble staying focused today and staying on task.  I blame the 'Fibro Fog'.  But who knows what it really is.  It's just me.

For a number of reasons, I want to get the photography part of Teresa Levite Studio active again.  Today I set up my lights for a photo session.  I have several dishes I need to photograph for listing online as well as hand dyed yarn. DH told me earlier that he had ordered Chinese food for lunch at his office, but he was bringing it home for our supper.  Worked for me!  Since the lighting was set up, I took a few shots of supper for micro stock.  Here is the General Tso's Chicken over rice.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Video & Photo Session, Gulf Shores, & Shrimp Festival

As many of you know, my husband I traveled to Mississippi to be here when my mother had heart surgery scheduled for this past Thursday. The surgery has been postponed and we're waiting to see if the doctors will do it this week. In the meantime we are just spending time with my family. Friday afternoon we took a little time to take some photos of my brothers race car. Lewis took some video while were were there, too. This is just a bit of what was happening.

On Saturday, we went to Gulf Shores to the Shrimp Festival.  I didn't take a lot of photos there, but I did take a few on the beach.

Greek Salad.  I'm not sure what all was in it, but it looked delicious.  If we had stayed longer, this would have been my second lunch.

I enjoyed walking in the crowd, listening to the amateur talent on stage in the background, and getting ideas for projects while moving through the Arts & Crafts and Fine Arts booths. But the beach and bit of fresh gulf air is always relaxing and the best part of any trip to the beach.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Auto Racing Sponsorship & the Drama of Pit 18

Last weekend, my husband and I spent the day at Dover Speedway photographing a car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The following is an excerpt from the article my husband wrote and a couple of photographs from the day. Please follow the link at the bottom of the excerpt to go to the complete article.

      The story began as a note on Facebook. An old acquaintance contacted the Desk through one of the Desk's former bosses. A sponsor of a Nationwide Series car was looking for a photographer, and the Desk's wife happens to be one (see link to her site at end of part 2). The resulting email exchange involved submitting information to NASCAR for credentials that didn't come through until Friday afternoon for Saturday morning. Something "far beyond" the "last minute", but it worked!

      The primary goal of the mission was to get some good photos of the sponsor's car with their logo on the hood, in action if possible. The second reason is... well, this. The Desk promised the lady at the sponsor that it would write it up as a photoessay and mention the sponsor several times!

Well. OK. Here goes.
      The sponsor was (links at end of part 2 to outside entities and to the Photo Pages). had purchased single event advertising on Jeremy Clements' number 04 Impala in the Nationwide series 200 mile race at Dover from, for Jeremy's first run at the Dover track. Did I mention that the sponsor was
      The usual sponsor is Boudreaux's Butt Paste who has been in the sport for about five years or so, but for today, and probably at other races as well, they will step back to the associate spot and let ride on the hood. We'll come back to how this all works and where figures in later. (is that enough sponsor plugs for now? if not there's more on photo page 2).

      First things first. Who is Jeremy Clements? (see photo on the photo page as well)
      Well, the twenty-something Jeremy comes to racing naturally. It is, to coin a phrase, in his blood. His grandfather was Crawford Clements who, with his brother Louis, produced racing engines and owned a race team during the Golden Age of NASCAR through the sixties and into the seventies. Later Crawford focused his family business on producing top-flight engines for the various Sportsman's racing series. Which they still do today.

      Today, the family is actively back in racing with a Jeremy as the public face of the effort driving the Zero Four. And it really is still a family business with the Clements name throughout the crew on race day as well as on the driver suit. Team owner Tony Clements is a spotter on race day while Glen Clements is one of the mechanics, both at the track and in the shop.

The rest of the story and more photos can be found on The Media Desk.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 7 of 300 Days of Dyeing And FAF

Yes, it happened.  I set a goal. I made a commitment.  I announced it to the world.

And then Life happened.  I got sick.  My mother got sick. My mother-in-law got sick.  There was a race to photograph. There was a Fiber Fest to prepare for (and then cancel-see above.) And right now, I don't even remember what else.  But dyeing has been put on hold - temporarily.  I'm planning to back in full swing soon.  In the meantime, I'm taking it slow and easy and one day at a time.

Today I am dyeing with onion skins.  I don't do this very often,  but it is one of the few 'natural' dyes I use. (I put 'natural' in semi-quotes because most dyes are natural, they are just prepared for us rather than us having to go out to collect the ingredients and prepare them for use. Someone else does that for us and packages them in an easy to use form.)

Dyeing with onion skins is pretty simple.  Collect the skins from yellow onions.  I have about four of the little net bags they come in from the grocery store crammed full of skins.  I have no idea how many onions it took to get them.  And I didn't weigh them.  This is a very non-scientific method.  I boiled the onions in my pot with a strainer insert. After the onion skins boiled a few minutes (a while, again I didn't time anything) and the water had turned a rich red (and smelled delicious like onion soup!), I removed the insert with the bags of onion skins.  I then added my prepared wool.  I generally soak my wool in a little detergent before dyeing.

There are discussions and misconceptions about mordants. My personal experience is that mordants are required to make onion skins permanent.  I generally add a little vinegar (acid) to the pot out of habit, but it's not required.  Time in the post seems to be a bigger factor.  My results have been both light fast and wash fast (though you should always take care when washing and storing hand dyed fibers of any kind). Adding other mordants may change the resulting colors a bit, but aren't necessary.

My wool is in the pot now.  If I remember, I will take photos and add them to this post later. In the meantime, here are a couple of  photos of previously dyed wool.

ETA: It's Fiber Arts Friday! Check out WonderWhyGal's FAF links and feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments here.  There's enough fiber in the world to share the Fiber Arts Friday love!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Delaware Art Chat On Twitter

The other day I had a brilliant idea!  I do have those occasionally.  When I do, it's usually a day to mark on your calendar because it may be a long dry spell before I have another. This time I was thinking about local venues for my work.  I think it's art, but others may think it's 'art supplies'.  Whatever.  I want local places to show it off; not just online.  After doing some googling, and coming up (almost) dry, I asked on Twitter.  What I really asked was if there was an active Delaware Artists and Crafters community on Twitter. The very quick answer was 'no'.  So . . . to make a long story short, there is now an account for @DEartchat and the search tag for Delaware artists and crafters is #DEartchat.

We will begin having regular chats this Sunday, October 3, from  8 pm to 9 pm local time.  This time will be flexible and, until we get a regular group chatting,  can change or rotate with a different time and day to encourage more participation. I've taken this on my own to get it started, but would be happy to have input and guest hosts.

The topic of the first chat is "When Art and Technology Collide".  If you have questions or discussion starters for this topic, please post them in the comment section here or send a DM to @DEartchat on Twitter. Also more discussion topics for future chats are needed.

There will be a brief period (5-10 min.) at the beginning of the chat period for introductions.  Then questions will be posted every 5-10 min until about 8:50 pm.  At that point, there will be open chat (almost anything goes) and plugs for your site, store, gallery, whatever.  Use the tag #DEartchat with each post so participants can click the search tag and see all posts.

There is also a Flickr Group for DEartchat.  Please join the group and post images of your work that you would like to share with the group.  Post a link on twitter with the tag #DEartchat to let others know there are new images of your work available.

Though the purpose of this Twitter community and Flickr group is to share information about Delaware Arts and Crafts, I don't think anyone will mind the occasional post indicating where your work can be seen and purchased.

Please invite fellow Delaware Artists and Crafters to join us and share what's going on in the Arts and Crafts community. You may link to this blog post or post the link on twitter, facebook, or any other social media source. As we grow in numbers, we will be better known and our work better appreciated.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday & A Cozy for Your Coffee

Some people think a coffee cozy is just silly.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Those who use them are generally happy with the result-keep your coffee warmer, longer, while keeping your hands cooler.  At the same time, you can let your mugs with advertising or editorial comments go undercover.  Works for me.

What also works for me is making a coffee cozy while testing a stitch pattern, swatching for a larger project (check your gauge!), or using bits of left over yarn.

How To:
Using size 2 (US) needles (I used two dpns because that's that I had in easy reach), cast on 62 stitches.

Knit 4 rows, working back and forth, (two ridges of garter stitch).

Next row and every row till about 1/2 inch from desired height, Slip the first stitch as to purl, *YO, Slip1 as to Purl, K2Tog.* Repeat from * to * till one stitch remains.  K1.

When within 1/2" to 1/4" of desired height of coffee cozy, work 4 rows of K (two ridges of garter stitch) and bind off.

Leave about 10" to 12" of yarn.  Using a tapestry sewing needle, sew the two top corners together, run the yarn down the side of the piece, and sew the two bottom corners together. Weave in ends of yarn.

This is not a fancy pattern.  You can play with it make your coffee cozy as plain or fancy as possible.  This stitch pattern is one of my favorites because it doesn't use a purl stitch, which are often more painful to my arthritic hands.

If you make coffee cozies (or any other cozies!) please post a link to a photo in the comments section.  I'm looking forward to seeing your work.

And . . . . it's Fiber Arts Friday!  If you have a fiber related (yarn, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, spinning, sewing, quilting, anything fiber arts!) blog post, please post a link to your blog post in the comments section.  And I always appreciate a link back to my post.  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do You Know How Difficult It Is To Photograph Socks - While You're Wearing Them?

That's why I don't have good photos of this pair yet.  One day, maybe.  But until then, I'll show you a couple of shots.  The yarn is "Nottingham" from the "If Robin Hood Knit Socks" yarn club.  It's the "Rehoboth" line.  This is suppose to be fingering weight, but it's a little heavier than I'm used to.  It knit up into a nice squishy sock, but just a little on the thick side.  That's ok with me, I just can't wear them with my boots.  The yarn is 100% Merino, 8 ply.  It has very nice stitch definition and was easy to work with.

The pattern is my Bamboo Socks.  The 'bamboo' is the stitch pattern and not the fiber.  If I come up with a really catchy name, I'll change it.  This pattern isn't available to the public yet.  I'm planning to get a pattern page set up so .pdf files can be purchased and downloaded from my website.  But I have so many plans right now, I'm not sure when that one will happen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday: Just Another Day In The Office

Unless you work from home.  Then Monday opens up a whole different world of opportunities.  What to do today?  What to do first?  Well, that's often determined for you.  What has to be done today?  What has to be done first?  For me that involves a cup of coffee and reclining in bed with my laptop.  After I let the dog out.  Twice.  Because he didn't like the back yard this morning. 

Monday mornings in my 'office' also involve researching market trends, developing marketing strategies, and much more.  Like 'Social Networking'.  Yeah, I love my job.  Mainly because I love my colleagues and customers.  It's not a chore to network with you.  It's a joy and I am truly blessed to be able to share what I love with awesome people who want to to know more.  This blog post is dedicated to all of you-friends, colleagues, customers, and just cool people who like to check in to see what's going on in my little world.

If you have ever owned your own business, you fully understand that "a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.."(1)  I am fortunate to have a husband who recognizes the value of my work and my business.  But I understand how rare that is.  Often family members fail to see the value of what we do while 'strangers' encourage and support us.  I sometimes have mixed emotions when I look on Facebook and see the 'Likes' for my posts and comments.  They are, more times than not, 'Liked' by people halfway around the world that I've never met and are likely to never meet.  All the while, my many of my 'friends' and family (who I know visit Facebook because of the games they play) seem to never see a link.  I understand life is busy.  But really.  How long does it really take to click a button? 

And it's not just Facebook. On Ravelry, it only takes a moment to click the 'Love' or 'Agree' buttons. (and I wish more sites had those options. I often 'Agree' on Facebook, though I don't always 'Like'. ) On Twitter, just an occasional response to let me know that someone in my list of 1000+ followers are actually reading an occasional tweet is appreciated.

Do you read my blog? Or did you just click to see if there are any photos and then move on? I didn't realize how often I was doing that to other people till I started keeping track of my own blog statistics. Now I try to make an effort more often to at least leave a short comment to let the writer know I did read the post and I appreciate the efforts they are making, whether to promote their business or the industry in general.

I'm going to wind this up because I really do have work to do this morning – besides laundry. I still have a sock to finish and photograph, patterns to write and format, trying to remember how to list the patterns for sale on my website, a serious website update, soap to be made, new patterns that have been spinning around head to be designed, and the rest of the never ending list of tasks. But I do love doing them all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Makes You Extraordinary?

I have a theory that everyone is extraordinary in at least one specific way.  There is at least one thing that you can do better than most people you know.  What is it that makes you extraordinary?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This One Is For Me!

The results of Day 6 of 300 Days of Dyeing:

I over dyed the Day 1 yarn again and I am satisfied.  This is the depth of color that I was seeking.  I don't mean a 'dark' color.  It is many layers, building on one another, achieving an organic character, revealing the life of the yarn that gives it depth.

Though this yarn would show off a lovely lace stitch pattern, I think I'm going to use a simple pattern that will give the layers of color the respect due.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Non-Update and Patterns

I'm still not back to dyeing.  Working on getting there, though.  I did over dye a skein of yarn yesterday and will post pics when I get photos of the dry yarn.  That will be Day 6 of 300 Days of Dyeing.

In the meantime, though . . . I'm putting out a call for designers.  I want to offer my customers a complete shopping experience, but sometimes I just have to admit that I can't do it all.  Like design.  I have written a couple of sock patterns.  And have a couple more forming in my mind.  But I know not everyone knits socks.  Believe it or not, not everyone even wants to knit sock.  I know.  Mind boggling, huh?  Well, not really.  Until you do it, knitting socks does seem a little overwhelming.  And some people try it, succeed, but just don't enjoy it.  Anyway.  I know you want more than just socks.  So  . . . . if you or someone you know is a knit or crochet designer and would like to another outlet for offering your patterns to the public, we might be able to work something out.  Contact me and we'll see what we can come up with.  In the meantime, check out the designs from The Pattern Market



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

300 Days of Dyeing - Update

Just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about the Challenge.  I have slept about 6 hours since Friday night.  And right now I have an exploding headache.  That's why I thought it would be a good idea to make it 300 Days of Dyeing instead of Dyeing Every Day.  I knew there would be Days like this.

But  . . . I still have yarn to dye so as soon as I'm feeling better again I'll be Dyeing again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Little Bit of Luxury

Do you deserve a little luxury?  Just for yourself?  Of course, you do! And you know it, too.  But you've probably been denying yourself so you can do something a little extra for someone else. 

I know because everyone does that.  It's just human nature.  Well, everyone does that except me.  I'm not denying myself.  I've found a way to treat myself and someone else, too.  You see, it's this yarn that I ordered. When I was told by the sales rep that it was 'luxury' yarn, I was thinking to myself, "OK.  But it's still yarn." And then it arrived and I knew beyond a doubt  . . . well, after I let my husband cut the box open because he was afraid my shaking hands would cut myself and then I ripped open the bag  . . . then, I knew beyond a doubt that when it came to luxury, this was the real deal!

Since then, I have been treating myself by handling this silky soft, just the right balance of body and drape, I-just-want-to-touch-you yarn every chance I get.  Through every step of the dyeing process, I have caressed this twisted fluff and let it caress me back.  (Am I in love?) And I know that as soon as it's dry I'm going to wind a skein into a ball and cast on.  And I'll treat myself all over again while knitting.  I don't have a clue yet what I'll make.  It will probably become a gift to someone else and they will be treated to luxury for the long life of the item made.

Do you want to see what I'm making such a fuss about? Well, you'll have to wait, like everyone else, for the big reveal. To be one of the very first to see this yarn, sign up for my email newsletter before September 2.  Just to make sure you get signed up, go ahead and do it now. 

Now, for 300 Days of Dyeing . . . Days 4 and 5 have been spent dyeing my new yarn line, so I can't post photos now.  Just rest assured that I'm (mostly) keeping up and I only have 295 Days to go. At this rate, I'll be finished by this time next year.

The green/gray/brown in the lower right was the color of the shawl.

Since I can't give you a peek at the new yarn, I'll show you a photo of one my current projects.  Last year I knit a shawl in a colorway that I simply loved.  I used worsted weight yarn.  Though it knit up quickly (which was good), I never wore it (which was bad.)  The shawl ended up across the end of my bed one cold night and I tucked my feet up underneath it.  It was so warm, I decided to use the same yarn base to knit an afghan for the bed.  Then I decided that since I loved the colorway and it was just sitting there, I would unravel it and add (many) more colors.

It is a simple mitered square pattern.  I'm not sure how large I'll make it. Right now it covers my legs without much left over.  But my husband felt it and decided we should keep it for our bed (my plans all along!), so I'll need to keep knitting.  Speaking of which, I think I'll watch a movie now and work on it little more tonight.

Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

300 Days of Dyeing - Day 3

Well, I made it to day three.  Let's see if I can come up with something for Day 4 before it's over.

Day 3's experiment turned out quite nice, I think.  It is a fat quarter of 100% Cotton print, suggested use: quilting. For those of you not into quilting, a fat quarter is a quarter of a yard of fabric in which the yard was cut or torn in half in one direction and then the halves were cut or torn in half in the other direction.  Instead of having a quarter of yard that measures 9" X 44" (that's one quarter length X the typical width of quilting cotton), you have a rectangle that is 18" X 22".  This is a good size for quilters who need just a small amount of a particular color or pattern. Some quilters will use a lot of different fat quarters to make a quilt with a 'scrappy' personality.

Anyway. This is what I started with:
And this is what I finished with:

The white printed hearts did not take the dye, just as I suspected.  (Did you notice that they were photographed right side up this time? Woohoo! ) The shading is irregular.  It almost seems that the brown dye 'split'.  Most dyes are made up of mixtures of primary color dyes.  Depending on many factors (insert lots of chemistry here), the dye may split or break and the results are unpredictable.  I rather like the variation in this and changing from one shade to another. This could be very useful in an applique application. The changing shades could give dimension and life to quilt or mixed media art ware instead of a flat monotone image.

I've been on the computer a lot today.  I'm still trying to learn as much as I can about the business side of an art oriented business.  There is a vast amount of information out on the internet, but only a small part of it is directly applicable to me.  Some is more general in nature and some information can be skewed to apply to me.  So I'm slowly sifting through it, trying to find the gems among the stones.

One gem I've already found is "The Creative Empire."  If you have your own creative business or you are contemplating beginning one, I highly recommend The Creative Empire as a place to connect with other similar to you and who are willing to share ideas and information. It's a great group of small business owners who are there to motivate and support one another.

Now, I think I'm going to throw another piece of cotton fabric in the dye pot (or baggie) and see what comes out tomorrow. Y'all take care and enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

300 Days of Dyeing - Day 2

Day 2 of 300 Days of Dyeing . . . I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping up - so far. I finished the dyeing, drying, and photographing the Day 1 victim.  Day 2 suspect is in the dye pot. Or dye baggie rather.  It's a fat quarter of cotton fabric.  I'm trying a little bit of a different technique-on a very small scale.  It's nothing new, just a new little twist on an old idea. This is what I started with last night. I had to soak it in Soda Ash solution before dyeing, so I threw it in a the Soda Ash bucket last night. It is a light tan with tiny white hearts.  The hearts appear to be printed on the fabric, so I'm not sure how they will take the dye, if they take it at all.  And of course, I followed the 14th Rule of Photography, take the photo with the hearts upside down, and not noticing till I was ready to post the photo.  Since the orientation of the hearts really isn't relevant to the activity, I let it go.

Yesterday, Day 1 of 300 Days of Dyeing, began with a couple of skeins of 8ply Super Wash Merino yarn.  This is Fingering Weight (Sock Yarn), 100g/420 yards.  I thought I had listed these in my Etsy store and for some reason no one wanted them.  But when I was looking for them so I could 'unlist' them, I couldn't find them.  So it wasn't the creamy tangerine that turned off the customers.  It just wasn't there for them to begin with.  Anyway.  That's neither here nor there. I started out with one thing.  Added some Fuchsia Red (I love that color!), and came out with something I'm not sure I'm crazy about.  I may have to over dye it again.  I'm thinking some charcoal gray might be just the thing.  What do you think?

This is what I started with yesterday:                                                              

And this is what I have  today:     
Since neither of these are listed, you can save me the trouble if you are interested in either of them.  I can sell them for $18 each.  Send me an email and I'll send you an invoice.

I've still got lots to do today. I'm wanting to write another blog post that's not directly related to the 300 day challenge.  I may try to squeeze that in later today.

                                                                                    Until then, take care and enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

300 Days of Dyeing - Day 1

I have joined The Creative Empire. I'm quite excited about it.  I keep a tab in my browser open all the time to check the forum and activities.  I want to learn every bit I can about building my Creative Empire.  When you get a group of entrepreneurs in one place, you there has to be some good stuff shared between them. I'm not sure I've contributed anything.  But I'm soaking up everything I can.

One of the activities on the worksheet for the first seminar pertained to finding your creative voice.  Now, I feel like I already have a pretty good understanding of my creative voice.  If not, I don't think I would have taken the step to participate in The Creative Empire.  But it still got me to thinking.  That along with a couple of twitter posts that I stumbled across.  I don't remember the exact words, but the essence of both were as follows: "If you want to be a writer, practice writing.  If you want to be a painter, practice painting."

All of these together got me thinking.  Yes, I am a Dyer.  Am I a good Dyer? Yes.  Could I be a better Dyer?  Well, probably.  I hope.  I mean, I know I'm good.  But am I excellent?  On occasion, yes. Can I be an excellent Dyer every time I put the dye pot on the stove? I'm not sure.  But I want to be.  I want to be the Master Dyer.  I want to be the one that others look to as an example of what they want to do. But how can I get there.  If I want to be an excellent dyer, then practice excellent dyeing.

That's when I decided to challenge myself.  I've seen other challenges that involved doing something every day for a year.  There are quite a few 365 day challenges out there.  The most popular is 365 Days of Photos - or whatever the actual name is.  If you Google that, you will find it.  I'm thinking that making a commitment to dye something every day for a year is a little ridiculous, for me, anyway. There are just too many things that can go wrong.  Like Life.  But if mold this idea to fit me, I think I can make it!  That's where 300 Days of Dyeing was born.

The challenge: Dye something - anything - for 300 days over a period of approximately one year.  Knowing me, this will take more than a year.  But that's ok.  It's not a race.  It's a developing and evolving experience. Some days will be planned dyeing days for my business.  Some days will be dyeing days for me.  Others will be to experiment.  And yet others will be for the sole purpose of improving. I may improve a color or colorway.  I may improve a technique.  Or I may improve on not making such a mess when I dye.

Here is the yarn I'm over-dying today.  I will dye just one skein. I'll be able to photograph these together later so you can see the difference.  I hesitate to say 'the improvement',  but I've yet to make a skein worse by over-dyeing it.  Many of my favorite yarns are over-dyed.

I may not post everyday that I dye, but I hope you will check in often to see my progress.

Until next time, 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Deeper Roots

Have you ever been thinking about something and your mind just goes from one thought to the next?  The thoughts are all tied together.  But the first has nothing to do with the last. That happened to me a couple of days ago.  And suddenly that light bulb over my head lit up and I thought, "I'm going to have to write a blog post about this!"

Now, as I said, that was a couple of days ago, so I have no idea what I was thinking about at the time.  But I do remember the part about the roots. And watering the garden.  Maybe that's where it started.

Our garden is about to take over.  Once again, I planted the tomatoes way too close.  And as usual, during the very hot and dry weather this summer, we only watered them two or three times.  The pepper plants in the containers got watered more often. But the tomatoes were left to their own devices, to survive or die as they might.  And they survived.  Every single stinkin' last one of them.

Do you know why they survived? Not because we watered them, but because we didn't.  The tomato plants had to sink deeper roots to draw moisture from deep in the soil.  The deep roots received not only moisture and nutrients from the soil, they also received stability.  The plants grew slower during the dry spells.  But they grew stronger with the nourishment they received and the stability provided by the deep roots.

What has this got to do with anything?  Well, I'm not sure now what it had to do with what I was thinking of a couple of days ago.  But this concept can be applied to many aspects of our lives.  The similarity between the tomato plant story and the support provided by our families is pretty obvious.  And I'm sure you can find ways to apply it to other areas of your life.

I see similarities in our knitting/spinning/quilting/love of arts and crafts communities, too.  I'll tell you a little about my situation and how it applies to me.  I work from home and don't get out much.  For the most part that's fine.  But when I started knitting again, I missed the companionship of other knitters.  When I wanted to learn a new method of casting on, I didn't have a friend close by that I could ask to show me. I was in a 'knitting' drought.  I had to look elsewhere for what I wanted.  That 'elsewhere' was the internet.  Then I discovered a great river of knitting.  I sank my roots deep into that moist soil and began to grow. And get stronger.  And more confident.  The nourishment I received from putting down those deep roots to get what I needed where it was (rather than waiting for it to come to me) gave me stability.

I now see the knitting/spinning/quilting/love of arts and crafts communities growing and spreading.  People like me, who once made our way to the internet to find what we couldn't find in our home towns, are now meeting in person to share their love of their crafts.  Because of the deep roots, nourishment, and stability, we are now finding one another and adding to our numbers.

And my tomatoes are, too.  Adding to their numbers, I mean.  There are quite a few ripe tomatoes that need to be picked and canned. I better get busy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday

I have finally photographed and will list later today some hand dyed merino wool, ready for spinning.  One is a light to medium turquoise.  Probably more light than medium.  I love this color.  It's so soft and cool.   But the fiber is soft and warm. The other is Navy Blue & Khaki.  I haven't come up with any witty names for either of them.  They will probably end up with some off the wall name.  Or a number.  But I really, really hate numbers for names.  If you have any suggestions before I list the them, please let me know.  But you better hurry!


Now for the Fiber Arts Friday.  Please post a link to your blog in the comments area here.  I would appreciate it if you could leave a link back to Teresa Levite Studio in your blog, but it's not necessary..  And you can also check out WonderWhyGal's Fiber Arts Friday blog and leave a link to your Fiber related blog there, too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Early Bird Christmas Crafting

I joined the Early Bird Christmas Crafting Challenge a little late.  The challenge for the month of June was 'Mini Gifts.' Since I had already made a couple of mini gifts (multiples of each), I wasn't too worried about June. I have at least 10 of  the hand knitting face cloths and hand made soap bars ready for wrapping - or whatever I decide to do to prepare them for gift giving. I'm thinking a small muslin bag made with my hand dyed fabric would be nice.  Maybe I can come up with something 'Christmas-y' before time to ship them off.

I'm using my "Organized Christmas" notebook that I made a couple of years ago and never used.  I started updating the calendars and added some lined paper for keeping up with my Christmas Crafting.  But now it's July and I had better get busy!

The July challenge is 'Home Decor Gifts'.  For this first gift, I'm killing two birds (but not the Early Bird!) with one stone.  I'm creating a home decor gift - a square baby-sized quilt that can be used for a baby, a table topper, or a wall hanging.  I'll decide later who the recipient will be. {I want to give it to my friend who is planning another baby, but since she's not pregnant yet, I can't officially say it's going to her.} But I'm using my hand dyed muslin and will have a sample of work for photographing, promotion, and marketing. 

Here is the table I cut the pieces on today.  I moved the table in front of my computer so I could watch movies on Netflix while I cut the pieces.

Tonight I'm working on another home decor project.  This one was originally planned for me, but may go to someone else.  It is a knitted afghan. This past winter, I used my shawl for blanket rather than wearing it as a shawl.  I decided to 'frog' it and use the yarn (worsted weight) for an afghan.  I found more yarn to go with it and have been happily working on a mitered squares, patch work afghan.  I'll keep working on this till its big enough - either when I run out of yarn or get tired of working on it.  I've found more colors and some hand spun to use with it, and I love the direction it's going.

I'll try to have photos soon of other projects that I've completed and others I have planned along with progress photos of the quilt and the afghan. Till then, take care and enjoy! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday

I've missed a couple of Fiber Arts Fridays and apologize for that.  Hopefully now that I'm (somewhat) committed to my transfer from WordPress to Blogger, I'll be more consistent. [I don't know if I really like Blogger better, or it's just 'new' (to me) and I needed a little something 'new'.  Crazy huh?]

Today's FAF is a little different from the usual.  I'm having longings lately to get back to quilting.   I don't know how I'm ever going to have time for it, though.  Till I figure that out, I've been joining quilting yahoo groups and drooling over the finished quilts and the links to patterns that I've been finding.  This morning, through a chain of clicking and finding something better each time, I stumbled upon Creative Studio's 'EARLY BIRD CHRISTMAS CRAFTING'.  I'm committing myself to doing this for real.  I've got a notebook that I started making a couple of years ago for preparing for Christmas ahead so you don't go crazy the week before.  But I don't think I ever finished making the notebook. I know I never used it. This afternoon, I'm going to dust off the notebook and add pages for my Early Bird Christmas Crafting. I am also publicly stating now that I will post one blog post per month (at the very least) reporting my progress. And since I don't think anyone in my family (except my husband) reads my blog posts, I can even post photos (if you remind me to get out the camera and take photos before the Christmas Crafts are packed away.)
Now, it's your turn.  In the comments post a link back to your Fiber Arts blog post. And remember, Fiber Arts is pretty much anything related to Fiber - from animal or plant to finished object.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Delmarva Chicken Festival

I've lived in the chicken capital of the world (well, probably not really) for 6 years and this is the first year I've gone to the Chicken Festival.  This year (it is held in a different location throughout the Delmarva area each year) it is at the DSU (Delaware State University) campus and will continue through tomorrow.  

We went to the Home Show first and then the Craft Show.  Both were pretty disappointing.  I guess I was just expecting more. We went to see the baby chicks in the Chicken display building.  After that was the petting zoo.  It was intended for children, I'm sure, but it was my favorite part.  There was a goat that wanted nothing more than for me to stand there and scratch her behind her ears.

There was chicken for everyone: fried chicken (of course!), barbecue chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken, chicken on a stick, and more.

The Giant Fry Pan was a big hit for everyone.  It's not the biggest in the world.  Or even the country.  But it's still pretty big.  And the chicken coming out of it is delicious!  We were there a little before 4:00 pm and the wait was long.  We had to wait for a batch to come out of the Giant Fry Pan.  After waiting in the hot sun for the chicken, all I wanted to do was go home to eat it.  So we did.