Monday, December 31, 2007

Ugggh! Blog spam!


To my blog friends out there..... I do apologize, but after my last entry I got two spam messages and therefore now you must type the code in order to leave a comment here. I didn't want to do it but you know how annoying spam is! It's so sneaky too, like these people are your friends and really want to help you make a fortune in cash by working on the Internet from home. So just out of curiosity and to see if this was another fiber artist before my suspicion compelled me to delete it, I went to her link and as soon as I saw that giant face of Ben Franklin smiling from a $50 bill, I exited the site and deleted the comment. Nerve, indeed!

They're always out there...... watch out for spammers...... wooooohhhhhh :~O

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It REALLY is an obsession!

What is it about fiber? What is it? It's taking over my life. I feel constantly in the pursuit of more fiber and supplies for spinning and dyeing of fiber and now I need more bobbins and the extended Lazy Kate for my S10 wheel... oh it just keeps growing. Plus I still don't have a skein winder or even a niddy noddy (... yep that's what happens when you live in a place where there are only a handful of spinners in the whole country and two places to buy wool. Everything needs to be shipped in from outside the country.) I also thought since come spring I hope to acquire some fleeces after the shearing, of course I'm going to need a drum carder! OMG!

So my latest stash acquisition was from Spunky Eclectic. She (Amy) has a new site. Oh yeah! I am a fan. Her prices are reasonable and her rovings are better than any that I have bought elsewhere. (Not that I have bought from so many places mind you :) I just bought a pound of white BFL and 8 oz. of Oatmeal BFL (Amazing!) I have never spun such fiber! It is so lofty and soft, I DO love. I also bought a pound of her grey wool at 9 bucks a pound it was totally worth it, plus very soft and a pleasure to spin.
Here's the grey wool available at Spunky:
The only disappointment was in the Romney, I didn't realize how course the wool is compared to the others. It's got a nice sheen but not much loft. I don't know what I would make with it. Perhaps I should buy some mohair or Alpaca (which is definitely on my list, at the top in fact) and blend it with the Romney. I guess the length of the staple of the Romney would add strength to a loftier fiber. Or maybe I should blend it with my merino or Columbia -Dorset blend that I bought at Paradise fibers. I thought that stuff was such a pain to spin... very hard to draft and hard to keep consistent. But again I am considered a beginner for all intense and purposes!
Stay tuned to some on the bobbin pictures and I am now spinning the grey and the oatmeal in separate singles to be plied as double and hoping it comes out as a tweed.
PS I could use advice on keeping track of amounts on each bobbin so that you have equal yardage for plying.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

With winter brings crochet!

I find crochet one of the most relaxing activities. I really feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm making something for my family to snuggle up on the sofa with or something for my own wardrobe.

As soon as the weather started to turn cold I felt the itch to start a project. I started looking through my patterns and found a few I wanted to do for the winter. So I started poking around my skein stash and found a lot of cream and off white basic acrylic yarn. The two projects I had were Aran Afghans which I love because they are complex texture and usually off white Aran colored yarn. This has been calling me for quite a while.

So looking through the stash on hand I have 6 off white from one company and 8 off white from another. Since mixing isn't preferable I decided to start with my six skeins and was planning to run out and buy the rest I needed. I just couldn't wait. So I started a popcorn ripple afghan and was having a great time with the popcorns.

Also I was quite happy with the way it was coming out. I can tell that as time goes I am becoming much better with my technique and consistency. So then the time came rather quickly that I ran out of yarn. What to do? Too late at night to run out to get more yarn, plus the amount I needed I had to order... (why didn't I do that to begin with??)

So I took out my 8 skeins (still not enough) and started another project from a Leisure Arts Aran afghan pamphlet. I started another project.

I ran out of yarn again! I didn't order the yarn I needed.
Now I have stared another, this time a shawl with six skeins of Lion Wool Ease, no pattern, I hope I make it through, stay tuned.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This is my "day job".



In the previous post I wrote about my "day job" which has turned out to be sewing head coverings. I was asked to post more about the headpieces and more examples.



A brief word about the "why" of head coverings. I'll be very brief; according to Torah Judaism, a married woman covers her hair and does not show it to any man but her husband.



So these days you can find more than just a basic scarf. There are all kinds of ways to cover the hair and some depend on the community you associate with. Hats, berets, scarves, wigs, snoods, bandannas, etc.

I started making the wrap snood in particular because it's the style that I prefer. It gives a look that is like a wrapped scarf but it's all one piece and can be tied in different ways.


I think it suits my face well and I feel it's more refined than throwing something on just to cover the hair without style... those I may wear around the house. Plus I'm an artist so you may find me wearing very colorful versions of this design.

Below are other examples of snood designs that I make.




Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I have been soooo busy!


Wanna know why I have been such a bad blogger????? I have been so busy preparing for a sale in my studio for Hanukkah. I make Traditional Jewish woman's' head coverings in a few different styles. This sale was mostly a wrap style that people have been asking me for for a while and now that the winter velvets have come out I thought I had better kick it into high gear and get a sale together before Hanukkah. Well I advertised, I put flyers up and then it rained and they came down, except for a few. I put a few more up. Three women came to the sale and I sold four snoods (as they are called). OK better than nothing and I made a few bucks but not the $700 as I had hoped. I must plan another sale in order to make some more money.... I really want to buy that drum carder!!!!! This is the support for my fiber habit....gotta support the fiber habit, yeah....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So ok, I have to brag....

I have to brag about all the wonderful mail I've been getting. Thanks to all my artsy friends out there who have been swapping with me. It's so exciting to get something in the mail from places all over the world! Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, United States.... I have one coming from Australia as well. Anyway I wanted to share and give credit where credit is due to these wonderful women who make beautiful art and am fortunate to have a piece in my collection!

The first is from Eva,from Sweden. I love the blue and cool colors she uses and so happy to have this little treasure! Thanks Eva! It is titled "Window"



The second is called "Flowers" from Annica, from Sweden. I love her stitching, and her ideas and designs. This one makes me happy to look at! Thank you fellow blog friend!



And then we have Ati's ATC sent all the way from Norway! Ati usually is known for her crazy quilts and I was excited for her that she got an embellisher.... lucky girl, use it in good health dear. Thanks for the ATC "Summer" is the title.



Oh I was so lucky to have gotten one of Cramzy's (Emmy) ATC's she had one left of a series. I have been admiring her work, she really pushes and goes out of the box, exploring texture and surface. This is called "Red".



And finally this ATC titled "Two Flowers" comes from the States from Debra of "Deebs Fiber Arts". You may remember reading about her fantastic work and I'm so excited to finally have a lttle sample. It is so exciting to see her beautiful color (love her backgrounds) up close. Big Hugs Debra!



PS: If anyone has any idea how to rotate the photos so they can be seen as intended can they please share how???? Sorry to all of you dears' who's photos are sideways!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rain? Could it be????


Israeli winters are very unpredictable. Usually, on a good year, we expect and have rain around late September. The trees and vegetation here are drying up by then so we pray that the rain comes on time. This year, sadly we have only had one storm. The rain came down nice and hard but very short. That was over a month ago and we are still waiting. Yesterday was between 25 and 30 C, I guess that's in the 80's... in November! I feel like I'm drying up! The good news is that when I woke up this morning it was cooler and cloudy. So there is hope for rain! My garden is drying up! Even though we water, there is something so much more nourishing about the winter rains that really allow the vegetation to thrive. The photo is of my garden.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jewish Pride

Hi friends, I know this is a fiber arts blog, but I just had to share my Jewish pride. This song moves me and I wanted to post it I guess for my own viewing but why not share? The whole point of this song that gives me such strength is that "We will survive". We survived Hitler (may his name be obliterated), crusaders, Romans, inquisitions, exhile, suicide bombings and pogroms. We are still here. I am proud of that. This song gives me strength in the face of dispare.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fabulous Jewelry!


Color galore!
Originally uploaded by 1ofmykind

Sometimes I just gotta blog someones art that I get overly excited about....

Here is just an example of some fabulous handmade jewelry from 1ofmykind. She is such a talented designer. Please check her out and drool. (watch out for the key board) Each piece is a miniature work of art.

She has sold her pieces to many of Hollywoods famous women.

She has an Etsy shop where you can go for broke, shop- aholics beware! She is also on flickr.

Now I have more Etsy goodies to add to my basket, it's addictive!

The gift of blog

This morning I have been looking at some blogs of other artists, and I realize that some people have the "gift of blog" they just know how to make an impression with their blog. Great photos, excellent writing style. I am a bit jealous I must admit.
Like Mary at Sweet Pea Totes, how did she do that ?..... such a nice blog to visit! Thanks for sharing your world Mary!

Anyway I hope I can get some more education on this fascinating idea of promoting yourself blog style. I admire them all. But what do I do when my 14 month old is banging the key board when I'm trying to type!!!!! That's a topic for another day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've been tagged!

Ok now this is the second time sorry Miriam for not responding to the request. This time it was Kim who tagged me and I guess it's time to fess up.

Rules:1. Link to tagger and post these rules;
2. Share seven facts about yourself, some random, some weird;
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them);
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Seven facts about me:

1. I suffer from anxiety (thank G-d for happy pills)

2. I have recently lost 45 pounds (yeah for me!)

3. I am a convert to Judaism

4. I just found out my son has SI dysfunction (Sensory Integration) and he is hypo- sensitive. I am hyper- sensitive..... we make a "great" pair. Working on our relationship everyday.

5. (looking at my messy house) I am not a great house keeper!

6. I LOVE making art, I love wool almost to the point of obsession. It keeps me sane.

7. Whenever I am nervous, I start a crochet project usually an afghan, (I have 2 I'm working on now what does that mean???)

Now who am I going to tag????

Well Michelle, your it! I dont have many blog friends as of yet (no time), But you I am curious??? 7 things, cant wait!

Waltraud, I would love to know the woman behind the amazing art that you create.... do tell!

how am I going to find seven?

Micki I dont know if you've been tagged if so please ignore. Hey friends check out her work it's wonderful.

Jenny who's blog is not only visually wonderful but also mouth watering!

Eva I love your work and your blog so please tell me about you!

that's it I cant go on... is 5 ok?

Monday, October 15, 2007

New ATC's

I finally posted them, a few new ATC's. I have had so much fun in the past trading with people from all over the world. I must say that now I've got the hang of it more. At first my "ATC's" were huge, I didn't know that there was more or less a standard size. OK, so now I know. These fit the standard a little better... though I can say they are exact.
Anyway, what fun! I love making these little examples. It's so good for ideas of larger work that I might want to do someday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stay tuned y'all!

Hi blog friends, Sorry I have been very tardy with my postings. I have more work to share and some ATC's coming up, but due to the Jewish High Holidays which I observe I have not been able to get anything up for a while. I have been in the kitchen cooking tasty and nourishing food for my family for the Holiday meals. On Rosh Hashana which was two days and ran right into Shabbos (Sabbath) I had to prepare 6 meals in advance. I didn't want to cook on the Yom Tov (Holiday) so I made it all before hand, put it to freeze and then warmed it on the hot plate. We ate and ate, I think too much because I wasn't feeling so well by the end of Shabbos.



Then came Yom Kippur, the day of repentance, and we fasted after eating another large meal and a smaller meal both festive. But even after all that food it didn't last me all of the fast which is 25 hours. You get hungry and very thirsty. But my Yom Kippur was meaningful for sure.

Then we celebrated Sukkos (or Sukkot depending on your preference). We made our sukkah and decorated it with silk flowers and leaves and even some flashy shiny stuff. Mostly though fruit and flower theme. Tonight we'll eat our festive dinner there and my husband and son are going to sleep out there. We eat and sleep in the sukkah for 7 days. Weather permitting. In Israel it is much easier than other countries because the weather stays nice for a while after the Holidays. Rain hopefully will come soon this year after Simchas Torah.




Simchas Torah came next and we celebrated the giving of the Torah by G-d to Moses on Mount Sinai. Men all around the world were dancing in the synagogues with Torah scrolls in hand on the happiest day of the year. We then started to read the five books of Moses, the Torah, again from Genesis. And again we ate!


So now we are back to normal routine and Zevy, my four year old, happily has returned to school [ :~) ] . The sukkah needs to come down... we are always the last ones, LOL!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

An Artist's work not to be missed!

#75 Peace Landscape1sm


Hello to all of my cyber- fiber- friends out there!

I have been very busy preparing and spinning wool lately and have not had time to think of the other mediums I would like to be working on. Until now, I am truly inspired by Deebs beautiful needle- felts;
I wanted to take the time to tell you all about an amazing fiber artist that I found while "flickring" this morning. Deebs has a wonderful collection of needle felt paintings that make you wish you were there in her landscape. Her use of color and texture make her work come to life while her style is reminiscent of the old masters of impressionism.
I really recommend that you check out her work which is also for sale at etsy.com.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Me in Springfield


Me in Sprinfield
Originally uploaded by dying2crochet


Well if you've ever wondered what I look like..... This doesn't really hit the mark. I do wear glasses, I do have a reddish brown hair that is short, I do wear lipstick that color and have freckles. Lavender is one of my favorite colors and I can often be seen wearing a black skirt, and I am "saftig" (not a skinny one). Does she look Jewish???? I thought she could pass! LOL!

The Simpsons is a long time fave of mine and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be "Simpsonized", and you can too by clicking here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Among the Spinning

Well I finally made the purchase of purchases, the one thing I have wanted since the first time I ever saw a spinner spinning wool, a spinning wheel of my own.


What a hard decision it was! I went back and forth between several different makes until I came up with the ideal for me. And I'm still not 100 percent sure. I guess I will know more when she finally arrives.


There are several models to chose from Ashford, Louet, Babe, Lendrum to name a few. The others are just more expensive to mention here. These are the companies I considered.


So then I decided to take a look at ebay. On ebay there are a couple of very reputable sellers in Holland that deal exclusively with Louet spinning wheels. First I tried bidding and lost, then I saw a great deal on an S10, saving me $265 from the price of buying one new. The great thing I hear about these wheels is that they are not only durable but very low maintenance. I am now waiting for it to arrive from Holland.

The S10 Louet.


Now something interesting I wanted to share with anyone considering joining the spinners club; please read and explore this website before you buy a wheel. Hopefully I got lucky, I did a lot of research on wheels but I wish I would have know about this very informative site before hand: It called The Joy of Hand spinning and there are several video tutorials and lots of information on how to buy the right wheel for you and several terms like "drive ratio", "scotch tension", "flyer whorl" and "drive band". This site will tell you every thing about those terms so you start at least knowing some of the terminology.

There is so much to learn!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shopping for supplies

Surfing the net you can find many places to purchase wool online and recently I found Woll Knoll in Germany. I have not made an order from them yet but there prices are the best I've seen so far. Even if I have to pay 12-15 Euro for delivery it is still cheaper for me than buying locally.

Israel is slowly (turtles pace) showing up with more to offer the fiber artist. You pay the price because unless it's industrial wool fibers used for making Tziztit, the 4 cornered garment worn by religiously observant men (Google if you're curious), it's the only economical choice I have found near. When I spoke to the factory owner and told him what I needed it for he had no idea what I was talking about and really no clue what kind of wool he had other than the microns of the fiber. So I nixed it. I need to deal with "fiber people"!

If you're in the States, Paradise Fibers has a wonderful and very reasonably priced section of wool. I have ordered from them a couple of times now and they are fast and efficient with the orders. They followed my special instructions that I requested for my order and if you order a certain amount you get the shipping free (to the US). I have family in the States ship it to me from there.

I also found a lovely woman, Lois, on flickr.com who has her own farm, Bellwether Wool Co. with Wensleydale sheep and some beautiful locks to sell, very accommodating to my location.

I think it's important to establish connections and get a dialogue going in order to help each other find what the other needs. Which is what I try to do on the log by posting links If I find the information on line useful I will post it on my link list.

So have a look and see if anything can be of useful information. I would also love some feedback if anyone has found stores that have good deals.

Close up for TAST week 27





Well, I think it's probably very near completion. What have I done? I added bullion stitch and some flowers to the left. (see lower image). I want to put in a few more French Knots just to tie it up and then it's finished as it were. Then what to do? It's post card size so what can be done? I am happy just to look at it the way it is and be happy with that but maybe it could be added to something larger. Or as a focal piece???? So many possibilities. Anyone care to share their ideas here??? I am happy for any suggestions.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

WIP; TAST wk 25, Nocturnal landscape





This originally started out with a background of needle felted wool on a felted sweater scrap. (Such an economical way to learn). I liked the pattern of the needle felted wool, meandering strands fine lines and thicker colored areas, so I started by just going with it.


Stitching along the lines until a picture started to emerge. From this a tree emerged. (red area) Then from there I had an idea of what I wanted to happen. A work-in-process so still more to follow!

First attempt

Oh boy, what did I get myself into???? Kool -Aid Dying.. not as easy as I suspected, or maybe it's just me? I also didn't like the colors so well.... too fake or something.
The Merino felts very quickly, not quite sure why. Anyone have some answers?



The Merino didn't actually felt but the fiber gained back it's crimp. I am going to use this for wet felting, It comes out a bit to fat for me to use in needle felting. I am used to the shorter fibers such as Shetland and Correidale.
The dark purple specimen in the middle is actually the correidale sliver that I just got from Paradise. I think I like

the results from this wool better. Next time I don't want to buy the sliver however, but

rather the roving, which is wider.

The correidale dyed up very nicely using gel food colorings that I found in my local cake decorating supply store, In America these would be Wilton Gel food coloring. I don't think these are the most economical choice however. I am paying for 1 teaspoon about $3 (yikes) I would say if I really knew what I was doing I could get many colors from them.



That's life overseas. America has so much to offer for the fiber artist and relatively cheap. It is very expensive to do any sort of dying here. I cant find half of the types of dye here that I would normally find in the States.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Great Mail!


Received some great mail over the past couple weeks, from (left to right) silver_smoke, lily.lemon, and sequin girl. They all made such beautiful ATC's and was really Happy for the trade.

I am new at trading and was a little nervous at first. Nervous to let go of my art no matter how small! And nervous whether the receiver would be as delighted as I was to get their mail.

When I got the mail I took a sigh of relief and said "OK relax, this is supposed to be fun!" And it truly is.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

WIP Still in Progress.......






Now I have added some seed beads, Satin stitch, Lazy Daisy, French Knot, and Cast-on.
I had some yellow oyster stitch but removed it because the color was too bright and it bothered me.
So what's next? I am going to continue with the cast on stitch (purple shades) toward the left side.
The satin stitch to the right in green was bothering me, I wasn't seeing that it was smooth, and also I used variegated thread so suddenly and unexpectedly there was light green. So What to do? I didn't want to pull it. I think something needs to be there. So I decided that by taking the same thread and making a basket weave or plaited stitch a more interesting area would come out of it.




Still having more doubts about the balance of the piece. I decided to head on over to TAST Challenge blog by Sharon B. Basically her stitch dictionary taught me everything I know. I never really embroidered at all and then became very inspired by what I was seeing by Ati, Gunnels, Katiejayinpa, fiberdabbler, and of course Sharon B's flickr page to name just a few. The week's stitch when I started was the french knot, which I knew but was happy to see lovely examples on the blog and various flickr friends. Inspired, I decided to use variegated thread in blues and greens and got to work. On the bus, late at night after the kids were in bed and a few quiet moments here and there, I stitched a ton of knots! But I never got bored, I think I'm really becoming addicted to this. But still a WIP because I am still making the knots.... we shall see what's next if anything. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

WIP Needle Felt


WIP Needle Felt
Originally uploaded by dying2crochet

I am having a hard time deciding whether to do more or stop....

Was just thinking maybe a bit philosophical (:-P) but is art ever "complete". I mean, I guess I could keep going or just stop here, add one more stitch, 10 more or no more. Just like a painter could stop or make one more stroke of the brush. Is my thought complete or am I rambling ????
I guess it all boils down to the viewer and the artist's vision.... did I achieve what I wanted here?
I guess I have things to think about.



Anyway, here are the steps:


1) Choose a color scheme.










2) Mix the colored fibers by pulling the fiber apart.










3) Felt them onto flat surface (in this case a recycled felted sweater swatch) with a felting needle.










4)This is after it is felted half way:










5) I then do some machine embroidery to create some raised surface.










6) Finally, I add some hand embroidery and perhaps bead embellishments (top photo).

Monday, June 4, 2007

Heart postcard


Heart postcard
Originally uploaded by dying2crochet
I crocheted a rectangular swatch and then punched it into a swatch of a felted Brooks Brothers sweater with a felting needle shaping it along the way. I then added a piece of silk and machine embroidered over, then beaded.
The yarn is Red Heart "Kiss" and I found it discounted for 1.75 a skein!

ATC (traded)


ATC
Originally uploaded by dying2crochet
The way I have been working lately on these small examples, perhaps of larger works I'd like to do, or sets, is sort of a metamorphasis. I dont really plan, other than color, what I'd like to happen. It sort of just evolves.
I would like to plan more, however I am happy with the results as well as the process.
The work I am currently doing includes many of my favorite media;
Shibori, dying, needlefelting, embroidery, embellishment, sewing, and involves lots of color.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Har Sinai" (private collection)

Needle felted flame and machine embroidery on a background of Habotai silk that has been dyed using procion MX dyes with Soda Ash fixitive. The silk was pole wrapped in the Arashi pattern of Shibori. I cut it to a small size and machine stitched it to a backfround of felt.

This is inspired by the Jewish Holiday of Shavuos that we recently celebrated when Moses brought the Torah down from Mount Sinai.

The flame represents the powerful impact on the Jewish people as they received the Torah and their souls leapt from their bodies as they heard the first two commandments given by G-d. The experience of hearing the voice of G-d was so intense that they begged Moses to deliver the other 8 commandments.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Should be posting new photos soon!

Yay! I just purchased a new camera before the weekend a Cannon Power Shot A450. I am really thrilled as it it mile beyond in technology from my old Fuji. It takes great pictures but I think I need a tripod for shooting my work. Anyway I just have one more hurdle and that is that my CD player in my computer is malfunctioning and I need to run out a get a new one. OK then I can upload the soft ware and then I'm good to go! Stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Altered book WIP



OK so I haven't really worked on it for a couple of weeks. I get involved in something else and the other project takes a back seat. However since this is a new blog I think I need to give it its place here also.
This is my first attempt at altered books and so I wanted to try different techniques to find my own style. I think the nicest page and suiting my style the best came out here:


I also really enjoy painting and collage together as well, I don't even know where it comes from and really don't start with a well formed idea in my head. It all came out in a creative burst. I'm not sure if that's good or bad or none of the above but it sure was fun... I guess that's the main thing and for me what art means to me. I don't so much want to "prove a point" or "be political" although I certainly was here with my statement about Jonathan Pollard.
I just want to make beautiful things that make people feel good and make me feel good and avoid the therapists chair. Oh and of course have fun while doing it.
Here is the cover with a piece of my hand dyed shibori silk:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Diary of a fiber artist in Israel


BS"D Life in Israel is beautiful. But to an American who struggles with the language and doesn't drive, it can be very challenging to fulfill my creative needs. Art supplies are a constant source of frustration because the lack of knowledge of where to buy and the wild goose chase to get them if I find what I need.
Everyday I am finding new things I could use for my art, I guess this is life. I get so frustrated that I cant buy these things. Everything has to be brought by someone in the States when they visit. This is very challenging for me.

I am still waiting for a new camera. I have work that I want to put up but cannot. I am also frustrated from this.
The pictures are of beautiful Netanya on the Mediterranean coast.