We have alpaca. Alpaca give fiber. LOTS AND LOTS of fiber.
Our animals get their haircuts, or are sheared, in the spring. Each animal provides almost four pounds of fleece and yes, I know what to do with it. Ill spin it into yarns and then make a variety of items.
Here are a couple of shawlettes that were handwoven on a triangular loom. The natural colors of alpaca are neutral colors–white, beige, light brown, dark brown, gray, black–these are how alpaca appear in nature. Anything else is the result of my playing around with dyes and blending other fibers in with the alpaca fiber. I love to play with colors! OR I might take a commercially spun yarn and ply it in with the natural alpaca yarn to achieve a unique yarn in that way. Sounds like work, but it’s the FUN kind of work!
Hats are fun to knit or crochet (these are knit) and here are a few samples. All of the colors are neutral/natural colors and the hats are VERY warm. Some of these are sold at market, given as gifts by me, or given by friends to friends.
Not to worry, though. The animals have plenty of hair left and they will stay warm in cold weather.
And now we will, too.
I’m happy creating!
The wandering creative gypsy in my soul needed a bit of inspiration. One place I found it was at Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden, and if you don’t know his work, please take time to do a bit of research. You won’t be disappointed.
This is the Folk Art Church at dusk. It was beautiful and we spent time walking through the garden and seeing a lot of interesting objects created from recycled “stuff” as well as paintings and words of wisdom.
And here is a photo of the barn at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale PA. Again, please search for the information and attend a workshop or three. 🙂
These are two places where I feel I’ll be able to get in touch with my creative muse within, and when I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, they certainly did.
Creatively busy. I’ll call later……
We’ve had several days of rain these last few weeks.
Wind, too. The windmill went crazy. Pieces here; scraps over there. It is now in the Restoration Stage.
But the Treehouse escaped damage from every tree that fell in the forest. See? Although just barely visible, we were able to move and cut the surrounding trees and will have wood to use for other building projects.
We’ll haul the wood up to the sawmill we’ve constructed on our property.
Oh yes. There is now a sawmill. My contribution was to photograph the original sawmill before it was disassembled and then moved. I had to draw and label pieces, as well as make working diagrams in order to be able to put it back together again.
So the storms have provided us with good building material. We’ll cut the logs here:
And build a footbridge and shelter here:
We will have good materials for building.
A creative group of writer friends will be sharing some tips and their knowledge about Writing Middle Grade novels. Check them out if you’d like to learn more: they are using their collective skills to build something wonderful as they set up their blog tour.
Check out the Middle Grade Mafia at:
www. middlegrademafia.com and tell them I said “hi.”
I’m getting ready to attend one of my favorite writing conferences–the Southern Breeze SCBWI Writing and Illustrating for Kids (WIK) conference, close to Birmingham, AL. It will be great to visit with writers and illustrators– meet agents, editors and art directors. I always learn SO much from these conferences and come away inspired and with plans for creative projects. Plus, I get to visit with long-time friends who are creative spirits, too. We share news, tips and talk about our individual creative “path.”
So I put on my hiking boots today to take a walk in the backwoods. It’s so DIFFICULT to pack for these conferences. There’s so much to think about!! I can’t decide what to take along with me, and you know I want to do a lot and all at the same time!
By the time I got deeper into the woods, I could hear the sound of the water in the creek. No cars. No phones. Nothing to create a distraction. Just the sound of my own footsteps as I crunched through the leaves.
I went as far as the tree house before I stopped to rest. The sun provided a nice canopy over the bend in the creek. I took out my sketchbook, fully intending to spend some time writing or drawing while I was there.
But I stopped. I just stood still and listened. To my breath and the beating of my own heart.
I hope to include that in my writing and illustrating.
Happy creating to you, too!
I have issues with time–both in the here and now, and with the past and present. I can get creatively busy and forget how much time might have passed. Going from the house to my barn studio, I’ll travel from the twenty-first century back to the nineteenth century if I don’t take my phone.
(I’m still wondering if that’s some Time-Warp-Thing.)
Since it’s rumored that a picture is worth a thousand words–I’ll share a few photos and see if they SHOW what I’ve been doing:
Every day can be a creative day!