Looking forward while looking back

I've mentioned before that I'm a musician. I've played piano for years upon years, the bassoon for years, and listened to it as long as I can remember (I had siblings that were all crazy for it as well when I was very young). My sister took me to the Monkees summer tour in 1986 for my first concert and that was followed by a string of Elton John concerts in Jr. High and HS as well as some Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Old '97s and a few odds and ends as far as concerts go.

Lately, due to budget restrictions, I've had to narrow it down to Barenaked Ladies and Dave Matthews Band. Both of them equally fabulous in my book. This past year has not been a great one for either of these bands. DMB lost their saxophone player, LeRoi Moore because of an ATV accident and BNL lost one of their lead singers because I don't know why. He had to go off on his own I suppose. Both bits of news were very sad for my musician's soul... very sad.

This October I'll be heading over to Tulsa for a DMB concert with my sister. It will be her first DMB concert and my 4th. It won't be the same without LeRoi, but I'm looking forward to it all the same. They have a new album coming out June 1st and I almost peed myself when I read that earlier this evening. It sounds like it's going to be amazing and I cannot wait (no really, I cannot wait). Usually I look forward to hearing #34 live and never got to (but always wished up on wish that they would play it live... anyone know if they ever did?) but I won't this time - it depends to heavily on LeRoi's saxophone - something I'll miss terribly at this concert. Perhaps that is why this YouTube video they did for their upcoming album is bittersweet to me (and probably every other fan out there):

And the song I'm referring to above (#34) is from Under The Table and Dreaming and is featured in this video in memory of LeRoi:

A mystery

It is a mystery to me why three different varieties of hostas have appeared this spring in the spot where I only transplanted one last summer. Because hostas last well into the fall months, I'm not sure why these two were not growing in that spot before I planted the new one. However, there they grow - three different varieties of hostas, happily sharing the same little spot.


The show this past weekend went very well for me so WHEW! I sold out of a couple of items which hasn't happened at a show before (unless I only took one of that item). I'm quite excited to have a piece that does well locally and not just on Etsy. I've already purchased more supplies to make more for the next event I do. Actually, I'm not sure I'll be able to do the next event. The organizers are looking at changing the date so a couple of weekends I'm just not able to sell during. That makes me very sad. I hope it doesn't change, but we'll see.

And last, I'll leave you with a public service announcement - the Buffalo Wild Wings in Fayetteville, AR has some of the worst servers working on Monday evening. I've been there lots, and all but one other time have had good service (not great, but good). Tonight takes the cake though. Oh, and I think maybe they are turning into Hooters - the hostess had the worlds shortest shorts on, no joke. I kind of wanted to throw up when she turned around to take us to our table and her buttocks nearly fell out. At least the wings are good.


Piles upon piles

I feel surrounded by jewelry, chain, wire and beads this week. I've been doing nothing but making necklaces, earrings and knit wire bracelets since Sunday night (and yes, in that order). As far as necklaces and earrings go, I have multiples of everything in almost every color. Bracelets aren't as simple since they really are all one of a kind. I have a few that are made from the same bead combination, but the rest are very one of a kind. I struggle a bit with the bracelets. What if one color combination is very popular and I only have one? What if none of them are a hit? What if, what if, what if? :) I'm sure everything will be just fine come Saturday morning when I'm all out of time for creating and I'm setting up my booth.

Warm spring (or maybe it's a mild summer) weather finally got here. It's been up near 80 for the past two days. It's odd how quickly it warmed up. I still have that herb garden to plant and I really think Sunday is the day! I've been doing a lot of cooking the past couple of weeks and cannot wait for fresh herbs from my front garden instead of dried ones from the store. I also can't wait for the prime picture taking opportunities that come from having your own garden.

Speaking of garden - I've got some crazy hosta action going on outside. I brought in a collection of them when I moved here. I planted them all over as there weren't any here as it was. Well, it seems there must have been but they had been hiding because this year I have a plethora of hostas all over the place. I even have one spot that has three varieties growing - not sure how that happened, I only planted on there. I won't complain about bonus hostas, I love them so, but goodness, there are a lot.

Well, the Sweet Boy is on his way back with some fast food action (don't judge me, sometimes fast food is in order when you need time to blog instead of cook) so I'm off to enjoy.


List? What List?

Well, I didn't quite get to everything on my list but that's kind of how it's supposed to go... right? I did get the custom order finished and baked bread. Hmmm - 2 out of 6 isn't too bad.

Okay - it's horrible. Oh well, I'm not bothered by it. I'll get to the other things at some point.

I've been invited to participate in the NWA Boutique Sale taking place on Satuday. I got the invitation tonight (it's Sunday, mind you) so while I don't show it, I'm kind of freaked out by the lack of time I have. Thankfully I keep my jewelry stock up for such an occasion but it's not organized, it's not labeled, it's not on hang tags... it's just not ready! It will be, but I still think I need to freak out just a bit.

One thing is for certain, I am not going to let this last minute show get in the way of my Yarn Everyday challenge - I will push through and spin each day this week. If I don't, I might not come up with lovely yarns like the one you see above.

I hear the dryer buzzing at my from the basement. Until next time...


Project for a week's end

I finally finished spinning that corespun I intruduced to all of you on Wednesday. I was a bit slow about spinning this week - but the outcome was worth it. Since the sun is long gone at this point, I'll wait until tomorrow to get some killer photographs and post them for the world to see.

While finishing up the yarn, I thought of a few projects I needed to concentrate on this weekend. They are, in no particular order:

1. custom dye request - 12 ounces of BFL in 2 colorways... I need to do this first thing tomorrow
2. label all of my roving so packaging up orders isn't so daunting
3. plant herb garden (haven't I been saying I need to do this for a few weeks?)
4. bake bread - not really a project, but it's big enough to be on the list
5. photograph new jewelry pieces to list over at IdyllHands
6. take pictures of all of the plants coming up in my front beds this spring for documentation

Not too bad of a list - I could probably knock everything out tomorrow, but I think the weather calls for some rain, not sure if rain and planting gardens go together.

Oh, and I would adore a trip up to The Rabbit's Lair in Rogers to start gathering some fabric for that quilt I really think I'm going to make some day... but that might have to wait for another weekend.


Little accomplishments along the way

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm participating in a challenge to spin everyday in April. It's day 15 now and I've hung in there. I believe I talked about how this challenge would allow me to spin for myself along the way. I am happy to say that just in 15 days, spinning for myself has allowed me to try a few different things with my yarn. I attempted some slubs (although they might be the messiest ones out there) out of my own dyed roving and bits of wool from the Phat Fiber box...then some beehives on a super textured, plied yarn spun from some gorgeous roving from Cloudlover...And tonight I tried my hand at corespinning from some cheapo acrylic yarn as the base and a lovely Hobbledehoy batt (one of her Galaxy batts)...I'm beaming from what I've accomplished so far. I can't imagine I would have tried these out this month if it were not for this challenge. Oh, I would have eventually tried them out, but certainly not in April... and probably not in May... even June might be stretching it a bit.

This corespinning (all 51 yards of it) has worn me out. I'm going to go plop down and watch some Ghost Hunters. Goodnight!

Edit: Hey everyone - do fibery posts make you super happy? They make me happy! If you're like me, then go over to the Fiber Arts Friday listing and check out all kinds of fibery blog posts, you wont' be sorry.

It's taxing


Did you get your taxes done? It's April 15, I do hope you took care of that. If you did, or even if you didn't, come over to IdyllHands or Woolyhands and enjoy free shipping on any and all of your purchases today! I'll refund your shipping via Paypal. So go pre-spend that return or drown the sorrows of owing money with some new gifties just for you.



I'm still unsure about the new look for my blog. Is it too much pink? Just enough pink? Fine the way it is? Erin, calm down, it's just a blog? Don't worry, I'll leave it for a bit more to decide if I like it.

I've found myself sitting behind my beading table a lot this week churning (well, not churning, but close) out necklaces for an upcoming trunk sale I'm participating in sometime in May. It's with the same group of ladies I sold with last November with the addition of my sister and possibly someone who does facials. It will be a nice, girls night out type of thing. My goal is to use up a lot of beads and findings that are taking up room. I so badly wanted to buy new things for this, but I resisted. I have so many lovelies that there is no need for new. I'll buy new when I'm out of old. I'm actually quiet surprised with what I've come up with so far. I've even started using silver tone items again which is something I left for a bit. If anything, it's a head start for the fall craft shows.

Work has been a bit topsy turvy lately. For a few weeks I was meeting myself going... or is it coming? I'm not sure. Either way, I was meeting myself doing something! The past couple of days, however, have been a bit quiet giving me time to finish up some projects and become slightly obsessed with convincing the powers that be that I need to go to New York in November for the Billboard conference. I think I have a pretty good case built, so just cross your fingers for me. I know I'll learn many great things and anything I learn will only benefit what we do at Walton Arts Center - so cross those fingers... cross 'em hard. You, you over there, I see you not crossing them for me, get 'em crossed... there you go.

Aside from making jewelry and finding business trips I think I should go on, I haven't been doing too much. I've been out of wool for over a week, so no dyeing (but I have some BFL coming in tomorrow so I'll be able to get started on a custom order). I miss dyeing. Do you think the vinegar is addictive? :)

Well, off to find some good music to listen to and perhaps spin or do some window shopping on Etsy.


What goals... where?

Ahhhh, to be a cat. Lounging in the sun would be my great accomplishment of the day. Perhaps my owner would share some of her lunch meat with me? Maybe she'll stop and give me some cuddles and pettings behind the ears. Yes, that wouldn't be a bad day.

My goal this year has been to work smarter, not harder, with my Etsy business so I'd have more time to lounge in the sun a bit, perhaps even have time to scratch the Schmoo (seen above) behind her ears. To do this, I started off the new year with some new pieces over at IdyllHands that were a bit nicer, and therefore, a bit higher in price than my other items. I've sold a bit, but not a ton. I blame it on the economy - it's foiled my plans. The addition of roving to WoolyHands has kind of taken away the working smarter part. Yes, I was smart in adding this in as I can dye wool for my own spinning pleasure AND the stuff sells a bit faster than yarn and jewelry, but dang, dyeing wool is hard work. Wait, scratch "hard", instead insert "involved". The interesting thing is, I'm happier being busy with this Etsy stuff than I was sitting around waiting for a $30 necklace to sell.

I'm a busy bee, what can I say?

Something else that I've already gone back on is my vow to myself to not do any spring shows. I was going to take spring off to rest, to gather supplies and make products for the fall shows. Weeeeelllll, I kind of enthusiastically said "yes" to doing a trunk show. I did one with this group of ladies last November and it was fabulous - I couldn't not say "yes". We're planning on May, sometime, and I need to get kicking on the jewelry production... really kicking.

And I do this to myself why? Is it even worth it to set goals? I never seem to keep them. Here I go, working harder.... not smarter.


I promise I'm keeping up with both shops!

I have not been ignoring Idyll Hands in the wake of the wave of wool that has taken up almost all of my free time!! You see, I've listed 2 new items in my jewelry shop tonight and have a few more to list this weekend... and who knows, since I'm out of wool tonight, I might just whip up all kinds of new jewelry this weekend.

So say what you will, I am completely dedicated to both shops - I've just had some trouble getting good photographs of these new necklaces.


A new spring dress

Well folks, I think you're going to start seeing a new look around these parts. I'm ready for something new when I go check out my blog, new colors, new layout, new banner, just new. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I want to do something. It's mediocre, at best, right now, and I want it to be fabulous - so stay tuned...



I'm kind of... okay... very excited to announce that I am the featured artist of the week on the AREtsy Street Team (Arkansas Street Team) blog here. I was all giddy when it was posted this evening. You all should read it and stuff... because it's cool!

Today was day 7 in the Yarn Everyday in April challenge and yes, I spun yarn. I'm going to ply it up tomorrow with some thread and poofs of wool and hopefully have my first, true, art yarn. If it turns out in real life like I'm picturing it in my head, I'll be a very happy girly.

I'll leave you with my Etsy purchase of the evening -

It's from moonrover and I couldn't NOT have it. My heart melted when I saw her post it on Flickr. This is going to be knit into the most fabulous scarf to ever grace the streets of Fayetteville next year. See it here.


In hindsight

I should have known better. Somehow or another, the organizing/cleaning/redoing of the bedroom turned into spring cleaning the entire house. I'm not quite sure when it happened or why it happened, but I think it might have started when I found some expired salad dressing in the fridge while making out a small shopping list. That led to cleaning out the fridge which somehow led to deep cleaning the kitchen which led to moving the couch to sweep under it... yeah, I'm not sure what went wrong either.

I did get to my bedroom and I've got it organized like I want it. It's still ugly, I'm not going to sugar coat it, but now I know what to do next. PAINT! I've got a reddish dresser that needs to be brown and a weird corner table that came with the house that needs to be brown. The room also needs curtains and end tables and more rugs, but I'm on the way to liking it.

Somewhere during the spring cleaning activities I hurt myself, badly. My right arm has been screaming at me since around midnight when I rolled over on it and woke up going "ow ow ow ow". I've been very tender with it since, but still, it screams. This is going to be a damper on my spinning every day challenge, but I will not give up yet, no, I will not give up.

Onto crafting news (because I know you don't read this blog to see which part of my house I've decided to organize). Sometime last week I decided I needed to participate in a fiber festival OR a different type of craft show this year. The shows locally are fabulous craft shows - HUGE craft shows - busy craft shows - but they are very generic craft shows. My scarves sell well and my jewelry does okay but I'm not sure my yarn and roving will do well locally. I'll know more after October once they have come and gone, but in the mean time, I need to branch out. I'd love to head down to Austin for some shows down there, but they are on the weekend of a very profitable one I do up here, so those are out. There is the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle which I am very interested in and a couple in Chicago. I need to get busy and start making a list of which ones I want to go to and see if any are even possible.

Any show/festival suggestions to send my way?

Oh - I dyed some more this weekend - you can see my favorite addition to last night's shop update above. I love this dyeing thing :)


Betcha didn't think I could do it...

But I'm still spinning. Day 4 of the Yarn Everyday in April challenge is almost over but I managed to get one done early today. This yarn was spun up from some lovely samples I've received in the Phat Fiber boxes. I killed two birds with one stone with this project, I managed to spin for the 4th day in a row AND I was able to post in the Phat Fiber forum over at Ravelry about the samples. Don't you love it when it works out like that?

I also spent the majority of my day dyeing what was left of my roving. I'll be posting that throughout the week.

Tomorrow is going to be dedicated to making my bedroom livable (have I said that in this blog yet - I feel like that is my project every other weekend). It's just UGLY and I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm going to start by cleaning it up and getting the clutter contained. I have an idea of what I want it to look like, but I'm not sure how to get to that point. There are currently 2 dressers in the space, a weird corner table (there when we moved in) a cute antique table perfect for a jewelry box, a hamper, cedar chest, bed, and TV trays being used for side tables. It's all just there - no rhyme or reason for where the stuff is. Since it's supposed to be frigid (mid 40s is the high - yeah, cold for April) tomorrow, I don't see myself workout outside at all, so indoor improvement will be a good project. If I'm successful, I'll post pictures.

Judging by my lack of anything interesting to say this evening, I think it's time to call it a night. Hopefully the interesting stuff will come to me soon. Goodnight.


A Challenge

I have enjoyed spinning since December of 2007 when my mom gave me a drop spindle for Christmas. If you have followed my blog, then you know I purchased my spinning wheel this past fall. I have spun, spun, and spun some more ever since. I've tried to fill my shop and my Holiday craft sale tables with my handspun lovelies and have succeeded in doing so.

Since getting some wool to dye a little over a month ago, my attention has been diverted over to the dye pots. Spinning was put on the back burner as I mixed dyes and steamed roving. A challenge set up by Tara of Blonde Chicken Boutique was JUST what I needed to get back to spinning. She set up a group in Ravelry to spin or dye everyday in April. My challenge to myself is to spin everyday.

I'm only 2 days into it but I discovered something while spinning tonight. I'm not choosing wool to spin in order to fill my shop back up with yarn, but instead, I've spin for the past two days just for myself. I picked roving that I purchased for "me" yarn and I took the time to try a realllllly thin single in order to ply it into something not so artsy and bulky. I wasn't spinning this to sell, I was spinning this just for the pure delight of spinning this lovely wool.

Huh. Who knew this challenge would lead to that so quickly.

The yarn I worked on last night and tonight is seen above. Spun from roving from kcknits.etsy.com on my Fidelis wheel. I cannot wait to knit something from it. I'm keeping this one for myself.