Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Weaving for Christmas

My favourite time of the year is coming and what better way to celebrate the festivities than by weaving for family, friends and your home!

I have quite a few free video tutorials to get those creative juices flowing:



Reindeer on a rigid heddle loom

Handwoven No Sew Christmas Hearts

Gift boxes on a rigid heddle loom

Winter Trees

And then there are my classes available with a subscription to my weaving school:


*Snowmen on a rigid heddle loom

*Exploring branoe 

And available as a single class or included in a subscription:



I hope these inspire you to get weaving in time for Christmas!






Friday, September 1, 2017

The point at which it gets really hard

It  was really hard seeing our normally healthy 17 year old son rushed into the resuscitation unit in a medically induced coma.
It was hard having him transferred to intensive care.
It was really hard when he deteriorated and was placed in a medically induced coma.
It was hard seeing him come out of that coma days later.
It was hard watching as he was transferred out of ICU into the respiratory ward, but didn't improve as expected.
It was awfully hard signing the consent for surgery to remove fluid from around his lungs.
It was hard seeing him experience the pain and discomfort of having a drainage tube in his back.
It was hard seeing him deteriorate again with fevers and low blood pressure and a high heart rate and having 2 larger tubes inserted in his side.
Today was a really hard day. Waiting for another, more major surgery to remove fluid again, followed by an epidural to numb his body for days (therefore numbing the pain) and then being told at the end of the day that the surgery was postponed to Monday.
Now we wait out the weekend, knowing that surgery is coming.




But you know what? I think all this has been harder on us than on him. Because he is a champion. He has endured countless procedures, needles, drugs, ups and downs without complaint. He always has a cheerful smile for us and looks forward to our visiting. He is resigned and accepting of his situation. His faith in God is strong and simple.
I think I have a lot to learn from this boy.

Please pray for the complete recovery of our son. Thank you to all those who have been praying, messaging and sending cards and parcels. We so appreciate your concern.

I've also set up a Gofundme campaign as a special surprise for when he can finally come home. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Calculating warp for the rigid heddle loom

At a request from a student, I have put together a warp calculations sheet and a companion video. Both are available here. You do need to sign in to access the materials, but I have made these completely free for your benefit. The video can be viewed on Youtube if you prefer. 
The printable PDF includes a sample sheet and in the video I take you through another sample, just to make sure you "get it"!
I have already had a huge amount of positive feedback from students who have found these useful, so please take a look if it's of interest to you.
Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Three Heddle Adventures!


I am so pleased to announce that my first stand alone, feature class is now available to purchase!

This is the biggest class yet and involved a whole lot of work. I'm so excited to be able to share it with you now.


This course is a comprehensive introduction to weaving with three heddles. This is an amazing tool to know, as it extends the humble little rigid heddle loom to really show it's capabilities.


We start with a straight draw twill sampler and progress to the project, which is a beautiful scarf.


I really hope you can join me on this adventure! 

For more information click here.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shop update

I don't get much time to update my little Etsy shop these days, and I must admit, it's not my favourite task and gets put off a fair bit. But today I have some new items and they are all beautiful, so please take a moment to browse!


My favourite first - my newest silk scarf, oh boy, do I love this one! A blend of 60/2 silk in purple, fuchsia and orange woven in an undulating twill. Pure luxury!




Next up, hand dyed tencel (you have my permission to drool) combined with mercerised cotton in advancing twill.


Love the colours, love the sheen.


Another scarf, this time in cotton and a beautiful diamond twill variation.
This beauty was a labour of love - woven from my hand dyed, hand spun local Australian merino. The colours remind me of Monet's Garden.

Is that enough to whet your appetite for now? There are more than what is pictured here, you will have to visit my Etsy shop to see the rest!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New things happening!


It's been a week of "firsts" for me and a busy one at that! I have launched my first ever website, and though it's still a work in progress, it's looking quite nice and hopefully will make it easier for students and customers to find me on the internet.





I have kept the layout clean and simple as that is what I like to see when visiting a website. Drop by and have a look, I'd love to know what you think!



I also launched my first newsletter, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I was surprised by the response and already have a large list of names of the subscription list, which is wonderful.
You can join the newsletter list from this site or my website.



Then of course, there is my new teaching school. I love having classes on this platform, which is easy to use and lovely to view. I have had a lot of positive feedback on this new format and it saves all the headaches that the Youtube platform has given me over the past year! 

I hope all these new changes make your learning experience with me more enjoyable. Now that everything seems to be in place, I think I'll get back to what I do best - making classes!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fear of Failure

"I'm scared I'm going to fail".
A brief pause, a very slight sigh. My husband is used to this. He is strong, trusting and practical. Me? I'm prone to nervousness, flightiness and a sense that things won't turn out.
It's one of those late at night conversations, the children are in bed and we have some precious moments to ourselves before we have to sleep.

"Are you scared that you are running out of ideas for classes?" he asks. Oh no, that is not the trouble at all.
It's failure that I'm afraid of. So often there is a voice in the back of my head saying "what is the point of all this work, you know you're going to fail anyway". Sometimes this fear has been strong enough that I don't try something new or pursue a different idea, fear can be crippling. Many times I have made the decision to give up on trying to make a business, only to change my mind the next day.

I have put so much work into new classes. I have taken the risk of launching on a new platform, it's a wonderful step to have taken, but it's expensive and risky.

My sensible and pragmatic husband listens quietly to my concerns as he has done time and again. He points out that you never know unless you try. He reminds me that it's all in God's hands and if the business does not succeed, it is because He wills it not to - for His own reasons and because He loves and knows me best.

My husband reminds me what I already know, but find very difficult to live. It is not all about me. Everything is a gift, including my life, and that I must be willing to give back to He who gives so generously. 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Giveaway - one year subscription!


To celebrate the launch of my new weaving school on Teachable, I'm having a little giveaway. The winner will receive a one year subscription, entitling them to access any class, any time for a full year. Head over to my Facebook page to check out the entry conditions and to put your entry in. The winner will be drawn at the end of this week. Good luck!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Launching on a new platform

After a lot of research and deliberation, I decided to launch my video classes on a new platform. My Youtube paid subscription channel has been going for a year now, and there have been a whole lot of headaches! Many technical glitches and inconsistencies, viewers being unsubscribed, not able to access after paying, not able to access from certain countries, and the list goes on! Almost daily, I get messages from subscribers having problems with the channel, I had to find a better way. So, you can now find my classes on Teachable. This is great news for a few reasons:

*You have the option of subscribing for a full year or monthly.

*You have the option of just purchasing individual classes rather than a full subscription. Each individual class also comes with a printable PDF pattern with full instructions and photos to compliment the video class. You can't go wrong with all that information!

*You can subscribe or purchase a class from anywhere in the world.

*You can view your classes on a computer or device, it is available across all platforms.

The Youtube platform will continue to run for those who prefer to use it. Youtube has been the perfect viewing platform for many people, so that will not change. I will continue to upload videos to the Youtube platform as well. I just needed to give other options for those who need it. 

How about you hop over and check out the new platform? Yes, it's different to Youtube but I hope you find it easy to navigate and use.  

I still have plenty of work to do there and will continue to update and improve over the coming weeks, so keep watching. It's easy to keep an eye on my Teachable "school" by joining and logging in - you don't need to purchase a class or subscription to join and be updated when new content is available.
I hope to see you there!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Overshot uh-oh!

I tried overshot on 4 shafts for the first time. I put on a massive 8/2 cotton warp (my first mistake - too wide, too long!) thinking I would have a couple of table runners or plenty of baby blankets by the time I was done.
The threading was somewhat complicated, but I got through that and started weaving.
I don't know, maybe I just don't enjoy weaving overshot or maybe it's a bit of inexperience, but this project became a struggle.


Some threading errors became apparent and then the breaking warp threads started. My progress was slow, very slow!


The errors stick out like a sore thumb, but I still wanted to share these photos, firstly to share the disappointments and imperfections, but also in appreciation of the pattern, which is actually pretty cool. The above piece was woven with black bamboo for the pattern and white bamboo for the tabby.


The back of the same piece. 


This was my favourite piece, I used a hand dyed, variegated tencel for the pattern and a mercerised cotton for the tabby.


The back of the same piece.


And this piece I quite like also. I used a thicker hand dyed cotton (8ply) for the pattern and a white bamboo for the tabby.


So, what did I learn from this humbling experience? That I'm not as good as I thought I was? Definitely. That my slow progress on the floor loom is starting to frustrate me? Uh huh. That I want to do something about it? Yes!
So, I have found a great weaver with a great deal of experience who has a correspondence course. I have a terrible habit of trying to do everything myself, but I bit the bullet and enrolled in the first unit of her weaving course. I'm so glad I did. The first package arrived a couple of days ago and I'm learning new things already, the quality of content is excellent. Ultimately, I want to be the best weaver I can possibly be and I think this course will help me get there.
If you're interested in learning more about the course, Ursula can be found at BB Yarn Supply. She has a good range of yummy weaving yarns too, well worth checking out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Weaving suppliers list

This is certainly not an entire list of all suppliers, but I hope it's a start for new weavers. Thank you to my Facebook group weaving friends for your assistance in putting this list together. Please comment with details of other suppliers, particularly for countries not listed here.

Australia:

Petlins Spinning and Weaving Supplies, NSW, Ashford dealer, huge range of supplies.

BB Yarns Supply, QLD, Weaving threads and online correspondence courses.

The Thread Collective - New online supplier of threads and looms.

Crafty Frog, Canberra, ACT, Ashford dealer, looms, yarns, accessories, instore classes.

Glenora Weaving and Wool, NSW, yarns, accessories, magazines and books.

Knit, Spin, Weave, S.A, fibre arts supplies, looms, dyes, yarns, books.

Woolganics, NSW, Australian organic wool.

New Zealand:
Ashford Handicrafts, New Zealand, large range of looms, weaving accessories, yarns and supplies.

Fibreholics, wide range of interesting yarns, classes

Wheels and whorls, Ashford dealer, huge range of looms, yarns and supplies

D.E.A. Yarns, Luxury yarns

Canada:

Jane Stafford, Louet looms, spinning wheels, yarns, workshops

Penelope Fibre Arts, large range of looms, weaving supplies, yarns

Maurice Brassard, Quebec, huge range of weaving yarns

Camilla Valley Farm, Ontario, Leclerc looms, weaving yarns and supplies


USA:

The Woolery, Kentucky, huge range of everything weaving related!

WEBS,  Massachusetts, Huge range also.

Yarn Barn, Kansas, lots of yarn options

Paradise Fibres, Washington, huge range of yarns, looms and fibre art supplies

Weaving South West, New Mexico, Gallery that also stocks some small looms and varieties of yarn

Weaving Works, Seattle, looms, yarns, classes

Bountiful Weaving, large and little looms, yarns

Studio Thre3, AZ, Leclerc looms, yarns

Fibre Creek, AZ, range of looms and yarns

Heartland Fibre, Iowa, yarn (beautiful looking retail shop!)

Halcyon Yarn,  looms, yarns, everything!

UK:
George Weil, looms, yarns, tapestry looms

The Handweavers Studio and Gallery, London, huge range of looms, equipment and yarns

Fibre Hut, Ashford dealer

The Threshing Barn, beautiful location in a converted spinning mill, looms, supplies and yarns

Wingham Woolwork, Wentworth, Ashford and Kromski stockist, looms, supplies, yarns

Scottish Fibres, Edinburgh, Ashford and Louet dealer, yarns, supplies

Hilltop Spinning and Weaving, Kent, Ashford looms, accessories, yarns

PM Woolcraft, small range Ashford looms, yarns and equipment

Frank Herring and Sons, Dorset, Ashford and Leclerc looms, yarns, supplies


Friday, April 7, 2017

Can you really weave that on a rigid heddle loom?!

I hear that a lot. And most of the time, the answer is yes!


Take my newest pattern release as an example. Did you know I have 2 patterns in my Etsy shop now? Yes, I've been a busy little bee.

My new project is entitled "Happy Fibonnaci Kitchen Towels". "Happy" because of the happy colours and "Fibonacci" because I based the design on the Italian mathematician's sequence. These are a perfect example of using the rigid heddle loom to obtain the WOW factor.


With the right arrangement of colours and a pick up stick you can weave a towel that looks like it's hot off a multi shaft loom.


I hope you find the time to weave some beautiful towels for your kitchen or to give as a special gift.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Log Cabin Table Runner series


The newest series on my Weaving Lessons Channel is a beautiful table runner that utilises the log cabin technique. This is a colour and weave technique on a rigid heddle loom that looks very complicated but is all about the colour order and arrangement.


The exciting news is that this project is also my first PDF weaving pattern in my Etsy shop! Hopefully it will be the first of many patterns for me.


And if you don't fancy a table runner, how about a gorgeous scarf? 
So many possibilities with a striking pattern and simple loom!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Away


It's been quiet here because we have been away. 

           A blissful beach holiday with no phones or internet.

            Days of walking and watching, fishing and resting.


So peaceful, just the beautiful sounds of wildlife and waves to listen to.


It was really hard coming home, particularly when we hit the city traffic. But I do feel rested and restored and ready to get back into daily life. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Houndstooth sampler placemats


I present you with the newest lesson on my Weaving Lessons channel!

I haven't really delved into colour and weave in any previous lessons and I thought it was high time to explore these fascinating techniques with you.


Like much of rigid heddle weaving, houndstooth is deceptively simple. The weave structure is plain weave, the wow factor comes from the threading of colours. The lesson includes detailed video instructions as well as a printable PDF with extra information and calculations.




Perfect for beginner weavers and a quick project for the more experienced, I hope you can join me for this one!



Thursday, February 9, 2017

A little glimpse into creative family life



I filmed this yesterday afternoon because it felt like a bit of milestone. In steaming hot weather, with a pedestal fan blowing on us, my 9 year old, set up and weaving mostly independently on the rigid heddle loom while I was weaving at the floor loom. It's funny how things can happen so naturally and then you suddenly realise you're living a dream moment. I posted it on Youtube, thinking it would probably be largely overlooked as viewers seem to prefer my instructional videos to anything else.

But what a response! Quite a few commented that the video had brought tears to their eyes, for different reasons. For one subscriber, it was that her parents had never invested the time in her that she craved. For another, the video brought back wonderful memories of her own creative homeschooled upbringing. Many commented on the simple beauty of the video. 

Wow, was I surprised. And so pleased. It reminds me that I am so blessed to be able to share with others in this way. It encourages me that, even if I feel like I don't do a good enough job as a parent, others think I do. And it gives me joy, that God has much work for us to do, if only we will co-operate, love and trust.

I hope you are all having a most blessed week, until next time :)


Monday, February 6, 2017

Project patience

I am working on the most beautiful shawl. After a run of towels I felt the need to weave something really beautiful. I love shawls, the drape, the practicality, the loveliness, so it wasn't a hard choice. I had this stunning tencel that I had hand dyed ages ago and wound into a warp ready for a scarf.


But, I changed my mind and decided I needed it for the shawl instead! Plenty of time and unwinding later, I was ready to wind a shawl warp instead. The warp went onto the loom like a dream, in fact tencel itself is rather dreamy.

The threading is the part that takes me the longest and I'm hoping my speed will increase eventually. After pusing myself to work late one night, I finally had the reed sleyed and the warp tied on. I was ready to weave!
Except I wasn't.
I had put the reed and beater on backwards. Yes, I actually did that! Untie the warp, unsley the reed, remove it, turn it around, re-sley the reed, re-tie the warp and presto, I really was ready to weave this time.

I chose another hand dyed tencel that I thought would contrast well and began. Uh oh. The tencel I had chosen for the weft was variegated. The pattern got lost in the busy-ness of the warp. I realised this was a possibility when I chose it as weft but decided to chance it anyway. It took me a couple of inches of weaving to realise it wasn't going to work. Enter un-weaving (not nearly as fun as weaving, trust me!)

So.... (this is starting to read a bit like a drama and it sure as heck started to feel like one!) I chose a lovely mercerised cotton in Peacock as the weft and away I went. Ah, much better.
Then I realised. Some selvedge warp threads had broken and fallen away from the reed. When had that happened? I had no idea, but it was definitely a problem! My selvedge on that side was looking quite un-perfect. 


Fortunately this was a fairly quick fix and I was back into the weaving. I'm about a quarter of the way through now, I wonder what other treats and surprises the next three quarters has in store for me!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sketch Tuesday - on a tree

I thought it was high time that we got back into joining in Sketch Tuesday over on the Harmony Fine Arts blog.

The girls were reluctant to have a go - I think they are too used to drawing what they want rather than within a theme. It's a great way to challenge your drawing skills and expand though, so I told the girls that I intended to draw a picture and so they could too. It worked!


This week's theme is "on a tree". The youngest decided to draw a tree in bloom.


My 9 year old girl drew a kite stuck in a tree.


My 11 year old drew some Barn Owletts. 


And I drew a Fairy Wren. Do you know how long it's been since I actually sat down and drew something? Me neither! Too long! 

I think I will try to do this more often. Maybe you and your children want to join in the fun too?




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Planning to NOT fail

Last year was a bit of a doozy in our little homeschool and it's only in the past couple of weeks that I've figured out what went wrong.

I was trying to juggle the demands of family, homeschooling, activities outside the home, volunteer roles and a growing home business and so I assumed that there was simply too much for me to do on my own. This lead to exhaustion and a definite lack of hope - how could I get through everything that needed to be done?




Towards Christmas and in the holidays afterwards it started to dawn on me. Each day would start with that overwhelmed feeling, knowing I would be chasing my tail until I fell into bed that night. You would think after 12 years of doing this, I would have systems in place, but life is ever changing as people grow and every year is different to the last. I started thinking - does it have to be this way? What positive changes could I make to avoid another year in this state?

Well, a few years ago, I decided that I hated planning. I felt that if I spent the best part of my day educating the children, why should I spend my precious evenings planning for the next day? So I did away with all planning and I think that is where things started to go wrong, though at the time I felt I was freeing myself of a great burden. I think also over this time period, the kids, whether consciously or sub consciously, began to lost confidence in me. And I definitely began to lose confidence in me!

But now I was ready to give planning another try - not in the way that I used to. At the start of this year, I bought a planner from Homeschooling Downunder and printed out the pages I felt would be relevant. I bought colour coded folders and boxes for each child. 



I sat down, mostly amongst the noise and interruptions that come with having your children with you 24/7 and I spent hours writing lists and schedules. I didn't like doing it. I would much rather have been weaving! But now, as our homeschool year has begun, I am already seeing the fruits of having a solid plan.


The kids have learned how to find their own schedules in my planning folder so they know what is expected of them. This worked perfectly yesterday morning when I had to sit in a medical waiting room for 2 hours. Under the supervision of their older brother, my 2 middle children worked independently, while I had the youngest child with me doing our current read aloud.


There is a new jobs roster too - ensuring that everyone pitches in to help because it is written down and followed. I've scheduled morning tea teams, which I'm hoping will lead to lunch teams and eventually dinner teams - lessening the time that I need to spend in the kitchen each day and teaching the children to work together responsibly in food preparation and clean up. 


I do a quick 10 minute prep each night to ensure I have materials ready for any experiments or activities the next day. I'm finding that the children thrive on this organised schedule and they even admit that the day goes more smoothly when they get up early and are at the table ready to go. I've also decided against some activities outside the home this year - our home is our hub and should be treated with love and respect!

Is it perfect? No way, nothing ever is! I still have very full days, I still have to deal with poor attitudes sometimes, I still don't love planning! But, there does seem to be more time in the afternoons for me to focus on my weaving and business and the children are much happier with a set routine. So, for now, this is how we roll.

I wish you all the very best in your homeschool this year, may it bring you many blessings and much joy!