Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mmmm... Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate - Can Roving Be Yummy?

Those are the flavors these two new Merino Wool colors represent. It's part of a project I've been working on lately with another artisan. I'm not going to give away her new product, but when she's ready, I'll do a feature here on my blog. For now, you'll have to consider this a teaser...

Well, I'm not that much of a tease! I made enough to share. You can find a taste of Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate Roving at Wind Rose Fiber Studio Today!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Carbonized Bamboo Yarn - Handspun with Metallic Thread

Hello. I hope everyone had a super Thanksgiving! I guess I can't leave you looking at a chimp and a tiger cub forever. LOL! It's time to get back to fiber!

Before our holiday, I blogged about Carbonized Bamboo also known as Black Diamond or Black Gold. I also promised to share pictures when I finished spinning up my first skein. So here is my first skein of Black Diamond! It's plied with a metallic thread. Metallic threads feature a strong textured polyester
filament core with a metallized foil wrap. The foil on the thread I used has a prismatic effect and as the light plays off of it, you can see all the colors of the rainbow. It allows the softness and the gorgeous color of the bamboo to be center stage while it adds some light and sparkle.

I'm about to list this 126 yard skein in my shop at Wind Rose Art Yarn, but I wanted to share it with you first. Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carbonized Bamboo Roving - Black Diamond or Black Gold

I've been exploring new fibers lately and I have an awesome one to share with you today. The fiber is Carbonized Bamboo and the name it's known by is Black Diamond or Black Gold. It has the amazing silky softness of bamboo and a gorgeous charcoal color, but that's not all. This is a fiber that is actually beneficial to your skin. That's right!

Louet reveals, "According to the American Chemical Society, in 1879, Thomas Edison invented the first incandescent light bulb. It used electricity to heat a thin strip of material, called a filament, until it glowed. Edison may also have created the first commercial carbon fiber. Early filaments, were made from bamboo slivers which were formed into the proper size and shape then baked them at high temperatures. Since bamboo consists mostly of cellulose, a natural linear polymer made of repeating units of glucose, the filament was "carbonized," when heated. It became a true carbon copy of the starting material - an all-carbon fiber with the same exact shape. Tungsten wire soon displaced these carbon filaments, but they were still used on U.S. Navy ships as late as 1960 because they withstood ship vibrations better than tungsten."

"Bamboo carbon fiber, called Black Gold or Black Diamond by those in the industry, is resistant to ultra violet rays and possesses anti-odor properties. It also adjusts well to both humidity and dryness."

Black Diamond is now available at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. You can buy it by the ounce or in a larger 4oz lot. I started spinning some up last night and I'll share my yarn with you when I'm finished. It feels great and spins with ease. See you tomorrow!

Source: Louet North America

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wind Rose Boutique - Another Brand New Store!

A couple days ago I shared my new Wind Rose Art Yarn shop with you, but I didn't stop there, I have another new store:

Wind Rose Boutique is where I keep all of my favorite handmade creations. Dividing up Wind Rose Fiber Studio has been a lot of work and at times a little confusing. I'm on the home stretch now and I can see the finish line! What makes me happy is that each shop has a clear and defined focus. They are easy to browse and find what you are interested in and for me it's easy to see the sections where my inventory might need a little boost. I think it's going to be great.

There are Etsy Minis and links on the sidebar for all of my new locations. The three shops also have links so you can easily jump from one to another. Come by for a visit sometime! See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Woolly Bear Scarflette Giveaway!

That's right, I'm giving away this adorable Woolly Bear Scarflette from LazyTcrochet.

Last week on the Blockhead Rod Radio Show, they shared a little bit about LazyTcrochet and her family. They are hitting a rough patch these days with health concerns and lost employment. I don't know all the details, and like many of the other listeners that night, I didn't need to know. A fellow crafter was in need, so I made this purchase from her store.

I have to say that I think this Woolly Bear Scarflette is adorable, but the thing is , I live in Arizona. Not just anywhere in AZ, but the Valley of the Sun. I can't see myself getting a lot of use out of this cute little neck warmer, so I have an idea. Why not pay it forward one more time?

So I am giving this scarflette to the first person who does a blog feature on LazyTcrochet's store. You know, something nice to help bring in some new shoppers. Perhaps include a photo or two. The first person to give LazyT a blog write up and comment here on this post with a link or the address of their blog, wins the Woolly Bear Scarflette! I'll reply to your comment with my gmail so you can send me a mailing address for your prize. This could be a nice gift for someone on your shopping list this holiday seaon. It could also be a gift to someone in need. Let's share the love and support each other. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wind Rose Art Yarn - Brand New Etsy Store!

Good afternoon everyone. I've been talking about organization lately and today is a big day for me. Today is the day that my brand new Etsy shop is up and running! Please let me introduce you to:

Wind Rose Art Yarn is now the home of all my handspun. It's so nice to see my yarn in its own little shop. Now I can divide them up into sections that are appropriate for them. Wind Rose Fiber Studio was getting so full that the yarn was squeezed into a section that also contained felt beads and craft fiber. Now you can easily browse by beaded, novelty, singles or 2 ply and so on. It makes for a much nicer shopping experience.

I made an Etsy mini of Wind Rose Art Yarn for this blog so you can always get a sneak peak at what's new!

I have more changes on the way. It takes time to rearrange your life! LOL! I've been uploading all day! As I complete my projects, you will be the first to know! See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Feed Hungry People and Get Smarter At The Same Time!

I'm kind of goofing off today, but I don't like to neglect my bloggity blog blog. :D (told you I was goofy) So let me share this incredibly cool website with you:

The name of the site is Free Rice. You simply answer questions and for each answer you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. I think this site used to just be vocabulary, at least I don't remember the other subjects, but now you can also study art, chemistry, English, geography, foreign languages and math.

Just yesterday 179,108,200 grains of rice were donated. That's a lot of hungry people being fed and a lot of people getting smarter and feeling good about themselves. I learned about this website last year when my fifth grader came home from school and started playing it for fun. He began setting goals for himself about how much rice he wanted to earn a day. The questions are designed for everyone. It asks a few starter questions to assess the appropriate level. As you play, they become more challenging.

If you have a Blackberry or an iPhone, you can have fun with this anywhere. I play it waiting in line at the post office or the grocery store. If we are waiting for a table at a restaurant, we can play Free Rice and feed someone else while we wait to eat. To date, over 51 billion grains of rice have been donated. Amazing! So use your mind for good and answer a few questions at Free Rice. It's a wonderful educational tool for school age kids, but it's challenging enough to keep us grown-ups thinking. Feed the world!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doll Hair Top - Mohair designed just for doll making!

This is a new discovery for me so I thought I'd share it with you. I've been working with a special customer over the last month or so. I have been trying to achieve the perfect shade of blond to match the hair on an antique doll. Initially we were using yearling mohair until I discovered Doll Hair Top.

My customer sent me a sample of the fiber I was trying to match and it was smoother and more glossy than yearling mohair. I could tell it was a natural fiber and not a synthetic, so I took out my Louet catalog. Louet North America is one of my distributors. So I'm thumbing through looking for something that might more closely match my sample, and there is was, Doll Hair Mohair. I had never noticed it before, but then again, I had never looked for it. Doll Hair Top is natural mohair with a longer staple length (around 8") and a little more lustor. The added length makes it strong and easier for a doll maker to work with and style. Of course the length would also make a very strong handspun yarn. It would be great for handbags or any project where strength was desired.

The picture I have here is of some Yellow Blond Doll Hair Top that came out a little darker than I needed for my customer. I have four ounces of it for sale at Etsy. It's a pretty shade of yellow blond that I added a touch of golden brown to for depth of color. So if you are a crafter or a spinner and would like to give this a try, pop on over to my shop at Wind Rose. I may just have to add this to my regular inventory in 2009 and work on developing other shades. For now, the blonds have it! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Merino Roving on Parade!

This is what my studio work table looks like today! I dyed three whole pounds of 22 micron Merino roving yesterday. Here are the colorful fruits of my labor! There's Mixed Berry, Crimson Purple, Happy Green, Royal Blue, Altered Sky, Bright Yellow, Cotton Candy, Light Green, Bright Orange, Soft Purple, Cherry Red, and Vermillion. I'll be posting these in my shop at Wind Rose Fiber Studio today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Nuno Felt? You Have To See This!

This is my third post featuring Michele Johnson of Laughing Cloud Studio, and I have to say, I saved the best for last! I met Michele at the Southwest Fiber Festival and it was there that I saw her dye work. I bought some beautiful "Poppy" colored Wensleydale locks that I shared here on my blog, but what I haven't shown you yet is her hand painted yarn. So here is a photograph of her incredible, hand painted, luscious Italian Merino. Aren't those colors striking?

Ok, but what I really can't wait to show you, is Michele's unbelievable nuno felt. She's been holding out on us!

Her pieces are so extraordinary and original that they leave me speechless!

I don't have comments from Michele on her work. She just modestly sends me a few pictures. She's like a mild mannered "Diana Prince" who goes into her studio and becomes "Wonder Woman"!

I guess I'll just let the pictures do the talking...

It's just so pretty!

So hang out, click on the images to see enlarged views, and then just ooh and ahh for a while. That's my advice to you today! And remember, if you live here in Arizona, you can pay Michele a visit at Cascabel's 28th Christmas Fair on Saturday and Sunday December
6 & 7, 2008.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Awesome Soap Giveaway from The Copper Cauldron!

I know I'm a fiber blog, but I just have to share this with you. My Friend agoodwitchtoo is hosting a wonderful giveaway on her blog The Copper Cauldron. She is giving away a six month soap subscription. That's 2 of her wonderful bars of soap a month, for six months. Here's a detailed description of what you'll receive form The Copper Cauldron:

"TWO generous bars that weigh approximately 5 ounces a piece.

Choice of 24 scents... choose the same scents or mix 'em up! That's a possibility of 12 different scents! Wowzers!

A bit of a surprise. You choose the soaps but I choose when they ship!

Any additional purchases during your subscription get you 10% off. Cool part? This is in ADDITION to any sales that are currently running in the shop!

A Super Secret Coupon. This one promises to be so good I'm afraid that it cannot be used in conjunction with any other sales or specials.

Free sample(s) with every shipment! A scent you haven't selected during your subscription so you can try a little something new.

This is an almost $90 value! Not too mention all the perks that come with a Copper Cauldron Soap of the Month Subscription."

Now to get all of the details on how to enter, jump on over to The Copper Cauldron. I know I'm entering. I have a bar of her Pumpkin Pie Soap next to my kitchen sink right now! It's adorable to look at and even more nice to use!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Organization is Exhausting!

The day is coming to an end and I haven't even blogged!  I don't know what's come over me, but I can't stop organizing.  Isn't this urge supposed to hit you in the Spring?  Today I worked on the former game room closet.  This closet was filled to the ceiling with kid toys.  After hours of sorting,  the closet is now half dedicated to games and such and the other half to business supplies.  The studio is looking a lot better too now that all of my shipping materials have a new home!

Ok, I know I'm boring you to tears with all of this personal stuff.  I promise more exciting things on the horizon.  My friend Michele Johnson just emailed me some pictures of her hand painted yarn and her nuno felt. Her felted work is AMAZING.  I can't wait to share it with you!  I'm also clearing off my work table in my studio so I can get busy with some more nuno felt.  I have some seriously cool fabric that I want to try out.    

I hope all of your work endeavors are going well!  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today at Wind Rose Fiber Studio #12 - The Great Reorganization!

It's safe to say that I've been distracted over the last few days. The one year anniversary of my Etsy store is fast approaching and it has me thinking about the future. Year number one has been great and I've come a long way from the intimidated soul I was to the seller I am today. Now I am looking towards year number two and how to grow my business and make my shop even better.

As Wind Rose Fiber Studio has grown in size, I've batted around the idea of a second shop. I put it off because of uncertainty and a feeling that generating brand recognition and a customer base was more important than expansion. It's clear to me now that the core of my business is my dye work. I've decided to make that the full focus of my original shop. To do so, it's time to expand and diversify. It's important that I clear out room at Wind Rose so that I can give the roving the space and organization it deserves.

So here is my plan. I'm not just opening one new shop, I'm opening two and maybe three. I've already gotten started. I will now be selling the largest portion of my handmade at Artfire. I want them to get a chance to be bigger fish in a smaller pond. I'm sure it won't take long before Artfire explodes onto the scene, but for now it might be a venue where my handmade will be less lost in the crowd. It' will take a while to transfer things over, but you can see my new beginnings at my Artfire studio. At Etsy I'll be opening Wind Rose Boutique for my high end pieces; things in which I have more money and time invested. What I can't decide is whether or not to keep my handspun yarn with the fiber or open a shop just for the yarn. For now, I have more than enough to keep me busy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Party Purse

It's a good time of year to start thinking about party accessories. Every so often I weave a purse with nothing but whimsy in mind.

This Woven Handbag is made to party. It's trimmed out in a colorful holiday garland and made in a cheery red chenille. The bag itself measures 8" X 8" although the oversized trim gives it a more angular than boxy shape. It's fully line and has a magnetic closure sewn into the lining. A 48" strap allows this shoulder bag to rest at the hip.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Endicia, OwnTheHour, Art Fire

I have lots of little things on my mind today. Rather than making three or four mini posts, I'm just going to throw it all out there.

First, Endicia. Endicia is a tool for printing postage online and I have to say, I love it! After a year of waiting in post office lines every time I have an international sale (up to five times a week), I am now free! It took me a long time to accept the limitations of the USPS website. I just couldn't come to terms with the fact they they would not allow me to print first class international postage. It seems like price gauging to only offer the more expensive alternatives. I made phone calls. I was denied, transferred and disconnected. Then I got smart. If they won't do it, who will? That's when I searched the old forum threads at Etsy and got turned onto Endicia. Now I'm not comparing it to any of the other online postage places because I really haven't shopped around. There may be other companies that are just as good. What I will say is that I'm still in my 30 day free trial, but I'm very happy and I don't think I'll feel the need to look elsewhere. The process is quick and painless and you print one label that includes shipping and customs. It's great. And there is one nice service the USPS offers, Free Carrier Pick-up. You can set it up online and the next day, your carrier will pick up your package from your mailbox or front door. Very nice! So now with Endicia and Carrier Pick-up, I am free from post office lines. If there are any details I left out or questions, please comment and I'll clarify.

OwnTheHour is another new discovery. One of those Twitter tips I was talking about earlier today. So what is OwnTheHour? Their literature describes it best so I'll quote, " is a great resource for highlighting and finding some of Etsy's top items! Etsy sellers can advertise their product on our exclusive 12 item front page for just $1 per hour. They select the hours, and we do the rest! Etsy buyers, or those looking for great unique gifts, handmade crafts, and amazing pieces of art can stop buy each hour to see items that an Etsy seller has highlighted." They go on to say, "Our goal is to create a resource for Etsyians to promote their items whenever they choose. We use the money we make to pay for advertising to attract more traffic. We make every effort to attract sellers and buyers to OwnTheHour. By recycling the money that Etsyians put into the site to bring people to the site, we hope to create a nice flow of traffic for everyone involved." So where do they advertise? This is what they say, "A lot of people are confused about how others will find, and see, their items on OwnTheHour. Don't worry! OwnTheHour purchases advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and through Google and other direct advertising partners that directly targets DIY and Craft related websites. We also rely on word-of-mouth from all of YOU who are purchasing spots on OwnTheHour. The more you tell others about the site, the more visibility your items get."

OwnTheHour is new enough that it's hard to say how effective it is. As an experiment (you know I like my experiments), I bought an hour. Yesterday at 4:00 EST one of my scarflets
appeared on OwnTheHour. It didn't sell, but 80 people came to check it out. That's 80 people who could be discovering my store and could potentially become buyers. Was it worth the $1 I spent? Could be!

Last topic for today: Art Fire. I've been hanging out at Twitter more often lately, and one of the users I've been following is Art Fire. For all I knew, this was another artisan, and I wasn't paying close attention to the tweets coming from Art Fire until today. Today they got my attention by tweeting "Etsy sucks. Know why? Visit our comparison chart..." So I clicked on the link. Then it finally registered that they were another venue for buying and selling handmade.

I'm a peace lover at heart so I don't really like the tactic of attacking the competition. Even though I can't deny they got my attention, it's an ugly form of campaigning.

Bested by curiosity, I've been checking them out. I love the arts and crafts movement and I think there is room for more than one outlet. I went ahead and registered to get a better idea of how they work figuring the most I have to lose is $7 . Right now I don't know what I think. I'll continue to investigate in spite of first impressions. I enjoy exploration into the unknown. Am I leaving Etsy? NOOOO! I love Etsy! I think I'll always be an Etsian!
I just want to figure out what Art Fire is all about. I'll keep you posted.

Twitter Twitter All The Time!

Do you ever feel like you could just Tweet all day? Or, are you wondering what on earth I'm talking about? Chances are you already know about Twitter. It's basically just a place to hang out and talk. Some people use it to promote their business. Most of us like to throw up a link now and then to show off something we've just made or discovered. The best part is that you can join up and follow people with similar interests to your own and then share. I've gotten lots of great tips from other crafters and artists. You can get opinions on your work or some idea you're cooking up. If you haven't tried it, come check it out. It's pretty fun. Here's my home page or find me by searching windrosefibers. If you wish, you can start by following me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Handspun Hemp

A couple weeks ago I ordered some hemp roving. I was mostly just curious. I've never spun hemp before and I wanted to try it out. I don't even know if there is a market for handspun hemp, but I guess I'm about to find out.

This is 2ply
Handspun Natural Hemp. I thought it would be fun to make a plied hemp especially for you knitters out there. Why knitters? Because the 2ply hemp will solve the common problem of knitter's slant that you get from a single ply. But really, this 75 yards of hemp is for anyone who loves the natural feel and texture. It's strength and earthy appeal make it wonderful for jewelry making. This hemp yarn is not too bulky. It's more comparable to a nice, even worsted weight. So if you've ever thought about working with hemp, here's your chance!

How was it to spin? Really good actually. It is very grassy or straw-like and at first I thought it might have a tendency to want to fall apart, but it didn't take long to get a feel for drafting it. I like the idea of making my own hemp yarn because I can control the weight and make it more even than you often find it in stores. I've used store bought hemp in some of my own jewelry making and had to cut off pieces where there were big, uneven nubs. I can see how those would occur because sometimes you do come across a thicker piece in the roving, but when you are spinning by hand, you can either pick out those pieces or adjust your twist to accommodate them.

I plan on making more handspun hemp. I want to make a couple hanks of single ply which is what you more often come across in the craft store. For my first skein I chose two ply really because I've never seen a commercial two ply hemp and I wanted to know what it would be like. I like the finished look of it and I think it would look very nice made up.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My First Nuno Felt - Drum Roll Please...

Here she is, my gorgeous Wind Rose model wearing my first ever nuno felt scarf. So how did it go?

Saturday was the day. I fed my kids and husband a huge breakfast in the hopes that I would gain a couple hours before anyone approached me with, "I'm hungry". Then off I went to cut out my fabrics. My original plan was to do most everything outside, but there was a little breeze and it didn't take me long to realize that this wind would not be my friend while I worked with cloudy tufts of wool. So after I had my silk chiffon, plastic, polyester, and bubble wrap good to go, I retrieved my long tables and brought them up to my bedroom. There I could lock myself in at least long enough to lay out my design.

The first kind of beginner decision I made, was to go a little smaller than the scarf template recommended by my book
Uniquely Felt. It was a combination of disbelief at how much the wool would actually shrink down and my work space. I wanted my scarf to fit on my tables and not have to roll it up in sections. I settled on 13" by 72". After I briefly read over how to layer my fabrics; bubble wrap, plastic, silk, polyester, I set aside the book and just went on instinct.

I wasn't working with an actual scarf, just a piece of cut silk chiffon. I was concerned about my edges looking good so I went around the perimeter of the scarf first. Then I filled in the middle. On this first scarf, I didn't take the time to dye the chiffon so I went with natural merino. On top of that I sprinkled white nylon Firestar. I just can't resist adding a little sparkle. Then I used a soft purple merino to make my dancing star shapes. At first I was planning on flowers, but they just seemed to become more star-like as I went. Then to make sure the nylon was tacked down and to add some depth of color, I put finishing touches of Light Grey Coopworth wool. I really had no idea if I was using too much or too little. I just kind of let the design come together the way it wanted.

I think the most nerve-racking part for me was rolling it up. Oops, I'm jumping ahead, I did cover it with the polyester and spritz it down with water first. Back to rolling: Even using a noodle, there was no way to roll it and not possibly have a small crease or two. I just didn't know what impact this would have on the finished piece. I got more comfortable after I rolled and unrolled it a couple times. It made me feel better to check on the scarf and straighten it out before rolling it in the opposite direction. I could tell it would be ok.

Once I felt confident that the fibers were going through the silk, I moved my operation back outside. The fulling process was much more familiar to me having wet felted in the past. From this point on, I was feeling pretty good about things.

This picture is from fairly early on in the fulling process. It was fun to be outside in the sun and working with the hot soapy water. I went with a mild lavender and chamomile soap thinking that if there was any trace scent left behind, it would be pleasant. I have to say that the scarf did shrink up considerably, just as the book said it would. I knew this would be more of a child size, but that was ok with me, as long as everything else went alright.

So here is a close-up of the finished scarf all dry. I was hoping to catch a bit of the sparkle in the morning light, but it's hard with light colors. I do love how soft and light it feels and of course I'm already thinking about what I'll do differently next time. Overall, I'm very pleased.

I'm also thinking that I'm going to turn this first piece into something other than a scarf. I'm planning on perhaps a couple wrist cuffs and maybe a case for my iPhone (I just wore out my old one). I think it's exciting to be able to create your own fabric in this way and then take it from there. The creative possibilities really are endless! I'll keep sharing my creations and hopefully my positive progress. I also have two or three more nuno felters that I would like to introduce you to before I shift my focus. I hope you've been enjoying this series on nuno felt. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Nuno Felt - It's Coming

Hi all. I'm just checking in. I spent the day cleaning out the garage and I'm totally wiped. I did nuno felt Saturday and it went pretty well for a first effort. Here's a sneak peak and I promise I'll be back tomorrow with the full scoop. Have a great night!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nuno Felting at Wind Rose - Today is the Day!

The day is finally here! Today I nuno felt!!! It's taken me Forever to carve out the time and to buy the materials that I needed, but I guess it's a good thing to have a busy week, right? So in just a little while, I'll be setting up and making my first project. As always, I'll take pictures along the way. You will either be witness to my success or my humiliation.

I'm beginning to form a mental picture of a scarf design. First project or not, I'm going for it! You know how whenever you read a pattern or try a new craft, there is always that section where they suggest a small sample project. "Crochet a few rows to check your gauge." or "Try working with a 6x6 piece to get a feel for the process." Yeah, I'm the person who ignores all those wise gems and jumps right in. True to form, that's my plan today. I'll either win big or lose big. (remind me never to gamble!)

I have some felting experience. I've done sculptural work (left) and wet felting (middle) and made some sushi rolls (right). I am excited to expand my experience to include nuno felting. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nuno Felt - On With The Show!

Hello everyone! I feel like we are forming a very nice gallery of nuno felt! It all began with the pieces from the Southwest Fiber Festival. Following that was Amysfunkyfibers and then Fullenstar Studio. After a couple days off where I busied myself with silly things like grocery shopping for my family and doing laundry, we are back on track. I have a wonderful artist for you today, so without further ado, on with the show!

If you're a regular at Etsy, you've probably seen the avatar of today's nuno felter. Meet Shalana Frisby, or as you may know her,
thefunkyfelter. Her shop at Etsy is a veritable showcase of what can be done with felt. I'm a little afraid to have given you the link. You may forget your in the middle of reading this post! Ok, go ahead and check it out, but then please come back. Today I'd like to show you some of her amazing nuno felt!

Shalana confides, "The nuno felting technique makes such a different variety of texture than traditional wet felting. Combining the silk and wool create a super soft array of bumps and valleys that is not only physically beautiful, but also soothing and comfortable next to the skin. I am always astonished at the unique individuality of each of my handmade nuno felted pieces. Every one has a personality and life of its own."

The Lavish Scarf in Blue-Purple, Maroon and Tan (left) "This scarf is approximately 50% merino wool and 50% silk. It measures approximately 60 inches long (1.5 meter) which is a very nice length for a couple of wraps around the neck or a front tie. Its main colors include a blue purple silk base with wool shades of blue purple, maroon, and light tan."

I had to show you this beauty! This scarf is called
Moss Whimsy and it comes with one of her stunning flower brooches.

"My nuno scarves are individually hand felted with the best quality wool and finest silk. They are made through the nuno or laminated felting technique which involves joining wool with a fabric base. Each scarf is truly unique in all its details. The combination of wool and silk make for a lightweight, comfortable scarf that is suitable for almost any time of year, but is also durable and warm. With the proper care, this scarf will last through many, many fashion seasons as a timeless classic. The matching flower brooch was created from fine wool through a combination of both ancient wet felting technique and modern needle felting."

Here's another scarf from Shalana's Lavish Collection in
Rusty Brown and Ecru.

This is one of my personal favorites. I love when the silk makes an appearance through the wool. When I look at this scarf, I feel like I'm seeing a combination of the delicate silk ruffles of the Victorians blended with the more casual, even distressed look of today. Of course, this is only my interpretation. I just think it has an "old meets new" quality. What do you think?

The Adorn Scarf in Dark Blue and Purple. This is one piece from Shalana's Adorn Scarf Collection. It's a 50/50 wool and silk scarf with an alluring silk fringe.

"It measures approximately 54 inches long (1.4 meters) including the fringe which is a very nice length for one wrap around the neck or a front tie. Its main colors include a dark blue-purple base with dark royal blue and some lighter blue tones."

This one looks so soft and delicate at the same time. That's another one of the tremendous qualities of nuno felt. It has this diaphanous air and yet it's actually quite durable.

One more. I have a terrible time cutting myself off, but I guess all posts have to come to and end.

Once again from the Lavish Line in a
Mixed Sage Green, "This scarf is approximately 50% merino wool and 50% silk. It measures approximately 39 inches long (1 meter) which is a very nice length for one wrap around the neck or a front tie. Its main colors include a variety of greens including some rusty brown, gold, and cream."

You can see more of Shalana Frisby's work by visiting her store
thefunkyfelter or drop by her wonderful blog The Funky Felter's News & Tips. I want to thank Shalana for sharing with us today. Your work is truly remarkable!

Artist Update and Festival Info - Laughing Cloud Studio

A couple weeks ago I introduced you to Michelle of Laughing Cloud Studio. I have some new information on where you can find her and her hand dyed yarn, fiber and other work. So if you live in AZ or are planning a visit, you might like to add these festivals to your itinerary.

This coming weekend, "Saturday, Nov. 8th is the "Mountain Weavers & Spinners biannual fashion show & boutique" Its being held at the Prescott Adult Center, 1280 E. Rosser St, Prescott, AZ.. The boutique opens at 11am and the fashion show starts at 1pm. The boutique is open to the public but the fashion show requires a ticket, as lunch is provided."

And here's a very cool sounding event:
Cascabel's 28th Christmas Fair on Saturday and Sunday December 6 & 7, 2008. Michelle says, "The one, really, really fun show I'm doing is the annual Cascabel community fair. ... It's been going on for over 20+ years and is held in a really funky cool part of the community. The place used to be a commune but is now a private residence. They have artisans set-up in a laid back kinda way and there is always good music at this event. Sometimes there is performance art from a troupe out of Tucson. I'll be selling both my finished work and my hand dyed yarns/fibers at this show." Click on the link to see archived photos of the fair. The fair website shares, "The Cascabel Community Fair is a celebration of rural Arizona beauty, history, hospitality, diversity and artistic expression in an awe-inspiring outdoor setting. Cascabel is located along the banks of the beautiful San Pedro River..."

A special thank you to Michelle for keeping in touch with us here at
Wind Rose! We wish you well at your upcoming events!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hemp, Bamboo, Superwash Merino and Blue Faced Leicester - Available Now at Wind Rose!

Good Afternoon! First of all, I promise I will be getting back to my series on nuno felt. I just need a few days to play catch up. Shipments I've been waiting on have come in and I have a lot of organizing and dyeing to do.

Now my studio is brimming with bags of fiber. I was planning on dyeing or spinning them and then listing the finished roving. That's still my plan, but I decided that I would also post some of the raw fiber. I know there are a lot of people who enjoy doing their own dyeing as well as people who are looking for dye-free, so I'm listing some just for you!

So from left to right and top to bottom, you have Hemp, Bamboo, Superwash Merino, and Blue Faced Leicester. I've been spinning hemp for the first time and it spins up great. It's really nice to be able to control the weight of your own hemp yarn. The Bamboo is bright and lustrous and the Superwash Merino is super soft. I'm excited about offering a machine wash and dry wool. Just as soon as I can, I'll have some colors of the superwash in the store for you. Just remember, superwash is not for felting. What is for felting is Blue faced Leicester. It felts wonderfully and is also one of my favorites to spin. It has a long staple length and a very nice crimp.

At Wind Rose I also offer 22 Micron Merino and Natural Soy Silk. I'm always expanding my inventory. Someday I hope to be your one stop fiber shop! See you soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blog Talk Radio - The Blockhead Radio Show

I wasn't sure if I was going to write today. It would be so easy to curl up in front of the TV and watch CNN all night hoping the states turn a certain lovely shade of ..... ahem ..... I promised myself a long time ago that I was going to keep religion and politics out of my creative life! And the waiting kind of makes me crazy, so maybe I'll write a little.

I think of myself as pretty techy and in touch most of the time. After all, I run a web store, I blog, Tweet, Facebook, and Ravel with the Ravelry. Most of this I do while listening to audio books and podcasts. So I was surprised, when I was reading
agoodwitchtoo's blog, to find out about Blog Talk Radio. How could I have missed BTR? I immediately jumped over and signed up for an account so I could hear blockheadrod, agoodwitchtoo, huckleberryarts, and sewhappydesigns on the Blockhead Radio Show. All of these artists can be found on Etsy or in The Artisans Shoppe. I know that's a lot of links, but I just wanted to make sure you're hooked up if you want to be. The point is, I thought it would be cool to hear the voices behind the art and avatars. You know what I mean?

So at 7:00 last night I was ready. I moved my spinning wheel into the upstairs office along with the hemp I was working on and closed the door. After I logged on and exchanged greetings and links in the chat room. I moved to my spinning chair and prepared for a relaxing couple of hours, time where I thought I'd be doing my favorite thing; spinning and listening. Everything was going along nicely; the hemp, the talk radio, when in the middle of conversation I hear agoodwitchtoo say "come on windrose" (that's me) "jump on in!" I couldn't help but smile to hear my Etsy username called out from my computer. I obeyed and moved back to the keyboard. I made a few lame attemps at joining in the chat, but I'm much better at spinning and listening than typing and listening. Making matters more challenging was my son, the real artist in the house, busting in every couple minutes demanding I cut something out or examine a new drawing. Each time he opened the office door I was blasted with Guitar Hero and whatever classic rock tune my husband and my other son were playing. The worst moment was when the radio show had a call in and no one was calling, so I picked up the phone and dialed. Just as I punched in the last button, the young artist burst back in letting the video game noise in with him. He was talking and then I heard blockheadrod inquiring after me and I had a multi-taskng meltdown.

How embarrassing! Just once during my teen years I should have called into a radio show; Casey Kasem or something. Maybe then my reflexes would have taken over and helped me out. Sadly, some moments you just don't get back. Actually, maybe I will get it back. The show, the parts I wasn't distracted during, was really fun and I plan to listen again. It's total arts appreciation, live and on the air. I dig that. So next monday night at 9:00pm EST, Blockhead Rod and the crew will be back for another show. As long as life doesn't get in the way, I'll be there. I may stick to the safety of my spinning chair next week, but who knows? Maybe not.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nuno Felt Scarves and Scarflettes - Come See Today's Featured Artist!

It is simply sublime to have such a vast creative community to reach out to at Etsy. When I visited the forums to find felt makers and specifically nuno felt, I was received by a lovely group of artists. It's truly my pleasure to bring you their work and, in doing so, celebrate the wonder of handmade!

Today our featured artist is Carmen Halverson of Fullenstar Studio. Her store offers an impressive variety of colors, shapes and styles and I'm excited to get to show you some different designs made from nuno felt. During our chat Carmen shared, "For me nuno felting is all about controlled chaos... I know what fibers and colors I am using, but in the end they all take on a life of their own. It is so hard to make a "mistake" they are all just happy accidents!"

I have to say that when I view Carmen's work, I see more expertise than chance, but being open to serendipity is the sign of a great talent. This first beautiful scarf on the right is called
"Emerald Horizon". "Soft green, burgundy, and pumpkin merino wool fibers were hand felted on a base of beautiful hand dyed burgundy silk chiffon. Scarves made in this way are very easy to wear and they drape beautifully." It measures 64" long and 8" wide.

Now I have more scarves to come, but I want you to see how versatile nuno felt can be. I Love this Red Landscape Scarflette. The blending of colors is so subtle and it looks so soft. "Variegated red(with hints of yellow, burgundy, and black) merino wool roving was hand felted on a base of beautiful burgundy colored silk chiffon. Natural fibers like silk and wool keep you cozy warm without feeling overheated."

When you buy nuno felt, whether it's a scarf or a shawl, you are acquiring a work of art. Every piece is unique and brimming with it's own personality and what could be better than wearable art?

Carmen's studio also offers petite scarves. "I wanted to create a new size for those looking for something between a scarflette and a full sized scarf." I think this is a wonderful addition and an amazing way to dress up an outfit. I've said it before, but one of the nicest things about nuno felt is it's light and airy nature. It can become a part of your year round wardrobe.

Now I know you'll want to give these a closer look, sor from left to right, you have
Sage and Burgundy, Midnight Rose and Autumn Blaze.

I hate to say it, but my time is running short. I'm going to leave you with a few more scarves before I go. I hope that you are enjoying our exploration of all things nuno. Thank you so much Carmen for allowing us into your studio for the day!

Soft Serenity was created by nuno felting. Soft blue, tan, and brown merino wool roving were hand felted on a base of beautiful hand dyed caramel colored silk gauze."

"The scarf pictured measures 58" long and 8" wide."

"These scarves are show stoppers and conversation starters..."

Sunset Silk and Merino Wool Scarf reminds me of my desert home These are the colors I see when I look out of my window here in Arizona! Do you think Carmen planned it that way?

"This scarf looks very delicate but it is made for everyday use, the more you wear and wash it the more beautiful and soft the felt will become."

I could go on and on, but this is our last piece today. This one is sweetly named "
Blushing Valentine". "Soft red, brown, and peachy merino wool fibers were hand felted on a base of beautiful hand dyed light red silk chiffon."

Thank you so much for joining me today and don't forget to visit
Fullenstar Studio. See you tomorrow!