Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fiberpunk Beads

If intentions were blog posts, you would hear from me often, but today I am making good and turning my thoughts into typed words.  

I have been having fun in my studio playing around with my Fiberpunk Beads and I've started to make sets of them for other jewelry makers to explore.  I am hoping they will find their people and be used in new and inventive ways. 

I'm starting out by creating sets in solid colors.  Each one contains a large pendant, a tube, 6 spacers and three extenders.  I hope I have chosen components that will be assets to any design, but once I have a good variety of these kits, I'll branch out.
I love the texture fiber adds to jewelry and the way it contrasts the hardness of metal.  The beads I'm making are a combination of tatting and crochet and I'm trying to create designs that are out of the ordinary.  When you look at these beads do you see earrings or a pendant necklace?  Maybe you see a multi-strand bracelet or embellishments that can be sewn on like appliqu├ęs.  Most of all, I hope you see possibilities!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Where Was I, Oh Yeah, Gift Baskets!

Yesterday, I ran out of steam before I could finish sharing all of the new Gift Baskets at Wind Rose Fiber Studio.  In addition to the "learn to spin" baskets, I also put some together for the experienced spinners.  I've never met a spinner who thought they had too much fiber.  They might sheepishly say they do, but would they give any of it up?  So for these enthusiasts, near and dear to my heart, I made two gifts.  

The first one is full of the classics and I call it the Favorite Spinning Fibers Gift Basket.  This gift is stuffed full of Merino, Creamy Alpaca, Mixed BFL and I even threw in an ounce of Firestar.  I don't know about you, but I love sneaking just a little sparkle into my yarns.  

For the second basket, I incorporated some of the nicest fibers in my studio.  This one I call the Luxury Spinning Fibers Gift Basket.  This one is dedicated to soft, fine fibers including Yak, Silk, Organic Polwarth, Merino/Yak, and Alpaca/Silk.  This one is sure to make any spinner smile.

My last two baskets are for the felters and dyers out there.  In the Dye Your Own Wool Gift Basket, there are 6 full ounces of Merino, Jacquard Dyes in Fire Red, Sun Yellow and Brilliant Blue and Instructions.  Don't forget that I also have instructions here for How To Dye Wool Roving

Last but not least is The Felting Basket.   This colorful treat for the felting fans starts off with 1oz of Merino Wool and then it time to add some colors.  There is .25oz each of Bright Blue, Crabapple, Silver Grey, Black, Olive, Violet, Aqua, Red, Yellow, Brown, Orange and PInk in wonderfully feltable Corriedale.  What a great variety to add to a felter's stash!

There you have it.  Including the drop spindle baskets from yesterday's post, there are 7 in all because sometimes you just want to give the gift of fiber!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Spinning and Dyeing Gift Baskets

I've added something new to my little shop at Wind Rose Fiber Studio.  It came to me one morning in December, that it would be fun to make gift baskets.  While I plan to carry them year round, I'm sure this idea was motivated by the holiday season.  It tends to be the time of year when people are shopping for loved ones.  I thought it would be nice to have something all thought out, wrapped up and ready to give. 

I ended up designing 7 gift baskets in all.  I made three for spinning:  one with 19 micron Merino in Vermillion, Leaf and Orchid, one with natural fibers Organic Polwarth, Mixed BFL and Merino, and another 19 micron Merino basket with Cardinal, Ginger and Cyan.  They all come with a top whorl drop spindle and a set of detailed instructions for learning to spin.  They are all carefully arranged into bread baskets and then shrink wrapped.  I finish off all of my baskets with a little blank card that can be addressed to the recipient and for that added homemade touch, I crocheted star ornaments from some of my own handspun.  These go on the outside along with a yarn bow.  Actually, the Star Ornament Pattern is available here for free. 

That's only three of the seven gift basket themes, but I'm starting to wear out tonight.  I'll share the rest tomorrow.

Well I did It

I just thought I would quickly follow up on yesterday's post.  I did manage to get out there and run in spite of my moodiness.  As if in response to the metaphoric rain cloud over my head, it started to drizzle just as I was leaving.  It didn't bother me very much, mostly because this is the desert and rain rarely amounts to anything.  I played the odds and ran anyway.

I ended up running 8 miles.  I think I had something to prove to myself.  I don't know.  Like I said, I was moody.  Actually, I'm still moody, but I'm trying to snap out of it.  It occurred to me that it could even be a vitamin deficiency, so I took some B12 just for good measure.  I also finished off today with cauliflower fried rice.  This is where you process the cauliflower and use it instead of rice.  It's pretty tasty stuff.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Working Out After a Day Off

Yesterday I shared a bit about my fitness endeavors.  I talked about MyFitnessPal (the app) and the different exercises I've done along the way.  I like the idea of adding a little journaling to the process right here on my blog.  It seems that so much of getting healthy is mental.  

This mental aspect is on my mind because today, is the the day after, a day off.  A couple of weeks ago I decided I would give myself one day off a week.  I felt like my muscles needed a recovery day particularly since I've started doing exercises that are more challenging for me as well as longer runs.  I guess I should be more specific.  I do 25 minutes of a bodyweight bootcamp 6 days a week, and I run three times a week - 2 shorter runs (4 to 6 miles) and one longer one (8+).

I think I was spot on about the muscle recovery, but what I did not consider was how having a day off would affect my mental state.  The thing about daily exercise is that you get used to it.  You know it's coming and you know you'll get through it.  After taking yesterday off, I'm rather fixated on the fact that I'm running later today.  Can I still go the same distance?  How will I feel?  

One day off and I'm suffering a crisis in confidence.  A recovery day for my muscles has become a breakdown day for my brain. I imagine after my run, I'll be singing a different tune.  After all, I got through my morning workout just fine.  Still, it makes me wonder if I'll feel this way every Monday.  If so, is a day off worth it?  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

You Have to Start Somewhere

As far as blogging goes, 2016 was my lost year.  As far as everything else goes, it was actually pretty cool.  My sons grew ever more independent and impressive in their older teen years.  A wedding brought my whole family together as weddings do.  I did my fair share of crocheting and designing.  My biggest project being my Solomon's Knot Drape Front Vest.   I also decided to focus on learning how to play the guitar which I have owned for over 25 years.  All in all, 2016 was a year full of the richness that life offers.  

One of the biggest changes for me was when I somehow decided that I was going to get into better shape.  More than decided really.  Have you ever had that experience when something kind of crosses over in your mind and you know that you are actually going to accomplish your goal because you just do?  I had one of those. 

It started at the beginning of September when, feeling guilty about being rather lazy over the summer, I decided to get back to exercising.  Now, here on the outskirts of Phoenix, September is still crazy hot, so after one walk, I was already feeling defeated.  Then two things happened.  First, my sister-in-law shared this very fun looking video on facebook of The Fitness Marshall doing a short cardio hip-hop workout.

My first thought was, "Hey, I could do this inside!"  So I went over to The Fitness Marshall's YouTube channel, picked out enough videos to make an hour long playlist, and decided to hip-hop my way to being more fit.

Right about the same time, my oldest son, who was already back at college, tells me about this app he's using and gets me to sign up on My Fitness Pal.  I put the app on my phone, friend my son so we can be fitness buddies, and I was off.  Something about the combination of finding a fun exercise routine and tracking it in a diary along with my calorie intake just clicked for me.  I never thought I'd be a calorie counter, but it really helped me to monitor and be mindful of my diet.  

Flash forward to present day and I have logged onto the MyFitnessPal app for 127 days in a row.  I went from cardio hip-hopping to kick boxing and now I'm using a body weight bootcamp video and I've started running.  I've lost 38 pounds, donated more than half my wardrobe to charity and I kind of don't even know what size I wear right now because I'm still getting used to this smaller me. 

It's weird to say all of that in a nutshell because its been such a long journey with sweat and sore muscles and feeling like I can't lose another pound no matter what I do (the lows) and being elated when the scale rewards me with a nice little drop (the highs).  

I haven't reached my weight loss goal as of yet, so the journey is ongoing.  Aside from losing weight, I'm really focusing on strengthening my core and upper body.  I want to slim down, but I want to feel strong at the same time.  

I'm 15 pounds away from my ultimate goal.  The more weight I lose, the harder it seems to be to keep losing.  I keep having to up my exercise and be ever vigilant about my diet.  If you are out there trying to be a more fit version of yourself, I'm right there with you! If you would like to buddy up on MyFitnessPal, my username is fiberpunk.  I've just started giving myself Sundays off, so tomorrow, it's back to the mat!

Oh yes, and Happy New Year!