STUDIO NEWSI was tickled to spend a few hours with Nick Regine, AKA the "Professor of Crystal" for Create-Your-Style with Swarovski Elements. We filmed a short "how to" video on embedding Swarovski Crystal Elements into a felt project. Check it Out!
Nightmare of nightmares....Shortly after I returned from my visit with Nick, I learned that Swarovski has discontinued its line of Crystal Yarn. This is a REALLY BIG DEAL in my world because all of my felted cuff bracelets and necklaces feature Swarovski Crystal Yarn.
Learn to spin her own glitzy yarn, of course!
I have been a Hand Spun Yarn Groupie and Spinner Wannabe ever since purchasing a used wheel at SAFF three years ago. I maintain a selection of beautiful hand dyed merino wool for felt making, so spinning seemed a logical craft to pursue. I took one lesson and left feeling overwhelmed and uncoordinated. I tucked the wheel in a corner where it looked lovely but did nothing further with it until this summer. The Great Crystal Yarn Crisis forced my hand....the only way I was going to get crystal yarn was to make it myself. Fortunately, my weekly fiber group is bursting with talented Spinners willing to share their knowledge. Special thanks to Kelly Agrue, whose work makes me swoon. Her patience and sense of humor helped get me over the hump, while Barry's calming influence reminds me to slow down a bit. I channel his words of wisdom when I start to panic and spin out of control:
"...Don't forget...you are allowed to stop the wheel."
So I do.
I stop, take a deep breath, gather my wits, and begin again. Although I have not produced quality hand spun YET, I know it is only a matter of time and practice before I get there! My collection of poorly spun yarn has grown beyond reason; fortunately, my friend Deb brought a pillow to a guild meeting that provided just the inspiration I needed! She used her own gorgeous hand spun yarn with some commercial yarn to weave the stunning pillow pictured. A spectacular Swarovski Crystal stone in Crystal Volcano makes the pillow POP! Deb gave the group a quick weaving lesson and then gifted me with a loom of my own.
Deb's spectacular pillow
Lampshade in the works
Next on the list...a crochet lamp shade featuring my own version of Swarovski Crystal Yarn. I strung random crystal beads and pendants onto my plying thread and, with some trial and error, managed to ply a bit of sparkle into the yarn. I am finding my way and enjoying the adventure.
|Ruby meets her little girl|
Ruby the Nubian Dairy Goat finally delivered her babies. Every birth is a miracle and this one was no exception. I happened to be in the pen when she went into labor so I got to be there for the big event---what a gift! Despite the fact that Ruby was a bottle baby who had never been nurtured by a mama goat, she has done a splendid job with little Abner and Annabelle. The video shows her with them moments after they were born...it is all cuteness and sunshine---nothing gross, I promise!
I am glad that I bucked dairy goat tradition and let Ruby mother her kids. It has been a total win-win! There is plenty of milk for the babies and for me... they are growing like weeds and, at seven weeks, are starting to eat hay and grain. Poor Ruby is becoming impatient with relentless biting babies tugging at her teats. (...and seriously, who wouldn't?) They will be going to new homes once they are weaned. Poor Mama has taken to running away from them when they approach from behind so I figure that the weaning process has officially started.
We have some new chicks, too! Remember Teeny Tiny Mutant Hen? We had pretty much given up on her ever laying an egg, but then she surprised us. It took her an extra year to catch up, but she is now laying teeny tiny eggs with delightful regularity. She went broody in May and turned into a real warrior as she sat
Teeny and her babies. She's on the lower right.
Teeny scouts the yard to make sure it is safe to venture out.
Interestingly, her three chicks are more nervous and skittish than any others born here. I am guessing that, as is often the case with humans, this nervous chicken has managed to pass her dysfunction along to the next generation.
Where is a chicken therapist when you need one?