About Me

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I am a professional crafts person, working in clay and fibre, not necessarily at the same time. I am a juried member of the New Brunswick Crafts Council, The Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Some "craft porn"for Jay

Our dear Aussie friend, Jay has spoken of his love of Craft Porn. He wants to show the process, to see the process, peep into the making of craft. so these photos are for him, and anyone else who wishes to take a peek.

this is a photo looking in to the front door of my friend Darren's wood fired kiln. darren has been experimaenting with local clays and has built this kiln at his studio at Browns Flats NB. He is coming up with some really amazing stuff.Check out his site

The crazy fires we build in the backwoods of NB eh?

Now I would like to travel back a few years to when I was playing with fire on a more regular basis. the following few pots are ones that I made while pregnant for my oldest, he is 12 now.

Well that is all for now, I am sure that I will scrounge up some more "Dirty" pictures for Jay later. ta for now, thanks for reading

Full Circle, or a trio of shawls

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A few years back, while working at the Craft College, I gathered up a few of odds and sods from my stash and put on a very long mixed purple warp. The results of this weaving were three shawls. Each of the three shawls was different from the next because of the weft I used. All were woven in plain weave, all were different lengths and all were very warm and lovely after washing and finishing. Well, all but the one that has yet to be finished. The longest of the three, I will be digging it out soon, and creating a fringe, finishing it off and sending it on its way.
I know not where its home will lie, or even if it will leave my home at all. Only that the time has finally come to take it out and finish it. Pictured above is the second of the three shawls, and the smallest. The first left for its home in March of 2001. A gift.
I began this project in January of 2001. It was a messy, turbulent time in my life. I had been ill for several weeks with Pneumonia, and my marriage was in trouble. In a way these shawls were my therapy, and in a way they were my nemesis. I designed them with my mother in law’s birthday in mind, wove them and finished hers in time for her birthday in March.
Mere days after giving her the shawl, my world was turned upside down. I was served legal papers, and my battle to keep my children and my sanity began. I did not touch the shawls again for many months. As time wore on, the two remaining shawls, lay in the bottom of a trunk, waiting their final tweaking.
In April of 2002 while preparing for medieval event I was attending with the children I pulled out the trunk, and I finished the second of the three to keep wee little I warm in the spring chill.  The third shawl remains in the trunk, and waits.
In March of 2006, my world went upside down again. I fought the good fight, went back to court, and it begins again. The final shawl has been calling me, it is time. Perhaps in finishing the shawl, embellishing it, washing and owning the shawl will in some way bring this latest battle to a close, I will have come full circle, tied up the loose ends, and will be able to breathe, on my own, and steadily move on.

Monday, May 29, 2006

sunday at the spiderworks.

After a wonderful barbeque with the gang from one thread two thread, and Joepoet on Friday, the rest of my weekend became all about getting to the dyepot. I spent Saturday afternoon winding skeins, and gathering fibres to dye today. I rifled through the shed and came up with a dyepot. I raided the fridge and found an icy cold beer( or three) and settled down with a few skeins and a few cups of dye.
It felt so good to be back at the dyepot for even a few hours. As usual, I only accomplished about half of what I intended, but all in all I think the day was fairly productive. I managed to dye three large skeins of B&L country roving, a large skein of laceweight wool, and one small skein of spider web weight silk. Not bad for an afternoon filled with distractions. As per usual, despite the gloves, I managed to dye one finger green. Tomorrow I will get at the cottons, and maybe some more silk. If the weather holds out, I should be well under way into knitting a bag proto type for my kits with some of the dyed roving. I have two patterns already, but am itching for some design work in something more fancy than my simple casual bags. I have a truckload of great beads and baubles that are screaming for use and this just might be the venue.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Chenille Scarves

Well I am finally ably to post o progress shot of the log cabin chenille scarves currently on the loom. After a few minor glitches with the threading, I have them well underway. I am really enjoying the feel of the chenille and the pattern is so beautiful. I just love the colour and weave effct. It is a simple plain weave, pattern appearing as the shuttles are switched, one colour for another. I am really pleased with this set, but am really anxious to finish so I can sart on my lovely blue and chocolate brown tweed.I guess so many beautiful warps waiting will keep me at it. Just have to keep up the warping ahead. Thanks for reading must get back to the weaving!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Launched the Etsy store.....

So I have ventured out into the world of online selling with etsy.com. Check out my store, it is penelopespiderworks.etsy.com I am pretty excited that things are up and for sale and out of my hands. The setup was really simple and the price seems super reasonable. I only have four things up right now, but am told that Jackie will list a few things with me too. That should beef up the spot a bit.
In the process of picking pictures from my stash I came across some older photos of things I had done, since I have not much newly photographed I will share a few pics from the past.

This is a galvenized steel handbag that I knit a few years back. I just wanted to see if I could. so I did. The handles and the top band were woven in my inkle loom. I really love this little bag and I had a blast making it. might do some more someday.

This little number was from a series of bags I made, and sold. this is the last one I have, will definately make some more when I can. These bags sold really well. I have this one up on etsy right now.

this little box is made from some hand painted fabric that I was doing when India was a baby, I really enjoyed the process and I love the little box. I think that I will do up a few this summer and embellish them a bit more. maybe take the idea for a walk. I had made a few little boxes while taking a bookbinding workshop a few years ago, but have no photos of them.

this is another of my woven silk bags. This one I own, and use all the time. I love this bag. It sadly is wearing out on the strap where it joins the bag, but I love it so much that I am going to weave me a sturdier strap and let the bag soldier on, for a few more years anyway. It has absolutely no wear and tear anywhere else on the bag.
well thanks for reading, gotta run and weave me a scarf.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Productivity, No... REALLY!

Boy do I feel like a little worker bee. Nigel's scarf was the catalyst, project given, challenge met. Then there was Katie's wee scarf, gave myself the week, but hey look its done!!!! don't have a camera so bear with my scanner photos. I just cannot wait until someone appears with camera in hand. I have to share. After months of ufo's I have completed two entire projects!!
oh and smarty pants me added a bit extra on the warp for Kate's scarf and I now have a lovely piece of fabric for a handbag.
Well just colour me HAPPY would ya?
But no folks it doesn't stop there, I also made two new warps this morning for scarves while chatting on the phone. I have these lovely cotton chenille yarns from my stash, that just screamed to be woven. One warp, (two scarves) is a deep rust and a lovely warm beige. The other is the same beige with olive green. They are too yummy for words!
I have already threaded the green and beige warp and am ready to tie on and weave in the morning.
oops fatal scanner thingy won't let me show you the progress. Well trust me there has been some. Lots even.I am sure that kate will have her camera when she arrives to block the shawl that time forgot in the morning.
Ta for now must medicate and catch some zzzzzz's

Monday, May 15, 2006

So I am trying the selling thing.

Well the time has come for me to clean out the stash, and start selling a few of my finished goodies. I have placed a couple of items on ebay, and we shall see how they go. I am planning to start selling some things at the local artists market, if they'll take me that is...
I am just getting started so it will be a few weeks before I can commit to every saturday, gots ta build up the stock so I don't have a chintzy looking booth, and Jackie is going to join with me in this fine endeavour, we shall post pics of the work and the booth. Wish us luck!
For now I shall show ya what is on auction as we speak

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Nigel's Sulky Scarf

Posted by Picasa So this is not exactly knitting, but I used yarn to make it so in my books it counts as blog fodder. I wove this scarf for my dear friend Nigel. Poor dear was scarfless and sulking, and he is such a good pouter, that I caved at his expert sad puppy act.
Man he's good!
Seems his nose was a little out of joint when his girlfriend started knitting a scarf for his equally sad puppy best friend/room mate. Now these are two very lovely boy's who are excellant friends, but WHOA are they competitive. Now I normally wouldn't put my self in the middle of their little competitions, but hey, it was a week moment. I was lagging in the fibre creating, slacking on the sock from hell, and grabbed the first diversion to come my way. I had a blast. Took my normal weaving style for a walk and ran screaming away from my usual wool. I rifled the stash of both my girl's Kate and Jackie, added it to my long forgotten cottons and voila, Nigel's sulking scarf was born from the remnants of several dyeing projects, and stray bobbins of silk.
I believe I have created a monster, I need to do a series, I have Kate's on the warping board as we speak, ready to thread the loom over the next few days, and hoping she will have it in her hot little hands by the weekend.
I love weaving in the summer. It rocks my world fer sure.
I wove this scarf on a table top loom, but the rest will be woven on Jackie's spare floor loom which is currently being stored in my workroom. The weaving is much quicker on the big loom, and much easier opn the old creaky back. Well I must run off and prepare my residency foprms for the tomorrow deadline, Kate the keener is already done. sheesh what a brown noser!!!!
ta ta for now, thanks for readin'

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Literature, Knitting and the state of my reading these days

I stumbled across this meme on someones blog, it made me think. And I see that I am more well read than I had thought. I won’t tag anyone, but would encourage you all to give some thought to what you read. My personal reading habits of late have been either purely academic, or pure trash fiction. I am glad to realise that it has not always been this way. I have read a surprisingly large number of the books on this list, though I must say that I read most of them many long years ago. Doing this meme has made me realise that I need to take time once in a while to read some valid and new works, toss in a few classics, and get back a bit of where I was before all hell broke loose in my life. I realised that with the exception of the Harry Potter books, and the DaVinci code, most of these books, I read before even thinking about giving birth. My oldest is twelve.
If this has done one thing for me, it has opened my eyes. I am going to make a list of books that I have always wanted to read. I will go through them one by one until I have completed the list. Now I tend to lean toward the classics, and the safe (ie recommended and or loaned from trusted friends) so therefore, To add to my torture/pleasure, I will pick some books that are new and written by people I have either never heard of, or just never bothered to read.
This is going to be a toughie for me, so bear with me through it all. I will include a brief blurb from time to time so y’all will know I am keeping my word. But fer the most patrt I will discuss… My Sock!!!!! (after the meme and first draft book list)
Book Meme!
1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end.
4. Tag!
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) - J.K. Rowling One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) - J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) - J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwanThe Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz ZafonThe Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan KunderaHey
Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
The Nature of Blood - Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules -Ed. David SedarisI
Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
Empire Falls - Richard Russo
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - Adam Cohen & Elizabeth Taylor
  1. Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
    First Man In Rome- Colleen Mccullough ( current Read)
    Alias Grace- Margaret Atwood (current re read)
    The Sun Also Rises- Ernest Hemingway
    Candide- Voltaire
    Wide Sargasso Sea- Jean Rhys

    The great unread list of books, soon to be tackled by Lizzie, draft # 1.
    Angels and Demons_ Dan Brown.

Loved the code, have been waiting to read this one.

Frankenstein_Mary Shelley

Read it in High School, but feel the need to do it again. I enjoyed it then, and enjoyed the movie as well. Maybe I will treat myself and the kids to movie night to celebrate the finishing of this book.

  1. The Illiad and the Odyssy_ Homer
I have read bits and pieces and am familiar with the works, but have never set out to read em cover to cover. S’bout time I did.

Several biographies.don’t know the names of most of the works, but will list the people I am interested in

  • Peter the Great of Russia

  • Anne Boleyn

  • Marie Curie

  • Donald Sutherland( what can I say Canadian, wicked good actor, hottie)

  • Pierre Elliot Trudeau_ My political hero

  • Frank McKenna_ Kind of a political dynamo, here in this neck of the woods. And a wicked businessman. Nuff’ said.

  • Andy Warhol

  • Robert Roschenburg

  • Keith Haring

  • Jackson Pollack

  • Paul McCartney

Of Mice and Men

Angela’s Ashes

Art Of War_ Sun Tsu

Of course this list will morph into others as my sock project grows. I will be hiting the library for fodder soon after I finish my American History paper.
Have a good one, Thanks for readfin