Archive for Fiber Friday

Fiber Friday: End of An Era

Posted in Cloth Diapering, Fiber Friday, Motherhood with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I have been purging lately.  Not the good kind, wherein you lose a lot of weight but still get to enjoy the foods you love.  The other, messier kind.  The house purge.

We have so much stuff, and I have been so crazy (no, really – like bats in the belfry, toys in the attic, though in our house it’s rats in the attic and toys all over the damn place), that there is nothing but chaos all around us.

I might have mentioned my little pet OCD project.  I stumbled into it quite by accident, but we love each other and I think it’s for keeps.  Coupled with my ADD it’s like a torrid romance, without the sex, though sex is in the running for the next object of my affection.  I jump from obssession to obssession, and before I know it I have enough supplies to keep an army in yarn, fabric, paper crafting, recycled sweaters, rock climbing gear or cigarrettes for at least a decade.  

My major hesitation is the baby stuff.  I’m parting with the clothes in a fairly light-hearted manner, with only a few tears and gut-wrenching sob sessions,  and a mere two huge boxes of  “must keep” items.  Because, you know, they’ll never make such adorable clothing for babies again and I might someday have grandchildren.

No, the real problem is cloth diapers.

As I said in an earlier post, I love them.  I covet, crave, and fondle them.  I have truckloads of fabric out of which I sew them.  My last five years has been spent accumulating, experimenting and creating.  Most of my knitting has been longies and shorties for – you guessed it – diaper covers.

As I pack away the rarely-used items and try to figure out what to do with all the raw material, I find myself wondering who I will be when we move out of this stage.  Since no more babies are in the works (do you HEAR ME UTERUS??) what will I do with the fabric?  Will I continue to make and sell on Etsy for other people’s babies?  Or is it really time to find some other obssession?

I am so sad to be done.  So sad that some day my baby boys will not kiss me squishily on the mouth.  Sad that the snuggles in bed in the morning will pass away.  Sad that there will be no more toothless smiles in my future, except perhaps my own.  I want to want to be done – but I will always ache just a little in my heart that who I am, what I do, is constantly being redefined.  Soon, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers.  In no time at all, I will be the mother of men and a woman.

For whatever reason, this cloth diapering thing has been the symbol of this season of my life.  As I fold them and decide where they should go, I think of all the work, all the washing and care that goes into parenting.  The drudgery, the cuteness,  the raw need a baby has for his mother.

Part of me feel ready for whatever is ahead, ready to let the babies grow up and not need me quite so much, or at least not in the same ways.

And part of me wants to always have a baby to love and to love me right back, in that simple, sweet way babies have.

P.S.  Wanna buy some diaper fabric?

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Fiber Friday: Creative Conspiracy Artisan Event in Montclair, NJ

Posted in Fiber Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I know it is Saturday.  Let’s call it solipsism Saturday and I’m telling myself it’s Friday.  Since I’m the only one who counts, I can do whatever I want.

While visiting my mother this week, I set off to my favorite LYS, which is not really my local yarn store, but it is semi-local to my mother.  I punched in the address on the new Garmin Nuvi (might be my favorite toy ever, but only if you don’t count the Kindle) and flounced all the way over to Montclair to buy some stash at Modern Yarn.

And they were closed.

But while puttering around this awesome little town (nothing up here should ever be referred to as “little”) I walked by a storefront that had a bunch of folks selling their indie-crafted wares during an event called “Creative Conspiracy.”

I was smitten, I tell you!  It was everything I have wanted to do with a local art market in Lynchburg, and it was put together by Bridgett Artise, who recently had her book Born-Again Vintage published.  She gathered together talented folks from NY and NJ to show their work, sell some things, network, and enjoy a four day extravaganza featuring a book signing, fashion and hair shows, light food, mocktails, free makeovers and free chair massages.  She obviously knows how to draw a crowd.

She also knows how to make unique items from thrift store finds.  She takes interesting elements from vintage clothing and assembles them into something fresh.  Remember those old afghans crocheted from a rainbow of yarn?  She made one into a vest.  Did I mention amazing?  She’s saving landfills everywhere.

I bought a couple of goodies while I was there, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.  I scored a great notebook/journal from Vernakular, and some gift tags that I will never give up from The Tagonista.  She does not have a website yet, but she can be reached at thetagonista [AT] aol [DOT] com.  Her tags feature clever wordplay definitions like: twitterhea – too many twitters per hour, or chairdrobe – the chair that acts as a collection spot for all your clothes (not to be confused with the Floordrobe).  I bought those two designs, but I don’t really know anything about stuff like that.  Ahem.

I also got to chat with Makeba Lloyd, the owner of Butter by Keba, a line of intoxicatingly scented, natural body products.  She actually asked me if I’m a journalist.  I almost kissed her, but then informed her that I’m just a lunatic blogger who likes to write about crafty stuff once a week.

Finally, I spoke a bit with Nancy Redisch who makes handmade headpieces that are intricately woven from precious metal wire and beads and wow!  Beautiful, and a lot of work.  She was helpful, and had a variety of items to fit any budget.  She also gave me a new perspective on what will draw vendors to participate in these events.

This happening brings together some established shop-owners, as well as more novice artisans.  The displays were gorgeous; this is something I’d like to get better at.  The space, at 10 South Park St. in Montclair, NJ, was open and lofty and spare.  Perfect for an art market or craft fair.  I walked away with some goodies, and some fresh ideas for the next Lynchburg event.

Creative Conspiracy continues this weekend, beginning at noon today.  Each day brings new events and different luxury treatments.  Go try a henna tattoo, get your kids’ faces painted or caricatures drawn, or sit for a chair massage and hair styling.  Then go ahead and get your holiday shopping out of the way.

You’ll be so relaxed, you won’t even realize you spent all your money supporting indie crafters.

End of Week Mashup

Posted in Fiber Friday, Mental Stability with tags , , on April 4, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Over-committed.  What a telling choice of words for signing up to do too much: “committed.”

I am working on two guest blog posts, and will link to them as soon as they are up.  One is for PhD in Parenting’s Carnival of Play, which is a summary of and links to blog posts during the month of April about playing with your kids.  The other is for a nice mama from Lilgreenbaby who I’m sure will probably not even accept it anymore since I’ve taken so long!  It’s a post on cloth diapering, specifically sewing your own, written in my typical not-as-serious-as-I-possibly-could-or-should-be style.

I’ve had two complaints regarding my lack of Therapy Thursday and Fiber Friday posts, which I have appropriately directed to the complaints department.  I’m sure they will be handled with the courtesy and immediacy they deserve.

In the mean time, here they are, late and wrapped up into one short post on home therapy and cotton fiber:

Do you remember what it’s like to put fresh, cotton sheets on your bed?  You know, the 400 thread count ones that you’ve had so long they’re like an old friend?

Know what it feels like to take a long, hot shower with no children standing and crying at the shower door?  And to shave your legs unhurriedly (or at all)?

Last night, I took that shower, and put my refreshed, relaxed body into a bed with crisp sheets that I sprayed with stuff called “Beach Days Sheet and Clothing Spray” that I swear smells just like the beach house I went to with my family as a kid.  The room was cool and fresh from the wind blowing in my open window all day.

I snuggled down into those sheets and propped myself up to read The New Yorker on my Kindle.

Talk about decadent.

My mother is very good at some things, and not stellar at others, but boy, does she know how to pamper someone by making their surroundings comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

When I go to visit, I sleep in beds that belong in a B&B somewhere, with a dozen blankets to choose from and down pillows and softness everywhere.  And the first morning I’m there, she brings me a cup of coffee in bed.  It’s the one time someone serves me anything, and it only happens a couple of times a year.  I think I appreciate it more because it is so rare.

So last night, I tried to recreate a little of that feeling of decadence.  It worked.  I slept well, I feel refreshed this morning, and almost ready to tackle the ever-looming to-do list.

Almost.  Give me just one more minute in this bed.

Fiber Friday Giveaway: The Dark Side Has Cookies. And T-Shirts.

Posted in Fiber Friday, Giveaway with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Welcome to another Fiber Friday giveaway here in the nuthouse.   On Facebook recently, I came across  an old friend

an acquaintance

a guy I used to play baseball with when I was a tomboy kid but I really just did cartwheels in the outfield so I shouldn’t remind him but see, his dad was the coach and what six year old can hit a ball into the outfield?  so I was totally bored out there

someone I went to school with.  When you grow up where we did, you apparently either stay here forever and become one of them or you get a wicked case of ‘weird sense of humor.’  When you are lucky like me, you get to stay and you get the humor, and it all  just serves to alienate you from your community.  Thank goodness for the influx of people from Charlottesville and such or I wouldn’t have any friends.  Except Melissa, of course, but our town is big enough for more than one eccentric.

Anyhows, I should first warn you that this guy’s sense of humor is just a wee bit naughty, or possibly very naughty, so if you have delicate sensibilities, you should just go read someone else’s blog today.  Seriously.  I don’t need you hatin’ on the Barely Knit.

Here is what Ken has to say about his shirts:

NakedGringo is a new and exciting brand of tropically-inspired t-shirts. Established just one mile from the blue-green waters of the Atlantic ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Gringo draws his inspiration from the characters he sees at the beach, the conversations he overhears at local brew houses and coffee shops, and of course from his own twisted imagination.
Every design featured on NakedGringo.com is a limited edition, wearable conversation piece.  Only 100 shirts are printed of each design. Divide that by the various sizes and chances are likely that no one is going to have the same shirt as you.
Gringo also produces original designs and prints for local restaurants, bars, events, sports teams,and charities. These designs are not offered for sale via the website, but you can always spot the fashionably uninhibited when you see the trademarked “original PalmPrint by Gringo” logo.
I hope you have as much fun wearing your NakedGringo t-shirt as you do when you take it off!

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Ahem.

Ken let me know that he has a cool new design for women coming out, as well as a breast cancer awareness shirt in the works.  He has sizes small, medium, large and extra large, and if you win, I’m sure he can work with you on what you want.  Or maybe, just maybe – you can wait long enough to see your own design on your shirt.

He let me know he is always on the lookout for new design ideas, so this is the giveaway dealy-o:  leave a comment with an idea for a t-shirt.  It can be anything, no holds barred (obviously, he’s not squeamish).  If he likes your idea, I will hook you guys up (in the old fashioned way, trust me) and maybe he can add your design to his collection.

His site is new still and he only has a few designs up, but you can see more at Naked Mafia.  Do you sense a theme here, folks?  It is mighty hot down there, you know.

Don’t worry if you can’t think of any design ideas.  Just leave a comment and I’ll add you to the drawing.  The winner of a t-shirt (your choice of style and size) will be chosen at random.  The contest ends at 8 PM EST on Tuesday, March 31, and I will post the winner the following day.

Fiber Friday FAIL and Fellow Blogger Giveaway

Posted in Fiber Friday, Giveaway with tags , , , , on March 7, 2009 by Ms. Ex

April at Enchanted Dandelions is crafty and creative  with YUMMY sounding healthy recipes, and she’s giving away one of her cute flax seed therapy packs from her Etsy shop.

Visit her blog to say hello and you have a great chance of scoring your choice of a Headache Helper, Oopsie Daisy, or two Owie Bags.  But don’t try too hard, because I wanna win.

Now, I know I failed to provide what I promised yesterday.  Can I blame my friend’s birthday celebration which involved much chili, too many desserts, and maybe a bit too much wine?  What’s that?  I can’t hear you.  I guess that means you forgive me, right?

In order to make it up to you, I am going to start an entire page called “Make and Do” with instructions, links to knitting and sewing patterns, and some things that might be better off being burned than crafted.

So stay tuned, and don’t hate on the Barely Knit for being a slacker.

Fiber Friday Coming Soon!

Posted in Fiber Friday with tags on March 6, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’ve been busy actually doing and making, so I haven’t written it yet.

But I promise all you fiber addicts that I will get you your recommended weekly allowance before the day is out.  Pacific time, anyway.

And the dummy’s name is…

Posted in Fiber Friday, Giveaway with tags , , on March 1, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Zoe!  I’m guessing it’s for Gorilla Zoe, in honor of his upcoming release, right?   ‘Cause he’s beautiful and delicate, just like our dummy.  Also, I have my daughter has his autograph.  He should have been a doctor.    Anyway, thank you Beth Wood for entering this giveaway – you have won the necklace.  Send me a message with your mailing address and I will get it to you posthaste.

As for the other entries, I must admit “Legs” is my favorite, mostly because this creature has no legs and I’m a huge fan of irony from way back.   Clarabel also amuses me because I drew a picture of Clarabell the clown as a child.  It’s in my scrap book, which is nowhere near as fancy as the ones nowadays.  All we had was plain pages with yellowing tape to attach things.  It was good enough for us, it should be good enough for my kids.  If I ever get around to making one.

Busty Laru is a reference to Chesty La Rue, right?  I know it harkens back to many decades ago, but I can’t for the life of me figure out who it is.  All I can remember is a Seinfeld referencing the name when Elaine’s breasts are exposed.  I saw Julia Louise Dreyfus once at a NJ Nets NBA game.  She was adorable and pregnant, wearing overalls.

Ah, Janice – a merry widow, indeed 😉

Liz, I love the cleverness – Paulette!

I will leave it up to Bunny to select which name to use, but I will certainly let you know what she decides.  Thank you everyone for playing.  Next month, I have a t-shirt up for grabs from Naked Gringo, who happens to be someone I grew up with.  He shares my twisted sense of humor, and his designs are not for the shy.  He is just starting up his website, and he would love some ideas for new designs, so that will be the theme for the comments.  Start your creative engines, and look for it on the last Friday of March.