by Kat | Jul 16, 2021 | General, In This Moment
Hullo, Friday! Like clockwork, you arrive bringing with you the weekend, which might be the best constant ever.
Last night my “new” book club finished Good Talk. It seemed most fitting that we met in the Lincoln Gallery for our final discussion. The conversations around this book have been enlightening and so very helpful. I am eagerly anticipating our next book, which will likely be Caste.
I don’t love FB, but every once in a while something amazing shows up there and this week brought a two-for! First, this story showed up and I could not get that story out of my head! I started Googling and discovered this article which included information to donate fabrics to these amazing men. (scroll down to the bottom of the article for that info!)
The second good thing that showed up was a post by a spinning “friend” who was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the size of her stash and she wondered if there would be any interest in joining forces to “spin down our stash” in the second half of the year. Ummm, YES!! (and so many people said yes! lol) More spinning in my life is never a bad thing. I have a sweater I want to spin for so this is exactly what I need to get that done! (if you want to join this group, let me know and I will send you the link to the group)
Finally… I have worked for two weeks on a pastel drawing… and this week I think it is finished. I put some final touches on it this morning and signed it. Oh boy… it is not perfect. I learned so much about my limitations with pastels… but I kept working and I learned some work arounds… and that is always a good thing.
That is all I have for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!
by Kat | Jul 2, 2021 | General, In This Moment
Summer Slow Down continues despite the cooler temps and some really good “soaking” rains we’ve had over the last day. Truthfully, it was a welcome change from 90+ degree days. I understand that our heatwave was nothing compared to what many are experiencing, but still… too hot is too hot and for me temps in the 90’s (and upward) are just too hot! There is no rushing to do anything in the heat but the cooler temps are a very welcome break before we head back to those warm temps next week. All that heat means I have been spending lots of time indoors, but that is okay… I have plenty to keep me occupied inside! (And I don’t mean housework… although, I probably shout! Ha!) But how about some good things to close out the week and welcome in the holiday!
First up, I have had little Wiz K. a week now and wow! There was a very tiny learning curve on how to adjust it but once I figured it out, I was off to the races! I did a bit of trial spinning with some of the leftover fibers from my MDSW classes… I sorted out my “normal” spinning quickly, and once that happened it all just sort of fell into place. So I grabbed a braid of fiber (from my favorite Hipstrings!) divided the braid in thirds and started spinning!
One third of a braid, in process!
The Sparrow is completely silent, which is shocking to me, but I love it! It is easy to adjust tension and take up, and starting and stopping is a breeze! I have only spun with it plugged in and the “start/stop” speed control is genius. It is separate from the e-spinner, so I can have it closer to me for ease of reach. There is a slight delay on starting and stopping so there is not an abrupt yank of the fiber, but rather a smooth start and a smooth stop. I have the “speed” set to 40, but it can go much faster… much faster! Likewise it can go slower as well, so I think this could be an excellent e-spinner for a new spinner! Changing twist direction is as easy as the flip of a little switch, so easy! It comes set up in Scotch Tension, but can easily be switched to Irish Tension, if you needed to. I like that bit of versatility… and I don’t think you’d need an e-spinner to do much more than that.
One genius controller!
Now, let’s talk about one wee draw back, if you can call it that…. the battery. I have yet to spin with the battery because I need to plug something else into the battery to increase the output so it (the battery) stays on. Some people plug their phone in, but I think I will get a little USB light and use that instead. Why is this necessary? Because the Sparrow hardly uses any power – so little that the battery does not register anything using it so it turns itself off! Yep… that is right, it is one efficient little bird! I have not filled a bobbin yet to determine the capacity, but Daedalus says their capacity is 5 oz of fiber, which is larger capacity than anything I currently am using but I will update you once I have a full bobbin.
For the price, I think this is an excellent “starter e-spinner” but it is also would be an excellent addition to your wheel collection… (small foot print, silent, portable, and it spins incredibly!) The price for the e-spinner is $400, which includes the wheel and three bobbins. That price does not include the speed control, which is $110. But!! Once you have the speed control, it is interchangeable with all of the other e-spinners Daedalus makes… so it is a one time investment. The battery pack is an additional $110 and again, it is interchangeable with all the other Daedalus e-spinners.
Now let’s talk more about the footprint, shall we? It is minuscule! The space it takes up on my table is 5″ x 7.5″… yes that is it! So if you are looking for something that can get a good bit of spinning done and not hog up all the space in your room… this is the bird for you! I have two “manual” wheels, lol, a Schacht Matchless and a Schacht Flat Iron. I thought my Matchless took up a reasonably small bit of space, but it now feels like a behemoth in comparison! And as for that Flat Iron… well, I think it is time that it moves on to a new home (so if you know anyone who is interested in a wheel… let me know!)
I am impressed with the quality of the wheel and with the dedication that Dave and Rebecca have to customer support. They have a very active FB Group where questions are answered very quickly. This has rapidly become an invaluable resource for me, because you can search a question… and find an answer quickly without having to ask again. Plus, the community there is incredible! They are a helpful, supportive group! I love watching Daedalus e-spinner owners cheering on those trying to get their first e-spinner. If you are thinking about an e-spinner… a Daedalus product would absolutely be my recommendation!
But… it was not all spinning this week! I have another drawing to share! I was disappointed in last week’s attempt… but I thought I could do better so I tried again. This time I focused on just what I could fit onto my page… and I took my time. This outcome took me all week… I worked on it for probably 30-45 minutes at a time. I kept reminding myself that it was layers… not one and done. I am very happy with the outcome! Is there room for improvement? Yes… but, there is also a great deal of pleasure in my finished drawing! I also added some supplies to my arsenal… I got a box of semi-hard pastels, some charcoal pencils, tortillons and blending stumps! Summer of Art continues!
One happy drawing, which is not really as grainy looking as this image appears.
The other amazing and incredible and very good thing is that my sweet Winston turned one this week.
Cute… but where is the cake???
I know I am entirely prejudiced, but he is just the most beautiful boy! (and he looks so much like his momma!) (Also, what is not to love about a first birthday when no one cares if you have anything on but your diaper! LOL)
And the final good thing this week? Well, it’s all about going from winning at the “Pandemic look” to suddenly public ready… yes, I finally found the courage to make an appointment to get my hair cut… and I could not be happier that I did! (and thank you all for your incredibly kind words on IG… you all are just such wonderful people! XO
Oh… and as for the Great Makeup Debate? The winners are a tiny bit of tinted moisturizer, a tiny swoop of brown shadow, a couple of coats of mascara, a little pop of color on my cheeks, and some lip gloss… simple, easy, and it is just right! I feel ready, and not at all made-up or overdone!
Winning Loosing Post-Pandemic look… oy! lol
A fresh coiffure does wonders for a body!
That is all I have for this week… I will be back next week (but maybe not until Wednesday!) Have a very Happy Forth, everyone!
by Kat | Jun 25, 2021 | General, In This Moment
“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
Today I am one with Dr. Seuss. It is the last Friday in June… and all I can do is wonder where the heck the month went?
But it is still June for a few more seconds and so let’s slow down and savor some things that stood out for me this week.
First up, a very good listen… Ibram X. Kendi and Ari Berman talk about voter suppression. Voter Suppression is my new “constant worry” and if it is something that worries you as well…. the latest episode of Be Antiracist has some frank conversation and even some things to think about, to read, and ways you can support groups that are fighting voter suppression! PA is not immune to voter suppression and there is a bill making its way through the State Congress that will make it more difficult to vote here and despite the promise of a veto from our governor they forge ahead. Sadly, 48 states have a 389 restrictive voting bills that have either passed or are in process so chances are that this will have an impact on how you vote as well.
I had a very slow (and yes, painful) journey with my summer art project this week. Full disclosure… this little pastel drawing was just a bit of a much bigger photo I found online. It has more wrong with it than it has right… but I am proud that I did not give up, I did not start over, and I kept working at it. I am even going to try again next week because each day as I worked on it I could see how I could have improved it…what I should have done…placement on the page, etc. So… here is my first attempt… I hope next week’s attempt is better in all aspects!
Tomorrow starts the Tour de Fleece… which ironically coincides with the Tour de France, LOL. Generally, it’s all about how much you can get spun during the Tour… yards and yards and yards of singles that are then extrapolated into miles… in other words, it can be as competitive as the actual Tour! Not so for me this year… I am going to worry less about my “mileage” and focus on savoring these gorgeous batts that I got from Hipstrings! They are so soft! I am going to set aside 30 minutes each morning to do some spinning meditation at my wheel. I am not on any “official” team, but rather this will be a solo ride of discovery!
Finally… a wee little Animal Crossing update. This week I achieved a big milestone! I have managed to “cultivate” all the different colors of flowers! My practically impossible final flower… the elusive Purple Pansy sprouted this week!
That is all I have for this week. I will be back on Monday with an update on my word! Have a great weekend everyone!