Healing Handcrafting

exploring process and healing through fiber arts and handcrafting


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A Sweet Surprise~ The Creative Blogger Award Nomination That Made My Day

I was so incredibly pleasantly surprised to see in my email a notice that my little blog here had been nominated by another wonderful blogger, Mrs Craft of Craft and Other Crazy Plans for the Creative Blogger Award! You know, it’s really quite a lovely feeling to learn that someone reads my words, looks at my pictures and thinks that they’re cool! It’s also wonderful to have the chance to share the blogs that I love to read and look at for inspiration, information and simply because they are fabulous! So, I’ll get to that below!

This is especially tender for me because I am actively working on a “healing” piece. With heartbreaking world events, a busy life, transitioning to summer break with my children, and experiencing a bit of grief of the personal and existential sort, I needed to begin a piece I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m using my large Majacraft Circular Loom and making a sitting rug. It will be textured and smooth, soft and hard, mostly in a beige/off-white/cream color palette. Peaceful. Natural. Cloud-like. Quiet. I want something to call my own, my little space that invites touch and that reflects the complicated aspects of life, but in dulled down color. I need that space and am making it for myself.

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Part of being nominated for this sweet award includes the act of sharing five things about myself, so here it goes:

  1. I am absolutely fascinated by ancestral history, and believe that as I age, I will spend more and more time pursuing information about all of the people who came before me in my family. I wonder about them. I thank them for surviving, because without them, I wouldn’t be here.
  2. If I could go back in time, I would not quit creative writing in college. I would pursue that interest with more devotion and more discipline. That regret is fueling my urge to write, and my discipline now.
  3. I hope to join the Peace Corps one day, even if I can’t until I’m an “old” woman. This woman inspired me not to let my mind succumb to antiquated and stereotyped images of aging.
  4. I love to run, workout and be strong, and have found this love later in my life.
  5. I used to live in Florida and I really, really love and miss the Gulf of Mexico. I also love the Atlantic and spent a lot of time at the Jersey Shore when I lived in NJ as a youngin’. There is something magically wonderful about salt water and all of the life it supports, and I hope to get to hang out by the sea a lot more in the coming years.

And here are my nominations:

  1. I Accidentally Ate the Whole Thing
  2. Begin to Believe
  3. Healing Tree Farm
  4. Mulch and More Crafts
  5. Fibery Goodness
  6. Two Hands Healing and Creative Arts
  7. Violet’s Vegan e-Comics
  8. art does matter
  9. The Archivist Cooks
  10. Ingrid Art Studio Blog
  11. alexand knits
  12. Love Those “Hands at Home”
  13. Story Skeins
  14. Crochet Thread
  15. Spin a Yarn

The above blogs are ones I love to follow and check in on. They all have inspired me, not just in the crafting way, but in the living life artistically kind of way. I hope you check them out.

Here are the rules for the bloggers I’ve nominated. I hope you all enjoy participating in whatever capacity you choose.

  1. Nominate 15-20 bloggers and add their links.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  3. Share five facts about yourself.
  4. Notify the bloggers you included.
  5. Keep the rules in your post.

Thank you again, Karen (Mrs. Craft) for nominating me. This was really fun!

~ Bradie


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Some Recent Fibery Work

Last weekend, I was able to be a part of a wonderful Open Studio day at Shelburne Pond Studios. I don’t have my own place there, but as part of their weekend, they invited local artists to show their wares. It was a good chance for me to finish up projects that had been drifting about, waiting for some attention amidst all of the things that can make a life so full. I was delighted to see how much I actually did make over the winter months. More than I realized! I think my obsession with circular weaving helped. It never felt like work, to pick up a little loom and let my gut tell me what color needed to come next, what texture, what material…

Below are some pictures of some things I had on hand.

 

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Skeins of yummy handspun yarn, all from locally sourced wool.

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Loads and loads of batts ready for spinning or felting!

This little circular weaving piece was made using a loom from this Etsy shop. I love the sizes of looms this shop owner offers. They are affordable and very, very fun.

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Circular weave wall hanging.

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A little tiny nest with a little tiny egg on a little tiny piece of wood from our big beautiful lake.

The wall hanging below was made in part with a Majacraft Circular Loom. I got mine here.

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Another Wall Hanging.

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This “doll” sort of appeared. I love her but she also gives me the willies.

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Wild hanging basket.

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Woven piece highlighting a lovely bit of driftwood that looks to me like a lady dancing.

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Hello from me.

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Mittens letting me know that for that moment, the fabric scrap basket was indeed HERS!


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The Strength of the Warp Thread

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though they know that you’re slightly cracked.” 

~ Bernard Meltzer

I like this quote. It is on a card that I bought a while back because I loved it, and it made me think of the friends I have that have kept being friends with me, even after they’ve seen the really me.  I thought about things kind of like this as I made a small circular weaving piece over the last few days. The warp thread in this is strong and sturdy. (The warp is the thread or yarn you attach to the frame to hold the tension and to give you something to weave around). When I chose it, I knew it wouldn’t break as I wove the weft yarn through. (The weft is the yarn that you weave over and under the warp thread). Here’s the thing about some of the weft yarn I used. First of all, I used almost all handspun, the majority spun by yours truly. Some of what I chose is from a skein I made using a lot of different fibers. There is wool roving in there, wispy locks and cotton from punis. It is strong in some parts and weak in others, and very inconsistent in thickness. I love this yarn. I love it so much it’s hard to use because I don’t want its texture and variations to get lost in stitches. I love how in some places I could pull it as hard as I might in opposite directions and it wouldn’t break, yet in others, it is so fragile that gently tugging on it would result in a tear.

I chose to weave with this special, fragile-strong yarn because it invites feeling and touching, and I knew that the warp yarn would hold it in place. I knew that using a solid, predictable and consistent yarn would protect my at-times-breakable treasure. And it worked. As I wove, I was sometimes able to move quickly, leading the yarn above and below the skeleton yarn without much thought. Other times I had to carefully push the yarn through so it made it to the opposite side in one piece. It didn’t always make it, requiring a quick repair, or a dedicated wrapping around the warp yarn. That extra twist, done by hand, of one yarn around another reminds me of the way sea horses hold on to seaweed to stay safe and secure in strong currents, an entwined tail around a grounded sea plant. It’s the same sort of thing.

The finished product shows the lovely handspun yarn in its full personality. I honored the weft yarn, though. It is the center of the circle. It is strong and sturdy and sits as evidence of what holds the whole thing together, its many arms reaching out to securely hold the frame with confidence.

We can be all of these things, all at the same time within ourselves. And of course we are different parts to different people throughout our lives, sometimes strong and reliable to another’s fragile and inconsistent fibers. We can also be the ones in need of the sturdy frame on which to lean and around which to wrap in times of frailty and moil. It takes both aspects responding to the other with the right amount of tension and just enough give to make a thing with depth and honesty. Mr. Meltzer had it right.