Grateful and Lush

A quick Me-Made-May ’15 wrap-up, plus some totally unrelated spring thoughts and photos …
Tasha teaching felting Flag Wool

Photo by Louisa Ballard

This shot of me teaching felting at Flag Wool is the closest thing I have to an outfit photo for the whole month of May! I decided not to worry about documentation for MMM this year, which was mostly a good choice, even though I felt a little more alone in my handmade-wearing.  It was such a busy month in the best way, and I just didn’t need any other thing to try and do every day.  Plus I felt like my best thoughts around a handmade wardrobe happened at the beginning/planning stage this year, and once I set it up I basically dressed like I normally would, except for the items I couldn’t wear because they didn’t fit my pledge, which were quarantined in the back of my closet.  I fell back in love with one old me-made skirt.  And discovered that while I may technically have enough me-made or me-repaired socks to make it through the month, I don’t have the will to keep on top of the laundry so that they’re always clean and ready to go … I also decided that any situation which calls for truly expendable work clothes doesn’t count. I was definitely looking forward the end of my self-imposed restrictions by the end of the month, although I enjoyed the challenge. I have a small wardrobe in any case, so maybe my goal for next year should be to add a few more me-made pieces. Also, I’m going to try harder to come up with some kind of documentation that works for me.

This May we traveled out to the Washington DC area for two art shows, and saw a bunch of friends, which has been part of our May plan for the last few years.  But we were also home more than normal, including for the wool festival here, which was super fun.  I had great students, and enjoyed the vendors (there was some totally beautiful handspun, among other things) and sheep as much as anyone.  I also worked on writing & photographing two new articles for Seamwork while we were back—I can’t say much about them yet, except of course that I’m really excited!  I can’t wait for you all to see them too.

Throughout all of this, I felt like I’d fallen into a pond of gratefulness.  Our trip went well.  Friends and family lent me their tools and knowledge at the exact time I need them.  I had enough me-made/altered/repaired clothes to wear for a whole month.  I was in the home I love, working and learning around things I’m passionate about.  To top it all off, that home was not on fire, or anywhere close to it.  We’ve had an unusually wet spring, and it’s mind blowing to think that just about this time last year our neighborhood was under evacuation orders from the Slide Fire.  (It didn’t get that close in the end, but it was such a scary time).  The forest is so lush right now.  Well, lush for here, a little carpet of green grass and small yellow flowers under the pines.  I tried to take a photo, but it just doesn’t look full of water and life unless you live here … but every time I look out the window I breathe a little sigh of relief.

Instead I’ll leave you with a few photos from earlier this spring, near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.  Spring anywhere out East still fascinates me, having grown up in a land where a little grass and extra flowers count as lush.  More fiber stuff is on the way!

 

spring mammoth branches

 

spring mammoth ripples

 

spring mammoth moss and flower

 

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Grateful Giveaway Part 1

Hello!  I am back at home, and feeling pretty good about things.  First of all, I just spent a week with some of my favorite women in the world, making all kinds of amazing things and stretching myself to a rare extent (more about this a little later).  If that’s not enough to be grateful for, I came back to flowers and a love note from my amazing husband.  Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about the life I’ve chosen.  So I thought I would share the love by giving away two of my Fiddleheads hats (and two more to come later)!

 

 

I have these extra hats because of a bad situation which is slowly resolving.  A long time ago now I sent some of my wares, including these hats, which were a brand new idea at the time, to a store in another state which turned out to be scamming artists and taking the money for their own pockets.  The slightly better part of the story is that artisans, communicating through Etsy, figured out what was going on, and the shop was shut down and contents seized by the attorney general of MO.  The much better part is that after much, much time in bureaucratic limbo, I was finally notified that they had “determined some of these goods to be” mine (maybe because they had my name and phone number on the tags?).  And after so much time had gone by that I had given up again, I received a box in the mail with a fair number of bags (appearing on Etsy this fall) and hats inside!  I doubt I will ever get any money out of this, but getting my unsold stuff back feels like a huge win.

 

 

When I first started making these hats, I didn’t realize how stretchy they would be, and I had more sizes.  Bryan always laughs at me for forgetting things I’ve made, I forgot that I used to make four sizes instead of three, and I forgot that I started out writing all the fabric tags myself!  I now think these two would fit around 3 – 9 months, on average of course.  As you can see there’s a classic blue and pink, each one with two tones, and more texture in the lighter color.  They are made from all recycled cashmere, making them super soft, eco-friendly, and washable.  I have made every one of the now many many of these that are around the country and the world, and I still love this design.

One of these would make a perfect gift for someone having a baby soon, as it should still fit when winter rolls around up here in the Northern hemisphere.

 

 

All you have to do to win is leave a comment!  Tell me which hat you would like and (yes this is for my marketing, small biz needs it too) what change having one of these would bring to your life/experience.  Open to anyone around the world, so tell your friends!  I will close the contest in just over a week, at 9 am Friday June 6 Arizona time.  I’ll choose a random winner for each hat and ship them out soon thereafter.

Hope you’re having a grateful week!