7 December 2012

lampworking, simply amazing!

I took a lampworking class with Amy Waldman-Smith a few weekends ago that was absolutely amazing.  I knew I'd love it, and am now in the process of buying everything I need to make myself a small studio.  I LOVE the incorporation of lampworking into rings, necklaces and other jewellery, so I'd like to get into making metal clay or silversmithing pieces myself.  First I have to focus on setting up an area that can be properly ventilated, and also properly heated at the same time, which'll be tough as I want to use the garage as a studio.  In any case, my first beads are lopsided, and I wasn't really paying much attention to colour choice at this point, but I still think they're cool!

My first ever lampwork beads at my workshop with the super amazing Amy Waldman-Smith.  Lamp working is the best thing ever!

1 December 2012

Some weaving

I've been biding time until I can set up a lampwork studio in my home to do lampwork and metal clay projects.  Lampwork is AMAZINGLY fun and challenging.  I absolutely love it, but it requires a bit of a setup in keeping the studio safe and warm as it'll be in the garage.

Anyway, i've been doing alot of fun spinning since the OHS course is done until may again.  I am doing a fairly simple chevron twill with yellow weft, but i'm sticking in some corespun and chain plied bulky yarn I made a while back.  Corespun yarn bubbles up nicely when chain plied, so it's got a fun texture.  The one downside of taking pictures of weaving while on the loom is that until the piece is taken off the loom and gently 'finished' in hot water, it doesn't come across as a unified piece of fabric.  You tend to really see the warp and weft as they still slip around and move independantly of eachother. After finishing (I usually agitate it a bit in hot water, then i block and dry and press), it is a cohesive piece of textile.

All dressed and ready to weave!

A four shaft twill with bamboo yarn.  This will be soft!  #weaving

Added some pink corespun n- plied nylon fibre #weaving

and here's meh meh!
Meh meh! #tortie #tortitude

12 November 2012

2 new soaps

I've made a few more soap batches lately.  Both are vegan cold process soaps.  Next on my soap list is a palm free soap.  I just have to order some rice bran oil so I can make one of SoapQueen's palm free recipes.  These last two are her recipes as well, but they were plain recipes to which I added some nutrients and/or scents.

Activated charcoal soap:
pretty plain in oils, unscented, but I added some activated charcoal for some cleansing properties. It's getting blacker as it cures.  I love it! Coconut, olive, palm (organic) oils grace this bar.

Activated charcoal cold process soap all cured!  Guess what people are getting for christmas... #soap

Peppermint Kelp soap:
this is a weird combo. Originally i was going to make it kelp but also unscented.  The kelp powder smelled really fishy, so even though i'm thinking the saponification while curing will probably kill that smell, I wanted to add the peppermint to help to cover that up a bit.  I love peppermint soap!  This soap has a nice light avocado colour to it, and also contains avocado oil!  bonus!  Jojoba oil and shea butter, coconut oil, palm (organic) and olive oil are also in this soap.

Unmolded homemade peppermint kelp vegan soap #soap

8 November 2012

Quilted Bunnles

Quilted Bunny

I wanted to sew a cute quilted bunny softie I saw in the Boo Davis "Dare to be Square" quilt book.  It was a pretty quick sew, and I just used a bunch of material I had in my stash.  I don't think the black was cotton as it made a stink when ironed.  If I make this again, I'm going to shorten the arms and legs a few inches I think.  Also, when turned out, the ears/head junction got a bit pinchy, so maybe I have to clip the seams a bit more before turning out.

Quilted Bunny

Quilted Bunny

5 November 2012

OHS Master Spinner's Year 2 Worsted Small Article Project

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

A few weeks ago, all of my skeins and the worsted spun article was due for year 2 of the OHS Master Spinner's program I'm enrolled in.  This year, as the project suggests, we covered worsted spinning, which is different from woolen spinning in many ways, but in my opinion, way easier to get a nice smooth yarn out of.  Worsted spinning is what most people do without thinking when they're beginning, but what makes a true worsted has alot more to do with the preparation and we learned alot of ways to get a nice worsted prep other than combing.  I really enjoyed the program this year, and despite already being very practiced in worsted techniques, learned quite alot about new and different ways to spin and scour fleece.  We also covered natural dyeing techniques, and for my homework for that unit, I used coreopsis from my backyard!  The skeins were wonderful shades of dark oranges.

For the worsted spinning unit, I decided the small article would be a pair of fair isle squirrel mitts I've been dying to make for so long!  I love this pattern.  I love the little extras you can add in such as the latvian braids, the knitted acorn and the fact that their lined.  Lining was important for knitting mitts with a true worsted spinning preparation and technique because the yarn would not really be next to skin soft.  I chose a Shetland/English Leicester cross.  Beautiful white locks, nice and soft and not too much to the strong side of the long wools.  I lock washed each lock by hand to keep them neat and tidy a la margaret stove, and then lock combed each one as well.  I think i washed about 350g of raw locks, so it took a few evenings.  After lock combing, i took the clean and poofy bundles and combed them on my big 4 pitch fine forsyth combs.  I love these combs, they did a wonderful job.  I then pulled a nice combed sliver through a small diz and got to spinning which was actually pretty fast since spinning worsted from a hand pulled combed roving is almost effortless!  I spun a total of 600 plied yards because the pattern called for about 560, and i added a bit for mistakes, but after knitting the mitts, I only had used half!  I now have a tonne of yarn left over, so I guess I'll use it for something else.   The knitting of the mitts was fairly quick.  The pattern has long floats which although they're lined, I wove in anyway.  Knitting the lining I held the yarn 2 strands so the mitts are super warm.  I won't be wearing them though since they'll be kept in the binder.

I learned quite alot spinning for this project.  I did alot more sampling and had alot less mistakes and hardly any wasted yarn/fibre.

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

3 September 2012

Moar Wedding Day Fun

So my dress I bought from Princess Lasertron and when it arrived I had it fitted nicely.  It was poofy, but fun to wear.  I wouldn't have felt comfortable in a traditional style of dress, so this worked out great.  I originally came across her site as inspiration for the bouquet, and fell in love with her dresses!  Also below are some more pictures of wedding day events and fun.

More wedding photos in our album.

everyone after the ceremony:
Family after ceremony


during ceremony
Paul and I

ring exchanges
Paul and I


Bartlett Lodge's cool boat
In the Bartlett's Geezler Boat

Bartlett Lodges cool boat
In the Bartlett's Geezler Boat

still in their cool boat
In the Bartlett's Geezler Boat

again, in the boat
In the Bartlett's Geezler Boat

Violet can hold my bouquet!
violet can hold my bouquet!

signing the registry
signing registry

signing the registry
signing registry

Paul's sister Erin's daughter Violet
violet and bouquet

during the ceremony (i like my crocheted Toms)

during the ceremony

during the ceremony
cheyenne performing ceremony

after a long but delicious dinner, our vegan cake comes!

bartlett lodge at night (the dining hall)
Bartlett Lodge at night

main dock
Main Dock at Bartlett Lodge

artist cabin lounge area where they held a small reception for us.
Reception Lounge

my sister Em and I
me and Em

Wedding Bouquet and extras!

Well, we took off for 4 days of awesome wedding and activities up in algonquin park at Bartlett Lodge.  Since I grew up going to camp every summer from age 7-16 then worked there as a counselor teaching arts and crafts and taking canoe trips out, I thought it'd be amazing to get married up in the park.  I remembered that Bartlett Lodge is on the same lake as the camp my, my mom, aunt, godmother, sister and grandmother all went to, and thought how special it'd be to have it there.  I was right!  The lodge was amazing, and each night, the 4 course meal was phenomenal!  The chef made my sister and I special vegan entrees and desserts as well as a special vegan brekkie.   Paul and I stayed in our own little cabin at the end of the pathway nestled into the woods.  It was beautiful!  My parents and sister had another cabin, and then the rogos had the biggest and oldest cabin on the lodge compound.  There is such a rich history that weaves through the park and bartlett lodge in particular.  Tom Thompson skulked around the park and painted in many places including cache lake and bartlett lodge in particular.  I felt very much at home at the lodge and in algonquin.  There's no place like it,  it's beauty and ruggedness makes me feel at peace.   The ceremony was conducted on a dock reaching into the lake with the pines serving as backdrop.  It was very nice, and once it was over, the lodge put a small reception on for us in their special new lounge, which was an older artists' cabin they had reassembled on the property.  AY Jackson apparently painted the door!  Dinner was served as per the other nights with an amazing 4 course meal, including a second dessert course where we served the vegan double chocolate wedding cake I had Veg Out make for us.   The rest of the days we spent paddling canoes and paddle boats, lounging and reading, hiking some small trails and wishing we never had to come home.  It was such an amazing weekend, and I'm so thankful that our families could all be there with us.

I had fun preparing for the wedding by making my bouquet out of synthetic felt flowers with a bunch of vintage and non vintage buttons, wood carved buttons care of my sister, bejeweled buttons and beads.  I hand embroidered as much as I had time for...  right up until the last night before we left.  I wish I had ordered some better colours of the synthetic felt online, as the craft store only really had a few decent ones.  But all in all, it turned out nice.

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

'felt' flower bouquet that i made

The wedding cake toppers I bought from dandilionland on etsy.  She customized the dolls to match us.  They ended up being super cute!
Cake Toppers

For place settings, I bought some little tincture bottles, and collected some sprigs of golden rod and pine up at the lodge.  My mom and my sister Em cut and arranged them.  I love how they turned out.  One at each place setting along with a felted acorn name tag I bought from FairyFolk also on etsy.
Place Settings

Place setting acorns

My dress I bought from princess lasertron.   I don't have any pictures yet, since I'm waiting for everyone to upload them.  We didn't hire a photographer, but there were a few cameras of course and I started a wedding album on flickr that will fill up as people upload their pics of the day.


I plan on going back to Bartlett Lodge every year if I can.  It is an amazingly beautiful place.  I found it the perfect mixture of being rustic yet being catered to!  I think it'd be a perfect place to cap off a 2 week canoe trip with some relaxation and good vegan food :)

16 August 2012

Paul and I up north!

Paul and I went up to huntsville to see the justice of the peace who's going to be marrying us  in algonquin and we stayed over night at my family's cottage.  I absolutely love that area of ontario.  It's my dream to live there.  

27 June 2012

Wedding Ring Workshop


Paul and I took part in a wedding ring making diy workshop in toronto at The Devil's Workshop Jewellery Studio.  It was really run, and surprisingly fast for jewellery newbs.

We started off with just a strip of raw 18k white told which to me just looked like a piece of crappy aluminium.  Hard to believe this little strip was something like 800$!! After alot of sanding, bending, hitting, shaping, mallets, re-bending, inspecting, soldering, bending again, and then more sanding we had finished rings that look like they were bought in a store!

sanding edge:
Paul in action

using the shrinker:
Paul using the shrinker on my ring

Paul hammering the ring into shape

soldering seam:
Soldering seam

seam matched up by shaping:
Matched up seam on Paul's ring

The jewellery shop is such a cute little place full of amazingly unique pieces done by local artists and the owner of the shop.   The owner/instructor Sarah was really great and throughout the whole day was making sure that we were doing things so we'd leave with perfect rings.  She has a really great teaching style, and it was such a fun day!!  The shop also has silversmithing classes and some other neat courses.  I wish I lived closer to take some of them!