Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

From my family to yours, Merry Merry Christmas!

Here's to making 2010 the year we finish all our crafting projects, love on our family, and make new memories.  And of course start lots of new projects to finish in 2011.

Merry Christmas to you ♥

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas Scarf Giveaway Winner Announcement

The winner is.......Tammy!  She was the 88th entry into the contest.  She also is a Facebook Fan!

There were 198 entries into the contest.  Thank you all so very much for entering the Giveaway.  I truly appreciate all the kind words about my work.  Each and every comment made my day!  One of the comments was made into a poem and it's just too cute not to share:

Elsie said...

Let it snow,
Let the winds blow,
I'll have my candy cane,
To keep me warm!

A candy cane, people wonder,
What magic can this be?
Why it's this scarf,
For everyone to see!

Thank you Elsie! 
Just to let you know, I will be hosting another giveaway soon, so keep an eye out.

Bleh, do I need to say it?  Only 7 Crafting Days left until Christmas!  Ahhhhhhh!  Best of luck with all your shopping, finishing of handmade presents, and yarn consumption.  If your stash is getting low, you know where to go.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Gifts...Christmas Crafts...Christmas Cheer...

Looking up at my calendar and realizing there are only 11 crafting days left until Christmas is a bit overwhelming.  I still have four weaved scarves to make, two stockings, and a pair of socks (or four).  AND to top it all off, I still need to spin the yarn for a few of my projects.  Oh no!

I did finish a stocking.  It's a bit funkier than I had originally planned and a bit smaller.  The yarn was bumpy and it hides the cable pattern that runs throughout it more than I planned.  I think I will add a little embellishment to the top or weave a bit throughout to make the cables more pronounced.  Gauge, is something I just don't like to listen to.  I know, some of you out there just cringed.  I just like planning and starting projects, if indeed I finish it, which is oh so rare, I will love it regardless of if it will only fit a giant one legged man.  My socks tend to be too big, so I figured I'd rock a stocking...well it's a bit too small!  Go figure!

If you have thrown the idea of making things for those on your shopping list out the window already and you are still looking for a one of a kind gift, I have a few things that may help.  I still have one Yarn of the Month Club subscription left in each 1, 3, or 6 month subscription.  If they do not knit or crochet, I have plenty of Felted Soap and a couple Weaved Scarves left in my Etsy Shop.

Our Merry Christmas Hand Weaved Scarf Giveaway is still happening as well.  All you have to do is post a comment on the above linked blog post to be entered to win.

I got an early Christmas present!  One hot summer day, Chris Massingill and I were trying to entertain ourselves at the Argenta Farmers Market.  I told her I wanted her to make me sheep.  She happened to have clay in the car and my sheep were born that day.  Chris is an amazing art teacher.  When I first met her, she was my oldest sons teacher.  After a year off, she is now back in the school and teaches at my other two boy's elementary school.  So, a big thank you to Chris, for my sweet Salt & Pepper Shaking Sheep.

Hope you all have fun finishing all those craft projects and checking off your list for all the special people in your lives.  I'm quite certain I will be throwing in the towel soon! 

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Felted Soap: It's Good Clean Fun

~♥~Felted Soap 101~♥~
What is Felted Soap?  Why use Felted Soap?  How can I make Felted Soap?
One of our best selling items has always been our Felted Soaps.  It's fun and funky, unique and spectacular.  Simply put Felted Soap is "Good Clean Fun".  It makes a fantastic gift.  It is so cool even Martha Stewart talked about it.  The Twisted Purl's Felted Soaps are now in stores nationwide.  I'm frequently asked a lot of questions about the soap.  So here are my frequent answers: 
So, what the heck is Felted Soap???
Felted Soap is really soap.  It's a bar of soap with wool wrapped around it.  Then the wool goes through a felting process.  Once felted the wool is smoothly matted and totally adhered to the surface of the soap.


Okay, great!  But why would I want to use Felted Soap?
First and's pretty.  We all want something pretty in our lives right?  Felted Soap is also practical.  The wool gently exfoliates your skin.  So that eliminates the need for a loofah or washcloth.  The covering around the soap helps prolong the life of the bar of soap.  So, it lasts longer!  Felted Soap is also a lot easier to hold onto than a slippery bar of soap, so it's also great for kids. (seriously, it's the only way I can get my three boys to use soap)


How do I make Felted Soap?
Mostly, lots of rubbing and patience.  Take the bar of soap and carefully wrap the wool in all directions until the entire bar is covered and no surface areas are showing through.  Next is off to the sink.  Gently soak the covered bar in steaming hot water (as hot as your hands can handle) and then start patting and very carefully rubbing the wool.  This is the most tedious part of the process.  I find if I am irritated, or my kids are having a wrestling match in the living room, felting soap is not an option.  If you rub too hard it will make the wool slip right off the bar of soap and then you have to start all over.  If you rub one area too much it can expose part of the bar of soap, which is no good.
Once the wool feels like it is more secure in its position, then you can start being more rough with the wool.  Put the bar into alternating hot and cold water to help the felting process.  Eventually, you have a completed bar of felted soap.  Over the years, I've perfected my wrapping and felting techniques and now am able to make bars of Felted Soap fairly quickly (even if there's a wrestling match happening in the living room).  So, practice makes perfect!

That sounds like a lot of work...can I just buy Felted Soap?
Why yes you can!  CLICK HERE to go to our website. 
The Twisted Purl website has a page dedicated to Felted Soap, it's

The Twisted Purl now offers Felted Soaps wholesale to stores nationwide.  If you have found our soaps in a store, let us know!  We'd love to hear what you think.  If you are a store interested in ordering, please go to  Our website for more information about wholesale and bulk felted soap orders.
If you have anymore questions, please feel free to leave a comment! 
Remember Felted Soap is 'Good Clean Fun' and makes a great, unique gift. 

(PLEASE NOTE: we no longer use raffia as pictured in blog post link. Each bar is individually labeled with The Twisted Purl Sheep Logo & Felted Soap Bands made from recycled kraft paper with product information on back.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry Christmas Giveaway: Handwoven Scarf for You

Candy Cane Christmas Handwoven Scarf

'Tis the Season to be Jolly and to have a Giveaway!  I have been very blessed this year with wonderful customers and very supportive friends and family.  In return, I want to host a Giveaway that anyone and everyone can enjoy.  This Christmas, I am giving away one of my exclusive Hand Weaved Scarves to one very lucky person.

The above pictured scarf, Candy Cane Christmas, is what you can win.  It is all natural, 100% handspun yarn, made by The Twisted Purl.  The yarn is made from super soft Merino Wool.  Then handwoven throughout a red grid/mesh.   

This exclusive Hand Weaved Scarf is a one of a kind creation. Even the yarn used in the scarf is made by hand so this creation will never be found anywhere else.  This scarf would normally sell for $50!

So, how do you win?  Quite a comment.  I will be allowing Facebook Fans two entries!  So, if you're currently not a fan, best CLICK HERE to join.  Facebook Fans can post a comment on this blog post and on the Facebook Fan Page Giveaway Post.  Each post will count for one entry.  I will then use a online Random Number Generator to select a winner.  Post must have a name (can not be anonymous...or I can't contact you).

The contest will start as soon as this post goes live and will go until Thursday, December 17th, 2009.  At 12:00 Midnight, central time zone, the giveaway will close.  I will announce the winner on December 18th, on my blog and also on Facebook.  If I can get in contact with the winner fast enough, the scarf will be mailed out on Friday, December 18th, in plenty of time to give as a Christmas Gift or to show off during the Holidays.

Quick Breakdown:
Starts: 12/09/09
Ends: 12/17/09 @ 12:00 PM CST
Winner Announced: 12/18/09
Leave a Comment on this Post or on the Facebook Post

So, let the Giveaway begin!  Good luck to all who enter!  ♥  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Talkin' Etsy Tuesday with Denise Felton

This week our Talkin' Etsy Tuesday Interview is with Denise Felton, owner of the shop...DeniseFelton.  Denise has unique dimensional collages in her Etsy Shop.  The collages are a fascinating intersection of paper craft and needlework.  Her wit is exquisite and it shows in each of her pieces.  This one is Mother's Power:

The quote at the bottom of the picture says "Her Controlling Power--The mother can take man's whole nature under her control."  The descriptions she puts on each listing in her shop will send most into fits of giggles and a you may utter an "Oh my!" here and there.  The description on Mother's Power says "In his search for the perfect wife, Edgar couldn't help comparing every girl to his ideal: Mother. The woman of his dreams would be strong, decisive, tall. And over 50."  Don't we all know a man or two like that?

I had the pleasure of interviewing Denise Felton.  She started selling handcrafted greeting cards and collages through two brick and mortar shops in 2002.  Her Etsy shop opened up in August 2007.  I adore the reason she started selling her items:

"My friend Jonathan. When you say "muse," most people think of a fairy with flowing hair and a voice like windchimes. So lightweight. My muse is a broad-shouldered pseudo-son who bullies me into being an artist."

Along with her marvelous collages, she also has some fanciful art quilts that make the fiber/texture heart in me go pitter-patter.  This piece, "Yo Art Quilt", is Denise's favorite listing in her shop at the moment:

This is an "Art Quilt of cotton fabric and cotton batting, appliqued with hundreds of one-inch and half-inch cotton yoyos, and heavily embroidered with gold metallic thread and glass seed beads."  To get the whole idea of what one looks like, I have to post another picture of this.  It is absolutely divine! 
Yo Art Quilt is 16" x 20" x 1".  Denise says she loves this one the most (right now), because it's lumpy and bumpy.  Also because it's turquoise and orange, which is one of her favorite color combinations.  Sounds like another good yarn color scheme.  She likes all variations of the turquoise and orange colors, like aqua and bronze, teal and peach.

She finds her inspiration in her work itself.  The photos know what they want to be and she just tries to go along with them.  As for the art quilts, she just lets the fabric, thread, and beads express themselves and she stays out of their way.  She does admit she does not actually hear them talking to her, so no need to lock her up.  Denise Felton does each of her pieces justice by listening to the heart of each item and expressing its inner desires. 

With her keen eye and wit, Denise is making the world a better place by bringing the past back to life through her Collage Pieces.  Her Art Quilts are just that, amazing pieces of art that should be in every home.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Denise's work in person and the detail in each piece is beyond comparison. A photo can not capture all the delicate intricacies of each piece. You will be pleasantly surprised when you get your purchase in the mail and see so much more than you expected.
Lastly Denise wanted to give a big shout out to AREtsy, the Arkansas Etsy Street Team.  She said "We rock and roll so hard. Everybody needs to shop AREtsy for Christmas! "  It's easy to do just CLICK HERE to check out the AREtsy Team Artist's listings.

Denise Felton can be found on:

Please help support local artists and remember, everyone loves handmade!  Why not get that hard to buy loved one on your Christmas list one of Denise Felton's items.  It's a one of a kind and sure to be a collectible treasure.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Market at St. Peter's in Conway Arkansas

Come join us Saturday, December 5th, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Conway, Arkansas.  The Christmas Market is located at 925 Mitchell.  Corner of Mitchell and Prince.

This will be the very last show for The Twisted Purl in 2009.  Starting next week all our felted soaps, weaved scarves, handspun yarn, and painted roving will be back in our Etsy shop.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old Meets New: Horse Carriages, Cell Phones, Spinning Wheels, Fireworks...

Old Meets New

Nothing beats being somewhere and seeing beautiful horse drawn carriages.  Takes you back.  Makes you think of the day when all there were were horses and wagons and wait a that guy on a cell phone?  Yep, turns out both horse drawn carriage drivers were on their cell phones.  Wonder if they were talking to each other.  CLICK HERE if you want to see the picture "Old Meets New" on Flickr.  It's a bit larger.

The set up this year at The Promenade at Chenal was really not that great. First off it was so windy. Everything had to be really anchored down. Standing behind my booth was very chilly. Secondly, they placed us down at the end of the center with another vendor. All the activities (horse drawn carriages, tree lighting, choirs, Santa & Mrs. Claus) was in the center of the area. At least the general manager came by and apologized for our placement. I think the initial thinking was if they placed vendors at the ends it would keep people walking around...not so much. The manager told me next year would be different and we would be smack in the middle of things. I will have to think long and hard over whether or not this show is worth doing again. But hey, at least it ended in a BANG:
There were a ton of fireworks and they were awesome!

What's on the Wheel Wednesday (& handspun too):

Pictures on Top Row: New Handspun Christmas Red & White Sparkly Yarn
Picture on Bottom Left: Alpaca Handspun Yarn
Picture on Bottom Right: Blue Tencel & Merino

What's on the Knitting Needles?

This array of mess is a new Scrap Scarf. It's a lot wider than the last one. Such an amazing use for all my scraps. The end outcome is always so cool...a cross between harmony and ciaos.

I got these trio of Snowmen Razorback Fans at Hallmark.  They have opted out of doing a new snowman in their series this year (which I am totally heart broken about).  But the new Razorback Trio was a great consultation.
I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas Season.  Enjoy every minute of it, and craft your pants off...we still have 22 crafting days left!  ♥

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Talkin' Etsy Tuesday with the owner of BrianaRose

If you do not know about the wonderful world of Etsy, then you my friend are missing out!  Etsy is a website community full of artists and hand crafters that make creations just for you.  This year, for Christmas, you should support local artists and give handmade items.  Etsy is the very best way to find unique, well crafted items for your loved ones or yourself.

One of my favorite sellers on Etsy is BrianaRose. Being so fond of the ocean, Briana Rose's Swarovski Starfish Hair Clips really take me back to when I was young and searching for sea shells on the beach.

Although these creations are 100% real starfish, they do not flake, smell fishy, or are brittle like you may think. Briana takes a tremendous amount of care and puts a lot of work into each one of these pieces to ensure they will be in your collection for many years to come. She uses Sugar Starfish from the Caribbean. She then has to clean, shave, and strengthen each one with a special glue. They also each have a protective coating. After all the preparation she adds gorgeous Swarovski Crystals on each star.  Just so you know, these starfish are not endangered and are very abundant.  Each one of her Starfish Hairpins are a steal, seeing how much work goes into each one, BrianaRose sells them anywhere from $14 up to $28 each. A small price to pay to be able to put on such a gorgeous hair pin to bring out your inner star.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Briana and learned a lot about her and her craft.

"My craft of choice is sugar starfish from the Caribbean. They've got more character than other starfish." BrianaRose

She started selling starfish hairpins in high school.  After a break, she started again after getting a scholarship to pursue her business a few months ago. She likes new ideas and trends and wanted to start something that wasn't typical, was totally natural, but still kinda girly. She hits her mark perfectly with her Starfish creations. The crystals give the glitz that every girl wants but the starfish bring you back to nature, which fills the hearts desire.

Her Etsy Shop name comes from her first and middle name "Briana Rose".  She said "My great grandmother and I share the same middle name, so that's why I like it so much."

When asked where she finds her inspiration she said "I like to flip through magazines and pictures for my inspiration, but in hasn't really aided me with the hairpins thus far. I think my inspiration comes from the Lord, ya know?" No better place to find inspiration!

She does have a few local events going on right now: 
December 3rd, an open house, at Hungry Hair in the Fig Garden Village, in Fresno, CA.
December 5th, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, she is having a Trunk Show at Carmel Kids, in Fresno, CA.
Of course, if you are not in the area, you can always go to her Etsy Shop and conveniently purchase a star.

Briana eventually would really like to distribute throughout the country and one day possibly throughout the world. She is currently recruiting and would love some applicants.

You can find BrianaRose:

Her favorite color combo in general is black and white. But in reference to the stars, she does like the bright orange stars and crystal iridescent Swarovski rhinestones. Nice! Maybe I'll spin up some "BrianaRose" Yarn and ply it with some shiny threads.

Lastly, know each star has its own personality and great character. BrianaRose likes to think that the starfish you pick for yourself reflects your personality as well.

Please help support this fantastic Etsy Artist and get an exquisite, unique Starfish Hairpin for the star in your life. ♥