Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mardi Gras, Valentine's, and Yarn oh my!

With January shortly coming to a close, there are several Holidays knocking on our doors.  I already told you 2010 will be the Year of the Yarn, well hold onto your freshly knitted socks and check out this new handspun yarn. 

I have been on a bit of an art yarn kick. I know, art yarn may not exactly be what you will knit up to wear as socks or sweaters, but let me tell you, they would make one fantastically interesting hat, purse, or embellishment for a scarf.

It is my pleasure to introduce Mardi Gras:

Mardi Gras is February 16th this year. This yarn was handspun from painted purple, green, and yellow roving (pictured below) and then plied with a green thread and metallic Mardi Gras steamers. It looks like a big ole mess of Mardi Gras fun.

Some of this hand painted roving will be on sale in the good ole Etsy shop.  The Mardi Gras art yarn will also be in the shop, so keep an eye out.

The Yarn of the Month club this month was filled with lots of love, early enough for your Valentine's Day pleasure.

The freebie was a little metal mailbox filled with your yarn.  Hope you enjoy!  I got a lot of strange looks when I entered the post office with a huge box full of Priority boxes decorated just for you.  As I put them one by one on the counter, I heard a few chuckles.  But hey!  Gotta love the yarn decorations, no?

For more Valentine's Day fun, I felted up three new soaps, in shades of pink and a touch of white.  I am in the process of plying some yarn out of this same colorway and it is turning out spectacular. 

Of course, these soaps will be listed in the Etsy Shop, as soon as I get off my bottom and start listing!

So, there you have it!  I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year and are enjoying the Year of Yarn.  ♥

Monday, January 11, 2010

Craft Along 2010

 Craft Along with us this year.  Stay motivated to get those creative projects finished.  Just by participating, you can win supplies for more crafting projects and other goodies. 

Don't you just hate it when Christmas time rolls around and you still have a list a mile long of people you would love to make an item for? Then there is that dreaded last week of crafting crunch time, where you mad dash to finish projects. Let me ask you, do you enjoy mad dash craft time? Wouldn't you rather just finish up the touches on a couple gifts and enjoy the Holidays with your friends and family?

I adore my craft times and hate it when it's time constricted. It takes the fun out of it and makes it more like a job. So my proposal to you, if you choose to accompany me on this journey, is to make one item a month for the next 12 months. That way, come Christmas time, you will have at least 12 handmade items completed.  12 items made by you to give or sell, or keep and treasure.  You can look back on 2010 as the year of crafting accomplishments.

Whether you crochet, knit, spin, weave, sew, glue, glitter, or use a blow torch that is entirely up to you! Just join me in creating, in crafting, in being one with your artistic self. Feed the little crafty monster inside of you with at least one project a month and see how fulfilled the rest of your life becomes!

MOTIVATION??? Yes, yes, we all need motivation. There will be the satisfaction of creating a handmade item. There will be the bragging "I took this nothing and made it into this something! What have you done?" And if that is not enough, how about freebies and goodies?

So, here's the deal: Every month, when you have finished your project, please upload a picture to the Event: Craft Along 2010 on The Twisted Purl Facebook page or on Flickr, you can also email the picture. Each month, one of the participants will win special crafting supplies or goodies.

What?  Craft Along...make one item each month now through Christmas 2010
How?  Anyway you like!
Why?  To stay motivated to craft year round, to get a jump start on gifts, or to feed your little craft monster.
Did you say prizes?  Yup!  Once a month, share a picture of a completed craft item and you'll be entered.
Where to send pics?  Facebook, Flickr, or Email

Sound like fun?  If you are on Facebook, please RSVP to the event, if not, please leave a comment here so we know you plan to Craft Along!  Happy Crafting!  ♥

Friday, January 8, 2010

Do you spin your own yarn? Then Spin for the Handspun Revolution Show

Calling all you fabulous creators of handspun yarn! If you spin your own yarn, then pluckyfluff needs you! The Handspun Revolution is an Art Show just for Yarn!!! Here's the details of how your handspun yarn can be part of one large exhibit of one continuous skein of yarn.  (click on image to see it larger)

Want more information?  Check out the facebook page and the ravelry page.  You can always go right to the source too: pluckyfluff's site
I personally am so excited to put a skein of The Twisted Purl yarn into this exhibit and hope you do the same.  If you are sending in some yarn, I'd love to see some pics!  Please post a comment with a link to your contribution. 

I may just send in this new one, I finished it last night.  It's wool, thread, lace, string, silk, and ribbon.  ♥

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Handspun Snow Art Yarn

This is the final outcome of waking up and wanting to know "Where's the snow?".  A unique handspun yarn plied with a white eye lash yarn and 85 iridescent white snowflake sequins carefully strung on a metallic thread.

For the last week, our forecast has shown snow.  Maybe not a lot of snow, 1 to 2 inches, but for here any snow is really exciting!  Growing up in California, in the valley, the land of no snow, then moving here has been a treat.  There is a chance of snow!  Not enough to be sick of it, just enough to really enjoy it.  Just enough to make a snowman, get cold enough to enjoy hot chocolate, and then warm up by the fire.  Then in a day or so, it's gone.  Again, for the last week, we were going to get snow last night.  I woke up this morning to no snow.  So, what's a girl to do?  I just had to make my own.

I threaded 85 sequined snowflakes.  Then I spun some blue yarn.  Next I thought it needed a little blizzard effect so I added in the white eyelash yarn.

The next part was a bit of a slow process. Actually plying the three together was a bit tricky. Every time a snowflake went through the orifice, I had to stop and help it get to the bobbin. But each and every snowflake made this skein well worth it.

Once off the wheel, it was onto my swift.  I have to say...this morning when I peaked out my window, there was a deep sigh of disappointment.  But when I peered at what came off the swift, there was absolutely no disappointment.  It was definitely enough to make me smile.

This yarn is now on Etsy.
To you who live in the land of snow...go out and make a snowman for me :)  To those of you who do not, enjoy the view of Handspun Snow.  It's almost like Jack Frost himself breathed out this skein of handspun art yarn!  Stay warm and cozy, but enjoy the winter.  ♥

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Yarn for the New Year

This Handspun yarn will be heading to some of you in the Yarn of the Month Club for January.  It is squiggly, chunky, bumpy, and fun.  This month has so many active subscribers, we will be sending out two sets of yarn.  I dyed one pound of roving thinking I would have enough, but it's not entirely enough to fill the order.  So, I will be doing one more pound with similar colors so a few of these may end up in the Etsy shop too!

I recently went back to my roots and hand painted three skeins of yarn.  They turned out beautiful and will be in the shop's much neglected "Painted Yarn for You" section soon.  In cleaning out a closet, I found several cones of sock yarn.  I plan on dying them over the next few months.
The two on the outside have longer sections and will stripe nicely. The black and white one is a variegated yarn. All three would make great socks! The yarn is the perfect weight for socks.

This hand painted skein is called Anemone.  It reminds me of something you would see in a tide pool while strolling along the beach.
Hope you are all having a fantastic 2010, my year so far has been very inspirational and exciting.  I can't wait to share all the new things with you this year.  ♥

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Talkin' Etsy Tuesdays with TheBeehive

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programing:
This week I got to interview the ever so cool Queen Bee Owner of TheBeehive on Etsy.  TheBeehive is your one stop place for scrapbooking items and more.  Her shop is almost like the scrapbook store for the non-scrapbooker.  When you want to preserve your precious memories, shes got the right thing for you!
TheBeehive has now been selling on Etsy for two years.  She started as a freelance graphic designer and has even done some illustration work.  Before opening up her shop she had never even attempted to sell her crafts or scrapbooks. 

Like so many of us, work from home moms, TheBeehive missed having a creative outlet.  She started selling her items because she was searching for a way to reconnect with her artistic identity.  Although her boys are always top on her list of priorities, working from home is a bonus.  She enjoys being able to stay at home, not working the traditional 9 to 5 job, and still help the family financially.

When asked what her craft of choice is she said "I'm a paperaholic. I enjoy using paper particularly making scrapbooks, but any paper craft will do. I love paper! I never thought I'd find myself a scrapbooker but alas, after some years as a graphic designer for a greeting card company and two adorable little boys to keep memories for, here I am!"  Alas, being a yarnaholic, I can so appreciate any type of craft addiction.  Indulge and keep at it!

Her shop houses many unique items, not just scrapbook supplies.  She has fun "Upcycled Paper Bead and Safety Pin Bracelets":

You will also find exquisite Memory Catchers which "are perfect for those who want to keep their memories out of the shoe box but don't have time to scrapbook."  The top silhouette picture is one of my favorite items in her shop.  They are custom order Silhouettes.  Just send her a profile picture of your child, dog, husband...and she'll take care of the rest.  TheBeehive says they are her favorite because "They make me extra happy to see in my shop because they feature my favorite boys and my puggie!"  I would just adore to have one made of my boys.

She finds her inspiration in her customers.  She really enjoys working together with each person, fulfilling their specific needs.  Each person has an idea of how they would want to preserve their precious memories and TheBeehive is there to help them achive that vision. 

As for her shop name, TheBeehive, and it's origin, she admitted "When I started my shop I wasn't completely sure what it was I was going to make and sell. There was one thing I did know, I was making a lot, I'm a long time sufferer of crafting ADD, and I was doing a lot between the boys, our pets, our church, my husband is a youth director...we were some busy bees! As my shop grows, and develops it's own identity, I have been mulling over the possibility of a name change that would better reflect what I do but that will be a tough decision."

Following her on Facebook, you may see the shop name is soon will have to check out to see what TheBeehive evolves into.  You can find her on:

Etsy Shop:

My favorite question to ask Etsy Sellers is what is their favorite color combination.  TheBeehive's favorite is a deep rich velvety red with a bright cobalt blue.  Gorgeous!

Lastly, TheBeehive would like to give a special big thanks to her husband "who wholeheartedly supports me in everything I do. He's done everything from helping with housework, to attaching paper beads to safety pins, to helping me man craft show booths, to listening to me stress! He's my personal super hero!"

Be sure to check out TheBeehive etsy shop and keep an eye out for her new name!

Please help support your local crafters and artist by looking to Etsy for your needs before you run out and get some kind of impersonal mass produced item. Thanks and Happy New Year! ♥