Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2013

Road Trip

The remainder of this week, I'll be out-of-state, so I'm not going to be able to post. This should be an interesting trip because I haven't been West of the Mississippi since I was fifteen, and it will be the first time that I've been into the more central locales of the country: Missouri and Arkansas.

Looking forward to the trip.

I'll update next week with whatever interesting tidbits I find.

Pleasant Mistakes

If things happened my way, I wouldn't fall off the bike before learning how to ride. I have never considered myself a perfectionist (too clumsy for one thing), but I prefer not failing.  When I was twelve, I went to a horse camp and on the third day, fell off the horse - I was the only one that did so. One of my instructors told me that to be counted as a true horsewoman, I needed to fall fifty times.

One down, forty-nine to go.

Not necessarily the greatest comfort, but it did put things into perspective. Sometimes the things that hurt or don't work out the way that they're supposed to work out end up being pleasant mistakes. It is a part of the creation of art, and how we respond to those diversions develops our artistic bent - or destroys it.

Currently, I'm working on weaving items for up-coming fairs later in September. Creating items for fairs is often a gamble: I create something, but it never wins. Frustration sets in, and I contemplate giving up.

Then I have …

Chenille Updates

Last week, I wrote about the weaving projects that I'm currently working on for end of September fairs. I posted a photograph of a cone of chenille yarn I purchased on sale just to play with. I finished the warping of that yarn.

So, there is the cone of yarn in its beautiful smoky lavender color. I actually like the color simply because it reminds me of the color of bark in mid-winter. Honestly, it is almost that color, though bark is decidedly more muted. Below is a photo of the yardage directly off the warp followed by the yardage washed.

I realize that in the photographs, the washed and unwashed chenille look like the same thing. From the washing, I lost about a half-inch to an inch in width. I might add for most of my weaving, I can lose upwards of an inch and a half after washing so my eleven inch yardage off the loom becomes nine and half inches. The biggest differences between the two are texture: the washed chenille is decidedly softer and has that 'chenille' feel…

Creating Strong Characters

One of the hardest things for some authors to do is to create strong characters. This problem seems to be more of the case if the books are plot-driven and not character-driven.

Plot-driven books are those like murder mysteries where the plot structure is defined and certain things are expected; character-driven are typically more literary or historical where the character's life and process matters.

My books are character-driven since what happens to my characters causes the tension and mystery within the series. When I create a new book, it always focuses on the character and what she gets into, not the action and who is involved. For Azure, her personality and position drives the storyline. Without Azure being who she is, it makes little sense.

In the up-coming series, the main character, Orfhlait (pronounced or la) pursues the murder investigation because she believes that God has forgotten that He loves her. To prove that she is worthy of love, Orfhlait decides that findin…

Shawl or Shrug: Learning through Struggle

Last week, I showed photos from my latest projects, but now I'm in a quandary: what to do with the material. Originally meant to be shawls, I realized that they could be easily turned into shrugs as well. I recently made a shrug for myself from some purple fabric that I had only because the shawl kept slipping off while I tried to work.

So, for you all out there - which do you prefer: shawls or shrugs?

Some of the troubles that fiber artists deal with! It's been interesting at my church watching people realize the levels of stress and confusion that I face while working on a project. They rarely see the fiber related issues, but I have learned to open up about other elements with the writing.

Over the past few years, I've struggled over the lack of art in the church. Now, mind you, we have a decent worship group, and recently re-introduced a choir to the church. I'm not involved in either aspect because while I have a nice voice, it is meant for corporate singing and…

Photo updates

Yesterday, I mentioned some of the projects I had finished and begun. Today, I'm adding photographs from two of the projects:

The first two came from the larger rigid heddle loom and are a burgundy and copper. For some reason the red shows up with more brown than purple, but it is wine colored. I think the copper adds enough of an accent to brighten up the burgundy. Below is a heather gray lavender chenille (I think it's rayon, but not a 100% certain). I purchased the below cone for the fun of playing with chenille and have had the hardest time creating a project for it. First I knitted then I decided last night to weave. The first portion turned out well, now waiting to decide what to make from the yardage ... always a problem.

Weaving Projects - the Calm before the Storm

The end of September is Appleumpkin in the tiny village of Wyoming NY. For the past six years or so, I've set up at the arts and crafts festival. Now that the major summer fairs and editing portions are over, I begin the preparations for Appleumpkin.

Yesterday, I finished off a length of black and copper yardage for two shawls ... or a shawl and a shrug. The yardage is waiting to be washed, so I'll see then. Today, I finished off yardage for some purses. Very pink purses (actually, they remind me of pistachios, bubblegum and chocolate). Personally, I don't purchase pink unless absolutely necessary or it comes in a bundle of fabric. I had purchased a batik quilter's jelly roll a few years past that had a plethora of pink. I'm hoping that the purses sell ... I'm not the biggest fan of the color pink.

After finishing up the small loom's pink yardage, I warped up my larger rigid heddle loom with a burgundy and copper warp. Very cool looking, if I do say so my…

First of the Month Review

Some of the best resources are primary sources: journals, books, photographs, film footage and other elements that were created in a particular time period. Much of these resources are hard to find and harder to wade through. Thanks to many people, some places are turning their archives into digital formats available for everyone to use. For August, I'm focusing not on a book, but a website called The Old Bailey Online.

The website is a collection of transcripts from the Old Bailey Archives from 1674-1913. For anyone who writes during the Stuart, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian eras, this is a website to visit for ideas for murders, robberies, and other crimes.

The Old Bailey Online is easy to navigate and easy to find information. Currently, I'm researching the Eighteenth Century and began looking through the website with search words of Spitalfields, weavers, and riots. I found several cases that intrigued me which I could use as a basis for mystery series. One of the port…

What Scares You?

We have nothing to fear, but fear itself! Franklin Delano Roosevelt said this to a nation in the midst of a depression. I have heard the quote many times in my thirty years of life, and recently, in Sunday School, I used the quote myself when discussing boldness with our faith.

Fear is a natural emotion much like anger, love, humor and sadness. Fear can drive us to do great things or it can chain us to the ground. When I was in college, August began the last few weeks before returning to college, and the journey therewith. Fear, that gnawing apprehension in my stomach, became my daily companion until I returned to college. Much of this had to do with my dislike of new experiences and places (and yes, college was always a new place for me even though I only attended one college). When I arrived at college, and began the year, the fear disappeared. This same fear can come when I've been gone from church for a few weeks. I felt it on my return to my church after being in Ireland f…