Posted on June 23, 2016


Here it is again. Hot. Sticky. Humid. Except this time around, I’m at home spinning in circles trying to check things off to-do lists and clear out the excess junk in my life, both literally and figuratively.

I made it through my first year teaching. Somewhat miraculously. Maybe one day I’ll learn to stop thinking that I’m even remotely resilient or tough when it comes to children. I’m not. Adults are fools when they think kids can’t affect them. A bunch (about 44 to be more exact) of 10-12 year old’s (plus or minus a year here and there) helped in making this one of the most challenging years of my life. Maybe later in the week I’ll give you a run down of the things I learned from my first year of teaching, since I’m fairly certain that list is longer than the list of things I taught.

Having summer off was this thing I was really looking forward to. I made all these tentative plans – some for travel, some for well-being, some for furthering my education and my teaching abilities – I could easily count on one hand how many of those I’ve even started to complete.

I am, as you probably know, easily distracted, and frequently involved in too many hobbies and extra-curriculars. it didn’t help much that my car is on the fritz and have I mentioned it’s just so stinkin’ hot?

Working on my spinning skills has been a primary past-time, and I’m working my way through processing a raw rambouillet/targhee fleece. Silly me, I thought I could get through that quickly in the same way that I pick up and run through a hobby like wildfire. Not so. Processing a fleece manually (as opposed to taking it to a mill and having them do it) is simply not a process one can rush. Picking out the VM (vegetable matter for you non-fiber folks) is done by hand, in small sections, and then those small sections are teased, again by hand, since the tools to do this are both expensive and can tear delicate fibers (like rambouillet and targhee wool), and then one must either card (again, preferably by hand as drum carders can be mean) or comb the wool, diz or roll it into small batts, and then, only then, can you spin it. Needless to say, I haven’t made it very far past the pick-out-vm stage of things. 0I8A0156.JPG

I’ve also been practicing dyeing. some naturally with things like coffee, skins, and berries, and I’ve also been playing with acid dyes. My colors have been lovely, though in no case exactly what I was going for. But, in all instances, they are beautiful. The one above has been dubbed “Emerald City” since it reminds me of the Wizard of Oz location of the same name. Once I get more practice in, both dyeing and spinning, I think I may actually make a go of selling some of my goods via my currently sparse etsy store. Fiber for spinning, hand spun yarn, and hand dyed yarns, in addition to my dryer balls, maybe some handmade pom pom garlands, bunting, and felt ball garlands as well. Because, why not? I enjoy making them and if it can at the very least fund the hobby and maybe help pay off the dreaded student loans, it would be an awesome bonus to the fact that it’s already how I spend my free-time.

I’m using the KonMarie method to work my way through decluttering our house. The basic idea is that you keep things that bring you joy. I definitely have not bought into the whole method, but the underlying principle is nice, and so far my close sure does look a lot neater, the Metro Ministries thrift store has gotten a lot of donations, and I’m working on there generally being less things that are “one day” items. d5825f21ec685ce195c68e15f089bb89

Right now I’m in the books category – a hard one to tackle since I don’t dare just start donating the husband’s books, the kids books are staying because those were collected by the future grandma, and I’m sorry, the cookbooks don’t go. Maybe in a year or two when we can weed out the cookbooks that have never been used, but for now, I adore cookbooks, and they definitely make me happy.

Other stuff really making me happy right now:
-iced coffee
-having time to read at random intervals throughout the day
-my summer goofy farmer tan
-stainless steel straws
-working through my yarn/fiber stash
-talking regularly with my bestie, Tricia

What’s floating your summer boat and making you smile?

Posted in: art, fibers, handmade, personal