Wednesday, July 29, 2009


How wonderful the last few days have been. My DH and my stepson have been in the mountains and the dogs and I have had the whole house to ourselves. I have gotten so much art done while they have been away. I finished an item to be auctioned for breast cancer research. Every couple of months I pick a charity and do a piece just for them. It is usually women's causes like the huge doll for ovarian cancer. This project was made into a beautiful little book called Ties that Bind A Collaboration of Love. Most of the causes I am behind are not published as that one is. I do many items for auction for Corgi-L. I guess many of you know I have the Corgi from Hell which most of them can be. I couldn't live without him but somedays I do think about it. Nah, not really.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Froggyfibers Interview

Today I am interviewing a wonderful fiber artist, FroggyFibers. She cleans and cards fleece, makes roving and batts plus she can spin and felt. Here is her etsy shop, check it out.
She is also active on Twitter.

1.When did you first start working with fibers?
My most recent experiences working with fibers began in 2003. I was working at a customer service call center and during our training classes one of the ladies pulled out a crocheted blanket she was working on. After we got out of training she would work on different crocheted projects during the low volume times. Eventually I worked up the nerve to ask if she would show me how to crochet. I met at her house one weekend and she showed me a simple chain stitch. We worked on chain stitching for 30-40 minutes because she stressed the most important thing you can do when crochet was have a consistent chain. That starts my current experiences but recently I have looked back and realize that I have had many smaller fiber excursions to build on. Everything from neighborhood kids showing me the chain stitch (never learned any other crochet technique) to my mom showing my how to knit and sew. I never figured out how to bind off the knitting so it always came unraveled and my mom didn't really know either. As for sewing, I got tired of the thread knotting up and I was convinced I was going to break her sewing machine so I put an end to that as well. Just proof things really do come full circle.

2.What is the first thing you remember making with fibers
I don't remember the first thing I made with fibers. I vaguely remember trying to make doll clothes from my mom's scrap fabrics. Most of the time it was hand stitching two pieces of fabric that looked like a shirt and two pieces that looked like a square to make a skirt. I would change out my doll outfits so that the didn't always wear the same clothes each day. I know I didn't why should my doll's have to. I do remember the first yarn I ever tried to spin. I was doing everything self taught and I grabbed my spindle and the roving and tried my best to hand spin. At that point, I hadn't read enough to know about park and draft or predrafting fibers to loosen them up. It turned out like a squiggly blob. Now I always tell people who want to learn that it takes patience and persistence. Then I give them a half page of reliable links and the two free Interweave spinning brochures. I really wish someone had done the same for me when I first started so I try to help others in the same way.
3.Do you have a favorite technique? What is it and why is it your favorite.
I don't really have a favorite technique. Probably my favorite fiber activity is spinning and dying. I love to play with the colors and experiment with different results. Sometimes you can dye something that looks awful but when you spin it up its absolutely beautiful. It's just not always predictable and I really like that.

4.Do you go to any of the fiber festivals? If so which ones. Why is it your favorite.
I have only been to one fiber festival and only as a visitor so that automatically wins. I have been to SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival) in Asheville, NC. My husband convinced me at the last minute to go and we took a 5 hour drive from middle Georgia to North Carolina. Since I wasn't signed up for classes I only had one purpose in going... to SHOP! My husband “suggested” a spending limit but when we got there I just kinda played it by ear. We went around that building like three times before I ever bought anything to make sure we saw everything. We were on a limited budget but my husband was such a good sport because when we got to this little corner of the convention hall there was a dealer who had knock out prices. I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen the spot in the first three trips round the center!

5.Where do you get most of your supplies? Add Etsy shop name if you buy on Etsy.
I don't really buy supplies on Etsy. If I see something that I really love I will buy it for myself. If its roving and I spin it I normally end up listing it though and I give credit to the store I purchased from. Mostly, I get my undyed fiber from Paradise Fibers. It's not like their a secret supplier of fibers though. I once bought some mill end rovings from Sheep Shed and everyone speaks highly of them. I took most of those fibers, dyed them and mix them up for batts.
6.Anything else you want to say, this is your soapbox.

I don't really have a whole lot to say. I feel like I already rambled enough anyway. I will say that I love Etsy as a venue. Yes, it has flaws but I can see where the company is trying to improve on their weakness. Five years ago I would have had to trudge through eBay to do what I do now. Also, I expect some competition from other companies, there are many many many out there now from 1000 Markets to Artfire to Zibbet and they are all trying very hard to build on what Etsy started: A venue to sell handmade goods for the small time seller.
Sure, some people will say that having been with Etsy since 2005 I have a blind loyalty to it. Others may say that I should know better because I've been around that long. To me: I just don't have the time and energy to argue about what this venue or that venue should be doing or even how they are ten times better than the last one. I take each one at its own merit and for what it can provide for me and what I do. Each venue is different and that is the way it should be. I guess I just hate the wedge the whole “growing handmade website” market seems to put between people. You love it, you do it, you make it happen no matter what the venue. If the site affects you that much on a business level, find something better but be professional and don't go bad mouthing. It didn't work for you that doesn't mean it won't work for others. Sure, talk about your experiences but leave the snark at home. If a site affects you on a personal level... well, suck it up, this is business and not kindergarten.
So, that's my personal soap box. As a general rule I try not to show a biased opinion of any issue but obviously I'm just like the next person, full of opinions. So a small glimpse into the mind of this ever roaming frog. It's just one of those “take it or leave it” moments. Either way, buy some fiber or yarn on the way out. Smiles

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

it's almost time

for things that go bump in the night.... OK I know I am pushing it but Halloween is my favorite season and I want to get started on it early this year, it always slips up on me and then I am making Christmas stuff. So to start getting into the spirit, I have found a few fun blogs and websites to get me started. Thought you might enjoy seeing them too.
I have made my share of "unusual" dolls and I really should take pictures and post them here. I have one doll that I have completed and I have been terrified to paint because I know I am going to screw it up. Well it just came to me, so what if I screw it up, I will just gesso a couple of coats on and try again. This is supposed to be be a fun outlet for me, not making me go more nuts than I am. Maybe this weekend I will get that done and then pull all the pictures in here to make you guys laugh and maybe even inspire?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Show

I just returned from a show in Decatur. I didn't sell anything but had quite a few business cards picked up and a local blogger came thru, took pics and quickly interviewed me. No money but yet again, more exposure and that is always a good thing.
I am trying to find alternative ways to advertise. Magazine adds are way too expensive and people need to see a variety of my work up close so I found someone who made me a YouTube commercial and it just came out today. She did a great job of it so check it out. I found the artist who made it for me on Etsy , here is her shop in case you might want to give her a try. Don't know if this will get more people to my site, it gives my site info but you can't click on it to go to mysite. I think that might be a YouTube rule or something. I will post back and let you know how it goes.
Hope you all are having as pleasant weather as we are in the Atlanta area. Just beautiful today.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Don't think I told everyone about the project I had for the neighborhood kids. Right now they are all at the age where wrestling is the rage, ask me who my fav wrestler is, Jeff Hardy... Anyway, my surprise to them was I bought 4 Mexican wrestling masks and 4 styrafoam heads to put the masks on. The I pulled out all my paints to the deck and let the 3 boys just go for it. At first I tried to teach them alittle about painting. When I realized that was a waste of time, I decided to paint myself a mask. In between drying points we discussed why Mexican wrestling was different from American wrestling. We disussed what an honor it was so where certain types of Mexican masks so I did get a little history in there. After painting the glitter flew and everything dried in the sun. The kids wore their masks and had a great day. Here is a picture of me in my mask, it is too small for my head so that is why I have a piglet nose but this was a fun project for all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

a Friday off

Isn't it wonderful to have a Friday off? Not much happened but it was so relaxing. We first went to GoodWill to get Jonathan some inexpensive shirts since he is growing so fast. I found a chair that will be perfect for one of my dolls. Then I went to my favorite New Age store and bought a beautiful new celtic pentagram.

Came home and went swimming. There was a good breeze so it was cool but still fun. I want to start a new project tonight. I have seen some cool wet and needle felted neckaces. Not sure that any one but me would wear one but I could encrust it in beads and just have a good old time. I love doing freeform peyote beading and could do that between flags of the felting.... Will show this if I ever try and finish it. I am showing a peyote bracelet that I just love and have on Etsy. Catching the colors was difficult but it is still pretty.

Happy 4th tomorrow, be safe and have fun!