Category Archives: fiber

Evolution of a Free Spirit Totem

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While skimming thru Facebookland, I came across a post and picture that turned into a “prompt” for me!!!

Vintage Supplies showed a photo of one of their Outsider Spirit Dolls, and I thought maybe I should try that!

                                                                                         How hard could it be???

I knew I had an old sculpy face in a tin somewhere – one of my earlier failed attempts of years ago (I am much better at sculpting now!)- that would be perfect to use for this project!!

All the rest of the items would be scraps and flotsam and thingamabobs from my stash pile.

The armature was made of  twigs- so I picked some curly Harry Lauder Walking Stick branches that I have been saving for just such an occasion!

Now, keep in mind, the doll that inspired this had no legs- but I thought mine should have some. HA!

 Well, when this creature was finished- he/she was hideous!!! I felt like I wasted 2 perfectly good hours that could have been better spent elsewhere!!!

hagrid perga The Eggery totem

I was planning to tie him/her to the outside of chicken coop- let him/her be their totem- and let the elements have at him/her!!!  Weathering could only make this error in judgement  BETTER!!!

Then, I decided, why waste this perfectly gorgeous wool roving, and the expensive doll eyes…..sooooo, I started to dismantle the little stick being. As it was – attaching the sculpy face was none too successful – all I got were hands full of different kinds of glue – which, in the end- only held the face in place for about an hour!!!

 Surprisingly, while ripping the face off and taking it apart, a new and much more appealing  spirit emerged.

Faceless, she was more intriguing, and had a new lilt in her step. With her vintage lace capelet, and chicken feather adornments, she blithely ran along the stone wall of the herb garden. I could tell, even SHE was happier not being weighed down and judged by that unfortunate face!!!!

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Finally- stripped down to her very base “self “, with a tuft of wool hair waving in the breeze- the once ugly spirit had evolved…….

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Rock Day

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It all started years ago, when I had angora rabbits, and got interested in spinning their fur. I took some lessons, had a big Ashford wheel, and as things go when you have small children, spinning fell by the wayside.

Fast forward 20 some odd years, and my interest was again piqued, when I had an old spinning wheel refurbished.

For years, my mom had been carrying around an old wheel she unearthed over 30 years ago in an antique shop. Thru’ all her travels with my dad in their RV, this wheel came along, but was definitely worse for wear, and literally in pieces.

I was put in contact with a wonderful woodworker named John Robson, who  brought this old wheel back to life!! It is a treasure- circa late 1700’s-early 1800’s.

There was a celebration in town today – a group of local spinners got together at Plan B in Broadway, Va, to celebrate Rock Day.

Rock Day (rock, roc, or rocke) , or,  St. Distaff’s Day, is a celebration on the Monday after Twelfth Night- the Festival of the Epiphany.

I guess, for convenience, today’s  gathering was held on Saturday, the 5th (and Plan B is not open on Monday!)

The term rock is no longer used – but in times past it referred to the distaff– the long piece of wood used to hold unspun fibers/wool while spinning. In olden days, the day after Twelfth Night, was when all the festivities of the holidays were over and done with, and it was back to the mundane chores of everyday living- which included spinning!

So, very similar to our present day quilting bees, it has become a tradition for spinners everywhere to come together in groups to celebrate the day, and just spin, chat, and share.

I brought my old wheel down for advise, and Sue Ober was kind enough to get it working – the general opinion was it is a very nice, very  old wheel – in great shape, and totally usable!!! Woohoo!! Money well spent in bringing it back to life!!

 

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Sue Ober working my wheel

 

The atmosphere was welcoming, there was live music perfectly attuned to spinning.

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Beautiful handcrafted items were for sale – felted bags, mittens, fingerless gloves, hats, in wool and fiber of every hue. Most all the items were made from scratch – literally in some cases, straight from the spinner’s shorn sheep, goat, or alpaca- carded, cleaned, dyed,and then spun, and knitted or felted into beautiful creations!

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Judy Post admiring Vicki Mongold’s beautiful wares

 

And, the wheels- oh, the wheels so many different kinds- not at all the “traditional”  looking wheel I remember. Their smaller size makes them very portable. And, there was one that was painted, giving it  its own unique character!

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That is Priscilla Blosser Rainey (hope I spelled her name correctly) on the right in the green vest- she made the beautiful hand dyed yarn pictured above.

 

All in all, a great day- creativity, camaraderie, food, fiber– what more could you ask for???