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DIY PhD - Settings Goals for 2018

Recently I watched one of Grace Hopkins’ very quirky videos called DIY Fiber PhD

Grace gave voice to something I have been thinking about for a while.

I’d love to be able to take a diploma course in the fibre arts, but just a few snags present themselves. First, l couldn’t afford it. And even if I could, no courses I can find really address the type of quirky things I would like to do.

So, like most of you, I have been “teaching myself” all this time. But I feel like I would like to put some structure into what I am doing this year.

So I am going to draft out a plan for myself of what I would like to accomplish this year.

I read an article where Jordan Belfort (the man who the Wolf of Wall Street is based on) said, “…too many people go around setting goals.” He then went on to say people who go around setting goals and accomplishing them without having a vision are usually negative because they hit a goal and then move on to the next one without having a higher purpose, which is demotivating.

So I guess “Vision” is your “why”, your higher purpose, your raison d’être. It’s the foundation for your goals. Goals need to be tied into your vision in order to be really meaningful and useful.

Another important component is to state your Core Values, in other words, the way you commit to behave during the process at hand, and during your life as a whole.

A goal is a specific target to achieve something. It’s the strategy and tactics you use to move toward your vision. You should set and achieve goals only that promote and are in line with your vision. This is why, if you don’t have a vision, goals alone can be defeating (i.e., without a vision, each goal is just something you’ve completed without a larger “why” in mind).

One thing that has come home to me during this process is how true it is … that any goals I set need to fit with my overall vision and mission for my life. That’s true for big goals (like getting a degree, buying a house, etc.) and small goals (like spinning yarn to make a sofa throw).

So, after many days and nights of thought, here is my plan for my…

DIY PhD in Creative Self-Expression

Disciplines /Art Forms

Spinning

Weaving

Beadwork

Other Textile Art

Mosaics

Yoga

Interdisciplinary Studies

 My Vision

A self-sustainable planet where compassionate self-expression is the raison d’être.

My Mission

To explore strange new art forms,

To seek out new knowledge, new relationships, and new experiences,

To study history, culture, and the natural world to inspire & inform my life and my craft,

To express my gratitude by giving back to my family and the community,

To explore my spiritual potential by reaching beyond the physical aspects of my chosen art forms ,

To recognise my physical well-being as an integral part of creative self-expression,

To manifest structure and embrace chaos

To boldly go Boldly to go where no girl from Pittsburgh has gone before.

 My Core Values         

Create with Joy

Practise Compassion

Respect Mother Earth

Software Programs for Bead Designs

Violets - Peyote Stitch Pattern

Thinking about buying a beading software program to help you with bead designs? My advise is search for reviews on their customer service. Sometimes these programs are not as straight forward as the developers think they are, and you might need your questions answered.

I have purchased BeadTool. It is an okay program, but the customer support is non-existent. Today I contacted them with a question because I was having trouble getting BeadTool re-installed after my hard drive was reformatted. The responses I got from Christopher, the developer, were unbelievably rude and unhelpful. He wouldn’t even answer my question directly. His email to me said, and I quote, “You have all the information you need in the email that was sent to you. What you do with it is up to you. Good luck.”

And, of course, I didn’t have all the information I needed. That email was 2 years old and I wasn’t sure if the information was still relevant, which was why I was asking for help. Their website claims that “Getting BeadTool customers the help they need is a top priority”.  I can tell you that this definitely was not the case in my experience.

In the last email I received from the BeadTool developer Christoper (after he once again refused to answer my question) says, and I quote, “And here I was thinking that I was trying to be as polite as I could while pointing out the obvious to someone who refuses to read what’s right in front of her. I will note our conversation and spare you any further replies to any future queries.”

Does this sound like helpful customer service? Caveat emptor.

A new Tanglewood Tree Pendant!

Tanglewood Tree Pendant - Rose Quartz & Garnet

Rose Quartz and Garnet Tanglewood Tree Pendant

I’ve just finished this latest Tanglewood Treee Pendant. The cabochon is Rose Quartz. Each fringe is finished with a Garnet gemstone bead, to give the fringe a lovely sway.

Learn to Make This Pendant

At my ongoing  workshops, you can learn to make a Tanglewood Tree Pendant like this, in your choice of gemstones and colours.

More Info

I offer workshops in Borough Green, Kent, United Kingdom.  (Borough Green is located between Maidstone and Sevenoaks on the A25. Easy access from the M20 and M26.)

For more info, please visit the workshop page.

The Tanglewood Tree Pendant

"Tanglewood Tree" Bead Embroidered Pendant, an original design by Suzanne Coleman

The “Tanglewood Tree” Workshop

At my ongoing  workshops, you can learn to make my signature design, the “Tanglewood Tree” Pendant.

Where?

I offer workshops in Borough Green, Kent, United Kingdom.  (Borough Green is located between Maidstone and Sevenoaks on the A25. Easy access from the M20 and M26.)

When?

The workshops are held on the 1st Sunday of each month, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

How Much?

  • Instruction Fee: £60 per day, per person
  • Materials Fee: Approximately £15 per pendant (depending on the cabochon that you choose)

"Tanglewood Tree" Bead Embroidered Pendant

What will I learn? Will it be right for me?

You will learn:

  • How to make the wire-work tree
  • How to attach it to a gemstone cabochon of your choice
  • How to complete the surrounding beadwork
  • How to attach the fringe and bail
  • You will choose your own colour scheme from my stash of wire, gemstone cabochons, and beads.

You most likely will not be able to complete the entire pendant in one session.  I will give you “homework” to complete at home and/or you can return for a further session.

Even if you are a complete beginner, I can teach you to create this pendant.  More advanced beadworkers will discover new challenges in colour and design.

There is a maximum of 2 students per session, so the instruction is very individual and personal.  The workshops are ongoing, so you can jump in any time or return any time for a further session.

Would you like to sign-up or know more?

Check the Workshop Diary page for a list of dates.

If you would like to ask questions or register for a specific date, please contact me via the Contact page.

Join the mailing list to receive the newsletter.

www.weavingmehome.com

Wee Walnut Weaver

Wee Walnut Weaver
This small bag is woven on a Wee Walnut Weaver loom.

Apparently, the Wee Walnut Weaver is not in production any longer and it is difficult to find one. The provided instructions are brief, so I’ve had to do a bit of experimenting and improvising. This is my third attempt at warping.

Here are some of my initial thoughts:

Be sure to warp with the dowels in place (as the instructions say) because that helps keep the front/back warps separated from the side warps. (Otherwise, they tend to get crossed.)

I wrapped the warp twice around the first corner peg.

I put on more side warps than the instructions recommend. (I put 4 warps on one side and 5 on the other side.)

(Next time, I will use a different colour yarn for the side warps than for the front warps, so that I will not confuse them and get them crossed with the front/back warps.)

For the side warps, rather than using just enough yarn to complete them, use 2 or 3 times the estimated length. And do not cut the warp when done. The reason for that is in the next paragraph.

When starting to weave the bottom, I did not weave back and forth, as directed. (I tried this the first time and it didn’t work well.). Instead, I continued using the warp yarn that I used to warp the sides (thus the reason for using a longer length). Using the warp yarn that was still on the needle, I started weaving over-under the warps IN A CIRCLE (WELL, REALLY AN OVAL). So… over-under the side warps on one side, over-under the back warps, over-under the side warps on the other side, over-under the front warps. Continue this circle until the bottom is tightly woven.

Once the bottom is tightly woven, the weft will naturally start to move up the front, back, and sides of the loom.

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There’s lots more to do here at ~Weaving Me Home~

www.weavingmehome.com

New Rigid Heddle Weaving Workshop

Learn to weave this table runner on a rigid heddle loom

All New Workshop Format!

I have completely changed the format of my Rigid Heddle Weaving Workshop. Instead of an entire weekend, the workshop is now a a single day that is jam-packed with lots of weaving fun and information.

Your project will be a small table runner, like the one pictured on the right, in your choice of colours.  Each section will be woven in a different weave structure, so that you will learn many techniques such as plain (tabby) weave, leno lace, pick-up stick patterns, weaving with two shuttles, and hem stitching.

Once you learn these techniques, they can be used to create woven wearables (scarves, shawls, etc), as well as items for the home.

Even if you have never used a loom before, I can teach you how to weave on a Rigid Heddle loom.

The workshop is held in Borough Green, Kent, United Kingdom.  (Borough Green is located between Maidstone and Sevenoaks on the A25. Easy access from the M20 and M26.)

Please see the Rigid Heddle Workshop page for more information.

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There’s lots more to do here at ~Weaving Me Home~

www.weavingmehome.com

Learn to Weave on the Rigid Heddle Loom

Learn to Weave

Learn to Weave!

The Rigid Heddle loom is easy to use yet produces wonderful results.

If you would like to learn to weave on the rigid heddle loom, I offer workshops in Borough Green, Kent (UK). Borough Green is located between Maidstone and Sevenoaks on the A25.

When?

The workshops are held on the 3rd Saturday/Sunday of each month, from 9.30am to 4:30 pm on both days.

How Much?

The cost is £60 and includes both Saturday & Sunday and all materials and use of a loom.

What will I learn? Will it be right for me?

Even if you have never used a loom before, you will complete a beautiful scarf on your first weekend, and then have the chance to continue to more advanced workshops.

There is a maximum 2 students per weekend, so the instruction is very individual and personal.

Weaving on the rigid heddle loom appeals to knitters, spinners, and crocheters because you can use the yarns in your stash, without having to buy special weaving yarns. Rigid heddle looms are relatively inexpensive, the smallest ones costing right around £100. (Although I don’t sell looms, I can help guide you if you decide to purchase one.)

Would you like to sign-up or know more?

Check the Workshop Diary page for a list of dates.

If you would like to ask questions or register for a specific weekend, please contact me via the Contact page.

Join the mailing list to receive the newsletter.

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www.weavingmehome.com

Gradient-Dyed Yarns

Gradient Yarn

What Are Gradient and Ombre Yarns?

Gradient yarns have colours that flow into each other, making a stunning visual effect. A type of gradient where light and dark shades of a single hue flow together is called “ombre”.

Sources of Gradient-dyed Yarns in the UK & Europe

Here are some sources that I have found in the UK & Europe

Art Yarn

The Knitting Goddess

Hill Top Cloud

Tangled Yarn

Gradiance Yarns

Using Gradient Yarns for Weaving

Gradient yarns always make fabulous weft, especially for peg loom weaving and rigid heddle weaving. If the yarn is strong enough, it makes a good warp yarn, too, which can often be used to create pooling effects like Faux Ikat.

Check out my Ravelry group Rigid Heddle Weavers UK & Europe for ideas and inspiration. As part of this group’s pages, I’ll keep you updated on gradient yarns in the UK & Europe.

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There’s lots more to do here at ~Weaving Me Home~

www.weavingmehome.com

UK Weaving Classes Offered

Learn to weave on the rigid heddle loom

Learn to Weave!

If you would like to learn to weave on the rigid heddle loom, I will be offering classes in 2015. Join the mailing list to keep updated on details.

Use Ordinary Knitting Yarns

The real beauty of weaving on a rigid heddle loom is that you can use the yarns from your knitting or crochet stash.

This vibrant red wrap is being woven from chunky acrylic yarn (James C Brett Marble Chunky)

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There’s lots more to do here at ~Weaving Me Home~

www.weavingmehome.com

Inspired by Nature - Lavender Garden Shawl

Inspired by Nature - Lavender Garden Shawl on the Rigid Heddle Loom

Inspiration from Mother Nature

Inspiration from nature is an old story that never gets old.

My current project, a shawl woven on my Kromski rigid heddle loom, was inspired both by the lavender in my garden.

 

Woven with abandon, this shawl includes my own hand-spun yarn, ribbon, wool roving, and commercial yarns.

Inspired by Nature - Lavender Garden Shawl on the Rigid Heddle Loom

Learn to Weave

If you would like to learn to weave on the rigid heddle loom, I will be offering classes in 2015. Join the mailing list to keep updated on details.

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There’s lots more to do here at ~Weaving Me Home~

www.weavingmehome.com