Category Archives: design

Spring has Sprung

“Once I was a sentimental thing, threw my heart away each spring.  Now a spring romance hasn’t got a chance.  Promised my first dance to winter.  All I’ve got to show’s a splinter for my little fling. Spring this year has got me feeling ….”
Here’s the Ella version.  But what I know best is Bette’s version.

It’s such a sad song.  But I always think of it when I think of spring.  Maybe because I actually give my heart away to spring and am grateful that I can come out of my winter hibernation.  I really feel myself wake up as the days get lighter.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore evenings spent tucked in creating (spinnning, knitting, sewing, drawing…).  But those goofy shows like, Sound of Music, with Maria twirling atop the hills singing to the world… yeah, that’s me in spring.  Except you’ll often find me in my garden or capturing the joyful blossoms of spring with my camera.

In fact, that’s what I’d like to share with you.  I’ve been on some amazing journeys down photo lane.  How am I so lucky that I am finally able to capture the essence of a moment with my camera?

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, design, Flower, garden, Inspiration, knitting

Mermaid Part Deux

Today I finished plying up the 2nd bump of Becoming Art Mermaid merino fiber.  With the second bump, I split it in half lengthwise rather than matching ends and splitting entirely in half.  I like that the lengthwise split (this is along the whole length of the fiber so that you have 2 very long pieces with similar color repeats) because it offered me longer color repeats.  Plus, when I plied it, the colors were more likely to match: greens to greens, browns to browns, purples to purples and so on.

I like plied handspun, but when the mashup of colors is too contrasty, it makes my head spin (think Chester Cheetah style).  I usually buy the hand dyed fibers because I like the brilliance of colors.  Sometimes, I’m disappointed by how much blending or muddling happens in the spinning process, especially when plying.  So, it was really fun to experiment.  And delightfully, they don’t look terribly different.

I’m thinking about making a hat or some fingerless gloves where the handspun is the design detail color and using a solid against it.  More to come… 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under design, knit, Spin

Pucker and Stripe

This is a scarf that I designed about a year ago with a purchase from Madrona.  I spun the fiber on a drop spindle.


I designed this pattern to accommodate 2.5 oz of Dicentra’s brilliantly dyed Silk Merino fiber. I picked up her fiber at Madrona and couldn’t stop playing with it.

I spent quite a bit of time learning about drafting with this yarn. Made lots of mistakes: tried to draft without spreading out the fiber which resulted in what I call “fire cracker” breaks… “pull, pull, pull, dammit……. POP! The result – wonky and thrilling thick and thin spun yarn. LOVE it.

The Pattern
So, the idea behind the pattern is a scarf that is versatile (i.e. has a few ways to be worn). I based the design off a silk scarf (fabric, not knit) I bought at Target a few years back. I adored the way it had curved edges and could be tied into a bow at the back of my neck. It’s quite the “Victorian” look if I do say so myself!

So, drop one end through the hole for “a long tail” look (thank you Chris Anderson). Or, better yet, make a bow and look the essence of chic.

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, knit, Spin

Handspun Art

Thanks to the chilly and, well, yes thanks too to the rather stressful days, I’ve taken to spinning yarn more.  It really is such a great stress reliever.  Plus, I find great joy in watching the color transitions and seeing how the fiber turns into a yarn, be it single or plied.  I’ve learned how to spin using the Long Draw method via a Ravelry Post with this video embedded:

As a result, my first skein of merino where I attempted Long Draw.
It’s really fun. Plus, any fiber from Becoming Art is worth trying. Lisa has such a fun color sense.

This makes me think of Ballykissangel, Ireland, Pubs, Foxes, and St Paddy’s day.  It’s actually called Mermaid. I really think it’s interesting, though a bit more wild & green than I expected.  What shall I make of it?  The yarn hasn’t spoken to me yet, so you have an opportunity to comment and add your 2¢!

I bet if you drank enough beer in a BallyK pub a wee mermaid would perch on the rim of your glass and tell you a wee tale!

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, knit, Spin

Seymore Crow

2009-10-20 knit, sew, craft

Seymore’s cute, isn’t he?

I’m entering a pumpkin decorating / carving contest in the office. I found this squash at the grocery store – just your average butternut, but the neck was so long it reminded me of a bird. So, I grabbed some Martha glitter, pipe cleaners, construction paper, black feathers and glue and off I went.

2 hours later… Seymore was born.  He still needs a gummy worm or two fallin out his mouth.  I wanted to give the impression that he’s harumph’d down in a pout waiting for momma to feed him… wings flappin and all.

What do you think? Like ‘im or lump ‘im?

…I thought he was fun to make. 😉

10/21 update: Seymore Crow won 3rd place!

Hooray for the lil’ cutie even if he is a lil’ pouty.

Leave a comment

Filed under Craft, design

Autumn Outerwear

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. Ouch!

What the…?! Aww, how cute.

That my friends was the creative bug biting me in the bum!

I’m inspired now to knit the Leaf Beret, Green Thumb Fingerless Gloves, and the Indygo Junction Trench Topper (view 1).  The knit objects will be made of a lovely Silk Merino by Yarns Northwest in a Sky Blue.

As a result of finding the right yarn for the hat & gloves, I’ve discovered an interest in making my olive velveteen coat again.  I’ve had this fabric for 5 years now.  I bought it at Haberman’s in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, on a business trip.  It’s so soft I find myself petting it as I walk by. Hmm… just like in the store.

Well, I’ve been spinning and knitting like crazy with little patience to sit and sew.  Odd, huh? You’d think knitting/spinning would require more patience than sewing.  But, I go through phases.  Sometimes it’s knitting/fibers and nothing else.  Other times, nothing but sewing will do.  And still others, it’s back to the drawing board.

But right now, it’s all about finishing projects.  I find I’m especially inspired to finish a project I bought the yarn specifically for.  So, rather than buying yarn, then finding a pattern, blah blah… you totally know what I’m talking about don’t you my knitting nuts?  Such a challenge when you buy the yarn first!  Well, now that I have yarn to go with the projects, it’ super easy to kick off and push to complete.  There are no mental “loose ends” of, “If I don’t have enough…” or “Is gauge ok…” or “Will it look good in this yarn…”  I’m already 35% done with the hat and I just started a few days ago.  I’d say that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

One other thing I’d like to mention is that I don’t know if I’d have felt mentally ready to accept new garments into my closet if I hadn’t already gone through my 5S-ing. While I haven’t posted results (2 car loads full of stuff to GW & VV), my mind & closet are open to new possibilities rather than stuck in old fashion or ways of dressing.  It’s quite a lovely feeling to know that cleaning & eliminating helps kick off the creative process or rather urges the creative bug to bite! 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under design, Draw, fashion

It’s a Good Day to Dye

Mom and I decided to spend a day dying banners and veils we bought from Dharma Trading.  She bought Jacquard acid dyes because our fabric was silk/nylon.

One thing I learned from my last dying adventure, don’t place any expectations on your results.  While we did pick certain colors and hoped they’d be brilliant, dying is an art.  There is a science to creating the color, matching the appropriate dying technique, color type, or method to the raw material (fabric, yarn, etc.), it is rarely predictable.  So, don’t go in thinking, “I’m gonna dye this [insert object] to match [insert project] using this awesome aqua dye.  It’s gonna look just like the picture!”  NOT!

The best way to approach dying is with an open mind.  Think of yourself as an explorer, say Lewis & Clark or Thomas Edison.  Go in with a plan, but expect the unexpected and delight in what ever you discover.

A plan could include:

  • What tools will you use?
  • What technique?
  • What color is your base product
  • What color can you anticipate will result from dying over the top of your base color?
  • What are you  using the finished product for?
  • Do you need to dye raw material, then sew/knit a project?

Now, go forth and dye my fine feathered friends!  And send me links to your results.  I love to see how other people create different products from the same tools.

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, Inspiration

Purple Fishies

2009 06 - Purple Fishies

I’ve been tweeting about dying fabric, specifically purple fish (fishies!).  I started out with this navy blue fabric (still hunting for the original pics) with orange fish on it.  Meh!  Not really my thing, but it was going to be a pair of pillow cases.  But, it got tucked in the stash and each time I pulled it out, I just couldn’t get inspired.

So, as part of my “use the stash” efforts (currently ongoing with the FiveS effort), I decided, “What the hell!  Life’s short, I’ve got some cool cotton fabric on hand with gold paint.”  So I picked up some Rit color remover and attempted to remove all color except the gold fishy outlines (they’re actually koi, but I think it’s funny to refer to them as fishies).  Um, no.  That didn’t happen as expected.

If you look at “Step 2” noted in the picture, you’ll see it’s kind of brown.  Oh boy, that did NOT thrill me.  It wasn’t even a nice earthy brown.  This is the orangy brown you get when you CANNOT pull all the color out of the fabric.  Overdying on this color produces muted and muddy tones.  Not the brilliant Tye-Dye like ones.

But, I pushed on.  I pulled out my Intense Violet Dylon pack and went to town.  The results, are in “Step 3”.  This was a natural fiber dye on a seemingly all cotton fabric.  But, what I realized is that this fabric wasn’t taking the dye fully.  It came out kinda pinky (which I expected), but much lighter.  So, I dug in my box of dye packets and found Violet iDye Poly.  Because, let me tell you, I was not done with purple.  Funny, because more than 2 years ago I was overdying a skirt and all I wanted then was purple too!

So after the Rit color remover and the Intense Violet Dylon and the Violet iDye Poly I’m left with is “Step 4”, dusty dirty purple fish which remind me of cool nights in the desert or of gypsy travelers.

More to come later when I actually turn this into something wearable!  I’m still pondering which side to use and it’s final purpose.  Who knows, it just may be a turban for MedFest! 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under dance, design, fashion

Curtains & Tents & MedFest, OH MY!

Color, color, and more color. I just need me some color!  I’ve 2 designs brewing in the pot.  The first is to design and create curtains for my living space which reflect more of my current personal style and bring more life / color into my home.  My original post on creating these curtains is found on my old blog.

Arrr... watch ye gold mates!

"Arrr... watch ye gold mates!" Photo courtesy of @Spritely76

The second is to design a sturdy, Mediterranean feeling, belly-dancy, chic changing room for the Pirate Queens of Wildhair Studio to use for MedFest09.  For those who don’t know, MedFest is short for Mediterranean Fantasy Festival.  It’s 2 days of nothing but belly dancing! Woo hoo!

So, I’m currently in my “research” phase.  This is a time consuming, enjoyable, idea processing phase.  I go to magazines, Google, Bing, Flickr, and search for images in the likeness of what I want to create.  Now, I must tread carefully, I’ve no intention of stealing or making an exact replica of anyone’s work.  Just like fashion designers or artists do today, this is how I start creating my design inspiration board.  I’ve done several searches and discovered I really like the following images:

  • Choice Travels, Tent Interior <<< I like how the arch exists with the screens. Gives the Ottoman/Turkish feel
  • Raj Tents, Ottoman <<< These tents are AMAZING! I want to rent one for a massive costume party. HELLO?! Super fun!  Take time to browse their other categories. Fabulous photos. Know anyone getting married? Indian weddings? These tent’s would be Super for those large events!
  • Arches in Ruins, North Cypress Almond Holidays <<< These feel tudor-esque and somewhat French. Delightful!  Besides, if I hadn’t found this image through Bing, I would never have known about this vacation spot on North Cypress, nor realized how beautiful it is!
  • Tent Canopys, Unique Decor <<< I love the double arch. Should I add triangle flag trim to give it a “circus” flare?
  • Turkish Door, LostInTransit, Sydney Morning Herald <<< Deliciously detailed. Eloquent shaping. Discovering how good the Australians are at posting their newspapers as blogs and just plain ol’ making their online presence searchable.
  • Denys James Art Travel in Morocco <<< WOW! I’m floored by all the fantastic photography and arches/doorways found here.  The color, the aged feel, I almost feel the heat!  Looks like a great Art + Travel opportunity!
  • Morocco, a Photographic Tour by Pshaw Photo <<< cool vs. hot, blue vs. teracotta & ruddy sand, hidden vs. seen, architecture & land vs. people, interacting vs. observing.  This photographer has really captured a beautiful essence of Morocco.
  • 30Elm – Moroccan Interiors <<< So many photos to explore and devour with the eyes!  Delightful, inspiring, delish!

As you can tell, there are many different ways to capture morocco, tents, bedouin, circus, tribal, crisp, clean, yet ancient designs.  This is what I do to begin to feel out my design.  What do I want to feel when I walk in the room?  What do I want others to feel.  This again gets back into WIIFM (what’s in it for me).  The changing tent will have a HUGE audience.  What impression do passers by get when they see it? (you only get 8 seconds!)  Does it say:

  • Come to me!
  • Fun can be found here!
  • Meh!
  • What’s that?
  • Ooo I want more…
  • Giggle, giggle, giggle!

Since it will be at the back of our booth, I want it to entice people to drop in.  Try on some of our tribal adornments.  Meet & chat with me, one of the MedFest Performers.

As for my curtains. I’m choosing to only delight myself.  And, if I discover something fun in the process of designing/making, all the better!  Okay, I admit, I do want to delight my visitors.  I want them to think, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that in anyone elses home!”  Fascination. Wonder. Those are the words to describe my curtains.

Leave a comment

Filed under dance, design, fashion

Nothing to Wear!

What’s a girl to do?!  Summer is in full swing and all I can find to wear are sweaters and long sleeved shirts!  I’ve NOTHING to wear. Why should you care?  Because I am going to blog about how I solve this lovely problem.


  1. Five-S my closet  (Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain)
  2. Evaluate gaps in clothing needs (what’s missing?)
  3. Design & Sew clothes


  • Total Duration: June – September
  • Total Projects: TBD based on closet evaluation & available resource hours
  • Total Resources: one (just FuFu)
  • Resource Availability: 10 – 20%
  • Materials: Clothing, Fabric, Patterns, Notions

The Closet

First, I will remove everything from the closet section by section.  I will sort all the clothing into piles (keep, donate, rags, unsure).  As part of Five-S, you must first remove everything, then put back only that which is used or absolutely needed!

Criteria for removal:

  • If it has been there since last summer
  • not been worn more than a few times last summer

I find there are articles of clothing I love and wear over and over again. I used to stress that some nasty person at work would tell me, “You wore that yesterday.”  But, have come to realize, who the HELL cares? It’s MY life and I’m going to wear what makes me happy!

Design & Sew The Clothes

I’ve a room full of craft crap and fabric supplies. Now what the heck am I going to do about it? Let it sit there & rot? Um, no. My supplies are delicious to the touch and most make me happy just looking, or yes fondling the fabrics. Don’t tell me you haven’t fondled EVERY thing on the rack before buying – even with clothes. (You do, even when you think no one’s watching, you do.)

I also happen to have some amazing vintage and contemporary patterns. I must make use of them or pass them along to someone who will. For what is the point in having something if you don’t USE it!? I’m tired of collecting and buying. I want people to SEE the fabulous creations I design. And, more excitingly I want to energize you into making something for yourself!

Design Steps
  • Looking at favorites, I will determine an overall wardrobe which will suit me for a 2-4 weeks. I feel that will allow me enough rotation for the season without feeling like I have to do laundry all the time so I don’t wear the same thing twice in one week.
  • Next, I will determine if there’s a gap – more cardigans? more T’s? What basics are necessary? Do I have enough pants?
  • Next, I will determine what styles/patterns I want to make and which fabrics to use. I will determine if there are any necessary notions or linings that I must purchase before I start the project. In this case, a project is defined as 1 article of clothing, start to finish.
  • Then, I will execute said projects one at a time. The goal is to have a finished article to wear for the summer season. As such, it is more important to finish each project before moving on.

I LOVE to start new things. So, this will be a great and fun challenge for me.  I usually allow myself a great deal of freedom in one area of my life where I can start and not finish things to my heart’s content. But, that my dear’s is not what I’m creating as a rule for this particular challenge. Limitation, which spurns creativity, is one of my self imposed limitations.


Filed under design, fashion