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Hi there! It has been forever since I posted. As you can imagine, things have been super crazy here in the middle of Iowa. It has been really fun though (except that I’m sick with this cold thing, no good, but other than that, awesome!). 

I’m really happy to announce that after too long of a time, I have completely moved Kro Postal to etsy and I added everything back into the shop that I had over at Big Cartel. I’m taking pictures tomorrow so I should have never before seen items in the shop this week! A big “Hooray, Post!” all around!

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And on top of that, I added the Holiday Issue of the Craft Leftovers Monthly zine to Kro Postal. It’s the perfect thing to send to a crafty buddy in a far away place!

And in other good news fashion, a independent book shop in Colorado is going to start carrying the Craft Leftovers Monthly zine!

Oh and tonight I’m working on dressing my loom. I have it counted out above the castle and need to get some rope to lash it to the bar. The last time I used the loom, my rope snapped. I don’t want that to happen again. I’m working on some fabric to put into Green Prairie Fibers. I think it would be nice to sell some handwoven fabric that I have made.  

I actually just dyed some yarn last Tuesday and it’s dry and I’ve reskiened it, so I’ll be taking pictures of it tomorrow along with the stationary and adding it throughout next week. Many good things going on.

I’m going to try to start posting more often, mini posts, but posts non the less. 

See you soon!
Kristin

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Craft Cat

Craft Cat in action.

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This, this right there, right above this text, right below this text, it makes me happy. I’ve been waiting for this for awhile now. Since I started weaving really. But more intensely since I received the loom in February.

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I have been really busy lately and for once, little miss crafty feline, craftily got me to give my weaving some loving. I’ve been working to dress the loom since last week. Slow going at best, no progress at all since my last post really. Well on Sunday, I decided to take a “quick” break and thread some more heddles. Miss CC decided to play with the warps, they were dangling down in little bundles from the heddles tantlizing her so *smack* *swat* *claw* she went. I saw where this was going. I saw a huge mess of warp hanging from my loom as soon as I stepped away from it. So I kept at it. I kept at it for 4 hours. It was the most beautiful, healing, wonderful, meditative experience I have had in such a long time. So even though most of the time Molly completely interferes in studio process around here, this time she did her job. She helped me to finish dressing my loom. And guess what? By Tuesday early afternoon I had woven through all my warp.

Well crap. What now? I don’t have a warping board. I guess it’s time to make one! I looked around a bit and found this amazing tutorial for how to make one if I had a great woodworking shop. But I don’t so I won’t make it that way. But I think it’s good reference. I think I am going to try this from The Joy of Handweaving (google books you rock!), basically what I was thinking of before I started googling around. I don’t think I’ll make it just like that, but really similar. I’ll take some pictures while I’m making it and post those. If I do anything really different from they way the Joy of Handweaving explains it I’ll write that up too.

Craft Cat

Thanks Craft Cat!

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In other news, today sucked. I try to keep things positive most of the time, but wow, today sucked. No two ways about it.

So first off, I had to work at 8:15, which means getting up at 6:30 and being out the door at 7:20. Which doesn’t happen on any sort of regular basis so I didn’t go to bed until well after midnight.

#1 :: Lack of sleep

Then I wake up, drag myself out of bed, open the bedroom door and get hit with an arctic blast. I look at the thermostat – 52 degrees! I turn on the heater, so cold. Go back for a blanket and wrap it around myself. Stumble to the kitchen to get some tea going — the front door is wide open! “WHERE IS MOLLY!?” I run to the door, comforter in tow, she’s right there on the patio under a chair watching the storm. I pull her inside, shut the door. Open up the ferret cage and stumble to the bathroom.

#2 :: It’s before 7am, pitch black, the front door is open, the indoor craft cat is outdoors, it’s 52 degrees in our apartment. (that’s a whole lot for #2)

I am ready to leave and go to collect the ferrets, WHERE IS SLOANE? was she even in the cage when I opened it. Did she escape outside? Crap crap crap! Where is my ferret baby! Run outside. Look around. No where to be seen. Check all her spots. Nowhere. Crap! I’m going to miss the bus. Run Run Run. Anxiety!

#3 :: Missing ferret, maybe outside. Running late, might miss the bus.

I get to the bus stop, check it. Okay, the bus I need is coming to this stop. I go to get on the bus. My dollar won’t go in the slot. I ask if the bus is transferring to the downtown red line. “Step aside, you are taking too long, just move, I’ll tell you in a second, you are holding every one up!” Ohhhh, crabby bus lady. I felt so awkward being scolded by her. It does, I get my dollar in. Then at the next stop “just get off the bus and get on the other one now, rah, grrrr, crabbiness.” So I grabbed up all my stuff, and ran to the next bus. This lady was much nicer.

#4 :: Crabby bus lady, cold, rain. Bah.

Then work. Work was good, but I had like 5 voids! I just kept messing up ringing chocolates up. Oh well. Then one of my co-workers calls and I say yes to staying an extra 3 hours. Which is fine, I need the money. But a 9 hour shift, even at a chocolate shop, on your feet the whole time in Keds, is tiring.

#5 :: Lots of mistakes; staying later than I thought at work.

Then I get home. We saw some serious signs of ferret activity so, thankfully, Sloane was inside. We found her and she’s just fine and I felt like crying I was so relieved. All day I was imagining her running around outside, scared and wet and hungry and cold, so yeah, relief. Then I settle into answering emails and ect and I got a really snarky comment on craft leftovers. So I tried to email this so and so back and they had entered a fake email. You know, if you don’t have something nice to say, that’s fine, I’m down with the critical criticism. I’m used to it from art school. Just be sure enough in the rightness of what you are saying to provide me with the chance to defend myself. I sure am glad I do comment moderation so no one saw it. It was a pretty serious false accusation that I think was fired off without checking facts. I don’t think people realize that what they say, good and bad, I take to heart. I put a lot into Craft Leftovers. If you say something nice, it makes my day, if you say something mean, it really truly makes me sad. I’m not walmart, I’m not Lion Brand. I’m just me. Kristin Roach. When you comment on Craft Leftovers, you are sending a message directly to me. The sole provider of content. I do everything for Craft Leftovers myself, from projects to graphic design. It’s just me. Sometimes I wish I had a staff of even just 2 people, but I don’t even have enough money to pay myself a living wage (hence the part time job I just picked up).

#6 :: Snarky Comment brought me down.

So that’s my sucky day. It’s now 10:14. There is still an hour to make it better. I’ve started to feel better by getting the post up on Craft Leftovers. A little How To for sewing diy fabric covered buttons onto what they need to be sewn on. And by writing about it hereAnd I had some tea. And I’ve been listing to Bad At Sports, which actually has given me some serious home sickness for Chicago. But I’m more relaxed and motivated to submit some more proposals to Chicago art spaces. And so now, I’m going to weave. I finished my scarf, but I have 8 inches of warp left, so I’m going to play with some twill structures. Oh and Miss CC is on my lap, purring like mad and nuzzling my sweater, very soothing indeed. I think, honestly, I’m just tired. 6 hours of sleep is just not enough for me.

I’ll be back sooner than later. I’ll show off my awesome warping board that I’m making tomorrow. And I’ll show you my plans for my next painting.

Have a good night! I wish you all the best of days for all of times!

Kristin

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I love this little top shelf on my loom. I’m keeping my shuttles, bobbins, crank, and any other little weaving thing-a-mi-jigs in there. Love that!

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Unfortunately I only had one lease stick so I needed to make another one before I started warping the loom. I was also missing the bolts for the breast beam, so to Lowes I went this morning. I picked up a piece of pine trim, cut it in half, glued the two pieces back together and drilled two holes. I am so proud of this for some reason, haha. The little things folks, the little things make me super happy.

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Do you see that? That is 56″ of awesome weaving width. Someday I’ll make a rug on this baby, but for now I’m just testing out the middle 18″. I had some warp left over from my last semester at school, so I tied it up and took it with me. I’m thinking a scarf would be nice to make. I’ll play around with twill structures and just get back into things. It’s been about 6 months since I was last on a four harness loom.

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Oh and check that out! You see those slots there? That’s for 6 more harnesses that this baby will hold. Now just where to get them. I’m going to start searching all over the internet. The thing is, this loom, the company that made it is out of business. Lame!

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And here it is in all it’s glory taking up about half of my studio space, haha. I can work around it no problem. Just to give you a frame of reference as to how big this bad boy is, that window right there is about 5 feet wide! Wowzers!

And with that, I’m off to go thread some more of those heddles. 18 down, 172 to go!

Have a great night!

Here are some pictures of the woven piece I’m making for the International Fibers Collaborative. It is off the loom now and I’m finishing up weaving in the 480 warp ends, yikes! I have over 300 sewn in, so I am well on my way.

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Now I just need to get all of these:
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Threaded through all of these:
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That is tomorrow morning’s task.

Today I finished the painting I have been working on and started the next. I need to really start cranking them out and finish at least 6 total for the show on the 28th. I also need to order prints and mount them on panels. Lots of wood shop time in my near future.

Tuesday is my take it easy/cook for the week/clean the apartment for the week day.

So far I have cleaned quite a bit, spent 3 hours in the studio, made some throw everything in the frig and bend it with potatoes and whole milk potato soup, and some banana bread. I just really didn’t want to throw out those bananas, they just looked too gross to eat, like black. I really should have taken a picture.

Well, back to cleaning and some coffee.

Have a good tuesday!
Kristin

I’m yelling at myself to relax, that’s what the title was saying. More a message to me than you, unless you are running around and need someone to yell at you to relax, then I say to you too “RELAX!”

I just sent off my application for an artist residency program. It was so hard to make the commitment to apply. To drop that package in the mail was a complete struggle. All the doubt and worry, the what if I don’t get in type crap. Well, I dropped it in the mail anyway, so off it goes. I’m applying to this residency in Omaha, NE. It would be ideal for many reasons. Mainly amazing facilities, a stipend, a wonderful community, and I can’t deny it; it was easier to apply knowing I would only be 2 hours away from Jason instead of say in New Mexico or something.

Going back a week, because this week has been to crazy to post during, some amazing things happened. Mainly, I learned to spin on a drop spindle AND got my hot little hands on a FREE 10 harness, 56″ wide loom! Okay, so it only has 4 of the 10, but it can hold up to 10, so I can make them or acquire it somehow.

Check it.

Yarn:
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Loom!:
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As you can see, it barely fits into my van. It was such a crazy set of random events. I’m going to say it’s all that good karma I’ve been saving up my whole life 🙂

I was at the spinning class with my two friends, Jess and Mary, at Esther’s Place in Big Rock, IL last saturday. They were checking out and the woman who was checking them out says “does anyone weave? does anyone need a loom?” and I was like “yes! yes!!!!!” and she said “well I just got off the phone with a woman who wants to donate her loom to someone who will appreciate it.” I was like “I will appreciate it! I’ve been looking for looms lately.” and she gave me the lady’s info. And I called her as soon as I got home. And set up a “let’s see if it will fit in my van” trip. Oh, which, normally I don’t have the van, and Jason isn’t normally in town either. So we went and picked it up. I still can’t believe that the only thing that she wanted from me was to know that I would use it and that if I ever stopped, to not resell it, but give it to someone who needs it. How wonderfully generous.

I don’t have enough time to mess with it here over the next three months, so I’m going to move it straight to Ames during spring break. It will be my first major project when I move there in May. I can’t wait. I’m going to refinish all the wood and then strip and oil all the rusty metal on the reeds and harnesses. Actually, the harnesses are in pretty good shape, mainly it’s the reeds and some water damage around the base. Oh plus lots of spider eggs (another good reason to keep it in the sub zero in my van and not in my studio). I’m pretty much going to take it apart, give some love to each piece, and put it back together. Another reason I can’t wait to graduate and move.

There is also a slight chance I will have an office in Ames…. I will have an out of the house office! (maybe) All of my stuff for shipping as well as finished products will go there. Possibly it will be my fibers studio to where I would keep all of my pattern writing materials (sans dyeing which is really messy). I would also teach classes there! I’m actually all set to teach my first one on one class for dyeing 101 this Thursday! I’m going to teach this woman I know about the different types of dyes, the properties of fibers (cellulose and protein), dyeing for the two types of fiber, then a simple batik handkerchief.
Once I’m in Ames I want to teach classes for weaving, dyeing, knitting and crochet, and maybe some other fun stuff like drawing, painting, and print making. Oddly enough, I would love to teach kids’ drawing classes. I guess not so oddly, I remember my parents paying the neighbor kid, who was only 16 at the time, to give me art lessons. I loved it so much. He pretty much taught me what he was learning in high school classes. When I went to high school I was disappointed that it wasn’t any more advanced than what I had learned when I was 8 years old. I think kids, especially those who have a keen interest in art, can understand a lot more than adults give them credit for. I would also like to teach anyone else for that matter. I love teaching when I get to set the parameters and not have to file a crap load of paper work just to get some stupid colored pencils. Oh or it consuming your life so much that you can’t actually get in the studio for yourself. That’s another story though.

I’m really hoping that between free lance writing (I’m assembling a list and starting to contact a variety of magazines about how to submit work and when deadlines are), shop sales, sales in galleries and handmade markets, and classes I will be able to keep working at home. I’m going to start looking for something part time, just to guarantee some money for rent and food and bills. Just something that will pay the bills, but not stress me out. A job I can leave at my job so I can focus on My job of art and craft. It’s going to be amazingly easy to graduate. I feel really ready.

Which that leads me to the next point of order. I sold out of yarn for dyeing, so I put some more sock yarn up, more of the yak fleece will be on order soon, and I’m going to add some new yarns for dyeing as well as some more hand dyed sock yarn from the last dye session tomorrow morning. So be on the look out for that in the shop.

Next week I’m also going to add some new kits to the Craft Leftovers shop. Finally, I know. It’s just so crazy around here.

I feel so proud of myself that I already have the pattern finished and ready to go for tomorrow morning. I do need to update the archive on craft leftovers. Hmmm. On the to do list, promise.

I do have crit on Monday, so lots of weaving on Sunday for sure. I’m taking it easy tonight. I’m beat. Lots of potato chips, thin mints, and tea, what a combo! I am experimenting with polymer clay after this. I’ll take pictures and post them soon.

And that’s it for now. With the mention of polymer clay I’m going to go, well, play with polymer clay.

Have a good night!

++ Kristin Roach ++

ps – I signed up on delightful blogs, hooray! You can see my little profile here and rate it and leave comments and such.

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