Archive for May, 2008

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I spent a few days cat sitting at my parents house recently. This is the view from my parents bedroom. It feels like a treehouse. I’ve been gone most of a decade now, but it still feels like home.

The view is drastically different than when I was young. The distribution of tree species has changed dramatically with the influx of sudden oak death, the proliferation of Douglass fir trees and some disease that has killed all of the Madrones.

Despite the changes in tree distribution, the character of the landscape is still very much the same. Sometimes I get nostalgic when I see photos or movies which show landscapes that look like Sonoma County.





This past weekend a crowd gathered for the afternoon. There were kittens, cars, crafting and lots of eating.



I also got to visit Brookfarm Alpacas. I met Sarah (of the Brookfarm Alpacas family) a few weeks ago at a knitting night in Oakland and we discovered that our parents live less than a mile apart. I never knew there were Alpacas so close by! Ingo, Kate, my Mom and myself drove down the hill to meet Sarah and look around the farm. The Alpacas are too cute.






In addition to the animals, we got to see a fleece rolled out for sorting and a room full of bags of fiber. It looks like they have a lot to sort through! It is too bad that we came just after shearing and missed them in full fluffy glory. Maybe I can visit again sometime?

There were, of course, kitties too. It is kitten season again and my dad has a new crop of three adorable little ones (he fosters kittens). Meet Madeline, Pascal and Marie (the one being sat upon). Anyone looking to adopt a kitten? I can tell you honestly that these three will be expertly socialized! Don’t get too attached to little Madeline though, it seems she has been spoken for.
Photo of Madeline by Brent G.





It was a great way to spend the holiday weekend and the weather cooperated with us. Even Bart got a little attention, and all 6 cats got their claws trimmed!



(Photo of Bart by Brent G)

lasers




This past weekend I attended the Maker Faire. In addition to being a fantastic people watching event I had a few excellent conversations with folks showing off their creations. The people at the Instructables booth were even willing to laser engrave my vinyl bag for me. Fantastic! Epilog Laser was also in attendance and for a mere $8000 you can buy your own laser engraver. After learning this n spent the rest of the day asking how much he could charge me for engraving each of my bags and wallets. Considering my current sales numbers I am unlikely to help him pay that off…

I walked briefly thorough the Bazarre Bizarre but I was so over-stimulated and it was so crowded in there that I couldn’t calm down enough to actually check anything out. It is too bad, but the day really isn’t about shopping anyway.

I was also excited to see Ponoko there. I’m fascinated by the idea of being able to produce goods on fancy schmancy machines from my own designs. And locally no less! They are just getting started with shops in the US and I can’t wait to design something and send it their way. As an added bonus, I had a nice chat with the guy manning their booth (I’m sorry, I can’t remember his name!) who told me that he wanted to start Ponoko after he was involved with a climate blog called Celsias. I haven’t spent too much time looking around yet, but the site looks like a combination of science & policy news and discussion as well as networking for projects to reduce the impact of global warming. Yay solutions!

Every time I have been to the Maker Faire I spend a good part of the day thinking about how much my dad would enjoy it but I’ve yet to get him to come along. This year I spied a three wheeled car with a motorcycle license plate. Lets just say there has been some experience with that around his house. The ride may or may not look something like this:

(video from Karrie)

spun




Twist set.







Pewter polwarth locks from A Verb For Keeping Warm. 3oz yielded 192 yds of navajo plied sport-ish weight yarn. It is nice and soft and squishy… I cant wait to spin the other two bags!




Mixed batt from Tactile Fiber Arts including alpaca, merino, bamboo, silk tussah, silk noils, angora and I can’t remember what else. Purchased at Stitches West 2008. 2 oz, 128 yards, two ply.




Merino-Silk (80-20), dark blue. 69 yards, navajo plied. This is a test skein to see how I like this fiber spun. I have lots left to make more.

The last skein in the top image is just some white domestic top. Handspun tweed chickens anyone?