Writing a book while moving- eegads

Oh my word!

The flurry of activity at our house is just completely over the top!

My blog has ground to a stop, as I just can’t keep everything going all at once right now…

something had to give, and it’s been the blog.

Here’s a little (but no where near all) of what has been going on….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Really- there are things that simply shouldn’t be combined….

Like selling an acreage that you have lived on for 21 years and buying a house in the city….

Um… a large acreage that has accumulated a lot of stuff

(I know, I know, WE accumulated all that stuff…

it followed us home when we saw all it’s creative potential)

:)

While working to deadline on a book (and doing all the photography and illustrations and diagrams AS WELL AS designing all the projects and weaving them all yourself…. )

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

eeks!  The deadline is looming – pardon the pun :)

BUT…. I am so incredibly inspired and excited by the designs and projects for the book that I am just over the moon.

And, am seeing rather a lot of the moon lately, as there aren’t enough hours in the day, so the hours in the night are full of the busy busy of it all.

I can’t show any of the projects yet, but, wheeeeeee!  I am just happy dancing and skippetty hopping over them.

I have been in love with peg loom weaving and weaving sticks for years, but that love has grown exponentially as I work on this book.

I am just boggled by the creative potential of the marvelously simple peg looms and weaving sticks.

In fact, I have passed along quite a few of my other, non-peg looms, because there is so much for me to explore with them that I just don’t have the time for many other of my looms.

Ah, the move: The downsizing, packing and dealing with all the insane bureaucratic hoop jumping has been epic.  Sheesh.

Just sheesh.

Oh yes… another leetle stressor in our lives is that we suddenly adopted a darling little puppy from a relative who couldn’t keep her.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

She’s enchanting- but wasn’t housebroken, so that’s been a challenge- another of those ‘don’t do this at home’ kind of things.

House training a puppy in deep dreary freaking freezing cold mid winter is not fun.

That’s not quite true- she loves gazing at the birds and thinks trips outside are marvelous.  (When it’s a million below zero, I don’t share her enthusiasm)

She has taught me to keep my shoes in a box that she can’t get into…

(yes, she did chew my most expensive boots)

and to not leave my favorite glasses where she can get them

(yes,  she did chew them, and my ipod earbuds up)

and to not let balls of yarn drop to the floor

(she outdoes a kitten in her enthusiasm for yarnplay- face palm)

She’s a right proper little scalliwag but we do adore her and are so happy that she’s part of the family.

There’s a million other things going on in our lives right now, but I must get back to work, so I shall just zip away and weave up some wonderful-ness.

Cheerio and tootlepip… which is what we always say to our grandson when he heads home from our time together.

I probably won’t be posting again for a couple of weeks, as we are soon to be hefting and heaving ourselves into the new (smaller, much smaller) house in the city.

And, then, it’s serious overdrive on the book….

so…. cheerio for now….

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Filed under Peg and Stick Loom weaving, personal stuff, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

Upcycling a little box into a band loom

I can’t share photographs of the weaving that I am doing for my new book, nor can I say anything about it, but, I can tell you about something else I have been up to.  :)

I absolutely love weaving Scandinavian style woven bands, using different styles of rigid heddles.

Many people weave narrow bands by using backstrap looms, which I find to be a complete misery to work with. ugh.

I love using my Norwegian cradle loom and other rigid heddle looms.

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

I’ve been mulling over the idea of making a smaller, more portable box loom based on the Norwegian cradle loom.

A few weeks ago, as we were cleaning and clearing in preparation for our big move, we found some sweet little drawers that my father in law had made many decades ago.

He had reclaimed some tiny little wooden butter boxes and made wee drawers for his workshop with them:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And, since then, the idea for building a tiny, oh so portable band weaving box loom has been gestating in my mind….

After much trial and error, I have built the little loom, and absolutely adore it!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I have made a small video that shows what I did to build this little charmer:

This is the ratchet and pawl that I designed for my loom.

I made them from a scrap of marine plywood, which allowed me to curve the pawl.

I am going to make the next one from a piece of purpleheart that we’ve been saving, so I am going to make the pawl straight, to make it stronger and not risk breaking it by cutting a curve against the grain.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

If you are interested in learning more about weaving Scandinavian style narrow bands, definitely seek out the work of the marvelous weaver extraordinaire, Susan Foulkes:

And, if you’d like to see some of the ways that I use narrow bands please click:

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Filed under band loom, eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

A new setup for shooting the photos for my new book

Our son and his wife have been living with us for 5 years- it was great, and we all enjoyed it enormously (except our dog and their cat, who hated each other. That was the pits)

They have just bought a darling little house and moved out, which means that I could set up a dandy place to do the photographs for my new peg loom weaving book.

I was trying to shoot the photos in a funny little room off my studio.

It was frustrating as all get out, as it has a south facing window, which = horrible glare and crazy shadows- erg!!!!

So, it has been such a huge happy dance for me to get a very workable photo station set up in the lovely north facing bedroom.

The light is even and the shadows are not a significant problem.

Happy dancing!

I was so excited about it that I had to make a little ‘wheeeee’ video to show you how I have set it up.

 

 

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Filed under personal stuff, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

How to save a hardened paintbrush

I am embarrassed to say how many times I have had to resort to doing this.

Luckily, it works every time on acrylic and latex paints!  :)

This time it took longer, but it did fix my much loved old work horse of a paintbrush.  Yay!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, personal stuff, tutorial & how to

Thoughts about buying peg looms

I get asked so often for advice about buying peg looms that I decided to make a video with my thoughts about figuring out which is the perfect peg loom.

Here are the links that I mentioned in the video:

 leevalley.com 

dewberryridge.com

lacis.com

facebook.com/daisyhillhandiworks

weavingmehome.com

My peg loom patterns and eBooks are available at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NCroneFindlay?section_id=16079467&ref=shopsection_leftnav_3

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Mermaid Bench

There are so many ways to say, ‘I love you’.

Our son and daughter in love have just bought their first house, and so to help them out, Jim and I are giving them the antique harvest table that we have had forever.  (We love you….)

It was our dining room table for decades, but it moved into my studio when we inherited his parent’s teak dining room table.

Of course, they need dining room chairs, too…. so, I cheerfully gave them 4 0f our dining room chairs.

(We love you….)

But, then… remembered…. oh, oh…. I just gave away half of our dining room chairs, and once a week, when the family is together for dinner, there are 8 of us…. oh, oh….

Okay…. so hold that thought…. (um, need to replace the dining room chairs)

Alright… on to a very big deal that has been happening in our lives.

The church that Jim’s parents were part of from their marriage right after WW2 to their death  was the center of their lives. It has just shut down. It was where Jim’s childhood and adolescence orbited, and where he plays guitar most Sunday mornings. The remains of the dwindling congregation has amalgamated with another diminished congregation and the building has been sold to developers.  

The beautiful old building will be demolished very soon-  and Jim has been grieving this very hard.

So many memories, so much history, so many stories, so much music, so much life…..

The church has been stripped out and the fixtures and fittings have been blended over to the new church, with what can’t be assimilated there, being sold or given to other churches or to church members.

It’s a lovely way of keeping the history and energy of the church going.

Transformed, but still embraced by the community.

I really wanted to have a piece of something from the church that I could somehow enfold into our home so that Jim would have that deep history and connection at his finger tips.  It’s been so hard for him to feel the loss of that precious space.

A thought popped into my mind, but I thought…. oh no…. probably couldn’t happen… hmmmm.

When we were walking the dogs last week, I asked Jim: ‘You know that bench in that little room off to the side of the nave?  Is it available?’

He turned to me in amazement and said- ‘I was thinking the same thing, but thought that you wouldn’t want it!’.

We both grinned like fools, and said: ‘Let’s go for it!’

So, he called the man who’s in charge of disbursement, and amazingly enough, the bench was still there, and needed to be moved out ASAP, as there was very little time before the building would be handed over to the developers.

That night, I lay in bed, with the size of the bench growing in immensity in my mind, and thought:

‘We can’t do this! It’s huge! We are supposed to downsizing! Ack’.

Jim calmly said: ‘It’s going to work fine’.  (I love you….)

Our son and his friends helped us lift it out (oh my! Heavy!), and then our son and son in love lugged it into the dining room:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I wanted to be very respectful of the bench, knowing how much work the gentleman who built it back in 1950 (It’s older than both of us!) put into it.

But, we really didn’t want it to look quite so ecclesiastical- it is retired now, after almost 65 years of noble service (well…. actually, it’s been tucked away in a back room for at least 36 of those years, but who’s counting?) and so now, it’s time for it to have a holiday, and become a well used and well loved domestic treasure.

So, I set to work, and started sanding. Whew.  (I love you….)

And, I asked Jim what he wanted on it, besides mermaids- we always knew that it was going to be ‘The Mermaid Bench’.

He loves sailing, so he suggested a compass rose.

A 60 year old book of maps from the thrift shop had a compass rose on one of the maps- it’s only a 1/2 in tall, but it was enough to inspire me.

So, I started drawing.  I added all kinds of things that we love, like trees, dragonflies, and a seahorse- Jim asked for that. I thought that it was most appropriate, as he is a fabulous father and grandfather, just like seahorses are.

I pulled some paint chips….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And primed it….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

All the while, thinking: I love you!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I drew the compass rose and  mermaids on plywood, and then cut them out, sanded, burned and varnished the medallions.  (I love you….)

The seat cushions are temporary…. I’ll be weaving more appropriate ones soon.  (I love you….)

This is what it actually looks like in the dining room:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

It fits into our quirky, light hearted home perfectly.

And, it says, resoundingly: I LOVE YOU!!!!

Our wee grandson loves it, too, and is delighted that I sneaked a little portrait of him into the compass rose just to the right of the flower on the sun’s head.

Yes, indeed, there really are a million ways to say, ‘I love you’….. yes.

And, if I hadn’t impulsively given away half our chairs to our adored offspring, we would never have considered adopting our Mermaid Bench.

Well, love leads us in the most delightful ways, doesn’t it?

(I love you….)

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, personal stuff, woodwork

Sigh- this is NOT the background for the book pics

While I am weaving up a storm, working on projects for my new book, I can’t post pics of what I am weaving.

You know…. you just can’t ‘scoop’ yourself and let the cat out of the bag, no matter how enticing it would be to let it out for just a very little peek.

But, nope.  It’s zipped lips and fingers off the keyboard when the itch to do a tiny reveal has to be firmly pushed down.

On the other hand, when something gets vetoed by my editor and the art dept…. I can say:

“Guess what! Here’s something that you WON’T be seeing in my new book!” :)

I had this bright  obviously Not so bright, idea that I would weave the background for all the project and how to photos on the peg loom.

I liked the idea.

A lot.

I wove and wove and wove for many an hour…..

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And wove a large background piece.

And, merrily shot photographs using it.

But…..

I am learning the nuts and bolts of my new camera and so I sent photos in to my editor to make sure that the photos will be acceptable for all the manipulations that have to happen for publishing.

Oops….

The art department nixed the background.

oops.

Should have checked in on that one sooner, shouldn’t I?

oops.

Building a book is never a straight line- it’s a ziggy, zaggy, loopy and sometimes, snaggy one, indeed.

Ah, the learning curve.

All part of the journey.

Back to work I go.

:)

But hey, at least I was able to show you something that I have been working (and working and working) on.

:)

8 Comments

Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, Writing a book

Permission Doll

I’ve just posted a new pdf pattern to my etsy shop: The Permission Doll LINK

The Permission Doll was inspired by a wonderful thing that my father once said to me.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I asked him if he thought that a coat that I was thinking of making for myself was going to be too wild.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

He thought about it for a long time, and then declared: “Just wear it with panache!”.
And so I did.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I often think about living my life with panache, and about how important it is to stretch ourselves and to try new things.
We have to give ourselves permission to be brave and to find delight in all kinds of ways.

So, when you knit yourself the Permission doll, remember to live your life with panache!

And, every time you look at her, I hope that she will make you smile and spark a little extra bravery, whimsy and delight in your life.

She has been a force for healing in my life, and I hope that she will be in yours, too. :)

 

4 Comments

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, knitting

Too many projects for one book?

Oh oh…. I am so inspired by my new book about peg loom weaving that I am coming up with waaaaaaaaaay too many ideas for it….

I can draw a star with my weaving sticks LOL

And, then, instead of carrying on with figuring out yardage etc and working on the forms I have created to help me track my progress and keep everything organized… I stopped and played…..

Sigh.

That’s not going to get  a book written, is it?

Okay.

Back to work.

(Voice of  Inner Child: But look! I can draw things with my weaving sticks!  Whee!

Voice of Serious, Studious Adult: Oh, shush, and let me get back to work…. oh wait… that IS fun!)

All right, all right…. I really am getting back to work now.

Really. ;)

4 Comments

Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

Book Contract Signed- Now I Can Tell

Wheee!  I am so excited!

I can  finally share my good news!

For months, I have been sworn to secrecy, but now….the contracts are signed…. so……..

My editor has given me the go ahead to let the cat out of the bag.

(A brief moment of happy dancing here)

Stackpole Books is going to be publishing my new book about Peg and Stick Loom Weaving.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I love peg looms and stick weaving- they are simple little looms, but have incredible creative potential.

I have already self published many ebooks and patterns for wonderful designs with peg and stick looms:

Jewelry making with Peg and Stick looms: LINK

Baskets LINK

Mermaid Dolls LINK

Woven Dolls: with 6 weaving sticks LINK  with 4 weaving sticks LINK

A shortcut to my Peg Loom & Stick Weaving listings on etsy are: ETSY

And, I’ll post pics of some of the tapestries that I have woven on the Peg Loom soon, just to show a bit more of the potential of these delightful looms.

For the new book, I have designed oodles and oodles and oodles of new designs- oh my!  I am so excited!!!!!

And…. I am covering all kinds of awesome techniques right from the very basics up to advanced and slightly boggling ways of working with the peg loom.  (And weaving sticks, too).

I’ll be working my sweet little chops off from now until June of 2015, when the manuscript, photos, illustrations and diagrams take flight to land in the capable hands of my editor and her clever cohorts.

They will then spend months making magic with it, (so much happens to the text, photos, diagrams and illustrations once the wizards of technology at Stackpole Books get their hot little hands flying!).

Then, the book comes back to me for my proofreading, and back to them and then, it takes flight again, off to the printers.

That’s why it takes another whole year before it can miraculously pop up on book shelves.

It’s worth the wait :)  I hope.

I’ve asked my editor if it’s okay to share my journey with writing the book with you, and she has said yes, as long as it doesn’t upset people that they have to wait so long for it.

There is soooooooooooo much involved in writing a book, and I find it very interesting, so I hope that you will, too.

(And of course, I can’t let the cat out of the bag about the exact projects until the book is closer to release, but then, I’ll be able to share ALL the pics).

But, now…. I must get back to work!

After  a little more happy dancing, of course….. :)

24 Comments

Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, personal stuff, weaving & handwoven