Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tottie Tomato wishes you happy year of the horse

Hurrah! The Year of the Snake has curled up and slithered away, with few of us wishing it would last longer.

And, now, The Year of the Horse has galloped through the gate! YAY!

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

Poor Tottie Tomato got a sudden and surprising ride when she was posing for this photo- one of the Small Dogs grabbed her up and raced away with her.

I was shrieking, ‘No! No! No!’ in hot pursuit across the studio. Jim jumped up and leapt to the studio, gasping: ‘What? What!?!?!?!’

Small Dog dropped Tottie at Jim’s feet and pranced with delight.

I shot in and grabbed poor Tottie back.  Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, and she forgives Small Dog for her unexpected ride.

This is NOT the way I would like the Year of the Horse to proceed, thank you very much!

I’m all up for delicious surprises and fast forward motion, but being challenged by unexpected canine capers is not a metaphor that I am going to embrace.

Nope.

I’m all for having a year of unbounded creativity, excellent good health, delight in community and happiness in family and tremendously delicious moments of serendipity and connection.

Yup.

And, that’s what I wish for you, too!

Happy, happy Year of the Horse!

 

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Tottie Tomato Loves

Doll making as a healing art

In the past week, we have added several  friends and relations of relations to our healing prayers.

As part of my meditations and prayer work, I focus my mind by creating healing dolls.

I pour my love and healing thoughts and images into the making of a healing doll.

Stitch by stitch, I make a doll that I quietly, gently and peacefully pour my thoughts and intentions of wellness, loving kindness, tenderness, inspiration and insight into.

Sometimes, the doll is for a specific person, and sometimes, it is simply a response to feeling the call to make a sacred or healing doll.

I never sell these dolls- I give them to a person that feels right for it.

I wrote the book: Soul Mate Dolls: Doll making as a healing art many years ago. It’s out of print now.

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

Over the years, since the publication of this book, I have continued to work with the sacred art of doll making for my own contemplative practice, but also professionally.

I have taught many workshops, and I have designed many patterns for people to continue to make dolls that are focused on healing themselves and others.

And, now I am working on a whole new book about the healing power of mindful doll making.

Until it is released, here are some of my designs that are available on my website http://www.crone-findlay.com and in my etsy shop. The link to my etsy shop is below each of these dolls.

May doll making be the source of great happiness, healing and wholeness for you, my friends!

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

The crocheted Angel of Compassion link to pattern on etsy: Link

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

The Crocheted Angel of Healing dolls: LINK

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

The Crocheted Angel of Peace: LINK

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

Weaving with simple looms, such as the peg or stick loom is very meditative, and I find that weaving mermaids is an excellent way to focus my thoughts on healing body, mind and spirit: LINK

Simple tools can be used to make sweet little dolls that provide great comfort when tucked into a pocket, and they are so easy to pop into an envelope and mail to a friend:

The spool knitted tiny angels are so easy to make, but full of love, too:  LINK

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

As are the Friendship Fairies: LINK

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

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

And, I mustn’t forget the Menopause Fairy!

After all…. the Tooth Fairy takes away teeth and leaves a gift of money, right?

Well, the Menopause Fairy takes away all manner of things and leaves behind the gifts of laughter, wisdom and compassion, as well as soooooooooo much more!!!!  LINK

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

And, if the healing involves some deliciously wild energy, then perhaps a Wild And Wooly doll is in order: LINK

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

If you feel a connection to Goddesses, I have designed a knitted pattern for the Venus of Willendorf.

I love holding her in my hand- she’s just a perfect little handful of the Feminine Divine energy! LINK

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

And Venus of Willendorf inspired Goddesses to Crochet: LINK

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

There’s also the Minoan Goddess of the Bees to knit: LINK

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

There are so many women from history who are powerful role models and whose strength, dignity and wisdom are deeply inspiring and offer great hope. One of them is the Empress Theodora….. LINK

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

May the work of your hands bring you soulful and engaging ways of healing your heart, mind, body and spirit and may it bring joy and peace and healing in countless ways to your family and friends, too!

Blessings abounding!!!!  With love, always, and all ways! 🙂

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Filed under crochet, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting

Road to Django concert January 2014

For me, the very best part of January for the last few years has been the breathtakingly wonderful concert produced by Cam Neufeld and Marianne Watchel.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

The concert is called: The Road to Django, and it chronicles Cam’s journey from India, through the Balkans to Paris for the celebration of Django Reinhardt’s 100th birthday.

It begins with Cam playing a handmade violin like instrument from India.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

Cam explored the history and movement of Gypsy/Roma music through Asia and Europe, writing music  and studying with musicians and teachers as he went.

He then came home to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and asked a group of his friends to create a magical series of concerts that bring to life the music of the Roma, including some Flamenco (which is one of the great passions of my husband, guitar master and composer, Jim Findlay). The concert ends with a spectacular explosion of Django’s swing and Hot Club Paris music.  Holy smoke would be an appropriate response.

I was riveted by the spectacle of the 12 musicians, at the end of 3 1/2 hours of intense performance catapulting through Django’s breakneck tempos.  Holy smoke! They gave every molecule of their beings to the music and the audience exploded into cheers…….. wowsa.  Holy smoke…..

This year, Cam was joined by 11 other stellar musicians:

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

It wasn’t possible to get them all in one photo from where I was sitting…

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

The level of intensity of the music is incredible, and the audience is transfixed!

Lisi Sommer has the voice and presence of a Goddess, and I took a whole bunch of photos of her singing, so I can work on drawings of them later.

I was amazed and delighted when the slight glitter in the backdrop translated itself into what looks like musical notes around her… isn’t that the neatest thing?

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

Raquel, a beautiful dancer from Spain performed belly dance, and then Flamenco.

Her charisma, grace and beauty were a gift to the audience.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

This video is the group of 12 musicians (Jim is the gorgeous greybeard in black hat and jacket with the Godin guitar on the far left of the stage) playing one of Jim’s compositions, “I See”, at the Road to Django concert on Jan 26 2014. Cam and Jim have given me permission to upload this piece to YouTube. Because it’s taken with my tiny old video camera, it doesn’t do justice to the magnificence of the music and the astonishing virtuosity of 12 gifted, beautiful musicians, but I really wanted to share even this small glimpse of the glory of the concert.

This was an evening that made me feel blessed beyond measure and awestruck by the beauty and power of music.

Thank you, thank you to the musicians, and especially to our dear friend, Cam!

Cam Neufeldt is a treasure

Cam Neufeld is a treasure

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The Woven Women Singing Mermaid opens her eyes

My wee grandson does not like it when I make a doll or weave a tapestry that has closed eyes, or no face.

He frowns and says to me: “She can’t see me! Open her eyes!”

I think I have internalized his demand to ‘Open her eyes!’, because the other morning, I woke up, after dreaming about my large Singing Mermaid tapestry, and heard, you guessed it: Open her eyes!

And so, The Singing Mermaid from my Woven Women series- see here LINK for previous post about her:

 copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

has opened her eyes – with the help of my felting needles and some fleece:

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

The colors are looking slightly odd, but in real life, they are quite pleasing.

The Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts Gallery that will be hosting my ‘Woven Women’ show of tapestry and woven works is not on schedule with the construction.

So, the show will now be running from August 1, to Sept 9, 2014 in Jasper AB.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under tapestry, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Occupied by Octopi and Einstein

People keep asking me to design and weave baby toys……….. so…….

Every day of the last week, I have been obsessively weaving one octopus after another. Why?

Well, because I’ve been contemplating how to weave  toys that are appealing to and for babies.

My checklist for the baby toys:

Bright colors

No beads or buttons, only embroidered embellishments

Lots of opportunities to hold onto the toy, and to hang it up from strollers if wanted, and to connect other toys to it.

The answer: OCTOPUS!

Tah dah!

An occupation of octopuzzzzzzzzzz in my studio!

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

Tottie Tomato is somewhat confused by my sudden obsession with oceanic friends.

 

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

She sought out a little advice from her friend, Albert Einstein.

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

He reassured Tottie Tomato that all the mermaids in the studio will be sure to keep the octopuzzzzzzzzzzzz under control.

Besides, they are only in residence temporarily, until they are adopted, and, it’s a well known fact that octopuzzzzzzz don’t eat little Tomato people. 🙂

PS: if you are feeling inspired to weave an octopus or two, too,  I used my pattern in WEAVAGARUMI

 

 

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, Tottie Tomato Loves, weaving & handwoven

Happy times at winter festival

Yesterday, and the day before, my daughter, daughter in love and I were participants in the artisan’s market of the Deep Freeze Winter Festival in Edmonton, Alberta.

It was great fun- the volunteers were a delight – here I am with darling Bernice in her wonderful winter celebration hat that she lovingly made with paper mache and all manner of glitteries:

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

I loved the wonderful conversations that I had with people who were enjoying the festival.

One little guy just charmed me to bits…. he was an epic weaver, and a total cutie….

He had me hopping, as he was Mr SuperFast and keeping up with his flying little fingers was a challenge! 😀

I wish that the video was just a few seconds longer, to catch our discussion about him wanting me to give him the shirt that I will be making from the fabric.

He didn’t see that I really wanted to keep it for myself as being at all reasonable! LOL!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

After each artisan’s market or maker’s faire, I am always very touched when I think back to some of the remarkable conversations that I have with people.

Often, people will share deeply meaningful glimpses into their lives.

I always feel like I have been offered a precious little jewel in the glimpse of their journey that they reveal to me.

It’s one of the many things that keeps me coming back as a participant in these magical events.

And, I also feel enormous joy when someone comes to my table or booth, and then responds with delight, and laughter and, sometimes, even tears, when they connect with something that I have designed and made.

Now, THAT is magic beyond measure!!!!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

There were all kinds of wonderful things happening outside during the festival.

This gorgeous horse was carved in snow outside our venue. I LOVED it!

It was a delightful weekend, and even though I didn’t get to see the festival as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed my little corner of it! 🙂

PS: This post: Viking Dress LINK explains why I am dressed the way I am in the photo.

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Filed under craft shows and makers faires, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Tottie Tomato celebrates International Day of the Unicorn

Yesterday, our enchanting little grandson announced, savouring the words as he said them:

‘What a sight that would be to see!’.

He enjoyed this so much that he repeated it several times, which set me to thinking about wonderful sights to see….

And, then, today,  dear friend just sent me a note, telling me that today is International Day of the Unicorn!

What a sight that would be to see!!!!!

Well, I believe that that is cause for celebration, and so does Tottie Tomato!

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

Tottie Tomato and a few good friends gathered around the Green Man well to celebrate sweet, greening, lovely, tenderness in all it’s forms. If you call it ‘magic’, then that’s fine, too.

What ever you call it, take a moment to say thank you for all that is good, and sweet and growing in beauty today!

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

Happy Unicorn day to you! ❤ !

 

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New woven toys

I have a passion for weaving toys that are not just for children, but also to light up the heart of adults, too.

Over the last year, I have been designing and weaving all manner of  woven wonderfuls for my booth in all the heaps of artisan’s markets and maker’s faires that I have been doing.

Which is why I have been rather remiss in blogging – it’s all about the weaving, these days 🙂

It’s been a pleasure to let my imagination run wild and create one of a kind pieces without worrying about having to make sure that I can repeat the process to make patterns.

Not to imply that I don’t like designing and making patterns- I really do!

BUT…. it’s delicious to simply let my hands fly and listen to what emerges….  and to respond to what WANTS to emerge!  In which case, I have had to build a series of new little looms to keep up with those ‘wanting weavies’. 🙂

Here are a few of my latest pieces:

I never get tired of weaving homages to Albert Einstein 🙂

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

Everyone in our family really likes gargoyles, so I had to weave one (and I feel the need to weave more! LOL)

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

And, we all quite like frogs- in fact, the joyous uproar of frog song in springtime is one of our favorite things!

This fellow seems very affable to me….

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

This Debonaire Ginger Cat is actually based on one of my patterns that is available on my website LINK or on my etsy shop.

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

And, for that matter, the pattern for dragons woven on the potholder loom is also available on my website:

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

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

And now, back to ‘one of a kinds’ – This is Dumpling Darling:

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

Ahhhhhhhh, babies….. I love to weave babies of all descriptions, like baby piglets:

 

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

and baby hippos:

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

Oh, yes, a monster or two….

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

And, sometimes, a fairy toadstool wants me to weave it….

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

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

At Christmas, I wove a capybara for my son in law:

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

and a fox:

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

So, now you see why my blogging hasn’t been up to scratch in 2013…. 🙂  Too busy weaving….

But…. I do plan on being more active with my blog in 2014….

I have a lot of photos of pieces for my Woven Women show that I haven’t posted, so I need to get back to posting those.  All in good time 🙂

I’ve been better at posting pictures to facebook, so if you would like to follow me on facebook, the link is:

facebook.com/NoreenCroneFindlayDesigns

 

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Filed under craft shows and makers faires, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, weaving & handwoven

Homage to a Viking woman’s dresses

In Edmonton, Alberta, in deep bitter cold mid-winter, there is a festival that is appropriately called, ‘Deep Freeze’.

It’s a celebration of the arts, food, music and the many cultures that have met and melded to become the very arts oriented city of Edmonton.

Part of the Deep Freeze festival is an artisan’s market, and I am going to be one of the vendors (January 11 and 12, 2014).

The theme of this year’s festival is: The Vikings are Coming – and they are!

A fabulous team of ice and snow carvers from Scandinavia is here already,  carving huge icy statues of Odin and Thor.

The festival organizers really like it if the artisans get into the spirit of the theme, so I got inspired and researched Viking women’s clothing.

Knowing that the Vikings were magnificent weavers made me want to see what I could come up with for my days at the artisan’s market.

I found lots of images on Google and Pinterest, so I set to work:

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

Archeologists have learned that Viking women wore under dresses woven in wool or linen.

Then, on top, there’s an apron over dress that was embellished with woven bands that were also the shoulder straps.

Sometimes, they wore underskirts or trousers.

Don’t forget that they rode sturdy horses, so pants are  a very good idea.

They also wore over coats, called kaftans, that were also embellished with woven bands.

The wove their bands using tablet looms, which I really don’t like.

Instead, I warped up my Swedish double slot rigid heddle, (which I love) and wove 9 yards of narrow bands, using sock yarn.

(Note: I bought my Swedish double slot rigid heddle from Vavstuga: LINK)

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

The short supplementary slots hold the pattern threads.

To weave the pattern, you pick up the threads from the pattern group of threads that match the pattern on a gridded graph.

It’s rather slow, but deliciously contemplative and incredibly satisfying to weave these bands.

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

I was going to make the tunic, but then I remembered that I had found the perfect soft green linen tunic in my fave thrift shop last fall. Yay!

And, then, miracle of miracles, I found a linen skirt in the thrift shop – and wowsa… it was perfect to convert into the apron over dress! (Oops… it’s too big, and I should have taken it in, so will have to do that at some point).

And…. there was also a green cotton flounced skirt that works perfectly for the underskirt. YAY!!!!

I planned on sewing the coat, but then discovered that the pattern that I was going to use to make it was missing the sleeve pattern. erg…..  I ordered another pattern from Club BMV, but it’s not going to get here in time.

Ah well, c’est la vie!

I stitched the bands onto the overdress by hand, but stitched the straps on by machine to really secure them to the dress.

The bands were usually pinned in place on the front of the overdress with Celtic interlace brooches.

But, in one of the photos on Pinterest, the over dress is embellished with 2 golden hands.

I LOVED this, so I used a pair of hand charms that I had used in a doll making book that I wrote many years ago.

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

It  was a lot of work to make, but I love it, and will wear it over a t shirt and leggings,  (after taking it in a little to make it more comfortable and less tent like).

Viking women also wore belts with tools hanging from them, and pouches for their cellphones and lip gloss.

All right, they  weren’t tweeting, but I am willing to bet that they made and used lip gloss in some form or another.

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

Their pouches were usually leather, but I prefer to weave mine :o) using yarn that my clever daughter in love spins for me.

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

Viking women wore a fair schwack of jewelry, so I decided to that I would join in the spirit of things and put on a few more pieces than I would normally wear.

Yesterday, there was a press conference for the Deep Freeze festival, and I was invited to come to represent the artisan’s market.

I took along my Norwegian Cradle loom (these are hand made for the Vesterheim museum, and are available online at: LINK

and wove some bands while mummers mummed and singers sang and film crews filmed.

Weaving at the Deep Freeze press conference

Weaving at the Deep Freeze press conference

Since most of North America is freezing cold right now, we really need to find something to light up the deep mid winter, right?

Yes, indeed!

So, I shall weave to warm my heart and hands….. and I will  join with other artisans in making beauty!

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Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

A peak front hooded scarf to weave on the potholder loom

One of my friends likes the video game, ‘Assassin’s Creed’.

She asked for a hooded scarf that has a peak front in homage to the characters in the game.
And, so I designed a  pattern for a peaky, hoody scarf to weave on the potholder loom.

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

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

Of course, our small dog had to investigate the scarf when I laid it down on a sheet to photograph it.

He really wanted to go to sleep on it…. but that wasn’t on the agenda….

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

The pattern is available for purchase on my website: LINK

or on my etsy shop: LINK

 

 

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, weaving & handwoven