Category Archives: personal stuff

Handspun Alpaca for ANOTHER new book

HURRAH!  In 2020, my publisher (Stackpole books) will be releasing not just one new book from me (I was hard at work for almost all of 2018 on it), but-

WHEEE-   while I was working sooooooooo hard on the book that will be released in January of 2020, I was also busting my chops on laying the foundation for the NEXT book that I am writing.

And, the good news is that they will be publishing the NEXT book  in the fall of 2020, so most of 2019 will have me hard at work on it.

In fact, I am happily working on it now.

Last summer, my friends, Teresa and Darren Griffith gave me a huge bag of fluffy, fabulous fuzz from 4 of their gorgeous alpacas.

I don’t have a drum carder, so I hand carded and carded and carded it all and spun and spun and spun….

this basket of yummy yarn….

It may not look like much, but there is over a kilogram of yarn in that basket!

I thought that Teresa was brilliant to staple a lock of fleece from each of the alpacas to a card, so I would remember the name of each of the sweet alpacas who donated their loveliness!

And, now, I am joyfully weaving the alpaca yarn and will be including it in the NEXT book.

Hurrah!

and a thousand thanks to Teresa and Darren for their amazing generosity! ❤ and blessings to them both

 

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

Antique Teneriffe Lace Loom

I have been absent from the world of social media for quite awhile- I was working to deadline on a book.

It swallowed me completely, and I vanished for awhile.  (I met the deadline! Yay!  And my editor likes it! Yay!)

But then, I got sick (ugh) and have been taking naps to recover, and didn’t have the jam to deal with blogging or dealing with the interwebs, so I didn’t.

Now, I’m on the mend.  And, working on new projects.

And taking lots of naps.

Oh my… this afternoon, something delicious happened that has made me need to pop back into the world of bloggdom.

A gift….

Today, I received a wonderful little package in the mail.

It was from my sister.  ❤

In the box was this little, oh so magical wee box of delights.

I opened the tiny old box and squealed with joy-

Such loveliness!

A treasure that my sister’s dear mother in law had found at an antique sale, bless her heart!

My sister has been cherishing this precious little box of heaven and, (bless her heart, too),  decided that I would enjoy it, so she mailed it to me. ❤

Sigh…. so much happiness in a little package!

I love Teneriffe lace and was ecstatic to see the awesome little brass loom.

And, a hairpin lace loom and some bone tools that will be lovely to use in small loom weaving.

I had to warp up the Teneriffe loom- how could I resist?

The little Teneriffe motif is wonky as all get out, but I think I should send it to my sister, doncha think?

PS:  (added the day after I originally posted about the Teneriffe Loom) I’ve been working with the Teneriffe Lace Loom, and have polished up my technique as I am working on a video to show how to do this technique with upcycled materials.

Here’s today’s version: 😀

Teneriffe lace loom 8-c

 

 

 

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Filed under lace making, personal stuff

Cutting garments into fabric strips to weave and knit

The flu knocked me for a loop, and as I have been slowly pulling myself out of it, I haven’t had much energy, so my blog has slipped off the rails.

I did want to mention, however, that I made a video about cutting up garments to upcycle them by weaving or knitting with the fabric strips.

In early October, my son in law’s step-dad passed away.

This was, of course, very hard on our grandson.

I talked with him about what it meant to him to have his ‘other’ grampa (not my husband) pass away.

I asked him if he needed something of his grampa’s to hold onto, and he said yes.

So, I asked for a couple of Bill’s shirts so I could make comfort critters with them.

I cut them up and wove them into kittys, as that was what my grandson asked for, so he has one, and other family members have them too.  (I didn’t photograph all of them).

I also knitted a teddy bear for one of our relatives, as he is definitely a teddy bear guy 🙂

The bear and kittys have been well received and they do carry the love that went into every stitch of making them.

I’ve done this before, and have found that ‘compassion critters’ made from upcycled clothing of a dear one is very comforting for people in grief.

Every little thing helps….

Here’s the video:

The woven kitties and knitted bear are made from the following patterns:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/88710…

and https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/27430…

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, potholder loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

A Butterfly to make on the Lucet

Butterflies are the symbol of transformation, and since everyone I know seems to be experiencing some kind of transformative experience or another,  it seems to me to be a good time to make some little butterflies.

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

They are very quick and easy to make, using a Lucet – although you can also use spool knitted cord, if you prefer.

They can be used to embellish anything that you can think of, or can be stitched to a ribbon for a book mark, or have a pin sewn to the back so they can be worn on a hat, bag, scarf or lapel.  They can be attached to a key ring.

They can be used in scrapbooking or card making.

It’s lovely to have one in your pocket to give to a friend who just needs a little comfort…..

Here’s the video for how to make the butterflies:

We are in deep, cold, snowy mid winter in Western Canada, so it’s lovely to have butterflies flittering about the studio, even if I had to make them myself!  🙂

That just reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought of in years….

My mother used to give us ‘Butterfly Kisses’, which were a quick little flutter of her eyelashes on our cheeks.

That’s a dear memory to suddenly pop up…  sweet!

Butterfly kisses all round! ❤

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Filed under gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Lucet, personal stuff, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

My Peg Loom book won’t be published until 2017

I am utterly aghast.

My lovely, but now ~former~ editor has just let me know that Stackpole books has been bought by another publishing company.

My book, which is in the production layout stages will now not be released until late 2017.

I am so sorry for the people who have lost their jobs, and I am also so sad that my book has been delayed for more than a year.

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Filed under book review/book/books, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, personal stuff, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

A Gratitude Haircut

Our daughter, Chloe, had cancer a few years ago and came through it with flying colors and is wholly healthy now.

I decided to make a gratitude offering in thanks for her beautiful recovery and healing.

So, I decided that I would do a very simple thing that would be of service to people who need wigs while they are getting treatment.

(Luckily, Chloe didn’t loose her beautiful hair, but I have so many family and friends who did, that I decided that I wanted to do a little something for them.)

I grew my hair….

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

for a couple of years, until it was just above my waist.

Last week, Chloe and I went to the hair salon and she cut the back section of it off:

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

And the stylist cut off the sides, then shaped it:

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

It hasn’t looked like this since the day of the haircut, because I have no ability to use a dryer or curling iron, and miraculously, my hair that has always been straight as a ruler, has decided to be full of wild and unruly waves and curls.

I am astonished.  All my life, I have wanted curls or at least waves, and now I suddenly have them and don’t know what to do with them.

Except wear a hat.

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

That’s the big fat braid going to the Cross Cancer Clinic  in Edmonton Alberta.

The Cross Clinic asks people to bring their hair donations directly to them, as they have specific wig makers that they prefer to use.

They were pleased with the great big fat long  braid of hair that I brought them and I was so happy to make this donation.

May it bring some measure of happiness to the person who gets the wig with my hair in it.

If you find it easy to grow your hair, then perhaps you might consider doing a donation too?

Our daughter in law, Alliston,  has done the same thing, also in gratitude for Chloe’s fantastic outcome,  and she is now sporting a very spiffy and short new hairdo, too.

It was very emotional, and I am very happy to have done it.

And, um, since I have no skills whatsoever with hair, I am now officially growing my hair out again, but this time, for me.   🙂

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Filed under personal stuff

My grandson designs a truck

Last June, our grandson and I made a wooden doll together.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay  www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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

We had fun doing it, but he didn’t express an interest in doing any more woodworking, so I haven’t brought it up.

BUT…. on Thursday, when we picked him up at Kindergarden, he was dancing with delight because it had ~finally~ been his turn for show and tell and he could hardly wait to show me what he had shared.

He proudly pulled his wooden doll out of his backpack and beamed at me. He was so happy!

Well, I did the ‘granny-swoon’- being washed over with gratitude at my darling boy’s choice of what was ~really~ precious to him.  Melt, melt, melt.

I asked him if he was interested in making more dolls and he said: ‘Of course!’.

I got a piece of wood and asked him if he was more interested in making a doll or a truck and he voted for truck.

He drew the truck and I cut it out on the band saw and sanded it for him.

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

We didn’t have time for paint, so he worked with markers and will use paint at home with his Mamma.

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

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

Sigh.  I LOVE these precious times. ❤

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Filed under personal stuff, woodwork

Teaching my young grandson how to carve a wooden doll

One of the joys of my life has always been doll making.

I have carved wooden dolls for as long as I remember, and I am now enjoying teaching my 5 year old grandson how to make wooden dolls, too.

I gave him a piece of wood, and had him draw a figure on it.

Then, I burned the lines he had drawn:

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

You can see to the right of his doll, a doll that his Mamma made when she was his age, and one that I am currently working on.

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

He chose some colors, and started adding them….

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

I cut her out with the bandsaw and he took her home, but wasn’t pleased that she had rough edges.

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

So, the next day, I took some of my tools over so he could work on sanding her and finishing her.

He’s already immersed in the family culture of being a Maker!

I’ve been giving him lessons on how to use a hand saw in a Zen way, as he tends to approach tools with wild abandon, which is not something I encourage at all.

Gently, gently, is my motto….

Ah, the bliss of being a granny….

my heart sings!

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, personal stuff, woodwork

Tottie Tomato settles into the new studio

Poor Tottie Tomato has been left sleeping in her antique wicker suitcase for the entire month since we moved to our new home.  That’s her suitcase behind her.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

I’ve been working so hard to set up our home and my studio, as well as working hard hard hard on the new book, that poor Tottie hasn’t seen the light of day.

But, it’s time to let little Ms Tomato settle into our new studio.

She likes it very much, even though it is waaaaaaaaay smaller than our old one.

She loves to help warp up the peg looms, which is good, as I am weaving and writing and photographing and and and … full steam ahead!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

It really feels like home, now that Tottie Tomato is out and about in the studio with me!

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

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