I’m in heaven…

Phyllis Hirsch led the guild in making a holiday ribbon ornament.  What fun!

Phyllis Hirsch led the guild in making a holiday ribbon ornament. What fun!

Wow, this was one of those rare gifts of a day, where the planets just align and someone says, Daryl, you are going to spend the whole day having fun.  Actually, the fun started last night, in the dreary cold rain, my daughter and I drove to our Jockey Hollow Guild meeting, where one of the members, Phyllis Hirsch led us in a holiday make-it-take-it project, making a ribbon ornament.  I like little projects like this, first because it is quick, and I can see doing something like this with handwoven scraps, and secondly, it is one of those kinds of projects that allows you to work on it and chat non stop through the whole meeting.  🙂

In the middle of the meeting, my dearest friend Candiss Cole called on my cell phone.  A rare treat, I didn’t expect to hear from her for awhile, since we got together and played last month!  Candiss, turns out, was in NYC, and had an extra day to hang out, and called to see if I could come out and play.  Woo hoo!  We scheduled a lunch date for today, and I went back to the guild meeting.

This morning, after I got my daughter off to school, I headed over to the cancer center, and had my annual check-up with my oncologist.  There is always this tiny bit of apprehension when I go, fear that maybe she might find something that could start the whole breast cancer scenario all over again.  But I went, and the visit went well, and I got a clean bill of health and was told to call in December of 2010 for my next visit.  Woo Hoo!  🙂

A shoe shopping extravaganza at DSO

A shoe shopping extravaganza at DSO

I picked up Candiss at a hotel in NJ, and off we went to play.  We hung in the studio for awhile, catching up and looking at each others ideas and directions, something we always use to do regularly.  We headed off to lunch, Candiss knows my Thursday Philosophy Club ladies, and we all had a delightful lunch, and afterwards Candiss and I  went  SHOE SHOPPING!  This is one of those things that works so much better with a shopping buddy.  A new DSW opened not far from me, how did Candiss know about it and not me?  She lives in Arizona!  So we went to the new DSW and OMG!  I headed right for the back room and the clearance shoes.  We had so much fun trying on the Steve Madden and the Stuart Weitzman shoes, I tried on shoes that nearly broke my ankle, after all, I’m over 50.  And I ended up buying some very practical pairs of casual shoes, and one killer pair of leather lace-up boots.  Candiss and I both wanted them but I won!

I dropped her off at her hotel, quick hugs to her husband Rodger for giving her up for the day, and I headed home to find a quiet house, and boxes everywhere in my living room.  UPS, and the USPS had a field day at our house.  We are buying most of our Christmas presents online, we usually do, so we let the Brown Santa do all the traveling.  Speaking of the Brown Santa, my son is now working as a seasonal driver assistant for UPS, and it was so cute when he walked in around dinner time, in his brown uniform.  Since he leaves for boot camp on January 4th, the seasonal work was perfect for giving him some extra cash and a reason to get out of bed in the morning…

Anyway, if you are a handweaver, you are most likely following Tien Chiu’s blog, she is a very talented complex weaver, embarking on weaving her wedding dress.  We had some correspondence earlier in the year about some interfacing issues.  And you should know that Tien is one of the founders of the online weaving community Weavolution.  Tien has been taking a break from weaving and has picked up one of her other specialties, making chocolate, and I’m not talking a couple of milk chocolate eggs here, I’m talking combination’s that I can’t even begin to imagine.  She has been carefully blogging about the whole chocolate experience, and I had to replace my keyboard twice this week for drooling too much while reading about it.

My very own box of Tien's Chocolates!

My very own box of Tien's Chocolates!

So, back to my living room full of boxes.  I worked through the Amazon boxes, hiding the presents from the family, and then I got to a box that had Tien Chiu’s return address on it.  What could be in this box?  I opened it and well, I screamed for 20 minutes.  Good thing no one was home.  I don’t know what I did to earn a box of Tien’s chocolates, but there is was, in the Priority box from the USPS, and I ran right up to the computer to write a thank you note.  Wow.  The first one I sampled was the square white one in the front, Coconut Tequila Lime fudge.  OMG!  Tien if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU!

I'm having fun making hot mats and mug mats from coiled handwoven strips and the sewing machine.

I'm having fun making hot mats and mug mats from coiled handwoven strips and the sewing machine.

Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience this year, I’ve met so many readers through it, and gotten some terrific feedback.  After my last post, reader Diane thought that the little bowls I was making from coiled scraps of handwoven fabric would make great hot mats for the kitchen or table.  I had actually made a hot mat first, to get back into the technique, and then played around with the bowls.  Diane had a point, a hot mat is a usable functional item, and would be a great gift, a fiber bowl isn’t the most useful thing, and it is hard to dust.  It is a lot easier to just zoom around in a circle on a flat mat, and so I did.  I made a couple of 8″ round mats, and then thought about how smaller versions would make great mug mats.

Caution Spoiler!  If you are in the Frances Irwin Guild, do not read this paragraph!  For everyone else, the guild is having its annual exchange at the holiday luncheon this year, and this year’s exchange is mug mats.  Weave six and get six in return.  I hadn’t planned on participating, but these little mug mats are so cute.  So I am going to make up a half dozen of the 5 inch size and take them to the holiday luncheon on the 15th.

Speaking of my blog…  Jenny, one of my most prolific commenters (and I do love when people comment!), mentioned to me last night at the guild meeting, that my anniversary was coming up.  I took a minute to think what she was referring to, and then I realized, I’ve been blogging for almost a year,  December 16th, 2008 was my first post.  With almost 250 posts, I’ve had a great year of writing about and celebrating the creative spirit and am really grateful for all of you who take the time to read my posts.

And, in case you haven’t gone back to follow the comments for one of the previous blogs, the one where I made the plaid skirt from the handwoven skirt panel from Avoca Handweavers from Ireland, there was a string where I attempted to locate a source for the Burda Style Magazine, the current issue, for one of the blog commenters who loved the skirt pattern.  I did an online search and didn’t find anything but how to order a subscription, which won’t help the commenter get the December issue.  I called the US distributor for the publication, and they were completely sold out.  But they sent me an email with two online retailers who sell individual issues, and have the November and December issues available.  One of the retailers is Fashionista Fabrics and the other is Sew Baby.  I love this magazine, and I’ve been subscribing for more than 10 years.  Each issue contains over 60 patterns, and I love the style and engineering of the garments.  The directions are scanty, one needs to know how to sew, and the pattern pieces have to be traced off of a large sheet of paper that looks like a road map from hell, but once you get use to it, the patterns are always at your fingertips and just leafing through each of the monthly issues gives me tons of ideas and possibilities.

And, on a final note, I caught the first episode of Bravo TV’s newest launch for a fashion design reality TV show, and I actually enjoyed it.  Called Launch my Line, it involves fashion designer wannabees who are already known in another field, and they are paired with  designer/experts, who can actually sew, and there was some exciting stuff.  So, until the next season of Project Runway starts in January, this is a nice early winter treat.

Did I cover everything???

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Jenny
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Jenny

Killer boots…love ’em! Unfortunately, I have never been able to navigate in high heels….except the type that fashion-coordinate with a western saddle on a horse. But, maybe if Burkenstock ever puts out a line. 😉

Wasn’t following Tien’s blog, but I am now. OMG! That red and black cashmere is to die (dye?) for. And her flavors are incredible sounding. OK…pretending to choose one….I would just have to try fig and cognac. (Sitting here liking the cookie dough bowl of coconut/chocolate chip from baking for North Country Spinners meeting today).

Judy
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Judy

The mug rugs are a great idea for a personal touch. Just add a pine cone or berries or more handwoven ribbon and have a package. So enjoy all the ideas you send out to us. Happy playing.

Randi
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Randi

I start my day with your blog. Thanks so much for staying with it! Happy Holidays to you~

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