Monday, February 20, 2012

The Big Weiner

And the weiner is....
Do you trust this gang?


#6 looks a little skeptical.
Especially now.
But, they're honest injuns. Really.


(What's that on #7's forehead you ask? Why, it's the result of a Valentine's Day preschool party/sugar induced head splitting, noggin' busting. Holy sugar high! Awesome. That scar will go perfectly with his gray front tooth)
But I digress.

The winner is(or "The Big Weiner" in honor of K-wow's word plays)...


Congrats, Jen. Enjoy your new ebook, The Bliss Filled Mama! Just need ur email, sista, and I will forward it to Kathy, who will send you a copy. How cool is that? Everyone, else...I know you will love Kathy as much as I do. Get your copy here.
Thanks for playing along and most of all for supporting my blog pal, Kathy, on her sparkly road to success. XO-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Another scarf off the loom. Seems like I've really been bonding with my vintage Schacht rigid heddle loom. This scarf pattern was from a Spunky Eclectic Weaving Club kit. It was an interesting process...

See those spacers in there? You'll see why in a moment. My mom just happened to stop by with some leftover 2" paper strips she thought the kids might like to use in crafting. Thank you, ever so much sweet mama! I promptly folded a handful in half and inserted every few picks on the loom. Once I had used up all of the warp, I cut the scarf off the loom, arranged it on a piece of solar pool cover dedicated to felting, and began carefully removing the spacers.

Next, I added some hot, soapy water and covered the scarf with very fine mesh fabric.

Oh so carefully, I rolled up the whole shebang around a pool noodle.

I doubled an elastic band around the whole roll to keep it tight while I rolled.

And rolled. And rolled. And rolled.
Seriously, if you're not a process person, this might not be your thing. Every 4-5 minutes,or say 200ish rolls, I carefully unrolled to check on my progress and see if the fibers were beginning to mesh a little. I continued to add soap and hot water as necessary. After about 800 rolls I started to see the beginnings of the felting process.

When the scarf was stable enough, and no longer in danger of unravelling, I switched to the sink to continue the felting by hand. I use ZOTE for the soap. I always stock up when we are in Mexico, but I bet it can be found in Latin markets in the US. Incidentally, this soap is a killer stain buster! Never had a stain it couldn't whip.
So, to felt, I recommend soaping the article, plunging it in extremely hot water, agitating it, then rinsing in cold water. Alternate hot and cold water, agitating all the while, until the desired amount of felting has occured. Or until you can't take it anymore. Lol.

I couldn't take it anymore.
Should've worn gloves.

I had a couple of sassy stray strands (say that 3 times fast!) that just didn't want to cooperate, so I used my needle felting tools to try to stab them into cooperation.

The best part about this project is that because I was felting it, I didn't have to wait for it to dry au naturale. I just threw the whole thing in the dryer and checked it every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes or so total.

There ya go! Easy- peasy! Just not lickety-split:)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recipe for Bliss

I'll be honest. Life in a family of nine can be pretty demanding at times. People are constantly asking, "How do you do it?" The truth is, I keep it real. It's a delicate balance. Whether you are a family of one, or a family the size of The Duggars, it's all about balance. Balance=Bliss, baby.

So, how, do I do it?



My lifelong dream has been to have a big family. I chose an amazing partner who unconditionally supports this dream. We're in it together. You need a support system to make your dreams happen. What does that look like for you? I can be serious and a taskmaster. My husband, whom I affectionally refer to as Captain Fun, ensures the balance by always injecting humor into the situation. Every day he makes me laugh. Have a good belly laugh today!



There is only one glorious you. It takes too much energy to keep up with another's expectation of you. Be you. There is no point comparing your interior to someone else's exterior. You are more than the externals. You are good enough. You have your own path in life. Yours is unique and extraordinary. Embrace it!


You are beautiful. Your life is a gift. It doesn't matter your size or shape. Your beauty is radiating from within. Whole, clean eating is where it's at for me. Refined sugar makes everyone crazy. I try to keep that at a minimum around here. Providing gorgeous fresh, whole food is so nourishing. You owe it to yourself. You are so worth it!



You don't need much to be happy. Attitude, perhaps. Gratitude is my attitude! I seek to find gratitude in the little things everyday. We have so very much to be grateful for. Be simple. When we can find joy in the little things, we don't need to be always searching for fulfillment. It's helped me so much to gratefully acknowledge all of my blessings and to approach life with an attitude of simplicity, especially with regards to consumerism. We don't really need as much as the media insists we do.



We have permission to say no to things that don't support our goals and dreams. People really do understand. If you struggle with this, ask yourself if it is because of what other people will think? If so, please ask yourself why you value what someone else thinks over your own authentic needs. You get to determine your own values. You get to determine your own needs. You get to decide how to value yourself. Pretty please don't let the limited perspective of other people determine your worth. Be true to yourself. Set your own boundaries based on what YOU need, not on what you perceive others might think of you. Walk your own walk, sister.



I'm a creative. Fiber arts bring me joy. I'm forever carding, spinning, knitting,crocheting, or weaving. It's my outlet. I've found that for me, I need 1-2 hours daily for my artistic pursuits. It's in my make-up. I need to create. Sometimes this means giving myself permission to neglect a mess temporarily in order to fulfill my need for creativity. In making time for myself to be creative, I'm learning that I have to prioritize. It's not always easy, but it has given me permission to craft my very own authentic life. I love the freedom in this.



Establishing connections that nurture and uplift us is a key to finding balance in life. Whether it's a night out with your favorite gal pals or an online community of like-minded people, connections with something outside of ourselves lends perspective and offers support. One of my favorite nurturing bloggers is Kathy Stowell over at blissbeyondnaptime. I feel like I connect with her on all of these levels. She inspires me with her free spirit and joy for life. I feel so honored to celebrate with her on the release of her latest creative gift to the world! I'm so excited to kick off her blog tour with Catherine. Kathy is graciously donating a copy of her e-book to one lucky reader on each stop of her tour! So, I'd love for you to check out my beloved blogger pal, "K-Wow", and all of her amazing bliss. Follow along on the tour for an introduction to some great blog stops and add some connections to your daily round.
For a chance to win a copy of The Bliss Filled Mama just leave me a comment on what you do to nurture yourself. I'd love to hear about your recipe for bliss!


Sunday, February 5, 2012


I love February. To me, it's the promise of Spring. In 3 weeks our crocus will be peeking their fresh beginnings out from under the winter soil. Also, I had a beautiful baby girl one February, 17 years ago. I cannot even put into words what this child means to me. All goodness, this one.

Happy Birthday, #3!!!

I have big fiber goals for February. I have already warped my loom for the Spunky Eclectic Weaving Club's second kit, Spaced. This kit was shipped last spring! But, hey, now... we're not on REAL world time here, remember? We lovingly refer to it as "Stover time" around here. That's mama-of-7 time. That's youhavemorefreetimethanmebutwhosecounting time.

Speaking of weaving club, I'm looking forward to the next shipment coming in mid February. Yet another reason to love February! It's fun to receive surprises in the mail. I love that my awesome husband is so supportive. My YES man. I went with the neutral colorways this round. I chose the wild colorways last time. Here's my first kit. It's Houndstooth in the wild colorway.

Wanna see my first ever scarf? I used some cotton for the warp and Sanguine Gryphon Traveller for the weft. I fulled it a bit during finishing. Soooo soft.

So, yeah, the weaving bug has bitten. I go to sleep at night dreaming of possibilities! I just got a steal on a Cricket to add to my loom collection and I ordered a new custom built peg loom from daisyhillhandiworks!
I'm thinking a warp per month is a reasonable weaving goal.

Hoping for more spinning time, too. I recently spun the December Hello Yarn club, Kitsune (Polwarth/silk) into a 3 ply. It's roughly 450 yards. Here's the whole fiber story.

Look at that cute little Andean 2 ply leftover. Hexipuff, anyone?

In other spinning, here's what's fresh off my spindles this week:

I've finished a simple crochet shawl of my own design. This is handspun 2 ply lace weight yarn from Dragonflyfibers. It's luscious merino/silk, but I can't even tell you the name of the colorway because it belonged to me before Kate even had a name for it. In fact, she gave it to me while it was still wet from the dyepot! She's very good to me, that Kate. I love her so.

Oh, and check out the gifts I won from listening to The Yarn Thing Podcast! These are from the Kara Gott Warner episode.

So special! These books are amazing and it is such a treat to win them! It's a wonderful life, I tell you! So much to be grateful for. I'm so glad to be sharing the journey with you!