Saturday, October 4, 2008

Etsy mini to see what's still there...

Yes, the .com site is still underway, but it is taking a while and the move threw us off, who knew we'd find a place that meets all our requirements and still has high-speed internet???

Wow, it has been months...

It has been a long time since I blogged last. I worked on some spindles like crazy and shipped them off to another store who is selling them on consignment for me. This is a great opportunity and I relish being able to say to my customers, "If you don't find what you want here, you can also try Greenberry House, they carry my spindles as well..." I feel so "out there" being able to say that!

To catch up quickly, I took another short break from making spindles to gather ideas, move to my new (well, used, but new to us) house and re-establish the craft room that is my work area. I still only allow people in who have signed the waiver against personal injury... 9/10 of my stuff: spindle pieces, parts, inventory, tools, other projects and the crocheting, spinning and weaving tools are in their places. The other 1/10 is still in their boxes on the floor, awaiting shelf space.

I am grearing up for the Pumpkin festival at Cestari Farms this month (11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26). This will be my first Pumpkin Festival and I have been working on adding fall-themed spindles to the mix. I have not listed them online yet, but will offer them on my site after the Pumpkin Festival is over. I know it isn't always possible to meet my customers in person, but I much prefer to be able to talk to the person and have them try out the spindle first, before purchasing it. It makes for a better fit in the long run.

If you read my blog and you'll be at the Pumpkin Festival, drop in and chat a while, I'd love to meet you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yarn sale at

I'm offering my handspun yarns at 50% off. The sale is in anticipation of my move and it would be nice NOT to have to move all of my inventory with me to the new house.

Come take a look, at 50% off, for handspun yarn, you can't beat that deal!!

New website still in progress...

Yes, the website is coming... eventually... We are trying to get all the information gathered into one place and organized so that it can be put up on the web in an easy-to-use way. When that finally happens, the etsy site will go down and the .com site will be the only way to access my spindles, yarns and wearable fiber art. Right now, I'm debating whether to update my etsy site listings, only to have everything moved in a little while or to wait, since all that same information has to be hand entered again on the .com site.

School is finally out for the summer and after tomorrow, I'll have 2 free days and a weekend before I head to a week-long teaching conference, then a week of vacation and then a move in mid-late July, I won't have a lot of time to work on my sites and keep them up to date. I am trying, though...

For those of you who have been wondering about the red and black shawl I was working on months ago, I've finally completed the weaving and only need to add the fringe, take it off the loom, set the weave and it is ready for wear. If I get off here and go work on it right now, I might be able to take it to school tomorrow and show it off...

See ya.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Come See Us at Sedalia!!

Spindles and More will be at the Sedalia Fiber Festival 2008!

Come see us and get an up close and personal look at our spindles. Test them for yourself before you make a purchase. Remember, I give free spindle lessons, whether you make a purchase or not.
Mark your calendars for May 24th from 10am to 4pm.
Here's the link:

This is my first juried show and I'm absolutely trying to NOT be nervous. I'm inventorying my spindles and making sure that nothing got bumped or bruised on the trip back from the Cestari Farms Wool Fair.

I've still got to get the indexing done on the spindles before I go and I've just found out that my ACL on my right knee is acting up. This could end up having some serious consequences as it may limit my mobility "in the real world" as well as with my spinning, which is how I keep sane on stressful days.

I confess to being semi-concerned about the ACL, but also somewhat excited at the prospect of the show.

Thought for the day: If you want to receive a smile, give one first.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Here's the Mini of my Etsy shop

Pictures taken...

I've got all the pictures of my new spindles taken and labeled, I just don't have everything listed on the site yet. The spindles are so gorgeous and shiny with the three coats of polyurethane on them, they look like candy. If it wasn't for the fact that I already have too many spindles, I'd want to keep these too. I know I can't keep them and they weren't made for me to keep anyway. I made them to share the beauty of the skill of spinning with other people.

One of the differences in making my spindles is that I want each to be different. I don't want any of my spindles to meet another and say "What the heck? You look like me!" Even the concept spindles like the Teach Me spindles, while all having the numbers on them, each has a different color scheme. I love the rich colors of the paints and the polyurethane brings out such a depth. I've seen all kinds of other spindles and some are very lovely, but my spindles are different from the mass produced spindles that copy the same pattern of spindles over and over. They are made one at a time and each has an inspiration. Feel free to ask the story behind a spindle that interests you if I forget to give its story online.

I'll try to update again when the rest of the spindles are listed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Back From the Show

I spent this past weekend at the Cestari Farms Wool Fair in Churchville, VA. At this point in time, it is the only wool show I vend my spindles, yarns and crocheted fiber art at. I haven't branched out, partly because I don't have a lot of time to travel to other shows and partly because I lack the confidence to go and just do it. I get anxious as I pack my items, the tables, the chairs, all the inventory, the table covers, the racks, the spinning wheel, the canopy. And those things that I need to make my booth accessible by spinners and non-spinners. Will it all fit in the truck?? My anxiety level mounts, I recheck everything, I will be too far from home to travel back for anything forgotten. I get fidgety, I jitter, I flutter (not a pretty sight) and then everything is packed and I'm off. This year, I gave my Hubby the wool fair off and took a good friend instead...

And we had a BLAST!!! We set everything up (the only forgotten items were a table cloth and a sweatshirt for me). We rearranged, discussed strategy (Kelly would crochet on her projects and take pictures, I would spin and give lessons and teach people about spinning and maybe card some wool). This may sound unfair, but I really brought Kelly along for moral support and to spend some time chatting with her away from home.

We met an awesome couple, Laura and Pete, I hope they don't mind me mentioning them (if they do, they should contact me immediately). They had a booth next to us and saved our bacon when the wind picked up afternoon Saturday and tried to relocate our canopy in the field that the horse teams were plowing. Laura wrote a book entitled "The Kokopelli Journals" here's the link:

This is one thing that I am learning about folks who travel the shows and wool festivals: They are a creative, caring, compassionate group of people who are very willing to help a anyone who needs it so that all can enjoy the time together. I want to be more like that and maybe I need the practice of traveling to more shows in order to learn that fine art.

I'll try to post some of the pictures Kelly took (ones without me in them) of the spindles and yarn and all that stuff from this weekend. Her website is at:

It is late tonight and after a full day of work and some unpacking, as well as a chat with my sister, who is still in Bolivia (the link to the Home where she is working: ) it is time I shuffle off to bed and prepare for another day. Look for updates to both the Etsy site and the dot com site as I list the new spindles for the public (those attendees at the wool fair this weekend had the advantage of getting first dibs on the new ones and snapped up a few of my favorites already).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Getting excited!!

This weekend is coming up fast and I'm trying to get the last coats of poly onto the spindles and the last rub downs too. I've got to set up my list of all the things I need to pack in prep for the wool fair this weekend. I can hardly wait.
I may have said this earlier, but I'm not listing any of the new spindles onto the Etsy site or the website until after this weekend which means that my online customers will miss out on getting first dibs on the new spindles, which I have got to say, are looking so awesome that I want to keep them. The colors are great and the polyurethane shines on them like a candy coating.
Anyway, must run and continue getting ready. I'll try to post some pics of the spindles and my demoing this weekend, once I get back.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It has been a while...

And I've been gearing up for a Wool Fair at the end of this month. Cestari Farms in Churchville, VA is having their annual Wool Fair and I will be vending there again this year. I have been concentrating on making more drop spindles and will be introducing a larger sized drop spindle than I've had in the past. This means 2 sizes of spindles and with the larger size are all the issues that come with more weight and different balancing and all that. I spent all day yesterday polyurethaning the 30-some odd spindles I am preparing to sell. At this point all the shafts need another coat of poly and another sanding, all the hooks have to be prepared and bent into the proper configuration and then the starter holes made and the hooks placed and set. Then I need to test spin all of them (which really IS the BEST part). I have to admit that some have become favorites. I know I can't keep them as I already have more spindles than I can spin on in a month. I will retain 1 from the 2008 collection so far and I created it specifically for personal use.
I will be offering a few natural wood spindles that have been treated with WoodBeams, a beeswax wood treatment. These have not been as popular as I thought they might be, I guess the right people haven't come along yet.
I will have some of my handspun yarn for sale, though most is still on my etsy site. I will also have a couple hats for sale as well, but want to concentrate on the spindles for now.

I hope some of my readers will put Cestari Farms on their calendars for April 26-27. Let me know you saw my blog when you stop by my tent.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Check out my shop

Woohoo, I'm planning a move for my shop soon. I'm actually going to be a dot com business.
I will be at
The site isn't actually set up yet, but it will be soon. Right now it heads you back toward my Etsy shop.

Setting up a website is not as easy as it sounds but I'm looking forward to the challenge of setting up a workable site and letting my Hubby do the tech work. :-)

This afternoon and evening I spent some serious time spinning (about 6 hours). I've got four more skeins ready to be photographed and listed on the shop site. And I've got three more skeins that have been ready to be listed for a while, but I haven't had the time to list them. I think I'll list this group next weekend, hopefully I'll have time then.

Recently, I've been tracking the time spent in purchasing/handling/prepping/spinning/dyeing the yarn and have realized it takes more time than I originally thought it would. My prices now reflect the time it takes to make it and I encourage other people who sell their own hand spun to list it at a realistic price.

Making hand spun is not a process you start and then walk away from and let it run on its own. You literally have to have your hands on it at all times (even for a lot of the dyeing). I may try to get a series of photos showing the process. It really is fascinating.

It is late now and I need to get to bed to be up to teach tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Recent Change in Attitude

Ok, I've been struggling a long time with coming to terms with my skills as a spinner and crocheter and as an artisan of fiber works. I've never had a lot of confidence in my skills, though I see others doing the same things I do (and sometimes not as well) and I'm amazed at how skilled they are. It is illogical that, though others charging a very fair price for their time, skill and work makes sense to me, but when I price my own pieces, I undervalue them to the point where it almost seems like I'm begging someone to like my work and purchase it.

Well, I recently joined a group that addresses marketing our fiber crafts and it amazes me that the people of the group are just like me, for the most part. They love what they do and yet need encouragement to market their art at a professional level where they don't need to beg for others to "like their stuff". I've realized that by making my prices beggingly low, I not only don't show their true value, but I make it hard for other fiber artisans to offer their items at their true value too.

I guess this is fair warning that my spindles and the wearable fiber art items at Spindles and More are going to be going up in price in the next few days. So get your items now, before they are listed at their true value.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wow, this week...

Ok, to begin with we had two snow days in a row this week. During those snow days I finished crocheting an entirely silk-yarn hat for a young friend of mine. Silk is very soft, but has no spring or "memory" to retain elasticity. The hat will simply slip on and off her head, but will not grip it in any way. I dyed it pink, which is her favorite color and then I added 3 black silk-yarn roses to it. I decided afterward that I should have hot glued the roses to pendent pins so she could change the look of the hat as often as she liked. She might send it back to me so I can, I haven't heard from her yet...

After finishing the hat, I plied 420 yards of 2-ply yarn from a gorgeous light lavender purple Superwash (doesn't shrink when washed) wool. It is all in a continuos strand, no knots, except at the end points (duh!). I'm really not sure if I should let it sit for a while and let it speak to me about what it wants to become, or if I should just take some pics and list it quickly before I'm too attached to let it go.

I am a very visual person and as such, many of my handspun yarns have found themselves sitting on the shelves in my craft room, hanging slightly over the edge where I can see them all when I look around. This is a wonderful visual experience, but basically means that I don't make anything out of most of them because I love the visual effect of the yarns laying beside one another. It just doesn't have the same effect to have two crocheted hats sitting next to each other on the shelf. It kills the endless possibilities of the yarn. Having said that, I am still working up my courage to actually list some of my yarns on the Etsy site. I haven't done it yet, but maybe I'll be able to as some point.

Until next time, Happy Spinning.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Trying to show an Etsy mini of my shop listings....

OK, well it almost worked perfectly, the pics on the right got cut off some, but you can still see all the stuff I've got listed. I made all of these and several more items I'm still working up the courage to list.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spindles, spindles, spindles

More spindles on their way into the Spindles and More Etsy Shop.

   As you know, I make these spindles and each one is unique. Each has been signed, numbered and dated with the year they were made. The lower numbered spindles are harder to find as many of them were given as gifts to new spinners who won't part with them.

  For those of you following this saga...

The first spindle (#1) has been sold and therefore is no longer available for purchase. The next lowest numbers available are #3, #7, #9 and #10. These were the last spindles made in 2002 before I took a five-year break from making spindles. I was reluctant to list these lower numbered spindles because of their individuality (and even now, I am retaining #4 because I love the mini plant pots so much).

  I will be adding 6 spindles to the listings this weekend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Spinning Yarn

I've been thinking about listing some of the handspun yarn I've made. I'm not sure what else to do with it. I loved the roving and love the yarn once it was spun, but I have so much yarn right now that I can't possibly use it all. If I list it, then at least someone else has a chance to create with it.