They’re Finally Done!

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

It is a monumental moment in Wooly Mastadon history…or well, perhaps I am just really excited to say these are finally done. I finished my socks this week. I looked at my Ravelry page for these socks and I stared them on November 9th. Three months plus later I am finally finished with them. This is probably one of the longer running sock projects in my history, considering I was actively knitting on these most of the time. Actually, let me define actively knitting: I knit on these during my breaks and lunches at work when I had time, a bit at church gatherings, and at home (for the grafting of the heels). I absolutely love the colors of these socks, and I love that they are not identical by any means (look at those heels…love!) but they are still clearly a matching set. I love crazy socks and family and friends can attest to the fact that unless the event is a big deal, my socks NEVER match my outfit (however, they do match each other, my socks live balled together in pairs in a drawer, sans the hand knits which are folded, and it would take effort to mismatch them). These are perfect, bright and crazy, and ready to see the world.

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

As for other projects this week, I am still working on my Mom’s next chemo cap, am working on writing out some patterns, and have been staring at my art supplies really wanting to just dive in and create something crazy. We’ll see what happens, but until then, I can beat this 20 degrees below zero weather with a new pair of tropical colored socks.

~Stay Inspired

Cones of Awesome: A Yarn Haul

Yarn and Fiber Haul: Wooly Mastadon

As promised from my last post, I am sharing yet another yarn haul. This past Friday, my local community arts center held another fundraiser. Each year they host what is called a Fiberama, where people from the community donate yarn, fiber, fabric, etc. to sell to benefit the arts center. I missed the one this last fall (the 2013 event was great so I was sad to miss it), but was thrilled to hear about another one in Spring. The center had such a huge response to the call for donations that they hosted another sale in conjunction with a fiber exhibition. I went to help out, not sure if I’d buy any yarn, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. They were selling yarn by the bag: fill up your bag for a set price. I ended up leaving with three bags and a braid of roving. Why, because most of what was for sale was cones of yarn, the exact thing I wanted to buy to experiment with my fiber art. I couldn’t pass that up. To start, the roving is in the color Ophelia, and is by Chameleon Colorworks. As you can see, for yarn, I got quite a bit in different textures and thicknesses. My main goal was to get something in all of the colors of the rainbow, so that when experimenting with tapestry, coiling, etc., I had options.

Yarn and Fiber Haul: Wooly Mastadon

I am really excited about this. For me, cones of wool and other fibers hold a piece of my heart because of my college fiber classes. The fiber studio had shelves of cones of fiber, all sorted by color, just waiting to be used to experiment and create. Even if it is just a small chance, I still want to recreate a bit of that studio in my home, part nostalgia (bad word…well, that was an inside joke, sorry), but mostly because I love the idea of having something at hand with the purpose of experimenting and creating art. The yarn was very inexpensive so I don’t feel bad failing with it. I’m excited, another way to create and share my love of fiber. How do you experiment? What are your thoughts on cones of yarn?

~Stay Inspired

A Fiber Exhibition: Dragon Fire

Dragon Fire: Wooly Mastadon

As you may have gathered by now, I often find myself immersed in the fine art community. After graduating with and art degree and trying to stay in my local art community, I finally was able to put a piece in and art exhibition and it wasn’t just any piece. I have had this thing for around a year now and have wanted to share it. In the fall of 2013 I spent months creating a tapestry as a class project, using all of my free time and carrying around a large wood frame with nails sticking out of it. It has been used as an example for tapestry classes to local high school students, but other than that, it has spent its life neglected in my bedroom, just waiting to be mounted on the board I had almost ready for it for over a year. In good artist fashion, one day before the deadline for submissions for the show, I finally put the last coat of paint on the board and sewed my tapestry to it. It took some time, but it was ready for display and is finally out of my works in progress pile for my fine art. Dragon fire, an approximately 16 * 12 inch tapestry, was created and now shared with the world.

Dragon Fire: Wooly Mastadon

Alas, I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. It took so long to create: I used relatively fine wool and silk yarns. However, the result is very much worth the effort. So much so that I am actually considering starting another (I’ll be sharing a yarn haul later this week for some projects like this). We’ll see where it goes, but for the time being, a piece of mine…a fiber piece…is hanging in a gallery, and I am proud to say it is there. It only took over a year to get there.

~Stay Inspired

What I’m Looking At

 

Around the Internet: Wooly Mastadon

So, I thought I’d do something a little different this week as far as my weekly Friday post. Normally, I go for the current projects, a tutorial, or just a thought post. This week, as I have a lot of technical work to do on my end for all of the patterns I have been writing up, so I thought it would be nice to share a few of the things that have caught my eye this week, especially when it comes to Pinterest, but also along the lines of music I have been listening to, videos I have been watching, etc. Let’s get to it.

To start off, Pinterest (follow me here). There is so much going on there…which makes me think, do you ever go back and look at a board and say, hey, I definitely have a style. As an artist, style is one of those words that you either love because you know your style, or hate because you feel you have no personal style at all in your work. Well, I’ve always been in the hate camp because I have no recognizable style when it comes to my art, but looking at Pinterest is starting to make me change my ideas. Most boards share the same clean, bright style that I gravitate towards for most things. Okay, end of tangent, but seriously, its a thought. Anyway, here are some things that have caught my eye:

First of all, as my desk space redo is still in full force (I still need the actual table, ugh), my spaces and studio spaces boards have been growing, and fast. Each time I look back at the board I know I need to add an element from each space into my life. Chaos? Perhaps, but that is how I roll.

Okay, I’m still a graphic designer at heart, as well as a fiber artist and theory based artist, so it has been all about the clean, bright designs lately. Above is a great example of packaging by Gian Besset. Lately, I’ve been loving a lot of the design trends that tend to be clean, bright, type-centric designs, often involving some form or handwriting or messy graphic to tie everything together. Amazing.

Macrame garlands for your next party. Find the full tutorial on www.aBeautifulMess

One more, and it is definitely fiber-centric…in a way. Around a year ago I got into reading the blog A Beautiful Mess (check it out, it’s really fun). More recently, however, a lot of fiber craft related DIYs have been featured on the blog. I’m in love with the Macrame Yarn Garland that was featured this week. Check it out though, as they have featured weaving small wall hangings and crochet as well.

Onto a few other things. Music, ah music. I love my music and often it is the thing that keeps me going on long days. I’ve found myself humming songs from Imogen Heaps latest album Sparks. Her music has a lot of meaning and process behind it, and her Neglected Space gets me thinking and shivering every time. Otherwise it has been a mashup on Spotify of new and popular songs and old favorites.

As for videos, it’s been a mix of the Knit Girllls, Essie Button, and BuzzFeed Violet. Yup, a random mix but hey, this is what happens when I work 3-11 pm shifts at random and spend late hours on graphic design projects and knitting patterns. What are you looking at? I hope some of these links inspire you to create, try something new, or expand your style.

P.S. It’s officially the year of the sheep…yes! Have you seen Anna Hrachovec’s latest design, the tiny sheep. So cute! Embrace it.

~Stay Inspired

 

WIPs, Hats and Things

Knitting Hats: Wooly Mastadon

The sun has come out!!!! Granted it was 18 below zero yesterday morning, but you know, you take what you can get. It’s been cold, and that has definitely made me want to spend more time with my hand knits (when I’m not tucked up under a blanket trying to get warm, that is). Thus, when I realized I had not yet fulfilled my Mother’s request for another chemo cap, I got to it. This time it is once again in a Red Heart With Love yarn. I find that it is pleasantly soft and it does seem to hold up to a good amount of wear and washing. Thus, one in a tan color was requested, a pattern was decided upon from a stitch pattern book, and the hat started to happen.

Knitting Hats: Wooly Mastadon

I basically wing it when designing basic hats, and it either fails terribly or works quite well. This time it worked, and I had a hat that was warm but also stylish (see more details on Ravelry here). Because I can’t leave things alone, I also started another hat for my Mother in a navy color. It is Red Heart Super Saver once again. Here’s to hoping that this pattern works well to. Until then, I’ll be knitting away at hats and finally putting the heels into my socks.

If all work out, I’ll be releasing the patterns for these two basic beanies soon. What are you up to? Do share!

~Stay Inspired

Happy Valentines Day! (Printable too)

Wooly Mastadon Valentine

Hey, although Valentine’s Day just isn’t my favorite holiday, I still do enjoy the bright flowers, cute stuffies, and of course, chocolate. Even if you are spending this day treating yourself, it is still worth enjoying. Although it is a little late to send anyone anything, I thought why not make a simple printable featuring Wooly Mastadon’s logo and star the mammoth. Feel free to send it to whomever matters to you on this day. Well, I’ll be taking a little me time before I run off to work. Better get to it. Enjoy the day.

~Stay Inspired

Printable only for personal use. Please do not sell this, and if you share it on social media, etc., please give credit to Wooly Mastadon. Thanks.

Pompom Garland & A How-To

Pompom Garland: Wooly Mastadon

 

I have been wanting to make a quick pompom garland for some time now and just never got to it. I honestly don’t know why because once I started this project didn’t take much time at all (saying it took 2 hours is pushing it). The yarn is some basic acrylic yarn I bought from a dollar store some time back and wanted to use up. It is surprisingly soft but the label said it wasn’t machine washable. That didn’t stop me from putting an item made from it in the washer and it was fine, but I decided I didn’t want to make gifts out of it and it sat unused. Then in one of my magazines there was a pompom feature. That was it, I just had to make my garland that has been on my mind. It is really simple to make. Perhaps you will make one (or three) in the next few weeks as decor for the upcoming seasons? Anyway, what follows is more of a recipe than a full-on tutorial. I just got caught up in making this and it was very easy.

Here’s what I did:

Materials:

  • Scrap yarn in various colors (enough to make pompoms, but don’t stress it. As you can see I mixed colors in some of mine and they aren’t perfect but that is okay)
  • Scrap Yarn or Twine for Garland Strand
  • Scissors
  • Pompom Maker or Cardboard (I used my Clover PomPom maker)
  • Tapestry Needle

Let’s get started.

  1. Measure the space you are going to put your garland. For example, my end destination for this garland will be over my closet door so I measured how wide it is and then added length for drape. This isn’t exact, you just want enough extra length so the garland isn’t taut when hanging.
  2. Now make a whole bunch of pompoms. For the garland pictured, there are eleven 2.5 inch pompoms. Make as many as you want to fill out your desired length. I used my clover pompom makers. All About Ami posted a great tutorial a while back on how to use these here (apparently I wasn’t the only person who didn’t find the instructions for these inside the packaging until after I Googled how to use them). Also, don’t cut the tails when you tie the pompom together. We’ll use them later.
  3. Make the garland strand. I used white acrylic yarn and made a crocheted chain to my desired length. It didn’t take very long and I felt that my pompoms needed a bit more substantial of a base. It also balances out the appearance of the finished garland.                                                               Pompom Garland: Wooly Mastadon
  4. Sew the pompoms onto the garland. I set my strand for the garland out on the floor and spaced out my pompoms by eye. Then I tied the pompoms onto the garland with the tail from the center tie of the pompom itself. I simply threaded one end onto a darning needle and ran that through the chain. Then I tied the two tails together in a knot. They won’t slip around on the garland this way.

Pompom Garland: Wooly Mastadon

Display your garland with pride. Don’t think too hard with this. I didn’t measure anything but the end length of the strand and about 6 inches on each end of the garland before the pompoms start. Simple, fast, easy.

I hope you enjoy making your own. Share your images with me. Also, if you share your photos on twitter, use #WoolyMastadon so I can see what you make!

~Stay Inspired

 

When the Thoughts Dry Up & New Things Happen

Different Things: Wooly MastadonIt has been a week. Sometimes things come and go, and life get’s crazy. The end of this past week was one of those. It involved back to back work schedules with 8 hours in between shifts (and a one day sale which was crazy busy to boot) and me trying to help work with an event to benefit my local community arts center (oh yea, did I mention I’m on the board of directors for my community arts center. It’s pretty cool.). All in all by the time I got to Saturday and my last evening shift for work before two days off I was sore, tired and just plain done. It seems that things go in waves and this is one of the recoup waves. But, I think that is probably enough on the woes of uninteresting, hectic schedules.

I said I might in future share a few things about me and how I am slowly trying to use 2015 as the year where I make some new better habits for myself that make me feel better and perhaps more confident. One of those things has been redoing my work space and bedroom into something that I could use. Revamping storage space, designing, and a few other pieces fit into that puzzle. The other part is one I have sort of neglected to mention here, but feel it’s fair if I want to share what I’ve been spending my time on.

So here it is, my self-confidence isn’t that high. Part of 2015 has been to focus on making this better, except the ways that I am going about this are very different for me. One of those methods: makeup. Now, let’s get this out there. I am an anti-makeup girl. I identify with not wearing makeup, and if for some reason I have to wear it, I make a fuss through the whole process. I feel embarrased when I wear it because I feel that I went against my anti-makeup values….it is all rediculous. My Mom knows how to do makeup and make it look natural, so I didn’t grow up around people trowling it on. Heck, my Aunt is a Mary Kay consultant and is pretty high up there in her business. I think as a kid I got scared away because of stage makeup (blue eyeshadow and red lipstick as a tomboy kid is not a good combo), but that is for another time. Needless to say, I am starting to revise my ideas.

As a 20-something seeking a way to get into the professional world, either in graphic design or fiber (preferably both somehow), it has dawned on me several times that at some point, for an interview, I will have to be at my best and that will probably have to include makeup. I felt at a disadvantage because I had no idea how to apply any of it, and that I had never taken advantage of just asking my Mom for a tutorial. Well, last week I bit the bullet and asked. This meant me personally breaking down all of my stubborn self-made rediculous ‘values’ about being makeup free. She showed me a few things and went shopping with me to get what I needed, and has seemed pretty excited about the whole thing, as she likes doing makeup (I had a few things just because I thought it was wise to have it in case of said interview situation).

It has been an experience. For now, I’m in the process of fazing it in. At this point, I’m just wearing enough to cover-up some of my blemishes and redness (which is a lot, unfortunately) so that I have more confidence working with people at my part time job. Slowly I’ll faze in eye makeup (eye-shadow, mascara, eyeliner), but for now, I’m just getting used to this whole thing. That leads to what I’ve been doing with all my time, watching Estee’s Lalonde videos on YouTube: Essie Button. I went down the rabbit whole of beginner makeup tutorials on Pinterest (follow me here) and stumbled upon her. I just like her style, her honesty, and her attitude. Despite the fact that I have no interest to own such a makeup collection or really go past drugstore products, I still find her videos interesting. So in my free time this is what I’ve been up to. Do any of you have thoughts on makeup, on self-esteem, on being anti-makeup? Do tell.

~Stay Inspired

Current Mini-Projects

Current Mini Projects: Wooly Mastadon

Besides all of the design stuff that has been going on around here lately, I have been picking up small projects here and there to work on. I picked up my socks once more and they have been traveling with me to work. My simple striped scarf has been getting a little love here and there, although the fuzziness of this yarn can be annoying to knit with. My spinning has been on and off, just whenever I think of it, but I’ve been enjoying my time.

One of the different things I did this week was make some basic ring stitch markers. I typically make lobster claw stitch markers (I’ll share some pictures in the future), as I can use them for crochet as well as knit fabrics, but I have been loving these little beauties for my sock knitting. The only thing is the first round of markers that I made a while back didn’t hold up well and the bead came loose from the glue. Thus, I did some research, chose a new glue, and made a new set. Who knows, perhaps I’ll go back to one of my original ideas for an Etsy shop and sell sets of both kinds of stitch markers. I just need to field test these first.

Otherwise I have been doing a lot on the lines of making myself feel comfortable in my own skin, and making my space more inhabitable and rewarding. Perhaps I’ll share some of this journey at some point, with the hope that someone else could benefit from it, but for the time being, let’s just say that starting to make a few habits and revamping everyday spaces has really been helping. I won’t lie, I’m still tired (a combo of weird hours at work and lack of sunlight), but when the sun comes out and I actually get some sleep I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll get through this winter season, and hopefully with some good changes put into operation along with it.

~Stay Inspired