Refocus, Revise, Relearn, Remember…

Life Lately: Wooly Mastadon

Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years…time just keeps going whether we are prepared to keep pace with it or not. Life happens, things change, for the good and the bad, and we work through it. Its been a few months since I last shared something with you all, promising to be back soon, promising to share projects and keep things alive. Promising what I didn’t know at the time would be something I just couldn’t follow through with.

No, I’m not going to vow to share something with you every Friday from now on, and I’m not going to say I need to take a break and see you next year. I’m just going to say this, I’ve learned in the past few months that in my life I have to focus on what matters, and I’ve also learned that I am putting my energy into too many outlets. I have spent most of my time frazzled or stressed, and am learning that sometimes I just have to let things go. I did this with Wooly Mastadon unintentionally. I’m realizing why now.

Wooly Mastadon is my place, its something I care about and something I hope to see grow as I slowly work towards a career in a creative field. It’s also something I don’t want to ruin by publishing content for the sake of publishing. My heart wasn’t in it so instead of forcing to post I let it slide, for months. I’m realizing now that perhaps it was the smartest thing I could do. I need to refocus, revise, relearn and remember what matters.

Life happens, and between the health struggles in my family (the bad) and realizing that it is amazing to let someone┬ánew into my life (the good), I’ve been scattered while adjusting to life as it comes. I’ve haphazardly kept up with my volunteer time at my local community arts center, I’ve put together last minute text for a letterpress project, I’ve worked at my full time day job far more than I’d like to admit, and I’m tired.

So much of what I’ve been doing has been for good reasons, but it means I’m not on here sharing. My goals have not changed, but my route to getting there has. I’m still here, the voice of Wooly Mastadon. I still have things to share, projects, designs, thoughts, photography. I will share it in my time. With that I leave you til I post next. Focus on what matters. Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

 

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Another Weekday Adventure

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

With my work, I don’t have a normal repeating schedule. I don’t often get weekends, and my days off get shifted throughout the week all the time. However, it also means I can take Monday and Tuesday off without batting an eye. This week was the perfect reason to do that. A few of my friends made the trek to come visit me those days and of course we had to go on an adventure. Copper Harbor was a must.

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

You know what’s coming, photo overload. Regardless, I had such a wonderful time I absolutely had to share.

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

Hope your week was amazing and that your weekend is even better. Go out and explore!

~Stay Inspired

And Yet Another Year Flies By…

Wooly Mastadon Turns 2!

It’s been another year and Wooly Mastadon is now two years old! Granted this year hasn’t been a banner year for consistency but the fact that it is still here is a good sign. I love this little piece of the interwebs and hope to keep it going for as long as I can. I had lofty goals to create something awesome to share here today, something useful like a tutorial or printable, but I was utterly stumped. I just didn’t know what fit, and I wanted it to be just right. Thus, I’m taking suggestions…what should I do next. I want to create something, whether it be a printable, a background you can use on your computer, or even a tutorial or pattern. What shall it be?

With that I leave you. Its been a crazy two years, and this also marks just over two years out of college (yeesh!, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole). There have been ups and downs, and this little space is still here. Here’s to another, hopefully more productive, year! Thanks for sticking around.

~Stay Inspired

Another Adventure…

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

You may be sick of nature photos, but that won’t stop me from sharing them. Once again I have been out and about, taking photos of the things I love best. I spent some quality time (the longest amount of time I’ve been able to take off for myself in over a year) at my Grandma’s house once again. The fact that she lives in the woods by a lake, even better. For a wonderful summer refresher I thought I’d share some of the photos from this trip.

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

Fair warning, there are a few silly ones including a pink elephant. Long story but it was a gift and I thought it would be funny to share some photos of my pink elephant having fun in the woods. It works.

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

And one final thing, Happy 4th of July to all of you who live in the states. For everyone else, Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

 

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

Every year this happens, every year we get a St. Patty’s Day storm. This year was no exception. Since the only two things I knit on this week were two baby hats and my socks, I decided I’d share some of the snow photos I took of the storm. There was beauty in it, the trees were draped in a covering of white, everything looked so clean. Granted in all that beauty it made getting to work a chore and put many people out of power. Alas, at least I got some outdoor time with my dog and was able to enjoy hopefully the last major snowstorm of the year.

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

It’s Friday, the weekend is almost here! Enjoy it!

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

P.S. Mazie enjoyed the snow, she was too busy investigating to look at the camera…

~Stay Inspired

A Weekend Project: Painting Textures

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

This weekend I decided it would be the perfect time to paint…or at least attempt it. I had a friend over and we both went at it, trying our best to paint something decent. Although he gave up painting realistically very quickly I never even tried. I just decided to play with paint in the hopes that I could make some textures I could scan into the computer and use in future graphic design projects (perhaps a branding system for tea…hmmmmm yes). That is what I did and although I didn’t make a whole lot I ended up with three textures playing with color that I think will be fun to put to use digitally.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

On a side tangent, I absolutely love the idea of taking something tactile and combining it with digital media to create a new project, piece of art, or branding system. That part of art is what keeps me going when I get frustrated in the current digital age. I love being able to make a project or piece of art with my hands, but then also be able to digitally make something as well. Perhaps this is my balance.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

Regardless we both had fun with paint, acrylics to be exact. I think I need to get the watercolors out next to make some more textures, despite the frustration I feel every time I get out paint I still want to go back and try again. That’s got to stand for something. With that, happy Monday! Here’s the chance to make it an amazing week.

~Stay Inspired

Best Laid Plans…Or Not So Much

Best Laid Plans: Wooly Mastadon

I went into this week ready to go, a bit tired but prepared to knit, crochet, spin, and photograph all of the things I possibly could. Each project had been designated to an evening (or late afternoon for better light) and I was eager to finish up some projects so I could start new ones. I had even picked out some yarn to knit a shawl (I’m going to knit Moulin Rouge by Kirsten Kapur out of some Knit Picks yarn I dyed with kool aid). Despite all my plans, I got hit with a cold…hard. I still had to work as the one person who could cover for me was sick as well, so all my energy was gone by the end of the day and all I could do was rest. On the plus side, I started to catch up on knitting podcasts and as the week went on I was itching to start knitting again. Clearly there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to remind myself, sometimes your plans have to change, you don’t have to get rid of them entirely, but perhaps rework them. Perhaps next week I’ll have a chance to at least start this shawl. Happy Friday!

~Stay Inspired

Something Bright

Flowers: Wooly Mastadon

Hope that your weekend was wonderful and that you enjoyed Valentine’s Day if you celebrated it. I celebrated it by working in the floral department at my place of work as an extra set of hands this Saturday and Sunday. I’ll just say that I am terrible at doing flower arrangements in vases but everything else I am game for. It was a lot of fun to do something different and enjoy all the bright colors. These roses came home with me and I just had to photograph such bright beauties in the depths of winter. I hope this brightens your Monday.

~Stay Inspired

 

A Holiday Yarn and Book Haul

Holiday Yarn/Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Yes, my friends, another yarn and book haul (plus). It is well known in my family that I do indeed knit, crochet, and spin up a storm so this holiday and birthday I received some lovely gifts of yarn, books, and even some pencil roving. Here’s what I got.

Holiday Yarn/Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

For starters yarn. My aunt and mother know I have a love of yarn and enjoy testing out new things. I received three types of yarn as well as two different colors, purple and turquoise, of crochet thread (not pictured). Here we go. First off are these lovely skeins of Lion Brand Yarn Hometown USA in the color Key Largo Tweed. I love the depth to the yarn and it’s softness. I have enough to make a bulky cowl, I think that is exactly what it will become.

Holiday Yarn/Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

I also received several skeins of Premier Yarns City Life in the color Hostas (# CL – 08). I’ve never seen a yarn like this before so I will be excited to test out it’s limits. Seems to me jewlery might have to be knit.

Holiday Yarn/Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

The final yarn I received was several skeins of Red Heart Boutique Sashay Team Spirit in the Red/Grey colorway. I think a fluffy cowl might have to be knit up out of this as I test the limitations of this yarn as well.

As for books (beginning picture), I am excited to say I am now the proud owner of Wendy Bernard’s Up, Down, and All-Around Stitch Dictionary as well as Crochet One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman. I have paged through both books but haven’t given them a thorough look yet. I am really excited about both, but I think the stitch dictionary might be my favorite. I am so excited to do some design work in 2016 and this book is definitely going to help. Even better, there are a few sweater patterns included. As for the crochet book, my favorite patterns I have seen thus far just might be the amigurumi animals, they are so adorable.

Holiday Yarn/Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Yes, I am almost done but I saved perhaps the most thoughtful gift for last. Spinning was not left out this year, as you can see I received a lovely ball of pencil roving. It is alpaca! I’m so excited to spin this as I have never spun alpaca before. The best part is this is from a friend’s family’s farm, so I know the fiber is coming from animals that are loved and treated well. The color is perfect too.

Well, that was a book, but that was my November/December stash acquisitions. I think I’m set for a while, now I just need to knit/spin/crochet/read all of this. On a different note, I hope that 2016 is proving to be an amazing year. It is for me as I spend this weekend celebrating the marriage of two of my closest friends.

~Stay Inspired

A Test Project: Knitting on a Sock Loom

Sock Loom Knitting: Wooly Mastadon

Because Christmas is now over and the new year is here I decided to test out a new to me product, a sock loom. Truth be told, the idea of using a loom to ‘knit’ socks didn’t really appeal to me. Thus I decided to test it out in another way, why not attempt to make baby hats. That is just what I’ve been trying. I’m not going to do a full review here at this point, but lets just say that if you know how to knit decently well, then this loom might be annoying for you. I am only barely out of the ribbing of the brim and it has taken me several hours. I still don’t have the hang of it but I am determined to figure it out. At this point I know this hat will be way to large for a newborn or baby, perhaps it won’t even be of use to anyone, but at least I am trying a new skill. On the positive side, the colors in the yarn are perfect for babies and it is 100% acrylic so no allergies will be set off. The loom is built well and once you get into a rhythm it is kind of soothing to plug and chug. No it won’t replace my knitting needles any time soon (not ever) but I am enjoying trying something different.

Here’s to trying new things in 2016.

~Stay Inspired

P.S. The yarn is Bernat Sox in the Hot Tamale colorway and the sock loom is from Boye.