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A yarn about how kindness pays….

I had something super exciting happen the other day (Sunday) and I really wanted to share.   See, it was all the result of what I saw as a little act of kindness on my part…

This is a bit long, so grab your beverage of choice and bear with me if you want to come along…

To start the story… I got involved in a spinning group several years ago, where you could take fiber from someone who didn’t spin and turn it into yarn for them in exchange for a portion of the fiber for yourself. I agreed to also dye the wool I got sent into two different colours for the lady. As time went by, I managed to get it done, it just took a bit longer than I originally expected and made sure to keep her updated on the status of the projects. When I was finally finished and ready to send her the yarn, I found she had unfriended me and was no longer in the group we originally met in. So I searched for her on FB and sent her a message that her yarn was ready and waited to hear from her. Months passed and while the little icon said she had read my message, I heard nothing back from her. After a year, I figured she wasn’t going to claim her yarns.

Enter some of my dad’s friends from online.   He had been to visit them last summer in person and they had put him and mom up at their home for week while they were there. No money was allowed to be paid for food or lodging, just come and visit us. It was a kindness they hadn’t expected and have tried to do small things to send some of the kindness in return.  The wife of the couple crochets in her down time and I thought it might be nice to send her one of the skeins of unclaimed yarn as a gift, just pay for shipping and I was cool.  She was thrilled at the chance to receive it and was more than willing to cover shipping.  When I checked in to be sure she had gotten her parcel, it turned out she had and both her and her husband were in love with my work. She paid for the shipping and added a little extra for me, a pleasant surprise I was happy to get.  Her next message came back with “Did I happen to have anymore that she could actually buy from me please?”

Well, I had a suitcase full and some extra that I had set aside, that I was willing to sell and offered some group shot pictures to let her know what I had. Pictures were sent and she comes back with “I’ll take all the blue stuff right now please. How much do I owe you?” I was thrilled at the sale of these skeins of yarn all at once and was even willing to give her a deal.  She wouldn’t take the discount and insisted on paying full price. Then her next message stunned me to the absolute limit of my expectations… “So let me know how much the cost is for the rest of the yarns and we can figure out a payment schedule that works for us both”

SAY WHAT!!!!!

I asked her to clarify, just to be sure I had this right.  This lovely lady was serious!!  She absolutely wanted all my available hand-spun yarn, at full price plus whatever the shipping would cost. I was waiting for someone to pop up and yell “April Fools” or inform me that this was all a hoax.   Nope, she was serious about it and wanted the lot… I was on cloud nine at this point, this was every artist’s dream and I was living it at this moment!!

She has set out a payment schedule to ensure I get the full amount over a decent amount of time and in the meanwhile, I will turn skeins into centre-pull balls for her to use without ending up with tangled messes… my way of thanking her for her patronage and major purchase.  She works at a job during the day and feels that now she can come home to spend her off time crocheting with stuff that is better than what she can score at Wal-Mart… I am pleased to be able to fill her stash with my unique, hand-crafted yarns and now have lots of room to move forward with creating more hand-spun yarn to fill its place in *MY* stash for sale.

So from what I saw as a small, personal act of kindness came this blessing that has bloomed into my life and at a time I really needed it. This has not only brought a small and steady income for a few months, it has boosted my self-esteem in a big way too.   I have been battling with several health issues of late and my drive to do things has slipped and as I had an every growing stash of things to sell and not many options to sell them, there was little incentive to change things until now.

This has proved to me once again, that if you can find the right person or audience, you will find someone who appreciates hand-crafted goods and willing to pay what it is worth.

It has also reminded me that random acts of kindness, given in the spirit of receiving nothing in return, can sometimes yield large and unexpected returns!!!

Be kind to each other folks…

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To bead or not to bead…

 

So I have been cutting back on going to in-person sales, festivals and other events where I could sell my hand crafted pretties.  My one friend that was my major helper in getting things moved in and out and doing the set-ups and breakdowns, had her shifts changed and was not available for the typically Saturday events and I am not able to manage in my own anymore.  So I am trying to decide where best to go for online selling of things like my handpun yarns, hand knitted wearables, and my beaded jewelry and charms.  It’s hard enough to find a decent and affordable online venue, where I might actually make sales and I come up with a new product idea!

I was talking to a friend on the phone one day and we were discussing the aromatherapy bracelets and how the idea was neat, except she wasn’t a jewelry person, so a bracelet wouldn’t work for her.  In a few minutes my brain came up with these… A single lava bead will hold your drop of essential oil and then you can attach it to a key chain, zipper, cell phone case, or they can be converted to a pendant to wear as a necklace if you *are* a jewelry person.  She suffers from stress and anxiety and does find aromatherapy helps, I wanted to find a way to make it work for her and the rest as they say, is history….

So I pulled out my inventory of beads and findings and started creating. Next came the challenge of trying to photograph them, one of my crystal clusters turned out to be perfect for getting the right angle to show them off.  For now I have a sales page on Facebook that I have listed them on.  (https://www.facebook.com/frogpondcollective)

I am going to have to work on pictures of my other stuff so I can get things online, although I find it challenging really… Finding that balance between setting my stuff up just right, then getting just the right shot(s) and then spending all the time to list is and then not have any traffic looking at your work.  Honestly there are days I am wondering if I shouldn’t just make it a big discount sale for charity and give up doing sales of any kind all together.  Sorry, my frustration is showing…  Let me tuck that back in the corner for now.

I’ve posted a couple of pictures of the new product here as a sample, if you have a Facebook account, please stop by my page, take a look at the rest of them and maybe leave a like.

Long time, no see…

It’s been awhile since I have posted, so I thought I would try and drop by fix that… lol

I have been knitting up a small storm of projects in the last year….  Sweaters, shawls, hats, mitts, scarves, cowls… I have been keeping the knitting needles pretty busy.  Occasionally, I have pulled out the spinning wheel and done some work with it, not much though.

This shawl was made entirely from my handspun yarn!

Sweater for my son

Sweater for me

Mitts in Handspun yarn for my daughter-in-law

Hat in handspun yarn for my daughter-in-law

Gift for a Dear Friend

Shawl for sale

Shawl for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a sample of what I have been doing…

So lately the urge to spin has returned and it has been nice to finally get back into the treadle of all things spinning.  I finally finished off a roving I had started spinning up during 2018 (a lovely pink toned batch called “English Garden”) and started up a new roving (a multi-coloured batch called “Archangel”).

Finished this batch of roving

 

Started this lovely roving

These are both 100% merino wool that I picked up when a local store was having a really good sale.  They are being spun up very fine and then I will spin another single in a white merino wool & silk blend to ply with so the colours really have a chance to pop.  This will take time, as I am only able to do around 30-60 minutes of spinning per day right now (due to the pain I am also dealing with) and the fact I am spinning it so fine… It will get done though!

I do have a big project on the needles, a circular throw in a lovely chennille yarn called Velvet.  Plus my time filling dishclothes for when I am waiting in a doctor’s office, travelling on the bus or or on the rare occasion I am sitting watching TV… so I have not totally abandoned my knitting – LOL

All things crafty are limited more than usual by health issues this winter.  I have been on a new medication that has helped keep me from being totally blind-sided by the pain portion, so I am happy to take what I can grab in crafting time and do my best to fill as much of my day with it as I am able.

I have items that I am hoping to put up for sale and would like to know if you are interested in my posting them here?  Let me know in the comments if you are…

Bye for now!

These days of mine…

Are filled with crafting and creating, when I’m not futzing around online, reading or watching Netflix, but I haven’t always been a crafty soul…

In my youth I was more concerned with other things and trying to sort out yarn and needles, hooks and string or anything other than my mildly artistic doodling was overwhelming.  I groused for years that I lacked the skills to save my life if crochet or knitting were involved.  Reading, music, life in general took front stage and the attempts to craft were put in the closet of my mind.

Fast forward to my mid 20’s.  I found myself pregnant and desiring to make items for my soon to be child.  Knitting was still too complex to fuddle through, yet crochet seemed more approachable.  Success happened, soon I was creating gifts for cousins also expecting, toys, blankets and clothes for my son… Crafting was happening!  That once complex means of creating things by hand wasn’t quite so complex and distant in my life, I was thrilled and began learning as much as I could about it.  New stitches, reading patterns and charts, collecting hooks and patterns soon paved the way to my creating patterns to share with others.  I could do this, finally I was a crafty person that could make items that even my very skilled great aunt approved of!

Time slid away with crochet being my only crafting outlet until by my early 30’s I was interested in the skill of hand-spinning.  Taking a spindle or a spinning wheel and fiber and creating hand crafted yarn.  A friend of mine had learned how to do this in an art program in university, she did it often while we sat over coffee and chatted, I was enthralled by the craft and desperately wanted a spinning wheel of my own.  Another friend happened upon a spinning wheel at a local yard sale and called me about it, arranged for them to hold it until I could get there and for approximately a 1/4 of the price brand new, I had my own spinning wheel.  Within a week I was spinning as if I had been doing it for years, producing my own yarns from fiber I acquired from online groups and sources that introduced me everything from raw fleece to clean and processed fiber.  Over the years I have tried so many of them… different kinds of wool, mohair, silk, cashmere, angora, dog fur and so much more.  Thick, medium and fine yarns accumulated in my baskets, they didn’t translate to crochet as well as I hoped, so they languished, waiting for a purpose.

Within 6 months of starting my journey as a spinner, I found a particularly large set of needles and took a chance in buying them as a gift for my friend.  Instead, she used them to teach me how to knit.  These large needles and a couple of strands of thick yarn, her patience, a little trial and error and some practice doing just the knit stitch and there I was knitting!  I could do it, I could process it, it wasn’t nearly as hard as my young self had convinced me it was…  There went I with much practice, learning new stitches and new things about this craft, deciphering patterns, collecting the various types and sizes of needles.  I could now knit.  The joke was on me and I was teased about how I could now knit to save my life – LOL.  I didn’t care, I was having fun, I was exploring this new field in my skill set and having a grand time.

 

Now all these years later,  I don’t crochet as much as I once did, knitting has taken over as my craft of choice… Slippers, socks hats, mitts, scarves, cowls, shawls and even a sweater among the things I crafted on my needles in the intervening years. There is a fairly large stash of yarns hidden and tucked away in odd spots of the house to feed the habit with, sometimes I go on the odd foray to the store to buy something for a specific project, otherwise I try to stick to what already lives here.  As well, I have a fair stash of hand-spun yarns, in spite of how much I have sold or gifted to other knitters. Years of spinning have produced a lot of finished skeins of my hand-crafted yarns and I have even taken to knitting things in it for myself and others, instead of holding on to it for “something special in the future”… My future is now and the yarns are finding a use in my knitting finally.  

I have a half dozen items for myself, I’ve done several items for my daughter-in-law, a couple for my son, an item or three for friends as gifts.  Creating things by hand, even as far as creating the basic components from scratch is like therapy for me, the joy and accomplishment that comes from it is so much greater than I could have imagined all those years ago when I bemoaned my lack of skills.  Sometime it takes time, maturity and the right teachers to make it happen.  I have to say, I am plenty glad that all that and more have been a part of my life.

 

I look forward to sharing some of what I do in the future…  Hope you will enjoy taking that journey with me.

Flash Fiction #20

FF-20

I have paid my fare to ride the wind.

As the machine begins to rise,

My heart beats a little faster.

The forward momentum begins like nothing more than a merry-go-round.

Speed grows slowly at first,

Like a child I cry out inside… Faster! Higher!

The tone of the machine changes,

The force of gravity pulls at me and I swing outwards.

I close my eyes and imagine I am flying,

The wind in my face and the feeling of moving through space fills me.

Holding out my arms I embrace the sensation.

Too soon I fall back to earth….

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #19

FF-19

She blinked as the blinding lights struck her eyes again and again…

Where was she?

What am I doing here?

Who am I?

Forgotten details buzzed in the white noise inside her head, lost to coherent thought and making her dizzy and confused. The lights struck at her again causing her to grip the railing next to her, she turned her head to notice the river below. Something about the calm looking waters below was comforting, appealing to her need to stifle the chaos inside her head.

A gentle hand touched her shoulder…

“Alright there miss?” a soft voice asked.

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #18

FF-18

Here we are in an example of a paper copy storage unit. Even though reliable computers and various other digital storage advances had been around for many decades, people of the 21st century still maintained an obsessive need to have paper copies of information. While they were fully capable of storing huge amounts of information digitally, they still feared the loss of the power needed to access it and would process “hard copies” to ensure availability of the information.

Today we can reliably store the amount of information that would have been in this room on a single digital cell…

Flash Fiction #17

FF17

Victor was fuming, the little brat had done it again. Isobelle’s daughter was worse than any of the boys he had grown up with, but Isobelle was his employer, so he could do nothing but fume.

Rotten child, her pranks were out of hand in his opinion.

First had been the peppers strung like holiday lights, then the herbs turned into centerpieces on all the tables, all his ingredients moved about in the pantry and this latest one – Sacre Bleu!

She has hung his onions and garlic about like they were decorations!

How was he to get his job done…

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #16

FF-16She sat calmly in her chair, watching from the middle of the great room at the other clue hunters scrambling about, trying to discern the meaning of the last clue on the list.

“The gift of the Rose”

They were starting to get frustrated and give into working in pairs and trios, scouring every inch of the floors, walls, pillars, artworks and furniture to try and find anything that would match the clue.

She took a deep breath and tilted her head back to look up at the ceiling, the one place they weren’t looking…

“Ah…” she breathed out “light!”

 

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Ode to Allergies

tissues

Sniffle, sniffle, snort…
Cough, cough, HACK…
Sniffle, sneeze, honk…
Honk, snort, sneeze, sneeze…
SNEEZE, SNEEZE, AHCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…!!!!!!!!!!!!
HONK, HONK, HONK!
Snort, honk…

Shuffle, shuffle, rattle, shake, gulp….
Tick, tock, tick, tock, sigh……

To those who suffer as I do, solidarity to the tissue holders!

To those that do not, I honk in your general direction you lucky buggers…

pawprint