Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long 2009...

Hello, friends. I hope that 2009 has been as good to you and your family as it has been to mine! The four of us plan to stay in tonight and indulge with pizza and Buffalo chicken wings and, possibly, some sort of robot action movie or Ryan Seacrest in Times Square. My husband is running a 10K on New Year's Day (it is called "The Hangover Classic"), so I doubt that we'll be doing anything very outrageous.

My shamrock green table napkins found their way into Craftgawker, and I now I have 3 submissions featured there. It is a very nice site, and a good way for me to gauge the quality of my pictures. My sister gave me a very nice Christmas gift this year - a set of lights, a light box, and digital camera tripod. I am learning - slowly - how to use these new tools!

Here is a little greeting card that I put together yesterday. I will be offering these as "freebies" to my clients, but they are also for sale/display on my Etsy site. They are sweet, if I do say so myself. (I can't bear to toss handwoven lace scraps -- these use a 2" square.)

Off to the gym this morning with the boys. Snow is forecasted for the weekend - we hope to have sufficient snow to get the skis out at least once before Christmas vacation ends.

Be well, Kate

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Pictures & 2010 Plans

Hello, friends. It has been a while since my last post! Christmas morning is always a fun time at our house. Our two boys still get very excited. (Confession: my husband and I get excited, too!).

I did a lot of "housekeeping" in my Etsy shop yesterday. I did take down some listings of items that did not perform well for 2009. I spent some time analyzing what items seem to be the most popular and will continue to make these for 2010. My spreadsheets are NEARLY completed for 2009.

I'm very hopeful for 2010 with Nutfield Weaver. The Handmade Stand booth at The Wedding Co.'s annual bridal show in Toronto is just over 2 weeks away, and I'm very curious to learn if the display generates interest in my work! I have a few new projects that I'm eager to begin, including some Scottish tartan fabrics for wedding accessories and some new tea towels in bright colors.

There are some photographs of mine that have found their way into a Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia photostream on the web, but I'm having difficulty accessing it and posting the link. I'm curious to know which photographs were selected!

The snow is starting to pile up outside. We are hoping to get some skiing in within the next couple of days.
Be well, Kate :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pre-Christmas frenzy

Hello, friends. Busy, busy around here. Sales from my wee shop have been good, which is surprising given that Christmas is just a few days away. I sold my first padded dress hanger with an embroidered monogram button last night. It turned out nicely! I also finished weaving a table runner for my uncle this morning. (He has been very patient -- he requested it some time ago). I also closed the sale of my Heifer fund raising effort. It didn't generate as much interest as I had hoped, but I was able to make a small donation thanks to Nutfield.

And a big sigh of relief as I learned today that my petal cone reached The Wedding Co. safe & sound and in plenty of time for the bridal show Jan. 15-Jan. 17. Whew!

ALL of my knitting projects are finished -- at least the ones that were made for Christmas. The shopping is done, but I am really behind on my baking and my house looks like a tornado went through it. Tomorrow is clean up day!

I ordered 3 new yummy colors of cotton for kitchen towels: bright orange, red, and robin's egg blue. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THESE TO COME! My next warp is a big one -- I am making more towels! These are so fun to make...I'll post pictures.

Dinner awaits! Feeding two boys is nearly a full time job in itself! And so is laundry!
Be well, Kate :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nutfield Weaver Featured on the Front Page of Etsy!

Hello, friends. How lovely to learn that I was featured on the Front Page of Etsy last night and that stroke of luck led to a sale. My peppermint-stick tea towel was on the front page and now it will be packaged up for a client in the midwest.

Almost done with my knitting projects for my family. It is a very snowy day here, and so I am thinking that it will be a good day to tie up loose ends.

Here is picture of my tea towel that made it to the front page! What a great day. And most of my Christmas shopping is done, too.

Be well, Kate :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Afternoon tea

Hello, friends. What do you think of my new table linens? These were designed for a client in Australia and I made an extra set to list on my Etsy site. I can taste the crumpets and clotted cream already, can't you? Ha, ha!

I was lucky to have a sale this morning; a petal cone will be sent to a February bride in the midwest. I even had a sale in my little earrings shop this week. What?! You didn't know I had an earring shop? Well, I do and it is called "Secret Gate." I suppose it would be judicious of me to put a link to it on this blog, no?

Our boys have 3 more days of school after today. They are getting really excited for Christmas. They are also very excited to have tickets to see the new "wear-your-earplugs" blockbuster, "Avatar." They want "really good seats," so they plan on having us at the theater at least 30 minutes early. This "Avatar" movie-goer will be bringing her knitting!
Be well, Kate

P.S. A very happy anniversary to my parents on this chilly December day! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A charming wedding tradition from the Baltics

Hello, friends. I have decided to take a quick break from my weaving projects. I am so excited to be weaving a set of table linens for a client in Sydney, Australia. How cool is that?! They're turning out very nicely -- they are the same design as my "Yuletide Feast" table linens, except they are woven from ivory mercerized cotton.

Lots of knitting going on during the evenings, too. I'm making little mitten ornaments for my boys this year. Here's a picture. Aren't they cute? They measure about 1.5" wide by 2.5" high.

I read about a charming wedding tradition from The Baltics, and all of you knitters out there are sure to love this story. I found the story in Marcia Lewandowski's fabulous book, "Folk Mittens." Here it is:

"Mittens played an important role in traditions of courtship and marriage in the Baltics, particularly in Latvia. A maiden's worth was measured in part by her skill in knitting and by the number of mittens she had made. When a young woman accepted a marriage proposal, she sent her suitor a pair of mittens. He would drape them over his belt as a sign that he was committed."

Off to do some more weaving! I've got a growing queue of requests, which is a good thing.
Be well, Kate :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A happy day

Hello, friends. I have really had an exciting morning. My mum tells me that good things (and bad) often come in threes, and I really believe there is something to this!

1. accepted one of my photographs for inclusion on their website. If you aren't familier with Craftgawker, go have a gander. There really are some excellent photographs on this site.

2. My handwoven lace padded dress hangers have been featured on a lovely blog.

3. A photographer from The Londonderry Times is visiting our house today to take pics. of me and my petal cone for the newspaper. The story is about my acceptance into the big wedding show in Toronto in January.

So, yes, good things happen in threes. My petal cone is all set to go to Toronto. My new business cards arrived yesterday, so everything is ready. The only thing that remains is going to the post office and, most assuredly, standing in line along with everyone mailing holiday parcels!

Stay warm, think positive thoughts, and be well.
Kate :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Handwoven lace garter with monogrammed button

Hello, friends. It was a very windy and cold day in New Hampshire; perfect for staying inside!

I finished a new wedding garter. This one features a monogrammed, embroidered button. What do you think?

The petal cone that will be shipped to Toronto for The Wedding Co. Bridal Show is all finished. I am trying to decide if I should send some faux petals along with the cone, for display purposes. I have red, pink, and green (in a "pear" shade). Once my new business cards arrive from Moo, I will be heading to the post office.

All set with my Christmas angels for this year, barring any big sales on my Etsy site! They were really fun to make, and I've received a request for a tree topper for next year based on the ornament design. How fun will that be?

Stay warm, and be well, Kate :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!

Hello, friends. It boggles my mind how my two boys need to be shaken out of bed on an ordinary day, but on a snow day they are awake and bounding around the house at 6 o'clock in the morning. I love a snow day as much as the boys, truth be told. I have lots of projects for them today -- wrapping Christmas presents, Christmas greeting cards, baking. I'm sure that they'll be excited to shovel the driveway as well (the snowblower is still in our shed, and I'm not sure I can fire it up the first time of the season).

Sending some lace samples off to a young lady in Dallas today. I'll have to shovel the sidewalk before I can get the samples in the mailbox!

I'm already thinking about 2010 for Nutfield Weaver. The idea of handwoven Scottish tartan wedding accessories keep niggling me. I think that these could turn out quite nicely.

Stay warm, if you're in the path of this winter storm!
Be well, Kate :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toronto Bridal Show, Toronto Wedding Show, Wedding Shows, Bridal Shows by The Wedding Co.

Toronto Bridal Show, Toronto Wedding Show, Wedding Shows, Bridal Shows by The Wedding Co.

Posted using ShareThis

The Wedding Co. Bridal Show, Toronto, January 2010

Hello, friends. I was so pleased to hear from The Wedding Co. yesterday and was informed that my handwoven lace petal cone will be featured at their bridal show that will take place in January, 2010. I am so grateful to have this opportunity! Here is a picture of what I will be sending. After the show, this petal cone will be given away to one of the readers of The Wedding Co.'s blog.

I am finishing up several tissue holders that clients have ordered for Christmas gift-giving this year. They are so fun to make. I think I'm on number 15 to date!

My journal has been receiving a lot of scribbles in it lately. I have some new ideas for 2010, but right now have to focus on finishing up orders that have been placed. I am so eager to weave! I love to sew, but am truly at home at my loom.

Stay warm! Be well, Kate :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A snowy day

Hello, friends. Winter has arrived in New Hampshire. We have about 4 inches of snow on the ground, and more snow in the forecast for today and Wednesday. It was a perfect day to get our Christmas tree yesterday. See our Christmas card quality photograph!

I was so pleased to have a few sales this weekend! A tea towel is on its way to Maryland, and a Christmas angel ornament is on her way to New York later this morning. To date I have made 15 handwoven lace tissue holders! Whew! I will have to weave more ivory lace yardage after the holidays.

Hope that you all had a great weekend. Stay warm and be well, Kate :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Where is the snow???

Hello, friends and happy Friday. Hope you all had a lovely week. We have had high winds yet unusually high temperatures for December here in NH. My boys are irritated that there is no snow on the ground. They will be appeased tomorrow, though, as we're supposed to be getting snow on Saturday/Sunday.

Busy, busy with lots of tissue holder requests! It is such a treat to be able to weave for people's gift giving this year. Here is a picture of some tissue holders that are making their way to the midwest this week. My list of requests continues to grow, but I'm very grateful as we are now supporting our local orthodontist with convenient monthly checking withdrawls for the next two years!

Hope you all have a great weekend. We may get our Christmas tree on Saturday. There has to be snow on the ground, or else it just "WON'T BE THE SAME," in which case, we will hope for the best on the following weekend!
Be well, Kate :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Hello, friends. Hope you all had a wonderful St. Andrew's Day on December 1. (Our son's name is Andrew -- we make a note of the occasion here). I did a lot of work yesterday on custom order tissue holders and put the finishing touches on the ring pillow for a December bride. I worked on another ornament. I am sure that my family will see pictures of her, and I'm spoiling a surprise by posting this, but I'm so pleased with how she turned out that I'm putting her up any way. Both versions of my angels have gotten lots of views, lots of Etsy hearts, and one has been featured in a Treasury. She IS pretty, if I do say so myself.

I was contacted by a start-up shop in Manchester, NH about selling in their place. I think I will visit unannounced before committing. I don't have a lot of "stock" available, as I'm not a production weaver. We will see.

Enjoy your day. I know I will! Our family has a standing engagement at the gym on Wednesday nights -- and tonight we're getting take-out Chinese for fun.
Be well, Kate

Monday, November 30, 2009

Luck o' the Irish handwoven ivory lace ring bearer pillow

Hello, friends. Cyber Monday has treated me well. I am so pleased that my "Luck o' the Irish" ring pillow was selected by a Massachusetts bride for a December 2009 wedding. May it bring the happy couple good fortune!

Lots of sewing here today! I finished 13 handwoven dish towels that will be given to family and friends this year (sorry to spoil the surprise, everyone -- although after 10 years of weaving, people close to me know that they will inevitably receive some sort of handwoven article around the holidays).

I took a leap and took a few photos of my Nutfield holiday ornament. She has received LOTS of views today -- which is really encouraging because I learned recently that Etsy has over 5 million items listed for sale -- and she found her way into a Treasury today. A good day.

Be well, Kate

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Thanksgiving Table

Hello, friends. It is a blustery day here in NH. I am really looking forward to performing with the NH Philharmonic tonight for our Holiday Pops concert. It has been great to play with this group, and I'm so glad that they have a place for me in the cello section.

I received some really nice photographs of a lovely Thanksgiving table in Chicagoland that included a set of my handwoven table linens. What a gorgeous table! Thanks to Larry & Sue for letting me share this with all of you!

A Nutfield holiday ornament is finished, and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I am debating about whether to post it here or not, because I'm planning on making a few more as Christmas gifts, and I certainly don't want to spoil the surprise. So, I guess you'll just have to sit and speculate for now!
Be well, and be sure to avoid the malls this holiday season as much as possible and support your local shops and artists instead!
Kate :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do you know the origin of the term "bridal?"

Hello, friends. As some of you know, my husband Don brews his own beer at home. (He is very good at it, too, as my ever-expanding waistline can attest). He was reading from one of his homebrewing books last night and found some interesting information:

"In days of yore, when brewing was done almost solely by women, a young bride would commemorate her wedding day by brewing a "bride ale" (from which we get the modern term "bridal"). The ale was then sold to increase the bride's dowry."

Source: The Homebrewer's Recipe Guide, by Patrick Higgins, Maura Kate Kilgore, Paul Hertlein. Published by Simon & Schuster, 1996. Pages. 20-21.

Is this fascinating or what? I love stuff like that.

So here is a picture of what is on the loom right now -- over 10 yards of dish towels that will be given as gifts this year! Weaving is a very physical activity. I think I'll weigh the fabric after it is washed just to see what is there out of curiosity.

We are celebrating my oldest son's 14th birthday today. We had Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Yum. A big, celebratory dinner is in the works for this evening, and then, probably, a big action flick, like Transformers or GI Joe.
Be well & have a blessed Thanksgiving, Kate :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weaving and spinning

Hello, friends. I'm plugging away at my 11 yard warp and the end is in sight. I spent a fair amount of time at my spinning wheel this weekend. Here's a picture of a skein I finished. I got the roving from Michigan; I think it is from a Romney sheep (or maybe Corriedale -- I am not really sure). It is soft & it has a nice loft to it.

I'm also going to brag about my oldest son, Nathan. He turns 14 tomorrow. He is a very artistic young man and, like many kids these days, knows his way around a computer quite well. He has blended these talents and has a keen interest in claymation. Here is a picture of a shepherd that he has been working on. He is making a claymation video that retells the story of the shepherd and the angel on the night of the birth of Christ. I think he's doing very well, how about you???

Hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving.
Be well, Kate :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winding warps & a workroom makeover

Hello, friends. I spent the morning winding two warps, which together totalled about 9,000 yards. Whew! Glad that part of the process is done!

My wonderful husband helped me straighten out my work area this weekend. I have brand new shelves installed, which means that I have a table on which to work! Here is a picture of the new space (note the red warp -- a yummy cranberry red that I will use for table linens).

I got the nicest comments from a bride-to-be today who was shopping for a ring pillow. I just have to share:

BTW, I've look at every ring pillow out there and I have not seen anything like this. Your work is amazing!

This was in regard to my handwoven ring pillow with the custom monogrammed button.

More dentist and orthodontist appointments today! My goodness, will it ever end?!
Be well, Kate

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New holiday table linens & a shop makeover

Hello, friends. It has been a few days since I've had a chance to sit and type at my blog. Both of our boys had extensive orthodontic treatment this week -- it is really quite an ordeal! Last night they both started to feel a lot better -- they ate some solid foods and were horsing around.

My new Christmas table napkins are finished! They are woven in plain weave with a huck lace border pattern on the top and bottom edges. Pretty but functional. Tell me what you think!

I've spent a fair amount of time learning my way around Photoshop and actually designed a new banner & avatar for my shop. I am thinking about making some changes to the blog, too, but this may have to wait until I become more proficient with the software.

A lot of my Etsy Wedding Team colleagues are offering "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" specials. I may get in on this, too, but I am leaning toward keeping things simple here this month. I like to weave for my own family for the holidays, afterall!
Be well, Kate

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Table napkins on Tuesday

Hello, friends. We celebrated my youngest son's 12th birthday yesterday, and we had such a fun time. Our boys get to choose their menus on their birthdays, so we had an eclectic meal of turkey tacos, caesar salad, Doritos, and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. My husband makes a wicked good cheesecake!

I finished weaving a fairly good sized run of spot weave lace yesterday, and began threading my loom for some table napkins in a Christmas-y green color. I also sold a "Celtic Connections" wedding garter yesterday, so kept myself pretty busy putting the finishing touches on that! The garter will be sent off to a California bride today.

The UPS man brought a lovely delivery yesterday -- lots of 10/2 mercerized cottons in lipstick red, blue, and a nice, earthy brown. I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Tomorrow my boys will be getting their braces put on, so I will be sure to take some handwork with me to keep me busy so I don't fret too much while they're in the ortho's chair! I'll probably work on some crocheted lace! The one drawback to being a weaver is that it makes taking your work with you a bit difficult!
Be well, Kate :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nutfield Weaver Featured on the Front Page of Etsy!

Hello, friends. I was tickled pink to learn that my set of handwoven table napkins was a featured item on Etsy's Front Page today at 9am! This is the second time I've been featured on the FP. I am very grateful to Etsy seller, SeaPinks, for curating the list that caught the attention of Etsy Admin! There is a link to the Front Page entry on the sidebar of my blog (over to your right). Have a peek! There are a lot of nice items for your Thanksgiving table on this list.

I was busy threading my loom this morning. I have about 200 more threads to go out of 700, but now I am very motivated to continue my weaving!

Be well,

P.S. I am thinking of making a new set of table napkins in a lovely flaxon color, but possibly kelly green, too, in anticipation of Christmas!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm featured in a lovely blog today!

Hello, friends. A nasty strain of the flu or "influenza like illness" is making its way through Londonderry, NH schools, and I have my youngest at home with me today. His best friend has been ill as well, so I guess it was bound to catch up with us sooner or later.

That said, I was tickled pink to have some very nice news this morning. A colleague of mine, Lynn of Hairbowswonderworld, from the Etsy Wedding Team has featured me on her beautiful blog! Here is the link, which you can copy/paste into your browser:

Lynn works out of the U.K.; her bridal hair accessories and bouquets are really spectacular.

I'm not sure how much threading I'll be able to finish today, since I have a patient at home. Perhaps when he's resting I can get a bit done. I'm thinking about offering fat quarters of my handwoven lace for sale on my Etsy website. There are quite a few DIY brides out there, and my Google Analytics lead me to believe that there are several folks out there that might be interested. We'll see how it goes!
Be well, Kate

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November!

Hello, friends. Halloween is always an exciting event in our house. The boys still enjoy dressing up. They brought home an obscene amount of candy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things they can't eat, thanks to the orthodontic work that they're undergoing, but their mother certainly isn't complaining.

It is lovely to wake up to a sale! A handwoven ivory lace petal cone and ring pillow are headed to North Carolina today. I relisted both items on my Etsy site, as they are some of my most popular items.

I finished a set of 6 table napkins in a lovely harvest-y, pumpkin spice, light rust color. These commissioned table linens will be sent to a family in Chicago for their Thanksgiving feast! What do you think? I have created a listing on my Etsy site for table napkins as well, on a made-to-order basis. That way, clients can choose the color that will best suit their own tablescapes or gift-giving needs.

Lots of sewing and, hopefully, some time at the loom today. My husband and I will be bottling beer this evening, which is always a hoot.
Be well, Kate

Friday, October 30, 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

Hello, friends. What a busy week we have had here in our house. My two boys are both getting orthodontic treatment, so we have started the string of appointments that is required. The expense is considerable, but we're looking forward to seeing our youngest son show his teeth when he smiles and to having our oldest son stop fretting about his "fangs."

I was tickled pink yesterday to learn that my handwoven ivory lace capelet will be worn by a bride on November 21st! The capelet is all set to make its way to NJ -- pressed and carefully packed, and also sent with a special freebie for the buyer (a handwoven sachet with lavender).

Yesterday I wove 6 table napkins and am very pleased with how they turned out. I will load up a picture once they're off the loom, washed, cut, and hemmed/finished. They feature a lace border; it is a "boxy" lace, not a fussy, frilly lace. More of a textural design.

One more piece of good news here, I have an audition with the NH Philharmonic next month! I am practicing as much as my fingers will allow! I'm still at the blister stage right now -- callouses come later (sooner, rather than later, hopefully). My Andrew fell asleep yesterday afternoon while I practiced. It was after his ortho. appointment; it reminded me of when he used to nap as an infant.

I have 4 lovely items selected for 4 Friday Favorites today, but I am having trouble uploading the pictures. I'll keep tinkering with this and will maybe be able to have them up later today or tomorrow!
Be well, Kate :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Handwoven Home

Hello, friends. What a lovely day here in New Hampshire. It is crisp and clear. The colors are almost overwhelming!

Speaking of color, here is a picture of one of my new designs. It is not a wedding-related item. I came up with an idea for a table napkin "cuff" (i.e. napkin ring). I like these because they're different, colorful, and full of possibilities for embellishment and personalization. The fabric is a 8 shaft diamond twill. Lots of jewel tones in this set of 4. The fabric in these cuffs goes very nicely with my Fiestaware table settings. What do you think?

Sleyed my 15 dent reed today and twisted the fringe on a forest green shawl. I ordered more 5/2 cotton as well this weekend. Also selected a rayon boucle scarf to be auctioned off at my boys' middle school for a fundraising effort. Busy!

I am so pleased that Heifer International has featured me in their "Pay It Forward" section of their newsletter this week! I am going to design a few more cards and post them on my site, so keep your eyes open!

Be well, Kate ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monogrammed Ring Pillow

Hello, friends. I am right in the middle of beaming a new warp of wintergreen-colored threads for a shawl and some purse fabric. It is made from 5/2 mercerized cotton. I am really thinking about taking the plunge and investing in enough silk for a shawl to see how what kind of reception it might get. Maybe I'll get up my nerve to order a couple of silk cones this weekend, after my green shawl is completed!

I'm still having fun with buttons. Here is a picture of a ring pillow in my "Simple Gifts" style that features an embroidered initial button. This has received an Etsy "heart" already, which was very encouraging!

Off to play with yarn!
Be well and TGIF!
Kate :)

P.S. I hope to have "Four Friday Favorites" back next week! Warping the loom has taken precedence today! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hand embroidered monogrammed buttons

Hello, friends. While the rainy/snowy/cold New England definitely has its disadvantages, it does tend to make me a bit more introspective, which gets my creativity motor running. In addition to the dress hangers that I added to my line this weekend, I did some brainstorming about personalizing my wedding items even further. The solution: hand embroidered buttons!

I use metal button covers a lot on my ring pillows and petal cones as embellishments by covering them with my plain ("tabby") handwoven fabric. As it turns out, this same fabric also works well for embroidery. I am using wastecloth over the handwoven lace, stitching the initial, and then removing the wastecloth. It works really well! I imagine that this technique would work nicely on any fabric, handwoven or not.

So, here is a picture of a monogrammed tissue holder. I also have a ring pillow on my Etsy site. I am so excited about these buttons! Let me know what you think!

I am off to warp my loom and trying to figure out how this will go, given that I have a splitting headache. I may need to take periodic breaks to avoid threading errors.

Be well, Kate :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dress hangers with handwoven lace

Hello, friends. We woke up to snow this morning! It is not sticking to the ground, but just looking at it makes it feel colder than it is! There were plenty of things to do indoors, however! My husband is brewing a new batch of beer. I love that grainy, hoppy smell that is coming from the kitchen.

I'm working on padded dress hangers that will feature my handwoven lace. I am not working from a pattern, so there is some trial & error involved of course. I can't decide if I should shirr the fabric when it is placed over the hanger, or if I should leave it as is, to highlight the texture of the fabric. I think that there are a lot of possibilities with this particular item! It would make a really nice bridal attendant gift. I'm thinking about adding a small drawstring pouch to hold small items, such as buttons, and possibly a sachet as well. I will be getting nicer hangers, too. I picked what I could find from our local Wal-Mart this morning while running errands, and as you might guess, the selection was a bit limited!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. We'll be watching Michigan football, hopefully!
Be well, Kate :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heifer International & Nutfield Greeting Cards

Hello, friends. I am so excited to have completed the design for my Heifer International fund raising effort! If you aren't familiar with Heifer International, please visit their website to learn more about their mission to end worldwide hunger and caring for the Earth.

I hope to raise some money for this worthy charity by selling holiday/seasonal greeting cards using pieces of my handwoven lace. A set of 2 cards will be sold for $7, with $5 from each sale going to Heifer International. $2 will be kept to cover material and shipping expenses. I would love to be able to raise funds to buy some honeybees or tree seedlings. Who knows? I hope that I sell enough to keep things hopping around here and will put my boys to work helping me out at the post office!

I finished weaving my shawls, and should be getting off of the computer so that I can hang the shawls to dry. Halcyon Yarn also delivered my latest order today as well -- willow green weaving yarn. I can't wait to see how it weaves up! The color looks yummy.

Be well, Kate

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scarves & Photoshop

Hello, friends. I've really been enjoying my visit with my folks and my grandmother, who had her 87th birthday on Friday. Yesterday I had the good fortune of giving my grandmother a weaving lesson! We've enjoyed lots of good conversation and good food.

I'm slowly learning how to use Adobe Photoshop. I got version 8 last week. It is making a difference in my pics, although I think I will probably need to use a tripod for some shots, to help with the wiggles. Here is a picture of a scarf that I photographed on Thursday and tried to "fix" with the help of the software.

There is a "mix" forecasted for tomorrow, which is really just a nice way of saying "snow." It will probably be a good day for some soup and hot bread.
Be well, Kate :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Save the Children video - The Children of the Loom

Hello, friends. As you know I have a passion for handweaving. I am proud to carry on the weaving tradition of my family and in this part of the country.

As I continue to make my way in the online fiber arts industry, I am increasingly concerned to see items for sale by handweavers claiming to be from the United States and selling shawls and rugs made from luxury fibers at VERY low prices. Yesterday I saw a "handwoven pashmina shawl" for sale by a U.S. seller for $18. What is pashmina? Here is an explanation:

The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm ("wool".) The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas. Pashmina shawls are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir, and made from fine cashmere fibre. -- Courtesy, Wikipedia).

The old adage comes into play here. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Before you buy something that claims to be handwoven, consider this: children in Asia are put to work as weavers at very young ages. I hope that you'll take a few minutes to watch this "Save the Children" video entitled "Children of the Loom." It will make you think twice about buying that "bargain" that you've found online.

What can you do? Before you buy something "handwoven," consider asking a few questions of the handweaver/seller in question.

Here are some suggestions:

1)Can I see a picture of your loom in your studio?
2)Do you warp the loom yourself?
3)How long does it take you to warp your loom?
4)What is the weave structure that you use to make this item?
5)How many people work in your studio?
6)Can I see a picture of your studio?
7)I'd like a fabric swatch. Can you send me one?
8)What is the brand of loom that you use?
9)Where do you get your weaving yarn?

An independent handweaver should be able to answer all of these questions to your satisfaction.

Here is the link to the Save the Children video. Please watch!

Be well, Kate

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wish Me Luck -- handwoven lace wedding garter

Hello, friends. We have a brisk fall day here in New Hampshire. The trees are really lovely right now!

I finished weaving my first of two bridal shawls. The first one will have a hemmed edge and possibly a few beads. The second one will have fringe -- and possibly some beads. They'll each measure a generous 72" and are about 20" wide. The pattern is a diamond lace, similar to the one I made for the "Diamonds & Pearls" ring bearer pillow. (Which, by the way, I submitted to last night -- we'll see if they like the pictures!).

Here is a new wedding garter. I'm calling this one "Wish Me Luck," in reference to the violet flower on the front. I really like this one. Garters are such an important tradition during the wedding celebration. So many of the garters out there look like they belong on the set of "Moulin Rouge," which of course if perfectly fine if that is one's personal taste. I am hoping that mine fill what I perceive to be a bit of a gap! Here is a picture.

Off to work on that shawl!
Be well, Kate :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

First wedding garter sale!

Hello, friends. It was a busy weekend here. My youngest son had a soccer tournament here in Londonderry most of Saturday & Sunday. He took an elbow to the eye in the last game and has the black eye to prove it. He told me that had he been playing football that he would have been wearing a helmet and it wouldn't have happened. I think I'll be sitting at the football fields next fall. Sigh...

I was very pleased to sell my first handwoven lace wedding garter this weekend. My "Celtic Connections" ivory garter with crocheted lace edging is off to Illinois to a bride-to-be! A pillow is making its way to Boston, and a tissue holder is off to Williamsburg, VA as well.

Since I spent most of my weekend at the soccer fields and canning pears and jalepeno peppers I did not get much weaving in. However, my plan is set for my Christmas ornament. Warping will begin soon for this!

Be well, Kate :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Four Friday Favorites

Hello, friends and happy Friday. I hope that you all had a splendid week. The leaf colors here in New Hampshire are lovely, as usual for this time of year. Here are today's Four Friday Favorites inspired by the theme, "Harvest Wedding." Lots of burnt orange and gold to be had here today!

First is AmoreBride. This EtsyWeddingTeam member is a resident of Michigan, my former home! AmoreBride has other Etsy shops as well, where you can find an array of carefully crafted items for your home. Here is one of her lovely autumn wedding bouquets:

Second is Beadz2Pleaz. This Etsy artisan makes beautiful cake servers. The beading colors can be selected based on your color palette! Aren't these nice? This EWT member also has special serving ware for holidays (think Christmas!)

Next is MackensleyDesigns. This lovely pomander just says "Fall Wedding!" to me! There are countless other selections in this seller's shop, so be sure to stop in for a peek. MackensleyDesigns has an impressive offering of wedding card boxes as well.

Fourth is Tara from CuttheCakeDesigns. Tara has recently set up her own website recently, which is very exciting! Her items includes recipe boxes and other useful organizing tools -- something for everyone!

The bridal shawls are all set to weave. I'm also working out a project for handwoven Christmas ornaments. I plan to give proceeds of the Christmas ornaments to Heifer Project. More on this to come! Check back for more updates!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Celtic Keepsake

Hello, friends. What do you think of my Celtic Keepsake tissue holder? I think that this would be a really nice gift for attendants or special family members. I like the practicality of a tissue holder as well since you can really use it AFTER the big day.

The bridal shawl warp is threaded, so I am ready to beam now. This is a very enjoyable part of the warping process, provided that the threads don't tangle too much. I am keeping my fingers crossed in this regard! I'm using 3/2 mercerized cotton, and after doing so much weaving with 10/2, which is considerably fine, it almost feels odd to work with this yarn.

There are several pounds of jalapenos on my kitchen counter, so it is back to the canner for me today.
Be well, Kate :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shawls & Tomatillos

Hello, friends. The table napkins are off of the loom, so now I am ready to begin warping for bridal shawls. I am very eager to get started! The table napkins have yet to be hemmed, but I'm anxious to get my hands on this new warp chain. A warp chain of lovely yarn is a thing of beauty for me! (Maybe not for you, but that's okay).

Competing for my attention today is a garden that is overgrown with tomatillos. I made some salsa verde for us last night to go with our black bean burritos, but there is still a pile of tomatillos on the counter. They are husked and begging to be chopped up and put into canning jars.

So here is my lovely warp chain of 3/2 mercerized cotton. It is heavy -- there is enough yarn for 2 generously sized shawls, plus room for sampling. To bead or not to bead, that is the question...

Be well, Kate :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Girls Night Out Scarves

Hello, friends. I'm taking a leap in my shop and adding a few non-wedding items. Like most every weaver out there, I really enjoy weaving scarves. I've added a couple of scarves to my site. One of my Etsy Wedding Team colleagues suggested that the scarves would actually make really fun gifts for bridal attendants -- something that hadn't ever crossed my mind! What do you think??

Lots of weaving yesterday on my copper-y table napkins, and I wound a warp for a bridal shawl. I am trying to decide if I want to weave beads into the shawl as it is woven or if I want to include beads on the fringe only. There is enough warp available for 2 shawls, so maybe I'll just mix things up a bit!

Have a splendid day. Rain here in New Hampshire last evening, but it is good for the plants.
Be well, Kate :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sweeter than honey ivory lace ring pillow

Hello, friends. I hope that you all had a splendid weekend. Fall has definitely arrived in New England. The leaves are changing colors, and the crop is in at the apple orchards. I'm taking a break from canning applesauce and pears today (although I do enjoy getting a free facial while standing over the stove).

Here is a pretty new ring pillow that I made for a bride-to-be in Chicago. I am calling it "Sweeter than Honey" because of the pretty honey-beige beads that are sewn into the fabric. Just the right amount of light is picked up with the beading. What do YOU think?

I am planning a shawl for the cooler months. I have high hopes for it! The weaving yarn is here for it; right now I am in the "calculation" stage. Plus, there are still several yards of warp on the loom, at which I am slowly but surely picking away. ("Picking" away -- do you get my weaving joke???) (If you don't, send me a note in the "comments" section!) :)

Be well and enjoy the day!
Kate :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Four Friday Favorites

Hello, friends. Another Friday has rolled around and that means it is time to showcase some really pretty things from my fellow Etsy Wedding Team members! (And, I'm going to show off one of my new ring pillows as well! Today's theme is "Winter Wedding." You could say my theme has been inspired by our frost advisory forecast for this evening.

Behind door #1 is MGMart, who creates beautiful hair accessories for brides and their attendants. These bobby pins in sky blue tulle and organza are simply lovely, don't you think?

Next is some lovely wedding stationery with a delicate snowflake design. There is even a crystal in the center of one of the flakes! BGDesignStudio has many lovely offerings for happy couples!

Third is LocalColorist, who creates beautiful origami peace crane wedding favors. The style depends on the paper you choose. They can be based on a theme, a hobby, a passion that the two of you have. AND, they're glazed so that they can be permanent keepsakes for your guests. Here is but one sample, based on our "Winter-y" theme for today.

Finally we have luly612, who makes a charming variety wedding accessories. Here is something really fun for a winter wedding celebration: a red and white garter & toss garter set! This is too fun!

One last picture...I have a new ring pillow. My spot weave ivory lace is handbeaded with tiny glass beads in honey-beige. I think it is pretty!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Fall has most certainly arrived in our corner of New England.
Be well, Kate :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Simple Gifts Ring Pillow

Hello, friends. After a bit of a dry spell, things seem to have picked up here at Nutfield Weaver, for which I am very grateful. I think that the October brides are realizing that October really isn't that far away!

This lovely little accessory, my "Simple Gifts" ring bearer pillow, is headed off to Rhode Island today. It is one of my most popular items. It is a pretty way to display the wedding rings, which are, really, the whole POINT of the ring bearer pillow!

I'm working on a design for a flower basket that has a detachable handle, per a client's request. It is actually coming together quite well. I realized as I was constructing the sample that a detachable handle comes in very handy when it comes to preparing the item to ship! Funny how things work out.

Lots of weaving and sewing in store for today. Apple picking and applesauce making is in store for tomorrow!
Be well, Kate :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shellscapes & Nutfield Weaver

Hello, friends. Happy First Day of Fall (one day late)!

Got my annual mammogram yesterday. Have you gotten yours recently???

Here is a lovely wedding favor made by Catherine at Shellscapes. She used my handwoven diamond motif lace to craft the favor. Isn't it pretty? I may have to get one of these to put on my Christmas tree this year!

I'm working away at some copper-colored table linens and on some beaded spot weave lace projects. There is always something to do!

Have a peek at Shellscapes shop to see some of our other collaborations!
Be well, Kate :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Four Friday Favorites

Hello, friends and TGIF! It is Friday already which means that I have four new favorites to share with you! Today's theme is "Do the Write Thing." (I'm sure that you are all amazed by my clever play on words).

First is PurpleLemonDesigns. Stop by PurpleLemon's shop on Etsy and you will find a treasure trove of custom rubber stamps (including new, self-inking stamps!), stationery, and other treats. I just bought one of her stamps recently and am tickled pink with the results! Here is just one of my favorites:

Second is SignsbyDiane. SignsbyDiane creates shabby custom personalized signs for weddings, businesses, or family homes. Wouldn't you just love to have one of these special signs whether you're getting married or not? I really like the "Love is Sweet" sign. You can choose your colors, phrases and style of fonts. Here's a peek:

Third is CuttheCakeDesigns. Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding guest book? This gorgeous box is the perfect size to display at your wedding. Guest can use one of the cards to fill in their information and leave the couple a loving note. This wooden address card box has 26 elegant design dividers and 200 address card inserts. What a great idea!

Fourth is ArtfulBeginnings. I just love this stationery. The soft pink color of this particular style really caught my eye; it is a set of 25 wedding invitation, birthday or anniversary party or announcement cards, RSVP, 2 enclosures and matching cream envelopes. Different font styles or different colors are available. Lovely!

That's all for today! Don't forget to vote for your favorite NH weaver on the "Martha" site! Still threading my loom, which is taking longer than expected because I keep making wedding garters.
Be well, Kate