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