Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Buying Power of Crafters and Needleworkers - warning not for the faint of heart

For better or worse our buying patterns affect the commodities offered to us. The companies that provide supplies for those of us that enjoy needlework are very strongly effected by even our small decisions. Why is this? Most of the companies that provide supplies to us are VERY small companies. Did you know that Au Ver Soie is 4 people and they are all of retirement age? Benton & Johnson produces goldwork supplies as an offshoot of another company that produces military braid. Golden Thread is Bill Barnes working part time and his secretary.

Tricia Nguyen of Thistle Threads wrote a very thought provoking post on this topic. I hope you will take the time to read it.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Time Flies...

Sorry -- this is another catch up post.
Doing lots for EGA - region Board meeting, semi annual National Board meeting, visiting chapters, and teaching for my local chapter. We won't talk about the 26 sets of meeting minutes and newsletters to be read monthly or the emails or the rounds of information gathering required for tax time -- even for a not-for-profit. I don't mind it, but it does consume time and energy.

As a balance I decided that I needed some art input. Signed up on Joggles to take Sharon Boggon's Studio Journals a Designer's Workhorse. I have never used a journal before. I keep a "log" in my head about projects. When I have an idea, I make a mental note of it. When I am working on a project I pull the materials and place them in a concentrated area -- across the room from where I usually sit. The materials tell me what goes where and whether I need to change a color or thread or.... I am still not convinced to use a journal, but I can see where it can be a good tool -- and I am all about tools :) The exercises she had us do were interesting bits of self exploration. Some confirmed my feelings about what I like to do/see -- I like it either very busy or stark. One of the exercises - walking with a camera, is something I do a lot. I have pics from all over with buildings, plants, ironwork - anything that makes for an interesting pattern. I usually take a dozen of the pictures for a year and put them up along with our holiday letter each year on our website.

I also signed up for Barbara Suess' Sunflower Temari. It is a set of intermediate kiku designs. I am behind getting started on them. I haven't finished the Echo Star additional balls yet, but I will some day.

I did hand off doing the Region outreach events. Now I just get to go and help or work the booth. Stitches West was fun. Didn't buy much except more roving to spin and yarn to dye. Speaking of Dyeing, I signed up via ANG for a dyeing at home class. So far I have done a couple experiments with English Ivy and Flowering Plum leaves. Many of the suggested projects I have done in prior dyeing experiments or the materials are not available to me. When I'm done I'll put up a web page with the results.

Really enjoyed my foray into ribbonwork. Our local EGA chapter had a member give a lovely program on stitching during Jane Austen's time. Susan Bryant is always a fascinating teacher. We made a needleroll with ribbonwork flourishes. Yes pics when I get it finished.

Of course I have a hard time keeping my fingers out of fibers. I have finished knitting my first hat -- circular needles to 4 needles around with reductions down from 66 to 6. Need to get a photo. I have also knitted a 2nd Islamic bag and finished both, the original and the 2nd one, with hand done cording. I also wove, circular weave, 2 pouches for other gifts. Pics once the final pouch is gifted.

I am sure there has been much more happening, including medieval events, but they will have to wait for the next blog.