With a few minutes yesterday and today free after a flurry of proposal submissions, I decided to go through my stash to create something on my loom. I selected these fibers - Brown Sheep for a warp and two different Classic Elite yarns for the weft in a clasped-weft scarf. I was able to warp the loom yesterday before work and today I wove 33" of the scarf! It's easy, random, fun, and a bit meditative. I might even weave the rest tonight!
In other news, it's undeniable that the holidays are upon us... and some folks have started to do the seasonal panic as they realize that there's only weeks until Christmas (and even less for Hanukkah!) This year, I have been quite busy working doing pattern design and knitting samples. That took most of my free "creative" time and left me with my short list of gifts yet to fill.
So, to make it a "stress-free holiday," I decided to buy handmade for the holidays. Most of what I'll be giving folks (of course I can't talk about the gifts here!) will be from small local businesses or independent-based websites such as www.etsy.com. With a bit of searching on Etsy, you'll find so many amazing gifts for people that are thoughtfully crafted and ready to go. If you ship your gifts out, most sellers will gift wrap and might even include a note from you. Voila! Holiday shopping complete. One example I can give you is Theresa at the Little Candle Company. I ordered a set of sampler candles for my Mom (it's OK; she's not online to read this!) for her birthday. Theresa was sweet and offered to send a card along with her package. Hand poured, custom scented, lots of choices... what could be better.
This supports an artist or small business, makes you feel good for doing that, and offers a creative gift that means so much more than anything from the mall.
One other thing I can talk about is Judith MacKenzie's studio fundraiser - Her studio burned in October, 2012 and all was lost, including virtually every bit of equipment or sample she had. The fiber community is coming together (as is often the case) and working to help her restore. There's a website dedicated to raising money to help this effort, and an auction has been going on. The second one ended yesterday, and I was lucky enough to win something! Sleuthy folks will be able to figure out what it was, but I'm deciding (still) if it's a holiday gift or something I will keep for myself. I mention this because gifts can come from so many places.
One other place I love (and one of my favorite holiday gifts of all time) is a gift certificate to Kiva. Kiva is a place that allows you to offer micro loans to folks in need. There's photos of the people, stories explaining their situation and how they intend to use your money, and how it should be paid back. Loans are made in tiny amounts ($25.00 per loan) and get paid back over time. Once you have been repaid $25 into your Kiva account, you can re-loan that money to someone else. It's a gift that's perpetual, and will help to highlight the importance of giving back throughout the year.
I hope that as you finish up your holiday shopping, you will join me and make an effort to make as much of an impact as possible with your gift giving.
As for the scarf... I'll give an update once it's all finished. I can say that weaving gives me such a good feeling. I hope one day to have a 4 shaft (or bigger?) small-ish floor loom; I think having more options for design will cause me to want to create even more... perhaps one day I'll have one and find out. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy the one I have!