Sunday, March 30, 2008

Girl Scouts Rock!

This is short but I gotta go to bed!

I had an absolutely fabulous time this Saturday talking fibers to a great bunch of Girl Scouts working on their Renaissance Badge (which I hadn’t even HEARD of until this year, LOL!)

In addition, I made up some sample Ren garb for the braver ones to try was a hoot! No pics, I was too busy!

Several girls and moms were interested in learning more about spinning, so I pulled together the following and sent it to them:

There’s a magazine just for spinners (and you can get it off the rack at most Barnes and Noble AND Borders!)

A website alllllll about Handspinning!

Abby Franquemont of gives a video tutorial on hand spindling: – excellent blog with lots of good info!

Instructions for Handspinning with top whorl spindle (top whorl is my personal fav kind of spindle!)

I love their disclaimer: WARNING!!! Spinning reduces stress and promotes well being. It can also be habit forming and lead to obsessive behaviors such as, but not restricted to: caressing and hoarding all fibers; dying them with food colors and things from your garden or whatever you have laying about; spinning the fluffy bits of the weeds in your fields, the cotton wad in your vitamin bottles and even the lint from your dryer! Proceed with extreme caution!

Mielke's Fiber Arts, LLC: Instructions for bottom whorl spindle spinning

Additional sites:

and finally a listing of yahoo groups just about spinning and weaving!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Life's been busy...

Can't believe it's been almost a month since I posted!

A lot happened at the evil necessity that must be endured (aka Work) that interfered with Art. Crossing fingers and hoping it settles down.

I'm learning several new drawing programs, several of which are free, the rest are free for older versions:

Project Dogwaffle is seriously cool. The top pay version has the neatest programmable brushes - you can actually load multiple images to use with it...the best use of this is in landscapes... the only drawback is that there are no layers, just good old traditional slap it on top of what's already there. We'll see if I plunk down the dineros for this one!

Art Weaver, from Germany, is one awesome piece of software, completely free. The interface is very Photoshop-ish, so I was able to jump in and create the following in my first session:

I have to go back and see if there is a donation 'button''s worthy of showing some appreciation!

The third application I'm looking at is Pixarra's TwistedBrush. Can't say anything about it yet...stay tuned!

All this started when somebody recommended Ambient Design's ArtRage to me in the WetCanvas! Digital forum. While I was able to quickly work up a piece that was acceptable, it's got more of a "kiddie" interface with stencils and virtual glitter. Art Weaver's interface is so much more sophisticated and flexible, that I really think it's going to be my core app.

More as it happens, or when Life stops interferring with Art! (whichever comes first!)