Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Moving to WordPress...

First of all, a belated happy new year to everyone! I hope you all had a happy holiday and that 2013 brings you all that you hope for.

Location, location, location. That is what it is all about, right? I am excited to announce that this blog is moving in with my Olliff Studio website which is now located in a lovely new WordPress location. My dear friend Angela Holden has helped me by building the site. Angela is super savvy with WP.  I am very pleased with the results and it will be easier to have it all in one place. Unfortunately I was not able to move Musings followers over so you will have to re-subscribe at that location. I hope to see you all there! As always, a big thank you for your interest in my meanderings in the art world.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Greetings & Apologies

Well it was a busy and strange Christmas here and that is all I have to say about my absence since Thanksgiving. But I have good news...shortly this blog will be incorporated into my website and is moving to Wordpress with a shiny new look, so stay tuned. I think this will be a good thing as it will make things easier to update. Angela Holden Design is working on it for me and I am so excited to have her expertise in migrating it all to one place.

I hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends and wish you a very happy new year. My how time flies! Seems like only yesterday we were all worried about Y2K.

See you in 2013!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm in the midst of cooking here but wanted to wish all of my friends who celebrate this day a Happy Thanksgiving. I will post some new paintings and projects that are in the works soon but for now I just want to say how thankful I am for all of my friends and family both near and far. Know that I treasure you. xo

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where did October go?

I can't believe it is already November and that in the blink of an eye Christmas and 2013 will be here. October was a strange month for me for a lot of reasons which I won't go into in detail.  Let's use the term "elder care" and leave it at that. Things are better now in a lot of ways for me thanks to the miracle of therapy. 

I have been accomplishing a lot this week with Don away in Denver at a conference. I've had a lot of "me time" and made good use of it in the studio...

Four states added to the series!

Today I uploaded two Christmas card designs to the printer which will be listed in my Etsy shop next week. I'm kind of excited about them actually. Normally I struggle with the design trying to come up with something that is not the usual run-of-the-mill greeting card. I was not even going to attempt one this year until inspiration hit and was helped along with a timely discount coupon code from the printer.  

Here is a sneak preview...

The one on the left is a Photoshop manipulation of the Maine state ACEO and the one on the right a variation of my "Home Before Dark" painting. I am considering including gold and silver envelopes with these when I package them up. 

Next on the agenda is a Christmas dress for a very special little lady named Molly. :) 

In case I don't get back here before November 22 I would like to wish all of my American followers a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

We're not in Kansas anymore and other news...

Life sometimes throws us a curveball and some things just have to take a back seat to others. That said, I have not had the time or the mood to blog for a couple of weeks. But today I feel like I need to catch up here.

Today I posted the latest in the state flower series. The Kansas sunflower was one of the few that I have had to start over but I am pretty happy with what I came up with in the end. I've a few to show you that came before Kansas so I will go backwards from that.

And that pretty much brings it up to current. I am working on Kentucky at the moment. I have to admit that even thinking of Goldenrod makes my nose twitch and I don't even have allergies! 

In other news here at Olliff Studios I've been spinning nearly everyday and getting a bit better at it. It is extremely relaxing for me. I put the spa channel on Pandora and it is my form of meditation. So here are a few of the things I have spun lately...

Royal Baby Alpaca plied with Mulberry Silk...I kept picturing it in copper so...

I dyed it. The smaller skein has since been dyed black 

This is one of my first dye attempts on commercial merino and I quite like it.
Same skein but different sides. This was inspired be the sunset. 
 I have to say that this dyeing business is really fun and also a bit addictive. And in the knitting department of Olliff Studios, I finally finished the "Mama Bear" cardigan for our daughter Karin. She had a big grin on her face when it arrived so I think she loves it. The color looks great on her.  

No, I didn't spin this yarn. It is baby alpaca generously given to me by a dear friend who got it in Peru. (Thank you again Gail!) I was lucky to find a perfect button for it on Etsy:

There is a cute beret that goes with it but apparently our granddaughter Molly has commandeered it for her own personal hat collection...

And this is what is on Lola Jr. at the moment. I am still not sure I like the way it resembles camouflage fatigues though several have commented in my spinning group that it reminds them of a meadow or at least something of nature. We'll see how it plies and knits up. Either way the extra-fine merino is a dream to spin and extremely soft even if it does look like it is gearing up for combat. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Too many irons in the fire... or why I need to clone myself.

Sometimes I wish I could clone myself. I need several of "me"to keep up with all the things I want to do. Or more hours in the day. Mostly it would be nice to have an extra me to do the cleaning and cooking so I can pursue the creative stuff that is supposed to be my job now. Anyway, lately I have been dividing my time between keeping the Etsy Shop going and feeding my yarn/knitting/spinning addiction. And as if that was not enough I have decided that I need to dye my own yarn. For those that are curious here's the latest in some of those endeavors...

I am really having fun with these little guys and frankly surprised myself that I have not ditched the project due to its immensity. 

In the spinning department of Olliff Studio I have been improving my consistency and learning the differences in spinning various fibers. Alpaca spins very different than wools and I even tried "spinning in the grease" (spinning un washed wool right of the sheep) and learned how to Navajo ply which is a lot of fun. 

Merino/Tencel I picked up in a lovely little shop in Piedmont

Spun & plied
Alpaca/Silk from a shop in Oakland called A Verb for Keeping Warm

half a hank spun

About 200 yards spun and plied
After I finish spinning the chocolate I am hoping I have enough to make this:

It was meant to be. The pattern is called "Deb"

Dyeing is not as productive as I would like. I finally dove in and did a little but it is intimidating… 
First dyeing attempt (sorry the lighting was bad)

I took all the bits of merino, alpaca and silk in the previous image (minus the skeins) and spun them end-to-end.
Not much yardage but it was fun to see how they spin. 
Oh...and then there is weaving. I have a small table loom that has been in storage for about 30 years. I think I wove a stupid wall hanging on it and then lost interest but I'm really glad I still have it because I suddenly have the urge to use it. More on that later. 

See why I need to look into cloning?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching up. Again.

The problem with finding new, fun things to do is that there is never enough time to do them all. I need to look into cloning. So, with the new spinning (and soon weaving, as we found my tabletop loom and it no longer scares me) I am having to balance the creativity in my studio. And then there are the days when I don't want to do any of it or have other stuff that calls to me from 'real life'. 

Getting back to the state flower series that I have been working on for my Etsy shop I am pleased to say that I am up to (still working on) Florida. They are getting to be more fun than I anticipated but I'm still glad I'm forcing myself to go in alpha order so as to not skip over any that I might not ordinarily be compelled to paint. Here are the latest: