Friday, August 17, 2012

Disneyland and the new Carsland

I couldn't take it anymore, I had to see Carsland for myself!
Disneyland resort in California just completed a massive 
overhaul of Disney's California Adventure park.

And all I can say is 


Radiator Springs

And the Cozy Cone Motel was AWESOME
but I managed to not take a single picture!
Think Orange Road Cones of Awesomeness!

Goofy's Instant Concert
(just add water)

World of Color

Minnie's Fly Girls 


Five and Dime

Mad-T Party

Carthay Circle Restuarant

Cavatelli Pasta with Tuscan style Braised Lamb
Seriously... worth the trip for this alone!!

The Golden Horseshoe Review

Steelcut Oatmeal Cakes from the Carnation Cafe

Mona Monorail

Davy Crockett Canoes - So fun!!!

I even found time to relax by the pool at
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel!!

Off to my next adventure!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spinning For Your Life

This week I received a huge honor from Natalie of NamasteFarms

She asked if I would do an interview about

I typically do not share a lot of personal information online
so I was a little nervous to do a live recorded show
because certainly I would say something terribly stupid!

But in the end it was a lot of fun and was 
just like hanging out with friends!

If you would like to listen to the show you can listen online 
or you can download it to your computer.

I'd like to give a great big THANK YOU to Natalie and Kimberly
for having me on the show and loving my sweater so much!

If you listen to the show, 
you will understand the double meaning of
the title of today's blog post.

I actually started this post a few weeks ago
and then life got in the way. 
At that time, I decided to call it "Spinning for Your Life"
as a play on words for The Hunger Games!

After the show was over, I realized that this title
goes a little deeper and very often
we are in fact, spinning for our lives.

Here you can see pictures of my new Spindle Quiver by Tom Bihn.
Ok, really it was designed to be a tripod bag but
CLEARLY it was meant to carry spindles!

I notified Tom Bihn when I placed my order
that there were many of us out here who
would love to have one of these for our spindles.
So they are in the process of developing a modified version
of this bag just for us spinners!!!!! 
I'll post updates once they are available!
So naturally, I then needed an arrow for my quiver!
I posed the question to Chris with Bristlecone's
"Do you think you could make a spindle that looks like an arrow?"
He and and his wife: 
did an AMAZING job with this one. 
Ok, they do an amazing job with all of their spindles
but this one was just BRILLIANT!

The Fletching is a cap that protects the point of the spindle!
Chris does the Glasswork and the wood turning
and Mizpah does the pyrography. 

I almost have a quiver full of Bristlecone spindles
but I think there is room in there for a few more!!!!
Chris was able to make the focal look like
it has flames licking up the sides!

This is another of my stunning custom spindles from Bristlecone
A white clover on Ebony! 
Simply stunning, and the pictures do not do it justice!

Coming Soon:
All my Favorite Things!

I have so many products that I think they are the best of the best,
I think it's time to tell you all about them!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ankara, Turkey - An interesting trip...

I had an opportunity recently to visit Turkey. 
I decided to take my new Holiday Wheel, River, with me 
since I anticipated having lots of time spin...
That was not the case. 
But I did get to do some spinning in the airport in D.C.

I also worked on another Walnut Whip by Ysolda
in handspun Hobbledehoy! With my awesome 4-leaf clover
stitch marker that a friend gave me!

AND I was lucky enough to have a 10 hour layover
in Munich, Germany on a day that Wollmeise was open!!
So I stopped in and picked up a skein of dark purple lace
to make Nuvem with. ALL of the girls there were working
on the same pattern and rushed over to show me their progress.

We knitters are of one mind!

Then I arrived in Turkey.

Such a strange new world to be in where I didn't understand
a single word of their language...
Well, except Iplik (thread, yarn, fiber)

I did eventually learn 
"Hello" (Merhaba) and "Thank You" (teşekkürler)

My room overlooked the city and it was such a sight.

But in the end, I had very little time to Spin, Knit, Explore, or shop.

I did take pictures during my short adventures out and about.

One morning, we had a few hours to ourselves,
so a friend and I took a taxi to Ulus,
a Turkish market

Once there, we walked to the top of an old castle.

These are the views from there.
*Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Leroy enjoyed his first visit to the country of his heritage!

Most of the castle was in ruins, the wall just came to an abrupt
end and there was nothing to stop you from falling off.

I actually found a very old spinning wheel in a shop!
No idea how this one would work
and it was clearly missing pieces.

Lot's of hand made brass stuff in Ulus.
See the hole in the floor on the left side?
There was a narrow set of stairs that went to a basement
and you could hear someone hammering away
at making the bowls, cups, pitchers that were sold in the shop.

And I found wool!
nasty unprocessed wool, but wool just the same.
I "TRIED" to ask the guy in the store if this was
for "Iplik" in other words yarn or spinning.
He told me it was for pillow stuffing.
I'm not sure I would want that in my pillows.
Also it smelled sheepy!

When we first arrived in the market area, 
I showed Leroy to the first person we met
and asked where I could find something like that there.

They took us to this shop and said, here!

The man in the store took one look 
and started digging through stuff.

He came up with 3 original Turkish Spindles
and 2 Top Whorl Spindles!!!!

All prices in Ulus are negotiable, 
which is interesting when you don't speak the same language.
So after a game of charades and swapping a calculator 
back and forth to enter and display numbers,
we decided on a price and I departed as a happy camper!

They are very large spindles but I do intend to try one out. 
At least to say that I have spun on an authentic Turkish Spindle.

I also found some spinning bowls.
A bell for my Aunt.

A little pitcher from the copper store.
A Turkish Coffee cup for a coworker.
A very pretty sugar bowl for someone special.

Some fabric from a fabric shop, boy that was exciting!
Some kitty ear rings and rings.
And a pair of hand knitted house slippers!!!
I believe I paid about 4 Turkish Lira for those,
which converts to about $2.23...
I plan to try to recreate them as they look like a 
great simple, quick knit for gifts!
What a deal!!!

Food in Turkey was extremely disappointing
but I'm fairly certain that that was because of our
tight schedule presenting very few options for food, 
and those options were really not that good.

However, I did have the best ice-cream EVER!
That will be the first thing on my list if I ever make it back.

When I left Ankara, the airport security informed me
that they would not allow me to carry my Holiday Wheel
onto the plane and that it must be put in my checked luggage
(which was already checked...).

I was horrified and I have no idea what they thought I would
do with it. I can just see the news story now "woman bludgeons
man with spinning wheel for having stinky breath and insisting
on talking on 9 hour flight home..."

Anyway, after finding someone who spoke enough English
to understand, I begged them to retrieve my checked bags.
They made an exception for me and took me to baggage claim
to repack. Once I had my bags, I had five minutes to
repack and get back through security.

I was certain that with my frantic last minute, shoving wheel parts
in my suitcase that it would never survive the trip home.

On my way home, I had another layover in Germany.
After having spent a week that felt like being a contestant on Survivor,
(very little sleep, almost no food,
and stuck with 30+ people mostly strangers,
who eventually started bickering about how to cook the rice...)
I was soooooo happy to be able to have a good meal.

And my hero showed up with a bucket of tops
and restored all my Hopes and Dreams!

These were hand made by Heinz Steinacher in Germany.
He also makes wonderful spindles, you should check him out!

When I got home, I was surprised to find that my wheel
survived but I will never go through that again.
I will check it to begin with or it won't go.

River does have a bit of a chatter now when she spins but
as far as I can tell, there is nothing broken and she
still does her job. So I'll just pretend that the sound
is a nervous tick that she has developed
due to her traumatic experience. 

I'm glad I got the chance to go on this adventure, 
but I don't think I have ever been so glad 
to be home at the end of a trip!