Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lots of stuff happening!

Since I lasted posted, things around here have been going in lots of directions at one time. In early January 2012, I spent a weekend at a Pluckyfluff workshop held in a wonderful shop called Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica, CA. I met some remarkably talented spinners and knitters. One of the projects was to create a self-portrait in handspun. mine ended up like strawberry jello with some sparkly grey matter to signify that there were some synapses firing. One of my favs was an interpretation using a pair of Groucho glasses. There was a lot of laughter, sharing and creativity. Additionally, I got to hang out with one of favorite people Lexi!

         Fiber brain with Groucho glasses by Michelle of Fickle Knitter
           Lexi in a handspun vest I created for her using Todd's fleece

Then, the new book arrived - Handspun, New Spins on Traditional Techniques by Lexi Boeger. Inside, were all kinds of delights including featured spots on friends and other artists I greatly admire. Additionally, Lexi was kind enough to include my work in the book as an artist profile showing what can be done with hand spun yarn as well as felted wool fleeces. It made me feel really special to be recognized by someone that I respect for her creativity. My friend Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms was also featured for her incredible fleeces and beautiful farm - she is also an amazing spinner and a few of her spinning techniques were also shared in the book.

In between all this fun, my doctor diagnosed me with Stage 3 kidney disease which was kind of a surprise and certainly has provided me with a challenge. Currently, making changes in some areas of my life to hopefully hold off the progression of the disease for as long as possible. It has definitely added another level of pain to chronic arthritis pain but that is the way things go. My plan is to stay busy doing all the things I love and behave myself concerning the things that I can.

Additionally, just finished being part of a documentary for Japanese Public Television on Natalie's farm and fiber production as well as spinning and what becomes of all the hand spun fiber afterwards. My garment designs were featured and also the beautiful yarns of friends of mine including Kristine Haddock (Storybook Fibers) as well as Cathy Conti, Nanci Sutton (LaLlama Farms), Paul Lee (raises Angora rabbits and spins up their fiber.) Rhea of Urban Craft Center was gracious enough to allow the filming at the store and it was just a wonderful day. This documentary is airing today in Japan and there will be a big fiber festival taking place in Kyoto this weekend - so it is great timing! It is interesting how much spinning is becoming more mainstream in the fiber world and seeing all of the variations from traditional to contemporary really thrills me.

Will be adding some pictures here to illustrate more of what has been happening so check back. On my way back to my dye pots and drying racks with lots of gorgeous Namaste Farms mohair and Wensleydale, Teeswater and Gotland wool fleeces. Wahoo! Happy creating!


Jill said...

Hi Janice,

I'm really sorry to hear about your health issues. I know how much it can stress a person out, I'm glad you're staying positive and filling your time with things you love to do, good friends and making positive changes.
I love your work, it's so inspiring. I just got my first spinning wheel, a Majacraft pioneer, I love it and can't believe how much faster I can spin than my drop spindle. I've been trying all sort of new things and just having fun.
I had commented a while back on Facebook about a beautiful felted shawl you made, I don't recall, it that going to be in Lexi's newest book? I'd like to make myself one.

Take care of yourself Janice, I will be thinking positive thoughts for you.

Harpa J said...

I sorry to hear about your disease. I hope it won't slow you to too much. Congratulations on the book and the documentary!