gifties and thrifties

so many new lovelies from traveling and thrifting, trading and gifting. here's a custom diz from my dear emily of bricolage studios...

a diz is used for pulling roving from combed fiber. you pull it through that little hole for a perfect worsted prep, something i've been working on since i got my combs. so i have been wanting a diz for a while, but never imagined i'd have my own personalized one! em sent this along with a treasure trove of goodies including a necklace, an orifice hook, and some adorable needlefelted pincusions. her jewelry is incredible in real life. i was so happy when i opened this package that i wanted to cry.

then, my sweet and sassy (and local!) friend becky actually offered to gift me a vintage sewing machine. i was like, WUT! come to mama! it's a mid-century kenmore in perfect shape and with all kinds of original extras....

including that wee chair!! that opens up and chock full of all these goodies!!! stitchy hoarders like me will understand the squeee factor here!

and funky, very useful dials! i've been through the manual and started stitching on this baby, and she's awesome. all she needs now is a name!

and then, this is one of mum's estate sale finds that she passed along to me, causing major drooling and swoonage - a wicker basket with needlepoint on each side...

thank you mum, and thank you elizabeth for including some of your yarn and millinery stash, too!!

i kind of hesitate to even combine all of these in one post since they are each so fabulous. but i've been behind on chores and making, and doing less internetting, even though i miss my friends here. my memorial day weekend to-do list includes:
*full-on cleaning of rabbitry (which begins in exactly 7 mins)
*selecting some pretties to send to laila for her gorgeous, redefined shop!
*spinning for my new moon update (june 1!) i need to credit jude hill with the idea of updating at the new and full moons. i've been learning quilt weaving from her, and she is fantastic.
*stash organizing
*carpet cleaning
*a couple of long-overdue phone marathons with old friends
alt *working on gift embroideries
in parting, i also have to show you a few cross-stitch finds, each so perfect and inspiring, for a happy holiday weekend, friends!


looking closely

playing with the macro lens my sweet brother gifted me. it's a macro lens for a film camera, and with a little adaptor ring it fits onto my digital camera. i love the super shallow, manual focus... but it will take me time to get used to.. btw the little pincushion is less than an inch wide!


some shawl progress... i was nervous about the nupps (the little buttons-like bobbles, a hallmark of Estonian lace knitting), but they are fun.

this is sitting next to mum's kitchen sink.
my dad observed that it looks like he did when he was a child.


they found me

the smell of honeysuckle right now is tremendous. still, it didn't feel like beltane yesterday. the light is still spring-like. and it was so ... quiet. then again, i haven't felt like venturing beyond the yard, so the sounds of hgtv and birds are about all there is. i should feel like celebrating the amazing art love i've had lately! but instead i have been in hermit homebody mode.

part of staying home is that i'm actually writing. i randomly met someone on ravelry who is coaching me. her name is elithea, and she singlehandedly convinced me that i must write my dissertation, and she is showing me exactly how to do it. i've followed her plan for the last four days, and i've written more than i have in years. i feel so lucky that she is doing this for me, and that she knows what she's talking about! i was skeptical and thought i was beyond help, but so far her advise is working, and the words are flowing painlessly. (psst: i'm sort of even enjoying it!)

and, just as strangely, my topic seems to have found me. you know that i was planning to write on fiber and memory in three case studies. then i fell down the rabbit hole on ravelry and read everything i could find on antique wheels. i thought that i was wasting endless time reading the forum on Canadian Production Wheels, but it has turned out to be most useful... at first, i thought one of my case studies could be about CPWs, except that it didn't entirely fit with my loose vision for the dissertation. but i kept reading, and reading, and now, after coming up with a very loose and draft-y outline, i'm completely thrilled to say that my entire dissertation is going to be on these wheels, known as CPWs or Quebec Wheels. it may seem narrow, but there's a whole lot to say about them and why they are important! and they are experiencing a renaissance right now. so i'm also diving headfirst into Québécois culture and history (and i better figure out how to make those accents on my keyboard!)

even though i thought i was really set on the antique spinning wheel front, another ravelry friend named kat who was bedelia's foster mom messaged me over the weekend saying that she rescued a full-size CPW with a cast iron treadle, but couldn't keep her because she already has two of these big girls. i would have one already except that they are huge, difficult to ship, and most commonly located in canada - and the shipping is strangely cost-prohibitive between the US and canada. it happened that i got her ravelry message shortly after the hub asked me what i wanted for our five-year wedding anniversary. kat is amazing in that she loves to rescue wheels and give them a spa stay before passing them along - and she also has a police chief friend who happens to travel my way every so often. this new girl doesn't have a name yet, but i am making room for her here already.. hopefully she'll arrive in a few weeks and help me with my research!

so they say that "your wheel will find you." i'm so grateful that my CPW has found me, through a fiber fairy godmother, along with a topic and a academic coach! and a happy, happy five years with my boy, who i'm very lucky is also a homebody and doesn't mind wheels everywhere. bright blessings, indeed.