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finished - phew!

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer Breastcancer2

"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.  So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake.  I feel better already."  --  Dave Barry

Some pieces flow easily out of the studio, while others are a struggle.  This one came kicking and screaming.  I worked on it for over a year, having finished it just last Sunday.  Monday morning I packed it up and sent it out for exhibition. 

It started as a needle felted cell structure about the size of a soccer ball.  Bits were applied.  Bits were removed.  This summer I had the fine idea to embroider the entire surface.  Joy.  I had to use an upholstery needle which was akin to sewing with a fishing hook.    

Last weekend I woke with a start realizing the piece needed just a bit more work.  The embroidery looked good, but the felted bits looked off balance.  Many textile techniques don't require drying time which is a distinct advantage to the medium if you have a tendency to get ideas at the last minute.  It's not procrastinating, more like a mulling, a mulling of ideas until something shifts and makes sense.

A professor once told me to always finish a piece.  Even if you hate it in the end, you will have learned something.  This is true.  I like the look and feel of this new piece even if it did take a year and a half to resolve itself. 

fellow knitter needs our help!

Ocac


The following message came to me via a fellow knitting team member at Etsy.  I bring it to you in hope that you too will contribute a little of your time and yarn to make a fellow knitter's husband feel some home comfort while stationed in Iraq.   

WHAT:
Operation Comfort Afghan Collaboration
 is a special project that I thought of for my dear hubby. He's currently deployed in Iraq right now and is really feeling down and homesick, so I thought I'd knit him a blanket. Since a blanket will take way too long to do by myself, I thought I would solicit the help of my fellow fiber artists, as I know from experience that fiber artists can be generous in times of need. :)

I think that if he knows that even perfect strangers care enough to get together to do a project like this then he really isn't alone out there and he can take comfort from that thought and it'll help carry him through as he finishes out his time in Iraq.

Not many probably think of this, but when they are doing the same things day in/day out and don't have their families to come home to at the end of the day, and when their off time (that they don't get very often) comes they don't have a whole lot to occupy their time, so morale gets pretty low. Anything from home, even the littlest of things can give them a boost. Mail, especially, is important and nowadays because of heightened security you can only send mail to a soldier directly if you know their name and APO address or you have to go through an organization that takes donations and send packages out.

UPDATE 08/20/08: Still taking squares! I still need a ton more so have dropped the mail in by date and will leave it open until I have enough. TOTAL SQUARES IN TO-DATE: 65

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR SUBMITTING SQUARES AND HELPING ME MOVE THE PROJECT ALONG (if I misspelled your name, please let me know):
HockeyMom, Cassandra Schorsch, Dottie Scher, MerlinTheCat, Adrienne Lapp, Dan & Erin Fournier, KnottyNaomi, Kristen Healy, Karen Savage, Melissa (raineydayknitter), Dominique (Morandia)


SO TO THE DETAILS:
This is a call for any knitter, crocheter, or weaver who wouldn't mind helping me out by making a 4"x4" square to speed up the process of making the blanket.

PATTERN: Any pattern will do as long as the finished piece is a square
DIMENSIONS: Each square should be 4"x4"
COLORS: tans, browns, black, or similar neutral colors (off-whites & beiges/ecru are also ok)

The blanket, I hope will end up being at least a lapghan size (36"x48") or a twin size (48"x76"), so I will need between 108-228 4"x4" squares total.

I'd be so grateful if you all could pass the word around. I can't post it on my blog or myspace, as my hubby reads those, so need others to spread the word.

All those who are mailing squares to me, please have them mailed no later than July 26th, that way I can start putting them together and hopefully have it out and in the mail to my husband by mid-Aug, as it'll take 2 weeks alone just to get to him (mail usually takes anywhere from 14-18 days on average via priority mail). [edited] Am going to continue to take squares until I get at least enough to do a lapghan.

WHERE TO MAIL THE SQUARES?
Send squares to:
Julie O'Neil
Flawful FIbers & Yarns
RE: Special Project
845 Ridgewood Way
Hinesville, GA 31313-2989

PRIZE DRAWING IN APPRECIATION TO THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE:
In appreciation of those who participate, I'd like to give back to you, so will also be doing a random prize drawing, there will be 3 winners.

Prizes will be fibers & yarns from my past of the month clubs (preview via my flickr).

QUESTIONS? If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact me, either through the contact page, or email me - flawfulfibers[at]gmail.com 

happy winter solstice!

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer flower

"O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" -- Percy Bysshe Shelley 

As the wind howls and snow swirls, remember that today is winter solstice.  The days are getting longer!  Hooray!!  This is exactly the positive thought I need to keep me warm as I head out to shovel the sidewalks.


consumer product safety rules?!

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

"‘Tis the gift to be simple ‘tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight."


Where have I been?  This is what I get for being on a news diet.  Yesterday my lovely group of fellow EtsyKnitters apprised me of a law that recently passed Congress.  The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has all the usual hallmarks of good intention while once again slipping over the edge into insanity.  Taking effect on February 10th, all products intended for children under the age of 12 must be submitted to an independent third party for stringent testing.  Naturally, this testing is not free.  It costs $4000 per item.  

What does this mean to you and me?   I can forget the sketches I recently made for a new line of baby sweaters.  I don't have the cash for the testing and I have no intention of raising the price of my goods to such an exorbitant level that only a few will be able to afford them.  Gorgeous hand knit baby blankets, hand-carved trains, and other fun items for children found on Etsy and at local craft fairs will soon disappear.  

I'm not a corporation.  I run my business as a sole proprietor.  As a result, every product I sell has to live up to very high standards.  If a product failed and I were sued, my home would be on the line.  My case isn't unique, it is true for most of us selling our products on Etsty and other similar sites.  

What can you do?  Write your congressman and senator.  Let them know that you love the handmade items you buy.  Let them know you can't afford to pay much more for them and that you don't want to see thousands of small businesses be jeopardized.  Ask them to rewrite the law so it gives it strength to protect without being draconian.  

For more info

robin hat

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer Robin Hat

"A robin redbreast in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage." --  William Blake

I finished my last commission for the holidays just in the nick of time.  I ventured out in yesterday's snowstorm to be certain of its timely delivery.  

I enjoy the challenge of a commission.  Each commission has a bit of me in it, but my primary goal is to match my skills to the personality of the collector.  For this hat I was given the color choice and style preferred.  As the recipient's name is Robin, I added a touch of whimsical embroidery with the blessing of my client.  I stylized the image and kept to a simple color scheme to place the emphasis on the linear quality of the image rather than on the stitch work itself.  

The hat has given way to numerous sketches which seems to be the way with all commissions I complete.  They open the door for new modes of thinking.  

have a handmade holiday

"If a person gives you his time, he can give you no more precious gift."  --  Frank Tyger

Have you taken the handmade pledge?  This holiday season opt out of the usual and the ordinary and give something extraordinary.  

This little collection of items are just of few of my favorite things on Etsy.  They are handmade, showing all the love and time that goes into making them.  

With all the babies recently born into my family and circle of friends, I am naturally leaning in that direction this year.  

not even a mouse....

DSC_0118

"The best plans of men and mice often go awry."-- Robert Burns

I have nothing against mice except when they refuse to go outside when needing the loo or keep me up all night with their shenanigans.  When one had the audacity to get into my candy, it became outright war.  

Monster Pup couldn't decide which side to take.  She loved chasing the mice.  In the middle of one night I heard a bark and a flurry of feet, little and littler, scuttle across the wood floor.  Josie had her nose under the radiator, tush in the air and tail waggling.   

I finally called pest control. They baited the house and so for the past week it's been wait and see (or smell).  One by one we've been finding dead mice, or I should say that Josie has been finding them.  Yesterday she proudly walked into the living room with one in her mouth and dropped it at my feet.  "Happy Early Christmas!" she seemed to say.  

a knitter's advent calendar

Advent calendar complete

"If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another."  -- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

I recently joined the Etsy Knitters team and have found much encouragement and support from this amazing group of artists.  The group's advent calendar is a gem filled with recipes, patterns, and much more.  Why don't you see for yourself?  It's a gift from the group to all who love handmade fun.    

things

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer doll

"There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up."  -- Oscar Wilde

Things.  I'm finding it remarkably hard to let go of things.  For me things hold far more memory than photos, though I have plenty of those too.  As I wandered about Mom's house, memories swirled around me.   I've had to make decision after decision of what to keep, what to to sell and what to toss.  Despite how much was thrown out or separated for the estate sale, boxes quickly piled up.  

It was easy to toss my college portfolio, but heart wrenching to take Mom's clothing to the charity shop.  And what to do with the Victorian secretary that has been in the family for 5 generations, let alone two of them?  

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer Fish

Some items I love because Mom loved them so much, like this little fish figurine or the commemorative tins.  Actually, Mom's entire collection of British commemorative dishes, cups, stamps, coins and tins now reside at my house.

(c) Lindsay Obermeyer tins

Little Scarecrow had pride of place at Mom's dining table every fall.  She is a bit floppy and worn, but Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without her.  Mom bought her from a candy display at my all time favorite chocolate store when I was just 4 years old.  I so badly wanted her to be real so we could play.
  (c) Lindsay Obermeyer scarecrow

Yes, I have inherited many fine things, but value is also intrinsic. My Gam died 8 years ago.  Mom never fully recovered from the loss, but I'm learning that losing one's mother is something from which one perhaps never fully recovers.  Many of those things resonating with the essence of Gam were throughout Mom's house and now grace my home.  

Goldenyears

This was Gam's motto to old age.  I plan to live by the same spirit as I make the transition from adult child to matriarch of my clan.