archives: Haystack fiber studio 2012

In 2012 I went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a two week course with Marian Bijlenga. It was intense, and lovely, and the food was amazing, and I had a wonderful time. We were working with water soluble stabilizer, making fabric out of thread and strange objects and thin air.
water soluble one

coiled twigs, pinecone sections, stitched velvet circles


water soluble two

velvet scraps in thread grid


thread landscape

coastline study, perle cotton, invisible thread

Before I left for Haystack, I was having trouble sleeping, and having stress dreams about not fitting in, not having the skills I’d need… Eventually I had a soothing dream about going to the shoreline, and choosing rocks, and sewing little velvet coats for them. When I got to Haystack, I was fine. I had all the skills necessary, and wonderful people in my studio to work with and share with. But my dream of little coats for rocks stuck with me, and I made several.

And when I got sick of velvet, I made some lined linen jackets for more beach rocks.

white velvet jackets for rockssilk lines linen jackets for rocks






The application of whimsy is almost always a good plan.

driving driving driving, and then not.

Steering wheel

My circle for yesterday looks like this. Everyone is OK, but I had to make an emergency trip to Maine to fetch my father's car back here, because he is temporarily imobilized with a broken collar bone and ribs. So when they move on Tuesday, his car is here now, instead of there.

Today's circle is all about having been out for a ride and a walk and the amazing blue sky:

april 28

And then just for amusement value, I offer documentation of Aerin's experiments with her braces, specifically the one where she proves that they are magnetic:



pi(e) day

pi day

Pi(e) day = March 14 = 3/14 = 3.14 = ratio between the diameter and the circumference of any circle.

Pie tally:

  • raspberry (with 18 candles for Aerin)
  • chocolate cream (with 24 candles for Abby)
  • 2 apple
  • blueberry (shown above)
  • three berry
  • key lime
  • another chocolate pudding

people tally (some people belong to more than one group):

  • 4 of us
  • 3 Vertssess
  • 3 Almanzars
  • 2 Abbys
  • 1 neighbor
  • 1 hiking club
  • 2 co-workers
  • 1 co-worker girlfriend
  • 3 Mt Holyoke students with various graduation dates

plus some I can't remember.

Pi day makes every one happy. It is like Thanksgiving, only with just dessert.

Black and white circles will resume tomorrow.

March 1

march 1

I like March for a couple foolish reasons: March 4th is the only day of the year that is a command, March 14 is pi(e) day (3/14 = 3.14 which is a decimal approximation of the ratio of the diameter of a circle to its radius) and March 17 is Aerin's birthday. 

March is also black and white and shades of gray, and pieces of a larger thing. So the reason this circle doesn't look like anything is because it is out of context. I will show you the context soon. 

Valentine’s Day can be very pink


I don't know about your brain, but my brain can be really…. bossy.  It wanted me to make 14 felted hearts. So I did. 

I started by needlefelting a single large piece of mostly-red felt, with lots of other colors in it. I cut 14 hearts from the large piece. From the last week or so of scraps, I cut out smaller hearts to stick onto the larger hearts. Then I stitched things together. 

Now I have 14 hearts to give to people! 

So I wish you a heart-felt Happy Valentine's Day.

Feb 8; downy

feb 8

My children will nod with weary agreement; I have an abiding affection for small, stupid jokes. For instance:

How do you get down off an elephant? You don't get down off an elephant, you get down off a duck! 

At which point one child asked "how do you get down off a duck?" and I could say "with a veeery small ladder." 

Which is a long way of saying that this feather looked like baby duck down, and it made me think of getting down off an elephant. 


And then, to make today a joke filled extravaganza, I offer you a picture of my soft palette. Which is also fuzzy. 

soft palette

as promised, chicken ornaments

chicken ornaments

What do you do if a friend says "I really love your chicken ornaments" and you haven't made any? If you are me, which I am, I spend a week thinking about chicken ornaments and trying a fistful of different ideas and finally settling on something I like a lot and whanging out a batch of them in one day. Actually it is only one less than I meant, because one of the yellow background chickens escaped and is feral in the work room. I looked under everything I could move under my sewing table, and she was not where I could find her.

This isn't saying much because I lost my pins this morning and had to call Cathy at the library to ask where they might have been put back to because she was using them Sunday night making creatures from the Burgess Shale (scroll down for a look at some of the best creatures including wiwaxia, opabinia [with five eyes!!] and anomalocaris). So my ability to find things may be impaired at the moment. But I found the pins, and I'm sure I shall find the chicken sometime too.