Stasia's Place Of Grace


Saturday, September 20, 2003

Pen Friends

I have had a renewed interest in sending snail mail of late. To that end, I ordered...

...beautiful cards from Knitter's Review. They are absolutely gorgeous, on lovely paper stock. Owner Clara also enclosed a sweet handwritten note, the pink pencil with "Knit Happens" (my favorite quote!) on it, and even an extra single card with my order of the boxed "Peace" cards and assorted gift tags - wow!

They all came beautifully wrapped in a tissue with a seal - what a wonderful holiday gift for a fiber artist friend! Be sure to check out Clara's wonderful designs (including Christmas cards) and other items... I'll certainly order again soon!

Even my awful handwriting becomes legible when I slow down and write with a dip pen. But my old nibs were in sad order (you mean you're supposed to clean them? Oops!), so off I went to find some new writing accoutrements.

Sam at Pendemonium was a pleasure to do business with. In addition to a purple glass pen, I ordered an inexpensive but great "cigar" style wood pen with a gold nib, as well as some Ziller ink. I've been trying different inks lately (including "that fancy French brand") and none are as smooth, or fully-pigmented, as the Ziller. It even worked on some very uneven paper - the kind with bits of flowers and colored fibers in it.

My color of choice is Wild Viola Violet - because, you know, I'm a purple kind of girl! (Orange, too...)

Smoke & Fire also has some neat pens, including feather quills, and interesting inks... not to mention a whole lot of cool period reenactment goodies! They have a very nice staff as well.

Speaking of textured stationery, you can get some, and have it personalized, at As You Wish. Mine came nicely tied with a ribbon bow and is adorable, and was very reasonable.

But skip their French, orange-scented ink - it doesn't smell of anything, and you can scent your own ink with a few drops of essential oil - I like Lavender (goes with my purple theme, don't'cha know...)

Looking for other writing papers to express yourself? Try Crane's, the famous stationers. Be sure to see their dog breed note cards, but don't look at the personalized letter sheets unless you are Donald Trump.

I ordered some sheets in... you guessed it, purple. (Claudia is saying, "What, not orange?)

My friend Kary turned me on to Lu-Lu cards, by artist Anne Keenan Higgins. Only trouble is, they are a dickens to find! I searched out some really funny Halloween Lu-Lus at O'Galleria - check them out and you'll see why they make us chuckle!

If you're a die-hard fan, you can also find Anne Keenan Higgins-designed stickers at Scrapbook Supply House.

If you're going to go to all the trouble of writing a fancy letter, why not use some sealing wax? The Attic offers Waterstons, made in Scotland using a 300 year old recipe. It is supposed to be mailable - I'll let you know how it does! To ensure that it doesn't crack, fall off, and damage an expensive piece of USPS mail equipment, it's best to use it on your pages inside the envelope, rather than the envelope itself.

I decided to make an old-fashioned pen-wiper - you really need one when writing with a dip pen, especially if you're using textured paper, as the tip tends to get fuzzly after a while.

My pal Elizabeth reminded me to look in my copy of The American Girls Handy Book for a pattern. Sure enough, I found one.

The glove-shaped pen-wiper from the book is on the right. I decided I wanted a larger one, so I then made the one on the left. Jeff suggested I bead around the edge, so that it wouldn't slip out of my hand when I was using it.

Well, guess what? After beading it, I thought it too pretty to wipe ink on! So I made it into a needle case. Below is a photo of the inside of it, with the needles in place, and the pen wiper with the new Pendemonium "cigar" pen:

These were super easy to make - they are just four layers of commercial felt fabric, cut out all in the same shape, and attached at one end with a ribbon. You can decorate them any way you'd like. I think the round one would make a neat eyeglasses-wiper for a friend who was into Victoriana. Yes, they really did use stuff like this in Ye Olden Days!

Wonder why snail mail letters have such appeal?

Want to learn how to enrich your life by the fine art of correspondence, and through appreciation of beautiful pens and stationery? (They don't have to be expensive, you know!)

Take a peek at Alexandra Stoddard's "Gift Of A Letter". Full of suggestions on how to make the most of personal correspondence, and containing quotes from the letters of famous people, it will help you appreciate how rewarding it is to share a bit of yourself through a handwritten card or note.

Honey Harvest

It was honey harvest day today! There is nothing more tasty than a piece of raw honeycomb, fresh off the hot knife after the caps have been sliced off, stuffed into your mouth, wax and all. As you chew the wax, all the leftover honey squoozles out, still warm from being in the hive in the sun... ambrosia!

This year's honey is the best we've ever had, tasting mostly of clover. Unfortunately, there is less than half a bucket of it, since we have had a drought all summer and very few plants produced any nectar! I think we'll be hoarding this batch...

Jeff completed the honey harvest in less than two hours! He is shown above using the hot knife to uncap the comb in the frame.

Here, Jeff is putting the frames into the extruder. He will turn the crank and the honey will spin out of the uncapped comb. The honey will come out of a spigot at the bottom of the extruder, to be kept in sealed, sanitized food buckets until we have time to bottle it. (Not tonight - he's reffing hockey, as usual!)

I hope you'll slow down this weekend, spending some time putting pen to paper (whether in a letter or a journal), and noticing the boutiful harvest taking place at this time of year!

Please say hello in my Tag-Board - I do enjoy hearing from you!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Color, Color Everywhere

I made a little rug! This is the Harrisville Rug Hooking Kit from Halcyon Yarn.

After reading about hooked sheep ornaments in the latest Spin-Off, I had to give this a try. I completed this kit in a few hours, and now will start on my own project, using my own handspun (I think it'll be a great way to use up all those little, leftover bits of handmade yarn!) Did you know you can also make clothing with this technique?

This is not to be confused with latch hooking, or primitive rug hooking with fabric strips - this is Nantucket rug hooking, which uses yarn. A good resource to help you learn about this craft is "Hooking With Yarn."

I also ordered an ergonomic, Cocobolo, Valkyrie rug hook from Halcyon, and it is beautiful.

This is the Colinette Absolutely Fabulous throw in the Cornucopia colorway. I took this photo a while ago, and have actually completed another whole repeat of what you see here. The colors look very strange in the photo - when it's finished, I'll take a pic of it outside. I would've preferred a purple and green one, but Jeff liked this selection, so... maybe I'll do a purple and green one next! (Just kidding!)

The completed modular-knit lace scarf (with crocheted edging) made of handspun silk from The Silkworker, in the Parking Ticket colorway (on the right, and gifted back to Kary, from whom the silk came!) and an Anny Blatt ribbon and angora scarf in the Pourpre (454) colorway (on the left)... expensive yarn, but it feels so good I'm tempted to frog it and knit it again!

And what is my intention for these? Stay tuned...

The beautiful Harvest Moon of the 10th, photo by Jeff. It truly was that color! It looks kind of like it has a pumpkin face, doesn't it? They say the harvest moon was the full moon during the harvest month - farmers would stay out late, bringing in all the crops by its light.

What do they call the first full moon after a frost - a Hunter's Moon? I forget...

Everything is orange this month - the moon, my Heilo yarn project, my new fleece jacket from L. L. Bean (I made the Anny Blatt scarf to match it.) My pal Katrina said it is because of the planet Mars' influence - have you noticed it, bright and orange in the sky these past few weeks? Watch for it tonight!

I can't wait to go to the pumpkin farm to get my jack-o-lantern squash!

Claudia is in an orangey mood, too...

No matter how awful my sketches are, I'm grateful for the time I take to do them. Nothing calms me down, erases the day's troubles, and focuses me like drawing. I am learning to see things in a completely different way - to really see them, and not just look at them.

I am no artist, but by keeping these sketches, I can remember with vivid clarity what I actually saw when I made them, and it is neat to keep a journal of the changing seasons and the birds, animals, plants, and insects I see.

Get yourself a little notebook of drawing paper (you can even get them at Office Max or Target) and a felt-tipped pen, and keep them in your car for times you may be stuck waiting. Record your impressions of the world around you. You will feel as relaxed afterwards as if you had walked a mile!

A great book for artistic help and journaling guidance is "Keeping A Nature Journal." With text and illustration from the artist's own journal, it's as much fun to read as it is to use for reference on how to draw the ever-intimidating tree with leaves!

The other notebook on my desk is the one in which I glue cut-out photos to inspire my knitting - whether they are of other people's designs, or colors and patterns found on china, or a photo showing an interesting leaf texture. Keeping this scrapbook is helping me develop my personal sense of style and color, and I hope will help me to be a better knitting designer some day.

In The Garden...

My cottontots have made flowers! One is even turning into a boll! Hurry, cottontots, blow up into cotton, before the first freeze comes!

September is always the prettiest time in our garden.

A monarch visiting one of our Purple Coneflowers for nectar.

I hope you will take a moment to really see the color around you today and the details in your craft or in Nature. Spend 10 minutes just looking at something - it really will change your outlook for the rest of the day!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

Mini Me

Recent Comments

Fab Fiberarts Rings

Knitting Bloggers
Previous | Next

List | Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Buds' Blogs

Need To Mellow Out?

Daily Zen

Light A Candle

Need An Excuse?

My Fiber Pusher

The Knotty Sheep

Download Me

Subscribe To This Blog

Subscribe with Bloglines

Subscribe to Stasia's feed

Hear Me

Stasia's Place Podcast

Past Entries

Please come visit my new home at Yarn And A Barn -...
New Address
We Love Our Pets
Random Acts of Kindness Week
Sunday Funnies
Pink Scarves Are Easy
Yes Indeedy, Some Fiber News
All Creatures Great And Small
Holey Moley - Twins!
Visions Of Sugarplums...

July 28, 2002 August 04, 2002 August 11, 2002 August 18, 2002 August 25, 2002 September 01, 2002 September 08, 2002 September 15, 2002 September 22, 2002 September 29, 2002 October 06, 2002 October 13, 2002 October 20, 2002 October 27, 2002 November 03, 2002 November 10, 2002 November 17, 2002 November 24, 2002 December 01, 2002 December 08, 2002 December 22, 2002 December 29, 2002 January 05, 2003 January 12, 2003 January 19, 2003 January 26, 2003 February 16, 2003 February 23, 2003 March 02, 2003 March 09, 2003 March 16, 2003 March 23, 2003 March 30, 2003 April 06, 2003 April 27, 2003 May 04, 2003 May 11, 2003 May 18, 2003 June 01, 2003 June 08, 2003 June 15, 2003 June 22, 2003 June 29, 2003 July 06, 2003 July 13, 2003 July 27, 2003 August 03, 2003 August 10, 2003 August 17, 2003 August 31, 2003 September 14, 2003 September 28, 2003 October 05, 2003 October 12, 2003 October 26, 2003 November 09, 2003 November 16, 2003 November 23, 2003 November 30, 2003 December 07, 2003 December 14, 2003 December 21, 2003 December 28, 2003 January 11, 2004 January 18, 2004 January 25, 2004 February 08, 2004 February 22, 2004 March 07, 2004 March 14, 2004 March 21, 2004 March 28, 2004 April 04, 2004 April 18, 2004 May 09, 2004 May 16, 2004 June 06, 2004 June 13, 2004 June 20, 2004 June 27, 2004 August 01, 2004 August 08, 2004 August 22, 2004 August 29, 2004 September 05, 2004 September 12, 2004 September 19, 2004 November 21, 2004 November 28, 2004 December 05, 2004 December 19, 2004 December 26, 2004 January 02, 2005 January 09, 2005 January 23, 2005 January 30, 2005 March 06, 2005 April 03, 2005 May 08, 2005 May 15, 2005 May 29, 2005 June 05, 2005 June 12, 2005 June 19, 2005 July 03, 2005 July 10, 2005 July 17, 2005 July 31, 2005 August 14, 2005 August 28, 2005 September 04, 2005 September 11, 2005 September 18, 2005 November 06, 2005 November 13, 2005 November 27, 2005 December 04, 2005 December 11, 2005 December 25, 2005 January 01, 2006 January 08, 2006 January 22, 2006 March 26, 2006 April 09, 2006 April 16, 2006 April 23, 2006 April 30, 2006 May 07, 2006 May 14, 2006 June 04, 2006 June 25, 2006 September 03, 2006 November 05, 2006 November 12, 2006 November 19, 2006 November 26, 2006 December 24, 2006 January 07, 2007 January 21, 2007 January 28, 2007 February 11, 2007 February 18, 2007 February 25, 2007 September 30, 2007

About Me

My Home Page - Updating

I Support...

The Tibet Fund
Citizens For A Free Tibet
Monadnock Humane Society
The National Primate Research Exhibition Hall (NPRX)
The Primate Freedom Project

Your Click Helps At...

The Animal Rescue Site

I Believe...

I'm Involved...

I Listen To...

Important Note

We have a new ISP and my web pages are being moved. My old URLs will not work unless you go here and type them in to get an archived copy. As I upload the pages to the new server, the links in my sidebar will become clickable again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My Patterns

Knit Koigu Kersti Shawl
Gaugeless Toe-Up Socks
Knit Beehive Hat
Knit Fingerless Mitts
Knit PodPocket For iPod Mini

My Websites

Dyeing Experiments and Instructions - Updating
Textile and Fiberarts Pages - Updating
Beekeeping Pages - Updating
Take The Spindle Quiz!

My Amazon Wish List

...Is Here

My Froogle Wish List

...Is Here

My Photos
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from jeffnstasia. Make your own badge here.

Pet Rats Rule!

To The Ratlist
Image By Ophelia

Send Me E-mail


The Weather In Eau Claire, WI

The WeatherPixie

moon phases

Give My Dog A Bone

Adopt Your Own Virtual Pet!

Hosted By

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Stats By