This Poor Blog!

I have neglected it so badly. It was September that I wrote last. I have been too busy to write and that is not good.

Genealogy has taken a big amount of my time lately. It has been good, since I met a wonderful “new” cousin recently. We have been sharing family stories and info and calling each other to sigh and wonder about our crazy ancestors. None of us are ever perfect, but some families are weirder than others, don’t you think?

I finished writing a story about my literal insane Great, great Grandfather William C. Pike. He decided that the man who was seducing his wife, my great, great grandmother, should be shot in the back of the head and die. He spent 16 years in an Insane Asylum in Illinois. See what I mean about “crazy”!

I have also been weaving up a storm since last Septembers blog. I purchased an Ashford Rigid Heddle loom and havFullSizeRendere made some pretties on it. I love that it folds up and can be carried around. I take it to the “big weaving group” that meets in town once a month and then use it during the month so that I have a new project each month. 20140930_191746969_iOS  20140930_191547192_iOS new loom red scarf

Getting ready for the wedding of my son and his wonderful fiance has been fun. I have been searching for the “perfect” dress, which is difficult in a small town, when you are a big girl. Plus sizes are not that common when you want a really fancy dress.  Sigh, thank God for the internet and shopping online!

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Warped? Yes. Weft Behind? Nope. Busy? Yes

Well, isn’t this unusual, a post from me! It has been quite the year 2014. After having lots of death and negative things to deal with in 2013, I was really looking forward to a nice year in 2014. Well, I started something that has kept me VERY busy and happy at the same time. Yes, I’m still weaving, I will post photos, but this is much bigger than my weaving.

BLACK HILLS CRAFTERS NETWORK was born in January of 2014. It started out small and now has 52 shops on the website! I am pleased that it has gotten so big. The website has started me doing other things, like marketing some of the shops that are presented on the website. And I have begun selling products for my dear friend Cindy who has recently become widowed and needed help keeping her craft business going. We are doing well with her products and my mouth! I LOVE selling good product!

Another place I have been spreading my time is with Arts Rapid City another new website that features artists, crafters, events, businesses and organizations. I love going to their workshops and adding my crafters to their website.

If you are in the market for wonderful crafts please check out Black Hills Crafters Network. If you are looking for something awesome to do in Rapid City, SD go to Arts Rapid City to see what is happening.

I received a  weaving “sampler kit” for my birthday in July and I am slowly learning how to make all the great patterns included in the sample. This is great fun and I will post photos later, hopefully sooner than later, later!

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Here are two pieces I completed over the summer. The red, green and blue one is a fabric to become a vest and the blue, yellow/orange one once finished became a stole that got 2nd place at the county fair in August!! Both use handspun yarn for the weft and commercial yarn for the warp. Both woven on my wonderful Macomber Baby Mac.

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January is almost over???????????????

Wow, seems like yesterday I was wishing the blogosphere Happy New Year! Amazing how quickly the weeks roll by. We finished our 2013 taxes tonight and have to wait for the government to catch up with itself. They won’t be starting to process income taxes until January 30th. That is Thursday! See, time flies doesn’t it!

I have been busy starting another new adventure. I was visiting with a yarn store owner a week or two ago and we talked about some people that we both know and how we never seem to connect because we don’t have their contact info. This started my little brain to processing what we need in the fiber community is a Network! So, Black Hills Crafters Network was born. There is a website: blackhillscraftersnetwork.com and it features crafters of all types in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming and adjoining states of Montana and Nebraska. The website has photos and info about each shop that has contacted me in response to the newsletter that I sent out announcing the beginning of this Network. There is also a Facebook Page Black Hills Crafters Network, so we can continue to reach people who want to buy hand crafted items.

Just getting it started has kept me from weaving, but now that the website and Facebook Page are up and running I can return tSunday drive photos 004o my weaving!! Yay!

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Happy New Year!

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Here’s hoping that the new year of 2014 will be better than last year. Less hate, less waste, less worry, less sadness, more health, more happiness, more love. I have decided that for me weaving will be the best way to be happy this next year. No resolutions, just happiness in all my endeavors! I finished weaving a piece for a lamp shade on a cute little lamp. I hope to consign the lamp at a local store and will let you know where it ends up.

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White Christmas

It snowed yesterday most of the day here in Rapid City, SD. It was the perfect day to weave!! Yes, I finally got the motivation going to finish weaving the variegated green silk and wool piece for the next lamp shade. This lamp will be adorable, as it has a brass colored butterfly on the base and this lovely lamp shade. No photos yet, but soon.

I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. I HATE sewing, but I love to weave. And, you sometimes need to hem your weaving, or make a nice zig-zag stitch along the edge so it doesn’t unravel. Ya can’t GLUE everything ya know! So, if I get the sewing machine (it is a simple one with basic stitches!) I will be able to make mug rugs and other lamp shades without having to use too much glue!! Woo Hoo!

If I don’t get back to this blog before Christmas, let me wish all 2 of you that read this Merry Christmas!!

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Merry Christmas, almost!

Well, I have not been too busy on this blog, have I? Since the Fair we have had quite the Fall. Our precious Whippet dog, Zoe, died and that was devastating. Then we made an effort to simplify our lives in our 900 sq ft townhouse. That meant getting rid of all the junk we had accumulated in the closets, the garage and the “attic” or loft in the garage. We had not parked the car in the garage for several years and since closing our business, Native Life Designs, we had filled the garage up even more. I spent September cleaning out junk, you know, the things we just couldn’t live without years ago and we wonder now why on earth did we keep that? It was freeing yet there wasn’t a lot of weaving happening. I did manage to get a shawl finished for myselfImage out of some awesome linen from a friend. She was also cleaning out her stuff and I bought it off of her for a good price.

Then in October we had a blizzard. After cleaning up from that we finished more cleaning out of the garage. Then we bought another used car and NEEDED the car to be in the garage instead of out on the driveway or street. So, the garage got cleaned out so well that we can now park the car in the garage! Amazing.

By the end of October I had decided to step lightly into the crafting business. I made a cute little lamp out of recycled pieces and hand woven handspun for the shade. I named my new enterprise Handcrafters Schack (my middle and maiden name) and consigned the first piece to a wonderful new crafters store here in Rapid City, called Dakota Pines (www.dakotapines.com). I am working on other lamps now and hand woven lamp shades, we will see how far this goes. No Etsy shop, or website yet, just testing out things for now.Image

I have also painted several rooms in the house and had the privilege of meeting my son’s girlfriend over Thanksgiving. I am excited about the future for them and for us. We are taking a short vacation over Christmas since we can’t get together with the kids this year.

Here’s a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wish for you. Enjoy your holidays, your family and your life.

handcrafters schack logo

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Spinning at the Fair

We all had a great time spinning at the Central States Fair this last week. I am not in the photos, because I am behind the camera! We had fewer entries in the spinning and weaving this year, but then so did all the other areas of the Fair. Seemed odd that last year we had so many and this year not so much.  Attendance seemed down this year also, less people walking through to watch us demonstrate the spinning. The Quilters behind us had lots of entries and many demos throughout the Fair Week. Interesting to listen to.

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