A Random Act of Kindness

We’ve all heard about them and we’ve probably all participated in a random act of kindness but usually it involves someone you know. In this case, a random act of kindness I received was from a complete stranger.

If you’re an Instagram user with an unlocked account as mine is under my MelsNattyKnits name, you’ll love getting followers with similar interests to your own and in my case, especially followers in Brisbane. A few weeks ago I received an Insta message from one of my followers which showed a couple of large toy sheep. It’s obvious that my obsession with toy sheep had struck a chord with this follower.

Fiona lives on the north side of Brisbane and was at the recent Brisbane Exhibition where she bought two of these sheep; one for her and one for me. When she mentioned in her message that she thought of me straight away, I felt quite touched and overwhelmed.

As her husband works near me, we arranged for me to pick up the sheep at his workplace. I felt quite humbled as her husband gave me a large plastic bag and inside it was this gorgeous sheep.

Fionas sheep 01_resize

We had a lovely chat and Brad told me his wife Fiona was quite an introvert and he was the extrovert in the family. He told me she liked to do kind things for others without any recognition for doing those kind acts.

As I haven’t met Fiona, I felt I needed to acknowledge her random act of kindness on my blog as it’s the least I could do.

Fionas sheep 02_resizeFionas sheep 03_resize

This is one of the largest sheep I own! Thank you so much Fiona. Your kind act is so appreciated.

Fionas sheep 04_resizeFionas sheep 05_resize

Did you notice that lovely yarn bowl? I picked it up at the Kureelpa Spinners & Weavers Open Day in July when I was on holidays. You could have a number of small balls of different coloured wool in it for colour knitting.

Sheep yarn bowl new

To finish off, just a few bits and bobs I’ve picked up over the last few weeks. I found this sheep mug at an Opp Shop just before the end of my holidays. It was the only one I found; slim pickings this year 🙂

Baa sheep mug 01

One of the past members of the Redlands Spinners & Weavers was off-loading a lot of her spinning gear and I scored this fantastic Lazy Kate. It’s solidly made and I love it. I’ve since given it a clean up and used it. All those bobbins are different and don’t match any of my wheels unfortunately. Apparently her husband was a woodturner and made all her bobbins for her.

Lazy Kate

At our recent Open Day one of our members was selling these crocheted sheep on the members’ stall. They were there right until the end so I quickly snapped them up.

Shaun the Sheep

The Redlands Spinners & Weavers will be holding their annual September spinning camp at Bribie Island on 8-10 September so that’s where you’ll find me. I enjoy these occasions when I’m not tempted by housework 🙂 or any sort of hard work. I can simply craft and enjoy the company of my friends.

I’ve been in spring cleaning mode for a number of weeks now. I’m slowly downsizing my spinning wheels collection. Over the years, I have worked out what type of wheels I like and which ones suit me so I’ve sold the ones I don’t anticipate using. When I first started spinning I bought every conceivable ‘gadget’ that related to the preparation of fleece but I’ve found I just prefer to buy ready processed and dyed slivers. I’m not really into all the cleaning and processing myself; mainly because I don’t have a suitable outdoor area to do it.

So I’ve sold my drum carder and a couple of sets of wool combs. I feel quite liberated as I’m freeing up so much room in my home. About 70% of my hundreds of books have gone to Lifeline and now I’m working on my clothing (I’ve already got a large bag in the car ready for the Lifeline bin!)

And as I sit here writing this blog, I’ve just spotted another bookcase which I’d forgotten about as it’s covered by a spinning wheel. I’ll have to go through it and get rid of the books I’m never going to read!! It’s true what they say; decluttering is good for you!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

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The BEST Open Day!

Oh my gosh I don’t know where to start. It was the most amazingly successful Open Day at a terrific venue. We had an increase in over 75% attendance. The event was simply buzzing with so many people. 99% of the publications I approached to print our Open Day notice obliged so word got around Brisbane-wide! Spencer Howson even mentioned it on his radio show on 612 ABC Brisbane.

Busy buying 02Busy buying 04Owen, who’s known as Wheelsmith on Ravelry brought along some of his antique spinning wheels (that’s a wheel that is 100 years or over in age!).

Antique Wheels 02-tileAntique Wheels 04-tileAntique Wheels 06-tileAntique Wheels 09-tileI was still not 100% well but as I am part of the Open Day Committee I had my duties to attend to. I couldn’t do too much talking as I’d nearly lost my voice but I did manage to re-acquaint myself with Owen and told him about my recent trip to New Zealand where I met Mary Knox who’s the ultimate guru when it comes to New Zealand spinning wheels. Owen’s face lit up as he knew exactly who I was talking about. So, Mary if your ears were burning on Tuesday morning that’s why 🙂

We had some amazing traders at the event. These are the gorgeous pottery sheep mugs made by Kimberly from Earth & Stone Creations. I know you’ve heard me talk about Kimberly’s work quite a bit but trust me, it is beautiful. If you’re after a present for a knitter, why not consider a pottery yarn bowl? You’d be loved forever!!

Kimberly pottery 08I am the proud owner of these three little beauties. Kimberly very kindly gave me one of the coloured ones.

Sheep Mugs 04-tileNow this photo is a little blurry but I’m trying to show you that under the coloured mugs Kimberly has engraved “Mels Mug” and under the white mug there is a number as only 20 were made; this is 1/20.

Sheep Mugs 05-tileKimberly’s pottery yarn bowls were selling like hotcakes. I believe she brought along two of these huge three-ball bowls and they both sold!

Kimberly Pottery 03Vivianne was there with her gorgeous soaps.

VivianneK Soaps 01One of our members was also selling her soaps so we’re all going to be smelling like roses!

Judy soap 02One of our members is in her mid 90s and made these two knitted blankets and entered them into the fashion parade. They are simply amazing! Well done Grace.

Grace blanket 01Grace blanket 02Our members had their own table where we sold our wares. I sold some mug hugs and spinning/yarn/sheep charm keyrings as well as my Cream Leftie. I won’t despair as I have enough yarn to make another one exactly the same!

Members table 03What made the day really interactive is that, as well as three of our members demonstrating spinning, one also had a little workshop teaching others the traditional craft of ragmatting. This table was never empty!

Ragmatting 04Ragmatting 05We were also lucky enough to have Carly Kotynski, a local weaver of natural fibres holding a small workshop too.

Basket weaving 01Basket weaving 02Basket weaving 04Honestly, there was so much happening that I was in a constant whirl! I was taking as many photos as I could, whilst shopping, trying to talk, having a quick coffee and something to eat. It really was the best day.

Desley had a table filled with her gorgeous had sewn goodies.

Desleys table 02We also had our Ashford distributor who is also a member of our club.

Lindys table 04Contemplating this Ashford Traditional before the crowds arrived!

Before the rush 01dThe eating area was packed…no spare seats to be seen.

Eating area 03This is just a snapshot of the traders that attended on the day but if I uploaded all my photos you’d be here all day reading this post 🙂 You can see more photos on the Redlands Spinners & Weavers website here.

Next week I’ll show you what I bought from those traders!

A couple more pics of those happy people shopping for a bargain!

Our gratitude goes to our local Council who provided the venue for our Open Day. It is so much larger than our previous venue and traders were able to really spread out and show their wares to full advantage. We received so much positive feedback from our visitors about the venue and the actual day. Congratulations Redlands Spinners & Weavers! What a mammoth team effort!

Before the rush 03Busy buying 05Until next time…

Melanie

# 13 in the Flock

It’s been a while since you’ve seen any additions to my flock of spinning wheels. Well that’s about to change. Here is # 13. This addition was a complete surprise to me. I received a phone call from someone who was giving away her wheel, spare bobbins, lazy kate, niddy noddy and a few bags of carded fleece and would I like them. Would I like them!!!! Of course I said yes.

The wheel is an Ashford Traditional. Now I know I already have two of these wheels but this is special; it’s a double drive and I particularly love double drives.

Ashford Traditional DD 01After a clean up with my special concoction the wheel was gleaming.

Ashford Traditional DD 06The ubiquitous name of Ashford.

Ashford Traditional DD 04The previous owner had also sewn a cover for the spinning wheel! Perfect for keeping the dust at bay a little bit.

Ashford Traditional DD 10There were also three bags of carded fleece. This bag was purchased at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day back before I even started spinning! I’ve used some of the other two bags as stuffing for a teddy bear I’ve just knitted so he’s a 100% wool bear!

White carded fleeceAnd of course there was the lazy kate that I blogged about previously.

Free Lazy Kate 03It had no rungs but I bought some cheap tent pegs and they’re perfect!

Free Lazy Kate 01I’ve been spinning on this wheel today using a bag of cheap carded fleece that I picked up recently for only $8. It’s a bit matted in places but is perfect for practice spinning. I’ll probably use it to make toys as it’ll be a bit scratchy against the skin. And those little matted bits haven’t been wasted either. I’ve put them on the fence in between the palings in the hope that some birds may be looking for some nesting material 🙂

DSC07652And now for something exciting to show you. On the 16 June at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day, these simply gorgeous sheep mugs will be for sale. They’re still drying off and need to be coloured and fired (I think that’s the right terminology 🙂 ) but here’s a sneak peek.

Sheep Mugs drying 01Kimberly from Earth & Stone Creations has been working day and night to get these little beauties ready. But you’re going to have to be quick because there will only be 20 available and each one will be numbered. It’s a time consuming process making each one so that’s why there will only be 20 ready for Open Day.

Sheep Mugs drying 02I think I’ve worn Kimberly out with my suggestions for ‘sheepy’ things to make for the Open Day but I know these mugs will sell like hotcakes as will her yarn bowls. I’ve just bought my second one!!!

Yarn Bowl Orange 02And if you have a tiled floor, don’t worry as each yarn bowl has little ‘feet’ so it won’t slide across the floor or leave any marks. Yarn Bowl Orange 05This a collection of some of Kimberly’s goodies that she took to the Queensland Spinners & Weavers Open Day last Sunday. What a fantastic selection. At the bottom of the picture is a large yarn bowl that can accommodate two balls of wool and when you’re not using it as a yarn bowl it can accommodate fruit!!!!

Yarn bowls KimberlyIf you’re interested in purchasing pottery items, I really can’t recommend Kimberly’s work enough. She’s open to a challenge and will try and accommodate any custom orders. If you ‘like’ her Facebook page you’ll see what she’s up to as she posts photos of her projects. I have absolutely no financial affiliation with Earth & Stone Creations but I am so impressed with Kimberly’s pottery that I just want to share it with everyone. Kimberly can also be contacted at kimberlydawnartistry@gmail.com and she does post her orders.

That’s my news for today. I really cannot wait until 16 June!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Pottery Yarn Bowls

Wellington is one of the cities that I’ll be spending a day in during my cruise around New Zealand in April. I am very fortunate as I’ll be met at the pier and taken to a local spinners guild to spend the day as well as some other sightseeing. One place that my hosts have mentioned is Pauaworld at Masterton. New Zealand has obviously replenished its supplies of paua sheel as I thought I’d bought it all in 2006 when I did a three week coach trip through both islands. 🙂 I absolutely adore the paua shell! How can you not love all those shades of blue and green.

Paua shell 1-tileThe two people who are so kindly driving me around Wellington are Mary and Fred. I first spoke to Mary (via the internet) a couple of years ago when I bought a Little Peggy spinning wheel. I was very much a novice and had no idea of wheels at all. Mary kindly answered all my questions and sent me some information leaflets which I have since loaded onto my site for all to see.

Mary is also the administrator of the New Zealand spinning wheels website which is a detailed history of New Zealand wheels and their makers. Mary also looked after the Australian spinning wheels website but this has now been handed over to an Aussie to manage.

Now I’ve been trying to work out what to take as a token of my appreciation so I thought why not ask Mary if there’s anything she’d like me to bring from Brisbane. I’m so glad I did as she mentioned she’d love one of the pottery yarn bowls made by Kimberly from Earth & Stone Creations. I emailed Kimberly and discovered she didn’t live too far from my place. Kimberly has an Etsy shop too. So yesterday I drove to Kimberly’s home and picked up a yarn bowl for Mary and one for me too!

Yarn bowls 01Aren’t they so beautiful!! Mine is the green one.

Yarn bowls 04And I’ll give Mary the orange one. They sit on little padded feet so they won’t scratch your tiled floors.

Yarn bowls 02Another little gift I will give Mary is one of the Country Drawstring Bags that I’ve just made. I picked up this acrylic for only $2 a ball from Lincraft and it’s so perfect for this project. You don’t really want an expensive wool for a bag but rather an acrylic that can handle the rough wear and tear and washing.

Drawstring bag Autumn 01I love these little bags. In fact, I’m making another Autumn one for me too.

Drawstring bag Autumn 05I think this will be the perfect little holder for Mary’s yarn bowl don’t you?

Drawstring bag Autumn 03

Another bit of good news from this story is that while I was at Kimberly’s home I instantly thought how well her pottery and earrings would sell at our Open Day in June so I contacted our Convenor who has now contacted Kimberly. So it’s a win-win for everyone; Mary and I get our yarn bowls; Kimberly finds a new outlet to sell her wares; and the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day Convenor finds another wonderful quality trader!!

It’s time for me to now have a cuppa, read the paper and do some knitting. I’ve been up since 6am washing the car before the sun came out. As it’s a new car I want to try and wash it regularly. I wonder how long the early morning rises on a weekend will last!!

Until next time…

Melanie