Monday, December 26, 2011

Penguin Directions on Craftsy

I joined to post directions for the Penguin Tags. Basically, if you can use a Cricut and a Texture Boutique Embosser, this is easy peasy. Here's the website for the directions at They have loads of crafts projects as well as online classes you can take. I'm still debating between a sock knitting class with Donna Druchunas and knitting itty bitty toys with Susan B Anthony, or maybe a paper crafts class with Alton DuLaney. Too much to decide now, but there is an offered discount now until January 1. Check it out!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Decorations

I had plans to decorate for Hanukkah this year, but school and bronchitis seemed to drain me during the last couple of weeks. I have been busy since school has let out and can at least say I've put my Cricut to use. I saw a tea light menorah on the internet (sorry, it may have been Martha Stewart, but I can't remember right now) and tried to reproduce this on our mantle. Tonight is the third night, so only three are lit. Each consists of a round glass holder with a glass tea light holder inside surrounded by blue and clear glass pieces. It took me a few minutes to figure out that it's easier to drop in the larger pieces, then the tea light holder, then slide a few smaller pieces down the sides, hold it upside down and shake slightly to settle all the inner glass. The tea light itself needs to have its wick straight up in order to be able to light easily. I take out the empty ones each morning and replace with new lights. This was not an inexpensive decoration, but the pieces will last for years; I just need to buy more tea lights.
I did get a chance to take a picture of my mother's Christmas wreath on her front door, created by my sister, Rheta. She did a very professional job, but I couldn't explain how she did it. Maybe she could guest on this blog to explain.
I found these Christmas bags to wrap several of the presents going to my family this weekend, but I never like the little tags that come on these bags. These were small and bent and needed some extra pop. I used Cricut cartridge, Create a Critter, to cut out penguins. My Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine and snowflake embossing plates added some extra texture to the penguins and their scarves.

 I was on a roll and decided to spruce up a baby present for one of our new neighbors. I think I like making tags with the Cricut better than adding bows on a present. Maybe a little ribbon wouldn't hurt, not sure. Hopefully, now that all the shopping is done and everything's wrapped, I can get back into spending more time being creative. 'Tis the season, after all...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Savings Continue

We have time for one more coupon code before the holidays. The new code: dreidel should be entered when you check out from our shop on or on our website, The Irresistible Ewe to get 20% off your total order.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ashland Bay Fibers Are Here!

I'm proud to announce that I am now a vendor for Ashland Bay Trading Company. They produce absolutely fabulous fiber for spinning as well as yarns. My first shipment came yesterday and I couldn't be more excited. I have started listing some of the Merino/Tussah Silk blends and Colonial Top rovings on our etsy store, The Irresistible Ewe and will also be placing some on the original Irresistible Ewe website. I can't wait to try out the Merino/Angora or the Merino/Bamboo/Silk. They are scrumptious to hold and the multicolored rovings are bright, but subtle. They should make gorgeous yarns. We'll have them for sale, also, at the Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh, NC this year (May 18-20, 2012) at the State Fairgrounds. I'll list more information later as I get it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back at The EWE and etsy

We've moved our yarns, etc. from Art Fire to etsy and a few on the original website, I had complained a good while back that Art Fire was somehow not transferring the shipping costs from the sales to paypal. This necessitated my having to bother the customer about making an extra payment to paypal for shipping costs or my raising thew price of each item to include shipping. This made our yarn seem unusually expensive. My sister opened an etsy account - Rheta Russell Photography, and has been happy with her sales of photo props. I decided to try a few yarns and have been very happy - NO PROBLEMS WITH PAYPAL! Imagine that. I have mainly discontinued yarns on and the newer ones on etsy. Check out our newest beauties: Bamboo Bloom Handpaints and Mohair Mountain. The textures and colors are incredible. I can't wait to go on vacation and have time to start knitting with them.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


We're offering our Classic Worsted line of yarn as BOGO this month at Art Fire to get the Black Friday sales off to a great start early. Check out our Classic Worsted, Classic Worsted Long Print and Classic Worsted Tapestry yarns now before they're gone!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Waterfalls at Pisgah National Forest

We had to make a stop to do a little sightseeing on the way home from SAFF this year. Please enjoy the pictures. These were taken at the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free digital slideshow made with Smilebox

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Yarns In and a Move to Etsy

We're moving again, this time to due to continued difficulties with shipping costs through Art Fire. I'm very grateful for my Art Fire customers, and I hope you will follow us to etsy where we're introducing new yarns, like Mohair Mountain! This is a beautiful LARGE skein of 200grams/660 yards of an acrylic/wool/polyester/mohair blend. The colors are beautiful and there are two free patterns now being offered on the Universal Yarn site.
We also have new colors in the Bamboo Bloom line, including Mahogany, Lights Out and Rice. Also new, are the Bamboo Blend Handpaints in Reflecting Pool and Red Maple. They were a big hit at SAFF this year. We're expecting more colors in soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Spider

This is a large writing spider who has taken up residence next to our screened porch. Its beauty is awesome and a little scary when seen really up close. Still, you have to admire the coloring.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Project on Wolf

I have my first project on my new loom warped. I did have to make a few adjustments, but this time the warping went smoother than during my lessons. I'm having to adjust the lighting to see correctly through the harnesses. A stool of the correct height is essential for this. I'm also learning to loosen the metal braces on the harnesses before starting to warp as the pattern played havoc with my carefully proportioned eyelets once I'd started. I'm still waiting on my boat shuttles, one from ebay and another from WEBS. But, since the scarf I chose to start with is narrow, my impatience won out and I pulled a flat shuttle from my rigid heddle tool drawer and started with it. It's not as smooth weaving as the boat shuttles will be, but is sufficing, and I'm delighted with the results. My selvedges, although not perfect, are getting much better. I'm only using four of the eight shafts, but until my feet get a little wetter, these simpler patterns will be a good learning experience. I'm using the pattern for the huck lace scarf on page 62 of the May/June 2011 issue of Handwoven Magazine, a purple 3/2 thread for warp and Fibranatura Cobblestone 100% superwash merino wool yarn (#304 Bourbon Street) to weave.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weaving Bug

I decided to take weaving lessons this summer as a research project for a novel I'm working on. Sad to say, the novel still needs a lot more work, but the lessons have turned me in a new crafting direction. I've been weaving on two rigid heddle looms for a couple of years now, but I wanted to know more about using floor looms. I was able to take lessons from Marilyn Vandersea at Weaver's Web Gallery yarn shop in New Bern, NC, a little over an hour from home. I have been enchanted with floor looms since one of my roommates in college had her big jack floor loom in our living room. She wove cloth that she made into clothing. I've been about two times a week for the last month and have completed one twill sample runner and a small runner of huck lace. I still have a way to go on weaving good selvedges, but I am getting a little better.

In looking around at used looms, I lucked out and found out that a very nice lady in the New Bern weaving guild was upgrading to a new loom and was selling her Mighty Wolf. I sent her my phone number with her friend Thursday night and today drove my new loom home amid torrents of rain. We had to take the wheels off to fit it into the van, but it did make the trip to Goldsboro and into the house when the rain cleared. When Henry has help, we'll move it upstairs to my studio and its new spot. I have everything but a shuttle, so maybe by the time it arrives in the mail, the loom will be upstairs and warped. I'm starting back to teaching next week, so this will be a treat to come home to in the afternoons.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cricut Giveaways at My Craft Channel

My Craft Channel, which will air online this fall, is giving away 20 Cricut Expression machines in 20 days. They have three left, so visit their Facebook page and Like them, and leave a comment on their blog page. Share with five of your friends and let them know to enter to win a machine. Good luck!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Card Making Class at Archiver's

I've been meaning to take a class at Archiver's in Raleigh, NC and finally made it yesterday. Unfortunately, the other three people who signed up cancelled and I ended up working on my own. Archiver's provided the kit and the very nice instructor checked in on me occasionally, but there was no official class. I think I managed quite well with the instructions, which were very clear. The examples were set out for me to follow and were very cute. I managed to finish all four on my own before I left. Three out of the four pictures I took didn't come out well, so I'll have to try with them again later. The materials were good quality and I came away with four complete cards and the instruction sheet, so I am overall very happy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Big Sales at the EWE

After a lot of careful thought, I've decided to close my main website for The Irresistible Ewe yarn store. It has begun to take quite a deal of my time that I would rather be devoting to writing and crafting a few things myself. It is also not possible for me to expand the business at this time due to having about four more years of teaching in the public schools. I miss having my spare time to devote to doing crafts. Yes, I do squeeze them in, but the bulk of my time is putting on sales, tweeting the sales, face booking the sales, changing prices, sending out newsletters, etc. etc. I've sent a letter out to my clients and will post this to my website tomorrow. To celebrate this move, I'm offering 25% off most yarns from today through July 31. Use the code: xmasinjuly.
Almost all of my yarns have been moved to my studio site at Art Fire. Yes, you may remember, I did get quite miffed with them last year, but later realized that I had been getting some sales and was cutting off the wool to spite the sheep, so to speak. I have swallowed my pride and have been happy to be back. The site is quite easy to manage and will be much less expensive in the long run than running a separate store.
I'm hoping to eventually replace all the acrylic yarns with natural fibers and to start including more rovings and handspun yarns as well as other one-of-a-kind items such as felted hats and woven scarves.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Make your OWN YourStory covers

This is also a great video for making your own covers for the Your Story machine. In this one, RememberWhenDesigns points out that you need to leave between 1/4" and 1/2" space on either edge of the binding free of hot glue so that the glue doesn't run into your machine during binding. Good point! I'm still a little unclear of the scoring directions, but intend to look closely at the binders that came with my machine to see how they did theirs. Happy Crafting!

Episode 41 - Making my own Cover for my YourStory Machine

I just watched this video on You Tube. I got a Your Story bundle free with the purchase of a cartridge about a month ago, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I feel much better now knowing that I can use hot glue to bind my own booklets. This opens up much more opportunity to work with students next year. They could make their own journals and photo books.
Thanks so much to HobbyMommyCreations for making this video.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Craft TV Coming!

There is a new online craft channel starting this fall, premiering July 11. My Craft Channel will feature tons of craft videos from photography to scrapbooking to painting. Here is their promo: "My Craft Channel is the first of it’s kind online TV Craft Network. It goes beyond the simple web “how-to” home video and delivers broadcast quality programming. With over 20 different new shows there is something for everyone. Top experts, bloggers and craft celebrities in various niches from sewing, painting, scrapbooking, DIY projects, photography, mixed media and more have joined together to bring entertaining education to the web with TV formatted shows. Not only do the shows provide amazing inspiration, each day there is an opportunity for the “daily deal”, which gives our viewers an opportunity to try out fresh new craft items at discounted prices. Our goal is to be fun, educational, entertaining, and interactive with our viewers."
You can keep up with them on Facebook on their My Craft Channel page and on their blog:
I can't wait. I've had withdrawals ever since Carol Duvall retired.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Henry and I don't have kids, but we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day for our parents and in honor of our four-legged "kids." This year, we've been fortunate to have been adopted once again. Our pond is now home to a beautiful yellow-bellied slider. For Father's Day, my sister Rheta and I made a banner for our Dad which will be put up at our parents' house tomorrow. I also made one for Henry for our house. I used colored cardstock from Michael's for the pennants and a sheet of glitter brown for the letters, Cricut cartridge Animal Kingdom for the cats and turtle, and Country Life for the Pennant. A wooden bead strung on hemp cording between the pennants gave just a little touch of unity to the whole thing. Rosettes were made from scrapbook paper from Target. To make these, cut two strips 2" x 12" and crease using the Martha Stewart folding board, every half inch. Accordian fold, then glue ends together, overlapping so they are in sync. Start pressing in the inner edges until all fold in to the middle. It helps to have two circles of contrasting paper already cut out with Tacky Glue on them. Place one on each side in the center to hold the rosette together. You might want to hold it a minute until it's secured.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Please Take Our Survey

I'm looking back on the year and a half that The Irresistible Ewe has been in operation. I've enjoyed running this online-only business even more than I thought and have learned quite a bit in just a short time. Although I'm still entertaining the idea of opening a shop where I could have craft classes going on full time, at this point, we're keeping the business strictly online with the occasional fiber festival. I'm attempting to add different products and would like to get some feedback from my readers. I've been in contact with a company that sells roving wholesale and am considering adding this to the shop. I do buy fleeces from NC farmers and process them myself with my Clemes & Clemes drum carder, but this is limited and since I am still teaching full-time 10 months out of the year, I need products that I can buy for immediate resale. I've noticed a definite interest in purchasing fiber ready to spin, plus, I'd like to be able to offer consistent color choices. So, if you wouldn't mind, please take the survey to the right of this article and let me know what interests you. Feel free to email me as well at if you would like to share more about what you look for in a yarn shop. I know everyone these days is pushed for time, so just know in advance how much I appreciate your time.

New Patterns Available at The Irresistible Ewe

We got in new patterns at the Ewe. We're now carrying a limited number of patterns by Tiny Owl Knits, Ysolda Teague, and Roo Designs. Tiny Owl Knits are whimsical and feature very natural yarns. We have the Forest & Frill wrap, Fairy Castles (dpn and crochet hook storage that look like fairy castles), and Baby Lamb Cuffs (sweet fingerless gloves featuring two sweet lambs). Roo Designs include two baby/kid sweaters that are ultra precious, one with a turtle and one with a sheep done with intarsia knitting. Ysolda Teague patterns include three cuddly critters, two polar bears, elephant and the cutest hedgehogs we've seen. Visit us at the Ewe and select a fun pattern to try!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dyeing for the Carolina Fiber Fest

The Carolina Fiber Festival will be held this year, May 20-22 at the Raleigh State Fair Grounds. This will be my first year vending with The Irresistible Ewe. I've been taking advantage of the sunshine while it lasts this week to dye my bags of carded roving. I've dyed only solid colors this time to speed things up, although solid for me always comes out with slight variations anyway. I like that. Nature doesn't usually come in solid colors, but has subtle variation if you look closely. If you're familiar with the birds, Grackles, you know what I mean. These are local birds with iridescent black feathers and yellow eyes. Their feathers, when seen in the sun, show purples, blues and even burgundies. I hope my rovings will show a little of that surprise of color here and there and will be that much more interesting when spun or felted. I used Kool-Aid to dye my first batch, wool from I think a Gulf Coast/Florida Native breed sheep. This will be sold for felting. It's not great to spin, but felts well. I like the Kool-Aid for this since the dyes take so well. You can see in the picture above that the color has gone completely into the roving. The whitish areas are water and the color is only roving.

I have had some difficulty with one batch of dye with the second bag - it would be the prettiest color, sapphire blue. These were done with Jacquard acid dyes. I should have followed my instincts when pouring the dye bath over the roving. A clump of color slipped out of the jar and I just went right right along thinking I could break it up in the pan. Wrong! It still had clumps of the dye when I started rinsing it and then I ended up over rinsing it. I believe it's now a little felted. I guess this has become part of my personal stash to be felted into a purse or hat. Oh, well, I'll be more on the lookout for this with my blue dyes next time.
Overall, this was not too hard a batch. This bag of roving is a Border Leicester/Columbia cross and came out rather fine when processed. If the weather holds, Friday I'll get my last bag done.