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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Hats Simple Sites....New Business!

Two hats...what's she talking about? Well, I started building my own web site many years ago as I always wanted to keep it up to date.....then got onto building for others.

I found working with technical stuff challenging and fascinating and fell in love! My husband even updated my laptop for me this year as I do so much work on it and my old one just couldn't keep up.

Trying to think of a name for my second business I hadn't come up with anything but I knew I'd have to put a link from this site to my Carolyn M. Barnett Designs site as I seem to wear two hats.....two hats! That's it! That's how the name came about.

I love working with the technology, images, people, balance, creativity and it's a great alternative for me from travelling for shows and always being in the studio....I can work elsewhere and one on one (seated) over coffee with my clients.

I do end up doing a bit of instruction too, with how to take decent photos of work for the site, working with your Mac computer, Mail Chimp for your business and so on.

So, check out my site and see if there is anything there you or someone you know might need.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Buggies? Old Lady No More!

Yesterday I went, with a friend, to visit the One of A Kind show in Toronto. As I always schlep stuff around and pick stuff up and also shop I took my lovely handy dandy Ikea bundle buggy. We had a cooler with sandwiches, apples (no show food for us) and water...a bottle at the show went for $4:25!!!!

Also, it meant we had a place to store our coats and gloves and all the brochures and cards we picked up.

When we arrived, walking past the office supply place we spied these lovely little wheelie bundle buggies. The pic shows mine (with it's funky Swedish design) and the box buggies. They have a slide up handle and also contain a cooler bag for food.

These innovative buggies rented for $10 or purchased for $30. You paid $30 up front and got $20 back if you took it might just want to take it home....very sturdy and useful.

By the way, do click on the OOAK web site and watch the video celebrating the 40 years. I was there from 1982 to this past Spring and one of the folk I was fond of was Marty Rumack (as we know him) he'd show up in a slightly rumpled suit and hang out at your booth catching up with was a great loss when he left years ago, so glad to see he's involved in the video.

Martin Rumack

The show has changed, lots of 'production' work, of course the younger generation are using modern technology...probably to produce. I see that the show seems to have lost it specialty, personal edge...which is one of the reasons I left. It's still a great place to find wonderful hand made Canadian products and art though.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fashion Shots

I just got my five shots back from Steve Di Monte of CYL Photography. Steve was once again at the Wearable Art Show taking pics of the fashion show and of our work. He was offering five shots for $40 right at the show and had three models with him. I took this offer last year and really liked the shots.

This is a shot of my LBD (little black dress) which I knit with the Garter Carriage in Cannele Mercerized cotton. I sat in front of my machine working the shaping as it came up. The set in sleeves are elbow length I worked some beading at the top front and back. It has a boat neck and I found that the texture of the knit hides a multitude of sins (bra lines and so on).

It looks great on me especially when I tried it on before I had knit the sleeves!

This little number took me neartly a week to make.

This shot is of two of my recent jackets....I love the hot pink one as it ruffles a bit at the hem and has silk along the edge of the hem front and back and on the left pocket edge. It has four buttons.

The purple one has a felted spike closure and a ruffly v neck.

Both of them have holes cut into their hems...for fun!

As an old wearables maker I have had photos taken before so the only think I didn't like is the eye contact made by the models with the detracts from the garment and makes it look like its supposed to be a photo of the people. However, Steve did have a great location to work in...lots of room, depth of field and no rain....last year it was raining and he only had the front steps of the building.

I am glad that I have shots of my work on others that I can can't do that with everyone without permission. I have a shot of my niece taken years ago on my web site (archives page)...where I've tried not to use her face too much.

Anyway, I can't do everything and I was grateful for this opportunity and will take Steve up on it next time it comes up!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holly & Ivy & Logos.

This weekend is my last show of this Holiday season...the Holly & Ivy tiArts Show in Rockport Ontario.

I'm the member contact for the location - Rockport Rec Hall - so I'll be there for set up day all day making sure no one overlaps other artist spaces or takes up too much room, has the spot they want and to referee fights (just kidding!!!).  I'm in with a great group, some returning and some for the first time...check out the artist list online.

Though I have been knitting and sewing this Fall my big thing is learning to use a vector drawing program for illustrations. I'm not paying the big bucks and spending the time to learn Adobe Illustrator, my Inkscape for some reason wouldn't open on my new laptop so I clicked around and found iDraw for Macs. I've spent a number of days learning to used it and it's been fun, I also think that learning something completely new will help keep my brain healthy (my Mum died with Alzheimer's).

Old Swirl.
I am starting a new business (well one I've done for a while) building web I needed a logo! I also need to revamp my old logo on my old cards. It's locked in a JPEG so isn't so adaptable to different formats and I've been working on a new one. It's just so fun!

The old one was done at least 10 years ago!!!

One thing about running your own business is that you are the chief cook and bottle washer. I had someone else design my first brochure (an illustrator exchange for a dinner or two!) and I still have them. An old buddy back in the '80's drew 'knitting' for me and that was on my first business card...yes he used pen and ink! This is one of my first ones...the very first one had my name in a handwriting font....written by the artist friend.

First Card - 1984

Well, back to the 'drawing board', perhaps I can get a bit of work done while the others set up after I have my own booth set up....and maybe I can shoot down to Cornwall's Pub for some fries!

Hope to see you along the Thousand Islands Parkway this weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pretty Things

After a weekend away doing the Craft Ontario Craft show in Toronto, it's good to be back in the studio....though even that seemed to be full of people for a while (but nice).

The Machine Knitting Club of Kingston met in my studio for the first time on Tuesday (we meet the second Tuesday of every month in different members houses) and I think we had our largest gathering for a was great. Three of our members had been down to the Finger Lakes Machine Knitting seminar in September and had lots to tell us. I had been in Toronto doing a show and before that had wrestled with the custom order and the yarn mailing problem, one person came from Brockville (over an hour away) and another showed up who we hadn't seen in ages so that was a blast.
Anyway, my friend Karen lent me a collar which was made by her designer sister in rose collar which can be worn....well, however. I tossed it over one shoulder and wore it with a short black top (used to be an ankle length dress) over black jeans and some dark red pointy mules. Sheesh, I could have sold that thing over and over I got so many compliments!


Before I left a box of black Yeoman Cannele Mercerized cotton arrived which I had ordered to make an LBD (little black dress). Well, the back is nearly done, I'm working it on my Brother 930 with my Garter Carriage...what fun. I'm working the #7 pattern (roses) and here is a sample I worked in brown cotton. I've sewed some beads on it, which I want to do on the finished cocktail dress). It takes a lot of back and forth to the machine as I'm shaping the pieces as I go...not cut and sew, fully fashioned. It's also noisy in the studio with my TV on loud so I can hear General Hospital (etc) over the GC!

Another nice surprise was when I delivered a cardi to a client. It was Thanksgiving and though she said not to bother I was so glad I did. It took me into the countryside on a beautiful Fall day. We chatted about fibre, carpets, knitting and got to spinning....I admired some of her work...and she gave it to me!!!! Here is the skein of wool and I want to work it in to a felted jacket....hopefully this week, in time for the Wearable Art Show in Toronto on October 25 & 26th.....we'll see!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ups & Downs!!!

Whew, what a fun September! Where did Summer go?  I took up SUP (stand up paddleboarding) and discovered a wonderful new that I can share with my husband. I took my board to Dorthy's Lodge a couple of weekends ago for the VayClayTion, a retreat with a pile of wonderful polymer clayers.

This event was hosted by Geogia Ferrell of Artemesia in Wesport Ontario and our fearless instructor was Gera Scott Chandler from BC. I learned some techniques I will be using in my buttons....and I got to do some SUPing.
My efforts.

This is all up but ... as the saying goes 'What goes up...' where is my big bottle of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpy) somehow got lost in the throws of two weekend workshops. I headed out to our local Michaels  and they don't have any! If anyone notices they have an extra bottle, do let me know.

Then there is the custom order you take in good faith, quoting a price to the client then over the next while bits and changes are added that require a trip to Toronto for findings unavailable at home that have to be hand picked...not ordered online. (I made it a whole day and took my Summer student).

Of course there is the extra cone of yarn ordered because this was for a large person and I didn't want to run out of that colour....which, by the way, was a colour I would never use! I checked to see if I could return the excess cone if it was not broken problem. And I didn't have to break into the second cone.

As I was headed down to a workshop in the US I thought I'd mail it there, quicker and cheaper I thought. Taking the packaged and labelled cone of yarn plus a DVD which needed returning to the US company I headed to an Office Depot which had USPS signs all over the place and a large shipping department.......

Long story short - after 45minutes I walked out with both my packages and directions to a post office in the next town up the road back home!!!!!!  The gentleman behind the counter tapped away on the computer but kept telling me the DVD could only go by UPS...wha!!??  I stood in front of the USPS Flat Rate Display, under the USPS sign and another Flat Rate display of packaging with a Flat Rate padded envelope in my hand and was told my package couldn't go USPS!!!!!!!!

The next town - Leesburg visit it it's beautiful - had a lovely USPost Office where a lovely lady directed me to use a cardboard mailer. I told her I seemed to be doing alright with the padded envelope I had found but she insisted I might as well use this mailer. Well...after addressing the thing and tucking the disk inside the next helpful lady said that it was going to cost $19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I told her it definitely wasn't going to cost any more than the $5:75 I had been trying to pay with the 'Flat Rate' mailer at the Office they sent it for $4:75...which I got reimbursed from the company.!!!!!!

On the ups, I got to do a bit of creative painting (something I never do!). There's a wonderful retaining wall down by the lake where the park it surrounds is beautiful but in jeopardy so there was a wonderful Summer event of art to celebrate the area. Yes that's me...woman painter...for five minutes. It's such a lovely part of town I hope these folks efforts pay off.

Oh, the saga of the yarn doesn't end there. Wondering where my replacement cone was I called the supplier and found it had been sent off...I looked at my credit card and found a chunk of change debited by them for .... shipping! Apparently one cone of yarn cost $60CAD to get from a place in the US I could drive to in a short day. With the original delivery, the return and the replacement I figure that lovely cone of Merino has cost me about $130!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Machine Knitting Handspun Yarn

Last weekend was the Sheepdog Trials event in Kingston at Grass Creek Park. It's an annual event in which I have taken part for years. I have a lovely time and my work travels back to far flung places such as the US and Australia! 
The skein I was handed.
One of my favourite parts is the Sheep to Shawl event where Handspinner/Weaver guilds race to the finish working on a woven shawl which starts with a fleece straight from the sheep. I stood watching for a while, chatting to the spinners saying that my Mum once spun be a tiny bit of yarn to work on the knitting machine and I wondered if a knitting machine would qualify for the 'shawl' part of the sheep to shawl....rules inspected - No. Anyway they would have to spin way more to compensate for the warp that it already on the handweaving looms at a Sheep to Shawl.

At the end of the day one of the spinners handed me a skein of yarn they had spun after the event especially for me to give it  a try. I brought it home and washed it in Eucalan, not a big wash so it still smelled a bit of 'sheep' but lots of 'guck' came out. Here it is hanging on my washing line.

 Here is is dried and ready to wind and knit.
Small ball.

 Here it is on the knitting machine, I had to be careful as the fluff in the yarn kept getting caught on the brushes so I had to pull it tight as the carriage came close to the work.

I used my Brother 930 with a lace pattern on Tension 5.

Here is my finished swatch using the whole skein and then steam pressing it. I may wash it again to see if I can soften it up and get the rest of the 'sheep' smell out (which I actually like!)