Friday, November 10, 2006

Interesting Revelation..

An odd thing occured to me last night. I seem to be able to work at night now and not during the day. Around 10:00 p.m. or so, I feel compelled to go out to my work space an paint. So I guess late night painting is now my way of getting things done! Luckily, I purchased a full spectrum task lamp a number of weeks ago and it's perfect for the work, even late into the night.

Anyway, spindles and needles are in process and should be starting to ship next week again.

I have no photos for you yet since I am still getting used to the switch from PC to Mac and have no idea how to use the software yet. I have to get my daughter to teach me how to get photos uploaded from my camera this weekend. I'm Sure I will end up really loving the Mac, but I have been a PC user for close to 30 years now....yes way back since the early 80's, and it's a hard transisiton.

Best to All!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Hi All,

I know, I am way behind and haven't posted since September. Once I start getting e-mails and folks are worried about me, then I figure I have to get out here and say something.

Some say that April is the cruelset month, but for me it seems to be September. Two years running now I have suffered some sort of incapacitaing illness or accident in the fall. Last year it was a double shot with the fibromyalgia and the broken pelvis. This year it's been a bad case of depression, which I now seem to be over. I am still putting my life back together and trying to get myself back into the swing of a regular work schedule again.

The fall brought with it many things besides the extreme depression. There was the feeling of being caught between two extremes of my teen daughter and my aged mother who lives 3 states away. At the same time, dealing with my own perimenopausal symptoms has been a tremendous headache....sometimes literally.

We have been through a real estate transaction that was a bit nerve wracking until the closing on the 19th of October, a kid who we found was behind by anywhere from 3-6 weeks in her classes and is working on catching up, a sick horse who is recovering, a sick child who is also recovering, the preparation for and going to a weekend horse show when it was freezing cold and had rained the entire day before, making major lifestyle changes to support my husband's attempt to lose weight which include joining Weight Watchers and attending meetings. All of these things coupled with added time spent shopping and preparing meals along with co-exercise to help encourage him have taken up a lot of my time; but the time has been necessary since he has about 90 lbs. to lose and we're not getting any younger!

We have traveled down to my mom's numerous weekends and had to deal with her attorney, financial advisor and help her through a reverse mortgage. And the list goes on...I won't bore you anymore with it!

Anyway, I am way behind on my orders due to life impinging on my time. I am trying to get back on track, but as you can all imagine, this is easier said than done. It seems I have a mountain in front of me and I feel terribly guilty about being so late in getting orders out.

I just wanted you all to know that I haven't just been blowing the work off or that any of you are getting dropped behind other orders. You are all suffering the same fate I am afraid due to the chaos that entered my life around the end of August and which is getting better, but tends to go on and on. I am sure many of you can relate!

I am dedicated to getting your orders done and out the door. I am not quitting or giving up. I just needed to let all of you know why you haven't heard form me and why I am behind. Thank you all for your patience and your support.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Quick Note from the Trenches....

Sorry to all of you regular readers. I know that I have been remiss in posting lately. Seems that this month, and the end of last, have been the "critter problem" months.

I have a kitty who has decided that a number of places in the house, including my work room and my tennis shoes are her litter box. I have just been able to get into this room today for the first time in close to a week for more than a few minutes due to the overwhelming smell. We have cut up the carpet and used everything we can think of under the sun, yet the smell is still too strong to be in here if the wondows are closed. If any of you have a good fix, please let me know. It has kept me from working due to the fact that it actually burns my eyes in addition to being really unpleasant in general.

Then one of our horses developed a serious case of rain scald due to all of the dampness we have had recently. He's the hard keeper anyway, so I had to spend a couple of days dealing with that. It's a relatively minor skin infection...usually, that resolves on its own. Unfortunately, Cherokee's case is worse that most and he is now on antibiotics for the next 7 days and needs iodine baths that take sedation so as not to get kicked or bitten while bathing him. The scabs come off and are painful since you have to scrub them down with iodien shampoo.

He's being kept under cover for the next few days, or until the wet weather clears up, and should be fine in a week or so. He is also being given a mild painkiller to help him with any pain he might have from the infection.

These things, along with the basics of life like getting groceries, cooking, cleaning, doing volunteer work, taking care of my family including my mom who is two states away and not feeling well has left me rather drained lately so please forgive me for not being better at getting posts up and not keeping in as close of touch as I'd like. Being in the middle between an 84 year old mother and a 13 year old daughter is enough on its own to wear me out somedays! I am sure many of you can relate.

I am hanging in there though and will be getting orders out the door as soon as my work space is usable again. It's always something! LOL!

Peace & Joy,

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tribute to "Miss George"

Miss George

I get a lot of requests to paint pets on spindles, but this oen was particularly touching since Miss George passed away about a year ago. She was the very much beloved cat of Sharon and I felt that it was really necessary to get all of her markings and her personality portrayed very accurately on the spindle for Sharon. The result is above with the reference photo. A fitting tribute to a very loved family member and friend. Now she will be with Sharon all of the time as she spins.

Peace & Joy,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Two New Pieces of Eye Candy...

Two new, fun spindle whorls for you to take a look at today! The one on top is for Faerie Lady Fibers and the other is "Ashley's Dragon".

Only news other than that is that my youngest daughter will be turning 13 this weekend. Please, wish me luck! She's having a birthday party with roller skating and a sleep over. LOL! It should be a lot of fun, but many of you know all about teen girls! Hopefully, it will be nice enough out for them to sleep in the tent like they did last year.

Here is an updated list so you can see if you are in the top five!

Mary - Fiber Critters
Sharon - Miss George the Cat
Anne - Roxy the Cat
Sally - Raven at Midnight
Laurie - Woman with Dragon

If you are in this list, you can expect to get a picture of your spindle whorl(s) soon.

Peace & Joy To All!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Thank You for All of Your Input!

I want to thank each and every one of you who wrote to me or posted a comment. The overwhelming majority of you thought that $10.00 per hour was very reasonable, if not cheap, for the artwork I do on the spindles. I even had a few of you write that I have been underpricing my spindles and there were a few who thought that they were about right as they are priced now. I have had no comments saying that they were overpriced at thier current prices.

From now on, I will quote spindles in this manner: Artwork is $10.00 per hour, with a $25.00 minimum charge for retail spindles, and I will give you an estimate of time for your design. The estimate will be an "upper end" estimate and if it takes less time, you will get the spindle for less. That way I will not under price myself nor will any of you have to worry about a bill for a spindle that is a lot higher than you expected.

One thing that I do want to say is that if you ever do not like a spindle I paint for you or feel the price is too high you are NOT obligated in any way to purchase that spindle. That is why I never take payment upfront for a spindle or knitting needles.

In the near future I will put together a page that has various spindles I have done and what the current price estimate would be for each spindle. Hopefully, this will help you get some idea of where your design might fall in the pricing.

The other option that you always have is to ask if the design can be altered to make the price lower. By taking out some of the details or say doing just a unicorn head rather than the whole unicorn the price can be reduced.

The main thing is that if you find that a spindle quote is not in your price range, talk with me and try to work out an option for how we can make something similar that IS in your price range. You may have to settle for less detail and it may not be nearly the work of art it might have been, but I guarantee that it will be beautiful and that you will love it and spin with it for a long time to come. There are always ways to make things work!

For those of you who have spindle orders in with me, I am playing "catch up" this week and next. Right now my list, up to order #5, is as follows:

1) Ashley - Dragon
2) Kae - Fairy Lady
3) Mary - Assortment of Fiber Animals
4) Sharon - George the Cat
5) Anne C. - Roxy the Cat

I will try to keep an updated list on my site so you can see if your spindle is near the top of my queue. Also not, some of you that order simpler spindles may get yours sooner because I do these in between some of the more complex spindles. They are easier on my eyes and don't take as much time an concentration so they are like taking a break while still working.

I knwo the summer has a thrown a wrench in to my queue and that I am further behind than I liek to be. I hope to rememdy that very quickly and not let it happen again. I will be happy to see fall come as I will a lot more time to work and things will get done much faster. Thank you all for your patience through this crazy summer!

Peace & Joy,


Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Latest and Greatest....

Okay, ya gotta love it! I certainly do and I tend to be hypercritical of my own work. Only thing is that I have GOT to figure out a better way of quoting prices for spindles.

I would love to have some feedback here actually. Personally, I feel that pricing artowork out at $10.00 per hour is really reasonable. That's what I typically shoot for when I do custom orders. Of course, there is some variation, but overall, I do try to be reasonable on both ends; yours and mine.

Guess how many hours it took me to complete the spindle you see above? No idea? Six hours over two days since I couldn't sit for more than 3 hours straight painting without my neck hurting and eyes crossing! LOL!!

So with our "reasonable" $10.00 per hour, this spindle should price out at $60.00 right? Nope. I quoted it at $30.00! So I am making $5.00 per hour, the same amount my 13 year-old daughter makes when she gives a riding lesson! ACK!!! I know some teenage babysitters who make more than that!

It's certainly not the fault of the person who ordered the spindle and I don't expect them to make up for my mistake.

I would love feedback from any and all of you as to how I should go about pricing spindles. Should I just quote the $10.00 per hour and then you take your chances as to how many hours it really takes me to paint the spindle or should I keep trying to give estimates? I hate to overprice my spindles and make them unreachable for everyone who wants one.

I have always tried to make sure they are affordable. It's one reason that I have not gone to any custom turned spindles since that would really inflate the prices and make them super expensive. Plus, the ones I am making right now spin great! I use two of the "Ravens" all the time these days and I really love how they spin.

I have been having this debate with myself ever since starting this venture. Any input would really help.

Thank you all!

Peace & Joy,


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Back From Vacation

Hi All,

Just back from a wee's stay on a wonderful island off of the tip of Wisconsin's Door County peninsula. Washington Island was lovely, quiet and restful. The first day was exceedingly hot and we didn't do much. The second day was also hot, but we got out and around the island to see some of the sites. We finally had rain that night and through the next day. That was the day for sleeping and realxing.

The island has 650 year-round residents. A lot of folks also have summer homes there and of course there are the people like us who rent cabins or camp like we did. There is really no town on the island per se. There is simply a main street where most all of the buisnesses are located. There is one grocery store and next to it, a sort of general and hardware store. There's a wonderful little bookstore and a fantastic coffee shop that we frequented each morning where I drank my iced mocha while sitting on the front porch and spinning. Of course that got lots of people's attention and I had a chance to do a little education.

The weather was great for the entire trip. The lake was crystal clear. The stars were amazing at night and the silence was profound. We walked through groves of red cedar and birch that made us think of haunted forests and we rode Icelandic horses at a farm that has one of 4 breeding herds in the US. Ciaran, my youngest daughter, also got to work on the farm with the horses for the last two days of our stay so she rode on many trail rides for free and helped break out horses for riders.

While Ciaran was riding the horses my huband and I took a ferry over to rock Island. This island is uninhabited except for people who come to camp or who stay at the lighthouse for a week at a time to give tours. The island was once owned by the inventor of the electrical transformer and he built some truly amazing stone buildings there. He was also commissioned carved furniture done in Norse style with myths depicted by the carvings. What a treasure!! We spent close to an hour just looking at the furniture and reading about the artist, the man who owned the island and his family. Truly fascinating and beautiful.

One thing about an island is that they have a captive audience once you're there. Consequently, prices for food and such were quite high. Gas was $3.44 per gallon on the island and a cheeseburger (a very good one mind you) was over $5.00. that's with nothing else; no fries or drink. We did the obligatory Door County fish boil our first night there. It's actually quite good! We did do some food at the cabin, but we were limited by having only a small microwave and an ancient refrigerator that dimmed the lights and slowed the fans every time it kicked on!

We stopped in at Sievers since our cabin was practically around the corner from them. The shop had all sorts of wonderful things for fibery sorts. I am glad that I cancelled my class there though. I had so much fun going around the island and just resting and spending time with my family that I don't have any regrets about the class at all. In fact, it's compelled me to sell my loom and simply concentrate on what I do best; paint and spin.

We are already making plans to go back again next year. We are hoping to go in June when there are fewer people on the island, not taht there were a lot while we were there, and the weather is a bit cooler. Also, we will be able to rent a larger house then rather than a cabin for a great rate. The place where we stayed, Greengate Farm, was absolutely wonderful. Our hosts, Susan and George, were lovely! Susan even did our laundry for us one evening and brought it back all clean and folded! WOW!

People on the island were exceedingly friendly and there were many discussions overheard and had that were interesting and had a depth to them that I don't find here in Madison when I talk with people. Like Susan said to me, everyone on the island is eccentric in some way. I guess you'd have to be to live there all year round!

If you have ever thought of going to Washington Island or to Sievers in particular, do it! You will never forget or regret it. You can feel free to contact me for suggestions for things to do, where to stay and places to eat. There are certain things that you just don't want to miss there.

Now that I'm back, I have finally cuaght up on errands, bills, groceries, taking the car in for new brakes and tires (UGH!), riding our horses, etc. Now it's back to work.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer! This trip was truly the highlight of my summer and I will remember it for months to come...until I can go back and create new memories to join the ones from this trip!

Peace & Joy,


Friday, July 28, 2006

Gingko Mandala Spindle

I love this spindle that Nanette from the Yahoo Spindlers Group ordered! It was extremely "picky" painting, but it was worth every minute. Sometimes designs like these look deceptively simple and then once I get into the actual painting I find out how time consuming and picky they really are. Most of the time I can tell when a spindle is going to be difficult and then there are ones like this that sort of sneak up on me.

Overall, critters and people are always harder than any other designs. I personally think that's my own weakness though since they seem to be getting a bit easier as I continue to paint more of them. Mostly it's due to the fact that if you get one tiny brush stroke in the wrong place you have an eyeless dog or cat or a person who looks as though they have had a serious stroke. The small scale that I work on causes any error to be magnifed tremendously. But that's also part of the challenge!

And now, it's finally almost the week I have been waiting for and I'll be leaving on vacation soon! I will be out of contact for the next week, starting tomorrow. I will, however, be taking paints and supplies along to the cabin so spindles will still be getting done in any down time that I may have. A rainy day could prove to be very productive in this case.

Peace & Joy,


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ah, Summer....

Hi All,

It's been awhile since last I updated the Blog so I figured it was about time.

It's been a hectic summer... like this is anything new in my life! LOL!. My daughter is away at camp for two weeks, so I am busy catching up on spindle orders. Then, the last weekend in July through the first weekend in August, we will be away on vacation. It will really be nice to take a break and just relax a bit.

Other news. We are in the process of buying 22+ acres about a half hour south of where we currently live. We hope to build an earth sheltered, passive and active solar house in the next three years. All of the research and contract stuff has been really cutting a swath of time out of my life right now too. Tomorrow, we go to meet the realtor and put the down payment on the property and sign the contract. Whoopee! In the end, it means lots of long weekends trying to get a house built with us doing most of the work! But it's something we've been looking forward to for many years.

As for spindles, I am thinking about making the larger whorl spindle, the "Raven", my standard spindle. It's amazing how well it spins! I have been so impressed with this design that unless you are really set on a smaller, lighter weight spindle, I would really recommend this one.

I will get new pictures up soon for everyone to see.

Peace & Joy,

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wholesale Accounts

Are you a retail shop or do you sell at fiber events and craft fairs? If so, and you would like to carry Crowhill House spindles and/or knitting needles check this out! Packaging! I've finally got around to designing something that I really like for displaying knitting needles and to tag spindles for resale.

Knitting needles come carded for display or hanging and can be ordered in quantities as low as one dozen per order. Drop spindles come with a hang tag and are pre-loaded with fiber. Weight and the name of the drop spindle along with the design name are included on the tag.

I'm happy to sell at wholesale prices to retailers who are going to sell in a physical shop or at various events since I do not merchant outside of on-line sales. I will not sell for on-line resale however since that is my major outlet.

If you're interested in carrying any of my lines of needles and spindles, please contact me for a quote.

Peace & Joy,

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Post with Many Names....

"Birth of Venus"
Custom Spindle
(Click on Image for Larger View)

I couldn't decide on what to name this post. A lot of ideas came to mind like, "Can't Turn Down a Challenge", "My Customers Love to Taunt Me", "Hey, Look How Dumb I am!"...etc. All tongue in cheek of course!

I am referring to the spindle pictured above. When I received a request for Botecilli's "Birth of Venus" I thought, "I can do that!". Well, I could, but wow, what a challenge! I am an artist, but Boticelli I'm NOT! I do think it's a pretty fair rendition considering the palette was only about 3" across.

I will admit that I started this spindle and then worked on it a little at a time over a few weeks until today when I decided I simply had to get it done. About 3 hours later, here it is. Now the dogs need a walk, groceries need to be acquired adn I need to do something to clear my head and change my perspective a bit.

It's amazing to me still how absorbed I can get in a spindle like this one and not realize what time it is, what's going on around me or even that I haven't eaten lunch and it's going on 2:00 p.m.

Peace & Joy,


Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Romney Locks

I've finally gotten around to de-stashing. I have more fiber than I know what to do with, so I will be putting up lots of it in my eBay store throughout the summer.

Right now I have Romney locks, natural and dyed, BFL locks in a gorgeous blue and an assortment of natural colors of a Romney x Merino wool from GenoPalette. Take a look and see if there's something there you'd like ot spin.

The Romney/Merino cross is discounted in the eBay store from my regular price of $2.50 per ounce. I have one pound lots available for $30.00 and half pound for $16.00. Not a bad deal for some really nice fiber! I have just got to clean out some of the fiber I have collected and make room for my weaving and other things.

I am also going to be listing a very lightly used White, embroidery (sewing) machine along with lots of thread and a Magic Box for making your own deigns and tranfering them over to an embroidery pattern. Before I list all of this equipment, I thought I'd post it here to see if anyone is interested in it. I'd rather do that and be able to sell it for a little less because there are no eBay fees to cover. So e-mail me if you might be interested in this machine and all the accessories.

Peace & Joy,

Monday, May 29, 2006

This and That...

'Raven at Midnight'
Custom spindle

I hope all of you had a safe and happy holiday weekend. I spent much of my weekend traveling and visiting my mom in Northwest Indiana. Being on the road is always difficult and it's good to be home. Although the weather has gone from cool, even cold, to HOT and it's as if we skipped spring entirely and went from winter to summer here in Wisconsin.

Tomorrow is supposed to get a bit more temperate though and horse clipping is on the agenda for the day. For those of you who don't have horses, imagine using a pair of clippers similar to what the barber uses to shaves your neck to clip the entire body of one large horse. Then, do it again for the second horse! Of course, they have to have a bath and dry first so the clippers don't dull on the dirt and dust in their coats. The first year I body clipped my horse I did one side one day and the other the next. He looked very funny for about 14 hours or so!

Today was spent cooking and doing some laundry and then painting spindles. Now that it's evening, I feel like getting out and doing something but nothing is open and the weather is threatening rain in addition to still be really humid and very warm at 8:00 p.m. So it looks like I'll just curl up with the current book I'm reading and spend the evening relaxing. I've discovered, through experience, that I simply cannot paint spindles at night. I haven't found any lighting yet that allows me to do the detail work that natural light allows for. Maybe I'll have to look for a lamp that will work. But then again, it does make it so I must stop at some point and come in from my painting table and be sociable. So maybe having a cut-off time that comes naturally is not such a bad thing. I'll have to ponder that one a bit more.

I have a couple of new spindles up in the eBay store and also a pair of knitting needles. As always, I try to work some items in for my store along with the custom orders. I am going to have to put a real kick on here soon since I will be going on an actual vaction this summer and won't be working during that time. Needless to say, if you have an order in with me at present, you will get it before then.

Peace & Joy,

Monday, May 22, 2006

Spindles for Sale in eBay Store for a Charitable Cause - New Color Available

Celestial Blue Prayer Wheel
Mantra of Universal Compassion in Tibetan Script
"Om Mani Padme Hum"

Something new! I am selling spindles through my eBay store to benefit a project that I think is very worthwhile. All of these spindles are selling at a fixed price and all proceeds will go to the Deer Park Temple Project. You can read more about this project at:

Just as an overview, Deer Park is a local Tibetan Buddhist Center and monastery near Madison, WI. The head of Deer Park, Venerable Geshe Sopa, was an examiner for the Dalai Lama and he fled Tibet in the early 1960's. He later became a professor at the University of Wisconsin and retired after 30 years of teaching. From his earnings as a professor and with the help of others, he purchased land and started building a center for the local Tibetan community, the local community of monks and nuns and Westerner students who wanted to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism. He continues to teach at Deer Park and is in residence there along with three other monks and two nuns. Deer Park is also significant in that H.H. the Dalai Lama has visted numerous times and will again visit in the spring of 2007 to consecrate the new temple. The current temple, which is very small, was built as a pavillion to house the first ever Kalachakra ceremony performed outside of Tibet or India by the Dalai Lama. The site will likely be put on the historic registry and is a pilgrimage site for many Buddhists from around the world.

Aside from all of the above, Madison has a large Tibetan refugee community that is served by Deer Park and this new temple will be of direct benefit to this community. At present, there is not enough space where all of this growing community can gather to worship or socialize. I have come to know many of the Tibetans who fled their homeland and they never cease to move me by their joy in the face of such horrible tragedies and hardships they have suffered. They are such a kind, loving people and I am trying to do what little I can to help build a new temple for them and for the larger community.

It doesn't matter what your beliefs are when you look into the face of those who have suffered and been persecuted for their beliefs and many times simply for their ethnicity.

As the Dalai Lama puts it, "My religion is Kindness".

Peace & Joy,

To get to my eBay store, simply click on "Auctions" to your right. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Animal Portraits...




I tend to get quite a few request from people to have their animal companions painted on their spindles. I wanted to share a few of these portraits with you for this post.

I'd also like to share a new spindle with you. I am now producing a larger spindle with the "Raven" whorl. Big difference is that the overall length of the spindle is about 15" or so. That gives you around 13" under the whorl for a large copp or for plying.

This spindle has a long, stable spin time and also gives me a larger palette to work on for more detailed paintings. The whorl of "Digger" that you see above will be one of these larger spindles.

Prices wise, they will run a bit more due to more materials and a higher shipping cost. They will still be well within the current price range of around $30.00 - $40.00 per spindle.

Peace & Joy,


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

So How Do You Do That?

I thought I make take a little time here and post exactly what the steps are for making a painted spindle. The process is much more involved and time consuming than most people may think.

First I take basic stock dowels and wooden wheels. The dowels come in sections that have to be cut into 11" lengths for standard spindles. I cut these on a chop saw and then use a fine grinder to take off the edges of the dowels. Next I sand them with three different grits of sandpaper to get them silky smooth. After this, the one end must be drilled to accomodate the hook. I don't own a drill press, so this is all done by hand with your standard cordless drill. Now the dowels go into the freezer! More about that later.

Next the wooden whorls have to be hand sanded. Many of them are very rough and need multiple sandings. I start with a large grit sand paper and wet the whorls after the first sanding to bring up more grain. After they have dried, they are sanded again. This process is repeated until I get a smooth surface. Many times, this is a matter of sanding, wetting, drying and sanding up to 5 times. Now a notch is hand filed on the edge of the whorl with a metal file. Finally, the whorl is sanded with a very fine grit sandpaper and then a sealant coat is painted over it.

Now the whorls are ready for base coats of paint. I pick a background color and cover the top of the whorl or the entire whorl, depending on the design. Lighter colors can take up to 4 coats of paint to get a good finish. Darker colors usually only require two coats. The whorls are each sanded lightly between coats of paint.

It's finally time to paint the design on the whorl. Most of the time, I just pick up a brush and rough in the design and start painting. With more complex designs, I may draw the artwork on a piece of paper first and then tranfser it with graphite to the whorl so that I know it's going to come out with correct proportions. Painting a whorl can take up to 2 hours of solid work but most are around an hour each.

Once the whorl is finished, it gets 2-3 coats of a sealant spray on both sides. Now it's time to assemble the spindle.

Okay, remember the dowels are in the freezer. I do this so that they shrink ever so slightly and will fit snugly in the hole of the whorl. Due to this method, no glue is necessary. When I take a dowel out of the freezer, I have to work quickly before it warms up. I do one at a time and coat the top end with a bit of paraffin first to facilitate getting it through the hole in the whorl. Sometimes it's really difficult to get the dowel through and it needs to be tapped in with a wooden mallet so that it seats far enough from the whorl.

Finally, the hook is inserted into the dowel and I give the spindle a trial spin to make sure that it is well balanced and that there is nothing that needs correcting.

I take pictures of every spindle I make and keep a file of these. I also send out pictures to customers before they pay for their spindle so that they can approve the artwork. So far, I have had not had a single spindle turned down but if someone doesn't like their spindle, I expect them to say so and I will re-do it to meet their expectations.

Last but not least, the spindle is wrapped in tissue, packaged and sent off via USPS to its new owner.

Needless to say, I typically get around 2-3 spindles done per day. Some days I can only get one finished if the design is particularly complex.

Peace & Joy,

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Spindles...

Hi All,

I just wanted to post some pictures of spindles out of a group I just finished. Hope you enjoy them!

Peace & Joy,

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eeek! It's Been So Long....

Well April sort of disappeared without my noticing that I had not posted a thing since mid-March. I am sorry that I haven't kept in touch or kept up with the blog. Life has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.

First of all, I haven't had any horse related accidents. That's a good thing. I have, however, been having what my gastroenteroligsit thinks are gallbladder attacks. So I am going through testing for that right now.

We also had to move our horses recently to a facility that is twice as far from our house. I am still working out how to get there and back and fit it all into my schedule without spending the whole day doing it.

Other than that, it's been a really cool, gray spring here and I have been pretty low energy. I have not forgotten any of your orders and I will start having more to ship out this week and next. My schedule got a bit bogged down with a larger wholesale order that I had to get out the door. So expect to see more things very soon!

Peace & Joy,


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Some New Spindles to Look At...

"Acorn Gnome"
(click on photo to enlarge)

"Jennie's Dragon's"
(click on photo to enlarge)

(click on photo to enlarge)

Hi All,

I just thought I'd take a break an update the site with some spindle whorls I finished recently. I have been busy painting spindles every day and having a lot of fun doing it! I've gotten so many orders for really neat spindles. I really want to thank Janel from "Spindlicity" ( for the article she has up on Crowhill House. Since that article appeared, my website has gotten a lot more hits.

I also want to thank each one of you who visits the site and those of you who order spindles and are willing to wait the 6 weeks or so that it takes me to get to your spindle. I am working away at the queue and your spindles are in the line, waiting to be done.

I'd also like to mention a new group on Yahoo called "Teen Spin". This site is for teens, 'tweens and kids of pretty much any age. It's a project to help kids explore the fiber arts in groups or with a parent. It's a truly terrific idea. You can find the group by doing a search in the Yahoo Groups.

Right now, the teens/kids are dyeing fiber with Kool-Aid which they will then use for a project. It's really great to be able to pass along fiber arts to a whole new generation! If you have teens/kids, grandkids or a classroom, please check out the group. Even if you don't have kids the group is in need of adult spinners and other fiber artists to answer questions and assist.

Peace & Joy,


Sunday, March 05, 2006

My Daughter's Spindle

"Ciaran's Andalusian"

My daughter came to me yesterday and asked me to make her a spindle. She brought a picture along with her of an Andalusian horse and said that was what she wanted on her spindle. Well, I figured to was about time that she quit spinning with plain spindles and that she have a hand painted spindle of her own. She is going to be helping demostrate spindling at an upcoming Alpaca Festival, so it would be pretty embarassing if she didn't have a nice spindle.

So today was a snowy Sunday and Ciaran had went off to the barn and I decided to take some time and work on her spindle. The picture posted above is the finished whorl. I am really happy with how it turned out and I hope she is too. Since it's a 3" whorl, we are going to experiment with shaft size to see what works for balance. That way, I already know before I start making them for other folks.

I also want to thank Janel for the absolutely wonderful article in Spindlicity (see: Her webzine is top notch and I absolutely love all of the articles, especially the "Tea Panties". Don't ask.... you have to go look for yourself! They are totally cute though!

Peace & Joy,

Monday, February 27, 2006

This and That...

"The Universe in a Ladybug"
(Click photo to enlarge)

"The Empress"
(Click photo to enlarge)

I just finished "The Empress" spindle whorl shown above for a customer who also ordered "The Universe in a Ladybug". "The Empress "has to be one of the most detailed spindles I've done and the other is not far behind in complexity. My eyes are about to fall out, but they were really gratifying projects to work on. I am so happy with the end results that I just had to share them immediately! On a side note: The painting of "The Empress" is only 1.5" x 2" in size.

Today I also purchased the domain name "", so I will be in the process of building a "real" website very soon. I am looking at actually stocking some spindles (they will still be one-of-a-kind) and having a shopping cart available for purchase of those spindles. Same thing with knitting needles.

One thing that the new website will allow me to do is post a gallery where you can look at all of the spindles without having to dig back throuugh archives of blogs. I am looking forward to that!

For now, I am still taking custom orders and am making a dent in my list at least. When I do the really detailed spindles like the one shown in this entry, I can only do that one spindle in a day. It's just too taxing physically and mentally to do more. Custom work always takes time and I want to thank all of you who are waiting patiently... or not so patiently for spindles.

Time to take a break now and do something totally unrelated to work for awhile.

Peace & Joy,


Friday, February 24, 2006

Life is So Busy!

Spring Fling

Well, I've been testing out all of the new whorls that I just got and above is one of the spindles that I painted yesterday. I had to test it out right away and I am happy that it spins well. Maybe not quite as long the spindles I typically paint, but it's still well within range of what I find acceptable.

I've also been busy with custom spindles and dealing with the fiber room. Sheesh, how on earth did I end up with so much fiber?! I still have to really go through all of it and de-stash, but at least it's in better order than it was previous to my getting in there yesterday morning.

After a long afternoon of painting a really detailed spindle, I am ready to get a shower, get dressed up and go out tonight. I love to take my knitting to a bookstore and sit in the cafe and knit while I have a cup of tea and talk with my husband. It's such a nice way to decompress on a Friday evening.

Wishing you All Peace & Joy,


Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Choices Added

If you'll look to your right, there is a new link called "Whorls and Weights". Please click this link to see new choices in whorls and the approximate finished weight of spindles made from each of these whorls. You can always choose different size shafts, which will in turn change the weights. Weights may also vary slightly due to variations in the wood density, layers of paint, etc.

Peace & Joy,

Sunday, February 19, 2006

NEW...Knitting Needles!

Something New! Hand painted, birch knitting needles! The ones you see above are listed on eBay this week along with another set of Sunflowers. I will also be taking custom orders for these. Right now, they are starting on eBay at .99. After doing some research on relative pricing of these needles I have decided to price them at $10.00 per pair regardless of size plus .75 shipping in the continental U.S. Unpainted needles of this same kind range between $7.50 and $10.00 per pair on other sites, so I think that $10.00 per pair was a fair compromise.

I have sizes from 3 to 17 right now with some sizes missing from the lot I purchased from a woodworker who made them and was going out of business. I have LOTS of these needles, other than the large sizes which I have very few of, and would love to paint a set up for you!

I personally sand each pair with 3 different grits of sandpaper, by hand, to make sure that the needles are smooth as possible. ( I hate rough needles!) The points are medium; between sharp and rounded. If you like them sharper or more rounded, they can be sanded when you receive them since there is no finish on the needle itself. The ends that are painted do have a clear coat over them to protect the painted designs.

Obviously, the designs on these needles can't be quite as detailed as those on spindles, but I am really happy with how the first batch came out. Wow, talk about painting teeny tiny things!!! But really, that's what I enjoy doing. It's a challenge and it's also very engrossing.

Please, let me know what you think!

Peace & Joy to All,


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day All!

Hmm, I'm sitting here thinking what kind of valentine I could give to all of the wonderful spinners out there who have ordered spindles from me since I started this whole thing last summer. Right now, I have orders for 31 custom spindles!! I had never dreamed that this would take off and do so well. It has bee a blessing and a joy.

With that said, I would like to offer free shipping on any spindle(s) ordered before midnight tonight, February 14th. This only applies to new orders. Sorry to all of you who already have orders in. I will run other promotions form time to time, so watch this website!

Anyone who orders should be aware that the wait for spindles is around 6 weeks right now. It could be less, or more, depending on how life plays itself out. I have learned after this past fall to leave myself lots of wiggle room with deadlines and all of you have been wonderful about it.

Thank you ALL for your support!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Gallery of Recent Work...

These are pictures of some recent spindles that I did for a dear lady out in Seattle. Just thought you might enjoy seeing some of the new work and that they might inspire each of you to come up with ideas for your own, personal spindles.

To all of you who have orders placed at this time, rest assured that they are progressing and you will hear from me soon and will have your spindles in hand as quickly as I can possibly get them there without sacrificing any attention to detail.

Thank you all for your support, your orders and your patience. Spinners have been some of the most wonderful people I have had the great good fortune to meet. Spin Happy!

Peace & Joy,


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Back to Work and Doing Well....

Greetings to All!

Well, I am on the mend and back to working again. I am trying very hard to finish all of the orders that came in in the past month or so, but I certainly have room for more.

The cheery sunflower shown above was from a photograph that a customer took and wanted transfered to a spindle so she could enjoy her work while she spins. You can always feel free to send me jpgs or actual physical photos for spindles. I may have to tweak them around to get them to fit, but usually I can work with most anything.

Once again, I have to thank my patient customers who waited while I healed from the latest horse related injury. Well, that's three now so I should be good for awhile! Please, everyone think good thoughts in that direction for me. No more horse .... or any other injuries!

Peace & Joy,


Monday, January 09, 2006

Injured and Off For a Bit...Again

Okay, you can all blame the horses. I am once again on my back and nursing an injured knee this time. For some weird reason, my horse thought it would be a good idea to bite my daughter's horse on the butt. Her horse did the logical thing and tried to kick my horse...and missed. But he succeeded in kicking the knee! And yes, we were both on our horses when all of this happened.

So I am stuck with a very painful knee that needs to be iced and elevated for a few days to a week. I also had one of the same paramedics out at the barn because someone called 911 since I was down for quite some time before I could get up and walk. I am really annoyed about the cut up jeans and long underwear. I did turn down the ambulance ride and went to my orthopedist today for a check up on the pelvic fractures (which are healing well). They did x-rays and I am so happy that nothing was broken or fractured in my leg/knee.

The horse managed to kick me in just the right spot so as to only cause soft tissue damage. It still hurts ... a lot, but nothing more than bad bruising. Again, I was extremely fortunate. Had that hoof hit even a quarter of an inch differently, this story would have turned out a lot worse.

Needless to say, I won't be working for a few days to a week. Please, yell at the horses, not me. Hopefully this will be the last injury for a very long time.

Peace & Joy,