Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm excited about tomorrow!

Yes, that part about the "yarn spinning demo" is me!  I figured, hey, since this handmade holiday pop-up shop is the public's first opportunity to see my yarn in person, why not share the yarn-making process with you while I can?  I'm looking forward to meeting some fellow artists, too... and loading up on more handmade gifts while I'm there!   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Handmade Promenade opens tomorrow!

I dropped off a big bag of my handspun yarns last night (sneak peek below)!  The colorways are named after Indianapolis neighborhoods, famous Hoosiers, and some of my favorite Indiana places.  I'm so excited about this experience that I call that pink one "Promenade!"

It was already dark outside when we got there, and let me tell you, the twinkly lights beckoned.  Martha and helpers were working hard setting up, and I had to resist making eye contact with soooo many of the delightful handmade products already on display; must wait until Wednesday when this holiday pop-up shop pops up!  People have asked me where to park when they come to visit Handmade Promenade; it's easy: park like you're going to 45 Degrees (it's just south of 45, on College Ave.), Yogulatte, or the Fringe Theatre building.  Look for these gorgeous white "SHOP LOCAL" letters in the window. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's time! #indylgbtfilmfest

Did you know Indianapolis has a big gay film festival?  It's true; it's a fundraiser for IYG - and my best friends work hard to put it together every year - so go!  Support your gays and mine - and see some great movies in the process! 

not to be a name-dropper, but... this weekend we're showing films featuring Megan Mullally, Leslie Jordan, Patricia Field, Divine, Willam Belli, Allison Scagliotti, Ruth Dix, Marc Samuel, Bruce Vilanch, Starlady Nungari and James Franco - just to name a few!  

This thing is not to be missed!

Friday, October 25, 2013

See you in November (and December)!

Yes, that's some of my handspun yarn pictured in this week's Handmade Promenade vendor feature!  Up until now, my yarn sales have been online; I'm so excited to be offering my yarn in a brick-and-mortar holiday pop-up shop on one of the busiest avenues in Indianapolis, where people will be able to feel the yarn, and not have to rely solely on how it looks in photos!  Side benefits: I'll be able to get my own Christmas shopping done in one place, too, buying handmade and supporting local artisans!  Wheeeee!

P.S.  Like Handmade Promenade on faceplace so you can stay informed about my fellow vendors, special events in the shop, etc.  See you SOON, Indianapolis!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October?! Yeah!

How have you been, lovely readers?  I took a little break from blogging after our piano got to its permanent home (though I still have to get over to Day Nursery and tighten things up). Things have been busy here, but I knew I needed to get over here and give you a recap!  Among recent highlights:

1.  We got a new baby nephew!  This is the first time I've become an aunt as a grown-up, or lived nearby, and it's thrilling!  He is easily the most adorable boy I have ever seen, and Merino and I keep wondering what we ever did before we were so busy texting each other our pictures of him and changing our computer backgrounds with updated pics!  

2.  Have I mentioned I finally bought my own spinning wheel?  She's beautiful, but it took me a while to get her adjusted like the one I have been borrowing for years!  

3. I'm volunteering for a local "exotic" animals rescue (, which has led to us fostering two single gerbils, and man are they different than hamsters!  (Which reminds me, Carmelita's birthday is coming up; she wants sunflower seeds!) 

4.  I'm having fun conceptualizing custom knitting orders.  Coming up: an elephant hat and an owl hat!   

5.  The Film Festival I volunteer for is next month - yay!  Just so you know, I may have an embarrassing fan-girl meltdown if I get to meet Del Shores.

6.  My sister came for a visit, and we got to meet her husband!  He has laugh lines, and they held hands; it was very heartwarming.

7.  The Yarnburners yarnbombed the Indyfringe Theatre Festival, and I attended a couple of Fringe shows... LOVE!

8.  I applied to, and was accepted into the Handmade Promenade, which is a holiday-shopping-time pop-up shop that will be in downtown Indianapolis!  In November and December my yarns will be available in person, in addition to on Etsy!  

Yes, these are just a few recent happenings!  I'll keep you posted on these and other developments - but if you think I'm being too quiet on my blog, be sure to connect with me on various social media platforms for more frequent updates; I hear Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all the rage.  

Thanks for reading; I appreciate you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tickled Pink about her forever home!

This just in... I think the Yarnburners' piano is going to be well-loved in her permanent home... take a look:

Read about Day Nursery here.  Oh, how it warms my heart to know that our piano will be able to bring joy to the children, families, and the staff there!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our pink knit & crochet #Indypianos unsung heroes...

There are certain features of our yarnbombed piano that will only really be enjoyed once she reaches a forever home at a Women's Fund grantee organization - but that does not make them any less fabulous!  In fact, these wonderful knits are two of my very favorite parts:  

If you've visited any of the pianos out in public, you've seen that they have uniform, gray, custom-made benches, equipped with GO Ahead & Play information and maps, tethered to them. Here is Claire's gorgeous piece that covers the seat of the "permanent bench" (the one that came with the piano - bench and piano will be reunited when she retires to her indoor life of luxury).
We lined the inside of the permanent bench, leaving some of the music books and a notebook of the child (Emily) who once learned to play on our Betsy Ross Spinnet.  See that bright pink book on top?  That "sheet music" was knitted by Wenchciara, who transcribed the notes of "You Are My Sunshine" on one of the pages!  (She's also responsible for making all the lovely treble clefs that we've attached to the piano!) 

Indianapolis, you've only got a few more days (until August 18th)  to head down to Monument Circle and find "Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories" - GO Ahead & Play!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend photo review!

Wow, what a whirlwind the GO Ahead & Play 'opening weekend' was!  I've seen so many tweets and videos and facebook posts and news stories about our "pink piano on The Circle" (and her 19 piano friends)!  It's heartwarming to know that people are enjoying this.

Friday I took a day off work.  First, I drove around to see several of the other artists' nearby pianos (I've been to see 12 of them but only got pics of 11 so far!)  

Then Kevin and I headed downtown to take some pictures and see if we saw anyone playing ours... well, we did!  But first we removed the vase that had been designed to tip over for when/if she needs to be covered to protect her from rain, but it turns out no matter how many 'florist marbles' you have in a vase, Monument Circle is windier than you think, so the thing tipped over a lot! Then Kevin attached this small felted bowl from my pal Sandi, and filled that with the flowers - it's very pretty, and low-slung, so no wind will tip it!

We talked to several people, encouraged them to play, took pics for them so their whole group could be in their photos!  Our friend Josh and his boyfriend Jonathan came down from their offices on The Circle to take a look (and play). 

We also met our piano's "Buddy" - the person who'll apply her custom-made cover if it rains.  He came down to make sure there were enough maps in her bench pocket!

After all the delightful piano hubbub, I headed to the south side, where I volunteer for a local animal rescue group.  Earlier volunteers had already cleaned all the cages and fed and watered everyone, so my "job" for the day turned out be petting, hugging, and playing with bunnies.  I guess I took 'socializing' literally; I kissed this sweet rabbit right on the head!  


 Merino and I also went to a movie, and had  delicious fried chicken and local corn at my  brother- and sister-in-law's, and I finally  finished the baby blanket I'm knitting for our  nephew-to-be, but I don't have pics of any of  that stuff, so here's another video of Kevin  playing our piano, because I still want to  know what you're going to GO Ahead &  Play.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Today's the day!

As I write this, the volunteers from Jay's Moving are placing (or have placed) the last of the pianos out around Indianapolis!

When telling people about yarnbombing a piano, I've had several say, "Oh, I can't play!" as if that's a valid reason not to experience pop-up art.  I can't play either, but I can appreciate finding something beautiful in an unexpected place.  So, I'm not asking you to only go see the pianos if you can play Beethoven from memory - I'm saying, go, and see if you can remember how to play "Chopsticks," or want to take a picture with an original work of art, or if you want to take a seat on a sturdy bench and look at our lovely City from a unique perspective.  

Today's video features a Women's Fund staffer's son... his song isn't long, but he played it for me - and you - and it's wonderful!

 If he can do it, so can you: GO Ahead & Play!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Young? That depends. Restless? Yes!

The excitement is building!  I can hardly wait!  The Yarnburners' piano, Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories, is about to make her outdoor debut!  What will you play when you meet her?

Today's video features our newest Yarnburner, my best friend Kevin, who doesn't even knit (yet?)!  He came along to the GO Ahead & Play workspace one day to help me (thank goodness!) and the next thing I knew he had a needle in hand and was miraculously, expertly stitching pieces to other pieces in contrasting yarn, which really makes for a fabulous finished look.  Don't worry, this is not the last you'll see/hear of him!   

This blog entry is meant not only to share an inside look at our process with you, lovely readers, but to tell Kev that his love, support, and humor throughout the years mean the world to me - especially his involvement in this crazy piano project (though he never once told me I was crazy for trying to cover a piano with yarn).  I love you, Boy.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Countdown to downtown!

It's about to happen!  Later this week (in three days... but who's counting?), our piano will be on Monument Circle!  Are you ready?  Have you been practicing your piano skills?  Here's a video of Tim from A Tune Above Piano Tuning (who volunteered his time to tune 20 pianos - twice!), playing a bit of music on our piano, Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories.  I know, you want me to zoom out so you can see the whole thing, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise when you see her in person!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's not all about pianos and yarn.

... sometimes it's about pianos and paint.  Or pianos and mirrors.  But for me, especially today, it's mainly about pianos and smiles (and videos!  Click my links, I'm serious - I got this stuff on video)!

At first, I thought it was simply going to be cool to cover a piano with knitting (oh, I'm right about that; but I digress).  I was tickled when I'd find crochet pieces in my mailbox, and pleased as punch every time one or more of our merry band of "fiber enthusiasts" would join me at a "piano knit night."  And how nice to walk into the LYS (local yarn shop) and find someone had left a knitted piece or a ball of yarn in the "Pink Piano" basket!

Then I started to notice as I would encounter other artists or Women's Fund staff or their families in the workspace, every single time they saw our pink, yarny piano, they smiled.  They touched it.  They told me they wanted to hug it.  Then they smiled some more.  Sure, I thought, these are people on the journey with us.  Of course they are being supportive.

There were two preview events for for the pianos today, and I went to both - these were the only chances people would have to see all 20 in one room!  At the first one, there were lots of kids... and they loved our piano (especially the pom poms).  One toddler tapped on the keys for a minute, with a big smile on her face, and then she looked at me very seriously and said, "Thank you for making this pretty piano."  I swear, I teared up!  I thanked her for playing it, and I had to look away because I didn't want a baby to know I was a crybaby!    

At the second event, people were admiring "Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories" and all the pianos, taking pictures, smiling all the while.  Then, as a gracious speech was winding down, we were told that for 18 months, the GO Give Back students had really put their heart and soul into this project... and someone started playing Heart and Soul at a piano behind us.  People smiled.  Then Tim (yes, Tim the intrepid piano tuner) started playing it on Cheryl Anne's piano beside us.  More people smiled, and then another person joined in playing on our "neighbor," Nancy's piano... and then another in the corner of the room... there were huge, wide smiles all over the place.  It was really a wonderful moment!

I can hardly wait to experience random passersby reacting to pianos all over town!  I hope people will want to see as many as they can... and I especially hope that a certain pink piano on The Circle makes them smile.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Drum roll, please!

[Insert big official announcement music here!]  The Yarnburners' piano (titled Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories) will be on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana!  She's yarn-clad and tuned up and ready for everyone to visit August 1-18, 2013

The exact location will be 40 Monument Circle (Southwest quadrant - right in front of our sponsors, radio stations 93.1 WIBC FM and Soft Rock B105.7).  Here's a link to the interactive map.
Keep in mind, she has 19 piano friends in the area and all around town - transformed with everything from paint to paper, sculpted to carved - who would also love to see you!    If you're like me, you'll want to print out the downloadable map so you can plan your trips to see each one!  Play a song, take some photos, have a seat and sing a little ditty anytime - and when you're tweeting, instagramming, pinning, etc., use "#indypianos" so we can see how you like her!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When in doubt: YouTube!

So, The Yarnburners' GO Ahead & Play piano is done!  At least, that's what I've thought since the last work day (June 30).  However, we hit a little snag.  We stitched (very securely, I might add) over some parts that had to be opened for piano-tuning purposes!  Silly me, I thought it was just the top that had to open!  I should have paid attention when my childhood piano was tuned; failing that, I should have looked on YouTube just to make sure.  I swear I have learned so many things from YouTube, I don't know why checking there didn't occur to me!  Tim the Tuner sent me a link to this informative video - isn't it amazing?

I went and removed some of Kev's delightful seam stitches yesterday, and will go back tomorrow to alter the design ever-so-slightly, so "Betsy's" innards can be easily accessed for future tunings... we want her to sound her best!  It's just a few minor adjustments; she's still going to be breathtaking when people in Indianapolis see her in public (August 1 through 18 - stay tuned for location specifics, coming soon!)

Here's another sneak peek for you:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Piano publicity!

Neat!  I've been profiled by Kristen at the Women's Fund of Central Indiana.  Thank goodness there's no photo of me lying on the ground the other night, stapling knitting to the Yarnburners' GO Ahead & Play piano!  This is what the underside of an upright piano looks like, by the way:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Whatcha doin' Sunday?


Wanna help stitch pieces together and/or apply them to our piano this weekend?  Leave a comment with some way to contact you and I'll send you details. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yarnbombing a piano in Indianapolis!

Remember when we tagged the inside and outside of the Harrison Center for the Arts with yarn?  Well, there's a new project on the horizon - I submitted a proposal, it was accepted, and work has begun (let me know in the comments if you want to join in; there's still plenty of time)!

First, a little bit about our group: the Yarnburners are a group of central Indiana knit graffiti (“yarnbombing”) artists. We enjoy beautifying and bringing attention to the beauty in everyday objects by dressing them in knit, crochet, and weaved yarns.
And now, about the project: we will be fitting an upright piano with a custom-made yarn wrap for the Women's Fund of Central Indiana's GO Ahead & Play pop-up pianos public art project.

The overall theme of our installation will be “Tickled Pink, Tickling the Ivories,” and the main colors of the knitted/crocheted work will be various joyous shades of pink! The choice of colors was made to symbolize women and honor their vibrancy and strength, while at the same time inviting passersby to smile, gather together, and maybe even sit and play for a while!  Here's our "concept image":

We have three workshop times set up in the next couple of weeks:

TODAY: Tuesday April 30 from 5-7 pm
Thursday May 9 from 6-8 pm
Saturday May 11 from 10 am-3 pm 
Bring: knitting needles or crochet hooks and a folding chair or something comfy to sit on. We have some yarn, but bring any stash you want to contribute and/or knit with.  Can't join in, but have some pink yarn to contribute?  You can drop it off at Mass. Ave. Knit Shop!

The workspace where the piano is being housed is at 5358 W 38th St, Indianapolis (in Honey Creek Plaza at 38th and Moller Rd.). The space has been donated, so when you see a “for lease” sign and white-papered windows, you’ll know you’re in the right place! It’s between Machu Picchu and the tepanaki place.
The completed piano (ours is one of twenty working uprights, each showcasing a different artist or group's medium) will be placed around Indianapolis in August, for the public to enjoy and interact with.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Color me flabbergasted!

Since I started spinning, I wonder (a lot) about what people would make from my yarn.  Never in a million years could I have imagined something this fabulous.  Look what Sandi made from yarns I spun! GORGEOUS!  Check out her Pinterest board to see how a felted bowl is "born."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Treasury!

Here's a screen shot of my latest Etsy Treasury; please click this link and then have a look at each individual item!  Some of these handmade goodies are made by friends, some are shops I've purchased from in the past (and recommend, for high-quality items and excellent service), some are by Handmade Movement teammates, and some feature male people and characters that are faves of my husband and I.  I hope you like it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prepping to take the plunge...

Darling readers, I might be about ready to teach myself to knit socks.  It's true!  I've picked out yarn and decided on a method.  I've got the needles, and told my knit group pals.  Now all I've got to do is watch some two-at-a-time sock-knittin' videos on youtube, and get to knittin'!  

Wish me luck!  I'll keep you posted as I ease into it further...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Four-day weekend!

I've decided to take at least one three-day weekend a month in 2013, so I don't end up with 13 vacation days left to use in December like I did last year!  This weekend was the first, and so far I had lunch with my niece-in-law yesterday, today I took my Ruby Slippers yarn to the post office (sending to New York), tomorrow I'll be going to a movie with my sweet husband and then spinning something lovely for my Etsy shop, and Monday (whoops, it's a holiday, so I got four days - yay!) I'm going to do something with my best friend.

I also found out about the two fiber festivals I usually go to (one in April and one the last weekend of June) and scheduled those Fridays off as well.  What can I say; I love planning!

What are you up to, lovely readers?  Oh, here's my updated handspun map:

Where people are using my handspun yarns!
Make yours @
Make yours @