Blog

D Minor Celtic 13 Handpan

D Minor Celtic 13 Handpan

I have been playing my handpans every day for months.  It seems to have greatly helped with my pain levels as well as is just plan fun.  Small amounts of practice on a daily basis interspersed with longer sessions on occassion has greatly changed my playing abilities.  I am finding new songs and rhythms that seem to come from no where….inside me?

Busy making my new handpan


I have news….exciting news!  I have commissioned a custom handpan from Veritas Sound Sculptures.  It is a D Minor Celtic 13.  We are calling it Celtic because the top pan layout is a Celtic pattern but this pan has all the notes for an entire D Minor Scale.  The Bb is one of the 3 bottom notes, so the “Kurd” part is not on top.  That is why why we decided to call it a D Celtic.

Here is a youtube link to the maker, Josh, playing my hand pan after it was completed before he shipped it out to me. I am so excited. I have been waiting for this most of March and soon it will be here.

Josh is also owner of Rivera Steel Tuning and tunes and repairs handpans from around the world made by many makers. He has a remarkable ear and gets the pans sounding their best self.

Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

I made a new colorway on my blending board of my Rolag Hybrid. I am calling it Silver Gray Sparkles.

Silver Gray Sparkles is a smooth sparkling rolag batt. No locks or chunky bits….just tons of sparkle and various smooth fibers. My Rolag is a hybrid of a layered batt and rolag.

Silver Gray Sparkle Rolag

I layer my fibers on my blending board without packing them down into the blending board teeth. I use the dowels to roll up the rolag without drafting through the inner fibers. I only draft at the end of the roll to secure the rolag closed. It is best spun from the end in 2-4 inch rolled up sections pulled off the roll while still rolled up. Picture taking a BIG piece of a jelly roll cake…but still rolled up. I have found sections larger than that a bit much to handle in my hand. If temperatures or humidity is high, there is a risk of felting that is possible while holding a large rolag for a longer period of time.

On the blending board

I let the rolag sit for a while trying to decide if I wanted to spin, felt or sell them. I decided to spin these all up this week into 2 large skeins. Each skein is a 2 ply and spiral plyed. Each skein has one of the plys as this silver gray sparkle rolag hybrid. It is a blend of numerous fibers such as Merino, Black Dyed Tussah Silk, Gotland, Masham, and White Firestar.

Each of the 2 yarns is one ply of the above rolag with the other ply being different in each skein. The lighter color skein was plyed with a 2 ply fine silk thread and done as an extreme spiral yarn. The darker skein was plyed with a handspun bamboo ply. Both skeins are a textured yarn with that homespun feel.

Dark skein
Light skein

I am a bit stunned how intensely different the two skeins look and feel. The darker skein with the bamboo ply is very heavy weight wise. And with so much bamboo in it, it took forever to dry! I have been staring at them for a while now trying to decide how to use them.

I need help. What do you think?

I really think I want to weave a wider scarf on my 16 inch rigid heddle loom. But past that I am stuck.

I think if I use one skein for weft and one for warp that the difference between the skeins will be lost.

So do I warp up with :

1. A white warp and weave strips?

2. A white warp and weave 2 separate scarves?

3. A white warp and weave 2 scarves alternating both skeins and afterwards seam 2 scarves together and make a shawl?

4. A white warp and weave 2 scarves with just one skein in each. So have a light and dark scarves than seam those into a shawl??

5. A dark warp and than where the heck do I go?

6. Just keep staring at them and weave nothing?

See why I need help?? Comment below your thoughts.

Inquiry Cards

Inquiry Cards

Inquiry cards are a deck of cards of beautiful six-sided mandalas, each with a question printed on it. We tend to look outside ourselves for answers when the answers are already within us. Sylvia Nibley designed the Inquiry cards and I just adore them.

The purpose of the deck is to help us practice looking inside ourselves for the answers to the questions of life…big or little. The answers of course will be specific to each of us asking as the answer “lies within” us already.

Inquiry Cards by Sylvia Nibley

There are various ways to use the cards. Various games and layouts to try. I decided today to try the layout explained in the booklet that came with my deck called the Chakra Layout.

I shuffled my deck with the cards face down and drew 7 cards. I placed them in a vertical line with the first card at the bottom for the Base Chakra and going up to the Crown Chakra.

After laying the cards out, I turned them over and asked the question in reference to the chakra it was pulled for. These are my cards today working from top (Crown) down to bottom (Base) Chakra.

Crown-Higher Consciousness: What energizes me? Creativity and Healing. Crystal’s in many formations. Large standing stones, mid size boulders, and hand held rocks take my breath away with their solid earthy beauty. Crystal singing bowls have me absolutely fascinated. Music and Brainstorming ideas about what is possible. The earth and particularly the forest has my interest. I have been out walking in our forest much more recently. I have noticed the water flowing, how it looks and sounds. And I have seen the animals tracks. Sometimes I see the animals that leave the tracks. Gigha walks with me in the woods frequently and she notices everything.

3rd Eye-Intuition: What’s the next step? I have some online courses I have been doing currently, a few free courses about sound healing. I have numerous courses I want to take starting in the late spring. All of them will make me stretch and grow which seems to be what I need. I think I am ready for that now. I have a few handpans and singing bowls I want to sell. And I have a new handpan and crystal singing bowls to buy. I want to get my sound studio set up in our sunroom and get the outdoor tent up and ready for outdoor sessions once spring is truly here.

Throat-Communication: What if I were more powerful? I want to speak my truth. I am starting to find my voice again. Both literally in my singing voice but also what makes my heart sing. Expressing that to others is no easy task. I want to learn to temper my tone and delivery to a manner that is peaceful calm and soft.

Heart-Love: What am I attracted to? I am drawn over and over to animals, nature, trees and forest, flowing water and the earth under my feet. The color in my yarns, music in my sound, and bells in the wind all have my attention. I have been noticing my tubular windchimes more and more these days. The tone of my tea kettle. The ringing of my handpan when one of the dogs bark and it vibrates. Little sounds and singing of things all around me.

Solar Plexus-Self: What needs to change? I need more learning and instruction. I want to take a few courses and learn to apply a business approach to my holistic practice. I want better focus and direction to my plan. This has made me realize I have a completely different mindset and business model that I want to pursue. I do not want a product based business anymore, but rather a service based business with some occasional products. I want to move more and self care.

Sacral-Creative Center: What am I committed to? Bringing my healing holistic self out from the box that I stuffed her into 7 years ago is a top priority. Facing my grief and moving past it is also a necessary step. I want to bring music back into my life on a daily basis. I want to get a large set of crystal singing bowls and let my music take flight. It is wanting to burst forth from inside…dare I say it….burst forth in song!

Root-Survival: Where is my joy? My joy is in what I do….in my creating and healing. Music is my creation and my healing both.

This has all been something to really think about and absorb. I am changing. Change can be difficult but it is also good. Look for my changes as they come.

White Sands Handspun Textured Yarn and Weaving

White Sands Handspun Textured Yarn and Weaving

White Shifting Sands Handspun Textured Yarn is a new colorway I started to create. I decided to try something different using a photo for my inspiration for this next new art yarn. A whole back story and idea created before starting the project.

Inspiration Photo

I blended these highly textured art rolags all night long. This is the prep before the spinning and weaving. I made a huge batch of hybrid rolag art batts. Somewhere between 40-50 as I planned on this being a bigger amount of art yarn.

White Sands Rolag Art Batts

Spinning took quite a bit of time. I have been working on it for a while already and have 1.75 Country Spinner Bobbins spun up into singles. Each of the Country Spinner Bobbins on the Ashford Jumbo Espinner can hold as much as 2-3 pounds of fiber!

Part way there

I am done spinning for a while now but over the next few days, let the next step….the plying magic begin. I enjoy plying the best I think. A spiral yarn that is handspun and just a joyful textured yarn. It is where I start to see the real structure and character of the yarn come to life. Little runs of sparkle and glitz, with delicate curly locks popping out here and there adding in texture in between all the lofty softness. If you use a silk thread or fine yarn for spiral plying as I did on this handspun yarn, it just gives an extra pop of sparkle and glam to your art yarn.

After spinning it, I washed and set the twist and let it dry by the fire for several days ….which turned into nearly 2 weeks. I stared at tthis homespun yarn thinking of what to do with it next. I spun it originally as a new art yarn for the shop. But after spinning it all, I just wanted to keep some of it….most of it….alright, all if it! Trying to decide if I want to share or not. My Precious!

I finally decided about how to use a little bit of the White Sands Textured Art Yarn that I handspun. A small wall hanging! It has been a long time since I wove a wall hanging for myself, a bit of wall art for my house. I plan to keep this one but there is some yarn listed in the shop if you want to weave your own textured yarn weaving. Not too much left but you can get yours by shopping HERE.

White Sands Woven Wall Hanging

I just wove several other wall hangings last week featuring some of my other handspun textured yarns. Weaving this White Sands weaving led to me pulling yet another all nighter. This was the 2nd or 3rd this week alone. ….but I have been creating and can’t stop!! My head is exploding with ideas right now.

When I first started weaving and spinning, I never dyed my fibers. I was obsessed with natural color wool for years. There are so many sheep and goats with lovely natural colors I did not even want to expierment with dyeing wool for years. Even now with all the dyeing that I do, I am always drawn to some natural wool every few weeks or month. I never seem to really tire of the wide range of natural colors and tints in fibers that animals grow all by their own without our interference. I did raise angora rabbits and angora goats for a while. And the color variances with them was incredible.

White Sands Handspun Textured Art Yarn

The small weaving that I wove used some of the White Sands Textured Art Yarn and a few other handspun yarns. I also wove in some prime kid mohair locks, and added fringe on the top instead of the bottom which is the normal location. I wanted this to be very textured and a super tactile weaving. So tactile, that you would want to ignore a hands off sign just to pet the wall art.

White Sands Woven Wall Hanging