Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fleece Update

Here is some of the fleece that I dyed with Kool-aid a few weeks ago.

In this photo it is waiting to be picked and carded. I have processed about half of it at this point. The color in this photo is fairly accurate. The tips were weathered and took up the dye easier, so the color is much deeper than what I wanted. However, the variation in color works out well when I get the fiber carded.

I've separated some of the locks from the fluffy mass/mess to show the staple length. The color in this photo is a little washed out. I need a photographer's assistant--I couldn't get quite enough distance with the camera and still hold the locks, but you get the idea.

These are some of the batts that I've drum carded so far. I'm still trying to decide whether to blend this fluffy stuff or leave the batts as they are. Maybe I'll do a little of both.

You can see the color variation a little better in the photo below. The colors remind me of frozen confections such as fruit sherbet or Italian ice.

It's about time to get back to picking and carding. I try to do a little each day, but I'm trying not to make a chore out of it. I want to enjoy the process of working with this colorful fluffy stuff.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scenic North Alabama: Wilson Dam at Florence, Alabama, May 4, 2010

Construction on Wilson Dam began in 1918 and was completed in 1927. The Wilson Dam actually predates the TVA, but was later placed under the authority of the TVA. The dam is 137 feet (42 m) high and stretches 4,541 feet (1,384 m) across the Tennessee River.

Dam from the south side at Rockpile Recreation Area after the recent heavy rains and flooding

Great Blue Heron flying; there were many of them fishing at the dam

North side of dam from city park near Mariott Hotel

Bluff at Rockpile Recreation Area, Wilson Dam

One of the caves formed in the limestone bluff; the heavy rains have created wet weather streams and waterfalls

Rainbow in mist at second cave in bluff

Yet another rainbow and cave opening

Yes, this photo was in a previous post, but I liked it and decided to use it again.

Largest of the waterfalls

Same shot with Paul to show scale

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scenic North Alabama: Guntersville Dam near Guntersville, Alabama

Guntersville Dam, North; spillways, locks, and fishing area (before the recent heavy rains)

The same view after the rains; more than half the upper walkway is under water (photo on left) and all of the lower walkway(photo on right) where we often fish is submerged

Spillways open; south side of dam after recent flooding

Submerged guard rail on south side of dam with herons

Guntersville Reservoir above the dam

Part of Lake Guntersville with waterfowl; recreation area near Guntersville city limits

Sun on the lake below the dam

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Curly Pig Tale

Perhaps of interest to the spinners out there--

Mangalitsa, a rare breed of European pig that originated in Austria and Hungary. The name has several spelling variations. From Wikipedia, I found that the Serbian name is Mangalica and means "hog with a lot of lard." A zoo in the UK has recently imported three of them in an attempt to save them from extinction. A British variation of the "sheep pig" was once a common sight in Lincolnshire and was shorn once a year to make sweaters from the hair, but they became extinct in Britain in 1972 according to an article at http://http//

Additional information at