Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Living the Woven Life

Threads are a part of my daily life

I have just finished a one year position
as part of the Mirrix Looms
Social Marketing team.
I must say it was quite an honor to work
with Claudia and Elena.
An extroidinary Mother and Daughter team.
I learned a lot about marketing,
social media and how to even use a new
blog software called Hubspot.
Everything in life is a learning experience,
is it not?

I wanted my last blog post for them
to be one that was heartfelt.
I believe I accomplished that ...
I entitled the post
"Living the Woven Life"
and I spoke about how it is to be
a Tapestry Weaver today,
what it involves
and how it is to live a life
creatively each and every day.
How to slow down and
truly enjoy the weaving process.
For me, it is a gift to have returned
to this art form, and I am grateful.
Rather than state it all here
I would love for you to visit their site
and read it,
even if you aren't a Tapestry Weaver,
I do believe you will enjoy the read
and apply the thoughts to other parts of your life.
You can find the post HERE . . .

My handwoven pouch giveaway 

I wanted to do something special for Mirrix Looms
and I created this handwoven pouch necklace
and wrote two blog posts about how it was
designed, created and woven.
At the end of this month,
a lucky winner will get this pouch,
full of love and inspiration tucked inside.
In a previous blog post of mine,
I wrote about the joy of giving to others ...
you can read HERE ...

It's certainly been a heartfelt week for my family and I.
I lost my precious Father n Law,
who suffered from ALS with strength and dignity.
 Emotions are flying right now,
and trying to put into words how I feel can't be done.

How important it is to live your life well,
to be content with where you are at this moment,
to treat others with consideration, love and respect.
I promise you can't go wrong if you do.

I am hoping that your week is filled with good things,
and happiness finds you at every corner.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Getting things Accomplished

Small tapestry finished from my Hokett Loom

Looking at the calendar,
marking it with dates and obligations,
I truly can't believe it is mid June already!

The calendar is filling,
My youngest son turns 34 tomorrow!
Vacation is coming soon
and travel plans are being made.
I am so excited to also be
taking my Weaving Mentor 
in Colorado this summer!
Four days of fellowship, inspiration and weaving!
I get goose bumps just thinking about
how the trip just fell into place.

I have had a lot of creative projects
going on at the same time
and I must say ...
it sure feels good to be finishing them up!

I have finished many needlework projects 
and I love each one of them!
For those of you who follow me on Instagram,
you can find them all there!
The quietness of holding my needle
compares to nothing else!

Stitching over one thread on 32ct linen

I want my summer to be free and easy,
so I had a to do list of what I wanted to accomplish!
I was extremely busy creating a handwoven pouch
for Mirrix Looms,
it was a two month blog project
and now a giveaway for one special weaver!
You can read all the details here ...

My finished Pouch woven with hand dyed silks

I have just finished a year long commitment
as a Social Marketing representative
for Mirrix,
and I must say it was a wonderful experience.
I wrote my last blog post for them this week,
and hope my final message will be a good one!

In the midst of a busy life,
our Wynn family had an amazing surprise
of our fourth grandchild being born,
3.5 weeks early!!!!!
Her beautiful name is Zoey Brett Wynn.
She was in the NICU for a week,
allowing her lungs to get stronger,
she is home now and doing amazing!
I have to say how full and blessed 
my life is right now!

First time I got to touch our sweet one

This past week I was able to pick up the
woven Tapestry Cuffs I had finished
weaving a month ago ...
I kept staring at them unfinished
and it was as if 
they were just asking me to complete them!

I had six different cuffs on my Mirrix 

My first completed cuff

When I sit still for a moment
and think about all that I have accomplished,
it feels really good.
I am one who doesn't like things undone.
All of my projects were fun,
but I must admit I was in over my head
"I want to do this and thats!"

I'm learning to slow down a bit,
breathe and enjoy the day.
I have my projects finished now,
books read, blog posts written
and now I want summer to just roll in.

I have returned to my Zentangle® practice,
it had been awhile!
I can't remember the last time
I sat during a lunch hour
and practiced my meditative drawing!  
It felt really good to have my pen in hand!

Lunchtime drawing

I have learned that accomplishing creative tasks
feels good from the inside out!
I also know that working on so many 
things at once is overwhelming.
I need to pick and choose what grabs my
creative attention from now on.
Lesson learned ... step lightly,
do less and enjoy every moment!

Summer is a time that we naturally slow down.
Why is it we have to wait until the summer months
to learn this lesson?
What are your summer plans?
I would love to hear

Donna Lee

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Creating something for someone else

My finished woven pouch

I have been working on this Handwoven Pouch
for a few months as a fun blog post/giveaway
I have had the pleasure of being a part
of their Social Marketing Team this past year,
and I wanted to finish my commitment with a fun weaving project.
A year flew by and I enjoyed being a part of the
Mirrix Team immensely.

I had such a fun time working on it,
and as I was creating the piece,
I was learning new weaving techniques along the way.
Tapestry Weaving is all about learning
and growing in this art form.
From the beginning design and planning stage, 
to choosing the correct sett and fibers,
learning to fix and reason out my mistakes along the way, 
visualizing a finished product,
and learning to take some weaving shortcuts.

Weaving, Learning and Taking Notes

I have learned so much from being a Tapestry Weaver,
so any time that I can spend at my looms
is a wonderful thing!
I am a Seeker,
always looking for ways to learn something new,
experience new things
and share my knowledge along the way.
Tapestry Weaving is a gift to the soul,
a quiet path taken with myself.

Adding some Rya knots to the front flap

As I finished the project I had designed,
I wanted to do something for Mirrix Looms,
as a way of saying thanks for the past year.
Thanks for choosing me among all the applicants,
for trusting my written word on their Blog each month,
and for supporting my efforts.

I decided to give the pouch away to one lucky winner!
Claudia and Elena (Mother and Daughter team of Mirrix)
 were thrilled with the idea!
So they decided during the month of June,
to give a discount for Spencer Treadle sales,
and at the end of the month,
they would draw a name of one PERSON who had purchased
a treadle during the month of June ...
honestly I can't wait to see who wins!
Sometimes we need to give to others,
Pay it forward ... It just feels right!
That's what I wanted to do with this fun project!
So inside I tucked a message ...
"Weave Tapestry"
I included a pink quartz stone ...
extending a gift of calmness and clarity.
There was a lot of love tucked inside.

Small treasures inside

I learned a lot from this project:
*How wonderful it is to design something
from start to finish
*To work out design ideas on my own
*I know I love weaving fine settings
with beautiful silk threads
*How good it is to share your work with others
*Sharing your knowledge, weaving and talents
with others is a good thing.
*Creating something for someone else feels down right awesome

I look forward to the end of June,
may the recipient love the pouch when they receive it,
as much as I loved creating it.

When you are given the chance to share,
please do it!
Giving is a good thing;
not for the recipient but for YOU!
Growth comes when we extend ourselves,
give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Much Needed Simplicity . . .

Current needlework project

I feel the extreme need at this time in my life
to live with a more simplistic pace.
I have been in a major pursuit these past few weeks
to purge out my studio, clean, simplify,
get rid of unneeded "stuff"
and simply concentrate on what
gives me a sense of pleasure,
a sense of peace
and a calming of my heart.

Our lives can get so complicated
with saying "yes" to more than we should,
working, family demands, "television",
time wasters (social media for one!)
difficult relationships
and so much more.
So for me, and I only speak for me,
I choose to say change needs to happen.
I started in my studio . . . donated books to the library
that I no longer interested me,
gave away art supplies I no longer wanted,
threw away clutter and yes even old art projects!
I asked myself the tough question . . .
"What do I really want to do with the little free time that I have??????"
I only kept what would make me happy.
I now enter my art studio with a sense of

I have scaled down my art supplies,
looked at my "talents"
and decided just what it is that makes me happy,
and concentrate on those arts.
Let's face it, we all want to do everything, right??
We can't ... art adventures cost a lot,
require a lot,
and we just can't do everything that we see out there.
I do believe social media has made it harder for us,
we are seeing what everyone is doing on a daily basis
and we want to jump in and tackle it too!
I fell into the trap too, believe me!

I always return to my weaving ... can't wait to play with this one

So for me I want to continue my passion
for watercolor painting and sketching,
tapestry weaving and my needlework.
There will always be a Zentangle® pen in my hand.
Trust me, there still isn't enough time to do even that!
I actually have three or four needlework projects
going right now,
I love the stillness that holding the linen and needle gives me.

My current needlework palette

My life is full and as I am reaching for 60 years young
this summer,
I want my life to be rich, rested, fully engaged
and loving what each day brings my way.
As you know I have three grand babies (right now)
and soon number four will be here!
Annabelle and Grayson are old enough now
to come into their Grandmommy's studio
and play,
all the while I hope I am instilling in them
a love for being creative.
My little Dylan will get there shortly!
I want to enjoy every minute of their little lives!

 Annabelle weaving at the loom in her Cinderella Dress

Grayson creating a masterpiece in my art journal

So for now I choose to slow down,
enjoy life as it comes each day,
never dreading or wasting a moment!
In order to do that ... I need Simplicity
in all that I do and in all that I AM!
Summer is here,
my fourth grandchild will be here in a matter of weeks,
my n-laws are aging and need my help,
demands are everywhere I turn.
Finding those quiet moments will be difficult,
but oh life is so rich right now!
I truly believe that not having as much,
or doing as much
will walk me through the busy times.

This week I ask you to take a look at your own life,
what can you purge away?
Look for moments to live simply,
it may just be cutting off the awful news everyday.
Think of just one thing you can do
to simplify your life.
Choose only the things that satisfy your heart,
calm your spirit
let you just breathe.
I promise you won't regret it.

My three munchkins and hubby,
life doesn't get any better than this!

May your life be full of joy and grace,
may you walk with a lighter step this week,
may your find ways in your own life
to live simply!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Retreating with Needlework Women

A Small Portion of the Sampler we were stitching

Oh my goodness this past weekend was
a wonderful experience for all who attended
The Needlework Seminar
hosted by
here in Virginia Beach, VA.
They featured the Sampler Designs 
from Beth Twist,
She is a talented designer who came all the way from 
her homestead in Oregon 
to lead us during the weekend!
You can follow her sweet blog HERE

It started Friday afternoon with an Open House
at Dyeing to Stitch,
our premiere needlework store
(don't be jealous ... it's just five minutes from my house!)
I had the sincere pleasure of greeting the attendees,
giving them their name tags and first kit giveaway of the weekend.
These ladies came from all over the country to attend.
Shopping, browsing, laughing, getting to know each other,
inspiration, delicious food and so much more
was going on all afternoon.
Many bags were filled with stitching goodies
on Friday afternoon!
I must say we are so fortunate to have such a
beautiful stitch shop in our area,
Ann Robbins and Pat Ryan are the owners,
and they do everything possible to keep us
fully stocked with the latest and greatest
needlework supplies.
I don't ever want to take that for granted!

The shop was full of excitement and anticipation

Beth is the designer of
"His Eye is on the Sparrow",
the original of hers was on proud display in the shop
for all of us to oooooh and awwww over!
Stitched on 28 count dyed linen, one thread over two,
it was so inspiring and so beautiful!

Beth's original sampler she shipped for the Retreat

(It has been on my "want to stitch" list for awhile now)
My sister completed hers this year and had it framed.
Several ladies who were attending the retreat,
brought their finished works to share with Beth.
They had worked on a "stitch along" together
for 20 months to finish the sampler before Beth got here for the retreat
Here is their photo with Beth . . .

Amazing completed works!

Later in the evening,
over 60 women gathered at the Hyatt Hotel,
around tables with their needlework projects.
WOW these women are amazingly talented!
Everyone was sharing their current projects,
show and tells, laughter and a sincere love of the needle together.
I loved seeing everyone's supplies, lights, magnifiers,
stitching bags, linens and thread color choices.
I stayed till 9:30pm and was wiped out,
Day One was a success!
I was so excited about the next day,
I could hardly sleep!

On Saturday, my sister and I started with a quiet breakfast
at Baker's Crust (a local favorite) before heading to the retreat.
Gotta get that coffee in the system!!!!
 I took the morning session,
it was held at the beautiful Greenbrier Country Club.
As we settled into our seats at the tables,
we pulled out our supplies, lights,
magnifiers, needles, scissors, eyeglasses and everything we needed.
We were so ready to get our "stitching on"
We got to see the original sampler we would be working on,
take pictures and just socialize with each other.

Kit surprise from Friday check-in

My stitching mates for the day!
Norma, Stasi and my sis Angel

How delightful all of the women were who attended!
We were happy to be together sharing what we loved.
 I enjoyed every minute of the day!
On our name tags was a place for us to put our "Instagram" names,
(This was such a great idea)
and everyone was finally able to put a face with a name.
Some of us had been following each other for a long time, 
admiring each other's stitching projects
and now we were all under one roof,
it was fun connecting!!!

Our name tags designed by Donna Rae Barrow

Just one table of women, very special women for sure!

My Instagram Collage of friends!

Beth Twist is such a beautiful soul and I immediately connected with her.
She lives a life of joy, peace and love of family.
In her spare time, she creates beautiful needlework patterns,
for others to create and enjoy for their homes.
She is a soft, loving and oh so very talented needlewoman.
Some people you just know are good folk,
she is definitely one.

Grabbing a selfie with Beth on Friday at the Open House

She had a beautiful slide show of her life in Oregon
with her precious family.
Her kit was handed out to all attendees
we were all so excited with what was inside!
Her sampler design is beautiful,
the colored threads were vibrant,
and there was more goodies inside.
Presentation was everything
and she hit a home run!!!

"I could use a little more stitching in my life"

Thread Colors for our project

 The Sampler Kit we were given on Saturday
Here is Beth's Original to inspire us

Friday's Kit Surprise at Check-In
How adorable is this!
"Stitch or Die"

I was so thrilled to meet her and spend time
 getting to know her.
I have stitched other designs from Beth,
and I love her designs.
I recently completed her
Needlework Roll ... Pat Ryan and I did our own "stitch along"
and we finished just in time for the Retreat!

My completed Needle Roll

I was even able to spend time with Beth Friday evening,
She was stitching at our table on her own piece and I
noticed she was stitching so effortlessly!
I showed an interest in the way she was stitching
and she began to show 
 me how to stitch with the "sewing method".
 I am still practicing and getting used to it this week!
I am going at a slow and deliberate pace,
it is so worth it.

Learning the "sewing method" ... One stitch at a time

Needle women are beautiful, caring,
and so willing to share their ideas,
designs, supplies and smiles with each other.
I made new friends, re-connected with old friends,
and deepened current friendships.
How blessed I am to know Ann and Pat so well,
spend time with them and call them friends.
Their love of the needle shows in everything they do!
Thank you so much for such a beautiful weekend!
We were given amazing gift keepsakes
that I know we all will cherish!
I was overwhelmed by their generosity.

Pat and Ann ... How I love these true needlewomen! 
Blessed by their friendship and love for sure

I have returned to everyday life this week,
and in my quiet moments I continue to  stitch on my retreat sampler.
With each stitch I am reminded of such a special gathering
of women this past weekend,
it was kinda hard to say goodbye!
I hope I don't forget this wonderful experience
for a very long time.

I am fortunate to gather with my local stitching sisters,
whenever I can, on Thursday Evenings,
around the table, at Dyeing to Stitch.
Laughing, sharing, talking about everything and anything,
just being together,
because there will always be "fellowship of the needle"

Morning Session Students
photo credit by Beth Twist/Donna Rae Barrow

Donna Lee
aka Yogiknitgirl

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Beauty in Nature

I am in love with this time of year!
There is so much beauty all around,
my camera has been very busy!

I have been flower pressing for awhile now,
everywhere I go I love to collect fresh flowers,
take their pictures and then into the press they go!
I got mine from Etsy years ago,
all you have to do is visit Etsy
and search "Flower Presses"

Watercolor sketching is a way of life for me,
and I love having lots of new things
to sketch and paint!
So here is a little inspiration for you,
flowers I have collected
along my way in just the past few weeks!

I love pressing flowers! I encourage you 
to give it a try if you haven't done so!
You can use them for so many things!
It's always wonderful to learn something new.
Whenever I travel, I love collecting
momentos and treasures that I can use later.

Here is my most recent treat . . .  It's what's on my nightstand.
"Plants are Magic"
Rebecca Desnos
I found her on Instagram a long time ago
and she helps you fall in love with Botanicals.
I fell in love with her first book
"Botanical Colour at Your Fingertips"
you can find her HERE

I hope that your week is filled with
beauty, love and all good things.
Take time to observe Nature,
certainly in all of it's beauty right now!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What has my attention lately!

A treasure found while visiting Edenton, NC

Well I certainly let a whole week go by without posting!
I told myself in January I would try to post
regularly, every Wednesday on my blog.
I made to March 29th, 2017!

One thing I have learned for sure,
is that life is full of unpredictable moments!
Moments that take your breath away,
Moments that occupy your time in ways you never dreamed of,
Moments that just fly by.
Moments that keep you from accomplishing
all that you want and need to!

I have been weaving a lot lately,
I am currently weaving on my beloved Mirrix loom
and creating a Tapestry Woven Pouch Necklace.
I am blogging from start to finish
for the Mirrix Loom Blog,
this project is amazing
and the hand painted silks are beautiful
to work with,
I am having a wonderful and creative time.
The first post is posted on the Mirrix Loom Blog,
you can follow my journey HERE . . .

Currently on my Mirrix

Adding in some Beads

I have been reading a lot of blog posts
about building your own pipe loom,
either from copper or galvanized pipe!
The weaving community is so generous
and always sharing knowledge with each other,
for that I am truly grateful!

My weaving mentor, teacher and friend
Rebecca Mezoff
wrote a great post HERE ...
So I went to the hardware store
and bought what I needed ...
if you want to know exactly what to buy,
HERE is the link that Tommye Scanlin so generously shared!
I actually bought the pipe pieces about a month ago,
and have just gotten around to building it on my day off today!

I thought it was going to be overwhelming,
but opening the pipe pieces
actually took longer than building the loom itself!!!
Cleaning the scanner price tags
took longer than building the loom!

So here is the finished product!
Tightened up with my hubby's strong hands
and a really good wrench!!!

My finished loom

So I immediately wanted to get a warp on the loom,
I used my 12/6 cotton seine
sett at 8 ends per inch
I plan on weaving a small tapestry diary
and getting used to the loom.

I am totally in love with Washi Tape,
so I marked off inch and half inch increments on my tape
and then added it to the loom.

Setting at 8 ends per inch

So as you can see Tapestry has gotten
a lot of my attention lately,
and I think that is a good thing.
In order to do anything well, we must spend time with it.
Sometimes I spread myself too thing,
doing way too many things.

This morning was quiet, the birds were singing,
the breeze was blowing through the window
and I was weaving before work.
Thoughts often come to me while weaving,
this morning in honor of National Poetry Month,
I wrote a poem on Tapestry!
It was a very good morning indeed!

Poem Writing while Weaving

May your week be filled with
love, creativity, happiness and joy!
Thanks for being here

Donna Lee