Monday, 26 September 2016

A Difficult Choice

September 22, 2016


Dear Wacky Windmill Supporters,


In the past few months, my personal life and work life has been impacted by several factors. You may have noticed that I have not been as active with the shop and group/social media sites as I have been in the past. I have taken some valuable time to reflect and reprioritize and have made the difficult decision to shut down my business.
This is a hard post for me to write as there are so many things that I have loved about this business. Most valuable to me has been my interactions with all of you and the friendships I have formed as a result of opening “The Wacky Windmill”.


Please note that this will not be an immediate closure. I have three shows coming up this fall and I will be maintaining my commitment to attend these events and deliver the yarns and fibres you have come to love.


I have loads of yarn and fibre dyed up so if you are able to make it to a show I would encourage you to do so as these will be your last opportunities to shop in person.


Show dates are as follows:



Etsy Made in Canada Sale
September 24th 10am - 5pm
UofR Research and Innovation Centre.
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, Saskatchewan


Manitoba Fibre Festival
September 30th 5:00 – 9:00 pm & Saturday October 1st 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Red River Exhibition Park
3977 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba


The Fibre Shindig
October 15th 10am - 5pm
Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association
1320 5th Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta


The last of the shows is on October 15th. I plan to update my online etsy shop with any remaining yarns and fibres after this show. At this point in time the shop will remain open until items sell out or until the end of the year…whichever comes first.
For those of you who have been taking part in the Crossfit Crafting Challenge please note that October will be the last month of the Challenge. The winner of this year’s competition will be announced on November 1st. This allows the winner time to use their gift certificate before the shop closes.


At some point in November I will begin reducing prices and will be having a blowout sale of any stock remaining in the shop. EVERYTHING WILL GO ON SALE, with the discount percentage going up as time goes on. However, if there is something you love, buy it at one of the shows or when the shop comes off of vacation mode. I will not be doing up any more custom orders or dyeing up anymore shop stock so once it is gone it is gone for good!!


Lastly I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you for your encouragement and support. I adore being a part of this community and seeing all of the wonderful things you have created with my yarns and fibre. Most especially I want to say thank you to all of you! Thank you for being part of the Wacky Windmill community, thank you for believing in me, and thank you for the wonderful relationships that I have formed with you all over the past 5 years.


I have decided to leave my Ravelry group open so you can continue to share all of the projects and yarns you create. I will not be as active there as I once was but I will definitely look in from time to time to see what you have created.


I also still have many creative endeavors lined up that I want to engage in. I am actually looking forward to having more time in this regard.  I will likely also keep my blog active as a place to share my process and get feedback from others.


Take Care & Happy Crafting!
Kim

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fall Sale


It`s that time of year again!  The Alberta Team on Etsy is having their annual Fall Sale.  The Wacky Windmill is taking part and you can save up to 20% off on all items between Friday October 17th and Friday October 24th.  Just use the coupon code FALL2014

I will be adding new items to the shop all weekend long so be sure and check back frequently to see what has been added!!

Below you will find a listing of all shops taking part in the sale.  This is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping.  Please keep in mind that each shop has their own sale terms so check out thier offerings below. 

 Accessories, Clothing, Bags and Purses

Design by Sew and Sew: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/designbysewandsew
Sale Terms: 15% off everything except custom orders
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Herd of Cats: www.etsy.com/shop/herdofcats
Sale Terms: $5.00 off all sales
Coupon Code: 5FALL2014

Tucker Mac Designs: www.etsy.com/shop/TuckerMacDesigns
Sale Terms: 15% off everything except Custom Orders
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Birdie and Dot: www.birdieanddot.etsy.com
Sale terms - 15% off
Coupon Code - ABTEAM

Art, Fine Art, Photography, Home Decor and Housewares

Design by Sew and Sew: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/designbysewandsew
Sale Terms: 15% off everything except custom orders
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Magpie Quilts: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/magpiequilts
Sale Terms: 10% off everything except custom
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Simple is Pretty Shop: www.simpleisprettyshop.etsy.com
Sales Terms: 15% off purchase of $20 or more
Coupon Code: FALL2014


Bath, Beauty, Edibles and Pets

Tucker Mac Designs: www.etsy.com/shop/TuckerMacDesigns
Sale Terms: 15% off everything except Custom Orders
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Ceramics, Pottery, Glass, Crochet, Knitting, Needlecraft and Quilts

The Wacky Windmill: www.thewackywindmill.etsy.com
Sales Terms: 20% off
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Lampwork by Julie - www.etsy.com/shop/lampworkbyjulie?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale terms -50% off purchases over $20.00
Coupon Code - HALFPRICE

Magpie Quilts: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/magpiequilts
My Sale Terms: 10% off everything except custom
Coupon Code: FALL2014

The Wicked Potter: www.etsy.com/shop/TheWickedPotter?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale Terms: 10%off
Coupon code: FALLSALE10

Children and Toys

Birdie and Dot: www.birdieanddot.etsy.com
Sale terms - 15% off
Coupon Code - ABTEAM

Simple is Pretty Shop: www.simpleisprettyshop.etsy.com
Sales Terms: 15% off purchase of $20 or more
Coupon Code: FALL2014

Kenzie and Co: www.kenzieandco.etsy.com
Sales Terms: 15% off purchase of $30 or more not including customs
Coupon code: ABFALL14

Jewelry/Jewellery

Lampwork by Julie - www.etsy.com/shop/lampworkbyjulie?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale terms -50% off purchases over $20.00
Coupon Code – HALFPRICE

Donna D Store: www.etsy.com/shop/DonnaDStore
My Sale Terms: 20% off all total sales over $25.00
Coupon Code: FALL2014

The Wicked Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/TheWickedShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale Term: 15% off everything in my shop.
Coupon code: FALLSALE15

Birdie and Dot: www.birdieanddot.etsy.com
Sale terms - 15% off
Coupon Code - ABTEAM

Peacock and Lime: www.peacockandlime.etsy.com
Sale terms: 15% off
Coupon Code: ABTeamSale

Wire Expressions: www.wireexpressions.etsy.com
Sale terms: 15% off any in-stock purchase over $10
Coupon Code: WEFALL15

The Wicked Potter: www.etsy.com/shop/TheWickedPotter?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale Terms: 10%off
Coupon code: FALLSALE10

Junquete: www.etsy.com/shop/junquete
Sale Terms: 10% off items 10.00 or more
Coupon Code: FALLSALE10OFF

Paper Goods


The Wicked Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/TheWickedShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale Term: 15% off everything in my shop.
Coupon code: FALLSALE15

Supplies, Vintage, Bridal, Wedding and Celebrations

Lampwork by Julie - www.etsy.com/shop/lampworkbyjulie?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Sale terms -50% off purchases over $20.00
Coupon Code - HALFPRICE

Junquete: www.etsy.com/shop/junquete
Sale Terms: 10% off items 10.00 or more
Coupon Code: FALLSALE10OFF

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Crazy Crafting


 I have been crazy crafting these last couple of weeks!  First of all I need to share about our visit to see our lovely friends Lyle & Kirsten.  They live on an acreage near Ponoka which is a fair distance from us.  This is unfortunate, because we don't get to see them as often as we would like.  We drove up to see them this past weekend and a fabulous time was had by all.  While the guys were busy mountain biking in Red Deer, Kirsten and I decided to get creative.


First of all she taught me how to make cold process soap, which I thoroughly enjoyed!  The little bar on the left is sporting one of her soap tags, but was mixed from scratch and poured by me.  Of course I loved it so much that I now have some soap making supplies on the way to me so that I can make more in future.  Her recipe is wonderful.  I love the lather on the soap and it does a great job of moisturizing the skin.  It's fragrance and dye free, and contains minimal ingredients.  I think it's fabulous! 



 After we finished making our soap, we decided to try some fabric dyeing.  We wanted to experiment with batik dyeing which uses a wax resist and fiber reactive dyes.  We mixed up the dyes, and melted some wax on a hot plate in a double boiler set up.  Kirsten had cut some forms out of foam, and we used those and paint brushes to add the wax to our fabric.  Since we were just experimenting we used old white sheets and tea towels to see what would happen.  Kirsten tacked up an old crib sheet between two saw horses that we were supposed to share, but I was having so much fun that she let me have at it like a canvas.  All the white bits are where I applied wax, I also did a bit of tie dyeing and painted on the rest of the colour.  While I was preoccupied with this portion, Kirsten was going crazy with the foam stamps on some of the other fabric.  Below I have a shot of her next to our dye table with all of our premixed colours.  To the right is a picture of our fabrics drying with their first layers of colour.














 Unfortunately, I forgot to get some pictures of the finished works!  We had a lot of fun, but some of the sheets had some heavy amounts of wax on them and it was difficult to remove.  Lessons were learned and we now have a list of do's & don'ts.  I'm sure we will get even better results the next time we try this!

In exchange for my lessons in soap making I spent some time teaching Kirsten how to spin, and despite exhaustion from the activities of the day we managed to each finish a skein of yarn.  Kirsten's was a thick and thin two ply which I don't have a photo of, and mine is a three ply fingering weight yarn that I have had on the wheel for several months waiting to get finished.  It felt good to get it completed.



Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and we returned home.  However, I felt inspired and over the past few days I got some canning done and also got adventurous and completed my first quilting project.  I have found myself sewing a lot more lately than I ever have.  I was sharing with Kevin yesterday that I really like the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing something with my own two hands regardless of the craft.  It's nice to be able to sit back and say "I made this!"  My wonderful grandmother passed away at the end of June, and as strange as it might sound, I like to believe that she is channeling her passion for sewing through me.  I feel as though she is close to me when I am at my sewing machine, and it is a comforting feeling.  This week, I finished my first quilting project.  It's a little Halloween centerpiece.  However, I am thinking I might use it as a wall hanging and put it in my cubicle at work for the coming holiday.  It's a first attempt at this craft, and I know that everything doesn't line up the way it should, but I am incredibly happy with this little piece and look forward to maybe trying some other quilting pieces in future.



  As for the canning, I ended up doing some pickling.  These are my first batch of pickled anything!  My husband wanted pickled beans with habaneros.  The beans were being sold by one of the local hutterite colonies and looked lovely, so I got them as I hadn't grown any this year.  The habaneros were our own.  This is the first year we have had a really great crop of them.  I used them in my salsa this year, and Kevin likes to add them to our breakfast skillets.  They are also great in jambalaya recipes!  They are pretty easy to grow and just require some good sun and heat.  I look forward to growing more of them next year.


Well, that's about all I have to share at this time.  I think I need to do posts a little more frequently so that I don't end up trying to squish so much into the few that I do get done.  I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in crafting, and hopefully it may inspire you to try and do something that you've always wanted to!

Take Care & Happy Crafting!

Friday, 30 August 2013

It's Back!!


Welcome back to the third installment of THE BIG BANGERINO CLUB!!

You all voted and based on your input, club has gone back to being offered on a month to month basis!  Club bases will vary and we will have some new blends this year, but the majority of them will have a merino base in keeping with club tradition from years past!  Thank you to everyone who offered feedback for this years club!  For those folks who are new to The Big Bangerino Club come join us on Ravelry for updates, contests, chatter & more! Ravelry - Big Bangerino Club 

Big Bang Theory Season 7 Premiere is titled "The Hofstadter Insufficiency."  The episode has Leonard on the North Sea for a scientific expedition while Sheldon and Penny are left at home to cope without him.  Club for October is themed after this episode.

Club Memberships will be available from now until September 26th (Season Premiere Airing) or until all memberships for the month are sold out. Orders will be shipped out no later than October 15, 2013.

About the Club:
    
The Big Bangerino Club is for all folks who love the TV show "The Big Bang Theory." Each month The Wacky Windmill will be offering a Big Bang related colourway.  Club orders are on a first come first serve basis.  Anyone can order as long as the listing is active.  There are however a limited number of listings available so be sure and get yours while quantities last!!

Club is offered from October 2013 - May 2014.  Each month a new base will be available with it's own SWAG with a theme related to the show.  It could be from a recent episode or inspired by a past favourite.  Additional fibre/yarn may be purchased at the same time if you are wanting a larger quantity.

I look forward to playing along with all of you this year & hope you enjoy taking part.

Happy Crafting!!
Kim


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

First Annual Guild Retreat

April 26th, 27th, and 28th marked the first annual guild retreat for the Crocus Country Fibre Arts Guild.  The majority of guild members were able to attend and we had a great venue given that we were able to spend the weekend at the beautiful North Bow Lodge.  The lodge overlooks the Bow River and is located just outside of Calgary, AB.  The owners Michele and Stu Wheeler were fabulous hosts providing us with comfortable beds, a homey atmosphere, and wonderful food.  Our guild had the entire place to ourselves for the weekend with the freedom to engage in any crafty endeavors that appealed to us.   The weather over the weekend was windy but was also warm and sunny and we were able to take the opportunity to go on some really nice walks along the river with deer wandering nearby, and a variety of birds as well.


Folks brought spinning wheels, weaving supplies, knitting, dye supplies, blending board, drum carders, swifts, ball winders, rug hook supplies and of course projects in varying stages of completion.  Friday evening we all picked out our bedrooms, set up shop and enjoyed a yummy supper prepared by Michele.  Lenora was kind enough to bring a selection of non alcohol and alcohol based wines and gave us a fun and informative wine tasting lesson.  We got to learn about food pairing and tried out some lovely red and white wines.


Saturday morning we woke up at our leisure and enjoyed our coffees.  We had a nice continental breakfast and had a great time visiting and working on various fibre arts throughout the day.  Dianne brought a blending board and a wonderful bag of merino fibre contributed by Cal from Shuttleworks. Lots of us took the opportunity to try it out, and I was able to produce a small skein of yarn as a result.
  


 Susan had her daughter Cori come down to instruct an outdoor yoga class to work out our kinks, and she was able to join us for a couple meals and some cross stitch too!  Christa & Lenora brought dye supplies and we were able to do some dyeing with acid dyes as well as some natural dye products.  I had the chance to dye up some finn fibre that I brought with me and ended up with a very pretty light yellow from tree moss and a light fawn colour achieved from walnut husks.  I ended up blending the two together to create some really beautiful batts that I'm looking forward to spinning up!

 It was wonderful to have so many activities to choose from and so many wonderful and talented ladies to share knowledge and ideas with.  Theresa got to expand her knowledge and skill when she was given a spinning lesson by Christa and Cheryl.  Unfortunately she decided that this was not her cup of tea but did later discover that she really enjoyed needle felting and joined Dianne as both of them worked on felted creatures!


I also ended up completing two projects I had in the works, one of which was a gradient yarn that I spun from a Bullseye Bump from Steph of Loop on etsy.  Steph makes beautiful centre pull fibre bumps that I love spinning and I am so happy with the finished yarn.


 I also completed a small shawlette that I was working on called Age of Brass and Steam which is a free download on Ravelry for anyone who is interested.   It is knit up from some of my handspun that came from a gorgeous braid from one of my favorite dyers Julie Spins.  A very easy pattern that results in a great shawlette that can be any size you want it to be!

 Sunday morning arrived and we again had a wonderfully lazy morning and were later treated to a delicious hot breakfast.  Some of us completed projects while others had to pack up and leave early.  Most of us were packed up by early afternoon, and sadly the weekend came to a close.  Overall, I found the weekend to be a wonderful experience which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Much thanks and appreciation to all who helped to arrange the weekend, especially Alice who picked the location and made most of the arrangements for us.  I look forward to next year!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Month of Love Draw!







Since February is all about hearts and love I thought I would share the love and have a special little draw this month!  In addition to all my handspun and hand dyed yarns and fibre I am also an authorized retailer for HiyaHiya, Soak, and now LavaShea lotion bars! The package featured above is worth $30 and could be yours if you take part in the draw.

The rules are simple.  For the month of February every order placed with the shop will count as an entry in the draw.  All you need to do is post the date of your order and what it is that you purchased in this thread on my Ravelry Group. Items made from Wacky Windmill yarns and fibres also qualify for the draw if you complete them in the month of February!

If you are not on Ravelry then I would encourage you to join!  It is free and is a wonderful social media group.  To be honest, I spend more time on Ravelry than any other social media site, simply due to the fact that it is so user friendly and has a very positive atmosphere.  Ravelry is also a fabulous source of patterns, ideas, and resources for knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners!

In addition to being entered into The Wacky Windmill draw, purchases from the shop also qualify for entry into the Fiber Indie eXperience Co-op monthly draw.  The FIX prize for February is a $50 gift certificate which can be used at any of the 10 participating shops!  Qualifying shops are listed at the top of the prize entry thread.

This affords you two possible prize winning opportunities!  Head over to the The Wacky Windmill now for your chance to win!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Knit & Ski Steamboat


So I have recently returned from a great trip to Steamboat, Colorado.  The weather was beautiful, the town was charming, and I was privileged to learn a boatload about knitting.  One thing I love about the fibre arts is that there is always so much to learn.  I feel like I could spend a lifetime acquiring new knowledge and building on my skills. 

Knit & Ski Steamboat was an event that was coordinated by Craft Cruises and I enjoyed every moment of it.  Not only did I get to meet a variety of other knitters, but I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful knit wear designers & instructors. 

In attendance for the week were Galina Khmeleva, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, and Lucy Neatby.  All of these ladies are so talented and are a wealth of information.  I had the opportunity to take classes with both Galina and Ann and found them to be a pleasure to work with.  Galina is a treasure trove of information on Orenburg lace as well as Russian history and culture.  It was fun to learn the origins of Orenburg lace, as well as practise constructing some of the motifs used to construct these beautiful shawls.  Ann was one of the most genuine and modest individuals I met on this trip, and her passion for knitting, (as well as for clean edges in sweater construction) was very apparent.  I feel like I learnt a lot about sweater design and construction and definitely feel much more confident in undertaking a sweater project in future.  If you ever have the chance to take a class with either of these talented women, I would highly recommend it!  I also enjoyed meeting both Cat and Lucy and found them to be fun, and interesting and look forward to future opportunities to take classes with them as well.

In addition to the classes, there was an artisan market with yarns, and handmade items from all sorts of local producers.  I ended up getting myself a warm and cozy set of mittens from a lovely lady who makes them from upcycled sweaters.  They are fabulous!

On my last day of the trip I had sunny weather and a nice day on the local ski hill.  Below is a photo I took looking down on the town from the hill.  It was a gorgeous view and I could not resist. 

All in all it was a very worthwhile trip and I had a great time!  I'm hoping I will be able to take part in a future adventure with Craft Cruises and really look forward to the time that I can!

Take Care & Happy Crafting!