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New Studio Space

 

New Public Studio Space for The Twisted Purl

Slowly, my little business has grown.  The Twisted Purl has taken over my house for some time and something had to change.

When I originally started, I ran everything out of our laundry room. Which although it’s a pretty big laundry room, with lovely counter space, lots of cabinets, and a huge sink, it didn’t take long to outgrow.  For awhile, I used the laundry room, part of the garage, AND my living room.  The spinning wheel was always out, among baskets of fiber, and racks of drying felted soaps.

Then, the sacrifice was made to give up my dining room and turn it into a studio.  The studio was gorgeous, when it was organized, but the lack of space was still killing me.  There wasn’t places for things and I’d have to set up stations for work then break it down, which ended in a huge cluttered mess.  The dining room always spilled over into the living room and it was pretty impossible to keep neat.

Fluff was all over the floor.  Kids would go to school with wool in their shoes and on their clothes.  My dog had a daily intake of fiber and made the background super colorful.  Yeah, okay, okay,  maybe that last part was TMI.  But you see, this was our life!

My greatest fear, was someone would show up at my door in the middle of all my chaos and want to buy yarn.  This actually happened a few weeks back. Although the couple that came by were sweet and so understanding, I just knew under their breath, they were like “What the holly heck is this mess and how in the world is this a yarn studio! ”  In my defense, I was getting ready to pack the car and rushing around finishing last-minute items for a big show.  There were packed boxes and stacks of inventory everywhere.  I’m quite certain I hadn’t showered that day and know I was covered from head to toe in stray strands of fiber.  What an impression I must have made!

The Twisted Purl is in over 70 stores now, in 4 different countries, with our Felted Soaps.  On average we ship 250 soaps a week (that’s a lot of soap).  Our yarn retails worldwide.  We are doing some big shows, meeting lots of fantastic people, and loving every minute of it!

So yes, the time has come! Time to reclaim my house. Time to make this business the real deal. Time to move into a public place.  Time to expand and grow.

Now, my friends, I’ve found a little studio space.  A little place inside a great office building.  The perfect starter studio for The Twisted Purl.  A spot where all my tools, fluff, and stuff is set up in a workspace environment.  A dedicated place for me to work, uninterrupted by the things daily life throws at you while working out of your home.  A space you can come by and play!  You can come make yarn, learn to spin, or just come watch as the fluff turns into string and oh so many other things.

In a few weeks, we’ll have a grand opening and officially be ready for you to stop on by.  In the meantime, please follow us on Instagram and Twitter to get updates about the move and all the happenings.

Also, quick side note, I am looking for an intern or two for the Fall so if you are interested (or know anyone who might be) please check out our Internship Program.

 

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Etsy Craft Party Preparations are Underway

I LOVE Etsy Stickers from The Crafting Place

Stickers made by The Crafting Place

We are hosting an Etsy Craft Party this year in Conway, Arkansas and couldn’t be more excited.

Crafting makes me HappyWanted to created a space for our finished projects so we can photograph and tweet them out with all the other Etsy Craft Parties happening around the world.  This cork board is my solution.  From our local craft store, I purchased a set of four cork boards.  Glued two of them together.  Used a hot glue gun to attach a very Etsy-ish feeling ribbon around the edge.  Added a tack with a stylish paperclip to the center.  Finished with the @Etsy and hashtag for the event #CraftParty in the corners.

Etsy #CraftParty Photo Embellishment Showoff BoardNow finished, the board is on an easel and is the perfect spot to show off all our #CraftParty photo embellishment creations.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram during the event to see all the creations on June 6th, 2014.  Follow the hashtag #CraftParty to see all the worldwide creativity.  If you are in our area, come join in the fun at The Locals on 1024 Van Ronkle, Conway 72034 starting at 6 PM.

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Handmade for Arkansas Tornado Relief

rofit benefit Tornado Victims

Handspun Yarn by The Twisted Purl

Tornadoes ripped through Arkansas on April 27th, 2014.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighboring cities of Vilonia and Mayflower and all those dealing in the aftermath of this natural disaster.  Blessed my family was spared from the utter, unbelievable amount of destruction this powerful storm caused, this hit too close to home.  My heart is breaking for those affected.

Yesterday, I traveled to Little Rock from Conway, on Interstate 40.  At Mayflower, I drove directly through the devastated path the tornado left.  The massive scale of the scene was too much to take in and the amount of wreckage was unbelievable.  There were RV’s stacked and twisted together, concrete buildings only half standing, and a tremendous amount of indescribable loss.

After seeing everything first hand, I knew I had to help.  There are many ways people of Arkansas are banding together and I’m proud being part of this state.  (We are #ArkanSTRONG)   I’m just one person, one small handmade business, but I know that every bit helps.  The news reported a $10 donation to the American Red Cross can give two blankets to victims.

In the wake of the tornado, not only are people involved, but pets too.  Our local Humane Society has a number of lost, injured, or orphaned pets in need of care and shelter. They are hosting an Arkansas Tornado Pet Relief Effort.  They are raising more funds to help with the surplus of activity they are experiencing.

For the entire month of May, The Twisted Purl will give:

10% of all profits to the American Red Cross

10% of all profits to the Humane Society of Pulaski County

A portion of our gross profits from any purchase from The Twisted Purl Etsy shop,  website store, or from one of our shows this month will be donated to the above charities.

Etsy Make a DifferenceThere are a few other local handmade Etsy shops helping to raise funds for the Humane Society of Pulaski County  as well.  All have agreed to give at least 10% of their May gross profits!

Any purchase from the shops listed on this Facebook Page: Arkansas Strong: Etsy’s Tornado Pet Relief Effort Fundraiser will benefit the Humane Society.I’ll be adding the handspun yarn photographed above and more to my Etsy shop.  There are a few other handmade items, including our felted soaps, available.

By no means do I want to profit from this disaster, just want to help raise extra funds I would not otherwise be able to contribute.  Below are more resources for different ways you can help.

Additional ways to help:

The Made Thing has a couple posts:

AR Scene has put together this information:

Donate funds directly to the American Red Cross

Donate to the Humane Society of Pulaski County

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Raspberry Pi Bake-Off Hendrix College 2014

First place medal for winning the Raspberry Pi Bake Off competition at Hendrix College.

Raspberry Pi Bake-Off 2014Pi day was March 14th (3.14 of course) and we attended the Raspberry Pi Bake-Off competition hosted by Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.  It was the perfect place to show off the Raspberry sPIn, a new electric spinning wheel powered by a Raspberry Pi.  You can read all about the Raspberry Pi powered spinning wheel here.

The family and I were really excited to see all the things the community members created with a Raspberry Pi. Family on way to Raspberry Pi BakeoffHonestly, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was praying the Raspberry sPIn would work and hoping I’d be able to articulate all the steps taken to get the wheel spinning.  I was pretty nervous.

Let me get real with you here, I’m a huge chicken and a big time self doubter.  Almost all my ideas I second, third, and continuously question.  Thankfully, I have supportive family and wonderful friends who hear my doubt and then tell me to get over it.  Making this wheel was a way of testing myself to see if I could do it.  I was pretty proud of my creation.  But this is where self-doubt creeps in. Heading to the Bake-Off, I figured all the brainy gurus of Conway would scoff at my simple coding.  I assumed I would be ridiculed for wiring something wrong or for doing something elementary.

Scared to death, my hands shook as I set everything up.  With a few hiccups in getting the wheel going, great relief came when the wheel turned on and started showing off all it could do.  Once everything was working, my nerves quickly ran away and I immensely enjoyed the evening.  I created yarn throughout the event and talked up fiber arts and how fun it is crafting code.

Cyndi at Raspberry Pi Bake Off
Photo Credit to Michelle Corbet from the Log Cabin Democrat.

My experience at the Bake-Off was the absolute opposite of all my fears.  The brainy gurus scratched their heads and congratulated my accomplishments.  It was very rewarding and satisfying. It says a lot about our community as well.  Conway is supportive, encouraging, and totally rocks.

Creation is a way of life, whether it be through physical art like handspun yarn or through code and making things work. Don’t let anything like fear or self-doubt stand in your way of learning and creating. Get over it and get into it!IMG_0511_edited-1When it was time for the winning project announcements, my family and friends gathered around.  Honestly, I figured the Raspberry sPIn wasn’t high-tech enough or my coding was too simple to really win anything.  I figured it might be worth third place, or possibly second, but I would never get first!  I was just happy being there and seeing how the spinning wheel grabbed the public’s interest.

Third place announcement went to a Q-Bert Game Simulator.  It was a sweet interactive creation, where you stood on different squares to make Q-Bert move.

Second Place announced.  It wasn’t me.  But hey that’s okay!  Second place went to a 3D printer server.  It was definitely as cool as it sounds.  The Raspberry Pi was controlling the 3D printer and creating amazing things.  I really thought he would get first place.

First place announcement.  Me…wait…WHAT?!?!?!?!  To my absolute shock, the Raspberry sPIn won first place.  It just proves that when you put your mind to something you can do it. I was also the only woman in the competition. Girls can code too! Raspberry Pi Medal I won a sweet medal printed from the Hendrix 3D Printer and another complete Raspberry Pi set up.  My boys are already dreaming up all the things they want to make with the new Raspberry Pi.  Special thanks to Tony Bates of Arkansas Geek Central for generously donating the prizes!

Throughout the event a team from Hendrix filmed and interviewed attendees and participates.  Check out the video!

Below is the video from David Hinson’s website.

Very pleased with the win and huge personal accomplishment.  I’m already planning on improvements and things to add to the wheel.  Laser lights and a fog machine were suggestions offered during the event.  Ha!  I want to add something that counts the yards of yarn being spun and a few other fiber fun things.

Please check out the story in newspaper about the event by Michelle Corbet.

Much more to come from the Raspberry sPIn. Still looking for a good place for it in the studio, but it’ll be up and spinning soon.  You can come see it on May 3rd, 2014 during Toad Suck Daze, at The Locals.