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Archive for September, 2012

MSU Yarn bOMbing: Join Me?

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Friends, may I squeal in excitement? Squeeeee!!!!!!! I get to do something really fun. Not only that, we get to have fun with it, together.

I’ve been commissioned by the Michigan State University Horticultural Gardens to conceive and execute a large yarn bombing. The opening reception will be October 27. We install the day before, if all goes as planned.

This means I got 6 weeks from concept to execution. I need help. Luckily, this is the best fun kind of help I can imagine. Would you like to participate?

Bomb – (Bx2) = OM

My friend Art Cameron is a songwriter. He says that if you drop the B’s from the word bomb, you get OM. I love that.

I’ve never liked the violent words which have been used for this particular creative form. Yarn Bomb, Guerilla Knitting, Knit Graffiti. So I’m calling this one a Yarn (b)OM(b)ing. It makes me happy. Maybe I can get some yoginis to center the space the morning of the opening. It’s possible.

The Concept

I’ve got three large trees to embellish and “happify.” The first we encounter as we walk into the garden is a large, beautiful oak tree. Behind it is another tree which will drop leaves (maybe another oak, I don’t remember). At the far side, near two beehives, is a white pine. They all need to be clothed for winter.

The installation needs two different types of “garment.” One will be scarves to spiral up the tree trunks. The other is what I’m calling “pennants,” long triangles on the order of icycles, to be hung from the branches and to remain blowing in the wind even after leaves fall.

NOT Just Knitting!

Any fiberart is welcome for the pennants which will be hung on the branches of the trees. Knit, crochet, quilt, felt, weave, sew… even shrink a sweater densely and cut it into long triangles. I’m encouraging yarn ends to hang from the points, so that they will blow in the wind.

Want to Join in the Fun?


Color limits… cool tones. Blue, blue-green / teal/ turquoise, greens of all sorts, yellow-greens. (No red/ pink/ orange, that’s how I envision this piece. Yes, the other colors are wonderful. Yes, I wear them all the time. That’s not how this space speaks to me.)

Colors to use:

Colors NOT to use:


  1. Any Fiber, in colors designated above.
  2. Any fiber technique: knit, crochet, weaving, wet felt, needle felt, nuno, quilting. Hand-created in some way.
  3. Top of pennant should be in a range between 4 and 5 inches (10-12.5 cm) wide. Decrease slowly as you work, ending with a piece about 2 to 3 times longer than it is wide.
  4. If possible, leave a yarn tail of at least 4-12 inches (10-30cm) hanging from the point of your pennant.
  5. If you find you run out of yarn part way through the pennant, just join a new piece (not necessarily the same yarn or color) and keep going.
  6. Forgive yourself for imperfection. Don’t rip back, don’t worry if it’s not as you expected. Finish one triangle and go on to another. The flowers in a garden don’t match, either!


  1. ONLY standard worsted-weight acrylic “afghan yarn” such as Red Heart or equivalent. (It will stand up to the vertical gravity pull and weather.)
  2. Knitted or crocheted only, for the stretch factor.
  3. No less than 4″ and no more than 5″ wide.
  4. Pieces as long or as short as you like. Change yarn colors as you desire, within color specifications above.
  5. Any stitch pattern is welcome. I expect a lot of garter knitting and double crochet. Surprise me, if you like. Or crank out whatever is easiest for you to do while chatting with friends.
  6. If possible, leave a tail a little bit longer than your piece, attached to it. This will really help us sew things together on site.


If you can not make a piece but want to contribute yarn, it will be accepted until about October 15. Please read my specifications on which yarns we will be using. I don’t have much storage space for anything beyond the needs of this project.


If you want to make something but need a specified yarn, pop me a note. I’ll see if I can get something to you.

Where do I turn in my piece(s)?

Out of town? SEND TO:

ColorJoy by LynnH
4800 Collins Rd. Unit 26261
Lansing, MI 48909 USA

In the Lansing Area, drop finished pieces at:

  • Rae’s Yarn Boutique
  • Sticks & Strings
  • Woven Art
  • Yarn Garden, Charlotte

It’s All About Community – Make-A-Longs

There will be Make-A-Long events at all of the shops listed above. There may be other Make events not in yarn shops as well.
Do you want to host a gathering? I’m all for it. If I’m available, I’ll attend.

I Love this Community!

I can’t do this alone. I need you, love you and appreciate you. THANK YOU for your interest and enthusiasm.

Gentlemen, start your engines…
Um, I mean…

Makers, unfurl your fibers!!! It’s time to create!

Hugs, LynnH

The fine print:
  • Understand that this is a temporary installation. Your piece(s)
    will not be returned to you. There is no guarantee how your
    piece will  be installed.
  • This is a group project which requires flexibility during
    installation. I will honor your contribution(s) as I and
    volunteers install what makes most sense for the whole.

Yarn Bomb? What is THAT?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Woohoo… big news is coming fast here at Casa de ColorJoy. I don’t have time to post all the details but will tonight.

Meanwhile, may I introduce you to the concept of Yarn Bombing? It’s also known as yarn graffiti, Guerrilla Knitting and more. It’s the idea of putting yarn (usually knitted or crocheted) in a public space, usually attached to a permanent object there.

This artform tends to be irreverent. It can be goofy, political, colorful or subtle. It can be anything the artist(s) make it be.

My Exciting Find

When I was in Montreal, I lucked out. I saw a Yarnbombed piece by the international artist OLEK. She’s originally from Poland but is based in New York City. (Photo above) She says “Art and Life are inseparable.” She’s my kind of person.

She crochets covers for many things, usually without permission. This means that sometimes the work comes down rather suddenly after it was put up.

OLEK covered the bull sculpture on Wall Street, and I’ve heard it was taken down the same day it went up. See Video of her installing the bull’s colorful coat.

Yet I found this piece on the street across from Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts. I tweeted that I’d seen it. OLEK tweeted back that she was surprised it was still there. It did look as though it had been through a bit of weather.  Above is the photo I took that day.


There is another international name in YarnBombing I follow. Her name is Magda Sayeg of KnittaPlease. (You REALLY want to click that link, the cover page is trippy and interactive.) Or watch a 1 minute Video of her explaining what she does.

Ms. Sayeg and her team recently got commissioned to yarn bomb the Air Conditioning ducts in the Etsy.com main offices in New York City. She also covered an entire School Bus in Mexico (though the writing on the bus sure looks like an Asian language).

More Images

I adore this artful category of expression. Click for a Google Image search on the words “Yarn Bomb Graffiti” – more amazing pieces.

Even Time.com did a photo essay on what it called “The Fine Art of Yarn Bombing.” Not all will call it a Fine Art, but I’m pleased to hear it from Time.

More from me soon… meanwhile. Smile, chuckle, giggle or even be disgusted. I don’t imagine anyone can feel neutral about this stuff!

In Search of Ease

Friday, September 14th, 2012


Autumn is sneaking up on us here in Lansing. The trees are changing color in tiny bits here and there. We are getting more rain. The biggest thing I notice is how chilly it gets at night. I need to close the doors at sundown or it’s too cold inside.

What I’m noticing is that when we all go inside more, we start noticing what in our homes doesn’t work. All around me, friends are talking about de-cluttering or letting go in its many guises.

Letting Go

I’m fighting closet clutter yet again. Clothing is wonderful stuff to me. Each piece can be an artform itself. In addition, putting things together is an artform I call costuming (even if you’re just going out for tea or shopping).

I get sentimental about clothing. I know I’m not the only person who does. Right now I have so many clothes on my three clothing racks that things are wrinkling each other on the hangers. This just doesn’t work.

In my house, I find that most things do indeed have an assigned place. The “A place for everything and everything in its place” idea goes awry because I have too many things to fit in the assigned place.

Non-Narnian Wardrobe Management

Buying more hangers doesn’t make a closet bigger! Ironically, I think I tried that idea first. In the absence of a wardrobe out of Narnia (bigger inside than out), I need to “get real.”

When I look at what I have, one item at a time, I don’t want to let go of much. The idea of taking everything off a rack and then only putting things back that I adore and use sounds sane and tempting.

Then What?

But then, what would I do with the scrumptious sweaters that have the wrong silhouette, and the work shirt I embroidered in 1976? What about the amazing Hawaiian dresses and African dresses I have which either need alterations or don’t have places to wear?

Can I bear to let them go? Can I store them somewhere other than the closet? If so, where?

Mind you, the real goal is to make living in this house more at ease. I love the word Ease. It seems such a sane goal. A reasonable goal.

Discipline can Create Ease

Cairene MacDonald of Third Hand Works is an expert on the benefits of discipline. She says this-

Here’s what discipline is really all about:

  1. Creating conditions that bring out your best self.
  2. Having a clear sense of purpose.
  3. Being willing to be uncomfortable.

I want to create ease, by choosing the sorts of discipline I need and value. I want a clear sense of purpose. My purpose, for today, is Ease… in finding things, having clothing not be wrinkled when I pull it out, being able to put garments away without having to fight with both hands to fit it on a rack.

Are you going indoors more now, too? Finding a struggle against your own environment? In search of physical ease in your space?

I wrote a blog a while back, on how I had to take a photograph of a well-used suit before I could let it go. I re-learned some things about my process by reading it again today. It’s here: A Letting Go Experience

Also, if you are interested in pursuing this journey with some other like-minded folks, I have a Facebook group called Toss-It Tuesdays (if you are into Facebook). It’s small and friendly. I need to approve people before they can post, but I get to people pretty quickly. I’d love to have you join us.

Are you going through any letting go? What tricks do you engage to help yourself through the process?

Saturday Polymer Clay: Special Event, Special Price

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Fun with Clay and Color!

I’m teaching a special 3 hour Polymer Clay Jellyrolls and Checkerboards class at Bath Township Hall on Saturday! Mid-Michigan creatives… even if you’ve never done this, you’ll have a great time.

Have Fun, Repeat as Needed

I did a class for this same group last Spring. We had a big crowd, and a whole lot of fun. So much fun, that they invited me back. I’m honored.

Because Bath Twp. Recreation is sponsoring the class, the price is low. It’s only $20 per person (plus any materials you need to purchase from me).

Often when I teach this at a shop, it’s $40 for 4 hours. This space allows for a slightly larger group, allowing a better price per participant. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What Will We Make?

Apply colored motifs to anything bake-able at 285F. Make buttons, beads, pendants, pens, gifts.

This is a fun crowd. Join us? You can even register at the class if you like.

Want more information?
Click Here for the page listing all current Bath Township recreation classes (including this).

Thanks to Helen Sanders for making this class happen!

Art on the Street, Montreal

Friday, September 7th, 2012


Want to be inspired? These images did it for me… maybe you, too?

I took a lot of photos in Montreal. Most of what I find artful is not intended as art. However, I just uploaded 25 photos of artworks put there for the Public to enjoy… by whatever “powers that be” there are who do such things.

(Photo above is a sculpture by Henry Moore in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts.)

Click this link to see the full set of images:

Slideshow – Montreal Public Art Flickr PhotoSet

Some of these pieces were found in the subways and the Central Station (where trains come in). Some were in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The below image I took in the public square just outside the Mont-Royal subway stop (in a funky and artful part of town, my favorite place to people watch and find a cup of tea at a sidewalk cafe).

Can you see the big green chairs? They could hold several people in those big seats. Every time I passed by this area, someone was parked in one or more of these big sculptural happy-chairs! Loved it.

If you click the image above, you can see a very large version of this photo… even if you don’t choose to go to the Flickr slide show.

I’m a bit over-scheduled returning back to my regular life after two weeks away. I hope you enjoy my photos while I post here as I can.