Bernhardt Coffee Roasters

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but am just finally getting a chance to sit down at my computer! 

A few months ago I was contacted by a new online-only coffee roasting company based out of Bend, Oregon. They asked if I wouldn't mind trying out some of their beans and writing a review of them- regardless of my feelings. I am not being compensated in any way for this review. 

Bernhardt Coffee (www.bernhardtcoffee.com) is 100% Arabica beans that have been harvested by hand. They are organic, fair trade, and shade grown at a high altitude. In all honesty, it is some of the best coffee I've had the pleasure of trying! Roger and I had the medium roast several mornings in our lattes and we drank the dark roast as drip coffee. I definitely preferred the medium roast, it was earthy (in a good way) and smooth, low acidity- almost like milk chocolate. 

I don't know much about the different intricate flavor nuances that beans from different regions produce, but I've tried a lot of coffee roasted all over the US and even some from England, and these are some pretty stellar coffee beans! All in all, I would highly recommend Bernhardt Coffee to coffee lovers everywhere! 

Endless Mistakes

Have you ever had a project you've been working on that you just can't seem to get right? it doesn't matter what you do, you just seem to make mistake after mistake after mistake? That pretty much sums up my last week. I've been working for 2 weeks straight, while fighting a cold,  to get a rush order done for 6 yards of fabric and I finally finished at 10:30 tonight after 12 hours of work today- and a week late. 

Seriously, every mistake I could possibly make, I made, times 2. The initial 20,000 yards of yarn I dyed turned out too similar in tone and rendered the pattern invisible. A fact I discovered after close to 19 hours of work. My only option was to start over. I remeasured 10,000 yards, redyed it, tied all 1200 ends on, and restarted.  I thought I was finally on the home stretch, albeit 5 days past my deadline. 

By the time I reached weaving yard number 4 last night, I made the unhappy discovery that my warp was too short. Yep, I missed a loop on my warping board and measured my entire 5 foot width of fabric 2 yards too short. Today was spent remeasuring, retying, and reweaving the last 2 yards for my order. Now a week late. 

I'm turing in the finished fabric tomorrow and am looking forward to seeing it in action- even if I don't ever want to think about these 2 weeks again. Now back to work. 

The Ever Expanding Blog Post

I was tagged by Lauren Winter to be part of an ever expanding blog post that interviews artists and makers about their creative process. I am happy to participate! So here is a little glimpse into what I've been up to!

 

What am I working on? 

I currently have a few different projects in the works. The first is some yardage for a local interior design firm who is opening 2 different brick and mortars in the coming weeks. I hand dyed all the yarn and am weaving it up for them to make into pillows. 

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Once that is finished, I am going to work on a custom wall piece for the a special someone who lives in the Big Apple! 

How does my work differ from others of its genre(s)? 

I've spent a long time trying to find my niche in the world of weaving. There are so many of us out there but it seems like so few are following their own path. It was hard for me to break away from the world of weaving scarves, table runners, and tea towels, but I am so glad that I did. I can focus my energies on what I love- designing and weaving, rather than hemming and mass producing. I am happy to give others the opportunity to use handwoven fabric, rather than only offering finished products that are limited by my imagination and sewing skills. 

Why do I create what I do? 

I have always loved textiles so when I discovered that I could create my own- it was obvious that was what I needed to do in my life.

How does my creative process work?

My creative process is a twisted path. It begins with an idea that I am so excited about I can't possibly think of anything else. Then I start breaking it down into different steps and analyzing the challenges I have to overcome with each one. At this point, I usually have a complete mental breakdown and decide that my idea was actually really stupid and probably impossible. That's where the husband comes in and tells me I am being silly and actually talks me through working out all the kinks until I am confident enough to give it a try or we both decide it'd be better set aside to try at a later date. All of this usually happens within a span of about 30 minutes. Once my emotions are in check, I can usually mull it over for a few days and come up with some offshoots of the original idea that are actually doable. I've pretty much got it down to a science :)

For Sale

2 weeks ago I brought a couple new looms into the family. Unfortunately, that means I have to get rid of one in order to make the space. I don't think I can convince my studio mates to give me any MORE room! So I am putting my first loom up for sale. It's a Leclerc 48" 4 harness counterbalance loom. She's old and definitely shows her age, but is a beast and has done everything I could ever ask of her. I know she will make someone very happy! 

I have tons of extra heddles and a reed to go with her. I'm asking $550. She's located in Nashville, TN. Please feel free to email me with any questions: allison@shuttersandshuttles.com

Studio 203

I can barely even remember a time before the studio. I am finally falling into a routine and, while it's taken some time to get used to separating work from leisure, I think I am finally getting the hang of it! It doesn't feel so weird to be home without being productive anymore and I can actually accomplish tons while I am at the studio. We're still decorating and moving things around- especially because I got 2 new looms this past weekend, but here is a before and after!

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Hannah's Papertrail

This girl. Hannah Jones. She's one of the most incredibly talented people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. By day she teaches fashion illustration at O'More, by night she's half of the fashion design duo Jamie and the Jones. By the witching hour she's working on her own illustrations of pretty much everything. The latter is what I'm going to talk about now- because you already know about my obsession and love for all things Jamie and the Jones. 

Hannah did a beautiful illustrated guide to weaving stitches for my first tapestry weaving class a few weeks back. We were both so much in love with how detailed and unique they turned out that we were already wanting to do more. Hannah had the brilliant idea to do an illustrated version of some of my woven wall hangings! Not only that, she let me come and take some process photos of her illustrating and painting them. They turned out beautifully- so much so, that several people at Porter Flea thought they were actual weavings! Once I get some proper photos of the finished products, I'll have them up for sale on my site :)

She's happy to do custom illustrations and will have a website with her portfolio up in the next week or so! In the meantime, you can email her at papertrailillustration@gmail.com and follow her Instagram feed @papertrailillustration