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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kitchen time today...

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We live 20 miles from the nearest grocery store in Salida.  We knew this when we bought the property, but I grew up in a rural area, so I was prepared for the consequences.  For my mother, it meant three meals a day for 6 people every single day of the year -- not a restaurant in sight!  In fact, I did not get to eat in a restaurant until I left home to go to college in the UK at age 17.  I worked my way through college by working... you guessed it... in the college kitchen.  We churned out hundreds of tasty meals every day, and I enjoyed the experience.
My kids garnered much sympathy from their teenage friends when they stated the truthful fact that they had never had a pizza delivered to our house.
I love to cook, and I love to have people over to enjoy meals with us.  So any time you are in our neck of the woods, you would be welcome to join us for lunch or dinner!
Today it was time to refill the granola jar, whip out a rum cake for my book-club meeting tomorrow, use up some of this summer's apple sauce from our tree in an easy quick bread, and toss a pot roast into the dutch oven to justify having the oven running all morning.

There was just time to duck over to the studio and pack the daily fiber orders in time to catch the post.  Then I had to buckle down and wind some wool and pack some kits to stay abreast of our wonderful customers.  In the winter I try to get ahead on some of the winding and packaging, 'cos once spring shows its smiling face, I'm anxious to get my seeds started in their little pots in anticipation of another season of organic veggies to restock my freezer and pantry.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year

I tend to schedule more activities into my day than the hours things like this blog invariably get pushed aside in favor of more "urgent" tasks.
But this year I aim to change that!
However, as the owner of Outback Fibers, the daily routine of packing customer orders does not make for exciting blogging... though it does pay the bills.
I have occasional days when I have time to make felt, and I wish those days were more frequent.  I have a studio full of fabulous fibers that I daily ship off to lucky felters who get to make all those wonderful things I have in my head.
But, in moving to Colorado, part of my life goal was to immerse myself in a lifestyle different from our previous urban setting.  I grew up in Tasmania where we grew all our own fruits and veggies, milked a cow, made our own butter, bread, granola, preserves etc...and I miss that.  I have always done some of that during the years we raised our children, but our current location offers so much more opportunity for such endeavors.
So my blog from here on will encompass the many aspects that are important in my life.  Some days it might be the product of my felting studio... and other days it might feature the product of my kitchen, or my garden, or just some of the scenic reasons we selected this part of Colorado for our "golden years".  Even my grandchildren may show up from time to time as they make the trip up from Texas and get to participate in this "sustainable lifestyle" we have chosen to pursue.

I recently had time to work with the Truffles prefelt, topped with the Milan merino harmonies and a touch of Milan bombyx silk.
But now... I need to head to the kitchen.....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall at Outback Fibers

After a busy summer that included the arrival of two new grand-babies, 

a successful garden full of produce,

and the removal of our old log house,

Outback Fibers is gearing up for an exciting fall season.

Our Profusion undyed prefelt will finally be back in stock in December, along with three new colors -- a rich burnt orange, a bright turquoise and a neutral tan.  Look for these to be available for sale before the end of the year.
We have also added "tissue silk" (silk georgette) to our line of nuno fabrics.

 We will gradually expand the range of colors if these prove to be as popular for our clients as our 5mm habotai silk fabric.

Let us know how we can help.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Georgette (Tissue) Silk Fabric

I am happy to announce that Outback Fibers now has Gorgeous hand-dyed tissue-silk fabrics now available by the yard.   Coordinate these silk fabrics with their matching 18.5 micron superfine merino wool, and tussah silk roving; or chose complimentary colors from our full line of Treetops wools and silks.
Lightweight, 4.5 momme open-weave tissue silk (comparable to the US “georgette” silk),  is the perfect fabric for beginning nuno felters and those wanting a gauzy, soft finish. 
 Choose our dyed “paj” (habotai) silk fabrics for a tighter weave with more luster and a more substantial pucker. 
Perfect for your very own unique, one-of-a-kind piece of nuno felt sure to attract attention and interest. Have fun and let us know what you think.
 Here is an example of one of my scarves using some habotai silk fabric.  The color is Machu Picchu.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Outback Fibers Workshops in Beautiful Colorado

Beginning next summer, we will be offering various workshops here at our studio. When we moved from Texas to Colorado two years ago, we planned an expanded workshop space and will have some on-site accommodation as well as some commercial lodging nearby.

We are located in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon flanked by the Sangre de Cristo mountains on one side, and the Arkansas River valley on the other. It is a wonderful place to surround yourself with inspiration and fiber! We hope to bring in various teachers for classes; as well as simply offering the space for those who want to work with a small group of fellow fiber artists in a setting that provides supplies, fiber, workspace, food, lodging and scenery...all in one location.

Meanwhile... happy felting and let us know if you are interested.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Christo Coming to Coaldale

For those who love to plan for the future, I must let you know that Christo plans to drape the Arkansas River right here in our canyon in the summer of 2014. Christo's website.

In keeping with the promotion of the arts, we at Outback Fibers will be planning a series of summer workshops to coordinate with the two weeks in August 2014 when the exhibit will be on display.  It will be two years in the making as construction will encompass some 42 miles of the river.  There will be almost 6 miles of draping in areas where river rafters will be best able to float beneath to view the work.  We are just a short walk from the river, so what could be better than to take in some fresh air, some fiber, some felting, some floating, some fly-fishing... (I just love those "f" words!).

Workshops will be posted to the website closer to the time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Silk Yardage for Nuno

As we settle into our new location here in Colorado, we have room to expand our line of products to include some luscious paj silk dyed to match our superfine merino harmonies line of wool roving.

Having Mark in the business is beginning to allow me more time to play with the products that everyone else gets to enjoy all the time!  I took advantage of the Xmas slowdown to sample a number of the new colorways in this 5mm habotai silk and made a few scarves to show how beautifully the wool and silk can be coordinated in a delicate scarf that is appropriate for almost any climate.

The silk comes in 2.5m lengths (approx 100"), so plenty of length for a scarf or wrap.  Full width is 45" but can be purchased in 15" or 30" if desired.  Eleven spectacular colorways are currently available and just 15-20gms of wool is all that is needed to turn the silk into a froth of ruffles and luxury.

Here are some of the colors we offer in these beautiful Neck Knacks in paj silk for your creative pleasure.