It Gets Better

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I spent some time at the mill yesterday.

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The spin-in was kind of small this time.  The weather’s getting warmer, so it’s to be expected.  Some folks probably are even at the beach already! I’m not that warm yet though…

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I got there a couple hours after the spin-in started.  I think I saw three people leave and three others come in after them.  But I wanted to spin so I only got a few photos of all the goings on.

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This speckled singles Heather was spinning on is actually just dirty roving, lol.

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Bob had some fluff I wanted to tuck away into my own bag…I don’t even like purple like that.  But that is just awesome, isn’t it?!

I twirled around on this Tiny Turkish Spindle.

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And, I played around spinning cotton on a wheel! That’s an adventure…

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Cotton needs a high amount of twist.  And getting it on the wheel without it snapping or drifting apart was a little tricky, having never tried it before.

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Fortunately, I have all this left!

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This is where I am today.  Well, there was more on there, but I took it off just to look at it and see how coily it was.  Why?  Because I just mess with stuff. 🙂  But, you can see here where when I first started it was super twisty and I started mellowing out as I got into it.  I think I found that either spinning it from the fold or using a supported long draw was much better than trying to inchworm it in the beginning.  Ugh.

Yeah, I’ve been bouncing around.  Just can’t seem to keep still and hone in on any one thing at the moment…

I’ve been playing with photo apps.  You may have noticed from Girl Child’s photo shoot (lol) that I used a filter on one of the photos to sadden it up a little.  I can’t get over how fun these apps are! I figured I’d share a couple of those photos here. These are spinning photos you’ve seen before.  They’re just remixed, lol.

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I’m just fiddling around with these on my iPad.  It’s just a few clicks here and there.  But, the apps I tend to like are:

  • Over, which allows you to place words over photos using a nice font selection.
  • Repix, you kind of just have to see what it does to believe it. 🙂  But the general idea is, with a stroke of your finger, you can add effects to your photo that instantly awesomize it.
  • Curved, another font app that lets you place fonts over your photos in various directions and across lots of paths.
  • Snapseed, an app many know about already, is like a mini-photo lab in your pocket.
  • Picsplay Pro, Another app that makes awesome adjustments possible.  Loves it!

These are brief descriptions of these apps based on what I know of them so far.  Many of them have way more capabilities that I fully intend to exploit. 🙂  If you like playing with photos…or…you know, everything, you should try them out.  I’ll never know why I never played with these things before.  I don’t consider myself that much of a purist…

I have also been updating the Greenbank Mill site.  You remember that was a pet project from last year.  I suspect the transition from the .org to the .com will take place soon.  So far, being a webmaster hasn’t been without it’s scares.  Seems there are updates coming out of my ears over there.  And, of course, there was the time I thought I was simply updating a calendar plug-in and it broke the entire site.  No matter how temporary that was, when all I could see was a blank page staring back at me…Um, yeah.  But, I’m hanging in there!

I have had issues since I began that site with the front slider causing the page over there to load like an overly stuffed snail.

See that big photo there?  That’s the culprit.  That along with the other four I had rotating behind it in that slider.

Not to mention, having known these folks for almost a year now, I have gained more of an understanding of what’s going on inside the organization.  What folks normally look for going to the .org site seems to me to be very specific anymore.  What the mill needs from folks that visit the site is also a little more clear.  I gain more understanding as I go.  So, in an effort to acknowledge all of these interests, I changed the huge image slider on the front to a features slider and then added some smaller photos…mixing it up with graphics and photos.  Now, I’ll probably be tweaking that as I go.  And although those huge photos that folks tend to like aren’t there anymore, I think the page loads tons faster and it gives people the information they’re normally looking for right away (or a means to get to it) as well as highlights some of the concerns of the mill.

For one, visitors want to know about the next event or what’s going on right now at the mill (dates/times, etc.).  So, I have one slide that features our upcoming Annual Sheep Shearing & Herb Sale Day with a link that goes to it’s spot on the calendar.  The illustration comes from an image that is currently being used to advertise it on the mill’s facebook page and elsewhere.  That way if anyone lands on the site, it kind of ties in.

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Another slide has a link for information to rent the facility for weddings or meetings, etc., the mill’s current bread and butter that has kept it around for such a long time.  Volunteering and a notice about the newsletter as well as the monthly spin-in all have their own slides.

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Because it seems to come up much faster, visitors get to this information without having to wait for a huge photo to load and then try to figure out where to get to the information they more than likely want.  And because “Content is king”, the fact that this is all happening above the fold on my computer now is just so much less of a headache.

Yeah.  So that’s it for me today.  We’ll see what else I can add on to this apple cart…

Oh yeah, there’s always cooking dinner…

Comments

  1. More lovely spinning, and the website is looking great! x

  2. I would love to spin cotton and yours is looking great.

  3. Ok Miss Stacey, let’s talk cotton! I have Pima Cotton in my spinning stash but I’m unsure on spinning it. Is it easy? Lovely blog post as always and such gorgeous spinning, you are pure inspiration my dear fiber sister 🙂

    • Hi Tina! Thanks! Well, I wish I could say it was easier…This is only my second time trying it. But I figured I would try it on a wheel this time before someone tried to tell me I couldn’t, lol. I’m not sure about Pima cotton, but the fibers on both of the cottons I am spinning are SHORT. So, it’s easy not to put enough twist in and yet just as easy to get too much twist in it too trying to get it to hold together. Because it’s on my wheel, adjusting the tension so it doesn’t snatch it out of my hand has been tricky. But, I figure like anything else, if you have at least eight ounces of it and don’t quit until you get through it all, you should know enough to be dangerous by the time you’re done. 😉

  4. Awesome stuff. To display large images on webpages, you need to optimize them for the web. Photoshop can do it (you can toy around with the settings to see how much you can bring the file size down without much quality loss) and I’m sure other programs can as well… Optimizing images can take a 2mb picture down to 50kb = supa fast loading awesome big photos.

    • Thanks for the tip! I don’t remember what I did to these photos at the time. I recall having to resize them for the slider. And I recall using a plugin that I think was supposed to optimize them after uploading. I just don’t know that it worked so well…It did cut down the load time from 60 secs to 30 secs lol. Adding a CDN cut it down to 15 secs. It just wasn’t enough of a cut in the end. I will look at that option in PS though should I try that again.

  5. I LOOOOOVE these pictures! Especially the last one (which was a bit surprising …). I guess, I’M in a kind of fairy tale mood today.

    I LOVE your spinning on the drop spindle – and also the colour of the cotton. So beautiful …

    • Thanks Julia! Yeah that bokeh always makes me think light and fluffy thoughts, lol. Not sure why I love that so much in these photos because I’m suvh a plain jane. But I think cute really gets me for fiber photos.

  6. marlene toerien says:

    Hi, I just bought a Louet, to use when I teach spinning, for interest sake why do you have 3 wheels, my actual spinning is for weaving cushions, so I spin mostly the same type of fleece and singles.

    • Because I’m addicted to them. LOL! But, also out of curiosity too. Most every wheel has something they excel at over others. I just like to see what each “thing” all of them have over the others. I love my Joy. But it’s somewhat limited in that you can’t switch out the whorl. You can still spin a variety of yarns on it. But, to get a feel for other kinds of whorls and their capabilities-or even just to know how to switch one out, I had to branch out. Then, the Lendrum I got…well, everyone and their momma around here has one, so I had to try it! I like it too. It has a bulky flyer that neither of the other two I have came with. It was a complete package. It also can be folded and toted around in its bag (though not as easily as my Joy) whereas the LB I have won’t fit in my car comfortably and doesn’t fold. But, the LB is an excellent spinner and I love it’s tensioning system and how it pulls up slack from the band. I feel that will give the band a longer life on the wheel without needing to be adjusted. And, of course, if I wanted to spin things simultaneously, more equipment always works. I mean, there’s absolutely nothing wrong if you fall in love with just one wheel and never try another one. If it does all you need it to do, why bother? Unless you’re a curious sort, like myself. 🙂

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