Tag Archives: craft supplies

Some pictures of Silk Worms making Silk

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silkworm and cocoon

silkworm and cocoon

As you will know, if you follow my blog, I LOVE SILK!  Not just the finished silk fabric, but the raw silk yarns & fibres, and the cheaper bits like cocoon strippings and throwsters waste.  You can find some pictures of these in a previous post – and if you go to my etsy shop or julz craft supplies on ebay, you will find most of these, and other items on sale!

I came across this post about how silk worms make silk, with amazing pictures of the silk worms and their progress – it comes from Dona at Creative Country Life and you can find the original HERE.  Dona has kindly given me permission to copy this for you.

I am planning a series of ‘tutorials’ about using some of these, especially to make your own SILK PAPER but I thought you really must see this post first – it contains an explanation of how silk ‘hankies’ are made.


Raising Silk Worms!

They say that interesting people have interesting friends. I must be pretty interesting, if you go by that!

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Take a look at what one of my friends has been up to!

She’s been raising Silk Worms! I’m so jealous…

Now mind you this is not a large scale adventure. She just wants enough silk to make some Hankies for spinning. A Hankie is the form silk is generally accepted in for Hand Spinning into yarn.

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The problem is, even at a small scale, they go through a tremendous amount of Mulberry Leaves each day.

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Handfuls and handfuls of fresh Mulberry Leaves EVERY day. Naturally it is important to have easy access to a tree. And of course what goes in, must come out… So they need to be cleaned as well.

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The commitment is not a very long one. Only about 5-7 weeks. Before long they will begin to spin. Simple toilet paper tubes or egg cartons provide the perfect, cozy spot for the worms to spin their cocoons.

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One by one at first, then several at a time until everybody is neatly stowed away.

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But seriously. How cool is this??

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Soon there is nothing left but cocoons.

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But then comes D-Day…

The cocoons are… well, roasted in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. I know, sounds rather harsh after caring for them so carefully. But the thing to remember is that if the moth is allowed to emerge, they are doomed to die shortly after. They do not eat or fly. They simply mate, lay eggs and die. Now that’s harsh!

The next step is to simmer the cocoons in soapy water. This removes all the gummy stuff that holds them together. The carcass must be removed and then the silk is spread out on a frame about the size of a handkerchief (hence the name Hankies).

Then they are ready for spinning or dyeing. I hope to have some photos of that process to share with you soon.

As for me – I need to find a Mulberry Tree!

Julz Craft Supplies & julzcraftsupplies & julzweaving – changes to my ebay accounts

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scarfcopysI have been doing a bit of re-organisation during the last month or so, and changing round my ebay listings –

so thought I’d let you know what changes I have made, as they might be a bit confusing for my customers – and I don’t want to lose you!

When I started this blog several years ago, it was actually called Julz Spinning and Weaving Club, and was really just a place for my customers to find out a bit more about what I stocked.  The blog changed radically from January of this year, when I did the online blogging101 course and I learnt how to use the range of possibilities that blogging can give you!  The background used to be a tiled version of the pink woven scarf I made ages ago – smile – but a lot of people on the course thought it was a bit fussy as a background, so I changed to the current look!

You might not have noticed, that I have just subtly changed the header – it used to say Julz Crafts and was a bit clunky!

So from now on, its Julz Craft Supplies – a name I have always used for my etsy account – this is the banner I am using for my shop on etsy – if you click on the banner it will take you there.

new etsy banner

I had a long standing business account on ebay (called 85solway), but hadn’t used it for a while, so I opened a new account last year, which I called  julzweaving – a bit more relevant for what I intended to sell!

Things have gone really well on julzweaving – but there was a problem – it was a private account – which meant that I had 20 free listings a month – great! – but at the same time – it was treated as a new account and I was only allowed to list  a set amount of items a month!

This has been getting more and more of a nuisance, and you might have noticed that I have had to constantly add or subtract the number of say, cones of warping yarns I have to sell, when I actually have 20, I’ve only been able to list 4!  They gave me the maximum amount of items allowed on a private account – BUT  I have been juggling with it for months now!

I was just about to change julzweaving into a business account, so I could list more items, when I found out that it was easy to change the name of my old account – 85solway – to julzcraftsupplies!  It literally took me 2 minutes – I’ve had that account since 2004 and I’d never realised I could change the name!

SO – I AM SLOWLY MOVING THE LISTINGS

FROM JULZWEAVING TO JULZCRAFTSUPPLIES!

(Clicking on the names of the accounts will take you to them)

As the listings expire on julzweaving, I will be moving them over to julzcraftsupplies – which allows me to list as many items as I want and the full amount of stock I have of each!  (Many of these are also available in the etsy shop)

I will not be closing the julzweaving account, and I’m sure I’ll be using my free listings there – maybe for auction listings so you can get a bargain – maybe for just personal items I want to sell – but just at the moment, both sites are stocking my craft supplies – and I’m sorry if I am confusing my buyers – but unless I mention it on the actual listings – there is no way on ebay itself, to let you know that they have moved!

COMING SOON – CHRISTMAS FABRICS FOR YOU TO

MAKE XMAS STOCKINGS, GIFTS ETC – AND …..

On julzcraftsupplies – I have re-stocked with both standard and mini hand carders for spinners and also got a new lot of carding cloth in for those of you who would like to make your own BLENDING BOARD.  Instructions are given on the listing – and this time I have not only 13″ lengths, but also 18″ lengths, which give you more scope for producing interesting rolags.

stainless steel carding cloth

stainless steel carding cloth

pair of standard hand carders - 72 pt

pair of standard hand carders – 72 pt

pair of mini hand carders

pair of mini hand carders

my new “around the world” archive page

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I have just added a new page – have a look!

all the relevant posts that have been published are listed in date order

clustrmap july

An Archive of Posts from Around the World

I have readers all over the world – how do I know? – because WordPress has a very good stats system and I can see where you all come from!  It always amazes me how you find me!

In addition, when its working, the ClustrMap widget gives me even more information – for example in the period from 31 March – 20 July there were 968 US visitors and only 659 visitors from the UK!

Other visitors came from almost every country around the world – including, in no particular order-  Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Kuwait, Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, China, Japan and every country in Europe.

If you want to check this, the widget is at the very end of the “blog roll” on the right hand side of this page.  Just click on it!

You can also get for your own blog – just follow the instructions given on their site.

I occasionally post articles I find about crafting subjects from countries around the world and thought it might be useful to create a special archive page to collect them together for you.

NB;  I SELL AROUND THE WORLD TOO!  You can find me on these sites – julz craft supplies on etsy –julzcraftsupplies on ebay and julzweaving on ebay.  You are also welcome to BUY DIRECT – PLEASE CONTACT ME through this blog by clicking on the red links in this paragraph!

Vinay Pathak learnt art of weaving for ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’

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vinay-pathak-759Is this about weaving – not really – but it struck me as a nice little filler whilst I’m busy reorganising myself, the blog, and Julz Craft Supplies – smile

For regular ebayers, please note that I am changing around my ebay accounts.  I have been selling most of the craft supplies on my JULZWEAVING ACCOUNT, which has been really busy – BUT – it is a private sellers account and I have a limit on the number of items I can sell, and have had to keep juggling the numbers every month.

My long standing Business account with ebay was called 85solway, and I didn’t realise I could change the name, so I have been selling, fabric, giftware and odds and ends there.  HOWEVER I did a bit of research and it took me only two minutes to change the name to JULZCRAFTSUPPLIES!  

So, I am gradually moving items over there, where I can list as much as I want – I just have to pay for the listings, instead of getting most of them free!  I have been wondering whether to make another major change and  open an ebay shop – but I think I’ll take it one step at a time!

Back to the subject of this blog – hope my Indian readers appreciate this – hope the film is good – smile…..

Actor Vinay Pathak was made to learn the art of weaving for his role in “Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File”.

copied from The Indian Express

By: IANS | Mumbai | Published:August 5, 2015 5:12 pm – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/vinay-pathak-learnt-art-of-weaving-for-gour-hari-dastaan/#sthash.QieoG3Md.dpuf

Vinay Pathak, Vinay Pathak news, Vinay Pathak films, Vinay Pathak shows, Vinay Pathak gour hari dastaan

AdTech Ad

The film, which also features actors Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey and Tanisshtha Chatterjee, will release on August 14 — a day before the country’s Independence Day.

Actor Vinay Pathak was made to learn the art of weaving for his role in “Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File”.

As part of his preparation for the film, director Ananth Mahadevan made the actor learn how to weave cloth. And Vinay learnt it from Oriya freedom fighter Gour Hari Das, on whose life story the film is based.

Das had learnt the art during the country’s freedom struggle. “I learnt the art of weaving during my movie filming for ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’. I had never thought that Ananth will make me weave as a part of role preparation,” Vinay said in a statement. “Special ‘charkhas’ from Sabarmati were called for this. I was more surprised on the teacher as it was none other than Das-ji. He learnt this art during the time of the independence struggle. He really showed patience and taught me this well,” added the actor. The film, which also features actors Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey and Tanisshtha Chatterjee, will release on August 14 — a day before the country’s Independence Day.

About posting information about the BBC petition – some reactions I got!

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whoops!As well as putting up information about the petition to “Save the BBC” – see my previous post – I also included the link to it in my latest newz from julz mailing to my customers.

I got some very odd reactions!  Whilst several of them replied to say they had either already added their names to the petition, and had done so as a result of seeing my post, I also got a long email from a customer, who was very upset that I had included mention of it in my mailing.

She wrote “Please remove me from your email list as you are using my personal data for a purpose other than in relation to our existing retail relationship i.e. to gather support for a non-retail related petition.

Whilst I appreciate your right to express your opinion, using my personal data to drum up support is, I think, in contravention of legislation designed to protect individuals’ privacy and to prevent unsolicited communication.  I agreed, by entering into our commercial relationship, to receive communication regarding your goods and services, not with regard to your personal or political views and beliefs.

With respect to our retail relationship you can, of course, choose not accept  my custom in the future.

I would be grateful if you could also ensure that you do not pass on my details to anyone else. If I have not explicitly stated this in the past, I am now updating my consent with regard to my personal information.”

I am obviously not naming her, I would never do that, but this is a genuine email, and I do feel that she deserves a reply.  I did write back, but have received no answer, and I expect that she has put my email address on  her junk list, so, in order to clear up a few misapprehensions that she and others may have, I am also publishing my reply.

“If you had looked at my blog, you would have seen that it is a general crafts blog AND my personal blog and as such I reserve the right to say what I like – smile.
 
Its very unusual for me to use it to promote something like this petition – I have used it once or twice for other specific issues that affect craftspeople, or myself personally – have a look at the ‘how ridiculous’ section if you can be bothered.
 
You obviously didn’t read the post – you might have seen the relevance, and anyone who lives in Britain must be aware of the fuss about the BBC at the moment.  There was no pressure to sign the petition, however, I have a lot of people from all over the world on my mailing list and they wouldn’t know about this, so I used the mailing list for that reason, and to update customers about the fact that I will not be closing my etsy shop/ebay listings over the summer and to inform them of my new email address too – smile.
 
The newz from julz mailings are normally about what new stock is in or special offers, and as such, it won’t matter if you don;t get them – its just a service for customers.
 
You obviously feel strongly about these issues – I missed a bit out on the bottom line this time – by accident – it is my solemn promise that I DO NOT SHARE MY MAILING LIST, NOR WILL I EVER USE ONE OF THE PAYING SERVICES, who then use the list for other purposes – because I feel exactly the way you do!”

I have no idea whether she is right about the ‘legal aspect’ that she mentions in the second  paragraph – does anyone know anything about this?  However, whilst she was the only one who wrote at such length, there was a spate of ‘REMOVES’ in my replies to this mailing!  So maybe others also object to my telling them about the petition?  I can’t help that, customers have a right to ask to be removed from the mailing list any time for any reason, and I always comply.  But I am surprised that I should get such a strong reaction.
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What do you think about my inclusion of other issues in this blog or my newz from julz emails?
It would be interesting to know!
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By the way, if you want to join the mailing list, you don’t have to buy anything, please see the form at the bottom of the SHOP TALK page.
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And a big thank you to Roni in the USA who has taken up my theme about independent broadcasting and related it to the only independent network in the USA, which has to rely on open donations (PBS), on her blog “long live the BBC!”
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(just to let you know that the spacing of this last section keeps moving, so I have had to add the “?” symbol just to separate the paragraphs!)

Help Save Our BBC – Please!

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I signed this petition today,

Lord Reith, founder of the BBC (c) BBC; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Lord Reith, founder of the BBC, must be turning in his grave!
(c) BBC; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

and received this email asking me to pass it on – so this is my way of sharing it, and asking ANYONE AROUND THE WORLD who reads this, to consider signing it!  (you just have to register and click!)

Have a look at this:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/protect-our-bbc

Our BBC – Blue Peter, Doctor Who, BBC News, Strictly Come Dancing – is under serious attack from our government. Today, politicians are saying they want to scrap some of our favourite programmes, cut its funding and do away with the independent body that keeps it a truly public broadcaster.

The BBC has been a trusted voice in British homes for over 92 years. It’s vital we move fast and show David Cameron that hundreds of thousands of us are ready to rally around to protect our BBC.

Will you add your name to the petition to protect our BBC now? Just click the link and it’ll take less than 10 seconds.

Thanks

A Little Background Information for you ….

click on image for "BBC programme on FairIsle knitting"

click on image for “BBC programme on FairIsle knitting”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I often pass on something that has been broadcast by our much loved BBC – especially from Radio 4 – which occasionally has ‘specials’ on some aspect of a craft.

Well, as I ‘predicted’ in my post “Has Britain Gone Mad?”  – which I wrote about the election results in May (on “the spare”) – David Cameron et al are now beginning to show their true colours.

One of their policies, just revealed, is to strip the BBC of all their popularity & influence, because apparently they have a bias that doesn’t favour the Conservative Party, who are now trying to drag the BBC down into the mire, on the pretext that they are costing the tax payer too much money!

We pay for the BBC by buying an annual licence fee – which is admittedly an odd system for present times.  It is currently £145 a year per household, and is mandatory, and historically, you could even go to prison if you refused to pay it!  This system was set up eons ago, when the BBC was about the only broadcaster around and adverts that paid for the services hadn’t even been conceived!  (The BBC does not carry adverts even now, except for their own programmes.)

Even more oddly, the BBC is regulated very closely by whoever is in Government, under the Department of Culture, Media & Sports, and yet has always been able to stick to their tradition of total independence from political interference, in the proud tradition of its Founder, Lord REITH.

These days, many people don’t pay the licence fee, as they claim they watch it all online, and there is nothing that can be done about it!  Which does leave the original funding arrangements in a mess!  So some changes are needed and some proper discussion is called for – BUT NOT – the bully boy tactics of this current government.

They have just crossed the line by forcing the BBC to agree to pay for the policy of “free licences for the over 75’s” – which has always been part of the welfare budget.  This amounts to £750 MILLION! 

Now, I have always wondered why the BBC is so strapped for cash.  It broadcasts AROUND THE WORLD and has millions of followers who rely on their independence to give them the REAL NEWS, that their governments often try to keep from them.  Surely a voluntary subscription, or WORLD MEMBERSHIP CLUB, would bring in enough money for the BBC never to have to worry again?  I have posed this question to various people in the BBC several times, but, apparently, the WORLD SERVICE is partially funded by the Foreign Office, and as such, it cannot be charged for!!

Now if you really want to make some changes John Whittingdale, why not start there!

Don’t take my word for all this – if you want to find out more:

See The Guardian, 6/7/15 – BBC to take on £750m cost of subsidy for over-75s in licence fee deal

 This is the latest BBC Trailer – entitled “FOR ALL OF US

and if you want to look into this issue in a bit more detail,

this is the section of their website that covers some of the governance of the BBC

wikipedia also has a very good precis of the history of the BBC HERE

An article in The Guardian:

BBC Trust chair calls for public debate over future funding changes

and today’s Independent:

BBC set for shake up with new oversight board appointed as

talk emerges of changes to the licence fee