Friday, November 21, 2014

Creativity equals Chocolate


Spinning yarn and being creative has saved me more than once in my life.
People who just know me from the shows and the blogs think I am this upper energetic outgoing happy go lucky person, extrovert personality, not a care in the world…well, surprise surprise..I am a shy person..really! I hear you laughing from wayyyy over there…lol…it is true !

I am not afraid to admit that my life has not been the easy path to walk on; ever since I fell into this world as a totally underweight barely breathing baby (yeah right! Another “well who would have thought that!-  Moment…lol) but it is true!..

Apart from all the struggles and staying alive bits, the sickness and sorrow, the bullying, the terrible abuse, all that chaos and mayhem, I somehow found a path that saved me.
I am not labelling anything: I will not submit to any label, because there are many and all are just either not entirely true or totally confusing the issue.
Just like when I was diagnosed with cancer..all of a sudden I was labelled..I discarded that label vigorously. Why? Because labels are not worth the brain tissue they are written on.

As soon as you accept your label it becomes..well..just that: acceptance of someone elses rules and views on reality. I am not saying we do not need labels. Labels have been invented to make us feel secure , even part of a group or society. So to totally disregard labels is making your life more difficult? Maybe? I don’t know., Maybe Im a rebel..lol
Anyway, I am very very fortunate to have found doors that I could open , …and well, have saved me really. Spinning and doing craft and painting and making music, singing,all of it, encourages the brain to produce serotonin, the same way chocolate does.

Craft and art make you happy. Craft = Chocolate !  And as we all know, chocolate makes us happy  ...lol   A world without craft would just be…well…boring really and probably very very stressful.

I feel very lucky to have found all of you crafty friends and a wonderful patient partner to share my life with. It’s a wonderful world we live in together in craft. Spinning is so totally relaxing and centering and connects us to the slowness of creation and life, in all its beauty.
When you spin your heart rate drops (even when things go wrong and you wind up in a tangle of threads) your stress levels go down. It’s like meditation or yoga but without the physical discomfort of having to stand on your head.

What brought this on? Well, I guess it’s just the feeling that every now and again life is so demanding and hard, we just need to step back and think what are the things we are grateful for. I am grateful for having friends like you who share my passion for all woolly things and creating. Because Creating is Life….if ever there was an answer to “what is the true meaning of life?” it is not “42” (according to the hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy),.........but our ability to Create.
Rabbit on !! I say !!! Rabbit On !



Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!

It is that time of year again: Believe it or not but a new year is almost there (SCARY!!!) and the time to sign up for the new IxCHeL clubs starting in January 2015 ! Yes ! 2015!!!!

 I have been working very very hard this year to source some very special rare breeds of fibre producing animals. From Seaweed sheep to those cute Valais Blacknose .

There will be more adventures and rare breeds on offer next year including Hungarian Racka sheep and the awesome Gra TRoender sheep from Norway ! Not to mention very VERY special Qiviut  and some very special super rare fluff as well !

I will be offering special blends of these rare breeds in the special IxCHeL Fibre adventures like I have done in the last two months (Smaug and Loch ness) but will also offer them to all club members in one blend or another ! Rare breeds need our help and support. Rare breeds need to survive. There is nothing more disheartening than to see that a gorgeous animal has become extinct.. There is nothing more sad than labelling anything “The last of its kind”…

Only by supporting and spinning rare breeds will we all be adding to the diversity of our beautiful world. Don’t miss out ! Membership will give you access to very special blends only released to club members in one of a kind colourways !

This time mopre than anything because we are talking about rare breeds, I have to warn you: I will have to cap the numbers. Rare breed blends mean that I will only be able to offer a small quantity. So, first come first serve. I will add a “sign up before date “ to the info but just like with the Loch Ness sign ups which sold out in under 48 hours, if you wait too long , it may be too late. Join the club ! Have fun creating and Rabbit On !!!

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!

New IxCHeL Club sign ups Open now (til quotas are reached or until December 31st) !

Clubs January, February, March 2015 !

For all our international club fans there is a possibility to ship all three clubs together to save on postage if you want :-) Just pm me and enquire about the options available.

IxCHeL Fibre Club January February March 2015

The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed top/roving per month to the value of AU$24
All the tops will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel Fibre Club ! Price to join the Ixchel Fibre Club #23 and receive your special hand dyed top :)) for three months (January, February , March 2015) is AU$72 + postage (parcel post or airmail). AND there are good value double serves available !!!

For Australia : single serve $72+$28 postage (parcel post), double serve $134+$28 (save $10) or triple serves $199 (save $17!)
For USA + Canada: single serve AU$72+AU$51 (Airmail) double serve AU$134+AU$51
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$72+AU$60 (airmail) Double serve AU$134+AU$60
For Asia: Single serve AU$72+AU$45 (airmail) Double serve AU$134+AU$45
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FIBRE CLUB #23 now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The January 2015 Club is going to be shipped out end of January. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me your details

The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Club January, February and March 2015

Every month for three months (January, February and March 2015) you will receive: enough hand dyed luscious yummy yarn to make a pair of socks or a lush shawl or scarf ofcourse! (the hand dyed yarn will be exclusive for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB and will range from a sockweight yarn or a 3ply or a 4 ply); Every month a new sock pattern, tips and instructions ! Now is that GOOD or is that GOOD ??!
I will even offer a double serve for those of you who like their socks extra long
For Australia : single serve $78+$28 postage (parcel post) double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +$28
For USA + Canada: single serve AU$78+AU$51 (Airmail) double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$51
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$78+AU$60 (airmail) Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$60
For Asia: Single serve AU$78+AU$45 (airmail) Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$45
Numbers are strictly limited ! 
Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal . Just PM or email me your details 
  By the way: you don’t HAVE to knit socks if you don’t want to.. the hand dyed yarn is amazingly nice for scarves, cowls, beanies and even tops ! Anything goes .

IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Club January, February and March 2015

Here are all the details and just pm me when you have any questions or want to be part of the funky bunny batt club Movement ;-) Welcome to the blingy dark side ;-D
The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed funky bunny batt per month to the value of AU$40 or more .
The batts will range in weight from 150grams to 180grams with luxury fibres like camel , angora, cashmere, silk, yak, llama even wolf and bison and rare sheep breeds !!!! All the batts will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel funky bunny Club ! Every month you will receive a HUGE luxury funky bunny batt !
 
Sign up now and you will receive an Ixchel Hand dyed , super luxurious funky bunny batt for January, February, March 2015.
 
Price to join the Ixchel Funky bunny for three months is :
For Australia : $102+$28 postage (parcel post)
For USA + Canada: AU$102+AU$51 (Airmail)
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: AU$96+AU$60 (airmail)
For Asia: AU$102+AU$45 (airmail)
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FUNKY BUNNY Batt CLUB now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The first installment is going to be shipped out end of January :) Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me

IxCHeL Gift Packs

IxCHeL GIFT VOUCHERS or SURPRISE PACKS !

Want to give somebody something special and still let them pick out their fav colour or fibre blend? Well, search no more: I offer an IxCHeL gift voucher package that is so hard to resist you even want to buy one for yourself ..lol Here’s the deal: FIBRE OR YARN OR BOTH! SURPRISE PACK just let me know the value you would like to spend and the favourite colours of the recipient(or yourself..lol) and I will put together a surprise pack for you and add at least $60 extra worth of goods to the parcel(for all surprise pack orders over $150) just to say thank you and have happy holidays ! :-)

AU$25 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised gift voucher and free post for the receivers first order in Australia !

AU$50 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised giftvoucher, free post for the receivers first order in Australia ! and a cute badge a bunny photo and last but not least some amazing fluffy stuff in a gift pack

AU$100 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised Christmas giftvoucher, free post for the receivers first order in Australia !, a badge, and last but not least some amazing fluffy stuff and yarn in a gift pack! Just let me know what giftvoucher pack you would like to gift to a friend or hey, you can even gift it to yourself ! And I will send you all the details.
 

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !
 
 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Seaweed Mythical Creature Adventure and Yarrrrn!


Hectic: Adjective
  1. 1.
    full of incessant or frantic activity.
    "a hectic  schedule"
    frantic, frenetic, frenzied, feverish, manic, restless, very busy, very active, fast and furious;
    lively, brisk, bustling, buzzing, vibrant, crowded
     
Yes, all of this applies to me at the moment.. the studio is more than over crowded with new blends, club fibres, batt making supplies and heaps and heaps of new exciting adventures!

I received a lot of requests for yarn, especially the long repeat yarns , so I have been more than busy to get that ready for you. More on that later in this blog.

But!!! tonight is also the announcement of another awesome fibery adventure , waiting for you to sign up!
Last time it was the Smaug adventure featuring the gorgeous Valois Blacknose Sheep and the North Ronaldsay sheep in a magical blend with gold…this time I am offering you something amazing and super special . And because there were quite a few people who wanted to sign up for the Smaug but were not particularly enthused by the fact that every option had gold bling in it, this time I have a bling and a blingless option!

There will however be silver in each and every one! No, there will be no bling that is, if you don’t want to, but the seaweed that the rare sheep are blended with has been infused in a silver solution to make it extra beneficial.
Seaweed has beautiful qualities also as a fibre: it has skin protective and healing qualities; The brown algae (ascophyllum nodosum or knotted wrack) of SeaCell® fiber come from the cold, pure fjords of Iceland. The slopes of these sea arms are sparsely settled, and their untouched nature is a paradise for wildlife. The seaweed are full of minerals that they draw from the geothermal sea water – enriched with vital substances, free of contaminants and of the highest quality.

Among other things, these brown algae offer a large quantity of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and calcium as well as the active ingredient fucoidan, which constrains the growth of tumor cells.
It is effective against influenza viruses and high cholesterol levels, relieves skin diseases, and contributes to the skin’s healing process.
Antioxidants are also a defense against free radicals, protecting against skin damage. Your skin needs nutrients to stay healthy and beautiful. Mineral substances and trace elements are important, for example, since they invigorate your metabolism and have an impact on cell renewal, water balance, the healing of wounds, and protection from the sun. On the other hand, amino acids have a smoothing effect, while vitamins support the natural protective role of the skin and protect it from free radicals.

All these nutrients are present in the select brown algae in SeaCell® to a high degree. Your skin benefits from their health-promoting effects: Due to the natural moisture of the skin, the vital substances in the seaweed are set free when the fibers are worn.
The main nutrients in this special Seaweed fibre that is part of the new Fiber adventure blend I am very proud to offer you are:
• Minerals: e.g. magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus
• Trace elements: mainly iron and iodine
• Amino acids: e.g. glutamic acid, histidine and alanine
• Vitamin: B, A, and E
Their beneficial effect can be absorbed in your skin over time while wearing your magical Seaweed blend– even after many washing cycles!


No wonder the sheep of North Ronaldsay love Seaweed!
The North Ronaldsay Sheep are the only animals in the world, aside from a certain Galapagon lizard, to be able to subsist entirely on seaweed, leading to its nickname ‘seaweed sheep’. The breed is thought to be over 5000 years old. The breed is farmed within the Northern Ronaldsay Islands, Orkney and kept nearby the seashore for most of the year. In 1832 the Laird of North Ronaldsay decided that his pastureland should not be wasted on native sheep and a dyke was built round the island to keep them on the shore and off the land. It was most probably this separation that resulted in the preservation of the North Ronaldsay, as it prevented cross breeding which had been the downfall of other Orkney sheep.
 
The North Ronaldsay is one of the Northern Shorttailed primitive group of breeds that also includes the Manx Loghtan, Soay, Shetland and Icelandic . The North Ronaldsay is still mainly found on its native island, the northernmost of the Orkneys. The sheep keeping system on North Ronaldsay is unique and involves a stone wall which keeps the sheep on the seashore and away from the cultivated land for most of the year. This wall was built in 1832 and since then the breed has evolved to survive primarily on seaweed. The sheep live on the seashore most of the year around and are only brought onto the better land for lambing.

The North Ronaldsay is one of group of primitive Northern Short-tailed sheep and represents a very early stage in the evolution of domestic sheep. DNA studies have shown a close relationship to sheep found in the Stone Age village of Skara Brae on mainland Orkney, which dates from 3000 BC. In 1832 a wall was built around their native island to confine the animals to the foreshore for most of the year in order to conserve the inland grazing. Since then the breed has developed its distinctive metabolism due to its diet of seaweed, which also renders it susceptible to copper poisoning under standard sheep management systems. North Ronaldsays are very sensitive to copper and will die of copper toxicity if put on the wrong type of grazing. This is due to their seaweed diet and the unique metabolism they have evolved. They should not be fed commercial sheep mixes as despite the label saying “No Added Copper” the normal ingredients used will often have a background level high enough to be toxic (ten parts per million is too high). The North Ronaldsay is capable of surving on less than larger breeds and is an active browser, used to ranging over long distances in search of food.

Colours of their fleece are variable: including white, various shades of grey, black and moorit (deep brown). The double fleece has coarse outer guard hairs and a fine soft inner coat. I have never ever felt and dyed something as extraordinary as this sheeps fleece. It is springy, almost feels moist even after its scouring and washing. It almost feels lkike it resists the dye when you pour the pigments on and everything immediately flows to the bottom, leaving the top layer of the fibre springy and almost without dye. At least, that is what appears to happen…it takes the dye beautifully and retains its springy texture and openness.
 
It is a dream to spin and work with. You can make a yarn that is strong and still soft to wear. It is very very special ! There are only about 600 of these seaweed sheep left in the world. Only through our effort of conservation of the environment and conservation through appreciation of this rare breed by spinning and knitting its fleece, can we hold on to one of the oldest and most special breeds in the world alive today.
 
There is a documentary about the island with its seaweed eating sheep on youtube for you to see.  It shows you what the island looks like, the important wild life : Seals ! (warning ! Cute overload !) bird populations and ofcourse its most famous inhabitants:" the seaweed sheep ! (another cute overload ! @ 16:50 mins in) :  
 
Enjoy!
 
So, here it is the New Fibre Blend adventure Sign up starting tonight:

IxCHeL Fibre Adventure Sign up----SOLD OUT IN UNDER 48 HOURS---

Loch Ness Seaweed Batts and matching Loch Ness Tops!

Sign in to receive your Loch Ness batts and tops, Shipping date: mid December !! in a very special super limited release !

 
Here’s your chance to spin some amazingly special batts and tops with a blend of :

two very RARE SHEEP BREEDS !!:

North Ronaldsay!(seaweed sheep)
Valois blacknose sheep +

Silver infused Seaweed Fibre!!!!!!

plus
 
Cashmere +
English Angora Bunny

The Loch Ness batts will be inspired by the mystery and magic of sea creatures and seaweed ! and I will ONLY make enough batts for those who sign in. Same thing goes for the tops!

Sign in on the Loch Ness batts and tops will close November 28th or until the amount that I can make runs out, whichever comes first !!!

Only the ones who sign up for the Loch Ness Adventure will have these exclusive IxCHeL Loch Ness Batts and tops!

the batts will each weigh appr 150grams each!  AU$32
the tops are a 100g + each ! AU$24
There will only be a very very VERY limited supply!!

You will have to sign in before November 28! Pm on Ravelry or facebook or email me :-) 

Single double or combined serves will be available ! and please make sure you mention if you want the silver holographic extra special Angelina bling or no bling option for the batts.

All the tops have NO bling.

All the batts and the tops have the silver infused seaweed fibre.

All the tops and batts will be in the same colourway inspired by the environment the North Ronaldsay sheep live in.

I have added “inspiration photos” below. Enjoy !

 


North Ronaldsay Sheep enjoying magical seaweed

Valois Blacknose sheep, a mythical sheep in its own right (plus super cute !)
 


If you are not a spinner of yarns but would love to participate in this new fiber adventure, please let me know and I can spin the yarn for you !

Long Colour Repeat Yarns   

100% pure wool 
 
4 ply comes in skeins of 140-160grams , 400m/100g, suggested needles 3-4.5mm …. AU$35

Lace yarn comes in skeins of +/-290-310grams That is enough to make a gorgeous huge lace shawl !, 700meters/100g !! suggested needles 3mm AU$60
 
knit these amazingly cute mitts with the rainbow 4ply ,
 just starting from the opposite scale of the colour spectrum when doing the intarsia !
Citron Shawl in 4 ply
Long Colour Repeat Lace Yarn Rainbow  290-310grams AU$60
 
 
Long Colour repeat 4ply yarn Rainbow
140-160grams  AU$35
 
 

Lanesplitter skirt (sunset and heather combined)
 
Long Colour Repeat Lace yarn Sunset
250-270 grams AU$50
 

 
Long Colour Repeat 4 ply Yarn Sunset
140-160grams  AU$35
 
 
Knee high socks made with Sunset 4ply
 

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !
 
 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Colour your Spirit


Todays blog is all about colour and how colour changed everything ! and before you go "o_oh she paints her bunnies!!oh nooooo!"  I don't I do not breed rainbow bunnies or green  bunnies or even bunnies that glow in the dark..lol..I do dye the fibres and yarns. How? I use natural pigments, acid dyes of all kinds and even food dyes. How do I determine what colours to put together? well, its basically look at nature, inspiring photos, look out the window really..lol...there is no rhyme or reason , I just combine my feelings and translate it in my dye formulas. Here is more of an explanation on how colours have changed the world and how we see things. This is a bit technical now and again but it does give you heaps of back ground info so you can 'de construct' colours and see it in a different light !

In 1858, Queen Victoria wore a lilac-coloured gown to her daughter’s wedding. That dress changed our world.

A couple of years earlier, in England, a young chemist named William Henry Perkin was trying to develop an anti-malarial drug by using a liquid extract from coal tar. He accidentally spilled some of the liquid on a white cloth and noticed that the splattered part of the cloth had turned a light purple, or lilac colour.

The next morning, he dipped a silk sheet into the liquid and the same purple colour was re-created. Perkin had just discovered the world’s first synthetic dye. Purple was the colour of kings, reserved for the royal robes and previously could be made only from the glandular mucus of mollusks. When Queen Victoria wore a gown coloured by this new synthetic dye, it caused a fashion sensation.

On both sides of the Atlantic, women clamoured to have a dress, a scarf, any fashion accessory coloured in the “Queen’s Lilac.” This great demand drove market innovation for more synthetic dyes and more colours. Industrial dye industries responded, and colours for clothes previously reserved for royalty became available to the masses.

The early-Victorian era of dressing in relatively subdued colours gave way to clothes dyed in every colour of the rainbow. Cultural critics cringed; they sniffed and complained about “too much colour,” but it was too late. The fashion genie in all its glorious colour had been released from the lamp and it was never going to be put back in.

Colour attracts us; it’s biological; we can’t resist a gorgeous sunset, neon lights, a bright-red cardinal, blue eyes and blue skies. In the business world of consumer goods, choosing the right colour can make you rich, or choosing the wrong colour can send you to the poorhouse. The fashion industry has known this for a long time.

 After the turn of the 20th century, as mass consumption ramped up, creators of other consumer goods soon learned that the pot of gold wasn’t to be found at the end of the rainbow—it was inside the rainbow.

In the early 1920s, the Ford Motor Company dominated the American automobile industry. Henry Ford famously said: “You can have any colour car you want, as long as it’s black.” The French called American cars “funeral cars,” according to author Regina Lee Blaszczyk, in her book The Colour Revolution.
In 1923, an upstart car company, General Motors, introduced the Oakland, their own economy car to compete with Ford’s Model T. The Oakland and the Model T were very similar in design and durability, except for one detail. You could buy an Oakland painted blue. They sold like blueberry hotcakes.
The next year, GM offered more car colours. These cars were painted with a new nitrocellulose lacquer called Duco, created by the DuPont Company. Duco was a quick-drying paint that reduced the time needed to complete a car-body paint job, from 10 days to eight hours, and this paint could be sprayed on. Earlier automobiles had been painted with a brush. Coloured cars became America’s new status symbol. Many new car models were painted in more than one colour. Even Henry Ford was forced to adapt and change, offering Fords in different colours.

At the 1926 National Automobile Show, only seven percent of the new models were painted black, according to The Colour Revolution. Almost overnight, our visual landscape changed. Colour sells. Remember the first coloured rotary phones, avocado-green refrigerators and “shocking pink” nail polish? With many products, colour became as important a selling tool as form and design.

During a lecture, author Blaszczyk described how this new consumer culture created new occupations: colourists, colour engineers, colour stylists and colour forecasters. After World War I, the United States began to dominate world consumer culture. Colour in industry reflected two major trends: first, the rise of the American consumer, and second, the rise of women as consumers. It was believed that women were better at perceiving diff erences in colour. (Recent scientific studies support this.)
Women consumers had always been predominant in the fashion industry, but in post-World War I America they were becoming increasingly important in the selection of cars, household appliances, interior paints, kitchen wares and home decorating. Good Housekeeping magazine asked: “Shouldn’t your home be colour coordinated?”
“Remember the era of brown and orange in the 1970s? Mauve and teal in the 1980s? Hunter green and garnet red in the 1990s? Every age has its colour preferences! I can almost tell the age of someone’s furnishings when I walk into their home,” says Jan Jessup, thank, or blame, Birren. Eighty-nine-year-old Charles DeMirjian is a retired director of packaging and design with the DuPont Company. He began his career in 1954 and worked with, or as he says, “interfaced” with, the colour pioneer Birren, and remembers him as “a brilliant man, who comprehended colour in its scientific characteristics.” DeMirjian also had his own distinguished career working with colour. Trained at the Philadelphia Museum of Industrial Arts, he worked on product package design. In a mass retail store, your product on the shelf must stand out and distinguish itself from others, according to DeMirjian. “Shelf facing and an understanding of colour becomes critical. Warm colours advance, cool colours retreat,” he says. DeMirjian was also there at the beginning of the do-it-yourself interior home painting craze that continues to this day.

DuPont invented Flow Kote, a water-based latex paint that enabled consumers to select the colour of paint they wanted from a custom colour card, rector of merchandising for Calico, fabric and home-decorating stores with 85 locations nationwide. “I often visit with textile designers that create upscale fabrics for Calico’s top vendors,” explains Jessup. “We all have [our] fingers to the wind to see how colour in home fashion is evolving. Spa blue is still going strong by the way, but it is morphing into brighter turquoise and stronger teal hues. Apparel fashion tends to be revolutionary, while home fashion is more evolutionary.” Faber Birren was a colour pioneer. Largely self-educated (like all great colourists), he combined art and science. He believed in “functional” colour—that colour in our surrounding environment could set a mood—and he consulted with companies, showing them how to put the power of colour to work to improve profi t. Birren began working in the 1930s and colourized school desks, typewriters, highchairs and vacuum cleaners. He advised one Chicago meat wholesaler to paint the walls bluegreen surrounding the meat display; it made the meat look redder and fresher. Sales improved dramatically. Remember those avocado-green refrigerators? In elementary school, did you have a light pink—a colour thought to sooth and calm—metal desk and chair? For those colour choices, you can have it mixed in the store, and walk out the door with colour in hand.

“Colour availability became virtually endless,” says DeMirjian. Some years ago, the Eastman-Kodak Company used several diff erent companies to print packages for its Kodachrome film. Kodak ended up with several different shades of its yellow-orange boxes, and consumers declined to buy the fi lm packaged in the darker shades, thinking those boxes contained older fi lm. In manufacturing and colour reproduction, colours, shades and tints must be standardized and made uniform. How is this accomplished?

 Pantone LLC developed the Pantone Colour Matching System that sets the colour technology standards most used today. Pantone, Inc. was a commercial printing firm from New Jersey that began in colour technology in the early 1960s, when an employee named Lawrence Herbert used his knowledge of chemistry to set uniform standards for colour printing. In 1974, Pantone entered the digital world when the comSystem for computerized colour matching. Today, according to the company’s website, Pantone colour systems and technologies set the industry colour standards for paints, plastics, industrial design, consumer products, printing, graphic arts and fashion. Using the Pantone Colour Matching System, a fashion designer in New York orders clothing from a supplier in Lima, Peru, coloured in Tangerine Tango.
When the clothing order arrives there are no unfortunate surprises—the colour the designer ordered and what she receives, match exactly. This is exactly why, when I get asked to do a custom dye, I ask for the pantone nr of the colour they have in mind. Blue or green or purple as a description just does not tell me the exact tone or hue: there are thousands of blues if not more ! Saying that, even when people give me a pantone nr to match, it is impossible to duplicate it exactly. It depends on the fibre (silks will reflect the dyes much better than a “dull/less reflective fibre” such as merino or angora. As with everything, the shinier the surface, the more it will bounce the colours off. Have you ever found yourself wondering how the exact same graphic file, for example a corporate logo, can look different depending on where you see it? If you’re a communications manager and have ever been tasked with making sure your logo looks consistent wherever it is used, then chances are you have run into all kinds of different issues related to colour reproduction.
The reasons behind this are complex - the average person can easily distinguish at least a million variations in colour, and with a bit of careful observation, most people can learn to see very subtle differences in hue, tint, contrast and saturation which greatly extends the number of variations in colours that we perceive.(For a really great explanation on how we actually see colour - look no further than Pantone themselves in this article on their website: http://www.pantone.com/

Turns out, humans evolved with a lot of reliance on our ability to distinguish colours, and we’ve got really good memories for colour too.

There is a lot of information in “colour” - and to make it a useful part of communication, designers and printers needed to come up with an “alphabet” of sorts to reproduce them. At the simplest level, we can think of Pantone Colours, as just one of the many colour alphabets we can use when describing colour. There are several; but there are effectively just a few in common use in commercial design, printing and reproduction, and I’ll review them as they relate specifically to the Pantone colour system.

 If you’re not familiar with the Pantone brand, check out their website - http://www.pantone.com/. We see colour imagery everywhere, and we take it for granted. Most of the time, we don’t have the “original” intended image to compare the reproduction to, so we don’t notice the differences even if we are familiar with the original image. But for example, if you put a magazine ad featuring the Mona Lisa, next to the real thing, you’d see the difference in colours fairly easily if you looked closely.
The same is true for the vast majority of printed and digital design materials today; the colours you see are only an approximation of the original intent of the graphic designer, photographer or illustrator who developed the imagery for the image. Exactly how accurate that approximation is, depends mostly on the reproduction technology used, and the inherent limits of that technology. Pantone colours are designed as set of pre-determined colours that can be used in graphic design to establish a common reference point for the original intended colour. There are many different ways to do this - Pantone just happens to be the one that is most popular with designers and print professionals.

When it comes to corporate graphics like logos and wordmarks, there are generally just a few colours used in the design - sometimes even just one colour. And in corporate communications, we’re all familiar with the idea that a business has “a specific shade of blue” that is part of the brand.

If you’re familiar with the logo and that shade of blue, it becomes quite obvious when the colour is “off”. And, if you’re a communications professional, you might have experienced a situation where a Pantone colour is used, but it doesn’t look the same everywhere. And you might have thought to yourself “well, what the heck was so important about picking a Pantone colour then? The blue doesn’t look the same!” So before you go stomping off to argue with a supplier, it’s important to have at least a generalized understanding of  how the colours are reproduced.

When it comes to reproducing that specific shade of Blue, there are a two primary colour reproduction technologies that are commonly used, and each one will describe that shade of blue differently. Both of these technologies represent an alphabet (of sorts) useful for describing some colours. This is where Pantone colours or “spot” colours come into play - sometimes we want to describe some colours that the standard alphabets “don’t have letters for” The primary reproduction technologies I am referring to, can be summarized as •print technologies •on-screen technologies.

Pantone colours are primarily concerned with the world of printed graphics, and they play a role in on-screen colour reproduction as well, but we’ll start with how they work in print first. Print Technologies The vast majority of printed colour materials, are reproduced using various applications of the CMYK Offset colour reproduction process. This means that 4 primary colours of ink: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, are printed together to simulate a much wider range of colours when printed on white paper.
Each colour of ink in any printed material, is applied to the paper using what is referred to as a “plate”, so CMYK printing requires a minimum of four plates, and with those four plates we can approximate hundreds of thousands of colours. Now, I use the term “approximate” here, because that’s what is really happening - if you look very closely at printed colour graphics with a magnifying glass, you can see the CMYK inks as tiny dots, which when viewed normally, look like they blend together to form a range of colours.
The potential range of colours that can be formed this way, is referred to as the “gamut” - the human eye can perceive colours that are not possible to produce using CMYK printing - so, all of the colours that can be produced this way, fall into the range that is referred to as the CMYK colour gamut. Or put another way, the CMYK colour alphabet, doesn’t have letters to describe certain shades of blue. Sorta like that glottal-stop sound they use in Thailand. We can only spell it like “ngok” in english... but it’s only an (bad) approximation!
Just like it is possible to mix a custom paint for your walls, it’s possible to mix a custom ink too, and use that ink to print part of the image. So spot colours are used for this purpose and added as additional plates to CMYK print process, and therefore allow us to print any colour that we can mix a custom ink for. And that is exactly what Pantone colours are - custom colours that are can be printed using a custom ink.

 That custom colour is mixed according to a pre-determined formula, and that formula is given a numeric name. For example Pantone 3005, which is a fairly intense shade of sky-blue. So, as long as the print process allows for the inclusion of a spot colour plate, where you want that exact colour, it will look exactly the same each time it’s printed. The only caveat to that, is that the exact same ink will look a little different depending on what surface it’s printed on, so that has to be taken into account. But, as long as the paper is exactly the same each time, the Pantone 3005 ink will always look exactly the same each time it’s printed.
But, there are lots of situations in print, where it’s not possible to include a separate plate for the spot colour - just like sometimes you really only can use the standard Alphabet. Technologies such as digital printing and ink-jet digital printing are limited to the CMYK gamut. There is also a limit to the number of plates that a printing press can hold, generally between 6 - 8 plates, so that also limits how many Pantone colours can be used each time a sheet of paper goes through the press.
 In each of these situations, you need to rely on CMYK to reproduce the Pantone colour, basically because you can only have so many colours of inks. This process is referred to as CMYK conversion - which is just like it sounds - converting a Pantone colour to it’s CMYK approximation. To use our example colour, Pantone 3005, there is a pre-determined CMYK mix for that colour, with each ink expressed as a percentage of paper coverage. In this case it’s this: C:100 M:28 Y:0 K:0
Now, the key thing to understand, is that Pantone 3005 is not within the gamut of possible colours that can be produced using CMYK - you can only get “pretty close” - that CMYK mix, is the official Pantone approved CMYK conversion for the colour.
But, side by side, the actual pantone colour is much more intense - the CMYK mix is a fair bit less saturated. But, so long as the press-operator is looking at a sample of that mix, and compares it to what is coming off the press, they can use that to be sure they’re printing the right approximation.
On-Screen Technologies
On the other side of the graphic design world, we have on-screen graphics. For the most part, this means stuff you see on the internet, viewed using a computer of some sort. At the core of all on-screen or “digital display” technologies, is what is called the RGB display. Rather like CMYK, RGB (Red Green Blue) displays use a mix of primary colours to produce a much wider range of colours when viewed at a distance. And, just like CMYK, there is a different gamut of colours can that can be produced using RGB based technology.
Pantone colours also have a pre-determined RGB value as well - again, not always 100% the same as the custom mixed ink, but generally considered “close enough”. To fall back on our Pantone 3005 example, the RGB values are R:0 G:169 B:201. RGB values are expressed as a mix for each colour on a scale between 0 and 256. Pantone 3005 also can’t be expressed within the RGB gamut, so on-screen you’ll only ever see a close approximation as well, but never an exact match. Somewhat in the way different paper or print surfaces effect how inks look, RGB display is also subject to variation - and, alot more variation as it turns out. Since everyone has the ability to adjust the colour settings on their monitor, you can put the exact same image on 2 computers, side by side, and see a different colour, even on the exact same brand of monitor.
There’s basically no way to control it since this is a matter of preference for each person, so when it comes to matching Pantone colours “exactly” on the internet - it’s not really possible for most of the colours. You just have to accept that everyone will just see an approximation of your original intent. The idea is to at least be close, and that is why a Pantone colour is used: to set a standard baseline for the colour. When it comes to on-screen display - you ALWAYS have to convert the colour to RGB; there are no spot colours on screen. As this applies to your average communications professional, it’s important to also understand that in addition to monitor settings - different software also does different things with the exact same RGB colour mix.
Each software developer can determine their own way of interpreting and displaying a particular RGB values; this means that you can use the correct RBG mix for Pantone 3005 in MS Word, and the colour will look a bit different when you publish your Word Document to an Acrobat PDF file. You can then export a JPEG of that document, post it to a web-browser, and the colour will look a little bit different again. This is because there are several different underlying technologies at work in each of those cases, doing the job of reading the code that defines the RGB values for the colour. Add to this different display technologies, such as digital projectors. In this case you see a much reduced range of contrast, so what you see on your monitor won’t match what is projected.

Colour On Fibre

Now that is a wjole other ballgame..remember the monitor changes the colour perception. ? Now just imagine all the different fibres : sheep, mohair, angora bunny, silk etc, just imagine that all of those are different monitors. Every fibre reflects the colour in a different way: more vibnrant , less vibrant.
So every time a customer asks me to do a custom dye job and I ask them for a pantone nr so I can base my dye calculations on it, it will never match the pantone chart precisely. Its because of the base and because of the way we look at things. Colours are a lot like reality: everybody has their own way of looking at it !
So basically, when it comes to reproducing a Pantone colour on all screens or fibre bases accurately... you basically can’t. You can come close, and you can at least define the same value each time, but the result on every surface is not something that can be completely controlled. Colour is an adventure or like Forest Gump once said " (..) like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get"....

Still, to have a guideline is good. So there it is: Colour and how it is so important. When I first started IxCHeL, I had a tag line “Colour your Spirit” and I think it still holds true today: colours can influence the way we see, feel and behave. So, that all said: why not knit some rainbow bunny pouches for you or your pets to enjoy ? fill them with catnip for your cat or lavender to put in your drawers to protect against moths or just to make everything smell nice !


The pattern can be found on Ravelry right here : http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/catnip-bunny To make these use the IxCHeL Mini skeins for example ! Easy and a fun little project!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!


IxCHeL Mini skeins

The cutest little multi coloured skeins !!

10 mini skeins for $12
 

IxCHeL Gift Packs

IxCHeL GIFT VOUCHERS or SURPRISE PACKS !

Want to give somebody something special and still let them pick out their fav colour or fibre blend? Well, search no more: I offer an IxCHeL gift voucher package that is so hard to resist you even want to buy one for yourself ..lol Here’s the deal: FIBRE OR YARN OR BOTH! SURPRISE PACK just let me know the value you would like to spend and the favourite colours of the recipient(or yourself..lol) and I will put together a surprise pack for you and add at least $60 extra worth of goods to the parcel(for all surprise pack orders over $150) just to say thank you and have happy holidays ! :-)

AU$25 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised gift voucher and free post for the receivers first order in Australia !

AU$50 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised giftvoucher, free post for the receivers first order in Australia ! and a cute badge a bunny photo and last but not least some amazing fluffy stuff in a gift pack

AU$100 Personalised giftvoucher Pack

Comes with a personalised Christmas giftvoucher, free post for the receivers first order in Australia !, a badge, and last but not least some amazing fluffy stuff and yarn in a gift pack! Just let me know what giftvoucher pack you would like to gift to a friend or hey, you can even gift it to yourself ! And I will send you all the details.
 

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !
 
 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Bunnies !!!


It’s Halloween ! yeah! And you thought you would be safe with bunnies…nooooo!!!!! lol

It appears throughout history these cute lil fluffy things have been the inspiration for horror stories to make you shiver.

Our little angora bunnies are always sweet, even feeding them after midnight does not turn them into little gremlin bunnies nor are they particularly blood thirsty..lol But, saying that, I would take care if I were you! Especially on Halloween night !!!

Here are some rabbits you really need to avoid no matter what !

There is a Gargoyle rabbit known as the Vampire Rabbit of Newcastle. He perches above a solicitor's office behind St. Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle, England. No one knows why he is there, or what makes him glare with such evil.

Then, one of my favourite B Movies the night of the Lupus! The 1972 film Night of the Lepus is the definitive monster bunny movie. Plagued by too many rabbits, a community turns to scientists who experiment on the rabbits to keep them from reproducing. An escaped rabbit reproduces anyway, and the results are huge carnivorous mutants that eat anything in their way, including humans!
 Just imagine that happening now to all those bunnies exposed to the deadly myxomatosis and calici viruses…Another reason not to mess with biological warfare !




And who could forget another majestic HUGE bunny in the Wallace and Gromit movie “Curse of the Were Rabbit ! oh wait! I think I see some glaring eyes staring directly at me from the forest ! AAAAAArgh!

Heard of thee Bunny equivalent of Dracula? It is the fearless Bunnicula!!!!
Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit was a 1982 animated ABC Weekend Special based on a series of children's books by James Howe. Bunnicula was a family pet who sucked the juices out of vegetables. Not all that frightening in reality -unless you're a vegetable. Nevertheless, Bunnicula can sprout bat wings, fly, and move things with the power of his mind. The books are a great read especially now ;-)

Then there is the  Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, who guards the entrance to the cave of Caerbannog in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Yes, he may look like a innocent little fluffball, but he can bite your head off before you even realize it, as he did Bors, Gawain, and Ector in the movie. Run away! Run away! The Killer Rabbit also appears in the musical Spamalot. You can even buy a Killer Rabbit (Thinkgeek.com)  ! ann killer bunny slippers, which  I think might make it actually impossible to Run ! Run awayyyyy!!!!! lol


Not all killer rabbits are fictional...really !  THis is not a joke...Heard of the Swamp Rabbit?

In April of 1979, president Jimmy Carter was fishing near his home in Plains, Georgia when he was attacked by a swamp rabbit! The rabbit swam toward the president's boat and tried to board.
Carter had to fend it off with an oar. Press secretary Jody Powell is quoted from his 1986 book The Other Side of the Story: The animal was clearly in distress, or perhaps berserk.

The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits. He was unable to reach a definite conclusion about its state of mind.

What was obvious, however, was that this large, wet animal, making strange hissing noises and gnawing its teeth, was intent upon climbing into the Presidential boat. After some objected that rabbits can't swim, a picture of the incident was produced, clearly showing the rabbit swimming. The rabbit's political affiliation is still unknown.


So, apart from these killer rabbits out there to get you, I can vouch for our little fluffy ones..they have not tried to suck my blood or attack me.

Also, just so you know, their fluff is totally friendly to humans and can even protect you from evil bunnies out there in the wild! Wear a bunny jumper and the zombie bunnies walking out in the dark night, will think you are one of them!  Fluffy angora bunnies save lives !


HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!!!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!


Magic Bunny Tops

Super Soft and amazing to spin! Very very special blend of very friendly and fluffy angora bunnies, Merino, cashmere and unicorn rainbow mane (glitz) !!


100grams (+/-3.6Oz); AU$24

 
Magic Unicorn

 
Trick or TReat

 
the Walking Dead

 
Zombie Green



 
Sweet Vampire


Snuggle Close



 
Rainbow Ghosts

 
Pumpkin Smile

 
Pumpkin Party with Zombies

 
Loch Ness


Ice Age Monsters


 


Halloween Purple

 

Ghost stories
 


Ghost Bunnies




 
Fire and Brimstone

 
Blood red

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !


 

 RABBIT ON !


((hugs))


Charly



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