Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yarn Along via Small Things.

Follow the Yarn Alon via Small Things blog.

Fellow fiber enthusiasts share their current photos on flicker or directly on Small Things blog.

You can view my share on here via SwansNest:

Peace, love, and welcome the new Winter season. May we start our journey happily back to light.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Creatively and Compassionately Handmade is the motto for my etsy new website! SwansNest:
A gift from my wonderful husband, the website will be a vehicle for my knitted goods for sale on etsy and a space for me to share more about my knitting life and inspirations.
On my site I clue you into who I am and what I do.
Over time I hope to show more of me in my knits and posts.
When you visit my site you will find a sweet post about these short sleeves made from orange vintage kite string.

Love to my Woollies!

Custom knits can be made to order via personal message through my etsy:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

SwansNest is finally up and running!

Hello Woolly Friends,
I finally got my etsy page up and running. Please stop by and see my items.

If you are interested in custom pieces I would be more than happy to work with you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DIY Civil Ceremony 4/12/11

We needed it to be quick, sweet and short. So there was no other option but doing it ourselves, with the help of family, friends, and my Woolly Mamas.

DIY is just our way of life. Growing up in the strange land between city and rural you learn to care for yourself in many different ways including making your wedding happen in just a weeks time.

OK, technically it was 10 days from the engagement to the ceremony but it all came together and I am now a part of the "wives club". Where do we wives meet again? ;)

For starters, I traded my craniosacral therapy (or osteopath) session time for our ceremony. My cranio therapist is ordained, and we were meeting anyways, how about marrying my partner and I instead?!

I wore clothes I already owned and my baby Sister Mimi did my hair (with blessed botanicals, - local beauty products for multi-racial lovelies). Mimi helped me into my regalia: otter furs with peyote stitching, giant clam shell heart hair pieces and giant clam shell beaded necklace, brain tan elk hide moccasins, and my beautiful eagle wing fan (for smudging).
Mmmm, that felt good! My sis and I haven't done the regalia routine since we were kids.

If you're a dancer or performer of some kind you know the feeling. Old diggs don't die, they just mingle somewhere in the back of the mind.

My Treetrunk made the beeswax candle at the Eugene Waldorf School Winter Light Fair which we used for our family lighting ceremony.
Treetrunk wore a felted flower pin from one of my besties whom just got back into town from her 3month ramble around South America. He picked out some new shoes from our local board shop in EUG, Boardsports:
We got the best service I've ever had anywhere, hands down!

A new friend, who gave our Woolly Mama Lara a ride into town, made Treetrunk a daisy chain crown, thanks dude! I had a dream that he would wear a daisy crown, it was meant to be.
Lara took these beautiful photos and donated an Iris Faerie (found on her etsy: to my bouquet of fresh flowers (a gift from Mimi) and I added a pin wheel (life just keeps on moving).

I made my partner a temporary ring from the same yarn I made his fave wool hat with. I also made my Treetrunk a ring from light blue cotton yarn.

We were running late so (as therapy which double as a gift) I had time to rip up a white sheet which turned into white scarves for our guests. Om shanti!

We said our vows after our self scripted ceremony. I chocked up, cried through them and was so nervous that I couldn't even read my notes. I don't even remember what I said. At least it wasn't, "Dude, I really like you...let's do this thing!"

We kissed, signed the wedding license, and saw our friends off before our family hike.

Before the hike I gifted our ordained friend with DIY gifts.
A washcloth, hand knitted and soaked in lavender oil water.

A dish towel/hot-pad, hand knitted with a rescued dish towel backing.

On the Family Hike tender Salmon berry shoots were all over, dog's tooth (native pink) lilies happily greeted the rare sunny day, and my Treetrunk and new husband gathered walking sticks.
We ended our special day by eating crepes near Treetrunk's school so we could shuttle him off to finish out his day with his mates (Waldorf Schools are in full force with Play Season - he couldn't miss his ques).

The ceremony was built around our life: school, work, appointments, and our daily "to-dos". If that isn't the essence of or foundation of DIY, I don't know what is?
Love to all!
~The Swan Pacheco Family

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bub's Booties

One of my long time friends is pregnant with her third child and this time...It's A Girl!

Happiness is just a small bit of what I feel for her and her family. They are such amazing people and have been through many life times of hardship only to come out with deeper more loving connections with each other and the people that surround them.

Her and her sweetheart of 10 years were married this past Summer and will be expecting a baby girl this coming Summer.

For them I made these plush baby booties. Since the babe will be born at the height of Summer I made them for 12 months so that she can wear them during the cold season with socks.

They'll stretch as she grows so they can be used as babe's first inside shoes, maybe?

The yarn was a holiday gift from my youngest.

Peace, love, and baby booties!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oboster's Baby "Hoot"

Inspired by my youngest chalk pastel drawing of two baby owls hanging out on a tree limb.

He presented the drawing to his dad as "Hoot and Hoot" with a huge smile on his face and glowing brown eyes.

It is these precious moments that us parents try to hold on to. These memories that in the moment you want to physically grasp and place into your heart forever.

The other part to this owl's story is while I was in the free patterns, I came across a very cute idea of cylindrical Easter bunnies. They are long and skinny. I instantly thought of transferring the idea to an owl.

Oboster's love of animals transcends most love for humans. He especially loves baby animals. He melts when his birth mom gets him a new pet and when he watches the chickadees from his older brother's window.

We aren't big into Holidays but we love celebrating the changing of seasons. At Equinoxes and Soltices we celebrate big and our community is a part of that celebration.

So here he is, Mr. Raggedy Patchwork Face Owl. (Name yet determined)
Welcome to the community!

Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another postcard

My felt class went on a field trip to learn Nuno felting from a local artist named Tylar Merrill. It was great and I learned oodles. She shows her work in downtown Eugene at Eco-Sleep Solutions, and is worth stopping by to check out. This workshop was one of the many highlights of my school term. We decided to flood her mail box with felt thank you's. Mine is pictured here with crocheted flowers and leaves which I needle felted into the hardened felt card. I needled on some yarn to look vine-like and stitched on Thai paper with my message, and as address labels. I hope that the postal workers enjoyed it as much as the final recipient.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crafting With Nature

As Spring marches in, I've been trying to bring a little of its magic indoors, to remind myself that Winter is truly drawing to a close, and things will soon be green and busting out. Oregon Winters are just so long. Sigh...

I gathered some pussy willow twigs along a road this past weekend and started sprucing things up for the new season. I was pleased to find that the base for the giant wreath we made at our Waldorf school's Winter Light Faire was made of willows, so I bound some pussy willows to that with floral wire, and gave my front porch a whole new feel.

Then I went around the house creating little altars and nature spaces reflecting the changes outside. I've been doing this for a long time, and I feel like it really tunes us all into the wheel of the year. This little leaf dish from my wedding made a great spot for a favorite little birds nest, some fimo clay eggs I made with  my kids a couple years back, and teeny tiny pussy willow twigs.

I was inspired by a vase of forced buds at a friend's house recently, so I put a bunch of long willow branches in a vase of water to let them root and grow indoors for awhile. I set up more of my birds nests in honor of our feathered friends returning to the fields. Who knows, maybe I can plant some little willow trees later in the Spring.

My next big plans are to build a fairy house village in the garden around the house. I've got one house started, and I'm inspired to keep going with it. The pups ate our fairy village this last year, so I am starting anew in our recently fenced  dog-free front yard. I think the faeries will be pleased to live in peace from now on, not to mention the garden and blueberry bushes.

Happy Spring Crafting!

Magic Mushroom

A mushroom of the land of gnomes and all things magical. Wet felted over a 3D form of a bowl, filled with loosed wool, needle felted in, attached to a wet felted stem weighted with an rock buried into the base, it nearly stands (needs some work in the balance department) on my nature table, conjuring wonder.

A little birdhouse for my soul song

I equate my singing voice with my soul. When my soul is feeling compromised, my singing becomes stifled. Sometimes when I create space to sing in this state, healing occurs. I have a bit of an obsession with birds right now, so along these lines, I created a birdhouse for my soul. Lightly felted with pine needles and hemp cord, around the 3d form of a wooden birdhouse, then stitched to natural twig supports, it stands, soft, light, and delicate. A place of protection and warmth to bring my song when it is having trouble emerging. The needle felted bird sits on a needle felted perch, and can emerge with my soul song on her silk ribbon when she is feeling brave and social.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"My Kombucha Wears a Sweater"

by Nicolette Swan.
inspired by my oldest son who calls himself Treetrunk.

My Kombucha wears a sweater because of this nasty weather.
My Mama put the "Mother" on the living room shelf, inside a box, all wrapped up in Dad's old green sweater.

She, the Mother, was all cozy and warm and growing but then the ants came. Dad found them marching around the box. A couple even tried to get in but Dad said "No!" and Mom said, "No way!"
Things looked rather grimm for the Mother. So Dad and Mom took care of her and now she lives in the kitchen cupboard. We had to move all the pie pans out so we could move her in.

I sure do hope my kombucha will grow in that dark cold cupboard.
At least my kombucha wears a sweater.

**In the spirit of Wool and Community, my oldest son and I came up with this story. It was shortly after a Woolly Mamas Eugene Coven Meeting that we found the ants "marching around the box."
I thought it was cute and wanted to share our creation. I'll post more crafting creations soon.
Here comes Spring Break, craft it up!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunshine and Magnetism

When I was a baby my father called me the “sunshine on his shoulder”. He taught me diligence, determination, and a priority of providing for my family. He encouraged me to shine my light around the world. It is in his honor that I continue his legacy, pursuing my degree to teach children with learning challenges, work with families and helping them flourish. This wool and silk, Nuno felt art piece is an expression of my purpose to share and spread light through my life’s work.

The piece was inspired by this photo of a sunspot in space. It is a place on the sun where magnetism causes hot gasses to stay out of one particular area, but bubble around it. I think it is beautiful and it reminds me of a sunflower. The concept of being able to draw heat or repel heat through magnetism is a powerful concept for me. I can do this for myself, attracting what I desire to have in my life, and repelling who or what I want nothing to do with.

Dad, if you see this blog post, look what you are going to get in the mail for your birthday in May- sneak preview. Elliot and Tenar helped me a ton, because I made this with a broken elbow, and my arm in a cast. I started planning this project when you were in the hospital sick. I want you to know how much you mean to me and influence me in life. I need you to see me succeed. I guess I'll save the rest for the card that I mail with the gift on your birthday.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Inspirations, Spring Time Dedications!

Hello Woollies! My name is Nico (Batta-Bicco Coco) Swan. Really my fam and friends call me either Nikki or Nico. And a select group calls me by my birth name Nicolette.
(Inner dialogue: Moving on!)

I've tried writing for The Woolly Mamas blog several times now but I just seem to be caught up in my daily to-dos. Which is funny because what seems to be the driving force for The Woolly Mamas coven: busy Mamas for busy Mamas who're pro wool!

Besides my three (oh, wait) now f0ur volunteer jobs I have around town and my loving blended family I also enjoy knitting things for those I love.

Here are some of my creations that I conjured up this grey looming winter here in Eugene, OR.

I made these armlets for my youngest (we call him Oboster) that have a nifty thumb whole and cover the palm of the hand. They are made from a mercerized cotton in orange and a cotton blend in "rainbow" (his favourite colour).

These bonnet-esk beauties were made for my two favourite cowgrrrls:
Calamity Daisy and Calamity May!
They are made from rescued yarn that I purchased at MECCA ( They are a cotton blend.

And my piece de resistance was this bright and whimsical hat made for my sweet Cassandra and her new babe Mr. Miles. I combined and frankensteined two patterns from (me: The truck button is hand painted that I scored from my friend's vintage shop: Oak Street Vintage, EUG.
I love that place! I would live there if Cora would let me.

That's it for now! It's Sunday and my partner and I will be taking a walk to Goodwill soon to go treasure hunting.
Love, Life, and Lanolin!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Introduction by Felt

A statement about my juxtaposition in life during this school term, assigned by my fiber arts teacher. It is a postcard made of wool, to be sent through the USPS. Postal art is a concept that I am fond of. I am glad to have an opportunity to justify spending many hours on something like this. Yes, MANY hours! There is no way that anyone could possibly know how much detail and time went into this little 4 1/4 x 6 inch piece of wool. I started with plain wool- hand carded it, and layered it in one direction, then another, etc., and put a piece of blue, indigo dyed cheesecloth in the center, to cast a bluish tint through the whole piece. I lightly wet-felted, making a lofty and loose piece of pre-felt. I then began needle felting my image on the non-adressed side. Using hand-spun, rough yarn, I made a knotty tree with roots. A cardinal was cut from commercially felted wool that I kool-aid dyed red, a while back. I needle felted detail onto her, as well as some colorful fall leaves on the tree and ground. I needle felted all of the words that you see. Then I wet felted with a rolling method, being extremely careful to turn frequently, and measure for postal dimensions. I felted the heck out of it, and was frustrated by the fact that it wanted to stop sooner than the needed shrinkage. I shocked it in cold water, then hot, felting more, and then put it in a zip lock with hot, soapy water and threw it on my cement basement floor over and over. When I took it out, I saw sadly that it had lost tons of detail and the words were no longer readable. I sharpied over the letters and then needle felted in white around the letters to make them stand out. This took a long time. Finally, I began to needle felt on the other side, to create seagulls. I put the address with permanent marker on silk, and then used hand-spun wool yarn to felt right through the silk and pin it down. I liked the design element that the hand spun borders made on the silk edges, like wood on the ocean beach piers. I added some feathers on the surface, which had spilled out of my down comforter. There are more details than this, but I am so done with this project (5 days and at least and well over 15 hours!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wooly Mountain Mama

Hello all you Wooly Mamas out there! I am so glad to be a part of this creative collaboration, and share my love of crafting with all of you. Thank you Ani for gathering us together and getting this going!

So, a little about this wooly mama...

I am a modern homesteader in semi-rural Oregon, a homemaker, a mother of twins, a handcrafter, a wildcrafter, a food preserving maniac, a camper, a backpacker, a naturalist, a horticulturalist, a dreamer and an every day adventurer. I love to needle felt and wet felt wool, string necklaces with gemstone chips and animal pendants, fashion birds nests out of roots, and make little faeries with silk flower petals and leaves. My hands are always busy.

If you ever want to find me elsewhere, I keep another blog called Mountain Hearth Handcrafts about my homesteading efforts and outdoor adventures with my children, which you can visit at:, and one dedicated to my handcrafting business, Mountain Hearth Handcrafts, at: The Etsy site for this is at:

I am looking forward to sharing inspiration and creative dreams!

Lara Katherine Mountain Colley

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunny Side Up

For Reya's third birthday, I created a couple of crocheted, cotton eggs stuffed with wool. Eggs are a source of big fascination these days, due to our recent family addition of a flock of three hens who reliably lay us a pretty, green egg each day.
What I learned about making them look like eggs:
1)The white must be white, not creamy white, like natural lambswool.
2)The yolk should not stand too tall, or it gets out of proportion.
3)The white needs to be wavy, not perfectly round.
4)Use smallish yarn- not bulky, and a small hook.
5)Third time is the charm.

Woolly Welcome

Hoorah for the Woolly Mamas! Glad to see the circle(s) growing.

I'm feeling it is time to open up the Colorado woollies again. I just don't have a location that can suit a group of women and playful children ... but I will have once the new house is ready -- in February or March perhaps? I've a little list of families who are probably interested.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rosie's Hat

Rosie is modeling my first knit-in-the-round project. I am rather impressed with myself. I followed a pattern and learned some new skills. Next I'll be making the same thing but bigger for Hazel in a lovely dark teal color.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Valentines Day Gifts

Two of my four children got home made Valentine's day gifts from me this year(the oldest wanted pre-paid minutes for his cell phone, and the toddler wanted a heart shaped mylar balloon).  The hoodie was altered for my little Galen.  A beloved and well meaning Auntie sent it as a newborn gift, bearing an embroidered, blue, football.  I just simply don't do sports motifs on my baby boy clothes, so for V day, he re-got the gift, magically changed by Mama to sport some magic mushrooms!
Tenar received this wool felt (up-cycled from sweaters of course) lunch box, completely hand stitched and naturally dyed by moi.  The little internal divider separates hot food from cold, and I gave him little pyrex bowls to fit inside, so he could carry his dinner leftovers for lunch, in plastic-free containers.  This project took me foreeeever.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Banana Split anyone?

Check out these awesome woolly split pants that my friend Maria made using the sleeves of a felted sweater! Sol and I are so in tune (most of the time) that he is practically diaper-free at home! Now he can cruise around eating tidbits off the floor, keep his leggies warm and be easy for me to pee. The other day he sat at the table with us, pushing pieces of banana around, most of them disappeared and when I picked him up they were all over his lap. Karuna said, "Now that's what I call a banana split!"

Secret stash?

I took these pictures a few weeks ago now, but haven't found time to post them.  I am excited that I created for my 12 year old son, a unique Yule gift, that was a lot more work than I originally imagined: a book with a secret compartment.  I imagine that it could be used for a cash stash, secret notes or little treasures.  His step-Grandma helpfully pointed out that the hole is just the right size for a pack of cigarettes (such a wonderful influence, right?).  He noticed that his digital camera fits inside.  What fun.  I hope to make more of these in the future.

I bought a thrift store book to use, without actually reading it first.  After slicing some of the page centers out, I began to notice that the plot was a bit scary, and deeply disturbing.  It is fiction about a man who does terrible things to young women after murdering them.  I was extremely creeped out when I discovered the content of my book project, and that is when I decided to glue the pages together VERY well, inset some screws through the bulk of the pages, and cover the hole with pretty, flowery paper.  I really hope the scary insides never get uncovered.  I told the same step-Grandma about this, and she revealed that she has read several other horror novels by this particular author, and that it is one of her favorite series of books.  You gotta wonder...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feeding the Hungry

"The Gratis Cafe"

This is more of a brain storming post intended to explore some possibilities for aiding the hungry and homeless in Fort Collins. I read an article in the Collegian some days ago about students who dumpster-dive for perfectly good discarded food, mostly bagged day-old bagels and dented tinned foods from grocery stores. I also saw recently a *documentary of a zen chef from Tassajara Mountain Center in San Francisco, in which the center delivers leftovers (and their leftovers are quite exquisite) in little white Asian take-out boxes to homeless folks around the city. Both have got me thinking about how I could be of greater service to my impoverished compatriots.

If there were one or two free public locations with tables and chairs, near downtown, and appropriate for all weathers, a dedicated group of at least 15 volunteers able to pick-up and transport food donations and prepare meals, and a willing supply of discarded food donations from local supermarkets, food shops, and bakeries, donations of produce from local CSA's and home gardens, and individual contributions, a free "cafe" could be conceivable.

If anyone is interested in discussing how this idea could be put into action, please call, e-mail or comment on this post.

Kristianne Gale

*"How to Cook Your Life" with Zen chef Edward Espe Brown

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hazel's Birthday Gifts, aka Pincushion Redux

So here is what I decided to do about that pesky pincushion. It came to me at the last minute, seeing its completion only 6 hours before the birthday girl awoke on her special day. No more late nights for Mama for a while, please!

The scissors case is made of wool felt, in red of course, and blanket stitched together. I used some red print fabric to make a "bean bag style" pincushion, stuffed with several layers of cotton batting. It is the "flower" and seems to work pretty well as long as one is careful with how they put the actual pins in. I sewed the cushion onto the scissors case, then added felt leaves and embroidery. I am excessively proud of this little beauty!

I am also pretty proud of this simple little bag, made late on the night before the scissors case/pincushion. My sewing machine has been out of commission for years (I'll be fixing that problem soon!) so this is all hand sewn.

Finally, here is the whole present: Hazel's Busy Basket. She's got a slate board and chalk, a Waldorf alphabet book (because she'll be facing those letters already next fall in Kindergarten), lots of paper tied with pretty red string, three balls of yarn (The string games book I ordered has not yet arrived. I'll ask the fairies to slip it in quietly when it gets here.), homemade playdough in two colors, lots of fabric in nice fat quarters (thank you, Scott), an embroidery hoop, thread in a homemade bag, the pincushion/scissors case w/ goodies, and the homemade bag with hand-me-down rubber stamps and stamp pads. Whew! If that doesn't keep those busy little fingers happy and out of mischief, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Solstice love

A wool child's sweater from the thrift shop becomes a Solstice sweater with a touch of embroidery.
These felted wool sweater slippers were easy enough for a total beginner.

Solstice was wonderful and very simple. Through the generous donation of a dear friend who sent me an entire box of felted sweaters (Thanks Kiri!) I was able to make sweet gifts for my family that were truly needed.