Welcome to Briarly Hill!

These are the musings and ponderings of the Artist from Briarly Designs, an online store of unique, handmade, sterling silver jewelry. I invite you to check out some of the pieces I've made and let me know what you think. Go to: www.briarlydesigns.com


P.S. - A lot of people come here looking for the whimsical "Shipping & Returns" policy my husband wrote. If you don't see it below, you'll find it in the archives under July 5, 2007.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I dare you to try something out your comfort zone.
Recently, whilst slogging through the blogging world came upon the cheery blog of Flaming Nora. A Brit and a avid sewer/crafter I took her up on reducing her "scrap heap"dilemma and added to mine. Now I am an avid sewer and crafter, but my challenge was the color of the scraps. I love color! but when i sew, knit, spin or weave I am a very neutral/ fall colorway type person. WOW!

Talk about bright colors and all of them taffeta and duponi? silk? What to do? Luckily the shape and texture of the black saved my day.

I'm thinking Moroccan lights similar to this one. A purse perhaps? I have started and hope to finish before Christmas takes over my life. Try something out of your comfort zone!

Monday, November 7, 2011


mmmm, how I love rust!
From rusty bolts,

to the color of my youngest daughters hair.

spin it,

Weave it, dye it!

Love it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

View from my window

I really do love the views from my windows, especially now with fall in the air! The pics are a little blurry because I literally took them through the "window". Hope you enjoy my little piece of Virginia!
South - ish, My little shed!

West- Giant pine in the middle of the yard. complete with creeper squirrel.

East - ish, better view because it's of my garden!

North- ish didn't want a picture of the neighbor's house.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This week...

I wove "something"...light brown, didn't like it, so i over-dyed it brown(er).

I made a shawl pin...

Dyed....anything that was laying around.

and... found a huge garden spider, who fortunately for me is a good guy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flowers to dye for.

As many of you know i love to dye! Once i have a pot brewing, i dye anything i can get my hands on, (barring the husband, children and pets.) Needless to say i usually make a mess leaving splatters everywhere all over the counter, floor and myself. I had this strange notion over the dyepot on Friday to drop some of those splatters on a piece of watercolor paper i had in the other room, mostly to see how the color was progressing. Later that night as i vegetated in the living room i started doodling around the blobs and making flowers.

I am quite impressed if i do say so myself! What do you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Well, such is the end of TDF. I won a really cool shirt from Wonder why gal. Girls camp in the middle threw me for a loop and i took a week just to get back on track. In the end i didn't spin as much Wookie as i would have liked, but i did make a dent and also found that i like it blended with a fleece that i purchased at the Shenandoah valley fiber fest. Still slapping myself for not getting the venders name or the type of fleece. More care this year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


You may ask what is TDF ? I mean in this world of blogging, texting, and other achranms why would i be blogging about TDF?
TOUR DE FLEECE of coarse!
What else would Mamma LLama blog about? I am so excited to get motivation and friendship out of spinning. We start Sunday, July 2 just like the bikers. I have an entire Alpaca fleece to spin, and since i am on Team Wonder, the Alpaca loving team what a better time to get that puppy spun, uh i mean that 'paca spun. LOL No, it is not a Wookie!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Morning Song

The day breaks cool and refreshing after day(s) of rain.

As i let the minture sheep, aka my dog out for her morning ritual, i hear the birds, beautiful birds.

Suddenly gray skies and wet, wet, wet don't seem so bad.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Spring, rain need i say more?
It has been positively dreary here the last couple of days.

I finally got the nerve to try knitting again, and if i do say so myself i did quite well. I found out that for being predominantly left-handed, i knit right handed. No wonder i struggled trying to turn it around! So i took my first handspun, yeah I know, 20+ years laying around.

Well it took weeks but now i have a scarf! Just in time for....spring!

I am making progress on my 50 list, i promise! Less than three weeks left!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Silk Part Deux

So onward through the silk experience! Today we have rods, bells and cocoons! Oh my!

Silk Rods

Silk Bell


After trying to spin the silk rods i here by declare that they aren't worth the time or the money spent on them! The silk bell was interesting to spin kind of like a cob web. The silk cocoons were just cool to say "yup, i did it". Plus they have the grossest little worm that you have to extract.

And...this is what i spun from the silk bell and the cocoons, not much, but it was fun!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thank you Mr. Webster!

This is in response to my last post. Which, given the responses on FB, this definition would duly apply. No comment on the last definition.

wool·ly also wool·y (wŏŏl'ē) Pronunciation Key adj. 1. Relating to, consisting of, or covered with wool. 2. Resembling wool. 3. Lacking sharp detail or clarity: woolly television reception. 4. Mentally or intellectually disorganized or unclear: woolly thinking.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Purple armpit

Ok, funny and yet embarrassing story. I was sitting in a meeting this morning with two women. I was explaining something when i lifted my arms over my head, both of them burst out laughing.
" You have something purple in your armpit!" one of them exclaimed. Lifting my arm up again and peeking tentatively i noticed a purple haze. On closer examination i found it to be a piece of purple mohair that i was spinning last night. How i love fiber! i don't care if it is all over me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adventures in silk, part 1

So, one of my goals is to learn how to spin silk. Honestly one of my first questions was; who stood by a mulberry tree in Japan, saying " i wonder what this white thread is coming out of this worms butt, i think i will spin it and make a shirt." Seriously! I decided i wanted to spin silk from several different methods; cocoon, roving, and rods. Over the last several months i have acquired some silk. The roving i bought at the Shenandoah fiber festival in October from The Flock Bransonas www.bransonas.com Beautiful colors of blue, green and purple. It was a dream to spin, I probably shouldn't have started with it, i don't want to spin anything else!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Ah, nothing like getting something new. New year, new socks, new yarn...yes! Last March i made a list of 50 things to do before i'm fifty... i have completed 5...sad days. I am such a procrastinator. Now it's January and i have 12 weeks until my birthday. I can do this... yes?