Saturday, June 27, 2015

My heros

Lam-Air are my heros - we now have cool air coming out of the ductwork - whoo hoo.  They called and said when he'd be here, then a call saying he was on the way.....and then he was able to fix it right away.  The capacitor blew and he had another one in the truck. Funny thing, he said someone nearby also had it happen yesterday evening which makes one wonder if there was some sort of power surge/issue. So, we had to pay a premium price to have it fixed on a Saturday but if we signed up for the yearly maintenance contract it ended up being the same price as if they came back out Monday to fix it and charged us for another visit. And having a maintenance contract means we get put to the top of the list in an emergency.....and they'll come out twice a year to go over the entire system......and a discount on any parts needed. This was our first time using them and we're very pleased. So, if you're in Southern Oregon keep their name in mind if you need any HVAC work. (yes, that lion is their logo)  It's starting to get cooler in here.........I am one happy camper right now..........
 
 

Sizzle

Sizzle....that's what we're now doing in this extreme heat. Yesterday it was 105 in town, only 101(hah) here on our property since we're outside of town and up a bit in elevation. 10 day forecast is for 100+ temps plus chance of dry lightening each day.  But that's not the clincher - it's that our compressor went out last night so no air conditioning - ACK. Call into local company last night, called again this morning and were told that 'John' was returning calls......hoping to hear back soon.  There's no telling what is wrong or how long it will take to get repaired/replaced. Not sure what's on the agenda today - definitely will not be anything that generates heat in the house or in the body......there's only so much an attic fan and ceiling/floor fans can do in this heat.  I do have some dreaded photography work to do........could work on planning future weaving projects - but way too hot to be winding a warp or weaving.

This is the resulting handspun from those rolags I made on the blending board using one of my felting landscapes kits - the Strawberry Fields Forever kit.  I got 1,036 yards - not sure what it will grow up to become.....will sit it on the shelf and marinate for a while........

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A giveaway

UPDATE:  only one person wanted a pattern, the Folk Art Fish, so that one is gone. The others are still available until they find a home.

In that never ending chore of going through things to lighten my load I've found these quilt patterns.....I bought......never used.......and I've finally figured out I will never use them. So, I'm giving them away.  If more than one person is interested I'll pull names Monday morning. Just leave a comment to this post with which pattern(s) you're interested in. Be sure there's a way for me to contact you or else check back on Monday morning to see if you got one or more of them.  All of these are patterns only - no fabric or supplies included.

Folk Art Fish - instructions for making a wallhanging, pillow and framed picture
 

Hummingbird - contains applique designs for a wall hanging

Notion Nanny - Rag doll with outfit and instructions

Welcome Quilt - directions for Welcome kit, large picture on the left
 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A bit of this and that......

We got back from 4 days on the coast yesterday - beautiful cool weather in the 60's  just over the coastal range from home where it's in the 90's......soon to be 100's.  I finished getting the loom warped with the cottolin and got 4 of the 12 towels woven. I'm thinking autumn colors in this warp.

The tile backsplash is finished - Sam did a great job. I still would have been happier with painted (seaglass green) beadboard but I let him have this one - he really wanted tile. So the kitchen is finished other than the floor, that will be done when we install the floors in the entire house.......which is after we paint all the window/door trim and doors.........ACK. I'm now scouring second hand shops for some pretty plates to hang on the soffits above the cabinets on both sides of the fridge - it needs some color up there. And I should remind you I do work on the house too - I painted all those kitchen cabinets......and soon will be painting trim, windows and doors throughout the entire house....good thing it's a small house.......

 Walking on the beach Tuesday morning I spotted a familiar sight - the Good Year blimp....

 ....not a familiar sight in these parts but growing up in the DC area we used to see them all the time......
....the guess is that this one was on it's way south after being at the US Open up in the Puget Sound. That building to the left is the top floor of a wonderful restaurant down the hill from our place, Edgewaters. The building up on the bluff is a coast guard office - they can see down the inlet to the ocean for there which is important as sometimes it's way too rough for boats to go in and out.

Good things:
.......being on the coast for 4 days in cool weather......
.......Dreyer's Ice Cream was on sale so I picked some up today.....
.......air conditioning......

Bad things:
.......not being on the coast as the extended 10 day outlook is for 100+ temps with 108-110 forecast for Friday and Saturday.......and thunderstorms starting Friday......which are not like thunderstorms in other areas of the country with drenching rain, ours are dry and lead to forest fires......
......Fireworks have gone on sale - I have never understood in an area with such a threat of forest fire that we're allowed to buy and shoot off fireworks, really stupid.......
......Dreyer's Ice Cream was on sale so I picked some up today......
......I got a notice for jury duty in the mail today - my third time since living in Oregon, Sam has never been called, I know people who have lived here their entire lives and never been called......so what's with that.....even though they say it's random via DMV and Voter's Registration I really think I'm on a short list........

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Black Sheep Gathering

Yesterday morning at o'dark-thirty friend Pat and I left for the day to travel a couple hours north to the Black Sheep Gathering. I used to go spend the entire weekend up there in Eugene for it but have gotten away from it for a number of years - I think I've only gone twice for a day trip in the past 6-7 years. It's a great event, but maybe for me it follows to close behind attending the nwrsa conference so I just don't feel like going, at that point I've had my fiber event fill for the month. Anyhow, it was a fun day, got some visiting in with other fiber friends, took a class, but spent very little money.....I just don't need a thing.......

I took a half day bow weaving class from Marilyn Romatka with hopes that it would make a good weaving guild program for this next year. It was fun and Marilyn was a great teacher, very concise and easy to understand.....which comes from teaching middle school age kids. Our bows were made of 4 ft dowels, paper clips and duct tape - ingenious.

Here's my bracelet in progress - it's being woven in an approximately 5/2 cotton yarn using size 6 beads. This was a 4 hour class jammed into 3 hours so we didn't finish our bracelets that wrap around the wrist twice but got close. (all those threads hanging out are where I spliced in new thread, they'll get woven  in once I'm finished) We did get a good tutorial on how to finish and add the findings. I don't know how much of this I'll do but I really enjoyed it and will have fun sharing it with my guild members.

I did very little shopping in the vendor hall - I just don't need a thing. Then friends Linda and Kathie showed me the gradient yarn they bought from Black Trillium for shawls so I had to go back and pick out a pack for myself. It was a really hard decision as there were so many beautiful colors but I went with a dusty plum.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A great day at the sewing machine.......

 I had another very fun day sewing/quilting. I'll just have to set aside the things I'm supposed to do more often and sew. Above is a finished mat, this one is the centerpiece/table mat. I figured I'm experiment with this one rather than one of the six placemats. After I got it quilted I quickly ran to the computer to find out how to do mitered corners on the binding as I've never done them before. What did we do before the internet and YouTube???  Anyhow, found a great video of a lovely British woman demo'ing how to do the binding. I think I did ok for my first time. I gave thought to hand-sewing it on the back side but then figured I'd stitch in the ditch and do the entire thing on the machine.

Here on the left is the finished centerpiece mat. In the center is a placemat (see I made the seaglass color border a bit narrower) that's been quilted awaiting binding, On the right is the next placemat going to the machine for quilting. I should be able to finish all six placemats up plus serge some matching napkins in one more day.......but sadly, I do have other things on the agenda for the next several days........but this project is well on it's way to being finished and used......in the future a picture will follow showing them in use on the table.......

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Placemats in the works

Today I decided ignore the things I should be doing/need to be doing and work on a project I've wanted to do for a long time. Placemats for the beach cottage. Quite a while ago I found a runner pattern with templates by Eleanor Burns that I thought would be perfect. Do you know Eleanor Burns from Quilt in a Day?  I watched her show many moons ago, it might still be on tv but it's not available here. She always cracked me up with throwing the leftover bits over her shoulder and the way she talked as if we were all kindergartners. Well, I signed up for a seminar with her at the Sewing Expo a couple years ago - in person she's even funnier and very irreverent - the camera man had a perpetual shade of red on his face the entire 45 minutes.

So, of course I can't follow her instructions to the T because I'm not making the runner. To make sure I understood which pieces would get sewn to each other I made up some pieces in paper, labeled and taped them together. I had already washed my fabrics, eons, ago so I was ready to start this morning when I decided to ditch my to-do list for the day.

Here's I'm cutting the pattern pieces using her plexiglass template and my rotating cutting mat - I love this cutting mat, why did it take me so many years to buy one of these???

Here are all my pieces cut out - enough for 6 placemats plus a centerpiece. I only keep 4 placemats on the table on a daily basis but I thought it smart to make the extra two. With the size of these I'm not sure there will be room for a centerpiece on the table but I'll have it for wherever.

Here I'm chain stitching pieces together. I set the pieces to be sewn next to the machine how they are to be sewn together - care must be taken not to sew them together in the wrong place. I didn't do it on this project but I have in the past. Organization is crucial.

Here's a view of what the pieces look like as I'm sewing them together....always keeping them in order.

Here's the first one done on the left - 6 more to go. I can't believe how fast this method of sewing the Grandmother's Garden pattern is....what a simple way to sew hexies together.

And here is one top finished. I could have finished them all up today but I'm not sure I'm happy with the borders. I'm thinking of making the first border white (it's white with little silver polka-dots), and making it a little narrower.....then the pink border. Once quilted there will be a binding around the edge too. I'm not sure what color the binding will be - maybe white - I only started with one yard of each of the colors so I probably won't have enough left for the binding but I bought lots of the white figuring I'd serge some matching napkins.

I'm not sure what kind of quilting I'll do on these.....maybe just stitch in the ditch.....will decide when I get to that step. For a brief moment I thought about how fun it would be if they were hand quilted but then I came to my senses because I know that might not happen for months years rather than getting these finished up soon. I'm hoping to work on these a bit more tomorrow.......had to stop mid-afternoon today as there are some other things I must get to today.

It felt really good to work on something for myself rather than always working on projects that bring in an income.......I need to do this more often.......maybe I need to semi-retire.........



Monday, June 15, 2015

Fun fabrics

Aren't these great coordinating fabrics? They're designs of the artist Charley Harper.  I bought this fabric a while ago at Top Stitch, my Bernina shop, worked on a birthday project using it today - will eventually show what I made.

Just a little fire tidbit - on Saturday while I was at my guild meeting 45 minutes away there was a fire a couple miles from our house. Sam was clueless - he hasn't learned that he's supposed to go out and see where the copters flying overhead are going - he would have seen the smoke plume if he had. Luckily it was jumped on quickly and put out. There have been several other small fires in the region, like this one, not caused by lightening - people need to be more careful. Several fires still burning from the lightening storms last week.....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Yum - just put together this salad for the guild potluck today. Room temperature it tastes great, should be really good once cooled and the flavors have melded. Found this on The Pioneer Woman's website. I could see using this recipe all summer long adding other fresh veggies as they're in season, cucumbers would be great in it.  She must have added much more of the olives and tomatoes than I did - her pix are way more colorful.



Friday, June 12, 2015

Replenishing stock

Spent some time at the loom today weaving on the huck shawl warp.  It's hard to tell in this photo but it's a lovely pale sage green. The first shawl (not pictured, because I forgot) I used the same novelty rayon weft as warp. For this shawl I used a 5/2 perle cotton for the weft in the same lovely sage color.

Sorry if you're already tired of hearing about fires but it's just the start.........it's going to be a long fire season. In the future I'll try to only post about it if there's something big or dangerously close......otherwise there will be a daily report and I know all my readers will grow weary of that real fast. Last Friday fire season started with many restrictions in the moderate fire danger guidelines, tomorrow we go to high fire danger already......I wonder when extreme fire danger will follow. Copters flying overhead today to fires in the area, they've been doing a great job all week fighting them, numerous fires already snuffed out..........winds pretty strong so hopefully nothing new starts up, we're under a red flag warning through tomorrow afternoon due to the wind.

Good things
 - men and women who choose fire fighting as a profession - many thanks to them all for keeping us safe while they work in extreme conditions - heat, smoke, steep terrain, falling snags, poison oak, etc.
 - cool lovely mornings even though it gets stifling hot by afternoon - but no humidity so really good.

Bad things
 - toxic people....I won't go into that subject any further, if you have them in your life you know it.
 - robo calls - slow day today, only 4 so far - whatever happened to that Do Not Call list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cutting it close.......

Cutting it close on the width of the cottolin towel warp that went on the loom at the beach last weekend - I had to wind on very slowly so threads didn't jump off the corrugated cardboard......and over there I didn't have anything else to use.  Next time over I'll get to threading heddles and reed and start weaving......I definitely need wider cardboard.......

Our weaving guild challenge this year is "Space.....to boldly go where you have not gone before" - our challenge item could have to do with outer-space, galaxies, space in weave structures, weave something you have not dared to weave before.  I was inspired by the work of other weavers online that have woven scarves, shawls and wall hangings using a spaced warp technique so I decided to give it a try.

Here's my cotton warp space in the reed. I chose an 8/2 cotton so it wouldn't be slippery with hopes of the threads staying where I wanted them.......

 .......on the loom with pieces of poster board as spacers for the weft.......

......here I've already twisted the fringe and am pulling out the posterboard.......
.....and here's the finished scarf. I think it fits the challenge criteria. I wish it were a bit softer after washing but it's ok. If I were going to make more I'd use a different cotton..........but I won't be making more.......

I would have had a picture of the shawl warp that I got on the loom today but I had to go back and correct a 5 thread cluster of threading errors so I never got to weaving other than to double check the threading again. That's what happens when one sees smoke between the trees where it shouldn't be and jumps up to check it out. They've been getting handle on the lightening caused fires but this one was caused by a mower this afternoon - sheesh, be smart people. Copters and engines quickly knocked it down. I turned on a local radio station that's great with fire updates so found out within minutes what was going on.  It's going to be a long fire season, sometimes I wonder how I'll keep my sanity until October.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rude Awakening

It was a rude awakening back into the heat of the valley after spending 4 days on the coast which is probably around 80 miles away as the crow flies. Yesterday morning on the coast we felt like we needed hats & gloves walking the beach, it was in the 60's but there was a very strong wind coming in off the ocean...........fast forward to yesterday afternoon pulling in the driveway here at home where it was 104 degrees - yes, a 40 degree difference.

We came home to learn about two forest fires - the Red Dog Fire is in our area, not real close to us, and not even threatening homes......it hasn't grown much since Saturday so hopefully it will not become an issue for anyone - it was started by lightening a few weeks ago, one of those sleeper strikes that pops up later. There's another fire around 45 minutes NE of us that's more active, I don't think any homes are in danger there, hope it stays that way. 

Red Dog Fire
Another rude awakening around 1am to the sound of thunder and flash of lightening.  I grew up on the east coast where it was the norm in the heat of summer but those storms were also accompanied by rain - here it's dry lightening that starts fires rather than drenching us. The spotter planes will be flying looking for smoke plumes. Bailey is usually ok with loud noises but not last night so I had a 90 pound dog laying on top of me in the middle of the night, then the storm moved on a bit, he got down because he was hot......but around 4am the lightening/thunder came over us again and Bailey was back up on top of me. Neither of us got much sleep last night....all that kept running through my head is that I need to get this year's fire escape plan together, pull out the backpack for throwing the most important 'stuff' in, some big plastic bins for other stuff if there's time to pack it.....time for Sam to put the 5th wheel hitch back in the truck bed, the 5th wheel is a small, very small with a 90 pound dog, portable home that will carry a lot of 'stuff'. I almost feel like before there are even fires real close to us that we should go ahead and put the sprinklers on the roof, then all I have to do is hook up the hoses and we're good to go.......as long as there's power to run the well pump, it's unsightly but our place can't be seen from the road so who cares. It's going to be a long fire season...........

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's been a long time......

 It's been a long time since these socks were cast on........can't say exactly how long since I'm too lazy to go back and look on this blog but somewhere around 1 1/2 years, give or take. When I pulled out my knitting bag and saw that I was still on the first sock I decided they needed to be knit and off the needles. I love feather and fan but I didn't really enjoy knitting the pattern in these socks........so glad they're done........

So, a new pair of socks are on the needles and is this color way ever fun. These and another pair in a different color way will be knit as simple socks, as in no patterning. These won't be on the needles as long since I can knit on these even while in the car. These and the other color way in this Regia Fluormania are to be gifts but I'm loving the bright colors so much I might have to buy another skein to knit myself a pair.......how cheery would these be on a dreary winter day.........

On another note - fire season starts tomorrow......we're in our third year of drought......it's going to be another long ugly fire season.........





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Boring black.....

Today I put a black rayon chenille warp on the loom - kind of boring photo wise, boring to weave but I watched/listened to dvr'd stuff on tv so it was ok - just nice to be weaving. These scarves will have silkscreened discharge designs. In November I'm giving a repeat of my program on surface design to the other guild in our area and need some 'full size samples' to show - I've only got my small samples in my notebook. So, I'll discharge these, will do some more weaving and maybe use some stencils with Paintstiks, dye some silk scarves and embellish them with surface design, who knows what I'll come up with between now and then. I've got many techniques to show, it would be nice to have more than just a handful of finished pieces to show along with my notebook samples.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NWRSA report

I've been gone for close to a week. I went to the NWRSA spinning conference up in Tacoma, WA. with some of my fiber buddies. We shopped and ate our way up and back which was very fun. Conference was great although a bit of a challenge due to construction at the University of Puget Sound where it was held and where we stayed in the dorms. I loved it but was very glad to be pulling back into my own drive yesterday afternoon. Sorry, no pix - I had plans of taking pictures along the way to post here but once I forgot to take a picture at our first stop at Bronx Bagel for breakfast it went downhill from there....some people love to take photos, I'm not one of them, I rather experience it than worry about a camera.

I made some fun crocheted owls to give to some fellow spinners while at conference. I still have some left so they may become package toppers. The pattern for these can be found on Ravelry, they're called Owl Keychain Pattern. They're very fun and addictive to crochet.

This is what I started spinning at conference while sitting in the spinning circle. It's from the rolags I made on my blending board a couple weeks ago. I'm curious to see how it will eventually looked plied. I have no idea what the handspun will grow up to be when finished.

Time to get back to weaving - hoping to warp the loom tomorrow........


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

South Seas Scarves

I got the fringe twisted on the South Seas Scarves - the tencel warps were hand-dyed by me, wefts are various colors of tencel. Only the center scarf is listed in my etsy shop so far - others to be listed soon. As always, if someone sees something they'd like but it's not in my etsy shop yet please drop me a note or leave me a comment.  Sorry the color in the lemongrass scarf on the left didn't quite come out right as I was trying to lighten up the background - it's not quite that acid looking..........although I like it. I think these scarves would look great worn with jeans, and a chartreuse top - what you don't have any chartreuse tops in your closet???  I have several - one of my favorite colors. I've even got a couple pairs of shoes in this color.........

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weaving the day away.......

 I got to spend quite a bit of time at the loom today on a painted tencel warp - first scarf I used a chartreuse weft - a favorite color of mine.......

 .....next scarf a medium teal weft........

......final scarf a dark teal weft........

Has anyone else watched any of the new Netflix Original Series Grace & Frankie?  It stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. A friend and I spent yesterday afternoon noshing and watching the first four episodes. We both got tickled over it and will get together a few more times to watch the rest of the 13 episodes. It was really nice to spend the afternoon doing something decadent.....usually I'm way to driven to spend an afternoon watching tv.....I'm looking forward to the next get together.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This and that...........

I finally got the fringe twisted on these 3 scarves recently woven - they have a hand-dyed silk warp and tencel wefts. The center one is listed in my etsy shop for sale - the other two will eventually make it in the shop, if anyone has an interest in one of them please contact me......takes me a while to get the photography work done to get them listed in the shop.

This felting landscape kit is available in my other etsy shop.  I grabbed a kit before I went to my spinning group yesterday, grabbed my blending board and started making rolags using all eight colorways. I've got 5 other colorways of felting landscape kits available for sale, bet they would be fun to make rolags out of on the blending board too.

 Here are a few of the rolags........I've got a total of one pound ready to spin, can't wait to see what the resulting handspun yarn looks like.

 It started out as a nice walk on the inlet beach looking for seashells and seaglass until that danged log showed up........

 .......Yikies - it moved - better back up fast.......


 .....whoa, that thing is alive......
 
.....better watch it carefully and definitely not turn my back on it........such are the perils in the life of a beach dog......

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Vertigo........

Ok, I was way down on the ground, in the house and this sight still gave me vertigo. I took this picture from my studio window trying my best to get him way up there in the sky as it was very close to the house. We had 3 giant trees taken down that were within 5 feet of the house. This guy worked his way up the tree wearing spikes, chainsaw hanging from a rope, cutting off limbs as he went - he reached the top and starting cutting off 2 ft chunks and letting them drop to the ground - thud, thud, shake the house thud. I was in awe of him. This tree was 100 ft tall - that's really tall. The entertainment factor was almost worth the money paid to have it done......almost.......

This afternoon another painted warp went on the loom.........as it was supposed to, effortlessly, no tangles, no halo'ing. This is a view from the back of the loom, it's sitting in the raddle, the cross through the lease sticks.

Here it is from the front of the loom as I'm getting ready to thread the heddles and reed. Unfortunately, once again, my camera isn't catching the color - it's a great chartreuse/lime color  combination - one of my favorite colors.

Here I'm auditioning wefts for the 3 scarves. I'm thinking the blue green near the start, definitely the chartreuse next to it and then I'm not positive, maybe the light teal on the other side of the chartreuse. It's really hard to know how the others will look as they cross other colors in the warp - in the area where the sample is woven I'm not thrilled with the other three blues.