Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Entering a new decade.......

I have just entered a new decade - 60 - how can I possibly be 60??? How can I be the age where the cute young guys at the coffee drive-ups could be my grandsons rather than my sons??? I think there's been a mistake - I'm not really 60!  I got a couple discounts at stores when I turned 55, maybe there are more to come now that I'm 60, JoAnn Fabrics has a discount day each month for those 60 and older........need to find out which day that is.

My mother was going through photos a couple weeks ago and found this one from my 8th birthday. We all look so innocent - 8 year olds these days look much more sophisticated than we did. I know everyone in this picture except a couple backs of heads, I'm sure I'd remember them if I could see their faces. Take a look at that special cake my grandmother made me - for several years she made me doll cakes, after the party she'd take the doll and make an outfit for the doll with a huge skirt as in a Gone with the Wind Scarlet O'Hara outfit. I wish I had a photo of the outfits she made, they were made with round circles, folded and tied with yarn.......those circles almost felt like a strong coffee filter and came in white, pink, lavender and blue.  Does anyone remember these?  I ended up having a bride and 3 bridesmaids from those birthdays where I got a doll cake. And check out that fancy hair-do I've got - bangs must have just been cut and spoolies were worn overnight to get that funky bob.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Circles in the Sand

We spent 4 days on the coast for a long weekend. The highlight for me was watching Denny of Circles in the Sand draw a labyrinth Sunday afternoon. I'm currently working on gifts so no photos to show from the studio so I hope you enjoy the labyrinth journey.

Here is the start of the labyrinth. We were up on the cliff watching the entire time, chilly, windy time. Seeing Denny drawing I think you can see just how massive it's going to be.

Now to link all the parts together. The sun is getting low in the sky.

Almost done with the basic labyrinth

Now the volunteer groomers/rakers come in to help

Groomers hard at work - we're going to check into volunteering at some point

It's really taking shape
Now everyone can walk the finished labyrinth
Walkers moving along the labyrinth
It took just over an hour for this huge labyrinth to be drawn in the sand - it probably took around an hour for it to be washed away as dusk fell.  I heard one of the groomers say how many steps it was although I don't remember the exact number but it was over 2000 steps - just a bit over a half mile. I'm not sure if you can spot it or not but there's a drone up in the sky - it went up all around and from different heights capturing this temporary piece of art.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Too much to do, too little time....

.....that is the story of my life this fall with all the medical appointments that have been on the calendar. Family from out of town also visited this past week which kept me busy - always a fun time. I'm not quite sure how I'll pull off holiday gifts other than to say they won't all get done. Holiday cards are in the works, will get back to those next week or the week after. Yearly inkling ornaments also in the works - this will be the last year for them, I've finally hit a wall on ideas, this year is #24 in the series.

This morning I worked on embroidering some after shower towel wraps - the hot pink one above......

....the purple one here........they are both hanging to dry after washing out the solvable stabilizer that's a must when embroidering on waffle weave cloth.

Worked on cutting out these fabrics for some gift items, got one finished today, hope to find time to get back to them tomorrow but there are other things to catch up on too.........where is that giant clock with the big hands that go around slowly, I could really use it during the next month........

Monday, November 9, 2015

It's that time of year........

It's the time of year for fresh cranberries. We spent the weekend on the coast where there are tons of cranberry bogs. At the Bandon grower's market there were no 'dry picked' cranberries, only 'wet picked' ones so that's what I came home with. They won't stay as long in the fridge as dry picked so I made cranberry sauce this morning.

Look at these beautiful berries - they're the size of grapes.

Here they are all cooked down with water and sugar. I got 3 containers of cranberry sauce for the freezer.

I made sure to keep out a couple cups to make some cranberry muffins since Sam requested muffins or bread. Gotta love this time of year - cranberries and pumpkin everywhere.

Been working on gifts here and there so nothing I can post to the blog. Also finished up everything for the surface design program I'm presenting this week. East coast brother arrives this week as well as a Seattle cousin and Oregon uncle - will be a busy fun week of catching up and visiting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Getting organized

Yesterday I spent the day getting organized for my presentation on surface design. I have 14 topics to cover showing tools, ways to use those tools, what to use with them as in paints, paintstiks, silkscreens, stencils, foils, etc. etc. etc.  I have to be highly organized so I found as many boxes as I could and put different topics in each box along with my notes and numbered the boxes. In addition to all these boxes there's a rolling cart filled with books, magazines, bigger tools like iron, etc. and all the examples. What you don't see is the piles of boxes at my feet with all the extra surface design stuff scattered all over the floor after pulling out the examples I wanted to show. Will be glad after this presentation is over........then I get to put everything away again.

I went to spinning today and the spinning goddess must have been sitting on my shoulder on the drive home. A bad accident happened just one driveway down from us (we're 1/3 mile up off the road). It had just happened - fire truck arrived right in front of me, ambulance came as I was sitting at the end of the drive to get the mail. Head on collision, one of the trucks was going too fast around the curve and went over the line. It didn't even look like a truck anymore. If I had been 3 minutes earlier it could have been me that got hit head on and my little mustang wouldn't have been much protection. People drive way too fast on this rural curvy road - I take my life in my hands crossing it to the mailbox - I stand listening for cars before I cross and then run.

Yesterday I went to renew my driver's license, passed the eye test easily, I should have never fretted over getting the cataract surgery before renewing it. Last time they tested both eyes separately, then together - this time they didn't test my eyes separately, just together, so I could have easily passed even with limited vision in my left eye. So does anyone like their photo on their license? I swear those cameras take the most unflattering photos, they're made different than other cameras - this one is the worst picture taken of me in my life and it's on that license for 8 years! 8 years!  Good thing I rarely have to show it for anything. I am not posting that photo here on my blog..........

Friday, October 30, 2015

Back in the saddle again.......

I'm back to doing what I love - anything related to the fiber arts. My eye is doing great, I can do all the close up work I want now.........and can I ever see better - whoo hoo. I actually had the go ahead on Wednesday but had other things to do out of the house the past two days.

In the last push to get things ready for my guild presentation on surface design I did some sewing today. This is a piece of handwoven fabric, a plaited twill using perle cotton for the warp, a paper yarn for the weft. I wove it a while ago as a sample in a program I gave on newer fibers for weaving. A few weeks ago I stenciled on it using Shiva Paintstiks.

Today I sewed it into a snap bag. Then I found a little piece of leftover handwoven fabric that I had stenciled on who knows when so I sewed that into another little snap bag. It's looks skewed in the photo but it's really not - they also look better in person.  Since I was on a sewing kick so I moved on to working on gifts.

My goal is to have everything ready for the guild presentation by the end of this weekend although I may be in the mood to work on more gift sewing too. Tonight I'm hoping to finish up a warp on the inkle loom. So nice to be working in the studio again...........

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting close.......

I'm getting close to being able to get back to close up work after eye surgery. I wasn't sure what counted as my first day of back to normal activities, it was either today or tomorrow - since I was out part of today I decided I could wait one more day.  Vision is clearer although not perfect, just a little wonky, especially today, apparently it takes time for vision to dial in. Hopefully I'll pass the eye test at DMV when I renew my license within the next 3 weeks. It's been a boring 7 days of not being able to do the things I need and want to do. I'm far behind on things I have deadlines for - getting a little panicky but trying not to think about it today..........tomorrow will be here soon enough......

On Sunday I decided to bake pumpkin streusel muffins to put in the freezer for when family comes to visit in a couple weeks. See the beautiful muffins in the foreground? Those are the ones that had both the brown and white sugar the recipe calls for.  See the muffins off to the left? Those are the first batch where I forgot to add the white sugar. Stunted little raggedy looking muffins but they taste just fine.

Yesterday I made a pepper relish with apples, pears, red bell peppers, jalapenos and onion.....and of course a fair amount of sugar. It was a big time commitment since after chopping everything up it had to sit with canning salt on it for 6 hours before cooking and canning. I haven't decided if it was worth it or not yet -  although it is pretty tasty over cream cheese on a cracker.........

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A new eye.......

Tuesday morning I got my new eye (cataract surgery). No real hiccups like last time with my blood pressure going wack-a-do. All went as it should have a month ago. When we left the house Tuesday morning my BP was 115/79 - walked in the surgery center door, got hooked up to the monitor and it was 170/100 - yikes. I told them it proved that they're the problem. But it came back down fairly fast after being covered with a warm blanket, lights turned down and spa music playing - there was a lot of down time before my surgery filled with prep and then waiting for the surgery room to open up which was perfect for centering myself and relaxing. By surgery time it was back down in the normal range. I was under such light anesthesia that I knew what was happening part of the time....but I didn't care. The fascinating part were the 'northern lights' I was seeing - it was the operating room lights above me and my guess is the prisms created by taking out the old lens, putting in the new. I vaguely remember asking about them. The nurses and technicians, not to mention my gorgeous blue eyed doctor at The Medical Eye Center were incredible, so caring, so kind. I went back yesterday morning for a check and healing is right on track.

So now is the hard part. Due to the type of replacement lens I chose in order to get a bigger range of vision correction and to correct my astigmatism I am limited in close up work to 30 minutes, 4 times a day for 7 days. Close up work is anything that I need to bend my arms to see - no weaving, no sewing, no knitting, no reading, no spinning, no doing anything I normally do. ARGH!!!  It's going to be a very boring week - I'll be a basket case by next Tuesday. I was told I could catch up on tv and movie watching - ok, I can never sit and just watch tv or a movie - I have to be doing something with my hands while doing's going to be a long 7 days. With that said I'm off to do laundry, a mundane chore I can accomplish...........

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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

 Today I spent some time hemming towels. There are 8 of these blue towels that were sold before they were woven.......

 ......and these four are a wedding gift, they are colors being used in the kitchen of the new bride & groom.....I hope they enjoy using them.  This draft is from the Marguerite Davison book, A Handweaver's Pattern Book. I really like it and may eventually weave more.

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out these cones of 10/2 perle cotton for this years Christmas cards. Even though I was tired as heck yesterday afternoon I wound the warp and got it on the loom ready to weave. Late this afternoon I decided to weave the first row to see how they would look - I like them and ended up weaving 3 more rows - each row has enough to make 3 cards. I won't show the cards here until after I mail them out in December but I will take pictures along the way and tell where I got the draft from.........that I altered greatly.........and my alterations are much better than the least in my mind.........

Very tired of upper 80/low 90 degree temps, still dry as a bone, no rain, fire season still in effect - what happened to autumn???

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A spinning fairy???

A weird thing happened at 5am this morning. We were fast asleep when I woke up to the sound of a music box playing. I thought I must be dreaming but then Sam woke up and asked me if he was hearing a music box playing. It stopped and he was ready to go back to sleep, not me, we had to search the house to see if there was anyone in it fooling with our stuff........even though we have an alarm system and would have been made aware had anyone broken in. I have two spinning wheel music boxes like the one in the front left of this photo. This one had the peg pulled out so I assume this was the one playing 'The Spinning Wheel' tune. Ok, so I haven't wound these up in forever, they haven't even been touched in a long time and there's the coating of dust to prove it. So, how could it start playing on it's own???  Very creepy!  It would have really freaked me out if it happened last week when Sam was out of town. I've decided it must be a spinning fairy busy in the middle of the least that's what I'm hoping.  And where was Bailey in all this?  Fast asleep on his bed - what a watch dog.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

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

A few nights ago I finally plied the merino/tencel handspun I was spinning at the county fair. This was from some of my hand-dyed roving. It's beautiful. That big skein is almost a pound - I love how much I can get on those giant bobbins on my Hansen electric spinner. But I couldn't fit it all on - that tiny little skeins worth couldn't be squeezed on the bobbin, that bobbin wasn't moving. I haven't counted out how many yards I have yet......not sure what this will grow up to be until I know that.....this is a bit smaller than fingering weight size.

I wove the darker blue towels until I ran out of that color so have moved on to the lighter blue.

Got good news today - my doc has given the ok to the eye surgeon for my cataract surgery. As soon as I got home I called the eye surgery center and even though they're already booking into November there was one opening the week after next so I grabbed it. Keeping my fingers crossed that this time nothing goes awry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Handwoven towels......

I finally got back to that towel warp I started on Oct 2nd - how did I lose all those days??? Anyhow, that first towel I posted 5 days ago was red. Below are 3 others that go with it, a turquoise, mint and then white using the red, turquoise and mint as a border. These are a gift for a kitchen with those colors in it.

White with Mint, Red & Turquoise

Next I start up on the blue towels that are a special order. I probably only have enough of this shade of blue for 4 of the 8 towels so the others will either be a lighter blue or peach to match that kitchen and the Blue Willow dishware.

Over the weekend I did finish up all the bookmarks to go with my program handouts for my surface design program for November. There are way more bookmarks sitting here on the back of the AVL than needed (7 in each pile) - will probably use the leftovers as thank-you's for customers.

Thinking of those back in South Carolina - haven't heard the news today on how things are going back there with the devastating floods. Sure wish some of that rainfall back east could be shipped out here - it's still fire season here, feels like it will never end. Usually by the end of September we have some measurable rainfall even if fire season isn't called off yet - not a drop here........

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hugo Ladies Quilt Show

Today friend Kathy and I went to the annual Hugo Ladies Quilt Show. I have never been to this show and am now sorry I missed out all these years. And it's held just 5 miles up the road from my house. They meet in an old historic house, I'm not sure if it's an old school house or old church - either way it's really cute. Not only were there quilts on display but there were booths out on the grounds of quilting supplies, lunch and pie available and musical entertainment...........and it was a beautiful crisp fall couldn't have been a more fun day. I took photos of a handful of my favorite quilts.

This is a vintage quilt that looked to be a friendship quilt and it was local quilters from way back in the day. This is one of my favorite quilt patterns.

I loved this appliqued quilt - beautifully stitched.

This was another beautifully stitched quilt. I love all the color in it but yet it all flows.

One of the many fun art quilts. I couldn't capture all the beadwork on this, it's lovely.

A riot of color

This was one of the quilts from the featured quilter. I love the simple flowers. They're all the same flower in different colors and heights. It's one of those quilts that makes me smile.

I also loved this simple block quilt, simple as in looking, not in execution. What really drew me to this quilt was the fact that the fabric was wool. I know this would be wonderful to cuddle up under on a chilly evening.

So often I've been out of town or busy when this show is held, I'll need to make a point of putting it on the calendar for the future, it's always held the first Friday/Saturday of October.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Busy towels.......

I finally started weaving on the towel warp that went on the Macomber a few weeks ago - there's enough for 12 towels, I need 4 for a gift, the other 8 are already sold. Busy pattern, isn't it? Can't wait to see them washed.

Bailey is feeling sorry for himself - a really ugly hot spot under his ear warranted a trip to the vet today. Area shaved and cleaned up, came home with cortisone spray and antibiotics that are as big as horse pills....and he gets four of them a day! Biggest challenge will be keeping him from scratching it, especially at night if he decides to be sneaky and scratch while I'm sleeping.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Another senseless tragedy.......

This morning while working in the studio I was watching a dvr'd show.......then it was over.......the local station came on to the news of the tragedy that had just happened up at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Another tragic mass shooting, this one just an hour north of us. What a shock in such a rural area such as ours in SW Oregon. My heart goes out to the families of those killed, to those injured and all others who witnessed such violence. The news has been reporting on it all day long, not much new, but they just can't seem to stop.......but I could, I didn't need to hear it over and over all day long......change the satellite channel to Sirius 60's music. It didn't stop the thoughts of what had happened but it did help not to hear it over and over again.

I went back to working on the surface design bookmarks that I was experimenting with last week. First I stamped on the cardstock, then I stenciled, I did glue a second piece of cardstock on the back to add more umpf to them. Then this morning I added some sparkle with foil and cut them out to see if they were successful. Yep, they were.........

So, I pulled out more cardstock and stamped on it. After the paint dried I did some stenciling. These will now sit for a few days for the stenciling with Shiva Paintstiks to cure. Then I'll add some foil sparkle and turn these into bookmarks. These bookmarks will go with program handouts for my surface design presentation next month.

I don't know if I've ever talked about how to clean stencils and stencil brushes. I use Citrasolv. It's orange scented and pretty much's very orange scented, like have the window open when using it. It makes quick work of clean up. I can find this in the natural food/household department of my local grocery store.

I also got the inkle loom warped up today and wove an inch just to get the weaving pulled into the final width. I'll work on this in the evenings, then put a second long warp on as I need quite the yardage. It's for this year's inkling ornaments.....hopefully my idea for this year will work.........if not I'll have a pile of pink bookmarks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Spent the past 4 days on the coast. I didn't do any painting, did watch Sam work on painting doors. I got the loom warped using more of that cottolin stash.........random warp strips using 8 colors, using 5 different colors in blocks for the weft on this first towel. Where did I get all the yellow, gold, orange and red cottolin??? It's really becoming a challenge to use up my cottolin stash without buying other warp will be even more challenging. This pic is looking brighter on my monitor than it really is - the colors are really nice autumn tones. Will I have them done in time to be used by someone this autumn? Who knows since they're over at the beach cottage and now I'm here at home..........

Friday, September 25, 2015


Today I did a little playing that is part of the surface design program I'm presenting in November. Always a fun activity.

I took a black silk scarf (pre-washed) and put painter's tape on it in a grid and then pulled out the Shiva Paintstiks and stencil brushes.

Here are the ends of the scarf once finished - color looks different on them but it's really not, just a camera/lighting snafu.

Here's a piece of wool felt I stenciled gingko leaves on using the Shiva Paintstiks. I'm thinking I'll put this wool under the embroidery machine and stitch very simple line drawn gingko leaves all over it - maybe in metallic thread. This will eventually become part of a tote bag.......I think.......plans may change...........

I had another black silk scarf that I had washed.......gingko leaves landed on it too, this time a different stencil.......

I used Jacquard Lumiere Textile paints and these two foam stamps when embellishing cardstock. This will get further embellishment with Shiva Paintstiks and possibly foiling. These are a test run to see how they'd do cut into strips to be bookmarks. I always like to have something for everyone to go with the presentation handout so am thinking of bookmarks. It has to be something simple and relatively quick to make. Will get back to these sometime next week.......