Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Inglenook Fibers 2021 12 Days of Christmas Spin-a-long

I am late to the party on the 12 Days of Christmas Spin-a-long from Inglenook Fibers. There has been and continues to be too much going on in my life to even think about spinning.  I was to start spinning the first packet on Christmas Day, hasn't happened, not sure when I'll get started on this project. 

The label shows the photo that was the inspiration for this years spinning fibers. I have now opened all the packets and took these pictures.  At the end of the 12 packets are two companion braids I bought to either use for plying or as companion spinning. I didn't know what direction I wanted to go so I bought two different colors. Maybe it's a good thing I haven't had time to even think about spinning because I have no clue what direction I want to go in, do I want to spin these continuous like I've done in the past going from one color to another, or do I want to spin them individually either plied on themselves or plied with a companion fiber.   I'm at a loss this year so they will sit in a basket until I'm ready.  I may end up deciding on a project first this time. So for the time being these fibers will be eye candy for when I need an emotional lift. 















 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Just when one thinks life can't get worse..........


 Just when we think life can't get worse or more stressful it does.  Dealing with a declining family member, younger than we, who is 4 hours away at a hospital in Portland, who we would like to get back down here to where he lives so he can be near family for his last days, weeks or months is stressful......and then there's covid on top of it all. Each day we think it can't get worse but it does.  

Getting anything done is almost impossible as it's hard to focus. I finally got 10 towels off the loom which were started a month ago - that must be a record length of time it's taken me to weave a warp. They were finished last week but then sat waiting to be hemmed.  Finally yesterday I decided I needed to do something for myself and get them hemmed. They are done awaiting photographs when we get some good natural light again. They are two block twill towels with 2 shades of green and natural in the warp - then coral, teal and lavender used as wefts. I love them all but the lavender really calls to me. These will eventually be in my etsy shop for sale.......after the photography work/dreaded chore. 

I still have hope that 2021 will end up being a better year for all of us but I'm beginning to wonder. Between family health/mental declines (more than one family member), covid and politics who knows what will come of the year. And I still fear the worse politically even after January 20th when Biden & Harris are sworn in, I think the unstable individual in the white house will continue to wreck havoc, for years, long after he's dragged kicking and screaming out the front door. I rarely say anything political on this blog but sometimes I just can't keep it to myself........this is all I'll say right now. 

My wish is that everyone have a safe and peaceful new year.........





Saturday, December 19, 2020

Life sucks at times.......

Life is uncertain right now, things change hour by hour. These days my life is centered around talking with nurses, doctors, social workers, case workers, palliative care teams, etc concerning a younger relative who is gravely ill. Tough times for my relative, us, and for the rest of the family out of the area who I'm drawing on for strength and support. 
 
I haven't been able to do much for myself but when I have a little block of time I've gotten back to the towel warp.  The first towels in my last post I used a teal as weft which I loved, here I'm using a rose color as weft. Only 2 towels left to go on the warp at this point. 

Here I've used a lavender weft - I love it. Eventually these towels will end up in my etsy shop but with life the way it is right now I have no clue when I'll get the final 2 towels woven, then all washed, all hemmed and photography done.....just can't worry about it at the moment, taking it one day at a time, when it happens it happens. 

Here are our holiday cards for this year. I chose a quilt theme rather than weaving this year - these are my wonky stars. And I decided I didn't need to use traditional christmas color either so they are all over the place. I like how they turned out. I am so glad I worked on these during the summer so they were ready to go. I also had 9 wonky stars made up in seaglass blue and 9 in apricot/peaches. I was on a roll when sewing so had way more than I needed.  The seaglass and the apricot will end up being miniature wall hangings at some point, maybe I'll hand quilt them.........that small size is about my limit for handquilting........


Monday, December 7, 2020

MIA.......

I have been MIA on this blog, just can't seem to post. Life is stressful dealing with family health and aging issues.  I'm not really motivated to compose a post, too much stress plus I don't really have much to say but I'm trying this morning. I am trying to get myself moving on boxing up some gifts that need to be mailed, today handmade holiday cards will go in the mail. I'm really not accomplishing much creatively.

Last week in-between other things going on in my life I did get a two block twill towel warp on the loom. I only had time to weave 3 towels so far but it's a start and it did my mental state good to sit at the loom threading heddles, sleying the reed and throwing the shuttle. I am trying to use what's in my stash rather than purchase more but I'm running out of my favorite colors of 8/2 unmercerized cotton in addition to white and black. This is not to say I don't have 8/2 - I've got shelves of it, just not all the colors I want.  But I've got loads of greens, I mean loads of it so this warp has 2 shades of green (and natural) and I'm using a teal weft right here, next up a dark green weft. 


 A couple weeks ago I plied this yarn that had been on bobbins for a year. It's bamboo, merino and nylon. I'm not sure what this will grow up to be yet, it's sitting on the shelf 'marinating' for the time being. I am thinking about starting to spin something fun and colorful - I think I said that in my last post but it hasn't happened yet. 

I'm hoping to post more often and have fun creative fiber projects to share in the near future. Everyone stay safe and wear your mask. 



Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Handspun


 I have been away from the spinning wheel for a long time, over a year.  I was missing it so this last week I plied what had been on bobbins sitting all this time.  The first is this Ashland Bay merino in the Rose Quartz colorway. I've got 3 big skeins in a worsted weight so am thinking a hat, cowl and fingerless mitts for a gift.  I've also plied some merino/bamboo/nylon but it's not been washed yet - picture to come once I do that. Now I feel like I can start spinning something that's been waiting in the wings, something fun, something colorful........I've short listed choices, just need to decide on which but first I'll knit this up. 



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Pastel rainbow

I finished the pastel rainbow towels woven in a variation of the friendship towel draft from the Handwoven Treasury. I loved the other rainbow towels so much I just had to weave another warp off using pastels this time. I like these so much I've set aside 2 using the black weft for our guest bath.


And here they are using the gray weft, it was a hard decision to decide on which to keep but I went with the black weft.......but who knows, I may end up eventually putting aside 2 of these too.   All towels are now available for sale in my etsy shop.

It's hard to be motivated to do much these days, too much stress in life with an aging mother with memory issues (putting it mildly), a cousin, who lives locally, who is very ill, covid and politics. I think what's hard is that I have no control over any of these. The only thing I can do is try to limit my news watching to help with what gets thrown at me concerning politics. We did vote - dropped ballots off in a drop box right at the courthouse on Monday and since Oregon has been doing vote by mail for many years successfully I have no concerns about my vote being counted. I hope everyone else has voted or will be voting soon. 


 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Weaving again..........


 In spite of having no motivation these past months I did get a towel warp on the loom. It's a variation of one of weaver's favorite towel patterns - friendship towels. I've only gotten one towel woven but I'll get to the other 9 soon. I'm loving the gray background - might have to keep a couple of these for myself. I'm using the same gray as in the warp as weft here but I might try a couple using a blue/gray weft. 

I've got another towel warp planned in muted natural colors. I've been loving the brights and colorful lately but looked at a couple huge cones in naturals and decided they've got to be used soon. 

I hope all are being safe out there, wearing their masks and distancing. 


Sunday, October 4, 2020

mask making.......


 I finally broke down and made masks but not for us........we just use commercial ones.........although I may need to eventually make us something more stylish.  These are for little Head Start kids.  They will go in the tote bags we sew and fill with goodies for them, they get them for the holidays. When I say 'we' I mean our local neighborhood group of the American Sewing Guild.  These are a little different - the elastic goes around the back of the head rather than around the ears - I wouldn't want this design as it would screw with my hair but it's good for kids. 

Nothing much to report here as I'm really not doing much.......I'm just not motivated and I've decided I can't worry about it. 


Friday, September 11, 2020

Life changes in a blink of the eye......

All is fine one day, all not the next.  This is what it looks like this morning out the back door - that is not fog, it is smoke, that little white dot is the sun. We are safe here at our house at the moment but others not so lucky, many we know. It's not just the outlying areas & mountains burning, it's towns here in SW Oregon - neighborhoods and businesses burnt to the ground, we don't have any clear numbers on any of it yet as the fires are still raging. Roads are closed heading in and out of our region - only one major route out at this point. My cousin has evacuated and is staying with us. He is lucky that there is family to stay with, there are so many others not so lucky. Hotel rooms are filled for hundreds of miles as the fires just aren't here in SW Oregon, they're all up and down the western part of the state. Here locally there are two fairgrounds to check in at, the one here in Grants Pass is then sending evacuees to churches in the area. I passed a big church yesterday and there were sun shelters set up all over the parking lot, people sleeping on cots overnight. Covid sure has complicated taking care of those displaced. I was teary eyed driving home worrying about our region making it through this and then how it will recover. Fire fighting resources are spread thin, one of the big fires here is not even getting air support at this point because it's just not available. Please send positive thoughts to the entire west coast that is dealing with this destruction. 

When we first moved to Oregon we designed and built a house that is now in one of the fire's paths - it is at the top of the ridge next to our old place, this morning the fire is even closer, it is in level 3 evacuation orders. We lived there for 11 years and even though it's been 17 years since we've lived in that house it saddens me to think of it burning to the ground.  It was a beautiful cedar home on an incredible 6 acres. 

As if it weren't bad enough last night I got an email via the neighborhood email 'tree' - some guys started a fire at the railroad tracks just blocks from us. It was put out quickly, not sure the status of those that started it, was it an accident or was it on purpose, hopefully they were caught so we can sleep at night. If a fire starts right around there we may not make it out safely. 


I am not being very productive.  It was hard to focus before the fires, covid worry had finally worn me down. So, I've done some 'putting away' - from the apple tree I've been freezing bags of apple pie filling, I've been drying apples. I did dry grapes but that created a huge mess and it took 3 days of the dehydrator running for what ended up being a small amount of raisins.  So, I went online looking for other things to do with grapes.  I found this grape muffin recipe - it is so good.  I've made 3 batches so far to freeze..........and eat.  Our grapes are a tiny little variety which works well, if using the big grapes bought in the grocery store it might be best to cut them in half. 


Misty seems unaffected by the fire danger so close by - she just goes about her normal routine........be crazy and then collapse........


.....yep, life can be good too.........

Stay safe everyone!
 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Funky Fence

My funky fence is finished.  This is to keep Misty out of the side yard where the garden is, plum trees are and the grapes as we don't want her eating any of it and she most surely would. This is the recycled cedar decking from the old deck. All different widths, all different lengths.  Sam was hard at work with the table saw and chop saw this week and did a great job. He was having a hard time being so random but went with my idea and loves the result.  And yes, the apple tree is dropping apples, that's because I didn't thin them back in the spring. I'm starting to pick them before more fall or Misty pulls more off to play with them......she's thrilled to have a tree that grows 'balls'.  Will be making apple pie filling for the freezer and dried apples, probably some applesauce too. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Blue

I just whipped this up to put out front.  I opened my fabric cabinet and found this blue fabric and the white fabric actually has tiny stars on it. I made a template in Publisher for the letters, printed them on out several pages and went to work with the sewing machine and heat & bond, and at the end zig-zagging around the white letters to make sure they're secure. I think it turned out great, hoping it doesn't fade too quickly as it gets the hot sun all afternoon. I didn't want to put any particular candidates name on it but it is blue...…...


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Dog days of summer.........

I sent this dog quilt off to family for a house warming - it arrived in MT today so I'm able to post the photo I took of it before it left......which Misty photo-bombed. I'm sorry I didn't get a close up of the fabrics I chose since they don't show up well in this photo - all aboriginal fabrics, all so interesting. The family it went to has had many mini-doxies over 40 years, even now.  This will be great to snuggle up under in front of the fire in cold MT this winter. 

Is covid wearing on anyone else.  I was doing great for so long as I love being staying home but it's now wearing me down. I'm finding I'm not very productive, I tend to fritter more time, and I don't seem to care too much about that, so unlike me.  The stress over worrying about being exposed is getting to me. I miss my friends. I miss going out to eat. I miss going to fabric/yarn shops and festivals.  Ok, those last 3 are just me whining because I can but in reality I can do without them for the time being to stay safe.  

I hope everyone else is staying safe out there and fairing well...…….


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

This and that.......

Here are the tutti fruiti towels finished in the 4 colorways.  I've already sold all the green weft ones, sold a blue weft, sold an orange/rust weft one, keeping one for me and thinking of using the rest for gifts rather than putting them in my etsy shop for sale. 

Here is the finished barn quilt wall hanging. All the triangles were a real challenge for me, it's not perfect but I love it and I learned a lot.  I got it back from the long arm quilter last week and sewed the binding on and the hanging sleeve on the backside.  But before it can be put up on a big empty wall opposite the dining room it will be in a display at a local fabric shop that our little ASG (American Sewing Guild) neighborhood group puts up every September in honor of National Sewing Month.  I have another quilt (a throw) to show but not yet - I need to get it mailed off to family for a house warming gift. 

I've been working on my ornament for the year that some family and friends get at the holidays so I can't show those yet.  Now I'm just starting on some other fun small gift projects so can't show those yet either. 

I hope everyone is staying safe and being considerate around others as to not spread this virus anymore than it's already spreading. Stay safe and be kind to one another. 


Friday, July 31, 2020

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

When I saw green/blue polka dot towels in the May/June 2019 Handwoven magazine I knew I eventually had to use that draft to weave my own version of the towels.  I call mine tutti fruiti, they could also be called clown towels. These are a turned taquete weave structure.  The design by Susan Poague.

Here I used a navy weft

Dark wine is the weft here

This one, currently in progress, I'm using a green weft.  I haven't decided what other weft colors I'll use on this warp, will figure that out after I weave 2 green ones.

A weaving friend helped me make driftwood looms to teach the kids across the street how to weave. I had encourage them to use found items of all kinds along with wool yarn but they both chose to only weave with wool in solid stripes. Theirs are still sitting on my front porch along with the yarn waiting for them to finish them - short attention spans.  Tapestry style weaving is not my thing but it got me enthused to give it a try. The driftwood is held on a frame of scrap wood while I'm weaving.  Once I'm done I'll take the screws off and it will just have the driftwood at the top and bottom of the weaving. I'm using yarn, some commercial, some handspun, fabric strips, shells and since this picture I've started adding sealife buttons. Don't know if my driftwood is too big, guess I'll find out once it's done. There are no rules.  I'll hang it out in the yard when I'm done.

On the house front more work has been finished up.  We took out the arches between the living and dining rooms. That's hubby covering up furniture before taking a saw to the arches. We actually took them out and built new stud walls, they had been that way for several months but we didn't want the drywall guy in the house due to covid.  Notice how I keep saying 'we' - well, it's the collective 'we' as I only watched.

We threw caution to the wind and had the drywall guy come. We could have done the drywall ourselves but could have never matched the texture on the walls so we let him do it all. I must have wiped down the knobs and anything else he may have touched 10 times while he was here - hopefully he left no virus germs in our house. Like this look so much better.  Next up, at some point, we will be painting - white ceilings, light gray walls, white trim, all new baseboards throughout the house. Once all that is done we'll tackle the new flooring. Long term projects. Notice the new black tv stand in the after pic?  Our oak entertainment center was overwhelming for that wall so it now sits in the garage waiting for us to sell it, we got a new wood console, painted black, distressed. Much happier with it, the other one fit much better in our old house.

In spite of our governor being very conservative in loosening up covid restrictions too many in my area still refuse to wear masks even though they are mandatory they seem to think it violates their civil rights. So we have increases in cases, not as bad as other areas of the country but still scary.  I took my mother to two medical appointments this week and have been having anxiety attacks since wondering if I could have possibly been exposed while sitting in little exam rooms with questionable ventilation. I hate feeling this vulnerable and paranoid but that's life these days.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Be kind

"We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another"

This is the quote today on Bonnie Hunter's blog - Quiltville. I follow her quilting blog, she's a quilter, author and designer. There is a new quote each and every day - some of her own, some from others. It's always a wonderful way to start the day seeing the quote at the end of her daily post.  If interested in quilting check out her blog and website.  So today take this quote with you - be kind to everyone, we could sure use that in our country rather than being divided and being exposed to so much hate.

On another note our new deck is almost finished, just one more 3 ft section to go in near the steps, waiting on extra brackets for the railing. We knew when we moved in this house 2 years ago we had to replace all the deck railing as it was rotted and we knew we wanted to make it a bit bigger as it could only hold 2 chairs and the grill. What we found was that the entire deck structure was not built with pressure treated wood so it all had to go.

 Here's a look out the sliding glass door at the new deck. We chose a composite decking from Fiberon, no staining or oiling in the future. Sam worked really hard building it and is thankful for 2 friends that helped at certain points where he needed a second set of hands.

Here's a view from the yard.  Still not a big deck but it's the perfect size for us. We also went with a no care/upkeep railing which is from Timbertech. Since I took this picture the stair riser has been painted to match. Next up is to work on the walkway that goes across the back of the house leading to the deck. I need to get back to looking for ideas. We get the hot sun on it until early afternoon but then the entire rest of the day it's in the shade and we get a lovely breeze coming down off Dollar Mountain that starts a block or so away. We're giving thought to a retractable sun shade but not this year. 

We have another small deck to replace off the master bedroom but that will wait until next year. We will never use that tiny deck as it's so close to the neighbor's house and it gets the hot sun all day long being on the side of the house. But it is also rotted so needs to eventually be replaced.  But the rest of this year we have the walkway to work on, interior house painting (argh) and replacing the flooring inside. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and remember to be kind to one another.  And do something creative today! I will be. 




Sunday, July 19, 2020

Flowering.....

Peg asked that I post a picture of the artichoke once it went to flower so here it is...... 

…...it's starting to open up here, I took this picture a couple weeks ago......

…….and here it was as of yesterday......

…..I love the look, can't wait for the other one to open up...….

…...not sure what happens from here, maybe this is it, will find out soon...…..next year I'll eat what grows but this year I just want to enjoy the show...….

Friday, July 17, 2020

I am remiss......

…….or just don't have anything new to say, or just lazy......nah, not lazy - I have slowed down now that I have no commitments but I'm busy all day, so not lazy.  I just don't feel like posting but my friend Diane in Idaho called yesterday and she wants me to keep posting so she can see what I'm up to.  So, a bit of what's been going on......

On the rainbow towel warp I wove one with black cotton as the weft and have kept it for myself. I would have woven more with black weft but I just didn't have enough left on the cone.  I finally listed some of the others off that warp in my etsy shop today and one has already sold.

I've been working on some sewing projects but I can't show them as they're gifts but here's a sneak peek at one of them.  Having some fun with wonky stars again.  I am not a good machine quilter, you'd think I could keep in the ditch doing stitch in the ditch but I can't...…….but I can put on a mean perfect binding!

Two quilts are off being long arm quilted.  My barn quilt that will hang on the wall opposite the dining room and another quilt that is a house warming. I'm hoping to have them back within a week so I can get the bindings on them and ship the one off just in time for family moving into their new house. Will show pix of both when I get them back and bound.

In the evenings I'm working on my gift ornaments for the year, sorry no pix of those until the end of the year as to not spoil the surprise for those getting them.

I embroidered these golf towels for a neighbor/Sam's golf buddy, who loves vintage cars/trucks - he was so kind to help out on our deck project when Sam needed an extra set of hands. The embroidery pattern was a bit thick for towels but they turned out ok. Would have loved to have used the vintage truck patterns but my best sources for patterns is not making smaller ones that my machine can stitch - I have a 4"x4" limit. I wrote to both the companies and was told by each that I could buy myself some software and re-digitize them myself or split the designs into 2 using software I would have to buy and stitch half, then rehoop exactly to the tiny stitch where it should be and finish the embroidery - hah!

On the home front we've been putting in a new deck. Pictures and story of that to come when it's done...….which should be any day now as Sam is now putting up the railings.

Me???  Dig a hole to China in the backyard??? Did that dirt on my hose give me away???   If she's not digging holes to China she's pulling apples off the tree, pulling blackberry vines thru the fence to eat, thorns and all, or pulling the occasional branch off a rose bush. Thank goodness we have a fence on the side yard to keep her out of the garden, grape vines and plum trees. How can a dog that's perfect in the house be such a one dog destruction crew in the yard???   Someone should tell her it's not very flattering to be so close to the camera - it makes her nose look big...……..