Monday, June 26, 2017

Pastels and food

 The pastel scarves have their fringes twisted and are ready for sale in my etsy shop. Pastel is not something I usually think of for a handwoven scarf but they turned out lovely. This one has a pale lavender weft...........
.........this one has an ecru weft. A customer of mine requested a pastel scarf in these colors, one of these may or may not fit the bill, it's her decision.

Today I met friend Theresa over in Medford to shop Top Stitch, our local Bernina store, that was having a fabric sale - yikes. Then to lunch at The  Ram Restaurant and Brewery - I had a great Asian salad with macadamia crusted chicken. It doesn't look like a big salad in this photo but believe me, it was huge........and good. The Ram is a chain that recently opened in our region, I have regularly eaten at one of the other locations up in Salem. They brew beer too but I'm not a beer person so I can't review that - the food is wonderful. Theresa gifted me with a box of bamboo from her late father's stash, so in turn, with trying to make room for the bamboo I gifted her with a bag of linen which she loves.

Big storms yesterday afternoon and evening - many fires being chased down today from the lightning strikes. Have I said yet this year that I hate fire season???  And the wind did a number on my fig trees - sure hope it didn't hurt them because they're loaded with figs this year.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Pastels

 I have a customer who asked if I had any pastel scarves, nope but I did tell her when I had some time I'd weave something. She requested pink, blue, lavender, green and yellow. I put all of those in this tencel warp that I wound and got on the loom today. Here is auditioning of weft colors - decided to go with the pale lavender and ecru, which actually looks pale yellow in the photo.
Here's the first scarf with the pale lavender weft. It's now finished, next up the ecru weft one. Will my customer like these? I have no clue but I'm hoping she'll decide one of them will work for her. I'm not really sure how well pastel scarves will sell so I'm only weaving two of them.

The robo calls continue to stream in.....the do not call registry does no good. Yesterday one number called 15 times, as late as 10:45pm. I did report this one to the FTC - not sure it will do any good but it made me feel better. Today there have been 6 calls.....so far, one from that same number. I might have to find out how to block numbers - there are too many different numbers showing up on caller ID to get them all but perhaps I could block a few of the repeat callers.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

 Today I worked on another baby quilt for charity. The fabric was donated and was fun to put together, it needed some quilting in the center of the blocks so I quilted a star in each one. Very fun. Think I've done enough charity baby quilts for a bit........need to do some sewing for myself soon.
 Recently I silkscreened discharge paste onto a handwoven chenille scarf. I hadn't done this in a while, I did think to check my discharge paste to make sure it was still good unlike last time when it had lost it's umpf. The paste almost worked too good as it bled through to the wrong side so the backside of the scarf has ghost images of the gingko leaves. This has never happened before......but I'm wondering if maybe it was the different brand of chenille that was the culprit. The scarf is fine but I'm not happy with that happening.
Here it is finished. It's amazing how different brands of chenille will discharge completely different - usually I get a really yellow gold but this chenille discharged to a goldy/lavender.........it's very pretty......just different. This scarf is up for sale in my etsy shop. One of the pictures in the listing does show the ghost imaging on the backside if anyone is interested.

Lavender Fields Scarves

New hand-dyed, handwoven, tencel scarves in my etsy shop - a turned twill design





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another day, another crisis

Another day, another crisis in this country. Is it never ending??? What goes through a person's head when they head out with a gun for a morning of target shooting fellow human beings???

I could only take so much of the news this morning so I moved on to activities better for my mental health like making and putting tags on handmade journals and then weaving. Here's the first scarf on the painted tencel warp I put on the loom a couple days ago.


And here's the second scarf on that warp. These are ready to be washed tomorrow. I didn't feel like starting a new audio book while weaving so I put on Netflix and watched/listened to a totally mindless and funny movie to get my mind on things other than what's going on in this country - Bridget Jones Baby. It was actually just what I needed - no message, just silliness. I would have loved to have watched more Frankie & Grace but a friend and I get together to do that while lunching and knitting - she'll be over in a couple weeks for our Netflix day. 

There's a new product from Ashland Bay - knit sock blanks ready for dyeing. What fun! I just got some listed in my etsy shop.  The blanks are 4oz and approximately 435 yards each which is enough for most knit sock patterns. They are single stranded so if identical socks are wanted they will have to be folded in half to dye or if a person is good just dye it identically all in one length. This summer I'm going to dye a pile of them for winter knitting but I'm thinking gradations for shawls and scarves, both knit and woven. Gradation yarn is really popular right now and there are tons of knit patterns being designed for it.

These are 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon and they are a 100% USA product. The merino is grown in the US, the yarn is spun in the US and they are knit into blanks here in the US.

Pet peeve of the day - robocalls. Whatever happened to the effectiveness of the Do Not Call Registry???  It stopped working years ago. My guess is that those companies have gotten much more sophisticated and can work around it. Now on caller ID it shows local phone numbers and business names but if the phone is answered one will find out that it's really a bank card company trolling or someone telling me my windows computer will be shut down by Microsoft. Because we have caller ID I don't pick up the phone but I still get tired of hearing it ring all day long - so far today 11 calls with no messages left, a tell tale sign they're not legitimate.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting an attitude adjustment

I decided I need an attitude adjustment so I'm working on that now. There are too many things in life that cannot be changed easily, if at all, so I've got to work around them. I'm cutting back my news watching....no, not hiding my head in the sand but if something is going to upset and I can't do a thing to fix it I'm going to try and keep it from cluttering up my mind.  I did spend the entire day in the studio, which was great, even if it wasn't all creative time.......just being in there was good for my soul.
 I posted some journals I recently made, here, I hadn't stenciled the inside cover of the green one at that point so I did it this morning. I'll take this journal over to the coast with me for drawing/writing.
I put a painted tencel warp on the loom and started auditioning wefts. I've got two scarves to weave on this warp so I need to find two different weft colors. Two of these are ok but I'm not really excited about any of them. I've got shelves of tencel but I don't think there's the perfect color. I'll look at it with fresh eyes in the morning and decide what colors will work best.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

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

Been kind of in a funk and uninspired this past week - can't put a finger on exactly why.........maybe I'm tired of the news and the damper it puts on each day........going to make an effort not to watch as much unless this administration starts to implode, then I will watch and applaud. It's even affecting my weaving, I sat in front of the laptop for hours/days working in WeavePoint on some new drafts and I just can't get them to look the way I want...........so, what's a gal to do, put it away and play with something else.
Today I decided it was time to frame a few cross stitch pieces I finished up this winter and bought frames for. I'm very happy with all three of them. I've got a couple more to frame but they won't fit ready made frames so eventually I will decide what I want and have Sam make simple frames that I can paint and embellish to go with the cross stitches.

I finally finished up some chenille scarves - not exactly chenille season but it's what I'm weaving when over on the coast. This would make a great men's scarf but would be equally as nice for a woman. A golden brown and sage green in a Fibonacci striping sequence.

This scarf came off the same warp but looks a little different. Both of these are now up in my etsy shop for sale.

I also put on a black chenille scarf warp. This one is solid black but the other two will eventually have discharge dyeing done on them in leaf designs. It's always a surprise to see what color comes shows up when I silkscreen the discharge paste on. Usually with black chenille I get a light golden color but when I did a test piece it's a silvery color this time. It all has to do with how the yarn manufacturer dyed the chenille - totally out of my control.  So, I'll discharge one scarf and see if I like it enough to do the second one in a different leaf design.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Giveaway - UPDATE Monday, June 5th

UPDATE:  I guess no one was interested in this book since there were no comments so it will donated/given away elsewhere.
I'm still going through things art/craft related that I would feel good about passing on to someone who will truly use them.  I have this book - The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright that needs to find a new home where it will be appreciated and used. It's in brand new condition.

Please comment to this post if you'd like to be included in the drawing for this book which will be next Monday, June 5th.  USA only as the cost for me to ship elsewhere is just too prohibitive, I'm sorry.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Leather journals......

Recently I spent a little time making some leather bound journals - they all have watercolor paper pages so they're suitable not only for writing in but also for painting

A gray leather with cover page of my watercolor brush design - I'm not a painter as you can tell, it is really pretty in person as I used metallic sparkly watercolors, this one has an antler button closure

A lovely dark red leather that had a great natural uneven edge that I utilized on the cover, it has a wood button. The inside cover page was a Japanese paper that I photo-mounted to watercolor paper

What I thought was black leather but I guess it's really a dark dark blue, oh well.......I used a black and gold vintage button and Japanese paper for the cover paper

A lovely brown leather with more Japanese paper for the cover page, wooden button

And this one is my new personal journal to keep over on the coast - I used one of the shells I've found on the beach as the closure. The cover page inside is plain watercolor paper that I'm going to stencil shells on - just haven't gotten to that yet.

I've got two other journals finished but still need to find the perfect button closures for them.

Monday, May 29, 2017

New roving colors

Four new roving colors from Ashland Bay, now listed in my etsy shop for sale
Dusty Rose, Mulberry, Forest and Graphite

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Peace and other things..........

Peace - don't we all wish for it these days, and tolerance and kindness. Such sadness with the latest attack. I love this peace sign fence along the harbor in Bandon - what a creative way to fence in the yard. We spent 5 days on the coast, the weather couldn't have been more perfect - we left coastal temps in the low 70's yesterday to come back over the coastal range to 92 in the valley, today it's forecast to be 98. What happened to spring this year???
 I started a new shawl while over there. The colors start out dark burgundy and progressively gets lighter until it reaches a hot pink.


 We (mostly Sam this time) did some work on the guest bath - it's now finished. I should have taken a before picture. I painted the vanity and a mirror, we put in a new sink, faucets, lighting and pulled out the sliding glass doors on the tub/shower and put up a shower curtain very similar to other curtains in the house, a sheer with shells and starfish on it with a shell trimmed valance. I haven't painted that shelf on the wall yet as I'm not sure if I want to and if I do, what color.....so it stays for the time being. I can see those coral seahorse handtowels have to move elsewhere in the house, I've got some handwoven towels that will match perfectly.
Here's another view. I found this mirror at a second hand store, it was originally part of a dresser. I painted it to match the vanity that I painted. The knobs on the vanity are starfish. Sam built the new countertop with formica and a wood trim that was painted. I should have taken a close-up of it, it's sand colors with a bit of teal in it. The sink has a rope look trim, it's so pretty. It took me a long time to find lighting that I liked, something simple and not too expensive.........we are doing work on this house on a budget. Now we're working on the master bath - sink is pulled, drywall fixed where the big mirror was removed. I've started priming the linen closet and vanity.  The new floor and new baseboard had been the project before we started on the bathrooms.

The inside of the house will be completely done after the master bathroom is finished. I can't believe it. We'll eventually move on to extending the front porch a bit and adding a deck area to the front of the house - we do have a big older deck already across the back. Then finally yardwork. This will take a while as we like to play when we're over there too............

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

I finally found some time to do more dreaded photography work, otherwise these scarves would get moved from hanging over the back beam of one loom to another to get them out of my way. Now they're photographed, tags attached and hung with other scarves listed in my etsy shop.
Here is the second echo weave scarf - this one has a red tencel weft. I've been wanting to weave something in echo weave but hadn't gotten to it, always put on the back burner. Our weaving guild challenge this year is to weave something new, the perfect opportunity to make time to try it out. I'll show my two scarves at the June guild meeting.


I put a warp on the AVL for my original Iranian Tilework draft. I love this draft I created and hadn't woven it in a couple years. The iridescence in these scarves is incredible. They all have a fuchsia warp, above a dark teal weft........

..........here a gold weft...........
.....and here a lavender weft.

I sewed a couple more baby quilts for donation via the American Sewing Guild group I joined in March. These are a part of our community sewing. I'm not sure what I had in mind when I bought the sheep fabric many years ago - so far I've made two baby quilts and there's enough to make two more. The polka dot flannel was from the ASG stash.

The train flannel fabric and navy polka dot was also from the ASG stash. I've got a third quilt in the works, a simple pieced top in red, white & blue, but I ran out of my leftover stash of batting so I'll have to finish that one up after I feel like going to JoAnn's with my discount coupon.

There are days when I just don't think I can stand to watch or read the news. It's something new each day with this administration, I use that in very loose terms. And the news is not good, it's disturbing, embarrassing to our country and downright scary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 'he' totally implodes at some point but he's such a weasel he might 'do a little sidestep' and get out of it. Yes, that's from a song from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, very fun movie, hmm, that would be much more fun to watch than the news..........

Pet peeve today - when people say 'you guyses'. Ok, when we moved to Oregon back in 1992 I noticed wait staff in restaurants would always address us as 'you guys'. Then it progressed to a plural  'you guyses'. I didn't realize guyses was a word, is it one of those new ones that I don't pay attention to???  Or is it an Oregonian word???  So, I'm used to hearing it these days in restaurants, store, coffee drive-thru but now I'm hearing it from our local newscasters........didn't they go to college??? didn't they take any English or writing classes???  Am I wrong? Is this really a word and I'm just behind the times?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Garden Party Quilt Show

Friend Teresa of Camprunamuck suggested we meet on Friday to go to a local quilt show - the 37th annual Rogue Valley Piecemakers show - this years show was called Garden Party. We thoroughly enjoyed the over 200 quilts on display and spending money at the vendors. I only took a few pictures as it was hard with many others there, and they aren't great since I often couldn't take them straight on, but I thought I'd share a few favorites although there were many more I loved and wish I had pictures of.


I love dragonflies so this quilt caught my eye. I'd love it on a wall in my house.


This is lovely, I love traditional looks and applique

My favorite quilt pattern - grandmother's garden (hexxies). This is a vintage quilt from someone's collection. I'm going to make myself a hexxie afghan quilt in the near future only my hexxies will be big/monster size in comparison to these. I can't remember how many pieces were in this but it seemed like it was over 2000.


I love this Dresden plate variation


I'm a dog person, I am not a cat person. It's not because I dislike cats, it's because I'm allergic. If I wasn't I'd have a cat in addition to our dog (but I'd still be a dog person first).  I love this cat quilt - there are little mice in-between the cats.


Here's a more contemporary quilt which I love just as much as the traditional designs. It's very Japanese in feel, the simplicity is beautiful.

I wish I would have taken pictures of all the quilts but that would have taken more time than I had to spend at the show. I have always been in awe of the incredible quilters in our region.  I hope I can make it to many of the quilt shows in the region this year.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Love/Hate relationship.........

I'm having a love/hate relationship with technology right now. My little inexpensive Brother sewing/embroidery machine that I bought only for embroidery is not wanting to do any embroidery, correctly, at the moment. I had taken it to a get together where others were using it (as a regular sewing machine) and lo and behold when Sam was working on it he found a pin (not one of mine) down near the bobbin case and a needle had broken off after it went through the bobbin case - argh.  He's worked on it and it's better but still not good enough. I haven't figured out what to do yet as the repair may cost as much as a new machine...........will be thinking on this for a while.  All I'm thinking is thank goodness I didn't bring my expensive Bernina for others to use............
Then my AVL was acting up.......but I did get the last scarf woven on the Iranian Tilework warp. They are soaking as I type. And my desktop keeps getting stuck in Explorer and I'm having to do hard shutdowns - it must have been last week's update, usually they come in on Tuesdays so hoping there's a patch for the issue. I'm thinking after 3 days of dealing with issues with computerized machines tomorrow I'm going to do something that's more 'old fashioned', no technology required.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pillowcases

Today I squeezed in a little sewing time and made 6 pillow cases which are destined for a care facility in town - another one of the community sew projects for the local American Sewing Guild chapter here. It makes me smile to think the elderly or ill will have these nice pillow cases to brighten their beds. I haven't used my serger in eons so I had to figure out how to get it from a rolled hem back to the regular old overlock stitch. The serger made fairly quick sewing. I'm thinking I might have to make us some pillowcases in the near future.........

Friday, May 5, 2017

12 Days of Christmas

Finally a photo of the finished 12 Days of Christmas shawl, this was handspun and handknit from fiber from the 12 Days of Christmas fiber from Inglenook Fibers. I spun them in order starting with the gold at the top which was day one. I'm very happy with my finished shawl. I knit until I ran out of yarn and only had 3 feet left by the time I bound off.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A bit of weaving...........

The AVL was working much better today since I replaced the USB cable - at least that's what I'm assuming the issue was for it going wack-a-do. It worked fine all afternoon so hopefully that was it, those cables do go bad. There's still the issue with harnesses not raising occasionally but I've had that issue for 4 years. In March AVL admitted that was a problem and will fix it when I (and others) send back our dobby boxes for repair. I'll do that as soon as the loom is empty.

This is one of my original drafts - a 32 H twill based on Iranian Tilework. Next scarf on the warp will have a golden/mustard weft. Then the final one will have a pale lavender weft...........unless I change my mind before I have time to get back to the loom..........

In two days we have gone from winter to summer - what happened to spring???  Temps are supposed to come back down by the weekend, I'm hoping that forecast is right as I'm not ready for summer yet, I want some beautiful spring weather.




Monday, May 1, 2017

Photography work........a challenge.........

I think photography will always be a challenge for me. Perhaps/maybe if I took a course in it I'd do better but I'm not sure where I'd fit that course into the limited hours in my life. We can't all be good at everything and photography is one of my downfalls - I can accept that.  I did get these 3 items listed in the shop..........there's still a chenille scarf needs it's photos re-done - instead of turning out hot pink, they turned out red and no amount of editing seems to help so I'll try again.


Here is one of the echo weave scarves. I love it. Since it is so dense warp wise it is heavier than my usual tencel scarves but it is still lovely and drapey and I'm happy with it. I love the iridescence in this scarf, it makes me think of peacock feathers. The other one was just washed this morning and is hanging to dry, I used a red weft in that one.


This is another one of my rayon flake shawls in silver and white. It's been sitting waiting for the fringe to be twisted for a long time. Since the other one recently sold for a wedding I thought I best get to finishing this one up and get it listed in the shop. This shawl makes me think of liquid silver, it's incredible feeling.


And here is a baby blanket - I love the way it turned out with the bright colors.

There are sewing updates but no photos. I went to the American Sewing Guild local chapter's Make It Take It event on Saturday. What a fun day. I was able to take 3 two hour classes for $15 (plus a few small material fees) and it included lunch. Many thanks to the group that put it on.

I took my small Brother machine that does embroidery and regular sewing - I only use it for embroidery so it was a challenge to figure out how to work it as a regular sewing machine going from settings to settings. I didn't want to cart my more expensive Bernina to classes. Looks like I'll need to spend some time learning all the features the Brother has other than embroidery if I'm going to use it for classes........or eventually buy another machine, maybe keep my eye out for a nice used machine to use for carting around.

I took a class on free motion quilting - oh my gosh, it was wonderful. I learned so much from the instructor and I can see doing many projects in the future using this technique..........of course there will be lots of practice before an actual project happens. I took a class called quilt as you go - it was a bit hard to follow as I had no clue what we were doing but once I got my samples made I can see using one, possibly two of these three techniques in the future, especially for the community sews donation baby blankets. And then I took a non-sewing class - a 3D star made from fabric. I have not unpacked anything so no pix.