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.......

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's been one of those weeks........

It's been one of those weeks...........and Bailey and Buster are seconding that, they're wondering why Mom is using a flash and waking them up from their nap.

On-going blood pressure saga - came down right away, now regulating meds so I can actually accomplish something is on the agenda, switched meds already, very low dose, BP too low, cut that dose in half today, will hopefully I'm a bit better.  Interesting thing is that my BP was just fine before I walked in the eye surgery center door. Have so much to do - can let much of it fall to the wayside, other things really need to be worked on even if in slow motion. Today a very low energy job of working on updating my  handout for an upcoming surface design least I accomplished something unlike the past week. Who knows when the cataract surgery will be rescheduled........

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tissue paper dyeing

I'm currently working on making some samples for a surface design presentation I'm giving in November. I gave this program to my guild back in 2009 so there's much updating of my handout and other than my small samples I have no full size samples so I'm trying to get some done.

I'm not sure why but in my handout I included a bit on tissue paper dyeing silk. It's not really surface design but at the time it seemed like a fun idea. It's not regular tissue paper but Spectra artist bleeding tissue paper. I remember now why I didn't care for it - most of the color washes out. But it's in my handout and I've dyed three scarves so I'll show it - always good to show failures too.

Here's the first scarf - I tore tissue paper into random sizes, placed them on the prewashed scarf and sprayed them with water - they immediately start bleeding.

Here's what I thought would be an Oregon Ducks (college football) scarf.

And the final scarf - you know it's done when the tissue paper dries and starts to pull off easily or if it's breezy it starts blowing all over the driveway.

Look at the pale colors that came out of what were really dark colors before rinsing them. And I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed again using Synthrapol, using laundry detergent. Finally I got them to wash clear - phew what a job. And look at that center scarf - it was the one that should have been yellow and green!  They turned out pretty but not what I envisioned.

I had some small scraps of off white handwoven fabric in my stash so I stenciled on it with Shiva Paintstiks and quilted a couple coffee cozy's.

And this was some leftover warp painted fabric I wove for another project that I stamped leaves on using fabric paints.....makes for a cute little purse.

I've got some other samples I've made recently but would like to make a few more this week.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Towels for sale........

Photographed and edited photos and got these towels listed for sale in my etsy shop - I ended up really liking these - if they went with my d├ęcor I'd be keeping a couple.

This was yesterday afternoon's sewing project - can't post the finished item as it's a gift - will try to remember to snap a picture to post another time.

Friday, September 18, 2015


The cottolin towels that came off the loom at the beach cottage.....finally washed and hemmed......still in need of pressing and photography work.  Phew, this load of towels in the dryer totally filled up the lint trap, I had to empty it part way through the drying.....this cottolin certainly does put out the lint on that first washing.

I wasn't sure how these would turn out - I have a boatload of cottolin and it's my goal to weave it all off into towels in the near future. The goal is to not buy more colors to add to the mix which means I'm using varied amounts of a limited range of colors.........which means to make long enough warps I may be mixing colors I ordinarily wouldn't. I wasn't sure about these when I started weaving but I love the finished towels. Not sure what color combinations will end up on the next batch.........

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


It's raining!  I'm doing the happy dance. This doesn't mean fire season is over, it's going to get dry and hot again in a couple days, but it is a huge relief......the rainy season can't be far off.........

And yes, that's a huge wood pile now getting wet in the rain - but it will dry out again. The wood shed is filled and that is 2-3 cords of overflow. We'll get it covered after it dries out again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Thank you to all who wished me well with my cataract didn't happen. This morning at 7am I was to have cataract surgery - I was all prepped, IV in, ready to go but my blood pressure went sky high, which is not normal for me. I do have white coat syndrome but nothing like this, usually just on the high side of normal. I kept trying to remain calm hoping it would come down but it wasn't coming down enough and they gave me a lot of time to relax. So, they then brought Sam in to see if that would help - no go..........and he almost passed out from low blood pressure, he was worried to death about me.  So, I was off the table, he was on hooked up to the monitors. His finally got back to normal and they felt ok with letting us leave. So now I've got an appointment with the regular doc to find out what the issue is - once my BP is under control he'll give the eye surgeon the go ahead and I'll reschedule.  This sure wasn't the way I expected my day to go.  Now I think it's time for a nap since I slept very little last night worrying about the upcoming surgery and then had to get up at 4:30 to get there in time.  Best laid does go awry at times.........

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I'm still here........

.....just been gone so hadn't posted. I didn't take many pictures this past 9 days but here are a few showing what I've been up to.

The major reason for the longer than usual trip to the beach cottage was to paint - argh. I've painted so many houses over the last 38 years - I'm tired of it - I don't want to paint anymore, but it must be done. Since we bought this house 5 years ago we've been slowly updating/fixing it up. We need to get the nasty smelly carpet out of there and lay some composite flooring but first we need to paint all the windows, doors, trim, baseboard, doorjambs, etc.  I love stained wood trim but this was an ugly dark color so we decided to paint it white. What a job!  First a deglosser to clean it off and prep it for paint, then a primer, then at least 2 coats of paint, in some areas 3 and even a few spots needed 4. Here's Sam taking down the blinds in prep for painting.

Here's Sam putting the blinds back up after we painted - we painted every single window/trim and door jamb/trim in the house. The doors are started, baseboard to come on another trip over but that's a quick painting job in comparison to all the windows in the house....much of the baseboard we pulled out to paint.  Unfortunately we can't do anything about the black windows and grids that are in-between the panes - we just have to live with those.  I love how much bigger the rooms look now. I should have taken a pic of the hallway - it must be only 14 feet long, very narrow and it has 6 doors in it - yes 6 doors!  It looks so much better without all that dark wood.

Here's the dining room put back together....ignore those leaves all over the floor that were blown in the back door.

I don't remember if I posted a pic of the quilted placemats actually in use or not so here they are.

I may have shown one of these tables before, just had to share again as these are my favorite types of tables and I have several of them and will buy more if I see them at a good price. I remember my grandmother having one by her back door when I was growing up. Sam says I brake for any kind of small table but especially these. I don't know what era they originally came from - the 30's or maybe 40's???  Anyone know?

I finished knitting a pair of sox - my second in this colorway as one pair are a gift.

I started another pair of sox just because there always has to be a pair of sox on the needles.

Started another secret project with dropped stitches.

I snuck in a few hours to weave and finish off the towel warp over at the beach cottage......that day I was really tired of painting.........

Here's the pile of towels just pulled off the loom, different colored wefts, some plaids, some these need to be washed and hemmed.

Fire over near Bandon Dunes Golf Resort this past week while we were at the beach cottage (pic pulled from the local paper website). I had been painting windows on the back side of the house, finished up and walked to the front door and saw smoke enveloping us. Silly me not having fire on the mind over there - they can just as easily have fires as we can here in the valley. Fire started on the beach by someone with an illegal fire, it caught the beach grass and gorse on fire which is highly flammable. Luckily the fire was put out quickly before spreading.  The town and miles around it burned to the ground in 1936, from 30 miles inland right to the beach.

Final shot of wind surfers.  Sorry it's so hard to see, we were far away and I only had my phone with me to take the shot. There are windsurfers with the sails on their boards and there are the ones being pulled along by kites. This spot is famous for windsurfing - it's just north of Gold Beach, around an hour south of our place.

So now I deal with, as I call it, re-entry - have much to do as I have cataract surgery this week and since I'm not getting the standard lens but getting a premium one that will give me a better range of vision and correct my astigmatism I have some restrictions on close up work/reading for a week. Last night after getting home I pulled and boxed up orders so they're ready to mail tomorrow. Today I will be tackling the huge Ashland Bay roving order that came in over 2 weeks ago that I ignored......I'm out of way too many colors in the shop so I must deal with it now.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Towel warp ready to go

The towel warp is ready to go after we finish up our painting job this next week and after my cataract surgery. In spite of being out of the studio too much this week I did manage to get the AVL and Macomber looms both warped so I can get right to weaving after surgery.  All I have to do is tie on the front beams, throw a bobbin in the shuttle and start weaving. Feels good to have gotten this done.

Now if only a fiber fairy would show up at my door to deal with the roving order that arrived on Monday........roving needs to be weighed, bagged, labeled, put into inventory and relisted in my other etsy shop. My shop is out of so many colors but I can't see when I can fit this chore in the schedule - it might be 2-3 weeks so I apologize in advance to my roving shoppers. If someone is interested in a color not currently in the shop please contact me through my shop - I can then let you know if it's in stock waiting to be weighed out and I can move that color to the top of the list when I get to that chore.