Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Re-entry is always tough........

Re-entry into the world here in the valley from the world on the coast is always tough. I won't go into the mundane details but it's a killer sometimes.....but we had a nice 5 days on the coast even with the torrential rains for 2 of those days. Bailey didn't have such a good time - the front steps 'bit' him - we're still not sure what happened but we think he dove off those 2 steps to rush over to the fence to see the neighbor dog and had a tumble. He's been pretty hurty but today is starting to feel a bit better, he either wrenched his back, pulled a muscle or sprained something.......and I have to say he's quite the weinie when he's hurting.

I brought my little cardweaving loom along and did get one warp on it and woven off on Monday. I chose a very simple pattern as I wanted the change in color to be the highlight rather than the patterning - I used 6 colors plus black. This is destined to become a strap for my camera which only has a wrist strap on it.

What I love about this pattern is that it looks like knit stitches - not sure if it's that noticeable in the photos or not - it's created by alternating Z twist and S twist threaded cards.

Shells from the first day's walk on the beach. This was a good haul of snail/hermit crab shells. We ran into Loren, my favorite old beach guy, he gave me some yellow agates and tidbits of info on all sorts of things beach related - I really enjoy him. We were to stop by his house at some point to see all his 'stuff' but after Bailey fell we decided we'd do it next time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Finally weaving........

Finally weaving today in-between other household chores and running orders to the post office - I ignored the phone when it rang which felt great - no one left a message so my only assumption is that it was telemarketers. I was even in one place long enough to listen to a book on CD.
I'm back to that tencel warp I put on the AVL a couple weeks ago but had only gotten as far as to audition wefts.  Here's the first scarf - I love this color combination.

And here is the second scarf. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that this design is based on Iranian tilework - I pulled the country of Iran in our guild challenge so I'm to create something inspired by Iran. This is the resulting warp. And I think this color combination is the one that will best represent the country.  I still have 2 more scarves to weave, I thought I had picked out weft colors but have since changed my mind.......will get back to that warp next week.

In the pink........

Isn't this a beautiful dogwood?  It was up the street from where our spinning group met on Tuesday, I just had to capture a picture of it. I love the older neighborhoods in town with the established trees and plantings - so colorful this time of year.

Not much happening here fiber wise - life gets in the way - why does that keep happening??? It never used to. I did get 17 sheep towels embroidered for a June wedding - I had already done 20 of them for the same wedding and the gal said the guest list is growing and she needed more - they're being used as bread basket cloths.  Today I'm hoping to get to the loom to weave on that scarf warp. Guess I better take Bailey for a walk and get moving.........

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let's try again.......

Here's a box of discount coupons for my etsy shops along with a roving sample all to go in the NWRSA (spinning) conference goodie bags.  I gave discount coupons to be put in the bags a couple years ago and didn't get one sale from it - don't know if they were just tossed or what, those didn't have a sample in them.  I'm hoping it works this year - luckily I've got very little money or time into preparing them.  I sell tons of roving through and out of my etsy shop - other discount coupons get used - not sure why the coupons 2 years ago weren't effective. I think it's worth trying again..........need to get these in the mail soon. 
Not much else happening here - I did get 12 towels hemmed and up in the etsy shop for sale, also took time for some photography work to get another 5 scarves listed for sale.  Saturday was my guild presentation on name drafting - I think it went over well.  Everyone (except for one tapestry weaver) was busy at work designing their name drafts and I've heard from several since Saturday that are already planning projects and one actually got her loom warped already.  I always figure if at least one guild member goes home and does something t's a success - it's so exciting seeing how many got inspired by the program. I think everyone always enjoys a hands-on program rather than always a lecture. I'm hoping to get back to the scarf warp hanging out on the AVL tomorrow and possibly get a white chenille shawl warp on the Macomber for wedding season. But not today - today is my twice monthly spinning get together - always fun to hang out with my fiber peeps.
I feel like I'm teasing my blog readers with talk of a discount coupon so I've just gone and created one just for you  - use this coupon code  BLOG2014 at the time of check-out in either of my etsy shops and you'll get 10% off - this coupon is good thru the end of the year. My shop with handwovens, felted items and embroidered towels is HERE - my fiber/roving shop is HERE.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Yum - this is what was for breakfast this morning - not the usual fare in this house where it is a choice between oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt/fruit or bagels which are the special breakfast we have when on the coast.  There are no eggs made in this house, no french toast, no frittatas, no quiche - I have an egg allergy. I can handle a bit of egg in baked goods but too much and my throat will close up. I had this mix in the pantry from when I bought a few things from a Tastefully Simple party.....I didn't attend the party but my cousin in Michigan was hosting one so I ordered to help boost her party sales. All that's needed is a cup of water to make the muffins themselves - good thing no eggs needed as I rarely have them in the house.  The topping did require melted butter, box called for 1 stick, way too much, have lots left, if I had another box of this I'd use a half stick. Sugar high at the moment......hoping I don't crash in an hour or so.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Handwoven towels......

I actually got to spend quite a bit of time at the loom yesterday afternoon - 6 towels woven. Maybe this afternoon I'll get to finish up this warp and move back to the scarf warp.

Two towels using blue for the pattern - I like it with the grey & white stripes..... up purple...... up yellow weft.......ok, so this is not my favorite but has anyone noticed how there is so much yellow and gray being used together in house décor these days?  Thought I'd make some with the hopes that someone out there with those colors in their kitchen or bathroom will love these towels.  Today will go back to weaving more with black pattern weft, and possibly red ones or more blue..........

It was so nice to get a number of hours in the studio, life this past year has interfered with that way too much, felt good to be weaving away and listening to a book on cd.....hoping to get back to weaving as much as I have over years in the past........definitely need it for my sanity!

Monday, April 7, 2014

It all comes out in the wash.........

Yesterday afternoon I got a couple hours at the loom, got the towel warp tied on and some towels woven. This is an overshot pattern, Royal Crown, one repeat of the pattern in the center and then a small border on either side. On the other end of the towel I put one row of the small border. I used a black pattern weft for the beginning towels - I think they'll look great in a gray kitchen especially those with stainless appliances. I won't be using black on all of them, maybe blue on a couple, maybe purple or red.  For the non-weavers out there what I mean by it all comes out in the wash is that handwovens aren't finished until they're washed - once these towels are washed they'll shrink and the pattern will show up even more, not to mention that washing gets rid of all the spinning oils from the commercial spinning process.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A romp on the beach.........

We spent the past 4 days on the coast - relatives came to visit from Montana, they used to live here in SW Oregon.....they were the first of the family to move here from the east coast back in 1980, if I remember the year correctly.......many of us followed over the years and then they had to escape us all. Montana is beautiful but we won't be following them there, too cold and snowy for us.

Sandra & Monte have had several mini-dachshunds over the years, this is the new addition to their family, Gia, a long haired mini.  They've done a good job socializing her as doxies can sometimes have snippy personalities - she's a real cutie and loves everyone, humans and dogs.  We weren't sure how Bailey would react to a dog the size of a squirrel (he hates the dreaded squirrels who taunt him) but he did great and really enjoyed having her around. He even let her pounce on him, paw at his face and give him kisses - I think he loves her and I know she's in love with him.  I'm not sure how much Gia weighs but Bailey has to weigh at least 10-15 times more than her. I tried to capture some fun shots of her loving him up but she's so darned fast I'd just get her tail in the shot so pix from the beach are as good as I could get.  Tonight is a family dinner back here in the valley so they'll be loving each other up again before Gia heads back to Montana.

It was Gia's first time on the beach - she loved it
She pretty much stuck by Bailey learning the ropes
I think she was a bit puzzled by the rolling in the sand and kicking legs in the air
In the end - two pals heading back to the house after a day of frolicking on the beach

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Going to the dogs......

This morning, now afternoon, I'm embroidering 2 very plush thick towels for a friend who wants to gift them next week at a puppy shower - for an Airedale puppy. These will be dog body/foot wiping towels - nice big towels. This is the first towel, second towel is stitching as I type.  Many lessons learned on these towels. I've stitched on plush towels before but never this thick - too thick for my machine, almost too thick to get it in the hoop, brought some tears and hurt thumbs but I did it. Lesson learned - don't let friends pick out on their own item to stitch without approval. This is also an embroidery pattern with tons, I mean tons, of stitching so that brings many other issues up being on the plush towel so that's lesson two. This would be much more fun to stitch on a nice cotton handtowel. The stitching makes for a very thick embroidery, as in very stiff so that's the only bad thing. Another lesson - look at how many colors changes first - this embroidery had 36 color changes, meaning I had to sit here the entire time changing the thread on the machine 36 times - I would have still stitched it because it's for a friend but it's something to think about in pricing embroidered items in the future - all those thread changes take time plus I can't be working on something else while the machine is working, I've got to babysit it. I do base pricing on time and number of stitches but never on color changes as I haven't done a pattern for sale before with this many color changes. Many lessons learned today.  Whoo Hoo - stitching just finished - second towel done - cute as the first.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Etsy treasury

I took a little time this morning to put together an etsy treasury showcasing handwoven towels and pottery - perfect pairing.  Click HERE to visit it on etsy - favorite it, favorite the items, visit the shops, share the love if you choose..........

Sunday, March 30, 2014


If you get the opportunity to take a cardweaving workshop from John Mullarkey I highly recommend it. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, well organized, easy to understand, has a calm go with the flow personality but he's funny too. I learned so much this past two days and now I know that cardweaving will become a regular part of my weaving repertoire. Not that I haven't done any cardweaving over the years, I love the look but I hated the idea of  being tethered to table/post, using up a loom for cards or using C-clamps on a table - it should be portable but not cumbersome. Well, enter this cute little cardweaving loom that John designed - I love it. If I need to weave really long bands I can use my floor inkle loom but I can see myself using this cute little loom quite often, even while riding in the car.

I forgot to bring my camera yesterday so no pic of the warping for the band above - there was lots of playing taking off from the original design.

Here is the loom after warping for today's weaving - different style of warping than we did for yesterday - nice to learn two techniques - yes, that's my yummy cookie snack to keep me fortified for the workshop......there were lots of snacks all weekend.....lots......

Today's weaving were Egyptian diagonals - very fun (that little block was not a part of this class but John demo'd it on my loom - I'll be trying this out in the not too distant future)

More of the diagonals - this one a snowflake pattern
I don't remember the name of this pattern but I love it - it's included in a book John sells on Egyptian diagonals..... is this pattern.  Very fun workshop - learned so much and am now enthused over cardweaving

Friday, March 28, 2014

And back at the warping board...........

Late morning I finally made it to the loom to audition some weft colors for the warp I put on yesterday. All I've decided is that I love the red/purple weft - 2nd from the bottom so that will definitely be one scarf, possibly two. Not sure yet on the other two scarves.

 This afternoon I wound a 12 yard warp for overshot towels in white, light gray and dark gray
 Bailey is not impressed with the warping process
 Here it is wound on the back beam of the Macomber
 Threaded through the heddles
Reed is sleyed and ready to be tied on the front beam but other things had to be done so had to leave it in that state. Not sure when I'll get back to either loom - the next two days I'm in a cardweaving workshop sponsored by my guild, instructor is John Mullarky. Then I've got other things happening Monday and Tuesday, then family coming to visit right after. At least this is a start at getting more weaving time.........

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Warped.......yep, sometimes I am.........

This afternoon I decided a warp needed to go on the AVL. Yesterday I played in the software designing a draft based on an Iranian tilework design. Our guild challenge this year is to pull a country's name out of a hat can and create something inspired by it - I pulled Iran. Originally I was going to go in a totally different direction creating something with a political statement regarding women but then changed my mind as I didn't need to end up with something I have no use for.  This happened with our 'cutting into your handwoven/create a bra' challenge to use in a display for Breast Cancer Awareness........I spent hours/days on that bra - only one other person created one - 2 bras an exhibit does not make (it's somewhere back on my blog in 2011, I think).  So in a different direction I went to make something I could eventually sell and maybe keep one for myself - a scarf warp, 11 yards for 4 scarves.

 First came winding the warp - don't you just love the look of a cross on the warping board?
Then I wound the warp on the back beam. I love it when a warp winds on like butter. Occasionally tencel can create little halos in the ends which grabs the end next to it - none of this with today's warp.
There are those orderly threads again in the lease sticks -gotta love it.
Here the ends are threaded through the heddles - this is a 32 harness pattern. I'm not fond of texsolv heddles but there's no other option when dealing with this many harnesses.
And here's the warp threaded through the reed ready to tie on the front beam but no time - neighbors are coming for dinner and to play cards so I had to turn off the lights in the studio and come upstairs to start on dinner prep. There's always tomorrow to get it tied on and try out some weft colors. And if I don't like the draft once I see it woven I'll do something else - it's threaded to a straight draw, 1-32, so there is no limit to designs. Would love to get a towel warp on the other loom tomorrow but who knows what life will bring.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Different treadling.......

Got a little time at the loom this afternoon - I tried out a different treadling on the second scarf of the handspun wool/silk scarf warp. I think I like this one better than the first treadling (post of 3/19) - not sure what I'll do for the 3rd scarf, maybe this treadling again, maybe something new. This one is pretty busy.........

We have a winner

We have a winner of the She Sells Sea Shells Inkling. I put the number 7, number of comments, in the number generator and it came up with 2 as the winner - KATHY (I numbered comments starting at the top with number 1).  Kathy, I don't know how to get in touch with you so please email me at cindiesam at yahoo dot com with your mailing information and I'll get her out in the mail - Congrats!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interesting obit

I had to share this obituary I spotted in the newspaper on the coast last month. I wouldn't normally read the obits over there as I know few people in that area but this one caught my eye as I was scanning the page. Matilda's obit was mixed right in with the 2 legged creature obits - what a wonderful idea and how nice that the newspaper mixed it in with the others. Matilda - you look like you were a wonderful friend and family member.

A bit of sparkle.......

I just got some hand-dyed Firestar listed in my etsy shop (in the hand-dyed section) - this is incredible roving for adding sparkle to batts, spinning or felting. A little of it goes a long way. I love adding to batts on the drum carder or to just pick up bits and let it twist in with already prepared roving I may be spinning.  I also got some hand-dyed sock yarn listed in the shop and some inkle woven bookmarks in the other etsy shop.  I'm making progress at getting things listed that have been sitting for months waiting for their photography on to scarves.........or better yet a a bit of weaving.........after we clean house..........

Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Scrabble Tea Pins

I found more tea pins in my organizing today. How many of these things did I make anyhow???  I gifted some, I sold many, and I still have quite a number left.  They are for sale on the 'Other Stuff for Sale' page of this blog - look up under my top banner for that page. They can be bought directly from me or I can list in my etsy shop. They were originally $28 - now at close out price of $14.

I've also unearthed more hand-dyed yarn and fiber to list in my fiber etsy shop and bookmarks to list in the handwoven etsy shop. Much photo editing to do first. If I keep organizing and cleaning out who knows what else I'll find.........

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celtic Knot Table Runners

I can't even begin to tell you how long these table runners have been sitting in a stack waiting for the photography work so I could list them in my etsy shop. I sold several locally, donated one to a benefit auction. Finally decided I needed to buckle down and do the photography work, which I'm terrible at, but I can't list them if it's not done........and no camera angel is going to come do it for me.

All the runners are woven out of perle cotton, the celtic knot design in a bit heavier cotton. These have a nice deep hem and are hand hemmed.

I have two of each colorway in stock.

The top one has a natural background with a forest green celtic knot design on each end.

The middle one has a soft light teal green body with a bit darker soft teal green celtic knot border.

And the bottom one has a tan background with black celtic knot borders.

All are now listed in my etsy shop in the towels & linens section.

Hopefully I'll get to some more photography work soon - have scarves waiting in the wings.

Tax Time Giveaway

To celebrate finishing up our taxes and getting them e-filed this afternoon (phew) I have a giveaway.  I found this extra lone little inkling ornament/desk décor that I made for holiday 2012 gifts......not sure why I had an extra or why I forgot I had it. Anyhow this one is "She Sells Sea Shells"......made out of a handwoven inkle band, adorned with sandcastles and shells. All you need to do is leave a comment to this post on what you love about the beach, whether it be an ocean beach, a lake beach or river beach. On Monday morning I'll draw a name using and announce the winner.  Be sure to check back to see if you've won as many times there is no way for me to contact winners.

Spring has sprung

I just put together another etsy treasury - click HERE to visit it on etsy, favorite it, favorite the items/shops if you'd like. If you haven't shopped on etsy yet go browse around - so much to be tempted by as I was twice this past week.......

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pink Tulips - Spring is Here.....

.....well, spring is somewhere today.  I put together this cheery spring treasury to celebrate the day showcasing fellow Handweavers of Etsy team members along with tulip art from other etsy sellers.  Click HERE to visit the treasury on Etsy where you can favorite it, favorite the items, visit the shop and favorite them if you'd like. Enjoy and Happy Spring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Handspun Merino/Tussah silk awaiting warping and weaving. The lighter shade is a very pale lavender, the darker shade a dusty purple. I spun these a few years ago, just now have I decided to do something with them.
Today I planned this warp, an 8 harness draft out of the Strickler book. Comedy of errors in the beginning - I had a crossed thread in the reed which has only happened to me a few times over 28 years so that had to be fixed.....I was beating too hard at first so I unwove, then I didn't notice that one of the tie-rods dropped out of the 3rd treadle, twice, so I unwove, twice. Finally I was getting back into the weaving groove and started thinking maybe I don't like this......but maybe I will once the 3 scarves are off the loom and washed, or at least someone will like them. I love the dusty purple color but the pale lavender looks a little flat to me, there's not as much variation as the dusty purple (I put 3 ends of that dusty purple on the selvedges, hoping it looks good once finished). Maybe I should have gone with the undulating twill draft I was originally looking at......oh well.......meh.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New roving, concert and curling......

I have more new roving available in my etsy shop. Above is a new line, possibly not a permanent line so it's 'get it while it's here' 80% Merino/20% Tussah Silk. It's beautiful roving......and my spinning group today shopped 'til they dropped snatching up some of these colorways and the roving below.

The top 3 colors here are also limited colorways in 100% Merino.  The bottom is a Black Tussah Silk roving - and it is really black - I've set some aside to use for my own blending.........I set some of many of these latest colorways aside for myself......they're that good.

Last night we went to a community concert, we have season tickets each season, this was #5 out of 6 shows for this season. Pavlo was the group - a Greek/Mediterranean style of music - absolutely fabulous - loved the passion.

I'm having curling withdrawals so I had Sam do a search on the satellite for curling........well, I could be watching curling all the time during the season if I were only to pay an additional $11 a month for a particular sports package. We already pay more than we should for satellite TV - as much as I'd love to watch more curling I cannot bring myself to pay another $132 a year..........very sad but it's just not worth that much to me.......we're trying to cut expenses with Sam's retirement (or semi-retirement at this point) not increase them.