Friday, December 9, 2016

Whoo Hoo!!!!

Today my Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas Spin-a-long arrived in the mail.  The rules are it is not to be opened until Christmas Day and then to spin one packet a day - the packets are numbered. I opened the shipping box but that's as far as I'm going to go until Christmas Day........I hope. I'll have to hide it away so I won't be tempted to sneak a peek or start spinning.
This is what it looks like

Here's the label. The fiber colors are based on this illustration. I can't wait to see the progression of color. This is my first time for the 12 Days SAL but my friend Cathy did it last year and the color progression was incredible.

There are 3 of us that I know of in my spinning group that got in on this limited offering so the goal is to spin it up, however we choose, make something, and then we'll all put it in our county fair display next year. It will be a fun challenge. It was available with sparkle or without - I chose without, the other 2 chose with. I'm already thinking I might need to ply it with some fine silk or rayon to make it go farther.

If Inglenook does this again next year and you're interested you'll have to keep up with goings on in their forum on Ravelry next fall to get in on it - it's not something they put up for sale in their etsy shop. When we heard the date for sign-ups we were right there on Ravelry to get in on it.

Now, I need to step away from the box and try to ignore it for over 2 weeks - yikes - now that's a challenge.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Earthquake, weaving and the beach......

This morning shortly after Sam left for work I felt a jolt, it was 6:50am. I jumped out of bed because I was worried that someone kicked in the garage door, that's what it felt like. I turned on the outside lights and bravely, with Bailey standing behind me (that coward), we walked down the deck steps to look at that door. Once I could see all was secure I assumed one of the big firs fell somewhere on the property. But then on the news I heard of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake 100 miles out in the ocean west of Eureka, CA at exactly the time I felt that jolt - I'm taking a wild guess the location is around 200 miles SW of us. So, that's the exciting news of the morning - no tsunami reported along the coast.

Back in 1989 on our way to our acreage in SW Oregon we spent 2 1/2 years in the San Fran Bay area - we arrived from the east coast 3 months before the Loma Prieta quake which was centered 20 miles south of us - rude awakening to California. We were fine as the house we bought was newer and built to earthquake standards..........devastation elsewhere.

We spent 4 days on the coast over the past weekend. I got back to the towel warp I put on the loom over there a couple months ago. I didn't weave much as I was busy with other activities but I enjoyed throwing the shuttle a bit.

........come on Mom & Dad, the beach is waiting...........

.........wait a minute, did I see Dad putting his shoes on..........

........big stick in the scary ocean.........better keep an eye on it, would love to grab it but I'm a water dog that doesn't go in the water above my knees........'s close, maybe I can grab it before a wave comes and gets me........

.........there it is for the taking but wait, there's a good smell here............

.........success, got that stick............

..........oh but wait, Dad had a better stick I could steal...........ah, life is good..........

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Giveaway Winner!!!

Using I have a winner of the Sashiko kit giveaway - it's Deanna.  I went to your blog Deanna but didn't see a way to contact you so please drop me a note letting me know your complete name and mailing address and I'll get the kit out in the mail to you. Congrats and happy stitching!  cindiesam at yahoo dot com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I'm slowly going through stash in my studio and finding homes for items I know I'll never use. I'm being overcome due to too much stash.......much of it I'll never use.  I've found homes for some things here local but would like to offer some up on my blog over the next few months. So, here's a holiday giveaway.

I was gifted with this sashiko pillow kit from a Japanese business associate of my husbands over 15 years ago (the president of that Japanese company also gifted me with a wooden box of bits & bobs of Japanese fabrics, some I've used, others I will use in the future). Anyhow back to this kit - the only reason I have not stitched this is because I'm not a blue person, it's an incredible deep shade of indigo. Instructions are in Japanese but it's pretty self explanatory and details on how to stitch sashiko can be found on the internet. It includes the fabric for the front and back of the pillow (front printed, back plain), a zipper, the thread, a needle and thimble.......and instructions in Japanese.

If you're interested in this kit and live within the US (due to postage costs for me outside the states) please comment to this post and make sure I can reach you either through blogger, by leaving your email address or checking back on my blog December 7th to see if you're the winner of this giveaway. I'll be using a random generator to pick the winner from those posting.  I'm hoping someone will be interested in this kit, it's really nice, it just won't get stitched here.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The agony of defeat.......

I've had two boundweave kits from Sweden for years, so many years I can't even begin to remember although if I had the inclination I could look it up in my records, year by year......not going to happen. I have never bought weaving kits but these were so cute, one was a farm theme with the farmer, farm critters and produce........the other I think (???) had to do with trees, mountains and whatever.

In my effort to go through things deciding what to keep, what to gift, what to sell I went looking for these kits so I could pull out the instructions and translate the color names to English. I know how to weave boundweave, there were graphs for the treadling/color order so all I really needed was to figure out epi from metric and translate color names. Today I pulled the kits out - there are two big bags of wool and two linen warps. Instructions - argh, no where to be found!!!!  I'm not one to misplace things and in this case I would have kept the instructions in the big bag with the kits. I looked all over on the shelf hoping they just fell out of the bag but no luck. I looked through every piece of paperwork I could find, no luck. The only thing I can think is that someone offered to translate the instructions for me and never gave them back and it was so long ago who knows who might have volunteered that..........I will be asking a few of my fellow weavers but I'm not optimistic.

So, back up on the high shelf these kits go until I can hopefully unearth the instructions. If not there is a lot of wool that can be used for some project or another. I don't even have the name of the company in the bags of yarn to contact them........if they're still around, if they still have these kits. Sure glad I didn't pay full price for these - a local weaver (now out of the area) used to sell all things Swedish having to do with weaving and ordered them for me at cost.  These were to be the next projects to weave while on the coast.

On the upside while going through paper I did put a tremendous amount of it in the recycling cart.

Nothing creative here to show as I'm still finishing up holiday gifts and trying to find other gifts hidden throughout the house during the year, I'd love to get them in the mail this week.

Earlier in the week I finished reading The Boys in the Boat - loved it and would recommend it especially for those who love historical books.

I hope everyone had a wonderful turkey day. We didn't eat at home but I did make a turkey breast yesterday so we'd have leftovers for sandwiches, pot pie and soup.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Basking in the sun

No, it was not me basking in the sun although we did have some sun the past 4 days in-between squalls coming in off the ocean and even a big thunder/lightning storm one evening. We escaped to the coast for some R&R.......walking the beach, a lot of reading, making some ornaments, going to a community concert and dinner out with friends. Of course as always 're-entry' sucks - so much to get done in the next week with finishing up gifts, getting some mailed, putting together our holiday cards, etc. I'm anxious to get back to the loom and perhaps I'll start having some creations to share on the blog but right now everything I'm working on are gifts which can't be posted.

So, back to the basking in the sun - these two sea lions were enjoying using a rock in the water as an anchor to relax in the sun. They were less than 20 feet from us on the shoreline and didn't seem too concerned although they did keep an eye on Bailey opening a slit of an eye to check on what he was doing every once in a while. I think they figured out pretty quickly that Bailey, although a water dog, is afraid of the water and wouldn't be swimming anywhere close to them. If I had brought my camera along I would have gotten a better photo than with my phone.

I think this week is the one where we should be buying lottery tickets as we saw 7 rainbows in 4 days - that must be a record. And when driving home yesterday we chased the end of a rainbow and drove right through it. I'm thinking seeing all those rainbows must be a good sign hence buying lottery tickets.........but will I actually go to the store and buy them is another thing..........

Sunday, November 13, 2016

In mourning..........

We have been in mourning here since election night........even Bailey is down in the dumps over it. I won't say much because I could go on and on but I'm worried and very scared for our country for the first time in my life. In the past if my candidate didn't win I still had high hopes that the new president would do his best for the country and we'd be ok........I don't feel that way this time. I have fear for the hatred, bigotry and intolerance we've seen this past year and continue to see. I worry about new policies which will be detrimental to all nationally and internationally. Thumbs up to all those demonstrating but please, please, keep it civil, don't lower yourselves or give in to the hatred yourselves. And for those of you that didn't make the effort to get out and vote - shame on you. Ok, that's all I can say about that because it will give me an anxiety attack.  (note - any nasty comments, on either side, to this post will not show up on my blog - my post is not meant to open up any political discussion)

So, on to a complaint - Windows 10 - argh. Once again on my laptop (which thank goodness isn't my main computer) all my bookmarks/favorites were lost in an update last weekend. This is the 3rd time this has happened since spring, supposedly in June they fixed the glitch......not. Luckily I only use this laptop when traveling so it only has a small number of favorites and I got smart last time and made up a document with the links for them. If I had Windows 10 on my main computer I would be grouchy every single day. I hate Windows 10, there's always some snafu happening with it.

I'm trying to work on holiday gifts so nothing can be shown here on the blog yet. I'm anxious to get them finished up and move on to some new weaving.  Has anyone else found a way to get more hours in your day??? 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Slowing down.......hah!

Trying to slow down life and find more time to be creative just seems to elude me. These next 2 weeks area jammed packed and very little of it is earmarked as creative time. Some of it is fun but I will still be a grump-head by the end of the month.

We spent the past 4 days on the coast for some downtime. It was great. I did get the loom over there warped up with some more cottolin towels in a basket weave/herringbone pattern. After this warp there will be only bits & bobs left on around 70 cottolin spools........they'll be good for future inkle or card weaving. I've never used cottolin for either of those weaves so it will be fun to see how the bands feel made out of cottolin.

Does anyone out there watch Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel? Well, recently they had a spin off show called Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove. This show is all about the dungeness crab fisherman off the Oregon coast. These fisherman are based in Newport up the coast from us but they fish up and down the coast from there. This past spring there were a couple tragedies just 20 miles up the coast from us with lives and boats lost - those are talked about on the show. While the season was airing in September we had a tragedy right in Bandon with 3 lives lost and shortly after a boat couldn't find it's way in the fog and ran aground - we were there that morning but didn't hear any commotion when it happened. In this picture, which I took Friday morning, at low tide, you can see the waves coming in, they were huge and no boat could get in or out in-between those jetties. That's where a boat went down the later part of September where 3 lives were lost. The boat that ran aground was just on this side of the jetty. I sure wouldn't want to have to go in and out in a fishing vessel. I think of the fisherman that do this on a daily basis to make a living for their families and provide us with yummy crab and other delicacies - stay safe out there.

Many thanks for the comments and numerous emails about continuing my blog. I still have not decided if I will give up blogging, in the meantime I'll just slow the posts. I have no deadline where I have to make this decision so I won't be rushing in to it.

Will everyone else be as glad as I am after this election is over? I am so done with it, so tired of the negativity, so tired of the coverage, the commercials. I'm hoping my candidate wins as it scares me if the other one does what will happen to this country. No matter who wins there will be unhappy people in a country which is now so divided - there will be a lot of healing needed............

Friday, October 28, 2016

To blog or not to blog......

Or all good things must come to an end.........maybe. I've been rethinking so many things in life this past year - I need to simplify, I need to de-clutter....and most of all I need to free up more time for creating.

I'm pondering giving up blogging. I started out on this adventure over 8 years ago with the intention of promoting my etsy shops but it's turned out that my main audience are other weavers. I have met some great fiber artists over the internet throughout this 8+ years so it's been a good thing. Has it promoted my shops, probably not much, if at all.

How do other fiber artists keep up with online shops, blogging, tweeting, instagram, facebook, pinterest, not to mention online communities???  I can't seem to accomplish everything I want to and I've only got 2 etsy shops and a blog. Although it would be great networking I steer clear of the rest of it because they're time suckers (in my opinion). I'm sure younger people would think I'm some old woman who doesn't want to learn - well, that's not it, I am fully capable but I'm choosing to create rather than be consumed by being in front of monitor, tablet and phone screens all my waking hours. I want to weave, spin, knit, crochet, sew, bead, etc. etc. etc. I've had things on my very long to-do list for years - they're things I want to do (not the to-do list of chores that I can easily ignore). I want to read more, I want to learn more. Life is finite - if I don't de-clutter and simplify I'll never get to these fun activities.

In my efforts to de-clutter and simplify I have been gifting or selling many art/craft supplies that I know I will never use. If I haven't used it in 10 years I'm not going to..........yes, 10 years is a long time to set the 'used' rule but art/craft items don't fit into the regular household 'used' rule of 1-2 years. So, don't be surprised if you see a giveaway on the blog.

So, I will slow down my posting, eventually I may not post at all........someday the blog may totally disappear. I have no clue at this point and don't have to decide that today.

New on the inkle loom - for those of you getting excited that I'm making inklings again - I told you all last year it was the last inkling after many years of creating them. This is for another project.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birds drunk on basil seeds

 Sunday late afternoon and evening I noticed lots of little finches (I think they're finches) on my almost spent basil plants on the deck. I was able to grab a few pix through the window. They were out there munching away on basil seeds since I had let the plants go after making the last batches of pesto.
I would have never guessed they would have loved the basil seeds so much - I'll remember this next year.

We spent some days on the coast to relax and I taught a beginning drop spindle class on Saturday. Very nice group of gals - hope they went home to keep practicing and keep up with spinning. Not a craft learned in just a couple hours, takes much practice. I taught the class at The Wool Co in Bandon, OR. If you're ever on the Oregon coast stop in and say hi to Kelly.......and buy some knitting, spinning or felting supplies, we need to support the small local shops.

Getting a bit panicked about holiday gifts - need to sit down and make a list today of what I still need to create. I have a plan for our holiday cards but haven't put that warp on the AVL yet, so there's a plan but I have no clue how it will turn out so I need to get to this project soon. Today is prep work for a future day of gift making with a friend - can't say what kind of gifts, they're a secret.

If I can get to reading over the voter's pamphlet I'll also vote today - we've voted by mail here in Oregon for years - I love it. Easy choice for president.........hard to understand all the county and state measures and know close to nothing about many of the county and state officials that are running. Need to reread all info, once again, with hopes that I can figure some of this stuff out. And what's with many local positions that have only one person running, or a few with no one listed on the ballot at all - I'm thinking that's where I write in Bailey's name............I've done it before but never saw him on the news or in the newspaper as having received votes after the election is over...........

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

False damask weave structure

Peg asked if I'd share the draft for the False damask towels I'm weaving. I first saw this draft in Handwoven Design Collection 5 and have since seen it in several other publications. I did a similar threading repeat but totally changed the treadling repeats.

There are two blocks in threading and treadling, the A block and the B block. The fun of weaving blocks is that you can repeat each block as many times as you'd like in the threading and treadling. Pick up some graph paper and play with profile drafting to create your own design, or if you have weaving software you can use that.  I did use a floating selvedge on the towel project.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weaving towels......

Today was the perfect day to wind a warp and start weaving on a new towel warp.......old pattern, false damask as someone has requested a custom order of blue towels, the rest will be holiday gifts. Why was the perfect day? We're on our 4th day of raining pitchforks and shovels. Oregon can get rain but it's usually not flooding rains, it's usually light rain. I've been loving it - Friday was the official end of fire season until sometime next June - whoo hoo.  Perfect weather to weave, knit and cook soups in the crockpot......lentil soup on the menu for this evening. Life is long as we don't lose power - the high winds predicted didn't materialize so we're safe so far from power outages and fallen trees on the acreage. A stream is running in the ravine along the side of the house, water rushing through the culvert part way down the drive.........Bailey is fascinated with all that rushing water and doesn't seem to care that we, as in me or Sam, get drenched out on these walks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This and that......

Yes, this is a terrible photo but I'm way too tired to walk down those steps to my studio space one more time today to get another one.  I went to the Hugo Ladies Quilt Show on Friday and bought raffle tickets - I won this 4 piece rolling sewing machine case. It has a long handle on it like a suitcase. I was so excited. I'm not quite sure how you fit a sewing machine in it and then get the 3 small cases back in but I'll worry about that if I ever need to take my machine to a workshop/class. I can see many uses for this when traveling, but mostly for workshop supplies or just to tote around my knitting, drop spindles and such for heading to the coast and back. This would even work great for an overnight bag.

Family visiting from MD and MT left yesterday morning heading north to Uncle Tony's, put the beach cottage back together yesterday before heading home, now working on putting this house back together. I did teach my two aunts how to ice dye, they each dyed 3 scarves while here. It was a very fun visit with everyone. I'm very anxious to get back to the loom - been away from it for too long. I've got some holiday gifts to make and our holiday cards - I must focus and get to work.........

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Phew.....finally a bit of weaving

I have been so busy lately but not being creative, just doing the mundane, and also getting ready for family from Maryland and Montana coming to visit.......who should be here within the hour.  I did get to sneak into the studio a bit earlier this week to get 2 of the 3 black chenille shawls woven.........I won't get back to that warp until after family leaves.

I was doing the happy dance in the wee hours last Saturday night - we had rain, a nice steady rain. And then again the next night and 2 days since then, just light rain here and there. It's now sunny again heading into the weekend which is great for Art Along the Rogue which is an outdoor chalk festival here in town. Also tomorrow starts the Hugo Ladies Quilt Show, much of it is also outside. It's still fire season here until we get more rain but this was a start.

To all those on the east coast I'm sending good thoughts your way with this hurricane barreling down on the area. We have family in Indian Harbour Beach not far from Cape Canaveral - s-i-l is already in Orlando at a conference, hoping b-i-l heeds the warning and heads inland, as of this morning we heard he was planning on sticking it out. They are on a barrier island and once that bridge is closed there will be no getting out. I also have family more to the west I'm hoping will be safe as she's not near the coast.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Lounge Singer

Tonight was date night, which was a community concert evening. Generally the concerts are phenomenal, as in I can't believe this entertainment has come to this small southern Oregon town. Over the years there have only been a couple that we really didn't enjoy. Tonight's was not the worst but it wasn't our favorite either.  During the entire show I was thinking back to a time, 41 years ago, when I dated the manager, if it could be called dating, and it was for a very short time as I was young and fickle, of W. Bell & Co, a catalog store with high end jewels and loose gems whose regular customers included many rich foreign dignitaries from the embassies in DC. I was a cashier on weekends and evenings as this was my still in college gig - it was a very fun place to work as a college student and had great side benefits since I was dating the man in charge. Yes, I'm not proud of it but I was young and I was having fun.......and free food and drinks ranked up there as a big score for a college student. But I digress - back to the community concert.  One song into the show and I was thinking back to that time when my manager would take me out for dinner and drinks after work to a local hotel's smoky dark lounge complete with a lounge singer. Yes, tonight's entertainment could have been sent back in time to that lounge..........maybe they were one of the groups performing 41 years ago in that hotel in Rockville. I liked many of the songs this evening but not sung by this 'lounge singer' - they all ended up sounding the same. So, I was dying to tell my husband that I considered this lounge music and the story of my hotel lounge days but there was no intermission - I started panicking, was the show going to go on for hours, it didn't seem as if it would ever end. But finally end it did and as soon as we walked out the door, well not quite that soon as the entertainment also comes out that door heading to the front lobby with hopes of selling their CD's, I couldn't stop talking about the 'lounge' singer...........funny thing was that he was thinking the exact same thing during the show.  Of course as I mentioned my lounge days being 41 years ago I stopped dead in my could that have happened 41 years ago, I only feel like I'm in my 40's now.......

So, here's the interesting thing. I was at that same hotel lounge 7 years later (I hadn't been there in at least 6 years) and so was my husband, although we hadn't yet met at that time. Only there were no lounge singers at that point, no smoky dark lounge - it was a rocking dance club by then. I went there often with a friend to listen to a band she knew and dance the night away (made for havoc having to be at work early in the morning). One particular night we were there celebrating my birthday and the band surprised me with a cake so I started passing out pieces to all the cute guys. Ah, but I didn't make it to the back of the room where my husband and his friend were sitting so they missed out. But when we met 6 weeks later at a different dance club he remembered that night and the cute young girl passing out birthday cake........who never made it back to their table. But I guess we were meant to meet when we did as we haven't been apart since...........and that must only have been a short time ago as I can't be possibly be that old.........

Friday, September 30, 2016

Yum....preparing for family

I'm trying to get ready for family arriving the middle of next week, cleaning house (argh), baking ahead of time, and thinking on menus. It's a little overwhelming for some reason, probably because I'm overcommitted as usual, but I'm plodding along. The other day I baked some muffins to put in the freezer. You see, I don't cook breakfast so everyone is on their own. Muffins, bagels with fixings, cereal, fruit........I will make oatmeal though as it's a staple in this house.

These are two of my favorite muffins to bake. Blueberry Streusel Muffins, these made with berries we picked this summer and froze. Here's the recipe.  Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel, mine are minus the nuts as I like to eat nuts on their own but don't want them mixed in with my baked goods or ice cream......yes, I suppose that's strange. Here's the recipe for these.  It killed me not to sample but straight to the freezer these went.

I'm trying to decide if my pumpkin streusel cake would freeze well. I know my lemon blueberry bread will so I'll bake some of that up in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Close-out Sale

I'm having a close-out sale on felting/spinning kits in my etsy shop. I'm no longer going to be making these up and am ready to move them on out of the studio.

This kit is regularly $22.00 - it's now on sale for $17.00

These kits are usually $28.00 - they're on close-out sale for $22.00

Click HERE to purchase

Monday, September 26, 2016

Two Hole Andean Pebble Weave

I just spent 4 days up in the Portland area for OFFF - Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival or as I call it Flock & Flea. I took a one day workshop in Two Hole Andean Pebble Weave which is tablet weaving or commonly called card weaving. This is my sample. It's a very fun technique that I'll use in the future when I have a use for a band with letters or designs in it. I'm hoping to get some time this winter to explore it a bit more. I wasn't totally happy with the class, there was another class in the same room with only moving blankets hanging in-between us - we in the back of the room had a difficult time hearing our instructor due to the chit chat of the spinning class behind us. And sadly instruction in my class was vague at times and sparse, and many students in my class were talking so much and so loud it bugged the heck out of me. I can handle chit-chat, we all do it, but it was out of control. I paid a lot of money for a class and was there to learn and found it difficult to concentrate. No surprise, I was the only one who finished my band.

Driving to and from Portland is always fun as we shop our way north and south on I5. Fabric shops are the big draw as we don't have any down here with the selection of the big city, and certainly not all the fabric for clothing, our few local fabric shops focus more on quilt fabrics. We stopped at the Corvallis Fall Festival on the way home, a nice quality art/craft festival. I hadn't been in a few years so it was very fun. Another great thing about the long weekend is the food as there are restaurants up there that we don't have down south. All in all a very fun weekend spent with my fiber friends.

The high today is supposed to be 97 - still dry as a bone, whatever that means..........hoping the temps cool and we get rain in the not too distant future so there can be an end to fire season for the year. It can rain between now and the middle of next week when relatives come to visit, the chalk festival is that weekend, and the Hugo Ladies Quilt show which is mostly outside - after that it can rain again.......  I hope the rain goddess is listening........

Speaking of rain - my heart goes out to those in the Midwest dealing, once again, with torrential floods.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Notecards listed in shop

I just listed 7 different styles of handwoven blank notecards (with envelope) in my etsy shop for sale - they can be found in the Notecard/Greeting Card section of my shop. Many of these will work for holiday cards in addition to everyday all occasion cards. And what a deal - buy 3 cards and I'll throw in a free card of my choice. So much nicer than a plain old mass produced printed paper card for the same amount of money.

Fresh pesto

I almost let the summer go by without making pesto for the freezer......which would have been crazy since I grow lots of basil in pots on the deck just for this purpose. I started on this chore the other day but ran out of olive oil........tell, me how can an Italian run out of olive oil??? To be exact, I'm half Italian.  So, more olive oil in hand I set off to make many batches of pesto this morning......until I ran out of cheese......but that was to be expected with how much pesto I made.

The basic recipe I use is from an old Sunset Italian cookbook - it doesn't include pine nuts but we love them so I add them.

Basic Pesto

2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
1 cup (3oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)  I definitely use the optional garlic
I add 1/2 cup of pine nuts

Place everything in a food processer and process until finely chopped. Use at once, or place in small jars and add a thin layer of olive oil to each jar to keep pesto from darkening. Refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.  (I freeze mine in small Ziploc bags and it lasts until next summer when fresh basil is available again - I put around 2/3 cup of pesto in a bag which is enough for a pasta dish or to use on pizza)

Not much happening on the fiber front. I did get a black chenille shawl warp on the loom and am ready to start weaving but life has been getting in the way. I have a number of ice dyed shawls to get photographed but not sure when that will happen. I've got handwoven notecards to get listed in the shop, photographs done, just need to sit down and list them. Getting a little panicked as I've got a towel warp to get on for an order and gifts and our holiday card fabric........time just flies these days........

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bits and bobs.........

 I just listed some more ice dyed silk scarves in my etsy shop. I've got some silk shawls 'marinating' now.....will rinse them out tomorrow and eventually get them photographed when I have time. Then I'm done with scarf/shawl dyeing for the year. Out of the recent dyeing I have set aside 3 scarves for myself - can't wait for cooler weather to start wearing them as it's still summer here.

 I went to a quilt show over on the coast last weekend. It was a small show but very nice. This was my favorite quilt in the show. It's hard to tell in the photo but all those circles are yo-yo's. I love yo-yo's. I can remember my grandmother showing me how to make them when I was very young. I've wanted to do a project using them one day.......perhaps that day/year won't be terribly far in the future.

This was another quilt I loved. It won best of show at the  Coos County Fair and had a second place ribbon from the State Fair. I can see why, it's a wonderful quilt.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

More ice-dyed scarves

 I have more ice dyed scarves up for sale in my etsy shop..........well, except for the one above as I decided I needed to keep this one for myself. I might even embellish it a bit with beads on each end.....will be giving it thought.
Here are the new ice dyed scarves that made it to my etsy shop. I love them all but isn't the lavender/coral one sweet. It's tempting to keep that one for myself also but I listed it and will give it more thought.   I've got some more that I washed out this morning, they need ironing and photographing before they're ready to sell.

Feeling like I'm spinning my wheels these days with administrivia, both in my business life and personal life....unfortunately I can't do much about the personal administrivia, it's just a part of life. I'm working on some changes to alleviate some of the time sucking business administrivia though, have one exit strategy worked out, still thinking on what to do about the other stuff. My goal is to free up more time to create but not necessarily create for sale. I have to-do lists that are miles long but I never free up time to work on those projects. I talk about change each year yet it doesn't seem to materialize but this time there will be changes come winter.....some will be immediate, some just scaling back with long term change in mind. I'm excited just thinking about it. More details to come later on what my plans are. I should start prioritizing that very long to-do list as I'll want to do everything at once.

Speaking of adminstrivia - I'm off to photograph silk scarves..........

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fun with ice-dyeing

I'm still here in case anyone wondered....although no one probably gave it a second thought. I just haven't had much to write about....spent some time on the coast, wove a towel warp off the loom over there, towels now awaiting hemming, did some ice dyeing.......and then the rest of what I've been up to is all the mundane chores associated with life that have nothing to do with weaving, dyeing, spinning, sewing, etc. etc. etc.
Here are the latest ice-dyed scarves now available in my etsy shop.  I had fallen behind in making ice. I generally use a combination of crescent shaped ice from our ice maker and rectangular ice from many ice cube trays in the big freezer just for ice dyeing.  So, I had to resort to buying bagged ice - I had a choice of one big block or chips of ice so I chose the chips as I didn't want to have to figure out how to chop up a huge block of ice. In the end I don't think I got the same dye variations using the chips as opposed to the cubes. The scarves are still very pretty but....not the, I must make sure I take the time to deal with making ice on a daily basis as it's takes a lot of ice......and I've got more scarves and shawls to dye.

I've been overwhelmed with life lately - does it ever slow down? Will I ever feel like I've caught up, at least for a day? I'm beginning to think not. We looked at the calendar last night and September and October are swamped with things on the calendar including house guests........and I have some very crucial personal/house related things I need to fit in-between.  I'm thinking getting to the loom is going to be a challenge let alone working on gifts........glad I got a head start on some of those gifts this summer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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

 Yesterday I had enough ice to ice-dye 4 silk & rayon devore shawls.  I love how they turned out. They're now up for sale in my etsy shop and can be found in the Hand-dyed Silk Shawl section of the shop.

I finished plying the handspun I was spinning at the fair. It's a bit thinner than fingering weight. I love how it turned out. Not sure what it will grow up to be yet - I haven't counted how many yards are here yet.

Fire season is getting scarier here.  New fires are sprouting up each and every day, luckily we have enough resources to jump on them quickly. I heard a copter fly low over the house 2 nights ago at 10pm but discounted it being a fire as they stop flying at dark - I figured it was a medical copter. Found out the next morning it was for a fire a few miles up the road from us - luckily it was snuffed out quickly. As I type there's a fast moving fire south of us - not dangerous for us at all unless it really blew up, like some of those fires in CA. The road is closed between here and there as the fire is on both sides of it - this is very close to a fire from a few weeks ago where 3 homes and a few outbuildings were lost. There are level 3 evacuations which means get out, don't stop to gather anything, just get out........the road where my relatives used to live is in that evacuation zone, they're living in MT now. These fires have to be human caused as there's been no lightening here all summer. I feel like I'm holding my breath all the's tough to live under constant stress of possible forest fires........I don't sleep well, I think about fire all the time. The fall rains can't come soon enough for me but we've still got a month or more to go..........a month is a long time during fire season.........

Monday, August 29, 2016

Baby Blankets

 New baby blankets available for sale in my etsy shop.......

.....based on the Royal Crown Overshot Pattern....
.....they are incredibly soft and yummy feeling......

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More painted warps

Warps painted/dyed yesterday now rinsed out and hanging to dry. I hope I can squeeze in time to wind more warps and get them dyed before the weather turns........which won't be too soon for me, I'm tired of this heat and fire season........unfortunately we have at least 5 more weeks of this if we get rain at the end of September..........if...........

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Painted warps

 Yesterday I painted/dyed some warps for future weaving......this morning I rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed them out. Mostly rayon or tencel. The couple of short ones are 5/2 cotton tied in a skein in the perfect size for putting on my inkle loom, I thought it might be fun to inkle weave some painted warps......I'll add some solid colors to them when I warp the inkle loom.  One of the short ones is ikat dyed - holey cow does it ever take a long time to tie those ikat choke ties.....not to mention removing them once it dries.

I had more warps to paint/dye today - here's one just painted ready to have the plastic put over top and rolled up to sit and batch until tomorrow morning when I wash it and the others out. Sometimes I paint a warp for two scarves, like here, sometimes for three scarves. I always vary the wefts so the scarves look a bit different woven up. Me, being in production mode most of the time would love to paint longer warps but I really don't want that many similar colorways for my scarves - I want more one of a kind.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Phew, the fair is over - had a great time visiting with my spinner peeps and the public. Thank goodness we were in an air conditioned building as it was 100, 106, 111 and 105.....yes it was really 111. The walk to and from my car wasn't too terrible although the car itself was incredibly hot to get into come late afternoon.

This is what I was spinning at the fair - I only spun this bobbin and got a bit into the second bobbin. I'm spinning fairly thin and these bobbins will hold around 8oz. This is from the rolags I made recently on my blending board.  So, what do I do today after taking down our fair display but come home and pull out the wheel and get back to spinning. I'm pretty worn out from this week and just sitting at home doing not much of anything is awfully inviting.........with the air conditioner running and the ceiling fan going overhead.

Now it's time to get back to weaving. I've also got to get to work on painting warps, they're all wound ready to go. Mid week it might be ok to work outside in the mornings, mid 90's are forecast for the high, but later in the week we get back to triple digits. I can't wait for cool rainy fall weather.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Not the traditional overshot

This baby blanket warp is not the traditional colonial overshot - the border is but using stripes in the warp is not. There will be this large border area on each end of the blanket. I love the look. This afternoon I got this warp tied on and started weaving, then it was just too danged hot to continue weaving, just got enough done to see how it will look.

Sunrise and other tidbits

 Sunrise this morning was spectacular although our trees are growing too much and obstructing the view of Mt Sexton. You'd think there were a new fire in the area with those colors in the sky.
 Saturday we put up my spinning group's fair display, the fair opens tomorrow. None of the finished items or skeins are in the fair for judging, they're for display only. The fleeces will be judged tomorrow morning and ribbons awarded. For the next 4 days we'll all be sitting in a big circle in front of this display spinning, carding, knitting, felting, whatever. It's always a great time visiting with the public........and each other. It's hard to believe that we can sit there for 4 days and never run out of anything to talk about.  Unfortunately tomorrow looks to be the only day below 100, forecast to 'only' be 99 tomorrow - the following three days will be anywhere from 105-108. We're in an air conditioned building but we have to walk back and forth from our cars to get there which will be a killer come afternoon. I wonder how this heat will affect fair goers.
 When I met friend Linda at the fairgrounds today (to add the tablecloth I forgot to bring on Saturday) she brought me some of her home grown tomatoes. On the way home I stopped at the Ft Vannoy Farm Market to pick up other veggies. I made one of my favorite kinds of sandwiches, fresh tomatoes, banana peppers and fresh sweet onion. Ft Vannoy has the best corn around here - it's still not as sweet as corn back east but it's pretty danged good - at least it's not field corn to feed the pigs, as my father would call the rest of the corn here. We'll be having fresh corn tonight with a tomato basil salad (my homegrown basil) and northwest salmon.
It would have been perfect if the farm had the hot banana peppers but they only had sweet so I added hot pickles to my sandwich. Yep, I know this would kill some people's stomach's but not mine. My Dad used to make sandwiches like this - I come by it naturally.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Baby blankets

Baby blanket warp going on the loom - will have overshot borders for a girl blanket, a boy blanket and a few that could go either way.

We've been lucky so far this fire season but now fires are popping up all over the region. Luckily they've jumped on them quickly but Friday evening 3 homes and 4 outbuildings lost in the fire 20 or so miles south of us.........a human caused fire, perp already in jail but probably won't stay there for long since no one in our county wants to pay for law enforcement.  Sore subject for me - lowest tax rate in the state, we pay 25% of what most counties pay - these morons in my county vote down any taxes for services. Personally I have never understood why we get to vote on things like law enforcement - that should be a given and we shouldn't have the choice of voting it down just because we don't want to pay any taxes.  We also no longer have a county library system - thank goodness a group finally got together to take over the libraries and make them a community library funded by donations. Folks like us donate each year but everyone can get a library card whether they donate or not which means those same morons that vote down having a library now get library benefits for free. I think being inside in this 100+ degree weather is making me grumpy so enough of my ranting because I could go on and on about the craziness in this county.........