Friday, December 31, 2010

As the new year looms.....

As the New Year approaches one begins to think about resolutions……well, some other ‘one’ begins to think about resolutions. Me, for one, always breaks resolutions which leads to a feeling of failure. So, better not to have any and feel good about myself.

Last year I vowed to clean out and organize all drawers, cabinets & closets, one item a week even if it were the smallest drawer. Started out gang-busters, then I’d think about it and not do the weeks drawer, then I just stopped thinking about it at all. Well, isn’t playing with fiber more fun I ask?

But I always have goals to reach for, if I don’t get there, it’s ok because I’ve worked toward those goals…..that’s an accomplishment in itself. I need to keep repeating that to myself, over and over again.

So one of my goals this year is to give myself a break. I tend to be hard on myself if I’m not producing to sell, I feel like I’m frittering my time. So, what does it matter if I sell a few less scarves, or a bit less roving? The world won’t come to an end nor we will starve….we especially won’t starve as I’m not sure how much I really contribute to the household, I’m probably a liability when it comes to spending money. So my friends, if I start obsessing over having to get things done to sell or show rather than taking time to relish in every moment of the day even if it’s just sitting on the deck watching the hummingbirds please take me by the shoulders, shake me and ask me what in the world am I doing.

So, with that goal in mind spring the other goals of the year – to do more artistically that benefits myself, my family or friends. I have a desire to spend more time at the sewing machine, I’ve got quilts planned for the beach cottage, linen sitting waiting to be sewn into jacket & pants, more fabric for tops that’s been sitting patiently for a few years now. I’d like to spend more time spinning and creating from my handspun. Something I’ve talked about for a number of years is creating clothing from my handwoven fabric, I’ve only touched on that goal, would like to spend more time working toward it. I’ve also got a beach cottage with furniture waiting to be painted and seaside décor waiting to be made.

So now we come to the mental health part of my goals – I do cherish and am grateful for everyone and everything around me but I don’t spend enough time thinking about it, life just gets in the way sometimes. A few quiet moments each day spent thinking about all I’m grateful for will be good for my mental health, it will force me to slow down and take in all around me. So my word for the year is ‘Gratitude’. If you follow Bonnie Tarses’ blog you’ll understand where that came from – if not, check it out sometime, she had post on December 28th on picking her word for the year.
Lastly, this year I’ll be trying to work on the art of saying NO – I’ve gotten better at it but still end up saying yes when I should say no and then beat myself up later for it. So, those of you who hear a NO come from my lips don’t take it personally, it’s just me taking care of me.

Finally I just want to say that I’m grateful for all of my friends out there, those I’ve met personally, those I haven’t. I wish you all a peaceful year to come. Thank you for visiting.....and if you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post thank you for sticking with it, if you didn’t that’s ok.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finally......

......I finished spinning and plying this yarn - I made a career out of it or at least 6 months of my life. It's not that I'm an especially slow spinner, it's just that I haven't been spinning much, been dyeing, weaving, knitting and sewing instead. And I've missed spinning, the hypnotic rhythm of the wheel, the feel of the fiber slipping between my hands...very zen. What is this fiber, you ask? It's a merino/tussah silk blend from Ashland Bay Fibers, colorway is called Lilac. I spun it to go with another merino/tussah (already spun, thank goodness) in the Concord colorway. I plan on weaving these two yarns, maybe in a twill, maybe a shadow weave, undecided right now.....also undecided what the project will be, depends on how far it will go. Oh yeah, there's 808 yards of this, it's a bit smaller than a fingering yarn size.

I have some thoughts on the year to come, those will come in another post.......

Monday, December 27, 2010

Finally done..........

These socks out of Zauberball sock yarn are finally finished - they've been on the needles for months but then I would only work on them here and there while at a meeting or sitting and waiting somewhere. I love the color changes - have a couple more balls in different colorways sitting on the shelf.

As soon as I finish the towel warp (up until yesterday hadn't touched it in over a week) I will start thinking about new projects for the year. I have a guild challenge I want to start planning (more on that later), a holiday table runner project to plan - it's for a multi-guild exchange, and I've got tons of $$$ sitting in a huge bag from Fabric Depot (since September) for making 3 quilt tops for the beach....will probably have them long arm quilted once done. And then there's the usual weaving & dyeing projects for selling.

I did get back to spinning last night, the merino/tussah in the lilac colorway that's been on the wheel for months - even started to ply the two bobbins last night, hoping to finish that up in a couple evenings. Plying is so danged boring, especially when spinning so thin that the bobbins never seem to empty. 

Now off to the loom........

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sisters, sisters..........

No, I have no sisters but if you've ever watched the movie White Christmas you know the song. This movie is a must for me every year. I grew up loving musicals, used to watch them on the old black & white tv in the basement while sewing or crafting. The holidays just aren't the same without White Christmas. Sam got tired of watching me search for it to come on tv every year so a few years back I found it in my Christmas stocking - I can watch it whenever I want and multiple times if I'd like.....although Sam would prefer not to see it again after sitting through it once with me. So, today seemed like the perfect day to get it out to watch it while weaving. And a cup of perfect hot chocolate complete with a gourmet marshmallow was the icing on the cake, or as my friend Yvonne said, it's food porn. I recently discovered these from Marshmallow Heaven, they're made nearby in Rogue River. Today's marshmallow of choice was called Cinnamon Joe - yum! In searching for their website I found that they have many more flavors I didn't find in the local candy shop, Sandi's Candies - I think I need to try them all.........over a long period of time........

I'm trying to finish up some gifts - this is a very simple towel pattern from Handwoven magazine, one of my favorites. I started out with very elegant tan on tan towels since I need neutral colors but just couldn't stand it so out came a variegated pink - love it! I've pulled out a variegated blue jean color to use next. Nothing like working right down to the wire on gifts, not a usual trait of mine and it stresses me........

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Decor

Oh I am so bad......this is the 3rd year in a row I haven't put out holiday decor. I've got one big tall skinny tree and 3 country smaller trees along with boxes and boxes of ornaments and holiday decor. My big tree is normally covered with my own handmade ornaments, handmade ornaments friends have made and other ornaments that were gifted, a wonderful memory tree. Two of the small trees have fiber related ornaments and the final tree all my handmade japanese temari balls and origami cranes. But alas, this year these 3 ornaments are all I have out, I never even got to buying a wreath or swag to put on the gate. Where does my time go - no time for decorating! The little mouse and sheep ornaments were made by my friend Karen of Liongate Farm - she's got a website, blog and etsy shop. If you love sheep as much as I do you must check out what she has for sale - they are soooo cute. The snowman was made by Karen's neighbor Amy, I got it in an ornament exchange on Sunday.

Now that I've shown off my holiday decor, or lack of it, I'm off to thread the heddles & reed with a warp destined to become towels for holiday gifts - yikes am I ever cutting it close!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Almost forgot.....

Almost forgot that Bailey wanted to share his picture on the blog today, this was taken a couple weeks ago on the beach. We were working on our Christmas cards (this is a little part of it) in the pouring horizontal rain.....wasn't raining when we walked down onto the beach....... Anyhow, this is my starfish snatcher pooch, and that is not one of the many thousands of native starfishes found on the rocks, that is one I bought for $4.99 that he was  running around the beach with!

No, I didn't fall into the deep abyss known as the holidays.........

......I'm still here, just too busy to post. Last week I was working busily getting ready for my booth at the Pacifica Winter Arts Festival. This event has always been good to me financially, even last year when the economy was off I did well. But this year someone new was organizing and thought very little of advertising/promoting.........so the usual crowds didn't show, even those that just came for the musical entertainment and never spent any money. I suppose I sold enough to make it worth driving out there for 3 days but just barely, it was a lot of hours lost driving and sitting. Very sad for the event......it takes a lot of time to put something like this together, all for not if no one knows or is reminded it's there.

So, in the midst of trying to finish up gifts and get them shipped I got two new toys. Actually the iPad is a toy for both Sam and I, been playing and learning (circle in left lower side is not part of it, it's the reflection of the chandelier). Also got a new phone this week, all I've done so far with that is record my voicemail message, figure out how to make a call and retrieve messages, more play time to come picking my ringtone.

This morning all gifts (and some orders) to be mailed were dropped at the post office, 3 trips worth, thank goodness I print my postage online so I don't have to wait in that long line - just drop them at the counter and run.

Still have a few small gifts to finish up and a long warp to get on the loom and woven in the next week - yikes! Whatever happened to the days when I started gifts during the summer and had them finished by fall. Need to put it in my calendar to do that next year....or just make donations to worthy causes in everyone's names and not make a thing!

Eventually more pix will come but since I'm working on gifts I can't post them, never know who is reading my blog........

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chenille Scarf

One of the latest chenille scarves to come off the loom and get the fringes twisted

Pacifica Winter Arts Festival

For those of you within driving distance of Southern Oregon be sure to put the 12th Annual Pacifica Winter Arts Festival on your calendar. It's this coming weekend, Dec 4th & 5th from 10-5pm each day.  Pacifica's 500 acres are on what used to be the old Steve Miller Band Ranch (14615 Watergap Rd., Williams, OR). We, artists, will have our booths set up in the old recording studio. There is live music, lots of beautiful items from local artists for sale and food and refreshments available. I will be there with my handwovens, hand-dyed sock yarns and felted goodies. I don't generally bring roving for sale to this event but will if someone requests something in particular. Hope to see a big crowd as usual, it's a very fun festival.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CYBER MONDAY SALE

Whoo-Hoo - I'm having a CYBER MONDAY Sale in my two etsy shops. Check them out and enter 'CyberMonday' is the coupon code when you check out. Everything is 15% off. The sale starts now and in theory would run through midnight Monday but since I won't be awake at midnight to take the shops off sale folks could sneak purchases in at the 15% discount until early Tuesday morning.

eweniquely ewe - hand-dyed rovings, handwovens, felted items, jewelry
eweniquely ewe fibers - Ashland Bay Trading Co roving for spinning and felting

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I have so much to be thankful for this and every year from family to dear friends to being able to do what I love every day of the year - play with fiber!

Today is a another celebration for me - pumpkin pie will stand in for a birthday cake. I can't believe it but I'm 55 today! How did I get that old?! Yeah, I know it's not really old but I'm now heading toward 60. No monumental birthdays have ever bothered me, nothing to turning 30, 40 or 50.......and today nothing to turning 55. Check back with me in 5 years though to see how I handle 60.....might be so grateful just to have made it I'll be thrilled.

Of course, the downside to all this aging is that I'm seeing a few gray hairs now - I'm not happy about that - I love the auburn color of my hair, I don't want any grays mixed in. I've had one gray hair since I was 20 that I pull out as it grows but now there must be at least 10 of them, at least 10 that I can see when the light is just right. And what's with them sticking straight up in the air - they're just begging to be pulled! And to make matters worse I have 2 gray eyebrow hairs - what's with that?!

So how I'm spending my Thanksgiving morning is watching the Macy's Day Parade. Our little town's band is in it, estimated time to show up is around 10:45 PST. They had to raise tons of money, and I mean tons, to get there....and yes, we did our part to help in that endeavor. So far I'm not impressed with the tv coverage - will our band go by during a commercial, or will they have some singing group being shown as they pass by....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Silk Shawls/Scarves.....

Here are a few of the dyed silk/rayon shawls/scarves from the other day.......



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New chenille scarves

I wove three chenille scarves yesterday, washed last night, hung to dry and this morning fluffed them in the dryer. These are the two ends of one scarf, it's really very subtle and lovely seeing the color changes. I'm really loving this idea that popped in my head with the last chenille scarf warp so I continue to weave. Today another warp is going on for a natural/gold colorway, and then the next warp will be a blue/green colorway. Then I really need to get a different warp on the loom for gifts, cutting it close this year.

Silk shawl

Here's a pic of one of the silk shawls I dyed on Sunday. The shawls & scarves I dyed are commercially made, bought from Dharma Trading Co. and then I dye them using fiber reactive dyes. Very fun project but a pain to keep rinsing, soaking and rinsing out the dyes. This is one of the eight I dyed. It's always nice to have shawls & scarves that are priced a bit lower than my handwovens. Last year at the Pacifica Winter Arts Festival (coming up Dec 4th & 5th) I sold many more of these than ever. My thought is folks still wanted something handmade for gifts but with the economy these were a better alternative to the handwovens. I still sell alot of handwovens but last year many more of these than usual.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Need a place to find gifts this holiday season?

Ok, so a shamless plug - shop ETSY this holiday season......and all year round for that fact. Ok, so I'm not just plugging my shops, I want to encourage everyone to browse through etsy shops for their gift giving. There are so many incredible handmade items out there - everyday I see treasuries filled with the most beautiful pieces. I have already done some of my holiday shopping on etsy the past couple of weeks. If you click on the link in the first line of this post you'll get to the Etsy home page where you can search items to your hearts delight......if you want to go directly to one of my shops click on the links in the column to the right.

Treasury Scarf Sold!

Well, the cinnamon scarf in the latest etsy treasury sold yesterday along with a new 'fresh off the loom' lavendar/seafoam chenille scarf. Whoo-Hoo. Another scarf in my etsy shop sold on Saturday. Folks must be thinking gift giving.........me, I'm just struggling to create the gifts for others to buy. Still have no ideas for our Holiday cards, could this be the second time in 25 years that I don't hand make our cards - yikes! Last time I heard about it!

Am already in the process of rinsing dye out of the silk scarves dyed yesterday - lengthy process, that's the downside to the fiber reactive dyes. First two scarves have been rinsed, now they're soaking with hopes that with another rinsing or two all the excess dye will be removed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silk Scarf Dyeing.......

This morning was devoted to dyeing some silk scarves. Sure hope they turn out nice - usually they do. I buy the blanks from Dharma Trading Co. and dye them using fiber reactive dyes - I have both Procion brand dyes and Dharma brand. To the left is a silk/rayon velvet scarf - no telling what it will look like when washed out tomorrow - am hoping for a nice chartreuse. Kind of looks like camo in the photo but it's really not. So, dyed several silk/rayon velvet scarves and then some silk/rayon devore shawls - have more to do but already the thought of washing all these out tomorrow is almost more than I can bear.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In another Etsy Treasury

My handwoven cinnamon tencel scarf is in a new etsy treasury - take a look. Don't worry, I won't post each time items of mine are listed in treasuries but the one earlier this week and this one are so beautiful - wonderful choice for the themes picked. Not sure how long it will be up so check it out soon. I see some earrings in it I need to investigate........

Friday, November 19, 2010

More follies......

Me: Hello? I say as I pick up the phone from my deep sleep on the couch from my stressful fireplace adventures this afternoon

Mr: Can you tell me what kind of toilet we have?

Me: Huh???

Mr: Go read the brand on the toilet so I can buy the replacement handle and inner workings from when you flushed it yesterday and broke it

Me: It's Western

Mr: Huh???

Me: The brand of the toilet is Western

Mr: I've never heard of Western, are you sure?

Me: Nose 3" from the stamp on the porcelain, yes, I'm sure, there's a little cowboy hat over the "W"

Mr: Ok, I'll just take a chance and buy a replacement.

Me: Ok, see you soon.

Me: Hello as I run for the phone again

Mr: Is the hole where the handle fits through round, square or a hexagon

Me: It's square, as the handle comes off in my hand

Mr: Ok, see you shortly, I've never heard of Western

I should be weaving..........

    Ok, so I wound a chenille warp this afternoon with plans on getting at least the first scarf of three woven, if not the second. Oh, how plans can change.
    Since it's chilly out I decided to get a fire going before starting to weave. Got the fire going, put some big logs on and all of a sudden a big metal deflector of some sort fell from inside the top of the stove onto the fire - yikes! So then the flames are shooting up where the deflector should have been and I was concerned (panicked, heart palpitating!) about it all getting too hot and starting a fire inside the chimney. Me, being deathly afraid of fire, calls Sam at work wondering how to get this fire out - closing down the fireplace insert wasn't doing any good. Phone call ended - called 911 for help. Luckily they didn't come streaming with sirens blaring since I told them there wasn't a fire......yet. Just one little whoo-hoo of the siren when they got to the gate down the drive and had to call back to dispatch to get the gate code........hmm, they have that on file, plus I had just given it to the dispatcher. So the solution these two nice fireman decided on was to drench the fire by pouring water on it and quickly close the glass door to keep the smoke to a minimum (sure, right). They were still concerned about the big logs so one fireman put his fireproof (but not heatproof as he found out) gloves on and started carrying the big logs out the front door........with sparks flying on my carpet and couch -yikes again! Then he carried out the big piece of metal that fell.....all sits out on the front drive smoldering now. Was a bit concerned (panicked, heart palpitating again) about those sparks flying - all I could think was that the nice fireman was going to start a fire! So, other than the smoke smell in here I think (hope, hope) all is well, will feel better after a number of hours go by. I certainly couldn't go downstairs to weave and not keep watch in the living room. What an afternoon.....so now I sit and watch Oprah's favorite things gift show and worry about fire....yeah, yeah, I could be doing something productive but this makes me smile!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin - YUM

I love pumpkin! Pumpkin in any form - baked, roasted, soup, cakes, pies, Trader Joe's pancake mix, DQ Blizzards, milkshakes, smoothies, lattes......hmm, what did I miss? Whatever it is I know I love it. Unfortunately I will not be eating a piece of this pumpkin struesel cake unless I want to bake another one (not likely since I don't really enjoy baking). Sam needs something to contribute to tomorrow's turkey day luncheon at work so I baked this morning. It's an easy recipe so I've put it below for any other pumpkin lovers. And it doesn't have to be made in a bundt pan, I've also made it in the past in loaf pans to use as gifts, I think it makes 2 loaves.
Pumpkin Streusel Spice Cake

Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 cupe vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
4 eggs

Streusel Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped pecans

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Beat for 1 minute, add eggs. Beat 2 minutes more. Pour into greased bundt pan. For topping, melt butter with brown sugar, add nuts. Pour half of the mixture on top of the cake batter. Bake cake at 350 for approximately 1 hour. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto plate.
When completely cool, drizzle remaining topping on cake.

Etsy Treasury

I had hoped to post a picture of the newest Etsy Treasury one of my chenille scarves has been included in but I can't seem to link or copy it. There are buttons to push to share it with everything else other than a blog (twitter, facebook, etc). Can't seem to copy as is either - I'm usually pretty good at that stuff. I'm also not sure how long this treasury will be up, it used to be posted but Etsy has changed the format so a time/date is not listed so go look at it right away before the link is no longer good.

A Treasury is a collection of items up for sale on Etsy that fall within a theme picked by the Etsian putting it together. Items from my shops are included all the time, this one I thought was so beautiful I had to share.

Sooo, please go look at it - it is a stunning treasury - the more clicks each item gets the better chance it has of making the front page of etsy. "For those who love Red-Violet.....and Purple!!!" (click on this title)

Monday, November 15, 2010

First fire of the season........

First fire of the season.......warm & cozy tonight!

Fiber Mania - the aftermath.......

Ok, so no pictures, I guess I could have taken a picture of the aftermath sitting down in the garage - bins, rubbermaid storage boxes, bags and bags of roving - all needing to be put away today. Roving needs to be inventoried so I can update my etsy shops and get them open again. Yikers - what a day I have in store for me - good thing there's a stereo and tv down in the garage.

Final thoughts on Fiber Mania - I did quite well selling my roving and other items for this being the first year of the event, I'm pleased. I would love to see the event grow to include even more vendors from out of the area, it really has to grow for it to be worth it to them to pay for travel & lodging. All in all I had a great time, met lots of new fiber folks that I hope I'll see again, and I'm totally exhausted. I met so many brand new spinners - it's very exciting that spinning is getting a bit more mainstream, I think it's the next step all those new knitters are taking from the boom in knitters in recent years - I love it! And there are quite a few new knitters and spinners moving on to weaving. One downside to running a booth by yourself is no time to go see all the other vendors and animals. When friends would come by I'd have them stay with my booth so I could take a potty break before I had to do the potty dance - that's a new one to me not having kids - family was in yesterday and the father asked where the bathroom was because his toddler was doing the potty dance - very cute, hope he made it.....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fiber Mania - Day One

Day One is over for Fiber Mania. It was so much fun, I met so many nice fiber folks, saw others I haven't seen in a while, and then saw many that I see all the time. I sold a good amount of roving among others items. I think for a first time event it was well attended. Day Two starts in 13 hours.....wearing warmer clothes tomorrow, it was freezing in the building.........except the bathrooms where the heat hit you in the face when walking in the door. And for me to say it was cold is a lot since my thermostat is screwy and I'm usually warm/hot. Think I'll wear 2 pair of wool sox instead of the 1 pair I wore today. Next time I would also bring the backdrop for behind my table, it matches the tablecloth and is a nice coverup for the cinderblock. Off to put my feet up and veg out....talking all day really takes it out of me! And as my friend Margie (Raspberry Farm Angoras) said if I kept my mouth shut I would have stopped getting all the fly away bunny fur in it while she was shearing next door to me - love ya Margie!




Friday, November 12, 2010

Two tone chenille scarf

Thought I'd post a picture of the two tone chenille scarf after it had been washed. I love the effect. I only wove 2 of these and I'm wondering if I need to keep one of them for myself! I already have two more cones sitting on the desk waiting to go on the loom for similar scarves, a mauve and a coral - hmm, those might be my colors.........

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goings on in the studio

On Monday I wove a couple red chenille scarves. Yesterday I decided to silkscreen discharge paste on them to remove color. One scarf I used the silkscreen above which I bought from Marcy Tilton. The other scarf I used ginkgo silkscreens that I had burned myself. First step is to apply the gloppy discharge paste (bought from Dharma Trading) with a sponge brush. Then I let it dry.
Next step is to iron it and like magic the color disappears and ginkgos appear! I did do a sample first to see what color the red would discharge to - this golden color was perfect. In the past I had a purple that discharged to a very ugly orange, luckily I sampled that before doing the entire scarf.
 And here's the scarf today after washing and drying. When I wash rayon chenille I let it soak in soapy water, then rinse, then let it soak in water with some fabric softener. I hang it over a shower rod covered with a towel to dry, then when almost dry or completely dry I throw it in the dryer on low heat or fluff and it comes out drapey and soft as butter.....yum, butter.....
Yesterday afternoon I put this chenille warp on the loom. It's a soft lavendar and seafoam in the warp using a fibonacci striping sequence. Partway through the first scarf I wondered what would happen if halfway through I switched from the lavendar weft to the seafoam weft. It's really not as pronounced as it appears in the photo, it's very subtle. These scarves are hanging to dry right now, will really be able to see how successful this experiment was tomorrow morning. I thinking I'm going to like it so I've already pulled out some other colors to do more - very subtle color changes in the same value looks to work.
And here are those recent scarves that came off the loom, the faux ikat bamboo scarves. I'm not a very good photographer so I can't diagnose why sometimes when taking pictures of handwovens a weird moire look shows up - the scarves don't really look like that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Field Trip to Corvallis

Last Thursday & Friday brought a field trip for friend Patricia and I up to Corvallis, OR to visit our friend Janette who has an exhibit up at the Corvallis Arts Center. What a fun visit all centered around visiting and the fiber arts.
Above are 3 of Janette's woven transparencies in the exhibit. The center sunflower is the latest finished piece complete with sunflower seeds in the center of the flower. The leaf piece to the right of it has always been one of my favorites.
This is a large installation that usually hangs in Janette & Mark's home. The transparency shows up well against the white wall with the lighting.
Here are several other transparencies Janette has woven - all of her works  contain many different fibers and found objects, not just yarn. The one on the right incorporates printing on fabric which is they applied to the transparency.
There was another artist exhibiting in tandem with Janette's works - Bonnie Albright, her works are woven metal - quite striking and quite sparkley -  some of her work is above.
We also went to an exhibit on the Oregon State campus at the Guistina Gallery at the LaSells Stewart Center. I'm sorry all I have to show for it is a scan of the postcard. I should have taken my camera in but was hesitant as many galleries don't allow photos.....but there was no one else in there, I could have taken pictures to my hearts content. The best I can explain the exhibit is that a group of 8 artists, of all different mediums, had a color for each of 8 months to create from. We could never figure out the exact rules, it said that they were not to discuss/show their work to the other artists during this time except it was obvious when looking at each wall of color that the theme carried through many items couldn't have just happened. It was a fascinating exhibit, I wish I lived closer by so I could go by and look at it again.

And this wasn't all - Janette thought we needed to visit The Rain Shed, a fabric store specializing in outdoor/waterproof fabrics. At least 20 years ago I had ordered fabrics, patterns, zippers from them when I made windbreakers for gifts and a gortex rain jacket for Sam. The big surprise there was that in a separate area in the same building was the studio of Nancy Bryant and Liz Hoffman. What fun that they were there so we could browse and meet them. I think Janette was really hoping they were there and that was the real reason for our visit to The Rain Shed. Nancy sells scarves here locally at The Websters - her beautiful silk kimono scarves and silk collage scarves. I've always admired those scarves, now I know who is creating them and where the work is being done.

All in all we had a wonderful visit, ending with me teaching Janette and Patricia how to make felted soaps the next morning before we headed home.

More later on my getting ready for Fiber Mania.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fiber Mania

If you're within driving distance of SW Oregon stop by and say hi next Saturday & Sunday (Nov 13/14) while I'm sitting in my booth at the first, hopefully, annual Fiber Mania. The goal of the group organizing it is to grow each year and become as big as Black Sheep Gathering. There will be many vendors of the fiber arts, classes, demonstrations and fiber critters to fondle.

I'll be there with as much roving as I can cram in my booth along with many of my handwoven & felted gift items. And the best part of this festival is that it's 15 minutes from the house, if I forget something I can call Sam and plead with him to bring it over.

November 13th & 14th - 9am-5pm
Josephine County Fairgrounds, Grants Pass, Oregon
Flower Building and Patio Building adjacent to the Flower Building

Monday, November 1, 2010

Colors of Autumn in SW Oregon

After growing up in the east coast when autumn comes here I'm yearning for all those beautiful falls colors from the bright yellows to the golden oranges to the bright reds. But alas, here in Southern Oregon we have so many pines & firs there is little autumn color and then what there is just doesn't live up to the northeast. The best colors I've seen are in city yards and parks where liquid amber trees have been planted. Driving home from the weekend trip to the coast I savored what little color I saw in the mountains - yellows of the scrub oaks against all the green of the pine and fir. So, this morning I looked out on our own property to see what could be found. Above is our japanese maple.






 Here is a high bush cranberry which is set off by the rhodies, pine and blue vinca ground cover
 Here is one of the many scrub oaks, this one in Bailey's yard
And here is a smoke tree on the side yard - usually the leaves are a dark burgundy red, now they're turning a light coral/orange color before they fall for winter.

So, is there anything else I miss about the east coast.....YES! Maryland Blue Crab! But that's it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weaving away........

I've been itching to get back to the loom, way too much time away from it for someone who loves to sit in front of the loom for hours every day......putting the dyepots away has freed up my time again. Above is a faux ikat bamboo scarf warp. This first scarf I'm using purple bamboo for the weft, next one might be black, third one I'll audition different colors before deciding.

Yesterday I put on a warp of green/blue/purple handspun wool for 2 scarves, wove them off and washed them last night. Oh my gosh, they are horrible, I've never had such a failure, even in my beginning weaving. Looking at them again just a bit ago I realize that others may like them but they don't represent my weaving so off to the washer they'll go for a bit of felting. This will be an experiment - maybe they'll be slightly felted scarves which would improve them, or maybe they'll just become felted fabric to be used later in a project.

It started raining here over the weekend, finally fire season is officially over - hurray!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Odds and ends........

Been working on odds & ends today. Cleaned up floor in walk-in closet for fiber stuff....only because I could barely open the door, put away fabric, packed up things for the beach, finished up the little needlefelted pincushions in anticipation of holiday sales and put together more felting bunz kits for sale.

Hand-dyed roving ready for sale...........

These will be showing up in my etsy shop over the next few weeks - if any catches someone's fancy before it's listed contact me directly.

Above is 75% Blue Face Leicester/25%Tussah Silk - it has incredible sheen and is a dream to spin. The top left colorway and center colorway are both ones I've developed recipes for and are repeatable....Cranberry Blue I have around 3 pounds of, Forest 2 pounds. Everything else was just playing that day and I have approximately one pound of each.

Below is what's called Panda - it's 60% superwash merino/30% bamboo/10% nylon. Oh my gosh does it ever sparkle, and also a dream to spin. The one colorway sold out the day after I got them braided, weighed and labeled. There's approximately a pound of each colorway - these are all my playing on dye day, colors cannot be duplicated.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy as a bee........

Today I was as busy as a bee......I guess that saying means they're pretty busy. I started out with blocking the back and fronts of the knitted vest I'm working on. The next steps will be to sew the shoulder seams, pick up stitches along the sides for a patterned insert, then pick up the stitches on the centers fronts and neck and knit a pattern of slip stitches.

After the long boring job of pushing all those pins in to block the knitting I moved on to braiding, weighing, labeling, taking and editing pictures of hand-dyed roving - over 22 pounds of it. Good job to do while catching up on dvr'd tv programs. I used my new photo cube from Harbor Freight Co, it's a fold up white cube with a circular hole in one side. I laid a braid of each colorway in the cube and took the pictures - they turned out nice, I'm happy with my purchase. Then on to tying decorative yarn on 64 felted soaps and tagging them.
Tomorrow I've got to put all the acid dye supplies away.....dyes, tables, steamers, roaster, squirt bottles, buckets, etc. Rain and cooler weather on coming in so it's time to put it away. Am hoping to work on another cute idea I have, will post a picture if they turn out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coming down the home stretch........

I'm coming down the homestretch on dyeing for the season. Today was 8 pounds of Panda which is a merino/bamboo/nylon blend. The sheen on it as it's starting to dry is incredible. I spun a little sample before dyeing and it's a dream to spin, makes a beautiful yarn.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn adventure..........

Tuesday my friend Yvonne and I went on an autumn adventure. We started out the day heading to the Butte Creek Mill to explore and shop a bit for staples like flours, oatmeal, etc. Colors of autumn found there.


Next it was on to Union Creek for lunch and hiking along the Rogue River at the Rogue River Gorge and Natural Bridge. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of our luncheon spot, Beckie's Cafe who is known for the great pies. We both had burgers, fries and pie, me oh my! Bad year for huckleberries so I had blueberry - yum!


Yvonne taught me the names of many plants I didn't know. Below is hemlock, I was especially taken with it because of the tiny little pinecones, probably 1/2" to 3/4" in length.
What a fun day!