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!