Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Still here.......

Yes, I'm still here, just been so busy and nothing to share picture wise, so here's a picture of a clothespin llama & sheep. Both are made with old fashioned clothespins glued together to make a body, painted and then wrapped with roving. Cute, huh?

Spent a long weekend on the coast, beautiful weather, no walks on the beach. Even though it wasn't windy or stormy the waves were huge and covered the beach, we did stand at the top of the sand watching gigantic logs being thrown around in the surf, good time to steer clear to avoid getting hurt.

Spent the last 2 days working on the dreaded 'administrivia' but today hope to get to the sewing machine. I'm still working on gifts so no pictures to share.

AVL news - after Sam adjusted the magnet so the sensor picks it up the AVL is now working - so cool to hear those solenoids fire off when it's started up and to go through the treadling and watching the harnesses raise up and down. So, the latest issue are the wood harness slats, I should have known when putting all 40 of them together that those holes that were drilled crooked or not all the way through would be an issue. Harnesses are catching on each other because they aren't quite square which then means they jump off hooks, springs sprong underneath. But help is on the way - AVL is sending me all new ones (80 pieces in all). Of course this means removing all 40 harnesses, putting together new and tranferring heddles over.....but I'm starting to get excited. I'm thinking that around the time I finish up gifts I'll be ready to put a warp on the loom and start playing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

I'm really very bad about promoting myself....I'm having a Black Friday to Cyber Monday sale in both of my etsy shops.....little behind in getting the word out although many took advantage of it over the long weekend. There are select hand-dyed rovings for sale in my one shop, select Ashland Bay roving on sale in my other shop. Check out the Black Friday - Cyber Monday shop section to see which are on sale.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy day???

Happy Birthday to me........age doesn't really matter to me but a strange feeling came over me last night as I was thinking about turning 56. I'm heading toward 60!!!  Isn't that the grandmother era of life??? Yikes!!! I still feel like I'm in my 30's....or at least 40's! How could I be the age of grandmothers?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give thanks.....

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. My favorite Tom of all the turkeys here posed for a profile shot the other day - he certainly is a handsome, noble looking Tom and as far as I know he's not gracing anyone's table today. So beautiful in comparison to those white turkeys raised for our turkey dinners......although I don't think he's any smarter!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin time.....

It's pumpkin pie time -  no, I'm not making pumpkin pie from scratch - my usual these days is picking up one of those $5.99 huge pumpkin pies from Costco - so good, inexpensive and I don't have to do a thing.

Pictures of pumpkins are on my blog because I can't show what I'm working on these days, gifts, nothing like last minute frenzy. I know, some may not think this is last minute but it is for me. There may not be pictures to show for a few weeks but I'll be working away in Santa's workshop none the less.

I'm feeling better about the new AVL today. Melody (AVL techie help) called me and we discussed my issues, she is wonderful, very patient, easy to understand and knowledgeable. Well, I was right, something was wrong, I wasn't being dense or crazy. Back in the summer when AVL sent the Weave Point software to me it turns out it was the Toika Loom version - not the AVL version. Of course I wouldn't have known this until I went to hook it up to the loom. So, hopefully tonight we'll uninstall the other version and get the correct one on the laptop, and the new updated driver too. Maybe soon there will be a picture of the first warp on the AVL....but not until Santa's workshop is caught up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love this Hansen spinner.........

I love my Hansen spinner!  I just plyed two big bobbins off my Majacraft onto the one on the electric spinner - this would have taken me 2-3 evenings to do - it was done in an hour - whoo hoo!!!! I love spinning but I hate plying. I am one happy camper if I don't think about the AVL challenge.....  :-)
I have over a pound of this stuff left to spin, it's lumpy bumpy and rough.......it doesn't feel good going through my hands, I'm not sure what I'll do with it. If it doesn't feel any better to me after washing/blocking I'll pass the rest of it on to someone who loves working with it. My big skein is sitting in a sink of water and wool wash as I type, will hang it by the fire to dry tonight.

First fire of the season......

This is the first fire of the season, I just got it going good a few minutes ago..going to be warm and toasty in here soon.

I needed something comforting, sit in front of the fire and crochet or ply my current spinning, trying time with the AVL. I haven't written about the progress lately on the new loom because other than getting it all assembled I haven't had time, plus I'm still waiting for 2 manuals that were promised week before last. So, today was the day we decided to turn it on to make sure it's all working.......well, can't get past page 1 of the manual, the screen on the laptop looks nothing like the screen in the manual - no where to choose which compudobby version I have, and only places to choose harnesses up to 32, I have 40 - argh! So, here I am at a standstill until I can contact AVL tomorrow....email already sent but am hoping to talk to someone. I'm an intelligent person but this is way more challenging and stressful than I expected....and I thought my only challenge would be learning it.....not the fact that manuals are non-existant or lacking. So, maybe a nice hot cup of tea and a sit in front of the fire will do me good......tears earlier didn't make me feel any better....

I love pottery!

I love pottery! So does Sam. We skipped going to the coast as originally planned and instead stayed right around home so we could go to Clayfolk's annual sale. We need no pottery, I should keep repeating that to myself before we walk into the Armory for the sale. We did restrain ourselves.......we had to buy a few things, after all there's a beach house with only 2 pottery soup bowls so far. So we walked away with a cheese tray, 2 beautiful thin yogurt/fruit bowls (in the back, picture doesn't do them justice), 2 small bowls for sauces and Sam wanted a new mug. There was one potter with the most beautiful vases that were so shiny and had such a beautiful glaze in seaglass colors that it looked like blown glass......I kept my credit card in my pocket though, they were very spendy and I just didn't need to spend that kind of money.

After that we visited Morrow's which carries vintage building supplies - found a couple of fun glass light shades to make fit for ceiling fixtures at the beach cottage and an old pane window for decor over there - all bargains....sorry, all packed up to take over when we go next. This place had a gigantic collection of knobs and door handles/trim - going to be counting how many knobs I need and going back. And no website for Morrow's...they don't even take credit cards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's that time of year again......

It's almost turkey time and the turkeys here at our house are very showy right now. They roost up in the pine trees out front at night, this morning they were very talkative. They all took off to forage for bugs except for this Tom who must be in love with Sam's truck which is sitting out there until I get the middle bay of the garage totally cleared out of Fiber Mania booth 'stuff' later today. He's a fine looking Tom - he must know that he's safe here, we're not about to eat him for turkey day.

Hoping today all the Fiber Mania bookkeeping and piles are taken care of - need to move on to finishing up a chenille scarf warp and start on Christmas gifts - yikes! I'm just starting on them!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best day of the month......

Today is one of the best days of the month, there are two of them, therapy days with the best therapists in the world.......it's spinning!  I belong to the greatest spinning group around, we've been going for over 15 years, it's not a public group, just a group of friends.......a rather large group of friends. We are all always asked if others can join us but it's pretty much no for an answer, not because we don't want them but because we're so big and we have no space for another body, let alone a wheel. The joke is someone has to die before someone else can come in, so far no deaths but occasionally someone moves away, then someone else can be invited to join us. Several years ago another group formed around 8 miles away in the next town to accommodate those always asking to join our group....I understand they're now having space issues too, and then there's another group probably another 8 miles from that one. I definitely think our town could support a second spinning group so hopefully someone out there will start one up to accommodate all the folks we have to turn away. We have occasionally had a spinning in the park day where we invite everyone who wants to come but we didn't do that this last summer....must have slipped our minds.

It took all day yesterday to get roving inventoried and my etsy shops open again.....still have piles of things that need to be put away from the weekend, bookkeeping to do but today is therapy........

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's over.......almost.......

Fiber Mania is over for another year - I had so much fun visiting with friends, old and new and I did really well in the sales department on top of it. It was a great success in my eyes and from the looks of all the happy folks hanging out all day/weekend long. But it's not over for me - the center bay of the garage is full of bins, props, weavings & such that need to be put away. Everything needs to be inventoried today so I can get my two etsy shops back open by the end of the day. Thank you everyone who came to this event....and to all those that stopped and visited with me......and shopped!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fiber Mania.......

Set up for Fiber Mania was Friday - I must be getting old, setting up 8 ft tables for all those booths killed my back, followed by setting up my booth and the raffle booth area.
Here's looking in my booth as folks come in the front door. Cinder block walls are ugly but there's not much I can do about those especially since they're probably 20 ft tall. Handwoven scarves are on the 'tree' on the right, I sold a number of them today which surprised me as this is a fiber festival and many that come in make their own scarves.
Here's the back of my booth, definitely think that table cloth needs a topper on it, it's kind of blah, but then it was so crowded with people all day I don't think anyone noticed. I usually use a cloth backdrop that matches the tablecloth, we built a pvc structure for it that makes it adjustable from 8-12ft. I saw these screens on sale recently and decided to give them a try, probably need both to cover up that cement.

Here's the hand-dyed roving.....those beautiful inlaid wood yarn swifts are made by someone I know, sold one today, hoping to sell more for him tomorrow.I moved things around before opening to set some of those handwoven rag tote bags up on top of the wire cubes to show off better.....and I definitely need more wire cube shelving.....
At the end of the booth is Ashland Bay Fiber as there is on the left side which you can't see. Some handwoven scarves and shawls on the rack.

I have some wonderful friends who helped me out with set up, thank you Kat and Debbie, it was unplanned but very welcome.....and then my dear friend Yvonne sat and spun in my booth today helping me out with sales and when I needed breaks. Tomorrow I'll be on my own, it will probably be a bit slower first thing in the morning so I should be ok. It's so much fun doing a fiber event in my own home town - so many folks come in that I know, many that I don't see very often, and then new fiber friends made.......I'm dead tired but it was a wonderful day of visiting along with the selling.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

....and the piles are forming....

.....here are piles of goods for my Fiber Mania booth sitting in the hallway to the garage.....handwoven scarves/shawls still need to be packed up but I'll do that at the last minute to avoid wrinkles......wait a minute, is that Phil the pheasant trying to sneak into the red rolling cart???
.....and here are the stacks of bins in the garage where the roving is stored - that's 2 rows deep worth of bins.....hmm, wonder if all this plus my booth display stuff is going to fit in the truck and van....wonder if the utility trailer is full of yard debris or empty......

grump......

I'm starting to get a bit grouchy, too little creative time, too much administrivia...hmm, common complaint from me lately.....changes need to come....need to be strong about sticking to those changes.

Today and tomorrow will be spent pulling out all my booth fixtures and packing up goods so I'm ready to head to my local fairgrounds Friday to set up for Fiber Mania. Big plus - this fiber event is only 15 minutes from my house....I forget something, dh can run it over to me. Anyone reading this within driving distance please come by Saturday &  Sunday from 9-5 - Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass, OR. My booth is right inside the door - stop by and say hi - I'll have a wall of colorful fiber among other items for sale.

On another note - hold up in the technology department - waiting to hear from prez of AVL who promised this week all my questions would be addressed....good thing I'm so busy this week not to dwell on a new loom not in use since I have no clue where to go next....another manual with basics will help. But other technology is on the move - finally ordered and received a battery pack for my Hanson mini-spinner so I don't need to be near an electrical outlet - I can spin anywhere on it now....well, after I charge it up.

Hmm, maybe next week will be creative.........after I inventory everything and get my etsy shops back full of goods Monday after Fiber Mania.......

Friday, November 4, 2011

Silk Scarves

Oh, I am woefully behind on so many levels.....I did a little catch-up yesterday taking pictures of silk scarves for sale, still have more handwoven scarves to photograph. Am still caught up in way too much administrivia.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Toy.....

Here's the new toy I ordered last week - a Jeri Brock Turkish Spindle! Now, I didn't find this one myself, another blogger enabled me. I saw it on Fiberewetopia's blog banner and wrote her to ask about it.......not only did she tell me about it but directed me on where to buy one! I had to pick it up at the post office yesterday which made me late to my spinning get-together but I wanted to show it to everyone.....several others wrote down the name and where they could get one, and I found out my friend Cathy has one on order. I bought mine from The Spinning Loft but one could also contact Jeri Brock directly - she's on Ravelry under the name jeribrock. (that roving is some of my hand-dyed polwarth wool)

On the AVL front - haven't had time to even try turning it on yet, so busy for the next 2 weeks preparing for Fiber Mania. Also still waiting for answers to a few of my questions. Can't wait to have lots of time to devote to learning it.

It must be autumn - $5.99 pumpkin pies at Costco.......was over in Medford today dropping scarves/shawls off at the Rogue Gallery so also did many errands including a stop at Costco.....love those pumpkin pies!