Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Packaged and out the door........

 It's always a rush to get something packaged up and out the door to the post office. I know I could do better but I strive to mail out an attractive package without too much additional cost. First almost all my items have this hangtag on them. It's a folded hangtag with item details and washing instructions on the back and a small story about me on the inside. The only items that don't go out with these labels are my embroidered towels and a few other small items, they have miniature tags.
 Here is the scarf wrapped in tissue with a reusable gift tag ready to mail. I also put a thank you note in the package and place it in a reusable plastic bag to protect against damp/wet during shipment, then into the shipping bag or box. My reusable gift tags are newer to my packaging - I created them using a tag punch with cardstock and then gluing on a piece of handwoven fabric.
I stitched up a couple of these towels the other day just because I thought they were so darned cute. There are two of them for sale in my etsy shop now. I haven't spent much time at the embroidery machine lately but need to get back to it because I've got some great new designs. I buy my digitized designs from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.  If anyone is ever interested in a particular design please let me know, I'd love to stitch it up for you - my only restriction is that it must not be larger than 4" x 4" as that's all my inexpensive little embroidery machine will stitch.  Look how cute that towel looks with my tea mug, total coincidence - hmm, I might have to stitch one of these up for me........



Monday, June 26, 2017

Pastels and food

 The pastel scarves have their fringes twisted and are ready for sale in my etsy shop. Pastel is not something I usually think of for a handwoven scarf but they turned out lovely. This one has a pale lavender weft...........
.........this one has an ecru weft. A customer of mine requested a pastel scarf in these colors, one of these may or may not fit the bill, it's her decision.

Today I met friend Theresa over in Medford to shop Top Stitch, our local Bernina store, that was having a fabric sale - yikes. Then to lunch at The  Ram Restaurant and Brewery - I had a great Asian salad with macadamia crusted chicken. It doesn't look like a big salad in this photo but believe me, it was huge........and good. The Ram is a chain that recently opened in our region, I have regularly eaten at one of the other locations up in Salem. They brew beer too but I'm not a beer person so I can't review that - the food is wonderful. Theresa gifted me with a box of bamboo from her late father's stash, so in turn, with trying to make room for the bamboo I gifted her with a bag of linen which she loves.

Big storms yesterday afternoon and evening - many fires being chased down today from the lightning strikes. Have I said yet this year that I hate fire season???  And the wind did a number on my fig trees - sure hope it didn't hurt them because they're loaded with figs this year.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Pastels

 I have a customer who asked if I had any pastel scarves, nope but I did tell her when I had some time I'd weave something. She requested pink, blue, lavender, green and yellow. I put all of those in this tencel warp that I wound and got on the loom today. Here is auditioning of weft colors - decided to go with the pale lavender and ecru, which actually looks pale yellow in the photo.
Here's the first scarf with the pale lavender weft. It's now finished, next up the ecru weft one. Will my customer like these? I have no clue but I'm hoping she'll decide one of them will work for her. I'm not really sure how well pastel scarves will sell so I'm only weaving two of them.

The robo calls continue to stream in.....the do not call registry does no good. Yesterday one number called 15 times, as late as 10:45pm. I did report this one to the FTC - not sure it will do any good but it made me feel better. Today there have been 6 calls.....so far, one from that same number. I might have to find out how to block numbers - there are too many different numbers showing up on caller ID to get them all but perhaps I could block a few of the repeat callers.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

 Today I worked on another baby quilt for charity. The fabric was donated and was fun to put together, it needed some quilting in the center of the blocks so I quilted a star in each one. Very fun. Think I've done enough charity baby quilts for a bit........need to do some sewing for myself soon.
 Recently I silkscreened discharge paste onto a handwoven chenille scarf. I hadn't done this in a while, I did think to check my discharge paste to make sure it was still good unlike last time when it had lost it's umpf. The paste almost worked too good as it bled through to the wrong side so the backside of the scarf has ghost images of the gingko leaves. This has never happened before......but I'm wondering if maybe it was the different brand of chenille that was the culprit. The scarf is fine but I'm not happy with that happening.
Here it is finished. It's amazing how different brands of chenille will discharge completely different - usually I get a really yellow gold but this chenille discharged to a goldy/lavender.........it's very pretty......just different. This scarf is up for sale in my etsy shop. One of the pictures in the listing does show the ghost imaging on the backside if anyone is interested.

Lavender Fields Scarves

New hand-dyed, handwoven, tencel scarves in my etsy shop - a turned twill design





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another day, another crisis

Another day, another crisis in this country. Is it never ending??? What goes through a person's head when they head out with a gun for a morning of target shooting fellow human beings???

I could only take so much of the news this morning so I moved on to activities better for my mental health like making and putting tags on handmade journals and then weaving. Here's the first scarf on the painted tencel warp I put on the loom a couple days ago.


And here's the second scarf on that warp. These are ready to be washed tomorrow. I didn't feel like starting a new audio book while weaving so I put on Netflix and watched/listened to a totally mindless and funny movie to get my mind on things other than what's going on in this country - Bridget Jones Baby. It was actually just what I needed - no message, just silliness. I would have loved to have watched more Frankie & Grace but a friend and I get together to do that while lunching and knitting - she'll be over in a couple weeks for our Netflix day. 

There's a new product from Ashland Bay - knit sock blanks ready for dyeing. What fun! I just got some listed in my etsy shop.  The blanks are 4oz and approximately 435 yards each which is enough for most knit sock patterns. They are single stranded so if identical socks are wanted they will have to be folded in half to dye or if a person is good just dye it identically all in one length. This summer I'm going to dye a pile of them for winter knitting but I'm thinking gradations for shawls and scarves, both knit and woven. Gradation yarn is really popular right now and there are tons of knit patterns being designed for it.

These are 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon and they are a 100% USA product. The merino is grown in the US, the yarn is spun in the US and they are knit into blanks here in the US.

Pet peeve of the day - robocalls. Whatever happened to the effectiveness of the Do Not Call Registry???  It stopped working years ago. My guess is that those companies have gotten much more sophisticated and can work around it. Now on caller ID it shows local phone numbers and business names but if the phone is answered one will find out that it's really a bank card company trolling or someone telling me my windows computer will be shut down by Microsoft. Because we have caller ID I don't pick up the phone but I still get tired of hearing it ring all day long - so far today 11 calls with no messages left, a tell tale sign they're not legitimate.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting an attitude adjustment

I decided I need an attitude adjustment so I'm working on that now. There are too many things in life that cannot be changed easily, if at all, so I've got to work around them. I'm cutting back my news watching....no, not hiding my head in the sand but if something is going to upset and I can't do a thing to fix it I'm going to try and keep it from cluttering up my mind.  I did spend the entire day in the studio, which was great, even if it wasn't all creative time.......just being in there was good for my soul.
 I posted some journals I recently made, here, I hadn't stenciled the inside cover of the green one at that point so I did it this morning. I'll take this journal over to the coast with me for drawing/writing.
I put a painted tencel warp on the loom and started auditioning wefts. I've got two scarves to weave on this warp so I need to find two different weft colors. Two of these are ok but I'm not really excited about any of them. I've got shelves of tencel but I don't think there's the perfect color. I'll look at it with fresh eyes in the morning and decide what colors will work best.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

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

Been kind of in a funk and uninspired this past week - can't put a finger on exactly why.........maybe I'm tired of the news and the damper it puts on each day........going to make an effort not to watch as much unless this administration starts to implode, then I will watch and applaud. It's even affecting my weaving, I sat in front of the laptop for hours/days working in WeavePoint on some new drafts and I just can't get them to look the way I want...........so, what's a gal to do, put it away and play with something else.
Today I decided it was time to frame a few cross stitch pieces I finished up this winter and bought frames for. I'm very happy with all three of them. I've got a couple more to frame but they won't fit ready made frames so eventually I will decide what I want and have Sam make simple frames that I can paint and embellish to go with the cross stitches.

I finally finished up some chenille scarves - not exactly chenille season but it's what I'm weaving when over on the coast. This would make a great men's scarf but would be equally as nice for a woman. A golden brown and sage green in a Fibonacci striping sequence.

This scarf came off the same warp but looks a little different. Both of these are now up in my etsy shop for sale.

I also put on a black chenille scarf warp. This one is solid black but the other two will eventually have discharge dyeing done on them in leaf designs. It's always a surprise to see what color comes shows up when I silkscreen the discharge paste on. Usually with black chenille I get a light golden color but when I did a test piece it's a silvery color this time. It all has to do with how the yarn manufacturer dyed the chenille - totally out of my control.  So, I'll discharge one scarf and see if I like it enough to do the second one in a different leaf design.