Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Back east this was a huge evening for my big extended family with plates of fried shrimp in the frito misto batter (we forgo that now for a lighter panko crumb coating), fried oysters, scallops, incredible fish soup, calamari in a tomato sauce, teaila (fish casserole), cocktail shrimp and whatever else we could come up with. I will never forget my father going down to the wharves in DC for the oysters and then working down in the basement at the laundry tub shucking them - he and one of my aunts would also eat a few raw (gross). Dad always saved some for oyster stew a day or two later.
These days the menu consists of the fried shrimp, we don't like west coast oysters so none of those, calamari, shrimp cheese ball appetizer, crab dip, smoked salmon and sometimes fish soup, scallops, crab cakes. We always have roasted peppers - my grandmother and mother were roasting peppers when I was very small, decades before you ever heard of it being done mainstream. Me - I'd be happy with a big bowl of cioppino and a loaf of crusty bread. I am so out of it this year I haven't even given any thought to the menu - with Christmas two weeks away it's time for a family discussion on the menu and who will make what.
On Christmas Day dinner - we never used to have much of one - it was always leftovers from the night before with a pasta dish on the side. Oh, and Christmas cookies with coffee for breakfast while waiting for everyone to wake up for present opening. My grandparents lived next door so between the houses and family visiting there were a lot of people to wait on in the morning.
Oh, and the Christmas cookies - dozens of kinds - trays and trays of all different kinds of cookies, traditional family recipes. That's another thing we don't need tons of out here with only 5 of us and two of them diabetics- I'd be finding Christmas cookies still in the freezer 10 months later! If I make one cookie this year it will be an accomplishment.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thank goodness today I had already showered before it went out at 7:24 this morning. But being 9 degrees out the house got cold very quickly. I knit for a while, did some other things that required no electricity, then finally my hands started to hurt, I was just too cold (not my feet though with 2 pair of handknit wool sox on them). So, down to the garage to figure out how to take the door off the track for the electric opener - hurray, mission accomplished and off in the race car to town to do errands in heated stores! Power back on around 2:30, thank goodness not as late as Tuesday. So, now how to get that garage door back on the track.........
Right before I lost power this morning I was reading Theresa's blog about Christmas traditions - I have to admit it made me cry - what wonderful memories. I've been having a hard time with Christmas the past few years, having dealt with my Dad's terminal cancer and alzheimer's with holiday hospital stays and hospice over the next holiday. I'm just having a hard time getting in the mood. But when I have electricity I am loving the process of making gifts so maybe by next year the entire house will be decorated again with my 4 trees. This year so far all there that's up is a fresh greenery swag on the gate that Sam somehow hung upsidedown - kind of funny. Guess I will have to get or make a table centerpiece since I am having the traditional Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes at my house this year.
Oh yes, and back to the weather - good news/bad news. The forecast is for the temp to warm up a bit tomorrow, bad news is that they're calling for snow and/or ice.......sheesh.........
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Everything else I'm working on right now is for gifts so no pictures.
All good on the home front - in spite of being 10 degrees when I got up there were no frozen pipes after Sam's fix and power stayed on today.......well, kind of, lots of power blips that were just enough to screw with the computer, satellite and my sewing machine which is computerized and would go back to the default straight stitch each time there was a blip - right in the middle of me sewing!
I enjoyed reading everyone's comments, water/power horror stories, we were definitely lucky.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Now off to shower.........finally now that I've got water and it's hot again...........
So, on the fiber front - no pictures to share at the moment. I'm working on Christmas gifts which can't be shown on the blog right now. Switched from the loom to the sewing machine and was having great fun yesterday stitching away. Three years ago I bought a Bernina to replace my old faithful Sears model that I had since 1973. It's the most incredible machine, I would highly recommend Bernina to anyone looking for a new machine. As for my old Sears machine, which was the top of the line when I got it, it's in the storage room, I can't bear to get rid of it, it's still a great machine needing service only once in 36 years.
I spent Saturday at the arts fair, bad economy evident........not anywhere near the numbers of folks milling through as usual, and not as much spending. I didn't sell as many handwoven scarves but sold numerous hand-dyed silk scarves which are 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of handwoven. I sold many other items in the moderate price range, sure glad I have varied prices in the booth or I may not have sold anything. So, taking into account my hours spent at the fair it was still worthwhile.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Spent the better part of the day getting things ready for the Pacifica Fine Arts & Crafts Winter Festival this coming up Saturday........checked my bag supply, change in the cashbox, etc. Tomorrow I'll get everything packed up in plastic bins for transporting and make monster-size almond macaroon cookies that I donate to be sold at the festival. Friday afternoon is decorating and booth set-up - miles of garland, lights & red bows and more evergreen swags with red bows than one can imagine.
Weather has been foggy and cold for almost 2 weeks now. It's a chill-to-the-bone cold that doesn't subside. There have been areas less than 15 miles away with sun but the fog hangs low near us. Just up the road on the Sexton Pass it's been 20 degrees warmer and sunny because it's above the fog. So, we just keep the fire going to stay warm & cozy indoors. The only bright spot is that there is no snow in the forecast for the festival this weekend - it's threatened many years and there have been horribly icy roads for my drive in the morning in the past.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We have tons of turkeys on the property, and most choose to scratch and make a mess out in my small flower bed area when they've got 5 acres to play on. I tell them to watch out or they'll end up in the oven.......they must know it's a hollow threat since neither one of us would be willing to kill and then butcher a turkey. Our turkey is in the oven and came from the grocery store - it's being basted every 30 minutes with wine & butter, it's Martha Stewart's Turkey 101 recipe and is the best we've ever made.
I haven't had time to post any pictures of what I'm up to fiber wise in a bit, I have been busy though. Some of what I'm working on can't be posted since they're holiday gifts. I did finish weaving the towel warp, stack is waiting to be hemmed. I decided to weave off a long warp for mug rugs that's been on the small loom longer than I want to even think about - they just didn't interest me. I will get a picture of those up on the blog soon - an 8H twill pattern.
December 5th is Pacifica's 11th Annual Winter Fine Arts & Crafts Festival in Williams, OR. I'm busy finishing up items for my booth. Mostly what I showcase and sell the most of are my woven scarves & shawls but I also have knitted and felted items, felted soaps, jewelry, shibori silk scarves, spinning/felting fibers for sale. It's really a wonderful festival - in addition to art booths there is food, this year wine tasting, different musical entertainment each hour and free kids activities. Even if I didn't sell a thing it would be a fun day.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I spent some time figuring out a towel warp that will go on the loom next but first I need to finish up some UFO's sitting in piles in the studio starting with twisting fringe on the 3 chenille shawls, first one almost finished this afternoon. I also have some felted items that need needlefelting embellishments.........and then there is more photography work which is always a struggle.
Saturday is another weaving guild meeting (other guild met this past Tuesday) where we'll be having a silent auction to benefit the scholarship fund. Tomorrow I need to find the perfect item to contribute to the cause. This event last fall was a huge event, very fun fundraiser.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I used a blue rayon chenille weft for this scarf adding a black accent at each end of the scarf -
Monday, October 26, 2009
Decisions, decisions........what should go on the loom next! It's between one of my hand-dyed bamboo scarf warps or some commercially dyed bamboo - 2 solid colors and a variegated.......oh, and then there's more chenille calling my name, not to mention 3 different piles of cones of cotton sitting on the floor waiting to become towel warps. I may have another day to think on it - may be heading out for a shopping day tomorrow.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So, I have pictures of Jennifer's handspun to share. Jennifer is in my spinning group when she's not away at school like she is at the moment. She came over last month one day while I was dyeing roving and helped out. She brought some blue-gray roving to overdyed - here's a picture of it spun up - it's beautiful!
And here are pictures of her handspun out of my hand-dyed merino tencel in the harvest colorway - isn't it beautiful! The sheen of the merino tencel really sets off the colors. Thanks Jennifer for sending this pictures to me. Unfortunately this colorway in the merino tencel is sold out at the moment - very popular. I do have some of this colorway left in the Falkland wool and the Blue Face Leicester wool. The recent convertible mittens I knit were spun up from the BFL.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The second row and first 3 (reading left to right) on the third row are Colonial Wool. And the 4th in the third row and fourth row are Superwash Blue Face Leicester. I dyed over 34 pounds total. I can't wait to spin up some of the SW BFL - it feels so incredibly yummy........will have to wait, other fiber in the works right now.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Yesterday was a roving dye day - 17 pounds! I dyed 13 pounds of Colonial Wool and 4 pounds of Black Blue Face Leicester. Will post a picture once completely dried and braided for sale. Tomorrow will be another dye day - another 17 pounds in Superwash Blue Face Leicester........will be touch and go on if I finish up all 17 pounds in one day again. Need to get it all done since we have a break in the weather, great days for being outside all day dyeing.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Much of yesterday was spent taking pictures of scarves & towels to soon be listed in my etsy shop. It takes so much time to do that chore, and then there's all the editing.....which is still in process. Picture taking is a struggle for me but someone has to do it and I don't remember hearing Bailey volunteer.
Back to the loom............
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday night found 14 of us at the Sushi Track in Wilsonville for dinner - what great fun! Saturday morning we had to do the traditional ferry ride across the Willamette River from Wilsonville to Canby (very small very - 6 car max) to spend the day at the festival. Each year there are more booths to see and spend money at. I didn't spend much this year - some goodies I found are in the bottom picture. I didn't need the tote but I just couldn't resist at a bargain price. Saturday night found us at a tiny little Thai restaurant - this time 17 of us, hopefully we weren't too loud for the handful of tables of other diners.
Sunday morning it was back to the festival until mid-day......we then headed south to the Corvallis Fall Festival where I found these two glass pieces, I just can't resist gingko leaves. Then to Trader Joe's again for groceries and a case of wine and home.
What a fun and exhausting 3 days it was. I really wasn't going this year to buy so the best part was having fun with all my fiber peeps, those that went up from here and those from other parts of the state, Washington and British Columbia that I only see at conferences and festivals. What a great weekend of fiber bonding it was.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I so enjoy playing with dyes, I'm getting good at predicting color outcome except the bottom center roving - it looks nothing like what I expected. When I painted the dye on it was 8" of forest green alternating with 3" of dusty purple - it's like the colors did something strange on their own in the steamer!