Saturday, December 31, 2011

As the end of the year looms…..or here we go again….

Ok, so here it is, the end of another year looms, it’s just hours away. I made the mistake of reading my blog on this day last year. I don’t make resolutions since they just get broken but I do try to have goals. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t do better in 2011 but I most certainly could have done worse so I won’t lose sleep over it all.

I have done better at giving myself a break for not being quite as productive and working every minute of the day, could have done better but baby steps are good.  Actually where I can really see that I gave myself that break is in my weaving, less weaving done this year than any year since 1986. That’s not exactly where I wanted to cut back since weaving is what I love to do most but it did leave more time for sewing. 
I still haven’t made those quilts for the beach cottage…..Oh well, fabric is aging in the studio. Speaking of the beach cottage, there is vintage furniture still waiting to be painted, I did get some painted but spent more time walking on the beach and relaxing. Oh well, life will go on….not to worry. I did get some fun decorating done at the cottage though.
As for my mental health, slowing down and saying no…..still not totally there but vast improvements. There are a couple times I didn’t say no quick enough and I’m still paying for those….live and learn….although one would have thought I had learned by now.
So, what’s in store for 2012….first on the list is getting a sample warp on that 40H AVL to get the bugs worked out…..definitely more weaving this year than last. More spinning is on my to-do list too.  And maybe even those quilts for the cottage will get made. I’ll still be dyeing hundreds of pounds of roving for sale but I’ll cut back a little more in 2012 as I did in 2011…..I need to keep it fun. I’m hoping to find time to do some research on my Dad’s family, it’s one of those things I just haven’t been able to make the time for….hoping this is the year. Another thing on the very long to-do list is to revamp this blog, it’s long overdue but there are never enough hours in the day.
It’s been a year of losses, some very sad times this year….I know it’s a part of life but it sure is hard to deal with at times. Life goes on, just different. And, as always I’m grateful for friends and family who still surround me....and for all of you who come back to visit my blog and read my ramblings....
And what did Bailey have to say when I asked him his thoughts on 2012? "Sheesh Mom, you woke me up from my nap.....thoughts on 2012? more sniffing,chasing those pesky squirrels, barking, exploring....and napping on the couch". With that said it's time to make a margarita and think about putting together our cheese fondue for the always we'll be asleep long before midnight. I wish you all a peaceful new year.....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Select rovings on sale.....

I've just added 4 rovings to the sale section of my etsy shop. These are colonial wool, which is what Ashland Bay calls Corriedale. Very easy to spin, great for felting. They're now 25% off until they're gone. Time to think about winter sales to clear out old colorways to make room for new.
On another note, this morning is a better morning, to start with coffee is brewed perfectly, there's nothing better than a perfect cup or coffee or tea.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


....not sure why but I haven't felt like posting to my blog, no pictures to share....well, maybe there would be if I took pictures of some of the things I made for gifts since I made some for myself.....just don't have the umpf in me to take the pictures.... dreaming of weaving, haven't done near enough this past year, the new avl awaits me, plan is to get it warped up next week with a sample/play warp to get the bugs ironed out.....too many other things going on, no time for it this week....

....have around 35 pounds of roving to weigh, bag and label (take pix of new colors) so it can go up for sale in one of my etsy enthusiam for that job either but it's got to be done, good mindless work to do while watching a movie, maybe tomorrow afternoon....

....I do wish everyone a safe and peaceful new year, I know ours will be low-key, relaxing and very enjoyable, exactly how we like it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More buttons......

More buttons!!! And I love these buttons, they're all old ones and they came with a fascinating story. I won't relate the entire story since it's not my story but they were gifted from weaver friend Nadine. She grew up in logging camps here in Southern Oregon and many of these buttons were ones that were in an old treadle sewing machine cabinet drawer. There are some really beautiful ones. And some of those are the cards aren't that old but they have prices of just 15 cents on them. I'll be finding the perfect canning jar to hold them all and will store their story with them for others to read long after both Nadine and I are gone. Of course, some may be used here and there for special projects in the meantime!

Finally this morning I finished up the last gift - socks for Sam. I can't believe how down to the wire I have gotten...whatever happened to those days when I had gifts made by autumn.......

Monday, December 19, 2011

This isn't the greatest picture since it was taken with a phone but it's all we had with us on the coast this weekend. Most of the boats in the harbor were all decked out with lights, the sailboat was my favorite. Others were much more prepared with big cameras with big lenses and  tripods but we gave it a go with a cell phone.

Below are some old glass floats, the real thing, that a dear friend gifted me last month, I like them in this pottery bowl, the outside of the bowl has seashells on it. Old floats have a beautiful soft color as opposed to newly made decor floats that are intense shades of blue & green.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making headway.....

Progress on holiday 'stuff'. Gifts almost done, just a few finishing touches, a few left to sew but since they're for local  family stockings. I've almost got cards finished, will finish them up in the morning and get them mailed. They're not actually handwoven this year but a picture of my handwoven piece mounted on a dark green or dark red card - boundweave santas with trees and gifts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sun and other things....

SUN!!!  We have sun this morning, and it was first thing this morning - this is one of the things I'm grateful for this morning. You see, we've had freezing fog for over a week, thick fog, thick cold freezing fog. Mind you, just 10 miles away and parts a bit further east the fog would burn off during the day, not so here at my house. It's still cold but it's sunny and I'm happy! 

Second thing to be grateful for this morning is not having to stand in line at the post office. I got there shortly before they opened, a line quickly formed behind me and I'm sure they were cringing at all the boxes on my rolling cart that they thought needed to be dealt with before they could post their boxes. Little did they know that my boxes already had postage on them since I do that here at home online....I'm sure I made their morning when the post mistress saw me before they were officially open, took all my boxes and I left. And I was very happy to be in and out of there in less than 30 seconds. Of course more orders have come in this morning since dropping those orders off but I'll brave the post office with those tomorrow.

So, I still have no fiber related pictures to share.....santa's elf is winding down, have some glittering to do this morning, one more gift to box up to ship, then other local gifts to wrap. Have you ever used Martha Stewart's glitter available at Michaels Craft Store? It's superfine and absolutely beautiful.

There was no time over the weekend to take the 40 harnesses off the AVL, build the new ones and put them back on - fiber related potluck parties had to be dealt with first. But Sam is hoping to take a few hours off early this afternoon so we can knock that out. As soon as I'm finished with gifts and our christmas cards which aren't even put together yet, I'll be getting a warp on that loom.

So, on the food front - a new restaurant opened in town - Pho Sur, a vietnamese place. Yvonne and I tried it out and loved it....and our cute little vietnamese waitress.  I had to try the bubble tea - this is taro flavored, you can see the tapioca bubbles in the bottom of the glass, there's one stuck in the huge straw too. I liked it, definitely think it will be a refreshing drink for summer.

We had to  try the fresh rolls for an appetizer, yummy! So light and yes, fresh tasting. And then we both had Pho for lunch, this is a picture of Yvonne's Seafood Pho - I had Fish Ball Pho, kind of like big fish tapioca! What we weren't prepared for was the size of the bowl - it was mixing bowl size! Wish we had known that when we ordered. I think they need a half Pho on the order - Yvonne said half pho her, half for me....... We each took home multiple servings of Pho. This place is now added to one of my favorites in town, I like that it's so light and fresh, not heavy or fried food.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I love buttons....especially old buttons!
Aren't these beautful?
I needed many buttons to embellish my sewing projects, thought I'd be heading to the fabric store for some but decided to go through my button stash and found everything I needed. I have a pretty good stash but my cousin gave me my Aunt Fran's button collection this past year - what great buttons! Many are old, even found some bakelite ones, some newer. I spent way too much time sorting through buttons but what a wonderful morning it made after I finished up my sewing. Eventually I'll organize all the buttons by color family and store them in canning jars so I can see them on the shelf whenever I'm in the studio....but for now back into the boxes.

A glimpse into what's getting stitched.....

I can't show what I'm currently sewing but I'm almost finished, maybe another hour this morning and I can then move things aside and bring out the embroidery machine again. These two selections of fabric are for me, the ones for gifts are already sewn.....a picture will come later in the month.
I love gingko leaves in case no one has figured that out yet from the silkscreening I've done with gingko leaves on handwoven fabrics.
And my current obsession with sealife/beach colors shows up here. I know, I know, there's no weaving to share - a chenille warp still sits on the Macomber but I have no deadline for it so it sits while I work on gifts. The new wood slats for all 40 harnesses of the new AVL will arrive today via UPS so hopefully I'll carve out room to take off 40 harnesses, build new ones, move heddles over and get 40 harnesses back on the loom in the next week. This is a job that's much easier with two people so I have to work around Sam's work schedule and my own schedule. Once this is done I'll be putting a sample warp on that loom to do some playing on.

I'm getting a little panicky at how soon Christmas is sneaking up on me, have gifts to finish up and get in the mail. I got my first Christmas card over the weekend - Yikes, I haven't even figure out ours yet, they're always handmade.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A little holiday cheer......

I have tons of huge rubbermaid bins filled with holiday decor.....a total of 5 trees of all sizes, hundreds of ornaments, all with meaning or handmade, handwoven holiday linens and on and on....  But the past few years I just haven't felt like decorating, it just all seems too stressful spending a couple days putting it up, then after the holidays a couple of days taking it down. I gave myself permission to not feel guilt over not wanting to do it and it's's worked so well I could easily never decorate! Last year I did put a big wreath of local greenery on the gate but that was it. So, this year I've decided to do a tiny bit more. I haven't gotten the gate greenery yet but I have put a wreath out front and my two log reindeer have taken up residence out there too.

I pulled out the little 2 ft tree and put my inklings on it. I first saw inklings in an older Handwoven magazine, they're little folks made from strips of inkle weaving. Well, of course they made me laugh so I had to just take off with the idea and run with it, each year for a number of years I made one or two of them. And you can't make just one of each so I'd make a number of them and gift them to family and friends. They're now collectors pieces. I've even got family that plan on willing them to others in the family when they pass on. I haven't made any in a few years but I've got my list of ideas so who knows....maybe next year! 

I love them all but some are really special to me. They all made me giggle as I was making them. So fun collecting 'props' to go with the theme, so fun to make the little faces that all end up looking different. I'm sorry the detail doesn't show in the picture, some are intricately detailed. All time favs are my geisha with fan and umbrella and samurai complete with sword and kumihimo cord - I made them after listening to book on tape, Shogun, 33 tapes! Then there's my flying nun and brigantine monk complete with a box of fudge. There's my 60's hippie and mother earth, the spinner complete with drop spindle and handspun, knitter and weaver with her weaving book (yes, actual pages in it) and basket of shuttles, raddle & yarn, alaskan fisherman, the american indian and cha cha man (mexican guy), the santa & angel, the snowman complete with felt carrot nose, a wizard in honor of my late Uncle Dave who was an amateur magician and had a wizard collection, a clown, Uncle Sam, Father Autumn with rake & leaves and a commemorative one for our ANWG weaving conference in 2001 in the conference colors.

Maybe next year I'll get back to making more, have a long list of other ideas but just haven't been inspired to get started. And yes, I guess I am a little warped and silly when I get inspired. And no need to ask to get on the list to get one......someone has to die for that to happen and we don't want to wish that, do we?

Thank you Auntie Pat!

"I love my mom's birthday this year, Auntie Pat gifted me with a new sheepie to celebrate! My other sheepie, my favorite baby, totally fell apart last month and has been sitting in the hospital, the doctors have been saying sheepie might be beyond help though. Thank you Auntie Pat for a new sheepie!"

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 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 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'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.... 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......


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 those pumpkin pies!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I miss trick or treaters......for the past 19 Halloween's we've lived in rural America, on acreage, far off the road, no trick or treaters venture up long driveways (1/3 mile up and back down a steep hill here) they head to neighborhoods in town. I don't get to see the great costumes and have no excuse for buying tons of candy.....although I still usually buy a bag or two that disappears long before Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I need a drink!!!

I definitely need a drink after today, a BIG drink! The loom is almost finished and Sam and I are still talking, that's a good thing. Every once in a while it got a little testy but not directed at each other but at the directions, or lack of......there were some diagrams but in two spots where diagrams would have been a huge help there were none. I can't tell you how many times I read the step by step instructions over and over for us so we could try and figure it out. We were missing two small lock collars that I'll ask AVL to drop in the mail, also no dobby manual as referenced in the basic loom manual....think it would help to have that. Few other issues we had to deal with like holes not drilled all the way on harness bars for one, Sam came through with fixes.

Here it is - the front apron still needs to be put on, as the dividers on the sectional beam. Bench is still in the box in pieces, maybe tomorrow evening....maybe......
Here's a look see at the 40 harnesses and compudobby box. Of course, we have not plugged in the laptop and turned it on yet so we're keeping our fingers crossed that it works. Not sure when I'll get a warp on it - coming into my really busy season for business so it might be a few weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coming along........

Ok, so in the instruction manual AVL says it will take from 3-8 hours to put the loom together - no way! I think the 3 hours must have been for those that got it mostly assembled on a crate....but then how do you get it in the door??? It took almost 3 hours just to get all the boxes opened and figure out the parts.....and then there were the 2 parts both with #16 on them, luckily when we found the second #16 we had already used the first #16 in the right spot. All in all it's not too bad. Missing a couple little parts so far but nothing that could hold us up from finishing, I'll contact them to drop them in the mail.
So, here's the back of the loom - 13 of the 40 harnesses are put together and on the cables.
And here's the side of the loom with the dobby box - after we finish putting on all the harnesses there's another part of the box with all the electrical parts that covers up these cables. But we're done for the day, we're tired and have other things to do this evening.....hopefully we'll finish up assembly tomorrow, not sure when I'll figure out turning it all on!

And in in the beginning.....

Left & right side panels put together with cam assembly......missing 2 small pieces for cam assembly but not a game stopper as far as assembly goes.......who knows, maybe they'll turn up in another box........after lunch we hook the 2 sides together.......this is not a 5 minute job........

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's here!

Whoo Hoo - the AVL V-Series is here! We had it delivered to Sam's company since a freight truck could not turn around up here at the house. Hmm, looks like a lot of assembly to me.........

Thursday, October 27, 2011

more upbeat.......

After finishing up guild administrivia publishing the guild newsletter for the two guilds and getting the membership list updated and mailed out with the newsletter I decided it was time to turn the day around and throw out that melancholy feeling.
I pulled out my embroidery machine to play. My friend Pat had given me 3 t's and picked out what she wanted embroidered on each so I worked on those - love the results! Just playing put me in a much better mood - so much more fun to play than do what I should be doing.

Then I got a phone call from the Rogue Gallery to set up an appointment for next week to bring scarves & shawls for the Spirit in Hand Holiday Boutique that will run for over a month. I had submitted a disc with photos a few weeks ago for jurying.  

And finally, I got an email from AVL saying my loom is shipping out today! Hmm, wonder when it will's only got a 5 hour trip up the highway to get here. It will be shipping to my husband's place of work since the freight truck can't negotiate our driveway. I've been waiting since mid-August for it to arrive - I'm so happy! Of course, the next couple weeks is so busy I'm not sure we'll have time to put it together but after that I can relax and devote lots of time to it.


Feeling a bit meloncholy today, not sure why, woke up that this has turned into a really slow morning of frittering. Have had a panicky feeling lately about how much I have to get done in the next couple of work...too much adminstrivia...too many things I really don't want to do...oh well, maybe next year I'll get a better handle on it, was hoping for this year but it's not happening.
On a lighter note I finished plying this handspun from Panda which is 60% superwash merino/30% bamboo/10% nylon. It's a dream to spin. This is a bit smaller than fingering weight, 1150 yards in all...not sure what it will become when it grows up but I'll come up with an idea soon. I only dyed 2 pounds, so glad after the first pound sold I set aside the rest for myself.

I ordered something this morning, a little bauble to lift my spirits but will wait until it arrives before spilling the that time I'll let you all know which blog's banner I spotted it on and how that blog owner enabled me to buy it!

On another  note - Tuesday a delightful group of ladies came to visit my studio and learn about weaving, the local neighborhood chapter of the American Sewing Guild. I'm afraid I strayed from talking about just weaving, afterall I do so many other fiber related things. Anyhow, very nice afternoon with some very nice people.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A bit of spinning.....

A bit of spinning took place while on the coast this weekend, did some reading, lots of walking, then decided to pick up the spindle and some superwash merino I had dyed a couple years ago.....once spun there should be enough of this for a pair of sox. Isn't that a cool pillow in the background?! It was made from a bathmat - Sam thinks it's weird, actually downright scary - I love it, bought a light blue one too! Forgot the camera once again so this was taken with the phone, not too sharp....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New on the loom......

I spent part of my morning putting together more felting bunz kits, this time the regular ones with the primary, secondary, neutral colors.....was getting low on them so figured since I was on a roll from yesterday's new felting bunz I might as well keep going.
After lunch I put a new warp on the loom for some chenille scarves....I needed to get something on the loom so it's not naked next week when the American Sewing Guild comes to visit. Now the hard part is not to weave them all off....I had to force myself to put down the shuttle. If I knew I'd have time to get another warp on before Tuesday I'd weave them off but I have other things on my schedule between now and then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hmm, where have I been, no posts since last week.....spent the weekend on the coast, absolutely beautiful crisp fall weather, actually short sleeve sunny fall weather. It was a good for the mental health coast weekend, no chores, just walking, reading and relaxing. Yesterday I spent the morning with customers that came here to my studio for scarves and roving, then the afternoon spent trying to put away piles in the loom room and sewing room - next week the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild wants to come for a short talk on weaving which will include a show & tell and tour of my studio space. They came a couple years ago but apparently a number couldn't make it so they wanted a second go round. I was really hoping by now the AVL would be here so I'd have something new to share with them but it's word on the latest delay (nor the first until I e'd them), need to drop them a line again to find out the status.
Today was my spinning group day - spinning days are the best two days of the month.......hmm, pretty exciting life I lead here but I love it.....more often than not it's the only time I spin.......and it's good for my mental health to get together with my spinning peeps. After I got home I decided to put together some new felting bunz kits with muted colors. My other kits are more the primary/secondary colors plus natural, black, brown & gray. I thought all these soft colors might be a nice complement to the other kit. The new one is now up for sale in one of my etsy shops.

I suppose tomorrow or Thursday I better get something on the loom for the Sewing Guild to see.......

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing catch-up.....

I've been playing catch-up Chris arrived for a whirlwind visit, flying in Friday, leaving Monday so not much else got done around here other than visiting.....weaving guild on Tuesday and trying to finish up some partially finished projects since then. I did get the fringes twist on four tencel scarves, added beads to the fringes to give them some bling.
Yesterday afternoon I started making more felted bling and finished it up today. These are little felted balls that I've hung charms and beads from. The original ones I did last spring were for my spinning circle peeps to hang on their wheels during the nwrsa conference. Of course they can also adorn necks in addition to wheels. I have a yellow one hanging from my Majacraft and wear a lime green around my neck often. I added the metal chains to these, now they're all packaged for sale.....except for the gray one with earrings in the lower right corner - that's for me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wiley coyotes......

We have coyotes, many coyotes from the howling we hear during the night. We hear them often right outside our windows, we see new coyote poop daily on our walks. I'm sure they're feasting on the turkeys and jack rabbits from the looks of the poop. But I have never seen one, they are some wiley coyotes.....until yesterday morning when three of them decided to sneak up on the turkeys roosting in the trees in front of the house. I'm not a lover of the turkeys who feel compelled to scratch around in my flower beds rather than on the other 5 acres surrounding them, if they pulled out a weed or two maybe I'd be ok with it. But I will not be a party to the coyotes eating their breakfast right in front of me.....and not in broad daylight just minutes after Bailey and I came in from our walk. So, I opened the front door, "you wiley coyotes, get out of here" while the turkeys were squalking and complaining. They gave me a glance and eventually walked off but obviously were not happy with me interferring with a fresh turkey breakfast on the horizon when one of those stupid turkeys decided to try and make a run for it. So, turkeys give me a break on the flower beds - I was your defender. Silly me, I should have grabbed the camera to get a picture......I was contemplating the gun but I really would rather not kill one of those wiley coyotes unless Bailey was in immediate danger.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More adminstrivia....and a reward

More administrivia today.....all I want to do is weave, spin, sew or knit.....but never ending administrivia. I spent time taking pictures of scarves for sale, above is one of the rayon chenille scarves that I silkscreened discharge paste on in the gingko design. Pictures never do these justice. And then after taking numerous pictures, editing them and saving them I got to run the vacuum - red letter day! So, I decided a reward was due, after I dropped off orders at the post office I drove to town (totally out of the way by at least 10 miles each way) and picked us up take-out from Abu's Deli & Oasis.....the entire house smells like lebanese food.....going to be hard waiting for Sam to get home.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Administrivia - argh!

Today was yet another day filled with's starting to get old, too much administrivia, too little time to create. I started out my day by printing out labels for a delivery of Ashland Bay roving, I then weighed out 8oz bags of many colorways - 45 pounds in all, then put it all in inventory. This took a major portion of my day. Here are some of the new Merino/Tussah silk colorways - I especially like the bottom two. Now these, a few other new colors of merino and colors I had run out of need to be listed in my etsy shop.
Last night while watching tv I reskeined some laceweight merino/silk yarn I had dyed, today I got the labels on them. There are two of each skein. I like the dye results - a kettle dye look.
This is a cute little shelf I found at a new little antique shop in town - it's going to be perfect for the beach cottage. I also found a little wooden box with a drawer with a carved flower - it's painted red, I'll repaint it seaglass teal......and a few pieces of inexpensive crystal including a beautiful little lavendar dish, all perfect for showing off seashells. I found this new shop after I left my spinning group heading  to the grocery store....needless to say I never made it to the grocery store!
And then there's Bailey - he kept standing in front of the camera wanting his picture taken - happy pooch.
As much as I'd rather be doing something else tomorrow I need to take pictures of handwoven scarves - they won't sell if I don't list them. More administrivia..........

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back to weaving.....

I've been doing too much administrivia lately and not enough of what I want to do. After busy-bee computer work this morning I decided it was time to finish off the tencel scarf warp that's been on the loom forever. I thought I had only put on enough for 3 scarves but when I finished the purple weft one there was a lot of warp still on the back beam. A quick look at my notes I saw I put on enough for 4 scarves so the last one is a rust/brown weft. All weaving finished and scarves soaking in the sink at the moment. I'm think I'll add tiny seed beads onto the fringe of these to go with the nice sheen of the tencel.

Today is a special day - it's been raining all day long! I love it. I realize many areas of the country had way too much rain this year but we haven't had rain in close to 4 months and this cool rainy weather means the fire danger level has now dropped to moderate. The end to fire season is a good thing, hoping it happens very soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

new toy.....

Here it is - my new toy! It's my Hansen mini-spinner. I've been playing with it today, fine tuning my storage for it and tension, etc. Of course I can't do much spinning on it right now because I've got to finish up what I've been spinning.....don't want to have a change in the way my finished yarn looks by switching methods in mid-stream. But I do have some corriedale cross hand-dyed rovings I need to spin small samples of so I get to play with it this weekend.
This rolling cart is the perfect size for storing and toting my spinner around. It's a smaller version of several larger carts I now own for carting my spinning with wheel around (and other stuff). The Hansen mini-spinner fits inside this small cart with all it's accessories perfectly with plenty of room for roving. And it's the perfect little table to set the spinner on for spinning. My bigger carts are great for toting my wheel around - I can put all my supplies inside the cart and bungee my wheel on top -  helpful when going somewhere to demonstrate. Now I could buy a Zuca bag like many others with this spinner have done but I'm not ready (and may not ever be) to part with $200-$300 for it, no matter how neat it is. My cute little cart was $13.99 plus $5.49 for the lid - what a bargain. And the larger carts aren't much more.