Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finished needlefelted postcard

Remember the needlefelted postcard I made at a guild meeting last month? Well, I finally figured out how to frame it. Of course I couldn't find the perfect frame so I bought a plain white one, painted it and then stenciled on it using Shiva Paintstiks - I love the way it turned out. Then I needed a way to sign the piece, keep in mind the felting is postcard size. So, I pulled out some black wool felt that I could stitch my name and the year on using my trusty Bernina. After much test stitching where I had to relearn how to imput the text.......correctly! I was ready to stitch on the black wool felt. After that I stitched my piece onto the wool felt using clear sewing thread. I'm happy with how it turned out.
My friend Pat who was one of the program leaders for this project last month gave me a piece she had felted that was also an ocean theme. I finished hers the same way, it turned out great. I can't wait to get over to the beach house to hang both of these on the wall........hmm, where will I put them......
This is not weaving related but it's food related and that's always important. A few years ago I submitted a recipe to Taste of Home Healthy Cooking for a soup recipe contest. I got a letter saying my soup was in the running but then I didn't make the cut to the semi-finals. Too bad since it involved cash prizes! But then last year they published it in the magazine........all I got out of that was an extra issue of the magazine. But in yesterday's mail this beautiful cookbook arrived. At first I was dubious thinking they sent me a cookbook on speculation that they expected me to pay for. But no, there was a letter with it telling me it was a thank you gift and that my soup recipe is on page 53. So if you ever see the cookbook look up my Pasta Fagioli recipe. I made it up several years ago after analyzing the Pasta Fagioli at Olive Garden - I think mine is much better!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First rag bag sewn......

Phew, I got the first of the rag bags sewn this morning. I'm hoping the rest of them go quickly now that I'm over the learning curve. My first error was in figuring the strapping, I was thinking I had enough strapping to go around the bottom of the bag - uh, way.....but the straps are sewn on securely and very strong the way I did them. I decided I wanted to line them to make them nicer looking and more serviceable with a couple pockets, lining material also from the stash cupboard, hoping I'm making a dent in those leftovers but not so sure I have yet. So the size bag I'm making will make a great knitting/project bag, spinning bag, farmer's market bag (it is machine washable) or just all around nice big tote bag. It measures 17" tall by 16" wide and has a box bottom. Sure hope they eventually sell or everyone I know will be getting one for Christmas this year!  Will post pictures of more as they are sewn, another red, two purple colorway, two pink colorway. And I'm thinking I'll put more warp on to make other colorsways, heck, I've got plenty of fabric leftovers to use up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

No brains required........

I'm kind of loving this mindless weaving for tote bags, just cut strips and weave.......suits me just fine for right now.......will get back to more structured fine weaving after I rid myself of some of this cotton stash.........

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stash busting....

I'm hoping this warp and a few more are stash busters. I have tons of leftover cotton quilt fabric from projects over the past 30 years that I'd like to recycle into something useful and that will free up space in the fabric cabinet. So, I'm weaving rag fabric to make tote bags out of. Got the warp on the loom today for 6 of them, 2 in pinks, 2 in reds, 2 in this first one woven, don't think it touched the stash in the pink pile.

More socks off to Michigan

I finished up another pair of sox that are headed to an aunt in Michigan in the next day or two. Yarn is more Opal from my stash, don't ask which colorway, label already in the trash. Trying to decide what's on the to-do list for today - need to organize mess of knitting supplies so I can start a shawl out of handspun that I recently swatched for. Need to put another coat of paint and maybe some paintstik embellishment on some frames for needlefelted postcards. Also would like to start planning/warping for rag weaving for tote bags..........want to get rid of lots of stash of leftover cotton from quilting projects and's taking up lots of valuable space and  I'm doing nothing with it. Also have tons of plastic bags from Ashland Bay roving deliveries that will be recycled into woven tote bags similar to the one I made myself last year. Want to knit some beaded bracelets that friend Kathy taught me how to do while at Sewing Expo which will lead into knitting a scarf with bead accents that Sewing Sunday friend Barbara gave me the pattern to.....leftover size 6 beads from bracelets will be used for scarves. But what is first on the list........maybe another cup of tea.......

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goal met.....

Friday goal was met, didn't watch a shred of the news, felt much more relaxed and at peace. Visited with fiber friends that came to shop roving, enjoyed it very much....did this and that, had a couple fun movies on while doing 'stuff' and realized if I needed a weather forecast could easily see it on my homepage, no need to put the news on.....besides our local weather folks are often wrong so why bother......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday's Goal.....

As I sit here this evening I've made a decision that for my mental health I can't wake up another morning to the horrible news happening around the world, Japan foremost on my mind. My goal for tomorrow will be to not watch a shred of news. I know the updates will be heart wrenching, there will be more Saturday, but at this moment in time I can't take one more morning of my chest tightening and feeling like a full fledged anxiety attack will do me in as I listen to what has happened while I slept. I'm not burying my head in the sand, I'm just taking a little breather from it.......something those across the ocean cannot do. My heart breaks for all in Japan living with the aftermath of the quake, tsunami and continuing horror of a possible nuclear meltdown.

May the embers from the open hearth warm your hands,
May the sun’s rays from the Irish sky warm your face,
May the children’s bright smiles warm your heart,
May the everlasting love I give you warm your soul.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In the pink.....

In the pink today......weaving pink, that is. This is not the best picture of the warp I put on the loom this morning but it was one that the pink sparkle showed a bit in. Hopefully I'll get this warp woven and off the loom this afternoon. I'm working on my guild challenge that's due at the June meeting. We're to weave fabric and cut into it.....see, a lot of weavers, in my guild at least, are afraid to cut into their handwoven fabric so it's a challenge for us all. In addition to cutting into the fabric an idea was suggested to construct bras, wild & crazy bras that could be used as an exhibit during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) at a local hospital, cancer center or such. I'm not sure how many will actually do this since that idea has been downplayed as some members aren't excited over it. Maybe my challenge will be the only one! But I hope not. So, I am weaving pink, very pink, rayon/cotton fabric with pink sparkles to construct my bra.....and it's going to be blingy, very blingy once embellished. Sure hope it's not terribly hard to construct a bra.......

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The Japanese weigh heavily on my mind, I knew it was affecting me but hadn't realized just how much. It's becoming difficult to sleep or to focus during the day thinking about the horrors they're experiencing over there......the loss of loved ones, homes, entire towns, drinking water & food shortages and now the prospect of a nuclear nightmare. I'm not glued to the tv watching it all unfold but one doesn't have to be, even just a short time updates one on everything happening. I looked for a beautiful picture of Japanese cherry blossoms to post so there was something lovely from the country to see rather than what's shown in the press but I couldn't hit the copy button. It certainly puts life in perspective.......the silly things we all worry about on the daily basis seem so unimportant when these things happen or when those close to us are dealing with horrible illnesses or loss.

On the local tsunami - we had several calls asking about our beach house on the Oregon coast - it is fine. We bought up the hill from the harbor and beach knowing that tsunami's can be an issue, I had read about the big on in Crescent City, CA in 1964 caused by the devastating quake in Alaska. We haven't heard if there was any damage in our town and probably won't know anything until we get the local paper on Friday. There was quite a bit of damage in other harbors south of us and in Crescent City, once again.

Today is my spinning day, getting together with all my fiber friends is always a good thing, good for the soul, good therapy for the mind and heart......

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sewing Expo - Whoo Hoo!

I have not posted to the blog for a while because early last Wednesday morning my friend Kathy and I headed up to Washington for the Sewing Expo. We were Sewing Expo virgins! What a great time we had, we both decided we would definitely go back. We did way too much shopping, not only at the vendors at the expo but also on the trip up and back home, staying in Portland one night to make sure we didn't miss out on shopping. I signed up for 9 different 45 minute seminars: Slinky (sewing on slinky fabric ala Chico's travel clothing); 2 handed fair isle knitting (no floats on the back); thread,needles & tension; fabulous floor mats, solar blueprint dyeing, sew like a pro; coats made easy, expressive sweatshirts. The Saturday night event that we bought tickets for was Ricky Tims, composer, story teller, quilter - he was so entertaining. So now on to the things I spent buckeroos on. I got pictures of most of it, a few items are gifts so can't post those.
Some of you remember my serger had been acting up. It was an inexpensive one I bought back in 1989 that worked great for 20 years and now no matter how I much it's adjusted it just won't serge right. I took it in for service and fixing and it's still not right. So, do I throw more money out the window on trying to fix it or just buy another inexpensive one - this one was only $179 in the Hancock Fabrics booth - I couldn't walk away from it. Funny, on the side it says Japanese technoloday, Made in China - kind of scary. Can't 'wait to get it out of the box and give it a try.
I bought quite a bit of the slinky fabric in black, a bit in red for making pants, tops & jackets along with patterns made for it from MacPhee. Not sure when I'll get to these.
More stencils in my favorites; gingkos & dragonflies along with lotus blossoms and if I don't have enough gingko stencils......but these are different sizes
New patterns
More new patterns, a purse and two seashell wallhangings to make for the beach
New books, these look fantastic
Sheep fabric I just couldn't resist, bought coordinating fabrics to go with, probably for a big tote.
Chiffons from the Vogue booth (oh my gosh, the low prices!) to use for tops
Gingko fabric.....for whatever
Rayon Batiks for tops & pants, some bought at the Sewing Expo, some from FabricDepot on the trip home
More rayon batiks and some fun gingko buttons
And yet more rayon batiks - when am I going to do all this sewing???
Blue grey chiffon for a wrap, silk to stash for dyeing for lining for handwovens, lots of webbing in different colors to use for straps for rag bags - goal to get rid of all those cotton quilt leftovers by recycling them into tote bags. The chiffon and webbing came from the Mill End Store in Portland- wow, what a great store!
Oh and then there was a stop at Shipwreck beads on the way up - way too much fun, so many beads, so little time. Some novelty yarns to knit beaded bracelets with, friend Kathy showed me how. A small cone of mixed yarn from Yarnia in Portland for some fingerless mitts.

Oh, and I didn't put any pictures of my treasures from Ikea - I've got their catalog, looked at their goods online but had never been there - oh my gosh, the place was gigantic! What fun to go through, and had to have some swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes for lunch.