Thursday, November 28, 2013


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

Just thought I'd let folks know that I'm having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale in my etsy shops for those of you that rather stay home and shop in your me.  Everything will be 15% off Friday, Nov 29th thru Monday, Dec 2nd. You must use the coupon code - BFCM2013 in the coupon box at time of checkout to get the discount. So check out my one SHOP with handwovens, felted gift items and embroidered towels and my other SHOP with Ashland Bay Fibers, my hand-dyed fibers and yarn.

Photography Challenge - Z is for

Zzzz's........yep, Bailey got the last picture covered here...........


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Too much noise......

There's too much noise in my head right now, can't concentrate very well. I did rethread the heddles this morning without incident, sleyed the reed, tied on and started weaving.  I can't tell you how many times I took out some shots but now I'm doing ok. I just don't get it - I rarely make mistakes and never to this magnitude. I'm blaming it on the noise in my head, too much going on, some stressful things, some overwhelming I'm trying to quiet it by just sitting and weaving the fabric for our holiday card inserts.  Only the small motif will show through the window of the card, contemplating making it so it shows from both the front of the card and the inside......will do a sample to see if that works well. This is the Snowballs No.2 pattern out of the Josephine Estes miniatures monograph with the added border between the motifs for this project, normally those motifs are right next to each other.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Sheesh - I have been away from the loom for way too long. This afternoon I decided to put a warp on to weave some fabric for our Christmas cards.
First I wound the warp of 20/2 perle cotton - cone kept falling over, it was a big cone, bottom heavy, it shouldn't have fallen over at all - an irritation after dealing with the yarn catching first on my sweater buttons (I had sense enough to take the sweater off at that point), then catching the tie on my yoga pants (which I had the sense to finally stick inside the front of my pants).
After winding the warp and getting it wound onto the back beam I started threading the heddles to an overshot draft/pattern. So what happens, I'm almost done threading the heddles and I'm looking at my shorthand notes for the draft and realize I had 2 of the same number next to each other - that can't happen - argh - and why did it take me that long to notice it. So I look for my error, pull all the threads out of the heddles and head to the post office with bags of orders to go out in the mail. Back to the loom with my rewritten shorthand notes - I finish up and I have extra threads - not a big deal if it was just a couple as I wasn't paying super attention to how many I was winding since it's just for fabric and if there were a few extra threads no big deal.  But it was 16 threads - argh.  I take my shorthand notes back to the draft and realize I forgot 4 ends at the beginning of each repeat.  Still not a huge deal as I was weaving an extra 'border' in-between motifs for extra fabric that will be hidden when I put together the cards.........except I put extra warp on to use for some small ornaments so that mistake will show up when using a 5" piece of fabric as opposed to a 2" piece for the cards - argh. So it will be back to the drawing board/loom tomorrow - just can't face pulling all those ends out of the heddles again this afternoon.  Do any of you other weavers make so many mistakes in one project? It's not the norm for me but I certainly did it today.......tomorrow I'll be much more with it.......

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Getting sidetracked........

I got very sidetracked this morning and played with my drum carder (which doesn't happen very often) blending colorful batts.....very fun. These are Ashland Bay Merino colorways; lime, peacock, sky blue and violet. I added a bit of white silk, white tencel and white angelina to the batts too. While I was drum carding I put on the DVD with the first 3 episodes of The Vikings, A History Channel series - bloody but great - now to wait for the next DVD to arrive from Netflix to watch more. Of course if I had paid attention I could have watched it when it was on TV but I didn't know about it until it was almost over.

Here the colors are being loaded onto the drum carder. It's an old Clemes & Clemes drum carder, not the biggest or the top of the line carder but for how often I use it, it's great. I saw that C&C will motorize the old ones.....for a pretty penny......Sam has said he can do it for me.....hope it's within the next 10 years......

Here are what the finished batts look like. I already have ideas for more colors to combine in batts. Now off to do something I 'should' be doing......

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photography Challenge - Y is for.......

The photography challenge that Benita thought up is coming to an end, this is the second to the last week. What fun it has been. I had quite a few ideas for Y, the featured letter this week, but I decided to scrap them all and go with one theme - Yearbooks....and yes, I graduated over 40 years ago....

Here are my high school Yearbooks, Montgomery Blair High School to be exact, in Silver Spring, MD right near the DC line. It was a grand old gigantic school with many huge 3 story old brick buildings. After I was long gone they built a new school not far from the old, I'm sure it didn't have half the personality of the old school, it also may have not had 3 flights of stairs to walk to an English class and no air conditioning. Over the years, old school and new, Montgomery Blair has been the location our past Presidents and our current President speaks from when doing a news conference centering around education......I've always wondered why they drove over the DC/MD line and didn't use a school in DC for those.......... Now you know what's coming next, don't you???  Something you never see on this blog other than the tiny picture to the right that I only put up a couple years ago under duress.

Yearbook picture - 10th grade - I took photos of my school picture out of the yearbook (and cropped out my silly looking neighboring kids photos) as who knows what box the real photographs are in under the steps. Not only does the quality of the real photo look better but it was in color and I was super tan in each picture from spending my summers on the Jersey Shore - that was before we ever heard of skin cancer or wrinkles and skin damage/aging being caused by the sun.

Yearbook picture - 11th grade - yep, showed up for this class picture wearing a scarf I sewed into a halter top and no bra and hip hugging jeans - but who knew in the picture....and I wouldn't have cared anyhow.

Yearbook picture - 12th grade - there should have been a law against this. For our senior pictures the photographer didn't come to the school, we had to go to his place of business.  I got there wearing exactly what I wanted to wear in the picture and he said 'oh no, you're wearing a black pullover and pearls just like every other single graduating senior' - argh. I can't believe they make girls do this these days - it probably violates their rights. I was pretty grouchy over it all and had to force this smile. And yes, the same hairstyle all 3 years of high school, down my back, long and straight.......right after graduation I had many inches cut off......over the years I've reverted back to the very long hair until it strangles me in my sleep and I finally get tired of it and cut it off again......who cares if guys like long hair, they don't have to deal with it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Photography Challenge - X is for.........

This weeks alphabet photography challenge letter is 'X'. I had many ideas but short on time I only took a photo of one of them. X's on the calendar - these are very important X's - they are marking down the days until Sam retires at the end of the year - whoo hoo. He will still work a week a month thru April to help with the company transition but officially he is retired on December 31st. But no fear, he will have plenty to keep himself busy with clearing of brush and dead trees on our 5 acres amongst a multitude of other projects. And he promises he will take over shipping, receiving and inventory control of the fiber side of my business - whoo hoo big time. This will give me back much needed time at the loom and to work on other fiber arts & crafts I've been missing this past 6 months as the fiber side of the business takes more and more of my time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Curling revisited

I've gotten numerous emails about curling since my post - I'm not the only one who loves the sport. Cousin Claudia posted a comment to my post with a link to the Colbert Report of him visiting the US Olympic Curling team and giving it a try - very funny.  Here's the LINK if anyone is interested. Yeah, yeah, most of you aren't interested but I know a handful of you are, those closet curling enthusiasts that you are.  Cousin Claudia also mentioned that there may be a curling club up in Seattle - I googled it and there is - Granite  Curling Club. You can bet if I'm up there I'll be checking it out and maybe even giving it a try......might have to be a trip Sam and I make rather than one of the fiber events as my fellow fiber peeps I travel with may not be quite as enthralled as me to give curling a try.

Update:  as if you were waiting for with bated breath for this update - I googled Curling Clubs in Oregon and there's one in Portland around 4 hours north.......and then there's one in Klamath Falls, a couple hours to the east although that one didn't have much on it's website as far as when they're even open and the page with info on curling was in some other language....kind of strange.....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crossing things off the to-do list......

I'm working on crossing things off my very long to-do list - the problem is that it never seems to get any shorter.....and some things seem to stay on it for years......but I'll get some gratification marking many items off the list in the next month as they're timely and need to be done......those others will probably be there this time next year.

Last week I started some socks for Sam - I've never knit him any brown ones. For the past several years I've put a pair of handknit socks in his Christmas stocking, sometimes still on the needles but they're there - hopefully these will be finished by that time and in the stocking minus the needles. He's usually too busy to read my blog so I'm not worried about posting this.

The knitting above is for some small gift items - can't tell what they are - sorry. One of my followers can probably figure out what I'm knitting as she knit and posted them on her blog a while back. I did get some other knitting and then felting of the knitted items done this past weekend so progress is being made.

And then on the sewing front I've been making progress - yep, can't show the finished sewn items but I used all of these fabrics up yesterday and today - whoo hoo. They are some beautiful fabrics that I bought at Top Stitch, my local (well, as in 45 miles away) Bernina shop. Aren't the chickadees cute?

Love the Chinese umbrellas too, and the orange in both of these fabrics.....

......and the cute teapots and dogwood flowers.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get some beading done, or at least pick out the beads for a project, and maybe make hangtags for all items knit and sewn. I'm trying to stay home as much as possible this week so I can stop feeling quite so panicky about the holidays coming.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Curling.....and other things.......

Anyone that really knows me is aware that I am not especially sports minded, I'd be quite ok if I never watched any sports on tv but in this house during baseball and football season I do see my share.....or rather I knit while listening to it. Not that I don't love attending a baseball or football game in person - growing up and later I did attend many an Orioles and Redskins games. I dated someone eons ago that had season tickets for Washington (DC) hockey and basketball - hockey was fun but I don't like basketball at all, really don't like it, really really don't like it, relationship was short lived.  But a couple Olympics ago I discovered Curling - oh my gosh, this is my sport.  If we had curling sheets here we'd have to go curling like other people go bowling (oh, don't get me started on bowling - yuck, sorry bowlers). So, what brings this up you ask? Or maybe you didn't ask and don't care. Cousin Jim called me over the weekend to let me know that the Olympic trials for curling are this Friday thru Sunday on the NBC Sports Network - I quickly went to find it on the satellite guide and put the shows on to dvr. I can't answer why I'm enthralled with curling, is the big granite stone? the sliding on the ice? playing with brooms? or is it the crazy outfits some curling teams wear?!! I'm still just learning all the nuances of the game as I usually only see it during the Olympics but I'll be watching these trials so when the Olympics come I'll be familiar with the teams and players. Yes, this is all pretty crazy but it's fun.

On the fiber front - still not too much happening here, no weaving at all but I've been knitting and felting up a storm and doing some sewing for gifts, which of course I can't post pictures of on the blog. I was out for all but one day of the past 14 so not much accomplished here lately......I'm hoping to make a big dent in the gift creating side of things this week. The business, weaving and roving sales are going great......a little too great on the roving side as it takes too much time from the creative side of my business.....but it is good income.

Pet peeve of the day - 5 recorded junk phone calls today. Are there no consequences from the feds or state for these calls? We're on the federal and state do not call lists but they just keep coming - I could have lowered my credit card interest rate 5 times today........if I paid credit card interest. There's at least one call a day, sometimes two but today was a record with five.......maybe they figured more folks would be off work for Veteran's Day.........thinking of that a Happy Veteran's Day to all those out there who have and still are serving.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photography Challenge - W is for.......

Welcome sign on the front of our house

Whirley-gigs over at a shop on the coast

Woodpile up at neighbors Carol & Merle's place

Woodpile close-up

Waves in Bandon, OR

Washed Ashore Project - check out the site to read about what the organization does to promote the problem of trash in the sea......what an incredible organization this has become all from one woman's vision and passion. If you're on the Oregon coast stop by to see the exhibits, help create displays out of trash collected off the beaches which is very sobering, make a donation. And check out the site to see if any of the creations will be on display in your area.

Washed Ashore's Henry the fish

Washed Ashore's Lidia the Seal

Monday, November 4, 2013


Spent the weekend on the coast......lots of relaxing, walking, bit of knitting and reading......another teasing pic of gifts under construction.

Friday, November 1, 2013

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

Working on this and that today......dealing with fiber orders to get out, bookkeeping, laundry, tags and packaging for this year's inklings (the one group of gifts that's just about finished), blocking knitted items......part of one is above but can't show the rest of it as they are gifts........hmm, looks like I need to go adjust a couple pins.......

Still feeling like I'm treading water and the arms & legs are tiring........need to find balance in my life, not a new thought, just not good at following through. Not sure how I'll get gifts done this year, some I don't even know what I'm doing.....wondering if handmade holiday cards will get out by the time the holidays come.........  Anyone else feeling overwhelmed??? Maybe next year I can slow down so I actually get the house decorated and can sit down with my cup of tea in front of the fire and enjoy it.......I already know I won't have time for any decorating this year other than a wreath on the gate.

Oh, and the excitement for the day - catching a baby blue skink (lizard) that was determined to go downstairs to the studio - I was running after him down the stairs trying to catch him, fast little bugger.....and Bailey wanted to help as he's fascinated by the lizards out in the front yard. Finally I got him under a cup and relocated him outside.....he must have snuck in when I had the front door open yesterday afternoon.