Sunday, August 31, 2014

The last of the dyed roving......

This is the last of it, the last roving I dye to sell - whoo hoo. I've been cutting back the past 2 years from the hundreds of pounds I'd dye each summer to less than 100. It's taking away from time weaving and I'm just plain old burnt out. I've been dyeing roving to sell for somewhere in the area of 10 years - time for a change. In the future any dyed roving I do will be for myself or for gifts. All of this will show up in my etsy shop for sale as soon as it's dry, weighed, tagged, bagged and photographed.

On the schedule yesterday was a merino/bamboo/tussah silk blend - 10 pounds...
....and today, 6 pounds of merino (3 colorways on the left) and 6 pounds of merino/tussah silk (3 colorways on the right)
Yesterday morning while I was toiling over the dye steamers Sam (on the left) went out for a ride in Tom's (neighbor down the road and our painter) 1924 Model T that he put together years ago from original parts. I had to stop and gab for a bit to find out the details on the cute little car.

Here they go.....

....down the drive and out onto the road for a spin.  Sam said it was a little scary going down the drive because of the speed it picked up - no real brakes, it's all controlled by the transmission. Did you know the gas is gravity fed in these cars?  If you're going up a hill and low on gas you could easily stall out....luckily there was plenty of gas in this one for the drive back up our hilly driveway. After Tom left our house he had to go back home to pick up his dog to take her for a spin - she was not happy he left for a drive in it without her.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Yesterday morning I started winding a 12 yard towel warp - didn't last long because of the danged heat - this record setting hot summer is wearing on me. This morning I finished the warp and started to wind it on the back was hot and stuffy......this cotton warp haloed.....ack.  It happens once in a while that warp threads will halo and catch other warp threads but this was a record - I couldn't get one revolution around the back beam before I was pulling apart the warp thread halos here and there. Does anyone out there know of a solution other than using this cotton for weft?  It's good cotton from Henry's Attic and I have huge cones of it and would rather use it for warp. This morning was an exercise in patience. I wish I could have gotten the heddles and reed threaded and started weaving but I had to go to town so it will have to wait.

Supposedly our temps are coming down for Saturday & Sunday (back up starting Monday) so I may get some roving dyed......if the forecast is correct.

Insult to injury - on top of a summer and probably an autumn full of wildfire concerns - now many wells in the region are drying up due to the two years of drought. Sheesh........

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Majestic buck

There are 4 huge bucks that hang right outside the kitchen window - by the time I got the camera this morning they had moved up on the hill maybe 30 feet away. By the looks of the lawn they're sleeping there overnight...I'm sure it's much more comfy than this brown crackly stuff on the rest of our acreage.

Look at the rack on this guy - how beautiful.  The other 3 have racks just as impressive. I think he's been sharpening his. This afternoon as I was filling up the hummingbird feeder I was hearing footfall down the ravine on the side of the house, then clanking - no one should be down there so I was getting a bit worried about what it was.....then it dawned on me - it was the antlers clanking against each other as the bucks were facing off. I was only able to catch a bit of the battle as they got closer to the house without disturbing them - not close enough for photos.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 Got me a stick, got me a stick, a good stick, really good stick........ sand in my mouth, sand, sand in my mouth......'s in my teeth, gritty sand in my teeth......stick my tongue out....maybe it will go away....

 .....licking sand off my lips.....getting more sand in my teeth...... more sand in teeth Mom - see....see my mouth, see no sand......
This was a cool sight yesterday morning as the marine layer was burning looked like a fog rainbow over the inlet.

Nani slippers

These are Nani slippers - my Italian grandmother used to make these for everyone in the family - they're crocheted using Red Heart yarn. Everyone had them and treasured them. Nani has been gone for around 15 years now so Nani slippers have all worn out but my cousin Jim found these in his mother's things and he passed them on to me last, they haven't been worn yet, haven't been able to as they're probably the last Nani slippers in existence but I will this winter. Nani lived next door to me growing up and took care of me while my folks worked - she taught me how to crochet, embroider, sew, cook, bake, make sausage, pasta and probably everything else I know how to do these days with the exception of weaving, spinning and knitting.

We spent the past 5 days on the coast escaping the heat and doing a little work in the kitchen at the beach cottage.....well, actually Sam did a little a lot of work in the kitchen. Friday was spent getting the old dishwasher and stove out - what a production since they weren't installed/wired/plumbed correctly. I was so happy to get rid of them - the dishwasher sounded like a jet engine, the sound couldn't be escaped anywhere in the house or even out in the yard - this new one is so quiet we can sit in the living room (8 ft away) and hear the tv without even turning the sound up. And that old Jenn-air downdraft range couldn't be de-scummed even with sandblasting. Love this new simple smooth top range.....installing this was a challenge too because of previous wiring issues. There's still lots of work to do in the kitchen - I have to paint all the cabinets but that has to wait until we figure out countertop color - yesterday I found that to be overwhelming after bringing home samples. New flooring will eventually come but that will be last.

And this is the crowning glory of the kitchen right now. I saw sliding spice racks online and decided it was the perfect use for this skinny cabinet only most of them were too tall including the drawer space above or way too expensive as in close to $200 just for the sliding device and shelves. So, Sam bought the drawer slides and made this for me..........all for around $15.  I love it. I showed him the other skinny cabinet and a big deep cabinet on the dining room side of this peninsula so he can make sliding drawers for those too.

Friday, August 22, 2014


I got the yarn I was spinning at the fair plyed, blocked, ready to use.  On the top is the cashmere/silk blend.....I didn't have much of this roving but I still got 223 yards out of it, not sure what it will grow up to be.  On the bottom is the superfine merino that my friend Kathy G had done the dyeing on when she came over to help me on a dye day. I love it. I got 483 yards in a fingering weight size.  This colorway is sold out in my etsy shop as of this week, not to be repeated but maybe I can get close to it on a future dye day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On the front lines

Here's neighbor Merle on the front lines of the Old Blue Mtn fire yesterday - it's the one near friends of mine.  He and his buddy own a fire truck, a water tender and bull dozer - this fire truck is working around the clock with him and his buddy working 12 hour shifts. Merle is in his 70's and works like a 40 year old, or maybe that's 30. Carol said he came home last night smelling like a smoked fish after working in that bowl for 12 hours - he was up and out before daybreak again today. I haven't seen a fire update yet this morning, hoping all went well in spite of the winds that kicked up yesterday afternoon and evening. I feel much better when the water tender is sitting up the hill from me filled with water.......  Have I said yet today that I hate fire season???  Well, yes, once so far, it's still early....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Winding warps......

 Since it's too danged hot to be outside dyeing I'm inside winding warps to paint/dye. So far some in 2 different sizes of silk and some tencel. I do at least an 8 yard warp for 3 scarves (or I may add solids to it to make it wider for shawls) - after it's wound and I tie it off enough so it won't get tangled in the dyeing/rinsing process I label it and put it in a ziplock bag with all the info on that warp. I don't buy milk in the plastic jugs anymore but when I did I cut them all into pieces to use as markers for each warp - they're all lettered, they stand up to the dyeing process. After all the dyeing is finished I can match up the warps with the written details on them. Some warps are just one warp but more often than not there are at least 2 warps for a project that will get dyed differently.

Here they are getting piled into a plastic container waiting for the temps to come down just a bit so I can be outside dyeing.....think I'm going to need to get a bigger plastic container out of the closet as I plan on winding many more.

Fire season - it just doesn't let up. I thought a copter was landing on our property this morning it was so loud......but once it got right over us it climbed in did not have a bucket, was heading south. Thunderstorms again yesterday with lots of dry lightning, many fires started. Once again those of us on the far west of the valley missed them - phew. But there are fires near friends of mine in the Applegate, one person's road is even on a level 1 evacuation alert. There was a small fire around 2 blocks distance from where we used to live. They've really jumped on these fires, hopefully none of them will get very big. The wind has picked up this afternoon, never a good thing.  So, latest reports I'm reading and hearing on the news is that fire season may go into November - ACK - I'm not prepared for that, my countdown is 6-7 more weeks. They'll have to cart me off in a straight jacket if it goes into November........already we're all living like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Too bad all the flooding rains elsewhere in the country couldn't be spread out a bit more and hit us.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spinning at the fair

The fair is over - this morning we went back to the fairgrounds to take down our display - whoo hoo - another year done.........had a great time as usual but am totally exhausted.  This was the second fiber I was spinning at the fair this week - cashmere/tussah silk - it is lovely. I only have 4 oz of it so I'll ply it with something else, maybe some silk thread....or rayon....or tencel. My friend Kathy suggested I put pearls or maybe sequins on the thread I ply it with.......will have to give it thought.

Now it's time to play catch-up here at home after playing all week.......stop on the way home from the fairgrounds this morning was at a local farm stand to pick up veggies to actually cook a real dinner tonight......been living on fair food for lunch and snacking for dinner.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

County Fair

This is the colorful roving I was spinning today at the fair - it's Superfine Merino from a dye day last month.......only I didn't dye it.  My friend Kathy G wanted to come over to help me dye only she doesn't spin and has never dyed roving.  I made her pick colors and dye 2 pounds on her own and this is what resulted - it's very fun.  I'm spinning up 8oz of it for her.  If you want to see what everyone was doing today at the fair go over to our spinning group's blog to check it out.

Rain !!!

As I was laying in bed contemplating getting up I started hearing the oh so rare drops of rain hitting the ground. This is usual for us in the summer and very welcome - by the time I got this picture taken and started writing this post it is letting up but that's 30 minutes of light rain - so much better than the dry lightning fire starting storms that have been coming through.

Many new fires started around the region the past couple of days from lightning strikes - one near a friend was thought to be under control at 100 acres but when the winds picked up yesterday afternoon it took off - this morning I heard on the news there are evacuations on order..........but exactly where? my friend? or at the other end of that road? The past few days fire reports are vague and spotty on the news, nothing much on the websites - maybe they're too busy getting on these new fires but sure would be nice to know what's happening. The Northern California fires just over the border are very scary, yesterday three firefighters didn't have time to get out of the way of the wall of flames and had to resort to using their fire shelters (a special blanket to cover with while laying on the ground as the fire passes by). They were lucky and made it through that experience.  Have I said yet today I hate fire season???

Today is the start of the county fair - I have to figure out a way to cover my wheel for the walk from the car to the building we're demo'ing in case it's still raining.  I'm only 15 minutes away but it's nice to know that Sam and Bailey will be holding down the fort at home in case of fire - I hate living under this threat all summer long......yeah, yeah.....whine and snivel - we could be dealing with the flash floods other areas of the country have been dealing with yesterday and today, very scary stuff.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Giveaway winner

There were only 2 people that commented on the post with the giveway for this book.....guess no one has a need for a great beading book or they've already got it.  I put the 2 into and #1 came up as the winner.  Tobie you've won the book. Email me with your complete name and mailing address and I'll get it out in the mail to you - cindiesam at yahoo dot com.  Congrats and happy beading!

New treasure from the sea

We couldn't stand the horribly hot weather here in the valley anymore and took off for a short trip to the coast on Saturday afternoon returning last night just in time for thunderstorms..........with dry lightning.........many new fires started to the east, 2 very close to friends of mine. Spotter planes will be flying these next few days looking for more. Not sure if there will be any in our area - we didn't get the brunt of the lightning but we did get some. I can't tell by the smell of smoke because it smells like smoke everywhere from the big fires in the region. More dry lightning forecast for today. (since writing this I looked at the lightning strike map - strikes just a few miles to the west of us, hopefully no fires will come out of those)

Not many treasures to be found on the beach this weekend but we did discover a new cockle shell.......well, at least new to us. Usually we see thousands like the few on the left side above. But look at all these very colorful shells we found this time - I looked them up in my shells of the northwest book and found they are Japanese littlenecks, also called Manilla Clams. They were introduced to the northwest from Japan in the 1930's and apparently are very tasty. I'm sure this isn't the first time they've been found on that beach but it's a first for us.  Several pieces of seaglass were found including 2 colors I rarely see - lavender and pale seaglass green. Sam found a fairly big yellow/gold agate - it's below the piece of lavender seaglass.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

County Fair 2014

This morning we set up our display at the county fair. We all sit in a big circle in front of it while demo'ing spinning but occasionally carding, felting, knitting, whatever. We used to get so many fleeces turned in for judging that we filled the table and two tiers in front of it.  No fleeces entered for judging by the time we left, friends Margie & Karen brought these just for show from their stashes.  I think a major problem is that last year they started charging a fee just to enter a fleece for judging. The display is getting a little worn looking with nothing much new other than Virginia's new hooked rug in the center.  So.....I have an idea for a theme for next year that our spinning group can work on during the winter - maybe we can get everyone to contribute something to show other than Linda, Virginia and me. More on that in a few months when I pull it all together. The fair runs Wednesday-Saturday - should be a fun time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A little of this, a little of that........

This week I decided I better start on a few holiday gifts, I didn't get too far but it's a start......unfortunately only dribs and drabs of them will show up here as I don't want the recipients to see them.  I love knitting and felting Lamb Pride yarn - very fun project - knitting in progress.
And a bit of inkle weaving for this years inklings - bet no one will be able to guess the theme looking at this blah inkle band.  I love my LeClerc Floor Inkle Loom - I have a 5 yard warp on here, the second warp in this grey color this week, this loom can hold another couple much more than a table inkle loom.

On the home front much of the week was spent in prep for painting, then the put the house back together mode. Three quarters of the inside of the house is now a pale grey - I love it. The guest/computer room and guest bath would have been done too except I love the wallpaper border and special paint job below that border too much to get rid of it. The two rooms that comprise the studio will never get painted unless we're moving - way too much crap to move out of the way....and the walls don't show anyhow.....and the paint still looks new.....where it's peeking out from behind cones of yarn.

Tomorrow Linda and I set up our spinning group's display at the county fair. The fair is Wednesday-Saturday and many of our group will be there every day demonstrating/gabbing/eating fair food. This is the 100th anniversary of the county fair.

On the fire front - Firefighters are doing an incredible job of keeping these fires from exploding even more and gobbling up additional acreage and homes, that's here in SW Oregon. There are still different levels of evacuation orders in place but they've been downgraded. Right over the border our neighbors in Northern California are having a tough time, more evacuations every day.  This weekend more dry thunderstorms are predicted area wide -it will be a 'hold your breath' environment the next several days. Have I said yet today I hate fire season???   7 more weeks of fire season, give or take.......most probably give.......

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


In cataloging all my fiber/craft books last week I found a few duplicates.  I decided to have a giveaway of one of them.  The Beader's Companion by Judith Durant & Jean Campbell, published by Interweave Press.  My name is on the inside cover so it's not brand new, suitable to gift.....unless the recipient doesn't care that my name is in it.......  How did I get 2 of these great reference books you ask?  I had one, lent it out and forgot to write down who I lent it to, couldn't find who had it, so I bought another........then 6 months later the missing one showed up.

So, if you have an interest in a basic beading book just comment to this post, comment anything you'd like, what your weather is like, what you're up to today, what you like to create, doesn't matter.  I'll use to pull a winner's name on Tuesday evening, that's August 12th. I'll post the winner's name, if there's a way to get in touch with the winner I'll also email to get a mailing address. If there's no way to contact the winner I'll hope that person checks back and see their name as the winner and contact me. If I don't hear from the winner within 2 weeks I'll pull another name.

UPDATE:  Toby you have won the book, please email me with your complete name and mailing address -  cindiesam at yahoo dot com

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I hate fire summer mantra.........

The Oregon Gulch Fire, part of the Beaver Complex Fires, held a bit today as opposed to gobbling up everything in it's path. This fire is not a danger to us here on the west side of the valley but friend and blogger Theresa (camprunamuck) is on Level 1 Evacuation notice. She lives not only on the east side but up in the mountains close to where the fire started. You can read more about it on her blog. Send positive thoughts her way and for the other 200 homes in danger at the moment.  Up until today each time I looked at fire info online it seemed like the fire doubled in size - it's now at 32,000+ acres and only 10% contained. The heavy smoke today in the entire region helped keep the temperatures down and keep more lightning at bay. Keep the firefighters in your thoughts too, they're incredible and are dealing with horrendous heat fighting many fires in our area. (this picture was from a fire website, I can't see this from where I live)

So far we on the west side have been spared the dry lightning storms but it doesn't stop us from thinking about the possibility of a destructive fire and having a fire plan in place. I heard a copter fly over our house mid-day, no bucket on it, not sure if it was looking for fires or what, haven't heard anything since...which is good. We're only halfway through fire season which usually ends in October. Many times we'll get a day or two of rain in the end of September, not enough to end fire season but a welcome relief.

So to make fire season even worse we're in our second year of drought and have been dealing with record high temperatures. Here in Grants Pass July was a record setter for heat, hottest July ever (since records were kept). We had 15 days of 100 degrees or more and the rest of the month wasn't much below 100.  It's been brutal. No wonder I've only gotten 2 dye days in this summer, the only 2 days when the temperature was close to 90.

On the fiber front - not much happening here other than a bit of knitting. It's just been too danged hot to expend energy winding a warp. I'm starting to give thought to holiday gifts. I have been getting the house ready for interior painting which starts tomorrow.