Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A bit of this and that..........

 We spent the past 4 days on the coast. I did get the loom warped up over there for lots of mug rugs out of 3/2 perle cotton. Quick to weave, as a matter of fact it takes longer to hemstitch both ends than to weave the mug rug. I'll finish up this warp next time over. I'm loving this argyle look pattern - I might have to weave some towels using this draft in the not too distant future.

I posted a leather bound journal I made in a class last summer but I forgot to post any pictures of journals that I made for gifts this fall. Here's one of them. I used an antler button as a closure. I played with watercolors on the inside front & back cover sheets to go with whatever color leather I used for the journal.  I still have a way too big of stash of leather I picked up in the fall at Oregon Leather in Eugene so there will be many more journals made this year. At some point I'd love to try making a journal out of handwoven fabric but will have to do much thinking on how to finish the raw edges...........

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Back to making pancakes

Sunday and Monday I took some time to spend at the sewing machine sewing and turning the circles for the pancake quilt. I was really worried I'd get totally bored with making 77 pancakes but it was fun.
Today I quilted a 'X' in the center of each pancake. Then I went to the only floor space big enough to lay them out so I could make sure no two fabrics were next to each other on the front and the backs of the pancakes. First I got them laid out looking at the coral side to make sure no two were next to each other, then I turned them over to the teal side and had to start making swaps to avoid two next to each other. After I finished that I made a pile for each row and pinned a post it note on it with the row number. Next up will be sewing all the pancakes together.......not sure when it will all get done as I've got other things in the works but it will be the near future.  I just noticed in the photo that I've got one pancake turned upside down with the teal showing on top - need to go fix that now........

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Did you wear your pink hat today?

Did you march today?  I did and am so glad I did. I wore my pink hat that makes little cat ears when put on......although I still object to the name of the hat even though I get where it's coming from. What a wonderful experience today was. I was overwhelmed at how many marchers there were in our sparsely populated area of SW Oregon. I can't imagine how many more there would have been had the weather been nicer and had it been more promoted in our area. It was held in Ashland, a small touristy college town - I'm still wondering where everyone parked, we got there early to find parking. I tried to get photos but I am just too short - this was the one time in my life I saw the need for a selfie stick to raise my phone up high above the crowd.

There were all types of people, all colors and nationalities (which is big for an area that's not very diverse), college kids, moms with strollers, lots of husbands marching with their wives, gays, undocumented Mexicans (according to their banner), and lots and lots of folks in the 60-80 age group. There were lots of dogs wearing pink ribbons on their collars........yes, I am a dog lover and noticed the dogs.

The signs carried were creative, some very serious, some very funny. Many signs focused on women's rights, many focused on the rights of all. Everyone was positive. So, this is a start, how do we keep the momentum going? I'll be writing my congressmen and senator......on a regular basis. We need to keep reminding them that they need to do what's best for all of us Americans, not just for the few, not just to spite the other party........we need to remind them to protect our rights, all our rights as this new administration moves forward.  

I'm hoping I find out when I see the news later today that the crowds elsewhere in our country and the world were just as peaceful today as those here. I'm proud to have taken part in this historic event.........the first of it's magnitude since Vietnam.

And perhaps you don't agree with the march, that's ok, we're all different. I just hope we can all agree that we want the best for ALL of those residing in our country.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pancake Quilt

Today I started cutting out circles for the pancake afghan quilt - that's a lot of circles, 77 in the teal colors, 77 in the coral colors and 77 in thin batting. While listening to more of Voyager (audio book, third in the Outlander series) I started pinning a teal, coral and batting together getting them ready to sew. This will be a lot of circles to sew and turn and then assemble into the afghan. It was time to stop for the day when disc #11 of 32 ended.........time to move on to knitting or hemming towels in front of the fire.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Handwoven towels

This is the start of handwoven towels on the loom from the other day. Towels are all woven, washed and dried now awaiting hemming.  More cones are being auditioned for another towel warp but before those get woven I'll move on to cutting circles, sewing and quilting the pancake (circle) afghan quilt for a graduation present. Knitting and spinning always happening in the evenings.

Snow report - we are in to day 18 of the snow - finally this morning there is noticeable melting from higher temps overnight combined with pouring rains......and it continues to rain. Have loved the snow but will be happy to see it gone, it's hung around way too long.

Sunday I started listening to the audio book Voyager, the 3rd book in the Outlander series, while working in the studio, it's a long term commitment and I'm loving it - already up to disc 8. Can't wait for the new season of Outlander this spring, it will cover this book.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stash Sale - Yarn

New updates in my fiber etsy shop with a yarn stash sale - they can be found in the stash sale section of my shop. See the details there or on the other stuff for sale page of this blog.

Etsy Shop Update

Two new scarves for sale in my etsy shop - handwoven in a manifold twill pattern

Both hand-dyed rayon flake - this one with a light teal tencel weft....

....this one woven with a royal blue tencel weft

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Etsy shop update

New embroidered towels added to my etsy shop.
Check out the shop section titled embroidered towels to purchase them and others.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snow day sewing

I love this cutting mat turn table I bought a couple years ago - it makes cutting circles with the rotary cutter a breeze since I can rotate it.

Here's the quilted bee table runner I made today. This was another test. When I made the dragonfly table runner the other day I was following the instructions for a baby blanket so it should have been nice and cuddly...but it was really stiff, great for a table runner but not for a quilt. So I asked Luann for hints and she told me not to use the iron-on interfacing and to just cut the circle of batting like the fabric circles rather than cutting it into a square. Now it's a great feel for a quilt to cuddle up under. Next sewing on the agenda will be to start the circle quilted afghan........but before that I'll get a warp on the loom.

The snow stopped around mid-day.........and started up again around 2:30, been snowing really hard, big big flakes since then. Even lost tv because the satellite dish filled up with snow. I'm still loving being snowbound but I will have to start getting more creative with meals in another couple days if I can't get to the store.


I cry uncle - enough is enough - yesterday we had tons of rain but it only melted a bit of the snow. We are expecting floods but.......
......it's snowing again this morning.....it's supposed to be raining at our elevation. Not sure if you can see those gigantic flakes in this photo. Those tire tracks are from Sam's truck when he's slid down to the road to get the mail, they now have 3" of solid ice in them and we still have a foot of snow on the ground.

This is what Bailey does when he thinks I'm not watching - he was outside my sewing room window (sorry for the screen that dulls the pic)......boy, this snow feels just as good to roll around in as the sand on the beach feels......

.....oh yeah.....this is great........

......love to bury my nose in the snow......

......and Mom wonders why I come in the house all wet........

.....did I just hear a squirrel?.............

Since today is another snow day I'll be spending my time taking photos of scarves and towels for my etsy shop and then doing some sewing. I've got a couple more audio books to listen to so I'll start one of those while working in the studio. This past week I've listened to 3 audio books and read one book in addition to weaving, knitting, spinning, embroidering and sewing........I have to admit being snowed in has its benefits............

Friday, January 6, 2017

Pancake Quilt Table Runner

I'm planning on sewing a quilted afghan for a spring graduation present. Since it's a pattern I haven't done before I thought I should do some sort of sampling. So, into my stash I went and pulled out two great fabrics to make a table runner.

I used the instruction booklet and plexiglass template for Circle Magic from Missouri Star Quilt Co. I first saw this quilt on LuAnn Kessi's blog, I learned of her when my friend Janette attended her Permission to Play classes while she was fighting a losing battle with cancer. Luann has a great blog on quilting, dyeing, surface design and many other crafts. 

Here are the two fabrics I picked out from my way too big fabric stash. I cut 12 circles of each, which were then backed with iron on interfacing. I also cut 12 squares of cotton quilt batting.

Here I'm pinning everything readying it for sewing. Of course, you know what comes next, turning all those circles - argh but not too bad for 12 of them. Not sure how it will be when I have to turn 70 of them for the afghan......will definitely spread that chore out and work on it here and there.

Here are my circles ready to stitch an X in the middle and then the 2 on the right are already sewn together. The beauty of this pattern is that it's all done once the circles are sewn together, the backing for the quilt is the back side of the circle - no quilting and binding like traditional quilts.

And here's the completed table runner - I love it and it will look great on our dining room table. It was a good learning project and I can see where I can improve for the afghan project. I'm anxious to start on it but I need to buy more interfacing.........I bought medium weight for the afghan but I think lightweight is better. I can start cutting out all the circles and batting. I'll be using 12 different coordinating fabrics for the afghan.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12

 Well, this evening is the last of the 12 Days of Christmas fiber from Inglenook Fibers. I've got it all spun - it will be plied once I figure out what I want to ply it with. What a fun holiday spin-a-long.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

 Here's Day 11 - I can't believe this fun is almost over. But then I do get to ply all of it as soon as I figure out what I'm plying it with..........
 ..........someone should give me a pat on the back for not peeking ahead in the packages and staying with the program........I didn't have to, I could have done what I wanted, but it was kind of fun to do what the plan was for this fiber.......my friend Kathy who had it all spun up really fast and is on to plying.......other friend Cathy is drop spindling hers so she hasn't peeked ahead.
Since today was another snow day I wove a couple scarves from a painted rayon flake warp I dyed. I forgot to take a photo of the second warp - I used a royal blue tencel weft for that one. I really like rayon flake but it probably wasn't the best choice for a painted warp. In the painting/rinsing/drying process the flake areas of the warp all stuck together which made this really hard to wind on the loom through the lease sticks........it was slow going..........but the end result will be lovely.

Tomorrow is another snow day for me as I won't venture out on the roads or down our long steep driveway yet. My Outback will drag on the snow on the 1/3 mile of drive and I'm worried about sliding off into the ravine.......but I think by Friday I can get out, I've sure enjoyed being housebound.........well, I guess it's not really housebound, I have left the house, just not the property.........

The sun is out!!!

It has stopped snowing this morning and the sun is out - the snow is beautiful glistening in the sun. This is the view off our deck, that's Mt Sexton in the background, which is actually very close to the house. Maybe another 4-6" overnight. Is this the last of it?  I hope so although I'm quite ok with being stranded at home......unless we lose power.

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

 I spun Day 10 last night but then the lights started dimming, then we lost internet. So, here's Day 10 while we still have power and internet this morning. It continued to snow all night, it's crazy deep  after 3 days of continuous snow. Supposedly it will be tapering off this morning. The snow is so heavy I wouldn't be surprised if we lose power today like so many others in the area already have. I'm really hoping not as I want to weave all day and the room will be too dark for weaving without any lights. I have to admit I haven't minded being snowed in...........as long as the power stays on I'm good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Enough already

These pix are so white that it's hard to tell that it's still snowing. Yes, this is unusual for the lower elevations. We are at a higher elevation from town so we're really getting hit hard but even on the outskirts of town there's quite a bit of snow.
Yes, that's my hummingbird feeder and thank goodness we're just above freezing since I forgot to bring it in overnight. We do have some hummers that stay all winter..........I'm not quite sure how they can make it in this weather but I guess they're tougher than they look. You can see Bailey down there in his fenced yard - he loves the snow. The snow that fell off the pine and fir trees due to its weight yesterday is piled back on this morning.

And here's looking out the front of the house. We've had some major power blips this morning but so far we haven't lost power like many others. Out in the country when one loses power it means we lose water because the well pump doesn't run. As insurance two days ago I filled the bathtubs with water as well as many drinking containers.

So today is another snow day, which I'm fine with, as long as we don't lose power.

Monday, January 2, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

 Love, love, love these colors - 3 more days to go

Snow day

It's still snowing. Earlier today it stopped for around 15 minutes so I thought it was over but no, the blizzard started up again. And it stopped again this past hour but now it's snowing again. So, I guess it's another snow day.......or maybe it will be a snow week at this rate.  I'm just grateful that we didn't lose power. No new snow pix because it just looks like yesterday multiplied by many inches.
I wove on a painted tencel warp today. This scarf I used a dark teal tencel for the weft...

.....and this scarf a burnt orange tencel for the weft

I listened to an audio book while weaving. Now it's time to figure out dinner, then spinning day 9 fiber after dinner.......life is good..........as long as we don't lose power........

Sunday, January 1, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

 Day 8 of spinning - love every single packet I open, what a pleasure these fibers are to spin

The snow has continued off and on all day going back and forth from a light snow to a blizzard. Road cams in downtown show just wet roads, no snow.........we're 13 miles northwest of the city at a bit higher elevation and are getting dumped on. Picture was taken mid-day. So glad we don't have to go out in it although I would like to get to my spinning group on Tuesday but no plows come out this way so who knows what will happen as more snow is forecast and with the below freezing temps there's little chance of it melting.

Our first snow

This morning it seems fitting that the first snow of the year is on the first day of the year. It's snowed in the mountains already this winter but this is the first snow to fall on the valley floor..........well, at least I think it's on the valley floor, we're a bit higher in elevation than the valley floor. I woke up and there was no snow, in the time it took to let my teabag seep this is what it looked like. The forecast is for snow all day but who knows if that will happen, our weather forecasters are wrong all the time except in the summer when it's sunny and hot every single day.

No resolutions for the new year here - they're just a disappointment in my life when I don't follow through. I'll do as I've tried to do this past year, be the best person I can be in 2017.  I'm sure others were up late celebrating from the sound of what must have been pipe bombs (too loud for even the biggest guns) going off nearby. The biggest booms were coming from the pot grow that runs along the common driveway for us and three other homesteads, the property is actually accessed the next driveway down the road. (I won't even get started on what the big pot grows are doing to the landscape and crime in the area) New Year's Eve is just another night for us - no big deal, New Year's Day just another day - no big deal. No, this is not a continuation of my bah-humbug holiday mood this year........it's how I've always felt about New Year's. But there is always a bright spot for the new year - time to put out the new calendars which I did first thing this morning.....I love that about New Year's Day.

I do wish you all the best in the new year, time for family, friends and many creative hours.