Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Shiny Bits

The great Clayfolk migration is taking place this weekend, and like many years past, I was there at the beginning! The show attracts thousands of folks, local and not so much, every year. I have to say, I found this years selections, well, rather underwhelming. One favorite artist that was listed as being there, wasn't, a decided lack of clever smalls perfect for gift giving, less interesting large pieces and certainly less innovation on shapes and glazes from past years. That is not to say the show was bereft of beautiful things, it wasn't, it simply wasn't as good as years past. Oh and while there was stunning black and white pottery artwork, I am never going to pay $90.00 for a coffee mug. I did however manage to find a few fun affordable pieces. In no particular order.

It's hard to believe that lovely mirror was only $150.00 in a walnut frame with a beautiful beveled mirror after seeing a $90.00 coffee mug!

Sorry, I'm beating this dead horse I know. There were a few other smalls which I can't show because they are gifts.

The little Red Breasted Nuthatch is the second in what appears to be the start of a new collection. I procured this awesome stained glass nuthatch several weeks ago.

In the glass department, I also retired the old green Kitchenaid electric tea kettle. It was getting spotty on shutting itself off and I had been waiting until the kitchen had been updated. I couldn't find either an orange or red kettle that pleased me so I went for pure flash!

Precious little has gotten out of the salon. Last week was an en endless trail of town trips for both myself and my Mom and Mandy who got her stitches out! This cute Cleo pinafore (Tilly and the Buttons), made it out and that is the Victoria Jones Waimea shirt underneath.

Heaps of stuff got cut too. I did things in 3's. Shirts, pants and these are skirts.

 Since this pic, two have been completed. The first one, a navy twill cotton is too big. I went back and cut the remaining two down to a size medium and the black linen fit much better. Only the brown melton wool is left to do.

I also cut out the Wiksten kimono and I am heading up to work on that this morning. I'll let you know how that turns out next post!

For anyone interested, here is some information on how to donate for victims of the Camp Fire. As we come into a time of thanks, it is also worth remembering that it is also a time of great need. If you can, give where ever your heart and need dictates. I always donate in honor of one of my companions on the other side of the bridge.

The song for this post...Supertramp...really! ;-)

Be safe, be kind.

Parting shot: Sleeping in, every morning, the bums! ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Kitchen Proper Painting Completed

Whew, just in time for the holidays. That doesn't mean all the painting is done. I still have upper cabinets to do on the built in storage area across from the kitchen and down the back hallway. I'm paying someone to do that last bank of upper cabinets in the oil paint, mostly because they need to be done solely while standing on a ladder. No way, let some younger bones handle it. Without more fanfare here is the completed kitchen.

We are both loving the Cinnamon Sugar color. Not taupe, not grey but something in-between.

And all the vintage Midwinter Wild Oats dinnerware has arrived.

 I am quite smitten with the pattern, better in person and it all has a weighty solid feel.

For a Mom update, she is still holding in a remission period of sorts. Kidney function much improved with the nephrostomy tube. We're holding on the radiation. Feeling well although her blood counts are borderline low. She has had a couple of transfusions in the past month or so.  Her new apartment in the residential living area will be ready the 28th of this month, the move on the 29th and I have worked out a cat compromise. I refuse to pull the two kitties from their settled in new home. They are doing GREAT! But on the home front I have a barn cat who no longer works the barn and is more or less living in our basement. Now that's great for keeping mice out, but really, from feral to sweetness she has become an indoor kitty. Hating to be thrown out in the morning and called back in for the evenings in anything but the best weather. I am taking her to my Mom. If she goes down hill, I will always take Miss Priss back easily enough. It's not perfect but it offers a little something for both old lady and cat.

As slow as the sewing salon has been, a couple of makes have been completed. The first was my favorite shirt pattern in a yarn dyed soft brushed cotton plaid.

I love this shirt. I bought this same fabric in a couple of different color ways/plaids and will make them up for winter wear. The fabric is not flannel heavy but it is softer thicker fabric than the usual cotton. Henry Glass yarn dyes.

The second was a new make, The Waimea Ranch Shirt by Victoria Jones.

It has a shaped yoke, one piece from back to front and was a bit fussy. The shirt itself...meh! I don't like the overly long sleeve, nor the double breast pockets. I tried them and just not a fan. The shoulder fit is good as is the sleeve fit but the waist shaping will have to be adjusted up for my short waisted frame. I just can't explain why one shirt feels good and another doesn't, but there you go. The fit is good on me, I just don't like it as much as the Hey June Cheyenne shirt pattern.

Trying new things is fun and kimono patterns are everywhere. I jumped on the bandwagon with another pattern that sewists are raving about. The Wiksten Kimono Jacket.

It is bound to make it to the next pattern cutting session. I need to cut out some new pants too. Most of my old ones are too big.

And this MaCall's Cosplay pattern is also another addition. I loved the vest lines and the hood.

 Oh yes, I basically bought the pattern for that hood. Gotta hide my pointy ears after all. ;-)

But kidding aside what another horrible week. Shootings, firings and again, California burns.
This is what decline looks like. Historians will be able to look back and see the start of it all. We can now see the time line of climate change and we will be able to trace the fall of our democracy to somewhere around November 8, 2016.  The new house might be able to save something, but really, what will it take to change such a tenacious culture of hate? I have no idea.

For this November day, I'm handing over a ballad.  The Edmund Fitzgerald sunk on November 10, 1975 and I remember it. For anyone interested The Andrea Gail went down on October 28, 1991 in a no name storm that lasted 3 days. I've grown up with a rich maritime history living in Massachusetts for 38 years. "They that go down to the sea in ships" Psalm 107.23 I love ballads BTW, not enough of them are being written and certainly there are stories that are ballad worthy.

Be safe. Be kind.

Parting shot: Where the cool kids go to get warm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Todays the Day! VOTE

Grab some friends, or neighbors or folks you just know might need a ride, and go VOTE.
At the very least it gives you bona fide bitching rights for the next 2 years. My ballot hit the mail the day after it arrived in my little hot hand. Oregon is one of the three vote by mail only states. Washington and Colorado are the other two. (I do miss going to polling places as I did when I lived elsewhere), but voting by mail is a cinch. Imagine the problems that would be avoided if the nation was all vote by mail? Georgia and North Dakota, I'm looking at you, but there are others....sadly.

I know it won't be easy for some to vote but really, our nation should be able to count on you for at least a couple of hours once every two years. Your one vote is as important as the next, regardless of income bracket, color, religion and sexual orientation. Plus, I just want to see the country stick it to the mango Mussolini. We are better than this asshat, so lets prove it and get some folks into congress that will do their jobs and be the checks and balances we have so sorely needed these last 20 months.

I'm leaving you with a spot of Alice Cooper today. The first rock concert I ever attended was a Cooper concert, in 1972 with Blue Oyster Cult. It was loud, very very loud.

Parting shot. Waiting for election results!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Our Own Little Frankenweenie

Poor Mandy!

She had skin and dental surgery yesterday and there are six spots spread over her little mini body that have stitches.

None of this was lost on us today, Halloween. Certainly great and costly lengths to have a believable costume! :-)

Fear not, she is getting extra treats and good painkillers.

Everyone sends out this oldie for your enjoyment.

Parting shot: Waiting for a bedtime story.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Paint, Pairing Down and Packages

I'm starting with packages first. Bombs!! OMFG! I don't care who you voted for, if you are still with this so called president and his messages of hate, I can, at this point, only assume that this is who you really are too. It is said that good people voted for the cheeto and that may be, but if you are still supporting him and those spineless cheats in the GOP, I for one, do not consider you "good people". I can't imagine being so greedy and fearful and selfish that anyone would allow a wannabe third rate dictator to continue to run this country. As the meme says, "Hate never made any nation great." Get off your butt and vote next Tuesday, your nation and Democracy depends on it.

Okay, onto painting. Oil paints are a bugger to deal with but the results are so worth it in the durability department and my kitchen is as hard working as the next.

 They say they have latex paints that are just as good. They are not. The kitchen isn't quite finished. I have another bank of cabinets to do, and the fresh new wall color to put on, which will be latex but here are some pics as it is now.

Even the dogs have a little artwork over their water bowl.
The realtors tell you not to paint your cabinets red, it lowers the value. Unless you know your house is going on the market I just can't imagine decorating for some unknown person. I love red, I love orange and I love the new look. I mean who doesn't move into a new house and want to put their own colors in anyway? Next year it may be time to replace the wood countertops, not the butcher block but the fir ones. I would love a solid surface type but maybe I'll go for all maple? We'll see.

I paired down a lot of stuff out of the kitchen, and a lot of glassware and dishes. I am changing over my green and white vintage restaurant ware to vintage stoneware. I picked out a pattern I loved and have been scanning Etsy and eBay for it. For anyone interested, the pattern is Midwinter's Stonehenge Wild Oats. Paint colors I've used have mostly been from the newer Magnolia Collection. The red is "Vine Ripened Tomato", the upper cabinets are "Soft Linen", the walls will be "Cinnamon Sugar" and lastly the island is from our local Miller Paint and is a Color Guild color "Heat of Summer". I know many of you loved the 40's jadeite kinda green, but my kitchen has been one shade or green or another since we built the house and it was really time for a change.

And speaking of changes. I finally convinced my Mom to move into the "residential living" area of the Rogue Valley Manor. It offers much more assistance and oversight. She still has a lovely one bedroom apartment still although a bit smaller. She has no stove there, just a microwave and fridge but all three of her meals are provided and if she doesn't feel like it going down to eat, they have tray service. I think it will be perfect for the duration and easy enough for hospice to manage when the time comes too. So, I am working on getting her move lined up and coaxing her to pair down clothes and such as we can for this next move.

There has been precious little creative stuff going on. I did manage to finish up a lovely new wool crepe kimono. The collar is a piece of handprinted silk. These were both sale pieces of fabric, the 3 yards of wool a hefty 10 bucks, the silk, $5. I'm considering this my new robe. Why not? ;-)

 I can hand wash it easily enough. I do have a lovely plaid shirt in process. Cuffs on and this morning I will finally have time to do snaps and hems! I think I'm going to take a painting break this weekend. Cook, sew, weave and hang with the kids.

But while I wasn't as creative this past week or so, someone was.

 This nifty stained glass piece found a place in my weaving studio. I see it while I wind my own threads.

I'm leaving you all with this, an anthem as prescient today as it was in 1964.

Parting shot: Some days you just want to stay in bed.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

After the Rain

Finally, fall has arrived. The air smells of fir and cedar, pungent and clean. The earth, damp and soft, redolent with the thick musty smell it has been lacking for months on end. The smell of salvation. The woods have again been restored to softness and give as one walks through them. Gone is the snap and crunch of a too long and too hot summer. The skies are a deep clear impossible blue and the stars have been putting on their very best twinkle and shine. Nirvana is just another name for Autumn.

So, part of the blog hold up was the surgery to insert a Nephrostomy tube into my Mom, then a second emergency surgery since it wasn't draining properly. Placed her cats. (My name is now Mud,actually worse), but it had to be done. I've had a wonderful loving home set up with my friend and hairdresser since my Mother was first diagnosed with small cell carcinoma. Anyway, my Mom went right from the hospital to the health center attached to the community where she lives. We are all trying to get her to move into a more assisted area of the manor and that's were it's at. The cats have settled in nicely BTW.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my Dad's death. I don't know if my Mother remembered and I didn't remind her. I think she forgot. Can't decide if it is a blessing or not.

Then of course Gene got a cold and happily passed it on to me. Considering the crappy couple of weeks, I took to my bed along with Mandy who decided to injure her neck and shoulder area. We had quite the pity party last week. Towards the end of the week we did get a few fun things done and the plotting and planning for fall and winter sewing has begun in earnest. Here are a couple of new patterns to make it into the salon.

They are resting on their respective fabrics. The solid aqua is a denim and the cotton print perfect for this fancy western style shirt.

I tried to modify one of my patterns to have a funnel neck and failed.

I'll wear it but not my favorite and it helped me decide I don't really want anything up on the front of my neck. It will be a nice painting/barn/dirty work kind of top. It's a lightweight brushed denim I've had in my stash FOREVER! I also got another scrub top out. I loved this fabric so much it I almost substituted another one but I'm glad I didn't.

 It came out so nicely.

A wee bit of weaving has gone on.

This is the first towel on Fanny Justine, but really I'm now onto the third one and am enjoying her easy weaving ways very much. I love everything about this loom.

In amidst all the upheaval, I started painting too.

The island has been complete for weeks,

the lower cabinets are getting their second coat of paint today and then hopefully we'll get the dang hardware back on!

All the while, driving, resting, sewing and painting, I have been downing books on Audible. You all know I am a serial reader and now, listener, so for anyone who is interested, I have consumed and greatly enjoyed the following books.

The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, all read expertly by Steven Pacey. The books in the series are, The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and The Last Argument of Kings. I've also read a spin-off in the same world titled Best Served Cold. These are not young adult books. There is murder, gory battles and lots of bad language. They are gritty and good and wholly engrossing if you like that sort of thing.

Then it was onto something a lot more fantasy. Sarah J. Maas has provided hours of great fantasy and some pretty darn good adult romance in her Court of Thorns and Roses series. Had I known about the romance angle of these books I might have passed them by, but I enjoyed it all thoroughly. One night I couldn't put it away and finished up the book around 4:30 in the morning. The books in the series are: A Court of Thorn and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin. There is a novella in the series, Court of Frost and Starlight. It's just okay and I understand it is providing a bridge to further books in the same world. If you liked the series, you'll probably want to read the novella too. This is NOT a young adult series although I have started Ms. Maas's Throne of Glass series which is geared for YA and it is very good but of course contains none of the sex or language that COTAR does.

So there you are! A rundown of my last few weeks. Let me remind you that the midterms are 23 days away. We all need to vote! I owe you a song this post and after catching a couple of musicals yesterday on the tube, I just can't resist. Abba anyone?

Parting shot: The consummate lap dog, literally.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

No Time Right Now

I was so far behind a week ago and then caught the cold from hell. I will catch up here soon but for right now, read something much more worthwhile than what I can offer. One of the more recent additions to my blog list has a post worthy of your time. Thank you retired knitter for this post.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Buttercup and Mongo Effect

Of course I had to give that box a stenciled paint job.

Just couldn't leave it plain. More is after all, more.

Once I was happy with that and went on to finally finish threading the towel warp I was dismayed to find it was rather dark under there in the evening. In fact I moved Mongo the Mac under the bright lights and that left Fanny Justine in part of the studio not well lit at night. But we fixed that too. Mongo had two sets of castle lights, front and rear. I would likely never use the rear strip so I removed them, cut the strip to fit and re-installed them on F. Justine. Lights, camera, sleying!

The salon was moderately busy. It was a good place to rest and recharge after last weeks bad news.
Two lovely button down fall blouses made it out. Long sleeved and complete with nice cuffs and placket.

Lobster's, foxes, tractors and boats!

 Plackets are like collars, they can be fussy bits, but all in all the directions were good and we got through it and much more accomplished on them by the second shirt.

Loved being able to use the cute selvedge.
A second skirt came out of the salon too, This Liesl and Co Everyday Skirt is a well thought out pattern and goes together easily.

 I could still go down a size I think but I love this longer length.

The fabric is a piece of wool suiting I've had in stash for at least 4 years and there was just enough for this comfy fall skirt. I wore it out today to market with cotton tights and some casual boots and felt quite seasonal.

The week has been catch up on some household stuff, like a good cleaning on both floors, bathrooms included. I've also been trying out recipes for a pear custard pie, and different quick breads. Cool weather has made baking possible again and even enjoyable!

The country right now is like an erupting shit show. I'm sorry, I don't have a better way of putting it. Between the horror of Florence ( and that there are so many people still suffering after Maria!), that squirrely Kavanaugh jerk, the orange asshat and his gang of crooked stooges (You know, the GOP), the fear that the Russians have this coming election rigged and the ever increasing and unchecked gun violence I'm feeling a bit less optimistic than usual. I was considering throwing out "Fixing A Hole" but I'm saving that for a really black day! :-)

Because one of the recent car commercials has given me a week long ear worm, I'm sharing it with all of you! We can all be humming together! How groovy is that? Here you go, something fun.

Parting shot: Intent on Timmy, always!