Saturday, July 23, 2016

We're Not Talking Snagglepuss

But "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" look what the trail cam captured!






Needless to say, we are being very alert to our surroundings during the morning feed.
Gene has resurrected his old 12 gauge shotgun just in case, but honestly, while kind of disconcerting, we've known cougars are around here and have been since before we were here.

 This one is doing EXACTLY what it is supposed to do, kill and eat deer. We live in a national monument, the wilderness areas extend down into far northern California and the Pacific Crest Trail runs a mere three miles from my house. I have always felt my decision to cut my goat numbers down and let them hang 24/7 with the horses a good one. I guess I'll find out.

Parting shot: Every picture tells a story. This one, someone wants me to save Timmy since he has fallen under enemy control.......
and No I did not fetch Timmy for Stella. Even I have a limit.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

It's a Forest Out There

And a pretty healthy one too. But beware, nature is not just pretty hummingbirds, handsome foxes and clever raccoons. No it is not, and one of the pics today is graphic and you've been warned.


Early Tuesday morning all of us were woken up by a god awful racket. The sounds raised hair on the back of our necks and it was all happening about 75 feet in the woods from our driveway. We headed out with flashlights and moved the truck so that we could get a bit more light into the general area. The woods are quite thick there and go up in a slight rise. At least 4 sets of eye shine caught in the lights but through the trees it was hard to tell just what was out there and the sounds really weren't recognizable, more like a keening baby or maybe just what a banshee would sound like. I caught a slim shape in my headlamp, coyote or wolf? No idea but dog like. My guess at the time was a deer or fawn was the victim. Come morning light, and I'm talking sun really up!, we headed out to investigate. This is the doe we found.

This pic has been edited. Coyotes usually rip from the hind portions and this carcass had those hallmarks.

She was lightly predated. Now it could have been the coming light of morning, it could have been us that hurried them along but I'm thinking there was also a fawn. This was a long incident, over 15 minutes. I have not gone further into that part of the woods, and the whole thing was so limited in area covered. This doe didn't run far if at all. Nature will keep the true details to herself.  If I could have been able to stop it, I probably wouldn't have. I'm sorry for the loss of life, but deer are the natural prey for many area predators. They are doing what they are supposed to do! Being the sort of weird curious person I am her death won't go unappreciated. For the animals who all can grab a meal at this time of family raising she offers quite a protein boost. For me we have put the trail cam out so we can see what predators are in the area or being drawn into it. Plus, well it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get down to bones out here. The Turkey Vultures are already working the day shift clean-up.

Okay, the worst is over! Now back to the mundane daily blog fodder.  Sewing!



 Bathrobe in linen with cute cotton lining is done!



 Why haven't I used linen before for my robes I'll never know, but this one is lovely.



 I use an old 1970's McCall's coat pattern.



 Maybe one of these days I'll make an actual coat or jacket from it.

A new Canopus shuttle arrived.



 I had asked Jon Hayman if he ever did a heavier shuttle to let me know. Months later this arrived. It is Koa top and bottom,



Rosewood center and figured Maple . So smooth it feels like glass and the weight is just right. Heavy enough to glide over a wide warp and a bit deeper. than my first one.



You can just get a glimpse of the towel being woven in Oregon Ducks colors of green and yellow. Better pics next post on this hard to use color combo.

The garden grows!



 We have tomatoes, peppers and some lovely peas all coming on.



 The squashes are forming, the eggplants too.  Lettuce still going strong. This garden snake was out and about on the driveway by the flower beds. I corralled him and you can see he was doing his best to intimidate me.




Mama turkey should be proud. She has raised 10 keets almost to adulthood.



The largest family group we've seen in years. Usually by this time there are only 4-6 keets.

Blackberries are coming into season. It is a short one for these so I grabbed a bunch for jam. The later strawberries are coming on and I snatched the last of some local rhubarb. It all went into canning batches last weekend.



 Some yummy options in the pantry!



Time to make some fresh bread.

Parting shots: The heartbreak of shark lip.


 A lighter burden when shared.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

Keep those looms a rollin', Rawhide! Talk about a persistent ear worm! :-)

But looms were on the move. While I love the view that the front guest room provides, I often feel removed from the action while I weave. Guest rooms are off limits for those with 4 legs and no one rests easy in there. Plus, it gets hot as heck in there in the summer by late afternoon. I really want to weave this lovely cottolin towel warp off. There was only one way to remedy this situation. Move this Scandinavian beauty into the master.



 Now Jack had to give up some of long lounging bench, but I was able to keep a cozy spot just for him and shoe storage underneath just for me. Actually I really love this loom in there and can see a future in this. The bonus of course, was getting to weave on this awesome loom and still be surrounded by my peeps. Here is the towel in progress, the second one since the move, which means more weaving than I've done on this loom since it's arrival. Yeah!!



I needed to raise the height on the bench. It made it more comfortable for me and I sat weaving happily for over an hour and half. Breaks for coffee and pirn winding.

All I have to offer as far as sewing is the in process linen robe.



 The sleeves are almost ready to go on, only the darts to do.

On the little Wolf Pup the mat weaving continues. This one is summer citrus colors: lime green, bright orange and lemon yellow.



 I might add a raspberry at some point in this warp. We'll see. The colors are all Louet linen. The white, hemp.

Saturday morning I met up with good friend Cindie and we did the Growers Market there in Grants Pass. A tidy affair with a number of vendors that don't come down to Medford. I couldn't resist this crow and roses bowl on sale.





 Some tasty Chèvre and Feta made it into my basket too. We wandered over to the Kitchen Store afterward and this set of bowls spoke to me. Buy Us, buy us.....



Now don't those colors look familiar?!

We also stopped in at the museum to see the traveling quilt show Concrete and Grasslands. If you are in the area and love textile art, I highly recommend taking a peek. The caliber of quilts is amazing.

3D bird-Best to bigify to see well.
I haven't seen such breathtaking art quilts since my last visit to the International Quilt Show in Houston TX many years ago.

We parted before lunch. I had a screen door to pick up at the GP Home Depot and a longish drive home. Gene was gone for most of the day giving talks on the 2014 Beaver Creek wildfire to college students on a field trip to the area. The kids were home alone. 'Nuff said!

Parting shot: We waited here all day for you, just like this....really!
 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Repurposing

It's never just paint and be done with it. Painting is the one project here that usually begets others. This time it was the repurposing of a tall shelf Gene built a number of years ago. It had to come down to paint behind it and I wanted to use in a different way and place. Gene cut it down for me and remounted my new set of three shelves over the big yarn buffet.


 The rug that I wove years ago went up where the shelf had been.



The room is pretty much together although I would like to redo the bookshelves, that is a project for another time.



 After having not one but two curtain options for the big window, I decided to do a bamboo roman shade.  That allows me to cut down on sun or glare but still have an unobstructed breeze if there should be one. It's on order and hopefully will be here next week. Amazon is wonderful resource. I can remember when it was really just books, not too long ago......

Saturday I got out the canner and the small batch canning book and made up two recipes. They were small enough that I could cook them at the same time (with a little ingredient preplanning, prep and two pans of course!),  and since their time in the canner was the same we did that together too.



Raspberry Habanero Jam and Blueberry Ginger Jam. These batches are small. I got a little less than 3 half pints from each dry quart of fruit. Perfect for us. Some to use right away in the fridge, one for the pantry and one to give away. The almost half pint of the blueberry that wasn't enough to go into the canner went into a homemade cake as the center filling. The top frosting was a lemon buttercream, light and a little tangy. The cake was made for the folks visit on the 4th. It was gone yesterday. I might have to make some more of that blueberry ginger for sure. And cake!

 The last of the cut out linen pants. These in a true beet red.



The real star of  creative time has been weaving on the deck. Our weather has been lovely. Hard to believe it is July. This three shaft weave is a lot of fun even if it is a two shuttle color and weave.



The hummers have been over quite a few times to check us out. Buzzing at my ear or hovering over the loom. Such daring little birds. The view is nice too.



 The Japanese Eggplants are blooming



 and this little fellow is spotted quite often around the garden.



 I think he lives in it.

These two are not dare devils, they are beggars, hoping the cute factor sways Gene to share a bit of whatever he is noshing on.



 Obviously they must be successful at least some of the time. ;-)

Parting shots: Sunspots.






Thursday, June 30, 2016

So Much for Kicking Back

HA! Who needs rest when there is a new thing to try? The canning went well. Of course someone could still drop months from now but I have hope that that won't happen. Here are the fruits of last Fridays labour.



 It was a nice morning spent learning the steps and getting to know my electric canner.
It worked wonderfully!



 I'm happy with the purchase although from what Michelle and Cindie say, I could have gotten away with a big enameled pot too. The sustained boil the electric model gives me  is reassuring and of course, being at about 4300 above sea level means I have to hold that boil 10 minutes longer for everything.

The warp for the Pup was completed

Second of two warp chains-exactly half.
 and I'm about half way through the threading. This is what I hope the project will look like, in green and white of course.



And speaking of green and white, painting resumed on the house. I just got sick of having all my funky weird artwork tucked in closets waiting for me to finish the painting Gene started last winter.



Talk about a** dragging. Saturday and Sunday I picked up, did a little gardening and then Monday started in. The kitchen got a fresh coat of white, cream really, soft and with a hint of yellow.





The same color the family room got and weaving studio. You really see the wood stove now against the cream paint.



 I still have a bit of accent stuff to do and some trim should be freshened up but the big horrible thousand ladder steps part is done. The studio is still in disarray



 but pics coming next round.

This little duo was completed over the weekend.



Both of these are extremely fast makes. The binding on the top takes the longest and making and setting pockets on the linen pants eats up a bit of time but both of these were completed in a couple of hours each.

The Evening Grosbeaks have again taken over the feeder world. Fledglings are every where.





 They will land on you, walk across your feet, cheep at you for food and in general, are barn cat bait. I chase her away from around the house with the hose when I see her for right now. She is a lean, mean hunting machine. I have had squirrel, wood rat, moles and many mouse parts left for me in choice spots in the barn.

The garden grows.



 We are enjoying our overcrowded raised bed veggie experiment, so much so, we may add another smaller one.



Takilma Gold has certainly been a star in the garden.



 The Shasta Daisies are about to bloom and the bright yellows and whites will rule the garden together for bit. The rest of it all looks pretty good although the bee balm hasn't come back like I was hoping.



It's all improving with the recent, more summer like heat. The nights are heavenly for sleeping though, going from the mid 80's to mid 50's.

This weekend will see a bit of rest. I may can again if I find something nice at the growers market. I am inspired by Marisa McClellan's "Preserving by the Pint" which has many interesting recipes for small batch canning, and that works for us perfectly! I'm not looking to put up a years worth of anything, but love the variety of a little of this and a little of that. I can hardly wait for pear season....

Parting shots: Could be dead.........


Or not!