Friday, May 22, 2015

Finally, Painting!

Yep, took forever to get started, between obligations, pulled backs and various other self induced procrastination techniques. It felt like I would never get started. Not only did I start, but the first floor bathroom is just about done.



 Only a repaint of the trim (this weekend), and we'll be leaving this room and journeying down the hall to the foyer. I even found the perfect chest of drawers for storage.



 Just look at that paint job, all done for me in a nice hard smooth enamel paint.



 I was thrilled when I saw this in the window of a local used furniture place. A little Yankee bartering and we were good to go. Let's be honest, while the color combination is a pretty one, not many places have need for it and it had been there for a good little while.

For those looking for the perfect grey, I've found it! Paternoster by Miller Paint, but I suspect the formula might be available via Pittsburgh Paint also. The grey itself is not too dark nor light, and a true clear silver grey, no blue, plum or brown tones. This color will be used in the foyer and don't be surprised if I dream up another place to use this lovely soothing color. The yellow of course is my own experiment using a gallon of a yellow I didn't like, Devine Mango Beans and now a bit of a soft cream to tone it down just a bit. My kitchen will be losing this color so it is nice to see it as a pop in this downstairs pit stop.

Last Thursday was the season finale of my Mother's singing group Joyful Noise.



 I've been to a number of my Mom's concerts through the years and have enjoyed them all.



This one was no different! I was even able to catch these few pics with my smart phone.



 Like all singing groups they will take the summer off and get together back in the early fall.

Other than painting not much else to report, we have had days of drizzle, rain and basic grey dreariness. The moisture is obviously good for our parched woods, not quite like a slow melting snow pack, but better than nothing. A few of the passing fronts have brought some real gully washers.
It's been cold too. By the time all is said and done, we'll probably only have a quarter of a cord of wood left from this past heating season. Gene already has some large rounds for next falls heating season to split, but he's waiting for some dryer weather. Maybe next week.

Parting shot: Marigold is always popular when it is chilly, not to mention her coveted spot near the radiator!
Marigold & Hazel Rose

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Horse and Raven





These two do this little dance almost every afternoon feeding. Always the red Horse from what I've seen but then again, I don't watch every night.



Raven knows horse knows he's stealing bits of seed heads. Sometimes horse ignores him, other times
the ears flatten back, the neck gets that snaky thing going and raven ruffles his feathers and steps back a bit. Sometimes Horse will swing his body around to move raven completely away. And sometimes Raven and Horse will be eating almost side by side. Raven almost always has left by 6:30p.m.
I have to take these photos from a good distance away. The raven is a cautious bird and will fly away if I get too close.

I was going to start painting this past Monday but the weather turned cold and wet. Instead of being able to open windows up while I used oil paints in the kitchen, we had the wood boiler Rube running again heating the house. Of course this is all my fault. I put away my winter clothes and brought out the summer ones AND bought a dining set for the deck.



We got to eat one meal on it Saturday night before the yuck moved in.  We need the yuck though, lots of rain on Monday and yesterday we had numerous bouts of rain and snow mixed. We'll take it, as much as Mother Nature wants to send us which looks like all week.

Gene burned some slash piles we had over the weekend. It was getting almost too dry for that and we had one little creeper start up about 10 feet from the pile. It was put out and the rain took out any residual smolder the fires might have had.

It has been productive up in the sewing salon. The last Zebra bag was completed and a nifty pair of pants in black and white.



The print looks like pen scribbles! These are done in the now TNT Skinny Pant pattern by Jocole. I did up a second pair of pants in a stripe from one of my other TNT patterns (Sewing Workshop Trio pant) but neglected to get pics. If I think of it, I'll snap one or two.

The real fun was getting a new load of summer stuff cut and ready to sew. Some great prints and fabrics to work with! The first one off the pile is this years awesome fish pattern.



Last year was the Pet Piranhas, this year I'll be ready for Shark week.



 Isn't there a third Sharknado coming out? ;-) And there are more animal prints coming up. This may be a critter kind of year for sewing.

I'm about a third of the way threading the Gilmore Gem for overshot runners. It's been a very long time since I did an overshot pattern and the threading is slow for me. The second bout of pillowcase warp on the warping reel is just about to be counted, tied and removed to make way for a third. I need 488 ends in all and the warp is 12 yards plus long. Takes me forever to get these long warps done and ready to be beamed. This will go on the Macomber. I should get a fair amount of pillowcases from it.

The towels for the Greensprings Fire & Rescue silent auction are done and gone.



 I have more to hem but these were the important ones to get finished.

The Murphy loom will be idle for a bit. I have the new aprons I ordered from Macomber, just need to make the time.

Not much outdoor stuff happening, due to weather but inside we are snug and dreaming of riding horses and weaving on the deck. Maybe by the time I have that overshot pattern threaded and sleyed it will be time to fold up the loom and bring him downstairs for the summer. No doubt that will cause more crappy weather! ;-)

Parting shots: The power of Pairs.
Smoochie & Marigold

Stella & Robin


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back At It

Well, I was hopeful for a quick recovery, and 1.5 weeks post back pull does find it better, just not 100%. Bending to lift objects, like wiggly dogs is sometimes painful and bucking hay bales down off the stack out of the question, but I'm pretty much off Advil and by mid morning, things do feel almost normal.

I spent a lot of time in bed last week so this is a pretty lean post. I did get a new bathrobe made.



 This had been sitting in one of the tubs, cut out and marked,  for quite a while. I got to it because I wanted to pirate a piece of fabric for another project and only these fuzzy sheep would do! The fabric is a soft Japanese low nap flannel.




 I did the lining for the robe as an interlining, which means I sewed the two fabrics together (outer and inner), before sewing the garment together. I like this better than a loose lining for a bathrobe. The inner fabric (shown in the placket and on the sleeve cuffs), is a lovely cotton that was part of the Downton Abbey collection.

Another large grocery bag was made too.



 I have a second one to assemble and I may reverse the yellow and zebra print fabric. The lining will stay the same.



And here is how I used that small amount of left over flannel sheep fabric. I had just enough.



Now these treadle protectors aren't as nice as the sheepskin ones, but they didn't cost me the better part of a $100.00 dollars either. They feel nice and they do the job. We have been getting to know each other. I love this spinning wheel and have about 1 bobbin full of so so "getting to know you" yarn.  I'm learning all the small adjustments. This really is quite a versatile wheel.



I have both big looms cleared of projects although new projects will be going on them soon. We have decided to hire out the bulk of the downstairs painting. I'll still do a couple of small rooms and the majority of the trim, but the high hard places and the stairwell someone else will do. That of course frees me up to get some warps on the looms. The long 12 yard warp for pillowcases is in process for the Macomber, a small overshot warp has been done for the Gilmore and I am still thinking about what to put on the Murphy. Maybe prayer flags...TBD at a later date. :-)

I did get out for a little walk once a day with one of the herd. This day it was Stella.

check out the single wrinkle!



We met up with Juno by the wood shed. They greeted each other politely and then did it all again after rounding  each side of this big log.



But they aren't the only ones out enjoying spring.
Parting shots: Pacific Tree Frog




Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Morning Shadow

At least one of the feral cats is getting comfortable with me. Wynken watches me go into the barn most mornings from about 20 feet away and when I am finished doing what I do in the tack room, she scoots in to get her share of the fresh breakfast that has been delivered. No cat food is left in the barn overnight. I carry it in in the morning and take up in the late afternoon.

 I spent the majority of the week in the valley. My Dad and I spent a lovely Tuesday visiting some  plant nurseries way out in the Applegate and Grants Pass areas. Wednesday was a Mother/Daughter shopping day in Ashland and I took my Mom to my hairdresser for a nice cut. We shopped shoes and books and had a proper lunch at Larks in the beautiful Ashland Springs Hotel. Thursday was the Growers Market and my own food shopping and yesterday I decided to throw my back out planting a dang tree. All my weekend plans have fizzled for the moment. It wasn't the shoveling, the ground was light and easy, I just twisted wrong when I bent to pick up the tree to put it in the hole. I've rarely had lower back problems and I'm hoping this goes away quickly. Like tomorrow.......

While I was in town this week, Gene and floor guy Phil were working on this!



 It's probably best I wasn't around much.



There is still some caulking to do around the sink but for the most part, it is done.



The room will get a fresh coat of paint sometime this spring/summer. I have colors already picked out. The camera doesn't do this nice sheet vinyl justice at all. It looks like a soft grey linen. This is the same flooring that we put in the laundry room.

I did manage a quick sew earlier in the week. This is some of that heavenly Japanese linen, in a polka dot. I have this fabric in a grey dot too.



 It is hard to find so I buy it when I see it. The hand is quite different from either Belgium, Irish or Italian linen.

The Macomber is empty, folded up and under cover.  I got six towels from that warp and some sampling.



Two of the towels will go to the Greensprings Fire and Rescue silent auction.



The Murphy loom will be cleared today of it's warp. I can sit okay for short periods and weave a bit after a couple of Advil's. I also have a good start on the warp for the Gilmore. I am going to do an overshot pattern from the Bertha Gray Hayes book. Tangerine is the name. The warp is a plain medium grey unmercerized cotton which I think will show off any colors I might chose nicely.

I sold Big Sal.  I had loads of fun learning the mechanics of a dobby loom on her but she is poorly suited to what I like to weave, which is short warps and not quite so intricate patterns. Plus she takes up a ton of real estate. She will be leaving me in Sept. but I'll be breaking her apart sooner than that. Probably July or August.

I also sold my Lendrum spinning wheel. It was a lovely wheel but I pined away for my Schacht wheel that I never should have sold. I don't spin often so when I do, I really want to love the wheel I spin on. With the Lendrum, I sent some nice braids of wools and a few little bags of some other fibers I think along with some locally harvested Romney wool. I personally think every wheel should come with assortment pack of fibers to try, kind of like a box of chocolates....
Anyway, the lovely buyer in New Hampshire sent ME back a thank you gift. Virginia West's Swatch Book, signed from 1985.





 What a treasure.! Thank you Gwen, so very much!



 There will be one or two warps at least inspired by this collection.

 I replaced the Lendrum with another Schacht wheel, this one a Matchless (pics next post!). As always The Web-sters took good care of me through ordering this dream wheel to delivery! I am so lucky to have a first rate yarn store as my LYS. They really are amazing and if you are ever in Ashland, they and Fabric of Vision are two shops you simply have to see to appreciate if you love fibery things.

So, that was the week that was in a nutshell, or at least a single blog post. :-)

Parting shot: Robin, who had been severely reprimanded right before this pic. Does he look contrite to you?


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pranks

Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are consummate pranksters and when the two get together in April, this is what you get.



 It started Monday night with a biting wind and stinging sleet and quickly changed over to all snow. Swirling and twirling around you as if coming from a fairy godmother's wand, or maybe Jack Frost's! It was a proper storm and at the end on Tuesday we had about 6 inches of white and wet.



The walls in most areas are bare in prep of painting. Monday the floor guy is coming to put in the new bathroom floor so I'm thinking next week is a lost week as far as painting goes. It's not like we have some strict schedule to adhere to, but once I start I keep going until I'm done.

The weaving has gone in spurts this week. The towel warp on the Macomber is on its last towel.



 This one in a bright ultramarine color.



I had fun with this warp, this loom and certainly finding colors besides black to weave with. The Murphy loom has about 2 yards left on it and will get my full concentration this coming week to weave it off.



 The Gilmore is empty but I am inspired to set him up with an overshot pattern and do some dresser scarves/runners. I have slowly been adding to the collective weaving library with some classic works.





 The Bress coverlet books are AMAZING.



 Between all three Helene Bress books (the Coverlet book is actually two tomes),  there must be thousands of drafts. They are being self published by the Bress family and the cost for all three is something like $79.00 plus shipping. A steal for such a wealth of information.

In the sewing salon the test run through of the Sew House Seven Mississippi Ave dress has been completed.



This one as a summer night gown or around the house only sun dress. I guess it depends on the time of day I'm wearing it!



Anyway, the pattern is easy and flattering. I needed a few adjustments to the armholes. The bust portion is roomy and true to size, the lower half would need to be added to for those who like more swing or are pear shaped. It is a very easy pattern to adjust and just plain pretty and feminine on. Even in kiddie fox fabric! ;-) Pair it with a lightweight cardi and you have a great summer day to evening look. The pattern also offers a tunic option. There are more of these in my future for hot weather wear.

Some fun fabrics have made it into stash in the salon. This photo print zebra light weight canvas for one



and a heavenly Japanese fine linen.



The hand on this fabric is just lovely, smooth, silky and quite decadent feeling. It is earmarked for a completely adjusted Mississippi Ave tunic. And of course in the  cooler seasons, my linen sleeveless tops quite often do double duty as cami's under heavier tops and tunics.

The weather is turning more warm than not. The horses are shedding. Cooper is almost all shed out, and Dandy not too far behind. The curlier the coat, the longer it takes to shed out it seems. The goats are blowing their undercoats and if they would hold still would get a little brushing with the slicker. But they are also silly playful goats and rarely stay still. :-)

I've glimpsed the feral cats a couple of times. The food is gone at the end of the day so someone is stopping by to nibble.

Parting shot: Before cropping. Catching Z's.