Saturday, September 15, 2018

Upgrading and Downgrading

Fanny Justine got an upgrade. I will admit it took Gene and I a week or so to get on the same page, a few heated discussions on attachment options and picking which enamel color to paint it. Blue or red.

You can see here which one won. Say that 3 times fast. It will get the full monty of decorative painting because that pleases me and as was my winning argument, I'm the one using it. So there! ;-)

I just didn't want to drill any attachment holes in the uprights. I could see it going horribly wrong with a crack. Other options looked like Rube Goldberg had drafted them. Plus Rube...ah Gene never would have gotten to all that woodworking. This option was simple and easy and completely removable with no modifications needed to the loom itself.

Best part, it's done!

You can also see that threading is going at a painfully slow pace. I am not a fast threader. I am not fast when it comes to anything in weaving. But I am pretty fast in the sewing department.

Another scrub made it out for another tech.

She had requested forest green. Let me tell you, there are some colors that are just a bugger to find with nice prints. Forest green is one of them.

Surprisingly, purple in adult prints and such is another. Of course I could give them the "My Pony with the rainbow coming out of its butt".but I'd save that one for myself! And really, shouldn't it be dollar bills instead of rainbows they are pooping anyway?

I finally broke down and purchased a weaving book I had been coveting for a while now.

 I figured I better get it before it goes out of print and is listed for hundreds of dollars. It is a lovely book, a reading book about the history of Finnish American rag rug weaving.

 More inspiration than drafts and I am pleased to add it to my weaving library. So few weaving books are published these days and for the most part, are beginner geared and often, uninspiring.

Okay, we've covered upgrades and might as well get to the downgrades. Some of you have asked about my Mother. There were no tests for the summer, she finished chemo end of May, beginning of June and all appropriate tests and such scheduled for 3 months out. The long and short of it, is the cancer has come back in her left kidney. Her right kidney is compromised with a stone, her function overall is 50% or a little worse. She has 3 options, none will offer more than maybe a few months respite. Option 3, is to do nothing other than put a kidney stent in and hopefully help it function better for a short time. Option 2 is to stent and do targeted radiation, knocking back the growth for a little while. Option 1 was to do stent and chemo. We have opted for door #2. Now some of you know my mother suffers from mild dementia. She refuses to talk about end of life care (and every time I bring up the subject I get snapped at that I am just wanting her to die faster).  Sigh. She really believes because she feels fine she is fine. After all, her hair is growing back so how bad can it be? So, we steer the ship as best we can and spend another fall, with my last parent, dying of cancer. And you thought only March had Ides!

I'll leave you with Green Day, best I can do today.

Parting shot: Therapy Dogs.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Patterns Can Still Surprise

You know I didn't have much hope for the Design and Sew Kimono Encore pattern. One because it was a kimono and two, because it was an Erikson pattern. From experience these patterns (both Lois and Diane's), often don't work for me, so imagine my surprise when I slipped this on "in process" and fell deeply in love with it.

I was sorry I had used a linen I wasn't in love with color wise, but decided to turn this into a garment I would adore. I took one of my Dad's old denim shirts I had saved for patching and such and went to town giving my plain Jane kimono some pizazz. Half the pockets are cut from the fronts,

then I used the button bands for the snaps.

 I still didn't feel it had enough so I went ahead and did some simple outline embroidery in a deep true red. The constellation on he back is Canis Major,

the one directly on the sleeve Canis Minor.

I haven't taken it off really since I finished it Saturday morning. This is not to say there won't be some modifications. There will be. I want to grade out the hips just a smidge and pull in the shoulders a smidge. As pretty as those big long sleeves are, they do get in the way if you actually need to like eat or prepare food in it. A cuff  and some slight tapering next go round because I love the volume and want to keep most of it.

The next surprise was that a skirt came out of the salon. The first one in a very long time. I had bought a $5.00 piece of deep brown/raisin colored tencel. 2.25 yards was plenty to test this "Everyday Skirt" pattern by Liesl and Co. In fact, it is too big.

I have cut another a size down but I shortened the back elastic on this one and it will be perfectly wearable. Those who have read this blog for a while know there are few things I dislike more than buttons and zippers and facings and in that order. I'll do zippers but I  prefer not to and certainly not for skirts. This hit all the right features. Flat front, elastic back, gentle gathers and a really nice pocket detail.

I was not disappointed. I can see this with a cute little boxy cropped sweater, tights and some boots for fall.  I have a second one cut out and beautiful piece of a brown melton melange wool for a third one. I have some fab inexpensive fabrics waiting for fall winter skirts and pants.

I'm also looking at making a fancy winter coat. I purchased this pattern for a look see.

I love the gilet idea. I know I'm a weaver but I just don't love wearing scarves and I don't like a cold neck either. This is a great compromise.

I have a bolt of some special Scottish wool that would be perfect. I will say the pattern is less than clear on the instructions and rather intimidating. A muslin is in order for sure, but I think this is the perfect project for after the holidays when there is no pressure to do anything else but watch the snow come down and make soups and homemade bread.

It's salad days right now.

Hearty salads like my favorite Greek Panzenella using gifted fresh tomatoes (thank you Sandi!), just picked peppers, English cucumbers, Greek olives, locally made feta and homemade croutons all doused in a delicious dressing and left to soak it up. Occasionally I add some Abruzzese Sausage.
The recipe is an Ina Garten one and you can find it here.

Wasn't it great to see and hear Pres. Obama last week?! OMG, full sentences! Full sentences that had complete clear thoughts! Oration at it's best, filled with hope and better angels, kindness, clear direction and vision. Thank you for making this one old heart happy.  This is the song I leave you with today.

Parting shots: Do you hear what I hear?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Shouldn't it Be Raining By Now?

We really could use some rain here in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The I5 was closed yesterday due to another fire started in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. A beautiful area I might add, or at least it was. There has been a lot of burning going on in there. And as always, there has been a lot of talk going on about what to do about forest fires. Why yes, you can cut all the trees and then you will end up with an even drier, dirtier problem. Think dust bowl, think loss of wildlife and water sheds. Honestly, the long term answer is to face climate change and start mitigating yesterday with pollution cutting measures. Short term, do a better job with prescribed burns when it's wet, judicious tree cutting and thinning and replanting, on a 3-5 year schedule. Clear cuts typically plant all trees at the same time, plant all the same kinds of trees and often use heavy chemicals and pesticides to inhibit weed growth. Judicious forest management makes sure this doesn't have to happen. What about roadless areas? Believe me, there are a fair amount of horse logging teams in the west that would love to go in annually and harvest gently in old growth and roadless areas. It was done for a number of years before big mechanized tree cutting equipment was developed and in this day and age there is quite a market for sustainably and green harvested goods. We need to do a much better job of building too BTW, stick built houses waste an enormous amount of wood, but that is a talk for another day. Right now I just want three things. Some good days of rain, that jerk of a SCOTUS pick to take his lying hateful racist self back under whatever rock he was found by the Federalist Society and for the GOP to grow a spine and a pair and start some checks and balances on the orange asshat. Other than the rain I don't think I'm asking too much.

Yes, I have been sewing, a little. Two nifty little Jalie Rose numbers made it out of the salon. I do love this sleeveless pattern. The fit is quite nice. The little orange one is so washed out in the pics.

 It is really a beautiful medium deep shade of pumpkin. And look closely at the pink one, those are little mice.

I was so taken with this print, I bought enough in a grey colorway for a long sleeved top at some point. Today I am starting on on the kimono pattern. I'l let you all know next post how that one goes.

Ahem...due to a Labor Day sale a couple of skirt patterns and a jacket pattens arrived in my mailbox!

One is already cut out of a $5.00 piece of deep raisin colored Tencel. Great for fall!

Parts is parts and the ones I ordered for Fanny Justine arrived from Canada a day early. New treadle hooks (did I mention I found the lost 6th one of the old set in the car?), 200 inserted eye heddles and a set of threading helpers.

They keep the shafts from moving while threading and tie up and will also work like angel wings holding the lease sticks. I have yet to plumb their full usefulness, but for holding the shafts, A+.

steps the shafts nicely for threading
 Gene and I will be building a removable castle shelf for her. Should be interesting. We don't always work well together, I find it much more amiable to draw a picture and let him arrive to the end result as he will.....I think he prefers that too. ;-)

Inside, fall painting is about to commence. New moulding has been purchased for the foyer and hallway since we ripped the old out for the tiling and I ordered and picked up the oil paints for the kitchen cabinets.

I was told this time like every other time, no one uses oil paints anymore. They hold up so well for the hard use kitchen cabinets take though, worth the effort and cost.

It's dental month at my vet's. It means they will be looking at thousands of teeth and also looking quite tired since they discount all dental work a pretty nice amount. I'm told the schedule is completely full and it warms my heart to know so many people are taking care of their pets teeth because Lord (and me), knows, the work can be costly. Mandy has her appointment in October. I get a multi dog discount so no need to double dip or take time away from other needy choppers.
In that vein I leave you with this little tribute to dentists everywhere.

Parting shot: Did you say "Cheese"?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Funeral Friday, Tears, Taps and Pink Cadillacs

If you want to sob and dance on the same day, this one might be just perfect. I haven't been able to watch much of the memorials for John S. McCain. Seeing Meaghan McCain sobbing at the first one in AZ. brought back every single awful emotion of losing my own Dad not quite 2 years ago. I know how she feels and I think I was sobbing for both of us, all of us, who have lost a much loved (and missed), father. I also sob because it feels like being abandoned or left with the evil step-father. In this case, being left with both a criminal president and Republican congress, with no voice, no one to speak up in authority to keep us safe. Certainly sob worthy. VOTE!

And then there is Detroit, turning out in pink Cadillacs and foot tapping music. The sounds of celebration of a different kind of gift given to our country and this world. What a flipping day. What a line of pink Cadillacs!

I'm thinking the two of them are up there somewhere sharing a few words. Ah to be a fly. Do you think there are flies in heaven? I sure hope so.

And that brings me to a sort of unproductive week. Lots of things got cut.

I decided I wanted more button down shirts of both long sleeved and sleeveless varieties. I cut out 3 each of the Jalie Rose for wear with cardigans come fall and winter and 3 Hey June Cheyenne Shirts. The test run Kimono jacket got cut out too in a pale blue linen that I wasn't in love with. I needed a certain amount of drape to give this pattern (Kimono Encore, a Lois Erikson Design & Sew),  long out of print, a fair shake. These Erikson patterns can go horribly wrong for me so best use a fabric I didn't much care for.

I'm sorry to say my last scrub was a bit too narrow in the shoulders for it's wearer, so with some adjustments and a fresh piece of fabric, we are ready to start in anew. They are saving it to give to the next small tech or receptionist that should start at the clinic. It's all good and I like making these. I'm getting pretty darn fast at them too!

And speaking of fabric, sometimes I really go off the rails with my purchases. I see so much cute stuff and I am weak. Very weak, especially when it comes to foxes or remembered stories from my childhood. So, these have graced my sewing room. A panel to make a small soft book of "The Little Prince"

 another book panel of farm animals and their sounds.

 A large center panel of camping forest critters

 and lastly Freya & Friends Dollhouse.

 Blame that one on the little Jack Russell Terrier "Fred".
The book is so cute, who wouldn't want a little quilted dollhouse and figures! ;-)

Precious little weaving has gone on. But on the Louet David Ziva, these practical brown towels weave on.

I like the white very much for weft and the stripes are actually a deep forest green.

A simple bleached white warp is almost done for Fanny Justine. This is what I hope they will look like when woven!

Speaking of Fanny, I had to take her apart again and we moved her down to the studio.

St. Nick the Macomber will be leaving for his new home sooner than expected. Rather than get Miss Fanny J warped upstairs, it was easier to crowd her in for a few days. She looks quite lovely under the lights!

Mandy had a vet appointment Tuesday. She has some skin bumps and lumps and such that we decided really should come off. A teeth cleaning too. We'll run my vet bill up in October as September is dental month at the vet's and they are very busy with dogs that need dental attention much greater than hers. She's fine with waiting!

So, the song for the day is of course Freeway of Love!

Parting shot: Oh Dear, an unfortunate flop of the ear!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Hello's and Good-Bye's

Although I don't usually start my post off with a political bent, and I think you all know where I stand, I simply must mention and honor an amazing human being, and a great patriot. John McCain passed away from the same brain cancer on the same day as his equally amazing friend and patriot Ted Kennedy.  The two of them where both able to reach across the isle, find common ground and compromise for the good of the country, NOT the party or the individual. We are a much lesser country now and especially so without John McCain. Now I don't think he was as mavericky as people said, and like all of us, flawed, but no one doubted he worked tirelessly because he loved this country. I rarely agreed with him, but I know he wasn't a self serving, self dealing asshat. We all know what one of those looks like right now don't we? God Speed Mr. McCain. Bless your family and I for one will remember you with kindness and honor and wonder how much different this country might have been if GW didn't win the nomination in 2000.

So, lets go to another good-bye, although this one not quite so dramatic! I have sold the 40" Macomber locally and he'll go to his new home once that weaver sells the loom she is replacing!
BTW, I happen to know where there is a very good deal on a Schacht 8 shaft floor loom if anyone is interested.

And you all know I abhor a loom vacuum! I was able to find a new to me loom within a 150 miles of me!  A great feat because as you know, every loom I ever want is at least 5 hours away! :-) I played the loom fetcher this trip.

 I got to meet a lovely weaver (who hopefully will find herself a nice table loom ) and her handy husband, who did the honor of breaking down the loom for me, we stuffed her into the car and then had a lovely lunch! Thank Gerry and Gary, so much!

Please welcome Fanny Justine, a lovely 1973 LeClerc Counterbalance  45" Fanny loom.  Like her LeClerc sibling Mira this loom has 4 shafts and 6 treadles. The bonus with Fanny is she folds to make her take up space a wee bit slimmer when not in use.

 I learned to weave on a CB loom, and Buttercup reminded me how truly light and wonderful weaving on one is. I didn't mind an older loom but I wanted one that I could easily upgrade and replace parts as needed. She really needs nothing though (except one of the 6 six treadle hooks I lost along the way), ad is in beautiful condition. A simple white cotton towel warp will be going on her to have some fun with twills or rose path. Starting it today.

I also received a surprise gift from a friend in upper state New York . Look at this beautiful mug!

Locally made to her and I have to say, makes coffee taste so much better. Thank you Susan! Pets to the Pat et al. and hugs to you!

Somewhere in the smoke and haze I also got a ride in.

It was a slow affair, hot and dusty and as usual, accompanied by my horses goatie entourage.

What a sight (fright) we must look like!

Cooper loves his cool down.
Two makes made it out of the sewing salon. One a modified button down Hey June blouse.

 No collar, no cuffs, and the barest of gathers instead of a pleat.

 The fabric is a soft draping washed ribbed silk in a color close to peat. Not truly brown and not green. It's a lovely shade though made more so that the 3 yard piece cost a mere $10.00 at a local quilt stores five and dime table. Most of them garment materials from a store long past. I have some nice wool crepes set aside too for winter sewing.

The second make was the 2nd of 4 scrub top.

Lastly, here is the start of the rag rug warp on Buttercup.

These are my upstairs bathroom colors!
Should be bright and washable!

I'm leaving you with Taps. I selected the United States Navy Band version because after all, John McCain was a Navy man through and through.

Parting shot: Oh Dear! Another loom?!