Sunday, August 2, 2015

Smoked!

Now I could be referring to Oregon's new marijuana laws or the wonderful things one can do with salmon or pork, but it is neither of those things.





 It is the smoke from the Stouts fire burning up in Douglas County, a fair ways from us actually, but prevailing winds are bringing the smoke into Rogue Valley (visibility has been lower than a 1/4 mile!), and finally to the southern end and up into the mountains. The smoke is bad, but not near as bad as being one of the many families effected in the immediate area of the fire. I remember all too well what that feels like from last year. And so the west begins to burn in earnest again this summer. Of note, one of the largest fires is up in Alaska. The entire west coast is pretty darn dry I'd say. You can scan through the numerous pages of fire activity here.

If the smoke wasn't keeping us all in, the heat sure is! It has helped to move some creative endeavors along. One of them is the pillowcase warp on St. Nick the Macomber. Threaded,



sleyed - twice  (I was off with the fairies  drinking Shiner Bock and thinking I was using a 10 dent reed when what I really had was an 8 dent. Head slap.), and weaving up beautifully so far. I am just about through the body of the first case which is 56" plus the plain deep border hems each end.



 I have some fine linen I am going to try with one of these. I am hoping it will soften well. The basket weave pattern is hard to see but once washed this will shrink and tighten up quite a bit and become beautiful fabric.



 I am loving this robin's egg blue and it was a lot easier to search for threading errors using a color.

I've had some fun up in the sewing room. I bought a couple of Tina Givens patterns and on one, the Phoebe, I realized I could take my ever adaptable Scout tee pattern and do this layered look without the heartache of numerous bust and shoulder adjustments.



  I used two very light smooth cottons for these pieces. The subtle stripe is a soft and beautifully woven India fabric. The tank has woven ovals, not printed.



 I will be trying out the cute loose cuffed pants that are also included with the pattern.

I couldn't resist using my favorite little mice in the body of this Decades of Style "Given a Chance" dress.



 The bodice is actually the little bags that my Restoration Hardware linen sheets came in. The color matched perfectly and there was just enough to eek it all out.



In other news, my Mother continues to improve after a couple of set backs. Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes! We are all going out for dinner tonight and I know she is looking forward to it. She has to stay in rehab because she is getting intravenous antibiotics every 4 hours and it is much easier to manage and monitor in that setting and receive her physical therapy.

Both Marigold and I had haircuts last week. Not by the same stylist of course! Marigold went for the full on treatment with body wash and pedicure.

Smoochie had to crowd into the pic too!
She looks pretty cute and cuddly and I am sure feels so much cooler! I know I do.

And so that pretty much covers things for now. Thoughts and prayers going out to those affected by the numerous fires this season and to fire fighters everywhere. One was lost this past week in the Frog Fire in Modoc National Forest over the border in Northern California.

Parting shot: Lap time.
Robin & Jack


Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Last 10 Days in Mostly Pictures

I just can't begin to tell you how busy it has been and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat this summer, but here is what has been happening around our little spot in the world to get you updated (even if it is  pretty spartan on text!).

My Mom has had some ups and downs with the hip but so far, is holding her own.

Charlotte is not doing so well, but we'll keep on keeping on until she decides not to.



 Lots of treats, favorite foods and cuddles daily.

Sewing has been sporadic but productive.

Another Grainline Scout variation

Mississippi Ave tunic and linen pants
A new pattern was tried out, Tina Givens "Bianca". I can't say the instructions are terribly good or the drafting, but it did all work out quite wonderfully with a little thought and adjustments.



While I haven't traveled this summer, I have good friends that have. Best of all they bring back gifts!
Fox ribbon from a Washington State trip. So cute!



Pattern and Liberty bias tape both from Purl Soho in NYC.



I snuck in a half day with friend Cindie (Eweniquely Ewe), and couldn't resist taking home some of the fab Ashland Bay merino she sells.



And in the weaving studio, things are hopping! The Macomber St. Nick has been dressed and is getting threaded for pillowcases! 12 yards and 488 ends......






And in the great outdoors, I have finally gotten my best bud out for a spin around our usual trails.
He was as always, the same sane horse I left on my last ride sometime in February or March.



I startled a turkey hen and her chicks, one flew into the tree. There was a lot of calling and clucking once I left the area but the family was reunited.



Parting shot: The end to a perfect day, napping on a lap in the comfy chair.
Hazel Rose

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In the Garden



I'm pretty happy with my year 3 little front flower garden. It's a bit wild and I suppose after all my plotting and planning and planting it ended up being just what I wanted.





 A little of this and a little of that.  And of course, we have some special fish in the garden too. I just adore this addition.



The deer have not gotten to it yet, but the summer drags on and I saw my first fawn a few days ago.

There has been a titch of sewing, mostly favorites like this cross over Tee pattern modified from the Grainline Studio's Scout Tee.



 This one in a Japanese double gauze. I had worked with this type of fabric before and disliked it but this time around either the fabric was better or I am more accomplished or a little of both.



 In any event it is a wonderful on, soft and comfortable in a great color.  I added another piece of this type of fabric into my stash in a dark color.

I did a wearable muslin on the sleeved version of the Decades of Style "Given a Chance" dress and my  frankenpattern came out pretty good.



I need to trim the sleeve down just a bit, but it was a very good first go at it.  I just love the little folds on the bodice.



One of the patterns from the Bold & Beautiful book got a redo too. This little kimono jacket got some modifications and I like it better.



I think just a few more adjustments are in order for "perfection" !



Lastly, another Mississippi Ave dress, in a white lawn with little robots on it.




 I think this will end up shorter. I wanted to try a really long dress version of it as a tunic and I'm not sure the length will work. It is easy enough to shorten though.

Between thunderstorms and fire watches, it was a busy week and a half. We had a nice 4th of July, not too busy although Gene got called out later in the evening for a possible smoke. It ended up being in CA and we've had some decent rain since then. My mother has had some complications with her hip replacement and has been back in the hospital since Weds. Fingers crossed this time around goes smoothly. We have fortified her with good books, hand made chocolates and lots of flowers.

Parting shot: Robin, who use to be white and red. Summer is the best time for rolling in the dirt don't ya know!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sewing, Weaving, Weather and Wildlife

I'm hitting all the bases here! Southern Oregon and Northern California, besides being in a drought, is also experiencing a heat wave. We are all moving slowly and doing hard work in the morning while it is still cool. Everything is making use of the shade in the hot afternoons and I have been hiding out in the air conditioned bedroom sewing.

A fair amount has gotten done up there and all of it, hot weather sewing.  The Decades of Style "Given a Chance" dress is a delight to make.



 That little folded  and lined bodice just feels special and the whole thing takes about two hours from cut to closet.



 I drafted a sleeve for it using the armsythe and sleeve from the Grainline Studio Scout Tee, and we'll see how that works out. One is cut out for a try out in the next sewing round. It is a bit tricky with the bodice. As is I have been making this in cottons and linens they are comfortable and cool.





 There are also in seam pockets. What's not to love?

A couple of little Mississippi tunics also got done. Seems there is a flying theme in these.





 Birds of Paradise in one and if you look closely (biggify), bats in the other.



 In fact this fabric is titled "Bats in the Belfry". This has been the year of pinks for me and it is fitting this is designed by Tula Pink.



The Gem has seen a bit of action. I've finished up the 4 place mats and have headed into dresser scarf weaving. I chose a bright minty green for this and I am liking how the grey and green mix.



 I've probably gotten another 12 inches along since this pic was snapped. Overshot is not my strong suit for fast weaving.

Juno the cat tussled with I think Wynken the barn cat and got a bitten and infected paw out of the deal. A quick little surgery to open up the punctures, an overnight stay, some pain meds and antibiotics and bed rest and she is good to go outside today after her last dose of Clavamox.

And here is the other visitor to our bird feeders.



 I saw the deer trying to get into it the other day but it is just a little too high.

My Mother is doing great with her hip replacement recovery. Bending down is still hard but she is making excellent progress. We did breakfast out a couple of times last week. :-)

Another wave of record breaking heat is due just in time for the 4th of July.  We'll be hanging with the folks, having a simple selection of burgers, dogs and sides and lots of cold beer. Fingers crossed that we do not get thunderstorms and Gene can actually relax and enjoy the day.

Parting shots: Queen of the Serengeti (barn cat Wynken), surveying her domain.





Monday, June 22, 2015

Foxy 2015

About once a season I am blessed with a great opportunity to snap some pics of our favorite wildlife visitor, the Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). This time of year the nocturnal and crepuscular animals are out and about foraging for food for the ever growing youngsters. Skunks, raccoons, deer
and of course, my much enjoyed foxes are all making appearances day and night.

Here are some of the results of this years photo shoot. The fox was watching me refill the feeder across from the deck. They love sunflower seeds and it is a good source of fat for much of the wildlife, not just the birds. Anyway, in full view of my little friend I took a handful of seed and dropped it on the ground and moved off to the next feeder down by the wood boiler Rube. When I turned to head back, she was at the seed. I had to walk by her to get back into the house. I was on one side of the driveway, she/he on the other, not more than 10 feet away. I was able to grab my phone on the deck railing and went to work. She stayed there for at least 30 minutes and sampled the seed I left out for the Stellar Jays too. Enjoy!