Thursday, December 18, 2014

Uneventful Holidays, We Scoff at You!

I really have tried to post more often, but last week and the beginning of this week have been super busy.  Hazel Rose, which many of you asked about is a two year old, Jack/Chi/ Lhasa X. She is actually a half sister to Stella and Robin via their sire Cracker. She had not been working out in her present home due to some life changes there. She is learning the ropes here, settling in and finding her niche.

Her tub mate is Robin, who actually wanted to be a tub thief but settled with sharing instead.
 We have some training to do as far as pack manners and leash walking, but all in all she is an easy, sweet girl with a quick mind, a willingness to please and a love of cuddling. She is certainly making friends here.



Marigold has had her share of problems this past week, endoscopic surgery to remove a few rocks in her gut, and a dime! She also had two tumors removed from her side.

T shirt is to protect the 30 staples that are in her side from the tumor removal. She wears it well we think.
 Both appear to be non cancerous but they are being biopsied and lastly a diagnosis of mild Vestibular Syndrome. So we are all adjusting to the new reality of a large and wobbly dog. There is a good chance she will improve over time and from the first episode Sunday night to this point, there has been some improvement already.

The "Bar of Gold" arrived for Big Sal and was installed.



 I had sent a couple of pics to AVL showing the bolt configuration and they got it spot on.



 I even found a place to store the old fly shuttle beater bar.



 I need to get this gal warped and weaving on that pillowcase fabric.

The sewing room has seen scant action. I am in process with a jacket and skirt but have not snapped any pics up there. There has also been some nice end of year fabric acquisitions which I should document. Presents got wrapped up there and the ones that needed shipping, shipped. Fingers are crossed that a few last minute selections will arrive here on time.

The house has not been decorated yet for the holidays. I am so behind in that it might just not get done at this point, but there is the holiday book to feature, a couple actually and the tree outside is done and is festive enough to carry the season. We've had a little snow, a little ice and a lot of rain. I wish I had snapped a pic when the tree had its "done by nature" flocking on it, but I didn't.



 This will have to do with the reflection of the lights on the wet rainy deck.



And so, time marches on to the holiday ready or not!

Parting shot: The Faithful Dog at my feet.

Charlotte sleeping under the sewing table while I wrap gifts. I am never alone

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's All Happening at the Zoo

You knew it was bound to happen at some point.  We lost three much loved family members this year but that would never keep me from opening up my home to another needy animal. In fact Miss Bea, Rodger the cat and Peter were all rescues and the heart is as expansive in love and kindness as you let it be. Without further ado, please let me introduce Hazel Rose and please forgive the terrible picture.



Hazel is at that clingy stage and if I move, so does she and if she moves, everyone else has to come see too.  Life at the zoo. :)

Up in the sewing room some good useful sewing has been happening. A lovely linen Liberty blouse has been completed.



 I used a small piece of a past Heather Ross pattern that was given to me because it had dancing foxes on it. I've had it up on my wall for a number of years, just waiting for the perfect something to use it on.  Just enough for two much needed pockets.



The color was spot on with the linen, and since it is a light canvas weight it matches the linen perfectly that way too. The back detail shows the cute dancing frogs that are also on this fabric.



Dancing rabbits round out the whimsy. I sure wish I had more of this fun fabric, but this little bit was certainly enough to make the top special.

I finally attacked the Jocole Skinny Pant pattern I had cut out in a cotton twill/spandex blend teal fabric.



 I really needed that skinny leg in my wardrobe and while I like leggings, this is a better option for many of my tops.



While it is a perfectly wearable muslin it needs a bit of tweaking going forward. I do not have the hips that this pattern will accommodate, so a bit of grading and a little shortening between the waist and the crotch curve will make this a perfect fit next round.

There are some fun new patterns I've added to my stash for a try out in 2015. Two from Merchant & Mills in the UK.



 A few places in the United States are on their stock list although not all carry their patterns. I got mine from Gather Here, a nifty little store in Cambridge MA. I won't be able to visit them, but they have launched an online store too. Shipping was fast and reasonable and the packaging clever and sweet. I won't hesitate to order from them again and it sure beats the mailing costs from the England. I have one more new indie pattern I've ordered to try, not a Merchant & Mills pattern, but it has yet to arrive.

Outside the weather has been pretty crappy. Lots of rain, lots of mud and cloudy grey days. But still we manage to have some spectacular sunrises here, certainly not a traditional one, but the clouds on this morning where breathtaking in their own unique way.







Parting shot: Unsure and hopeful all at once. Worry not Hazel R, we'll pretty good at making a home for shy, wayward dogs. :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Move It On Over

The big dog is moving' in!

Yesterday Gene and I just had too much fun breaking down Big Sal and moving her into a room of her own. Having four hands and two minds on the project made for a surprisingly easier job than I had anticipated. I doubt we burned our full share of excess Thanksgiving Day meal calories, but it wasn't without its share of a few bits of cursing and heated discussion.....

This is Big Sal before the tear down.



In mid process, pieces of her scatted around the house like a gruesome weaving crime scene







and then finally back together, shoe horned under the light and fan and just barely allowing for the back door to be opened.



 The problem with Sal has always been those fly shuttle boxes. They add about 14" to either side of her. The beater bar/race is all one piece so even if you remove the box assembly you still have the full length. It has to go. I have two choices, order a new standard beater bar or saw this one down. Now I have no problem modifying a tool like a loom but I hate to ruin a piece to do it and some day, I or another weaver might want and need those fly boxes. You would certainly want them if you were weaving a full width warp. So really only one choice and that is to part with some cash and order a new standard beater from AVL. It is worth noting that I asked AVL if the new beater bar /race had gold inlay because for what is basically a piece of wood I feel like I am paying for some. My initials at least would be nice.....

Of course the Louet had to be moved out of the back room and into the main studio. Seems like the studio grew trading out BS for the Spring doesn't it?



On the sewing and weaving fronts there hasn't been a lot done. I did mean to share the cute bright corduroy tunic I made before the blog was interrupted with mattress testing pups!



This piece is getting a lot of wear.



I like corduroy much better than flannel and the baby wale I get at Fabric of Vision wears like iron
and is a staple in my winter wardrobe. Fun colors and patterns too!

Now if you are suffering an ear worm from this blog title, you have two choices to slide on over to.
The original version by Hank Williams or the version I grew up on (and played with a garage band for a number of years), by George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Either way I guess we can call it a musical Monday!

Parting shot: An intent Cooper (doing his best Tippi Hedren imitation), watching turkeys. They are viewed as possible horse eating monsters.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Mayhem of Mattress Testing

If anything new comes into our house, it MUST pass an 8 point nose to tail inspection. There is no sneaking anything into this house, ever. I have seen at least 4 dogs sitting in front of the closet waiting to sniff a new pair of shoes. And being terriers, they won't disperse until all is deemed inspected. I bought a new mattress. Just had to be done. Frankly, it is a job worse than buying a car IMHO. In the end I went with a TempurPedic, got a great deal and was done with it no muss no fuss.
But oh my, did the inspection crew have fun with it while I was trying to snap pics of my one measly finished sewing project. Without further ado, I turn this post over to the QC.

Innocent enough and ready for QC testing


Keep your eyes on the sneaking Golden!




No rest for the sneaky here though
Look at me! Look at me! The sun rises behind my ears!!!
Background wrestling.



Oh NO, a stolen Timmy! At this point the camera stopped and the supervisor had to step in. Someone got a little short faced and there were some hurt feelings and ruffled fur that all needed to be smoothed.



30 Minutes later we were all enjoying a short nap as the new mattress passed it's intensive inspection.
Whew!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Dans le Terrier du Lapin

Loosely translated "Down the rabbit hole", where it seems like I've been hiding the last week or so.  I also like the French translation of that phrase since it has terrier and rabbit all in one and how appropriate is that when you think about it. ;)

But enough of that, lots of fun stuff happening. For the first time in many years, a true complete family Thanksgiving is in the works, small as it is. And I started my holiday shopping early. I had been eyeing stuff all year long, here and there and sprung when the time was right. From now on it's all fill in as most of the important purchases are tucked away awaiting wrapping and tagging.

I had been a lapsed weaving guild member for a few years and finally decided to rejoin the Saturday Handweavers Guild. It's a shorter meeting time than the Rogue Valley Handweavers Guild, closer to home and just a better fit for actually making the meetings, which I did on Saturday of this past week. The bonus is it puts me in the Medford area on Saturday for a quick visit if I want to with my folks. Always nice. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy having my parents close by!

Other than the guild meeting there has been little movement on the looms, some but not a lot. I have nothing but home time carved out from now until Sunday afternoon (Patriots vs Colts at the folks), so fiber activities will commence shortly. In the sewing room I did manage to finish up one of the new patterns. The Vogue 1410 dress was completed.



I had to do a lot of shortening to the pattern and while I enjoy the way this one came out, I am not enough in love with the style to revisit it. There would be a ton of work I would want to do with this fit wise if I did another and I don't think the overall look is all that appealing on me.



 It was a fun make though and very comfortable and easy to wear.



The fabric is actually a medium weight cotton, so this can go the distance as far as season spanning and I made the armholes and neck so that I can wear it sleeveless in warmer months. And I added pockets! ;) In process is a baby wale cord tunic, a morph from my Grainline Tee sloper that I use for so many tops. It needs sleeves and hemming so is pretty close to finished.

I also "curated" some new fabrics. Fall fabrics are always my favorites. Interesting textures, fine wools and some great heavier weight cottons and linens. First up is a beautiful printed two sided stretch cotton, we think. It doesn't matter, it was love at first sight. Looks like hints of different weaving patterns to me.



 This will be a simple Lela Tunic by Green Bee. Let the fabric do the work in this comfortable and very wearable style. Next up is a light drapey grey wool crepe fabric



and lastly a perfect cross woven grey linen.



This has a lovely sheen and hand. I bought 3 yards and then went back and bought the rest of the roll. Good grey linen is hard to find and this is a quality and color much better than good. Use some now, save some for later for this will never go out of style. This year at least, the fabrics are a bit more somber. Sandi at Fabric of Vision pulls in all sorts of interesting fine fabrics and this looks like a "basics" year color wise. Lots of amazing fabrics in staple colors, blacks, greys, navy etc. No complaints here and I'm sure to be curating a few more in the weeks to come.

Parting shot: SQUIRREL!