Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Our Day to Shine Tuesday




Forget Black Friday, Buy Local Saturday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is all about facing outward and lending a helping hand. Donate time with a food kitchen, give canned goods, there are toy drives and coat drives. Most cities and towns have safe houses for battered women and many are in need of just the basic items since they likely left quickly to save their lives and those of their children.

Grocery stores, at least the ones around here, have coupons for dollar amounts to allow food banks to shop the items they need to round out their donations.



Your local animal shelter always needs littler and food, safe toys, blankets, beds and towels. Most of them have a wish list if you want to help fund those goals. If you adopt an animal, why not pay for another animals adoption, maybe one who has been at the shelter way too long?

This is a day when all acts of kindness and charity, are noted and appreciated, and heaven knows, there is a lot of need in the world right now.  It isn't what you give,  it's that you give, with intent and kindness. Go spread some good Karma today of one sort or another, it will make you feel wonderful, really. :-)




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Takeover

No, not that way, but if I ruled the world...... ;-)

Actually the more accurate term would be an exchange. For years DH has used my Bernina Virtuosa 150QE for sewing strap goods for his business.



 It's grunt work and for some time now seemed a great pity. The Bernina does buttonholes second to none, has a hands free system and an adjustable pressure foot. To buy a newer version of this machine it would cost me near $2500. and frankly they are no longer made in Switzerland. It wasn't going to happen. The Pfaffs, are lovely machines too but do crappy buttonholes and the pressure foot is not adjustable. They do have a wonderful on board walking foot.  Both are strong machines under the hood. I have  multiple Pfaffs (no I am not going to tell you how many!), so, we traded. The B has come back into the sewing salon fold and it was funny how easily I fell back into the habit of using the hands free knee lift.

There has been some productivity in the sewing room. The beautiful wool challis was made into a wonderful sleeveless tunic



 and I grabbed some linen silk blend to make a simple woven Tee to go under it.



This had been living in stash, just waiting for the right moment.

I had some fun with another modified Retro Raglan.



 Cute woodland pattern in a Japanese linen cotton blend and I used another small animal square on the sleeve.



The last make is a modified man's shirt. I took 3 shirts from my Dad's things, ones he loved and wore often, and that I had bought him over the years. Those with a bit of history. The first was a heavy two sided chamois and I used a Tina Given's pattern to modify it into a bed jacket.



 I saved the button placket and breast pocket and also the shirt tail hem. It all works so well and my before bed reading has been elevated a notch or two.

Speaking of things, my Mom has to pare down a lot of the furniture. She will be going from a 1500 SF cottage to an 850SF one bedroom apartment. Stuff had to go. A dining table, chairs, large and small dressers, bookcases, buffet and many other smalls and appliances. My Dad wanted me to take these things myself or rehome them. I took the lions share where I could fit it. The two dressers are now in the Master Bedroom,





 we have switched out the dining table.



What we didn't need or want has gone to friends. We needed to move the stuff PDQ due to weather up here. Getting a Uhaul down a snowy 1/4 mile long driveway and moving heavy furniture up icy stairs is stupid. So out it came earlier this month. It wasn't too long ago we shopped for that table and those chairs at Scan Design. The table runner was woven by my Dad.

I have to say one of my favorite finds while cleaning out is this little portable DVD player.



 It allows me to do my yoga in the quiet guest room where the floor space is more ample and there are no helpers kissing me or trying to cuddle while I'm on the mat..

Weaving has been slow but steady. This weekend a new warp will go on Nick the big Macomber and one will come off the Baby Wolf.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving day, spent just how you want!

Parting shots: A walk in our woods.







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The New Daily Accessory



That would be a safety pin. Adopted in the UK after hate crimes escalated following the Brexit vote this unassuming symbol is popping up in the USA to show support for minorities of all stripes, be it of color, heritage, gender issues, or religious beliefs. Here is some more information on the meaning of the safety pin. In today's digital New York Times there is also an article on the sidebar.
And if you should see a hate crime happening, here is a guide on what to do. Sadly I think there will be more of these guides needed in the coming months.

I rarely go into politics on my blog. Like many I am making an exception, an unapologetic exception.

I am hurt and mad and more than a little bit scared and I'm not going to sugar coat it. Donald Trump is going to be a disaster for anyone who believes in diversity, clean air and water, climate change, women's rights, affordable health care, equal pay and THAT just covers some of the domestic issues. I'm not going to go down the road here on just how paralyzed by fear I will be when he receives the football. I also want to say, it's not sour grapes. We've elected a lot of not so great presidents. It happens but never have we elected one so lacking in any of the skills needed to be our highest world diplomat and defender and frankly, I'm terrified. Imagine, if you will, what the world would look like today if Al Gore had taken the reins? Do you think we would have seen such a destabilized Middle East and participating in numerous wars over the last 16 years? No one can know really, and what ifs are a dangerous game. I was willing to take a wait and see stance right up until the time Steve Bannon was named to DJT inner White House circle. The reality is I wake up every morning now, hoping a way has been found to remove DJT from ever becoming President, wishing for a do-over.

I've suffered two losses this fall. My Dad (who said he would never vote Trump even though he was a staunch Republican), and my country as I know it. There are new norms coming and I'm pretty sure they aren't going to be pretty. Look to history folks, with how hate and intolerance has insidiously come to power. The swamp is not going to be drained. It's likely to become deeper and much more toxic. Coal will not come back, neither will steel. We do need change but trying to roll back instead of look forward is doomed and it may cause permanent damage to our world and our democracy in the process.

So , what to do. Get involved with local government. If you don't have time, donate. The DNC is a mess right now but I'm betting there will be lots of positive things going on there in the coming months. Heck, there are even survival guides popping up on the internet. Here is one (Love the title!), and another from our friends across the pond.

Support good journalism. Buy and read newspapers. As much as we can't stand them sometimes, reporters and journalists are a democracies best watch dogs. Freedom of the press has saved our bacon numerous times. I subscribe to a couple of papers online. It's cheap and saves trees. My picks are the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. I like diversity in my daily reading material.

The Electoral College has got to go and that should be job one. I just can't imagine how we can call ourselves a democracy when it is plain to see the majority is NOT being represented in our largest and most important election. Two times in 16 years is two times too many. MoveOn.org can put you in touch with many petitions. Abolish the Electoral College and a good one for stopping the mess at Standing Rock. Imagine if foreign oil wanted to run right through Arlington Cemetery for a moment?
Michael Moore on Facebook probably won't give you a lot of feel good moments but he has a plan and it's as good as any right now.

 I'll miss President Obama with his cool thoughtful presence. I never felt scared about a decision he might make. I might not have agreed with it, but I also knew it came from serious deliberation. He listened to all sides and our best interests were well represented. Ms. Clinton was a flawed candidate. We all know that, but I'm also betting that our country would have kept an even keel, good would have been done and we would all be feeling a lot safer.

I apologize to the rest of the world in advance for what might be unleashed.

This is how I feel. I love that you come and read here and thank you. You may or may not feel the same way and I'm quite all right with that. This is, as far as I know, still a free country more or less...

Parting shot: Truly, he was born in this country I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Seriously


Go strut your stuff 

and get out and 
VOTE!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pop-Ups and Falling Back

I can't begin to tell you how much I dislike changing my clocks back and forth, spring and autumn.  Can't it just stay one way or another?



Anyway, fall offers up some beautiful lighting with her slanting rays, especially in the morning. They caught these trees one morning as the sun started cresting the mountains. They looked to be on fire as I drove by Tub Springs.



 I just had to get some pics.

Once in a great while, Fabric of Vision has a pop up after doing a little special fabric curating.
Needless to say, I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by. I added some beauties to me fabric stash.

Wool Challis
Cottons
Heavy painted stretch denim
Flannel Raccoons and Stretch Denim

There will be another pop-up shop this weekend with Out of the Blue, a store with the most AMAZING selection of buttons and beads and other small treasures. If you're in the area, its Friday through Sunday at 399 East Main Street.

Friend Cindie also added some wonderful fabric to my stash.



 She knows my love of all things foxy and gifted me with this fun fabric when we got together last Wednesday. Thank you Cindie!

I finished up the PJ run. Here are two bottoms and two tank tops. They aren't beautiful, but they are comfortable.




I also resurrected a pattern I hadn't used in a while. Indygo Junctions Retro Raglan. I love many things about this pattern but not the super wide neck. I made the collar higher and smaller and have found the love again.



Oh Look! A Fox!!

 It's been lengthen in both hem and sleeves. I liked it so much I went ahead and immediately cut another in a saved linen print. This one is a linen cotton blend and has a nice hand.

A bit of weaving has also gone on. This is the start of my Dad's prayer flag.



There just hasn't been a lot of time for this. Even an estate in good order takes a lot of time to mire through. Hopefully by early December the worst of it will be done with. Fingers crossed.

I did promise a pic of the towel warp off of the Louet Spring and here it is.



 Impressive huh?! Now I have to wash, cut apart and hem them all. And the birch bark runners need to be finished up since one of them is a gift. But hey, I gained an extra hour right? ;-)

Parting shot: Hazel dressing up as Stella on Halloween.



SaveSave

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Is It Over Yet?

As a rule I don't delve into politics on my blog. I vote religiously if not always enthusiastically. I can't be the only one who thinks this election has gone on far too long?

 In any event, if I ruled the world I would shorten the election season. Nine months for the presidency, three months for all other seats.

Term limits. Frankly I think one and done would be good. Our forefathers wanted every citizen to participate in government, not to make a career out of it. The one and done rule would certainly take a bite out of lobbyists.

 Both houses should run on a simple majority. Folks who's sole purpose is to obstruct should be removed from office as they are not doing the peoples business. We send you to congress to negotiate for the betterment of your state and your country not bring it to it's knees with a stance so rigid nothing can be accomplished. Most of us don't expect 100% of all we want. We expect compromise, we expect YOU to respect each other as you negotiate that compromise and so we are clear here, we expect you TO compromise. Not go sit in the corner like a spoiled 8 year old who isn't getting their own way.

 Life is not fair, we get that, we also get that there should be a middle ground on everything. All or nothing does not belong in a democracy. Not ever. Religion doesn't either. There are many other houses for your beliefs. The houses of Government are not one of them.

Whoever wins has earned the right to surround themselves with a cabinet of their choosing. Period.
That goes for Supreme Court appointments too. To whoever lost, you lost. Pull up your big person panties and make the best of it through COMPROMISE, not obstruction.

I have no clue how to make the candidates kinder and gentler with each other and it saddens me deeply.  Maybe they should sit down with each other once a week, away from the trail, the cameras and the traveling freak show that is American politics and break bread.  Have a meal, a real dinner table discussion and end it all with a good cup of coffee and generous dessert.


Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence



and Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kaine,

you are all welcome at my table. We have just enough chairs to go around......        .
DON'T NOT VOTE!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

No Matter What, the Sun Comes Up.



And that's the truth. Dogs, horses, husbands, goats, friends and even cats all need attention and give back freely. The sun comes up, you laugh, you cry, you dust yourself off and go on with the business of living. To do otherwise would be an insult to those who no longer can.  I want to thank each and every one of you, Carol, Kim, LA, Cindie, Diane, Michelle, Janine, Coco, Sharon, Louise, Valerie, Mary, Elle, Peg, Leigh, Elizabeth, Linda, Susan, Nadine and LOTL. Thank you so much for those cyberhugs, condolences, words of kindness and strength and prayers. It was so appreciated and needed. Thank you all so very, very much.

While it has been a sad time, it has not been an idle one. I cleared my Dad's loom of the 12 yard cottolin towel warp we put on so many months ago. He did get to see the 11 lovely towels that were woven. Pics next post.  It is only fitting that his prayer flag warp be put on his loom. Gene and a friend moved it back down for me since I decided to give this special loom the best weaving space in the house. The two little wolf looms are upstairs now.



 This pic was taken in process, but now everything is all tied on and up and it's ready to weave.



 The pattern is going to be a twill and plain weave on 6 shafts and treadles. Something different and while this warp is shortish, if I like the pattern it might be recycled to the next warp. I had forgotten how time consuming tying up a countermarche loom can be!

The sewing salon has seen some action in the last weeks. I needed the absorption sewing can provide. The picking and choosing of pattern and fabric. I implemented my idea of using the Grainline Scout Tee pattern but changing the neckline to mimic some of the other patterns I like. It worked out well and I have my different necklines with the nicely drafted armhole and sleeve. Yeah!
First up is a fun sheep linen cotton print. I grabbed the neckline from an Indygo Junction pattern, the Urban Tunic. I only had two yards of each fabric and that collar is wide and on the bias.



Next up I used the Esme neckline. I love this Scandinavian print. Foxes!



 Dark blue has been showing up a bit more in my wardrobe, so a pair of navy linen pants made it out of the sewing room too.

leg detail

 I ordered some organic cotton knit fabric since the Phoebe Pants pattern (Tina Given) worked out so well for knit PJ's. I was able to get two bottoms, one tee and two tanks cut out for sleepwear. in 3 different knit patterns.

The Baby Wolf has seen it's share of weaving also.



 The birch runner run is 3/4 done. I found some ombre wool in stash for the second one. It goes from cream to grey to beige and a deeper brown and then fades back to light again. Kauni was the name of the yarn, light sock weight and is working perfectly.

I think that's all I have for right now, but it is good to be back and blogging and catching up with everyone else's blogs! At some point at the beginning of October, Blogger dropped all of my watched blogs. I have tried to reassemble them all back, but honestly, I am sure there may be a few I have forgotten. If you remember seeing a blog here that is no longer present PLEASE let me know. I know Margaret & Helen isn't added back yet.

Parting shot: Cuddler's extraordinaire.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sadness and Relief

I've been gone a good while from this blog, but other matters where much more important. This is not going to be a happy post nor a long one. Yesterday, October 13, 2016 at 7:30 in the morning my dad died of stomach cancer.  I spent the last few weeks, putting his estate in order under his directive, watching football, talking politics and doing for him whatever earthly assignment I could to make his last days meaningful and letting him know how much he was cherished and loved. The nurses of both the Rogue Valley Health Center and from hospice made his last days comfortable. It was sadness and relief I went through yesterday. Grieving for my loss and at the same time so relieved he is not in pain any more.

Richard Conover Chamberlain III 8/5/1937 - 10/13/2016

Today I'm going to take stock of my sewing room, pick through some fabric, think about life, cry some, sleep without worry of the phone ringing, watch the rain. Tomorrow I'll again pick up the reins and start stewardship of my mother. She'll be moving into a smaller place right in the main manor building, there are finances to see to, belongings to pare down. It's all pretty clean and tidy, bless you Dad, for that final gift, I'll get her through it. Promise.