Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ah, Pair of New Knees Please

Which is how I felt yesterday after the marathon floor painting sessions starting Monday. It's been almost 10 years since I painted and stenciled floors in this house.
That means I was working on early 40's knees instead of early 50's knees. Guess I better get moving on those other floors that need to be redone before I have early 60's knees!

But, the bathroom project is now moved to the done column, normal activity has once again commenced and the treks to the upstairs bathroom dwindled. No one is happier than Rodger to have his food bowl back in place. I am sure he thought we were playing a mean joke on him moving it here and there.

I thought I had old pics of the bathroom floor with it's white base and scattered fall leaves stenciled on it, but alas, I didn't. I did get some in progress pics and here they are.

The muse for this color palette of soft putty and white came from a linen towel woven by my Dad. It's one of the towels visible hanging on the bar under the window.

I don't mind the soft modern palette of pale lemon yellow, putty grey and white for the bathroom. The floor color is also MUCH more practical for this hard working room. I hand cut the stencil myself using a clear plastic notebook divider and an Exacto knife. It isn't anywhere near perfect, but I was looking for hand painted charm more than technical perfection and I got it.

I also managed to get through an Exacto knife session without slicing a finger tip off. I have to laugh at the girls, Charlotte and Miss Bea checking out if the paint job might be edible. Imagine if they put cheese smell in paint. Hmm, well maybe not......

I'm sad to say there has been no weaving going on the past couple of days. A little spinning, a little knitting and ...drum roll please...the highlight of my week...finding my old hairdresser. Okay, laugh out loud. Melanie's salon went out of business and I, not being the kind of customer who would keep any beauty salon in business, didn't know until one day (after 8 months) I decided a hair cut was in order. Imagine my shock and horror when there was no more salon. After two terrible haircuts this summer with other "stylists" in the area I was thrilled to see a little ad for Melanie with a station at another salon. Don't think for a minute that I didn't drop to my old tired knees and give thanks. My appointment was Tuesday and I walked out of there a new woman. Gosh darn it's good to have a great haircut. It would also be good to have a Harvey. For those who haven't seen Harvey, here he is. I bet he could paint floors!;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Grief Time Flies

I feel like I've been in a time warp. We've had a week of company, a dog spayed, some painting work starting and yes, a little weaving and knitting. Not to mention, cleaning, cooking and all the other stuff that goes into making a full day here. This week looks just as busy too with preparations for the next wave of company, my folks. But let's get back to weaving. The pillowcases weave on (and on) actually I'm just about done with the first one and heading into the deep hem area of the second one. The scarf has languished a bit, spinning has been steady as has some knitting. I had to frog the beginning of the vest I started. I must have been off with the fairies when I did the set up row for the cables. It has been restarted and hopefully we can do a better job of paying attention to that all important row.

Stella went in for her spay last Tuesday and as an added bonus, had some dental work done. Her baby canines were in there solid (look at those roots!) and they were beginning to effect the growth of her permanent teeth and not in a good way.

She did fine with the anesthesia but is very sensitive to sedatives. Tuesday night we had a very groggy puppy. Wednesday morning was another story. She was positively bouncy ( and talkative!) and back to her usual active self.

I want to know just how the vet thinks one can keep a 5.5 month old puppy quiet for 14 days? Do they chuckle after you leave at the futility of it I wonder.
We are doing our best.

After our company left early early Saturday morning, I tore apart our walk in closet. EVERYTHING came out. Two big bags of clothes have been put in the car to take to Goodwill and another half bag has just gone into the trash. Most of it was cut up for rags. Nothing like a good cleaning and paring down.

Yesterday Gene sanded the downstairs bathroom floor. Today after house cleaning, I'll paint it and later in the week, it will get new stenciling. We'll have to use the upstairs bathroom while the heavy duty porch paint cures. I cut my own simple stencil, so we'll see how that goes too! There will be pictures. But for now, this quiet time one will have to do.
In fact I may start to always close a post with a critter pic. Lord knows, I have enough of them and the Summer of Stella is almost done.

Lastly, lots of heartfelt cyberhugs and sympathy for Susan over at Thrums. She and husband Bruce lost their much loved companion this weekend. It never gets easier saying good-bye even when you know it's time. A candle was lit for Connor to honor his passing and hopefully light the way to find some special friends already gone before him.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Colors of September in the Greensprings

Mostly green and gold here, with a little rust thrown in for good measure.

Hard to get a lot of detail from the back of a horse and I was just content enough up there not to want to get down. The Talent Irrigation Canal that runs at the very top of the property is a bird magnet.

The bushes were a twitter and a pair of grouse popped out ahead of us at one point. Made for a real ears forward moment! Cooper, being Cooper, was just lazy enough not to want to spook and instead settled for swiveling those ears around and giving the hiding spot the hairy eyeball as we went by. The canal is a mixed blessing. We don't get any benefit from it, but it does attract a lot of wildlife. That can be good and bad. I prefer not to use that road early in the morning when it is most active. It's a beautiful ride though and goes on for miles. Much of it is sided by woods but there is a place where it opens up into high chaparral. Some great views up there and a lot of rattlesnakes. We stick to the road.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Can you hear the music.....

Be afraid,

Be very afraid.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Funky Scarf Weaving

Before I was rudely interrupted by the loss of my weft yarn. I was actually working on the scarf. It is mostly my fault by the way. I left the ball of yarn in the bowl I keep on the floor below the bobbin winder. That's a fair amount of temptation for a youngster and it had been there since Sunday morning. I'm just happy that 1) she didn't eat it and 2) it is the stuff I can replace easily. The alpaca I got in New Hampshire two years ago and it would be a long slog to find some more.

The scarf structure is quite open as you can see.

I'm not sure how it will all hold once off the loom, but I am happy with the idea of folding it and making a cowl if I have to. Either way it will be light and pretty.

On Saturday, I bought a nifty vintage French game board at one of our local shops. It reminds me of Parcheesi, but maybe not.

Anyone care to venture a guess? How could I resist the cute little painted horse heads on the board and the playing pieces!

It was on sale too.

It will be a hectic week with all the preparations for the Greensprings Fire & Rescue Harvest Dance and silent auction. I put together two knitting baskets along with the towel donation.

One is nothing but sock yarn, the other has 3 nice books and some great Sheep Shop wool. Gene is flat out with prep work at the station and I'm following behind catching loose ends. Sort of....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story

Contrite? I think not.

And then it was back to the important stuff.
Forget yarn, throw ball!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weaving Lab

One of the things I most like about weaving is experimenting. It makes no difference to me if it's been done before. I haven't done it and I haven't done it with whatever choice of fibers I have at hand. The little scarf warp is on Hannah and waiting to go.

The warp is a mix of 100% lace weight alpaca ( brown) and a linen mohair mix (cream). It is a very odd little warp indeed. It's been sleyed differently too. I want an open structure. In fact I want to see how open I can get with this combo. I have sleyed the 10 ends of alpaca one to a dent in a 12 dent reed, skipped 5 and then sleyed the 6 linen/mohair ends every other dent, skipped 5 and so on.

I had to adjust how I tie on too. The alpaca is fine and slippery, the kidlin sticky with no give. Those little bouts had to be tied on first, then the alpaca bouts, then, I tightened and knotted all the kidlin then the alpaca. This won't be woven at high tension and the beat will certainly have to vary with whatever fiber I'm using. It should be fun. I'm looking forward to it. If it's nice, it goes to the shelter auction, if a disaster, well, I guess I can always use another around the house scarf. I was actually thinking that I might want to double it and make it a neck warmer with the addition of some pretty closures. We'll just have to wait and see how it turns out. I have to undo the 11 treadles from the pine tree pattern and set up my two tabby treadles again. Oh wait, maybe I'll scrounge up some buckets too and try that out!

In farm news, the cold snap has brought the deer back. Babies are getting big, spots have been lost and they are looking restless to start moving to lower ground. It's been a sparse deer year but the few bucks I've seen are big and healthy and have some racks to really show off. Gene and I watched an industrious black squirrel bite the green pine cones off of one of the big fir trees in front and push them to the ground from the top most branches. Green pine cones, who knew they liked them that way! I was happy not to be standing under it but watching safely from the front covered porch.

Someone started a fire along the Pacific Crest Trail yesterday afternoon. Both Greensprings Fire and Rescue and Oregon Department of Forestry responded quickly
to the double smoke plumes coming from deep in the woods. It was quite a hike into it too, but the fire was contained and mop up came quickly. Thanks for the quick response, the lack of winds,cool temps and little bit of rain we got earlier in the week. It could have been a disaster up on the PCT ridge. To the folks in Colorado and those in the San Francisco area, we are keeping you all close in our thoughts and prayers.

Ashland is having it's annual sidewalk sale and the few places I got to had some nifty stuff which I let them all keep for someone else. I had the exciting shopping experience of buying a new poop bucket for the dog pen and picking up more biodegradable "plastic bags" for it. I decided to forgo pictures of that new treasure.

Lastly, I couldn't not post without mentioning the anniversary of 9/11. A candle burns here all day for remembrance and reflection. These things are always done better with a puppy in your lap to hold.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have no spine when it comes to beautiful fibers. None, nada, zip! Clothes, shoes, jewelry hold no interest what so ever, and it's a good thing too. Wednesday found me on the road heading over for a long planned visit with Cindie from Eweniquely Ewe, fiber maven and weaving oracle. Her inventory of fibers for sale is the stuff of legends and it didn't disappoint. OH MY GOSH! I must have had 10 different hand dyed fiber braids in my arms at one time. It was overload. I had to take a step back, breath and make cuts.

Don't think I didn't consider throwing a ton into a bin and trying to make a run for it. But I'm old and slow and let's face it, I'll want to come back to shop again another day! :)

So, what made the cut? Well, I decided to give merino another try in a blend.

This one with tussah silk and boy it feels like it will spin itself with just a little encouragement. The colorway is Sea Mist and it is luscious stuff.

Two braids of Falkland wool also made it to the car. One is called Butter cream and it's a beautiful gold-yellow semi solid .

The other is Harvest.

Just perfect for some fall spinning I think. I've never tried Falkland wool so it I'm doubly looking forward to getting this over to the wheel. If you are reading this and want some of your own, don't worry, I left plenty and here's the link to see more

These lovely items weren't the only temptations. If you read Cindie's blog you'll know she is furnishing a beach house. During one of her forays she and her husband saw this and sent me a picture, along with an offer of picking it up.

How could we resist. I mean BEAR WRESTLING is first up. I have just the spot too.
Our old kind funky foyer bench is on it's last sit, with the seat starting to fall apart. Talk about timing! Perfect Cindie and thank you for thinking of Gene and I when you saw that nifty bench.

I'll leave you all with my version of a famous film. Ours is, The Good, the Bad, and the I'll Get Real Ugly If You Try to Trim My Nails.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Woven Pine Trees Warp a Wrap!

The five towel Pine Tree warp is off the loom and ready for serging, washing and hemming.

I have to fix my serger first though as I broke one of the needles. I have been putting it off for over a month because, while I love it and the job it does, I find it fiddly as all get out. I'm counting my blessings that my folks will be coming for the annual visit mid-October and my Dad can do the fiddling should I not get it adjusted back up well.

I had to go right to the very end of the warp to eek out that 5th towel and had I not had such a great shed to begin with I never would have made it.

Three of the towels will go to the Greensprings Fire & Rescue silent auction, one will stay here and one will be for my folks. The bulk of towel weaving sailed along but the pine tree pattern was painfully slow. I did different variations of the trees, some tall,

some short and one towel is just plain with stripes and no trees at all. To recap, the pattern is from A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler, page 31 pattern #118. It requires 8 shafts and 11 treadles. I set my 6/2 cotton finally at 16 epi. The tabby in this tie up was rather pretty, gave the warp a striped cording effect. Reminded me of dimity which BTW is on my short list of things to weave. I was thinking a very colorful warp of bits and pieces of half balls of yarn from other scarves. We'll see if this idea blossoms or not. I have that linen, mohair and alpaca scarf warp ready to go on the loom next. That will be for the Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) silent auction in October.

It was a quiet weekend here, filled with almost warm days and cool nights. Critter spotting has been good. The count last week was one fox, three coyotes all together, an eagle, some quail ( they are so cute as they run across the driveway), wild Turkeys with a full brood of this years chicks, two Pileated Woodpeckers, and our handsome Stellar Jays are back for the colder season. They seem to leave us for most of the summer, returning for fall to stay until next summer. I suspect they move closer to the lakes
for our 3 hot months.

I also spent some time thinking about reorganizing my new storage buffet. I just threw things in there willy-nilly to get my stash off the bed. When I opened it up to look for something it was apparent that it needed organization of some sort. Right now, you never know what you'll find or where you'll find it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Laboring Away

A few weeks ago I was all set to paint the upstairs hallway. Then temps soared to the mid 90'sF and I ditched the idea of working upstairs until cooler times arrived. Well, they did and I still dragged my feet on it. I just wasn't inspired to do it. I was inspired to paint my kitchen though, in prep for the winter cabinet painting I have planned.
The kitchen has been in Devine's Mango Tango Beans for upwards of 5 years.

It was time for a change. While I love the color, it is a dark room and I wanted to lighten things up. The top cabinets and shelves will be going to a creamy oyster color, the lower cabinets a green similar to what they are now. I didn't want to go a pale tangerine color so I went over to the yellows.

Now, yellow is a funny color. It's hard to find a good one, and what's nice in small doses can be overpowering in a large space as it reflects and intensifies itself. I don't have a lot of wall space, so I can go a little bolder, and I did. I picked up a color called Hot Spot by Miller Paint.

The first coat disappointed ( all pictures are with the second coat on). It was harsher than I was hoping for. I still had some of the Mango Tango Beans, so I mixed a portion into my gallon of paint until, while not changing the color dramatically, I added some warm undertones that the red pigments in that paint had and cut the strident lemon tones. The second coat was just what I wanted. The kitchen was painted in a day and everything back in it's place...more or less. Whew!

Now, there has been weaving since the last it's all about Stella post. I am onto towel #3
and doing this one as a simple plaid with no trees. I am hoping to get two more towels from the warp. One for myself, one for my folks.
I have also been working again on Gene's sweater. It just feels good to sit and knit while watching some of those preseason football games and Miss Pup has lost most of her interest in playing with my working yarn.

I didn't make it to downtown this past Friday, but the Friday before I did and picked up some wonderful yarn. Mushishi by Plymouth Yarn.

It's a 95% wool 5% silk single ply in a heavy DK weight. 250g @ 491 yards. What prompted the purchase of this was a sample I saw in the shop of a pattern by Classic Elite. I would have stolen the vest sample right then and there if I could have!

Instead, I bought the small pattern book and this lovely yarn to make one for myself. The booklet actually has some other nice things in it too. A great mitten pattern, a cropped cardi that would make a wonderful bed jacket, a very pretty tam and a nice long cardigan with a vine and cable pattern. It's not often I find a booklet that I like all the patterns!

On farm news it's been pretty quiet. Dandy's leg continues to improve. The goats need to be trimmed down, wormed and hooves done. Friday night I was woken up by the extremely pungent odor of a pissed off or scared skunk. Hard to tell which but someone got it. Gene had to go out to Howard Prairie Lake for the usual Labor Day weekend drunk and disorderly yahoos who camp and build fires illegally on the far side of the lake. The county sheriff handled it. Last night was blissfully quiet and cool.
Almost hat weather!

Friday, September 3, 2010

It Was Bound to Happen

Oh my, it's been found.... again.

as always, the disclaimer. No animals were actually harmed, just terribly embarrassed.