Friday, April 29, 2016

The Warming Station

You might have to "bigify" to see the hummer

Two things you don't typically see together, snow and hummingbirds. What little stuff was blooming around here certainly was covered up and nectar unavailable in the cold and wet.

 I put this feeder out with warm fresh sugar water right at the time they start to hit the feeders in the morning. The little male was on it almost immediately and didn't leave the area for hours. At noon I replaced it with another warm fresh one and again late in the afternoon to send them into the chill night with as much fortification as possible.

While it was snowing I found myself working on summer tops.

 If I had been sewing up wool jackets.  I'm betting Mother Nature would have brought the heat. ;-) This was a sweet border print I saw somewhere, a very smooth and light cotton.

I did spend some time sewing a jacket but this one in linen and using a heavily modified Tina Givens Peplone pattern.

The mid weight linen was on one of the daily sales at Fabrics Color "Oasis". You can store stuff at the sale price in your cart for about a week BTW, which is what I do since I would rather pay one shipping charge. In the same box I also got some yardage of a finer woven mid weight linen in color "Cascade" and went to work on a tunic.

 This using the Esme pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's book.

Oh and the color this spring is Neon Green!

And if skinny jeans in it are not enough, how about linen yarn?

I ordered a 12 dent reed for Fiona from the Websters and when I went into pick it up, I saw this. If you have the book "Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave" by Tina Ignell you'll know there is a towel pattern in there in white and bright spring green. Soon a similar warp will be on one of my looms. Maybe the Gem which came home last weekend.

Cindie and I spent a nice Saturday morning chatting and shopping. A few little treasures were procured. A tiny wheelbarrow for the Jacks

 and these sweet hangers took me for a ride on the way back machine.

At $3.00 for the two I could not resist.

For anyone who has been to downtown Ashland, you will know there are numerous tempting shops.
One of them is a couple of doors down from the Websters. I have to pass it to get to them. Treehouse Books always has a magical window display and this book caught my eye.

 I marched in and bought it. A beautiful addition to the fox collection.

I rarely find or buy much fox stuff but a beautiful book always grabs me.

Parting shot: Seems the rhythmic sound of weaving puts my helpers to sleep. Or maybe they were just bored? ;-)


Thursday, April 21, 2016


Just about a year ago I sent a request off to Trotting Jack Press in the UK about some small printed stuffed dogs. The seller had been dormant for a while but if you never ask, you'll never know, will you? I never got a reply back, that is until the end of March of this year and yes, there was a set of the minis just waiting for a new home, was I still interested? Hell yeah!

 Early this week the little gems arrived and I think you'll agree, these are so special they were worth the wait.

Spring is a fickle season here. Snow and cold one day, and hot, dry and sunny the next. Really it is a bunch of little micro seasons before we get to the long hot and dry summer. So those perfect days should be spent outside. This past week it was time to do a little traveling with the Sidekick, all the way from the back studio to the front deck.  And all you spinners reading this, what do you think of Schacht's newest wheel the Flatiron? I like it.

The hummingbirds are coming back. I saw a Rufous male later in the day loading up at the feeder.

The next day I got my trusty stead out for the first ride of the season. He'll be 20 at the end of May, Dandy will be 21. And as always, he is a point and ride kind of guy. No lunging, no prep, brush and go. Oh he may rubber neck a bit at newly downed trees, be a little sticky and heavy in the bridle and a bit slow on the cues, but he is always calm and safe and I so appreciate that in him. Our first ride and we had a two goat tag team.

Fun! Not! What a pain they were. Cooper had to keep pushing them back behind him.

In front they slow the whole works down. They were mighty tired and panting too. Good thing this was pretty much a walk only ride. The few bits of trotting and that few strides of a canter took their toll on Ben and Jerry!

 Maybe next time they will do the sensible thing and stay with the left behind horse and his little pile of hay.

A bit of sewing. I cut out a Mississippi Ave top from the cotton ombre fabric.

 Frankly I made poor use of the effect, but I've never worked with it before and it was an inexpensive lesson should I ever run into some in a fancier fiber. I still have a deep purple piece. This one will be fun with jeans and is cool and comfortable.

A bit of weaving. This the darker turquoise.

The big warp for the bath towels is measured out. I need to clear Nora and because this calls for so many heddles, I'm doing what I should have done from the start. Changing her all over to inserted eye because I just don't want to mix flat steel and inserted eye together. A smaller warp is being measured for the Fiona the Pup. Not a birch bark one. I just couldn't bring myself to do another natural warp this minute but this one is close in a very pale yellow.

The Gem comes home on Saturday. I'm looking at a false satin warp for him. Maybe a Christmas runner. That leaves Nick the big Mac free.....

I'll be in town a lot these next few days and the weather is changing back to cool and wet. Yes, more rain please!

Parting shot: The resident senior, Smoochie at 15.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Night Watch

I mentioned my last post that the resident raccoon visits regularly. Early Thursday morning these greeted me when I went out to feed the horses.

The fox comes early in the evening to get his eggs anywhere between first dark and midnight, my little bandit is an early morning visitor, usually between 4 and 5:30 in the morning. But both of them have been seen during my morning feeding duty.  Oh and it snowed all day Wednesday and most of Thursday.

My new little garden fox did not care, he was as Zen-like as ever.

Puts a smile on my face whenever I walk by him. That's about all I can do right now since the weather is so unpredictable. I lost all of my Salvia over the winter, the Black and Blue and the red ones. Some of the hummingbird mint and the milkweed didn't make it either. I love the salvias as do the hummers, so this year and going forward, we will plant it like an annual. If it makes it,  great, if not we'll replace it. The Takilma Gold Oregon Sunshine ( Yellow Daisy like flower) settled in well and has spread and the Pasque Flower is blooming after a year off. Go figure.

Fiona was cleared of her warp. Two fraternal twin placemats went up into the gift pile,

two stayed with us,

 two (no pics), were a total failure. I tried pineapple fiber and then, washed and dried it in the machine. Well, it might be a usable fiber for a hand wash dry flat only thing. I had to know so it was fine. And of course the pretty birch bark runner.

I love this thing. It is now gracing my parents table and looks very mid century modern. A nice touch for their dining set-up.

I am preparing the warp for the hemp bath towels and have made a high level decision. I am not going to tie up Nick with a 4 shaft project for 3 additional inches. I measured my bath towels and they are about 26-28". Nora is 32 inches and I am using a simple spot weave instead of a waffle weave, so onto Nora this will go and leave Nick free for something else. Maybe sheep towels (would the softball cottons make them more sheepie I wonder?), or more pillowcases. I do love those pillowcases and Lunatic Fringe has some affordable naturally colored  cotton......

I finished the second Roza top with side seam pockets.


 I'm not wild about them and I think for this style the patch pocket might be better. The side ones add to the volume.

This was made in a Brussels Washer and I have retired my favorite bathrobe since it is falling apart. I am saving those big wonderful mushrooms for touches here and there.

Another pair of Phoebe pants. Denim blue linen. Heaven.

These have just a touch of  pocket whimsy
(And that stray thread got snipped after the pics!)
 and instead of gathering the bottoms I did a large soft pleat.

 While this has been my pant pattern of choice for the linen lately, I do have a skinny jean cut out in BRIGHT lime green stretch denim waiting to be sewn. The denim was purchased at Girl Charlee. They had a neon orange too, but it was sold out. Dang!

Parting shot: Oh yes, privileged Prince Barks-a-Lot (Robin), is terribly spoiled. And clean!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A True Sign of Spring

I know you're expecting a picture or two. Line drying,

 the hint of the garden coming alive.

 Maybe flowers on trees, but for us, the first sign of spring is not flowers, it's skunks. The skunks are on the move. While I may not see them, I know they are around. Their heavy scent wafting on the air as well as the most fragrant Daphne and much, much further. The foxes have been regular night time visitors and the raccoon rolls through every few days although there is little left out to munch on. I leave the feeder out when it has gotten down to the seeds that should be cleared out anyway before refilling. The garbage can gets pirated once in a while even with the bungle on it. Those little hands seek the tops of the bags and pull and pull. Such clever animals. Deer have been spotted near the property and for me they are biggest pests. Yep, spring is much more than daffodils and tulips, both of which are just starting to either bloom or leaf out.

The sewing salon has been a busy place. I made a pair of boxer shorts for summer PJ's.

 I'm not sure I'm wild about them. I used the First Choice boxer pattern I use for Gene's skivvies and I can't say I'm a fan of the 5 panel design. I think in the end, I will use the Phoebe pant pattern in cotton knit and just do them bloomer length.

I pulled some cotton lawn from stash for another Kiota top.

 This fabric has a sateen feel to it but much lighter in weight. And I am feeling the orange/coral vibe with colors this year. A wearable muslin was done for the Roza pattern by Kate and Rose.

 This was a bare bones version and I like it so much I wish I had added pockets.

 There is second in the works and pockets have been cut out for it. As a child during the 60's and a teen in the 70's this top has that hippie vibe I so knew and loved. I think they refer to it as "bohemian" now. In any event, I like the pattern and can see it becoming a TNT pattern easily. I also like that it is all done in the flat.

 Quick and easy construction.

The last make turned out far better than I had anticipated. I fell in love with this big Frieda print. It was the floral portion that attracted me but I thought it would be hard to use.

The Esme tunic was the perfect choice for this print. Could be a season favorite.

In the weaving studio, the weather was nice enough one day to wheel little pup Fiona outside. So flipping easy to do.

 I lam smitten with this little loom. I have since finished her warp. It's been washed and dried and just waiting for me to cut apart and hem.

The Spring has seen some action also. I liked this light turquoise and decided to do a whole towel in it.

 I have a darker shade to try too. And "helpers" abound.

As do toenails that needed to be clipped! Job handled. ;-)
 Ah yes, the weaving mutts of Camp Runamuck.

With 5 looms one needs a fair number of shuttles and storage is always challenging. So just what do you do with 4 yards of commercial toweling? This.

 Holds 11 of them but needs a sturdier dowel before I can call it done and hang it.

Farrier today, shopping with Mom tomorrow, Grower's market and food shopping Thursday. Another busy week in the making.

Parting shot: Excavation Crew- Second Shift