Friday, May 29, 2015

The Brief Season Between Winter and Summer

Spring around here can be brief. Our weeks of chilly and slightly soggy have finally given away to warm and sunny. I swear the volunteer Elderberry that grows in the corner of the dog pen and shades their little deck, grew 6 inches and sprouted flower buds over night after our first sunny day. The Paperbark Maple leafed out and grew

 and the Bloodgood Maple we planted in April seems quite happy in its new home.

 We love the color of this and it looks so pretty by the big rock. In the main garden area things are beginning to gain ground. Most everything over wintered well, but there were some losses.

I'm surprised the Black & Blue Salvia made it another year up here since it is a tender perennial in our zone. Obviously it likes the heavy mulching in the fall. There are some new plants in the garden also and I'll feature these as they come into their own.

Some purchased locally and some through High Country Gardens, which is one of the few really reliable places to get plants for the west and especially plants that can and will thrive at elevation.

My parents came up Memorial Day for a BBQ and look at the beautiful wind chime they brought!

I am a wind chime junkie, I must have a dozen around the property and this beauty by Majesty Bells is now on the hook outside the window in front of my desk. I can hear it summer and winter, window closed or open. The perfect backup to the music of the trees. Conifer forests sound completely different than mixed or deciduous forests when the wind blows.

The Gilmore Gem is finally fully threaded. I had to add heddles to shaft 4. I dragged my feet because I thought it would be awful, but it was quick and easy using the two pieces of strapping I saved from when the heddles needed to be put on. Slipped them on and off and on again like a charm. Sleying the reed is next up, 2 per dent, 12 dent reed, 24 epi. We'll whiz through it!

Some good sewing up in the salon. I so enjoy some of these fabrics.

The zebra print is just lovely, a lightweight cotton canvas paired with a lightweight cotton herringbone.

Throw in a favorite easy to make and wear pattern and it makes for the perfect top. Keeping to the critter theme I went colorful and a little lighter still (shirting) in weight.

The orange is a very nice linen cotton. Can you see the woodland creatures? There is a fox in there of course!

Lastly, a work in progress.

One Mississippi of two from the Mississippi Ave dress pattern by Sew House 7. This is a bold butterfly wing print in a cotton lawn at a tunic length instead of dress length. It needs binding and hemming. A second one was cut at the same time and I will probably leave that one at the longer length. We'll see.

Parting shots: Between frames.

 Out of Frame.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Finally, Painting!

Yep, took forever to get started, between obligations, pulled backs and various other self induced procrastination techniques. It felt like I would never get started. Not only did I start, but the first floor bathroom is just about done.

 Only a repaint of the trim (this weekend), and we'll be leaving this room and journeying down the hall to the foyer. I even found the perfect chest of drawers for storage.

 Just look at that paint job, all done for me in a nice hard smooth enamel paint.

 I was thrilled when I saw this in the window of a local used furniture place. A little Yankee bartering and we were good to go. Let's be honest, while the color combination is a pretty one, not many places have need for it and it had been there for a good little while.

For those looking for the perfect grey, I've found it! Paternoster by Miller Paint, but I suspect the formula might be available via Pittsburgh Paint also. The grey itself is not too dark nor light, and a true clear silver grey, no blue, plum or brown tones. This color will be used in the foyer and don't be surprised if I dream up another place to use this lovely soothing color. The yellow of course is my own experiment using a gallon of a yellow I didn't like, Devine Mango Beans and now a bit of a soft cream to tone it down just a bit. My kitchen will be losing this color so it is nice to see it as a pop in this downstairs pit stop.

Last Thursday was the season finale of my Mother's singing group Joyful Noise.

 I've been to a number of my Mom's concerts through the years and have enjoyed them all.

This one was no different! I was even able to catch these few pics with my smart phone.

 Like all singing groups they will take the summer off and get together back in the early fall.

Other than painting not much else to report, we have had days of drizzle, rain and basic grey dreariness. The moisture is obviously good for our parched woods, not quite like a slow melting snow pack, but better than nothing. A few of the passing fronts have brought some real gully washers.
It's been cold too. By the time all is said and done, we'll probably only have a quarter of a cord of wood left from this past heating season. Gene already has some large rounds for next falls heating season to split, but he's waiting for some dryer weather. Maybe next week.

Parting shot: Marigold is always popular when it is chilly, not to mention her coveted spot near the radiator!
Marigold & Hazel Rose

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Horse and Raven

These two do this little dance almost every afternoon feeding. Always the red Horse from what I've seen but then again, I don't watch every night.

Raven knows horse knows he's stealing bits of seed heads. Sometimes horse ignores him, other times
the ears flatten back, the neck gets that snaky thing going and raven ruffles his feathers and steps back a bit. Sometimes Horse will swing his body around to move raven completely away. And sometimes Raven and Horse will be eating almost side by side. Raven almost always has left by 6:30p.m.
I have to take these photos from a good distance away. The raven is a cautious bird and will fly away if I get too close.

I was going to start painting this past Monday but the weather turned cold and wet. Instead of being able to open windows up while I used oil paints in the kitchen, we had the wood boiler Rube running again heating the house. Of course this is all my fault. I put away my winter clothes and brought out the summer ones AND bought a dining set for the deck.

We got to eat one meal on it Saturday night before the yuck moved in.  We need the yuck though, lots of rain on Monday and yesterday we had numerous bouts of rain and snow mixed. We'll take it, as much as Mother Nature wants to send us which looks like all week.

Gene burned some slash piles we had over the weekend. It was getting almost too dry for that and we had one little creeper start up about 10 feet from the pile. It was put out and the rain took out any residual smolder the fires might have had.

It has been productive up in the sewing salon. The last Zebra bag was completed and a nifty pair of pants in black and white.

The print looks like pen scribbles! These are done in the now TNT Skinny Pant pattern by Jocole. I did up a second pair of pants in a stripe from one of my other TNT patterns (Sewing Workshop Trio pant) but neglected to get pics. If I think of it, I'll snap one or two.

The real fun was getting a new load of summer stuff cut and ready to sew. Some great prints and fabrics to work with! The first one off the pile is this years awesome fish pattern.

Last year was the Pet Piranhas, this year I'll be ready for Shark week.

 Isn't there a third Sharknado coming out? ;-) And there are more animal prints coming up. This may be a critter kind of year for sewing.

I'm about a third of the way threading the Gilmore Gem for overshot runners. It's been a very long time since I did an overshot pattern and the threading is slow for me. The second bout of pillowcase warp on the warping reel is just about to be counted, tied and removed to make way for a third. I need 488 ends in all and the warp is 12 yards plus long. Takes me forever to get these long warps done and ready to be beamed. This will go on the Macomber. I should get a fair amount of pillowcases from it.

The towels for the Greensprings Fire & Rescue silent auction are done and gone.

 I have more to hem but these were the important ones to get finished.

The Murphy loom will be idle for a bit. I have the new aprons I ordered from Macomber, just need to make the time.

Not much outdoor stuff happening, due to weather but inside we are snug and dreaming of riding horses and weaving on the deck. Maybe by the time I have that overshot pattern threaded and sleyed it will be time to fold up the loom and bring him downstairs for the summer. No doubt that will cause more crappy weather! ;-)

Parting shots: The power of Pairs.
Smoochie & Marigold

Stella & Robin

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back At It

Well, I was hopeful for a quick recovery, and 1.5 weeks post back pull does find it better, just not 100%. Bending to lift objects, like wiggly dogs is sometimes painful and bucking hay bales down off the stack out of the question, but I'm pretty much off Advil and by mid morning, things do feel almost normal.

I spent a lot of time in bed last week so this is a pretty lean post. I did get a new bathrobe made.

 This had been sitting in one of the tubs, cut out and marked,  for quite a while. I got to it because I wanted to pirate a piece of fabric for another project and only these fuzzy sheep would do! The fabric is a soft Japanese low nap flannel.

 I did the lining for the robe as an interlining, which means I sewed the two fabrics together (outer and inner), before sewing the garment together. I like this better than a loose lining for a bathrobe. The inner fabric (shown in the placket and on the sleeve cuffs), is a lovely cotton that was part of the Downton Abbey collection.

Another large grocery bag was made too.

 I have a second one to assemble and I may reverse the yellow and zebra print fabric. The lining will stay the same.

And here is how I used that small amount of left over flannel sheep fabric. I had just enough.

Now these treadle protectors aren't as nice as the sheepskin ones, but they didn't cost me the better part of a $100.00 dollars either. They feel nice and they do the job. We have been getting to know each other. I love this spinning wheel and have about 1 bobbin full of so so "getting to know you" yarn.  I'm learning all the small adjustments. This really is quite a versatile wheel.

I have both big looms cleared of projects although new projects will be going on them soon. We have decided to hire out the bulk of the downstairs painting. I'll still do a couple of small rooms and the majority of the trim, but the high hard places and the stairwell someone else will do. That of course frees me up to get some warps on the looms. The long 12 yard warp for pillowcases is in process for the Macomber, a small overshot warp has been done for the Gilmore and I am still thinking about what to put on the Murphy. Maybe prayer flags...TBD at a later date. :-)

I did get out for a little walk once a day with one of the herd. This day it was Stella.

check out the single wrinkle!

We met up with Juno by the wood shed. They greeted each other politely and then did it all again after rounding  each side of this big log.

But they aren't the only ones out enjoying spring.
Parting shots: Pacific Tree Frog