Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Little Garden of Earthly Delights

My little garden is such a happy place right now! It is home to a few garden snakes, a little tree frog here and there, a toad and of course the birds that flit and twitter about the maple tree and splash around in the bird bath.

 The Buddha reigns peacefully over it all and truly does lend a sense of peace and wellness to the place.

Inside the happiness continues.

 A couple of months ago I ordered a second standing inkle loom from To Ply Fiber Arts. Debbie does amazing decorative woodwork on her looms and I had asked if she could do hummingbirds.

It took a little while to work out a pattern and then I decided I wanted light and dark woods, something a little different. This beauty is what arrived last Thursday.

I had her warped and weaving on Friday. She's the downstairs inkle, within easy travel distance of the TV chair. ;-)

A new warp is FINALLY being wound for Nick the Macomber. Hemp and linen bath towels in natural, bleached and bright lime green! Fun stuff.

The pillowcase warp weaves on, this one will have the wide hem in blue with the body of the case in the natural.

 All these cases will be natural with different colored hems. The Henry's 10/2 is very soft and should be lovely.

Some really new patterns have hit the sewing room. I haven't ordered a Hot Patterns pattern in forever.
Nothing appealed enough to me and I have had a hate love relationship with this pattern company. When they work they are great, when they don't it's a fitting nightmare. But I liked this retro pattern enough to give it a go.

 I love a raglan sleeve and the details could be awfully fun in the right fabric. A muslin is cut and waiting.

The second pattern to hit the market is this Cashmerette pattern.

 This is my first foray with this pattern company. I not only muslined this up but I got it sewn too.

Since I was doing a muslin I decided to go the whole enchilada and add a sleeve too. It will extend the pattern use for me a lot. It worked up beautifully, the facing fit like a glove, the instructions are great and hey ladies, they have cup sizing for C right through H and sizes 12-28. Nice huh? It needs a bit of tweaking but I'm going to enjoy this pattern a lot I think.

Besides the above test run tunic, a lovely pale yellow linen top and new black linen pants made the leap from sewing basket to closet.

 I drafted this top a little differently when I had it on the sewing table, giving it just a touch of needed shaping.

Lastly, some pretty fabrics hit the sewing salon.

These are all Moda Crossweave cotton and they are super to work with. I have 3 yards of each of these colors just waiting to become something beautiful.

Did That Just Happen?

Such a horrible week we just went through, where to start? Maybe we should all just reflect on the loss of life this week around the globe? sigh....

Lets go with a story that hasn't gotten much coverage but may have a huge impact for everyone who takes civil rights for granted.

And hooray for Oregon for leading the way on the gender front.

Finally, this fun piece about the Taronga Zoo. Enjoy!

Parting shot: Play Day! These girls play rough and loud.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Restorative Powers

Sick dogs, equal long nights and days. Stella, who has been diagnosed with a late onset seizure disorder (epilepsy), is actually doing quite well on a single small daily dose of phenobarbital. But it was too many nights of being woken up by a seizing dog and the worry that accounted for numerous sleepless nights while we ruled out some other things like her antihistamines for allergies.

Then Jack decided last week that he would dig a bit under the fence for some grass to chew and a mushroom. Well needless to say by the next morning he was in the full effects of mushroom poisoning.
I didn't know the cause at the time but some investigative work while we waited for the vet to open found the culprit, because there was a second one out of reach right next to his new dig site.
Jack has an angel watching over him. While he had a day of exhibiting neurological symptoms thankfully his liver and kidney functions were not affected. He earned himself a day at the vet on IV fluids ( and a collar of shame to keep him from pulling out the catheter), some activated charcoal and lots of pets and attention from the staff. I earned a big bill (much better than a dead dog!), and Gene got to weed whack the whole pen perimeter outside. Who knew that mushroom was even there?

Feeling back to normal on Wednesday.
Jack did and with our wet spring season we wanted to make sure there were no more of them.

I will admit Wednesday I was exhausted. It happens. We spent the day napping. No sewing, no weaving a bit of spinning and lots of dozing. The restorative powers of sleep work for everybody. By Thursday it was up early for Mom/market/shopping and in the afternoon gardening, another activity with restorative powers.

Over last weekend I did indeed act on doing large pots for hard areas.

Garden things that came from my Dads lovely little garden (like the tall cat in the background) were put in place.

And the sleeping cat I had bought him for a Father's Day gift two years ago.

 Tears too have restorative powers. There is an added a surprise. When I went to Legends Pottery Outlet I noticed a big Buddha in the clearance section. The little top crown piece had been cracked and epoxied back on. I can live with that for a 65% discount...easily.

 He came home with me, belted in the back seat. I will admit I like garden stuff. This gnome made the trip in the Subaru from the garden show back in May. He looks perfect next to the newly planted Plum Yew. The bird bath is the busiest place in the garden. I have two but this is everyones favorite.

 For the most part the garden thrives, it gets jungle like and makes me smile when I pass it. Many little hidden treasures.

All white Columbine

It is enough, more than enough to see my little cottage jungle to make me grateful for lives big and small, here and gone.

No DTJH. We all know what an important week it was on both the national and international stage.
Keep an eye on the healthcare bill. The senate GOP is up to no good. Oh and Dodd-Frank......

Parting shots: Beautiful dreamers.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fiber Give-Away Winners

Pick 1 out of the hat: LA got

Pick 2 out of the hat: Carol got

Pick 3 out of the hat: Babsox gets a wool roving surprise because everyone deserves a little something on Monday.

Ladies, please send me your addresses so I can ship these off. As some of you know, free doesn't always mean terribly fast, but the winnings all arrive usually within a week...or two. Don't forget to pay it forward. Gosh knows the world needs as many small (and large!), acts of generosity and kindness it can get.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

It's All Just Coming Up Covfefe and a Giveaway

You know I haven't enjoyed a made up word as much as that one since I was like 8. And it's probably the only somewhat silly thing that has happened in the last 10 days or so. But we'll save that all for a few paragraphs down.

The weather has finally turned spring/summer like and a good portion of the last weekend were spent doing some sprucing up in the garden. Oh heavens, it needs MUCH more sprucing but it will have to get by with what I can offer up when. I have a few areas that refuse to nurture anything long term.
We have an amazing large garden pottery outlet in Central Point. I have decided to combine the two and put some lovely pots in those places and do some showy annuals. More on that when we pull that idea together in the physical plane.

I have done a lot of spinning, a fair amount of weaving and a little sewing. The pillowcase warp is pretty boring, all natural colored and moves slowly. I am still in love with the stars black and white warp and might venture another at some point using different colors. A bit of sparkle maybe?

A couple of split back tops have moved from cutting baskets to wearable as has the linen cotton fox tunic.

 That one actually got worn and then has been packed away for the fall and winter. It's summer, time to lighten up, wear flip-flops and straw hats. I'm all in.

This top is a very light smooth linen and I had a little fun with this white and silver half meter I think of special fabric I've had in stash.

And this second one in my new favorite cross weave cotton fabric from Moda. I had been just itching to use this cute dog print in the wild colors.

 The berry colored fabric was a perfect match.

I treated myself to some beautiful coasters that another weaver created. Thistle Rose had these in her Etsy shop and I just fell in love with the colors.

 They are spread through the house (4 in all), master weaver  and blog pal, Martha!
in appropriate places and every time I use one, I think of

On the spinning wheel I finished up the camel/merino and merino/silk and plied them together for a heavy fingering yarn, so soft and light and with a nice sheen.

 This has just been skeined but not soaked. There is a second bobbin that needs to be skeined up and then they will be soaked and let to dry. These likely will be up for giveaway soon.

There is a hand dyed Polworth roving being spun now.

 It was a Fat Cat Knits club offering and I am finally getting on it to spin. And that brings me to the giveaway today. A kitchen sink batt of fibers from Fat Cat Knits that I will never get to

 and a bunch of cotton sliver.

 Good grief, what was I thinking? Spinning cotton is not for me, not on any wheel. Of course if you want to give it a go, free is a pretty good price to give it a try and the colors are quite lovely!

Rules are simple. Mention in the comments that you want to be in the giveaway and what roving is your preference. You may not get it, but you will get one if you are the second and last name picked. I will need an addy when I contact you. I only ask that you take some time (or money or supplies) and pay it forward to a cause near and dear to your heart. I myself donate regularly to local animal shelters and this past year have kicked in heavily to a hardship fund at my veterinarian for family's who love their pets but have been blindsided by high costs. I'll announce the winners next Monday.

Did that Just Happen? ( Or Maybe Spitting Mad might be more appropriate).

I just can't believe our idiot in chief gave up a seat at the table on climate change. What a jerk.
I am however heartened to see Mayors and Governors and CEO's step up and take up the cause.
Paul Ryan (is it me or does he look like Eddie Munster?), and the House should be ashamed of themselves for not standing up to the Covfefe on this one. Can't we remove his orange highness since he is obviously not acting in our best interests here or globally?

And then of course, there is Medicaid or not?

Russia Baby, it is not going away and in fact this whole thing looks like it's going to blow wide open and go straight to the top. Even Putin is hinting that Patriotic Russians may have had a hand in helping the Orange one to win. It looks like removing sanctions was the end result of that help. Quid pro quo.
Another latin phrase that fits is Cui bono...for whose benefit?

And finally, who doesn't love a good laugh. Some of the best Covfefe tweets.

Parting shot: Stella got stung and her face swelled up. After a trip to the vet for a shot, she was tucked in the chair behind me while I was band weaving.