Saturday, December 29, 2018

Seeing Double

This was supposed to be the year we didn't exchange gifts. I donated heavily in Gene's name and he cheated but in such a good way. Years ago a local artist did a little portrait of Peter, not long after I had lost him at the ripe old age of 19.

I still miss my leggy little wonder. Anywho Gene snapped a few pics of a certain flippered furry eel while I was gone and the artist didn't like her first effort so did a second.

Mandy does indeed look this worried when I leave. I am told she waits by the door for me for hours.

 Gene took both and they are proudly hanging. They are very quiet, don't nip anyone and are thrifty on food and vet care....hmmmmmmmm......

The doubles don't stop there. I got sorely sick of making button down blouses. They aren't hard, but fussy in parts and time consuming even without sleeves.

This was a medium weight shot cotton I bought on the $5.00 table last fall. Not enough for sleeves but such a lovely dark raisin color I knew it would make the perfect multi season blouse.

 Looks great with a pale grey cardi I have and deep charcoal pants. Just saying.... There has been a need for simple woven type tee shirts but I didn't want a scoop neck. I modified a style arc pattern I had used quite a bit and liked the neckline.

The single sized pattern was graded down quite a bit, and by the second one I had gotten a bit of shaping. The white linen will get a lot of wear, at least until it gets a lot of stains. The flannel certainly will see action now.

In fact I yanked it off Rhonda after the pic and threw it on for this chilly Saturday around the house. Win win!

My good friends spoil me and this year the quilting maven outdid herself.

 FOXES are in the prints and such beautiful piecing it's hard not to fall in love with this quilt!

This lovely recycled lamp was also added upstairs. It started life as an art vase but it makes a beautiful soft light.

I am truly enjoying my little bedroom table BTW and can't imagine not having it now.

I'm leaving you with this gem to get you into 2019. A few of my favorite things..... ;-0
One of my wishes for next year is that I never ever have to look at a selfie of the Cheeto's junk. EEEEKKKKKK!

Parting shots: The holidays are an exhausting affair!

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Santa Tracker Edition 2018

You know I send you off every Christmas to the Norad Santa Tracker and this year is no different!
Santa and the amazing 8 have already left the North Pole and are on their route, so enjoy dropping in with them a few times if you can! And this year, doubly bless the folks at Norad for staying the course and allowing us to follow old Kris Kringle amidst what can only be thought of as the mango Musssolini's Shutdown, Holiday Edition.

If you are looking for something exceptionally funny to listen to over the holiday while you prep with family and friends (or blessedly, uninterrupted), may I suggest you hook up into your listening device of choice David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice. This was a staple of ours on tape when we traveled from Los Angles to Oregon no matter what the time of year and like any classic it never loses it's charm.

From all of us at Runamuck to all of you, Happy Holidays. May they all be safe and warm and speak of love, laughter and friendship. Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me when you could!

Parting shot: Cave dwellers.

 And Cave Dweller wanna-bee

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Waste of Time and Fabric

Rarely do I pan a pattern as badly as I'm going to pan the hood/Cosplay pattern from McCalls, but it was a colossal waste of time and fabric.

The hood was my main interest but I figured I had enough fabric to make the vest too, so I cut both out from a linen I had languishing in my collection. A two sided affair, gauzy and thankfully bought on sale. The hood is positively weird! Ginormous head and tight at the back of the neck. With such an ample front you want to be able to adjust it back a bit. No go. The vest, if possible, worse. They must think we wear bras to make us look like pointy busted mannequins from the 50's! I was so disgusted with this pattern, it and the fabric is sitting in the to burn bin. If you want a nice hood pattern use a tried and true favorite of mine from Jamie Christina. It is much easier to work with and thriftier on fabric.

Well, now that I got THAT out of my system, lets get to the good makes! Two lovely shirts came out of the salon, one the almost flannel yarn dye fabric

 and the other a supply lightweight cotton canvas in such a fun UK travel print.

 I have another piece of this fabric that is Paris inspired cut and waiting attention. There is actually a lot of stuff cut and waiting but sewing has been rolling out slowly this past month or so.

So, last I left you we had gotten my mother's apartment moved, then she refused to move out of the health center even though she hadn't needed the 24 hour care for at least a month. It was a week of hell, she was impossible and finally the administrator had to step up and convince her she needed to leave their particular area of the facility. She is one floor up and can come down and hang anytime, but doesn't need the constant nursing care the health center offers. Put into dollars and cents we finally got her moved up last Monday. Of course now that she is up there, she loves it. Sigh. After the first of the year I am giving myself a much needed break from my parent.

A little decorating has gone on this year, mostly done before Mother Mule had her week of tantrums.

I rather like my plain little table top tree I went with this year. It is just enough.

 The old reindeer and sleight from my Grandmothers Christmas box

 also made an appearance but then everything is overshadowed by my Dad's loom. I hated to leave her out in the cold back room so I folded her up and installed her in front of the fireplace.

 I have places I'm able to move her to weave or if we want to use the fireplace. In spring she'll go back to sharing with Buttercup!

So, raise your hand if you are feeling like OMG, exactly how out of control and crooked this so called president needs to become before we remove him from office? I am horrified at the actions of the past several days.

But today I'm going to concentrate on a good book on Audible, some weaving and look forward to the full moon tonight, meteor shower and solstice! A trifecta!! I'm leaving you with my favorite moon song. Years ago I knew the complete bass line. YEARS ago.....

To everyone, have a Merry one. I'll likely catch up with you all before the New Year.

Parting shot: Pillow Pals

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Just Like That, December!

And snow!

 We love snow and conveniently, it arrived Friday night AFTER the big move from one apartment to another for my Mom. It looks pretty good and I managed to comfortably fit everything in with the exception of five pieces, mostly small end tables. What I did love and she didn't want was the table I bought her for the old apartment. Sigh, I don't think she ever used it and now, she has tray service in residential living and will likely eat at her recliner. To that end we are getting her a swinging tray table much like they use in hospitals and over beds. Simple, and useful.

I finagled around and finally decided I wanted that sweet table where it will be used. A few pieces of furniture moved about or relegated elsewhere and this is what we now have!

 What do you think? I know it's kind of odd to have a table in a master but really, so convenient. I can drink coffee, work on small projects, spin and if I put a pillow on one of the chairs it makes it high enough to weave on. I still have the chest if I feel like dragging it over to the looms instead. Gene put felt pads on it so easy peasy to do.

Every year I treat myself to a special holiday book. This year two vied for that honor. I couldn't make up my mind so dang, I bought both.

 That Mr. Finch is a marvel and so inspirational.

The stories and facts in The Magpie and the Wardrobe are whimsical, fun and interesting. Both books are made for browsing.

Speaking of books, The Throne of Glass series of 7 books by Sarah Maas (YA fantasy and VERY good), are done. I mourn finishing them and may just have to re-listen to them again. To get over the book hangover I started in on a series of two books (so far) by Vivian Shaw. The first is "Strange Practice", where Greta is a doctor to the undead and such in modern day London. Mummies, banshees, ghouls etc. It was probably the most innovative mystery series start I've read in a very long time. There is a second book, "Dreadful Company" and that too was consumed and enjoyed. A third on its way. So my Audible account is as active as everything else in my life!

A simple pair of pants has made it out of the salon, a wee bit of weaving, some holiday decorating slowly happening and the frenzy of wrapping and mailing of gifts about to descend upon us. I won't make deadlines with most of my weaving for friends, but then again, I get the joy of surprising them with something as I do finish up. Works for me!

I'm leaving you with a favorite of mine to start the season. It's featured in my favorite holiday movie of all time, Love Actually.

Parting shot: Jack supervising the realm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Shouldn't Every Tuesday Be a Giving One?

I know through the holiday season it always seems like there is more need and likely there is, but it doesn't stop after the first of the year.  Frankly it pisses me off that a couple of the supermarkets locally only have  donation slips by the register at this time of year. The one I regularly shop at has them available ALL year long and I give weekly. Giving isn't just monetary, it's a kindness, a helping hand, a ride, an errand, generosity with a smile, a joke, a few words of sympathy or a hug. It doesn't have to be hard or costly and I swear, it'll will make you feel better, I promise. The ability to be able to give something is a blessing in itself, it would seem selfish to withhold such small gestures in times of need and truly irk the gods and goddesses of the world too! :-)

So, we had an uneventful Thanksgiving. Bundled up my Mom and took her out. She finished in under an hour and wanted to get back to her room at the health center. Sigh, while I didn't have leftovers I saved myself the aggravation that cooking a turkey  and all the fixings would have caused for such a short meal attention span. Plus the food was darn good at Larks this year in Medford.  Miss Mandy and the crew must have a small canine olympics because when we got home you could see she had tweeked her neck /back again. Bed rest and medications began. Yesterday was the first day she started to unkink, but it will take time.

For those that have been waiting, the Wiksten Kimono is DONE and yes, I like it quite a lot.

 My first run through is made of a fairly full bodied Japanese linen/cotton blend.

 Something drapier might have been nice too. The next one....
I loved the construction. It's pretty clever and easy and with the lining (fine dark brown linen), fully finished! Yeah!!! Instructions good. I do think the small shoulder slant and such make a bit of fitting difference and the sleeve is much more like a regular jacket than a kimono in volume.

I rather miss the traditional kimono sleeve. I might grade this out to be wider next go round.

The last of the cut skirts was finished too. I went down 3 sizes from my first go round and finally have a well fitting one.

The wool blend on this is soft and warm and quite comfortable. This proved to be the perfect Small Business Saturday outfit. (I wouldn't be caught dead out on Black Friday!) The kimono made it out for Thanksgiving too.

I wanted to share a perfectly weird and wonderful little thing a friend gave me. Isn't that so imaginative? You did catch the fox connection no doubt.

This is move week. My mom gets into her new apartment on Friday. I will be there early in the morning directing the movers. Oh least we have her in before December. It will be a long day.

Well, it was Mississippi after all........

The song for today, is one on my moving day playlist by Boston, a band near and dear to my heart!

Parting shot: The powder room escorts. It's like teens all going to the ladies room en smoking though!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Shiny Bits

The great Clayfolk migration is taking place this weekend, and like many years past, I was there at the beginning! The show attracts thousands of folks, local and not so much, every year. I have to say, I found this years selections, well, rather underwhelming. One favorite artist that was listed as being there, wasn't, a decided lack of clever smalls perfect for gift giving, less interesting large pieces and certainly less innovation on shapes and glazes from past years. That is not to say the show was bereft of beautiful things, it wasn't, it simply wasn't as good as years past. Oh and while there was stunning black and white pottery artwork, I am never going to pay $90.00 for a coffee mug. I did however manage to find a few fun affordable pieces. In no particular order.

It's hard to believe that lovely mirror was only $150.00 in a walnut frame with a beautiful beveled mirror after seeing a $90.00 coffee mug!

Sorry, I'm beating this dead horse I know. There were a few other smalls which I can't show because they are gifts.

The little Red Breasted Nuthatch is the second in what appears to be the start of a new collection. I procured this awesome stained glass nuthatch several weeks ago.

In the glass department, I also retired the old green Kitchenaid electric tea kettle. It was getting spotty on shutting itself off and I had been waiting until the kitchen had been updated. I couldn't find either an orange or red kettle that pleased me so I went for pure flash!

Precious little has gotten out of the salon. Last week was an en endless trail of town trips for both myself and my Mom and Mandy who got her stitches out! This cute Cleo pinafore (Tilly and the Buttons), made it out and that is the Victoria Jones Waimea shirt underneath.

Heaps of stuff got cut too. I did things in 3's. Shirts, pants and these are skirts.

 Since this pic, two have been completed. The first one, a navy twill cotton is too big. I went back and cut the remaining two down to a size medium and the black linen fit much better. Only the brown melton wool is left to do.

I also cut out the Wiksten kimono and I am heading up to work on that this morning. I'll let you know how that turns out next post!

For anyone interested, here is some information on how to donate for victims of the Camp Fire. As we come into a time of thanks, it is also worth remembering that it is also a time of great need. If you can, give where ever your heart and need dictates. I always donate in honor of one of my companions on the other side of the bridge.

The song for this post...Supertramp...really! ;-)

Be safe, be kind.

Parting shot: Sleeping in, every morning, the bums! ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Kitchen Proper Painting Completed

Whew, just in time for the holidays. That doesn't mean all the painting is done. I still have upper cabinets to do on the built in storage area across from the kitchen and down the back hallway. I'm paying someone to do that last bank of upper cabinets in the oil paint, mostly because they need to be done solely while standing on a ladder. No way, let some younger bones handle it. Without more fanfare here is the completed kitchen.

We are both loving the Cinnamon Sugar color. Not taupe, not grey but something in-between.

And all the vintage Midwinter Wild Oats dinnerware has arrived.

 I am quite smitten with the pattern, better in person and it all has a weighty solid feel.

For a Mom update, she is still holding in a remission period of sorts. Kidney function much improved with the nephrostomy tube. We're holding on the radiation. Feeling well although her blood counts are borderline low. She has had a couple of transfusions in the past month or so.  Her new apartment in the residential living area will be ready the 28th of this month, the move on the 29th and I have worked out a cat compromise. I refuse to pull the two kitties from their settled in new home. They are doing GREAT! But on the home front I have a barn cat who no longer works the barn and is more or less living in our basement. Now that's great for keeping mice out, but really, from feral to sweetness she has become an indoor kitty. Hating to be thrown out in the morning and called back in for the evenings in anything but the best weather. I am taking her to my Mom. If she goes down hill, I will always take Miss Priss back easily enough. It's not perfect but it offers a little something for both old lady and cat.

As slow as the sewing salon has been, a couple of makes have been completed. The first was my favorite shirt pattern in a yarn dyed soft brushed cotton plaid.

I love this shirt. I bought this same fabric in a couple of different color ways/plaids and will make them up for winter wear. The fabric is not flannel heavy but it is softer thicker fabric than the usual cotton. Henry Glass yarn dyes.

The second was a new make, The Waimea Ranch Shirt by Victoria Jones.

It has a shaped yoke, one piece from back to front and was a bit fussy. The shirt itself...meh! I don't like the overly long sleeve, nor the double breast pockets. I tried them and just not a fan. The shoulder fit is good as is the sleeve fit but the waist shaping will have to be adjusted up for my short waisted frame. I just can't explain why one shirt feels good and another doesn't, but there you go. The fit is good on me, I just don't like it as much as the Hey June Cheyenne shirt pattern.

Trying new things is fun and kimono patterns are everywhere. I jumped on the bandwagon with another pattern that sewists are raving about. The Wiksten Kimono Jacket.

It is bound to make it to the next pattern cutting session. I need to cut out some new pants too. Most of my old ones are too big.

And this MaCall's Cosplay pattern is also another addition. I loved the vest lines and the hood.

 Oh yes, I basically bought the pattern for that hood. Gotta hide my pointy ears after all. ;-)

But kidding aside what another horrible week. Shootings, firings and again, California burns.
This is what decline looks like. Historians will be able to look back and see the start of it all. We can now see the time line of climate change and we will be able to trace the fall of our democracy to somewhere around November 8, 2016.  The new house might be able to save something, but really, what will it take to change such a tenacious culture of hate? I have no idea.

For this November day, I'm handing over a ballad.  The Edmund Fitzgerald sunk on November 10, 1975 and I remember it. For anyone interested The Andrea Gail went down on October 28, 1991 in a no name storm that lasted 3 days. I've grown up with a rich maritime history living in Massachusetts for 38 years. "They that go down to the sea in ships" Psalm 107.23 I love ballads BTW, not enough of them are being written and certainly there are stories that are ballad worthy.

Be safe. Be kind.

Parting shot: Where the cool kids go to get warm.