Friday, August 31, 2018

Funeral Friday, Tears, Taps and Pink Cadillacs

If you want to sob and dance on the same day, this one might be just perfect. I haven't been able to watch much of the memorials for John S. McCain. Seeing Meaghan McCain sobbing at the first one in AZ. brought back every single awful emotion of losing my own Dad not quite 2 years ago. I know how she feels and I think I was sobbing for both of us, all of us, who have lost a much loved (and missed), father. I also sob because it feels like being abandoned or left with the evil step-father. In this case, being left with both a criminal president and Republican congress, with no voice, no one to speak up in authority to keep us safe. Certainly sob worthy. VOTE!

And then there is Detroit, turning out in pink Cadillacs and foot tapping music. The sounds of celebration of a different kind of gift given to our country and this world. What a flipping day. What a line of pink Cadillacs!

I'm thinking the two of them are up there somewhere sharing a few words. Ah to be a fly. Do you think there are flies in heaven? I sure hope so.

And that brings me to a sort of unproductive week. Lots of things got cut.

I decided I wanted more button down shirts of both long sleeved and sleeveless varieties. I cut out 3 each of the Jalie Rose for wear with cardigans come fall and winter and 3 Hey June Cheyenne Shirts. The test run Kimono jacket got cut out too in a pale blue linen that I wasn't in love with. I needed a certain amount of drape to give this pattern (Kimono Encore, a Lois Erikson Design & Sew),  long out of print, a fair shake. These Erikson patterns can go horribly wrong for me so best use a fabric I didn't much care for.

I'm sorry to say my last scrub was a bit too narrow in the shoulders for it's wearer, so with some adjustments and a fresh piece of fabric, we are ready to start in anew. They are saving it to give to the next small tech or receptionist that should start at the clinic. It's all good and I like making these. I'm getting pretty darn fast at them too!

And speaking of fabric, sometimes I really go off the rails with my purchases. I see so much cute stuff and I am weak. Very weak, especially when it comes to foxes or remembered stories from my childhood. So, these have graced my sewing room. A panel to make a small soft book of "The Little Prince"

 another book panel of farm animals and their sounds.

 A large center panel of camping forest critters

 and lastly Freya & Friends Dollhouse.

 Blame that one on the little Jack Russell Terrier "Fred".
The book is so cute, who wouldn't want a little quilted dollhouse and figures! ;-)

Precious little weaving has gone on. But on the Louet David Ziva, these practical brown towels weave on.

I like the white very much for weft and the stripes are actually a deep forest green.

A simple bleached white warp is almost done for Fanny Justine. This is what I hope they will look like when woven!

Speaking of Fanny, I had to take her apart again and we moved her down to the studio.

St. Nick the Macomber will be leaving for his new home sooner than expected. Rather than get Miss Fanny J warped upstairs, it was easier to crowd her in for a few days. She looks quite lovely under the lights!

Mandy had a vet appointment Tuesday. She has some skin bumps and lumps and such that we decided really should come off. A teeth cleaning too. We'll run my vet bill up in October as September is dental month at the vet's and they are very busy with dogs that need dental attention much greater than hers. She's fine with waiting!

So, the song for the day is of course Freeway of Love!

Parting shot: Oh Dear, an unfortunate flop of the ear!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Hello's and Good-Bye's

Although I don't usually start my post off with a political bent, and I think you all know where I stand, I simply must mention and honor an amazing human being, and a great patriot. John McCain passed away from the same brain cancer on the same day as his equally amazing friend and patriot Ted Kennedy.  The two of them where both able to reach across the isle, find common ground and compromise for the good of the country, NOT the party or the individual. We are a much lesser country now and especially so without John McCain. Now I don't think he was as mavericky as people said, and like all of us, flawed, but no one doubted he worked tirelessly because he loved this country. I rarely agreed with him, but I know he wasn't a self serving, self dealing asshat. We all know what one of those looks like right now don't we? God Speed Mr. McCain. Bless your family and I for one will remember you with kindness and honor and wonder how much different this country might have been if GW didn't win the nomination in 2000.

So, lets go to another good-bye, although this one not quite so dramatic! I have sold the 40" Macomber locally and he'll go to his new home once that weaver sells the loom she is replacing!
BTW, I happen to know where there is a very good deal on a Schacht 8 shaft floor loom if anyone is interested.

And you all know I abhor a loom vacuum! I was able to find a new to me loom within a 150 miles of me!  A great feat because as you know, every loom I ever want is at least 5 hours away! :-) I played the loom fetcher this trip.

 I got to meet a lovely weaver (who hopefully will find herself a nice table loom ) and her handy husband, who did the honor of breaking down the loom for me, we stuffed her into the car and then had a lovely lunch! Thank Gerry and Gary, so much!

Please welcome Fanny Justine, a lovely 1973 LeClerc Counterbalance  45" Fanny loom.  Like her LeClerc sibling Mira this loom has 4 shafts and 6 treadles. The bonus with Fanny is she folds to make her take up space a wee bit slimmer when not in use.

 I learned to weave on a CB loom, and Buttercup reminded me how truly light and wonderful weaving on one is. I didn't mind an older loom but I wanted one that I could easily upgrade and replace parts as needed. She really needs nothing though (except one of the 6 six treadle hooks I lost along the way), ad is in beautiful condition. A simple white cotton towel warp will be going on her to have some fun with twills or rose path. Starting it today.

I also received a surprise gift from a friend in upper state New York . Look at this beautiful mug!

Locally made to her and I have to say, makes coffee taste so much better. Thank you Susan! Pets to the Pat et al. and hugs to you!

Somewhere in the smoke and haze I also got a ride in.

It was a slow affair, hot and dusty and as usual, accompanied by my horses goatie entourage.

What a sight (fright) we must look like!

Cooper loves his cool down.
Two makes made it out of the sewing salon. One a modified button down Hey June blouse.

 No collar, no cuffs, and the barest of gathers instead of a pleat.

 The fabric is a soft draping washed ribbed silk in a color close to peat. Not truly brown and not green. It's a lovely shade though made more so that the 3 yard piece cost a mere $10.00 at a local quilt stores five and dime table. Most of them garment materials from a store long past. I have some nice wool crepes set aside too for winter sewing.

The second make was the 2nd of 4 scrub top.

Lastly, here is the start of the rag rug warp on Buttercup.

These are my upstairs bathroom colors!
Should be bright and washable!

I'm leaving you with Taps. I selected the United States Navy Band version because after all, John McCain was a Navy man through and through.

Parting shot: Oh Dear! Another loom?!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Purloined Berries, Shirt Throw down & The Queen of Soul

So, I planted a couple of thornless blackberries in a big wine barrel on the deck and they have been steadily growing wondrous sweet berries. They were almost ready, almost and then..gone!
A couple of nights ago, a planter was toppled, scuffling on the deck and lots of chattering. The raccoon babies had purloined my berries!!! Imagine that?  Every single one of them beautifully picked. :-) Oh well, I can live with that. In this dry smokey summer I'm betting these were a treat for the little scamps and who am I to grumble. I eat well and have berries aplenty in the fridge.

I'm just about finished with the last button down shirt pattern The Liesl & Co Classic Shirt. It's an okay pattern, well drafted but I find, even with the (overly) large dart, to be square and shapeless. I dislike the collar build and I find both collar and stand need some substantial trimming.

I want my collars and stands lot be ike a button down collar shirt has, small. This is not. I also think the yoke construction clunky. Now it is sized nicely and does offer different cup sizes. I like theback pleat on each side as much as the typical center pleat on most classic mens type shirt patterns. Out of the 3 it is my least favorite due to construction methods and overall sack like shaping.

To remind you ,the next shirt is the StyleArc Phoebe shirt. I loved the construction of this shirt. Fast, easy and a great petite RTW type collar.

 It has a dart (small), and allows for some shaping on the top half, a pretty hidden placket and then we get to the overworked and difficult to follow directions for the cuff. DON'T BOTHER. This would be much better with a classic drafted cuff or, if you want to change it up a bit, just lengthen the sleeve  and gather it into a bias binding for a pretty feminine touch. It's a pretty sleeve but I ding his pattern for the dropped shoulder fit. I know this is supposed to be a men's fit, but I really want my shoulders to fit well.

Lastly, the favorite of the bunch is the Hey June Cheyenne Shirt & Tunic. This has a wonderful fit through the shoulders and even without darts, great shaping.

It offers two distinct looks. I don't like the sewn on placket. I just cut extra width when I cut out my fronts and fold. I also slimmed down the stand and collar. It goes together easily, the sleeve set in on the flat, a full and pretty one too I might add, the collar directions good and the yoke burrito style. I will use this pattern as my base pattern for all things collared and button down.

In other sewing, the first of the adjusted and sized scrubs is done.

I had a request for something in pink and so here it is. This fabric wasn't my favorite on the bolt but I think it is the perfect pink scrub top and will look lovely on the tech it is meant for.

Lastly, Aretha Franklin. What an amazing woman and probably one of the most glorious voices I'll ever hear. I grew up on her music, along with many others, I have a number of her CDs, one of the few artists I changed from vinyl to tape to CD. I think everyone has a favorite Aretha song, I'll share a couple of mine. You've already had Chain of Fools from the movie Michael and a second favorite Think, comes from another much enjoyed movie, The Blues Brothers. Lastly, one that always gets me moving, Spanish Harlem. 

Parting shots: Props!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

We Like Being Read To Too.

Personally I am starting to think Audible is the best thing since I had a pair of doting Grandparents. I can still hear them reading One Fish Two Fish and Suki A Little Tiger. Now having an adult book with an adult reader is not quite the same thing but close. And some of those narrators are so good it is truly, like you are there. In a round about way this is a book post, but it is also a narration post, because they have elevated my recent "reads" at least 2 fold. Okay, For those that like true life fiction, this is not your post. I am deeply immersed in fantasy worlds both new and old and am likely to stay there except to come out for CJ Samson's new book next year.  I also have no idea if these books are as enjoyable to read as they are to listen too. That's up to you if you want to try them out on some medium, print, Kindle or an Audible type application. Disclaimer done.

First up is the Raven's Shadow series by Anthony Ryan. The books in order are Blood Song, Tower Lord and Queen of Fire. These are in no way YA books. Adult themes, language and violence. The characters are great, the world building amazing. Think Game of Thrones instead of Harry Potter. The reading by Steven Brand very, very good. The hours flowed out as each of these books is like 20 something of them. I will say the last book was not near as good as the first or the second but it was good enough and I enjoyed it.

Next up is another trilogy by Garth Nix and these are YA works and so damn good I was literally white knuckled on the edge of my seat in many parts. I can tell you that more than 10 times I did another 30 minutes on the timer at night instead of going to sleep. The series is The Abhorsen Trilogy/ books of the Old Kingdom and starts with Sabriel, then Lirael and lastly Abhorsen. There are more dealing with the Old Kingdom, another two have been added to the series, Clariel as a prequel which I'm into now and a fifth Goldenhand along with a number of short story collections. They will be coming soon to my Audible library. Tim Curry was the narrator of the first three and oh my, it was PERFECTION! He also narrates the Lemony Snicket and other children and classic titles. Some of which may make it to my device just because he is so good. Certainly A Christmas Carol when the holidays roll around.

That's been pretty much it on the book front. I can listen and sew or weave so some of each has gotten done. I cut out stuff this weekend. The last classic shirt pattern to try by Liesl & Me, a couple of scrubs for the vet clinic and I have a kimono jacket pattern and fabric picked out for cutting.
The looms are all seeing a fair amount of action. The two towel warps have been worked on, sheep and dark natural brown one. The blanket warp has seen the most weaving time and the little Piccolo loom found it's way into the back loom room

and it has seen at least a couple of feet woven on that long warp.
Buttercup is in process on her rug warp.

 I'm  finishing that up today when I can get Gene to double as a warping valet. These open rug warps ( 10 ends per inch -epi) roll on easily with little grab or resistance. I do love a good counterbalance loom which brings me to a request, if anyone has or knows of someone wanting to divest themselves of either a LeClerc Fanny or Mira loom, within say a two to three hour drive of the Rogue Valley, I'm actively looking. I might even be willing to trade a 40" 12 shaft Macomber if someone is looking for more shafts. Anyway, it's out there!

 Oh and there was canning in there too. Another batch of Nectarine Lime Jam rolled out

and yesterday a big batch of Blueberry Maple Syrup. YUM! I'm officially out of some supplies so will have to get to town for more lids at least, rings certainly and probably jars.

Song for today is in tribute to all the fantasy readers waiting for that last book to the series. Patrick Rothfuss, I'm talking to YOU!

Parting shots: Tummies MUST be Rubbed!

You're getting sleepy....

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Tile Me A River

Well, sort of a little one at least and not wet. Maybe just a dry gulley? Anyway, the tile project is DONE! They came on Tuesday and finished on Friday. All remodels should last but one week don't you think? For a chuckle, this is the little island we traded our big one in for.

Gene wanted to know why we had spent all that money way back when after he saw this little wonder! ;-)
Without further babbling, here is the project from start to beauty shot.

Self leveling cement
Hallway to foyer
Tile laid awaiting grout
Grout! Color Wild Mushroom
Back together again

While grout and cement waged war on the floor downstairs, I did get a wee bit of sewing done. The last of my cut out Hey June Cheyenne shirts.

Another Dear Stella fabric with foxes
 In fact I need to get cutting. Try out the Liesl & Me shirt pattern, do the rest of the scrub tops now that all the other sizes of top have been traced and cut out on Swedish tracing paper. A pain I might add. I am worlds laziest person when it comes to patterns. I cut mine out. I'm also going to try a simple kimono type jacket. I picked up some lovely wool crepe fabric for a song and would like to have at least one pretty little jacket to throw on in the fall.

Look at this  lovely little spindle that friend Michelle selected for me from Wanda Jenkins.

 It's a Jenkins Aegean model done in a beautiful Big Leaf Maple. Michelle included some sumptuous fiber too, Shetland from one of her flock, Vienna. It is lovely to spin even for this spindle novice. Thank you so much Michelle, you may have started another little fiber obsession!

Since the 25 boxes of tile had been taking up critical space in my back weaving studio, once gone I went to town rearranging.

I like the set-up much better. Buttercup and Sheila work nicely together.

The old mid century modern dresser friend Mary gave me before she abandoned us for Arizona is perfect for holding some specialty yarns, rag fabrics and weaving bits and bobs that needed a place to call home. Still a little more organizing but pretty much done.

Speaking of Buttercup, her place mat warp is off and a new rug warp is being measured to go on sometime this week.

 These rugs will be for me I think. I could use a few small rag rugs here and there. And here is a quick blanket shot of all the stripes.

 I'm well into the center body of the blanket which is done, of course, all in natural.

Song for this post served up praying we can get back to the place of hope. and kindness.  BTW, all the verses are sung. This is my way of sending you all a big hug. And don't forget to vote! ;-)

Parting shot:A Photo bombing Jack!