Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Buttercup and Mongo Effect

Of course I had to give that box a stenciled paint job.

Just couldn't leave it plain. More is after all, more.

Once I was happy with that and went on to finally finish threading the towel warp I was dismayed to find it was rather dark under there in the evening. In fact I moved Mongo the Mac under the bright lights and that left Fanny Justine in part of the studio not well lit at night. But we fixed that too. Mongo had two sets of castle lights, front and rear. I would likely never use the rear strip so I removed them, cut the strip to fit and re-installed them on F. Justine. Lights, camera, sleying!

The salon was moderately busy. It was a good place to rest and recharge after last weeks bad news.
Two lovely button down fall blouses made it out. Long sleeved and complete with nice cuffs and placket.

Lobster's, foxes, tractors and boats!

 Plackets are like collars, they can be fussy bits, but all in all the directions were good and we got through it and much more accomplished on them by the second shirt.

Loved being able to use the cute selvedge.
A second skirt came out of the salon too, This Liesl and Co Everyday Skirt is a well thought out pattern and goes together easily.

 I could still go down a size I think but I love this longer length.

The fabric is a piece of wool suiting I've had in stash for at least 4 years and there was just enough for this comfy fall skirt. I wore it out today to market with cotton tights and some casual boots and felt quite seasonal.

The week has been catch up on some household stuff, like a good cleaning on both floors, bathrooms included. I've also been trying out recipes for a pear custard pie, and different quick breads. Cool weather has made baking possible again and even enjoyable!

The country right now is like an erupting shit show. I'm sorry, I don't have a better way of putting it. Between the horror of Florence ( and that there are so many people still suffering after Maria!), that squirrely Kavanaugh jerk, the orange asshat and his gang of crooked stooges (You know, the GOP), the fear that the Russians have this coming election rigged and the ever increasing and unchecked gun violence I'm feeling a bit less optimistic than usual. I was considering throwing out "Fixing A Hole" but I'm saving that for a really black day! :-)

Because one of the recent car commercials has given me a week long ear worm, I'm sharing it with all of you! We can all be humming together! How groovy is that? Here you go, something fun.

Parting shot: Intent on Timmy, always!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Upgrading and Downgrading

Fanny Justine got an upgrade. I will admit it took Gene and I a week or so to get on the same page, a few heated discussions on attachment options and picking which enamel color to paint it. Blue or red.

You can see here which one won. Say that 3 times fast. It will get the full monty of decorative painting because that pleases me and as was my winning argument, I'm the one using it. So there! ;-)

I just didn't want to drill any attachment holes in the uprights. I could see it going horribly wrong with a crack. Other options looked like Rube Goldberg had drafted them. Plus Rube...ah Gene never would have gotten to all that woodworking. This option was simple and easy and completely removable with no modifications needed to the loom itself.

Best part, it's done!

You can also see that threading is going at a painfully slow pace. I am not a fast threader. I am not fast when it comes to anything in weaving. But I am pretty fast in the sewing department.

Another scrub made it out for another tech.

She had requested forest green. Let me tell you, there are some colors that are just a bugger to find with nice prints. Forest green is one of them.

Surprisingly, purple in adult prints and such is another. Of course I could give them the "My Pony with the rainbow coming out of its butt".but I'd save that one for myself! And really, shouldn't it be dollar bills instead of rainbows they are pooping anyway?

I finally broke down and purchased a weaving book I had been coveting for a while now.

 I figured I better get it before it goes out of print and is listed for hundreds of dollars. It is a lovely book, a reading book about the history of Finnish American rag rug weaving.

 More inspiration than drafts and I am pleased to add it to my weaving library. So few weaving books are published these days and for the most part, are beginner geared and often, uninspiring.

Okay, we've covered upgrades and might as well get to the downgrades. Some of you have asked about my Mother. There were no tests for the summer, she finished chemo end of May, beginning of June and all appropriate tests and such scheduled for 3 months out. The long and short of it, is the cancer has come back in her left kidney. Her right kidney is compromised with a stone, her function overall is 50% or a little worse. She has 3 options, none will offer more than maybe a few months respite. Option 3, is to do nothing other than put a kidney stent in and hopefully help it function better for a short time. Option 2 is to stent and do targeted radiation, knocking back the growth for a little while. Option 1 was to do stent and chemo. We have opted for door #2. Now some of you know my mother suffers from mild dementia. She refuses to talk about end of life care (and every time I bring up the subject I get snapped at that I am just wanting her to die faster).  Sigh. She really believes because she feels fine she is fine. After all, her hair is growing back so how bad can it be? So, we steer the ship as best we can and spend another fall, with my last parent, dying of cancer. And you thought only March had Ides!

I'll leave you with Green Day, best I can do today.

Parting shot: Therapy Dogs.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Patterns Can Still Surprise

You know I didn't have much hope for the Design and Sew Kimono Encore pattern. One because it was a kimono and two, because it was an Erikson pattern. From experience these patterns (both Lois and Diane's), often don't work for me, so imagine my surprise when I slipped this on "in process" and fell deeply in love with it.

I was sorry I had used a linen I wasn't in love with color wise, but decided to turn this into a garment I would adore. I took one of my Dad's old denim shirts I had saved for patching and such and went to town giving my plain Jane kimono some pizazz. Half the pockets are cut from the fronts,

then I used the button bands for the snaps.

 I still didn't feel it had enough so I went ahead and did some simple outline embroidery in a deep true red. The constellation on he back is Canis Major,

the one directly on the sleeve Canis Minor.

I haven't taken it off really since I finished it Saturday morning. This is not to say there won't be some modifications. There will be. I want to grade out the hips just a smidge and pull in the shoulders a smidge. As pretty as those big long sleeves are, they do get in the way if you actually need to like eat or prepare food in it. A cuff  and some slight tapering next go round because I love the volume and want to keep most of it.

The next surprise was that a skirt came out of the salon. The first one in a very long time. I had bought a $5.00 piece of deep brown/raisin colored tencel. 2.25 yards was plenty to test this "Everyday Skirt" pattern by Liesl and Co. In fact, it is too big.

I have cut another a size down but I shortened the back elastic on this one and it will be perfectly wearable. Those who have read this blog for a while know there are few things I dislike more than buttons and zippers and facings and in that order. I'll do zippers but I  prefer not to and certainly not for skirts. This hit all the right features. Flat front, elastic back, gentle gathers and a really nice pocket detail.

I was not disappointed. I can see this with a cute little boxy cropped sweater, tights and some boots for fall.  I have a second one cut out and beautiful piece of a brown melton melange wool for a third one. I have some fab inexpensive fabrics waiting for fall winter skirts and pants.

I'm also looking at making a fancy winter coat. I purchased this pattern for a look see.

I love the gilet idea. I know I'm a weaver but I just don't love wearing scarves and I don't like a cold neck either. This is a great compromise.

I have a bolt of some special Scottish wool that would be perfect. I will say the pattern is less than clear on the instructions and rather intimidating. A muslin is in order for sure, but I think this is the perfect project for after the holidays when there is no pressure to do anything else but watch the snow come down and make soups and homemade bread.

It's salad days right now.

Hearty salads like my favorite Greek Panzenella using gifted fresh tomatoes (thank you Sandi!), just picked peppers, English cucumbers, Greek olives, locally made feta and homemade croutons all doused in a delicious dressing and left to soak it up. Occasionally I add some Abruzzese Sausage.
The recipe is an Ina Garten one and you can find it here.

Wasn't it great to see and hear Pres. Obama last week?! OMG, full sentences! Full sentences that had complete clear thoughts! Oration at it's best, filled with hope and better angels, kindness, clear direction and vision. Thank you for making this one old heart happy.  This is the song I leave you with today.

Parting shots: Do you hear what I hear?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Shouldn't it Be Raining By Now?

We really could use some rain here in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The I5 was closed yesterday due to another fire started in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. A beautiful area I might add, or at least it was. There has been a lot of burning going on in there. And as always, there has been a lot of talk going on about what to do about forest fires. Why yes, you can cut all the trees and then you will end up with an even drier, dirtier problem. Think dust bowl, think loss of wildlife and water sheds. Honestly, the long term answer is to face climate change and start mitigating yesterday with pollution cutting measures. Short term, do a better job with prescribed burns when it's wet, judicious tree cutting and thinning and replanting, on a 3-5 year schedule. Clear cuts typically plant all trees at the same time, plant all the same kinds of trees and often use heavy chemicals and pesticides to inhibit weed growth. Judicious forest management makes sure this doesn't have to happen. What about roadless areas? Believe me, there are a fair amount of horse logging teams in the west that would love to go in annually and harvest gently in old growth and roadless areas. It was done for a number of years before big mechanized tree cutting equipment was developed and in this day and age there is quite a market for sustainably and green harvested goods. We need to do a much better job of building too BTW, stick built houses waste an enormous amount of wood, but that is a talk for another day. Right now I just want three things. Some good days of rain, that jerk of a SCOTUS pick to take his lying hateful racist self back under whatever rock he was found by the Federalist Society and for the GOP to grow a spine and a pair and start some checks and balances on the orange asshat. Other than the rain I don't think I'm asking too much.

Yes, I have been sewing, a little. Two nifty little Jalie Rose numbers made it out of the salon. I do love this sleeveless pattern. The fit is quite nice. The little orange one is so washed out in the pics.

 It is really a beautiful medium deep shade of pumpkin. And look closely at the pink one, those are little mice.

I was so taken with this print, I bought enough in a grey colorway for a long sleeved top at some point. Today I am starting on on the kimono pattern. I'l let you all know next post how that one goes.

Ahem...due to a Labor Day sale a couple of skirt patterns and a jacket pattens arrived in my mailbox!

One is already cut out of a $5.00 piece of deep raisin colored Tencel. Great for fall!

Parts is parts and the ones I ordered for Fanny Justine arrived from Canada a day early. New treadle hooks (did I mention I found the lost 6th one of the old set in the car?), 200 inserted eye heddles and a set of threading helpers.

They keep the shafts from moving while threading and tie up and will also work like angel wings holding the lease sticks. I have yet to plumb their full usefulness, but for holding the shafts, A+.

steps the shafts nicely for threading
 Gene and I will be building a removable castle shelf for her. Should be interesting. We don't always work well together, I find it much more amiable to draw a picture and let him arrive to the end result as he will.....I think he prefers that too. ;-)

Inside, fall painting is about to commence. New moulding has been purchased for the foyer and hallway since we ripped the old out for the tiling and I ordered and picked up the oil paints for the kitchen cabinets.

I was told this time like every other time, no one uses oil paints anymore. They hold up so well for the hard use kitchen cabinets take though, worth the effort and cost.

It's dental month at my vet's. It means they will be looking at thousands of teeth and also looking quite tired since they discount all dental work a pretty nice amount. I'm told the schedule is completely full and it warms my heart to know so many people are taking care of their pets teeth because Lord (and me), knows, the work can be costly. Mandy has her appointment in October. I get a multi dog discount so no need to double dip or take time away from other needy choppers.
In that vein I leave you with this little tribute to dentists everywhere.

Parting shot: Did you say "Cheese"?