Friday, November 29, 2019

The Holidays are Here

Our first storm of this season came in late Tuesday afternoon.  I was across town with my knitting group, and in our town, that's just five miles.  A powdery snow had been falling gently as we knitted.  We remarked at how Dickensian it looked, but just as we broke up and gathered up our things, the storm rolled up its sleeves and went to work.  Our cars in a short time were coated and required about assertive snow removal.  It took nearly 40 minutes to drive home, and as they say at the roller rink, skate slowly and carefully please.
It was clear we were going to have a white Thanksgiving, and as I prepared the candied yams, I caught movement out of the kitchen window.  I found the company of these guys very cheering and again I am reminded at how much I have to be thankful for.
Deer can't get into our backyard and since we're currently without dogs, all of these tracks are from local critters whom shall remain anonymous.
I finished this set of towels from the recent issue of Handwoven.  I made a lot of mistakes trying to follow the treadling sequence as written so I wrote it out as narrative on a sticky note and put in the castle of my loom.  It still requires concentration but I've getting the hang of it:  1234, 1234, 1323,3414,1212, etc.
They're washed and cut apart, ready for hemming but I won't be able to do that until Monday.
I decided that I have enough time to make six more towels for Christmas presents.
Lighting is terrible when it's overcast but the warp is on and I've started on the first towel.  I promised to help decorate the church tomorrow, then have errands and Sunday we're going to a play after church, so these too are put off until Monday morning.  Monday afternoon I'm getting a crown prep and new crown - they do it all in one sitting now.
I discovered last week that Delaney is pretty phone savvy and in fact, likes the selfie view so she can see herself.  She wants to put the phone in her mouth, as with all things so somehow managed to press the "go" button and viola, her first selfie!

Friday, November 15, 2019

New things

I've decided to back off on weaving to sell and instead try new things, like this draft designed by Linda Gettman, a woman in our guild who periodically has her patterns appear in Handwoven.  And in fact, she was in the most recent issue, appearing on the cover.
These are the colors I said I want to weave next and this is how they're turning out.  It's pretty fiddley for me.  I don't have much experience in weaving with extended treadling sequences so have had to unweave more than I'd like.
Since Delaney still isn't traveling about I can get away with about an hour of weaving when she's here, and then she's done.
I'm involved in a project that I can do while I'm watching her and that's removing the photos from photo albums where they never get looked at and take up an entire shelf in the bookcase.  We need the shelf for books.
This is how many photos are in one album and a lot of them are the same thing taken several times, and then there are the pages and pages of the Great Reno Balloon Race. We used to live very close to the park they launched from and they often would land on our street, and one time put down in our front yard and for that we were gifted with a bottle of champagne.
This is the storage system that I bought on Amazon.  The outer case holds 16 smaller ones that hold 100 photos in each.  I'm noting the year on the upper right corner on the back and labeling each case with a sequence and with the time span contained.  I'm also shedding a lot of photos.  I'm really enjoying seeing them again and getting into a more interesting form.
Sunday evening the whole family went out to celebrate grandson Evan's 16th birthday.  And next to him is his little cousin, 15 years his junior.  Life is funny like that..
After dinner the wait staff brought him a whipped cream covered donut to make it official.  Wednesday he got his drivers license and now it really is official.
I've discovered that Delaney really likes me to ready my book out loud to her.
She vocalizes and looks intently at me as if she understood every word.  I don't get many pages read this way but I get all the pleasure in the world from her responsive engagement.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Make it work

I bought three of these Pottery Barn stools at a local upcycle store that sells exclusive names.  I thought I got them for a steal but forgot to measure the height.  No steal.  They're too tall to fit under the counter.  One has been hidden behind the easy chair in the great room with the digital antenna on it.  The other two have been put into service in random places.
My workroom isn't very big and three of the four walls are in use.  The other wall is two accordion closet doors.  I've taken to piling stuff on the stools.
One day recently I realized that the rungs could hold shelves and tested it with a picture that fit just right.  I appealed to my construction-knowledge son, asking him to cut four pieces of wood to fit.
The next day he dropped Delaney off and left rather abruptly.  I didn't realize how seriously he took me.  He had some alder plywood and came back about 30 minutes later with the four shelves, uniformly cut and sanded, made with equipment in the back of his truck.  This simple fix augments my storage space significantly.  Thank you construction-knowledge son!!
This past weekend was the third Holiday Show and Sale for Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers. The first year was a straight-up craft fair with individual booths.  Last year the board met and decided to run it as a boutique, all sales done through a central checkout system.
We expanded from one day to include the evening before and capitalize on the First Friday Art Walk.  Attendance was far better than anyone could have hoped for.
I took these three photos about 3:15 when the show was winding down and just a few people were trickling in.  We were well into break-down at 4:10 when I heard everyone asking if anyone knew of a yellow scarf.  A lady had thought about it and come back to buy it, but no one could remember seeing a yellow scarf.  It turned out to be a gold and bronze huck lace scarf of mine.  It's in this picture, in the back corner.  It was the only scarf I sold and it was ten minutes after closing.  As Yogi Berra said, it ain't over until it's over.
Both of my looms are nekid.  I've been eyeing this color combo for more than a month.  It's going to my next project.
And finally, a Big Happy Halloween from the Littlest Mummy :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Another Year

Another birthday has come and gone since my last post.  I find it hard to believe that I'm now 72 years old, not that I begrudge it.  I only have to remind myself that six years ago a catastrophic injury nearly cut my life short, so hooray - I am now 72!!  I noticed on my Blogger profile this morning that I started this blog in April 2006, over 13 years ago.  I was only 59 then, still working, still healthy with no thought at all of when I might retire.  In 2011 I took a class and became a weaver which truly changed the course of my life,  but that was still five years in the future.
I'm lucky to celebrate my birthday in my favorite month of the year.  It's absolutely gorgeous right now, though three freezing nights early this month caused our beautiful red maple to lose its leaves almost overnight.  But there are still plenty of beautiful trees to love.
I was invited to join a group of ladies in the newly formed Studio 6000 in Sisters.  I thought A6 was the most glorious studio of all but this one is brilliant in every way.
I have been invited to print here but have decided to whittle down my printmaking to relief only, which is carving images in linoleum and wood, and to find a balance between weaving and printing.  My weaving suffered from lack of time and attention and I'm ready for that to change.  Being a weaver however has opened doors to me like this event.  I guess they figure if you're an artist in one area, you're an artist period, just different.  I would never have been invited into their art world had I not had a medium I was fluent in.  When I say that weaving changed the course of my life, I really do mean that.
We were instructed in the invitation to find a word of phrase to use as our inspiration for our collage.  I've never done a collage before so was completely ignorant of the glue products, and there are many.  I just started cutting and gluing, follow the phrase which I adapted from the Book of Proverbs - she who refreshes others will herself be refreshed.  These will be an installation in a Sisters shop and are all priced the same, as a fund-raiser for Saving Grace, an organization that helps underserved women.  The title of my piece is "Within." 


I have just about assembled everything I need for a home printing studio.  I'm just waiting for an order from Dick Blick with inks and an inking plate.  My light table arrived two days ago.  I purchased the wooden spoon from a woodturner at Fall Fest earlier this month to use as a baren and it is perfect.  I finished a four-week workshop on relief printing last week, the days are getting short, and I am ready to get to work.
These are the last towels I will have time to finish before our guild Holiday Sale next weekend.  I'll start hemming them today and I have sold two already through Facebook.  This is our third year but the first as a two-day sale.  I haven't signed up to help and need to find out where they need people to work.  It will be at the Environmental Center again but since we open on Friday, we will be included in the First Friday Art Walk.  Break a leg!!

And I couldn't let you get away without a picture of Delaney who will be seven months old in another week.  She's what I'll be doing for the next two days and she makes both of us very happy.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Time of Refreshing


We had just one night of killer frost but that's all it takes and it spells the end of the gardening season.  I have made a note for myself of a couple of things I still need to do but all the time I've spend with my plants this summer has come to an.  It's time to turn my attention indoors

.
I've stopped making soap to sell but have continued to make it for our own use.  For the first time in the 20 years I've been making soap I let us run out.  I have a lot of supplies still, probably more than I can ever use up so have decided to make another batch after this cures in a few weeks and give them as gifts and also make sure we don't run out again.
I've also designed another warp from a profile draft but don't like it nearly as much as the previous draft.  I'll take it to our weave study group and troubleshoot it with other weavers.  It doesn't have the movement I had hoped for nor am I getting the level of iridescence that I had anticipated.  Alas.
The Bend Art Center is officially defunct due to intractable financial woes.  I took this photo as I was leaving on the last day and now the sign is gone, along with the intaglio presses.  I've struggle with what's next for me as a printmaker without access to a press and have decided the solution is to focus on relief printing, both in linocut and wood.
Luckily for me OSU Cascades has just developed a Community Outreach arm of education and offered several workshop classes this fall.  I'm signed up for Intro to Relief Printing, taught by Andrew Lorish who is a wonderful teacher.  It's only four weeks long so there's a lot of homework between sessions.  I need to finish this up as we're printing this Wednesday and after that there's  just one more session.  I think OSU might offer more sessions in the future - hope so!  Meanwhile I've had to order supplies so I can print at home.  My membership to Bend Art Center included ink so I just bought the first ink for myself.
Ian and I went downtown for FallFest today and I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful day, the first one in weeks in the 70s.  After that it's back to the 50s.  It was perfect!  I was arrested by the weaving in this booth because for starters, the loom is made from rudimentary materials and couldn't be more simple.  The heddles are just carefully tied sisal.
The weaver told me that he and his brother built the loom.  I think it's good to be reminded that beautiful weaving doesn't require expensive equipment.  I bought my 8-shaft loom new for $2,000 and am no were near the weaver as this guy.
The yarn is hand-dyed by his mother and sister from Navajo Churro wool, which they purchase rather than raise the sheep themselves.
He runs the booth entirely by himself and weaves (and talks) all the time he's not showing the rugs.
He didn't mind my watching him weave, so I did.  When we walked by his booth on our way back to the car, he had serious buyers and was pulling rugs off the display wall for their viewing.  I was happy to see their attention to his wonderful work..  The rugs are classic Navajo style, thick and beautiful.  I left feeling refreshed after an afternoon looking at all of the creativity.



Thursday, September 26, 2019

Prize Surprise!!

Ian and I made a day trip to Eugene yesterday.  We spontaneously decided that it would be nice to get over to the Valley again before winter weather sets in, and it couldn't have been a more beautiful day for an easy drive over the Cascades.  The timing was perfect since snow is in the forecast for Sunday.

I've never been to Eugene Textile Center before and this will be my only visit at this location as in another month they will have relocated to a building twice as large which will also house Glimakra Looms.
I had won a $50 gift certificate to ETC from the State Fair and decided it was time to buy a new raddle and lease sticks.  It's exciting to have such a complete fiber store within driving distance.
The top pair are the lease sticks I made that are adequate but not great, and on the bottom are the set made by Glimakra.
This elliptical shape is what sold me on them.
I wound a warp yesterday afternoon and put it on my brand-new lease sticks.
 This morning during Delaney's nap I was able to quickly dress the loom.  I knew the new sticks were going to be an improvement and they're well worth every penny.  The yarn easily slid through them.  I also ordered an Ashford raddle to replace the one I made from a yardstick and nails.  It has to be custom made and Patty Huffer (from Redmond) who works ETC  three days a week will bring it over to me when it's ready.
This is another prize I got from the State Fair.  No one knew anything about this basket at the guild meeting last week and it was presumed that someone left it behind after the meeting.  I got a call from our treasurer several days ago telling me that the basket actually was my prize and she would drop it when she came to Bend for Costco which happened to be yesterday.  She dropped it off on our front porch while we were in the Valley. 

And to make confusing more confusing, I got a call from the State Fair office last Thursday letting me know that I have an additional prize awaiting me at the Outdoor Quilt Show office in Sisters.  We didn't know it but that office had offered to be the collecting place for entries from Central Oregon which were then ferried to the Fair in Salem, and somehow this prize came back after the Fair was over.  After playing phone tag with Dawn Boyd from that office, I am going to meet her when she comes to Bend next week for her hair appointment.  The award that just keeps on giving!!

My daughter texted me this morning asking, "How is my favorite niece?"  I took this picture in my arms and said, "She's hungry!"