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!"

Monday, September 16, 2019

Oops - Time Got Away from Me

In three short weeks we've gone to this weather, 
to this weather.  Some of the leaves are bright red and the rest will soon follow.  It's time to exchange the summer clothes in my closet for the winter ones.  My summer closet is quite small since the season is at the most four months.
It's getting dark earlier.  I still haven't gotten used to how long the long days are, and how short the short days are.  The other night we were quietly reading when Ian asked me what the date was.  Is it the 6th?  So I checked my watch and sure enough, it was the 6th.  Happy anniversary, he said!  Oh shoot, I forgot again!  We got married in Reno on Balloon Race weekend when a lot of family was in town.  It was quite spontaneous and it's taken me years to remember the actual date and apparently I have a ways to go on that front.  It's been a very full and rich 22 years.
Taking Delaney to my studio after her 9:00 bottle is still working like a charm.
It's not just weaving that puts her to sleep.  The whirling action of the warping reel seems to be just as effective.
She took a second nap that day and I was able to get the warp on the loom but not beamed.  It's on now and I'm already weaving on it.  So much of my equipment has come from the sales of towels, including my warping reel and electric bobbin winder.  This year I'd like to buy a raddle and lease sticks that aren't made by me.  The nails on the ruler-now-raddle are absolutely annoying.  I think I'll buy a third Schacht end-feed shuttle too and give Crackle Weave another try.

I asked Julia if the pink sweater I knitted for Delaney's baby shower in March fitted her yet and she sent me this picture the next day.  Almost!!

I finished this sweater in Appalachian Cotton after having it on needles for four months.  It's still too large but it will fit her soon.  She'll be six months old on October 3rd

We had friends for an overnight visit last week and John, a photographer, took several shots of Delaney.  This one is my favorite.

And here's where I torture you with baby pictures - those sweet hands!!
I managed this shot in my lap.  She slept there for an hour and I didn't want to risk waking her up to move her.  Good thing I can read a Kindle with one hand because that's exactly what I did.  I just finished reading Here We Are by Aarti Shanini, an NPR news corespondent - excellent!!  I highly recommend it, an inside look at deportation.  It's well written and compelling.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The beginning of the end

I have finally been able to start wearing shoes which means I can finally start weaving again.  Delaney will be five months old next week and is becoming more aware of her surroundings all the time.  I decided to see how she would react to watching me weave and she loves it.  I originally thought one hour sessions would be a great place to start.
To my surprise she feel asleep and took a thirty minute nap while I made tons of clattering noises.  I was a little too ambitious however and ended up with a very sore back.  I've had to cut back to 30-minute sessions for now as I build my muscles back up.  Four months is a long time to be inactive.
While Delaney naps, I take a rest and read; sometimes I nap too.
For those of you who have read this blog from back when we lived in Nevada, our beautiful valley experienced a devastating fire last week and one home was lost.  Click for big to see the homes that the firefighters saved - all but one!  This is what the view would be from our old house.  Not only is it ugly, there's no vegetation to prevent catastrophic runoff next spring.
I think this photo speaks volumes.  Our mailbox looked just like this.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I spent my final day as living history interpreter for this year and one last afternoon of cribbage.  Izzie is a seasonal hire, a 19-year-old college sophomore and Jayden is a 17-year-old high school junior who just had completed a 3.5 mile hill workout with his cross country team before coming down to his volunteer shift, both amazing, motivated and responsible young people and I will miss them.
I have finished this area of our yard and will leave it alone to grow together, probably a couple more years before it looks mature and planned.  Next year I'll start to plant that area behind it which is just dried grass and aspen tree volunteers.  We'll need to add irrigation there before I can start planting.
I've had help from our songbirds who have dropped seeds here and there, some grew and some didn't.  This snapdragon is between a rock and a paver so I don't expect to see it again next year.  They've donated a lot of violas in random spots and I am quite happy with their cheerful little faces.
This is my favorite of the random donations.  I used an app I bought called Picture This to identify it as Chinese Hound's Tongue.  We're hopeful it will be back next year.
The sure sign that the seasons have begun to turn is this red leaf in our maple tree.  Even though the days are in the 80s, the morning temps are in the low 40s, quite chilly and the tree is taking its cue from that, which means less outdoors time and more time spent indoors and the end of summer.  I hope to be weaving an hour a day by next week.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

My daughter and her family including grandson Kiernan drove up from Reno the day after we got back from our trip to retrieve Alexia.  We enjoyed several days with them and then they hit the road, to be back to Reno on Monday.  Alexia had an orientation to attend.  Nevada has a program called Nevada Youth Legislator where high school students can apply to the state senator in their district for this position.  There are 21 state senators so 21 high school students, most of them in the south where the population is.  She still isn't clear on their mission but it is going to be a great learning opportunity regardless.
She applied to Senator Heidi Gansert's office and was accepted.  A term is for two years and next year the Reno kids will fly to Las Vegas for the orientation since they came up this year.  She even has her own business card!
And State ID.
It's back to babysitting on Thursdays and Fridays for me.  Delaney is now four months old and can roll over!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch - the living history department bought a hand crank ice cream maker on eBay.
It's been a huge hit with the kids.  They line up to take turns cranking and then go to the end of the line so they can do it again, even though they know we're unable to give them any of it.
But the past two weeks have been too hot to do much of anything, too hot to bake, and too hot to make ice cream, so we've been playing cribbage.  Izzie taught me last week.  Her grandmother taught her when she was seven and now she's taught us.  Yesterday we played a tournament and surprisingly it was a big hit with the public.  Many adults have played it and the kids love helping us add up the cards - 15-2, 15-4.  It's not as easy as it looks as these reproduction cards only have the spots, no numbers.  It's gets confusing after a while.
Our county fair was just a couple of weeks ago and my demonstration shift was the first morning it opened.  In spite of the air conditioner not working in our room, we still had very good turnout.
My scarf took the Superintendents Award.  I don't know what that means or who the superintendents are, but that's a mighty big ribbon.  It's headed to the State fair tomorrow.
 And I settle back into my routine, enjoying the last days of summer.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Island Hopping

Ian rented an AirB&B in the old part of Victoria and within walking distance to everything.  I love this picture of Alexia on our balcony, the spitting image of my mom.
It was her heart's desire to have high tea at the Fairmont Empress and she wanted to dress the part.  She bought two dresses and brought them both with her, but this is the one she asked me to iron.  She felt like a princess.  Unless you've met her, it's difficult to convey the unaffected poise that she conducts herself with.  An elderly German woman walking with difficulty aided by a cane, stopped to tell her that she reminded her of her childhood, what it was to feel like 13 again.  Alexia sweetly and in all sincerity said, "I'm so glad that I could do that for you."
She had studied the menu and tea choices in advance and had given us the whole run down before we got there, but then Todd, our server, explained it to us all over again.  We selected our own teas and we each had our own teapot. She had wanted us to share with each other, but it became a race against Todd who would suddenly reappear and refill our cups.  Let me tell you that three pots of tea is too much tea and Lexi stubbornly drank all of hers, then reached for Grandpa's pot.  We told her NO!

She said it was everything she had wished it would be.
This was our view of the bay from our table.
We spent one day at the Royal British Victoria Museum and we really needed a second day to see it all because we were worn out after five hours.  We spent one day at the Butchart Gardens where we also wore ourselves out.  We took the public bus for the hour ride out and back - very interesting, but that's another story.
 I think I came away learning the most from the gardens as they were very instructional.  I asked Alexia to stand on the path to provide perspective for the lily and hydrangea on the right, both taller than her.  I brought home their plant guide and also bought two packets of columbine seed which I had to declare at Customs.  The Canadian Customs people were much nicer than the American ones, I must say.
We took the ferry back to Port Angeles where we picked up our car and drove to Vashon Island to spend a few days with our sister-in-law at her place there, which is way down on the end.
Turning around, I took this shot looking the other direction.  Click for big to see Mt Ranier hidden in the cloud.
The summer compound is right on Puget Sound so maritime traffic traveling to and from Tacoma passes right by.  Alexia loved watching them with both the telescope and binoculars.  We found a great app called VesselFinder Lite that identifies the ships, tells what country owns them, whose flag they're flying, usually a picture and lots of details that I don't understand.  We had a lot of fun with that.
Low tide reminds me of Limbo - how low can you go?!
High tide, however, is getting higher.  I took this picture of Ian from the second floor, and you can see how high it is, so high that the stairs are damaged and unusable.  Homeowners on Vashon have been meeting with the Coast Guard, looking for ways to protect their property.  They were told that in a hundred years, these shoreline houses will be under water.
So what to do?  Enjoy it while we can.