Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipse Eve

It's been an interesting month.  For weeks we've been preparing for the total solar eclipse tomorrow morning.  Officials anticipate an additional 200,000 people will converge on Central Oregon and have repeatedly warned us that there might be food and gas shortages, to stock up in advance, and indeed, the pumps and grocery stores have been very busy this past week.  Prineville was sorely tested until Thursday as cars traveled through bringing 30,000 world music fans to the Symbiosis eclipse concert to the Ochoco National Forest east of there.  It's hoped that egress won't be as bad since many plan to continue south to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.  People have come in from all over the world for this concert.

Compounding matters are the wildfires and smoke from them.  The Milli fire burning southwest of Sisters exploded on Thursday and caused the evacuation of 600 residents near McKenzie pass, and at this point is approximately 8,500 acres with 0% containment.  This shot is taken from our backyard, and the smoke is worse to the southwest of us in the Sun River area.  I went to the museum on Friday but the smoke was hanging on, seeming to cling to the trees, so Linda had us go in after a couple of hours leaving only two to staff the Miller Ranch area.  Visitors were down anyway though almost everyone told us they were visiting for the eclipse.  

I've been concerned that we might not be able to see the eclipse after all this build up, so I took this picture from our driveway at 10:20.  We'll be fine - phew!

I started weaving my hand painted warp with the lavender, and while it was neutral and showed up the warp, it also saddened it.  I didn't like so much that I tore out the 8" I have woven and substituted this blue which I think made is come alive.

I had planned to weave the second scarf with magenta but I think the bleakness of the fires got to me because this is what happened instead.  It depends on the winds and movement of air but some days we just have to close the house up to keep the smoke out.  I haven't been able to walk in the morning for a couple of weeks and my body misses it.

I was going to finish weaving it yesterday but I had this photo album project right in the middle of my work area.  I've procrastinated on this album for the past year.  The album I did before this one dragged on for a month so I just went for it and finished up about 6:00 last evening.  I don't know if my kids will ever look at the albums but at least they're labeled and in approximate chronological order, unlike the photo albums my parents left behind.  It feels great to have finally finished!

My attention got diverted from weaving once again, but this time by these tiny sweaters.  I feel like I need something catchy for our booth at the guild holiday sale November 4th.  Mary, Gillian and I are going to share a booth again this year, and when Mary told me she's working on some new ideas, I realized I hadn't even thought of it.  Now I have and I'm pretty excited about these. My first sample was on size 2 needles and just too big.  I switched to 1s and now it looks like an ornament to me.  I need to get some better wire for hangers.

The pattern is a free download on Ravelry, easy to follow and knits up pretty quickly.  My plan is to knit up a dozen or so and hope I don't burn out before the sale.  I think they'll be good attention getters.

Monday, August 14, 2017

More summer sun

Brewfest is a big fundraiser with local volunteers pouring samples from 85 breweries.  Admission is $20 which gives you a cup and five tokens, each token represents a 4 ounce pour.  Ian's son flew in Wednesday night and his daughter and granddaughter drove up the next morning for Susanville.

We went Friday afternoon for about three hours and I sampled ten breweries.   Ian doesn't drink and Margi doesn't drink beer but the music is fantastic and the weather couldn't have been nicer.

We came back to the house, the kids changed their clothes and floated the river in these "inner tubes" that Ian bought at Costco last year.  And got photobombed by another floater.  Dougie and Margi went back to Brewfest that evening with both my sons and their wives and Sis got to hang out with cousin Logan.

I neglected to put Brewfest on my calendar and had signed up for a two-day workshop in Advanced Electroetch, from 9:00-4:00 both Saturday and Sunday.  While everyone went to breakfast Saturday morning, I rolled up my sleeves, literally. The technique is a green way to etch in copper without using chemicals and heavy medals but there are lots of steps to completing a plate.  The good news is once a plate is prepped it can be used over and over again.  Helen is helping Ana get her plate ready for the etching bath.  Julie our teacher wanted us to use the large 8x10 plates for the class since it's (after all) an advanced class.

This is my large plate simply etched without any further embellishment. And my plate with the contact paper and blocking paint before I cleaned it.  I have a lot of work left to do, and the problem is that my introductory class was two weeks ago only three hours long.  I had to go into the studio on my own to finish working and etching my plates, but I hadn't printed them so still didn't know what kind of image my marks would make.

This is my very first plate I made and then with chine colle added for some color pop.  It doesn't look like much but it took me all day Saturday to make the large plate and after Julie showed us how to do chine colle, something I've wanted to learn for a long time, I decided to focus on that technique on Sunday and finish the large plate later.

This is the second plate I made with yellow chine colle, a collage technique using thin Japanese paper.  The bottom print is both plates printed together, the second one added as chine colle.  I really like adding color this way and want to focus on that technique for a while, until I feel more in control of it.  I really like electro-etch but I still like relief printing and have a linoleum-cut reduction print in process also.  Helen said she has discovered the secret to being a really good artist - time!!  All I need is more time!!!

Ian texted me yesterday afternoon that son Josh wanted to go out to dinner last night, Dougie's last day here.  I had been standing for seven hours the past two days and could think of nothing nicer than putting my feet up but out we went to the Tumalo Feed Company.  It was delightful, fun conversation and excellent food.  Ian and I feel so fortunate that our kids actually like each other.

Dougie's flight was this morning and we have a break in company so I'm going to spend some time today and get at least one of my looms warped.  They've both been nekkiid for the past six weeks and they've started whimpering when I walk by them.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Quiet House

Alexia and I finished up her last day with us at the High Desert Museum. Her parents and brother came up the night before and DD Chris came along with us. The air was filled with choking smoke but we managed to stay four hours before it was just too hot and uncomfortable. Most of the public had gone inside by then anyway. She was a wonderful ranch girl.

We had a big birthday celebration that night and the next morning we rounded up the troops and went out to breakfast. I randomly ended up sitting with my three grandsons which was an extra treat since I haven't had the opportunity to spend more than 10 minutes with Kiernan, seated on my right. 
We spent the rest of the morning in Bend Brewing's new beer garden, right on the Deschutes River, a time of relaxing conversation with lots of laughs. DS Josh showed me an app called that tells you what plane is in flight overhead, where it's from, where it's going, how fast it's flying and its elevation plus the plane manufacturer. We had a lot of fun with that since the Redmond airport is just 20 miles north of here.  We decided this has to be a tradition in future visits.

It's very quiet now and I'm enjoying the mornings with knitting, books and coffee on the patio in spite of the smoky air. My blogs have been infrequent because it's become so difficult and time consuming to post from my laptop. I take my photos with my iPhone, than have to download them from the iCloud and save them in my MyPictures. Microsoft and Apple just don't play nice together!  I used to have an iPad app but the company went out of business. I just found a new one without any reviews and bought it anyway. It's called App for Blogger Blogspot and the developer is Tuyen Dinh. It was $2.99 and this initial post has been trouble free - so far.  The next step is to Preview and Post.