Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Out with the old, in with the new

This is the chair from the furniture set we bought seven years ago.  The sofa and loveseat broke down even more, with springs in three of their five cushions breaking loose making for miserable seating.  We picked out repacement furniture at Ashley’s President Day Sale.  Today was delivery day.

I’ve been nervous ever since.  We’ve always had brown furniture and we broke away with this bright off-white.  Originally I was attracted to the blue pillows but I’m not sure I like the pillows that much now.

So this is the look overall.  I’m a libra and while I don’t actually believe in the zodiac, I do find myself falling into some of those traits, like now when disorder and change upset my apple cart.  I hear the Sesame Street song in the back of my head, “One of these things is not like the other......”

I did have the satisfaction of getting my workshop loom ready this morning for our upcoming tartan class.  And speaking of class, I had the first session of a two-day class today on a printmaking technique called chine colle.  This has been the most tortuous and cerebrally challenging class I’ve taken yet, credit to the teacher Anna McKee.  I came home and journaled, then watched two hours of videos on the technique.  I hope tomorrow’s class will help me get a better sense of where I want to go with this process.  I’m not complaining as I feel privileged to have access to this level of education, but sometimes I don’t feel up to it, like today.  I know I’m unsettled with new and strange furniture in the heart of my house and confusion on the art technique that I thought I was getting a handle on.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so saith my mother.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Winter has arrived!

Winter has been slow in arriving but it’s finally here, dropping a couple inches of snow a day.  It’s not much but it adds up and the quail are most appreciative of Ian’s dedication to keeping the bird feeders full.

This is what a snow angel looks like made by an 80-pound black Lab.

This is said black Lab.

I finally finished this cowl.  I like it being wider on the ends, hoping it will keep more of my neck warm.  The idea is that you fold it in half but I think I’ll just scrunch it.  The pattern is from Ravelry but too problematic to share or to even repeat.

And in the vein of keeping busy in the house, I moved my loom and cleaned up the lint from dish towel cotton.  I brushed it up and vacuumed it up and there’s still some left.  I need a better brush because there’s a lot still there and more under the other loom.

My job today was to get my workshop loom dressed for the tartan workshop next month.  I have chosen Campbell of Breadalbane.  I like Campbell of Argyl better but it has one more color and for a learning experience, I think a tartan with four cones of yarn is plenty.  It’s going to be a very wide scarf.  Ian wants one so if I can get the hang of this and master a steady beat, I’ll order wool and do it again, but in Argyl since that’s his family name.

We went furniture hunting on President’s Day weekend.  Our 7-year-old set is shot with springs coming out of the cushions in three places. There’s nothing to be done but to replace it.  We had gone the weekend before and anything we liked started at $3,000 like this Mission-style sofa build in an Amish workshop. This is baseline wood and fabric.

We had four businesses on our list for this trip but two people had told us they were pleased with Ashley so we went there next.  Both of us went nuts over this set in three colors.  It was comfortable and the price was right, plus they were having a 25% off sale for Presidents Day.  I wish I could say that we knew about the sale but it was just dumb luck. When I was saw the sale signs I remembered that this is the big weekend for furniture sales.  Ian was ready to take this set and leave, but I started to worry about it fitting in with the rest of our house.

In the end this is what we bought, including the accent chair in the foreground which is from another set.  We have two more weeks before delivery and already I’m starting to worry about keeping an off-white couch off-white.  I need to read up on Scotchguard or else have someone come in and do it for us.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Olympics!

I finally finished these summer and winter dish towels yesterday morning.  They’re not what I had envisioned and certainly not worth the work I put into them, but at least now I can weave this draft.  Cindie Kitchens asked me if I knew that I could turn summer and winter, just like turned taquete so that it’s a single shuttle weave.  Well, now I do believe I will just have to try that out.  I think I could do multiple colors in the warp and then change each weft, probably not unlike TT.  I think it will be interesting.  But first I have to warp my workshop loom for a tartan class next month.

I’ve been looking forward to getting back to work on these, but yesterday was my colonoscopy prep day and my job became just that, prep.  I was fortunate to be the first appointment of the day so we were home by 8:45. The rest of today is all about recovery and getting rehydrated after going so long without liquids this morning, and since I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’m pooped (pun intended).  It’s a necessary evil but I’m glad it’s not an annual exam like a mammo!

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve been able to get into the studio and do any king of meaningful work, so Tuesday I went in for my volunteer shift an hour early and spent four hours making a dozen prints.  This incorporates a collage technique called Chine Colle and I am chomping at the bit for the class on this that I’m taking in two weeks.

I printed three linocut sets, one on music.

And I printed another set on Rive’s BFK, a cotton rag paper, using Chine Colle to incorporate a little color.  I am enrolled in a linocut class a month from now and I am chomping at the bit for that one too.  So much of my work these past few months has been self-discovery and exploration and I’m ready for some formal instruction.

Are you watching the Olympics?  We are!  My Olympics knitting is the twin to the sweater I knit for granddaughter Alexia at Christmas and I’m down to the last sleeve.  We’ve been selectively watching events through the NBC Sports app on the iPhone, then selecting AirPlay to the Apple TV.  Apple TV and our Smart TV are how we get our streaming content.  We’ve especially enjoyed the mixed doubles in Curling and like being able to watch the matches that interest us, especially the Canadian/French game yesterday for the gold which was fantastic.  We watched the Women’s 15 meter biathlon this afternoon, another quirky but physically challenging sport.  I expect to be wearing this sweater by the closing ceremonies!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Blogger app is back

The blogger app started working again after the IOS update yesterday, and that’s a huge relief to me.  I can write a post in 15 minutes instead of an hour!
Bend has a year-round event called First Friday Art Walk where, starting at 5:00 on the first Friday of the month, galleries start serving finger foods plus wine and sometimes beer.  It’s not just the galleries either.  Everyone gets in on the act and everyone comes down to support them.  It goes from 5:00-9:00 and is super social.  Fridays weather couldn’t have been nicer for the event.

Some galleries even provide live entertainment.

I was invited to place a couple of pieces in a two-month abstract show which was pretty heady for me.  It’s why we went on the art walk but now that I know how much fun it is, it won’t be the last time.

Last weekend was Free Day at the High Desert Museum so I put on my costume and was again a homesteader, but this time without a spinning wheel.  These two ladies are cast-iron cooks so had already baked cookies when I arrived and were in the middle of cooking filling for steak and ale pie.

Performing kitchen tasks are a real way to share frontier life with the public.  We heated water on the woodstove to wash dishes in galvanized bowls on a table.  Food is scraped off to be fed to the chickens and when we’re done we toss the dirty water outside.  The lighting is quite dim.  People were captivated.
Mrs. Smith has pie crust just about ready.  She assembled the pie in a shallow cast iron pan and baked it in the oven.  It wasn’t great but it was edible.  They’re collaborating on what to cook for Free Day the end of this month.  I have a couple of trainings coming up and will be better equiped for my role as living history interpreter as soon as school is out and Smart concludes for the school year.

I’m weaving Summer and Winter again but this time I’ll just be using one color for each towel instead of six.

And because I have several cones of black I’m using that for the warp.  It’s finally starting to get interesting though weaving with two shuttles is still very slow.  I keep hoping I’ll be able to get a little faster.  Isn’t it interesting how the light aqua is changed by the black?  Both appear differently than their true colors.