Thursday, December 14, 2017

A bit of Weaving

During our "snow-pocalypse," while the power was out, I started on this scarf.  I think it is coming along nicely although I am not sure it is what the person who requested it will want.  I am basing it off of another woven piece that was seen only in a photo. 
This is another of the lighter woven scarves, although in places I have done some tighter weaving to add in patterns that will not work in a looser weave. 

During this holiday season, I am getting less done in the "making" department, but I am certainly enjoying life.  I have a volunteer dinner to attend this week as I have started working as a volunteer usher with the Oxford Performing Arts Center in the neighboring town.  It is a nice way to get out and meet new people or perhaps run into old friends. 
More time is being used for exercise as I have started taking a Flexibility class a couple of times a week.  I also took two Zumba classes, but I think I will wait until January to do more of that as life is so busy right now.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Snow - Update

The picture from yesterday of the snow was only the beginning. However, even then roads were being closed as were schools, government offices and businesses.  While in some parts of the country, this seems extreme; you must consider that we get snow maybe twice a year and sometimes not at all. We do not have equipment to clear roadways and no-one here has snow-tires or chains for their tires. (The equivalent is Southerners thinking "What they don't have air conditioning?  Are they crazy?"  It depends on the local climate.)

So, I was planning to spend the day sewing and weaving and completing some projects.  Then the electrical power went off.  And the snow started falling even more and quite thickly. 
The ground was already covered a bit - but this was getting thicker!
When I measured it was right at five inches - but this was in an area where I didn't have to wade out into the snow - so it wasn't the true depth of snow.  I have now read that some parts of my county got ten inches of snow.  Pine trees were either drooping or falling and we have a lot of pines in this area.
The other trees weren't as badly affected - although when I finally got out on Saturday after the roads were reopened, I saw that many still had bright fall leaves under the snow - as it melted from the sun, those trees looked like cotton plants as the snow stayed in bunches on the thick areas.

So, what to do while the power is out? The first order of business was to get the emergency gas space heater operational.  I did that and it kept the house temp from falling below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

  All of my sewing machines are electric.  However, my loom is fully hand (and foot) powered.  I have a request for a scarf based on one of my woven garments.  So I made the warp and put that on the loom.  I wove on it for a while - but then the light started to fade.  I put it away and read for a bit.

As my stove is electric also,  cooking was going to be a challenge also. Wait, a minute - I have a gas grill outside that I have had for years.  The best part is that it has a side burner - just like a gas stovetop.  I got it going and fixed a simple warm supper. I also boiled water and made hot herbal tea to go with it.  The next morning I used the same method to make coffee!

Once the roads opened - and I still had no power, I decided to visit Mom. Her power was functional and I could charge my phone without sitting in the car.
The snow and ice had crusted over on  her antenna and popped it right off the pole - so we watched an old DVD of  The Ozzie and Harriet Show from 1956 - that is before I was born!

When I got home, the power had been restored - Thank goodness!
The snow is still thick on the ground and on the rooftop.  I am waiting for the avalanche when it finally lets go and slides off. But for now, I am just taking it easy. I am grateful that my "pioneer spirit" allowed me to weather the storm with grace.


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Friday, December 08, 2017

Early Morning

This is what I woke up to find. 
Apparently summer is over. 
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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Catching Up

One of my readers emailed me and said "Get back to blogging, because I miss you."   I actually found that to be a sweet comment because we all hope someone cares enough to miss us.
I have slowed down with making things for a bit after the big show.  I am trying to get into better physical shape.  I have started taking a flexibility class that is offered by a local center.  I have also tried out Zumba - which as you may (or may not) know is a dance exercise program.  So far I have been the only guy in the two classes I have taken. I actually enjoy it quite a bit. 
One thing that I learned in the past few months is that exercise helps your body to use glucose (sugar) properly and thus keeps your blood sugar under control a bit better.   ((Okay so enough for the health lesson!))

One thing that I have done recently that you haven't seen is a little bit of fabric dyeing.    I had some yardage of a white with light blue tiny flowers printed on it.  I have used some of it as linings for various things, but I didn't love this fabric.  One of the things I learned in fabric dyeing class is that you can over-dye fabrics you don't really like.  I pulled the fabric off my "mini-bolt" and dyed it with two different colors of blue.
This is actually the "back side" of the fabric as it is my favorite side at the moment.  I still have the option to over-dye this again.  Using a yellow would make some interesting greens - and so would using green as the dark blues would be really dark greens.  A red dye would give a nice red and purple fabric with possibly some other shades that may appear gray.  The options are many at this point.

While I was dyeing that piece, I had more dye to use up so I grabbed a piece of ready  to dye white fabric.  I didn't think I did anything special in scrunching it up to put in the container. But, when I rinsed it out, I discovered a nice -although subtle - medallion dyed into the center.
This is one of the joys of dyeing without planning out what you are going to do.  Sometimes you get a nice surprise piece.

I will try to blog a bit more frequently for those of you who miss me when I am away.
Until next time sew in peace,


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Angels Notebook Cover

Today was a perfect day to finish a project.  A very nice lady requested a special notebook cover to use for a specific purpose.  I think this one fits her purpose well. I am sending her photos for final approval.  I hope she loves this as much as I loved making it.
I have already shown the angel embroidered block so here is the completed front.


And the back

And also the inside cover showing the pocket for storing a pen and maybe a pad of post-it notes. 

This cover includes hand dyed fabrics, a batik and some commercial cottons along with cotton batting and machine embroidery.  The notebook is a standard sized "Marble Composition Book" that is available readily in most U.S.  markets.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Couple of Starts

There are two projects that I have started recently.  I have not been very productive as the holiday and some opportunities to visit family I don't see often filled my time.

Here is the start of another notebook - this one is a commission piece.
This angel embroidery is one of my favorites. The sketchwork angel in the light blue is overlaid with the outlined angel in a darker blue at the front. 
I need to get moving with this one so that I can ship it before Christmas. 

I also worked on some weaving.  This is a "random three color weave along." 
My colors were 1. Pale Goldenrod 2. Beige & 3. Crimson.  I choose to use the
closest colors that I had in my weaving yarn stash. These three have to be at least 60 percent of the woven fabric. I thought it was a great challenge to take, so I joined in. 


The pictures are in reverse order - I finally added a bit of blue that isn't in the "3-color" plan. I am sure I will add a few bits of other color as I go. 
I have woven over a yard (I haven't measured it lately.)  The main colors that I used in the warp are in a basket -to aid in staying with the plan.  I can weave on this in odd minutes and it doesn't require any planning ahead as I can just sit at the loom and weave for a few minutes or more and then stop when I need to do something else.
At some point soon, I need to take this off the loom and make a scarf that has been commissioned.  I am thankful that this loom has the option to take this off to work on a separate project without disturbing the weaving in progress.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Black Friday Sale at Craftsy

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I love a good Black Friday Sale.  I don't like getting out in the crowds, so this one is perfect for me - and maybe for you also. 

 
Class Offer:
Supplies Offers:
Cyber Monday Bonus Offer:
Dates:
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Monday, November 20, 2017

A Successful Sale


My sale at the Holiday Faire was a success.  I sold enough to pay the booth fee and to have a jingle in my pocket.
I am not doing a lot of creative work this week except possibly creative cooking.  So I am sharing a few photos.  The photos below are the reproductions of my artwork which is then printed on notecards that I sell.  Of course, the notecards do not have the watermark on them.

The Fishes Gather

Down to the River
(or as a customer called it:
A River Runs Through It)

Golden Dance
I sell these in packages of 5 for $7 (all one design in a package.) Mail order is a minimum of three packages and will be shipped in a Priority Mail envelope for actual shipping costs which is currently $6.65


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Getting my Booth Ready for Business.

Tomorrow is the big day for the Church of the Epiphany Holiday Faire.  I am a vendor and will be there with my handmade items  proudly displayed.

Episcopal Church of The Epiphany Holiday Faire
1101 Sunset Dr, Guntersville, Alabama 35976
Hours:  8 a.m. until 2 p.m
Today (Friday) is set-up day and I have done most of the setting of my booth.  I have two gridwall units of my handwoven clothing and scarves.
This display may change when I get there tomorrow morning.  I will probably be adding a bit more to the display.
I also have a small table displaying my other goods: quilted notebook covers, notecards, light airy scarves and quilted decor pillows.

The sun was streaming in through the window behind my booth so the colors are not true. 
The notecards on the table are just sample packs - I have a full rack behind the table. The fact is the table was just too full.

If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello.  I would enjoy seeing you - and if you are inspired to make a purchase, all the better. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

At a Gallop

My show and sale is next Saturday and it is coming at a gallop!  I have been working steadily to get items made and ready for sale.  There is still a lot to do -and I know that I will be working diligently on the last day to "get it all together."

Meanwhile, today I finished this little beauty.  I love the  hand dyed sky fabric that I used in this one.
It is a bit lighter than the photo 
- but now that we are on "standard time" 
the sun sets  frequently before I am expecting it, 
which results in less than optimal photos.

Of course I wanted to show off the back on this one since it is more hand dyed fabric.  All of the notebook covers I have made for this show have at least one of three things: Handwoven fabric, Hand-dyed fabric or embroidery.  Many of them, like this one, have two of  the three.  And I have been practicing my free motion quilting on most of them - although a few have walking foot quilting.

I hope that these are good sellers at the Holiday Faire this year.  I have fourteen of them to put on my table.  Of course I will also have garments and scarves made from fabrics that I have woven as well as notecards and maybe a quilt or two.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Two new "Starts"

While I have not finished another notebook cover, I have one well underway. This is another horse embroidery with some hand dyed fabric and lots of free motion quilting.
I am taking Christina Cameli's newest class on Craftsy - Quilting the Grid. I used this to quilt the small squares.  Plus I used some of the quilting motifs from the class to quilt a lot of the rest of this. Right now the class is on sale for only $19.99.  Or if you prefer to start with her first class, it is Free Motion Quilting Essentials and is on sale for $17.87 during the current sale.  Lots of other classes and supplies are on sale right now at Craftsy.

The other start is on my loom. It was empty - so I decided to join the Three Random Color weave-along.   I pulled the colors "crimson, pale goldenrod, and beige."   Now these are not my typical palette for anything - so this will be a challenge.  But challenges make us grow- right?   I gather cones of weaving yarns in the colors - or as close as I could manage from my stash.
I wound the warp and got it on my loom. 
(The warp threads are those that run the length of the fabric)  Then I filled a bobbin with one of the reds and wove a bit to see how it was looking.
I think I am going to like it!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

More Productivity

The muse is still working even in the gloom of fall weather; even after the time change.   The muse said "make some more" - and I did.

Another fun notebook cover for sale at the Holiday Faire - if someone doesn't request it before then. FYI,  it has been gloomy all day so the photos were taken indoors and appear darker than they actually are.


This one has an embroidery design that was programmed into my machine. The piecing for the front was already done except for top and bottom strips.  I hooped it up and added the embroidery.  Then I pieced the rest of it and put it all together.

There are also two new scarves to go in my booth.  These have the same warp threads, but are woven with different weft.  They look similar, but each has its own personality.  They are woven loosely to be light and airy.
I think these would look lovely with a bright yellow ensemble OR over a tan/ecru neutral one.  Of course, either of them would look striking over a little black dress.



Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Take Note!

I am not dead or sick,  I have not left the country.  I have been busy "making" and - I forgot to post anything for a whole week! 
Several scarves have been woven this week.  But yesterday and today, I worked on notebook covers. These quilted covers for composition books are a really nice "upgrade" to the rather plain notebooks.

Here are the four I just finished.
They are all filled with a composition book that is similar to this one.
You have probably seen some similar to this in your local stores.  They are easy to find. That makes it really easy to slip off the cover and move it to a new notebook when one fills up. 

I decided to open each and show you the full cover. 
This photo blurred-sorry. But you can see the quilting on it and the design. 

This one started with the horse embroidery that I designed a few years ago. I had a the design sewn out on the burgundy fabric, so I just built the cover around it. 

The main part of this one is a piece of my hand woven fabric. 
Surely you notice that it is not symmetrical. On the right of the woven fabric, that last bit is a paper yarn that I was playing with. it has been washed and holds up nicely. I decided to make this one a bit more artistic and wild, so I left the odd shape rather than trimming the woven fabric. 

This one is a study in blues with a bit of added purple and yellow for contrast. I think it looks a bit like a landscape on the front cover (right side of the photo.) 

Hopefully, I will get photos of the newer scarves made in the next few days to share with you. My mojo/muse has been really kicking this last couple of weeks.  I love to be this excited about creating.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Two Finishes

This weekend brought about two happy finishes.  I am going to show them in reverse order.  The second finish was a small project on my rigid heddle loom.  This is another light and airy scarf that is so different in appearance from the other three that I have made so far.  I used the colors of the ocean and the islands of the Caribbean.  There are several sparkly threads that run throughout the length of this piece although they do not show well in the photograph.
A bit of the sparkle shows up in this photo but  it is a bit more showy in person. 
As you can see, it will pair beautifully with a simple black dress or blouse. 

The first finish was the blue patchwork notebook cover.  Since you have seen the patchwork already, I didn't want to show it first.
Here it is in all its glory. 
Front of the closed notebook

Opened showing the inside pocket

Opened face-down- showing the full outside of the cover.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.