Friday, December 15, 2017

The I don't want to count it inventory sale.....

Click HERE to get to my roving/fiber etsy shop. Do you need roving to spin? felt? whatever? Then this is a good time to shop.  It's only my shop with roving/fibers/stash yarns that has everything on sale. My other etsy shop with my handmade/handwoven items does not currently have anything on sale but if you'd like to check it out you can do that HERE.

It's that time of year again.......

Such joy arrived in the mail a week ago - Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas fiber. This is a limited edition and you have to be quick in the Inglenook group on Ravelry to get in on it. But if you missed out this year there is an etsy shop with lots of other fun fibery blends.

Starting Christmas Day I will spin one packet of fiber based on the Santa's Village graphic. I can't wait to see what each packet will bring........and I will not peek ahead. I will try to post them here as they're spun.

So, the big decision between now and the 25th is how do I spin these. Last year I spun them very thin and then plied with a rayon thread.......but then found that my resulting lace weight yarn was too thin for anything I wanted to knit so I then Navajo plied it. The resulting shawl turned out lovely but this year I need to think it out a bit more before starting. A few options are to spin it all on one bobbin and then ply with something else; split each packet into 2 and spin on 2 bobbins and then ply them together in the end; spin and ply each packet on it's own creating mini-skeins. If I keep spinning all on one bobbin or two bobbins as in the first two options then I end up with one skein going from color to color starting with packet 1 to packet 12. But if I spin mini-skeins when I get to a project I can mix up the color order.

And then there's the decision about which wheel? Majacraft or Hansen e-spinner........or I could go the spindle route although I'm sure to fall behind if I do that.  

Decisions, decisions........

Monday, December 11, 2017


Yes, I've been missing in action - well, maybe not so much action, just trying to tread water and in all honesty I had nothing to share, not much creative going on here. I'm almost ready for the holidays and will be so happy when they are over - yep, that's how I feel this year and I won't apologize for it.

The brochure for the WeGO traveling exhibit is done, I received it via email the other day. This is the front and back of it, the inside has a list of all exhibitors names and awards. Three of us in my local weaving guild entered items for judging and all three of us had our items accepted - kudos to my fellow guild members Lucy & Kathy. That's one of my scarves on the front cover although not the one that won the Complex Weaver's award. On the back cover is a close up pic of the fabric in Lucy's vest. The closest the exhibit will be to us is in May/June around an hour north. I can't wait to see the  exhibit - I think there are something like 66 pieces.

Today I was embroidering some long sleeve t's for a gift and decided to embroider myself one - I love this lotus and am happy I had time to do this today, I've had it sitting aside to do for myself for a while.

In case anyone is interested there is curling Olympic trials on tv on the Olympic channel which on Dish is channel 389. I put it on while embroidering thinking I could listen to it but it bugged the heck out of me just hearing them yell - have figured out it's one of those things I have to actually watch......hope I can steal a little time this week to watch an hour or two although it's looking doubtful. Yes, I am a curling fan........

Monday, November 27, 2017

Making gift bags.........

 Today was pull out holiday gifts, at least those finished or bought, and start sewing gift bags to put them in. I usually bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store but when I forget I don't worry about it because I'll make gift bags out of the store bags that have handles on them.  I cut them into two pieces, turn them inside out and sew away. I do cut with a rotary cutter but I don't worry about being exact in any of the sewing.

Here are just a few of the many bags I made this afternoon, most from Trader Joe's bags. Of course right after I cleaned up I found another bag so I'll sew that one up another day. I can make a variety of sizes but they can only be so big so there are some gifts I'll have to figure out another way to wrap them. I'll make some cute hangtags for these. If I were really energetic I'd stencil something on the front of them but I'm running on empty these days so that won't happen.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A bit of inkle weaving in the works for ornaments.

Nice news for me last weekend. I entered 3 scarves in the WeGO 2018 Traveling Exhibit and all 3 were accepted and 1 of them won the Complex Weavers Award. WeGO stands for Weaving Guilds of Oregon. This exhibit will travel the state next year, in the past we've had it in our area but the closest it will be to us this time is the Arts Center in Roseburg - not too bad, a bit over an hour north of us so I'll get to see the exhibit in April/May. It was a real bright spot for me last weekend to get the email about the exhibit as we were running back and forth to the hospital an hour away due to a critically ill relative.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving which suited us just fine and no Black Friday shopping for us, we didn't leave the property. Now it's panic time thinking about getting holiday gifts finished up, some need to be mailed. I can't wait until the holidays are over this year - I need some time to nest/hibernate in my studio. Life has been overwhelming this past year and I see no let up in the near future......more studio time, when I can grab it, will be good for my mental health.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why did I procrastinate for so long?

Ok, so today I used the walking foot on my sewing machine for the very first time...........and this machine is almost 11 years old. Was it the unknown? Was it not having the time to figure it out? Was it because it's so much easier to leave the machine the way it is rather than pulling out the book and reading directions? Probably a combination of all three. Yes, very silly and kind of lazy.

I pulled out the manual and walking foot because I'm working on a project that uses not only a heavy interfacing on the backside of the fabric but also a product called soft & stable which is a 1/4" foam covered by tricot on each side. I didn't want to mess up trying to quilt all of it so I pulled out the manual and the walking foot. Why did I wait so long??? I love this foot. I can seeing using it all the time for quilting projects. I used to have such problems with the top fabric feeding at a different rate than the batting and backing fabric - but no more.

And sorry, this is another one of those projects in Santa's workshop so I can't show it right now. I do have supplies at the ready to make myself one too but not sure if that will happen before the holidays or after them.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


I felted a wool sweater, on purpose, a couple years ago for an ornament project but I never got around to making them. So I took it with me over to the coast and cut all the little squares. I thought I'd get 3 ornaments out of this sweater that shrunk down to 10 year old size but I got 10!!!  Sorry, no posting of the finished ornaments until after they're gifted. Hmm, I wonder if anyone can figure out what they are...........

Sunday, November 12, 2017

There must be mice around here...........

There must be mice around here because the owls are showing up again........this time in browns and rusts. Someone saw the other owl towels and wanted some in browns/rusts - I hope she likes them because they're stinkin' cute.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hoot - Hoot

 A friend requested a couple towels with blues and ended up picking this cute owl embroidery pattern. The borders on the towel look black in the photo but they're not - they're blue. My cell phone can sometimes be challenging color wise and I was too lazy to run up the stairs to get the camera.
Here's a close up of the owl - it is so danged cute. I may eventually stitch some of these for my etsy shop but right now I don't have time.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Instead of doing what I should be doing............

Instead of doing what I should have been doing today I decided to cut out fabric circles for my next pancake quilt. I have a couple other sewing projects that are gifts but they are ones that I really have to read instructions and pay attention.....cutting out circles this afternoon took no brain cells. This quilt will be an afghan size just perfect for me to cuddle up under on cold winter evenings. You can see a finished pancake quilt I did earlier this year HERE.

I've been collecting gingko fabrics for a number of years now so I went through my stash. It must have taken me 2 hours to decide which fabrics - some were definite no's, blues, pinks, etc. I'm still not sure how these will look in the finished quilt but this is what I'm going with.......they are all colors that will go in our living room. These are 9" circles I cut using a rotary cutter on a spinning cutting mat, I could cut 4 thicknesses at a time -  in all 77 light circles, 77 dark circles. Next up is to cut 77 pieces of lightweight batting..........then I set it all aside and get back to holiday gifts but it's exciting to know it will be waiting for me to start sewing on whenever I'm in the mood.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stitchin' away........

I was stitching away on some secret projects today. Very fun but they require some brain cells which I seem to not have many of today after over a week of little sleep.........only one seam had to be ripped out and re-sewn. I had a feeling I was sewing it wrong but went ahead with it anyhow........yep, lack of functioning brain cells. Finished projects will show up on the blog later in the year.

I'm finding I need to stay out of fabric shops, there are so many incredible patterns that I just can't seem to resist and my stash is out-growing storage space. Recently I was at the local Bernina shop for needles and was, luckily for my wallet, running late for a weaving guild meeting so I was saved from getting sucked in to buying any fabric - phew. And they had some great new lines in the shop.........that I may have trouble resisting next time in the shop........

Towels back in stock.........

Yesterday was spent at the embroidery machine stitching up some towels I had sold out of and stitching up a new design, the autumn wreath. These are all for sale in my etsy shop along with many other holiday and everyday towels. I just love the designs available from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.

I made this fun holiday star at the American Sewing Guild meeting earlier this week. It's fabric, 2 different fabrics bonded to each other. I was using stash from my cupboard, I love the black fabric with colorful snowflakes on it. I think this will look fun hanging in our octagon window in the stairwell.  I can picture these in different sizes in red, white & blue fabrics, hanging on the front porch railing for July 4th. They would do just fine outside since we get no rain in the summer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Yes, been missing in action again - just not doing anything much and don't feel like writing a thing. It's ok - just trying to go with the ebbs & flows of life as smoothly as possible.

Here is the finished Bella Shawl (by Annie Lee-Baker) - I finally got it blocked early last week. I used Berroco Boboli Lace Yarn. Colors are not as vibrant in the photo - very foggy out this morning so this is the best I could do. I love the way it turned out - not sure if it's me though, will try it on with a black outfit and then decide.....but it was great fun to knit.

I just started on a new shawlette/scarf using Huckleberry Knits gradient yarn - it goes from green to blues to purple. This is a no thinking shawl which suits me just fine for tv watching.

We get no real fall color here in SW Oregon - too many evergreens, temperatures not right. We have numerous oaks on our property but they always turn an ugly yellow brown and then fall off but this year one tree is a lovely orange. This pic was taken yesterday when it was sunny out, today we're socked in with least at our house, sunny in other areas.

Oh, and as of last Friday fire season was officially over - whoo hoo!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This and that.......

Still not accomplishing much but that's ok - it's my life, I can do what I want..........most of the time.  Friday morning I drove 5 miles up the road to the Hugo Ladies Quilt Show - always a fun event with quilts on display inside the historic one room schoolhouse, lunch including home made pie for sale, vendors and music outside.  It was too hard to get photos of many quilts this year so I only took a few pix.

I love this quilt pattern and the colors. I'm impressed with the curves and points in it - construction was incredible.

This was one of the quilts by the featured quilter - she had many quilts I loved but this old fashion one with the applique really struck me.

And although not my favorite colors put together I always love a good hexie quilt.

After some time in the morning at the quilt show we took off for the coast for 4 days - the weather was glorious. These are raccoon prints on the beach - wondering if they're just out enjoying the surf & sand or maybe eating some of those crabs washed ashore.

Yesterday I did finish knitting the shawl I recently started on - if I'm feeling up to dealing with it today I'll get it blocked. Maybe I'll get some sewing in today. Pix to come when it's camera ready. Tempting to start another shawl or play on the blending board but first need to work on some gifts.

Once again more tragedy in the news - the devastating fires in California - my heart goes out to all affected and I'm sending positive thoughts that the firefighters get them under control soon.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Yet another sad and stressful day......

It seems like it's never ending - always something tragic or unbelievable or depressing on the news anymore which is why I've cut back watching once again. I couldn't believe my ears as I sat down to the computer this morning and put on GMA. I eventually had to turn it off as my stomach was turning, my chest tightening. My heart goes out to all those affected by the carnage in Las Vegas.

Last week I finally got to the bead shop. This afternoon I worked on beading a scarf. Above I used long pins to audition the beads on. It would be much easier if I had pins with no big heads on them but I don't seem to have any 'standard/old fashioned' straight pins any longer.

Here I've got the one end of the scarf beaded, working on the second end. It's probably hard to see in the pix but the beads also change color across the width of the scarf just like the warp does. I wish I could capture the iridescence of this scarf........actually I may have been able to if I had better lighting and background but this was just a quick shot in the middle of beading.

Last week I made a walker bag for a family member back east who is using a walker while recovering from surgery. These fabrics were from my stash, button from my vintage button jar. I think it's really fun and cheery - just what she needs on her walker. I've done some other sewing in the last week but it's all for holiday gift giving so I can't show it here.

And to end on a light note rather than how I started out - tiny little kittens!  We were on the coast this past weekend and the kittens across the street are growing up. Neighbor J had a feral cat, one of the many in the neighborhood, give birth in her bushes. J has contacted a rescue place that will come and get the kittens in a week and find them good homes. J has done a great job of socializing them so they'll be very adoptable. They will all be fixed before going to new homes. Since Momma wouldn't be very adoptable being somewhat wild J has offered to keep feeding and watching over her - they will come get her for spaying so there won't be a repeat least not from her. Sure wish we both weren't allergic to cats because I'd love to bring one of the little gray ones home. I did snuggle one of these but then quickly went and washed my hands before touching my face or I would have been a mess for a couple days.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This and that.........

I haven't written all week because I just don't have anything to say or one of those moods where I wonder if I'll keep with my blog or not, but no decisions need to be made one way or the other, I'll just post when/if I feel like it.

A few nights ago I started knitting the Bella Shawl by Annie Lee-Baker. I was using one of those hand-dyed knit blocks with a color gradation. I love the colors but did not like the way the knitting was looking. The knit block is unraveled to knit it into a new project, well it leaves crinkles in the yarn, which in turn makes for messy looking knitting.  I pulled it out yesterday evening and wound it all into a skein, it's been washed and is now out on the blocker drying. In the meantime I still wanted to knit one of these shawls - it's a fun to knit pattern. So in my stash I found some Berroco Boboli Lace and started knitting last night and since I have 2 balls of it I may make the shawl a bit bigger.......I actually call patterns like this shawlettes since they're not full blown shawls. It's hard to tell in this photo but the colors are incredible and will look striking when worn over black. After I finish knitting this one I'll start on the one using the knit block color gradation yarn.

I started working on our holiday cards - they are not woven this year, instead they are fabric and based on quilting - no pix until after the holidays. I've worked on some small gifts, have some more to get to but am not inspired at the moment.....the story of my life right now, no inspiration or motivation - I think summer got to me this year.

On the fire front - since a bit of rain over a week ago and cooler temps the growth of numerous fires has slowed. They are still fighting them and we still have smoke but we've had some relief. Rain is moving in this week which should help even more with the fire fight. It's been a heck of a summer - more than the usual fires, lots of smoke, and so much heat most of the summer that I never got outside to do any dyeing.......maybe it will happen before winter hits, maybe not............I won't fret over it..........

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Salmon Celebration

First off - an apology that these pix are sideways. I took them with my phone - they were correct when downloaded to the computer. I then saved them again as new pix and they were fine, but I uploaded them to my blog and they're turned. This only happens with pix taken on my phone. Does anyone know how to remedy this issue? It's beyond me, I can't figure it out.
Anyhow, on the coast this past weekend we attended the Salmon Festival put on by the local Indian tribe. The salmon was baked indirectly on wooden sticks beside a wood fire. It was incredible tasting. It was basted with a huckleberry jam - oh my gosh - to die for.

Here is the menu for the meal although I noticed it did not mention the basting with huckleberry jam or that they served another little container of huckleberry jam with it. We are definitely going the next time they hold this event.  I took no other pix but there was story telling, historical talks, prayers by a wise elder and dancing. There were dug out canoe races although they weren't going on while we were there. Many booths showing flint making, canoe making, etc. Then booths where one could try their hand at traditional Indian crafts. We didn't stick around for the release of the salmon to the river - I'm assuming they are the farmed salmon from the hatchery.

Nothing much creative happening here - just not inspired these days about anything much. In spite of lightning that came with thunderstorms the second half of last week starting new small fires the weather was an immense help to the fire fighting efforts. Fire growth slowed giving fire fighters more time to access and build more containment lines. It also gave some temporary relief from the smoke. Unfortunately temperatures have gone up again and fires are more active. I'm just hoping the region can hold on, without too much more fire damage, until the fall/winter rains come. There are numerous fires in our region but the closest one to us is the Chetco Bar Fire which is now up to 184,292 acres with an 8% containment perimeter line - it started on July 12th.

Does anyone else watch Outlander? I've got the first new episode of this season dvr'd and will watch it later today or tomorrow. Although I've already read the book that this season is based on I don't want any spoilers of what happens in the first episode.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

 Today I spent a bit of time at the sewing machine appliqueing panels onto denim and sewing up some small totes. These are a community sew project for our neighborhood chapter of the American Sewing Guild. We'll be donating these cute little bags to our local Head Start program.
The bags will be filled with assorted items for the kiddos.  I think I'll make a few more as my contribution.......then I'll move on to a new project. I came up with a 'process' to streamline making these and can get them sewn fairly quickly now.

Air quality index is at 377 at the moment, hazardous.  Some spots in our region are getting thunderstorms, mostly thunder & dry lightning (yikes more fire starts!) but a few areas are getting some rain too..........we're getting nothing so far. I haven't been able to see the infrared pix of the fires close to us for the past few days, too much smoke for the planes to fly over.  I hate fire season.......

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This says it all..........

This says it all - just too much smoke's overwhelming, even inside with the A/C running we smell the's gross. I think I heard earlier on the news that it was something like day 17 of smoke. No end in will most probably be with us until the fall rains start which will probably not be until sometime in October. Thunderstorms are on the way, unfortunately they will contain no to very little spotty rain which means more dry lightning to start new fires.  I've been trying to stay inside but even for the short periods of time I'm out I think I'm going to have to resort to wearing a mask.

I am so done with fire season and the extreme summer heat.........but unfortunately it's not done with us. I'm beginning to wonder what it is I love so much about the Pacific Northwest.......

Update - in the time it took me to write this post the count went up to 365 - argh

Monday, September 4, 2017

Career sox finished

I can't tell you how long these sox have been on the needles - maybe two years, I really can't remember. I was in-between projects so thought I'd finish them up. Now they're ready to wear if we ever get cool weather.

I can't go into all the fire updates because it's just too much to write and it's too depressing and downright scary. The fires surrounding our area and are growing by leaps and bounds. The fire closest to us is the top priority fire in the nation but only has a fraction of personnel fighting it compared to other fires a 10th of it's size - the west is overwhelmed with fires and there is just no more support coming. There are so many fires and so many fires with evacuations. Here we have been told they will do their best with what they've got - not a warm & fuzzy feeling. The smoke is in the hazardous stage at our house, so thick that there is very little visibility, no air support working the close fires as they can't fly due to the smoke. I'm not sure how many hours one would have to drive to escape the smoke at this point. It smells of smoke inside the house even with it being closed up and the a/c running - there's no escaping it. We did get over to the coast for a bit but the smoke eventually made it over there too. Doing the rain dance here hoping for the fall rains to come earlier rather than later this year.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

 This was the yarn I spun while demo'ing at the fair - it's blocked and ready to go on the shelf until I decide what it will grow up to be. I still need to count up the yardage so I know what I've got, it's a monster skein off my Hansen electric spinner.

This is what a sunrise looks like when we're socked in with smoke.....this morning it's not yet as bad as it has been but give it a couple hours. We have fires surrounding our area - the smoke extremely unhealthy. Extended forecast for temps 100+ which is never a good thing with these fires. I feel so silly complaining about them with what's going on the Houston region.........that devastation is beyond belief, my heart goes out to all affected and who will be affected for years to come.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

 When under stress I have trouble doing much of anything creative - the embroidery machine fits the bill, not too much thinking required and I've accomplished something.
New towels for sale in my etsy shop.......yes, I'm actually thinking ahead to the holidays.......for once.  I am loving all these towels but those pumpkins are so danged cute - I'll definitely be stitching up some for me too.

I hope all stay safe in Texas and surrounding states with the approaching hurricane, torrential rains and storm surge.......sure wish some of that rain could be spread out along the west coast.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse mania.......or not.........

So, I have no photo of the eclipse because it was kind of a bust here - being in SW Oregon we were a bit south of the direct path but we were to see a 94% eclipse. We did go sit up the hill with our neighbor to watch it but we have so much danged smoke, so so much smoke that it was not great for viewing. We did see a red sun in the smoke and the moon crossing in front of it but we didn't experience any darkness because it was already dark out due to the smoke. It did get colder for a bit. This afternoon we decided to do a Costco run over in Medford - I-5 traffic was the heaviest we have ever seen it in the 25 years we've lived in Southern Oregon - all those eclipse watchers from the north are heading home.

The fires in our region are so incredibly scary. There are so many evacuations all the way from the coast inland to Central Oregon. The fire on the other side of the closest one to us blew up a few days ago and continues to blow up - it is threatening the entire town of Brookings and it's outlying areas over on the coast. We have friends that have had to evacuate. This fire is in-between us and the coast. It could very easily be us evacuating if the wind shifted pushing it to the NE. There is very little that can be done at the moment because of the smoke - it is too thick for the tankers and copters to fly - emphasis is on protecting homes. Mid-day I heard 3 homes had burned - there will be an update from the Forest Service broadcast online at 6:00 - we'll be watching.

Please send positive thoughts this way for the families who have had to evacuate so many fires and those brave fire fighters fighting the fires.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The county fair........

Here's our display at the county fair - we sit in a circle in front of it spinning every day, all day long and have a great time visiting with the public. Everything on display is made of handspun or felted wool. I took this photo set up day so the fleeces were still closed up - now they're opened up, judged and ribbons adorning some of them.

So, I've been trying my best (ha!) to not think about fires but new ones pop up every single day. There were a couple new ones yesterday, thankfully put out quickly. Late this afternoon I walked out to my car after a day of demonstrating and looked to the right to see huge smoke plumes, then looked to the left and saw big smoke plumes. I figured the ones to the right were the Chetco Bar Fire exploding - it's been burning since mid July. I quickly checked online to see what was happening to the left. Fire right off the highway, where I was planning on heading, copters and planes flying and dumping, ground resources hard at work fighting the fire, homes nearby. Didn't take me but a second to change my plan to make a quick stop at that end of town to pick up something for dinner and just head home in the opposite direction.

At least 6 more weeks of fire season, not the official end, but maybe there will be some rain by then to lessen the chance of wildfires..........I may have an ulcer by October!

Monday, August 14, 2017

This and that........

Not much happening here on the fiber front, loom still not warped and have no desire to do it at the moment. Many skeins of handspun are sitting out for a woven afghan project.....once I get off my butt and get it on the loom.
 I did get the knit Saratoga Shawl blocked yesterday. The pattern and yarn came from Greenwood Fiberworks. I used Yakity Yak yarn which is superwash merino/yak/silk. Jury is out on if I like this on me. It's ok on my mannequin which must be a size 0000 but on me, not so sure, it's really quite small. I think I need to try it on again over a black dress.  I also blocked another Pei Cowl knit out of my handspun but I put it in our education fair display on Saturday before I took a pic of it.

I finished up the small felt applique stockings which should hold a gift card.......I say should because I haven't tried to fit a credit card in one of them yet. They turned out cute. A lot of handwork that bothered my smarting hand more than spinning or weaving does.

Still hating fire season - way too many weeks left of it.  Saturday evening I heard sirens and the horn honking of the fire trucks - they stopped way too close. I called a friend who lives close by and whose husband has a scanner - yes, grass fire just over the hill on a street coming off the side road behind us. And Bailey and I were alone as Sam and a friend were on the coast to do some work on the cottage and golf. Talk about panic time. I was preparing to pack up the car and leave if necessary. A few hours later she called back with an update that all was quiet on the scanner, a spreading fire averted. They were more on the ball than I - they had turned on their sprinklers and had opened their gate in case fire fighters came to tell them to get prepared to leave. We have sprinklers mounted on wood to set up on the peak of the roof but they're not up there right now, Sam only puts them up if we may be in dangers of flying embers........hmm, might have to think about that this week.

The fire close to us, Shan Creek Fire, continues to burn slowly. I've found very few details on it compared to other fires in the region but this morning there is 20% containment (that's new info since yesterday) but it is actively burning with flanking, torching and uphill runs in steep terrain. As of this morning there are now structures threatened - not us, I'm assuming those actually on Shan Creek Rd but I don't really know. The smoke smell this morning is horrible - I had to scan the sky to see if there was another fire close by when I walked out the door - not seeing anything so it must be a shift in the wind this morning. I wish updates were more often but they are better than in year's past - I am grateful for them.

Now off to try and get something done today other than letting fires consume my thoughts.........

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It's a war zone out there...........

Today not only the planes have been flying over the house but the copters have been flying directly over the house too, yesterday the copters were taking a different route. Must be some great air traffic control out there on the fire line. I took this photo standing on our deck. All day some sort of aircraft was going over the house, sometimes every minute, sometimes every 5 minutes. Then it stopped.........until just now -  must have been a change of shift, or dinner break. It's really un-nerving to not be able to get up to the minute updates on what's happening on this fire close to us, I keep seeing updates on other fires including some new ones but not much on ours.

This morning I went to the fairgrounds to help set up our display - we'll be sitting there spinning during the fair, talking to the public, eating fair food and having a great time. Since then I've tried to get some stitching done on the little holiday stocking ornaments but keep getting sidetracked with fire activity.

Have I said it yet today - I hate fire season.........oh yes, I think I've said it several times but this is the first time here today............

Friday, August 11, 2017

SW Oregon on fire

We've had thunderstorms in our region for days which means now there are fires being chased down all over the area. It's scary out there. I'm back from a few days on the coast and in addition to be welcomed back by the smoke and heat I'm welcomed back to fires close by. It's tough to find the latest info on the fires but I think these planes were heading to the Shan Creek Fire just to the west of us. They've been flying over the house - anywhere from 2 to 4 retardant bomber planes one right after the other. I just ran out on the deck to get these pix. I couldn't get them all in one photo but snapped them one after another.
The first bomber over the house..........

.........seconds later, bomber #2............

..........and here's bomber #3.

They'll be coming back over the house in a few minutes heading back to the airport to pick up another load of retardant. The report is that there's a woman pilot leading the planes in to the fire.

I know the forest road this fire is off of but I don't know the exact location of the fire to know how close it is to homes.......and to us. I'm hoping with all the resources on this fire that they get it under control before it becomes a real problem to all of us living over here to the west of the city. Each time they fly over the house I'm sending positive thoughts up their way to stay safe, as well as all the fire fighters on the ground. With all the fires in our region they're doing an incredible job of knocking them down while they're still relatively small.

On the fiber front - not much happening here in the way of weaving, spinning or knitting. It's just too danged hot to get much done.

Morning update - I finally saw an update that was posted late last night. As I thought it is the Shan Creek fire close to us but these planes are not the retardant ones, they are super scooper fixed wing water dumping planes. I'm not sure where they're scooping up the water but it explains the quick turnaround time to the fire, they don't have to get all the way back to the airport. Much of the Rogue River would not work for a plane coming down low to scoop so maybe a lake/reservoir? Or maybe there is a spot in the river that will work....I'd love to hear those details. Word is that they'll be back in the air in addition to the copters fighting the fire today along with the ground crews. I'm anxious to hear the morning update which may not show up online for a few hours.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What was I thinking???

What was I thinking when I bought this cute half-price kit for small felt stockings? The picture on the package looked so fun and they look to be the perfect size to put gift cards in. Well, they're going to be time suckers. First I had to draw and cut out all the pieces. My first thought was to use fusible web in spite of the directions that said to lightly glue, then hand-stitch. With fusible web I could iron it on and then trace around the shapes onto the backing paper, then cut out, then iron all the pieces on ready for hand-stitching.  Well, good thing I tried the fusible web on a small piece first - the backing paper adhered too, I don't know if it's because this is acrylic felt or what.......but it didn't work. So, back to tracing around each piece and cutting it out. Here they are with all the pieces just sitting on the stockings to keep them organized.  I did get the bird started and almost finished. In addition to a blanket stitch there are embroidery stitches embellishing the stockings. They'll be really cute once finished but not quite what I bargained for. And to top it off once sewn they may be a tiny bit too small for a gift card - much for my half price bargain..........

No weaving happening here - it's just been too danged hot. No dyeing either for the same reason. In-between trips to the cool coast I've done some spinning and knitting.

Fire season is still in full swing here. The valleys are so full of smoke that I can not only smell it but I can taste it. Yesterday afternoon there was a fire just a couple miles from the house, thank goodness between air and ground support it was stopped before it reached over 5.6 acres. Less than an hour later a car caught on fire behind us a couple miles. ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) in our region and our local fire fighters are doing a great job so far this fire season keeping fires from getting huge.

I'm starting my count-down to the end of fire season - 8 weeks to go. That is not official and fire season usually isn't over until some time in October but I call the end of fire season the end of September because we usually get our first rain in months by then. I can breathe a sigh of relief when that first rainfall happens.

The temps have come down from a high of 113 last week to 100 today - I can't believe I'm saying 100 feels like a relief. Unfortunately with the temps coming down thunderstorms are also moving they are dry with many lightning strikes which may start fires. I think I may have an ulcer by the time fire season is over.

Yes, I'm complaining about fire season once more.......hey, it's in my mind all day and night, what can I say............

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Not much to show..........

Not much to show for my time. Been here and there, haven't gotten much done in the studio........would be very grouchy over it except that I've been doing fun stuff. Above are two drop spindles with Japanese paper yarn. The one on the left is mine, on the right friend Kathy's. Next up to weave some simple little weavings (couple inches) to use as embellishment on journals. I tried one using a Weave-it type loom but it will be easier just making a cardboard loom with straight pins.

The heat wave is wearing on us and it's not even at it's hottest yet. It's over 100 today, tomorrow the forecast is 115. Fires are popping up all over - it's darned scary out there. As I was driving home from my spinning get together this afternoon I could see smoke to the west of our house. I found a little info on a new fire that had just started. We're fine as long as it doesn't blow up........with this wind and heat I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. The retardant tanker (DC-7) has flown over the house twice - looks to take 50 minutes to get from Medford (to my east) to the fire and back. I'm taking a guess our little airport here in Grants Pass is too small for it to land and fill up but I'm not sure. It should be flying over again shortly - if needed. It's so hard not to know what's going on - the fire is in steep terrain, are they making headway before it gets big? is it growing? did they knock it out quickly? The unknown can be so scary..........

Update - ODF (Oregon Dept of Forestry) once again did a great job of knocking out a fire before it became a problem - it's not out but it's contained and is in mop up stage - kudos to them.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A bit of stitchin'

 This afternoon I spent some fun time at the embroidery machine again. I stitched up a couple of these weaving towels - it's hard to tell in the photo but the colors are peach and rust. There are a couple of them for sale in my etsy shop now.

 I saw this new thistle design recently - it's in shades of gray and black - it's really lovely so I had to stitch up a couple of these which are now in my etsy shop for sale.

 I stitched up a sloth towel as a gift for a friend who went on a trip recently and decided sloths are her new favorite animal. This sloth is so cute.  It will be a fun surprise when she gets it in the mail.

And I stitched up a couple tank tops for myself. These tanks have been hanging in the sewing room for a year waiting to be stitched, decided to get them done so I can actually wear them this summer.