Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weaving Worms

It seems so intimidating! All those warp ends, so easily mixed up and knotted. If dressing the loom isn't done right, the weaving is harder to do and the whole thing could look awful. So I console myself, "It's my first project on a big loom". " Irregularities will make it seem more charming and one of a kind." You know how it is when you start something new, you really want to do it well. You really want it to look nice. I mean do you really work on a project and say to yourself," I want this to look like trash" when I'm done?
Well, time to get started. Dressing the loom. Putting all those threads through the slots, then through the heddles. I'm making a "rag" rug. When I went to the Pendleton Wool outlet, I purchased a bag of "worms". Worms are the long strips cut off the edges of their blankets. Pendleton sells them to weavers for rug making.
Dressing the loom took longer then weaving the rug. It's something I could sit for a few moments and weave two or three shots, leave, then come back later and do more. Almost done here. I'm taking it off the loom. Weaving worms is really messy. There is soooo much fuzz from the cut edges. Then all these little pieces of worm that break off. The floor is littered.
Here is the rug next to some "worms". I have enough for about 8 more rugs. A little goes a long way.
Finally finished, and on the wood floor in the dining room. Yes there are some mistakes. It just adds to the charm and makes it more one of a kind. It was fun, and I want to make a few more. Now I wont be nearly so intimidated.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still Life in the Garden

There is still life in the garden. The tomatoes are finally producing. I don't know about where you live, but the beginning of summer was so slow here that crops like tomatoes are very late in ripening. We've been wondering how many we would get before the first frost.
Really, I have quite a few. Tonight I'll make some sauce and can it.
I have about 20 pounds. The squash are producing nicely too.
There are still bright spots around the back. The snapdragons never stop.
The Rudbecka are still lovely. Even the spent blossoms are interesting texture.

Borage. All swaying in the gentle, fall breeze. All blooming the hearts out till the first frost. The crispness is in the air. I need to pay attention to each one everyday. Soon their cheerful faces will be a memory that I dream about in the cold of winter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wooly Projects

I love wool. I love the process, from fleece, to spinning, to weaving. When dyed, there is so much depth to the color. Each part of the fiber "takes" the dye differently. As a fabric, it is soft, yet firm, stable, yet giving. So when I thought of a new table runner for fall, I knew I wanted to make it from washed, overdyed wool, to capture to aura of the season. First, I chose some wool scraps that reflected the season's colors.
Then I cut out maple and oak leaves of different sizes and colors.
Then scattered them around.
Sewing the leaves with embroidery floss, using a straight stitch, leaving knots and tails on top.
Finishing the runner by cutting up about 6 inches and tie with an overhand knot to create a fringe. Giving it a scarf look. The fall colors and wool look good on the scrubbed pine table. It was a fun project. It turned out well and inspired me. So of course I had to do a few other things to celebrate the new season.A pumpkin pillow for the bench on the front porch. It's made from wool and repurposed cotton fabric.
I machine appliqued the pumpkins.
Then used strips of wool for tie closures at the side. The Boo pillow is all wool. The foundation is pieced from a salvaged wool jacket. and the Boo s from a salvaged wool skirt. I just top stitched the Boo on the foundation, letting the letters fray a bit.
Fun and easy. The day after I finished these the weather changed from very warm to cool. The leaves started falling. Fall is here. Celebrate!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Biking Again

I finally did it! I bought a bike. I had one a lot of years ago, one with a trailer, so I could bike with the youngest kids, but they were stolen. So now, years later, I have one again. I'm also finding a few muscles that have been neglected. This bike is a FUJI Crosstown. It has 8 speeds, just right for biking errands. It's not made for the road trips.
I love the basket. There is a little frame the fits over the handle bars that holds the basket. With a twist of the handle, the basket comes off, so I can carry it right into the store. It also came with a little cute dinging bell. I don't think too many cars will hear the bell. I think bikes need to come equipped with the big horns the semi trucks have. But it is a cute retro look. To be honest, on the hot days (90's) I haven't been out with it. But most days, if I don't have errands, I'm off on a ride just for the exercise. I added fenders so I won't have the excuse not to ride in the rain. I'm feeling good about this. Saving gas, money, and getting much needed exercise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Unexpected Pears

A week before the wedding, my future brother-in-law arrived with a gift. He had been watching a pear tree in a field close to his home. The time was right for picking pears. He brought over a large box. I was so thankful for the pears. I love fresh pears, then canned pears in the winter. Inside my head I was wailing, "When will I have time to put these up in the middle of preparing for a wedding?????"
Unexpectedly, one morning the schedule was rearranged. My opportunity! 19 quarts of summer sunshine ready to enjoy this winter. Thanks for the unexpected, wonderful gift.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Showers and Weddings

Weddings are fun! Our family has had several weddings the last few years. Our backyard is one of the places that events around weddings or the wedding itself takes place. Two weeks ago, I gave a wedding shower for my sister in the back yard. It was a simple event, yet even simple events can, and in my case do, take quiet a bit of work. The yard is rather wild. The flowerbeds are full of culinary and medicinal herbs. The "lawn" is mostly clover, selfheal, English lawn daisy, and plantain. Around the chairs, I put bamboo poles into the ground and tie ribbons on them. they are festive fluttering in a small breeze.
Scattered around the yard are torches, candles, and lanterns. As the evening grows dark, the yard becomes magical looking. I forgo the usual cake and use the seasons bounty to make pies for dessert. Deciding what pies to make is a huge problem, there are soooooooo many! I finally narrow the selection down to eight.

Topping the list is strawberry pie. I love this no fail receipe.

I tried a new receipe from the Better Homes and Garden magazine. pie.
White chocolate Cranberry Pie. YUM!!!!!
This past week, the wedding.
We rearranged the chairs. Added lots of tule, as bows on the chairs, streaming between the poles with lights hidden in the layers.
We added more candles and lanterns.As people arrived, the light faded, candles were lit.Vows were spoken.

I'm very thankful that our place has hosted so many special events, and created so many memories. Last night, when Gerry and I were sitting in front of the backyard fireplace, we recounted memories, family times, what life is about, our relationships. The memory of an events, simply done, so much lasting joy.