Sunday, September 7, 2014

A long time gone

But returned!  It was a happy trip to Ohio, and unfortunately all my photos are on the ipad and until I can figure out how to share them here, we must resort to pix from the camera.   I do think life used to be simpler.  Oh well, there's no going back.  Let's start with the newest update on the weeping guitar cloth (I have added the red fire pig, which was part of a lovely game of nouveau hopscotch that I played with the grandsons.  I am not so good at hopping anymore, but accommodations were made).

 Here are the results of the late summer dyeing with purple carrots, delphiniums and onion skins:

I've been taking Jude's Considering Weave online class, but have not been doing much weaving except for:
(can you see the little patch of woven threads in the center of the donkey's side?  I was experimenting with ways to vary filling the space.)

And:
This is the beginning of a privacy shield that I'm experimenting with to fill holes in the fence.  I let the bamboo dry up because it was requiring too much water, then I had the thought to use it this way.  First I wove the bamboo through the strips of fabric, which was an old pillow that Gilly chewed up, and then I started weaving the fabric into the ends of the bamboo.  Note the iridescent toenails too, a birthday gift from my dear family/friends in beautiful Ohio.  Here is an older version.

When I take the train East, there is usually time to walk around a bit in Chicago and I love the woven looking pattern made by the windows of this building.  This photo is from 2003...

And this is herself, pretending to be asleep.  Once she hears the word "walk" she will instantly arise and smile for the camera, but I have made her wait, so...

I am hoping by Sept. 21, International Peace Day, to have my little shop better organized. So that's all for now.  We're still praying for rain.  xoxo, s.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A milestone

Somehow I have become a 70 year old person.  It's not so bad after all, but I was worried about it beforehand.  There was quite a bit of celebrating in a modest delightful fashion, and now I'm about to embark on a trip to see my family.  We're convening in Ohio this time.  I'm going by bus and train and there is lots of packing left to do before 5:15 tomorrow morning, but I promised I would post an update on my weeping guitar cloth so:
It's not done yet.  It's a landscape of recent events, more or less.  Except for the frog...I have no idea where she came from...

Gilly and I went to our friends' farm in the Central Valley on the weekend.  It's very very dry there.  Here are the donkeys:
They're so much whiter than the last time we visited.

And here is Gilly; it was hot!

That will be all for now.  It's 10 pm...I've been up since 5 this morning and there seems like lots more to do, but I'm about ready for a nap.  Love to you all. xoxo, s.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Treasures

Hello everyone:  Lots of newness around here. For starters, last night I went to a wonderful show celebrating a new book by local artist Corless Smith.  She wrote the book and then made exquisite fabric pieces to illustrate the text.  Applique, embroidery, some painting...all tastefully applied to get the point of the words across.  Each piece was small, but with so much beautiful handwork in it.  I wish I had taken pictures, but I did buy the reasonably priced book and photographed the cover (my photo doesn't convey the beauty of the work). I look forward to the reading.



Next up is a kitchen towel I bought from Susan Harvey of Thrums.  I bought 2 others as gifts and had to have one for myself.  It is the best and loveliest kitchen towel I have ever used.  So absorbent. The pattern is exquisite, and because the towel has selvedge on the sides, it doesn't get all crumpled up in the wash like one with a hemmed edge will do.  It's very sturdy too.



And now we come to the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which I learned about from here. (Kate Davies Designs blog)  This is a gigantic country-wide community project of the entire history of Scotland, conceived of by Alistair McCall Smith, one of my favorite authors...I bought both books mentioned in the several blog posts, and actually, if you want to look closely at the stitches, the blog pictures provide better close-ups than in the book, but the books are very very worth reading.  Sorry there is no picture to accompany this enthusiasm, but check out the link above.

Following is a quick look at a portion of a project I've been working on...more embroidery on eco-dyed wool.  I watched George Harrison's In the Material World and was moved again by this
 


Gilly has another new haircut, for summer. She looks completely different to me.  We have been having some issues and so are consulting a Whisperer.  Truth to tell, the issues began dissolving just after I made the appointment, but I'm very curious to see what will be learned.  Stay tuned...

And all the very best to you as this year of changes grows into August...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Catching Up

So much has been going on!  For one thing, it's apple season, and this year I'm trying to be more responsible about the tree's abundance.  The apples are quite a bit bigger this year. 

I bought a corer, and while there is maybe a little more waste, things go much faster...yesterday I made applesauce...this was the beginning of the process:

I liberated a big chunk of shelf space by getting rid of the hazardous materials that have accumulated over the years (40 bottles of stuff).  I'm going back to vinegar and baking soda:

Couldn't resist unbundling one of the cloths I made using India Flint's book Stuff, Steep and Store.
Here it is hanging on the clothesline, but I've made it into a curtain...the colors are a lot more vibrant in reality than in the photo. I'm pleased with the results and soon will unbundle some of the others.

India has put out a new book, the bundle book, which I'm so happy to have as a refresher course...plus she talks about printing on paper as well as cloth.

Here is a piece I made embroidering over one of my home-dyed cloths:
This piece was included in India's book, on a wandering wind, a portfolio of work by her students.  So happy to participate!

Also, I'm taking an online class with Jude Hill, Considering Weave.  I'll have pictures soon...

In other news, I have finally gotten a new printer, and prior to that installed more memory into my computer...that was a big adventure...in retrospect it was quite easy, but I was anxious about the static electricity warnings...however, here I am, thankfully, to tell the tale, and the computer is much less sluggish.  There were lots of stray thoughts about installing more memory into myself, but...

Voila, some happy goats who have been hired to reduce the fire hazard in our huge Tilden Park.

And here is Gilly Marie (and weasel) in her new bed.  It's called a donut bed because it has a raised outer section that makes her feel more contained, I think.

Well, this is actually only a partial catch-up, but we're getting there.  ~xoxo, s



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Progress and recreation

Hello everyone!  Quilting the quilt is now a daily event.  I've been watching BBC Detective movies while I work.  This is the first 'family unit' of handprints that is on the back:

Today I started on the second family unit on the front side of the quilt.  It seems to be going along at a good pace, stitch by stitch.  I'm really enjoying working on such a big project. But I have so many other ideas going on, that today I began work on another little one...this will involve stitching a recent drawing on home-dyed cloth; here is a lone bundle of jacaranda blossoms and eucalyptus, steaming...

Even though all this work is exciting, it seemed a good time for a get-away. I haven't been seeing enough horses lately, so I decided to go for a drive to Sacramento to the Horse Expo.  A well spent day!

This was what greeted us first:
Not a horse!

Some more highlights;  pulling logs:


A beautiful mule:

A very plucky little pony:

Something I would like to go to someday:

There was also a cattle dog training session, but I was so engrossed in it, I forgot to take pictures.  Gilly was quite disappointed about that (she didn't get to come along),  and was a bit sulky and unwilling to look at the camera:

I'm trying to teach her the names of some of her stuffed (unstuffed) animals, but I get the impression she might rather be learning how to herd cows.  Oh well.  That's all for now.





Monday, June 9, 2014

500+safety pins

Hello everyone!  It has taken several years, but my grandson's quilt is Finally ready for quilting.  I decided to pin, rather than baste the layers together and bought out the pin supplies of several stores.  They are bent safety pins so it's fairly easy to put them through the cloth.  The quilt is quite heavy with all the pins and sounds like a suit of armor when I put it on the table.  It will be satisfying to gradually take the pins out as each area is stitched down.

The next photo shows the beginning of the quilting.  I first started by stitching through all the layers at once, but the back side stitches looked terrible, so I decided to stitch the front and the back to the middle, thin batting layer separately.  I've almost finished one grouping of the hand patterns and then I'll turn the quilt over and do the same area on the back.

Gilly has been resting from her exertions in the Giveaway, but there has been some bird activity to keep us charmed.  Here is the hummingbird.
 

I would like to show you a little video of a backyard bird bath scene, but it is late now, and after two unsuccessful tries at uploading the file, I realize I need to learn more about how to do this task, so, with apologies for incompleteness,  I will say goodnight now and wish us all sound and safe slumbers.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The winner!

And the winner is...

First I have to tell you that my original plan didn't work as intended.  I put the four names and a bit of kibble plus a special treat in each envelope, thinking Gilly would pick one up and begin to devour it, and I would rescue the winner's name before it was too late.  But the packaging wasn't fragrant enough for her to be interested.  So I decided to dispense with the envelopes, and cover the cards with the names on them with a tiny piece of paper towel soaked in sardine oil:

At first she didn't want to participate, but then she was unable to resist any longer and made her choice:

She picked it up and took it to a more private spot, whereupon she ate the sardine oil soaked piece of paper towel and deposited the paper with the name on the ground!
So the winner is Sus!  Congrats!!  Don't worry, the necklace has no smell of sardines!

I forgot to mention this earlier, but there is a consolation prize for all entrants which will be a print of the original pray for rain drop:

Please keep praying for rain in California.  There are already fires down south and it's quite early in the season.

Thank you all so much for participating in this. Send me your snail mail addresses so your prizes will come soon.  To reach me, click "view my complete profile", under the About Me section, over there in the right sidebar.  If there's a problem, just leave a comment and we'll find a solution.

Thank you all and I can't wait to hear from you.

xoxo,
S.

p.s. oops I almost forgot.  Here's Gilly as she woke up this morning. She likes to sleep late, but she had work to do...