Saturday, August 29, 2009

Perking the Nest

The weaving goof was an easy fix this morning! Fresh eyes do make the difference! (The threads had just been pulled from their proper heddles-I didn't have to unthread anything.) In fact, I was able to weave the first towel today! (This is a summer & winter weave pattern; a kit from Cotton Clouds.) It is a bit much for a beginner like me but I am stretching myself and making my own way. It is interesting to see how the colors change according to the colors they cross. If it teaches me nothing more than expanding my color choices, it will be a success.
Bill and I planted some new bushes out front. It needed some color. Matching Croten bushes make just the right amount of color and size.
The bushes help to frame the front entrance. Things are shaping up out front.
We also planted some Mums..........I had so many of these on our farm in NY-it is nice to put some in here, too.
While Bill was getting some groceries this evening, I got the 'what if' bug! If I moved (and organized) my growing weaving mess, there would be room to set out the furniture and not have a mountain stacked in the middle of the room. Because it is a sectional, I could move all the pieces myself! (I first had to move all the heating/cooling duct supplies out of the way. They are now stacked in the spare room-to-be.)
I slid the loom over to the sliding glass door where I will have more light, and then that opened up the rest of the room for the sectional and recliner. It is very promising....a bit of the preview of the room to come.
Since I was on a roll, I changed the shelves in the family room; they didn't need to be scrunched together anymore. I moved the crockery to compliment them and am pleased with the new balance it gives the room.
I did need to wait for Bill's help for one item-the filing cabinet. After he got over the shock of all I did in his absence, he moved it for me and I could finish up the rearranging. Ah, it is good to have a bit of a perker-upper!
Nyki was a bit anxious with all my nonsense. She is surveying her new domain.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hunting and Homemaking

We had to run to Daytona yesterday ,so of course we went to the beach. The waves are big and there are warnings not to go out into the surf but it doesn't stop very many people!

The birds were unimpressed by the weather! Danny is kicking up the waves and making for some overcast weather but the temps are still in the 90's.
I finished the pair of socks I started last week (Diagonal Lace by Wendy Johnson). They are a blend of wool/bamboo/nylon and they are so light and soft! The break from the shawl knitting is over and I worked about a 1/2" last night.
This morning we went to pick up some CraigsList furniture Bill found. I had pretty strict guidelines and he found one that fit all the criteria! (chocolate brown, distressed leather-look microfiber, 4 recliners, looks like new) He is a good hunter/gatherer!!
The new/old furniture will go in the existing family room while the old/new sectional will be going into the new room. (I hope you followed that!) For now, it is stacked out of the way in the spare room until we get the addition sheetrocked! Nyki knew what to do with the furniture mountain! I worked to thread the new warp on the loom. It is a lot of work to warp! There are 206 ends that have to be threaded in the reed and then each into their own heddles according to the pattern........see the small stripe of navy blue? They do not have their own heddles-as I got ready to wind it on the beam I saw that I had left 4 threads out of the pattern. I had to walk away and will face the remedial warping tomorrow.........when I have a better attitude.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arches of Triumph!

The arches are finished and they are perfect! It is indeed the triumph of the front of the house.

It is with great pleasure we now look down the veranda and savor the view!

The weaving had a few setbacks based on the rookiness of this weaver. I ordered a kit to weave cotton calls for 2 strands of weft; I wound all the colors into double stranded balls and then read that it calls for 2 strands of different colors -my hour of work required several hours to undo. I even enlisted Bill's assistance to unwind the doublestrand was raining out so he was inside and though he was unsure of the task, he gave it a try. His help sure saved me a ton of work and gave us quite a few laughs! I am ready to try weaving again tomorrow.

The warp is still on the warping board! (This looks way more colorful than the finished towel pictures so we will be learning about colorplay in weaving as well with this project!)
While I am busy, Nyki entertains herself, too. She digs in the rubber band supply when she is bored. She also hits the buttons on the phone so that it talks. And very often will empty this container of all of the pens......checking out the theory of gravity just to be sure.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inside Creativity

While the men were outside working, I pieced the rest of the fat quarters I had in this pack to make some more disappearing nine patches-all ready to be pieced into a top--lap sized at 40 x 48".
I want to start a new project on the loom but couldn't bear to just toss the little bit of warp leftover from the lavender weaving, so I ripped up some fabric (3/8" wide) and made a mat with it-16" x 24"-all fringed and ready for use and I didn't waste the warp!
Pretty, isn't it?! I hadn't used fabric strips yet on the loom and did find I had to beat it quite a bit harder than any other weft I have previously used-but it was a good first-time project and I would like to explore this some more in the future. (The plan is for the new project, which is on the warping board, to go on the loom tomorrow!)
On my way to the mailbox, I discovered this fruit all over the ground under one of the palm trees. I had been told it was a date palm but haven't seen any fruit since we have been here. I came back to the house to get a basket and picked what was edible on the ground and asked the contractor (who is finally making progress) what they were. He took one, wiped it off and popped it into his mouth! Well, he said it was so good I tried one. Delicious! I mean it was the sweetest fruit I have ever tasted. Ever. As usual I went to the internet and looked them up-it only comes on a mature tree where there are both male and female trees in proximity. I guess they finally grew up! (The taste is a blend of peach/plum but sweetened 10x. Now I understand why the Bible describes dates as a treat. It is nothing like those brown things they sell in the store! )

In fact, when Bill came in from working out back with the tractor, I asked for help and he cut down the whole branch of dates for me. I washed them off, manhandled them to get the pit out (they are slightly smaller than a ping pong ball in size) and made some jam in my Breadman machine. It smelled so good while it was cooking! I will save most of it as a treat to share with other brave souls who are ignorant of this delicacy! If you are curious, just come and visit!

He's Back.........

The contractor surprised us while we were gone and tried to fix the finish on the arches. It didn't work..........I mean he surprised us by showing some initiative, but the actual work on the arches was bleak. They were obviously patched and looked 2 toned in color-in a word: awful!

Today gave way to a new game plan after a visit to the stucco store! Their recommendation was to cover the whole surface of the arches again and refinish. So $200+ later we are doing just that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back into the Swing of Things

I conquered all the post-vacation piles and began the hunt for a hairpin lace tool because Mom and I planned a project for this winter. I did not find the gadget but I did find my bin of papermaking supplies. So I made some paper. I have a cardmaking friend so I am going to gift it to her. I bought some new sock yarn (when shopping with Mom) to go with a new sock book........

one down and moving onto the next!
The Pi shawl is growing so much that it no longer can be spread out to view. This is a good sign of progress! (When it gets this large you need every little bit of encouragement you can muster!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Home is Where You Lump!

We slept in this is so nice to be out of the car! The traffic was light and the company was great! The cats did wonderfully but were so glad to be home to their own territory again, too!

To recap a few highilghts of our trip...
Friday-hugs on arrival and then we went to watch my neices (count over from the left to the third and fourth soccer players) play their final game of summer soccer (they won!)....... Saturday-We had a family picnic and some of us swam. Sunday we went to church and had the pleasure of fellowship with old friends......the cats adopted my Dad's chair to sleep in all day-and the biggest surprise is that he let them! No one ever sits in my Dad's chair but my Dad-yes, you are mellowing, Dad, no matter how much you try to deny it!!!
Monday-sewing with my Aunt and Mom- who combined their stashes and we were able to make 4 large lap quilts for the women's shelter in Oswego.
Monday evening we enjoyed a boat ride at my brother's......we made it to shore just before a huge rainfall hit!
Tuesday-Bill went fishing to Geneva with a friend-not too many fish but a sunburn and lot's of good conversation! I spent the day with Mom/Dad and we sewed. (Thanks to Charleen for the disappearing 9 patch inspiration!) Tuesday evening I borrowed Dad's car to go and meet a soul-mate of a friend -I was told to be careful, not to speed and be home by 10 o'clock-talk about a flashback!
Wednesday-visited a neighbor who had recent knee surgery; took the neices to drs appt, shopped 'til we dropped and met my sister for lunch! (We went to Gino & Joe's which is my favorite pizza shop!)
The guys had a field trip, too, and bought 7 old mowers for my Dad to 'fix'! He has had a hard time finding any this summer but they made up for it in one trip! (Thanks to Bob,the packrat, who parted with some of his treasures!)
We played cards, dominoes and talked and knitted and laughed..............thanks Mom and Dad for a great week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On The Road Again.......

We are heading to NY for a week's visit with northern family!
Cats are with us....which means that little knitting will get done on the trip 'cuz Mama's lap will be full of felines!
(No, I am not packing the tv remote.........I was watching a gardening show while I packed the essential like books, fabric and yarn!!!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weaving Smells Good!

I was gifted some beautiful lavender from Marsel's garden.
I used 10/2 cotton in pastels for the warp (120 ends).
No shuttle used -just lay the dried stalks in place and change your treadle (simple plain weave.)

I wove it into a lovely mat for the smells so good!

I swept up the droppings and leftover blooms/leaves and made a little sachet.
And speaking of smelling good........our neighbor gave us some of her Sand Pears. They are not only ugly to look at but the skin and flesh are too hard for consumption fresh but when you simmer the fruit (skinned) for a few hours it yields a delicious and aromatic pear sauce!


I finished my April WAL yesterday morning!   It is cut free of the loom!   I need to zig-zag the ends and then I will wash and dry and press...