November already?

Again I find myself thinking……where has the time gone?  It seems like you miss a day here or there and the next thing you know it’s months later.  But that’s a good thing in some ways, a sign of a full life possibly?  Okay, that’s what I’m telling myself as I realize how long it’s been since I’ve updated here.

 

So many things have happened since my last post, mostly all good, We finished that bathroom remodel that took forever, and then I started playing catch up, then summer came and I spent as much time as possible in the sunshine.  It’s now fall and after a crazy October, life is settling in.  But instead of trying to catch up on the last several months, I’m just going to forge ahead with what’s going on now.  (You can catch up by following me on Instagram @jwsodypop if you’re curious).

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth between the office, customer quilting, making quilts for the family, and learning to weave.  I say learning to weave because I don’t believe I’ll ever have fully learned everything that can be taught about weaving, it’s a journey, just like quilting.

No pictures to show of customer quilts at this time, I have several in the lineup for overall quilting this month, but do have spaces open for quilts to be done before Christmas if you’re interested.

The weaving I can show, right now I have two projects going.  I’ve got a sampler in progress on the Leclerc Medico, a small 22″ wide 4 shaft table loom.  I’m using a cotton warp and a laceweight Alpaca variegated yarn for the weft.  This is to hang in the weaving room as a reference for what different patterns look like woven and whether or not I need to do a floating selvedge with a particular pattern (some need it, some don’t).

Sampler in cotton and alpaca

 

And I’ve finished some trial kitchen towels using Peaches and Cream as my warp.  It makes a nice soft, fluffy, absorbent towel, but does need care in handling on the loom as it tends to stretch. This is my favorite one now that it’s off the loom.

 

On the Leclerc Artistat floor loom, I’ve started a shawl.  I’m using a silk/merino blend for the warp, with a tencel floating selvedge.  So far I’ve used two different merino yarns in the weft, with a tabby tencel spacer between them.  I know, foreign language to some of  you, but the weavers out there will understand.  I’m working this at 28″ wide for an end width after wet finishing of 25″ (hopefully).

 

In the studio, I’ve been trying to sew, but I have three distractions  now:

Oscar (on the right) and Sasha (on the left) came to live with us and Casey (center) a couple months ago as kittens from the shelter.  You can imagine what type of kitten-proofing needed to be done, and is currently still being upgraded, as these little ones have grown and gained skills!  They keep me laughing and have integrated well into the family.  Last week the final hold-out on getting along, Ciarra and Sasha, came to terms with each other.  We now have a modicum of peace in this house.

And in spite of that, I’m making progress on my daughter’s quilt.  It’s been slow progress on this one, and has stalled progress on the other family quilts, but that’s another story for another day.  Not a bad story, just a challenging one, all my fault!  But finally the rows are going together and I’m back on track (I hope!).

The chickens are once again molting, the angora rabbits are enjoying the cooler temperatures we’ve had lately, and the dogs are settling down as they get older. So that’s an update for the beginning of November and I hope not to wait too long before I have another update to give.  Oh and this long time “right hand thrower” has learned continental knitting….. a game changer for me…… I guess I do have another update for another day!

Long time coming………….

What has been a long time coming you ask?  Why this blog post.  I started this post two hours ago on my Ipad using the WordPress Ipad app.  BIG mistake, that is the most unfriendly app I’ve got on the Ipad and I have no idea where my saved draft went to, nor how to get back to it.  So, having taken the pics on the Ipad, I e-mail them to my computer to resize them in Photoshop and add some captions in.  Well, then my Photoshop Editor started acting up, changing the entire background to an over layer of red when I tried to add a caption.  And of course, there was no easy web search to find a solution.  And it’s still not fixed, so there’s only one pic with the actual caption in it, which will make this a much longer post!   LOL  As if I hadn’t already started a long post.

The original title of this post was to be “QUILTING AND A SNOW DAY”, and now I’ll get on to that topic.  The last few days here have been crazy for my area!  We got SNOW! Lots and lots of SNOW.    Normally, we might get 1″ or 2″ of snow at any given time, and it usually melts that same day.  Occasionally we’ll get a “whopper” of a storm with 3-4″.  (Yes, I’m chuckling at my Northern raised self here!).  But this time we did get walloped!  At then end of day 1, we had 7″ on the ground, then overnight we got a layer of icy snow pellets, and the following day we got 3″ of fresh snow on top of that before it stopped!

Now my rabbitry is constructed of a pipe carport structure with canvas roofing.  Hey, it’s perfect down here usually!  But in extremes, it doesn’t quite live up to it’s promise, and I was out every 3 hours for the entire storm cleaning off the canvas so it didn’t collapse.  Thankfully it didn’t and my poor bunnies even survived the terror of the broom on the roof clearing snow (although Amaya hid on top of the nest box, under a piece of wood that was laid on top her cage….silly girl!).

Today the sun is shining beautifully and I thought I’d share some pictures of our snowstorm, the day after:

This is just some of the snow that was brushed off the rabbitry roof during the storm.

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Yesterday at the height of the storm, you couldn’t see the steps at all leading up to the pool, thankfully it melted some, but there won’t be any swimming for at least a day month or two.

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I’ve never had snow inside the bird feeder before, I think the squirrel was trying to get in from the top and unseated the lid.  Smart squirrel, now I’ll have to dump it outside the fence line so the dogs don’t get into it and it doesn’t go bad inside the feeder and cause more problems!

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Obviously the four-wheelers were out playing in the cul-de-sac yesterday.  Me, I’m not going anywhere until this is either plowed or melts away.  Since I’ve only seen a plow on our road one or two times in the 20 years I’ve lived here, I think it will be until it melts!

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Thankfully the new grape vine and pear tree aren’t supposed to ship for another week, so this has time to melt off before I need to plant them.  I’m replacing the top blackberry bush on the fence to another grape as it was a variety of blackberry that I really disliked the flavor of.

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And of course, there will be no growth in these herb planters, nor burning of the brush pile, for a day or two.

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But it’s definitely pretty as the sun rises in the morning over the back yard.

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So, what did I do inside while the snow fell between rabbitry roof cleaning sessions?  Well, I watched the baby chicks grow. (Two Golden Comet and one Buff Orpington)

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And I monitored Ciarra’s fascination with them (she’s doing really good!)

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I worked on a customer quilt that is all simple line work.  And although it’s taking longer than expected (especially with the weather disruptions), it’s coming out nicely and I’m pleased with it. (this is the next section rolled and ready to quilt)

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And finally, once it quit snowing, I rewarded myself for all the snow removal time by SITTING DOWN and making a Valentine’s Day table topper.  Based on a hexagon, as our table seats six, this was fast and easy to do.  Although the quilting, done on my domestic as the longarm was not free, does leave something to be desired.  But it’s done and on the table just in time!

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A New App and Renewed Intentions

Blogging has taken a backseat to living life over the last couple months. It wasn’t intentional, it just happenned. Slowly over time, one procrastination at a time, blogging slipped to the back of my plans. And then a few things happenned. DH gifted me with an iPad for the holidays. Syncing it to my phone installed the long forgotten because it didn’t work well on the phone iPad app. And I received a comment on my last post, which was apparently back in October, that made me actually look at the blog.

As there is no way to catch you up on everything that has happened I’m going to try to summarize.

Quilting. Most of the last quarter of 2013 was spent on customer quilts that were gifts, hence, no photo’s at the time.

Dogs. We lost two in the last quarter and now have only the two young ones. But they are a handful in themselves.

Rabbits. I now have 10 angora’s and am still running 2 meat rabbit lines. I am thinking of removing the meat rabbit lines as we don’t eat much meat here and I’m stocked for several months.

Chickens. All are healthy, although egg production has been extremely poor over the winter, as to be expected. I did add a rooster to the flock, a RIR (Rhode Island Red) and he’s a beauty. Funny how the male in nature almost always carries the more attractive markings, and yet as a society we put so much pressure on females to adhere to unrealistic cosmetic beauty standards. But that’s another discussion for another day.

Knitting. I spent lots of time during my winter break knitting and it was so relaxing! I even finished a sweater I had started almost a year ago! And it fits!

Spinning. Well it was non-existent while the tree was up over the holidays. The tree goes in the same corner, so the wheel went into storage for almost a month, and while it’s out, I’ve yet to return to it regularly.

That’s the update. Now I need to figure out how to add pictures to this post and then, possibly, the blogging may be a bit easier to schedule.

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