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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Creative News

I know my previous post was a tough read. 
It's not upbeat or positive-it was just a burden on my heart that I decided to share with you. 
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Do you set goals each new year? Each January I think about what creative goals I want to meet over the coming year. This year I'd like to create quilts from some of the vintage quilt blocks that have been used in so many unique ways. I think some of my favorite quilts are new renditions of old quilt blocks! And I don't know about you, but I have shelves of books containing quilt patterns/blocks, so I have a plethora of choices. Another creative goal I have is to use up some of the quilting scraps that I've accumulated.  I think quilt scraps multiply while you sleep!! I had thought about buying more containers, but what I really need to do this year is make scrap quilts-lots of them and that will take care of the container problem ;-)

Keeping that in mind, this week I started a small quilt using the T quilt block as a starting point.
The quilt, Blueberry Buckle, by Cathy Wierzbicki, is from the book 101 Fabulous Small Quilts published by That Patchwork Place. I was thumbing through this book the other night and I realized that I was choosing one quilt after another that I liked and wanted to make. So I think that I've found a great source for using up those multiplying scraps!

My version is using various green and beige scraps-





I thought that I'd hand quilt this using Sulky 12 weight Cotton Dream thread.

My husband, Marshall, had some time to turn on his lathe the other day, and he turned a small plate out of a chunk of ash wood. I love how the dark part of the heartwood contrasts with the rest of the wood.
This is the front of the plate-


and this is the back.


A few months back I spindle spun some Merino dyed a soft pink, along with a darker rose, lilac, violet, and then blended them with silk.
I knit up a warm hat using the pattern, Rollin' Beret, from Wooly Wormhead
I stranded the Merino/silk blend along with one strand of upcycled cashmere 
from an unraveled thrift store sweater that I had dyed black 
so that the hat would be very warm.
I'm in the process of knitting some fingerless gloves to match the hat.



I love Wooly Wormhead's original, funky designs that look great and are easy to knit!

On the spinning side of things, I'm spinning a blend of violet, plum, lilac merino blended with silk.
Not for a specific project, but just because I really like the colors :-)



Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,
Judy

Friday, January 29, 2016

Scam Artists and Con Men

I hope you don't mind me telling you a story. 
I wish that I could say that it has a 
happy ending.

This is a story of a desolate Arizona ranch that years ago was willed to a single woman, 
who struggled with self-sufficiency, especially in running this ranch. 
She turned to two "professionals" for help, 
a CPA and as her health failed, a nurse, 
(who turned out to be an ex-convict).
 As the years went by both men sneakily persuaded/intimidated 
 this solitary, now elderly woman 
to sign over her assets for them to "manage"
while they charged her estate
$5000 a month. 

This woman, 
who wanted to live on her own terms and who was fiercely independent, 
turned to two men for help, 
and they have robbed her blind.
 She is now living in a cheap house trailer, 
not getting the medical care that she deserves and needs.
She has to beg for money to buy shoes
and wears cheap clothes.

And the said "professional" CPA and nurse,
well, they're living high 
on the money that they are "earning"
from managing this elderly woman's estate.

I used to think that there was justice in this world. 
At this point in my life
I'm not sure that I do any more.
Have you ever dealt with a smooth talking
ex-con? 
Boy-can they be persuasive,
saying all sorts of things, 
especially when money is involved.
And it's amazing that some people fall for
their garrulous tales/lies,
but, you know,
some people are vulnerable.
Which makes them targets for
con men and ex-cons.

But, you know what? 
I firmly believe in Hell, and my hope is,
that these two guys will eventually
be held accountable for the suffering
that they've inflicted on
one solitary elderly woman.

If you see someone who is bullying/abusing/stealing
from an elderly person, 
please, PLEASE, stand up
and try to help them.
Especially if an ex-convict is involved,
who is smooth talking
and will say or do anything to get money 
that doesn't belong to him.
Easy money, 
stolen from an elderly woman.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Creative News

Each morning I try to fit in some spinning in some form, whether it's using one
of the lovely spindles created by my husband or
using one of my wheels.

The other day I started spinning some BFL that I had
bought years ago from a local yarn shop that
unfortunately went out of
business.
I miss that shop!

This weekend I wanted to do a little bit of dyeing,
so I used the cold pour method to dye this energized singles skein, 
placing it in a large glass mixing bowl
filled with water. I used Berry Blue
drink mix, royal blue acid dye,
and a bright yellow acid dye,
pouring it on the immersed
skein in random areas, then 
tapping the skein to blend the colors before
heat setting the color in a microwave.


The balsam BFL wool from Frabjous Fibers that I've been spinning
has been plied into a three ply yarn
 and I'm 
rather happy with the result!


Using the locally sourced Merino wool that I dyed last fall
I created a warm hat for someone as a special
thank you.  The wool was hand carded and spun
on a spindle.
I unknowingly dropped a stitch 
close to the beginning, (dang it!!),
 so I had to unravel this
silly hat and start over. 
Meet my "double knit hat"-

On the weaving side of things, I want to weave an overshot
runner for my bedroom, so I've been searching through
my weaving books and reviewing my notes in my weaving notebook 
as I haven't woven overshot in some time.
It's good to review before beginning a new weaving project!

I'm starting a small quilt for our family room, and I have two blocks 
that I'm trying to choose between. Hmm, maybe
I'll combine them??

We've had so much fun skiing this year with the fresh powder 
that has blissfully arrived! I can't tell you how peaceful
it is to be in the snow covered mountains, whizzing 
along just enjoying the crisp air.

Ski on.

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,
Judy

Monday, January 4, 2016

Creative News From My House

This is the first post of 2016! 
There's something about a new year that makes one think
 about fresh possibilities and perhaps setting ambitious goals.
Last year I set a goal of cycling 2000 miles
on my bike and I almost made it
closing the year out with
almost 1600 miles.
Whew.

That feels so good to write!!

I had a surprise waiting for me in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago.
Lin sent me a lovely, creative Christmas postcard.
Thanks so much for thinking of me, Lin!


Two days ago I finished weaving the 8/2 cotton warp that was on my vintage
Harrisville loom (happy dance.)
The weave structure was M's and O's, 
the project was washcloths, 
and
I used a variety of wefts for this
as I wanted to clean out my
weaving hutch where I store my cones of yarn. 
So the wefts varied
from hemp to linen to cotton.

And I finally finished weaving something!!



I also finished some baby quilts made from vintage sheets
that were dropped off at the local
homeless shelter.
May they bring comfort to someone
in need.


I've been slowly knitting some socks from handspun BFL 
that I dyed last year in peach, tan, 
turqoise, rose, and
sky blue.



On the spinning side of things,
I'm spinning some hand-dyed BFL
from Frabjous Fibers in the Balsam colorway.


I thought I'd leave you with an early morning photo
that I took while sitting with my family
on the Pine Creek lift on 
the backside of Bogus.
This year the skiing has been a blast due
to the wonderful powder
and my knee has held together
another year, 
so life is good :-)


Here's hoping you have time for fabric/fiber today,
Judy