Thursday, February 4, 2016

Creative News

My husband, Marshall, had some quality shop time this past weekend, so he had his lathe up and running, happily making sawdust.

The first creative endeavor resulted in this lovely walnut bowl,
that has wonderful grain lines
running through it.

The second creative endeavor resulted in a delicate, fluted walnut bowl, 
which is an inventive change.

The other day I visited Cleo, who owns and runs the local fiber/spinning shop,
The Sheep Shed. I love visiting her shop which is filled with bags
of fiber and more fiber-processed,
unprocessed, dyed or undyed. 
As we talked about, you guessed it, 
our favorite spinning projects,
I wandered around her shop, just feeling the 
outstanding wool that she sells.
It's taken me years to find someone
who sells quality wool with very little vegetable matter.
You say to yourself weeds don't matter.
Until you have to handpick those bloomin' weeds
out of the wool as you're trying to spin.
So if you're in the market for some lovely wool,
call Cleo, 208-466-4365,
 and she'll find just what you want.

I came home with two Merino fleeces, one a delicately crimped
ivory color, and the other, a multiple colored silver that has
a soft hand to it.
I'm washing/scouring part of the silver fleece this morning :-)

Every time I visit her shop I pine after the cherry Matchless spinning wheel
that she has there. I have to mentally pinch myself,
and tell myself I do NOT need another wheel.
Even if it's a cherry wood with a gorgeous, dark, rich patina to it....
No. No. No!

On to quilting, and continuing the scrap, vintage block theme, 
I just finished a variation of the bear paw block.
The small quilt pattern is called Oso,
which is Spanish for bear,
created by Carrie Nelson.
This is my version, which has four inch (10 cm)
blocks and an overall size of 33 x 40 inches
(84 x 102 cm).

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

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. 
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,

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
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.