Saturday, December 1, 2018

A spot

I found a spot to set up a loom.

Not that I didn't know about that spot, just wasn't an option til just recently...

It's a bare bones spot.  Unfinished office space in a pole barn that my brother has been working on.

They decided since it's heated already - to 55 degrees- I might as well get some use from that heat.

No lighting yet.  No restrooms at this location.  But it's a space that is not being used so I went ahead and moved a loom in.

This is the warp I put on.

It should work with the browns, tans and greens materials that I have collected.

I've been threading the warp, but I can't seem to do alot at a time.  The lower back and hamstring tell me to stop for awhile.

So instead, I prep some more material.

Maybe will get it finished and ready tomorrow, but we will see how it goes.

All for now,

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Since I still have no loom available to weave on, I am trying to trust my gut and my minds eye as I design toward rugs that I won't weave for awhile yet.  So I have to visualize.

Usually, I prep rags and weave them up immediately.  That way I can see what's working and what is not.

The large group of twill/khaki pants I acquired recently has been on the block.  First group I did the tans, greens, browns and tried to randomly place them in a somewhat predictable pattern.  If that is possible!

In that group of pants, there were also some colorful pieces.

These just kind of naturally grouped together.  I like random, but sometimes random doesn't end up working for me.  Colors pool, or I end up at the end without one of the key colors, or whatever.  So this time, I did a lay out so that the colors will last and be somewhat balanced throughout the pattern.

These light blues, turquoise, royal blue and purple will be placed one of these, with 4 of these...

All the light khaki's cut up.  Ending up being just enough strips to do 4 truly random choice from this basket between each 'blue' from the organized pile.

So this is what it looks like coming off the sewing machine!  This should be a lighter in color rug with the bright blues popping.  Might come off as slightly striped, depending on where the strips start in the rug.  Should be interesting in the end!

I am now down to dark navy blue and black twill legs, and one random rust/brown pair of pants that just wouldn't fit in with what I've been doing.  Not sure how I will come up with a plan for that yet.  No inspiration!  There are some other colors in the box, but since I bought about 5 large pieces of fabric - shower curtains, tablecloth, a window curtain that started life as a sheet, and a piece of yardage that is like a heavy canvas (bright yellow!) at the Salvation Army the other day, I can work on those instead :)

All for now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Better late than never....

So awhile ago, while I was feeling puny after my last surgery, I spent some time working on my daughters wedding gift.  I just couldn't share until it was gifted.

I had pieced the top before surgery, and had sent it away to be machine quilted.

Right before surgery day, I machine sewed the binding on so it would be ready to hand stitch down.

It took a few weeks after I got home until I felt well enough to do that, but it was nice to be able to be productive during that time, if only a little bit.

The quilt pattern started out as "H"s that ended up about 5 inches tall.  I decided early on that wasn't what I wanted to do for days and days.  So instead I did this.  The H stands for my Leah's new last name.

Bonus points were made as these H's were also made from new hubby's old button down shirts that somehow made it to my place. 

Confused them both for a minute, but Justin was the first to say, 'is that my shirt'?   Got some laughs and 'where did you get my shirts' questions.

Fun reaction, just what I'd hoped for.  It's the type of quilt you can use for a cover for it's looks, or just use it for warm.  I made it queen size, so it should work on the bed.

I've got another quilt top ready to be quilted that I made some time ago on a whim.  I've been feeling like i should call and see if the long arm quilt lady has some time to do this one, too.

All for now,

Friday, October 26, 2018

Always challenges

Last week Thursday was a traumatic day. 

For one of my mares, and for me, too.

I found her out in pasture with a fence wire wrapped tightly around one hind leg.  She was hurting and needed my help.  Those kind of situations make you get an awful feeling in the pit of your stomach.

The challenge right then was to get her help.  To do that, I would need to get a trailer deep into a rough pasture, load her, and get to a vet - by the time I would get that done, it would be after hours.

First I had to unload household goods from my horse trailer ( my dad's trailer was nowhere to be found - neighbor borrowed it I guess)

Then drive it out to her in a rough, hilly, gully, stone strewn pasture.

The hardest part was getting her into a trailer while she was on three legs and hurting.

But we got it done...
This is at the vet's waiting to wake up enough to trailer back home.  We had to sedate, do a nerve block on the leg, remove wire, clean, medicate and wrap.  A little over 2 hours at the vet clinic.

I could post some graphic photos, but I won't.  She is doing better, she will put some weight on the leg while she moves about, but we are looking at 6-8 weeks of every other day dressing changes.  Good thing she is a sweetheart and lets me do it, even tho I can tell she is uncomfortable during the process.

Otherwise, I have been feeling like doing stuff - my stuff...

The challenge is finding something of 'mine' that I can get to with tools and a space.

I've been systematically working on large garbage bags full of pants that I recently got from a large church rummage sale.  They let me take as much of this as I wanted - for free.  This is my 3rd bag -- mostly white and colored denims and twills.

Here are the "boned out" legs of twill pants in colors from very light khaki all the way thru green, brown, blue and black.  Once I'm thru all the bags, I will sort these into batches and try to figure out a plan :) Yup, my bed is my workspace.

The weather has moderated and is feeling like fall again here in NE South Dakota.  I'm glad, winter can get pretty long here even when it doesn't start in early October!

All for now, 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Maybe a little bit of Fall

Finally today it feels like my favorite season --- Fall!

It was somewhere in the mid 60's, not much wind and sunny~  Oh for a longer fall season :)

This was a bumper crop year for apples around here.  We have trees that have been sorely neglected for about 30 years.   One looks like it's about to die - has for a few years.  This year it threw out a small crop of apples for the first time in a couple seasons.

The tubs are the ones that came off the tree without hitting the ground first.  The bags and small bucket were ones that fell and we picked up from the ground.  Many are left yet that will get thrown out to the cows.  They love them :)

 Here's the tree we are working on now,  Many apples left that we can't reach.

Here's the backside of the tree.  Poor thing was so heavy with apples it was breaking limbs. Plus the heavy snow last week added to the stress.  We cut a big limb out of the middle, and lost another on the way down.  There are still smaller ones that I can't reach but those will wait.

 Here's the next tree we will try to get to.  My parents didn't even know it was there until I found it fall of 2016.  No lie, it's at least 30 feet tall! 

See, lots and lots of apples.  It's just gonna be almost impossible to get these picked.  We can't drive a vehicle into this area because of wet ground, and we stand downhill, also.  I'm not sure if it's even possible to prune a tree this so far gone!  Anyone know?  If I start cutting, I may kill it.

My dad tells me there is another tree over by the south pasture, but I haven't gone and checked it out.

Not sure I wanna deal with that many apples :)   Not sure what to make next.   I've done pies that are in the freezer, apple sauce, pie filling, apple butter, apple crisp, apple bars, apple bread, etc, etc, etc.  :)  Plus we give away bags to anyone that drives up to the house --- not yet sneaking them into cars, but that may happen, haha.

And to top it all off, I picked some crab apples and made jelly --- that's my fave.

All for now, JULIE

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Where did fall go?

The last month or so has been wet here.  Lots of rain days.

Hard to do outdoor projects when it's raining, raining, raining.

Today we skipped over cool, crisp, dry fall weather to this....

It's wet heavy stuff that's been coming down all day.

So far we aren't having problems with power yet, but the town west of here about 40 miles, where I used to live, has enough of the stuff that trees are going down and causing problems with power lines.  It's really early to have a snow day at school, but they had their first today!

I've filled my day with finishing up with a batch of flyswatters. Yes, that's my bed they are on.  My work area is also my office, living room, bedroom and storage...  You can see Cooper pup hanging out in my recliner.

These fit in my booth with my re'New theme, because I use leather that I have salvaged from old jackets, pants, skirts, purses, etc.  One side of the swat is made from vinyl that was a rummage sale find... a whole roll for just a few bucks years ago.  Something I couldn't leave behind, haha.   I try to not go to many sales right now.  I have no where to store any 'finds' that I can't leave behind.

Now that I have this batch finished, the tote of leather type tools can go back to the trailer and I will continue on with strip preparation.

Here's a start for the next tote that will get stashed away until I have a place to get the loom set up.

The other day I scored 3 large garbage bags full of assorted khaki/twill slacks.  I think I may start prepping those next.   Unless I find that bag of tableclothes my friend sent over....

Got a call this morning from a local, wondering if I had a runner of a certain size.   I don't, but conversation led to finding out she has a loom that she bought 20+ years ago at an auction, and has never found the time to figure it out.   I may have found a weaving buddy to help her figure out her loom :)

On the health front.... so far so good...   no signs of infection recurring.   I'm feeling a bit better, but still get fatigued alot and obvious signs of my system trying to reset itself.    Still don't feel like I'm out of the woods with this whole ordeal, but it will just take time I guess.

All for now, 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A great feeling

A while ago, unbeknownst to me,  I was nominated for the South Dakota 4-H Hall of Fame.

A couple weeks ago, I was notified that I had been chosen to be inducted into that Hall at this year's State Fair.

If you would like to read the article in the home town paper, here is the link....

Four Named Hall Of Famers: Four long-time 4-H leaders from Marshall County will become Hall of Fame members on Monday at the State Fair in Huron. Mike and Rose Kraft of Britton and Julie Symens

I can't believe how the years have gone by.  Thirty one years as a leader is mind blowing to me :)

Each year was focused on and accomplished and it's added up to many youth, adults, and groups that I've been involved with.  Couldn't be prouder.  It's a great feeling to know that others have noticed.

All for now.