Saturday, December 29, 2018

We got our storm

The storm that was predicted for day after Christmas, the day all my kids would be traveling to us, came like predicted.

Wednesday it started snowing. 

The kids all made it Wednesday evening - winter weather driving made the drives unpleasant but doable.  I'm really glad the kids from the SE part of the state decided to come Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning, as they wouldn't have made it then.

Thursday morning Leah's husband helped my brother do chores and then we went to the horses to water and check them.  They were offered water, but they didn't leave the shelter to come to the water - it was blowing and cold!

I haven't been to see them since....

By Friday morning we had 12.5 inches of snow that was blown about by high gusty winds.

Photo from the warmth of the house...

My brother started pushing snow and by about 1 PM the driveway was cleared out so my kids to continue on to their father's for that Christmas get together.  I and the son in law helped my brother do chores that we could do - hauling feed buckets to the pens we could and checking to make sure waterers were open and unfrozen.  All but two we could get to without crawling through deep drifts, those two pens we could see the cows had plenty of hay, so they would be ok.

I helped feed again Friday evening and we brought 3 cows down to the barn that need to calve yet.  It got cold overnight, - 20 or so.  Ugh!  Brother was out all day moving snow so we could get closer to the other pens and to the hay.

This morning I went out right away, fed all bucket chores while more snow was being moved so we could get hay to the pens.  I filled and carried 16 - 5 gallon buckets of corn ration to 5 different pens - through snow and drifts :)   I'm tired...

We finally got all the cows with fresh hay and everyone grained - we decided to leave the 3 cows in overnight again, so they got watered and fed some hay, too.

After lunch, I went to the neighbors and fed their lone horse, while my brother started on the drive up to the barn and my horses.  If all goes as planned, I should get to them this afternoon.

All for now,


PS.  I wish I lived in a barn that was all stocked and prepared for weather such as this - that I wouldn't need to leave until it's warm again :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

It's been a quiet day today. 

The family get together is Thursday - my kids are coming if the weather doesn't alter the plan.

My parents and I drove to my childhood church about an hour away - met my sister there and attended their childrens program and candlelight service.

After, we went to my aunt and uncles - dad's brother - and had a light supper.  There were 22 people there from church or family -  Just an intimate get together!

It was an enjoyable evening, I got to see the house I grew up in, and some cousins I don't see often.

Of course we were the last to leave, that is a family trait and normal for my parents.  :)

The other day I beamed on my next warp -

I wanted neutral so that I can use the varied wefts I have prepared.

But I just can't seem to use just black and white.

So...  The 'white' sections have natural, gray, heather and tan.

The 'black' sections have charcoal, black, maroon and purple.

We will see how well these play with the weft strips coming down the pipe.

Today I finished threading the loom.

So now I'm ready to start weaving again.

The next few days will be grocery shopping and some food prep prior to the kids coming Wednesday evening. 

That is if the weather doesn't keep them away.  There is noise that we can expect up to 20 inches of snow.  Lord, I hope that isn't what happens!

I have to get to the barn where my loom is each day to take care of the my horses.  The plan had been to move them to the main place, but so far we haven't found an empty lot for them there.  It's been good for them to be there tho, as I am able to step inside with Queenie when it's time change bandages on her injury.  The other location we would have to walk some ways to get to that darker barn that is not as wind/weather tight.

I took the ponies a little treat of homegrown apples.  They got a fresh bale of hay 2 days ago and have a shed to get into if they choose when and if the snow starts.  Daily I get to draw water for them - if there is snow they would survive if they had to, but it's not ideal so I will get there if at all possible. 

Someday I want to have a stable that is just for them.  It may be an impossible dream, but I still have it :)

All for now,

Thursday, December 20, 2018

All done!

Twenty seven finished rugs, all with tans, browns, greens in them.

They came off this warp...

This warp came about because 1. I had very few greens, browns and tans in finished rugs in inventory, and 2.  I had alot of tans, browns and greens in the weft stash material. and 3. I have been fixated on warp based stripes lately. 

The last batch off the loom, I tried to use up some old materials that I inherited and that have been hanging around in my stash for awhile.

This one turned out really fun -

It used up many different dibs and dabs of twill type materials.

And then this rug happened with what was left of the twill materials.  I was hoping it wouldn't look too random and unplanned :)

There was still warp on the loom, but I can never tell what's left with any certainty.  So it's hard to do a planned pattern - so I did this and ended up with an "eclectic" rug.   It is ok, but not one I would choose - we'll see how long it takes to sell!  It is made of corduroy that was gifted already in strips.

Next warp is in my mind -- something that I can put any color of weft on, and yes, I'm still fixated on stripes.   Not sure when I will get that warp on the loom with the holiday and kids coming to visit, but I can't wait to weave some of the strips I have prepared. 

All for now, 


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Textile Photography Struggle

I've been exposed enough to photography and what makes a good photo through the 4-H program.  I can tell a good one from a poor one.

I think I do alright, but it's not a passion for me, like it is for my daughter...

I really struggle with photos of my textile based rugs.  I can never seem to get the look that I see in real life.

Could be that I'm never real satisfied as I am in the real world a "toucher".   I hate buying thru catalogs or online.  I NEED to touch and feel!

The latest finished rugs are challenging me.  They are exciting to me in real life and I've been taking pictures, but I haven't been happy with them so far. 

Could be the harsh winter lighting?

I tried different floors in the house.  Open curtains, closed curtains.  Lights on, lights off.

Finally decided this is the best location.  Just no flat area to take a normal picture :)

This rug is made from twill/khaki pants.  This grouping is from the darker end of the spectrum of the pants that I had sourced.  I included greens and browns and green based tans.  I REALLY like these :)

This photo shows the colors the closest to true life. 

I have two fringed rugs of this, and 3 hemmed ones. 

Another rug that was difficult to shoot is this one of a kind.

This is a lighter weight rug made from bedsheets.   Kind of a greige color with stripes of green/tan - I think the warp pattern really helps this rug.

There is another pair that was done weaving, but as I was taking them off the loom, I realized one of them I had failed to put in fringe spacer... That one gets to be rewoven today.

Guess my mind was on other things while it should have been paying better attention.

Some days I struggle :)

All for now,

Saturday, December 15, 2018

More finishes

 Some of my favorite rugs are made from corduroy.  These two are from the same batch of mixed materials from pants and sewing scraps.  I've got another corduroy rug finished, but it was from the last of the material after I ran out of some of the colors from these.  Planning Fail!  I didn't get the plan to work like it wanted it to.  :)  

 This rug is from bed sheets.  I have to work hard to pay attention to get stripe detail done the way I want it to.  I get in a groove and forget to watch my length.

Can you tell this rug shares some fabric as the previous one?  This is bed sheet.  I have been trying to measure my rugs as I work on them.  It seems some of my rugs get somewhat large - and more expensive to sell- so I am trying to stop basic rugs at about 42 inches.  That means I have some smaller amounts of random material left over that I can incorporate into patterned rugs.

I'm stretching my normal mode of operation.  I seem to get into ruts and do alot one way and I don't see other opportunities sometimes.  Right now I seem to prefer the look of hemmed rugs.  Used to be I really didn't like them!

This morning I was awake again at 5 AM.  Maybe I am getting back to somewhat normal.  It wasn't that long ago that I was sleeping until 8 or later every morning.  Twelve hour nights!  Now I'm down to the 8 - 9 hours horizontal and then feeling the need to get up and get going.  I'm just not sure if I should be trying to stay up later, or be ok with the early hours!

All for now,

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sore muscles

I got that loom set up, and all excited as I was, I set right in to weaving.

I'm. Sore.  :)

The sore kind you get in muscles that are being used more than they have been used lately.

I've got something to show for it, tho.

A pair of neutral rugs made from a bed coverlet.  I kind of like these!

 Another pair of rugs made from flannel sheets.  I think I remember they had mallard ducks on them.

 Now these rugs, I'm almost thinking about keeping them.  The color may be close to the old sage green that are on kitchen utensil handles.   Which I have as collectables stashed somewhere in my trailer. Next time I come across those I will compare and decide to sell or keep for the day I have a kitchen of my own again.  Of course I didn't plan well enough in advance to end up with two matching rugs, but they resemble each other anyway.

This rug is from bed sheets.  It turned out to be a lighter weight rug. I followed the warp pattern with weft material and I like how it looks like plaid. 

Each day I try to weave at least one rug, and sometimes I get on a roll and 2, maybe three happen. 

This morning I was awake at 5 am, so finally I got up and started in on the tubs of denim strips.

Almost 2/3 of the way through the first tub of strips - I'm going to have these ready for when I get my next blue warp on the loom.  Mostly ended up working denim now, because my mom cleaned out her and dad's closets and had a pile of jeans.  I ripped those up, and grabbed the tote from the trailer of strips I had stashed and mixed them all up together.

I still have a large tote of jean legs - or more - Some things I can't get to in the trailer without unloading a bunch and I'll just have to get to those totes when I get to them.

After my 5 AM start, I spent a couple hours outside helping my brother get the last 10 calves paired with their mommas and getting an ID tag put in their ears.  Glad that is done - weather is tolerable.  Not too cold - about 27 I think this morning and no wind.  Fresh inch of snow, but that didn't hinder us in any way.

Wove 2 rugs and have the plan for the next and now I'm back at the house to put my feet up for a bit.

I suppose I will sew on strips again some today - or I may decide to do nothing more today- but my parents are visiting my older brother in Canada, and frankly, it's nice to have the house to myself :)

All for now,

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,