Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Counting Sheep....

When you work with wool on a regular basis, fiber animals become really big. I fantasize about having sheep or alpacas of my own some day. Whoever designed this scupture is a mad genius. From one of my favorites, Make Magazine.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rainy Monday....

Conor came home this morning recovering from a flu-like weekend at his mom's house. We made plans to take the kids to see the new Indiana Jones movie.

Bella got here a few hours early and we all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of just sitting around. Tyree and I did a lot of that on our own this weekend. We each finished at least one book.

I had embroidered a bluebird on a cloth napkin using the kit that I picked up at Goodwill for $2.99. Isabella was excited to try it so I taught her the basics. I tried to teach her the back stitch and the split stitch, but she just ended up doing her own thing anyway. Just like her Auntie.

Here's what I got at Goodwill.

She's not at all afraid to try new things and she sat very still for well over an hour working on this.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer comes to Victor Street Farm....

Two weekends in a row of sun! The garden is finally doing something.

The view of the backyard this morning.

The bean and pea trellis' from Carly's downed tree branches.

Cupcake eating muffins.

Lest we burn our tender Irish and Mediterranean skins, we put up a canopy.
We were pretty proud of ourselves.

Liquid Happiness.

Inspired by our visit to Cacao in Portland. It wasn't perfect, but it did to trick. I think if I got better chocolate next time, it would be just right. This was all they had at Haggen at 10pm.

Yes, I secretly like fancy teacups. It's from my Mad Hatter phase.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Longest. Week. Ever.

Very Long. So glad it's over.

More than many things, I hate photographs of myself. On rare occasion (without a flash) someone takes one that actually looks like the me inside my head. The others are usually a disappointment. Here's what I usually look like on the inside of my head.... though probably less frequently on the outside of my head.

Hello gray hairs! I even like you!

Monday, May 12, 2008


I love Portland.

Tyree and I went to stay for a few days with Marty. The inspiration for this trip was great little loom I found on Craigslist in Vancouver, but we had an awesome time.

We rolled into town pretty late on Friday night and had to drop my friend Oscar off at his daughters. When we finally got to Marty's we immediately passed out. The next day we picked up the loom. We took a tower of books to Powell's to sell, and considering they were the dregs of our collection, we did pretty well. They bought about 2/3 of the stack. I picked up the two specialty weaving books I had been looking for while I was there. Powell's is one of the country's largest independent bookstores and it was awe-inspiring to be sure. The rare book room on the 4th floor is filled with treasures and ephemera for all tastes. It's temperature and humidity controlled. I found it a little stuffy.

On Marty's recommendation we went to a little specialty chocolate shop near Powell's called Cacao. In addition to the mind boggling display of specialty chocolates, their main attraction is their 'drinking chocolate.' Not to be confused with hot chocolate, drinking chocolate is a dark chocolate, velvety smooth dessert. It was like the finest liquid chocolate bar you've ever tasted. They have a version that has ginger and cayenne in it that was our favorite. It was one of the finest pick-me-ups I've had and I have to say I spent the rest of the day on a cloud.

We ate Ethiopian food for dinner, which I love, and had a drink at our friend Josh's bar. Portland is fast become one of the foodie capitols of the US. I can see why.

We picked up Conor at his mom's on the way home and I had just enough time to put the loom together, warp it and weave a little before I was completely exhausted.

Here she is. Made in Oregon. Yes, Shrimpy McShrimp has to sit on a telephone book.

Practicing my twill patterns.
There will be more to come.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This Stinks.

Last night Theta was yelping and whining to be let out at about 2:30 in the morning. She usually only does that if it's a dire emergency or there's a raccoon in the yard menacing chickens. So I let her out. Mistake.

I saw what I thought was one of the cats standing about 10 feet away in front of the garage. Theta charged out the door face first into the noxious blast and the skunk retreated into the garage. Theta came yarking back to me and I led her straight to the bathroom and hoisted her kicking and flailing into the tub and scrubbed her down… with Rosemary Mint shampoo.

Now before you all email to tell me about tomato sauce, tomato paste, soup, etc, let me just say that it doesn’t work any better than anything else. And if you happen to own a snow white husky like I once did, it will make her a cotton candy pink for a little while. Which might be worth it. Nature’s Miracle makes a Skunk Odor Remover that’s enzymatic and non-toxic and works well. Good luck finding it at 2:30 am.

I forced her to sleep on the front porch, which she did unwillingly because she was damp. She came in once but I think her own stink overpowered her because she begged to be let back out. The whole house was reeking and I was reeking and try as I might I couldn’t find the source of the stink other than the air and it was still so pungent when we woke that breakfast tasted like skunk.

Tonight after work we’ll treat the dog and ourselves and the living room to a little Nature’s Miracle. I believe I’ll be buying an extra bottle to have on hand for future noxious gassings. I wish I could have it delivered in a 55-gallon drum.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Janet's New Colossal TimeSink

No, it's not these two. They just happened to be cute near a camera.

I took my first weaving class. It was for beginners and went for 7 hours for 2 days. I feel like I understand the basics. She had us warp the loom twice and get right to work. I made this scarf on a Schacht Baby Wolf Loom. I did NOT choose chenille nor the colors, but I was happy with the way it turned out. Not really my style, but pretty.

Next she had us do twill samples. For all of these patterns, the loom is warped the same. You use a different combination of foot treadling to get the twill patterns. She taught us to read the pattern drafts.

Obviously this one was the easiest.

Whoops! A few mistakes in this one. Now I'm supposed to wash them in warm water to full them a little and the pattern is supposed to pop.

By the way, I'm hooked on this.