Friday, December 2, 2016

Variations on a Theme

So, finally some weaving show and tell for you!  Do you recall the scarves I wove before the move? Well, I wound another tencel warp, this time in olive green and set the loom up as exactly as before. Same 8 shaft threading, same tie up, same sett of 24 epi and even the same type of yarn being used.  The difference was the treadling!   This is what you get when you treadle an elaborate M's and W's in a snowflake (or twill progression) sequence

Yes, that's a warp waiting to be beamed on the Spring.... finally!

This scarf is much nicer in person and its fully reversible. 

Snowflake treadling I used is the basic "X" portion of the snowflake and that is a series of advancing runs to a mid point and then a reversal:

You could try this with any type of threading, preferably in a weaving program and see what it would look like.  Even look at the back and see if its reversible.  You can mix and match different weaving sequences and create whole new looks!

With the second scarf from this warp, I took a simpler approach. Its a run on the treadles of one through to eight and back again. That's it.  This time with a royal blue over the olive green. Now I will confess that packing was starting to take precedence over weaving and so I had to weave this up quickly and get the loom ready for the big shift. 

Excuse the crease lines. I had the scarves pressed and lightly folded waiting for some sunshine and they waited much longer than expected.   We have had only six days with out rain in the last two months! Of those, only half had a glimpse of the sun.    If you live on the west coast, you have to take the winter rains in stride. I just get on with things anyhow. There's nothing you can do about it anyway!

The iridescence in this scarf is simply lovely!  I also played with the treadling a bit at the start and end to create a star feature. I'm considering adding some beads to play this star up a bit. It depends on my bead stash.... and whether it might be more of an annoyance than nice. 

Another bit of show and tell  for you are my new hang tag cards!   I used my own photograph and a template at Vista Print and created this folded card.  I went for the gloss finish as I figure these represent you out there in the wide world, so make them memorable!

More information on the back side, and I have a small hand held hole punch for when they are being used as a hang tag on a textile. (sorry this one has a fuzzy focus)

I kept the inside simple. About the item on the top, and care instruction space on the bottom. I hand write in what is needed.   If I'm using it like a regular business card, then you have space to write if need be.   I'm very happy with them.    I had a 30% off coupon code which was nice and then I resisted all the add on sales as I navigated my way to the check out.  Just as I went to press 'order' they offered me double my order for an additional $9.99, which was a good deal and so I agreed.   I have a 1000 of these now  but since we aren't moving anymore, they will keep nicely!

How did it get to be December????    I'm so not ready to do Christmas......

Monday, November 7, 2016

Landing on Our Feet

So the trucks pulled into the driveway, mats went down everywhere to protect the flooring and they began to unload our goods.  Now unloading is a much faster process and so there was a constant stream of men with box loads on dollies asking where does this go?  And where do you want this piece of furniture and how is it to be arranged?   Frequently being asked all three questions at the same time and needing to be in three rooms and the front door all at the same time!  Understandably there were no pictures taken that day, or for several days...... but we did take some of Calli enjoying her new back yard. Taken Oct 11th and note the all leaves on the trees.

The yard is fully fenced but somehow she has managed to get out twice. So no unescorted yard visits until we find out where the hole is!  Trust me, Bruce has looked and she never tries to use the hole when we are there with her.

We knew we would not have a formal dining room furniture for a time so that empty space became the default zone for anything we didn't know or were unsure of.   So you can imagine how full that floor space became in a hurry!

Even if you have similar named rooms in past and present homes, it doesn't always translate through the same, depending on many variables such as door positions, the room's shape,  and windows etc.  Large furniture is placed by the movers and so you must at least try to get that right (or close to it).  We had tried to envision major furniture placements the night before when the house was totally empty but the reality of when they physically bring in the goods is a whole other deal!  We'll be tweaking and fine tuning things for a time, as and when we have some extra manpower to hand.

Moving is never easy  but somehow at our age it is simply exhausting, so we woke late on the first morning in our new place surrounded by heaps of boxes everywhere and no coffee maker in sight!   I set to opening and getting the kitchen in place. Trying to figure out the best work flow and where stuff will best fit.  Next up were the bathrooms, then the linens.... and day after day went by in a blur!  Finally, after Bruce had taken *many* loads of crushed packing paper and collapsed boxes to the recycler,  we seemed to turn a corner and it felt more home than box warehouse.

We have also found groceries stores, got a new doctor set up and introduced ourselves to our usual banks.   Found a pizza place too....

So here are some pictures of the new place and studio:

This one shows the boxes, loom parts and such dropped into the studio space.  Technically its supposed to be the master bedroom but it made sense to use the second bedroom room for us and this room for the studio. There are also two closets that were also crammed full of boxes too.

So, where to start?    I had to empty out the closets, open up the boxes and then refill the closets with shelving  and then as much yarn and equipment as I could reasonably fit in there. Which was quite a bit!  I would then know what I had left to deal with in the main room.  That space is unique for its alcove with windows at one end, a French door that runs diagonally across one wall  ..... and ends with an ensuite bathroom at the opposite!  More pictures on that later.

Calli enjoying the view out front through the full glass doors. I foresee an almost permanent line of nose prints to clean for some years to come. 

On October 12th, we had the formal dining area finally cleared and our new rug down and movers brought in our 'new to us' dining room suite.   We had gone with pro movers (with insurance) as there are several pieces and lots of glass and mirrors.  To their credit, they had managed to get it down a curved spiral staircase, into a truck and driven here safely and in one piece.... only to break the curved glass door as they were about to unload the cabinet. The second cabinet has straight glass which would have been so much simpler to replace too.  The moving company immediately got the claim set up and a woodworker came to examine the damaged wood from falling glass, cracked door frame and miscellaneous scratches.  He can work his magic on all of that and took away the good curved glass door and it was on its way to a glass blower on the southern part of the island to make another new door!  There's no time frame on when we will see the new door so we are patiently waiting.  I suspect it will take some time. That means several boxes of fine china are waiting for the repairs and new doors for unloading.... 

Calli likes all the new rugs  :)

Below shows the studio in a stage of unboxing.... books on shelves and some order is starting to show. It seemed to be a lot of shifting stuff around for the longest time.

Below is the view from the studio alcove windows.  By this point we had more than a few storms blow through and some torrential rains. The chestnut tree, on the left, shows the predominate wind direction!

We just kept on chipping away at the boxes and finding new places to squirrel stuff away.  Or at least organizing them into logical piles in the garage. Occasionally we would take a day off and go into town.  Overall, we're slowly working out what we might need to buy and add to the home, and also discovering what doesn't work and we'll part with.  This house is quite different from our last and somethings just won't make the transition! Last house was built late 1970's and more 'country' feel.... and this one is built in the late 1990's and more modern in design. (Yesterday the house was filled with sunshine but it didn't come through very well in the pictures. I will retake them with full lights on another sunny day.... which maybe a while given the Pacific storm tracks right now).

The kitchen

The breakfast dinette

The formal dining room (the white door is the entry to the studio)

Opposite the dining room and some 'stuff' that needs to have some decisions made on. You can see the openness of the upper structure.

Then to the left, a lovely area to sit quietly or read a book. We are going to be re-inventing this space soon.

Then, there's the new studio... which was formerly the master bedroom. We are using the second bedroom.  This is looking towards the alcove which has windows on two sides.

...and this is the view from the alcove windows....

and down the other end of the room....

Yes, that's the ensuite bathroom you get a peak of down there at the end.  A bit odd I grant you but what the heck! Then there is the nice side benefit of a walk in closet for the yarn.  I added more shelving to the existing shelf units and then packed in as much as I could!

Meanwhile, I have started re-assembling the Megado but this is as far as I can go with it for now. There are four long carriage bolts that secure the front portion to the main loom and I'm missing four barrel nuts that seal the deal.  There was nothing left in the old studio and the parts are not in my container.... so I can only assume they fell out later and are rolling around in the back of the moving truck, or swept out as junk.   I have four new ones coming from Louet and hopefully it won't take long to arrive.

I can move on with loading the Spring or fringe twist some scarves, but re-working the tie up is an issue for me.  I can't get down on the floor and the crates I normally use to lift the loom up so I can do the tie up are all under the Megado!    Oops..... so I'd best start with the fringe twisting. 

Lucky you.... because that means "show and tell" next in the next blog post!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Between There and Here

It was a weird feeling driving away from our old house for the last time. The new owners were walking up the road hand in hand to the house and we were off up island towing a trailer load of last minute things, some house plants and the dog.  There was many feelings swirling about but the overwhelming one was that of a chapter in our lives was closing and a new one starting. 

We didn't get too far north, reached the little town of Chemainus and dropped Calli off at her usual kennel for a play session and overnight stay. 

Then not too far away, we stayed here for the night  Best Western Chemainus.   The idea was to stay reasonably local and then we could tie up loose ends in the area and at the old house.   I guess I had mentioned bringing our dog Calli along for our stay and the hotel had this little guest package ready for her. It was quite sweet!   Notice the dog bed has a nice goose eye twill. 

We had stayed here while we were house hunting back in 2007 and it somehow seemed appropriate to finish things in the Cowichan Valley here as well.

We had a nice drive up island of two- three hours to our new community of Campbell River.  It was getting late in the day but we drive round to the new house and had a walk around of the empty home, trying to envision where we'd place furniture the next day.    We went and had dinner at a restaurant in town and drove a bit north out of town to Painters Lodge.  Its a resort famous for its fishing charters and outfitter guides to the more wild northern part of Vancouver Island. It has been welcoming guests since 1929.  It also has a water taxi boat over to  Quadra Island and its sister business April Point Resort and Spa.    After all the stress of moving, the spa part sounded  really nice right about then!

It was after dark when we arrived and we snapped this cell phone picture of the main lodge, fireplace must be blazing inside and you could hear the sound of live music coming from the  great room.  We checked in and went to our cabin by the water.  We were all so tired!  Calli put herself to bed right away and we thought that was a good idea too. The next day was to start early and would be a long one!

So just at first light, I saw Calli checking out the view. Seems we were at the waters edge and had a  good view of the docks and boats.  You could see people making their way down to the dock to take a boat out on a fishing charter.  I checked their guide book in the room and read that this was a good time to catch Chum salmon   Bruce took Calli for a walk and snapped this picture. Sorry its a bit dark but it was 6:30- 7 am !    We also found out that both resorts, Painter's Lodge and April Point, are up for sale.  No telling what direction they would be going once they are sold.  I can say that we stayed here but truthfully, we didn't see very much! 

We got some breakfast in town and headed over to the new house, just in time to see two familiar five ton trucks roll into the driveway and our very long day began.


Changing the subject entirely .... today, October 25th, is our 31st wedding anniversary.  Not too shabby for second time arounders huh?  No cards, no flowers this year.... but we may go out for supper tonight.  We gave each other a new house !





1998 or 1999


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pulling Up Stakes

Well, after all our prep work and waiting all summer long, the day finally came for the packers from the moving company to arrive.  The kitchen cupboards were full of china and many other full cupboards. We had downsized as much as we could anticipate (and that is the key word for this!). The crew arrived bright and early and said it would take them two days to pack everything including the garage and outdoor gardening gear. 

Amazing, when you think of how fast it can go when you know what you are doing!  They also arrived with this well supplied truck loaded with boxes of every size, tape galore and an endless supply of packing paper.  They were packing machines and powered their way through our house!

At the end of the first day they had boxed up everything but the basics. They left us two cups, plates, cutlery, the coffee maker, our bed, the TV and dog food for Calli. 

It felt strange having these 'tunnels' of boxes to walk through all neatly stacked. Only marked "kitchen" or "linen cupboard". It was the same downstairs too. Below is Bruce's office. Books, office equipment and paraphernalia all neatly parcel and stacked.  We ate pizza and watched TV.  It felt kinda weird .....

Earlier in the day I walked through the studio when the yarns were being boxed and the  guy working commented "I've moved craft studios before, even looms before.... but this is the most yarn I have ever packed up".  So what do you say to that?     Thank you!  😇  They assured me that my babies, the looms,  would be well wrapped and cared for. I decided the best way to handle that was to not be around when they did the deed. What I didn't know would save my one good nerve left. 

On September 29th, the two five-ton trucks arrived and neatly parked within inches of each other in the driveway.  It was quite the symphony men and dollies as boxes were carted out the door and arranged on the lawn outside. Thankfully it was over cast but no rain. They emptied the upper floor first.  It slowed down some at the truck as they carefully fit together a jigsaw puzzle of our household goods into a neat and tidy wall.  They needed a flat front to the load and then using  tie down cords, they cinched it into place so the load would not shift. Then they would build another layer.  

One young helper likened it to a giant Tetris game. I nodded in agreement (but I never played or understand video games like that.)    He said loading took longer due to the fitting process but unloading usually was done in half the time.  I hope so since we're paying by the hour!  

Everything in the house, with the exception of a few items fit into the five ton truck. That includes three looms and loads of yarn..... and all of our books.   The second truck gathered up all the patio furniture and garden shed stuff and headed down to the garage for the last part of the job.

Then the trucks rolled away to be in a storage yard for two days and we were officially home less.  Well, we still owned it for two days but it was completely empty and waiting for the cleaners to come the next day.  Technically the possession was for Oct 1st but the new owners got the keys mid afternoon of the 30th.  I took time out to walk about, check for any forgotten items and take some last pictures.

The fireplace wall was the only original item from when the house was built in 1979.

Our personally designed kitchen, new in 2010.

The lovely hardwood floor "Imperial Walnut" and new doors and windows.

..... and a completely empty studio!  Not even a thrum left behind, though there some lint bunnies.

Below is where the big Woolhouse Tools countermarch sat for years.... then more recently, the Megado. After nine years and one month, this chapter in our lives was over. This room would soon be filled with a large screen TV, comfy couch, and two kids, two dogs, two cats and a whole new focus for the home and property. 

The path was clear for us to leave and so we were off to our hotel for the night.  Next instalment will cover our  transition between homes, and communities.  It seems you are never too old for new adventure!