Saturday, August 20, 2016

High Days of Summer

Its been beastly hot here.  There's been no weaving going on and not much in the way downsizing in the last few days either.  Its entirely too hot and I don't do heat very well.  It actually makes me feel ill and so I camp with a fan and an iced drink  and wait it out.   Fortunately tomorrow is supposed to be 3-4 degrees cooler.    My 'cool' basement studio was 82 degrees F.  I hate to think what the upper level was.....

I took all these pictures about ten days to two weeks ago and so everything was at its peak of perfection.   Not too hot, not too cool and all the baskets and gardens were lush with growth.

Well, roll the clock forward and add a heat wave and now the leaves are turning yellow and dropping off, and everything is parched.  More telling is that its getting dark much earlier now and the bracken fern's stems have turned bronze gold. This means they are starting to shut down and die.  Despite the heat there are clear signs that summer is about to come to a close. 

These two scarves were woven on the same 8/2 tencel warp, a new colour called "birch". Its a lovely soft silvery pale green.  Its an eight shaft fancy twill that I found on and adjusted till it met my needs for scarf width.  I used 8/2 tencel in the colour "slate" for a softer more muted look. I carried on weaving but wondered if it was too soft a colour?

This picture shows the scarf's length.  I woven them to approximately 74-75 inches on the loom. After wet finishing they both measured 72 1/2 inches in length.   My standard length unless a client requests either shorter or longer.

This picture shows the pattern and its fully reversible. Its very much like a twelve shaft fancy twill I wove a couple of years ago but lacks well defined reversals in the pattern . Four extra shafts makes quite an impact to detail like this.  I know, I know.... it always seems to be about more shafts, a bigger better loom.  If you are into the weave structure and pattern work, then more shafts was always in your future anyhow. 

The drape is lovely and a good hard pressing brought out the tercel's shine and set the pattern.

I had a harder time deciding the second scarf's weft colour. I auditioned a few options and went with deep burgundy or "eggplant".  It crisply defined the pattern!

There's enough length to do a double wrap and wear outside of a dress coat.   The green looks more grey here. 

I enjoyed weaving them, so much so that I wound another warp and and started some more.  These are now waiting my  time and pleasure.   As soon as the weather takes a turn for the cooler I plan to get some time in on the loom.   They may well be my last project until after we move as we have a lot of work to do before the trucks roll up.

And now for something a bit different....

We have always had a small rabbit on the property.  Small and dusky brown with a snowy white fluffy tail.  We know that it not likely to be the same rabbit (we have found bunny bits, including a fluffy tail, in the meadow one spring) but we always call it Peter and assume he's male, after the Beatrix Potter tales.

Here he is:

We had just pulled into our driveway and he stood up and checked us out.  It seems we arrived at an awkward time as he was trying to impress someone:

Isn't she sweet?  She was over in the edge of the tall grasses ignoring him and us for that matter. 

I suspect the new owners will find there will be more than one rabbit this fall and who knows how many next spring!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Small Token of Appreciation

This is Karen, our realtor who helped us find a new home. She was amazing!  When we were all caught up in the emotions of the whole affair, she kept a calm steady hand on things. 

When we got flustered by things, she patiently waited for us to regroup and get back in the game. 

Negotiations?   She knew how to navigate through those!    Early mornings and late nights, through many house viewings with us, in several communities.  More than a few miles. 

 We wanted to thank her for what she did so well,  so I gave her what I do well... a silk and tencel scarf and she loved it! I think it really suits her colouring.

So, a few pictures of our new home to-be. Bear in mind these furnishings belong to the present owner!  Ours are not so grand as these.  These pictures were  on the MLS listing:

This room above will be my weaving studio

Our goals were to eliminate as many stairs as possible and this is a rancher, so no stairs at all now. To reduce square footage and we did. We now have no guest room and we are trading bedrooms so I can have a weaving space. It looks larger because of the vaulted ceilings.  Lastly, to reduce the property size and we went from 2.12 acres to 1/3 of an acre and easy maintenance.   So the third house we made an offer on, was the charm!  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Perseverance Furthers

Well, we took the for sale sign down as we found people were walking around our property and / or coming right up to the house.  It did say "by appointment only" but its almost like the sign gives them permission.  If they are up against a time crunch for buying, I can sympathize! Its a sellers market and so very few homes to view right now.   We are also hearing that multiple offers are common. 

This is all as a result of the overheated housing market in Vancouver and it forced people to move to other areas.   The wave started in Victoria on the southern end of the island and has been working its way up island.  Victoria is about forty five minutes drive south of us, with ferries to Vancouver.  So to sell in the southern portion of the island and get more for your money when re-purchasing, you have to look northwards.   

The city of Nanaimo is also forty five minutes drive north of us and roughly mid island, and also with ferries to Vancouver.  We centred our search just north of Nanaimo and divided the search into areas: so Parksville / Qualicum Beach, then Courtenay / Comox and then Campbell River.    There are also lovely places in between all those towns too.  Our realtor Karen was fabulous!  We would drive every day up to Courtenay and then go and view homes in one of those chosen areas.   This went on for many days. We put a lot of miles on and many hours. (thank heavens for my new knee!) Our dog Calli was in the kennel one day only and injured her paw playing, so after that she came with us and enjoyed a fluffy bed, toys, food and cool water and AC in the car. We took turns staying with her so she was never alone.

We wrote the first offer on a lovely home in Courtenay, with a verbally accepted offer. The next morning when the final signatures were due by 10 am, they failed to arrive.  They squelched on the deal and let the time expire and went with another offer.  We were crushed.    But in hind sight it was a good thing as it threw us into the deep end of the housing pool and we toughened up after that. 

We took a couple of days to readjust our attitude and then built a new viewing lists and went back on the trail.  We found that the list was getting shorter and more expensive as homes sold. A listing viewed on line in the evening, could be gone come morning.  To be truthful, we started to doubt the "needs and wants" list we had built for our new home. It seemed to be a bad time to get picky.  Then we heard all the military families at the Comox Airforce Base were in the middle of looking for relocation homes too.  Oh, crap. 

We viewed many homes, some of which were nice but just not the right fit.  One we viewed was stunningly lovely, also fit the list but seemed 'too much'.  We have been living in a small house in the woods for 8 years.   But was it ever nice!

Our second offer written was on a home in Deep Bay. It was a big compromise for both hubby and me. It also had stairs to the main floor (again) and the yard needed work too.  It had been completely gutted and rebuilt and was a lovely modern reno, with an ocean view and short walk to the beach.   We gave them  their asking price but the listing realtor told our agent that we would have to compete with other offers (that weren't there yet).   What the....???     It didn't take us long to decide what to do with that. We walked away.... and as of this mornings search, its still for sale; (good).  Some very greedy people out there...

No time off after that loss; we rolled up our sleeves and were checking the daily hot sheet for new listings and being there the same day to view.  Our agent Karen received a message from the  listing agent for the fancy smancy house we viewed and we were invited to bring them an offer.  They had repurchased and moving at month's end. Karen checked and it had been on the market sixty nine days.... which is amazing given the market conditions!   Perhaps they had all been intimidated by it too?   We went to see it once more and..... oh, my!  It was as lovely as I remembered.    Its actually a bit smaller than our present house, but you would never know it.  Where would my looms go?    I'd make them fit somewhere, even downsize some more if I had to!  It fit our "needs and wants" list almost perfectly.

So we sat down and made a starting offer and gave them a full twenty four hours to respond. Karen presented our offer in person to the home owners the next morning.

They said yes.... and signed. No counter offer.  

Our new home!

So we will be moving to lovely Campbell River BC for October 1st.    There are just a couple of subjects to be removed shortly but we don't anticipate any problems.  We have visited Campbell River several times and have been quite impressed by the town and they are clearly progressive.  They have a beautiful waterfront, new developments and housing and a thriving tourist industry. They are known for salmon fishing charters, and miles of beaches with mountain back drops.    Any view from a spot on Vancouver Island is lovely, but at Campbell River, its simply jaw dropping beautiful!  These are the Coastal Mountain ranges on the mainland across the Salish Sea

There are literally miles of beaches to walk on and explore....

Its known for a variety of wild life but in particular, resident pods of Orcas:

So where is Campbell River?

We drove daily to Courtenay for the house hunting and used the main Island highway and  it took us 1 hour forty minutes.  This screen captured map below says its two hours and nine minutes from one house to the other.   The Island highway has speed limits of 120 kms (or 75 miles per hour).  As you can see from these two maps, its a very large island! 

I would like to direct your attention to my sale page and mention that I have many books, magazines and such for sale there, many already reduced.... and I'm open to offers. They have to go now!
I will be adding more items as we go through stuff and downsize some more.    I can get postage quotes in advance and payment is via Paypal.  

I'll be back again shortly with a weaving related post.... some new show and tell.  I'm  just stepping outside to take some pictures today.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hang on for a Bumpy Ride

Sixteen days is what it took for there to be an accepted offer on our house and property!  Oh, and a total eighteen viewings and two other offers.    It was a nail biter finish yesterday. Someone is very happy and another family is very disappointed.    We're just feeling numb right now.    To be fair, our realtor told us after we signed the listing papers to strap in for the ride!

So that's part one done and now we move onto the next phase which is finding a new place to live.  Kinda scary letting go with one hand and having faith the next step is there.  A second ride and hopefully smoother....

I have finished weaving the second scarf and just have samples to weave off and then I'm into fringe twisting (when I'm not on the road viewing homes).

I can stop cleaning now.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Good Idea at the Time...

I can't blame my lack of weaving on summer as its been unseasonably cool and we've even had rain.  There were two sets of company that came and had a brief visit with us, which was delightful.

No....I must blame this instead.   Its all self inflicted too.  The goal is to reduce stairs (we have ground floor entry and main floor is up)..... and overall property size.

It seems the overly hot real-estate market in Vancouver has 'flowed' to Vancouver Island and we've had fourteen viewings in ten days. Finally had two days in a row off and another viewing today.    There was even an offer for a short time but it wasn't a good deal money wise, or on various dates.

There is an awful lot of housecleaning going on daily and we're living 'lightly' in the house when home.   I often wonder what they think when they see the studio in what should be a large TV family room.

I don't seem to have any issues with uprooting ourselves and finding a new home and community to live. The new home, once we have an accepted offer on this house, will be here on Vancouver island and most likely a bit further north.  There are a number of lovely towns complete with weaving guilds and new friends so I'm kinda excited about that.

I have been weaving in brief snatches of time, usually waiting for laundry to finish their cycles late a night.  The viewings seems to be any time from 9:30 am to 7 pm and we have to be out of the house for an hour for each. That's a lot of time in the car.... waiting. So I'm getting a lot of reading done.

Speaking of books: there's a new weaving book out on weaving Leno and my copy is on its way. Check the link out!

I showed a sneak peek in my last post of a new project under way.... well, its still on the loom but now I'm starting scarf number two:

There will be some show and tell for you.....eventually.   I have also been pre-winding new warps which will most likely won't be beamed until after the move but they are ready to go, including project notes and weft choices.

We have three moving quotes in now and will continue to downsize to reduce the load.  Selling, buying and moving is a stressful time.  I had a good laugh when I saw this picture on Google Images:

Who are these people?  They can't be moving. All they need is candles and music.   

Here's our property from above.... high above!  That's the garage and garden / orchard down by the road and the house is tucked back in the trees.  Nicely private....   but a lot of lawn to cut. Time for younger, healthy  bones to enjoy the country life.