Prioritizing FTW (For the Win)

I not only got the name of the contractor, I went to the quilt shop with my friend as well! This is the fabric I purchased, 1 yard each of 6 rainbow colors, 1/2 yard of a print that looks very Hungarian (Mom was Hungarian so my sister and I are 1/2 Hungarian), and an 1/8th yard of a cute purple that looks like it has black thistle plants on it. (One of my dad’s cousins married a very proud Scotsman, and they have been great so if I can make them a wall hanging I will). I will get into my crafting for the week after the **** but first an update on my prioritizing.

I called the mechanic recommended by a colleague and seconded by another colleague. They are going to do an oil change and look at my front bumper Tuesday morning. Yay! My friend that accompanied me to the quilt shop sent me the contact info for her contractor on Monday night, when I called him Tuesday he offered to come on Thursday to look into what I needed done. While talking with him on Thursday he kept saying, “Oh, that’ll take me a couple of hours and shouldn’t cost above 1k, no real reason to redo the entire bathroom I’ll see what’s going on underneath when I get there. Oh the flooring will cost X (less than the price that was quoted for finishing 1 room), we can get that done whenever. Your garage is under a $100 fix. The sliding glass door, I can get a door and get it installed and the house fixed up in a couple of hours. Your front porch, we’ll jack it up, figure out what is going on, and get it fixed.”

All of the fixes that I was planning on doling out over the course of the summer, because I thought the bathroom alone would be 5k, he is planning on having finished in 2 weeks, and for a lot less than I had planned. The flooring will take a little longer because I need to pull all of the staples out before he can put the flooring down. I think I have one room staple free but I’m working on my bedroom first because I would like that finished ASAP. So, he is fixing my toilet on Wednesday and maybe doing something else, this is my day off so I’ll be hanging around the house. Then on Friday I will let him in before I leave for work so he can take out the very drafty sliding glass door and install a working regular door. I am so excited because this, combined with a garage door, will allow me to actually use my backyard. This is all very exciting and a bit overwhelming. The overwhelm keeps going.

When I got home from work on Friday I had my garbage can on the sidewalk in front of my steps leading up to the house. To clarify, I did not put it there. Someone, likely a passive aggressive neighbor, did. Fine, the snow is likely done for a while, I’ll move my can back around the side of the house. This also prompted me to assemble my manual mower, just a huge cutting blade with a handle that rotates as you push it along, and mow my lawn. This is when I realized the damage the previous owners dogs left behind in the form of brown spots where no grass will grow. I bagged up the leaves left over from last year, realized I have a lovely flower bed in the back yard, and looked into disposing of the yard waste as well as how to repair my lawn. The city wants $3 per bag of yard waste and compost costs $7 a bag. With this in mind I looked into getting a rotating compost barrel, yes it cost me $80, however that is 8 bags of yard waste and compost. Considering how many plants I’m planning on growing this year the compost barrel will be paid off by the end of a season or two. Since I do not use most of my driveway, it is an old house and the driveway is at an angle to the garage, I am going to put the barrel near the garage. For repairing my lawn I discovered a Scotts brand product that claims it will repair and reseed my lawn. Last night, Saturday, after I was done with my day of shopping (more about that soon) I used a weed digger I purchased to aerate the brown spots. The product is supposed to be waiting for me at home so I hope to put that down tonight. Now, about shopping!

I’m going to go in reverse order since I went to the quilt shop first and I would like that to segue into the crafting portion of this post. So given that I’ll lead the shopping segment with: I found a living room chair! After going to three different furniture stores I finally found a chair that I don’t feel I have to heave myself out of and better yet it has both lumbar support and a separately adjustable headrest. I can recline, adjust my lumbar support for my lower back, and raise my head so that I can watch something on TV all at the same time! I didn’t even really know that is what I was looking for! Admittedly the gold/tan color is not my favorite but it might brighten up a bit against the background of my purple room, better than the dark chocolate color that was my other option. Before that I managed to find three dresses that I like and two shrugs that I can use (since I hate sleeveless I need something to cover my upper arms). This means that I have enough outfits that currently fit me to take me through until the winter when I can pull out my sweater dresses again. I plan on going to the laundromat on Wednesday so I can freshen my sheets, wash my quilt, and probably wash my wool dresses for storage. Before the dress and furniture shopping I hit a bookstore, I am a librarian (lol), and found a book I look forward to exploring titled: Sarah Payne’s Quilt School. This segues into the first part of the shopping on Saturday, the Quilt Shop!

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A friend of mine is moving, she wanted to make sure I could find the local quilt shop before she moved. We had a lovely trip and I purchased too much fabric. In the picture at the top of the post you can see a rainbow of 6 colors of fabric, I purchased a yard each. I’m not too sure what I am going to do with this fabric, however I could not resist them. The 6 yards cost me what 4 would have from other retailers, so when there was a full rainbow I had to try. I’m going to look in the Sarah Payne book I purchased from a bookstore later in the day to see if there is a pattern that would look good in these colors.

I did not get much crafting done however I did realize that if the only thing stopping me from knitting up the hat is that I hate doing the ribbing then 3″ of ribbing is going to have to be enough so I can move onto the next part. Speaking of moving on, I did make some progress on the tapestery I have been weaving since last July (I had to look at when I bought the loom since I had it in my mind I had been working on this for a couple of years).

As you can see the edges are not very even and there is a wide mish-mash of different types of weaving in there. This is my sampler piece and I could not love it any more! It is amazingly colorful and has a lot of movement to it.

Okay, that is about it for me this week, so much exciting news!

Remember to take time for yourself and Live Life a Little More Abstract!

19 More Rounds to Crochet

Since the last posting I managed to crochet 9 more rows on my sweater.  This means that I have 17 more rows before I am ready to start the sleeves.  With a lot of luck I can finish this by time I am back to academic librarianship the week of August Nineteenth.  Each sleeve is about 35 rows, however they are smaller rows so they should go much faster.  I am about five rows from beginning the straight portion of the knitted poncho which is the 3rd quarter project from Jimmy Beans Wool Knit Club.   I have not begun the crochet project and honestly I am quite far behind on my other clubs.  At this point I do not know if I should cancel some of the subscriptions that I belong to, or if I should keep them in case I cannot afford them next year so that I have the option to knit or crochet them then.  I am still waiting for the external garage to be finished so that I can move my metal loom, chair, shelves, and a few other things over there.  It is my fondest wish to be able to create rag rugs over the winter out there.

I am not only working on these two projects however.  Just a couple of weeks ago while I was looking out my back door I saw a pair of fawns on my back hill.  While I could not obtain a photo with both of the babies in the same photo, I think that this one turned out quite nicely.

Deer photo Cuba ny backyard for tapestry cartoon

I am hoping ot be able to turn this into a tapestry cartoon and hopefully weave it up on my Mirrix 12″ loom.  I was thinking about tracing the important parts in outline on a piece of white paper, however I would need a light box.  Instead I believe that I will try to warp up the loom the correct width and then draw the important aspects onto the warp threads.  Right now I am aware that I will need at least 3 shades of medium to light brown, white, black, yellow, greens.  I will likely need some other shades of brown or off white to represent the switches that are everywhere, and at least some black and dark greys to cover the woods and gnarled tree behind the deer.  It should be quite a bit of fun, even if the end results are a bit abstract.

I am also playing around with resin some, I presently am expected to create a collage of berries, leaves, and the library logo for my director to commemorate a tree that had to be cut down on library property.  I have created two small pieces already with intentions of doing one more experiment with the greenery and another berry before completing the project with the full-sized pour.  The final experiment is to see if the greenery will foul the resin with moisture or if the results will be as rock solid as my last two versions.  I will confess to being quite excited to see how this project will end, I simply need to remember to grab some greenery before I leave one of these days!

Tomorrow I will be getting a new drive shaft in my car, according to what I have found this should take between 1-3 hours, I hope to use this time to work on my poncho!  I hope to post photos next week to demonstrate my progress.  I will receive my next installment sometime this weekend, and I have not finished my first installment yet, I am 4 out of 15 mini skeins into it.  I will also confess, I have not started this quarter’s crochet club project either.  I did complete last quarters crochet and ignoring the knitting project.  It is my fondest hope to be able to complete the crocheted sweater, knitted poncho, and at least one of my weaving projects this month.  That’s right, I have not mentioned my weaving!  I have been working some on my bamboo straight twill scarf with beads, it is my fondest hope to be able to finish the scarf with nine strands twisted together with a few beads to create a lovely fringe.  I love how it is weaving up and look forward to completing it.  For the cotton that I have warped up on my rigid heddle loom, things look lovely.  I have a plain weave edge already on the piece, however, I am not certain what pickup techniques I would like to use.

All of this means that I have a very happy and fulfilling crafting life.  While I do not have three knitting projects on the needles at once (I don’t count the things I am not actively working on, nor the ‘I need to make socks sometime’ projects) I instead have two or three other crafts that I am working on.  I love being busy, I hope that I can keep some of this up during the school year.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Mice and Me

The handyman that my colleague recommended to me is amazing, he has done so much work over the past week I can hardly believe it.  He is getting the basement cleared out, going to set up traps, seal any holes, and generally make sure that more mice getting in is impossible.  He has also managed to greatly disturb the existing nest and last night I heard what sounded like claws on the linoleum.  So, I didn’t sleep last night at all.  I dragged all of the cardboard out of the house, I had to put it by the external garage since pickup is not this week but next.  I looked for detritus, mouse droppings, and found none.  I called the handyman and he mentioned that since I have drop tiled ceilings in the basement the scratching  could have been coming from below the floor, which means I might be able to sleep tonight.

This is sort of a relief, however I think I need to get a professional organizer in the house anyway.  I had it in my head that I was going to take this one room at a time, blah, blah, blah.  In reality I know what I want to do, but have no idea how to achieve it.  Hopefully hiring a professional to accomplish this will help me to succeed and overcome this overwhelming sense of not enough space, not enough time.

On another note, I have received my Mirrix Little Guy Loom and I am enjoying myself a great deal.  I have begun to understand where this shopping retail is coming from and it actually is not depression.  My sibling’s (transgendered) driving force is travel.  They have always wanted to go to Japan and see the world.  I would like to see the world, but my driving force is Crafting.  Part is the primal driving force to connect with my fore-mothers through the crafts that they used to spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years learning and perfecting.  A portion is to try everything and find out what I am good at.  Another portion is simply a love of creating something tangible, meant to be used, held, and worn out.  If I gift you a bookmark, use it until the threads fall out, I’ll make you another.  If I give you dishtowels, please use them, I would love to hear that you wore a hole in them.  Art is pretty and it functions to decorate walls, Tapestries are prettier, decorate walls, and insulate your house.  So while my sibling is going on a trip to Japan in 8-10  weeks I am stocking up my studio to see what I can create in a year.  Right now I have a pair of tapestry cuffs on my Mirrix loom, I am enjoying testing out the different weights of wool and silk that I have to see what they will do on the loom.

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It really is true, you can get by with inferior tools but working with the right tools makes all the difference.  This loom warps up amazingly quickly, I am using the 8 dents per inch, and the shedding device allows me to add weft to the tapestries at an amazing rate.  I can easily adjust them up and down so that I have more room to work, and the tension system allows me to get a much tighter weave.  Looking at these it would take some imagination to think of what a worse beat is, I have to work hard on my selvedges.  This loom is also good for bead weaving which is an art that I want to become involved in.  I look forward to that exploration.

There are three more weeks before the end of the year.  In the next post I hope to have an update on the mouse issue, the organizer issue, my current tapestries, as well as a review of my Spinolution Firefly wheel.  To clarify, I purchased a 16 shaft Ashford loom which I will be discussing, the pin loom which was in the last blog post (I still love it), the Mirrix Loom which I will be exploring in depth this year, the Spinolution Firefly (electric) wheel package that includes a skein winder, lazy kate, 32oz and 16 oz heads, and more, as well as a variety of Jacquard dyes to color my weft threads.  It turns out that four or five skeins of weft from Treenway Silks costs about the same as a big skein of undyed silk yarn from knitpicks and some Jacquard dyes.  I had a pink dye already and found a good deal on Salmon (which is a brighter pink than I would have thought).  All of these supplies should stand me in good stead for working on my breed spinning experiment this year, making bookmarks, finding the right diameter of yarn for my 7′ triangle loom, and working on my curtains for the kitchen.

For now, Happy Crafting!

Week of Crafting

tapestry-sampler

I finished my tapestry sampler!  Alright there were supposed to be several trains, but there were issues with the first one, and the person that requested the tapestry decided that they prefer the periwinkle color to the original indigo.  But the sampler is finished!

These pictures constitute about 4 days worth of silk spinning, such fun but quite difficult to master.  These are part of my contributions to crafting 15 minutes a day every day for 365!  #spin15

silky-batt

This is my silk and wool batt.  There is a pretty white wool as the base and the colors are all silk.  I carded this together and cannot wait to see how it spins up!

What a fun week, Happy Crafting!