Saturday, December 4, 2010

twirling thru my world...lost then found, then lost.... then found...then

Reality TV, I don't understand the interest. I find I spend most of my days 'lost' in the world I created, then when I tumble into bed at night I am amazed I have 'found' myself - just in time to get a good night sleep then awake to being 'lost' all over again. I keep telling myself - it is the journey - even when the journey takes me around and around and around in my own world. So where have I been - it has been a number of days since I have written. Let me look into my time tracker which is my 'iCal', my MAC calendar program and see where I have been. Last blog was Oct 30.

The Photo and Poster was my job for this event.

November 5, 6, and 7,  the Central Coast Weavers of which I belong, had our Holiday Show and Sale. It was very good with over 40 of us selling our products. There was woven, knitted, felted, hand spun and more. There was hand made soaps, toys, buttons, saddle blankets, jackets, shawls, jewelry, sweaters, art pieces and more. I had about 25 items for sale and then I did some spindle spinning in the demonstration area on my spindle. I also did some spinning on a Great Wheel or Walking Wheel. This Wheel was made sometime in the 1700-1800's. I am a very beginner on it but it is truly fascinating to think of the life a wheel like this has traveled to get in one  piece to the year 2010. Fires, floods, heat, neglect - and it still spins wonderfully. I need to challenge myself to work with it more. This wheel belongs to Kay and Rosemary Thorne of which are the owners of the Strawbale Barn, which  was the location the Weaving show was. This is a super event so mark your calendars for next year - the first full weekend in November, I will meet you there!

This is one of my "Simple Elegance" Shawls, for sale.

I have to share some fall photos with you. At our Ranch we don't get a lot of RED or ORANGE in the fall. Yet I do go looking for them so let me show you some. 
Leaves of our 'Autumn Maple'.
One of 3 pumpkins that made it.The wild, ya right, turkeys got the rest of this
years pumpkins. I did make two different pumpkin soups and a batch of
pumpkin cookies from these 3 however. They are good eating. 
These are some of last years, which was 'before' the turkeys moved in.
We have had rain to green up the hills already, and had 28 degrees
a few mornings yet the Valley Oaks are holding on to their leaves. A
great crop of acorns this year! Those are my horses, Spice and Shane.
So then there was the Olives. A few years back I wanted to plant olive trees. A neighbor and friend, Ann, said just pick mine. She has 10 trees that are over 40 years old on her property.  Ann told me and Celeste, another friend and neighbor what to do and which to pick. So after going out and picking two different times - what fun! I had olives in lye, olives in water, olives in salt brim and olives hanging in a bag with salt from my barn rafters. The house was covered in olives. Now I have gallons of olives in the refrigerator in finishing brim, and olives still hanging in the barn in salt and olives in my tummy - yummy! I have olive curing directions everywhere. And Celeste is sure I will kill us with these olives. Well - if I have to go - the olives were and are great!

Just some of the pounds & pounds of olives I picked and cured.

The goats are growing fleeces. I didn't get them all sheared so the first warm week this winter - oh sure, I will 'think' about shearing, otherwise they are happy and warm in their fleeces. And it has been cold already this winter. Remember I am a Californian living 30 miles from the coast, so 28 is cold for me. I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley were cold was 31 and there was a grand total of 7 inches of rain a year. So far we have had 4 inches of rain with more to come this weekend. We should have about 24 inches total for a good rain year.

And now for the Graphics. I have a job helping a Wine grape grower in Cambria with labels, business cards and a website - and much thanks to my friend Lise' - who handed that job on to me. It has been a fun job. One day I did a photo shoot of the Syrah grapes being picked. Here are just a few of those grapes. What a pretty day and a fruitful vineyard. 

The pickers haven't gotten to these vines yet,
but they will before the day is over.

And they taste good off the vine!
This load is ready to become Wine. 
After the picking, (and for me, the photos were taken - got over 300 I like!) we got to take home a bottle and boy was it good! A 2007 bottle of "Syrah" from Boulder Ridge Wines in Cambria CA. Look for it! I will post where and when it can be bought in a later blog. Very good wine. Was a fun day, like taking a trip without leaving the county.

Well I think I will stop here - and hope to report back much sooner with the next blog. Stay warm, keep the fire going - eek - I better get to that job... bye!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

rip, rip, rip... (should be done in private ...)

before ripping it out

Rip, rip, rip goes the yarn. Rip, rip, goes the brown and orange and rust yarn. My new shawl project was not working out, the color scheme that I thought would work wasn't and I had a few knitting stitch goofs - even though I was 2 inches from the finish I wasn't happy. So after sleeping on the decision, then doing a few other projects, I decided to rip the whole thing out. The good part was, that from taking that time before ripping, I was able to look at the project with a  clear mind. Before ripping, I took a photo of the project to help me remember were the goof with the color was and to not do that again, and the second thing was to rework my written pattern using the 'now large sampler' to write in the fixes. Then I rip rip ripped. The interesting thing was, that my fiber friends were having a tougher time then I was, they tried to get me to stop, and "oh, no one will ever see it, and why do you do this ripping, and how can you do this it is so pretty!" Boy was that hard to go though. I think next time I will rip in private somewhere. I have since started back on the project, and I find I am just as excited to work on it this time, as the first - so I think I will be finished quickly. I am doing the leaf lace pattern from the Lavish Lace book, and I am using three different colors of my dyed Pygora yarn. It is going to be pretty - rip - just kidding...

This past weekend was our Weavers retreat in Cambria Ca, which is about a  hour + drive from my house. This is a camp type of retreat. We stay in cabins made of straw-bale construction. The beds are bunk beds which can sleep 10 to a cabin. There is indoor bathrooms/showers and heaters if needed. Each cabin is painted with a theme. I stayed in Marie Curie, I have some photos of the great murals painted on the walls. My roomies were wonderful, Karen and Roberta from my New Mexico trip, Kay, and Patti along with the other two from our local Weaver's guild and Silvia from the Ventura Guild. Our guild invites two other southern California guilds to this as well - which really gets the creative ideas flowing with the more the merrier at this retreat.
My nest (bed)
Roomie Kay

The cabins do stay a comfortable temperature and I don't think heaters have ever been needed in the 4 years I have gone to this retreat. This weekend started out with rain, then a sunny beautiful Saturday followed by rain on Sunday. After arriving Friday afternoon and then adding my stuff (creative tools) to my fiber sisters stuff, we opened some wine and toasted the success of the weekend. I was working on that shawl project that I talked about in the first part of this blog, others where spinning , some were knitting, others were weaving with beads and one was weaving with medal. The dinner bell rang which was great from the on site kitchen and Chef, then back to a lovely fireplace fire and projects, gabbing and sharing the night away.

Meal time

Saturday brought out the sun and some of us took a class from Hebe in leaf printing on tee shirts, using bleach. I did two shirts a green and a brown that I think turned out good. Then I got out my support spindles and spin the rest of the day away - oh - I did spot a huge pod of porpoises traveling south. That was cool, the camp has a great in ground large telescope that is set up for ocean viewing. We all took turns watching the porpoises leaping out of the water as they swam by.
Hebe  our instructor

Hebe has us captivated

a bleached leaf

my two shirts, the bleach is drying, then I will rinse, dry, then use a sharpie pen to highlight the leaves.

One of Hebe's finished bags

Below are some sun seekers - 4 spinners and 1 knitter.

Roberta & Karen

The dinner bell rang three times on this day with three more great meals from the kitchen - how wonderful to create all day, and have someone else feed and water us and clean the dishes up!

Karen's big project

Comfort workers 
Sunday projects
Sunday was a short day, with breakfast, packing up and goodbyes.... This weekend was way to fast and way to fun. Here is a link to photos I took in 2006 - my first year at the Central Coast Weavers retreat. Weavers retreat 2006

Back to Oregon:

I would like to finish my Oregon trip which had one day left of the fiber Festival. I was the Judge for the Pygoras that day. It rained most of the day, so I had the experience of judging wet goats. They are normally puffy and fleecy and this time they were soggy and wet. We were in a covered arena, but the goats had to walk outdoors to get to this arena. But the show must go on, and it did. Elaine took some photos with my camera while I was judging, so I will share those with you here.

got to check out the fiber and what is under it - a goat!

cute little wether!

directing traffic...
Look at the pretty does, working toward Senior Champion here.
One of the winners! Sara showing a Hawk's Mountain Doe

The Diamond Buck winner is a Colored Angora
Darn I didn't get the Diamond Doe winner's photo, which was a PYGORA !
the next day I flew home - and back to the ranch. What a fun time I had in Oregon. Thanks all!

All for now - have a great week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 3 in Oregon and other stuff...

Already the second week in October and the weather is hot then cool then hot. But I am seeing some color start to show on a Maple tree that I planted and that makes me happy. I told you that I would show you the logo I finished last month. I do like it. It was a redo from another logo they had that needed a face lift. The owner of this logo will place it on their building, their website, and even on their door mats - they are really excited and I am happy they are happy with my job!

So lets go back to Oregon for my third Day. A recap - Thursday I flew in, Friday we figured stuff out and where stuff was, and now it is Saturday and the Festival truly begins. But first... there is... the Elevator.

September 25, Friday, another day of fun! Elaine was interested in seeing the elevator. I said, an elevator, what are you talking about - you want to see an elevator? She said she heard that Oregon City had one of the 4 outside big elevators in the world. So Fran, Elaine and I drove to the older part of Oregon City and went for a 130 foot elevator ride. What is going on here is that the town is split by a bluff so to get to that part of the city quickly, one takes an elevator ride. And this has been in service since the 20's. Of course the elevator itself has changed many time since then.  It really was cool and so fast to ride up. From the top we could see  the river and the city below. For more information on this, take this link. Oregon_City_Municipal_Elevator 

water for the paper mill - I think
After our ride up and down the elevator, we took  Hwy 99 which travels along the Willamette River to Canby were the fiber festival is held. We  stopped to look at a paper mill and where the river is diverted to create power. Water going every direction. Then on to the show.

Some colored sheep showing, Martin is in the ball cap

After arriving at the festival  I watched some of the sheep and my friend Martin Dally show his sheep. Leaving the sheep ring, I headed to the lawn were a sheep dog was moving some ducks around the working pen.  Look at that dog, is he intense! I then checked out some bobbin lace knitters, wow, too many bobbins for my brain to keep track of. But I sure learned something from these really nice people that were demostration this art.
too many bobbins for me.

I am a Knitmore Girls groupie!
At noonish I played groupie by going to see the Knitmore girls. My favorite podcasters. That was fun and they had wonderful goody bags to give out. And while I was there I bought some super pretty cashmere and silk roving, like I don't have any... ha ha. knitmore girls Blog .

Then I headed to the sheep show ring and watched some of the angora show, and finally I checked out the vendor booths and then spindle spun  with my friends Susan and Terry at their rainbow yarns booth.  Terry was spinning some of the most beautiful rust red Pygora and silk roving, I had to have some of that also, dyed by her and Susan... ok so I didn't need more roving.
A color angora - pretty - wouldn't you love to spin that fleece!

A morning shot of the river across the street from our room.

Ok my friends, have a good week and talk with you next. 
I had a great day even though I felt like I had a disease that the goat barn would get. But what it was is, when one is a goat judge at the show, one can not go in to the goat barn before the show - so I didn't get to hang out were I usually like to hang out - yep, in the barn. Anyway, today was a wonderfully warm sunny day, tomorrow I will be judging most of the day starting about 9 am so I am very glad to get to do all this sight seeing today.  One more photo I like I took from the  window on our 4th floor room at the hotel.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

friends, dahlias, spinning, judging

Sheep to Shawl 2010
This ended up by being the Winner!
Another busy week, I am looking forward to a slow week coming up, I hope. However this week had two fun things that I want to tell you about. Our Weaving guild had its second 'Sheep to Shawl' contest which took place in Shell Beach, on a bluff above the Ocean. The location is a park that hosts an Arts and Crafts event once a month, so we were there during one of their events. The day started out with overcast coastal skies.  There was 6 people on each of the three  teams; a carder person to card the wool to ready it for spinning, three spinners, spinning the carded wool and one weaver. The sixth person was a gofer, which was to talk to the public and tell them what was happening and to make sure all the team members got what they needed. They had 4 hours to finished the shawl and I think the winning team finished their shawl in about 2.5 hours. The finished shawls were all beautiful! The sun came out for a few hours, yet wasn't to hot. It was a super day, and I heard one person walk by, then stop to look at all that was happening and said. "Wow, this is  the real deal". Great job Weavers!

This was also the week of AGventures of which I take some Pygora goats and present a hands on talk to 5, 4th grade classes. 20 minutes each with a 5 min break between. It is fast. And it was the first year of the about 6 years I have done this, that it rained the all day. My goats don't do wet well, so we were moved from our favorite grassy area to the barn. It worked out great. I talked about goat care, goat poop, what they 'do' eat, not cans, and shearing, spinning and knitting - wow. Sounds like a lot, but the kids did great and so did Margarit, Leah and Yt, the three does that I took. It was their first time at this event and they really did well - I was happy.

So, now I would like to get back to the Oregon trip to tell you about Day 2 which was a Friday, so here goes:

Day 1, ended with meeting up with my friend Fran Bishop from New York and my new friend Elaine Deegan from Rhode Island as their flights came in almost the same time as mine to Portland thanks to Fran's careful timing. We got our rental car, then drove down to Oregon City and our hotel room. We had a great dinner at our hotel's restaurant of which Chris Utterback from Canby Oregon joined us. After an early night, we were off to bed, the two from the east coast had been traveling since about 4am, they were tired and had a right to be!

Day 2 started with the fact, I didn't have to be anywhere until about 5:30 in the evening, which was when I was to judge the Pygora Sanction Fleece show. So I said, whatever, where ever, ok with me. The first thing was that my roomies need to do some goat stuff at the show, so I went to check on the timing of my judging for the Pygora fiber show and while there was invited to take a class on Alpaca fiber. I  got to spin the two different types of Alpaca. There is Suri and Huacaya. Turns out I like spinning on my support spindle the huacaya alpaca, which to me was very similar to Pygora fiber. I met some nice ladies in this class and the instructor Barbara, who also has a mill to process Alpaca, was very knowledgeable about her topic.

After my class Chris met up with us and took us to a wonderful local dahlia farm with so many colors of dahlais. (Swan Island Dahlias)  Big ones and little ones, giant ones and tiny one. And in the distance we were treated to a view of Mount Hood. WOW! To think that this dahlia farm was only a few miles from the fairgrounds and I never knew it, I could have been stopping here every year I have come to this show. This was a treat to see.

yummy lamb in pita with peppers
Then  Chris, Elaine, Fran and I went to a restaurant were we had some great grub. Was really nice to set and visit and not have to rush back to goats that need cleaning up for a show.

Back at the festival, I started doing my wish. I sat down with some other ladies and started knitting and sharing fiber stories. One lady was a sheep raiser that was a spinner and a weaver. Another lived in a town house and had more fiber then she thought she should have.

Then finally it was time to go judge some fabulous Pygora fleeces. There was great entries of the three fiber types that make up the different Pygora types of fiber. And since all the boxes of fleece have no owners, ranch or goat's name on them, it is truly an anonymous judging. And I was very surprised when I found out that I had chosen one of Fran's goats fleeces for Reserve Grand Champion and she was very thrilled to learn about her win as well.  Then off to dinner and back to our hotel room. We ate at the hotel again, really good food and the prices are good. Day 2 ended - very well. I will continue with this trip on the next blog.

Hey got those bucks allllllll sheared, finally, so now I need to finish tractor cleaning their pen and fix the hot-wire to keep them in. All the goats are acting frisky - it is that time of the year, bucks in rut, and does looking for bucks, and wethers just confused. My graphic Web work is going good - so life is good.