Canoeing before the rain

We have been having weather lately, mainly very big, sudden rains. Yesterday, Reino and I went into Washington state to the Roosevelt Lake area, at Napoleon Bridge. It was still and reflective on the water. Very quiet as well. We saw some Canada geese and small birds. Found a fruited tree, actually several. Very black fruit with a big pit. I have not looked to see what they are, but look like miniature crab apples.

After the paddle, we decided to go to Colville for lunch, but it seems that Tuesday is a closed lunch day so went to Kettle Falls, which is where we started from. Had a nice lunch and then came home. Oh, yeah, lots of rain fell, but we were in the car at that time.

Today, Wednesday, we went up to Nancy Greene Lake which was smooth as glass. Has short paddle around the lake and saw our loons. By the time we got back to the beach, a light wind came up, ruffling the water. Loaded the canoe onto the car and went home. Some rain on the way. It has been raining most days recently so we just decide to do what we can and not obsess.

Washed soap making buckets and cut soap as well and now will label the bars.

Some New Blankets

striped blanket

Handspun yarn for stripes

This blanket is one of a series of three which I recently wove. This one has weft spun from art batts and is more textured and thicker than I usually spin. I really enjoyed spinning this yarn and then using it in a project.  It is warm and drapes well, about 42″ by 88″ large with a fringe.

Mauve blanket

Mauve handspun weft blanket

A mauve blanket using mainly purple handspun yarn as weft. This one is lighter in weight than the other one and after finishing, I discovered that some of the yarn did not shrink so there is a wobble effect. The yarns are lovely, some wool, some with silk as well. A large size, about 45″ by 90″ plus fringes.

random striped blanket

random stripe handspun weft blanket

This blanket in mainly blues, with a bit of pink was woven in a random manner, with no repeats so is different from one end to the other, although it looks as if it is mirrored. I loved how this one turned out. It has a variety of yarns with some smooth, some textured. About 42″ by 88″ plus fringes. This one is currently on display in Fernie, BC at the Arts Station.

Still No Frost

red poppy

A late poppy which brightens up the garden which has gone to sleep

This bright poppy is a lovely surprise in my pansy garden which has ceased blooming. It is our Canadian Thanksgiving and I picked green beans for dinner.  There has been no frost and it is great to eat fresh vegetables. We may often have a killing frost in early September.

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, we went for a walk on a nearby mountain and I took photos for future felting projects, but I also noticed some interesting rock forms.  With some leaves gone, it is fun to see things which usually get missed.

moss horse

A horse composed of moss

black and white rock

black and white rock

Summer 2014

Thistle head with dead bee and white spiderWe spend quite a bit of time in the summer paddling and taking photos. This photo was taken when we landed at Napoleon Bridge near Roosevelt Lake, Washington. The summer was good with wonderful berry picking, pretty good garden and some paddling. We had a bit of company and also visited with family in the early part of the summer. I have been teaching felting classes at the local library and it seems that I am popular so had to teach another class in August to a group of children. It went well but the energy level, on the children’s part was super high and I went home very tired. I made jam and salsa during the summer.

Now, we just went to a couple of Hot Springs to relax and are moving into Fall. Time to change activities.

I was able to weave three lovely blankets with my hand spun yarn which was piling up. I am so happy with the results and still have lots of yarn to work with. I will put some photos up with them on another post.

There is a weekly market in town and I participated most weeks. Not much good economically, but I really enjoyed the ambiance and music and the opportunity to pick up fruits and vegetables which I do not grow.

Busy fall activities

We just had a craft exhibition at our local gallery for almost 2 weeks. I had a couple of handwoven blankets on display and was really impressed with the displays. A call had gone out to crafts people to submit items and the response finally became better. What was displayed was a lot of textiles, including knitting in very fine lace, very big lace from 2″ roving, to mitts and a very fine cotton table cloth. Felt pieces included a coat, shawl and purses. Some crocheted jewelry along with fine silver, glass items and hand made monkeys and elves. Along with the fibre stuff, was a great amount of wood work. There were crib boards, jewelry boxes, benches and very ornate tables from burls. Wood is fibre too. The major metal were flowers made from horseshoes and reinforcing steel. They were really unique. I demonstrated some hand spinning and some weaving so that the gallery could be “manned” for a couple of days.

Along with this exhibition was a craft symposium with guest speakers from Vancouver, Halifax and Calgary. Having these people talk of their work helped me to confirm that what I like to do, am compelled to do means I am on a good path. I met some nice local artisans as well, but we had little time to talk to one another. The energy level was high.

I have a new customer who is a nice new felter and is busy buying my roving to make more items. She is passionate about what she is doing and experimenting with all she is doing. She is basically self taught and likes checking out the internet. I am impressed with her efforts. I also have a friend who bid on and “won” a nice hat block for me. I hope to have time to use it soon. It is a lovely plain block.

I took some soap to my naturopath today which she will check out to see if it can be used. One of the sample soaps was an olive oil soap with no scent so should be fine. My husband uses it as he has been having some skin problems. I will make some goat soap, no scent for them as well. Although unscented soaps have been requested, I find that they will sit for a long time while the scented soaps are being bought. People like a bit of fragrance and aroma. My soaps are very mild, long lasting and varied. I very much enjoy making them.

The yarn I chose for the latest weaving project is a very slippery rayon/nylon blend and as it is weaving up, not very soft. I am planning a scarf and will see how it goes, but it might become something else once it is done.

Busy making soap

I have been very busy making soap for the holiday trade and also to get ahead as my shelves have been looking quite bare. I have made 12 batches in the past couple of weeks. I am happy with them and they will be available for sale in a few short weeks. I plan a few more, but will take time off to finish some weaving projects in the works.

The soaps are a mix of lots of lavender, two different tea tree blends, two different always popular rose soaps, two goat milk soaps with peppermint in one and floral scents in the other. The rest are two which are earthy ,one with pumpkin and spice, one which is called Sea Mist and has seaweed and sea salt in it, and a special one with sea buckthorn extract.

I hope to make a peppermint patty with red stripes and an evergreen one, a spice one, perhaps an oatmeal or a honey one or a combination.

On the weaving front, I am working on a basket weave and twill which is going well when I get to it. The other is a long warp for baby wraps and goes well when I sit at the loom. Both are looking good. I have a request to make a blanket for a gift and the colours were chosen yesterday so I need to get onto it.

Been away need to do some work

I have been away for some dental work and a bit of relaxation.  We went to two hot pools which we really enjoyed.  Several book stores beckoned to which we succumbed and bought lots of books. One I bought was The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and it took a short time to read.  I really enjoyed it and it was a satisfactory and fantastic ending as well. Another is Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver and I have just started it. It is a more challenging read and will take a while to read. Other books were more fiction and I scored a Whitewater Cooks book in a used book store in Lethbridge. A beautiful, inspirational book with good flavours. Maybe I will use some components for lunch. The books have been put onto shelves and not still in a pile on the floor.

While away, I visited my mother as well. We had not been able to get together since May so it was great to visit this 92 year young person, who just happens to be extremely important in my life. She is still doing well, knitting and giving me boxes of items to put into our local thrift store. We mainly chatted and bought a couple of necessities.

Now, it should be back to work, which will be weaving, soap making and face cream manufacture. Later in the week will help our daughter move in with us while she looks for a new place to live.