Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On the home front

Since it is cold and dark and too often windy, I am inside a lot.  We do walk every day, often for errands.  Yesterday we walked twice running errands.  I try to get an average of walking 3 miles a day.  Yesterday it was more than four.  But some days it is only two miles.

It will be sunny and dry and windy and cold.  I prefer the rain to the wind.  With the sun, I will probably see all the dust and dust bunnies.... I see house cleaning in my future.

 This is the piece I used to test my ideas for the last quilt.  I liked it well enough to pin it up on the door.  The edges are not finished.  I like them this way.  John would prefer a border and finishing.  He is like that.  My friend Margot always thinks I should mat them and frame them.  I like it this way so this is how it is.

This is a strip quilt, sewn together and stitch in the ditch quilted (to hold the layers together).  Next I am going to add narrow strips going the other direction.  These are just some leftover strips I was trying out.  That is Pippin's tail in the photo.  He likes to "help".

The center of this piece is hand dyed silk fabrics from Frieda Anderson.  I have had them for a while and they were already backed with fusing glue.  The bigger outside piece for the background is a Vicki Welsh hand dyed piece.  I am planning on hand quilting the background.  You have to have a quilter's imagination to understand...

And here is that quilt I finished recently.  I am still really liking it.  It looks so good rumpled up, which is how it lives.

Indian Doctor Series

The dark time of winter is a great time for videos and I found a series called Indian Doctor that is very good.  We've been watching it on Amazon instant video.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A tunnel of trees in the snow

This photo is from Old Man Travels.  He is a great photographer who loves the outdoors and lives in the Pacific Northwest.  I love his photographs and the stories he writes about them.  Click the link and scroll down to read the story that goes with this one...

This one is really nice, too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Columbia Gorge trail damage

The hiking trails in the Columbia Gorge, including my favorites, are really taking a beating this year.  It is mostly downed trees blocking the trails.  The Eagle Creek trail is one of the more resilient trails in the gorge but it's lost a bridge at about the 2 mile mark.

I was hoping we would get out there hiking some time soon but it's not looking good... besides, they say there is a big ice storm coming to the gorge this week.

Oregon hikers report

I finished my quilt!

It's a very simple quilt.  I like it a lot.

Here it is spread out on the floor

It looks okay that way but it really shines when it is being used and and is rumpled, which it usually is.   I've made several lap quilts that are "John" size.  It I make them wide enough to accommodate his length requirement, the quilt gets very heavy for lap use and is bulky to fold and have around.

 I also love Vicki's gradients.  I like to use them whole so I have a width restriction.  Function versus form.   The quilt looks funny as a "rectangle" but it is never a rectangle unless I am photographing it flat.  I decided it was more important that it looked good when it was being used or rumpled up or folded.  It looks fine in its normal life.  Nonetheless, the odd rectangle shape bothers me.  I am always threatening to shorten John's legs....

Amazing sea foam

The recent storms have really stirred up the ocean foam in Yachats which is on the Oregon coast, near Cape Perpetua.  I love the foam especially at Cook's Chasm.  Here is a photo I took in October when we were there and a blog post I wrote.

But check out this foam!  It's a little much.

Foam in Yachats

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vicki Welsh hand dyed fabric

I buy hand dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh.  I am especially fond of her gradients.

This was posted on Vicki Welsh's blog Field Trips in Fiber.  It is a stack of dyed fabric she was ironing.  It's so beautiful.  It makes me want to iron that stack.  I DO like to iron...

I like this nest of thread, too.
story behind the thread

No longer light deprived

I've been feeling light deprived in this dark time of year.  I don't usually feel this way.  Maybe it is because the rainy season hit late but suddenly this year.  The rain started on Halloween, the same night that daylight savings time ended.

On Halloween we had record breaking rain.  And it has been raining a lot since then.  It was a very dry year until then.  But in the last six weeks we've gotten about half the usual rain we get in a whole year.  We've gone from drought to flooding.

We don't put up a tree anymore.  We have a cat who chews on electrical cords so every cord in the house must be protected.  You can't protect light strings.  I do love lights so I decided I wanted some little colored lights near the ceiling in the room we hang out in.

To my delight and surprise they erased the feeling of being light deprived.  They look so cheerful and bright, completely taking my attention away from how dark and gray it is.  I think we'll keep them up until the dark season is ended.  I am predicting mid February when spring comes to Portland.

The view from where I sit

And a little Christmas in the dining room.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Project progress

John has been busy working on his bathroom cabinet.  It doesn't look very different to me but he assures me that it has a lot more structure than it did.

Here it is bristling with clamps.

Here it looks much the same but is structurally different (stronger),

I suppose my project looks much the same, too.  But it has batting and backing and is being quilted.  It's structurally stronger as well.

It's still very wet here.  Rain, rain, rain.  We've gone from drought to flooding.  Today before nine am was the only time the rain was light enough to walk without getting soaked even with an umbrella.

The squirrels and birds come out anyway.  This orange squirrel kept climbing up the spinner.

Then he'd grab hold of one side and get dumped head first.

But he kept coming back.  Maybe it was a fun carnival ride....

Monday, December 7, 2015

Extreme wet

We broke the record for the most rain in a day in December.... we got three and a quarter inches of rain.  There was much flooding.  It was windy and rainy and I was glad we had a new roof.  Our weather has been extreme this year.  Extreme hot.  Extreme rain.  Extreme wind.  Extreme cold. Please come back Portland weather.

Then in the middle of the afternoon the sun peeked out and the sky was beautiful and we went for a walk.  There is usually a good part of every day and we are fortunate to grab it most of the time, including today.

The park was flooded in several places.  That lake is our usual path.... but not today.

 A higher path in the park

See, it really was a pretty nice sky.

Back yard in winter

Our teeny tiny backyard gets rather grim in the winter after we have a frost that takes down most of the foliage.  This year I got two new things to make it look better.  A spinner and a red gazing ball.  It really does help to have something to take your eye.

This is our spinner but not our photo...

Pippin looking out the back door.  You can see the spinner and the red ball.

Progress on bathroom cabinet

The face frame has been reinforced. 

And now we have sides...

Working quilts

My quilts get daily use.  They lead rumpled lives and so I strive to make quilts that can take that  and still look good.  Too much regularity and perfection looks out of place in our house.

 John's chair and new pillow.

This is Pippin's tent.  It is draped over the radiator and he loves hanging out being warm next to his iron maiden.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

the great light way

In the early part of the twentieth century electricity was cheap and cities displayed their progress with lots of downtown lighting.  I remember that a town where I lived in Massachusetts had a slogan in the early twentieth century that said "electricity is cheap.  Use it freely".

Here is what Portland did.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wonky pillow

I finished another wonky pillow.  We've been using a lot of small pillows to support our backs.  John claimed this one immediately.... his old one is too flat.