Thursday, May 31, 2007

My two favorite things to do

We did so much fishing over the Memorial Day weekend! We didn't have a lot of success, mostly just a few small bass and panfish. John caught the biggest bullhead he, Chris, or I had ever seen. It was huge and really fat. I wanted to get a picture, but he let it go too quick. He also caught a really big turtle. Fortunately it was just barely hooked, so I held it while John got the hook out. The turtle was pretty pissed off and kept making these really awful hissing noises.I think if he could have reached back far enough he would have bit me. There is a nice picture of Chris with some random stranger in the background at Lake Tampier.

I also had the pop up virus from hell, it was awful and I couldn't use my computer for a bit til John was able to reformat it. That's why I didn't blog about the fishing til now.

I had my first natural dyeing experience with cotton today; in the past I've always used wool. Today I used crab apple leaves from the trees right outside our gate. I knew I would end up with either green or yellow; I actually suspected it would be yellow although I was hoping for green. I had just over half a yard of natural muslin and I used alum for a mordant. It is a pretty bright yellow, but I want to find something that will make a nice green. I could see how much yellow was in the crab apple leaves, but I went ahead and used them anyway. I might dig up some wild strawberries and use the roots and see if I get anything that even comes close to red.

We talked about mom going to Nfld. She doesn't want to travel alone, and I would love to go with her. It's just that I'd be able to afford it a bit more in Sept. John said maybe we could figure out something so I could go in July. I'd actually rather go in Aug or early Sept. it's just a nicer time of the year. Plus maybe I could talk Carla into going then.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Catching up

I haven't written anything lately, I've been kind of busy with packing and still trying to keep up with some sewing. I sold a skirt to a regular customer, here's a link to her Etsy store: She makes really nice jewellery, I have bought some from her and it's quality stuff. I have posted a pic of the skirt, I really wasn't sure if I liked the colors, but it turned out nice.

ABC science made and released this Australian documentary. It gives the history of oil, where it comes from, how it was formed, etc. in a very understandable and interesting way, and then goes on to talk about humanities dependence on the stuff, the peak of oil production and how we have changed the earth and it's climate through our use of it. There are also some interviews on the site, which I haven't watched yet, from people in the film like Colin Campbell. It was first released a couple of days ago on the 24th of May. It is a very good documentary; I don't know why we don't see more of this kind of stuff on tv here.

It's also been a big week for political news. The Democrats caved to the White House on the issue of funding for the Iraq war. I think a lot of people were disappointed, and the Dem's have been making some noise about how this is just the first step, wait til Sept., blah blah. We'll see. Melissa and I didn't quite agree on this issue, she thinks it was right to pass the bill as it is, and be happy for the increase in minimum wage and the other domestic spending. I think we have just payed for the lives of many more American soldiers and Iraqi people with a wage increase that could have been tied to some other issue and still passed. There's also been some buzz about a presidential directive from May 9th that some are saying gives the President what amounts to dictatorial power in the event of a national emergency. I read part of it, and I'm adopting a "well, maybe" attitude. On the one hand, I would put nothing past this administration; on the other hand, in order to assume those sorts of powers you would need a military force to support you. The military is currently tied up in Iraq, and even if it wasn't, I don't think they would support something like that. That doesn't mean that I don't think Bush&Co. wouldn't make some sort of bid to maintain power, but I just don't see that it would work.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yesterdays News

Well, the biggest piece of news yesterday was Jerry Falwell's death. Now I do realize that the man had a family, and I'm sure they are grieving for him, and I feel sorry for that. But I really feel that the death of a man who was such a hypocrite, such a preacher of hate and division; a man who made his money from the old and sick and poor; yeah, I feel that his death is a good thing. He was a racist, he supported Apartheid, he preached hatred of gay people and feminists, he took advantage and controlled his congregation with fear. According to his beliefs it was ok that millions of people were going to burn in hell forever. As I said to John yesterday, if there is a hell, I'll bet old Jerry was really surprised when he found himself there! Fundamentalism in any religion is very often just a thin disguise for hatred and narrow mindedness. From a personal perspective, it has caused divisions in John's family that may never be healed. Anyway, I think the world will be a better place because of this, although there are plenty of people out there ready to pick up Jerry's beacon of narrow minded thought. They may have a harder time than in the past, though. I really feel that this war and the way the current administration has acted like they can do just about anything with no repercussions, has changed the tide in this country, and that people are more and more upset every day. I think the last elections proved that, and I think that was just the beginning. They say things run in cycles, and maybe the reaction against far right thinking has begun. I certainly hope so.

On a personal note, I was looking on E-bay yesterday, and was surprised to see a set I sold last summer being re-sold by the person I sold it to. I don't have a problem with that, but she was selling it as new, and never mentioned that she hadn't made it. It pissed me off just a bit, so I e-mailed her. She said she was sorry, and re listed it saying she had only worn it a bit, and that she had not made it. So that was ok.

I am actually going to sew today, I have a skirt to finish and list.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Link

This is a great new Peak Oil site with lots of video:
This has also been an interesting news day, but I'm too tired to blog about any of it now. I will tomorrow.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Promising Article

I've been behind on reading oil news lately, but there's a link to this article over on the Energy Bulletin:
If it turns out that this is a technology that really works, we could be buying ourselves at least 50 years. If we don't continue to waste this precious energy on stupid stuff like shopping we could buy ourselves a lot longer time. I don't really trust the DOE's estimates on what's actually left that is recoverable, but I know there has to be something, and it could be enough to get us to the switch to other viable forms of energy. It's nice to read a hopeful article every once in awhile.
On a whole different topic, we had Mother's Day at Chris and Rich's yesterday since I was working today. It was a great day, it always is when we all go over there. Mom, Carla , and I went and bought plants at Prairie Feed Co. I Got all my veggies, and 8 strawberry plants. Anyway, Carla had a new bag she bought at some shop some where, it was made with a vintage earthy colored floral curtain or upholstery fabric, with a pleat that had shantung in it, and a velveteen lining. A very nice purse made by a fiber arts person in Calif. She paid $160 for it. Not what I would pay ( I can make it myself anyway), but a nice return on probably about 3-4 hours work and $20 or $25 in materials. I am going to make one, if I can find a fabric that I think would be nice. I figure I can sell mine for between $100 and $120.I wish I had taken pics if it, I had the camera with me but I forgot.
Chris got me a new mp3 player, and Melissa sent me a check to buy plants with and some really cute turquoise earrings that are birds from Albuquerque.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Catch up

I have been so busy packing I haven't had any time to sew. I have been listing stuff that I had hanging in the closet just to keep new things going in my Etsy store.

Siobhan took me out for breakfast on Monday for Mother's Day since she will be gone this weekend, and bought all my flowers for me. We planted some of them when we came home, and then I planted the rest this morning. I had a lot of big pots and I put them in there. It's been so nice I think I'm going to move all the house plants out today, too.

Mom's birthday was yesterday and we went to visit her. My Mothers Day present from Melissa was over there, she sent me the prettiest pair of turquoise bird earrings, and a check that I am going to buy all my vegetable plants with.
Mr. Checkers came down with a respiratory infection and had to go to the vet. Siobhan and John took him on Monday. It was hard to tell how sick the poor little guy was, he was still eating some, although he was pickier than usual, and sometimes he would perk right up. But some of the time on Sunday and Monday he would just look so listless. He lost a little weight since the last time he was at the vet, so he gets a special peanut treat to help him put the weight back on, but he has to be segregated from the other piggies until his antibiotic is gone. He's cuddling with Siobhan in the picture.

I'm a little blue today, I think I am going to make something just to cheer myself up. I should pack more, but what one day?

Friday, May 04, 2007


TA-DA! I finished the hat with the yarn I spun. I think it's pretty cool! Joanie modeled it for me, which was only fitting as it was her grandmothers wheel. I started spinning the purple/blue roving from yesterday, I might make a hat with that, too.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The last of the roving

I dyed the last of the roving that was here. At first I was going to do just purple, but instead I used 3 dyes: Cushing's cherry, blue, and purple. I like the coloring of this roving, I poured the dye on more along the lines of the fiber rather than in blotches this time, and then kind of squished it all together. I could have used more purple, but this is still nice.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I made yarn! It isn't the greatest yarn, it is definitely uneven, but it gets more even as I go along. There are also some spots where I have too much twist, although from everything I've read this happens a lot when first learning to spin.I spun about an ounce and a half. It takes quite awhile, I spun for a couple of hours yesterday after I got started. I also started a hat with the spun yarn. I think I'm going to dye the purple roving today. I made a second drive belt from some hemp I have here, although it stretches so I had to tie it really tight. The original was made from a twine of some sort, maybe linen. It is a double drive wheel, though, so I need the second belt for tension. I am going to order new ones if I can find ones that fit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More dyed roving

I couldn't help it, the roving has been here for well over a week. Siobhan wants me to dye some purple, and I will but I love these warm autumn colors. I used Cushings medium brown, old gold, and orange for this. The pictures were taken with the new camera, on the second highest resolution. They look pretty good. The first one was taken using the zoom from the upstairs bathroom window.

I also got the treadle and footman connected on the spinning wheel. It goes quite nicely. If I can get maintenance info on the internet, I might give it a try. It has to be easier than using a drop spindle, I never could get the hang of that.

Finished wildflowers

I finished quilting the landscape this morning. The piece I dyed for a border is off enough to tell the difference, so I didn't use it. I have enough for a binding, although I'm not sure what I'll do yet. The background is the best, I think that piece dyed so well. The quilting is more meandering than actually stippling, it's kind of farther apart. I guess the piece is ok. Maybe I'll turn it into a pillow. I didn't use the new camera, John has it set on 3.2 and that's what the old camera is, so I just used it instead. I'll play around with the new one today and see what I can do.