I'm sure most of you are familiar with that acronym. The last 7 weeks have pretty much gone south here at Runamuck. First off, to all who have sent private e-mails to me wondering WTF, well, thank YOU! My mother has been in and out of the hospital, regardless of the cancer being stable she is basically given up. Her confusion has deepened, she refuses to eat or drink or do anything but sit and wait to die. At this point in those rare lucid moments she has refused all life extending measures. There really is no point in rehydrating her, and such if in a weeks time she is going to be in the same condition. We had talked about this when she first got sick, so it was no surprise to me she refused this weekend to have any more blood draws, urine samples or fluids. She is moving into the health center and hospice is being brought in to make her as comfortable as possible as we have arrived at the end game. It seems like I've done nothing but watch both my parents die since 2015 and it makes me sore of heart and head. I'm posting this now so I don't have to explain a number of times. I'll be back to blogging. I don't know when but no doubt I'll crawl out by fall to at least bitch about another hot smokey summer! Please excuse me if I don't always answer e-mail. I have spent very little time on the internet and dealing with the day to day reality of it is about as much as I'm willing to handle right now. Talking about it all is like ripping a fresh scab off. So again, thank you for checking in with me. It's not a great moment in time but forward is the only option. As Arnold famously said, "I'll be back."
A birthday gift from a good friend just had to be installed at the entrance to the "bat" cave, otherwise known as the sewing salon and in another life, the master bedroom walk in closet. I also received two other wonderful gifts from friends and each has been sported about multiple times. Thank you ladies!
Some new stained glass pieces made an arrival also. You can find more by this lovely artist here.
The salon itself has been cleaned up, organized and seen some recent makes. I chose a new pattern to break fast so to speak. Something kind of classic, simple and missing from my wardrobe for the most part. Long sleeves, high neck and nicely loose and comfy. I like that it's short in length but was concerned about the drop sleeve. Not my favorite type but fabric choice is what makes it work.
All of these are made in a fine 5 oz. linen. Not super sheer but tightly woven in very fine threads and with drape and body. The pattern is a Paper Theory pattern and I had to tape the thing together.
If this pattern didn't appeal to me so much and have so few pieces I would have passed it by. I abhor printing and taping patterns.
I also made up another Sewing Workshop Quincy top.
I got the one I made my mom a number of years ago, back. She didn't wear it and since I've lost some weight it fit me perfectly, so I made another one! The fabric is a double gauze type linen, it acts like a waffle weave with texture and some stretch. A bit heavier but very comfortable. I can use it as a light jacket or a top.
The new warp is just in the starting stages of being spread through the raddle in prep for winding it on. No rush. A little blanket weaving has gone on and some mental planning for future projects. It has been almost spring like here, lots of snow melt and a few sunny days. I'm eyeing Buttercup the walking loom in the back room. Maybe I can get in there and do a little weaving on her soon. I have a broken thread I need to fix too.
So life has been pretty unexciting. Gosh, I just love it that way! My new best serial read is the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. There are 10 books in the series, I'm on 4. I have always loved books in series rather than stand alone's and am quite likely to plow through all of them in a row. I can't help myself.
As the world spins out of control feeding on hatred, I'm leaving you with this beautiful rendition of a Sam Cooke song. Bring on the love folks. Hold it close, be kind.
And boy, have I nested! Some home improvements have gone on, a lot of reading and book listening and just about zero creating. For those that have asked, my Mother is doing well, still holding in remission as far as we know. Tests start again in April. She has been enjoying the senior social scene in residential living. I've been keeping her and the other seniors in jigsaw puzzles and allowed myself a month of not sweating it. She gets 3 squares a day, someone monitors and doles out her meds. A nurse stops in once a week to take vitals and for right now things are humming along just fine. Vacay time for Theresa!
I'd offer up the titles of the lastest reads but honestly, there has been a lot of space opera, light werewolf romance and urban fantasy. I will say that the Molly Harper's Mystic Bayou series of books read by Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis are laugh out loud funny. It's been years since I smiled and giggled my way through a book and both of them had my stomach sore. I've finished up in the Grishaverse (Leigh Bardugo), and am slow walking the last books of the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. I will be weeping when I have to finish Hadrian's and Royce's stories.
And there has been snow.
Lots of snow. It is so nice to get a decent snow pack this late in the winter and hopefully it will be a godsend come fire season.
Robin and Stella got dentals a week or so ago. Small dogs may live a good long time but man, dental care for those little crowded mouths is costly. Robin insists on stealing my hot chocolate dregs.
The little thief. His sister made off with a hunk of cheese one day from my lunch plate. Obviously we have a plate protocol problem in terrier land. ;-)
Since there are no great makes to show, I'll share the two new test rugs. I liked the idea of washable "skins" offered by a company called Ruggable and ordered a runner for the upstairs hall and a small area rug for the living room.
I've included a link so you can look at the site yourself. The rugs themselves are practical and pretty.
Not cheap, but then again, they are washable and with a house full of pets and muddy boots, they offer something no other company does. I might order a few more if these wash up like advertised.
I've finally gotten to adding blinds to the master bedroom.
Only took 19 years....
And the studio got a couple of practical storage items.
These are actually made as preschool furniture.
Cubbies for kids and such. Frankly, they are beautifully made with birch plywood, sturdy and versatile. Better made than Ikea stuff. AND they have wheels! I love stuff with wheels. :-)
I think that about catches everyone up on my very low key February. I'm slowly easing back into the studio and the sewing salon... very slowly.
Song for today is originally by Simon and Garfunkel, but I'm in a Bangles kind of mood.
Parting shots. Balls and beds and obviously too many romance stories eh?
What can I say, dead of winter and there are so many good books to listen to.
A couple of afternoons have even found me with the pot of soup already made and knitting in the comfy chair on an adventure with Hadrian and Royce. While sewing up some goodies, Alina and Mal have escaped across the Fold. For those that feel a mid winter armchair adventure might be in order, let me highly recommend any of the Riyria series by Michael J. Sullivan. You can start with either the Riyria Revelations or the Riyria Chronicles. For a first rate YA trilogy try Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse series that starts with Shadow and Bone. Either series is time well spent, but out of the two, The Riyria books are going to be read and re-read.
So now that I am sort of up to speed on the new computer, let me share some pics. Here is a new batch of towels for Justone the LeClerc in process on the warping board. Using up some not so pretty 8/2 yarn from my Dad's old stash.
A wee bit of sewing has been going on.
I made a second Wiksten kimono pattern, lengthened this one quite a bit. It might still get some embellishment. Haven't decided. The blue side is Brussels Washer, a linen rayon blend with lovely drape, and the lining is a cotton I got direct from India.. I am very pleased with it.
A little patterned denim skirt was made from 1.5 yards of fabric from the $5.00 sale table on one of my forays to Top Stitch in Medford. The shirt is the latest button down in process.
Little Mandy received a lovely green blanket from her Auntie Susan. She shares, a little.
Jack also likes it. Speaking of Susan over at Little Lucky Farm, I also received a book I had actually won at a her blog drawing. It broke a long standing non winning streak and what a beautiful book to boot!
A couple of other titles have made it into the fiber library this winter too.
Dandy seems right as rain and it's a good thing. We are in the throes of a true winter weather pattern.
A foot of snow over the weekend and another foot or so expected between today and Wednesday. It is sorely needed too. Before the storms we were about at 60% for moisture this season. We need the snow pack.
You would think I would have scads of pics after all this time between posts, but alas, I am getting to know a new computer and the recent pics are on the old computer. The pics will be transferred by the local computer wiz along with some other crap. I am likely in the minority. I have gone from having a Mac computer for the better part of 20 years to a PC. I simply couldn't stomach the cost of a Mac Pro laptop decked out as I would wish combined with an almost ancient operating system. Over the years I have grown to dislike Mac's security BS and changes to my favorite part of Mac ownership, the photo program. So for under a grand I have a brand new Dell laptop with a decent HD 15.6 inch screen, an SSd card, 8GB memory, lighted keyboard and more USB outlets than 3 Macs put together. So far, so good. As the years have gone by, OS system and Windows have sort of met in the middle.
In other news, a little nice sewing has gone on, some blanket weaving and I have taken one of my mother's cats back to her to enjoy since she keenly missed him and he was making a jerk of himself in his new home. Sigh....cats.
And bigger sigh...horses. Dandy decided to turn up a week ago last Friday 3 legged lame. I could see no swelling nor feel any heat in his leg but he would barely put weight on his left rear foot. The vet did a hoof test and said she thought it might be an abscess working it's way out on the hoof. Soaking, poultice packing and stall rest so by Monday he was walking comfortably. Tuesday was our scheduled farrier appointment. Steve couldn't find anything. We can only guess he might have bruised himself on a rock or ice but he was put out to let nature take its course.
I of course, will be tuning in to all the Superbowl TV festivities. Wishing my Dad was here so we could take bets, drink beer and collectively swear and/or cheer during the game. I'm glad a young team made it, and had the Patriots NOT been the AFC winner I would probably be rooting for the Rams, but once a Pat fan, always a Pat fan, and all you haters can just stuff it! ;-)
I'm hoping to catch up with you all next week with a MUCH better post than this one, but for now... GO PATS!
I meant to get to this on the 1st, then the 3rd, then by the weekend, then, you get the idea! The looms stash changed and despite selling some things, grew.
For right now, we have Sheila and Justine back to back in the studio.
Justine has been emptied of her towel warp and they await finishing.
Mongo is taking up the space by the window in the studio
and Buttercup is staying out in the back room.
She is warped and it is in process, but the space is unheated at present, so no weaving going on out there. The little Piccolo loom is folded out there too.
Upstairs, the Louet David (Ziva) and the little Wolf Pup Fiona wait patiently.
The Ashford Joy wheel is still well loved although not used as much as I would like.
I have been spinning a wee bit every other day or so. The Ashford Electric wheel comes out when it's time to ply.
A little sewing has gone on, this button down in my favorite shirt pattern took days to finish, mostly because I was caught up in a couple of books. More on THAT further down.
We have had some beautiful sunrises. This caught my eye last week. Inside
Okay, back to books. I discovered Audible in 2018 and consumed a ton of books on it. My favorites of course were the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, but a surprising try of the Grace Draven books set in the world of the Wraith Kings captured my heart. Radiance and Eidolon where warm satisfying reads that I will visit again and again. There is a third in the series due out this year. Right now I'm eating up Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series. OMG, laugh out loud funny, set in modern day Arizona. This urban fantasy wasn't really in my wheelhouse but there was a sale, and the reviews were compelling. I'm so glad I gave it try. The nice thing about Audible is, if you don't like the book at any point, you can return it so trying out genres and books is an easy thing.
I'm feeling pretty bubbly today, so I'm going to leave you with this wonderful video. I guarantee it will make your toes tap and your heart sing!
Parting shots: This happens every night when we head up to bed. This too makes my heart sing.
This was supposed to be the year we didn't exchange gifts. I donated heavily in Gene's name and he cheated but in such a good way. Years ago a local artist did a little portrait of Peter, not long after I had lost him at the ripe old age of 19.
I still miss my leggy little wonder. Anywho Gene snapped a few pics of a certain flippered furry eel while I was gone and the artist didn't like her first effort so did a second.
Mandy does indeed look this worried when I leave. I am told she waits by the door for me for hours.
Gene took both and they are proudly hanging. They are very quiet, don't nip anyone and are thrifty on food and vet care....hmmmmmmmm......
The doubles don't stop there. I got sorely sick of making button down blouses. They aren't hard, but fussy in parts and time consuming even without sleeves.
This was a medium weight shot cotton I bought on the $5.00 table last fall. Not enough for sleeves but such a lovely dark raisin color I knew it would make the perfect multi season blouse.
Looks great with a pale grey cardi I have and deep charcoal pants. Just saying.... There has been a need for simple woven type tee shirts but I didn't want a scoop neck. I modified a style arc pattern I had used quite a bit and liked the neckline.
The single sized pattern was graded down quite a bit, and by the second one I had gotten a bit of shaping. The white linen will get a lot of wear, at least until it gets a lot of stains. The flannel certainly will see action now.
In fact I yanked it off Rhonda after the pic and threw it on for this chilly Saturday around the house. Win win!
My good friends spoil me and this year the quilting maven outdid herself.
FOXES are in the prints and such beautiful piecing it's hard not to fall in love with this quilt!
This lovely recycled lamp was also added upstairs. It started life as an art vase but it makes a beautiful soft light.
I am truly enjoying my little bedroom table BTW and can't imagine not having it now.
I'm leaving you with this gem to get you into 2019. A few of my favorite things..... ;-0 One of my wishes for next year is that I never ever have to look at a selfie of the Cheeto's junk. EEEEKKKKKK!
Parting shots: The holidays are an exhausting affair!
You know I send you off every Christmas to the Norad Santa Tracker and this year is no different! Santa and the amazing 8 have already left the North Pole and are on their route, so enjoy dropping in with them a few times if you can! And this year, doubly bless the folks at Norad for staying the course and allowing us to follow old Kris Kringle amidst what can only be thought of as the mango Musssolini's Shutdown, Holiday Edition.
If you are looking for something exceptional funny to listen to over the holiday while you prep with family and friends (or blessedly, uninterrupted), may I suggest you hook up into your listening device of choice David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice. This was a staple of ours on tape when we traveled from Los Angles to Oregon no matter what the time of year and like any classic it never loses it's charm.
From all of us at Runamuck to all of you, Happy Holidays. May they all be safe and warm and speak of love, laughter and friendship. Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me when you could!
Rarely do I pan a pattern as badly as I'm going to pan the hood/Cosplay pattern from McCalls, but it was a colossal waste of time and fabric.
The hood was my main interest but I figured I had enough fabric to make the vest too, so I cut both out from a linen I had languishing in my collection. A two sided affair, gauzy and thankfully bought on sale. The hood is positively weird! Ginormous head and tight at the back of the neck. With such an ample front you want to be able to adjust it back a bit. No go. The vest, if possible, worse. They must think we wear bras to make us look like pointy busted mannequins from the 50's! I was so disgusted with this pattern, it and the fabric is sitting in the to burn bin. If you want a nice hood pattern use a tried and true favorite of mine from Jamie Christina. It is much easier to work with and thriftier on fabric.
Well, now that I got THAT out of my system, lets get to the good makes! Two lovely shirts came out of the salon, one the almost flannel yarn dye fabric
and the other a supply lightweight cotton canvas in such a fun UK travel print.
I have another piece of this fabric that is Paris inspired cut and waiting attention. There is actually a lot of stuff cut and waiting but sewing has been rolling out slowly this past month or so.
So, last I left you we had gotten my mother's apartment moved, then she refused to move out of the health center even though she hadn't needed the 24 hour care for at least a month. It was a week of hell, she was impossible and finally the administrator had to step up and convince her she needed to leave their particular area of the facility. She is one floor up and can come down and hang anytime, but doesn't need the constant nursing care the health center offers. Put into dollars and cents we finally got her moved up last Monday. Of course now that she is up there, she loves it. Sigh. After the first of the year I am giving myself a much needed break from my parent.
A little decorating has gone on this year, mostly done before Mother Mule had her week of tantrums.
I rather like my plain little table top tree I went with this year. It is just enough.
The old reindeer and sleight from my Grandmothers Christmas box
also made an appearance but then everything is overshadowed by my Dad's loom. I hated to leave her out in the cold back room so I folded her up and installed her in front of the fireplace.
I have places I'm able to move her to weave or if we want to use the fireplace. In spring she'll go back to sharing with Buttercup!
So, raise your hand if you are feeling like OMG, exactly how out of control and crooked this so called president needs to become before we remove him from office? I am horrified at the actions of the past several days.
But today I'm going to concentrate on a good book on Audible, some weaving and look forward to the full moon tonight, meteor shower and solstice! A trifecta!! I'm leaving you with my favorite moon song. Years ago I knew the complete bass line. YEARS ago.....
To everyone, have a Merry one. I'll likely catch up with you all before the New Year.