Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here's a look at the latest spindleful of yarn--I'm trying to overtwist the singles enough that I can ply it. It's the most delectable fiber I've ever spun--50% alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% silk from Abstract Fibers. I got it at the Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby over a year ago. I'm spinning it on my favorite spindle, which I got from Magpie Woodworks six or so years ago at the Taos Wool Festival. (I also have one of his tapestry beaters, and I *love* it.)

Back to the fiber. It is delightfully bright in a roving--but what sold me on this colorway was the fact that, due to optical color mixing, you eventually end up with russet shades.

In the meantime, I am enjoying winding it on the spindle in a color-coordinated manner.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Delinquent Update

I have been doing things, really.

Firstly, a view from my window:

And here's a picture of the supplies for the newest project, and a picture of its beginning. I'm embroidering on Osnaburg, because I wanted cloth loose enough to accomodate a lot of stitching. I pulled out some warp and weft threads, too. So far it's working out okay, except that for some stitches I have to sew a lot of background first--otherwise french knots just pop on through to the back.

And lastly, here's something else I recently retrieved from dormancy. I seem to have done enough embroidery in the interim that working on this seemed fast. It's mainly in split stitch.

I think if I get around to posting more often (such as after I actually, for real, get internet access at home) I am going to have to find a different blog publisher, because this one is strongly indifferent to my idea of formatting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Purple Progress

I spent a portion of last week here:

Yesterday was my vacation, and I spent a bunch of it sewing on the mirror & beads for the purple embroidery:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Something Finished!

Last night, I finally finished a sample/project I started less than three years ago:
It is a paramecium doily.

How did that happen, you may ask.

I had some variegated embroidery floss I was itching to use. I looked about for a scrap of cloth, and lo, there was a scrap of blue linen a clever friend had used as giftwrap. The scrap of linen was vaguely reminiscent of a paisley, and I think paisleys are like paramecia. Obvious, yes?

The really time-consuming part was the obsessive needle-lace buttonholing around the edge. Around and around and around...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't faint...'s a post. I've been busy, doing things and going places.

To begin, a picture from a while ago of an embroidery I started a longer while ago; the picture's kind of dark (I have since become more familiar with my camera).

As to what else I've been doing with my time--lots of hiking trips recently. This last weekend I went to Crater Lake. My photography guru was appalled that I had, er, basically never uploaded my photos. Here is documentary proof that I have now done so:

There will be lots more once I get them sorted out--Crater Lake is beautiful, and I took full advantage of the capacity of the digital camera by taking copious photos with different settings, and never running out of film! Zoom lens is great, too. At some point I'll probably set up a Flickr account to post more pictures.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Picture and a Brief Update

I have actually been working on things...just not taking pictures (or, if I take pictures, I don't remember my flash drive).

Most of my new photos are of waterfalls; I'll post a few once I get around to extracting them from my camera.

This has been a three-day weekend; I've mostly just been enjoying my time off by not doing anything. It's been more of a vegetation than a vacation, and consequently I'm feeling pretty rested, which is a nice change.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Medieval Weaving Tools!

* Edit July 7, 2013: this page seems to get a lot of hits, so I've finally added pictures and updates.

I just visited Isis & Machteld's wonderful blog Medieval Silkwork where Isis posted a manuscript illustration showing a bobbin-winding tool. (Check it out, Sarah!)

* Here is the direct link to the post about the bobbin winders: Winding Up Part II

There is something very similar in a painting in the National Gallery, London: Penelope with the Suitors, by PINTORICCHIO c. 1509. I've been meaning to make a test version for some time, except I mainly think of it when I am in immediate need of winding a bobbin, so I end up using my rotary drill instead of building a new tool.

* Small version of Penelope (follow the link to the National Gallery for a large one): (pending)

* My bobbin-winding setup: (also pending; I think something is up with Blogger)

I spotted Penelope's bobbin-winder a year or two ago when I was poring over the pages of Broudy's "Book of Looms," looking for tape looms. That hunt was inspired by finding this Bandwirkerrahmen in the wonderful collection of Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur. (I don't seem to be able to link directly to the image, but you can copy & paste "Bandwirkerrahmen" into the search box.)

* I can't find where I'm sure I downloaded it, and today Bildindex doesn't allow that; hopefully the permalink above really is permanent. But here is a picture of a similar, though less fancy, tape loom being used: (also pending because Blogger won't load it; I'm stopping for today...)

On a similar note, while reading "The Unicorn Tapestries" by Margaret B. Freeman I spotted a few small looms; one was this one--another Penelope, this time at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is a tapestry from the late 1400's. (Search collections for "Penelope.")

Once my house hunt reaches a successful conclusion, I envision more space for tools and making tools. And more space for bookshelves! :)

* Still no house, and I officially gave up last year. :( I did move to a larger apartment, but I've strenuously resisted expanding the bookshelf situation in case I have to move back to a smaller one.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Retroactive Posting

Battery issues etc. and not getting around to posting even when I happened to remember to bring the flash drive...not helped by still not having internet at home. Which now I'm not going to set up until I moved, which of course predicated upon finding someplace to move to. So far the house hunting rule seems to be:

I like a place: and:
it is too small, it needs work, I can't afford it, and/or it is not in a location I like

I obviously just need a lot more money.

Back when the painting class was going to start, I had a quandary about what to pick. I decided on a pomegranate, and then found out Kim was thinking of doing that, and I decided of course I needed to do something different. (Like somehow different pomegranates painted by different people wouldn't be different.) I decided on an artichoke, and then Sarah posted about artichokes, so I knew I'd picked the right thing. Right. Here are some artichoke paintings so you can get an idea of the technique:

By the time my artichoke had finished serving as model/muse, it was rather too desiccated to be eaten. It lasted a surprisingly long time!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On Weather, Reading and Painting

I am always writing blog posts in my head--it's a hazard of the lack of internet access at a time when I'm thinking of writing, or a lack of inclination and time when I'm online (which is at work). There is odd weather again today which disagrees with my sinuses--like yesterday, today is intermittently sunny, rainy, and snowy; yesterday included hail, and today had something that was somewhere between sleet and hail but more the consistency of miniature snowballs.

Wait! I have remembered. The other morning I found Princess picking out what she wants to read next. She must have finished all the books on the floor.

I myself am reading The Coptic Tapestry Album by Nancy Arthur Hoskins and, intermittently, Speiser's Manual of Braiding and also numerous novels. (Connie Willis: To Say Nothing of the Dog--go read it!)

On to the pictures. I have been thinking a lot about oil painting lately; it is a distinct pleasure to work on something that provides basically instant gratification! I'm not sure why oil paint has such a reputation of difficulty, because it is delightful to work with. Yesterday was the last class, and I missed it because I was completely unaware of the time change. I painted at home, though, so that's all right.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Introducing Princess!

Here's a picture of my kitty:

Isn't she adorable? :)

As you may have guessed, I do indeed now have a digital camera! It's a Canon PowerShot SX110IS; a point and shoot with lots of things to play with--including a 10X optical zoom. There have been technical configuration/internet access issues, so I have a backlog of images--yes, random art & project pictures, not just kitty pictures!

There has sort of been house hunting progress--realtor obtained, preliminary loan approval, internet ogling. However, the next step is to compile the data from last year's expenses, to see how much I can actually afford. My budget is not that compatible with prices in the housing market--at least with prices for cute/cool places in reasonably convenient locations. I don't feel like being patient. I want to find something now, move, paint it and get curtains, and plant things. For now, I'll have to settle for something like, oh, washing my dishes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Picture, and a Surprising Development

Here's the embroidery picture--between being extra busy at work (end of the month, and my supervisor is abroad) and forgetting to bring my flash drive, it seems to be taking me extra long to get around to doing any personal computer stuff.

The New Development: the apartment complex has just raised my rent. This I could handle; after all, largely due to their disorganization, I seem to have missed the last one. However, they have also decided to have us all billed for the utilities previously included in the rent (water, sewer, and garbage). This new bill, of course, is based on math and not on actual usage. I was pretty sure I knew what my decision was going to be, and then I talked to the apartment complex manager, and became completely certain: I am now officially House Hunting.

I am reasonably certain that the timing is due to the fact that I have nearly reached the state of minimum entropy, maximum efficiency of my current residence.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Guess Who?

There has been an unintentially long hiatus, which I will not describe at the moment (my laptop informs me that 25 minutes remain in the battery). Lots of snow around Chrismtas made life a city that does not have a plan to deal with snow.

Last Sunday was the first meeting of the oil painting class Kim and I are taking--we got our supply lists, then went to Art Medie and bought lots of goodies (paints, containers, brushes). Our first hands-on class is tomorrow!

A few days ago, with a bit of desperation to work on *something* but not something requiring much of any thought, I started embroidering on one of the painted cloths from last month. Embellishing a painted surface goes way faster than embroidering everything!

Drat. It appears I cleverly did not actually save my scanned picture to my flash drive. I'll have to add it Monday.