Saturday, September 24, 2016


Our world is pretty topsy turvey right now!

The studio is in bits and bundles. The family china is wrapped, boxed and gone already.    Nothing to but wait for the packers and movers this coming week.   

 The calm before the storm...

I think Calli suspects something is going on. She keeps pretty close to either us or her bed. The suitcases purposefully haven't come out of storage  as yet as when they do, that means 'kennel-visit' to her'.  Except this time she's coming with us.

It will be my one year anniversary of my new knee on the 28th. What a difference a year makes!
See you on the other side of this adventure in moving...

Monday, September 12, 2016

Neither Here or There

It feels weird at home right now and I suspect it will for a time to come.  (No matter which house we're in.)  We have started visiting local businesses we frequent and friends in this area and saying good bye.  We went and saw our family Doctor and and caught up on things there too.

In between this we're at home purging closets and cupboards. I'm amazed at what I'm finding as I'm not a fan of keeping stuff and try to  have a relatively clutter free home.  Its like the stuff breeds when the doors are closed.

We sold off our guest room furniture and so now have one (almost) empty room.   We decided to sell our Colonial style dining room set. We bought it second hand in the late 1990's and it was always meant to be a temporary arrangement until we got our ducks in a row and bought something else.  Well, you know how Life is..... the ducks never quite behaved.

Bruce was checking the "Used Nanaimo" web site on line and found a rather unique dining room table and six chairs , and also two hutches / china cabinets for sale.   Some research told us it was a reproduction of a French 1930's Art Deco  model.  (Here's a link to the real deal)  We drove up island and had a look at it.

The table is just over seven feet long and so it will make a lovely set for the dining room.  Gently used and not at new retail pricing!   It will come to our new home in mid October.

We were so excited about this new addition that we stopped at Home Sense on our way home and bought a new rug for underneath.   Now I had some nice comments about the home but a couple did mention the lack of colour.... or vanilla decor.  We may in time add accent colours to some walls but for now we're leaving things as they are.  We'd like get a feel for the place first and add colour by way of  accessories.   So we started with this:

We got one rug that is 5 x 7 and a larger one for under the new table of 9 x 12.    Its made in Belgium and the fibre is lyocell.... or tencel!  Europeans use tencel for bed linens and many other household effects.   I hope to use the smaller one under the dinette.    So we now have an accent colour chosen to liven things up!

I wove off the last scarf on the Louet Spring and they are rolled up and packed. I'll finish them once we are more settled.   I made a big push in the studio to prep as much as I can for the movers.   Bundling up warping sticks and breaking down warping mill and warping boards.   I've taken the loose beams off the Spring and tied the beams up snug.  The studio is an organized mess right now as I work my way from spot to spot around the room.   I think the Megado loom will need a larger take down.

Its my habit to take a photograph of my start of each new project and I do this for a couple of reasons:
  • sometimes you simply can't see any threading errors, but the camera finds them. I learned this by sharing a picture with a friend and she gently asked me if I had fixed the error yet?  So with complicated twills, it really helps!
  • I also like to work the treadling and create a border and sometimes I create on the fly. Taking a picture at the start is a neat way of recording what I did so I can reverse it at the other end. You only have to forget to write it down once (okay twice), or unwind a whole warp once to find an easier solution!
I have a couple of pictures to share something fibre related with you until we're moved and settled. So remember this?  An eight shaft fancy twill.

I put a new  olive green 8/2 tencel warp on and threaded it just the same as the scarf above. But I wanted to try something different as I have two scarves in this pattern already.  So I worked on some treadling variations and  the first was worked in a snowflake style or twill progression.

On the second scarf, there's a change in weft colour and a change in treadling again.  Just a simple run back and forth across the treadles. There's a slight change at either end of the scarf which will be hi lighted when finally finished. Stay tuned for that. 

So as you can see, you can get a nice variety from one threading.  I demonstrated this once before with this post.

So this is most likely my last post before the move but trust that I will have my camera handy and be snapping some shots to share later on.    See you on the other side! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

High Days of Summer

Its been beastly hot here.  There's been no weaving going on and not much in the way downsizing in the last few days either.  Its entirely too hot and I don't do heat very well.  It actually makes me feel ill and so I camp with a fan and an iced drink  and wait it out.   Fortunately tomorrow is supposed to be 3-4 degrees cooler.    My 'cool' basement studio was 82 degrees F.  I hate to think what the upper level was.....

I took all these pictures about ten days to two weeks ago and so everything was at its peak of perfection.   Not too hot, not too cool and all the baskets and gardens were lush with growth.

Well, roll the clock forward and add a heat wave and now the leaves are turning yellow and dropping off, and everything is parched.  More telling is that its getting dark much earlier now and the bracken fern's stems have turned bronze gold. This means they are starting to shut down and die.  Despite the heat there are clear signs that summer is about to come to a close. 

These two scarves were woven on the same 8/2 tencel warp, a new colour called "birch". Its a lovely soft silvery pale green.  Its an eight shaft fancy twill that I found on and adjusted till it met my needs for scarf width.  I used 8/2 tencel in the colour "slate" for a softer more muted look. I carried on weaving but wondered if it was too soft a colour?

This picture shows the scarf's length.  I woven them to approximately 74-75 inches on the loom. After wet finishing they both measured 72 1/2 inches in length.   My standard length unless a client requests either shorter or longer.

This picture shows the pattern and its fully reversible. Its very much like a twelve shaft fancy twill I wove a couple of years ago but lacks well defined reversals in the pattern . Four extra shafts makes quite an impact to detail like this.  I know, I know.... it always seems to be about more shafts, a bigger better loom.  If you are into the weave structure and pattern work, then more shafts was always in your future anyhow. 

The drape is lovely and a good hard pressing brought out the tercel's shine and set the pattern.

I had a harder time deciding the second scarf's weft colour. I auditioned a few options and went with deep burgundy or "eggplant".  It crisply defined the pattern!

There's enough length to do a double wrap and wear outside of a dress coat.   The green looks more grey here. 

I enjoyed weaving them, so much so that I wound another warp and and started some more.  These are now waiting my  time and pleasure.   As soon as the weather takes a turn for the cooler I plan to get some time in on the loom.   They may well be my last project until after we move as we have a lot of work to do before the trucks roll up.

And now for something a bit different....

We have always had a small rabbit on the property.  Small and dusky brown with a snowy white fluffy tail.  We know that it not likely to be the same rabbit (we have found bunny bits, including a fluffy tail, in the meadow one spring) but we always call it Peter and assume he's male, after the Beatrix Potter tales.

Here he is:

We had just pulled into our driveway and he stood up and checked us out.  It seems we arrived at an awkward time as he was trying to impress someone:

Isn't she sweet?  She was over in the edge of the tall grasses ignoring him and us for that matter. 

I suspect the new owners will find there will be more than one rabbit this fall and who knows how many next spring!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Small Token of Appreciation

This is Karen, our realtor who helped us find a new home. She was amazing!  When we were all caught up in the emotions of the whole affair, she kept a calm steady hand on things. 

When we got flustered by things, she patiently waited for us to regroup and get back in the game. 

Negotiations?   She knew how to navigate through those!    Early mornings and late nights, through many house viewings with us, in several communities.  More than a few miles. 

 We wanted to thank her for what she did so well,  so I gave her what I do well... a silk and tencel scarf and she loved it! I think it really suits her colouring.

So, a few pictures of our new home to-be. Bear in mind these furnishings belong to the present owner!  Ours are not so grand as these.  These pictures were  on the MLS listing:

This room above will be my weaving studio

Our goals were to eliminate as many stairs as possible and this is a rancher, so no stairs at all now. To reduce square footage and we did. We now have no guest room and we are trading bedrooms so I can have a weaving space. It looks larger because of the vaulted ceilings.  Lastly, to reduce the property size and we went from 2.12 acres to 1/3 of an acre and easy maintenance.   So the third house we made an offer on, was the charm!  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Perseverance Furthers

Well, we took the for sale sign down as we found people were walking around our property and / or coming right up to the house.  It did say "by appointment only" but its almost like the sign gives them permission.  If they are up against a time crunch for buying, I can sympathize! Its a sellers market and so very few homes to view right now.   We are also hearing that multiple offers are common. 

This is all as a result of the overheated housing market in Vancouver and it forced people to move to other areas.   The wave started in Victoria on the southern end of the island and has been working its way up island.  Victoria is about forty five minutes drive south of us, with ferries to Vancouver.  So to sell in the southern portion of the island and get more for your money when re-purchasing, you have to look northwards.   

The city of Nanaimo is also forty five minutes drive north of us and roughly mid island, and also with ferries to Vancouver.  We centred our search just north of Nanaimo and divided the search into areas: so Parksville / Qualicum Beach, then Courtenay / Comox and then Campbell River.    There are also lovely places in between all those towns too.  Our realtor Karen was fabulous!  We would drive every day up to Courtenay and then go and view homes in one of those chosen areas.   This went on for many days. We put a lot of miles on and many hours. (thank heavens for my new knee!) Our dog Calli was in the kennel one day only and injured her paw playing, so after that she came with us and enjoyed a fluffy bed, toys, food and cool water and AC in the car. We took turns staying with her so she was never alone.

We wrote the first offer on a lovely home in Courtenay, with a verbally accepted offer. The next morning when the final signatures were due by 10 am, they failed to arrive.  They squelched on the deal and let the time expire and went with another offer.  We were crushed.    But in hind sight it was a good thing as it threw us into the deep end of the housing pool and we toughened up after that. 

We took a couple of days to readjust our attitude and then built a new viewing lists and went back on the trail.  We found that the list was getting shorter and more expensive as homes sold. A listing viewed on line in the evening, could be gone come morning.  To be truthful, we started to doubt the "needs and wants" list we had built for our new home. It seemed to be a bad time to get picky.  Then we heard all the military families at the Comox Airforce Base were in the middle of looking for relocation homes too.  Oh, crap. 

We viewed many homes, some of which were nice but just not the right fit.  One we viewed was stunningly lovely, also fit the list but seemed 'too much'.  We have been living in a small house in the woods for 8 years.   But was it ever nice!

Our second offer written was on a home in Deep Bay. It was a big compromise for both hubby and me. It also had stairs to the main floor (again) and the yard needed work too.  It had been completely gutted and rebuilt and was a lovely modern reno, with an ocean view and short walk to the beach.   We gave them  their asking price but the listing realtor told our agent that we would have to compete with other offers (that weren't there yet).   What the....???     It didn't take us long to decide what to do with that. We walked away.... and as of this mornings search, its still for sale; (good).  Some very greedy people out there...

No time off after that loss; we rolled up our sleeves and were checking the daily hot sheet for new listings and being there the same day to view.  Our agent Karen received a message from the  listing agent for the fancy smancy house we viewed and we were invited to bring them an offer.  They had repurchased and moving at month's end. Karen checked and it had been on the market sixty nine days.... which is amazing given the market conditions!   Perhaps they had all been intimidated by it too?   We went to see it once more and..... oh, my!  It was as lovely as I remembered.    Its actually a bit smaller than our present house, but you would never know it.  Where would my looms go?    I'd make them fit somewhere, even downsize some more if I had to!  It fit our "needs and wants" list almost perfectly.

So we sat down and made a starting offer and gave them a full twenty four hours to respond. Karen presented our offer in person to the home owners the next morning.

They said yes.... and signed. No counter offer.  

Our new home!

So we will be moving to lovely Campbell River BC for October 1st.    There are just a couple of subjects to be removed shortly but we don't anticipate any problems.  We have visited Campbell River several times and have been quite impressed by the town and they are clearly progressive.  They have a beautiful waterfront, new developments and housing and a thriving tourist industry. They are known for salmon fishing charters, and miles of beaches with mountain back drops.    Any view from a spot on Vancouver Island is lovely, but at Campbell River, its simply jaw dropping beautiful!  These are the Coastal Mountain ranges on the mainland across the Salish Sea

There are literally miles of beaches to walk on and explore....

Its known for a variety of wild life but in particular, resident pods of Orcas:

So where is Campbell River?

We drove daily to Courtenay for the house hunting and used the main Island highway and  it took us 1 hour forty minutes.  This screen captured map below says its two hours and nine minutes from one house to the other.   The Island highway has speed limits of 120 kms (or 75 miles per hour).  As you can see from these two maps, its a very large island! 

I would like to direct your attention to my sale page and mention that I have many books, magazines and such for sale there, many already reduced.... and I'm open to offers. They have to go now!
I will be adding more items as we go through stuff and downsize some more.    I can get postage quotes in advance and payment is via Paypal.  

I'll be back again shortly with a weaving related post.... some new show and tell.  I'm  just stepping outside to take some pictures today.