Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Between There and Here

It was a weird feeling driving away from our old house for the last time. The new owners were walking up the road hand in hand to the house and we were off up island towing a trailer load of last minute things, some house plants and the dog.  There was many feelings swirling about but the overwhelming one was that of a chapter in our lives was closing and a new one starting. 

We didn't get too far north, reached the little town of Chemainus and dropped Calli off at her usual kennel for a play session and overnight stay. 

Then not too far away, we stayed here for the night  Best Western Chemainus.   The idea was to stay reasonably local and then we could tie up loose ends in the area and at the old house.   I guess I had mentioned bringing our dog Calli along for our stay and the hotel had this little guest package ready for her. It was quite sweet!   Notice the dog bed has a nice goose eye twill. 

We had stayed here while we were house hunting back in 2007 and it somehow seemed appropriate to finish things in the Cowichan Valley here as well.

We had a nice drive up island of two- three hours to our new community of Campbell River.  It was getting late in the day but we drive round to the new house and had a walk around of the empty home, trying to envision where we'd place furniture the next day.    We went and had dinner at a restaurant in town and drove a bit north out of town to Painters Lodge.  Its a resort famous for its fishing charters and outfitter guides to the more wild northern part of Vancouver Island. It has been welcoming guests since 1929.  It also has a water taxi boat over to  Quadra Island and its sister business April Point Resort and Spa.    After all the stress of moving, the spa part sounded  really nice right about then!

It was after dark when we arrived and we snapped this cell phone picture of the main lodge, fireplace must be blazing inside and you could hear the sound of live music coming from the  great room.  We checked in and went to our cabin by the water.  We were all so tired!  Calli put herself to bed right away and we thought that was a good idea too. The next day was to start early and would be a long one!

So just at first light, I saw Calli checking out the view. Seems we were at the waters edge and had a  good view of the docks and boats.  You could see people making their way down to the dock to take a boat out on a fishing charter.  I checked their guide book in the room and read that this was a good time to catch Chum salmon   Bruce took Calli for a walk and snapped this picture. Sorry its a bit dark but it was 6:30- 7 am !    We also found out that both resorts, Painter's Lodge and April Point, are up for sale.  No telling what direction they would be going once they are sold.  I can say that we stayed here but truthfully, we didn't see very much! 

We got some breakfast in town and headed over to the new house, just in time to see two familiar five ton trucks roll into the driveway and our very long day began.


Changing the subject entirely .... today, October 25th, is our 31st wedding anniversary.  Not too shabby for second time arounders huh?  No cards, no flowers this year.... but we may go out for supper tonight.  We gave each other a new house !





1998 or 1999


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pulling Up Stakes

Well, after all our prep work and waiting all summer long, the day finally came for the packers from the moving company to arrive.  The kitchen cupboards were full of china and many other full cupboards. We had downsized as much as we could anticipate (and that is the key word for this!). The crew arrived bright and early and said it would take them two days to pack everything including the garage and outdoor gardening gear. 

Amazing, when you think of how fast it can go when you know what you are doing!  They also arrived with this well supplied truck loaded with boxes of every size, tape galore and an endless supply of packing paper.  They were packing machines and powered their way through our house!

At the end of the first day they had boxed up everything but the basics. They left us two cups, plates, cutlery, the coffee maker, our bed, the TV and dog food for Calli. 

It felt strange having these 'tunnels' of boxes to walk through all neatly stacked. Only marked "kitchen" or "linen cupboard". It was the same downstairs too. Below is Bruce's office. Books, office equipment and paraphernalia all neatly parcel and stacked.  We ate pizza and watched TV.  It felt kinda weird .....

Earlier in the day I walked through the studio when the yarns were being boxed and the  guy working commented "I've moved craft studios before, even looms before.... but this is the most yarn I have ever packed up".  So what do you say to that?     Thank you!  😇  They assured me that my babies, the looms,  would be well wrapped and cared for. I decided the best way to handle that was to not be around when they did the deed. What I didn't know would save my one good nerve left. 

On September 29th, the two five-ton trucks arrived and neatly parked within inches of each other in the driveway.  It was quite the symphony men and dollies as boxes were carted out the door and arranged on the lawn outside. Thankfully it was over cast but no rain. They emptied the upper floor first.  It slowed down some at the truck as they carefully fit together a jigsaw puzzle of our household goods into a neat and tidy wall.  They needed a flat front to the load and then using  tie down cords, they cinched it into place so the load would not shift. Then they would build another layer.  

One young helper likened it to a giant Tetris game. I nodded in agreement (but I never played or understand video games like that.)    He said loading took longer due to the fitting process but unloading usually was done in half the time.  I hope so since we're paying by the hour!  

Everything in the house, with the exception of a few items fit into the five ton truck. That includes three looms and loads of yarn..... and all of our books.   The second truck gathered up all the patio furniture and garden shed stuff and headed down to the garage for the last part of the job.

Then the trucks rolled away to be in a storage yard for two days and we were officially home less.  Well, we still owned it for two days but it was completely empty and waiting for the cleaners to come the next day.  Technically the possession was for Oct 1st but the new owners got the keys mid afternoon of the 30th.  I took time out to walk about, check for any forgotten items and take some last pictures.

The fireplace wall was the only original item from when the house was built in 1979.

Our personally designed kitchen, new in 2010.

The lovely hardwood floor "Imperial Walnut" and new doors and windows.

..... and a completely empty studio!  Not even a thrum left behind, though there some lint bunnies.

Below is where the big Woolhouse Tools countermarch sat for years.... then more recently, the Megado. After nine years and one month, this chapter in our lives was over. This room would soon be filled with a large screen TV, comfy couch, and two kids, two dogs, two cats and a whole new focus for the home and property. 

The path was clear for us to leave and so we were off to our hotel for the night.  Next instalment will cover our  transition between homes, and communities.  It seems you are never too old for new adventure!

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 handweaving.net 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!