Thursday, December 29, 2016

All in Good Time

 The new studio reveal.  Its been a long time coming! First for me and then for you...

We lived at our last home for nine years and despite the renovations and such, I was never truly at home there. It always felt 'temporary'.  Suffice to say its a long story which I won't go into here. We did try to sell at one point but after some months on the market, autumn arrived and we took it off. The market was too soft in our area and so we had to wait for a shift in the trends.

Then health issues arose and a couple of surgeries / recoveries later and it was spring 2016 and I told Bruce that I felt we should go for it either this year or next, and that this year would be better. The rest they say is history.... and I've covered off the house sale and our move in older posts.

What you (and me) have been waiting for is to have things finally straightened around and get things sorted back into a working studio again. 

So as of October 1st or just after... my space looked like this. Boxes crammed everywhere and even the closets were full, with more in the garage labeled 'studio'.  I had to haul everything out, open all cartons and see what was what and get rid of as much packing paper as possible.  I think one day I simply sat in the middle of my chaos and just thought things through.... figuring where things might fit best.   I have shifted things a few times and probably will do that still but its as good as it can be for now.



So from the mess above to the arrangement below:


This is opposite view towards the studio entry door. The red wall at the end houses the yarn closet and the dark doorway is the ensuite bathroom. Yup, this is supposed to be the master bedroom.



The closet: crammed full with additional shelving to maximize all available storage space.


The 'facilities' at the other end. Bonus tub after a gruelling  weaving session! It took some getting used to.  ūüėĄ


Below is the Tissart tapestry loom in the only good spot for it. Thankfully its a vertical loom. I will be warping this loom up for its first time  soon. I have to study instructions on how to do it correctly  and then I can do some practise projects to build my tapestry skills.


Down at the far end of the room is a narrow space I call the alcove with windows on two of three walls. So lots of good light.  The spring loom is tucked in here and I must admit its a tight fit. I have a small folding table with my serger and sewing machine set up. Now, I prefer to keep them out and ready to use. I like to do my finishing right away after each project.  I also lack a place to store them if I was to remove the table and free up more room.

I suspect this situation will be the first in the room that will get changed in some way. (in fact, since I took the picture, I have had to add a printer and a scanner to the table today, so its not going anywhere for the time being. I'll just have to be careful with my dainty derriere!)

I'm also on the look out for a new desk. Something a bit smaller and emphasis on more functional (with maybe room for the printer and scanner?). We have found a great store in town with wonderful used and antique furniture and we'll be checking there from time to time.


This view shows the double French doors which will be lovely to have open in better weather to come.  I'm hoping to  sit outside and spin or even take the spring loom outside. Its certainly light enough to carry a few steps with help.


Directly outside the doors looks like this in summer (I saw the house in July but this picture is from the listing photos, so not our patio furniture.)


Then autumn after we moved in....


Then more recently, a true winter scene....


So that just leaves spring to come and now that we've passed the winter solstice, its on the way!

Changing subjects....



As of January 8th, 2017 I will be celebrating nine years (that's a 9 !) of keeping this blog, my Thrums Journal.  I traditionally have a little give-away to celebrate.   I have a selection of weaving samples from some of my past projects that you will recognize from past posts. 

So... weavers: please leave a comment, with an email address, on this post AND/ OR the next NY's Day post, and you will be entered to win (only one entry per weaver).   Some visitors say they have difficulty leaving messages:   click on the word 'comment' at the bottom of the post and then follow the instructions.  There is a delay seeing your message as I have enabled comment moderation to eliminate some nasty spam (which you really don't want to see!).  If this somehow doesn't work for you, click on my email address at my profile and send me a note with your message, name and address and I'll add you in later.

The draw will be held on January 8th, 2017 and the winner will be posted here. So check back to see if you won!   Its not done high tech... literally names written on slips of paper, shaken up and then one drawn.   There will be a  handwoven sample from  projects of anything from 4 shafts to 16 shafts plus project notes.     Good luck!     

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ghosts of Christmas Past





From our Family to Yours!


Being in a new home, and in a new community does tend to lead to a quiet Christmas for two. I have been thinking on past friends and especially Family.   Its at Christmas and other special holidays  when their absence really hits home.   Some are simply far away and some are no longer with us.

I'm lucky to have a photographic record of Christmases past to review and wander down memory lane.


This is my parents very first Christmas tree as a married couple in 1954.


It's 1959 and that's me on the left and I must be about three years old.   Its my very first Christmas party.


Here I am meeting "Father Christmas" as he's known in England. I don't look too sure of him!



My parents emigrated to Canada in 1960 and we lived in Saskatoon.  The 1960's had especially harsh winters and so Dad wore a buffalo coat when he walked the beat as a police constable.  I remember trying to lift this coat and couldn't do it. It was also a very old coat as they passed them on, one officer to another.


In the picture above and below... this is me and the year is either 1960 or 1961. I'm four or five years old.  See the Santa at the base of the tree?  My parents had that their entire married life together, and then Dad for another 20 years after Mum passed away. It and some other ornaments were what I like to think of as traditional anchors.  There was a comfort to seeing them every year.


This would be 1962.   I can still recall the Christmas parcels my Nana sent from England.  There were English style candies and treats....and...


My Nana would always send me an 'annual' to read. Usually a story book about Harold Hare, Rupert Bear, Beano or some other story collection.  I grew to love books at a very early age!


I'm almost certain this one below is Christmas 1963.  My last Christmas alone as my siblings all came along after that.


Some years later and a brother and two sisters later.... this is what Christmas Day in Dunedin, New Zealand looks like.  I'm fourteen, and my smallest sister is four.  I never adjusted to taking cold chicken to the beach for Christmas dinner or Dad bring the Hibachi along.  Everyone exchanged cards with traditional snow scenes too.  Weird!   


The lovely beach where we are sitting is St Clair at one end..... and a long ways off at the other end, its St Kilda. In the black and white above, you are looking up the St Clair portion towards Lawyers Head at the far end.  Here's a coloured view of the same beach and the sand dunes, and Lawyers Head. We spent literally hours on end playing here.  Searching for sea critters in the rock pools at Lawyers end, or at the opposite end, swimming in the open air St Kilda salt water pool.   The surf off shore was darn cold (it flows up from Antartica!) and 'here there be sharks'.  These were taken  back in the mid 1970's.  Check this link to see the beaches as they are today.


This was a New Year's day picnic 1973. The whole gang again, plus my mother on the far right and a family friend in the centre. Dad was, as usual, behind the lens.


I don't recall the name of this beach but Dad caught a nice picture of Mum sitting in the dunes while we played on the beach.  It was a very hot day and so we were ready to cool off in the water.



In 1974 we came back to Canada, life ensued and soon I was away from home, married and had my own family.  I started my own traditions with my children and faithfully put up the tree and same decorations year after year.


Now, I look around at the winter landscapes and smile at the snow scenes. I feel more at home in the northern hemisphere.  We seem to be having a colder, snowier winter than in recent years.  The pond behind our house is frozen over and kids were skating on it yesterday. Sadly I didn't get pictures but will try if they skate again today.  They left their goal posts on the ice so I think they will! 
And they did!  The fence marks the end of our back yard... and the pond is just the other side. They played until it was quite dark and seemed to be having a great time!




There is such beauty to a winter landscape. There's no mistaking snow clouds  once you've seen them!  But on a sunny or partly sunny day, with the lower weaker sunlight colours appear in the landscape that are soft, muted and delicately blended.   I  can see beautiful warps in pictures like these:

(all from Google images)






I'm thinking a winter series would be nifty if woven up in, say,  July 2017!

All the very best from Susan and Bruce 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Treadle Lightly: ANWG 2017 NW Weavers Conference

For those of you who live along the west coast of Canada and the USA.... or will be traveling to Vancouver Island this summer, consider adding this amazing event to your calendar:  Workshops: June 28-30 and Conference: July 1-2, 2017.

What is ANWG?

The Association of Northwest Weavers’ Guilds (ANWG) is an umbrella organization for weavers’ guilds from southern Oregon to Alaska and the Yukon, and east as far as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. ANWG started with a conference in 1957 for the weavers of the Pacific Northwest hosted by the Seattle Weavers’ Guild. At the second conference hosted by Seattle in 1969, a group of active weavers from Washington and Oregon met to form a non-dues paying Association to promote and perpetuate the conferences.


I hear there will be fireworks the first night! (it will be Canada Day ūüėĀ)  Victoria will also dress up with their amazing 2000+ flower baskets.  Be sure to stay and see the sights after the workshops and seminars at the conference.   Click on this link to meet some of the instructors and their courses. You'll find it hard to choose!

Peruse the workshops and seminars now, save your dimes and dollars for the market hall, and enter the exhibits and / or fashion show.  Come and enjoy your self!   See the link below for details, and registration starts January 17th at 9 am PST.

I'll be there... will you?


Saturday, December 10, 2016

... and Even More Winter....

Twenty four hours later and it shows no signs of stopping. Talk is the snow might fall  for another two days...    Its also warmed up a bit and so the snow is getting heavy.   Hubby is in the garage seeing if he can get the snow thrower started. Its not cooperating.   Big thanks to the neighbour who loaned us some gas to run it!

Bruce took these pictures this morning and as luck would have it, a snow shoer was on their way past the back fence on the fairway.

Its pretty, and pretty worrying all at the same time....  I have a big list of things that must be done, paid and arranged (like everyone else).  The big one is I have no snow boots and that might have been a serious oversight.... well, this year at least!

Just heard a big roar as the snow thrower started.... Yeah!


I don't know how these twiggy branches hold up in conditions like this!


The back yard


Close up of the poor hawthorn


Trellis and chestnut tree



Its rather deep out there. Ask poor Calli. Its a good thing she's tall.


Neighbour snow shoeing beyond the back fence.


The car was cleared off (mostly) yesterday


Well, if you can't get out, then you can't get out. So what's to do? Bruce will get a hot chocolate 'adult style' and a soak in the tub. Me?  more threading  and Christmas tunes.

Edit:   Bruce just came in to warm up some parts and cool down others. He said the snow thrower is like riding a bucking bronco. It has its own ideas of where it wants to go.  We'll have to look into making some fine adjustments to hobble that machine a bit!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Winter Interlude

What happens when you mix a warm Pacific low front and a cold  Siberian Arctic air mass?
You get snow!


swallows nest on the chestnut tree


bird bath garden


garden trellis


snow on the hawthorn


These were taken by Bruce about midday. Since then it has snow steadily all day and there is a very thick coating on everything.....but its getting dark.  We'll see what it looks like tomorrow when daylight returns.


I don't think any of this bothering Calli !