Friday, January 27, 2017

The Intricate Tiny World...on my Dresser

My dear husband Bruce was born into a railroading family. In fact both sides, paternal and maternal, had ties to Canadian National Railway.

His mother's Italian immigrant father laid track and raised twelve children on a section man's pay. On the other side his paternal grandfather (also an immigrant, and one of twelve children from the UK) was a car painter and had the honour of painting the fine gold leaf filigree art work on 1939 Royal train cars for King George Vth and Queen Elizabeth (we knew her as the Queen Mum).   Bruce's Dad ran steam engines for his career and Bruce's mom's brothers were locomotive engineers and track supervisors.

So it came as no surprise that Bruce took up a railway career (after a short trial period in a Sudbury nickel mine underground).  He worked in Ontario, Jasper Alberta, northern BC, the Okanagan Valley, Vancouver, and at Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Bruce ran freight trains, passenger trains for VIA Rail and a private tourist train.

First paying trip at age 18

Bruce in Jasper 1966

Bruce running the VIA Rail passenger train Christmas 1984
Engineer Bruce on the Okanagan Valley Wine Train 1999
He retired in 2000. So I have asked him if he misses running a train ?    He relied "not the early calls or the long, long hours... or the cold weather, rock slides or avalanches. But the rest of it, yes....."

He has written many of his railway stories and has even been published. I believe there are more stories in him still but these he may have to change the names to protect the guilty!

Has he satisfied his need to "get it all out there" ?   Nope... not even close.

Bruce was long ago bitten by the model railroad bug.  He enjoys creating miniature worlds in HO scale, or 1/87.    I found these pictures he had taken in a recent camera download and was amazed at the perfection of these tiny models. These were all sitting on top of his dresser on a handwoven runner.

Yup, even a tiny outhouse!

This model of a snow shed was created by a friend of Bruce's and you can see how intricate it is and the amazing amount of detail.  Look at the crib work of 'old railway ties'. 

The picture below is Bruce and my son on a road trip Christmas week 1984. They rode together in the engine's cab for a good portion of the trip while my daughter and I sat in the First Class dining car having breakfast.


Roll the clock ahead more than a few years and now my son's son has discovered Thomas the Tank and all things rail.  He regularly builds railway tracks that run all through the house.

The only thing that rivals the imagination of a grown man, is that of a little boy.  Our grandson Ethan is train crazy and here's Grandad helping get a train up the hill.... where they had a head on collision.... 

....and resulting disaster at the bottom of the hill! 

and so it continues..... Bruce plans to build a model layout in a portion of the garage and no doubt Ethan and other 'boys' will be over to help build a railway dynasty.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snap Shot

So today is supposed to be the most depressing Monday of the year.   Weather is dreary or downright cold. Christmas bills are rolling in.   Its the time of year where you just get on with getting on....

Unless you're a weaver.... then this is the prime weaving season! No holidays to prepare for,  no garden or yard work to do..... and you can sit and weave 'guilt' free.  

So call this a studio snap shot of today:

Cup of coffee and ready to start !

The Megado has had some action and a 16 shaft double plaited twill is quite eye catching.  I can see some beat issues but put that down to my bench. Its too low and so I had a double cushion on the wooden seat. It was wobbly and I kept sliding off.   Hubby has raised the bench height up for me and we'll see how that works soon.

The table runners are proceeding on the Spring loom and I'm midway on a long runner. This time I'm using a soft taupe tencel weft with the natural mercerized cotton. Its a nice combination. Definite clear pattern but not overpowering.

I'm doing some sewing and mending that have been waiting for some months.   I'm not a fan of hemming slacks and I'd rather pay someone to do it.  But its falling to me this time and like a good procrastinator, I'm here blogging rather than make a start.  (Yup, its that bad!)

I also had the warping mill set up and whirling away as I wound this warp.  Its 8/2 tencel and that's all I'm saying about this.   😉

So, I hope you are managing to avoid the flu making the rounds and staying healthy. Enjoy this weaving time..... and don't worry about other stuff going on right now.  Weave some sunshine in your studio and be creative

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Good Things Happen in Threes

This is as close as I can come to a spectacular finish to a year of blogging and the start of another!  I like to do an annual draw by way of thanking my faithful readers.   I know you are out there and sometimes you do a quick dash in and out.... sometimes, you settle in for a good read of past posts.

I have 'met' some of you via email and correspondence and shared in your successes and helped with some weaving problems.    Weavers everywhere seem to be a great bunch of resourceful friendly people, no matter where in the world we live!

Today its snowing at a steady pace and starting to add up.   No sunshine for some of these pictures to come so my apologies for the darker pictures. I tried to brighten them up on the computer.

I sat and read through each and every comment on the last two blog posts and wrote down everyone's name, or in the case of a few 'unknowns' I also added a bit of their comment so I could separate them. One weaver wrote twice and there's only one entry per weaver, and another commenter is a friend who is not a weaver, so the samples would not be of much use to her.

That brings the count to 47 names in the draw. They were folded in half and placed in a basket and shaken up well.....

I decided since I had eighteen samples to divide them into three lots of six .....

Then I placed them into three brown envelopes and had Bruce randomly number them.   Then we shook the basket once more and pulled three slips and tucked them under the number tag as drawn

Drum roll please!

Billie Weaver lives in the "Australian Capital Territory" of Canberra.   She also refers to it as the "Black weaving hole of the Universe".  I will leave it to Billie to explain that one....

Second slip drawn is for Karen Moore, a Canadian weaver in Ontario.

Third draw is for Capt. Dave and I have no idea where in the world Dave lives.... but he's clearly a weaver!

Congratulations to you all and please contact me via emmatrude at gmail dot com with your addresses and I will mail your sample prizes off to you sometime this week (after the snow stops)

I would like to take a moment to thank you for taking time to read my blog and following along as I get through my daily shenanigans and try to weave in between.  I never thought this electronic journaling would last this long but here we are at nine years and counting!
All the best for the coming year, Susan 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: A Year in Review

🍷🍸  Happy News Years to You al!  🎉🎈

I hope there's plenty of good health, happiness and weaving adventures ahead in 2017 for you and me!  So whether you follow the trend to show what's on the looms on this day or, like me, like to review the past year to see what you actually accomplished, here are my annual offerings.   It won't be as long as some past years as much of my energy was given over to more domestic activities. Hey, that's Life!

So here's what is on my Spring loom as of today, January1st, 2017. The Tissart is empty and the Megado is waiting to be tied to the front beam so no action there (yet)

Table runners with 10/2 ivory cotton warp, sett 28 epi, and 10/2 weft in a dove grey. 12 shaft twill 

January 2016  

The year started with me still dealing with the after effects of my knee replacement.  I was just into the first three months of what my surgeon assured me was a full twelve month healing journey.   So rest when it was tired, ice packs and exercise.   Nothing better than weaving huh?

So be sure to click on the various live links to take you back to that particular project post for details on draft, sett and such.

I learned how to create a colour gradation in Fiberworks and wove these two variations on the same threading:

We also headed over to Vancouver to see the grand kids and spent a few days away in what we like to call "The Big Smoke".   The traffic can be intense over there so Hub is always happy when we board the ferry for home.

Ethan and Madison last May 8th

February 2016

Bruce learned new tricks to help me warp up looms. What a guy!  He helps me every time I ask and  now even has his own warping tricks.  I'll be featuring his own post on his hobby later in January.

I loved the colour gradation thing so much, I did it again but this time in blues.

March 2016

I became the keeper of all the family's pictures after my father died in July 2015.  I spent much time this year scanning photos and digitizing them to share with siblings and cousins.  Its rather time consuming but in a good way!

I was also weaving too and wove a pair of these eye catching turned twill scarves:

April 2016

I really enjoyed weaving the turned twill scarves so much that I decided to do another pair, but this time change the flavour of the colours from muted to brighter!

Next up was some lovely grape silk and a classic drall weave. A pair of scarves that were quite different than all said and done:

May 2016

... and the second one appeared in May...

We made a decision to list the house for sale and we began a clean up of home and property.... time consuming but necessary!    We also went over to Vancouver for my son's 40th birthday and see the grand kids.   Busy month!

Madison in her pretty pink party dress

June 2016

Another busy month with company coming from Michigan and later Denver to visit. We did trips around on the Island to Cathedral Grove and Coombs to see the Goats on the Roof.

I started some snowflake twill scarves:

The house was finally listed and we had 22 viewings in 16 days!  Most of the month was given over to cleaning and "living lightly" in our home.

Thankfully having a warp on the loom was great as I could just sit and weave in snippets of time.  The second snowflake was finally ready....

July 2016

The sale of our home was complete and we got busy traveling up and down the Island looking for a new home. This became our daily job and evenings were spent cruising the Realty pages online for the next day's showings.

First anniversaries arrived of the loss of loved ones and gave us pause. I could hear Gudrun say "go for it", so we kept driving up island daily to find the right house!

Weaving?  Yes there was some going on. I started this eight shaft twill and it was a sanity saver.  (I think)  😜    What else? More scarves.... there seems to be a trend for 2016.  Are you keeping count?

August 2016

Okay, we bought a house at last, and then the serious work of downsizing and getting ready to move commenced.  The warp for two scarves on the spring loom were something fun to do when I needed a break from all the moving stuff.  It seriously reinforced the policy for me of "No Naked Looms"

We gifted a scarf to our lovely realtor Karen for amazing efforts on our behalf.   She helped us find our dream home!

The weather was warm and so was the activity around the old house and property.  I still managed to complete weaving these two lovelies:

September 2016

Packing was well under way of our more personal items. I would say this time period was more about sorting and reducing. Sold off furniture we knew had no place to go in the new house  and there were several trips to the landfill and recyclers. We also made some new purchases with the new place in mind.  In the studio it became a race to weave off warps and then dismantle looms to a suitable size for the movers.

October 2016

Moving day arrives and I seem to be more of a bystander while others worked to do what we had contracted them to do.  Move the boxes and furniture or clean the empty house. All the utilities had been notified, change of addresses sent out.   By this time, I was also in a world beyond tired and so ready for all this to be over!

November 2016

This was a blurred month of day after day unpacking, and figuring out where to put stuff, all while the wind howled and torrential rains fell.  We had apparently moved at just the right time ahead of the nastier weather!

We also found a new family doctor, located where all the grocery stores are and took a few days off here and there when the sun came out.  We also started to realize that Christmas was fast approaching!

I worked on the studio and kept busy rebuilding looms. I also did the final finishing on the last projects off the looms from before the move.

December 2016

So the final two scarves for the year were complete. Same threading as the previous two but different treadlings for a totally different look.

So I don't know if you have been keeping a mental tally but for 2016, but I wove sixteen scarves!  Not bad for a year in which we lost a great deal of time to our housing adventures.   As a bonus, there were also two towels woven off the Megado loom before the move too which were finally hand hemmed up.

16 shaft fancy twill

So what's head in 2017?  Well life feels much more stable now and so I hope to weave more of a variety this year.  My Christmas gift to myself was an order of 10/2 mercerized cotton.  I have plans! 

There's the ANWG conference in late June / early July in Victoria, BC which I would like to attend, even if just to meet up with friends and visit the vendor area.  We have good friends coming to see us from Michigan again this year, and my daughter and SIL will come from Denver in the late summer or fall. 

We also plan to visit and see our grand kids in Vancouver who are growing like bad weeds!  Here they are with a family friend just last night:

In between all this we have our new community and area to learn and explore and we also want to enjoy our garden and neighbourhood.

So if you are still with me, I'd like to repeat a message from my last post:

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 the previous post OR this 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 be sure to check back to see if you won!   

Its not done high tech... literally names written on slips of paper, shaken up and then drawn.   There will be handwoven samples from projects of anything from 4 shafts to 16 shafts plus project notes.     Good luck!    

I'd like to thank you all for being a regular reader of my blog !  Wishing you all a healthy, Happy  New Year..... and may your warps be smooth and your shuttle fly true!