Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A study in contrasts- Courtesy of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac

Friday, August 24, 2012 7:54AM ET
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 8:55 AM ET

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:14 PM

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:43 PM

So Isaac came to my beloved Mexico Beach today and made a mess of it.  Or, rather, left it looking really really clean!  I saw one piece of coral, three seashells and a few people.  Three of those people were id-jutzs!  But those pics are for another day.
pictures taken since friday the 24th thru tonight the 28th: 393  yikers!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

FREEBIES FOR CRAFTERS: Triangle Coin Purse With Zipper

A sweet little coin purse with a zipper closure and it stands up due to its triangle shape!  I'm thinking this may be my project of the day.  If I can ever get caught up on my emails and blog readings.

FREEBIES FOR CRAFTERS: Triangle Coin Purse With Zipper

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A trip to the mega sewing store

Today I went to JoAnn's.  I really dislike going there, it has more crafts than fabric and such a poor choice of fabrics that I really am not inspired to sew - and certainly not to quilt being the quilting fabric snob that I am -and it also always has a horrible manmade scent in it that reminds me of wet straw.  With my scent sensitivities i really try to stay away from candle/potpourri/diffuser places.

But, this past week I got an email update from Nancy Zieman for her new McCall's pattern 6607 and fell in love with it.  It will be perfect for either our fundraising event this October.  Or if my presence is needed, at a smaller gathering at a Board Member's home in early September.  So after getting my two cuts of foam-50% off this week and the main purpose for my journey - I was off to the pattern table and found the pattern and headed to the knits area.  tons of solids in a cheap-ey THIN fabric but nothing like I saw this pattern being made in.  Then on a round table near the front of the store was a group of animal type prints and one of them was in black and white like I thought I wanted with a bit of sporadic clear sequins on it.  2 1/2 yards later I went looking for thread. 

I always feel like I treat a trip to the town only 11 miles north of us as if I lived in the hills 50 miles from anywhere.  See I really have no reason to go to "town" anymore.  I have a Publix and a Sweet Bay 1 1/2 miles from my home.  Sam's club is only another tenth of a mile.  There is a Panera, a Starbucks, too many pizza places to count-but only one counts-East Coast Pizza.  We have a bowling alley, a McDonald's, Burger King, Applebees, Beef O'Brady's, two Chinese restaurants and even a Japanese Restaurant now.

WalMart is an 8 mile drive north or an 11 mile drive south of us and we have at least 6 WalMart stores within 20-25 minutes of my house.  All the "real" stores/mall/movie theater etc are all up in that 11 miles away place that also has JoAnn's.  So when I go to "town/JoAnns" I make sure to take care of purchasing as many things that are on sale or I have a coupon for as  I can to justify the travel time and the gas.

I got two pieces of foam.  One piece for the sitting area of the bench in the front bedroom at the condo and the other piece is for the coat rack/bench I have in my office at work.  I bought black, white, red and navy 100% cotton thread,  a black and white rayon thread to sew the fancy material I bought for the McCall's 6607 pattern.  I also purchased the last 4 packages of plastic carbiners(sp?) to use in a couple of future purse/tote type projects,  5 packages of machine needles, a skein of pink and white dishcloth cotton yarn from the Breast Cancer Awareness display for Bernat, and something else that I cannot recall.  I did not even splurge on a magazine or a book!  I was gone 2 hours from home to home and I guess the splurge was well needed as I felt great when I got back...except for the nasty wet straw smell on my clothing which I promptly switched out.

I didn't think to take pictures of my haul but I'm sure I can come up with something for you to view.  In the mean time, have a marvelous day!

in September of 2011 we went to the local boating and fishing show.  In the 1st shot I am learning to fly fish.  I'll just say that all fish are safe from me if I ever use the fly fishing techniques.  While at the show I attended three different lure/bait rigging demos.  The last one I did was to rig a nasty ballyhoo for fishing for big fish!  At one point I had to break its back and squeeze all the poo out of it.  Not only did I reek of fish, but of fish guts and waste too! And yet, I'm still smiling.  Gosh I love to fish!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Overwhelming projects that never get started/done

UPDATED 07/15/2012 9:27 AM
First off I have no affiliation with any of the pattern makers or any sellers of the links to patterns for sale or for free in this post.

I have a terrible time remembering to take home everything I brought to work and not leaving something there. TWICE I have left my wonder wallet in the locked drawer of my file cabinet. The second time was the day after the accident and i needed my ID in order to go the doctor the next morning. Gratefully, the other person in my department lives on this side of Tampa Bay too and she drove it over and met us at a Wal-mart near us.

One time I left my cell phone there on a Friday.  Of course, that was the day before I was to meet east of Orlando to pick up my Baby Wolf Loom and THAT was the number they had for contacting me etc. AND resulted in the 2 hours round trip to work to get it.

So for awhile now I have been pondering (does anyone ponder anymore?) what solution would allow me to make sure that I have everything I absolutely need to take home with me on any given day.

Keys (yes, I can leave them there because dh & I carpool and I don't have to have them to arrive home each day after I leave the place in the car, except every other Friday when dh is off)

wonder wallet:  money, id, credit cards, all slightly important for gas, groceries, salon visits etc.

cell phone: which is also my alarm clock for waking up, email reading device, book reading device, websurfing device, and the basic of its functions- a phone for contact with my friends and family

work lanyard: photo ID, key to my office, key to the file cabinets

lunch bag

any personal papers etc i've taken to work on, refer to, speak to a doctor, lawyer, indian chief - oh wait no indian chief

gosh and so much more I'm sure.

Those are the basic items needed on every day of my work life.

I thought, as I am the type of person, if you always do it the same way in the same place you will not be as likely to lose/forget something... I could make a tote bag that housed all of this "stuff" I need to schlepp back and forth each day.

Dh and I also have a problem with the perfumes/air fresheners/chemicals etc that my tote bag absorbs during my time at work.  When it sits in the car for an hour on the ride home... then sits in the same spot day in and day out in the dining room so I don't forget the tote itself...it bothers our sensitivities to scent and clogs our sinuses etc.  Due to this I need something that I can make five of and wash! Then each day I will have a different tote with everything in its place and toss the smelly one into the laundry each week.

The more I have pondered this, the more I have thought of the PortaPockets Purse Insert pattern that I'm pretty sure I bought over a year ago and have somewhere in a bin.

The pondering came up with something like this.

make five tote bags with at least one clip hook easily accessible INSIDE the bag for my keys and work lanyard to clip to

make five "inserts" that house in a specific section each of the bare necessity type things listed above so at a glance I can see a pocket is empty and find the item before exiting the building and driving an hour home.

make 5 wonder wallets to use in the various bags

make 5 lunch bags with ample space for my frozen water bottle (used as the freeze pack in the bag)and all the containers/baggies i carry to eat and refuel me for the rest of my work day

make 5 water bottle holders which double as my cellphone carrier with a Nivea spf30 lip balm in the bottom of it

make 5 Maggies-large sized (Lazy Girl Designs) with lobster claw clip for my wonder wallet to fit in to in case i grab my waterbottle/cellphone holder and clip the Maggie to it with the wonder wallet in it. the barest of necessities in life for being able to do things after work or on the weekends but return the stuff to the all inclusive organizing for work non-forgetting-stuff "tote"

make 5 very protective stabilized eyeglass cases for remembering my "good" glasses each morning. I sleep with my old pair on the mattress for reading in bed at night on the .... cellphone of course!

And as you look at that lovely list, you can see why I have not made even ONE of them, as to think I need one for each work day in order to accomplish the portion of the goal that means washing the smells away daily... well it is overwhelming!

I should treat it like our gift giving thought process at 25 weeks on yahoo goups... break it down into time/item goals, KIT them up, and then figure out how many I need to do and when to get it done!

in order to even KIT the things I have to:

FIND the patterns I possess of these
1) Maggie FOUND 7/15/2012
2)portapockets purse insert FOUND 7/15/2012
3) wonder wallet FOUND 7/15/2012

PRINT off the online pattern:
1) pink chalk waterbottle carrier FOUND 7/15/2012

1) the perfect tote to house the insert AND have room for my tablet when I go on business trips FOUND very old pattern from some 21+ yrs ago Simplicity 8657 7/15/2012 just need to design an interior pocket JUST for the ASUS tf201 tablet with keyboard and cover
2 )the perfect lunch bag
3) the stabilized eyeglass case

1) cutting mat area
2) arrange the Baby Wolf and weaving stuff so I can get at the sewing machine AND the cutting area in the same crafting time frame. Partially done during the search for the patterns

it all!

Oh help me all, I'm awash in dreams of this solution and the enormity of it all.

Have a grand day, and remember no elephant is so big it can't be eaten one bite at a time. Yea, right.

hugs! Prayers! luv that you're in my cyber life

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A video ... hopefully

If you can view this, here is a video of a sting ray.  It is not easy to determine in this video, but it was surfing in the waves!  It would swim out a bit and then ride the wave in about 4-6 feet.  It was very intentional and brought a smile to my face as i watched them over and over again.  If nothing else, you can hear the very small waves soothingly in the background.

Stingray in the surf - July 2012

A Quick Catch Up

Gosh not only have I been not blogging for a very long time - long story that probably will never get told - but this is my first post after the changes to the new and improved (don't you just cringe whenever you read, see or think those words? blogger.   And when i clicked the pen -must be to "write", therefore to "post" I found myself looking at a  VERY blank screen.

Do you remember the writing exercises in high school?  We would have to write for so many minutes, but with no theme provided most of the time.  The idea was you would just write anything and allow the words to flow from pen to paper without thinking about what you were writing.  This is all well and good for free-writing time, but here in blog land people will not wish to read your free-writing barf.  They will click to the next blog and move on!  Life is short and time on the internet is shorter.  Or rather, too consuming of a limited resource - free time, so we need to be very choosey of how we spend our free time.  So before you go moving on, if you have read this far, let me do the blogging cure all for writing barf (man I really just want to say it - vomit) and snag you with a picture!  Ah, a picture is worth a thousand words, and so much easier to write too.  And faster to read by you oh blog reader of mine.   So here is a quick review of the many months I've been "away".

Shortly after my last post we were able to go to our lovely vacation now/retire later condo in northern Florida.
 MARCH 2012
Where and when I did plenty of this >>

We did this each day>>
 I am still intrigued by the seagulls and this one was ever so protective of his chicken bone>>>
 Of course there were a couple of these>>
  MAY 2012
When son arrived for a brief weekend to see our darling Ashley (his girlfriend) graduate from The University of Tampa and ready to participate in the education of elementary school children.  Great job Ashley!

JULY 2012
 Back to the vacation now/retire later condo to check on things after Tropical Storm Debby did so much damage in Florida.  Where and when we enjoyed seeing the healthy sea oats>>>>
 Walked on the beach and collected more shells>>>
 Enjoyed the many ways people showed their pride of country & service>>>

 Where TS Debby left erosion of the beach looking like this.  That is about 12 inches in depth>>>
 We ate dinner at Dockside in Port St Joe and I got to see this boat>>>
 FLY!!!!!  >>>>
 And of course, the ever protective of his meal...  seagull >>>
 When a mystery bar showed up on the touch screen of the smaller Nikon camera I found that I could get a blue sunset!  >>>

 Or an over 50 years hatter one of red and purple >>>>
 that truly looked more like this... hazy and lacking an actual sun in the sunset! >>>
 Followed by amazement that someone would kayak out at dusk to the end of the pier where they pull in sharks of all sizes.  It was much darker looking than the auto setting on the camera made it out to be. >>>
 The moon rise on the other side of the pier.  >>>
 Look at me!  I'm king of the pelicanpoocovered rocks!
 And I found out I can do this on the camera too.  Why I would ever want to, I have no clue.  But I did it just the same.
Now you are all caught up.  Mostly anyway.  I'll try to find something much more interesting to write about next time, but for now I'll just hope this really loads so I don't have to attempt the post again.

hugs and prayers for each of you,
denise/deBrat in a hot hot hot Florida

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What did you learn Dorothy? The Wayward Warp Episode

I'm beginning to feel like I'll be using one of my favorite Wizard of Oz movie lines frequently when it comes to my weaving adventures - "What did you learn Dorothy?"

Well, friends I learned that tying knots in bulldogs tails would be much more simple than getting a knot that holds tight through winding on to the back beam, and only for 89 ends!  I heard some snapping I admit as I wound on.  In my defense, I had used some leftover under the wood flooring green liner instead of brown kraft wrapping paper this time.  AND my darling husband was trying to keep the tension on the 8" warp consistent while I wound on.  The first pop I heard I stopped winding and thought it was the sound of the green foam liner fitting itself around the beam.  And then I saw the pain he was in in standing on his foot and trying to do the tension all even and well I just kept winding.  Eventually they stopped popping.  ;)

So of course once I started weaving I had limp threads AGAIN!  I was thinking my loom just does not like the first 6-10 inches of weaving (nor the last 10-12" of weavable warp either for that matter) and was going to keep going until the limp threads corrected themselves.  Then I remembered the popping/snapping noise when winding the warp on.  I also remembered that I had said after I did the twill sampler  I was going to go in search of the 3 harness /4 harness sticking together issues for warp threads and other limp threads problems in it.

On Wednesday night I cut the narrow color gamp for rug mugs warp off of the loom and started with the number of heddles on each harness.  It took me three nights to:
-correct the counts to be actually 10 in each section with a color marker on the top of the heddles
-balance the count of heddles on each side of each harness
-check with a square if the harness were indeed square-they are

Today I managed to accomplish the following:

-take apart the treadles and bar and rotate them so the treadles used more previously are on the outside and the lesser used ones are in the middle.  (I think I may not count my treadles the way others do, I have centered my tie-ups for the sampler I wove)

-try to make a replacement spacer for the paper towel roll tube, cut to length and put into place by the previous owner, out of a 1 1/2" wood head.  Only to find that the hole I was able to drill in it - all by myself if you please smile- would only go on if hammered and it was too "deep" to use anyway so I did not attempt to widen it by rolling the drill bit around in the hole forcing it to be wider.  The next sized drill bit we had was way too big unfortunately.

-installed with dh's help the sectional beam I had purchased right after getting the loom.

-hit my head several times on the spokes of the sectional beam while crawling around under it (owie)

-took all of the harnesses off the loom again and craweled around underneath checking the lamms very closely.  playing with pushing them up and back down without instance of noise or hanging up.

-had dh help me with listening for the noise difference on the harnesses being lifted.  He agreed harness 4 was sounding different.

-discovered some of the tie up cords were twisted when looped through the loops so correct those.

-discovered that the tie up cords were not consistently installed. How? you might ask.  Some times the loop had been pushed through from the front and some times it had been pushed through from the back.  At first thought it might not make a difference, but when I saw that the harnesses I had the most problems with had a LOT of graphite, indicating she had been having harness issues too.  And that there were many of different attached tie ups types back and forth in that area I concluded they needed to be the same too.  That resulted in a lengthy retying of a good deal of the tie ups.

-got my hands totally blackened by graphite that was already existing on the loom and its various parts, especially from those tie up cords!

-looked unsuccessfully for graphite in our house and sheds to lube the loom up during her going over.  I don't know how there can be any graphite left anywhere in or on the loom with so much of it all over my hands and forearms.  If it was on my face, my husband must have decided to not mention it. :)

-determined that the track on the metal portion of the loom for harness #4 is indeed just a hair different at the bottom on both sides of the loom.  This appears to be caused by the lack of a screw at that position to hold the metal section onto the loom.  If I press with my finger there the slight ridge of difference between the front 4 channel section and the back 4 channel sections goes away.  This presents a dilemma as the reason a screw is not at that point is because the black knob and bolt for tightening the loom for staying open is located directly on the other side of it and the bolt goes all the way up to where a screw would need to be to hold it tight.

It feels like there was so much more that I did just today than the few items on this list.  I also found I am bruising easily and have immediate green and yellows appearing in the oddest places from crawling around on the floor to do all of this.  Thank heavens we have wood floors and I purchased those interlocking foam mat pieces to put the loom on to protect the floor, because they are protecting my knees and hips and ankle bones etc as I do all of this.

So "What did you learn Dorothy?"  In a nutshell two things.  First, if you hear popping or snapping noises while winding on to the back beam.... STOP!  Secondly, if you tell yourself "When this warp is done I'm going to give the loom a good going over" then you should do just that!

Which brings us to the "What will you do about what you learned Dorothy" portion of today.  What is a very good question.  Husband is unable to bend down and look directly at what I'm referring to on the screw, due to his foot pain, so I can get no help there right now.  His suggestion was to put a warp on it and see what happens!  A very good suggestion too.  EXCEPT!  That is when I realized that by putting the sectional beam on and not having the tension box or yardage counter already I was going to be doing a very narrow warp using the marble rolling pin and its curved tray.  I've come not very far from my warping days on my 32" Kromski Harp.  I should have gotten a 12" wide weaving width loom as I appear to be doomed to narrow warps all of my life!

Have a day filled with all that you enjoy,

denise/deBrat waiting for husband to wake up so I can get back at the loom and not worry about making noise that wakes him up.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Let there be Pictures!

Because I found I did have a few pictures of the actual cloth I'm making from the 62 pattern 4 shaft twill sampler I now present for your viewing pleasure.....
The warp (on the back of the Kromski Harp) is better than 3 yards long. I believe it was 120". It is written down somewhere, but where?

threading!  a straight 1,2,3,4 twill.  I think i have that right on how I worded it.

Charlene helped me to get the warp off the Harp and onto the loom.  She mentioned getting a block of wood to make the threading easier.  After just a couple of groups I went and found these pieces of wood and started stacking them up until the eyes were exposed.  so much easier!

What do we have here? Ah, the 4 wayward threads that fell out of the cross from the table to the loom some how.  I looked at and worked backwards from the ones that were correct at the cross and put each of the four threads over or under where they belonged.  the one by itself is my floating selvedge thread.  I can see where one could get very attached to using those!

the first 4" of weaving.  plain weave and basket weave, patterns one and two, and then the number three pattern in the sampler.  I now have 54" woven and the next pattern is number 34.  Only 29 more to go!

The cottolin yarn for the original Caribbean Tea Towel Kit at Halcyon yarn.  A truly annoying adventure in purchasing, but I worked out what I need to do to get the pink in the matching 22/2(to me anyway- they all need to be 22/2 not one be 8/2-even though they insist it is the same - and it wrapped at a4 less wraps to the inch than the other three cones did).  Yesterday the actual original pattern arrived after receiving the current Caribbean Kit pattern which did not have the count for the change in weft picks.  I have longed for these towels for nearly 5 years and they will either be the next warp or the one following it.

Oooh lookie here actual progress!

And because everyone else seems to have some sort of picture like this I thought I'd post mine too.  other than the blurry bottom of the picture, isn't it just grand?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And? She's weaving!

I have taken pictures, truly I have, but it is such a trial these days to even post on here - let alone actually upload a picture. So let it suffice to say that I am indeed weaving.  After all of the shed problems were resolved it has been very smooth sailing ever since.  I even went back to putting the basketweave tie-ups permanently on the outer two treadles so I  could stop with re-tying those up each time I finished an inch or so of a sampler pattern.  As of this morning I have 53.25" woven and thirty two of the 62 sampler tie-ups woven.

So what have you learned Dorothy?  Well, I've learned that it is really nice to just walk into the room and quickly weave off a pattern.  For the 6 treadle ones I am currently on, I throw 18 picks/3 repeats.  I have forgotten how long my guide string was for the warp.  I know it was longer than 3 yards.  And 120" seems to ring a bell, but that was a huge learning curve while ago.  I know that I planned for 36" of loom waste.  But I used a good deal of that to tie on to the front beam.  So what did I learn?  The last thing I do before I go off to get ready for work or go to bed or just stop weaving for that time period is to ready the loom for the next pattern to be woven.  Now all I do is go in the room, double check the treadles lifting the correct harnesses and start weaving.

I learned that a small sticky note kept under the pattern line in the magazine helps me see readily which pattern I am on.

I also am keeping track of amount each pattern weaves for length for the number of picks I threw(?)/did.  I know there are many variables to this whole thing, but it is a place to start.

So the update for today is that I'm weaving away and loving every moment of it!  I am plotting the next warp.  And while it is/was to be waffle weave towels I'm almost leaning towards a soy silk (Infinity by SWTC) scarf that I found in yet another old Handwoven magazine I have. 

And today while searching for my planner pages to refill the good 'ole planner, I found yet another old Handwoven issue!  So I will get to pour over that one the next few days in the few minutes I get here and there to do nothing but fill a short period of time.

Have a grand and absolutely glorious day today! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weaving! LIMP threads :(

Much has happened these past couple of months.  I lucked into a used Baby Wolf just over an hour away from my home and got it at a good price.

After many posts to some weaving "groups" I am on, a wonderful woman in the town south of me came up on a Saturday and spent almost 2 hours with me getting my narrow warp on the loom.

Then began the posts to my weaving group about the different things I was having problems with etc.

I had elected to weave a 7" wide warp of 8/2 un-merc cotton using a four shaft twill sampler that offers up 62 treadlings from Handwoven magazine Sept/Oct 1995 pgs 58-60.

The only thing that persists as an issue is having limp threads in some of the sheds.

The sampler calls for a few shots of basket weave between each new tie up to aid with the selvedge changes  (I'm close on that wording) which is not uncommon from various reading of articles and posts on various weaving groups I belong to on Yahoo!

I tried:
->making sure all of the tie up cords (these are the cute ones with the little brown Schacht logo buttons on them) were the the same length.  YES
->making sure that all of the tie up cords in each treadle were of the same consistency of tension - YES
->using a different treadle
->not having my basketweave treadles on two spare treadles at the same time as the 4 treadles being used for the sampler pattern at that time.  In other words, I was being lazy -or terribly clever, depending on how you look at it- and did not have to re-do the treadle tie ups for the basket weave each time i changed sampler pattern tie ups, before moving on to the next one.  - MADE no difference
->clearing the shed by treadling each one, clearing the shed, treadling the next one clearing the shed without any weaving picks.
->clearing the shed before each pick - still limp threads for next repeat of pattern- and TEDIOUSly slow

So this morning when the problem presented itself to me again in my more than 10 minutes of weaving, I crawled around more under the loom.  I tied up the next pattern
1-3, 1-2, 2-4, 3-4
and dang if the last treadle (3-4) didn't give me limp threads on shaft three threads!

and look Basket Weave is (1-2, 3-4) and I get the limp threads on the 3-4!

so here are the pictures of the  1-3, 1-2, 2-4, 3-4 sheds showing clearly that 3-4 sucks for a combination on this loom no matter what I try.
NOTE: there is a floating selvedge on each end of the warp, which shows clearly.

Can you  help?

NOTE: blogger is giving me fits for logging in and creating a post.  sometimes it does and sometimes it does not.  This post is a link to a weaving yahoo group and please if you do not mind, answer either privately to me via the yahoo group or to the group but NOT in the comment section here.  Thank you.

1-3 UP

1-2 UP

2-4 UP

BLAH! 3-4 LIMP threads :(

extremely difficult to make any sense in the picture.  this is the 3-4 UP and shaft 4 is just very slightly (not even 1/8 of an inch) higher than shaft 3

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

This year we did not go on the two time zone celebration bus and instead opted to take a nap after dinner and wake up at 11:30PM to walk down to the beach and view the first New Year's Eve fireworks in Mexico Beach.

More photography skills building went on, but here are two shots that you might enjoy.  they were so much better than my photography skills.

Happy New Year to you and yours!