Thursday, February 25, 2021

Some Progress

I do remember how to use a sewing machine. And unfortunately, Molly remembers how to break the thread between the spool and the machine. I made some of these blocks in pink last month and now here are the yellow ones.

And for those of you into a snow dyeing it is. I set it up with the fabric laying in a tub below a a slotted tub packed with snow and unmixed dye. In theory, as the snow melts, the dye drips on the fabric creating interesting effects. In my case, once the power was off, I was not interested in having a tub of snow in the house. I dumped everything out except for the fabric which I jammed into a plastic bag (a very hurried version of low emersion dyeing). The fabric sat in the bag in a part of the house that was roughly 40 degrees F (where as I recall 78 degrees F is recommended). When we got power back I did put it through many soakings of hot water until it ran clear. 

I would not recommend this technique.

Meanwhile, there is still a lot of activity around the neighborhood, although everyone around here now has power. But this branch was one of the reasons my neighbors had to wait a day longer for power. This is a view from my neighbor's yard, looking back towards my house. One day there was a crew to take down this limb.

Then the next day, the crew took down the entire tree. Unfortunately, Molly is taking photobombing to a whole new level.

Here you can see more tree work and less cat.

Monday, February 22, 2021


When we moved into the Portland house, I never expected to use its gas fireplace. And I constructed the design wall to expand across the mantle area attached to two shelving units. After our recent ice storm and several days in an increasingly cold house with grumpy cats, I took down the design wall and moved the shelves and everything they held. Then finally I got the fireplace working. 

So meet Molly's new best friend. She was so pleased to meet her new friend that she expunged all the demerits from my permanent record. 

Of course, all good things must come to an end, so after nine days without electricity, we returned to power. And now poor Molly and Buddy must make do with their boring, worn-in heated beds.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Changing Priorities

 I confess that I haven't been sewing much and haven't had much to share. However, with a promised snowfall of 12 inches, I planned and prepared for several days of snow dyeing. Knowing how fickle Portland snow forecasts can be, I grabbed the first bit of snice (snow/ice), packed up the fabric and dye and hid the trays in a closet away from devious cats. But not all goes to plan...

We live in an area that got mostly ice instead of snow. Molly appreciated the ice storm because it brought the birds very close for viewing.

My neighbor is happy because he will now have enough sunshine to have a successful vegetable garden.

Buddy, of course, is not happy and thinks an ice storm is too much of a high wire balancing act. He hears the break of a branch before I do and he runs to hide...foreshadowing the crack and thud of a falling branch.

But spring will be here soon enough, and so it's time to prepare the early crop planting.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Past and Future

First, my sister mentioned that she was getting tired of seeing the bunnies, and I thought, what bunnies? Then my brother called and mentioned that I hadn't posted in a while. Then a short note from Gayle of Mangofeet and I thought, egad, the boss noticed. Molly, on the other hand, had noticed my complete lack of productivity lately and started to delete random blog posts to compensate. And finally, here is Buddy with his performance art piece called "Sally."

I am trying to get my sewing room straightened up...calling it organized would be a stretch. At one point, Gayle mentioned using her "design floor" and I adopted that practice until it became my "storage floor." In any case, I had plaids that were spilling out of their drawer and I noticed that it included seven shirts that had not been broken down. So I did that. Plaids are now contained.

And, of course, I am continuing to make microspools. 

Some time during the past month, we had a bit of a breeze that left us without power for 12 hours. This time I was better prepared and brought out the hexie project...a fabric catalog of animals from my stash. I had been stacking up the novelty prints and now they are put away too. 

Meanwhile, I fear that Molly may be moving into a "post-kitten" phase. Buddy and I would never use the three letter "c" word.

Given prophesies and conspiracy theories are all the rage, let me provide my own...this spring, large insects will erupt from dirt in and around Wash DC (near and under trees). They will leave their exoskeletons behind and climb and climb upward. Most will attempt flight where it is up to any objects to move out of their way. Rumor has it that after mating and laying eggs, they die, often clogging rain gutters and smelling of rotting shellfish. Dogs will gain weight.

I don't know how much information passes from parent cicada to their young...but if they do pass on information, the offspring will know nothing of the recent presidential election. They will ask Obama who? But they may ask who won the election between Bush and Kerry (their last emergence was 2004, the year I moved from the DC area.)