Saturday, August 4, 2012

The mowers are here!

These guys are terrific. I had them come three days this week. They come at the spur of the moment and I don't have to pay them. How good is that? They are always in a good mood and never grumble. When they have had enough they walk back home all by themselves. All I have to do is shut the gate.

I don't have a true farm. The animals are kept on a lot next to our home. They have pretty much eaten everything over there and with the drought things didn't grow back up like they should.  What I usually do is rotate them. Today they are in the back yard. I purposely let things grow so that the animals can eat it.

Isn't it wonderful how Max never leaves their sides? I am constantly amazed with this breed of dog. He is big and gentle. Unless you are a coyote, that is!

I have been working on place mats this week. I don't have a picture but I wove four yesterday. I can't believe it is August already. The next show is in two months!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

National Harbor

Another place we visited was the National Harbor. You can read about it here.,_Maryland It was filled with shops, restaurants and at least one hotel. There is a small beach area there with sand and a sculpture of a bearded man. I thought he looked like Posidon.

Unusual, isn't it? There were children playing on the sculpture while we were there. Some even climbing into his mouth!

If you look at the left side of the second photo you can see a piece of cloth stretched out. On the other side of this was a stage. The evening we were there a boy of about ten or eleven was juggling.  The sometimes show movies there.

I was told this was a new place. It is worth the visit. The shops are nice and the two places we ate at had good food.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Town

Another place we visited was the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee. It is on Oronoco Street in Old Town Alexandria, Va. When our son was about three I was able to take a tour of it but now it is privately owned. I told our son since we were so close we had to "see if the snowballs were in bloom." When Robert E. Lee left Appamattox he stopped by here to see if the hydrangias were blooming. The quote above is on a historical marker in front of the home. If you look at the center back of the photo you can see them. I don't know what the white spot is in the picture. It can't be the sun. It was an over cast day.

Old Town Alexandria is a great place to walk around. The river is there as well as lots of old homes. Just looking at all the different door knockers is fun. They even still have a couple of cobble stone streets.

I wanted to show our son some busy bodies. I had read about them many years ago in Southern Living magazine. Don't ask where they are at the visitor's center. They don't know. I asked them years ago where to find them and they didn't know what they were. I asked again on this trip because I couldn't remember which houses had them and they still didn't know. When I found some I wrote down the addresses and went back and told them so they could see. I would have thought they would know about something that is unusual in their area. Here is a picture. Several houses have them. They were used to see who was at the door and also who was walking up and down the street. They are mounted outside the second story windows.

Another unusual thing to see in Old Town is an alley house. This home was literally built in an alley! It is only seven feet wide.

Here is a view from across the street.

Here is an odd looking home. It is called a flounder house. I read, years ago, that it is an oddity to the area. This one has an addition on the side. Isn't it strange looking. I saw several buildings in this shape. Maybe space was at a premium in the 1700's?

There is a nice old tavern in Old Town called Gadsby's Tavern. My husband and I ate there years ago. It has been in business since 1770!

There is a large building down by the river called The Torpedo Factory. It is filled with fine arts and studios of the artisians. On the top floor was an archiology exhibit. They had several broken plates on a table and visitors could try their hand at putting them back together. My son and I gave it a try. He went for the largest plate.

I went for something smaller. His plate looked old while mine was a plate by Johnson's Brothers that still can be purchased today.

There was a skeleton there. The diplay implied that it was old and was found with other artifacts in a dig. They wanted everyone to guess what it was. I kept thinking it looked like a medium sized dog but the display made me think it was something prehistoric. The woman there came over to see what we would guess. I said it looks like a dog but that I must be wrong. I wasn't! It was old but not prehistoric. I didn't think to take a picture of it.

Old Town is nice because you can park your car and walk. There is so much see. Restaurants, shops and lots of history. You can even go to Christ's Church where George Washington attended!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Touring Clinton, Md.

I have been gone for over a week. Hubby had a business trip to the D C area and after he had been gone a week our son and I joined him. We decided to be adventurous and give the Megabus a try. A friend of mine had taken it twice and really like it. I bought our tickets online and printed out our boarding pass. I have to say the bus was really nice! It was clean and not crowded. The onboard bathroom was a plus and the seats reclined. There is an electrical outlet for every two seats. There was also supposed to be free wifi but we couldn't get it to work. I saw a person across the isle trying to get on too but he couldn't. That was all right with me. I just popped a movie in my laptop! We made one thirty minute stop for something to eat. The bus driver announced exactly when the bus would be pulling out and if anyone missed the bus another one would be along in eight hours. Needless to say, no one missed the bus! We made another stop to pick up and drop off passengers but it was really quick. Not having to drive eight plus hours was really nice and the fares are very reasonable.

I like to research areas I am going to, to see if there are any historic sites in the area. This is what I found. Our son had seen the movie The Conspirators last year and was excited that we could see the house/tavern. It didn't open until Wednesday but we were able to find other places to visit until we could go here.

The town is called Clinton in Maryland. It used to be called Surrattville but the name was changed sometime after the assination of Abraham Lincoln.

Here is a picture of the house.

On the left is the tavern side. It was also the local post office.

This was a nice tour to take and I would highly recommend it if you are interested in the Civil War. This next photo is of our tour guide. The photo after this one is of another tour guide. Aren't their clothes wonderful?

This bed is just amazing to me. It looks a whole lot like the one I sleep in! The legs aren't the same but everything else is.

A few years ago I happened to see a picture of the bed Abraham Lincoln died in at a house across from the Ford Theater. It too looks a lot like our bed! Before I bought our bed I had never seen anything like it. Now I know of three that are very close to being the same! All three are rope beds.

The table and desk in this photo belonged to Mary Surratt.

In this photo the decanter, tray and glass belong to her, too. Everything else in the house was of the period but didn't belong to her.

I have several more photos but I don't want to show so much that you won't want to take the tour. The story told here is so interesting. You won't be bored!

I will leave you with one last picture. This is Mary Surratt.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is on the loom this week

This week I am weaving a scarf and also wound a warp for another. The scarf I am weaving on has an off white yarn with a gray and purple yarn in the warp. The purple and gray were plyed together. I was thinking I would use the gray/purple yarn for the weft but when I tried it it didn't look as nice as I was expecting so I switched gears and used a raspberry yarn. I am likeing the results.

This next warp will be narrow, only four inches. I have never made a scarf this narrow before! The dark color is green. It isn't showing up very well in this picture but it will in the next one. The red is the same raspberry yarn that is in the other scarf.

This is the green yarn. It sure doesn't look like this in real life but it you look at the wound warp at the back of the mill the colors are more realistic.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Oh no! They don't exactly match!

While winding the warp for the last 16 placemats I noticed something. The spools of rug warp didn't exactly match! I had bought all twelve spools at one time and looking at them on the shelf they look like they match but they don't really. Thankfully it isn't terribly noticable in the placemats. You have to know and look hard to see the color difference. Here is a picture of a new warp I am winding for more placemats.

If you look closely you will see a darker color on the bottom third of warp. If you were to look at it from the other side of the room you might not even notice anything. The light has to be just right.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Am I a shepherd?

Owning a sheep has been an interesting thing for me. I don't know what I expected it would be like. Maybe I didn't even think about what it would be like to be a shepherd. Hmmmm, can you be a shepherd if you only have one sheep? Catching Philippe to be sheared took a while. I am talking weeks! I finally caught him the night before. Sometime after shearing he needed to be wormed. Now it was even harder to catch him! He was all the wiser now. His favorite treats weren't working so I began feeding him in the dog kennel again.. He would go in there to eat but I am convinced Philippe has eyes in the back of his head! As soon as he would even think I was heading for the door he would bolt. Tonight wasn't any different than any other night. He was standing in the doorway of the kennel. This time I pretended I was going to walk past the kennel. I didn't even look at him! He turned around to eat again and I lept to close the door! He didn't panic like he had before and I was even able to give him a hug. I think we are getting somewhere! Before turning him loose I gave him a couple of his favorite treats. In a few weeks he is going to have to have his vaccination. What are the chances of catching him three times?

Today I finished placemat number 16 on this warp. Here they are relaxing on the loom.

I used an off white warp. There are four placemats done in each of the different variegated yarns. I really like how they all turned out and I am thinking I will do this again.

We are still sweltering in this heat. The weather folks think it will cool off to the high 80's near the end of next week. I sure hope so!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Better scarf pictures

I just had to post a better picture of the latest scarf. This is a much better picture. Don't you agree? The warp for this one is a neutral color. The weft is a variegated yarn wound with a gold shiny yarn. All rayon.

Here is the other scarf I wove on this warp. I used the variegated yarn with a silver shiny yarn.

Here they are side by side.

It rained last night! I don't know how much, though. Our weather radio sounded that a severe thunderstorm was in our county. I never heard a thing. I slept through it all! There is rain in the forecast all week. Not a large chance but a chance. That is hopeful. Everything was turning brown. Maybe last night's rain will help.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

What I have been up to

It has been so long since I have posted last that I don't know where to begin!

I finally made it back to Wilderness Road state Park where I volunteer one weekend a month. The fort was closed until April. I didn't get to go that month or in May because of our son's school play and his graduation. It felt so good to get back there and be with friends I haven't seen since last December. My friends there teased me about being gone for so long. This is what I found on the front of my cabin.

This month was my second show of this year. It was the Lavender Festival. I wasn't sure about doing this festival because when I did it a couple of years ago sales were okay but not great. This year sales were better than expected. I will be doing this show again.

 This is what happens when  you are in a hurry and working with a very sharp knife. I cut the tip of my thumb off! Not to worry, though. It is healing nicely. Weaving with nine fingers isn't impossible but strange.

This week I wound four warps. Three are for scarves and one for placemats. Sometimes when I decide what combination of yarns I want to use I get so excited that I have to start weaving right away. For two of the scarves I used a neutral warp and wound the shuttle with a variegated yarn and a gold for one and the same variegated yarn with silver. Here is a picture but it is terrible. So much so that I can't tell if this is the one I used the silver yarn on. I just didn't capture the colors like they really are.

Here are the yarns I used with the scarves. I forgot to take a picture of the other scarf. All the yarns are rayon. The gold and silver yarns add just a hint of sparkle.

Here is another scarf warp. The colors are pink and blue.

Here is the yarn I used.

Here is the warp for the last two scarves. I don't have it wound on the loom yet.

I plan on using this yarn for the weft.

It has been so hot here that I try not to go outside for very long. The grass is turning brown and the ground is cracking. We really need rain. I hope we get some soon! This is what I saw when preparing dinner this evening. Sorry about the reflection. I couldn't seem to stand in the right place to take a better picture. The end of the wire goes outside and is on the north side of the house.

It doesn't look like it will cool off any time soon. I am so glad I have to studio to go to!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thirty-eight years tomorrow!

I am married to my best friend and tomorrow we will celebrate our thirty-eighth anniversary! Years ago I wondered if married couples who have been married a long time run out of things to talk about.( I have seen couples eating in restaurants not speaking to one another.) I have to say for us we never run out of things to talk about. We still have fun, too. This has been an interesting thirty-eight years with never a dull moment. We are a little grayer and a little heavier but still in love and that is the best thing!

My husband likes to buy me flowers and plants. I like getting them but I have a brown thumb when it comes to house plants. They do great outside in the summer but the minute I bring them in for the winter they start to die. Is it too much water? Not enough water? Not enough light? Who knows?

After Christmas last year he bought me a pointsettia plant. His comment was that it didn't cost much so it was okay if it died. Lol. It is still alive. It has a few less leaves than it did when he gave it to me but the amazing thing, to me anyway, is that it is blooming!

These aren't the best pictures. I took them with my phone but if you look closely you can see the tiny yellow flowers.

On the weaving front I am working on dish towels and scarves. No pictures just yet, though.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Taking the day off

Today was a mother son day. I have been wanting to do this for a while now. Our destination was Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va., Cumberland Gap, Tn. and the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky. I am not sure what town it is in but if I had to guess I would say Middlesboro. I wanted to take W to see the pinnacle. From there you can see Harrogate, Tn, Cumberland Gap, Tn., Middlesboro, Ky. and miles and miles beyond those places.

Here are some of the informational signs we saw at the top.


Here are the views we had.

Pretty nice, huh? If you ever get the chance to go to the pinnacle, do it. You won't be disappointed in the view!