Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lots of Life, Some Needlework and a bit of Everything

There are lots of photos today. I should have spaced them out but today is my day to putter around and get things done around the house.

First, some weaving. This really isn't needlework, although it is part of my passion for fiber, so this is the everything part. This is what I was able to get done last Thursday. Most of the weft is mohair, except for some nubby yarn in the wooden shuttle that I'm using as an accent between various colours. The overdyed mohair in the red shuttle is just wending its way through the shawl. I was able to spend a few hours weaving on Saturday and made great progress. Many thanks to my DH for making sure I had the time to do it. The photos don't really do justice to the colours or texture so you'll have to trust me that it looks quite nice.
I contemplated counting things out and making a pattern to the stripes, but decided not to in the end. My husband thought it looked like waves, so I guess that is the pattern!

Now to the life. It is spring in Virginia and my garden is starting to bloom.

And the house finches nested behind the light on our front porch. These three fledged the next day, which isn't surprising given the amount of room they have.

Now some needlework. I'm doing something with the Gilt Sylke Twist from the Plymoth Jacket Project. I looked over my photos of the jacket motifs and decided to do some strawberries and a cornflower. I've done them in detached buttonhole because...
...they are going on the top of this satin box.
I found the box for $1 at Michael's. Of course when I decided that the box would be great for needlework projects and went back, there were none left. Stay tuned for the results.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Life

Well, I knew this past week was going to be exciting, but even I was surprised at how exciting.

To start with, my older daughter had some of her artwork in the school show last week, and this weekend she had 5 pieces in the big county show (which is held in conjunction with the science fair, which my husband attended as a judge.) Here is her gesture drawing - the first time she has had models for drawing people:

Then, on Thursday, I had my second weaving class. It seems like I have always wanted to learn how to weave (and eventually I want to weave tapestries.) I've finally got just the right timing to be able to take classes - and it looks like there is a chance I'll have a spot for a loom later this year. We'll see. Anyway, the class is down at the Visual Arts Center and the instructor is Cherri Hankins, who has a blog and web site with her lovely weaving. We've also had some great chats about teaching children fiber arts.

I forgot my camera the first class, but here is my progress through the second class. The first class we measured the warp and then put it on the loom and counted warp threads through the raddle, which I finished up before the second class started.

Then we rolled the warp on and pulled it through the heddles.
Finally, we started sleying the reed.
Lest you think I have it all memorized, I've been going back to Cherri's weaving group list where she tells us what we have done. It is actually good to go over it and look at the photos so I can remember the proper names and what I've been up to. You'll also notice that some threads are no longer in the heddles. Of course I was chatting as I was threading heddles and didn't check my counting carefully enough and had to pull out about half of my threading. Good lesson and good practice!
By the way, I'm making a mohair shawl and these are the colours:

Last weekend my daughters attended a baby shower for a horse at the place next to our riding stables. My older daughter drew the card (the owner is pretty sure the foal will be a paint).

Well, little did we know that in less than a week, we would be seeing a foal being born - this one at our riding stables. We arrived earlier than usual on Friday for a lesson and things were very quite since the owner and manager were out for lunch. There were just a few of us around. I was chatting with one of the other mothers (who also boards her horse there) and then she went off to finish cleaning stalls, when suddenly she shouted that Lily was having her baby! Nobody was sure when she was due because she wasn't intentionally bred - she was purchased without knowing she was pregnant.
Frantic phone calls were made and we all gathered quietly around the stall to make sure Lily was fine. There were two of us in the stall and the others, including my daughters, sat out in the aisle. I don't think it took more than 20 minutes for Lily to deliver. It was amazing and all done by the time the barn owner arrived. Here is the new filly, Darcie, at 24 hours old (of course I had no camera on Friday). Isn't she adorable. Yesterday evening she was running about with her mother. It is incredible how well a foal can move so soon after being born. The mare is an excellent mother and whenever Darcie ran too far away, Lily ran after her and brought her in line.