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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bits of This and That

It's not really spring in Wisconsin yet... we woke up to temps in the low 40's.  We are due to get down to the low 30's at night the rest of the week, and they are even mentioning *SN*O*W* up in the U.P. of Michigan on Friday! ACK!

To take the chill out of the house this morning, instead of kicking on the furnace, we turned the dial and pushed the button on the newly installed gas log fireplace!  Had us cozy and warm in minutes in the livingroom while we enjoyed our morning coffee.  The flickering flames behind the glass screen are hard to catch as a picture.
(I still have to finish fixing the damaged holes in the tiles along each side) 

I posted these two photos the other day on Facebook, but thought they would look cute on the blog.  I am trying to make my blog into a diary of sorts, and little memories like these are priceless.  A pesty little pup wanted "UP" on a lap, and was doing his very best to beg his way into that position.  He won.

Both doggers were busy helping me in the Loom Room yesterday... they have to come in and monitor what I am doing.  From time to time I lean over with a long stick shuttle and scratch their backs or their bellies.  They are my "Loom Room Doggies" ....

I had chained up a bunch of loopers (leftover rings of knitted fabric factory waste from making socks) in whites, grays and blacks to make another of my thick Birch Tree Rugs.  I think they look like the bark of a tree when done.  I wove for about 2 feet of rug before my stomach muscles were bothering me.  That happens with heavy beating on the loom, and why each rugs takes a lot out of me. Time for a break.

When the weaving gets to be too much, I just get up from the loom and head over to the treadle sewing machine.  It's much easier on my body to operate and I love how it's set right up to the south facing window in my loom room.   I look out from time to time and get lost in daydreaming.  Also Finney comes up and begs for me to lift him up on my lap.  He wants to see what I am doing up here and also to look out the window if there are any birds or squirrels outside!

See my bird feeder stand outside of the window there?  On the right is a multi-tiered feeder that I can put in various types of seeds. Sometimes I add sunflower seeds and thistle seed. On the left is a lovely glass hanging bird bath I got for Mother's Day. At first, I put water in it, but then the Baltimore Oriels are out in full force in our neighborhood. I dumped out the water and put in half an orange, and a dollop of grape jelly.  Hope they find it----   Here is when it still had water in it, and a bird left some pieces of birdseed floating in the water! LOL

Oh, what was I sewing, you ask?  Working on some blocks for a new quilt.  These are in tones of lilac, purple, black and grey. I will sew a border them around with black I think for contrast and "pop" of the fabric details. 

Keeping all of my fiber stuff in order is a tough job.  Between weaving, spinning wool, knitting socks and sewing quilts I have a LOT of fiber supplies!   Upstairs in our home is a small room at the end of the hall.  I have stacks of totes all labelled, a disassembled loom, some warping tools, racks and reels.  And of course a LOT of yarn!  Since I got the batch of cones from Milwaukee last week, I knew I needed more shelf space.   I had five plastic totes full of cones of yarn too that could come out and see the light of day. 

I bought a metal shelving unit capable of holding 500 pounds.  It was easy to assemble... and now that one is in place with most of the coned yarn stacked up on it.  I condensed the yarn from five more totes onto those shelves.  Made more room on the floor with those totes out of there. I think I could use one more rack on the other side to the left side. There are three huge trash cans full of loopers behind that door to the left. 
 (Dontcha just LOVE that funky old linoleum flooring in there?  I do!)

I don't know why, but we have not yet taken out a frizbee for the new pup to play with.  Steve finally suggested it and went out to the motorhome to get a couple.  These are soft flexible rubbery ones, and pretty safe for in the house.  Well, Duke ADORES HIS FRIZZ ... we knew that he would share with Finney if we brought in two of the frizbee toys to play with.  After a rousing cycle of frizz-tossing, or better yet, rolling them like a wheel across the floor...  this little pup dropped from shear exhaustion!

 Even if you whispered "TREAT" --- he didn't flinch. 

Although the weather is up and down here in Wisconsin, I am trying to harden off my coleus plants to get them used to outdoor weather.  Taking them in and out of the front porch to set them on the front steps is getting pretty tedious. That is what I did last year, doing one pot at a time. I would set them out each morning and back in the front porch each evening. 12 big flowerpots worth. I came up with another idea: 
 A couple plastic kiddie snow toboggans! I can slide out four pots at a time out of the garage and push them back in at night.  Plus I can water the plants and not have to worry about muddy drips from the bottoms of the pots.  The four largest pots I put in the wheelbarrow for extra heft.   There is one small pot of a confederate rose from my Auntie Lois in Florida to grow and see if it will take here in Wisconsin.

Oh, I was watching a cooking show on channel 11 the other day... a segment called Cooking With Amy.  She was browning hamburger and used this cool tool to chop it up into smaller pieces!  Sooo much easier than using the edge of a spatula or a ridge of a spoon.  How cool is that?  I HATE chopping up hamburger during the browning process, but this tool makes it so easy. It's rigid plastic but doesn't harm the finish on my Tfal kettles.

Now I have to go back and buy another for the motorhome!  
 (I got mine at Cook's Corner but I googled 
and you can get them anywhere like on Ebay, Pampered Chef, Amazon etc) 

Time to gulp down my second mug of coffee here and get on with my day.  Steveio left for work a bit ago, and I am going to get some more weaving done today.  Perhaps later a walk to the post office while it's still sunny out.  Guess we are heading into more rain and cold weather for the next few days.  I will enjoy the bit of sunshine this morning, even though it's still pretty cool out, still in the 40's.  Brrrrr.


  1. what is that hamburg tool called? That looks like something I would be interested in!

  2. That hamburger tool is something most of us could use.

  3. Mine is called a ChopStir but I googled "browning hamburger kitchen tool" and got MixNChop too.

  4. My wife just got one with a couple more blades at a Pampered Chef Party.

  5. I am known as the gadget queen around here... I must get one.

  6. Cool weather is great for spending time in the loom room.


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