Sunday, May 19, 2013

4 Shaft Beginning Basics

I'm having a blast in my weaving class.  In the first class, we learned how to warp our table looms, which they let us take home for the duration of the class.  So far, I've made an extremely ugly sampler, a scarf, and a twill sampler.  I'm not sharing my extremely ugly sampler, so here's the scarf, warts and all.

First Project
The warping board
Oh dear, I don't think that's how we did it in class.
The cross looks okay -
let's give it a try.
To the loom!
Sley the reed!
Thread those heddles!
Look at that mess in the middle!
Why it's...
the much-dreaded crossed threads!
This must be fixed before proceeding!
At last, I'm weaving.
It's just plain weave - over, under, over, under
The warp is a variegated tencel,
and the weft is tencel in a solid teal color.
The ridges are just from folding.
Tencel was a good choice.
It's very soft and drapes well.
Of course I made my first project for David,
who's been doing my chores without complaint
while I merrily go to class.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring at Last!

Can Winter really be over?  Dare we hope?  Signs point to yes!  Flowers are blooming, the grass is green, we have naked horses, and we even have teeny weeny tree leaves!

I can't tell you how many times our daffodils
were flattened by snow this winter.
They bounced right back.
 I'm still a bit flattened.
The field flowers have started blooming too.
 Sand Lily
Prairie False Dandelion
Chiming Bells
 Paj, the fairest flower of them all
Ash leaves
I washed my heaviest winter clothing for storage.
I hope I don't have to drag them back out for a long time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Brunch at a Castle

Cherokee Castle is a 1450s Scottish-style castle built in the 1920s.  It overlooks the 3,100 acres of Cherokee Ranch.  The ranch used to be known for Santa Gertrudis cattle, but nowadays Cherokee Castle and Ranch Foundation is home to cultural and educational events.  David and I went for a Mother's Day brunch and a castle tour.

Friends Rey and Jen are horse sitting for our neighbors, so they did our morning chores. 

We drove up a narrow dirt road  thinking "can this be the way"? 
At last we saw this -
and farther on up the road, this -
Yep, a castle, complete with
gargoyle drain spouts.
No photos are allowed inside the castle, which is home to a collection of jaw-dropping antiques (original Sir Christopher Wren drawings!  Gainsborough portraits!  Oh my!).  But for me, the view was truly priceless.
Looking southwest to north -

Thanks, David and my 4 legged kids, for a fun Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Furry Scurry

The Furry Scurry is the Dumb Friends League's largest fundraiser.
Mickey and I were proud to participate.
It's a big event.
Mickey was dog #5,528.
There were over 12,000 humans.

Mickey got a special purple
"I am a rescue dog" ribbon for his harness
which we lost on the route.
The dogs were really well-behaved.
There were big dogs,
and little dogs.
Sophie, we saw lots of Doddles -
Labradoodles, and even a SaintBernardadoodle!
I worried a bit about how my little ranch dog
would do in the big city.
That tail was a'wagging from start

to finish.
$656,147.01 was raised for animals in need.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


When David and I went down to the barn to feed this morning, we were thrilled to see a sundog, or parhelion.

7 a.m., 14F(-10C)
Paraphrasing Wikipedia, a sundog is formed in very cold weather by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low levels.  As the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned.  Sundogs are red-colored at the side nearest the sun.
I've only seen a few sundogs, and they thrill me every time.  I never expected to see one in May.  Hmm, so there's an upside to doing chores at 14 degrees, even in May. 
Believe it or not, the day warmed up quickly, and it was actually a pretty darn nice day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day Snow

Oh joy.  Another snowstorm.  That makes a snowstorm a week for the last seven weeks.  Some weeks we've had more than one storm.  And we are setting a new record low for May 1 at 18F(-7.8C).  How special.

On the plus side, our pastures are looking nice and green.  And we're getting a good look at the birds as they swarm our feeders.  I've really enjoyed watching the male goldfinches molt into their Spring glory.  Of course, as soon as they are done molting, they will leave us until Fall.

April 11 - this one's just started the molt
April 17 - the one in front has some catching up to do!
 May 1
May 1 - just a few feathers to go
When they leave Moondance, where do they go?
Your place?