Rumple strips

Prior to leaving on my present road trip, I decided to re-acquaint myself with my weaving equipment, get the looms ‘dressed’ and ready to go for when I get back.  Well, its been 7 years since I’ve seen my big loom, trying to find the parts, get it together, etc has presented more of a challenge than I had expected, but found enough to put a warp on. Alas, I decided to put on my Horoscope Color project.  Years ago, I had my horoscope read by a fellow weaver. Its based on the planets, houses, and the colors that is associated with each of those planets and houses based on my birthdate.  Wildly random order of Bamboo yarn – was a super challenge to follow. My good friend Cheri read the precise order of the colors as I added the yarn to each 2 inch section (upper left corner).  It took us over 6 hours to get this onto the sectional beam. Whew!  But wow, its absolutely gorgeous!!!

Once it was beamed, I let this all sit, as I was packing for my road trip. With Cheri’s intense curiosity (probably equal to mine), she threaded the heddles for me as I zoned out in a chair from packing that day.  Can’t wait to get out on the road but I am beat!  Then Cheri & I threw a pansy color and an emerald blue color strands of yarn across to see which one to actually weave with.  So many of my friends wanted the purple pansy, but it was too large of yarn, as they company sent the wrong size yarn. But will use it in the future when I get the correct sizing.    As you can see in the bottom 3rd picture, I wove with emerald blue yarn.  This will be a quick weave as its in plain weave, any other pattern would be lost in all that color. And that loom will now have to wait until I get back.

The little floor loom, only one 2 inch section got dressed before I left.  I am putting on a variegated green and white cotton yarns on for kitchen towels.  This will be a technical challenging weave structure of Shadow Weave, I love working on these as you can get a 3D affect. Alas, it will also have to wait until I get back.

So I am off on a Fall trip. Its a quickie compared to my other journeys. This road trip has challenged me in ways that make an unhappy camper out of me, as I have had to depend on a/c due to high 90’s as well as up to 108ºF, therefore RV parks… Other then getting a/c they offer me nothing and I lose money.  I’ve become such a cheapskate, I guess.  So where are the Fall temperatures…you know warm days and cool nights?  I found a cool night (42º) last night up off of Highway 30 in Idaho – that was a quality night of sleep, but it was the only night in this past week.  Egads Mother Nature!  At least the further east I go the less smokey it is.   That picture on the bottom right corner, was taken from my rig at the Mountain Home RV park in Mountain Home, Idaho. The 2nd best RV park I have ever been in. The first was Nellis AFB back in 2011. Both parks are manicured to a T, level paved spots, well organized electrical, water and septic and both cheap, spotless showers too.  Well, cheap for this trip… as I have had to pay up to $55 for one night in a roughed in pit-run RV park. Horrible place.

Soon, I will be connecting with friends, wishing for cooler days and despite my grumpiness on the hot temperatures, it is so good to be back out on the road.

Prepping

Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!

Yippee!

The little 200 square feet of shed is DONE. As my normal, until it was done did I appreciate how much room I gained. I just couldn’t see it until then.

The very last photo on the lower right, is of my friend Cheri.  She was helping me put together my big floor loom. We had to make 3 trips to the main storage unit to find all the pieces. Why can’t movers put this stuff together on one pallet? Oh no, it can’t be that simple.  But I am beyond delighted to find that both of my looms have found a new location to call home. I have been working non-stop unloading the big storage unit and bringing the stuff to the shed.  Once inside, its a major re-organization in process. The bulk is my yarns and the equipment for this, but I must have a place for my RV stuff too.

I know, I know, I should have painted the inside walls before I moved in. The dry wall needs to be painted. I was just too excited about moving in that I put that off. Well, everyone that’s been inside – “Melinda, why haven’t your painted?”  So it shall be, but not until I’ve finished loading and reorganizing…probably in August. The responses though of those seeing my shed, or as some have said my weaving cottage.. is WOW!   I put down a cork flooring, which gives a nice ‘give-like’ feeling. Its far better than cold hard cement. I sealed the cement floor before laying the cork, so no moisture will work up thru the cement.  Insulated walls are primo, as I discovered on a few of our hot days here.  It was delightfully cool in there.

The last thing painted on the exterior, was the door.  The color is called “prague blue”, but depending on the light of the day is may appear as dark blue, spruce green or even as black.  Very interesting color.  I had no say on what the color of the shed could be painted, unfortunately. It is what it is. And I’ve added a screen door.

So having this wonderful weaving studio once again will be like going on vacation from my road trips. As I’m not done traveling. George, my builder, also built me a desk inside my Lazy Daze. In the area in which my small floor loom had resided, is now a wonderful desk. Am loving the new space, so am re-organzing some of the cabinets inside my rig. That will always be a work in process.

So will continue working inside the shed, so I plan to get both looms dressed before I hit the road. The big Fireside loom will get my Horoscope Weaving project – there are 12 colors and combinations that relate to my own personal horoscope. More details as I work on that one. And the small floor loom (my Baby Wolf) will get some kitchen towels. Instead of trying to figure out colors for that, I am going to do black and white towels in shadow weave – gives them a 3D affect.  Soon, will get started on both. Yippee!!!

June, uh?

Variety of boat/ships

June is flying by… so very busy.  The hard work on the Documents committee finally finished. The contents of which will find its way into the hands of the leaseholders at the end of this month. A massive mailing (well over 10,000 pages copied) full of amendments, bylaws, standing rules, etc. all to be voted on in August.

When the dust was settling on that job, I managed to line up, schedule and set in place the Swing dance classes here at Evergreen Coho RV park in July.  Had a wonderful round of interest for this, so that will be a huge hit.  Then I learned a couple here in the park follow certain bands.  Thru them I am trying to get live music into the park.  Nothing like taking on a whole new subject matter. So am working thru those details, when I got a few more tips on other bands.  Trying to get a feel for who might still be in the very mobile clientele in this park before moving on for the winter, adds an element to the challenge. So am tentatively trying to get a band in here in August, maybe September, stop for the winter, then line up ones for next year.  Meeting some great musicians in the process.

In the meantime, I am finally getting the medical aspects started. An annual physical over due. So am getting all the humdrum boring stuff done, mammo, labs, physical, and even added getting a mole off my face removed. I am rather impressed how the VA handles things… while still in with the doc, things were being scheduled and I was being notified on when… shockingly fast. There are still some issues, not so surprising either, that the VA does and/or doesn’t do, that prompted me to make another appointment with a doctor outside the VA to do Preventive/Functional Medicine.  So all in all, it is a huge start in getting straighten away on the health. One needs to stay healthy when traveling full-time.

I have taken a few days, off and on, to hibernate. Hibernate right in my rig, making it look like I wasn’t home. Ah quiet for a bit. Think the cats were happy to see me too.  I still plan to head out of here for a few days, go get on the road, I miss that. Not yet sure where, but will be remote quiet spot…. somewhere. It soothes my soul just thinking about it.

Finally found my hiking boots, that I had bought up in Haines before I left. Hate when I lose things in my rig… Its one thing to lose a hair brush, but to lose a pair of hiking boots is just plain nuts. But am pretty good at it, that is in losing things. Laughing here.  I ordered something from Amazon… Adult Coloring Book… now if I can just find my color pencils….

So for my weaving friends… and more importantly John & Linda, who will receive the towels I’m making, it is slow, but is indeed being worked on now. I’m calling them my chili peppers towels. John & Linda picked the colors – what a challenge to pick the structure for them. They picked 6 colors, I should have insisted on 7 or 5 colors… odd numbers are so much better, but I don’t poop out on challenges… so it is a good brain tease to make this good.

Tonight is my last night of East Coast Swing classes. Its been a blast!!! Starting July 1st, I have an opportunity to take Salsa and Zydeco dance classes too.  Most likely will add them.  And as if I’m not busy enough… I am starting to workout in the gym with a trainer. This body needs some fine tuning. What better opportunity then now to work on it. So I’m going for it.

And lastly, I’ve stumbled upon a kindred spirit on multi-levels. We have had some long, long conversations. It is a simple delight to listen…to let intelligence flow where it may go and enjoy the ride.

Quiet but not idle

Wow! It has been a long time since I posted to my blog.  It has not been an idle time, in fact wish I could find a boring day… is there such a thing?   As it is… life evolves, changes, grows and continues on.

What have I been doing?  Lots of daily activities too mundane to mention, but in the midst of living, I took on a challenge to me. Photography.  Not of my surroundings or of places I have been, but of me. Yes that is what I said, pictures of me.  My long time friends will laugh, as I’m the biggest hide-behind-someone or hide-behind-a-tree or just not show up for photo shoots.  I hate my picture being taken.  OK, I said it out loud, I HATE my picture being taken. And well… let’s do something about this fear of the camera. So… a little bit of digging on internet… and I found Deja Webster Photography – don’t you just love the name Deja!  Smiling here.  If you want to see some of the photos she has posted for me, send me an email, as you need a password to access them.

Deja was a hoot to work with and I thank her for taking on the challenge of me and making it all worthwhile.  I got real good at bending at the belly button, straightening the back, lifting the chin, lowing a shoulder, turning just right, catching the sun’s highlights, to stop flat out giggling – as it made me close my eyes too much… on and on and on.  The first shoot, was such an eye opener to me. Clothes, ere colors, I thought I would look good in, washed me out to nonexistence.

So before the next shoot, I had homework to do. Was to hit the thrift stores in search of better colors. Not knowing where any of these places were, I grabbed one of my Escapees friends here at Evergreen to go shopping with me. It turns out Sheri, ran the fashion show here at Evergreen last year. She has an eye for details that was fun just to watch her in action. And with me being the end result – what a learning experience.

So back to the 2nd shoot. Wow what a difference and what a delight to discover what are my colors. I had no idea. For a gal that left home at 18, went into a nursing uniform, then a military uniform into formals and cocktail dresses to comfy casual clothes… never once do I recall knowing I looked better in a different set of colors (other then blue jeans).  We are our own worst critic, you know.   I wish I had done this professional photo shoot years ago.  Thank you Deja!!!
While doing all this running around doing photo shoots, thrift store buying, etc. I had rented a car. Egads! That rental was costly.  I need a car. I’ve never bought a used car before, but if I decide to tow, I don’t need a new car behind my rig.  Have been doing so much research on and off line, quizzing people, dealers, etc. Driving all kinds of crap… to the point, that I decided I don’t want used, I want new. Then I realized its another element that needs adjusting in my mind.  So… as I have learned to do, is sit back and re-analysis.   Will I tow?  I have not needed a tow in my 3 years full timing. I do fine without. Oh sure, I have missed out on some things, and it is a hassle getting into pharmacies parking lots (now I order and get via mail) and I hate asking for a ride from my fellow RVers – altho they have been awesome taking me places. The challenges of getting the proper tow package, the ins and outs of all that – do I even want to go there?  I don’t think so.  So do I need a car?  Yes and no.  I need a car for here in Washington. The RV can not go to many of the coastal towns, its not cheap on the ferry, etc. It really does not benefit the RV to do short trips. Its made for long trips.  So changing my focus once again, then doing more in depth research, I’m settling on a used car, am picking it up Tuesday in Portland, of all places… I am so jazzed. 
And with all this research… I burned thru my 30 GB of data for the month in short order and was shut down, as I refused to pay $15 per GB to get it back up and running.  A new month started yesterday. Yippee!!!  Got to say, it was awesome getting a break from computer, etc.  I should do this more often… as my creative juices are now pumped up.  My next project is going on the loom.  I just need to pick which path best shows off chili peppers colors!  Yarn is present, parts are acquired, yarn wrap done… so do I do gradation of colors across the warp or play with 2 block pattern or both? Check back later… oh so much fun…

Life continues…

Wow! Its past my bedtime, but wanted to try to get some photos onto the blog.  The towels I finished has transformed in front of my eyes. When I first dressed the loom, all three colors – off white, light green and dark green appeared to be one color.  Seriously.  100% organic cotton darkens when exposed to heat – it does not fade.  But I try to hold off exposing it to heat, so that the person I give the towel(s) to can see it change.  This was a fun one to weave.
The green is more of a sage green, not grass green as this photo shows

Yardage after washing, but before cutting apart 

With the towels done, the next task was to remove the loom to my shed for my trip north. Well… the loom had other ideas.  This particular loom folds up, similar to scissors.  I got it into the rig, I should be able to get it out, right?   I could not get it past the door frame.  So had tried to get the strollers/wheels off. At this point, I need help – cause nothing is working.  So called Bernie & Caroline.  Of course, this had us starting from scratch of folding it back up higher with Bernie’s strong arms. Still could not get it out the door.  So in this picture below… Caroline is on the floor under Bernie’s legs – they are working as a team to attempt to get the wheels off. As they puzzled thorough the loom mechanism – I offered to take them to lunch for their attempt to help.  So after 4 1/2 hours, we put the loom back in place and went out to eat.  Crazy stuff.

Bernie & Caroline

So I will have to leave loom in my rig for the winter.  It should be ok, but I really did not want to leave it in the rig.  It is what it is and will just go with it.

I’ve been so very busy here…  really great people here at Evergreen Coho.  I haven’t laughed this hard or this often in eons.  Have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and am looking forward to returning.
Now back to work, ere sleep.  I’ve got a full day tomorrow… hoping to get it all done. Then have a laid back type of day on Sunday, as I head out on Monday.
Looking ahead to the first of October – all the provincial parks, and majority of RV parks close by the end of September in Canada.  I had hoped some might have been opened… but its not meant to be.  So will have to deal with it like I did when I traveled in April in Canada.  Hopefully, it will be warmer in October then it was in April – but time will tell. But it will be awesome to have the road to myself once again.  More later.

Alive and busy

Sorry, no photos this time. Can’t get them loaded…

I am still at Chimacum’s Escapees Evergreen Coho SKP park.  Initially, just meeting all the people, learning of the happenings, remembering the meetings for leaseholders and going. I haven’t used a clock or watch in 3 years and they expect me to remember all this! Laughing at this new challenge.  Lots going on and have quickly learned I need to set boundaries or I will never get my own stuff done.

So it dawned on me… there is no reason I need to carry the contents of this rig up to Alaska, only to have to haul it inside for the winter, when I could just as easily leave it here at Evergreen Coho. Interesting enough, this was/is far harder to do.  I use what I have with me, do I want to not have it with me?  Oh the questions that prompts.  So far, the only things I will definitely leave behind is my floor loom, outdoor mats and my sun oven.  I’m still working thru that process…

Leaving the loom prompts me to finish weaving off the towels on it.  I want to donate one of them to the NW Lazy Daze GTG auction they are having.  I always try to donate something…  So the task at hand is finding time to weave.  I wish I could upload one of the images, as these are beautiful towels, if I say so myself.  Hopefully in my next post.

Lo and behold… I get this email – “Melinda, are you at Evergreen Coho?” from some friends of mine. I had met Bernie and Caroline at Pahrump’s Escapees park two years ago. We are both from Alaska and we have stayed in touch all these years, but had not seen each other.  So I responded – “Yes, where are you?”  Nothing, for hours, no response.  This is nuts.  So I went walking all over the park, looking for the name pallet they always hang on their rig.  They must be in the park.  They have a 5th wheel but beyond that I have no clue what brand or make it is.  Having walked the almost the entire park,  with just one last row to go. Wa-la! They are here, yippee!!!  But they are not home. Bummer.  So I texted Caroline with my lot number and waited… and waited… and waited.  It turns out, they have been in the park for 4 months and they had visited my rig (parked in both places) several times only to find no one home. Told you I’ve been busy.  They were equally frustrated not connecting with me.   Its been great catching up with all their news. They wanted to surprise me in person, not text or email me. That didn’t work. Laughing here.

After connecting with them, I was doing laundry one day… and another person tapped me on my shoulder – “Hey Melinda!”  oh my goodness, I got a bear hug of a welcome from Bill and his wife Jean – I met them at Benson’s Escapees park sometime in my travels. Bill is a fellow fiber artist – but he weaves with copper, steel and other metals – fascinating stuff.  Absolute joy seeing both of them here.

Speaking of weavers… Have discovered another weaver, a new resident of Evergreen too, and what a delight!  She knows of the art scene in this area, pointers of places to go, guilds to join and who not to join, juried shows, workshops, etc.  Truly exciting to get the scoop on all this.

So that’s it for now.  Just wanted you to know I’m still alive and kicking and having fun too.