Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Heating Up!

It's hot outside AND in my life right now. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just deal with ONE thing at a time?!! Packing, moving, fixing up the new house to suit us AND my sister is quite ill. That last one is a constant worry in the back of my mind. She has been shuffling back and forth from the nursing home in Muleshoe to two different hospitals in Lubbock. She has kidney failure and requires dialysis three times a week. On top of that, though, she has been dealing with continual blood infections. With all this she has become immobile and now has some pretty serious bedsores. This is another real issue for infection especially since she is also diabetic. Illness is NOT fun for anyone!!

Okay, on to a more fun topic. We recently had our Joint Services Luncheon which brings together the Spouse's Clubs in San Antonio. Randolf AFB group was in charge this year and they did a wonderful job. The theme was Breakfast At Tiffany's complete with the attendees dressing up in theme. This place has a thing for dressing up in themes! This lady won the #1 prize for her outfit.....

And the winner is....

I believe the prize was a piece of Tiffany jewelry. For the record not all military spouses are women! The guy there is the president of Randolph's spouse's club. I wish more of the male spouses would join in. There are only a few and everyone has something to contribute!


My personal favorite was my friend Debbie.....She looked great, especially after I gave her the cigarette holder.

The table settings were really nice, just right for the theme. Every centerpiece was just a bit different. Ours had a giant 'diamond' ring in the center top.

My table

The place cards were really cool too. Very simple and just the right touch!

It's me!!

And then the cupcakes! We could choose from several flavors identifiable by the decoration. Guess which flavor I chose!! 8^)

Chocolate cupcake

I'm telling you, military spouses have ALL the fun!!

Blessings today,

PS-There may be big gaps in upcoming days with all that's happening. NOT TO WORRY!! I'll get it all done eventually and pick up again soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm least for today!

Wow! I had no idea it had been so long. People have been emailing to see what's wrong. Nothing except for busy-ness and laziness if I'm honest. It's been so long that Blogger changed their format. I hope this doesn't mess me up more than normally!

First off, we closed last Thurs. on our 'new' house. Here we are.......and so far it's the only white house I've seen in the neighborhood. Nothing like marking yourself right off the bat!

New Kiser abode

I like that the garage does not face the street and that the resulting driveway takes out a huge chunk of what could have been grass! Less mowing!!

I'm glad we have a new place to go to because while I was away at spinning camp the biggest tree in our yard disappeared!

Goodbye ash tree
Remember that tree limb that suddenly fell....well, the tree was deemed a goner and out it went. The remaining stump looks a lot bigger than the actual tree that was there. No more shade for this house. It's always sad to see a tree go. I'm glad I was not home to watch or even worse, listen to its demise.

Since we have changed our home of record to Texas that meant we also had to change our driver's licenses from Florida to Texas. Get this.....San Antonio has 1.5 million residents and FOUR, yes 4, offices to serve this purpose. Do the math! It's not pretty.....

Outer room.....
.....home stretch....

It felt a bit like Disney world but without the fun part. First you work your way around this outer room, then another smaller room and then you enter the end stretch. The appointment sign is just a joke. Pay no attention to that. We finally made it to a chair, yea, and then waited even longer to go into The Room With People to Give You a License! There are 11 stations with only FOUR people manning them. Huh?! Good grief. At any rate over 3 hours from our arrival we finally walked out with temporary licenses and the promise that the real thing would be in the mail soon. Of course, Bob's person arranged for him to have our new address but to send it to our present abode. MY person said 'nope, can't do that' so mine has the new address and will go to the new address before we even close on the house. Thankfully, the sellers were okay with this! BTW, I do have my new license now. Hallelujah!

On the way out I did get this nice photo of the one redeeming feature of the DL office, a blooming yucca!

Beautiful Blooms

I'll try to do better with posting....and I do have lots more to show you. A lot has happened in a short while!


Monday, April 16, 2012

LAST Spinning Camp Entry!

I guess you know it was a really great week for me and I really look forward to doing it all over again. I'll likely be thinking about it all year!! Meanwhile let's finish a few more photos.....

What spinners cook.....fiber! 

Purple before, blue after

Hands turned blue too!

Indigo hair dye 


Love the tile
Felted Fascinator

And the fitting end to our week on the ranch.......

Alisha's belly

Alisha's water broke in the middle of the night and two campers whisked her off to the hospital. We didn't hear more until a few days after we all went home and Alisha sent an email with photos........

Voila! Violet made her appearance!

Violet with mom

Sleeping Violet
Smiling Violet

Doesn't get any better than this!!


The Happy Fiber Fanatics


Friday, April 13, 2012

Belated Greetings!

I have been busy, busy this week. I have not been particularly productive but I have been on the go with meetings here, there and yonder and several luncheons and/or dinners. DH aptly tags all this as 'eating for our country' events. We do our best for you!! 8^)

I know I mentioned dyeing with osage but we didn't get much out of that batch. I think for a group our size we needed a LOT more osage.

Into the Osage Pot

Isn't it funny that Judith has on rubber gloves for the osage dye and the blue from the indigo is all down her arm? Of course, the gloves were for the boiling liquid and not to keep stains off her skin.

That fiber started out almost white and then turned this color....

Osage dyed

The rest of our week was spent madly finishing up dyeing, carding and spinning things we had started and then it was time to pack it up and go home. Here are a few favorite pics from the week....


Pretty ambitious tattoos here! I thought my youngest would particularly like that owl.

And I want some of these shoes just because!


Pluto RIP
Wool Care
It's an Austin, TX thing.

T-shirts sayings and such are always fun, especially in a creative group!

And then there were views around Mo's Ranch.....

To the Chapel

Chapel Interior
We walked past the chapel every day on the way to lunch. One day three of us stopped in and sang a couple of songs. The acoustics were great and it was a nice moment for me in the week. It was sunny and beautiful inside too!

Touch of red
Can you hear me now?!

I just like the composition and color combo with the fire hydrant.

We had touchy cell signals to say the least. I didn't even try unless I was near the wireless at the main office.

Foot bridge
This bridge was an alternate route to get to lunch if you didn't want to climb the chapel steps but several of the fiber ladies were scared to go this way because they could see the ground through the mesh. That didn't bother me at all and I really liked being able to see from up above. What I don't like is short walls, solid or not, where I get the feeling I could flip over them. We all have our own demons I guess!

There are more pics but this is getting long and I think I'll save them for the next blog post.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Best Bugs Ever!

Clearly indigo was the most dramatic dyeing that we did but the cochineal was really amazing too. A few days before we started the dye pots Judith dropped a few spoonfuls of the dried cochineal into water and then put the lid on and let it sit. Over time the water turned the color of the magenta crayon from the big Crayola box. This got poured into the dye pot. We opted for more color so Judith used a mortar and pestle to grind up some more.

Checking the bugs

Grinding more

Gorgeous color

Then we prepared an alternate pot using cochineal modified with vinegar and lime. This alters the hue quite a bit but it was still in the red family of color.

Cochineal, vinegar and lime

More subdued color

When this fiber was pulled from the dye bath it was pretty much 'what you see is what you get'. It didn't have the dramatic color change of the indigo which doesn't get it's final color until it has absorbed oxygen. Still, it was a ton of fun putting white or ivory fiber in and pulling out these brilliant hanks!

Cochineal colors

Modified cochineal

Surely you are hooked on wanting to dye something by now!! I can see how this could get very addictive....and expensive! 8^) Good that folks try it though. We don't have all the choices in color, clothes, furniture, cars, paints, etc., without someone experimenting with it all and finding out how to best get it done! I think in color so I am extremely grateful to live in a colorful world!!

Speaking of color around us I spied this lone bluebonnet in a tiny patch of grass by my parking space at a restaurant the other day. LOVE bluebonnets!! It really lets me know I am in TEXAS! Yea!!

Texas Bluebonnet

Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Love Lichen!

Lichen does not turn out a stunning color like indigo but I firmly believe that there is a place for ANY color therefore I love all colors, just in their right context for me! Keep in mind that anytime you vary the fiber, the temperature, the type of water.....maybe even the phase of the moon! can get different results. It's chemistry lab all over again!!! Plus there are various types of lichen!

We started with this batch of lichen.

Judith and lichen

Judith, she of the still blue hands, layered our fibers with lichen in a big pot. I've read since that you can use cheesecloth and make giant tea bag of lichen but we didn't have any of that and Judith felt we would get better results with the lichen distributed throughout.

Into the pot it goes
Water was added. I confess I cannot remember if we added any other stuff like mordants, etc. I think just water was added and then the whole 'a watched pot never boils' came into play. The pot was left to simmer while we all went off and found/bought more fiber to toss into the indigo!

The next day
The pot was left overnight and then the next day we
checked the fiber. Obviously it has been allowed to cool! (Notice how much of the blue has disappeared from her hand! No turned even bluer when we got back to the indigo.) There were some pretty varied results in there!

Lichen and fiber after the dyeing

Such lovely shades of golden orange!


Mary was excited about the color of her hank of fiber! Such a warm and inviting hue.....

.....and today I leave you with a photo of one tiny flower that was near the dye pots. I'm glad I got the photo because the flower was shriveled by the next day. One of my fellow weavers says this is spider wort but I have no idea. If you know a more accurate identity please let me know!

Spider wort