Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter's Murk

I saw this lone Pine Grosbeak nibbling on the seeds of a maple tree and managed to get a few pictures before he flew into the woods.

The gloom of winter. This is daybreak, around 815 am.

And today, Boxing Day, around 9 am. It's dark and very cold, about -23 (our "high temperature" for today, last night was -33).
Supposedly our "normal" temperature for this day is -5. We have been below that for almost two months, by about 15 to 20 degrees. The llamas have gone through their hay stocks three times faster than normal. Winter is expensive. The farm uses almost 6 times the normal amount of electricity during months like this compared to summer operations, just keeping water and drains available. There's not enough sunlight to create solar power during this time, so we are mostly stuck with burning fuels, either heating fuels, or through electricity which comes from coal burning and hydro. A carbon tax on rural populations would kill us as we have no alternatives out here: we have to drive long distances to get to work or towns, and we have no alternatives for heating our homes and barns and livestock.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snow and Pink Swallows

This is what it looked like on Monday. Then the sun disappeared for about a week and a blizzard began. We haven't seen the sun for days, just gray and flying snow.

This morning, Saturday, we woke up to sun. It's about -19. This is my front window, frost encrusted.

This is the view of my backyard. We have about 9 inches of snow. It's only November. Whenever I hear the phrase "global warming" I want to smack it out of the air. Maybe it's warmer somewhere, but not here.
Regional warming might be a better term, or ocean warming. But not global. The world should be glad we're not entering another ice age, that would be truly catastrophic. Have you heard of the Heidegger effect? That's a geophysical phenomenon where the oceans reverse their currents. It creates an ice age that covers large parts of the globe with glaciers within 100 years of onset, and the ice age lasts about 1000 years. That would be something to be upset about.

On the embroidery front, here's another baguette with a French theme, this one of a carte postale with pink and gold swallows one one side:

And a fleur de lis on the back:

It is lined with a tropical print vintage curtain fabric, and embellished with a jute burlap bottom. Coming next bagwise: an homage to the Battle of Trafalgar, and a tribute to Edgar Allen Poe.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


This bag is a Napoleonic theme. It has his emblem, a bee, with french script on one side.

And a key on the other. It is lined with vintage curtain material. The lower part of the bag is jute burlap.

It is a long bag, and can be worn across the body or on one shoulder.

Next I'm working on an homage to Trafalgar 1805, and a tribute to Edgar Allen Poe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blue Swallows

This baguette is on a french theme. It is hardwashed sailcloth, with jute trim and an organza ribbon.
One side has a postage stamp:

The lining is a gorgeous vintage quilt print:

Blue swallows with a carte postale background are on the other side:

The shoulder strap is cotton webbing and is long enough to be worn across the body.

                                                             Coming next: Napoleon's Bees.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Another baguette bag. This one is based on tattoos, one on Keats' theme, Beauty and Truth (that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know):

And the other side is graced with a tangle of thorns and roses, also from a tattoo design, embellished with tattooed barb wire:

A glimpse of the Indonesian batik lining:

The lining up close:

This bag is 100% cotton except for the embroidery floss. It is extra deep for big baguettes. Again, a great yarn bag as it has no closures or fiddly metal bits. The outer construction is hard washed sailcloth, the inner is Indonesian cotton batik.

Coming next: Blue swallows

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Steampunk Butterfly

Here's a baguette bag on the steampunk theme again. There is Time embroidered on one side, underlined with an embroidered tattoo border:

And an iron butterfly on the other.

The bag is made of sailcloth, and is all cotton except for the jute burlap lower covering (it's an embellishment, there is canvas and lining under it). The strap is very comfortable 100% cotton webbing and is long enough to be worn on one shoulder or across the body. The lining is a theme of cowboy belt buckles.

Coming next: Keats' tattoos.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Steampunk Cowboy

We had our first frost on Thursday. I woke up to ice fog and frozen flowers.

Here's a bag on the Steampunk Cowboy theme. It's sailcloth with embroidery: a longhorn skull with gears on one side;

And a steampunk horse on the other.

It can be worn on one shoulder, or across the shoulder.

It's lined with a cotton print of longhorn skulls.

It has no fasteners or buttons, so it would make a great bag for carrying yarn or things you otherwise do not want to tangle. It's 100% cotton, except for the embroidery threads.

I'll be posting more embroidered stuff as I get photos done. Coming next: steampunk butterfly, Keats tattoos, blue swallows, and Napoleonic bees.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where I work at home

I know that people like seeing how others live, and many of my friends have never visited my house, so I thought I would show you part of it. This is the front living room. I just brought in a bunch of potted petunias so it looks a bit like a florist's. Cats, dog toys, overturned books and all.

This is the back living room. It used to be a calf shed attached to the main house. I renovated it and put in all these windows and french doors, redid the floors, walls, ceiling, everything. It faces north, and has a library behind it to the left.

A better view of the previous room looking toward the library which you can just see in the center, behind the french doors. There is a mastiff asleep on the carpet in there.

This is my workroom, mostly for sewing and the "clean" arts (i.e. not painting which I do in the kitchen, in a later post perhaps).

The opposite wall of my workroom. It has my new embroidery machine on it.

The center wall of my workroom. It was two little bedrooms but I knocked out the central wall. It faces south. My Bernina sewing machine is there. I have a serger too.

My serger.

The rack of embroidery threads and my cutting board. And a big stack of plastic boxes containing skeins of yarn.

The latest thing I've embroidered. It's going to be a baguette bag as well (I call it that because it's so long it would be good for bringing back fresh baguette if there was a french bakery nearby). It's made of soft old sailcloth, cotton canvas.

A bag I made... it's a finished "baguette", it's also of soft sailcloth with burlap trim. It has some french embroidery on it, two swallows on the front, with script. I did all the embroidery on my new Janome 350SE.

A fleur de lis on the back

It's lined with vintage curtain material

This is another bag, a big bag for carrying laundry, or clothes, something where you need a big open bag. It's a heavier sailcloth, cotton canvas. It's lined with the same vintage curtains. I embroidered a pair of bees in the lining

                                                    I added embroidery to the facings

            This is the front of the bag.  It has a rose tattoo on the front, and a lucky horseshoe on the back.

See you again soon!