Friday, April 18, 2014

It's just a 3 day drive...

We are on our way down to Tucson for the closing on our new house.  How luxurious it would have been to fly, but our moving plan forced us into hooking up the horse trailer and loading it with just about EVERYTHING from the garage and sewing studio.  I saved back a sewing machine, notions, some fabric (well, a lot of fabric) and some laundry supplies. 
The photo below is not comes from a blog post describing residents escaping rising water!

I'll see you all in a week or so. ~mary

Monday, April 14, 2014

risk, fear and complacency

It's 4:30 dream self and day self have met up again.  I get up quietly, pad downstairs grabbing a blanket as I go, and hope that little Nick will join me.  He does, and as I settle into the downstairs couch, he jumps up and curls himself into a tidy ball behind my knees.

Sometimes I can sleep some more but today is not one of those days.  This is new for me, this waking in the cold dark, shaking off the dreams in which I manage multiple lesson plans in a busy classroom, or solve complicated problems, or even escape from unknown danger.  My brain is busy nowadays, making sure that I am aware of risk, and details left undone, and problems unsolveable.  Thank you brain.  Thank you.

Interesting.  We can plan for contingencies, save money to be used in the future, forego risk in place of security...and then to meet some risk well armed sends our poor brains into panic mode.

So, I am leaving my established life here in Oregon.  I am saying goodbye to my home, so lovingly restored, and to my friends, so carefully tended, and to wilderness surrounding me.  I am saying goodbye to my dear Woodrow, who will stay here in his retirement as it is healthier for him.  I won't hear the flickers calling, nor the bluejays.  There won't be deer in the yard anymore, or bunny tracks in the snow.

I am leaving all that and going to a city filled with sunshine, with a university, with music, books, and art.  There will be mountains surrounding me, though farther away than now.  There will be saguaros, roadrunners, snakes and cactus wrens.  Adobe homes, and dry riverbeds.  Monsoons and lightning, sunrises and sunsets to fascinate.

Jane M, of Lucky So and So, said she admired my aplomb.  ha!  Jane, here is the real truth...I'm scared.   That won't stop me though-never has, never will.  Complacency is not where I want to live.

Cowgirl up.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pretty, useful and easy

No, this does not refer to me.  I am almost done, almost, with Christine Jonson's Inset Jacket.  I have loved this pattern from the first time I saw it, and variations of this style have been around for at least 40 years.  I can remember seeing this type of blouse worn by lanky hippies in the early 70s.
I love clothing which is oversized but drapes in a feminine way.  This pattern focuses interest in the neck, collarbones and shoulders, and de-emphasizes hips.  It looks so comfortable but also very fashion conscious.

The pattern is very oversized, and while I often sew a small size through the shoulders and a medium through the hips, this time I cut and sewed a straight XS.  I have room to move, and the outside seam of the inset panel hits me higher on my shoulder than illustrated on the right. I like that, and think it updates the style a bit.  Pattern markings are minimal, and the essential dot at the corners of the inset panel are missing.  Instructions are very minimal, and there are no suggestions for finishing seams other than "...finish seam or serge"  I used a combination of techniques-bias binding, turning under raw edges, and plain old zigzag.

I have the sleeve hems left to do, as well as the hem.  I will add lace, and hand sew these when I have some time.  I certainly cannot wear this yet as we are still getting snow/rain and it is just plain cold.  Now, if I were in my new house...

Yes, a new house.  We are moving from Oregon as soon as we sell this wonderful home and moving into a very nice townhome in Tucson, AZ.  My Inset Jacket will be a great coverup by the pool!
Tubac (near Tucson) arts festival a few years ago

retired gentleman, probably waiting for his wife!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Walking into my home after 3 months on the road was like...(I almost typed "coming home").

All I can say is that I am a true homebody and I love to putter around my house.  Today I started on Christine Jonson's Inset Jacket.  I worked through some tissue fitting and a small amount of math, and decided to be bold and cut small.  Somehow my mat stayed in Tucson so after laying out my fabric, I pinned carefully and cut with actual SCISSORS.  My goodness folks, rayon is slippery.

Here is my fabric:
After marking the pieces, and reviewing what I need to do in the construction, I took little Nick for a walk.  We both enjoy short walks-well, he could go for hours but my neighborhood is hills and it's still cold.  In fact, it snowed a bit last night.  So, a short walk it was.

I also spent some quality time with very fuzzy, very muddy horses.  I scraped mud, I untangled manes, I brushed and pulled and brushed again.  I used a grill brick to scrape out some of the underlying loose hair.  Big Nick was happy to see me, and we saddled up for a short ride.  The arena is still a bit gummy, but the fields are worse so we headed to the outdoor arena.  After a short warm up, it was walk, trot, canter both directions and some gymnastics with poles.  What a GOOD boy he was!  He hasn't been ridden for 3 months, and I just hopped on and away we went.

Dinner is cooking in the crockpot and I am heading down to the sewing cave for some quality time with my Elna.  Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Winter booklist and a bit of news

I'll start with my news in order to partially explain why I have been so quiet here on kf-biblioblog. You know we travel each winter, and generally stay in campgrounds and BLM land.  This year we planned to return to Mexico and stay for 2 months on the beach in Puerto Penasco.  That lovely fishing town was the site of a 4 hour gun battle between police and a cartel-right on "our" beach! Needless to say, we stayed in the States, and spent our winter in Texas and parts of the Southwest.
Bandit 1998-2014
This put a damper on our travels, and our mood was compounded by the loss of our beloved jack russell Bandit. Ross and I were grieving, and little Nick was confused and grieving in his doggy way also.  I spent almost no time sewing, and while I did a little bit of knitting, I mainly read.  Long, detailed, thoughtful books.  Books which could take me somewhere else easily.  The rhythm of travel, the quiet in campgrounds, the winter weather...all kept me focused on reading.  What a pleasure, and one I hope everyone reading this blog can share.

My list this winter:
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Alamo Story: from Early History to Current Conflicts by JC Edmondson
The Ultimate Horse behavior and Traing Book: Enlightened and Revolutionary Solutions for the      21st Century by Bobbie Leiberman et al
The Bloodletter's Daughter by Linda Lafferty
Child of my Heart by Alice McDermott
The Faraway Horses by Buck Brannaman
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd
The Light between Oceans by ML Stedman
The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux (2 times now)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Orphan train: A novel by Christina Baker Kline
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Sycamore Row by John Grisham
The Wife: A novel by Meg Wolitzer
Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A novel by Anna Quinlan
The MaddAdam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
The Barkeep by William Lashner
The Interestings: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer
The Edge of the Earth by Christina Schwarz

On my bedside table is The Dinosaur Feather, which has not yet caught my interest.

In addition to the books above, we also watched (for the 3rd time!) Lonesome Dove.  ah, Gus...
Other TV/movies included The Wire Seasons 1-4 and I think I have Season 5 waiting.

Finally I have some sewing interest building!! I am so excited to feel an urge to create something.  I am starting on Christine Jonson's Inset Jacket, using a rayon blend in taupe and greyed turquoise.

I think this will be oversized, and plan to muslin it using small to start. My guess is that the entire inset yoke will need to come up and the shoulder seams brought in, giving the jacket a more fitted appearance.

It's nice to be back~