Monday, August 31, 2015

In Progress

Suddenly tomorrow is September (!) and with the change in the weather this week (rain, finally) it feels absolutely like harvest time and the season for cozy indoor crafting. Really, who am I kidding - summer in Portland continues through September - but I'll make the most of this week of cozyness and cool nights after so many months of heat and drought.

In progress these days:
  • This chili ristra, made with the glowing fruit of my Dragon Cayenne plant. 

The peppers turn red a few at a time, so the ristra is hanging by the window with the needle still on the doubled thread, ready to add a few more chilis every couple of days.

  • Coriander seed

 Mostly dried on the stalk in the garden (from a handful of generous volunteer plants) after we ate all the leaves, I rescued a big handful of these from the rain this weekend. It is finishing its drying in a paper bag hanging in my room, then will move to the spice cupboard.
  • A braided rag rug. Perhaps my newest favorite crafty endeavor, I'm completely hooked on this project!

When I moved in with Bill, I was finally able to move my fabric scrap collection from a big bag into some Ikea wire drawers, and I took the time sort it all and purge out all the scraps I didn't want to keep for future sewing projects. A lot were old clothes and linens. Some (read: the bright orange 70s print above) came with other, more desirable fabrics in cheap bags found at secondhand stores. I wanted to make use of all the scraps in some way, and my longtime love of the Little House books immediately came to my aid - a rag rug! I looked up a tutorial and immediately found this one, fittingly on the Little House Living website.

 My rug will not be chic in its color scheme, which is a complete hodge-podge, but it sure is fun and easy to make. Once I had torn all of the fabric into strips, I organized it by color (sort of). One ball is entirely a red and purple based print that I had an overabundance of, one ball is all of the solid colors, and another is all of the other prints. I have no real idea how big the final product will be, but I'm already looking forward to making another in the future. I like the idea of finding some old sheets at a thrift store to create a more consistent color palette. [Tip: Cut the strips into ~3 foot strips. Any longer and they get easily tangled with each other. Also, try not to be adding two new strips at exactly the same point, or the braid gets extra lumpy; try to stagger the bulk of adding new strips]. 

This is a really great project to have at hand to pull out and work on for a few minutes in the evening or on a Sunday afternoon. I've been enjoying listening to podcasts (Backstory is my current favorite) while braiding away. 

Happy September, everyone!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Checking In

Hello, there! It's been an absurdly long time since my last post - life has been busy! Things have happened! For example:
I moved out of the shoebox apartment where I spent a great 2.5 years, and joined forces with Bill at the house he has lived at since before I met him.

We share the house with two roommates and a cat, have a small but lovely garden, and the spare bedroom became "my room," where all of my stuff lives and I have a sewing table and a futon for guests.

    Life is so much easier without our constant going back and forth between each other's homes, although there are the small irritations of living with housemates (lack of space in the fridge being a primary one for me), although the housemates themselves are excellent people. Most of my kitchen gear is in storage in the basement since the house was well furnished already, so it will be fun unpacking it all someday.

    It's been an unnervingly hot and dry summer in the northwest, but we've made the most of it. Sail camping, a fantastic backpacking trip in the North Cascades, a family reunion in Port Townsend, and my birthday at a cousin's new farm - this summer has been one of the best.
    Day four of five in the North Cascades

    Point Wilson lighthouse and Admiralty Inlet

    How I spent my 31st birthday

     A summer ritual

    It's been summer since April, with weeks of temperatures over 95 F, and even if the entire American West wasn't burning right now, I'd be ready for fall. But now we're praying for rain and here, at the edge of September, I am absolutely looking forward to cooler nights, wool socks, red leaves and baked squash. I've got some new autumn-y projects to work on which I will share here, as once again I try to revive my writing a bit. I hope you're all well, and I look forward to spending more time here in the coming weeks.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Meet Wessinger Woodworks!

    Hey, it's been awhile since I've been around here- more updates to come soon. But first, I wanted to share some exciting news: Bill has just launched his own furniture and woodworking company! He's been designing and building furniture for years, and now his craft is for sale!

    Sure I'm biased, but others will tell you that Bill is truly a craftsman and has an amazing brain for design. Every one of his pieces is handbuilt by him and designed with his eye for interesting and beautiful joinery. This chair is one of the most comfortable and lovely things I have ever sat in:

    Tell your interior designer friends, and please visit the link to his website above to see more designs and learn more!