Thursday, November 02, 2006

Update - A New Blog

Hi. Thanks for coming by. I have started another new blog now.

When I first started blogging I wanted to keep everything separate rather than have it all mixed together. Rather like having a file drawer for every topic. So I had to have 4 different blogs.
Growing Greater - yard stuff and some about my animals
Born2cree8 - about my fibre arts
Decisions Decisions (picturethis06) - my photography
Wandering Words - my poetry

Well, now there is Beta Blogger! In Beta Blogger I can use labels to keep things separated, so now it's like having one file drawer with several labeled file folders in it. This makes the whole blogging experience much easier for me as I now only have to post to one blog. It also makes it much easier for people who come to read my stuff as they now only have to visit one blog instead of several. How great is that!!

I will keep these old blogs as there is so much "stuff" on them, but I won't be posting to them any more after this one. If you want to come read this older stuff again, there are links on my new blog (All In One) to these older blogs.

So come visit me at All In One and see what new stuff I've been up to.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A New Door Opened!

I have been invited to join a writing group. Part of this is online with wonderful ladies throughout Canada and the United States. Part of it is local with twice monthly meetings where those of us that live in this area get together. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to grow, so of course I said YES. Much of it is about Journal writing and this is a very positive habit to develope. Very healing, very powerful. It will also help me build on writing skills in other areas and inspire me to write poetry again. In fact, while telling about my home, introducing myself in the online group, I said that I often get "itchy feet" and want to move, but have been here 16 years now as I have never been able to find anything in my price range that suits me and my animals as much as this place does. Then came the poem...

If you want to read the poem you will find it on my blog Wandering Words... that's where I put all my poetry and now will put some of my other writings. Look in the sidebar on the left of this page for the LINKS to my other blogs and some of other people too.

One Door SLAMMED In My Face

On Monday I got a "real kick in the teeth". Louise and Fran from The Monashee Spinners & Weavers group to which I had belonged for over three years came to talk to me. They told me that 4 years ago they had a very strong group with regular attendance from all the women involved, but it has been falling apart, so they had asked these women what they thought the problem was and the answer was me. I was told that they all feel uncomfortable around me, so they stopped attending the weekly gatherings and thus there had been no meetings over this summer. The group was falling apart because no one wanted to be around me. They wouldn't tell me what I had done wrong, just that it was "an energy thing" and I'm "just not a fit with the group". Whatever that means... and why did it take over 3 years for them to figure this out? Before they told me I am no longer welcome to come to the gatherings (it was obvious this was what they were getting at) I told them not to worry, they could go tell the women they can all come back now because I will no longer be a part of that group. Hey, what else could I do. I will not try to force myself onto people that don't want me around. I do, after all, have pride and self respect. Needless to say though, this was a very painful experience.

The rest of Monday I felt so awful. I cried and cried, and I wondered what was the matter with me. Why didn't anyone want to be around me? What had I done wrong to make them all throw me away like this? Like yesterdays garbage. I couldn't meditate that day (a new skill I'm developing) as I was just too hurt and too upset. However, talking to a couple friends on the phone did help a lot and got me through.

Tuesday was another day. I did my meditation and I did my journal writing.
While still in meditation I received the word "Powerful" and then "Gifted".
I wrote these down before even opening my eyes (hard to read later, but I knew what they said, lol). I then felt it was time to open my eyes and write, and this is what I did. It was a very interesting and revealing experience.

In part, this is some of what came up (the highlights):
- it is possible they feel "less than" when near me... my power and oneness with God Power is too strong for them. I am powerful and gifted and this could make others uncomfortable about themselves when in my presence.
- on my path to growth & higher consciousness I will have to leave many people behind... they will choose to leave my life as my consciousness grows and changes. These will be sad times but are a sign of my spiritual growth. As the inside changes so must the outside.
-grieve where I must and move on. Forgive them and bless them. Know they are doing the best they can with the understanding and awareness they have at this present time.
- I choose to bless each of them, to send them love, knowing that they too are God Expressing at whatever level they are at. I am grateful for the time spent with them & for all they taught me about spinning, weaving & life. I release them in Love & Light, wishing for them a joyful life.

So you see, Journal writing (another new skill) is already showing itself as a very powerful tool in my life. I don't feel those were "my" words, but are the words of "The Godness Within", showing me what I need to learn at this moment in time.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


If you are interested in seeing which pictures I entered in the Salmon Arm Fair, and which one took Honorable Mention, please go to and check out that blog too. I have 4 blogs so far :o) all for different parts of my life.
Sure would be handy to have one of these, though nicer if it was a bit taller too. I would be very grateful to have one of these, even though the top of the wheel sticks out.
Noelle's cart for carrying her Lendrum spinning wheel.
Skeins from the Spinning Competition. Rosalie had already taken hers.
1st ~ Noelle; 2nd ~ Me (Alice); 3rd - Gudi
All the shawls were beautifully displayed on this room divider. Unfortunately I couldn't get all 5 shawls in on picture in this case.
The first and second place shawls hanging together
3rd place shawl ~ Kalamalka Spinners & Weavers. Note the lady on the far left is holding a photo of a samoyed dog, it is the dogs hair that they spun the yarn from that they used for the warp in this shawl. Also notice the faces hidden in this and other photos, due to the request of these 2 women.
2nd place shawl ~ Monashee Spinners & Weavers
Left to right: Carole, Kitty, Denice, Louise, Lynnette and Me
1st place shawl ~ The Langley Spinners & Weavers with the judge on the far right end
Judging these would be no easy job.Judging in progress, all the shawls laid out on tables to be examined.
And the fringes of their shawlThis is the shawl made by the Kalamalka Spinners & Weavers
Here's the shawl done by the Shuswap Spinners & Weavers team.
They did a "painted warp" for this awesome color pattern.

Ponderosa Spinners & Weavers made this shawl.
And the twisted fringes.
This is the shawl by Monashee Spinners and Weavers. The purple is dyed and spun silk.
Notice the beads in their twisted fringes.This shawl was woven by Team #1 Langley Spinners & Weavers

Forground: Lynnette from Monashee Spinners & Weavers
Middle: Kalamalka Spinners & Weavers
Background: Langley Spinners & Weavers
Forground: Carole from Monashee Spinners & Weavers
Middle: Kalamalka Spinners & Weavers
Background: Langley Spinners & Weavers
Monashee Spinner/Plier (Denice) and Weaver (Louise).
Forground: Ponderosa Spinners & Weavers from Kelowna
Background: Shuswap Spinners & Weavers from Salmon Arm

Forground: Ponderosa Spinners & Weavers from Kelowna
Background: Shuswap Spinners & Weavers from Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm Fair 2006

The fair is now over for another year. I had a good time there this past weekend.

Saturday September 9, 2006:
Carole picked me up at my house and we drove to Salmon Arm together (thanks Carole) in her little station wagon. After I had my wheel set up off I went for a quick check on my exhibits before the Sheep to Shawl Competition began. As I was nearing the main hall Louise & Sharon came out and told me I'd won first place with my woven table runner. WOW!! I really had not expected this as Louise also had a table runner entered and she is a FANTASTIC weaver. 95% or more of what I know about weaving was taught to me by Louise. She obviously is a great teacher and I a good student for me to have won here. To be honest, I entered the table runner only because I needed the "push" of a deadline date to get it finished. I had started this project in late December and had many problems with it in the beginning. Once I had them all sorted out and things going smoothly I needed a break from it for awhile... and that while got way too long. I am so proud and so grateful for how the table runner turned out and for the win with it. I also won first place with my Brandy Plum Jam and am very proud of that too. The Brandy Plum Jelly I entered didn't win anything, nor did the cushion from recycled material... that's okay. The other entries in the Recycled Materials were awesome and they deserved to win. With my 9 photos that I entered, one of them took Honorable Mention. Not as good as I'd hoped, but hey... way better than nothing, so I'm happy and looking forward to next year, lol.

The Sheep to Shawl Competition started at 11 a.m. sharp with 5 teams competing (Langley ~ from Langley, lol; Kalamalka ~ from Vernon; Monashee ~ from Vernon & Lumby; Ponderosa ~ from Kelowna; Shuswap ~ from Salmon Arm). Each team had 4 spinners, 1 spinner/plier, 1 weaver. In this competitioneach team starts with their look warped with protein fibre they spun at home (i.e.: sheep wool, silk, dog hair, rabbit fur, etc.) it can also be died if you wish. At the competition you are given a bag of sheep fleece that has been washed (this time it was white Romney, very nice fleece). The spinners must card (or "flick" if they prefer) this fibre and spin it into "singles" yarn. The spinner/plier also spins for the first bit until there is enough to start plying, then she takes singles from 2 spinners and plies them together into a 2 ply yarn which she windes onto bobbins for the weaver to use. Then of course, the plier takes singles from the next to spinners and so on. There is a 4 hour time limit to complete the making of the shawls. We are of course given breaks, like this time we were given from 12:30 - 1:30 for lunch and each person was given a meal ticket with which to buy lunch in the food fair, and there was also a coffee/tea & baked goods break later in the afternoon. We were very well treated! After the shawl is woven there is "finishing" to do. In our case we "twisted" the fringes then gave the shawl a quick wash, rolling it tightly in towels to dry it as much as possible before judging began. Other teams barely finished in time to get it off the loom before judging so didn't have the chance to "finish" them. The final outcome of the judging was: Langly ~ First; Monashee ~ Second; Kalamalka ~ Third. As a member of the Monashee Spinners & Weavers, I am very proud of our second place win.

Sunday September 10, 2006:
I almost "blew off" the Spinning Competition due to problems at home. My wonderful cat had 2 seisures during the night and I was up with him during it all, so was very worried about him, not wanting to leave him alone that day, and was tired too. However, I had to go to Salmon Arm to pick up my exhibits so may as well do the competition too. So off I went. I had wanted to go early so I could look around at more of the exhibits and the animals, but instead left with barely enough time to get there. There was a practice time at 1:30 p.m. where we were each given a small amount of the Dorset Sheep fleece (each fleece is different to spin than the next) to practice with and get the feel of. Then we were each given a weighed amount of fleece (24.8 grams I believe it was), then at 2 p.m. we started the competition, had a short tea & baked goodie break, then back to spinning. Gudi finished first, then Rosalie, followed by Noelle then I was last with 10 minutes left on the clock. As each spinner finished their yarn it was wound onto a "swift" to measure the length of the yarn. The yarn has to be spun very thin to get it as long as possible as the longest takes the prize, but it also has to be well spun as you get demerits for any breaks in the yarn as it's wound onto the swift. In this case it would have been to loose 1 yard of measure, but there was not one break in anyones yarn, so no penalty. The final measurement was: Noelle ~ 246 yds.; Me ~ 221 yds.; Gudi ~ 206 yds.; Rosalie ~ 184 yds. First place winner got $20 and each of the first, second and third got ribbons. As much as I would have loved first place, I am very happy and proud to have taken second place. I have only been spinning for 3 years (weaving for 2) and was competing with "seasoned" spinners. I had a great time visiting with these ladies and spinning with them, so "at the end of the day" the enjoyment was worth more than winning. I sure am glad I went.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Fair Question

Mom phoned this morning and asked how I did at Salmon Arm Fair... and am I going to the fair today. AAHHHHH!!! Yes, today is the first day of Salmon Arm Fair, but I won't be going there until tomorrow morning. I live about a 45 minute drive from the fair and will be there tomorrow and the next day and that will be plenty, I'm sure. Now I'm wanting to know if anything I entered won.

When we left Burton we drove a short way down the highway, then down a side road to the local beach. Some of us swam and some of us waded in the water. It really is beautiful there. I have lots more pictures of the scenery on this trip that I will likely post to my "picturethis06" blog one of these days.
I greatly dislike pictures of me but figure if I'm going to post pics of friends it's only fair to them that I post the odd one of me too. So here I am spinning cat hair. Behind me is Gayle with her knitting... very gifted with the kneedles.

Denice sitting at her loom, holding the finished scarf. Denice spun all the warp, dressed the loom and had it all waiting for us when we arrived at the Burton Fair. Louise did the weaving.
Gayle and Kitty. I was standing inside by the loom.
Here's the crew sitting outside after the work was done. My empty chair, then there's Gayle, Kitty, a lady talking to Kitty, Rosalie, Louise, Fran, and Denice.
A close-up of the finished scarf. All the yarn in this scarf is spun from the fleece of one of Denice's own sheep. It's very nice fibre.
Louise at the loom. This is Denice's loom and she spun all the warp yarn and dressed the loom before the fair so it was ready for Louise to weave in the warp that we spun for her.
This is Kitty (left) and Fran (right) at their wheels. It was such a nice day that we decided to sit outside to do our spinning. Kitty's wheel is an Ashford Traditional made in New Zealand. Fran's wheel is a Lendrum made in Canada.
Louise modelling the scarf. It still needs the fringes trimmed and twisted, wet finishing, and ends trimmed off, but this is as far as we took it at the Burton Fair. Notice how the one end goes through a slot in the scarf.
Unloading ... almost time for us to get on.

This is the ferry we go on across Arrow Lake on the way to Burton.

Burton Fair

I'm playing catch up here. I forgot to post this before the stuff about Salmon Arm Fair, but oh well... life goes on.

On August 26 I went to Burton Fair with Rosalie, Louise, Fran, Gayle, and Kitty. We took 2 vehicles and had a great trip down there, about a 2 hour trip. The reason we went was to do a spinning and weaving demonstration. Denice lives there and she is a member of our group, The Monashee Spinners & Weavers. It was a very small fair but a nice one. The church ladies had a food booth there and they gave us lunch because we went all that way to give of our time to make their fair better. It was a good day!

Upcoming Fair

As I've mentioned below, I've entered some things is the upcoming Salmon Arm Fair. A complete list of entries is:

New Competitors - minimum print size 5x7 "
Open prints (I entered 2 here)
People (entered 1)
Animals - Domestic or Wild (entered 1 in this class too)
Intermediate Competitors - minimum print size 8x10"
Pictorial (entered 3)
Animal - Domestic or Wild (entered 2)
There were other catagories here too, but I didn't enter in them.
For more info on my photography, check out

Home Canning:
Plum jam, one jar.
Any other type of jelly, one jar.

Textile and Needle Arts:
Thrifty Classes - material must be recycled
Useful article made from used material. (This is my cushion)
Table runner

Competitions I am entered in:
Sheep to Shawl Competition
A group of 6 (5 spinners and 1 weaver) have 4 hours to spin and weave, creating a shawl. For more info see last years Sheep to Shawl Contest earlier in this blog... or come back and see what I post about this years competition later on.

Spinning Competition
Competitors will have 1/2 hour of practice time, then will be given a weighed amount of fleece and will have 2 hours to spin. After that the yarns will be wound onto a skein winder to measure the length of the spun yarn. Any breaks will get demerit points. Whoever spins the longest (therefore the thinnest without breaks) will win the $20.00 prize.

Check back for how I did, LOL.
Another shot of my stack of jam and jelly sitting on the freezer.
Here are some of my jam and jelly. Some in 250 ml (1 cup) jars, and some in 500 ml jars. Just a drop in the bucket to what I plan to make this fall with so many plums in my yard. I failed miserably as a gardener this year (first try), but no matter what happens the plums grow wild in my yard each year.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kitchen Creations

In the fall I like to make jam with some of the Damson Plums that grow wild in my yard. I also have Italian Prune Plums and have made jam with them, but they pale in comparison to the Damsons, so I usually just make the one kind now. This year, for the Salmon Arm Fair I entered a jar of plum jam and a jar of plum jelly, neighter of them were yet made. Then I waited for the plums to ripen, and I waited, and I waited, and I'm still waiting. Thank God someone I know has 2 trees of Brandy Plums that were ripe in time, so I went over there and picked a bunch of them. I've made 3 batches of jam and 1 batch of jelly with the Brandy Plums. The recipe for plum jelly (there is none for plum jam in my Joy Of Cooking) calls for 3/4 to 1 cup sugar to each cup of juice. I always use this recipe for making jam, just don't strain out the juice from the pulp, and I use the lesser amount of sugar as I don't like the jam to be too sweet. Anyway, Brandy Plums are sweeter than Damson Plums, so I did cut back a bit on the sugar and still the first batch of jam was way too sweet for my liking. The second batch I used less sugar and liked the taste much better. The third batch was the same as the second. For the jelly I also used the same amount of sugar as for the last 2 batches of jam. Unfortunately the jelly didn't jell. The morning of the day it had to go to the fair there I was popping off those nicely sealed lids, pouring the syrup back into the pot, adding more sugar and re-cooking it all. This time it is still a wee bit thin, but much better. It looks and tastes good, in my opinion. I hope the judge(s) think so too.

I still have lots of Brandy Plums left as well as will have lots of Damson and Italian Prune plums ripe in the not so distant future. Guess I'll be making a lot more jam and maybe some more jelly too before this month is over... but not until after the Salmon Arm Fair.
It is 21" square and really comfy. The only thing that is not "recycled" or "saved from the trash" is the berry colored piping. I got it at a closing out sale, so it comes close. The pieces of material were not wide enough to not have seams on the face of the cushion, so I put piping in those seams. I think the valance/window topper I started out with may have been made from previously used material too as it was made up of several smaller strips sewn together. I undid all the seams to get back to scratch. The piping is the same on both sides and around the entire outside seam.

Cushion from Recycled Material

Earlier this year, through Freecycle, I was given a pair of curtains and a HUGE window topper/valance. The curtains fit (just) one window in my loom room. I took apart the valance and used the material to make a second set of curtains for the other window in the same room. Still having more material left, I thought a cushion to put on the hide-a-bed in that room would be good. When reading the Salmon Arm Fair book of rules and entries, I found "Division A-8 Textile and Needle Arts... Thrifty Classes - material must be recycled... Class 36. Useful article made from used material" I thought that a cushion is a pretty useful article, and that this would give me the push I needed to make the cushion I already wanted to make. (Apparently I work better under pressure, lol) So, I entered this not-yet-made cushion in the fair. I used an old sheet for the inner cushion, stuffed it with sheep fleece that is not a good enough quality to spin with, and made the cushion cover out of the fabric from the valance... and I still have a fair bit of it left. I tell you the valance was HUGE, lol. I'd love to know what kind of window the people had, small curtains and a HUGE window topper.
Now you can see why they call it Ladder Hem Stitching... it's like rungs on a ladder. Each end of the runner is done with the weft being the same color as the warp, taupe, and is woven in a straight twill. The body of the runner is done with pink weft on the taupe warp, in a balanced weave (24 epi and 24 ppi). This is a Birds-eye weave.
Here is the completed table runner, wet finished, ends trimmed, ready to go to the fair. It is hanging over the back of my livingroom chair.

Ahhhh, almost finished. The table runner is still on the loom here, but the weaving is almost finished. I was just working on the hem stitching here.

A close-up of the above. You can see (if you look closely) where I have hem stitched and where I haven't yet. After this row of hem stitching I wove in some filler cord and did more weaving with the same color as the warp, and more hem stitching. Maybe I'll show you one day just how this is done, but not today :o) This is called Ladder Hem Stitching.