Next week will be better

View from hillside over the Willamette Valley towards to the Cascade foothills. Lots of grey-green lichens in the oak trees. Finley Wildlife Refuge

After inventory, and more inventory, and a bit more inventory, I think everything has been dropped off/ emailed to the tax accountant. One giant thing is off my shoulders until next year and I really hope to keep better track of everything from here forward. Of course, I recall saying that last year too. It’s now Friday afternoon, the Tarta Santiago almond cake is cooling on the kitchen counter, and the cup of black tea seems to have perked up my energy for the rest of the day. With the final tax push I’ve not accomplished anything else except swimming on Wednesday & Friday. Dave’s work should be closing their doors next week. He will officially be working from home or at the Belleview WA site (one week per month). No more Philomath. It’s been an emotional ride to get here (at least on my side) as a thriving science/environmental business consolidates and moves away from a small town. The business felt like family where people cared about each other. The Belleview site has none of that feeling. Cold and corporate. I’m just really happy we don’t have to move north. There’s a handful of employees allowed to remain in Oregon. Numerous people were laid off, some were able to shift to the WA site. It’s been a messy situation and I suspect it will take a few more months to smooth things out (if that’s even possible). Whew! Next week will be better!

As a follow up from last week: I did submit the Ewe 183 image to be juried at the end of March. I didn’t take the best image so I’m not expecting to receive anything positive. It was a good exercise to make myself enter a show.

I hope to get a few items uploaded to the Etsy site possibly this weekend. Things are looking rather sparse with only two items available.

Hellebores waiting for planting.

Spring is really coming! The Turkey Vultures started returning this week! They are a bit off schedule, but made it. I wonder if the California snow slowed their return?

Tree Lichens
Immature Bald Eagle in a Cottonwood Tree, Finley Wildlife Refuge
Looking up at Oak Tree canopy March 2023, Finley Wildlife Refuge
Douglas Fir trees
Looking up at Douglas Fir tree canopy, March 2023, Finley Wildlife Refuge
Moss and Ferns, Finley Wildlife Refuge

We took a muddy hike at the local wildlife refuge last weekend. Beautiful but we slid all over the trail. The oak trees have not even started thinking about leafing out but the LICHENS and moss were stunning. So many different types (or at least seemed to be multiples) in different colors and textures. We really enjoyed our time there.

Natural dark brown Rambouillet, 4 oz, 2 ply spun on an Ashford wheel.

One more skein of yarn came off the bobbin Thursday. This was the Rambley (Rambouillet?) wool from Promised Land Sheep Co. Next up is the Merino that might be blended with alpaca or something else.

Next week will be focused on book pages. I’ve even been contemplating the pop-up page of bugs!

That’s about it from here. I hope everyone has a good weekend wherever you live. Get out and enjoy the shift in seasons.

Almond cake.

Figuring out the year to come

Happy March to you all! Plus a Happy Anniversary to the blog. They say I’ve been going for 14 years?! How can that be? Sooooo…..

I’ve been letting the blog languish for far too long. Life keeps moving along and I never seem to make time in my schedule to sit an write. Yes, I should just put it on my weekly calendar…. but the brain/body has been challenged enough of late. The hip pain has finally forced me back into the pool for strengthening and it seems to be working. Swimming now takes up 4 days a week for my exercise. Daily dog walks help to round things out a bit if the hip can take it. On the plus side, nightly doses of pain relievers are on the decline! The pool is sponsoring a swim challenge (100 miles in 2023), which I joined. Goals / deadlines are excellent motivation. It would be nice to finally feel like a strong swimmer and for my body to revive quicker. I’ve read that after 6 months of swimming I’ll see a difference. At only 1.5 months in and 12.5 miles under my cap, I have a while before it’s easy going.

Cathe’s book page started in watercolor but will soon shift to colored pencil.

Goals and deadlines seem to be a theme for the year. I’ve put off and misplaced pages for a collaborative book project started last year. This past weekend I finally found the pages tucked safely away and started on my first spread with the theme of patterns. The page did receive marks and an idea last summer, but I wanted to just focus on cyclamen leaves. The other page themes include : first bicycle, pop-up bugs (yes, actually getting an insert to pop up like a children’s book), and a garden theme. My book theme: birds that you enjoy. More to come as the pages are completed.

Internal/mental boundaries were pushed as I applied to an outdoor venue for July. “Art and Wine in the Garden” will be happening on Saturday & Sunday July 29th & 30th, 2023 (10-4 each day). Location is the beautiful Garland Nursery and I was accepted! This means I have to get a wiggle on and produce felted wool items. I actually own a 10ft x 10ft tent thanks to another crafter who donated it to me when she shifted to food production. I do need a banner and gridwall, but that will get figured out in the coming months. The grids I used during POST last fall were way too heavy for me to manipulate. Regarding POST: I’ll probably be notified if that will be part of my income generating source in May. Maybe. I’m not holding my breath.

Dave the sheep made some beautiful yarn. Columbia/Rambouillet cross.

Spinning has popped back up on the interest level. I worked through a beautiful Columbia/Rambouillet cross that was a dream! I purchased it (4oz) along with a Merino (4oz) and a Rambely (not a breed or mix I’m familiar with) (4oz) from Promised Land Sheep Company in Washington. In small doses, hand spinning is doable without damage to hands and feet.

The clock is ticking for submitting to the Art About Agriculture show. I’ve not completed my sheep drawing nor taken a decent photo of it to submit. I have until the 5th of March….. I just need to cinch myself down and finish the darn thing. My brain is saying “why submit when it’s only going to be rejected?” . “Why torture yourself and screw up the drawing even further?”. That darn brain really gets in the way!

Two felted creatures left the studio in February. One is living in Corvallis, the other in Arlington, TX! Always fun to see things leave!

I can’t even believe that two other shows have come and gone: Philomath Open Studio Tour had artwork for 2+ months at the Benton County Museum in Philomath. I was also part of the Big Ink print show at Western Oregon University in January/February. It was great to see prints from our weekend in 2022, plus previous year Big Ink participants.

I think that’s enough for now. Time to pull out the sheep drawing a focus. Next week I’ll fill you in on if I submitted to the Ag show or not, fill you in on the critters, and Dave’s final days at the Philomath Wetlabs site before it closes for good.

And it’s a wrap!

Red the Ox greeting the people!

Wow, it’s been an incredible ride to the finish for the Philomath Open Studio Tour. The giant push to create and package new things to unearthing all sorts of hidden older gems to find homes as product leaves the tables. Plus coming down with the flu in between weekends. Talk about screwing up the production flow! Oh well, I just had to work with it and let go of the internal expectations I had set for myself.

I mainly sold felted creations and cards for the event. Only one single reproduction sold which really surprised me. I feel bad for investing in so many reproductions. My hopes were big and it was a gamble that didn’t pay off at this time. But I’ll have them for other sales! Plus I might take a couple and play with additional colors over the top. Kitchen towels were also popular.

I decided to treat each zebra print and card as an opportunity to create donation revenue for the Makindu Children’s Program. I sold 15 cards and one framed image, meaning I have donated (check is written and posted) a grand total of $51.50. Not the greatest donation, but a good start.

The zebra print is on display at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath until late January 2023. I have yet to visit it, but numerous people did and came by to see me during the second weekend. It was great to hear their impressions and delight at sitting in the auditorium chairs , looking at her on the wall behind the stage. Very readable from a long distance!

Would I participate in Open Studio again? Yes, if I’m asked. It was a truncated experience for me this time around and I don’t feel like I really helped the group out enough, but I certainly sold numerous items and met so many fabulous people. The group of artists running the event are incredible people who are a joy to work with. It’s a group effort to push forward the marketing, publicity, signage, presentations, gallery show/window display, and everything else. So much goes into pulling everything off smoothly. They make it look so easy from the outside.

Well, that’s all for now. I have a pile of wool that needs shaping into numerous ornaments and small kitties for The Vintage Roost show. That event runs from November 18th & 19th, 25th &26th, December 2nd &3rd. Address: North Albany area- 935 NW Scenic Dr., 1/2 mile off Hwy 20.

I’ll leave you with images from the event prior to sales

Grid wall borrowed for the event. So glad I could use it!

One Week Remaining

Yes Chicken, I will give you attention soon!

Whew! Only one week (actually less) to go until the start of Philomath Open Studio Tour. Next Thursday, Linda and I will be setting up our booths inside Compton Family Winery and hosting a group tour for the participating artists. This will be our test run for everything, including sales. We will be located inside their giant barrel room with massive space and air movement around us. At first, I thought this was a bad thing but now I’m feeling better because we should experience numerous visitors and a greater risk of Omicron exposure. More space equates to more air and helps me feel a little safer.

My studio and sick buddy Hazel

Last weekend was blown out of the water due to the booster jab. I reacted heavily and slowly came back to life on Sunday. I put in a strong week but still feel behind moving into the weekend. Tomorrow I had promised to visit a very pregnant niece in Washington State, but I might have to bag out yet again (I missed the baby shower last weekend due to the jab reaction). Dave just returned last night from a week in WA. It was a nice break from having him around and enabled me to spread out and run my own schedule. Life is always running at a crazy pace!

I found a space for cutting materials without the supporting critter staff members.

I’ve spent a lot of time packaging cards and prints. I still need to get an order finalized for frames and pre-cut matting. I have numerous felting projects that require finishing , plus a couple of drawings that have yet to come off the drawing boards. Last Wednesday I picked up grid wall that is ENORMOUS (8 ft tall!)! Somehow I actually stuffed the 4 panels into the CRV, but not sure how everything show related will fit around it. There won’t be another passenger in the vehicle. At some point I’ll actually need to “set up” the complete idea so it won’t be completely foreign when assembling at the winery.

My to-do list remains enormous but a few items are getting checked off while more are being added. A reminder that the studio tour is October 22, 23, 29 &30th, noon to 5pm each day. Next blog post will have photos of the set-up space! Please check out their website for downloadable maps to all 10 locations.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Put a Chicken on it!

Setting up the window at the Footwise store in Corvallis. I’m in the red hoodie and my art cohort Debby Sundbaum-Sommers. Photo credit: taken by Anthony Gordon.

I skipped last Friday’s blog posting. Life has been pretty overwhelming and new items were not coming together. However, this week has been full of activity: Sunday set-up of the window at Footwise. Orders are almost here! More orders have been placed and (fingers crossed) will arrive before the event! Hurrah! A new drawing started of a big chicken! And I received my third booster for Covid variants! Yippee! And I harvested the seeds from the chard plants and will be making seed packets.

Earthquake! Yes, we had a small 4.4 tremor at 5:52am today. It’s epicenter was located about 30 miles from us and 8 miles deep. The only thing we noticed was the bedroom door shaking in a strange way. Often the cats come and bang the door for food, but this wasn’t happening. No cats, no meowing, just a strange door shaking. It went for a bit then stopped.

A box of love has arrived! Expensive love, but I hope it will make some people happy when they visit during Open Studio Tour and would like to take home a bit of my art. The only problem with this box is all the preparations in-store for each item. Backing boards, plastic sleeves, information to be written up and distributed into each bag. Plus uploading all the information into the sales page for the square account. Maybe I’ll get Dave involved and make it a little party.

Intense chicken filling a 48” x 36” page.

Put a bird on it! In this case it is a chicken! I had hoped for the drawing muse to push the African crane onto the big paper, but it didn’t happen. However, I was flipping through images and found a favorite of the poultry variety. This plucky lady and her cohorts spent several months visiting us last year. They jumped the fence to escape from a mystery serial chicken killer that was whacking off their girlfriend on a regular basis. We certainly couldn’t fault those gals for leaving home, but it became too intense with dog handling. If one was trying to leave the house with dogs on leash, the ladies would come a running! If it was just us, it wasn’t a problem and we enjoyed seeing them, but the dogs clenched our resolve to urge the neighbors to take control of their wandering birds. So, the girls went back home and were eaten. The drawing is on Rives BFK paper (48″ x 36″), charcoal and Unison soft pastels. Hopefully she will be completed by Open Studio Tour!

Handspun North County Chevoit mix. Natural.

More spinning has crept in with hopes for sales? I’m a bit torn between selling or holding for natural dye baths and future weaving. Is it better to hold on to my creations or let them go? I’ll keep mulling this over. Maybe the red-orange skein (not pictured) will go for decoration and possible sale.

So that’s it for me. Hope everyone is doing well. Have a wonderful weekend!

Seemingly Slow

Sunset in Late Summer, North Albany Oregon

At the end of the week, I don’t know what happened, only what was completed today. I managed to spend the entire day re-shooting photos, adjusting quality via photoshop, and finally uploading them to the Texas company for a giant order. I bit the bullet and ordered a large amount of cards and prints of various drawings. From sheep to birds and a hyena as well! Creating printed goods is quite an investment. There’s still a few images that need finishing before they go through the same process. Hopefully everything will come together before POST!

Completed Cards!

The initial test printing arrived! I have a small quantity of Chestnut Backed Chickadee and Zebra cards now in-stock. The CBC’s actually look even better than the December 2021 order. Cards are a bit smaller, but the quality is good. I’m super happy to have the zebra in small form! I’ll order more on the next round!

Woolly Pie Pincushions!

On Thursday I dropped off some cute woolly pie pincushions to the Vintage Roost for their final Friday/Saturday sale. I also repriced the current pumpkin stock since none had sold. Will anything sell? Maybe not, but that just means I’ll have more stock for POST.

Quail head in process

Quail Head Felted! Finally the California Quail head has possibly reached an end. It still requires a wall hanging device and I have yet to sit down and figure that part out. It’s looking pretty good. I have changes for the next round!

Ewe 183 is still languishing on the drawing board. Maybe this weekend it will come together….

Honeycrisp apples in process.

Apple picking and processing also happened this week. Our little Honeycrisp tree produced a tidy little crop (last year it had 3 apples). I made a rustic pie last week and a giant batch of apple pie filling, enough for 4 pies, to be frozen for later desserts during winter. There was also just enough for some applesauce and eating. At least we had one tree produce after a harsh freeze right when blossoms were setting.

Evelyn , senior graduation from nursing school 1956.

And a remembrance to my mother who would have turned 92 this past week. I miss her dearly and still wish I could just pick up the phone and call her. Those that you love never leave your heart.

So that’s the progress this week. Fingers crossed for more productivity next week. One month to go before the start of Open Studio!!

Vintage Roost and Art Progress

The four day event has started! September 16th & 17th, 23rd &24th, 10am to 5pm at the Vintage Roost! Located in picturesque countryside of North Albany, Oregon, 935 NW Scenic Dr., 1/2 mile off Hwy 20, this event is worth the travel. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have some lovey hand-dyed wool pumpkins and cute sleepy mice for sale. If that doesn’t interest you, you should still come see the shop. Debbi does the most amazing job arranging everything : vintage items, primitive art, hand-made crafts, pumpkins, gourds, fall adornments, and pretty darn tasty cookies that are almost too pretty to eat. I just love stopping and seeing her amazing arrangements of everything. Oh, succulent plants are also available in sweet containers. You have 3.5 days to check it out!

Black Capped Chickadee, Pyrography & Colored Pencil on wood, 11″ x 11″

Black Capped Chickadee is done! Whew! It’s so nice to have something checked off my list.

Ewe 183 Work in Process, graphite on paper, 30″ x 11″

The Cheviot Ewe 183 (I See Ewe! or Here’s Looking at Ewe!)continues. I’m getting closer! There are particular areas that I have just fallen in love with. Certainly by the end of next week I’ll finally sign off on this gal. The paper size is 30″ x 11″. Graphite pencil. I do plan on creating cards and prints of the image.

Quail Head back in process! 100%wool

Quail head back on the workbench! It’s been months since this bird head was started and didn’t progress because I ran out of New Zealand Corriedale wool. Now it’s slowly coming along thanks to a little order with LivingFelt. I’m also starting to figure out how to mount the finished work. It might be similar to the Barn Owl, but with different wood.

So, that’s the progress report for this week. One thing checked off the list and more in process. Still waiting on a card order from a Texas company. They are certainly having issues with high orders and not enough people to process everything. I might need to check into someone more local to do printing for me.

The dogs, cats, and bird are doing great. Dave is heading to Washington state for a quick camping trip with family. I’ll be home with the critters trying to make more ground on the art projects. I might have to create some new items for Vintage Roost’s second weekend. We will see.

Have a wonderful weekend and check back next Friday for more updates! Take Care!


Slow drawing

Another week closer to the open studio tour and I’ve been working on drawings. I pulled out three incomplete images to finish. 1: black capped chickadee. 2: Ewe 183. 3: winter warbler.

Work In Progress: Black Capped Chickadee . Pyrography, colored pencils on plywood.

The Chickadee is similar to my first pyrography and colored pencils experiment. I think it will be lovely once completed.

Ewe 183 WIP. Graphite on paper.

Ewe 183: I started her back in 2021 and was daunted by the cropped in image. Originally I started working on it to fill a specific space over the upstairs closet door, but it really doesn’t fit. That’s okay because I really enjoy the image and want to see it through. The ewe belongs to my friends in Philomath and I have probably used her wool before. She has that good strong Roman nose of Cheviots. She’s still in process and I hope to finish her next week.

Townsends warbler WIP

I’ve pulled out the warbler pyrography again and hope to start working on it soon. I think it will be a great companion for the pair of chickadees. I’m also hoping to start a charcoal drawing, round 2, of the black headed heron on better paper. Birds and sheep seem to be a thing right now.

Woolly Pumpkins 🎃 created from hand dyed wool.

I dropped off mice and pumpkins at the Vintage Roost! The sale starts September 16-24th, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Fingers crossed for a few sales. Not sure what extra special things I’ll bring in for the second weekend.

Creating single ply with North County Chevoit cross wool.

Skeins of hand-spun wool also might be dropped off at Vintage Roost… but I’m not sure. I might hold on to them until POST. Time will tell…

So, that’s the progress for the week. 6 weeks until Open Studio Tour! I really need to sit down and figure out what I’m actually bringing to the event. Prints and cards need time to order. Framing also takes time. Everything takes loads of time. Plus lots of deep breaths to keep from getting freaked out by deadlines. It will all come together. More hot weather for the next few days then autumn sets in! The deck is beautiful and railings are starting this weekend.

The beautiful new deck!

Thanks for checking in on the progress. I have no clue what next week will bring. Hopefully something positive! Have a good weekend and enjoy the weather!

Head Spinning around September

Pumpkins Ready for a show

It’s been a while since I last posted in July and there’s loads happening right now.

Upcoming Market/Show spaces! If you are in the area, I will be showing at the Vintage Roost September 16,17 &23, 24. Both Friday and Saturday hours are from 10am to 5pm. Address: 935 NW Scenic Dr., 1/2 mile off Hwy 20. I’ll be having a bushel full of fun fall wooly pumpkins and sleepy mice.

Look for the yellow signs!

And then there’s the big two weekend event in October! I was invited to participate in this year’s Philomath Open Studio Tour!!! Thanks to my dear friend Linda Herd of Herdesigns . Jewelry is her game! I’ll be with Linda at Compton Family Wines tasting room (810 Applegate St, Philomath OR). I might need to increase the sheep drawings because CFW love their sheep (Katahdin variety). So, mark your calendars in October for POST! October 22-23, 29-30, noon to 5pm. I will be on site for the full event. I’ll be bringing drawings, prints, and wool sculptures featuring animals. Fingers crossed for some LARGE charcoal drawings!

Zebra print heading to POST!

Deck Rebuild 2022: It’s not done yet. August was a hot month and it really slowed our energy. Here are a few images to show the progress.

Removing the rotten decking
No Deck!
New support blocks for the posts
Getting the beams connected
The start of the new decking!

So, it’s been a rather busy summer and fall is already in the air. I’ll try to keep a weekly update of new drawings to be featured at the Open Studio Tour. Maybe something will catch your eye and you will have to come see me in October!

Take care and thanks for reading until the end! Talk to you next week!


July with Family and stuff

Uncle Harold’s 90th birthday was celebrated at the beginning of July. His sons and grandchildren, nieces and nephew gathered for a nice lunch in Eugene. It’s been about 8 years since we last visited.

Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Harold
The Cousins with their dad

July is racing along and there are so many projects on the tables.

Alpaca Fleece

House projects are getting thick and heavy. Lumber arrives later this week to replace our ancient deck (yes, we are doing the job). I’m rushing to get a giant pile of wood chips moved to the back yard before the lumber arrives. The downstairs main space finally has a finished ceiling and walls painted. The only remaining things needed are trim for doors and floor. With multiple house projects raging , I received a special gift of 3 alpaca fleece from a neighbor. Now I’m learning how different alpaca is to clean and process. I also have a moth outbreak in the studio. Loads of creations are now living in the freezer for 2 weeks. No new moths have surfaced, so hopefully I caught it in time. That’s the danger of working in wool.

We have another world book project starting off this month too. I’ve not been able to even get to my paper stash to get started, but hopefully sooner than later. There’s also another thing I might submit for: creating an award for the local county philanthropic group. Reading through the requirements, I’m not feeling as interested due to the small size. But I might just throw my idea into the applicants and see what they think.

So that’s what is happening around here. Eventually I’ll show you photos of everything: ceramics, wool, completed downstairs… new deck…. I’m feeling tired all of a sudden.

Take care! Stay safe out there!