Digging, Harvesting, Rats, and Wool

berry row_geverettstudio

garden boxes_geverettstudio

This has been a busy week and my body is complaining about everything tackled.

Digging:  We’ve been having a touch of cooler weather and rain which makes for perfect gardening sessions. I’ve finally gathered up enough energy to get out and start tackling both boxes this season. The herbs (rosemary, sage, cat mint, and chives) all survived the mild winter. The cat mint went insane this year! More on that in just a bit. Anyway, the front box received a topping and mixing of more compost plus combining some of the straw mulch from last fall. The far box (which wasn’t used last year) required work to stabilize the bottom board with metal rod supports. Now it’s getting turned and waiting for additional soil to be delivered. Tomatoes and squash will occupy the far box. Peppers, cukes, carrots, kale, and peas will be added  to the front box. Runner beans are waiting for a new location.

Persimmon tree flowering
oxalis blooms_geverettstudio
Oxalis blooming

The mini orchard has survived the deer so far. I still have yet to fence them in. The only tree I’m allowing to set fruit is the persimmon. Maybe I’ll thin it out in a few weeks. The trees were planted back in March of this year.

The Harvest:  The cat mint received its very first trimming today!

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I took off the top 2 feet of growth.

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I hadn’t expected such a strong growth on this one plant, but I’ll take it! Years ago I had wanted to start growing/harvesting my own nip to sell via some outlet. Maybe this is finally coming true? Time will tell. I can say that all 3 of my cats sure enjoy this particular plant! We have several nip plants around the property but this is the one that is most loved.

Rats:  Last year I had mentioned that rats had shown up in our backyard. Not too surprising once I looked at our situation: dense juniper shrubs + feeding seed to wild birds. Yes, a perfect combination for a rat hotel and buffet! The dogs have been trying to catch the vermin, but no luck yet. Today, I witnessed a momma rat and numerous babies out grazing under the seed station! ARGH! This really disturbed me and now I realize we need big snap traps to work on the problem. I don’t need them in my house, getting into the walls, creating more havoc. The dogs do spend a bunch of time hunting something in the junipers (often at 3am). I wish they would hunt them a bit harder. Maybe I need to gather my friends who do Barn Hunts? Get the professional terriers on the job? We shall see…

Wool:  Yes, I went out this morning to the misty foothills of the Oregon coast range and picked up MORE WOOL! I must be insane! fleece pen_geverettstudio

fleece pen2_geverettstudio

I took about 6 fleece, which was half the pile. At least I think I took half the pile? The above photo is what’s left. The heavy duty construction grade bags I took were stuffed full.


And that’s been my week. Productive to a certain degree. We did just get word that Dave will be working from home until a viable vaccine is created to treat COVID-19. Maybe it’s time for an external studio to be created!



Always learning

The past several weeks have been filled with a tumultuous upheaval of our society. Black Lives Matter! I can’t fathom what it’s like to grow up black in America. All I can say is I’m listening and trying to learn more. I’m still shocked at the lack of movement forward in the past 100+ years. If you’re able, please watch John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight that aired on June 7, 2020. He touches on one fragment of the police and what’s currently happening.Please click John Oliver

So, as I continue to watch news stories reel in from the protests, I off-set it by watching YouTube videos on improving my art. I started looking into how to use colored pencils to achieve a more realistic look. There’s plenty out there to comb through and one thing I found was solvents for blending colors.

Time for a little Testing!

Materials used: paper- Aquarelle Arches (don’t know the weight since it was in the scrap paper pile), Prismacolor pencils, Isopropyl Alcohol, Odorless Mineral Spirits, paint brush.

I laid down a few rows of Prismacolor pencils in light to a bit heavier concentration. Then I found odorless Mineral Spirits stashed in the garage and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to test as solvents. The isopropyl was used on the far left stripe. The mineral spirits was used on the next vertical stripe and for the remainder of the tests. The top band has two doodle eyes that used the mineral spirits to blend colors. No additional colors were added to those bits. The bottom bird head/eye used a stronger concentration of color.

color pencil test1-1

Below is the blended mix of colors that resembles a bird head with eye.  Looks awful but smoother! This is just a doodle bird. I have no idea what it was trying to become.

color pencil test2-1

The solvent does pass through the paper but seems to evaporate after time.

solvent leakage-1

Below: after waiting 15 to 20 min I added more colored pencils. It’s true that light colors can be added over dark and they stand out! I think I’ll keep messing around with this technique and try an actual bird drawing for round #2.

color pencil test3-1

The search has started for a subject to be rendered as a drawing/print. Two different organizations are requesting something from my studio and I’m more than happy to help them both out. So far revisiting Africa photos seem to be the smart choice. Maybe this technique will jump into the mix of ideas. Time will tell more.

Back to practicing!

Dragged into Instagram

I adore my world wide art friends! During the first virtual meeting with the art book group, it was strongly recommended that I finally get on Instagram. So, I’m happy to report that an account has started!

You can find me at: gale.everett.studio

Another learning process to commence….

Thank you dear friends for insisting that I get my act together! I love you all!





Felting a small dog

Felted Harry1Felted Harry2Felted Harry3Felted Harry 4

Harry was a funny Pomeranian cross that belonged to my nieces mom-in-law. He just passed away after 18 wonderful years with Patty and Dave. The block he’s sitting on is 5″x 5″ (12.7cm x12.7cm). I’m still very much a beginner with trying to figure out the whole armature  to dog type ratio works. Harry had an extremely challenging shortened face, frame/legs, plus a super furry coat. This was my second round of armature attempts. The legs remained way too long so I put him into a down position. Rather than calling it a true replica, I call it an “essence of Harry”. Last summer I took numerous photos of him , knowing that an attempt to create him in wool would happen soon. After he was put down, Patty posted numerous photos that I added to my mix to try and decipher the little guy. At this point I’ll call it finished.

Artwork has been super scattered of late. I’ve been trying to adjust to round #2 of meds but it hasn’t worked. Family genetics seem to be creeping in and I’m seeing similarities between my mom and I in regards to medication reactions. It feels like a giant waste of time invested after weeks of expensive meds. I just want to be free from everything for a bit before considering the next round of torture. Just say no to TNF blockers.

Maybe it’s time to get the taxes finally finished!





Bright Days of Spring

garden spring 2020_geverettstudio

I’ve finally been able to step outside to commence work on the vegetable garden. Our weather is warming with nights no longer dipping into the freezing zone. The grass growing season is well upon us (and the riding mower is broken)! Picture about 2-3ft of grass height surrounding the veg boxes. Thank goodness for string trimmers! The plants that overwintered in place were lavender, chives, cat nip, sage, and rosemary.



I keep picking off the end growth on the catnip to bring inside for the girls. They all enjoy chewing on the fresh leaves.

Two weeks ago I started my first batch of fermented wool. This process uses natural bacteria to decompose out all the bad bits stuck in the fleece with minimal amount of effort or water. One of my friends has been using this method with all her fleece and swears by it. She did mention that you can leave the wool in for too long and other creatures will lay eggs and hatch! Yuck! I can’t imagine how anything could survive the caustic sulfur created in the fermenting.

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wool drying after removal from the stinky tub and rinsed.

fermenting setup_geverettstudio

The process goes as such: Fill a large tub with water (preferably rainwater for a neutral pH). Add a dirty fleece. Cover and wait 2 weeks. Uncover and pull out the rotten egg smelling fleece and plop onto a wire rack (use gloves!!!). Rinse with water. Take to the garage sink for a hot wash with detergent. Rinse and lay out to dry.

Don’t dump out the dirty water in the tub! Just add your next fleece into the muck and let nature work out the bad stuff.

I’m still waiting for the fleece to dry. The detergent wash didn’t remove much of the stink, but my friend swears the scent goes away once fully dry. We shall see…

On a totally different note: The vultures are loving the electrical tower out back

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Straight through his nares

Turkey vultures migrate into our area in February and head south in October. During winter months, the tower is visible from our main living space because of the bare trees. In February, when the vultures rejoin our bird community, the leaves haven’t even started sprouting yet. The open visibility of large birds perching close to our house creates Cockatoo screaming mayhem indoors! I probably have hearing loss from that bird! I’m just grateful that the leaves are back and he can’t see the vultures soaring in quite as easily.

Vulture watching hasn’t been a big part of daily life until this year. I typically note their migration time north and south. It’s only been in the past couple of years that they started using the electrical tower as a resting zone multiple times a day (especially in the late afternoon).


Next posting will be about the latest room remodel that absorbed all my energy for the past several weeks. Nothing like doing a small remodel during “stay at home pandemic time”! It made me super grumpy because everything was stashed in the studio zone and other places while the remodel happened. I’m still not quite through my grumpiness, but it’s getting better.


Pickles and Sheep

Gail Order_geverettstudio

The final order of Sheep Laundry Balls!! This batch is going to my neighbor Gail to gift to her amazing sisters in Portland. One wash/dry and out the door by Saturday! Ready in time for Easter.

Nothing super crazy on the food end of life right now. I refreshed my pickle solution with some new veg: Carrots, radishes, cabbage and a red chili.  Should be good tomorrow for lunch.


Yesterday I started feeling back to normal after my bi-weekly injection of new medications. I need to have a chat with my doctor to see if the exhaustion tied to the meds is going to go away or if I need to stop. Oh, the joys of new medications that zap one’s immune system during a pandemic. Hopefully will find out more tomorrow.

Bunny armatures are finally started and waiting for their first round of core wool! Super excited to be doing another fun project!!

Have a great day tomorrow and stay safe out there!


Making it work



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When shops are closed due to the pandemic, how do you create a specific project without the supplies? If you have the right base materials, you make it! Today I spent it using the drum carder to blend up some pretty yummy yellows. I think I’m happy for now!

I know at some point soon my friends will be shearing their sheep. Will I jump on the wool? How expensive will it be? Is this really the side line I want to take?  Probably shouldn’t be worried about this right now, but it’s on the brain.

Enjoy the cheery yellow!


Yellow Ocher

There’s always something in the works at our house!

dye basket

soaking wool

When you can’t order what you want, make it yourself!

Sunday I decided to make my own yellow wool for chicks, ducks, and bumblebees. The process is pretty straight forward. Have 100 grams of wool. Take 6 cups of cold water plus 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and plunk it all in a pot. I actually used more water than 6 cups, but kept the same ratio going. Soak wool in the pot of water/vinegar for 30 min plus. Slowly start to heat the water to almost a simmer. You don’t want to get things boiling! Add your dye mixture that you prepared on the side. Make sure the color gets well distributed. Key thing to remember is that agitation equals felting, and we don’t want that!

mixing dye_geverettstudio

concentrated yellow ocher

Keep on the heat until all the dye is absorbed into the wool (the water should be virtually clear). This can take a while depending on temperature etc. I check things every 10 min.

Once done, cool, rinse with cold water and wash out with soap. Gently squeeze out excess water and lay out to dry. I use wire shelf racks over the tub.

two batches of wool

I did two batches today using the same color but with different concentrations and states of wool. First was the higher concentration on uncarded wool. Second batch was roving I had created but used a lower concentration. The roving dyed unevenly, but might blend out well in the end. The first batch might go towards creating ducks? Or carded up for spinning. Probably not a good chick color! Time will tell.

It will take a few days for everything to dry. I’ll be shifting it around the house to take advantage of warm zones on Monday.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Peep, Cluck and Baaa



We made it through week 2 of Stay-at-Home/ Pandemic time! Creative energy took a different shift yet again. I can blame the online-felt-along: Chicks. Creating birds is completely new to me, especially with their thin legs and crazy feet. This challenge helped me grasp wrapping bird feet and setting up a wax station to keep the toes covered. Who knew all the variations for getting things to stick on wire! The above chick is getting closer to completion. She still has more “feathering”, tweaking and cheeping to go. The first one is always the strangest in a learning series. Plus I don’t have the right colors or fibers. Oh well. It’s going to be numerous weeks before certain suppliers can open again for business. So I’ll just have to make do with what I have. Maybe it’s time for another dye pot!!! I have Gold Ocher and Aztec Gold on the shelf! Should make something yummy. Or maybe I could use the Robins Egg blue in the stash for a Peep inspired chick! Hahahaha!!!

No food goodies created today since the cupboard is full of ginger scones!

Lamb love_geverettstudio

On the plus side of the week, the lamb balls are almost done! Above is the first batch of 8 that’s made it through the full process. Only 4 left to wash and dry! WooHoo! They could actually be sent out on Saturday!!! Get ready Becky! Your order is finally going to be heading your way without any disease included.

Hopefully this weekend will bring warmer weather for gardening. Come Monday, I’ll be back in the studio creating more fun stuff.

Thanks for checking in today!


Mmmmm scones…. and a puppy


Ginger scones, how I love thee… Yes, pandemic/stay-at-home baking continues today with candied ginger lemon scone. I product tested two straight from the oven (the small ones that won’t be missed), and they receive a double thumbs up! Maybe tonight’s walk will have to involve a bit more cardio activity!

Originally, I had planned to start another rabbit today, but was distracted with piles of stuff around the studio so a tidy-up session happened. That’s when I discovered a project purchased at Living Felt in Austin a year ago ( the sloth project was also rediscovered and maybe it will go into production next week). The happy dog has started, already with a few changes from the original design. Should be cute on completion!

pup head

At least we’re covered here at home with cute and tasty projects!

I guess there was a wall bed ordered to make room for Dave’s office. Not sure when that will arrive, but maybe a few weeks?  Time will tell!

Stay safe and healthy out there!