31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

How will you celebrate this night when the veil between this world and another is at its most transparent? I'm baking some special Gruyere bread for dinner, and thinking a cozy fire and gingersnaps are in order... maybe we'll make a fire in the outdoor firepit, sip some apple schnapps, and look for the moon.

A black cat was near the chicken coop last night! Hopefully he'll get some of the ever-present rats... I will not inhumanely poison or glue-trap them, but I have resorted to instant-kill traps, or sending Jeff out with a .22 to dispatch a few cleanly and quickly (he never shoots if there's a chance he'll miss). They are going through organic chicken feed - despite its being stored in metal cans - at an amazing rate, and I am not running a rat ranch! These are the kind of ethical issues I've had to deal with since moving to a farm, and for an animal lover, they are not easy to decide. It might be easier if rats were edible, hmmm? Well, they're almost the same thing as squirrels... OK, I know you're saying "Ewwww!" Enough about the rats.

Chef Jeff had me watch Nosferatu with him again this year. I don't care if the movie is old, silent, and relatively overdone by today's standards - it is the creepiest Halloween movie ever! Having seen Shadow of the Vampire makes it even creepier... it's based on the many rumors that Max Schreck, the vampire in the movie, was a real vampire. After seeing Nosferatu, I can almost believe it.

What's your favorite Halloween movie? Have you seen An American Werewolf in London? What about The Company of Wolves? I think my favorite spooky - and just plain good - movie is The Village - it's really more a psychological study than a thriller, and beautifully filmed.

Well, about those quilt fabrics... the consensus seemed to be that the one print didn't really go with the others, so I took it - and the solids - out of the mix, and re-thought the whole project.

When in doubt, order more fabrics, right? I chose some Bali batiks in the hopes that their variegated colors would pick up more of the somewhat odd shades of teal, orange, brown, and purple in the prints.

Valerie mentioned that the prints were all similar in scale, and the colors all similar in value. I agree with her about mixing things up for a good quilt composition... but something about this project is calling me to combine choices that all blend together. Maybe because I'm not doing traditional pieced blocks, where the pieces also form a pattern; this is going to be a scrappier looking blanket, using just one shape for the "blocks," and I want it to have a very soothing effect, with no piece standing out. Don't ask me why - and I may regret not using traditional color and scale theory once it's finished!

Thanks, Valerie, and everyone, for your help! It freed my mind from being committed to just the fabrics I had on hand, and allowed me to re-think my goal and define it more clearly. I appreciate your help in getting me un-stuck and thinking outside the blocks! (Hee hee.)

The fulled shawl is not a complete disaster - it will make a very warm wrap for barnwork. Here it is after my disaster with the front loading washing machine (never again will I own one of these! There's no wool soak cycle! I hate this thing!)

Still, it was a bit of a disappointment, as my crafting time has been so seriously limited since we moved here. Well, onward and upward, right? I've swatched for my next project. Since it is so cold here in the winter, I'd like some cozy underpinnings that don't make me feel like a male mountain climber. I'm craving pretty, feminine clothing these days (can't remember the last time I've worn a skirt) - enough with the overalls!

Luckily my swatch was right on for the Anne Modesitt corset (Ravelry link), so I'm going to give it a go.

I hope your day and night are full of delightful frights - none of them involving your crafts!

26 October 2008

Help Wanted

No, not a new farmhand - believe me, we couldn't pay you enough!

What I need is your artistic skill. Ready?

I've had these fabrics for months and have avoided cutting them because I simply can't decide which work together. The prints are actually all from the same maker's set, but they looked odd together when I received them, so I ordered some solids I thought might work.

Now I'm not so sure.

I have got to get going on this project. Can you please tell me which of these fabrics you think would work together in a quilt? It is going to be either pieced of same-size triangles, or done in a stack-and-whack type design. You can click to embiggen it...

Thank you for your help!

I leave you with a picture of Miss Molly luxuriating on my new merino shawl... before I accidentally fulled it.


Maybe I should just take up latch hooking.

Have a great week!

20 October 2008