Monday, April 29, 2013

Winding Purple Outdoors

I'm pleased that I am at a step in the process that's somewhat portable this week. It's a big get-together with a bunch on my friends at the retreat center where I used to live. (Two miles down the road from my new place.)

So I brought my yarn and my portable power system to run the cone winders. One battery is working while the other charges from a solar panel. And the whole time I'm chatting with friends. It's perfect!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Next Cloth Will Be PURPLE!

Despite all of my excitement around my new homestead, you still remember what I do for my livelihood, right?

Spring is here, and with it comes one of my favorite flowers, the Lilac. I'm from a small town near Rochester, New York. When the giant mills closed on the Genesee River, Rochester changed its nickname from "The Flour City" to "The Flower City" and planted the largest collection of lilac species in the world. I spent much time there during lilac season. I remember visiting with my grandparents as a child. I can remember many sunny days and warm evenings spent there as a young adult when I lived only a mile away.

They are a very popular flower in this area, too, with some of the shrubs having been planted upwards to a hundred years ago.

Well, after searching high and low for a source of purple thread in bulk, I finally got a batch. So, in honor of the lilac, I'm winding a whole batch of high-intensity purple cloth. This will be the first cloth I have ever woven that's inspired by a fragrance.

I'm sure you're used to this view by now... It's my yarn shelf, all decked out for the next batch.

And here is the palette shelf for this batch. I've decided to continue the idea that I started with the white cloth. I'm going from deep, dark purple to a light pastel. It's a huge variation in value, using about 20 individual thread colors. There will be over 60 color combinations by the time I'm done.

The next few days will be long as I ply lots and lots of thread and prepare to wind the beam. I really want these garments to debut at the Art in Bloom show in Medford on the second weekend of May. It just seems fitting, you know?

Begin The Kludges!

Some of you might recall that I got a spectacular deal on my artisan yurt because it's not quite finished. I need to devise a solution to seal the roof opening and protect the ring from water damage and I need to hang the door.

The door needs to be done right away so I'll hang it tonight and add a deadbolt before I put anything of value in my new home. (Not that I have anything all that valuable anyhow. I don't go in for any of the stuff that's easy to hock. If someone wants to try selling handmade dishes, I guess they'll probably find a way into the yurt.)

As for yurt finishing, the roof ring can wait a while. Rainy season is almost over. Here's what I'm doing to protect the roof ring for now.

It's actually good enough to keep the inside of the yurt totally dry. I'll hang some weight from the umbrella to keep it from shifting in the wind, but otherwise it's done for now.

Last night was my first night sleeping in the yurt. I love it and can hardly believe that it's real. It has all happened so fast!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yurt's Up!

I know I said I was going to wait until after my next run of shows to erect either of the yurts, but Badger convinced me to put the first one up now. I'll have a couple of weeks to trouble shoot and get it stable before I leave it in the hands of a house sitter.

I can't remember who suggested that I shoot a time-lapse video of the process, but I'm glad I did. It's fun!

You'll notice a few things in the video... I made almost every possible mistake in setting it up. I put up the wall inside out. I tried to put up the roof ring before attaching the tension band. Twice. When the video angle changes, it's because the photos that I took of how to set it up were on the same phone that was taking today's video. I had to take it off the tripod to refer to them.

I recently got a cheap fisheye lens for my phone. It's perfect to let you get a more expansive view of the yurt interior.

Here's the view from the doorway. You can see everything but the two windows near the door.

And here's a fisheye view of the whole roof. Notice that one rafter is missing? It broke when I was learning to set it up in Eugene and I'm waiting to pick up a replacement. It's shorter than the others because of the door. The roof is totally stable without it.

Homestead Project, Celebration Barbecue

I'm a couple of days behind so y'all are going to get a couple of posts today. It's all happening so fast!

Celebration is a big part of my life. Yes, I work hard, but what's it all for if I don't stop to appreciate the results of that work? So, even though the platform wasn't "done", I decided to host a small barbecue to celebrate the completion of the decking.

There are many performers among my friends and many of us noted that this place felt like a large stage. So what to do but show off some dance moves?

And while the host cooked some meat and veggies, folks hung out on the only thing around that felt like furniture.

A couple of folks showed up fashionably late and fashionably dressed. They had just come from the symphony. Really.

And, as the sun went down the layers went on. Badger, the builder who made this all happen, is modeling his new ruana.

PS: this is a couple days late because I needed to get permission to post people's photos...

Homestead Photo Essay, Day 5. Done!

Today we put the finishing touches on the platform - steps and a railing.

We hasn't really thought it through when we put together the wood order so I ran to town for 2x4s. This is how far the steps had progressed when I left.

And here's what I saw when I returned. Badger is amazing. We then put it into overdrive to finish up today.

For the second set of steps in the back I got to watch Badger build them. It happened so fast that in only got one picture taken before they were done.

And I forgot to snap another picture until we were driving away. Isn't it beautiful?

Tomorrow we're going to put up the first yurt. Badger has mentioned to me that he has never seen one go up and that he really wants to. So I'm going to set up my home a little earlier than expected. I'm excited, too. This has been a long time coming!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Homestead Photo Essay, Day 4

We finished building and installing all of the decking modules today. Badger does this all the time so it's not so hard for him. For me, though, it was a killer. I'm propped up with ibuprofen, zyflamend, and more just to lay here typing this.

First, we built a module.

Then we slid it into place and the day picked up pace.

Soon we were building and placing a few at a time.

Before we knew it, it was time to build the last one and put it into place.

All done with decking!

Here's the view from the driveway coming up to it.

This will be the entry to my storage space, which may include the "outdoor" kitchen.

Walk in and turn to the right to see my potential kitchen site.

And here's the whole thing in situ. It feels huge until you see the expansiveness of the site. Then, the homestead site feels very human-scaled.

And now I'm going to collapse into bed. This day was completely exhausting

Homestead Photo Essay, Day 3

Wow, it's zipping along! Yesterday was rainy off-and-on but we got a lot done anyhow.

All the posts are up, braced, and their tops leveled.

Then come the girders. Look how perfect they are!

So now we're building 8x8 deck modules and sliding them down into place. Do you remember that I designed this while thing to be modular? If we ever have to move it, the deck modules will come off, we'll rebuild the supports and move them over. Cool, huh?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homestead Photo Essay: Day 2

Today was all about getting the first posts placed as close to perfectly as possible. These will set the measurements for the rows of posts that are to follow.

I also spent a good chunk of the day clearing more brush while Badger measured out posts. A friend came by to work for a couple of hours removing poison oak while I was in town renting a generator, buying the bolts that weren't right in the shipment, and stocking up on food. Tomorrow we'll finish the posts and head full-speed into framing the platform modules.

Homestead Photo Essay: Day 1

The Goal...

Day 1...

Before: tons of brush

Later: much less brush

The lumber truck wasn't sure of the driveway.

But it was fine so he pulled in and unloaded

And Badger made sure it was all there and going to work. Some bolts were wrong so we're buying them at retail.

We spent the rest of the afternoon clearing brush and establishing two sides of the perimeter. It's lined up with the sun at solar noon which is true south rather than magnetic south.