Weekly Quote

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.---C. S. Lewis

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Canvas is ready

The canvas for my saddle blanket project is ready to go.  The inserts are sewn in, I opted to hand sew them in, and the canvas is painted, I used acrylic spray paint.

I had concerns about the blanket fitting Max, he has very high whithers.  At the suggestion of Carol I fit the canvas to Max prior to completing the sewing and found that the instructions fit him perfectly.  I decided to try the canvas on Breezy, too; she is the one I will have to modify the instructions for.  Breezy has no whithers I think I will not put any inserts in her blanket, if and when I make her one.

I took it back out to the corral for Max's approval.

Check out the whithers on this boy!

"I approve."

Now comes the hard part, committing to the first color.  Right now I am leaning toward red. Followed by a thin strip of ecru. Decisions, decisions!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Narcisstic Tendencies

The narcissus are blooming! One day there were none and the next they were everywhere.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spring 2011 Colors

The Spring 2011 colors are out...ok so they have been out since September.  But really who was thinking about spring in September; I was just beginning to think about Christmas! 

THE color for spring is honeysuckle; a gorgeous red pink.

My favorite is Blue Curacao. I can't get enough of turquoise.

I also like Coral Rose.
All-in-all another great season for color.

What is your favorite color from the Spring 2011 collection?

Monday, January 10, 2011


With the ever increasing cost of silver many jewelry artists are using more copper and its alloys in their designs.  One of the choices is bronze. 

So what is bronze? 

Wikipedia gives the following description of bronze.  "Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, giving its name to the Bronze Age. The discovery of bronze enabled people to create better metal objects than previously possible. Tools, weapons, armor, and various building materials, like decorative tiles, made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors. The earliest tin-alloy bronzes date to the late 4th millennium BC in Susa (Iran) and some ancient sites in Luristan (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq)."

The melting point of Bronze varies depending on the actual ratio of the alloy components and is about 1742 oF (950 °C).” The melting point of sterling silver is 1650 oF (899 °C) and the melting point of copper is 1984 oF (1084 °C). 

The bronze used for making jewelry is approximately 85% copper and 15% zinc. Jewelry grade bronze goes by the generic names of Rich Low Brass, Jeweler's Bronze and Red Brass and the brand names Nu Gold (or NuGold) and Merlin's Gold. They are all the same metal. Confused? So am I.

Bronze is fairly resistant to oxidation (called patina by artists and tarnishing by others), but will form a patina with the application of such chemiclas as hot liver of sulfur or Jax Brown-Black.

Are you using less silver (sterling or fine) in your designs? 

What are you replacing it with?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adventures in Dyeing

As promised here are the pictures of my adventures dyeing the wool roving.  Really it was pretty mundane and straight forward.  Last evening as I was cruising the internet I thought "why don't I dye another half pound of each color".  So I did.  Now I have a full pound of each color, enough to get started on the hooking.

Weighing the roving.

Soaking the roving.

 Prepared dye and aicd (vinegar).


Dyeing on the stove top.

Roving drying.


Here are the colors I chose plus the natural ecru color.

Next step prepare the canvas.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Saddle Blanket Saga

My husband's Christmas was the stuff to make a hooked wool saddle blanket.  I follow the blog of Carol, Red Dirt In My Soul and she posted a link to a hooked wool saddle blanket tutorial at the blog of Linda, Just Another Day On The Prairie. Of course, I decided immediatley that I was going to do this; my hands are happiest when they are busy and this looked like something I could easily do while watching movies at night.  Most of the components for the blanket were readily available at my local Micheals but the wool roving was a different story. 

First I went to the website Linda recommended for wool roving which is located in Canada.  I picked out 4 lovely colors and got ready to purchase the wool only to be shocked by the shipping charges...$250!!!  Needless to say I went searching for a US vendor.  After looking at many internet sites, I decided to go to eBay.  On eBay I found the seller awayathome and purchased 8 pounds of undyed wool roving.

Next I researched dyeing wool.  Which lead me to Jenn, Wind Rose Fiber Studio, who had a tutorial for dyeing wool roving and she sells Jacquard Acid Dyes (and lovely dyed wool roving and yarn) on Etsy.  I ordered three colors and began the wait for everything to arrive.

That is the backstory.

Today I dyed 1.5 pounds, eight ounces of each of the colors; I was anxious to try dyeing and to see the colors on the roving.  While rather time consuming, the dyeing process was very straight forward (thanks, Jenn) and the colors are awesome.  Tomorrow I will post pictures of the process and the dyed roving.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year...2011


Another new year...I have one resolution this year to declutter my life; to let go of the things that are holding me back, to provide room for new opportunities, to realize of my dreams. 

Thank you to those who visit my blog.  I appreciate that you take time from your day to spend a little time with me.