Monday, July 30, 2018

A Kitchen Reno and Two Scarves

During the summer I find weaving often takes second place to gardening as our climate makes everything grow at an amazing rate.  I seem to spend my time, weeding, picking and processing for most of June, July,  August and September.  It's no wonder I'm ready for vacation in October!

Mid June we started a kitchen renovation.   We did most of the work ourselves ~ and went from the kitchen chosen by the builder which looked like this, a tad too brown for me:
To a blank canvas; and it is at this point you always question yourself. It is daunting!
And we ended up with this, a light and bright kitchen to make our often cloudy winters just a bit less grey. We put two different quartz counter tops in, a plain white fleck on the perimiter and a bolder white and grey marble on the island.  We also increased the size of the island, cause who ever said they had enough work surface? The upgrade to quartz made all the difference for me as it lowered the overall height of the counters, by a full inch and since I'm a bit vertically challenged, it is a wonderful improvement. We put in a black granite sink which is HUGE and that was a bonus too.
Ngaire planned the back splash tile pattern by laying the tiles out on the foyer floor using a paper template made from a roll of my used beaming paper.  We found that offsetting the tile by 1/3 was perfect.  We chose white beveled edge subway tiles from England that match the colour of the perimeter quartz perfectly.
The actual tile setting was relatively straightforward due to the preplanning, but perfecting the grout was much more difficult.
I did manage to do a wee bit of weaving in June and wove two painted tencel warps.  I used the same pattern for both of them as it is one I love weaving and summer is not the time to tackle difficult tasks in my opinion.
The first warp I called Fire and Ice, this painted warp was predominantly blues and oranges and by  choosing a burgundy red weft I ensured that it really does look like fire.
I threaded the warp as an 8 shaft advancing twill and treadled it in a parallel fashion.  I have used this pattern several times before and the fluid nature of the treadling never ceases to please.  As long as I pick a general progression series and stick to it I am free to weave ad hoc which is perfect for summer and a general laziness.
The final result is for sale on our Etsy shop Woven Beauty.  For Sale.
The second warp I call Pink Cammo and it is various olives, peachy pinks with a bit of burgundy.  I used black for the weft and this one is a real stunner.  For Sale.
The garden photo today a clump of drumstick allium ~Allium sphaerocephalon ~ complete with honey bees.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Opening Our Studio

At the end of May we took part in the ‘Mid Island Studio Tours’, and that was a new venture for us and surprisingly much more work than I anticipated.

Besides writing up a short blurb to go into the brochure that is distributed Island wide, we had to make signs, physically price all of our stock and clean out the studio.  We decided to leave the looms in place (with projects on them) as well as the sofa and the small desk.

Our house, luckily, was well suited for the tour as we have a large foyer that opens directly into the studio.  A few days before the event, we started figuring out what to put where and what a learning curve it was.  How to show your weaving to it’s best advantage is a real dilemma.
I wanted to block off the access to the rest of the house, so the grid racks worked well for this.  We had to address any possible tipping hazard; so we attached two of the extra racks at an acute angle to act as stabilizers.  This rack held five shoulder busts and twenty-six flat hanging scarves.  We hung the scarves by colour families.
This photo shows the colours a bit better, but the rack is not in its final place.
We have five larger mannequins that were used to highlight a few of the shawls, these were placed in the foyer, on the fireplace mantle and in a corner by the door.
We moved a couple of sofa tables from other rooms to the centre of the studio for the table linens.  I find displaying flat table linens to be very difficult.  We ended up rolling them on tubes of various sizes and standing a few up to give height to the display. 
This spiral display rack was pulled out of its box and this is its maiden voyage.  We used it exclusively for shawls and extra big scarves.  We used black flocked hangers which minimized slippage and faded into the background as well as allowing the shawls to be twisted into interesting shapes.
I had a ladder style towel rack that worked beautifully to display tea towels.  We hung one of each style  on the rack and had the rest folded neatly on the wooden bookcase behind it.

We learned so much by doing this event and would change only a few things.  The rack that held the scarves needs to be modified so that the scarves hang forward facing, rather than side on.  I will switch the scarf rack and the table linen display as the scarves are more exciting and need pride of place and the table linens are a bit static.  I would also hang fewer scarves and give each one more space.  Our statistics for the sale are very encouraging, every fourth person bought something and they all used credit cards.  Thank goodness for the Square Reader. Now the trick for next year is to have more people find us!