8/8/18

Learning To Spin...Then What?

I have been learning to spin for 6 months, 1 week and 1 day....well, there about if counting from the month, week, and day that I got my own wheel.  I can't really count the times I tried spinning at the spinning group I belong to.  I'm pretty sure my patient teacher never thought I'd ever get the hang of spinning a decent thin strand of yarn that would flow through the 3/8" orifice, have enough twist to stay together or fill a bobbin.

Sure enough she was spot on with the thin strand flowing through a .375" orifice.  I could clog that tiny thing with every other pump of the treadle.  There was a solution and it works perfectly for a thick and thin art yarn spinner.  It's called a Jumbo Flyer with a 3/4" orifice...pic #2.  Then there was treadling enough to get enough twist so the wad would hold together.  I actually could get twist...over twisted...cork screw tight...for a couple of inches then nothing...Failed the twist test.  Fill a bobbin?  Not enough time in the day when you have to start over a kabillion times.

After 6 months, 1 week and 1 day you can imagine how filling a bobbin, making twist enough for coils and having enough yarn to actually make something has me breaking my arm patting myself on the back.  And that's just one of the bobbins I have managed to fill.  I now have two full hanging racks with Sue Spun Art Yarn in my Shop.  Now both arms are broken.
So, what does one do with a Twisted Mass of Colorful Art Yarn?
One does a Photo Shoot!

8/6/18

Needle Doodling and Subconscious Incubation

Doodling...to Scribble Absentmindedly!
I've been a 'Doodler' my entire life and never really thought about it being a 'Thing'.  It is such a 'Thing' that Google, Wikipedia, Pinterest, UTube and scores of internet sites are as absentminded as I am. 
 Like most lifetime doodlers, I started with crayons, graduated to pencils, pens, paint and other two dimensional Art mediums.  I even passed on my 'Absentmindedness' to my Junior High Art Students with a lesson on Doodling around common objects.  I wonder if they have become lifetime doodlers, too!
There are benefits of being a doodler...according to HuffPost who say, "If you spend half an hour doing something creative, when someone gives you a problem you will think about it in fresh ways."  Doodling as conscious absentmindedness acts as a distraction and allows for "subconscious incubation of a solution".  Hmmmm, now I'm looking back on my Doodle Art examples and realizing I must have always wanted a Mickey Mouse watch and was ahead of the times with 'Arty' nail polish.
 
Doodling has certainly gained the attention of a number of scientific and mental health studies with topics like etymology and memory.  It seems doodling has been an absentminded practice among some of the worlds notable people...like...the poet/physician Keats, literary genius Beckett and US President Reagan.  Of all the notables I would like to associate my absentmindedness with is Leonardo da Vinci.  Really, his notebook margin doodles give new meaning to Absentminded Scribbling.
I guess it was a natural transition from the two dimensional doodling to three dimensional doodling with needle, thread, fabric, buttons, beads, and whatever else I could find to allow for 'subconscious incubation'.  Just look at what it hatched!  

8/1/18

Momentous Scraps


Here I go again.  Another scrapbook.  This one has been a long time coming...like 58 years.  Here's how it started.....

Room 8-A Jr. High 1960
Having written my name and location on the inside of the cover of my first scrapbook was probably the most useful piece of information in the whole book.

It survived mostly due to the cover being a heavier weight paper than the rest of the pages which have yellowed and deteriorated.  Scotch tape, Elmers glue and manila paper were not Acid Free.  I don't think Acid Free was invented yet, and if it was it wasn't free. 

Being as it was my first scrapbook and being an 8th grader with little to no momentous scraps of information to paste on the pages about myself, I proceeded to cut and paste pictures and articles from the school newspaper about Upperclassmen.

 
Here's how it has been preserved, reorganized and updated for a GRHS Reunion in October.
Taking apart that first scrapbook has been kinda hard...mentally...but after 58 years it is falling apart.  No acid free paper or glue back in the day.  So, this effort to save those fragile and yellowed papers will be well worth it.  I've just finished my 7th Grade year, and Wow!...there really wasn't much of any momentous scraps about myself.  However, there was a lot about those cute high school boys!
Go Big Red...Lasso the Lions!

7/28/18

Scaling Up with Fiber and Fiber-gibberish!

How is it that as soon as I say one thing I do just the opposite?  How is it that as soon as I think I should downsize and/or get out all together I do just the opposite?

Answer...It's how I roll!  It's how I get my juices to flow!  It's what happens when business gets slow! 

And...it's good for my heart and soul! 

So instead of scaling down...I scaled up with Fiber by the Pound with Rag Rug Strips for SALE and Fiber by the Ounce with Wool.

It really is how I roll...I never give it up.  First of all because it's what I love to do and secondly, Hi Honey (husband) says, "Once it leaves the house you can't bring it back."

And thirdly, neither one of us likes to pack!  So, I'll keep moving forward and not look back!  Yikes, enough of the rhyme time.

Wool Roving by the Ounce.  So easy for novice and experienced spinners to try combinations of Custom Blended and/or small amounts of spinning fibers before investing in the whole Sheep to Shop.  I now carry for sale both domestic wool roving from a local Spinning Group with a Flock of Sheep and Imported Dyed Roving.  I also offer Custom Blending in the form of Rolags, Roving, and Mini Batts.  Then of course I have for sale what I have spun and processed Art Yarn and Core Spun Fibers.  Sorry, if this is Greek to some of you readers.  I'm so into Fiber-gibberish!

On to Poundage!  Did you know that 1.5 pounds of Fabric Strips is equal to 6 yards and that you can make an 18"x30" Oval Rag Rug?  Oval Rag Rugs are my favorite to make and NOW you can make one too!
Here are some choices in Fabric Strips by the Pound....
....and More....
Okay...enough of my Scaling Up...I better go Blend and Spin!
Thanks for listening to my Fiber-gibberish!

7/15/18

Shameful Self Promotion...Whoop Whoop!

Here it is the MIDDLE of JULY and my Blogging Posts Count is more Shameful than this Shameful Self Promotion.  As you might imagine...if you know my work nickname of OverDoSue...I've been way OVERDOingIt these last couple of months.  And they say Summer is Vacation time!  What's that?

So, Summer is also suppose to be HOT...and it definitely is that here in Texas.  However, in my world of Fiber...yarn spinning, knitting, crocheting...summer is the time to get ready for WINTER.  Surprisingly, this HOT mess sells when temps soar in triple digits.  Go Figure!!!  I took this display shot on a 98 degree day and two days later...102 degrees...the green Caplet, Tassel Collar, Knitted Sock Bag, 2 Kimonos and 3 Headbands were gone.
Oh and have I shamefully promoted my new Rag Rugs?
I dubbed them Kaleidescope RagRugs!
Whoop Whoop!!!

7/5/18

Rounding Up Round RagRugs

Although it has been quite some time...October 2017...since posting about RagRugs, they certainly have not been put on the back burner.  Of all the items I make for my shop, Rag Rugs, Bags and Baskets are perpetual.  By that I mean they are good sellers year round.  However, due to a hand and wrist injury last November working with a 'Q' crochet hook and 1 1/2" fabric strips did shelve rug making for several months.

I've been working on a new design technique that eliminates obvious color changes when working in same color rows.  I'll be sharing pictures later.  So, it is in with the NEW and out with the OLD...which means a Round RagRug SALE! 
Here's my pitch to my Facebook Customers....
Round Rag Rug SALE!!! July's First Saturday Event at The Chicken Farm Art Center. July 7th...OPEN 10 to 5. These 18", 20" and 22" Round Rag Rugs are perfect for a Table Centerpiece or as a bath mat. Made of cotton for easy washing and lay flat to dry care. 
 Come see my NEW OVAL Rag Rug Designs, too!!!

7/1/18

Hot June Brought Sheep to Shop Demos

Did you know June had 5 Saturdays?  It made for a long time between the First Saturday Event of June and the next one this month.  Six weeks between the biggest sales day of the month makes for slow traffic and marketing.  Then there were record breaking temps in triple digits...wow...June...you were HOT.
The long hot month and slow traffic were incentives to find ways to advertise my Studio's newly set up Weaving and Spinning Space.  Strategically placed Chalk Boards at the Front Courtyard and Center Courtyard let visitors know I was OPEN and working in the Studio.  They worked...not only did my Rag Rug inventory and sales increase, blending and spinning yarn got lots of attention. 
Folks are quite amazed at how yarn makes it from 'Sheep to Shop'. 

6/11/18

'Gusher Age' To 'God Ahmighty',Thel...What Next?

~to read Texas Historical Commission Markers...click on picture~
In the early 20th Century, the Texas oil boom, sometimes called the Gusher Age, was a time of dramatic change and economic growth in Texas.  After the Gushers, by the 1940's production stabilized in East Texas, and West Texas began to be more fully explored and the Permian Basin gradually became the top producing area of the state.  The Permian Basin became the Oil Service Capital of the nation as the influx of foreign oil depressed the price of oil and gas. 
Santa Rita #1
Management of the petrochemical industry and the discovery of natural gas and it's bi-products of styrene, butadiene, polypropylene, benzene and quantities of synthetic rubber and ammonia kept the Oil Industry booming.  New installation Plants were built along the Gulf Coast and the Houston Shipping Channel.  The Odessa-Midland area was a hub of Oil Service Companies with branches throughout smaller communities like Monahans, Kermit, Ozona, Big Lake and others. 


My Dad was a Jack of All Trades and one of them was as a 'Roughneck' on 'Drilling Rigs'....like the one pictured bottom left during the 1950's.  On the 'Rig', he was a Jack of All Rig Jobs from Floor Hand to Derrick Hand...which was the one that caused Mother the most worry.  In the bottom right picture, Dad and his brother MD are standing on a site where a 'Pulling Unit' is in operation.  This piece of machinery was part of the 'Oilfield Service Industry', which flourished during the 1950's through the 1990's, and will again when the current Texas Oil Drilling Boom Rigs move to their next Drilling Sites.

As I look at these pictures of Dad as a 20th Mid-Century Texas Oilman, I wonder what he would think about the  21st Century Oil Bidnezz.  I imagine he would say....
God Ahmighty, Thel, what will they think of next?
~photos by CollectInTexasGal©...1950 Drilling Location© by Thel~

6/4/18

Wanted-Laundress...Must Have Tubs,Scrub Board and Rough Hands

 Living so near to Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Texas, it's possible some of my Leatherwood ancestors could have answered the call for a Laundress'...for sure they would have had tubs, soap and scrub boards.  As explained in the picture...beginning early in the war nearly every army had a least one laundress per 20 men.  They were generally women trying to support themselves or were traveling with a male family member. 
Qualifications:  Your attire will be work clothes, traditionally a long plain skirt and blouse with sleeves rolled up, no hoops, nothing fancy, hair netted or braided, plain skirt and blouse, very little underpinnings, full coverage apron, large bonnet (slatted or full brimmed) for weather protection.  Wear flat shoes, no long fingernails, and try to roughen up your hands.

It was not surprising to see the collection of Flatirons at Fort Richardson's kitchen and laundry room displays, after all they were certainly made to last...like forever.  Made of cast iron and heated on the top of a cast iron stove, the laundress need two...one to iron with while the other heated on the stove.  Flatirons were also called Sad Irons as they were heavy, weighing about 15 lb., were hard to move and often heated unevenly resulting in hot handles.

Padded handles, heavy rags and wood were used to alleviate some of the heat and burns to users.  In the 1870's a detachable, spring loaded handle was invented by an American woman who no doubt was tired of being burned, exhausted from tandem lifting, re-heating, and stoking the cast iron stove.

My 2x Great Grandmother Mary Josephine certainly had the right attire for a Fort Richardson laundress.  I imagine, however, she was too busy keeping up with her own laundry for nine children, husband and self.  I am sure had she applied she definitely would qualify...no 'trying' to roughen up hands...that was a given!

6/2/18

Fort Richardson and Salt Creek Prairie

On May 18, 1871, on a hill overlooking Salt Creek Prairie, 20 miles west of Fort Richardson, a Kiowa war party waited for suitable victims on the *well-travelled road below.  After permitting a small military troop to pass unaware, the Kiowas attacked a government contractor's wagon train.  Seven teamsters were killed in the foray, but one escaped and alerted the military at Fort Richardson.

At the post, General William Tecumseh Sherman, who that day had crossed Salt Creek Prairie on an inspection tour of the frontier, ordered immediate reprisal.

In 1869 Sherman was appointed Commanding General of the United States Army by President Grant.  General Sherman devoted much of his time as Commanding General to the Western and Plains states safe settlement through the continuation of the Indian Wars.  Thus the reason for his presence at Salt Creek Prairie and Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas.

It is unlikely he made mention of Salt Creek Prairie or Fort Richardson in his memoirs published four years later in 1875, however, it was historically significant for Fort Richardson and the people of Jacksboro, Texas, including my 3x Great Grandfather, John Moore Leatherwood.

John Moore Leatherwood was 37 years old, a veteran of the 20th Regiment Texas Volunteer Infantry Confederate Civil War and living within a few miles of Salt Creek Prairie when General Sherman made his crossing and tour of Fort Richardson.

At the time John and Martha Ann Caroline Pearson had seven children including my 2xGreat Grandmother Mary Josephine.  Their eighth child, Minnie Lee, was less than four months old on that fateful Salt Creek Prairie Kiowa attack.

General Sherman's tour and subsequent action in May 1871 is well documented at Fort Richardson's Museum.  He, of course, moved on to complete his tour as Commanding General of the United States Army under President Grant.  On the other hand, my Leatherwood Ancestors remained in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas, and their descendants are citizens there today. 

John Moore, his wife Martha Caroline and six of their eleven children are buried at Salt Creek Cemetery on the corner of Salt Creek Road and Dark Corner Road.  Yes, the same *well traveled road General William T. Sherman rode to Fort Richardson, and where seven teamsters lost their lives on May 18, 1871.

 
I love Texas History!  Don't you?

6/1/18

June...Collection of Texas History Photos and Stories

In keeping with the theme established last month...Navigating My Nightmare Photo Files...let's make June all about the Collection of Texas History Photos and Stories.  I am currently reading...yes, READING not sewing so much...Wagons West Texas!  I'm right in the middle, so I won't make this a book review...maybe later...at any rate, it is what gave me the idea to blog about Texas History through the photos in my Texas File.
There is already a quite a large collection of TEXAS POSTS here on CollectInTexas Gal...so this 'Collection of Texas History and Stories' gets it's own label and photo.  You will see it on the SideBar for the month of June...so you can quickly review or catch up.
 
Let's start with Fort Richardson and it's significance in my Texas Family History.
Tomorrow!
 

5/25/18

MayFlowerSeries...Fenced In Flowers

Fencing in flowers has been part of landscaping for well...forever.  Great pains are taken to border flower beds whether it be with fences, pavers, rocks or sticks.  I might consider container pots as flower borders as well.  With that said, it was kind of surprising finding so many fenced flower photos while navigating and organizing my flower photo files.

As a contributor on Find A Grave, I take photos at cemeteries.  Along with filling headstone photo requests, I often take pictures of memorabilia, statues and flowers left on graves.  Funeral flowers are almost always presented in beautiful arrangements.  In the photo above the florists attention to detail and color contrasts the rugged almost desolate background landscape.  This photo has a special connection for me...my Dad built the fence.

Even fields of Texas Wildflowers are Fenced In.

Some flowers just can't be contained and seem to say...'Don't Fence Me In'!
  

5/22/18

MayFlowerSeries...Prolific Pink Flowers and Weeds

Pink flower is beautiful.  Always so much of anything.
Playfully and never dull.  As it is inside spring.
Tenderly moments to bring on to every summer night
Until its blossom is gone with beautiful pinkish bright. 
Pink flower is like you with all your loving touch.
So much to make and do if you are in love so much.
Nothing is all like this.  On to the blue light dark
With new spring dawn bliss and shades of the petal spark.
Fragrances in the air full of new summer high.
Touching blossom everywhere in the hours going by.
Just like a love to come when love touches heart.
Flowering passion blossom now in these days will start.
Peter S. Quinn
 
Now wasn't that a nice poem about pink flowers?  While navigating through my flower photo files, I found soooo many pink flowers.  I must be drawn to them for some reason...probably because they are found more often than let's say blue flowers.  Mother Nature is awesome in her color schemes and in the variety of shapes and sizes of flowers.  With that said, she also has a love for colorful WEEDS...as do I. 
If there is a Thistle to be photographed, I'm on it, and yes thistle is a weed.  I often wondered why I was attracted to the sticky, spikey, dull green plant...even to the point of painting them.  I found out while researching my ancestors.

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