Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Nor’easter

Or so they say.....coming Saturday into Sunday......18” of snow.......so they say.
Everyone converging on the grocery store......milk, bread, toilet paper.
Well, I’m good really.......have plenty of almond and coconut milk, have plenty of ingredients to whip up some bread, and I buy toilet paper online and have it delivered 27 rolls at a time, so I’m good there, too.
I may go to the store, just to have some items to make soup with....but that’s about all the preparation I’m going to make.

I did not send the email.  I believe the friendship was better in my head than the flawed, real life version.   Plus I opt for no drama.......and sending it opens that drama door.



We all have moments of feeling lonely, don’t we?  Even, or more so, with people around.
I think getting older definitely has it’s lonely moments. On one hand, getting older is freedom from worrying about how you look, what you’re wearing, other people’s opinions, and other people’s rules.
But your children are grown with their own lives, people you know die, go south for the winter, move away......or grow old in a way that changes everything.
Sometimes I worry that Naya is over bonded with me.....she can’t be too far from me ever, and if I leave for any length of time, when I come back, she is sitting by the back door waiting, no matter how long I’ve been gone.
But on the other hand, she is company, companionship, my 24 hour compadre.  I can’t imagine my life without her.



Every day we walk, even though my right hip is ALIVE with tendonitis from weaving on that old Union Custom upstairs. We walk, I moan and groan, but we walk.  It will be such a treat to walk in nice weather.
The Union needs a make over.  I am considering a couple of things. First I may just flip the treadles around ...attach them at the front of the loom, instead of the back.....which may may treadling easier, without raising your hips....and if that doesn’t work, I may try to convert it to a loom like the Rio Grande walking loom.  Stay tuned for that reveal. Ha!


The OctaDO is lovely, now that I have worked the kinks out........no treadling there either..... just the one bar that you step on......up....down.....period.  I have a narrow, bamboo scarf warp on it, more to acclimate myself to the loom than anything.


Lois is weaving wool silk in vibrant turquoise on her hand dyed bamboo warp on the Baby Wolf, her fave loom.



And I’m weaving towels from my cotton stash on the AVL.......trying to get our towel stock back up to 150.  What a way to get through January.eh?


Every night I brace myself for my trip outside to the hot tub......always worth it, by the way.


I am amazed, every time, at the busy sky overhead.  It’s not just that our lives are full and overscheduled.....our skies are indicative of the crazy world we live in.
If you doubt it, go to www.flightradar24.com.  Omg. You will not believe how many planes there are flying around our earth.....why does  no one ever mention that particular pollution? How can that NOT be a factor?  It truly boggles the mind.
It makes me feel that to find real peace and quiet and serenity in this world, you have to work at it.

I’m on it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Too late

I should have expected a learning curve with a new loom........but I didn't.

It's been quite the experience.  It's so different from the AVL.  I think, though, that finally, I have it.   Adjustments here, adjustments there.
Ah, Octado.................

Lois is convinced that every thing we do in the studio is a back breaker.  Sometimes it does seem that way.

It's January......settling in to all the work that waits.   Staying home, having a plan, restocking the shelves for summer.   That's my life here in the northeast.
Winter walks in the snow, trying to stay warm while doing them.

If I have an errand to run, I wait until I can combine 2 or 3 errands.........the less I have to venture out, the happier I am.

I will admit that I don't mind winter as much since I'm out walking in it every single day with Naya.   Winter does have a certain peaceful beauty.   I would prefer, though, more snow, and less cold.











 





This is my practice warp on the Octado......kind of looks like Rorschach tests, doesn't it?

Actually, the nurse in me sees an EKG........a troublesome one.



Lois is weaving this lovely......hand dyed warp, and hand dyed weft.    I'm going to make a cloak out of it.


Unfortunately, I am not able to dye much lately....it's so freaking cold.   When I do dye inside, it takes up my whole sewing room......so I am careful about when I do it.



Tonight, sitting in the hot tub, I counted planes going over.
I always think of my old friend when I am  in the hot tub, she loved it so.

The thought occurred to me, that if I saw 7 planes go over, in the 15 minutes that I was in the tub, before the jets automatically shut off, that I would email her.

I would say that I miss our talks, our day trips, our friendship. That it is really unbelievable to me, still, that we have not spoken in almost 18 months, after being friends who messaged/texted/emailed/spoke  every day, for 15 years.
That whatever derailed our friendship, makes me sad, and probably always will.

1 plane............... 2................   
...........3 planes. ..............  4.............    5.
Jets shut off.  Quiet.

I sighed, turned left to get out of the tub, and saw two more planes, their lights 
blinking, skittering across the night sky.

But to be honest, too late.







Monday, January 7, 2019

Staying sane.

It was suddenly cold today.......it's hard to know what to expect.....one day it's 40, and the next day it's 20........everything outside is gray and brown and drab.

Thank God there is color in the studio.




I'm still weaving on a wool warp on the AVL......this one has a wool/silk weft.........I'm not really sure what to call it........a cloak/cape I guess.


I especially love the "cloak pin".

I occasionally think I should keep something that I make, but truth is, I am not a "dress up" kind of girl, and would probably never wear it.
I do love making them though.


I love the towpath trail along the old canal....it's barely 2.5 miles down the road, and you can get a good hour's walk there.  It's quiet, and peaceful.

I took my pulse the other day......it was 60........I guess all this walking is good for me.











Naya approves.....it's one of our three regular walks.

At the end of the day, she's tired, and content, and it makes my heart sing.........she's happy.

Home with a good book, it's warm and cozy, the wind can howl, the snow can fly.........but here we are safe and comfortable, it doesn't get much better.
Is it just me?  Or are you just more satisfied with simple things as you age.......I can't imagine now how I complicated my life when I was younger.  Or why.


I listened to Glenn Close last night, when she won the Golden Globe award for "The Wife".....which is a very interesting, if depressing, story.   She talked about how women need to find their passion, find what is important to them, aside from their roles as nurturers.
I am not sure what I would be doing if I didn't have my weaving studio, it sustains me on a daily basis.   I am grateful to have found what matters to me on a daily basis, and what keeps me going.

I am getting used to my new Octado, after a few speed bumps, it is starting to impress me.  Since I have less looms these days, they have to be looms that I love.




I am also a doodler.
Sometimes. 
I find it very soothing.
Sometimes I don't even know really what it is I'm making, until suddenly it is obvious.



Today I learned something that I did not know........my daughter texted me....asked if I would save her the top to a parmesan cheese container.  And I did.
It fits perfectly on a small canning jar, and since she buys bulk parmesan in a bag, it works 
perfectly as a shaker.
Probably would work for a lot of other things, as well.

And a straw fits right down one of the holes, so you could drink a smoothie out of it.


Who knew?




We really only have today.   There's no tomorrow, and no yesterday, when you are seriously living in today.  I used to worry about next week, next month, about things that I couldn't control in any lifetime.  I had a sign, over my sewing machine, that said, "Stay in the Day".........that was when I was married to my alcoholic, unpredictable, unpleasant, now deceased ex. 
It was the only way I could function, to keep myself firmly anchored in each and every day.   When they say One Day at a Time, in AA and AlAnon, they aren't kidding.
But somehow, "Stay in the Day" resonated with me.
I had to work very hard to make that happen.........it was a struggle.

Now, so many years later, and lessons learned, staying in the day seems so obvious to me........and mostly so natural and easy.  When  I wake up in the morning, I have a tentative plan for my day, and not much beyond it.  It keeps me sane.

Stay in the day, it makes life so much better.





Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye 2018

OK, I have given up on the idea of putting my photos on my blog from my iPad, then finishing the post on my laptop.
No
No
JUST SAY NO.



So here I am on New Year's Eve.........not standing in Times Square without an umbrella, so I guess that makes me smarter than some.
I did, however, sit in the hot tub and listen to the rain.
I did not have the coffee with Bailey's, even though I bought a tiny bottle with one serving of it for that purpose.  
I am sitting here  eating home made popcorn, that I over salted........watching my recently hand dyed bamboo dry in front  of the stove.  Hubby has his head phones, so life is good.......it is quiet.
Naya is asleep at my feet.




Yesterday, my sweet granddaughter  saw the dollhouse for the first time.  It was a big hit.   She thinks my rendition is "perfect", and though I know I am not that talented at decorating dollhouses, if she says so, then that's good enough for me.



It presently resides in the spare bedroom upstairs, which we call the "blue room".   Positioned on the dressing table, she can sit in the chair and have easy access to it.   Eventually she will take it home.



Another big hit was the antique tractor that used to be my cousins.......bought for him on his 3rd birthday, and he is now 47.    I bought new pedals for it, and DH gave it a good scrubbing.



That did go home with them....to be ridden on it their ridiculously huge basement for now, then outside in good weather.


Lois and I are starting to build up the inventory here at CAAL.

She just made this, and I really, really love the colors.




I have been spending some considerable time in the front bedroom, winding warps to dye.   Tedious, but necessary.
I never thought I would get used to the warping mill, but I am now, and really like it.


Today walking Naya, we came across one of these trees with the thick bark.......Lois and I both want to know what kind of tree it is......so if you have any clue, please do tell.
They are BIG trees.


I know at the end of the year, you are supposed to be contemplative..........so here goes:

Yes, I still had headaches this year, daily, stupid headaches.  But hey, I'm still here.....so I guess I win.
Headaches be damned.   I continue to  refuse to give in.
Lois and I did a lot of humping around to shows this past year, and I commented more than once that maybe we were getting too old for it, but thinking about it, I've decided that ......hell, no.
We're not too old.
We may groan a little louder, but we are still doing our thing.  And doing it well, I might add.
We make a good team, and we weave some beautiful things that we can be proud of.    And what else would we be doing, if we weren't doing this?   Scary to think of.

Naya came into my life in 2018......and while I said I wasn't going to get a young dog.......she's only 3......and somehow it might have been exactly what I needed.  During Roy's last couple of years, he couldn't walk far, so I didn't either.   That may have not been in my best interest.  
I used to think about how I was going to squeeze a walk into my day.   Now.........my walk is my first priority.........I decide first thing when it will be, then I fit the rest of my day around it.   So, every day, we walk......45-60 minutes......unless it pours or is freezing rain, we walk.   And I've lost 30 lbs this year.....hard to believe. (  full disclosure:   I gained 3 lbs of it back over the holidays)

So I may have saved Naya, and she may have saved me.

Life is hard sometimes, and there are days that I struggle....as we all do.   But the bottom line is that I still love my life, and I am grateful.......always......for what I have.......for being on my feet, still thinking, weaving, walking, being with my family, and friends.

As for resolutions.....




Happy New Year everyone!!!





Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter perspective

I have to share this photo with you......my grand girl getting her hair cut.

The look needs no explanation..........it's perfect.



It's the look I imagine I have whenever the news comes on.



My friend in Georgia made this for me for Christmas.   She didn't have to spend a lot of money.
She only had to know me.
It's the best gift ever.



When I found the wool in the storeroom, and wound it into balls, I got motivated to clean in there..
then I found this quilt top I had sewn together....it just needed batting and a backing, and then it needed to be quilted.
So I spent one whole day doing that........it's king size, so it took me ALL day.

Then I sent it to someone I hope will be happy to have it.

Merry Christmas.




OK, let me tell you what NOT to do.............do not put your photos on your blog via your iPad, and then write your post on your laptop, then GO BACK to add another photo on your iPad.....because when you do...your entire post is gone.
GONE.

Rant over.

I have been (apparently) quite verbal about my dislike of FACESINCELLPHONES........not that I don't use mine....I do.   But I don't have it in my face, especially when I am in social situations.

But it happens all the time......of course.
You know it.

When I mention it to my children/grandchildren, I am told that I am exaggerating....it's not that bad.......that it's not any different than what kids have always done.
I disagree.....and it's not just kids.
It's grown ups.....it's OLD PEOPLE, too.

Makes me wonder, seriously wonder, what this world is headed for.





Rosie came to visit as well....the "collie mix" that the SPCA told my daughter she was adopting.



But she clearly resembles 99.9%, a picture of the New Hampshire State dog....the Chinook.


I think that when the SPCA goes south, and rescues a bus load of puppies, that they should just admit that they have NO CLUE about what breeds of dogs they will grow up to be.



Sometimes, I just sew all day.   I usually am making things from my scrap basket.

This cowl was from the last warp.




The birds got a Christmas treat, it looks yummy to me.........they apparently agree.



I bought myself a Christmas present.......yep, a water heater for my bird bath.

Bubba Lee is keeping her eye on it.


 I haven't seen one bird near it.  Not one.




This is my venture with wool rugs, woven from those balls of yarn I wound last week.
They are pretty...but they definitely need a padding underneath them.




I still have enough for one more warp........which is going on the Octado soon.




I wanted the pattern to pop more than it did...it kind of disappears.




You can see the pattern better in the next two photos..........




I have to admit, I will be glad when Christmas is over.  I am a true Bah Humbug.......I wish that weren't true, but it is.
Oh, not that I don't love the lights, and the time with family......I love buying gifts for the people I care about......but it's just too much hoopla.
People spending money that they clearly don't have, on things they clearly don't need.
People on the roads, in bad weather, sleeping in airports because travel is such a heartache during the holidays.   Stores shoulder to shoulder with people looking frantic, no one looking like they are really having a good time.
Too much hype, taking the true meaning of the season out of context.

I try to keep it simple in my own head, and I refuse to get sucked into the frenzy.   I used to,
But no more.

Why can't we be charitable, and giving, and good, and loving all year long????

Why can't we just keep it simple?  Why cant we just pu't our phones down, stop instagraming, snap chatting, face booking, spending money, why can't we just be still?

I don't wonder anymore, why home and studio seem to be the most soothing place in the world.

Nope, I don't wonder at all.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

December


Playing with some scraps of fabric that I wove, and in this case, felted by accident........I made some mittens.




An old friend stopped by and fell in love with them, and left with them and a hood/scarf combo as well.

She always makes me smile.




No snow in these parts, but it has been very cold.
The fields are finally frozen, so the "poop trucks" are sailing by daily, from the huge manure pits  a few miles down the road, to distribute their loveliness onto the bare meadows.

Naya and I walk the hedgerows, when we walk close to home, so it's ok.




The snowmobile trails have been cleaned out, so we walk those too.  I am hoping that with some snow, and the end of hunting season, we can walk in their paths.




This was a gloriously sunny, if cold, day.   There hasn't been a lot of sun since the first of
November.




If you look close, you can see the heron.   Naya and I were quiet, and he let us pass without flying away.




A trip to my daughter's, where my grandson has learned how to turn on the lights to the tree, and takes great pride in doing so.




I did some weaving on the Union Custom about three weeks ago........made some rugs.
For you weavers out there, you know what I mean when I say that the treadles are hooked at the back of the loom, thus requiring one to raise their hips to put their feet on the treadles each time.
Apparently, that is a motion that MY hips do not like.....because after two days of it, my hips were on fire.
An ortho visit revealed that I have TENDONITIS in BOTH hips.

Good God.  Really?????
Isn't a 7 year headache enough pain for one person?

I know, I know...it doesn't work that way.  Oh, that it could.

So I am staying away from any movement that aggravates my hips ......and hoping that some PT and anti-inflammatories might actually help.

The future of the Union Custom is hanging in the air.......but if I can't figure out how to weave on it without causing this again, it will be moving on.  That makes me so sad.......that old loom has been with me since my weaving life began.
If it goes, I will have to do a background check on the new owner.   Bwahhhhh.



Three nights this week, I spent winding balls of yarn......5-6 strands wound together to use on the shuttle to make rugs......this time on my AVL, with the elift.
Cleared out three totes of yarn that I've been hanging onto for no particular reason, made space in the pantry/halfbath/storage room,  and felt quite proud of myself for having the idea.

It doesn't take much to amuse me, maybe that's a good thing.






As always, Miss Naya is my shadow......I am not sure how I lived without her....some days, I can't imagine that I ever did.



Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts