Crazy as a Loom

Monday, June 18, 2018

Thinking at 6am.

On one of my walks, I found this feather.  Looks like a blue jay.

Birds just amaze me, so I treasure this.



Lois and I did the Beekman Street Fair last Sunday.  The weather was stellar.  The crowd was never ending.  The sales were shocking.

It was a good show.


We sold so many möbius shawls, now we have to get weaving to restock.  More shows coming.


My youngest daughter came with her two little ones.   A vendor down the street from me was selling handmade baby (doll) carriers, so as soon as my granddaughter got there, we went and got one for her and for "baby".
 She had also been to the craft tent, where she felt right at home.


This lady rocked this möbi.   I was sure she was going to buy it, but it wasn't in her budget.




Finally home, and unpacked, it was time for a rest.  Shows can be exhausting.  

Coming home to this old house is always a comfort.   I still pinch myself some days.  When I was younger, I always dreamed of owning an old house like this, full of character and history.
I am still stunned that it's mine for this space of time on earth.

Occasionally, my three girls badger me about moving closer to them.  They are only an hour away, but they think it would be nice to have me within a few miles.

It will never happen, I'm afraid.  I know the deal.
They are busy now, they would be just as busy if I lived down the road.  

And I could never leave this house that I love, where I feel at home, where friends stop in unannounced,  to live in a place that I don't love, and don't know.  A place, where I know I would probably not see them any more than I do now.


I see the little ones the most, because that daughter doesn't work outside the home....she has her hands full already.
 My older grandchildren are busy: school, jobs, sports, friends.   I miss the days when Mimi was at the center of their lives.  But I accept that life happens, times change.  There is no point wishing it were otherwise.
So I take every opportunity to soak up being Mimi to these two.

Look at those faces.  Makes my heart ache, I love them so much.


I am grateful, beyond explanation, for the chance to get to know them, and for them to know me.   I don't know how much they will remember when they grow up.   I just hope that they remember that they had a Mimi, and her love for them was boundless.

My kids don't like to talk about it, but me..........well, I have no illusions.
I am pretty sure I will not live to be as old as my parents.    I am painfully (pun intended) aware of what was done to the back of my head.   My experience as a nurse, and my time in the OR, makes it quite clear to me that hands and instruments and mayhem resided inside the back of my head, not for one surgery, no, but for three.

A couple of weeks ago, I was weaving, yes, for too long.   I had a searing pain in the back of my neck.   Now my neck, being fused, is always somewhat painful.  But this was different.   It got my attention.  The onset of a fierce headache behind my eyes told me to stop what I was doing.  So I did.

I immediately became cold, all over cold.  I was so cold, that I was shivering, on a perfectly nice day.

Then my fingers, all but my thumbs, became numb at the finger tips.

All this lasted for about 20 minutes.  Since then, my headaches have rumbled around my head with abandon.  At times, it is a throbbing pain, at others it feels like something is impaling my eye.

Damage was done inside my head.  I know it, personally.   I'm not crying about it.  Just stating a fact. We are all going to die, even while we try not to think about it.   Denial doesn't work.   Everyone has their time on this earth, and it has an end date.  But most of us feel, without reason, that we have forever.
Then there are some of us, who intimately know better, at some gut level, the truth has become quite real to us.
We don't have unlimited time, like we used to think.

So everything becomes more precious.  Every observation, every connection, every feeling.


I know my girls and my grands will be fine without me someday,   they are strong and independent.


This girl?  Not so much.  
I am a little stressed that if I am correct about my assumption that my life span is not going to be long, what will happen to her?

She is so sweet, and dependent, and needy.   My knowledge that you can't have any control when you're gone, battles with my deep desire to know that she will be ok, and loved.


Aren't we the maudlin one this morning????

Don't we all get that way occasionally?  or is it a taboo subject???


On a brighter note, I read about the "remoska"..........which I can't buy because it won't work on US voltage.  They seem to be popular in England.

So I found this one, by Emeril....much bigger than the traditional Czechoslovakian remoska, but otherwise the same.
The heating element is in the lid....it cooks like an oven at 375 degrees, and I love it.


 Makes amazing roast potatoes, rhubarb crisp......corn on the cob wrapped in foil.......baked potatoes..
uses way less energy than your oven........bottom can go on the stove top to brown things first, or just use it in the stand that it's in.
The bottom washes like a breeze.  And it doesn't heat up your kitchen.

I bought it on Amazon for $29.99........you have to look around for that price........

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ED7KMJK/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1




I've been dyeing again........   first DIE is the subject matter......but stay with me........now it's DYE.






 I have it down to a science, and it always feels amazing and uplifting, creating all the combinations of color that are possible.

The loom dog watches our every move as we warp the loom with some of my hand dyed cotton.


  Two warps in one day....???   Yep, we were on a roll........

A natural warp is a lovely background for some of the colors I am coming up with.  I want to try them all.


A little navy abaca to start.........which is a fiber made from banana trees.......

And measuring picks so I can compute how much weft to dye for my next project.



Yes, I know that it is not likely that I will live a long life.

But it's the life I'm living today that matters.  This day.  The one I have.  That belongs to me.

This day, is going to be a good one.

And then, I'll take just one day at a time.

Because in the end, isn't that really all we can do?????


Saturday, June 9, 2018

oh, well.


Sometimes, in the weaving world, things go wrong.

Really wrong.









I dyed this amazing bamboo warp, and put it on the sectional beam, one section at a time.
We were careful, but it didn't matter.

Weaving it was a feast for the eyes.....the colors........incredible.

But then.......

Individual threads, groups of two, or three threads, started to sag, get loose.

This is called "making it work".

Weighting each thread that comes up looking like it isn't under the right tension.

THIS, my friends, is a weaver's nightmare.




So much so that I had to watch the fell line for 200" of weaving.  

Big mistake.   Horrible neck pain.  Wicked headache..........

And when it took it off the loom, one side was PERFECTION......the other side....floats and floats, and even more floats.

Ugh.
Very depressing.

So I serged the ends, washed it, dried it, pressed it.
One side was drop dead gorgeous.




Then I mended and trimmed, and mended some more.....and managed to get these two möbius shawls out of it.




But I still have 12+ yards on the loom.......and I don't know what to do now.   I don't want to waste it........but how to make it better, or get it off and use it for weft....I just don't know.  It boggles my mind.


And I can't think about it right now.
We have a show tomorrow.....and that's my priority.

We decided to use my husband's truck for shows this summer.
I am in the process of trying to get him to take the back seat right out of the truck.
He's not convinced.



I was considering buying a new vehicle.  But have you looked at the prices of new vehicles lately.
Dear God.
I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around it.



I'm a simple girl, I'm afraid.
A new tea cup makes me happy.   $4.99 at Tuesday Morning.


A fresh batch of popcorn out of my Whirly Pop.

Yeah, that does it for me.



Saving my change in a jar I won in the Chinese Auction we have at Christmas every year.


Love it.


Walking my dog under this incredible sky, every day.

Simple can be beautiful.   



And today, a victory.    
I resisted the need to weed whack ....and honestly, I wanted to do it so bad it hurt.


But I know my neck needs me to be sensible right now.

So I am being sensible.

Grow weeds, just grow.









Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Spring busy.

Sometimes I glance back, and can't believe I haven't blogged more.  You think I would have so much time.  I mean, I am retired from the working world, at least the one outside my studio.

But alas, it seems I am busy all the time.  And I forget to blog.  Or sometimes I just feel like I don't have anything to say.

I could get into politics, but ........ah......no.   Let's not go there.   I would just upset myself, and probably some of you.  For what??

The state of the world, and more specifically, our country, makes me feel cold, and empty.
So none of that, any more than the occasional blip that flies off my fingers in a state of crazy.

So I have nothing more than the goings on here, and in my head.  

That's my house in the distance........the field has been cut, and on short walk days, I take Naya there, and in the fields across the road.

She loves to sniff at every bush in the hedge row, and she loves to pounce on anything that she thinks might be a critter.



I love our little hamlet of Kingsbury.   It seems now that I have lived no where else.


Naya loves her yard, it is very large, with a 5 foot fence.    The snow ball bush my mother bought for me, blooms faithfully every year......and doesn't last as long as one would like.   But every time it does, I think of the day we got it, on a day trip together to my favorite nursery.


All around my house there are wild phlox.  

Between these and the blossoms on the locust trees, the fruit trees, and all the other things blooming, the sweet fragrance outside is amazing.


Two or three days a week, we do a longer walk.....about 3 miles, on the bike trail by the canal.   But I have to mix up short walks and longer ones, or my titanium knee starts to swell, and starts to talk to me.   It does not say nice things, either.




I've been at it again.  Dyeing warps.   I think I have this down to a science.....but it's much easier to do outside.

And most of the mess stays outside.


What took the longest was winding each of the 18 sections on the warping mill.
They are all chained.  

When they are all dyed, I leave the big jelly roll of them out in the sun all day.


Finally they are rinsed and drying in the sun.



Then putting them on the loom is another huge job.  It took us  (Lois and I) hours to get this on and ready.   Tedious, can we just call it that???  She winds, I untangle.  And swear.



My weaving/blogging friend Susan Harvey sent this photo of a Hawaiian Dahlia, and it is a perfect match for my warp.  If you didn't know better, you would think I had planned all this luscious color.
But I didn't.

I wish I was that good at dyeing.



But after all the work, to get this wound, dyed, and on the loom, the results are amazing.

This is yardage, already spoken for.
And I am very pleased with it.

There is a lot of satisfaction in a job well done.



The warp is bamboo, the weft is ring spun cotton.



Sometimes I am bad and I have an English muffin with PB.       It's actually not that bad, and the weight is still coming off, and that's what matters to me.

My diet has changed, my eating habits have changed.   My attitude about it has changed. My exercise routine has changed.
 And finally, after much resistance, my body is changing.

Who knew, under that fat body, was my "old" body.    My thinner, still old, body.   Somehow, I find it all very amusing, but also satisfying.
It is not drastic, it is not sudden, but rather a slow, steady,  consistent move in another direction.

I like it.



In the evenings, I have been knitting again.    After almost a year long break from knitting, my daughter asked me to make her this..........and it felt like I had never stopped.  It amazes me, how your fingers just know, still, how to do it, and how natural it feels.




Lois has finished 11 napkins in giza cotton.  Finnish twill.   They are smashing.




My bird feeder is extremely busy.   I think a lot of the birds eating there are young.
I should take it down, but I can't bear to have them stop coming.




And that is that.   My life goes on.   I can't really say that it is super exciting, but in a comforting way, it is good.
Headaches doable, goals not as big perhaps, but still attainable.

Satisfaction still appears, in small ways, but that's ok.

Grateful for the sun that comes up, every morning, while I drink my coffee, with Naya at my feet,
giving me yet another day.

Reminding me of a book I read as a teenager.

The Day Must Dawn.

No matter what.


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts