Crazy as a Loom

Monday, May 30, 2016

Morning thoughts.

I've had two students in two weeks, making my brain work.  It's a change from mindless weaving in a quiet studio.  I like it though, it requires me to pay attention, and the reward of having a new weaver born is so worth it.
My favorite part is when they throw that shuttle for the first time, on a warp that they have wound, sleyed, threaded, and beamed on.  Priceless.
And I get to meet new people, most of whom love being here.  That's a plus.

The garden is planted, and I have taken to getting out there at 6 ish every morning, spending just a half hour weeding and checking things out.  It always gets ahead of me, every year, and I have vowed that this year, it will not.

The idea of letting the lawn grow wild never panned out.  DH bought a second hand riding mower, and has taken over mowing the biggest parts of the lawn.



When I am up at the crack of dawn, I mow about 20 minutes.  That seems to be working.  The idea of not mowing a marathon appeals to my "neck" and gets the job done, a bit every day.   It seems like that approach applies to a lot of things, as I get older.   I take jobs that I would have done in one fell swoop, and break them up into doable pieces.  It means........to me.......that I won't pay the price with a slamming headache from putting my neck through hell.
Oh, how smart I've become in my elder years.

I am weaving on a towel warp, one that I do not like as well as the one before it.  That's always a challenge, to get through it, when it is not moving me.



They look much better on the loom, after the towels were washed, they were not as exciting to me.

Luckily, changing the dobby is not that hard.





For whatever reason, this moves me.



I guess that flower basket wore her out, cause she obviously needs a break.

Love that girl.




Sunday, May 22, 2016

From dawn to dusk



I am up at the crack of dawn.  No kidding.
Part of it is just me, and all those years of working as a nurse and having to be at the prison 25 miles away, at 6:45 a. m.
And part of it is Jinksie.  She has taken to sleeping with me most of the night, leaving at some point, and coming back to my bedroom door to cry and cry at 5:30 ish.
Once I'm awake, I'm up.


 But oh, how I love early morning.


Miss Puss is on a 12 hour feeding and insulin schedule, so she is on me like glue as soon as I come downstairs.  She gets mean if I am not as quick about it as she would like, hissing and batting at my ankles.  Not a pleasant way to get up.

Once she has eaten, and gotten her shot, she takes a morning nap on the couch, at my feet, and you would think she was the sweetest thing ever.

In the studio:

My Circles baby wrap with silk weft is finished and off to NYC to its happy owner.



I enclosed a note, saying that I hope she loved the wrap as much as I loved weaving it, and I meant that.
It was joyful to me.


The two sides are so different.   I wonder when I will tire of this Circle pattern that I have come up with.
I have been asked where I found the draft.  The answer is that I didn't.  I just played around at the loom with the treading sequence until I liked it.
Half assed, my father would say.



I am still into yellow, it seems.   L and I just put this warp on the AVL for towels, and she threaded it through the heddles.
Weaving starts tomorrow.
Have to get ready for the Beekman Street fair, in Saratoga Springs, NY, on June 12th.




I just had my hip injected, again, so it is feeling better.   Not sure how much good it will do, but hoping for the best.
It doesn't help that there is so much work to do outside.  Trying to get the garden tilled and planted, and get things cleaned up out there.

I find that I am quite happy to stay home day after day.  There is just so much to do here, I don't have the need lately to wander off.

I was weaving the other day, and realized that the last time I felt such peace in the place where I live, was when I lived in my little farm house up north, 12 years ago.

It's a good thing to feel comfort in your home.   There's actually nothing that quite compares to it.
When I see refugees who have lost everything, and have no place to call home, it breaks my heart, and I am beyond grateful for my own place in this world, however humble.



I always think that I want to travel, but then I get on the road, and wish I were home.


I love it here, what can I say?








Monday, May 9, 2016

Change

It's been a while, and my only excuse is that I have been busy.
How did I ever work 40-50 hours a week as a nurse??

My 6 month dental deal is finally over, got my NEW BRIDGE at last.

And no, I have no idea why I was taking a selfie AND talking on the house phone at the same time.
Insane.


Roy does not have that problem.  He is the KING of comfy.


The nights have been cool, so the pellet stove is still in use.

During the day, Roy watches me  while I weave.


This baby wrap is on its way to London.


You probably know by now that I love to bake.


For 26 years I have been cooking on this old Tappan range.  I bought it for $75 from the estate of my 6th grade teacher.
It was an awesome stove, and I loved it dearly for all those years.
I thought I would always have it.

But lately, I have had to rethink it.   It always smelled of gas.  You can't buy the parts for it anymore.  The oven wouldn't stay lit.  Often, I had to get down on the floor and relight the oven.  The oven is small, and you can't fit a regular size cookie sheet in it.
I have always worked around that. 
But the other day, it wouldn't keep the oven temperature up.  It took three times as long, and a higher temp, to cook a tray of cookies.
I thought long and hard, and decided it was time.



So as pretty as she was, she is gone.
In her place, NOT SO PRETTY, but oh so much more efficient.
Convection oven.
Self cleaning.
Gas cooktop, with huge extra burner in the center.
LIGHT in the oven.
NO gas smell.  NO worry.


Don't hate me.  I already feel guilty enough.

The other night, we decided to take Roy in my husband's truck to pick up something.
He sat in the back, and he whined and whined.   
Finally, this stupid human GOT IT.
I got in the back, he sat in HIS SEAT in the front, like he always does when DH takes him for a ride or they go for a dump run.
No more whining, content, actually fell asleep on the way home.

But the look. O.M.G.

"Sorry, Mom".


Friday, April 29, 2016

Trivia

This morning while weaving, I realized that my shuttle was going in the wrong direction on one particular shot, and I muttered, "Wrong way, Corrigan."

That immediately brought my father to mind, because he said that a lot when I was growing up, and apparently imprinted it in my brain, along with a whole host of other stuff.
So I pondered about it, and realized that I didn't know where that phrase came from.
So I googled.

It seems that a fellow named Douglas Corrigan was denied his application to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland, because his plane was deemed unsafe.
So a couple of years later, in 1938,  he flew from California to Brooklyn,  and when he was supposed to return to California, he flew the "wrong way" and ended up in Ireland, after all.  The story is quite interesting, and you can read it HERE
And that's where the saying "wrong way Corrigan" comes from.
FYI


The other day I took Lois to lunch, I think it was my turn.   We were the first patrons of the season at the Up River Cafe.




Smile Lois.   It's delicious!!!

A great view, and awesome food.
Win, win.


The "Circles" baby wrap is finished and gone.





Today I did some weaving, then I did something I have wanted to do for a while.

I made homemade pasta.


I must say I did ok for my first attempt.
And it was delicious.


Then I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter.   She is very musically inclined.


Later today, she had her long hair cut, and donated 9" of it to cancer patients.

I love that girl.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hello

It's been an interesting week or so.

I have been working at getting rid of the rest of the big fabric rolls in the barn.   A friend/previous weaving student was out in the barn with me, going through them, and filling her car full.
I had a big warping board in the corner, and asked her if she wanted it.
She did.
I reached for it,  it seemed stuck, so I gave it a yank.  Unfortunately, the edge of it was behind a chair that was hanging from the wall.  The chair came down hard, and hit me in the left cheekbone, knocking me back.  I staggered, but did not fall, and in that moment I was sure my orbit was fractured.
My face was cut and bleeding, I managed to get out of the barn and into the house

I was in quite a bit of pain, and eventually DH took me to Urgent Care, where I got my face sutured up, got a tetanus shot, and had my face x-rayed.  The X-rays were negative.

Needless to say, I woke up the next morning with a swollen face, and a huge shiner.  The next couple of days were a blur.  I honestly felt terrible, and couldn't get out of my own way.



A few days later, I came to, and have been improving ever since.

Of course, the whole event scared me, we all know what happened the LAST time I hit my head.



Anyway, Circles baby wrap in reds and browns is done.
 I am very pleased with it.


I am concentrating on keeping my focus, and my focus is weaving.

I am not interested in drama, or competition, or anything that I find wasteful and frivolous.   There is so much of that going around.  I simply can't be bothered.

Life is too short, I treasure every good moment I have.  I'm not giving it up for nonsense, or for a falling chair.
Nope, neither one.






Monday, April 18, 2016

Greener Grass


My favorite day is one with Dale.  


She loves the chickens, and she loves to gather the eggs.   She does try to be gentle with them, but she is only 2 and 1/2, so they didn't all make it in the house.



She would have sat with one on her lap all morning, but the chicken had other ideas and flew down.


 She definitely could be Mimi's little helper with the "girls".



DH is officially having a late life crisis.
Ha!!!
Not really, but he is enjoying being retired, and finally took to heart the advice I have been giving him for years.
Life is short.



His Mustang GT finally arrived from sunny Florida.  He's been waiting for weeks.

He's a happy teenager  man.   I guess that's how I feel about getting a new loom.



I am busy weaving a semi custom baby wrap, on the Circles warp, in reds and browns.




The news about Miss Puss is that she is NOT hyperthyroid, she is diabetic.

She is on insulin twice a day, which did not make me happy.  Even though I have given thousands of injections in my 30 year nursing career, I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of giving them to her.  But I want her to be ok, so I sucked it up, and I think we have it down now.

She is still horrible and mean to Roy and Sydney and Jinksie, but she is glued to me every chance he gets.

And she is uncharacteristically sweet and lovable.


 Sydney is not impressed.




 I needed a little sweetness myself, so I made this Strawberry Yogurt Bundt cake, and oh my, it is wonderful.
DH threatened to eat the whole thing. (  recipe here  )


 Today I took a walk with Roy.........out in the field beside our house.    I love the open meadow, and that got me to thinking about the lawn issue that has been bugging me.


 For the last few years, I have paid to get my very large lawn mowed.  The nitty gritty is that my husband can't do it, and with my neck fusion, mowing the lawn is instant neck pain for me.

For two years, my neighbor has kept it looking amazing, mowing and trimming once a week.   But let me tell you, it is expensive.  Not that he doesn't deserve every penny he charges, because he does.
But it hurts to spend the money, week after week.
Now I know what that phrase really means......."fixed income".

So I've been doing a little google work, and exploring the idea of letting the lawn go WILD.
I know, it sounds criminal, decadent, far out.

But think about it.....we spend hours and hours or a lot of money to keep our lawns manicured and the grass less than 2" long.
WHY?
My side yard is a dog yard.  I know Roy would not care one bit if we let it grow.

The front yard is on the road, so we don't go out there and sit either.

If I sit outside anywhere, it will probably be in the chicken yard, where I have conversations with the "girls",  and they keep their grass DOWN by themselves.

So why? honestly, why?  we pollute the air, create a very sterile environment, and prevent the natural progression of things.......grass growing.

So I broached it to DH, who honestly received it better than I thought he would.  It took him a few minutes to realize that I was serious, then another couple of minutes to process "letting the lawn go wild", but then, I saw the light go on.

Why are earth are we throwing money away that could be used to take us to Maine on vacation?
Really.

So it's on.........Crazy as a Loom, with its new wild look.   The more I think about it, the more I LOVE it.

Thanks Alice, for the encouragement. :)





Monday, April 11, 2016

It's morning.

I frequently complain that the cats wake me up every morning, specifically Jinksie, who comes to my bedroom door precisely at 6am, and cries.



But the truth of it is, I love being up at 6am.  Once the cats are fed, and my coffee is made, I sit in the  living room in the semi dark, the pellet stove keeping the room toasty warm.

Sometimes I just sit and ponder what I am going to do today.   I read my emails, and do a puzzle or two.   It's so quiet, and peaceful.  It's my favorite time of day really.

Speaking of cats, Miss Puss has lately been acting out of character.  She cries for food all day long, she follows me, and swats at me if I don't get it quickly enough.   She is very vocal,  and she has lost weight.  So I took her to the vet, who thinks she is hyperthyroid.  We should know today.  Then she will have to be medicated twice a day for the rest of her life.  My choice of administration is pills or  cream inside her ear.  Either way, I am going to get hurt.



Lois recently wove a custom runner.  I picked out the fabric, but she did the tough job of putting it all together so that it worked.
And it definitely does.
This may be her best weaving to date.  
I am kind of sorry I can't keep it.





My friend, and former student, Sue, knows of my love of CATS, so she made me this as a house warming gift.......She does amazing work piecing quilts, but now that she is an accomplished weaver, I wonder how much of it she does.  I think she has the weaving affliction pretty heavy. :)







I am weaving a baby wrap for my friend Rini, in Maine, with her reeled mulberry silk, on my cotton warp.


It is beautiful, but silk is definitely harder to weave with than cotton, just because it is so slippery, and wants to tangle.


 When it's done, I will post her wearing it.


Apparently, Dale, wants to get in on the baby wrap craze herself, using one of Mimi's hand woven dish towels.



Clever girl!



Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts