Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Feeling like a kid


Amazing what a $10 garage sale bike can do.
I haven't been on a bike since I sold my mountain bike eleven years ago.
I was a little nervous about it, mostly because I now have a titanium knee that I have only had since 2007. It wasn't a good surgery, and the swelling didn't go down for a year and a half.
I wouldn't do it again. But that's another story.
I was a little unsteady at first, but after a ride down to the river and along the bike trail, I remembered that old saying about how you can't forget how to ride a bicycle.
Well, it's true.
I haven't had this much fun in ages. I felt like a kid, flying down the road, with the wind in my face.
My husband inferred that I would be sore all over this morning, but I wasn't. Except for the part of me that was intimately connected with the concrete bicycle seat.
Ouch.
So today, I went to Kmart, the Super Store, and bought myself a nice, new seat, which my mother called a "saddle".........bigger and softer, it cost 2 and 1/2 times what I paid for the bicycle.
But one must have priorities.
And that sort of comfort is up there on the list.
I took today off from weaving. I know that sounds unlikely, untrue, and unbelievable, but it's true. I went to the stdio and fed the cats, planted a snowball bush, and some lamb's ears, and came home.
I made Oma's rhubarb cake, and don't tell my husband, but since I didn't have any sour cream, I used my new favorite, Fage' Greek yogurt. They make wonderful, unique yogurt.
And the cake was awesome!
Kitty update: I have seen the momma cat twice, sneaking around the back yard, but though we have searched, her hiding place, and her two kittens, are safe so far from prying eyes. I feel badly about it, but I guess I should be grateful that I caught three of them.
My big news is that I have finally retired from nursing. Yup, tis true.
I was holding on to that one day a week, per diem, at the county jail.
I had planned on giving it up in March, but I guess I was resisting. I wanted to let it go, but somehow I was afraid to.
Then last week, in an instant, I was ready. Just like that.
So I resigned.
I graduated nursing school 30 years ago this month. That is so incredible to me. It seems like it was not so long ago.
I worked for 5 years in a hospital, then I went to a maximum security prison where I worked for 20 years. I have been told many times that I should write a book about that experience, but for the most part, I really am just happy to forget about it.
During 18 of those 20 years, I worked part time in the local emergency room.
Then for the last five years, I have worked per diem at Urgent Care, and the county jail.
In a way, I guess it is a shame to let all the experience I have go to waste, but that is just what it is going to do.
No looking back.
Now I am retired from the world of working for other people, and instead I am working for myself at Crazy as a Loom Weaving Studio, weaving what I want, when I want.
My only real challenge will be to structure myself to actually have some balance in my life, to give myself permission to really take days off.
Sounds easy.
My body agrees, it knows how old I am, and how tired I get........
But then I go flying down the road on my "bicula"..........

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Woodchucks 0, Hilary 1


Saturday, and the Open flag is fluttering in the breeze. The sun is shining, it is a beautiful day.
I don't know how old this apple tree is, but apparently the wind lately was just too much for it, because a big chunk of it broke off and is laying on the ground behind the tree.
I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed with this mess. Everything is out of the right side of the barn, most of it stacked up outside. The tools and lawn equipment are in the shed with the pellets. About 6" of dirt from the barn floor is piled on that tarp on the lawn.
And here is the plan.........metal fencing on the floor, and up the walls part way. then the dirt will get put back on top of the wire. Then some crushed stone on top of that..........and then the wood chucks will have to move out of my barn for good!!!!!!!
Here is a little path to the secret garden.
Today I worked on placemats for an order, all white. I wanted to go outside and do some gardening, but I resisted the temptation. I have 20 placemats to do, plus some runners.
I did walk the labyrinth, and strolled through the meadow walk that I have manged to keep mowed.

I haven't decided yet what to do about the labyrinth.......I don't like the brown grass around the rocks, where I sprayed Roundup, trying to kill the weeds that grew up. I want the labyrinth to be pretty maintenance free, especially as I can't see my self getting any younger here. So I am thinking of putting landscape fabric down, and some small stones to cover it. I am open to ideas, and would love to hear any suggestions.
Then after dinner, I took my new "bicula", my granddaughter Ava's name for a bicycle, for a ride. My friend, Alice, and I took a long ride down by the river, and it was a blast. I have finally gotten over my fear of falling and screwing up my titanium knee. The only thing the bike needs is a new seat, a "comfortable" seat. OUCH OUCH OUCH.
And now, good friends and all, I am off to the hot tub, and to bed. It's been a good day, but a long one.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Studio tour

Welcome. For all of you that can't come to Kingsbury, and take a tour, here is a photo tour that is the next best thing.

Here is the back porch. I can't show you the other end of it, it's such a mess. There are bales of upsholstery selvedge, bags of loopers, jeans, etc. When I clean out here, I will take another photo!
This used to be the dining room, but now it is home to the seven foot Toika countermarche loom, and the Union Custom rug loom.


Kizzy and Miss Puss like to sit on the loom or on the bench, and watch the bird feeder outside this window.



Looking back towards the porch, this room used to have three looms in it, but I finally moved one out. It was just too crowded, and didn't feel right.
I love the old fashioned sized window panes in the back door.
This room was a paler shade of yellow, and since it is on the west side of the house, and doesn't get much sun, I painted it a buttery shade of yellow to keep it light.
The Union Custom is warped for rugs, and I am currently weaving Adirondack Lodge rugs on it.

The door on the left goes to the center hall, the other closed door is a closet under the stairs, and the open door goes to the older part of the house.
There used to be a huge grate under this rug, and the coal furnace underneath is still there. It is pretty huge, and probably won't ever get moved.


This is the door to the basement....one of these days I will go down and take pictures down there.....it is a huge space, and I can't imagine the history that it has seen.
But that's for another day.
Looking into the old pantry. When I painted it, I swore I could hear the sound of paint getting sucked up by the wood and old plaster.
This looks like a lot of fabric, but it is only a fraction of what I have stock piled.
My stash of jeans, which I need to replenish.

This is where I sew tote bags together, and blue jeans strips, and the fabric for Mimi's vintage rg rugs.
The Kalamazoo stove in the corner came with the house.......we moved it out to finish the floors, and moved it right back where it was.
This door goes back out to the enclosed porch, when I don't have fabric stacked in front of it.

This room was the old kitchen, it is a lovely place to weave in the sunshine. This is the Reed Ideal, warped for Solmate Sock rugs.
The door behind the loom goes to a storage space, that is over the outside entrance to the cellar.


And this is the old living room. The front door is noticeably shorter. I guess people were shorter when this part was built in 1790. The two smaller looms, a Schacht Baby Wolf, and a Leclerc studio loom, are usually what I use to teach basic weaving.




Here is the Union 36, right now it is warped for placemats.
The fireplace was totally inefficient, and I had a gas insert put in. I don't use it often, but it is nice to have.
The windows in this part are original. They are pretty much painted and caulked shut. I suppose that sensibility says they should be replaced, but sentiment says no.


This is the "front room" as I call it, looking back into the dining room.Pantry to the right, old kitchen in the background.

This is looking from the front room, into the hall way.

I took this photo this way, to show you what the window over the door looks like.
The staircase, with a woven stair runner.


Looking down the hall back into the dining room.

This is looking into the living room from the hall. The walls were papered a dreary gray. Now they are painted florentine clay.
To the left of the computer is an old organ we found in the barn. I put a piece of slate on it, and I use it for a check out counter.
The pellet stove was a new addition last year.

Another Union Custom loom.


And the loom by the window is a Union Special.

Looking from the living room into the kitchen.
This is my old Tappan range. It is a gem of a stove, and I wouldn't trade it for any new stove on the market.

The kitchen counter sometimes gets pretty cluttered....... the prints over the stove were gifts from my daughters.
Off the kitchen is a little bathroom, with what I call an "elf sink".



Let's go upstairs.

The upstairs hall.


The front bedroom. This is the room that is supposedly the "president's room". My husband says sarcastically....."the president of what".

I don't have a loom in every room.......but almost.

We repapered the walls to match the original paper as closely as we could.
The blue room. DH said that we HAD to have a blue room. And since he painted all the doors, all the walls, all the ceilings, all the woodwork, I thought he should have a blue room if that's what he wanted.


As you can see, this is a post and beam house. There are visible beams on all corners, and in the center of this room. That means that it is not a 2x4 construction, but rather, board on board. So there is no space to put insulation, unfortunately.
This is the bathroom, and the little door goes into the loft over the old part of the house, and to the second set of stairs.

This is the red room. Note that the floors upstairs are wide pine, unlike the pitch pine floors downstairs.


Miss Puss. Pear tree outside the window.

I have had this old metal bed for longer than I care to think about.


I bought the green dresser at a garage sale in Vermont, also years ago.

This is my favorite bedroom.




Two blue jean rugs waiting to be sewn together. You can see the final product on my web site.....at the top of the custom rug page.

The only thing I missed was the loft over the older part of the house. Maybe next time......Hope you enjoyed my house.

Thanks for stopping by.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts