Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pink elephants.

Jinx has found a perfect napping place in a sunny window.
Unfortunately, it is a favorite lounging spot for Miss Puss.
Miss Puss .....trying to look disinterested. (I can't believe she is up there.)
Miss Puss looking disgusted.
Jinx.........whaaaaaat???

The dynamics going on here are a free show every day. Miss Puss hated the kitten at first. She hissed and wanted NOTHING to do with her. Her jealousy was palpable.
Today, after the two of them rolled around on the floor together, playing, boxing, chasing each other, for a couple of hours, Miss Puss was observed giving Jinx a bath, like a mother would do.
Never discount how important it is to have "company".
This is the warp I put on one of the Union Custom looms.......for a custom order. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these colors. They MOVE me.
This is the material all cut up and ready to go.

I am thinking about pink elephants. They are difficult animals to deal with. Especially so for me, as I have never been known for my tact. In fact, most people will tell you that I am brutally
honest. I don't know that I would go that far, but I am pretty straight forward most of the time.
Some of it is genetic........I come by it naturally. And there is some of it that was encouraged, and perhaps nurtured over the years I worked in a prison.
My husband, and others, often suggest to me that I write a book about my experiences in "jail".
To be sure, I could write a book. A maximum security prison is a place like no other. I never expected to take my nursing career in that direction, it just happened. The job was there, it paid well, I needed it. After a few months, the shock lessened, and it became "normal". Isn't that scary...........
Then, of course, you get enough years in the system to get your retirement vested, and then you feel that you can't give it up. And children grow up, and then there's college. Somehow, it lasted for 20 years.
But as entertaining as my recollections of those years might be, it is something I would rather forget. I can't imagine writing about it, having to ponder it, dwell on it, remember all the details.
No thanks.
But still, there's that pink elephant.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Celebration

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Yesterday my family all gathered at my house, to celebrate Morgan's birthday. The pool was lovely, and though it rained in the early afternoon, the sun prevailed eventually.
I think grandson #1 is getting away from those pesky girls.
Grandson #2........hasn't he heard that warning about your face staying that way?
No, Eddie, no......don't shake on me!!!!!!!!!
My buddy, getting a little white in the face. He is a sweet soul.
And speaking of sweet souls!
Do you remember when you used to do these things?
I think if I did them today, I would dislocate something.

My pitbull, Eddie, is 12 years old. He is famous for his love of swimming. He has always jumped into the pool on his own, and always swam counterclockwise. We have tried several times to get him to swim in the opposite direction, but as soon as you take your hands off him, he makes a turn and goes back the way he wants to go. This past year, his sight has gotten so much worse. The other day when we took him out to go in the pool for the first swim of the year, he stood at the edge of the pool looking very frightened. I am sure that he could not see the water.
We coaxed him, but for awhile, he wouldn't budge. So I got in the pool myself. He circled. He went to his favorite spot on the edge. He circled some more.
Then he leaned forward, a little further and a little further, until he had to jump. It was not his usual boisterous leap, and he swam right to the stairs and got out. That was two days ago.





But yesterday, when the kids jumped in the pool, Eddie was ready.

It was a great day.......good food, lots of swimming and pool time. The kids had a blast all day long. Our family is not a big family, but we are very close. It is very important to me, and to all of us.
Times change, situations change,troubles come and go, but family is family.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day trip with Morgan




These are the mountains in Vermont, just over the New York line. My daughter and I headed out in spite of the rain. We never checked the weather, and our plans had been made.
Her birthday is this weekend, and when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said she wanted us to spend the day together.
Music to a Mom's ears.

So we did what we love to do. We went to Manchester, Vt. And we went to our favorite lunch spot, Candelero's. They have great food, and we especially like the freshly made tortilla chips, and their guacamole.
We had no idea what this plant was outside their front door, but we liked it.
I especially love the ambience of this place. It is very informal, and comfortable.
Unfortunately, the bathroom is upstairs.

There is this room, which is the quieter space, and then the big dining room, where the bar is.

We went to the Northshire Book Store, too, but it was raining sideways, so my camera stayed put. I could spend hours shopping for books here......but I was good, only bought a couple. But I did make a mental note of others I like, for next time.

Then we went to our NEXT favorite place, the Mettowee Mill Nursery. It was raining when we got there, but while we were perusing their fantastic little shop, it stopped. So we went outside and shopped for flowers.

She got the flowers she wanted for her birthday. I love this......I get to buy her a birthday present that she really wants, and NO WRAPPING.
We also fed the trout.
They have a pond with trout, and this is a very clever marketing tool, if you think about it.
When I head there with my husband, who has no love of flowers whatever, he says, "Is that the place with the fish?" I say, "Yeah". And he says, "Oh, OK."

This is a little video I took of the fish.......I have to preface this.....my daughter brought me the book, "The Face on Your Plate", since we both have been trying out a vegetarian diet for the last few months. I have been eating fish right along, which she has not........so listen for her comment towards the end.
Geesh. She really knows how to get me.
video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My days.


Typical day.
6am....by no design whatever, I am awake. I know that laying in bed will not lead to more sleep.
I get up and shower and dress.
I envy these people who can sleep all hours. Maybe too many years working as a nurse,having to BE at work at 7am, maybe THAT skewed my internal clock forever.
My husband says that he has never known anyone like this. My eyes open, my feet hit the floor. Period.
I make a pot of tea. We are English, my mother and I. We share a love of a hot cuppa tea. I start my day with at least TWO. Made in a pot, with a tea cozy, the "proper way", so Mum says.
Then usually, I am off to the studio. Sometimes I have errands to run, medical appointments to take my mother to. If I have to purchase something, the Hannaford is close by, and the Super K Mart is on my way. I am also a frequent customer at the Agway. I buy all kinds of plants and hardware stuff there.
Once again, my brain is a tad twisted. I love to shope in stores like this. Lowe's, Home Depot, Agway, True Value Hardware.
Not sure what that says about me, and way too old to really care.
At the studio, I am surrounded by cats as soon as I get walk in.....well, maybe not surrounded, but definitely greeted. I don't necessarily feed them right away, since they have food all the time, so I guess it is pretty safe to say that they come to see me for me, and not for tuna.
But there is that chore.....food, water, litter boxes......all have to be taken care of.
Check email, check phone messages.
And decide......what will I do today.
This is the amazing part. After years in the work force, working in a paper mill, then to nursing school, and 3o years of hospitals, and prisons, working for "the man" so to speak, I get to make the decision of what I want to do today.
Wow.'
Most times it is a no brainer, because I have orders to work on. But every now and again, they slow down, and get to wander creatively off the path that supposedly leads to fortune.
This week, I am playing on my 8 harness Baby Wolf. I have some cottolin (half cotton, half linen) dark blue, light blue and white. I am going to make some pinwheel dish towels. Should be interesting......I have wanted to make them for the longest time. I am excited.
On my Macomber, I am going to start some waffle weave towels in a mixture of cotton and hemp that I ordered from New World Textiles.
These are projects for me.....totally selfish. And even though I know that the orders will start up again when I finish this latest one I have......it is OK, because in between I fit in time to weave these frivolous things. Both these looms are upstairs, one in the hallway, and one in my favorite bedroom that looks out onto the labyrinth. So it is restful working up there.
So my day at the studio can vary from weaving on an order, weaving rugs for the shop and my website, cutting fabric, sewing fabric or blue jeans, putting a warp on a loom for a project (this is a time consuming process).
And sometimes I switch it up, and clean, maybe do some organizing.....though I am quick to admit that Tammy is WAY better at this than I am. Or I go outside and mow, or plant, or weed, or just generally work on the "not so secret garden". I am getting a sign that say that by the way.
And I am trying to think up some kind of "gathering" or "event", kind of in a party atmosphere, that I can have using the labyrinth space. Any suggestions??
Sometimes we scrounge lunch from the minimal shopping that I have done for the studio, occasionally we buy the best subs around at the Kingsbury General Store, which we can see out the window. And even less often, we take a spin 3 or so miles down the road, and eat Mexican, and get serenaded by a very nice, if loud, singing, guitar playing, non English speaking, cowboy hat wearing Senor.(senior, too) Although the last time we were in there, and he said in his broken English "can I play you a song?", I actually.....to my own horror.....said "not today, thanks".........an action that my friend Sheila applauded. We were busy talking seriously, trying to cram a conversation into her lunch break. Since she does not work for herself, she can't be free as the wind, like I can. If I had that in me.
Usually, when 4-4:30pm rolls around, I am appalled. I can't stand it. I can't believe the day has gone by this fast, and it is time to go home.
I push it to the limit, and then pack it in.
The evening is time to rest up, have dinner.....watch at least ONE Everybody Loves Raymond,
but my husband usually has the REMOTE pretty tied up, waiting with anticipation for the Red Sox game to come on MLB.
This time of year finds me in the pool, or reading a book in the gazebo.
I try not to complain about summer, or the heat........when I hear myself start to do that, I try to remember what January and February are like in the Adirondacks.
And hot suddenly sounds not so bad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Live and let live

This isn't exactly a garage sale find, but just as good. My husband has been checking Craig's list for some time now, looking for a riding lawn mower for me to use at the studio. This little baby runs smooth, it needed a new blade, which we put on it. For $200. What a buy!
My husband is the best when it comes to shopping for the best deal.


Had to share this one with you......Tammy and her baby kitty.......well, guess what? Her boyfriend, Shawn, is smitten with this little one, too. And apparently, little Jinx feels the same way.
Sorry, Sheila. I know you wanted grandchildren, but I think this is as good as it is going to get.
She is a cutie!



Yesterday, I had to address the suspicious smell in the barn. I have a room that is all fabric rolls, and huge boxes of sock seconds. A couple of days ago, I noticed that it smelled kind of funky in there. It never has before.
So I took the 5 storage containers that I bought to transport rugs to the Larac festival, and I emptied the boxes of looper chains, one hand full at a time, and put them into plastic containers.
We found the source of the smell.....one very dead mouse. Yuk.
We also found out that Tammy screams like a girl.

So then, of course, I was driven to repack every single box. And it was 88 degrees outside, and I was sweating buckets by the time I was done.


Ya' gotta love these wild colors, though..............colors this vibrant always cheer me up. And I must say I haven't been in the best of moods lately.
I am struggling still to live and let live.

And of course, they were all fine....there was just the one mouse. That's all it took.
But I guess it was worth doing, because now they are all in containers that won't absorb moisture, and mice can't get into them. Unless they chew plastic. They don't, do they?


Here is a warp I just put on.......it is all pastels, and I am going to make some more of the smaller bags.........for summer.
Playing is hard work........so Jinx says. She runs for hours and hours, and then she crashes.
I feel pretty much like crashing right now.
I got a lot done today. But tomorrow I am playing hooky. Going kayaking on the Sacandaga.
I am still trying to put some balance in my life. Stay tuned, I just might figure this out.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Life ain't no bed of roses

Today is just randomness. I have no excuse. My mind whirls some times....and this is what you get.
I went to the studio with the intent of spending some time in the garden. And I did. It was hot and muggy, and I was drenched in no time. I put down landscape fabric, and mulched. I moved a couple of plants to more appropriate places. You know how that goes. You plant something, and then you are rethinking it, until finally you holler uncle, and go move it.
Here is my "bed of roses", actually a crib. It was in the house when I bought it, and while it is totally unsafe for children.........though I wonder how many children managed to survive it........I couldn't bear to part with it. So it has a new life in the garden. There are four different kinds and colors of roses in it.
But my life is not all hunky dory. Still having unrest in my family, and it is very hard to deal with. While I don't want to get into the details, suffice it to say that I have to keep repeating my mantra, "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today".

I LOVE this fabric. I don't have a lot of it, but I enjoy every bit of it that I can find. The warp is off white, the red poppies in the material appear randomly, and that is the charm, I think.
Totally summer.

They can be rugs, but they are 21" wide, by about 44".....and they would make great runners for a country table.

I have wanted to show you this for awhile, and keep forgetting. It is in the kitchen, right outside the bathroom door. It is a marble, in the pitch pine floor. Pitch pine is hard, so it is a total mystery how that marble got there. But when we refinished the floors, I said "leave it there". It belongs there now.
If only this house could talk.
Now you saw the bags I just made yesterday. Simple, unadorned.
But then I got to thinking. Sometimes, my own downfall.
So I went to Joann Fabrics, got some magnetic snaps, and now I have small, purse size bags, with CLOSURES. Oh, my.
And I had to search through my button collection, to put a button over the snap on the outside.
They are pretty cool, though, if I do say so myself.
Which I do.
This morning my husband and I headed out to an early breakfast, but before we did, we stopped at a couple of garage sales.
This lamp is sweet.........with the impression of leaves in the shade. $1.00
I love it.
And I bought some books for my grandchildren to read when they come. I got a couple of Shel Silverstein, my favorite children's author.
And these two I Spy books.



I also got several books for myself. And a Pampered Chef food chopper.
I am presently having a glass of vino, waiting for my dear husband to yell, "DINNER!" Which he does so well.......the yelling and the dinner.
And when he yells, he expects attendance.....immediate attendance.
But it is the least I can do, after all, he is the cook!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Change of heart

Today was a productive day for me......I had ten purses woven, and they were stacked up giving me the evil eye......so I threw myself into it.......sewed them all together, straps and all. The ones on the bottom rung are ones I made a couple of weeks ago....the top two rungs are today.


Here they are up close.....very simple, but very sturdy. They hold a lot.
I guess it is very apparent that I LOVE color.....can't get enough of it.
Do you like them??

OK......I had it all planned....the kitten was going today. My oldest daughter was giving her a ride as far as her house, and the new owner was picking her up.
That was how it was supposed to go.
Then Tammy came in early this morning. You all know Tammy? She has been my apprentice since last November, and she has become quite the weaver, and indispensable as well.
She had emailed me last night, begging please, don't send "Jinx" away.....her name for the kitten.
Now let me preface this by saying that I have to chase the kitty around just to pick her up, and she is very sweet, but not inclined to stay with me long, nor does she throw herself all over me.
So turn up your volume, and watch this little video....it had gone on for 5 minutes before I got my flip camera out.

video


This kitten knows its MOMMA when she sees her.
And after I watched it, there is no way I could follow through with the aforementioned plan.
So Jinx is staying, her mom is weaving rugs to pay for her keep, and when she moves in October, to a pet friendly environment, she is taking her home.
So see, just when you think you have it all figured out.......imagine that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raining in NY

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You might remember that a stray cat had her kittens under the back porch of our house. I caught three of the kittens, and took them to my daughter's, and unfortunately the mother cat took off with the remaining two kittens. A few days later, I caught sight of them in the bushes behind my neighbor's house. My neighbor is living in Florida, and her house is empty. So I fed the cats for a few days, and then put the trap out there again. I caught the fourth kitten within 20 minutes. The momma cat was quite perturbed, and she spent the next day lying in front of the trap, keeping her last baby from going in. Then the next day, they were both gone.
So I took the kitten I caught to the vet, where she was wormed, treated for fleas, given her first distemper shot, and treated for ringworm, which isn't really a worm at all, but just a skin fungus.
Then I brought her to the studio, where I kept her separated from the two adult cats, for her own safety. Over the next couple of days, we tried her out around them, and found that while Kizzy was totally OK with her, Miss Puss was actually quite hateful. Today, I let them mingle, and within 10 minutes, the kitten and Miss Puss were playing, chasing each other,

and generally having fun. Not to say that Miss Puss didn't make it absolutely crystal clear that she was the boss....because she did. But she didn't hurt the little one.

I have been very tempted to keep her, she is wicked cute, and just full of life and joy. But I found a good home for her, with a single guy who has one young cat, and wants another. And I already feel guilty that I don't spend a lot of time with Kizzy and Miss Puss.
The other issue is that I have to feed Kizzy, and thus any other cat that I have, a special food for urinary tract health, it is a prescription food, and costs $49 a bag. So you can see why I don't want too many cats.

Last week I went to my favorite furniture store, Tops in Hudson Falls, NY. I was just looking, and found a computer desk that would fit perfectly in the spot I had for it. I had been previously using a cast off desk with drawers that didn't work, and a file cabinet for the printer. This works so much better. I had quite the mess going on, and couldn't find anything.


And it makes me feel so organized. I love it.
Then we had to find a place for my "check out", which is actually an old organ with the keys removed. I found it in the barn, and my cousin brought me a piece of slate for the top of it.
So we moved it out by the back door, which I didn't think I would like.
But I did. It worked out quite well.
And I guess the check out by the door is appropriate anyhow.
So today, it has rained and rained, and I continued the organizing that Tammy and I started yesterday.
And I finished one order, and started another.
Then I looked for the UPS truck, but couldn't find one, so I had to go to the UPS distribution center, which has the craziest hours ever......3:30pm to 6:30pm. When I have packages to send out, I usually take them with me, and look for the UPS man on the way home. I know all their stops on my route. Sometimes I think the UPS driver that I most often find suspects me of stalking.

I was actually joking with someone the other day that when I unexpectedly see a UPS truck, I get all excited. Like an addict.
Guess you had to be there.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Easy Peasy

Here are my two booths at the Larac festival. This is early morning, before the crowds arrived.
This show is a huge social event in downtown Glens Falls. Thousands of people come.
Unfortunately, they are not big shoppers. There are 170 new vendors, and 75 were new this year, an indication to me that 75 "old" vendors weren' t happy with their returns.
Of course, the ailing economy certainly has an impact on how much people want to spend at craft/art shows.
I took my Baby Wolf with me, and demonstrated. People were very interested, most of them were clueless. And it passed the time nicely.
Here are some of the bags I have; the large, beach size bags, and the smaller purse size bags.
The ground was wet from LOTS of rain this past week, including last night, so they put down straw to keep it from being a mud hole. I kept thinking I was at the circus.......damp straw gave off an odor reminiscent of that.
Here is a bag I made while I was there.....I wove up several of them in different colors.

All this stuff is heavy. The tents, the racks, the rugs, the bags, the placemats..........all very heavy. As my husband and I were packing it all up tonight, grunting and groaning, and working together to get it done, I realized that this is not really much fun.
And just like that, in an instant, I decided. No more shows. I am canceling the two I have scheduled. And I'm done.
Enough already.
I can't explain it, maybe I am just too tired right now. but it feels right.
No more nursing.
No more shows.
There, now wasn't that easy????
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts