Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Live and learn

This has been a busy week. First of all, I had a last minute weaving weekend, except that we did it midweek.
And as I posted previously, the first night I had bales of selvedges arriving at midnight.
Then the tour of 26 people.
But it all worked out.
My husband said to me.......I can't believe you are so calm.
Why not?
Not much to be gained worrying about it.
I usually just try to take it one step at a time. I guess after 20 years working at a maximum security prison makes a lot of other stuff just fall into place.
How important is it, I ask myself.
Sometimes the answer is obvious, and sometimes not.





This is Marie.....she has already wound a warp, and put it on the loom, not this loom, but a smaller one.
And now she is weaving a rag rug.
I am always amazed at what really nice and interesting people come to weave at Crazy as a Loom.
We had a great time, other than the unbearable heat. We did have to take a break to swim in my pool, and soak in the hot tub, and swim in the pool....you get the picture.

And she did great. Look at her rug, isn't it beautiful? I think she surprised herself.
She is definitely on her way to a life of weaving. I can tell.



On the way home today, I was thinking about bamboo and wood chucks. Now those two subjects may seem worlds apart. But they really have a lot in common.
When I bought the house that is now my studio, it came with both.
There was months of cutting bamboo. And it kept reappearing.
I researched endlessly, trying to find a way to get rid of it for good. The lady that owns the adjoining property on one side has bamboo. She likes it. So no matter how hard I tried to eradicate it, it was always there lurking on the property line.
I heard somewhere, that you can't kill the bamboo. You can only find the person that planted it, and kill them.
Hmm.
Then there are the woodchucks. Holes in the yard. A giant hole in the barn. Holes under the porches. We tried all kinds of things, but they just laughed. I swear it is true.
I finally just recently had 6 " of dirt taken out of the barn, had wire put down, put the dirt back down on top of it, and then had gravel put on top of that. So I have successfully kept them out of the barn.
But they are still there. They run out from under the porch, and they look back over their fat little shoulders, and I swear, they are grinning.
So today, while weaving, I caught the glimpse of bamboo creeping up the side of the window.
And I wondered.
Maybe, I need to accept the things I cannot change.
Just maybe, woodchucks and bamboo are a lesson in the making.
Who knew?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

exhausted


Oh, for crying out loud, is it raining again????


Looks like rain, and a lot of it.
Oh, well, I was just hanging around anyway. I guess it doesn't matter all that much.


And rain means the roof is leaking again, yup....that new roof I put on not long ago.....leaking.
I am not a happy camper.
I did get a big......BIG.........shipment of upholstery selvedges, so I will be selling some to other weavers to make rugs with. They are $1.50 per pound, plus shipping. If you want a choice of colors, and I have to dig them out, they are $1.75 per pound.
You can call me, or email me, (info on my web site) If you know a weaver, tell her/him........I don't think I will live long enough to weave off 5200 lbs, which would make my husband's prophecy true. So I have to sell some.


There are tons of colors, it is very clean, and I know it will make beautiful rugs.
I intend on making a lot of them.
I was outside til way after midnight last night, because that is when these bales arrived.
Ugh.
I was so tired.
The bales are much bigger in reality than I imagined.
Yikes.
It has so far been a pretty busy week. I am hosting a "mid week" weaving weekend. I had 26 people here today all at once, for a tour.


Once again, I apologize for my amateurish photo skills....
but I just thought this one was cool.


And now folks, I will say goodnight, cause I have nothing more to say.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just another day in Paradise.

Just when I thought I was going to have a quiet, mind numbing (I wanted mind numbing) day at the studio, the phone rang.
My daughter had been up with my grandson all night; he had a severe headache, and he had been vomiting all night. He is eleven, and not generally a complainer.
I sprung into "ER nurse mode", asking her all kinds of questions.
The tidbit of information that made my blood run cold, was that, yes, he had "bumped" his head yesterday afternoon.......but he said he was OK.
Not.
So she took him to the ER at Albany Medical Center, where they did a neurological exam to see if the head injury was causing him to be sick. They also did a CAT scan, to make sure he wasn't bleeding inside his head.
The outcome was that he had a concussion, and they discharged him finally, with instructions that he couldn't play sports for two weeks.
What a relief. The outcome could have been so different.
So I got to work. I am a doer. I used to think I was a task oriented person, but when I read the definition, I decided that wasn't me at all.
Here is what I was working on today......blue jean rugs. They are one of my favorites.


I took a little stroll around the yard. Here is one of my several pots of cilantro. You can never have too much cilantro.
I had a dead tree taken down last week, and there is a pile of wood/bark left on the lawn. I suppose I will have to drag it back to the pile of brush I already have behind the house, but then, maybe not.
The wood is just out of the photo, and not far from the road at all. Now don't you think that with all the traffic going by on Rte 4, there would be at least ONE person who needs wood for a camp fire??
I am so hoping that it is gone in the morning. My husband always says this doesn't work, until said item disappears.
A couple of months ago, I put out 4 matching chairs with broken reed seats, and a roll of Congoleum. Three of the chairs were gone within an hour. So one lonely chair and the flooring sat there. I thought I was going to be stuck with them.
But the next morning they were gone.
Now weeding is an ongoing job, and this just proves that weeds can and will grow anywhere.
I just love rocks. What can I say?
My gardening style is somewhat eclectic.
I like old rotting stumps, too.
I have a busy week coming up..........5200 lbs of selvedge being delivered tomorrow, a mid week weaving weekend starting tomorrow, and a tour of 26 people coming on Wednesday afternoon.
So I sat out in the garden for awhile, just breathing deeply. One day at a time.
Tammy is off to Boston to a Red Sox game, but she is coming back early tomorrow......she says......to help me clean.
I hope she does.
This is what Miss Puss had to say about it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The sound of rain.

Today was a day of cleaning the house, getting ready to have my daughters over for dinner.
I always love seeing them. They are beautiful girls.
But being their mother, and worrying about them, I don't always agree with their decisions.
Sound familiar?
I struggle with where I leave off, and they begin.
I want them to be happy, as all mothers want their children to be.
We love each other very much, and tonight after dinner, we had quite an emotional discussion, which has left me feeling helpless as a baby.
I happened apon this video......and thought you might like it.
It made me smile tonight, and I needed that.

Turn off my music playlist before you click on the video.


This fun YouTube video features a 1980s pop classic. The rock band Toto scored their biggest hit with Africa in 1982. The song is instantly recognizable. But it has been reinvented.

Perpetuum Jazzile is an a cappella jazz choir from Slovenia. It’s hard to think of something further from an ‘80s rock band. But their version of Africa may best the original. The group has amazing voices.

But the beginning of this video is really striking. Group members simulate an African thunderstorm with their hands.
It’s really something to see and hear.(Don't turn up your sound - the sound of raindrops begins really soft.)








Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blue jeans and Blueberries

Today was kind of a drudge day. I had a rug to make that needs to go out on Monday, and I wanted to put a warp on for blue jeans.
I put 100 yards of warp on one of my Union looms. The warp is mixed blues, and I will be making a pile of 24"x42" blue jean rugs.
This Union loom is a bit different. The brake is on top of the sectional beam, and there is a metal brake rod right between the sectional and the back beam. Every time I warp this loom, I put the threads under the metal bar. And the tension of weaving rugs bends the metal rod to a disturbing angle. I have a mental block about it, and the last few times I have put a warp on, I have gotten half way through the very time consuming job of tying the new warp threads to the old ones, realized that I was UNDER the metal rod....AGAIN.....and in a huff, cut them off and started over.
Thus this sign.




The sign says......in case you can't make it out........DO NOT GO UNDER BAR........YOU MORON.
That is for me.
And today....I did not go under the bar......see???
Eleven sections of 100 turns each.....no wonder my shoulder is talking to me tonight.
The hot tub will sure feel good.
The hot tub was a purchase I made at least 7 years ago, and it was the best money I ever spent.


Here it is, ready to go......except for one small detail.........I have NO blue jean strips sewn together, which means a day of cutting and sewing is in order. And my jean stash is getting down.
I should put an ad in the paper.........."I take old jeans".
Then one day, I would pull into the driveway at the studio and the porch would be buried in jeans.
You know what they say, "Be careful what you ask for."


Like I said, I am easily amused...and this tickled me. There are three bird feeders right outside this window, and since I feed the birds year round, we call this kitty HBO.
It appears that Miss Puss and Kisme are sitting back, giving Jinx dibs on the best seat.

So after a long day at the studio,where I actually accomplished everything I intended.....which feels pretty good, I headed home.......
DH called me on my cell phone...what's for dinner?
Now I don't mind going to the store.....and I don't mind buying the food, and I don't mind cooking it, but one thing that drives me wild is when the people you are doing it for, namely DH and mother, cannot come up with ONE idea about what to have for dinner.
Well, in that case then, you better be prepared to have what occurs to me while strolling the aisles of Hannaford.
Which was local grown corn on the cob.
Grilled reuben sandwiches, with sauteed red cabbage instead of sauerkraut, french fries, and blueberry cobbler.
It was all quite tasty, if I do say so myself.
And I discovered that my husband and I had both bought blueberries and there was a surplus in the fridge. So I made blueberry muffins while I was at it.
I say if you are making a mess, you might as well go for the gusto.

I highly recommend this blueberry cobbler.....it was awesome! You can find the recipe over at www.sprucehill.typepad.com at the bottom of the first page.
Her photo is better, too.

And this is what I am going to be doing real soon.....reclining.
And looking at the backs of my eyelids.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hilary St.

(oh, yeah....click on any picture to enlarge)


I like this. Hilary St.
Has a nice ring to it.
I got this picture in an email today, and was told that it is in Franklin, Iowa. But when I checked it on Google maps, I couldn't find it.
Oh, well, I like it anyway.



We were invited to a barbeque the other evening, and I took my camera along.
It was a lovely evening, and the light was perfect.

And there is nothing I like more than rocks....so this rock wall did it for me.


And front porches also row my boat. I want one .....a back porch....like this, at the studio.....someday.

It was a very laid back barbeque, adults....no kids. I was up for that, since I have had my granddaughter all week.


When we left, I took this picture...and I know that it is not a big deal if you are REALLY good at taking pictures, but I liked it nonetheless.
DH says that I am easily amused. That's a good thing, right?

This was a busy week.......as I said, I was Mimi all week......almost full time. My daughter needed me to watch Ava. She is a real sweetheart, and easy as pie. But then I am old.....and believe me, a four year old will convince you in no time flat, just how old you are.
But she played at the "tudio" well, (when she says this, I always want to burst into song, "Tu, Tu, Tudio"...........remember that song....that is not exactly what Phil Collins sings....but it sounds lots like it........) and I think she is lulled with the repetitious whack of the loom, as I beat in the weft on these rag rugs.
These are probably my favorite colors....purple, turquoise......love them.
My mother told use at lunch the other day, that she was a "beige" person.
I was not surprised at that.
She has at least........I AM SERIOUS NOW.......at least 30 pairs of BEIGE long pants.
Me....no thanks. I am a color freak.....I LOVE color.

These rugs are 42"x60" +........next up is blue jean rugs......I am going to put a long warp for them on tomorrow.
Hold up, Ava, ......Mimi is the one exhausted here.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More of a day trip


We finally got to Middlebury about 1pm....and we were all starving.
So we went to Tully and Marie's......right on the Otter Creek. We sat out on the balcony, and braved the possibility of rain.
My mother....who is 84......has become much less tolerant as she has aged. She took one look at the menu and started a spiel about "foreign food".
I had the sweet potato and black bean enchiladas........my daughter had a tomato basil bisque with a turkey and avocado sandwich. They were awesome. Eventually, mother decided to order off the children's menu, with Ava, and opted for the grilled cheese sandwich.
She was unhappy with the wait.
And the french fries she ordered didn't come. Instead they brought an order of sweet potato french fries. Ha! You can imagine the reception they got.

But the creek was calm and lovely, anyway.


And the flowers were lovely.
Hmm....what have we here? Another disgruntled customer??
They don't have mac and cheese?????
What??????

Well, I suppose I "could" be ageeable.

Mmmm..........this frothy chocolate milk is improving my mood, let me tell you.








Maybe a little cuddling with my mommy will help, while I am waiting for my grilled cheese.

By now, it had started to sprinkle. I had already been to the car to get a jacket for my mother, who was cold. (it was 70 degrees)
After lunch, we went to our intended destination.........Neat Repeats.....just up the hill. This is a really nice used clothing store, one of my very favorites.

After we shopped at Neat Repeats, we went across town, to another consignment shop, Round Robin. It was seriously raining now.
I bought quite a few things .........a pair of cropped pants, two pairs of long pants, a couple of shirts, a bathing suit with the tags still on it. But the find of the day, and the one that made me the happiest, were these.

A brand new pair of Dansko sandals, my size, in red. Never, ever worn.........Are they sweet, or what?
Brooke and I decided that the next time we take my mother to Middlebury, we are getting a designated driver, and we are drinking a bottle of wine at lunch, which will make us so much more tolerant of my mother's intolerance.
Does that make sense?
Tammy has already volunteered.
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts