Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Well, that's a revolting turn of events.

Yesterday is somewhat of a blur.
You know how they say that when you make plans, God laughs.   
I believe that.


Anyway, I got up early and did my grocery shopping for the weekend.  My guests for the Weaving Bootcamp    Weekend were due to arrive at 3pm.  I was kind of looking forward to a few quiet hours at the studio, which was already clean, doing whatever moved me.
I decided to clean the porch, and I spent a while out there mopping the floor.  When I came in the phone ws ringing.  My husband, on the other end of the line, sounded frantic.
My mother fell, he had called the ambulance.
Many hours of sitting in the Emergency Department later, the bottom line was that she had broken her shoulder.
This was devastating news to me.  I have dreaded some kind of injury like this that she might have to endure.
By 4pm, I was back at the studio, DH was sitting at the hospital with her, until she could be admitted.
My students came.  My daughters all rallied to get us through the weekend, spending the time with my mother that I would normally have done.
The weekend, otherwise, has been good.  I love teaching, and the two women I have here are a delight.  Of course, the rice pilaf I made them for dinner last night, might have been better had I remembered to put in the RICE.  But hey, I was distracted.  To say the least.


I even managed to get to the hospital this afternoon, after a shout out to L to come monitor their progress.
My daughter says L is an angel.
I said, Good Lord, don't tell her that.  She won't be able to get her head through the door.





Sydney says:   I can help.



Well, maybe  I can just cheer you up.





My mother will be home tomorrow, most likely, and we will figure it out from there.  I think L will be spending some time alone here at Crazy as a Loom.  Holding the fort, so to speak.


I will be dragging my nurse cap out of storage. Ack.
But whatever, I will be advocating, if not nursing,  for my mother.


After all, what are daughters for????






Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just a little rain.

Rain, rain, rain.  It poured all night, and all day.
The sun is shining now, and overnight, the grass is green.  Which means, I will have to mow the acre and a half around the studio.


My dear friend, Alice, had an idea.  I am mulling it over, though I resisted at first, I think she may have something.
She suggested that I NOT mow the back half of the property, that instead I mow a path through it.
It would be a meandering walk through tall grass,  and through the trees  here and there.
I like the idea because it reminds me of another walk, in what seems now like another life.
When my first grandson was a toddler, I decided to make him a "woods walk".  I had about 11 acres and most of it was meadow, but there were a couple of wooded areas.
I took a weed whacker out there, and for several days, I carved out a 2 ft wide path.  The grass was the easy part, when I got into dense thickets and brush along the brook, it was tougher.
It started on one side of the house, an finished on the other.
It was an immediate hit.  My grandson loved it,  and the smile on his little face made it all worth while.

So maybe this would work, a garden path.  I could embellish it with a bench or other found items.  And I wouldn't have to mow it all, or pay someone else to mow it.  With the price of gas over $4 already, it would be nice to have a whole lot less lawn.
What do you think??

We saw this bird on the feeder, and he was cooperative enough to let me get a whole lot closer.


This is the first red breasted grosbeak I have seen here.  Isn't he gorgeous??

Right before Christmas, a lady emailed me and asked if I could make a rug like KC277, which was on my web site, but was marked sold.
I said I could, but I was busy.  She was in no hurry, and the note to myself got buried.
She emailed me recently, to remind me.  So today, I did a fabric search, and came up with this.
I must tell you, it is a dead ringer for the rug she liked.  And I am pleased, but amazed.
I figured I could come close, but I outdid myself.  I love when I do that.  Such a good feeling.


Finished the day up with this combo of hit and miss fabrics

I have lately had a sleeping issue.  I don't have it every night, but often enough to be troublesome.
I go right to sleep at night, sleep for an hour or so, and wake up.
Then, I can't go back to sleep.  I am up, for an hour, or two, or more.  It is super annoying.

So I sent for a sleep aid that has helped me in the past.  Sleep Enzymatic Therapy.   I take one, go to sleep and stay asleep, and I don't feel drugged in the morning like I do after taking Tylenol PM.
It came today, so I will be HAPPY to go to bed tonight.
We can take sleep for granted sometimes, then when it eludes us, we are reminded how important it is.

And on another bird note, here is the mourning dove that is nesting on the rafter above my hot tub.
Silly girl.

And if you look closely, you can see her baby.  I don't know if it is the only one, or not.


I didn't try any harder to get pictures, because every time I did, she froze, and looked terrified.
Now who would want to cause that look.
Sweet little bird.

Thinking tonight of all those affected by the multitude of tornadoes in this country.
Praying for their safety, and their comfort.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not all work.

Dentist appointment cancelled, by them, so the day was mine.  I shouldn't have been so happy about it, but I was.

Finished a place mat warp, which will leave an empty loom.   That's a good thing, since I need to teach sectional warping this weekend.
Of course, I couldn't get 4 place mats out of it, only three.  Someone will want them anyway, I'm sure.


I would like to empty one more loom before the weekend.
Hmm......think I have a dirty lens??  There is a weird smudge in that picture.


If you look closely, you can see Jinxy's white paw on Kizzy's.  Is that too cute, or what???
She's such a girl.

Then I took a break and had lunch with my friend at the Olive Garden.  I love their soup and salad option, and I leave satisfied, and not feeling the least bit guilty.

When I came back to the studio, I decided to play with my shawl warp, upstairs.


I am sure another order will come along.  They always do.  I used to worry about it, but I don't anymore.
Just sometimes, when I come off a string of custom orders, it takes me a bit to get acclimated to weaving whatever I want. Have to get my sea legs under me, so to speak.  I love it, though.  My head spins with the possibilities.


Just to let you know, I am followed wherever I go.  Stalked, if you will.  There's that smudge again.


Then I got a tip that the Peter Harris clothes store had a whole shipment of J.Jill clothes highly discounted...........so I left a bit early, and went to check it out.
And it was true.  I got a pair of black jeans,  and four tops, for $80.  If you know J.Jill at all, you know that's a steal.
I am still waiting IMPATIENTLY for my orthotics, and trying to baby my foot.
It was stormy, and gray, and windy, and sunny, and a little rainy, and omg WARM here in the lovely northeast today.  I am so psyched for summer.
I'll bet you are, too.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who's crackin' the whip???

The insane cleaning continues.
Ack.
Today was the kitchen, and the downstairs bathroom.
L told me the bathroom was a one person job, since it was so small.
And since it is my house.......you get the picture.


My old Tappan range.   How I love this old stove.  When I sold my house in the country, I figured I had to let it go, since the cupboards had been built around its odd size.  But the buyers made a face, and I knew that they didn't want it.   I was thrilled!!!  Ecstatic!!!!
 My husband.......not so much.  It was heavy and hard to move.
But it looks like it belongs to this old house, and it makes me very happy.


Kitchens normally get dirty, but a kitchen in a WEAVING STUDIO.....omg, we are talking 'super dust' here.


When I bought the house, this room had a water pipe sticking out of the floor, and a gas line.  It also had a completely disgusting old refrigerator that went straight to the dump.
I wanted to have a working kitchen, but I wanted it to look like it belonged in the house.  I didn't want to rip walls down, and end up with a 'magazine' kitchen, as beautiful as they are. I wanted an old house kitchen, cause that's just how I am.


I used the porch posts from my old house, to hold the counter up, there's one on each side.


The framed veggie prints over the stove are gifts from my daughters, in an effort to replace the old ones I had when they were little.  I'm not saying that my ex husband's girlfriend sold them at a garage sale, but I suppose that could have happened.


Some of you asked for the recipe for my Quinoa Fruit Salad.
You want the original, or my version of it????
I will give you both.

OK, first you cook 2 cups of quinoa in 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat until water is absorbed.  Just like rice.

In a bowl, mix the quinoa with a variety of dried fruit.
The recipe called for:
1 and 1/2 cups of dried apricots and I did put these in.

1/3 cups chopped almonds
1/3 cup pistachios
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup currants

I didn't add these last four.....instead, I went to the bulk organic aisle, and I bought a couple of bags of mixed dried fruit and nuts.  One of them had sunflower seeds in them.  I think any of these combos would work, whatever rows your boat.

The next ingredients, that I did add, were:
2 tbspns freshly chopped mint
2 tbspns freshly chopped cilantro
grated zest of one lemon
2 tablespns of olive oil
1 teaspoon of orange zest
1/2 tspn grnd cinnamon
salt and pepper.

Toss them all together, and chill.



The result is YUMMY, but it is a little dry.  So I added, to my own little dish of it, a bit of strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, and it was perfect.
I had it for lunch, and my daughters took some home, so they probably had it for lunch too.  So if you aren't feeding a crowd, you could half this recipe.
It made a lot.
Good day, lots accomplished.  The weekend is rushing at me.  I will have grocery shopping to do for the Weaving Bootcamp, but the HOUSE will be ready.
The 30' rug is on its way to its new home, and I am somewhat disoriented, having a space of time where I can weave what I want.
But fear not, I will figure it out.
See me grinning???



Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring cleaning

Well, it was back to work this morning.  The 30 ft rug was on my mind.
  For those of you who don't know, a rug will shrink off the loom.  In fact, I usually weave things 20% longer than I want them to be.  That shrinkage is called 'take up'.
I was hesitant, though, to add 20% to a 30 ft rug.  That would have meant weaving it 36', and for the life of me, I couldn't imagine that it would shrink that much.
So I unwound it from the loom, draped it over the top of the loom several times, covered it with a large piece of fabric, and let it rest.
This morning, we measured it with the tension off, and it measured 21" longer than the 30 ft I wanted.
After some consultation, I wound it back on, put the header on, and finished it.
I tied the fringe, and we headed down to the parish house to measure it.  There was no place big enough in the studio, and the customer did not want CAT on her rug, since she has some allergies, so I was very careful not to leave it exposed at any time, prime cat perching spot that it would be.


We laid the rug out, and measured.  Nerve wracking, I might add.


Wow, this is one LONG rug.  But it measured 30 ft, plus 7" extra.
Perfect.



This is going in a lake house on Lake Michigan.  I was going for the lodge look.
Do you like it??



This stove is in the kitchen at the parish house.   I love it.  This is for some serious cooking.


The rest of the day was spent cleaning.   We have been trying to do a room at a time downstairs.  Weaving rugs can be messy.  Today we attacked the old dining room.  I have to admit that L did a lot more cleaning than I did.  My foot is screaming, still waiting for my orthotics.   I am in pain.
Besides, she has a cleaning gene that I do not have.


We put up some shelves, some hooks to hang shuttles on.
It always feels so good when things are organized.
All in all, a very good day.  The studio is looking good.
Maybe tomorrow I can get back to my placemats.


I am officially "orderless" as of today.
Why am I so happy??????

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Verdict and a Surprise.

Wow, I am so glad I asked!!!!
The MAJORITY rules, and the majority says "no music playing the second I open your blog".
No music.
The surprise is that I did some research, and realized that Playlist offers me the option of NOT having the music start automatically.
So my playlist is still there, but if you want to listen, you have to click on PLAY.
How's that for making everyone happy.
Don't you love it when you find a solution to something that's bugging you???
I really appreciate all of your input.  I suspected as much, but wanted to know for real.


Yes, spring is coming on a slow boat to northeastern New York, but it's coming.
When I took my mother to church this morning, one of the songs was Celebrate.  And even though they were celebrating the whole Easter thing, I think that 'celebrate' is a good theme for a lot of different reasons.
So I am celebrating.  Spring, family, friends, good health, good food, a free country.   I have so much, and sometimes I am overwhelmed by how much I have.  How much good fortune.
So while I may not be 'in the groove' when it comes to the conventional religious sermon, etc, I am thankful, and awed, by a power greater than myself, greater than all of us.
It's a good thing.   Joy comes from someplace within, sometimes, with no preparation whatever.

The ham is in the oven, the baked beans have been cooking all day and smell delish.
The pies are waiting to be devoured.  And they will be.
The Quinoa Fruit salad is in the fridge.   DH would say that it is looking strange.

For those of you who aren't familiar with quinoa, it is a amino acid-rich protein seed, that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture, and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.
Go here to read all about it.  It is a complete protein, and so versatile. I just love it.
I like to mix it with black beans, and sauteed veggies, like onion and zucchini.  There are lots of recipes/web sites out there. I mostly make things up.

I am taking a break before the 'fam' gets here.......thinking about the coming week, and kind of getting positioned in my head.   That always helps me to get the things done that I get done.  I have to "see" it first.
So first thing is to finish the 30' runner.  Then the studio spring cleaning jamboree is back on, because I have a Weaving Bootcamp Weekend coming up the 29th.  I still have a couple of openings, but if I just have the one person, it will still be a good weekend.  They always are.
And somewhere in there, I will start weaving rugs that are waiting patiently in the back of my brain.
No wonder my brain is such a mess, eh??
So have a wonderful holiday out there........and have pie, or whatever you are substituting.
It just makes everything so much better.

Don't you think?
What are you all having for dessert??????   Go ahead, tell me, I can take it.






Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quinoa???? You're kidding, right?

There was snow on my windshield this morning.  I had no interest in photographing it for you.
You will just have to take my word for it.
Then it continued to rain all day, but that's OK.
Acceptable.


The cats and I spent a lovely, uneventful day in the warmest room in the house.


Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.......
Which brings me to a question, one I would really like to have your opinion on.
You may have noticed, my music playlist is not on my blog right now.  I don't mind the music, after all I picked it out, but I wonder sometimes how much it might be annoying my blog followers.
So what do you think??  I am taking a poll......music???  no music????  I will let you decide.


The 30 ft rug is done, but still attached to the loom.  It is resting.  Then on Monday, I will measure it, and either take some off, add some, do the header, and take it off the loom.  It will be on its way west.

So today, I decided to play, which to me means that I can weave whatever I want.
So I wove placemats.
These are a soft brown.



Someone didn't want me to weave.  He might not be able to talk, but his message is very clear.


After giving attention to Mr. Interrupter, I wove this set.   I love the way the fabric makes a pattern when it's woven.


I had to go to the grocery store........family dinner at my house tomorrow.   DH is cooking the customary ham, but I don't eat meat.  My middle daughter doesn't either, and my youngest eats very little.
So I decided to make a few things just for us.
I made some stuffed mushrooms.  I found the recipe over at  The Smitten Kitchen
The filling is wonderful......sun dried tomatoes, basil, panko bread crumbs, garlic.   I can't wait to try them.
Then I made a Quinoa fruit salad.  I know, I know.  It sounds strange.
I had to explain to the check out guy, and the bagger, what quinoa was.
I got the 'look'.
The jury is still out on this one.  Will let you know.
And I am making baked beans.  Because beans are good for you.
And pies.
Because pies take away any pain you may have.  And I will bike extra miles this week, just so I can have PIE.
Have a lovely weekend, all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gone fishin'

My grand baby girl has gone home.  She was here since Tuesday.
I have to say, she was a sweetheart almost the whole time.
The couple of times she got cranky, was when she was overtired, and ready for bed.


We took our bikes down to the canal, to do a little bike riding.


It was educational, too.  Sometime this summer, we are coming back down here to watch a boat go through the locks.

Yes, I do have trouble not "thinking" about the work I "think" I "should" be doing.
But on the other hand, I know what's most important to me.  And I schedule the important stuff, no matter how much my inner critic bitches at me.
And this little girl is important.  Spending time with her, and my other grandchildren, means everything to me.

Look, Mimi.......you live here, and I live HERE.


She is a very intense little girl, and engaging her takes a lot of energy.


Last night, I taught her how to play chess.  I thought it would be difficult to explain it all to her, and figured I would have to go over and over it.
Think again.
She not only got it right away, she remembered most of what I told her, and only had to be reminded a couple of times.
We played, I won, and I was acutely aware that one day soon, she will be beating me.


She asked about her Easter eggs, remember those, a couple of weeks ago???   I told her we ate them.
Ack!!!
She was horrified.
So we colored more eggs.
I always told my kids that the Easter bunny got run over on the state highway, and they weren't getting any baskets with green grass at my house.  My mother did that stuff for them.  They knew how I felt about it.   I did the Santa thing, but the Easter bunny.
Get real.
And I never, ever colored Easter eggs, never.
Until now.  And I've colored them twice in a month.
So..........



I guess that means that I'm lost.


I'm a fool for  my grandchildren.


I never thought.


Never imagined.


It would happen to me.


But it has.

Can you blame me?  
Look at that face.



And now for some quiet time.

Do we have fishing poles????

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts