Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year

I've been seeing a lot of FB  posts lately, with some famous person making a face, and the caption reads something like " almost time for that 'new me, new year' bullshit,"  which prompted me to go back and read some of my own New Year's resolutions.

When I did, I found that I was, for the most part, pretty realistic.  And that some of the things I resolved to do, I have actually done.
OK, I have done them under duress, and because the state of my head led me down that path.
But still, I have taken the steps.
At last, I do have ONE house, where I live and work.
I do take an occasional nap, or at least I take a BREAK, and knit or read in the middle of the day, alas, alack,  something I have never, ever done.
I do take whole, entire days off, without feeling very guilty at all.
I do make an serious effort to spend time with friends, even looking up old ones that I haven't seen
for years, but who always come to mind.
I have stopped the crazy roller coaster ride I was on, and I seldom do custom orders, or anything else in my weaving studio that does not make me happy.

Getting older?  Or have I learned an incredible lesson?  Or both, hitched together at the hip.

Whatever it is, I find myself spending an hour in the morning, cleaning the kitchen, with not another thought in my head.  No worrying that I should be doing something else.
Just doing what I am doing, being in the moment, and it's ok.
Snap.   I am becoming my newer self.  Intriguing for sure.

The days surprise me, I never know how they will turn out:  and somehow that's ok, too.  It totally feels right to me.

Yesterday, doing dishes, I stuck my hand in a glass and twisted, unaware that the top edge on one side had broken off.
I think I let out a yelp, and there was a lot of blood.  Pretty sure I needed stitches, but having worked in an ER for many years, I knew that sometimes stitches were more trauma than they were worth.  So I cleaned and wrapped, and spent the day babying my hand so it would stop bleeding.  I couldn't weave, but I could still read, and oh, glory, I could still knit.
I have become adept at adapting.   I love that.



I am so enamored of this book, I may have to read it again right away.

I borrowed it from the library, and 50 pages into it, I went and bought one for my daughter who loves hawks.


The other book on my coffee table is this one.....and while it's a bit on the dense side, it is full of so much incredible information, it makes my head spin.
I'm going to give it my best shot.



My daughter came a couple weeks ago, with her labradoodle 4 month old puppy.   Roy was a prince, as usual.  I swear that there is not a mean bone in his body.
This is how he looked at the end of the day when Walter had to go home.



Christmas is over for another year.....my grand baby seems to be saying something very serious here. There was a lot of stimulation going on with our whole family together.   It was the only thing I wanted, just being with them.


I'm not going to make any resolutions this year......I am just going to keep on doing what I am doing, making the best of every single day, working at what I love, staying close to family and friends, because that is where my heart is happiest.
Every day is a gift, of which I am well aware.  I have finally learned how to stop and listen: to the sound of the earth, the beating of my heart, the rhythm of my life.
It's all good.
Happy New Year to all my blogger friends.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Some weaving and THE WINNER.

A while back, I was given some bags of scraps, a cotton and linen mix.   I did a whole lot of sewing and cutting, and Lois wove them up.  We have some chair pads, and these lovely placemats.
I think they would look awesome with some lovely white dishes.


I might have to find some for a photo shoot.


Meanwhile, I've been trying to weave off a navy blue warp on the Union Custom, plus my rug inventory needs some pumping up.

  I have always had a love of weaving cotton, rag rugs.


It feels like painting with fabric, to me.


I have a project on all 7 of my looms, which feels weird to me.   7 looms is the least I have owned in 15 years.

Anyway, I am sporadically weaving on each of them, doing a little of this, and a little of that.
Here's my baby blanket warp, just a twill.


Of course, the towel warp, my fave, lives on.   I should be weaving on that one exclusively, since I have sold so many towels.



Here are some of the finished baby blankets.






Here's a random photo of a dinner idea I had the other night....it was a HIT.
Roasted veggies with red potatoes....olive oil and some seasoning.
They were delicious.


I know that a giveaway brings lots of comments.....and that's ok.  It is so reassuring to know that you are out there and still reading.
Your words were uplifting, and I fear that I don't deserve all the nice things you said, but I appreciate them anyway.  I may not blog as often, and my blogging may have evolved in some ways, but I still love doing it, and I love you all for sticking around. 
Thank you!  Merry Christmas to all of you, and a special greeting to the winner of the TOWEL............TERRY, who wrote the following:

Hilary,
I just enjoy your style, period. You are a very classy woman who takes what is best in life and emphasizes it as you express yourself in your weaving, your lifestyle, your love of family, your blog, and your commitment to making the best out of life at all times. You cope and survive, making the changes that allow you to manage, turning the pain and stress into a softer, better, slower life, while realizing what your real priorities are and the order in which they belong. I enjoy your blog and love your weaving and while I look forward to reading about you and yours, I respect your priorities and understand when you don't blog or should you decide to not blog at all. I would miss it, but be happy for you anyway. Thank you for the sharing!
Terry

Thank you, Terry....now email me your address.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas giving.

I have been accused of being a little grinch-like.   I am not impressed or inspired by all the Christmas hype.
I see it as mostly retail promotional manipulation, and I refuse to get involved.
I love the sentiments: Joy Peace Love...........but shouldn't those be in our cross-hairs ALL year long?
Not just at Christmas?

I did put up a few small decorations, the few I kept when we moved.  I did it mostly for the kids, so that when they come they can see that Mimi does actually have a Christmas tree, even if it is only 20" tall.
I am giving them cards with cash for Christmas, so they can buy what they want and take advantage of January sales, and get MORE for their money.

We do have a lovely Christmas get together, with good food, and a Chinese auction.  We do two of them really, one with a nice gift, one with a gag gift.  The kids love it.
Getting together, being with family that I love so dearly, is what it's all about for me.  It doesn't matter what the holiday is, or the reason.  Being with them, loving them, is all of it.

So, this morning over coffee, I decided that I should do a Christmas giveaway.   If you are a follower, and you must be to throw your name in the hat, you know what my recent circle dish towels look like.
My Christmas gift/giveaway to you is one of those towels.  I will use Random.org on Tuesday night the 15th to draw the winner.
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what kinds of things you would like to read about on my blog in 2016, or why you read it at all.
Just picking your brains a bit.

Be a follower, and comment.  How easy is that????  I wish I could send you ALL a gift, for sticking around, and making me think even for a moment that I have something worth saying.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

What? Again?

Yup, two posts in two days.  What's up with that, you say?



My new normal makes me sometimes very reflective, more than usual.  So I come here, to tell you all about it.
Thrilling, right?

My friend, Linda, in Georgia, is obsessed with decorating for Christmas.  She has trees everywhere, inside, outside, even in her bathroom.
I admit that I don't get it, and every time we talk, she can't help but refer to my grinch-like approach to Christmas.
Well, truth be told, I have thought a bit about a "little" decorating.  Believe me, it would not satisfy her holiday frenzy, but it works for me.
While I was searching for the few, VERY FEW, Christmas decorations that I kept, I found these.


 I made a bunch of them 20 years ago, and these two are left.


I put a warp on the Wolf Pup this morning, for Lois to make placemats on.
Then I took Roy for a damp, cold walk.
Outside chores earlier this morning, on this gray day, convinced me that it was a good day to stay inside.
Besides, my neck is calling the shots today.

Sydney is my idol.
Even more than Roy.  He's good, but she has this relaxing thing down pat.


I found another one of my craft ventures from way back.   This seems the perfect place for it.


Aren't I festive????



Lately I've been in the mood to go through drawers, and cupboards, sifting through magazines and papers and pictures and other stuff that I brought over here in the spring.
Time to peruse it and ditch a lot of it.
I did NOT ditch this recipe I found for cranberry scones.

I added slivered almonds.
 DH will say they are bland, but I'm an English girl at heart, and they are perfect in my opinion.


This is what a perfect Sunday afternoon looks like.......comfy couch, animals lying around snoozing, stuff to read, my knitting, and blissful quiet.  The pellet stove keeps the living room toasty, and what more could I ask for?
Less headache?   Well, yes, always that.


 I am making mittens for daughters and granddaughters.

Brooke wants fuchsia.   Here's the first one.


MIss Puss is feeling much, much better since her dental surgery last Monday.  

While she may never really like sharing her house with other cats and a dog, she does seem a bit more laid back.


Nothing like a cuppa tea with my scone.
Life is good.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Couple of thoughts.

Lois and I have been busy.   Here's the rug we made for Dale.



I saw her yesterday, and her reaction was priceless.



She sprawled over it, kicked her legs, ran in circles, then looked up at me, and said "thank you, Mimi, thank you."

Priceless.



I made her another sweater, but I am not as fond of this one.


She kept trying to roll the sleeves up, so I guess that they are too long.



She goes 100 miles an hour, and finally, she is done.
Nap time.  For her, and me.



As I get older, or as my reality sinks in, I find that I am satisfied with much less.



Give me my looms, my big old house.   Yarn to knit, books to read.
I don't feel like I need much to be happy, certainly not near what I thought I needed, at one time.


 A day with a manageable headache puts me over the moon.

Being able to put that baby to sleep in a rocking chair, pure joy.






It is good to love what you have, to love your life, such as it is.  It is wise to keep your needs simple,  to be sustained by simple things.
It took me a long time, and a lot of pain to get here.
But I'm here now.






Thursday, November 26, 2015

Be thankful.

I don't know why I hate to admit it, but I do.

My headaches are still running my life.  I try very hard not to let them, but it's a losing venture, I'm afraid.
I wake up way too many mornings with a smashing pain across my forehead.  The only fix is sitting very still with heat on my neck, hot coffee, sometimes Advil, sometimes Excedrin, and patience.
Usually, in 2-3 hours, it will let up enough so I can start my day.

Then, at any time, it can come roaring back.  If I do too much. If I don't keep balance in my day.  If I rush around too much.   If I am not paying attention to what my NECK wants.  Unfortunately, my neck usually wants to do NOTHING.  And NOTHING is not, and has never been, in my vocabulary.
Resting my neck, with heat, throughout the day, helps.

Honestly, I never saw this in my life.  Never saw it coming, couldn't have imagined it if I had tried.
Me, the most energetic, hard working person you've ever known.
Resting.  Reading and knitting MID DAY.  Oh, the horrors.



The rewarding side of that is that I finished this hoodie for baby Dale, and I'm going to give it to her today when we go for Thanksgiving dinner.
I like the way it turned out.


    Some good news.........I was pleasantly surprised and rewarded by the recent guild show.   I took 48 dish towels, and sold 42.   I took 17 möbius shawls, and sold 7.   And I also sold rugs, placemats, and  sweet bottoms.   My studio looks bare with all that product gone.

Of course, the reality is that I am not all that sure I can, or want to, replace it.
I guess I will just take it a day at a time, knowing that I can only weave for an hour at a time, and then maybe twice a day.  Maybe.


This has been my coffee table since the mid 80's.
I bought it at a garage sale for $2.  It was painted yellow.
It is wobbly, always has been.
My kids have teased me about it for years, urging me to buy a new, shiny one.  A "no wobble" one.

And I resisted.  Of course I did.


But then I decided that I wanted to repurpose all the old doors that I have in the barn.  I wanted a coffee table that had storage underneath for my knitting.
So I designed this, and Cory, my fave carpenter, put it together.  Then DH stained the bottom to match.





I first thought I wanted a piece of glass for the top, but after using it for a few days, I don't think so.  I like it just fine the way it is.
But not to worry, I'm going to repurpose "old wobbly".  I just can't part with it.  I think of my oldest grandson learning to walk holding on to it.  I remember my first two pit bulls, Eddie and Chicki wrestling underneath it, almost tipping it over.   It's personal.

The pies are made, Lois is in NYC watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and I am taking it easy until the family gets together later today.


Dale modeling the dress I made her before she was born.




We all have reasons to stick around as long as we can manage.
She's one of mine.


Thankful on this day.


Monday, November 16, 2015

November rocks.

The days may be shorter, but the weather has been pretty darn nice for November.  
The late afternoon light is amazing.    I had to slow down tonight on the way home from town, to catch a picture or two.
Luckily, there were no other cars on the road.


I love driving home through the countryside.
I hated living in town with so much congestion.   I will never do it again.


I'm a country girl at heart.
I don't want to be anything else.


Walking Roy in the late afternoon, looks like a storm is coming.  But still, the light is lovely.



I have been getting ready for the Hudson Mohawk Weaver's Guild show and sale.  It is coming up soon, this Thursday to be exact.

37th Annual Show & Sale
Date: Thursday, Nov 19 through Sunday, Nov 22, 2015Hours: Thu 2-9, Fri 10-9, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-4Location: Pruyn House, 207 Old Niskayuna Road, Newtonville (Colonie), NY 12128


I have SEVEN mohair shawls done.  But I decided that the 'natural' cream might not be such a great seller.  So I dyed all day yesterday.



My kitchen was a disaster area, and I have vowed to never dye inside again.
Part of the reason for that is that on the LAST one, I was distracted, and it boiled over.

Can anyone say TURQUOISE floor????






Anway, I am ready.   Everything is DONE, and tagged, and packed.  Inventoried.


I am very proud of myself.   I could have, would have, almost did, work right up until the show making even MORE stuff.
But for once, reason prevailed.  The new, more balance me, decided that was a really stupid idea.

I made bread instead.



I went to a Fine Arts show at the Saratoga Museum of Dance.






Fellow guild member, Ann Diller, at her booth of fine hand wovens.

Then afterwards, I took myself to lunch.


And it was delish.


Then I took myself home, and spent the rest of the afternoon  weaving and  enjoying the sun coming through the windows.


It's amazing what you can give yourself permission to do.




Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts