Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Happy day.


Sometimes a couple of days away gives me perspective.......
it always makes me grateful for my big, old house.   Home.

There is really nothing like it, is there??

If I lived near the ocean, I would walk there every day.  It is the most peaceful experience.

The sun, the sound of the waves, the wind.  Everything about it.   I center on the beach.   I think most of us do.


I spent a couple of hours sitting here watching the waves crashing in.  Doing nothing.


Then there is always the food in Maine.


Nothing like a draft beer......

With some clam chowda.


Roy is getting older, and while he is still the best traveling dog EVAH..........it takes its toll on him.



As soon as I got home, I finished this up.
It was waiting on my loom.
I took it off, serged the ends, washed and dried it, measured and hemmed, attached label and middle marker, then pressed it.
Packed it up, ready to go in today's mail.


I love this draft still.........watching the shells appear while I weave is magical.


The jury is out on my AVL home loom with compudobby.  I find it very hard to treadle.  Lois says I am spoiled by my E-LIFT on the AVL folding dobby.
That may be true.
But since both of us have had HIP ISSUES....damn this getting older sometimes.........I am being watchful.
She has woven on it for several days in a stretch, and after a week off it, she is going to give it another GO......but if it bothers her at all, unfortunately, it's going.



VERY SAD, because I love the loom in every other way......easy to warp, easy to thread, perfect size, 8 harness, and I love the compudobby.  I was very intimidated by it, only to find that it is no big deal, but how much easier it is to do complicated patterns!!!

I have called AVL......but they say they cannot make an e-lift for it.   I think the truth is, they don't want to, since they don't make this loom anymore.

We'll see...........

Apparently, summer is here.  Yesterday was brutally hot.  Time to make the ice tea.  And once the sun got low in the sky, and it cooled off some, it was porch time.
I spend a lot of quiet time out here with a good book.


Today I have a list of things.....silk to dye, bamboo that I just dyed to be dried in the sun, and bread to make for my youngest daughter.
She requested raisin/walnut bread.

For months now, I have been using this awesome organic flour.  I have to drive a bit to get it, but it's so worth it.
No chemicals, no crap.  The minute you start to knead it, you can tell the difference.

Funny what things make you happy when you get to this stage in your life.
Ha!



I'd better get to it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

All the news that is

The evening news is on.

I feel myself getting more and more agitated.

Bad news, and more bad news.

Is anyone else afraid of North Korea trying to destroy America????
Anyone???

And now he's fired the FBI director.  Hmm.   Who do you suppose he will put in THAT position??
Someone more inclined to cover up his connection to Russia??

Nuclear reactors?  Airline disputes?  Women being marginalized, over and over?


I can't watch anymore, I swear.  I'm beginning to understand how it feels for people in third world countries, to live their lives in fear and anxiety.
Something, up until now, I've never felt in this country.


On the home front, there is a stand off on the porch.

Goldie, being a very polite boy, while Bubbalee, the queen, eats breakfast.
They are usually growling and hissing and running, so this is progress.



 Here it is,  the new to me AVL Home loom, with Compudobby III.

It was a breeze to warp, easy to thread.
Getting it set up and communicating with the computer, well, let's just say it was a little stressful.
But it's done.




I am using Weave Point, and I must say that I am pretty impressed with how user friendly it is.



This is hand dyed yellow/gold cotton warp, with hand dyed cotton hemp in shades of blue.


The draft is "crackle".

I am pretty much smitten with crackle.


Rugs still get woven around here, not as often, but they do.

Lois whipped up this one and a few more like it.
Recycled blue jeans.



I think this is going to be a RUANA.
Again, it is crackle.  I told you I was smitten.
Hand dyed cotton warp. Tencel weft.



I have to stay grounded in my "tiny life".   If I let myself get too sidetracked with the political news, I find my stress level going through the ceiling.
I have to take breaks.

I like my life, my day to day is productive, creative, and mostly makes me happy.

I hate that I  worry about the things that are so out of my control.


  I like to feel that the world I wake up to is a safe one.

That's just not the way it is anymore.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Early in the a.m.


Early morning is my favorite time of the day, but it is also sometimes the most challenging, because I still occasionally wake up with a slammer.
Once the animals are fed and medicated, I sit with my coffee and the heating pad on my neck.  For some reason, it helps the headache.  It usually takes a couple of hours, before I am operational.
I have accepted that it is just a fact of life, grateful that it is not every day.





Miss Puss has neuropathy like DH.......he thumps down the stairs, if he doesn't lead with the right foot.  She thumps across the room, and I can't tell which foot it is that is making all the noise.
Diabetes, both of them.
Roy has days of whining and wandering.  Then sometimes he runs across the yard and leaps up on the porch like a puppy.
None of us want to give in to this getting older stuff.

I still struggle with the role of having adult children.  Where did my little ones go????   It seems like it happened so fast.
Grandkids make it easier, especially 3+ year olds who scream "MIMI!!!" when they see you, and throw their arms around your legs.



Then again, after a whole day of kids, I am exhausted, and wonder how I ever did that.  I am happy, content, then, to have a quiet house, and no responsibilities.
Ah, life is strange, my friends.

You can't figure it out ahead of time, and you can't figure it out backwards.   Which leaves us TODAY.
The only day we have really.
In the throes of living with my ex alcoholic abusive husband, one of my favorite Al Anon quotes was this one:
"If you ask God to help you with yesterday, it won't happen.  Yesterday is not yours.
If you ask God to help you with tomorrow, well, that won't happen either, because it is not yours YET.
If you ask God to help you with today, then you will get what you asked for."

STAY IN THE DAY.

I used to have this tacked over my sewing machine, so many years ago.

Now that ex is long dead, and I survived.
He used to say, " I will make you, or I will break you."
Ha!!!
Guess not.

Every morning, I have a plan.  Sometimes it is pretty detailed, and other days not so much.
I am finishing the threading of the AVL, this time in bits ........a little here, and a little there.....my body says so.








I also have dobby bars to peg for my next project.


And I need to get outside to do some yard work.  I do it in 20 minute bouts.   Once again, bowing to the almighty design of an aging, sometimes falling apart, body.

Then in a couple of days, L and I will be making a 5 hour trip northeast to pick up my NEW TO ME loom.  I am so excited.



I know.  I don't need another loom.  Well, that's what I am told.....but it is not necessarily TRUE.

This will satisfy my desire to play with computerized design on the loom, at a price I can afford.   If I don't like it, it will be easy to move it along.
But I am pretty sure I  am going to like it, since I play with Fiberworks on my laptop already.
And I just don't have enough dobby bars to keep all the drafts I want on demand.


So having a plan is good.  Keeps me moving in the right direction....forward, and not back.

Because there is no going back, I'm afraid.

As much as some days, we would like to try.








Monday, April 24, 2017

Minutiae


Fairy egg.

Have you heard of one????

It's a misfire, basically....only a smidgen of yolk in it........




Grandkids are the reward for getting old.   Sometimes, I ignore some of the not so pleasant parts of my age, because they make sticking around  SO worth it.


Watching them grow up is such a gift.


I broke down and bought this book, I have wanted to read it for a while.
If you don't like satire, you might not like it, but I found it to be hypnotic .

It offered me an insight I didn't realize I didn't have.



This one was good, but disappointing at the same time.........I didn't feel like things were resolved at the end of it.
It was a little dark.



Every now and again, I am plagued by squirrels at my bird feeder.......and the last few days, I had a tag team of 4 squirrels trying to eat every last bit of black oil sunflower seed out of it.    I was sewing, so they were really aggravating me, jumping on the side of the house, and then up to the feeder.

So feeling kind of mean, I took the feeder in.

30 seconds later, there's this.


"Hey, what did you do with the food?????"

I gave up, and put it back.     Lunch for everyone!!!!



This is some cotton hemp that I just dyed, blue on blue.  It's my first experience with it, so I don't know if I like it or not.





My latest dinner obsession is a Caesar salad with a marinated, then grilled portobello mushroom on top.



Here's the blue being woven.....undulating twill........


My youngest daughter called, and asked me if I was busy.....could they come for the day.

Oh, heart be still.
I happily stop whatever I am doing........ for this.





Do you blame me???



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I can see clearly now......

Sometimes when DH is watching a particularly annoying TV show, I turn the volume way down, since he is listening to it with his amazing best thing I ever bought headphones from Best Buy.
Occasionally I find some British show to watch on my laptop.  Or I read.

 Lately, I've been off knitting....who knows how long that will last.  I go in spurts...knit like crazy every single evening for months, then screech to a halt.....I'm done for a while. I've given up trying to understand that mechanism.

Once in a while, I go back and read my blog. What a great reminder of days gone by, things I've done and forgotten about.  Reasons to be happy, sad, grateful.   They are all there.  The pictures alone speak volumes.
I wish now that I had blogged years ago....wow, what a story that would have been.

I have struggled with plantar fasciitis now for months.  Yes, months.  Nothing seems to work, not injections, ultra sound, ice, exercise.  NOTHING.  I've bought splints, orthotics, stretchy bands that you wear around your instep.  I've googled and read and searched.
Nope.   Nada.
As a last ditch effort, I researched and finally ordered a very expensive pair of shoes that are touted for their amazing qualities for someone with this horrific ailment.  Please God.
I want to go walking.  I have never wanted to go walking this bad, now that I can't.
If someone could come up with a cure for this, they would surely be RICH very soon.

I think that slippers have been my downfall.......walking around this house, weaving, working, in slippers, and not supportive shoes.



Yesterday I went to get my hair cut, over near where we used to live.  While I was there, I popped into the grocery store that I used to shop in.  When my mother moved in with us, I took her there every week.  At first she walked, then as the years went by, it got harder, and she started using the electric carts.  Oh, my, how she loved that.  She whizzed around that store with a permanent grin.  As I was walking the aisles looking for things, I felt her there with me, and suddenly, I wanted to just cry.

Funny, isn't it, how the memory of someone you love, can  sneak up out of the blue and put you to your knees.


How I miss her.
She lost her own mother when she was 28 years old.  In her later life, she always told me that she wasn't afraid to die, and that more than anything, she just wanted to see her mother again.

I get that now.



So I decided to do some dyeing, the other kind.  This was my inspiration picture.


I  must say, I love the process.


Lots of cotton, wound into 1000 yd skeins.


This is my sequence......mix in jars, pour into squirt water bottles.


I screwed up a bit here though.   This cotton was combed, and I have never dyed that before......it didn't want to take the dye.  I soaked it in a soda ash solution, but I should have soaked it, or even boiled it, in a synthrapol (soap) solution, as well.


Consequently, my sewing work room looked like a CRIME SCENE, which was really unwise since I was trying to clean the house for Easter dinner and a house full of family.

What was I thinking???

Anyway, what should have been a short, easy job, turned into an whole afternoon job.

Still the results are satisfactory............



I love color......it makes my heart sing.  There's no other way to put it.


I will leave you with my just washed windows......a clear sign of spring.





Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts