Crazy as a Loom

Friday, October 20, 2017

Growing up

  That's me before my hair got gray......and a few pounds lighter, as well.
And that's my first grandchild, Nev.


In scrubs here, probably just home from work, looks like he was taking a break from riding his bike.



Now here he is, on his 20th birthday. All 6' 5" of him.
What I want to know is:  where the **** did that 20 years go????



So that was then, a whole lifetime of children, and grand children, and work, and life.
Sometimes, it seems like a dream.  Because after all, today is what we have.
But oh, the memories are sweet to dwell on, aren't they?

Now, I find my solace at the loom, I confess.



It really does sustain me some days.



I just sent a wrap to the Czech Republic.......these are photos sent to me by the mama I wove it for.


The wrap turned out well, but the pictures are amazing.




On the other end of the spectrum, I still have a 4 year old grand girl, and a 7 month old grandson.....so it appears I am not done yet.

Whenever she comes, she wants to hold a chicken.
And she loves it each and every time.



My first foray with peppermint thread..........the warp is navy blue cotton, and the weft is hand dyed peppermint.
It is the most luscious fiber, ever.
Super, super, soft.



And yes, that's me, caught by the Google cam car.





Let me leave you with a comment, from a four year old, to her 7 month old brother:

"I will never leave you in the forest."

I guess that's all we can hope for, isn't it?




Friday, October 13, 2017

Days and desperation


Autumn is a disappointment this year, the leaves are turning brown, skipping right over the usual lovely oranges and golds.  The sunshine is amazing though, and it's warm in the daytime, and cool at night.  That's perfect.  Guess I have to be grateful for the positives.  I do have lots of photos of October in previous years, in all its glory.

My recent weaving has been on a natural warp.  I always love it, it's like a blank slate, with so many possibilities.



I often sit on my park bench, out back.  It's a nice place to relax, and just be.


These river birch are part of the gift of trees my mother bought me several years back.


 This little maple is another.



And these two maples as well.
Every time I sit here, I think of her.


 One of her favorite poems was this one:

Trees

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 

But only God can make a tree.
I finally finished the quilt for my grandson's birthday.  Here it is right before I put it all together.
It was a challenge, for sure.


And made more difficult by the fact that I cut the side of my fingertip off with a rotary blade.


Yes, I went to the ER, after it bled for about 8 hours.
It is better, but still incredibly sore.


It has slowed me down some, but it hasn't stopped me from weaving.

As if......

I had some warp left on the loom after a custom order, so I played some.  Actually, I played quite
a bit.





This morning L and I put a navy warp on for my next project.

Now for the threading.


My dyes have always been over my dyeing counter, but they were near impossible to find.  I almost had to get on a step stool to get close enough to them to read the colors.
So today, I had a brain storm, and I moved them.  I used those same shelves to store large cones of cotton and linen waiting to be dyed.

 My dyes are now on a shelf over the sink, much closer to someone looking at them, and much easier to deal with.



I am desperate for a day away, or days even........though I love my home, and my studio, and what I do, sometimes still I need some perspective: the kind you get when you leave it all behind for a bit.

A long drive in the country, good conversation, a leisurely lunch.


oh, well.
In the meantime, my zinnias are still rocking, and to see them is joy.





Friday, September 29, 2017

Finally Fall

Fall is one of my favorite times of year......but this year it seems to have come late.  Just two days ago, we were sweltering in the heat.
Then yesterday  it all changed.


I love to pick hydrangeas, put them in vases with no water, and let them dry on their own.
Some people hang them up to dry, but this always works for me.


Dale and I took a walk through the pumpkin patch, where L was driving tractor, helping her brother gather up all the pumpkins.

I wish I looked that good in pink rubber boots.



I had an idea to overdye something that I had already woven.   Since I had dyed the weft before I wove it, you could say this is "double dyed".

Cotton and Bamboo.



My friend for Georgia was up for her yearly visit.
As usual, it went by too fast.
We always have so much fun together.


We decided to tackle a project that I had been thinking of.  The coat area inside my back door has always been atrocious.



We took down that awful old shelf, we found the old front door of the house up in the barn, we hauled it down, washed it, pulled out nails and staples, and made it into a new coat rack.
The hooks are black, and it is much sturdier than what was there.

 Then we did a little organizing...... and I think it is a vast improvement.



She bought me the fluted pans to make taco shells with, so we tested them out with a shrimp taco salad.
Delicious!!


It's been a busy week, not much weaving or sewing got done, but we had a great time.
I thoroughly enjoyed having my old friend here, but now I'm exhausted.

So I will leave you with this picture of a CAT....no, not just any cat.........Sydney Susan, who really doesn't get the purpose of the "ball game/scratching pad".
That's ok, Syd.





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Beware: False Friends


My oldest friend is in very poor health, and I worry about her.  She spends winters in Florida and summer in northeast NY.  She's the friend that I can pick up the phone and tell pretty much anything, and she will listen, and give me honest feedback.  Even if I don't like it.
We've been friends since about the age of 5. She insists I threatened her with a laundry pin way back then,  I say she is just trying to get attention.  It's ongoing.
We've grown apart in recent years, our interests and our lives have changed.

We don't always agree, but I never doubt her friendship.  Not ever.

My next longest friendship, is with my friend in Georgia.   She left northeast NY about 30 years ago, and has lived in the south ever since.  We are polar opposites on politics, and a host of other things.
But I know I would only have to call her, and she would be there for me, in any way that I needed, as fast as she could be.  No matter our differences, I never doubt her friendship.  Not ever.

Then there's L, who has worked here with me for the last 7 years, and has become  the friend I spend most of the time with, and the one who knows me best.  Nothing like day after day working and weaving together, and sometimes having fun doing other things, to find oneself completely exposed.
She knows what I am thinking before I say it, and she anticipates my craziness.
And she's helped me through the toughest time in my life, three brain surgeries, and a host of headaches.  She's there for me, and I never doubt her friendship, even when she's grumpy. (sorry L).
Not ever.

That's pretty good, I think, and I am grateful for my friends.  There are others, not as close, that I don't talk to as often.  But they are friends still, and dear to me.  We connect when we can, and it's always a good thing.  They are bright lights in my life.



But I have learned that it is good to make an honest appraisal of people who say they are your friends,  who clearly have other agendas, usually self absorbed.
It brings back that time in my life, when I evicted my alcoholic ex husband, for the very last time.
Sick of being told that it was my fault, that everything was, in fact, my fault.  Tired of the mental toll, the drama, and the feeling of always being on the precipice of falling.

So when so called friends make me feel that way, it is time to take stock.


One good friend spent the day with L and I recently, and I showed her my dyeing routine, and she dyed some of her own.


She was meticulous, far more so than me......


The end result was lovely.
I wonder if I've helped to create another passion here.




I have had a couple of tough months with the headaches returning to their amped up state.  Waking up with a smasher is the worst thing, or certainly feels like it.
I have to feed and medicate the critter crew, make some coffee, put some heat on my neck, and wait it out.  If it's really bad, I eat something so I can take Advil.  That doesn't get rid of it, but it sometimes takes the edge off it, and when you are totally miserable, that's a blessing.

I don't often dwell on it, but to be truthful, there are those days, when I do.  I think about how my life changed 6 years ago, when my head connected with that rock.
They say that it only takes a second, for everything to be different.   That's the truth, but it took me a while longer to acknowledge and then accept that said "second" had actually occurred.

I love my life, and in most aspects I am content with it, but then I am so used to having a headache, every day, that I no longer can tell you what it feels like not to have it.
Most days, I pay no attention to it.  I know that sounds strange, but if you had any kind of ailment on your body, for days, weeks, months, years, you would eventually integrate it into your life.  You would have no choice.  And I have had no choice, so I have made it a part of mine.
And like I said, I am blessed that for the most part I function and do not let it rule my days.

But then, there are the times, when I give in.   Too much, too intense, too awful.  I don't belabor it, I just cave......I do the things I know will help, and I give the rest to a power greater than myself.   And I wait it out.

But I do occasionally wonder why...and lately I have wondered why the last two months have been so unpleasant.  I try to be open to all kinds of things that might affect my fused neck, and therefore my headaches.
One thing is the position of my neck when I sew.......and I have been sewing a lot.

So yesterday I twitched my sewing room around, and put my sewing machine on a table that will allow me to raise it, and perhaps, put my neck at a different angle.  It is a fact, that anything that involves a sustained forward bend of my neck, is a sure bet for more pain.

So we shall see how this works out.


On other fronts, I have long wanted to try some tea dyeing of a warp.  So I did.  Bought boxes of tea bags at the dollar store, put them in a mesh bag, and did my thing.


It's ring spun cotton, and I love the many nuances of shade.


It's on the loom and being threaded as I speak.



I love love love my new Compudobby......after finally getting it to work, I have totally enjoyed playing with it, changing drafts from one towel to the next, and creating this x's and o's one along the way.





Fall is here, thank goodness, so it's time for some vegetarian chili........this one I knocked out of the park..........totally in love with it.......too bad I don't write this stuff down.




And here I am, hair going white, wrinkly neck and all........but hey, I'm 70, and it hasn't been all that easy getting here.
Sometimes I'm hard on myself, but then sometimes I pat myself on the back for pure persistence.

Making the best of it, moving ahead one day at a time.

And there's that Bubba Lee, I still cannot believe that she has let down her guard.




I'm sticking around, I've said it before, and it bears repeating.........



There may, in life, be sharp turns, false friends, tough times, bumps in the road,
but there is so much more.......family, true friends, and flowers, and sunshine.............for as long as I've got on this crazy planet, I'm going to love all of it.




Thanks for coming by.........it means a lot.






Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts