Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Just another day?

My friend keeps telling me that if I had known I would live to be this old, I might have taken better care of myself.
Yep.  My birthday.  Today.   72 years on this planet, in this body.
And true, I have not been kind to this body.  I tell my girls all the time, to think about the things they do.....lifting things that are too heavy, putting too much stress on joints and bones and generally not considering the outcome.
But of course, they probably won't listen, anymore than I would have.

 I am brought up short, thinking of my cousin, Billy, who was more like a brother all of my life.

Born a day before me, we were inseparable.   The fabric of my life was woven around him.  He was my friend, my protector, my safe place.



He's been gone 15 years now, from esophageal cancer, a very unpleasant way  to leave this life.
I miss him still.
Yesterday, on his birthday, I got to thinking about all the things that I have lived in this last 15 years, that he was robbed of.  So much life in that span of time, grandkids born and loved, time with family and friends, living my passion in the studio.
Gratitude for those years, and sadness that he didn't have them, are one and the same.

Every time I gripe and complain that this hurts and that doesn't work the way it used to, I try to remind myself, that he doesn't have anything to complain about.   He can't watch the sun come up, in front of the fire, drinking his coffee.


 I breathe deeply, and I'm grateful for every day that I still get a chance to do it all again.  It's always the simplest of things that matter the most.
Sunrises, sunsets, birds singing, a video from my littlest grands wishing me a happy birthday, hugs, friends, the lull of the loom, the shuttle passing back and forth.  A cup of tea, a good book.  A fat cat snoring behind me on the back of the couch. All my memories, good and not so good,  of a life lived fully
Gratitude, my friends, is the attitude.

And that is my philosophical take of the day.


Naya does not seem to be too upset by the snow, even though she came from the south, she takes it in stride, running in it, playing in it, and even sitting in it in the sunshine.


In the studio, some towels on my blue warp.........changing drafts at the click of a mouse.  Ah, technology, sometimes you are priceless.



Sometimes these towels sell off my FB business page as soon as they are done......nice, yes, but harder then to build up stock for shows...........got to get Lois weaving them as well.



She just finished this ruana....which is lovely and soft........and missing a stripe on the upper left.
I am trying to come up with something to offset that in the visual of it.
Buttons?  A brooch?  An embroidered design??
Or just leave it???


               I have changed up my stool
on the AVL.   
It seems to help.  My PT guy seems to think that weaving with the elift is not hurting my hip.....it's weaving on looms that require me to "lift" my hip.
That is VERY good news.
I am still only weaving a couple of hours each day, then finding other things to do.
The PT seems to be helping gradually.


While I am not really vain, and certainly not a fashion plate, I have long wanted my hair to be like this.
My father was totally white like this by the time he was 70.  Mine just keeps hanging on in gray mode.

But then, on the other hand, I am very resistant to spending money on frivolous things like this.

But should I?????   What do you think????




Today will be a quiet day at home.  Weather permitting, I will take Naya for a walk, and that will be it for me.  And that's ok.  I  don't need bells and whistles.   
Serenity.  That's my birthday gift to me.
Yeah.








Monday, February 18, 2019

February crazy

I had this crazy idea to make a fabric collage from all my weaving scraps.  I finally figured out the mechanics of getting them on a surface that would hang on the wall, but the results were less than inspiring.
I have a lot of scraps, can I just tell you?




I finally did take them all off, and then I put them all back up with wrinkles, valleys, and hills.....in other words not flat.  They looked better, but I still wasn’t feeling it, so I took it all apart, and decided that it just wasn’t working.
Maybe another time.


I’m much better at creating new dishes for myself.  Meatless, plant based mostly.






Towel warp on the AVL.............



The other day Naya and I decided to walk on the road to one of the locks on the canal.



She found a plastic cup, that she apparently thought was quite a prize.



Even though it was a sunny, bright day, it turned out to be a terrifying one.  I parked at one end of the road, and by the time we got almost all the way to the other end, I realized that we were being watched.
Quite a ways away, there was a very large dog......or a coy dog/coyote sitting perfectly still, staring at us.
I stopped dead, then started to back up.   He started coming forward.....I yelled, and he stopped.
We turned and started running back towards the car.

It was much too far away.  My titanium knee does not like running.

I kept turning back to see if he was coming, and he was, so I yelled again....he stopped......we ran.....we did this about three times, and then finally there was a car coming from the other direction, and the animal ran off the side of the road.
By the time I got to the car, my exercise asthma had kicked in, my knee was screaming, Naya was happily oblivious, probably wondering why we were running.

I sat in the car for a bit, not sure what was happening down the road. I suspect that the person in the car was watching this animal do whatever it was doing.

My fear was that it was a coy dog, that was rabid, otherwise, he wouldn't be out in the daytime, so blatantly.
Last year, a woman  in town was attacked by one, not far from where I was walking.....she was in the hospital for a while.

Let me just say that we won't be walking down there again any time soon.


Interestingly, disturbingly, it was the first time I didn't have my phone in my pocket in I can't say when.


Back in the studio, I made some new pieces from a pattern from Style Arc, this is the "Mickey Cape".




And this one from scraps...........






Sydney says:   "Just stay home.  It's way safer here."




Can I just say that I am OVER FEBRUARY......it's making me crazy....with the cold, the snow, and the skunk that has graced us with his stinky self three nights running.  Isn't he supposed to be HIBERNATING???????

I am also over the squirrels....they are fat and brazen and they never get enough.
But I may have a secret weapon......
Look closely, the squirrel is in the upper left corner.....he wants to cross the window sill
and get to the big feeder on the right .......but he spied Syd in the window.
She gave him the "evil eye", never moving, unless you count the tip of her tail.
This went on for 10 minutes, and the squirrel left.



I may put pictures of her in every pane.


Please spring, come soon.



Thursday, February 7, 2019

In Retrospect

I have been trying to retrieve photos from my blog, back to the beginning.  I have a project in mind.

It's not easy........I started this blog in 2007.......wow.   I'm up to 2015, and I'm moving photos I want to a folder.   It's interesting to see where I've been, photos are so revealing.

As I was going through it, I  couldn't help but notice that so many of you have supported me through several years of my life, some of which were not easy.
I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating.
Thank you, for all your support, your advice, your kind words, for just being there, for listening.


Currently I am dealing with tendonitis in my hips....both, but much worse in the right one.
I know how it happened, but that doesn't really help me right now.
The offending "rug loom" will be fixed/ rigged so it doesn't cause such pain, or it will be gone.

I've had an injection...and now I'm going to PT.    It's been suggested that I give up weaving for a month.  And yes, I am on board with that.   Does that tell you how much pain I am in????   
YEP.   
I'm not kidding.....it's brutal.   Keeps me awake at night.



 I am finding other things to occupy me, so I am not making the hip issue any worse.
That weaving above, well, that will be sitting on the loom for a while, unless I can cajole L into finishing it for me.

She has been weaving ruanas............


This is a little on the heavy side......but boy those colors are something, aren't they?



I am thinking that a lot of dyeing could get done in the next month............




Recently this was given to me..........can I just say.....I LOVE old buttons.  It's an illness, I think.  But I do.



The new Lopi gas stove is a joy.....no more hauling pellets, and no more dust from them.
I swear, pellets are just as dirty/dusty as burning wood.

And I think in the last three weeks since we got this, my headaches have been a bit better......no sinus issues.  That's crucial, to me.

Not to mention that it keeps the room the exact temperature you set it for, instead of having it be 80 degrees because the pellet stove was so hard to regulate.


So yes, that was a good move.   Very happy with it.


There were a couple days, before the rain, when Naya and I were able to walk on the skidoo trails.......it was packed just enough so that I didn't sink into it....and she loved it.


Now however, the fields, and the trails are mush/slush and not passable.



I have not minded this winter when I can get out and walk, but for the last couple of weeks, it's been very difficult......
Too much snow in the fields, the bike path isn't plowed.........the snow banks on the roads make walking on them treacherous....even the back/dirt roads are slick with ice, with mud on top.
Naya is not happy about it, and neither am I.

We need to work out a backup plan.

But it's February, right......spring can't be too far behind.
Can it?









Thursday, January 17, 2019

Nor’easter

Or so they say.....coming Saturday into Sunday......18” of snow.......so they say.
Everyone converging on the grocery store......milk, bread, toilet paper.
Well, I’m good really.......have plenty of almond and coconut milk, have plenty of ingredients to whip up some bread, and I buy toilet paper online and have it delivered 27 rolls at a time, so I’m good there, too.
I may go to the store, just to have some items to make soup with....but that’s about all the preparation I’m going to make.

I did not send the email.  I believe the friendship was better in my head than the flawed, real life version.   Plus I opt for no drama.......and sending it opens that drama door.



We all have moments of feeling lonely, don’t we?  Even, or more so, with people around.
I think getting older definitely has it’s lonely moments. On one hand, getting older is freedom from worrying about how you look, what you’re wearing, other people’s opinions, and other people’s rules.
But your children are grown with their own lives, people you know die, go south for the winter, move away......or grow old in a way that changes everything.
Sometimes I worry that Naya is over bonded with me.....she can’t be too far from me ever, and if I leave for any length of time, when I come back, she is sitting by the back door waiting, no matter how long I’ve been gone.
But on the other hand, she is company, companionship, my 24 hour compadre.  I can’t imagine my life without her.



Every day we walk, even though my right hip is ALIVE with tendonitis from weaving on that old Union Custom upstairs. We walk, I moan and groan, but we walk.  It will be such a treat to walk in nice weather.
The Union needs a make over.  I am considering a couple of things. First I may just flip the treadles around ...attach them at the front of the loom, instead of the back.....which may may treadling easier, without raising your hips....and if that doesn’t work, I may try to convert it to a loom like the Rio Grande walking loom.  Stay tuned for that reveal. Ha!


The OctaDO is lovely, now that I have worked the kinks out........no treadling there either..... just the one bar that you step on......up....down.....period.  I have a narrow, bamboo scarf warp on it, more to acclimate myself to the loom than anything.


Lois is weaving wool silk in vibrant turquoise on her hand dyed bamboo warp on the Baby Wolf, her fave loom.



And I’m weaving towels from my cotton stash on the AVL.......trying to get our towel stock back up to 150.  What a way to get through January.eh?


Every night I brace myself for my trip outside to the hot tub......always worth it, by the way.


I am amazed, every time, at the busy sky overhead.  It’s not just that our lives are full and overscheduled.....our skies are indicative of the crazy world we live in.
If you doubt it, go to www.flightradar24.com.  Omg. You will not believe how many planes there are flying around our earth.....why does  no one ever mention that particular pollution? How can that NOT be a factor?  It truly boggles the mind.
It makes me feel that to find real peace and quiet and serenity in this world, you have to work at it.

I’m on it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Too late

I should have expected a learning curve with a new loom........but I didn't.

It's been quite the experience.  It's so different from the AVL.  I think, though, that finally, I have it.   Adjustments here, adjustments there.
Ah, Octado.................

Lois is convinced that every thing we do in the studio is a back breaker.  Sometimes it does seem that way.

It's January......settling in to all the work that waits.   Staying home, having a plan, restocking the shelves for summer.   That's my life here in the northeast.
Winter walks in the snow, trying to stay warm while doing them.

If I have an errand to run, I wait until I can combine 2 or 3 errands.........the less I have to venture out, the happier I am.

I will admit that I don't mind winter as much since I'm out walking in it every single day with Naya.   Winter does have a certain peaceful beauty.   I would prefer, though, more snow, and less cold.











 





This is my practice warp on the Octado......kind of looks like Rorschach tests, doesn't it?

Actually, the nurse in me sees an EKG........a troublesome one.



Lois is weaving this lovely......hand dyed warp, and hand dyed weft.    I'm going to make a cloak out of it.


Unfortunately, I am not able to dye much lately....it's so freaking cold.   When I do dye inside, it takes up my whole sewing room......so I am careful about when I do it.



Tonight, sitting in the hot tub, I counted planes going over.
I always think of my old friend when I am  in the hot tub, she loved it so.

The thought occurred to me, that if I saw 7 planes go over, in the 15 minutes that I was in the tub, before the jets automatically shut off, that I would email her.

I would say that I miss our talks, our day trips, our friendship. That it is really unbelievable to me, still, that we have not spoken in almost 18 months, after being friends who messaged/texted/emailed/spoke  every day, for 15 years.
That whatever derailed our friendship, makes me sad, and probably always will.

1 plane............... 2................   
...........3 planes. ..............  4.............    5.
Jets shut off.  Quiet.

I sighed, turned left to get out of the tub, and saw two more planes, their lights 
blinking, skittering across the night sky.

But to be honest, too late.







Monday, January 7, 2019

Staying sane.

It was suddenly cold today.......it's hard to know what to expect.....one day it's 40, and the next day it's 20........everything outside is gray and brown and drab.

Thank God there is color in the studio.




I'm still weaving on a wool warp on the AVL......this one has a wool/silk weft.........I'm not really sure what to call it........a cloak/cape I guess.


I especially love the "cloak pin".

I occasionally think I should keep something that I make, but truth is, I am not a "dress up" kind of girl, and would probably never wear it.
I do love making them though.


I love the towpath trail along the old canal....it's barely 2.5 miles down the road, and you can get a good hour's walk there.  It's quiet, and peaceful.

I took my pulse the other day......it was 60........I guess all this walking is good for me.











Naya approves.....it's one of our three regular walks.

At the end of the day, she's tired, and content, and it makes my heart sing.........she's happy.

Home with a good book, it's warm and cozy, the wind can howl, the snow can fly.........but here we are safe and comfortable, it doesn't get much better.
Is it just me?  Or are you just more satisfied with simple things as you age.......I can't imagine now how I complicated my life when I was younger.  Or why.


I listened to Glenn Close last night, when she won the Golden Globe award for "The Wife".....which is a very interesting, if depressing, story.   She talked about how women need to find their passion, find what is important to them, aside from their roles as nurturers.
I am not sure what I would be doing if I didn't have my weaving studio, it sustains me on a daily basis.   I am grateful to have found what matters to me on a daily basis, and what keeps me going.

I am getting used to my new Octado, after a few speed bumps, it is starting to impress me.  Since I have less looms these days, they have to be looms that I love.




I am also a doodler.
Sometimes. 
I find it very soothing.
Sometimes I don't even know really what it is I'm making, until suddenly it is obvious.



Today I learned something that I did not know........my daughter texted me....asked if I would save her the top to a parmesan cheese container.  And I did.
It fits perfectly on a small canning jar, and since she buys bulk parmesan in a bag, it works 
perfectly as a shaker.
Probably would work for a lot of other things, as well.

And a straw fits right down one of the holes, so you could drink a smoothie out of it.


Who knew?




We really only have today.   There's no tomorrow, and no yesterday, when you are seriously living in today.  I used to worry about next week, next month, about things that I couldn't control in any lifetime.  I had a sign, over my sewing machine, that said, "Stay in the Day".........that was when I was married to my alcoholic, unpredictable, unpleasant, now deceased ex. 
It was the only way I could function, to keep myself firmly anchored in each and every day.   When they say One Day at a Time, in AA and AlAnon, they aren't kidding.
But somehow, "Stay in the Day" resonated with me.
I had to work very hard to make that happen.........it was a struggle.

Now, so many years later, and lessons learned, staying in the day seems so obvious to me........and mostly so natural and easy.  When  I wake up in the morning, I have a tentative plan for my day, and not much beyond it.  It keeps me sane.

Stay in the day, it makes life so much better.





Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts