Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nicky Hokey

I have been watching the sale flyers for Target and Kmart....and this metal shelf was finally on sale this week.
I thought I could put it together, but soon realized that it was a two person job. So I asked my husband to come over and do a couple of "ten minute" jobs. :)
While we were putting it together, he was questioning my judgement about buying a metal shelf instead of a plastic shelf, which he insists goes together in 5 minutes.
This one did not.
But it is so much nicer looking than the plastic ones, Bill, don't you agree????

Next on the list was putting this cupboard on the wall in the kitchen. No modern cupboards here.......and I desperately need more storage space. It needs a board across the bottom, which DH has bought already.
We had an awful time putting it on the wall. It is quite heavy. And I couldn't hold it steady and in place by myself so he could attach it to the wall. So we put a stack of stuff under it to hold it up there.
We also couldn't find the level, so I suggested we just use a small glass of water, at which my husband replied, "My God, I am married to Mort Cooper." (that was my father)

Which brings me to the term, "Nicky Hokey". My husband insists that it is a well known phrase, meaning a crappy job, something thrown together without much of a plan.
I said what you mean is "cob job", my father's favorite term. Which is kind of comical, because he was the king of cob jobs. And this term is well known. One of the explanations I found was "cob is short for cobble a rough hewn stone for streets. The expression actually means a roughly done job."

See, I have several sources of heat in the studio, one of them being a Monitor heater that runs on kerosene. It is very economical, and throws a lot of heat, but it has a ton of maintenance issues. And on top of it, the fuel company came and filled the tank, and then said it was unsafe, and I had to pump it out and fix it, or they wouldn't refill it in mid winter.
So, a friend decided he would insure that it didn't tip over, while I was using the fuel that is in it.
This is what he you can call it nicky hokey, or you can call it a cob job. It doesn't matter. It is a nightmare.
I can't imagine how he came up with this one.
And to make matters worse............
Do you see how the tank is secured to the tree?????
Mort would be proud.
Lord have mercy.
Suffice to say, when this fuel is gone, this tank is going bye bye.
And the Monitor heater is going with it.
Haven't decided what I will do to replace that heat source, but I can tell you it won't be nicky hokey.

On a happier note, I got my new birdfeeder today. It is called a roller feeder , and it is supposed to be squirrel proof, and it doesn't spew the seed on the ground where the squirrels can get it anyway.

Guess if it works, it isn't a happy note for the squirrels.I did manage to start this order of three rugs. Hopefully, I will have enough fabric to make some for the shop. I love this color combo.
And just so you don't think I am a total CAT is my REAL baby. On the couch, right next to me, where he loves to be.

My husband says he is a spoiled brat.

Oh, Eddie, how can he say such a thing???????

Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I was trying to get a natural warp off the loom today, so I can put another warp on for an order.
Unfortunately, there wasn't enough for a full size rug.
Luckily, there is a spot in the studio for a tiny rug.
Which made me think that it was time to show you my little 'loo'.
It is so small, that when we were refinishing floors, we didn't hesitate about painting this floor barn red.
There was no room to get the sander in there, so it seemed like the way to go.
This is the shelf above the toilet, which I won't show you. Suffice to say that the toilet seat is painted a mint green, and it is very old. My daughters think it should go, but I think it is vintage, so I keep it.

There is also a door to nowhere in the little bath. It used to be where the washing machine was. And the previous owners decided that they would put it in the middle of the dining room, and just build a wall around it.
Needless to say, that was history right away.
So now the door doesn't open, due to a cupboard behind it.
Old houses, you gotta love 'em.
The elf sink. It really is called that. I searched high and low to find a sink that would fit. Isn't it precious??

I love the mirror. It always reminds me to just love myself the way I am, and not "long" to be something else.

In spite of the day being broken up with errands, I got a lot done.
I had a visitor from Evanston, Illinois. A fellow blogger, Jaimie, was in the area with her husband, and came for the "tour". She met the cats and we talked about weaving.
Of course, I can talk about weaving for hours. So visitors need to beware.
It amazes me how many nice people I have met through this blog, and others.

I found the stuff I need to rehab the Weaver's Friend loom. On the suggestion of my friend, Chris, of Homestead Weaving, I went to the hardware store in search of the grease. I walked in and asked for "white helium grease". The lady laughed, and said, "do you mean lithium?"
Ahhhhhh......OK, that is what I mean.
And I found the Howard Feed-n-Wax at a local antique store.
So we are good to go.
I am cleaning it tomorrow. If I can get my husband to help me, I will drag it out in the sun.

I wound a warp for some sage rugs, and found a roll of fabric in the perfect shade.

Busy, busy, busy all day.
I think I was born busy.
Is that possible?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Experience it.

On our way to Troy this morning, following the "Redneck Racing" car.
My daughter told me that it is "all about the experience".
I guess I don't get Redneck Racing. But that's OK.

We were on a mission to check out this old loom I saw on Craig's list.
It had all its pieces parts, it intrigued me, and the price was right.
Are you surprised that it came home with me???

It needs some serious cleaning, and because we really didn't have any help unloading it, we put it in the barn, sliding it down two large planks.
This week, I will clean it up, oil the moving parts, and get some help to load it back in the truck, drive it around to the front door, and bring it into the studio.
Then it will once again be warped and ready to weave on. treadles. Two beats of the beater bar changes the shed. Maybe when I get it inside, I will do a video of it in action.

Unexpected visit from Gabby, my granddaughter. Here she is with Mr. Spagetti Squash.
I was telling my daughter about my mother, and how she "forgets" to tell me when she has cardiac symptoms, and then when we get her to a doctor, she reveals all, and I feel like a moron.
My daughter said I should talk to my mother about that annoying little habit. I said, "Yeah, right."
I drew this face on, and told my daughter that she might as well go ahead and talk to Mr. Spagetti Squash.

Gabby, Miss Big Ears, was listening, and thought this was hysterical. So she had to hold him. The squash.

I made apple pies today.
Good thing.
My husband yelled at me earlier, when he was backing the truck up to the barn, to unload the loom. He said I was lousy at giving "back up" directions. He jumped out of the truck, held both his arms high in the air, and shouted, "What the hell does this mean?"

Tonight, he said, "This may be the best pie you've ever made."
I said, "Yeah, but I give lousy back up directions."
He said, " That's OK."

And it was delicious, if I do say so myself.
After all, it is all about the experience.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

She's Back!!!!!

Yup, Tammy came to the studio today, to weave with me. It is her weekend off, and don't tell her I told you, but I KNOW she misses me.
And the studio, and the cats.
And just being able to work doing something you like, in a relaxing environment.
And it continued to rain, all day.
Some of us just don't care if it rains or not.
And one of us wants to make it perfectly clear that "the queen reigns".
And I suppose, if you climb up high enough, noone can ignore your "queenliness".

I wove rugs all day, tied lots of fringe, and contemplated the turn of events.

I took the soup home for dinner, and we made a chef salad to die for, out of all the stuff I bought yesterday, and with a loaf of Villa's bread, which you can only buy in Glens Falls, NY, we had a feast of sorts.
It was all pretty delicious.

My husband said that this is what they mean about making lemonade, when life gives you a bunch of lemons.
Hmm. OK, Bill. You might be right.
Dinner was wonderful, at any rate.

Tomorrow, I am going to look at a loom.
I know, I know. I don't need another loom.
But that is just not a consideration, if you know what I mean. It doesn't even enter into the equation.
This one is a Weaver's Friend, if I am guessing correctly, from the one picture I saw. I am very curious, and the price is appealing, so you never know, it might just be coming home with me.
I'll let ya' know. It allegedly has no treadles, the shafts change when you pull the beater bar. Too cool.
Husband is about to watch a movie, and I am going to work on some pinwheel towels.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here comes the rain.

Cranbrook warped.
Cranbrook threaded, and tied on.

NOW, if I can just get the countermarch system through my thick head, and get it tied up so I have a shed big enough to accommodate a shuttle, I will start weaving.

Heavy rain predicted for tomorrow, and I am not surprised. This week has been a comedy of errors, but I am not laughing presently.
You know about the squirrels, if not you could go here and read about the cause of my misery. Or at least one of them.
I am limping around, though my xray says my foot is OK, believe me when I say that it is not. Very painful, whatever it is. Podiatrist appt November 11th. Can't wait.

Then there is the saga of the Monitor heater, if you would like to read about them, you could go here to get the lowdown. But I can tell you this, as economical as they are, the money I have spent in repairs and maintenance certainly puts a new spin on it.
Now I have a heater that is in the repair shop, again. And a tank full of kerosene that is tilting, and needs to be pumped out, and needs a brand new cement pad built.
Are you hearing coins falling??? Money rustling????
Cause you should be.
So I have tried all week to put this all in perspective. It could be worse.
Other people have bigger problems.

This morning I got up early, and went grocery shopping. I had three people coming for a weaving weekend. I spent $144.86 on all kinds of wonderful things to feed them, roast chicken and biscuits for dinner, chef salad for lunch, french toast with sausage for breakfast.
Then I went to the studio, unpacked everything, and finished the cleaning job that I have been working on all week. I cleaned and brought in wood pellets, I made soup, and roasted squash. I was busy all day, never stopped.
They called about noon, and said they were in route, and wanted to know what time dinner was.
The roast chicken was waiting to go in the oven.
Then about 2pm, they called again. Due to a phone call that relayed the unexpected death of someone close, they were cancelling.
Would I give them back their deposit??
Caught off guard, and feeling terrible about their misfortune, I said yes.

So all the perishable food got packed up, and loaded back into my car.
All the plans I had for my weekend are thrown out the door. Phone calls are made to make adjustments all over the place.
I am getting flack from my family because I said I would give the deposit back. For all my trouble, and money spent on food, the general consensus is that I should have kept it, of at least half of it.
Well, at least I have a huge pot of fantastic soup, Ribollita, that I made from a recipe over at Kayotic Kitchen. It is a great recipe, and it is delicious. I highly recommend it, and in fact, I am thinking it will go quite well with a glass of pinot grigio, or maybe even two glasses.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Missing October

OK, I am missing October already. And it isn't even over. I found myself tonight looking back through my Flickr photos with lots of nostalgia.
Driving through Vermont, with the leaves changing, it is the kind of day I want to hold on to, and not let go. There is nothing more fun than a day of driving through the countryside, with no particular destination.
Stopping when you want to stop, taking turns that look inviting, taking time.
I have no idea who did this, but I like the way they think. Or don't think. I love this.
And these people have a great sense of humor.
Instead of putting them out by the road with a free sign, they decided to make their own art objects.
There is a certain amount of appealing weirdness about this. LOVE IT.
And I am missing Maine, too. Our short trip there the beginning of this month was lovely, but not long enough. While we were there we went to the Ogunquit Playhouse.
Did I tell you that October is when all the Baby Boomers go to Maine??? Yup. We were all there. Well, a lot of us were there.
But no sense getting all shook up about it.
Octobers come, and Octobers go. Today it was 65 degrees.
Love it while you can.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Every year I have things that I want to do, and planting trees was one thing on my list for this year. I had the brush and tall grass cut down a couple of months ago, and I have been mowing it ever since.
Early this morning, they started planting the trees. One clump of silver birch, one red maple, and two sugar maples.

I try to improve the property at the studio, and this was my project for 2009, outside stuff, finishing the labyrinth, clearing more brush, and the trees.
It is good to have goals. In my case, I have lists. Some of them are things to do in the near future. And some of them are things to do this before the year is out.
Five years ago, I met an old acquaintance on the Thruway at an exit near Rochester. She was coming from Pittsburg. We traded looms. Crazy? Probably. But she wanted the loom I had, and I wanted the Cranbrook that she had.
I brought it home, and put it in the attic for storage. Then I bought the house in Kingsbury, and set the Cranbrook up there.
And there it has been for four years. Waiting for me to find the time, and the courage, to tie it up, and start weaving on it.
I wound a warp on it last week, and today I finished threading it. Finally, it is ready to go.
Another thing on my list I can mark done. Pictures later.

I have decided not to stress out about the squirrels. Yeah, they have to be evicted, but I will do it a step at a time. I can decide not to get undone over it.
There are certainly bigger problems in the world than mine. In fact, in the scheme of things, I don't really have much to complain about.
So I am not going to.
When I think about complaining, I will make another list.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I got to the studio this morning, and this is what greeted me. Sunshine, and lots of it.
It was cold, tis true. But I can take it, if it is sunny.
What a beautiful day.

We did get a hard frost. So all those allergy sufferers out there can take a deep breath. The ragweed is history for another year.

I got busy weaving, but my DH showed up, intent on helping me wash windows. I have been saying that I was going to have to do it myself, and he offered his services. The storms on the outside have to come off, and both windows have to be washed. It isn't hard, just very time consuming. And not something I can do alone.
Yes, ladies, he cooks, and he does windows, too. What a guy!!
Guess I will keep him.
While we were out there, I was telling him that the house needed painting, again. And I was perusing the siding, checking out the places where the paint was peeling.
And I noticed this.

Bill......look!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!
Yup, he said, looks like squirrels have chewed their way into the soffit.
Then I screamed again.
There he is!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOOK!!!!! In the window!!!!!!!

There he was, indeed. Sunning himself in the eyebrow window up in the peak of the house.

I ran and got my zoom lens. I couldn't believe my eyes. I swore, I stomped, I shook my fist at him. I don't want you in my attic.
Why is it whevever I get a little money ahead, something.....or someone....comes along with another plan for it.
Like you.
And as I zoomed in, snapping away, I let out one more whoop.
And more profanity.
No, this is not a joke. Those are not two little squirrel statues up in the attic, sunning themselves in my eyebrow window.
Those are two interlopers, who are going to make me spend money, to get them out of my house, and to block up the places they are getting in.

No, they are NOT cute. NO.NO.NO.

"Do you hear something?"
"I thought I heard people."
"Isn't that sun divine?"
"Hey, where'd ya' put the sunflower seeds we stole from the bird feeder?? Huh? Huh?"
"They're right there. You're sitting on them. Quit botherin' me. I'm getting some sun."
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts