Crazy as a Loom

Monday, May 31, 2010

From a different angle.

I was at the studio last night, as dusk was falling.
I didn't think I could love this porch any more than I already do, but when the sun is sinking in the west, it is a beautiful place to be.
From Crazy as a Loom

I had a couple of rugs on the loom, and I was restless, so I headed back to the studio to finish them, and clear my head.
OK, the truth, to use an English description, I had the hump.
Which means, I wasn't in a very good mood.
A walk in the labyrinth helped to quiet my own internal noise . See how the river pebbles are covered with the blossoms from the locusts trees? And the air is lovely with the smell of them.

From Crazy as a Loom

I guess I just needed to stop and smell the roses Dame's rocket.

From Crazy as a Loom

Then it got really dark, and I got to try out my porch lights. Wow, I could have a party out there.
From Crazy as a Loom

And I did finish the rugs, and their colors cheered me.
From Crazy as a Loom

From Crazy as a Loom

As I was walking out to my car, the night was alive with lightning bugs. Of all the things in the world that I love, that make me feel good to be alive, it's those little bits of white light on a summer's evening.
I drove home with the window down, and the breeze on my face, feeling just a little lighter. Sometimes, I guess we all just need to get a different perspective.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I need.

Good grief.
Every time I go to write a post, my text is underlined. It took me a while, but I finally figured out that if I went to 'edit html', that I could erase the part that made that happen.
I have been interestingly relaxed of late. No orders at present, I am doing whatever moves me at the studio. I wove towels for a few days, and they turned out to be quite nice.
I have three of them, plus the 'extended version'. Don't laugh.

From Crazy as a Loom

I don't usually sell them, because I end up giving them away, to family, friends, friends of friends, blogger friends. You get the idea. But I do think it would look really nice if I had a shelf of them. Makes me look like a more serious weaver.
But as always, my passion moves in. This is what I have been doing for the last couple of days.
I knew these porch railings had a purpose other than to keep me from dancing off the edge.
From Crazy as a Loom

Playing with fabric is addictive, right Sharon???
Mostly, I am trying not to overstimulate myself. This time of year can make you crazy. Or at least crazier than you were before it started. There are so many things to do, and so much clamoring for attention, it is hard sometimes to know where you should focus.
The inside of the house needs cleaning. The pool is about to open. The back porch is covered with pollen, and all the 'summer' furniture needs to be cleaned. All the nurseries are flaunting their flowers, and shrubs, and trees, making the garden fairy weak in the knees. Then there is sewing to do, and all these looms crying out my name. I know, you think I am making this up, but it's sadly true. There is fabric to be dyed, fabric to be cut, fabric to be sewn.
I have one NAKED loom. I am so sorry.
Then there are the woodchucks, and the Havaheart trap that I lent to someone, and can't remember who. There are squirrels in my bird feed stash, weeds in my garden, bamboo (actually knotweed) threatening to take over my entire acre and a half. Then there are grandkids, and their soccer games, and baseball games, and graduations from every grade, including preschool that I should be going to. The refrigerator needs cleaning. I need to sort through all my books, and gift a whole bunch of them to someone. I need to get the racks on my car, and get my kayaks out. I need to finish that scarf I started knitting before Christmas, maybe it will be done by this Christmas. I have a class to teach at the Adirondack Folk School. I need to study my book, Quick Books for dummies. That would be me. I have three old quilts that need backings.
There is altogether too much NEEDINESS. Perhaps that is why I am looking at vacation cottages with lust. I need to NOT need to do anything.
Can that be done??????

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Porch Rug and a Rant

I had originally planned on buying some outdoor carpets for the porch; you know, a runner here and a runner there. But the more I thought about it, the more unnatural it felt. Joyce......are you there?? ......... commented that I should weave a really long rug. And I kept rolling that idea around in my head, and today I did just that.

From Crazy as a Loom

I put two older blue jean runners by the doors.
From Crazy as a Loom

OK, I am going to razzle dazzle you with one more awesome photo of my incredible new porch, and then I am going to go off on a rant.
From Crazy as a Loom

And I do apologize...and will not mind one bit, if you are not interested in what I have to say, and click right on off here. That's OK.
I am bringing this subject up, because I need to. First off, it is my day to day reality, and secondly, I think I have a responsibility to tell people about it.
Here goes:
I have been waging a small war, and thought you should hear all about it.
For a couple of years at least, I have been taking Prilosec OTC......which as the letters suggest, means you can buy it over the counter. I am sure you are all familiar with belongs to one of the classes of drugs called PPI's, or proton pump inhibitors.
Sorry about this....sometimes, no matter how hard I try to forget that 30 years of nursing, I can't. It is just that I was Nancy nurse for half my life, and I can't shut her up.
Anyway, I took the Prilosec for stomach distress, I am not even really sure how long ago I started to take it. I took it on and off, and then eventually all the time.
The most familiar of the PPI's are Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix, and Prevacid. They are generally the same drug, minus a molecule or two.
They stop the acid production in your stomach. They turn the "pump" off. Nada. No more.
Well, for the last year or so, longer than I care to tell you, I have had lots of complaints.A little of this, a little of that, all symptoms I contributed to getting older. And then the Prilosec didn't seem to be doing the trick for my stomach, so the gastroenterologist told me to DOUBLE it. And I did.
Within a few days, I had such stomach pain, I thought I would die. I tried to deal with it, but after a week, I coudn't stand it any more. So I called the doctor, who said he couldn't understand it, but since I insisted that it was too much Prilosec, maybe I should cut back.
As soon as I did, the reflux was worse.
By this time, I was getting suspicious, so I started doing some research.
What I found stunned me.
Apparently, PPI's are only supposed to be taken for a period of weeks, but doctors prescribe them for longer, and longer, and longer. Then when you try to get off them, you get what they call "rebound reflux". Your stomach, that has not been allowed to make acid while you were taking the med, now goes completely insane, and makes all kinds of acid. Of course, the immediate response is to take the med again.
This is why it is called "purple crack". The pharmaceutical companies love it. You start taking it for reflux and heartburn. It eventually causes you to have even worse reflux, and then when you stop taking it, you are sure that someone has poured a quart of acid right down your throat. In a panic, you start taking it again.
And ladies, it causes weight gain, and BLOAT. Big time.
Ta da. A billion dollar industry is alive and doing well.
Let's also not forget that when you are taking it, you risk osteoporosis and other nutritional deficiencies, because you had no acid to digest your food.
And here you are now with the worst reflux you have ever known.
I read everything I could read about it.
And what I have come up with is this.
As we age, we have less digestive enzymes. We also live in a country that thrives on processed food. But the answer to having too much acid, is not to stop it cold. It only sets you up for an addiction to this medication that, by the way, has more side effects than you can shake a stick at.
It's been one month since I stopped the Prilosec. The first week was pure hell. Never in my life have I experienced this kind of 'heartburn'. If I had any doubts about the phenomenon of 'rebound reflux', I don't have them anymore. It is quite real.
After about 10 days, I had the first day that gave me hope. No heartburn until 6pm at night. It was heaven. True, it was only one day, but it convinced me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believed I could heal my stomach, and get it back to normal.
I read that it could take weeks to MONTHS to get over it.
My husband says I am like a pit bull when I get something in my head.
But how else could I get through it, I ask.
But right away there were pluses........I sleep like a baby. That is SO new.
I have MORE energy, I don't fight fatigue daily.
And the IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) I was told that I had............gone. History. NO MORE.
It has been six weeks off the Prilosec. I won't bore you with what I have done to heal my stomach.......but they are all good things, and none of them are stopping the natural pathways of my body.
In this last six weeks, I have been discouraged. Some days just plain freaking miserable. Some days it wasn't half bad, and I was hopeful. Some days I came home from the studio and laid on the couch, wishing to fall asleep and wake up in a couple of months.
But 6 days ago, I had a great day. No acid, no heartburn, nothing. The next day was good, too, and the next. I had 5 days of bliss.
So today when I had a little discomfort here and there, I was OK with it. Because I know that I never had acid reflux like I did when I stopped taking the medication that was supposed to cure it.
I am convinced that proton pump inhibitors are pure poison. I believe that soon, you will be hearing about it on TV, and the medical community will be trying to figure out how to undo the damage, and get half the population off it.
The worst part about it is that no doctor will tell you that it is bad for you, unfortunately, they won't. But the information is out there, and if I can find it, you can be sure that they already know it.
Proof positive that you really need to be your own advocate when it comes to your health.
If you want to know more, a google of 'horror stories of Prilosec', or Nexium, or Protonix, or Prevacid......and you will be reading for a week. This is only the tip of the iceberg, believe me.
I am done with it, and noone could ever convince me to take it again. And I feel better for having told you. Because we can't make choices, if we aren't informed.

I apologize if I have bored you all to death.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just stopping by

From Crazy as a Loom

See what I have to put up with?
Constant supervision.
It was a beautiful day in northeast New York today. They just cut the field next to the studio, and the smell of freshly cut hay was sweet.
From Crazy as a Loom

I got a lot done today....oil change, finished staining the deck, took the cat to the vet, went back and picked him up, had lunch with a friend, wove some towels, got my hair done, and grabbed something to eat at Panera.
I am ready to do a little reading, if I can stay awake.
Isn't spring marvelous?
Until next time.
And for all you Idol fans out there, my vote goes to go, girl.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And of course you're right.

You are all so right.
I especially like the comment that asked me if I got bored with what I am doing.
Heck, no.
Not for a minute.
My only problem is deciding which loom or fabric related task (cutting, sewing, sorting, etc) to do next. I love every single part of it. As a matter of fact, when I pick up my knitting needles in the evening, or work on my Wolf Pup (tiny little loom for you non weavers), my husband says, "Aren't you sick of doing that stuff?"
Here is where I roll my eyes. If only you could see it.
OK, then.
Now that I have established that you were all right, and I was OH SO wrong, I actually have something different to show you. And I found it totally exciting, which shows you that even though my life may not be boring, there are many jet setters out there who would roll their eyes.
That's OK.
Different strokes, eh?
So I decided to stop bagging up my kitty litter for transport to the land fill. All those plastic bags I used, it just didn't seem right. So when I need to know something, I google. And I found that I can compost used kitty litter.
So I had this 'gaylord' in the barn.
For those of you who are saying....wth???
It is a box, sometimes out of layers and layers of corrugated cardboard, and sometimes out of wood. It measures 4 ft square. Here it is after we dragged it out of the barn.
From Crazy as a Loom

It now resides behind the shed, out of site, but near enough to the house to shovel a path in winter.
I didn't want to say that word too loud.
Tammy's boyfriend, Shawn, carried this box on his back. No, he is not Superman. He just thinks he is. Which sometimes is very helpful.
He drilled some holes in the bottom, so it wouldn't hold the water. I covered the bottom with dirt, and in went the used kitty litter.

From Crazy as a Loom

Shawn put lawn clippings over it, but you can use more dirt, leaves, or other yard waste.
Believe it or not, you could use this on your vegetable garden after 18 months......but I think it will just be for flowers and trees.
I might even get some worms at some point, to hasten the process.
I am feeling very environmentally correct today. It is a good feeling.
(can you see DH rolling his eyes?)
Back to old news......porch has FINAL COAT of stain, and it's looking good.

From Crazy as a Loom

Tammy was busy cleaning the house, bless her little heart.
So I made a caterpillar rug, just because I could.
From Crazy as a Loom

One thing getting older has taught me.
Get help, pay for help, ask for help. Don't try to do it ALL yourself.
I used to, God knows. And it wasn't always pretty. I work smarter now. I still work hard, but I work at what I want to work at, and then I am grateful for HELP doing what I don't want to do.
The Solmate sock rugs were a lesson in learning to give up some of the work. I thought, in the beginning, that I could do it all. Then I realized that my time was precious, and that cottage industries are made up of people helping out along the way. It is good for me, and good to give work to people who need it. So I no longer cut the socks into strips, and I no longer loop them together. And you know what, it works for me.

I have had requests for placemats out of the Solmate sock seconds. So I made a couple, but I am still not sure if I like them or not. I guess if you are into funky, they are OK. They would definitely BRIGHTEN up your table, and the best part, they are washable, after all, they're socks!!!!

From Crazy as a Loom

From Crazy as a Loom

I can't imagine what plates I would use? That is, if I had cupboards full of plates to choose from.
At any rate, I think I will put them on my website, and see if they are an idea that will sell, or an idea to forget about.
What do you think?

Friday, May 21, 2010


From Crazy as a Loom

I know, I am boring. At least I feel boring. I especially feel like a dud when I post pictures of the same old things...just in different colors.
And worse yet, different angles.....of the same thing............

From Crazy as a Loom

I wouldn't blame you if you clicked right off this blog, and went looking for something DIFFERENT.
Wait, wait....I got something......a big, fat, donut roll.
From Crazy as a Loom

Can't fool ya', can I? You've seen it all.....rugs, placemats, cats, cats, cats..........looms, views on the loom, under the loom. An old house, an old weaver.
This blogging thing can leave you exhiliarated one day, when you post great pictures, and the text just flows.............or it can leave you feeling like an old, wet dish cloth........when the pictures are more of the same, and the words don't seem all that interesting.
So, I guess I will leave you tonight, to your own devices.
Besides, I am busy thinking up something else that will probably drive my poor husband to the nut house.
Life's short, ya' know?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pay attention.

This blog thing is very helpful.
Usually when I tell DH that I have a 'job' for him to do, he makes a face. But he had already read my post, so he already KNEW that I would ask him to help me.

So, is this an improvement???

From Crazy as a Loom

It does look better. I did look up the danger of lead paints, by the way. Good point. The paint is not flaky at all, it is hard as a rock. And since this is the room that I use when I stay at the studio, the kids won't be sleeping in it. As long as you don't touch it, then put your hands in your mouth, or inhale the dust, you're ok; providing that there is lead in it. Which it probably does.

I have really not accomplished that much this week. I can't explain it. Just one of those weeks, I guess.
I did have some fun with these towels, once I ironed out all my mistakes.
I was in the kitchen, and happened to look into the other room, and saw this shot. Another 'under the loom' shot.
First with the flash.
From Crazy as a Loom

Then with no flash.
From Crazy as a Loom

I was weaving the afternoon away, trying to ignore the fact that I didn't really feel all that well. I finished two towels, and brought them home to hem and wash.
When I cut them apart, I was amazed to see that one of them was TWICE as long as it should be. So tell me, what do you do with a 5 ft dish towel? Could it be used by two people at once, you take an end, and I'll take the other???
Sometimes I just don't have an excuse for my craziness.
Ah, well, this week is almost over.
Next week, I'll hopefully get a chance to do it all over again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So shoot me.....again.

Finally, two and a half days into it, as Sharon over at In Stitches put it, I 'whupped' this warp.
I can't believe how many mistakes you can make over the course of 493 threads.
From Crazy as a Loom

While I was anguishing over it, I was muttering to myself, again, that I would figure out a way to insert heddles where I needed them to fix mistakes.
As if in answer to my prayer, my neighbor, who is the master maker of my loom parts, happened by.
And in a matter of moments, he told me just how to do it.
Why didn't I think of it????
Non weavers can skip this part.
You put a little piece of wire, bent in a U shape, over the back of the heddle bar. I did the top first. Holding the heddle in front of the bar, you slide the hole of the heddle over the two prongs of the U shape, and bend them back to hold the heddle in place. Repeat on the bottom heddle bar.
This pattern is a huck/waffle weave. I think I am going to love it. All the more for all the work it has taken.
From Crazy as a Loom

You might remember that I put a new back door in the kitchen last winter. I saved the old door, which was painted white on the inside. The outside of the door had not been addressed in a very long time. And it has the most amazing texture.
From Crazy as a Loom

I wanted to do something with it, so I had it leaning in the corner for a while. And then it hit me.
I took the knobs off it, and the hinges too.
And it has a brand new career.

Do you like it??? I am in love with it.
As you have heard, my DH says I am easily amused.
Do you think it should be a bit lower? Or is it OK??
Do you think it needs some adornment, maybe some dried flowers? Or au naturel?
From Crazy as a Loom

And I don't care if I am easily amused.
Country Living, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Looking ahead.

I came home from the studio today, sputtering and muttering.
I announced, "I am annoyed."
DH wanted to know why.
So I told him about the towel warp that I have spent two days on, that still has mistakes, and still is not ready to weave on.
Oh, says he, is that the warp you are doing just for fun????

I am resisting the temptation to get in the car and drive right back there, and FIX IT.
I cannot even type the epithets that come to mind.
The warp from hell.
And I don't even know what my problem was, other than I just screwed up.
Yup, tis true. I am IMPERFECT.

When I am feeling particularly useless, I look at some pictures I have on my lap top. They always make me feel better.
They are proof positive to me, that I am OK, after all. Warp or no warp.

From Crazy as a Loom

I guess I have shown you these before.
But they are worth repeating.
Sometimes I ask myself how I got this lucky.
Three beautiful daughters. Wow.
And they are beautiful on the inside, as well.
They don't weave, but I mean everyone has faults, right?
I still love them.
And there's time. Plenty of time.
From Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back to school.

And the winner mother is shuffling up the papers........
From Crazy as a Loom


The mug mats of your choice will be on the way, as soon as I get your address.

I spent all day at the new Adirondack Folk School, in Lake Luzerne, NY.
From Crazy as a Loom

At the site of the old town hall, renovations are under way. Classes start in June, and the course list is impressive.
You can check it out here.
From Crazy as a Loom

They are teaching lots of wood working courses, like making rustic furniture.
From Crazy as a Loom

I am going to be teaching a workshop there every Wednesday in June, and if it fits into my schedule, I will be doing more teaching in the coming year.
So far there are 5 looms.
From Crazy as a Loom

And they all had to be warped.
From Crazy as a Loom

Funny how life offers up twists and turns you didn't expect. I had no intention whatever of going anywhere else to teach weaving. Then I had this student, her husband was starting this school, one thing led to another, and here I am.
The school is located right on the Hudson River, and it is beautiful.
There will be painting by the river, gardening, kids crafts, places to picnic, and a path to hike along the water.
From Crazy as a Loom

It is truly a remarkable place, and the community has come together to get it up and running.
If you have time, check it out. Better yet, come take a course.
You'll love the Adirondacks!
But right now, it is off to the hot tub, and then I hear this plaintive voice calling me.....I think it is my bed!
No fooling.
(and thanks Connie, for your help)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anyone for an orange??

Well, I would love to say that the porch is done, but it isn't quite. The floor needs to be resanded, and stained one more time. But after all the work that went into this, that is no big deal.

And I did promise to post pictures today, if the sun was shining, and it was.
From Crazy as a Loom

I am in love with this porch. It is the porch I have dreamed of having my whole life.

From Crazy as a Loom

There was a lot of questions/discussion/anguishing over the roof line, how to bring the two roofs together in a way that didn't look like a patch job.
I think this works well.
From Crazy as a Loom

A porch is a place you go to sit and rock, to have a cuppa tea, or a cuppa coffee. Or maybe a nice glass of iced tea when the temperature goes up.
From Crazy as a Loom

It is also going to be a place to eat lunch.
From Crazy as a Loom

There are outlets so I can plug my sewing machine in. What better place to sew blue jean strips??
From Crazy as a Loom

I decided to have a second set of stairs on the other end of the porch. I'm glad I did.

From Crazy as a Loom

Tammy came this morning.....and we wove a 5x6 rug for an order. She hasn't been to the studio in a while, and I miss her help. We made quick work of it. I had the loom warped and ready, the fabric all cut.
But before I left today, I made sure to take these pictures.
From Crazy as a Loom

OOPS.....think someone forgot to paint the soffit on the top.
From Crazy as a Loom

And in case you were wondering what happened to the OLD PORCH, well here it is.
Hey, it's the ultimate recycling.
From Crazy as a Loom

Oh, and didn't I offer you an orange?????
From Crazy as a Loom

Told you I can't resist those loom shots.
From Crazy as a Loom

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts