Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Messy, but true.

Two more days until the Christmas in the Country tour, but who's counting?
I finished the bamboo scarves today, and I will have to be satisfied with how many I wove, because there is just not enough time to make more, at least not in time for the open house.
I will still make them, and put them on my web site, just because I like them.
They are really nice, if I do say so myself.
I am convinced that women aren't as concerned about intricate patterns, as they are with color and the feel of the fabric on their skin.
And these scarves are silky and soft!
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I made the 5 shawls, too, which can actually be worn as scarves.
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Then I made a caterpillar rug, because I don't have any in stock. I love them.
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Tomorrow my goal is to get a rug started on every loom. And to make my world famous Greek honey cookies.
Just kidding, of course. They aren't world famous, but they SHOULD be.

I brought some old rugs home with me. They came in a box with a loom I bought a while back. I washed them, and because they had holes in them, I took them apart.
In the kitchen.
It made an awful mess.
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Whenever I am in the kitchen cooking, or whatever, my mother appears, and wants to talk.
I usually ask her to help me, even with things I don't really need help with. It gets her away from the TV, it gives us a chance to chat, and she likes to feel that she is contributing.
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The mess was my job.
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Dear Lord, she drives me nuts sometimes, but isn't she cute?

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And we got 6 rugs torn apart. What a job! It felt great to be finished.
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I watched the Oprah show today. I usually never get home that early, but it was pouring rain, and it felt like a good day to be home.
The polygamous family that does the show Sister Wives was on. My husband actually watched it with me.
I kept trying to see what it is that makes that work for women. And I finally have concluded that what bothers me most about it, other than the ICK factor, and the double standard issue, is that I feel that these 4 women have set women in general back a couple of hundred years. My feminist self just doesn't get it.

Once in a while, someone asks me what I use for inspiration for my weaving. Or more specifically, what drives me. Where do these ideas come from.
Mostly, I think I come up with some of them because my brain is on overdrive a lot of the time, and I guess it is just like taking pictures. If you take 1000 of them, you are bound to come up with a good one once in a while. If my brain is speeding along every waking minute, it is sure to come up with something that just works. So I guess you could call it dumb luck.
Whatever it is, I am grateful for it, and happy that you want to come along for the ride.
I love having you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soup and sisters

Today the plan was that my three daughters were coming to the studio to help me clean and organize for the Christmas in the Country tour, coming up next weekend.
So I stopped at the grocery store, and bought some lunch stuff, and when I got to the studio I made some ribollita, which I found over at Kayotic Kitchen.
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You could smell it cooking all through the house. Yum.
We had lunch as soon as they got there. They had my mother and two granddaughters with them.
It was a busy afternoon. One of them vacuumed the entire house, NO small feat.

When we started, it seemed overwhelming. I had no real idea what we needed to do to make it look right. This, by the way, is what happens every year. But somewhere along the way, creative juices kick in, the brainstorming starts, and soon the studio begins to take on a whole new look. I actually love this.....and the studio needs's kind of a revamp. It gives me a new perspective, and we all know about that, right?

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I actually think that this week will be OK. I am caught up on orders, I have 5 bamboo shawls and 8 bamboo scarves made. I got out my basket of Christmas table runners. Everything is pretty cleaned up, except for the inside porch where we put looper kits together, and that is a totally separate story.
I have cookies to make, and scarves to wet finish, a few errands to run, but for the most part it should be a fairly good week.
Having my three girls come to help me get ready for this event is pretty special.
But they are pretty special, each of them.
Together we have an energy level that is tangible. We laugh, and sometimes we're pretty loud.
But it always feels so good. In fact, I can't think of one thing that feels better.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just shuttling along.

I had the best day.
I'm sure that some people might think that I am nuts, but it was right up my alley.
I turned the heat on in the back bedroom, and wove bamboo scarves all day. I listened to NPR, and watched the weather change outside. Lots of wind. Snow flurries and grey skies, then brilliant sunshine.
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I have 5 colorways of bamboo ribbon. This is #1, an off white, beige and light sage green.

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This one, #2, is brown, and shades of salmon/orange/rust and pink.

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#3 is a bright blue, some navy, a little off white, and shades of brown.

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#4 is off white, gray, shades of navy, with some brown.
There is a #5, that I haven't done yet. It is off white, blue, with some light sage green, and brown.
And of course, I had company. At least one cat was in attendance at all times.
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Maybe they take shifts.........."you watch her now, I'll be up in an hour to take over."
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Kizzy is my guard cat. He alerts me to anyone driving in the driveway, or coming up on the porch. As soon as he hears or sees someone, he runs and hides.
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I think things will slow down a bit after Christmas, and I will take that time to weave for the shop, and also to experiment with new things.
I have a couple of plans, but mostly, no plan. Sometimes, that is the perfect plan.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Bet you thought I didn't have room for another loom, right?
Well, never say never.
My newest addiction.
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I LOVE it. It's so small, and portable. And it's so much fun.
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This is a veg out project in front of the TV. It's that easy. Honest.

Finished two blue jean rugs, 3'x5'.
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And completed the last order for a week of getting ready for the Christmas in the Country tour.
It's next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10-5. The studio will be open, with lots of Christmas stuff.
But before it happens, there will be a whole lotta cleaning going on.

I just gotta say.....this show Sister Wives has been on for the last 20 minutes.
I'm not a prude, but does that gross anybody out besides me?????? Are those women nuts?

Where's Everybody Loves Raymond?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving friends.

It is bitter cold in northeast NY this Thanksgiving Day.
I hate the cold.
But I am grateful for stoves that keep me warm, grateful for warm coats, and mittens, and scarves, and the heated seats in my car.
I really dislike all the hustle/bustle shopping craze that goes on right before Christmas, all the commercialism.
But I do love the Christmas lights and how excited the kids get. Makes me remember being a kid on Christmas.
Sometimes I waste time longing for warmer places, beaches with sunshine and balmy breezes,
when the reality is weaving by the pellet stove wearing a sweater and fleece socks, while the snow comes down outside my window.
See, it's all in your perspective.
I was driving my grandchildren home the other day. Ava was singing in the back seat.
"have an a Luvia, have an a Luvia"............loud.
Her brother turned to her exasperated, and said, "It's HALLELUJAH. HALLELUJAH....don't be so dopey, Ava!"
At which she replied.
See, all in one's perspective.
She knew what she meant.
Sometimes, it is just being happy with what we have right in front of us. Like that Dave Matthews song says "what I want is what I've not got, what I need is all around me".
This is life, with all its imperfections. I want to be warm, while someone else wishes they had snow.
I try to operate on the premise that I have enough. If more falls into my lap, OK. But if not, that's OK, too. I have enough.
Let enough BE enough.
Give me some yarn, and some needles. A book, and some light. A loom, and a shuttle.
I don't need much.
Let me share what I have with good friends, and perfect strangers.

I always laugh when people say that you will need MORE when you are old and retired.
How is that possible?
Unless of course you are the jet setting type, and plan on spending a lot of time and money circumnavigating the globe.
But for me, and for most of us, it is time to settle in to what we have, to savor the quiet and the serenity.
Oh, sure, there will be some trips, some adventures. What is life without them?
But we know where home is. We have moved beyond that place where we have to be entertained.
At least I have. I entertain myself well. I learned how long ago.
So today, on Thanksgiving, on my way to spend it with family, I am grateful.
For life as it is, with all its ups and downs, it is still beautiful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Can't price it.

One thing I love about staying at the studio is early mornings.
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The sun streaming through the windows is energizing.
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I particularly love the dappled sun spots on the ceiling from the eyebrow window.
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It has been a whirlwind four days. I would have to say that the term weaving bootcamp does about cover it.
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But success was sweet.
See it on my friend's face?
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She and I have been friends since 7th grade. We both went to nursing school, married badly the first time, sacrificed a great deal to raise our children, and maintained an affection and respect for each other.
She has lived in Atlanta for the last 20 years.
Over the last four days, while I was teaching her to weave, and more importantly, to warp a loom, we had the chance to do some reminiscing, to share about our families, and to talk about where we are today. Funny, we were so much alike in high school, and now, after so many years, we find that we still are.
You can put a price on a weaving course, or even a weaving boot camp.
You can put a price on an airline ticket from Atlanta to Albany, or on a loom, or a rug.
But a friendship that is still good since 1960, that has survived marriage, divorce, about 1000 miles distance....... well, that my friends, is priceless.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just dropping by.

I thought I would just drop in and let you know that I have NOT fallen off the edge. I am still here in Kingsbury weaving.
Last July, an old high school friend came by to visit. She was enthralled by the studio, and said she hoped she could weave someday. Well, a loom appeared, you know how those looms seem to find just the right person, right?
She called me for my opinion, and at my direction, bought the loom.
She did VERY well: Newcomb Studio Art loom, bought new in the early 1970's, and by the looks of it, hardly ever used. In addition, she got all the paraphernalia that goes with it. Trouble was, she didn't have a clue.
So I suggested she come for weaving bootcamp, which is what my husband says it should be named.
She called me a month ago, and said, how about Nov 20th???
So I picked her up at the airport on Saturday.
From november

"Mom, do we have company coming?"
Since Saturday we have been weaving up a virtual storm. We get up at 6:30am, and fall into bed by 10:30 at the latest. She has woven a few things, and more importantly, warped 4 looms.
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We have eaten out, eaten DH's marvelous spagetti, and ignored everything but the business of weaving.
When she goes home, I want her to be able to put a warp on that loom of hers, and not be afraid for a nano second.

From november

One night, as we were putting a warp on the Toika, we thought we saw something scoot across the porch. Was it Bubbalee? I ran to the kitchen and switched on the light, grabbing my camera with my free hand.
If you look close, you can see his pointy litte possum tale just going over the top step.
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L says they are cuddly creatures. Not sure what she is smokin'. They look vicious to me.

As you know, I love creating new weavers, and every once in a while, I create a monster/addict/weaver, pretty much like me.
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Another late night, we even put a bamboo warp on the Macomber up in the bedroom.
Supervisors look bored, don't they??
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I will be back when boot camp is over, but for now, it's weave and sleep, weave and sleep.
Oh, darn.
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Friday, November 19, 2010


I love this bamboo ribbon. It is awesome to weave with. It is Bonzai by Berocco. The warp is a silk blend. I have it is 5 different colorways.

From november

I am having fun with it, just having trouble finding time amongst all the other things I should be doing.
I also had my granddaughter today, and a friend of mine came to weave, and brought her granddaughter along.
They had never met, but were soon like peas in a pod.
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There is nothing like listening to little girls: feet tromping around the upstairs, little voices singing songs, having little secret conversations that aren't so secret.
But all good things must come to an end.
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Does she have to go?????

So a little diversion was in order. Shall we count kitties, to make sure they are all here, before we go?
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Make sure to look under the beds.
How about in the blue room?
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You're not taking a nap, are you?
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Who's in the red room?
Just Sydney.
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Oh, Sydney. You are a trip.
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Mimi, what is she doing?
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Maybe she is doing her exercises?
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She could stand to lose a pound or two.
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Diversion accomplished.
Cranky face history.
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Ah, the bamboo shawl loom.
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Still missing a couple of cats.
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Finally, some heat up here.........ah, January weaving.
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My good friend mentioned that the studio was a tad chaotic, and that I looked busier than perhaps I wanted to be.
And yes, I will admit, it is a little over the top nuts. LOTS of stuff in progress. Going on.
But it's OK. I am going with the flow, because in the back of my brain is this little picture, of how I think it will turn out. How I want it to be.
I am stubborn/hopeful/determined enough to think that I can make it happen.
Pit Bull mentality, DH tells me.
Could be true.
But for a while now, I have dreamed of having a stack of sock rugs, a stack of blue jean rugs, both black and blue, a stack of lodge rugs, piles of get the picture?
And add to that boxes of Hip to Be Square Looper Looms, and even newer, the Solmate Sock Rug Kit, and the quality of life at the studio takes on a new level of equanimity and serenity.
Ah. I can feel it already.
So you sell 3 of this, and 5 of that.
No big deal. Schedule a day to replenish. No big rush. No pressure.
Having an apprentice may make this dream come true.
And not only that, but another weaver is born.
And I may have created a monster.
But that's another post.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts