Crazy as a Loom

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gratitude is the attitude.

Five more totes on the loom today, I am on a roll.  I will weave them until I get sick of them, or more likely, sick of sewing them together.  I am cutting the fabric THINNER, because otherwise, sewing them is a bear.
I thought I would include a picture of how I put the straps on.
I don't actually do them on the floor, but it was the only place where I could lay it out so you could see it.

My cousin clued me in on an easy way to make the square bottoms.
While I am weaving a tote, I am already thinking about the color of the next one.

But I need to take some time tomorrow, to regroup; put some stuff away, move my sewing machine, make a space more comfortable to sew in.

I think I am going to like this one.   Black straps?

This is a smaller bag, that looks like blue jeans, but isn't
Here it is up close.

And another, without the burgundy.

And up close.
Maybe they should be called Faux Blue Jean Bags.  They sure are easier to sew, and they are not as heavy.
As cold and uncomfortable as it is in New York, I am grateful that I am not in Egypt.  Watching it on TV is troubling, to say the least.

Yes, give me New York in February.   Sure, there's snow, and more coming.  It's cold, and by the weekend it's going to get colder.
But we're pretty safe.  Crowds aren't rioting in the streets.  We're not going hungry any time soon.

Today, I am just grateful, for this life I have.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ten down, Ten to go.

Totes, that is.   Beach totes.

Putting them together is labor intensive, and not nearly as much fun as weaving them.
But I love the results, so I persist.

While I worked, some were resting on their laurels.
I'm not sure I have any, but if I did, I probably wouldn't do much resting on them, anyway.

I tried to get them all in one picture, but it wasn't all that easy.
These totes are big enough to carry a small child around in.
You're not gonna make me go find one to show you, are you?
They would also hold a couple of good size cats, but I had a hard time trying to decide WHICH TWO it would be.
So without further they are.  All ten.


 My theory about tote bags is simple.
If you want lots of compartments and frills, you need to buy Vera Bradley.
My totes are just totes.  Simple, strong, washable.
Yes, I have an attitude sometimes.  I don't make things I think people will like.
I make things that I like, and then when someone else likes it too, well, there ya' have it.
That's the payoff.
So which one is your favorite?

This week, I'm making ten more totes that size, before I start on smaller ones.

I can't think about how many more snow storms, how many more snow plowing bills, temps below zero.
So I think about tote bags, rugs, place mats, and all the other things I can going to make.
Winter, you don't own me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

To my girls.

Letter to My Daughters

I will never live with you, even when I am really, really old.
Don’t ask.  Don’t think it.
It will never happen.
If I lived with you, there’s a chance that I would begin to depend on you for everything.
I might stop cooking dinner for myself, and wait until you announced dinner every night; then if it didn’t meet with my approval, I might make a face and eat it anyway.  Or I might make myself toast, while you worried if I was getting enough to eat.

I might stop driving, because it scared me, and then you would have to drive me everywhere.
When you got me to the grocery store, I might speed off on my mini car, fill my cart with cookies, candy, ice cream, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and salt free chips. Then when you asked me where the real food was, I would shrug, and wave you away.

If I lived with you, I might have my TV on for 14 hours a day.  I might watch the same maudlin movies, over and over. I might listen to it so loud, that you couldn’t hear your own TV, should you want to watch it, and I would stay up long after you went to bed, so you would lie awake listening to mine.
You might not be able to shut your door, in case I needed you in the night.
 I would probably still like Everybody Loves Raymond, but I might hate Marie, Raymond’s mother.  I might think she was bossy, pushy, domineering.  I might insist that it wasn’t funny, that they were an‘awful’ family, while still watching it several times a day.
No, dear daughters, I will never live with you.

When I had the hump, I might sulk like a child, turn the TV off, cross my arms and close my eyes; and when you worried and asked me what was wrong, I might shrug, and say “nothing”, even though you would KNOW that there was something.
You might start feeling that you were bad daughters, that you weren’t doing ENOUGH.

When it was time for vacation, you might want to take your children, and by then, your grandchildren, on a trip.  Just you.  And even though it might not interest me, I might make sure you felt very guilty for not taking me.
Do you have any idea how long you might feel bad for leaving me home?
No, no, I will not be living with any of you. Not ever.
Because I love you too, too much, as I know you love me.
I don’t want you to be torn between that love, and the annoying old lady that I might become.  For though I am full of life now, and love my life, there is every possibility that I may not always be myself.
I don’t want to see that look in your eyes, when I am rambling on and on about the me I remember, when I tell the same stories over and over.
I don’t want to see that impatience on your face, when I am driving you crazy.
No, I will not live with you.
Whether I am living alone with my looms, or being cared for somewhere, I want you to come visit me, take me away for the afternoon, spend small bits of intended time with me.
Then, only then, will I be sure that I am still living my own life, and not yours.
Love, Mom

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sunshine in a dish!!!!

Roba Dolce!!!!!!

On a cold and wintry afternoon, the Fed Ex truck pulled in.   I knew what it was when I saw the box.  I said to my cousin and "L"........Girls, this is OUR lucky day.
Roba Dolce is here!!!!
It was packed in dry ice, and frozen solid, so we had to let our choices sit for a bit, til they were soft enough to eat.
"L" is a absolute chocoholic, so she had the chocolate gelato.  My cousin had the pistachio.
But I had the coconut.  It was creamy and oh so coco-nutty.

I would have to say that 'hands down', this is my favorite dessert EVER.
OMG, Karen, thank you, thank you.
I urge you ALL to click on the icon at the top of the page, and find out where you can get some of your own.  
It is SO much better than ice cream.....hard to describe.  The flavors are so intense.
Now, if they will just make my Horchata!!!

Still making tote bags today, took TEN off the loom, the beach bag size.  Want to do 10 more before I start sewing them up.  It takes a lot more time to finish them than it does to weave them.  Hopefully, I will have some pictures for you soon.

Thanks for the tip about the 'adult' size hula hoop.  I don't feel quite so bad.

And I have to share this with you.......Valerie over at Fiberewetopia sent me the link to this You Tube video, to show me that Bubbalee isn't that much of a challenge after all.

Now get out there and get yourself some Roba Dolce!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hula who?

I have decided to go with Kate's suggestion.
When my followers hit the 200 mark, I will be giving away a rug.  I will post that day, announcing it, and I will give the winner their rug of choice.  Seems like a simple solution to me.
I love giveaways.   They just feel good.

Someone asked about my camera.   About two years ago, I decided I needed to buy myself a decent camera, for taking pictures of rugs for my web site.   A business purchase, so to speak.  I went to
Ken Rockwell's site,  spent a lot of time reading about cameras, and decided to buy a Nikon D40.  They don't make this camera anymore, but you can buy it on Ebay.  It is pretty comparable to the more expensive D80, it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles.  I do not  totally understand it all, I will be honest.  I am NOT a photographer.  What I do is take LOTS of pictures.  Crazy amounts of pictures.  So I get lucky.
I also bought a zoom lens, on Ebay, at about half what I would have paid new.
Mostly, I find that taking pictures, for me at least, is about perspective.  There's that word again.  And light.
And luck.
I so envy people that know what they are doing.  But trust me, that would not include me.  I just go with it.  Sometimes, I think that is one of my better qualities.  But if you ask, someone else might say.......not so much.

Today I left the studio at noon.  I had to get my grandkids off the bus, so I decided to take a couple of hours for myself.  Took myself to lunch, then spent a couple of hours in Borders book store.

Then I got a lesson in hula hooping..........
 I remember being able to do this once.
 And she makes it look so easy.
 But I tried it, and it isn't easy at all.
She is practicing for a talent show, and she is pretty proud of herself.

My daughter has a dog, a cat, and three birds.  Her husband doesn't really understand all these animals.
I have no idea where she gets this from.
This is Lukie.  He is all over me from the minute I walk through the door.
 And this is Max, Max eating an apple.

He likes to sit on my shoulder, and he tries to chew my necklace.

Here's my handsome grandson!!!!!!

Early in the winter, my fingers started splitting around the nails, and if you have ever had this happen, you know how painful it can be.  I had hand lotion in my purse, at the studio, at home, and I slathered it on every chance I got (don't ya' love that word, 'slathered'?)
Anyhow, it didn't help.  So I did a little googling, and came up with this.   I ordered it, and was surprised when I got it, that the instructions were to only put it on at bedtime.  What?  How could that help?
Well, apparently the folks at O'Keefe's know what they are talking about,  because it does work.  My fingers have stopped splitting, and I hardly use any lotion at all during the day.
Then I found out that you don't have to order it online, you can buy it at Lowe's!  And bigger surprise, it's in the paint aisle, next to the solvents.  Go figure.
I am not getting paid by O'Keefe's, I am just a happy customer, and I will continue to use this product.
So if you have dry, cracked, chapped hands, this stuff is for you.

Now I am going to peruse my goodies from Borders, so I will bid you all good night.
I got some reading to do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When the student weaver starts to pick out her own colors, and have her own ideas about what she wants to weave............well, that's a good sign.
To me, it means that she is liking what she is doing; liking it enough to want to create her own stuff.

Here is "L's" Harley Davidson rug.  She has been separating and saving  the orange and black loopers 
for a while.

There is a chance that some people might call this a "Halloween" rug.

And here are two of the first rugs she made.  
 I think her hard work is paying off.
Ah, another weaver in the world.
That always feels very good to me.
A job well done on both sides.

Today was a short day.  I had a smashing headache that slowed me down until about noon.
Then I got back to the totes.
 I have been weaving them with fabric, but I have shelves FULL of these cones of thread.  An idea has been brewing in my head.

This small bag is woven from all these threads, wound together as one on the shuttle.

And these threads were combined for the large totes.

I really like the way this is turning out.

Of course, when I get about 10 totes done, then I have to sew them up, and put straps on them.  My least favorite part.

I want to go someplace warm.   I am longing for some sunshine.  Don't you ever want to just pack a bag, and get in your car, and drive off to temperatures above freezing??   I need a vacation, that's all.  A break from it all.  Then I could come back with  brand new ideas. New energy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dark and dirty.

Sometimes when I tie fringe, I talk on the phone.
Today, I did not tie fringe.  That was for the apprentice.
Ha!  I love saying that.
I started weaving tote bags, just like I said I would.
Big, beach bag sized totes.
I don't have any photos for you yet.
But you don't need them, cause I have a CELLAR TOUR for you.
Yup.  When I was down there checking on the frozen water pipe, I took my camera.

The cellar at the studio is very large, and dark, and dirty.  It is also very interesting.
So come on down.
This is the old coal stove.  Not sure how long ago it was used, but it has been defunct for a very long time.
I hope to have it dismantled and removed.

 This is the old brick bake oven.  Right now the blue insulator board is stopping the draft, but you can tell that this poor old oven has seen better days.  I am hoping one day to find a 'brick artist', who will restore it to its former state.
This is the door that won't open because the heat duct is in the way.  Of course the heat duct is worthless, because it carries the heat to the other end of this huge house, and it is cold air by the time it gets there.

 Think someone left this horseshoe for good luck?

 I had these stairs redone, because I was worried that someone would go through them, and get hurt.
You can see the old stair HERE
I have a pile of them waiting for me to clean them up.
 The walls are stone, the beams are huge. And there is a lot of clutter.
 This furnace actually works.  I don't use it......hardly ever.  It drinks oil like my grandson drinks chocolate milk through a straw.  I was paying $500 a month until I bought my pellet stove.  It also sounds like a Volkswagen when it starts up.

 There are a few cool old things down there....this old door, and this whet stone.

 This old barrel has seen better days.  I think it I tried to move it, I would have a pile of boards.

I put the cellar windows in.  They were all boarded up from the inside, and there was dirt pushed against the outside.   Look just to the left of the outside window, and right under the vent pipe, you can see another window, only this one is to the room behind that wall.
The rumor mill has it that this house was used in the Underground Railroad.  This room looks like a likely place
Then again it could have been the place where they stored vegetables.

Note the wooden ceiling.

 More junk.  Lots of it.
Ay yi yi.
This is one of my goals for this year.  I want to clean this cellar, drag everything out into the yard.  Put some lights up, insulate the ceiling, so that the floors in the house are warmer.
Maybe get the bake oven back in shape.
Now, does THAT sound like a plan?

Let's get some sunshine.......

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts