Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making it right.

Guess old Ringo knew of my plan, cause he was nowhere to be seen today.
He's on my list though, and that's a fact.

I spent the entire morning putting the "lost rugs" on my web site.  THIRTY FOUR RUGS.
Can you believe it?
I waver between being disturbed that I made such a mistake, and happy that I have all this NEW STOCK.

Just a couple of rugs I missed.

I have been anguishing over a decision I made a while back.  I decided to attend a wholesale show coming up next week.
I also have a stack of craft show applications sitting here on my coffee table, awaiting my attention.
The problem is that I try to talk myself into doing shows, when the truth of the matter is.......I HATE SHOWS.
I feel kind of stupid here, because I have this internal dialogue going on.  Do you ever do that?   Try to brow beat yourself into something that you THINK you should do.
I just don't want to.  I think it is a major waste of time.  Will I sell stuff?  Yeah, probably.  But will I sell enough to justify my spending 2 days sitting at a show and at least 1 day getting ready and tearing down.
I doubt it.
And I know that in three days time, I can be a lot more productive staying right at the studio, doing what I love to do.  And more importantly, I don't want to market myself, and my passion.  I believe in my heart that it will sell itself.  I don't think I need to market it.  Maybe that sounds crazy, but it's my gut reaction.
I do have ONE show in September, an easy peasy fun show, a fiber show, that I will do.  And cross my heart and hope to die, I will not do any more.

I have been thinking about stories, since the one I told you about Fast Eddie.  I realized that a lot of my comical stories are due to my father. He was such a character.
 I used to think that it was the bane of my existence that someone was always bound to say to me, "Aren't you Morty Cooper's daughter?"
But I have come to realize, in my advancing years, that I think of Morty Cooper's daughter.
Ha!!!  He would have a laugh to hear that.

Sometimes, I see him in my own children, if only a glimpse.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My take.

The birds are singing today, must be they don't know about the foot of snow predicted tomorrow.

The cat saga continues.  Bubbalee is still very pregnant, showing up to eat, and then keeping a low profile.
Bunnynose, who we recently got neutered, has been reunited with his family, for what they are worth.
They moved to Maine a year ago, and relied on the people who rented their house to feed him.  I guess they didn't do all that well at it, because we fed him all winter.  His original family just moved back, and suddenly Bunnynose, whose real name they say, is Pete, is now getting time in the house.
I am still calling him Bunnynose.  I wouldn't have left him that way.
The gold cat, with the rings around his tail, or Ringo, as was suggested to me, has been fighting with every cat that comes around.  He is also yowling outside all day.  He is very thin, and ate a whole can of cat food in about FIVE bites.
He hides between the outside wall of the barn, and the wall of the looper room.  See him way back there?
Well, tomorrow, he is going for a ride to the vet's.  Maybe if he is neutered, he will stop fighting every cat in the neighborhood.
I thought he was wild, but tonight, my friend Sheila called to him, and he came right over and she petted his head.  He meowed and meowed.  
Once again, someone dumped their pet, and left him to wander around, unneutered, unfed.
I wonder how they sleep at night?

We are busy, busy at the studio.  But busy is good.  It means that someone likes what we are doing.
Today, while on the phone with a customer, looking for a rug for her, I realized that there was a rug on the shelf, that wasn't on the web site.  Hmm.
So after I got off the phone, and while I was waiting for a friend to stop by, I did a quick inventory of the
fabric rugs.  Then I sat down at the computer and checked them off.
To my shock and horror, I realized that there are 30+ rugs on the shelves, that are NOT on my web site.
This is very disturbing.  very.  It means that I have somewhere along the way screwed up big time.
And you can't sell it if it isn't up there.  No rocket science there.
So tomorrow morning, I have a job to do, pictures of the rugs, putting them on my site, straightening it out.
But right now, I have to watch American Idol, and make some popcorn.
Go, Scotty, go.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherish the Day

Sometimes I am nostalgic.  A simple song can pull me back.  Often it is a dream, and more often, the feelings that linger after the dream.  I wonder if it is an integral part of getting to be older than dirt.
Ya' think?
Ah, anyway, life goes on, memories/dreams/nostalgia, or not.

Today was big rug day.  Have I mentioned that it is SWEET to actually have someone to catch the shuttle on a big rug, without having to SCHEDULE someone who doesn't really want to do it in the first place?

We finished this one, a 5'x7', and started the second one, same size.  We were rocking.

I think you could call this shabby chic, or vintage cottage, couldn't you ?

I read somewhere that you shouldn't talk about your dogs, or cats, on your blog.
Yeah, right.

Sydney says:  Did somebody say 'integral'?  Yeah, that's me.
I am helping.

Oh, for a cuppa tea, and a chance to relax.
Sometimes I think I work too hard.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Warm me up, please.

There was sun today, but it was still COLD.
Damn, I am sick of the cold.  I so long for warm weather.  I can hardly stand it.
Miss Puss kept me company.  I tried to imagine myself sleeping in the sun somewhere.  I wonder what she is dreaming of.  She is always so content.
We could learn a lot from cats.

Miss Bubbalee is eating like she knows her confinement is close.  She is quite large, and she is also very skittish.  I have debated trying to catch her, and keep her in an upstairs bedroom with her kittens.  Somehow, it doesn't feel quite right.  And I don't think she is going to cooperate anyway.
Limitations, limitations.

I was alone today, so I worked on some "Walkin' on Sunshine" rugs, since I have none.
All this color is the next best thing to SUN.

I wove FIVE of these today, 2'x3', and put them on my web site.  I should have started some spring cleaning, but that takes a particular kind of motivation, and I didn't have any of it.

It seems like we are caught in a time warp, one where it is winter all the time. It makes me want to sleep, and forget about it.  It's a blah feeling, and I don't like it.
I want to get my bicula out, and ride home from the studio some afternoon. It's only 11 miles, I can do that, can't I??
I told DH he will have to stand by, in case I call him to come fetch me.
My brain is so young, my body is so old.  What a dilemma.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Never was a cornflake girl.

I look at my daughters sometimes, three of them, and wonder.  
They are all so smart, and so beautiful.  But most of all, they have character, and I like them.
That is one of those priceless things in life, that we dare not expect, and when it happens, it makes everything else pale in comparison. 
Believe me, I wasn't always the best mother.  I tried, but I know, in my heart, that I fell short many times.
Somehow, they managed to not only get through it, but to be better than me.
For that, I am grateful.

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of my first baby.  I am not allowed to call her my "oldest".
But she is a sweet and loving woman with a crazy sense of humor. She works hard, and I am very proud of her.

Gabby said it best, with what she wrote on the  envelope of her card.
She calls my first born Aunt Baba.

It says, "to the magnifusin Aunt Buba."

Don't even THINK of trying to take my CUPCAKE.

I thank you for all your encouragement, but honestly, a book????
For my babblings?
Be serious.  Be nice, but be serious!

Besides, I am SOOOOOOO busy.  Cutting socks, sewing socks, cutting fabric, warping looms, weaving rugs, running the studio, being a Mimi, teaching my apprentice to be as good a weaver as she can be, driving my DH crazy, being a good daughter, and working on the mother thing.
I don't think I can write a book.
Not now.

Besides, I am writing it, right here and right now, for a limited audience of good friends, who keep coming back to hear it.
And who keep coming back to see what I am weaving up next.
It doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Just a story.

The other day L was telling me how "hoboes" used to come by her house, when she was a kid, and her father would let them sleep in the barn.

I said, "Ha!  I did that once, and he stole my car."
Her theory is that the hobo of that day and age was an honorable one.

Could be.  But let me tell you about mine.  And if I have already told you this story, I am sorry.
The mind is an awful thing to lose, isn't it?

Way back, in the 70's, I decided to start a furniture stripping business.  Yes, I really did.
I had a tank made, and put heating elements in it, like a hot water tank.  It was pretty huge.  The furniture was immersed in the water, to which a chemical had been added, and the finish was thus removed.
No OSHA back then.
Anyway, one rainy day we were down at the bottom of the driveway, hanging the sign.
And this "hobo" stops by and gives us a hand.  With a story that he had left his sailboat at the campsite, with all his belongings, and he was really in a pickle.
So I invited him to dinner.  He looked pretty frail, and hungry.
After fried chicken and mashed potatoes, we offered to let him camp out in the barn, out of the weather.
Which he did.  He said his name was Eddie.
The next morning, Eddie was gone, and so was my car.  He had driven off in my old Chevy station wagon, and after a while, it was obvious that he hadn't just "borrowed" it.  He wasn't coming back.
Right about then, I got a phone call from the Colonie police, about 2 hours south.  Seems Eddie had eaten at a diner, and got up and left without paying for it.  So they arrested his butt, and threw him in jail.
"Is there some reason he has your CAR?????"
Feeling very stupid, I got a ride to Colonie, to fetch my car.
When I got there, and did all the paper work, the officer pointed outside to my car, and handed me the keys.
I said, "Um, what about the boat?"
He said, "What boat?"
I said, "The boat on top of my car."
He said, "I don't see no boat."
I walked out to my car, then back to him.
"What about all that stuff in my car?  There's a TV, and it is packed full.  And there's a sail boat tied to the top."
He said, exasperated, "Lady, I don't see no boat, I don't see no TV.  I don't see NOTHING.  Now would you mind getting your car out of here?"
Dear Lord.
So off I went, driving my car the 2 hours north to go home.  By this time it was dark.
When I was almost home, about 1 mile away, I turned a sharp left onto my road, and the sail boat kept going straight.  It flew through the air, and landed right on the railroad tracks.
So much for Eddie's skills in securing things to the top of a stolen car.
Fast Eddie.
Many times over the years, the subject of "Fast" Eddie has come up.  It has been good for a few laughs.
I never heard from him again.
I took the boat to Maine with me when I moved.  The following year, my father came to get my horse, and the boat.
Did I tell you about my father?  That he was something of a character?
Well, he got a horse trailer, and towed it to Maine to fetch the horse, but he neglected to put the right size ball on the hitch on his truck.  So 10 miles down the road, the trailer came off the truck, sailed PAST HIM in the other lane,  hit the ditch and tipped end over end.  As he pulled over to the shoulder, he angrily flung his Pepsi out the passenger window, which he thought was open.  But it was not open.

The horse survived, but had to be medicated for every trailer ride the rest of his life.
When the police were done with my father, he drove back a few miles to a welding shop, to get the trailer fixed.  As he was zooming down the road, the sail boat came OFF the top of the truck, landed in the road in front of him, and he drove straight over it. It was now in two pieces.

He stopped, other cars stopped, and he gave it to the first person who would take it.

So, I didn't even get to keep Fast Eddie's sail boat.
So much for hoboes.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Hey, you guys.........don't come here!!!  It's COLD.  Go south again.
Are you crazy?????

Sydney says:
If you're coming here, you better DRESS FOR IT.

You're all overreacting.
It's really warm over here by the stove. 

Just let me say right here that  Miss Puss seldom gets far from the stove.  Her butt is PARKED right there.


Who said that?????

I decided today that I wasn't going to get a whole lot done.   I spent about 3 hours taking my Mom to the bank, to the grocery store, to the thrift shop, and to lunch.
I was telling her that for some reason, I suddenly thought of a particular incident that happened some 35 years ago.  She was driving, and I was sitting in the passenger seat, with my toddler on my lap.  This was before seat belts were standard in this country.  As we were driving along, a huge truck swerved right over into our lane, heading right for us.  My mother, who was about 50 at the time, drove right up on the snow bank, and back down again, to avoid a collision.  It was one of those heart pounders.
Today she told me that she remembers it well, and that she felt an angel's hands over hers on the steering wheel, and that's what saved us.
I asked her why today was the first time I had ever heard that part of the story.
She's sharp.  She said she doesn't always tell me stuff, because I will say she is crazy.


I think she likes to go to the grocery store just to bomb around on this. She especially likes reverse, because it beeps, and people pay attention.
And after all, isn't that what it's all about?  Respect?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I see you.


OK, first off, let me repeat......I cannot answer your questions if your post is a "
You need to register your email address, and short of that, email me the question
The black rug will be on my web site in a few minutes, to answer one question.
The rug that L made, is green, lime green, and black, and was made with loopers, albeit very much sorted and manipulated loopers.  L did a lot of prep work to get the loopers just right.

Today I remembered why I hate putting a warp on using the EVIL WARPING BOARD.
Yes, sectional warping has spoiled me forever.
I put an 8/2 cotton warp on my new loom, for baby blankets.  I got it on, and it looks OK, but it was painful, and I do NOT like doing it that way.
I said I wasn't going to put a sectional beam on this one, but I think I lied.

The movie that I took my mother to, the King's Speech, was very good.  She loved the venue, having dinner in a comfy booth, while the movie played.  She was mesmerized, and I heard her 'sniff' a couple of times.
Tomorrow, I am going to take an extended lunch break, and take her to the bank, and to her favorite thrift shop.  And maybe we'll have a sandwich together.
Saturday we are having a birthday party for ONE of my daughters.  I dare not call her 'my oldest', but she was my FIRST.
I realized that perhaps one of the reasons my mother is acting more and more childlike, is because she is too much of a reclusive in her little apartment.  I go about my busy life, and my children don't live nearby.  She gets all wrapped up in her television programs, and living in her head. Quite bluntly, she needs something else to think about.
She doesn't drive anymore, and most of her close friends are gone, so if she gets out, it is up to me, and my daughters, to see that she does.  Just a couple of outings a week might make a huge difference in her outlook.
Thank you for all your kind words, your encouragement, your cautions.  I read them all with gratitude.
I will be careful to take care of myself, but I need to take care of my mother, or I won't be worth the trouble.

I can't believe how busy the studio is.  The internet has been very good to me.  It has allowed me to pursue my passion, without spending a lot of time on marketing.   I really appreciate that.
So to give some of that good energy back to the universe, I am having a April Fool special.
Starting on April 1st for 1 month, I will be offering Free Shipping to all orders under $100, in the continental US.
Just with the mention of "April Fool".
And I am continuing the free looper refill with the purchase of a Hip to Be Square Looper Loom, through May 1st.

Every time I say, "I just had an idea", my DH literally cringes.
Now, when I say it at the studio, L just responds, "Oh, no."

But today, I was thinking about taking 25 Hip to Be Square looper looms to a first grade class in the public school system, and teaching the whole class to weave.
Call it "Introduction to Weaving".
OK, call me crazy.  But tell me what you think.  Really.
And that's Ava, with the goggles on.  I love the picture, and sometimes, I feel like I am walking around JUST LIKE THAT.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All cleaned up.

I spent a couple of hours cleaning this baby up.  The newspaper on the back beam was from 1992, and there was that much dust on the loom.  It looks nice now, and is ready for a new warp.  A Spring warp, I think.

Every once in a while, a custom order does not hit the mark.  And while custom orders are not returnable, I volunteered to make this lady more rugs.
It seemed like the right thing to do.
 I don't think these will be around long at any rate.
The two longer ones are 30"x108".

The smaller two are 36"x48".

They are very 'cottage-y', aren't they?

Here is one of L's creations.  It is definitely a bright one.

We finished the warp off the big Toika.  Unfortunately, we didn't have enough for
a 4'x6' rug, like I had hoped.
Instead, we got this 4'x5' rug, which hopefully  will be the perfect fit for someone.

Are you sick of rugs yet???

Off to dinner and a movie.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A decision.

Northeast New York is in the grip of some evil spell.
It's called winter.
Everything is so blackandwhite.
If you know what I mean.

This old barn is just down the road from the studio.  I think it is sad that it just sits there, empty and unused.

I hear they used to have dances here.  It is big enough.

I think it has some awesome potential.

L's sister has a stray cat issue at her house, and this little guy needed a home.

Lucky for him, my former apprentice who got a real job, Tammy, just got her own house.
So she came and fetched him home.
He is now MOOSE.

He will be super spoiled, and super loved.  I used to call Tammy the cat whisperer, if that tells you anything.

This looks like a barn door, doesn't it?

Well, actually, it is the door I am taking.  To be a better person, a better daughter.

I realized, after much anguish, that I have been operating under some delusions.
That my mother could be 'convinced' to be her old self.
That my mother will live forever.
That I was doing enough.
None of these are true.
My mother is changing.  She is reverting to her childhood.  The mother I knew is fleetingly present, and  I take her for granted.  That she will always be here.  That the status quo is OK.
It's not.
I need to do more, be more, accept more.
Time for me to change, because honestly, she can't.

Tomorrow night we are going to dinner and a movie, The King's Speech, which she will love, since she was a child in England when it all happened.
And later in the week, we are going to the thrift store, and to lunch.

I will make a change, this week, and every week, for as long as I have her.
This is the door, that I need to push open, and walk through, or I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bubbalee and another loom.

Update on Bubbalee.

 From the antics that went on in the yard several weeks ago, the anticipated arrival of her babies is the last week of March.  Her belly is looking large.

See what I mean???
She is NOT going up in the loft though, and we think that is probably because it is not "hidden" enough for her to have her babies there.  Which is kind of upsetting, because I hate to think of her having them under the porch, or somewhere else cold and damp.
I wish we could get her to come into the inside porch, but I am not sure how we would manage that.
I guess, once again, I will have to accept my limitations.

And while we are talking about acceptance...........

Yeah, ya gotta love northeast New York.

I did a little weaving, trying to finish up a warp.

I think it's time to weave a "summer line".  Phooey on the snow, that's what I say.

Then,  in spite of the weather, my husband and I drove about an hour to pick up a loom.
Yup, another one.
This is where I raise my hand.
Hi, my name is Hilary, and I am a LOOM addict.

Made by Schacht, it is a 36" wide, 4 harness, 6 treadle jack.
Bought in the early 80's, in Colorado, it has sat unused since 1992.  It just needs a little cleaning.

I bought this loom from the same lady that I bought the Weaver's Friend from.  I was quite surprised today when she handed me the crank to the Weaver's Friend I bought a year ago........or was it two years?
Ah, time sure flies when you're having fun.

These shuttles came with it.
And these.

Fourteen shuttles in all.  Heart be still.
You can NEVER have enough shuttles.  And antique shuttles are the best of all.

Sydney says:
You done good, Mom.
I approve.

Thanks, Syd.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts