Crazy as a Loom

Monday, October 31, 2011

our happy dance.

Today was a red letter day.  After a year and a half of marketing attempts that didn't seem to be going anywhere, I got a big order from a big retailer that you might have heard of................................the

Vermont Country Store

I was ecstatic.  L was quickly counting how many Hip to Be Square we had made up, and how many she would have to get busy on.

Ay yi yi.

Sydney is doing quality control.


Well, maybe not so much.

I got a warp for mug mats on the Wolf Pup, and finished a couple of caterpillar rugs.
Then after a quick lunch, we got another big order.
Holy moly.
L said, " You asked for it."

Did I???

Oh, probably.  Probably I did.

Oh, and the dance????   That's what L calls spending time outside sorting loopers,  and making bags up with assorted colors.
But today was dance worthy.  
Loopers or not.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Flush what?

Being somewhat crazed, having a headache every day since last week, I have resorted to something a little off the grid.  Not much, but a little.
I started flushing my sinuses, with something that you may or may not be familiar with, it's called a
Neti Pot

If you want to know more, and you click on the link, there is a video showing you how it works.  Now I could have videotaped myself using it, but I would rather have you see someone else with water coming out of their nose.
Call me vain, but there you have it.
If we were drinking and laughing and stuff came out my nose, it might be funny, but this really isn't all that comical.
The very first time I did it was weird, but the second time, it started to feel almost natural.

I must say that my head felt instant relief, for the first time in a while, and today my headache is minimal.

It's Sunday, so I made some Ribollita, my version, with added fresh spinach.  Then I made a quick trip to the studio to feed cats, and check everything.
Then I went to lunch with some family.

My goal today is to put a warp for dish towels on the Compact loom I have in my living room.  That should do it for me.  Along with a Roy boy walk.
Sometimes it is good to keep your aspirations reasonable.  Then you are sure to not be disappointed.

Keeping it short today.   But before I go back to my warp, I will leave you with a video worth watching.
No, you won't be enlightened, and it's not educational.  It is, however, guaranteed to lighten your mood, whatever it is.

Click here!

I think perhaps these guys are going right past the studio.......Hmm.   So that's what's happening.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Plugging away.

Still fighting the sinus headache, even on an antibiotic.   Maybe it's the impending storm.
Whatever it is, it is not amusing.

I tried to focus on something else.
How about Christmas placemats???

I drank some hot tea, took some Alleve, and made two sets of four.

I cut a lot of fabric.  I'm going to do some with red fabric, and some with green.

Of course, someone thinks it is quite a comfy spot for a NAP.

Michelle and I continued with her new loom, getting the warp threaded and beamed on, and playing with the friction brake until we got it just right.

She is ready to WEAVE her first warp on her very OWN loom.
I am excited for her.  She is already planning future projects.

After she had picked out thread, we put the loom in her vehicle, and she took it home.

I remember when I bought my first loom.  It was exhilarating.  I dreamt about it, and when I wasn't weaving, I was counting the time until I could.
I have had a lot of looms, and I have woven a lot of stuff over the years.
But I still get fevered about it.  I still wake up in the night, with ideas about what I want to weave next.


To be able to give someone else this excitement  is priceless.
It surely is.

Friday, October 28, 2011


When I got to the studio, I had to get my camera out right away.

This is officially the first snow storm of the year, and storm number TWO is on the way.....tomorrow.

I love the early morning light at the studio.

It is kind of crazy though, to have snow, when the leaves are still on the trees.

I can't think about  the W***** word.   I know this is just the beginning, and there are MONTHS of it to come.   It's one of those things  that make taking one day at a time necessary.

Inside, they were enjoying the sunlight, too.
Playing, chasing, battling.  It went on for a while.

Lucky for Jinx, she is faster than Miss Puss.  Cause Miss Puss is meaner.  For real.

Michelle is a recent student who has definitely been bitten by the weaving bug.  Here she is putting the heddles on her NEW loom.   She is excited.  I remember how it felt, my very first loom.  For me, it was the beginning of big changes in my life.

Here is my daughter,  weaving a placemat.  She gives me hope that someone will carry on Crazy as a Loom someday.

It was a busy day, even more so than usual.   Now I think I'll just throw myself on the couch,  and throw my paws hands in the air.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let it snow?

Wow, I hope today was just a fluke, and not the end of autumn already.
It snowed here today, rained, then snowed, then get the idea.
It was cold and damp, and I still feel chilled.

But the harder it snowed, the more frantically the birds jockeyed for position at the feeder.

This guy looks like he is saying, " Do you expect me to fly in this stuff?"

This one looks like a 'bitch session' is in progress.
Can't you just hear it???   blah, blah, blah, blah blah.....

"I'm so embarrassed."

Yes, they were a little nuts at the feeder.
We were staying warm, and busy, in the studio.

"Got seeds?"

The sewing machine is all together, with the help of a friend.    I would have slashed my wrists half way through it.  Seriously.  We had to call the place in Montreal where I bought it, a few times.  They were incredibly helpful, and supportive, which is why I bought the machine from them.

After I watched the threading video MORE THAN ONCE, I was able to thread it, and get the bobbin wound.  Then I tried it out.  Hesitantly.
I admit it.  I was scared, worried that I would hate it like the first one I bought, or that I wouldn't be able to get it running.

All so not true.  I not only got it going, I tried it out on a couple of things and it sews beautifully.

Usually when I sew tote bags together, I have a difficult time sewing the sides up.  The gussets are so impossible, I sew them by hand.
I had an unfinished tote, so I decided to give it a try.  This machine sewed through the corners like they were made of jello.

I have been known to make occasional crappy decisions.  Thank God this wasn't one of them.

Now I can't wait to make up a whole new batch of totes.  They're going to be a breeze.

I feel like a kid at Christmas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A girl can change her mind.

Last week, I got a call from someone wanting weaving lessons.  I should have said, no, not now, but I didn't.  Sometimes my mouth moves before my brain engages.
I have way too much to do before this show in November to give up two whole days to one person.
But since I said yes, I decided to make the best of it, while promising myself I wouldn't take any more commitments on until after the first weekend of December.
Then today, she called and cancelled.   She hoped I didn't mind.
Didn't mind??  Heck, no.  I didn't  mind at all.

I have to admit, I have another obsession, besides looms.  Yes, tis true.  I didn't actually realize it, until just lately I took an inventory.
It seems that I have 6 sewing machines.  Yes, I do.
Sad to say though that none of them really does  what I want them to do.  And because I push them to do it anyway, there is usually at least one of them out of order, or in the shop getting fixed.

Meet #7.    This is the REAL DEAL.

Brand new, UPS just delivered it.  I have anguished over buying it for a while.

I had an industrial sewing machine several years ago, and I hated it.   It had a clutch motor and sounded like my old VW bug from 1965.  But what turned me off entirely was its speed.  It felt like it was going to suck my arm right into it.
So I finally sold it, and said I would never buy another.

That was then.

This is now.

 I relented.  I am sick and tired of fighting with home sewing machines, trying to make them  do heavy work, that they don't want to do.  They eventually burn out.

I found this one at Raphael's Sewing, in Montreal, Quebec.  The machine is big enough, the presser foot raises high enough, to do the work that I want it to do.
But what really sold me was the motor.  They gave me an option to buy a Servo motor, instead of a clutch motor.   It only makes noise when you step on the pedal, and the best has speed choices, and once you pick your speed, it doesn't matter how hard you step on the pedal, it still won't pull your body in starting with your arm.

Tomorrow I am going to take close up photos of the threading, before I do anything else.

I AM going to love this machine.   Just sayin'.

And then I am going to get rid of some of the to a daughter, one to L, and who knows who else.
One obsession is quite enough.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back at it.

Did you guess that my face fell off last night????

Well, it didn't actually fall off, it just felt like it was going to.  My visit to the doctor went pretty much as I expected, but the prescription for my diagnosed sinus infection did not make it to the pharmacy as planned.
After a couple of hours delay, I was finally able to pick it up, but by that time, I barely managed to get myself to bed.

Today, it is a bit better, still the headache, but the beginnings of relief.
Ah.  Drugs.
I have so much to do in the next few weeks,  and I need to be at my best.
Back at the loom.

We need a stack of Solmate sock rugs, blue jean rugs, red and green placemats for Christmas, plus all kinds of kits made up.  We have a list, a scary list.   And we only have 3 weeks to get it all done.
Covering your eyes up will not help.

See the mess I make??  I always tried to tell my daughters that it was my 'creative muse' that left such crazy piles in our house.  They never did believe me.

It is good to have goals, and things to work towards.  And right now we have that.   Sometimes though, I have to back off, and have none for awhile.
Usually after the first weekend in December, which is the Country Christmas Open House,  it is time for a break.  
Time to put that warp on the loom that I have been dreaming of, the one that will challenge me, and pull me out of my comfort zone.

When it gets bitter cold, and the world outside is white, only the sun through the windows while I weave, and the roar of the pellet stove, make it all OK.
I try to keep that in mind.

Many of the windows in the house have wavy glass, and I have purposely not replaced those windows.  They have been here for 200+ years, and far be it from me to remove them.
I tried and tried to get a good photo to show you, and finally go this one.

Whenever I start to feel bad about getting so old, I think about this old house, with its wavy glass, its glowing pitch pine floors, the original doors and hardware, and everything that makes it so special.  I think about all the good energy I feel here every day. 
And then I think maybe getting older isn't so bad after all.  Maybe like antiques, we just get more valuable.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Glory be.

These pictures have nothing to do with this post.  They are what I was working on yesterday when I finished at the studio for the day.
I had no opportunity to use my camera today.  None, nada, zip.

First the Salvation Army service.......TWO HOURS LONG.
I am not kidding.  I am waiting for my angel wings to arrive.  They should be along shortly.

Then on to lunch.  I had mozzarella, tomato empanadas, with a red pepper aioli sauce.  It was an appetizer, but it was just enough.  And it was delish.
I wanted a BEER, but I practiced some restraint, which I might add is highly overrated.
My mother talked loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear her.  But since she was relaying a story about her childhood in the Salvation Army, a story I have heard several times, I figured that the other diners could hear it at least this once.  Sharing the joy.
Sounded fair to me.

Then to the JC Penney beauty salon, where my mother got her hair done.  I am entirely shocked that the lady doing her hair has any ears left at all, since my mother talked for the  ENTIRE time she was in the chair. Loud.  There weren't many other people in the salon, so I let her rip without reminding her that everyone is not deaf, like she is.
 I got a quick hair blow dry styling for me, thanks.

Then on to the grocery store, where my mother zipped around on her motorized cart, nearly knocking people down.  At the check out, I asked her why she didn't have any lunch stuff in her cart...............along with the candy, cookies, ice cream,  tapioca, and marshmallows.
She gave me a look  that would kill.  I dropped it.
I know when I am beat.

 I came home and made dinner, and took Roy for our walk......the first peaceful moment of the day.
Then I said Hallelujah.  For real.
And amen.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Getting ready for Sunday.

Tomorrow is my turn to take my mother to the Salvation Army.  My three daughters and I each do it once a month. We all find the service painful, not because we don't have faith in a power greater than ourselves, but because it is not the church we are used to, grew up in, feel comfortable with.
But we do it, because we love her. Of course, this is not enough for her.
She knows that we are not  smitten like she is, but still she tries to engage us in conversation after the fact.  She actually tries to get us to say how great it is, even though she knows better.  I think what she really wants is for us to admit that we hate it, so she can argue why it is wonderful, and convince us of the error of our ways.
It is a painful dance.
There is, however, lunch afterwards, her treat.  And that can be quite enjoyable.  Then the grocery store.
She looks forward to this all week, and love makes it happen.
I think, though, that I am holding out for a tambourine.  Or else.
I only wish I had the nerve to curl up on the bench, and take a nap right through it all.   Noone would notice, but her.

If this headache is because of the barometric pressure, I am doomed.  If it is ragweed, I pray for a heavy frost.  Now.

Yesterday I saw this video, about a soldier, Tyler Southern, doing rehab, after losing both legs and one arm in Afghanistan.......does anyone know why we are there?  But I digress.
His good arm works, though it is severely damaged.
During the entire interview, there were clips of him working out, walking on his mew metal legs, getting married, planning his life.  Smiling.
He said, "I didn't feel that me crying about it would help the situation at all, and I know it won't.  Crying ain't gonna grow anything back."
And then, "I'm chronically happy, It's kinda hard to get me off the happy horse."

The sparkle in his eyes testified to that truth.

I am humbled, not by his service......I don't think he should have been there to begin with.  But I am humbled by his spirit, and his gumption, and his courage.  That is the real deal.
American Idol, really.
You can read all about it HERE

Sydney says:  Looks like you still got that headache.

I made a caterpillar rug for a shop in Vermont.   You can't help but feel cheery when you are making one of these.

Then I prepped socks of one color scheme, for two more rugs  for the same shop.

This is the rug I was working on the other day, the one you asked me about.

Hola, chica.......maybe you need to go to the doctor.
Says Sydney with a wink.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just a note.

Sometimes I wonder about this blogging thing.  
Do you??
I ask myself sometimes, why?
Especially on a day like today, when my headache, that was gone earlier today after 3 straight days, is now back with a vengeance.
Today wasn't exactly inspiring, L and I cleaned loopers all day, just so we can get ahead on the Hip to Be Square kits.  Very BORRRING.
To say the least.
But honestly, I can't hire anyone that does it faster, or does a better job than we do.  So there you have it.

I managed to get dinner, and take Roy for a walk, and now dear friends, I am going to bed.
I am going to dream of Maine.
Where there is no headache, no worries, only lovely sunshine sparkling on the water.
Where there is no TV, and the quiet is priceless.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You don't like the weather????

Well, not to worry, in a few minutes it will change.

That was the order of the day.  Sun, warm temps, dark clouds, a downpour, a chilly wind, more sun.

The only thing sad about October is that it doesn't last long enough.

I have had a sinus headache for 3 days, so I wanted to do something that made me feel better.  So I didn't do what  I probably should have done, I did what I felt like doing.

The little Gallinger loom was needing a warp, and the upstairs hallway seemed like a lovely place to be.

I wound the warp, threaded it, and started weaving.

I was pretty pleased with the results.
Do you like it?

In case you have been wondering about Also/Lucy, here she is.

She is a sweetheart.  Unfortunately, my four beasts do not like her.   I should be more specific, it's 3 of them.  Sydney likes everybody.
But she has really gotten attached to my friend, Bonnie.  It's amazing, really.
I can go into the room, pet her, and she seems happy in a quiet way.
Bonnie comes in, she rolls on her back, she suddenly becomes Miss Love Bunny.
Today, Bonnie brought her a treat, some toy mice, and some catnip.
And she informed me that she had changed her name.
SO, I think these two have bonded.

Say hello to Smokey.

I love happy endings, don't you??

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts