Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday, Sunday

You would think I would be used to tough days, right?

Truth is, they surprise me every time.  Maybe it's because I am hopelessly optimistic.
I dream of waking up without a headache.  I really do.

I actually think it might happen.
You think sometime since October 2011, I would have given that up, but not so.

After a miserable morning, and a miserable afternoon,  in which I persisted in doing what I had planned to do NO MATTER WHAT, I finally took to the couch.
A nap, some Motrin, heat on my neck........eventually I am getting some relief.

But nothing could spoil the fun I was having at the loom today, making baby blankets.

One in neutrals.

 One in pale yellow and pale green.

And some variegated that I found in my stash.

These are going to be thick baby blankets.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Only my neck and my slamming head could pull me away from this, let me tell you.  I was mesmerized.
It's a good thing. 
Being mesmerized.

Sometimes, I think that along with my family and my friends, and my blogger friends, weaving is what gets me through.

I have a little "cleaning" tip....hard to believe coming from me, I know.  But here it is anyway.
I was going to replace the kitchen sink at the studio.  It was incredibly stained because of the hard water, and I really didn't think it was worth saving.
Enter Cory, my carpenter/handyman/adoptedson, who said........"that sink is perfectly good."

I made a face at that, and he said, "I'll be right back."

True to his word, he did come back, and tackled that sink himself.
The end result is truly unbelievable.  I only wish I'd taken a picture of it before he did it.
You'll have to take my word for it, it was gross.
But here it is NOW.

Needless to say, I am NOT getting a new sink. 
And here is the "secret".
They sell it in a spray, but the toilet bowl cleaner is stronger.   You can bet I will be keeping this stuff on hand.
This stuff is NO JOKE.

And that's it from me today.   I am amazed that I am still upright.  I think in my next life I'm going to be a pit bull.
A lap dog.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Sometimes, when my head is banging, and I can't weave, I cook.
I have no explanation.
It just makes me feel better.

 Love these little half pint cherry pies.

I also made a pasta dish, but the "gluten free pasta" was not a hit.
My youngest daughter asked me to exclude that from future cooking sprees.

I am refashioning my days.
Two days a week find me taking care of this peach.

Then I find myself back at the studio, getting prepped for baby blankets.

Threading my AVL.

I have to take frequent breaks.

Here is the new "opened space" .....the new countertop is going right where those paint cans are.

And we'll be doing some relocating of looms.
Now there's a surprise.

I've turned down a couple of requests to weave yardage for customers, who planned on making things and reselling them.
I don't want to weave anything that doesn't totally move me.

I know what's important.  What matters.

Like facetime with the peach, when I am not with her.

It shouldn't take head trauma to figure this one out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just sad

I wish I wasn't writing this post.   It makes me so sad, and sick at heart.
Life is so unfair sometimes.

L called me this morning, with lots of bad news.
She lost her Mom last night, and then found Nexxie dead in the road.

I like to think that her Mom, who lived just a ways from the studio, took Nexxie with her.

But nothing is going to make me feel much better today.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Decisions, decisions.

When I started this renovation project, I thought I knew what I wanted.

I wanted the half bath off the kitchen torn out, and put in the "old pantry" that I use for fabric storage, on the other side of the house.

Enter bff, who says, why are you doing it that way?

Well, I stumble, uh, I'm not sure.

So I listen to her suggestions, and her ideas, mull them over, and decide........aha.  That is a better idea.  What the hell was I thinking?

It saved me a much bigger mess, MONEY, and it meant I didn't have to lose my lovely, and oh so appreciated, shelves.

 Here's the view from the door.

Here's the view from the end of the pantry.

And here's the view from the toidy.

It works, so much better than I thought.

You see, with an old house, there is a lot to think about.
It isn't a 50 year old house, or even a 100 year old house.  It was built in 1790, because the old house that was here was burned when Burgoyne made his march from Quebec, to Fort Ticonderoga, and on to the Battle of Saratoga in the Revolutionary War in 1777.

The family that built is is buried just across the road and down a bit.

I am only the fourth owner of this place, and I feel some responsibility to do the right thing.

With the bathroom, and the kitchen too, I could do  a remodel that would rival any you see in the kitchen magazines.  I could gut, and tear, and do it from the ground up.  I could.  And it would look like every other modern, state of the art, kitchen that you have ever seen.

And that would mean tearing out these lovely old cupboards in the pantry.  It would mean tearing out the old windows with the wavy glass in the kitchen, even the one with "Jonathan Bellamy", the name of the original owner, etched into it. 
A lot of history.  A lot of irretrievable past.

I have been gifted, really, to own this old post and beam house.
See the "posts" in the corners of the room?
Imagine the feet that have trod these pitch pine floors?
The eyes that have looked out these old windows?

I can't put a sterile new kitchen into this house.
Or a marble bathroom.

It just isn't possible.


The doors and the bathroom......on the right in this picture.......are gone.  And that is where the new peninsula will go, but the old one is staying.  Because that's the only way to protect the uniqueness of this house.

There have been many changes to this old house over the years.  A little change here, a little there.
But nothing that has taken away from it's total personality, and it has one.
Believe me.

So I will have a "new" old kitchen, if that makes any sense to anyone but me.  New sink, new microwave, new countertops, another work area with new cupboards underneath.  And otherwise, all the old stuff that is there now.  A mix of old and new, because I don't want to wipe out what has been there, I just want to bring the past and the present together.

I finally finished the warp on my AVL, there are a bunch of new towels on the web site.
They are thick and I still love the pattern, even after weaving so many of them.

But my favorites from this warp, are the ones done with organic cotton in off white for the weft.

They are soft, and absorbent, and just right.


Sometimes that is just the way to go.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I am just beginning to realize how hard I have been on myself at times.

I guess it takes stepping back from it a bit, to really understand.

Rocking a little girl to sleep on a sunny afternoon allows one to ponder these things.

I love having her little hands on my face, while she looks intently into my eyes, or her own reflection in my glasses.  She is amazing.
I am hers two days a week.  It's an experience that I wouldn't miss.
But the pre-brain surgery me would never have done it.
It would have taken me away from the self imposed work schedule that I had.  Oh, the horror.

Tonight I came home and threaded my Schacht loom for whimsy's sake.  Not for production.  Not for retail.  Not for an order.
Just for me.
What a concept. 

 Susan over at Avalanche Looms was kind enough to satisfy my curiosity about some of her work.
She told me to try it, see if it got me buzzed.
Well, it did.
I didn't have time today to stay with it, and I can't wait until I do.  Thank you, Susan.  I am smitten.

The kitchen is a mess, but I can see the potential.

The half bath is now officially in its new place.

There's an awful mess to clean up, but it's done.  I bought a new toilet, but the midget sink is the was hard to find in the first place.

I could have gutted this old pantry, and put in a bathroom right out of Country Living,
but somehow we all know that's not really me.
Instead, while you are sitting on the toilet, you get to admire some of my stash.

C'mon, you know you love it.

It rained today, it seriously rained.

I am not going to talk about the SNOW on the ground as we speak, nope.
I'm going to show you the lovely spring downpour we had today instead.

My granddaughter Gabby was helping me in the studio, and she took about 30 pictures with my camera.  And like me,  out of a slew of photos, I take one that is just right.
This is hers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh, my.

I tell my carpenter that when I have crazy ideas, he makes them come true.

He also makes the MESS come true.

Sometimes I do ask myself:  "What the HELL were you thinking??"

(That toilet HAS to go)

Ack, it will be alright.   I think it will be really nice when it is finished.  But of course, one thing leads to another.  Now it all needs to be painted.
And cleaned.
And then there will be a peninsula in this area, with stools on one side.

I want this big old house to be a home as well as a working studio.
That involves a little rehab, and some downsizing.

In the meantime, I am still trying to get the towel warp off the AVL.   My yellow post it note that said 10 on it, just showed up taped to the sectional beam.  So that means I have approximately 10 yards left.

I have woven lots of different colors on this towel warp, so I decided to do the last 10 in a natural cotton flake.

Every once in a while, one shaft sticks, can you see the error???

For the most part, I have become very comfortable and pleased with my AVL folding dobby loom.
However, I never did set up the flyshuttle.   I sent a picture of the parts I have to AVL, and sure enough, there are some missing.
So that's my next project, getting the parts, and getting the flyshuttle on the loom and getting it to work.
It's intimidating, but I know once I figure it out, it won't be.
In the meantime, looks like some cleaning is in order.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Renovations and a guest.

Once apon a time, someone decided that this old house needed an half bath downstairs.

So they built one, between the kitchen and the dining room.

What planning!!!!!

 That's the kitchen you see, looking right through the bathroom....which has two doors.

Here's the dining room side of it.

 The dining room is on the back of the house, and with the big porch, the room is darker than the rest of the house.
The kitchen, seen through that door, is much brighter.

 Looking from the kitchen side.

It is a mini bathroom.
I decided a long time ago, that it had to go.
Something about a bathroom right off the kitchen.......not right.

Today Cory came and started ripping down the wall.

The old lathe and plaster makes a HUGE mess when you tear it down.

The walls under the lathe and plaster are thick, rough boards, with square nails.

Cory, Cory, Cory, you are making a disaster area.

Taking the scrap outside a bit at a time.

 Somewhat stalled by way more wires in the wall than anticipated.
Electrician coming tomorrow.

I can't wait to see what it will look like, with it gone.
The kitchen and the dining room, open.

Oh, hello, toidy.
Do you like my "midget sink"?

On one of Cory's trips to the barn, he came running in to get me.
 We had company.

 Next had retreated to the loft, unhappy I'm sure, since this one is blocking the door.

 He didn't seem too frightened of us.    We wondered if he was sick.
Cory said he might need to get the 22 rifle.
I said we should wait, to see him walk.  If he is rabid, he will walk sideways.

We made some noise, to move him along, and he went around the barn.  As we watched him leave, we realized, that he had an injured leg that he was holding up.
Or maybe SHE had an injured leg that she was holding up, as she skittered under the side of the barn.

We cut up an apple, left it for her, and it quickly disappeared.

Babies, that's what I think.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts