Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, November 29, 2014

C'mon December.

One thing about the Life Estate thing I talked about in my last post,   my lawyer told me that if I have all the receipts for all the work I've had done on the house for all the time I've owned it, my kids will be able to use that to cut down on how much capital gain they will have to pay, if they should want to sell it someday.
 And over the last 10 years, I have put some major money into the studio.

A while back, I ordered some white mohair from one of my yarn suppliers.
I thought I ordered FIVE pounds.
Imagine my surprise when a very large box came, and I realized that it was FIFTY pounds of mohair.
I assumed right away that he had made a mistake, so I went and fetched my email to him.
Nope, not his mistake.
It was ME.

I did order FIFTY pounds of mohair.
So you know what they say about making lemonade when you get lemons???

Yup, lots of mohair throws coming.

I ordered some dye, because I think that the cream color is going to grow old.
 That will be a project coming up!!!

Anyway, the throw is 40" x 110", so if you fold it over, it is a perfect cover up for laying on the couch, and it is so warm.
I was amazed at how it "fulled" after it was washed, and how incredibly SOFT it is.
I think it will make a great Christmas gift.

I have been weaving them in front of the fireplace.
I have company most of the time.


She is sound asleep.  I guess the fire will do that for you.

Karen at  got me hooked on the Watercolor app on my iPhone.

So sometimes, when I am of the mind, I play with it.

A couple of fresh eggs.

Weaving by the fire.

A cuppa hot soup.

I have decided not to hate winter this year.  I know.  I know.  It's going to be a struggle.....but I am determined.
It's all about state of mind, isn't it??
I have a new down jacket that DH bought me, new gloves, and I am working on my new attitude.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Looking ahead.

 Making pies for Thanksgiving made me miss my mother.  She used to sit at the counter the last 10 years of her life that she lived with us, and help me.
She would hand me things, open containers, stir when I needed her to.   I didn't really "need" the help, but it made my heart sing to see how much she loved to do it.

We're all going to die.  It's a fact of life.  It's part of life.

We try to forget it, until it comes waltzing into our world, in one way or another.

We read about old school friends and acquaintance in the obits.
Sometimes, we read about people all too young, that we don't even know, but it somehow
makes us catch our breaths.
I have watched my cousin and her husband, dealing with getting older, and also with that dreaded, nasty thing they call Alzheimers.  They should call it something else.  I call it something else.

My cousin, is 13 years older than I am, but she has always amazed me with her energy, and how much she does not LOOK or ACT her age.  Her husband was the same, until a few years ago.
It started gradually, and then by the time it was given a name, it was in high gear.
It is tragic, to see him still there.  In body.  Knowing full well that he is gone.
I am so distressed by it, I cannot sometimes imagine what it is like for her.

But at any rate, it has spurred me to think of how old age and all that it can bring, sneaks up on us all.
I hear so many people say, "oh, I've got lots of time."
Yeah, well, maybe you do.
And maybe you don't.
No one really knows.

So I did something that has been on my mind for a long time.  Something that I felt needed to be done.
I went to my lawyer, and had him transfer the deed to the studio to my three daughters.   My husband and I have "life estate", which means we can live there and do what we want to it, for as long as we live.  But when we are gone, it is theirs, no will, no hassle, no probate, nothing to do.

And if, in 5 years, I should be incapacitated, and need nursing home care, the house belongs to them, and cannot be taken to pay for my care.

I asked my lawyer if there was any down side to this.  He said there was only one.  If you think someday you might want to sell it, then you will have to have your daughters sign it back over to you.   But if you are pretty sure you never want to sell, then there is no reason.  In fact, he said, I don't really know why more people don't do it, it makes such sense, and makes things so much easier for your heirs.
Anyway, it's done.  And I feel relieved.  I may stick around for a long time, or not.  But either way, my girls own the studio, and all my hard work is safe. 

Oh, I know they probably won't love it like I do.  They'll probably sell it, and split the proceeds.
But then, I won't be worrying about it, either way.
And maybe in some way, it will make their lives easier.  That makes me happy, now.

Because family and friends is what really matters, after all.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving.

Making changes, and doing the Hudson Mohawk Weavers' Guild show has kept us pretty busy.

 Here's a mohair warp going on the Schacht.

I perused Craigslist, and found myself a great new sewing table.

I also bought a brand new Rowenta iron and ironing board, both for $20.00.

I took 10 of these towels to the show, and they are gone.
I have a few more on the loom, and then it's time for yet another warp.

I am working on weaving to sew.
Not sure I like this at all, but it was good practice.

Tomorrow I'll be making pies for Thanksgiving dinner with my kids, and we're expecting 9" of snow.

What's wrong with that picture???

Monday, November 17, 2014


This old house that is my studio has undergone a lot of changes since I made the purchase almost 10 years ago.  
One project that was on my list was replacing the old front door in the oldest part of the house, built in 1790, by all accounts.
It was very drafty, and I wanted some more light in the room.  I splurged a bit, and bought a beautiful fiberglass door with a lot of glass.  I also bought a full length glass storm door.

Yesterday, they were installed.  It is never uneventful, making changes in an old house.  What I love is imagining it, then seeing it happen.
I love it.

 The windows are also going to be replaced, but they are on order.  It will be the dead of winter before they get put in.

Today I was there early, cleaning up the mess, and moving things around the way I want them.
You can see how much light the new door lets in.

This wall is going to be my new computer/check out station.  I may leave the wall cupboard there.   I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but this is all part of planning the move to actually live there.  And we need a living room.

It's all coming together quite nicely.

 The room seems more open, it's going to be a lovely place to weave.
And this was on a stormy, gray day.

This front room used to be my retail space.  What I realized is that since my business is mostly online, I am wasting this great room, when I could be enjoying it.
So the retail is now being reworked in the rather large, center hallway, a space not very useful for much else.

Today was snowy, rainy, gray,  and cold.   
And by 2pm, it was a 10 on the headache scale.

But I am determined not to hate winter.
There must be something about it that I can love.
I'll let you know when I locate it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A girl and her staple gun.

Oops, I did it again.

I couldn't resist, but then I never can.

It's a Schacht 46", 4 H, maple loom in excellent condition.   One day after I saw the ad, it was home in the studio.  It will be my designated "throw" loom. 

Today I had some outside work to do.  I have been worried about the wind coming in the opening to
the chicken coop.  And I want them to have a place that gets warmed by the sun a bit, but out of the wind.
So I went out with my staple gun, and a long lead cord, and a roll of plastic.

The little extension area with the roof is now protected from the wind a bit.

And then I dragged in two fifty pound bags of sand for the girls to "bathe" in.

Then I put some plastic boot trays under the roosts, since that is where all the poop lands.  We'll see if they stay put, or if I have to come up with some plan to keep them where I want them.

And it's getting cold in the north country, so it was time to put the water heater under the water.

I was concerned about them pecking at the cord, so I wrapped it in chicken wire to make it more difficult, but if anyone has a better idea, I'd love to hear it.

I guess it's not necessary to insulate the coop, although it seems like I should.

Then I spent a little time weaving on my new towel pattern on the AVL.  The studio was quiet and I was loving it.

I like having the AVL in the front room.  When I get cool, I just flick the switch, and the gas fireplace comes on.
And I thought I wanted a wood stove.  What was I thinking???

This has to be my favorite pattern to date.  I just love it.

My rearranging the studio has begun to take shape, and it feels good.  It feels right.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who's doing it right?

Thanks for all your advice about my chickie girl, Vicky. 
  I think the consensus is that I should leave her alone, and let her just BE.  And I think that is exactly what I should do.
She doesn't appear to be unhappy.
She talks to me, and eats her popcorn and other treats that I make sure to give her.   She sits in the sunny window.
Who am I to say that she's doing it wrong?

I had a quiet weekend at the studio, threading the AVL, getting it ready for towels.
It was cold outside, so I kept the fireplace going.
I thought the cats would enjoy the new "bench pad" but they decided that laying "under" the bench was better.


Who am I to say that they aren't doing it right?

 This is the  moment that a weaver waits for, from picking out the thread and the colors, winding the spools for the warp, putting all the yardage on the sectional, threading all 480 heddles, and then putting all that thread through the reed, being ever so careful not to make any mistakes............
then finally, you throw the shuttle.
And suddenly, it's ALL WORTH IT.

I think I'm doing it right.

I must be, because it feels so good.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts