Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday chores.

One week down, three to go of keeping Naya on a leash whenever we go outside.

She is feeling better, and wants to run and jump, neither of which is allowed right now.

The pellet stove is finally's still cool, and the furnace is running, but we ran out of pellets anyway.   We burned FIVE ton of pellets this winter........that's what  nasty, cold one it was.

I am in a spring clear out mood, which is both gratifying and scary.

 A "less is more" kind of place.

That does not include weaving threads, just so ya know.

The siding on both peaks of the house looks good.   My youngest daughter commented that it was narrower than the wood siding on the rest of the house.   And she's right.  But I don't care.
Bottom line, the paint was peeling, both areas needed to be scraped, primed, painted, and it would have to be done again in a few years.
I am so done with that.

This weekend, I will be winding some warps, and maybe doing some dyeing.  I am not bored with weaving, but I guess I'm in a funny place, where I feel like I should be evolving in my weaving life, but I'm not.
So what to do escapes me.
Maybe it will come to me.

I have also wanted to do a wall hanging, for some time.  I keep trying to envision what it is I will do, what I want it to look like, but that is not available to me either.

My muse is napping, I'm afraid.

So I was on a tear this, throwing stuff out.

I have some fabric to unload.....some are full bolts.
I put it on a local FB garage sale site, so we'll see if that gets any results.  Some of the bolts have 10 yards on them......each batch probably has 50+ yards, I'm asking $100 for each of the two about $2/yd.   Cheap enough for brand new fabric.

Last fall, I bought this shelving unit, against my own better was only $20, and I couldn't resist.  L probably wished  that I had resisted, since she went and fetched it back here.

Anyway, I finally decided she was right, it is a huge eyesore in the studio.  So I unloaded it, and dragged it single handed out the front door.

I put it on Craigslist free, and I am still waiting for someone to get it.  In spite of the fact that I was very clear that YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TRUCK..........two separate people tried to jam it into first a van, then a jeep.   I even posted the MEASUREMENTS.
I'm sorry, but sometimes, people are just beyond dense.

Anyway, it's not in the studio anymore.
And hopefully, I will wake up tomorrow and it will be gone.
It has shelves on the back side too and it is VERY big and HEAVY.

So then, still on a whirl, I decided to tackle the porch.

It was so filthy.  I swear, next year, I am covering every single thing with plastic.

But the end result is gratifying....and more so, because Naya loves it, and it may be a huge help, getting her through the next three weeks.

She lays on the far end by the table, and looks out at the labyrinth, and seems very content to do so.

"You talking about me, Mama?"

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ta Da.

Heartworm treatment completed.......Naya is very sore, those injections are deep muscle both hips.....on restricted exercise for ONE MONTH.  So we are taking her out on a leash several times a day.
No running or activity that would increase her heart rate, it's very dangerous.

She was very subdued for a couple of days after she got home.....she reverted a bit, to the dog we got back in January.   But now she's settled in once again, and hopefully, she will forget all about it soon.

Are we home yet???

She has slept a lot more than usual this week.
Poor baby.

I have been working on the warp from hell.   It happens.

These are towels, my last towel warp for this year.   

I will have over 200, and I think it is plenty to last through summer shows, and the fall guild show.

To be honest, I have to limit how many towels I do a day.  My right shoulder begins to talk to me, and it doesn't say nice things.
Go figure.

I feel especially bad for Naya, as the weather is finally beginning to look good, and she can't do anything.
This was my walk without her, and it felt mighty strange.

As many of you probably know, if you have painted your house in the last several years, the paint today does not last.
No lead in it, so it has no staying power.
I have painted this old house too many times already.
See how it peels???

Next post I will show you the improved version of this.

And what's a blog post without some food.   I am still doing WW and noticing huge changes in my clothes.   It is quite gratifying, I must say.
The trick to WW, in my opinion, is that it is slow and steady.   You don't see wild fluctuations in your weight, but that's ok.   I am learning not to eat indiscriminately, and I am eating when I am hungry, not for any other emotional reason.  Since my head injury, I have gotten way too good at eating for comfort.   I'm doing it differently now, and doing it one day at a time, which I am very good at.
Thanks, Al Anon.

This Puerto Rican Bean Salad is a keeper, 1 point per serving, and YUMMY.

Lois has finished one shawl off the hand dyed bamboo warp.

This is her next one.

And better than food, a sweet girl with a chicken.

The next morning after this visit, at home, she said to her mom (my youngest daughter):  "I wish I could hold a chicken all day."

My heart can barely hold all this love.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


My little Naya still tests positive for heart worm, that she was treated for in PA in December.

So she is at the vet's, for two nights and three days, to be treated yet again.

I would rather have a root canal, than leave her there.

I can only imagine that she feels it has happened again:   abandonment.   She doesn't know the word, but I am sure she knows the feeling.

I asked if I could bring her home at night, and bring her back the next morning, but they want her to have "cage rest", and not move around much at all.

I know she will be scared and traumatized, and I am just going to have to try to put it out of my mind, since there is not one thing I can do about it.

I took her bed with her, and an old hoodie of mine, that smells like me, in the hopes that it will comfort her, and she might know that I am coming back for her.

On the weaving front, I just threaded the AVL for 50 more towels, with a bright white warp.
That will be it for towels in 2018...I will have well over 200.  

Months ago, I wound a bamboo warp on the warping board.  I did it in several sections, intending to dye it.   I put it in a small tote, and there it sat.  Forgotten.

So a couple of weeks ago, when I was  cleaning, I found it, and the very next day, I dyed it.   I used a blog post from Melissa at Tangible Daydreams
Her post inspired me, and made me think that I could do it.

So yesterday, L and I decided it was the day.   Well, I decided, and L went along with it.

She sleyed the reed, threaded the heddles, and then we beamed it on.
Unbelievably, it went on without a hitch.
I am beyond pleased, and can't wait to do another dyed warp.

There are blotches of turquoise, green, gold and gray all along the warp.   It's really beautiful.

Today, I spent the whole day with my daughter and two youngest grands.

We went out to lunch.

I had an awesome spinach, apple, black bean and corn salad, with grilled shrimp on top.
Other than the dressing, it was  ZERO POINTS.

And even though I was sad about leaving Naya, these two did a great job of taking my mind off that.

They are the best medicine anyone could ever ask for.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Fling

  I guess I am very reflective, of late.

Maybe it's the continuing winter that drives me inward.

Life is change, that's a given.

People come and go, pets come and go.  2017 was proof of that.

We get older, our bodies change, in spite of us.  Our perspectives change.

Nothing is static.

I used to think about life as a destination, but now of course, I realize that it's the journey.

Sitting here drinking my coffee on a Sunday morning, watching yellow, fat birds land on the bush right outside my living room window.
I have not noticed them before, but now I have new windows all around, I do.

The old windows were just that:   OLD.   They were painted shut, they had full storms, and to wash them was an event.  So they stayed dirty a lot.  Which is probably why I never noticed those little birds.
I am still reviewing my decision to get new ones.

Like I've said,  I anguished on giving up the "wavy glass",  I know that this was a positive change.
Clean windows, the ability to open them, warmer in winter.  All good stuff.

To date, all the windows but one little stationary one over the cellar way, have been replaced.   In 13 years, I have done a lot of updating to this old house, while trying not to have it look like a "new" house.   Just a better one.

There was one window, in the kitchen, that had the name of the original owner of this house, back in 1790, etched into it.   "John Bellamy"
My carpenter took it home with him, wrapped in cardboard, and he is making a shadow box for me,  with it.

I am only the fourth owner of this old place.  The Bellamy family, the Canfields, the Wilsons, and me.  
In 228 years.

Sometimes, as my life gets nearer to the end game, I wonder what will become of it.   It's a house, a home, and to me and my family and friends, it's the "studio".  There has been a lot of life here over all those years.   I am unable to control the future of it.   But I pray that someone loves it like I do.  And takes care of it, and doesn't try to cover up its personality.

Change, ah, change.

I've been returning to my weaving roots this past week couple of weeks.   I cranked out three large rag rugs, then Lois and I put a 40 yard warp on, and I wove five 2' x 3' rugs this week.

I have a room full of fabric.....totes full of strips and pieces, huge rolls on the floor.  I have been sorting it, bagging up stuff that I don't like, or don't want to fool around sewing together.
The room desperately needing cleaning and organizing.
I still have about 820 lbs of fabric on big (30-40 lb) rolls.

Then I have multiple totes full........not just in the front bedroom which we call the "rug room", but in the loft over the studio as well.

I wanted to sell the big rolls, but it seems that even at a discount, there are not a lot of rag rug weavers out there who want to host that much fabric.

Perhaps I'm a holdover from another time, where rag rugs were plentiful and necessary.

Now there's Target, and, yes, and Walmart.

Ack, change.

Well, I still love painting with fabric.  I love best those rugs that are several colors and prints in a haphazard fashion.  Hit n Miss, they are called.  I still love weaving them.
I call them "container rugs".

So I do it.

And isn't that what the journey is about???  Doing what we do, one day at a time, every day, doing what we love, what speaks to us.   Doing what we need to do?

As I write this, the sleet is hitting the windows.  Yes, April in New York State.  There is still a fire in the pellet stove.   Cozy, yes.   Discouraging, a little.

I just downloaded an app to my phone.  It's called  "All Trails".   I hope this year to walk some of them with Naya, and I hope to drag Lois along, and maybe my friend Alice, when she gets back from Florida.

I used to hike the Adirondacks, but I must admit, my compromised neck makes me wary of doing anything that doesn't keep me upright.   There are so many walking trails within an hour's drive, that I think they may do the trick, and satisfy that need in me to keep moving.

After a blogging break...............

 I decided it really WAS  time to clean the rug room, which is actually the front bedroom in this old house.

Naya is ridiculous sometimes, in her need to be as close to me as she possibly can.

Under the loom, not bothered at all by the banging over her head.

I have been on a mission......trying to restock the rugs for shows.

But actually, I am loving it.

Every now and again, you see something advertised that just looks like it will make your life easier.

I am a huge salad fan.  I pretty much have one every day.

This is a salad maker, from ZOOTZ.

It took forever to get here, probably came from China.......but it got here, and today I tried it for the first time.

So you put your salad stuff in the bowl part.
There's a cuke and a tomato under that lettuce.

You place the bowl on the base, and flip it over.

Then with a big knife, you cut down through each slot.

When you're done, you carefully rotate it a half turn, and cut into each slot again.

And VOILA, you have a salad.

My daughter asked me:  yay? or nay?

Definitely a yay......salad in about 2 minutes.......oh yeah.

And now I leave you with this:  my  new, very organized, pantry, with rubber seals on all the jars.  They are Bormioli, from Italy.

I researched the best way to store food, and these came up first.

The second was Lock n Lock, plastic containers that also have a seal, and lock down on four sides.   I bought those for cereal, pasta, and crackers.

It must be almost spring, right???

Why else would I be cleaning. :)

Friday, April 13, 2018


So, yes, I am on a weight loss venture, once again.

Eleven years ago, I lost 18 pounds, then gained it back, plus 12 more.  Ouch.

Funny thing, how when you get older, your body wants to plump up.  Unfortunately, and honestly, for me, that means right around my waist.   That's absolutely the worst place for extra fat.

I have spent way too much time thinking about how much extra weight I was carrying.   For a long time, I made the excuse that my headaches made it impossible for me to concentrate on losing weight.  Food was my comfort in tough times.

Then I went the route that I was too old to be vain, hence, why lose the weight.   Just buy bigger clothes.

But one day weeks ago, I was at my daughter's, and  my year old grandson kept holding his arms up, for me to pick him up.  So I spent quite a bit of time that day, carrying him around.  He weighed about 23 lbs at the time.
When I got home late afternoon, I was exhausted.   I think I took a nap on the couch....

Then it hit me.   You were tired from lugging an extra 23 lbs around all day.
BUT, you carry around an extra 30 lbs EVERY DAY.

So acid reflux, hip pain, knee pain, get the picture???

Because I sure did.

It isn't about vanity, for sure.  I am too old for that.
But I am not too old to do something for myself, that makes me feel better on a daily basis.

So I went online then and there, and signed up for Weight Watchers, because that is where I lost the 18 lbs, 11 years ago.

I started going to the meetings, because I think the "weighing in" is crucial to my success.   There is anticipation, then gratification, that motivates me.

Snacks these days.

I will say that the "Oprah/WW" ads are totally annoying.   You can NOT eat everything you see......and I think she trivializes the whole process.   But that being said, there is a lot of freedom to eat a lot of things, just maybe not the things you want to eat, or the things you are used to eating.
But I'm adjusting, and I'm doing it.

And so far, I'm down 12 lbs, until I weigh in today, and I hope it's more.

But if I go and only lose a lb, I don't despair.   That's ONE LB of butter.   Slap that on your hip, and say hallelujah that it's gone.
I know this is a lifestyle change, but it's time.

I can't allow myself to say "oh what the hell"......I'm old, so it's ok to let myself stuff my face for no real reason.

Meanwhile, a box of mixed fibers came and Sydney confiscated the box.

I tried using some purple rayon for weft, in my fave shell draft.

Everything outside still looks dirty, but the sun setting is the focus here.

I want to stick around for these two little ones........and having an extra 30 lbs on this old body is not the way to do it.

Happiness is also being able to change drafts with the click of a mouse.

I think, though, that it's time for some weaving changes too.  I feel it, but I'm not sure I know what changes are in the wind.

Not that I don't love making these, but enough already.

Yesterday, we had the last of the windows installed.   Since I bought this old house, 13 years ago, I have been replacing windows..........
I anguished over the living room and kitchen, because they were "wavy glass", and I loved them.

But the storms were truly horrific to remove, and washing the windows was a huge job.
Plus the inside windows were painted shut.
And they were cold.

So it was time, I think.
Like me being old but not needing to be overweight.

This house is old, but it can still be better.

It's never too late for a little change.

Change can be a very good thing.

Thank you all for your kind comments about my last post.   I appreciate all of them.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” 
― Eric RothThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts