Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of the Year

Yesterday my husband changed the calendars.  I guess he is ready for the year to be over.  I wanted to wait, because I wanted to finish weaving the warp on my Big Mac before the year was out.  I have been weaving, but ran into a snag.

This warp has been on the loom for a long time, and for a while I just stacked things on top of the loom and was not weaving it at all.  (I have been weaving on a number of other looms.)
As you can see, it was a sorry sight.
I decided a couple months ago to clean around, on and under the loom, and clear space so I could sit down and weave.  It was a goal to get it off the loom before another year had passed.  I have been weaving and really enjoying using this loom again.  I finished a couple of yards with the handspun accent yarn, then started the yardage without the handspun.  This is a draft of a fabric from Linton Textiles and I think I had plans for a jacket and skirt.  
The plain yardage still shows the floats where the handspun was.
I always planned to make the companion yardage (to the handspun) with the same treadling so that the floats would give it texture.  I really like the way it worked out.  But I ran out of weft yarn.
There is at least a yard of warp left.
So where do I go from here?  Should I see if I can get another cone of the peacock color?  Should I weave it off in a different color to make something else?  I do have some of the handspun left and could use that with a different color weft.  I am at a stand still...I don't think I can come up with the answer before the year is out!  So this one will not get finished this year...

I have finished a large number of weavings, and I have started (and even finished) some sitichery pieces.  I did not knit so many socks this year, but have done knitting.  This summer I got a pro-sized potholder loom from Harrisville Designs and I have made more than a dozen potholders...it has been fun.  I need to get them to my family and have them pick their favorite...I can't use that many!

I have started some alpaca ponchos.  This is a test to see if I can make them cheaply enough to sell (I need to see if I can make them to sell wholesale to the grower).  It is tough to do, I keep track of my time for warping, weaving and finishing the projects then see if she feels that she can make money on it.  The fabric is beautiful, but it seems to be taking too much time.
This color looks a little warmer than the yardage is

This looks too green

I may need to check the white balance on the camera.  Both pictures are the same yardage, but taken under different light.

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope the love and the joy of the holiday season follows you throughout the new year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Christmas, end of the year, winter solstice...It's that time of year.  I find myself so emotional about everything; teary at commercials, sad (or happy) stories.  I wonder what makes me feel this way.

I feel that I have not got as much done as I should, my "work ethic" is not up to par, I just want to curl up in bed with the heater on.  I should be happier.

The lights are up, 

The advent days are counting by,

We even have some snow,

but it is such an emotional time.

I feel like I need a new start, a new direction, a new year.

I guess I do have one of those starting up...let's see if I can do something with it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beautiful Autumn

I wrote this several weeks ago and decided I'd add pictures later...

This week has been beautiful weather.  It is getting cool and the leaves are changing.  Also, my overbooked fall is also coming to an end, after this week my schedule has really slowed down, just in time for the holidays!

Today was the memorial service for a student and friend, that alone makes it a retrospective day, but the beautiful mountains also added to my calm.  

I had several great opportunities this fall and so I was busy making the commitments.  After a break of a couple weeks, I started the fall classes.  Then I realized that all my Saturdays in September and October we committed to different places.  I started the first week with a great Weaver's guild meeting the first week in September, we had a wonderful dye class.  We got 16 colors using 8 baggies and two dyes.  We used 4 different percentages of the first dye color and then we over-dyed with four percentages of the second dye color.  We then had a wonderful collection of related colors.  I shared the dye process, so I only have a small ball of each color, but I can knit a hat or weave a scarf from them.  Best of all I had a great time with my guild friends.  

The next week I was sitting a booth at the Farmer's Market for the Craft House and my beginning weaving class also started.  The Farmer's Market has been a great opportunity to get exposure for the classes the we teach at the Craft House, this Saturday, we even had a kick-wheel for demonstrating pottery!

Classes continued the next week and I had a booth at the Norse Fest at the local museum.  This is were I have a piece in their "hallway" show in conjunction with the Swedish Viking show.  I was explaining Viking weaving and showing my weaving and selling.  I had my Baby Wolf and we were VERY busy.  The museum got a larger attendance than anticipated.  It was a successful sell for me and I was very tired when it was over.  I got some passes and my sisters brought Mom to see me and the show.  There were several booths with various Scandinavian arts and crafts.  The next day I also had a commitment to sit a booth at the Gem Fair...it was a very busy weekend.  

Two days later, we headed out for vacation.  The four of us, me and hubby and the two adult children, flew back east to see some new country for us and visit family.  We flew into Boston and spend a day riding the "T" and walking around until we were dead tired.  We, of course, also ate all of the local specialties that we could and my husband and son got to see ships.  None of the four of us had spent any time in this part of the country so we all were excited to see everything and had only enough time to see a little.  

The second day, we went a little south to Plymouth, MA.  I was very interested in seeing the history and pilgrim life.  I really enjoyed the plantation (it has been there since 1950) and the food in the city was again great.  The city of Plymouth does not have any "chain" restaurants, so all the food was local and wonderful.  I had clam chowder that I really liked.  My clam chowder is great, but with fresh clams, this chowder was wonderful.  I need to "up my game" and find fresh clams here in the desert...it does not sound easy!

We then headed up to Vermont and New Hampshire to see the fall colors, unfortunately they had only just started changing and we mostly saw green.  We drove around back roads and found a bunch of covered bridges to take pictures of, but my photographer son said the light was not good and there were too many power lines to get good pictures.  I thought is was fun to see the bridges some very old and some new, but built to look old.

It was overcast and light rain the next day and we decided to travel back to Massachusetts to go to Salem.  My daughter was excited to see the "witches" town and as we were there in October...every weekend is a big celebration.  On the way to Salem, I got to stop in Harrisville, to see the mill, and in Lowell to see where the big mill towns started.  Both places were very interesting to me and even my family found it interesting.  At Lowell, there was a women explaining how weaving is done and, of course, my family had no need of that demonstration...they see it every day!  The old looms working were noisy and very fun to see.

The next day we reached the main reason for our trip, we got to Cape Elizabeth and got to visit with our niece and nephew.  We were able to spend several days with them and since we got there on a weekend, my nephew had the day off and they got to show us around a bit.  The place we stopped for Lobster Rolls, Red's, was crazy, they had a line around the block, so we skipped it and went to Booth Bay to see a beautiful coast town.  It was a tourist town, but not as busy as some and we had great food, walked around to see things and looked for treasure.  Their son is four, and is always looking for treasure and treasure maps (the tourist town maps).  The day was great and I was so happy to get to spend time with them.

By time we were flying home, I was tired and the five hours in the plane gave me a bit of claustrophobia.  I haven't experienced that for a while.

I got home just in time to teach a class at the Natural History Museum.  I ended up with over twenty students, but they were all adults...I had thought that I would have a mix of adult and children.  The class was good, but again I was really tired when it was over.  

That brings us to this week, it started off great with our first opera of the season.  They started off with La Boheme and it was a wonderful production.  I had three private lessons, and I started the beginning rigid heddle class Saturday.  

There really has been a lot happening, I guess there really is a reason why I was so stressed in August.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sorry, I have no excuse

I have not been keeping up my end of the deal.  I have not been posting what I have been doing.  I'm sorry...It is so easy to get out of the habit and then I have an empty blog.  

The summer has been a nice one.  I have suffered from being hot a lot of the time, but the evenings recently have cooled down and it is easier to sleep.  That seems so odd, because it used to be that August was the hot and muggy month for us.  July had the wonderful lightning and thunder storms and August was hot.  We really are losing our "normal."

This summer, I have been teaching and weaving...

I was excited to see my pillow in the hallway show at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Viking show from the museum in Sweden is fantastic.  It is interesting to see the real history after watching the TV version on the show "Vikings."  I will be teaching a class in simple weaving for them in October.

I finished weaving a commission that ended up being 42 scarves.  That is a lot of weaving.  I am glad to have it finished and there will probably not be another big commission for a while.  That means that I can get some of my projects finished and get some work done on re-doing the shelves in the storage room.

Pinwheel scarf warp

Twill scarf warp
One of the lace scarves
There really are some beautiful scarves in the group.

I did a four-wheel trail ride with my husband and son.  It was the Hastings Cut-off.  This is part of the pioneer trail where wagon trains traveled from the "civilized" east to the "wild" west.  The Hastings Cut-off is famous, because that is where the Donner Party traveled, took too much time there and because of that, they arrived at Donner pass one day late, they got snowed in and many died.

The trail ride was led by people that had studied the journals of the time and had great information about the troubles that these people faced on their trip.  Lack of water seemed to be one of the worst problems.  We were there in June and it was hot and windy.  They were there in August and traveling over the salt flats must have been horrible.

The salt flats are just that, miles of a salt crust over mud.
It was great to learn about some of the history of the state I live in.

June passed in a blur of classes.  At the end of the month we did our family trip, we stay at Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border.  We are there for three nights and four days and we just enjoy the sun and the water.  The days were warm but not too hot, and the evenings were cool and I slept well.  We did not have too many of Mom's great grand children, so it seemed a little quiet.  There were only about 20 or 25 of us in the group, but three generations.  Mom really enjoyed being with her family...at 92 I don't know how many more she will be able to go to.
Mom by an old church in Idaho

I spent a Saturday in July at the local farmer's market advertising the classes at Pioneer Craft House.  It was hot and sunny, I thought I would get sunstroke from being there.  (Last week when we had a booth again I was much more comfortable the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler.)

The end of July, I spend a great week in Durango, Colorado at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference.  I took a class on doing sprang and it was very interesting.  I only got a couple of small pieces done, but I now understand a lot more about the process.  There were some great workshops and it was so fun to see old friends and catch up.
Teacher's sweet sprang cap

The teacher's sprang shawl

I feel like I was much busier that that for the summer...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I've been Sick

My only excuse for not posting is having a bad cough with aches and pains the last few days and having overbooked myself for several weeks.  I know the "being busy" just feeds into the feeling we all have of "What's new?" 

My main worry was the video class that I had agreed to do.   I ended up putting off my regular classes until the video class was over, but it really overwhelmed me.

It was fun, I will probably do one again, I learned that I need to have more of my stuff organized and printed ready to go, and make sure that I don't plan anything else when you are getting ready.

I had planned to go on a camping trip the week before (my DS had reservations for the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park), but at the last minute I sent DS and DH to have a guys trip and I stayed home to get ready.  They had a wonderful time, and I mostly got ready...a good result all around.

One of the days that I was filming, I got a call (I didn't take it) to have a loom ready for a film set.  (I dealt with that after the filming was done.)

In the video set it was very interesting, these people really know what they are doing and I am glad to do a video with them instead of trying to do one on my own.  I do not want to learn the necessary things to get it right and they really had all that knowledge.
Setting up the cameras
They had overhead cameras and were able to do a pretty good close up on my hands and what I was doing.  I had my sister watch the show so that I would know how it looked.

Warping area and baby wolf loom

I still have some things to catch up on with this new way of teaching, but I think I can get it under control...or at least mostly under control.

As soon as the video was finished I had to figure how to get a loom dismantled just enough to get out of a three foot door and still warped enough to have it set up in a reasonable amount of time for the film set.  Since the loom was an old Hammet and not able to fold up, I spent some time mentally dismantling it and turning it on edge to get through the door.  The film crew bundled it up for moving and I followed them to the set to get it working.  It ended up looking good and I found time to go back down, dismantle it again and get it back up to the weaving studio.

The weather has been Spring...rain, sun, and snow all in a day or two.  My DH has been doing wonderful things to the yard.  We have a garden and lots of things coming up...I hope to have fresh peas to make some spring soup and maybe, french radishes for sandwiches.  Our radishes are often too hot, and the long french ones are great in sandwiches, so he planted some for me.  When we stayed in Aix-on-Provence, I had fantastic radishes from the markets and enjoyed sandwiches on a baguette.  I would love to have some of that here to remind me of that great time.

I got a call to have my Swedish art weave pillow in a show.  The dates that I thought I needed it done were in the fall, then a call comes that they need to pick up the pillow the first part of May!  It has to sit in a super freezer for a couple of weeks before they can put it in the museum!  The only problem was I had woven panels, but no pillows made.  I had made decisions about what I wanted the pillows to look like, I knew how the construction needed to be done and that the ultimate background fabric needed be black linen.  I had wanted to weave a small band to go above and below the panel, but now I did not have time to do that.  A quick trip to the local fabric store, and I found exactly the fabric that I wanted to use, then I spent four days sewing them up.  
All four finished pillows
After the first seams, I realized that the band would have been over-kill.  The patterns on the panels were busy enough.  I decided that the third pillow that I had woven was the one I wanted to put in the show.  It has all five of the patterns on it.  Next week is the opening and I am excited to see what else is in the show.
Pillow # Three

My cold is getting better.  Today I decided to not take any of the medications that I had been taking for it.  Yesterday the medications were making me fill groggy and worse than the cold symptoms.  Now I have a bit of congestion and an occasional cough...I can handle that with cough drops and ibuprofen.  I am still taking it easy, when I was working full time, my colds would last for months because I never gave my body time to heal.  Now I know better and have the ability to take time off.  An extra nap in the afternoon, and some quiet time reading each day to give my body what it needs...sounds like the good life to me.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April Showers

We have been getting more rain than usual and warm weather.  My spring flowers have been beautiful and the blooming trees around town have been great to see.
Flowering Pear Tree
This tree is beautiful, I am told it does not have a good fragrance.  But because my sense of smell is so undeveloped, I love seeing this tree bloom each spring.

 Golden Crocus
The golden crocus are gone now, but they always give me a good feeling when I see them.  They make me smile!

The Sarah Jackson workshop was great fun.  I always love spending 2 or 3 days with my weaving buddies, but I got to look at color in a new way.

Color Wrappings

We did color wrappings, picking colors looking at a picture or a fabric.  Sarah had a table full of great colors of 8/2 cotton.  I do not have that good of a collection of cotton, but I decided that I could come up with a good color scheme from a picture or something by using embroidery floss.  That comes in many colors and is not too expensive.  That way I can find a color scheme that I want to play with and then work on the weaving yarns to do a piece.
Finished plain weave samplers
We all got to play with a beautifully colored warp and we got to try all different colors to cross it with.  The mixes of warp and weft color made some great designs.  A good place to start from when designing.

I did not get my warp finished by time the class was done, and I have not been able to get to it with all I have been trying to finish.  I need to focus and get some things done while I am between teaching classes.

My Scarf in the show
Along with the workshop, we had a show and it is fantastic.  There are so many great pieces in the show.  We have weaving, stitchery, quilting, bobbin lace...it is a true fiber arts show.  I was so pleased to get the HGA prize for my scarf.  This is one that I wove in singles linen and worked to get a collapse cloth.  I ended up using my spinning wheel to add twist to the weft and when I took it off the loom and wet it, it did just what I wanted it to.  I love this scarf and wear it more than any other of my scarves.

I also went on a trip with my sisters.  We took Mom on a long weekend to Albuquerque.  For various reasons we drove, we stayed in a nice BnB house and enjoyed a couple of days.  We went to museums, walked around "Old Town", bought Indian jewelry and enjoyed each other's company.  
Georgia O'Keeffe
  I saw some great color combinations at the Georgia O'Keeffe gallery, beautiful stained glass at the local churches and I spent way too much money.  (However, I do not regret any purchase!)
Santa Fe Cathedral 
And Mom took a picture of the four of us at the house.
Four Sisters - Artists
We are a good looking bunch...even if I complain about that old lady that looks back at me in the mirror.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I have a computer again

Our household had been partially without a computer.  I don't know what happened, but the main tower would let the other two linked computers work, but my files were not available.  I have been in panic mode trying to get taxes for my business finished and figuring how I could write up an invoice.
Thanks to my DS, I now have a halfway computer.  We have it running on a different processor (it seems to be the motherboard giving us problems).  So we need to order new parts and get my original tower working.  This one is really slow, and will not play online videos.  Small problems for the joy of being able to get into my files.

My winter classes are almost done and because of a road trip with my sisters, I will not be starting again until the end of April.  A little time to catch up on the things I want to do around the house.  I really need to get my studio and the annex in shape, walking in there is like a pathway house.  I have lots of craft stuff and I need to decide what I can actually do and what can be passed on to someone else.  I think I can live forever and get all the projects done...but that may not be the case.

The first of this month, I took a 3 day workshop with Sarah Jackson...her color workshop.  It was great fun and I even learned a few things.  It is always good to be forced to combine colors in a different way.  I took lots of pictures, but unfortunately, I can't figure how to put pictures on this computer tower.  Sarah is a great teacher and shares herself and her design sense with you.  This is my second workshop with her and she helps me think about weaving things in a different way.  It is always good to get another perspective on what you are doing.

I finished on set of scarves for commission

I am still weaving scarves and a few rugs.  I was pleased to get one set done, that is the invoice that I was so worried about.  I have another set going on the loom now, but no new pictures.
Yarn for the next group of scarves
This group is alpaca (the previous was Icelandic Sheep), and has more white.  I plan to do the pinwheel and dornik check patterns, but one llama was named "Lace" and is white.  I want to do some lace scarves from her yarn.  I think they will be wonderful.

This weekend, I'm going on a road trip with my Mom and sisters.  We only have a long weekend, but it will be good to get out of the valley and see something new.  I hope to be able to go to the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe while we are there.

Spring is blooming everywhere.  The trees are in bloom and daffodils are blooming.
Here is an old picture of my beautiful daffodils.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Onward and Upward

I have really been AWOL on my internet presence.  I want to change that.

I have been feeling better, the smog is gone today and we have blue skies and sun today.  It should last for a few days.  I was lucky enough to spend a few days the end of January in the mountains and again great blue skies and sun.  I have obviously needed the sun.  My DH was driving around on one of the sunny days this week and saw a car pulled up in the school parking lot (on a Saturday), there was an older couple (like our age!) who had opened the back of the car, got a couple of chairs out and they were enjoying "catching a few rays".  That is what I have been trying to do also...get some sun and help my attitude.

I need to look at the government condition not as something to make me crazy/sad, but instead of a call to get more involved in the things that are important to me.  I want to see equality and equity for all people, I want to see the natural world protected, and I want to see a healthy economy (not necessarily a growing economy, but a healthy one - bigger is not necessarily better).

Am I being a "Pollyanna" about this?...I don't think so...at least not too much.  I am not totally ignoring the problems, but I choose not to dwell on them.

The trip to the mountain cabin was our Christmas gift.  With unmarried adult children, we like to do things, not give things.  We stayed in a little cabin (unfortunately with a small mouse) at Fish Lake.  
The mouse is probably hiding somewhere in there!
We have stayed there before in the winter, starting in the 1980's.  It is well known for ice fishing.  We don't fish, but instead we cross-country ski, or snow shoe, or walk out on the lake and see ice fishing.  (Did you know the lake makes the most wonderful deep cracking sounds?)  Or just sit and enjoy the time. 
Here's the lake across the street and through the window!

This year I did a lot of sitting by the fire and reading, and sitting by the window and letting the sun shine on me.  It was very cold outside (walking on the snow, it made a squeaking sound) so sitting outside in the sun was not comfortable.  But the few days away from the stress of everyday and the horrible smog we get in the winter was really good.  
Combination kitchen/dining/livingroom

I have been teaching classes and they are slightly over full, so a little more work.  I've spent some time up at Mom's running errands with her.  And I have said yes to too many additional things that I want to do.  The calendar is filling up fast!.. thus the stress.  I need to learn to say "no" a few times.

I have gotten some work done...but I've been slower than I wished.
End of another warp of scarves
Here is the end of the third warp out of four.  The fourth will be shorter, because I am using up the last of the yarn.

I enjoyed our January Sister's Date.  We decided to do Valentine's decorations.  One sister was stitching on a previously started red fabric, stitching hearts.  She said it was probably a pillow.  Another sister was making Valentine's Day cards.  She was stitching hearts on the fronts...she saw that idea on Pinterest.  The other two of us were stitching hearts to hang.  I have a hanger that I use to show off my Christmas bobbin lace ornaments, I want to use it for other holidays, so I started a Valentine's heart. 
Front of the heart
Here is my work so far.  The first layer of design is the lace and stitched boarder.  Now I am adding the second layer of stitchery...some flowers and probably vines.  Then I will add some beads to finish it off.  There is also a back side, but it only has a white small heart stitched on for the first layer.

The heart that I will probably have displayed this year  was made and given to my by my sister that loves patchwork and putting pieces together to make something.  It is a wonderful crazy quilt looking heart.
"Sister's Love", a heart to display.
Isn't it great.  She has a wonderful stash of lace and fabric, then adds some stitchery.  I love it and will put it on the bigger display hanger.

I also celebrated a birthday in February...and my DD got my cake at my favorite bakery.
Yes, Raspberry and Chocolate...I couldn't ask for anything more.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I have had a hard time the last couple of months, physically, mentally and spiritually.  My physical problems a minor compared to so many people, but they slowed me down.  I feel like I have done less than I should and the studio that I teach at has been fighting to maintain.  We found out that we lost the case, so I don't know if I will be able to continue teaching there...do I place my worth as the business I do...does the title of teacher constitute my self worth?  And I have not been able to find my camera for a month...what did I do with it?

The end of September we had a great time in southern Utah.  We planned to camp at Bryce National Park, and stopped at Cedar Breaks National Monument on the way down.  The aspen trees were beautiful in transition to fall and the area is volcanic so the contrast with the lava rock was beautiful.
Lava and aspen trees
We were lucky to get a camp site in the park...thanks to my son and DH's efforts.  It is great to be in the park so that an early morning walk puts you at the edge of the basin to see the sun rise and the deer eating, or evenings watching the sun set.
Our tent and sunset view
Deer mom and twin fawns
I spent one morning watching a small herd of deer with a pair of fawns...they are hard to photograph with my skills and they blend in with the background, but they were fun to watch.

My son tried to get some long exposure star pictures with the hoodoos as foreground, but the weather did not cooperate and the clouds came in to mess it up.  As usual, he did get some great pictures...how can you not in a place like this.
Bryce National Park
On one of the sunrise walks, I slipped in a wet sand area, it had been raining the night before.  My feet went out from under me and I hit hard, first hip, then shoulder, then head.  I don't think I lost consciousness, but I saw stars.  Amazing, just like the cartoons from my childhood, I really saw stars!  I spent the afternoon feeling pretty bad, nauseous and sleepy.  I managed to enjoy the rest of the time there, but I really cut back on what I was doing.

The month of October was a total blur.  I was teaching two or three nights a week and even four nights on a week or two.  I managed to get my class materials together and do well in the classes, but I spent almost all the rest of the day sleeping.  I may have had flu then too, I had some stomach problems, but maybe it was the after effects of the concussion.  When each class was finished, unfortunately, I just left the examples in a pile in my weaving studio, so I built a "pathway" room.  I could hardly move in there, that is what makes me feel like I did not do as much as I should and the room is still overflowing with things that need to be put away.

Classes finished in mid November, although I still maintained studio hours three days a week, and I started the holiday season.  We managed to get my mom to see the lights in the gardens at Thanksgiving Point and we had a great time with her.  Then we had her staying at our house for Christmas eve.  

I had fun bringing out my Christmas decorations and we bought a new lighted tree to put up.  (Last year I did not even put up a tree.)  This one was easy to put up and I prefer a man-made tree instead of a real one.  I miss the great smell of the real one, but I am not good at keeping them watered and I worry about fires.  I like to leave my decorations up until the 12th day of Christmas, so that makes a long time for a real tree.

I have been getting some weaving done for commission, and trying to learn about Crackle weaving.  I have kept the rigid heddle loom warped, at least one has had a piece on and sometimes both of them.  That is part of my problem, too many projects on too many looms.  Right now I have yardage on my big Mac, an old workshop piece on the baby Mac, scarves and shawls on the Baby Wolf, a rug on the studio Mac and a towel warp in Crackle to experiment with on the studio HD.  Then I have the pick-up scarf on the Cricket RH and I just put on a towel warp on the Flip RH.  Is that all the looms I am bouncing around?  Too many projects to think about and I am making myself a little scatter-brained.  I'm not even counting the non-weaving projects.

I want my camera...