Crazy as a Loom

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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stress and some soup.

 The sun is shining, and that's a whole lot to be happy about.
I took Roy for a long walk by the river, only to be annoyed by stupid people.

Oops, that was mean.
But it's true.  Actually.  There are always people who are so ignorant, that you just wonder how they manage to exist at all.

This couple had let their dog run loose.
The dog, very young, had managed to get himself down on the canal, which was PARTIALLY frozen over. 
He was frantic, because he realized that he now couldn't get back up on the bike path, because there was a vertical stone wall along the whole canal.
The humans kept walking, away from the small path that had allowed him access to begin with.

As I approached them, I said, he is not going to be able to get off the ice if you keep going that way.
SHE said, "oh, when we get to the bridge, he can cross to the other side."

"Through the icy water??????" I asked, incredulous.

I guess I was particularly perturbed, because just two weeks ago, a lady who lived in the neighborhood, 64 years old, a talented, much loved, musician, had taken her two dogs down here to walk.  Whether she let them loose, or they got away from her is a mystery.  But they went out on the ice on the river side, they went through, and she went after them.
By the time someone heard her, she had been in the water for some time.
The rescue squad worked hard to save her, but she died at the hospital.

So you can imagine, my patience with these two nitwits was just about NIL.  NADA.  ZIP.

I passed them, but stopped down the path, to make sure that they just didn't leave him.   And to make sure he didn't go into the water.   I had my phone at the ready to call 911.  They saw me watching them.   Otherwise, who knows what they had in mind. 
They finally realized that they had to coax him all the way back to where he had descended into the canal.........and then they put his LEASH on him, just like all the signs direct one to do.

So much for a relaxing walk by the water.
Poor Roy.......good thing he can't talk, or he might be repeating things I said to the wind.

I came home, and made this soup from a book that L had lent me.   I was a little skeptical, but wanted to try it.
Can I just tell you that I think this is my favorite soup EVER.  It is so good.
It is spicy hot, and so satisfying that I am going to give you the recipe.
And even better......hardly any calories at all.

I should be doing something productive.   I guess.  At least that's what that little voice inside my
head says.
What does she know?

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts