Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Saturday, November 25, 2006

guilt trip posting

Really have neglected the old blog.
It's THAT time of year again and once again I contemplate a "letter" for friends and of those newsy little epistles that catches one up with the past year for people you don't keep in touch with enough. It just seems like a lot of writing, which is not something I do very well, this blog being the exception.
I have not touched my loom in ages and am beginning to feel like a bird with a wing missing. I am going to hole up today, NOT answer the phone and get it dressed and ready to weave. THe new loom arrives in mid-Dec. and I will be preoccupied with getting it put together and ready to go. THEN there are the little pieces of tubing I need to put over the hooks and that could take until next May sometime! Let's see, forty harnesses times 2. Yeah, it's still 80. THEN getting used to the fly-shuttle. Oh heck. Next year at this time, I will be so glad I did this...all $15,000.00 worth of it! Or something close to that. I find that, if I don't dwell on the fact that I shelled out more for this contraption than my car (after the trade-in) I feel somewhat better.
Man, no excuse for NOT churning out the woven products after this behemoth arrives! (And I cannot believe I spelled "behemoth" correctly without looking it up first!)
Anyway, the trip to London really derailed my studio life bigtime...of course, then it was a matter of rearranging the whole house to accomodate the aforementioned behemoth, which took up a good deal of time and energy of itself. The irony is, having "gotten my bedroom back," my preferred sleeping-spot has become the daybed in the living room. So it goes.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Weaver who? Back from London

I am surprised my blog remembers who I am. Back from London! It took a week to get over the jet lag. If you've never been to "Last Night of the Proms" you need to go! We stood with the Promenaders this year, and a nicer and more fun bunch of people would be hard to find anywhere.
I am in the back row on the extreme right. Icing on the cake was a performance by one of my favourite singers, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who appeared to be having as much fun as we all were!

It has been a long time since I lived exclusively on wine, champagne, candy, biscuits, and general cocktail snacks for two days! This all starts on the Friday before "Last Night" since we spend so much time just hanging out. THE Night brings out little flasks filled with yummy little nips.

Of course, all the mayhem is organized down in the Arena by the prommers, so I had a great time blowing up balloons and popping crackers etc. Over 61,000 pounds was collected by these great folks this year for musical charities. They do this every year and you must be sure, if you ever go, to toss some change into the buckets as you exit the Hall!
Midnight, post Prom, found me staggering into the multi-star hotel where we had treated ourselves to rooms that night (since we knew it would be a late one), with my flask, my flag, my programmes etc and begging for a bowl of soup and a pot of tea.
Joshua Bell was on the bill one night and it was just wonderful playing! I was terrribly proud of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the performance they turned in and Eschenbach was called back out repeatedly to stamping, cheers and thunderous applause. Their performance had had to be cancelled the previous night because a small fire had shorted out the Hall's electrical system. I was so disappointed because I have never heard the Beethoven "Ninth" live and had been looking forward to it.

The Sunday following brings a Thanksgiving service organized at the Chapel around the corner from the Hall. The regular prommers have filled us in on where to stay etc next year, so it should be even more fun then, and there will be at least 4 of us on that trek!

I did not make the weavers' guild meeting as planned since we had to be outside the Albert Hall on the same day, in order to answer the roll calls and keep our places in line. I did see the work of one weaver at Covent Garden who is making lovely litte scarves from chenille and "rags". Beautiful work. Saw LOTS of stripes everywhere and green is definitely in for next year.
A side-thrill each year is the annual "London's Fittest Firefighter" competition in Covent Garden. YOu can sit with your cappuccino and watch some gorgeous guys climb ladders, lift heavy buckets, carry body-like weights around etc etc. All the things firefighters have to do. They also do some trad weight-lifting things as part of it and have a rowing machine component.
A trip to York DID have some weaving connections! I have a hard time staying away from the Viking Centre there, and my friend had never been to it, so we went, saw the village and the "time machine" and viewed the artifacts. They have a weighted-warp loom set up. I am dying to weave on that one year!
At some point, a long meditation on rearranging almost my entire house to create a work room. My AVL arrives sometime within the next three weeks and I need space ready for it. At the moment, many, many things are sitting out in my hallway, awaiting their "assignments" on the floor-plans.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sum sum summertime

Well, back from the mountains with two more looms, a floor Hammet, and another "Dorothy." I think I now have enough looms overall for next summer's art camp and enough Dorothy looms to offer a nice workshop this Fall and classes later.
I picked up my cousin in Augusta, who has turned out to be a kindred spirit and more fun to be with than almost anybody I've known in years! We went to NE GA to pick these things up at a sheep farm. My little dog loved the farm but freaked out over the sheep and donkeys and tried to climb up my leg to safety. I had to hold her in my arms, where she plastered herself to my chest, until we went inside again.
Also visited the wonderful "Earth Guild" shop in Asheville and went nuts buying because I could feel, touch, heft etc the tools and yars. Dangerous!
Like I need more yarn!
At least it will eventually pay for itself.
Big surprise when I went by the gallery to pick out a scarf a friend wanted for a birthday present, and they had sold all the SHAWLS! I had expected the scarves to sell first, since they are less expensive. More shawls coming off the loom this Fall, I guess. The mayor had bought one of them for her daughter-in-law! Nice belle-mere, there!
Putting more heddles on my loom now for a biggie project: an overshot baby blanket for my best friend's first grandchild! Ahhhhhh, middle-age!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

enough looms??

I think I finally have enough looms! Six more are coming my way over the next two weeks. Thank heaven for my storage bay! I am talking with the "Y" and the gallery where I sell about a "weave a scarf in a day" workshops. Hope this works. It would be a good way to interest people in learning the whole process.
Ordered the yarn for my "personal project" which is to weave an overshot coverlet for my best bud's first grandchild. The "Dogwood" pattern is what I'm leaning towards right now.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

some projects from this summer

For anybody interested:
I warped up the mh looms with warps ranging from 4" to 8" and had some rh looms with similar warps. The kids with the rh and mh looms all wover sashes and/or scarves. A few only managed enough for a little bag.
Cardboard looms were a real handy thing for the kids who wanted to make one more thing but there were no looms to hand them. I had bought a huge supply from Dick Blick and made some small ones. By weaving all the way around, the kids made little cup holders to go around a glass of milk or cola etc, or just could be used as a little bag.
There are a lot of simple projects for kids here:

Kindness of strangers

People can be so great!
So far, two people have seen my posts on Yahoo wherein I commented that I planned to get enough looms for each kid to have either a mh loom or a rh loom to work on and have offered to send me looms! One of them I had to insist on paying her something, because it's a Structo and I know she could get some good $$$ for it on ebay, so I can't let her just send it off like that.
But I am so moved and happy to see so much goodwill out there in the ether!
You get what you give! I so makes up for the times I've been burned! Thank heaven people like THAT are so few and far between, and that there are more "enlightened witnesses" around than the schlemiels!


About learning to weave:
I went to Fashion Institute of Technology where I studied Textile Design/Wovens under people like Nell Znamierowski and Desiree Koslin. Wish I was still nearby enough to drop in for the occasional refresher, but, so it goes. I was delighted recently to tumble on one of the current faculty and had a fun email exchange with her this week. Nice. Made me feel back in touch with my favourite school.
I am always kind of amused when people assume that weaving is some kind of folk art that I must have learned from my grandmother! One of my grans was a working-class Londoner, WWl war-bride, who loved photography, and worked in her son-in-law's Mexican restaurant, whipping up guacamole and fajitas in later years, (she was a fun Grandma!), and the other was a Southern lady with a houseful of "help." She would have considered weaving to be something the "help" would do, since that's who did it back in the very, very bad old days before "THE War," (meaning, of course, the Civil War). She did do a lot of beautiful crochet, though, and most of us have some examples of her work. Anyway, I like to bust THAT bubble by commenting that I studied it a major fashion-industry college in the SUNY system, which also happens to be Calvin Klein's alma mater. Heh heh.
Weaving gives me a sense of continuity in what has been, for the most part, a rather moveable feast of a life. My working days were full of taking whatever I could get after I left NYC and moving rather a lot, to my great distress, since I love a familiar setting. (I do love to travel, but hate being away from home. Figure that one out! ) When came home and found myself an "heiress," I was able to get a loom again and do the thing I do best for my "butter-and-egg" money, although I hope that this will grow into a self-sustaining business in the future.
I am going to start teaching regular classes when I get back from the UK this Fall, and I guess I will start with something like "make a scarf in one day" workshops.
I am so grateful to God for my life right now. I am able to live in my hometown, go to the church where I was baptized, spend a little time playing with little kids (always a spiritual restorative, I think...keeps you perspectives straight!), do the things I do best, adopt some little critters who needed homes and just enjoy my life, my friends and beautiful Alabama ("so sweet in the Springtime").


I successfully refilled a Structo spool today! Yay! The trick is that you need sectional warping equipment.
I used my AVL warping wheel and hung a near-empty spool on the warp beam of one of the Structos and wound it on just like a sectional-beam section. Gee, that was easy! Now I can stop desperately buying up every set of the things that show up on ebay! Also, I can load them for the next art camp with an epi that will be good for the kids and save myself some warp-making time and effort in the meantime! I can also get some variations in warp colours and fibers for them! We can do stripe and plaids and things.

last words on weaving-munchkins

Well, the summer art camp is now history for this year. I had a wonderful time and blush to say that the weaving class won the popularity contest! The kids did want more 'sewing machines" so my goals for next year are to purchase enough Structos and Dorothy Looms and whatever else seems likely so that all the kids can have some kind of "machine" to work on, AND to make sure they all start calling them "Looms" instead of "sewing machines!"
In spite of my loathing for potholders, I had to let the littlest campers make them. Of course, guess who finished off 95% of them! I did hit on a good idea to help them with the concepts of "over-under," which I am also going to apply to the rigid-heddle looms as well: alternating colours! This way I can tell them that, the first time, they all go UNDER colour A and OVER colour B, then, the next time, go OVER colour A and UNDER colour B! The little ones ( and, surprisingly, some of the older kids) have a lot of trouble with the whole "over/under" concept.
Again, some of the kids did astounding work! One of the boys, I think he's 10, did a little scarf with selvedges that any weaver would envy: even, not too tight or too loose, just beautiful. I caught his mom when she picked him up on Friday to tell her about it.
My voice was hoarse for a couple of days, since you really do have to yell a lot to get their attention when they are in a group and all wound up. They tend to go up trees and hang out windows etc! The little ones were bouncing off the walls one afternoon at the end of the day, so I turned on Radio Disney and handed them handfulls of bubble wrap to pop and we all had a great time making a great deal of noise and giggling!
I had a ball! Can't wait till next year and am thinking of signing on as a Sunday School teacher this year!
My mother would laugh her butt off at me turning into a teacher!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

more on summer weaving

Well, the short entry last month gives one an idea of how intense the week was! I've been run off my feet since and am 'way behind on getting ready for session two next week!
I was thrilled, thought, that the munchkins took to it like little ducks to water and even took me up on the offer of an extra afternoon....30 of them took me up! 30 steaming, sweaty little bodies n 90+ ยบ weather in a small space. Speaking of ducks....the whole thing was kind of like being pecked to death by a bunch of hungry ducklings! And I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT and they all told the directors that MY class was the one they liked best, along with Charlie Lucas' wire sculpture. Can't believe I tied with Charlie on something! I am still amazed!
So today I have to try and make the room a little cooler. I have bought an air-conditioner...too small, of course, and am going to hang curtains this morning. And I need to hang this whole thing up and get over there before it gets HOT(ter). Hopefully, it will rain today , or,at least stay cloudy, and maybe I can stay in there longer.
I have gotten a couple more looms and will make the BIG experiment on refilling STRUCTO reels tonight. Crossed fingers! That and warp-making. Then back tomorrow and Saturday to dress looms. Guess the chiro sees me later today rather than earlier.
I hope the older kids are a little easier to deal with. The few teenagers that signed up for art camp were kind of determined not to be interested in anything at all, but, the last day, one of them came up and talked my ear off about anything or everything! You never know!
Man, we need rain! I drove home from the Amercan Village in a frog-strangle, but, by the time I got back to my neck of the woods, everything was bone-dry and the sky was perfectly clear.