Monday, January 31, 2011

There and Back Again

Just rolled in the door (dragged?). I've been up since 1 am Pacific Time and it's now just after 5 pm. Doubt I'll last very long but I'm trying to sort through mail and figure out what absolutely must get done tonight so that I can make one errand run tomorrow.

Bills to be paid, forms to fill out, calendar to update - all the usual things that have to be dealt with after being away for an extended period. Not to mention getting ready to leave again for Madrona!

When I left Florida it was downright balmy. Here it's -15C. Back to reality.

Currently reading Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The End

of my trip to the south is nigh. The workshop is over, looms all put away, room cleaned up, weary weavers returned home.

It's been a great trip. I've met some wonderful people, and managed to see a few sights which I don't usually have the time to do. But all things must come to an end, and tomorrow I leave.

In order to get home in one day I must catch a 7 am flight which means getting up at 4 am. The up side is that I should get home by 6 pm (Pacific time, 9 pm Florida time) if there are no delays. So far the weather looks great all the way so barring equipment issues, it should be a nice, boring flight. Next post will be from home. :)

I'm well prepared with 3 books which should make the trip go quickly.

Currently reading Knit Two by Kate Jacobs (? - the book is in the other room)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sleepless in Florida

One of the things that has been making my life a misery the last few years is sleep disruptions. It certainly doesn't help when I add jet lag into the equation. Then, when the thought squirrels start running in my head, sleep becomes nearly impossible.

Thoughts running through my head last night (until 3 am-ish) - two surgical dates (to be determined, one of which requires 6 weeks recovery - i.e. NO heavy lifting which means no weaving, no dyeing) around which I have to fit travel for education and teaching/sales (Madrona - education), Fibres West and HWSDA (sales), Quebec (general session address and workshops), NEWS (seminars), Grand Forks (sales and possibly teaching?), move out of annex, get rid of Puff, wet finish the things I've woven but not wet finished before Puff expires (i.e. the end of March), dye 30+ pounds of silk gimp as quickly as possible (after skeining it off), dye the sample yarns coming from Ashland Bay, find storage space for the new line of spinning fibres I've just become the dealer for in Canada (details when I get home and get the dealer package, but.....they are exciting), work on The Project, writing, designing the exercises and making the samples - warp wrappings and woven samples to illustrate the principles......

Which takes me to September when I start travelling to do shows/craft fairs.

One of the things that always stops me in my tracks is when I do the local craft fair, which I've been doing continuously since 1979 (except for 3 years ago due to health). When some of the long time supporters of the craft fair see me show up again in my booth, they kind of look at me and say things like 'Oh, you're still weaving. How nice you have something to keep you busy.'

Oh yes. How lovely I have something to keep me busy............ :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holiday Over

Tomorrow we leave for Orlando which means my holiday is about over.

Tonight I repacked my suitcase. At least since we are driving I didn't have to worry too much about stuff that needs to go into my checked luggage. I fear with my recent purchases and the yarn I collected from the Sarasota workshop I'm dangerously near my luggage allowance limit. :(

Next trip I will have to travel with the smaller of my two 'large' suitcases so that I can't bring as much stuff with me, I guess. :} I just can't afford overweight luggage's bad enough I have to pay to check a suitcase. Every time I check in. Sigh.

Part of the challenge in packing for this trip was that I am doing 3 different topics, meaning different binders with class info and different samples to illustrate the topics. I'm going to have to start weaving samples that will illustrate more than one topic, I guess.....

It's been lovely to have another period of down time between workshops but I fear I shall return home completely spoiled. A peek at the long range forecast for the weather back home is - well, let's just say I won't be wandering around in my shirt sleeves as I've been doing the last couple of days!

I get home next Monday evening and will have to hit the ground running. I'm hoping to move out of the annex by the end of March because the rent has increased from $300/mo to $400/mo. That's an increase that I just can't afford to continue paying. So Puff is going to have to go to the scrap heap. I'm hoping Doug can find enough room in his workshop to store the boiler until we can find a buyer. Where I'll store all that yarn and the last copies of Magic and Weave a V - well I just don't know. I may have to pile stuff higher and wider in the studio....sigh.

Then I leave in Feb for Madrona Fiber Festival. I'm not sure how long I'll be away as it will depend on the weather. Right now I'm planning on leaving a day early in case I have to stay overnight somewhere due to adverse driving conditions. I know my friend won't mind if I show up a day early and stay a day longer if the weather is nasty.

The joys of living in the 'north'. (I know, there is a whole lot more 'north' north of us!) :^)

Currently reading My Sister's Keeper my Jodi Picoult

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Spent the morning and part of the afternoon today doing some more shopping. :)

We went to Joann's where I found some baby quilt top panels for my mom. Then we went to Barnes and Noble where I was seduced into buying not one, not two, but three books. What can I say? The remainder table had a couple of authors I enjoy on them and the hard backs were cheaper than paperbacks.

Then after lunch we went to a quilting shop where I found another baby quilt top. Came back to a message from Doug that my VISA card provider had phoned. They were just checking to make sure I really was in Florida using my own card. I have to say I'm surprised they didn't notice the bill for the flight I charged in December, but still - really glad they checked before they pulled the plug on my card. :}

Also really glad they are monitoring and taking the time to question 'odd' purchases.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Interlude in FL

We went to the store today where I found some fabric to frame and bind the cross stitch angel I made several years ago to give to my brother and never did finish to give to him. With the hundreds of hours I spent doing the stitching I was feeling guilty (and not a little sad Don never got it) and decided to give it to someone else. Not able to afford professional framing, I settled on a fabric 'frame' with hanging tabs.

After lunch I got most of it sewn - the rest needs to be done by hand and I don't have the right colour thread to do that so I'll finish it up at home.

This morning my watch starting working again - in fits and starts - so I decided to just buy a new one - the one I bought was only a couple of dollars more than replacing the battery on the other - and with it working sporadically I was suspicious the watch itself was breaking.

The new watch has a large face which I prefer, and the decoration on it is butterlies. How could I not buy it????

Currently reading All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Safely transported to just north of Tampa, it was a lovely day for the drive. Took about 2.5 hours during which time the sun was brilliant and we got good views of the bay going over the bridge on Hwy 125.

This afternoon I finished the Kelley Armstrong omnibus and Jacqui has a couple of Anita Shreve books she's willing to pass along to me.

Tomorrow we'll go find a battery for my watch - mine died at 3:50 am this morning. :}

We'll also go to a fabric shop and possibly a book store if I feel a desperate need for more books.

With any luck it will be warm enough for a swim - I did find my bathing suit which hopefully still fits. I haven't used it since I visited with Jacqui and Eric two years ago. (!)

My how time flies when you're having fun?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Over!

Today people wet finished their samples and we had the whole day so we were able to take our time and let the samples dry a little bit before trying to compress those that were going to be compressed.

Some of the fabrics changed radically, some subtly, some did things that were completely unexpected - or at least counter to intuition. Always something to learn and surprises to discover.

There are some photos posted to Flickr from John C. Campbell. Thanks to Rhonda for sharing.

The weather in Sarasota has been....changable? The wind has been blowing and the sky has gone from heavy overcast to sun. I'm hoping for a bit more sun in the next few days as I enjoy some time off visiting with friends in the Tampa area.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day Two in Sarasota

One of the nice things about doing a 3 day workshop is that there is more time to weave the samples. So it was with a sense of great anticipation that I began cutting warps off the looms today - amongst the protests of some people who hadn't quite gotten to those looms yet - and began preparing them for the wet finishing tomorrow. And yes, I tied those warps back up so that more weaving could carry on. :)

Several of the warps were duplicates so no one had to weave on all of the warps unless they wanted to do so. In preparation for the wet finishing I cut a slice off the side of the woven web to reserve for a loom state sample. The rest will hit the water tomorrow.

Since we have all day, we can allow the samples to dry a little more thoroughly that is usually the case so we should be able to get everything done and cleaned up without too much stress.

Distributing the samples back to each person is always a bit fraught. I have yet to find a good way to cut the samples apart and hand them back to each person, so we'll go with the method I've found to work the 'best'. Cut each warp apart and distribute each sample as we go. There are only 13 in the workshop so it should not take too long.

We also have a couple of smaller items we'll wet finish just to see how they turn out. I have not woven with every yarn available, so sometimes it's a learning experience for me, too. :)

Tonight my host and hostess had a pot luck dinner. As usual, where ever weavers gather, there will be good food and good conversation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last Day in Durham

I'm pretty much packed and ready to go but before we head to the airport, I'll be delivered to the textile library at the university and have a couple of hours to rummage through the books. :D

Can we say "heaven"?

I finished the War of Art and hopefully some of Pressfield's observations on the creative process will stick. Mostly it's about getting over the fear, overcoming Resistance. I experienced a great deal of resistance while beginning Magic and was having similar issues with The Project. Having managed to get the first seven pages laid out before I left, I'm hoping that I can return and hit the ground running in order to make some good progress before I leave for Madrona Fiber Festival. I've signed up for one of Jacey Boggs' spinning classes because I feel the need to understand more about how textured yarns are engineered.

Her interview on WeaveCast intrigued me and when I saw her listed on the Madrona schedule I said, hmmmmm.

So yesterday I signed up and will stay with a friend for a few days as well. Since I knew a few people in the Seattle area, and another will be in the area visiting (who, happily, is signed up for the same workshop that I'm taking) it's another opportunity to visit with fibre people. :)

I fear I'm getting spoiled!

Currently reading Summonig by Kelley Armstrong

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Down Day

Having a 'down' day today. It is a nice interlude between JCC and the upcoming workshop. We will have 3 days in Sarasota for Magic in the Water, so it will not be quite as pressured as when we only have two days to weave the samples and wet finish them.

The weather here continues chilly and it rained a bit yesterday. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so I'm not anticipating any weather delays as I fly back to Atlanta to catch a flight to Sarasota. I feel like I've seen an awful lot of the Atlanta airport recently. :^)

I've read a number of books, names/authors escape me at this point. I bring 'light' reading on trips so I can shed them a I finish them. Paperbacks that are generally cozy mysteries.

Yesterday I saw that my pile of books was diminishing and picked up a hardback that was on sale. Turns out it is actually a children's book (or at least it's classified as such). But I found the writing compelling. Neal Shusterman has written a number of books and if you have a young person in your life who enjoys reading they may like this author.

The book I'm reading is Duckling Ugly.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week One

No pictures yet. Late last year my service provider changed the terms of my Blackberry contract so I now have to pay for email up and downloads so posting photos from my phone now cost way too much.

Unfortunately I didn't even take any photos with my phone, but Heather did so I will be able to access her photos once I'm home. Or else I will post the URL to her photos if that's okay with her.

So, to summarize the 5 days at John C. Campbell - what can I say? Southern hospitality at it's best.

Everyone associated with the school was gracious, helpful and positive in their attitude.

The students were motivated, enthusiastic and willing to work hard. The amount of weaving that was accomplished during the week was awesome and students and teachers from other classes were amazed at how prolific the class was. :)

Friday afternoon the classes had a display of their work so we could each see what had been happening in the other studios. During the week there were programs like Morningsong, movies, concerts. Or you could continue to work in your studio. (You can guess what the weavers were doing!)

Would I go back? Yes, I'm hoping to return next year, but perhaps not in January. I'd been hoping to leave the cold and snow behind but a storm blew in - it got very cold and it snowed several inches. The work study crew were presented with shovels their first day and spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday shoveling the many paths through the school campus.

If you've ever thought about taking a class at JCC, it's a great atmosphere, well stocked and equipped studios with great instructors (even if I do say so myself). :^)

I am now staying with friends for a few days before heading further south to Sarasota.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Plan B

Well, I had my suitcase all packed. Managed to fit nearly everything in and then checked the airlines for maximum size of suitcase.


My sports equipment bag was too large. Oh, I could travel with it - if I were willing to pay $150 every time I checked in. Considering how many flights I'm taking on this trip, I swallowed my bile and made an executive decision.

I cannot afford to bring my warping board with me on this trip. Which means I can't afford to take it to NEWS in July, either.

And so I'm now in the process of re-packing all the stuff that was in the sports bag into the red suitcase in the foreground which should just fit the requirements of maximum allowed luggage size. As long as I pack so that I don't need to expand it the 1.5" or so that it will expand. And 'lightly' so that it doesn't bulge.

The sports bag weighed in at 49 pounds as near as we could calculate on our ancient bathroom scale. With the subtraction of the warping board and bamboo blinds I prefer as warp packing, I should be able to add back in most of the stuff I took out so that the warping stuff would fit in.

I so love travelling by air............(not)

Currently reading Side Jobs - short story collection by Jim Butler

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Endings

2nd last painted warp beamed ready to thread....

One of the most dangerous things a craftsperson who relies on the sales of their product for income can do is to keep making the same thing over and over again just because it's been selling well.

Markets get saturated, fashions change - and there are always a million reasons for a customer to not purchase an expensive hand made item. Already having one (or more) of your current offerings is a really good one. :(

So even though a quick review of my sales indicates that what I have sold the most of for the last few years is, in fact, these painted warp scarves it's time to bid them adieu.

With what is left over plus the scarves I've woven in the last 3 months I will have plenty of inventory for the coming year. Enough inventory that I would not need to make more even if there were more warps to weave. Therefore my weaving time for this year will be an exploration of new fabric designs.

The Diversified Plain Weave scarves didn't sell like hot cakes but I did sell a few and since I have plenty of rayon chenille left I will no doubt make more. But in the meantime there are a few other things that I'd like to make first so those will go into the loom once I'm back from my travels.

Shawls also sold well this year and I have yarn dyed up ready to be turned into a few shawl warps.
Best of all, the ideas I currently have will draw upon my stash so I don't even have to buy a whole lot of yarn for those warps. :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

Stuff for JCC piling up....

The new year is beginning with a bang. So to speak.

Doug's oldest friend died Christmas morning which has meant a rather subdued holiday for us. The funeral is Monday and since I don't think Doug has really taken it all in yet, I suspect Monday is going to be a difficult day.

Tuesday I have a - shall we say - somewhat intrusive medical test (dignity? What dignity?)Wednesday a massage appointment to try and work some of the kinks out of my neck before I start sitting for hours in cramped quarters on various and sundry airplanes and a hair cut on Thursday so I look less like an English sheepdog for the trip.
Then 3 weeks away for a fairly intensive class at JCC, and two 3 day workshops in Florida.

The good news is that I've made a bit of a dent in my to-do list - the dye day went off fairly successfully, there are 2.75 warps left to weave, which I'm hoping I can still get done before the 7th - later than I'd hoped, but still. I've kind of fallen down on the skeining but there are about 20 skeins ready, with 40 for my usual day so half way there and may get a few more done yet.

I've posted the transcript for WeaveCast 55 to and it's quite fascinating (although I think pretty much all of the podcasts are fascinating) and I have broken the ice on The Project and hope to add a few more words to the file before I leave.

The yarns for my weaving at JCC are ready including one warp already wound ready to slam into the loom and several warps 'extra' which I can work on at Sharon's if I don't get them done at JCC. I'm hoping Doug will get the fringe twisters done so I can have one with me on the trip and work on fringe twisting so I don't have to bring them home to do - since I have 3 dozen scarves here (or hopefully will have) already. If nothing else I can work on them at my friend Jacqui's in between the two Florida workshops. She's a bobbin lace maker and understands about having handwork to do. :D

When I get home I'm hoping to have positive news on the health issue front. Looking at my calendar I have left a large window of opportunity in April/May for surgery, but if it can't be done then, a smaller window opens up in July/August. Since I'll also be seeing the orthopedic surgeon about getting the hardware removed from my ankle I'm hoping that I can get all of the sliceing and diceing done this year so that I don't have to think about it any more. With any luck, by the time they are done with me I'll be good for another 20 years. :)

So, no resolutions for me. Just some plans that are flexible and more of the same in terms of weaving. Except for The Project, which I'm still hoping to get done by summer.

Optimist that I am...........

Sending everyone best wishes for the new year. Hope everyone manages to find time for their fibre activities.

Currently reading Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong