Saturday, December 31, 2016

The End

Holzworth, M. D. (Doris)  Aug. 27, 1926 - Dec. 31, 2016

Doris arrived in Prince George in 1946 to join her parents living in the Willow Cale area.  She married Fred in 1948 and had two children, Laura (Fry) and Don.

She was predeceased by Fred in 1975 and Don in 2008.  Survived by Laura and Doug Fry, many nieces and nephews and friends.

Doris was a pre-school teacher for many years and gave her time generously to many causes.  She was a life time member of the Hospital Auxiliary, serving on many committees for the local and provincial organization.

Memorial service to be held at Assman's Funeral Chapel - date to be announced.

Instead of flowers, donations to the Hospital Auxiliary, Hospice House or the Railway Museum would be appreciated.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Year in Review

As each calendar year ends, people are encouraged to make resolutions for the coming year.  I don't do that, because I have goals that I work on all the time.  Some goals are long range - spanning years - some are short term - as in what do I want to get done today, this week, this month.

But as this year draws to a close, I have been thinking about the past year and that it might be time to let go of a few more things.

One of the things I let go of was selling Magic (the digital version) myself and made arrangements with Weavolution who are selling it on their website.  If you are not a member you do have to create an account, but that's free.  Then find the group Magic in the Water and follow the instructions.

This year held many good things as well as many challenging things.  One of the good AND challenging things was getting the Olds College Master Weaving program started here in Prince George.  Just before the holidays Zach was working on the details for running Level 1 and 2 here in May of 2017.  Watch for details.

While I was teaching in Cape Breton in August, we also made arrangements for Level 1 to run June 5-9, 2017.  Again, details should be forthcoming in the new year.

I also made progress on the book I am trying to write.  The bulk of the text is written and currently at the beta readers for the next round of edits.  I am still hoping to have it done in 2017, but a recent development in my life (more details at another time) means that might have to wait until 2018.

Writing a book is like birthing an elephant as a friend would observe.  Gestation seems to take forever!

The renovations to our house began in October and are still underway, depending on weather.  Of course renovations are a domino game and now that the outside is being dealt with, we realize the interior also needs some attention.  Again, something that may span next year and the year following, partly due to my incredibly busy schedule in the coming year.

Over the coming weeks, I will be spending a lot of time thinking about things I want to keep in my life and the things I need to let go of.  No decisions yet because I need to think the consequences through and decide if I'm really ready to downsize my efforts and where those 'cuts' need to be made.  It's been a challenging year in many ways and 2017 doesn't look to be any easier.

But that is also the nature of living.  We need to choose where we put our energies.  And as someone getting older, dealing with a raft of health issues (personal and family) I need to focus on what I want to accomplish and the best way to do it.

So, with the closing of another year, I send my best wishes to all. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016


View out our kitchen window.  

Every life has milestone events that cause one to pause and reflect.  So it is here.  We are still playing the waiting game, and so far there are only questions, no answers.

But progress has been made on the renovations during a warm spell last week and it looks like after the cold weather over the Christmas holiday, more progress may be made yet.  I am practicing my acceptance of what is, rather than yearning for what I want.

As the new year unfolds, I will be taking the questions that have arisen over the past couple of weeks and determining best course of action,  Some things in my life are going to, must, change.  Just what those are, and how they will change, I don't yet know.

But the solstice is behind us, the light is returning, the calendar year is also ending, the new year awakening.

However the holidays are celebrated in your house, I send the best wishes for the coming year to you and yours.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hurry Up and Wait

There are times when Life Happens in such a way as to reorder all your priorities.  So it has been at chez Fry for the past week.  Unfortunately it is also a waiting game so nothing productive can be done about the situation except wait for answers.  

Yesterday I got to the loom, but I am so out of practise and my focus was not on what I was doing and in the space of two,place mats I had three broken ends.  It was time to quit and do something else.  

Today I managed to fix the third end and get back to weaving.  Today I am trying to be mindful and go slowly, feeling the rhythm of the loom.  So far, so good.  

Picture shows the mat body and hem, and the cutting line I weave in to make cutting them apart easier. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy Place

When life gets overwhelming, it is good to get back to my happy place.  

2016 has been a stressful year, piled on top of many stressful times and I find myself contemplating many questions.  Some options are available. I just have to make decisions.  For some of the questions, I have to wait for more information.  Waiting for that information is hard, but necessary.  Since I have to wait, I might as well weave, even if I don't much feel like it.  If nothing else, I can generate a few endorphins and weaving will make the waiting easier.  Plus there will be cloth made.  Win-win!

Currently reading Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Sunday, December 11, 2016


The place mats I am weaving have a 'fat' weft made up of six different yarns.  When a bobbin empties, this is how I overlap the old and new ends. 

Each end has been 'feathered' so that the yarn does not have a blunt cut end but is tapered because each thread in the bundle is a different length. 

After several picks have been woven the overlap is nearly invisible. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Language Matters

One thing I learned early was that language matters.  

My mother spoke French as her first language, then was tossed into the deep end of the pool in Grade 1 when her parents sent her to an English only school.  Her sister in law did not speak English so I experienced not being able to communicate with family members at a very early age.  

As an avid reader from the age of four I developed an appreciation for the written word and dreamed of becoming a writer.  I didn't realize that my challenge would be to share my love of weaving via the written word. 

As a teacher of weaving I very quickly learned that not everyone processes information the same way.  I had to figure out ways of communicating with different people.  In the end I crafted short pithy sentences that I tend to repeat and repeat and repeat until realization dawns and the concept sinks home.  Friends refer to them as 'Laura-isms'.  One calls them an ear worm - but means it in a positive way.  (Or at least, that's her story and she is sticking to it!)

Conversation is fluid and when someone doesn't understand, I can re-phrase, draw a diagram, demo. But in a book, I get one chance to say what I want to say, no further elaboration. 

While I would really like to be clear and concise, not everyone will relate to this effort.  And I have to get comfortable with the thought that I cannot be everything to everyone.  All I can do is the best I can.  And hope that my best is good enough for some to find it useful.  

Currently reading Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth

Friday, December 9, 2016


Recently it occurred to me that I have bern running on empty.  

Between my health issues, including adverse reactions to drugs meant to help - and weren't - plus my moms health issues, trying to get renovations to the house done, then having them start just as we were heading into show season, trying to also write a technical manual of a complex process was hubris of the highest order.  

When the weather, which had been mild much further into the season than normal, suddenly turned bitterly cold, not only the work stopped, so did I.  

I got 2/3's of the way through the latest rounds of edits and simply could not get back to them.  Nor could I work with the studio topsy turvy.  

Rather than beat myself up because I could not seem to force myself to do something productive I indulged myself by knitting, spinning at drop in, making puzzles and reading.  

Now, the studio is in no way 'organized', but I can actually do things in it.  After writing an order for blue place mats at the guild sale last weekend I wound some warps, got one beamed yesterday and my goal for today is to get it threaded, sleyed and tied up.  

Maybe tomorrow I will finally feel like weaving. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Treadle Lightly the theme of the ANWG conference being held in Victoria, BC next year.

The Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds is a regional conference held every second year (odd years) and encompasses the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

This coming year the conference will be held on the campus of the University of Victoria in BC.

Victoria is a 'destination' city with plenty of old world charm, Butchart Gardens, The Empress Hotel with real English high tea, and much, much more.

Registration opens January 17, 2017 and organizers are hoping there will be active interest in attending.  I, for one, plan on being there (am booked to present two seminars).  Most of all, I'm hoping to see many of my long distance friends for the opportunity to see (and touch?) beautiful cloth being worn by the attendees - who knows, maybe have something handwoven to wear my own self!

Be there or be square (as it used to be said!!!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


The studio is still in a state of upheaval although I have managed to reduce the rubble enough that I can wind warps.  I had intended to weave off the rayon chenille warps that were wound over a year ago, even got one done.  But I took an order for blue place mats over the weekend, so I started winding blue warps.  As soon as the curtains go back up at the north end of the studio I can get a few things cleared off my work table and hopefully roar through a few warps.  Since the mats need hemming before they can be sold, I figured the chenille could wait for a bit. 

The renovations have been very disrupting in so many ways and will soon be put on hold due to the weather.  If I can just get the studio functional, I can live with the rest of the house the way it is and hunker down for the winter.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

New Year

Since time is a human construct and my new year begins now, not on January 1...

Marketing is a constant when you are self-employed, whether you are selling a product or a service.  If people don't know about you, how can they purchase what you are selling?

In the 1980 and '90's I sold a line of place mats and table runners and sold them wholesale to gift shops.  As part of that effort, which was well before the internet became a sales tool, marketing was done by print media.  Therefore I invested in postcards as the one above.

As I face the new year I have decisions to make.  As a senior, working in this field for 40 years, I have to face declining energy and fitness.  In the run up to my cardiac surgery I lost much of my fitness and since then have only regained about 70% of where I feel I was. So starting in January we are going to take an Introduction to Movement class to assess where we are exactly, then decide if we take more classes or return to our old self directed routine at a gym.

Next year is going to be a very busy one for me with working on the manuscript, marking the homework from three Olds classes, attending Fibres West to promote the conference we are hosting here in 2019, teaching four Olds classes (if they all go ahead), teaching at ANWG in Victoria, working on the manuscript, working on the manuscript, working on the manuscript (no, that's not repetition for the sake of repetition - I find if I set it aside for several weeks I can return to it with fresh eyes and mind), getting ready for the craft fair season.  And that is the shape of my year - so far.  We are also hoping for a holiday in England/Sweden in September.

So, as soon as Doug and his helper get the curtain hardware back up in the studio, my first priority will be to get the studio back in working order and do the order of place mats I took over the weekend, and then pick away at the remaining 60 or so yards on the AVL.

Happy New Year to me!

Currently reading Trespasser by Tana French

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Quiet to Think

The siding crew arrived about 9 o'clock this morning and began the noisy job of removing the stucco from the house.  

Since the studio can't be worked in and the noise was grating on my already raw nerves, I decamped once again to the guild room where I have been trying to create order of the written kind.  

The last time I looked, really looked at the file, it was overwhelming.  Right now the file is 139 pages, with many more photos, diagrams and the project information to be added.  The word count is, as of this moment, over 33,500 words, including notes to self.  I fully expect it to grow to about 200 pages based on what is missing.  

The one thing this book is not, is a memoir.  It is a technical manual, aimed at people who have got to the point that they want to understand the principles of the craft and fine tune their technique.  My hope is that, with the information provided, people will be able to make appropriate choices when they design their own unique textiles.  

An author, especially for a craft like weaving, cannot be all things to all people.  Some readers will be disappointed in what I do, but my hope is that some will find it helpful.