Thursday, August 31, 2023

Roller Coaster


'mad mouse'

When I was 18 I was invited to an amusement park and my 'date' suggested we go on the Mad Mouse roller coaster.

Now, I'm not a big fan of roller coasters in the first place but this one didn't have big 'mountains' or loops.  It was fairly close to the ground, mostly on the level, so I hesitantly agreed.

It was NOT fun.  For me.  I think he could tell by my white face that I was not having the promised 'fun'.

The coaster is on a level - mostly, with 90 degree turns, hairpin turns - the cars were small and felt very insecure to me as we dashed forward to a turn then rocketed around abruptly changing direction.  There did not appear to be much in the way of guard rails to prevent a car from simply taking off and flinging itself into the void and the abrupt changes of direction were not welcomed by my whiplashed neck.  In fact the whole fair seemed rickety and poorly maintained.

Overall it was not the 'best ride ever' but a heart thumping, anxiety inducing few minutes.  If I had let myself 'scream' as others were doing - in delight - it would, for me, have been terror as with every abrupt change in direction I pictured myself flying off into the crowd below.

Kind of like how life has been lately.

Not just for me, but for so many people I know.  The changes of direction as 'things' happen, the constant adjusting, managing, adapting to things happening.  It's all stressful.  Add to that health issues.  It's all...too much.

But roller coaster rides do, eventually, end.  Nothing lasts forever - not the bad stuff, not the good stuff.  I managed to survive that ride in spite of feeling intense fear by knowing that the odds were slim that the ride was as rickety as it seemed to me.  An 'accident' was unlikely, and I just had to hang on to the bar and hang on to the fact that it would soon be over.

Or, as Winston Churchill apparently put it - when you are going through hell, keep going.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023



These are the latest (wet finished) towels.  During my 'light duties' time I have been slowly catching up on some of my 'donwanna' tasks - and hemming has been one of them, in part because sitting in my preferred chair to do the hemming has been painful.  My back was not happy about sitting in the loveseat, which is lower and tends to be a 'bad' position for my body right now.  However, after massage *and* physiotherapy last week, I have made some progress and am actually nearly finished hemming this design of towels.  They still need their final press, but that may happen over the weekend given I have just 3.5 more towels to hem (I think - it might be 4.5).

But what I really like about this weave structure is the subtle changes in texture that happen on the warp emphasis side of the cloth.  So generally I have been hemming the towels with this side as the 'right' side.  The next warp is a combination of three blues, and I'm not sure I chose well with the colours.  Guess I'll find out.  Those may get hemmed with the weft emphasis side as the 'right' side.  TBD.

With the twill 'blocks' shifting by 1/2, the weave structure develops half-tones and depending on the threading those halftones can make very interesting shifts in how much texture the cloth has.

As I have been working my way through developing this series, there have been 'surprises' - some of them I liked, some of them, not so much.  I had one complete 'failure' and because I wasn't feeling well at the time I abandoned that direction and came back to 'drawing with lines', shoving them this way, that way, seeing how I could make the twill line move within a rather small 'vocabulary' of straight and curved lines.

I have tentatively started weaving again.  Yesterday I managed two 30 minute sessions which meant I wove one whole towel (yippee!).  Which is a hard pill to swallow when I used to be able to do 4, then 2.  But 1 after nothing for 10 days?  It's progress, so I will accept that progress and hope that it will continue.

But that's the thing with crumbling bodies.  You just never know what each morning is going to bring.  You have to accept that some days are not going to go according to your plan, but you will have to acquiesce to what your body can/will do.

I have a new threading in the queue (I actually have several, but only one I want to do right now) so I'd love to get this warp off the loom.  However, I'm not halfway through it - yet - and at the rate of one towel per day (if I can even manage that much) it will be at least two weeks before I can get the current warp off the loom and beam the next.

But I haven't run out of ideas, yet, so I'm anxious to keep going.

My goal is to keep weaving for as long as I can.  To that end, I have to be very kind to my body.  It's the only one I have, after all.

Watch for these towels to be listed in my ko-fi shop, hopefully by next week.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023



craft fair

So, why am I talking about being in business?  Again?

Seems like a lot of people are feeling the pinch and thinking of 'monetizing' their hobby.

But here's the thing.  A business is not a hobby.  If your hobby is to run a business, you are doing it for a whole lot of reasons that have nothing to do with being IN business.  Which is all fine and good and you are independently wealthy.

A business is a lot like a finicky plant.  It needs nurturing, tending, caring, buckets of plant food and a tonne of energy on your part.  A hobby can be picked up and put down regardless of deadlines and if you donwanna do business stuff, you don't need to.  But if you are running a business, well, perhaps it's better compared to an infant.  When it's hungry you have to feed it.  When it's wet you have to change the diapers.  You are beholden to its needs and if you donwanna?  Doesn't matter.  Kind of like a business.

This little series of posts about being in business is not necessarily to encourage or discourage anyone from starting a textile business.  More of a 'reality bubble' popping.  I have had a family member share with me that they wanted to be 'rich like you'.  Seems in their mind having a business meant that I was rich, when all it meant was that I was working my tail off just to keep the business running and afloat.

In part I share these posts in order to let people sort themselves out into hobby/business or whatever combination of the two seems to make the most sense to them.

Because like everything, it isn't all or nothing - it *can* be somewhere in between.  And what a person does is up to them.

So, some people have their hobby as a 'side hustle', sell on eBay or etsy (or ko-fi or whatever).  Some people take orders, some don't.  Some do craft fairs, but frequently one or two will sort out those who really don't want all the hassle doing a major craft fair entails.  Because believe me, I've got stories, some of them shared here, matter of fact.

Last weekend there was a fibre event here.  One person drove about 8 hours (through the forest fire devastation along the route), arrived at 6 pm, started setting up at 9 PM (yes, that's PM) for a one day event the next day, then packed everything back up and headed back south for home.  That night.

For us, tear down was about a 3 hour endeavour taking both of us hustling, so we sometimes didn't get to leave the hall until midnight, depending on the show, the hall, and the logistics of gaining access to the loading dock.

We would fall into bed, then be up and hitting the highway by 10 am after packing out of the hotel room, facing a 10+ hour drive home.  In the winter.  Through the Rockies.

After doing this - or similar - for over 40 years I was more than ready to 'retire'.

But I didn't 'retire' entirely.  I closed down my business, and now I run a 'side hustle'.  Because I still love to weave and I still have yarn to use up, and books to sell.  

I sell my textiles locally via consignment shops who collect and remit the sales taxes for me so I no longer have to do that.  I declare any 'earnings' I make on my income tax but I no longer claim the expenses involved with the studio as business deductions - because I no longer have a business.

My income from weaving is minimal these days, but it's enough to buy printer ink, replace my iPad - as I had to do earlier this year, or the laptop, as I had to do last year.  I don't have to dip into my personal (our joint finances) to pay for my 'hobby'.  

In part I've been writing about being in business so that people can have a better idea of what goes into keeping a business alive, and perhaps consider their role as 'customer'.

When I chose weaving as a career, it was because I wanted to weave.  I loved to weave.  I only wanted to weave.  When I took part time jobs to subsidize our income (and my business) I hated them.  I would sit in the back to eat my lunch and cry because I wanted to be at the loom, not dealing with customers who were frequently rude or had wildly unrealistic expectations.  In order to *keep* weaving, I was willing to do all the crappy stuff that needed to be done for MY business, but I didn't want to do it for someone else's business.  

I chose which shows I did.   Booked teaching dates that were convenient for me, that I could fit in around the show dates.  I researched when I had time, took workshops, bought all the books I wanted (pretty much), did the Guild of Canadian Weavers master weaver program, all because it was bringing me proficiency at...weaving.

But the cost of being able to weave all day long was doing all the other stuff - the bookkeeping, the budgeting, the scheduling, collecting and remitting the sales taxes, paying the bills.  A lot of that stuff I wouldn't have had to do if I'd just gone and worked a 9-5 job, but I was willing to do all that stuff because it allowed me to weave.   To learn and grow.

And ultimately?  To educate.  To teach others about weaving.  Sometimes I even taught about being in business as a craftsperson/artisan.  Because I was 'successful'.  I was doing it, while others just thought about it.  I knew what people needed to do to BE in business because I'd done the research, and I was willing to share what I knew in order to smooth their path - if they wanted to do the same sort of thing.

But it wasn't easy.  And I never made a bucket of money doing this.  However, in the end, I made 'enough'.  I managed to make enough to keep going.  But it was NOT easy.  I could have chosen a much easier road, but it wouldn't have been weaving.

And that was all I wanted to do.  Weave.  Be creative.  And ultimately, to educate.

When I look back at my life, I count myself 'successful', even if I don't match society's definition of 'success'.  But I don't care about how society sees me.  If I did I would never have become a weaver - or stuck it out for 4 decades.  

So, here I am, still weaving (as I can - managed to weave for 40 minutes yesterday - taking it slow until I feel more stable), still writing, still trying to educate.  And yes, there IS a fourth book in the process.  I'm at the 'on tenterhooks' stage right now, waiting to hear back from the editor and the alpha reader.

Instead of fretting about what they have to say I'm trying to stay focussed on what I need to do.  One benefit of being unable to weave?  I've cleared a bunch of 'donwanna' tasks off my desk.  I'm down to just two left to deal with and yesterday I finally worked out how I want to approach one of them.  I've also worked out how I want to approach the other, but one has a looming deadline, so that gets to be dealt with first.

And both of those tasks are finite.  Once they are done, they are 'over'.  As I ease further into 'retirement' I am looking forward to fewer and fewer deadlines, be that at the loom or looming over me.  Perhaps I'll figure out how to retire entirely - or my body will force it on me.  To that end, I bought more fibre at the fibre event on Sunday.  Because if I can't weave for much longer, I have a couple of spinning wheels and knitting needles and bins of fibre I can make blending board 'worms' on to spin my own yarns.  Or the bobbin lace.  I keep hanging onto that when I should have sold it all years ago.  Somehow I just never could bear to part with it all.

Anyway, time to start dealing with the looming deadline and clear that off my desk.  Then maybe weave for another 40 minutes today (two 20 minute sessions), and keep picking away at the current warp.  Because I'm not out of mercerized cotton yet.  

Monday, August 28, 2023

In Business part 6


my first book

my second book

my third book

I didn't set out to become a book publisher and yet...

So, what kind of business sense did it make for me to write and publish books?

Not a lot, in fact.  But when you are writing a niche topic for an already tiny market, producing a book becomes a challenge insofar as getting a traditional publisher to even look at your manuscript, never mind get anything resembling an 'income' from it.

When I decided to produce Magic, I had a background in office work including producing small print runs of things.  I also knew enough about book making to know that any book with tipped in samples was going to be horrendously expensive to produce and that I pretty much had all the skills needed to do it myself - with the help of a local print shop.  And friends/family members.

I even knew an editor who did the final pass through on the manuscript.  Because I am enough of a book 'nerd' to know that an editor does an essential job.

I also knew what most authors were getting paid, and I wanted more than just a few cents a copy, given the weaving and wet finishing, the assemblage, etc., that needed to be done.  I also did all of the marketing and advertising for it.  

When it came time to publish The Intentional Weaver, I didn't even approach a publisher to see if they were interested.  Instead I kept plugging away at writing, then refining the ms, and one day an email dropped into my inbox asking if I would send them info on the book they had heard through the grapevine that I was writing.

I did a bit of dithering, not really wanting to lose control of 'my' project, but also knowing the road ahead if I continued on my own.  And I was tired.  Really tired.  Mom had just died and I was pretty sure the cancer had come back and I didn't know what lay ahead for me on that road.  So I sent them a presse' with mixed feelings.

And was, to be honest, relieved when they said (I paraphrase) 'it sounds like you have a really good book but unfortunately it doesn't fit our model'.


Because I knew that any traditional publisher would want to change 'my' book to meet their business model because they have to make money, too.

So when I felt the urge to write the essays for Matrix, I didn't even consider contacting a publisher.  Because once again, I would be writing for a tiny niche of a very tiny market.

Publishing myself (and yes, hiring an editor for each of the titles - AND the work in progress) is essential, especially if I am publishing myself.

I have seen a lot of books that could have benefited from a good editing job and I'm not that egotistical to think I can do it all, all by myself.  Even *I* know that when writing a book there comes a time when the author loses all perspective and can no longer tell when something is right.  Or, if they know it isn't 'right', doesn't have the energy or mental wherewithal to make it 'better'. Sometimes, you just need an outside perspective.

All of this is because this morning I saw an author urging all aspiring writers to go the traditional publishing route, explaining what publishers do and how publishing traditionally is so much 'better' than going it alone.

And I agree with them, honestly, I do!  But if I ever wanted to see any of the above titles materialize into the world, I had to do it myself.

What it means, however, is that you have to take on the role of publisher, which means advertising/marketing, shipping (if you ship physical copies), and financing.  Because again, all those things have to be paid for upfront - printer ink, paper, editor.  

In the end I have made some money on my first two books.  Matrix is still too new and of course publishing in the summer meant people were busy, on vacation, guild newsletters on hiatus, etc.  

I have sent promo copies to a number of publications and now I wait.

I wait to see if any of the reviewers think what I've done is 'worthy'.  I wait for word of mouth to happen - if it ever will.  I wait to see if people actually want to purchase any of my books or if the market becomes saturated.

But it was a gamble I was willing to take.  Because I don't mind addressing a tiny slice of a niche market with information I feel is important to get 'out there'.  

Will #4 get published?  Jury is still out.  I'm waiting for feedback from my editor and my alpha reader.  Initial response was positive, but.  


And then I read a really compelling list of reasons why I should be publishing via the traditional publishing method, and I start wondering why I'm doing this all by myself.  Again.

Here's the thing.  While I agree with everything in the article I read, it still would not have brought any of 'my' books into the world.  

Self-publishing was the only way for me to go, if I ever wanted to see what I had to say in print.  Rather than chase a traditional publisher and meet with rejection over and over again, I gathered up my toolkit of various skills, including my office skills, and just...did it.

Did I do the right thing?  Who knows.  But they exist.  And I'm not still waiting around for an acceptance or rejection letter.  Instead I'm working on another.  

Sometimes business decisions are made from the heart, not the purse.

All three of my books are available at blurb in both print and pdf formats.

Weave a V is available at my ko-fi shop.  Written by Kerstin Fröberg, I arranged for it to be published in Canada, in English.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

In Business part 5


I use this graphic a lot because it is so true.

It is also a reminder to keep an eye on the end goal, but celebrate the little successes along the way.

So, what was my 'goal' when I decided to become a professional weaver?

It was pretty vague.

Work creatively every day.  Set my own goals and schedules.  And that was pretty much it for long term planning.

How was I going to get there?  That's where those little interim goals come in.

First, learn how to weave!  At least well enough that I could reliably make cloth that would perform its intended function.  I knew that was going to take time and I gave myself two years to learn the process and begin to consider what kind of textiles to make.

By year 5 I wanted to be taking a booth at the local craft fair, which I managed to do.  In fact I did it in year 4 as I recall.  The first year was not a 'success' - financially - but it gave me the information I needed to fine tune my textiles and come back the following year with a better idea of what the market would find attractive enough to purchase.

My other 'goal' was to weave for 25 years, then teach for 25 years.  Instead I did both at the same time, pretty much.  It began with workshops in the region, then I worked at getting my name 'out there' by applying to regional conferences.  Once one hired me, others began to know my name and I was contacted by others.  Plus I would apply to conferences that put out calls to instructors to apply.  Each time I was rejected I knew that it wasn't a 'failure' on my part, just that I wasn't considered the 'right' person for that event, that time.  But also?  My name was getting out there into the weaving community.

Then I began writing articles.  Again, most were rejected, but eventually one was accepted.

And here's the thing.  I never let one rejection be the 'end'.

When I took the marketing course, one presenter said that when a salesperson is doing 'cold calls' the ratio is that 26 calls equals one sale.  His advice?  Put 26 pennies in one pocket (he was a guy, his pants *had* pockets) and for every call that was a null result, put one penny in your other pocket.  Then move on to the next with a fresh mind and a positive attitude.

When I would get a rejection letter, I would read it to see if there was any advice to be had,

As I worked my way to my ultimate goal, I tried to plan my next step in relationship to my big goal.  Would doing this thing be helpful?  Or was I willing to do it because it found it personally interesting?

Several local weavers were doing the Guild of Canadian Weaver master weaver certificate and kindly included me in their get togethers.  I began working on the tests as well, because I figured it was an accreditation that weavers would understand in a way that the college class in weaving I took would not.  Besides which, that one year intensive only just barely got me on my weaving feet - I still needed to learn a whole lot more before I could consider myself proficient, never mind a 'master'.

(I still have some trouble wearing the 'master' designation, although now that I'm old and cranky I'm beginning to find that 'mantle' more comfortable - in spite of *still* not knowing 'everything' about weaving.)

It didn't take long for me to realize that my goals could not be just the one prong - weaving.  I had to do all three - weave, write, teach - in order to bring in enough money to stay afloat.

About 10 years into my career, I was attending a house party, largely 'professional' folk with a few craftspeople like me.  At one point several of the men were standing around discussing how they were going to 'game the system' in order to reduce their tax burden.  Since they didn't shoo me away, I lingered on the edge of the group listening with some fascination about how they were going to 'hide' their income in order to pay less in taxes.

At that point I was bringing in a fairly steady income but I wouldn't call it a 'living'.  I wasn't making enough money to even pay income tax.  The discussion wound down and in the little satisfied silence as each man thought about how they were going to game the system in order to reduce their tax load, I said "Hmm, and here I am trying to earn enough money so that I get to pay taxes."  And walked away.

And thought about how the definition of 'success' can vary, depending on one's personal circumstances.

Some years later the government of Canada instituted a Goods and Sales Tax.  If your business made more than $30,000 in sales, you had to register and then collect and remit the GST.  That year was the first year I broke $30,000.00 in gross sales, so I had to register as a business, then collect and remit the taxes.  The next year at the craft fair, I posted a sign saying that I would be collecting the GST and received a lot of push back from customers.  "Well the *rest* of the vendors aren't collecting the tax, why are you????"

I would look them in the eye and say that I was a business and that part of being a business was collecting and remitting the tax.

One or two people tossed my things down and walked away, most just grumbled, a few actually got it and said nothing while I added in the GST.  I mean, I'd been charging PST from day one, because - as a business - I needed to collect the provincial sales tax, now I needed to collect the GST.

As a responsible citizen of this country it was my duty to abide by the rules and laws.  And even if I wasn't actually earning enough money to pay income tax, I could do my bit by collecting and remitting the sales taxes.  Because I also used the infrastructure, and someone has to pay for it.  I could do my part by participating at whatever level I was able.

And yes, by the end of my career, I was actually earning enough to pay income tax.  

It didn't happen right away.  And I worked damned hard to get there.  But as far as my rather vague goals went?  I succeeded.  

There were some things I never did accomplish, but in the end?  The sum of my career was successful, in spite of all the things I did without, that I could have done if I'd just gone and gotten a 'real' job.  And hated every second of it.  

Bottom line?  Get real with your goals.  Get real with your definition of 'success'.  There is more to life than accumulating more money, dodging paying your taxes.  

I chose to 'settle' for less income but chose a 'job' that I could find personal satisfaction in doing.  One where I could work creatively.  Share my love of textiles.  Hopefully help others find their own path, their own best practices.  And yes, I needed money, and I expected to get paid for what I did.  But making buckets of money was never my end goal.  Good thing, because I never did!  But I made enough.  And enough was enough.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

In Business Part 4


As part of this on-going series, today I'm going to talk about 'marketing' and 'advertising'.

I took a marketing course in the late 1990s and while much has changed, much is the same.

For years I had struggled with advertising/marketing my work but one of the presenters gave a definition I could really get behind - marketing is simply sharing what you do.

While 'advertising' is buying space in media (be that radio, television or now, the internet) 'marketing' is simply sharing your 'story' with others.

Since I already identified as a 'storyteller', I found that concept much more agreeable than other definitions.

As part of my marketing, I had postcards made - remember this was pre-internet days when people still used snail mail - and handed them out when shops placed wholesale orders.  They could, in turn, give them to customers who purchased my work or use them, themselves.  I didn't much care - it was just another way to spread the 'word' about my work.

Once the internet started growing, I joined (in 1994, via a FreeNet portal run by the local university - remember the dial up 'handshake'?).  I found Usenet rec.crafts.textiles and started hanging out there.  But it was primarily educational, not commercial.  

As the internet grew and changed, I had to adapt as well.

By the 2000s, people were using snail mail less and less so I didn't bother getting more postcards made; instead I started relying more on sharing what I did on line.  Bearing in mind that I was not 'selling' anything, as such, my sharing took the form of 'stories' in most cases.  I have always tried to give factual information in a manner that people will find acceptable (even when they don't).

Given I was 'selling' myself as a teacher, at this point, not my textiles, I tried to make my posts relevant to any conversation that was happening, based on my experience, point out pitfalls, make suggestions that might bring people closer to the success they were seeking.  And try to do that with good humour.

The internet was being touted as the beginning of the information age.  And it was a way to reach people well beyond my immediate reach and to let a lot of people know I was available to teach.

As the 'net become ever more 'commercial' rather than 'educational', I tried various way of selling my products, none of which were very 'successful' but neither was I trying to reach masses of people.  Mostly it was a way for people who had already seen/felt my textiles (usually in person during workshops) to purchase my work.  Because trying to sell textiles online has the huge challenge of sensory limitation.  Even photos don't tell the whole story because some cameras really don't like to record the actual colours.

Over the years I joined (and left) various online groups.  Sometimes the groups just faded away.  Others seemed to not want to hear what I had to say, so I left.  There is always another group, somewhere.

In 2008 I started this blog and I have used it as a platform to say what I want to say, the way I want to say it.  People can come, read, agree with me, or disagree and leave.  But if someone really wants to know what I have to say, I am here, easy enough to find with a quick search.  

As social media becomes less 'sociable', I have joined and left several sites.  I still have an Instagram account although I haven't actually posted anything in about a year.  I haven't shut down my Twitter account but I never go on it.  I'm of two minds about that.  I was deleting my posts until Twitter stopped allowing me access to my posts.  I have joined a couple other platforms but none of them seem quite 'right' - yet.  Mastodon is the one I spend most time on, although I miss the people I used to follow on Twitter but can't seem to find elsewhere.  

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but have my biggest personal 'following' there so I do not leave FB for the time being.  It is my most effective way to let people know what I'm doing.  Ko-fi makes it easy to link my posts there to FB, so I can load something and with a single click share to FB.

While I continue to write - here and Facebook, mostly - I honestly don't know how much longer actual books will be viable.  OTOH, vinyl records are making a comeback, so maybe I just need to be patient and wait until books come back, too?

So, this blog, which started out as a personal 'celebration' of having survived 2008, has now turned into my preferred platform for sharing what I am doing as a weaver/author/teacher.  It is where I post photos of what I am making - be that textiles or books.  It is, in fact, my primary 'marketing' tool.  In spite of blogs being declared dead/passe'/over and that everyone should be on Tik Tok or whatever, I am still a storyteller, and I do that by writing, not making videos.  

Instead I opened a You Tube channel and have posted videos there.

I remember when I first started posting my video clips, someone almost immediately commented something to the effect that 'finally, someone who gets it!'.  I wasn't sure what they meant until I went looking for a particular technique and started watching other people's videos and had to scroll through several minutes of 'chat' before they finally got to the point of the video.  Someone said that instead of a dusty old blog, I needed to do a vlog.  Um, no, I'm perfectly content here.  I'm not young and slim, I'm an old lady with triple chins and I don't much like seeing myself on camera.  So when I do post a video, it is generally my hands that I'm showing - because they are the 'business' and what I want to highlight.

Others have said I need to do a podcast, but again, I'm old and I really don't feel like doing all the work involved in producing a podcast.  

But all of these things are marketing tools in the 21st century.  It is my choice to stay rooted in what I know and what I feel comfortable doing, even if it means I don't reach as many people as I could if I just joined the crowd and did Tik Tok or whatever.

If marketing is 'telling your story', then we all get to choose how we do that.

The hope being that if others read my posts, they will share them with their friends.  And *that* is called 'word of mouth' marketing - when you are supported by people who like what you do and share it with their friends.

One other thing that I remember (I remember lots, but what is pertinent to today's post) is that a happy customer will share their good experience with a business 11 times.  An *un*happy customer will share their 'bad' experience 26 times.

In this day of the internet and 'social' media, unhappy people seem to take great delight in sharing their 'bad' experience with thousands, not just dozens.

So when you hear about someone's 'bad' experience, maybe check and see if the business has something to say about the episode.  Because as previously mentioned, the customer is NOT always right.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Business Part 3


colour gamp - 'natural' tones value gamp

A few years ago (quite a few years, now) I belonged to a weaving group and a discussion of colour gamps came up with much gnashing of teeth about having to buy so many different tubes of colour in order to get just a few yards of each to weave a gamp.

Hmm, I thought, I have lots of cotton in 2/8 size in all sorts of colours, I could design a colour gamp kit and sell those?

So I set about making colour gamp kits and selling them.  I wound the warp, then wound quills with the weft colours.

When I ran out of stash yarn, I standardized the 'kit' with 9 colours and then designed others using colours other than saturated 'rainbow' ones.  IOW, I bought 36 half pound tubes of colours I set aside specifically for the colour gamps.  I sent out kits with instructions and charged what I felt was an appropriate price, given they were getting a pre-wound warp and pre-wound quills, plus, of course, international shipping when sending to the US.  They were not 'cheap' but neither did they have to buy half-pound tubes to get just a few yards of each colour.

They sold well enough and most people seemed content - apart from a few who let me know they were completely dissatisfied with them.

In my documentation *and all of my marketing efforts* I made it clear that the warps were 3 meters long, and that there was enough weft yarn to make two 'squares'.  They could weave one gamp in plain weave, cut off, re-sley and then weave one 'square' in twill.  

A small group of people began to complain that the warps were 'too short' to weave four napkins.  And made a point of letting everyone in the group know about their displeasure.

I responded publicly (because they posted publicly) and pointed out that nowhere had I ever promised they could do 4 napkins, only 2 colour gamps.

And then I stopped making the kits.  

Because even when the customer is NOT 'right', sometimes it's just not worthwhile to continue to provide a product which isn't really profitable - it was more of a 'service' to the weaving community which some people chose to publicly complain about.

Another 'not right' customer gambit is trying to get 'discounts' by complaining a price is 'too high'.  

It bothered me for a long time until I finally realized that someone else's 'tight' budget was not *my* problem to solve.  I had my own financial woes, thankyouverymuch, and giving a discount because someone was trying to 'shame' me was not going to work with me.

I stopped doing special commissions because I had several customers request very particular items, which I did my best to produce, then renege on the sale, demanding I refund their money.  Never mind the yarn I purchased to make their very specific requests.  One person specifically wanted all white table runners, very specific in size, then when I delivered them was very cool.  Two weeks later she phoned wanting to return them because her friends all said that the solid white was 'boring' - even though I had questioned her about the solid white and she insisted that was what she wanted.

In the end I returned her money and eventually the runners sold, but it took a long time in part due to the very specific sizes of the runners which had been custom made for the original customers end/coffee tables.  There were other orders that ended in a similar fashion, leaving me in the lurch.

Instead of taking 'commissions' I began to tell a customer I would make 'something' and they could have first refusal, but no more did I take specific 'orders' for things.  If I was going to make something, it would be what *I* wanted to make, not what someone *thought* they wanted - until they saw it in real life.

There are lots of examples of customers *not* being right.  That's not to say that businesses are always 'right', either.  But if you are going to be in business, you need to be clear about what you are selling, stick to your guns when it comes to price, figure out a way to proceed that allows for customer satisfaction as well as your own requirements.



saturated 'rainbow' hues

Thursday, August 24, 2023

In Business pt 2



Yesterday I mentioned one (generally misunderstood) aspect of being in business.  Another is your business 'identity'.

This morning I saw an article about how our brains 'see' symbols more quickly than words.  And why businesses generally have a 'logo' - a symbol that people can use to quickly identify a business.

Like the Nike swoop, the golden arches, etc.

When I started out I had an artist draw me a symbol but it really wasn't appropriate, nor was my first business 'name'.

Web Wizard.

A great pun.  But unless you were 'in the know' it was pretty useless.  Of course with the rise of the internet and the absorption of so many textile terms into computer language, it would have been impossible.

However, I quickly realized that it was inappropriate and changed it to Laura Fry Weaving Studio.  The first 'proper' logo was designed by me, and while it wasn't anything special, it worked.

However, when I had to re-tool my whole business, I asked another artist to design me a butterfly that I could use.  So my new logo and business name changed.  With more computer use I was able to design myself a letterhead, which I used for years (still do when I need to write a proper letter) and a local printer made business cards and hang tags.  Those were edited when I 'retired'.  

I have kept my website because it's an easy way for people to find me if they are looking for me, and there is a contact form which will send emails to me.  I got my website in the late 1990s when the internet was primarily educational and only after I retired did I do a major re-working of my site.  Because I'm not dead (yet), just not in 'business'.

That doesn't mean I don't want an income; it means I no longer apply for or submit things like sales taxes.  I DO still claim the minor 'income' I make as self-generated income on my income tax returns.  

Over the years since officially retiring I have been whittling away at income generating activities, but I *still* have inventory to be sold and I still teach.  

And I still expect to get paid for those activities.

I know.  Shocking, isn't it?

I mean, even in 1975 it was unheard of for anyone to actually earn an income from weaving.  Oh, there were a few, sprinkled here and there, but when I listed my occupation as 'weaver' for the local directory, I found myself listed with Weaver as my surname.  Because no one in the late 1970s was actually a weaver anymore, amirite?

The general public expected someone like me to be independently wealthy and weave as a hobby.  Sort of like farmer's wives selling eggs for 'pin money'.  I guess.

After 20 years of being a weaver, selling my textiles at the local craft fair I started getting 'ladies who lunch' coming by, seeing me in my booth, doing a double take and saying something like "OH!  You're still weaving!"  "Yes, I am" with a smile because yes, I was still weaving.  Then they would get a pensive look on their face and muse "Oh well, I guess you need something to keep you busy."

At which point I would mutter something to the effect that yes, I was keeping busy and turn away before the expression on my face could betray my actual thoughts.

I've had people work as my studio assistants be told by their family members that they needed to get a 'real' job instead of working for me.  As if the money I paid them wasn't real.

Choosing to weave as my career was partly an act of rebellion on my part.  I wanted to do something where I set the goals and deadlines and had creativity as a large component of what I did on a daily basis.  It turned into so much more and brought me experiences and people I never expected.

And while I have some regrets - usually about things I didn't do - I look back on these nearly 5 decades and realize that I made the correct choice all those years ago.  And I am eternally grateful that I took that leap into the unknown.

But as a career path in the 21st century?  Not sure I would recommend it as someone's sole income.  But mine was multi-layered - weaving, yes, but also teaching and writing.  I even took part time jobs when finances got really tight.  I hated every minute of those jobs, so I would return to weaving more determined than ever to keep weaving as my major income.  

But it was not easy.  And it was never a 'hobby'.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

In Business


If it was easy...

I started my business in the late 1970s when there was no internet.  Since then, things have changed dramatically, in some ways not exactly for the 'better' when it comes to having and nurturing a small business.

With a very broad background (even at a young age), knowing a number of people who had small businesses and the general scope of what they dealt with on a daily basis, I at least had a clue as to what I might face.

But of course every business is different in their own way.  And now, the internet, which both makes some things easier, and some things very much more difficult, needs to be contended with.

A business is not a 'static' entity.  It needs constant care and attention and if you don't have at least a familiarity with what running a business entails, things can get even more stressful, especially if you have no cushion to catch you if things go badly awry.

Like constant wildfire evacuations.  Or the building next door blowing up.  Or whatever climate catastrophe is thrown your way.

One of the things that non-business folk don't understand is just how much you need insurance and just how very expensive that has gotten - and will continue to get - given climate change and all of the so-called 'natural' disasters.  Which will do nothing but keep getting worse.

For as long as we ignore the driving cause of climate change, the more unpredictable the weather will become, the more the glaciers will melt, the more the sea will rise, the more the forests will burn.

Finally, last night on the news, someone actually pointed out that the boreal forest, long touted to be a natural carbon sink, is now contributing to the increasing levels of carbon in the air, as it burns to the ground.

I confess I snorted and commented to my spouse that I have been saying precisely that for months, ever since the current wildfire season began weeks earlier than 'normal' and we lived under an almost never ending smoke pall.  The carbon was right there, in front of our eyes, and all I could think of was the impact all that wood burning, all that smoke going into the air, visible, and all the carbon *also* going into the air, invisible, was going to have.  And none of it was going to be 'good'.

As I wound down my business I was able to compact it all into my home, but I continue to carry a rider to cover the studio.  Because I worked for an insurance adjuster, and I *know* that there is no insurance company in the world that would cover what I have in my studio on a regular home ownership policy.

I also carried additional business insurance on the van because we were constantly driving to events -  either craft shows, fibre sales, or teaching - laden with boxes and boxes of product and/or equipment for the class.  Yes, it was an additional expense, but when I got rear-ended just a few days before leaving for a large sales event I was able to get a rental van and attend the show.  Because I had the correct type of insurance.  The insurance adjuster wasn't best pleased when I pointed out that I did, in fact, qualify for a van for the duration of the show in Edmonton.  He wanted me to turn the rental van in as soon as my van was repaired.  I asked him how he suggested I was to get me and my booth/products home from Edmonton (about a 500 miles journey) with no vehicle?

Being in business isn't all that much different from weaving, really.  It is complex.  There are a tonne of variables.  You need to focus on your business, but keep an eye out for things that might negatively impact what you are trying to do.  It's a good idea to have a Plan B.  And not stay 'stuck' in what you have been doing when it becomes obvious that it is time to make some changes.

All lessons I learned, the hard way, usually.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tiny Steps


Yesterday I felt a bit better again, but this morning, not so much.  It's a roller coaster and not a very nice one.

With lots of personal maintenance appointments this week, I may not even try weaving.  Unless I feel much improved after physio tomorrow.  But that is to be determined.

Given I don't feel able to weave safely, I tackled the heap on my desk yesterday.  Some things got tossed, some put 'away', some are in time out while I consider if they can be tossed into the recycle bin or need to be kept.  

I also folded the towels that I pressed the day before and listed them in my ko-fi shop.  Last night I finished hemming the last towel in one design, and they will likely get pressed today.

There are also 4 orders to be packaged up and taken to the post office.

There are still a pile of towels to be hemmed, and I'm hoping to have them finished by the time I get the current warp off the loom.  At some point.

Mostly I'm trying to remember that I have no need to push anymore.  I'm 'retired'.  If I need a rest day or month, I can take that time.

We have some things on our 'to explore' list and if we go ahead with one of them it will mean huge upheaval in the studio.  I need to spend more time marketing my work, trying to sell it, not just make it and stack it up on the shelves.

Downsizing has been a moving target, and I must say, I've actually done fairly well, given my crumbling body.  It's just that inner me thinks I'm still 33 while my actual body is going 'hold on there, Nellie, that ship sailed a very long time ago!'

When you are a kid you can hardly wait to grow up so you can do what you want.  Unfortunately, doing what you want comes with a whole lot of 'donwanna'.  

Today I will concentrate on taking a few more tiny steps.  Package up the orders.  Go to chiro.  Mail the orders.  Nap.  Because I'm running on fumes right now, after another crap night.  And the sun is a giant orange ball, which means bad smoke in the air.  Again.  Ah, well.  This seems to be our new 'normal'.

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Bright Side


tiny bubbles

The past week has been frustrating, maddening, just all round disappointing - and that's on top of the increased pain.

After massage, I started to feel a bit 'better', enough that I could move around and felt less disabled, but no where near good enough that I could contemplate weaving.  I still don't, to be honest.

With my personal hourglass slipping the sands of time away, this all feels very...upsetting.  As time runs out on me, I feel like there are things I really need to, *want* to, do.  And I just can't.

Fortunately I was able to sit at the dining room table and make puzzles, so I've been blasting through my stockpile, such that I opened the last of my 'special' puzzles last night.  

And thought about how 'off' I still felt, how much longer it was going to take to feel able to weave without causing more damage than good.  And went to the desktop and ordered six more...

On the other hand, I have been feeling 'better' enough that I've been dealing with some of the long ignored tasks that I need to get off my desk, so there is that bright shaft of light in the murk.

It had been my intention to take photos of the towels I talk about in Stories from the Matrix because I've finished more since the book published and list them in my ko-fi shop.  I also have more in the processing 'tunnel' and I've managed to deal with some of that, too.

Yesterday I pressed another 15, and I've been picking away at the hemming pile, now that I can sit for short periods of time in the loveseat - my hemming station.  I mean, one towel hemmed is still progress, right?

I have actually done enough stuff that I am left with just two 'jobs' that have been languishing.  Since I still can't weave, I guess I'm going to have to bite down hard and tackle those.  I'll do the 'easy' one first and get that off my desk.  But then I will have no choice but to finally do the re-write of the workshop drafts.

Since the deadline for that is fast approaching, it is more than time I did.  

And here is a friendly reminder from Monty Python...

Sunday, August 20, 2023



From a very young age, there were jigsaw puzzles to make.

Neither of my parents were 'educated'.  My father never actually attended school because the schoolhouse in his village burned down.  His older siblings took charge of his 'education' and later mom figured he had about a grade 2 level.  

He 'drew' his signature, could 'read' a photo caption if it was about the photo contents.  He left mom to do anything that needed to be done that required reading.  He was a proud man and I think it pained him that people thought he was stupid, when he was just...uneducated.

Mom dropped out of school in grade 8, started working in order to increase the income level of her family, struggling through the Great Depression.  She was a teen and wanted some money of her own for 'pretty' things.

Her one advantage as a teen in Montreal was that she was completely bilingual - French (her first language) and English (her acquired language).

Both knew that the way forward for their children was getting an education and we were both urged to do well in school.  Not a big deal for me, a much bigger deal for my brother.  Nevertheless, they (we) persisted, and in spite of dad dying before my brother could graduate grade 12, my brother managed to get his grade 12, and went on to become a highly respected member of this community.

But, back to puzzles.

Mom wasn't educated, but had an intuitive sense of what children needed, and fine motor skills was one of them.  She taught me to knit when I was 5, other textile crafts followed - rug hooking, embroidery, sewing.  But she also provided us kids with books.  There was never much money to spare, but she made sure we had books, and I loved them.  I started reading when I was four because she would sit with me and help me puzzle out the words, until I could actually read, not, as her friends thought, just memorize the books and recite them back to her.

Our toys were also educational.  I had wooden blocks as well as dolls.  My brother got things like Lego bricks, just newly available from Denmark.  I had jacks and pick up sticks.  The neighbourhood kids would get together for Red Rover, Hide and Go Seek,  Simon Says, Dodge Ball.  But our individual toys tended to be quieter, frequently with fine motor skill development as part of playing them.

And jigsaw puzzles.  Every winter (and some rainy summer days) there was always a stack of puzzles in a closet to go raid and set up on the living room coffee table.

As an adult I still make puzzles.  I find them calming and a stress reliever.  They become a kind of working meditation and I can set aside current 'woes' and prevent frustration from turning into something destructive - most of the time.  When I'm sick I can still fiddle with puzzle pieces and it is with a great deal of satisfaction I plop the last piece into the puzzle and declare it 'done'.

But there are other benefits.

Building puzzles is a whole lot like weaving.  You have chaos, and gradually, bit by bit, you bring order.  Each puzzle is different, but the same.  And you never know what you've got until you're finished.  Well, sort of.  If you still have the box, you have the picture of how it is *supposed* to look.

But someone realized that each puzzle brand uses the same die and that all of their puzzles have exactly the same shapes, and began combining photos, just working based on the pieces 'fitting', not on what the image is.  And the results are quite hilarious.  Rather Salvadore Dali-ish, in fact.

This is not something I would ever do, but the act of 'rebellion' that came up with the idea makes me a little bit happy.  Talk about thinking 'outside the box'!

Jigsaw puzzles help develop fine motor skills.  Teach you to look for details.  To try and 'fail' until you succeed.  That if you persist you can bring order out of chaos.

I fell into a bit of a 'windfall' earlier in the year and bought some 'special' puzzles, in part because I found one in a local shop and really liked it.  After finding the company website and realizing that they had dozens and dozens of different puzzles, I splurged and bought myself a half a dozen.  I was 'saving' them for winter, but this interlude of 'bad back' which means sitting in the recliner or loveseat is painful, but sitting in the dining room chair at the table is less?  Well, it was time to bring the 'special' puzzles out.  

As I sift through the pieces, my eye picks out fine details - subtle changes in colour - tiny changes in fit - and so on.  And I reflect how all of these are things that I use daily in my weaving.

And I give myself, my body, time.  Time to recover.  Time to rest.  Time, that I hope, will allow me to get back to the loom soon.

(The rest of the story?  Mom went back to school as a mature student when I was 16 and got her Early Childhood Education certificate and went on to teach dozens of young children.)

Saturday, August 19, 2023

It's the Little Things


Yesterday I felt a bit 'better' and puttered in the studio for a bit doing small things that, I hoped, wouldn't aggravate my back.  One of the things I did was remove the ratty 4/8 cotton yarn I had been using as a 'sling' or 'cradle' for the brake handle on the Megado.

Over the winter the relative humidity drops such that a wooden machine like the Megado shrinks.  The loom is generally pretty good at dealing with this, but the one thing that did seem to be affected was the brake handle and the 'stop' the loom has to keep the handle up close and within reach.  The handle would slip by the 'stop' and next time I wanted to advance the fell, I would have to bend over, fish around and get the handle before I could do that.  

My patience, never very thick, meant I grabbed the first thing to hand, which was a bobbin of 4/8 cotton, and tied a loop around the loom side frame and handle which prevented it from dropping more than in inch below where it was supposed to be.

That worked well enough, wasn't very attractive.  

Needing a band for a hat (see previous post), I asked a local guild member if she had some and I got some nice 'trims' from her.  The hat was dealt with immediately, but right after I got the trims, my back went into spasm and I haven't felt up to doing very much of anything.

Yesterday I felt improved enough after massage I thought I could at least deal with this little job and give the Megado some handwoven 'bling'.  I asked for several inches more than I needed because instead of sewing the band in place, I decided to tie it.  That way, should I ever need to remove the beam, or take the loom apart (I'm not immortal, and the loom will likely go to live somewhere else at some point), it can be easily untied and re-used.

While I had the ipad down in the studio I took a closeup of one of the 'new' tea towels I've been playing with.  The weave structure is documented in Stories from the Matrix, is generally 'best' woven with more than 8 shafts (12 and up) and a computer assisted dobby because of the number of treadles/lifts needed.

But the weave structure creates a very interesting texture that I am finding very satisfying, as I work through various iterations of what is possible.  The current design is really tickling my fancy, but I don't want to photograph it until I have wet finished the towels.  If I remember I will do a before and after comparison.

The weave structure is a 1:3-3:1 twill block and as the blocks change from one to the other they create a texture due to the weave structure.  Because they also 'shift' half a block, you get 'half-tones' which create a different kind of texture.  And I'm really quite enjoying trying various things in Fiberworks, then watching them as they develop in the weaving, then after wet finishing.

My back isn't happy today - certainly not enough to contemplate weaving - so I will try and work on the workshop drafts for a while, then perhaps finally dig out the Matrix towels and begin photographing them and uploading them to my ko-fi shop.

We'll see how far I get.

Here's one of the recent towels in close up:

Friday, August 18, 2023

It's *FINE*


Since Meta is blocking all 'news' content from Canadian media, I have been sharing updates on FB about the current wildfire situation here in Canada.

Yesterday, amidst the updates to the current wildfire situation, we were told to expect things to get progressively worse here in BC over the coming weeks.

We have had the worst wildfire season on record this year.  Which isn't actually close to being over.   Thousands of people have had to be evacuated from remote locations (the entire town of Yellowknife, now, as well as Hay River and Enterprise, all in NWT.  Enterprise essentially burned to the ground and is now a pile of rubble and ash.

Last night the large fire across the lake from Kelowna began to jump the lake and is now threatening the larger town of Kelowna (population about 130,000) on the east side while it threatens the smaller towns on the west side of the lake.  This is not a small lake, so the fact that the fire has grown to the size that it can leap over the water is, well, concerning would be a major understatement.  This is also not a village but a sizable city with many elderly citizens.  With at least one highway closed, evacuating that many people is going to be challenging - if it should come to that.  So far fire crews have been able to douse the spot fires as they are ignited from the flying flames.

Oliver is now under evacuation alert and I don't think Osoyoos is out of danger yet, either.

Other smaller communities continue to be overwhelmed by smoke and the potential of burning to the ground - or at least sustaining some level of damage.  Many are under evacuation alert, hoping like hell it rains - without further thunder storms to start new fires.

Fire crews are exhausted, sometimes forced to take a break because the smoke is so thick the planes can't fly to drop water or fire retardant, or to evacuate ground fire crews in remote locations.  We are incredibly grateful that firefighters from other countries/locations have come to help.  

Highways north/south are closed and people are scrambling to check alternate routes for safety.  The town of Lytton, burned to the ground two years ago is in the danger zone.  Again.  And they only just this year were able to begin rebuilding.

People are losing their homes, pets, jobs.  So far 4 fire fighters (last I recall) lost their lives fighting fires in Canada.   

I keep hearing the word 'unprecedented'.  Um, excuse me, but the climate science has been warning us for years, decades, in fact, that this *is exactly what to expect* as the climate changes kept accelerating.

We have sown the wind and now we reap the whirlwind.

Long past time to solve climate change.

And while I'm being a 'negative Nellie', covid isn't over either.  If people won't wear a mask against covid, I hope they will at least wear one against the smoke that hangs over us all.

Currently we are in a bubble of 'safety' with no nearby fires, just the smoke that comes and goes with the wind.  We hunker down and stay put, here in relative safety.  

But it isn't just the wildfires.  Hurricane season is beginning and it looks to be developing into a doozy.  Time to address the problem instead of fixing things after the disasters strike?  Unfortunately the problem is complex and most people don't like complexity.  

Climate change is not a 'Canada' problem, it is a world wide problem.  There is no Planet B.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Time to Ponder


smoke at sunset, Aug. 16, 2023

Heading into day two of 'back in spasm'.  Yesterday I felt a bit better than today (so far) but thankfully I have a massage appointment already booked so I'm hoping massage therapist can get the spasms to let go.  But I won't be 'fixed', yet.  After being in severe spasm for days, the muscles will tend to spasm again at the slightest provocation (ask me how I know) so it will be several days of feeling 'fragile' and waiting until my muscles seem to be amenable to weaving.  Or much of anything else.  This is not my first ro-day-o when it comes to muscle spasms.

I had intentions of beginning to edit the weaving drafts for the Mug Rugs and More workshop in October, and I got as far as lifting the rather large binder of drafts and samples up onto my desk and stalled.

I may feel up to tackling that after massage.  Or not.

This episode has completely derailed me and I am left with my own thoughts.  (Never a Good Thing.)

So I have been pondering.  

Do people actually *want* me to keep writing and publishing?  Or nah.  OTOH, I have a ms currently being seen by a professional editor, and a couple of alpha readers who want me to publish.  

While my focus was on creating textiles by weaving, the principles hold regardless of fibre process being used.  Plus my teaching/writing - which was pretty much geared towards being published in some sort of media, right from the beginning.  If nothing else, as workshop handouts.  (Circling back to the workshop in October in 3, 2, 1...)

The Mug Rugs and More workshop (scroll down) will be the last in-person workshop I will teach.  I'm 73 years old.  I *almost* made the 'teach until I'm 75' goal.  I didn't count on a crumbling body, as a friend expressed it the other day.  

But none of us do.

And here I am.  

So far I have not sold enough copies of Stories to pay for the editing.  I *have* sent some copies to people in hopes of more reviews, so fingers crossed.  When attempting to write for a small slice of an already niche market, I actually make *more* per copy this way than through the traditional publishing route.  But it is on my shoulders to market the book.  Every free copy sent out for reviewing or beta reading, is directly out of my profits.  Because I am also the 'publisher'.  Blurb is the printer and shipper if someone purchases directly from them.  What *they* are is an on demand printer of documents, which they will also turn into books, either soft or hard cover.  Plus I can upload a pdf to Blurb and people can purchase that and get the information immediately.

The next book will likely sell only a few copies, maybe not even in the hundreds.  Will that cover the cost of the editing?  Not likely.  So my dilemma is - do I offer it in print or *just* the pdf.  OTOH, offering something in actual print doesn't cost me much so perhaps both, like I've done with the other three?

And round I go again.

School of Sweet Georgia has three (so far) workshops with me, the fourth to go live in November.  Will there be more?  Doubtful.  But those four topics cover much of what I really want to be seen by others.  One was a direct request from SOS (sectional warping) and as with everything about weaving, what I show is simply how *I* do it.  Others will have other opinions because they will be using different yarns, perhaps different equipment.  

I am happy to be part of the SOS community and answer questions there should they arise.  Head's up about an increase in fees for SOS beginning Oct. 1.  If you join before then, you get the current price.  Use the link I've provided (above) and they know you come because of me.

Long Thread Media (Handwoven) also has two workshops with me, taped in 2014.  While I may have changed a few details, both are still pertinent.  I see they now offer a 'Coles Notes' version of the wet finishing information.  (Don't know the US equivalent, Cliff's Notes?)

I also hang out on the Handweaving Academy website.  I'm not teaching classes for them, but am happy to chime in when I feel I can add to a conversation.

And of course this blog.

Have I come to any conclusions?  Nope.

But sometimes the first step is to define the question...

Do I continue to write in order to publish or nah?

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Press Pause


Welp, as they say, my body has pressed 'pause'.

I've been struggling with back issues for a while now but yesterday my body threw me a curve ball and my lower back and hip went into massive spasm.

I am now on 'rest' for - well, who knows how long?  I sure don't.

I am frustrated, disappointed, generally discombobulated, because I can't weave, can't sit comfortably, can't stand from sitting without assistance, most chairs make the pain worse, pain pills don't work entirely.

I'm a mess and I'm feeling depressed and discouraged.

However, I already have a massage booked for tomorrow (routine maintenance), which will be an intervention instead of routine.  But I also know that I am going to have to NOT do anything very much until whatever is going on in my body resolves.

I'm frustrated as hell because the current warp is weaving up very nicely and I was looking forward to the next going into the loom next week.  Now?  Who knows.  I sure don't.

My next physio appointment is on the 23rd and I finally see someone at the local pain clinic on the 28th.  I am holding onto a thread of hope that I will at last get some help locally instead of needing to travel about 500 miles to get it.

I can, however, sit for a time in my office chair, and as it happens, the next 'donwanna' job requires me to spend time at the computer.  So I will be editing the drafts for the workshop in October so that they can begin to go out to anyone registered.  Once I've got them done I'll be promoting the workshop and see if we can get more than 3 people signed up.  :-/  

Anyway, if you want to cheer me up and you've read Stories or my other two books, you could send me a book review so I can do some marketing of my books while I'm laid up...just saying...