03 September 2015

on the hunt














last week i headed out to the woods in search of mushrooms and elderberries as well as wanting to check the progress on the black walnuts and acorns.  i have some ideas brewing and they all have to do with dyeing.  i've dyed fabric many times in the past, but never using things from nature.  i'm excited about what may become of it but will have to wait a bit longer.  no luck in finding the berries and the nuts haven't begun to fall quite yet.

the sun has made its shift in the sky and the shadows are changing shape.  sure signs of fall being on its way, but summer is putting up a good fight.  ninety degree days are the norm now, and looks to be sticking around for the next several days.  still, i couldn't resist buying three mums.  i'm ready for wearing sweaters and eating pumpkin pie. 
18 August 2015

visiting the birds









i finally got around to getting to the aviary with my daughter this past weekend.  she had been wanting me to make the trip with her for several months, but it always seemed like the weekends never had enough hours in the day.  it was worth the trip.  i do regret not grabbing my 100 mm lens, but have decided that just means that we'll have to make another trip down, maybe this winter.

i'm feeling the pull of fall, but it's a struggle when it's 90 degrees out.  i've already been making some mental plans about thanksgiving.  i know, it's 3 months away.  crazy.  i'm trying really hard to enjoy these warm days.  this morning, i hear rain outside of my window.  a good day to spend in the studio, i'd say.
12 August 2015

winding down












my time on the computer has been rather hit or miss for the pass several weeks.  it was a conscious decision and a good one.  stepping off of the 'information highway' and trading it for the 'slow and deliberate dirt road';  yes, now that's more my pace.

even though we have over a month until the official beginning of fall, i can't help but notice that things are beginning to wind down.  it's very slight, but the shift has begun.  time spent in the woods is never wasted and i get out there as often as i can.  it's amazing how it calms my spirit without fail.

i've been busy creating, but not much to show for it as a lot of the projects are taking some time.  feeling a bit frustrated by it, i decided to make up a dishcloth just for some 'instant' gratification. 

there, i feel better.  it's time to get back to the other projects now.
22 June 2015

first











i cut my first project off of the loom late last week.  three yards of hand-woven cloth.  it's an amazing process and i'm already planning my next.  this piece will be used to make a cushion for my loom bench.

just had to get out in the woods after a long stretch of nothing but rain (12 days...but who's counting?).  the rain is coming back tomorrow.  let's look at the bright side-it sure does make for a  lot of green!
11 June 2015

finally










it's been over 20 years now.  i walked into a small retail shop/studio with my mom and sister in a quaint little town that was all too familiar to me (and, ironically enough, would soon move within a few short miles of) but hadn't been to in quite some time. the shop was simply called "the weaver", and little did i know at the time, it would instill a desire in me that just would not die.

walking through the front door, i casually browsed through the goods being sold.  i have no recollection what exactly those offerings were, probably because dirt poor pretty much summed up the financial situation at the time. however, as i slowly made my way back to the large studio added onto the back of the 'store' (it was actually an old house that was turned into a shop), a feeling crossed over me that i still struggle to put into words.  

walking across the weathered hardwood floors, i was met with at least half a dozen weaving looms, several that were being put through their 'paces' by (obviously) knowledgeable women who worked there.  i can still, to this day, hear the sounds of the heddles gently moving against one another while each weft thread was being beat into place.

 i was fascinated.  blown away.  in total love and awe.

after standing there for a few seconds, i had the overwhelming feeling to just plant myself on a bench somewhere and take up residence.  no one would ever notice.  i wouldn't eat much and would be very, very quiet. i'd even scrub their floors and toilet.  i just wanted to be there and listen to the rhythmic sounds and watch these talented artists create their masterpieces. prior to this, i had known what a loom was and what it did, but had never seen one in person.  they became a thing of beauty to me at that moment. 

i remember wondering around the store with my sister, admiring all of the hand-made home goods for sale, but i quickly made my way back to the studio part of the store and, again, stood in awe.  the employees probably thought i was nuts; i just couldn't get enough.  i wanted to learn how to weave so badly, but i knew that it just wasn't possible at the time.

sadly, a few years later, the store closed.  i had visited it a few times after my first initial visit, and even splurged by buying a pair of hand-knitted gloves.  still, those looms never ceased to amaze me and that feeling i would get while being in their presence always returned.  the desire to weave was tucked back away in the depths of my cob-webbed mind, because groceries and diapers were of more importance.

a few months ago i came across a four part art documentary called Mastercrafts (<click) on youtube completely by accident.  oh dear....there was that feeling again.  i was captivated.  i know that i have watched that documentary at least 10 times now (you really must take the time and watch it!).  that was the spark that ignited the flame.  i had to do it...and if not now, when? 



back in march, i took a road-trip to wisconsin (remember this photo?  yeah, i was on my way!)  after immersing myself in learning the art of weaving (which, let me tell you, i have a lot to learn.  wow.), i decided on the kind of loom i wanted (oh yes, there are different kinds, my friends!), and was fortunate enough to find someone selling one. i have taken my time in learning the different steps of the whole process and am not ashamed to admit that it all seems like greek to me at this point.  but....BUT, i am weaving.  when i finally worked out the 'snags' that i ran across just getting the warp on it, and i sat down with shuttle in hand?  i'm making fabric, people!  it is such an a-mazing feeling! 

i am a weaver.

!!!






03 June 2015

changes, of the good kind









i'm not always the best at accepting changes, but i'm getting better at looking at them differently.  at least i no longer run around screaming, "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!"  it's a good thing because the past couple months have been full of change.

the best change has been the birth of our second granddaughter, bonita mae, born may 21.  both mom and baby are doing great and big sister, dulcie, really could care a-less about the new addition and just goes about her merry-ole-way.  love those little girls.

my husband lost his job in april after being in an industry for over 20 years.  it wasn't anything he did; just an industry that has taken a dive and companies closing their doors.  we weren't surprised when he was laid-off, but were both wondering "what's next".  he traveled a lot over the past 10 years, so it has been strange having him home for the past 2 months.  instead of running around screaming "the sky is falling", we decided to take some time and re-evaluate things while doing some projects around the house.  it ended up being a win-win situation.  he decided that he wanted to change industries which resulted in several new job offers, one of which he has accepted and will leave him with a whopping 10 minute commute.

while watching dulcie for several days while my daughter was in the hospital, it occurred to me that we would be needing a room for her when she gets to stay at grandma and grandpa's house (that is still so weird to type!).  our extra bedroom was occupied by my sewing things, but we had a whole finished basement that really wasn't being used much.  we sectioned off about 1/3 of the downstairs and i now have a bigger and better area with which i can stretch out and work in.  i absolutely love it and am really looking forward to spending some quality time in it.

so yes, change does happen.  sometimes a whole lot of it at once.  but i've decided that it's a whole lot better being half-full than half-empty.
09 May 2015

new growth









daily the landscape around me is changing, or so it seems.  buds opening, leaves forming, eggs hatching.  it's been in the 80s and 90s here this week, unusual for this time of year, but i'll take it.

we bought dulcie a swing-set for when she comes to visit.  my daughter's yard is very small, and we have more than enough room.  she loves to go down the slide and will do so every chance she gets.  love that little one.

my hap shawl is finished....well, other than blocking.  i learned a lot while making it and look forward to wearing it this fall.  the colors were inspired by pictures of shetland which is a place i most certainly will visit in the future.

still waiting for my lilacs to open....