‘Tis the season…

And so it begins…

Dear readers, I haven’t abandoned you, and I can’t even claim I’m so busy I just haven’t had the time to write.  Truth is, my days are busy and full, but I’m not out of my mind insane.  I have help, people for that if you will.  I am ramping up for Reno, ready to ship 160 handouts, 10 inkle looms for rentals, kits are made, and I just spent the whole day working in the yard, puttering around, weeding the vegetable garden, and hanging by the pond, or one of them, while my pond guys rebuilt the waterfall spillway, which was leaking, and restocked the fish and plants.  Everything was holding when I came in for the night, and we will see how things look in the morning.  The weather here this week has been as perfect as weather can be.  This is a hard week, this time two years ago, we brought my husband home to die.  The two year anniversary of his death falls on Father’s Day this year, my kids are both feeling the loss.  We are all just a little off our game, but I have my beautiful gardens, and people to keep them beautiful, the ponds which remind me of him every day, and I just spent the weekend teaching up at Peters Valley, which was a really important part of our lives together.  His presence was definitely felt all weekend, especially for my daughter who accompanied me there and took a five day woodworking class.

Before I show you the photos from the beginning weaving class up at the Valley, I need to go back a month and share the photos from another valley, the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center, in Elkin, NC.  I adored teaching there.  They want me back next year.  I had six lovely students, one of which I’d worked with before.  We had only three days so most chose to make the basic Daryl Jacket with band.  One brave soul, who had a very cool cotton patchwork handwoven fabric, spent a lot of time in the layout, because her goal was a cuddly cotton bathrobe.  We cut the jacket into a duster length, with side pockets, and all she needs are hems and a belt.  

Gaila brought narrow fabric from a Kathrin Weber workshop, and sewed like the wind to create this beautiful vest over the three days.  She finished up the armhole binding as we were packing up the last day.  This is my new vest pattern, great for small pieces and narrow fabrics.

And the rest made the standard jacket pattern with band, it is always remarkable to me how different they all look depending on the sizing and fabric.  I was proud of them all!

And so Friday afternoon, I headed out to Peters Valley, my favorite place in the world, for many many reasons, and I had eight wonderful eager students who wanted to learn to weave.  Peters Valley has 11 full size 8, 10, and 12 shaft looms, in pretty good shape.  I was able to really tweak and fine tune the brakes and other metal odysseys that are common to Macombers.  By the end of the two days they were all just about perfect.  

The sampler/gamp I had the students do, explored two different threadings, and many different treadlings, plain weave, twills, ribs, basket weave, color and weave, and more.  They were all really good sports about threading, patience is a virtue, and a necessary sort of skill when threading the loom for the first time.  They were tired and cross eyed, but there were very few mistakes and all easily correctable.  Here are some of the samplers.  I pre-wound the warps, so they didn’t get to pick the warp colors, but all were amazed at how the weft influenced the cloth.  There was more than one squeal of delight by Sunday afternoon.

And a shout out to Jamie, who is the summer assistant in fibers at the Valley.  She was a terrific sport, jumped in with great patience and really helped me when it seemed that everyone needed me at once.  She even got to set up one of the looms with an extra warp.

I brought examples of a lot of my work, scarves, table linens and dishtowels, and of course clothing, but I also brought one of my small Theo Moorman technique tapestries I did in the early 1980’s.  It helps give a range of what’s possible on the loom.  Jamie and the studio manager Beth quickly rigged up a way to hang the tapestry on the newly painted wall.  Everyone loved it so much I decided to leave it there for the summer.  It was sitting in the bottom of my closet and it looks so happy here.

And that’s two workshops I can cross off my list.  I’ll be teaching another beginning weaving class at Peters Valley the first part of August, though this one is five day and also sold out.  Meanwhile, Reno calls.  I am in final countdown mode, and actually looking forward to the conference, and the Tuesday when I fly home and it will be another one for the books.  

Meanwhile, I found out that my swing coat, which I had submitted to Fiber Celebration 2018 sponsored by the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild won first place in Wearables, along with a general award and the Pikes Peak Award.  I’m pretty psyched about that, and hopefully the coat will be heading back this way shortly since I need to take it to Reno.  I’m starting to think about what I’m going to wear to the fashion show in Reno, since I’m the judge and have to get on stage to present the awards.

Stay tuned…

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On making lemonade…

I would wager a guess that everyone of you dear readers knows what it is like when your life is not your own.  When circumstances get in the way of plans, of what makes you happy and what does not, and what messes with the lives of those you love.

I really expected my next post to be all about my adventures at the Chilhuly museum in Seattle, after an amazing week on Whidbey Island followed by an amazing weekend in a workshop with Heather Winslow, whom I got to host and is a complete delight and then get ready to pack for my trip to Yadkin Valley Fiber Center in NC, where I was to teach a three day jacket class…  But that was so last month…

Except the storm hit.  Literally.  The northeast has had a rash of really wicked storms in the last couple of months.  I’ve gotten through them all unscathed, fortunately I had an all around handyman who cleaned up the minor debris, six loads to the dump of yard waste. I made many calls to landscape maintenance companies to find someone who could just cut my lawn and do some mulching.  Everyone would drive by my property and keep on going.  Except they couldn’t keep on going.  I live on a dead end street with no turn around like a lovely cul de sac.  Apparently this is a problem for a 41 foot landscape trailer.  Who knew…

I finally found a company who promised me they would add me to their customer base. They could park on a neighboring street and drive the equipment over.  Then it rained, and rained and rained…

 

Then the storm hit Tuesday two weeks ago.  We almost never lose power.  We live near a pretty stable grid.  Last power outage was Hurricane Sandy, and that happened because a 150 year old oak came down on Main Street and took out the main trunk line.  It took ten days to repair that.  The first gust of wind blew Tuesday two weeks ago and wham.  Power out.  I was in the middle of stitching around the swatches for the guild exchange.  I finally finished them on the loom and needed to cut and mount them for the guild meeting.  Thankfully earlier in the day I updated all the handouts I’d need for the upcoming jacket class.  What I didn’t do was print out the computer sheets for what I needed to pack, because I wasn’t planning to pack until Wednesday afternoon.  The flight to Charlotte was Thursday morning.

Yeah, so that happened.  And I knew when the first gust of wind hit and the power was out that it wasn’t going to be good.  In fact, once the storm passed I ventured out down main street and not only was there a 150 year old oak down between two of my neighbor’s houses, miraculously missing both, but further down Main Street in the same spot where the tree took out the trunk line during Hurricane Sandy, the remaining two 150 year old trees had gone down like dominoes again taking the trunk line with them.  Sigh.

So my son and I made the best of it.  We lit the oil lamps, drank, made food with what we could and not opening the refrigerator or freezer.  I have a gas stove, which I could light with a match, and I still had a Verizon signal.  Later that evening I drove around trying to charge my phone and I was shocked at how many trees had come down and blocked roads.  It was going to be a long time before we got our power back.

I took my doggies to the kennel on Wednesday and tried to pack as best I could remember, what I’d need for the class, since I had no power I had no computer. Wednesday night I realized that I would be gone when the power came back on and I couldn’t take a chance on what food would be safe to eat, so I put out a plea on facebook and a friend came and we unloaded about a hundred pounds of food from two freezers and refrigerators and she carted it all home to share with her mom, very happy to have all of it.  Thursday morning I got into the limo, with two large suitcases, my carry on bags, and no power.  I was doubly worried because my alarm system was dying, and my son, though he lives in the house, would be leaving for guard drills on Friday for the weekend.  

But there was nothing I could do but hope for the best.

Late Thursday night, while I was in NC, the power did come back on, and my son was in residence, and the alarm did go completely nuts, and I was able to get him in touch with the alarm company and they talked him through resetting everything.

The weekend was a complete success, I adored my six students, they all made beautiful jackets, and I adored staying with my host Leslie, who runs the fiber center. And though I did forget a couple of important things, I managed to do without them.  I’ll talk about all that in another post, and give it its own space, but last Monday morning, I flew home in a relatively uneventful flight, hopped in the limo, and on the way home found out that my mom had been rushed to the hospital yet again, this time with suspected blood clots in both lungs. Which turned out to be true.  My sister was beside herself, she had lost so much time from work from all the other calls to the hospital in the previous two weeks, and living closest to my mom, the ball is always in her court.

The limo arrived at my front door and to my complete surprise, the landscape company was there, with the first 10 yards of mulch and had most of the front yard underway.  It was beautiful.  There was a glimmer of light.  

 

I have never wanted to not do something the way I didn’t want to get in the car and drive to Maryland.  I was exhausted, and my house still wasn’t completely back to normal after the power outage.  I had no food in the house.  Since we had no food, my son suggested sushi for dinner.  And wine doesn’t have to be refrigerated… I went to the kennel to get the dogs Monday afternoon and looked through the mail, tried to make some sense of the couple hundred emails in my box and called my mom.  I knew what I really didn’t want to hear.  I needed to make the trip to Maryland.  I did a big sigh, went to bed, and in the morning, the morning of my birthday, I made a decision to just be.  In the moment.  Enjoy what I could out of the day, celebrate the fact that there were many rainbows in my life and that today was a storm, and that hopefully there would be a rainbow at the end.  I looked out the window and the day was clear and there, at the end of my driveway was the mulch truck, back with another 10 yards and I looked up at the sky and said thank you to my late husband for the best birthday present he could ever have given me.  My son assured me he would be around to care for the dogs, I threw a bunch of clothes back in the suitcase and left.

And you know, life is funny sometimes.  I realized on the 3 1/2 hour drive down the NJ turnpike, over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and on into Maryland that it was my birthday and I was going to be able to spend it with my sisters and my mom, no matter what the circumstances.  The three people I love most in this world, other than my children.  And it is a different kind of love.  My mom is 87.  She has had an amazing life, she remarried at 76 to a guy she dated in high school.  They are still married and he is devoted to her and hasn’t left her side.  I have two amazing sisters, we are really really close though not geographically, but we are there for each other.  And so I got to the hospital, had lunch with my youngest sister, got to my mom’s hospital room, and we all sat, and visited and laughed and the hospital cafeteria had sushi, so I picked up some, and while my mom ate her bland hospital food for dinner, I had my small box of shrimp sushi, and smiled.  It was a lovely rainbow and I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

That evening I went to my other sister’s house to spend the night, and we got a lovely visit in.  Back to the hospital Wednesday morning, again Thursday and again Friday.  My sister who was so behind in her work, she is an architect, was able to catch up and clear her schedule so she could take over for me on Saturday.  It turned out to be the most gentle special week.  I made lemonade from really sour lemons and a good shot of vodka in there was all it needed.  I sat and talked and knitted, dozed and just felt present.  It was enough.  And it turned out to be one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long long time.

And I came home Saturday morning and this is what waited for me. 

 

I still have a pond that keeps emptying, and the water feature in the yard stopped working, but I will call pond guy Bob on Tuesday and he will eventually figure it out.  The yard is lovely.  I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home and refilled my freezer with all kinds of lovely things.  My daughter and I went to see Moliere’s Tartuffe at the NJ Shakespeare Theater today for a Sunday Matinee and we laughed through the whole show.  It is hard to imagine that a play written in the 1600’s could be so relevant for today.  My son made awesome burgers and had dinner waiting when we returned.  I had a cold dark beer for dinner, and celebrated that I have more than I need, and am surrounded by amazing people whom I love more than life, and that it isn’t what happens in your life that’s important, it is how you look at it.  And this week was a great reminder of what I truly value. 

Stay tuned…

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Mind explosion…

What a two weeks this has been.  A roller coaster of a ride, spectacular, scary, and really really fun.  So much to tell…

I’ll start with the vacation I took with a friend and my daughter, to weaving heaven.  My former editor from when I worked for Handwoven magazine is a fantastic weaver and runs a weaving school in her home on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington State.  For all my readers who are weavers, and even those who aren’t, Madelyn van der Hoogt’s school is a bucket list item that should be at the top.  She teaches four times a year, two weeks at a time.  The first week is Weaving 1, where you get a solid footing on the joy of handweaving, and the second week, which is what we all took, since we are somewhat experienced weavers, called Weaving 2, is all about structure, design, blocks and profile drafts.  I visited Madelyn’s school when I was on the island teaching for the Whidbey Weaver’s Guild back in May of 2016, right before my husband died, and I vowed I’d be back.  With my daughter.

In fact, when we first went round the room to introduce ourselves, I followed my daughter, and really really tried hard not to be Daryl Lancaster but to just be Brianna’s Mom.  It is hard to be a student when you are a nationally known instructor and to gracefully side step all the questions about garment construction and what to do if…  I was there to learn, and be Brianna’s mom.  That part eventually worked out well.  There were 13 of us, and Madelyn’s assistant Suzie, who owns Eugene Textile Center, was there to help in every way, and she brought a huge selection of books and weaving equipment and well, my poor credit card was smoking…  I realize that after 40 years of weaving, there isn’t much I don’t have, but because I was Brianna’s mom, and she moaned and whined about how much she really needed an electric bobbin winder, (I did too at her age) what could I do but buy a new one, state of the art, for $380, but that one is for me, she gets my old one.  Fair is fair.  I’m not that generous of a  mom…

Brianna was of course, the star student. But I was pretty close behind.  There were 32 looms, prewarped in various 4-8 shaft plus structures, many of them double shuttle, that means a ground cloth and some decorative element floating across the surface, like overshot.  That’s my sample on the loom.

The first loom Brianna tried, of course, was the drawloom.  Madelyn had three in the studio.  This is a monster piece of equipment, the precursor to the Jacquard loom, allowing complex pictorial weaving by controlling individual threads.  Usual time on this little sample was about 6-8 hours.  Brianna of course did it in 4 1/2.  And she did it perfectly. 

 

We both hopped from loom to loom (I opted not to spend time working on the draw loom, at almost 63, I know this will never be part of my repertoire and though I understand the premise, I had no desire to even try.  There were two many other looms to tackle)

There were a couple rules, we always had to use a temple, that toothed stick across the warp that maintains width, which assured that no one would break a thread.  And we had to weave a full square sample.  The samples were generous.  Most were about 12-14 inches square.  That’s basically a pillow and I thought about looking for some plain pillows and just mounting the samples on the front for some pretty cool decorations on the couch.  Except there are the dogs…

We wove until we were punch drunk and cross eyed, and yet we kept on.  There were lectures every day, Madelyn is such a great teacher.  Though truth be told, I’m not all that interested in complex structures, they just aren’t that important in my regular body of work (I’m a color texture sort of gal) but nevertheless,  I had a blast, each new loom was like starting a new 500 piece puzzle and you know how I love those.  

Four of the looms had structures on them that all shared the same profile draft.  There was huck, double weave, turned twill and summer/winter.  And the design was the same for all.  I found that completely fascinating and that the weaving software I’ve been using for some 20 years, actually had a block substitution feature I never knew existed, where you can plug in any unit weave into a profile draft by just clicking a menu item…  That just made me smile. 

One of the looms had a Swedish Snowflake Twill from Mary Atwater’s book.  Brianna wove on that one, and the evening after the first day of class, I got an email from one of my former students Cheryl Wolf, who took a workshop with me in northern Washington State last May.  She wove the same sample in Madelyn’s class, and went on to weave yardage from it.  We worked together in the class with the Whatcom Weaver’s Guild, to carefully match the snowflake pattern in the back.  I talked about it in this blog post.  She finished the jacket (my swing coat pattern with optional shawl collar) and sent me photos and I was thrilled to pass them around the class.

And we kept weaving…  

Between the two of us, Brianna and I  covered all but one of the looms in the studio.  There were three draw looms in all, and the morning of the second day, Brianna decided to design a piece using one of the other draw looms, taking the block pattern that was already “programmed” in the loom, and modifying it for a very personal design.  That’s the loom in the back corner, I went over to take a photo of her weaving on it and she was already finished.  When I saw what she had woven once they came off the loom, I cried.  My husband was a pole climber back in the day, before I met him, and spent 47 years in the telephone industry.  She wove telephone poles and clouds in his honor.

I was the first one to weave on the newest addition to the line up, a parallel threading based on the Echo and Iris technique du jour.  

And Sally caught a great shot of me weaving on the Louet Megado digital dobby loom.  The weave structure was pretty complex, but the computer did all the work so that was really the easiest one of all the 20 samples I managed to do.  I think Brianna did 23 total, including two draw loom pieces.  I have a fabulous stack of samples. And so does she…

We traveled back to Seattle that Saturday morning, and Brianna arranged the airport hotel, and the Uber ride up to the Chilhuly museum.  Wow.  Just Wow.  I’ll talk about that in my next post…

Stay tuned…

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There’s a knot for that…

Dearest readers, I’m back from the Pacific Northwest, exhausted, crazy busy, and picking up the speaker for the Jockey Hollow Guild meeting at the airport in just a few short hours, for another three day workshop in weaving.  I have so much to tell, so much joy and hard work, so worth it, but alas, no time to tell it all in…

Meanwhile, during my 3 mile walk this morning with my trusty office assistant and walking partner, I mentioned my poor wind chimes.  Another casualty of the wicked winter from hell and actually, just age.  My late husband gifted me these beautiful Mongolian wind chimes perfectly tuned and the sound is just magical.  They stopped chiming, and I discovered that the wind catcher thing that hangs from the clapper thing that makes the tubes chime had blown off and landed about 100 feet away in some bush, which I accidentally found during yard clean up a couple weeks ago.  With the lovely weather I really miss my wind chimes.  I had just tried to tie it back on, but alas, all the cords had rotted away, and the next wind storm we get, I’ll have a pile of tubes sitting in the pond.  The chimes hang off the balcony outside my bedroom, basically right over the pond.  

Anyway, my assistant came up to the studio for work, and we took a look at the situation.  She said she had a tube of black nylon cord that could work, and scampered home to get it.  Have I mentioned she lives 484 steps from my house?  

I brought in the chimes, and proceeded to discreetly mark the tubes, take accurate measurements of how far they suspend, trace the root of the seven cords, for six tubes and the center clapper.  I made drawings.  The problem was, each cord started attached to the center welded pin down the middle of the tube.  I had no idea how we were going to manage that.  

Cynthia looked down the tube and looked at me and said, I think that’s a hangman’s noose knot.  REALLY?

She tried it out on a peg from my warping wheel, and after a couple of tries, figured it out.  We dropped the cord down the tube with a fishing weight, turned the tube over and then dropped the weight back up the tube so the cord would loop over the welded bar in the middle of the tube.  Then she made this hangman’s noose knot. She pulled the long end and the knot slipped right down the tube in place.  I have no idea how she knew how to do this knot, something about making 5000 rosaries for a Catholic organization she once worked for, my eyes crossed and I just thought the whole thing hysterical.  We carefully worked together, figuring out each step and each knot as we reassembled the chimes.  We got it outside and hung it up and I wanted to cry.  My beautiful wind chimes started singing again, and I could have hugged her.  I actually think I did.  Bosses aren’t supposed to do that sort of thing, but she made me so happy.  Who knew?  A hangman’s noose knot, from a Catholic rosary, for Mongolian chimes…

Stay tuned, there is so much to tell!

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Leaving On A Jet Plane…

I came in my studio one day last week, and my assistant Cynthia was listening to a John Denver song, clearly coming out of my Echo Dot.  I asked what station she was playing and she said she had created a John Denver station on my Pandora.  We listened and laughed and sang along at the top of our lungs…  Of course, Leaving on a Jet Plane came up in the rotation.  I remembered many of the harmonies.  What fun.

Meanwhile, I’m actually leaving on a jet plane, Saturday morning, Brianna, weaver Sally Orgren from my guild, and me, we are all heading to Seattle, and then to Whidbey Island to take a weeklong advanced weaving class with Madelyn van der Hoogt.  I booked this at the end of last summer, actually right after MidWest conference, because, life is short, and none of us knows what tomorrow will bring, but I wanted my daughter to have a chance to study with Madelyn and well, I wanted to too.  Though I’m not that interested in complex structures, you sure couldn’t tell from what came out of my studio this week…

I’m on a roll.  As fast as I make something, I’m thinking about the next thing.  And oddly enough, there seems to be time to do it.  Life is beginning to run like a well oiled machine, thanks to so many people who are working behind the scenes, like Cynthia, and my handyman Rick, and the pond guys, and the plumber guys, who have done wonders cleaning up my exterior and trying to salvage the ponds and the exterior plumbing from the winter from hell.  All the pumps, outdoor lines and filters had to be replaced.  We discovered that a patch in the pond, I didn’t know it was there to begin with, failed and one of the ponds was leaking, the one where the fish survived, so they were transferred to the second pond, and everything is up and running but the pond level is very low until they can patch, but the weather has to be above 70 degrees.  Hahahahahahahah!

The website, web shop, blog, hosting company, all seems to be running well and efficiently, and super fast.  With no effort from me except a lot of money.  Isn’t that always the case…

So I get to go to the studio and make stuff.  I am so happy.  Really, this is what the goal was and now I’m there.  I start traveling heavy duty in another month, but for now, I have two back to back workshops that I’m actually taking, the other with my guild with Heather Winslow, warps are on the loom and I’m ready for that, which happens three days after I return from Whidbey Island.  

So back in June 2010, my guild did an exchange, called Potpourri, where everyone the previous fall put yarns in a brown bag and sealed it.  Brown bags were exchanged and the idea was you had to weave something with the yarns in the bag for the person whose yarns they were.  You can read the blog post about the exchange here.  

Back in April of 2010, I actually began to figure out what to do with this…  These were the yarns Sherrie had put in her bag and I had to weave something out of it.  That’s a very large cone of fine pink kid mohair.  The other two cones are unmercerized cotton.  ?!?!?!?!?

Here is the post where I figured it all out, after counting out the 100 yards of the pretty knitting yarn and knowing I wanted to highlight it.   This is the actual draft I made up. 

I have to say that I was pretty freaking proud of this, it was really out of my wheelhouse and I’m not a complex kind of person, but I figured out how to do what I did with what I had to work with and well, I patted myself on the back.  When I presented Sherrie with the yardage at the meeting in June, she didn’t seem really enthusiastic, I reread my blog post and I think her words were something like, “How Couture.”  

Many years later she came to a meeting with the bolt of fabric and said, she was cleaning things out, came across the yardage and really didn’t know what to do with it and did I want it back!  Well heck yes!  I felt bad that she really didn’t respond to it, maybe the color, size of the motifs, whatever, she is rather petite, but I stuck it on my shelf and it sat for another couple of years…

Until last week.  Bottom line is I looked at the patterns I developed for classes, played around to see what fit on the yardage, and to my complete surprise and delight, the front couple yards and back couple yards matched exactly and I was able to do this.

Getting weft patterning to line up is really really hard, and I can’t believe how effortlessly it matched.  I was not able to match the shoulders, so I added linen epaulets.  The shawl collar/band would not match up, so I got the idea to cut it on the bias.  The linen/rayon I had on my shelf warmed up the pink and created a nice detail and gave me the extra fabric I’d need to make this work.  It is my walking vest pattern, with the armhole from my Daryl Jacket C pattern, with side seam pockets and a shawl collar. 

I could not find any buttons that would work, so when all else fails, cover your own.

I finished it up last night and pulled another piece of handwoven cloth off the shelf, this one from a Diane Totten workshop on Crimp cloth.  I have a plan, and can’t wait to dive into this.  

Meanwhile, I want to give my assistant something to do while I’m gone, so I went back into the archives to the binder that has all the yarn wrapped cards from the years I wrote the color forecast column for Handwoven Magazine.  They should publish the whole series in an ebook, because there are some great resources and inspiration in there.  But I have the actual wrapped cards that they used for photography.  This one was called Down on the Farm, from the Spring/Summer 2006 forecast, published in the Sept/Oct 2005 issue of Handwoven Magazine.

Together we pulled all the yarns from my shelves that remotely went with the palette, and then from there I finalized my selections and she is busily, as I write, winding all the dyed skeins into pull balls so I can wind a warp when I get back from Seattle.  I can’t wait… 

This will be a run of handwoven scarves, and my stash of scarves is empty, the last one sent as a gift to my daughter’s pediatrician, now adult doctor, who every time Brianna goes to see him asks when he is going to get a handwoven scarf from me.  He has been asking for 25 years.  It was time…  And now I have to weave some more.

I spent the weekend up at Peters Valley school of craft, where Brianna and a team of volunteers from my local weaving guild, refurbished all the looms, I replaced 12 Macomber loom aprons, with Brianna right behind me removing and replacing as I sewed them up.  Everything looks fabulous, and Saturday night, we all went down to the store/gallery on campus for the opening of the show, Act 2: Art as a Career Sequel .   Since Art is my career, I didn’t qualify for the show, but Brianna, my lovely talented daughter who works for a vet hospital during the day, got a piece accepted, only 50 pieces were selected out of more than 600.  I adore the piece, it is from her Gender series, called The Gender Game.  The figures are woven in a summer/winter pattern with porn video tape.  It is a pretty powerful piece. 

And so, life marches on, there are some great things happening in my own little corner of the world, and I try to stay informed as is realistic, but not get too caught up in the rest of the world politics.  Election time will be soon enough.  Otherwise I’d be paralyzed from the helplessness of it all.  Spring is slowly coming, I finally have daffodils peaking out of their little heads, and I have fish swimming happily in the cleaned up ponds.  There is a pile at the curb of junk from the yard, for bulk pick up on Monday, thanks to my handyman Rick, and I’ll be flying off to Seattle to study with Madelyn soon. 

Stay tuned… 

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