When I returned from Asheville, my husband also returned from Saudi, and we celebrated the fact that we were all home at the same time, no matter how brief.  The only glitch in the party was the fact that I had to hit the ground running, to get ready for a Color and Inspiration class, get everything pulled together and shipped off to Taunton Press/Threads Magazine for an up coming article, and to get everything prepared, printed, cut, packaged, and shipped for my class at Sievers, which starts on the 24th.  And on top of that, I signed my daughter and myself up for a two day workshop in Warp Painting with Sarah Saulson, sponsored by Frances Irwin Handweavers.  It has been a busy two weeks.

I’m really sorry I sort of left my poor husband in the dust.  The unpredictability of when he will be home means that I can’t plan to leave holes in the calendar so I can really spend quality time with him.  I feel bad about that.  We both look forward to the end of this job in Saudi Arabia and a bit more predictability.  But for now, it is where he is needed, and there is that Tuition to pay…  And about three hours ago, he got in a limo and headed off to the airport for Riyadh, and no one is quite sure when he will return, hopefully sooner than later, since we have a California vacation planned in mid-July corresponding with a brief stop to teach at Convergence and the Central Coast Chapter of the American Sewing guild.

And of course my daughter was only home for college for half of May into the third week of June.  And I have been gone for most of it. 🙁

That said, my wonderful, bright, and efficient daughter became my right hand these last couple weeks, taking over much of the grunt work getting prep done for workshops, filling orders, cutting interfacings and packaging them, winding endless bobbins of bright fun colors for the Color Class, and this week, making kits for the inkle weaving class I am teaching for a county 4-H group Monday night.  Those little kits take forever to put together.  I don’t think I would have gotten through these last two weeks with my sanity intact without her.

I drove “down the shore”, a very NJ term, to the Shore Fiber Arts Guild last Saturday where we spent a colorful day exploring color and playing with yarn.  I love this class, and this was a fun group to do it with, there were weavers, quilters, knitters, surface designers, and some educators there, all playing with yarn, and using the exercises and later on in the day, photos, for inspiration.





Meanwhile, I had warped my loom for the Sarah Saulson workshop, using a white 6ply rayon I had already made into a 10 yard warp in anticipation of dyeing it at the guild dye day in July, I put five yards on my little Tools of the Trade 15″ 8 shaft loom I bought on eBay last year, and gave the other five yards to my daughter.  The loom she picked to use however, needed to be cleared, so she rapidly wove off the remaining couple of feet of the double faced Overshot from the Robyn Spady workshop she attended May of last year.

Meanwhile, while I was “down the shore”, she decided to plow into her graduation loom, the 20″ 8 shaft Ashford Table Loom which she had warped with 6 yards of chenille before she left for college last fall.  Most of it still sat on the loom, and no one told her that yardage was a b**ch to do on a table loom.  Especially a three shuttle structure.  Oh to be young and not know any better…

I went to bed at night listening to her shuttles clanking across the warp at the far and of the hallway…

She managed to finish her yardage on her table loom, get the floor loom set up for the workshop, and we packed everything in the car, two looms, bags of weaving supplies and aprons, and anything that we could think we might need, and Monday we drove to Andover NJ to the workshop.

It was a blast.

It was a blast learning new ways to do things.

It was a blast watching my daughter learn new things.

It was a blast just watching my daughter, who is young and has no fear and no expectations and flies by the seat of her pants.

She decided to paint Belted Galloway cows (Black cow with a white striped belt around the middle) on her warp since there was a picture of one on the front of the notebook she brought to the workshop.  She raises them in the animal science program up at UMass.  There is one in my freezer.  Well steaks and chopped meat anyway…

She mixed the brightest colors she could, and jumped in head first.  The rest of us were still trying to decide on design and color and trying to figure out how to open out the warp, and configure looms, and all that stuff that experienced adults overthink and fret over.

It was a blast watching her paint with abandon.  (For those who are curious, we were painting with MX Fiber Reactive dyes thickened with print paste).

I started with an idea, and just sort of went with it, veering sharply off course pretty quickly, but pretty happy with what I got.  (That’s my warp curing on the left of hers.)

We let the warps cure, and dry overnight, and in the morning, we came back and started weaving.  I’m thinking that Bri was the first one re-beamed and ready to weave.  She knew what she wanted for weft, and wound her little shuttles and started in, probably weaving four of the five yards by the afternoon, with a complex four shaft structure, based on the threading from Ginnie’s Coat in Davison, but with her own made up treadling.  That’s my girl.  I spent more time watching her unbridled enthusiasm and determination than paying attention to my own work.

Towards the end of the day, we were of course snipping at each other, there was lots of eye rolling through out the day, but we wouldn’t be mother and daughter, two very strong women if we didn’t…

We packed up and loaded the looms in the rain, and headed home Tuesday night.   We met my poor neglected husband for dinner at Jose Tejas…

After dinner Brianna furiously wove off the rest of her yardage, and we washed it.  And washed it.  And washed it…  She used a lot of dye…

Wednesday Brianna spent the day helping me print, cut, package, bind and ship the stack of stuff I needed for Sievers, handouts, and kits for the extended class, making a pieced tote bag from the leftovers from the garments made in the five day class.  We shipped Thursday and Thursday night, I took my daughter shopping for a new wardrobe.

One of those things that happens when a child grows up and leaves home, is a new sense of style and identity.  I give you this quote from my daughter’s facebook page…

“Dear Wardrobe…For all these years, you have stayed relatively the same: T-shirts, jeans, men’s shorts, sweats and you have been the perfect thing for my life in high school. However, I am now in college and an adult, which means that you need to have an overhaul. I know you won’t be happy for the first few days, but bear with me, it’ll be great in the end. You’ll be happy to know that I got you some nice pieces, things that are perfect for camp, great for everyday, and an item or two that are great for a party or a night out. So far, you haven’t been too angry with me and I hope you still love me.”

I had a blast watching her pick out a new identity with a newly emerging body of an adult woman, and I feel privileged to have been included in the ride (of course it was my credit card making all this possible…)

We continued the adventure Friday night as well.  And after spending a very large sum of money at Kohl’s, using my 20% coupon, a 30% coupon came in today’s mail.  Really?

And so it was with great sadness I said goodbye to my husband again today as he heads back to his other home, half way across the globe, and on Thursday  my daughter will head off to lifeguard for the summer at a Girl Scout Camp in NY State.  The party will be over and I will actually leave on Sunday for a week on the magical Washington Island in Wisconsin and Sievers School of Fiber Arts.

Which will leave my son home alone  for the week with the dog…  Best not think of that…

I’ll return again, hitting the ground running, I have a three day Jacket class scheduled at the Newark Museum followed by my Californina adventure the second half of July.  I come home to furiously prepare for a four day fiber boot camp class again at the Newark Museum the beginning of August, followed by the American Sewing Guild conference in Houston.   But this is my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing, and when I do get to connect with my family it is precious and special and we all have a pretty good time of it…

Stay tuned…

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June 17, 2012 2:12 am

Thanks for the early Fathers day homemade waffles and cards, see you in a week or two or so…..

JUne L
JUne L
June 17, 2012 3:28 am

Enjoy your newsy blogs so much and learn a lot every time…..Hope to see you at Convergence… am hoping I will be returned from Spain where i have been for the past 5 months with my son who has had surgery for prostate cancer but recovering amazingly and back to running 2 hrs every day and hopefully returning to the US of A with me for a couple of months. Have missed my weaving a lot but needs must and I had to be here for my peace of mind – of course, being a Mum one knows everything will… Read more »

Catherine Conrad
June 17, 2012 9:13 am

Wow! You are busy! I so enjoy reading your blog and receiving so much inspiration for my own weaving life. Thanks. Enjoy your teaching schedule.

blogless grace
blogless grace
June 17, 2012 12:46 pm

Love the Galloways! They are absolutely perfect! In my neck of the woods, when we kids were little, they were called “pig cows” because the Galloways looked just like the pigs we were raising. Beautiful fabrics to both of you!

Mary Ehrlich
June 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Wonderful blog today. Thank you and how I wish I was in WI with you. Lots of classes of my own yet to take, two knees that are needy and the basement yet to paint and clean. Reasons I love your blog and my get away.

June 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Cows and color, mom and daughters, wives and husbands. Life is full for you!

June 19, 2012 8:51 am

Great cows!!! Love the right/left layout and the ground colors!!!