Special Day!

Happy Birthday to Me!  I am 54 today.  It is a lovely day, warm and sunny, slight breeze, I had my breakfast on the deck.  I spent a couple hours this morning vacuuming all the whirligigs off the decks, my girlfriends are coming tonight with sushi and their recorders, and we will all play Baroque trios and eat sushi, and drink Margaritas and life doesn’t get any better than that.  And I spent about a half hour catching up on all the drama of my son’s 19 year old life, feeling really grateful I am 54.  It was lovely to just spend some time listening to his tales of adventure…

I have spent almost 50 of my 54 years living in NJ.  Although I was born in PA, I’d say I pretty much qualify as a Jersey Girl.  Summers down the shore, the pine barrens, and Bruce…  Up until last July, I’d never been to a Bruce Springsteen concert, (he is so New Jersey), as a matter of fact, I’d never been to any rock concert except for a lone Beach Boys concert in High School.  So, last night, I went to my third Bruce Springsteen concert in 9 months.  This one was totally unexpected, when we purchased the tickets for the show last month in Philadelphia, we were originally trying to get tickets for last night’s performance at the Meadowlands.  You may have read about the Ticket Master brouhaha, which is why we ended up in Philadelphia, but after registering a complaint with the state Attorney General, my step sister went into a pool of complainers and through a lottery ended up with two tickets for last night’s performance.

bruce1bruce2OK, I’m not a rock fan, or a Springsteen groupie, I don’t even know any of the words to any of his songs.  But this was an amazing performance.  We were sitting actually behind the stage, in the 26th row, we were so close we could see the sweat flying.  The behind the scenes guitar swaps, sometimes mid-song, and the tuning crew behing the stage, were fascinating, and the drummer, was the 18 year old prodigy son of Max Weinburg, the E Street Band’s regular drummer who is also the drummer for Conan O’Brien and he was tied up on the west Coast doing a taping of the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.  Jay Weinburg, the son, was unbelievable to watch, and we could see the massive band-aids on his fingers.  He never missed a beat, and the playfulness of the band with this youthful member was electrifying.

Onto my creative adventures.

scarves1First of all, I got the scarf warp on, pretty effortlessly with the AVL warping wheel.  And I started to weave one of the scarves.  It doesn’t have the same color clarity of the scarf from Barbara’s warp, but it is definitely more playful and random than I am use to doing.  At least there is a warp on the loom, and I can sit and weave when I’m in the mood!

Speaking of weaving…

Placemat Exchange Score: Mom 8 / Bri 7 1/2…

We are so  close, but poor Bri, she has about 8 more inches to go on the last placemat and…brake

Yep, that’s right, the friction brake drum sheared right off the back beam again.  Oh crap!  So, I have to figure out a second repair, that will get us through the last eight inches of the placemat exchange, and then I’m retiring that beam, and I’ll switch back to the original sectional beam that came with the loom.  It is a bigger ’round, and much sturdier built beam, and I never had a problem with it the whole 25 years I owned the loom.  This standard warp beam is a complete other story…

sandstone_layersAnd I’m making slow progress on the Sandstone Layers Jacket.  I have the fronts up on the form, there is a funky pleat across the lower right front, which I’m still not sure I like, I’ll wait until pockets and belt looms are on before making my final call, and I’m pretty close to deciding on the seam finish for the center back seam.  I’m liking the Hong Kong finish, the rest of the seams get topstitched, but not this one.sandstone_layers_detail

So, it is lunch time, and I’ll putter today, enjoying my special day, I’ve had all sorts of texts, invitations, and phone calls from friends and family who are very near and dear to my heart.  Thanks all for your happy best wishes for the day!

A Creative Lull

I’m getting letters again.  I know.  But stay with me, I promise I’ll get back to some creative work, but there are other things calling to me, that I can’t ignore, and oddly enough, some of these things have taken me back to some very early chapters in my life.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  More fuel for my work.

Anyway, Monday and Tuesday, you might have read in the newspapers (or experienced if you live in the northeast, was brutal.  I was saved by the 90 degree heat wave over the weekend, since I was at the Jersey shore, but Monday and Tuesday I couldn’t have blogged if I had wanted to, my dripping fingers would have short circuited my wireless keyboard!  🙂

We didn’t turn on the airconditioning.  Pointless really, since we knew within a few days we would need the heat on again, and sure enough, it is back to 60’s during the day, and 40’s at night.  Back to the winter jammies.  So mostly on Monday and Tuesday, I sat in the shade, with my ice-tea, and read my HTML manual, preparing to write my new seminar on Website Success, which I will debut at the Michigan Conference in August.  I’m loving this book, Ian Lloyd is a Brit, with a wicked sense of humor for a techie, and I understand what he is writing, and much of what I wasn’t completely connecting with before, is all coming together.  I almost have a feeling I sort of could possibly know what I’m doing?  I think that’s being overly confident, I have so much more to learn, but I have a foundation to start writing the seminar.  Talk about putting the cart before the horse…

Wednesday, yesterday, was a really special day.  First, the temperatures dropped about40 degrees to where they should be in April.  It was a beautiful day, and with the heat, my entire yard exploded in color, EVERYTHING was blooming!  But yesterday was a different kind of special day.  It was my 31st wedding anniversary.  Whew, it is hard to imagine we made it this far, there’s no turning back now!

weddingSidebar:  I married my husband Kevin on a similarly beautiful April day in 1978, at a little church in Southern Jersey where I grew up.  There were two Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Trees in front of the church, and we had our official wedding portraits taken front_yardin front of the trees.  I can’t look at a Kwanzan Cherry without thinking of my wedding.  So we planted one in the front yard of our house when we bought it in 1982, and since we still live in that house, it fills the front yard with spectacular blooms every April 29th.

Every year for 30 years, on my anniversary, my husband would send me a bouquet of roses, one for every year we were married.  Last year the bouquet was almost unmanageable!  So I highly encouraged him, sweet and romantic as the gesture was, he could retire the concept and just get me a lovely vase of spring flowers, they usually last longer than roses, and I’d be perfectly happy.

flowersThis is what arrived at the door yesterday.  A huge explosion of color now sits on my cutting table, and it still has a couple of token roses, but the palette makes me want to open my dye cabinet and get cracking!  All in good time.

For an anniversary treat, fueled by my stepsister’s love of Bruce Springsteen, the three of us, all loaded in the car yesterday afternoon and drove to the old Spectrum in Philadelphia.  Now, it hasn’t escaped my coincidence radar, that I was married in Southern NJ, and our wedding night was spent at a Philadelphia airport hotel, since we were flying out in the morning to Disney World for our honeymoon!  So last night, we were back in Philadelphia on our anniversary for the first time in 31 years.  And what did we see?  Bruce Springsteen’s 31st bruceappearance at the Spectrum, his last before it is torn down in September.  As he said during the concert, these old arenas have such character, the perfect venue for a rock concert, it was filled to capacity, which was pretty obvious during the half hour wait in line for the woman’s room, where some enterprising women decided they could hurry things along by passing the roll of toilet paper ahead down the line, so it would speed up the visit to the stall, having your toilet paper in hand before you entered.  Gotta love those Springsteen fans.

The building was rockin’, and I will admit, after the opening chords of the three hour non-stop concert, I put in ear plugs, which was actually great, because it filtered out peripheral noise and allowed only what was being projected from the complex speaker system through at a decibel level that wouldn’t damage my sensitive hearing.  We had great seats, as you can see from the photo, because we were high enough opposite the stage to see the mass of humanity and the wash of color lights as they flooded the crowd with fabulous palettes depending on the song.  My favorite combination was the persimmon color followed by aqua.  You can be sure that my next dye project will somehow incorporate that combination!

Anyway, it was a great evening, and Bruce Springsteen is a brilliant musician, showman, and song writer, and it was a privilege to listen to him, and watch him, and the E Street Band.  The drummer for more than half the show was an 18 year old prodigy, son of his regular drummer.  To watch the close-ups on the monitor was to watch raw talent exploding from the stage.

We got in very late, you can imagine, concert until 11:15, an hour to exit the arena parking lot, and a two hour drive back to Northern Jersey.  But it was worth it, it brought back great memories, and as my husband and I opened our cards to each other, waiting for the concert to start, I knew in a heartbeat I’d do it all over again, when we both realized  we had picked out the same card for each other.

PS.  Placemat exchange score, Mom 4, Brianna 3.  Loom warp beam is holding!