A productive week in limbo…

So far, I have not been called in for petit jury duty, I call every couple days to see my status, and I will call again tonight, but because I blocked out this time just in case, I created an almost mini get away to my sewing room, in the basement, to just play. I did little else, which was sort of a treat. (I even slept in the guest room to pretend I was on vacation, which really confused the animals.) So it has been a really productive week, if you measure productivity by how much stuff you made. Which I tend to do, and always feel accomplished with a nice stack of my efforts.

I did spend a stupid amount of time trouble shooting a Back-up Service for my 900+ blog posts. There were suddenly a number of errors, which caused the service to not be able to back things up, but going back and forth doing screen shots and copies of logs, between my tech support, the back up service tech support and my hosting company caused me untold grief, have I ever mentioned I hate technology, and lost studio time. Yet, when things finally work, and I had something to do with the resolution, I’m inordinately proud of myself. I still hate technology, but I wouldn’t be able to leave a digital legacy without it, and so I carry on as best I can.

Meanwhile. My garden was odd this year. Lack of rain, and intense heat, I have a good deal of leafy greens to eat, but almost no peppers, beans, basil, and almost no large tomatoes, which is odd because this time last year I was making quarts of tomato sauce and pesto for the freezer. But for the first time in years, the cherry tomato plants took over the garden. I almost never get cherry tomatoes. So I dutifully dried a couple of trays in the oven, and popped them in the freezer for bursts of flavor throughout the winter.

And remember those Water Iris Leaf Mats I wove a couple blog posts ago? So there are a few left from last season’s batch, and I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to harvest this year’s. Meanwhile, my daughter Brianna has been fooling around with what to do with the prolific amount of Smart Water bottles she has saved, because all sorts of trash is treasure to a creative person. She made this adorable basket, actually a whole series from sea grass and a stripped Smart Water Bottle (she has a tool for that) last year. I immediately bought one.

She came to me the other night, after asking how to reconstitute the Water Iris leaves, and popped this on the table.

I’m blown away by what she comes up with. So that adorable basket was what prompted my handyman to harvest all the Water Iris Leaves in the yard and lay them on the patio table. I gathered them into bundles with zip ties and hung them under the gazebo for temporary storage, and they will ultimately move to a shed to dry over the winter.

Meanwhile, on vacation in the basement, I hemmed the dishtowels I cut from the loom the week before.

And I washed and cut apart the five scarves from the warp I made last winter with a broken shoulder. That felt really good. These are called “A Winter’s Tale”.

I cut out and sewed the little summer shirt from the Turned Overshot warp. Originally I had front waist darts, but I didn’t like how they competed with the overshot stripe. So I took them out.

And I started rooting through leftovers and scraps and played around. First I took some of the test samples from my Eco Printing experiments last year, and cut some into a zippered bag.

I was so happy with it, I did three more, using a suede microfiber skirt, which no longer fit me, as the base, and a cut up lavender silk skirt from a weaver’s estate sale as the lining.

I gave a lecture to a couple of guilds, one in Austin, TX, and one in GA, on what to do with leftovers. Every time I give this lecture I get inspired to go make something.

So I dove into my bin of thrums, leftover warp waste, of which I have a lot, mostly hand dyed yarns and ribbons, and grabbed a piece of micro-suede that I bought from a friend, fused onto fusible fleece, and started to assemble those thrums as a collage. I tossed them on, and covered each panel with Sulky Solvy.

Then I used a twin needle and a quilt bar and started to create a window pane effect to keep the thrums controlled.

Once I had all four panels completed, and washed to dissolve the Sulky Solvy, I started to assemble the bag.

Add this one to my collection, this is really fun.

And remember awhile back I played around with tying those same warp thrums together into what’s called Zanshi, a Japanese technique of wasting nothing. I wove those balls of tied together warp thrums into a fabric, which I hadn’t done anything with up until now.

So I cut out bag panels and made a tote out of those as well.

It has been a really productive week, but I fear that will come to an end. I really don’t like having my life a giant question mark, but ask anyone who goes through a tragedy, health issue, natural disaster, whatever, this is what being an adult is, and trying to stay focused and in the moment. I work best when I’m busy, and it keeps my mind from going into overdrive. Of course I fear that I’ll get called in the last day of my two weeks of jury duty, and be put on a case that could last weeks, because it is federal, but I can’t think that far ahead, and just do whatever I need to do today. I think another zip bag from the leftover scarp warp from the Winter’s Tale scarves…

Stay tuned.