Busy Days plus a rant…

I beg your forgiveness right up front.  I need to rant.  I don’t normally do this, I never intended this blog for any political forum, but I wandered out to get the morning paper in the 4″ of slush and pouring rain after 3 inches of snow fell last night, and after I got back inside, dried off, settled down with my cup of tea, I opened the newspaper to see the headlines, and I nearly choked.

headlineApparently grant money promised to many of the arts groups in the state is being frozen, and the state doesn’t know when the funds will be released.  This is grant money which has been applied for, granted, spent by the arts organizations and the final installment was a month overdue.  Peters Valley Craft Center is owed $66,000.  They are devastated.  I wrote about my magical visit there in Saturday’s blog.  Tonight, my husband and I attended an amazing performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, at the NJ Shakespeare Theater, which is nearing the end of its season, and has no where else to cut.  No one can make payroll, and I fear for the very life of arts organizations already bled dry of funding and support.  This may be the final blow.

Yes, I know NJ is broke.  We are as broke as California.  I know a new governor was just elected who sent a memo to the outgoing governor, not to spend any more money.  I’m not sure how much of this is a political game, but I am sad, and angry, and appalled at the political mess, ethics, fiscal carnage and irresponsibility that surrounds my elected officials.  And I am really sad that many of the arts venues I have loved and supported for nearly 30 years, may die in a coffin nailed shut by politics.

I am grateful to the Star Ledger for making this a headline, it was higher up on the front page above the latest carnage in Iraq.  I have no words to describe my frustration, my inability to do anything to fix this mess.

Sorry, this has been weighing on me the entire day.  And it weighed in the whole while I watched an incredible performance of Twelfth Night.  I did manage to snap a quick photo of the set waiting for the production to begin.  The floor looked like it was made of glass, or water, the opening scene is of course Viola washing up on shore.  And the walls were all made of, get this, recycled shredded paper.  It was brilliant and effective, and worked for any scene necessary from Olivia’s Garden to Orsino’s chambers.12thNightI spent the day puttering in the studio, working through my vast to do list, trying to clear my cutting table.  After making up the Avoca Handweavers Plaid my husband brought back from Ireland, into a skirt a week or so ago, I’ve been looking at the other skirt length hanging on the hanger from one of my shelves, and I got to perusing the October issue of Burda Style, while I was organizing my magazines.WoolandSibonnedressI dug through my stash, and found a small length of Sibonne, which is a rayon underlining popular in the 60’s.  I found a dozen bolts of Sibonne about 15 years ago, in a fabric store in Florida on a sale table, and brought home everything I could fit on the plane.  Those were the days…  I have only a few bolts left, some odd blue colors and a purple and red bolt, but I did have this two yard length of a color that would serve well as the lining for the plaid.

I found a pattern for an interesting dress, that I thought might look really wonderful in this plaid.  It is one of those things that could really work, or really not.  Don’t know until I try.  And I wasn’t sure I could get the dress out of the fabric, so I traced off the pattern from the sheets included in the magazine.traceThen I did a quick preliminary layout.layoutI think I can fit the dress, if I shorten it a bit, which isn’t a problem because I didn’t want it to come to my knee anyway.  Meanwhile, I have a paprika silk dress I made years ago, I love the color and the fabric, but I never liked the dress and I have no use for a gown at the moment, so I got to thinking…

What would happen if I used these narrow pieces, and cut up the dress?silkdressI’ll have to do some careful ripping apart of the seams, but I think I can get it all out.  I also rooted around and found an additional yard or so of the fabric, still in my stash.  So I have my work cut out for me!

When I take breaks during the day, I jump over to my Google home page where I have RSS feeds of all my favorite blogs.  One of my top favorite blogs, is the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  She is the funniest fiber blogger on the planet.  She is a knitter, but it doesn’t matter, everything she writes is so right on the money, so insightful, and so hilarious, that I can’t wait until she posts her next installment.  Today was the best.  If you are a handweaver reading this blog, stop right now and head over and check out Stephanie’s latest post.  It involves a loom.  Yes, that’s right.  But the best part, is the comments.  As of this writing there were about 125.  And nearly all of them were from knitters who were desperately trying not to get involved in yet another craft but had to try out this marvelous thing called a loom because surprise, Stephanie knitted a scarf from her knitting yarn in five hours…  I squealed with glee as I read each posted comment, and down along comment number 63, is one from me.

I finished up all the hot mats for my gift exchange, and all the mug mats for the guild mug mat exchange next week.  matsI loved making these, and I think they make hot/mug mats.  I think I’ll make a couple for me to use as well.

And progress is ongoing on the garage cleanup, started  Thanksgiving weekend, the goal was to uncover the woodworking equipment so my daughter could have a wood studio out there.  She wandered out there yesterday, and started playing around with some of the equipment we have, my parting words as I showed her where the safety goggles were, “please, don’t cut your fingers off…”  I’m such a mom…

Today she came in with her first project she found in an old woodworking publication.  It is a clever wood puzzle, connected with a rubber band, painted in bright colors, and she was really proud that she figured out some of the equipment, started to get use to the shop, and didn’t cut off any of her fingers…WoodPuzzle1WoodPuzzle2

And I’m sure if you’ve been following this blog, you’ve been wondering why I haven’t done anything more with all those white warps from a couple weeks ago.  Have you figured out I am procrastinating?

I did go through my dye cabinet today, and to my surprise, I had everything I needed to get started.  I thought I had a least a couple more days reprieve since I figured I needed some chemical I was almost out of.  Nope, all there.  So I have no more excuses.  Let’s see, luncheon tomorrow, drive out to a guild members house on Friday to pick up another little Structo,  ASG holiday party on Saturday and a concert at the IZOD center.  I can push this off for at least a few more days…