Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weaving My First Sampler

My first sampler! I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get this far. My yarn seemed like it was always tangled, the threads crossed, too short to fit the warp, I secretly wanted to just cut some of them out and forget they existed.

I know it is very crude, but I am new at this! It is my hope that someday I'll look at this and wish I'd never put it in my blog because I will be such a wonderful weaver eventually! For now, I am totally thrilled. I am playing with the treadles and seeing what kind of patterns emerge as I use different sequences. I have noticed where I changed the order of treadling that the pattern looks odd; that will help me I guess, I can see where I changed. I'm writing it down to keep track too.

The warp was measured out and given to me to start, it is cotton, something a bit fatter than 5/2 cotton. It isn't the fault of the generous giver that I had such trouble with the warping, but my own fumbling! The weft is 5/2, that I know since I purchased it myself.

Today I am going to play in a mahjong (mah jongg - it is spelled differently all over the place) tournament in Millbrae. The city is hosting some fun things for Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Ox in case you were wondering. So, my friend kt and I are going to go see what this is all about and hopefully we will have a good time playing Asian or Hong Kong style mah jong with the 13 tile game style! It's a new experience if nothing else.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This Time of the Year

I have reflected on the past year and I think of February. Looking at it now it feels like a drowning dream. Feb. 10th is when I found out that my husband had a pancreatic tumor. Life went into overdrive then the brakes were slammed on. The cycle went like that for a while. A mass was detected in the ER as the result of kidney stone pain. The staff in ER crooking their finger at me from the hallway to come see them; should he be told? His fathers death at age 54 of pancreatic cancer. In one instant life changed forever. Fear, dread, and more fear and dread....

The biopsy, the schedules for numerous tests, the waiting for results, results inconclusive, more tests, waiting for results, no communication from the dr.'s. How alone and frightening that was. When the Whipple procedure was scheduled it didn't take place magically in a few days, no, it took some time to schedule an operating room for that looooong length of time and to coordinate with an assisting surgeon. A month felt like a hundred years.

In the midst of it all, the surgeon, Dr. Groeger called to see how we were. I nearly cried, such a small thing was HUGE. We had only met him one time but I said something like, "No one is telling us anything, sometimes I think everyone has forgotten about my husband." His response was, "I have his file on my desk and I think about him every day." I'd seen his desk and it was extremely organized and had no clutter and I knew he was the right person for my husband. Going into surgery I don't know what my husband felt but I had the supreme confidence that he was in the best hands possible and I thank God for this. Some people sort of hinted that he should go to Stanford and that was always a possibility since our insurance would cover it but no, who had time to start over with a new set of unknown dr.'s and all of that especially when he had the best physician possible.

The hospital stay seemed endless; he had a very, very rough time with medications. They didn't agree with him and made him very crazy acting. So, here it is February coming up, so much of my life last year was involved in caregiving, I can't say I lost it because that sounds like I regret it or something, but it just seems unreal; like a drowning dream.
This old photo is some Norwegian kin!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weaving Starts Tomorrow

I feel like this guy, tomorrow is full, full, full!

All kinds of good things happen tomorrow. I meet with a buddy; Joyce for coffee and "talk" and then off to work on some ceramics at the college. So glad I have that while my own wheel is in limbo. AND I start my weaving lessons. My teacher is going to come in the afternoon and there is so much I don't know that I don't know what it is I should know.

I hope he is patient with me!

I am having such a hard time NOT buying yarn, I seem to love it all. And I already have enough to keep me busy for quite some time. I think I'll use up most of the yarn that I'm not so crazy over to learn on and then move in for the good stuff! I saw this yarn and can't wait until I'm proficient enough to get to the good stuff....years??? I don't know, just so happy to have a teacher at last!
Oh, also, I have a warping board on the way, here it is! Click on warping board for a photo!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Creative Industries Adventure

My hands, they're killing me...not a happy place for a potter to be. I managed to take my wheel apart, I'm sending in the foot pedal, the control box and the motor. A man named Tony at Creative Industries is helping me out.

I bought this wheel in about 1983 and it has been a super wheel, just right for me. When I got it the selling point was that I could upgrade when I wanted more power. Well, maybe I do want more power, I'm not sure but I most assuredly want that option even if its not offered anymore. Tony is helpful but I'm not sure about Creative Industries. Now, I'm not saying they aren't helpful but the fact that they changed the motor mountings so that they don't fit on their wheels without retrofitting is discouraging to say the least!

Old potters don't die easy and if they want their wheels buried with them then they better work and I'm thinking I'll take mine with me. I just hope that I don't end up anyplace too hot if ya know what I mean.

So, I suppose that I'll have time for my hands to rest while the folks at Creative Industries restore my relic of a wheel.

In the meantime I visited Clay Planet; well, it used to be Sherrys Western Supply but Ed Sherry is no longer with us and Clay Planet runs his place now. I am 100# heavier, a nice supply of Soldate 60 in the trunk.
I move my minigama around the garage wondering what to do with it, I have sort of lost interest; it seems like sooooo much work to fire it and I ended up not exactly finishing it anyway due to my husband becoming so ill. It dried while I played nurse and then I tried to "Mickey Mouse" it around and it ended up ugly so that I am not very proud of it. Not that I'm giving up altogether but it's pretty low on my agenda. See, the chimney never got built, I thought I'd use a stove pipe or something but when I took it to the sheet metal shop to get one built they said that they didn't have the material to withstand the temperatures I talked about...
I'm telling you, "If it's not one thing it's another".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kidney Stones and Dead Pottery Wheels

My pottery wheel finally kicked the bucket. I'm in the market for a new motor and foot pedal. I would dearly love to whine about this. The thing is that I've been wanting to upgrade the assembly anyway, ok, so here I go.
The darned thing is stuck together like crazy, I can't get any of the tools I own to take it apart! Hmmm, what now?
I cleaned up about 10 bats, ready to make some shaving mug sets and the poor thing bucked and groaned and went fast, slow, not at all, fast, fast, jerk, jerk...done.
So, on a happier note; let's see, I'm trying to find one. The fact that C. is trying to pass a kidney stone wouldn't count. I'll pack a bag with a book and snacks in case we end up at the ER tonight I guess....

See, I like to add a picture to my posts, this one is from my Barbie Manifesto!