Blog Entries

Thanksgiving Week

          spending my days at the studio. need to be spending them here with my own loom. just one more item to finish before the craft sale this coming week and it’s just not going to happen.  it will get finished before the contractor covers the room in plastic. i promise. 

          the last beginning class was yesterday. the students will probably be in at least once this next week to take their second warp off their looms. i think everyone is pretty happy with what they've accomplished. and i’m just glad it's over. the next step class will take up again the following week after the holiday. 

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          am 4 quilts behind on Lola. this is the last one finished. not a masterpiece but fast and easy. the stitching is really a pale blue but doesn’t show in the photo. haven’t gotten the horse quilt back yet.  took it into the club and other quilters were helping me un-stitch the one row of horses. wasn’t quite done and left it there. will pick it up after thanksgiving and re-mount and finish. in the mean time i have a bright happy top mounted and again had to borrow yellow thread. am going to have to break down and buy some. i hate paying full price at the local quilt shop but buying thread online is a crap shoot. the color on the screen is not always the color you end up with in your hand. 

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          and it’s been a fun week with all the snowbirds getting back. lots of catching up with what folks have done over the summer. and the temps have changed. currently the average is 70’s but nights get downright cold. put an extra blanket on the bed. 

          looking forward to Thanksgiving and having the kids here. they plan on shopping at the craft sale. i’ll be working but only a 4 hour shift each day. i plan on shopping too. Note to self - go pick up at the condo before they get here. Beds are changed but need to hang towels and dust and do the floor in Lola’s room. 

        and before anyone asks Louie is fine. he gave us a scare this week. couldn’t find him. didn’t come when we called. were looking at each other and asking if he could possibly gotten out. didn’t think so. started opening all the interior doors, sewing room, closets etc.  when i opened the right door poor guy was in such a hurry to get to the litter box he left tracks on the top of my foot.  he never cried. Never responded when called. just suffered in silence. Louie - it’s not that kind of household. Speak Up!

Elections are over

          am so glad the politics is over for a while. Washington stayed blue. am thinking there’s hope for arizona. even thou i don’t vote in this state i have favorites. my loyalties are split. End of political talk. 

          this coming week is the last week of the beginning weaving class. and the great news is that i’ve found a weavers who is willing to take over my part of the teaching which is basically backing up the primary teacher. she originally took the class from this teacher so it should be a good fit. 

          i have a new student for the ‘next step’ class and am working on getting 13 yards of christmas colors threaded up at the studio for a fellow weaver. 

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          the architectural plans for the house are currently with maricopa county. When they issue the permit the contractor is ready to go. he’s guessing about dec 1st they’ll be able to break ground. So that gives me time to finish the warp on the loom in there and remove anything i’m going to need for the next several months. they’ll be covering everyting with plastic sheets due to removing the wall which will make the room open to the outside . Which also means that Louie is losing access to his room. will be moving his furniture to different locations thruout the house. and finding him some drugs to hopefully handle the panic attacks. 

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          If you look closely (center left side) you can see Louie’s new hiding place. the shelf is meant for entertainment stuff attached to the tv. we don’t have anything in there and he's figured out how to jump in. this is one of the pieces of furniture from the condo that i’m keeping. beautiful marble top. 

          the problem horse quilt is off Lola. i’m spending time taking out the wrong colir stitching and then will be putting it back on. i saved the pattern i used and will be re-doing that one row in a light blue that matches the rest of center panel. in the mean time i mounted a large top with floral blocks that should be no problem. square and flat after ironing so all is good. boring but no problem.

          these next couple of weeks are crazy making. i’m behind on quilting, have the craft sale, classes and we’re having family here for the holidays. and i desperately need to do laundry. Keeps me out of trouble. 



Blog moving to Sundays

          Halloween is over. we didn’t even buy candy. not even for us.  when we lived in the county we usually had one or two trick r’ treaters. there are no children here. for me it was a stay home day to get caught up on lots of little things. didn’t even make it to the condo. 

          the beginning weaving classes are interesting. i sit and listen to the primary teacher and think how overwhelming all this information must be for these people.  she manages to simplify everything. i need to learn to do that. i bounce between vomiting out way too much information to feeling like a complete fraud.  in the first week they have wound a warp and managed to get it on the loom. Jan has the patients of a saint. i am so impressed. 

          The class i’m offering ‘the next step’ is fun and relaxed. am staggering the students and taking one person at a time to coach them thru the entire process of weaving an item of their choice. 

          i brought up maybe having a cpr talk at the club. was talking to a group of weavers and realized how many have a medical background. i was the only one who didn’t know the vocabulary. and we have access to a defibrillator.  we also came up with an impromptu stash sale for mid November. (i need to clean out the weaving closet at the condo) and received permission (a little after the fact) from the RCSC organization to publish a web site for the studio. take a look and now that the web site is established i’m warping 13 yards for a fellow weaver. she wants christmas runners. 13 yards between now and the holidays is going to be a challenge. i know time is tight but somebody needed to step up. this weaver is nearly blind and this is me paying it forward. 

          friday attended an additional spinning group that’s been added to the studio schedule. as a group we’ve been having problems finding monitors to keep the place open in the afternoons. i haven’t been able to attend the established wednesday spinning group so it was suggested we have a second one. good with me. i can do Fridays. 

          saturday beginning weaving class has disrupted my scheduled time with Lola but she waits patiently. besides the fact that i’m avoiding dealing with the current quilt. i need to un-stitch about 20 minutes worth of work. you have no idea how many stitches 20 minutes equals. takes forever to un-stitch the same coverage. i know that the quilt owner/maker will probably never notice or appreciate the change but it’s wrong so i’m fixing it. 

          i so want the elections over. the nasty mean commercials are turning people off. with these ads i can understand how crazy people vote with guns and bombs. with that rhetoric they make it sound ok. we don’t see the commercials and ads in washington. just go online do a little research and talk to the kids and mark our ballots. 

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the only thing i finished this week is a scarf. and technically it’s not done. just off the loom.  have another short green warp to tie on. this is called using up the stash. Had to have strips because i didn’t have enough of any one fiber for weft. turned out well. am getting all my weaving and knitting together to be quality controled at the studio so it can go in the upcoming sale. when i combine the condo stuff with the current stuff it's a lot. Hope it all sells, not going to have room to store it all. 

          off to the condo to deal with Lola. can’t avoid the un-stitching any longer.


My rant for the week

          my rant for the week is not politics for a change. it’s the medical community. nobody listens - which seems to be consistent with everything in the world right now.            

          spent one night this week at a sleep study. Waste of time. at my dr appointment i had asked for new head gear and 4 appointments later i still don’t have it. i was told to bring my machine with me but they wouldn’t let me use it. gave me oxygen instead. woke me up at 5am and sent me home. felt like i had bricks sitting on my chest all night and most of the next day. don’t think i’d slept at all and they agreed that i’d only gotten a couple of hours. told me i don’t appear to have apnea. i know that. why don’t these people listen? it helps if i can sit up but they wouldn’t let me. breathing is hard work. the photo is what i wore during the night. 

          got home and immediately into the shower. they use nasty sticky stuff to glue all these electrodes to your body parts and getting it out of your hair is a challenge. 

          Louie was so glad to see me. when i spent 3 night in Payson at a class Louie punished my roll of toilet paper. this time i was only gone one night and again my toilet paper roll took a beating. He never touches it when i’m home every day. 

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          am kind of stuck on this horse quilt. usually i can look at a quilt top and an idea comes into my head. not so with this one. am thinking of echoing around the individual horse heads, do some emphasize stitching on the mane and bridle to anchor them down and then do a stipple in the background.  stitch an outline of horse heads on the central area. (maybe?) if anyone who reads this can give me better ideas let me know.  my plan was to do this yesterday but Grrr talked me into playing hooky and going to a Farmers Market in Peoria with him instead. didn’t see anything i couldn’t live without except some kettle corn which i ate for breakfast. he’s thinking about renting booth space to sell his small wooden items. he found the information tent but i don’t know what his decision is. 

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          This is the quilt i finished last week. it was huge. took up almost the entire length of Lola and she’s 12 feet. took about 3 days and enjoyed every minute of it. 

                the black one was fast and easy. looks like ‘for sale’ signs and i stitched circles around them to soften up the straight lines. 

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          the picture of our front door shows our new outside entry way or front patio area. Which ever you want to call it. looks so much better than the ratty carpet that we lived with for the first 6 months. they ripped up the carpet, sealed and sanded down the cement and put a shiney finish on it. then before it was dry they mixed the black and gray speckles in. looks better in real life than it does in the photo. Grrr is building a patio bench for seating out there and the weather is changing so we’ll be able to enjoy it. 

          my schedule is picking up. the beginning weaving class starts this next week 3 times a week. was asked if i’d step in to replace last years teacher. have no experience on Dorothy looms so am following the primary teachers' lead.  in addition i’m offering my ‘next step’ class.  it’s basically a one-on-one mentoring of students moving them from a table loom to a floor loom. the actual weaving is only about 10% of the entire process. i’m taking them thru the process beginning with choosing an item to make, going step by step to the wet finishing.  have already started with students and just now finished the handouts. 

       we met with Yourson construction and their artchectic this week. everyone measured and took photos and we made a couple changes so they’re adjusting the contract. when he’s done with the plans they go to the county for permits.  just getting started is taking a long time. 

          and just because i don’t have enough to do i’m building a web site for the studio. it’s live but i’m not giving it out yet. Still collecting information and photos. 



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          finished the pansy quilt on Lola. used both a colored variegated cotton and gold metalic thread.  did the all over stitching, then backed it up and did the metalic on each flower center. turned out well. then moved off to one of my own tops. got 3/4 way thru a lap top size quilt and realized the backing fabric was about 5 inches too short. it’s my quilt!!! how did i manage that???  took it off half quilted, brought it home to find  some fabric i can add to the backing that won’t look like a last minute desperate choice. Damn!   then mounted a club quilt. fortunately i noticed that it too, had a too short backing. at least i discovered it before i started stitching.  removed that one and picked up the next one. Giant quilt. back is plenty big. got everything pressed, mounted, pinned and i have no thread that is even close to matching the top nor the backing fabric. seems the universe was sending me a message that it was time to quit for the day. stopped on the way home and raided the thread stash at the quilters club and exchanged the too small backing. am off to a new start tomorrow. 

          both my looms are naked. this is just wrong. the problem is making a decision as to what to do next. i have a huge stash and more ideas than i’ll live long enough to complete. it sounds like a silly problem but i’m stuck. too much of a choice is paralyzing  Plus i know that in about a month i won’t have access to my looms or even the room for a while. everything i own will be covered in plastic by the construction workers when they remove outside wall. so that’s more pressure. it’s not a life/death issue but it creates a tiny panic in my head similar to when i was getting off pain meds. so am deep breathing and thinking calm thoughts.  i need to limit my choices.  Start by choosing two colours - no more.  short warp. easy pattern.

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          we’re also not able to enter/exit thru the front door this week. a cement finisher guy has ripped up the shabby torn carpet out there. the photo shows what the front entry way looks like now. he sanded down the cement, sealed the cracks and crevices and will be applying a fancy coating of black and gray speckles over the bare cement.  right now it just looks bare which is better than ripped ratty carpeting. 

          attended the teachers meeting. looks life my life is scheduled for the next several months. am co-teaching the beginner weaving class, then starting my class i’ve titled ‘the next step’. this gets the newbies moved from a dorothy table loom to a floor loom. weaving is pretty much the same but the equipment is way different. plus i’m working at the fall craft sale at sun dial rec center the 2 days after thanksgiving. this year me and my ipad are doing money. in previous years i’ve walked the floor helping customers and answering questions about specific items. and in my spare time i’m building a web site for the studio. And we have family coming over Thanksgiving holiday. 

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          am thinking all this will keep me busy while i don’t have access to my looms. i can still get to my sewing machine and long arm. and if i’m really desperate i can weave at the studio. still haven’t finished the circle towels yet. i’m close to the end. 

          am worried about what the construction is going to do to Louie. he still has panic attacks when the landscapers are in the neighborhood. hides for hours. will be talking to the vet about some kind of medication to mellow him out. if this were washington i’d go to the local pot shop. 

          he always seems to have a frown on his face. somehow i feel that i never life up to his expectations of me. maybe it’s a ‘mom’ thing. 



this week flew by

          between doctor appointments i really don’t need, meetings with the bank, time with the contractor and time at the weavers studio i’m not sure what comes next. 

          dr apts:  i need new head gear for the c-pap. it’s not easy here like it is in washington. make a call, take your item to be replaced in and pick up new. not here! here it takes 4 different appointments. am hoping once i’m established as a user it will be simplier. 

          Bank: i know the world has changed but 4 - 6 weeks for a simple loan is ridiculous! years ago the same bank financed my buying a house. whole process took a week. The people i was purchasing from banked there, i banked there. we went in together (no realtor involvement). they sold it, i bought it. this is  a first for applying for a loan using face time. Anyway we  were able to gather all the paperwork they required by the next day and scanned it to them. now to wait. 

          Contractor; we chose Yourson construction. i’ve been assigned my own project manager (whose name i can’t remember). we paid for the architectural plans which are currently being drawn up. i know it’s going to be a long haul. 

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          weaving time:  completed the 3 silk/alpaca shawls on my home loom. fringed, washed and pressed. they are at the studio to be judged by the quality control person. will get photos when they get put up for sale. This pix is of the underside of one of them. all 3 are very neutral shades of beige, tan and gray. 

          loom at the studio has one more day of work on the warp and then it too is done. it’s unmercerized cotton meant to be dish towels and maybe will have a few. am also thinking of cutting it up and making some kind of bags. the circle patterns tend to come and go because of my color choices so i don’t consider it a success. 

          Board meeting; will be spending time building a web site for the studio. the sun city rcsc has a web page for each club located here but we can’t access them to make changes or corrections. so far all i’ve accomplished is getting a domain name; ‘’. tried for something similar starting with fiber. seems fiber anything is already taken. it’s been a long time since my web building days. need to find out if we have anykind of logo. this is basically replacing the current newsletter who’s editor has retired. 

          next week is the teachers meeting. am working on a series called ‘the next step’ which would follow Jan’s beginning class. transitioning people from the table looms to floor looms. the lecture demo’s we’ve done in the past just aren’t enough. folks needs hands on. i learned a lot about what is wanted/needed by working over there this summer and listening to what the new weavers don’t know. 

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           this photo is Lucy. one of the house guests we had last week. i had to ask for a picture since i forgot to take one. This does not show her profile.  the eyelashes on this pup are at least an inch long.  thick and lush. she’s a sweetie and very well behaved. too bad Louie didn’t like her. 

          off to the condo. Lola has been on ignore for the last couple of weeks. i’m sure the quilt that’s mounted is probably dusty by now. 



i keep telling myself’ slow progress is better than no progress’. 

a week of company

          have spent the week visiting and doing show and tell around Sun City. Grrr’s high school buddy from years back and his wife are staying at the condo and trying not to get lost. she had done some research Sun City and they have hooked up with a realtor to look at houses. he’s retired but she still works and should easily get transferred. i hope they find a place. she and i have a lot in common and the two men together act like a couple of idiot teenagers.  would love to have them here. 

          needless to say i have not been spending any time with Lola - other than digging out the floor in her room. our guests brought their dog Lucy and have managed to block off the longarm room. no matter how good the floor looks there are always pins floating around. i didn’t know about the dog so pretty much ignored the pins thinking nobody would be in that room.  Grrr was supposed to tell me. he communicates so well!.

          They spent a day with a realtor and looked at a handfull of houses. i only went to look at one. it was one of the brand new houses behind the sheriff posse and cemetery. a little more square footage than ours but weird floor plan. the previous owner had a long arm so i wanted to see it.  2 bedroom, 2 bathroom. about 8 feet across between neighbors. walk in and the very first room is a bedroom. next comes what she used as a sewing room. then the open kitchen/living area with a wet bar off to the side which she used as a computer/office space.  to the left was the master bedroom. (you could see the foot prints of the long arm in the carpet.) large room with a spacious bathroom and giagantic closet. i’ve never owned enough cloths for a room like that. would make a great fabric stash room. i really liked the paint color. not gray exactly, more of a taupe and wonderful tile flooring. The big take home was the lighting she’d had installed in her sewing room. we just may go with that when the remodel of the patio begins. 


          speaking of patio. we’ve selected the contractor and will be calling him monday to get the project started. he’s the one told me the actual work probably wouldn't start until January. takes time for the architect and permits. now that we’ve made the decision i want it DONE!

          nothing to show this week.  should have gotten a pix of Lucy, their dog, before they left this moring back to Idaho. cute chocolate cocker spaniel. calm and very well behaved. we introduced her to Louie. she didn’t try to chase or even sniff. was totaly un-interested. Louie stood his ground then left the room in huff. i’m thinking no panic attack so it went well. so Lucy pretty much stayed at the condo. 

          today is for spending at the loom. 

           here’s Louie’s weekly photo shoot. he’s been known to nap up on the back of this chair. but when he relaxes he falls off and acts like it was my fault. he’s a very serious cat.


My Rules of Life

          i’m often asked about my signature lines at the ends of my emails. usually short pithy little sayings i’ve collected over the years. they’re kept in a file and the Mac randomly chooses one from the list every time i hit send. was asked if i had a top 10 list. made me think about it. so for now here’s my list subject to change on a whim. 

Life is not fair. get over it. 

when given a choice pick the one you’ve never tried before. 

when a door closes don’t re-open it. you can’t go back and change things. start from where you are. 

choose to be happy. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

 Choose friends whose first instinct is to smile and make eye contact. They are keepers in your life. 

Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts out being excellent at anything. Fall in love with the process and results will come. 

Science and facts don’t care if you believe them or not. 

todays crises is tomorrows old news. (note to self. Let shit go.) 

Always trust your first instinct. if it feels wrong - it is. 

and according to Grrr. If you point a gun at a cop and get shot you are not a victim of anything. 

now it’s your turn. let me know what your life beliefs are. 

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adding one more. life is better with a cat. (and some cats have a foot fetish)



Can’t Believe i did this!


          and i know better.  it’s something i always warn new weavers about. some patterns are written for rising shed looms and some are written for sinking shed looms. when i was weaving on glimakra counter marche looms i always paid attention to x's and o’s.  the x’s sink and the o’s (or bubbles as i thought of them) raise.  now i’m working on an 8 harness gilmore jack.  threaded up huck lace using a yummy blend of silk and alpaca. wonderful to the touch in 2 shades of natural browns and tans. warped up that loom, wove about 6 inches and the pattern just wasn’t working. how can huck lace go so wrong?? had woven just enough to pass over and around the breast beam. and guess what. the pattern is on the underside. i know better!  have enough warp that for the second shawl i can change out the treadles so the second one will weave right side up. here’s compairing the top side (back) to the correct side.   AAACCKKKK!

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this is what i’m seeing while weaving.  the photo with the blue filler thread is the pattern on the underside.

          had some rain on wednesday. temp was down to 85 (from 107 yesterday) with high humidity. walked outside and my glasses fogged up. i’ve never had that happen before. back home your glasses needed actual wipers. you got fog when you went indoors. 

          Lola and i are having issues. i swear there are gremlins that live at the condo and mess with her while i’m gone. she works perfectly and 2 days later she won’t pick up bobbin thread. i tried everything on my checklist. Last resort is timing. this is the first time i’ve had to do this to my new machine.  first of all Grrr had to come over to loosen the bolts. And he had to use pliers along with some grunting and growling. (sometimes i wonder if maybe he just makes it seem hard to make me feel like i’m not such a wimp.) anyway - he got everything loosened so i could do my thing. This hook assembly is different. i can get the hook in the right place in relation to the needle but then the notch is too far away. came home and watched a video. it tells me there’s another screw under there so will go back this morning to find it. 

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          have received 2 estimates on construction for the patio. have 2 more appointments for next week. as much as i dread living thru the turmoil and mess and i’d like get it over with asap. 

       had a dr apt for my annual check up. she made me get a mamogram appointment, a bone density test (because i turned 70!) and a flu shot (not that it did me much good last year)  so besides minor ‘ old age aches and pains’  i’m good for another year. 



Club Quilts

          internet at the weaving studio sucks!  as do the connections at Bell and Sun Dial. in order to access the RCSC network and make the necessary changes to the member ship list that i manage for the weavers my computer has to be physically in their office. last year i filed an official complaint. so again i went the the main office, pulled up an end-table to one of the chairs in the waiting room, set up my computer and spread out the paper work and proceeded to update the membership list. several people questioned me but when they realized how unhappy i was over having to do this they left me alone. 

          The screen in the patio got repaired. not sure how long the warranty is for but hopfully we’ll have remodeled the entire room by then. but as far as i know Louie stayed home those few days. 

          interviewed 3 different contractors. so far have only received one estimate. was as shocking as we expected.  waiting for the others to compare. verbally the biggest difference is the amount of time i was given as to completion of the project. notbody’s willing to put that in writing. 

          off to spend time with Lola. it will be nice when i don’t have to drive 2 miles back and forth to spend the day quilting. at the moment am caught up with the club quilts so am working on my own. but i seem to be losing ground. Have 3 of mine completed and 4 new tops to add to the totes of waiting in line.  have been working on unfinished projects, some from years ago. 

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          so for now here’s some pix of what i’ve completed.

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          the pink one above does not seem to have a photo of the entire quilt top. it was an oriental fabrics with large flowers so i simply made more flowers and added petals to the ones that got cut off. 

          and here’s a photo of a top i finially got together with Louie auditioning it on Grrr’s bed. these were blocks were stuffed in a zip lock bag years ago.  brown and black is always dramatic. now to see how many years it sits in the tote waiting for quilting. 

        even thou i still have a bunch more zip locks in the drawer i’m feeling it’s time to start a new quilt. received an email advertisement from the local quilt shop. (i’ts about 5 blocks away) for a class on a new pattern that just came out. however by the time i read the email the first class was over and it wasn’t the type of thing where i could start in the middle. did purchase the pattern and am planning on starting on my own.   

          forecast for today is HOT. not 116 hot like when Grrr was gone but summer hot like 110. it’s fall. everyone has said this is when the temps start coming down. 

          i’m waiting.