Monday, June 28, 2010


I would like to do this.

I was raised on a heavy diet of fairy tales and nursery rhymes and can recite poems and songs that many of my contemporaries never heard of.  Some wish to remain that way once I do recite them.

One of the very best parts of being a parent was the unabashed ability to revisit the world of kiddie lit.  My son never picked up on the nursery rhymes and songs, but he did pick up on the stories.  He too had (has*) an insatiable appetite for folk tales, fairy tales, fables, and lore.   (*He has The Tales of Uncle Remus and Volume 2 which he read over and over again, and subsequently accused Mr. Disney of plagiarism....I suspect that he still reads from time to time and I'd be surprised if he didn't have some  memorized...dialect and all.)

So yes....I would love to take this journey and imagine the Bremen Town Musicians making their way down the road.  Or go to see the castle of Briar Rose. 

I might even take my 1977 copy of The Uses of Enchantment along to plum the depths of the fairy tale psyche.

And after the German Grimm tour, we might even head over to Denmark for tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Someday.....right after we go to Scotland for the Scotch Whiskey Distilleries Tour.  (Though I suspect we might need a stiff scotch after some of those Andersen tales, like The Steadfast Tin Soldier.)


So it's not hormones after all?

The Guest House 
Being human is like a guest house.
Each morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for
some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame,
the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Friday, June 25, 2010

hoop de doo!!

So our hoop class finally started last night.  I'm hooked!!  I love it!
For an inspirational video check out Hooping Over 50
Or you can watch this video of the same lady:

Maybe I'll get a couple years.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


About those spindles....

Awhile ago, Sara wrote a post about making spindles from donut beads and chopsticks here.  Well, I had a few donut beads, a couple of them made from resin and a few more from semi-precious stones.  So on Monday afternoon I made up some spindles.

I didn't test drive them before I posted those pictures.  The spindles with the orange and blue translucent whorls are the resin donuts.  They they weigh about .75 oz. each and spin okay once there's a little bit of a cop on them.  Before that they have a bit of a wobble to them.  The larger green stone spindle weighs about 1.3 oz.  It spins the best of the 5 spindles but not nearly as good as my favorite Turkish Delight spindle from Jenkins Woodworks.

The two smaller spindles are no more.  They didn't spin worth a diddly.  Earlier I made some support spindles with similar semiprecious stones and they spin up cashmere, quiviut, and cotton blends like a dream.  But these two were just too small to get up much speed in top whorl spindle.  So for now, I'm done making spindles.  It is fun to make them and see how they spin (or don't spin, as the case may be).  But it's much more fun to turn fiber into yarn.

Am in a kind of discouraged mood today.  Not sure why that should be.  I finally pushed up into a full  urdva-dhanurasana pose in this morning's yoga class two times in a row.... a goal I've been working toward for awhile.  And tonight we start our hooping class.  So I should be feeling victorious today.  In reality...not so much.  Meh...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Snapping shots of spindles....

on a summer solstice day:

Text to come later.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Colors of June, southeast Michigan

June is the month for lilies here in the upper midwest.

Just a plain old day lily blooming by the rock wall.

A Stella D'oro Lily not to be confused with Stella D'Oro breadsticks
These became really popular a few years ago.  They are used extensively in landscaping around commercial buildings.  They are extremely hardy and have a long blooming period, except for the ones in my yard which last only a couple weeks.
This one reminds me of sisters in a photo booth:

Then there are lamb's ears:

These will need to be cut back pretty severely after the blooming is done.  Otherwise they will take over everywhere.

Very few gardens in Michigan can avoid being held hostage by hostas:

The leaves on these plants are the size of large dinner plates.
Here are the flowers close up.
These six big  hostas are out of reach of the deer.  I have 3 other hostas with purple flowers, but we don't usually get to see the flowers before the deer eat them.  The deer have also pretty much mowed down my echinacea.

Remember that Girl Scout saying:  "Leaves of three, let it be."
Sneaky how this one is hiding in the other ivy.
We've had plenty of this around the past few years.  You can read about it here.
I keep a spray bottle of Round-Up in the garage and zap the poison ivy when I notice it.  Both dh and I have had severe cases of poison ivy in the past and prefer not to go that route again.

I'm really not much of a gardener.  It seems that I have a "bipolar thumb".  If I plant something it will:
  •  wither up and die within days.
  • or grow to invasive species proportions.
As evidence of this, let me show you my Mother's Day plant from 4 weeks ago:

Ds bought this plant for me because it was interesting looking and compact.  He didn't want to get something like the aloe plant that I had a few years ago.  The aloe plant that started out on the window sill, outgrew its pot every couple of months, then finally had to be moved to the church lobby, where it has become the aloe "tree".

4 short weeks ago, this plant just had the four leaf branches at the bottom.  It rested happily on the plant stand between the looms in front of a south facing window.  Then those four new branches started to grow.  It was like the Little Shop of Horrors.  It felt like I could almost see those four new limbs grow while I sat at the loom.  Yesterday I moved it out to the patio.  The tag on the plant has no name, just "tropical foilage".  I think it's funny, but it has totally creeped out my son. go over to Life Looms Large to see Sue's colors of June and links to all the others who play this monthly game from around the world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Four Shaft Four Block Double Weave

Here's what is on the loom:

I used the overshot draft from the previous project (in black and white) to create a 4 shaft, 4 block double weave threading (in green and gold).  It's a fun and interesting way to play with drafts and weaving.  However, I wish that there was more value contrast between the green and gold.

I wove a hem in straight double weave, then turned it in on itself for the hem (the striped portion, top center diagonal).

Can you see the circles?  I didn't think circles were possible with four shafts:

The lower right corner sample is with the green weft on top and gold weft on the bottom layer, which give gold circles on a green field.  I like that sample best, but it's almost impossible to see errors during weaving.  The fabric to the left side shows green circles on a gold field, which is the reverse side when the gold weft is on the top surface and the green weft is on the bottom surface.  That little wedge of gold in the top right is what I see during weaving.  It's also visible on the right in the photo above this one.

If you click for big, you can see the ply twist in the yarns...fascinating stuff for handspinners.  The yarn is 5/2 pearl cotton.

This is just the sample.  I have enough warp to complete a table runner (if my vision holds out!)  Perhaps I'll do another one with different colors and more value contrast.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Babies at play...

Nothing much to see here.  But if you want to start your weekend right, go over to Cady May's and watch her babes at play.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Colors of June (1)

Most of these will not last until the end of the month, so here's the first installment of the colors of June:

In the herb pot, the sage is blooming.  What a coincidence, Sue over at Life Looms Large who started this colors of the month thing, has just posted about spices.  Sage is one we like with poultry and pork around this house.

  The front garden sports these Love in a Mist (Nigella damescena).  An old fashioned flower, the original seeds came from my mother-in-law a number of years ago.  This year they are a very pale blue.  In the past they have had more vibrant blue with a tinge of purple color.  If you get the urge to scatter some of these seeds be aware that they can be pretty invasive.  These are almost done and will soon be bulbous seed pods.

Out by the hubby's workshop door is a bed of Lamium.  That's a good place for it since this flower smells like dirty socks to me.

Dh once commented, "We like purple flowers, don't we?"  Well, I'm not sure that he has a preference, but yep, for me it's the purple, blue, and pink ones that make me smile.