Thursday, August 31, 2006

MRI's never again..... I hope!

Well I got up and went and had my MRI to check out my back. If your are not familiar with this, you are in a tube and you can't move. They do these series of scans 50 sec, 2 min, 4 min 6 min and repeat. They I have heard the horror stories so I was somewhat prepared. If I never have to have this done again I will be happy girl. The give you earplugs because the machine is quite noisy when its scanning you. I don't know how a person who doesn't meditate or who can't visualize handles it. I found my mind wandering to vision of Charles Bronson digging the tunnel in the Great Escape I thought no that is a bad image pick another. Then I thought about Babylon 5 and the episode where a woman is in a life support tube and there is an alien in there with her feeding off her. Yikes that image is worse. So I brought up Viggo and Sean Bean, Shepherd from Atlantis and Delbert Mulroney from the Wedding date. Really any hot guy that I would love to kiss. I used some other meditation techniques but the guys work the best to get my mind off things. I didn't feel claustrophobic but I started having heavieness in my chest which was unnerving. Then after I came out of the machine I had to have a shot and go back in for about 8 minutes. They put some sort of dye in me for reference. That was hard going back in. I was so happy to be done with that.

I came home and tried packing the car again and I got it all in. Yeah!!!!!! I am glad fleeces compress so much. I will be ready to leave for Great Basin tomorrow.

This is for Susan who commented on whether the dye class will get a chance at the fibers I am bringing. I had not thought about that. I will have a table in Judy Jacksons booth. Maybe we will work something out so you can go look at the beginning of class.

I was at the post office when I saw this PT cruiser in the parking lot all painted up. It was great, I talked with the owner, her website is here. They make boxers and pj pants in a funky way. Each leg is different. Here is a gift for the man who has everything.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One of those days

Its been one of those days where you feel like with all the errands you are doing that you have physically been to every place in your town.

I have been here:

DR. office
Physical Therapist office
Used book store to sell books
Jiffy lube
Artic Circle (a restuarant) to get my lost debit card
Big O tires to get tires rotated
Fred Meyer to take back a purchase
Post office to mail package to my daughter
To the Brownstone to have lunch with a friend.

I am beat after all of that.

The Dr. thinks I may have a herniated disc so I am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow morning. Then it may be that I will be getting a steriod shot next week. Gee how much fun can a person have.

I've been tying up loose ends and packing stuff for the big weekend in Salt Lake. I have been trying to fit it all in my car, I am afraid I am in a losing battle. I may have to take the truck after all. We will see how creative I am packing all the wool in the car. I am going to give it one more shot before I give up and repack everything in the truck.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Eagles have landed

The roundabout fountain got its new sculpture unveiled. here are some pics of it. It actually looks pretty good. There are 2 eagles a nest with baby eagles and a cougar.

We held our weekly spinning day at my house instead of the park. My friend Celeste wanted a chance at all the fibers before I haul them to Salt Lake City. So I sold a pound of merino/tencel to Celeste, some alpaca to Amy and Debbie bought a pound of alpaca/merino/silk and a fleece. I still have plenty to sell. It was great having friends ooh and aah at all the colors I have dyed.

My physical therapist was not happy at my progress. I am still having a lot pf pain so tomorrow I go back to the Doctors to see what he has to say. Oh joy, I see it will either be a MRI or a pain shot of some kind.

Sarah seems to be doing great at school. No complaints yet. I know its only been a couple days, but so far so good.

I need to find some time to do some art and soon. I am starting to get nervous about this weekend. I need a stress reliever of some sort and I think making art can be just the ticket.

Monday, August 28, 2006

College Trip Part II

We left for Missoula about 7:30. We were only a 1/2 hour off schedule so that was not too bad. We stopped In Dillion for breakfast at Mc Donalds. Unfortunetly that was the first place we could stop to eat, There is not much between Idaho Falls and Dillion. Thats about 2 hours so Sarah and I were famished. Dave had gotten up earlier and eaten breakfast at home.

Sarah was a non stop talker most of the trip. I don't know if she felt she needed to get it all in before we left or not. I just wanted to sleep. I am still having back problems so the trip was hard on me.

It took about another 3 hours to get to Missoula. We found a parking place and started unloading all her stuff. It was nice that her roommate Emily did not arrive till the next day. That way we could use her side of the room while we were organizing everything. Sarah had her bed lofted so she could have a little kitchen relaxing area.



Here she is at her desk, as you can see Legolas came along too. He actually fit perfectly right behind her desk.


Not to be outdone by some mere Elves Boromir came too!


Here she is headed into Walmart one more time. I have more

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After unloaded and setting up we headed to the bookstore to get the books she had ordered on line. Wow that sure made it convenient. I headed to the art dept upstairs and wow do they have cool stuff. They had these artist paintsticks that I have been wanting to try. Then there was the paper, tons of handmade sheets. I wanted to get this little moleskine book so that is what I got the first time we were there.

After taking her books back to her room it was time for an early dinner since we'd never gotten around to eating lunch. We headed to MacKenzie's Pizza Parlor. It was yummy gourmet style pizza. I had a basil/garlic one, Dave had the Athenian and Sarah's had steak and sausage. It was very good.

We headed to Walmart for some supplies and then back to the dorm for more organizing. We headed to our hotel to watch Stargate only to find it was on much later. We took Sarah home and we crashed. I was so glad I had brought the heating pad along.

After spending the night in the dorm and organizing her desk she discovered what things that she needed so it was back to Walmart and a trip to Target. That was after we had breakfast at the bagel shop in town. We met Emily when we got back to the dorm. She had her boyfriend there helping her set up. She really didn't look anything like the picture that my friend Adrien had sent me. She seemed nice enough and didn't seem to bring much more than clothes with her.

I decided one more trip to the bookstore was in order so I could get some of those art supplies I have been coveting. I came home with 6 colors of painsticks and some watercolor paper. Sarah bought some software she was wanting and some more Copic art markers.

We headed back to the dorm and Emily was gone so I missed getting a picture of her. Oh well, next time I guess. I wasn't really ready to leave but Dave thought we should so we did. We left about 2:30 and drove for about an hour before we stopped in Deer Lodge for Lunch. We stopped in a little cafe and I had just a burger and fries but they were really good. I tried sleeping almost all the way home. It was hard getting comfortable though.

When we got home we found out that the Mexican farm workers who live next door had a fire that got on our property. Its luck that we don't have much pasture or the fire would not have stopped there. We need to just replace some fence posts.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The College Trip Part I

Here we are, the last mother/daughter picture for awhile. Its taken at a resturant, I think it was at Gringos in Rexburg, the night before we left.

One of the things I wanted to do when we were in Missoula was to shop at the University bookstore. The art section is great, I kind find things there I can not back in Idaho Falls. Here is what I got.

This is a tiny moleskine sketchbook. Its the Van Gogh series and they are covered in silk fabric. They cost more but this was a luxury purchase. I am going to love to sketch and write in it.

These are some artsticks that are oil paint. I don't usually work in oils but I have seen some great stuff done on fabric with them so I wanted to try them out. I had never seen them in a store so I grabbedd some here. They had kits and open stock so I just picked a few colors I thought I would like. They are all iridescent so they should be fun.

I also found out that they had Fabriano Artistico watercolor papers. I had wanted to try some of that when I took that watercolor class a few months ago. It wasn't available locally and too expensive to mail order. I bought a sheet to try out and now I know where I can get more. They also had all the other papers that were so incredible. I had to get out of there while I could. I think I will try and buy a couple each time I visit. Then I will a nice collection for collage work.

Part II coming soon........ Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We're off to College

Well the day is almost here. We take Sarah to College tomorrow so I had better write about it today. This is something that I have been dreading. I am no way prepared although I have been trying to be. I have plenty to do, lots of activities to keep me occupied but how do you fill the hole in your heart. I know mothers have gone through this forever but reading about it and trying to prepare is nothing like having the experience.

It may be that worry wort mom coming out. All I can think is, did I teach her enough? Is she really prepared? What did I forget to do? argghh... Does it ever end. I guess not. To help appease my transition and offer her advice I wrote her a 10 page letter that I will give to her when we leave her at the dorm and go home. I tried to fill it with words of wisdom and not to be too preachy. I don't know if it will help her or me in the long run but it felt good to write the letter.

I am going to spin in the park with friends this morning then I imagine I will be spending lots of time running small errands and making sure she is not forgetting something.

I really love Montana so I am looking forward to seeing the beautiful scenery again. I thought we would always move there but that never happened. I am hoping to stop at either Josephs Coat in Missoula or the bead store in Stephensville on the way home and maybe even the labyrinth in Victor. We'll have to see what I can talk Dave into.

Shrine Swap

I received my shrine from the shrine swap on Violette's message board. It is really awesome. My pctures do not do it justice. First it came wrapped up in this quilted bag.


Then it was wrapped in feathers and flash.


This is the front, as you can tell the theme was friendship and this took it one step further with "friends of a feather". Friends is spelled out on the front and of a feather is on the inside.


Now a shot of the inside, It has great words, pics of art supplies,feathers and all sorts of birds. Some were paper and some were figures. I love all the little details

Then I recieved the lovely collaged artwork from Kai the organizer of the swap. She is such a sweetheart. This was done on a formica sample. We are doing are next swap on one of them. This group of glitter ya ya's are wonderful. To be a fledging artist and to be so supported by all is really great. I hope I get to meet some of them someday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Playing with paper

I have all these 12" x 1" scraps since I had to cut some 12 x 12 paper down to 8.5 x 11 to make labels for all that fiber I dyed. I decided to use them for something. I took stamp pads and added ink to the pieces and then woven them together. I then glued the woven piece to a piece of card stock for some stability. I now have a beautiful background to use for some future project. That was sure fun. I feel energized to do other things now. If your're feeling low just go play with paper, it will lift your spirits.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Morning

I have been posting so much I guess I am in the habit. I spent the weekend cleaning up loose ends and then really cleaning the house. I am not much of a house cleaner. It usually gets done when I can't stand it anymore. The dust was getting to me. Right now the grain harvest is going on so if I don't have my windows closed its a mess. In fact I do get some of it even with my windows closed. Now that everything is clean I hope to get some weaving done.

I also want to get back to some collage. I want to do a little altoid shrine for my mom. I got the tin painted so now I want to look through photographs to find a good pic and see what else I can use to embellish that. I decided to start thinking about the things I got from her that she taught me that have served me well instead of the negative things she did or did not do. I figure the shrine is a start.

I signed up for 2 swaps too so I need to start thinking about them. The first is an ATC for your favorite movie. Of course it'll be LOTR and I have Calendar pics that I can use for that. I think its a 3 for 3 so maybe I will do a couple favorites. The other one is new, we will be using those little and big formica samples you get at Lowes. I got a few when Marianne was visiting. Now that we have a swap its time to use them. Check out what my friend Kai did with hers. I think it will be fun.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sunflower garden

When Dave planted this sunflower garden right outside a side front window he said they would only grow as tall as the bird feeder. Hah! can you find the feeder? My pic is not great due to the flash I will try again later. Turns out we have a lot of volunteers from the bird seed. I've included a few more shots. Its really been a pretty thing to see. I have always liked sunflowers. Have a great day everyone!

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Great Basin Classes

I have talked about Great Basin a lot so I guess its time I talked about the classes I am teaching.

One of my areas of expertise as you know is dyeing. So I am teaching an all day class in dyeing with ProChemicals Washfast Dyes. We are going to learn how to make stock solutions, how to create dye formulas and more. I will dye 2 lbs in the class. One in a dyepot and the other in my favorite new tool a roaster. Then you'll have the rest of the day to try dyeing some fantastic rovings yourself. Its going to be blast.

My next class is on primitive breed fleeces. Since I raise Shetland sheep and they are a primitive breed I am well qualified for this one too. Primitives generally have at least 2 different coats so they post a dilemna for spinners. How do you process them to your best advantage. In this class I am covering several ways to handle a primitive fleece and suggestions on spinning them too. The fleeces that we will be working with are really awesome. I have one of my Shetlands, its Titans fleece and its pure white. The other two fleeces we will be working with are a white Icelandic that looked a lot like the shetland fleece. It is also gorgeous. The third was a real surprise for me. Its a Karakul lamb and it is so soft. Everyone who has seen it says its gorgeous and they were right. It is not scratchy at all. You definetly wouldn't need to use this for a rug. It would make a gorgeous sweater.

The third class that I am teaching is Designing a Mixed Warp Blanket. I had my first double woven blanket published in Spin Off Winter 1988. Here is a pic of the one currently on my loom,

In the mixed warp class, we are going to actually design the warp for a blanket in the reed. I will be bringing a box of my own handspun yarns and will show different ideas on how to use the yarns. I will be threading the reed in a random pattern. We will discuss ways to use stripes and blocks of color. I will also be talking about how to thread a blanket for double weave. With this weave structure you can double the width of your piece. I had one of my blankets published in Spin Off a few years ago. We'll talk about that experience and the process of getting your work submitted to Spin Off.

If you are in the area and are intrigued by any of these check out the website and sign up before classes fill up.

Shetland Fleeces

Well here are the pictures as promised. I tried to put them in the last entry but it wouldn't work. These are all last years fleeces and they have been washed. I am also bringing this years fleeces too, which have not been washed.


This is Emily, she is a musket colored fleece. She spins up into a beautiful oatmeal color.


This is Juno, she is a black colored fleece.


This is Titan, he is a white fleece. His locks are long and lustrous.


This is Athena, she is a moorit colored fleece. Each year she is different and the color is great. Its not a flat brown like other breeds she has a little luster to her. Posted by Picasa

New colors

Here is what my backyard closeline looked like yesterday. Quite colorful I think.

These are colors from a couple days ago. They are so pretty I want to keep them all. The blue shimmery one is Merino/Tencel. Its the first time I tried dyeing it. I love how the tencel looks. It doesn't dye in a protein dye but remains white. I am going to have to get some more of this, its truly yummy.




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I decided to take some of my fleeces to sell so I have been preparing them and making labels and so forth. Its amazing all the tings you need to do to get ready for a show. Maybe I will go take some pics and pop them up here later. I also convinced my friend Ginger to bring her Karakul and Icelandic fleeces to sell in the booth I am sharing with Judy Our booth at is Great Basin Fiber Fair going to be awesome.

So how can I have a booth and teach at the same time. I am magical that is how. Actually I have good friends who help out. I will talk about classes on my next post.

Monday, August 14, 2006


For those who wanted pictures of what I have been dyeing. Here are a few of my latest colors to come out of the dyepot. Most are not packaged up pretty yet.



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More Dyeing

I am back into the dyeing thing again. This time I was trying 4 dyepots at a time. I borrowed Amy's pot so I have 2 on the stove, 1 on a hot plate and then the roaster. It seems to be working ok. It turns out there isn't a breeze today so the fumes were getting to me so I took a fan out there and wore my mask. Thats much better. I think if I am going to do this multiple dyepot thing in an enclosed area I have to wear the mask.

I did 3 pots yesterday. So far today I think I will be able to do 6 before I have to go to my therapy appointment. That should put a dent in the dyeing that I need to do. I have 3 more fleeces from last year to take a look at. I think they have been skirted but I am not sure. So I will check them out and wash them to sell.


I sat down and wove on the towels. Decide to retie the treadles for a smoother treadling. Dave had set them up for me so I could weave with 1 foot. This will work better. I should be able to weave faster with the treadles set up to walk them. Now for some time to actually weave.

New Spaces and Organizing

All these looking for things plus emptying my totes to use for Great Basin has resulted in my finding things I forgot about. Since I moved the dye studio outside I really want to re-do the basement room. I'd like it to be the sewing collage craft area. I am not sure what I will do with it. I think I will take the wire crates out of there. Maybe move the dresser back in. Or maybe I should pain it first. I think I need to spend some time thinking about the space and what would work best in there. I know I want to paint the weaving room too. Maybe that is how I will spend my time this fall. Weeding out the old and making room for the new is always good.

Tartan Update

Remember the tartan sample I wove for the Scottish Group in in Caldwell, Idaho. Well the Sherrif's department is going to have an official pipe band and they will wear the tartan. They are having fabric custom woven by a mill in Scotland and my friend Tim will make the kilt. That is pretty cool I think. Maybe they will let me have a scrap of it. I could have done the weaving for them but really did not want to take on the project.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Great Basin and the Thread Project

My last two posts are really old news so here I am again. 3 in one day is a record I think. I spent most of the week preparing for the classes I will teach at Great Basin I really should have started the preparation earlier but I didn't so now I pay the price. I really hope the primitive breeds class fills up. I have some luscious fleeces for everyone to play with. A shetland, icelandic and a karakul. They are all incredibly gorgeous. I want to keep them for myself.

I am waiting for more fiber to arrive so I can start dyeing again. I thought it would get here yesterday but no such luck. More dye should get here next week so then I can make all the stock solutions for the dye class. The class should be lots of fun. It just takes a lot of prep. I hope I have enough containers to handle it all.

It was really cool this morning so I took Flynn out for a walk. That's was nice. He has been taking off after the neighbors dog lately. I think he needs more time out walking with a little training along the way. We had a dog incident though. There was a woman and dog jogging on the other side of the canal. Well this dog jumped in the canal and swam over to us and got in a tussle with Flynn. Flynn told him who was boss and he swam back over to his owner. I was amazed the dog swam over to us. That was a surprise. I guess with a lab you should expect that.

The Thread Project, for those of you who followed my journey with that its complete now. It will be hung at St. Pauls Episcopal Church in New York City for the 5th anniversary of 9/11. There is no big ceremony planned there so I am not going there as I planned to. I heard from Terry the originator of the idea and she is going to have an event in Charleston next year where a lot of the weavers and other supporters will come so I think I will go to that instead. I am not too excited about flying near 9/11 now anyways. I will miss the idea of going to New York though. Maybe some other time. Check outThe Thread Project for final recap and new pictures and so forth.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Friendship Shrine

I just finished some things for 2 swaps I am in. I like doing swaps because it gets me out of my procrastination mode into creating things. The theme for the shrine was summer friendship. The Visual Journal Atc's had no theme so I just did whatever I was thinking about that day.

Here is the front of the Friendship shrine I made.

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and now the insides.


I always like to send someting to the host. a little piece of Art that is just for her. Here is the ATC I made as a gift.

I was also in a Visual Journaling ATC swap, Here they are.

Cave Falls

Last weekend was one of those spontaneous ones. We took a drive to Ashton and took the road to Cave Falls. Its about 1.5 hours from here so it was a nice short trip.


Here are Dave and Flynn


Here I am at the top of a trail. It looked to difficult for me to walk with my sore back. We took pictures from the top.

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I liked watching the woman who was fly fishing below. The Falls were sure pretty. We should have brought a lunch with us and sat down by the water, maybe next time. I think next summer I may try my hand at fly fishing.