Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Das Boot

This is the last thing I finished weaving before my surgery.  I wound another warp and have it on the loom for when I'm able to go back upstairs.  My surgery was Thursday April 11th and I'm still a little unsteady on my pins.  I plan to have the warp threaded, sleyed and ready to weave by the time the boot comes off.
Ah yes, the boot.  It's very large and I an only weight-bearing on my left heel - very awkward and slow, but it gets me to the bathroom without crutches.

Periodically I'm to open it up and apply ice which is more awkward than walking!
Ian and Maddie have been very attentive.  The Norco has knocked me out for the first several days and I've been a champion sleeper.  Yesterday I started weaning off it and onto the Tylenol.  At this point I'm only using Tylenol and still sleeping a lot, though I'm finally able to knit a little.
But my days look pretty much like this.  The books I brought home from the library are too challenging for my brain so I've put a book by Liane Moriarty on hold and Ian has gone to pick it up for me.  He probably needs a break from the sick house :-) A friend had warned me about the level of books I selected for this time and even suggested that I stick to YA, but did I listen???
My friend Ana fixed an amazing meal and brought it over Friday for dinner.  What a wonderful gift!!  We just got a text from our friends Sue and Michael who would like to bring dinner tomorrow.  Slowly slowly this is moving forward.  I see the doc in follow-up next Wednesday.
Meanwhile son Matt sends me occasional pictures of Delaney who is beYOUtiful!!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Meet Delaney Jane

This is the picture Matt sent to all of us at 11:00 Wednesday night.  He had texted us that morning that Julia's water broke at 3:00 a.m. and they were at the birthing center.  He updated us periodically but we didn't get THE text until 11:00 that she had arrived and by then we were all sleepless, on pins and needles.  It was a long day for Julia, in labor since 9:00 that morning, but Delaney is perfect - 8 lb 3 oz, 20 1/2" long - and mom is fine but tired.  Matt had created a text group to update all of us at once and I've never had my phone notifications be so busy.

We got to meet her Thursday morning. The staff have commented on how alert she is, taking everything in with her eyes.  I think she's going to be a calm baby, like her daddy. Their room in the birthing center is huge and couldn't be nicer, nor could the staff.
The doctor kept them over one more day to work the bugs out of nursing.  Matt sent this picture when they finally got home on Friday.  "We're fed and changed."  She is sweetness :-)

I'm still trying to identify and send photos to Richard, the man who is researching my grandfather, and I'm glad he's going to Washington next week to visit some historical societies.  I had looked at the pictures on many occasions with my mother but they're not labeled.  The only ones labeled are the loose ones that I've written on the backs of.  I sent him another 20 pictures yesterday.  It goes faster now that I've stopped scanning them and just take a shot with my iPhone.  He can identify later if he needs any of them scanned.  This is my grandmother in front Green River Gorge, a lodge that she and my grandfather ran together.  She's funnin' with the photographer. I think I have maybe another dozen to send that he might be interested in.

Since we've started on this he's send me (and my daughter who originally contacted him on Ancestry) a book he wrote and also an issue of American Indian Art that contains an article he wrote. My grandmother had written a book called Squak Valley (Issaquah) which King County Historical Society published in the 1960s and it's still in print.  I have a typewritten version of the book but have never read it.  Now I'm reading every chance I get, trying to get caught up with Richard's research.  I just wish my brother were still alive.  This is a dream come true for him.

Bend Art Center is having a huge sale of their permanent collect which has been in storage.  This to help finance the reorganization, from the 501c3, which is desolving, to the new structure.  We have friends who are art collectors so asked them if they'd like to meet us there yesterday morning and browse the sale before going to lunch.  I didn't expect to buy anything, didn't think we could afford to, but the prices were super low so things would move, and after looking around at everything, we both met up at this Jeb Barton piece - so we bought it.  They didn't buy anything so we went to lunch, talked about the sale and books and our jobs and finally left.  They went back to the sale and later texted us with pictures of the three prints they bought.
That afternoon Ian asked me what I thought about going back to buy the companion piece to the print we bought, so we did.  He had found a gallery in Ashland representing Jeb Barton and our print was listed by them for $1,200.  Since we had paid a tenth of that, it seemed like a smart move, but it was sold.  Instead we bought this Justyn Livingston print.
We love both of the pieces together.
I think they're just what the living room needed.  I know we said we weren't going to acquire any more "things" but I can't quite think of art as things.  I think of our pieces as friends and I love their presence.  I know a lot of people who move their pictures around but I've just not been able to do that. If we never buy another piece, I think our walls are safe.

Monday, April 01, 2019

April Fools

Ian and I drove up to the fairgrounds in Redmond last Friday afternoon so I could set up my booth in advance.  On the way up we stopped at Olive Gardens for their bottomless soup and salad so it made for a little more festive event than just schlepping.  I'm very fond of Fiber Market Day because it's clearly a agricultural event, lots of breeders and lots of fleeces. We were in the Bunny Barn with doors open so it was actually warmer outside, but the open doors gave us an immediate connect with the animals outside.  They even had a guy shear three sheep.
My presentation is very simple: two tables, a coat rack and a laundry drying rack.  The coat rack is very effective in displaying my scarves and catching people's attention.  I'm lucky if I sell a scarf at an event and I sold three!
The larger table runner went quickly.  I've done well with all my table runners and will be weaving several before the next show.  I was on my feet from 9:00-4:00 and my feet are tired; I am tired.  When they asked if I was interested in a two-day show I said NO!  I really enjoy it in spite of the physical demands.  I wonder how many more years I can do this but for now I'm good.

Today is Delaney Jane's due date and I think she just pulled her first April Fools joke because she's not here yet.  I think DIL Julia only has six weeks of leave so we're expecting to watch her on Thursdays and Fridays after that, whenever that is.  I'm still ten days away from my surgery so will probably still be in a walking cast, but that shouldn't be a problem.

No word on the Bend Art Center and I'm scheduled for my usual shift tomorrow, from 10:00-2:00.  It's the volunteers who man the place and keep the doors open, but without operating money there will be no volunteers.  I sat in on several meetings and one thing is clear.  The old 501c3 is dissolved and there's not time or money to create a new one.  A core group of people willing  to finance an LLC has formed and are in daily discussions.  It's the studio with intaglio looms that is at stake for me.  Without that I can still work from home.  Meanwhile, I'll just focus on weaving and keeping up my sketchbook.
We've enjoyed so many new experiences since moving to Bend.  One that came as a total surprise was the quality of plays put on by the Cascades Theater Company.  At the recommendation of our friend Joanie, we started buying season tickets and now attend Sunday matinee performances with Joanie and her husband and another couple. The play we saw yesterday was Stupid F***ng Bird, a modern take on Anton Chekhov's play, The Seagull.  I really enjoyed it once I got past the profanity.  But then I've discovered that good plays are thought provoking and full of message.  Then afterwards we go out to eat.  A delicious afternoon, pun intended.
I managed to finish my scarf in time for the show Saturday.  I was disappointed that it didn't get much attention.  In spite of the lovely iridescence, I think the values are too close. The scarf that got attention was one I wove a couple of years ago.  A group of ladies visited it a couple of times.  On the third time they came with cash which they collected from each other to buy a birthday present for a special friend.  I thought that was touching.

I'm trying that scarf again but this time with greater value range, so the pattern can be the star.

On a completely different note, I mailed in our last car payment and boy does that feel good.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Unexpected Expected News

My daughter Chris is the genealogist in our family.  Years ago she contacted a guy through Ancestry whom she learned was researching my grandfather Capt Dick Craine, pictures in this formal portrait with his sled dog Hunker.  He had a display called Eskimo Village in the St Louis 1904 Columbian Exposition and afterwards took his act on the Chautauqua train during summer months.  None of this is written down.  It's only in my head as memories of conversations between my mother and grandmother and stories that my brother told me.  Grandpa passed away before I turned three.  Chrissie put me in touch with Richard who has retired and turned has his attention once again to his research. I've spent hours this past week trying to answer questions and scan photos for his use.  Families should write down their stories!!!!!

I found this while sorting photos.  It's only the second photo I have of me and my accordian.  It was huge.
Fiber Market Day is this Saturday.  The towels are finished and they only need to be tagged and inventoried.  This scarf is the last thing I need to finish.  It started as a profile draft that I doodled on graph paper.  I chose turned twill as my weave structure and I love it.  Look at all the movement!!
I like it so much that I'm already picking out the next yarns so I can do it all over again.  I think the winners are cobalt and turquoise. Ian and I are going to drive up to the fairgrounds in Redmond on Friday evening and set my booth up so all I have to do Saturday is show up.  I need to remember to test my Paypal Triangle credit card scanner and get some cash from the bank. 

I went to the member meeting yesterday morning at the Bend Art Center where I have volunteered every Tuesday for the past two and a half years and where I have received invaluable instruction.  We've been aware that the center is in financial straits and I think we all knew something was coming.  After 12 years Bend Art Center which includes Atellier 6000, the working studio, is closing its doors.  I believe our last day is April 6th.  There were a lot of tears and mostly shock.  There is absolutely nothing else like it in Bend and it's the second art education in the past five years forced out of existence.  Chrissie said, you would think that an art-centered community like Bend would have an artists colony.  You would think.

This has left me wondering where I am in all of this.  I had bought a heavy glass baren several months ago so I could do hand-pulled prints at home, assuming that I'd always have the intaglio presses when I needed them.  Everything must be sold.  The largest press is worth between $10,000-15,000.  I suggested they see if the community college would be interested in acquiring them so at least there could be a printmaking program still in Bend.  For now I'm going to continue daily sketches in my sketch journal.  Yesterday I bought a fine tip pen after the announcement and decided to try weaning myself off erasable pencil.  I'm numb.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Life with Snow

Last week school was cancelled Monday through Thursday including COCC, the community college where I take my art class.  I didn't even venture from the house those days, but with three short weeks of school left, I braved the elements to attend last Monday.  They had only shoveled the two ADA sidewalks and cleared the ADA parking lot.  The rest of us were on our own. As one friend quipped, those unshoveled sidewalks could make you ADA. The powder was close to two feet deep and I was sinking up to my knees in places.  I struggled up the slope that really needed snowshoes and realized that coming back down was going to be even worse.  I turned about and went home.  The whole thing took 90 minutes, almost an hour more than normal.  I went on Wednesday and still nothing was shoveled but at least enough people had tromped through that I was able to negotiate the whole shooting match.  The handrails weren't very helpful!
The neighborhood deer have been hanging close these days.  Fish and Wildlife warn us not to feed them because there's no commercial food that won't sicken them since they're not ruminants.  I feel bad but at the same time I'm glad to see them.
In spite of still having over a foot of unmelted snow, the Community Garden group have been meeting, planning and ordering seeds.  Cinda and I went to the church Friday to set up our fundraiser, the Classy Junque Sale.  All proceeds pay for our needs, including the repairs to the greenhouse.  Carol, our leader, was still there when folks came in for the AA and NA meetings and they spent $300 before we even got started!
This gem got the White Elephant award.  It's not wired for a lamp, and in fact, it's nothing but glass pieces affixed together with that shallow glass bowl on top.  The donation was anonymous and absolutely no one knew what it was.  It's at the Humane Society Thrift Store now, taking up space.  The sale was a whopping success.  As soon as the greenhouse is fixed we can start planting seeds, that is after we can shovel out to the greenhouse!
It was snowing again this morning so I played hooky from church.  It's also the first day in a week that I haven't had to leave the house - so I didn't.  I got these towels started but the real pressing need was to finish my sketchbook.  It's due Wednesday and when I woke up this morning I knew I still had eight of the 40 sketches to go.

This was the very first sketch I did and it represents the word "hot."  I have learned so much in this short time that if I were to draw it again, and I might, the bottom wouldn't be flat, but an elliptical shape mimicking the top of the cup.
The words left were the ones I couldn't conceptualize, thus the toughest ones.  I have class tomorrow and my volunteer shift on Tuesday with the notebook due on Wednesday.  I decided to tough it out and finish today.  "Ugly" had me stumped and finally I went with this semi-automatic handgun.
I tackled ignorant and aware, though I didn't necessarily work the words in pairs.  "Ignorant" became an old TV with rabbit ears because I think that people who get spoon-fed news by talking heads don't fall into the category of "inquiring minds want to know."  This became "Aware" - my very first collage.  I found an article in a National Geographic about the Flint Michigan water situation and the piece is probably too preachy to be art, but it sure was nice to tick off another box, plus it was fun.  I taped it onto the page because I read recently that Richard Diebenkorn sometimes would tape paper together, and he's my favorite Abstractionist.
I was really fighting with "pretty."  I put in a print that I did of a canary a couple of years ago but even I know that's a cop-out.  I cut out the shapes of Alpha and Omega from a failed print for "beginning" and "end" and had pieces of the print left over, so I cut them into strips and wove them into this.  It's pretty and even better, it represents me as a weaver.  Sketchbook done, this quarter is in the bag!

I gave my notice at SMART last Thursday.  My last time to read to my kinders will be the first Thursday in April.  I cannot tell you how much I'll miss my kids and the whole experience.  However granddaughter Delaney Jane is due in three weeks, my foot surgery is April 11th and then we'll be watching Delaney on Thursdays and Fridays when DIL Julia goes back to work. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Snowed In

It started snowing on Sunday, really a mix of rain and snow, but it froze on the roads and we were notified that all schools would be closed on Monday.  I'm signed up for text notices from the community college and knew when I went to bed I wouldn't be going to art class the next day. We woke to this Monday morning and it kept coming.  The weather service reported a record-breaking 26" of snow on Monday, more than an inch an hour.  At this point schools have been closed for three days.

Monday morning Ian was out with the snowblower, trying to dig us out, but the icy under layer made it difficult to get any kind of traction.  He had to plow several passes before he could get the wheels on top of the freshly exposed snow.  We measured 13" of snow at that point.  The first thing we needed were pee-pee paths for Sammie. 

She didn't need any encouragement, just did her business and ran back to the garage.  Even in that short time she was covered in snow and I'd have to clean her off before she could go back in the house.
This is from our bedroom looking into the back yard when I woke up this morning.  Juniper bushes are under the lumps in the background but that lump in the foreground is nothing but a barricade of snow on our deck, and it's going to be there for a while.

I measured several places Monday afternoon and all were 18 inches, and even though it kept coming, I  lost interest in bundling up to go out and measure again.
Today there's no sign of the bench that I posted in my first shot.
We're getting a little break this morning and it's so nice to see the sun.  It took a couple hours this morning but Ian has us dug out to the street.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and a break between storm systems.  Time to go grocery shopping!

We're going to get a little break before more snow, though with these temps, it's going to be with us for a while.
My sentiments exactly!!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Healthy Hobby

This is the retired machine.  I still haven't decided what to do with it, but I'll either have it serviced or give it to the shop so they can refurb it and sell it.  It has something like 40 different stitches but I only use straight and zigzag so 38 of those are wasted on me.
This is the refurbished machine which to my great delight is mechanical.  The settings are the same when I turn it on as they were when I turned it off.  No more going through all the menus to get the correct needle position and stitch length which was a challenge since it was almost impossible to read the display against that bright window.  The cost was $57 but I had some Amazon dollars so it ended up being more like $37.  I'm happy.
The Campbell tartan scarves are underway.  We were gone all day today but we're supposed to get a foot of snow starting tomorrow and over the next five days so it will be nice to have this cheerful scarf to spend some time with.
I have completed these to add to my inventory.  I have very little in the way of blue/green towels but my backordered yarn is coming on Wednesday so I'll have plenty of time to remedy that. 

This is my fourth year as a vendor at Fiber Market Day.  The past three years have been at the fairgrounds in Prineville which is an hour east of here.  This year for the first time the event is going to be at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, just 20 minutes north of us and more accessible to more people. This has been a good event for me and I think it's going to be even better this year.  I'll have as much inventory as I possibly can finish which should pay for all the yarn I've recently ordered and the sewing machine.  It's nice to have a hobby that pays its own way.