Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Start

This slightly out of focus picture shows my happy start to a new year. Back a few months ago, when money wasn't so tight, I purchased something that had been on my wishlist for a looong time - a set of cases for my collection of Handwoven Magazines. They arrived several months ago, and sat in a box. I was slightly disappointed with my purchase - they came with labels that needed to be applied, unlike the cases I bought several years ago for my Weavers issues - those have the title embossed nicely directly on the case. Still, they are MUCH nicer than the magazine holders I was using before, so it felt really good to finally get the labels applied and the magazines transferred.

My goal for 2009 is to get unstuck, so this seemed like a great start. I love the nice, organized look of my shelf, right behind me as I sit at the loom. (You can just see the corner of the breast beam in the bottom left of the photo.)

For almost the last year, I've been divesting myself of things I seldom use. Not all things, of course, because hope springs eternal. I sold a small triangle loom, my table loom, my previous marudai. I sold a lot of old Weavers Journal and Handweaver and Craftsman issues on ebay. I actually let all of my magazine subscriptions lapse, and even all of my memberships except for my local guild. (I may end up rejoining some organizations, though not right away.)

And yet, I still have two wonderful looms (32 shaft Megado and 8 shaft David), a warping wheel and squirrel swift cage and floor inkle loom, my Lendrum spinning wheel, a charka and a collection of spindles, my takadai and marudai. Now that the first outbreath phase is complete, I want to get better organized and make a concerted effort to actually USE all of my other toys! (That's my biggest problem in life - I THINK about doing a lot of things, but seldom even get things out of my head and onto paper, much less manifest them into something real.)

It will be interesting to see if this phase is followed by an inbreath phase. There was a time when I seemed to continually be acquiring - tools, cones of yarn, anything fibery. I do still get tempted on ebay, but not nearly as much as before. I must say, I'm pretty happy with what I've already got!

Last year, a member of our guild wrote an article on "How to Tell When You Are No Longer a Beginning Weaver", and she asked for suggestions from members. I had a few contributions.

You are no longer a beginner when ...
  • you know to take a pair of scissors to a workshop even if it isn't on the supply list
  • you no longer feel giddy at the prospect of being given a free loom or wheel or cone of yarn
  • when asked your favorite weaving books, Learning to Weave is no longer your only answer.
If asked, I would probably say I'm an intermediate weaver. I learned a lot about weave structure early on in my weaving life, but the amount of actual weaving I've done would probably still put me at the beginning stage. If you average knowledge and experience, I'm square in the middle. The middle is a good place to be - in weaving, in politics, in life. :-)

Happy New Year! I wish you a joyful 2009, filled with lots of playtime with your fibers and toys and friends.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I haven't posted in a while. First, I think I haven't quite gotten the swing of blogging yet. I keep waiting for earthshaking things to happen to blog about. I don't have an earthshaking life (thank heaven) so I need to modify my criteria for blog-worthiness.

To add to my natural slacker tendencies, I've been sick since the day after Thanksgiving. Still not 100%, but at least I finally can function. So.... not having yet done much of anything, I'll share an old photo.

I took this one just before Thanksgiving.

I'm sharing this to prove that in spite of San Diego's reputation for having no seasons, we actually do get a little bit of fall color! I'm thankful for liquidamber trees (aka Sweetgum) because without them, we really wouldn't get much fall color. Ours comes later than most parts of the country, especially in years like this when seemingly non-stop Santa Ana conditions prolong summer way too long. (I don't even mind the warmth so much, but the 10% humidity sucks all of the life out of you.)

Today, it is raining - another rare occurrence for our area. The amazing thing here is that it rains so seldom that when it does, the roads are treaturous, making driving difficult, which people from the northeast consider hilarious. Yes, we are weather wimps here. We make up for it with great courage and fortitude regarding housing and gas prices.

This makes it fairly easy to determine who is native or has been here for a long time, versus who is fairly new to southern California. Newbies complain about the rain. Oldies celebrate. Newbies ooh and aah in the springtime when the hillsides are covered with light green vegetation and lovely sprinkles of yellow mustard flowers. Oldies gripe that all the new vegetation is going to lead to a heightened fire season in the fall. I guess that's true anywhere of anything - we may all see the same thing, but we see with very different eyes.

Merry Christmas, to anyone who sees this. Somehow, it doesn't feel like Christmas yet - perhaps because I've been sick, and so with Christmas 3 days away, I still have not set foot in a store. In a way, that makes the holiday time seem much more gentle, so I suppose it isn't a bad thing. May you find a way to delight in whatever weather you get this week, may you be aware of the grace of good friends, good health, and a steady shower of creative thoughts.