Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Weaving and Felted Slippers...."

When I first moved to Madison, our friend Barb, loaned me her grandmother's loom. At the time, I though it might be too small for me, so never set it up to try it out, but stored it in the basement. I brought it out of retirement this last week because I have enrolled in a weaving workshop near the end of April, and need to bring a "warped and ready to weave" loom to the workshop. Barb's grandmother's loom is a 16" Ad-A-Harness Loom (model CP11), manufactured around 1954, by L.W. Macomber, of Saugus, Massachusetts. I don't know how long it has been out of production, because I can't find any information on it through my online searches. Luckily, Juanita, who has the studio that is hosting the guest instructor, Jason Collingwood, from the UK, has a friend who owns a similar loom, and was able answer my questions about this particular loom set up. I have since warped, woven, and finished a narrow rug runner for the bedroom. :) (Photo soon to be posted)

As you can see, it is MUCH smaller than my Harrisville Loom, but comfortable enough to sit and weave on, although when I change treadles (the pedals) it does rise and fall, riding on the tops of my knees.

Since I wasn't sure that it would work for me, I decided against buying rug yarn for the "experiment" runner. I used some of my "stash" of knitting yarns, picking out Lion Brand's "Homespun", 100% acrylic yarn. I had bought quite a few colors when I first began knitting (Thank you, Angela!), because I liked the variety of colors available. The yarn worked well for weaving and allowed me to achieve nice, even edges.

The loom is considered a "travel loom", and will fold up to a nice small size. It can easily be transported to the workshop in the car. Notice the carrying handle on the side?

I also had been busy knitting, and then felting, a pair of clogs for myself. When I weave, I weave barefoot or wear socks. Unfortunately, even with wool socks, my feet sometimes were cold. Sheila, another friend, gave me a "Felted Clog Pattern", that I thought might allow me to weave and still be able to "feel" the treadles through the sole of the clog. So.....also last weekend, I began knitting my clogs. They were an easy knit and were completed quickly.

This photo shows the "Pre-Felting"........ Felting, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the process of knitting a piece much larger than what the final piece will be, and washing it in hot water with heavy agitation, which will shrink the yarn and turn it into a heavier material.....thus "felt". :)

And "Post Felting"....... They work very well. I am able to feel the treadles and my feet stay quite warm. Seems that both of my "textile experiences" of this past week worked out very well. A huge THANK YOU to Barb, Sheila, and Angela, for making my "retirement" more enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"The End of My Visit....."

My next stop in the new addition at St. Mary's Hospital, was above and down into the new lobby.

It is hard to see in the photo, but there is a water feature from the ceiling to the floor, with water running between 2 sheets of acrylic panels.

I love the vibrant colors in this mural. I had Don stand there so that you could get an idea as to how tall this mural is NOT short!

Don said that because a number of trees had to be cut down in this area for the addition to be built, the architects used the warmth of wood as part of the design. They even used tree branches in the making of molds, to make special glass panels for in between the corridor and Cardiac Rehab Center (unfortunately, we did not take any photos of them).

Our last stop was back up to his office where we ran into Michelle, a co-worker and friend. She and her partner, Libby, are HUGE bicycle enthusiasts, a definite bond with Don. :)

This is Kathy, another co-worker of Don's. She shares an office with Mary, from whom I bought my loom. Not sure as to what she was pointing to........nothing that wasn't obvious already! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"It's All About the Etching....."

At the far end of the atrium in the new addition of St. Mary's Hospital, is a large, back lit, etched glass "mural". It can just barely be seen in this photo.

Don wasn't able to take a "full frontal" photo due to the narrowness of the walkway, so had to get the etching "on an angle". The etching depicts the original entrance of St. Mary's Hospital. Welcoming all with open arms, is Mother Odilia Berger, who was the founder of the congregation now known as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. The Sisters began St. Mary's health care ministry in 1912. (It is a good thing there is a plaque which explains everything, eh?) :)

Here is a close up of Mother Berger, with her "ever present sharing basket", which held goods for those in need, or to hold what others had to give.

I thought the following quote of Albert Schweitzer says it all. (for a hospital AND for us, eh?) :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

"A Gift and a Visit...."

Don's sister, Bonnie, and her husband, Eugene, sent us an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas (they live in Maryland). It began blooming late last week and is beautiful! This first stem has 2 blossoms but the 2nd one has 4! I waited until we had a sunny day before taking it to the front room and snapping this photo. It's home is actually in the sun room, where we spend most of our time.

Zack taking a "close up" view of what I was doing.........

Last Friday, instead of waiting outside for Don to come out from work, I parked and went up to his office. He wanted to show me the new addition to St. Mary's Hospital. in hand, we walked down to check out the new indoor atrium. The architects did a beautiful job of incorporating the brick facade of the original exterior of the hospital, with the newer addition.
The room behind the windows on the lower right is the new Cardiac Center's Rehab/Workout facility, and the walkway outside of those windows is the track for walking laps. There is also a water feature alongside the track. It really is a pleasant and soothing space.

Another view of the former outside wall of the hospital.....with Pato, of course! :)

And behind me, another view of the water feature and it's metal/wooden/glass sculptures.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"It's Done!"

I completed the weaving of the "faux" headboard on Sunday. I am very happy with it. In the photo below, I am tying the warp threads, which is the final step in finishing the piece.

Anna had come over that same night so I showed it to her. This photo gives you some idea as to it's length, which is 5'.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Weaving ......"

The sun was bright and beautiful on Saturday when I sat down to weave, and Don couldn't pass up taking photos with the wonderful light streaming in the front windows. I am weaving a "faux" headboard for above our bed.

From another view..... Notice Squawkers McCaw in the background. Zack, our Red Sided Eclectus Parrot, is pretty interested in listening to Squawkers talk....

Don getting creative with the camera.....

Copper enjoying the bright sun, too. She keeps me company when I weave. Zack also enjoys having me in the front room to weave, as he then is allowed out onto the play stand of his cage. Zack is also becoming more vocal and less shy around us. He will actually talk to us sometimes, although still at his best when we are in another room. He is a non-stop chatter then.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"More Photos from North Dakota......"

Maniphone wrote the other day and said that Simon had been practically begging to be taken bowling. She and Jonathan finally took the boys yesterday. Here are some of the photos that they sent.......

Remember that you saw Simon's first "bowlers portrait" here on my blog... :)

Henry showing his support for a good throw/roll (?).....

Henry will most likely be the "manager". Here he is showing Maniphone which ball to use and telling her when it is her turn....probably giving her some "pointers", too.

Managers usually are "behind the scenes" and rarely seen, so also remember you've seen Henry's career portrait here as well......

Henry showing more support with his awe at Mommy or Daddy's "STRIKE". :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Photo's from Jonathan...."

Fortunately, I received an email from Jonathan (North Dakota) last night which included photos! I had used all of mine and might not have made a blog entry this morning, but since I now have these, I will have his be the subject of today's blog entry.

As some of you know, Jonathan is fast becoming (although not in his eyes) a master woodworker. I have included some photos of his pieces in earlier entries. If I am understanding his email correctly, not only is the piece in progress one of his creations, but the garage wall cabinets/shelving are also some that he built recently. He took some "not so nice" (his opinion) wood and built the storage cabinets. I certainly can't tell from the photo that the wood wasn't perfect, as they look beautiful to me.

The piece he is now crafting, is for their dining room. It will have open shelving on top, a drawer, and closed storage on the bottom.

If I am not mistaken, the clamps were a Christmas gift from 2007, which allow his cabinet making to proceed at a much faster pace than before. I remember it being very exciting when he received them, because it would allow him to be more efficient.

Remember: Click on the photos to enlarge for a closer look. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Baby Helmets...."

In yesterday's post, I had a photo of Travis and Jonas. Today, I'm posting one of Jonas with his mother, Sara. I "stole" these from their blog site. :) (the link to JJ's Adventures in Life, is on the lower right....) As you can see, no chance for Jonas's cheeks to get cold while wearing his "baby helmet". :)

It looks like the actual wearing of the helmet, fits better than when we tried to have a quick modeling of it in the house. :)

This is a baby helmet that I knitted for Julie's nephew, Dakota, who lives in Michigan. Don's "earphone head' certainly has come in handy......

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"A Mixture of Photo's....."

When I came home from Michigan last time, I brought back a pair of cowboy boots that belonged to my Dad. I wanted them to go to someone that I knew, rather than just go to Goodwill. The were too large for Lonnie, but fit Rob well, so he took them. Here he is trying them on, making quite a "fashion statement"..........he called them "shit kickers". :)

The Aero Garden has sprouted.....and only 1 week after the pots were "planted". The plant on the left has it's first pair of true leaves, with the others not far behind.

This is a "baby helmet" that I knitted for Julie's nephew, Dakota. I sent this, along with a pair of socks that I knitted for Julie's Mom, Charlene, earlier in the week. Hopefully, both knitted pieces will fit their prospective "wearers". :)

I stopped by Travis and Sara's house yesterday to give them a "baby helmet" that I knitted for Jonas. Luckily, I found them home (Travis and Jonas....Sara is now back teaching), and Jonas awake, finishing his mid morning bottle.

Here is Travis, with Jonas modeling his new hat.......I think he'll be growing into it, eh?

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year's Eve at The Great Dane...."

After the little pre-party at Andy and Angela's, the five of us (Andy, Angela, Rob, Don, and myself), drove over to the Great Dane at Hilldale for dinner. We had a very nice evening with the "crew". :)

Don and I.....

Angela and Rob (in "explanation mode").......

Andy and Don. I have no idea what this was all about. "The Battle of the Tongues"? I think Don may have lost, next to that "MONSTER" of Andy's. (Some of my thoughts, remain only thoughts, and do not become written......) :)

I think I'd throw up my hands after that "tongue contest", too......

Angela again......I thought this was a very nice photo of her.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"New Years Eve (pre-party)......."

We were invited over to Andy and Angela's on New Years Eve for a little pre-party before all of us going out to dinner. It was to be a "low-key" evening for all of planned. :)

Here is pretty as ever......glowing, in fact, don't you think? :)

And Don.....most likely laughing at Andy.....I mean at something Andy said, of course. :)

Hmmmmmm.......perhaps this is why Don was laughing? MY, MY..........

Rob enjoying a martini....Andy made especially good ones that night!

Charlie with me....... she and Lonnie were heading out to friends, as we were going over to Andy and Angela's. ( I have a "deer in headlights" sort of look on my face......)