Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Jason Collingwood Weaving Workshop"

I once again attended a Jason Collingwood weaving workshop, hosted by Juanita Hofstrom at her Vavning Studio (, in Shopiere, WI.  The focus was 3 end block weave and shaft switching.

Here is this years class......

Juanita's studio is a former church, with the main weaving studio in the lowest level.  The upstairs, which still retains all the pews, is used for the lecture part of the workshop.

The weaving studio is quite spacious, even with all of the students bringing in their own looms.......

Jason packed in a lot of information during our 2 1/2 day workshop.  Much more than I can get a handle on or accomplish.  This photo shows Jason demonstrating Shaft Switching on Juanita's loom that is set up for shaft switching.

Another angle which allows you to see the loom set up.......

Jason is very good about demonstrating each new technique.  Here he is showing us how to do another technique which I never even got close to trying.  :(

This is what I accomplished during the 2 1/2 days of the workshop.  In past workshops that I had taken, I tried to keep up and try each new technique.  This time I decided to concentrate on only a few, taking more time to learn the process and be successful.  It may not look like much, but I am pleased with the results, and that is how it should be, don't you think?   ;)

Here is a close up of my "3 End Block Weave" sample.  I also learned, since my last class, to label each sample as it was woven.

My sample of "Horizontal/Vertical Stripe Blocks" and a tiny bit of "Clasped Weft".

Another student, Kari, came to the class to learn all the techniques, too, but concentrated on the horizontal/vertical blocks, using a fine black warp with a multicolored transitional weft.

It was a great workshop and I encourage anyone interested in weaving rugs (or more!) using designs and patterns to take it if available to you.  This was my 4th workshop with Jason and I feel I am getting closer to trying a wool rug on my own here at home.  My reason for not having done so already?  Too many other weaving projects that interest me! ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Last Post From TC Vacation....."

Our last hurrah with the family was on Friday of our vacation.  After kayaking, we had a late lunch, more conversation, then had to say goodbye.  We had to take Claire to the airport for her flight back to DC, and Patrick, Julie, and Abigail had to drive home to make Abigail's bedtime.

Ms. Munchkin sat munching on snacks until lunch was ready.

Aunt Claire got out her trusty iPad and entertained everyone, especially Abigail, with a camera program...................

Getting results like this........

After lunch we had more quiet time leading up to everyones departure.  Grandpa got some one on one with Abigail.  Our iPads certainly were interesting to her......

Grandpa Don and his iPad were found extremely interesting, too.  As you can see, that chair was perfect for sharing an iPad screen.   ;)

Patrick, Julie, and Abigail left for home as we left to drive Claire to the airport for her flight.  Everyone made it home safe and sound.

Don and I had one more full day in TC, part of which we spent on a "Magical History Tour", sponsored and organized by the History Center of Traverse City.  We highly recommend it.........(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Last Gathering of Family......"

I mentioned in an earlier post about Don ordering his kilt, etc.  He was able to bring home with him the accessories he'd purchased.  He did assemble what pieces he had altogether over a somewhat non-traditional base.....shorts and a tee shirt!   :)

The day following our mini winery tour, was Claire's last day with us (she was to fly out that evening).  Patrick, Julie, and Abigail made plans to come up and visit that day, too, bringing their kayaks so everyone could go out for a paddle.  In this photo, Patrick and Abigail are about to go out and unload the kayaks from Patrick's truck.  By the way, Abigail is wearing a brand new bathing suit.   ;)

All kayaks are down at the dock and the 2 are patiently waiting for the rest of the kayakers........

Grandpa Don is the first one down there and helps Abigail into her PFD (personal floatation device) or better known as a lifejacket.   ;)

Julie and Claire are the next to arrive.  This Grandpa is not going kayaking.  I plan on staying at the house and preparing lunch for when they return.

Aunt Claire is in and ready to go........

Grandpa Don is in and ready........

And Patrick, Julie, and Abigail take off, too.

The day was perfect for the paddle.  A slight breeze was blowing so it didn't get too hot, although the sun was strong, especially reflected off the water, so care was taken with hats and sunscreen.  Precautions were taken by everyone except "Ms. She Who Tans Easily", Claire.  :)

The paddling goal was to paddle to and through the channel which connects smaller Mickey Lake to the MUCH larger, Long Lake.  This photo shows the trio of kayaks about to paddle through the channel.......

While they were out on their paddle, I got things ready for lunch so they could eat upon their return.  Time on the water brings on ravenous appetites.   ;)

The crew returns after exploring part of the upper end of Long Lake.

Everyone was home, safe and sound.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Mini Winery Tour......"

On Thursday morning of our vacation, I drove Don into town to Henderson's Imports Ltd ( to shop for some "Scottish attire".  It isn't like walking into a big box store, trying something on, and walking out with it.  No, he had to be measured and an order placed for his kilt and jacket.  He had 2 choices for his families tartan, the older plaid or the newer one, plus in those 2 choices were a few others as well.  The weight of the cloth, which color in the tartan to have prominent in the pleats, the length of the kilt, and probably more that I can't remember.  After finalizing the decisions for the kilt, then a jacket needed to be chosen......yep, more choices to make. Formal versus casual, then type of cut/style, etc.  ;)  Accessories needed to be considered, too, so ties, socks, shoes, belt and buckle, hat, and a sporran chosen.  Whew!  Quite the experience!  Quite an enjoyable experience really.  He won't have his kilt for a number of months yet (the cloth isn't even woven), but when everything arrives, I'll make sure we have a fashion show and I take numerous photos to share.  See what interesting things you have to look forward to?  ;)

Back to the present.  Don and I arrived back at the house on Mickey Lake and Claire was ready to go exploring.  She'd had a relaxing morning and was up for anything we suggested, which was a mini wine tour.  The Traverse City area is home to many, many wineries on both Leelaunau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula.  May is considered "pre-tourist season", so hours of operation are shorter, especially on a weekday.  We decided to drive up Old Mission Peninsula, stopping at Black Star Farms Winery ( are located on both peninsulas) first.

The tasting room was very nice and we, along with 2 other people, were the only "tasters" on the premises.  "If" I remember correctly, $5 bought us "tastes" of 5 wines of our choice. EVERY wine they bottle is available to taste and the list is VERY extensive!  The sheet I am holding shows side 1 filled with choices and side 2 is full as well.  Decisions, decisions........we managed somehow and narrowed our "likes" list down to a few which we purchased.

We were quite surprised when we were ready to leave, to find our glasses bagged and leaving with us!  A nice touch to the wine tasting experience, don't you think?  They came in quite handy at last Friday's Happy Hour.   ;)

Our next stop was at the Peninsula Cellars tasting room, seen here behind us, located in an old school house further up Old Mission Peninsula.

Yes, we managed to find wines we liked here, too, and bought a couple to bring back to WI with us.

We called it a day after that and headed back to Mickey Lake for the evening, stopping along the way to pick up a few snacks to munch on later.  I'd forgotten to mention we'd had a late lunch prior to the winery tour and didn't feel we wanted (OR NEEDED!) to eat a "real dinner".  :)

Back home, we brought out the box of old photos from Sean to the deck and proceeded to look through them.  We had a wonderful time filled with "Look at this one", "", or "When was this taken?".

Tomorrow.......our last day of vacation with kids.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Petoskey Visit Continued........"

Leave it to Uncle Sean to bring out a "Whoopee Cushion"!  Abigail had not seen one before and really didn't understand what it was all about.  Notice the "looper rug"?  Yep, woven by me as a Christmas gift for Sean.

She was intrigued by the noise and made no connection to what the noise "supposedly" was meant to be.  The rest of us were in hysterics though, with some of us volunteering to be the actor demonstrating its use.  When Grandpa demonstrated it for Abigail, she was unfortunately standing on the edge of the little step (seen by my feet in the above photos) and it startled her, making her lose her balance.  She was, of course, all right, but the rest of us found it extremely funny.  Yes, VERY childish behavior and led by the family "patriarch".

Abigail was just as happy to use her foot to make the sound.

Next, Uncle Sean was a "Bubble Maker".

Then he brought out a fake mustache.......

And finally, he and Abigail went through some baby photos of her......

Aunt Claire found another wonderfully entertaining piece in Uncle Sean's house, too!  We have one of these Pin Point Impression Toys here in Madison, and everyone loves it.  Abigail was no exception.......

Then it was time to go out to eat!

We chose City Park Grill ( because they cover their tables with paper......perfect for helping keep a child matter what their age.   ;)

They're well known for their "Award Winning Chicago Burger", which seemed to be the main pick of the day for our family, with a couple of exceptions.  DELICIOUS!

And messy, too!

After eating, Patrick, Julie, and Abigail headed back to their home (we'd see them again on Friday), and the rest of us went back to Sean's house.  He had a box of old photos (seen in photo below) and was sending it home with us so Don can scan ones we don't already have.  Believe me, there are MANY in this box that we do not.  Don has taken on quite a chore.

Sean's cat, "Po Kitty" (?), found a comfortable spot to enjoy the conversation......

After the drive home, peace and tranquility on the shore of Lake Mickey........

Tomorrow a short post on our 2 stop "Wine Tasting Tour".   ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Petoskey and Family Reunion"

It's been a year since our entire family has been together, so I call our gathering a family reunion.  Most families have their family reunions in the Summer, but ours tends to take place in the Spring.

Claire arrived from DC on Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday morning, the 3 of us got into the car to drive up to Petoskey to visit Sean, my youngest son.  Patrick, Julie, and Abigail drove up separately, beating us there by a few minutes.

Claire and Abigail head upstairs during their exploration of Sean's house.

Abigail meets Gizmo on the way up the stairs and stops for a bit of camaraderie.

Upstairs, they come across Sean's electric guitar and can't resist the temptation to sit down and strum a few chords.

Meanwhile downstairs, Patrick is helping Sean get a computerized odometer (or something like that) to work on his bike.  Sean had been fussing with it and couldn't get it to work.  Patrick is our families "Mr. Fix It", and yes, they did get the piece of equipment to work.   ;)

While Claire and Abigail were strumming upstairs, Don picked up my old guitar that Sean taught himself to play on and strummed a bit himself.

Following Don's example, I, too, picked it up to strum a bit and did as well as I did "back in the day", which is to say........horrible!  I never did learn how to play.   I am very pleased that Sean took it and learned to play it.  I talked with my sister about it after our vacation and I've come to the decision that she had given me the guitar for Christmas back in the early 1970's.  It is still going strong.....just not in my hands.  ;)

To be continued......