Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time flies when you aren't making pots.....

Hi Everyone!  No pots in the near future, but I am making headway!  I ordered a new L&L 7 cubic foot kiln with vent of my very own.  The electrician is lined up to run the required power to the garage, the contractor has been picked for the insulation (yes Dan) drywall and installation of bigger but more efficient windows.  I will do the painting to make it purty, and our HVAC people will come in and put in a ductless ac/heater.  I hate spending the money on that but Greg insists (I do love that man!) so I will definitely be making pots in comfort!

In the mean time I have been baking and knitting for the upcoming holiday.  Nothing very picturesque about that, but here are the other goings on:

Picked up my new to me 56" Macomber Loom with my good friend Linda.  Thanks Stan for the use of your truck!  Trip to and from Ohio went very smoothly....once we got the billowing tarp arranged correctly.

2010 Artists Studio Tour
Judd Jarvis' gas kiln.  He has a great setup in Nelson County.  He too makes in his garage so he was full of good information.  I bought pots of course.  Because the next best thing to making them is buying them. 

Donna the Buffalo at the Jefferson.

Shearing Day at Juniper Moon Farm
They raise cormo sheep and angora goats.

One of the Maremma dogs who guard the sheep and goats.  (One who incidently just had puppies about an hour ago!!  But don't know if this is momma Lucy or not.)

Angora waiting for his haircut.....

Two weekends ago went to the Free Union Country Day School for a small craft show (where I of course managed to buy 8 oz of roving from Kid Hollow Farm.  It was St Nicholas Nite afterall!)

What a great place to attend school.  This library is just so cool!  (Small!  But cool!)

LAST weekend we visited Mangham Manor Farm
Mohair and wool.

That's me feeding the normal size lamb.  The TINY kid on the left was 13 oz at birth (7 pounds plus is normal!) He is wearing a hunting sock.  They were from different triplet births. 

Can you imagine this view everyday at work??

Now we are having our first real snow.  About 3 inches so far, so I am off to keep knitting away on those Christmas gifts!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spinning Maniac

Awhile back I mentioned that in an effort to avert the cranky feelings that threaten due to the lack of  CLAY work I have been spinning. A lot. Around FIVE POUNDS in two months. This is what 5 pounds of handspun looks like:

That's 2,991 yards. 

The above is four pounds of Karakul.  This fiber has a pretty long staple and is much coarser and hairier then the Blueface Leicester I usually prefer.  But Karakul felts VERY well.  So I have spun this as singles (that is why it looks more kinky then the other, I spun it tight to withstand the tension on my loom.) and hope to weave a blanket from it, felting it slightly when it is finished.  We'll see how it goes....

These pretty colors are mostly Blueface Leicester wool, though the gray is from Hatchtown Farms in Maine (a wonderful gift from a visiting friend) which is a glorious Coopworth top.

And because I have to prove that I have made pots in the past this is a commission for a butter dish for a friend in Germany.  It needed to be the right size for a "slab o'butter" as they call it. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Signs of Fall

Well Fall is actually well on its way in Charlottesville Virginia.  Im just now recording it, because of the learning curve on the new computer.  I am THRILLED to see that our maple tree in the backyard is a gorgeous glowing yellow!

I have also discoverd the subtle differences in Virginia acorns:

First Charlottesville:


Lastly, LibertyTown....!

Thanks to Mary Hardy and the hours on the deck with her evening glass of wine.  These are wet felted wool with a hat provided by Mother Nature.

I love them so much my friend Elizabeth Woodford made me a couple of pair of earrings from some others!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still here.....

Hi all.  No pictures because I am "in transition" computerwise.  My laptop is slowly giving up the ghost.  The monitor goes black with out I do have a new machine.  :)  That makes me happy.  They are cheaper these days and faster than my old one.  BUT  (there always seems to be a but!) Mr Gpod has not had the time to install all my backed up stuff.  or the printer....or my camera....

I know, I know, why dont I figure it out for myself?  Because he already knows how!  I have other things to fill my brain with.

So for now I will continue weaving and battling this horrid head cold.

John Prine last Saturday night was GREAT.

And its raining again!  Woohoo!

My new favorite DVD series is Mcleod's Daughters.

Puffs ROCK.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I spent the morning sweeping out spiders and crickets, moving boxes, installing greenware shelving and positioning my wheel.  Now I need to get some clay (!) and of course get the electrician to install the needed electrical....then The Kiln!

After lunch I sat at my loom and started on the 10 yard warp of cotolin kitchen towels.  They make great Christmas gifts!

Elizabeth commented on my last post that I should tell ya'll how many yards of yarn I spun out of the 4 pounds of wool I was working on.  Once I have it all wound into skeins and processed I will let you know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No pots but more music and WOOL!

So.  I have been busy stashing, running errands, cleaning, organizing....and spinning. ALOT.  In the last 2 weeks I have spun over 4 pounds of wool.  I think I miss my potters wheel.....

By the weekend, Saturday was so BEAUTIFUL.  We had 7 inches of badly needed rain through the week.  Saturday was crisp and perfect for mowing the lawn, cleaning clogged preparation for lots of fun.

Emily came (our go to girl when it comes to music!) and accompanied us to The Jefferson, a fantastic small music venue down on the mall.  Gaslight Anthem was the show for the evening.  Kind of Springstein meets punk.....a real experience for me.  For those of you who know my hubby Greg, he is an amazing music lover.  Punk is his favorite (The Ramones, A Place to Bury Strangers etc.....) Had fun at the show but I have to admit to plugging my ears once or twice...It got LOUD.

GasLight Anthem

I got up the next morning on my own and headed to the Fall Fiber Festival at Montepelier.  What an AWESOME DAY.  They had called for rain by lunchtime, but the sky was blue, followed by blustery clouds.  A genuine Virginia fall day.  My favorite.

Scottish Blackface

Cormo.  My favorite wool to spin.  I fell in love with this lady.....

I love this notice!  The color does not show up too well here but this llama had a gorgeous peachy
 colored neck

Angora bunnies


By 11:00 or so Greg and Emily arrived (Emily on her way home to Fredericksburg) That man LOVES to watch the dog trials.  In a setting like this it is easy to understand.

Did not miss Carpe Donut.  The BEST ORGANIC DONUTS! 

And no festival is complete without Kettlecorn!

I have no pictures of all the gorgeous products sold by the vendors.  I was too busy looking, touching and buying to be distracted by focusing a camera. I will say I was more controlled this year....but I had to replace the 4 pounds I have spun....right???

This is the first year that there was POTTERY. Now THAT is a show I will shoot for. MMMMM wool and clay. IS there a better combination???

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Trip to Ohio That Didn't Happen and MORE organizing

For those of you who are not weavers, the fact that I finally hung this item on the wall today will have no significance...It is a warping board, the second vital step in my weaving process.  (The first being deciding what it is I plan to weave!)  I promise to have a warp on it very SOON.

I find it so hard to create when there is still so much chaos around me.  Though the house itself is looking very good, I have left my creative spaces for last.  The basement is coming together.  I worked down there for several hours this afternoon.  It would have happened sooner but I was waiting for The Trip To Ohio to pick up my new to me Macomber 56" loom.

It didn't happen.

I reserved a Budget Rental truck a MONTH in advance.  I arranged with my friend Cathy to come with me on the trip.  I had a hotel reservation in Akron. We even boarded Cathy's wonderful companion Sophie, since MY dog Layla is so anxiety ridden we needed to take her along.  When we went to pick up the SMALL and MANAGEABLE 10 foot truck the lady calmly told me "we never see the 10 foot trucks here, so I have a 16 foot one instead."  OH MY GOD!....but then I calmly coaxed myself into believing that there could not be THAT big a difference in how they drive...(!?!)...and that I COULD DO THIS!

With sweaty palms I carefully eased out onto the 4 lane road....wondering all along how I had gotten myself into this predicament....BUT  I COULD DO THIS.  Not 15 minutes later there was a horrendous noise. Did I hit the curb???? Were the overhead branches too low????  As my heart slowed back to normal I made my way down our street INTO OUR ALLEY and even INTO A PARKING SPOT.  Cathy met me outside the truck "We have a problem".  It was the curb. And the air was slowly seeping out of newly cut slits in one of  (its a big truck) the right rear tires.  SHIT.  (sorry)

SO.  Called road side assistance, she said you can drive 20 miles on that tire, take the truck back.  AND I DID.  If I weren't so angry about the fact that the woman gave me a 16 foot truck, angry at myself for taking it, angry at the curb for getting in the way, I would be pretty damn proud of myself for the maneuvering out of the alley.

SO this cheap loom is getting more expensive.  $314 more expensive.

I wonder if I can find a number for a freight company that services Wadsworth Ohio????

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Organizing followed by a little music in the neighborhood

So everything from LibertyTown is now here in my new to be Clay Studio.....see if you can guess which side is mine and which is Greg's!?

The weaving studio in the basement is coming together...wonder where the 56" Macomber loom I'm picking up next week will go???

All that work deserved a little entertainment. So Greg and our friend Emily and I walked down the street to see a band you might recognize:

Crosby Stills and Nash playing within a 10 minute walk from my house! This place is really so amazing. The concert was AWESOME. A lot of gray hair both on the stage and in the audience. But David, Stephen and Graham sure can still perform.

What a blast.

The nest morning Emily had to leave early to make her graduate class at 9 AM (its about an hour and a half back to Fredericksburg from here.) I am not ashamed to say that Greg and I went back to bed! After a leisurely brunch we headed out (because half the day was gone already and it was SO beautiful out) to Stanardsville VA to visit Noon-Whistle Pottery. Greg and I had a great visit with Holly Horan. We had met her husband at the local (fantastic) farmers market a couple of weekends ago.

They have a terrific shop with work from many talented artists included with their own. Holly throws beautiful functional work and her husband John makes earthenware faces that I LOVE. Once I get making again I hope to have some of my work in their shop.

So now its Sunday and we are working. (!?) Laundry, hanging pictures (still) moving furniture. Layla broke another tooth trying to chew herself out of her we go to the new vet tomorrow. Poor thing is still not quite sure about the move.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hard work and cake

From this... this.

Followed by this!

Thank you so much everyone! For everything.

Kathy Harrigan made the cake. It tasted delicious (of course) and is'nt she clever??