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Bringing in 2018

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Ah, first day. We went out for the first time on New Year’s Eve in many years to a Steampunk Ball at the Haw River Ballroom with friends, and it was fabulous. We all enjoyed dressing up steampunk and dancing. The music was fabulous, both the dj selection at the beginning of the evening and the live music by the Onyx Club Boys later. I could see myself getting into this bigtime.

Today I’m looking ahead. I am actually going to begin a tapestry diary today, something I’ve intended to do for several years. I have a frame loom warped already and I’ll use that. The plan is to work on it weekly, but I’ll attempt to do something daily if it is at all possible. I’ll probably use a photo for inspiration of color or shape. I’m not going to promise myself to work daily on anything, because I’ve seen that aspiration go down in flames too many times. It only produces guilt.

Another goal is to not buy any clothing, books, or art supplies for the next year. Basically, nothing that is not necessary. Something else I’ve wanted to do for a while. I have enough books to last a lifetime and I need to get rid of a lot of stuff.

I want to spend more time with the Triangle Book Arts group.

I don’t want to sell anything or enter competitions or juried shows again this year. This may change.

I have to consolidate my studios soon, and I’m getting there little by little.

Trips and workshops for the year are planned as followed: Seth Apter one-day workshop here in Greensboro in early February! Tapestry Weavers South retreat on the Georgia coast in May. I have put down a deposit for Tommye Scanlin’s tapestry class at John C. Campbell Folk School, but since I am third on the waitlist and it is the week of Memorial Day, I have very little hope of getting in. I especially want this one because Jenny, a friend from Washington state, is going, and I always want to spend more time with her.

Sandy and I plan to take a week in mid-September as usual, but this time we are going to try to hit both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in our quest to visit as many National Parks and Monuments as we can. My friend Judy from Montana plans to join us.

Here are more photos from last night’s festivities, including our friends Jerry and Susan Wong. Gerald Wong is running for Congress. How’s that for cool friends!

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From the peanut gallery at the Haw River Ballroom

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Jerry and Susan

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Jerry made this awesome staff that had lights that synchronized to the music.

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Sandy and I relaxing between dances

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I don’t normally take bathroom selfies, but it was the only place with light!

coffee pot posts, fiber art, Greensboro North Carolina, Slow cloth, Uncategorized

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Did I catch a flying saucer in this photo?

My love/hate relationship with Daylight Saving Time continues. Even though I love that extra hour of sleep in the morning I do not love the earlier darkness at the end of the day. Then spring is so hard to adjust back! I have always had a very regulated body clock. My husband does not and can stay up all night and sleep most of the day on the weekend then switch back to an 8-5 weekday schedule. I envy that and his ability to fall asleep in less than 60 seconds, but I also believe that it affects his health negatively.

My spirits are better this week although it seemed like time dragged. Last Sunday I made myself go to the studio and then made myself sit down at my sewing machine just to play with tshirt scraps. I ended up with a block I liked and will do more in this vein.

Friday night Sandy and I took his little bongo drums to the drum circle that meets in Center City Park on First Friday nights. (They won’t meet again until March or April.) That was fun but I think I’d like to get a bodhran, which is an Irish drum. The vibration on my fingers is a little too much. Then we went to Little Brother Brewing, a new micro brewpub on South Elm, and listened to feminist poetry. An Asheville-like evening in downtown Greensboro.

I’ve been purging collage materials from my studios, trying to get ready to consolidate them if necessary. When I get blocked, I reorganize. I have a lot of pure junk paper that I am recycling, but I also have a lot of old dictionaries, textbooks, natural history books, music sheets, maps, and atlases. My plan is to make collage variety packs to sell at a very low cost because I know there are artists who would love them. I’ll include painted and handmade papers as well. I’ll probably get this going around Christmas when I have time off and sell them through here, my Facebook page, and Paypal.

I think that I’ll make paper and fabric garlands and prayer flags too.

Now, going to work on “First, the Seed” and “Flow” books for the Triangle Book Arts show if I can get my worktable cleared off!

Back Forty, Blather, coffee pot posts, Uncategorized

Saturday morning coffee pot post

This really will be random.

Last night, for the first time since surgery, I could turn over in bed without my insides feeling like they are rolling around! Sometimes the absence of a thing feels like a real thing. So I’m pretty happy this morning. Haven’t even taken a Tylenol yet, although I will.

I think I’ll go to the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market and buy broccoli and some combo of locally raised beef and pork and chicken. They have wonderful lean brats and
sausages there too. I always see a lot of great people there. Back when I was agoraphobic it was one of the first places where I felt comfortable as I was healing.

My field peas are about done but my butterbeans are having a big end of season run. I picked twice this week and shelled, blanched, and froze them. My tomatoes are about done too and I’m going to dehydrate my last batch this weekend.

The California fires are nightmares and my heart hurts so much for the terror and trauma and loss of the people there. Fire is a particular dread of mine and I’ve lost some loved ones to it.

I went to two Art-is-You retreats in Petaluma and one of my classes with Roxanne Stout went to beautiful Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma to sketch and take photos. I hope they survive this. What beautiful country it is there. It’s little wonder so many people have moved there to retire. It seems from the news reports that many of the elderly residents could not escape in time. So horrible.

I’ve been fantasizing about moving west again despite all this. I keep thinking about a co-housing community near Forest Grove, Oregon. We met one of the residents at a bluegrass jam in a tiny brewery there, and he asked us out to a cookout there the day we were leaving. Even offered to pick us up. Unfortunately it was 100 degrees that day and Susanne had to get on down the road to Eugene to meet her boyfriend and turn in the rental car, so we couldn’t go. I looked it up online yesterday. I would really love to live in that area. I think Sandy would like it too.

I picked the glue out of my belly button and I’m so glad about that. It was driving me crazy. The little things, you know. Also, I never thought I’d be typing that sentence.

Also on my mind: if given the opportunity to sell my part of my cousin’s lake house, will I do it? Anyone who has read this blog for long or knows me well knows of my intense attachment to it. I don’t consider it partly mine because my cousin’s wife has lifetime rights but she can’t tear down the house or sell the property, so apparently it IS partly mine. I don’t pay a cent in taxes or expenses for it but she encourages me to go down there and stay as much as I want. I hear that she is considering making us an offer, which I’m sure means that the house will come down. The lot is what is valuable.

I could use the money for retirement, or buy a nice camper and go where I please.

Ay yi yi. Probably won’t happen but it set my brain in motion. And I’m still smarting over selling my mother’s house.

Okay, better get to the farmer’s market. Time has run away from me. I’ve signed up to do this, which I pretty much do all the time anyway.

Uncategorized

Recovery a week later

A week after my surgery, I was humbled about listening to my body and to my doctor’s office. The art work I did wore me out. It did not help my healing to put the pages on the floor and rearrange them on Monday. I had to rest all day Tuesday. Then I went back to work on Wednesday because I had decided beforehand that that was the date I was going back to work, even though the doctor’s office suggested two weeks out and then when I challenged that they said that one week would probably be fine since I have an office job. So I went back six days later, walked all over the place because it felt good to be up and around, and ended up back in bed at 2:30 that afternoon with an ice pack and stayed in bed through Thursday.

After a solid day and a half of rest and a good meal last night I am back at work sitting in front of the computer, but I took the elevator and I am going home if I begin to feel bad or exhausted. I’ve ditched the opioids because they weren’t doing me much good anyway. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen and icepacks are helping me just as much.

Needless to say I am tired of being in bed, I am bored, and I am frustrated, but I’m willing to admit that I was stubborn and wrong and not as tough as I wanted to think I was. I’m actually happy to be at work today. The weekend is ahead and even though there are many fun things to do in Greensboro, I’m going to try to listen to my body.

The deadline for the book arts show has been moved to a later date so I don’t feel the urgency that I did this past week. I’ll work on this again on Sunday afternoon and post photos. I took photos of the book stretched out in its final order on the floor so I won’t have to bend over and futz around with that now. It will all be sitting work.

Back Forty, coffee pot posts, fiber art, Uncategorized

Sunday morning coffee pot post

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Whew. I am SO SORE from carrying bags of potting soil and the yard work I did yesterday. It is disheartening because it doesn’t seem like I did that much, but I guess that’s what laying around all winter will do for you.

My focus has been the front yard, although I did plant sugar snap peas, Oregon giant snow peas, Nantes carrots, and arugula in the back forty. Now that I get a little more sun on the south side of the front yard, I’m going to take advantage of it before the neighbs let their yard grow into a jungle again. I do miss their butterfly bush, though.

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Moving herbs to the south side because they are being taken over by Lenten roses. I also moved some flower bulbs (don’t know the name, will find out) and weeded a lot of the hated liriope and wild onions and ivy and other invaders. One day if I am not broke from traveling and house remodeling I’m going to hire somebody to dig out all the liriope and English ivy. The last person I asked for an estimate for cleaning out the English ivy and other vines in the back forty was the guy I hired to cut the little bit of grass and weeds we had back when neither Sandy or I could do it. He looked at it in horror, backed away without giving me a price, and I never saw him again.

I’m going to plant yarrow in the pathway since it doesn’t mind being walked on. The edge is made with fieldstone that I dug out of the beds in the Back Forty years ago. There was once a big dirt-covered mound back there that contained all kinds of crazy junk, but digging for the fieldstone was like digging for treasure.

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Anyway, I have hopes that my front yard might produce a few vegetables this year. I’m going to plant some in containers on the south side. The yoshina cherry trees have such big shallow roots that it is difficult to plant anything that needs a big hole. One huge root is heading for our house and I guess we need to cut it with a chain saw. I regret planting these trees in 2002.

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I want to get more bright colors in there, but the shadiness lends itself better to Lenten roses and hostas. I’ll plant some foxgloves and more purply foliage such as coral bells. The bloodroot I transplanted last year really took off and that was very pleasing. The Solomon’s seal is probably my favorite plant and has expanded a lot since I planted it near where the gutter empties rain from the roof several years ago.

I planted lettuce and parsley in the containers on the (what do you call that) wall next to the front steps. There has to be a architectural name for that. My brain doesn’t do words the way it used to.

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In the studio: not much. A little random sewing of scraps. I’m going back home today and weave on my tapestry on the front porch. The cats are loving it. Sandy moved Pablocito’s cat tree out there. We both spend hours reading together. This screened porch is a good addition to our lives.

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So, it’s been a pretty good week, other than a sore neck and back. My chiropractor closed his practice to teach at Duke. That’s how good he is. He treated me for twenty years. It is hard to make myself find another chiropractor but I probably need to do this for my neck before I go to the United Kingdom. It sucks not to be able to turn your neck when you’re being a tourist! But work has been satisfying and I’ve probably partied a bit too much with friends. I need to cut down on my beer drinking because I’m gaining weight again.

In books, I am totally hooked on the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I am way ahead of the TV show – at the end of the sixth book and ready to order the next three. Cornwall awaits!