If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris

11 January, 2019

January Brings the Snow ...

For the first time in quite awhile, I've had a bit of a break and some time to get a few to-do items off my list.  Things I had been putting off for months, nay, even years. Not important things mind you, but creative indulgences.

Being back in school full-time again on January 20th gave me a new and revived appreciation for "down time," at least as much down time as an adult parent gets. So I did and am doing some things for me, and started checking off some long awaited unfinished projects, and put a small project of a favorite cowl on the knitting needles.

Next, was getting the heddles cleaned and re-arranged (many were twisted) on a new-to-me loom I bought two years ago and getting a dry run warp on it.  It gave me a chance to see what was missing, what needed purchasing or replacing and how it all went together.  It was my first time dressing a loom unsupervised.  It was quite a few years ago that I took classes at my local weaver's guild, so thank goodness for Interweave Press, a big holiday sale, and Tom Knisely's videos. 

For experienced weavers looking at this, please, do not panic.  It is awaiting installation of a second steel rod on the apron bar and cording to allow for closer tying off of the threads.  Not to worry.  Also this warp was made primarily of what was on hand just to get a feel for things, and for my funding to increase enough to order some nice Harrisville worsted weight yarns. 

Next I am working on finally getting the replacement heads for my great wheel (that I ordered also about two years ago or so but that arrived unfinished) waxed and ready to go.  The great wheel itself needs its annual cleaning and protective waxing.  I still haven't taught myself to spin on it yet, but I had wanted one for YEARS, and was finally able to find an affordable and solid one at a local antiques store a couple of years ago but it needed some pieces.  The body however, and the great wheel itself, was pristine. I also decided to entertain myself watching Norm Kennedy again, who is just so darned entertaining, as well as being a wonderful instructor.

Lastly, I have my eldest son turning 16 today and one of my finches decided to take ill with a swollen foot which I've diagnosed as a genetic gout. She is feeling much better and the swelling has greatly reduced since I pulled her out yesterday and she is using her foot again.  So I'm thinking by tomorrow she may be ready to re-join her friends. In the meantime she gets her own private room, bath and meals served on the antique dolls china. For those interested, I treated her mostly with homeopathic medicines and an excellent propolis salve.  She instinctively soaked in the water and was much improved only a few hours later. Mother nature is a wonder.

(*Update*, after close examination under the magnifying task light, which I'm sure she did not enjoy, I found she had gotten some threads from the cage cover tangled around her foot. I promptly removed the cage cover (it was a three sided piece of fabric that helps keep seed scatter down (which is terrible for finches and they seem to poop sideways!) and replaced it with one that could not shed.  Using my husband as a surgical assistant I was able to remove the threads from her foot and she healed just fine, but she did lose one toe, on it's own, quite naturally, as the circulation must have been cut off too long.  She is now completely back to normal and with her three mates.) 

I was wise enough to get all the holiday decorations down and the house thoroughly cleaned before the first of the year.  After this birthday, my holiday baking is complete until Valentines Day.  My full-time class load resumes officially the 23rd but my on-line classes open the 20th allowing me to formulate my plan of attack which is a good thing before my Saturday in-person class starts again. 

I am saving my big project for summer break from classes, a new doll's house built from a kit, The Vermont Farmhouse Jr., with an addition.  Currently the dolls reside in a painted Melissa and Doug house.  I've had the kit now for almost a decade.  Time to make time.  If you look at the picture of the spinning wheels above, to your left you see a  reproduction settle back chair.  One of my prized possessions.  I ordered it from Seth Tudor (Tasha Tudor's son) more than a few moons ago, and it is signed.  This past November, I wrote him and asked if he would indulge me and make a 1/12th scale version for the doll's house as an upcoming 50th birthday present to myself.  He was kind and gracious enough to produce an exact replica (also signed) and I couldn't have been more delighted.  So far the New Year isn't starting off too bad.

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