Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday morning

Its Sunday morning. Again. I say that because time seems to be passing so swiftly these days. No so much the nights, especially the ones when you can't sleep. Last night, it was probably because I kept thinking about the man I just met.
Yes, I admit there is a new man in my life. One, if not the, most handsome I have ever seen, although there are several who are hard to rate, so the new one wins for now.
I only saw him for a little while. Held him for a few minutes. But he's already won me over, and I look forward to him being a part of my life for the rest of it. At just under 7 lb, we have a lot of learning and growing to share. He's my new grandson, Braydon. I've had several friends warn me about what was about to happen, and Friends - you were right. And yes, he arrived yesterday, about the same time as I was posting about the effects of a Full Moon. See - 'told you.
So here it is Sunday morning. I was cold again, so I broke out the little heater for under my feet, although I would really prefer wood for the stove. Dolly is asleep at my feet, reminding me of her presence now and then with her twitching of legs and muffled whimpering while she dreams of ever elusive squirrels no doubt. Garrison and company distract me with their broadcast chatter, the only other human presence at the moment. I rally should move on to less trivial pursuits, but hey. It's Sunday morning. Hope you have a nice day too.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

full moon

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Full Moon

I an a firm believer in the Full Moon. Not that I'm into the latest craze and fascination with werewolves and vampires, but rather that we as humans are as affected by the lunar cycles as the sea. And not so much as a belief as experience and observation. Iv'e been around plants, animals, and kids long enough it would be strange to not have noticed a connection. I even felt it yesterday. I was restless, and found it hard to concentrate. I couldn't seem to find much I could really work on, and actually feel like I was accomplishing anything. Of course, it was Friday. And in addition to the common opinion of Friday afternoon work, I still carry remnants of my long passed on Great Uncle. He was a firm believer in an old adage (or superstition) that 'Anything you start on a Friday will never be finished.' Sometimes that comes in handy.
The feeling carried over into the evening. I was already a little cross. I was cold all day. There was some satisfaction during the afternoon, since the sun was actually out long enough to be felt. We even followed the dogs lead and moved to the sunroom, which was quite effective with the solar heating. If you moved along the couch to follow the sun, it wasn't all that bad. It was interesting to note that while the temperature huddled around 12 F, the one room of the house that has no heat ducts was the warmest. Guess all the research on roof lines and sun position when planning the sun room paid off. By evening however, I was huddling under a blanket watching bad tv, hands too cold for computer work. Never thought I'd be sitting there hoping for a hot flash. And then, after a break down of resolve, I indulged in an uncommon treat of some popcorn. Bad mistake. Paid for it double - caloric intake, AND a broken tooth. I expect news of an impending crown. At least its not painful, only annoying, so can wait till Monday.
But, I did observe the full Moon. Its kind of hard to ignore here, when the rising moon is visible from several of the east windows. Despite the deepened chill, I went out twice to take pictures. Then got another early this morning on the western horizon. Just one of the reasons we choose to live here.

Oh - and on the dyeing front. The batch is, well, mostly black. Not really, really black, but it will maybe do. A little is only gray, but at least there is no purple or green. I may try processing it again when I have time. But I hope to have other business to occupy me for a few days.

Be back soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's a dirty job, but.....

I must have passed the breaking point. With all the new motivations I have had in the last few days, and the ideas for new creations and technique modifications starting to fade, I have to get organized and get busy before I loose at least a portion of each. And, with taxes organized, I have no excuse. I did manage to get a few things done yesterday, but it happened again. I'm sure I'm not alone in the experience. You gather your thoughts and musings into a plan, set down with tools in hand, and within minutes, its clear. A essential component is missing. Or at least, present in a wholly inadequate portion. In my case, it was black wool. Not that I had NO black wool, just not enough of the fine stuff. Iv'e made do for months now. I used the hairy stuff, not liking it, and hoping no one would notice. But with a season of Dutch bunnies, Border Collies, Holstein calves, and of course, sheep, I couldn't ignore the need any longer. If I want some nice, fine, black wool, I'm going to have to wash and dye it myself.
So, I hauled out the tub and retrieved the buckets from the yard. Fortunately, I noticed them blown by the wind into the south fence the other day, or I would have wasted time looking for them in the garage, the shop, the barn, etc. It's not really that bad, I guess, time wise anyway, but its not pleasant either. I have refined the process. Fill the tub, shake out the wool, and push it into the hot soapy water. Let set, remove wool, place into net bags, spin dry, and repeat. It's the repeat part thats not fun. In fact, it stinks. The process tends to make the whole house smell like, well, a dirty wet sheep. (Duh.) Today I was successful in masking the odor with that of a pork roast and onion I put in the oven for supper.
I just filled the tub for the 3rd and hopefully final soap. Later I'll rinse and take it out to the shop to the drying racks. (Thank you again, Mennards, for the bonus screens we got from the screwed up window order.) And then, maybe tomorrow, some of it will be black. I love making the proclamation "Not today - I'm dyeing in the kitchen." Although it's more effective said than written. There is a family story involved, but i'll save that for another day.
I've been dyeing for a long time, yet I continue to be amazed that black should be one of the hardest colors to achieve. One would think that black, the color you think that would 'cover' just about anything, should be easy. But it's not. I've learned that black has no identity of its own. Rather, it is a combined effort of all the colors that produces what we perceive. Or rather, what we don't see. For it is within the property of absorbing all light that we see something as black. so all the colors must be present, and absorbing light. With wool and dye, that doesnt always happen. At least evenly. My last attempt at resulted in a dark but mysterious unidentifiable blend of color ranging from vaguely brown greenish purple. Which actually wasn't so bad when salvaged by carding it all together. But it wasn't really black. There is always a lesson in dyeing. Stuff about showing your true colors. True colors. And black is no different.
The sun - YES we have sun today! - is low enough it is reflecting on the computer screen, making it a little hard to see. And i have things to do yet, so I guess its time for this to end. A post tomorrow maybe? I'll let you know how the black goes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

S.A.D. week

No, nothing bad has happened, to me at least. I admit that I have had a few brief impulses to attend to my blogging, but then it would pass before I got to it. I'm blaming outside forces. Haiti. No fire in the stove to watch. (Because we are running low on wood, and saving it in case we really need it, like some in Iowa.) The sniffling, hacking, and moaning of my mate in the big brown chair. (Which has at least subsided, TG.) But mostly, I think its the gray. I hate to think i have reached the age where I even bother to complain about the weather, but really. Enough already. Even the news is talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder. I was aware of it before, and believe it is a real problem, and I have seen its effects, but it seems to have hit hard this year.
I enjoy the landscape when there is snow on the ground. The way the trees and roofs and fence lines etch their own silhouettes on the clean white canvas. But I prefer blue sky, even if it is pale from the cold. Even when it was below zero and the wind carried a mist of snow, the yellow reflections of sun seemed to warm the view, or at least the soul. Today there is no horizon. The line between earth and sky is blurred yet again by a blanket of fog. Not as heavy as it has been, so maybe just a sheet. But its depressing, all the same. I'm hoping the predicted rain will happen tonight. Even though it will mean muddy sheep and dirty snow, which aren't happy things, I think its time for a change. Although rain in January is not a lasting change, it offers hope. After all, its only a month passed the Solstice, and already the days are noticeably longer. Isn't it already spring somewhere?
On a positive note - blogging does appear to hold yourself accountable. It took me a few days, but I am proud to say I have attacked the file drawer. I purposely gutted a few files, and sorted the contents in piles strewn about the living room floor. That way, when I get tired enough of seeing and walking over them, I am motivated to do something with them. It took 3 days. Well, some of the piles remain, but I have done all I can for the time being with the tax organizer. And, as usual, the despair of the bottom line will soon be numbed by the satisfaction of having the worst of it over with. My life long achievement goal of having 'made it' has been to have a personal book keeper. Sigh. Maybe next year.

Well, I'm off now. An exciting interruption of the list of chores - a trip to town to mail an Etsy sale (Yeah), and buy more cough medicine for the mate.

Motto for the day - Since life takes up all of your time, you better make it worth it.

Make your gray days good ones.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Here I am.

Well, after months (or maybe years) of intention, Here I am, posting my first Blog. I'm making no claims as to subject, frequency, tone or expectations of any future posts. But I have taken a liking to fresh starts, and an a believer in Baby steps. Since its now 2010, there is no better time than the present. I have long intended to blog about my artwork, the business, and life in general. And it's a given that the coming weeks and months will be exciting and full of change, so I am certain to have plenty of subject matter - like a new grandson, shearing and fresh CLEAN wool to work with, and, though I'm sure some will wince (and I know who you are) at the mention, I always look forward to March when the first lambs appear. Maybe its age. Maybe just a comfort zone. Doesn't matter, long as it works. And it does for me. Right now I need to gather some self control and open the file drawer at my left elbow. I have an appointment with the tax lady. I keep telling them that I don't need to do it so soon now that the days of FASFA filing are over, but they keep putting me in early anyway. Good side is that it makes me do it. After all, the sales tax forms are due in anyway.
I really do like to write. Watch for posts as they are sure to get more interesting as the days pass. Happy sunshine to all from 'Us