Of waterdogs and black berries…

Fall is here!images

The rain is back!

The term came to denote the season in 16th century England, a contraction of middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year"

  Classes start again. Tomorrow will be the first day of Better Bones and Balance. Can’t believe how badly i have missed that class. It so hard to exercise on my own, but I do.

Nostalgia strikes or is it really?

The leaves are turning colour. So many things not done. So many things ended forever. Autumn always brings a sense of relief. The hot weather is gone. Summer ended. The beginning of the rush to be ready for winter.  School DSC_0038begins and schedules change-not so much anymore now that Spencer is retired. But, Autumn always feels like change.There was a time in my life when summers end meant hours of canning and preserving.

Dad, Grampa and not so happy Chene at Giant Springs overhang.

The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealized form. The word is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "returning home", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache". It was described as a medical condition, a form of melancholy, in the Early Modern period, and became an important trope* in Romanticism. Liberated from Wikipedia
*a word that I love.

I no longer do this. I have been liberated and no longer have the time or feel the need with home life being just Spencer and I… To be truthful-Something I mostly, slightly, actually, very little regret. I grow a few vegetables, because tomatoes, cukes and peppers never taste the same as the store  “botten”-even when purchased at the farmers market. Makes me me wonder how much of the taste is real and how much the romance of the doing.  Wondering how much is enough  to last through winter and late springs? It was an urgency I inherited from my Grandmother who lived as a subsistence farmer in the Mountains surrounding Blachly. OR for part of her life-the later years.

 Time is viewed differently when you live as your ancestors lived. Her only concession was to build a house that overlooked a valley with old houses covered by Blackberries that made great places to tunnel into and read Amphib194and draw. We only played in them by day because the cougars roamed and screamed too close and thextgranulosaor609newt-rough skined waterdog protectors retreated into the safety of the mud or shapeshifted into something else at night. 

 Of course, we were also required to pick the blackberries, can,bake, dry, make fruit leathers with the berries, dye with the berries, and dig them out of the blackberriesplaces they always seemed to be, but weren’t suppose to be…Check out those thorns. Occasionally, we were set to work dredging blue  Camas and eliminating white Camas from my Grandmothers pastures.DSC_0005 Once we we were old enough and responsible enough to safely dig and separate the two. White Camas is deadly, Blue Camas is edible.We had to wait for them to go to seed, before we could dig Camas. DSC_0017So, that they could replenish what we ate.

220px-Camassia-quamash         Good Blue Camas-edible-right

We picked and dried nasturtium leaves and seeds to substitute for black pepper and pickled fake capers. Then it was time to go 220px-Camassia_cusickii0to the Todd’s and my other Gramma was always so horrified with the deep stains and scratches on our hands, but even worse she hated nut stains from hazelnuts and walnuts that stained our fingers yellow like we had a serious nicotine problem. To her way of thinking Ladies might work and play in the sun, but should always protect themselves so it doesn’t show. Gramma DSC_0013Todd  was always concerned with freckles, but I have never had one in my life- a gift  or a legacy from my other Grandmother-that and copper eyes. She was always threatening that I would get freckles. AND,  so frustrated that I didn’t have any from not doing what I was told and wearing a hat.  Shane seems to haveDSC_0008 inherited all of the freckles with his red hair and light coloured skin.  Would I want to relive these experience? no. My mothers death last month has made things float through my mind to be DSC_0010reexamined and laid to rest-again.

My childhood was often not a pleasant place to be, but It made me what I am and I can truly say I am easy with the past and I have no regrets-now.  The biggest gift from my Mothers side of the family was thinking in symbols and symbolic languages, a firm belief in the unreal and myths and things that are not to be told but hinted at. Not a total loss. DSCN0134 

A piece I had forgotten about that was returned to me from my Mom’s estate. Done sometimes in the early 90’s for a mini textile show at Anger’s  in France that I was in. It’s 5x5inches.

Best of all’s-

I have woven constantly for the last two weeks-6-8 hours-a day.DSCN0131  I am a fourth of the way done with my piece. I will weave every day for the next week. It is 19 inches wide. I am at the 7 inch march.Yes it is really going to be at least 24 inches tall- It just needed to be.  I hope to be a third done by the time I leave a week from Thursday. I will be leaving  to teach at EGLWC Conference in Chautauqua, NY. Unfortunately the class at Mirrix Looms didn’t fill. It would have been so much fun weaving with Claudia and all. SO, I won’t have the week in between for Museums and visiting friends. Next time.sigh!


  I thought I would have a Month before going to Albuquerque and teaching at Village Wools. Enough time to get very close to finishing the piece. It will be nice to see Diane and Shelley  and others-again. My plan is to arrive a day or so earlier then my class to do some research and visit friends. Two days in in Santa Fe, Albuquerque the surrounding areas. Yes, I am bringing Chene and Spencer.

 Then “And He” all slows down, but in a good way. I will be weaving as many hours, if not more, but on two pieces, two different formats and two different designers.BUT, instead, I am going to weave on a piece with Shelley Socolofsky- 3 days a week in her “studio” and 3 days a week at home. Shelley and I have woven several pieces together and it is always interesting and mind boggling. She designs and I weave. the last piece we wove together was based on  Fata Morgana  and other things or what between usDSC_0043 we call Kathryn’s piece. It was in the Corvallis exhibit of the 4 teachers and their students that she and I were in along with Dee Ford Potter and Rosalie Nielsen this summer. I am so excited the new tapestry includes Rya and is Shaped and it looks to be pretty large. I’ll know a whole lot more about it when I began on Saturday. 

My spare time for the last several weeks has been on finishing my PowerPoint presentation on warping the Mirrix loom for tapestry with a continuous warp. Haven’t quite decided whether to leave it as a slide show or make DSCN0129a brochure or small book showing the way I warp the mirrix. It’s something I get a lot of questions about. It has almost 50 slides and I need two more slides of turning the warp with a tapestry on it around the bottom beam and then it is done.

Chene trying to stay warm and hiding his bad haircut after being felted-accidently.

I am also in my spare samplertime reweaving several samplers that disappeared while I was at the ANWG conference teaching. It’s the first time I have ever had samplers disappear from a class I was teaching. I keep hoping someone accidently picked them up and will return them. SO, I am taking time I don’t really have  reweaving my soumack sampler  and a small sample that illustrates what happens when you unbalance weft bundles. It is a series of hatches done in inch increments with different size weft bundles.

                                                       Gone Missing!

   Please feel guilty enough to drop them in envelope no questions asked and return them to 604 first Avenue East, Albany, Or 97321.                                                               


is beginning to work on another booklet that will be ready for publication by Convergence 2012 at which Pat is teaching. Pat and I had fun choosing a name for it today.

It’s to be called– 

The Viking’s should’ve. It’s  Pat’s  exploration into using felting, Viking knitting,  felting beads, felt dreads and other things. It’s really  cool. Viking knitting is a interesting metal working process that  is probably relate to nalbinding.  It’s really fun to do and Pat has some really interesting ways to use it with felt. The dreads as in dreadlocks are just plain fun.


Giant Springs on

a sunny day in


Tell Next time!