The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weaving In Change

Life keeps rolling along and, with it, comes change. I don't resist it, but, rather, embrace it with welcome. At least I know that I'm not camping out in my own life, but living the full.

As I have been amended, so has Creations Studio a good way. How can I say it other than I have had a LOT on my plate! But, at least, I keep working, trying, enjoying and forever counting my blessings.

Another way to say it would be is BOOMING!

THAT'S an understatement, if ever I heard one. I am proud to say that I have risen to the challenge. That being said, I have been working from dawn till dusk and hardly known what a day off is in ever so long...

Don't get me wrong. I am so totally happy and proud and astonished and grateful.

Okay, I admit it....I'm feeling rather smug!

My orders are delightful, I get to work with wonderful people all over the world and I get to weaveweaveweave...  What could be better than that?

 And, I have just recently decided it was best to hire help which, I am so glad, could be found like beautiful treasures right here in our little Village of Magdalena!

I have their purrrrrrrrrrrrmission to tell their first names and I am so proud to do is named Annie and one is named Jean. They are both very well-informed and skilled artisans in the fiber field and they have been such a joy to me almost every day since I announced the need for jobbers a few weeks ago!

They are helping me so much with the initial preparation for weaving. They will save me bunches and BUNCHES of time and their work has been so carefully learned and well done. They will not weave for me, however, as weaving is not their skill set, but they will enable me to turn orders out faster with the same quality level.

Instead of me spending hours of valuable time at a warping reel measuring out anywhere from 6 to 70 (yes, I meant seventy) yards of warp, THEY are doing it. They will also be performing that ever needed "dummy-on" process that helps me preserve those original patterns I have been writing!

I will also perform the arduous task of winding on all warps after they have been so skillfully measured out by my helpers. Also, to repeat, I will do all the weaving that is produced in this studio! Cat Brysch Creations Studio progresses in life, so will this old weaver. I am so proud and happy to be in the company of these talented ladies and I am thinking that, with their support and interest, we will move things right along!

I will now be more free to ride my Harley, create the fiber art that I miss sooooooooo much, and even take a day OFF now and then!

I must also mention that I have tried to figure out how to change my "heading" at the start of this blog which claims that I do "all the work myself with no computers or helpers", but, for quite a while I was unable to figure it out.... But I kept 'visiting' the blog to try and learn how ~ AND I'VE DONE IT!

With a relaxed, happy smile, I am sending out Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Monday, May 19, 2014

You know, sometimes you just have to say something right out loud. What keeps crossing my mind is to be grateful and to notice the good things in life. Sometimes things are not going so well....sometimes we don't feel very good, sometimes we face challenges that remind us how human we are, sometimes family or friends are a source of sadness or distress, intended or not.

Well, here is one of those reminders....yes, even this block of wood is an example gratefulness!

Okay, I was processing handwoven fabrics for separating them and washing them and I have a pretty good system going that, when needed, I can have all set up in about 10 minutes.

As I am ready put each raw fabric edge (not selvedges) through my serger, I gently cut each fabric apart from the huge roll that usually holds 5 separate orders. I begin to cut between the orders which, sometimes if the colors in the cloth are very similar, I'll weave 1 or 2 rows of a contracting color, so I can see clearly where to cut. So, I set one end of the cloth roll on my serger, the other end goes into a holding stand (that I'll show in a later post) so that I don't have to try to hold onto that VERY heavy roll of fabric!

Just past my hand cutting along the "line" to separate 2 fabrics accurately, you might be able to see a "cradle" that I can put the 'serger end' of the cloth roll in, so it won't try to roll around as I unwind each fabric. Do you see it there?  It's made of wood, it's got a flat foot and an upright area that the roll can drop in with sides to hold it...

Well, when I was setting up the equipment needed to accomplish this task, I needed to raise the OTHER end of the cloth roll about 2 inches to make the roll be held horizontally (and I usually use books)....and in walks my master wood worker husband (Jim Hokett of Hokett Would Work) with what was left over from a totally UNrelated job he was doing for me....and guess what!

It was the block of wood that appears at this top of this post!

I quite often say, "The universe will give you exactly what you need, WHEN you need it." And here's yet another example of that.....I could write a BOOK about things that have happened like this just when I was needing them.

Now this is not earth-shattering, nothing seems different, nothing special is happening here.....except being grateful for the little things that happen around us that seem to have the power to encourage us, spur us forward, make your day, make a difference.....little blessings.....

Just be grateful, count your blessings AFTER you count your sorrows....we all have them....

And.....we all have both.

Thinking of you with Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

One Heart A Day.....

Well, anyway....that is the goal right now. You see, I have so many projects in the works at one time, that I learned years ago to set goals for each day. This has helped in my "job" of working full-time at this craft that I love so much.

This is the current goal list: Measure 1/2 chain for the Hearts in Black, Weave at least 1/2 yard on the Desert Nights Narrow, Thread one heart a day on the Old Structo.

Seems simple enough to me....

I find I do better if I have a daily goal clearly stated in my mind (or out loud) that I know I can reach. It should have some meat to it, you know, not like....okay, today I'll dust off the loooooom. But I am an understanding boss/worker in this weaving studio... So, if something comes along that is irresistible, I can change my list, alter it slightly....quality of life goes on in this place, too, and I've learned to respect that.

So, if I need to get my 10 minutes of sun a day right NOW, I'll do it (and try to work a little faster to make up the time...). If I have an invitation for a bike ride....well, I'm not gonna pass THAT up!

But, I am still goal oriented and that works best for me. It keeps me focused (and a little driven) and gives me a sense of pride when I fulfill the goal for a day (daily endorphin fix!). I was recently asked by a very nice Canadian lady how I handle so many looms and so many projects....well, this is the answer. And the title of this post came to me while I was gloating over the fact that I had just finished the first heart pattern on my Old Structo on which I am threading an 8-Harness Huck Lace Heart.

In my mind I said, "Ta heart a day..."

Being able to change one's mind in mid-stream is an added path to productivity and the project on the Old Structo is a good example. You see, I had threaded a nice tight little twill on there that was going to be just fine for baby blankets and stoles, and I also had my pure tabby weave to give me MORE variety... 1)  I could weave a combination of twills, 2) I could weave "twill as overshot", 3) I could take that twill apart and weave some vertical patterns with its components, 4) I could weave plain weave with a bunch of sizes of threads and yarns to give lots of textures and colors, while making the blanket heavier or the stole lighter....perfect, right?

It was....well......... booooooorrrrrrrrrrrring!

I "hemmed-and-hawed" for a few days and realized that this was why the Old Structo had been standing still for about a was getting lonely, too. I like to keep all my looms humming along, doing what looms were made to do....I current have my third sofa throw going on Doris, my seventh baby blanket going on Deedle, more of the lovely cotton and linen going on Grace, a small bit of yardage going on Jimmy, weaving off the Desert Daze warp from Stanley, and contract work zipping along on Margaret, as well as weaving Desert Nights Narrow on Arlene and dressing Hazle with the Hearts on Black. BUT, I am sure to meet my daily goals first.

I want to write about my little adventure on the Old Structo, but, when I do, I'll just add it to my page called "The Old Structo". Until then, I'll keep being my own boss (gee she's a good enough ol' girl), keep my goals reachable but challenging and keep sending out Miles and Miles of Smiles....Cat B.