Monday, March 31, 2008

Of Painting and Sealing

It took a couple of days to paint everything, let it dry and then seal them with polyurethane. But it finally all came together...

I started to paint more on the bottom of the lucet, then decided that I just wanted something small and simple.. so there is a small flower on each side, then several coats of polyurethane.

I finished one nalbinding needle, then decided that would be more than I needed if I used all those blanks for needles...sooo... DH assisted and we put four of them together to come up with this 5 1/2 inch loom. All that I really did to the oak was sand all the edges smooth and make sure that nothing would cut the yarn as it pulled around it. All this was done yesterday morning. Yesterday evening I did the piece of test weaving. I can already tell that I will have to grab oldest son and have him tutor me a bit on how to do this..grin But all in all.. I didn't think it turned out too bad.

This spindle is a toy wheel with a very small center hole. The shaft is a bamboo skewer from the kitchen. I still had to sand a little so the skewer would fit, but it spins like a dream now. I let enough of the shaft push through that this spindle can be a bottom whorl or it can be a supported spindle. I will be trying to learn to use it as a supported spindle. I have some short, short poodle hair that I am dying to try to spin.. I think I will have to mix it with some wool... but this spindle will be good to try it with.

The four sets of finger weaving sticks were a no-brainer. All that had to be done was sandpaper the ends and length, sand, seal, sand, seal, sand,

There is another spindle that was finished yesterday, but I'm so glad all the pics fit that I'm afraid if I try to add another one, I will be pushing my luck with So will put it up tomorrow...

I've had a couple of people ask about using a lucet.. The top You Tube video in sidebar is a video of how to use a lucet. Have a look....

Friday, March 28, 2008

W I F #5 & Lucet

It's been a fairly good week...weigh in today...188..ta da...

We spent a little time out in the shop yesterday. These are nalbinding blanks, fingerweaving rods, Lucet and spindle parts. The all need to be completed, but I couldn't wait to see if I could work the Lucet. I only had inch and a half wide piece of oak, so I drew out what I thought would work and DH cut it out for me.
I used the Dremel to sand it down, but let me tell ya... a person needs a little time and practice using the My poor little lucet has some real ocean waves... But it worked really well. I had to spend some time getting used to the small working area between the forks...about 3/4 inch... but when I did get it figured out it whizzed right along just like a grown up... Today I will finish sanding with some sandpaper. I think I will figure out some way to paint a tiny floral on the hand piece and then finish with something that will show the grain of the wood. May have to ask DSIL and find out what will work. I am trying to stay with whatever would be available around 800 AD... may not make it tho... sure like to use acrylic paints...hmmm

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lots of Socks, Tarim Stitch & Lucet

Ask me if I'm tickled that my Larry Schmitt's Lots of Socks book arrived?... It has instructions for 10 different nalbinding stitches and patterns for about 5 different nalbound socks. It also says that while naalbinding is a correct usage and spelling for this craft, an effort has been made to standardize the name using nalbinding with the pronounciation as nall-bin-ding using a short i .

It was surprising to learn that most nalbound socks in the early centuries and even up until the mid 19th century were made with a mixture of wool and goat hair.. the goat hair was added to help wick the moisture away from the feet.. with the side of the sock facing the foot brushed to smooth the goat hairs and bring them to the top. It seems that some very early Scandinavians were surprised to find that when they took their shoes off the skotalinger, or toe cap (nalbound shoe liner with a toe cap), was frozen to the bottom of the shoe. The toe cap was worn over the socks as an extra insulation for the toes and bottom of the feet.

Over the last day or so I have been trying some of the stitches and find that all but one are not that difficult to do. The last stitch, Omani, is complicated enough that I will have to study it in the full light of day with no The Tarim Stitch looks just like the knit stitch. The better thing about this stitch is that it doesn't roll in from the sides like regular knit stockinette stitch.. and is much more durable. I really like this stitch and am in the process of trying to figure out if I have enough yarn yet to make something really big out of it. Or it may be that all the kids and grandkids will get another neck scarf for (I offered to make Son #2 a pair of socks out of my hand spun pink/rose merino yarn...can you believe he politely refused!)

I finished a nalbound bag the other... handspun orange Corriedale. I need to put cordage through the top so decided that I wanted to try a Lucet instead of the usual twisted cord. Here is my "Lucet". A wooden one will be quite easy to make, but I wanted to see if I could do it (duh...easy peasy) and also to see if I would like the square cord that it makes. It's great. I just drew off my approximation of a lucet onto heavy cardboard and used a combination of knife and scissors to cut it out...covered all areas that the thread would come in contact with, pushed a hole in the center and voila'. It goes very quickly and you can use everything from embroidery thread to big yarn. The only thing is that the finished cord must be of a size to fit through the hole in the center. Therefore...aha...perhaps it would be good to have more than one size...hmmm

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Glad to be in Texas..grin

I got some pics in email this morning from our son in Michigan... After 60 in. of snow this winter, they got almost 12 more inches last night... ouch!

This has to be my favorite pic .. ;) ... Looks like DDIL and kitty aren't minding it too much!

And in this one, it looks like a nice slice of white icing

How's that for the first day of spring?!! ;0)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Weigh In Friday #4 and Visits

It has been a pretty easy week... 192# today. That's 2# this week. I guess I am being a little impatient, but it sure seems like there is a lot to

I really like hot tea and it was difficult to find a spiced or herbal tea that is good without sweetener. I had some of this that I bought a few months ago and found that I really didn't like it too well...when I tried it without any sweetener I found it delicious!

We had a lovely visit with DD and grandsons yesterday. The weather was lovely with bright sunshine and it just put the top on a lovely day. With 2 in college 2 not far from college this is a soon to be rare opportunity for all of them to be in the same picture...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Still Have The Record Album Cover

.....just not the record. Thought I would never hear it again....

The Redbud ... Love it..

The sun is shining and it looks like the first tiny leaves are showing up on a couple of the trees and buds are showing up on many more. I went out to take the pic of the redbud tree this year and was surprised by how green the meadow is already. Even if the thermometer on the back porch says 50 degrees at 10:30 this morning, the quick breeze out there makes it feel like it's about 32. (DH says I'm a wimp! grin)

I finally bought the rose essential oil I have been coveting for the last 2 years.... The only thing I can say is that a person should go ahead and get it when they first think of it...The price had gone up $10. an ounce to make it now $35. an ounce. That's the last of that because it takes almost a whole ounce to make anything... Think I will move on to something like lilac or jasmine...

While I was there I saw some necklaces that were polished flat stones with holes in the center.. I had to have one and here is what I have done with It only goes to show that a person can make a spindle out of almost anything...grin
The truth is that DH is going to cut the brush part off and I will refinish it. I was most surprised, however, that it spins just fine with the brush still attached...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Missed Weigh In Blogging Yesterday

Well, time got away from me...did some shopping, out to lunch...etc..etc... So while the weigh in did happen, it didn't get blogged until now... and the weigh in was....ta da... 191... I am so tickled. We started this on 02/23/08...that would be 3 weeks ago. I think 9 lbs. in 3 weeks is not too bad..

This Jell-O Sundae has been the life saver for my sweet tooth. I have given up sugar in my coffee and tea, but still needed something for those times when I just had to have something sweet. This is sugar free jell-o made by the box instructions...when it jells, it is mixed with cream cheese to whatever proportions I feel like that day... served in a bowl, add a few walnuts and top with whipped cream straight from the can...(not the lite stuff...I don't like it) Voila...sweet tooth taken care of.

The thing about this is that I can have it as many times a day as I want. When we first started, I had at least 3 bowls a day... as time has passed and the sweet tooth has lessened, it is now only about once a day.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Weigh In Day

Today is weigh in day.. DH and I decided that we would weigh in on Friday so here it is... Last Friday was 197 on our scales..would much prefer to use Dr. Truly's scales ;) ...but anyway... today was 193. I am finding it much easier this time than I thought to stay on the diet...what's not to love about it...

This is a ham salad that I made with ham, onions, boiled eggs, cheese, fresh mushrooms and a mix of Miracle Whip and real mayonnaise and served on crisp leaf lettuce with one small Roma tomato...yum yum. If I need something crisp & crunchy to go with the salad, I use pork rinds.

The hardest thing I have found is drinking my coffee with no sugar. But after a couple of weeks, I'm finding that it isn't half bad with real cream. Drinking tea without sugar hasn't ever been much of a problem, however I have always preferred to have it sweetened. And I decided that I wouldn't try to find an artificially sweetened drink this time... I just use bottled water and have done fine.

I will try to post weigh in every Friday...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Female Heart Attacks Info

I'm posting this information that I received in an email because it is very important for women and men alike to know about the differences in the detection of women's heart problems. Women's heart problems don't have the same symptoms as men's... in fact they can be almost undetectable using all the old stand by tests.


I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I've ever read.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction)

Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack . . you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

'I had a completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

' A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation---the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

'After that had seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR). This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws.

'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening--we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, 'Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack !' I lowered the foot rest, dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself 'If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else . . . but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in moment.' 'I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

'I then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St.Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the Cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram ballo on up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.

'I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the Paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints. 'Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.

' 1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up....which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics'. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! DO NOT try to drive yourself to the ER--you're a hazard to others on the road and so is your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road. Do NOT call your doctor, he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell y ou to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later.

3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure.) MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there.

Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Winter 2

This is not quite, but is almost, the scene we saw through the office window yesterday morning. This is from the southwest, but the sunrise was so pretty and pink that it glistened off the snow after it got a little further up. We watched the snow as we had breakfast and blogged and in general played on our computers yesterday morning.

Love the little heart that formed in the grasses by the front door... the icicles were dripping. By noon the snow had mostly gone...dropping in huge clumps to the ground as we watched from the office windows. The temp warmed up and we were in the hot tub by 4pm and stayed for about an hour.
This morning the sun is shining very brightly and the only snow left is along the steep south bank of the meadow and down in the valley where the cedar trees have shielded the ground from the sunlight.

Texas weather...wait a minute and it will change!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


While everyone has been counting the days to the spring planting of petunias, nature shows her sense of humor once again. We usually get this snow in February, but most of the old timers will never jump in and plant until after Easter.

This is what we went to bed to last night. The bright orange glow peeping through at mid-left is a street lamp in front of our neighbors house...visibility is quite poor.

This is what we got up to...grin This poor shrub is usually about 8 feet tall. We had between 4 and 6 inches of snowfall overnight. The early morning sunrise with all the snow and icicles glistening was really pretty, but already at 9:45am it is melting and falling to the ground. Lovely while it lasted.... (I'm real sure the folks sloshing along on the road in front of the house on their way to work didn't think it was quite so aesthetic...grin)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Alpaca Fleece?

I talked to my "spinning guru" Linda yesterday. We had to make a quick run to McKinney to get a set of carders so I could work on my Icelandic wool. Well, it turns out that the one that is actually fleece is not Icelandic wool at all... it's Alpaca! It seems that I got the other 2 brown colors of Icelandic and 1 large bag of white Corriedale wool from one side of the room. But this brown color that just fit with the other two I got from the other side of the That was not Icelandic... My new carders can be seen on left side of this pic...

But I am happy about it anyway. I noticed that the fleece had not been washed and yet did not feel greasy or like it was full of lanolin... that didn't really seem right. Duhh... pretty good sign it is not wool! This will be a new experience altogether. The thing about alpaca is that it is supposed to very light and fluffy to wear, but does not have the memory (spring back) that wool does. This would be a good time to mix the wool with the alpaca and try my hand at that...hmmmm