Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Workin' That Felt

I will be delivering some shawls next week to a new gallery, Horse Spirit Arts Gallery near Ellicott City. I've had to crank out a few as I had sold most of them over the holidays. 

I really do enjoy making these, but just had to get over the creative blockage I 
had about putting these together. I was into painting and decorating instead. 

But back in my basement studio I went, gathering my supplies…roving, silk hankies, locks, silk fabric, chiffon, mohair and glitz. I first dyed all the ingredients, dried them on the radiators, then laid them out. 

This one is called 'Walk in the Woods', a collage of the forest floor (not really but I like the textures of the forest floor!)

This is how it looked right after I laid it out. I know this looks more brown, but it really is the grey/black one below.

This one is perhaps my favorite one ever. I love how the colors and textures turned out. I don't really have a plan when I start these, they just transform.

I named this one 'Sit Down With Sangria'. Sangria is one of my color ways that was a mistake. I was dying Sedona but the water had a bit of purple in it so I added more purple and voila!, a new color way.


'Crocus In the Spring'

'Carnival Parade'

My tables have worked so well for felting. I can lay out one shawl or two scarves and have all my supplies right at hand. 

Cleared and clean, ready for my next creative burst.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Office Makeover Reveal

While Forrest was recuperating in my living room, I had to stay busy, but be at home. Perfect solution….tear into the office that hadn't been touched for 24 years! Isn't this what everyone does on December 24th?!!! I put on loud music and got my groove on and painted away. Forrest would call me on the phone when he needed something like ice or food or encouragement. 
I didn't get many before pics but this one shows the very dated color scheme and the wood that I kept natural all these years. The lights had already been put in by my friend Gerardo, but they were just bare bulbs before. 

This is the same corner as above. All that darn trim was painted white and it took four (4!) coats of paint. ALL that trim, with the brush going over it again and again and again.

I got that chair a year ago on freecycle. I guess my painting furniture days aren't over as I painted the little dresser our favorite 'Betsy's Linen'. 

These shelf units were built when we enclosed what was our screened-in porch 24 years ago. They were scuffed up, almond colored and needed an update. I painted them all white with dark grey beadboard in the back.

The most fun was moving into the shelves. I gathered up my pretty things, collections, vases, pitchers, cameras, urns, photos and books….

….and arranged little vignettes on each shelf. 

Some were colorful

and some were monochromatic.

I love me some owls!

Number 3 is my favorite number.

I forgot I had this cute, perfectly sized table. I painted it the same deep grey that I patined the shelf backboards. I still want to add silver leaf on the legs to look like mercury glass 'socks' to tie in with the mercury glass theme. 

I changed up the cushions after finding these at my favorite store, Homegoods 
(besides Home Depot and Lowe's). And for the final touch, I had a new rug made. This room cannot have wall to wall carpet because it has an old terra cotta floor (because it was a porch) so I had one bound and it fits perfectly. I'm so happy this room is finished and I love sitting here with my computer, looking out over the fields. Now on to the rest of the house!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Caregiver, Cook and Crazy Person

Life goes on after separation. Luckily I had a distraction. Forrest had his first surgery with the doctor scoping his knee trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Our family has bad knees, probably because of too much abuse from Ultimate Frisbee. Three of us have had knee surgery and Garrett barely escaped it. Forrest went into it with trepidation but good spirits. This initial surgery was done in Frederick and he recovered at the farm. (He lives and works in Arlington, but no one to care for him there and Mom is the best caregiver anyway).

Well, not good news for his knee. He was missing a huge chunk of cartilage due to a tramatic injury (probably falling on it numerous times in Ultimate and snow boarding) and the way he walked just wore the cartilage way. Hard to believe at age 26, but there it was. So, a specialist was called in who performs carticel surgery where cartilage is removed from his knee, grown in a lab for 6 weeks, then a patch is put on the knee in another surgery. So the photo above is from Georgetown Hospital right before surgery #2 where they harvested three pieces of cartilage. Still looking good! More recovery at Dancing Leaf Farm. I was getting used to this! 

This third surgery was the most intense, the implantation surgery. Not only did he have the cartilage implanted but he also had an osteotomy where a wedge of bone is added to the shinbone to align his knee so he walks properly. It's a pretty extreme surgery with a long recovery. But Forrest did his own physical therapy beforehand, preparing his leg for the trauma that would befall it. The surgery was performed on December 22 (cartilage for Christmas!) and I brought him home after a couple days in the hospital. 

Tucked the boy in and this is where he lived for 3 weeks. The Christmas tree was at the other end of the couch so he looked foggily at the colored lights in his waking moments. He said he would be a 'drugged up zombie' for Christmas and whoo boy, he was! We had a most mellow Chritmas, with all the boys here and Deidre with baby belly. Forrest was crashed out on the couch, Deidre laid down on the living room floor where I gave her pillows and covered her with a blanket and she zonked out for nearly 2 hours while the rest of us drank wine and beer and talked like everything was normal! I told them all that this would be the most memorable Christmas because of the circumstances. But I have to say, I loved it. We kept it very simple, no extravagant gifts, no fussy dinner, just laughter, love and light. The hardest part for me was keeping up with his electric ice machine. It needed new ice about every 5 hours around the clock. I bought about 40 lbs. of ice and the freezer was making ice as fast as it could. I did have to keep him fed too and people who know me, know I don't like to cook. That's what I've always said was the hardest part of raising kids, that you have to feed them! But I made smoothies, bone broth (with veggies), lasagna and lots of cereal. I really did enjoy taking care of him and it was a nice, bonding time for us. 
Reader beware! The next photo is scary. So if you don't want to see it, quickly scroll down.

The Big Gash. The scar looks so much better now. He's been putting cocoa butter on it and it's healing up nicely.

The best part of this whole ordeal was New Year's Eve when 9 of his friends came over to party with him all night. Most spent the night and we all had a great time. These folks are so fun, caring and nice and I was so happy that they rallied around him. He was bored living on the couch for 2 weeks and they brought a welcome distraction…..along with booze. These are his kayaking friends so the next day they waited for the temps to warm up to about 29 so they could go do some big white water on the Potomac. But first they made a delicious, huge breakfast.

New Year's Eve Trapper joined in the festivities and had a beer. He wouldn't give it back. Even the dogs had a party as Forrest's friends brought 3 more dogs. All in all, it was a fun time. 
Forrest has now moved back home and I have to admit I miss him. But he's on the road to recovery and hopefully there won't be another surgery in his near future.