Thursday, February 28, 2013

Island Magic

The island worked its magic again the minute that I drove off of the ferry.  I immediately relaxed, could breathe, and felt like I was home again.  A month is way, way too long to be away.

Sophie traveled perfectly - a couple of questioning meows when we started out, then absolute silence.  This could have been interpreted as pouting or anger with me, but if so, she certainly got over it quickly once we arrived. She spent 10 minutes (total) hiding behind the washer, then set out to explore the house.  She seems to enjoy all the windows, although there hasn't been too much wildlife to view, yet.

I'm afraid I didn't settle right down into a productive work schedule, either.  I had a meeting with the contractor about our on-going water issue, then had to go to the beach since the tide was out, then had to get caught up and visit with my one neighbor.  I scheduled a cup of tea with the one Bahai on the island, as well as a time for prayers together.  I should know better than to expect myself to buckle right down to work!!!! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Island Bound

Sophie is checking out all of the preparations and packing for the trip to the island.  So far she has made a nest in the suitcase, actually brought her mouse into the suitcase to be packed, played with the reed and waxed linen spools for weaving, and supervised the packing of her other toys and food.  I would love to know what is going on in her mind about all of this.  I have not gotten down her kitty carrier - why push my luck?  Hopefully she won't start playing hide and go seek when it's time to leave.

I definitely can't wait this long between trips again.  I can't remember what's there at the house or what I had planned to take up this trip.  As long as I get the laptop and Sophie in the car, though, all will be good.  Well, assuming I can remember how to get there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home Sick

I am ecstatic to be packing for Lopez!  It will be Sophie's first trip to the islands, but I'm sure she will adapt quickly.  I am definitely limiting the projects that I pack, so I will have plenty of time to work on the book.

It is supposed to rain, so that will help curtail my time on the beach.  I can hardly wait to weave, practice the harp, and write as we're snuggled into our cozy retreat.  Well, okay, and a little drawing and crocheting - but no beading this trip, and only two weaving projects.

I feel like I'm getting ready to go home.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I love going to auctions - it's how I furnished quite a bit of Anadaré. And you never know what great treasure you are going to find!  (Remember the fine china, settings for 12 plus all of the serving pieces including teapot, creamer, sugar bowl for use on Lopez - all thanks to an auction and no one else wanting to bid on this lovely set with an ivy pattern.)  But even if there are only a few things that interest me, it's always lively entertainment.  Hmmm....maybe that's why there are TV shows about it!

Yesterday we went out to breakfast with my god-daughter and her husband, then off to an auction in Seattle.  We had so much fun introducing them to the process, people watching and just being generally entertained by the auctioneer.  An antique spinning wheel was really the only thing that caught my eye.

For Lopez, I'm still looking for a narrow bedside table and a bench to hide the recycling bins.  Darn - I guess we'll have to keep going to auctions....  It so fits into the recycling portion of slower and simpler.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Space

Having discovered another site about slowing down, I just have to share it.

There is so much information on her site, so I will only share two points here.  The first one about space in your days, seems to be the epitome of why I love Lopez Island.  It gives me space!!!

You Need Space in Your Days
We schedule the hell out of our days. Between work, train timetables, coffee dates, meetings, school pick ups, kids activities, social events, friends, family, visitors, birthdays, sporting events and exercise, there are huge spans of time that stretch ahead of us, booked out weeks in advance. How exhausting.
You need space in your days.
Space for flexibility and – even more fun – space for spontaneity. Space for an unplanned trip to the beach, or a movie afternoon complete with blanket fort and popcorn. Space for drop-in visitors. Space for hobbies. Space for exploring your neighbourhood. 

And she addresses a lovely approach to simplifying, that doesn't necessarily entail a marathon clean-up:

What was feeling cluttered? .... I decluttered it.
What was feeling complicated? ..... I simplified it.
What was nagging me, that was just not quite right?......I addressed it.

Love step at a time, dealing with what is bothering you right now. 
So simple....go figure!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Harp Lessons

Just had my first harp lesson - what a treat!  Even with years of playing the piano and guitar, I am feeling all thumbs in trying to get my hands to behave and stay in their proper position.  These will certainly not be weekly lessons, but I knew I needed some professional guidance, especially to get started.  However, there were still moments where I felt like a kid again at piano lessons....not having practiced enough....

So I now own a 26 string harp - so very much lighter and easier to travel to Lopez!  I loved the larger one that we rented, but with my 5'2", it was a struggle to haul up and down the stairs. 

At this point, I am just beginning to have an inkling of what I DON'T know about playing....  (and yes, that is Sophie in the background).

Friday, February 22, 2013

My New Category - Interwork


After researching some words and their meanings,  I came up with several options to name that elusive concept of the interconnectedness between basket weaving, weaving, crocheting, knitting, braiding, knotting, beading and other types of work.  Interweave, interlace, intertwine all came close.  But for me, I think the best overall caption might be Interwork.


[v. in-ter-weev; n. in-ter-weev] Show IPA verb, in·ter·wove or in·ter·weaved, in·ter·wo·ven or in·ter·wove or in·ter·weaved, in·ter·weav·ing, noun

verb (used with object)
1. to weave together, as threads, strands, branches, or roots.
2. to intermingle or combine as if by weaving: to interweave truth with fiction. 
verb (used without object) become woven together, interlaced, or intermingled.
4. the act of interweaving or the state of being interwoven; blend: a perfect interweave of Spanish and American cultures.


[weev] Show IPA verb, wove or especially for 5, 9, weaved; wo·ven or wove; weav·ing; noun

verb (used with object)
1. to interlace (threads, yarns, strips, fibrous material, etc.) so as to form a fabric or material.
2. to form by interlacing threads, yarns, strands, or strips of some material: to weave a basket; to weave cloth. 
3. to form by combining various elements or details into a connected whole: to weave a tale; to weave a plan.


[in-ter-leys, in-ter-leys] Show IPA verb, in·ter·laced, in·ter·lac·ing.

verb (used without object)
1. to cross one another, typically passing alternately over and under, as if woven together; intertwine: Their hands interlaced. 
verb (used with object)
2. to unite or arrange (threads, strips, parts, branches, etc.) so as to intercross one another, passing alternately over and under; intertwine.
3. to mingle; blend. diversify, as with threads woven in.
5. to intersperse; intermingle: She interlaced her lecture on Schubert with some of his songs.


1 [not] Show IPA noun, verb, knot·ted, knot·ting.

1. an interlacing, twining, looping, etc., of a cord, rope, or the like, drawn tight into a knob or lump, for fastening, binding, or connecting two cords together or a cord to something else.
2. a piece of ribbon or similar material tied or folded upon itself and used or worn as an ornament.
3. a group or cluster of persons or things: a knot of spectators.


[in-ter-wurk] Show IPA verb, in·ter·worked or in·ter·wrought, in·ter·work·ing.

verb (used with object)
to work or weave together; interweave.
verb (used without object)
to act one upon the other; interact.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Club

I founded our book club in 1986 - and we are still going strong.  We have some of the original members, many that have come and gone throughout the years, and currently 9 of us that remain strong to our tradition.

Yesterday started a new chapter for us.  Most of us are no longer working or stay at home moms (although we do have new, young blood in our group!), so we tested out meeting at noon for a potluck of sorts salad lunch for our meeting.  It's a testament to our collective age that we are not as comfortable driving at night as we used to be!

 I think what keep us together is that we have a presentation on the author, the book, its reviews, as well as actually discussing the book! (We've graduated over these years from physically going to the library to both do the research and check out the books, to now Internet research and often ereaders.)  Lively intercourse among intelligent women (yes, women only) always makes for an entertaining time.  We definitely don't all agree on all topics (and none of us agree on some of them), but we are not afraid to voice our opinions.  In reality, there often are three conversations going on at once - all of them interesting.  Yesterday my presentation included an interview of the author or uTube - un-thought-of until these last few years.

If anyone wants a list of the books we've read over the years, just let me know.  We have a splendid  list from 26 years of reading!  What I love about a book club is that it forces me to read some books that I would never pick up on my own. I always learn from them - even if it's that I really don't ever want to read that author again.  But my knowledge is forever broadened.  And of course, I've often discovered an author, new to me, that then sends me off to read everything that they have written.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crochet - Knots - Weaves - Beads - Braids - Baskets

Ah, the interconnectedness (pun intended) of all the myriad ways of manipulating fibers and materials into so many apparently different types of articles.  And a few of us from IGKT (International Guild of Knot Tyers) have recently been discussing just that - how our various mediums are related and similar.

As a basket weaver, interweaving the spokes, weavers, and often lashers is really no different from beading, which weaves the thread and beads into amazing patterns and designs.  My fascination with knots - sometimes also incorporated into my baskets - is intimately related, as is braiding.  Crocheting and knitting obviously are in the same family.

Yesterday I got to spend a spontaneous, sunny day with my best friend, perusing the extravagant variety of yarns in All Points Yarn Store in Des Moines, WA.  What a feast for the senses - the colors, textures and varieties! (BEST yarn store ever!) We spent the day planning, buying yarn, and then teaching her how to crochet (really refreshing her memories of crocheting of 30 years ago).

So I've decided NOT to feel guilty about taking time to crochet, or bead, or's not really a distraction from my's simply another expression of the same intriguing love.  Maybe I need to have another name for what I do.....intertwining?  Hmmm...the right word obviously is a bit elusive.  I can't be the first to make this connection, so off I go to research this family of weaves and find what others might have called it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

House Goblin

At the risk of inciting all sorts of comments and corrections, I want to share an interesting segue I had yesterday when I friend was bemoaning losing things in her home.  I commented that it might be a house goblin (a story I remember my grandfather telling me) - and so, naturally, I wanted to see what the internet might say about it.

Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions. Sometimes the term describes any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature

When considered as beings that a person might actually encounter, fairies were noted for their mischief and malice. Some pranks ascribed to them, such as tangling the hair of sleepers into "Elf-locks", stealing small items or leading a traveler astray, are generally harmless

An interesting bit a trivia for the day!!  And certainly explains car keys, one earring, a sock missing....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Double-Sided Crochet + Lacy Side

I am so missing the island..... so until I can go back up on the 27th, I have promised myself I get to do something everyday for my return:  a little shopping for that never ending list of supplies and little things to make it more comfortable - coordinating teas and lunches with new friends up there - making appointments to discuss advertising in the paper for the Baha'i Faith - and of course, planning what projects I will work on AFTER I work on my book each day.

And just to follow up, I had to figure out at least a simple example of double-sided crochet with a lacier side:
Now the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Thoughtful Change

“Never confuse movement with action.” Ernest Hemingway

As I try to make my life slower and simpler, living thoughtfully, I realize that there are alot of options out there in the big, wide world.  But just making any old change isn't the answer that is right for me, ie. movement for movement's sake.

I need to ask myself questions that direct me to the next, immediate meet people who can assist me......but also to make forward movement even if I don't have all the answers (or even questions) right at this moment.

So I'm learning to ask myself what I can do right now to start, to change. It definitely is a skill (learnable) to embrace the possibilities, opportunities, and uncertainties in whatever I want to tackle, while keeping in mind if this idea is of service to anyone or is in line with my basic beliefs.

It is okay that I don't know what I don't know, until I start - once I have asked myself some of these questions.  Opportunities for growth abound!!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quarterly Cleanup of Artist Studio

It is that time again - to sort, clean, clear, organize and basically make my artist studio here at the house functional again.  This had become a quarterly process....I would like to think that eventually it would only need to be done annually, but that is only a dream at this point.

Which all begs the question - why do I let it get so messy?  Guess I'm not alone, though. As written in Michael Harlow's blog:
There’s no right or wrong way to create. Besides, most people are primarily interested in your art —or at least they should be— not your work space.
When I make art, I happen to make it from chaos. Viva chaos!
So about every 3 months it starts to really bug me, and I can't seem to create anything until it's clean and inviting again.  And that is TODAY.
I thought about posting a "before" picture, but am actually too embarrassed at the mess!

Friday, February 15, 2013


We have a new family member - Sophie.  She travels well in the car (a definite "must" to go to Lopez with me), and is adapting very, very well.  I had expected her to be under the bed for a few days, but she is exploring the few rooms downstairs for now, and climbing onto my lap for petting in between.

My daughter thinks she looks angry in all the pictures, but I think that is just because of her markings between her eyes.  She is very loving.  Sigh.  It is so nice to have her here!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be My Valentine?

I'm excited to meet my potential new feline companion this afternoon.  I hope she is as sweet as her picture and description lead me to believe.

If so, I will have a perfect little valentine to get to know.  Why do we want our pets so much?  Or spend the time choosing just the perfect one?  While I know some people simply are not cat people,   I find that cats have a wonderful energy about them - the ancient Egyptians certainly agreed with me.

And some kitties may have a healing touch.  Each of mine has also had some interesting personality quirks.....or is that just from living with me??

I just know that I miss the companionship, the purring, the energetic play times. I so hope that I will have pictures to share tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Writer's Haven

Experiencing "island withdrawal" since I can't get back to Lopez until the end of this month.  I miss the water, the silence, the solitude, the beauty, everyone waving to me, and most of all, the peace.

And instead of packing up numerous projects to take with me for this next trip, I am going to try to curtail creative endeavors to provide space and time to work on my book.  I certainly have been neglecting it.  Using my island retreat was one of my arguments in favor of buying Anadaré, after all.

Hopefully I will create a schedule conducive to writing, but still including walks to the beach, playing the harp, and working on small projects in the evenings.  That's the plan, at least.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Distracted by Double-Sided Crochet

As if I don't have enough projects either going or that I need to get going, I got side-tracked by learning how to do double-sided crochet (also called padded or reversible crochet).  I've been crocheting all my life (well, since I was about 8 years old) and had never come across this technique before.

It's done by crocheting two sides of an item at one time, one row of one side then one row of the other side.  They are attached by the slip stitch that makes up the first part of each stitch, whether it is a single crochet, half-double crochet, etc.  Okay, it sounds more complicated than it really is.  There is a tutorial on-line that shows how to do it.  But what is fascinating is that it is made up of two complete sides that do not pull apart at all.

So what exactly is the attraction of this?  It is a lovely 2-layered potholder or table mat (or afghan) that you can make out of two or more colors.  I think you just have to feel it to appreciate it.  And so now I need to see about making one side an entirely different stitch from the other side.  This isn't to be confused with interlocking crochet, which of course I'll need to explore as well.  I just need to get this particular new find out of my system so I can get back to weaving baskets!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two Dogs Dining

This has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.  I laughed until I cried the first time that I viewed it.  The creativity of some folks is simply amazing.  It has won some well deserved awards.  Please, please take the time to watch it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Slower & Simpler - A Review

After traveling and being inundated and surrounded with so many crystals, gems, minerals, jewelry, beads, and just plain "stuff" at the shows all this last week, I find myself in need of reviewing what slower and simpler really means.  Turning to Wikipedia (of course):

Slow Living is the choice to live consciously with the goal of enhancing personal, community and environmental well being. Slow Living recognizes the role that time plays in shaping the quality of our lives. By slowing down we make time to savor our experiences and to connect more fully with others. The process of slowing down involves simplifying our lives and minimizing distractions so that we have more time and more energy to focus on what is meaningful and fulfilling. By consciously choosing to do less, we contribute to reducing some of the negative social and environmental impacts of our actions.
Authors Beth Meredith and Eric Storm summarize Slow Living as follows:
Slow Living means structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment. Similar to "voluntary simplicity" and "downshifting," it emphasizes a less-is-more approach, focusing on the quality of your life. … Slow Living addresses the desire to lead a more balanced life and to pursue a more holistic sense of well-being in the fullest sense of the word.[
So back to defining what is meaningful and fulfilling in my own life...... I'm taking today for a day of reflection, for re-centering, and choosing to slowly get back into the daily routine.  The in-box will have to wait until tomorrow.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Heading Home

It rained during the night last night - so hard that it woke me up. I enjoyed the sound so much that it took awhile to remember that I wasn't home but still in the desert.

Rain always seems like an "event" here to me. Living in the desert seems so foreign. I know there are many that love it, and I can appreciate that. It is just not in my make- up to live here permanently.

So home I go, having met some wonderful people, learned new beading techniques, discovered some truly healing properties of amethyst, and appreciated several new cultures.

I wonder if any of this will eventually find its way into one of my baskets?? Maybe the layers of rock - the cactus - the sunsets?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pearls & Diamonds

Perused some elite exhibits today .... Held a $55,000 natural pearl in my hand, observed a friend enjoying $65,000 earrings, and tried on a pair of $27,000 diamond earrings myself. Lovely to look at and absolutely non-essential for real life. Who buys this stuff?

But the very best part of the day? I spent it with a new friend - an amazing, intelligent, energetic and intuitive dynamo. It was one if those serendipitous days, full of coincidences, surprises, laughter, and heartfelt connections .

The day ended by watching the movie "Argo" with my hostess. Excellent production (and well deserving of their nominations) but be prepared for a tense movie, from beginning to end.

Hard to believe I only have one day left of this surreal adventure. I found the beads (and a few more) that I had hoped to purchase, bought several gifts, and made some important business and amazing personal connections. A perfect blend, I'm thinking.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


There are some interesting bridges here. One is built like a rattlesnake. Another one has a metaphysical tone to its inscription. And neither of them go over water (at least not at the moment).

Bed of Amethyst

Experienced a relaxing meditation while lying on a bed of heated amethyst crystals called a Biomat and I actually feel so much better that I can't believe it: my back no longer hurts and I am still feeling energized the next day (and after sleeping through the night for the first time this trip). It's all about infra-red rays, amethysts, and negative ions.

I only know that after ONE treatment, I feel a truly amazing difference. Is it the heat? The crystals? The infra-red, the ions? I have no idea. (It all sounds a bit woo-woo, I do realize).

I just know that I'll be going back today for another session!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Getting Along

Interesting city - one city with 5 chambers of commerce. No wonder that it was so difficult to find information on- line about the gem and mineral show! There is something to be said about working together for a common good.

Bought a few beads yesterday but discovered the best bead show for what I'm seeking will open on Wednesday. Saw some demonstrations for a new beading loom and innovative tools for teaching bead classes..... clever, clever folks! Found some lovely jewelry and wonderful conversations with the artists at the American Indian Exposition. I think the conversations are the best part of this whole experience.

Anticipating another day with more adventures.......and enjoying not wearing a coat, for sure.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Arizona Vistas

Drove to Tubac yesterday for basket shopping at the Trading Post.... wonderful views plus cactus. I love to visit these blue skies, sunshine, glorious sunsets and rough hills..... Just could never live here.

Slower and Simpler - Health

This one is pretty simple - especially in light of the last few days for me - that I need to slow down and take care of my health.

Now that I'm visiting Tucson and remembering that they actually have SUNSHINE here, my body is rapidly refilling with Vitamin D (or so it seems) and feeling better already.  I know I'm usually low on Vitamin D, but I so love my rain at home.

My reminder, as I slow down and think about my health - maybe I should actually start taking the Vitamin D that the doctor has recommended??  Hmm.....let me lie down and think about that....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Living in My Body

At the risk of hearing uproarious laughter from any therapist with whom I've spoken in the last 30 years, I finally figured out what my "out of sorts" issue was:  I'm not feeling well.  (Nothing serious, just some systemic and reoccurring issues).  But really?  The very last place I look for not feeling up to snuff and off kilter is simply that I don't feel good?

Yeah, go ahead and laugh - I am.  I just keep pushing and going and ignoring what this rapidly aging body is trying to tell me. Well, until it almost literally slaps me in the face that is.  Sigh.  Another lesson that I obviously haven't learned very well:   to actually live in my body and pay attention to what it is trying to tell me.

So I am now paying attention, slowing down, taking time to simply rest.  And what better timing than leaving today for Tucson, AZ for a week to relax in warmer weather, visit with a good friend, sample the amazing displays at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (staying within my budget, of course), and..... oh, yes.....relaxing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Being Human

Life can have some obvious frustrations - when things just don't go right.  And usually you can point to exactly what is wrong, what isn't working, what is the problem.

But what do we do when we can't name it?  Something is just "off", but we're not sure exactly what that is?

I am in the midst of being off kilter at the moment.  Nothing is "wrong" - things just aren't perfectly right.  Usually I'm so centered, but not so for the last few days.  And that's frustrating for me.

So I'm working on patience with myself until it gets sorted.  I so much more prefer my normal state of optimism, happiness, and energy. Really, what is there to share in a blog during this state?

Maybe it's simply a human condition to have off days.  At least these times make us appreciate all the others - if we weren't down occasionally, how would we know and recognize when we are up?  But so much for philosophizing - I just want to get back to being "me"!