Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Family Time

Noah and Alex putting on the lights for me!!!

We have to have the stocking picture!

And an embarrased Santa kitty!

Christmas morning!!!

We had such a lovely Christmas with two of my three sons!! We also had Christmas dinner with nearby friends and made music, sang, drummed, fiddled and danced! Noah and another guest, both violinists, played a waltz duet by Jay Unger which Gary and I danced to at our wedding 21 years ago and we danced to it again that night! It was a wonderful time! We have been enjoying our week of reprieve here while I am recovered from the liver problems and feeling so much better and before my surgery.
I hope everyone has a healthy and happy New Year filled with joy and laughter!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hi All! First of all I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!! I have throughly enjoyed meeting and interacting with the people who read and respond to my blog! This was a new venture for me and while I thought it was going to be about weaving, it has turned out to be so much more. I have gained a lot of support from all of you and I just want you to know how much you matter to me!!!!!!!

I am traveling to Sloan Kettering in NYC on January 4 and spending the 5th (my Noah's 19th birthday) enduring tests at the hospital. On the 6th I will have the Whipple procedure and we hope to stop this cancer from spreading. Right now the cancer is confined to the pancreas and has not affected any lymph nodes or invaded any other organ as far as they can tell. So I'm hopeful and determined. Hopefully we can afford to take my sons down for the time I will be in the hospital and they will get to see some of the city with all the Christmas decorations and window shop and visit with me as I get stronger. I will be in the hospital they say for at least 7 days and then we are travelling to Keene, NH to drop me at my Mom's. I have sisters nearby who will help and I will probably stay there a week or so just resting.

I hope to use my sister Meg's laptop to keep my blog updated for any who are interested!! And I will be closing my Etsy store for the duration.

Thank you all for your caring comments and all that healthy energy and healing coming my way! It means the world to me!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Surgery

Hi All! And many thanks for all your wonderful and warm comments. We had one successful surgery to fix the valve on my liver to my pancreas and the itching has improved a lot and I'm eating a little more and sleeping a lot better. The bad news is the reason the valve collapsed is a cancerous tumor on my pancreas. Right now they have staged it at a 1 with no other involvement though they warn us that they can't know until they are really in there--not just with a scope. So we are looking into Sloan Kettering in NYC for what is called the Whipple procedure but nothing has been scheduled yet. My Adam is looking into flights from Hawaii but we do not have a date yet. I'm taking my boys with me to the city when we go and I think there is a network of people in Manhattan who put people up connected with the Cancer Society. So on to the next adventure of life here in the North Country!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Well, I haven't been able to post very much for the past month or so because I have been ill. It seems that my liver is leaking bile into my body because the valve leading to the gallbladder is full of "sludge" (technical term). So after more than a month of intense itching and nauseousness I have surgery in Vermont Friday afternoon to put in a stent I guess to widen the valve so it can be flushed out. Phew. Finally. And Gary is bringing me and one of my wonderful sisters is an RN and will meet us in Burlington, VT and stay with us throughout the surgery and after. This is done on an outpatient basis so we will get a motel room and spend the night before driving the three hours back to Potsdam. All I can say is it can't come soon enough.

xo Cait

Monday, November 30, 2009

Studio Tour!!

This is rather a late post about the studio tour but I have been feeling unwell for the past three weeks and have really fallen behind updating my blog!! My friend Edie (on left) and I went to visit Mary Harding who lives nearby to see what her studio was like. Mary makes the most amazing jewelry with clay pressed with botanicals, fused glass, intricate beading. She lives on a beautiful river and shares her studio with her charming husband. Mary let everyone play with the little pieces of glass and make a pendant which she fired after the tour and mailed out to everyone!!! We had so much fun we only made it to one other studio! :) Mary also has a beautiful blog http://www.maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com and sells her wonders on Etsy at http://www.maryhardingjewelry.etsy.com Please check it out!!
I'll post a picture of my pendant tomorrow when the sun is out!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weaving Outside!!

Sunshine and Shimmer III scarves on a 22" floor loom

A triangle scarf in the making!

Oh dear you can see the dead pumpkins behind the loom!

Almost finished!

Today was just an amazing day!!! I woke up and everything was frosty and sun kissed. After a wonderful riding lesson on Dommie, I came in to weave but I felt like I was working in a cave and it was just too nice out sooooo I moved one 22" floor loom and my triangle loom out to the porch. I banged in some nails to hang the triangle and alternated my weaving the rest of the day... How often is November like this! Tomorrow I will try to get Katie (model) over to photograph the triangle scarf on her and the Sunshine and Shimmer III scarves are also ready to be photographed. Ahhhhh, feels like such an accomplishment! Now I have some wonderful green chenille warp to put on! And there is chili in the oven just waiting--it doesn't get better than this!!!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Horses in My Life

I grew up in the suburbs of southern Connecticut and my Dad was the woodworking teacher at our high school. My Mom stayed home with the 8 of us and having a horse was just out of the question. I never gave up. I used to ride any horse that would stand still long enough for me to get on. A bunch of us used to ride our bikes miles and miles just to look at a horse. To say I was in love would have been an understatement. Eventually, I put away my dream, had a job, married, had my first son, divorced and finally in my late 30s I met Gary. And our dreams meshed. We had two more sons, he wanted a farm and I got my first horse.
Then I found out that the reality didn't quite match my dreams! I took lessons but I was scared. Scared? How could that be! What happened to Annie Oakley? But I learned how to take care of a horse, pick up their feet, groom them. I went to natural horsemanship clinics and watched completely enthralled and came back and tried it at home. I continued lessons in dressage and though I still sometimes have reluctance riding alone I usually manage to push though. Dommie is my 3rd horse, and I've had him for 7 years. He and I are still learning and though he likes trail riding better than working in the ring, I'm a firmer and more confident rider and he respects that. Duke is a buddy horse and so calm anyone can ride him!
So we are still working on dreams and adventures and sometimes 60 doesn't seem as old as I thought it would be!
Happy Monday! xo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Model Weaving for the First Time!!

Here is my wonderful model, Katie, weaving for the first time!! I put on some black rayon chenille with subtle streaks of blue, fuchia, and purple for four scarves and helped her get the hang of the weaving!! She did beautifully--not one broken thread!!! -- and I think her mother will be very happy this Christmas! Katie has been so helpful to me, coming over when I need her, riding Duke when I ask her, and all for free!! I can't thank her enough for helping to make my first year on Etsy a success!!! It's too bad you can't feel this scarf because it is soooooo soft and black is sooooo hard to photograph!! :)
Have a wonderful weekend! xo

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quietness and my Chocolate Mocha Chenille Scarf

Well, for some reason I'm all subdued lately--Sometimes I am too close to all those colors and I have to go to a quiet place to refresh my spirit. This weekend Gary and I worked outside--I brushhogged with my walk behind DR some horse paths in my field and a path leading out to the field. We now have a tractor boarding in our barn which we can use! YAY! So we are making more paths through the woods and getting firewood at the same time. This morning I rode with my friend Anne and we checked out the new paths! It was around 60 degrees out!!! Feel much better when I ride in the morning!

My paths in the field bordering on our woods...

Path down from the barn going over to the field...

In our woods we have a pond--and the woods are full of crunchy leaves--love the sound of the horses walking through the fallen leaves! And the pond is a lovely, serene place to think!!

And so my palette for today is chocolate!! Finished one scarf and I have washed it. Now just waiting for it to dry then I will toss it in the dryer to soften and see what it really looks like!!

Ahhhhh, I needed some quiet...

Happy Monday! xo

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dyeing Day Completed!!

There...all those skeins are made back into balls and I love looking at them and imagining scarves of the future. I still have to work in the purple/violet family and maybe some more greens and blue and I'm trying for some brass and copper, too...I think maybe Friday will be the day! Meanwhile, I'm happy gazing at all the color!!!!!

Short post today--I think I'm fighting off the flu--very tired. So I'm off to sip tea and hope that my husband comes home soon to get the horses in because it is getting very dark and I'm too beat!! Not that they can't stay out all night but then they eat all night and we all know they are too fat to begin with!! Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and can ride!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dyeing and Scarves!!

Short post today because I have sooooo much to do!! Here are some scarves waiting for their labels to be sewn on hanging from one of my looms...after I sew on the labels I will make a tiny knot in any thread I think might untwist in the fringe causing it to be fuzzy. Then I iron and I take one picture of each type of scarf because I make 4 of each. And then I pin the hang tags (one tag about the scarf, one on materials, one business card) and off to the storeroom (ok Guestroom) !!

Skeins by the woodstove from the last dyeing! I might have time today to wind these back into balls and make skeins out of more of my naturals stash. I still have everything set up so later this week I have a friend coming over to dye with me!!! Will take more pictures, hopefully!! :) And Wednesday the weaving meeting is here! Yikes!!! Cleaning!!!! UGH!!!

Happy Sunday! xo

Friday, October 30, 2009


I invited middle child, Alex, over for dinner (he lives on campus at SUNY Potsdam) with his girlfriend, Victoria and they promised to carve for food!!! YAY! I am not much of a carver and it is fun to see what they come up with! Victoria insists she can't carve either but the boys just laugh at her and she came up with demonic eyes and a wide smile on hers! Too funny...and Alex came up with the scary pirate and Noah with...hmmm...tooth monster! So they earned their dinner then Alex and Victoria went back to school! I miss having my kids around, the pushing and shoving and playing that boys seem to love! "Someone is going to get hurt!!" Sort of bittersweet to see them so grown up!
So even though we don't get any trick or treaters we are ready to scare away bad spirits at our house!
Happy Friday, everyone! xo

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Dyeing Day!!

Well, a new friend came over on Monday and we dyed all day!! I got ready the day before, winding skeins from my naturals stash, laying out all the jars (some of which had to be washed from the last time and I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was!) and all the dyes and the plastic wrap, gloves, measuring spoons, soda ash for setting the dye and urea for mixing the dyes. Oh, did I mention that my Noah actually cleaned my workroom so I could get two people in it? :) (He did that so I wouldn't move everything downstairs to the playroom and make a mess that his friends might see!!!!) :D I have big pieces of plywood covered in heavy plastic set up on tables so we didn't make too much mess. After the actual dyeing we rolled each skein up in plastic wrap and put it in a bucket to set for 24 hours. Then rinse---an rinse, and rinse, etc. on and off all day. Right now I'm ready to hang the skeins up to dry (even though it is raining AGAIN!) and will take more pictures!

I really had a wonderful day and it was so much more fun with Sue! Thanks for bidding on and winning the dyeing day, Sue!!!

Happy Wednesday!! xo

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Triangle Scarves

Finished two warm triangle scarves and have to take more pictures before I load them onto Etsy! These two are not as dressy as the other ones I have done--they are thick and warm and yummy, I think!! I haven't had time to do more triangle work though I have a class to teach on this in early November--maybe I will bring one to work on while I teach because I hate to have nothing to do!!!!

Just finished a dyeing day with a woman who won this in an auction to benefit out local arts council in Potsdam, NY. We dyed many, many threads which I had made up into skeins and soaked in soda ash for 1/2 hr or so. She also brought a length of cotton which we soaked and put in the middle of the table and we used it to mop up spills and she will use it to make confetti quilts! I don't know how she will do it but I want to see the end result! She has promised to come back in a couple of days when she has rinsed and dried her piece and I will take pictures of my threads when they are finished "cooking" in plastic wrap!

It was a wonderful day spent with another fiber person and on top of that I got a lot done! Have a happy Monday, everyone!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate!!! Well, Sort of!!

Well, what I thought was chocolate colored rayon boucle and rayon slub was actually cordovan and has a somewhat purple cast to it but I like it anyway and it has the most marvelous drape! Haven't loaded it onto Etsy yet and I'm finding that my right hand and wrist is getting numb from all the mouse work...hmmm. I'm so addicted to Etsy...maybe a pillow under my wrist will help!! Gary says to take vitamin B6 so I took one...hate taking pills but maybe I'll take another one... :) Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this scarf, and have two more to go as well as cuffs! And I took off the cuffs from the "neutral" scarf (renamed Frosted Garden) and have to wash them before I photograph. My model, Katie, should be back from her trip today!! YAY!! I miss her.
I found a riding buddy last week!! I'm really happy about this because she is older (NOT older than me!! I'm older than dirt!!) and she loves Duke (how could you not!!). And next week we are both having my trainer come over for a lesson! The horses will go into shock, I know, but it is good for them!! I've been riding Dommie more and as he has gotten more in shape he has become a bit of a handful and he wants to run free in the fields when I think a trot is just fine! But at least he is forward and it's been a lot of fun with my new buddy, Anne!!!
Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My "Neutral" Scarf!!

Finished the scarf!! AND got it photographed and loaded on Etsy!! Quite a productive day because I also wove 4 cuffs on the green warp. I know, I know, this is green, too...sigh...The other warp is greenER. AND I'm thinking about CHOCOLATE!! A scarf, not the candy...though candy would be good, too...My chocolate hat has inspired me and I'm off to see if I can find enough threads!!!

Hope everyone is having a creative, wonderful day!!


Winding on my "Neutrals" Scarf!!

From the warp pile on the chair (which has been carefully taken off and daisy-chained from the warping mill) I bring the warp up and over the loom and wind it onto the back beam with paper keeping the threads from sinking into each other and spoiling the tension.
The warp below is wound enough and hanging from sticks, ready to thread.

Then I sit in front of the loom and pull each individual thread through the heddles in the order I previously prepared on the warping mill and then through the reed. Once that is complete I tie it onto a bar attached to the front beam and I'm ready to weave!!
I am working at weaving neutrals but as you can see I keep slipping into color!! I think, though, that I don't really have very much in the way of neutral threads so I will have to remedy that! I already have the first scarf off and ready to photograph! I have to idea if this even makes any sense to anyone!!! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

New threads for a new scarf!!

Just finished making the warp for 4 more scarves--I tried for neutrals but I seem to quickly revert back to my greens and purples! sigh...At the end of the month I will be dyeing with a woman who won a day with me (my way of giving back to the local arts council) and I will try very hard to round out my stash of dyed threads! I just got a shipment from Henry's Attic which sells wholesale and is based in NY state. They only sell natural colored thread which I then dye. I'll try to take pictures of my natural stash tomorrow. Meanwhile I'm off to weave!!
Happy Friday, Everyone!!!!