Nov 29

We spent two and a half hours at Lowe’s today, picking out various items on our list.  The small things we brought home, like heavy duty shelving units for the garage, outlet and switch covers for the laundry room, vent covers, wire shelving for Scott’s closet, clothes rod for Scott’s closet, curtain rods and tie-backs, and misc. other items on our need list.

The things we didn’t bring home, but are coming via Lowe’s truck Thursday, are the flooring for Scott’s room and the laundry room, the underlay for Scott’s room, a lovely rug for Scott’s room, plywood, and a new stove for Benita!!  Finally, I am getting a new stove!  I wish I could be here Thursday when they arrive with it, but I can’t, so I’ll have to be patient all day.

When we got home, we started installing the wire racks, got all the outlet and switch covers installed, spray painted the first coat of paint on the air intake vents (because all you can find is white!), put the cover to the circuit breaker box back on and the door to the laundry room back up.

Before Thursday, Scott is going to rip out the linoleum in the laundry room, and take off all the painter’s tape.  I am going to completely clean the kitchen and get it all ready for my new stove.  I never thought I would look forward to coming home and cleaning the kitchen.

I still need to measure his windows and closet door so I can order his fabric tomorrow, but, first, I have to letter a comic page, because one of them is going up tomorrow.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but what a BUSY weekend this has been.

Nov 28

Today, I got up early and painted the two rooms.  The sales lady said it should cover in one coat with just having primer on the wall under it, but that has never been my experience before, so I was prepared to do one coat today and another coat tomorrow.


Lo and behold if she wasn’t right!!  One coat covered it very well.


I don’t if you can tell but that right-hand side wall (the one still wet) is actually quite a bit darker than the left-hand side one.  Also, I need another trimmer brush to finish the darker wall, so I will get it tomorrow after breakfast and come home to finish the trimming while Scott goes to the art center.


The laundry room walls are still very wet, but already I like it.  Scott will rip out the nasty linoleum next week and we’ll order the flooring for both rooms at the same time (just vinyl flooring at this point).  One day I’d love to exchange them for more hard wood flooring, but that will have to wait a while.

One more day of the Thanksgiving holiday and I’m going to devote it to SWIFT’s newsletter, which I am late getting out.  I plan to get it all finished up tomorrow and to the printer on Monday.  Also, on Monday, I’ll order the fabric for Scott’s curtains for his windows and his closet door.  The main fabric we have picked out is right up Scott’s alley – it has books on it!

Nov 27

Finally, Scott and I were able to recommence working on his Bedroom/Den and the Laundry Room.  This morning, while Scott taped off his room, I cleaned on the laundry room.   Ewwww!!!!!!!


Scott’s room isn’t big – maybe 10 X 12, but it has never been painted since we built the house 15 years ago (by decree of Scott who said he liked the primer gray just fine, thank you very much!).


Another view of this room,…


…and a third angle.

The laundry room, is the worst room of the house.  I have hated this room since the beginning, and only a man who has never had to do his own laundry would have designed this room this way.  It is nearly impossible to work in and keeping it organized and clean has been the lowest item on my list of priorities.  It is straight off the garage and catches everything coming in or going out.


For starters, this room is 5.5 feet wide and 13 feet long.  There is no convenient way to work in here, although I have some ideas to make it more usable.  We did have a shelving unit at the other end of the room, but it ended up being a messy catch-all, and it never served the function for which it was intended.


Under the washing machine was an oily mess, so I don’t know it this machine (24 year-old Maytag, by the way) is starting to leak or what.  We are going to replace the flooring in here with the same flooring in Scott’s den, so we are going to build a 2″ high platform for both the washer and dryer to sit on to help protect the floor better.  Currently, both the (broken) dryer and washer are in the garage.  If I could have one wish that would come true immediately, it would be to make this room 2 feet wider and move the outlet for the dryer to the back wall.  This way I could have a folding table between the washer and dryer and under the cabinet.

Once I was to this point, Scott started taping off in here while I painted the ceiling in his room.  We are going with green similar to that in my studio.  The ceiling is the palest tint of this green, three of the walls will be one shade lighter than my studio and the accent wall in the den will be one shade darker than my studio or two shades darker than the rest of the room.


I don’t know how well you can see the light green ceiling in this shot,…


…but you can definitely see it in this one.

Both the den and laundry room ceilings are done, and I have tuckered out for the evening.  I had a rough day energy-wise yesterday, so don’t want to do too much today and not be able to do any tomorrow.

In the morning, first thing, I will begin on the walls and work until the first coat is done.  The second coat will either get done tomorrow evening, or first thing Sunday morning, depending on how much energy I have.

And, Scott and I have already picked out the drapery fabric for his room, and I will get that ordered on Monday.  I would like to have his room completely done before year end, because I sure don’t want it to carry over into next year.  I have too many other things planned for 2010 to have too many carry-overs to deal with, although I will have a few.  January will be a catch-up month so I can move forward with my other plans.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving Holiday, and if you were brave enough to go shopping today, I hope you gots lots of bargains with only a minimum of injuries inflicted.

Nov 24

…to me!

I spent the day at student, Angie Lewis’, house helping her to warp her new loom, weave off her scarf, and rewarp her loom for her next project. I arrived at 7 in the morning and we worked all day long ending up with a fulled and damp scarf that she should have gotten at my workshop earlier this month.

The lesson to me is this: Don’t make assumptions about yarn – read the label to make sure it is what you think it is.  The original wool from which she wove her scarf ended up being superwash, and, therefore, didn’t do what it was supposed to do when placed in the washing machine.


This time it fulled beautifully and she was ecstatic with it.  She was happy dancing all over her living room with it and here she is posing with it and her rewarped loom.  Angie’s design sense is very fun and I am looking forward to seeing more of her designs.

Her new loom, by the way is a LeClerc Nilus – 22″ with the stand and treadles.  She got this for an amazing deal off of eBay and it is a sweet loom.


While she wove, I spun.


This is a nice wool in a colorway called Emerald and I am over half-way through the 8 ounce ball.  I’m not sure if I’m going to Navajo ply this or spin an equal amount of a navy blue wool I have somewhere in my stash and ply the two of them together.  I like the idea of the navy blue because I have Blackwatch Plaid in mind as I spin this.

We will be going to my MIL’s on Thanksgiving to spend the day with them, Scott’s sister, and Scott’s brother and family up from Kentucky.  I’m going to take the spinning wheel and see how close I can get to having this fiber spun.

And then, starting Friday morning, I am painting!  I had intended to paint two weekends ago, but it didn’t happen, so I will be painting Scott’s den this weekend, as well as tackling the reorganization I want to do to the laundry room.  I may even get the laundry room painted, too.  We’ll see.  I have enough paint, but will I have enough energy?

I wish everyone, in the US, a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and all the rest of you, have a lovely rest of the week.

Nov 22

This weekend at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is the 33rd annual International Festival.  Our friend, Vandra Pentecost, told us about it last Sunday at the art center, so we decided to go.  We had intended to go Friday night, but I had spent the previous two days sick in bed with some sinus bug, and I was exhausted after work on Friday.  So we went yesterday.


There was a huge area set aside for various artists to come in and do live demonstrations of art from various countries.  Here is Vandra working on the one for India.


And here is the one Vandra already completed for Italy.  Go and check out her art on her website – she is an amazingly talented artist.  In fact, I have one of her colored pencil pieces in layaway and have only three more payments to make on it.  It’s something to go into my studio and when I finally get it paid for, I’ll be showing it to you.  You’ll see why it is meant for my studio.


There were several dancing groups there.  This one from South Africa was very good and even got the audience on their feet and taught them a few dance steps.  Sorry for the blurriness of this picture, they were very active!


I don’t remember where these young ladies were from, but they were very graceful and their performance was lovely to watch.


These dancers had to be quick on their feet and it was fun to watch them.


And then there were all the countries represented – I’ll show you just a few of them.  This one was Burma.  The textiles in this booth were amazing and I could have stared at and studied them all day.


The gate way to China, and of course,…


…good old Confucius himself was present.


Isn’t Germany known for anything besides beer?


The entryway into the Iranian space,…


…and a close up of the interior.  Lush, lovely and comfortable looking.  Backgammon anyone?


Ahhh…yes!  Men in kilts.  To look at me, you’d guess I was mostly of Germanic descent, but let me tell you, there is plenty of Scottish blood running through my veins, and I do love me a man in a kilt.  Also, over to the side of this booth was a friend of mine spinning…on a Kromski wheel.  Hmmm…  A Polish wheel in a Scottish setting…


I loved the Philippines booth.  They put a lot of work into it and it was one of the best ones there.


This one intrigued Scott the most and we spent quite a lot of time there.  With Scott’s Medieval History background, he and these guys had a lot to discuss.  The chainmail they are helping this guy to put on is fully riveted and weighs 35 pounds.


Those who know me well, know I am a sucker for dolls, but I especially love dolls in ethnic costumes.  There were several there that caught my attention.  These dolls in the African booth were wonderful!


These from Hungary were sweet.


There were two Iranian dolls that I found stunningly beautiful. Just look at the details on this one, for example.


And this little lady almost looked like she could talk to you.


And who could turn down this wee Latvian miss with her domestic tools and her pet hedgehog?  By the way, check out the woven table cloth.


This Latvian lady was a bit big to be called a doll, but I loved the simplicity of her costume and she looked so forlorn because everyone was paying so much attention to her small companion.

And the last picture.


Kids crack me up.  This girl was very much into her art and, if you could see her face, you’d see her tongue stuck out to one side in concentration.  And how lucky for her that her dad was willing to join her in this.  I hope this is something both of them will remember for years to come.

Well, my washing machine has kicked off and I have another load of laundry to take out and hang up.  It’s pretty cool outside today, but the sun is out strong and there is a good breeze blowing.  I’m taking advantage of what may well be the last chance to hang my laundry out for the year.  This means I have to get my dryer fixed, doesn’t it?  Rats!!!  Climbing into a freshly sheeted bed or putting on a shirt that has dried on the line brings back those wonderful smells of late summer and autumn with them.  I’m going to miss this and can’t wait until it is warm enough to go back to hanging out my launry next spring.

Nov 16

I should have put this up last week when I took the picture, but time got away from me (imagine that!) and I’m just now getting around to it.  Sorry Sarah!


Isn’t this a great scarf?  Her next project is to make something out of 8/2 cotton, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

Angie, one of the other students from this past workshop, is going to give her scarf another try, and I feel bad because it is really my fault.  I had no idea Cascade make superwash wool, and her scarf refused to full at all, for obvious reasons.  So, I have bought replacement yarn in similar colors (as close as I could find) and I’m going to her house next Monday (a vacation day for me) to help her weave a new scarf from start to finish.  She has my LeClerc Nilus loom and we will use that to weave the scarf.  So, if all works out well, I should be able to show you hers next week.

We started cleaning all of Neil’s toys and belongings out to donate to our veterninary hospital for those who are adopting kittens to use.  It’s hard doing this, and I really want to thank everyone for their lovely words.  I know the pain will ease up over time, but right now is difficult for both of us.  At least I have the good fortune to be able to get away during the worksday and keep my mind off of it, but poor Scott works at home and he has constant reminders around him of Neil.

Nov 15
Introducing – Our New Toy!!
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 11 15th, 2009| icon34 Comments »

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is what you’ve been waiting all week to see!


We have a new digital steam press!!

I have been wanting one for a few years now.  Reading Laura Fry’s blog on steam pressing finished woven products to make them look nicer and more professional made me realize that I needed one for my own hand woven articles.  I looked for one online and found the one I wanted, but it was $250 plus shipping.  So I waited.

After teaching the weaving workshop this past weekend (and thus having the money to look once again), I found what I had been waiting for on sale for $199 AND free shipping!  So, I bought it.

Another reason we wanted to get one of these for the studios are these:


Yup!  Iron-on T-shirts.  This one is a design of Scott’s called Father Wolf.


This design is called Dragon Punk.


And the one this stunningly handsome young man is wearing is called Bill the Ogre.

These and other designs can be found at  And Scott does commissions, too!

We are so excited about all the uses of our new toy, we can hardly stand it.  Father Wolf and Dragon Punk are being delivered tomorrow.  I wish I had more T-shirts ready to put cool pictures on!

Nov 14


Neil Young Story – May 1, 1993 – November 14, 2009

Today, our beloved cat, Neil Young Story, died and we buried him in the same corner as two previous cats.  Neil will be very much missed.  We raised him from a 4 week old kitten and he was very much a part of our family, our lives and our hearts.

Those of you who have pets, please give them a hug and tell thm you love them.

Nov 12

I have a favorite breakfast that I fix for two co-workers and myself every workday morning.  It is a smoothie that is tasty, full of protein, anti-oxidants, vitamins, fiber, etc.


The following makes 3 servings at about 12 ounces each.

1-3/4 cup of organic fat-free milk

2 six ounce containers of Activia Yogurt (I like to use Stoneyfield Fat-Free Organic yogurt, but I’ve been over-ruled as to the taste on this)

1 banana

enough unsweetened frozen fruit to bring it up to 5 cups after blending in the blender.  Favorite combinations are Blackberries and Peaches (shown above), Strawberries and Dark Cherries, Mixed Fruit and Blueberries.  This is probably about 3-4 cups of fruit.

Blend very well in a blender – if you want it a bit thicker, you can add ice to this.

Per serving:  250 Calories, 2 grams sat. fat, 8 mg cholestrol, 120 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 36 g sugars, 9 g protein, Vit A 2%, Vit C 7%, Calcium 10% and Iron 2%

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Nov 10

First of all I want to show you a picture of the washed and finished scarf that Cindy wove last weekend in the workshop.


Didn’t that turn out to be absolutely lovely?  I’m pretty sure Cascade 220 was used to weave this and I can’t wait to see what it feels like.  Cindy has said she was planning to join our BASK group next month so I hope she brings it. (Hint, hint, Cindy!)

You’d think Scott and I would have had enough of remodeling with the studio this past summer, but no.  Scott has ripped out the carpet and pad from his den this past week, and I’ll be painting it starting Friday night with the ceiling and moving to the walls on Saturday.  At first he was thinking of a nice scheme of grayed blues, but he has fallen in love with the green I painted my studio in and so we are going with that.  The ceiling will be just a slight wash of green, with three of the walls in one shade lighter than my studio and one wall will be an accent in a darker shade of the same green.

In fact, I’m going to get enough of the flooring and paint to do the same thing in my laundry room as it has never been painted either.  Whew!!

I’ve not gotten much further along with my sweater vest lately due to how busy I have been, but here is where I am at with this sweet project.


And Scott and I have a new toy!  It’s not set up, yet, so I’ll save that for a post later in the week.  Let’s just say that both halves of Story Studios can make use of it and it’s something we’ve been wanting for a while.  Part of my teaching fees from last weekend bought it, and I even lucked out and found it on sale with free shipping.

As soon as we get Scott’s den done and him moved back in, I can have my studio back.  All his den furniture is now in there and there is no room to move.

« Previous Entries