Thursday, January 27, 2011

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” -Oscar Wild

Wet Felting is my passion. I love to create pieces that people can wear and feel very "special" when wearing them. Teaching classes, teaching people who appreciate fiber brings me joy and brings the student joy.

As I continue to schedule my 2011 felting classes, I think of the joy that felting has brought me and then schedule these classes. The classes can be from making a light weight, drapey scarf to window treatments. From a wonderful messenger bag to a dainty handbag ..... from a warm winter cloche to a stylish "Derby" chapeau.... from a piece of prefelt to an enchanting landscape.....

I am looking forward to teaching at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Festival in Townsend, TN in March, the Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival in south central Indiana (20 minutes south of Indianapolis) in June, then at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in early September.

All these classes as we travel in our RV....the "roadhouse".... While in Indiana, we can either camp at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, or stay at our "bricks and sitcks" 5 minutes away...guess where I'd rather contest....Anyone want to purchase a home on five acres with two barns and ready for horses, etc?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Laid Plans......

Become part of Murphy's law! I am not going to count down to departure any more. Everything is ready to load into the motor home as soon as we get it back from it's stay at the motor home health spa. tick, toc, tick, toc.....time is passing, we are waiting (not too patiently)....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why did we do this? A Motor Home? Why?

As people discover that we have purchased the motor home, some look at us as if we have lost our minds (or what's left of our minds). They don't come out and ask why, but the looks on their faces speak volumes.

Let's go back a few years,,,,,,,,,,,,,
A few? Don't think so.

Well, you know what I mean.

Back on the thinking back....One weekend, we visited with John's cousins from Bloomington, IN. They had invited us to where they were camping for a visit. They had a camper for their family of 5. Everyone was having such a wonderful time and they were outdoors! They were not cooped up in the house with the A.C. going. They were next to a lake, in the woods, enjoying what God had provided for them. Hummm, that felt pretty good.

That week, we purchased what seemed to us. a huge tent. The very next weekend, we were off to enjoy the camping life. Nearly every weekend, we camped with our daughter. We even potty-trained her while camping. No better place to put "big girl" panties on her. If she had an accident, nothing was hurt. We fished, we hiked then sat around the campfire at night and listened to others talking about their camping experiences. Hey, some of these people even went out of state! Now that was a great idea.

The family grew, then our summer activities shifted to Lassie League softball which took up every week end and we just didn't have time to be camping. So we thought. The girls grew older. We, as a family, got busier. Life got in the way and no more thoughts about camping crossed our minds until now.

Now, we have art shows and fiber festivals resulting in hotel stays. Those stays can get old. I wanted my own bed, I didn't enjoy eating out day after day. We enjoyed participating in the shows, but I wanted my own bed and to be able to eat my own food.

The first of June, 2010, we were driving to the Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival that I am a co-chair. Luckily for us, that festival was only 15 minutes away. At night, I could sleep in my own bed. woohoo!

On our way to the festival, we were at a stop light and low and behold, there was a Winnebago with a for sale sign in the window. Just to make conversation, I said, "that is what we need". The rest is history.

We almost purchased that motor home. We asked for a week to think about it (giving us time to do some research and to look at other motor homes). We took more than the week and finally purchased a Winnebago, not 27 but 35 feet. I thought John was going to have a mental breakdown right there on the spot! He was sure he'd never be able to drive one THAT long.(stinkin thinkin) We needed the storage space and this had sooo much more, was sooo much roomier, was sooo much newer. I'm sure you get the picture here.

Now, we are looking at even longer, newer models and guess what. I think John may be considering faking a mental break down this time. (big sigh)

So far, our Winnebago "Road House" has taken us to Wisconsin twice. We have camped in Illinois on Lake Michigan. We have participated in shows in Kentucky, southern Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina then traveled on to South Carolina, back to NC and then on to VA and Tennessee. W H E W!

It is great that after a day of work a festival, friends new and old, can sit and chat at a pitch in. If we choose, to be able to walk the trails, enjoy the mountains or the beach....just to enjoy the outdoors that we love so much. John can fish all he wants. He can visit every Bass Pro Shop on our path.

We had John's mom living with us for eight years. The last 8 months of her life were not good. In April, when I was at the Fiber Event, in Greencastle, IN, John called and said that his mom fell and "broke her hip". It turned out that it was not her hip, but her femur and it required Surgery. For a short while, she was in a rehab facility. It was a lovely visit. This made us think about how we wanted to spend our "retirement". We decided that we do not want to just wish we had done this or that. While we have reasonably good health, we want to live our dreams. We want to experience a full life traveling as much as possible. If we get to the place we cannot get out and go, we want to have no regrets.

We enjoy vending at the art shows and fiber festivals. We enjoy our children, and grand children, someday our great grands.... Also there is traveling, being outdoors, having new experiences, trying out food of the area, visiting with old and making new friends....and having our own bed .... all to be enjoyed.

Not to say that we don't have frustrations along the way. We are supposed to be either on day five or day two of our trip west. It would have been day five, but on Friday evening, our grandson got married to a real sweetheart. We would not miss that for anything. We had planned to leave yesterday after the wedding, BUT, (enter Murphy)..... the motor home was in the shop for brakes, oil change, water closet fix etc. The etc. has turned out to be a BIG ETC. Four days later....need I say more?

I had mentioned to John that I thought I heard "something" as we came home from our last trip in November. I forgot to tell the service department, but they heard it too and there was a problem with the power steering so that had to be repaired too. One thing led to another and......eyeroll here .... the part that they installed turned out to be defective, so out it goes and another ordered...

what did they say about "made in China"???? Good grief, let's put our countrymen back to work! I'm sure they can make things better and have more human rights than the people in China.

oops! I strayed...(keep me off my soap box....please)

Sooooo, with all that being said, do I dare say it???? Will it jinx it????
dunno, but here goes......we are to get the motor home back tomorrow. HOPEFULLY, we can pack up and be outta here either tomorrow afternoon or first thing Tuesday morning...

I have waited soooo long to see daughter # 2, Jojo, ..... the waiting hurts .... physically hurts. But, each day passing makes seeing her that much closer....unless there is the dreaded phone call of something needed for the 'Road House'. Today, I will have faith...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

T Minus 4 .... Finally

In four days, we are outta here! OH Happy Day! After installing the cherry hardwood floors in the majority of our home and being dog tired from the effort, we are ready for a break. We have and more delays than there are M & M's, but finally, the brakes are fixed as well as the list of other fixes on the motor home. Sigh......

Zack (grandson #1) and Danielle's wedding is Friday evening, then we are free to roam westward. Ya know, it seems like yesterday that I was rushing from Indy to Cincy to be with my daughter and help with my first grandson. Oh, what a joy he was! (and is)..... And his big sister was such a hoot. Now, they are adults, making their own decisions, planning for their futures. What is a grandparent to do? We pray. We pray for them to have God's guidance and wisdom as they make their life choices. We pray for their safety as they go through life. That, my friends, is what we are here for...... to pray for our children and our grandchildren. That is the best thing we can do for them.

Speaking of children, our first direction will be westward to California. Daughter # 2 is there. She has been there for a long time (a mother speaking here). It will be so good to see her and share her new life for a while.

After California, we will head for Texas - taking our time. We will then spend the rest of our time exploring the "wild, wild west".

I will be taking my spinning wheel, fiber to spin, wet felting supplies and my new to me antique circular sock machine. Oh my gosh........what a learning curve there is to mastering making socks on that dear ole antique Legare 400. Let's see, I've started and restarted a sock so many times that I have lost count. BUT....each time, I get a bit further along on the sock. Today, I finished the heel and started on the foot before I dropped stitches and took it off the machine.....again! big, big sigh along with an eyeroll. Oh yes,,,, John will be taking his new rigid heddle weaving loom. Thanks goodness we have plenty of room!

I don't think I will be able to work on the CSM any more until we are on the road. Tomorrow, we shop for my shoes for the wedding, get a wedding present, pick up some food items from GFS, do some health food store shopping. Then we make a stop at the vet for micro chipping of Noah, the cat and Oliver, the dog.
purchase more ink for the printer so that I can finish copying information for the Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival that is coming up in June.

I am co-chair of the festival and this will be my first year directing the activities from a computer in route to many destinations. The classes have been scheduled, most of the vendors are set, competitions are in the planning stanges, so most of the work is done.

We pick up the motor home Thursday, pack and be ready for the great escape on Saturday. My suggestion was to take the motor home to the wedding and head out right afterward, but for some strange reason there was a veto....spoil sport!

We have another winter storm watch,...another 6 inches of snow predicted....oh happy day! Calgon....(motor home), take me away!

Until next time....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trip Modification

After some thought, we have decided that we are trying to pack too much trying to pack too much into two months. We have cut our trip to the south east, Florida, Gulf Shores and New Orleans from our trip. Instead, we are heading to California to see Jojo and to Texas to enjoy new sights and experiences. In essence, we have cut our miles in half! Less time driving, more time enjoying!

We made that mistake last fall on our trip to North and South Carolina and Virginia. Being our first extended trip, we tried to pack too many "places to see" into 4 /12 weeks. This time, we travel smarter, not harder. Wow, we leave in just over a week!

On a fiber note, my waste yarn finally arrived yesterday. Now I can begin to use my antique circular sock machine! I've made only one sock so far and that was with Mary Ann, a wonderful and patient teacher. Now, to have a go at it on my own! I'm so sure there is a very steep learning curve, so here I go! That's okay though. John will be learning to weave on his rigid heddle loom and I will be on my Legare 400 making socks. You know, all that travel time we are saving? That time will be spent weaving, making socks, fishing, hiking etc. Sounds like a super trade-off to me!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gentlemen, Get Ready to Start your Engine!

With the holidays over and the hardwood floors installed in the house, we are a few steps closer to leaving the Indianapolis area and heading on to warmer country. The Motor Home is at Edmundson RV, located in Taylorsville, IN for it's oil change, brakes, new water closet and a few other minor repairs to make our road trip worry free, (we hope) and more comfortable. Since we are new to this lifestyle, we are learning new things every day as we read the blogs of those more experienced. Oh, what a learning curve!

As of today, our first stop will be Savahna, Ga. Then on to Florida to watch the launch of the last space shuttle. Once we have experienced that, we are off to Gulf Shores, Alabama to meet up with family for a day or so then to New Orleans. After that, it is off to California to visit with daughter #2. After this, we hope to spend time in south west TX before heading home for the Smoky Mountain Fiber Festival in Townsend TN March 18 -20. From there, we head to Bowling Green, OH for the Black Swamp Market Day on March 26.

During all this time, we will be stopping off at antique shops and yarn shops seeking our dreams. We dream of any fiber related item, and John, also, of coins. Since I have discovered the antique circular sock machines and knitted my first sock, I'm on the look-out for more sock machines. Oh, my gosh, what fun the sock machine is....and when good at it, I will be able to knit a pair of socks in an hour....did you hear what I said???? AN HOUR!!!! Holy cow! I'm on one pair of socks I started knitting at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August of 2009! These sock machines were popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many were sold or given to people to knit socks for the soldiers in the war. Now, these machines make socks that exceed the quality of any sock made in China or wherever.

John has started weaving on his birthday present I purchased at the southern Indiana Fiber Festival in Corydon, IN. He is learning to weave on a rigid heddle loom. I have a 4 harness loom, but he wanted to "start small" and work up...He's about to get hooked!

The drawback to this trip? My niece, who is more like a sister (6 yrs diff), is having total knee replacement. I wish I could be here to walk through the experience with her since I had my first TKR 12 years ago and my second 4 years ago.

Enough for now, but as the "blast off" date grows closer and arrives, there will be more.

quote of the day: "Success if the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill