Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!


The little 200 square feet of shed is DONE. As my normal, until it was done did I appreciate how much room I gained. I just couldn’t see it until then.

The very last photo on the lower right, is of my friend Cheri.  She was helping me put together my big floor loom. We had to make 3 trips to the main storage unit to find all the pieces. Why can’t movers put this stuff together on one pallet? Oh no, it can’t be that simple.  But I am beyond delighted to find that both of my looms have found a new location to call home. I have been working non-stop unloading the big storage unit and bringing the stuff to the shed.  Once inside, its a major re-organization in process. The bulk is my yarns and the equipment for this, but I must have a place for my RV stuff too.

I know, I know, I should have painted the inside walls before I moved in. The dry wall needs to be painted. I was just too excited about moving in that I put that off. Well, everyone that’s been inside – “Melinda, why haven’t your painted?”  So it shall be, but not until I’ve finished loading and reorganizing…probably in August. The responses though of those seeing my shed, or as some have said my weaving cottage.. is WOW!   I put down a cork flooring, which gives a nice ‘give-like’ feeling. Its far better than cold hard cement. I sealed the cement floor before laying the cork, so no moisture will work up thru the cement.  Insulated walls are primo, as I discovered on a few of our hot days here.  It was delightfully cool in there.

The last thing painted on the exterior, was the door.  The color is called “prague blue”, but depending on the light of the day is may appear as dark blue, spruce green or even as black.  Very interesting color.  I had no say on what the color of the shed could be painted, unfortunately. It is what it is. And I’ve added a screen door.

So having this wonderful weaving studio once again will be like going on vacation from my road trips. As I’m not done traveling. George, my builder, also built me a desk inside my Lazy Daze. In the area in which my small floor loom had resided, is now a wonderful desk. Am loving the new space, so am re-organzing some of the cabinets inside my rig. That will always be a work in process.

So will continue working inside the shed, so I plan to get both looms dressed before I hit the road. The big Fireside loom will get my Horoscope Weaving project – there are 12 colors and combinations that relate to my own personal horoscope. More details as I work on that one. And the small floor loom (my Baby Wolf) will get some kitchen towels. Instead of trying to figure out colors for that, I am going to do black and white towels in shadow weave – gives them a 3D affect.  Soon, will get started on both. Yippee!!!


Well, it has been a fun month traveling with Ruth. Today, I had to say good-bye, for now that is.  I suspect, we will get together down the road some day.  In the meantime, she is catching a train westward and I will head southward once again.

The whole time Ruth traveled with me, she was knitting this crazy blanket – that you see above. I wanted to buy it from her, but we traded instead. She got one of my handwoven towels in trade. Its way too hot to be using that knitted blanket at the moment, but can think of many times in the future that I will greatly appreciate having it.  Then Ruth found out that I love bracelets and necklaces, never owned a beaded one before. So was very pleased and tickled to be given these two, pictured above. I love autumn colors, and this fits it to a tee. They are gorgeous and I said as much to Ruth. So lots of laughter, lots of teasing, and then more laughter is now stashed in our memories of this past month. Thanks Ruth, if you are reading this… really enjoyed our time together, despite the initial challenges (on both of our parts). See you next summer!  I will bring your red Why hat, tahini (if anything left by then), and I can guarantee the chocolate bar will not make it to Alaska… laughing here. Told you, you would forget something…smirking here.  Thanks Ruth!

So I got the handwoven towels off the loom, washed, hemmed & pressed. My very next project is a kit from a Karen Selk workshop I had taken years ago. 100% silk. The biggest yarn is Bombyx silk 30/2 and the smallest is Tussah silk at 120/8… for ye lay person reading that… its makes sewing thread look huge!  Due to its wee size, I need a whole lot of heddles. I have 800 on my loom and I need 1187. So as we speak, they have been ordered and I will hopefully have them in my hot little hands by the end of the week. I am so jazzed about getting this project started. It will be a fun one to weave, but a challenge, like all shadow weaves can be.  Pictures will be posted as I get going on this.

So while waiting for the heddles… more bike riding is in order… and I suspect some much needed spinning will be started.  I am moving within the park I’m at. I found a little landscaped (if deserts can ever be landscaped) area big enough for me and my rig. It is a little closer to my neighbors then I have been doing, but this little patch of landscaped desert has a couple of trees to block the heat of the day. 80ºF needs some shade in my humble opinion.

But first, I am parked at Sanderson Ford Truck in Glendale for the night, with services being done in the morning. I swear by this Ford dealer – they have saved me money in many occasions, and well…just been real good. Besides, its free parking with security, electricity, even water – though the latter is next to impossible to hook up to, so I don’t try. It is worth going out of my way to get my rig into them, so I do it when I am in the vicinity…will sort of in the vicinity.


Haines, continued


Here I was thinking all those Class A’s were blocking my wi-fi and could not download the photos for the last blog post.  Most likely mis-directed.  Follow along here… a little 5.9 earthquake – the whole area loses wifi-internet, what-have-you when the earthquake snapped the fiber optic cable at the bottom of the ocean.  This is not a big earthquake by any stretch of one’s imagination.  It was a rock and rolling time, that’s for sure… but no damage except to the cable.  Perhaps an excuse by the communication people!?!  Why do I think that?  None of the Class A’s have moved and I have great wi-fi and fast internet this morning.


Near Chilkoot River

Along side the road, to and from the Chilkoot River, a guy named Axel has maintained these odd rock art, for lack of a better name, outside of his home.  They topple each winter (snow plows take them out), come Spring, he puts them back together.  Do they signify any particular thing or purpose? I don’t know, but he’s been doing it for years. The rocks are balanced on whatever they are on. No props, no supports.

Rock statues

Rock art and twig person

More rock art

These were in a different location

With a little help from my friend Cheri – finished threading my loom.  Delighted to have that done with these “friendly” threads.  Friendly, as they constantly stuck to each other.  She got them apart and in order, I threaded the heddles and the task went smoothly and fast. Thanks Cheri!

Tonight… got one last chance to partake in a crab feast. Bring on the crab… yum!

Ok, folks… will be hitting the road this next week, about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.  No blog post until I get to Washington. And no wi-fi or internet.  I turn everything off so I’m not charged international rates.  It normally takes me 8 days to drive out, but I’m traveling with two other rigs this time.  Not yet knowing how they travel, it may be longer or shorter then 8 days.  We got time, so plan to enjoy the trip out.

Creative juices

The following three pictures represent the work of a person dear to my heart – click to enlarge.  My friend, Dorothy, has these hanging in her house.  Love her work!

Watercolor painting

Oil painting

Chalk drawing

I knew she had tried her hand using chalk and ink, but this is the first piece I had seen. Its an interesting departure from her norm but I like it.

Dorothy’s beautiful backyard

The day before I left Hebron, Dorothy took me over to Shipshewana, Indiana.  Its a Amish community gone commercial.  Lots of little stores full of all kinds of goodies, including antiques.  Fun, fun, fun places to explore.   Tons of buggies, but no I did not get any pictures… was too busy shopping.  We ate lunch at Blue Gate Restaurant – excellent home cooked food!

As we were leaving town, a Lazy Daze went the other way and I asked Dorothy to turn around, so I could go and say hello!  A gal, traveling from California, with her dogs pulling into… I think it was the Shipshewana South RV Park, but not sure.  Caught her as she was jumping out of her rig.  Introduced myself, chatted a bit.  Then we left her to go check in. In trying to get out of the one-ways within the park, we ended up going the wrong way when I saw about 8-10 Lazy Daze’s in another area of the same park.  Amazing find.  It turned out to be the Great Lakes Lazy Daze Caravan group having their May GTG (get-together).  Wow!!!  Jumped out and went and introduced myself to those near the picnic tables. They were getting ready to have a group photo – most were not in sight, but was delighted to meet all that I did.  We were invited to stay for dinner – thank you for the offer – but we had to get back to Hebron to let the dog out.  But what a great day!!!
Dorothy was a gracious hostess, as was Bailey, Emma & Louise at the house and Sam at the stables. Time was too short, but so wonderful to see and enjoy.  Thank you my friend.
My next spot on the road required help from Dorothy and my friend here in Woodstock.  You see, I did not want to go thru Chicago, nor hit any toll roads and not knowing the roads, they were both a huge help.  Between the two of them, I had a wonderful back road drive up to Woodstock. The weather was perfect!  A good 4 hour drive thru towns I would say are literally just a spot along the road, thru farm lands, over rivers,  thru a few suburbs and their traffic lights, even had to wait for a long train…  great day for a little road trek.
I’m now near Woodstock… out in what I would have called a suburb, but they say rural.  Its been 10 years since I have seen S. and I got to meet her hubby A.  Wonderful people.   I’m permitted to park up their driveway at the edge away from the garage. No shade, but hopefully it won’t get hot, but I’m not complaining.  Beautiful landscaping, lots of bunnies, birds, squirrels and 2 female felines for entertainment for the boys. The latter has already introduced themselves to the boys.  Lots of sniffing thru the screen door, but all is peaceful.
On entry off of their patio, where we visited for quite some time, the following picture was hanging over a fireplace.  Its about 5-6 feet tall, about 3 feet wide.  An understated beauty.  I really thought it was an awesome painting. But they said it was not a painting. Is that a photo? I asked. No… its a quilt. A quilt???  No, that can’t be a quilt. Seriously, its a quilt?  Couldn’t believe it… but guess what, it is. A magnificent specimen of a art quilt I have ever seen.   So click on the images… you will see some amazing creative uses of different medias to produce the redwood forest.  Enjoy!!!

Ooh what fun!

Time continues to fly by… when you are having fun.

Most of the work prepping the contents of the house is done, what’s left is to price everything for the sale. While they were fine-tuning the displays, I was busy re-organizing some of my spaces and doing Spring cleaning in my own rig.  I have another sister-in-law meeting me near Seattle to travel up to Alaska with me. So I needed to free up a drawer or two.  Still have a little bit more to do, but yesterday we all went to two fabulous places.

The first was the New Hope Mill store.  No photos taken there, too busy checking out the store. The old mill is no longer used to make the flours, etc and I did not actually see it this trip, but the store was wonderfully full of all their flours, pancake mixes, grains, honeys, salad dressings, etc.  For years, we were gifted New Hope pancakes mixes… always a welcomed gift, now to see the variety is pretty amazing.

Then we went to tour the MacKenzie-Childs estates.. Quite frankly, I had no idea what was in store for me there, so went along for the ride.


As we walked thru this tunnel above – beautiful, stunning wicker furniture was visible, then into the courtyard… more elaborate wicker details. Distinctive structure, not normally seen in wicker. And I thought – so this is what they are known for.  An understated beauty.

Tulips? We just beginning to bloom here

Table, chairs were all wicker – this in courtyard

Wicker swing

Then they took me into the store… oh my oh my oh my… brilliant colors, fabulous patterns, my eyes had way too much trouble seeing it all.  Kept thinking my Mom would have loved to come into this place.  They have it set up within the different patterns in pottery and wicker – such as the black and white checkered look, to butterflies.  It was seemingly endless of the ways in which the patterns would and could be incorporated into things… but then they combined the patterns into one of a kind, amazing items. Such as a table leg could be turned upside down and then it became a lamp and each unique pattern was a circular strip around the leg/lamp base.

Did I take photos – of the huge barns (working studios), the lands or even the large 3 story home in which we had a walk-thru tour.  I couldn’t help but say WOW at every turn… it was so amazing, simply amazing to see – no, it did not occur to me to take photos… just trying to absorb all the eye candy was overwhelming…  wonderfully overwhelming.  Highly recommend anyone visiting this area, to come see.
When we were done with the tour, it was pouring down rain… so went back to the store to dry out a a bit. A dangerous thing to do….  It was pointed out to me a doll house in a different room from the store.  A doll house?!?….A doll house to die for…  that was easily 6 feet tall…. I have collected miniatures for years, to see this captured my attention like no other.  It was not lit up and I had no idea if it could be lit up, all behind glass too… so the following photos – click to enlarge and enjoy!
To my weaving friends… the rugs, bedspreads, towels, were all handwoven. Most of the furniture is wicker. I was told the entire doll house and each individual piece was hand made to exact scale, based on MacKenzie-Childs style.

Two floors

Table on left is wicker

Wicker lounge chair on balcony, looking in

A “sitting or sun” room on top of doll house

Trying to get different views to show things

The “turtles” are soup tureens

Itty-bitty toilet paper roll..

Wicker table, lamp, etc

Clothes line next to “Sun” room

I neglected to mention that each and every piece of pottery is hand made, painted by artisans trained in each pattern, and they each have their own unique style that is incorporated.  When watching how they make their pottery, the whole process from shaping to the final glaze. I realized none of this is ever mass produced, therefore I wanted one item to support my fellow artist.  I bought a tea kettle. Its beautiful.  I bought a size too big for my cooktop, so when I get it exchanged for a smaller 2 quart kettle, I will take a picture to share.

Lazy days

As we laze away the days here at Tim & Janie’s farm, instant entertainment is not far… Norm has seemingly found the best sunbeam, but what you can’t see – he’s watching intently the two kittens.  I tried to go around to get the kittens in the photo – all three scattered.

Norm grabbing the sun spot
Bunny rabbits in cages

Farm equipment

Neighbor was cutting the last of the soy beans. Its loading into a big truck hidden by the trees. They offered me a ride up on that big thing. I passed on that.  This equipment far exceeds what I use to drive in the fields.  And no folks, I did not grow up on a farm – but I did work the fields when I was a teenager.

My RV in front of one of the barns

I had to take a photo of my rig in this seemingly flat country – no mountains to be found in this area. But the Flint Hills are within reach.  I will try to take some photos of the Flint Hills when I head east on Sunday.  Its really a beautiful area.  Alot of history in them hills! Laughing here.

Retired and Broke Drive sign

Tim & Janie’s home they built

See that big tree on the left.  An Elm or Locust tree is unknown, but what a magnificent specimen for putting a tire swing on it. As it is, on the other side of tree was a big rope.  Memories are written all over that tree.


Did you think I snuck in an erroneous image for your entertainment?  Well… in the middle of the picture is a little frog.  He had to be chilly, as the ground was quite frosty earlier in the day.

KU Jayhawk made from railroad spikes

Recycled art, the imagination, the creative process just blows me away when I see things like this.  Tim doesn’t really advertise what he makes, yet it catches everyone’s eye when they walk past.  Saw this frequently at the barbecue competitions last weekend.  The following images are more of his art. The flowers are made from sickle sections off of a combine, drag spring teeth, log chains and occasional horse shoe.  He has most college teams, but some of the national teams as well and just about anything else you can think of.

John Deere flower

Flowers from recycled parts

He sells them for $45.00.  Shipping would be expensive as they are heavy, but any of these would last a lifetime (in my opinion).  The one picture of the Cowboy Band – is not for sale, but worth showing it to you.

Cowboy band
Thanks Tim & Janie for everything.  Hospitality has been superb!!!!