Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taxes Submitted!

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.  
~ Albert Einstein



It ate up most of my day on Sunday, but I managed to get our taxes completed and submitted electronically...  We owed, but less than last year - which, I guess, could be interpreted as either a good thing OR a bad thing...  ;)

I'm just glad they are done!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

I've Started Cutting...

100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful;
now making something you could buy is considered wasteful.  
I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction.  
~ Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I've enlisted the aid of an almost-14-year-old friend and we have begun cutting my used t-shirts into "tarn" (t-shirt yarn) for weaving rag rugs.  On Saturday, we completed five balls of tarn:  


We tried both 1 inch width cuts and 3/4 inch width cuts - I think either size will work just fine for weaving and the 1 inch cuts were a bit less error-prone.  

Okay, okay - our work hasn't reached the quality of the tarn rolls (or cakes) that can be purchased on Etsy:  


But, my argument is that "rag rugs" are allowed to look a bit raggedy...  ;)


"Whoa, Nelly!," Popeye exclaims, "That's one mighty fine looking tarn cake!"  


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Weaving: A Team Sport?

I want my time to be taken up by chores, 
errands, appointments, and arguments. 
In other words, I want to get married.
~ Jarod Kintz

So, I am preparing a new warp for my loom - but when I pulled these five rag rugs off the loom (one, two, three, four and five), there was still some (unknown-to-me amount of) warp (the long white threads) left - and I have been wondering if there is enough to weave one more rug on this warp first.  

Of course, experienced weavers know how much warp they have at all times - but (in case you haven't noticed) I'm still kind of winging it...  ;)

Speaking of winging it, given that I had completed the five rugs that I wanted to get from this warp, I decided to take a little bit of a risk and see if I could fix this threading error:  


So I clipped those 3 threads that were twisted, untwisted them and tied them together again.  


Everything looks nice and straight - now we just have to wait and see if (a) the knots hold and (b) they don't look too lame in the rug - assuming, of course, that there is enough warp left for another rug!  ;)

My 17-year-old niece is visiting for a weekend in a couple of weeks, and I thought that she might enjoy trying her hand at weaving a rag rug for herself.  So, I'm going to get everything ready to go for her visit.  :)

Oh, there's one more loom issue that needs to be addressed before I will be ready to weave with my niece:  


I'm going to enlist my husband's help with this one...  

Man, when I first told him that I wanted a loom, I bet he never dreamed that he was signing on for a team sport!  ;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gratuitous Kitten Pictures

You can learn many things from children cats.
How much patience you have, for instance.  
~ Franklin P. Jones (with minor edit by me)

Did I mention that the cats "helped" me with the t-shirt yarn?  ;)



Oliver: "You're welcome."

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Popeye: "Hey!  What gives?  This stuff is too thick to eat!"  

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Thank goodness they were distracted by something outside, before Oliver had the chance to drag the whole pile of yarn out onto the porch...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Procrastination


You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. 
You have to be in the right mood. 
What mood is that? 
Last-minute panic.

~ Bill Watterson

Over the weekend, I filled five gallon-sized freezer bags with all the ingredients necessary for a crock-pot meal of Chicken and Vegetable Marinara for our exchange today at work...

Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables

...I cut one of my husband's old t-shirts into a continuous, 3/4 inch wide strip of yarn for practice...  


...and I measured 120, 10-yard lengths of rag rug string - half of what I need to prepare the loom for another 7 rag rugs!  :)



How is that "procrastination" you might be wondering...  

It sounds like I got a fair amount done, right?  

Well, here is what I should have been doing...  


Sigh...  :(

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Favorite Mexico Pictures: Part 5

When you feel yourself unhappy,
look at a smiling child,
you will feel happy again!
~ Mehmet Murat ildan

I saved my favorite pictures for last - pictures of the children.  :)

I think I'll let these speak for themselves...  ;)







Thursday, April 3, 2014

Some Favorite Mexico Pictures: Part 4

The ache for "home" lives inside all of us, 
to be able to return to our safe place
and not have to be stressed and burdened by the world.  
~ Jose N. Harris

One day last week, we visited the village where Ana and all of her older brothers and sisters had been born.  (The family moved away when Ana was four years old.)

Apparently they usually just walk to this village.  Ana told me that it takes about 90 minutes (each way!).  But, out of consideration for me, Ana arranged for someone to take us on a motorcycle - it took 2 trips to get me, Ana and two of her young nieces there.  (And then 2 more trips to get us back.)

I managed to get a nice 2nd degree burn on my ankle from the motorcycle's exhaust system.  (At least that took my mind off the sunburn!)

Here is Ana with an old and dear family friend from the village:


Here, Ana decides it's a good idea to load herself and her nieces into a boat of unknown ownership and unknown sea-worthiness and, using sticks, push it into the middle of a river.  


I volunteered to stay on shore - you know, so that I could get a good picture...  ;)

But the highlight of the trip was when Ana got to visit the house that she had been born in:  


There is another family living there now, but they let her stand in the doorway and pose for this picture.  She doesn't remember living there, but was really excited to get to visit it.  :)