Friday, May 25, 2012

Instead of Weaving....

Instead of gathering my yarns, warping my loom and starting my new tapestries, I was doing this today.

I was doing laundry Wednesday night, and went to put things in the dryer and they were soaking wet.  I tried just spinning them, but they remained soaking wet.  Then, I got an E21 error code.  I knew that if I waited for a repairman it would take near a week to get one here, and the last time it was a door latch problem that he fixed in less than 30 minutes and cost me $375, more than 1/2 of what I paid for the washer.  My husband is on crutches with a  broken ankle, and besides, I have a degree in mechanical engineering.  It can't be that hard, can it?  Google and youtube to the rescue.  I looked up my error code, found a youtube video showing how to repair the pump (awesome video from and off I started on my morning long odyssey.  I got the dryer off of the top, yes we stacked to save space, but what a pain it is to get to the washer parts!  I got all the doors off, could they make repair any harder?  Yes, yes they could.  I got down to find the pump knowing that the problem is a blockage somewhere.  I started with the hoses.

Okay, now I am beginning to see why people sneak their horse blankets into laudromats.  I pulled that big clump out of the hose, then went to get the pump out.  I found out there was a coin trap before the pump and pulled that out and it was full of coins, bobby pins, and hair, lots of hair -- dog, horse and human!  I cleaned everything out with water, reattached all the hoses, got the sump back on with its three connectors, which took me 20 minutes of struggle, a lunch break with my daughter who is home sick with a fever, and another 20 minutes of struggle.  I plugged it all back in and lo and behold!  it works.  Okay, so the washer tried really hard to get the water out of my clothes, but the pump was shot.  So, I tried to buy local, and couldn't find any repair shops in our town with the pump, and went back to google and found a part and had it shipped overnight.  So, here I sit waiting for the Fedex truck.  

I have to say though, we bought this washer in 2007 and this is the first time I have had a clog and have washed my horse blankets for a couple of years now.  But, the designer of these washers are definitely men who do not have to do laundry on an ongoing basis.  Why put a sump that is supposed to catch stuff that will kill the pump in a totally inaccessible place such that it can't be cleaned out?  Besides that, there was no filter before the pump.  All of that dirt that my kids accumulate in playing on our farm, playing soccer, and playing in my sand riding arena is now deposited in the pump.  So, what we really need is design company of women engineers that know how to do tough laundry to design a new washer with features that we all want. 

Now, I have to go back to the laundry room to take out the pump before my replacement pump gets here. Keep your fingers crossed that my washer works after this.  Our laundry basket overfloweth and my son has a soccer tournament this weekend and no clean shorts, socks or jerseys!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peony Cartoons

I drew and colored my cartoons.  I see some problems, but now I am debating whether to fix them in the cartoons, or whether I fix them in my choice of yarns.

In the blooming peony, I colored in with a purple which was too dark.  In the middle section with the dropping petals, there are two problems:  the peony seems to float in space, and there is a disconnect between the bottom background and the upper background that makes the drawing look unconnected.  I might just work on those in yarn selection rather than recoloring.  Recoloring the drawing means I need to go and buy another couple of art markers.  The final picture of the seed pods also has a green that is too dark and I really need another couple of greens to make the drawing work better.

I love the markers.  I have used pencils in the past, but I think I like the markers better, although they are expensive.  Now, on to warping my looms!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


After finishing my tapestry for the Pacific Portals show, and my long project, the Sand Pail, I have been taking a break from weaving.  I just haven't decided what I should work on next.  There have been lots of things in my head, but nothing that just jumps out to inspire me.

We have been having lots of rain here, and the colors of spring are fabulous.  Everything is a beautiful rich green, and after a rain in the morning light, the water and sun combine to make everything look fresh and dew covered.  Yesterday after I dropped the kids off at school, I took my camera out for a walk around our farm.  I am hoping today to take these photos that I have played with on photoshop and start sketching to end up with my cartoons that I will weave from.  I think I will make a triptych with the flower shown below with the petals beneath it as the big centerpiece, and the two other pieces half that size.  I am not sure about the sizing, but I will work on it and give an update.

 After that, I am thinking of working on a vegetable garden series.  So much has been done with these, but maybe I will find something to new to say.  I have started with this photo of a head of lettuce and a strawberry bloom.  I love the light shining through the leaves.