Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Truth. And owning it.

Meet Dorothy.
Right up front: NO WAY am I likely to come out looking good, once this tale is written down for all to read. For the record, I fully recognize this and am willing to admit once more, my character flaws. Compulsive. Obsessive. Flighty?
(Moves on to new obsessions with wild abandon.)

Stephani asked me about Dorothy's history the other day. Making me put into words for the first time how Dorothy came to be with me. It's kind of sad that she's just been here for nearly all of my daughters' lives. That they were probably too young to remember her arrival; too young and for so long ago that she's just THAT THING IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM NOBODY USES.

Long ago. (Whispering.) December 1990 and my name are written in the front of a book that came with Dorothy.

My husband gave her to me as a secret Christmas present. He enlisted his mom's help ordering her. Audrey lived on Cape Cod with her friend Jean. Purchased in Massachusetts, they had it shipped to his dad's house in Dixmont, Maine. For hiding purposes. It was such a shock to get it. I had been saying how much I would like a loom for a while; but one those wistful dreams of someday. Maybe. Maybe someday.

And then there she was. My most expensive present ever. Tom and I had always given each other gifts we picked out together in those early days. Like cross-country ski packages for each other. A waterbed one year. Bathrobes the year things were tight. Down payment on our house.
You know - useful things to be shared because we are happy to be married; happily together since December 1980. So how did my special gift end up in storage? Hardly used.

I went to the library and read up all I could about weaving on a tabletop loom and the first project didn't go so bad. Except it went on FOREVER. It's still in a " just removed from the loom" state, as I had no idea what to do with a really, really long table runner. With fringe. Placemats. Or one half of a door curtain if I did the whole thing again. NO!

The second attempt went terrible. Threads were cut from the loom and thrown away as a bad idea. Come to think of it, kind of like knitting now: I have no idea about choosing proper fibers. Clueless even. Ha! (Actual name of the quilting group I belong to ;)

Over time I seemed to have just moved on to other things. Things that came easier to me. Things I could teach myself; things that didn't go so dreadfully wrong.

Embroidery, handquilting, machine quilting, applique, cross-stitch, hardanger, plastic canvas, stamp collecting, knitting, getting african violets to live, a little painting & drawing; some photography & scrapbooking. Fabric Postcards!

All things I could read up on. Teach myself. LOVE. Do pretty darn well even as a bit of a perfectionist.

And then move on. Again.
Something new. Challenging. Different.

I had a teacher in high school who taught us by example never to be afraid to try something new. He said he had needed a painting for behind his couch as a young married man. So he taught himself to oil paint. I can still remember the beauty of the paintings he brought to class to show us. He said he painted for as long as he wanted. Until his house was filled with paintings. And then he moved on to other interests. New interests he was willing to try. (He also bragged about drinking champaign from a lady's slipper.)

He was about 80 if he was a day and goofy as hell! Taught "modern history" but we started with ancient wars with AC/ BC dates and never got past the beginning of Vietnam. I'm not sure what we thought modern was in 1977? I remember thinking it was not this.

Fast Forward:
I joined a Yahoo group for weavers a few weeks ago. Finally made first contact last week. A lady a few miles up the road has offered to help me give Dorothy another try. And the name of her local Guild.

As soon as I dust Dorothy off and read up a bit more, I'll get started once again. I've been thinking about it for a while now. Ever since I read a blog written by a crazy chick with a god damn hammer. Brave enough to try building something to weave on.

One more character flaw perhaps: Optimistic. Here's hoping the socks in my knitting bucket don't become UFO's. Maybe I'll end up weaving some very colorful Kool-Aid dyed wool one day?


Sheepish Annie said...

I'm a craft-flitter as well. Knitting and spinning are really the only things I've stuck with for any length of time and I suspect that starting the ADD meds might have helped with that. ;)

I like trying new things even if they don't always work out.

aija said...

Good luck with finding harmony w/ Dorothy :) She looks really interesting.

roggey said...

Ha! I just thought this morning about getting to the weaving I've had languishing in a corner. Almost a month, by now... The new motiviation is the cherry wood shuttle I have from the Bishop Hill Spin In! I can give back the shuttle I borrowed from a friend.

Anonymous said...

Now I really feel like giving you a hug! :)
A very encouraging story.... and I love Dorothy! :)