"An intricate, delicate, or fanciful ornamentation."
(The Free Dictionary)

"Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment."
          --Chinese Proverb

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Monday, June 2, 2008

While the muse is away...

We all associate long, dry spells with the middle of a hot summer. Well I have been in a crafting dry spell in the middle of a beautiful spring this year. I haven't made much in the last month. It seems my creative muse has left for vacation without so much as a note or a fond farewell. I think she became scared and took off when I reorganized my crafting space; all that neatness and those nicely arranged shoe boxes on brand new shelving were just too much for her. Miss Creativity needs organized confusion!

So what does one do while creativity is on holiday? Plan for a future crafting journey and gather supplies for the trip of course! While out foraging for crafting provisions for my upcoming adventure learning to weave (see my previous post on my loom acquisition), I happened upon an antique spinning wheel being given away on Craigslist. Being a sucker for an old, abandoned sewing or crafting tool, I was immediately drawn to the poor wheel with its missing spoke, broken flyer, and absent footman. After a little deliberation, I said I would rescue it, all the while hoping my husband would not object to yet another piece of "Are you going to use that?" equipment being brought into the house.

It's an interesting Saxony-style wheel in a lovely, aged cherry color with Colonial-style carved legs and spindles. Naturally, it is pretty dusty and it needs some tightening up here and there. A curious mystery peeks out from under the dust on the bench part of the wheel. Inscribed in large, dotted letters is the following:

"No. 14

There are also scallop designs all around the top of the bench made in the same dotted style. Are these markings of the maker, or a former owner's personalization? I am trying to solve the mystery as well as locate someone who can tell me if the wheel can be repaired.

What will I do with this wheel you ask? I have had a couple of spinning lessons and I thoroughly enjoyed the rhythmic motions and tactile sensations of working fibers into yarn. I had been perusing Craigslist and eBay looking for a used, modern spinning wheel within my budget to purchase when this little fellow (can spinning wheels be male?) caught my eye. I am still on the hunt for a newer wheel to use for spinning practice, but I would like to repair this old one for both the challenge of trying to use it, as well as to restore and give new life to an antique tool.

So now I have a spinning wheel to repair, a loom waiting to be cleaning and warped (another learning curve to stretch my thinning brain cells), half-finished jewelry projects on my work table, and Sue Bleiweiss' online fabric journal-making class just starting. I hope my muse has had a nice, long rest while she has been away because I have lots of projects wating for her when she returns!

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