“Heartbreak is life educating us.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Life Has been such a crazy whirlwind of good things and heartbreak lately that I hope Shaw is correct – because then I might be learning something . . .

We lost our sweet Doolie last week from congestive heart failure.  We are so broken hearted.  It is always hard to lose a pet, but Doolie was a great pet.  He was sweet, lively, loving and just plain excellent. I have had a hard time writing this because I cry whenever I see these pictures of him.Sweet Doolie1 Sweet Doolie2 Sweet Doolie3 Sweet Doolie4

We miss him everyday.

The week he was sick, I was at Vav Stuga in total weaving heaven – complete cognitive dissonance.

Vav Stuga1 Vav Stuga2 Vav1 Vav Stuga4 Vav Stuga5 Vav Stuga6

I always knew that Vav Stuga (the Swedish Weaving School) was a weaving wonderland – beautiful setting, beautiful looms, beautiful warps, delicious food  . . . http://www.vavstuga.com/

What I didn’t know was how comprehensive Becky’s weaving curriculum is.  During the Basics week the students weave 4 projects with four different fibers: linen, cottolin, cotton and wool, have designing and drafting lessons, learn to wind a warp, dress the loom, tie-up countermarch and counterbalance looms. Students also work on selvedges, beat, squaring a pattern, using a temple, mixing colors and finishing fabric.  Whew!!  And this was just Basics!  I don’t think there is a weaving curriculum in the US (especially one that is one week long!) that is so complete and systematic.  If you know of one – send a comment. I think that the school should be rebranded as The Weaving School instead of the Swedish Weaving School.  Even though Becky teaches on Swedish looms and uses Swedish yarn, what one learns as a weaver can be applied pretty broadly. I learned a lot!

I have also been reading a weaving manuscript for Storey Publishing with the notion of being a “support weaver” on the project.  I am almost finished my second read through, and I am learning a lot already.  If I end up weaving for the project, it will be another excellent education of a totally different kind. One of the lessons of this project and my week at Vav is “an old dog CAN learn new tricks!”

And more about Aprons . . . this was the most weirdly synchronous thing . . . and I forgot to talk about it in my last apron post.  The week that I spent messing with aprons in the studio (before I blogged about it) I got an out-of-the-blue package from weaving-buddy, pal and weaving teacher par excellence Barbara Hurley.  It was the apron that you see below . . .

Wonder Woman1I am generally not a selfie person, but I had to do this gift justice by donning my superwoman apron and taking a pic. As you can see, I extend well beyond the perimeter of super woman, but she’s there to inspire:)) In any case – Apron ESP?

I also got a comment from reader Claire http://littlefishcreations.com/ featuring a link to this blog post: http://handmadebycarolyn.blogspot.com.au/ this wonderful young seamstress has devised my ideal garment – an ingenious pocket skirt.  A hybrid skirt/studio apron that I think I might just have to weave some fabric for.

In closing,
Doolie – we love you!
Aprons are good.
The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
Carl Jung  

I guess . . .




9 thoughts on ““Heartbreak is life educating us.” (George Bernard Shaw)

  1. Hi, Lisa.

    First, let me express my sincere condolences to you and your family. I think other than losing my parents last year and having my older son diagnosed with autism, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is bury my beloved dog.

    Wow! What a wondrous experience at Vavstuga! Someday I will get to do something like that and actually take a class.

    • Thanks so much Allen,
      And I am genuinely sorry for your troubles – Hank Williams’ lyrics keep running through my mind: “No matter how we struggle and strive, we’ll never get out of this world alive.” I keep thinking “unscathed” in place of alive. It sure seems to be a universal truth.

      I highly recommend the Vav experience. If you stay there, every towel, curtain, blanket and rug in the living quarters have been hand woven by Becky. And if you are a day student, every table runner, napkin, chair cushion you use are also hand woven . . . truly weaving paradise!

      • Thanks in return, for your kind words. Last year was a very rough one for me. While in mourning, some people go to their craft/art/passion and bury their grief in it. For me it was the opposite. I wanted nothing to do with weaving or not much else. It was a desert experience. I wove stuff that I HAD to weave, not stuff I wanted to weave.

        OK, OK. Now I have to go to the Vavstuga website.

  2. I am sad with you about Doolie, it is always the bad part of loving a dog, is that you have to say goodbye. I envy you the vav stuga experience, may be one day when my ship comes into port.

    • Thanks Marlene,
      It would be quite a trip from S. Africa to Vav Stuga, but Becky does have students from all over. It is a beautiful place – especially for weavers. It is also about 5 miles from my house – so visit!!

  3. Oh no 🙁 so sad to lose a beloved pet. My sympathies are with you.

    That Vavstuga sounds like absolute heaven. I have no hope of ever getting there, but I enjoy reading and seeing reports of people who have been there – I just love that Scandinavian aesthetic.

    I knew you’d like that skirt 😀

  4. Thanks Claire,
    I agree about the Scandinavian aesthetic. There is something so pleasing about the combination of clean, simple design and saturated colors. PLUS, the new style that I am trying to cultivate (which my husband has affectionately dubbed middle-aged toddler) is completely inspired by Scandinavian designers.:))

  5. Dear Lisa – I’m so very sorry to hear about Doolie. What a terrible loss. Such a sweet and adorable dog. I’m sorry I didn’t know you all were going through such sadness and my heart goes out to your family. 🙁 xo-B

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