“Lint picker”????

Note from Alexis: OK “Lint Picker”??  Got to have a sense of humor – which she did!


5- 10-83


Dearest Lex

Thank you for the lovely Mother’s Day card. Before I opened it, I thought, “If she has just signed a bought card, I’ll scream.” and then found you had done the exact right thing and made your own.

You will be pleased to learn that I now have a hobby. I know how concerned you have been about me, knowing full well that old people need hobbies or they tend to lay around and eat bon-bons. Not only do I have a hobby but I now have a genuine “trade secret” so before I tell you I must swear you to secrecy. So here it is: I am a lint-picker.


I was cleaning the lint out of the washer and dryer after washing three of my riya rugs and suddenly it hit me – make paper! One of the big problems with making paper is the pulp. Quite frankly that is where paper and I parted company before. But lint is already processed and ready to go. I do think it has to be of the cellulose line (my rugs are rayon-that’s code for wood) and I just happen to be in the cellulose-lint making business. All this cotton/linen material I am making fills the machines with lint, besides which they are colored. I get two kinds of lint. The lint out of the washer is coarse and that out of the dryer is fine. The design possibilities are limitless. Furthermore, I just happen to have a large stack of wool felt to put between the sheets of wet paper and a metal tub to make it in. The only thing I need now is a frame and deckle to match my felt squares. I already have my ‘no’ from Dad so I am in business. I have sent for a book and when it comes I’ll get Dad busy, and maybe this summer I can make paper.

Dad asked me what I was going to do with the paper but since it is a hobby – I don’t have to do anything, right? Right!


 Now we come to the serious part of the letter. I have some news for you that may well change your whole opinion of me. I have fallen in love with TV. First off we got on cable. Sometime I think you should call me ‘lucky’. When cable first came out here it was Ore-Cal and we weren’t interested. Then, the other day a fellow came by from McCaw and the price was right and by then we were interested so I said OK. Then we bought a color TV with our federal tax return and that was it- – hooked! I can see all kinds of good movies. Saw three Sunday. What else can you do on May 8th in a blizzard? Then there is the arts station and I have seen two ballets, Isaac Stern and the Tchaikovsky competitions in Moscow. I try to work on Frameworks so I won’t feel totally decadent.


Speaking of Frameworks, you will be happy to know I wrote Judy Chicago. I was day dreaming about having Frameworks in a gallery and listening to what people were saying. Mostly, “I don’t get it” type of things, when a pimply youth came up to argue some point and said, “Doesn’t it bother you when people say negative things about your show?” and I replied, “I could care less. What I hope for is that one person will be inspired to do their own work because of mine.” So then I knew I had to write Judy for she inspired me.

I have been faunching around about wanting a dobby loom and told you it would cost $2,000. Well, in fact the one I want would cost $4,000! So I optioned it out. Funny, how if you ask the right question, you get the right answer. Instead of asking, “How will I ever get $4,000?” I asked, “What would I do if I had $4,000?” and you can bet a dobby loom wasn’t even in the running. Space was the question and answer. I’m really beginning to feel cramped. I took another long hard look at my loom and it met all my criteria for a good loom; the things I tell my students to look for when buying a loom – the right width, a good tensioning set up, good shed, easy operation and all the harnesses, and felt it will be all I ever need. There were a few problems which have needed correcting for nine years and which Dad corrected in 15 minutes and now the loom and I are friends. I’ve finished another couple of pieces of material–that grey with red stripe and it is awfully pretty. Will put on a green and yellow today, I think I will begin making them about an inch wider.

Well got to run I hear material calling.  

All our love,