Sunday, November 17, 2013
This has been a pretty full teaching year – and thank you everyone who’s been patient with me! I promise to be better at keeping up with things. I do, I do! There’s been a lot going on, so I really do have a lot to say. In the second half of the year, I taught in Amherst NY (Buffalo), Chelsea, Michigan, Salt Lake City Utah, and Cambridge Ontario (Canada) with a lot of great things going on in between, so I’m going to try to catch up in stages. At home there was a lot of writing work and the occasional glitch – like the two months when everything in the house seemed to break down needing either repairs or replacement, from the kitchen faucet to the light over my desk, bathroom appliances, the wood stove… well, you get the idea. Even the cat became extremely ill and seemed to be ready for that last ride to the vet – and then bounced back. So did most of the appliances; except another one that suddenly needs an expensive, more special replacement, through no fault of its own. In the shop, I got into a reclaimed-yarn dyeing project with my friend Sarah, who designs and makes gorgeous sweaters – all to be mailed away to the poorest people she can find. She’s shy about her ongoing good deeds and intentionally held everything up over her face. For the garden, I made five trips to my neighbor’s farm for a generous supply of sheep poop, and things burgeoned and grew, apparently loving the cooler, often rainy weather.
Friday, April 5, 2013
One week until the Finger Lakes Tatting Conference in Lodi. Our theme is stars! Last week I finished sewing stars from across the U.S. and Canada on the quilt and quilting around them. When I was almost done, an envelope with more stars appeared. Here is our Starry Night quilt – you can see almost all the stars. It’s hard to count them all, but Bill and I estimated there’s about 135 tatted stars on the quilt – that’s a rough estimate. Could be a lot more or a few less. I'm sorry that you'll have to tilt your head to see the quilt properly - the strip of sky which should be at the top is the clue you're looking for. Can you see the Big Dipper? The quilt will be auctioned off Saturday, April 13 at 7 pm. There’s a reserve of $250 on it, and we are accepting good-faith bids from outside our group – contact me with your phone number where you can be reached if you want to join the bidding at the time – or you can put in your high bid and you just might win! All the money from the quilt will go into our scholarship fund, to enable more tatters to attend the conference in the next and following years. Wish you could be with us! actually, we could probably fit about six more people though shhh! don't tell our registrar - she's already done a lot of hard work on the event and she thinks we already have a good number of participants. But we all know there's always room for another...
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It’s snowing again. How can this be when the ground temperature is actually well above freezing? Bill explained this to me and it makes sense, sort of. “Upstairs” is colder. This does not explain to my satisfaction why the white stuff is actually sticking, but… whatever. Indoors, there’s a whole lot of tatting going on. Unfortunately, the camera’s focus is a little dicey, but for a rough idea, here’s the scholarship quilt in progress. Ten days ago, on a Saturday, we had a mini-quilting bee. The picture is blurry, but the real quilt which, thank goodness, is currently in the hands of our best quilter, is gorgeous and getting gorgeouser as more tatting is added. So I went back to work on tatting samples for various classes I’ll be teaching later this year. This is the continuous Catherine Wheel Star for the Finger Lakes Tatting Seminars in Lodi in April. Then in late May, more stars are coming to Spring Fling in Michigan. Even more stars than you can see in the photo. And then, in August at IOLI, there will be a sampler class. The beehive at the top is because the sponsoring guild is the Beehive Lacers… and there are a few little tatted bees among the flowers. For re-tatting, I’m thinking of using some size 150 cordonnet -I’d have to dye it first in small bits, but the idea of making a mini-sampler is appealing… I’ve got one more set of samples to do for these classes. Ideas are drawn out, they just need tatting. There were two spinning meetings in the past two months. So I’ve done a little handspun, but I haven’t yet had time to do anything with it. On the left is the most recent project, handspinning beaded yarn; on the right is the handspun plied with an interesting nylon novelty yarn. Once I get my plumbing straightened out – oh yes, there are two minor plumbing crises, one a particular problem because it involves the potty, which has not responded to conventional treatments, and in this small house, when it’s snowing, alternatives are not easily come by – then some dyeing will happen. Until then, life will be just a bit more complicated. It’s not a great time for this to happen – but I was trying to imagine a good time for plumbing issues to occur and frankly, I was drawing a blank on this.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Just over 10 days ago, despite winter, a group of lacemakers warmed Saturday and Sunday with thoughts of lace. I traveled to the Lost Art Lacemakers weekend in Lafayette NJ to stay with a wonderful lacer and beader (I wish I’d taken some photos of her bead work, it’s truly spectacular) spent a day vending and another day teaching a class. Before I went, I did some thread-dyeing – these are the new colors before being skeined and sorted into individual bags. The class was oodles of fun. Nidia tatted for the first time that day – a fast study who progressed from “How do I wind the shuttle?” to “How do I read the pattern?” in a matter of hours. In fact, before the class was over, she’d progressed onto her second UFO – with promises, of course, to finish the first one. Dorothy and Linda looked like they were getting to be friends and changed seats to better chat while they were tatting; Barbara looked entirely happy. You can’t see two other class members or me, but then again, I was taking the photos. Drove home through what started as snow squalls and ended as an astonishing, though localized, blizzard. The week had a few more flakes in store for us – and a thankfully minor medical emergency (apparently un-diagnosable, but now somewhat better), both of which led to a lot of time spent tatting. Here is the Lodi Star, which I’ll be teaching in April at the Finger Lakes Tatting Group’s Tatting Seminars in a 3 hour class. The one we’ll do has the blue beads which make a strange pattern of their own; it uses my wandering wheel technique of continuous Catherine Wheels. This is the first prototype of the Field of Flowers tatted purse, a beaded bag attached to a cute metal frame. The one we’ll do will also be just a little smaller. The “we” in this instance is those taking the workshop the first weekend in May, when I’ll be teaching in May for the Amherst Museum Lace Guild, near Amherst, which is a really pretty suburb of Buffalo, NY. Just a note here: the first time I went was a year when the Buffalo winter had held a lot of snow… this winter has not (thus far) been quite that snowy, but I’m betting the result will be the same – one of the most brilliantly green spring seasons ever seen. Now back to the Valentine sock marathon, before returning to the tatting factory.
Monday, January 28, 2013
I’ve done something I’m not exactly proud of… because I was otherwise good. And because it was time. After finishing the doily book, which will be picked up from the publisher tomorrow – and in the process, learning a huge amount about the differences between tatting cotton of various brands and ages… (Shameless plug here – I’m really pleased with the way the doily book came out. If anyone wants a copy of the doily book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – cost is $10 plus $1 shipping… and yes, I do take paypal.) This below was the raw material for the cover.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Santa’s workshop is closed. I’ve finished socks for Bill (my last outstanding knitting project for the year). Those who’ve visited Graceful Arts Fiber Studio could all sing out in unison why Bill’s Christmas socks always have to be red – it’s because red is WARMER! (According to Bill, anyway.) I recently realized that when Bill and I first got together, washable wool wasn’t an easy-to-find option. But now, thankfully, it is so his Christmas socks fit better and do better in the wash. There’s another good reason they need to be red – the one time I made blue ones, they got left behind in a hospital stay. Bill promises this wouldn’t happen again, so maybe (shhh!) for Valentine’s Day another color might be used. A lot of those early socks need replacement.