Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve

I got me-self a head cold and hope that it clears a bit before we hoot and hollar in the New Year. We are all heading over to Linda's house again this year for a games night. This year, I guess that the game shall be Clue. I haven't played Clue in years. I remember playing it in the hay loft a summer years ago with the group of kids that my sister and I ran with. We sat up in the huge empty loft by an open door and played, pondering who did it with what and where.

I wonder who shall be guilty tonight?

What are your plans?

And while I have you here, I have a question for the weavers. Harnesses are all numbered. Threading blocks (for crackle or overshot for example) are all capital letters. Tabby is notated as treddles a and b (usually in cursive) What about the other treddles? I use numbers, but my studio head has been teaching the second year students to use capital letters. I brought it up with her, and she said that it was how it was always done. Mary Black uses numbers. As does the drafting book that she calls her bible. What do you use?

Friday, December 29, 2006

sock issues

How many times have you frogged a knitting project before you decided to call it quits? My socks from Lorna's Laces Shepard sock yarn just aren't meant to be. This will be the fourth time that I have started the suckers. And I have to say that I am getting a little perturbed with the whole situation. I am not really sure what happened the last time, but I ended up with way wrong stitches and pulled the knitting back to where everything looked right and then dropped a few stitches while trying to pick them back up. And then everything went to hell in a hand basket and here I sit, with ball of yarn and a few pointy sticks. Again. I am going to give them ONE MORE TRY and if I fail, again, I shall save my beautiful Lorna's Laces yarn for my loom ( I can weave with fine yarns no problem) and knit socks with fat yarns only.

Here they are in all their round glory. Again. The first bit is just a wee spot crinklier than it used to be. Sigh

And in the blog issues, Firefox is working MUCH better than Safari ever did! I have all sorts of choices like text colour, that I never did before! I can even change my font! The only choices that showed up in Safari were spell check, and up load images. And since switching to beta, neither worked. Things are looking up!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Look! A picture!

Look! It's a picture! Blogger allowed me to up load it. The difference.....Firefox instead of Safari. Apparently blogger doesn't like Safari. I like it well enough. We'll see if I can find a solution to my e-mail problem.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Note: It was boxing day when I started this post. Life sort of got in the way

Bill thinks that Boxing Day is all about spreading the joy and love of Boxes. Bill loves his boxes. He is the king of cardboard, as he puts it.
I, however, know the true meaning. It is the day to deal with all of the boxes that are left over from the day before.
Well, sort of. The true origin of boxing day was back when the rich in England had servants (I know they still do, but bear with me) and after making them work all day Christmas, the servants had the following day off and were able to box up all of the leftovers to take home to their families. So then, as now, Boxing Day is about leftovers.

Christmas day, however, is about the ripping of paper, the opening of presents, good food, good company, good wine. And we had a lot of everything.
The first sign of Christmas life in my house came at 12;30 am. This was about 45 minutes after the presents were tucked under the tree and Bill and I went to bed. I got up to make a trip to the loo and saw Mira's light was on. She was awake and was just about to open her sock. In my house, the rule is "open your sock when you get up. Play quietly. DON"T WAKE US UP!" I told her that is was still night and that she had to go back to bed. Small grumbles, but she was tired and complied. The next I hear was at about 4;30. Now this one was my fault. In the socks, I had put a few small things, one of which was a nose flute. Bad move. I got up and said " if it makes noise...NO!" The noise subsided. They then came in and tried to wake us up at 6;00 to which I said, "6 is too early, it must be 7 at least" . At 7 they were blissfully watching a movie and we go up at 7;30 when the movie was over. And sometime over the course of the candy and chip eating and the movie watching, my sock pattern disappeared!
After devouring presents, candy, chocolate, and breakfast here, we went to my parents place where more of the same occurred. My sister and her husband, along with his mother were all visiting and we had a great time. I was even able to hide upstairs for a while and work on a puzzle. I love doing puzzles. Not the mind bending ones. Just your average 500-1000 piece puzzle of something nice. But I don't do them any other time of year. I think that it's the time thing.

I hope everyone had as pleasant a Christmas as we did.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope that you and yours have a happy and safe holiday.
Sorry, no before and after pictures of the tree, but I still can't up load pictures.

And here's a news flash! I actually worked on my socks last night. The heel is turned and the instep decreasing is about half way there. It takes me a while, but I'll have another pair of socks eventually.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This is getting annoying

I have been unable to load pictures for a few day now. Seeing as my next post is dependent on the picture, I have been unable to post for several days.
And since moving to Blogger beta (which is no longer beta I might add) I have been unable to respond to comments. Annoying to say the least. I have enjoyed your comments and apologize for not replying. All comments comeback as "". Grrrrhhhh. Even the ones that used to give me an e-mail address. Double grrrrhhh.
I have to say that I am beginning to get rather annoyed and have been considering a move to typepad or some other blog web site. Or thingie, Or whatever. (Can't you tell that I am sooooo computer literate?)
In any case... I have a question for you all. What Blog website do you use and has any one else who has switched to blogger beta been having that same problems that I have been?
Christmas is coming and I don't expect much activity for the next few days. But thanks for your comments and suggestions, and may you all have a happy and safe holiday.

As for me... there is a wee spot of over indulgence in my future. I have had my final week of market and it was a good one. Now I get to relax (a bit) and do some experimentation on the multi shaft looms at the college. (happyhappy me). But all of that is in the new year. For now I shall relax, eat, drink, be merry, and above all, enjoy my family and the fact that I don't have to get anyone up for the next two weeks!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's Christmas time

On Saunders Street!

We have officially started the Christmas season. Because we are spacially challenged, I wait until the last Saturday before Christmas to get the tree. This year, because the last Saturday was the 23, I broke with tradition, and picked it up the second last Saturday. Which was yesterday. I came home to a house in which nothing was prepared. In my house, moving anything is like a Chinese puzzle. You know the ones. There are 9, 16 or more squares on which there is a picture. One square is missing and you move the pieces until you create the image. I loved these as a kid and the knowledge of how to shuffle things around has come in handy in my life. So eventually, the grapefruit tree ended up in the front room, the computer desk went in to Mira's room. Her room was shuffled in it's own right, and my loom was actually able to remain in it's working position. The last scarf came off last night and will grace my table at the market on Saturday. Hopefully not for long. It is black merino with sari silk ribbon that is sparkly. I hope some desperate man comes by and needs to snap it up for his wife/girlfriend.

In any case, here is the tree. I set it up, did the lights, and then went out to brave the malls and try to find something for Bill's mom and dad. I was unsuccessful yesterday, but went again and found what I hope will please them. It is hard to buy for people who have what they want and buy what they need. I am sure that many of you out there know from where I am coming. I also have been very bad in getting things in the mail. Like Christmas cards and presents to those who are far away. I think that everybody gives gifts in December, but it is really nice to receive something in January when it is least expected. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
As for the string that is keeping the thing upright... After two toppled trees, I don't take any chances any more.

Getting back to the tree. After the lights, the kids did the rest. I have been decorating a tree for six months at market (really, it was a bunch of branches for most of it) and somehow the joy and wonder has gone out of decorating. I think that they did a marvelous job. Most of the ornaments have been homemade, or gifts and I have at least twice as many that they left in the boxes. I am impressed with their restraint. Mira was the grand poo-bah, and supervised with an iron fist. No more than one ornament per branch and none that touch each other. Liam complained, and papa supported the original verdict.

Tomorrow is our Christmas party at work. We are having a Secret Santa exchange and I can hardly wait to see what the wonderful bunch of creative people that I work with have come up with for their gifts.

More Felt: ethnographic samples

Why "ethnographic samples"? I really have no idea. That is what Denise called them. It was apparently what her teacher called them.
What they are is a way to show different felting techniques. We started with the research of a symbol. I started with spiders, the goose, and the hand. I settled on the hand because it is a form that I have been exploring since high school. As a crafts person, where would I be without my hands? I use them everyday and try to be aware of how valuable a tool they are. Hand symbols are in many places in our every day life. They have been used in textiles and in art and crafts for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years.
What were suppose to end up with was 4 samples of different techniques that were the same size and shape.

First is felt on felt. The hand was cut out of a piece of soft felt that I made and then laid on a felt bat which was then wet down and felted. The hand was Nicole's little hand.

Next is felting on a secondary structure. In this case, black polyester sheer material. You lay the fleece on the fabric and felt until your arms feel like they are going to fall off, and then you felt some more. The symbol is a healers hand. This is one of the old symbols.

Next is cut work. When you initially lay out the bat, you use different colours for the different layers. I used a red/orange for my bottom layer, burgundy for my middle layer and purple for my top layer. When it is all dry, you carefully snip through the felt layers to reveal the colours beneath. Amber, my class mate, used many more colours and I liked her results better.

Applique was next. For this I took one of my sketches "for a walk". "Take it for a walk" is what my first year 3D teacher, Peter, used to say all the time. I hated it at the time, but now I see the value in being able to push an idea beyond its humble beginnings. Thanks Peter. For this it was a simple cut out an image and sew it onto another piece of felt.

And last is the mosaic that is (to my mind) unresolved. I ran out of the blue felt and I need to make another piece. I though that if I mosaiced the border, it would fit will with the piece, but alas, it did not. Because I had my required 4 samples, I didn't feel the need to complete this last one in time for assessment. I will finish it at my leisure. No. Really. I will.
You in the back. Stop that snickering.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Done class!!!!!

I had so much fun in my felting class! My head is just bouncing with ideas. First we learned about flat felting, then it was three dimensional felting. Here are some of my final 3D projects.

Booties. They were started on a flat pattern and finished on my feet. We took turns felting on each others feet, and let me tell you, I didn't expect to get a foot massage that day in class!
These are actually destined for Mira for Christmas. Shhh.

This was my first exercise in flat pattern felting and the flap didn't quite turn out as I expected. I cut the offending piece off and beaded the flap to balance it. This guy is small. About 8 inches across. Very cute.

And last is my "mermaids purse". Kelp, shells, and a wee fishy finish off this one.

Today is also the Christmas concert for my boys. I hope that they are early in the program for once. Then I can slip away. Every year we have faithfully stayed until the end, but this year, I have so much to do on my days "off" that I feel like a whirling dervish has taken residence in my brain. I still have to come up with something for my in-laws for Christmas and I have NO IDEA! Not one. I usually can come up with a little something, but this year..... And the bottle of scotch for Grandpa won't even work this year because he is on medication that keeps him from having a drink.

And Judy asked for a book review (which I will give at a later date) and about the progression of my most dusty socks. I am afraid to say that the socks had been abandoned so that my hands could work on fringing, tagging, origami folding, felting, and note book maintenance. I have traditionally done most of my knitting in idle time in front of a movie. I haven't watched a movie in months. Except "Racing Stripes", and I was weaving during that one. And there was "Over the Hedge", during which a small girl took up residence on my lap. But things are looking brighter for my socks! My friend Linda just lent me the first season of "Lost" to watch "at your leisure" It runs over 1000 minutes! I just my get those socks done!

Concert up date

I just got back a few minutes ago from the concert that lasted over 2 hours. And , of course, my boys were at the very end. Again. The concerts used to be about an hour. Which was good. But the new principal likes to "showcase" all of the talent in the school. Which is nice. But most kids in elementary school have siblings. Quite a few of them have younger siblings. Like my boys. I can't tell you the number of times that I hear "I want to go home, mama!" Two hours is far to long for a Christmas concert. The performances by the kids were all very good. Some were touching, some cute. But in my estimate, each class did not need to sing three songs. One per class used to be enough. Sorry about the rant. I just had to vent a bit.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just for fun

You have to love these "tests". I often wonder if your answers actually make a difference or if it is all just chosen randomly.

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I'm glad that that is over! It was really great to be at the Christmas Choice at Mem Hall show, but it was a different routine than I am used to at the Artist Market. The set up that I use at the market didn't work as well here. I would have prefered to be behind the table. I also had less space to work with. And we won't even talk about the door. I also had a major sugar crash near the end of the show and when that happens, it not good news. I had not thought about bringing something to eat because the market has The Happy Baker right there, should the need arrise. I know mem hall has no food venue, but you know what routine is like. In any case, now I can relax a bit. There were about 24 exhibitors and the crowd was not what was expected. It was really nice in that it was only 4 hours and not 3 days. I did well, but not as well as last year, which had been an exceptional year. Mira came with me and she did fantastic! She sold her seahorses and flowers. Everybody was quite amazed at her talent. I have 3 markets left before Christmas and after I take my black scarf off the loom, I shall be done weaving for sale. I may have a few Christmas things to work on, but the big pressure is OFF!

Here is my gal helping to set up.

And here we are, all set up. I meant to take some more pictures of the hall because it is really a beautiful building (dark wood paneling, stain glass windows) but...chalk it up to low blood sugar and loss of brain function.

And I would also like to take this moment to thank Jo. She had talked about a sock book, Knit Socks! one day and when I commented that I had seen it at the library and though that it was great, she offered me her spare copy! Of course I say YES! And a little bit later, it arrived in my mail box. Knitters are such a wonderful, generous group of people!

I have chosen my pattern and have my yarn ready to go. I had meant to use this yarn for a lace sock pattern, but I STILL suffer from lace fear. I hope that I do fine with my chosen pattern. It actually calls for Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Sport. Which is what those two beauties are. If the pattern is totally lost because of the dyed colour, then I will just knit plain. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I know that there are some of you who can knit socks in your sleep. I am not among that number. I can set up a loom and weave like that , but I need all of my marbles when I pick up those pointy sticks.

Thanks again Jo! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

As for me... I'm off to bed. It has been a long day.