Sunday, May 31, 2009

New York Day 2

Day Two: The first order of business was to go to Surtex. Surtex was a big Surface Design trade show. Truth be told, there wasn't a whole lot to interest me and the group that I was with quickly went downstairs to where there was a Japanese Design Show as well as a Furniture Design Show. Photographs weren't allowed, so I have nothing to show you from that part of the day. But I will say that some of the things that people are making these days are mind blowing!

At about 2:00, Bron, Katie, and I walked up to Columbus Circle to wait for our friend Cheryl. Cheryl was one of the few in our group who didn't stay in the hostel. Her brother lives in the southern part of the island and so she was able to stay with him.

We did some shopping then headed down to Times Square.
Off to the garment district and more shopping. I have to admit that I only bought a few things. Most of the stores that we were looking in were for a much younger crowd. And I couldn't believe how loud some of the stores were. Loud and crowded. I am very glad that I have never had to work in an environment like that!

And of course we took the subway. Many, many, many times.
Then it was back to the hostel for more beer and snacks on the "terrace"

Tomorrow....Day 3

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York

As Kansas reminded me, I have been a bit remiss at posting lately. For that I am sorry and have no really good excuse. A lot of little piddly ones to be sure. But nothing earth moving.

But I have been busy though and will try to get people up to date with what I have been up to.

First up is the New York trip. 21 of us from the school hopped on a bus early Saturday morning and headed down the road. The group was pretty much evenly divided between adults and students which made for a nice mix. Did I take any pictures of the trip? Nope. This one of Madison Avenue was the first one.
Most of us stayed in a youth hostel. Jazz on The Park was, when all was said and done, a hostel, but it was relatively clean and not too noisy. After midnight. They had a basement "lounge" and once we settled and went for a little walkabout, we all came back and ate whatever we had managed to scrounge up. This is only a small part of our group.

The hostel boasted a continental breakfast, but their "kitchen" had been closed down by the board of health for operating without a licence.
Breakfast was still being served, but it consisted of a bagel, butter, and tea or coffee. The next day, they mixed it up a bit and served jam with the bagel.

Sunday morning a group of us decided to go to the MET. It was on the other side of Central Park so we decided to walk through the park. This was the last picture that I took that day. Because my batteries died. I knew that I had more at the hostel but figured that if we went by a store I could buy some. We didn't go by a store that sold batteries. But much to my dismay, I discovered that evening that I had batteries in my backpack THE WHOLE TIME I was wishing that I had my camera. Sigh.
In any case the MET was amazing. We then headed down to Greenwich village and found a fabulous Indian restaurant that was willing to cater to various allergies. There were six of us and we all picked a dish and shared. It was wonderful and very filling. More wandering and somehow, the others managed to find room for some gelato, and then homeward bound. Or hostleward bound. I stopped and picked up a couple of beer and met some of the rest of the group on the outdoor terrace. Then to bed and a surprisingly good sleep.

Tomorrow...Day 2

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blended handspun

While digging through my stash, I came across some superwash roving that I had picked up on sale. I soon found out why the price was so great. It wasn't roving so much as bits of roving and clumps of fleece. Something needed to be done to make it spinable.
After dyeing it in reds and oranges, I blended it with some silk that I had also thrown in the pot.
This is a DK weight yarn that is so soft and dreamy!
338 yards
Hand blended merino and silk
Hand dyed

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pipers at the Gates

On my way downtown the other day, I came across there fellows out side of a church. This is not an everyday occurrence, but at the same time, neither is it unheard of. I don't know why there were there, or what they were doing ( besides practicing for some even). I certainly wasn't going to interrupt them and ask! But it did sound wonderful and it did make the bright day just a little brighter.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


In our house, when we cut open a pepper and find those funny little growths inside, we call them baby peppers.
The other day I cut open this orange pepper and found not one or two babies, but eight!
I couldn't resist the octomom comment with all of the media hype surrounding that poor, misguided woman.
The pepper was headed for a sauce.....
I chopped up the babies and chucked them in the sauce too!

Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Another from the vault

Superwash merino and wool boucle warp and merino and silk weft. This one is dreamy!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Legs on my camera

Nicole got a new pair of tights the other day. When I downloaded the photos the other day there were many many many pictures of these blue tie dyed legs! This is a girl who like clothes, unlike her older sister! In fact, the other day when I told Mira that we were going to buy her some new sneakers and Mira moaned (even though she agrees that she is in need of new foot wear), Nicole piped up and said "Mira, you should just go shopping! That way you can get used to it!"
I think that I am going to be in trouble!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Since Christmas, Mira has been taking a night pottery class. The first part was "pottery for teens" which she didn't like very much because her classmates were more interested in running round the school and socializing than with actually making pots. SO when the second set of night classes were ready to run, she asked if she could be in the adult one. I talked to her teacher and he said that it was fine because she actually had enough focus and was serious enough to be with the adults.

The class was 7 weeks but on the last week they really couldn't make anything so Chris decided to do a raku firing. Raku is a quick firing method unlike the conventional firing methods that take more than a day to slowly bring the kiln up to temperature and then hold it there and then let everything slowly cool off.

The first thing that you have to do is put on protective clothing. The kiln is really hot!
Then using long metal tongs you put the pots in the kiln and shut the door and wait 30 to 45 minutes.
The tongs are grabbed again and the hot pots are taken out and put in a garbage can containing crumpled newspaper and sawdust.

This creates quit a bit of smoke and the newsprint and sawdust catch fire.
After about 15 minutes, the pots are cool enough to be quenched in water where they cool enough to handle and get scrubbed off!
Here is Mira with her pot.
She was not happy that it was her last class until the fall.
But I am taking a raku class this summer! It is part of the Edventures program that is running this summer. I am teaching a temari ball workshop and as an instructor I get a discount on any one workshop that I would like to take.
If you are going to be in the area this summer, you should check out the long list of workshops that are being offered.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


The other day we took delivery of a couple of kayaks that Uncle Sandy bought for the kids for Christmas.

They arrived well wrapped in plastic. Nicole though that if it was warm enough to be looking at a boat, it was warm enough to be in a bathing suit. It actually was a surprisingly warm day!
Bill made the first cut in the wrapping.
With the help of many hands, the plastic was quickly peeled off.
One final tug and it was free!
Then the paddles and what not needed to be examined.
Everyone is very excited to try them out. We had to restrain people from "trying it out".
Although we did have a flood this year,

there seems to be a distinct lack of water in our back yard. A trial run will have to wait until we are ready to go to the lake.

Monday, May 04, 2009

I don't think I showed you these...

Silk noil boucle scarves that were dyed and woven using three different wefts and treadlings. It is amazing how much different a small change can make!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pod Making

Last month, I got a call asking if I could make something out of paper suitable for a gallery show. I needed to commit right then and it had to be ready in about 10 days.

I said, "ahhhhh........ OK"

So I started doing some experimentation. A few of the first ideas were not terribly successful. But they were the spring board to my final project.
One of the paper vessels that I made had been made with some coloured fine scrap booking paper. I decided to try my hand at dyeing some paper and somewhere along the way the fact that I had my leaf screen from my leaf pillow project popped into my head.
So I screened a few different types of paper and then dyed them, cut the leaves out and began to play.

I needed a form on which to put my leaves and thought that a balloon would work quite well.
It worked well enough that I started to print and dye my papers. Four sheets in all which I had to cut into smaller sizes to be more manageable. They started out larger than a sheet of Bristol board and ended up being larger than 11 x 17.
The paper was first printed and then I mixed up my dyes and started painting.
First a yellow, then a yellow green
and finally a green. I know my hand looks rather like the undead, but that is the very snug latex glove that I am wearing.
Here is one of the final pieces of paper
and here is the lot of them drying. Thankfully the drying only took a few hours and I was able to start on the cutting and cutting and cutting
The final "Pod" took about a week to make including drying time. There were many many layers of paper and paste and drying was difficult.
But it has given me an idea about something else to do with paper. Maybe next year.

Edit: Please click on the pod picture to make it larger, the colours are much richer and more accurate.