Friday, February 29, 2008

Desert Island Reading

Mags says do this:

  • Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Now I am torn...these first three were easy. Freckles was a story that I read and re-read as a young teen. That and A Girl from the Limberlost were two books that created a world that I could enter so easily. I have not read them in years, and do fear they may not hold the same appeal. At this time I was also fascinated with the works of Myrtle Reed.

To Kill a Mockingbird was my first taste of southern literature. Each and every time I read it, I walk down those dusty streets of Maycomb. And the structure of the piece! Read that and Fried Green Tomatoes and I crave greens, corn bread, and pot liquor...and salt on my watermelon!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was read during a week off. I remember vividly not wanting it to end - reading slower and slower to delay the inevitable.

Sorry, Mags, fear of commitment makes me stop my list here.

Yet, these are the books that I would then choose the last two from....maybe....

  • Atonement
  • The Namesake
  • Jane Eyre
  • Song of Solomon
  • The Pilot's Wife
  • The World According to Garp
  • My Antonia
  • Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nuno, Nuno

The Weaver's Guild of Buffalo offers day workshops that I am never able to attend. Because we are currently on "winter break", I was finally able to attend a day workshop. Yesterday two of our guild members offered a workshop on Nuno felting...

Step 1:
Choose a piece of open natural fiber. The open weave allows the roving to migrate through the fabric allowing it to adhere. We used silk, the most common choice. Place the silk on a piece of plastic. We used pieces of solar pool cover, but shelf liner, bubble wrap, or plastic table clothes are also acceptable choices.

Step 2:
Layer the roving on the fabric. Think BOLD. Think abstract. All those little bits and bobs I used resulted in something that was not my intention. Our awesome instructors, Linda and Katie, recommend that I add more roving; I was leaving far too much white space on the design. But did I listen?

Step 3:
Wet the entire piece with hot soapy water. Check the saturation of the piece by either placing a large sheet of plastic on top and pushing gently, or checking after your first few minutes into the felting process.

Step 4:
Rolling, rolling, rolling... We rolled the pool cover, silk, and roving around a piece of pipe insulation cover. You could also use PVC pipe as well. Roll it tightly and secure with ties.

Step 4:
Keep rolling. After every 10 minutes or so, unroll your work and check the progress. Be gentle. Each time you move a piece of wool off the silk, you are back to square one on that section. Re-roll from the opposite end.

Step 5:
Once the roving has felted to the silk, move on to the step I call "Aggression Therapy". Gather it into a ball, re-wet with HOT soapy water, and SLAM it for about 5 minutes into a basin. The slamming will continue the felting process and speed up all those cool wrinkles.

This is my NOT final project. At present, it reminds me of what happens when the dog eats the crayons and can't keep them down. See all that white space? Not good. I will eventually dye the piece to balance it out.

Thank goodness for the professionals!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Taking the Chill Off

KnitPicks Slipped Cable Vest and Ella Rae Yarn is turning into a very fun and fast knit! And how cool is it to be able to download patterns for only $1.29? No shipping, no paper...very eco friendly.

I was feeling so green I decided to give these a try...

No kidding folks, this stuff rocks. I have tried many of the other "green" products,but this does the trick without the extra elbow grease.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fleece Study

These are the two Dorset samples I processed ages ago. My only concern, I may have labeled incorrectly. The sample on the left was lovely to spin and even nicer to ply. I navajoe plied, was a bit worried, but once it hit the water so pretty! Unfortunately, it is a bit scratchy.

The Polled Dorset has no fine qualities. It was easy to spin but very rough. It is probably best suited for making something that requires a durable fabric. Oddly enough for the length of the staple it was very elastic when fresh from the bobbin.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Silent Poetry Reading

Read all about it here.

My contribution....

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale

Today was a huge PURGE coup. After two, count 'em two years of harrassing, I fianlly got my husband to go through the closet and get rid of the never worn and never gonna fit into them again clothes. There were pants on the hangers with enough dust to build a small child from our childhood mythology a home. Seriously, it drives me insane when anyone holds onto something only because they are too lazy to get it out. Belongings stuffed in boxes, hidden in attics and crawl spaces, forgotten and neglected.....a total WASTE!

"It may come back in style."
Maybe, but if it does the original will always look a bit off. And you know the old saying, "If you were old enough the first time around, you are too old for it now."

"You never know when you will need it."
Maybe, but you will either forget you own it or by the time you remember where you put it, someone else in the house will have figured out a different solution.

"I paid a lot of money for that."
I am sure you did. But having it sit unused is no different than not having it at all. It it growing in value in your basement? Are you taking a vacation on the dividends it is earning under your bathroom sink?

"I am leaving it as an inheritance for my kids."
Yes, in their grief your children will be filled with joy and fond memories as they are now forced to go through the contents of countless boxes. They will happy that you have given them the task of sorting, labeling, and deperately trying to find someone who can accurately assess the value of the childhood Tonka, Mattel, and Fisher Price pieces. This, as they are trying to sell and settle everything else left behind. Yes, a pleasure to be sure. And if your children really need the money that these items will bring, you would have done them a favor by settling things earlier to keep it out of the estate.

Ah, I shall dance all the way to the donation box with these bags!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Winter Wonder Land...

Yes, it is pretty. But then again anything looks nice after being 'locked' in a windowless room for two days while scoring NYS ELA Assessments!

Don't be deceived, the only thing holding the snow so gracefully on those that tree is the fine coat of ice. Today has been one of those days that has only confirmed the fact that winters are not what they used to be. For the last few years freezing rain and sleet are a weather event. Add to that the freakishly high winds, thunder and lightning during snow storms, and I start to shake.

Wondering how I have been doing with my "Not a Resolution" resolution? Well...purged are the son's old shirts which have been donated to the clothes closet at work, finished (almost) is the wool hat, fixed is the carpet and an appointment scheduled for the shower, create...out to dinner with the family and A's 19th birthday party planned:)