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Spinzilla 2015

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

This is my second year participating in Spinzilla, a global event to bring attention to handspinning.

Last year, I finished up with 5 skeins of 2 ply, or 1223.98 yards, plied yardage of 3671.94…and 194.66 yards of 3 ply, or 778.64 for a grand total of 4450.58 plyed yardage or 2.53 miles in 46.5 total hours! The only goal I had last year was to make enough to earn the Monster Mile rating, which I did (1760 yards).

This year, I have pulled 2 pounds, 14 ounces out of the stash, all stuff that is already prepped and that I don’t think I would further blend in other ways.

plan to spin I was going to be ambitious in a different direction and dye and prep fleece from my stash. When that didn’t happen, I decided to gather up fiber that I didn’t think I would use to blend with other stuff, fiber that was already otherwise prepped to my liking. I also took individual photos of each bump and am entering them as spinning projects on Ravelry today.

The 4 tall bumps are all about 8 ounces each and are from Taylored Fibers in Quilcene, Washington (Barry Taylor) that I bought on the Farm Tour in 2014 (where last year’s sweater spin fiber is from).

There is a large blue batt from Judith Mackenzie, as well as the pink bump which is one of her luxe blends, and the yellow green bump which is wool/silk 50/50.

And finally, some new one ounce bumps from mirlafiberarts, whose limited series of podcasts I have recently discovered (there are 8 episodes).

 

I have made it through half of the big batt, and most of the yellow/orange bump. I will get back at it after work today and hopefully, make more of a dent in this pile. More images to come as I progress.

it was so. Not. The plan…

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Don’t you just hate it when you decide something and then moments later, forget you had decided and inadvertently switch it up?

I have been in the precess of making my first coptic bound book for the past couple of weeks. I found a you-tube tutorial that seemed straight-forward and easy enough to follow. I gathered some papers and have built a pretty hefty book. I am using some white sketch paper, some paper ranging through greys to black, some colored stock in blues and also in autumn colors…a good bit of variety, and not all quite the same size.

I used the back board from the sketch paper to make my covers, and I had decided to leave them as is to let the covers develop as the book is used. This is not the decision that went sideways.

Last week, I had to create a spread in a traveling art journal. If I remember, I will add the image to this post later this week. I hadn’t done any paper crafting in quite some time, and when I dove into the paper stash, I found a lovely assortment in a nice little bundle. I thought a few of them would be nice on my new book’s covers and set them aside.

This morning, I came back around to the book covers and retrieved the papers I had liked. I decided on a cover paper and an inside cover paper. I had previously punched the holes in the cover for stitching and no longer had the template I had made for this. I decided to put the cover paper on, then transfer the holes once the glue dried. Then I could place the inside cover papers on and finish transferring the holes. No sooner than having made that decision, I decided to glue the inside covers on while the glue was out keeping my work tidy and clean-up minimal.

So now, I am watching glue dry so I can proceed with the stitching…yippee…

Distraction Free Writing

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

So wordpress has this new feature. I like the clean interface, but I don’t think that all the stuff has been my problem with posting. I don’t really know what my lack of motivation is from, but I have been writing again, just not blogging.

I bought a new Macbook Pro a couple of weeks ago, and in the bargaining one does with oneself (surely it isn’t just me) I made a declaration (to myself) that I would write a minimum of 10 minutes a day. I have been. I just haven’t felt like anything I have written has been worthy of publication. That in itself isn’t the criteria for putting anything out here, but I just don’t feel like there have been many coherent thoughts of late. Lots of thinking though.

Today I read the most recent post by Lisa over at Curious Girl. She has a bit to say about knowing something in theory vs. in practice. That. Just exactly that. I am stuck in theory these days more than I want to be, and I feel like there are too many shifts toward being in practice going on concurrently. The bike, is a prime example. I still haven’t picked it up, but soon…very soon…

doing. all. the things…

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

So the big five oh has come and gone pretty uneventfully, other than it having been a year of doing. all. the things…In January, I tried a new (to me) yoga space and while I was committed to going, it just wasn’t the space for me. The teacher was great. Her method was a bit too athletic for the practice I want to re-establish, so I am once again back to trying to cultivate a home based practice. Just a sun salutation in the morning and maybe a pose or two as needed throughout the day. It’s a start.

There was the annual spinning retreat at Mo Ranch in the TX Hill Country. It is nearly everything a retreat should be. I am going again in 2015, which will be my 3rd year. It is with Judith McKenzie and an invaluable source of inspiration and knowledge. It totally re-centers my energy and I look forward to it immensely.

In May was the Yarnorama retreat. Also rejuvenating on a smaller scale. That was closely followed by a trip to the Estes Park Wool Market and visiting Denver. The elevation was a bit much for it to be as enjoyable as I had hoped, but I scored an awesome fleece (or two).

In July, there was 11 days in NJ and NY with my bestest cousin…secrets abound…and in Sept for my actual birthday, I was in Portland and then Seattle with my one of my besties, and went to Taylored Fibers farm event as part of the Olympic Peninsula fiber farm tour, where I also got to visit (though entirely too briefly) with Judith again and get some luscious fiber which I will be spinning up next week during Spinzilla. Also on the farm tour, I visited Finn River Farm Cidery and shipped home a few bottles of their fine spirits.

Still to come is Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp in November in NC. November was also supposed to take us back to Denver for Thanksgiving, but those plans have changed ad we will have a  quiet holiday at home.

We saw a few concerts this year, too…Sting and Paul Simon (at least I think that was this year), Joan Osborne, and Louden Wainwright III, and still to come, Kim Richey at the Mucky Duck

Sketchbook Skool has been a nice adventure this year with a new semester beginning tomorrow. The first semester Beginnings, and the second semester Seeing are both still available, or, you could start with the new semester, Storytelling. It is a very approachable way to develop a sketchbook habit and well worth the tuition.

The only thing I set out to do as part of the 50th celebration which has yet to happen is to get a bike. That is still planned, and will likely happen this month (now that the weather seems more conducive). I am mostly decided on an Electra Women’s 7D but could still be swayed. This seems a reasonable investment for the casual riding I will be doing in the neighborhood.

 

slowing down

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

My desk is cleared and I am ready for vacation. I am beyond. Ready.

Life at the office over the last few weeks has been something less than pleasant. Or maybe just a series of curious unpleasantness. It is much the same as it always is, and perhaps my sensitivity to the less-than-pleasantness is solely due to the fact that vacation starts tomorrow. That is all well and good benefit-of-the-doubt thinking, but really I can’t escape soon enough.

A couple of weeks ago we came in one morning to a glade plug-in having been installed in the outer office, the reception area we all have to walk through when we arrive. It’s the office manager’s office and it used to be my office many moons ago, so I can appreciate her wanting it to feel like her office and have it all good-smelly. But it is also a public throughway. The scent was either fresh linen or clean cotton, and while this doesn’t normally bother me, it sort of caught in my throat in a most unpleasant way and triggered a serious allergic-type reaction that sent me coughing. She commented that I should have my bronchitis checked out. I was not sick. The plug-in was not removed. The coughing continued. Eventually I got an email from the boss about not going to the doc and how he just had dinner with someone whose allergist called in an oncologist and that person won’t make it to xmas…I. Am. Not. Sick…I took half of the email day and the following day off purely because I was so pissed off.

We came in following all this one morning, to the entire office having been lysol bombed. My office in particular was heavily sprayed and I was lucky to make it through the day, having to work through a lysol induced migraine. It wasn’t pleasant and I emailed the office mgr asking if she sprayed and explaining (a second time) my scent sensitivities, and how I was working via the migraine and please…please…please…do not spray again in or near my office…her reply was brief and apologetic (barely) saying she was thinking prevention. I. Am. Not. sick!

This morning, I came in to find a box of baking soda spilled near my feet under my desk. It had been poorly taped behind my computer. What the fuck is that about? Oh. And we don’t have a broom and dust pan in the office, nor do we have a vacuum that has a hose attachment. I vacuumed up what I could, but there is a lovely pile of baking soda and the carpet/plastic mat beneath my feet is all baking soda gritty.

Less. Than. Pleasant.

I now get to basically watch the clock until 4 pm when vacation time will officially be here. It seems that everything has slowed down recently, all my online distractions. I think this is just due to summer time offering everyone else other distractions. Unplugging and all that in the name of fresh air and sunshine. A few minor to-do things to keep me from going crazy between now and 4…the countdown’s on…

Still playing catch-up…

Monday, February 10th, 2014

52 lists003I had hoped to get some lists caught up while I was working registration for a work conference the last week of January, but that just didn’t happen. I am going to keep plugging away and will eventually be in the groove with it…or not…whatever the outcome, at least for the moment it is still holding my attention. I really had a hard time with the week 3 topic of listing things you should be proud of so more sort of babbled on about it. It is what it is.

A few weeks before the conference, early in January, things at the office always get a little stressful in general. I know this is happening when I see(or feel) a disease flare coming on. I made efforts to diffuse this one day with a little online retail therapy. This usually means fleece or fiber of some sort these days, but Elizabeth and I had talked about going to see my man Sting, who just happens to be touring with her man Paul Simon. We talked about it on two separate occasions and basically decided not to go. Then I started thinking about my regrets at not seeing Sting when he toured with Annie Lennox. Then I started feeling the stress of work. Somehow, I needed to exhale in a major way.

I went to look up the concert again and rather than looking at the pricey floor seats none of which were two together, I looked to see if there were 2 cheapo seats together. There were, and a click or two later, we had tickets. I marked the office wall calendar for last Saturday with bog bold letters that said “YOU HAVE PLANS” and even boxed it heavily in red. True testament to how chaotic work has been, Elizabeth didn’t even see this until Friday, just a day before the concert.

It was like being in church. Once I unclenched my grip on the handrail that led me down the steep steps to our nose bleed seats, I settled in and totally had a near religious experience. It didn’t really matter who was performing, Sting, Paul Simon, or both of them together, I had the most soothing sense of well being. I am glad I didn’t let not being in the middle of it all stop me from getting tickets. As I was looking for tickets, I really thought about it and considering these aging rockers we were going to see, I truly felt the music was going to be the show and hearing it was the only consideration. Again, very glad I decided to get tickets. They might be coming to a city near you and it was definitely worth the price of admission.

The chaos is abating

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Today brings an end to preparations (at work) for our annual conference. The conference itself is next week, an entirely different chaos, but the planning and doing are over. If it isn’t ready now, it just won’t be happening…but I am pretty sure everything is ready. I get so stressed leading up to this very moment right now. It happens every year. And the steam is now releasing.

I started the release process last night by going for a much needed pedicure. Oh, and a hair cut (just shy of a buzz), and it’s been a while, maybe 6 or 7 years, but my hair is once again red. It remains to be seen how long it stays red, as I am totally not invested, but for this moment right now, it just feels right.

We had a severe cold warning last night and mother nature didn’t disappoint. It seemed wise at 530 this morning to cancel my yoga class, and also at the time I didn’t know if we would be going to work. We only live 4 miles away so it seemed silly to not at least try, but we took the leisurely morning approach and went to breakfast, and got in at around 930. Respectably early in relation to the rest of the staff.

52Lists002This is week 2 for the 52 Lists Project. Since the project host is starting this by using her efforts from last year(when she didn’t make it through 52 weeks), the first 20 list topics are available. I have entered the topic lines ahead in my list journal and will work on a few at a time in an effort to get caught up. As with Week 1, I still don’t know if this one is finished, but want to get it posted. I will work on weeks 3 and 4 while I sit at registration next week, which might go a long way toward diffusing the next round of chaos. Maybe.

What was, was…what will be, will be…

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

In other words, no year in review or resolutions post for me, but rather more to the point of what is. I can’t believe another year has come and gone. My baby will be 29 next week. How does that happen?

I am going to make a better effort to get back to regular blogging going forward. I think this might happen, because rather than saying I am going to go back to yoga, I just went back. And here I am just writing a blog post. And tonight I will be just roasting some onion and cauliflower seasoned with curry. My efforts are focused toward balance and finding mine, while I try to figure out what I want 50 to look like. Like much else at the moment, this will just happen on its own as I continue to draw breath.

In October, I bought a pig. Okay, so not really a pig. Okay, so it isn’t really a pig, but that is what we call it. Elizabeth said, “That looks like a pig! AAAAAAAAAAhahahahahahaha…” And like in most things, she was brilliant and correct. I want to figure out a way to use it more artistically, though it is great fun to just carry around and pull out to take pics. I am going to a spin-in this Saturday with the Houston Weavers’ guild and I think I will bring it along to document the fun. It will be nice to spin again since my wheel has been uncharacteristically quiet and I haven’t spun a lick since the December spin-in at Yarnorama. I usually spin daily, so this is a bit out of order. Balance needs to work its way into this, as it does all things.

One of the new things I am trying out this year is the 52 Lists Project which I learned about via curious girl. Rather than a straight up list, I am going to try to keep up with this in an art journal and see where it takes me in a no rules sort of way. The last time I did a 52 list project, I did it on an old deck of cards collaging one a week and listing on the flip side. I lost steam, but am game to give it a go again. I rather like someone else giving the list its subject so I don’t have to think about that part. And of course, today is the 9th, so I am already behind, but I will be caught up soon enough.

And then there were two…

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

012311_lilliI started to post this morning about Lilli Munster passing into the ether on Sunday and the words just didn’t come. She has been my shadow for so long, it strikes me as odd when I realize she isn’t there. The silence is what brings it home the most.

There was an unpredictable and unfortunate incident with Katy, out most recent addition, and her reaction was as instantaneous as Lilli’s passing. Poof. Everything has changed. We decided we had to surrender Katy because at best we would worry constantly when we were not home with her, and neither Elizabeth nor myself could handle the thought of coming home to something having happened to either of our other dogs. So in the course of an hour on Sunday, we went from a noisy environment filled with four yappy dogs to a rather somber environment…and then there were two…

Profile

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Here’s a profile Of Susan and John, by favorite enablers! 4 Apr 2013 TCP-30