Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I knew it varied with mood

Posted this one a few days ago, but I'm in a different mood now. Also think it depends on the moon phase. -- yes I believe in taking responsibility for ones actions, but I also think we are affected by outside sources as well as internal.

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Hot -- I Don't Do Hot -- alright I did do hot, but

Saturday was A&S in Gilroy. It was 104 down in the city and no telling what it was where we were up the mountain. Little shade. For the classes we used pavilions -- without the sides up except to create shade so we could take advantage of the little breeze.

We arrived early enough for the husband to partake of the excellent pancake breakfast fundraiser. Entered my 4 contests - Poem: Topic Beauty, Horse Barding, Heraldic Banner and Preserved Foods. For the preserved foods I had done Artichokes and Pickled Cheese (thank-you Cathy -- although I did it differently :). For the Heraldic Banner, I did a tournment banner for the husband - used cotton and painted it so lost some points there for fabric and machine sewing. For the Poem, I performed, at the lunch break, a Sestina that I wrote. A sestina is a form - 6 stanzas with the same last words in each of the 6 lines, but the order varies in a set pattern. Then a 3 line concluding stanza with the words used - 2 in each line also in a set pattern. For the Horse Barding I did -- see below. At least now they know I have s sense of humor :)

After lunch, I taught 2 classes back to back. Cloth covered buttons - relatively easy to do once you get the hang of it. Then another class on voided work. Half the class did the single motif and the other half were more experienced and jumped into the band. Both were VERY well attended. Yes I'll post the handouts.

I won the poem and the banner contests and the overall points. At this point I have enough points to qualify for the Poppy Run (see prior posts). Now any additional entries are attempts to increase my scores - they take the top 8 providing each category (4) are represented. My husband says I should quit beating myself up. Yes I could have done better, but I have more points now than others have had in the past and won, so....Yes I know it is the Virgo perfection thing. The judges seem to like my documentation -- I like doing the research. It is the paper writing I get fed up with, but it is a good discipline. At some point I'll put all my projects and documentation up on the website.

Now to put the house back in some sort of order after the projects and party. I seem to live in chaos, but that isn't my preferred mode. Also, it probably would be good to get more stuff up on ebay - the current batch doesn't seem to be selling (sigh).

Warped the loom last night with wool to do an inkle project. The incoming queen does inkle beautifully and I offered to make some "gifty" type things for her. I had planned on bookmarks, but the wool is very fuzzy. Bought the wool for the finger braiding class I'm taking at Costume College. Have been pushing for such classes at A&S for the prior 2 years. This year there were 3 classes. I've done basic before, but hope to do more fancy stuff.

Off to Tut, the Getty and Costume College in the am. Will see part of Will's family on this trip and a couple groups of friends too. It feels funny going to Costume College without any costumes. Maybe I'll take my middle easterns - they are comfortable and cool.

Monday, July 18, 2005

You know you are part of the needlework world when...

Between party prep, relatives, and doing the competition documentation, I've been reading Monica Ferris's Crewel Yule. I should start by saying that I was hooked on her works many years ago when she wrote Murder at the War as Mary Monica Pulver which was then reprinted as Knights Tale. I always thought she told a good tale and was very good at making you feel "there".

When Monica started the needlework mystery series several years ago, she knew nothing about needlework or it world. I knew little more, but I knew people who in turn knew people. They were kind enough to introduce me around, although I didn't know I was meeting the cream of the needlework world back then.

Crewel Yule takes place at what is obviously THE Nashvile Needlework Market. I haven't been since I'm not a production designer or shop owner. It is a fairly good read if you don't know "the people". It is really fun read if you do.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Tired but happy

BBQ went well. Had too much food as usual. Final count was 29 people through the door, but I still have enough for that many more and no one went away hungry.

So back to working on the documentation for my entries. May try to do the painting on one of them this afternoon.

Short blog today, but here is a fun test. Think I'll try it again in a couple days when I'm in a different mood.

You are dignified, spiritual, and wise.
Always unsatisfied, you constantly try to better yourself.
You are also a seeker of knowledge and often buried in books.

You tend to be philosophical, looking for the big picture in life.
You dream of inner peace for yourself, your friends, and the world.
A good friend, you always give of yourself first.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Exercise in Being Creative

Been very busy the past couple weeks. Our A&S event is coming next weekend and I'm teaching 2 classes - cloth covered buttons and voided work. So spent time developing the handouts and examples. Love having an excuse to go researching. I get to spend time in my library, on the web and if I really good, I get to buy more books (big grin).

We also have a competition in our kingdom called the Golden Poppy. There are 20 arts and sciences competitions during the year. They are divided into 4 categories. You need to have qualifying entries (50% +1) in each category plus 4 more for a total of 8 to be considered. The person with the most overall points become the Poppy for that year. For the next year, they serve as Kingdom Artisan being available to teach and assist in the A&S.

You can guess where this is going. So far I have entered and won for Tinctures (Dyeing) and Underpinnings (the stockings). I've been preparing entries for A&S. There are 8 possible competitions to enter at A&S and NO I am not willing to kill myself by enering all 8. Each has to be researched in some depth and a paper written on them.

I am having lots of fun doing the research. The paper writing is WORK. Preparing the entries is both fun and work. But it is all creative. It has been good to challenge myself. I hope to have 4 categories of entries done in time for A&S. If all qualify, then I only need to do 2 more to meet the Poppy requirements. Of course if someone else qualifies, then I would need to consider more than 2 entries to get higher scores. Lots of work, but having fun.

Did 2 for the Preserved Foods category. Yes I love to do medieval cooking and these were fun. No I won't disclose them here until after A&S. Now back to doing the paper for the Heraldic Banners.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Column Done - What's Next

Finished writing the next column yesterday and submitted it. It is on Historic Cross Stitch. Thanks to my friend Chris Laning, for use of her project and stitched things. Using cross stitch is not really my thing. If it needs to be cross stitch for me, it should be long arm and usually voided work. Next column, due Sept 1st is on Pattern Darning.

Now off to prepare the handouts for the 2 classes I am giving at our A&S (Arts and Sciences) event in 3 weeks. One class is on voided work. I want to do something a bit different from what I've done in the past, so new handout and new project. Then I'm doing a new class on Finishing Touches: Buttons. Definitely a new/old topic for me Did them a loooooong time ago, but of course there is much new information out now so off to create the handout. Of course all will be posted on our website eventually.

I've been wanting to reorg the website for some time. Don't know when it will get done. This weekend is my local EGA Board meeting at my house. Next weekend is the husbands birthday BBQ - about 25 people. The following weekend is A&S. Then off to Costume College - a weekend of classes on costuming in LA. We will be going early to catch the Illumination and Textiles exhibit at the Getty and then the Tut exhibition. Then... you get the idea.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Its Coming Up Lavender

The whole house smells like lavender. I have about 15 plants - 3 different species of lavender. The Spanish just looks pretty. The French wooly lavender looks pretty, but has little aroma. The English lavender has the wonderful smell. I usually pick the English lavender and make lavender wands or sachets, but this year I decided to do something different - make a lavender wreath.

I've been pricing them in the stores and they are very expensive. In addition, many don't look very lush. So I decided to give it a try. I've made lots of wreaths before, but learned a lot making this one.

I started with a metal frame base. The inside diameter was 12". Starting Sunday afternoon, I fought the bees and picked about 1/3 of one of my large bushes. I actually just started by clipping the portion overhanging the walkway. After attaching it all, I went out after dinner on Sunday and picked another 1/3 of the bush. Spent another couple hours attaching them. Then Monday morning I went out and picked the rest of the bush. Finished attaching those stems and made several more smaller passes for lavender. Eventually after about 7-8 hours worth of work --