Back from the Regional Seminar at Asilomar -- Stitchers' Ottersea. Yes we had fun with the name. We also made and sold otter frame weights that are just tooooo cute for words. I designed a tin topper or name tag as well for sale. Apparently they sold well enough so I'm pleased.
I also functioned as the "Spotted Otter". In SciFi and Costume Cons you have hall prizes - you are spotted in the halls wearing cool stuff. For this event we set themes for each of the main days. I then spotted people and gave them a "prize". I also took their name for the newsletter and took their picture for the website. It seemed to go over well IF we gave people enough advance warning on the theme so they could plan their dressing for the next day. It was fun to "make people's day". I also was really happy to help promote the concept of wearable art.
Asilomar itself is lovely. The rooms are better than a cheap motel. The food is decent. They manage to feed lots of people quickly. They were able to make the necessary accommodations for my diet for all but one meal - very good for a 6 day stay. The conference rooms worked well. Even the dark ones had a fair amount of natural lighting and plenty of indoor lighting as well. You still wanted to have your own light for isty-bitsy work. I took my new mini-light which can sit or clip on. It was enough light, but not great. It's size is great for travel and it will be adequate for the national in Louisville in Aug/Sept.
Our first night we had a first person interpreter who does Julia Morgan. It was FABULOUS! She is an architectural historian in real life and did an excellent job of channeling Julia.
I took 3 classes. Sat/Sun was Lily with Lynn Payette. It was lots of fun and VERY creative. Learned lots about shading and shadows. Her background is in art and it was really helpful to hear about the mechanics of determining how to choose the focus, shading, choosing colors to emphasize, etc. The class was in Directors Cottage - only 6 of us so we had a blast while working hard. She is a good teacher, just not a traditional one which suits me just fine.
Monday was Snake Misses Eden Too with Sara Zander. It is a beaded piece. The key thing I learned was circular peyote. I think I finally "grock" peyote! It has lots of stitched beading and fringe. I may even finish the piece. There were 14 in the class, and it usually is a 2 day class. Lots of fast paced fun even if I had to take out the first several hours work and redo it. It was/is worth it!
Tue/Wed was Nocturne with Kay Stanis. Metallic thread on black congress cloth - but you paint it first. You were to bring maple leaves - I brought some of our Japanese Maple, but others brought a variety of leaves. You use acryllic paints to create a "pounce" of the outline and other accents like fully painted leaves or other things to enhance the the canvas. Then you design the stitch and thread placements. I truly wish I had some stuff from my stash. She gave us jaceron #3, Japanese Thread #1, and some Kreinik #4 and #16 braid - gold and copper.
We made "samples" first; before painting the main cloth. We could also use these to try the stitches and threads. This is what I did primarily. I stitch slowly and I do so much that my stitching time is limited. The materials and to some extent the recommended stitches are not my vision of what should go in the sections of the leaves. As a result I didn't want to work on the main piece until I got home and could look at my books and stash. I will probably do the piece, just not quite as Kay did. Fortunately, she understood this. I did learn a lot about working with reverse coloration, as well as design and stitching tips.
The week also brought home to me that I really march to a different drummer when it comes to embroidery. I have a hard time doing someone else's design, so really need to be careful which classes I take and the mind frame I need to take the classes.
On the diet and exercise note -- I didn't loose or gain weight. I did eat the dessert and bread at lunch and dinner, and the afternoon treat. I ate full meals but only "over ate" once. I walked in date order 6872 (with heavy lifting up a flight of stairs), 7921, 7570, 7240, 7930, and 11443 steps (with more heavy lifting down a flight of stairs). Asilomar has hills and steps so walking was not on flat surfaces, although most of the footing was easy enough. Guess I need to start walking more around here.