Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To the top of the mountain

This was the view from our condos in Vail over the weekend. It was hailing when Alta and I drove in from Denver, and then it rained, and up top it snowed a bit.
The gondola ride to the mountaintop was warm and the views gorgeous, of course. I know the yellow of the aspens turning was brilliant, but it made me miss oranges and reds of eastern autumns.
Our board retreat for Hand Papermaking was very intense but also wonderful. It's always a treat to have dedicated time with other papermakers and people who really care about the field. There is so much work to do going forward, but this was a good way to get motivated as we face lots of transition.
Last night, I was still exhausted from the travel and being behind on sleep/work, so I got my floating selvedges on and only wove about 3 inches before I called it a night. I'll be back today for fresher eyes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The nice thing about a class paced over a month is that there's time to get everything done without panic. Somewhere, I dropped a yarn because I ended up with an odd number. Oh! Now that I look at it I see where (at the end). A shame, because it would have been very easy to add last night. But these mistakes are good for the learning bank.
This new one got ahead of me and turned up a little too quickly, so it will be a bit of a short body. But that's okay. Hoping I can still shape it to not look too stumpy. I fly in less than two days for a working board weekend and spent all day doing homework—I left the house to do it, otherwise, I would have kept weaving!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Priorities reshuffled

I just couldn't pry myself away from this one, even with so many deadlines looming.
Though I did make time yesterday to wind the white part of the warp and sley my reed.
I wrote in the morning but really had to stop because this one was calling, loudly!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

These days

I hate the feeling of so many half-or-less-than-half-finished projects going at once, but that's just what's happening right now. Sewing came to a screeching halt but I still intend to get it done within a month (I don't have a choice, since that's when I leave for Chile and need to have everything ready by then).
I tried to keep myself sane by starting a new fat duck. Instead of balancing admin with making, I tried to go 100% admin in the face of deadlines, and it made me very unhappy. So I went full force into this one.
Of course, now it's also on the back (or middle) burner as I get back to more admin, but I tried to be much more patient than I usually am.
Which means that it has nice curves and doesn't suddenly get smaller when I get impatient and want to cut away spokes. Imagine that! I also did a bunch of admin and was approved for fiscal sponsorship, so people can donate to me and write it off on their taxes.
Can you believe what I'm doing now to distract myself even further? Tonight was my first of a four-week weaving intro class. I wanted another chance because my first class years ago was so awful. This time, I'm going to have a proper cotton warp. Plus, we are learning completely different methods from the first time, so I get to try new methods in a beautiful space with great energy.

Also, the yucca is resting after the hot cook. Master juggling!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Labor Day

I've wanted to test yucca for papermaking for years. I got scolded for trimming the outer leaves the way that I did, but I don't think they look THAT bad, and will eventually get back to looking the way they did once the new outer leaves fall down.
Velma warned me about the suds that will appear when I cook, which reminded me about yucca being used to make soap. I'm glad that I'm doing a cold cook for a week, soaking everything in soda ash and water while I decide whether I want to use induction or electric heat.
The labor hurt a lot but it was only about an hour and a half of work, so I can't complain. I need a better decorticating tool but it's all reasonable if I space the work out rather than trying to do all the steps in a hurry hurry hurry. I'm trying to not be in such a rush, imagine that!

Last week's labor included updating my bibliography and publication list. I would happily scrape yucca to avoid doing that kind of work again!