Bunny Bravehart came along, of course, but spent most of the time in his pocket so he would not get burned.
Last weekend I went to Mesa for a workshop on Patinas. I spent most of it in the studio working but here are some photos of what else I saw; the metal vessels are by David, who taught the workshop.
Bunny Bravehart came along, of course, but spent most of the time in his pocket so he would not get burned.
After finishing Lesson 3, I decided to make this wrapped and woven temari as it had been on my to do list since the start of the year. This took me over a week of evenings, while watching the TV, as the instructions provided did not match up to the pictures provided which resulted in me having to once again UN-wrap various steps and do them over. I also wrote my own instructions so I have them for the future.
Here are my process pictures, which start at the weaving part. There is also a small video at the bottom showing the completed Temari.
This lesson was fun but at times a bit confusing or frustrating. Wrapped designs by themselves are not that difficult but when you are weaving the bands over and under it can get messy with the threads either hanging off the ball while another color is being worked OR getting everything in the correct order; if not then there can be quite a lot of UN-wrapping.
I have done wrapped designs before and I have even come up with a few on my own but the patterns for this lesson were let's just say minimal in the written instructions. I get it, this is the next level of certification so you should be able to look at a diagram or picture and have an idea of what to do, which I did for the first 2 temari. it was the third temari that was difficult.
As you can see the first 2 temari are wrapped with a single thread of pearl cotton. The colors alternate on opposites so this requires either one long thread to hang off the mari while winding or to have multiple starts and stops. Each thread color is wrapped around the mari once and then the other color is wrapped so there was no weaving but keeping the order and direction being wrapped is important so the over/under's are correct.
The third temari was the most difficult. This is made with 6 strand floss NOT pearl cotton. The floss has to be separated and de-twisted from the hank so all the threads lay parallel to each other. Luckily I saw this ball when I went to the John C. Campbell Folk School in 2018 (sorry no post) and I was given pointers on how to de-tangle the skein and also how to wind the 6 threads onto the mari at the same time. I had the first black section wound and the dark blue and had started the second black when I realized I was winding it wrong; I had to unwind the black keeping all 6 threads from getting tangled and then I unwound the blue. I was able to keep all the threads attached to the mari so I could then rewind the blue and then resume the black. I went slow and finally was able to finish it with no other winding mistakes.
This lesson is for the Rose (Bara) design, this design was first introduced in Lesson 3 of the Level 1 Certification. This time the design is not only done on a simple division (first temari) but with a combination 8 division (second temari) which mean that the size has to be consistent on all 6 areas where the design is stitched. The third temari was "student" choice so I stitched it on a simple 10 so there were 5 sides on each layer and designed as I went; yes I did some un-sewing but it was fun to see what worked and what did not such that what resulted was a pleasant design.
I have now begun working on my Level 2 certification. This level is called Koutouka Shuuryou which means "Higher Course" but I call it Advanced Beginner or Intermediate because the skills focus on temari stitching:
I have now completed the first lesson which is the Descending Herringbone. This technique requires close stitching and you are taking the stitch below and next to the prior stitches so you have to keep the stitches a bit loose so you can lift the threads to get as close as possible. The first temari has the added complexity of the thread being doubled thus care must be taken to keep the 2 threads flat and not twisted.
.At then end of 2018, I finished the course work for the Level 1 certification and took a break from making any while i waited to hear if I had passed; and by mid-year 2019 I had and received my certificate. After that I did gather the materials I would need to start the Level 2 certification but I not mentally ready so I took a break, a long break. With the start of 2020, I decided that it was perfect for me to begin the Level 2 certification work as it consisted of 12 lessons and so that would work out to about one per month. In early 2021 I could be ready for the submission of 12 temari and 6 written patterns to demonstrate that I know how to write up instructions; luckily they do have to be original patterns (that's Level 3!!) .
To "warm me up" I decided to make a temari for the fun of it. This pattern is called Water Lilly and it is a massive 45 centimeters in circumference! I also changed up the order of the colors from one side to the other just to make it a bit more interesting. I personally think it looks more like a giant dahlia than a water lilly. It took me 2 weeks of stitching - about an hour a night after work, and a few hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Here I am almost done with December and 2019.
Earlier this month I was down with the flu, for about a week and then recovery took just as long. I canceled a metal workshop I was to teach and just slept, read, and zoned. I had not caught the flu or other bug that floats around during Winter in several years so I guess my time was due.
The year has flown by.
We have been here for 2+ years now and we have settled into a route of sorts - I go to work weekdays and Erich takes care of the house, the cars, Cowboy Boots and me; on weekends he relaxes and I am in my studio.
Friends from California are getting ready to move to the area, early next year which will be nice as we have know them for as long as we have been married.
I am planning my retirement from the day job - 2 years and counting. I will work for a while to take advantage of medical insurance, socking money away in the 401K, and of course the extra income. Eventually I go to part time work so I have more time to do what I want while still having some extra income coming in.
Here's a calm view, from the studio back door that I took last month.
I have now been at this day job for 6+ months and I am finally feeling like I know what is going on.
Usually with a new job, where I am writing software, you learn about the project and application the while working. But now, I am not writing code 100% of the time; I am also supervising a team in India plus two other contractors based here in the USA and are also remote. Then there are all the meetings I attend for planning and communications - I am not use to all this and it has taken me time to adjust.
I currently spend most mornings in meetings with a half hour to an hour+ in-between where I can get some "work" done. Then I have lunch and maybe another meeting after that. I have "dark time for Laurie" from either 2 or 3 pm every day where I can take care of my actual coding work. This is not to say that I am not working in all those meetings; it is just a different type of work.
So what is it I do during my work (dark) time? I write business requirement documents (BRD's); writing test scripts and testing code; planning for deployments and releases; and actually writing code which is very very little compared to prior jobs.
On the other side of this, I work a normal 8 - 5 day though some days I work through lunch only because I don't want to stop what I am doing (and I am nibbling my lunch while I do it)
Plus I am not stressed which means I have am not having the pains in my chest like I use to. Actually I have not had a chest pain in several months (watch, I have just jinked myself)
I am ready lots of books and really enjoying my new-ish studio and I have even begun, again, teaching some metal classes.
And come Thanksgiving weekend, I start my countdown to retirement. I may not retire when I hit full retirement age but then I will have more options to work at a day job full time, part time or not at all and spend all my time either on weaving, knitting, quilting, temari, or metals.
Wow, it's been three months since I posted. So much has happened.
A friend from California has visited in May and he and his wife are getting close to retirement and have decided to relocate to this part of Texas. They are here this week now looking at home and will hopefully mover by April of next year when their lease runs out and she has retired from her job.
Then my sister came for a visit in June. She was in San Antonio for work and we spent the weekend seeing the area. One thing she wanted to see what an H.E.B grocery store. She use to teach marketing research and H.E.B was one of the case studies she covered, so she found it very interesting so actually see it in comparison to what she knew of them from on paper.
And I was feeling betting an working in the studio and getting deep into projects at the day job. I now lead a team of off shore developers for one project and we are pushing to get it finished before October but there was a lot of code clean up to do which I took on while the off shore team worked on other things.
Then just over two weeks ago, while making my lunch one morning, the knife slipped and sliced open my right thumb; I was removing a pit from an avocado. Yes, I was doing it "correctly" as everyone has proceeded to tell me or send me to links on YouTube. The avocado was VERY ripe and so the pit slipped and the knife came out and went into my thumb. Oh it bled and it was deep.
I now have what is called Avocado Hand. It should be noted that Bagel hand is something else.
So I wrapped it up and when to urgent care. They first cleaned it, gave me a tetanus shot, and took x-rays because there was a chance I nicked the bone, but did not, it was that deep. No stitches were put in cause I had to see a hand surgeon next. Later in the day I was on my way to the surgeon who said I did not knick the tendon as I could flex it without pain but may have nicked the nerve since I had tingling along the side by my nail. Again no stitches were put in as they have 14 days to do surgery and IF they had to go in, stitches would have to come out; so I butterfly bandage closed and wrapped up in elastic gauze tape and told to come back in a week. I have now seen the doctor a second time and still have a bit of tingling along the side of my thumb but I can grip with no problem, confirming tendon is fine. So at this point it there are no guarantees the tingle would go away and since the area where it is like that is so small, the doctor doubts he might even be able to put in a stitch. This means the time and expense to do it plush the healing time are just not worth cutting my hand open.
Let's must move on.
..get my life back under control and other times, I am learning to let it go.
I realized that the move to Texas was more stressful than I though and I was not listening to the signals that I am (was?) ill.
I haven't been sleeping well; I'm stress at work for no reason; I can't focus on what's being discussed and I let me mind wander to other non-work related things; I wanted to cry for no apparent reason; and what I was eating was/is crap so I put on all the weight I lost 3 years ago PLUS more - see below
So last week, after a month of reading a book, I started a new eating regime (It is not a diet).
Since I had thyroid cancer, it has been exceedingly difficult for me to loose weight. 2+ years ago I started walking and found that if I walked for an hour every day and really limited my calories (and was always hungry) I was able to loose weight; I eventually lost about 20 pounds. But over time not only has that 20 pounds come back but I put on a more and trying to loose it has been a horrible struggle.
Last month a friend told me about her thyroid issues and how a nutritionist told her to read a book and follow the plan detailed in the book. She has since lost 40+ pounds and the sluggish and tired feeling have gone away. So 3 weeks ago I read the book and started the plan, I was feeling good and excited to see some changes and result in the next few weeks!
So what is it that I doing? I am following the Plant Paradox by Dr. Gundry
I do not have some of the heavy autoimmune issues many have nor do I have diabetes but as I have said, I suffer from a very sluggish metabolism. I also have tinnitus (this appeared after my torn rotator cuff surgery and a bad reaction to the anesthesia), constipation, along with feeling sluggish, brain foggy, and depression.
I am now one week in and so far so good. I have not done the cleanse and there a just a few minor things I have been eating that I should not per the plan, but for now, it is more about small changes versus radical one. I am still using a small amount of soy sauce to make my roasted veg, regular milk Greek yogurt, and a vegan, gluten free, salad dressing.
I have made the decision to cook a big meal on Sunday's and eat it as "left overs" for dinner during the week. This is so I don't have to cook every night nor will I resort to frozen meals. This past week I had roasted veg (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, fennel, and asparagus) with wild Alaskan salmon; for lunch I had a spinach salad with avocado, tuna, and sheep's milk feta with that vegan salad dressing; for breakfast I had yogurt with either fresh blueberries or strawberries; and for a snack some mixed raw nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts).
So how was my first week? Pretty good. I don't feel hungry and I am enjoying what I am eating without worrying about tracking what I eat nor how many calories and grams of protein/fat/carbs or points I consumed! I seem to be sleeping a bit better though having the sun come through the window at 6:30 am has and will be an issue since the bedroom window faces east but with the days getting longer it will resolve it's self until next summer roles around. And yes, I had THREE amazing bowel movements this week too. I weighed myself and I am down 4 pounds. I will now not weigh myself for a month; this is so I don't obsess over it.
Today I am back to the supermarket for this week's shopping and then I will make a beef stew for my week's dinner and get some other cheeses to add to my snack.
Laurie lives in central Texas with Erich a.k.a. "the shop elf"- her hubby of 30+ years and Cowboy Boots, the cat; her metals studio including 100+ hammers and 300+ chasing tools; her sewing studio which has two sewing machines, a closet filled with fabric, hundreds of skeins of embroidery floss in many materials, and Mrs. King the dress dummy; two weaving looms, assorted knitting needles, tubs of yarn; lots of books; plus a plethora of geeky tech gadgets and more.