Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rather Good

Amidst the (admittedly self-induced; no one held a gun to my head saying "Teach at Bead and Button or DIE!") craziness of packing kits and preparing instructions just one more time, not to mention for the class I said I'd teach less than a week before the show, I second-guessed myself in one of the colour-ways already packed and spoken for (by students) and came up with an alternative (the beads behave better).
 It may seem unnecessary now, but I felt compelled. I think I might be not so much behind that I actually get almost everything done that I think I ought to.

I also managed my two-hour birthday massage on Friday. It really wasn't even slightly awful.

I had just about the best meal I can ever remember having in St Louis (three words: Pork. Belly. Croutons). Given that it was a birthday dinner: even better.

I took a plane ride and later that night in my hotel I finished off the clasp on this:
 Excuse the picture. I had my snapshot camera, not my beading camera with me. That's a Peri bead.

We went to brunch at Founding Farmers and I had something called Red Flannel Hash (I think) which had all sorts of deliciousness like beets and goat cheese. These are Good Things.
 We went here (it's the Kennedy Center in DC):
 To see them:
And they were absolutely incredible.

There's a reason the Bolshoi have maintained their reputation for two hundred years because even aside from the fact that I always feel starved for Classical ballet and am therefore inclined to love even before viewing, they were incredibly good.

The men were strong without the graceless and often over-muscled athleticism that I see so often. The corps was impressively well-synchronised: not a foot pointing before or after the others, not a hand at its own angle when all others were so; so perfectly, beautifully, heart-stoppingly as one. The acting (of course there's acting in a Classical ballet: this is after all essentially pantomime in tights and tutus and en pointe) was suitable over-dramatic. The sets and costumes were absolutely stunning - in short, the only way in which it could have been even a hair better would have been if it were Swan Lake instead of Giselle, and if I still had the performance to look forward to instead of remember.

It's been an excellent birthday weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Busy Actually

It's probably not fair to compare the past week with a hamster on a wheel, but since I seem to have left everything to the last minute, it's felt like it although in all fairness I can't claim no accomplishments at all.

Bead & Button is CLOSE!
 I worked on colour-ways for kits.
Some just didn't come easily - I generated an inordinate amount of wiggly thread. Piles and piles of cutting up, the worst kind of cutting up: cubic right angle weave, the cutting up of which generates excessively short pieces of thread, just about too short to extract from beads, so it's very very messy.

The truth is that when it comes to colour I'd do better to stick with where my heart lies: in the deep, dark, murkiness where colours are deep and complex and differences are subtle.

Then there's packing kits.
 I also generated a ton of empty tubes from seed beads.
This is what a pile of teaching kits looks like.

Each kit for each class and each colour-way is in it's own baggie with notes on whether they are complete, and if not, what's missing, from how many kits, what the seed bead colour number is, how much per kit, and what its label should be. Just this evening I had a labelling crisis: I labelled the two size eleven seed bead colours "MC" and "AC" where the instructions labelled them 11ºA and 11ºB - fortunately printing the instructions is the last thing I do so yay for global replace.

And I haven't quite gotten to the kits that aren't teaching kits. Like I said, I seemed to have left everything to the last minute, including things like cat sitters (just sorted this evening).

None of this is terribly good for the pain in the hands situation, but then again, nothing is besides literally doing nothing at all, and I don't know how to do nothing. I'm about as good at doing nothing as I am at sports, both participation as well as observation.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Samples and Flowers and Mugs Oh My

I finished this sample sometime during the week; I can't remember exactly when as it's been one of Those Weeks. At least as far as work goes, and that sort of bleeds over into everything else.
 It looks a little odd laid down flat but much better on an actual neck.

Tomorrow is Mothers' Day and the kids and I decided that being anywhere in public on Mothers' Day is a bit torturous, so we did togetherness today.

They gave me flowers.

 They took me out for brunch.

They even came with me to the art fair, where I bought what is becoming my annual pre-birthday gift to myself: a lovely ceramic mug with this crazy awesome glaze that crystallizes into patterns a bit like gingko leaves. The newest is in the front and is much more interesting and prettier than it would appear below. (Insert the usual excuse regarding my substandard photography skills).
I did finish another sample though.
This particular class doesn't have tons of sign-ups and while I do have supplies for one alternative colour-way which I will make since it's not the most horrendously long project in the world, I'm a little torn as to whether I need another - not because I don't want a third alternative, but because since the explosion of Czech-mates two-hole beads, one-hole lentils are less available than I'd like, and where I can find them, prices are rather higher than the price I estimated for the Bead&Button class kits so there's a touch less incentive to make a kit which doesn't help the bottom line much at all.

But I hate to have just two colour-ways.

I guess I resolved that, didn't I?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

And Socks!!

I'm on the next round of samples, this for Dangerous Buds. I have spikes in four colours but sign-ups are rather modest, so I might not make All Possible Samples. I'll see how I feel.
 Because I finished the last of the Triangle Slide samples (second from the front).
 But the most exciting thing for me?

I finished a pair of socks, the first knitted something I've completed (or worked on for that matter) since last summer.
A month or so ago I decided to try no more than an hour a day, and that seemed to go well though it's hardly enough to make much progress on anything at all. Friday I knitted for two hours, and that seemed fine, so last night I gave in and knitted until these were done which took somewhere between three and four hours and that was less fine. (I had pain, dammit).

Still though: progress!

And now to finish off the other thing I was working on when I realized that yes indeed it hurt too much to knit (early September last year) and put it away for beaded kumihimo. That's not exactly true since it's not as though I preferred the kumihimo; it's simply been a stand-in for knitting since it's portable and I don't have to look at it constantly, so it works for watching movies or TV.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

An Actual New Something

I mean, it's nothing huge or impressive, but in terms of creativity I seem to be in a bit of an enforced dry spell, so new and moderately successful is pretty exciting to me.
 So exciting in fact that I'll show you another view too.
Not that it helps much, does it? Anyway, it's a sort of a slider pendant thing and you can put the chain through the centre as shown in the top picture, or just through a single loop.

I might just make a five- or six-armed one of these and see what happens. I'll be able to string it as an actual pendant, for one. Stay tuned.
And then a third colour-way for the Triangle Slide.

I'm starting to panic, by the way.

In just four weeks I'll be packing up my car for Bead&Button and I have a gazillion samples to stitch and about three times that many kits to pack. I guess as long as I have all the necessary supplies, I can assemble them when I get there since once again, my teaching schedule isn't very efficient. Actually this year it's even more advantageous to the hotel than last year since I have a couple of days right in the middle of my stay when I have absolutely no reason to be there (except the seven-hour drive, otherwise I'd just go home again).

So I guess it really does make more sense to pack kits there than to waste time doing it here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Another Kumihimo Necklace

I believe the pendant is a Nate Menz from before he did lab glass when he was doing glass art.

I might be getting tired of these braids or perhaps the substitute just isn't working. I kinda wanted to draw the analogy between heroin addicts using methadone instead but it started creeping me out a bit for a number of reasons. I've never done heroin and it's unlikely I ever will. I don't want to. While I may refer to knitting as an addiction, it's clearly something I can stop cold turkey without you know, vomiting and shaking and all that and that's where the correspondence dissolves into mist and I keep my prose more, well, prosaic.

The necklace did turn out well enough though.