Monday, December 5, 2016

New Year



Since time is a human construct and my new year begins now, not on January 1...

Marketing is a constant when you are self-employed, whether you are selling a product or a service.  If people don't know about you, how can they purchase what you are selling?

In the 1980 and '90's I sold a line of place mats and table runners and sold them wholesale to gift shops.  As part of that effort, which was well before the internet became a sales tool, marketing was done by print media.  Therefore I invested in postcards as the one above.

As I face the new year I have decisions to make.  As a senior, working in this field for 40 years, I have to face declining energy and fitness.  In the run up to my cardiac surgery I lost much of my fitness and since then have only regained about 70% of where I feel I was. So starting in January we are going to take an Introduction to Movement class to assess where we are exactly, then decide if we take more classes or return to our old self directed routine at a gym.

Next year is going to be a very busy one for me with working on the manuscript, marking the homework from three Olds classes, attending Fibres West to promote the conference we are hosting here in 2019, teaching four Olds classes (if they all go ahead), teaching at ANWG in Victoria, working on the manuscript, working on the manuscript, working on the manuscript (no, that's not repetition for the sake of repetition - I find if I set it aside for several weeks I can return to it with fresh eyes and mind), getting ready for the craft fair season.  And that is the shape of my year - so far.  We are also hoping for a holiday in England/Sweden in September.

So, as soon as Doug and his helper get the curtain hardware back up in the studio, my first priority will be to get the studio back in working order and do the order of place mats I took over the weekend, and then pick away at the remaining 60 or so yards on the AVL.

Happy New Year to me!

Currently reading Trespasser by Tana French

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Quiet to Think


The siding crew arrived about 9 o'clock this morning and began the noisy job of removing the stucco from the house.  

Since the studio can't be worked in and the noise was grating on my already raw nerves, I decamped once again to the guild room where I have been trying to create order of the written kind.  

The last time I looked, really looked at the file, it was overwhelming.  Right now the file is 139 pages, with many more photos, diagrams and the project information to be added.  The word count is, as of this moment, over 33,500 words, including notes to self.  I fully expect it to grow to about 200 pages based on what is missing.  

The one thing this book is not, is a memoir.  It is a technical manual, aimed at people who have got to the point that they want to understand the principles of the craft and fine tune their technique.  My hope is that, with the information provided, people will be able to make appropriate choices when they design their own unique textiles.  

An author, especially for a craft like weaving, cannot be all things to all people.  Some readers will be disappointed in what I do, but my hope is that some will find it helpful. 


Monday, November 28, 2016

Bridget Moran



Bridget Moran was a social worker in my town for many years, much respected by those she tried to help.  She also wrote books, of which I've only read one - so far.

After her death a bronze statue in her remembrance was commissioned and placed on one of the benches downtown.  The pose is a listening one, as she did so often in life.  You just know that if you sat down beside her, she would listen to all your woes.

In years past people have at times helped her fend off our winter weather, and she sometimes sports tuques and scarves.

We had some wet snow over the weekend so I was curious when I was in the area tonight to see how Bridget was faring.  The scarf that had been casually draped around her neck last week had been redraped to cover her head against the falling snow.  Tonight it bore a crown of wet snow.

Not a great picture, but it was full dark and I was only using my cell phone.  Stay warm Bridget.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

New-ish Weavers


Four of six exhausted weavers, with some of their weaving from the weekend.  

This workshop is actually designed for weavers who might be considered intermediate.  Usually a lot of my time is spent explaining how the weave structures work to improve theoretical understanding of the included samples.  

This group wasn't quite to that level, so instead of focusing on theory of weave structures, the focus was more on understanding about the actual weaving...shuttle handling, with most of the warps needing two shuttles. How to deal with selvedges when using two shuttles.  Controlling beat.  Working with looms different than usually used.  One participant had never woven before, so she was literally dropped into the deep end, scrambling to learn the weaving vocabulary and terms while trying to acquire the basic skills of reading a draft, treadling a loom, winding a bobbin, hem stitching.  

Saturday was a pretty intense day and I think everyone was feeling overwhelmed.  Today they continued moving from loom to loom and most got a sample from each warp.  But all of them showed a big improvement and while the samples weren't perfect, there was greater understanding of the materials and tools/equipment.  

I was pleased.  I hope they are.  


Friday, November 25, 2016

Good Intentions


New display of textiles at the Studio Shop (not my studio, that's it's name).  I have several silk shawls, and a variety of rayon chenille scarves for sale there

So many good intentions, so many miles to hell paved...

After getting the guild room set up for the workshop this morning, I had every intention of getting to the small loom and dressing it with a rayon chenille scarf warp.  You know, one of those warps I wound over a year ago and that have been languishing ever since?  Completely forgetting that Doug was going to work on some plumbing issues.  Since one of those issues is right next to the loom...

Instead of doing something productive, I have found myself - for the last hour - messing about on the internet, not accomplishing anything at all.  I could be working on the manuscript.  I could be working on a yarn order.  I could be doing a number of things.  And I have done none of them.

I think I might grab my library book and just sit in the easy chair and read.  Not exactly productive, but better than playing games on the computer!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Little Interlude


A very bad cell phone photo of the latest spinning.  

Since getting home from Vancouver I pretty much crashed and burned in terms of energy.  So I have spent rather too much time doing nothing, or at least nothing in regards to weaving.  

I haven't been a complete slug, mind you.  The inventory got sorted, items selected for the Circle Craft website, photos taken, hours spent messing about on said website, trying to figure out how to list said items.  Olds homework got marked.  Knitting got wet finished, some of it delivered to worthy causes.  Two knitted items are for Xmas presents, so those just need to be 'wrapped' (as in placed into a gift bag).

I read a bit, made a few jigsaw puzzles.  I even spent a few hours on the manuscript until it got overwhelming.  Now I'm doing the "this is crap" inner dialogue, something all writers go through at many stages of the book writing process.  

And this weekend is the weaving workshop.  So tomorrow I need to get the handouts sorted for Saturday.  

The following week I will need to get ready for the guild sale.  

We are also into the flurry of getting as much of the renovation work done as possible.  Well, not us, but the construction crew, but that means dealing with their schedule and their noise and commotion. 

But I really have been away from the looms for quite a long time, and need to gear up and get back to weaving.  Hopefully refreshed with renewed energy. 

Currently reading Shadowed Souls, a collection of short stories.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Something Different



I have tried on-line sales previously, but haven't been entirely satisfied with the effort it takes and the amount of revenue for the time invested.  However, all that said, sometimes it is the operator at fault, not the actual system.  So, not being one to say 'been there, done that', I am trying once more to offer my textiles on-line, this time via Circle Craft

I spent some time during the show letting the people in my booth know that I was opening a shop on the Circle Craft website, and now I'm letting you, dear readers, know as well.

While I have run sales on my blog previously, it can get a bit overwhelming doing it on a web site that isn't set up to take payment, sort out shipping issues, etc., so I am giving this a go for the coming year.  For those of you who are interested in buying something I have woven, you will now have a year of access to an on-line shop.  Once I get used to the web site things should get a little easier in terms of the administrivia,

Please note all prices are in Canadian dollars and I'm offering free shipping in North America.  I'm not sure how the tax collecting - or not, if you are in the US will work - so if someone from the US purchases, could you let me know if the shopping cart recognizes an out-of-country address and doesn't charge tax?  If it doesn't I will have to make an allowance for any tax billed.  And let Circle Craft know that perhaps their web site could have a 'no tax' option for out-of-country purchases.

Currently reading The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett.  I delayed reading it for the longest time because it is the last Pratchett had published and I think I've read all of the others.  So I was kind of savoring the notion that there *was* one more...