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Mar 24, 2012

Open House @ Engine, Afterparty

I don't know if you ever did this, but one of the weekly church groups I was in used to hang out together after the Sunday evening service. The group called this the after glow. I'm calling this post the after party since the open house today was a blast!

Everyone who was presenting showed up on time and any mishaps were quickly dealt with. The other crafters were as follows,

ARDUINO 101 with Tim Karu
CLAY with Cathie Cantara
SCULPTURE with Cheryl Lichwell
BOOKBINDING with Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald
PRINTMAKING with Nora Tryon
ENAMELING with Kate Cathey

My middle brother, Bill, would have loved seeing Tim Karu's work. Bill makes his own computers and Tim's work involved using computer parts to make art. Some of the pieces looked like airports from an eagle eye view, while others look like futuristic space ships.

Cathie Cantara and Cheryl Lichwell were near each other as you continued around the circle. Cathie's work was shown on a potter's wheel, while Cheryl had blocks of clay on a tripod about eye height and did portraits of various models throughout the event. Engine's own young friend got her portrait done.

Nora Tyron and Kate Cathey made up the next part of the circle. Nora worked on printmaking with paints, balloons, and baby shirts. She also displayed some very cool prints with pretty colored skies from the print making process, which she then used what looked like India ink to draw trees on. Those pieces were just wonderful. Kate explained the difference between enamel and ceramic glazes. Enamel glazes are applying to metal surfaces, while ceramic glazes are applied to clay bases. She uses a fixative to hold the finely ground glass onto the vessels she had for display purposes. Enamels, and ceramics for that matter, require firing in a kiln to become permanent.

Finally in the circle was Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald with their bookmaking supplies and samples. This table was hopping from the moment they set up shop till it was time to leave. They had lovely examples of homemade books and different types of binding samples.
Before I left for the Open House, I had put a project in my purple office tote, and wouldn't you know it, the hook wasn't in the project. I didn't realize that till I got to Engine and was pulling the project out and looking for the hook. So, I took a few steps back in time, borrowed a pencil to improvise a hook, and explained to folks that this is how crocheting and knitting got their starts as just folks playing with strings using sticks. I ended up with a square foot sized granny square out of the time there with that improvised hook. :)

I was set up near the front entrance with projects spread out on a large, black, leather ottoman and a card table. I had business cards for the taking on both surfaces. Folks lingered most over the socks, stitch markers, and scarves, as well as the brightly colored items. Lots of compliments were received on color sense and on fineness of workmanship. :) Next post will include pics from my phone that I've yet to download.

As many of you are aware, I have been healing from a bad brain infection this past September. While I had a blast at the Open House, I also noticed myself developing a headache and becoming distracted/sensitized to the noises of folks having fun. I was managing to smile and engage with folks, but also happy that I was off to one side in a way. I wasn't in the middle of the noise making part. That was a relief.

I spoke for a long while with Jim Emerson, Treasurer of Engine's Board of Directors, and he serves on the Biddeford School Board. He is a very kind listener and got likely more than he bargained for when he sat down to chat with me about my projects. He asked if I was doing this part-time or full-time and that lead to a discussion of the headaches, migraines, and anatomy involved in meningitis.

He also asked for the story of how I can to be a knitter/crocheter. I shared the story my mom told me long ago about my being fascinated by watching her make a yellow loop stitch crocheted layette for my middle brother. Mom asked the physical therapist who was working with us to help my fine motor control skills improve about learning to crochet as an adjunct therapy at home. The therapist was ecstatic with that idea. From how mom tells the story, the therapist went on to implement that idea with her other patients.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Mar 17, 2012

Open House @Engine

I'm going to be a participant in the Open House happening next week @Engine in Biddeford, Maine, across the street from the MacArthur Library and the BSB parking lot.

The Open House is on next Saturday, March 24, from 9a.m. to 1p.m. You can see, handle, and purchase knit and crochet items from me there.

I would love to meet you in person there. Feel free to let me know you saw me online. There may be a surprise if you do!!

I love collecting business cards, so bring yours for a random drawing. I will contact the winner with their surprise, and post pics on here. So, be looking forward to that post.

Other crafters will be there as well, including but not limited to,

ARDUINO 101 with Tim Karu
CLAY with Cathie Cantara
SCULPTURE with Cheryl Lichwell
BOOKBINDING with Kate Gerwig and Justine Bald
PRINTMAKING with Nora Tryon
ENAMELING with Kate Cathey

The Engine can be found at 265 Main Street, Biddeford. Phone number: [207] 229 3560 and website: Hours of operation are Tues-Fri Noon-6p, and Sat 9a-12p.

Looking forward to meeting you all there!!

Mar 9, 2012

Inspiration, or why I do what I do

Inspiration can come from anywhere. But, where does it really come from? For me, it comes from how I want to play with the materials that day, the weather, and what the prompt is for the project. Recently, I started playing along in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, a Facebook for yarn crafters.

The Cup has classes based on the subjects in the Harry Potter books. Transfiguration is about changing the yarn in some way. Arithmancy can be about tessellations or other magical mathematics. Astronomy is about interpreting the celestial ceiling in yarn crafts. Herbology is about cables and patterns where the stitches resemble vines twisting around each other. Charms is about lace, lace, and more lace. Muggle Studies is about the magical communities interpretation of muggle devices and holidays. Care of Magical Creatures has involved studying creatures on desolate islands that have five feet or centaurs or other magical critters. History of Magic is interpreting the magical family trees in yarn and other magical historical things in yarn too. Potions is either studying a particular potion ingredient or the effects of a potion on others.

The classes have prompts to be worked on during the month. You are usually given a choice of 2-4 ways to complete projects for a particular class. The stories that the professors come up with to introduce the topic of the class are simply amazing. You really should check out the House Cup on Ravelry. One of the prompts had been about the idea of minitures and what would you need if you took an age reversing potion, what kind of items would your miniature self need to be able to survive. That was a neat story with lots of baby sweaters and doll sized projects, some of the doll sweaters for sale in my shop were featured in the Cup.

The Cup is a lot of fun, and a source of inspiration. I read all the class prompt stories. Then, I make at least one item for the classes. I am also working on what's called an my case, it's a sweater for myself. I just have sleeves and neckline to finish. Today is the eighth of the month and I have until the thirty-first to submit that class and the OWL. I'm maintaining one class per month, sometimes more, so that I can be sorted this term. I would have been sorted for this term. I figured the headaches would give me pauses from knitting, so I asked to not be sorted after I had submitted my application. Anyways, the Sorting Hat was very accommodating and didn't have a fit when I asked to be unSorted.

This time around, next month, I plan to be Sorted, but am keeping the House name secret!

Mar 4, 2012

Have you ever...

Have you ever thought about just how precarious your life is? Have you ever thought how close to the brink of financial ruin you are? Just because you can't work? I have and it's not pretty, folks.

I haven't been able to work for months now. Food stamps keep me in food. But, creditors and bills don't accept food stamps even if they could. Stores that sell ink for making your own business cards to include in your shops packages, don't take EBT cards either. Your shop isn't selling anything yet, and you wonder if it ever will. The wolf's at the door and you don't know where to turn.

Your mom offers some money, not even quite 100, and you feel so indebted to her, that you can't ever imagine paying her back. So, she calls it a gift. You think of the wolf and know he knows your size.

You can't afford stock in Kleenex because you can't afford them to catch your tears of frustration and hopelessness. You use generic everything, not just because you hate paying for others' advertising, but because you can't afford the name brand things. There's no room to cut back because you were raised lean and already have cut back. You think of the wolf and know he knows your home.

Have you ever received money from a family member and thought to pay it back because you imagine just how tight their life is? They haven't said it is a loan. But, you know your grandma can't afford her insurance copays, yet she's sent you 100. You think of the wolf and know he knows your thoughts.

That wolf is knocking on the door. The deadbolt is the only thing keeping him from slitting your throat. You control the deadbolt, but the wolf knows you. He knows the leanness of your soul and plays his violin in that key. He wants you to turn the deadbolt, to just give up. He knows it's only a matter of time before you do turn the deadbolt. He knows you fear the outside world. He entices you with his sorrowful violin.

But, is he real? I don't know, but he knows.