Well best laid plans…

I’m listening to The Devil Wears Prada on my new iTouch.  I’ve seen the movie of course, but I never got around to reading the actual book.  I was looking for something light, to download from my library service for audio books.  They don’t have a lot of the type of literature I like, but this caught my eye.  If you haven’t seen the movie, rent it, a great chick flick.  New college journalism graduate lands her first job as the assistant to a wickedly sadistic boss, Miranda, the editor in chief of Runway magazine played by Meryl Streep, sort of an obvious take off on Vogue.  There is a scene, repeated quite often in the movie and the book, where the poor overworked assistant, Andrea, is sitting at her desk, and “Miranda” sweeps into the reception area, dumping her sumptuous full length fur coat on Andrea’s desk, completely covering her and sashays off into her private office, leaving Andrea to deal with the coat.

This is a great visual for how my week has been going.  I feel like the planets are having a field day dumping huge fur coats across my desk, so many I’m drowning in them.  There are some wonderful, sumptuous opportunities being thrown at me from all directions, and I am accomplishing some really fun things in the studio, but I feel like I’m drowning in too much of a good thing.  Can you imagine?  So I don’t want this blog to sound like I am complaining…

First, there is the opportunity to send proposals to the American Sewing Guild conference in Atlanta next summer, then there are a number of late fall/winter art exhibitions that I should apply to, and there is my article to write for SS&D.  Orders have been coming in, and I’ve been invited to participate in a Fiber Arts telesummit, in November, a weekend virtual event where participants listen to and interact with presenters on the phone.  The roster of speakers looks great, and I need to send bio, lecture title, write up, etc., by yesterday.  I’ll talk more about this event as I have promotional material to post.

Meanwhile, I did talk about trying to make something to sell for my guild show and sale in November, (the same weekend as the Telesummit).  And did I mention I’m leaving on Sunday to teach for a week at Sievers Fiber School in Wisconsin?  I made it to UPS today, with a huge box of handouts, monographs, and interfacings and such, since I’ll need to be prepared for whatever the returning students want to make.  And I took a quick drive to Montclair State University this morning to drop off an application for an exhibit next January.  The application was of course due today.

sweatshirtI have been somewhat successful in making a couple of things for the sale.  Here is where it gets a little difficult.  I am perfectly capable of making stuff.  The hard part is making cheap stuff.  I mean affordable stuff.  Once into a project, it twists and turns, and usually turns out wonderful, but at a price point that would be way beyond what someone would pay at a guild sale.  I purchased a yam colored pigment dyed sweatshirt from Nancy’s Notions.  Nancy has gorgeous sweatshirts, in wonderful colors, if you like sweatshirts, and I bought one to try it out, and cut it into a jacket, and trimmed it with a handwoven scarf I had laying around.  I made one of these last spring after an American Sewing Guild chapter meeting, where the seminar leader took a sweatshirt, cut it into a jacket by cutting up the center front and removing the bottom bands and sleeve cuffs, and adding quilt fabric for trim.  I took it a step further, and used a handwoven scarf.  There were two tiny scraps left when I was finished.

Next I started on a tote bag using the piecing technique I teach in my pieced vest class, called Vested Interest (which I’ll be teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC in January).  I am trying to see if I can develop a one day hands on seminar, using the technique and developing a project that will appeal to everyone, and can be completed in one day.  bagWell, I was partially successful in making a very cool tote bag, (almost finished, just some handwork) but failed miserably trying to make a reasonably priced item for the guild sale and something that could be made in one day.  I’ve been working on it solid for three days, and yes, I take photos every step of the way, about 200 so far, and I am constantly ripping out and redoing as I think of a better way to accomplish something, but I’m at least moving in a direction full of possibilities.  I basically have to simplify, simplify, simplify, and sadly, I never learned the meaning of that word…

inkleI’m trying to finish up the inkle band that coordinates with it, and maybe use it as trim, though I’m liking it just the way it is, and think I may use the inkle band for something else…

And then there was the guild meeting on Monday.  The Frances Irwin Handweaving Guild is embarking on a fall study of rugs and rug structures, and we had to bring a loom warped to try sampling the September theme of Summer/Winter and Taquetté in rugweaving.  The directions called for a 10 1/2″ wide sample warp, and though my little sample loom is only 10 1/4″ wide, I went with it.  And the recommended thickness of rug yarn was heavier than anything I have laying around in the studio, so I went on an attic hunt and procured a bag of  yarn, some bright pink wool, and some brown handspun from my mother-in-law’s stash.  Even though she has been dead for three years, she still guides me to her stash when I need something, as though her spirit is still hanging in my studio and telling me, “Use this…”yarn

So I dusted off my trusty Ashford wheel, and plied the pink wool, and brown handspun, to make something closer to the required weight of rug wool.plying

I got the loom warped, and took it off to the guild meeting yesterday, and was pretty happy with the first samples off the loom.  I will say this is about as foreign as it gets for loomme in weaving, one because I’m using a table loom which is awkward and slow, I’m use to speed yardage, and the weight is really unusual for me, I think I’ve woven two rugs in my whole life, maybe not even that many.  I weave yardage for clothing, so this is a stretch.  But I love the colors.

So, I’ll continue working as hard as I can, because that’s what I do.  My daughter is also putting out fires, apparently there was a major summer assignment for her Spanish 4 class in High School, which was never given to her, and she found out about it only a week ago, the teacher graciously allowed her a week to complete the hugely labor intensive assignment, and my lovely pink haired daughter is alternating between ripping her pink hair out, and suffering complete meltdowns.  And trying to keep up with all the other work assigned, and the extra curricular activities, is killing us both!  And my wonderful adorable, lazy 19 year old son has finally made the decision to join the Army National Guard, the appointment with the recruiter is tomorrow, to finish the paperwork and make it all official.  Part of me of course is immensely proud of him, and part of me is scared to death.  And part of me is snickering, because when he acts like the lazy 19 year old he is, I think to myself, “The army will never put up with sleeping until lunch time…”  And there is his room in the basement…  🙂

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September 16, 2009 9:10 am

Pink hair?….wait I thought that was blue! I was amused by a comment at FIH that a person thought she might not be recognized because she had cut her hair since last seen. If that were the case, you would need to have Bri wear a name tag. 😉

September 16, 2009 10:03 am

I remember the day, when Eric was little, and the Morristown Craft Show was happening, he and Kevin went upstairs, got the tour of the facility, and he came down with a set of dog tags. He was so proud of them. then for years, he wore only army fatigues in all colors and carried a duffle bag. Guess it makes sense now. Wish him the best! Now onto you….energizer bunny. you thrive on all the projects, lectures, workshops, seminars, aritlces, etc. I just think that every so often, they mound up, all at once and catch you in overwhelm.… Read more »

Rita R
Rita R
September 17, 2009 7:00 am

trust me, military life WILL straighten Eric out, even if fighting tooth and nail. Some get recycled during basic as they haven’t gotten the idea of neatness, but the second time around, they definitely get it. There is nothing better than watching your son walk across the field after graduating basic, with such pride and confidence, it makes a Mom stand a little straighter and say to herself, oh yes that’s MY son! Those six (eight because of being recycled) weeks are the best thing for them, for they gain such self confidence and pride, no-one can take it away.… Read more »

September 17, 2009 2:29 pm

You inspire me Daryl! I love that sweatshirt/jacket idea. I really enjoy reading your blog-thanks for taking the time to write it.

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