Monday, August 31, 2009

I Mixed Clay Tonight...

I Mixed Clay Tonight...
Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

& these are my shoes. They'll never be the same.

I now have about 100 pounds of clay to play with, but I'm telling you I will NOT be doing that again. No thanks, I'll just buy pre-mixed from now on.

Here's how it goes:
-Put on your heavy duty dust mask
-Drag out five or six super heavy sacks of dust
-Measure 20lbs of this one, 25 of that one, 25 of another one, etc. and put it in the mixer with 26lbs of water.
-Turn on the mixer and wait for it all to be wet
-NOW, slowly pour a whole bag of another dust into the mixture like if you're making bread adding the flour. This takes a while so your arm is going to hurt before you're done.
- Let it mix for 10 minutes
- Take the fresh clay out of the mixer in 10-15lb chunks and roll it up in plastic bags
- Scrape the insides of the mixer forfuckingever, then scrub it with a brush, rinse it with water, and sponge the water out of there because the UofA never heard of buying a damn shopvac. Repeat this step 5 times.
- When your arm falls off you're almost done!
- Wipe it out again and tell the kids in the other room they can use it to make their clay now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Miss Kitty Is Not Amused

Miss Kitty Is Not Amused
Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

She totally got under that throw herself. I guess she was cold. That box in the background is from Ian's new goldfish aquarium. He put a blanket in it for the cats and they LOVE it so it has to stay in the living room until they lose interest. haha

My ceramics class started up this week. So far, I'm the only one showing up on Monday/Wednesday who is a total noob. The first class I didn't get to do anything because we didn't have any clay, but last night I got to make some buttons and learn how to use the wheel to throw pots. My buttons are gonna be OK, but I will need some more practice on the wheel unless I only want bowls with super short walls and espresso cups or shot glasses.

I did a good job on getting the clay centered, making the volcano shape thing, then smushing it into a hamburger patty shape and opening up the center, but when I try to drag the walls up it all goes to hell as soon as it gets taller than about 3 inches.

I figure this is like when I learned to spin yarn and made all that lumpy bumpy crap that wouldn't hold together. At least the clay is re-usable so I can practice on the same blob a bunch of times without wasting too much. That's a good thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's a Loom In My Living Room

There's a Loom In My Living Room
Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

I spent all day Sunday cleaning up this used Leclerc Artisat. It needs new heddles and a part that attaches the treadles to the front bottom beam, then it'll be ready to rock. Right now it's all folded up there behind the loveseat Chuck Norris.

Oh, and I finished the table runner/scarf thing that has been on the loom down at the yarn store for a whole dang YEAR. Here it is in action:

Twill Tofutsies Table Runner

Here is a closer look

I'm pretty proud of it since it is the same width the whole way down. It was totally worth all those rows I ripped out and re-did a million times.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TNNA, Summer Stuff, & A New Crafty Thing

TNNA was crazy, fun, and exhausting. I placed a bunch of orders for the store (maybe too much) and had fun meeting people and seeing things. I didn't really end up taking many pictures so I never made a big post about it. The classes were the best part for me. I got to get new display ideas from other store owners, see how other people do things, etc. Everything was pretty much great till I tried to get home and ended up stuck in airport hell. Oh well. I'll for sure be going back next year.

July and so far August have been full of a whole lot of not much. There was the Fiber Xmas In July event in Kellyville, OK. That was one fun thing. I taught a novelty yarn spinning class, but only ended up having two students so it was nice and relaxed. I've been spinning a lot and have actually finished some yarn so I guess I'll take pics of that for you guys to stare at tonight :) The weaving is still slow going, but I scored a huge haul of rayon chenille and cottons and some cones of metalic goodness that are great for plying handspun with at Fiber Xmas.

I have a new to me used Leclerc Artisat loom at the house that needs cleaning up, and then I'm going to warp it for a baby blanket or something to try it out. That has to wait for the rest of the patio room cleaning to take place though because for some reason the cats think that thing is a jungle gym if I drag it out into their part of the house and it's too big to drag in and out so meh.

I seem to never finish a knitting project that isn't store related, but I've been working on two store sweaters and two non-store sweaters so hopefully one of them will eventually get finished and I won't freeze this winter. haha

Oh, and I'm starting a new crafty thing. (like I need another one) I signed up for a beginning ceramics class at U of A in Fayetteville starting August 24th. I'm really excited because I've always wanted to learn to make those hand thrown kind of bowls and mugs and things, and I have all this basement space down at the yarn store that isn't being used. If I like it and get good at it I might get a kiln and a wheel for the basement. There is already the wiring down there for it because the salon that used to be here had tanning beds in that space. We'll see.

I promise pictures next time and more frequent posting. I know you don't believe me. haha