Guild Tag Sale etc.

Yesterday was the Southern CT Polymer Clay Guild’s annual “Tag Sale”. Tag Sale is a misnomer. It’s really more of a rummage or white elephant sale. Basically, members bring in items (books, tools, supplies etc.) that are at least loosely polymer clay related, and they’re offered up for sale to benefit the guild. We load everything onto a big table and members each draw a number. Then we go shopping in numerical order. The first pass you can take one item for one dollar. We do that a couple of times, and then go to two items for a dollar and so on until the remainders are free. Usually the table gets cleared out. The big items are offered for raffle separately. It’s truly hard to spend more than five dollars. And you can stop “shopping” at any time. I only made two passes through, picking up a box of Super Sculpey and a giant t-shirt from our retreat. Not bad for two bucks. Since I am in the mode of trying to clear things out instead of acquiring new things, I think I showed great restraint. Actually it isn’t THAT hard to show restraint, many of the items were, hmmm, let’s just say unusual.

It always feels great to clear stuff out of my studio for this. I managed to unload: a Makin’s pasta machine I’ll never use, an extra plastic gun cartridge box, a couple of typewriter balls, extra glass ornaments, various craft books and extra magazines, an empty scrapbook I’ve had laying around forever and a load of beads from my early beading days (read Michaels or Jo-Anns purchases) or from my kid crafting classes. I love recycling things to other people.

The most charming part of the whole event is our lovely grande dame guild member Genevieve. She doesn’t come to meetings much anymore, but it’s always a pleasure to see her. She’ll be 94 in a couple of months. She’s still crafting. She brought a lovely blue fuzzy corkscrew crocheted scarf as a donation. Soft and silly, it was definitely the most popular raffle item. We always give her number one, and it’s a hoot to see her enthusiasm for the “goodies” on that table. I hope I am that zippy when I am her age.

On the home front, the girls were both sick last week, but seem recovered now. The main source of my stress has been the dogs, specifically Woofie. This is the dog who was supposedly near death last summer. Well, she is still with us and the bane of my existence. Despite medication she doesn’t have great bladder control, so I spend a lot of time running after her and soaking up pee puddles. ick! And for some unknown reason, she has been on a roll of destructive chewing. She’s 9 years old folks! In the past few months she’s chewed up several pens and pencils, my seam ripper (fortunately just the plastic handle and not the nasty metal part or she’d be in doggie heaven now) as well as numerous papers and catalogs (my favorite’s being: a poster board E was supposed to use for a school project and the transcript of my online chat with Dell Tech Support).

Last week she started in on one of my latest knitting projects! This was a tubuar stockinette scarf in a lovely variegated laceweight yarn. grrrr… I had finished about 12 inches of it. double grr… It’s salvageable. E caught her pretty early with the stolen booty in her paws. All I need to do is frog it back a couple of rows and tie in the yarn. I know I should be glad she didn’t completely ruin it. And I should be especially thankful she didn’t destroy my Denise circs, but I am still so ticked off I can’t look at the piece. Lord only knows what she’ll chew up this holiday season. We really do try to remove all possible temptation, but we’ve got kids and they leave stuff around, and she’s really good at getting things off of high places. I’ve been known to leave things around too. (horrors!) And you can’t always guess what she’ll find appealing. Paper? Knitting? Those are new ones.

So, anybody want an elderly sable and white smooth collie? She’s mostly well behaved and sweet. That is, when she’s not peeing on things, barking like a banshee at the world around her or chewing up anything she can snitch. Any takers? *sigh* I thought not.

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Writing in my head and other things…

I asked a friend (who just happens to be a writer), if she ever narrated her life in her head when she was a kid. Her immediate answer (much to my relief) was “Oh, all the time!” When I was a kid I used to compose a commentary on my life in my head. That narration voice was muffled long ago. I don’t know if I stopped doing it because I thought it was too wierd, or if I just got more caught up in the business or experiencing life instead of just comenting on it in my head. I’d never mentioned it to anyone before, probably because I thought it was way too wierd. Well, it was darned reassuring to hear that I’m not the only one with a personal mental voiceover.

Blogging has brought the voice back. Sadly, my actual posts are never as witty or interesting as the ones I compose in my head when I am going about my day. If I were more organized, I’d write things down as they occurred to me. Like that’ll ever happen! It’s kind of comforting to have that voice back, but it’s unsettling too. I think it underscores the fact that my days can often be kind of lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but as a stay-at-home mom with both kids in school all day, I spend a lot of time alone. I like the alone time more than I would have thought when I was younger. I crave the solitude when the kids are home in the summer, all day, every day. LOL

But, I need social contact too. I really appreciate the smart, funny women I have as friends. If only more of them lived near by, or were free during the day. Whether in person or by e-mail or on the phone they enrich my life. And, thankfully, like my friend yesterday, they make me feel less alone and less wierd. hee hee

Onto other topics… My metalsmiting class is continuing to challenge me. I think this is the hardest thing i’ve tackled in years. I hope to keep it up though because it’ll be years before I am any good at it. My very first project (sort of a group assigned project) is complete. It’s a hollow pendant. Here’s my “bean”, side one textured with sandpaper in the rolling mill:

Side two, textured with mesh fabric:

It’s not high art by any means, but it’s a satisfying piece to have completed. Man, there’s a surprising amount of work that goes into something like this. Any handcrafted silver jewelry I own is worth ten times what I paid for it. The soldering mojo was definitely not with me on Tuesday. I may never get to set a stone in a bezel at the rate I am going. I would have been better off hammering wire into submission.

Knitting. I’ve got several mindless projects going, so I thought I’d try my hand at knitting the Falling Leaves Scarf from Morehouse farms. First of all, I was really pround of myself for just surviving balling the quad skein of laceweight yarn. That’s a LOT of yarn! Knitting with laceweight is very different. The progress might be too slow for me. The pattern is interesting with its cast offs and on again. I’m just not sure I like the look enough to be able to stick with it through a zillion rows.

I may just frog it and try something else. I love the yarn despite its resemblance to thread. Any suggestions for an easy pattern for an advanced beginner level knitter with craft ADD?

I’m still making snail’s pace progress on the studio. Most of the things I have left to organize aren’t fun, so its hard to summon up the oompf to work down there. I need to get over that! Here’s a photo of the current state of the studio:

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What’s up

Latest audiobook: Poison Study by Maria Snyder (I am really enjoying this one)
Knitting: Falling Leaves Scarf by Morehouse Farms, basic bag to be felted in Malabrigo variegated yarn
Metals class: completed my “bean” project and learning how to set a stone
New Studio: working on organization, labelling drawers, hanging bulletin boards
Unpacking: I’ve still got 6 boxes to sift through in the garage and virtually all the art for our walls to unpack and hang.

Well, I have made SOME progress, but it still feels like I am inching along. Slow and steady is my mantra. I’ve unpacked all the books into my bookshelf wall and I’ve moved on to organizing my supplies. I unpacked the glass top for my work table and installed the shelves in my clay cabinet. I still have to paint all those doors. I’ve been ignoring that part. Such a shame that I don’t have little worker elves to paint for me at night. lol

This is a driveby update. I’ll try to find something interesting next week.

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Waiting to paint

The good news is… we’ve got drywall. On the down side, I am waiting for the contractor to sand the walls so that we can paint. I’m incredibly impatient so the waiting isn’t going well. The weekend is going to be long, and the weather is supposed to be rainy on and off. The perfect painting weekend. Maybe he’ll show up tomorrow.

Meanwhile here’s a picture of the studio with the new sheet rock.

Almost all of my polymer supplies are buried in boxes in the storage area that’s behind the open doorway. I had opened most of the boxes and I knew where most of my stuff was before construction started. Now the boxes are really piled up and jumbled and I don’t know where anything is hiding. So instead of making beads, I have been knitting and felting. Here’s my first One Skein clutch purse:

I really love it, although it does need a bit of ornamentation. This is a fun and simple pattern, brainless and brief, which works for me right now. LOL

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