Headed into the Fall Season

This summer (strike that) year has been filled with dance, dance, and more dance, with bits of work and computers and crafts thrown into the cracks between all those blocks of dance. Several times, I found the photos from these events brought me some smiles and laughs.

In June, the student troupe (with a couple of members from the professional troupe) performed at a Food Trucks event in North Hollywood.

(click any image to view it larger)

One comparison photo: Me as an advanced dancer after 2+ years work versus me as a beginner, the first time I ever danced ATS in public, after 6 months study. *grin* –> that jacket is already pinned even smaller, now in September.

In July, the student troupe and the professional troupes both performed at a Farmer’s Market festival in Santa Clarita.

Another mark of having improved over the past couple of years.
I still laugh every time I see the old photos from Emle’s in Dec 2010.

In August, we held a hafla (party) at the end of the student session at Pasadena City College. I had a modest store setup for my flowered hair clips.

Flowered hair clips for sale

Many of the clips shown here are already sold. I’m working to add photos and listings to my etsy store for the ones that are still available.

But one of the most exciting accomplishments for my summer has to be my new logo and business cards. Major thanks go out to Katy, the artist I hired to work on my logo, who created exactly what I was looking for. You can see her work on her Facebook page.

The Grand Logo of Awesome!

We had so much fun, creating every line, every curve, every feather, every shape in the tribal swan for my business look. It’s everything I could hope to have!

After that, of course I had tons of fun creating business cards (all done at moo.com which I can heartily recommend).

the large business cards: complete with rounded corners

the small business cards: so cute, so memorable

Part of the effort to work on my cards stemmed from a motivation to have more product in my store by the end of the year. I’ve decided to focus on promoting three major lines: custom floral hair clips, hand-spun yarns, and hand-made card-woven trim. I may branch into tabby warp-faced narrow wares (think “ribbons” made in various yarns and threads, or the phrase “inkle woven” trim*). But since that’s still an untried skill of mine, that’s just a possible plan.

This past weekend, I taught a new card-weaving class at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Frolic. Although I originally called the class “Rams’ Horn, Eilidh Style,” my friends have suggested it should be renamed “Gypsy Eyeball” based on how often they heard me saying “eyeball” as I was teaching. In fact, several people wandered over just to see what we were weaving, since I continued to describe the “gypsy eyeball” as the mathematical key to understanding the rams’ horn threaded pattern in our card-weaving warps.

Gypsy Eyeballs on the Right and then Left, followed by Rams’ Horns

The Gypsy Eyeball solution to understanding Rams’ Horn was slated to only take an hour, but fortunately none of my students had anywhere to run off to at 11am. We stayed for the full 2 hours, working hands-on with two different warped examples, learning how to find the key to each warp and how to weave anything without a pattern book. As a two-hour workshop, it worked wonderfully and several people have asked me to teach the class again. I’m quite pleased with the results.

I’d like to create a series of youtube video clips that cover the topics in my Gypsy Eyeball class technique. Maybe those will be projects for 2013.

After class, I sat down to take advantage of an afternoon with an empty loom and a basket full of warping threads. Ercil took a fantastic photo of my glee.

The warp I decided on was made up from the Brick Red, Bright Orange, and Chocolate Brown cones
that you can see between my leg and the basket.

The new brick, orange, and chocolate warp is on the cards and waiting to weave later. I still have to finish the “King’s Hunt Footprints” pattern (pictured above in black, orange, red, maroon, yellow, and purple) and then some Christmas gift promissories for my Sweetie. (I might need more than one loom *grin*)

I haven’t forgotten my spinning and I have some additional weaving plans mulling in my head, too.

some luxury fibers spun on a new drop spindle

hand-spun wool, hand-plied, naturally dyed in cochineal and indigo-over-dyeing, self-striping skein, tabby weave
I’m not really happy weaving on a potholder loom (it was a good try),
but I think I’ll felt the finished swatch and create an embroidered, felted pouch for my etsy store.

In addition to all this, I changed jobs in June and now work less than two dozen miles from home. The reduced commute time significantly helps with my increased dance and crafting schedule (as well as time to spend with family, friends, and my Sweetie). I still sit in some horrible LA commuter traffic, but not nearly as much as the four-hour commute of my last job. The team I work with is also AMAZING, and I’m doing technical writing in yet another software developer niche that I haven’t worked in before. I miss the time I spent at JPL (and was *SO* proud of the Curiosity Team), but I love my new job a lot. It’s located in a bustling neighborhood with plenty of stores and restaurants in walking distance. I have so many opportunities to walk and exercise, more than almost any previous job I’ve held. Occasionally, just to relax and start my day off right, I just take out my cardweaving loom and sit for twenty minutes before heading up to the office, weaving quietly at my car. There is nothing quite so calming after a cross-city traffic snarl as twenty minutes weaving (or knitting or spinning or crocheting or whatever is your artistic endeavor of choice). Ahh.

Finishing the warp at the Fiber Retreat, relaxing and enjoying 

Looking forward to what the Fall Season will bring.

* Postscript footnote – Did you know the word “inkle” just means narrow, woven band? Without getting into the historical controversies of the “inkle loom” or “inkle” bands, I learned some interesting information at dinner the other day, and I’m looking forward to understanding the history better so I can promote credible research rather than muddled jargon. My thanks to Ercil, for getting me thinking along these lines. I have my work sketched out for me.