La Manche

Went for a hike yesterday with some friends. Our plan had been to pick up the East Coast Trail in La Manche, and head from there to Tors Cove and back. We had a little trouble finding the trailhead, though. We wound up strolling through La Manche Provincial Park, finding a trail, and making a shorter, improvised hike out of that one.[1] There was a river, and a little waterfall, and sundry beaver-gnawed sticks[2], and neat rocks.

It was a good day.

[1] On the way back to town, we detoured through St. Michael’s and Seal Cove and Bauline East, and happened to find a trailhead in there. So if/when we go back, we will have at least one official East Coast Trail section to head out across.

[2] Beavers leave really neat textures on wood.

Happy New Year!

So. The little Sputnik kiln didn’t heat up (or rather, didn’t heat up high enough, or quickly enough), so we assayed enamelling via torch instead. Pointing the flame down onto the enamel made the colour go quite grey/black (introcuding carbon into the enamel, maybe?), but heating from underneath worked fine and dandy. So now I have two appollonian gasket pendants, a small green and copper-leftovers pendant, and two earrings which, although both enamelled with something called “copper green”, turned out red and turquoisey blue, respectively. Very interesting. The exposed copper parts still need to be polished and waxed, but otherwise, my jewellery experiments for this trip are probably over. It was fun.

And last night there was a party at Denzil and Anna’s place. Some old friends, and lots of newer ones. Happy dogs[1], oddly fun party games, and good food.

It’s been a great holiday.

[1] Well, until the fireworks went off, anyways. But they got happy quickly enough afterwards.

Christmas Holidays!

I am on holiday until January 3rd. Wee!

There was Christmas, which came with parties and music and foooood. Also, books. Which I must now add to my list of Things To Turn Into Teacups, but I don’t mind because they are all lovely books so far.

Right now I’m visiting some friends, Jason and Roz. We came out on the 27th, and so far I’ve made some stamps from textured glass in their kitchen and attic, planned a gingerbread Gothic cathedral[1], started another teacup[2], and played around with their jewelry tools. I have my appollonian gasket pendant planned out and all the pieces cut out, and several of the pieces have holes and such drilled into them so I can make the scraps into jewelry as well. And tonight or tomorrow, I will get to try my hand at enamelling for the first time. I am so excited I could burst.

[1] You know it’s a Gothic one because of the flying buttresses.

[2] There’s a Neil Gaiman anthology of short stories and poetry called Fragile Things[3], and a few days ago I was thinking of NCECA and the things I learned there, and happened to remember a lecture on slip-dipping by two grad students who make installations out of clay-permeated textiles and fibres. So last night, while we watched a movie[4], I crocheted a lace teacup. And today I stuffed it into a bucket of porcelain slip that Jason had kicking around for reasons slightly mysterious to me. And at some point I hope to have a very fragile lace porcelain teacup.

[3] Astute readers may have noticed that I now have three Neil Gaiman books translated/translating into teacup form. This is because I have a lot of his work. He writes amazing, wonderful, occasionally creepy but always satisfying stories, and I recommend you check him out.

[4] Dodgeball.

Birds!

My friend Roz came over last night with a bottle of chocolate port and a bag of fabric and buttons, and we made little bird ornaments. I made some sitting ones, and she made two singing ones, with accompanying music notes. I haven’t decided yet whether I want to leave mine as they are or add some sort of hanging doohickey. We’ll see.

They’re super easy to make, if you’re feeling inclined yourself. Just draw out the outline of a bird, use that as a template to cut out some birdy shapes. (If you use pinking shears, the fabric won’t fray.) Sew birdy shapes together; stuff with scraps. Add wings, feathers, eyes, etc. as the desire strikes.

Happy Birthday, Papa!

Today was my dad’s 52nd birthday. We actually managed to get the whole family together for it, which is not something that usually happens[1]. We had some very tasty wine, and two kinds of curry, and naan, and rice and rhubarb cheesecake. It was fun.

And tomorrow I get to take off for Amherst Cove for the weekend. I shall be leaving studio and clay behind to go… well, to go play in another studio with different clay, actually. And hopefully hike or poke around Bonavista (I’ve never been!) or something, too.

Don’t know if I’ll have a chance to update again until Monday. See you all on the other side of a hopefully sunny[2] and fun weekend!

[1] The last two birthday celebrations have been about a month after the actual birthdays, thanks to us all being stupidly busy people.

[2] I can dream, can’t I?!

So… much… awesome.

I made the ultimate mistake of joining Ravelry yesterday afternoon. The rest of the day, and a good chunk of the night, was spent in knitting pattern overdose. Socks, lacy socks, looong socks, chunky cardigans, herringbone skirts, TARDIS socks, Longcat scarves, Totoro mittens… So many things to make, and so little time to do it in.

I have promised myself that I will finish the socks I started last year before starting a new project. I only have another few inches left.

The fact Wool Trends and A Good Yarn, my favourite wool supply establishments, are both closed on Mondays may even force me to keep that promise.