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Archive for April 21st, 2008

Upcoming Classes

Monday, April 21st, 2008

This weekend was the Habibi Dancers‘ 25th Anniversary concert (and two days of dance workshops). It was a great time. You can imagine that the preparations for something that big distracted me a bit from the teaching part of my life. Now I’m diving back into my teaching realm.

On Saturday, April 26, I’m teaching polymer clay “Stripes, Jelly Rolls and Checkerboards” at Threadbear Fiberarts. (See buttons top left and bottom almost-left in photo.)

buttons200x200.jpgI’ve taught a buttons/beads class for years, which uses layering techniques (think thin woodgrain or ivory but in any colors you like) to make buttons that are easily wearable with handknits. I have also recently added a “Foils and Translucents” class which creates lovely pearlescent buttons which also are just great with handknitted garments.

In the polymer clay community, beads are the focus rather than buttons. Many of the beads are made with a millifiore technique, an ancient glassworking method which works best with sharp contrast, and which draws in the eye to analyze fine detail.

I have had the instinct that fancier buttons with this type of detail, might distract from a garment. However, I am reminded by students that detail is adorable in a child’s button and also great for beads.

I’ve had enough requests that I’m teaching my first millifiore (stripes, etc) polymer class ever at a yarn shop, at Threadbear (Lansing, Michigan) this Saturday from noon to 4pm. Call 517/703-9276 to register.


If you want a project on which you might place your new buttons, I’ll be starting a baby set class at Rae’s on Thursday nights starting May 1. We’ll have one class, then a week off, then 3 more weeks in a row. We’re knitting the Wee One Welcome Set from Knitting at Knoon, which includes a sweater, hat and booties.

Rae’s sample version at the shop (see photo, shown with purchased buttons) is knit with one large (half-pound) skein of my Cushy ColorSport DK washable merino yarn, in the Seaside colorway. (She had enough yarn left over from the newborn size to knit a pair of tiny pants to go with it as well.) Last I looked Rae had 6 skeins of my yarn in stock (it’s limited in supply, I dye yarn when I’m not busy teaching). She has other DK weight washable yarns in stock as well.

To sign up for the baby set class, call Rae at 517/336-9276 or email info@raesyarnboutique.com

Next week (Friday May 2, 6-8pm) I teach Needlefelted Embellishments at Threadbear. This is a fun, no-sew method of adding color to a purse, hat or other item you own. It works well on felted or non-felted items. Wool works best as a base, but I’ve seen folks needlefelt on T-shirts and denim jackets, too. (On this photo, I used yarn “squiggles” on a purchased felted beret. Click above link to see Linda’s class project from last year.)

Saturday, May 3, I teach Polymer Clay Foils and Translucents at Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan, from 11-3pm. (See pink button in first photo for one possible look.) Call Lindsay at 517/541-9323 to register.

Back to a “Routine”

Monday, April 21st, 2008


Facing Reality

In my mind, I think I don’t do routine well. In fact, in some areas I have none. I get ready in the morning every day, but the things I do to get ready I switch around. I sometimes have breakfast first, sometimes get dressed first, sometimes prepare my class materials before any of the above.


Because of this, on mornings with a very short getting-ready time I miss things that should be routine. I typically forget to wear earrings or a watch, or I’ll forget to take my vitamins or some other thing that theoretically should be automatic for me to do.


Routine is My Friend

However, on a larger scale I have a weekly schedule or routine. I seem to have trouble when it gets disrupted.

Monday nights I teach computer classes at community education. Tuesdays during the day I’m home, typically doing computer/writing work (occasionally I have a class or guild meeting at night).

Wednesday I have CityKidz Knit! program followed by Habibi Dancers’ practice. Thursdays I’m at Rae’s. Fridays and Saturdays I teach random classes or work at home, and when we have music performances they often are Saturday nights. Sundays I teach at Rae’s.

Recovering from Schedule-Chaos

So far this year, I have not fallen into that routine. Since January things have been too intense to run on my familiar schedule. January we were coming out of holiday season and our friend Rev came to visit for three nights. February I was sick almost the whole month.

March, fortunately, was busy with the release of the ZigBagZ pattern collections and making up for lost class time… plus there were taxes to deal with. April we had Bosko and Honey as guests for two nights, and I performed in (and therefore rehearsed heavily for) the Habibi Dancers‘ 25th anniversary dance concert.


Whew! Whirlwind! I’m looking forward to some change. Change in favor of routine, regardless of what I have previously thought worked for me.

Big Plans

I’m hoping to schedule some new classes and new musical performances for the next few months. If anyone out there reading this wants a particular class, do let me know and I’ll do what I can to schedule it, hopefully at a time that works for you and a handful of others. I can’t always do what you want, but I will see if I can work it out.

I have some promises to make good on, a list of four tasks (two of which have been waiting for months) for other folks who can’t do these things for themselves. After that, I’ll be free to focus even more on my business.

There are some patterns I need to finish up, and I am hoping to get some dyeing done in May. Therefore, I want to get these to-do tasks out of the way soon.

Thank You

On another topic, thanks to everyone who is sending me photos and other content for this blog. I’m drowning in wonderful photographs, which have been coming in at a rapid rate as I’ve been distracted elsewhere. I hope I can post a good portion of the photos coming my way.

The photos today I took a week ago, the first signs of spring, growing things in my own yard. The daffodil is a tiny variety that comes in early, and now the bigger ones are following suit. Also shown here are my beloved violets (others call them weeds but they may be my favorite spring flowers), and a few myrtle/periwinkle blossoms. It’s actually truly looking springlike today, there were even golfers on the course at MSU!