Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Yet Another Silly Test

Filed under: Retired - The Life & Times of a Winged Cat — folkcat at 8:49 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Test Results: ”

Spotty Blogging Ahead – and a Little Behind, Too

Filed under: Folkcat's Craft Library — folkcat at 4:47 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I see I missed blogging here yesterday. Not surprising – stuff has been happening.

It’s actually the leading edge of what will be intermittent blogging until just after Labor Day. Gryphon took time off from work, and while we can’t go anywhere, we will be able to do things together that there isn’t time for in the normal work week.

I’ll blog again as it fits the flow of our days, and I’ll get back to a regular schedule after Labor Day.

Have a good one!

Blogging Forecast

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile — folkcat at 4:45 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My blogging will be a little spotty until after Labor Day. Gryphon took time off from work, and while we can’t go anywhere, we will be able to do more together than the normal work week allows.

I’ll post when I can, but I’m not going to force it. Time together is hard enough to come by.

Quick beading note – and yes, it’s about the beaded stitch markers. I designed a hang card topper for the zip-bags by creating a business card with the text and images laid out so they’d all display correctly when the card was folded in half. We carded up the sets that our LYS agreed to take, and delivered them today. My first official sale!

WH11 to Have a Home; and Intermittent Blogging Ahead

Filed under: Retired - Folkcat's Fiber Crafts — folkcat at 4:40 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wearable Hug 11 (WH11) was finished last night, and I know now who it’s for. There’s a friend who I’ve never met – one of those Internet things, and I know her through some other friends, too. She lives in New Orleans – can you see where I’m going with this?

She and her husband and dog had escaped early to visit relatives in another state, but as I understand it, their home is near a levee. I just don’t know which one, but looking at the images of New Orleans on CNN, it doesn’t seem like it matters.

A friend who visited with me yesterday told me she likes “Mardi Gras” colors. WH11 is primarily a rich purple in color, but as I finished it last night, I realized that I hadn’t noticed the flecks of color mixed in – gold and green. Purple, Gold and Green are the Mardi Gras colors. That was when I knew for sure where WH11 is destined to be.

The Mardi Gras effect is a subtle one, and I think that’s appropriate. The phrase that came to mind is that “you have to hold the shawl close to your heart to see the New Orleans in it.”

It’s just a matter now of engineering the delivery, which may be tricky. We obviously can’t send it to her New Orleans home, but we’re not sure of her address in refuge. But it will happen, of that I’m sure. As sure as I was that I had to finish this hug soon, and that I would know who it belonged to by the time I was done.

“I love it when a plan comes together.” – Hannibal Smith, The A Team

Having completed WH11, I now had one too few projects on the needles, of course. So I’ve gone back to Sock Experiment 4 (WE4) and cast on for Sock 2 (WE4/S2). It’s nice to get back to size 2 needles in my hand, after handling the 13’s so much for WH11. And I get to use my new beaded stitch markers with the sock now.

My blogging over the next week may be a little iffy. I should have foreseen this, but Gryphon has taken some time off this week, and while we can’t afford to go anywhere, we will be doing more things together that we don’t normally get a chance for. So my desire to blog daily will probably fall by the wayside. I’ll be sure to post when I can, though. Stay tuned!

Random Acts of Kindness; and Random Acts of Blogging

Filed under: Retired - The Life & Times of a Winged Cat — folkcat at 4:28 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

On Tuesday, we once again felt the touch of hands helping to pull us back from the edge a little more.

We are grateful to those who have been stepping in to help, unasked and unexpected. Thank you. You are making an enormous difference in our life right now.

As to my blogging, I should have thought ahead to this and given a little more warning, but here it is now, anyhow. Gryphon has taken a few days off from work this week. We can’t afford to go anywhere, but we are hoping to spend time doing things together that we normally don’t have a chance to do. So my blogging may be a little spotty between now and next Tuesday.

I’ll post when it fits the flow of our days, or if something really noteworthy happens. But I may not post every day the way I try to.

Thanks again for reading!

Enough About the Stitch Markers Already

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile — folkcat at 3:25 pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tired of them yet? Well, there’s a little more to tell, then I promise, I’ll stop talking about them unless something really noteworthy happens.

Today’s news is noteworthy, I think. Gryphon and I drove over to our Local Yarn Shop to talk to her about beaded stitch markers. She’s been carrying some sets that wind up retailing at $19.95 for 4 markers, and while they’re very nice, she says that they haven’t really moved for her. She’s not sure if it’s only the price point, or just the current economy. Business has been slow, apparently, though it’s started to pick up today with the cold, rainy weather.

I suspect it’s a mix of both. With gas prices so high, people are having to think twice – or more – before spending money on a luxury item. And face it, $20 for 4 stitch markers is a luxury, no matter how functional they are.

She liked the sets of stitch markers I had to show her, and she was delighted with my $5 wholesale price point for a set of 5. She’s willing to try them out. I just need to make up my packaging now, and get back to her.

I’m putting the stitch markers in zip-top bags that are 1-1/2″ tall by 2″ wide. I’ll be designing a special card on business-card stock. This is the perfect size to fold in half and staple on top of the zip bag. We’ll punch a hole for hanging, and there can be some graphics and information on both sides of the card. It should be a very professional-looking presentation, while not costing a fortune.

I’ll be beading tonight at craft circle – I want to make markers to give my knitting friends, and I want to build up a bit of stock so that I can put some up on eBay and Etsy. As things progress, I may start making visits to more of the yarn shops in the area, too.

More Extreme Knitting

Filed under: Retired - Folkcat's Fiber Crafts — folkcat at 2:15 pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I did it again. I went Xtreme Knitting this weekend. This time, the venue was less risky. And it was very close to home. Next door, in fact.

The Wilton Town Hall Theatre was originally built when the Town Hall was, in 1885. At first, it hosted vaudeville performances. Some of the greats rumored to walk this stage include Sophie Tucker and George Jessel. The theatre started playing movies in 1912, becoming one of the earliest movie theaters in the country. In 1923, equipment for sound film was added, making the Town Hall Theatre one of the first to adopt the new technology.
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Folkcat Knitting on the Vaudeville Stage

With only a gap from 1966 to 1973, the year the current owner, Dennis Markaverich, took over, the Wilton Town Hall Theatre has otherwise operated continuously since 1912. Many great films have played here, and it has a reputation as one of the best art film houses in the country. It’s also a little-known fact that the actual world premiere of the first Star Wars movie, back in 1977, took place right here. Yes, right here, in the Wilton Town Hall Theatre.
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Look Closely at the left – there is an audience!

For more on the history of the theatre, visit this article.

Being a film buff myself – and this being a small town – I have come to know Dennis. When I told him about the Extreme Knitting project, and my idea to knit on an original vaudeville stage in one of the oldest continuously Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fairoperating movie theaters in the country, he thought it sounded like a lot of fun. So he graciously let Gryphon and me come in Saturday afternoon. We took the pictures in front of a small audience gathering to see his weekly free Saturday Afternoon Classic. (This week was Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair.)

Oh, yes – the piece I’m working on is Wearable Hug 11. As of last night, it’s over 5/6th done. I imagine I’ll soon be finding out who it’s for.

Repost: A Most Fitting Closure to the Saga…

Filed under: Retired - The Life & Times of a Winged Cat — folkcat at 2:01 pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This entry was originally posted to my only blog at the time, Folkcat’s Fiber Crafts. Since it’s not fiber content, and more suited for this location, I’ve chosen to re-post it at this time. I’ll go back to original content tomorrow, I promise!

Last Friday, the 10th of June, I finally had my opportunity to see Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith on the big screen. As luck would have it, I was able to do so in a fashion that uniquely celebrated the completion of the story cycle that George Lucas began back in 1977.

When Star Wars came out, I was just about to graduate high school. I was an instant fan the first time I saw the movie. During its original release, I saw it a total of ten times. I faithfully attended each of the subsequent movies when they came out, even being the first person in line in Syracuse, NY to see Return of the Jedi.

This past Friday, I looked at the sign outside the movie theatre next door and was thrilled to see that Dennis (owner of the theater) had booked Star Wars E3. I hadn’t been to see it yet, and this was so convenient. Plus, I had heard rumors about the Wilton Town Hall Theatre and the original Star Wars that I hoped to confirm…

I bought my ticket early, and I didn’t even have to pry the information out of Dennis. He told me the story about what happened back in 1977, about how, contrary to any evidence you will find elsewhere on the web and in Star Wars trivia, the world premiere of the original Star Wars took place at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre on May 17th, 1977, in the tiny town of Wilton, New Hampshire.

Go anywhere else, ask the most devoted and knowledgable Star Wars fan, and you’ll be told that the first movie premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on May 25th, 1977. Why the discrepancy?

As Dennis told it to me, one of the producers of the film had children who attended a notable boarding school here in Wilton. He really, really wanted his kids to be the first to see the movie. So a special day of showings of Star Wars was arranged as a fundraising event for the school.

It’s that simple. Since this wasn’t an official, for profit showing, and wasn’t an event that got national attention at all (after all, Star Wars at the time of release was predicted to be a B-movie dud with no box office power and no lasting value), in all official records the first showing that counts was at Grauman’s.

But I know different, and now you do, too. And what I consider more special, I got to see the movie that brought the story full circle in the place where it really all began.

How cool is that?

Books/Fiber/Paper/Decoupage/How-To: Take Silk

Filed under: Folkcat's Craft Library — folkcat at 8:15 pm on Monday, August 29, 2005

A Guide to Silk "Paper" for the Creative Fiber ArtistTitle: Take Silk
Author: Pinnell, Judith
Publisher: Milner Craft Series
Copyright: 2001

This is a book that was only recently given to me as a gift, and I haven’t had much opportunity yet to evaluate it. Let me, then, offer you instead some quotes from the Introduction by author Judith Pinnell:

Silk ‘Paper’

The process of making the silk ‘paper’ is simple and results in a colourful and lustrous substrate from which you can create a myriad of exciting projects.

As I work predominantly with a sewing machine, I have aimed to interest and excite machine embroiderers. However, if you love rich colours, the feel of silk and have a desire to create, then silk ‘paper’ is for you. Both traditional and hand embroiderers will find plenty to interest them; to experiment on, using rich threads and other accessories; with which to create two- and three-dimensional pieces that are completely original.

Raw silk is processed and sold in many forms. Unspun dyed silk or silk ‘tops’ are strong and yield the best results for making silk ‘paper’. Using these and a simple forming process, you can create a substrate (base material) with many of the characteristics of both paper and felt, and with the rich lustre that only silk can produce.

The book describes a process that uses silk fiber, and falls somewhere between felting, papier mache, and collage. With the instructions given, one can make a material somewhat like paper, somewhat like felt, that can be stitched, glued, embroidered, and sculpted.

Recommended for fiber artists who are looking for a new direction, or for those timid of fiber arts who want something easy, yet very versatile.

We Must Be Doing Something Right…

Filed under: Retired - The Life & Times of a Winged Cat — folkcat at 7:49 pm on Monday, August 29, 2005

…because we keep getting reminded just how wonderful our friends are.

I won’t go into details – that’s not necessary. But I will say that, up until midday Sunday, we felt like we were hanging over the edge of a cliff by a tattered thread. Then another of our friends stepped up (a different one than brought us the garden bounty) and pulled us back.

We’re still not completely out of the stressful and difficult situation, but at least now we feel like we’re sitting on the edge of the cliff, not dangling precariously in space.

I don’t think I want to say much more today. Except that Gryphon and I feel very, very blessed.

Thank you, friends. You know who you are.

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