Monday, January 25, 2010

Test classes

Saturday was the first day of my first test class. Test classes are a "dry run" , an important part of preparation for any serious class. Unforntunately bad weather meant that only three students showed up. Two of those were well experienced, and off and running pretty quickly. the third had never done this sort of thing before, and was, hopefully, more like the students I'll have in May. With so few, the prepared schedule went much more quicklythan I had anticipated, which leadsto a prblem. If I put in a couple of more tasks, the students won't have brought enough fabric. So I either have to figure out how to spread the work a little more, or supply extra fabric for them to play with. Probalby I'll go with a combination of the two. I believe I have some cotton damask tableclothes that I can tear up for use.

Day two is next Saturday, and this is the area where I feel less comfortable-- the design part. But already we've discovered a couple of places where I have to make the written instructions clearer, and there are a few typo's.

Overall, I have to say that it was worthwhile. I was so very apprehensive, but, hopefully, got that out of my system. I know that I slept like a log Saturday night!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The unexpected class I have in February is beading. I had would be comfortable just doing short drop'in demo's but have to do a lot more planning for actually teaching for three hours. I've given it a lot of thought, and pulled out my source books. I now have a basic ( very basic) plan for the class, and can concentrate on actually creating samples and developing greater skill. Last evening, I tried beading a button. I had thought that I was aiming for a fairly smooth surface, so used Delica beads--guaranteed to be exactly the same size and shape. The result was somewhat smooth as long as I was working in straight lines on an even surface, but when there were curves or the surface changed ( along the edge of the button) the finished surface became rougher. Next task is to make one with less expensive beads, although I did like working with the Delicas. I actually have a design in mind., and hope to give it a try tonight.

One topic I plan to touch on is creating beaded edges--picots and such. On Friday, I did some beaded buttonhole edging on a collage that is going to the Manitoba Crafts Council show at Cre8ery next month. I'm quite pleased with it, but I know there are several other ways of beading an edge. Gotta try them next!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Puttering along

My first test class is a "go" for the last two Saturdays in January. It is all written, so now I just have to assemble the kits. Getting everything down on paper has left me much more confident about the whole thing. The down side is that they weren't able to get the room I had asked for, and now I'm in a room without a water supply. Should be interesting. Thank Goodness I found out ahead of time, and I can make plans for dealing with it.
There is a second class that I had volunteered for, andticipating a very informal "drop-in" type of arrangement. But yesterday I received a formal contract requiring three hours of teaching. This is a bit of a shock, as I am not that comfortable with my skills in the area. This means spending the next month developing those skills. This is a good thing, forcing me to work and stretch myself.
Stretching myself is one thing that I've commited to doing over the next few months. I believe that I'm just too comfortable working within my comfort zone. Now, I have no idea how to challenge myself, so I'm anticipating participating in things like internet challenges, and working through some of the magazines I've been stockpiling. Machine quilting appeals to me. I have subscribed to Machine Quilting Unlimited, and received my first issue about a week ago. Talk about intimidating!! But when I look more closely, I can see that the pictures are coming from some very high profile machine quilters. Of course, I'm not working at that level--yet! The beading, too, is an area where I've spent lots of $$ collecting supplies--and now need to do something with them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Life is just getting in the way--especially over the recent holidays. My volunteer commitments are slowly ending, and I'm very much looking forward to the 6-12 months of personal space I've promised myself. November --when I was able to just clear up projects that had been started but not finished--demonstrated to me how very much I've been missing the freedom to play and create for my own enjoyment and experience. Already I have a couple of areas and techniques to explore. There are pieces that have been finished for certain exhibits, and at this point, they are all ready to go. The only comitment I have yet to meet is the teaching I've contracted to do in May in Regina. Test classes have been arranged, and hopefully, there will be enough students to make it worthwhile. The first class is just about written, and should be finished this week. The second class is half written, and the rest is in my head, but this test class isn't until March, so I have a bit of time.

The difficult part of all of this is in making the samples for the classes. My hands and wrists just aren't up to the marathon sessions I used to excel at. So pacing of all of the hand work is being carefully scheduled. But this means that I'm not starting any "just for me" projects that require hand work--and potential projects are cluttering up my brain.