Thursday, February 24, 2011

Out of the frying pan and into the...freezer?

Well, I've been back for several days from paradise (Maui), but was swiftly struck down by a vigorous head cold, which I believe latched onto my body in Paia one night. It hit fast and hard and I've filled my days since then with fluid forcing, kleenex marathoning, grumbling and sleeping. I'm starting to feel better now, thank you, but the weather is frigid here in coastal Northern California and threatening snow down to sea level (I know! WTF?). Both wood stoves are stoked and I've got comfort food on the menu for the foreseeable future.

I made spiny lobster in crazy water for our first al fresco dinner together. It was the best!
Or maybe it was the company.

Maui was just what I needed after my freezing workation in Tucson. Mom and I did pretty much everything I had hoped we would, and it was very relaxing and yes...warm, if not cloudy from the vog. We ate, we drank, we played Rummikub, we saw some spectacular whale activity, we visited with mom's Maui friends and had several long, scenic walks.

Croton. Admire it, photograph it, or put it on your salad.
Just kidding. That would be crouton.

It was very restful except one or two nights when the waves got bigger and decided to explode like dynamite on the sea wall about 60' from my weary head. We had a wonderful tour of my friend's friend's budding coffee farm, and thanks to Facebook friends I was able to get connected with Kimberly Treolar for a personal studio/gallery visit to her new shop. It's wonderful to see hard working people creating businesses and giving back to the island - both are actively involved in the Rotary Club and helping the local scene.

The Whale Festival is always fun, and the floats were great this year too.
I think one could make a small fortune opening a tattoo parlor on Maui.
Lots of ink. Everywhere.

If the Chaka Divers did not win the Most Creative Use of Materials prize in the Whale Festival parade I'll be sorely disappointed.

I did some beading on the plane, and am happy to report that I followed Kate McKinnon's book to learn square stitch, herringbone, and Right Angle Weave (RAW), and and it was fun! I need a lot more practice on the RAW, however - it just didn't seem to come together like the others although I didn't spend as much time with it. I didn't have beads as small as she called for in her patterns, but scaled them up so that I could practice using what I had at home and at least grasp the concept, and more importantly, see them. I thought the seed beads I had in my stash were tiny, but wow, size 8s are the ginormous ones in that world so I'm about to get schooled. Kate's totally right about the beads becoming fabric as you stitch them, and it was very cool to see the pile of beads on my tray table become this supple, unified thing.

Specifically, I made a round, African thingie (a Ndebele tube, but don't ask me how to pronounce it), and it was quite exciting to see it take shape. I'm sure the flight attendants wondered about me wearing two pairs of reading glasses at once, but stronger lenses, beads, and better thread will arrive soon. My biggest challenge right now is sourcing the sizes of beads she uses in her book in color schemes I like, without copying her designs entirely. Those beads are tiNEY!

I also did a ton of Viking Knit on Maui (not on the plane - I've learned this can be treacherous to fellow passengers), and was able to wire a small mountain of pearls on the plane as well.

Molokai revealed herself only on my last day there. Until next time...

As if by magic, the most wonderful, incredible whale sightings came on my last morning there, when I saw two whales dive side by side, tails descending in perfect unison, followed by a baby breaching again and again and again and again, until exhausted. It's just magical, and Maui wouldn't be the same without the whales.


kate mckinnon said...

You got the flu, baby.

And just let me know what beads you want to find, I can totally help, or send you some. You won't copy, it isn't actually possible for someone as creative as yourself.

WIth the RAW, your needle path makes all of the difference, as does your tension. Don't be tempted to save time by passing through multiple walls or floors or such at once; if you do that, you are telling your squares that they are circles.

Pass through a wall (going through the previous thread if possible, to make a real fiber connection, pull the thread close, pass through the next wall, etc. Stuff will square up much better.

Patty said...

Thank you so much for offering to help, Kate. When I get my head on straight enough to suggest colors, I'll be in touch.

How did you know I totally went through a bunch of beads at once with the RAW? LOL. Yep, I'm sure you've seen it all. I'll try the right way next time. :-)

Andrew Thornton said...

What a magical sounding trip! Sorry you're not feeling well and I hope you are doing better!

Snowcatcher said...

I hope by now you are feeling better and the weather has heated up! To see whales in real life... heavenly!!!


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