The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday, Escapade Day One...

The mosquitoes have followed us from Elkhart, the suckers. I have been dousing myself with the deet poison crap and it's gettin' real old.

The first day of the classes and exhibits is always fun. I'm enrolled in a pine needle basket class, and I am quite excited about it. I have wanted to learn this craft forever. Well, the class was full and was being taught by a full timer Linda Payne...I have been reading the Payne's web page for years so I was thrilled to hear that she would be teaching this mini-basketry class. I arrive in plenty of time and visit with the other classmates. We are given our materials. Can you believe the basket bottom is made from a slice of black walnut....the real nut, so it has all these openings in which to attach the pine needles with the sinew(tougher than raffia that I had read earlier to use.) I think I am doing just fine, putting the edges of the pine needles along the edge of the walnut slice, weaving my stitches correctly and tightening the sinew. Along comes a helper and gives me some pointers. Another helper comes around and tells me that the other advice is not quite right and shows me something different. So, being the creative genius that I am NOT, I ask Linda to give me a hand. She takes one look at my walnut round, my stitches and the pathetic look of the very first round of the basket coil....she quickly grabs a new set of supplies and quickly whips one up for me to begin again without getting too far behind. By now it is 10 am, the class started at 8:30 and the entire class has learned how to change sinew when it runs out, do the second and third coils and begin to add more elaborate stitches and the basket is obviously "talking" to them...telling the creators just what the "spirit" of the basket wants the weaver to shape. Well, not being the spiritual type at this time of the morning, the basket spirit was not speaking coherently to me, but I sure was muttering to it. I was the only one in class who just didn't have the "spirit" to weave a basket...can ya believe that? Of course, I have been told never to try to do paper quilting by a very experienced quilter, and our guild's president, who just happens to be blind and teaches children to crochet has given up on me. How the hell did I ever learn how to knit or paint? Hmmm, I guess I must have my limitations. OK, so now Linda has become my basket weaving savior...I finally got the hang of it, but by now class was over for the morning. The others in the class had great looking baskets talking to them. I had a walnut slice with one measly coil. Crap. I will post pix tomorrow, I promise...I sneaked out the original so you can see how bad it really is...and the new one I am working on.

I went back to the rig for a break. Zack sent me some pictures that I will also post tomorrow...these are really scary...its when he had his hair spiked so he could go to a party as a pineapple. Is this the same Zack who is studying to teach the future of America? Yah, one and the same. Its scary.

After meeting me at the rig for a quick sandwich, I headed back to part two of my class. I actually was able to do one whole round or coil in an hour!!!
I left a bit early as my energy was all know what happens when I tax my brain too much and have brain drain aka brain fog. I went back to the rig and Paulie had skipped his afternoon seminar in order to deal with our rig insurance dilemma...expires on the 16th but we don't have an Illinois addy and the policy is for Illinois...we need Texas, but won't get down there to change stuff until the end of the month.

Well, I have been writing this for a while and my fingers are cramping...they were doing the same thing when I was trying to learn the basket stitching. I'm gonna sign off for now. I need to download some pictures from the digital and when I get ready to do that I'll pull out the walnut rounds and take pix of them too.