Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Blog About Litter Boxes?!

Is there anyone among us who does not think that they have discovered a better/best way to do something? If hefty credentials in the chosen field give weight to an "opinion", I would like to begin by stating that I have five cats. I think that equates to a PHD in litterboxocolgy.
Store bought litter has two inescapable problems: the cost and the tracking throughout the house. Old newspaper eliminates both issues (not an intentional pun). Use one section unfolded so that one page at a time shows on the bottom of the litter box. Place a second folded section on the bottom. Keep some folded sections nearby and add them on top if you want later. To change all you need to do is roll the long bottom section starting from the exposed and still clean top of the page. It takes seconds and costs nothing.
So if this blog is not up to the usual meaty, intelligent discourse you expect form me be glad I did not include pictures.
Blog On!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Teach, Be Taught and Reminded

Remember, this teaching concept is pretty new to me. Unlike the one on one situation in my studio, the shawl pin workshops are taught in yarns shops, community buildings or, as this one was, a private school. I start by saying that although it is billed as a shawl pin workshop you can make anything you want. I do a simple demonstration detailing simple forging, bending and finishing techniques then I switch into hovercraft mode to be on hand for any questions. Susan Levine, my high school boyfriend, Ben's sister taught me this way when I was about 19. Today I have a studio full of tools, but in watching a new student working through the concept of making metal do their bidding using just a few simple tools, I remember all the feelings of wonder I had. I miss the simplicity of that process.
I knew Anne from our days at Curves. We had spoken occasionally and always with a shared style of directness and honesty. I didn't know she worked at the school where the class was being held. I did know she wove beautiful baskets because we had both shown our work at the annual Annisquam Art and Craft Show. At first she asked a few questions and I remember doing another quick design. I don't think she had a goal to make anything specific. She picked up some pliers and some wire and started making a spiral. I love that shape as it stands for growth and change, two things I am wanting for myself. She completed one and then decided to try a different metal in a different gauge. Somewhere along the process the elements were linked together and leather chord added. The end result was this beautiful necklace.
With independent study I "show and tell" and they go home and work on their own. I miss being witness to the "Ah Ha" moments like I saw with Anne. It is seeing that moment happen for someone else that is hard to describe. It reminded me of my own "Ah Ha" moments and also gave me that hard to define feeling that came from knowing I had helped someone else to experience it. What a gift!
Blog On,Leslie

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Secret is Out

Or the jig is up.

The last two days here have revealed Mother Nature's secret. She will deliver spring this year. The air is milder, the wind a mere breeze, the birdies are tweeting. (Leslie can identify individual bird calls. Me - I can tell a mourning dove coo from a woodpecker tapping, but that's about it.)

The days are longer, the light in the sky less gray and more mellow, the cove a bright turquoise and not gunmetal gray. The cats have new nap spots for daytime; instead of downstairs close to the propane stove, they're taking over my bed upstairs under the skylight where the sun now streams in. I'm finishing up wool projects and thinking longingly of crocheting with cotton or silk.

Yeah, I know we're supposed to have a storm tomorrow. That's just a conspiracy by the supermarkets and the TV weather reporters to sell bread and boost ratings.
- Maureen

PS. It's now Friday. The rain is coming down in sheets, our street is flooded a quarter of a mile away, and the wind is howling. I still maintain it's a SPRING storm as there is no snow. Hope springs eternal, as they say.