Looking for Input

I’m doing a PowerPoint presentation on silk, which is something I’ve never done before – I usually just talk loud and wave my hands and pass around live insects. The live insects are demo rock-stars – everybody loves them. They rock the house.

I have some experience with PowerPoint, but not much. I have a lot of experience giving presentations, just not with the projector part.

This presentation is for a group of about 125 kids; they range in age from first grade to seventh grade.

I’m mostly looking for input on things like type size, does it look too dark, should I use a different transition, that kind of thing.

I haven’t yet talked my way through this completely, to see if it will really take up 30 minutes (I think they really want more like 25 minutes – they have to move the kids in and out).

I will get to spend 20 minutes with each class separately later in the day, and show them things that they can touch and feel, and they get to take home cocoons and silk.

The file is HERE. I know that it’s huge – don’t know if there’s an easy way to scrunch it down, without sacrificing image quality.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Help with Naming a Class, Also, Ideas!

I’ve been invited to teach at the Golden Gate Fiber Institute in Winter of 2009. The Institute is a joint venture of Judith McKenzie McCuin and Morgaine Wilder, and they’re setting up some seriously intense workshops. You can check their list of Summer 2008 classes for an idea of what caliber of instructors they’re getting; I’m honored and more than a little intimidated. Nancy Bush, Judith McKenzie McCuin, Sara Lamb… I haven’t seen the full list of instructors for the Winter session, but the names that Morgaine told me over the phone were similarly marvelous. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Takako Ueki, proprietor of Habu – she and I keep missing each other, and I really want to pick her brain about silk.

What they want from me, is a workshop that starts on Monday reeling silk, and ends on Saturday with brocaded ribbons. It’s a pretty tall order – but I feel confident that I can do it. It’s mostly all stuff that I’ve taught before (except for the dyeing) – it’s just that usually I’ve taught it in multiple classes instead of one long course.

I’d love to get input on my ideas for the class, as well as suggestions for a NAME – I really would like something at least somewhat clever, but it must be clearly descriptive as well. I’m kind of liking “From Cocoon to Brocade,” with the details to be filled out in the description – but just not quite sure.

Lots of class details

Jumping up and down – news from the show in Florida

My “To Keep Them Sweet” ribbon won a Complex Weavers prize at the Dallas Handweavers Guild show.

Thanks to the kind help and good connections of a guild member, I was able to get it into the Complex Weavers Show at Convergence in Florida.

One of the things I kind of agonized over, was whether to offer it for sale, and if so, how to price it. There’s silk reeling, and hundreds of tiny beads, and lots of hours of design work. So I decided to go ahead and put a price on it, but one that would make me happy to let go of it – $350. I decided some time ago that if I was going to sell weaving and be able to get my time back, it would have to be art gallery prices, not craft show prices. I figured nobody would bite, but ya never know.

My friend just took this photo of it in the display case and emailed it to me.

Can you see the little green sticker? It says SOLD.

This SO made my day.

Texas Folk Life 08 – just my booth

Another happy and fulfilling Texas Folk Life Festival!

Unfortunately, I just wasn’t in the right head space for photography – I got good shots of my booth the morning of setup, and I went out with the camera walking around – but just couldn’t see any shots.

Fortunately, user ZaftigWendy on Ravelry took LOTS of pictures, and she was at Glenna’s booth, which was right next to mine!

Just in case anybody’s curious, here are my reference shots of my booth:

There are several new/different things – the most noticeable are the table cloths! These two pieces of suedecloth-y stuff were on sale at the local JoAnn’s, and I got both of them together for about $25. No, not even related to silk – but they hold up well and they don’t wrinkle.

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Folk Life Festival, Silk Worm Demos, Gratuitous Hot Cowboy Ass

I’m leaving after work for the Texas FolkLife Festival. It’s a great weekend – lots of fun, neat people, culture, and plenty of Texas sun.

This is a shot from my booth from year before last. Here’s my full entry, if you’re curious.

This is video of me being interviewed by WAOI TV.

These guys were working on a snow machine. Damn, that one boy has a FINE behind.

I hope they’re at the Festival again this year – I’ve got a camera with a better zoom. 🙂

Die Messingbrettchen – the Brass Tablets

I ordered brass tablets from Messingbrettchen and they arrived a couple of days ago – I’ve had a chance to give them a little test drive, and see how they work. The tablets are stamped out of thin brass (Messing) and copper (Kupfer). They also make Neusilber, or “German Silver,” which is a nickel-copper alloy, also called “White Metal” – but I didn’t get any of that particular type; I’m wishing now that I had. I can tell there is likely to be a second order in my future. The holes and edges are smoothed, so that they don’t scrape or drag on the fiber at all, and they feel really good and solid in the hand, not at all sharp. more details behind the cut

Stitchin Fingers

I’ve joined a new networking site, called Stitchin Fingers. It’s a Ning Social Networking site – kind of like Ravelry (although not nearly as smooth), but for stitching-related textile arts. There’s mostly embroidery and quilting and stuff on there now, although there are groups set up for weaving and other formats.

I’m just called Michael on there – I started to change it, but it seemed like everybody was using some variant on their real names… and hey, I hardly ever get to use Michael, because there’s so many, and the name is always somebody else’s. But I was here first, this time!