Monday, March 24, 2008

Personality Plus!

I came across a link to this test at Jennifer's blog. Some of the questions were difficult to answer, and as I went through them, I felt that my answers were showing me to be very timid and structured - so I was surprised by the results:

You Are An ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children. Simply put, you enjoy beauty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life. Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

In love, you are quiet and sweet yet very passionate. You love easily.
You have an underlying love for all living things, and it's easy for you to accept someone into your heart.

At work, you do best in an unconventional position. You express yourself well and can work with almost anyone. You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

How you see yourself: Sympathetic, kind, and communicative

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Incompetent, insecure, and overly sensitive

I think most of this is true! (pediatrician?) I definately need an unconventional job - although I guess I have one already, in a way. I dreamed early this morning that I was in a room with a group of people I didn't know and we were taking turns introducing ourselves. But when it was my turn, there were people talking and coming in & out of the room. I was frustrated and embarrassed by their lack of respect. I began several times and then stopped and got mad but didn't say anything.

Then, for some reason I started talking and kept talking in spite of the lack of attention. I started talking about my job with Bluemont and how I get to talk with artists and school staff and parents and help them arrange wonderful assembly programs for schools and what a great job it was.

I woke up and felt quite puzzled by the whole thing... I do think my job is pretty cool, but I have worked for Bluemont for 23 years and I've had a very hard time focusing on my job for the last several years. I think I really need to do something else, something more creative, and yet as a couple and a family I need to help keep Bluemont afloat for the next few years, until we get our girls through college.

So, yeah - it's a cool job, an unusual job, but I tend to be deeply ambivalent about my realtionship with my job. There are so many other things I would like to be doing with my time. Singing, weaving, knitting, spinning, dyeing, teaching, selling yarn, making things...

I am just back from a week at the Campbell Folk School, teaching a Knit to Felt class - more on this soon!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Update - Spinning Adventures

In January, I had the opportunity to go the the John C. Campbell Folk School as a student for a class my friends Norman Kennedy & Martha Owen were co-teaching, called Cultural Enrichment in the Spinning Field. This was an advanced week class, and there were 14 lively students.

It was an opportunity for us as spinners to review basic skills and request demonstration and tuition of any particular skills we were interested in. I learned to spin a thick single, (here resulting in a thick 2 ply!)improved my grasp (literally!) of hand spindling and learned to spin on the long Navajo spindle.

We did some natural dyeing, watched Norman's spinning slides, participated in a wool waulking,

and visited the local yarn store, the Yarn Circle.

Here is Norman showing a sweater and scarf that he knit from yarn which he spun and dyed with vegetal dyes:

And here is our display for the student display at the end of the week:

I stayed over and went to a Robert Burns Supper in nearby Murphy, NC on the Friday night and then we had an informal tea at the Yarn Circle on Saturday for some of the local fiber folks to meet Norman.

It was a great week and went by far too quickly, as special time always seems to fly.

This past weekend, I spent a day in class with Patsy Zawistoski. The class was Understanding High Tech Fibers, and we got to spin with a variety of manmade fibers, including Tencel, rayon, bamboo blend, nylon, Ingeo, Angelina and Optim. Patsy was delightful and so full of great information. I learned a vital thumb roll, and really enjoyed trying out all these new fibers. I am generally such a traditional purist, but it's great to stretch into new territory from time to time. I particularly liked handling the Tencel and the Karaoke bamboo blend, but the Optim ultra fine wool was like spinnin' buttah!

One more fiber note - I got an order from Fleece Artist in this week, and it included their newest spinning fiber - Sea Wool roving! This fiber takes dye beautifully, and the roving is put up in a pair of roving strands that are a little thinker than standard pencil roving. I took 50 grams and divided the strands - I've spun one strand and when the other is spun I will ply them and see how the colors line up - it will clearly show how consistent my spinning is - or isn't!

This fiber will be for sale on my eBay store this week - I have two colors, Marsalaand Pansy, and I also have some undyed.
I will have more at our Peace Weavers booth at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. If anyone wants any particular Fleece Artist or Hand Maiden yarns or colors, speak now - I'm sending in my MS&W order this week!

Our Miss Wiley

In our family, we have had Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs for many years. We have had five corgis over the years. Our first corgi was a red & white we named Scallowag, who was a wonderful dog but could not be cured of wandering and so eventually we had to find him a new home located farther from a 4 lane road. We had our fluffy tricolor Tessie for many years, and she & Scally produced a litter of puppies with a little help from the vet. Years later she developed cancer and we had to have her put down - which was very sad, but we were assuaged somewhat by the puppy spirits of young Rupert who had come to our home by way of the local animal shelter.

Someone pushed Rupert under the fence at the shelter when it was closed and drove away. He popped back out again and wandered down the road to the nearest neighbor, who kept him out of harms way until the shelter was open again. They called us to see if this might be one of our pups - they said they had a full grown female red & white corgi. I went to see this dog and found a half grown male! I asked if anyone had looked under this dog yet - being so low to the ground, he wouldn't bother to lift his leg to pee until he got a little older.

I knew when I saw him that he belonged in our family, but we had to wait over a week until the official two weeks had passed, and then he came to live with us. That was about 10 years ago. Rupert is my Buddha Dog.

We had a young female tricolor we called Zora for about a year, but she developed a bad habit of running after cars. We kept her close to the house for 6 months or more after this started, but one day she was accidentally left outside during a thunderstorm and bolted towards the highway, a half mile away. She had been lucky before, but not this time.

About 5 years ago we saw an ad in the local Valley Trader for a free corgi and called the number listed. This family had a female red & white and they were looking for a home with no female dogs, because she fought with the females at their farm. We brought her home and she fought with Rupert over food, but with some patient training she learned to stick to her own food bowl and not to lunge on every treat that was offered.

She was the most expensive free dog we ever had, with two complicated surgeries and a few other doozie vet bills, but she was a sweet dog and settled into our home well. She and Rupert have been buddies at home and at our office for 5 or 6 years. They have been to the beach with our family and enjoyed occasional hikes. In October they accompanied Peter & I all the way to the top of Old Rag Mountain - a long, steep hike for two short-legged dogs!

Wiley has been slowing down over the last month or two, but she started to really drag about a month ago. The vet ran some blood tests but everything looked normal. He suggested pancreatitis or a tumor based on a small abdominal swelling. He suggested feeding her twice a day on a mild special food and adding some supplements to her diet. This seemed to help her a little, but her appetite was indifferent for the last week and then Friday she stopped eating and drinking altogether.

Saturday she couldn't walk, and that was heartbreaking. Peter & I stayed close to her all day Saturday & Sunday. She was calm and mostly quiet, getting up out of her bed occasionally to totter around. Rupert watched her closely, and barked if she got stuck under furniture, alerting us to come and help. Eventually we put her in the dog carrier so she could burrow into the corners safely, and on Sunday evening she passed away.

We will miss her. She was a good dog and a sweet presence in our lives.