Monday, August 27, 2012

I Guess it Had to Happen...

If you own a lathe, you have to make a pen. I think that's written down somewhere. But, after making a bunch of spinning tools, I finally made pens. And a stylus with a pen inside.

Acrylic stylus/pen at top, then Canarywood, and Bois de Rose.
I also made some new needle holders, and additional stylus-pens - they're all up on my Etsy site, RiverPoet Fiber and Yarn.

Quilted Maple needle holder
Figured Pyinma stylus with telescoping pen

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Run for Your Lives

We went, we ran, we died.  :-)

The 'Run for Your Lives' 5K was billed as an obstacle course where you are also chased by zombies. Sounded fun! There was a steep entry fee, but seeing everything they had to bring in and set up, I can understand it better in hindsight. There was also a $10 parking fee, but... Subarus got to park for free. Heh.

The future undead.
Waves went off every half-hour, to spread the people out on the course. It was partly open fields (DUST), partly wooded trails that seemed to have recently been made or widened with a DR brush mower (DUST and root snags). Oh, and the obstacles and zombies. Some zombies just shuffled around, but others actively tried to grab one of the three flags on your flag-football-style belt. No flags at the end = dead and zombiefied after you cross the finish line.
Mah flags - now you see them, soon you won't.
The obstacles included sandwich-board-style walls to climb over, then wood beams to go under; a shack-type thing with a maze inside that also had zombies in it; a slimy mud pit; another shack-type thing you climbed into where it was dark inside... the piped-in "fog" didn't help... and electrified wires hanging from the ceiling. (I made it through that one OK, but Paul got zapped several times.) Near the end there was a large structure to climb with a water slide down the other side, little wooden things you had to crawl through on your knees in the mud, and then last you had to slide under, flat on your stomach, some horizontal chain link fence that they said was electrified, but I hit it twice with my head and nothing happened.

Live people are eligible for time-based awards, and dead aren't, but we all got the same medal. Theoretically there were "health packs" on the course with additional flags, but neither of us saw any sign of one. Not that I was in competition for an award anyway! So no matter. Stand in a long line for a cold shower with about 40 of your best friends, with water pumped direct from a tanker truck, and try to discreetly rinse out the mud that got INSIDE your shorts. Muddy shoes got dumped in a large pile - they'd be cleaned up and re-purposed through Project Sole.
See mine? They're right there... near the top...
All in all it was a lot of fun. I did pop my bad hamstring again... we'll see how long that takes to heal. Right now I have to lift my left leg to go up stairs and can't sit for very long - it's that spot right at the top where the hamstring attaches to your butt. Painful to sit at all. And my bad right shoulder is sore, probably from grabbing the tree to break my fall, when I dodged a zombie, caught a root with my toe, and torqued the hamstring.

But the zombies were all made up professionally by the race production company, and most of them looked pretty darn convincing. They did put a LOT of work into making the race happen. Advice to anyone who wants to do it, if they have it here again: take an early wave start.  :-)

Oh, and remember the rules:

1. Cardio
2. Doubletap
3. Beware of bathrooms

Since I probably will take a week or so off to let the hammie heal up...

Wed., 8/1: 5.5 mi
Friday: 5.5 mi
Sunday: 5.35 mi

Tues. 8/7: 5.5mi
Wednesday: 5 mi
Friday: 5.5 mi run, 1 mi dog-walk
Sunday: 7 mi

Tues., 8/14: 5.5 mi
Wednesday: 5.25 mi
Friday: 5.5 mi
Saturday: 5K zombie run, plus walking... total 5 mi

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School

I'm way overdue for a report, so... here it is!

The last week of July I was up in Michigan for spinner's camp... or more formally, the Olds College Master Spinner Program Level 1. Last fall, I heard that The Spinning Loft in Howell, MI was going to start hosting the classes. As that's about 30 minutes from Ann Arbor, I could stay with my family and drive up for class, getting a nice visit and some education all at the same time. I was able to get registered for it (there was quite the demand!), and made plans to head up.

Because of the extensive supply list, I was glad I was able to drive. Even though I have my cute new travel wheel, the rest of the gear would have needed to be shipped ahead if I had flown. For the record - it is 546 miles one-way from my house to Mom and Dad's.

Nope - still didn't step on it.
I went up early so we could pay homage to the Art Fair (three fairs in one,  and MUCH bigger than it used to be), and hang out with family. Then on Monday the 23rd, I drove up for my first day of class. We had instruction from 9am to 4pm all week, plus homework most nights, and rarely were we done by 4pm. Great classmates, wonderful instructor (Coleen Nimetz), lots to do and practice, and surrounded by raw fleece and fiber toys. What a great way to spend a 'vacation'!

Fleece drying outside the shop.

A bit chaotic, but that's half the fun! And that's Tess up front.

We sorted fleece, we spun different ways, we dyed many the things... and this was all to get us ready for our homework/self-study. I've got a big list of things to complete before I can sent my notebooks in for grading. (And I'm sure I'll be posting about it more as I complete assignments.) It will be a fun and busy autumn, and I'm already looking forward to continuing on to Level 2 some time next year - I'll be signing up as soon as it's posted.

The class of 2018 with Coleen!