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4 Apr

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Record dividers, on repeat. The last few weeks have gone a little like this: Pick up wood at the lumberyard. Drop off wood at the shop. Pick up laser cut sets at the shop. Sand and package finished sets. Haul boxes to the post office. Repeat.

Inventory is moving (yaaaay), spread sheets are filling up, wholesale orders are coming in and moving out, and in-between the constant running around, there have been a few hurrahs like this one. Its good to be busy, but I’ve got highs and lows of worries and excitement, alternating every few days (or hours). I go to sleep trying not to think about the shop, but wake up with dreams of sanding panels, packaging sets and processing orders. Its a lot of physical work, and my brain feels full of lists with tasks to complete. I’m living with post-its directing my day-to-day schedule, reminding me to check in with retailers, ship samples out, buy ink, finish client projects, pick work up at the printer and on and on. Good busy, but busy busy.

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We finally had our first social club meeting of the year, with gals and one gent getting together last weekend for an afternoon of projects and catching up. We all had a different project to work on, a little reupholstery, watercolor experiments, knitting, embroidery thread necklaces and basket-making, and for me, a sewing project I’ve been neglecting for months. The goal for this meet up was to get shit done, and get it done away from the screen. Mission accomplished. Even if its only for a few hours, every few months, it still feels restorative to gather up some gals and work on projects purely for pleasure.

Social Club #2

10 Oct

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The second meeting of the sort of social club met in early October armed with lots of snacks and a 90′s R&B playlist to keep us going. This month we decided to try coiled basket weaving with cotton rope, which turned out to be slightly more difficult than anticipated. The snacks were impressive though, homemade sourdough, pumpkin bars, watermelon salad and all sorts of other things to nibble on. The group followed several different tutorials and/or blindly tried to figure it out on our own.  Half the group went with a glue method to get their basket base started, while half of us spent most of the afternoon painstakingly sewing our coiled bases by hand. Basket making is slow going, and although enjoyable, we had long stretches of silence, while everyone quietly frowned at their baskets while working intensely.

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After nearly five hours of basket-weaving, only one small basket was finished, but the rest of us finished our bases and had started coiling upward. There seems to be a big learning curve with making uniform stitches and coils, probably not helped along by several bottles of prosecco over several hours, but whatever. Five hours of basket making helped us flush out brains our after a long week of work.

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Lessons learned: We learned that sourcing cotton rope locally was a challenge, however I do think we’d look at upholstery shops for more rope options next time. Also, searching Amazon for cotton rope brings up some unwanted, not helpful items. Also, 100 feet of rope is really long!

(Sort of) Social Club

12 Aug

Social-Club

At the beginning of the month we held the first ever meeting of  The Sort of Social Club for serious ladies (and men).  This loose “club” came out of weeks of ruminating over ways to infuse more crafting/reading/social fun into the summer. You know, the busy summer. The cult of “busy” has us all tied up all over the place, and although I find myself in the busy trap all the time, I need to make time for some slow craft, with friends! The club so far consists of: snacks, cocktails, craft-making, friends and internet free afternoon-ing. After sending out a drawn out email with details about this new social club (complete with its own logo, obviously) I got a gang of gals together for the very first free Saturday most could agree on.

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For our first project, we painted textiles, inspired by Oh Happy Day’s painted tablecloth project. Everyone had a bit of homework before project day, to pick out a project, (tablecloth, napkins, placemats or pillow cases) buy fabric, and buy paint. The gals came armed with snacks and supplies, and we set up shop out on the sidewalk in the sun, after a short, but serious lesson on measuring and squaring fabric. I was a bit bossy about that one– that part is tedious, but necessary, and will save headaches and frustration later down the road.

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Once our fabric was square and the edges were finished on the overlock machine, we poured some plum-basil cocktails and spent a few hours outside painting our fabric. Two of us created tablecloths, while the other two made placemats. The finished projects are below: a black tablecloth with gold dots by Taysa, white placemats flecked with gold and black spots by Becky, striped canvas placemats by Laura and finally, my green striped tablecloth.

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Lessons learned: All the ladies reported back pleased with their projects. The prep and painting took most of the afternoon, and nearly everyone needed more time to finish sewing the edges. Also, our motivation to keep working dipped considerably when the cocktails kicked in, but we pushed each other along to keep going.  The project was easy to begin with, but made slightly more difficult by being outside and painting in the wind. We haven’t settled on our next project yet, but I’m eager to keep the projects coming!

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