I had been eyeing these guys already. Their picture was posted on the bulletin board at the post office. They were in a ball together. I never called her. I was resisting. But I knew. Yeah I knew.
And then I hooked Julie up with my friend Pam. Pam was looking to adopt two male kittens. She was hoping for part Maine Coon. I showed her some kittens Julie had that were coming up for adoption. We ended up visiting the kittens. Tomorrow these two adorable boy kittens are going home with her. And yes I think these little guys are part Maine Coon.
I headed off for FedEx yesterday finally (it’s an hour from here) to send the loom to the
Isla Mujeres Women’s Beading Collective. I was told that I needed to send it via FedEx because if I sent it through the Post Office it would not be received. I was so excited to be able to see this loom off to its wonderful and final destination until they handed me the bill. Close to $200 to send a loom that is worth not much more than that. I just couldn’t do it. Something inside me screamed: NOOOOOOOO!
|Detail of below necklace|
|Circular herringbone weave and a triangle peyote and herringbone clasp: $169|
|Circular herringbone: $69|
|Circular Herringbone: $69|
|Circular herringbone with triangle herringbone and peyote triangle clasp: $165|
|Detail of above|
|Mis-matched triangle herringbone and peyote earrings: $45|
|Herringbone and peyote earrings: $45|
|Herringbone and peyote earrings: $45|
Instructors: Claudia Chase: President of Mirrix Looms
Windwalker Taibi: Tapestry weaver, spinner, co-owner of Raven Rocks Studio and Gallery
Elena Zuyok: Marketing Director of Mirrix Looms
Location: Whidbey Island, WA (near Seattle) at Raven Rocks Gallery (http://www.ravenrocksgallery.com/Home.html)
Class Description: This two day workshop will take students through the entire process of weaving a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet. From warping the loom to finishing techniques, students will walk away with the skills needed to use a Mirrix Loom. On the second day, as students begin to finish their bracelets (note: these can be turned into wall hangings and not bracelets if you’d prefer) they will be able to try their hand at weaving with handspun yarn and learn some more tapestry techniques on a larger scale as well as see the process of making handspun demonstrated. Each day will begin at 10 am. There will be a break for lunch (there is a beautiful cafe right nearby, or students can bring their own lunch and spend some time enjoying the beautiful Whidbey Island scenary. At the end of the day there will be a break for wine and cheese.
After April 15th there will be no refunds.
It’s been a busy few days and my almost-finished headband has been patiently waiting to be finished. I’m home sick today which gave me a chance to cuddle up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a fuzzy cat and do a bit of beading. I didn’t get very far because, well, I’m sick and not exactly motivated… but it’s looking good so far!
There was a six year period when I was heavily involved in politics (as a three term State Rep. . . . I retired fall of 2010). My time was split up in so many pieces, among Mirrix, the State house, my family. I didn’t feel like I did anything really well anymore.
The double-edged joy of being able to devote all my time to Mirrix (and artwork) and my family as well as being able to work with my daughter, Elena, our Marketing Director, has given me back that joy times a google, (as we say in our family long before anyone else knew this word because my Dad was a scientist and he brought this word, which is a number, home to us when I was a tiny child. . . . and google-plex, which is a google times a google) . Wow, that was a digression.
What I intended to write about is Made In America. And so I shall continue standing on that soap box for a bit because it is a passion of mine. First a cute little symbol to get me inspired:
It is inspiring isn’t it! Our flag. It tells so many stories. My hope is that someday, once again, it will tell the stories of American manufacturing. The question we have to ask ourselves is: why are so many American products made overseas? Could it be greed? The profits of shareholders and CEO’s? Yeah, I think so. But when you distill the problem you come up with the disturbing truth: if we send our products over to China to be made by workers who make $1.50 an hour (which has risen from $.50 a hour) what do we really gain? As a country, we gain nothing. It’s only a loss. A huge loss. Those products aren’t so cheap when you factor in the loss of American jobs, the crippling of our economy, the huge disparity between the very rich and all the rest of us and the loss of hope and joy among those who cannot work a decent job in the good old U.S.A.
If I were asked to find one solution to all our current problems it would be: bring those jobs home. Close your plants in China and bring them back to our great country. Sure, we get paid more than $1.50 an hour and those CEOs and shareholders will have to suffer with a little less. But wouldn’t the renewed strength of our great country make up for all of that? Let’s innovate renewable energy here (not in China). Let’s assemble our American cars here. Let’s continue to make our looms here (which, by the way, is still frequently the case . . . not just with Mirrix!)
Imagine a world where those of us who wanted jobs could have them? Imagine a world where we didn’t have to replace our appliances every few years because they were made well in America. Sure, they might cost a little more. But since quality control is so much easier when the manufacturing facility is underneath your nose and since Americans are known for their high production standards and because a person who is getting paid a decent wage and can take care of his or her family or his- or herself is a person motivated to perform well . . . well, then the costs of Made in America are trivial.
Recently, Mirrix has been listed on a bunch of Made in America websites. Two sites that sell only products manufactured in America now sell the Mirrix Loom. We are so proud of this and proud to be part of a handful of companies devoted to keeping the jobs here.
A final note. This is not to say that we should not buy products made in other companies. But buy products made in other countries because those products are the best ones. For example, of course I buy all my silk from China. And of course I buy most of my beads from Japan because they are fabulous. I do not buy my beads from Japan because they are cheap (they are not). And clearly no one in America is able to compete with that quality (because they never have). I am not opposed to buying from other countries when clearly the product is either superior or different from anything made here. But I am opposed to American manufacturers sending their jobs abroad. I want to see an Apple computer plant in Detroit!
Now off to look at some American-made kittens that Mirrix might have to adopt.
Off my soap box.
Don’t forget to see these American made looms!: www.mirrixlooms.com
Not quite done with my woven headband… but I had a fantastic idea for a new project and my loom is already warped and ready.
We’ve all heard about split loom necklaces… but what about a split loom bracelet?
I will begin weaving (beads, putting my yarn away for now) straight across and then split my piece into four different sections. More to come! Check back.
|Sewing… the light was bad.|
|This afternoon, with the Seattle rain in the background.|
|A little color does a lot to brighten up what might be the coldest April on record here in Seattle.|