Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chai, chocolate, chuddling, chillaxing, and... children?

Today Elliott woke me up by screech-singing while he was on the toilet. I began an inner struggle as I lay there, so desperate for the sound to stop, but I ultimately proved more desperate for him to think I was still sleeping. So I remained silent.

I was sleepily congratulating myself when this little cherub, my treasure, and one of the many joys of my life, stood in the doorway to my room. "Mo-om. I went poop!"

Anyway, this is what my day looked like yesterday:

I spent seven solid hours of my life working. I mean, I know that I'm a stay at home mom and I work every day and blah, blah, blah. But we're talking seven solid hours of "actual" working as I prepared pieces for my display at Tempe Yarn and Fiber and "watched" Farscape while Elliott was up, which consisted of telling him to be quieter and rewinding to keep catching the dialogue I missed. The only beef I have with Netflix (besides their totally STUPID new instant queue display on PS3, but my feelings are so strong on this that I just can't go there) is that there are no subtitles. Zip. Zilch. Nada. None. How parents of small children watch ANY TV with no subtitles is entirely beyond me.

I had purchased 1 ounce of fine silver wire yesterday morning. Starting at 11:00 (I decided to time myself for fun yesterday) I made my coils and proceeded to cut all of the rings. This is what $40 (ouch! I remember when it was $16 an ounce!) of silver looks like:

I had it all cut up into rings and it was so pretty. (Everything is lying on top of my peacock shawlette that I'm making from the Storm Cloud Shawlette pattern on Ravelry. I got to knit maybe two rows yesterday. No wonder I'm going bonkers.)

After all of the rings are cut from the coil, I have to sit with my pliers and individually close each and every single individual one of them. Individually. One at a time. Me. Closing with pliers. Now you know why my right eyebrow twitches.

And I have to say that this isn't just closing jumprings, either. It's got to be utterly precise or the resulting fused rings will either not close or be lumpy and I hate that. If even one person breathes, "Well, having it look like utter crap is how you know it's handmade," I might begin another rant, and I already avoided the one about the new Netflix instant queue (I hate that word, too... why not just say "q"?), so I'm pretty much a paragon of restraint this morning.

Here is what $40 of fine silver looks like all closed up:

Somewhere in that stage, Elliott blessedly went down for his nap and about 5 minutes later Thad got home. This was around 1:30. We had brief discussion about his day as I worked, and he wanted to watch me fusing the rings, so I showed him what I was doing. He stood there for a while and then asked, somewhat brilliantly I might add, "Why are you heating them all up?" What a cutie. Like there's some reason I painstakingly laid out 720,000 little rings on my firing brick and went around heating them all up. "They looked cold." "Because they've been convicted of witchcraft." But I didn't say anything clever or sarcastic (note to self: next time I get irritated at Thad for being sarcastic, I must search the deepest part of my soul and ponder the great mystery of just where he has gotten this tendency from and then be convinced it's Adam). I just explained that I have to heat each ring up until it melts so that the metal flows over the join and they become solid.

I showed him how each ring is actually not a solid ring to begin with (but you can hardly tell because I did the individual. closing. with. pliers. me. myself. each. ONE. step earlier) and needs to be melted and fused to become a solid ring. So he watched the metal melt for a while and seemed utterly fascinated, then asked for candy, and we were pretty much back to normal.

Finally, I was finished with fusing and hammering all of the rings. They're all hammered differently. I hammer some flat, but for these sets without beads, one ring is always hammered on the outside to give it a different texture so that if you're working in a round, you can mark the beginning of the round with the textured ring. Here they are, ready for tumbling:

Note the totally ingenious solution for searching out 50,000 rings in the tumbler. I string them on a length of craft wire first. This is what $40 of silver looks like ready to go into the tumbler. (Do you have the sense yet that I am utterly horrified that I just spent $40 for an ounce of silver?! At my awesome secret cheap supplier!? What do people who shop at bead stores do for their silver?!)

Into the tumbler they went. Then I had to begin preparing all of the packaging for the display at TYF. At about 4:30, I was printing a pile of cards and I recognized how horrible and starving I felt and I realized suddenly that it was 4:30 and I hadn't eaten any lunch yet. So while stuff was printing, I ran off and reheated some polenta and taco chicken stuff (it was SO good) and ate. I got all of the cards together and proceeded to go through the packaging nightmare, which I took no pictures of, because by this point in my day I was so tired and worn out, just mentally, that I couldn't even begin to remember or want to take photos of what I was doing.

I finished the absolute last piece of the packaging at 6:09 as Adam walked through the door. Seven solid hours of my day on this stuff. This isn't the first time I've had a marathon day of creating things for displays or my site or whatever, but this is the first time I ever timed myself. Add dishes, feeding people, and cleaning to all of that and it's no wonder I didn't feel like doing anything last night except curling up on the couch with some chai, knitting, and watching Pride and Prejudice.

Didn't get to. But I took the new stuff to TYF, came home, and Adam was making dinner. Have I ever mentioned that I love him? After the kids were in bed, I told him I wanted chai and chocolate. And then it became this big "ch" joke. Not really that funny, but it amused us last night. We both had really long days.

I suppose I had better go. It's Saturday. I should get off of the computer before one of the children comes up and starts making unreasonable demands for things like "breakfast" or "motherly affection". Can't they see I'm chillaxin? On the chomputer? Ha. Ha.


Yeah. I'm tired. Wish me luck today.

1 comment:

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