Friday, June 19, 2009

The good, the bad, the frustrating

Why is it some art days go great, while others go badly? I guess when it starts out good, it ends good. However, there was very little good about yesterday. Sharing it with my loyal followers will help me remember what NOT to do and hopefully help some who will learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.

The day started wrong, when it took nearly 30 minutes to get my chiminea going. The rain had turned everything damp (or wet), as can be seen by the cinder blocks the chiminea sits on. The wood was wet, and the "fire starters" I use were damp. Since I use half and half in my coffee, I try to buy the kind that comes in a paper carton. It has a waxy surface, which is a perfect fire starter. Now you would think they would be protected from the elements, since I keep them in the cinder block slots, but that didn't seem to help on this day. What you see here is a carton that is blazing. The wood was still drying.
As a result, I created a great deal of smoke, which polluted the air. Not good!

After I finally got the fire blazing,

I threw some canning jar lids in the fire. I wanted to burn off the rubber and turn them a nice color in the process. I confess, I just walked away, since by now, the fire was nearly out and the wood, although some was white coals, was still mostly untouched. I would never suggest doing this, but with everything so wet, I felt pretty confident nothing would happen. Also probably not good.

After a quick shower (sorry, no photos), I was off with Donna, who wanted company since she had so many errands to run. This was the good part of the day!!

While Donna was in her bank,

I shot a few pictures of the orange cones that are everywhere in my neighborhood. Instead of the Yellow Brick Road, we have the Orange Cone Road!!

Next we went to Barney's where Donna picked up some health items. Everyone always wants to see a photo of me, so here I am. Yep, that's my reflection in the glass taking a photo of me in the glass. Not so good, but not bad, either.

While Donna was doing her thing, I got a new key for my front door. I lost my only key recently, so it was a good thing I had given Donna my spare key. The gal is making it here,

and buffing off the burrs on this side of the machine.

I didn't take any more photos, although we went several other places, including JoAnns, where I bought (yep, bought) material for my Anniversary swap. I carefully figured out the exact amount I needed and bought just that. I had no idea that material was so expensive. No wonder people go to thrift stores for material for their art projects!! Not sure if JoAnns was good or bad, but I did buy a few things I needed for future projects, too.

When I got home, the lids were cooked and cool. I dug them out of the chiminea, washed, polished with Brasso (which made them greasy), washed again, then sprayed them with sealer. They are now ready to use. I had NO idea there were so many brands of canning lids. I counted four in this batch alone. Other than the mess I had cleaning up the Brasso, this part of my art day was good.

Then came the frustrating part. I can't believe I'm so naive when it comes to material. Here's what happened. I don't have any good cutting tools and all my scissors just chew material. I've made it a habit to tear anything I am making, so I tore the lovely seersucker I bought. As you can see, I started with six inches at one end, but as it tore, it got smaller and smaller, ending up with four inches at the other end. I was SICK, frustrated at myself, and disappointed. Four inches was not enough and I had not gotten any extra material. I'm not sure why it happened, since I don't know much about material, but I would have thought it would tear straight.

To ease my frustration, I started sewing the ones I could, and noticed that the thread didn't look right. I got out my owner's manual and diagnosed the problem. I thought it was the bobbin, so I took the whole thing apart,

even the plate I have my hand on, and the bobbin holder. I figured I would clean it and look for a lost needle that might have dropped down the hole in the process. I got a lot of lint out, but didn't find the needle. At least I did something right and I now have a clean bobbin area in my machine. I even realized why the machine wasn't sewing correctly. I hadn't put the bobbin thread through the little catch thingy (technical term for I didn't thread the bobbin correctly).

What I learned today:
Don't tear material along the width unless you want it uneven.
Don't go off and leave a fire burning (do as I say, not as I do).
Don't start a fire with wet wood.
Your machine needs to be cleaned and oiled often, even if you don't sew every day.
Neighbors and friends can provide comic relief.

3 thoughtful remarks:

Mar said...

so sorry you had the frustrating parts of the day
i hate that too
but like i was telling one of my helpers yesterday
art...helps develop patience, and teaches a person to 'go with the flow and adjust accordingly'
and you did a fine job of that too
except for the leaving the fire going part
that could have turned ugly...tsk tsk!

Findings Art by Donna said...

So glad your house didn't burn down... :) I can never get fabric to rip straight either. Still curious about all those burnt lids however.

dbcarey2000 said...

E-it's a good thing you have a great sense of humor...and are willing to share it with all of us!... You always come up with innovative solutions so I'll bet the challenge will end up causing you to create something wonderful!