Your Snoring

(From Wacky Rhymes)

 

“Your snoring’s truly horrible,”

My dear spouse said to me,

“Sometimes it sounds like wailing

From an out-of-breath banshee.

 

A force so strong it drags the bed

Each time that you inhale,

And all the neighbor’s pooches

Start to whimper, howl, and wail.

 

“When you exhale, the windows bow.

The drapes begin to flutter.

And when you get to dreaming?

Well, you start to moan and mutter.

 

“This lack of rest has wearied me

And made me sleepy-eyed.

Sometimes I try to wake you up

And turn you on your side.

 

“One time, when we went camping

And were sleeping in our tent?

Two grizzly bears came answering

The call that you had sent.

 

“The rare few times you stop, my dear,

I must admit that I’ve

Placed mirrors underneath your nose

To check that you’re alive.”

 

I said, “You make too much of this.

I snore—that I’ll admit.

But you over exaggerate.

It don’t bother ME a bit!”

snoring

PVC Silk Stretcher System

When I initially took elementary silk painting classes at The Craft Alliance, I was taught using a makeshift stretcher system consisting of pine boards covered with duct tape and hooked together at the corners with C clamps. The silk scarf was then pinned to the boards using push pins. This system worked okay at first, because it was adjustable. But the push pins proved problematic, because the excess dye on the edges made the hem look sloppy. No matter what I did, I couldn’t keep the fabric off the board (especially when wet.)

I have seen a lot of different devices for stretching silk, including the ancient Japanese method using hariki and shinshi. I found I could buy stretcher systems (usually made of pine board) which seemed quite pricey. A couple of silk painters had devised a PVC based system, which held the silk taut and horizontally, more like a painting easel. None of them really struck my fancy, since I am a very wet silk painter.

My ingenious handyman husband devised an adjustable, independent PVC stretcher system, which was movable and sectioned. The elastic attachments had alligator clip ends, which were attached to the stretcher system and were adjustable. Since I usually painted oblong silk scarves 11”/15”x60”, I found this wonderful design worked well for me.

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One thing I discovered with the narrow alligator clips was, although they didn’t poke holes into the silk and they didn’t block dye from getting in between the silk, certain dyes tended to pool underneath, causing little blips of color. They were also prone to rusting and not easy to clean.

I discovered a fellow silk painter was using Chinese suspension hooks, available at Dharma Trading Company, our favorite silk supplier. I started clipping the suspension hooks (be careful—they are SHARP!) to the alligator clips and then piercing the silk hem with the suspension hooks. This worked marvelously. There was a small notch in the clip that held on to the hook, and it was still adjustable. When done, I simply removed the hooks and rinsed them with ease.

The PVC stretcher system is adjustable but a bit cumbersome to assemble and disassemble. Once I have it set to a certain size, I try to do a few projects in the same approximate size for a while before I take it apart and set it up for a different sized project. The nice thing about it being in 3 sections is that I only set up what sections I need for the length that I need. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to the next plein air, so I can set up my little horizontal, self-standing easel!

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Pictured: 3-Part stretcher system, assembled with a finished 11″x60″ crepe de Chine scarf.

Anyway, that’s my custom-designed, mobile, adjustable stretcher system. All of the parts are available at the local Home Depot, but if you’d like more information, please feel free to email me.

Thanks for visiting,

Lois

Chemo Caps

I love to crochet. Although my mother was a skilled crocheter, she died when I was young and I never had the opportunity to learn from her. Instead, I learned as an adult. My instructor? My own husband, whose mother taught him how to crochet (and sew) when he was a child.

Since then, I have both knitted and crocheted extensively. I have blankets, pillow shams, and countless sweaters I’ve made for myself and others. Since I also paint on silk, I wanted to find opportunities to donate my work to worthy causes.

After rejoining our public library, I found out about Chemo Caps, a group which meets here in the Spencer branch of the Saint Peters, MO library twice a week. I joined a fine group of devoted crocheters and knitters who make caps to donate to cancer patients who have undergone hair loss.

Some of the ladies who belong to the group (we’re all female, although male volunteers are also welcome) are skilled and fast crocheters and knitters. Others are just learning, and the head of our group, Laurie Ault, devotes her time teaching free of charge to anyone willing to learn. Not only does our group meet once a week to “hook and chat”, but we also meet outside of the group and have established some profound and long-time friendships among its members.

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Pictured: Laurie Ault chatting and working with a fellow member of the Chemo Caps group. Also pictured: My latest cap just finished and ready to donate.

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Our latest batch of caps made by various members of the group. (The green one is mine, made for a VERY LARGE head…)

If you are interested in joining our group and know how to or want to learn how to crochet or knit, we meet twice a week on the 2nd floor of the Saint Peters, MO Spencer library:

Tuesdays 12:30-4:00 P.M.

Thursdays 6:30-9:00 P.M.

For more information, you can join the Chemo Caps Facebook Page at or call the Spencer Road branch library for more information.

I love this group and the ladies it it!

Thanks for visiting,

Lois