Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Day of Darkness

I've had my darkroom enlarger for over a year. And for the entire summer last year (since the kids were gone) I had the darkroom set up in the kids' bathroom, but never mixed up the chemicals--never even plugged in the enlarger to see if the light would come on. So, even though I've been developing film at home for some time, I haven't printed a single negative.

Last night and for several hours this morning, I printed proof sheets for 14 rolls of film. I have more to print, but ran out of paper.

I took pictures of my hillbilly darkroom set-up with my digital camera, but screwed up loading them onto the computer and consequently lost them. Isn't THAT funny?

I LOVE it in the red-light tinged dark, and found that printing was waaaaay less trouble than I thought it would be. AND, it was also a lot less effort to mix up the chemicals and clean up than anticipated. So, I'll be at the store when it opens tomorrow to buy more paper and everyone on my Christmas list who doesn't get hand knit or hand woven stuff will get a B&W print of something I like.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How hot is it??

It is soooooo hot, I thought I'd get a ride in before it got to be 90 degrees. But, the cycling gods had other plans because the metal part of the valve on my front tube sheered off, which prevented me from pumping up that perfectly good tube and therefore required a tire change---well tube really.

The problem is, that although we have close to a dozen bikes in the garage and several sets of extra wheels, my bike is the only one to have size 650 wheels. So, although we have numerous spare tires for different riding conditions and a box of brand new tubes, there was only one tube of the size I needed. And, that one is the spare I carry on the bike.

Putting the spare on my bike meant, of course that I'd be riding without a spare tube, which is dumb and an affront to my belt and suspenders manner of operating.

I got my ride in, though. I stopped at LEE's my favorite bike shop and bought 4 tubes. The ride was great, even though the temp on my cycle computer showed 104 degrees before I finished the ride at 11 am. That temp is probably not too far off because it is always a LOT hotter on the pavement. In any case, the bank sign said it was 95.

When I got home, Kelly was no where to be found--out running errands. But he'd left his mark. There, stacked in the middle of the garage, were five tubes of a size to fit my bike.

Kelly had gone to the other branch of the bike shop I visited and got them for me.

THAT, my friends, is HOT.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Better Living through . . . chemicals??

My Saturday started with a romp through the attic to find the propane burner I'd promised to take to the Tulsa Handspinners picnic where it was to be used to support and heat a cauldron of wood bark, seeds or insect parts for use to dye wool. Then I loaded up the spinning wheel and took off to get a full tank of propane.

The picnic was held at Barbara & Dale's home and animal emporium. They have doves, ducks, chickens, geese, a koi pond, rabbits, goats and who knows WHAT ELSE. I know these little ducklings are one and two days old.

While the dye pots were heating up, Jeanine taught
us how to do silk fusion, which is a process kind of like making paper, only using silk fibers. I'm pleased with what I created. The idea is to cut the resulting fiber into bookmarks, but I think I'll use it to mat a photograph. It was super easy to do and the results were gorgeous.

Then, the dying began. I chose to dye some roving (to be later spun into yarn) and some already spun yarn. And, because one can NEVER have enough fiber, or I can't, I bought an alpaca and silk blend from Janice Robinson of JR Alpacas in Oklahoma City. Dyepots with osage orange (yellow), madder root (brown), cochineal (pinkish) were available.
I chose to dye my stuff in indigo (blue jean blue) and logwood (purple).

And, after the fusing of silk, dying of wool, and eating of barbecue, it was time to go home for more chemical fun.

On Friday night I mixed up fresh darkroom chemicals to work down my stash of 13 rolls of
undeveloped film. 10:30 pm all 13 rolls were developed, exhausting myself and a whole gallon of developer (that's a LOT).

And, what's a weekend anymore without bee fun. Kelly got into the hive and here is a frame full of honey. Our bee (mis)adventures are chronicled at

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know