belle gordon

(no subject)

I'm trying to write a brochure for a Women's Self-Defense Class. I got some input from the instructor, but he's a bit of a fear-monger, so I'd like some more positive, empowering reasons why you might want to take self-defense. Not necessarily traditional martial arts, but a sort of street strategies and awareness course with some physical response techniques thrown in.

I don't necessarily want to hear just from women, either; I think that men can benefit from this sort of training as well, so please, if you've an idea, pipe up.
good life

notes on the copper loom

My design:
1/2" series M copper pipe (I bought a 10' piece as it was the most efficient way to build the Mark I loom and have extra for more pieces as needed) -- $12.40
Six 1/2" 90 degree copper elbows -- $0.68 ea, $4.08
Two 1/2" copper tees -- $0.97 ea, $1.94 total
Two 1' pieces of threaded rod (mine is 1/2" x 13) - $1.52 each, $3.04
Four 1/2" x 13 nuts (mine are flanged as that was ALL that was left in the drawer) -- $1.21 ea, $4.84

I also bought a copper pipe cutter ($9.98), so I can make looms and parts for looms and maybe do some plumbing in the future.

Total costs for parts: $26.30 (I don't count the costs of tools into the cost of a project, generally.)

I cut the pipe into the following lengths in the Lowes parking lot, as a 10' length is too long for my truck bed:
Two 4" pieces (rear side pieces)
Two 12" pieces (front side pieces)
Five 8" pieces (three for the bridge and one for each end)

copperloom annotated

oakenking's loom is much longer and uses 3/4" pipe, but I just felt that 3/4" was a bit too big and way too heavy. I may be proved wrong later. I coudn't use his dimensions of a 20" length on the forward sides of the loom (where I used 12"), because my legs just aren't that long, and I know I'll be using this on my lap.

All told, it probably took 15 minutes to cut the pipe and 5 minutes to assemble once the nuts are threaded onto the rods, which are used as tensioning devices. With the nuts snug against one another, the circumference (ie warp length) from the top of the bridge, down to the front beam, under the loom and around the back beam and back up to the bridge is 47.5". If I make the bridge shorter (it's currently 8" tall) that warp length will be shorter. However, I wouldn't start with the nuts snug against one another, as takeup during weaving will make the warp shorter and you need some room to move.

Because the joints are not soldered, the loom is a bit wobbly when you pick it up unwarped. I haven't put a warp on it yet (I just built it yesterday and I was very busy today), so hopefully the tension of a warp will help it be less wobbly. If not... guess I need to learn how to solder copper pipe, because soldering the joints at the end of the side pieces (not the crosspieces) will prevent the wobble. Looking at online instructions, it looks pretty straightforward.

I can make the whole loom smaller as well, by cutting the threaded rod and then making the copper pieces smaller. I don't know how to cut heavy stock like that yet, either, but I'm sure the nice people at the home improvement store will be happy to tell me how and then sell me what I need.

I have vague ideas about selling these on Etsy, but obviously since the design is actually oakenking's, I'd have to see if he has any objections. And even more obviously, I'd have to see if there are any issues that I need to design out. I think that even with soldering the corner elbows onto the side pieces, it would still be compact enough to fit in a carrier bag (sold separately, of course!)

tool bag
All the copper loom parts fit into this zippered tool bag from Lowes with a ton of room to spare.
good life


yumsies, originally uploaded by Tashabear.

I make amazing chocolate buttercream. I was having awful chocolate cravings, and I must say, licking the bowl did the trick. The cake may survive the night.

good life

the things you find

So last week I cleared out a storage unit with my mom, and found a few of my things, including a bag of crochet cotton. I was unsurprised to find it; crochet cotton is wildly useful. (I've never actually crocheted with it. I don't know how, and have never really found it attractive anyway.)

I brought it home, and it sat in my truck until tonight, when I brought it in and took a better look through it. There's some iron-on twill tape, and some middy braid, and a hole punch and some scissors (MORE scissors)... and these:

They're tablet weaving cards I made... good lord, if they were in Mom's house it must be over 10 years ago, probably close to 15. Anyone want to guess what they're made out of?
good life


thwarted!, originally uploaded by Tashabear.

My cunning plan to keep my fabric and linens dust-free (well, free from dust coming through the window) has been thwarted by breezes, which also come through the window. I was thinking about sewing on some ties to keep the opening shut. I guess I'll be wanting to do that sooner rather than later.

good life

so... this is happening

Hrim Schola was very short for me today, but rather satisfying.

I taught spinning, and I think I need to rehearse it more, but one of my students was palegreyminion's mother, who is both lovely and keen to learn. I think she'll have a great time with it.

I was finally able to do something I've been wanting to do for years: take a class on tablet weaving. I wish there had been a bit more lecture, but they showed me how to warp an inkle loom for tablet weaving, and I spent a happy couple of hours tonight weaving. This is the result:

so... this is happening, originally uploaded by Tashabear.

I am thrilled beyond belief, and resigning myself to the idea that nothing else will ever get done again, ever.