Tuesday, May 22, 2018

... good weekend.

Had a wonderful weekend ... but damn am I hella tired ... went to an SCA camping event ... the first camping event of the year ... I love sleeping with the love of my life in my arms, under canvas - it's the best sleep I've ever had -  but to be truthful, I could have done without the bugs ... the mosquitos were big enough to rape a duck this year, and the swarms were ridiculous (it was like living a scene from Starship Troopers).
Best of all this weekend though was that the brain-weasels were quiet for a change - they haven't been quiet for over a year ... it was wonderful ... peaceful ... I felt normal for a few days ... I briefly reconnected with my tribe ... my art ... my self ... but then it was time to go home ...
... yesterday was all about putting all the things away (until the next camping event) and about preparing for today ... today is here and the brain-weasels are back ... but a bit quieter than before ... and I think a bit of "me" stuck around too ... it's not perfect, but I'll take it.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

... a good day ... more small steps ...

... we had our first day interpreting at Westfield Heritage Village today ... it was the Maple Syrup Festival and the Blacksmith shop was busy all day ... I am sweaty ... I am dirty ... I am achy ... I am tired ... and I'm so happy.
It was wonderful being there with my love ... she had a fabulous day  spinning and making new fiber-friends and she's learning how to use a great wheel - and apparently getting good at it. The people at Westfield are very nice ... I think we're going to like it there.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Training Workshops ... more steps ...

The last 2 weekends have been great fun ... a much needed sanity-saver.
They've involved training sessions for Westfield Heritage Village. Even though I have 20 years experience as a hobby smith, the head smith at the village wanted to see me work and just do some meet-and-greet. He turned out to be a really nice guy and he has a FANTASTIC home shop ... I was totally jealous of all the toys he had. The day was marvelous ... I haven't swung a hammer in 2 years but once I knocked off all the rust, it all came back to me in a big, joyous wave ... I haven't felt that happy in what feels like forever. I think he was happy with my skill set, and I was definitely happy with what he taught me.

I know it seems silly, but I've never made a successful set of tongs in my 20 years of smithing. He started me off with a bar of 1/2" mild steel and demonstrated the steps to making a basic set of tongs. I had a bit of difficulties and had to restart once, and there needed to be a bit of adjustment with a grinder, but in the end I got a very serviceable pair of light duck-bill tongs to do sheet work with ... I was so stoked ... I can't wait to make more.

Then I got to show off a bit with a leaf hook. I've been making leaves and hooks forever, so I didn't need much instruction here.
It was soooo much fun to make stuff again, but, did my arms ever ache.

This weekend was another workshop day. Today I learned how to braid a rush seat for a chair. It turns out that it was the exact same weaving pattern as the 2 rush seat chairs we have at home that our cats are making short work of ... I guess now I'll be able to fix them. I was having so much fun that I forgot to go to my second workshop. I didn't get a chance to finish the rocking chair I was fixing, but I was still pretty satisfied with my first try ... but I have to say that my hands and carpal-tunnel are KILLING ME right now ... but it was worth it.

... more steps ... ever forward ...


Sunday, January 28, 2018

... small steps ...

... so, things to share.
I'm going to really try to focus on positive things ... no more pity-party-posts ... I promise ... at least, I'll try ... so ... positive steps forward ...
My wife and I have signed up as volunteers at the Westfield Heritage Village in the Hamilton/Brantford area. We had been talking about doing this for years but our lives were just too busy. But finally, this year we decided to go ahead and do it. Yesterday we had our orientation and next week we'll have our first training day.
I think this is going to be a lot of fun. We're both history geeks and we're both makers ... Westfield seems like a perfect fit. With my skill sets, I'm going to be working at the blacksmith's shop (big surprise) but I could also work in several other tradeshops if needed. So now we're looking at 1850's costume ideas ... this is going to be fun.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2017 in retrospect.

Here I am, sitting at my computer at the end of January, 2018 and as I think back to this last year, one word comes to mind ... HARD.
2017 was a hard year in far too many ways.
... I lost friends ... I lost touch with my passions ... I lost touch with myself ... I lost touch with my art ... I've lost too much time ... and that is the hardest one of all, losing all that TIME that I'll never get back again and having to carry that regret.
Over the spring, summer and fall of 2017, I had to deal with family health-issues (that have finally leveled out and hopefully will stay like that for a while). During this time I just didn't have the time or strength to deal with anything else ... so I really regressed into my shell and just basically shut down ... my work benches were largely abandoned and buried under junk and all my creativity came to a crashing stop. So, when I say 2017 was hard, I mean it was really HARD.
Sitting here, a month into 2018, I feel a bit more optimistic of the year ahead. My mind is more and more occupied with plans for moving forward ... rebuilding and improving my work spaces; moving forward on the home forge/shop project; building new bellows for my travel forge and getting back to making things ... but, it's hard overcoming depression's inertia. Trying to regain momentum is going to take time and many, many small steps ... and I'll try to post more about my progress as this year unfolds (I can't believe I only posted once in all of 2017). I just need to keep remembering that even small steps are progress forward.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Too few spoons.

Hi folks ... it's been a while. 
It has been a hard 6 months.  I've been struggling with health issues, family health issues, work, house, depression ... the whole shebang. Needless to say I haven't been very productive lately. Right now I've got too much on my plate, too few spoons and very little time to get into my art much. I look forward to when I get my life back, but right now other things take precedence.  This was just a little post to let y'all know I'm still alive and look forward to getting back to my art soon.
Take care and be well.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Yule gift.

I finally have some time to show off the Yule gift my beautiful wife gave me ... a gorgeous piece of hand-blown glass ... I love it.
... now to plan a window around this beauty.
Thank you, my darling ... I love you with all my heart.