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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Last night I attended a terrific presentation on kumihimo and related techniques by Carol Franklin. Ms. Franklin presented the evening's program for the Gainesville Handweavers Guild. Carol was originally a weaver and has explored a variety of kumihimo techiques.

Kumihimo is a Japanese braiding technique. Kumihimo is an integral and ancient part of Japanese culture. For instance, kumihimo ties secure the obi or sash of the kimono. Ms. Franklin's specialty is Taka Dai - a complex braiding approach.

I'm interested in integrating kumihimo into my woven fiber pieces. I've been experimenting with a small disk, but I'm looking forward to getting my weaving stand or Maru Dai and learning kumihimo in earnest.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Cold Snap Is Over

I'm working on some pieces for Valentines Day. Here's an example of a pendant in malachite and Swarovski crystal.

It appears that the Florida cold snap has ended and I think that the crops survived for the most part. Among other crops, at this time of year there are strawberries and blossoming fruit trees that are subject to damage.

I have several additional pins and other pieces to add to the Vintage section of my Etsy shop. Take a look

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Please Read - Signs of a Stroke

A friend recently sent me this information. This isn't a cheery post, but it's INFORMATION EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW about Blood Clots/Stroke. In addition to the three standard indicators now there's a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue.

STROKE IDENTIFICATION: Remember the 1st Three Letters....S.T.R.

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics). She said she just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later to tell everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. At 6pm Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some people don't die - they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick is to get a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and get the patient medically cared for within 3 hours. Some times symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today.)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue: Ask the person to 'stick out' his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cold Weather

It sounds like north Florida is about to join the rest of the country in the deep freeze! By the end of the week we expect forecast highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s overnight. Hopefully this cold weather won't extend very far south and won't last long.

Of course, I realize that what's cold for us is no big deal for everybody else. However, if it gets really cold into south Florida we'll all be paying higher fruit and vegatable prices for items from Florida.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Artisans Guild Sale

The Gainesville Artisans Guild is having it's first ever sale this weekend and it's going to be a blow-out event!

The sale starts Friday evening at 7pm and ends on Sunday at 5pm. The discounts range from 10% to 50% depending on the artist.

Don't miss it!