Anniversary party location

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I am thrilled to say that we have scored an amazing, wonderful, perfect venue for Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe’s anniversary party… the Hippodrome State Theater!

Some friends of mine got married there a few years ago, before I knew them, and ever since I heard that I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around how you have an event like that on their three-quarter in-the-round stage. Hahaha! You don’t! You rent out their castle-like basement, which comes complete with a separate, private entrance! Allow me to show you a few photos…

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Recently in HaldeCraft: Ceramics, soap, and yarn

Cross-posted on my work blog, but copied here so you can see what I’ve been up to lately!

There is so much going on in HaldeCraft right now I almost don’t even know where to start telling you – the new things? The restocked things? The things on sale?

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New items include an entire new base yarn (a 100% Superwash Merino sport-weight yarn), Joy; butterfly mugs, Day of the Dead mugs, egg crates (sold out already, but I’ll have more in two or three weeks – you can leave your name and email on that page to be notified when they’re back in stock, just look for the green “NOTIFY ME” button on the left side of the screen), a new Soapmaker’s Favorite guest soap set, and a new addition to my animal-inside mugs, this one with a gecko.

Restocked items include the new-in-January yarn colorway, Ranger Baby, in addition to restocks in Blue Sun, Cranberries, Sock Monkey, Seaworthy, and None of Your Beeswax. Also, don’t miss out on the Marie bowls in red clay, the Marie bowls in chocolate clay, and the Grace bowls in red clay. The way the glaze interacts with the base color of the clay in those bowls is amazing!

And have you seen the sale section lately? Delany (a jumbo skein of feltable yarn in Superfine Alpaca and wool) is being marked down 20%, select colors in Tepper have been temporarily reduced, Moon (a BFL sock weight yarn) is almost gone,  and there are over a dozen different ceramics that have been reduced in price as well. Don’t miss these fast-moving items!

Thanks, y’all!

Only six months to plan!

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Thirty months ago, I sent my friend and soul-sister Jag an email titled “Only 36 months to plan!”… with the idea that we might work together to plan Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe’s 50th wedding anniversary. We would find out if they wanted it in Boston or Gainesville, get a guest list from them, and then “surprise” them with an amazing party (I say “surprise” because while we’d need to make sure they knew it was happening so they didn’t plan anything else that weekend, our idea was to take the stress off of them by doing all the work and planning, and letting them just sit back and enjoy the party). We would find a location, work on food (of which Tim wanted to make most of), put together a slideshow set to music and gather videos or written remembrances by friends who couldn’t make the party, etc, etc.

The Graduates

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Oh, Friday.

All day long I had it in my head I was going to write a Friday Five post — my five favorite story songs (instigated by hearing “Factory” by Melissa McClelland last night in the car on the drive home). I even had this page up, as an open tab on Chrome, all day. Did I get to it? HAHAHAH, well, you’re reading THIS instead, aren’t you!?

I’m dyeing yarn, so an alarm goes off every 20 minutes to tell me that I need to do something. So I get a little scattered during dye weeks.

I tried to make a late brunch which turned into a full-on lunch when I realized that the reason my macaroni didn’t cook for so long was because the burner on the stove is broken. Can you replace burners inside flat-top ceramic/glass stoves? I guess Google can tell me.

Also I had to call and make a mammogram appointment. My crazy-ass doctor that I’m about to break up with said that she’d call, and that was in … November? And I was supposed to be seen in February. So I called today since clearly she never did. Now I’ll be seen in March. Squish the ta-tas!

I tried to scan something for Tim. I can’t figure out how to get my new super-snazzy fax/copier/scanner/printer to scan to the computer. I think there’s some fucked-up Windows 8 thing where I have to tell the computer I want to scan, I can’t tell the scanner I want to scan…? But I can’t get the computer to acknowledge that it’s a scanner. It tells me it’s a printer, and only a printer, and LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU. So I tried to scan it on my photo scanner, which worked JUST FINE for photos about three days ago, but all of a sudden my computer won’t talk to it. “I can’t start that program, Dave.” … So to scan something for Tim, I had to go into his office, use my older scan/copier/printer, scan and wirelessly send myself four PDF’d pages that I compiled on this computer and then emailed back to Tim at the other end of the house. Fucking technology.

I also had a long email back-and-forth with the place we’re going to rent for Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe’s 50th wedding anniversary (we were hoping to have it at whatever house and land we buy, but hahahhaahahahah apparently that’s never going to happen, or never going to not happen, or will drag out like purgatory forever, so fuck it, we’re finding a place. It’s awesome. I can’t wait to tell you.). I’ll be sending out “save the date” emails next week, if you’re a famous writer or card-carrying member of the HaldeClan, keep an eye on your email next week!

And I had a long back-and-forth with a customer friend about a ceramic piece that’s giving me fits. It’s those damn pin-up girl mugs, and I swear they have been more trouble than they’re worth. I’ve got half a mind to break the remaining ones into little pieces and make a mosaic.

And the dogs are making me insane. They don’t want to stay inside, it’s cold inside. They don’t want to go outside alone (and it’s also cold outside). They want me to go outside with them. But there are no space heaters outside (although at least today, for the first day this week, there’s some sunshine). So I keep having to go outside with them for ten minutes at a time, which is frustrating when you’re already feeling discombobulated because of an alarm that goes off every 20 minutes.

Tuesday, when I was packing up a bunch of ceramics to take to a place who wants to sell some of my things (story on that coming soon-ish), I found a bunch of stuff I made for GLAM and never got up on the website… so today is also taking photos and writing listings, in between being interrupted by dogs and alarms for yarn. And I’m trying to list some things that came out of the kiln recently, also.

I am not focusing very well today. I think I’d rather be on the couch with a never-ending supply of fruity rum drinks, some favorite movies, and some knitting, but I also feel like I can’t sit still (that’s probably the alarm, which makes me get up and do something every 20 minutes. Except for Wednesday, I’ve been dyeing every day since Sunday (and I have one more day to go) so my brain is now trained to interrupt itself. If I concentrate on something for 19 minutes, at 19 minutes and thirty seconds my brain goes OH LOOK A CHICKEN. Yay?

I thought there was more I wanted to say but I’ve already forgotten what it was. Blargh.

Science Fiction link roundup!

I have more than a couple thing saved in Feedly….

The Weirdest Things You Never Knew About the Making Of Flash Gordon

The Art of Neil Gaiman

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From

Candid Videos Of Astronauts Being Dorks In Space Are Just Adorable (OK, this one’s not fiction)

What Are The Actual Greatest Moments In Science Fiction And Fantasy?

New List Of The 250 Greatest Moments in Sci-Fi, Horror, & Fantasy Is Sure To Cause Some Arguments

Star Trek Phase II ups the ante on authenticity

253 Behind-The-Scenes Images Show How Alien Came To Life

Humanity’s Last Hope Is Running Out Of Breath In The Movie Air

The Greatest Friendships From Science Fiction And Fantasy Television

These Are the Silliest Star Trek Reenactments We’ve Seen in Ages

The Star Trek Into Darkness Blooper Reel Is A Bit Of A Khan Job

The Colbert Report Honors Sally Ride, America’s First Woman In Space (OK, also not fiction)

10 Space Empires That Actually Make Economic Sense

What’s The Greatest Speech In Science Fiction And Fantasy History?

10 Science Fiction Tropes We Will Never Get Tired Of

12 Greatest Psychological Dramas That Just Happen to be Set in Space

Great Opening Sentences From Science Fiction Novels

Odd Details From The Matrix We Didn’t Notice Until Today

Ronan Actually Accepts Star-Lord’s Dance-Off In Hilarious GOTG Outtake

First Jurassic World Trailer Will Make You Scream At Dinosaurs Again

10 Most Important Science Fiction Books About Superintelligence

Your Favorite DC Superheroes, Drawn Into Famous Movie Posters

67 Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies To Watch Out For In 2015!

The Ultimate Guide To 2015’s Science Fiction And Fantasy TV

Mind-Blowing Science Fiction And Fantasy Books To Watch Out For In 2015

How Product Placement Took Over Science Fiction, From E.T. To Star Trek

The Most Deadly Drinks in Science Fiction

Every Time Travel Movie, Ever, Ranked

How to Tell if You Are in a Soft Science Fiction Novel

Clearly I need to do these on a more regular basis, this is a little out of control!

Feminist link roundup!

I have so many things saved in Feedly it’s getting embarrassing. Here are a few things I’ve been meaning to share but have just never gotten around to…

Witches, Wise Women, and Widows: A Cultural Look at Viking RPG The Banner Saga

The Secret Life Of Sally Ride, The First American Woman In Space

Gail Simone’s Message to Aspiring Female Creators in Comics

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 1: The Mainstream

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 2: American Indies

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 3: Foreign Films

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 4: The Kitchen Sink

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 5: Reader Recommendations

If You Want To Get Angry, Watch This “Women In Refrigerators” Supercut

Oh No He Didn’t: Diamond Comics’ Previews World Editor Says Women Got Into Geek Culture For Fashion

Geek Guys: This Is Exactly How You Hassle Geek Girls, So Stop It

The Greatest Black Women In Superhero Comics (Who Aren’t Storm)

“Strong Women Characters” Who Made Mistakes (And Learned From Them)

Most feminist moments in sci-fi history

Gamer Felicia Day on Gamergate

GeekDad speaks out about Gamergate

Woman who documented sexual harassment receives rape threats

Who Wrote Women Better, Davies Or Moffat? Neither, Says One Professor

Let Some Women Who Get Periods Explain Them to You in a Totally Factual Way That’s 100% Real

The Future of Women on Earth May Be Darker Than You Thought

This year, #lovethemirror

Bitch Tapes

10 Female-Directed Movies to Look Forward to in 2015

“It’s [Not] Okay”: How Women Die In Comic Book Movies

Badass Milla Jovovich Interviewed Badass Michelle Rodriguez, Discussed Movies, Motherhood, & Mischief

Hermione Granger and the Goddamn Patriarchy: A Feminist Re-Imagining of Harry Potter

6 Often-Overlooked Women From History Who Did Not Give a F***

Holy shitballs, y’all — I knew I had a few links, but not this many! Feel free to bookmark this post and come back to it over the next, oh, month, for lunchtime reading.

Things I am telling myself right now

Sometimes no news is good news, but no news is also frustrating as fuck.

Did someone put a curse on us? So that we’ll never be able to buy a house and move?

Change of address forms suck anyway. And I’d probably forget to change my address on Amazon, and all the random shit I order would show up for the new tenants of this house.

If there are new tenants; apparently selling a house right now is difficult.

There’s so much to be done with this house before we could sell it, anyway. What if in order to sell it we have to get central heat and AC put it? Do you know how bitter I’d be having to pay to get that shit installed after twenty years and not be able to use it?

I’d have to dig up my dog, Heidi, and my cats, Selkie and Buddha and Rembrandt. Fortunately we got Bridgett cremated because she was so big – Tim would have had to have dug a hole almost the size of a small car.

There’s probably not pizza delivery way out that dirt road.

Give up hope, this is never going to happen. Move on with your life and call a contractor about extending and screening in the back porch.

But don’t give up hope, because if you give up hope the universe might think you don’t want it enough, and it might not happen.

In a hard-to-grok twist of thought, one thing the lender doesn’t like about us is that we have enough cash for a down payment. It makes us look risky, because we may have borrowed it, we didn’t just… sprout twenties from our forehead like Zeus sprouting goddesses. Note to self: next time we try to buy a house, rob a goddamn bank first. Don’t look to family.

Another thing they don’t like is that we’ve had two credit checks in the last year — oh, I’m sorry, maybe because that’s because WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO BUY A HOUSE? AND ONE OF THOSE CREDIT CHECKS IS YOURS?

Packing 3000 books and 250 plaster molds will suck, because that shit’s heavy.

Can you tell I’m starting to lose hope? Yet, I also keep telling myself, it’s always darkest before the light. Still, at this point, it’s hard to be hopeful. It’s hard to be anything. Tim is more hopeful than I am; I feel like a hollowed out palm tree about to be used as a kayak.

I got nuthin’. I need pictures of kittens. Here’s when we first went to meet Moya and Serenity.

Future new kittens

Scenes from last week

Mostly this is cross-posted from my work blog, with a little something extra personal tacked on at the end, because this is my personal blog.

Starting the week off with a teaser. These odd handles will make more sense in a couple of weeks! #ceramics #mugs #mugshotmondayWhen I first started looking over last week, I didn’t think there was too much I could show anyone – it feels like most of my week was spent at super-secret dye pots, and at the computer working on things (I spared you a photo of me doing quarterly sales tax… you’re welcome). But in looking over my photos for the week, I do have some things to show! Even if most of them are teasers… like these mugs. Many of you who saw this earlier in the week guessed correctly; the grooves and cutout in the handle is to hold a teabag from falling into your cup of water. I’ve glazed these and they’re in the kiln now, and I’ll have them up when I finish glazing a few more things and can fire. I didn’t make too many of the because I wasn’t sure if there’s a call for them — after all, I do already offer about 50 or so mugs… but I just fell in love with the idea and had to make a few.

Handspun HatIf you’re a yarnie, have you looked into the joint 15-in-2015 I’m doing with String Theory Colorworks? You can read about it here on Ravelry. I finished my first project, a handspun hat. I didn’t use all the handspun, though, and I’m already making another one with the leftovers. And I have my eye on two more skeins of handspun, because y’all, this pattern is like popcorn. I CAN’T MAKE JUST ONE.

New colorway coming soon (next week, if it's all dry by then). "Ranger Baby", because my pregnant sister-in-law, a Park Ranger, needs some baby stuff knitted and it better not be pink or blue.I had lunch with my sister-in-law “Ranger Amy” this week, who some of you old timers may know from her old blog, Through the Eyes of a Park Ranger. Amy and her husband are expecting their first child soon, which means I am in full baby-knitting mode… but neither Amy nor her husband are into the main choices of pink and blue. But! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I was dyeing the club color Yggdrasil, the test skein didn’t come out exactly like what I wanted for that color, but I thought I might be able to use it in the future. I can, for Ranger Amy’s upcoming Ranger Baby – hence the name of the new colorway I’ll be listing next week. Amy is an amazing photographer, by the way, and has recently begun selling some of her work — you can see her stuff here.

Play. Practice. Produce. Mostly practice.  #stitchmarkersI mentioned in my yearly review that while I liked making stitch markers (and they’re definitely something many of you have mentioned wanting), I wasn’t happy with making them from Fimo clay… so I fell down in the Fire Mountain Gems website, and am working hard on my wire-rapping (and headpin length guestamating) skills. Expect to reap the benefits of this later in the spring.

So, this happened.  Slip casting since I was four years old. Picked up hand building a couple of years ago. 2015 is when I learn to throw. Expect six weeks of ultra-derpy pots. #ceramics #neverstoplearningWednesday night I started a six-week ceramic throwing class. OK, here’s the funny thing — I grew up a slipcaster, and never wanted to throw. I didn’t think there was anything I couldn’t get from slipcasting, and besides, all the people I knew who threw had kickwheels and bad knees. I honestly didn’t know – and you can laugh at me, go ahead – they have these things called ELECTRIC WHEELS. One thing that I want to make that I’m just not able to do what I want to with slipcasting… are yarn bowls. I’m going to need to throw them. So I’m taking a class… and I love it. I’ve been looking up prices for and reading reviews on wheels, and I’ve got my eye on a Brent Model C, which is going to run me about $1200… plus about another $200 for a good ergonomic stool (for the hours I plan on spending in front of it)… and then of course a run to Ocala for a few hundred pounds of clay…. all in all I’m looking at about $1500. I’m wondering what my chances would be for doing a Kickstarter campaign (“Kickstart my electric kickwheel!”) would be. You know, considering that the things I’d offer for incentives would be things like “$50 for a yarn bowl I don’t know how to make yet but I promise won’t look like I had palsy when I made it!”… uh, yeah. Maybe I should keep my eye on Craigslist, instead, to see if anyone is unloading one any time soon. (I try to keep home money separate from work money, but you totally know that if we get the house, I’m going to ask Tim if I can be fronted the money from our home account to get a wheel out of happiness for my new studio. Or, you know, out of sadness, as a make-up gift for not getting the house, if we don’t. Either way, however way, I’m getting a wheel, and I’ll pay it back after I start making yarn bowls that don’t look like they were thrown by a blind one-handed drunk.)

Movement #handdyedyarn #yarnLastly, this is mostly how I spent last week… dyeing and winding yarn. International club yarn shipped Friday, Monday will see the release of Ranger Baby, and Domestic club ships Friday (barring any horrific yarn tangling issues)!

Through the studio doorAnd in between all of that, I did a lot of staring at the wall. “We’ll let you know tomorrow” must mean something different to the lending company than it does to me. And is that… good? Bad? Nothing? Are they not telling us because it’s no, and they’re not even going to bother? Are they not telling us because some of the rules for lending changed at the beginning of January of this year, and so they’re trying again from the beginning, using the new rules? Does that mean yes? Does it mean a strong maybe? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO FEEL AND I’M FEELING ALL THE FEELS. And I’m tired of feeling everything. I just want to live my life, and I’d like it if my life didn’t constantly include dreaming about moving. I either want it to happen or to be off the table. I feel like I’m trapped in a Howard Jones song — “You can see the summit but you can’t reach it/It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just can’t make it fit/Doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain/Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain”. Except I’m not giving up hope… it’s just living side by side in my heart with utter uncertainty. And it sure is getting crowded in there, along with aspirations of throwing clay and desire to do a good job with HaldeCraft. Gah.

So. That was my week. How was yours?

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