Category Archives: Life

Workhorse – spinning with a Canadian connection

A year or so ago, I started knitting again – after more than 30 years of not knitting.

As is typical for me, I started to get interested in the whole process – not “just” the fabric making part of it but making the yarn, etc.   I’ve always loved the look of a spinning wheel but couldn’t justify the space or cost requirement because I didn’t spin.

I found plans to build a basic (and little!) quill spinning wheel – called a Dodec (for “dodecagon” or twelve-sided wheel)  – online and did that but I didn’t know if it was me or the wheel needing to be set up better when I was having trouble – but I got a small taste… and it was noisy.  Some of you who know me in person  – know how little I like “noise”. Continue reading Workhorse – spinning with a Canadian connection

Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

It seems like summer always brings lots of household projects. This year, it’s a leaking woodstove flashing (fixed – and the painting of the ceiling to go with it – not fixed), window frames needing to be painted (again – pending) and then the vehicles landed on my radar. They haven’t seen a good detailing in well,.. ever in the case of the truck and the car probably hasn’t seen a comprehensive detailing since 2008.

Yeah, I’m not proud of that. When the August long weekend hit, we started cleaning and cleaning and… uh oh. Rust. We went from prepping and painting a few spots to some fairly major repair and painting.  This is what we (former) business analysts call “scope creep”.

Great.  Spraying base and clear.  I’ve done this before.  Last time (2007), it was a 1999 CBR 600.  I’ll post that “throwback” post one day soon.  Yeah, I haven’t sprayed automotive paint in 9 years – I did do some major bodywork on a truck since then but I rolled that paint instead of doing it with a paint gun.

Speaking of rusty things – I am as well and my body sure has a lot more to say about it this time around.

I also swore that time that I’d never spray clear again.  Awesome. 😉

Since I’m going to be shooting clear anyway, I thought I’d try to do the touch-ups, and wet sand the sags in the paint on the “Wee One” and give her a final coat of clear too. If it doesn’t work – well, she was going to be repainted anyway.

Continue reading Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

Sand slipping through my hands – A 5 month update

I just realized it’s been nearly 6 months since I updated the blog.
I apologize for that everyone!  It’s  been a really up and down several months.   I thought I’d update you on some of the larger points. Continue reading Sand slipping through my hands – A 5 month update

Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

A personal diary/ accountability type of post today folks.

Please note: there are a lot of links in this post but none are affiliate links.  They are all informational and to support what I’m saying in the post

For years, I’ve dealt with food allergies and gaining or having difficulty losing weight.  It never got out of hand but I could feel how the extra weight made sports harder and I was a lot more tired than I should be after relatively little exercise.  And getting the energy up TO exercise? Yeah, that becomes a vicious circle.  Add to this a couple of compressed disks in my back and it’s a recipe for a sedentary lifestyle.

Lately even lifting a vintage sewing machine has become cumbersome. Continue reading Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

Last week, support for the operating system on the computer that brings you ArchaicArcane.com was discontinued.  This is not unlike when Microsoft said no more XP.

What this means for AA is that I need to do some behind the curtain maintenance before I can do the on-stage updates.  I’m working on many things at once and you’ll start to see some posts hopefully this month.

The server and a quilt I was working on last month were the top priorities keeping me away from the site.  Now though, I have lots to say, I just need to take care of the server first so you can read about it when I tell it! 🙂 Continue reading A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

More of it – Happy New Year!

“The only thing better than a good thing is more of it.”

Happy New Year Everyone!  As we go into 2015, I haven’t exactly made any resolutions but I have decided that I’m going to finish some projects that I’ve been working on and start the ones I’ve been thinking of.  What this means is that I’m planning on taking on only a couple of very focused projects this year which is a huge departure from previous years because last year left me pretty burned out.

I’m still going to be making posts – it’s one of the main things on my list of things both started and in contemplation.  I would really like to see the 34 drafts finished and out to you all to read.

In the effort to get an early start on the projects, I started 5 projects at once in the past week.  LOL!  Typical for me, overkill, right?

It’s OK – these projects are easy to stagger and it’s actually not as overwhelming as it sounds. 🙂 Continue reading More of it – Happy New Year!

Message to myself

It’s OK, read to the end. 🙂

I apologize for the huge absence.    I’m still working on posts slowly but I thought I’d update the blog on why I’ve been away.  (I have been posting a little on the facebook page if you’re a FB’er.)

I won’t be sad to see 2014 go.  It started out great.  A great trip to Willam’s Lake to teach.  Certification as a Brother technician for Sparrow Studioz.

The summer though….

The summer in particular was beyond “character building” for both Ryan and I. Continue reading Message to myself

A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Note: Amended date!  I goofed ladies and gentlemen, April 16th is the date, not March!

Update: 2014-04-09 – It looks like the Evening class is tentatively full (may be able to open 1 more spot) and there is one left open for the morning class.  If you wanted to get in, now’s your chance!  We’ve been chatting about the possibility of me doing the class again in the future in William’s Lake, but there’s no firm timeline for it.

OK, so it’s not quite a million miles but I bet it feels like it by the time I get home.

I’m going to be teaching people just like you how to service and restore their vintage machines in BC next month! 🙂

Beauties like this:

IMG_1558

The Cariboo Piecemakers quilt guild has asked me to speak to the group about vintage sewing machines at their Tuesday meeting.   The following day I will be doing a marathon training session.

The class is in William’s Lake, B.C. Canada (approximately 3 hours out of Kamloops) the Wednesday before Easter (March  APRIL 16th) at the Pioneer Complex, and we have just added a second session and there’s currently a little room left.   The tentative times for the classes are 10am to 3pm with a break for lunch and 5pm to 9pm.  If you’re interested in attending, leave me a comment below or contact me here.

Here’s what I’m planning to cover: Continue reading A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Throwback Thursday – Project F-250 Revamp

Here’s my version of “Throwback Thursday” 😉  This is a post I made back in 2009 when I was still in charge of BanditAlley, as a blog post there.  Recording it here on AA for posterity.

Seeing that I can do this, you’d think I could polish up a sewing machine like nobody’s business, wouldn’t you?  Not so.  Though a lot of the process is the same, I just can’t seem to bring up the shine on a sewing machine the way this truck finally shone.  It’s probably because I can’t use a power polisher on the machine like I can with a car or a bike.

The victim:  A 2000 Ford F-250 Diesel. Previously dark green in color, but likely painted when it was recovered as a roll-over in the first year of its life.   Continue reading Throwback Thursday – Project F-250 Revamp

It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’ve been fairly absent for a bit here.  First, trying to get Ryan’s Christmas present finished.   I almost made it on time!  Then catching up on the corporate books.  I don’t recommend a 5 month absence from those.   Ugh.

At the end of it all, he got his gift before New Year’s Eve, which considering all of the hurdles I cleared to do it, and the fact that I started it WAY too late, I’m accepting of.

I’m told that the significant other is often the last one to get a quilt.  Not in Ryan’s case.   He actually managed to get the second ever quilt I’ve made.

Continue reading It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned