Friday, January 11, 2013

Setting up a Yurt at school this morning.

I got to help Minnesota artist Mary Johnson and her son set up a yurt at Fairview Elementary school this morning. What a fun and exciting learning experience for me!

Here are some photos of the process. Sorry I didn't start taking photos right away. I was taking notes until Mary got me involved in the actual set up.
The first step was to screw the four black pieces of the door frame together.
Then the lattice side was stretched out and curved into a circle which was fitted into slots on each side of the door frame.
Above you can see Mary talking to the students about how the next step is to attach two ropes around the sides and snug them up with loops in the door frame. You can also see the 16 roof slats laying on the floor.
Here is a close up showing how the slats will fit into the metal hoop at the center of the roof. They will use the zip ties to secure the slats to the hoop.

Sorry for the blurry photos (taken with my brand new smartphone), but below you can see the roof slats and the ropes are installed.
Above you see the first covering attached to one side of the yurt. Mary and her son are about to attach the second covering. She used a fabric-covered tarp and took advantage of the rivets in the tarp for attaching the sides to the lattice framework (with zip ties again).  Notice the cute windows she incorporated into the sides.
Here Mary adjusts the roof piece.  It has a seam on one side which is also secured with zip ties. When the roof went on, someone exclaimed, "It looks like a cupcake!"  Mary has more embellishments to hang around the top, but she will be taking it down and setting it up again this afternoon at the high school.

Here some young visitors get a tour of the yurt.

Mary and the students who have been sketching the yurt pose for a photo.  Job well done! 

Thanks to Judy Broekemeier for inviting me to come and see how the yurt is set up. One of these days we hope to use wool, water, and kid power to create a felt covering for it.  And special thanks to Mary for coming up with the idea of creating a yurt  for tonight's collaborative performance of music, dance and recycled wearable art. Of course, thanks go to the East Central Regional Arts Council and the people of Minnesota for the grant funds that helped to make this project happen.

Oh-oh, on my way home from school, my road was like a skating rink. The radio has just announced that school is letting out early today and the performance tonight has been cancelled. I hope they will reschedule it.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Lattice Scarf Class

I finally got some felting done today!
This was done in preparation for my lattice scarf class on Sunday, Jan. 13 at Creative Souls in Anoka.  I think there are still two spaces left.


Last weekend I worked on a raw felted suri alpaca fleece, but it didn't turn out as I had envisioned, so I pulled off the locks and carded them up. I'm anxious to try some other things with it. I was surprised at how lustrous this white suri alpaca fiber is. It would blend so nicely with my Bluefaced Leicester fiber.

I have decided that in 2013 I must put my felting on the front burner instead of letting other things take up all my time. Granted, there was a lot on my plate this past year, but hopefully things will settle down now and I can create a schedule that will keep me in the studio at least a couple days each week. I could get a lot done with 2 whole days a week in the studio.

I got a deer last week. Actually, I was driving home from doing my Census work and witnessed a deer get hit by car. I just couldn't drive by seeing it laying the middle of road struggling to get up.  It reminded me so much of my sheep, I had to stop and help. The guy who hit it didn't have a gun to put it out of its misery, so I called the police after we pulled it off the road. The poor thing was so beautiful and there was very little visible damage. Eventually it calmed down and I was hoping it would pop back up and run off into the woods.  But it died just minutes before the State Patrol arrived.  

I've really missed having venison in the freezer, so I jumped at the chance to get this one for meat. I called my neighbor to help me dress it out when I got it home (he did all the work - thank goodness!), then I brought it to the processor a couple days later. It was a 2012 fawn, and I was pretty disappointed when I saw the two little boxes the butcher pulled out of the freezer after I forked over $70...
I left the coffee container in the photo for size comparison, but then that bad kitty jumped up on the counter. Anyway, I was happy to find those two little boxes held 24 pounds of venison -- two nice roasts, 3 pounds of chops and 15.5 pounds of burger. Not bad at all. :-)