Friday, January 29, 2010

THE LEARNING CURVE

Ok, this past week has been hilarious, nerve-wrecking and distracting. Let's start with nerve-wrecking first - as you know, I got a new iMac last weekend and like anything new, the excitement is great and tingling. Then, the excitement turned into a nightmare when I messed up the wireless network for the printer - ok, my husband's brand new printer and it took him two days to set up the wireless connection (and no, I don't want to get into that either...) - and I programmed another wireless setting, thinking the printer must indeed now work with my computer. Hmmm... that was not a good idea at all. The printer did not do anything, did not spit out the pages as it was meant to and it did not even blink or peep. Now, that was indeed a bad sign.

So, I turned on my dear husband's brand new precious Sony notebook to see if I can print out my documents that way. Imagine my horror, when his notebook did not locate the printer nor did it do anything - no peeps, no flashing icons, literally 'no nothing'!!! Thinking it would be best to let him know that I have royally screwed up his long hours of setting up, I called him in the office at 8.30am and let me tell you, the silence that followed my revelation was really very quiet. Then finally, his very typical calm German comment of 'tja...' was heard on the telephone.

That evening, two hours of cursing and swearing plus a head cold did not do the job either. In between I heard his comment, that I should fix the problem. I thought that is not a good idea. I probably would make his notebook totally immune to the printer if I continue to source the problem. So, next morning, I meekly asked if I should rectify the problem - no sound came from my husband. Then he booted up his toy and after a few minutes, we heard the beeps and the funny gurgling noises the printer makes when it spits out the documents! HOORAY, everything works again!!! I no longer go near his printer and notebook.

Now before I forget, the hilarious part was the evening he came home after the not-so-nice-news I gave him over the phone, he had gone out directly from his office and bought me my own laser printer with plain old USB connection. Ah, the baby works wonderfully and I have no headaches messing with the wireless connection. I was so delighted with his purchase and of course, I got the message do not go near his printer anymore loud and clear. Isn't that the biggest contradiction I have in life? Brand new iMac but can't figure out the wireless network and back to USB connection??!! My brains are definitely fried. Oh, did I tell you, my husband uses German as the main language for his computer while I use English? He's also a PC user, I am a Mac user. Maybe that's where the confusion began for me. Talk about total opposites who attract...

And the distracting part? Knitting, of course!! My sister, Pearl, is a fabulous knitter and she had introduced me to Elizabeth Zimmerman's work and books several years back. I decided I would knit a Ribwarmer. Call me a perfectionist, if it pleases you, but I was not satisfied with every couple of rows and kept undoing what I have knitted. I pieced it together (which was only the center back) - even the piecing together was another story itself, yes, I kept undoing it and re-sewing it up. I mean, seriously this could take me the rest of my life to make one Ribwarmer at the fussy rate I am viewing the project.

Finally, I decided to just piece it together, mistakes or no mistakes; when it was done, I realized that it was not about how it looks that was important for me (sure I want it to look nice and not crappy) but interestingly enough, the learning process I went through. For example, when I piecing it together that I understood why it was recommended to start a certain way. Other things also came into light, certain techniques which I had misinterpreted I came up with an effect which I could incorporate into the next project. It is all the mistakes, undoing and re-knitting which made me aware of this learning curve. Perhaps because I am older and more mature, (at least I like to think, my brains have matured from my long-ago crazy teenage days), I want to know and understand the why and the because, not just the happy-ending. Here is the Ribwarmer, which Sydney now owns (actually, I knitted for myself but how can I say no to my own girly?). By the way, I have started a second Ribwarmer, with all the improvements taken into consideration (hahaha, I haven't told Sydney that yet!).

Ribwarmer
Original Design by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Copyright by Meg Swansen

Back of the Ribwarmer

So, last but not least, let me show you my first and probably only St. Valentine's Day lampwork set. I am not very fond of making heart shaped beads, most likely it is the time it takes to make the heart bead (ohh, maybe I should say 'make the heart beat' instead of 'bead'). I admire lampworkers who make heart-shaped beads, it does take a lot of patience to gather the mass of glass and shape it. I hope I have done it justice to call it a Valentine's Day set. The floral beads have petals on both sides.


Have a great weekend and I'll be back with more beads (and Ribwarmers too, hahaha!!!) soon!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SURPRISE PURCHASE

Yesturday my husband and I drove to Hamburg to look for a simple laser printer as I was having problems with my less-than-two-years-old printer. It persistently prints out completely black pages no matter what I do. Things these days just aren't what they used to be. Well, we ended up not buying any printer as the store was out of HP printers and came home instead with a brand new whopping 27" Mac! I had planned to replace my Mac - it is already six years old - next month, but jumped the gun. I mean, next month is just less than two weeks away. One thing for sure, transferring my data from Mac-to-Mac was easy-peasy with fire-wire technique though it took nine hours for the transmission. After all, it is 6 years' worth of data we're talking about.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I am slowing down with my lampworking besides the fact that I need to re-organize my torching area to include a space for copper electroforming and metalwork. I have been shelving this for the past 6 months. On top of that, it is time to do the necessary admin and paperwork.

Here are some beads I made last week, I shall be back at the torch perhaps mid of the week. Enjoy your weekend and have a great new start tomorrow!