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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropNot sure where I came across this article—I think it was one of those things my browser recommended and I clicked—but its observations on the Japanese train portion of that nations public transportation pretty much jive with my recollections. —Given the problems with suicides, it surprised me that there are no barriers at the platforms—at any subway station I've been at, be it Asian, European or USian—especially given the litigious character of US society, but evidently it's merely a cost problem.

In which case, I expect barriers will eventually go up with time. (In the meantime, it's quite easy for my glass daughter to send me snapchats of NYC subway rats, which is actually quite a bit more affectionate than it sounds (just as sending pix of buns and squirrels is less...)



cropSome things just make me happy, like this 30 second cat vid.

Honestly, so does today's feature, another french beaded flower.


cropThis french beaded flower page is yet another of those posts dug out of the archives, though as it's only 2 years old, it very nearly counts as fresh—& served up for your delectation because I will be teaching a class in this technique, starting in about 10 days, and with any kind of luck, will be leading into pages documenting the various techniques for my would be victims er, students. Starting next week. Or else.


cropvia BB, a fun and fairly fast vid on women's 14 ca dress in 2 versions, a servant and somewhat wealthier woman's outfit: in both cases, these things were basically long, rather shapeless dresses that nevertheless appeal.

This led to this sped-up version of Victorian dress which actually deserved the BB commentary of being highly layered, impractical and unfriendly to women—but even I will admit, fun to look at and/or play dress-up in once in awhile.

At the opposite end of the scale, derby clothing allows maximum freedom of movement, and is pretty brief, as derby-skating is a pretty warming exercise! —Speaking of which, here's a mouse in WFTDA (women's flat track derby association) colours. Enjoy.



cropI loved figure skating and ice dancing from the get go—gorgeous, graceful movement, not to mention the costumes which not only show off the skater's figures as well as the ones they're making, so when the wizard took up roller derby reffing, I realized that perhaps, someday, I could get him to skate dance with me, his excuse of being “too unco-ordinated to dance” now being off the table, since roller derby refs have to be co-ordinated not only enough to skate—and if they're outside refs, skate faster—sometimes backwards all the while tracking and calling penalties. All that multi-tasking is good for someone who claims they can only do ‘one thing at a time’.

Back in, um, the early 90s—or perhaps even late 80s!—I got a pair of rollerblades, because I had enjoyed ice skating as a child (though we only ever did it casually, and I never really got very good at it). Since our local league has an excellent & very reasonably priced training program for learning how to do roller derby, and the winter rink is about 5 or 10 minutes away I figured this would be a great way to learn a) how to fall b) how to stop and c) how to skate in close quarters—all necessary skills for would-be dancers.



cropSo my neighbour gave me her collection of ribbons, tissue paper and other goodies, presumeably on the advice of her friend who was helping her pare down a house's worth of belongings to a room, and also because—after all—if she needs any such, she merely has to walk a 100 yards or less to take advantage of mine:)

This meant I ended up with some absolutely splendid gold lace buried in the bottom of the box, which I wanted to spool around a plastic (rather than acid-y cardboard spool). Well, after figuring out that the 100’ tigertail spools wouldn't hold all the lace, I decided to transfer the last of my tigertail from a 300’ spool. Mounted it on a spade bit, with the hole of the spool somewhat tightened with electrical tape aaaaaaaand the tigertail promptly looped itself horribly.

When using a bradshaw winder or the like, you typically wind multiple strands together in the opposite direction of the S or Z twist that the string itself has; but it turns out, whichever way tigertail is wound, what matters is the way it's wrapped on the spool: if it's coming off the spool counterclockwise, then it needs to wind onto the new spool the same way. As luck would have it, I picked (50-50 chance, after all) the wrong direction, and went back to the drawing board (i.e. did some research on the internet) finding this helpful video for avoiding this problem. Should you ever need to transfer cable, thread, etc from one spool to another.


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