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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Discussion and Questions / Re: How To: LOCAL clay? on: May 13, 2008 01:43:04 PM
Yay, this post is exciting! I am in Lansing (just graduated from MSU) and I am kind of an archaeology nerd. I just finished a class on North American Archaeology where we did quite a bit with ceramics. I haven't worked with clay very much so I can't tell you much about how to do it, but hopefully I can give you some information.

Most of the Eastern part of the US, including Michigan, is classified as the woodland region. The ceramics for this whole region for a given time period were quite similar, although there is some variation. The first pottery in the region is from the early woodland period (about 3,000-2,300 years ago). This pottery is kind of plain and boring. The middle woodland, sometimes called Hopewell, (2,400-1,400 years ago) has some pretty cool pottery, and I think that would be my choice of something to recreate. Late woodland (1,400-400 years ago) pottery is also pretty plain. Hopefully knowing a little of the terminology will help you find more traditional decoration styles.

As far as the process of making ceramics, I know you need to add temper to the clay, make your pot (or whatever you are making), and then fire it. The temper can be something like sand, crushed shell, or fibers like grass. This http://www.uwlax.edu/MVAC/Research/technologies.htm#Ceramics site isn't great, but it gives you a little more information. Most, if not all, early American ceramics were fired in pits, not kilns. People would build fires outside with rocks in them to hold heat. they would then place their pots in the fire and cover it with branches and twigs. I am not completely sure of the process. I watched a video on it a while ago but don't remember it too well. Ok, I found this http://www.nativetech.org/pottery/firing.htm site that explains it a little better.

I'm sorry if my post got a little long. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I may be able to point you in the right direction. And definitely let us know how the finished product turns out!

2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: can i shrink a sweater in lamb's pride? on: January 08, 2008 09:42:37 AM
I would be very careful about trying to shrink a sweater this way. I think that the agitation of the washer or dryer, even if there is no heat, would make the sweater begin to felt. I don't think I would risk it, especially with something like a sweater that takes so much time. I would probably frog it, at least back to a point where I could fix the sizing issue. I'm sorry if that is not what you wanted to hear!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: leather blank book cover on: January 03, 2008 11:23:10 AM
This is awesome. I REALLY want to make one now! I am intimidated by sewing leather, but I think I will give it a try. Hopefully mine ends up looking as nice as yours!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: So...knttting with glass needles? on: December 13, 2007 06:31:38 PM
I've never used glass needles, but I would think they would make horrible sounds as they slide together. You might want to get someone else's opinion who has actually used them, though.
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Food Gifts for a Diabetic on: October 16, 2007 08:03:01 AM
Nuts are always a good option for people with diabetes. In the America's Test Kitchen cookbook (my favorite!) there is a recipe for toasted almonds. All you have to do is heat up a little oil in a skillet, add raw almonds, salt, pepper, and some spices (They suggest either dried rosemary, lemon zest and garlic, or a mixture of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cloves. I like to play around with different spice combinations to see what I can come up with). Then you toast them until they darken and smell delicious.

If you make cookies you may want to be careful with the flour, as that can mess with the blood sugar. Paula Dean has a recipe for really easy peanut butter cookies with no flour and they are really good, but slightly crumbly. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_30607,00.html

Good luck!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: How to do cables? on: October 05, 2007 11:09:35 AM
I've been doing cables for a while, but I have never actually used cable needles. I didn't have any at the time when I wanted to learn and I was too impatient to wait to get some. I found these instructions http://wendyknits.net/knit/cablelesson.htm and went from there.
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: What Crafts Do You Do/Want to do? on: August 15, 2007 06:06:21 PM
Okay, I really want to do the bookmaking  thing... any tips from a total n00b? :-p  I've seen some coptic stitch tutes, but tips n tricks are always nice to have under one's belt.

I read A LOT of tutorials online and kind of pieced them all together. It is pretty simple once you understand how it works. My only recommendation is to keep your thread tight. My first book ended up pretty loose so the signatures and covers slide around a lot. I hope you have fun with it!
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: What Crafts Do You Do/Want to do? on: August 15, 2007 08:35:46 AM
This is great! It is giving me a lot of ideas and making me think about some of the crafts that I have been neglecting lately. I really want to get back into them right now, but sadly everything is packed up and my apartment is mostly empty as I am moving tomorrow.

What I do:

Knitting: My favorite thing in the world, especially lace and cables.
Crochet: I try, but I really can't get into this. I guess I just haven't found the right pattern, but I get bored and put it away after a while. I am in the middle of making a doily for my mom right now and it makes me want to stab the tiny little hook into my eye.
Embroidery: I love it, but don't do it enough.
Sewing: I am still rather new at it, but I am improving.
Glass etching: Fun, but messy.
Spinning: VERY new to this! I have a drop spindle and made a little bit of uneven, extra tightly spun yarn. I need to try again.
Sketching and painting: Not too good at it, but I like to do it for fun.
Beading: I used to love it, but I haven't done it much since high school.
Book Making: A lot of fun now that I have the coptic stitch technique down.

What I want to do:

Rug Making: Not sure what technique or anything, but I think it would be fun to have rugs that I made myself.
Tatting: Someday...
Polymer Clay: As soon as I have money for all of the supplies
Dye Yarn/Roving
And a million other things that I have seen but since forgotten about...

Time and money are definitely what hold me back. I am a college student, so I am short on both.
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: 99 cent Pattern Sale -Starts today!!!! on: March 08, 2007 12:59:37 PM
Thank you so much for posting this! I get the Joann flyers in the mail, but I still seem to miss the pattern sales every single time. Time to go shopping!
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: So I knit a bra on: February 18, 2007 09:18:00 AM
You did a wonderful job on this. It turned out beautifully I have been thinking about knitting a bra for a while now, but I haven't really fallen in love with the patterns I have seen. I have been afraid of the sizing and shaping issues of making up my own pattern, but you have inspired me to try again. I would really appreciate any notes or tips you have that might help me. Thanks~
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