Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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What have we come to…

November 24th, 2015 at 11:13 am » Comments (1)

A few days ago I mentioned being deeply disturbed by season finale of Scandal – because that 2 minutes made it so very clear how selfish so many have become – this was not about a victim of rape, or a danger to the life of the mother, or even “knowing” the child was going to face extreme challenges physically.
it was merely done because a promiscuous person felt it would interfere with her lifestyle and desire to change a living situation – in other words for totally selfish reasons.

This two minutes or less showed less concern and emotion than most women show during a routine pap smear. No matter the outburst that followed, that just bolsters my belief that such a choice has many consequences, but that she really only cared about how to avoid the responsibilities of the choices she had made was more than a little disgusting. And, yes, it really did make me vomit.

Every day we read of more “demands” by the self entitled and often concerned about the level of narcissism we have as parents, grand parents, teachers and others who act in locoparenti have not just allowed but encouraged to become acceptable.

I really fear for the future when a young man from a multi-millionaire family somehow thinks that the color of his skin entitles him to a free education. It is exactly this sort of hypocrisy that makes it even more difficult to help those who truly need a hand up in our society.

I wonder how we have become so anesthetized to real problems that we encourage and allow ourselves and our children to become so very selfish and worse, lazy. And then I watch any television program, including many “Children’s” shows and realize that it is just one of the many tools being used to destroy our children’s minds as well as their moral and ethical development

There are and always have been so many real issues – like how being fired for refusing to cooperate with the sexual advances of the general manager meant also not getting even meager unemployment benefits and how that firing made employment so difficult for many years thereafter.

There are many stories to tell, each of us has lived thru them. But yes, we have to find ways to communicate the real core of the issues.

I sincerely hope every father, brother, uncle, cousin, just really every real man will read this blog article
and perhaps begin to see their daughter, sister, aunt, just every female they know in a new light –

For those who do even see this problem, but think their maleness entitles them to behave egregiously – well, they aren’t much of man – now are they.

And will at least personally refuse to allow such behavior – because then maybe at least some small portion of respect for all life will once again become a part of everyday life.

That would truly be something to be thankful for – a gift to all the generations to come







Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers …..

October 27th, 2015 at 09:12 am » Comments (0)

If you want to make a difference, consider making a commitment:
because just sharing a placard on Social Media means nothing.

Last year after thinking about it – not shopping on ONE DAY makes no difference if you are then bright and early every day thereafter.

I decided I would not buy at Wal-Mart until they changed their family holiday policy for one of the two “purely” US Holidays’ Thanksgiving. It does, often, conflict with our policy about buying local whenever at all possible – but not so much after all.

According to my records (and yes I do keep every sales receipt) between Thanksgiving 2013 & 2014, as a couple we spent about $3500 in our local Wal-Mart – including RX Co-Pays.

Beginning November 2015 we transferred all his RX to another pharmacy –
Keeping in mind, that I do not require anyone, including him to walk off the plank with me, in the past 11.5 months, our Wal-Mart purchases are (including the co-pays in December while getting RX transferred) total less than $75.

Did this take some effort? yes, but I am anything if not stubborn when ti comes to something that “matters to me”

Did it mean paying more for a few necessities? Maybe, but not enough to change my mind. For example, a brand new super Wal-Mart just opened, so yes we spent a few hours browsing. Even spent 88 cents for a cup cake tin and 1.72 for a good tray for a bead tray experiment.

But I was also armed with my “comparison shopping list” which is a notebook that lists all the food & household supplies we use on a regular basis.

Turns out that Wal-Mart continues to be no more competitive – even with store brands – except for ONE item – In fact more than 85% of the everyday low prices were 10 to 20 % HIGHER than any other stupid markets prices. Including his RX Co-Pays.

Did it mean a bit of extra effort? Yes, it did = but it seems the one thing that temped me most – Idaho Potatos – is no longer going to be stocked year round. and the produce manager in my preferred stupid market lets me know when they are “special purchase” in his store.

Do I think many will make a similar commitment? No, and that is okay with me – we each get to choose what really matters and so requires action on our part.

Was it worth it? Yes, I think so – apparently both financially and emotionally.
We in fact saved money. Yes I am proud of myself – maybe I will invent a “Thanksgiving is for Families” chip –

Do I think Wal-Mart much misses our $$$$ ?
probably not – but imagine if even 1/10th of its customers – even just for one critical quarter – October to December – did the same thing…

Will I still browse at our local Wal-Mart and maybe “slip” because an employee was helpful in my “information gathering” expeditions?
Probably

Now on to preparing the “winter stock up” shopping.

Let you know next year if I am as incorrigible as charged.

Enjoy The Making

Wheat







Choosing A Class

May 20th, 2015 at 17:00 pm » Comments (0)

I am on a braiding binge and so doing lots of thinking about “things I wish I knew back when”

Within that context – let’s consider how one might, in a near perfect world, take a serious approach to Japanese braiding and with future side trips in the much larger world of Fiber Art & Jewelry Braid Making.

These suggestions may not apply to your situation and yes, may be outside your means at this time.
“Let not your heart be troubled… ”
One of the best things about braiding, is opportunity exists at many levels of commitments in time and money
So use what you can as a starting point, and adapt as needs be to make it work for you.

Plus, everyone should be able to find some level of involvement withing their means that will bring them enjoyment in the making of braids.

Equally, there is NOTHING wrong with being among those who view braiding as just another tool in their jewelry making technique box so long as they are honest about their products.

But if that is you, you might want to stop reading now.

So why am I writing this rant –

Quite frankly, I care too much to be less than appalled by the background and training of those who would take your money in exchange for likely next to nothing other than how to screw the legs into your stand and generally exhibit no respect as an artisan for the craft they profess to be competent to teach.

The goal for this discussion is NOT to be “teacher specific” – rather to list and understand things that will best serve YOUR needs as a student at the level of your present expertise – a starting point for your own due diligence.

In case you were not sure so far, these are admittedly strongly held beliefs – but feel free to discuss the point and not the persons

Please be compassionate to your would be fellow students. Nothing can destroy a class for all involved when it is intended to build on a specific level of confidence. As with all “rules” there are exceptions, and “Japanese Braiding” holds a qualified exception

At one time or another we have all taken a class where there was someone who should not have been there. Way over their head, and pulling the rest of the class under along the way.

Be honest first with yourself and if you are determined, then contact the teacher and explain your situation honestly. Let them decide if it is worth your time and money to participate.

If needed accept you don’t meet the prerequisite gracefully and wait for a better opportunity.

Exceptions sometimes exist = when the class is led by a Japanese “trained” teacher – One whose training, skill and expertise represent a high level of competence in the craft AND the ability to teach. Why is this? Because their ingrained study and teaching ethics includes instruction with multiple levels of teaching – A Japanese one room school house if you will. Likely exists in other cultures and maybe in modern programs like the UK’s Cities & Guilds.

There are some excellent mentors to help you get started on your “braiding” journey in the use of the most basic equipment, the braiding stand either “flat top” or Marudai. If you are not yet able to participate in class, I truly hope you will find one who is a good fit to your needs.

If someone is kind enough to try to help you, one thing to expect is that at some point they will say it is time for you to make the commitment and find a way to study with a top level teacher. Do not feel abandoned, try to understand that they may know you need something different than they can offer.

So CAN you learn to use a marudai to make braids without taking a class? Some can – many try and even do but should you?

Speaking from experience – having to “unlearn” bad habits is second only to “unbraiding” in my least favorite learning experiences, so if you can, as early as you can after you determine that braiding on a stand is “right for you”
Find a way to learn from a well qualified instructor.

Can you learn to use a marudai CORRECTLY and create a basis for doing more than the “starting structures” of each braid family?

I don’t think so – there are just to many subtleties not covered in any current book or DVD that must be shown, first hand, with the velvet glove needed to guide you into the tiny differences.

Does that mean you should not try – of course not – probably not, but know up front that you are creating long term obstacles.

So what kinds of questions should you ask

Recently, as a morph of a discussion, I saw a really excellent summary of what one should look for in a teacher of braiding on a Marudai or “flat top” – and I hope this garners enough comments to create such a list –

Meanwhile, if I am going to pay for a class, I want some confidence that the teacher will have sufficient training to teach it “right”.

There are very specific reasons for every nuance of Marudai (and all other Kumihimo as well) –

The first things I would look for in a class description is a “defined” skill level and what if any prerequisites are required.

For formal learning opportunities (retreats, conference, ongoing study groups) – there is often a very strong correlation between costs and quality when one is considering fiber art education.
The obvious exception is when the class is being sponsored by an educational group such as a guild – and because of the quality of the setting, Then, dues paying members get a break because some of the costs are a membership benefit.

So it only seems prudent before spending hundreds of dollars to ask a question or twelve.

Look at the teach bio – with whom have they studied?
How long have they been involved in the craft –
What specific experience and expertise do they claim

Look at their work – yes, you may be a beginner, but is this something you “aspire” to create?

If the bio is not specific – ask how long they have been braiding – where else have they formally taught.

See what they share on line in braiding venues – does their commitment to the craft fall in line with yours?

Those are my openers –

Let’s work together to make a list of the factors to be considered before you commit your hard earned free time and money.

Definitely looking forward to hearing your comments here or in Facebook at either Beaded Braids Kumihimo & More
or the AllJustString community page

Or if you are shy, email Email wheat@itsalljuststring.com

Thanks for reading ….

Enjoy The Making,

Wheat







AllJustString – Introducing

November 20th, 2013 at 11:11 am » Comments (0)

Introducing
AllJustString

Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point. Or, as may not surprize – limitations and lunacy drive me to do start something. Past time to make some lemonade by finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.

It is a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,

Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.

It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.

At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.

Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.

I hope you will join us – Ask and answer questions, suggest references, talk about your latest project – or show off what you have done – ask for peer review for a Work In Progress.

AllJustString, that gives us the freedom to enjoy one or many of its uses.

Blessing of the Seasons
Always Take Time To

Enjoy The Making

Wheat







Standardization Dilemma

February 9th, 2012 at 09:53 am » Comments (5)

In a pretty much unrelated conversation in a designer’s group, a comment was made that “got me thinking” about one of my favorite topic – Standardization.

This is not really to say that how a technique is taught should be standard, but what the end result “looks like” should have a common name.

As most know, I Love Standardization and several of us are currently involved in trying to get some into Crochet beyond the 5-8 basic stitches. There is another group that tries very hard to create at least standard terms in “English” for Japanese Braidmaking – Kumihimo.

Not making a judgement here, but I have never understood calling the part of a “threaded needle” project that was the “Stitch Key” a graph or a chart. Although I can, for purposes of illustrating stitch placement see where either term could be reasonably interchangeable.

However the dilemma is that terms “cross craft”. We could spend hours and pages on why, but let’s don’t and just stipulate that it is so.

Using graph as an example, to say that it is limited to Cross stitch just does not work. Graph is commonly used in Crochet, Knit, Beadwork, weaving – Not to mention the one place where it does have a fairly standard meaning – Math and in every case including Math – if there are more than one person at the table, we could site at least 1-4 other terms commonly used to describe again placement be it of stitches or color.

Parallel development is so common in craft technique that there is always going to be someone who thinks they “invented” a stitch or whatever and even when others can, often as not, show that the “end result” of the stitch already exists, with a different name but with the same steps in its execution – they will still choose to claim authorship and name it as they please.

Then you have the main stream (or as main stream as niche publisher can be) craft book houses who have, because of the vacuum in established standards, make their own so at least the bulk of their publications would be the same and thus more usable for the consumer.

Is there an answer to this? Probably not, that won’t stop some of us from trying to make it easier for those who love the techniques from trying to make it easier for all to share.

Maybe we need a “Design Author Pledge” where egos are set aside and common factors are defined, common names used, and then it will be up to the individual to decide how to teach the process/technique.

Okay obviously I needed something to rant about – but really, what do you think?

Enjoy the Making

Wheat

P.S. A thank you to Linda Reinmiller for her comment that helped me “finally finish” this commentary







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    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?!Assumes ONLY YOU can properly and completely perform the necessary due diligence to determine your course of action in life or business - ALL article, like all on this blog, are a starting point, not the last word by any means. While I hope it is worth more, its value is exactly the same as what you paid for it – no dollars.
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! began as a place to express opinions strongly held or silly without everyone getting their panties in a twist assuming those opinions to be a personal attack because they lack the ability to discern between discussing the point and flaming a person.
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! is also where Wheat writes about products she uses and occasionally mentions ones best avoided. These may also but not always and not surprisingly are sold at ItsAllJustString,com
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! is also where she expresses sometimes controversial opinions about just about anthing so please expect the occastion rant.
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! welcome your comments - just remember - we want ot discuss the point not the person unless they are public usually political person.
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! is where Wheat writes primarily about things she uses and sells thru ItsAllJustString,com
    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?! blogamentries are based on personal experience and opinon. Your experience and opinion may differ. "what works for wheat may not work for you"
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