|Detail from Winding Roads--French knot seed heads with tendrils|
|Singularity Flowers with Beaded Centers|
Last weekend was the pilot class for Winding Roads. Since part of this blog is to inform people about what goes on behind the scenes with the teachers, I am going to be honest with myself and you readers. It could have gone better.
It was not the students by any means, or the location, the Masonic Lodge in Los Alamos, it was me. I usually have very smooth pilots that have few errors to dig out. This one was different. For some reason, my teaching notes did not jive 100% with the student text. I changed the order of the student text at the last minute and I thought I had changed the teaching notes to go along with it. No, I did not--at least not all of the notes. That was a big glitch--confusing for the students and bewildering for me. I gave myself a talking to, later in the day. “Let not the Student Text differ from the Teaching Notes.”
Another error was that I hadn’t thought through wholly how the student doodle cloths and the ribbons for the doodle clothes would work out. This was a little less egregious error. Thank goodness for the piloteers--we talked about the doodle cloths and the ribbons and now I have a good plan for the Florida class. “Let not the Ribbons and the Doodle Cloths be ignored, lest ye err.”
There were a few more things--the minor things that a good pilot class (which this certainly was) points out to a teacher. These were things like needing more yellow beads for flower centers, needing more neutral background fabrics (I thought I had enough, but obviously I was mistaken), and like the class needing more time to stitch in the beginning of the class. I can fix all that. Not a problem. “Let ‘Not a Problem’ not become a problem later on.”
Neenah Winchell, a long-time friend from Sandia Mountains, and I drove to Los Alamos the Friday before the Saturday/Sunday class. Neenah likes to take the scenic route and so we did. We missed I-25 and 599 (the relief route from Los Alamos around Santa Fe) both directions. Instead we wound through Albuquerque and Rio Rancho up 528 to 550 to San Ysidro and up the Jemez Valley, past the red cliffs, past the soda dam, and past the Valle Caldera, past the scorching of the Cerro Grande Forest Fire 11 years ago, and on into Los Alamos from the west. It was a beautiful day. Neenah was good company. Both driving and keeping us entertained.
The first night we ate at the Blue Window Bistro in greater downtown Los Alamos. (Okay, I am putting you on--there is no greater downtown Los Alamos. It is two streets wide and about five streets long.) Then we went back to the hotel room (the newest hotel in Los Alamos), let our hair down, and just chilled out. Neenah is also a good roommate. She doesn’t make fun of my occasional snort in my sleep and she thinks I am tidy.
It is good that neither of us eat breakfast. We went to the breakfast room the next morning, I with my tea, and Neenah with her coffee. There was a convention of the League of Women Voters staying there. We didn’t stick out, except we were the two not talking about anything too serious. Then off we went to the Masonic Lodge, arriving in plenty of time to set up the room. Carole Rinard who made all the arrangements for the pilot was there before us.
The first lunch was Salad by Committee and Sunday’s lunch was leftover Salad by Committee and Carole’s Blue Ribbon, Grand Prize, and Best of Show Stockholm sandwiches. I am not going to tell you what they were made of--that is Carole’s secret, but just let me mention sour cream and lignonberries.
Saturday night we went to the Hill Diner, my favorite place to eat, bar none, in all of Los Alamos County. And Sunday morning we once more comingled with the League of WV, had tea, and coffee. Neenah had a sweet roll. And we were off to the second day.
It is always a delight to teach a class for Pajarito Chapter in Los Alamos. I am a member of Pajarito and have been since 1992, although I rarely get to go up to a meeting. I met three new faces and greeted three old (what else do I say in this context?) ones. The members of the class were: Marilyn Foster a delightful woman with a good eye for color and design; Nancy Cope, one of my friends, who takes her job as a piloteer seriously and helps me out immensely; Sherri Huffman, another new face, who finished a piece by the end of the second day!; Evelyn Petschek, the third new face (actually I have seen Evelyn around once or twice) who contributed her fine wit and tried to keep my models straight; Neenah Winchell, roommate extraordinaire, with her fine sense of color and design,; and Carole Rinard, my buddy, mentor, traveling companion, co-author, and good friend for over twenty-five years. You all made the class a fun thing to do and made me a student as well as a teacher. Thanks very much.