As I make changes to the site, I like to put in a few words to describe them and perhaps explain my reasons for them. You'll find the most recent entries here at the top - there's probably not a lot worth seeing as you read down, unless you're interested in how the site has evolved. (Old news...)
Picture galleries from various trips, conventions, and art/whatever festivals, in no particular order.
If you aren't on my distribution list, you can still see the latest general information message that I sent out, here. I'll try to keep it current...
Bracelet count (cotton bracelets) for 2012 was 1,900, for 2013 it was 2,170, and for 2014 the count was 2,367. The 2015 count was 2,437, 2016 was 2,637, and 2017's count was 2,957. The current (10-13) count is 2,549.
(12-06-18) There are more hacking attempts than orders coming in from my website, so I'm thinking of changing to a "by request" system. If you see something, or want to see something that you'd consider buying, send me an email and we'll work it out. Don't be surprised if the pages with "click to order" buttons either disappear or undergo extensive modifications in the near future.
(04-30-18) Due to hackers making more and more attempts to hijack my contact and feedback scripts, I'm disabling those pages, but I'm leaving the tools and supplies page up, since that works fine. For questions, suggestions, special requests, etc., it will be just as easy to click on the "email me" link and tell me what you want. You may also send me texts or contact me via Twitter or Facebook. See the contact page for details.
(03-16-18) I'm going to be selling more of my jewelry over on Etsy, soon. Currently there are some silver earrings there. Wish me luck. Here's the store link..."
(12-11-17) Sorry for so few updates lately. I went to Musecon in August, a meeting of the International Guild of Knot Tyers in October, and to WindyCon in November. I'm working on plans for 2018, and may be able to make it out to the west coast again, if all goes well. Send me emails to ask about workshops, it's better than using the forms on the website, what with all the filters I've had to add to block phishing attacks...
(07-21-17) The next out-of-town for me is Musecon in Chicago, August 4-6, where I will be showing my work, teaching, and generally making a nuisance of myself, as usual.
(04-05-17) MidSouthCon was fun, now I'm done traveling for at least a month or so. I'm working on some writing, and planning some videos on both string knotting and jewelry.
(03-07-17) Business has been very slow, and I may be cutting back a lot on travel this year. I'll be in Memphis, TN, this month, for MidSouthCon. My work will be in the art show, and I'll have a table in the Artist's Alley, so we'll see how it goes.
(01-16-17) The year is starting off a little slowly. I have a convention in Chattanooga (Chattacon) and hope to do well there. I _think_ I have a convention coming up in February, but will have to go back through my notes and emails to figure that out. I created a separate page on Facebook for people to post instances of "bracelet spotting", i.e., if you see someone (or are someone) who is wearing one of the cotton bracelets I give away, post a picture or a comment showing it and describing the circumstances.
(11-10-16) Still having trouble keeping things updated. Spent some time on the road, made a few more wedding rings, but haven't done a lot of jewelry workshops. I'm currently on a four-convention tour, Charleston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, which will finish out my travels for this year. A great deal of chaos at home (renovation after a disaster) and some personal issues have a lot to do with my neglect of my website, but also, I have to admit that some things have been easier to keep up with on Facebook. Feel free to find me there and ask questions or make requests.
(04-30-16) Several months into the year, and a few conventions as well. I'm having more and more trouble with organizing and planning, but will carry on as best I can.
(11-15-15) Yes, I know I said I was going to do more updates... things happen.
I've added a page to show a couple of silver pieces I've done with the jeweler's saw. I've also made some more jigsaw puzzles, which I'll try to add in as I get time. There will soon be some more tools available, specifically a new bracelet fixture to let folks make metal bracelets in the same dimensions as my cotton bracelets, as that seems to work really well. Making the tools, though, requires that I make some other tools first, so it might be early next year. (2016)
(8-10-15) One of my students wrote to ask what was going on, because I haven't posted updates in a while. I'm still here, still working, but have had various issues coming up that interfere with regular website updates. I'll try to get back into the swing of it.
I've been working on things that require a jeweler's saw, lately, as mentioned below (the puzzle), and will be posting a page showing some of my silver pendants and earrings made with it.
(4-15-15) Not many updates, lately, sorry about that. Business is a bit slow, but I did get out to some conventions.
I got a new saw from the folks at Knew Concepts and have been practicing with it, planning to do some pierced work. Along with that, I used it to cut out some puzzle pieces, HERE's a page that shows how that worked out.
I've added a brief explanation of paying for jewelry by emailing me the image of a personal check, on the "how to pay" page.
(2-14-15) Just finished a custom necklace, an "omega style" 20-inch pattern that looks like my regular rings, i.e., solid/twisted/solid pattern a little less than half an inch wide. It's a 75-loop pattern like the "single strand lanyard knot based on French sinnet" from Ashley's Book of Knots #576. HERE is a page showing two views of it.
(2-11-15) I realized that I haven't yet posted a picture here of the silver bracelet that I've been wearing lately. The solid wire gold bracelet was very challenging, what with my right hand getting so weak, and this one is a lot easier to take off and put back on. HERE's a page about it.
(1-19-15) Took a little vacation with some friends, just dancing and drinking and making bracelets for kids. Made 200 in one week, a record.
I've been experimenting with an old braiding technique as shown on page 501 of Ashley's Book of Knots, also known as "kumihimo". It involves laying out a pattern of multiple strands and braiding them to form a solid sinnet. The sequence of moves for a six-part round braid is quite simple, and the result looks the same as a splice between two three-strand lines. HERE is a page about that.
(1-1-15) It's been a roller-coaster year. I'll post some planned trips on the shows and events page soon. Health update: my spine is not happy. I've had some treatments that make it a little better, but they are a temporary expedient. I'm exercising (some "real" exercise, some dancing) and hanging in there.
(12-1-14) Just finished up the Philcon and Chessiecon stops, which were a lot of fun. Heading home to visit with medical folks and find out what they think about various things. No more travel this year, but I'm going to try to make it to Chattacon in Chattanooga, and definitely MystiCon in Roanoke, VA. Plans beyond that will be added to the list as they occur to me.
(9-18-14) All travel plans for the rest of September and October are pretty much canceled, as I'm going into physical therapy for my spine issues. I'm confident that I will be able to manage the November travel plans, including the workshops in Chicago.
The ideas I've been kicking around for the Kickstarter campaign for the new DVD are beginning to gel, and if you'd like to get a preview and perhaps offer some ideas of your own, please send me an email and I'll give you a link to my notes. I have a video professional lined up, and have some good ideas for what to put on the DVD, but I will be happy to consider requests and suggestions from you folks.
(9-1-14) Due to a medical emergency (brother's motorcycle accident) I had to terminate my late Summer trip right after MuseCon in Chicago and hurry home to deal with things. The workshops in Chicago will, one hopes, take place in early November, the weekend prior to WindyCon. The calendar will reflect that.
I'm in some doubt whether I'll be able to make it to Dallas for FenCon, or to Hamilton Ontario for the IGKT meeting, due to increased symptoms of my spinal stenosis, affecting my right arm. I'm hoping to learn more about that and get it resolved before November, at least, but I'm not going to cancel the late September trip until I have to, in case I can make it after all.
I'm working on plans to do a new video, to be released as a DVD (Volume II, to go with the first one) and may possibly make it available for private download if that seems advisable. I will need to use a Kickstarter campaign to fund it, so wish me luck. More on that as things progress.
(7-16-14) Interesting things have been happening (for various senses of "interesting") and I haven't been updating the site as often as I should, likewise for newsletters. I'll try to do better.
The schedule for conventions for the rest of the year is on my shows and events page. I'm hoping to add some workshops along the way. I'm about to head out for a six-week trip, spending a couple of weeks in Chicago for Musecon and some workshops. I'd like to fill that gap with more workshops, and will be happy to hear requests for them anywhere within a day or so of the Chicago area. The sooner that happens, the sooner I can update the schedule and plan it.
(6-2-14) I'm getting ready for Hypericon in Nashville, TN, and I've added LibertyCon in Chattanooga, both of them this month. More changes and additions to the schedule will be on the page devoted to that information.
I've added a page that shows the possible range of sizes of ring likely to result from my ring workshop, though I normally try to start my students out in the middle of that range for their first attempt.
(5-1-14) RavenCon was a blast, and now I have to get serious about some future plans.
(4-23-14) Getting set for RavenCon, where I'll have several panels, showing and teaching knots in wire and string. Need to beat on my calendar and get it to show some future activities, will update soon.
(2-24-14) Artist gathering/demo on March 9th in St. Petersburg, then MidSouthCon in Memphis, TN, March 21-23. Looking for some reason to spend extra time in April, along the I-95 corridor, because I'll be attending RavenCon on April 25-27, in Richmond, VA.
(01-16-14) Getting ready for Arisia, in Boston, MA. Posted a new message in my newsletter page and broadcast it to my subscribers. Tweaked a few items.
(01-06-14) I've added a page that discusses the little knotted bags that I've been making, lately, and provides a pattern to show how they are made. I've also added a kit to the tools page. That will include a ready-to-use fixture and enough string to finish a bag. It's challenging, but at least two of my friends have succeeded in following it, already.
(01-03-14) Sorry about not so many updates, lately. Some of my difficulties have been posted on Facebook, which is a little easier than editing my website, but I'm going to try to get back here more often.
I've been having respiratory issues, some environmentally linked asthma and one full-blown bout of H1N1 Influenza. The latter terminated my plans for going to Chicago for WindyCon and some workshops, which would have flatlined my income if it hadn't been for a couple of online orders.
I've been working on making my kids' workshops (cotton bracelets) go better, refining the patterns and posting some videos.
(9-19-13) I came home early from the trip out west, due to a medical issue, never made it to California, but I had a good time in San Antonio, except for the food poisoning/bug/whatever. Preparing for a couple more conventions in October, and then some more in November, including a workshop stop in Chicago.
(08-15-13) Site edit: a tweak to the index page, following a friend's suggestion to give better billing to my cotton bracelets.
Adding information to my shows and events page, including some workshops.
(06-19-13) Latest update for the schedule is up, and sent out to my announcement list members.
I'm going to try to spend some time out in SoCal again, not very long, to teach workshops and meet up with Guild members. (IGKT)
(06-03-13) Hypericon 2013 is coming up, in Nashville, TN. Looking forward to seeing old friends and perhaps making new ones. I'm trying to work up some plans for travel in July and August, but the only current certainty is that I'll be in San Antonio for WorldCon over Labor Day weekend.
(05-20-13) Since I never heard back from the Oasis convention in Orlando, I've decided to spend Memorial Day weekend dancing in Atlanta. "Catapult" is a national showcase for bands and callers (contra dancing) and I expect to have a lot of fun there. I've also added Hypericon to my schedule for next month, June 14-16, so I'm looking forward to visiting Nashville again.
(05-12-13) I've been doing some chain-mail bracelets lately, which have proven pretty popular. Here are a couple of JPL weave bracelets, one of which is made with a mixture of gold and silver.
(04-29-13) Home, filling a few orders, planning new travels.
There's a chance I could go overseas (Australia) in September, but it depends on finances, meaning it's a remote chance.
(04-11-13) RavenCon was a blast, again. I look forward to being there again next year. Currently visiting friends in Maryland, but I'm going to be in Lynchburg, VA for workshops this Saturday, then on to Baltimore to teach on Sunday. A few days of visiting after that, and it will be time to head home again.
(03-08-13) Some progress on getting workshop students for April, and a few jewelry items made along the way. I've decided to offer the cotton bracelet kits (that I use to teach people how to tie the bracelets I make and give away) on my kits and tools page. Look down toward the bottom of the list for single kits and packs of six. I've uploaded a couple of new videos to YouTube, clickable from my videos page.
(02-18-13) Working on getting a few orders out, and arranging my travels for the early part of this year. Will be scheduling some workshops in Virginia and Maryland in April, see the sign-up page to join up, and the schedule page to see what I'm planning.
Per some students requests, I've added a 5x7 Celtic Turk's-head mat to the tools page that will make a hair ornament, or scarf- or kilt-pin. It's just a size selection on the original one from before, actually.
(01-10-13) This might be a stressful year for triskedekaphobes. Hang in there, 2014 is just around the corner!
(12-17-12) I haven't scheduled any workshops for the first part of next year, though I will be on the road from time to time. See my show schedule page for where I'll be, and feel free to ask about taking classes.
(11-20-12) Reluctantly, but of necessity, some prices are going to go up after the end of the year. The margins on my workshops have been declining; I hate boosting prices casually and so I've just been eating the difference, but it's time to adjust things to a more rational level again, so my travel expenses won't absorb the income. By the same token, with gold far more expensive now, I really have to keep up with the material costs, at least, even if I ignore my overhead costs for continuing to stay in business. The new prices will be effective after the holiday season, i.e., on January 1st of 2013.
Since I've gotten a number of requests for it, I've decided to let people buy cotton bracelets from the website. The plain ones will go for $10, plus postage and handling... there'll be a PayPal button on the page that talks about them.
(11-13-12) Not many updates, lately, sorry about that. In the meantime, I've had some adventures. Con*Stellation in Huntsville, AL was a lot of fun, and the meeting of the International Guild of Knot Tyers (North American Branch) in Springfield, IL was definitely worth the trip, but I had to break my trip off short and head home for a few days instead of going on to the east coast.
I resumed the trip, heading up to Norfolk to meet a customer, then made it to Philadelphia for Philcon. Due to the storm, I think, the con was a little quiet, but I enjoyed getting together with old friends and making new ones.
(09-13-12) Long time since I updated the website, sorry! I'm back from seven weeks on the road, with three conventions and innumerable dances in various cities in the midwest. It was hot (100+ in Kansas City, in July) and frenetic, but a great deal of fun.
New schedule items, updating the shows and events page, and a new announcement email sent out. I'm going to be on the road again from the second week of October until the first week of December.
(06-29-12) By request of several students I have added several more ring fixtures to the tool order page. Remember, the default ring fixture is the one that makes nine-lead rings, and is included in the ring tutorial kit.
(06-20-12) The schedule for my next trip is looking a bit more organized, but it still has some big gaps in it where I'd like to find myself teaching workshops in various places.
(05-31-12) Got an order for a custom ring in steel and 18K gold. It came out beautifully, there's a picture on the steel rings page. I was asked to experiment with twisted strands with more parts than just the usual three, so I've added a picture of some seven-strand cable to the twisted wire page.
(04-27-12) I've had a request for some interesting knots that I've done in the past to become "production" models, with associated tools to be available for purchase on my tools and kits page. Since I have a few days to spare, that's what I'll be up to before I go to Toledo.
I'm going to have to set up some stops for the month of August, because I'll be in the midwest for about a month, with two workshops in Chicago. I'll be looking for individuals and groups within a couple of days of there who are interested in taking workshops. Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St Paul are good choices, but there are bound to be others, not to mention the opportunities in and around Chicago.
(04-20-12) RavenCon in Richmond was delightful, as I fully expected, and ended up costing me very little, what with the several people who participated in my earring and bracelet workshops.
Next stop is Philadelphia, where I will be resting up and cat-sitting and preparing more workshop materials for the stops in Toledo and Columbus, OH. Might even manage to find some dancing there!
(04-02-12) More tweaking to the website... I hope people can find things!
I'm working on a small workshop or two in Maryland during the week of April 16-22, since I'll be staying with friends in the area. It's possible that I will make it up to Massachusetts for workshops around the last weekend in April, before going to Toledo to teach on the first weekend in May.
Breaking news: might have a workshop or a series of workshops in Columbus OH on May 7-8, on my way south from the workshops in Toledo.
(03-17-12) I've been doing some more videos. One of the most recent is on making Turk's-head chains, and I've embedded it on this page. It's time to add a page that lists all of my videos, I suppose...
(03-05-12) More changes to the main page, and I'm working on a new look for the whole site -- nothing radical, but hopefully easier to navigate. The biggest change will be that the "block'o'text" links at the top of the page are slated for disposal, replaced by drop-down menus. If you haven't seen the home page, that's where I'm currently experimenting with it.
(02-28-12) I've added a new select field to the workshop sign-up form, to allow both registration for regular workshops and requests for new workshop locations at the same time.
You may have noticed some slight changes to the "home page" of the website, where I've focused more directly on workshops.
(02-22-12) More updates, working on workshop scheduling and adding links to help people find my tutorials and videos.
(02-12-12) Another Youtube tutorial, showing how I do the tassel for fancy cotton bracelets.
(02-10-12) Some schedule shifting, and a few tweaks. Also, I've included a video on the cotton bracelets page to show how the variegated cotton bracelets are worked into shape after dyeing.
(02-02-12) I'll be teaching workshops this year that directly address the use of Turk's-head rings as bezels. I decided on a 20mm bezel, which happens to be the size of a US nickel, and here's a page that shows a sample.
(01-24-12) Several people have seen THESE and want me to make more of them. Every one is different, of course, because the process is so chaotic.
(01-19-12) New commitments on the calendar, updates to the schedule. I'm sending out the latest news to my announcement list, here's a copy.
(01-16-12) I'm getting back to work, and last month I set myself a challenge, just to make sure I could manage. Gold and silver are reasonably challenging to tie knots in, but they are soft. Here's a ring tied in steel!
(01-12-12) For those who have wondered about my abrupt cancellation of travel plans for the first quarter of '12, a bit of information. I've been experiencing severe pain, which has now been (at least as far as I can know) traced to degenerative arthritis in the cervical vertebrae; i.e., it's technically a pain in the neck... nothing to be done, other than alleviate the pain and carry on, so that's the plan.
Meanwhile, I'm going to be starting up my travels again, starting in March, going to Memphis for MidSoutCon. See the "Latest News" page for details.
(01-11-12) I made and gave away 169 cotton bracelets from the time we left the dock in Tampa on January first to the time we docked again a week later. Some pictures are on my facebook page. Lots of kids, mostly, but anyone else who wanted one, as well.
I've been invited back to RavenCon in Richmond, VA, in April, and may turn that into a longer trip up the eastern seaboard for teaching and visiting. I'll update the newsletter and send it out with details when I have more.
(12-31-2011) Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I'll be offline for about a week, between the first two Sundays of 2012.
I'm working on some detailed discussions of the various Turk's-head patterns that I usually work with, their similarities and differences. Right now it's not very useful, being all text, but I mean to add some illustrations and perhaps some video to clarify things. It might or might not duplicate the efforts of others -- that remains to be seen. For now, the few notes I've made can be found on this page. I'll probably add a chart to show which knots result from which others, and the sort of expansion required in each instance.
(12-20-2011) I finished another Youtube video, showing how to use one of the patterns on the tutorials page to make a cotton bracelet. The method works for any of the patterns but is specific for the one that is seven leads by sixteen bights. Here's the video.
(11-30-2011) I've updated a few spots on the website, notably the areas where I used to cite prices. With the volatility of the metals market, it is not possible for me to provide a fixed price for a specific ring or bracelet, but I can at least show the relative complexities of the choices available. I'm currently using a multiplier of about $40 per tripled crossing for 18K gold, but the loop density is also a factor. Custom made silver rings would be just under $10 per tripled crossing. Feel free to email questions to me about this, because that will help me figure out better ways to explain it to others!
(11-22-2011) Windycon and Philcon were both delightful, it was great to reconnect with my friends in both places and see what they've been up to. The rest of my trip will be just family and friends, and a relaxed progression south to return home. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
Due to some health and financial issues that have come up, I'm going to have to cancel any long trips for at least the first quarter of 2012. This makes me very sad, and I will miss the folks that I would have been seeing at the conventions and workshops that were, or could have been, scheduled for that period of time. I'll let folks know if things change.
(11-02-2011) My trip up to Chicago for WindyCon begins early next week. I'll be in the art show and will be doing some demos for the artist's alley, as well as my usual obsessive bracelet-making with string whenever I'm not doing anything else. After the weekend in Chicago I'll be heading east for PhilCon in (well, near) Philadelphia.
At this time I have no formal plans for workshops along the way, but I'd be open to requests for ad hoc sessions whenever and wherever they can be fitted in. I'll be staying in Philadelphia for the week of Thanksgiving, as well, before heading down the I-95 corridor and back to Florida.
Nearly forgot, I've uploaded another Youtube video, to demonstrate a bracelet I made with string and electroluminescent wire. It's at the bottom of the el wire page.
(10-13-2011) Wow, two days, two updates...
I've added a page to show some knots tied in exotic wire, and updated my shows and events schedule, as well as sent out another announcement email, copied to that page for those not on the list.
(10-12-2011) I've canceled the Northampton workshop (the two people signed up have been notified) and will hope to get back there sometime in the future.
I had a great time teaching in Indianapolis, last Thursday, and then lots of fun in Romulus, MI, at ConClave. I'm home, now, working on some more projects, getting ready for Necronomicon.
(09-26-2011) I'm not sure if I'll be able to manage the Northampton workshops, due to light attendance. If not this time, though, I'll definitely be scheduling another stop there.
I've had some requests for fixtures for the fancy Celtic knots shown in the last update. That won't happen until I've had time to tweak the images for clarity, though.
Some website updates, some workshop updates, and a new announce-list email sent out.
(09-09-2011) Time's a wastin'... I've got several conventions lined up for the rest of this year, though not as many as I'd like. I won't be able to make Archon, and I'm passing up a couple of others, but there are two trips coming up. See the Workshops/Shows page for details.
I've added a silver pendant to the Celtic Knots page, it came out pretty well.
(09-02-2011) I'm home, finally, and recovering somewhat. Nice to be back, but now I need to get organized for the next round of traveling and teaching and showing, of course.
I'll be updating the shows and events page with my travel plans very shortly.
(08-21-2011) WorldCon was excellent, great fun and surpisingly successful for me in the art show. Five pieces sold, so I will have to make some more similar ones to fill the gaps.
Lots of new friends. I was particularly pleased with Breena (hope she reads this) who loves to dance and sing and seems to have a natural talent for picking up knot-tying skills. :)
(08-15-2011) MuseCon in Chicago was a blast, and I had workshops in Minneapolis and in Sioux Falls, also great fun. Today I'm in Salt Lake City, just a couple days from Reno and the World Science Fiction Convention there. (WorldCon)
I've dropped the workshops in Pocatello from my schedule, so I'll be starting east again a week earlier than expected. Updating the announce-list emailing and its copy here on the site.
(08-01-2011) Stuck in Chicago for several days, waiting for MuseCon. Dancing and dining are fine, it could be a lot worse!
Posting a fresh announcement email today, changing some plans, opening up other options. The economy may be the reason things are so slow, but to perk things up I've decided to offer a custom made silver ring to anyone who will organize a workshop with six or more people. I'll make the ring during the class, so everyone can see how I do a ring from first to last, instead of just one or two steps as I demonstrate using their project.
(07-24-2011) Made it to Kansas City, and enjoyed a convention with a lot of my computer-nerd friends there. It's time to head for Chicago.
I've got a short video on Youtube, here's a link to see it there, and I'll also post it on my Tutorials page.
(07-17-2011) First stop of the Summer Tour of the West... Nashville, TN, with transmission problems, some dancing, and an apt pupil. Two out of three, not bad. :)
(06-30-2011) A very nice wedding set, with some unusual characteristics... I'll link this page from my five-lead page, also, but they do stand out from the crowd.
(06-22-2011) More schedule updates, workshops added to the Reno trip, tweaks.
I had a great time in Nashville, at Hypericon. Hope to be there again next year.
(06-13-2011) Updated the schedule a bit, tidied up some html code, and fixed a couple of permissions. My apologies to those who received a "server error" when trying to send me feedback.
(06-06-2011) Preparing for weekend after next, in Nashville, TN, where I will be attending Hypericon. I sold one of my nicer necklaces (ninety knots, in three rows) at Oasis in Orlando, so I had to make another one of those, and I had to repair a few broken knots in my shirt. While I was at it, I inadvertently fixed the incorrectly tied knot, and had to go back and tie it incorrectly again... anyone who would like to look for it is welcome to try, with a prize for the first success at any given convention.
I'm also trying to organize some more workshops, especially in the midwest and west for my trip out to Nevada in August.
(04-27-2011) Interesting times... The Greater Southern Gem & Jewelry show in Jackson, MS was a washout. The promoter had been trying to get me to attend for several years. He told me that he had several students for workshops, which would have paid for the trip. Apparently, he was ...mistaken. I won't fall for that one again.
The hand-dyed string I've been playing with has been getting good reviews, HERE are some examples. Mixing colors makes them stand out very dramatically, though not always in a good way.
(03-21-2011) In a gesture towards organizing, I've moved a number of pictures of rings that I've made for customers into a directory of their own on the site. This will make it easier for me to find them, for one thing, and will also allow visitors to browse through what I've been doing along that line. You can find it under "custom_rings". Few of those images are likely to wind up on linked pages, so this is a good way to get them into view.
(03-16-2011) The ring order backlog is almost taken care of, and I'm preparing for my trip to Memphis for MidSouthCon, which was the first science fiction convention I ever attended, years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. If you're there, look for me in the dealer's room, and see my display in the art show.
The current oddball project that's taking up most of my time is nearing a milestone, as I think I can produce a version of it that can be modeled. In the meantime, though, you can see the evolution of the knot here.
(02-19-2011) Got some ring orders in, and feeling a little better. I've abandoned hope of getting out to SeaTac for NorWesCon, but word has come in that I've got a table in the art show at WorldCon in Reno (Renovation), so that is definitely on. Some potential workshops coming up that aren't on the schedule yet, and, of course, anyone can suggest/request workshops to add to my schedule.
I'm not happy with my ring and bracelet pricing page, but I've added some verbiage about the ultimate price being affected by materials. Gold and platinum are ridiculously expensive at the moment, and silver, cheap as it is compared to them, is still far higher than it was a few years ago.
(01-26-2011) Lots of adventures, going up to Boston for Arisia. Worst winter weather I've ever been through, though not the coldest.
The kids' workshop I conducted was delightful, all the children did fine and some were just amazing. I don't know if they're going to go on to make lots of cotton bracelets for their friends, but they certainly enjoyed doing them in the class.
I did another repair on a rather old ring, (from 2001) and put the before and after shots on the repair page.
(12-30-2010) Last update of 2010, probably... It's been an interesting year. I've projected ahead for 2011 with the conventions I'm planning to attend. I don't know if I'll make it to all of them, or how many more I'll want to go to that I haven't listed, but it's a start.
(12-13-2010) Back from my trip to attend WindyCon, PhilCon, and the IGKT meeting in Maryland.
(10-21-2010) Some more updates. I've added a page to showcase a custom bezel I've applied to a Koroit opal supplied by a customer.
I don't really want to get into all the issues that have made recent updates and planning so difficult, but I have some hope that they will subside, or abate somewhat. Please bear with me.
(10-19-2010) I was interviewed recently and the producer (Dennis Port) gave me permission to share it. It's too long for a single YouTube video, so I hacked it into two:
(10-16-2010) A long time between updates. Life has been getting in the way a bit, but one carries on.
I finished another wedding set and a custom bezel for an opal, and did a few science fiction conventions. Upcoming events for this year include three more conventions, some workshops (the more, the merrier) and some more jewelry orders.
(08-24-2010) I have some new business cards, in a way. Cotton clothing tags with my name and this website on them, tucked into the cotton bracelets that I give away on a regular basis. They'll survive a washing, but can be easily removed.
I'm still working on my fall schedule, and should have openings for workshops soon.
(08-19-2010) The domain IP numbers changed, which may result in a "page not found" error at some point. If this happens, or has happened, don't worry about it, just one of those things that happens from time to time.
I'm working on my fall and winter travel schedule, and will be adding some workshops along the way.
(08-13-2010) Nice to be home for a while. I'm having more and more trouble planning future trips, for some reason, but there are several that I know will happen, anyway.
Someone pointed me to an article that referred to me, though it was primarily about computer peripherals. There are a couple of pictures of my work, there.
(08-01-2010) Still on the road, curently staying with family in Raleigh, NC. I'm looking forward to the convention coming up (ReConStruction) where I'll be in the art show.
(07-10-2010) I seem to be fighting massive inertia in updating the website and planning for the next trip. I'll be heading out in a couple of weeks and I still haven't done a lot of advance work for teaching and visiting, though at least I have managed to reserve space in the art show in Raleigh.
Did a bit of tweaking to a few pages, added some goodies for folks who want to tie their own string bracelets, and did some general sprucing up. More later, as I get time.
(06-26-2010) Still at Origins Game Fair, and having plenty of fun. I've been invited to attend a convention in Michigan, ConClave, in October, and it looks as though I'll be able to fit it in. If anyone in the Detroit area would like to attend workshops, this is a great opportunity.
(06-14-2010) Updates to the schedule, a fresh newsletter mailed out, and more dancing... Next stop, Chicago, and DucKon!
(06-07-2010) No students in Louisville, after all, but I did manage to get some dancing in. I've got a few days to kill before I reach Minneapolis, MN for the weekend workshops, so I may play tourist for a while, or look for more dancing between KY and MN.
(05-18-2010) The list for my workshops on June 12 and 13 is looking good, but I need to get some more students for the rest of the trip. I'll be doing demos and workshops at the conventions (Hypericon, DucKon, and Origins) as well, but you have to have a badge to attend.
My banyan tree lost all of its leaves late last year, but is now looking to recover. I have a couple of Google Earth and satellite shots of it, and a photograph taken from my front yard, showing its size and condition, on this page..
(05-11-2010) Updated the sign-up page and my show schedule for June.
I've been playing around with Turk's-head knots in string, that have one end closed. Here is a little project involving that. It ended up taking twenty feet of #18 cotton twine.
(04-19-2010) Finished up in California (Whaley Studios is an awesome place to have a workshop!) and now I'm working my way back east. Phoenix, then Albuquerque, then Tulsa OK for the Conestoga convention.
I need to map out workshops for the next couple of months -- I just noticed that there are no lists on the sign-up page, I will take some time to sketch some more of the schedule in very soon.
(04-10-2010) NorWesCon was great, and my visits and workshops in Idaho and Washington were equally delightful. I've progressed to Oregon, and will be arriving in Sacramento in a few days.
(03-19-2010) I'm in Denver for a couple of days, getting snowed on, so it's time to do a few more tweaks to the website and catch up on some other projects.
(03-15-2010) On tour, currently in Missouri, on my way to Denver next weekend. MidSouthCon was great, and here are some pictures up. I have a video clip, suitable for mobile devices, of a dance we did on Saturday night. It's 30-something megs, in M4V format. Here is a much larger one that will play in your browser.
(03-07-2010) The vacation was great, I'll post some pictures when I have time. I'm back, and it's time to get serious about my next trip. Memphis (MidSouthCon) this coming weekend, then six weeks of driving around the country, two more conventions after this one, and a bunch of little workshops, some big ones.
(02-24-2010) During the next week (Saturday 2-7 til Saturday 3-6) I may not be connecting on a regular basis, if at all, or answering my phone. I will do my best to check in during that time, but it's going to be very spotty. Any orders coming in will be handled in the first days of the following week.
(02-20-2010) A girl I met in Chattanooga asked me to remind her how to tie a hair-scrunchy in string, but I don't have time to do a full tutorial right now. Here's a quick demo, though.
(02-15-2010) Just for fun, I made a movie showing how I unwind a ball of cotton string, the kind I use for the bracelets I hand around for free. The file is 16 megabytes, about a minute of video in Quicktime format.
(02-12-2010) I've done a bit more tweaking of the schedule for the trip out to the Pacific Northwest, details will be on the Workshops/Shows page.
(02-11-2010) Some folks up in Memphis, where I will be attending MidSouthCon in March, put on a television spot to advertise for it.
The reason I imbedded this will become clearer if you watch it, or, if you become impatient, skip to about five and a half minutes into the clip.
(01-30-2010) Home again, and planning the next trip, in March and April. Latest news email is out, and I've already added another stop to the page showing my schedule, due to feedback from it.
I've added an offer to teach one free workshop to anyone who gives me shelter along my route, in case anyone is interested.
(01-19-2010) The Arisia convention was delightful, and I've added a folder to the galleries page for pictures of it, as I have time to process them.
The links to older news posts are now to be found at the bottom of this page.
(01-05-2010) Updating my schedule a bit, clarifying my repair policies, and a bit more of what I can do with the Celtic triangles, pentangles, etc. I'm working on a headdress that is currently looking like THIS.
(12-29-2009) Regular polygons lead to regular solids... click HERE to see what I did with the "Celtic Pentangle". I seriously doubt if I'll ever bother to do it again, but it's kinda cool.
(12-24-2009) I've been playing around with a bit of Celtic knotting that someone gave me, after a discussion that touched on triangular knots. I have some other ideas in mind, but while I'm working on them I decided to push the basic idea. This page shows the original knot and two expansions of it.
(12-11-2009) I'm pleased to be home again for a while, but now it's time, and past time, to plan for the next trip.
The workshops in Bradenton, FL, were canceled due to low attendance -- I've noticed that I don't get a lot of workshop requests here at home, maybe a couple a year, or so. Maybe we'll do one next year.
I'll be going up to Boston in January. (yes, I know... but that's when they hold the Arisia convention, what can I do?) I'm hoping to do a workshop or two during that trip.
(11-25-2009) Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it this week. I'm still on the road, but currently I'm visiting family in Philadelphia, PA, and I will be having dinner with them on Thursday.
I've got a picture of one of my "ad hoc" students' work, a young lady who accepted my challenge to make her own earrings at a convention. She sat down at my table and, using the tools provided and with a little prompting, managed to produce some Celtic Oval earrings that came out very nicely. I've added them to the page on graduated knots, since they're related to the ones displayed there.
(11-05-2009) I took a little time out from packing and making tools for my workshops to experiment with a bracelet. One of my students asked about maybe doing this, and after I'd made some suggestions, I decided I needed to try it myself, just in case I was wrong.
(10-28-2009) Not many updates, lately, sorry. I had a great time going to Archon in St. Louis, then up to Nashua, NH for a workshop, then a general meeting of the International Guild of Knot Tyers in New Bedford, MA. When I got home I had a few days to prepare for Necronomicon, in St. Petersburg, FL. Now I'm gearing up for the next trip, which will last about five weeks and encompass two science fiction conventions and a few workshops.
(9-24-2009) The trip to Huntsville, AL, for Con*Stellation, was very enjoyable. For the first time, someone met the challenge and found the improperly tied knot in my knotted chain-mail shirt, and won herself a pair of butterfly earrings. Congratulations, Melody!
I got rained on a lot, coming through Georgia on the way home, but the stop in Kennesaw was well worth my time, as I met a student there who was especially apt. I expect great things from her future explorations.
(9-12-2009) I just realized that I've been mistaken about a particular knot pattern that I've shown people in workshops and provided for them with some kits, and I need to straighten it out, and also to apologize for the inconvenience and frustration that it may have caused. When tying a seven-lead ring on the ring fixture provided, all is well, but I mistakenly told students that this would translate directly to the twenty-nine bight bracelet... this is not the case, because the mathematical relationship is not the same. See this page for more, and a picture to replace the one provided in the workshops.
(9-10-2009) Updating schedules, revising a few words here and there, and trying to get back into the swing of things. The part of my medical bills that wasn't covered by my insurance has made it urgently necessary to generate fresh income, and I'm hoping the economy will begin to recover fast enough to keep me from sinking.
(8-30-2009) I did a little tweaking to help people understand the kits and DVDs setup, and updated my schedule a bit -- it's time to get back to work!
(8-8-2009) I took a second picture of my eye yesterday, and a third one today, showing the bubble smaller then, and gone now. All the pictures were taken looking up at the camera at a sharp angle. I put the three pictures into a folder.
(8-6-2009) I'm doing better, though it's been a rough day. The doctor left a bubble of air trapped under my cornea, to help fix the transplant in position. It's only visible when I look up, but it's very disturbing.
Another followup appointment tomorrow morning, to see how things are going.
(8-5-2009) As some of you may already know, I recently underwent cataract and DLEK/DSEK surgery. My vision is very bad right now, and I will not be traveling out of state for workshops until I've recovered to at least some extent. Currently, I think it will be at least a month, but it could be longer. I can still take orders for jewelry, DVDs, and tools, as it is possible to optimize conditions here at home to permit me to work for brief periods of time.
(7-14-2009) After finally coming to a decision about some looming health issues that were making it hard to think, I'm back on track, somewhat. The trip to Kansas City is on, in a way, but without workshops. August and September are up in the air, with tentative plans, and October and November are going to be filled with lots of shows and workshops.
(6-30-2009) I'm going to have to pass up the trip to Kansas City, etc., but it will give me more time to catch up on some projects that have been piling up.
(6-29-2009) Finished up with my stint in Columbus, and on my way home. I've updated the schedule page, and the latest-news echo. Plans are afoot for a two-week trip in the latter half of July, to Kansas City and home by way of Kentucky.
(6-23-2009) I've been very busy on the road, sorry not to have updated much recently. I've been having the time of my life, though...
DucKon was a blast, and all of the students that I've done workshops with before and since then have been delightful. I've made it to Columbus, OH, and will be helping out at the Origins Game Fair, maybe teaching a bit, until Sunday, and then I'll start thinking about going home to Florida.
(6-2-2009) Edited the destination email in my PayPal buttons in an attempt to re-start the payment notifications. If you've made a payment for a workshop or a DVD or kits and not gotten a response within a few hours, it's because I have to log into their site and look for the information. Hope to have that resolved soon.
(5-26-2009) I'm sad that the NYC workshops didn't come to pass -- they had six students signed up, and based their numbers on ten. I wanted to re-negotiate, but so it goes.
I'm getting several extra days to visit with family in Philadelphia, though, so it's not all bad.
I'll be teaching some very small workshops in my hotel rooms over the next couple of weeks, as I continue on my tour, as well as working with local hosts. Keep an eye on my schedule...
(4-29-2009) Home again, for a couple of weeks. Now I have to make all of the fixtures and tools I'll need for the next two months, because I'm going to be on the road again for six weeks, starting in mid-May.
(4-21-2009) The workshops in Texas (DFW area) were a rousing success, with six students who all did great work. I also got a chance to go dancing, in Denton on Friday night, and in Dallas on Saturday night.
After a side trip to Bryan, TX, it will be time to go to Tulsa, OK for Conestoga.
(4-14-2009) Lots of DVD sets sold, and quite a few kits for various projects. It gives me some hope...
In response to some more feedback on the kits ordering page I've done a little tweaking so folks can get a better idea of what to expect from each kit.
Almost time to leave town for my next trip, a short one this time, only a week and a half, to Texas and Oklahoma before returning home to Florida.
(4-08-2009) I've added another convention and some stops to my May/June tour, and the schedule is filling in nicely. Preparations for my mid-April trip to Texas and Oklahoma are nearly complete, and I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun.
(4-02-2009) Several students have requested that I list a "wire twisting contraption" on my kits and tools page, so, after making sure that I can manage to make more of them successfully, I have done so.
As of today, I have sold all but a handful of my first shipment of DVDs, but I've got a large consignment of them coming in early next week. Note that there will be discounts for volume purchases, please email me directly for details.
I just received another shipment of ring-stretchers, so, to anyone who has an interest in getting one of those, they are in stock. I try to have some with me in every ring workshop, as well, since I use them during the course of the class and my students tend to realize how very useful they are, at that point.
(3-24-2009) I'm still trying to sort out what to do with shipping -- there are some larger items that require extra effort on my part, and I'm adding s/h charges to them, but I'll ship other items free if they're alone, or included with other items.
I've sent out a few DVD sets already, and I'm hoping that I don't run out of the current batch before I get another shipment.
(3-20-2009) The DVD is now released, and available on the kits page.
(3-11-2009) A bit of price juggling on the kits pages, reflecting the more complex nature of the ring kit and the simpler nature of the knotted chain-mail. The deluxe package remains the same.
I've given final approval of the DVD contents, and it is now just a matter of a few days before they will be included on the listing for purchase from the website.
(3-06-2009) I've been home for a couple of days, and I'm trying to catch up with some orders for rings and workshop kits. I've been updating the website with my schedule over the next few months, so there are changes on that page, and a new anouncement email that has gone out to folks on my mail list, with a copy here on the website. I hate to even mention the DVD until it is really ready, but for those who have been asking, it is much, much closer now. One or two more tweaks, and then it's done.
Please note the new workshop tuitions are now in effect.
(02-14-2009) I'm partway through my trip out to the west coast -- one workshop, in Sacramento, has been canceled due to family issues with the host, making her unable to provide a venue for the class.
Other than that, everything is going well.
During the trip out here I stopped in Pensacola, FL, and in Houston, TX, where I managed to find some swing dancing. Since then I haven't been in the right places at the right times, unfortunately, but I will continue to seek out dancing opportunities.
While I was in Tucson I attended a gathering of chain-mail enthusiasts I know from The Ring Lord Forum. Here are some pictures.
(01-17-2009) While working with a customer, I noticed that my PayPal button will actually take visitors to a screen which will permit use of a credit card directly, without requiring a PayPal account. I've updated the page to inform folks of that.
I just sent out another message to my announcement list, and sent a couple of workshop group messages. I've no idea how many people are signed (or signing) up for my workshops in San Diego and San Jose, but they are being handled by the local folks and I have high hopes that things will work out fine.
(01-12-2009) I survived the western Caribbean cruise, my first one, and enjoyed it enough that I plan on repeating the experience at some point. Oh... if anyone reading this is ever aboard the "Carnival Legend", sailing out of Tampa, check the vertical stanchions on deck nine, aft, and you may find a seven-lead twelve-bight Turk's-head knot tied in cotton, somewhere near the top of one of them. I believe it is the fourth one from the starboard side. I'd love to hear from anyone who spots it there.
The preparations for next month's trip out west are going well -- I've got a number of students signed up already. The workshop costs have risen, as reflected on my syllabus page, but I will continue to accept the original fee from anyone who wishes to confirm their registration now by paying me via check, credit card, or PayPal. I'll be leaving town by the end of January, so any checks should be postmarked before the 23rd, to ensure arrival before I set out.