Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If you're in the Toronto area, come meet Shades of Clay this weekend

Hi Everyone,

I've made it no secret that my favourite clay store is the online store http://shadesofclay.com/. It's run by our guild's past president, Marg Scott. Here's your opportunity to meet Marg and to peruse her supplies in person if you're in the Toronto area this weekend.

This coming weekend Marg (and her store) will be at the CreativFestival in Toronto. This annual event covers 200,000sq' of vendors, exhibitions, demos, book signings, make 'n takes, fashion shows and so much more. There are over 300 workshops held in conjuction with the festival. Workshops start October 15th; vendor sale starts October 17th and runs through to the 19th.

Along with many other guild members I'll be helping out at her booth. I'll be there on Sunday. While this may make me sound generous, it's not. I'm getting the better end of the deal as far as I'm concerned because she's paying booth staff with store credit! I think I've already spent my credit several times over in my head.

So come out and meet Marg and maybe meet some of the Southern Ontario Polymer Clay guild members (and maybe join the guild).

You can get more information here: http://shadesofclay.com/Articles/more/CreativFestival.html



Thursday, October 9, 2008

How my husband helps cure cancer in his spare time...

This blog entry is written by my husband about a hobby that you can participate in just by leaving your computer on. Please click on the links if you're interested in the topic, they provide much more information than I can provide here. It's very safe, much safer than opening e-mails. Feel free to leave comments if you want more information.

From my husband, Joe.

Almost a year ago I read an article about collaborative computing (definitely read the article in the link). Since then my spare computer that I rebuilt has run almost continuously, processing other people’s data. That’s the idea behind collaborative computing. I allow organizations such as CERN, LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and Ontario Cancer Institute to use my computer to process the huge amounts of data their scientific endeavors create. Projects range from examining chess moves to looking for aliens with hundreds of ideas in between. All of this is controlled using a program called BOINC. If you go here, you can read more about BOINC and how to get involved in collaborative computing.

My personal favourite is Einstien@home through LIGO. I read a book about this project a few years ago and now I am a part of it. This daunting goal of proving Einstein’s theory about gravity waves uses kilometer long measuring devices to detect atomic size disturbances in our surroundings. To see how I’m doing, go to Boinc Account Manager (BAM).

Back to my claim though. A few months ago one of my original projects, lhc@home was nearing the end of its goal, which was to calibrate the new particle accelerator at CERN. Looking around for other projects, I decided to join the Work Community Grid. This organization allows smaller facilities that might not have the expertise or facilities to make use of collaborative computing. I believe IBM is the major supporter, with many other corporate sponsors. I decided to help in the search for cancer and for a better strain of rice.

“Using the power of World Community Grid, scientists at the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), Princess Margaret Hospital, and the University Health Network will process the existing 86 million images of proteins that have been screened in the high-throughput crystallization pipeline at HWI. World Community Grid will run a CrystalVision program that the researchers at OCI have developed to analyze the features of individual images to determine the outcome of the crystallization screen — crystal, micro crystal, phase separation, skin, precipitate, or no change.”

A small amount of this analysis is done on my computer, but thousands of participants like me make a huge contribution to science.

That’s how I cure cancer in my spare time.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So this is a little embarrasing...before and after shots

Hi Everyone,

My father and his girlfriend are coming to visit for a week and it was time to tackle the hobby room again so that it wasn't too bad. Not that they'll be spending any time in it, but it was a good excuse to force myself into tidying.

I have an amazing tolerance for working in clutter and my work space accumulates stuff until I'm left with six square inches of surface.
Sometimes I only clean up enough to find what I'm looking for. And other times I feel the urge to completely do a re-do. Those are far between.

Fortunately, as I was thinking of cleaning, my clayer friend Janice called and said she wanted to get out of the house and could she come over. I said sure as long as she didn't mind watching me tidy.

So with good company I got quite a bit done. These are before and after photos. They're very similar to the photos I took over a year ago here.

You can see my new Hamilton Beach oven that I bought last week. So far so good with it. I'll be curious to see how much stronger Kato clay is when baking it at higher temperatures. And that's about it for now.

Janice and I spent the morning today introducing a new friend to clay. We did a mokume gane technique and Pam is thrilled. I had to leave my tin at Janice's but once I get it back I'll post photos of both Janice's and my work.

And for those that are partially living travel vicariously through our travel bug Maple Bear, I'm happy to say he accomplished another mission and got his photo taken at Oktoberfest. He's now going on a tour of Germany for a while.