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July 31, 2004

Eating Crow

Tammy (my wife) says I have to eat a lot of crow… so here it is.

Yesterday when Tammy was putting a new bar of soap in the bathtub, I immediately asked her to save the old slivers for me. She busted out laughing, literally doubling over. Poor Johann didn’t quite understand what was so funny, but enjoyed seeing Tammy having such a good laugh. I was “forced” to apologize for all those years of giving her a hard time about saving the soap slivers for marking fabric. Of course she also made me apologize for a few other things I gave her a hard time about that relate to sewing. I drew the line at apologizing for giving her a hard time about her “stash”.

Of course today, it was that I started brainstorming some ideas for some art-to-wear garments that we could make. I was genuinely excited about it. We had seen a few coats and blouses in a couple of recent catalogues and magazines and I referred to them as I was describing the new designs. She sat there with her jaw dropped then started laughing uncontrollably. When she finally got control, she said she was glad and loved my ideas and passion, but that I have a lot of crow to eat.

Of course the good part is, I have a first class seamstress as a partner (in business and life) to work with everyday and to collaborate with to make some of the designs I have in my head come true. I have no experience with sewing at all, but she has always seemed to be able to sew anything she puts her mind to. Of course her 4 year+ collection of Threads magazine doesn’t hurt either!

Posted by Eric at 07:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

Asagi Sekka

Sky Blue Snow Flowers

Glimpses of a crisp blue winter sky through a heavy snow fall.

This scarf is created using sekka shibori, a specific type of itajime. Sekka literally means “snow flower” and is a traditional motif of Japanese surface design. It is a design that is often seen on a baby’s first kimono.

Posted by Eric at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

Tortoise and spider folklore?

Does any one have know of a Japanese folk tale that involves both a spider (or spider web, and a tortoise? If you do please leave a comment with the name of the tale or an online link if possible…

Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Anyone got a guess?

Any guesses from the audience what these are? Material and manipulation?
I’ll have a random small prize (a book from my technical book shelf, or a random item of used computer gear, or a 6” by 24” scarf) for the first person who can figure it out…just email eric at heupel dot com.

Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2004

How do you say Icaronycteris?

Google and the web to the rescue! (Again)

My son is becoming an encyclopedia on dinosaurs and all animals. With most modern animals I have no problem reading all about the animal and it’s habits to him. With dinosaurs and other pre-historic animals though, pronunciation often becomes an issue. Neither my wife nor I have any Latin or Greek language training at all. We want to give him the proper pronunciation especially as he remembers that first pronunciation and can identify the animal by that name perfectly from then on. So how do you pronounce Icaronycteris ? Just for the record Icaronycteris (Icarus Bat) is a pre-historic bat that lived as early as the Eocene (53 —33.7 million years ago) and probably used sonar, had a longer tail than modern bats and had a claw on both the thumb and first finger unlike modern bats who only have claws on their thumbs.

Anyway googling “Icaronycteris pronunciation” yields two hits, both for the same site: Usborne Quicklinks - How to say dinosaur names. Look up the dinosaur (unfortunately not all the dinosaurs my son has memorized or is interested in are listed) and you can find an MP3 file of the pronunciation.

So here is how you say Icaronycteris.

Posted by Eric at 08:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2004

Lone Star over Paris

You gotta love seeing the Lone Star flying high above Paris!

This is a nail biting finish! Ullrich is pulling hard on the peloton to help close down on the break away for Zabel. The effort has strung out the peloton into a long snake. What a finish this is going to be!

Posted by Eric at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

That's 6

Talk about a finish!

That’s six for Lance (barring anything really unusual tomorrow) and by my calculating US Postal has secured the Team award as well. I feel for Ullrich no stages and no podium finish.

Well, no team win for USPostal, but without a doubt they are the strongest team in the tour this year.

Posted by Eric at 11:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

No Gifts

Man what a finish! Stage 17 proved to be a great stage for Lance and US Postal. Unfortunately I missed the live coverage ending this morning, so I made a point of avoiding any possible news coverage until I had a chance to watch it again. Four straight mountain stages now for Lance. I don’t think Klöden really knew what hit him until it was over, Lance just accelerated that hard and fast up to and then past him. Poor Phil Ligget had even called Klöden’s victory in the stage not even 20 seconds before Lance opened up his sprint.

With over 8 minutes on Ullrich, 5 over Klöden and 4 on Basso, it is fairly safe to say the Lance has done it. Barring a disaster tomorrow or in the last time trial he will take the Yellow into Paris. The races now are for 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the General Classification. Currently it’s Basso, Klöden and Ullrich respectively, but Basso could easily lose his place on the podium in the final time trial. Klöden only needs a minute gain in stage 19 to take 2nd, and Ullrich could very well take the 4 minutes he needs to finish ahead of Basso in a long flat time trial like Saturdays.

The other races are for the White Jersey (Young Rider) and Team competition. Both awards are tight right now. After holding the Yellow for 10 days Thomas Voeckler is now only 45 seconds ahead of Vladimir Karpets, and just under 2 minutes up on Sandy Casar. A good time trila by either of them could take the white jersey from Voeckler (but I sure hope he rides the TT of his life and keeps the jersey.) Ten and a half minutes seperates the top three teams right now, with the remaining teams all over 50 minutes behind. With a strong showing by all in the stage 19 time trial US Postal could pull off winning the GC and team competitions in the same year, which would be quite a feat, but for then again for this team…

Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004


That was simply amazing! Ulrich gave a great performance but, unfortunately for him, Armstrong was 61 full seconds faster, coming within 1 second of the unofficial record for the ascent of L’Alpe d’Huez set by Il Pirata. Basso was equally amazing in keeping his second overall, especially as Time Trialing has always been his weakness. Even though he was caught by Armstrong, he finished 8th in the stage with a very good time, limiting his losses to Armstrong for the day to 2’23”.

The crowds were better behaved but still absolutely insane. I really think it is a mistake to make L’Alpe d’Huez a time trial, especially with open access like that. Maybe if they barriered the entire climb, but then that would be almost sacreligious for the mountain itself. 

Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

The Maillot Jaune is home!

And what a beautifully planned, and executed finish! I loved the alliance bewteen CSC and Postal. It really closed down Ulrich’s attack. The Posties responded to everything so well. 61 yellow jerseys now for Lance! Tomorrow will be an epic day. I hope Basso is able to stay pretty close to Lance tomorrow — he has really earned a place on the podium.

Posted by Eric at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

Shibori Felting

Adventures in old wool sweaters!
Tammy has surrendered two of her old sweaters for shibori felting expirements. Both are very nice and she was trying to figure out what to do with them, now they are in my hands! Buhwa ha ha!

One is a beautiful Rowan pattern and yarn cardigan sweater. It was one of her first knitting projects. The other is a rich teal chunky Lopi double breasted coat. The plan is to recyle the pair into one or two patchwork vests after felting them with shibori resists. We’ll post some images of before and after in the Fabric section of the gallery when we’re done with the felting.

Posted by Eric at 09:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Squishy Good

I stumbled across an excellent site tonight, Life on the Edge 2004. This is the info, logs, and teaching resources page for a joint UNC Wilmington, USGS and NOAA research expedition to explore deep water ocean habitats on the mid-Atlantic coast. Among other things, they are looking for more samples of deep water corals. They discovered a number of things, one of my favorites though is the hermit crabs that have an anemone for a “shell.”

Posted by Eric at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2004

TDF: USPS blows the Peloton apart in the Pyrènèes!

Two amazing stages in the Pyrènèes! Lance and USPS have blown apart the peloton completely. Lance predicted before the tour that too many people were ignoring the significance of the Pyrènèes this year. He said it could be decisive. Considering that Jan Ullrich is now 6’39” behind Lance, Mayo is all but eliminated and Tyler Hamilton is out of the race now, I think he understated it a touch. The biggest surprise was the abandon of Tyler, especially after riding last year with a broken collarbone, but then doing hills with a bad back (from his involvement in one of the early stage crashes) would be exceedingly painful. Ivan Basso now looks like Lance’s biggest competition after matching Lance’s climbs both yesterday and today. While I am glad that Armstrong was able to put time into Ullrich, I do feel bad for Jan — especially as he will probably give up the leader position on his team now to Andrèas Klöden who is only about 3 minutes behind Lance.

To see Voeckler finish in the yellow again was amazing. He is undoubtedly the hero of French cycling and even France right now. He has earned it for sure. He will probably be able to keep it at the end of tomorrow’s stage as well. He showed a lot of heart in those mountains. My son cheered him across the line as much as we cheered for Armstrong’s win.

Posted by Eric at 10:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Grape Fizz

Grape Fizz

I found a couple of leads for galleries and stores to carry the silk scarves, now I have to get busy on them. The more labor involved ones will go mostly into the gallery and the ones that take less manipulation time will go mostly into stores that the towns visitors frequent. I will keep a mix in each place but I think prices of the scarves will work in my favor if the more expensive ones are mostly in the galleries. I’ll have to order business cards now. I have been including a nice folded card with each scarf with info about the general techniques I use on one side of the inner card and any motif and technique details about the particular scarf on the other side. For instance Emerald Kikkō’s card had the symbolic information for the kikkō motif along with the shibori method used to execute it (itajime).

The “onsie” above is one from a package of three I found from when my son was born. I hadn’t even opened it up. So a few weeks ago I went ahead and dyed all three with Cibracon F dyes to see how they dye out. This one I call Bubbles, but when I was looking at it just now it reminded me of the bubbles in a grape fizz drink. The design is executed using a very tightly wound bai (shell) shibori. It is almost a hon hitta kanoko (dots within squares) motif, except that I didn’t fold each section of cloth before binding to give the square shape of hon hitta kanoko. In effect it is a mix between hon hitta and bai as it does not have the very open, loose spiral binds of bai either. Shortly I will be doing a custom order for a woman’s cotton-knit, long sleeve, fitted t-shirt in the same pattern but with smaller motifs and a different color scheme.

Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2004

When it rains...

Last night I took off around 10 of 5pm to get some color ink. I needed to print out some sale tags for an order my wife will be delivering tomorrow. Naturally I figured I could get out to the nearby Best Buy and back within an hour give or take 15 minutes — plenty of time to get back before dinner.

Of course at 10 of the hour traffic in Mystic is absolutely dead. The bascule bridge on Main St. goes up for 10 to 20 minutes every hour at 20 till the hour. With raising and lowering time added in that means traffic is dead stopped for 20 to 30 minutes surrounding the top of the hour. I know better than to head out by car anywhere near the top of the hour usually, but not last night.

Around 10 after 5 I finally was able to get out of the parking lot and head away from town. Everything else went normal until I was leaving. It had started raining pretty good, and I was on the way back to the highway when some construction trash (I think it was a 2×4) that got kicked up by the truck in front of me. I had no chance to avoid it and nailed it hard with the passenger wheel. Flat. Blew out the sidewall on the really pretty new and still in great shape Goodyears.

So now I am already late, changing a stubborn flat in the pouring rain on the side of a busy road (2 jack_sses decided it would be fun to splash me, riding into the shoulder to hit the puddle!) After getting the emergency spare on I limped to our local warehouse store, bought a pair of new tires for the fronts (ouch!) and called home — yes I forgot to grab the cell. I finally actually dragged in the house around 9:15pm covered in dirt and grease and still soaked to the bone.

Of course today more than made up for it… both my wife and I are now legit businesses according to the state. Oh and we got 25 pounds of silk delivered today. Nice. Now to get busy.

Posted by Eric at 01:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2004


Emerald Kikkō Scarf

Well, a lot has happened, let’s see a broken finger, another “sure thing” that didn’t pan out, a few visits to the Aquarium, raised two broods of butterflies…

Broken finger — right ring finger, playing that incredibly dangerous game of frisby with my 4 year old. Don’t ask.

So on to the new stuff…

I just ordered a whole ton of silk to do up. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a new venture. I have sold 4 scarves so far (out of less than a dozen I have made) so if this continues it could be good. Most of the scarves right now are being made using shibori techniques. Hopefully soon I can rig up an area where I can stretch out scarves to be able to apply resists through katagami.

The scarf above is an example of both itajime, and kikkō. Kikkō is the tortoise shell pattern and represents the tortoise, a very auspicious symbol. According to Japanese folklore, the tortoise lives for 10,000 years and thus is a symbol of longevity, happiness and wisdom. The tortoise is also a symbol of the Japanese Buddhist deity Fukurokuju, the god of wisdom, wealth, and longevity. The kikkō pattern is obtained using one of the oldest shibori techniques, itajime. The fabric is folded in a specific pattern then clamped tightly between boards before dyeing.

Posted by Eric at 12:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack