Let’s settle some stories that are circulating throughout various fandoms.
The Trimbles are not destitute. Not wealthy, but not bag people yet. Yes, we could use more money, so can everyone else except Gates, Trump, and Oprah. I am not on my deathbed from a stroke or heart attack.
John is doing fine after his heart attack 2 years ago, and at age 70 is healthier than many of his cardiologist’s 40-year-old patients. Aside from fibromyalgia and arthritis, both of which hurt but won’t kill me, I am doing pretty well for 73-going-on-74, and plan on a 2007 weaving and dyeing trip to the Mayan Highlands.
My 75th birthday goal is a trip to Denmark and Sweden to visit museums, attend Viking re-enactment events, and participate in an archaeological dig with Dan Carlsson, Associate Professor, ArkeoDok Blåeldsvägen 3 S-621 50 Visby, Sweden. Email: info at arkeodok.com for more information. Come join us!
You will read a lot about The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., a medieval historical re-enactment organization popularly known as the SCA. Many of our fiber activities and in-person sales are within the SCA. Here I’m known as Maestra Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani, Order of the Laurel (arts), Order of the Pelican (service). John is Master John ap Griffin, OP and once one of the best field heralds in the entire SCA. We are also Court Baron and Baroness, which means mainly that someone on the throne liked you a lot.
Griffin Dyeworks sets up merchant booths at several large SCA ‘wars’ or other events through the year, and though our activities are presently in the Kingdom of Caid (Southern California) and the Kingdom of Atenveldt (Arizona), we hope to soon have the wherewithal to travel to other kingdoms in other states with our wares. We’d love to have the money to travel to Pennsic War in Pennsylvania, but that’s a lot of high gas mileage from Southern California just now.
Some people are second and third generation SCAers (or SCAdians) including our own children, who grew up in the SCA and in SF fandom: Lady Kathryn du Griffin (Kathryn Trimble) and Viscountess Lorissa du Griffin (Lora Boehm, see picture above). Lorissa is Seneschal of Altavia. You don’t have to be an SCA member to visit an event or to buy medieval goodies from Griffin Dyeworks. You’ll meet a lot of really nice, as well as fantastically talented, people. Most are very willing to welcome you in, teach you how to sew garb and do as much fiber art as you want to learn. Oh yeah, if you really want to wear hot armor and clonk your fellow man or woman with a rattan sword (see below), you can learn that, too. Find an SCA group in your area by going to the SCA website.
We are not zoned to sell from our home in Monrovia, a small foothill town near Pasadena, so don’t try to visit our store. We don’t have one, though it would be great if we at least had a working studio and store – any million-aire investors out there? GDW ships from a mailbox where the nice people will be happy to see you but won’t tell you where we live.
If you plan to visit Southern California, contract us by email about a time when we can meet and talk about dyecraft. We can, however, hold dye and crafts workshops in our backyard. If interested in a workshop at our site or yours, contact us. Summer in Southern California makes us appreciate our big 50-year-old avocado tree in the back yard. Most GDW activities take place under that tree, sometimes with a mister spraying a delicate wetness on hot faces and arms.
I’ve not suddenly become independently wealthy (darn!) to afford this Mayan Highland Backstrap Weaving and Dyeing Tour, Chiapas, Mexico. A fellow fiber artist wants to go but husband would be bored out of his skull. So he’d rather pay my way (yay!) to be her companion.
‘Our group’ currently consists of: Ruth Schooley (she taught sock knitting at our last Dye & Retreat), Margarete Mehrabian who owns the new Stick and Stone fiber store in Van Nuys, CA, and me. I am soooo excited about this trip but we need more people to join us.
This is a genuine hands-on experience, not just a stroll around quaint villages looking at the friendly natives. Tell all your fiber groups, and any fiber individuals you know. For non-fibery folk, Chiapas has genuine insect-filled amber, and the ruins of Toniná (300–800 AD) are nearby. If you teach any fiber art at all, you can take the trip off as a tax deduction! For full information, go to: Traditions Mexico, find ‘Fiber Arts’ in the left sidebar then click on NEW! Highland Maya Backstrack Weaving and Dyeing Workshop.
This business concept, familiarly known as GDW, started some years ago when John & Bjo Trimble sold trim and other fiber materials at historical reenactment events such as the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA). We also sold books, T-shirts and other merchandise at science fiction and Star Trek conventions as well. However, advancing years (ahem!) slowed down both Trimbles enough so they needed help. Enter stage left the Actons, a vital young couple with an adorable little girl. They were looking for a creative outlet that would also bring in some money. So the Trimbles and the Actons formed a loose partnership and set to work making GDW into a viable business. We got the help we needed to pack and set up at events, to build new shelving in ‘GDW Corporate Headquarters’ (our garage) and to help hold workshops. Since we work out of our garage, we can’t tie up our budget or storage space with large spinning wheels and large looms, just yet. Next thing we knew, the Trimble adult children and a few interested bystanders started getting involved in GDW activities as well. Selling at events often means a merchant pavilion full of helpful people, which makes the event a social occasion for us and visitors to the booth.
Well, OK. So… here I am again… is this thing on????
It’s me giving blogging another try. Our daughter, Jenn, is a blogger: http://www.cluefairy.com and urged me to try blogging. She helped set up my first blog, and nudged me into saying something on it. But I had no real focus and found it difficult to believe that a mess of people Out There in Internetland really want to read all about Fred the Cat eating a whole chocolate cream bundt cake (she survived), or hearing about going through airport security with a 3″ teddy bear in my purse.
Then I started reading creative people’s blogs; how challenges were met, resources shared, research was carried out, and applications were made to the arts! There are a zillion crafts sites that offer everything from simple paper crafts to intricate philosophies to go along with amazing and stunning creations. Now those are blogs worth reading and sharing, which I’ll do as this blog develops and I find nifty blogs.
So here is the start of yet another blog on the Internet or maybe just a rambling newsletter. You’ll hear a lot about our home business, Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts and about our annual Dye & Fiber Retreat which is loads of fun for even non-fibery folk; check it out. I’ll share a dye recipe or two and run some ideas past you as well. There will also be news about other fiber artists, too. So send me some news about what you are doing! There will certainly be forays into the realms of beads, buttons, and other embellishments. I have so many interests, and am such a conversation kangaroo, anything may turn out to be a topic!
Below are pictures of some silk scarves we’ve dyed: indigo; brazilwood, osage orange, and indigo; and several using commercial MX dyes.
Spent yesterday (Sunday) at Camp Verdugo Oaks, where I worked on Retreat papers and the rest worked on walls. “The rest” being John and Lora, with Clark and Sherry Acton. Cate came too but was not feeling well most of the day. After she fixed us lunch, she retired for a long nap. The walls were going to be texturized but Ranger Terry’s compressor has seen better days – possibly several decades ago. So walls were washed and painted. John and Clark cemented in an odd-shaped hole in the floor where something once stood. Neither of them knows much about cement-work, but at least they were willing to try. After work we went for a swim, but the pool was chilly so we didn’t stay in long.
Ranger Terry found a nice-sized rattlesnake on the road into camp and brought to the Nature Museum. Snake buzzed furiously at us while we looked him over – Good specimen. It will be kept until the Retreat so we can show people, especially the children, what to look for. The rattler will be fed a couple of times while he’s at Camp Verdugo Oaks, then Ranger Terry will take him some miles into the wilderness and let him go.
Stopped for dinner on the way home and had a run-in with a Denny’s waitress who copped a real ‘tude on us and we walked out. When the manager tried to apologize, Cate gave him a real talking-to about how to act when patrons are unhappy – doing something instead of giving excuses would have helped. In Real Life, Cate is herself a waitress at the local Peach Cafe. We braved coming-home-from-the-weekend traffic to Magic Mountain area where a nice El Torrito restaurant handily served up dinner, including an excellent spinach enchilada for John.
We are all still very tired today, which is dangerous because if we don’t get some rest over the next couple of days we’ll be very tired at the Retreat. I hope to be rested up and ready to enjoy the weekend, whatever it brings. To that end, I saw my chiropractor today to get that crick in my neck fixed up and it seems to have helped a lot. I’ll know more tomorrow. We’ll try to get more sleep this coming week. Which means stopping now and getting to bed. G’nite.
Oh, Jenn – I finally found my way into my own blog. I quasi-quote Blackadder to Baldrick: Computer technology is something that happens to other people. The upcoming Dye & Fiber Retreat happening Aug 26-28 is up to 55 people which is going to be a nice party. But many of the final details fall on the Trimbles because we have more time than our younger partners. The Actons are maintaining full-time jobs (one of which involves a lot of necessary overtime), caring for a very bright and active small child and a crippled friend, and rebuilding one of the more seriously as-is houses I’ve ever seen. So today was very busy as John and I ran errands and shopped, mainly for the Retreat. We found a place to silk-screen our totes, so I’m happy. But I’m pooped tonight and just popped in to say so.
Today I went to Villa Esperanza, where Kathryn is in Group Living, for a discussion about her progress (or lack thereof) with several involved parties. There is the usual food issue – Kat seems to think there is a plot to starve her to death if she doesn’t stockpile food in her room, in her back-pack, and anywhere else she can think of. There is also the usual problem with hygiene. We never came up with a lasting solution, and it seems the Villa people haven’t done so, either. Sigh… So I headed home feeling somewhat depressed.
When I picked John up from work, we went over to an antique shop that takes consignments to pick up an old rocking chair we’d left there a coupla years ago. They couldn’t find it, but it wasn’t on their books as sold. It was, however, on their computer as sold, and someone else was paid for it. Interesting! John didn’t raise a fuss; he just stood there giving them That Look. They paid us for the chair but they weren’t happy about it.
So we took the money to Office Depot and bought me a flat-screen KDS monitor. I’ve never heard of this brand, but it’s the cheapest and what we could afford. We left with a box only slightly larger than a briefcase. Wow! Back home, John dragged my old boat-anchor of a monitor out of the office and Lora installed the new one. Whoohoo! Suddenly I have lots of desk space and room to put my keyboard so it doesn’t fall into my lap occasionally.
Now I can stop suffering and start writing that Great American Novel…!!!
This is a photo I took somewhere on the highway from Wyoming to Montana. I just liked the mountains in the background with a road that goes on forever. When I find out more about how to do things around here, I’ll show off more of my photos. Kathryn, our mentally challenged adult daughter, was gifted with a Sony Mavika digital camera (thanks, Antje!). Kat delightedly took over 200 photos on this same trip. Hooray for digital cameras, because developing film would have been prohibitive.