I have been warming up for this year’s chocolate frenzy by reading through my blog posts on chocolate from last year, which start roughly around October 15 and go on for two weeks straight. If you are curious, start here and read for the next two weeks. (There’s a little bit pre-October 15 – mostly about making custom chocolate molds – but that’s where the bulk of them start.)
Reading through them, I can only conclude that I must have been insane at the time. ALL that effort? Two weeks of inhaling nonstop chocolate fumes? It’s amazing I didn’t get hauled in for drug abuse or something.
Which leaves me wondering just where I am for attempting 120 (!) boxes of chocolate this year.
But what the heck, it’s an adventure, and I like adventure. And I’ll have help, so it’s not as bad as it could be. Still, a big challenge. I can see that the month of November is cut out for me.
Prepping for the big chocolate “push”, I have ordered:
- 90 lbs of Valrhona chocolate, which (together with the ~30 lb I keep on hand for household use) ought to be enough for 120 lbs of candies. (There are lots of other ingredients, especially in the fudges, so it doesn’t actually take 120 lbs of chocolate to make 120 lbs of candies.)
- 1 250-box case of candy boxes. Normally I buy them one-by-one from the local candy shop, but in this quantity it’s WAY cheaper to order them wholesale.
- 1 2-foot tall stack of Priority Mail shipping boxes. (Free from the post office!)
I am also starting work on designing Weavolution thank-you chocolates. As usual, I want to make some of my own chocolate molds this year, and this year I think I will make a medallion from polymer clay and then cast it using that wonderful chocolate mold-making stuff from Douglas & Sturgess. I have a couple of cool ideas about how to make the medallion, including a “keum-boo” technique with polymer clay that I picked up a few years ago but have yet to try. I might try that this weekend, if I have the time.
Fortunately, cycling season is almost over. Mike and I did two 55-mile rides this past weekend, which ate up pretty much the entire weekend, and next weekend is Davis Bike Club’s Foxy Fall Century, which will consume Friday night and all day Saturday. It will be Mike’s first century (100+ mile) ride ever! I am being lazy and only doing the metric century (100 km, or about 65 miles), but Mike is so much faster than me that I think we’ll finish up around the same time. (Which was, of course, the point.)
After that, cycling season is done until spring 2009, or possibly even spring 2010. I haven’t decided yet whether to do AIDS Lifecycle next year, but I’m thinking I’ll skip it, what with Weavolution going live in May. I will probably still do some cycling to keep in some semblance of shape, but only short rides – 20-40 miles. This will mean more free time to work on weaving, chocolates, etc!
And Weavolution is REALLY cranking along. The dev volunteers expect to have the first iteration ready in the next week or so, and we’re already starting to define the following iteration. And we are collecting TONS of wonderful items for the Weavolution auction in December! So far we have:
- a scarf donated by Laura Fry
- a signed copy of Network Drafting: An Introduction from Alice Schlein
- a scarf (and possibly some other stuff) from Sandra Rude
- a COMPLETE set of all the weaving CDs available from Handweaving.net, from Kris Bruland
- an Indian charkha
- a (lightly used) AVL end-feed shuttle
- lots of used shuttles from Peggy Osterkamp
plus pledges for quite a few other items that Claudia and I are following up on. I think we will have enough to have a good auction in November/December. (I’m donating a bunch of my unused stuff, too.)
And, the chocolates pitch has raised $400 so far. So I think we are doing pretty well on that front, too.
Off to cook dinner, and then try the live-weight tension method, a la Kati Reeder Meek’s book, on the loom. Maybe I can get this set up so I don’t have to wait for that darned spring…because I am NO GOOD at waiting!