Thursday, August 22, 2019

slipping into the future

in which our plucky heroine notices time passing...

and while it seems like just a little while since I first met my friend and colleague Bill, it has been at least 25 years... While we shared a studio space for a while back then, we now live in different states and he has a family and a rural household, while I live in the city in a different state.
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Last weekend I traveled up to Olympia for a visit, taking a middle of the day Amtrak train to Centralia. Bolt doesn't stop between Portland and Seattle. My initial reason for the trip was to make certain that the 15th c bodice I'd been working on was a good fit for Cathy. The train was more crowded than I expected for a mid week midday excursion, but made good time. C and I ate lunch at McMenamin's Olympic Club opposite the train station, said restaurant/poolhall/theater/hotel being the reason for choosing Centralia rather than Olympia as the terminus. The Olympia train station is just a building in the middle of a field.
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Somehow, I had forgotten that it was Jen's birthday weekend, but since I had planned to give her the Rainbow Crow print as a gift anyway, I wasn't empty handed. On Saturday there was one of the magnificent wood fired pizza feasts, with friends of their household invited. Even tastier than the pesto with three kinds of mushroom pizza was her "birthday cake" fruit pizza, with honeyed cream cheese topped with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Rather like the love child of pizza and fruit topped cheesecake!

The other truly memorable thing about the birthday party was that Ross had brought some of his homing pigeons, and we got to release them and see them take off to fly back to his home a few miles away. I'd never seen that done in person, and the pigeons themselves were very varied and beautiful. They are strong, and need to be held carefully, gently but very firmly, before it is time to toss them skyward.

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Kestrel is almost two. I'd not seen her in several months, and the increase in both her stature and her comprehensibility was really noticeable. I could understand much of what she was saying, and she had sentences of two or three words at times. The little SCA gown I made for her needed some adjustments - the neckline was not quite large enough, and the length but not the width could do with a few more inches. I brought it back home with me, and this morning I slashed and bound the front neck slit, so it will be a bit easier to get over her noggin. I may cut a strip of the leftover fabric, and print a line of corbies all along it to add a border to the hemline as well.
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On Sunday it was time for the trip to the art museum in Seattle, which was the other primary reason for the trip. Cathy and I drove up to Seattle to see Victorian Radicals, and were not disappointed. We stopped for a dim sum brunch before heading over to the museum. The exhibition was really impressive and included many pieces I had never seen before, a fair amount of jewelry and metalwork, and even some embroidery! I also need to remember in the future that SAM participates in Museums for All, which meant that my EBT card was also an admission card, huzzah!
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
x bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilex -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - the freedom to travel




Monday, August 19, 2019

media and music Monday

in which our plucky heroine loves animation...

"1952 Vincent Black Lightning" has been a favorite song every since I first heard it, probably on the radio, remember listening to the radio, when what we heard was not pre-selected based on our previous preferences, and the songs were chosen not by algorithm? There was a lot of dross, but in betwixt, some gems. That was how I discovered Richard Thompson, who is really some kind of Cultural Treasure. He wrote "1952 Vincent Black Lightning".

This version, though is covered by another favorite singer, Amanda Palmer, (here singing with her father, Jack Palmer)


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today's gratitude -I've said it before, but I will remain grateful for YouTube existing, because even when we had the radio, it was rare and special for me to find music I enjoy, and I can find gems known and unknown by rambling round the interwebs...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

busy and blockprinting

in which our plucky heroine eats way too much nightshade fruit...

made some very tasty Hot and Sour eggplant, My sister sent me the recipe last week, and I couldn't wait to try it out. Picked up some japanese eggplant at the farmers market this weekend. Was just as easy as she opined, and with the addition of a few frozen shrimps and some rice noodles, it made a very filling one bowl dinner last night.

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made a (hopefully) wearable toile of an everyday SCA gown for little Kestrel, who is almost 2. If it fits well, I can go ahead and make up a few more, using the smaller pieces of linen leftover from making tween clothing. Little kiddo clothing is so much faster to make!

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what started me on block printing this afternoon was that I had just finished the sample toile. Even though it is intended to try out the design and size, couldn't resist adding a few tiny corbies to the bodice yoke, with the hope that it will be a "wearable muslin"...
Nothing fancy, just printed across the bottom edge to add a bit of whimsy.
a closer look at the printed birds... the stamps are about an inch high, carved from Safe-t-cut. I'm going to epoxy them to a wooden base, as they are so small it is hard to handle them without also getting paint on my fingertips, which means running back and forth to wash off the paint from my hands.

At that point in the afternoon, since the textile ink and brayer etc were all out and in use, and since I wasn't happy with the pale bluegreen edge stripe between the printed shot silk and the black linen of my fancy black linen undergown, I decided to use more block printing to improve the situation. After measuring how far apart each repeat needed to be, I marked the lower edge, and then stamped the foliage block to mark the divisions
...quite serendipitously, the repeat of 5 1/4" fit exactly around the bluegreen band. The divisions are marked in chalk, which will be easy to remove once the block printing is dry and heat-set
The Novgorod crows and foliage motif is a big improvement, visually easing the transition and adding another bit of embellishment to my most fancy undergown. The motifs are based on some extant embroidery from medieval Novgorod... I embroidered a collar, in gold on red silk, for Marya's elevation underdress. I loved the motifs so much that I carved some little block printing stamps to match

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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterx bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
x bag to Goodwill  
5 Kestrel gown toilex -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I have craft materials and knowledge handy to make many of the things I envision. This makes me happy. I also have ideas surfacing for things to make for friends of mine, to perhaps offer them also a moment of happiness...