Wednesday, August 5, 2020

wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine remembers an everyday pleasure...

...the delights of grocery shopping, something so mundane and so necessary. I miss it sorely, my daily interactions with other humans, the being able to see for myself what new fresh produce or interesting protein had arrived, the occasional treat of a fresh flower, the every week or so trip to a distant market with pan-Asian or Lebanese or Russian foods... All my skills of being able to find the best of what was available with my limited budget, to be able to choose just the right piece of fruit, to notice other humans and be able to find something to say to brighten their day... and on Saturdays, riding the bus to the farmer's market and walking around seeing the beautiful displays of effort expended and doing my small part to make that effort repaid. All gone now...
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~ 100 day creativity challenge - day 37 ~
A second canvas tote bag is perfect for a trip to the farmer's market... (the "market" is actually foraging for items in the yard here)
A closer look at the tote bag, with all the "shopping". There are walking onions, a head of salad burnet, a fruit from the fuchsia bush, some eucalyptus pods, a small folded up newspaper (cut down from a larger one) and a sprig of fuchsia buds...
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It has been a rough day. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss the touch of another human hand. I miss thinking that those things will come again. I miss believing that the light at the end of the tunnel will not be the oncoming train. Yesterday I found out that the chemicals they are spraying the protesters with, not just downtown, but in residential neighborhoods, including less than a mile from Acorn Cottage, those chemicals are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Not gas that will dissipate, but dust that will stick around and move about. The powers that be are poisoning our city. Oh, not in the posh neighborhoods where the wealthy live, but in the places where everyday folks make their homes, and have to work, and try to get by, and protest for equity and survival... I am sick at heart.
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beauty in the time of isolation - day 132:
saw the most charmingly painted "little free library" on my sanity stroll today. All the tiny books have titles that relate to who is reading them...The spider is reading "Kiss of the Spider Woman", and the fairy is reading "The Blue Fairy Book"... Also, the book kiosk rotates and has doors on two sides, one for books for youngsters, and one for books for adults!
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 scribal sketchbook light bulbs replaced-
2 scroll for Countess Ex-
3 tiny knitting bagx -
4 tiny tote bag x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x 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 - fruit that falls from the sky. A plum tree full of huge ripe plums (not prune plums but about the size of a large peach) left one on the sidewalk as I was walking early this morning. After a good wash, and cutting away the smooshed portion, it was a great addition to my breakfast today


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

grasping at straws

in which our plucky heroine celebrates small victories...

The online workshop I took today, presented by the local Community Energy Project, was on keeping cool without air conditioning. While I didn't learn anything ground-breaking, I did pick up some tips about how better to manage air flow, and having taken the workshop, I can sign up for a summertime energy saving kit that includes a box fan! More fans in more windows means greater indoor comfort. Plus they will deliver the kit here to Acorn Cottage, since I am still very much in seclusion
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beauty in the time of isolation - day 77:

another mystery flower..
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Today I learned something new, that will likely make my scribal efforts easier. Apparently there is a thing called the Ames Lettering Guide, a venerable gizmo that helps artists rule parallel lines suitable for lettering, in various configurations. Who knew... obviously not moi! When a question was asked in the Knowne World Advancing Scribes group "what do you want to learn" I piped up that I really struggle with getting the lines in place before doing my calligraphy. The moderator of the group put together a Zoom lesson that very afternoon, and it was a definite "dawn over Marblehead" moment for yours truly... Said item has been added to my wishlist.
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~ 100 day creativity challenge - day 132 ~
While looking for something completely different, I ran across this tutorial for how to make a miniature tote bag, and thought that would work really well as a knitting bag! Et voila…
Nandina needs an assortment of containers, bags, baskets, and boxes for storage in her future house… so that will be my focus this month, as it will allow me to explore various "new to me" techniques… The instructions in the tutorial are really thorough, and while I had never made a tiny bag before, I was quite able to follow along, and was very pleased with how it looks. And, of course, I had to make up some very tiny skeins of yarn, and a little “pattern booklet” to go with...
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 scribal sketchbook light bulbs replaced-
2 scroll for Countess Ex-
3 tiny knitting bagx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x 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 - foraging for materials... Last month I picked up some discarded iris leaves, and hung them on the clothesline to dry. My cunning plan is to split them into narrow pieces, and use them to weave a miniature basket.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

summertime stitchery

in which our plucky heroine learns some new twists to a former handcraft long neglected...

I'm rather pleased with my new sketchbook, made in the Medieval Islamic Style bookbinding class that just finished. I combined several different papers in the text block, including graph paper, as my intention was to use it as a kind of scribal commonplace book. If I have notes of various options for detailing marginalia and suchlike, it will be very useful when I don't want to be tethered to the assorted screens...
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~ 100 day creativity challenge - day 35 ~
when last we left the bindery, the primary end bands had just been stitched, and the next step was to stitch the secondary end bands, here begun in two colors of blue, and the stitching forms tiny herringbone stripes...


the headbands help protect the spine of the book, and in this style of binding, the covers are basically the same dimensions as the text block, unlike in European style binding, where they extend outward slightly

the foreedge is lined with a scrap of silk ikat fabric... and the inclusion of graph paper is visible

the fore-edge flap folds to the inside, thereby further enclosing the text block

This shows how the cover flap lies neatly underneath the front cover

the completed book is a good size for pocket or satchel, being large enough to be useful and small enough to be easy to carry...
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I was there
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beauty in the time of isolation - day 131:
blossoming passionflower
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I've been continuing to tote Nandina along on my morning sanity strolls, as long as the online floral challenge continues, and today we found some pokeberry growing in a nearby alley (actually not far from where the passionflower that also caught my eye. A few years ago I dyed some wool yarn using poke berries, and it came out a vivid burgundy red color, very beautiful. If I can find enough berries this year, I may try again. It would be really fun to make Nandina a tiny cardigan using naturally dyed yarn
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 scribal sketchbook
light bulbs replaced
-
2 xx-
3 xx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x 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 - Last night a FB message from Duke James prompted me to go outside and look at the moon... it was in a rare alignment forming a triangle, with Saturn and Jupiter the other two points, very vivid and beautiful, and the night was clear enough that I was able to see it above the neighbors house roof.