Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday media and musings


in which our plucky heroine takes two steps forward and one step back...

when handicraft and history intersect... using exquisite papercraft as an illustration technique

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Was working on some paperwork sorting/decluttering tonight and realised I needed something normally stored in the Transformer Cabinet, but when I opened the door, the entire contents of the cupboard exploded outwards, dumping ancient paperwork and random stuff all over the living room floor! KAPOW!!

I just had to laugh... it was so unexpected, that door has been opened countless times without such a surprise. I am going to just bag it all up and stuff it back in the cabinet, as it is all ancient history, old records and random papercraft supplies, most of it will likely end up in recycling or in the bag to go to Shredfest later this year.
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This weekend I carved a small sparrow stamp, working on a seme of sparrows for Farbjorns heraldic device submission; rather than draw them each individually, the idea is to print them all on the heraldry submission form... not sure it will work, but even if not, this is a fun stamp... now to find some blue tape, tape off the form and see what happens...


Rough draft of concept... the printing works. I really like the effect of the identical birds. Definitely need to see if there is low tack blue tape, this tore the paper up badly. (on consultation with some friends, the suggestion was made to simply use another piece of paper to mask off the edges, as each bird is printed individually that would work and be really simple)
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February SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 carved bird stamp - 2 bags to Goodwill
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

another mystery solved


With the help of our stalwart electron pals, our plucky heroine has discovered the name, and a bit of information about, the unusual plant currently in neighbor Carla's front yard....
Edgeworthia chrysantha, which I first noticed back when the flower buds were coated with ice earlier this year, has begun blooming in the last few days (along with the snowdrops in my front yard)...supposedly has very fragrant flowers once they are fully in bloom, and the bark is used in making high quality handmade oriental paper.
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Had a pleasant Crafternoon today. Freydis and Lawrence came over early, and worked on various projects. We heat set the silk painting he did at Midwinters, and then I gave him an embroidery needle for additional work on a future "heraldic luggage tag" for his armor bag. She worked on Roman style beaded bracelets interspersed with occasional music interludes on her new tin whistle. My friends keep surprising me with their hidden talents. While I can recognise music, I have no great ability in that realm, and certainly have never been able to simply pull recognisable tunes out of midair!

A bit later on in the day, Tullia and Drusa came by. Tullia dropped off some of the supplies for the pieced quilted wall hangings I will be making for her treatment room, and we went over the details for the first one, a large yin yang in two shades of green. Once that was clear, she then went on to turn a log shaped dog toy into a toy for her young Maine Coon "Felix" who has taken to dragging things out of the pantry to kill. (like a bag of flour for example) The hope is that the larger heavier toy, appropriately catnip scented, will prove a suitable substitute for dry goods. Drusa didn't bring a project, but let us know that we can come over to her workroom and pick out suitable veneer for the future tablet weaving cards she will be making. I let her know that there will be a possible shared merchanting space available at Egils, and that some card sets might be good to try out there...(our plucky heroine will be also putting together an assortment of useful trinkets as well)
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As far as SMART goals so far this year, now that we are at the end of January, there has been excellent progress on the things made, less on the things fixed, and nowhere near enough on the things discarded. Fortunately I now have two years experience with the process, so know that over the course of a twelvemonth, the various columns mostly balance out

Saturday, January 30, 2016

ruach... spirit... wind...


...in which our plucky heroine continues the process: my plan is to clear out various areas of dysfunction, clean, declutter, and organise the spaces to add peace and functionality to life here at Acorn Cottage

This corner of the kitchen is a problem, and in the ten years I've lived here, no good solution has become apparent.

Former Owner did an odd remodel of the countertop that caused problems: The upper cupboard is inaccessible without climbing on the counter. The lower cupboard requires nimble floor level contortions to access.  And the countertop itself is sort of a dead zone where objects stagnate. In a feng sui sort of mode, the qi gets stuck there and goes nowhere

So, I cleared it all out, washed the counter and the lazy susan, and only put back things that get used in the food prep area: breakfast components and food seasonings. Cleverly, the various spices and herbs, which were formerly stashed under the windowsill on the other side of the room, now have a better home on the top level of the lazy susan, with the various vinegars in the center, and nuts, dried fruit and other dry condiments on the lower level. This is the sort of functional beauty that I want for my whole house.


January SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 sekrit santa gift iPod speakers bag to Goodwill
2 two felt mice compression straps bag to Goodwill
3 heraldic enamel bench hook bag to Goodwill
4 Laurel pendant kitchen corner cleared -
5 black/brown pinafore - -
6 horses print block - -
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

insomnia


in which our plucky heroine finds a productive silver lining...

Last night I couldn't sleep, and instead of just fretting horizontally, went back to the workroom and spent some more time carving away on my first linoleum block. Got a good deal of the background cut away, since that required careful effort but not the focused detailing that remains to be done around the horses legs and tail.
One thing I was able to do was to repair the lefthand horses far ear (tiny triangle), which cracked away when I used slightly too much pressure in carving. I read online that wood glue was a good adhesive for linoleum block, and so stuck it back in place and let it dry overnight... Hopefully the repair will hold up to the stress of actual printing!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday musings and music


in which our plucky heroine considers the concept of slowness... I always say that there are only two things I want to be fast in this world, one being my sewing machines and the other being my internet connection...

Last year February I made Idonia an embroidered needlebook, but somehow one thing or another came in the way of my actually remembering to pack it, finally delivered it to her at this most recent Midwinters... So the snail on the strawberries is not only a favorite of hers but perhaps a symbol of how it took almost a year to get from from my brain to her hands...
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There was no chance last Saturday for either some block printing of my own, or time for carving a block, during Marya's class for which I was an assistant, but it really whetted my desire to try some block printing of my own in a historically inspired style. This motif, from a 8th century Central Asian textile, is my inspiration.

In order to safely carve the linoleum block, which is much harder than the soft SafeTCut rubber I have used in the past, constructing a bench hook tool is the first step. The bench hook allows for cutting away material from the block with significantly less danger of also cutting away material from my hands. There is a fair amount of information online about bench hook construction and use, but as I am not a woodworker, I'd not run across it before. A bit of work with the japanese saw, some dabs of glue and deploying the C-clamps was all it took...

The linoleum block is hard, and I will be taking my time to gradually carve away the background, so as to not cause harm to my shoulder or wrists. This motif (the confronted horses and foliage) will be centered inside another printed roundel, and a smaller interstitial motif between the larger roundels, to create an overall printed fabric design. My goal is to have printed my own yardage to use for a piece of SCA clothing, by next 12th Night or before.
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another old favorite slow and sweet..
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January SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 sekrit santa gift iPod speakers bag to Goodwill
2 two felt mice compression straps bag to Goodwill
3 heraldic enamel bench hook bag to Goodwill
4 Laurel pendant - -
5 black/brown pinafore - -
6 - - -
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine has managed to grab bootstraps...

Going to fill in as a class assistant for a workshop on textile printing with linocut blocks. While this is certainly not my specialty, I have assisted some more expert friends in such activity, and expect to learn quite a bit while being a helper. In case there is time for it, I decided to prep a block for myself to carve.

Since the readymade blocks only come in certain sizes, which don't match the class project, I asked the instructor how best to cut the larger block to size. It turns out that hand tools work just fine; a bit of scrap wood protects the linoleum surface, a C-clamp hold everything steady, and a japanese pull saw cut through the entire thing with no trouble at all...
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I figured out why I now only get one egg from the chicken house each day... Nanny Ogg is molting! In the middle of the winter no less. I had noticed a few feathers and then some more today, and when I looked at her, she was noticeably missing head feathers and had instead the quills of new feathers growing in. Well dang. Winter is not the ideal time for losing one's down jacket, and she isn't even a year old yet. Usual average I've read for first molt is 18 months. At least this means that she will likely be done by the time Boneclaw Mother starts, but if I was breeding my hens, she would probably go to freezer camp instead...
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Some really small cord locks and some paracord to make four horizontal compression cords, and then this setup for vertical compression, as a way to condense my homemade memory foam camping mat into a smaller configuration, which will be very handy for travel packing. Still need to make a protective travel-bag, since it didn't come with a stuff sack like the rest of my camping gear
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January SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 sekrit santa gift iPod speakers bag to Goodwill
2 two felt mice compression straps bag to Goodwill
3 heraldic enamel - bag to Goodwill
4 Laurel pendant - -
5 black/brown pinafore - -
6 - - -
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

cancerversary


Four years... four years ago I was in hospital, just out of surgery, wishing I could eat dinner, and watching Firefly on the DVD player. Here's hoping for a lot more than another four years...