Saturday, February 16, 2008

… every time that wheel turns round, bound to cover just a little more ground …

Heather and Chris are by now back from their coastal honeymoon. Last Friday Bill came down to Portland to do some City business and to drive me up to Olympia for the wedding, and I spent the weekend up there, being something analogous to a godmother of a no-longer-child; I've known Heather her whole life, and her mom for most of mine… feels a little weird to think of Heather as a married woman; I've got pictures of a snowsuited child in my photo box, and memories of a little ballerina sprite tagging along at Country Fair… I guess I'm getting old…

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It was great to visit with my friends:

Jen has been taking a mosaic/art history class, and showed me some of the projects she has been working on. Very inspiring (hmmm… maybe Acorn Cottage needs some mosaic decorations) and Bill has more ongoing studio projects than ever.

I also had a chance to talk with Mindy at the reception on Saturday, she and her husband moved, with her father, to a farm-housey place on the other side of Olympia. They have a small neglected orchard of assorted fruit trees on their new land, and with pruning and caring for, hope for future abundance.

Ceilidh (almost ten) is now about as tall as I am, and her aunties Beth and Karen are surviving the transition to total self-employment. I suggested that they look into "Basic Health", since Washington, unlike Oregon, does have sliding-scale state health care for working poor, uninsured folk. (sigh, there are only three things I miss about living in Olympia; my Olympia friends, the amazing food co-op, and having medical insurance… but I love living here in Portland, and I love having so many Portland friends, and I have put my name in the OHP permission-to-fill-out-an-application lottery)

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Nimblefoot went and had a transmission oil change. Just as suspected, the transmission gears themselves are okay, but part of the Mysterious (to me) Mechanism that shifts is broken. Leo, the kindly shop owner, told me not to drive up into the West Hills, and not to let anyone else drive my car, since attempting to force a shift into first gear would cause further damage, necessitating a more immediate V.E.T. (very expensive transmission). And realistically, there will be no VET till sometime this summer, since I do not have $1800 just hanging around somewhere with nothing else to do with it… Leo also pointed out that with over 200,000 miles on my car, it might be time to think about a different vehicle, since everything will be wearing out… Argghhh, cars! While public transit and bicycle are both possible for some of my transport needs, I cannot go teach a workshop in Seattle or an Ithra in Fire Mountain Keep and drag my gear and the kiln and the dog without a car…

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The shelves in the studio are all attached, and my arms are still sore from the installation. It was good to take last weekend off. Many, but not all, of the boxes are moved onto them, box moving continues as I can make time. Then will come "box sorting", and eventually I will have the mother of all crafty shelf walls. I've moved the extra, less sturdy, standing workbench out of the studio, leaving the middle of the room empty; I can visualise a worktable for students to sit at, which can be folded away when not in use. The former workbench, minus the formica top, may become an outdoor stand for growing salad greens… wrap the legs with copper foil and it is slug-proof, and the greens would be right up at countertop height. I read an article last year in the NYTimes Home and Garden discussing the idea… and the Ikea kitchen island, with 4x4 legs and 2"thick butcherblock top, is far more suitable for shop use. I want to rebuild my small seated workbench, maybe with locking casters so I can move it about the studio as needed… Hmmm, many ideas, and Bill showed me drawings he did of the six-student workbench at Brian's school in Ireland. I'd like to build something like that eventually, as resources allow and need dictates.

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Snowdrops blooming in my yard, and I found in the side yard a plastic pot chock full of bulbs that I forgot to plant last fall, all tangled and sprouting and starting to bloom; baby iris and snowdrops and probably grape hyacinths. Maybe I can dig a hole in the front garden and drop the whole pot gently in??? I feel so absent minded at times, trying to keep track of all that needs doing at Acorn Cottage.

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I've been working out what I want to make for the mobile swap I signed up for last month,

I know that adding an additional craft project into my busy life seems like a crazy thing to do....but most of what I do is "work", satisfying work, but primarily task-driven. This is just for fun, and with the added whimsey that somewhere out there someone is making a mobile for me...

After deciding what I wanted to make, I cut the horses out of a scrap of really thick watercolor paper



and though I really liked how the pieces looked as ghostly silhouettes, I decided that painting them would be fun.



Now I need to turn them into a mobile. With wire and thread my idea will become actual. Whee!

This weekend I will assemble the mobile and mail it off to my swap partner. It has been interesting seeing the various mobiles already in progress,(images posted in a Flicker group), and I am not the only person who is wondering "is one of those for me…" I hope that the person I'm making this for ends up liking it. I know that I do.

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