Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Had a great visit this morning with Vikki, yummy sushi goodness for lunch, and a very inspiring trip to the Craft Museum. The current exhibit there (Touching Warms the Art) has some amazing jewelry made from non-traditional materials, and is intended for the visitors to be able to actually handle and try on the art jewelry. Really got the creative juices flowing, there were some amazing felted pieces, and things made from rubber and plastic fruit, and wood and wire, and old x-ray film, just lots of fun things from all over the world. Go have a look if you are in Portland, admission to the museum is free!
I'm getting eager to start working on the garden, even though the studio has current necessary priority. I managed to acquire some discarded fence boards, which should be useful for another raised bed in the yard. Given the length of the boards it will be smaller than the other beds, but I'm thinking about using the curved concrete scallopy bits that former owners left behind to add half-round beds on either end, kind of a long oval bed rather than rectangular... And then there are the big window screens from the Rebuilding Center that I am hoping will work as hen-barriers. Yup, the warm weather really gives me a touch of spring fever.
Months ago, I submitted my "tiny recycling center" to ikeahacker, since it met their guidelines, and today they published my "hack" online.
Yesterday I bought a two zone bus pass for March, and did more traveling on the Max, even figured out how to get down to the MetroPaint place in the industrial zone, and picked up a gallon of recycled light blue paint. At their store, they have a chart/book of many colors that are possible by mixing the fixed colors that they carry. I discovered that I can change the "baby blue" light blue to something more like a "bird-egg" blue by mixing it with light brown, which I hadn't thought to do. This year, the rooms in Acorn Cottage will be painted, at least some of them, and not white.
Yesterday I think I only walked about three miles, will look for the old pedometer, just for curiosity sake. The hot tub after potluck was soooo welcome. I 'm signing off to go walk to the Post Office now, while they are still open.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sooo...Yesterday, spent most of the morning being productive around Acorn Cottage: got a bit further on the studio/workroom, put up shelves in my closet to hold guest linens, re-potted my spider plant babies, and put mulch and a "half-brick" border around the new persimmon tree in my parking strip. Jen (& Bill and Cathy) from up in Olympia were down here in Portland for a school field trip, and called to ask if I wanted to join them for sushi at SushiTakahashi downtown. Oh yeah! Now I live about a mile from the Max line, so there was definitely some walking, since I missed the bus and the Sunday schedule is not as frequent. Met up with my friends at the Craft Museum, and then on to sushi. By the time we had all eaten our fill, it was no longer daylight, and I decided that the best (safest) option was to walk up towards Powells and across to get the Max, rather than down through Old Town. So, all in all about three miles of walking yesterday.
Today I've already walked two miles, since I wanted to check my mailbox at the Post Office and see if anyone has sent me a mobile for the swap, or anything else. The mailbox is empty...at least I know that the mobile I sent out last week arrived. Later this afternoon, I'm going to walk to the grocery, which will add another two miles. If my knees hold up, I should be getting into really good shape this Spring...
I called around, and it looks like it will be possible for me to rent a car for the two teaching gigs I have in March. Since I have a lot of stuff to transport, taking the train is unfortunately not realistic, though it would be much more pleasant than driving, and cheaper.
My legs are really wishing that my massage therapist hadn't moved to New Hampshire...
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
My new project had better consist of garden fencing improvement, since Somebody has been jumping the fence and eating my kale plants! (and I had been hoping for homemade colcannon, with some of the wintered-over little kale, and the potatoes I grew last year) Somebody is going to get her little yellow chicken wings clipped.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
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
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
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…
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
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.
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.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When : Sunday afternoon, 1 PM onwards
Where : Acorn Cottage
potluck tea snacks welcomed happily
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
A bit of on-line googling also turns up the possibility of some kind of shift cable bushing that is prone to disintegrating, prompting clever folk who know how to take apart the car enough to access that area to McGuyver all kinds of clever fixes, since there are no replacement bearings sold, but only the very expensive entire shift cable assembly..
I'd be tearing out my hair, if I had enough to bear offering it up in frustration....
On a cheerier note, this is your early warning for the February Craft-Tea-Party..
Sunday February 17th afternoon tea - all friends of Acorn Cottage welcomed.
Expanding on the suggestion of Rafny that we make tea cozies, the activity will be fun with felt..
Make something from a felted sweater, or try out needlefelting
(of course, your own projects of choice are always welcome too)