...in which our plucky heroine observes how most of what is wished for "that can be given, involves more the gift of time and the sharing of some resources, rather than actual stuff."
I seem to do this every year, in part because every year I take part in Dagmaer's annual Sekrit Santa Gift Exchange, and in part to help my memory be clear about what sorts of things would be helpful, so that if they show up by random chance, the ideas are not buried in the box room of my mind...
Since the requirements for the gift exchange are to keep the exchanged gift either handmade or if purchased to be $20 or less, it seemed a good idea to provide both general guidelines to what I like and do not like, as well as a modest annotated list of assorted Useful and Delightful things:
::: random wishlist notes :::
my favorite colors: The kind of blue that you get from indigo: nightsky and dark denim. The greyish color of natural linen. Taupe. Grey. Soft dull turquoise. The dark black brown of some kinds of undyed sheep wool. Bittersweet chocolate brown. Black.
I do not like chocolate, and am allergic to cherries and hazelnuts...
and have a bit of a weakness for those Japanese mugs with painterly cobalt and brown glaze, on a greyish stoneware background with little dark speckles. They are from the seventies maybe, I think, but not contemporary... this picture shows some that are currently living here, and I always keep my eyes open when thrifting in hope of finding more in this particular colorway... like this one
I mostly do not collect things, in particular I don't collect acorn kitsch, even though the house is named Acorn Cottage, nor do I collect chicken things, even though there are often hens in residence... I do collect maneki-neko that are under 1" tall, and have over the years found five, who sit nicely in a wasabi dish on the nightstand...
::: things under $20 :::
(in no particular order)
(in no particular order)
jewelers hand vise
Tool Girl can never have too many tools, and doesn't have a hand vise... Lee Valley is most reputable, and has a delicious selection of tools and trinkets...
DMT pocket diamond hones
These smaller pocket size hones would be very handy
*these vintage mugs, or this one, or this one, could be a good complement to the ones that already live here
an assortment of silk embroidery floss
This is the floss that I used on the Viking Collar project, and very nice floss indeed to work with - an assortment in my favorite deep to medium indigo blues would be a real treat!
in the specific colorway #195, which is a discontinued colorway but a great favorite of mine. I love the rustic quality of Kureyon, and have used #195 to make a feather-and-fan shawlette back in '09
music by Wake The Dead
Their combination of celtic style instruments and arrangements, and Grateful Dead songs makes me really happy. Any of the three CD's would be a nice addition to the Acorn Cottage library: Wake The Dead, or Buckdancer's Choice, or Blue Light Cheap Hotel
Boxwood Storage Tubes
doesn't everyone love small containers... these look quite delectable
::: things more than $20 :::
this octopus wall hook has been on my radar for several years now. It would make an excellent addition to the bathroom here, and being made of cast aluminum instead of the usual cast iron, would be lighter on the wall and less likely to rust... besides the design of the textured tentacles is really elegant and well balanced.
an amazing piece of handweaving
Indigo, and Ikat, and Diamond twill, all in one!!
white floral scarf
bought one of their scarves a while back, they are a delicate cotton fabric and handprinted in India, this one is black on white, very reminiscent of Elizabethan artwork
DMT diamond files in coarse medium and extra fine
Earlier this year Mr Robertson and his lovely wife came to visit, and he showed me a bit of how to better care for the sharpness of my knives, using this tool...
::: rather more spendy, but also Very Useful, things :::
It would be a very good addition to the infrastructure here to acquire an extension ladder. One that is long enough to reach the gutters, or the attic hatchways, and strong enough for someone that weighs over 200 lbs... must needs do a bit more research as to what would be suitable
Hills Hoist rotary clothesline
Imagine my surprise to find that Costco carries the renowned Australian backyard clothesdryer. For three out of the four seasons of the year, outdoor drying in the backyard is possible...
Excalibur food dehydrator
I have several friends that own Excalibur food dehydrators, all quite happy with how useful they are...
stove tec rocket stove
This could be a good option for emergencies, and potentially for camping trips as well...
(anything not yet accomplished
would still be a most welcome wish to be granted)
- company while sorting/organising supplies - the sewing room, and the workroom both need attention, and I make much better progress with someone else there to keep me company, is a lot more fun to sort fabric etc with the option for tea and chat...
- garden beds built/load of garden soil & compost acquired - a truck with an open bed, or money for a dumptruck load, and a number of strong shovel wielding folks. I have a plan, just need helpers.
- debris hauled away - this involves someone with a truck, and help going all round the outdoors of the homeplace, to remove everything that needs to not live here
- massage - for many years I had an ongoing every other week massage trade, housecleaning for bodywork; I miss that. Even a modest amount of attention paid to sorting out the knots and such that have accumulated in the last
six seventen years would help me a lot
- bicycle maintenance and tuneup - I have no experience with how to care for my bike, having only fairly recently started riding again. Would love to learn more, and know that the useful tool of bicycle will be adjusted and cared for properly
- standard concrete block - in sets of four or six... why, 'cos I have a number of plastic barrels destined for rainwater collection, and they work a lot better if they are elevated. Concrete is damn heavy to cart home on the bus.
wooden kitchen cart - to add additional counter space here, will make having more than one cook in the kitchen a lot easier. FORHOJA has drawers for storage
- install the hard flooring - this is a big project only because it involves removing the entire contents of each of the two bedrooms before the flooring can go down. Probably a weekend for each room, one day to move stuff out, one day to put flooring down and move stuff back in (just a guess, the rooms are pretty small, but there is a lot of stuff. Or...
wooden shelves on the walls in bedroom and sewing room - more shelving will allow better storage of fabrics and other supplies, as well as guest bedding
cross country train trip in a sleeper car - I want to visit my friends and family in New England, I love train travel, and it would be an adventure instead of an ordeal.
Hmmmm, progress towards these goals is slow, but incremental progress is still progress... #7 and #9 were completed back in 2011 and 2012. #10 happened this spring, much to my delight! In addition, the building or acquisition of a proper clothesline setup is a vital addition to this list, though a much improved clothes drying line was cobbled together this year, and someday insulation in the walls, though that is a HUGE project indeed... There has been some improvement on #4, as I am now getting regular acupuncture treatments, which have done a great deal of good for my physical situation. The efforts of my Blue Cedar House friends have also done a lot to help with the infrastructure projects here... life continues to improve.