Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday fragments


Melanzane al Funghetto, garnished with thin slices of goat feta
Our plucky heroine is busy today getting ready for not only an open studio day on Saturday, but the return of some of my Blue Cedar house pals for the long weekend...

Earlier this week, New Seasons had (most unusually) some organic japanese eggplant... since the plan was for small steaks as dinner, I decided that a side dish of Melanzane al Funghetto (Eggplant Mushroom-style) would be both seasonal and appropriate. When the ingredients are excellent, this dish never fails to be a treat, as long as you are in the subset that enjoys these nightshade fruit, and since both Karen and Gwen are of that tribe, it was most well received!

Tuesday there were some local rambles as well as the beachcombing that started my day so delightfully. Gwen wanted to visit the little local shop that makes taffy and handcrafted chocolates. While I am not much of one for either of those comestibles, I found the display of vintage confectioners tools to be fascinating, including these candy rollers used to form and shape sweets...


While we were wandering around Lincoln City, we ate lunch at McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub, and a Goodwill beckoned from across the parking lot... My clever eye spotted an All-Clad LTD skillet in among the kitchen gear; $6.99 seemed a reasonable price to try out a renowned brand (a new pan this size usually sells for rather considerably more). After cooking with it last night, the skillet will definitely be a good addition to the modest array of cookware that lives on the forged iron pot-rack in the kitchen of Acorn Cottage, being both highly functional, easy to clean, and a good inbetween size
:::

So far August has not been a month of making new things, but am hopeful that by the end of September all three categories will be caught up, realising that it may will be necessary to curtail my online hours in favor of time spent behind the sewing machine and in front of the workbench...
:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 third Orb enamel 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 Pegasus embroidery parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired paper to Shredfest
7 * broken toilet seat replaced bag to Goodwill
8 * towel holder attached bag to Goodwill
9 * SCA closet reorganised ----------
10 ---------- * ----------

Thursday, August 28, 2014

seashore snippets


in which our plucky heroine visits the coast for the first time in several years...

the view out the windows in the morning...

down the hill to the beach, drifts of crocosmia have naturalised in the open spaces and along the verge

After clambering down from the end of road across some rocks, there was still quite a bit of beachfront to traverse
.
I find the patterns left by the waves to be endlessly fascinating

proof positive that our plucky heroine made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean

Look between the beach boulders to the open ocean beyond; when we first arrived this area was entirely underwater, the second morning the tide was far enough out that this channel between the rocks was visible...

There were good reasons besides sensible caution to not walk the narrow channel between the rocks...Sea anemones almost as big as my hands! they are so very turquoise green!!

waterlife clings to the rocks, not as a parable, but just as itself

I am congenitally incapable of not picking up rocks at the beach. There are agates and jasper, and all sorts of other fascinating treasures. My old denim pinafore soon resembled a child's garment: pockets stuffed with pebbles and shell fragments...

the sun sets through the oncoming fog bank as we say goodnight to a day of rare delight...

:::

I am grateful for coastal breezes that are a respite from the August heat, for the scent of ocean air and the sound of wavesong, and the chance to ramble about beachcombing. Am grateful the body still allows me to go out and about, up and downhill, and to still climb over small rockpiles (also grateful for the generosity that made this possible)
may this gratitude contradict despair...

Monday, August 25, 2014

La La La Lola


in which our plucky heroine gets some new socks...

Having found Sockwell compression socks, which are not only a more comfortable blend of wool and bamboo added to the extreme squeeziness of the nylon and spandex, but which also come in pleasant, non-medical patterns, the lifelong necessity is somewhat ameliorated. That some of their designs can be purchased at REI adds my customer discount into the equation, so I headed out downtown, and came home with two pair. One was this rainbow stripe woman's pair, but the other was this grey on black man's pair. Yes, they are actually exactly the same size, and that gives me either more colorful or more decorous legs this autumn...

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 third Orb enamel 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired paper to Shredfest
7 * broken toilet seat replaced bag to Goodwill
8 * towel holder attached bag to Goodwill
9 * SCA closet reorganised ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::


Saturday, August 23, 2014

substantial Saturday snippets


in which our plucky heroine moves forward the plan to transform the odd closet between the living room and the furnace room into tidy storage. It has been the box-room, full of the greatest number of randomly filled containers and bags, but will hopefully become a good space to keep my SCA and camping gear...

Friday night's task was to empty said closet... Finding a lot of non-SCA random things in there, that have just been tossed somewhere "out of the way". After two hours of removing the clobber and crap, the closet is a blank slate

Saturday morning my friend Kate arrived to work her organising magic on my space. Having the closet entirely clear made it easier to successfully arrange the things that need to be in that space, but boy howdy - my poor living room looks a lot like the intake zone of the local Goodwill. Everything from that closet is now in the living room, all 20+ boxes, and bags of stuff, and random artifacts, plus all  my camping gear and some of my SCA clothing. It is beyond a hot mess, it is almost cold fusion...

The far end of the closet has a few two shelves, which are now holding some of my camping gear and SCA clothing, the rest of it is either up above (for the soft lightweight bedding) or folded atop the small camping table, which holds the tent, the straw matting, and some assorted textile bits. Paracord, and decorated bags holding camping notions hang on one side of the wall. I am thinking that a laminated packing list would be a good addition, so I don't need to print one out before each event, rather like a master grocery shopping list...

The closet is now very easy to use, everything in there is intentional. The rooms that the 20+ boxes and bags have moved to are really frightening. I keep telling myself to be patient and persistent...

A set of narrow shelves still needs to be made, to hold housepaint, as all the cans will be also be moving into this space, along with the painting tools. I use housepaint rarely, so this is a better storage place than the workroom, and they can be stored neatly along one wall, once there are purpose-built shelves.
:::

...whilst removing ALL THE THINGS from the closet, this Damascus knife blank showed up underneath a pile of boxes on the upper shelf. This is a keeper for sure, look how tiny it is!! All I can think is that I swapped for it at some trade blanket years ago, but since it is already drilled for handle rivets, I can easily finish it and it will be both beautiful and useful.

:::

Someday my house will be set up so that all the things, supplies and tools will be accessible and the surroundings will be beautiful. After this particular day of decluttering I am really noticing how very much stuff I have all over the house, and how not all of it makes me happy, in fact a lot of it makes me unhappy or stressed. I just need to keep telling myself that in time it will all improve. This is, for me, part of a massive reorganisation of house functionality, after several years of post-cancer neglect. My intention is to give visible structure and support to my intention to continue living
:::

I am getting ready to teach a short workshop on Surface Couching, and the Bayeaux Tapestry Stitch. Those are two very basic and historical embroidery stitches and with both of them together, you can make a design by outlining it, and by filling in the outline if desired; the techniques are very similar. I figure that a one page handout, and some felt, floss, and a needle will allow students to try it out for themselves.

After gallivanting all over the place Friday trying to find large-ish embroidery needles (big eyes and sharp points, not tapestry needles with dull points) and finding none in all the nearby sewing and crafty stores... (didn't have time to hit the big ones aka Fabric Depot and Mill Ends) I checked in Fred Meyers of all places and they had them in their TINY sewing notions section... not super good quality (Singer brand now gets their kit from China and the lowest bidder, apparently) but at least useable... Further consultation with my more embroidery knowledgeable friends gave me the information that the actual name of what I was looking for was "chenille needles"
:::

Pears! from the backyard! There are actually twenty pears of various sizes on my little Bartlett tree, and as some have been falling from the branches, I have been checking and picking the ones that separate freely. They are all going into the fridge, as they may be buggy. The largest one so far weighs 8 oz! This is the exciting first harvest of the pears since the tree was planted in the spring of 2009...

:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 third Orb enamel 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired paper to Shredfest
7 * broken toilet seat replaced ----------
8 * towel holder attached ----------
9 * SCA closet reorganised ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::

I am grateful for running water, both in the natural world, where water running over rocks makes one of the most delightful sounds I know, and the sort that comes into our homes and out through the various taps and spigots installed. Water safe to drink, safe to cook with... Anyone, including our plucky heroine, who has lived without running water, is always grateful for and never takes it for granted.

I spent the better part of a year in a place with no water on site; where all water had to be brought in in 5 gallon buckets from the next town over, carried in on sledges in the winter and in the back of a car the rest of the year. I learned to be very sparing in how I used it. Living here is eversomuch easier that that year was
May this gratitude contradict despair

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

tiny Tuesday tidbits


in which our plucky heroine is not really sure what is up with the falling asleep every afternoon, other than it is gorram hot out. Maybe the siesta is a worthy custom, even if out of phase with this modern life...

Another glimpse of the embroidered yoke panels I am working on for K. Just starting on the pale green fill for the maidenhair ferns; not sure if it will also want a lighter strand down the center of the "stems"  (on consultation with K, she likes the foliage just as it is, and I rather concur, since real maidenhair ferns have dark stems...)

It is rather astonishing how very many hours go into even a quite simple embroidery like this one, (over 26 so far) which makes historic embroidered garments and objects even more precious to my point of view, thinking about how much of someone's life went into creating that ephermeal beauty, most of which is lost to us
~ ::: ~

For the last week there has been no progress the only progress at all on my SMART goals has been continued various sorts of playing with string (knitting, weaving, and embroidery) and nothing to the point of completion. I really need to dig out some appropriate fabric and get busy cutting out some clothing, or I shall go into autumn as a tatterdemalion. One or two light summer dresses would not be amiss, and some basic dresses for layering... I have been toying with the idea of sewing up one or two cardigan sweaters, based on my tee shirt pattern, if (big if) I can find suitable fabric... such lightweight layers would be most useful in transitional weather
~ ::: ~

Today I am grateful for the generosity of friends, who have in the last week given me a set of folding sewing tables, some replacement lavender oil, some lovely blue yarn, and time out of their busy lives to spend with me.

May this gratitude contradict despair...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

two and a half day trip...


in which our plucky heroine travels north for felicitatious wishes on the natal day of a friend, bringing the traveling enamel kiln Calcifer* along with...

There is something very special about the house where my artist friends live, where even the canoe paddles are a thing of beauty...

The enameling got off to a late start, on Saturday afternoon, so while none of the three interested folks completed their pieces, they all made a good start on their designs

As often happens, there was a chance to do some lampwork, and Vesta made her first beads, with the helpful input of the talented birthday girl
~ ::: ~

Last weekend, when the Blue Cedar folks were visiting, Mindy had this very clever Japanese garden tool, a sort of hand pickaxe, with a forged head and a hardwood handle. Whilst up in OlyWa, Maeve took me over to the Westside Coop where I found the selfsame tool for sale in their nifty garden center, and I couldn't resist acquiring one of my own, using up some of my precious remaining worker member discount points. I am certain it will prove useful around Acorn Cottage, since it does a bangup job at removing weeds from places and digging rooty bits out of the cracks in the pavement.

The Blue Heron Bakery has been a Mud Bay institution for decades, and I was glad to have a chance for one more walk across the bridge and back; soon they will be moving up the hill to a new modern facility closer to the town; it will be the end of an era... Looking up at the hops growing over the outdoor oven I wonder what the future tenants will think of the space here, which holds so many memories of so many folks

~ ::: ~

This weekend I made great strides on an assortment of textile projects, as well as the traveling enameling fun and games:

Continued progress on the coat yoke embroidery that I am working on for K, which features motifs from her personal heraldry. The pegasus is done in straightforward applique and couching.

It was a challenge to figure out how best to transfer and create the detailed maidenhair fern design on such dense thick melton wool fabric. What eventually worked was drawing the design on tracing paper, and couching directly through the paper along the design line, then tearing the paper away. The leaf interiors will be filled with embroidery in a lighter green.
~ ::: ~


just in case you were wondering who/what Calcifer is?...
~ ::: ~

Today I am grateful for the sensation of wind against my face and arms, when I ride my bike to the grocery store. I have a bicycle, I have a body that mostly works, I have enough resources that I can acquire food to eat, and a home to return to.
May this gratitude contradict despair...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

chuck keys in love, well at least is attached...


in which our plucky heroine offers a helpful hint on how not to lose your chuck key:

Take a few hair ties and loop them together, then loop one end in a larks head knot around the key and the other around the cord. It can stretch to reach the chuck, and be out of the way otherwise. Am not sure where I first ran across this idea, but have been doing it for years...

this particular drill actually has an attachment point to hold the chuck key, but it was awkward unsnapping it each time to use, so I made it a leash from the hair ties instead... a little less tidy, but much more convenient and still attached
:::



because every time I say the words "chuck key",  I hear this song in my head...
:::

The bathroom towel holder has been reattached. A start has been made on anchoring the leaning pile of lumber to the wall - there will be some eyebolts on each side of the doorframe, and loops of rope neatly eye-spliced, with clip hooks, for safety anchors. I find that being able to turn plain rope into useful objects has been a helpful skill ever since childhood, not a hobby, as I have enough of those thank you very much, but still very useful. I didn't learn splicing until I was in the SCA, when friends taught me to end splice the tent ropes, which made for a much tidier finish.

working on the third one of the Orb enamels... once these are complete then the next step in the process is for Bill Dawson to build the gem encrusted bands that will surround the Orb and support the demi-lion on the top. These enamels will decorate the attachment points where the silver bands will be anchored to the Orb. Sometimes the work I do is a small part of something pretty incredible.

:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 third Orb enamel 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired paper to Shredfest
7 * broken toilet seat replaced ----------
8 * towel holder attached ----------
9 * * ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday trinkets


in which our plucky heroine decides that it is time to be consider being a little more active in the "things made" section... (the other categories are closer to where they "should" be for this far into the year) wondering how many things I can make in what is left of this month


At least one project is completed, the embroidered wooly ponies, that look a lot like Fjord horses... This large patch was originally intended to be decoration on a new SCA wool apron-dress, until I realised that the one I already have is very rarely worn, since there are few SCA events cold enough to warrant layers of wool. Instead, my current idea is to use it to decorate a new everyday wool winter pinafore, as that way I can enjoy the embroidery fairly often. The dress length of wool, off black and cream, will make a comfortable versatile pinafore, though it is indeed jarring to be thinking about wool and warmth in the heat of the summertime!
:::

When my Blue Cedar friends showed up this past weekend, Mr R had a little gizmo that he wasn't using, that he very rightly thought I would enjoy, and kindly gifted to me. Now a useful addition to my keychain, it cleverly unfolds to become a small set of pliers, and a regular and phillips screwdriver. This fills a very needful niche on my EDC keyring, since I had to choose between pliers and scissors for my Leatherman micra (and I unsurprisingly chose scissors); now I have both!
.
:::

The only good thing about the necessary medical socks of unbearable squeeziness, which are utterly horrid to wear in the summertime, is that when soaked with cold water, they do take a bit of time to dry out, which creates a bit of swamp cooler effect on the legs, which is helpful when the external temperature approaches the internal...
:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 * 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired *
7 * broken toilet seat replaced ----------
8 * * ----------
9 * * ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fragments and figments


IN which our plucky heroine makes progress...

The moon is waxing, and sometimes the night cools down enough that riding my bike is a treat, in the way that makes me feel like I am a happy child again, and all the stress of being an elder falls away for a few moments... I am so grateful that life allows me these small pleasures
:::

The folks from Blue Cedar House are coming came to visit for the weekend; the plan being that sewing of Viking Age clothing will be a good trade for yardwork and honey-do help. This will be excellent - hopefully they decide that they love the SCA, as this is just the sort of skill trade that will improve the lives of both our households.

Saturday morning Mr R started on the project of installing a new sink in the bathroom, as well as filling the holes in the wall, so that the cold winter breezes will not zoom out into the house. Whatever the formers owners were good at, house repair and remodeling were not part of their skill set... His lovely wife, my friend M, made a valiant and successful foray against the weeds and grass in the north side yard, the pathway to the backyard, which has not been loved in a number of years... we are finding all sorts of surprising artifacts, most of them only fit for the transfer station. For now, until there is an actual plan for this space, the sword ferns can stay...


The bathroom sink zone is starting to be filled in with painted plywood... the upper panel will be screwed in place, and then molding set around to cover the edge gaps; the plywood also needs some sponge painting to match is more accurately to the color of the painted bathroom walls. Once the mirror is also re-installed, and the sink also re-attached, the bathroom will be in much better shape! (the new sink and faucet have been sitting in a box in the bathroom for the last two+ years, and I put in the temporary sink in 2008)

By the time M was ready to call it a day, almost the entire north side yard was cleared...
Saturday evening M and Mr R went off to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary with a sushi feast, whilst young Heather, both little girls, and I all watched Totoro... The next morning (Sunday) all sorts of additional work happened:

The north side yard was entirely cleared of weeds, save for the volunteer sword ferns. Much easier to walk through, and to hang clothing on the clothesline along the fence. I am not sure what the best thing to do with this space... there is a concrete pathway down the middle, with gravel on either side.
The "fence" side does get sunlight, and there are a few planter boxes there, which could/will get some added compost and hopefully some winter greens planted. But the "house" side gets little or no sunlight, and while it does grow weedy grasses, I don't think it would get enough sun for vegetables So far the best idea I have come up with is to allow Future Chickens to occasionally dig through the area, to keep the weeds from getting as deep a foothold. Advice welcome... (I am not particularly interested in gardening for it's own sake... aside from some food plantings and possibly some flowers for cut flowers)

The new sink is installed, and the bathroom feels very different, there is no huge cardboard box taking up floor space, and the rounded curves of the porcelain fit the style room a lot better, as well as just physically being smaller than the former sink with the rectangular wooden framework.

The old sink and faucet went back to the Rebuilding Center,(along with the assorted window screens that turned up in the side yard), (though I did keep the extra-strong angle brackets, as those will be most handy for supporting the future standing workbench) We are still having some small issues with fitting together the new sink faucet and the old pipe fittings, but I am watching it for leakage, as it seems like the cold water line fittings are not entirely sealed... our plucky heroine is hoping that if needed a bit of disassembley and some judicious re-pipe-taping will take care of any problems...


The amount of work that was accomplished this weekend is just astounding! There was enough time to also make a start on the south side yard, and this huge clump of vegetation was removed from the side yard bed. The compost bin is full, the yard waste bin is full, and there are two paper compost sacks also full. This pile of additional yard debris will need to wait it's turn...


The parking strip got some love today... my friends decided to clear away all the weeds that were filling the planter box and all around the persimmon tree, rebuilt the bricks around the tree that had been kicked down, and then mulched the whole thing. I can now add some plantings back into the box, and eventually there may will be a second planter box on the other side of the tree...
:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 * paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 * 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired *
7 * broken toilet seat replaced ----------
8 * * ----------
9 * * ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::

Thursday, August 7, 2014

not with a ten foot pole


In which our plucky heroine knows in truth that discretion is the better part of valor...

So Tuesday some mighty helpful brave friends Marya and Larry came over after dark to do battle with the wasp nest that had prevented me from accessing the garden shed, well actually the entire back yard. Don't judge me - it is necessary, because allergies, and when the pears and plums and applesies are ready, there will be fruit for me and friends and not wasp food.

Early in the cool of the morning, went to check on the wasps... the visible nest was obviously dead, but rather than get close enough to move the plastic tote, I used a fifteen foot pole, and a good thing too! since there is ANOTHER live active nest with plenty of LIVE WASPS in there!! Now I need to ask for yet more help! (because more live wasps in a nest, in a box, in my yard, oh gorram!) I used the long pole to push the tote off from the top of the tomato cage it was sitting on, so I could throw it away, and lo and behold, there was another nest inside the box, where the original nest had probably been started, and it was covered with live wasps!

I was soooo glad that Marya and Larry had sprayed the nest last night, and I am soooo glad I was cautious, and I am sooo glad neither of them were stung last night; I hated having to ask yet again for help... asking for help seems to be an ongoing lesson: how to it well, having to do it again and again; in truth, the being self sufficient is one side of the hand, and the being interdependent is the other side. I do as much as I can for myself, learn and practice assorted skills of useful functionality (which I happily share) but there are times when all that our plucky heroine can do is just not enough, and being able to ask for help and receive it with grateful thanks is yet another useful functional skill, and probably the one real new lesson from my cancer journey. When I let go of feeling bad about the need to ask for help, then I will have really learned the lesson for good and for true. We all do better helping and being helped. While specialization may be for insects, cooperation is for humans...

Good things today: no one being stung by wasps, having someone hold the Max by standing in the doorway because they saw me scampering (hobbling) over trying to catch the Red Line, having a friend send me the pdf's for the old PicDic so I can have hardcopy, and knowing that my personal Big Damn Heroes came back to kill the rest of the wasp nest...

:::

Wooly pony progress... I love the texture that is created with Bayeaux Tapestry fill stitches. Am also curiously fascinated at the way the wool which was originally dyed yellow with dock is faded to a golden tan, without being exposed to sunlight, am wondering if it is some sort of oxidation process? It is a lovely soft color for the design, and I had actually forgotten what the original color was until I went and looked at the initial photo from earlier this summer... (rightmost yarn)

:::

August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 * wasps nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 * 2nd wasp nest *
3 * * *
4 * * *
5 * * *
6 * * *
7 * * ----------
8 * * ----------
9 * * ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
:::

Monday, August 4, 2014

sewing for my modern life...


IN which our plucky heroine smacks into the fact that ignoring a problem does not make it go away...

Back in June, I looked at the extent of my modern clothing... since my ongoing goal is to have enough everyday clothing to go for a week without running a load of laundry (so eight "sets" of clothing would be both functional and generous) I am not there by any means, and a chart of the extent of my wardrobe makes that clear:

# TEE SHIRTS KNIT TOPS BLOUSES DRESSES PINAFORES POPOVERS SLIPS & APRONSPANTS
1 grey cave horse indigo/black layered blue/multi hawaiian cornflower ikat medium denim indigo nightsky batik black knit embroidered slip cropped black knit
2 bad girl black black bleach print black print lawn black/grey polkadot black lovechild overall jordan almond leafy * *
3 grey floral
neckline
black/grey crow * blue/grey ikat black linen cobalt linen * *
4 bang said max black/grey stripey t-neck * brown Japanese dogs black vertical pique blue microcheck linen * *
5 blue stripey cloud black/white winter t-neck * * grey corduroy * * *
6 dk blue leopard black plain * * dk grey linen * * *
7 brown acorn brown Celtic wolf * * brown corduroy * * *
8 black square lace grey zip neck * * grey chambray * * *
bold is wearing out - italic rarely gets worn - lingerie, socks and shoes are not on the chart

Though the Autumn 6PAC has started, it looks like some popover dresses would be the best start to my modern sewing, as true summer has at least a month or more to run, and they also work well as overdresses once the weather cools down (which cannot be too soon for this girl). This means looking through stash for light floaty summer fabrics...  For autumn, must needs make some dresses, and possibly a few slip/dresses, as I am down to only two dresses in good condition. I don't really need any new pinafores, though will both plan on making two later this winter, and will keep eyes open for a nice dark indigo blue fabric, since the only denim in my stash is too "medium" Somewhere in there, before the rainy season returns, need to either get moving on the V1212 bodice/sleeve combo, or choose to make a different sort of raincoat.
:::

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday snippets...


...in which our plucky heroine is awake at 3AM, due to thoughtlessly consuming something tasty that probably had tomato product in it*; and since awake, it is the PERFECT time to turn on All The Box Fans! Current outdoor temperature is 62 and will likely fall a degree or two before turning around, and since today is forecast to be over 90F getting some cooler air into the house seems like a good idea...
:::

In the last few days have been cogitating about how best to reconfigure the sewing/guest room. Lots of input from my online friends over at Stitchers Guild and it is fascinating to me the very various ways to accomodate sewing into a smaller space folks have come up with. I am also grateful to have been offered a folding table designed for sewing machines by one friend (similar to this), as well as a sturdy heavy wooden gate leg table with drawers which will probably be a better workroom table than the current one; at this rate will be well on the way to my goal of a refurbished living space that supports my chosen activities.
:::

One of my two current embroidery projects in process... (wool yarn and floss on wool fabric) I have been using some of the natural dyed wool for the pony bodies, and the Bayeaux tapestry stitch; the outlines are couching. Below is a closer look at the embroidery technique... showing some finished areas, and some with fill-in partially complete. The leg will get at least one other pass of fill-in satin stitches before the tying down stitches are added.

:::

Friday was not only my regular acupuncture visit, but I had a chance to help my dear friend sort out her introductory tablet weaving project. I am not that much further along with tablet weaving, just enough to be able to figure out what parts were being cranky for her, and to help with getting the warp and cards set up on her loom. Later that evening, my plan was to head out to Beaverton for DragonsMist Revels, but ended up following the directions on their website, which sent me to the wrong site! I should have been suspicious when the streets were blocked off, there were cheerful but numerous police officers directing traffic detours, and the big park across from the Library and community center was filled with families, and a huge inflatable movie screen for the local movies in the park night... some phone calls led me to the correct site, though, and it was a worthwhile excursion as it was possible to talk to several folks about the coronet bid...

We submitted a bid early this year and had not heard anything specific back, despite multiple emails, so now I know what the various combinations of options were most desirable and can revise the drawings and prices to reflect that (combine heraldic enamel with engraved dragons, combine dragon head joining plates with raised pearls, add a border with stitching holes for padding, etc) The other reason we have not heard from them is that since they are a new Barony, their coffers are not that full, so they are doing fundraising to pay for new coronets... not a bad thing, as artisans like to be paid for their work!

Turned out almost fated that I ended up needing to ride home on Tri-Met, though I loathe doing that after dark... my embroidery caused conversation with the two older lady tourists sitting next to me, which led to finding out that they were, in fact, on the WRONG train! I was able to show them where to wait for the correct train out to the airport, so that they did not end up somewhere in outer Gresham in the middle of the night...
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Saturday night was a good party at Marrakesh, with tasty Moroccan food, and an assortment of rarely seen friends, as well as the birthday girl herself, my pal Aelflaed. Not the best setting for conversation, as the ambient noise was pretty high, and louder when the belly dancer arrived... but it was fun to see various folks be enticed up to dance with her... who knew that T had such an ability to shimmy his hips!! Went back home and fell asleep in a sort of food and social coma, then woke up at 3AM most internally unhappy; I suspect that the tasty soup with veggies and chickpeas had a base of tomato product of some kind, didn't even think of it at the time...
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Today being even more hot and sunny than yesterday, the original plan to destroy the paper wasp nest in front of the garden shed was put on hold, as my pal Jess, who arrived mid-morning with various protective clothing including a motorcycle jacket and boots, decided on examination that the little buggers were way too active already, as the sun had been up for hours. The new plan is to attempt extermination after sunset later this week, as her arriving here before daybreak is not a real possiblity. If I was not so allergic, I would deal with them myself. So instead, she and I had a nice chance to chat, drink tea, and eat some cold cantaloupe... The rest of the afternoon will be spent playing House Tetris, as there will be five people arriving to spend the weekend, and there needs to be places for all of them to sleep...
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*any commercial food product that includes manufactured citric acid (which means pretty much anything with canned tomatoes, as well as assorted other processed foods) is not a happy thing for my internal equilibrium. I mostly eat homemade food, and usually remember to be thoughtful about the few times I eat in restaurants...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine endures...

This is the time of year for endurance. The weather is steadily hot, though the acquisition this week of two new box fans has made mitigation a little more possible. If my life allowed me to become nocturnal, that would be ideal, as the coolest part of the day is just before dawn... This is not the best time of year to enamel, but there is more enameling on the horizon...
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Didn't do as much SCA sewing this summer as I'd hoped for, but sure as the wheel turns round, it is now time for the Autumn 6PAC sewalong over at Stitcher's Guild. I must needs make some new clothing, as my everyday wardrobe is looking more and more shabby. Fortunately this fits in with my goal of decluttering and organising the sewing/guest room which now that the workroom is orderly, is becoming a higher priority...

That room is quite small (9ft x 10ft) and already has shelves to hold fabric, and a folding futon couch to hold guests. It currently also has a hollow core door along one wall, intended to be a place to sew, which never worked well as a sewing space. Once I clear away the various boxes and piles of things, I can move the futon-couch to the wall that doesn't have an outlet, and remove the hollow core door table. I just don't like sitting facing the wall when I work, so instead, I drag my sewing machine to the dining table, or now, to the big worktable in the studio. It occurred to me that the back bedroom will look more welcoming to my fairly frequent house guests if is is more open; and if I have a folding table, or a small table on casters, I can sit in the middle of the guest room and look outwards, and put away the sewing machine(s) when I have guests...

Earlier this week, had an inspiration, that once the room was clutter-cleared, that in addition to removing the hollowcore door "table", moving the futon couch to the wall that did not have any outlets would make using the sewing machines and the ironing board a lot easier! Did a quick sketch on one of the everpresent index cards, so as to remember the idea...

Then did a slightly more thoughtful design drawing, and it does look like this might be a way to get a room that is a peaceful and appealing guest space as well as a place to store fabric and textile supplies... with a suitable folding table, could even sit on the couch and sew... After posting on FB and SG, had more ideas and feedback, as well as the offer of a free small folding made-for-sewing table, and an option to buy a larger study heavy modern gate-leg table (which will probably go in the workroom instead)

A rough floor plan makes the challenge clear enough, the lack of floor space is the real issue, since I need to be able to use the futon couch, which even when folded up, takes up about a quarter of the room...
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July was more of a success in sending things away than in either fixing things or making things, most likely because there were two major SCA events that month, and two days where my friend Kaitlin came over to help me organise and declutter the workroom. Still, each months progress increases the totals, and each month I make more progress on catching up to towards the desired goals

July SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 1st wool cardweaving hem on red silk gown bag to paper recycling
2 blue Pel Laurel green undergown mended bag to paper recycling
3 two orb enamels bicycle area cleared bag to paper recycling
4 * LED switch repaired bag to Goodwill
5 * * bag to Goodwill
6 * * bag to Goodwill
7 * * cardboard recycled
8 ---------- * cardboard recycled
9 ---------- * bag to Goodwill
10 ---------- ---------- cardboard recycled
11 ---------- ---------- yardwaste
12 ---------- ---------- *
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shiney and new: August SMART goal challenge
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 * * *
2 * * *
3 * * *
4 * * *
5 * * *
6 * * *
7 * * ----------
8 * * ----------
9 * * ----------
10 ---------- * ----------
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