Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday musings, media, and a weeksworth of catching up...


in which our plucky heroine discovers the result of buying inexpensive duct tape...

While the proto duct tape dress form created at the workshop on Sunday is holding together quite well, the overwhelmingly strong odor of the tape was so bad that I had to put the silvery clone outside last night, and the chemical odor remains so strong that I think it will need to live far away from the back door or windows of the house. Hopefully in time the effluence will abate, or it will be not very usable; a whole day outside in the sunny backyard has had no noticeable affect...
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Last Thursday afternoon:  cooking down the gift of pears into pearsauce... it was getting the kitchen too warm and steamy, so transferred into mini crockpots and put in the summer kitchen. Leaving the lids open a crack let the moisture cook down, but given the aggressive squirrels around here, I figured that protecting the sweet treat was important... Some of the mesh panels linked together and to the fence makes a good enclosure safe from varmints.

An interesting side note, long slow cooking of pears brings out a lovely red color in the sauce, similar to how quince turns red with long cooking. This sauce will be both tasty and beautiful.
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Friday, finished up a small sewing commission, and then spent the afternoon visiting with Kate - got to meet her hens and see her woodshop, and some of the preparations for the class she is teaching on "Introduction to Medieval Woodworking"... We are hatching great plans for a much improved chicken coop for Acorn Cottage. This one will be both easier to keep clean and easier to move around the yard, as the new concept will be modular, with a platform base, a basic house, and an overhanging roof - all the pieces will be attachable/detachable, and light enough that I needn't entice multiple burly helpers when moving the coop around the backyard. I have been partly inspired by this design, but with some significant modifications... I want a coop for my two hens that is easier to keep clean and mite free, and one where the nest box is lower than the roosting perch, so the hens sleep on their perch and not in the nest

I have a number of appealing inspirations on my Pinterest page of chook habitats, and a lot more ideas floating around in my head... Personally I would love to figure out a way to add chicken feet to the bottoms of the legs, so my henhouse would look like Baba Yaga's house! Maybe next summer there will be experiments with hypertufa...
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I never get tired of watching Cyr wheel performers
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Last Wednesday, and the last of the apple harvest for this year... these were the best of a modest bowl full of apples. Most of the apples this year were damaged or destroyed by insects, mostly codling moth, before they ever ripened. While these few also have insect damage, they were ripe enough to cut away the edible portions, which ended up being maybe 20% of the total weight. About a pound and a half of peeled cut apple bits, which cooked down into a very small portion of applesauce, probably will fill about 4 four ounce canning jars.

For next year, I intend to try bagging the baby apples to protect them, and making a note for my records that they are best picked in late August... (these were over-ripe and some starting to split from rain after dry dry summer)
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sometimes, actually fairly often, beauty is right in front of my eyes
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Spent a chunk of Saturday at a workshop on Coptic stitch book binding - learned a new skill and got an idea of how teaching workshops at the Library is handled... This was really fun to do, and the twelve people in the class all mostly completed their books in the 3 1/2 hours.

I was really impressed with the teacher for how well she presented the techniques and helped many inexperienced folks be successful. I filled out the class evaluation card, and as there was a place on the form to sign in if you were also interested in teaching, I added "embroidery, hand stitching and handicraft"...

Today I got a call from the class coordinator, and will be setting up a time to meet with her, hopefully in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed - it would be so excellent if I could also teach crafting workshops there!
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Whilst cleaning out the freezer I found a paintbrush, double wrapped in plastic. This is a clever way to put aside a brush in between painting one day and painting the next day, but not so good when it gets forgotten for months and months... the poor thing was quite congealed even when thawed out.  I first soaked the brush in plain water, but when that didn't help enough, fortunately I remembered reading that there was a clever way to recondition abused paintbrushes, using white vinegar. While the brush is not "as good as new", it is certainly quite useable for many more years of housey-projects
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One of the hens has been laying soft shell eggs over the last sevenday week. This egg has what I would describe as a partially formed shell, not thick and solid, but not leathery like the previous one earlier... It seems obvious that one of the two hens is doing better than the other one, though they both appear well and happy. Am going to resume adding both lactofermented food and more supplemental eggshell calcium to their diet in the hope of getting back to two hens that lay eggs with real shells! As the other hen has been laying every day, with good solid shells, I am wondering if this one is just the later-starting hen. I am not sure which one is the "culprit"

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September SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 apron dress for L linen closet doors bag to Goodwill
2 DM coronet shed roof patched bag to Goodwill
3 DM coronet front door latch bag to Goodwill
4 red top for Joan bike brake cable bag to Goodwill
5 Coptic stitch book bike kickstand bag to Goodwill
6 duct tape clone side yard work bag to Goodwill
7 - back yard work bag to Goodwill
8 - - bag to Goodwill
9 - - electronica x 2
10 - - yard waste bin
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4 comments:

  1. Wow, looks like you have been very busy indeed. Love the duct form, shame about the smell. Do you have any charcoal you could seal it up in a bag with to remove the small?

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    1. Ruthie, I feel like every time I read your posts I want to say the same thing - you have accomplished SO MUCH!! I am going to see if I can find a big garbage sack, since I do have some leftover barbeque charcoal sitting in the shed...

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  2. What an amazing athlete is the cyr performer! I never heard of that skill nor seen it; thank you for sharing that excitement with us. Love your bookbinding! Hope the dress form comes around and can be accepted as a guest in your home. Have you Googled "how to deoderize...."?

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    1. The bookbinding was really fun to do, and I suspect that there will be holiday gifts made using the new technique. The silver clone is staying outside for the time being, I am going to try Ruthie's suggestion of charcoal, and hopefully time will help. I know I had to leave the memory foam mattress topper outdoors for weeks before the odor dissipated enough that I could bring it indoors to use on the bed

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