Wednesday, September 30, 2015

out beyond blue...


in which our plucky heroine has fun with indigo...

After spending days of my transit time stitching up carefully folded panels of linen in preparation for some shibori dyeing, Wednesday was set aside for a visit to my pal Marya, aka the goddess with the blue hands. She has quite a bit of experience with indigo dyeing, and agreed to help me turn my first shibori efforts blue...

The warm indigo vat, with the first dip of my prepared shibori panels.

Five of the panels coming out of the vat after the first dip. The indigo in the linen fabric is just beginning to oxidise and turn blue. Marya figured out a clever way to suspend my panels in two groups of five, using yarn and a bamboo stick, which made the process much less cumbersome than individually dipping ten panels over and over

After a few dips, the tightly gathered panels look very sculptural. The magic of indigo is easy to fall in love with! After seven dips the panels look very dark indeed, almost black, though some of that will rinse away, and the color will lighten further once the panels are dry.

These panels were then rinsed repeatedly while still tightly gathered. There will be a lot of rinsing; while the indigo does bind tightly to the fibers, a lot of excess dye tags along. The more thoroughly the dyed fabric is rinsed, the less excess dyestuff remains to be rubbed off onto other clothing or the skin of the wearer...


I couldn't resist opening up a panel to see if/how my hours of stitchery worked out...
This design is called "horse's teeth". To me, what I ended up with looks a bit more like dental x-rays, and while not exactly like how the pattern is supposed to come out, it is very pretty indeed.

The other design I tried was this "undulating line" pattern, also in ori nui shibori. I am quite chuffed at how these two different designs turned out, and look forward to useing the panels as part of my Honor Feast kosode project.
:::

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 whitewash back yard work bag to Goodwill
8 4 heraldic enamels whitewash henhouse bag to Goodwill
9 10 shibori panels chook roost electronica x 2
10 - - yard waste bin
11 - - yard waste bin
12 - - -

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday snippets...



in which our plucky heroine returns from a weekend trip north...

The weekend trip combined business and pleasure: a one day SCA event "Arts Unframed", delivery of some completed enamels, and a visit with friends in Olympia (The Aunties) and Seattle (Eva / Mickey). It was rather strenuous, but worthwhile.
:::

dark moon red moon moon up in the sky,
people on the city streets looking way up high

apparently my response to something as awe inspiring as the super moon tonight, is to write doggerel... Tonight I rode my bike over to the park a few blocks away, which had more people hanging out just watching the sky... there were folks on the sidewalk with a telescope, and people standing in the middle of the side streets... gives me hope it does, that even in the city people go outside to see the dark moon
:::


Saw some unusual botanical growths on a monkeypuzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in Seattle this weekend... turns out that these are the female cones, and that the trees do not produce seeds* until they are at least 20 - 40 years old. The cones are quite large, I'd estimate about the size of a cocoanut, and were pretty far up in the air (zoom function needed to photograph them...)
* apparently the seeds of monkeypuzzle trees are good to eat, once the cones ripen and fall
:::

This last week I put in a lot of time on another heraldic enamel project, the enamels were to be delivered on Saturday...
Figured out a clever way to create identical circles using a tiny center punch shaft as a wee mandrel...

which were used as part of creating a set of four heraldic enamels, waiting on top of the kiln to be fired (one at a time)... the enamel powder needs to be totally dry before going into the kiln.

The completed set of four heraldic enamels - actual size 22mm diameter (7/8"). These will end up part of the decorations on a coronet for Eduardo. The chevron motif is the primary charge on his heraldry.
:::

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Incremental progress report


In which our plucky heroine spent the morning getting some outdoor chores done...

Before the temperature got too warm-n-sunny out there: got the rest of the feral rose canes that have been snagging at humans cut back and into the yard waste bin (thank you nasty squirrels for planting things in my yard that hurt humans!) Also did some end of summer pruning on the apple tree, doing my best to implement the "grow a little fruit tree" principles. Created a temporary chicken roost in the coop to encourage the hens to not sleep in the nest box by giving them a higher roosting spot.

And now, as soon as the kiln is hot, going to get back to working on the set of heraldic enamels for Eduardo...

:::

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 whitewash back yard work bag to Goodwill
8 - whitewash henhouse bag to Goodwill
9 - chook roost electronica x 2
10 - - yard waste bin
11 - - yard waste bin
12 - - -

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

whitewash + wishful Wednesday


Today I am the windshield, yesterday was definitely the bug. After a night of sad and troubling dreams, decided that an early morning bike ride to the grocery store was just the thing to clear away all the mental cobwebs. Riding home, someone had put out a big bucket of flowers in their parking strip, with a sign "free flowers - take just one so more people can enjoy them..." So our plucky heroine picked out a lovely sprig of Alstroemeria and pedaled back towards the cottage.

Almost home, and saw that there was leaf raking in progress at the big house on the corner, so I stopped and asked if they wanted their leaves, or were sending them away as yard waste... End result was the hens got a whole trash bin full of leaves, and I am welcome to rake up and keep any of their leaves in the future. Hope this positive momentum keeps going!
:::

Whilst out and about, I noticed this unusual fungus growing on a neighborhood tree... it is over 6" across, and a bright yellow orange. Not your usual local shelf fungus, and looked at from the side view, it seems positively architectural. Online consensus seems to be that it appears to be sulfur shelf polypore, aka chicken of the woods. (edible with caution, so I decided to simply leave it there to enjoy observing it, rather than take a chance on possible digestive dismay)
.
side view and top view
:::

Whitewash for chicken house improvement was mixed up last night. 1 gallon H20, 7 cups hydrated lime, 2 cups salt. Rather than use my kitchen measures I simply used an 8oz canning jar, because glass is impermeable and non reactive. The whitewash sits overnight, though the lime and salt seemed to dissolve really quickly, and some online info says the overnight rest isn't needed. Later today, the brush hits the coop... This is the stick I used to stir up the whitewash last night. I thought it would be interesting to see what it looked like once the whitewash dried... color me pretty impressed

:::

This afternoon Freydis and I took brushes in hand and whitewashed the chicken coop, after I had cleared out all the former bedding and cobwebs and suchlike. The chickens were more curious about what the people were doing with the back of the hen house removed than about the new color of the walls...
Whitewashing is really messy to apply inside a confined space, and doing the inside of the roof meant that there was quite a lot of whitewash on me, up my sleeves and in my shoes. Fortunately it is non-toxic and water soluble. As it dried, it did brighten up the interior of the chicken house quite a bit; it goes on as a barely visible very drippy liquid but becomes more opaque as it dries...
There was quite a lot of whitewash leftover after doing the interior, so we whitewashed all of the exterior we could reach, which included half of the front. The difference between the right and left side is impressive, and I still have at least a half gallon or more of whitewash leftover. Not sure how long it keeps, as there is not much information online other than some recipes and a bit on how to apply it.
Next time I mix up some whitewash I will not start with a gallon of water, but about half as much, the little chicken house here is so much smaller than what most folks think of as a livestock shelter. I may just go out back and whitewash the rest of their house, there is certainly enough of the liquid still to cover it several times over!
:::

In addition to todays whitewashing of the chook house (and the hopefully-soon future new improved hen habitat) some improvements to the feeding and watering would be a nice addition. One of the imported "Grampa's Feeders" would be foolishly extravagant, (and overkill, for there are only two hens that live here). I actually like the "Chooktred" feeder better, the design of the hinge and panel seems better to me as well as the size:

Unfortunately they do not seem to be available here in the USA. There are some less spendy and less elaborate domestic models; another option would be building something similar, possibly like this one though unsure as to how well wooden feeders would hold up in this climate. I wonder about the possibility of building a metal feeder...  Another option would be this sort of "peck to release pellets" system from Trigger Happy Chickens.

While my hens seem quite satisfied with the basic large double wall galvanized waterer, the zinc coating is wearing off the drinking portion, and the water can get sort of rusty, which can't be ideal. I am considering some sort of either "nipple" drinkers or cup drinkers attached to a bucket reservoir, as that would keep the benefit of a large quantity of water, but keep the drinking water cleaner. Of course, in the winter, I have two smaller chook drinkers that I rotate in and out of the house to keep them from freezing, since running a very long electric extension cord into the backyard seems more troublesome than simply checking on them from time to time...
:::

Refilled the chooks oyster shell feeder this morning, and topped it with a nice helping of crushed baked* eggshells they came running over and started digging through it, a sure sign of laying hens that want their calcium, and that the eggshell calcium is more desirable than the oyster shell variety (I rinse and then bake the eggshells before crushing them and feeding them back to the hens, because that helps keep them from thinking oh, these eggs that somehow show up here in the chicken house are made of food...)
:::

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 whitewash back yard work bag to Goodwill
8 - whitewash henhouse bag to Goodwill
9 - - electronica x 2
10 - - yard waste bin

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...
:::


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.
:::


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...
:::


I never get tired of watching Cyr wheel performers
:::

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)
:::


sometimes, actually fairly often, beauty is right in front of my eyes
:::

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!
:::

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
:::

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"

:::
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
:::

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Transformations


...in which our plucky heroine, with help, brings greater order to the environs:

In the time that Blue Cedar House was down here, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, a LOT of Useful Work happened here at Acorn Cottage: shed roof repaired, front door latch repaired, lower framework for salad table squirrel protection made (I still need to build the uppers) Bicycle brake cable replaced and new kickstand installed. Yard weeded, weed whacked, front yard raked (and neighbor yard raked). Huge linen closet entirely emptied and sorted/decluttered, and reorganised and the linen closet doors, which have not closed properly the entire time of my residence here, have been planed down and reset so they can be shut. Plus we discussed the next SCA clothing projects I'll be making for them, and set up plans for the rest-of-the-year weekend get together work parties.

My ongoing intention is to clear out various areas of dysfunction, clean, declutter, and organise the spaces to add peace and functionality to life here at Acorn Cottage. This is a slow process, but each little bit that is transformed, each space that becomes a "home" for particular objects instead of a clutterbug-trap makes it easier to put things in places they can be found again when needed for use. This being my goal for the entire homeplace, and my Blue Cedar House pals have been of great assistance in these endeavors...

The linen closet at the end of the hallway had been rather a catchall for the quite a few years; no rhyme or reason for the things in there, other than a shelf of woolly sweaters for wintertime... it is difficult to organise spaces like this that are deep cubbyholes

After hours of assistance from dear Mindy, this is the result - each shelf has designated contents, the "closet" portion (too short for clothing, what were they thinking of?) will be used to store in process sewing projects clipped to hangers. No more PIGS*, huzzah!! We took 8 bags of things to the Goodwill, plus two large pieces of unneeded electronia, and while there are still several boxes/groups of items from here that have yet to find homes, I am beginning to trust that in time the house here will become the supportive and beautiful ground to the life, work, and artisanry that is intended to happen here.

*PIGS = "Projects In Grocery Sacks"
:::
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 - bike brake cable bag to Goodwill
5 - bike kickstand bag to Goodwill
6 - 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
:::

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

wishful Wednesday - bicycle thoughts


in which our plucky heroine thinks about riding her bicycle...

Actually I have two bicycles, one that I ride all the time, and one that I hope to ride more often. My everyday bike is a light blue multi-speed bike, and the other bike is a white comfort bike with a fancy paint job and a three speed coaster brake hub. I've been collecting modest list of wishes that will make this transportation option work a bit better for me:

This is the most important one! I just noticed in the last week that my aged bike helmet has started coming apart, the attachment point between the helmet and the chin strap is no longer attached. I think this means that I need to get a new helmet. I rather like the retro style of these, if I can find a place that sells this type locally... in addition, one of the two brake cables on the blue bike needs replaced, which is scheduled to happen this weekend when Blue Cedar House descends en masse for a few days of work party exchange. I look forward to learning a bit about how to better take care of my equipment, since I know NOTHING at all about bike maintenance. Adding a kickstand would be a great help as well.

The white bike languished for years in my shed, in need of some mechanical love that I have no experience to provide; I swapped a pendant for the bike, in the hope that it would be a better ergonomic fit for me, which turned out to be only partially true; however, it is fun to ride, now that Mr Blue Cedar House gave it some attention. While it does have a kickstand, what it lacks is any way to usefully carry along any gear or groceries - adding some Wald folding baskets like the other bike has would be a good thing, which would also mean adding a rear rack so there is something to attach said baskets to!

As far as my overall riding experience, the other things that would be an improvement would be better lighting, finding the missing red blinky LED light, and possibly some additional reflective gear. I have some very specific ideas about what I want, and am considering adapting the idea of this reflective vest to fit my size and shape. The concept of a knotted mesh of reflective tape, that would fit neatly in a small carry pouch, seems very clever. I know that Rose City Textiles has various sorts of reflective materials, I used some when I was making safety vests for G and his pals; this reflective tape may be just the thing, a future field trip will allow for some research...

Another optional accessory would be some sort of front basket or carry box that would attach to the handlebars; both bikes could use such a gizmo, as a place to stash my pocket EDC while riding, as otherwise it bangs most annoyingly into my legs.This spiffy box from a former Etsy artisan is quite inspiring (while I have neither smartphone or coffee transporter), but I'd fear it would soon be stolen - the concept though, lends itself to a DIY effort using salvaged materials.


I forsee a number of experimental efforts this winter...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Perfect is the enemy of the good


in which our plucky heroine cogitates on completion, among other things...

Way back in February, I began working on the enamels for a pair of coronets. The project was a collaborative effort with myself, and my former studio partner Bill Dawson, as the artisans, and in a reverse of our former arrangement, I took on the task of lead coordinator and fabricator. Our design bid was fairly straightforward

Bill did all the engraving and dotted border work
.

And, over many months, I completed a pair of coronets for the Barony of Dragon's Mist...

As you can see, the completed coronets are a very close match indeed to the initial design drawings

a closer view of the front panel with the cloisonne and limoges enamel medallion surrounded by engraved and stamped dragons, and surmounted by freshwater pearls

A 3/4 view of the same coronet, making a bit more clear the layering of fabricated metal, and showing in the background the ties that allow for making the coronets adjustable to different size heads. There are pairs of small holes in the bottom dotted border, to allow for stitching coronet padding in place around the lower edge, to help with both comfort and fine tuning the size

I am everso grateful to be finally finished with this project, which has taken up far more of my time and far more of my mental real estate than the actual size and complication of the project would warrant. Somehow, despite that I have been doing metalwork since I was a teen, I continue to lack confidence in my own skills and abilities, which leads me to stand in my own way, fearful of making egregious errors in fabrication and construction. Foolish, but so are all phobias, and the way through them is sometimes difficult to discern.

It seems odd to me that only in this area do I run up against this paralytic fear. I am quite fearless in my sewing and textile activity (no fabric is the boss of me), and have even managed to get beyond my inexperience and make progress on home repair, simple woodwork and plumbing. Some of what gets in my way is that I know several metalsmiths who have ability far beyond mine, and when I think about their body of work, my ability seems woefully inadequate. In addition to the useful adage of  "comparisons are odious", the fact is that my work is quite serviceable, and the only way it will improve further is if I continue to work on projects that stretch my ability.

I was able to figure out what order to fabricate and attach the parts; the pair of completed coronets are both useful, sturdy, and attractive, and while my delivery time was uncharacteristically late, the populace of the Barony seem quite happy with the results. Now, my intention is to keep in mind that if I can gently lead self past the land of unwarrented fears, that it is both likely and possible that I will find myself, by dint of effort and skill, in the land of successful outcomes...

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
:::

...and, in other news from Acorn Cottage, there were two eggs in the nest box today. So unless Boneclaw Mother somehow laid two eggs in one day, I'd venture to say that both hens are now on the egg train!  Woot!!
:::

September SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 apron dress for L - -
2 DM coronet - -
3 DM coronet - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
:::

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday fragments


... in which our plucky heroine enjoys the retro healing powers of calamine lotion, and other end of the week delights:

Huzzah for Boneclaw Mother! I heard a racket in the backyard this morning, Nanny Ogg was standing on the ramp to the henhouse making a big fuss, and when I looked around, Boneclaw was nowhere to be seen... so I checked inside the coop: she was just getting up off the nest box, and there was a lovely pale brown egg, the very first egg from my new hens!

:::

Tiny rivets, tiny rivets... there are well over a hundred tiny rivets on this project...
and they all need to have two or three aligned holes drilled, and enlarged (since wire gauges and drill bits don't come in identical sizes) and carefully kept aligned whist each rivet is being set so the other holes will stay where they belong. It is most fiddly, and requires a good deal of mental gymnastics to sort out which parts of the assembly to do first...
It has been a real challenge, since I have only ever made two other coronets from start to finish. Usually my contribution to the projects like this has been as a sort of subcontractor, to create the enameled pieces for the regalia, and my former studio partner Bill Dawson did all the fabrication. Reasonably, after many years of this, he wanted to hand off both the negotiation and the labor on this particular pair of coronets, which are for a group local to my area. I, however, have had a (hopefully) unwarranted, but unrelenting and paralyzing fear of having things go wrong, which has made an intricate and elaborate project even more slow and difficult. I don't know when I shall ever feel confident in my abilities with metalworking, but I do know that I shall be very glad when this project is completed and delivered!
:::


I know this is really an advert, but the sentiment is a useful aide-memoire
:::

Took a break for part of the day today (from the coronet project) to finish up an apron-dress style overdress* for little Blue Cedar House - after all, if an active girlchild is going to September Crown, she will need more than one set of outer layer clothes!
:::

September SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 apron dress for L - -
2 - - -
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
:::

* This dress is a lot cuter when being worn than on the hanger on the front porch; this is the first overdress I made for her →

Oh, and about that calamine lotion... apparently some of the very very tiny chicken mites decided to go ahead and bite the chicken keeper (while I was washing them out of the chicken house...) nasty horribly itchy painful little bites, like a spider bite but smaller and a lot more of them. I look like I have the chicken pox all over my torso. Not since I lived at Rosehaven have I been so attacked by arachnids. Have been taking HOT showers to help denature the itch. Tried Benedryl topical, but no help at all. Remembered calamine from my childhood, and it is somewhat slightly better at calming the itch. Now that I've acquired some hydrated lime, will be making limewash to whitewash the inside of the coop to keep the mites at bay!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

wishful Wednesday


in which our plucky heroine wished she had, in fact, bought the wee drillpress before taking on this job, rather than promising self that it would be a workshop present once the job was finished... there are well over 100 rivet holes that need drilled and fitted, and the drill press would have made it eversomuch easier! It is still on the next up to purchase list, and will make future jobs less troublesome. I plan on getting a Useful Assortment of wee high speed steel drill bits, in the sizes that match up with my most commonly used wire. It is a Cunning Plan, for the better my tool kit becomes the more functional and fun my workplace...
While I far underestimated how long this project (the Dragon's Mist coronets) would take, I am pleased to see how closely the actual pieces are looking like the initial concept drawings...
A closer view of one of the joining plates now riveted in place. The pearl is just set there for the photo, pearls will be attached as the final step.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

moving along...


in which our plucky heroine is much too busy in the workroom to do more than reset the SMART chart for September -

To me, September always feels like the start of the new year, far more than January. (although if we started on the winter solstice that would also seem more sensible) Every month the achieved SMART goals get added into the big year long SMART chart - this year seems like it might go beyond last years Rising 60, if the current activity continues apace...

August SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 buckwheat hull pillow re-plant lettuces yard waste bin
2 one wire Laurel rattan chair seat broken lawn mower
3 Bill SCA pants brown chair seats rotary edger
4 - reattach computer desk grill lid
5 - scrub chook house bag to Goodwill
6 - - 500lbs debris
:::

September SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 - - -
2 - - -
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -