Saturday, December 31, 2016

SMART goals 2016



  SMART goals challenge 2016
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1sekrit santa giftiPod speakersbag to Goodwill
2two felt micecompression strapsbag to Goodwill
3heraldic enamelbench hookbag to Goodwill
4Laurel pendantkitchen corner clearedbag to Goodwill
5black/brown pinaforenew shoplightbag to Goodwill
6horses print blocknew ceiling tapworkroom ceiling fan
7carved bird stampextend chook fencingrandom flooring bits
8Jen jumperoverdoor shelf2 dead garden hoses
9Jen jumperyard weededyard waste bin
10Jen jumperL linen gown repairedyard waste bin
11yin yang wall quiltfront trees prunedyard waste bin
12snowdrop blocktoilet seat replacedyard waste bin
13Cathy underdressL green gown extendedyard waste bin
14Cathy underdressL linen gown extendedcardboard recycling
15charter paintedL wool apron dress1300 lb shed debris
16interstitial blocksink repair11 concrete piers
17bee Laurel enamelre-hem Maeva gownsyard waste bin
18charter paintedmend brown pinaforesome apple thinnings
19charter paintedtrim Farbjorn tunicbag to Goodwill
20charter paintedframed 2 printsbag to Goodwill
21original charter designadd green silk trim
to shot linen undergown
bag to Goodwill
22charter paintedcaged feral rosesbag to Goodwill
23window panel rackblock printed my
undergown hem
bag to Goodwill
24Æsa gownshed gone200# shed debris
253 Maeva gownsplanted green onionsyard waste bin
262 SR pillow coversrepair chook watererbag of hangers
27Farbjorn tunicrebuilt undergownyard waste bin
28Farbjorn embroideryadd undergown trimbag to Goodwill
29Thora embroideryadd octopus hookbag to Goodwill
30block printed trimpruned culinary sagebag to Goodwill
31printed Dayna fabricpruned forsythiagalvanised mesh
32printed trim samplespatch F undertunicTundra flooring
33banner designmended plaid gownfloor padding
34small coin pouchThora cuff trim bag to Goodwill
35charter #8Thora trim bandsbag to Goodwill
36Aesa apron dresspruned apple treebag to Goodwill
3711 scissors caseshem rayon dressbag to Goodwill
38blockprinted trimrayon dress facingbag to Goodwill
39Viking pursepopover neckline bag to Goodwill
40charter #9brush rest refurbishedwood scraps
41damasquinadostamps refurbishedshelf unit
42charter #10replaced purse embroidery yard waste bin
43charter #11primed shakesold wood windows
44Farbjorn undertunicpainted chookhouse
forged iron weight
pruning apple
45Farbjorn undertunicre-knit sweater cuffspaper recycle bin
46Farbjorn undertunichem A/C topyardwaste bin
47Golden Stars
charter master
chookhouse
front door
7 pounds
48two micro enamelschooks back doorGoodwill bag
49pewter castingframed Summits charterold chook gate
50charter #12framed Adiantum charterpaper recycle bin
51charter #13repair small frame3 bags recycling
52chicken hurdlesframe fox print2 bags trash
53twin Laurel enamelssetting acorn enamelbag to Goodwill
54tiny Pelican enamelshoe lacesbag to Goodwill
55charter #14plaid shoe lacesbag to Goodwill
56charter #15vacuum paint chipsbag to Goodwill
57Tullia painted bannerfox frame wirebag to Goodwill
58embroidered yoke5 skirts hemmed
(for Megan)
bag to Goodwill
59granulated star enamelturtleneck mendedbag to Goodwill
60DIY painting enamel---bag to Goodwill
overflow SMART goals!!!
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
61 interstitial block - bag to Goodwill
62 silver yad for Ben - bag to Goodwill
63 charter #16 - bag to Goodwill
64 rune enamel - 1 bag yarn
65 charter #17 - 2 pounds
66 charter #18 - full paper recycle bin
67 reflective mesh vest- bag of papers
68 blue batik dress - bag of papers
69 brown pinafore - bag of papers
70 setting rune enamel - bag of papers
71 wee jambe enamel - binders to Goodwill
72 Tullia apron - bag to Goodwill
73 3 dishcloths - 2 bags of papers
74 table drape - 3 bags of papers
75 turquoise dress - 3 bags to Goodwill
76 - - -
77 -
- -
78 - - -
79 - - -
80 - - -

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday thoughts - on goal setting


in which our plucky heroine looks again towards the beginning of a new year...

My ongoing goal-setting seems to be becoming gradually more realistic, while my personal motto has solidly taken the form of "incremental progress is still progress". I have been using the concept of SMART* goals for the last three years, in combination with this blog as a way of keeping track.

In the last three years I have made significant progress in making things, (mostly for others, but some for myself as well) in assorted mending and repair of my home and surroundings, and in my decluttering of Acorn Cottage... Because this format works for me, I intend to continue using this method of recordkeeping indefinitely. Stay tuned for the Great Big Chart reveal tomorrow, of all that was accomplished in 2016...


My goals for 2017, in no particular order:
  • Finally sew enough clothing to meet my personal goal of functional seasonal wardrobes, to end up with a weeksworth of clothing for summertime and layers for the colder seasons. Being an active participant in online sewing challenges like SWAP 2016 and the seasonal 6PACs will help keep me motivated.
  • Finish the major decluttering of Acorn Cottage, and organise the supplies, tools, and materials of daily life. I've been gradually working on this project for the last three years, with the goal of having a living space that allows me to focus on vocational and avocational actions instead of on finding lost things
  • Teach at least one artisanry* workshop every month. As I will never be able to return to housecleaning as my primary income, moving forward in a different direction of sharing my knowledge and skills with others is my goal
    *enameling, metalwork, stitchery, or handicraft
  • Outside the house improvements: improve the chicken habitat here at Acorn Cottage, create yard tool storage, add at least one or more garden beds for vegetable growing, and set up the carport as an outdoor room...
  • Finally paint at least one room in the interior of the house other colors than "former owner white" once the weather is warm enough for opening the windows
  • Create some personal artwork (possibly suitable for gallery showing), in at least one of the techniques that I enjoy
  • Begin finding ways to work towards a more kindly world with justice and options for all people
  • Continue to care well for my body, without which none of these goals are possible or relevant!

*SMART =  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tuesday tidbits...


in which our plucky heroine tries to remember to keep on walking*...

:::

Have been doing a LOT of decluttering, discarding old papers from various files, outdated medicines/toiletries, and beginning the gradual reorganisation of cupboards and storage zones, that will be the second level of transforming the space here. Mindy came down for a short visit, and was very supportive whilst I dug through stuff and helped me move things around. First step is letting go of what is unnecessary, second step, which will mostly be happening in 2017, is to place what is necessary or delightful in ways that allow it to be accessed when needed, or desired. My goal is to free up as much of my energy as possible for the greater good and have less tied up in worry and confusion. Goodness knows that there is enough of that out there in the wide world, if I can remove obstacles at home, I will be more effective as a human person in my interactions with external and internal reality. That is my hope, anyway...
:::

Not only have I begun working on my SWAP 2017 sewing projects, but have also seemingly decided that some new coordinating accessories are in order. This is going to be a new shoulder shawlette similar to my beloved but missing Noro shawlette. The difference, aside from it obviously not being Noro but Cascade 220, is that rather than simply following a straight Feather and Fan pattern I have also decided to add curved shaping to the shawlette, which means that I am adding additional growing points not only to the center back of the garment, but to both of the end points. This means I need to be continually figuring out where to stop and start the pattern increases and decreases, as the end points keep changeing. Not dull knitting, but will be a terribly useful little warming bit of wooly goodness when it is done. Eventually.
:::

“It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now! Was it worth what I paid?”
- Richard Bach
:::

December SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel 5 skirts hemmed
(for Megan)
full paper recycle bin
2 Tullia apron turtleneck mendedbag of papers
3 3 dishcloths - bag of papers
4 table drape - bag of papers
5 candied peel- bag of papers
6 rum balls - binders to Goodwill
7 persimmon bread - bag to Goodwill
8 - - 2 bags of papers
9 - - 3 bags of papers
10 - - 3 bags to Goodwill
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::

* ...as in "when you are going through hell... keep going" which is what I am going to do my best to remember for the next four, or umpteen howevermany years...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday tidbits


in which our plucky heroine confronts the Perilous Piles of Paper, and is impressed with the creativity of her local pals ...

After last week when I cleared away the paper detritus from the computer zone, it seemed like a natural next step to start dealing with the paper handling systems here at Acorn Cottage. I've a big two drawer file cabinet in the workshop, which has not had any organization applied to it in well over a decade, and in truth, it has been more dead storage than active filing, which is a waste of good cubic. My coach and I decided that the Monday after my holiday/birthday party would be an excellent day for focusing on this project. Through the miracle of technology, I here, and she faraway connected intermittently all day long, while I sorted through piles of papers, emptied and culled file folder contents, discarded/recycled unneeded papers and relabeled the refilled contents of the file cabinet with words that actually were clue-ful for me to access information and images when I need them.

The two full drawers contents were weeded down to part of one, with the remainder of that drawer now holding not-yet-used pads of artist paper, tracing paper, and graph paper for future projects and planning. The second drawer is empty, and will end up storing additional art materials once we move on to a level two organization of the house contents. The end of the level one declutter is actually in sight, as soon there will be no more Boxes of Unknown Contents. My aim is to complete level one by the end of 2016... wish me luck
:::

For the last few years, I've hosted a "Saturnalia" party toward the end of December, as a contradiction in the darkest season, and to celebrate to my own natal day, which occurs at more or less the same time. Not at all a convenient time of year for a party, when every weekend day or evening has multiple events filling the calendar, but needs must.

This last Saturday a delightful assortment of my friends arrived to spend the afternoon or longer in convivial conversation. This year, unlike the last several, there was no specific requirement for Roman food or garb, but my dearly loved and eccentrically creative pals Ursel and Marya were undeterred... You may not remember that last year they were partially responsible for the arrival of the Coliseum, complete with sea battle between gummi bears and gummi sea serpents. This year there was an inspired combination of architecture and geology:
Not everyone gets a holiday/birthday subtlety complete with "documentation" (in the form of an artist rendition of what the Forum at Pompeii probably looked like prior to eruption...)
and... despite some issues with the unexpectedly no longer liquid "congealed" lava (strawberry jam needed a bit of help from a serving spoon in order to break out for suitable pyroclastic flow)
The aftermath of the eruption...
Thankfully for the state of my kitchen, my dear friends were sparing with the powdered sugar "volcanic ash"
:::

December SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel 5 skirts hemmed
(for Megan)
full paper recycle bin
2 Tullia apron winter turtleneck mendedbag of papers
3 3 knitted dishcloths - bag of papers
4 custom table drape - -
5 candied grapefruit peel- -
6 rum balls - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::

Monday, December 19, 2016

media Monday + "hey Coach, what next?"


in which our plucky heroine ramps up...

The computer zone here is has been sort of a hot mess, for a long time. There is really only one place in the house where it can be located, at the confluence of the phone line and a power outlet, and since Acorn Cottage was built long before multiple outlets all over the house were considered standard, much less multiple phone jacks.

My declutter coach came up with a strategy, that I would first remove ALL the paper clutter, as well as the vast numbers of random bits that seem to have found their final resting spots scattered around the desk space. Dealing with the paper* is a separate project, as is dealing with whatever was cluttering up all the flat surfaces. There isn't much I can do about the drifts of power cords that garland the right side of the shelving and desktops, but I can keep the surfaces from becoming buried in moop-y detritus.

Now that the bundles and bits and what feel like reams of old notes and printouts have been corralled and removed, the bones of my desk space have surfaced. Like most of the rooms, the living room is dark, so I draped a strand of fairy lights up to help make this spot a little less troglodyte. I cleared out one of the two little drawers under the monitor, will think about what may be useful to keep there - the other drawer has an assortment of CD's that are used on the computer (program backups, music, and information) so they rather belong there for now...
:::


This just showed up on my FB feed and was rather charmingly unexpected; I remember watching The Monkees on television back when I was young, but I don't remember this...

:::

December SMART goals

# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel 5 skirts hemmed
(for Megan)
paper recycle bin
2 Tullia apron winter turtleneck mended-
3 3 knitted dishcloths - -
4 custom table drape - -
5 -- -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::

* tune in tomorrow for Episode 2: "Dealing with the Paper Piles of Peril..."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

weather Wednesday


in which our plucky heroine does her best to keep warm, as the second snow of the season begins...

The dry new snow is filling in the gaps between the concrete pathway "stones" and amongst the gravel in the side yard. The forecast is for the temperatures to continue to fall, and by Saturday be only barely creeping above freezing at the warmest, and then falling back down into the 20's... not my favorite sort of weather!

went out back to take in the chook water, which has turned to icy slush in the bitter cold, and noticed how the very dry tiny snow bits were lining up on the centers of the fern fronds...

:::

There were tears... this is so sweet... (I first found Raymond Briggs via his also iconic graphic novel "When the Wind Blows" which is anything but sweet, and only later found "The Snowman". This sequel was made by the same team that put together the original Snowman animation)

Monday, December 12, 2016

media Monday...


in which our plucky heroine focuses on getting tasks completed...

I have been working on a rush sewing commission, making a linen table drape for a new client, to cover a folding banquet table for some presentation they are doing on Wednesday. As sometimes happens, it took eversomuch longer than I imagined, (since it was something that seemed simple and straightforward). Made closer to minimum wage than my preferred hourly, but at least it is done well ahead of the desired pick up time. I should remember that pretty much any "decor" type of sewing takes a lot longer than I think it will, just because of the length of the pieces.

I've also been working on putting together bids for the Barony of Wastekeep new coronet project... not much to show yet, until submissions close, but there has been a lot of drawing happening here at Acorn Cottage. I'm also still considering making a calendar for 2017, possibly a new iteration of AlphaSketch, with the animals and plants from the second half of the alphabet. Perhaps a calendar would be a way of focusing on hope for a better year to come.
:::

Beautifully stylised animation, and one of many variants on the classic runaway wife ballad...
:::

December SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel 5 skirts hemmed
(for Megan)
-
2 Tullia apron winter turtleneck mended-
3 3 knitted dishcloths - -
4 custom table drape - -
5 -- -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::

Saturday, December 10, 2016

to the Lan Su Chinese Garden


in which our plucky heroine takes an excursion...
(earlier in the week, on Wednesday, before all the snow and ice)
Somehow, there is always more beauty to be seen inside the Lan Su Chinese Garden. It is a wonder of design, in whatever season of the year... that takes up an entire city block downtown. This month they celebrate "Nine Free Days" where for the price of a donation of shelf stable food for the Oregon Food Bank, you get free admission to the Garden that day!

only the good die young - there were still a few pomegranates hanging on to the branches in the first courtyard. so beautiful in the winter sunlight, but they won't live to ripen into edible fruit this late in the year

winter camellias in a courtyard, viewed through a wooden screen

The curved window in the wall allows a view of the banana tree and more pebble paving, in a narrow private space. I hope that the tree was warmly wrapped up prior to last night's deep frost

layers and layers of pierced screens of wood, and layers and layers of decoration...

Their hachiya persimmon tree was laden with vivid orange fruits

roof tiles and end caps, with just a bit of mossy greenery glowing in the winter sunlight

Was quite grateful to Brigitta for calling the 9 Free Days to my attention, and was fun to go there with her, and to share my love of Sushi Ichiban, where we walked over in the cold winter sunshine and had lunch afterwards...


Friday, December 9, 2016

dipped in ice



in which our plucky heroine remembers that discretion is the better part of valor, and chooses to stay at home...

this morning the edges and tops of everything were coated with ice, and the changing temperatures added icicles as a fringe benefit

The apple tree in the backyard, slow to lose it's leaves, appears dipped in a drippy layer of sugar syrup. This is the half of the tree that mistakenly produced a second flush of blossoms in August and then wee apples at the very tail end of the summer. One of said green apples barely visible behind the cluster of iced leaves.

Ooops... tired girl forgot to bring in the chook water last night after shutting them in their house. It didn't take long to melt it with hot water in the kitchen sink, and replace the frozen ice with warm water for the chooks. I don't know, however, what (short of forceful action on my part) will entice the hens out of their sleeping quarters... They understandably dislike the slippery cold environment. Even my addition of raisin bread to their normal breakfast of hen pellets was deemed unworthy

More ice on the apple tree, the layer is about a quarter inch thick

Temperature this morning at about 8 AM...Everything beyond my covered front walkway is a sheet of lumpy ice. My initial plan for the day, to get together with Marya and go a second time to the Chinese garden downtown during their 9 Free Days promotion, is not going to happen. I don't want to try walking out there anywhere today, even with my Yaktrax on... just getting out to the chooks in the backyard is enough challenge for today!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

snow days are not a treat...


...in which our plucky heroine whinges about the weather

The chooks are huddled in the far corner of their little house, safely locked away from varmints, and with another thick layer of shavings added to the floor inside their domicile, to help keep them a bit warmer and more insulated. The weather forecast is for "ice balls" which is apparently weather-ese for sleet. Currently, the wind is howling outside Acorn cottage. Am about to make some nice warm broth for a hot drink, and get back to assorted housey tasks.
this was the beginnings of snow, after lunchtime, taken through the window that looks onto the back yard... chooks are appalled at the conditions outside and only left their house when I brought them treats...
:::

Last month amongst the finishing up of studio work for others, I also set the acorn enamel that has been in my box of unset enamels for years. It was a sample I made back in 2007, for the class that Bill and I co-taught up in Seattle, on engraving for enameling. The leaf veins and acorn caps are engraved on the silver base, under the transparent enamel.

:::

Tullia found some amazing "science" fabric and had me make it up for her as a criss-cross wrap back apron:

the extra fabric scraps will become kitchen mitts
:::

Yesterday I thought it might be too cold to go to the pool, weather warnings for black ice and for pedestrians and cyclists to take care, was 26F on the thermometer on my front porch. Dang! Have only a few more days 'til the pool closes for the rest of the year. Still, better safe than splatted...

I might be nuts but I went ahead and rode my bike to the pool last night anyway, for water exercise.  It was really hella cold riding there and back, and they didn't have the pool temperature set as warm as it should be, but it was still worth it.

and... apparently I walked five miles yesterday, or over 13K steps, according to the pedomenter. Which explains why I am so hurting today, that might have been a bit much! Am not giving up, am determined to heal beautifully and be able to walk freely and with stamina, but was rather overdoing it with the exercise
:::

December SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel 5 skirts hemmed-
2 Tullia apron --
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 -- -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday musings



In which our plucky heroine updates the personal sewing plans...

Almost done cutting out two more pinafores, one in dark denim, and one in a mostly black wool with small cream thread flecks... I am thinking that since I seem to be lacking in dress lengths of fabric, but have enough for a total of five pinafores, that my plan seems to be shifting just a bit:
4 overs - grey corduroy pinafore, brown brushed twill pinafore, dark denim pinafore, black corduroy pinafore
4 tops - brown/cream mushroom print blouse, blue midcentury floral blouse, brown/cream oxford cloth blouse, and light blue/brown/cream horses print blouse.
OR
4 dresses - turquoise shot cotton dress, black blue grey stripe dress,
??? dress, ??? dress
3 bottoms - brown capri loose leggings, grey capri loose leggings, and black capri loose leggings... I might go ahead and use the black RTW leggings that I plan on using for a pattern as part of my SWAP, since I do not have much knit fabric on my "resource shelves" in suitable color/weight/yardage to make leggings from.

For my Wintertime 6PAC, the current brown twill pinafore, and the upcoming black/cream wool pinafore will be the stars. K is still working on the black chopshop cardigan for me. I could cut out and stitch up two long sleeve knit tops, from the hemp knit on my resource shelves... one is a blue/grey stripe, and the other is a black/white marl (which I intend to overdye in a cool taupe brown). Knit tops are speedy to make. Then if I manage to sort out the blouse/jacket pattern well enough, I could make another unlined jacket layer in either the brown twill or the black corduroy, since either would be a very useful addition to the daily wardrobe... Well, so would a knitted cardigan, but that takes a LOT longer

December SMART goals
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 wee jambe enamel - -
2 - --
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 -- -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
:::



Sunday, December 4, 2016

the smallest Jambe so far...


Friday our plucky heroine began another tiny regalia brooch for Tullia... 1/2" diameter. This one will become a Jambe*, and I lightly marked the base to guide where I will be wet-packing the white and yellow enamel to create the checky background... This should be fun! (will be the smallest Jambe ever so far from my workshop)

In 2015 I made a whole series of regalia brooches for her, for all the different awards and honors she had accrued so far. I then created two more earlier this year, when she was awarded two more Baronial honors. Our Tullia is an incredible dynamo, and is well deserving of all the recognition she receives.

The first layer of enamel is first dotted into the places it will occupy in the finished background, to create the An Tir checky... then each square is shaped by pushing the enamel grains into a more precise arrangement, using a tiny 10/0 brush. This image shows the process about half complete

When all the enamel in the first layer is arranged in a check formation, it is ready for the first firing... By scribing the checky divisions in the fine silver base disc, it made it a lot easier for me to get the background design fairly even

Once the first layer of golden yellow is fused in place, then the first layer of opaque white enamel is added... and so forth... repeatedly. It takes at least four to six firings before the background is relatively even and smooth.

Just an idea of how small this enamel actually is... after six trips into the kiln, finally the checky background is level enough to allow for painting the final layers of enamel, that will define the Lion's leg and paw, but that is a task for tomorrow...

Sometimes the fire gods smile... got the wee Jambe painted and fired in only one go-round this morning! The bottle of lavender oil I opened was thicker than usual, which may be why the mixture of oil and painting enamel behaved so nicely?  I am quite chuffed; all that remains is to make a brooch setting for it

*the Order of Jambe de Lion is an award given in the SCA Kingdom of An Tir for excellence in the arts and sciences, and the badge is the "arm of the lion" on a background of An Tir checky (alternating gold and silver squares)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

gifty wishlist


...in which our plucky heroine attempts to make things easier for those who don't already know her pretty well....

This list is an ongoing work-in-progress, since like each year for the past several, I've been participating in Daegmar's Sekrit Santa gift exchange... It is actually pretty difficult to find objects that fit the requirements: keep the exchanged gift either handmade and/or homemade, or if purchased to be $20 or less); since most of what will make a real difference in my life are not things, but the gift of time and the sharing of some resources, rather than actual "stuff".

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.

In general, food is not a Fjorlief treat and neither are scented things. Our plucky heroine does not particularly like chocolate and is allergic to cherries and hazelnuts...

I mostly do not collect things, in particular I don't collect acorn kitsch, even though the house is named Acorn Cottage; I really do NOT collect chicken things, even though there are often hens in residence...

Annotated wishlist items that cost less than $20,
in no particular order:
travel paintbrush - This brush would be an excellent addition to my SCA painting kit, the metal case turns into the brush handle... I have a similar brush (but smaller) that I use all the time
thank you Sekrit Santa...

diamond hones - these would work well for their intended purpose, and might also work really well for stoning down enamels. They are also available at Winks here in Portland, at least I saw them there the last time I was there.

earbud holder - now that I have a clever phone, a way to neatly store the earbuds would be useful... in blue, of course

Arabic Gold mica paint - this metallic paint would be a great addition to my SCA painting kit.
thank you Sekrit Santa

Zirkel magnetic pin holder - a number of my online sewing pals  have this pin holder, which looks like a big improvement on the one I currently have

Julienne peeler - this might be a good way to add additional texture to my veggie salad consumption, I can imagine carrots or beets as tiny shreds of color and nutrition

bicycle kickstand - my bike has a kickstand, but whoever installed it cut it too short, so my bike always tries to fall over, which is most annoying. I need a new one.

eneloop AAA batteries - could use a few more of these, since the ones I had seem to have disappeared

Some 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

new mattress - my current mattress, while not terrible old, has become terribly topographical. I had the chance to sleep on one of these Casper mattresses in the guest room at my friends house, and it was excellent! (slept through the night, didn't wake up all achey and contorted) My friends have had one in their own bedroom for months now, and it seems to be holding up really well

I have several friends that own Excalibur food dehydrators, all quite happy with how useful they are, it might be a good alternative way to preserve food for shelf-stable pantry storage here at Acorn Cottage.

More time than money:
bicycle tuneup - I have a bike, I ride my bike a lot, but I don't know how to work on a bike... anyone out there want to walk me through a basic tuneup?

knitted leg-warmers -  Compression socks preclude wooly handknit socks, but socks sans feet would cover the parts not in the shoes, and be a layer of insulation that would also add comfort and color.

company whilst sorting - I always want this. Come and hang out with our plucky heroine whilst I continue to sort and declutter...

help with constructing garden beds - It would be great to build a new raised bed in the backyard, the old one from ten years ago has sort of disintegrated.

replace bicycle tires + tubes + add Slime - If someone out there knows how to do this, and has the tools, my trusty bike needs help, the back tire is almost bald...