Monday, December 31, 2018

SMART goals 2018

in which our plucky heroine sees it was a busy year, despite how it felt, and all the things left undone...


SMART goals challenge 2018
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1A/C cardigan backworm bin beddingbad corduroy
212 jars canned pearsrestring amber Laurelpaper recycling
3A/C cardigan fronts Dad slipper fixboxes of tiles
424 flannel baby wipeshang envelope holderold bookcase
5blood orange marmaladeDad slipper resolewood scraps
612 jars awesome saucedeck broken downcracked water barrel
7charter painteddwarf pine plantedbag to Goodwill
810 jars strawberry/rhubarbbathrobe patchedlandscape cloth
9A/C sleevecroquis revampyard waste bin
10Slavic scroll blank7 jars applesauce recycle glass
11another A/C sleeve mirrorside hook bag of fabric
12grapefruit marmaladequince tree plantedbag to Goodwill
13Seville marmaladehouse boots soledyard waste bin
14new garden bed2 cutting boards1300# deck debris
15blood orange marmaladeframed Mountain Sun 3 bags to Goodwill
1617 dishclothsbathrobe shouldersbag to Goodwill
17finished A/C cardigantaxes donebag to Goodwill
18red deer enamel
apple tree prunedspare lawn mower
19Romanesque charter tunes movedold hose and reel
20AoA charterAesa clothes mendgalvanised pots
21blue wool mittstorch holder small crock pot
22acanthus charteralter Gigi shirtscracked iron pot
23stone wool mittstree water bucketsyard waste bin
24skystone wool mittsmove chooksyard waste bin
2512 jars applesauceIsabel apron dress trimvenetian blind
26charter #5Drusa hat trimbag to Goodwill
27original scroll blank #1pruned sagepaper recycling
28Red Hart pendantpruned forsythiabag to Goodwill
29Tigers Claw scrollcontinued pruning applebag to Goodwill
30charter #6"brooches" for Aesabag to Goodwill
31striped agate mittstarp to dayshadebag to Goodwill
32celtic enamel pelicanplanted tarragonbag to Goodwill
33trapunto knotworkLED light shieldcanning jars
34pliers rackharvested garlicold magazines
35charter #7garlic braidedbag to Goodwill
36four dot stampsoapdishshelf and fan
37tiny block w handleindigo popover seamsyard waste bin
38printed trimwashed 1 screendead rake head
39Maeva coat
overdye dressextra plant pots
40heraldic drawingsbathrobe buttonsbag to Goodwill
41Maeva gownbathrobe pocketsbutterfly chair
42Isabel gownpruning Yakima plumfirst leaf raking
43Isabel apron dressTullia dress old tourney seat
44Kestrel gownViking smokkr trimbag to Goodwill
45seed pearl Pel-Laurelbathrobe hang-loopbag to Goodwill
46charter #8many pokey wiresshelves to Goodwill
47original scroll Michaeldye yarn orangeyard waste bin
48pickled garlic scapessewing machine light
folding camp stool
49seven bapronsbroken warp threadbag to Goodwill
50undergown GenevieveIronrite chair8# persimmons
51undergown for Isabelplant hooksextra tartlets**
52Norse apron dress Aesagrapes pickedbag of fabric scraps
53Aelflaed pinaforeback door latch
low hanging branches
54blue curtainssquirrel proofingyard waste bin
55Drusa wool coatEarthboxes filledbag to Goodwill
56Drusa apron dress
woodchips moved-
57wool apron dressEF cardigan refashion-
58large border blockharvested persimmons-
59Thora mousie blockdried persimmons-
60interstitial blockmoar dried persimmons-

overflow SMART goals!!!
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
61 pie blockGlymm Mere enamel -
62 mini pallet brown blouse cuffs -
63 3M enamel enamel re-set -
64 bright popover dress - -
65 85" tablet weaving - -
66 Byzantine scroll - -
67 salsa verde- -
68 charter #9 - -
69 moar salsa verde - -
70 charter # 10 - -
71 fig sauce - -
72 seraph - -
73 charter # 11 - -
74 hat for Thora - -
75 applesauce - -
76 plum sauce - -
77 Awesome Sauce - -
78 jacquard denim pinafore - -
79 Laurel tablet weaving - -
80 Marya cuff - -
81 grape syrup - -
82 charter # 12 - -
83 Ellie apron dress - -
84 another Marya cuff - -
85 Isabel trim - -
86 Thora fabric trim - -
88 Thora red border trim - -
89 Thora green border trim - -
90 Thora blue cuff trim - -
91 Isabel forepart - -
92 stripe T shirt Mom - -
93 plaid T shirt me - -
94 Thora gown - -
95 Isabel gown - -
96 chookhouse base - -
97 Marya cuffs - -
98 Marya front panels - -
99 Marya collar - -
100 grey linen gauze cowl - -
101 brown linen blouse - -
102 jingle bell - -
103 indigo batik dress - -
104 miyazaki stamps - -
105 Laurel stamp - -
106 much Awesome Sauce - -
107 5 jars mandarin oranges - -
108 scissors sheath - -
109 silk sleeve cuff trim - -
110 x - -
111 x - -


Sunday, December 30, 2018

a snoozy Sunday

in which our plucky heroine takes a nap...

Yep, after getting up as usual, was about halfway through my to do list and I was overwhelmed with a wave of tiredness and decided to have a little lie-down. Hours later I woke up midafternoon feeling a lot more rested!

Am a bit frustrated with my fabric resources here... I really want to make some loose cotton/lycra knit leggings, and the only fabric I have that is SWAP suitable is the brown rib-knit. Why is there no dark blue? I do have some black, slated for a different project, and some light blue that could be overdyed, but I don't feel like faffing about with dyestuff... maybe I only make one pair of leggings for SWAP? and save making others for when suitable fabric shows up?
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Looking at the list of 2018 goals, there was actually a modicum more progress made than it feels like. I did four original scrolls plus original calligraphy for a charter master. I did go to most of the CMAG meetings. I have primarily switched to water as my everyday beverage, and that combined with other changes has allowed me to lose over twenty pounds. I have added useful garments to my wardrobe that are in steady rotation, and I have worked most of the bugs out of the revised blouse pattern. There is a good start on the new chicken house (1/3 complete).
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Today's gratitude: Three eggs in the chicken house today, and a gift of black-eyed peas yesterday...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine notices a change...

In the interest of helping my chronically injured ankles and knees to heal, with careful movement, PT, ice, and topical medication; I have also been paying good attention to shifting what I eat. This morning the number on my bathroom scale was under 200#, which I've not see the like of in well more than eight years, and I met my year goal! Really surprised me...
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Went up to Seattle on the train, for Christmas and Boxing Day visit with old friends, and also made a new friend. Ate modest amounts of delightful holiday food including roast goose and eggnog cheesecake, saw the new Mary Poppins movie, and had sushi dinner with crispy calamari afterwards. My own home cooking feels rather mundane after that. M very kindly massaged my calves where the Cranky Tendon inserts into my leg, opposite the inflamed bit. The massage seemed to help, maybe particularly combined with the CBD salve that was my birthday gift. I love M dearly and wish he and I could see each other a little more often.
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Started cutting out clothing for SWAP 2019. Looking in the fabric resource shelves for additional options, as I would like to add in one or two of my loose cropped leggings, but those must needs be made from knit fabrics.
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So far, using the bullet journal has been helpful, as I have been writing down one or two tasks that need to happen, and then actually doing them that day. Hopeful this will continue and expand. Splurged and acquired a few colored pens to use, just for fun... don't intend to take it up as a new hobby (because goodness knows I already have plenty of hobbies) but rather to help increase my reliability and timeliness.
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel extra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x yard waste bin
5 Laurel stampx bag to Goodwill
6 much Awesome Sauce x -
7 5 jars mandarin oranges x -
8 scissors sheath x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Sewing With A Plan 2019

in which our plucky heroine continues the journey...

Pretty much every year since 2005 there's been some participation on my part in the annual Sewing With A Plan challenge. Some years only one garment gets made, some years the whole eleven, depending on enthusiasm and wardrobe needs. One year I made a whole lot of tee shirts, forgetting that in fact I don't like to wear tee shirts (never made that mistake again)...

So over time, SWAP has helped me dial in my wardrobe preferences. as well as stretch my range of colors (now not just black and indigo, but also greys, browns, and turquoise/teal) I really appreciate that this years SWAP doesn't specify how many of which garments to make, just gives a overall plan for coordinating colors, and requires that there be a core of nine garments that all work together.

I've also recently done a wardrobe inventory of sorts, to get a sense of how my goal of having enough garments to go a week between laundry is coming along... I could use one more pinafore, and one to replace the grey corduroy that is getting rather threadbare. There are plenty of long sleeve knit tops (probably because they are both easy to sew and easy to wear!) My warm weather popover dresses are well more than halfway there, but I could use another one, and have several already cut out in "sewing kit" form. (because cutting out is my least favorite part, preparing my own "sewing kits" with all the pieces ready to sew has become a Useful Technique)

There are several pairs of leggings, but ever since working out a TNT leggings pattern back in 2017 they have become another cold weather basic layer, and several more pairs wouldn't be a bad idea, if there is suitable fabric on hand... Lastly, the fun pieces, the printed shirts and stripey dresses. The blouse toiles earlier this year, that turned into wearable muslins, are really the only ones in my closet, and I would be very happy indeed to have a half dozen or more of each, but will limit self to the not-more-than-five accents/prints for my SWAP sewing.

My plan is to have two pinafores, dark denim and chocolate corduroy, and have everything else coordinate with those two. I keep waffling about with what exact garments and fabrics, but since most of what is on the resource shelves coordinates with indigo/denim, brown, or black, it will all be good. Might sew up the brown/blue wool plaid that coordinates so nicely with the Alabama Chanin style cardigan I made last year. Really need to sort out some solid color brown and indigo fabrics, so as to have choices to balance the prints...

Anyway, time to start digging into the fabric shelves and get this party started!



Tuesday, December 25, 2018

sing out...

in which our plucky heroine celebrates axial tilt and the return of the light...

Holiday Greetings from Acorn Cottage to friends far and wide... wishing for all some bright and festive spirit to sparkle in your lives however and whatever you celebrate!



The Rebel Jesus - The Chieftains


The Christians and The Pagans - Dar Williams


Gower Wassail - Steeleye Span


Ring Out Solstice Bells - Jethro Tull


Run Rudolph Run - Grateful Dead


Wassail Song - Albion Dance Band


Christmas in the Trenches - John McCutcheon


Old Hippie Christmas - The Bellamy Brothers
:::

Monday, December 24, 2018

no sharp pokey bits

in which our plucky heroine prevents injury...

stitched up a sturdy leather case for my new tiny scissors... they might be only 2 7/8" from stem to stern, with blades only 3/4" long, but they are mighty sharp, and need a safe home while travelling:
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel extra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x yard waste bin
5 Laurel stampx bag to Goodwill
6 much Awesome Sauce x -
7 5 jars mandarin oranges x -
8 scissors sheath x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -

Sunday, December 23, 2018

turning around

in which our plucky heroine thinks long thoughts...

...wondering if there is a word/word group that is a positive and *realistic* antonym for procrastinate, in the sense of "no longer putting off things"... so far the best I have come up with is "proactive alacrity"

It being the time of year to look towards the goals set out last year, and think about which were successful, and think about an overarching theme for the year ahead... My feeling is currently about closing open loops. I met almost none of last years goals (or the year prior either) though there has been some progress on a few of them. The single goal I met in 2018 was my intention to make at least three original scrolls - I made five. I am hoping to either come up with better ways to set achievable goals, or to improve my planning to actually get things done, or both.





Friday, December 21, 2018

the longest night...

In which our plucky heroine has a quiet solstice birthday...

This is just plain lovely... happy Solstice one and all!

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"And so the Shortest Day came
and the year died.
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year."

~ Susan Cooper

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Tonight, when I went to close the chooks in their house for the night, I found two eggs!! This has never happened here before, the earliest I ever got winter eggs was in late January. When I spoke to Mr Dawson, he said that he as had this happen, sometimes... because the sunset time is staying light longer, even while the sunrise time is getting even later, so while the night lengthens, it also shifts in time, and some hens occasionally will lay solstice eggs. I never heard the like, but the eggs are welcome just the same!
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel redoneextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x yard waste bin
5 Laurel stampx bag to Goodwill
6 much Awesome Sauce x -
7 5 jars mandarin oranges x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x



Thursday, December 20, 2018

golden orchid blossoms and other golden treats

in which our plucky heroine is grateful...

Yesterday I mentioned the pretty orchid flowers I was gifted with... A close glance shows the complicated details of shapes and pattern, like the stripes on a tiger, or the colors of a tropical fish.

and here the flowers are in context... over atop the bookcase in the hallway, where they are a bit farther from the heating vent. The blue pottery vase was a gift from my friend Dawn, the porcelain egg cup (which I turned into a pincushion) came from Svava, and the smaller tine box (resting on the lid of the vintage tine box) was a very special present from my dear pal Drusa. One thing I love is how all the corners of Acorn Cottage have interconnected stories.
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The experimental preserving project completed, the jars all sealed... apparently clementines are actually mandarin oranges according to America's Test Kitchen. Although I disbelive how long they say it is supposed to take to peel and separated the little orange segments, the rest of the process went according to the recipe, and the jars look rather pretty:
I will say though, that I have never canned "fruit in syrup" before, and there needs must be quite a bit of sticky cleanup. The syrup isn't particularly sticky when warm, but after things cool, the jars themselves were all somewhat sticky, and I kept finding spots the next morning where a drop or two of the clear sugar syrup had been missed when I was wiping up afterwards...
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel redoneextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x yard waste bin
5 Laurel stampx -
6 much Awesome Sauce x -
7 5 jars mandarin oranges x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine appreciates two unexpected treats...

While leaving the New Seasons earlier today, after acquiring the missing ingredients for making Rum Balls* (our ancestral family holiday season treat) the floral clerk offered me a sprig of tiny yellow orchids, saying that they hadn't enough stem to be used in a bouquet, and would I like them? And when I delightedly said thank you, and could you give me a piece of paper to wrap them in so they would survive my bike journey home, she went back in and wrapped them up with another flower, a snowy hydrangea! Now I have birthday flowers for later this week!!
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The doorbell rang this afternoon, and there was a package from my father on the doorstep. When I opened the box, there were three smaller packages inside. A bundle of arnica gel travel size tubes (which I will add to the various salves and potions for my Cranky Ankle™, "Oogy" a book about a rescue dog, and this tiny owl. Little owl has a secret.. they are actually a key fob that unzips and holds a nylon shopping bag! My dear mother sent this as a surprise gift, and I can clip it to my bike basket, or carry in my pocket when out and about.
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I managed to limp out onto the front porch this morning, and use the self-timer on the camera to get the rest of the photos taken for the "pre-SWAP Dress Challenge", and posted them to the gallery on Stitchers Guild.
. .
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Last night I made up a double batch of Awesome Sauce, in part to clear tomato out of the freezer, and in part to bring to my dear next door neighbors as a holiday gift. Five half pint jars, and five four ounce jars...

It is the season to be preserving things, and putting them in the pantry. I've acquired a few pounds of organic clementines to try the recipe from America's Test Kitchen for DIY mandarin oranges, which looks pretty simple, and would be a nice addition to food stores
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If I could have just one personal level wish granted (as opposed to the larger society level wishes like justice, connection, and lovingkindness) I would wish for not more physical pain than I can cope with, while still maintaining good function in my daily life. I am so very tired of being in this amount of intense pain all day and night, and having one injury lead to another system failure and so on down the line. If I hadn't torn the meniscus in my right leg back in June of 2015, I suspect that the cascade of subsequent ankle problems would not be happening. This current tendon issue feels rather like there are hot coals stuffed inside my ankle, whether or not I am standing, sitting, walking or lying down trying to sleep. Topical medication isn't touching it, and the prescribed ankle brace hurts to wear, a lot, but I'm afraid to not wear it. Ice gives a little relief, but can only be applied for very short periods of time...
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel redoneextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x yard waste bin
5 Laurel stampx -
6 much Awesome Sauce x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x



* Ancestral Rum Balls
12 oz chocolate
1/2 C sour cream
3/4 C confectioner sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 C rum
2 C fine cookie crumbs

Melt the chocolate, I use the microwave, but it can be done over hot water in a double boiler instead. When it is melted, mix in the sour cream. At first it will look curdled, but keep stirring and it will turn into a sort of ganache. I then mix in the alcohol. I use rum because that is what we used when I was a kiddo, but I have also used whiskey, for friends who don't like rum, and have used coffee liqueur to make "mocha balls" to good effect. Lastly I mix together the confectioner sugar, salt, and cookie crumbs, and then add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. It forms a sort of crumbly dough that gradually comes together like a kind of rough edible playdough. I let it sit in the fridge for a while, then form the dough into small bite size balls, between dime and nickel size. Those balls get rolled in either more confectioner sugar, or in cocoa powder. Serve immediately, or put aside in the fridge until needed.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday music

in which our plucky heroine finds an old favorite again...



Praise to the moon, bright queen of the skies,
Jewel of the black night, the light of our eyes,
Brighter than starlight, whiter than snow,
Look down on us in the darkness below.

If well you should find us then well let us stay,
Be it seven times better when you make your way,
Be it seven times better when we greet the dawn,
So light up our way and keep us from all harm.

Give strength to the weary, give alms to the poor,
To the tainted and needy five senses restore,
Give song to our voices, give sight to our eyes,
To see the sun bow as the new moon shall rise.

Cast your eyes downwards to our dwelling place,
Three times for favour and three times for grace,
Over the dark clouds your face for to see,
To banish misfortune and keep Trinity.

In the name of our Lady, bright maiden of grace,
In the name of the King of the City of Peace,
In the name of our Saviour, who hung on the tree,
All praise to the moon, for eternity.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

if it is broken, fix it...

in which our plucky heroine repairs the damage done...

This is a total repair* All the enamel had been broken/shattered. No idea what had happened to this piece of Glymm Mere regalia to cause such damage, but when this was returned to me, all that remained attached was one white teardrop, and one golden half circle. I removed the enameled disc from the setting, and pried away the remaining bits of glass...

New cloisonne wires were bent, and many new layers of vitreous enamel applied. Once the design was built up, ground smooth, and finally flash fired one last time, the renewed enamel was reset and the brooch setting repolished. These cold days are the best for enameling, the 1500F degree oven adds pleasant warmth to the cold workroom!
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamel redoneextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressenamel reset low hanging branches
4 miyazaki stamps x -
5 Laurel stampx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

* I only ever repair enamels I myself have made

Thursday, December 13, 2018

homage to Miyazaki

in which our plucky heroine takes a break...


Can you see how I double-stamped the kodama heads? I can hear that odd little sound they make when I look at that. Unlike my usual block print shenanigans, these new tiny hand-carved stamps are not intended for any sort of historical clothing trim. I have some cunning plans to use them this holiday season, and I also think that they will be a fun way to embellish my next-year-journal, where I am going to experiment with the bullet journal concept a bit more than I have so far. My pals who bullet journal have really found it to be useful, so I'm going to try documenting sketches, plans, and progress in a more structured way 
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamelextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffsbag of fabric scraps
3 indigo batik dressx -
4 miyazaki stamps x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine is blue, but not sad...

Its gingerbread season, but I've never made cuneiform gingerbread... or for that matter, stamped cookies like the ones that Reannag Teine creates amazing stamps for...
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New dress, made from indigo dyed batik cotton stripe, using the revised button front bias cut bodice pattern. There are still a few subtle adjustments I want to make, but overall am pretty happy with how it turned out. Most of the time, everyday dresses are worn underneath a pinafore, like this:
.
My bias front bodice pattern is drafted a bit more closely fitted than the straight grain bodice... so it needs a pleated back yoke to help with freedom of movement, like when I ride my bike. But there are some fabrics that look weird if the printed design is on a diagonal, so having two different bodice options is a good thing.
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After the winter holidays, in January I plan on participating in the "Sólbein Steek-along" hosted over at Fringe and Friends. I love sweaters made from Icelandic yarn, and the pattern motif on Sólbein is simple and subtle, and my chosen yarns are all denim-y indigo:

BUT... I don't want to knit the sweater top down, for two reasons - 1. I do most of my knitting while riding transit. A top down sweater gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and is not at all modular. A bottom up sweater is modular for at least half or more of the process, until the two separate sleeves and lower body are united. And 2. I think that knitted decreases look much tidier than knitted increases. So, I have been gradually trying to suss out how to transform the top-down pattern into a bottom-up pattern. It is rather like a word problem in arithmetic.
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamelextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffs-
3 indigo batik dressx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Monday, December 10, 2018

some sewing snippets

in which our plucky heroine stitches away like a madwoman...

The sleeve cuffs on my new blouse were really bugging me, 16" being much too large in diameter. So, I decided to just remove them and replace them with smaller cuffs, which would also allow me to test if my replacement measurement was closer to what I wanted... Short answer is yes, that sleeve cuffs of 12" on my 3/4 sleeves work much better, still large enough to push up out of the way.
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Additional sewing machine bobbins were acquired; with all the sewing projects underway, having bobbins ready to go will speed my sewing!
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Figured out what I want to make for my Sekrit Santa Swap pal... Am tempted to carve a block instead of cutting a stencil.
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Finished my striped indigo batik dress for the "Pre SWAP 2019 Dress Challenge". Somehow I had forgotten that the fabric is a true indigo dye, and so despite pre-washing the fabric I have to keep Washing My Hands, which keep turning blue as I handle it. No photos til that is dealt with!

I was quite unhappy to realise that I didn't have obviously suitable buttons on hand for this dress, (which also makes me think I need must check the button box for the other blouses I plan on making for SWAP 2019) The two button options I found for this dress each had issues, so I took the unprecedented for me step of making sample buttonholes to try them out. The clear winner was the wee little 7/16" porcelain buttons from the pottery guild sale years ago, as they look much better with the fabric.
The modification I did to the collar draft seems to be doing exactly what it is supposed to; I cut the undercollar 1/8" smaller than the outer collar to encourage turn of the cloth. The modification I did to the lower end of the sleeves mostly worked, but I need to shift the curve I added a bit closer to the underarm seam, though it is already an improvement on the initial toile.
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamelextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell brown blouse cuffs-
3 indigo batik dressx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday fragments


As the season moves towards winter, the very last of the leaves turn and fall... the quinceling has the most vividly decorated leaves in the whole yard, harlequined in green and yellow, that fall at a touch to the ground.
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Saturday is the festival of Hen-Return... I am far from robust, but my back is doing well enough that my two goofy hens can come back from where they have been in foster care. In fact, I am getting an extra Black Australorpe hen back, as they have made a friend in their exile, so Acorn Cottage will have three hens again! Tomorrow I'll start preparing the old chicken house for its returning denizens...
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Ooops...I screwed up on the what gets sewn when, and already sewed my brown/white shot linen blouse as my toile for the "pre-2019 SWAP Dress Challenge, instead of remembering to choose a non-SWAP fabric. This means that my indigo pinstripe dress cannot also be sewn before the 26th. Sigh. Still going to sew that dress, but I can't have two "sewn after the rules but before the 26th garments. So instead, the teal batik stripe cotton instead of the indigo pinstripe, so that I can still include the pinstripe dress as part of my SWAP, by sewing it later on. And since I've rediscovered the already cut out but never sewn plaid wool pinafore I'd intended for SWAP 2018, shifting the teal stripe dress to a different category makes more sense. (Maybe a teal/turquoise emphasis for springtime 6PAC next year?)
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here are beautiful piñata sculptures: some inspired by the Luttrell psalter and some inspired by Hieronymus Bosch

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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamelextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell x-
3 xx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tuesday toile (on Wednesday)

In which our plucky heroine appreciates things going well...

I have wanted a button front shirt/blouse for a long time, this toile will be one of two possible options (the other example being the brown/black star flannel shirt I made last month).

My "wearable muslin", the toile in brown/white shot linen is a definite success and will probably become part of my winter 6PAC. I started with my TNT everyday dress pattern bodice, which has a bias* front, a deep "U" neckline, and a straight grain back.  I raised the neck to just below a jewel neckline, added a button placket, drafted a peter pan collar, altered the back to have a yoke and side back pleats, and added integral sleeve gussets. I am fairly active, and ride my bike a lot, so garments that let my arms move freely are important.

There are (subtle) things I will improve on in the next go round: lengthening the sleeves a bit, making the cuff band tighter, and cutting the collar parts so that the upper collar is bigger than the undercollar, as well as possibly reshaping the center back of the collar to encourage it to lie neatly... Overall, I feel ready to cut out the pinstripe indigo fabric for the dress I have planned, since this blouse is quite pleasing as far as function and looks. (even if the fabric does remind me a bit of the Brownie scouting uniform I wore as a little child)

Figuring out how to draft the peter pan collar was a bit mind-bending, and the pattern piece has a slightly odd shape, but when it is attached to the bodice, it looks just right and fits neatly around my neck without being too snug.

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Today was quite delightful, with a perfect balance of social time and solitary work time. Dear Drusa came over this morning, and as I've not seen her in what seems like months, it was great to catch up on how her move to St Helens has been working out. Soon she will be able to visit more often, as I am between her new location and the city itself, and I look forward to more crafting and conversation time... Later this afternoon, while I had the kiln on for the repair project I am currently working on, Marya came over to join me in the workroom and do some of her own projects, and we had a good long afternoon of tea and metalwork. Between my efforts to repair the Glymm Mere brooch that was broken, I also made a first attempt at an improved jingle bell...
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As small bells are found in both Norse and Slavic archaeology... here is a homemade jingle bell! 1/2" diameter. I had tried making small bells years ago, with partial success. Recently saw an image online of a slightly different basic pattern. Careful shaping using a dapping block was helpful. This is in copper, intended as a mock up of the design, and I was rather surprised that it actually has a gentle soft jingle. The copper was annealed before shaping, but the progressive dapping work hardened it just enough.
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 brown linen blouse GM enamelextra tartlets**
2 jingle bell x-
3 xx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


* Some fabrics, such as stripes, are fun to play with setting at different angles, and the bias fronts will lend themselves to that...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine is tuckered out...

This weekend, in order to have handwork of calmness, started another pair of Log Cabin Mitts, intended to be modified into gloves* by adding fingers and a thumb. Royston Ribbon: a kind of turquoise cut to show the vein of turquoise as a ribbon through the matrix stone, which is how it is often found... (bear in mind that most of the other pairs of Log Cabin Mitts I've knit also have various geological names)
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Saturday was the local Yule event, which I usually try to not attend, but since it was also the event where dear pal Marya was being elevated to the Laurel, I must needs be there. The event itself was every bit as overcrowded and noisy as ever, but being present to be one of the group of Laurels standing to honor her, and hearing the words of the four noble peers who spoke for her, (as well as seeing the beautiful clothing and regalia many of us had a small part in making for her) made it all worthwhile.


Marya on vigil

Marya kneels before the King and Queen,
Duke James Greyhelm in the background

Marya swearing fealty

photos courtesy of Ursel Lindenhayn
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The other project I must need complete prior to this event was one of the original scrolls given out for various Baronial or Kingdom honors... this one was for Istvan Goryi, who was being made a member of the Baronial Order of the Mountain's Pride. It was quite challenging as the recipient has a Hungarian persona, and I couldn't find any manuscript illumination from his time period. So... I decided to use an image of an elaborate metalwork artifact, and to surround it with text transliterated in Old Hungarian letters, which look similar to Norse runes, but not the same. Quite pleased with the effect, particularly using several different colors of metallic paint to add dimension; the golden disc is about three inches across:

(prior to being signed by Baron and Baroness, and having the pendant seal applied)
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Since all these various projects took time, there wasn't much left for me to create some spiffy new clothing for myself. (Though that is the YLWC plan for December, which is meant to be "dressy" clothing and accessories - I'm going to interpret that as SCA dressy, which I do have a use for) Instead, since I wanted to wear something vaguely Slavic/Russian in Marya's honor, I combined a vaguely Byzantine overdress with one of my undergowns with highly decorated cuffs. As a way of hiding the very inappropriate plaid fabric, I also added a lower hemline band about 15" deep, to cover the part of the undergown that showed at the lower hem. Said band being made from shot cotton with an lower decorative trim about 10" wide of block printed shot silk. (I figured a hemline band would be quicker than making an entire new undergown) My plan for December is to block print coordinating cuff fabric, and then make up a new undergown with plain linen rather than plaid, and remove and reapply the hemline band, leaving the plaid undergown in its original state... no reason why it wouldn't work?

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Stupid cranky ankle pain has been intensifying for days now. Doesn't matter if I am standing, sitting, or lying down. Topical meds are not helping with pain. Ankle brace has not helped with pain. Sleep is elusive.
Just checked the mail from yesterday received notice that the (simple, cheap, available on Amazon) ankle brace I was given (by the foot doc I was referred to by my regular doc) has been denied coverage, so I am now liable for that expense at whatever inflated medical price it was listed at.
I will have to phone in again tomorrow to find out what to do next. I am surprised that a relatively inexpensive first step treatment is not covered. I wonder what got coded in as wrong with my ankle. And, of course, I wonder what is actually wrong, and why it isn't improving, but becoming more and more painful. It has been almost a month now...
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December SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x xextra tartlets**
2 x x-
3 xx -
4 x x -
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

* gloves are needed, it is wintery here, and they were also part of the November YLWC

** does it count as a "things gone" if I give the platefull of extra quincemeat tartlets to my neighbors, rather than have the little sweets hang around here until I eat them? I think so, since otherwise they would end up adding clutter to my waistline!

Monday, November 26, 2018

yet moar wardrobe planning


in which our plucky heroine cogitates more on YLWC and other sewing plans...

Back in October, when the Year Long Wardrobe Challenge concept showed up on Stitchers Guild, it fit in nicely with my ongoing wardrobe refubishment efforts... So, looked through the Vivienne Files archives and sorted out what combinations of garments and accessories Janice has chosen, month by month for a year of wardrobe creation:

JAN - top, pants, cardigan, loafers, earrings
FEB - dress, shoes, scarf, necklace, clutch bag
MAR - skirt, sweater/top, scarf, watch, canvas shoes
APR - tunic, pants, shoes, earrings, necklace
MAY - tank top, cardigan, shorts, sandals, bracelet, earrings
JUN - summer dress, sandals, tote, earrings, bracelet
JUL - tee shirt, tee shirt, shorts, sandals, necklace
AUG - blouse/top, skirt, cardigan, ring, brooch, boots
SEP - shirt, pants, puffy vest, scarf, gloves, low boots
OCT - shirt, pants, sweater, tote, necklace
NOV - winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, boots
DEC - dressy top/sweater, pants/skirt, bag + shoes + jewelry

For October, my plan was instead of pants, a pinafore from my wardrobe, and a sweater from my wardrobe, and to sew a shirt, which I did, the flannel shirt, which is in steady rotation as a new cozy favorite. I had hopes of also sewing a new tote bag, which may yet happen...

For November, my plan was to finish the rain capelet, to call my current winter hats and boots good enough, and to make myself a new scarf and gloves. I just finished yesterday the new grey linen cowl scarf with multicolor wool tiny tassel trim. It would be great if I also knit a pair of thin warm gloves, to layer under my Log Cabin mitts, but this month has mostly been all about sewing projects for other people. So, my next transit handwork ought to be glove knitting... and realistically about a day and a half should get the rain capelet edge-binding stitched on (I've been wearing it as an unfinished poncho for the last year or so) and a tote bag for October put together.

I've already figured out that for December, when the plan calls for "dressy" clothing and accessories, I am instead going to work on some special SCA clothing for me (for our big wintertime 12th Night event in January) I have no real use at all for modern party clothes, but a new historical/medieval dress, underdress, and accessories would be a treat, as a lot of my SCA clothing is at least ten to fifteen years old. Something similar to the new gown I made for Thora would make me really happy, so some time block printing fancy trim fabrics will be my next personal project... tune in next month as I try and fit it all in...

As far as SWAP, my only goals currently are to #1. finish the other blouse toile, for the bias front blouse conversion, and #2. start and finish the indigo pinstripe dress, which is intended as the Pre-2019 SWAP Dress Challenge" project that will also be part of my Winter 6PAC. The blouse toile has been cut out and is sitting waiting for my non-sewing projects to be completed...

Back in SWAP 2017, I duplicated a favorite pair of loose cropped knit leggings to fulfill the "bottoms" requirement that year. Those leggings have proved to be ideal as a cool season layer, and it would be a great idea to make some more... perhaps even include a pair or two in my SWAP 2019. As it heads towards winter, it is time to go check and see if there is any suitable fabric on the resource shelves!
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This dress and the "burrito method" of creating a reversible garment came up in discussion on SG. While I don't much need a reversible summertime mini-dress, making a pinafore in this way would be basically creating a layered pinafore with an attached slip. This could have some real potential for deep winter, or if using thinner than usual fabric...

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Gosh it looks like what I really need to do is spend some time every day doing some decluttering. Every month has seen more and more activity in the making things happen zone, and less and less in the sorting and clearing clutter zone. It would also be good to start on phase number next in the ongoing clutter saga, and start digging into the actual closed storage, like drawers and cupboards... Given all that is currently scheduled for this last week of November, that won't happen, as it is very unlikely to include enough time to fill five more grocery sacks of clutter to be removed. Aim for at least one more, and see how that goes...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Thora gown Earthboxes filledbag to Goodwill
2 Isabel gown woodchips moved8# persimmons
3 chookhouse baseEF cardigan refashion -
4 Marya cuffs harvested persimmons -
5 Marya front panelsdried persimmons -
6 Marya collar moar dried persimmons -
7 grey linen gauze cowl x -
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x