Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine procrastinates by eating dessert first...

Earlier this week I saw a video of an Australian scribal artist painting a whitevine initial. She did beautiful work, and I was particularly fascinated by how she made the tiny groups of three dots, neither with a paintbrush, a pen, or using a toothpick, which are the ways I have seen repeated dots made, but using a tool I had never seen before. There was some discussion and speculation on the scribal forum about what she was using, but it seemed obvious to me that it was not a tjanting, nor a kistka, but some other tool. So, I wrote to her. She very kindly wrote back with the information about what she used. Sometimes just asking is simpler and easier. So, I treated myself. This new tool, a "fine line paint applicator" will hopefully make it easier to paint tiny dots on scribal illuminations.
The tube at the tip of the paint applicator is less than 1 mm across. Both the applicator and the cleaning probe both come with tidy protective caps. If I can make it work, it will be a great addition to my scribal toolbox! And, at under $10, it was quite affordable, and got here in three days from when I placed the order earlier this week

New paint tool works like a charm; tiny dots as easy as pie. (whyever do they say that... pie is not easy to make?!) I used some (thinned) green gouache, and only a few drops filled the tiny reservoir. It took a few attempts to get the paint actually into the even tinier paint applicator tube; I ended up using the cleaning pick inside the applicator in the same way that old-style Rapidograph pens had a central wire to help encourage the ink to flow... but once the paint was all the way where it needed to be, capillary action kept it there, and I was able to make continuous dots until the paint ran out. I am eager to try this tool out on an actual scroll or charter!!

Spent almost all of Tuesday and a chunk of Wednesday hand transferring data and setting up my new old phone. Said phone works much better than my old old phone, as in it does not suddenly turn off even with a charged battery, and the screen does not flicker annoyingly. Almost all of my tech is other peoples cast offs, which is fine, as it keeps it out of the landfills, and works well enough for my needs.

I have wee little shoulders, which means that store bought clothing with sleeves never fits quite properly. I decided to attack the nice warm flannel bathrobe I was gifted with this winter, as I was tired of how the armhole started halfway down my arm. First I took off about six inches on the sleeve, just above the cuff, since I didn't want to lose the already finished sleeve ends. But that was not nearly enough to bring the sleeves to a normal length and to get the shoulders near enough to my own...

Then the shoulder seams were opened up between the shawl collar and the top of the sleeve. The front part had about four inches cut out of the center, like a dart, but square, with the bottom edge of the square then slashed to twice the width. The flaps of the square were stitched together first, and then the bottom edge was neatly pleated and stitched to the bottom of the opening. This resulted in a sort of front shoulder yoke effect, with a seam down the middle, and unpressed pleats allowing more fullness over my substantial curves. Since my back has no such curves, the back half of the shoulder seam simply had several loooong darts stitched into it to bring the seam edge to an equal length, but more gradually distribute the takeup, as gathers along my shoulders would look ridiculous... Lastly, I restitched the actual shoulder seam.

Now the warm bathrobe has proportions that more closely match my short and stout self, and will hopefully keep me cozy for many years, without the sleeve ends draggling through everything, and without looking like I borrowed it from a much larger person!

My baby trees all have tiny signs of new growth, which means that they are actually putting new root hairs into the ground, and slurping up water and nutrients. Yay! There are little bits of color and roundness showing where the future buds of leaves etc will be, not much yet, but enough to let me know that they are both ALIVE!! I will be keeping a careful eye on them both, particularly the Liberty apple, which got a particularly rough start in life, but hopefully they both will thrive here.
Smyrna quince and Liberty apple

April SMART goals (x=extra)
1 celtic enamel pelican bathrobe shouldersbag to Goodwill
2 trapunto knotwork --
3 x- -
4 x - -
5 x- -
6 x x x
7 x x 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


  1. Perhaps the new little trees are eager to join all the creativity radiating from your home.

  2. Cool tool! I just love simple solutions that actually work. And I hear ya on the sleeve issues. I felt like I was wearing hand-me-downs from a non-existent big sister for decades! Until I finally figured out how to make my shoulders fit properly. Now I’m seeing those floppy drop shoulders coming back in style. Yuck. Not for me!

    1. I am still trying to figure out how to get shoulders to fit me properly... it was easier when I was a wee youngling, or maybe I just didn't worry about it! For some things, like knit tops, I cheat and just do my TNT raglan pattern, and ring the changes on that