Tuesday, August 28, 2018

a tiny distraction...

in which our plucky heroine is surprised by the recent past...

back before everything went south, I ordered some yarn from Knit Picks, as a minor treat for myself in support of projects planned for autumn and winter. Had rather forgotten all about it, when it arrived on my doorstep this morning!
These mini skeins of fingering yarn, lying on the linen gauze, are destined to become tassels on the cowl scarf I mentioned in my post yesterday...

These balls of DK/worsted weight wool are destined to become stripey sleeves on a winter cardigan. I'll probably combine them with some of the random balls of yarn in my "textile resource center" and have very polychrome sleeves in my favorite colors. I picked these for adding in some of my newly beloved turquoise/teal into the mixture of grey/indigo/black/brown that I have aplenty. I'm thinking about using the diamond twill handwoven fabric, with its subtle variageted color, for the body of a cardigan jacket, and some more exciting sleeves handknit. Is just a vague concept so far, (inspired by this bolero), but I can certainly begin on the sleeves, which could always end up as part of a knit cardigan instead. I just want to start turning some of the beautiful fabrics I have into wearable garments instead of shelf decorations.

Monday, August 27, 2018

pain makes me stupid and sad

in which our plucky heroine has no spoons at all...

I am having a hard time walking back and forth to the backyard several times a day to take care of my two hens, and wondering if anyone would like them on a temporary or permanent basis. I did have a friend give me a ride to and from acupuncture today, with another ride set up for later this week... I just don't want to impose on my neighbors for dealing with the hens while I am HOME, since I have to ask them whenever I go away to visit friends or go to events

Pain is making me stupid and sad, and I don't know how long it will be before I am not in this level of pain, which is about as intense as when I was first home from hospital after my cancer surgery. I am doing good self care, and my acupuncture treatment this morning helped noticeably, until I lay down to take a nap this afternoon, and then tried to get up out of bed. There was screaming. Back to square zero. I have been trying to consciously relax the area that is in pain, and that helps a bit while I am standing, or sitting, but getting in and out of bed is agonizing. I am actually rather afraid to go back to bed tonight.
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Sunday, August 26, 2018

wham bam!

in which our plucky heroine suffers rather more of a setback...

But first, I want to thank all who have written me encouraging words, it helps me remember that I am not actually living in a vaccum

and I also want to start by sharing a bit of bright beauty to take the edge off... here are some Very Pretty Indeed sidewalk chalk decorations, and a particularly charming glowy chalk bug:
 
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After Wednesdays Very Bad News of blood sugar levels needing addressed, Thursday was my second intake exam at the dental school, and after three hours in the chair being poked and prodded, my slightly good news that there might be a chance to save my cracked tooth was overwhelmed by the surprise bad news that my gums are, in places, beyond simple help and I have been referred out of that clinic to the "graduate-perio clinic", where they do Very Scary Very Spendy Things. I tried both ice and clove oil on my gums, but the whole left side of my mouth took almost three days to recover from the exam.

And alas, this very morning, when I woke up today feeling okay, resigned and resolute about dealing with the terrible dental foo, things took another turn for the worse. Did morning chores, took meds, ate breakfast, and when I stood up from the breakfast table my back gave a mighty spasm and is now in excruciating pain. There were screams. I can barely stand, and walking is agony. I have tried gentle passive stretching to no avail. have applied topical medication with no real result...

As much as I was dreading the perio exam tomorrow, this running away in tearful pain was not my idea of how to deal with it. Not sure I can No way can I even walk to the bus stop, much less be stuck in the dental chair for hours... And, this is a new different part of my back to become unhappy, not my usual familiar SI joint. So annoyed (in addition to pain), since up till this, the pain I was struggling with was mental/emotional... adding in intense physical pain just seems unfair, though I know that in truth life is inherently unfair and random.

I have canceled my perio exam tomorrow, will be calling to reschedule that, and instead will be going for an appointment with "Tullia and her Magic Needles" aka my Acupuncturist. Today is about remembering to breathe, trying not to cry, and repetitive hourly applications of ice to my back... "in the end, it will all be okay, so just remember, if it isn't okay, it isn't the end..."
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Not doing anything with it right away, but Very Nice indeed, the IL030 linen "gauze" that I ordered from fabrics-store.com... I ordered a yard each of both indigo and grey (when that weight went on sale recently) to see what it was like. The grey in particular is almost silky, the indigo a bit rougher. Both washed up without excessive lint or alarming shrinkage... I would consider the fabric as useable for undergowns, as well as my intended use as scarves or headwraps.

My plan is to make at least another one of the linen gauze cowl scarves, similar to the one I made back in 2012, which has turned out to be a very favored addition to my wardrobe... I am feeling inspired by this designer scarf with multicolor pom poms, but am considering trying tiny multicolor tassels instead, like the ones in this knitted shawl pattern, since they would be somewhat easier to construct
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Gradually, over the course of a week or so, the woolen tablet woven trim was carefully stitched to the upper edge of my Viking Age apron dress. I rather like the combination of colors, and how the silk edge binding coordinates with the brown in the woven trim.
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It wasn't an ideal activity for today, but the salsa verde I started yesterday needed to be bottled, and between times having a lie down on ice, I managed to get ten small jars processed. Dropping the big bowl of tomatillo goo on the floor when transferring it from the fridge (where I put it yesterday until I'd have time to do the actual canning) to the counter (fortunately it landed upright, unfortunately there was sloshing) rather cut into my quantity. Still, more jars for the pantry are all to the good
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 salsa verdebathrobe pockets yard waste bin
4 charter #9
pruning Yakima plum dead rake head
5 moar salsa verdeTullia dress -
6 x Viking smokkr trim -
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


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

wishful Wednesday - a better point of view

in which our plucky heroine loses perspective...

I cannot find even some fragments of equanimity and enthusiasm today. trying to remember why the struggle is worth it. it is a dark spiral I am feeling... wrong choices made years ago can never be undone. I am currently filled with grief in so many modes, exhausted, and with a life so out of balance between isolation and connection that aside from my throat sore from the smoke it is more sore from not crying all the time useless tears. Sometimes the megrims leave overnight, and other times they take up residence for months. I will probably feel better if it ever cools off and the air clears again. The everpresent evidence that we broke the planet is part of why I am struggling so hard right now...

so basically my whingeful wishful Wednesday is for a better point of view... I'm really noticing the large rocks* in my thoughts that I keep smashing into, and while I can't in good intelligent conscience say that they don't exist, it is getting harder to live with them as they seem to increase and bruise more deeply
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finally figured out a way to add squirrel barrier to my salad table, it will take a few days to fabricate, but am currently cutting up small pieces of wooden molding to make uprights that should fit neatly into the sockets I attached to the trays. Once I can do that, IF IT WORKS, then I can carefully lash longer withies to said uprights to form a rectangular framework I can then attach either netting or metal mesh to, in order to defeat the tree rat army!
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I have cucumbers from the farmers market, rice vinegar from Uwajimaya, limes from the grocery store, and tarragon from the backyard... this recipe is calling my name, and seemed like a good thing for these terrible hot smoky days... the salad is delicious, but when I make it next time, and there will be a next time, I will peel the cucumbers first. The peels are tasty, but terribly tough, which makes for an unpleasant a rather nasty experience eating the salad. The photo with the recipe looks like the cukes were sliced with a mandoline and not a kitchen knife. My knife skills are perfectly adequate, but not world class, and I am loath to buy a new kitchen gizmo. Peeling the cukes is an easy alternative, and since the recipe made quite a lot of dressing, I tried again with peeled cukes and it was both much nicer to eat, and much easier to slice thinly
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so apparently this might be a good day to revisit the "how to get up off the floor" video, which actually is full of useful tips for any of us no longer as limber as in years past...

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*climate wierdness, political mayhem and destruction, deep loneliness, and personal health and economic challenges...

Monday, August 20, 2018

echolocation is not my forte...

in which our plucky heroine has not lost her marbles...

as said marbles live in a neat handmade wooden box on the nightstand, very important to not lose marbles. However, my everyday glasses, the bifocal ones, were not on the nightstand when I woke up this morning. Or in any of the other usual spots. Very frustrating.  
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this made me smile... the world is full of talent, beauty, and grace!

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The bad smoke, heat, and hazy air is back again (AQI 166), swept away briefly yesterday by kindly winds, but not for long. As I mentioned to the clerk at the grocery store today "the earth has a fever and we are the virus..." I am hiding indoors again, though I really want to go to the pool!

moon is red tonight,
air quality is red, too...
it isn't an eclipse.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 salsa verdebathrobe pockets yard waste bin
4 charter #9
pruning Yakima plum dead rake head
5 xTullia dress -
6 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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

kibbles and bits aka Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine faffs about...

Yesterday's farmers market tomatillos are now salsa verde... Thirteen little jars will be a good start on refilling the pantry shelf with savory condiments to add flavor to wintertime meals. Not enough though, so another farmers market excursion will be needful, next time with my little wheelie luggage cart, some bungee cord, and a nice big basket... so I don't have to tote my veggies on my back!
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Took some time to unwind by working on a charter painting, which I've not done in a while... This is one of the new Kingdom of An Tir charters - an An Tir Lion's Mane, designed by my friend Marya Kargashina in the tetralogical style, inspired by 14th c Russian illumination. It looks pretty simple, but was a good chance for me to practice my fine painted lines with my paintbrush.
. .
steps along the way to the finished piece

I like to find out about the visual style of various cultures and eras, which increase my knowledge for future artwork, and help me avoid egregious errors in style when painting historic designs. This Very Useful post from Marya's blog is full of information about this style of decoration, and I found it most helpful in deciding how to paint and detail this charter.
a closer view
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 salsa verdebathrobe pockets yard waste bin
4 charter #9
pruning Yakima plum dead rake head
5 xTullia dress -
6 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

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Farmers market for the win!

In which our plucky heroine woke up this morning feeling fairly chipper...

As we have had a brief respite from the heat and the smoky haze, it seemed like a good morning to head over to the farmers market...

Sadly, I had to forgo buying pounds and pounds of tomatoes, but next week I'll remember to bring my small wheelie-cart and hopefully bring home at least eight pounds or more! Even so, my daypack and tote bag were quite heavily laden, and my legs ached by the time I made it back to Acorn Cottage.

cultivated purslane
In addition to four pounds of tomatillos, I did bring home several pounds of nectarines, a few ears of organic corn (yay! that is hard to find) new potatoes, haricots vert, tiny new zucchini, a small brandywine tomato, a big head of organic iceberg lettuce, and a bunch of cultivated purslane. I always like to try new-to-me things, and while I have nibbled the weedy purslane from the side yard here, cultivated purslane is HUGE. It is related to portulaca, has a mild green lemony flavor and is full of antioxidants.

I love shopping there, love that my EBT money can be doubled, which allows me more healthy tasty produce, and I was fortunate this year as a senior to also receive 24 dollars in "Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program" coupons (this is a lottery, as there is much more demand for food aid than money available) Using some of these extra resources to make several savory shelf-stable flavor-intensive condiments*, which I store in the pantry, and which add flavor to my meals all year long. (since I react badly to manufactured citric acid, I can't eat commercial processed condiments, but I still like tasty food!)

Every year I wait eagerly for the tomatillos to show up in the market, as they are the main component of salsa verde.  Bought four pounds which will hopefully yield at least twenty small jars, and I guess part of my weekend is now spoken for...

In the interest of getting it done quickly, after a big green salad with the lettuce, tomato, and purslane from the market this morning... I cooked up the tomatillos and added all the additional greenery (onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice) that turns them into salsa verde.. now to run the stick blender,  prep the jars and prepare to preserve... The refilling of the pantry shelves is about to commence!

*salsa verde, asian plum sauce, and awesome sauce (aka british chili jam) are my three staples for making up and canning for the pantry

Friday, August 17, 2018

stitching and planning...

in which our plucky heroine is busy with needle and thread....

This is what the completed repair on Tullia's dress looks like... all the various steps and processes together allow motifs like this to embellish clothing in a simple direct way, or in this case, transform a terrible gash into yet another bit of decoration

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Spent most of today stitching up the "popover tunic/blouse" experiment. It was not a success, as a design that looks well in rayon or silk or linen twill looks irredeemably bunchy in printed cotton. Not feeling like it is worth taking this experiment any further. Not sure it is worth seeing if I can re-cut the pieces into a different experiment... but will look at my patterns and see what may be possible. If not, this fabric can always become baby clothing for little Kestrel

On the other hand, I do have a venerable linen shirt jacket that fits sort of the way I would want a woven top to fit... and though the pattern for that has been lost for years, I could give it the same treatment with blue painters tape (as I did so successfully for the cropped pants) and create a new pattern that way... Hmmm...
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*My current wardrobe: note areas missing... The ideal is to have enough clothes to wear for a week before laundry must happen; to achieve this, there need to be close to eight in each categories.

#
KNIT TOPS BLOUSES DRESSES PINAFORES POPOVERS SLIPSPANTS
1
indigo/black layered black floral * dark denim inightsky batik black knit embroidered black
2
black bleach print * * black corduroy black/white batik grey silk lined grey
3
black/grey crow * * black linen multicolored * brown
4
black/grey stripey t-neck * * black vertical pique grey textured * light blue
5
black/white winter t-neck * * grey corduroy black sparkle * *
6
black/cream marled * * brown twill turquoise green * *
7
blue/grey stripey * * brown/black Japanese indigo * *
8
brown t-neck * * * * * *


There are an assortment of other garments and accessories on my list of fairly high priority projects. I really need a new swimsuit, the chlorine at the city pool keeps the water safe to swim in, but it does a number on fabric. My current suit is looking pretty shabby, and I am thinking about going back to this pattern (KWIK SEW Pattern 2690 Misses' Swim Dress 1998), with a few modifications...

I love me a skirted suit, but want to alter the pattern to have the skirt start at waist level rather than all the way up under the bustline. A skirt that only goes partway up the suit will stay put a bit better when actually in the water, the skirt as drafted looks lovely poolside, but when doing water exercise it flops about and gets in the way. I do have both some swimsuit fabric and suitable elastic, so this may move up the list
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 xbathrobe pockets yard waste bin
4 x
pruning Yakima plum dead rake head
5 xTullia dress -
6 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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

a necesary repair

This afternoon, hiding indoors from the bad air and the heat, I made a good start on repairing Tullia's dress...

This is the large right-angle tear, between the center front and the side seam pocket...  There is no way to simply mend damage like this to make it less visible, so instead, the idea she and I came up with is to add decorative foliage that will coordinate with the other embellishment. A sprig of vegetation can bend around the angle and allow the edges of the tear to be part of the fabric to be cut away, once the reverse applique is completed
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I've had lots of experience in the last few years using freezer paper for one of a kind stenciling; it gives a really crisp painted edge. The "plastic-y" side of the freezer paper gets ironed on to the fabric, where it sticks just enough to prevent the paint from oozing under the stencil
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Once the paint is fully dry, the freezer paper can be peeled away, leaving the motif clearly delineated, and ready for the next steps... Tomorrow, after I heat set the paint, I will be able to baste the kelly green jersey behind this layer, running stitch around the edges of the design, and finally cut away the centers of the stems and leaves...


a lot of North America is on fire...

in which our plucky heroine notices that the air reminds her of childhood* sorrow...

This morning, heading into another Hot Summer Day, the air quality here in Portland (158) is more than three times as bad as it is in Beijing today (51), though for different reasons:
So, instead of errands by bicycle this morning, I am going to focus on sewing, and planning projects that need attention, and stay indoors and try and breathe. I can only imagine how much worse it is for those closer to the fires, as it is pretty bad here.
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my current two sewing projects:
1. repair of the dress I embellished for Tullia... there is a right angle tear in the front, near the pocket on one side, and it will require some clever design work, and somewhat challenging stitchery. Fortunately we were able to acquire some more of the kelly green cotton jersey fabric that was used as the underlayer, so the repair will be unobtrusive as to color. It will be a three stage process, first doing a freezer paper stencil of the newly designed motif. That will have to sit for 24 hours before being heat set for permanence. At that point, the actual reverse applique can be completed, and the dress will be wearable again.

2. This charming VW microbus cotton print fabric will hopefully become a "wearable muslin" popover blouse, as I am thinking that some simple modification of my summertime popover dress may also work as a top to wear with my everday pinafores for the other three seasons of the year. This fabric has been on my stash shelf for years; the colorway, with reds and orange and yellow accents, is not a great match for my wardrobe, but I just couldn't resist the assorted tiny scenes, of people camping with their VW, the little popup campertops so like my own former bus, hippies with guitars, surfboards, children playing, and dogs running...
And, the blue and brown accents will loosely coordinate with my pinafores, so I hope I can transmogrify my TNT popover to also be a loose fitting popover blouse. Aside from shortening the pattern to blouse length, I intend to simply add some rectangular tunic sleeves with square gussets, just like my SCA clothing. As well, it occurs to me that cutting the pattern down the center front, adding button bands, and possibly even adding a collar will give me something relatively close to a shirt/blouse. It will be an interesting experiment.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 xbathrobe pockets yard waste bin
4 x
pruning Yakima plum -
5 xx -
6 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


*I spent a huge chunk of my youth in suburban Los Angeles, when all year long the visibility was limited by smog. People forget, I think, how it was prior to the Clean Air Acts:

Smog-shrouded view of downtown Los Angeles, on October 7, 1968.
Herald-Examiner Collection photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Public Library




Monday, August 13, 2018

a joyful mystery and other bits...

in which our plucky heroine appreciates small beauty...

One never knows what feral vegetation will turn up in my yard. So far, there has been feral plums, feral roses, a feral grapevine, and currently, if smaller, there is now a feral petunia. Recently noted this bright spot of pink in the middle of the weedy dustland in the center of the yard. Can understand the previous feral denizens, as squirrels and birds often eat fruit of various sorts leaving behind seeds and "fertiliser", but petunias do not create tasty enticements for wildlife... I will simply enjoy it as a joyful mystery!
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This was a weekend that Thora of Blue Cedar House came down to help, but rather than much yardwork, there was much driving about and shopping: There was a trip to Ikea, for new kitchen dishpans, wooden hangers, and "Björksnäs", an unexpected but excellent folding chair, which will also be great for SCA use. There was a trip to the feed store, to replenish the chook chow, and acquire a Much Better yard rake, with springy steel tines instead of the Terrible Plastic garden rake of Uselessness that i've been struggling with for the last umpteen years. There was a trip to Uwajimaya in Beaverton, to purchase the annual gallon of soy sauce, where the produce department somehow had $1 organic mangos !!! (I bought half a dozen, currently in the fridge for cold fruit salad to ameliorate the triple digit temperatures tomorrow)

The yardwork was limited to some moving of currently underutilised planter boxes, changing out the chicken bedding, and a much desired clearing up of the front porch, which no longer is a repository for empty flowerpots, and the salad table is now ready to be refilled with fresh compost and soil and replanted.

There were various small sewing projects completed. I took in a pillowcase to make it better fit the camping pillow for little Laurel. Added buttons and buttonholes to the front of my bathrobe, and also detached and reattached my bathrobe pockets, so that they are no longer down near my knees, but up where my hands can actually reach them. (RTW clothing is so peculiar)

oh, and somewhere in there I also bought a new box fan for the living room window, to replace the one I dropped, which caused its stupid plastic fan blades to shatter.
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This tabletweaving started July 10, finished August 10... not bad for a project that is mostly spare time pickup work... wool woven trim will decorate my SCA Norse apron dress, and also the new Norse forepart for Thors's garb. Over the next few months there will be assorted SCA clothing projects being worked on and completed, as I am both making some "fancy" outfits for my Blue Cedar House pals to wear this winter and some new clothing for myself as well. there will be blockprinting and tabletweaving and embroidery oh my

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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 85" tablet weaving overdye dressbag to Goodwill
2 Byzantine scroll bathrobe buttonsshelf and fan
3 xbathrobe pockets -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine resumes usual programming...

My current scribal project is moving along nicely, and if all goes well should be done tomorrow. I sketched in all the details, then inked them with a .005 Micron pen. Then I added the calligraphy referencing the actual award, for the Order of Three Mountains. Once that part is successfully done, then I start on the painting. The painting takes a LOT longer than the writing, so I always do the calligraphy first, in case there are any problems. I am hoping that I will be able to add the tiny painted gold lines that delineate the "cloisons" in the design. As always I try and do at least one new thing each time I paint a charter or scroll...
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partialy painted
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So in the interest of adding one or two more popover dresses to my summer wardrobe, since the heat wave continues unabated, I found that for some unknown reason I cut out oddly-sized not-popover pieces of my two chunks of rayon. WTF! Whyever did I choose to cut out pattern pieces that bear no apparent congruence with the actual sizes needed for the garment?! I might dip into my one precious piece of Nani Iro double gauze if there is enough, since that would be much less annoying than piecing together the lovely rayon.

Instead, the rayon could become a popover blouse, as I have a concept brewing for transmogrifying my easy popover pattern into a woven top... The narrow front center panel could become a kind of button band, to allow a decorative button front. It would be easy to add sleeves, in the same way that an SCA undergown or tunic has sleeves. Might be possible to patternhack in a collar. If this works, I could even make a jacket from some of the handwoven wool, and add handknit sleeves. Food for thought anyway...
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And speaking of handknit, I found this graphic online about needlefelted steeks, which is absolutely a brilliant idea, so I image searched and traced back to this blog here  Though the idea of knitting is not at all appealing in this heat, eventually it will be cooler weather, and my desire for a new sweater might just cause me to start looking through the yarn and digging out the graph paper




Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday musings

in which our plucky heroine struggles with despair...

I remember when I was a young woman, and it felt like the world was in terrible danger, but there was also an undercurrent of hope that things could be changed for the better, if we all could only figure out how, and could all do what needed to be done... None of the current young people I talk to feel that way any more, either do any of the older ones, or the elders, or the old old people who were alive during WW2. Indeed, there is so much gone wrong now in so many different ways that sometimes it is all I can do to keep upright and still standing.



Yesterday I started reading this article, which only confirmed my perceptions, and filled me with grief. We could have shifted things, but somehow it all went wrong. Sometimes I don't know how to continue, but I keep on anyway, doing the best I can to live a life that makes sense, that is thoughtful and kind, that brings beauty and creativity to the center, that uses as close to a sensible amount of the resources we all share...

It may make no difference in the end, but it makes a difference to me. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of where the choices I make have made a tiny butterfly wingflap of effect in the life of another person. Not huge, but enough to go on with...

Just finished reading this short essay by a preschool teacher, whose wise words were a bit of an anodyne against the despair.
I have purposefully made a decision more than once in my life to choose to live, during hinge moments when there was an obvious alternative. Not going to go back on that decision. Going to make the best I can of the life I have been creating, in the times I have been given to live in.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine switches gears and cogitates a lot...

Currently busy working on an original scroll, with a Byzantine theme, which I chose to interpret using various pieces of historical cloisonné as my inspiration. The challenge for me is to find a way to create a visually balanced design without the aid of using a manuscript page for my inspiration, which, being a two dimensional, rectangular object, is easier to adapt...
Am pretty pleased with the overall plan I came up with, after several false starts. Tonight, after I transfered the design to Bristol board (that will be the base for the actual artwork), I am now drawing in all the small patterned details, prior to inking the outline in so I can then move on to the actual calligraphy and illumination.
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popover dress is completed, and while there are a few minor changes I will make to the new draft, for future popovers, I am rather pleased with the outcome. The overdye worked out most excellently.

The "teal" color is a bit more of a turquoise green than a turquoise blue, which is actually good, as it is a tiny variation on the colors I already have, but perfectly acceptable. Indeed, I am considering if a few more garments in the teal/turquoise end of the spectrum would be welcome for that transitional season where summer turns to autumn, or where spring turns to summer...

A while back I was gifted with a dresslength of heavy cotton/linen in a turqoise/black shot weave, that might indeed make a colorful pinafore...hmmm... and there are a few printed cottons (all in the blue/navy/teal spectrum) that will someday turn into tops/blouses/tunics... I've some vague idea brewing of how to transmogrify the popover pattern into a tunic/top with actual sleeves...
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x overdye dress-
2 x --
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 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

Saturday, August 4, 2018

dyeing for change

in which our plucky heroine struggles to shift focus...

Between the various rebellious body parts, it has been and continues to be pretty difficult, including time lost trying to deal with dental insurance paperwork, and coping with Stupid Tooth which hurts, because cracked... sewing project is helping me stay sane, but as I am bored with describing ailments, instead, here are a few bits that have been pleasing:

Spent closer to an hour in the sewing room Thursday, and finished up the hemline binding and sewed the patch pockets on my new popover dress. It is wearable now, but will be a better addition to my wardrobe once I overdye it with teal fiber reactive dye... I imagine the white as teal, the various blues and greens shifted towards deeper teal, and the hot pink as a dull plum... much more my style as far as color and contrast.

Friday Night

Fabric dyeing ended up happening late Friday, around midnight, as between getting up at 5AM to get to my PT appointment at 7, then taking time to get some long neglected water exercise in before lunchtime, it turned out that I walked over 10K steps on Friday, came home, ate lunch and promptly fell asleep for most of the rest of the afternoon. Which had me awake far past a sensible bedtime, and so... after about two hours of not terribly difficult processes, the new dress is currently in the washing machine, and our plucky heroine is off to dreamland for a few hours...

I suspect the reason I had good luck with dyeing the dress was threefold - one, I had a container large enough for the entire dress to drift loosely in the dyebath, two, I had all the correct chemicals to use with the dye, and followed the instructions, and three, I did my best to think out ahead of time how the various colors in the print would shift.

The first two were, IMHO the most important, I have known many people who didn't have a large enough "vat" for their fabric or garment to move freely, and that causes places in the fabric to not be thoroughly exposed to the dyebath, rather like unintentional shibori. And having the correct chemicals to use with the dye makes a difference, particularly the very small amount of calsolene oil, which helps disperse the dyestuff evenly into the fabric. Yes, all of this is more of a pain than throwing some RIT into the washing machine, but in return I will get a dress that will have strong, fast, even, color for as long as the dress lasts. I don't do much fabric dyeing, for a whole lot of reasons, and prefer to acquire fabric that is already a good color, but since I had this fabric, and needed the garment, it made sense to me to take the time to turn it into something I will be comfortable wearing.

Saturday Morning

just took the dress out of the washing machine, and while it will take a while for it to line dry, the new color is a HUGE improvement, and the color shift worked pretty much like I had hoped. Overall, the dress color is a varied greenish teal. Overlaid is the black from the old colorway, looking in the abstract rather like black matrix turquoise. Terrible Hot Pink has indeed shifted to a purplish color here and there, and there are also some streaks of very slightly brighter greenish color, where the former print was had a pale yellowy color.

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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x overdye dress-
2 x --
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

small nightmare

our plucky heroine is doing her best to not be overwhelmed by fear/worry -

the unhappy tooth, cracked beyond hope of saving, must be pulled out of my mouth, and I have never had that done, (save the time they removed two wrong baby teeth, and I was unconscious when they did that). I keep reminding self that it is necessary. Feels so scary.

And feels so weird to willingly? choose to do something that I know will hurt, because the alternative is worse. Currently waiting for the dental school referral to work through the different offices and call me so I can make an appointment. At least the actual tooth removal will be covered by OHP, though any further repairs will not be.