Wednesday, November 7, 2018

the Upson Downs

in which our plucky heroine attempts to navigate the upson downs...fortunately more ups than downs, but still...

I'm no sort of a carpenter, and I don't even play one on teevee... but slowly I am building a modular chicken house. Last night I was able to finish attaching all the diagonal bracing and the raised edges, so that the first part, the base, is completed!

This is the base, currently upside down on the big worktable; Heather very kindly cut all eight of the diagonal braces for me this afternoon using my little handsaw miter box. This will be a tall-legged base (the better to use a wheelbarrow to clear away the used bedding), which will support the second module, the actual chicken house, which will have a 1/2" hardware cloth metal mesh "roof" to protect from varmints and allow ventilation. The third module, the roof, will be a wooden structure supporting corrugated fiberglass roofing, for light transmission. The three parts will fasten together, probably with snap hooks or carabiners, and when the time comes to move the house to a different part of the yard, can be unfastened and moved as modules, much lighter to deal with than the current chicken house which takes at least 3 or 4 people to shift
Fortunately, I have a few basic clamps, which allowed me to properly complete this part of the project. As it became more 3-D it got to where I couldn't just use gravity to hold the pieces in place so I could pre-drill and screw them together. Obviously, this is part of why *real* woodworkers have lots and lots of clamps

This is my favorite part of what I did... the two angle braces for each leg sort of intersected, as is visible in the previous photo, but the sharp end of the one stuck out above the edge of the other, which would have made it potentially painful if picked up just wrong. So, I deployed my trusty japanese pull saw and just sawed the corner off the pokey end. Good enough is better than perfect!

While tidying the sewing bits prior to the last two days of wood-butchery, the missing embroidered hat topper for Kestrel showed up in a bag of miscellaneous notions, which gives me the idea to actually finish putting the enlarged hat together, since the weather has become much colder all of a sudden. Surely small kiddo could use a layered wool hat again.

Yesterday yielded a pleasant surprise... I was rummaging around and found a thrifted EILEEN FISHER boucle wool cardigan! It is a very dark brown/almost black, and basically fits me, although it is too long in the body. I am considering using it for my RTW component for SWAP, if I can figure out how best to remove about six inches from the lower torso. I guess at just under 5'2" I'm somewhat shorter than her target demographic. Cutting off the bottom would also remove the pockets, alas, but I think that the proportion of shorter jacket over my longer skirts would look better.

I'm planning on retaining the neckline, as it has a very functional convertible collar, I like the buttons, the sleeves are just the right length (really surprising given my short little dinosaur arms), etc. I need to shorten the cardigan by about 6 1/2" as the only difficulty is that the jacket comes down to my hips, which are wider than that of the target demographic, particularly for a size M!! and that the jacket fronts are doubled, rather than simply put together with a facing.

here is the original cardigan:
and here is how it would look shorter:
though of course, it would be a bit less bunchy in the shorter version once it was actually shortened instead of simply having the excess folded up inside, which adds another two layers of boucle to my midsection... IMHO, the shorter length comes closer to approaching a 2/5 to 3/5 proportion between upper garment and lower garment, which seems more attractive and less dowdy.

while riding the bus, when I ran out of embroidery to do I entertained myself by planning out the intersections of SWAP 2019, the Winter 6PAC, the pre-SWAP Dress challenge, and the 2019 Wardrobe Challenge. Which is not as crazy as it sounds. I decided a number of years ago that I'd only sew things I needed, so these are all either wardrobe improvements or test garments for the former.

Wardrobe Challenge: October - black/brown stars flannel shirt test for SWAP woven shirts (I have no woven shirts/blouses, and getting this sorted out would give me a new TNT pattern), and maybe a denim/leather knitters backpack sort of tote bag; November - finish my rain capelet, and a pair of handknit gloves. Pre-SWAP Dress challenge: make an everyday dress from the indigo pinstripe fabric, and for the new technique, draft and add a peter pan collar, and add a button band to the center front of the bodice (all my old everyday dresses are worn out, so I definitely can use some new ones, and this dress will actually be my "sewn after the rules but before SWAP sewing" garment. Winter 6PAC: black/brown flannel shirt, black rain capelet, indigo pinstripe dress, brown knit top, brown corduroy pinafore, and taupe/teal feather print knit top. (the last two are also part of SWAP, and if I sew them towards the end of 6PAC, that will work with the SWAP timetable..

Dental FU, or why our plucky heroine is madder than a wet hen, in fact I am FURIOUS! I just got fired as a patient at the OHSU dental school. The student I had, in consultation with his faculty, decided that since I am phobic about novacaine injections that I am not a good candidate for having my dental care done there, despite the fact that previous dental students were willing to either do the cleaning without novacaine or to work with me on handling the injections in a way that was less of a problem. I am particularly furious because I was not included in making this decision, or allowed any comments. Right now I am just SO MAD... I mean, last week they called me to make sure that I transfered my OHP/Medicaid to the dental school, which I did, and now I am being shut out? Plus the few suggestions that they gave me over the phone are for places that do not even accept OHP? I need to be a bit more calm before I ask to talk to the patient advocate office. I am not sure what the next steps will be.

What makes me most angry is that I *explained* to the student exactly what the former student figured out about how to give me the novacaine in a way I could tolerate, and he ignored my information and request. Former dental student figured out that if the novacaine was injected more slowly and gradually, taking several minutes per shot, so that the numbness spread out before the needle is moved deeper, that the whole process was not agonizingly painful. It takes longer to give each injection that way, but it makes all the difference. There were four injections into the upper left quadrant of my mouth. I felt each one, and they were not given slowly enough to pre-numb the tissue prior to further insertion. If at the beginning they had told me that I was going to get four injections, that would have helped me mentally prepare, at least a little. Plus even though I told them prior to my appointment that I wanted to have nitrous, the student asked me again if I needed it, and wasn't I willing to try doing without. The whole thing was just SNAFUed. I have had deep cleanings done without any novacaine at all, and while it wasn't "fun" it was tolerable, and certainly not traumatic. I had nightmares for two nights after last Friday.

November SMART goals (x=extra)
1 Thora gown Earthboxes filledbag to Goodwill
2 Isabel gown woodchips moved-
3 chookhouse basex -
4 x
5 xx -
6 x x -
7 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. Dear Indigo Tiger - Your dental fuck up is terrible. It sounds like the student was simply unwilling to do what was needed for you. And to then fire you as a patient is horrible. It sounds like some poor training is going on. I hope the patient advocate can do something to help. Any dentist-in-training who cannot deal w/a patient's pain and/or anxiety is not going to be a very good dentist, I'm sorry to say. On to SWAP 2019 - I'm thinking about joining up! And I am inspired by your clever SWAP plan - that you have it all woven together w/the pre-SWAP dress, the 6-PAC and the 2019 Wardrobe challenge is very impressive!!! I'm thinking about it for myself. . . still thinking about it. But I have a scarf in mind for my inspiration. . .

    1. Oh Hello Claire!!! It would be so much fun if you joined in on SWAP 2019, I've missed hearing from you online... Also I am planning on heading up to Seattle sometime, as there is a Viking exhibition at the Norse Museum that I really want to see, maybe we can actually visit in person???

  2. It would be totally fab to see you in Seattle! I am away until Dec 10 - how long does the Viking exhibition last?
    Still pondering SWAP - the planning part is really fun. . .

    1. Sometimes I feel like the SWAP planning is the most fun part of the whole thing... although, wearing the clothing I make is probably the most useful part, and I have much improved as far as making good choices that I do wear, not like the year I made a whole passel of t-shirts, which languish unworn..

      The exhibit at the Nordic Museum will be there through April 14 2019, so there should be time to plan a road trip north for me, once you are back in town!

  3. I agree - planning is endlessly enjoyable. Just now I have been thinking about how I could use some ridiculous fabric I have - coral mesh covered in coral ribbons winding all over w/very large silver sequins sewn all over it. . . I have it in my "mesh and lace" box and look at it 3 or 4 times a year. It may have a role in my SWAP!
    Oh good news about the long Viking exhibit! We can make a plan.