Monday, September 16, 2019

a new cereal bowl

in which our plucky heroine finds a surprise on the porch...

my Mud Bay pals went to Rose City Comicon... Ariadne showed me photos of them in costume at the event, as Vidalia, little Onion, and Yellowtail, though when we connected later that evening the only clues were the yellow color in Bill's hair and beard, and Ariadne's hair still braided tightly around her head to keep it out of the way of her Vidalia wig. While there they found this sweet little hand painted bowl as a gift for me! No one had asked about the kanji on the reverse side, and our plucky heroine was mighty curious...
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It took a while, but eventually my friend Etain came through with the answer. She learned to read kanji as a young person, and her comment was "It is read 'fuku' and it means blessing, fortune, luck, wealth. It depends on what else it is paired with but even without it still has that sort of idea..." So a very appropriate caption for the graphic, and a lovely wish to start my day.
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 grey stripey dress Kestrel gownyard waste bin
2 carved suzani blockkitchen wall paintedbag to Goodwill
3 two triangle blocks carvedfire extinguisher up yard waste bin
4 charter painted
2nd windowshade yard waste bin
5 xcompost bins moved -
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

today's gratitude - tools to make and do, and decades of learning how...

Thursday, September 12, 2019

seeking bootstraps

in which our plucky heroine feels dispirited..

My computer is still silent. I'm back on antibiotics for the fourth time, sigh. And yesterday at the dentist, found out that my tooth that cracked back in 2012 is causing hidden problems in my gum and jaw. I'm not looking forward to dealing with that (both in terms of physical pain and in terms of financial cost), as I'd no idea, having no symptoms, and thought I was taking good care of my teeth. Trying to not borrow tomorrows troubles today.
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To attempt focus on the good things... I have great friends, and the computer issues will be sorted out in a few weeks, hopefully. Thora and her daughter will be here this weekend to help with the yard and house. My sister had a great suggestion for where to hang up the fire extinguisher, so I've finally got it on the wall instead of on the countertop. The Mud Bay folks might come by this weekend and I will get to see them and Kestrel.
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 grey stripey dress Kestrel gownyard waste bin
2 carved suzani blockkitchen wall paintedbag to Goodwill
3 two triangle blocks carvedfire extinguisher up yard waste bin
4 x
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

today's gratitude - this morning, in front of the washer, I trod on what felt like a tiny stone. When I went to pick it up, it proved to be the missing oaken peg that came from the beam in the kitchen! I had figured it fell out and was lost during this weekend's painting project, and now I shan't need to carve a new one.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

disconnected

in which our plucky heroine is much annoyed...

Sunday night my desktop computer suddenly stopped connecting to the internet, right in the middle of my winding down by watching an episode of Steven Universe. After trying the most usual fix, shut the whole thing down wait ten minutes and turn on again, which did zip zero, I gave up and went to bed.

Wrassled with the computer for part of the next two days, trying various suggested instructions from friends. Still no joy.

So, no photos of anything to share, as I can access online ,and post, via my phone, but no way to move images around. In a few weeks, my friend D is going to give me their old laptop, as they are upgrading. But for now, must needs make do and work around, and plan out my work efforts old school

Today's gratitude
- that it occurred to me that I spent years, nay decades, doing research for projects and presentations long before the internets... and that while it is eversomuch easier online, it is still possible without...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

more than half done

in which our plucky heroine and her helpers turn the kitchen upside down...

This is the stove wall on Friday. I love my tiny kitchen, but am sorely tired of the former-owner-white walls. The primary project this weekend was to continue painting the kitchen grey. Removing everything from this wall took quite a bit of time, and has basically overwhelmed the very modest amount of counter space here at Acorn Cottage.

Once the stove itself was pulled away from the wall, the chrome storage rack emptied of contents and moved outside for a well needed scrubbing, and all the wall storage removed, it was a group effort to tape off the wall for painting.
Rather than remove the heavy oak beam holding the iron pot rack, that was carefully wrapped in brown paper and taped off in place. Sticking the tape in place was a joint effort... Heather did the parts I couldn't reach, and Brandon did the tall parts, like the ceiling. The wall is about eight feet long, and eight feet tall.

This is the stove wall, after our weekend long painting efforts... I remain very pleased with the resulting appearance. I am really liking this color more and more, and how it sets off the oak beam and the forged ironwork. The comparison to the former white walls is really amazing. I realise now that moving everything off this wall is intensely disruptive compared to the previous wall. The previous wall was mostly contained, aside from the artwork. This wall had LOTS of THINGS! (pots and pans and spices and jars and stuff!! Having most of the random contents that were formerly piled up on the chrome rack and the spice carousel (not yet replaced in this photo), the sore temptation is to do some serious decluttering at the same time, and find new homes for unused items.

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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 grey stripey dress Kestrel gownyard waste bin
2 carved suzani blockkitchen wall paintedbag to Goodwill
3 xx
-
4 x
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

today's gratitude - helpful, limber, younger friends who visit

Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine is much relieved...

My mysterious chest pain is, apparently and thankfully, not a sign of immediate danger, but rather some kind of misplacement of one of my ribs? Acupuncture yesterday and some gentle manipulation by SR made it clear where the disturbance is, and hopefully another treatment or two will see it resolved. In addition, she treated my sore left hip with good effect, indeed, I somehow managed to walk twice as far as my best day ever, and logged over six miles!
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This morning, in the interest of doing some additional pruning and filling the greenwaste bin prior to pickup, I did a bit more on the apple and the feral grape, and noticed that a fair amount of the grapes were becoming ripe. Feral grapevine fruit are not table grapes, being seedy with tough skin, and so I intend to attempt two ancient condiments instead... verjuice and saba. Verjuice is simply the juice of unripe grapes, used in the past to give a tart flavor, in the way that we currently use lemon. Saba is the cooked down juice of ripe grapes, forming (hopefully) a sweet and tangy syrup of complex flavor. It will be a Useful Experiment.
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unripe and ripe grapes

So far I have discovered that 2# of grapes yields approximately 1 cup of juice. Apparently one is supposed to let saba age, so the grape syrup I put up last year (being uncertain what to do with the abundant grapes since I am not fond of grape jelly) should be ready to use. I can use the rest of this years harvest to make up some more saba, and also put up the verjuice in little jars as well. Lemons don't grow here, but feral grape is quite happy.
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Finished the printed hemline trim for Young Kestrel, and stitched back together her new SCA gown. All I have to do now is add the gown to the measurement chart in my book of sewing for others, and at my leisure, can create some more gowns for her using the offcuts from clothing I make for older children like the dear tweens. Sewing for littles takes so much less time than for
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Time to cogitate on the next quarters sewing... year long wardrobe plan + autumn 6PAC + Sewing Place contests (reuse/recycle/refashion) [white slip from sheet], inspired by designer, combining prints [Eames tee shirt]) and how this intersects with my own personal wardrobe goals...
SPRING or AUTUMN 6-PAC
Skirt or trousers (neutral)
3 blouses/tops (1 to match, 2 to complement)
1 Layering top/cardigan (to match skirt/trousers)
Jacket (co-ordinating neutral)
or
A jacket or cardigan in your neutral colour.
(This layer sets the tone for the whole collection, so think it over carefully.)
A second lighter layering piece in either a tone of your neutral or your colour (cardigan sweater or shirt for example, or unlined jacket. Autumn is tricky, it's nice to have layers in two levels.)
Two tops - one neutral, one in the colour.
Two bottoms -- in two tones of your neutral.

The point of sewing for myself is not endless wardrobe additions, but creating a closet with enough clothing to suit my style and life. Then all that will be needed is to replace items that wear out. A grey pinafore to replace both the one that wore out a few years ago, as well as the brown/black one that is almost worn out now. I still want to add a few blouses and dresses. My summertime popovers are in good shape. A good look at my current jackets/cardigans/2nd layers, and thought about what if anything would be a Useful Addition will drive the planning forward.

I currently have two handknit cardigans (one denim blue and one off-black, a reverse applique knit cardigan (blue/brown), and a handknit pullover (dark teal) and a lightweight jersey cardigan in a grey floral. I sort of want a denim jacket, which would entail some serious toile effort to fit. And I have that idea for a cropped jacket that combines the handwoven fabric for the body with stripey handknit sleeves.... more mulling over concepts before any further actual sewing will happen...
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 grey stripey dress Kestrel gownyard waste bin
2 xx-
3 xx
-
4 x
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

today's gratitude - lt turns out that my heart and lungs are in good shape... how do I know, because I got chest pain and ended up in the ER in the middle of Monday night. No real diagnosis, but not a heart attack and not anything they can test for...

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Monday is Labor Day

In which our plucky heroine remembers...

For all who worked and sang and died... we don't forget.
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Labor Day here, not just a shopping opportunity, but a holiday off from everyday work, created by the labor movement, (and gradually officially adopted) towards the end of the nineteenth century, as a day to honor the contributions of the working folk, all who labor to get the work of the world accomplished, and to remember that together we are strong.
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I am grateful that I first encountered U Utah Phillips (decades ago when I was an impressionable 17 year old student) telling his stories in the back room at Smokey Joes Cafe, and had the great delight of hearing him perform several times over the years. Story and song are a place where history is kept alive, and education doesn't only happen in a classroom...
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x x-
2 xx-
3 xx
-
4 x
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

today's gratitude - Had a lovely overnight visit with Maeva. We went to Powells, where I picked up the latest issue of Threads. (I hope to try out the sleeve drafting instructions) There was progress made on the various sections of the 16thc German clothing, and I was much relieved that my calculations for the overdress bodice worked as desired. The luncheon at Ocean City for dim sum was lagniappe...

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday snippets

in which our plucky heroine dreams of cooler weather...

September is almost here, but the temperature outdoors, while not as horrid as in some of the previous years, is still fiercely summer. I've been working on the multiple layers of woolen garments suitable for 16th c German, a sewing commission that is quite fascinating. My own autumnal garment making plans are legion, but more realistically I've about a half dozen things in the queue. Mostly sewing, as I am a Very Slow Knitter...

For sewing I'll be finishing up the grey and white striped everyday dress from my summertime queue, a white cotton slip to wear with it, and to help it transition into autumn, hopefully adding a darker grey linen pinafore to layer. Probably two new long sleeve knit tops, one in a pale teal mushroom print, and one in a peach/pink with Charles and Ray Eames motifs. (I had good luck last year turning decorative tee shirts into sleeves for a long sleeve kit top, and want to try again)

The more exciting project I hope to get to is to create a short jacket by combining handknitted sleeves with some handwoven wool twill fabric. The fabric was a gift, and isn't enough by itself to make a garment, but is dense and flexible. I immediately thought of Carol Sunday's "Stripey Sleeve Bolero" and was inspired by the style and combination of solid and stripes. I'm pretty sure that the pattern is out of print, since it isn't on her website any more. I'm going to use the design as a jumping off point, and plan on making it as outerwear, with worsted weight stripey handknit sleeves suitable for the heavier wool fabric, useful in the cool damp days that will surely eventually arrive.
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Suddenly one morning whilst our plucky heroine was in the shower, brilliant if small idea struck!... I can use tongue depressors (aka "craft stix") as shims for the wooden molding in the bathroom. That project has been on hold for months, nay years, since I couldn't figure out how to deal with neatly attaching the molding to surfaces that vary in height. Why, one may ask do I have tongue depressors? because I am considering a short detour to the land of the very small. While I did send Hazel and Zinnia off to live with little Kestrel, that doesn't mean that there won't be future small artifacts and tiny dolls made. Seriously, is not this clothespin bed too cute for words?
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
freezer defrosted bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilekitchen wall painted old frozen food
6 smocked linen apron repair soapdish
morning glories
7 overgown bodice add AC to kitchen
windfall apples
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - living near enough to Pendelton mill outlet stores that their wool fabric for historical garments is a possibility. The brown wool I am currently using is a dream to work with...
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Friday, August 30, 2019

honeycomb smocking

in which our plucky heroine continues hand stitching...

a smocked linen 16th c apron, that I am making as a gift for my friend Cathy. I have never done smocking before ever, so I think it will count as "new to me" for the "New to Me Technique Contest on The Sewing Place Forum. The apron is almost finished, as I have been working on it for the last two weeks as my carry-around handsewing project.

I had always thought that smocking required first many many rows of gathering up the fabric before adding the stitches that create the smocking. That is definitely the case with the sort of smocking that uses the gathered ground as a base for various kinds of embroidery, but a simpler type of smocking called "honeycomb" only requires that rows of evenly spaced dots be marked out, and the stitching can proceed quite a bit more simply. I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and at the pleasing decorative effect. I used this tutorial for hand smocking. Here is an image of a German apron with a honeycomb smocked upper edge.

I used a grid of six rows of dots at 3/4" intervals. I couldn't find my water-eraseable marker, so ended up using Crayola children's washable marker instead. It took longer to wash out after I completed the smocking, but eventually all trace of the green dots was gone.
The finished upper edge of the apron has a lovely texture, and once I complete the hemline stitching and sewing up the apron ties, I might steam set the smocking, as described in this tutorial. Although, since I didn't run it through the dryer!?! but rather let it hang to dry in the sunshine on the clothesline, the honeycomb pleats looked pretty good after being washed. As it was drying, I took a few opportunities to carefully straighten the linen pleating, and that may be all that is needed.
The back of the smocking, on the other hand, is nowhere near as pretty, but does show how the thread runs between the pleating back and forth to join together the alternate dots, as well as how the stops and starts of the smocking threads can be hidden in the folds. This project has been very educational, and I find the resulting apron very appealing. Not sure what sort of application this technique may have for me in the future, but it will surely add another layer of decorative reality to my friends set of 16th C clothing that I am currently working on creating.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
freezer defrosted bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilekitchen wall painted old frozen food
6 smocked linen apron repair soapdish
morning glories
7 x add AC to kitchen
windfall apples
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - linen is probably my favorite fabric to work with, so amenable to taking on whatever shape is needed..
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...and a few extra resources on this project:
an overview of 16th c clothing in Northern Europe

this tutorial about one way to make smocked aprons

another period image showing a smocked apron as worn

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

hot town summer in the city

in which our plucky heroine emulates the cucumber...

Earlier this month, Nicole gave me her old AC; last night (after giving me a ride home from Paint Night) Jess helped me install it in the kitchen window, and today I am cobbling together small adapters to fill in around the edges. The current plan is to deploy it when the temperature cannot be moderated by my normal means of window fans in the evening and early morning. I will set up my camping bed at night in the kitchen. (one does not need to cook and sleep at the same time), and move it into the sewing space during the day.  A curtain hung across the doorway will contain most of the cool air in the small kitchen space (9 x 12). If it becomes really bad during the day, I can even move a small folding worktable into the kitchen. Having a plan helps.
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The necessity of clearing away everything from one of the kitchen windowsills made it painfully obvious how long it had been since I last paid any attention to that spot, and how very much detritus had accumulated!I I think that the task of the week, in addition to commission work, is to refurbish and declutter the window space in the kitchen. I'd already been thinking about recovering and repairing the Roman shades that are my kitchen window coverings. They need to have the little rings on the back replaced, as the plastic ones begin to crack apart. A bit of time in the workshop will give me solid soldered closed metal rings instead. I've a flat sheet, in shades of grey and white, with a pattern of raindrop rings on water, which is going to be used to recover windowshades...
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
freezer defrosted bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilekitchen wall painted old frozen food
6 x repair soapdish
morning glories
7 x add AC to kitchen
windfall apples
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - cool air in hot weather...

Monday miscellany

in which our plucky heroine is still delighted...

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The newly painted wall in the kitchen makes me really happy, and is encouraging me to plan further endeavors to personalise Acorn Cottage. Not just painting the rest of the kitchen walls. But changing the wall color quite improved the setting for the kitchen artwork, which hangs in the blank space on the south wall, above the chest freezer and my small refrigerator.

There is a reason that many museum exhibitions have walls in various colors, and not just stark white Against a grey background, the assorted imagery really stands out, in a way that it didn't as much against the white. I was surprised at what a big difference it made.

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Aaaaaa! Human squirrels!! just happened to look out the window into the backyard, and a couple of people in a pickup truck were picking the (Not Quite Ripe) plums off the plum thicket. The tree overhangs the alley. They seemed baffled when I asked them to please leave the tree alone and suggested that they could have asked first. No, we actually want that fruit, it isn't an abandoned and unwanted resource. When people ask, I usually allow folks to have some fruit, and refer them to the Portland Fruit Tree Project, which organises picking of unwanted fruit for use by the pickers and to distribute to the food banks. I think I need to put up a sign on my alley fence, referring folks to the Fruit Tree Project. Of course, that assumes literacy, but I tend to perhaps mistakenly assume that white folks with a fancy truck can read.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
freezer defrosted bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilekitchen wall painted old frozen food
6 x repair soapdish
morning glories
7 x x
windfall apples
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - helpful kindness, even when it feels like an undeserved gift...

Saturday, August 24, 2019

a darker grey than expected

in which our plucky heroine gets a wild hair...

This all started with the defrost the chest freezer project. Which then necessitated moving the freezer so that the floor underneath could be washed. Then I mentioned something to Heather about how every winter I wish I had painted at least some of the house NotWhite. She asked if the supplies and tools were on hand, and since there was both brushes, rollers, and a number of cans of MetroPaint, before I knew it she started painting the kitchen, because what better time to paint the walls behind the freezer than when it is pulled away from the wall...
now one wall and part of another are now no longer white, huzzah!! (the remaining walls will be painted soon) My recombinant clock looks quite splendid against the grey, and I'm eager to see how the artwork looks returned to the wall above the freezer.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
freezer defrosted bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilekitchen wall painted old frozen food
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - enthusiastic helpful friends

Thursday, August 22, 2019

slipping into the future

in which our plucky heroine notices time passing...

and while it seems like just a little while since I first met my friend and colleague Bill, it has been at least 25 years... While we shared a studio space for a while back then, we now live in different states and he has a family and a rural household, while I live in the city in a different state.
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Last weekend I traveled up to Olympia for a visit, taking a middle of the day Amtrak train to Centralia. Bolt doesn't stop between Portland and Seattle. My initial reason for the trip was to make certain that the 15th c bodice I'd been working on was a good fit for Cathy. The train was more crowded than I expected for a mid week midday excursion, but made good time. C and I ate lunch at McMenamin's Olympic Club opposite the train station, said restaurant/poolhall/theater/hotel being the reason for choosing Centralia rather than Olympia as the terminus. The Olympia train station is just a building in the middle of a field.
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Somehow, I had forgotten that it was Jen's birthday weekend, but since I had planned to give her the Rainbow Crow print as a gift anyway, I wasn't empty handed. On Saturday there was one of the magnificent wood fired pizza feasts, with friends of their household invited. Even tastier than the pesto with three kinds of mushroom pizza was her "birthday cake" fruit pizza, with honeyed cream cheese topped with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Rather like the love child of pizza and fruit topped cheesecake!

The other truly memorable thing about the birthday party was that Ross had brought some of his homing pigeons, and we got to release them and see them take off to fly back to his home a few miles away. I'd never seen that done in person, and the pigeons themselves were very varied and beautiful. They are strong, and need to be held carefully, gently but very firmly, before it is time to toss them skyward.

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Kestrel is almost two. I'd not seen her in several months, and the increase in both her stature and her comprehensibility was really noticeable. I could understand much of what she was saying, and she had sentences of two or three words at times. The little SCA gown I made for her needed some adjustments - the neckline was not quite large enough, and the length but not the width could do with a few more inches. I brought it back home with me, and this morning I slashed and bound the front neck slit, so it will be a bit easier to get over her noggin. I may cut a strip of the leftover fabric, and print a line of corbies all along it to add a border to the hemline as well.
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On Sunday it was time for the trip to the art museum in Seattle, which was the other primary reason for the trip. Cathy and I drove up to Seattle to see Victorian Radicals, and were not disappointed. We stopped for a dim sum brunch before heading over to the museum. The exhibition was really impressive and included many pieces I had never seen before, a fair amount of jewelry and metalwork, and even some embroidery! I also need to remember in the future that SAM participates in Museums for All, which meant that my EBT card was also an admission card, huzzah!
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterKestrel gown neckline
bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
x bag to Goodwill
5 Kestrel gown toilex -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - the freedom to travel




Monday, August 19, 2019

media and music Monday

in which our plucky heroine loves animation...

"1952 Vincent Black Lightning" has been a favorite song every since I first heard it, probably on the radio, remember listening to the radio, when what we heard was not pre-selected based on our previous preferences, and the songs were chosen not by algorithm? There was a lot of dross, but in betwixt, some gems. That was how I discovered Richard Thompson, who is really some kind of Cultural Treasure. He wrote "1952 Vincent Black Lightning".

This version, though is covered by another favorite singer, Amanda Palmer, (here singing with her father, Jack Palmer)


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today's gratitude -I've said it before, but I will remain grateful for YouTube existing, because even when we had the radio, it was rare and special for me to find music I enjoy, and I can find gems known and unknown by rambling round the interwebs...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

busy and blockprinting

in which our plucky heroine eats way too much nightshade fruit...

made some very tasty Hot and Sour eggplant, My sister sent me the recipe last week, and I couldn't wait to try it out. Picked up some japanese eggplant at the farmers market this weekend. Was just as easy as she opined, and with the addition of a few frozen shrimps and some rice noodles, it made a very filling one bowl dinner last night.

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made a (hopefully) wearable toile of an everyday SCA gown for little Kestrel, who is almost 2. If it fits well, I can go ahead and make up a few more, using the smaller pieces of linen leftover from making tween clothing. Little kiddo clothing is so much faster to make!

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what started me on block printing this afternoon was that I had just finished the sample toile. Even though it is intended to try out the design and size, couldn't resist adding a few tiny corbies to the bodice yoke, with the hope that it will be a "wearable muslin"...
Nothing fancy, just printed across the bottom edge to add a bit of whimsy.
a closer look at the printed birds... the stamps are about an inch high, carved from Safe-t-cut. I'm going to epoxy them to a wooden base, as they are so small it is hard to handle them without also getting paint on my fingertips, which means running back and forth to wash off the paint from my hands.

At that point in the afternoon, since the textile ink and brayer etc were all out and in use, and since I wasn't happy with the pale bluegreen edge stripe between the printed shot silk and the black linen of my fancy black linen undergown, I decided to use more block printing to improve the situation. After measuring how far apart each repeat needed to be, I marked the lower edge, and then stamped the foliage block to mark the divisions
...quite serendipitously, the repeat of 5 1/4" fit exactly around the bluegreen band. The divisions are marked in chalk, which will be easy to remove once the block printing is dry and heat-set
The Novgorod crows and foliage motif is a big improvement, visually easing the transition and adding another bit of embellishment to my most fancy undergown. The motifs are based on some extant embroidery from medieval Novgorod... I embroidered a collar, in gold on red silk, for Marya's elevation underdress. I loved the motifs so much that I carved some little block printing stamps to match

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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub mastergown band printedbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterx bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
x bag to Goodwill  
5 Kestrel gown toilex -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - I have craft materials and knowledge handy to make many of the things I envision. This makes me happy. I also have ideas surfacing for things to make for friends of mine, to perhaps offer them also a moment of happiness...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine feels slightly less like an imposter...

Eugene rinse cycle has occurred twice in the last week. Our weather this summer has been mighty odd. Much more humid than usual, and occasional summer thunderstorms?!, and several times where we have had unseasonal rain. Not that I am complaining mind... I hate summer sunshine and love cool grey days. Two times recently I put laundry out on the line to dry, and was surprised by rain, which gave it extra rinse before finally drying... The percale bedsheets smell heavenly!
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right pleased with the completed bodice eyelets for Maeva's German underdress. Eyelets are offset to facilitate spiral lacing...
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I've been working on a new set of additional charters for this reign, based (as were the first three I did earlier) on the Seuso Hunting Platter, a Roman era Hungarian artifact.

For this set, I decided to use a vertical format with a line of decoration at the top, and a larger motif near the bottom, where the Kingdom seal will be placed. This allows the text to be all in a block, in the upper center, with room for the signatures as well.  As always, my hope is for the charters I design to be easy to paint, yet with enough options for added scribal embellishment. So far the feedback I have been receiving indicates that I am successful; the one I painted myself certainly was fun to do!
sketching border motifs... it has been difficult to find images online of the border of the Seuso Hunting platter, and the few I have found are not very clear. Sad, because the small motifs have a lot of charm.

Lion's Cub charter master


Leo Minor charter master


Lion's Mane charter master
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 Lion's cub masterxbag to Goodwill
3 Leo Minor masterx bag to Goodwill
4 Lion's Mane master
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - Marya kindly gives me rides to places like Paint Night last night, and local Laurels meetings, and events

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine indulges in a bit of creative recycling...

Decided to make tablet weaving cards from the random flat plastic lids found while decluttering kitchen... have been wanting to try using smaller cards (2" rather than 3"). This is an inexpensive way to find out if I like weaving with the small cards, before investing in more period materials such as hardwood or bone/antler.

The lids are easy to cut with scissors, and the basic hole punch also works easily. While it is possible to round the corners also using scissors, I happen to have the corner rounding punch, and I like how it makes even regular rounded corners. It is, however, a bit difficult to use on anything other than thin paper, so I use the rubber mallet to encourage it
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it is almost time to start making Awesome Sauce. Local tomato season means tasty condiments for future meals...
400g whole tomatoes
5 chile peppers
2 small ginger knobs
6 cloves garlic
30ml Thai fish sauce
½ c red wine vinegar
450g sugar

400g whole tomatoes
Blend 400g whole tomatoes,
chillies, garlic, ginger, and Thai fish sauce.
Add sugar and red wine vinegar.
Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, finely chop another 400g tomatoes.
Add them to the pan, and gently simmer.

It will take some time to cook down...
Keep watch so it does not catch and burn
When suitably thickened, jar and process

5+ 4oz jars - ¼" headspace - process 15 minutes

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Hand stitching the lacing eyelets in a a 16thC German undergown bodice for Maeva. I've been referencing the tutorials on Katafalk's blog, and am particularly pleased with her directions for how to stitch eyelets. Finally I have a clear understanding of how to correctly do the buttonhole stitch, and just as she states, these are sturdy enough to not need a metal ring to reinforce them. Her eyelet instructions are about halfway through this gown tutorial:
The other thing visible in the photo is my antler tip "awl" used for gently enlarging and rounding the eyelets. I start by punching a very little hole using a small drive punch and a mallet, since there is no way I could simply push enough of the fabric out of the way to begin... the wool is quite densely woven as is the inner layer of linen is very stout indeed. but once a small opening is created, the awl is very handy for encouraging the opening to enlarge neatly, and to help keep the eyelet from closing up, as they are wont to do without encouragement.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 undergown bodice popover pocketsplant stand
2 xxbag to Goodwill
3 xx bag to Goodwill
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - the internet lets us continue learning new things even when no longer in school. It might be my favorite thing about the online world...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

well begun is half done

in which our plucky heroine plays catch-up...

Sunday was an impromptu Crafternoon. I'd asked on Friday if anyone wanted to come over this weekend, and four friends responded and we had a splendid time. Despite the well over 90F daytime temp, the fans kept the house almost bearable. There was much snacking and chatting along with assorted handwork. A bit later in the day, I cooked the promised siu mai and pot stickers. The siu mai were a great success, and steaming them was eversomuch easier than the pan fry and boiling water of the pot stickers, which ended up sticking to the pan! No one seemed to mind the less than lovely appearance, though. I vowed to host a Potsticker Potluck for Chinese New Year in 2020.
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I was walking to the Zeeb down a different street than normal, because all over the neighborhood various intersections and streets are being torn up. This car, which obviously hasn't moved in a while, caught my eye...

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I was smart. I rescheduled my routine doctor appointment for an early morning, instead of the middle of the day they initially gave me. I realised when attempting to sleep while it was still much too hot out falling asleep that I did not want to ride my bike at noon in August.
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A very fun thing on the bus, the driver, in conversation with a passenger, mentioned that he had written a song about driving the bus. We encouraged him to sing it to us, which he did!  Afterwards, half the bus applauded. It was charming and kind and it made a tedious journey just a little bit more human and humane.
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I decided to mark the large linoleum block for a new large circular border motif, inspired by the border on this textile fragment. A little design modification to slightly to look a bit more leafy, for a sort of Laurel wreath effect.
The block first needed to be cut to size. Monday my intermittent task was to bit by bit saw through the corners and extra length to shape the 8 x 10 block into an 8" diameter octagon. My trusty japanese pull saw was up to the task. For the next howevermany days, the task for intermittent free time will be gradually carving the block, so that it can be used to print first the blue linen set aside for my navershnik, the Russian style overdress

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Today I rode my bike to the post office, and the library, and the grocery store, since by some blessed chance, we had an entire morning of cool greyness. In fact, the air remained cool enough for long enough that I was able to run the fans for hours, and cooled the house down to 68F.
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The rest of the day was dedicated to my making a good start on the underdress bodice for the new set of SCA clothing I am making for Maeva. The wool outer layer is lined with heavy linen, the seams stitched, and the seam allowances of the wool folded over the linen and basted in place. The whole bodice is then pressed well to set and smooth the edges. All the further work on this part of the underdress is done by hand, and the bodice is small enough to become traveling handwork. Huzzah, I have missed having a handwork project. The lining (another layer of linen) is laid in by hand, and then lacing holes are buttonhole stitched down the front opening. Finally, once the skirt is attached to the bodice, the result will be a robust and warm garment, the inner supportive layer between the linen chemise and the more decorative wool outer gown. The event M is going to in October is held at a summer camp, and there is a fair amount of outdoor activity. She will not be cold.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x popover pocketsplant stand
2 xxbag to Goodwill
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - cool grey morning that persisted for hours

Friday, August 2, 2019

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine continues incremental improvement...

Today* This morning was a respite, it actually drizzled in the wee small hours before dawn, and the early hours of daylight were cool and sweetly grey. I have all the windows open, and am planning a midday bike ride just to enjoy the weather!
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ancient Greek word of the day: κακοθερής (kakotherēs), unfitted to endure summer heat (literal translation = bad at summer)... that would be me!
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Regarding the year long wardrobe sewing challenge, in some ways I skipped July, partially because of medical foo, and partially because the suggested garments** are not part of my wardrobe. I did, however, sew an additional popover dress to my summer wardrobe instead, made from incredibly lightweight silky rayon in a very dark indigo faux-shibori print.

The August suggestion is a skirt, blouse, cardigan set, with high boots, a brooch, and a ring as the accessories. I have planned to sew at least one additional blouse before autumn. I already have several cardigans in different colorways, ditto a pair of tall boots that fit me. Don't ever wear rings, and rarely wear brooches. If I substitute one of my pinafores for the skirt, I'm good.
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August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x popover pocketsplant stand
2 xx-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 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

today's gratitude - riding my bike again makes me feel like my life is returning to what passes for normal.

* by midday it was sunny hot and very humid, and my ride to the library reminded me all to much of my youth in New England. This season has felt a lot like that, being more humid than usual, and even a few summer thunderstorms, which are really rare here.

** tee shirts and shorts, with sandals and a necklace as accessories...
I have sandals, and am still planning on making a beaded herringbone stitch necklace in my copious free time, but I NEVER wear shorts as a visible outer garment. Just not my style, and the year I made a bunch of tee shirts as part of SWAP was fun, but they languished in my dresser unworn. If it is hot enough that the suggested combo is appropriate, I will be wearing a popover as that is as close I can come to not wearing anything at all and still be street-legal...