Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday musings

in which our plucky heroine is feeling wistful...

today I was riding my bike to do errands, and I rode almost all the way to St Johns. And I was wishing so hard that I was riding my bike back in time and could go see Nena in the bookstore, and accidentally run into Russ there, and then stop off to see Rafny and Bear on my way home... or even ride a bit further on, though a tad closer in time, and go see Drusa and hang out in her wood shop... It isn't exactly nostalgia, but rather wishing for the sort of former life where there was that sort of density of the web of connection. It sort of felt like that when I moved here nigh on fifteen years ago, but so many of my friends have moved away and I've not managed to ameliorate the rate of attrition... This online electron world is more like eating a supplement to make up for the missing nutrition in real food, some subtle essential compounds are inevitably missing.
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managed to cut up a thin Ikea towel and make a dozen new dishcloths. I love my serger. These will be Most Useful, and since I really loathe knitting with cotton yarn, handknit dishcloths will not be forthcoming. I sometimes go through more than one a day, so having Many means that laundry day will not be more often than once a week. Enough, not too few (because they do wear out), and not too many. That being my overarching housey goal in all things.
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perhaps foolishly decided that I will go ahead and piece blocks for the Denyse Schmidt "Single Girl" quilt. I have a LOT of bits of indigo fabrics, and no great desire for patchworky clothing. I've loved that design for years, and resisted starting on it, because a. I'm not much of a patchwork person having only ever made two quilts in my whole life, and b. a superstitious fear that making such a quilt will seal my fate as forever single. But seriously, even if forever single, having another lovely bedcovering would allow me to enjoy the indigo bits much more than if they are in storage boxes. I'm using the freezer paper method to keep my pieced arcs in a tidy fashion, as I don't expect to finish quickly, but this will be yet another way to make progress on actually using my stored fabrics...
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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 #7 painted
2nd windowshade yard waste bin
5 clothespin bedcompost bins moved bag to Goodwill
6 charter #8 painted roses pruned
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7 a dozen dishcloths mended denim pinafore
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8 x embroidered mitts x
9 x
molar cavity x
10 x ghwazee coat altered x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - cooler weather allows me to begin wearing layers, and it was cool enough this evening to actually wear my handknit cardigan

Saturday, September 28, 2019

let there be songs to fill the air...

in which our plucky heroine notes the end of an era and I've been listening to these songs for many a decade...

"such a long long time to be gone, and a short time to be there..."
...being online only occasionally, I just found out that Robert Hunter died earlier this week, and while he isn't in the bright world anymore, his songs will live on...















Thursday, September 26, 2019

ramping back up to functionality

in which our plucky heroine took a break...

Yesterday I had dental work done in the morning, and was feeling sort of wiped out when I made it home after noon. Laid down for a rest and the next thing I knew it was "7" on the clock;  at first I couldn't tell if it was evening, or if I had slept until the next morning! took it easy the rest of the evening. Today my jaw, and cheek, and the side of my mouth are still really sore.

Monday was Scribal paint night, and I started on the eighth painted charter of this year. I finished it this morning. This one is the "Order of the Bell and Chain" for the Barony of Stromgard. As is my wont, I tried a new technique. I first painted the hippocampus shaded in solid blues, and once that was dry added the whitework scales and fin lines. Finetec Coliro metallic added some additional highlights. Pretty pleased with the effect!
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Hmmm... not sure why my photos are so blurry*, though it may have to do with using a different computer and a different operating system... will try something new later on. Can only spend so much time online each day, as there is actual work to be done as well... more later!
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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 #7 painted
2nd windowshade yard waste bin
5 clothespin bedcompost bins moved bag to Goodwill
6 charter #8 painted roses pruned
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7 x mended denim pinafore
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8 x embroidered mitts x
9 x
molar cavity 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 - art supplies make me happy, and that I have a paintbrush with a good point lets me paint details

*if you click on the photos, they show on a new page in clear detail

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wishful Wednesday - dental dreams

in which our plucky heroine bares her teeth...

Today, I went to the dental school and had the other cavity filled. This necessitated 4 novacaine shots. I'm very proud that I was able to maintain equanimity and coped well. I'm also really pleased with the way that my dental student has been able to respond to my phobic fears, and gives me the shots slowly enough that it helps ameliorate the pain of recieving the injections.

Now mind, I have taken as good care of my teeth as possible, with daily brushing and frequent flossing (and now added nightly waterpik.) and, ever since the ACA allowed dental cleaning I've been doing that as well. Sadly, the years of not being able to afford regular cleanings took their toll.

Ever since my last exam at the dental school, when my formerly cracked and repaired tooth was found to be possibly the reason why that part of my mouth is not responding well to treatment, and may be harboring infection, I've been having literal dental nightmares. Sleep is not restful. So yesterday when I was there to have my cavity filled, I had an opportunity to get a little more information from both my dental student and from the supervising faculty about possible futures, which helped, a bit...

Even so, I am appalled to learn that after turning 65, even the minimal dental assistance of a biannual cleaning, cavity filling, and possible coverage for getting teeth pulled, stops. After 65, nada...  it is all to be paid by the individual, irrespective of their financial resources.

My next step is to follow up on the referral for the special complicated dimensional x-ray imaging to find out if my tooth is actually cracked all the way or not, which determines future options. There is no coverage even now for any diagnostics or perio/endo work. Poor people are just supposed to have teeth pulled out, not repaired.

I am grumpy, and afraid to find out what the cost of even this informative procedure will be. The cost to my health of having a systemic infection and jawbone damage does not bear thinking about, however. My friends and I have a saying "don't die of stupidity"...

Today's gratitude -  finding out that my dental student is 50+ and this is her second career. May explain why she is so good at paying attention and listening to my suggestions, in a way that younger folks have not been.

Monday, September 23, 2019

bracketed by handcraft

in which our plucky heroine takes a short journey...

Went down to Eugene over the weekend. The grasslands on the way there were very green and velvety, more like springtime than autumn. Had a great visit with Rafny, as well as a chance to spend an evening at Oscars House. Raven gave me a Useful Tutorial on how to do Google Slides, which will help with my presentation for Collegeium on the history of enameling. On the way home to Acorn Cottage, had a good conversation about yard/garden concepts and usage, much food for thought.
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Before going to Eugene I made a miniature bed as a guest gift, using Ann Wood's tutorial. It was a little complicated, but fun to do, and the results were very charming. I hope to make more of these as well as another one or two of the tiny rag dolls (since I gave Hazel and Zinnia to Kestrel) as it is most tempting to delve back into the whimsey of the small as a respite from the greater world...

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My handwork project for the bus ride south was to finish the "wooly tattoo" embroidery on my autumn Log Cabin Mitts. Pretty happy with how it turned out. I've four pairs of the mitts and each are very different. I'd not tried embroidery on wool knitwear before, but the effect is most pleasing. I ended up using a lighter blue to outline the floral motifs, as my choice of colors was perhaps too subtle...

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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 #7 painted
2nd windowshade yard waste bin
5 clothespin bedcompost bins moved bag to Goodwill
6 x roses pruned
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7 x mended denim pinafore
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8 x embroidered mitts 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 - the kindness of friends

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine looks back at a busy week...

On Monday Jess and I went to Scribal Paint Night. I made a good start on Charter # 7, which I then finished up during the week. This one was fun, and my design almost seemed to paint itself. Whoever designed this one did a really good job, as all the spaces are a good size to paint, while allowing elaboration.
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Over the past weekend, Mindy came down from OlyWa and helped a lot with the yard... There was masses of weeding done, all the windfalls went into the greenwaste bin, a modicum of pruning happened, and she moved all the compost bins, including the new one, along the fenceline in the backyard, as well as shifted and mixed the partially composted yard debris. I helped with the pruning, and put pounds of plums into the freezer. I also started re-framing some of the smaller art prints that are needing better frames

As well, I continued to work on the lilac wool 16th c German kirtle for Maeva, which I eventually completed during the week. Lots of handwork on that garment, as the cartridge pleating can only be done by hand, ditto the hemline...Now I can get moving on the brown wool overdress. which needs sleeves and skirt still. Though this is a massive project with many parts, I am definitely enjoying the process.

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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 #7 painted
2nd windowshade yard waste bin
5 xcompost bins moved -
6 x roses pruned
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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...

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
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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
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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...