Tuesday, November 30, 2021

a dog on my doorstep

in which our plucky heroine takes a small detour...

meet the new denizen of Nandina's world -  a surprise packet arrived in the post box today, containing this charming Japanese carved wood Akita dog, just 3" tall at the tip of its ears. No note inside, a delightful mystery, edited: gift from my friend Eva... I was imagining that someone might have been emulating the spirit of our beloved late friend Russ, who sent anonymous gifts at random to people...)
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my friend Mari created a new holiday quite a few years ago, and it is one of my very favorite holidays - Ursus! ... here is what she has to say about it:

Hello Beautiful People! Have you heard about Ursus? Ursus is a long holiday that extends from Nov 30 to Jan 11. Why is it the middle of the silly season? The season of rushing and buying and frantic sewing? End of the year deadlines and family drama? Because Ursus is to remind us to find our inner calm- take time to relax- we celebrate by taking time to read a book just for fun, take a nap or have a cuppa with a friend. In the North we snuggle up with cozy socks and blankets and enjoy a bit of hibernation away from the cold. In the South, we might go to the beach, lounge in the hot tub, have a cool drink with mates. "But I don't have time to relax!!" Mate, no one else can relax for you. The stressors will all be there when the time you take is done- but you will be keener and better able to take on the world. So take a moment, take a deep breath and enjoy life and all it's wonder.
HAPPY URSUS!
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~ creativity challenge ~
Miniature (faux) hemostat sawn from a scrap of pewter sheet. A friend asked me if I could make one for the Frida Kahlo ofrenda she is creating... (the same friend I made a set of miniature papel picado for last week)
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 roses kerchief leather thimblerecycle bin
2 6 jars persimmon ketchupteal popover dressyard waste bin
3 6 jars pickled beetsjelly cloth
recycle bin
4 5 jars pear chunks 30 persimmons dried -
5 8 jars quince jelly syrup
many persimmons dried
-
6 sparkle horse kerchief
x
-
7 miniature hemostat
x x
8 - 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 - on the first day of Ursus, I let myself sleep in. I am grateful that I have a life where that is an option, in a world where so many people do not.

Monday, November 29, 2021

enough is as good as a feast

in which our plucky heroine is thinking about wardrobe planning...

I don't need to participate in SWAP, since I certainly do not need eleven or more new garments. This is, however, the time of year when I cogitate about clothing. My long ago desire to have enough clothing so that laundry could be done less frequently has finally come to pass, and now my personal sewing is mostly focused on replacing what is too worn to mend, or filling holes in my wardrobe (hello raincoat, I hear you).

It was interesting to fill out a grid of what I mostly have, with one axes being my three primary colorways, and the other axes being types of garments...

~{ 3 season wardrobe }~
# BLACK/GREY
TEAL/INDIGO BROWN
pinafores
grey linen
black linen
black corduroy
black rib
dk denim
denim jacquard
turquoise essex
brown cavehorse
brown corduroy
blouses
black/grey flannel
horses
ditsy rickrack
MCM floral
prize floral
black/brown flannel
mushrooms
brown oxford
tops
many t-necks
wintertime
blk/grey stripe
indigo/black plaid
AC crow
30 Year
tie dye vine
lt mushroom
dk mushroom
t-neck
AC dot stripe
t-neck
outerwear
chopshop
classic
blackhorse
akita patchwork
stripey vest
galaxy lopi
solbein
classic vest
AC roses

dresses
lt grey stripe
multi stripe
batik
pinstripe

leggings 5 pair

1 pair
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This sort of planning chart helps me think clearly about what I might want to make next, although some of what appear to be gaps are not, actually, when I stand in front of the closet choosing what to wear, since almost all of my clothing coordinates well enough to please my artist eye. I don't plan on making any more knit tops, since the drawer that holds them is chock full. Over the course of the next year, I plan on making one new pinafore, from the dk teal linen, and an AC jacket featuring the teal jersey,  because more than once I've wished for just those particular garments. Some of the knit fabric on the resource shelves is going to become more leggings, in the teal/indigo group, and maybe some with brown accent trim on the bottoms (since I don't have enough brown knit for a whole pair) Once I get a decent toile for a raincoat, I will probably make up the brown Goretex fabric, as I rather desperately need a replacement for the ancient 20+ year old very ratty looking outdoor jacket.

So looking at this and thinking... Since I have the niches in my everyday wardrobe filled with enough garments, the most useful use of my personal sewing time would be to get started on a coat toile for a raincoat. Now to work on shifting my brain to where it might enjoy making (probably multiple) toiles. There is a reason that I do most of my personal sewing with TNT patterns. I find fitting a new pattern to be challenging, with all the faffing about with mirrors and using my camera and tripod, and so on. But it would be lovely to just be able to have a new, well fitting raincoat. The only way around it is through...

Between the larger garments, what I really want to be sewing are smaller things... a new hat or two, some bedsocks, a winter kerchief in grey/black (now that I have finished the two AC ones I started earlier this month, they are in almost constant rotation, being warmer than the printed cotton lawn lawn ones I wear all summer). I'm also going to dig out the wonderful yarn I bought last winter, and start on a new cardigan... with audiobooks to keep me company.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
I never get tired of moss worlds. They always remind me of this song...
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After several years of not doing one, I have begun planning for a 2022 calendar. Returning to one of my early themes, it will be another alphasketch, with plants and animals and lettering.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 roses kerchief leather thimblerecycle bin
2 6 jars persimmon ketchupteal popover dressyard waste bin
3 6 jars pickled beetsjelly cloth
recycle bin
4 5 jars pear chunks 30 persimmons dried -
5 8 jars quince jelly syrup
many persimmons dried
-
6 sparkle horse kerchief
x
-
7 - x x
8 - 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 - I have enough. Enough food, enough shelter, enough people who care about me. Enough that I am cogitating on how I can find ways to make a difference in a world that needs all of us doing what we can to help heal what is broken and care for what needs cared for

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine appreciates the moment...

Thursday night I had a small, albeit special, festal dinner: stuffed turkey thigh roulade, wild rice, coleslaw with persimmon, and quincemeat crisp. The coleslaw was in lieu of the green salad I had planned, since my grocery order was missing any of the lettuce on my list, but instead the cabbage was bigger than my head! The quincemeat was from a jar put up a number of years ago, when I had added spiced pear to the mixture, and was especially good. I should make some spiced/pickled  pears again this year, for the next batch of quincemeat,  I'll need star anise, stick cinnamon, and white balsamic vinegar, none of which I currently have, and that my local store doesn't carry. Time to find a different resource pathway.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
It has been oddly warm for the last two days, and so going out for walks requires less in the way of layering. Nandina and Almandine begged to come along, so I tucked them safely in my front pocket. When we arrived where this tree overhangs the sidewalk, they wanted a chance to clamber among the branches, safely shielded from both the passers-by and any chance met corvids...
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I, for some reason, decided that getting a new pattern, the "Remy Raglan Top" from Sew House Seven, would be a good idea. I suspect that I want to have a number of interesting projects this winter*. It would be useful, certainly, to have a TNT pattern for a woven raglan top. I hope it won't take too many iterations of toile to get it to fit me comfortably, the pattern had had many excellent reviews, so I am hopeful!
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It is being a bit difficult to find items for my gifty wishlist. True, there are really big things on the housey list: A new roof, window awnings, insulation frames to fit into the windows... but the sort of smaller treats and necessities are a challenge.

I dug into Google Docs a bit, and lo and behold it isn't quite the monster I had built it up to be in my mind. Still not sure how to format the actual pages layout to print out as needed, but I was able to do some basic formatting on the one page in the document so far (font choice, justification).   As long as we can get everyone to send in their writings in the next two weeks, the gift for Dad will be on time...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 roses kerchief leather thimblerecycle bin
2 6 jars persimmon ketchupteal popover dressyard waste bin
3 6 jars pickled beetsjelly cloth
recycle bin
4 5 jars pear chunks 30 persimmons dried -
5 8 jars quince jelly syrup
many persimmons dried
-
6 sparkle horse kerchief
x
-
7 - x x
8 - 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 - Noticing that, aside from the really large tasks/items of house repair and refurbishment, that it has been challenging for me to find small useful items of beauty to add to my wishlist. Simply because there are so many niches that are already filled, or wishes from former years that have been granted.

* (see also my desire to learn how to make block prints in multiple colors)