Wednesday, October 31, 2018

on a misty moisty Samhain

in which our plucky heroine offers up a little seasonal entertainment, re=posted from last year, because I still love all these things so much...


Tam Lin- from Liege & Lief by Fairport Convention...
I first heard this back in 1972 when I first went away to college, and they joined my short list of dearly beloved favorites, along with Pentangle and Steeleye Span
※※※

It isn't my holiday, not being part of that culture, but the imagery in these two short videos is so sweetly heartwarming... we all miss our dearloves who have left the bright world behind


※※※


Are You Happy Now, by Richard Shindell
only indirectly about this holiday season, and rather bittersweet, like the crunching of leaves underfoot...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

planning for SWAP 2019 - part 2

In which our plucky heroine distracts self from worries by planning wardrobe sewing...

My inspiration image for SWAP 2019 is this lovely artwork by Chad Alice Hagen, (which was inspired by this poem) with all the colors in my palette: black to grey, dark indigo to light blue, deep chocolate brown through cafe au lait, with accents of turquoise, and cream:
.
Since I don't actually own that artwork, I am using (to guide my fabric and color choices) my Solitary Foxen handknit scarf...

So, looking at the fabrics I pulled from the resource center, lets think about what I might actually sew... The brown babywale corduroy is going to become a pinafore, probably in the same style as the denim jacquard pinafore I just finished last month. The brown pinafore will be joined by the dark denim pinafore I made in 2017, which has turned out to be a real wardrobe workhorse; the two pinafores will be the "backbone" of my SWAP collection.

The printed fabrics are all going to be tops of one variety or another. The beautiful cotton knit, taupe printed with feathers in teal and other colors, will simply become one of my TNT long sleeve knit tops, possibly with a turtleneck collar added. The dark blue floral cotton, the pale blue dotted with brown and cream horses, and the off white with little botanical drawings of mushrooms in sepia will become either variations on the TNT peplum blouse (itself a variant of my everyday dress), or another simple button front blouse if I decided to go down that rabbit hole.

The indigo batik, and the indigo pinstripe are both going to become TNT everyday dresses, as there are currently NO everyday dresses in my closet at all. Because dresses don't get made from fabrics as robust as pinafores, they wear out faster, and l really need to focus on getting that part of my wardrobe replenished. The other difficulty being that I don't have a lot of dress lengths of fabric in the resource center.

The handwoven boiled wool I am hoping to turn into a cardigan jacket, by combining the woven fabric for the body and hand knitting stripey sleeves. I know darn good and well that knitting an entire cardigan would be a repeat of last year, with the one project taking up all the time and bandwidth, but just sleeves could be transit handwork... we shall see....

There are a few other possible fabrics to use in this collection. I pulled the linen textured weave, in dark blue and taupe, thinking it could be part of this. I also have the indigo/black waffle weave fabric that didn't get used last year, as well as plain indigo linen in various shades, that were/are intended for SCA clothing, but could become a dress made in rectangular construction and hence suitable for either everyday or historical garb.

I've also been contemplating making a vest, possibly a long vest. Given how short I am, vests need to be either really cropped, or fairly long with a silhouette like the pinafore, in order to look well on me. Actually I've never actually made a long vest, although it looks well in sketches. Might be a fun addition? 
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
back door latch
shelves to Goodwill
5 Ellie apron dresssquirrel proofing yard waste bin
6 another Marya cuff x folding camp stool
7 Isabel trim x -
8 Thora fabric trim x -
9 Thora red border trim
x x
10 Thora green border trim x x
11 Thora blue cuff trim x x
12 Isabel forepart x x
13 stripe T shirt Mom x x
14 plaid T shirt me x x
15 x x x

Monday, October 29, 2018

planning for SWAP 2019 - part 1

in which our plucky  heroine starts thinking about the next iteration of "Sewing With A Plan"...

Mudcat posted the rules for SWAP 2019:

2019 Seasonal Designer Collection II SWAP Rules

You are still the Designer. Create a cohesive seasonal collection of eleven garments of your choice.

Plan:
Choose an inspiration piece of your choice --  Could be a scarf, artwork, fabric print, photograph, etc
Choose two neutrals that coordinate with your inspiration piece
Add 1-5 accent and/or print pieces that will work with your inspiration piece (ie: not clash)
Make 9 core pieces
Create multiple outfits using at least two core garment items that work for your personal style
Make 2 wild card pieces that can be used alone, with core items or with other items in your wardrobe
Wild card pieces should still blend in with inspiration piece
Combining fabrics is fine
No restrictions on type of garments

Rules
Sewing begins on 26 December 2018 and ends 30 April 2019
One garment may be completed by today (28 October 2018)
One garment may be started on 29 October 2018 and completed prior to 26 December 2018
One RTW garment may be included (it can be existing or purchased at any time before or during the SWAP)
Garments knitted, crocheted or woven by you may be included (limit of two since we are a sewing site)
Garments such as poncho, cape or wrap must include at least two pattern pieces, be one of your knitted, crocheted or woven items or have stitch work done by you to be considered a garment
Neutrals do not need to be the same fabrics
Neutrals may be textured
You will need a photo of your inspiration piece


In my current wardrobe there already are plenty of pinafores and a fair number of knit tops and popover summer dresses; what is missing are woven tops, everyday dresses and a few more loose cropped leggings. Another cardigan or jacket would be good, as would finally actually finishing the rain capelet (which made it all the way through last winter with just raw edges and a hole cut in the center of the fabric, and still garnered me random compliments from strangers about my stylish garb). The "fabric resource center" aka stash shelves, have a useful assortment of possible fabrics in various colors and prints patiently waiting for me to choose a grouping.




I've been gathering links to various potentially helpful tutorials and resources:



Sunday, October 28, 2018

portable soup and other random dietary notions

Last year there was one persimmon on the tree in the parking strip. Last year was the first year there were any persimmons on the persimmon tree. This year however... the tree is COVERED with persimmons:

※※※

A while back, there was a semi-successful kitchen experiment to create "turkey dinner" pot stickers. The regular pork/shrimp asian pot stickers are an Acorn Cottage staple, made up in a batch of 50 to 60 and frozen for those meals when there is no cope left. The new flavor was pretty good, with dark ground turkey, small cubes of steamed sweet potato, garden herbs, and dried cranberries, but it lacked the sort of deeper turkey flavor that I was hoping for.

Since sticking gravy into such a small package would be difficult, the idea of turkey bouillon came to mind. I even found some online that would be perfect, but alas, I wasted three hours today traveling to and from the location listed on the website, only to find that the only shop in Portland that supposedly carried it, didn't.

Grumpy but undaunted, there are now two big turkey wings in the crock pot, boiling down overnight to turn into flavorful concentrated broth, which can be cooked down even further into what used to be called portable soup. The plan is to store the extreme concentrate in the freezer, and the next time that making up pot stickers is on the agenda, to attempt a second go round at the turkey dinner variety...
※※※

I've been making some changes in what, when, and how I eat, due to needing better control of my blood sugar chemistry. This has been a real challenge, as many of my favorite things to eat have become problematic. In addition, my doctor put me on medication that has also been very challenging to adjust to.

I've had to basically cut most "carbs" from my daily meals, so grains and food made from grain is off the table, aside from my spoonful of rolled oats in the morning and the pot sticker wrappers. The shock of my diagnosis, and the effects of the medication, have destroyed my appetite. In addition, milk is no longer a beverage of choice, water being substituted (though dairy is still very much in evidence). My goal is to help my body heal, as best it can, and get back to a healthy for me weight, and hopefully stop taking medications.

In the last two months, I have lost eleven pounds, and seen my blood sugar return to a healthy range, and with continuing great effort, I intend to continue this process through the end of the year and beyond. Recording my daily numbers in a journal chart, in a similar way to my SMART goals, has helped my motivation. Also, I keep two large glass pitchers of water on the countertop, which gives me both a visual reminder to drink water and a visual marker of how much I am drinking each day. "Proficere lente sed proficere" or as we say in the common tongue "incremental progress is still progress"
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
back door latch
shelves to Goodwill
5 Ellie apron dresssquirrel proofing yard waste bin
6 another Marya cuff x -
7 Isabel trim x -
8 Thora fabric trim x -
9 Thora red border trim
x x
10 Thora green border trim x x
11 Thora blue cuff trim x x
12 Isabel forepart x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x






Wednesday, October 24, 2018

my handy rubber mallet*

in which our plucky heroine is a bit of a block head...

This last week has been all about block printing, first making trim for Isabel, and then a whole assortment of trim fabrics for Thora. Blue Cedar House folks are going to the Baronial Ball in November, in Glymm Mere, and asked for some "fancy" party clothes...

Thora will be getting a new Rus/Slavic style overgown, slightly less than full length, and her best underdress will be embellished with a wide band of printed trim which will be visible at the hemline.

Started the large motif trim fabric for Thora, first pass is black ink, on yellow/red shot cotton. Rampant mice are from Thora's heraldry, the central tree is a heraldic representation of Blue Cedar, the household name...

Five blocks into printing the largest and most elaborate trim for Thora. I didn't realise how long this process would take, but am quite pleased with how the pattern is gradually taking on the appearance of historical silk samite, yet suitably altered to reflect the preferences of my dear pal. Still yet to do the yellow overlay on the purple, and add the red dots to the yellow circles... (note: we decided to use green dots instead of red, see image below)

Completed elaborate trim fabric for Thora's new garb. "Si moriturus es, morere plenus tortae", or in the common tongue "if you are going to die, die full of pie" which is the household motto for Blue Cedar House, which dates to the Turkey Day dinner four years ago, with five adults, two children, and three dessert pies. The finished fabric uses six blocks, four colors, on red/yellow shot cotton.

I carved all the blocks, the largest one, circular with large and small dots, is 8" in diameter. This is my first time using Speedball textile ink, oil-based but water cleanup, and it has been really nice to work with. Washing the blocks and tools is really simple, and the odor is not objectionable; the ink has a much longer open working time than textile paint. The drawback is that the ink needs to cure for up to a week, as it gradually dries, oxidises and becomes permanent which means finding a spot to keep the fabric while it is curing, the plus is that it does not need to be heat set.
※※※
The red border printing for Thora's gown - two blocks, printed in purple and blue on red/blue shot cotton. Band is about 2 1/2" wide. I printed the central purple motifs and then realised I needed something different than what I had for interstitial blocks, so quickly carved a chunk of dollar store eraser into the "gothic arch" motif and carried on printing, like you do...
※※※
An even harder to photograph color, the green border trim pieces are shot green/red cotton, not oddly grey, printed in green, yellow, and black.
※※※
The last trim panels for Thora. These will be three blocks in all black, on shot blue/black silk. That small quatrefoil block in the foreground is one of the most useful in my collection, only about an inch square, it comes in handy for both simple borders and as an interstitial block in larger patterns...
The rich effect of black on blue/black really delights me, as well as being able to give this fabric (originally her wedding dress) a second life. The central motif in this iteration is based on a medieval Armenian six pointed star/wheel of eternity
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
back door latch
shelves to Goodwill
5 Ellie apron dresssquirrel proofing yard waste bin
6 another Marya cuff x -
7 Isabel trim x -
8 Thora fabric trim x -
9 Thora red border trim
x x
10 Thora green border trim x x
11 Thora blue cuff trim x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

* rather than push the inked blocks into the fabric by hand, which quickly leads to sore hands, I set the blocks in place and smack them with my 8oz rubber mallet. Tool Girl for the win! I've been doing my block printing on the standing workbench in the workroom as it is quite sturdy and stable. A double layer of craft felt underneath the fabric to be printed adds just enough give to allow the blocks to print cleanly. I will say, though, that standing for that long on hard concrete makes me rather sore, so a padded mat in front of the bench would be a good addition.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

green in winter - a Monday task

in which our plucky heroine takes precautions...

The city is full of squirrels, and there are few predators to keep them under control. The salad table on the front porch is a good spot to grow greens, as long as I can keep the squirrels from digging holes, throwing the dirt on the ground, and tearing the baby plants up by the roots. Bird netting was added to the squirrel "cages", which cover the flats where the new plant starts were planted today. The one set of flats is now planted with tah tsoi, swiss chard, and mizuna...
...next up will be attaching bird netting to the other cage, and planting green onion starts. The lacinato starts will go in a different planter, and the small planter in front of the porch has feral chickweed just transplanted into it (also protected with a bit of old fence mesh). Hopefully, small amounts of fresh greens will help me stay healthy this winter

Sunday, October 21, 2018

more than a few Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine has a busy weekend...

as it always is when one of the Blue Cedar folks shows up to help... We ran a LOT of errands, including scooping up Ursel for some social time on Saturday, which was lovely. There was much yardwork, with leaves raked, driveway crevices and blueberry zone weeded, yards either mowed (front) or weed whacked (back), and the Earthbox planters moved to the backyard so that they are ready to be filled and have garlics planted. The emptying also entailed re-planting the corcosmia bulbs in a different spot, so some are in the front yard, and some in the side yard. In addition, I weeded around the tarragon, removing masses of chickweed, some of which I replanted in the other narrow raised planter near the porch. Chickweed is a mild crunch green which keeps growing all winter. If I can encourage the bits to reroot near the front porch, that will be a good thing.

There has been additional progress made on squirrel proofing the salad table, with new support structures lashed together that fit above the planting flats and hold bird netting. The idea is that squirrels will then no longer be able to tear out my baby plants in order to dig holes in the dirt. Hoping that the greens will take root and grow, to add nutritious leafy bits to my winter food. The chickweed planter also now has a layer of heavy mesh draped across it to keep the "tree-rats" from their depredations.
※※※

Sunday we made the terrible mistake of going to Portland Nursery on the same day as their apple festival, which made the simple task of getting some compost and potting soil vastly complicated, but we persevered. It would have been smarter to just have gone to Linnton Feed for all the things, since we ended up there anyway to get wood shavings, and also found, for the refurbished salad table, some of the nicest baby winter greens starts: tah tsoi, lacinato, swiss chard, and mizuna...
※※※

The only other major thing accomplished this weekend was getting all the block printed trim completed for the Viking Age forepart I am making for Isabel. Was my first time using the oil-based/water-cleanup textile ink from Speedball. It works well, and really is easy to clean up afterwards. The softer brayer did just fine for spreading the ink, and since I lacked a good smooth plate to roll the ink out, the back of a large, rarely used sheet cake pan was an acceptable substitute - indeed that pan may will become part of the printing gear instead!

beginning the trillium border


trillium border completed


elaborate trim on shot silk

※※※


October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
back door latch
shelves to Goodwill
5 Ellie apron dresssquirrel proofing yard waste bin
6 another Marya cuff x -
7 Isabel trim 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










Thursday, October 18, 2018

assorted kibbles and bits

in which our plucky heroine splurged and bought some new fabrics...

These are both midweight cotton/lycra knits, suitable and destined for new long sleeve knit tops. Just couldn't resist the assorted botanical mushrooms on a pale turquoise background, or the dark and light turquoise feathers on a pale grey background.

It is hard to find printed knits in either fabric or RTW that I find appealing (most are either too tacky/juvenile, or too angular, or not colors that will play nicely with my colorways); these will coordinate well with the rest of my wardrobe*, and have the sort of rounded subtle print aspect with just a bit of whimsy that ticks a lot of my style checkboxes.

*current pinafores are in several different shades of black, dark denim, brown, and grey... (future plans for another brown corduroy and perhaps the heavy black/turquoise shot linen)
※※※

It has been a while, but I dug out the magnetic test tube flower vase and snipped off two sprigs of the hardy fuchsia... since the cabinets here at Acorn Cottage are all steel, magnets are Useful Indeed...

※※※

Well that was a bit frustrating... I went to the local Footwise shoe shop, and the cute Keen slip on shoes I was hoping would fit were a total non-starter, and the other several styles of shoes I also tried on were just as bad. Getting my old Birkies some new footbeds is perhaps another possible option, as is saving the dosh for some Birkie clogs, sigh... it is starting to feel like learning to make my own shoes might not be crazy....
※※※

I'm part of the sewing/embellishment team making clothing for Marya's elevation in December. (she is a dear friend, and it is an honor to help make her ceremony extra special) I finished the cuff embroidery this week. Working with the DMC metallic floss is super annoying, the effect of the gold on red is so very splendid it is worth it.

With the cuffs completed, the next pieces are the two narrow 1" wide panels that will decorate either side of the neck opening. About halfway done with the first neckline panel. For this design, which is simpler than the cuffs, I merely mark the lines with white Prismacolor art pencil instead of the stitch-through-tracing-paper method.

※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
x
-
5 Ellie apron dressx -
6 another Marya cuff 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


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday tidbits


in which our plucky heroine trundles along making progress ...


This last Saturday, my friend Lawrence came over to lay out and cut the fabric for his new SCA cloak, since Acorn Cottage has space for such activity. I felt good that I could be of help.

I also started on the new apron dress for Genivieve, made of leftover burgundy linen from the gown I made for her mother Isabel earlier this year. The tablet woven trim is a sample fragment from when I was learning tablet weaving over twenty years ago... there is something to be said for saving ALL THE BITS. I am glad it will be of use, now.
※※※

The last six weeks have been a bit more challenge than usual, as some new health issues required me to start taking a blood sugar medication, which I am having trouble tolerating. Bah. Most folks have no trouble with it at all, but I am, as usual, just terribly sensitive. Went in to the clinic today to discuss strategy with my primary care doc. My hope is that in time, I will be able to discontinue taking this, if I can get my blood chemistry to cooperate, as the side effects are not making me a happy camper.
※※※

These are not the usual autumn crocus (colchicum) but look similar to saffron crocus. They showed up down the street in someone's parking strip, and I am not sure what they are, other than pretty
※※※

interesting to look back on my wardrobe planning from two years ago, and think about what I planned actually was made in the interim, and what has changed, and what still remains to be completed... I have not changed my chosen colors, or the types of clothing I like to wear. 

A few of the garments I made that year have worn out: the grey corduroy pinafore, and the turquoise dress. (that batch of corduroy just was not really robust, as the recent pinafore only lasted a year before becoming badly threadbare, but some of the other ones, the dark denim pinafore, the brown twill pinafore, and both hemp knit tops are still in strong rotation. The cotton dresses have worn to the point of being transformed into slip-dresses instead.

I could still use a good black cardigan, a black linen shirt, and there is a new black tote/backpack in the planning stages. Adding another knit top in brown, with black Alabama Chanin style applique embellishment could be a late winter sort of handwork project. The black flannel with brown stars isn't actually enough fabric to make a dress, so it is on the current short list to make some autumnal shirts. At this point I could use another pair of clogs/shoes/birkies, and am looking at this pair of Keen mules.
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
x
-
5 Ellie apron dressx -
6 x 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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

moar wardrobe planning

in which our plucky heroine cogitates on clothing...

While Janice at The Vivienne Files is a genius with coordinated wardrobe planning, my personal style is more "urban fairytale" than classic or corporate. Over on Stitcher's Guild, Lisa started a thread about taking a year to follow along with the 12 Month, 12 Outfits For each month, Janice chooses a seasonal grouping of clothing and accessories that coordinates with a Hermes scarf that she picked at the beginning of the year. By doing that, she has a built-in color scheme, and overall look for each wardrobe.
.

Well, I already have a chosen limited color palette for my wardrobe, that contains an assortment of neutral colors and accents, all of which work well together. Participating in the Stitcher's Guild thread will allow me to enjoy the camaraderie while substituting garments that fill the same niches. So, lets see what the October concept looks like... basically: shirt, pants, sweater, tote, and necklace.

shirt - I've a piece of flannel, a black/brown print (allover tiny stars), or some brown oxford cloth, both of which would coordinate with all of my pinafores. A simple way to start on a woven top would be to use the bodice of my everyday dress, with a peplum instead of the skirt. Did that once, and while it isn't a favorite look by itself, under a pinafore it works quite well, and allows using smaller lengths of fabric than a whole dress requires. It also would be possible to add in a front button band, and maybe a flat collar, to make it more like a shirt/blouse.

pants - don't wear them, so will substitute one of my already made pinafores. I've two different indigo denim ones, a chocolate brown, and several different ones in black.

sweater - will use one of the cardigans I already have

tote - I'd like to make a new tote bag, as mine is years old, and while still serviceable, is getting rather worn. Perhaps a convertible tote/backpack, like the Knitter's Backpack...

necklace - hmmmm... probably enough jewelry here already, so no need to add another project to the already full remainder of the month

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

defrutum, or maybe saba

in which our plucky heroine appreciates the micro-homestead...

Five pounds of grapes cooked down into eleven small jars of grape syrup. Since I didn't measure the original volume of grape juice liquid, it might be saba, but might be defrutum... In any or either case, it will be a useful condiment and ingredient for making Roman era food, particularly should there be another Saturnalia party in December... Apparently it was also used in Renaissance Italy, as well as, I imagine, other Mediterranean cuisines. Here I simply poured a spoonful over a small dish of Greek yoghurt topped with the last of the black figs from the garden.
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 grape syrupgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 charter # 12
x
-
5 xx -
6 x 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


Sunday, October 7, 2018

bizzy like a bee

in which our plucky heroine keeps busy...

"where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?" -  as a way of distracting self maintaining sanity in these difficult times, self is keeping busy with autumnal chores, beauty for friends, and minor household improvements. Because however dire the larger world, some things still need done, as long as there is life and breath...

The first harvest from Feral Grapevine yielded just over five pounds of small seedy grapes. According to Mr Dawson, they are not wine grapes but some variety of concord grapes. No matter to me, as am not fond of wine anyway, and it takes a lot more than five pounds to make even a modest amount of wine. This will be turned into grape syrup instead, which can be used as a medieval or ancient condiment and ingredient.
※※※

Finally, plant hooks in ceiling! I've been meaning to do this for ages now, though had forgotten how very much of a literal pain the the neck it is (bending partially backwards at the top of the stepladder, while either drilling holes in the ceiling, or screwing toggle bolts into place at full extension of my tiny dinosaur arms. It is worth it though:
oh gosh, painting the walls a color other than "former owner white" would really make a difference! The curtains are actually a nice dark blue, not black, and the plan has been to paint the living room a soft medium stone grey/taupe color. Maybe later on this year, as right now all my "free time" must needs go to getting the assorted garments and embellishments made for Blue Cedar folks etc before mid-November and the start of SCA holiday events...
※※※

speaking of which, the first of five pieces of embroidery for Marya is finished. This is the embroidered cuff for the rubackha (silk undergown) which will be white silk with red silk trim. The embroidery is all done in DMC metallic floss, which is quite challenging to work with. The cuff embroidery took a week of intermittent transit and waiting room stitchery, so at that rate the five pieces should be done in plenty of time for Marya's elevation in mid December.
※※※
October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 Marya cuff plant hooksbag to Goodwill
3 xgrapes picked bag to Goodwill
4 x
x
-
5 xx -
6 x 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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

SWAP 2019 - first thoughts

in which our plucky heroine thinks ahead...

really, what I want to sew is more patterned/print fabric tops and dresses than the tentative concept would "allow", assuming that we use a similar plan to SWAP 2018. I already have enough solid color pinafores and knit tops in my wardrobe. Here is a plan that would be suitable, and would also fill in some of the gaps I do have, while not requiring any fabric shopping other than notions, and only requiring one new pattern to be trialed. This will allow time for adding interesting detailing to garments, and time for at least one time consuming garment technique (the hand-knit jacket sleeves)

BROWN
corduroy pinafore
woven oxford cloth blouse
? or RTW turtleneck

DENIM
already made dk denim pinafore
indigo pinstripe dress
jacket

ACCENTS
turquoise pinafore
navy floral print blouse
horses print blouse

WILDCARD
brown wool jacket multicolor knit sleeves
brown indigo teal knit top

ACCESSORY
either a new hat, or a new linen gauze cowl
(could be brown or denim)

This will require serious effort of knitting the sleeves, and serious effort fitting a woven blouse pattern. I recommend self to be starting on the sleeve knitting as soon as the actual rules are posted. I strongly recommend starting on the blouse muslin process ASAP, if that pattern development process has been dealt with, then the whole SWAP will have a chance of actually being finished, which hasn't happened in several years. Not to complain, mind, since every garment made this year or last year has been in constant steady wear. I am feeling pleased that, at least for now, I have a good handle on what I like to wear, what suits my life activities, and a gradually expanding but limited palette of chosen colors. Wardrobe planning works!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

wishful Wednesday

IN which our plucky heroine wants what isn't there...

this has always been my dream, sometimes seemed almost close enough to touch, but never actually true in the bright world. Some wounds we just learn to live with...


Take Us Home - Alan Doyle (lyrics here)
※※※

After adding my SMART goals for September to the year chart, it seemed really interesting to me that this year I am well into the stretch goal section for "things made", but still really struggling with the "things gone" category. Not that there is not a lack of things to remove still from Acorn Cottage, but I suspect that the combination of not having online coaching, and not as much company from Blue Cedar House has decreased the time I spend actively decluttering. Not sure how to shift that, but surely being cognizant of it is a good first step.
※※※

finished repairing my Ironrite chair. It turns out to look more like "visible mending", since I decided to use an elevator bolt instead of a step bolt, at least for now. The difference being that an elevator bolt has an entirely flat head, rather like a thin steel disc, and the step bolts available at Parkrose had the correct slightly domed head, but with raised letters/numbers on the surface. While that would not be a problem in construction applications, I though it less than ideal on the seat of a chair. Since my chair is not in pristine mint condition anyway, I figure that prioritising function and comfort would be the best course.
※※※

October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving Ironrite chairold tourney seat
2 x xbag to Goodwill
3 xx bag to Goodwill
4 x
x
-
5 xx -
6 x 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

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monday musings and a bit of music....

IN which our plucky heroine grasps at meaning...

well that sounds better than grasping at straws, but am reminded that there are cultures that build boats from straw (reeds), which work quite well. But rather than actual straws, girl has been thinking about how making things of beauty, delight, and amusement can seem both highly privileged, and socially irrelevant. Talking with others, sometimes being put in a most defensive mode, and othertimes, being lauded for adding brightness in dark times, it is a challenge. I recently read two essays about the importance of handcraft and art-making and those writers comments ameliorated my spirit. Terry Windling had this to say about "Dark Beauty", and Bernadette had this to say about "Why making things matters". Helpful to find others travelers in the same countryside...
※※※

Today I finished the tablet weaving that is my elevation gift to Marya, just over five feet of wool weaving with the pattern of Laurel leaves done in her favorite colors. I loved doing the weaving, as it is soothing and meditative, work that can be picked up and set down easily, and a good way to wind down at the end of the day. I started on the 23rd of September, so it took about a week and a half of intermittent effort.


※※※
October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Laurel tablet weaving --
2 x x-
3 xx -
4 x
x
-
5 xx -
6 x 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