Wednesday, January 30, 2019

wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine enjoys a sunny day...

I still remember the very first time I heard "early music", long before I ever found the SCA... I was wandering around in Cambridge MA, and there was a group of musicians playing together in a courtyard of a modern apartment building that was open to the street and sidewalk. Must have been sometime in the late 70's, as that is when I was living in that neighborhood... I was mesmerised...

has subtitles but what a treat
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Yesterday was the MRI of my Cranky Ankle, a new life experience... Wasn't particularly fun, but nowhere near as horrid as it had been described, in part because the machine was one of the newer "compact" ones, and not the whole body tube some of my friends had been required to endure. The discomfortable part was having to have both my legs immobilised in somewhat painful positions, and being required to hold them absolutely still for up to twenty minutes at a time. The alternative I preferred to the rather horrid pop music on the headphones was simple earplugs, and the machine itself made many different loud banging sounds. They neglected to first tell me to not only hold my legs and feet absolutely motionless, but also the rest of my body; when I reached up to rub my nose, a whole series of images needed to be redone, much to my dismay... The experience was most peculiar, as I seemed to feel vibrations? inside my feet while the machine was in operation, I imagine from the deep sounds affecting the parts inside the "doughnut".  I used the time to imagine that the magnetic (rays? waves? emanations?) were bathing my Cranky Ankle in healing waves as well as building up an image. 
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In the "just keep sewing" zone, I've been cranking out knit tops for my Mom this week. Last year I bought a whole assortment of cotton/lycra jersey from Girl Charlee for this project. My mom taught me to sew when I was a child, and now I can turn that around and treat her to custom clothing. I copied a favorite garment of hers, and while these are pretty simple, they suit her wardrobe, and mean that she doesn't have to haunt the shops to find things she will like; neither she or I enjoy shopping as a recreational activity. Hmmm maybe a knit top with some Alabama Chanin style floral decoration would be a nice Mothers Day gift later this year....
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I don't hate being a cancer survivor, because consider the what the alternative would be... but what I do hate is mysterious messages from my doctor's office that just says "call us". Because that is how my cancer journey began, I immediately think that there is something dire in the results of whatever medical test was just done. Considering that I had an MRI yesterday, to try and get a better idea about why my ankle is being so slow to heal, the short message on the answering machine when I got home - "phone Dr E", with no additional details - meant I spent a Very Sleepless Night last night!  (turns out that the only message was merely a repeat of the info from my visit to the clinic from the previous week, and nothing that was either current or important...)
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted two bags to Goodwill
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended glass recycling
5 AS50 knit topchook wings clipped yard waste bin
6 black knit top for Mom prune hardy fuchsia  1#
7 red knit top for Mom mulched garlic beds x
8 gold knit top for Mom Tullia sleeves x
9 dk red top for Mom
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 - modern medical technology, and the Affordable Care Act, which means I get medical care, because otherwise, as a cancer survivor, I would be uninsurable in the US...



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine mostly stays home...

The universe loves me and wants me to be happy... this gorgeous bouquet was a gift. The hyacinths smell amazing!
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My button box has an assortment of buttons, some dating back to my Nana that I remember playing with when I was a child. Since my current sewing plans include several blouses and a button front dress, that seemed like the place to start looking. Alas, there wasn't much that was suitable, hard as that may be to believe... It occurred to me that sorting out the contents might be a rather fun task to add to next weeks to-do list. Putting together the buttons that are in sets will help with future garment sewing, saving the buttons that are particularly lovely and sentimental, and letting go of those that are simply random will make the button box more functional as well.

My first thought was to hie self over to Bolt, to see their new digs and look for some buttons. That meant refilling the bus pass first, and while on the way to do that it occurred to me to have a looksee at the various shirts at the local thrift store. Aha! The clothing prices are about double what they were the last time I poked my head in there, but compared to buying new buttons it is worthwhile, not to mention saving several hours. Ten iridescent dark blue shell buttons, and a full dozen small plain round black buttons, will be enough for two cotton lawn blouses, and a linen dress.
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My sewing this weekend was basically two more Mom tee shirts and some mending. The machines were threaded up with red thread, since my first task was to reconfigure the upper armscye and sleeve caps on Tullia's dress. (seriously why do manufacturers put short pouffy sleeves on a dress for an adult "curvy" woman?!... I promised her that I could remove the sleeve head gathers and make the sleeves fit more smoothly) Once that was accomplished, I then tackled the red and the burgundy shirts for my mother, and they have now been added to the pile of things that need a trip to the post office this coming week.
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted two bags to Goodwill
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended glass recycling
5 AS50 knit topchook wings clipped yard waste bin
6 knit top for Mom prune hardy fuchsia  1#
7 knit top for Mom mulched garlic beds x
8 knit top for Mom Tullia sleeves 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 random strangers

Friday, January 25, 2019

fundamentally better Friday

in which our plucky heroine has a better day...

So this was a delightful encounter... came home from acupuncture and was slowly putting the wheelie bins back in the carport (today was trash day) when an older gentleman I'd not seen before, slowly walking down the sidewalk softly asked if this was where I lived? When I replied in the affirmative, he asked if I needed a new washer and dryer. I said, no, that we already had one of each. He dipped into his pocket and pulled out a hardware washer clipped in a clothespin, and replied "well, now you have two!" I laughed, and smiled, which encouraged him to then do a little sleight of hand magic trick with some coins from his pocket. It was just such a kindhearted bit of fun, so different than what we usually expect from a query from an stranger on the street. Indeed, I am still smiling. I love my neighborhood.

The acupuncture appointment this afternoon gave me not only some much desired though likely temporary pain relief, but also the hope that in time I might actually recover. The pain level decreased from about a 6 to around a 2 1/2 to 3 on the Allie Brosh scale of pain

today's gratitude - random whimsy in the world

Thursday, January 24, 2019

a Really Nice and Really Awful day...

In which our plucky heroine has an emotional rollercoaster day...

So, this morning I woke up with an assortment of body parts screaming - my right hip, right knee, and my lower back were all miserably angry. All because of the off-kilter alignment caused by das boot. So not going to wear that until I can figure out a way to level my legs and pelvis. There is over an inch difference in height between the boot and my regular shoe (based on how much I needed to jam into the heel) According to a friend who works in the medical rehab field, this sort of thing, and the subsequent ongoing iatrogenic damage, are unfortunately very common.

and... according to my first simple Google search, apparently there is a simple and inexpensive product (with many many positive reviews) available that addresses the difference in leg height caused by the boot. Rather like Yaktrax, it simply stretches over your regular shoe. Why was this not presented as an option, and sending me out of the office misaligned and without information/resources was the default?
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In the opposite direction, our plucky heroine spent a delightful afternoon with Leah today, doing scribal arts. In addition to much mutual perusing of books, and sketching, she showed me a simple method for applying gold leaf...
I immediately chose to create a tiny artwork, not at all medieval -  an illuminated design framing a favorite Ursula LeGuin quote. Letters are less than 1/4" tall, completed image will be 3 x 5. I plan on taking some time tomorrow to continue this just for me project, and start painting the inch-wide border, which includes the (now truly golden) sun, moon, and stars...

"Now all that was owed is repaid,
and all that was owned, returned;
Now all that was lost is found,
and all that was bound is free."

today's gratitude - access to the internets, which make it easier now that we all have to be our own health advocates

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

whingeful Wednesday - functional legs and feet

in which our plucky heroine dreams of walkies...

which, at this point, seem as far away and unlikely as the chance to experience zero G...

The medical fu just keeps getting "better"... not. I get an MRI next week, I am to stop doing PT, and the doctor has put my right leg in a boot. I am very lopsided now, with one leg noticeably shorter than the other when I try and walk. Not a happy camper.

I am going to see what I can do to mod my other shoe to try and become somewhat more level, since this is torquing my other leg and back something fierce. (I asked "will this cause problems with my other leg", and the doctors response was "well that happens"... so not okay, I know two people personally who ended up needing years of medical work including hip replacements from just such a starting cause) ... at this point I have wedged almost an inch of filler into my shoe heel area, and am almost level again. My shoe is now not stable on my foot either, since the back half is full of cork and rubber. Walking is still the suck because my right foot is now in a "wearing high heels" position which isn't normal for me, but at least I am not quite so canted to one side.
somehow, the idea of helping one ankle to heal but in the process wrecking the other slightly more functional leg doesn't seem to make sense to me.

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Started back into sewing the set of a half dozen t-shirts for my Mom. First up is the black one, since my serger and machine were already threaded in black. I followed this rule of thumb for how long to make the neckband, and it worked perfectly, much to my surprise!

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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted two bags to Goodwill
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended glass recycling
5 AS50 knit topchook wings clipped yard waste bin
6 knit top for Mom prune hardy fuchsia  x
7 x mulched garlic beds 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 - the phlebotomist at the hospital clinic who did a basically painless blood draw today

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine toddles and gimps through the day...

on the way to my physical therapy appointment I must have taken a slightly different route from the bus stop, because this strange little face goggled at me along the way!

While the nasty cold is finally releasing me from its grip, my ankle remains frustratingly and intensely painful. Despite the slow improvement in mobility as measured by the PT, there is little if any reduction in pain, walking freely remains a dream. Sigh. Over two months now, since the first week in November, with no real relief.
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managed to roll the cart of chookhouse wood shavings to the backyard yesterday during a break in the rain, and both refreshed the chicken bedding (and collected the one egg in the nest area) and put a layer of light mulch over the garlic beds. There were a few almost tips of sprouting garlic just at the surface, so at least some of what I planted is actively growing. With luck, there will be heads of garlic next autumn. I may not be moving that quickly, but things do gradually get accomplished!
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Today, the fabric I ordered (with my gift certificate prize from the online challenge) from Harts Fabrics arrived, the Kokka cotton lawn in a blue/black abstract floral print. To me, it really reminds me of Marimekko style motifs. Like most current Japanese cotton fabrics, it has a wonderful silky hand.

I was most impressed by one particular aspect of the order, even more than how quickly it arrived... that Harts Fabrics tore the fabric along the grain. When I was growing up, and a young adult, all fabrics were parceled out that way, before the common-now practice of simply whacking off a length with shears.

How very often I carefully trimmed along a grainline of recently purchased fabric only to find that in the end, there was less actual length available than the amount I had requested, once the ends were straightened. Which is a boon to shopkeepers since now if I buy fabric, I have to routinely add at least an extra quarter yard or more than the pattern requires, to end up with enough. I rarely buy much fabric nowadays, preferring to first visit my own "fabric resource shelves" but I will certainly consider purchasing from Harts again!
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted two bags to Goodwill
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended glass recycling
5 AS50 knit topchook wings clipped yard waste bin
6 x prune hardy fuchsia  x
7 x mulched garlic beds 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 - the old lady wheelie cart from my old pal Sharon, that works perfectly to move the awkward bale of shavings around the backyard


Monday, January 21, 2019

Earthshadow eats the moon, and other weekend shenanigans

In which our plucky heroine accomplishes much, with help...

Total lunar eclipse here last night... for about the last half of the approach, in the sky above Acorn Cottage the clouds parted enough to that there was a clear view of the earthshadow eating the moon, but alas just at the final moments, the clouds blew in again and the moon disappeared entirely. I keep going outside to look but no moon is visible. For a moment, much higher in the sky, there is what looks rather like a tarnished golden disc, and then it is gone again. A cold raw damp night, and discretion suggests that rather than standing in the driveway looking up, that it would be better to go indoors and brew up a cup of hot echinacea tea before winding down for bedtime. The dread rhinovirus is no longer trampling on my face and nostrils, and I want to encourage it to eventually leave the rest of my respiratory tract alone.
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All sorts of useful tasks were handled this weekend via my BCH helpers, from shifting some of Mt Chipmore onto the salvaged cardboard as yard mulch, to clipping hen wing feathers, to some intensive decluttering under the sink (which is now a shining area of beauty instead of the former terrifying pit of doom) We have a cunning plan for phase the middle of the new chicken home. A delicious dinner Saturday night with salad, bavette steak collops, and broccoli with pan sauce was one of our best joint cooking efforts. Much love to my Blue Cedar House pals!!
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Two $5 closeout An Tir 50 Year t-shirts = one long sleeve knit top with decorative motifs on both arms. Rather an outlier in my everyday wardrobe, since neither yellow or red are my colors, but it is so much fun! (and can be worn with all my assorted black pinafores).

I don't wear regular t-shirts, since they don't fit me well, or suit my wardrobe, but they often have lovely graphics. I wouldn't have purchased these when they were originally offered for sale three years ago, though I admired the artwork, and appreciated the Latin motto, which I think means something like "recreating the past in the best way", but when the last few shirts were offered at a greatly reduced price earlier this year, it occurred to me how I could take advantage of the pretty motifs...

Place the motifs on the sleeves, where they would be visible. Use the rest of the two shirts to cut out the pieces of my TNT knit top. Hand piece the upper sleeves, and hand stitch the neckline and cuff edges all using red Button and Carpet thread in the Alabama Chanin style of visible stitchery as an accent to the graphic. Not a shirt I would wear every day, but for those SCA activities where modern clothing instead of historical garb is appropriate, now I have my own take on the "club t-shirt"...

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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted two bags to Goodwill
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended glass recycling
5 AS50 knit topchook wings clipped yard waste bin
6 x prune hardy fuchsia  x
7 x 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 - getting to see part of the lunar eclipse last night

Thursday, January 17, 2019

snoozing on the shoals of Sleeve Island

In which our plucky heroine is still sick...

Welcome to my tiny world. Last night was not great. There was assorted types of being sick. There was a very odd dream about being at a festival that was taking place at rest areas along the beach, with a lot of mud, and trying to find a safe place to set up a popup tent. It was good to wake up, even if today will consist of more drinking broth and sleeping, interspersed with short periods of knitting.

Very gradual progress is being made on the sleeves for my Solbein cardigan. I decided that I am not terribly fond of doing three color colorwork patterns on double pointed needles, though it may have been complicated by my feeling less than my usual functional self. After all, knitting is rather my lowest default behavior, even before cooking.(I learned this during my cancer recovery, observing which activities returned in what order) Nonetheless, the first sleeve is about halfway done, and I have been able to switch to the shortest of my interchangeable circular needles, and am zooming onward. This small bit of cleverness from the Philosophers Wool book is the easiest way ever to keep track of repeating increases or decreases. Rather like a stitch marker, the strand of loops gets placed at the beginning of the round, and by moving which loop is caught it is a visual indicator of where/when to increase

With nothing to do but doze and daydream (well really I have lots that I ought be doing, but that isn't happening and will all have to be caught up later) my thoughts turn back to wardrobe planning, which is a Useful Sort of Daydreaming... It occurred to me that rather than using my denim pinafore as my "already sewn" SWAP garment, I could use the Alabama Chanin style cardigan that was my only completed object from last years SWAP. It has all the neutral colors in my wardrobe combined together. This would, of course, entail possibly making a second pinafore instead to substitute for the "previously sewn" denim pinafore. Looking at the fabric resource shelves, there is enough textured indigo/black linen, originally intended for either a jacket or an SCA garment, which would be delightful as a pinafore.

SWAP components revised:
1. jacket - Alabama Chanin style brown/indigo/black cardigan (previously sewn)
2. pinafore - indigo/black linen waffle weave
3. pinafore - brown corduroy
4. dress - everyday dress indigo pinstripe cotton/linen
5. dress - popover dress indigo marble batik rayon
6. blouse - brown/white linen oxford cloth (sewn before December 26)
7. blouse - cream/brown mushroom print cotton
8. blouse - indigo/black floral cotton lawn
9. blouse - blue/brown/multicolor floral cotton lawn
10. knit top - taupe/teal/multicolor feathers print cotton lycra
11. leggings - brown cotton jersey

My prize for the intermediate/advanced Pre SWAP dress challenge is a gift certificate, which will help pay for a fabric treat. I am going to get a blouse length of this beautiful floral print in indigo/black, that reminds me very much of the Marimekko fabrics that were so popular when I was in secondary school. It will, of course, become a blouse for part of my SWAP 2019. I tried yesterday to make a rough digital sketch of the concept, which while it gives a vague impression, mostly serves to point out that sick Indigotiger shouldn't drive computers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

knitting while ill

in which our plucky heroine takes a sick day...

Gah. I don't seem to be able to attend an SCA hotel event without getting sick. Woke up this morning with what may be a cold. Hope this is just a minor respiratory/cold glitch, and am going to spend today resting, and ingesting hot soup with garlic, in the hope of nipping it in the bud. Not sure if it is the crowds, the toxic air and cleaning products, or the number of already sick people who decided to go to the event and expose others to their special germs. The person sitting behind me on Saturday was coughing, and told me not to worry because they were on antibiotics for pneumonia! Seriously, if you have pneumonia, stay home and don't expose others, even if you are on meds... (I got up and moved to the other side of the hall; I've had pneumonia three times, and really don't want to get it again! The last time it took me out for several months before I could do anything.)

Broth with a pot sticker in it for breakfast, then back to sleep. Got up, made self healthy healing lunch: More broth (with garlic and ginger sliced into it, the tiny amount of leftover potsticker filling, and some chopped asian greens from the salad table, drizzled with a bit of hot sauce and sesame oil) Side dish of a big spoonful of beet sauerkraut for extra probiotics. Next a hot shower and back to bed... I really don't want to be sick, but I feel like crap. Woke up several hours later, and did a bit of knitting on my Solbein cardigan, starting on the colorwork around the sleeve cuffs. Not much in the way of mental bandwidth when even knitting is difficult.
Knitting my Solbein cardigan bottom up instead of top down, for reasons already posted. Starting on the sleeves, as I finished the body section this weekend. I also learned and am using the tubular cast-on for the ribbing edge. I'm loving the look and feel of the yarn, and how the colorwork is starting to appear. Not so much enjoyment of the three color rows, as I can't figure out any graceful way to handle three strands. (For rows with two colors I can do two handed knitting and hold one in each hand) The finished sweater will definitely be worth the effort. I am rather astounded at how many folks have already completed their cardigans in just two weeks. I never thought I was a slow knitter!

today's gratitude - being able to stay home and rest when I am sick

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

regalia retrospective

in which our plucky heroine gathers some images...

"Regalia is jewelry and objects, often decorated with certain emblems, symbols and insignia, which indicate royalty, holding a particular office, or membership in a specific group. The Society for Creative Anachronism, a historic re-creation group that I am a member of, has specific regalia and awards, as do other groups and organizations."

Sometimes people ask me about what I do, and sometimes those people want to have me make regalia for them. I have made a few coronets, but mostly I make pendants and brooches. (pendant designs can be made as brooches and vice-versa) It seemed useful to gather together images of some of the work I have done over the last twelve years in one place:
coronets above, pendants and brooches below






































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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday: metalwork, musings, and music

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

It was An Tir 12th Night, one of the largest events in the SCA year, and this year the event was held in my home Barony of Three Mountains, so was able to sleep in my own bed at night, and offer the Noble Virtue of Hospitality to three of my out of town friends for the weekend, which is one of my great joys.

My friend Valkyrie was being honored this last weekend..."40 years ago Valkyrie was lined up to become Princess An Tir when she was pulled out of line and given a Pelican- no vigil"...so since there were no vigils way back then, there was a party on Friday night, and all were asked to bring a bead for her, to make a bead festoon for her Norse clothing. I was immediately inspired to make her a tiny silver Norse style Pelican medallion, since there are various geometric and zoomorphic pendant charms in the archaeological record...
This was my original sketch, done in my journal when inspiration hit me suddenly...

and this shows some of the wire bending... I used mostly twisted silver wires, and did the droplet in plain wire to make it stand out. My cloisonné skills were quite useful in this project...


A few hours work et voila!
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Last week, my friend Jim posted online about the band Ace of Cups. I had never heard them back in the day, but vaguely remember seeing the band name on concert posters. Wowzer are they good, and still playing, and released an album, which is going on my wishlist for next year... For them what like this flavor of music (60's psychedelia) it is worth a listen:


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...well that was weird. Friday morning I woke up in a closely analog dreamland because the house was really quiet, and looking out the window, saw that our expected weather had turned to deep soft snow, the sort that falls in silent visible snowflake clusters. I was concerned that my guests would have difficulty on the roads, and was getting up to put more blankets on the beds (which were simply layers of bedding on the floors of the small rooms). When I opened the bedroom door, I woke up for real, in my own reality, with the sun just coming up...

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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted -
4 tiny Norse Pelican
gloves mended -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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 - the skills of a long lifetime, and the tools and supplies at hand, that allow me to birth the whim of an idea into the material world and quickly brighten the day of a friend

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday thoughts - topographica

In which our plucky heroine is all up and down...

realised that I have been trying to post every day, in the idea of my "today's gratitude" being a seed. But I might not have something to say every day...
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Some friends and I were having an online discussion earlier today, about the inevitable planetary disaster that we are all in the middle of. My own ending comment was "I feel helpless to shift anything on a macro scale, and soaking in that feeling doesn't activate anything for me save a desire to die sooner. Instead, I do what I can to live lightly and thoughtfully, and bring tiny modicums of brightness and beauty where I am able. Will that turn around the train wreck we are living inside of... surely not. Will that help me to be able to lie down at the end of my life and say I did what I could, the best I could manage... hopefully just a bit."
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Rounded up the various TNT sewing patterns each into their own new manila envelope, so that when needed all the pieces will be together and findable. Everyday dress/pinafore, bias front blouse, straight front blouse, knit top, and the tee shirt for my Mom. Still need to find the sports bra, the princess seam pinafore, and the empire waist pinafore. The loose cropped leggings are a pattern too large to easily fold up, since I made that one using blue-tape
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Today I found out that the fees for our local municipal pool use have gone up over 30% since this time last year. I had stopped going to the pool as a budget economising measure, but now my PT wants me to start water exercise again to help my Wonky Ankle. I will find the dosh somewhere, but ouch. Sure wish that income and access rose in a commensurate fashion.
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edit: not sure what happened to my photos, they weren't this fuzzy when I uploaded them...

This afternoon, managed to get outside, though it was a bit chilly for just an underdress.  Because the black linen is a shadow stripe, alternating very narrow bands of gauze weave with solid, it will be comparatively cool to wear layered underneath other garments, at the indoor events where this level of fancy clothing is intended to be worn. This is not camping clothing, though the shot silk trimmings would look splendid indeed in firelight!

Below, as worn, the shot silk block printed parts will be visible, but the black linen is mostly covered by an overdress...
And, I grabbed my wool and fur hat, since it was much too chilly for an uncovered head. The vaguely Byzantine overdress and my Viking hat are not meant to be worn together. WIth this sort of outfit, I would more likely do a layered headdress, possibly like this one, with a silk/linen veil, tablet woven Laurel headband, and decorative temple rings... I need to weave myself a headband like this, since the one in the photo was my elevation gift to my pal Marya.
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Okay, so now I am googling "what to do with my hands in photos". Apparently it isn't just me that struggles with this silly thing. Especially if I have no pockets to stuff them into. It is a trivial first world conunudrum, but since I must needs take photos for various online challenges, it never stops puzzling me....
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuffrecycle bin
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted -
4 -
gloves mended -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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 - I have a bicycle, and the ability to still ride it, and a nice flat neighborhood to ride around doing errands in. Plus, riding my bike makes me feel a bit like I am still 10, in a good way...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine endeavors to presevere...

Today I finished my new black linen undergown. The very last step was doing a tiny rolled hem along the keyhole neckline. It was after sundown at that point, so no photos of the whole thing tonight. The bottom hemline border being already completed meant that the project went together fairly quickly. There is still an undecorated teal color band above the wide lower hemline trim, where the lower border attaches to the black linen that I want to overprint in black motifs, to make a better transition, but that will have to wait until after the weekend, since any printed decoration needs to cure for several days before use or washing. (It won't be really visible under the overdress, but I want to do it anyway, eventually) The black linen is a sort of shadow stripe (barely visible in this photo) with narrow openweave alternating with a more solid weave, so it will be ideal for wearing at indoor events, which are always much too warm for the kind of layered garments our ancient ancestors wore of necessity.
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My PT appointment really took a lot out of me, I have three new exercises which though they look simple on paper are amazingly difficult to do. (hold foot on floor, and lift the center of the foot up, raising the arch while keeping the front and back of the foot on the ground, for example...) I will do them, though. My wishful is that someday I will be again able to walk around for the pleasure of the journey (which has always been my great lifelong joy), instead of with grim determination to get tasks done despite pain.

My weight is stable at the new level, and should start moving again in the next few weeks; I am having some success with my "fill two pitchers with water", and my new idea, of drinking some warm broth in the evening when I get hungry, is being rather pleasant so far. (in the summer, of course, I will not want a cup of nice warming broth, but then cold hibiscus tea will be a good substitute)
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit1#
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuff-
3 black linen undergowngarlic planted -
4 -
gloves mended -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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 - a flexible schedule... although I am still working, and will likely work for as long as I have life and breath, being self-employed has the one great advantage that I can usually schedule things to fit my own rhythms, and can rest when I need to.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine has a colorful if exhausting day...

Spent a chunk of the morning going over to the DHS office to make sure that my paperwork was in order, which I have to do every six months in order to keep my health coverage active. I miss being "young enough" that I could go to the office in my neighborhood, which was a long bike ride, or a short bus ride away from Acorn Cottage, unlike this office which is much further, and two bus routes, away. Leg was particularly annoying today, but nonetheless, I had enough bandwidth to notice this grouping of very bright and very small mushrooms just in front of the veterinarian's office. The color is similar to some chantrelles, but they are definitely something other than that...

edited to add that these are likely sulfur tuft mushrooms...
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Later, progress made on my new black linen SCA undergown, which I hope to finish before 12th Night this weekend. I blockprinted the cuff trim a while back, after carving a Laurel wreath block to use as part of my interchangeable block set. I am gradually using up the pieces of black/blue shot silk from Thora's discarded wedding gown, and it makes really wonderful trimmings. I used some of it on her fancy gown last year. This undergown will be my December piece for the Year Long Wardrobe Challenge, which was supposed to be "party clothes", and 12th Night is about as close as I get to dressing up for a party.
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today's gratitude - being able to transform discarded materials into items of new beauty, and the generosity of friends who share their finds and fragments with me...

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday media

in which our plucky heroine had a quiet weekend...

This papercut animation is a message of hope, as well as beauty:

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Cut out two more of my SWAP garments, which has me with four ready to sew, one in progress (handknit sweater) and two already made. Trying to decide if it makes sense to get all the various parts I know I want to make cut out... I think it does, so that whenever I get a bit of time/inclination to sew, the kits will be ready.
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Napped a bit Sunday afternoon, I rarely want to just do nothing and sleep, but figure that time horizontal has got to be good for my ankle.
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Mended my grey Totoro gloves, which are in pretty constant use. I love wearing the Totoro-face hat, because whenever I do, people comment, from the cashier at Trader Joe's who took off her sweater to show me the ink on her forearm, to the street guy at the bus stop, who told me his two favorite movies were Ponyo and Princess Mononoke...
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thought some more about my Sólbein Cardigan... I am hoping to use some deer antler toggles, the toggle shapes echoing the colorwork motifs. I remembered a clever I-cord loop and toggle closure I'd seen years ago in Threads, back when they were about all kinds of fiber arts and not just sewing. A bit of digging, and uncovered that it was a Meg Swansen design, in issue #25. I don't have a complete collection, because as years went on there was less in the magazine to inspire me, but the hardcopy issues I have go back to #1, and 25 was right on the shelf. There are neat diagrams, and verbal descriptions of the triple I-cord closure.
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Rode my bike to the copy store and printed out ten copies of my new 2019 calendar, as I want to have them in hand by this weekend, to give to friends... I love how my new Muji tote-box fits neatly in my bike basket, which makes it easier to carry paper projects around with me
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit-
2 2019 calendars black knit top cuff-
3 -garlic planted -
4 -
gloves mended -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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 - a neighborhood of resources I need, accessible by bicycle. When I was choosing where to live, I wanted a place with a grocery store I was willing to shop at, within a mile of my house. This turned out to be not as easy as one would imagine. What I have now is a large local natural food grocery, a different local mini natural food convenient store, a regular multistore, a public library, a post office, a municipal swimming pool, several drug stores, an art supply store, and, if I stretch it a bit, a local copy store. (Some of these were there when I moved here, and some have arrived since then. This being a city, there are of course other sorts of shops, but these are the ones I use)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Saturday snippets

in which our plucky heroine acts with belief in the future...

Today I planted the seed garlic. Better late than not at all; this is probably the latest in the year I have managed what should have happened in late October/early November. I kept hoping that I would be more robust and less gimpy, but if I wait for that, there will likely be no garlic next year. Given that our winter so far is being warmer than usual, the raised earthboxes were still unfrozen, and so I took the best of last year's garlic heads, broke open into cloves, and spent time this afternoon hopefully attending to the future harvest.
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Not quite there yet, but spent a fair amount of time doing calligraphy and starting to cut-and-paste the 2019 calendar together... I remember the year I didn't want to make one, after my cancer treatment, and decided that was a Bad Omen, and have tried not to miss a year since. 2019 will have some of the Inktober drawings from 2017 as the illustrations.
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So I guess that despite all signs to the contrary I continue to believe that there will be a future, and continue to do my best to make it a good one. Which is all any of us can ever do, each in our own way. This song from my youth is still alarmingly relevant and exquisitely beautiful and painful...
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit-
2 - black knit top cuff-
3 -garlic planted -
4 -
- -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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 - the farmers market still had two farm vendors with some fresh vegetables, which this time of year are mostly cabbages and root crops and winter squash. I brought home a few beets and the tiniest little red cabbage. There will be slaw, and red pickled eggs.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday fragments...

In which our plucky heroine struggles for equanimity...

But, I do my best to focus on what is bright and beautiful; here is my "grateful for" of the day:  I needed some napa cabbage and other veggies, the temperature had moderated and the roads were dry, a bike ride to the store was very appealing. Riding my bike hurts a lot less than walking. As I slowly hobbled made my way into the grocery store, the floral clerk who had been part of gifting me black-eyed peas saw me and asked how my New Year had been....  We chatted briefly, and then she said that she was making up a treat for me and it would be in the floral zone when I was finished shopping! When I was on my way back out to my bike, there was a beautiful Large Bouquet of assorted flowers and foliage wrapped up with my name on it, and I just about burst into tears.
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Eeep! I figure that any day that starts with removing a big spider from the bathtub (so that morning shower can be taken sans arachnid) has got to get better from there!

I keep a "spider catching kit" (sturdy clear plastic glass, stiff piece of cardboard from the back of a birthday card) in the bathroom for just such occasions...
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Already more than halfway done with the most boring part of sweater knitting, the interminable just plain stockinette round and round that is the body. Of course that also makes it the most ideal knitting for when riding transit, as there is no real need to even look at the knitting, just let the hands run free. Another 3 1/2" and it will be time to put the body portion onto a holding cord and start on the sleeves... This sweater is knit at a particularly open gauge, though the Lettlopi will fluff up and fill in to some extent when it is blocked at the end. It will be a nice medium light sweater, good for wearing in the house in winter, and out and about in transitional seasons.
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Ankle particularly bad today, and kept me from sleeping last night, which didn't help. I am getting worried that there could be more wrong than just a sore tendon, given that it has been about two months or so with no real improvement aside from a bit more range-of-motion. Sigh... and, of course, the limping is throwing my other leg off and causing more pain on the left knee and lower leg as well. Weight loss is continuing, and I still hope that in time that less strain on my tendons and ligaments will help.
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Was tired of not getting anything done, so decided that repairing the ratty old bathing suit, until I get the bandwidth to make a new one, would be a Useful Repair. It needed the upper back seam stitched up, and the binding of the back neckline stitched back in place. I found the pattern for a new suit, and the swimsuit elastic and fabrics, so that will happen, just not before 12th Night.

And speaking of that, Kaðlin messaged me today to ask if I had any braided cord, for Gersvinda's elevation medallion. The only cord I had was wool, so I braided up a yard of linen this afternoon, whilst sitting in the living room listening to an audiobook and icing my ankle. I also put aside some cardweaving, for both of them (they are both people I admire very much for both their handcraft skills and their research skills
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January SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 braided linen cord old bathing suit-
2 - --
3 -- -
4 -
- -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x 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