Sunday, June 30, 2019

SCA bits and bobs

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

This recent weekend Marya drove the Laurel Van north; she and Ursel and I went to Athenaeum on Saturday. This was the second year for this kingdom wide artisan showcase specifically for non-Laurels, specifically not a competition but a chance for folks to simply meet and show what they are doing, and talk to one another without required judgement or undesired critique. It was great, if exhausting*. Imagine a science fair but the hall filled with people discussing their creative endeavors. (How I wish there had been something similar in the years before I was elevated to the Laurel)
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It seemed like a good idea to have some SCA business cards to hand out at the event, so Friday morning saw some quick carving of three stamps to transform the back of my regular business cards. Just using the motifs from my heraldry ("... a horse courant regardant between three acorns slipped and leaved argent"), and my name, since all the contact information on the "front" side is accurate and current. Getting the acorn and oak leaves motif carved was a bit of a faff, but it turned out quite recognisable, given that stamp is only a bit over 1/4" across
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ignore modern dress,
and imagine proper
linen undergown
started working again on my Slavic/Russian garb, all part of my desire to create a context in which wearing ornamental temple rings makes sense... I already had a nicely striped small piece of thin wool from Drusa, to use as an apron piece. After looking through my random fabric bits, Marya suggested that I use a piece of plaid wool to make a panova, the wrap around partial skirt. As part of my "riding in the van" sewing this weekend, stitched the edge binding all around that as well.

A new undergown made from natural/bleached herringbone linen is currently in the works. When that is finished, the next project is to make a tablet woven Laurel headband, (similar to the one I made for Marya), and the first step will be dyeing the background wool a pale indigo blue.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 Aesa wool gown apple tree mulched
yard waste bin
7 stripey everyday dress 4 sewing shelves sorted
bag to Goodwill
8 wool panova
new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x bike brakes tightened x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - Marya drove the Laurel van from here to there and back again and all weekend, and arranged for three of us to stay at Oddr and Toki's house. Toki also very kindly took us all out to dinner BOTH nights we were there, which certainly was unexpected and very generous.

* proof positive that despite my enjoyment of social contact with my friends, that I am actually a true introvert. Was so exhausted after the weekend that I came home and collapsed into the quiet and fell asleep for like seven hours!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

item # 3 of six

in which our plucky heroine sews like the wind...

in addition to all the sewing for Blue Cedar House, I recently finished a new Everyday Dress for me. I had a lot of fun changing the directions of the striped fabric, bias on the bodice fronts, horizontal on the collar, inner button band, and back yoke, vertical on the bodice back, outer button band gores, and sleeves. The vertical stripes on the gores form chevrons where the seams meet. I played with various options for the place where the button band and collar met.

I had been saving this striped black/grey/blue fabric for some years, and somehow there wasn't quite enough fabric... I laid out the pattern pieces and determined that if I made the skirt panels a little shorter, changed the collar to a straight band convertible collar, cut the button bands from scraps in two different directions, and pieced the pockets so that only the area visible was from the striped fabric, I could still get a wearable dress.


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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 Aesa wool gown apple tree mulched
yard waste bin
7 stripey everyday dress 4 sewing shelves sorted
bag to Goodwill
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x bike brakes tightened x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - sleep when tired...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday music

in which our plucky heroine is reduced to tears...


"...You can’t make out borders from up here
Just a spinning ball within a tiny atmosphere..."

today's gratitude - we got this far... despite a world filled with turmoil and terror and horror, and a future more uncertain with every moment that passes...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine continues working on the settings for the next regalia project,  and in the breaks between, has managed to complete a number of additional smaller projects...


finished painting charter #5, a Silver Chime award for the Principality of the Summits. There are some things about this one that I am not entirely happy with. I struggled to make sense of, and to create shading or details on the foliated scrollwork. I always wish that the information about the inspirational historic artwork was included on the back, for the edification of the scribal painters... sigh...

OTOH, I am quite pleased with my decision to turn the bird into a European Robin. Overall, the color balance on this charter pleases me, which is part of my ongoing goal. In addition, getting a better quality of white gouache has made my fine white linework a LOT easier to do, and I look forward to more experimentation in that mode, and to eventually upgrading my entire paint collection bit by bit...

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Finished sewing the stripey everyday dress, intended as my entry in "Fun With Stripes". My wardrobe currently appears to have only striped dresses... and the next dress length is also striped (grey and white). Photos to come, hopefully tomorrow!
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Thought about putting together a new SCA necklace, as I've been much inspired by Viking Age artifacts from Birka and elsewhere.* My goal with this was to create an original design in the general idiom, using recently acquired carnelian "cornerless" rectangular beads and clear lampwork glass melon beads (in place of rock crystal), combined with a Master Helgi lampwork bead Laurel pendant:

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 Aesa wool gown apple tree mulched
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7 striped everyday dress 4 sewing shelves sorted
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8 Viking Age necklace new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x bike brakes tightened x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I must be doing something right with my sewing... today two different random people made a point of telling me how spiffy my new dress was. It might have been the entire ensemble, as I was also wearing the black straw hat with velvet ribbon and feathery fascinator trim, but the comments were about the dress...

* scroll down to see the links in my previous post here

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine fits a lot into a day...

in between work, I am slowly making another Everyday Dress for myself. The neckline on this one is a simple convertible collar, as opposed to the former peter pan collars. I am amused by the stripes going in all sorts of directions!
The hemline edge is trimmed with pieces cut from former well-loved dresses. I wore that dotted dress until parts of the fabric actually wore through. There were enough still-good pieces from the skirt to trim a new dress, and for a few other uses...
Since there wasn't quite as much of the stripey fabric as I'd hoped for, the pockets get pieced so that the visible portion is stripey, and the rest of the pocket pieces are dotted. Usually this technique is used on jeans pockets, but it seemed like the only way to make this work, as the remaining stripey bits were mosly only an inch or two wide, and I sure wasn't going to make bitsy patchwork pockets...

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well that was excellent! I had been recently and specifically wishing that I knew more about some basic ways to take care of my bike. Then I noticed the email last week about how the Tool Library was offering a free evening workshop on just that very thing! I learned a number of simple things I CAN do, like wash the bike, degrease, and re-lubricate the chain, and also have a handle on what basic supplies I don't already have that would be useful (chain lube), what the next action items I need to take care of are, and in addition, the woman teaching the workshop also has a bike shop about a half mile from Acorn Cottage, so that is also a plus!
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Yay!! Kieran and her dad, (and Mollie the tree-climbing dog) came over this morning, and much home-wrecking of squirl nests ensued... So many thank-yous!! Hopefully this will dissuade the little bushy-tail tree rats from hanging out here and wreaking havoc in my plants.
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Finished sewing the wool SCA overdress for Aesa. The wool is so very soft and lovely, and the grey fabric now has the blue linen bindings edging the hem, neckline, and cuffs, so it will be comfy to wear as well as warm. That is the last of this batch of tween clothing for the summer, I think...
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Walking over to the bus stop recently and saw these pretty allium seed heads - they so remind me of fireworks, in a good way, all of the pretty and none of the nasty loud 'splody sounds!
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 Aesa wool gown apple tree mulched
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7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x bike brakes tightened x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - sometimes getting exactly what I ask for, quickly enough that I notice it! Also grateful for the nice man with the sweet German Shepard puppy who let me say hello to the wiggly and friendly doggo!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

tidbits and trinkets

in which our plucky heroine is keeping very busy...

the faceted "cornerless" rectangular carnelian beads, ordered from Etsy, arrived Monday... so beautiful, (and probably the closest I can get to actual cornerless cubes) My thought is to try and create a suitably Viking Age treasure necklace, because it would be fun! There are a few examples* of necklace finds with a mixture of shaped carnelian beads, rock crystal beads in faceted, round, and melon bead shapes, with an assortment of other special beads and charms...

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starting on the two additional garments that need sewn before ATWW. Aesa needs a wool overdress, and Isabel needs a linen aprondress. Wool overdress is cut out, and partially sewed, the linen neckline binding was perfect handwork for my bus ride today
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Charles Lewton-Brain at CMAG on Tuesday night... ZOMG! What an inspiring presentation. I haven't taken so many notes so fast since I was in school, and hopefully some of the many ideas will be able to make the leap to my own workroom!
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Started on charter painting #5, a Silver Chime for the Summits. Really liking the colors on this one so far, and it has all the solid areas painted in. Still need to do all the fineline detailing, but hope to have it done in time to send down to Investiture this weekend (which I am Not Going To, since as mentioned, I must Complete All the Things)

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grumpy with pain, as my ankle, after being seemingly on the mend for over a week, suddenly began hurting yesterday and today is bad enough to make me think about ibuprofen. Maybe not drinking enough water yesterday set it off? Not sure, but I sure am limping and wincing today. Acupuncture appointment made, and am making certain to drink more water today. Also adding some curry to my eggs for lunch (tumeric)...
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Stripey dress is all cut out and about a third done: skirt just needs two rows of bottom bias edging stitched. Bodice has yoke attached, collar stitched and turned ready to attach. Pretty pleased with clever pattern cutting, there were only a very few very small scraps left of the fabric to discard. since there wasn't enough to cut both sides of both button bands in the same direction, the inside ones are horizontal and the outside ones vertical, which will play interestingly with the stripey collar.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 x apple tree mulched
-
7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - the weather today was darn near perfect for huge chunks of the day... not too cold, not too hot, and mostly not too sunny. Every time I went outside, I smiled!

* a partial list-of-links to assorted Viking Age necklaces of inspiration:

carnelian and rock crystal in various shapes, with treasure pendants mostly beads

mostly carnelian and rock crystal cornerless cubes, with a small amount of lampwork, and treasure pendants

carnelian and rock crystal with many treasure pendants

assorted shaped carnelian and mostly facteted rock crystal

assorted carnelian, rock crystal, stone etc

mixed shaped carnelian, rock crystal melon and rounds, etc


Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday musings

in which our plucky heroine contemplates a long to do list...

The number of tasks needed to complete in the remaining days of the month is slightly alarming. There are regalia projects to finish, Yet Moar Tween SCA clothing to sew, pre-cooking my food contributions to this summers eventing, at least four scribal project I committed to, and somewhere in there my normal housey/garden/personal projects... Ah well, not boring is a good thing, and somehow all the necessary bits Will Get Done!

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Using a fragment of vintage batik to decoratively adjust the neckline of my blue moon batik popover dress... whenever there is anything in the pockets, the front of the dress slid down to much more décolleté than desired. Using a technique I have tried before: weaving some folded bias strips together and filling in the bottom of the too - deep neckline solved the problem, and still looks quite summery and not too prim.
that looks better...
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As is my practice, after completing a regalia project I dedicate some of my remuneration to adding a new tool to the workroom... because while a bad worker blames their tools, a good worker has the right tools for the job. This is the Stinger Riveting System.
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Clever tiny cupped anvil made from a nail set, in a solidly made cast bronze holder to be attached to a workbench. The object in the foreground is the working end of a modified automatic center punch, which now sports a matching cupped tip used to set the rivets and form their other heads. Included with it all are a half dozen tiny silver rivets. I am sure that this gizmo will make riveting tiny bezels to backing plates a whole lot easier than how I was doing it before...
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I saw the gorram squirls today... a pair of them. on my porch, looking for some way to cause destruction! They are sort of young juvenile delinquent squirls, and are living in the ornamental plum tree in my front yard. I chased them off the porch. I'd love to figure out a way to remove their nests from the tree, but they are much too far up for me to knock them loose, even with extended sticks and a ladder.
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Started cutting out a new everyday dress, intended for the June "Fun With Stripes" contest over on The Stitching Place forum, as well as being a needed addition to my closet. I'd like to get this dress put together prior to rethreading the sewing machine and serger for the tween clothing.

There was not quite enough of the black/blue/grey striped cotton as hoped for, and while I was able to eke out the major pattern pieces, the inner pockets need to be pieced and mostly cut from a different fabric, and I will have to draft a new collar as well. Am thinking that drafting a very simple "convertible" collar would give a different look than the first two, which have peter pan collars. Cutting the pocket linings, the collar lining, and the facings for the button placket (oops, better not that, or there will be polkadot lapels on a striped dress), from my former beloved black polkadot dress, as well as a faced band to trim the hemline edge, since there isn't enough of the stripey fabric to do my usual bias edge. Thus does frugality drive design decisions...
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 x apple tree mulched
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7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x neckline adjusted x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - having fabric in the resource center for new clothing, and having the skill to enjoy pattern hacking. Also, not decluttering ALL the smaller pieces meant I have some great polkadot fabric to fill in the gaps in my stripey dress!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

start over Sunday

in which our plucky heroine makes a new rule...

no enameling after midnight! Late Saturday night(well actually early Sunday wee small hours) tipped over the last 4 hours worth of work before putting it in the kiln. The very last firing before completion. Not going to have to start over from the beginning (thankfully), as all the rest of the previous hours of work are just fine and fused in place. but just lost those four hours of final detail work. I feel dumb, and tired, and very grumpy. Goodnight!

New strategy this morning is to quickly fire each group of four, not to fully vitrified, but to the equivalent of "orange peel firing". This will ensure that only a minimal amount of hours are lost should any clumsy fingers drop things, but more importantly, that there is less chance of accidentally smearing already detailed leaves when they are still in the oily powder stage. Bearing in mind that each leaf is less than 1/4" long, and I am working under magnification.

5mm leaves, partially vitrified
with and without veining

checking on how long it takes me to detail one leaf on a Laurel wreath when painting in leaf veins... 10 to 15 minutes per. There are 22 leaves in a Laurel wreath, usually.

and...enameling is done... and I am done too for a while. After only getting about 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night, and then working almost another whole day in front of the kiln, I am going to have a bit of a lie down. Was going to go to a party today. Pretty sure I don't want to ride the bus with my situational awareness all shot to hell.

Ended up napping for almost four hours. I must have needed it.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 Laurel enamelweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 x apple tree mulched
-
7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
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, still, holding until I am done with this enamel project. Also, being able to nap for a bit, and good food in the fridge to revive me afterwards

Saturday, June 15, 2019

gorram squirls

in which our plucky heroine hates varmints...

And this, friends, is why... squirrels...
Since sitting on the front porch with a rifle is not an option, I'm going to have to build a heavier planter guard. Probably going to use heavy galvanized mesh this time, since they chewed through the former plastic barricade mesh then threw it on the ground!I asked the Master Gardeners query table at the farmers market about how to discourage squirrels, and their response was to laugh hysterically...
fortunately they seem to leave my salad table alone, probably because the bird netting is unpleasant to deal with and not sturdy enough for them to get a grip on it. Building a support that is easily removed by me (in order to harvest planter contents) to hold bird netting is a pain, though. I have lots of possible galvanised mesh options. For later, after the enameling work of the day is finished, and house chores are done...

today's gratitude - fairly moderate temperatures that allow me to continue working

Friday, June 14, 2019

fixit Friday

in which our plucky heroine makes small things better...

found the hidden allen wrench sets, and now the serger has nice new needles. Not only that, but with the allen wrenches was a singleton (of the correct size!!), in a holder with a loophole, which is now tied to the crossbar on the thread holder, so serger wrench searches will be a thing of the past!
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carefully took apart the An Tir t-shirt and have successfully added gussets to the somewhat too tight sleeves, using scraps from the original shirts, so it should be darn near undetectable. Once in a while it helps to have not quite gotten to decluttering under the worktable.
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after several days of cogitation, it occurred to me that double-sided permanent tape was the correct answer to how to re-stick the cork backing to my steel rulers, which are old enough that the adhesive holding them in place had simply given up suddenly and all at once.
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Sent the "Even-up" shoe off in the mail to my online friend Cricket, who has a broken foot and must needs wear a boot for at least six weeks. Since I am not wearing a boot currently, and hopefully never, it may do her more good than sitting in my closet with Das Boot.
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Finished charter painting #4 this week. Charter painting, like simple sewing, is something I can do when the brain is too fried from heat or ? to be able to do much else.

I experimented with some different sorts of background diapering on the interior decoration, and consider the result was acceptable for a first go at it. (I had tried just leaving the background a blank solid blue behind the compass, but it looked odd) Actual size of this motif is about 1 1/2" x 2", and the golden squares in the background are about 1/4" across.

Let the hand and eye out to play with color, and require enough focus that I stop paying attention to the temperature or the ouch, or whatever. Better for our plucky heroine than meditation, because at the end, there is a Useful Thing...
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 charter #4
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 xweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 x apple tree mulched
-
7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x new serger needles -
9 x
rulers cork reattached -
10 x gussets added to shirt -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - the good customer service from Gesswein, which when they sent me the wrong thing, initially told me to send it back at their expense and they would mail me the correct item, and then called me back to tell me to just keep the (useful but not what I ordered) item, as returning it would cost them more than the item cost.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

thermal whiplash

in which our plucky heroine recovers physical equanimity...

the temperature dropped almost 40 degrees between yesterday and early this morning... I mostly have my brain back! Even at the hottest part of today, it was under body temperature, and once the sun dropped below the horizon, it cooled down rapidly to a pleasant mid 60's, and riding my bike to shop for food was a treat.
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Being a rather scatterbrain day today as I flit from one task or temptation to another. Really, if tomorrow is no better, at least the enameling will get done if nothing else, and I will break out my timer and do some 20/10's and dig into some of the neverending tidy and declutter
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Over at The Sewing Place, there is a "Fun with Stripes" contest this month. Since there are still gaps in my wardrobe plan, and there are stripey fabrics in my resource center, my idea is to take a looksee and if anything simple and fun leaps out, maybe join in the fun. I've been collecting inspiring striped garment images over on Pinterest.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 batik popover dressweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 x
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 xweeds gone side yard yard waste bin
6 x apple tree mulched
-
7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 - waking up to temperature in the low 60's

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

wilted Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine tries not to melt...

80F indoors feels cool when it is 102F outdoors in the sun... just in case you were wondering! The weather here today is horrid.
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Definitely going to plan a trip north later this summer to see the Victorian Radicals special exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. I love that whole era of artwork and artifacts (Pre-Raphaelite to Arts and Crafts)
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Been working on another charter, now that the Scythian one is completed. Here are the steps to paint a simple border design -
Simple charter border painting... first step, choose a color, and fill in the motif (I chose dark oxblood red)

Second, add highlights to the motif (here I chose metallic golden)
Third, start filling in the background with another color.

Just keep going, the tiny background spaces look so different when they are painted in. (actual border is less than a half inch wide, so I am not fussed about my slight lack of precision painting here)

Finally, inking in the edging makes it all nice and crisp again!
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Still looking for the fabric set aside and intended to make pockets on my new marble batik popover dress. Or if not that, then some other fabric that will work. Cannot Have Dress Sans Pockets!!
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today's gratitude - the nice lady in the convertible, who drove really slowly across the street into the parking lot, to delay the bus long enough that I could catch it and not have to stand in the heat to wait for the next bus!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tuesday tidbits, or ringing the changes...

in which our plucky heroine enjoys frugality and hates the weather...

We made a super tasty dinner Saturday night with black cod, oven blasted sweet potatos of two colors, and asparagus - more food than four adults could eat for dinner, so we had the cold leftovers for Sunday lunch. There were still quite a few asparagus stalks left, so my plan was to cook up a batch of demonology soup (avgolemono courtesy of autocorrect) and add the asparagus for a special treat!

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My intention to finish the (partially completed) enameling project before the danger heat advisory hit was stymied by my required jury duty on Monday and Tuesday. The good thing was that the county courthouse is air conditioned, the bad was that the weather outside quickly deteriorated. Thankfully we were set free today before the worst of the heat hit, and I made it home under the noonday sun and after a cooling drink, laid down to take a nap with the fan on high.

Neighbors told me it was 100 F over here this afternoon. I double checked against the NOAA records, and it was a record breaking high today of 96 at the airport, which makes is very likely it was at least 100 here, as we usually run quite a bit hotter than the airport (which is right on the river so gets lots of cooling breezes) I'm going to make a judgement call and I am making an executive decision to wait til Friday to turn on the kiln in hope that the danger heat advisory will be over. 1500F oven indoors and 100F outside the house temperature is not a good combination.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 xweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 x
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 xweeds gone side yard -
6 x apple tree mulched
-
7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 set free early from jury duty

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine slaves in front of a hot oven...

ZOMG... I splurged and bought myself a tube of good quality titanium white gouache. It is eversomuch easier and more workable to use for highlights on scribal projects!
This is the finished charter I started painting last Monday. Now with the shading, highlights, and metallic mica paint added. I am much happier with how it looks now, than how it looked earlier* in the week. My goal is, when painting charters, for the final result be something that I myself would be pleased to have presented to me. Sometimes I get closer than others, but that is what I strive for.
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Isabel and Thora both came down this weekend to work their Blue Cedar House magic on Acorn Cottage. Thora's daughter Aesa spent part of the weekend here and part with her granny. A vast amount of yard was tackled and tamed: The front lawn mowed, backyard weed whacked. The front yard garden beds weeded, back pathway weeded, side yard weeded. Most excellently the under the apple tree grass removed and replaced with mulch. The entire backyard had the edges all hand weeded. Thora spent some time with her Portland sweetie, and Isabel helped me get four shelves in sewing room sorted. It was rather epic!
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Took some of the pieces of discarded fabric, and layered them into a sort of contoured padding filling in the Obnoxious Bed Divot. Once the memory foam was put back in place, it proved an reasonable fix for the problem. Had the most pain-free sleep in quite a while.
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During regalia season, the work must happen. Usually I don't do my studio work when BCH is here, as it is a better use of my time to collaborate with their efforts in housey improvement. However, this weekend is, among other things, all about the enameling, because although Friday was sweet with rain and barely 60... by Wednesday the temperature is supposed to be close to 100F!
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I'm still not finished with working on my Very Simple Popover dress, mainly because I have been busy with actual commission work in the studio, so slightly less time for sewing. The dress is almost done, just needs me to find where I put the pocket pieces and attach them... I also sent off to Etsy for a new-to-me refurbished pair of Birkenstock summer sandals, so I am closer to the desired June wardrobe than I usually manage. I'll pick out a suitable pair of earrings, and consider putting together a new tote bag. No bracelet though, I never wear them.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 charter #3 boombox cord plugbag yard waste
3 xweeds gone front yard bag yard waste
4 x
weeds gone back yard yard waste bin
5 xweeds gone side yard -
6 x apple tree mulched
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7 x 4 sewing shelves sorted
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8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 sweet clerk at the floral department gave me a pair of rainbow cheek stickers, and I was so charmed that I wore them all day!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

an unexpected treat

in which our plucky heroine has a wish granted ...

I've been noticing how various things I wish for are sometimes granted in unexpected ways. I was feeling so wistful earlier this week, and tonight had a wonderful deep conversation with an old friend, albeit via the chat online rather than in person, but since we live almost 300 miles/five hours drive apart that is rather a blessing of the modern world...
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getting back into charter painting, and am about halfway through this Three Mountains Order of the Crystal Rainbow charter. This is one of the pair of Scythian style artwork charters I created for the Barony back in February.

Here it is about halfway done, with the initial solid coats of paint applied, but not yet with any of the detail work added. Next there will be shading, and highlights, and some golden metallic paint to bring out the details of the animal style artwork so beloved of the steppe nomads...
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in the interest of the neverending saga of closing open loops, and having recently finished my blue floral blouse project, my current sewing project is finishing a new rayon batik summer popover dress. This was also languishing in a project bag, cut out but unsewn. The fabric is just lovely, a dark indigo with lighter blue marbling, with occasional highlights of rust/red/golden. It reminds me of the flame from my soldering torch. When this is completed, there will be 8 popover dresses in my closet, my summertime goal met.
  1. grey texture floral
  2. japanese indigo print
  3. black/cream calligraphia
  4. teal overdye
  5. black sparkly
  6. blue moon batik
  7. multicolor refashion batik
  8. indigo marble batik
Finally after many years, the goal of having a weeks worth of seasonal clothing for each season seems within my grasp. Pinafores, knit tops, and now popovers are all there. Blouses and everyday dresses still need attention, and there are other specific garments that are still missing i.e. an actual raincoat, a pair of overalls, and a new swimsuit etc... Eventually my personal sewing will consist of replacing garments as they wear out, which seems to me to be both sustainable and pleasurable. A gradual shifting variety, all within the context of my chose palette and peculiar personal style.
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In the workshop a new enamel regalia project is happening, hoping to get the enamel part done while the weather is still moderate. 1500F kiln heats up the room quite well, not intolerable when it is 68 out, most unpleasant when it is 85...
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This book on medieval illumination showed up on my FB feed, and since it was available from my local library, it was worth looking at... Claire Travers is obviously a highly skilled artist, and the book covers some aspects of creating illuminations that are not as often included in other manuals I own or have read.

In addition to the usual survey of time periods, and basic information, what I found interesting is that she includes information on how vellum is created and how to prepare it for use, on various medieval pigments, including a good color chart, on painting drapery, and how to paint faces, as are an assortment of step by step diagrams of line filler details, and background diapering. While I wouldn't say this should be "all you would need", it would a good addition to an illuminators library.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 x boombox cord plug-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 - connecting via the internet.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

irregular spiral

in which our plucky heroine been drifting tidally in and out of sorrow....

Missing the eras in my life that are past, most recently because it is turning towards OCF, and that was the hub of my year for many years, and it is no longer. Missing both intimacy and playfulness. Wondering if the resilience and intermittent calm I have developed is enough of a trade. I feel as if in some ways I have forgotten how to build or have a deep connection to others, wondering if indeed I ever did, or merely imagined it. Not that I am not a good friend and sibling and child of my Aged Parents; the one thing I hope my years have taught me is to be better at listening...  I am grateful to have the privilege of being this age, of not dying from the cancer seven years ago, but as I have stopped talking so much, and listening more, I wish that I had someone to who wanted to know what is in my heart/mind.

"I am no longer that young woman.  I am always that young woman. Everything is lost, and yet nothing is lost, at least as it a part of the person I am -- always absorbing, always evolving."
- R. Mardel Fehrenbach from her blog
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It was a most unrestful night last night, full of nightmares both subtle and direct, and I eventually woke up before dawn realising in the dreamlands that the mushroom cloud to the north was the Pacific Rim letting go and not direct airstrikes.

Time to revisit/refill my earthquake shelf, and replace the stored water in the closet. Other than that, we each wherever we live need to be prepared for the hazards of the natural world, and do what work we can to ameliorate the hazards of the human created one.

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 x x-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 gift of seven years beyond cancer, I never stop being grateful for not dying then. Peace and good journey to my childhood best friend Vanessa, who wasn't given that gift...

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The tail end of SWAP, and other Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine is planning out the tasks for June...

There are more metalwork/regalia projects to work on, though none as all-encompassing as the Minoan pendant. Some design work to complete before June. There is sewing that needs done, and the yard is hollering at me to get going on the summer fruit tree pruning. Like any household, there is a seemingly never-ending list of repair and renovation. Never a dull moment here at Acorn Cottage.

Most recently, the clothesline snapped under a load of washed tourney bedding, so my next housey chore is replacing it, which needs done about every two years... acquired one additional rod hanger, a few more hose clamps and new clothesline, with the effect of extending the line one more fence section for additional drying space.
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Not sure if actually sewing Summer 6PAC makes sense, since the closet already has basics, and what is really needed is filling in the few gaps, mending worn/torn garments and possibly a few new SCA clothes. Maybe more a "Summer of Basics" approach? 

1. batik popover - If I finished up the batik popover I cut out for SWAP it would be another summer dress, plus it turns out that I can wear popovers like pinafores, over a knit top, and they look quite playful and just right for the few days of  "June gloom" (weather cool/cloudy in the AM and turning hot in the afternoon).

2. new bathing suit - my old suit is scary faded, and has been repaired twice. My idea is to modify the suit pattern I have yet again, and instead of a skirt that attaches just under the bust, which then floats up annoyingly when actually in the water, create an attached skirt that is inserted into a new seam at about waist level. Shouldn't be too too difficult, right?

3. striped shirtdress - the June contest over at Sewing Place is for "stripes".  While there are already two other striped dresses in the closet, I plum love striped dresses, and there is some black/grey/blue striped fabric that may have enough to make another one. This time I will draft a new collar, or maybe make it collarless.
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Today the floral blouse (designed back in January) is done. I'm pretty pleased with it, and adding the detail of flat piping did just what I had hoped, delineation of the collar and front button bands. Switched the original button choice (tiny plain black) for slightly larger, almost black shell buttons, which have a sort of blue iridescence.


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I tried making this last week, and it was nom. I will likely make it again. I substituted in crushed buckwheat crispbread for the breadcrumbs, because wheat, and that worked a treat. It would make delicious picnic food, or daytrip food.

Laurie Colwin’s Mustard Baked Chicken
from: Home Cooking, page 100

“The chicken is cut up and coated with mustard into which some garlic has been grated, along with a little thyme, black pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon. It is rolled in fine bread crumbs, dusted with paprika, dotted with butter and cooked at 350 degrees for about two hours. It can be served hot or at room temperature and will never let you down.”


Unfortunately though, this recipe used up the last of my mustard, and it turns out that there is now only one store that carries the organic brown mustard in glass jars. Last year I was able to buy the desired mustard at my local grocery. Does it seem weird to any other than me that most of the organic companies have switched to plastic jars? I mean, I understand it saves shipping weight and hence greater profit, but plastic?!? how is that sustainable - not! Anyway, on a day when I have extra hours, I will take most of the day to head over to NW to the Food Front Coop store. They are also the only shop that carries the toothpaste I use, so I may as well stock up.
Edited: I found a backup jar of mustard in the pantry.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 blue floral blouse backyard clotheslinedead rope
2 x x-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 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 lovely fabric I won as a prize is now residing in my closet as a new blouse. I am grateful for the generous gift, and will think about my SG pals whenever I wear it