Saturday, November 30, 2019

slow and steady

in which our plucky heroine makes use of a simple idea...

I've wanted a leather catch tray for my bench for years, and after converting it to a cutaway version it was finally possible. Then it took months for me to figure out a removeable/replaceable attachement system...

Toggles. First some wirework with scrap brass wire to create a toggle with an eye, then hemp cord tied in a loop. The loop is run through the eye in a larks head knot
Then the whole toggle/loop is run through a punched hole in the leather in a second larks head knot. Five eye screws attached to the underside of the bench, as anchor points... the brass toggles are sized to neatly fit through the eye. It is a tidy and functional fastening system, and uses materials that were on hand.

I realise that this is not anything like rocket science, but a pretty simple concept. Sometimes it just takes a Long Time of Cogitation for a good solution to work up to the surface of my brain, and when trying to do something for which there are no easy internet tutorials, I have learned to be patient with myself and my mind.
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Took a while to get up to speed this morning. Heather and Brandon are here to help out, and my initial idea for gathering up assorted yard detritus and heading out to the transfer station turned, in the face of how cold it is, to instead, completing the painting of the kitchen walls. Which basically took all day, though putting a fan and one of the little oil radiators in the kitchen and closing it off from the rest of the house encouraged the paint to dry.

We cleverly decided that our Friendsgiving meal would be better cooked and served before we tore the kitchen apart to paint two more walls, and it was a wonderful feast! Heather brought a package of BIG scallops from the good fish market in Olympia, which I cooked on the stovetop in a vaguely "scampi" style -  browned butter in a pan, and seared on one side, then turned and cooked just long enough on the other while I made up a butter/garlic/sherry sauce. Side dishes of a big green salad, some steamed sweet potato, and oven roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil and baslamic vinegar, followed, later on, with narrow wedges of my homemade pecan pie.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleevespaper recycling
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons lots of leaves
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore apple watersprouts
5 floral scarf Tullia mitts yard waste bin
6 rain capelet side yard drainpipe
paper recycling
7 Awesome sauce Drusa mitts
-
8 quince jelly hooks for plunger x
9 quince sauce
leather catch tray x
10 persimmon ketchup 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 - being able to complete projects, with the help of friends. Having skills and knowledge to make incremental progress that will make further activity more pleasant.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thursday thoughts and gratitudes

in which our plucky heroine spends the day at home...

Today I'm going to make preserves, and sew, and clear my workbench. I'm not going anywhere, partially because no invite, and partially because it is a holiday I have ambiguous feeling about so didn't push for an invite anywhere... so I decided that I would spend a chunk of the day on preserving food, as a practice of additional gratitude and I feel okay about that. (I started to go down that tunnel, of being depressed that no one wanted my company, and decided that using the day to be grateful was a better plan. For me, the key to maintaining my mental health is remembering to choose my focus.) This blog post by Terri Windling seems relevant to today, as does this: Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address - Greetings to the Natural World
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Finishing up some UFO's this week..

A new cotton lawn headscarf in blue and brown floral pattern. It always takes ages to do a hand rolled hem; this was started this spring and then set aside for other handwork. Since a number of my older Indian block printed scarves are starting to wear out, and I wear scarves often as my own hair is thinning and my head gets cold, it seemed like a good plan to finish up this project, and maybe start to look for another piece of cotton lawn to put in the "transit handwork" basket.

The leaf embroidery on the wool mitts with half-fingers for Drusa. It is going to be a cold winter, and my friend lives in a woodland yurt, heated by a wee little stove fired with the leavings of her woodworking. I want her clever hands to stay warm while she does needful tasks...


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Wednesday evening - seven 8oz jars and one 4oz jar of Awesome Sauce now cooling after preserving... one of my goals is to turn stored frozen food into the intended condiments. There will be Awesome Sauce (British chili jam) and Plum Sauce (homemade pseudo-hoisin), and some Strawberry Rhubarb sauce... plus, the persimmons all over the house are becoming ripe enough for me to start running the food dehydrator (and to try again for persimmon ketchup, this time sans cloves...
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I have been gradually and experimentally working on the rain capelet for a while now, finally finished on Tuesday... it is based on the German gollar pattern from Katafalk, but extended in the center front to a pointed vee-shaped hem, the better to add a sturdy outerwear separating zipper found in my stash-o-zippers. Finally sussed out how to draft and in what order to add pieces to create an extended underlap to one side of the zip to create a draft excluder.
Fabric: supplex bonded with goretex and thin fleece, lined with polartec. All edges bound with nylon lycra knit. The whole thing looked sort of sketchy/floppy until I added the edge binding when it firmed up and looked like an unusual but real piece of outdoor gear. I look forward to finding out if/how this model XP1 will work in realtime, it is a piece of gear I have wanted for ages...
The shoulders come out just a bit past my own shoulders, so should hopefully keep the parts that get the most soggy to stay dry. My idea is to wear this over a wooly layer in the ordinary damp wintertime, and to also be able to wear it over my current mostly worn out rain jacket for the same reason.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleevespaper recycling
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons lots of leaves
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore apple watersprouts
5 floral scarf Tullia mitts yard waste bin
6 rain capelet side yard drainpipe
paper recycling
7 Awesome sauce Drusa mitts
-
8 quince jelly hooks for plunger 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 - good friends, good food, a good home, and reasonably good health... truly all and any of these are a blessing

Sunday, November 24, 2019

a busy weekend...

in which our plucky heroine has Thora come down to visit for the weekend, and to help me with tasks around here and errands that require a car...

Probably the most fun activity this weekend was yesterday evening the spontaneous decision to make some block printed heraldic inspired trim for our pal Laurence of Damascus. The design is is arms "per pale gules and argent, an escallop counterchanged". It didn't take long to carve the 1" square block, though it took several hours to actually print the linen trim bands. I love the Speedball textile ink, while it cleans up easily with water, the ink is oil based, and after curing for a week or so, is both permanent and washable, without needing to be heat set... this red and white trim will look quite splendid on his new saffron yellow undertunic!
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a quick sketch became a tiny carved block, a test stamping with rubber stamp pad ink,
then on to the textile ink and the white linen strips
many bands of red and white trim... enough to trim the cuffs and the hemline
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Thora spent rather a lot of time on yardwork, weeding the side yard pathway, raking the front and back yards, and the leafy litter has been piled up over some layers of old branches covered with corrugated cardboard, in a sort of proto H├╝gelkultur bed... as more yard debris that isn't weeds turns up, it can be added to that spot, and eventually a raised bed will be created. I myself did a bit of dandelion pulling, and some pruning of the largest of the apple water sprouts, as the tree really needs help. I will do a bit more pruning as time and lack of rain allows...
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Other assorted tasks included dealing with the abundant quinces. They were all peeled and cored, and cut into chunks. The peels and cores were simmered on the stove for an hour or two, then the pectin rich liquid strained off til the next day. Time simmering in the slow cooker overnight softened the quince chunks nicely, turning them from pale yellow to deep red. (Thora's comment on arrival was "ummm is that a bowl of meat") Once they were drained and packed into the freezer containers for the time being, the remaining simmering liquid was combined with the liquid from the previous day, measured and 3/4 the amount of sugar added. When the temperature of the liquid reached 220F, I processed what turned out to be a total of 9 4oz jars of lovely ruby-colored quince jelly.
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There were trips to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, and Sunday a thankfully quick trip to Costco to replenish the sugar stash, as well as adding some shredded cheese to the shopping cart. All because my pal Elfrida shared her experience with "cheezles" a sort of low carb waffle made from cheese and eggs! Thora and I stopped at the local "Target" store and I picked up a mini waffle iron (nonstick) to try this out. Our plucky heroine has difficulty when eating breadlike substances, and I was intrigued at the idea of something that would fill that niche while being basically protein and fat instead of grain-based. The experiment was a complete success! Tiny waffle "cheezle" for the win!!

1/2c grated cheese + 1 egg = 2 mini waffles... no grain at all
I ended up making it into an open face chicken sandwich, and foresee many more of these in my future, as they are fast and easy ...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleevespaper recycling
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons lots of leaves
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore apple watersprouts
5 xTullia mitts -
6 x side yard drainpipe
-
7 x Drusa mitts
-
8 x hooks for plunger 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 - good friends and a sound memory, as well as memories of sound...
Today Charlotte posted a video from the Grateful Dead concert we went to on Halloween night at Radio City Music Hall, in 1980. I remember that trip like it was yesterday, the long drive to NYC, her reaching for my hand at the concert saying to me "come and dance", the subway ride afterwards back to where we'd left the car, the lights outlining the bridges out of Manhattan... it was a different world...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

out of sight out of mind, and other Thursday thoughts

in which our plucky heroine notices that somehow, the quinceling is beautifully dressed no matter what the season...

Quince leaves have held on tightly while most all else in the yard has blown away in the autumnal winds.

(and remembering earlier in the year...)
The blossoms are beautiful in the springtime, and the abundant fruit is delightfully scented:
Soon I will cook down the last of the harvest into jam, or quince paste, or quincemeat...
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Started cutting out the pieces for the small rain capelet based on the 15th c German gollar. The challenging part is that I really don't know what I am doing, but attempting to put in place a separating zipper down the front, and add in an underlap to keep the front a bit more weather-proof. And figure out how to edge bind the darn thing. It is definitely experimental, due to the lack of experience working with a combination of laminated DWR fabric combined with Polartec. Wish me luck!
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well that was nice while it lasted... with help from Thora, we had managed to remove all the red plastic strips from the Stupid Chainlink Fence that my backyard was no longer UGLY. I had been enjoying looking out the bedroom window, across the yard and through the Stupid Chainlink Fence to the nice wooden fence of the house across the alley and the trees beyond.

I guess the people that live there decided that the best way to clean their yard up for the rainy season was to toss whatever they no longer wanted over their fence so that they wouldn't need to see it all winter long. I am sure that it never occurred to them that it was an eyesore to anyone else, since they no longer have to look at it. Said nice wooden fence is now obscured by a massive pile of broken summer yard detritus, the remains of an aboveground pool, parts of brightly colored plastic play equipment, and soggy huge cardboard boxes containing who knows what... technically it is in the driveway to their alley garage, so on private property... just hideous to look at. City life, first world problem, sigh.

Some friends have suggested I speak to the unknown cross alley neighbors, but I am loath to do so, since a. the only thing I know about them is that they have noisy summer parties and scream nastily at their children and b. I cannot imagine any courteous way to approach strangers and ask if they would please remove rubbish that is, after all, on their own property. Hopefully they will take it away, though that will require a truck and a trip to the transfer station, which is expensive (the debris is all much too large to fit in a rubbish bin, and none of it appears suitable for recycling either)
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In happier news: I managed to get the side yard rainwater drainpipe re-connected, if in a somewhat kludgy fashion using pieces of copper wire and some thin chain. (one of these days I really need to get an actual extension ladder - my stepladder is not really Quite Tall Enough) for some of the needful tasks) The big wind that removed many of the leaves from the trees also blew the drainpipe connector right off the wall, and it needs to be in place to encourage the rain in the guttering to be channeled away from the house foundation.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleevespaper recycling
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore -
5 xTullia mitts -
6 x side yard drainpipe
-
7 x Drusa mitts
-
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 never get tired of looking at the different colors and patterns of autumn...

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday musings and media

in which our plucky heroine feels somewhat refreshed...

though somehow it never seems like enough actually gets done over the weekend as one would hope, there was both some progress made, and some time taken for the kind of rejuvenation that can only happen when surrounded by trees and water. The autumnal scent of leaf mould and the sight of fallen maple leaves spinning down the stream, and fluttering at the bottom of the water. "the wheel is turning and you can't slow down.."


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a surprise and a treat... the neighbor's poppies apparently like it here well enough to spread into one of the front garden beds. Next year there will be silky golden california poppies to keep company with my baby pine nut tree, and if any of the marigolds that Thora planted this year either survive or send out seedlings, it will be a very orange corner indeed!
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finished up the long sleeve knit top over the weekend... six different leftover pieces of knit fabric, stripey and floral and marled and solid, combined with a bit of embroidery and reverse applique. I added one more line of couched narrow strip between the neckline binding and the cloud collar, to ease the transition where it shows in the photo as a black line under the edge binding... more photos later...

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...as it gets colder, I decided on log cabin mitts for Tullia, and am also working on a pair for Drusa, with half fingers. Using up some of my yarn stash, but I am now tempted to get another skein from Knit Picks in a rainbowy merino and make some more, for Barb, and another pair for Tullia. I already have four pairs of my own, all different. Log Cabin Mitts are fun and fast to knit!
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On Saturday, a lovely excursion to the Japanese Garden with my friend Ursel, to enjoy a comparatively mild and thankfully dry afternoon:

Always impressive, the immense dry-stone castle wall outside the garden entrance, built from native Oregon stone by a 15th generation Japanese stonemason...

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Two different sorts of bridges; the hillside garden is full of flowing water. I was particularly intrigued by the bridge apparently made from some kind of concrete paving set over an arched form of small logs, and edges with what appeared to be vine withies tied with wire...

outside the second floor of the new main building, there is a patio. On the edge of the patio this fountain, which makes good use of regional basalt columns...

some of the garden koi are larger than my forearm... what fascinated me here was the mirrored reflection of the stream bank above, which proved to be frustratingly difficult to photograph...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore -
5 xTullia mitts -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - the 50 years of thoughtful effort that have made the Portland Japanese Garden a thing of great beauty and peaceful pleasure. And that it is possible to get there from Acorn Cottage entirely on public transit. And that they participate in Arts for All, which means I can afford to visit the garden now and again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

starting on the cloud collar

in which our plucky heroine immediately starts a new project...

The new knit top is going to get a cloud collar neckline; process photos first, then a bit of explanation afterwards:

It took a bit of time cogitating on the best way to end up with an easy to see stitchable motif from the scrap of black interlock... I finally realised that a sort of "reverse stencil" that reserved the black lines, but painted the background would work. Freezer paper stenciling gives a very crisp result, and by folding the freezer paper in half before cutting out the design, a perfectly symmetrical stencil is created.
The cut freezer paper is ironed to the fabric, and the background is painted with some pewter fabric paint, (which will mostly all be cut away in the end, though perhaps just a bit of the sparkle will show along the cut edges)

The painted interlock is basted to a scrap of the lighter black/cream marled hemp knit fabric, and then lots of overcast stitching along the motif lines is the next step. This phase took about five hours of spare time on transit and waiting for appointments. In the photo, the right half shows the painted layer cut away where the stitching is completed, and the left side is still to be completed.
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After finishing the scrappy collage cardigan, I wanted to start on a long sleeve knit top to coordinate with it, to form a kind of art-teacher twinset. Not quite as elaborate, as there was less in the way of grey knit fabric pieces to draw from. Also, I wanted to be able to both enter in November's "Combining Prints/Patterns Contest" over at The Sewing Place, and possibly include said knit top in my 2020 SWAP. My cardigan was started too early for the former, and is not quite versatile enough for me to include it in SWAP as one of my two "previously sewn" items, but a scrappy/collage grey knit top will work with both of the intended (grey linen and black corduroy) pinafores.

I decided to cut up a grey floral cotton knit cardigan to use for the front and back panels; said cardigan was a not entirely successful experiment, but the fabric still had some life left in it, and the flowery print vaguely refers to the song lyrics. The sleeves were cut from the remainder of the hemp knit I used for the scrappy collage cardigan sleeves, and some additional scraps of other projects turned into the reverse applique cloud collar neckline (which I am still working on all the handstitched detailing, which is slow but what I do for relaxing).

Once the basic form is stitched and basted together, it could be tried on, and my decision to add another inch to each of the seams where the armscye and side/underarm seams come together was just the right move - now the sleeve has just a bit of looseness around the bicep unlike the previous top where the no-lycra knit fabric was more bodycon that I prefer.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 x
patched overall pinafore -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - my legs... despite the last howevermany four years that my legs have been problematic, with joint and ligament challenges... currently they are working fairly well, and I am able to walk for several miles each day, as well as ride my bicycle to do local errands, which I did today. The weather is brisk, as the northern hemisphere turns towards the shortest day, and the hours of darkness increase, but today it was merely damp, and I rode to the grocery store and the library over sidewalks and streets patterned in a tapestry of autumnal leaves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

my art teacher style scrappy collage cardigan

in which our plucky heroine finished a fun project...

Finally manged to get some initial photos of my scrappy collage cardigan: It is very comfy to wear, being like a double layer knit fabric top, with snaps down the front. It was fun to make, combining various leftover pieces from former garments, and tying the whole thing together using stenciled motifs. The shaping is minimal, and the loose fit will allow it to be easily worn over multiple layers in the wintertime, and the layered construction of the cardigan itself means that it is warmer than the light weight would imply. I call this a win.
The new thing for me in this project is piecing various fabrics together to form a harmonious whole. I used eight different scrap fabrics, and five different stencils. While I often use fabric other than the main body of a garment as trim, I have never done this sort of artsy patchwork, which I so admire in the Tilton sisters, the Ericsons, and Koos Van Den Akker... The other new thing I did with this garment is that it is primarily stitched with the zig zag stitch with raw edges overlapped, sometimes using multiple rows to hold the pieces and seam allowances in place. Sort of a funky edge finish technique inspired by Pearl Red Moon Art's Zambeesi Jacket.

the cardigan as worn

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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 x
patched overall pinafore -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - space to work on projects... as small as Acorn Cottage is, there are a number of possible places to work on projects... No longer (like most of my life) must creative impulses be stifled until the dining table can be freed! Huzzah for worktables!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine stitches on some snaps...

No cardigan photos today, but soon... I finished the last steps on my scrappy collage cardigan, and stitched the snaps to the fronts. Also took in a bit on the sleeves on the front side, to help them curve nicely in the same direction that arms curve: forward. There were some odd sleeve wrinkles that disappeared once I did that. I am pretty happy with how it turned  out - it is more of a special occasion cardigan than my usual workaday clothing, but one never knows, there might someday be a reason to wear something fancy?
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More Drawvember...
Saturday's prompt was "yellow"
These golden grapefruit were the first thing to catch my eye. The skins get frozen and saved to be turned into candied peel, which then will become part of the winter holiday fruitcake.

Sunday's prompt was "pyramid"
rather than the most obvious, I went with a variation on a medieval diapered background motif. As I began inking it in, I decided that I liked the off-center opening, and turned that into a larger pyramid.
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Saturday was the second harvest of persimmons, 15#, so added to the 25# earlier, a total of 40 pounds this year, not counting the depredations of the squirrels. Once they finish ripening, (there are persimmons all over Acorn Cottage right now) they will mostly get turned into sliced dried fruit; there is still a bit of last years slices in the pantry, which were saved for holiday fruitcake this year.
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The grey canvas doesn't shrink much at all. I marked out a 10" square on a larger piece, serged the edges, and ran it through the washer/dryer. In one direction it shrank 1/16" and in the other a scant 1/8". Depending on how much ease is allowed in the chore coat pattern, that isn't enough to bother me, and not having to somehow stuff four yards of Very Stiff fabric into the laundry machines is all to the good. Somehow, I doubt that Carhartts pre-washes their fabric. The finished coat will also not be washed that frequently, and can be air dried rather than power dried...

in the interest of thinking about sizing/ease for the chore coat, these two blog posts seem to have good information:

There has been some discussion over on Stitchers Guild about capsule wardrobes vs formulae vs uniforms, inspired by this blog post and the ongoing interest in planning, especially at the beginning of SWAP. I decided to iterate my own current wardrobe recipe, not quite a uniform, but close...

my wardrobe formula/recipe:

colors: indigo blue, grey, black, chocolate brown, accent of turquoise/teal

fabrics: natural fibers, dull to medium textures, low contrast, medium to dark value

pinafores: solid or solid-ish colors, sometimes with decoration, sometimes with edge binding accents, pockets

dresses: solid colors, stripes, 3/4 sleeves, sometimes button front, pockets

blouses/shirts: stripes, florals, conversationals, solid-ish, button front,  varied collars

long sleeve knit tops: solid, small patterns, stripes, sometimes with AC embellishment, sometimes with sleeve decoration, sometimes turtleneck

popover dresses: rayon or soft drapey fabrics, batiks, various patterns, subtle solid-ish, pockets, sometimes decorative necklines

leggings: loose calf length solid color knit with wide elastic waist, sometimes decorative bottom edge (worn in cold weather)

slip/underdress: sleeveless top attached to a woven or knit skirt, sometimes decorative bottom edge (worn in cold weather)

The basis of my everyday wardrobe for most of the year is the pinafore. Under that, either the dresses, or a blouse/shirt, or a long sleeve knit top form a basic outfit. The popover dresses, worn by themselves in the heat of summer, can also step in under a pinafore. The knit tops can be worn as an inner layer under dresses, blouses, or popovers when it is cold. The leggings and slips are worn during the cold seasons. The everyday dresses can be worn alone if the weather is moderate, and the popover dresses are for the heat of summer
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A number of years ago I made an overall-style pinafore from some Very Heavy black denim. The fabric was so robust that the skirt edges sometimes bumped into things, but it was very fun to wear. Which I did, until the pocket edge caught on something and tore right down the skirt for about six inches. The poor pinafore then sat in the cupboard for several years. I decided today that utility mending was the way to fix it, as there is no way to make a tidy enough mend for it to look "nice", but that the robust fabric is well suited for a few years at least of doing chores, particularly outdoor ones. Another small piece of black denim was serge-edged, and slid underneath the tear, and then several rows of zig zag stitching closed up the problem area. A much better and quicker solution than hand mending, which is my usual wont, but not appropriate here...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 x
patched overall pinafore -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - Jess and Chris both RSVP'd for Saturnalia, so it won't just be me and Thora and Isobel! (Saturnalia is my annual natal day shindig)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine focuses outward a bit, finally...

Wednesday and Thursday prompts of Drawvember, plus today, all seemed to relate somehow. Some vaguely heraldic designs, with faces were a good step back towards daily drawing... sun and moon and cloud:

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Some excellent fabrics arrived yesterday... I ordered two different options for sturdy garments, a 12 oz canvas (the same weight that is used in Carhartts), and a 12 oz Bull denim, both in what was described as a "charcoal grey". The colors seem more like two different hues of medium grey to me, but perfectly acceptable, and the quality of the fabrics, though listed as "seconds" have no flaws that are apparent to my careful eye. The canvas has a much stiffer hand than the denim, as should have been expected, given the difference in structure between tabby weave and twill. "Big Duck Fabrics" is a new to-me-source, but is going on my list of Useful Trusted suppliers
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SWAP plans are solidifying for what garments will work together well and I'm getting a clearer idea of what I hope to make (always subject to change...) My two garments that will be wearable with each outfit will be a grey chore coat and a grey wool herringbone capelet.

I'm going to make a grey linen pinafore, and my other pinafore will be my already made black corduroy pinafore. My other "already made" garment will be my stripey black/grey/blue everyday dress.

I'll make two more dresses, one in a black/cream mini-stripe, and one in a black/white chambray. (Both will be overdyed, one in grey and one in brown). All three of the dresses can be worn with either of the pinafores.

In addition, a shirt from grey/black gingham flannel, a scrappy/collaged grey knit top with cloud collar embellishment*, and a light blue print with horses in cream/brown will get turned into a blouse. All the tops can be worn with either of the pinafores. The last of the eleven is waiting on further inspiration/clarity... could be grey knit top (not sure about that one, as my drawer for knit tops is getting pretty full!), or grey leggings, or a grey Polartech pullover, or even a pair of grey denim overalls if I feel adventurous in both senses of the word. (I've not made overalls in at least ten years, and my prior pair is long worn out...)
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 xcardigan sleeves-
3 xharvest moar persimmons -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - being well and sturdy enough to still ride my bike around the neighborhood, and it was a lovely not too cold not too hot day without rain, so that was all good. Plus my favorite cashier D gave me a handclasp today.

* the (hopeful) scrappy collage knit top will be part of a twinset with the just about finished cardigan. I picked up Big Snaps for the cardigan fastening, and should get them sewed on over the weekend...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

wishful Wednesday

In which our plucky heroine notices signs of progress in various directions...

Getting closer to finishing my scrappy collage cardigan, I bound the cuff edges with the same narrow striped ribbing I used for edge binding the body of the cardigan... currently sewing the last bit of grey twill tape to the cuffs. Once I find some of the big sew-on snaps to use as fastenings, this project will be complete:



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So, I girded my loins to go to the periodontal clinic today for an intake exam. (I was referred me there, because there are signs of bone loss under some of my teeth) Even that much was scary, so my mantra for the last few weeks has been, "it's only an exam, no needles no knives..." When I got there my usually robust voice was very small indeed. The actual exam was no worse than the usual sort of dental exam, but the results confirmed that the two problem molars have noticeable bone loss at the roots. The best practice recommendation is gum surgery and bone grafting, to the tune of about 3K*. Medicaid/OHP doesn't cover any periodontal work at all, so if you want to keep teeth in the jaw y'r on your own... This is half of the issue, the other half being my intense terror about having oral surgery. Because I had oral surgery done horribly wrong as a young adult, I ever after and even now have fear and phobias about mouth needles and knives that are difficult for me to cope with. Yes, I have sought counseling. No, medication/sedation doesn't help. So my wish for today is to be able to get to where I can both afford mouth repair and cope with same...

*this would be less than getting the teeth pulled and implants put in place, and is significantly less than similar work done not at the OHSU Dental Clinic
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 xcardigan sleeves-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitutude - kindly interchanges happened several times today: the bus driver this morning saw me and stopped extra, even though the bus had already left the stop, and Eva Moon came up to talk with the perio staff and go over some of my concerns...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

gifty wishlist 2019 version


in which our plucky heroine offers notes about useful and desirable gifts...

I've been participating in Duchess Daegmar's Sekrit Santa gift exchange for a number of years now. Most of what will make a real difference in my life are not things, but the gift of experiences, time, and the sharing of resources... because time spent together is the best gift of all, whether helping with household tasks or out adventuring in the wide world. Since I have spent the last several years doing major decluttering; it is actually pretty difficult to find objects that fit the stated requirements: "keep the exchanged gift either handmade and/or homemade, or if purchased to be $25 or less."

It seemed a good idea to provide both general guidelines to what I like and do not like, as well as a modest annotated list of assorted Useful and Delightful things:

Random wishlist notes:
I love handmade gifts, particularly those of the wooden, ironwork, glass or textile sort. Kitchen potholders are always welcome (my kitchen accent color is that warm red like tomatoes). My SCA life is mostly as a Norse style person, so narrow handmade trim for early period garb is always useful.

My favorite colors: The kind of blue that you get from indigo: nightsky and dark denim. The greyish color of natural linen. Taupe. Grey. Soft dull turquoise. The dark black brown of some kinds of undyed sheep wool. Bittersweet chocolate brown.

In general, food is not a Fjorlief treat. Our plucky heroine does not particularly like chocolate, and is very allergic to cherries and hazelnut. I particularly do not like scented things, and am very allergic to cedar.

I mostly do not collect things, in particular I don't collect acorn kitsch, even though the house is named Acorn Cottage...


Annotated wishlist items that are less than $25, in no particular order at all :

Isn't this lovely! I'd hang it in the kitchen as artwork: Fishing Otter Tea Towel by Angela Harding, who is a favorite print artist of mine...

There are several knitting tools that would be nice additions to my kit: these "stitch stoppers" (in neutrals of course, not the pastel colors!), these removable stitch markers are a little nicer than just plain safety pins. These long stitch holders (in black by preference, cream as a second choice)

These smaller pocket size DMT pocket diamond hones would be very handy both for sharpening knives, and for grinding down enamels.

Wake The Dead's combination of celtic style instruments and arrangements, and Grateful Dead songs, makes me really happy. Any of the three CD's would be a nice addition to the Acorn Cottage library: Wake The Dead, or Buckdancer's Choice, or Blue Light Cheap Hotel

I find this sewing themed panel simply delightful, and in the "mushroom" colorway, it would be a treat for sewing room artwork

Zirkel magnetic pin holder (black color please!) because something next to the sewing machine to hold removed pins without my needing to stop and carefully stick them back into a proper pincushion would be useful
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some rather more spendy, not Sekrit Swap but also Very Useful, things, in no particular order at all:


Some cozy slip-on type slipper-analogs. My feet, with their narrow heels and wide wide toes are cranky about fit and shape, but I know that Birkenstock (size 38) have a compatible shape as long as I get the "regular" width and NOT the "narrow/womens" width. These sheepskin lined clogs would keep my feet warm in the winter

A headlamp for my bicycle... I have a good flashing clip-on rear light, and my bike tires have intensely reflective sidewalls, plus my reflective mesh vest, but a front light would be useful... best if it could be easily detached/reattached, like my clip on rear light, so that it would be safe in my daypack instead of stolen, when my bike is locked up outside the grocery store...

It would be a very good addition to the infrastructure here to acquire an extension ladder. One that is long enough to reach the gutters, or the attic hatchways, and strong enough for someone that weighs over 200 lbs... must needs do a bit more research as to what would be...
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I will be adding to this list as I think of possible things that would be both useful and beautiful additions to my home and life...

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday music and musings

in which our plucky heroine is wearing many layers...


this made me giggle, and sort of want to get up and dance!
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it is pretty cold here, though not like places in the Midwest. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be adapted to the colder weather, but in the meantime, it is double puffs on the bed, and double heat packs in the microwave before bedtime. It seems like making some warm scuffs to slip feet into on arising from the cozy nest would be a really good plan, as my "house boots of double thick wool are nice and warm, but a bit convoluted to put on when barely awake...
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SWAP moderating is going well so far, folks seem to like The Rules formulated for this year, and there have only been a few fairly minor questions. Yay!  As far as my own SWAP plans, figuring out what to make with the fabrics on hand is the current puzzle. Pulled out all the grey fabrics, which turned out to be rather a lot:
  • grey heavy linen
  • grey duck canvas
  • grey wool herringbone
  • grey polartec
  • grey/black houndstooth flannel
  • grey hemp jersey
  • grey denim
  • grey chambray
  • grey/black stripe 
  • grey cotton jersey
  • grey random knit stripey scraps
The scrappy collage cardigan currently in process may not be included, as it may not work well with enough other garments, though it certainly will function as a fancy midweight cardigan. Going give the remaining stripey knit scraps a good looking over, in the hope that there is enough to pull together a coordinating knit top, for a kind of "art teacher" twinset that I was thinking about yesterday.

For sure, I am going to make a new pinafore from the heavy grey linen, and a "barn/chore" coat from the grey canvas will be my "goes with everything" piece. The herringbone wool will become a capelet, the houndstooth flannel was always intended for a shirt, and the hemp jersey will become some flavor of knit top. There is enough of the grey chambray to make a dress. Plenty of options for moving forward anyhow. Am considering adding the grey/black/blue stripey dress from earlier this year as one of my "sewn before SWAP" garments, since it really fits with the rest of the plan.
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There are two palm trees just outside the dog wash and daycare near here, so I took that as my subject for today's prompt - #4 - palm tree


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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 xx-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitutude -  the bus service here is pretty functional, and today was dry and sunny, so an errand to one of the Big Box Stores in the land of Giant Malls, which I normally avoid, were doable!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday snippets and bits

in which our plucky heroine has a modestly productive weekend...

It was sunny this weekend, slightly less cold than earlier this week, so a trip was made to the Farmers Market for vegetables, and a few trips out on the bicycle to run errands in the middle of the day. I'm still seeing hummingbirds occasionally in the yard, probably since the hardy fuchsia are still blooming.
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While it wasn't an issue nine years ago when I put this storage in place, over time, there were more beaded necklaces made, mostly longer ones, and the two rows of pegs were too close together. Removed and relocated the lower peg rack 3" further down, so the jewlery hanging on the upper level don't overlap the bottom pegs, which has been bothering me for ages. Now it all looks tidy, though I need to spackle and smooth the holes from the (former) wall anchors. Incremental progress is still progress...
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Saturday I finished stenciling the sleeve cuffs of my scrappy collage cardigan. Once heat set, they can be stitched together with the bodice, and the cuff edges bound to match the edge binding already in place. Probably some nice big snaps will do for fastenings, as a look through my button box found nothing that seemed appropriate. I really should have read ahead to know this contest was coming up... alas that I started my sewing on my cardigan on October 20 and not on November 1!  Maybe if I have enough time once the cardigan is finished, I can make some sort of scrappy/collaged knit top to wear under it, for a kind of "art teacher twinset", and enter that knit top... hmmmm...
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Drawvember is a month long drawing challenge, with daily one word prompts...
#2 flower

these frost-burnt fuchsia blossoms from the front yard were a good subject

#3 succulent

a perfectly ripe Bartlett pear is one of the most luscious and succulent things that grows around here...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x necklace pegs-
2 xx-
3 xx -
4 x
x -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitutude - the warm wooly lopapeysa I knit earlier this year is so cozy...