Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine notices that there are flower buds on the forsythia, plans to refill prescriptions, and makes plans for upcoming dental surgery...

Making further progress on embroidery of rubakha trim, the metallic outline stitch around the front neckline motifs adds just enough sparkle. There will be a narrow band collar around the neck, wider symmetrical embroidered strips down the front neckline, and more elaborate cuffs. I like having handwork that folds up small enough to carry in a pencil case when riding transit.
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Took a trip to the hardware store for wingnuts, in order to begin reassembling the dress form. It no longer looks quite so picasso-esque, though it is still very different in both size and shape from yours truly Little Teapot... The next (eventual) step will be to take a LOT of measurements, fit a "body muslin" of my own shape, and pad out the form to better match my own body. The distances and angles between the various component pieces of the form are easily adjustable via the sliding metal strips that the wingnuts hold in place. Since I still have the narrow shoulders of the smaller woman I was in my twenties, this form will be much more useful to me than any "plus size" modern form. Just as with many actual humans, it is much easier to add than to remove inches
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Wondering if any of my friends have had gum surgery... I have two teeth that need more help than deep cleaning, and have gum flap surgery scheduled for the beginning of March on one of the two teeth. Plucky heroine is concerned, particularly about what to expect during recovery, and hasn't found much useful info online...

The whole point of my having gum surgery is to not pull my healthy teeth, rather to keep the gum bacteria from degrading the jawbone and then need to remove my live teeth. As far as I know, the plan is to flay my gums and clear away all the infection below the gumline and around and under the tooth roots. There may or may not be necessary bone grafting, depending on what they find that is not always visible with xrays. (If I wanted to just have the tooth/teeth pulled, that would be covered by OHP insurance; because I choose to keep my healthy teeth, my option is to do this thing and pay for it myself. I have been saving for a long time so I can afford to do this)

I have gone from being obsessively terrified at the prospect to a sort of calm resignation. I don't know if that is normal or not. I had a horrific experience of dental surgery done when I was a teen, which has given me a lifelong phobia of oral novacaine injections, and for weeks after I was told this surgery would be advisable, I couldn't go even a few hours without vivid worry. Now, however, I am more concerned (assuming that I don't die in the dental chair) with how my recovery will go. There has been no mention of pain medication other than OTC ibuprofen, which I usually avoid because it gives me stomach pain and intense diarrhea. I will be on a "soft diet" for a number of weeks, so I guess I will be eating broth and soup, since smoothies are full of sugar and not something I want to eat even when feeling well. Perhaps I will be less of a little teapot after I go through this?...
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simple things make a difference:

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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 leggings trim printed
Arlys circlet paper recycling
5 black/grey shirtAn Tir pennant metal recycling
6 10 pattern hangers  leggings pattern
yard waste bin
7 charter #1 Karla sewing machine
paper recycling
8 x fig trees planted x
9 x
new worms for bin 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 am grateful for the beauty of the ornamental plum blossoms in the front yard trees

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

phoenix in a wading pool

...in which our plucky heroine is getting back to some charter illumination

For many reasons, I'm hoping to do more drawing, charter and scroll painting, and calligraphy this year, and take some time every week for scribal arts. It is something I love to do, something that for me fills the meditation niche by putting my mind into the now, something that allows me to be of service to the group I have participated in for several decades, something that fosters active hand/eye coordination and creativity, and will allow me to close several open loops, which is one of my year goals...
This charter was a lot of fun to paint, between the many small leaves, and the empty box that needed filled. I love this design, with the combination of an elaborate but simple to paint border, and a defined area for scribal creativity.
In historical bestiary images, I found this phoenix, which filled the empty box nicely.
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 leggings trim printed
Arlys circlet paper recycling
5 black/grey shirtAn Tir pennant metal recycling
6 10 pattern hangers  leggings pattern
yard waste bin
7 charter #1 Karla sewing machine
x
8 x fig trees planted x
9 x
new worms for bin 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 am grateful for my house full of art supplies



Tuesday, February 25, 2020

textile Tuesday

in which our plucky heroine notes slow but steady progress...

Yesterday I spent a number of hours either waiting for an annual medical test or riding transit to and from said medical center. The only small handwork project I had handy to take with me was the rubakha trim embroidery project. The metallic outline stitch really does a fantastic job of defining the edges of the block printed foliage shapes:
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2020 SWAP garments:
grey canvas chore coat
grey herringbone wool capelet (completed)
grey linen pinafore
black corduroy pinafore (previously sewn)
black/grey gingham flannel shirt (completed)
grey cloud collar knit top (sewn after rules)
light blue horses blouse (completed)
black/blue/grey stripey dress (previously sewn)
cream/black pinstripe dress
grey/black chambray dress
grey knit leggings (completed)

My new grey leggings are completed, worn here with my new grey/black flannel shirt, and my black corduroy pinafore... While I am quite happy with how the block printed trim turned out, the thin knit fabric is a bit "sticky" and keeps trying to crawl up my legs, for all that it is soft and cozy. I am wondering if it isn't a cotton knit after all, but maybe a hemp/rayon? I shall not use such soft knit again for leggings, but stick to either medium/heavy cotton lycra, or Polartec.

Since there are four things left on my list, and three of them are easy as pie to make up, being TNT patterns in linen fabric, I have no choice but to dive into my other big challenge of the SWAP, to make the new-to-me chore coat pattern into one that fits in a way I am pleased with. I don't want to leave that til the last; I know how long it takes me to stitch up an everyday dress, or a pinafore, but have no idea how many iterations will be necessary for a new pattern...
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I started looking around for hooks to hang my cardboard patterns in the closet, and posted yesterday a clever design I'd found online... While several people suggested that I might make something similar from "coathanger wire", which would be very suitable as far as being sturdy and formerly free for the taking. Alas it has been years since there were any wire hangers around Acorn Cottage, so I decided to mull over if there was another way to solve the challenge, using things I do have on hand. A more common sort of pattern hanger for sale is the hook attached by a cord to a toggle (seen at right), said toggle being passed through a punched hole in the cardboard patterns. (I have found toggle and loop closure to be a robust and oft forgotten concept, but it was just the right thing for attaching the leather catch tray to my workbench.) Similar homemade toggles will work well for my patterns, and I realised that with a little bit of hammer work, I could convert shower curtain hooks to form pattern hanging hooks!...

(later that night edit: after forming some hanging hooks, I also realised that one of the ordinary shower curtain hooks could hold all the pattern pieces, and then fasten through the small loop at the end of the new hanging hook, and that I need not make toggles at all!)
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 leggings trim printed
Arlys circlet paper recycling
5 black/grey shirtAn Tir pennant metal recycling
6 x  leggings pattern
yard waste bin
7 x Karla sewing machine
x
8 x fig trees planted x
9 x
new worms for bin 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 am grateful to have thought to salvage the flat brown flexible cardboard that separates layers of paper goods at Costco, which is just the right thickness for reuseable patterns. Every time we go there, which doesn't happen very often, I snag as many as are easily accessed. Since they only get sent to recycling, no one minds my taking them, and since they are obviously made from recycled paper as it is, I feel positively virtuous!!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine has a productive and pleasant weekend with Heather, Brandon, and Young Anna...

They arrived late on Friday night, but Saturday was sunny, so perfect for various yard related chores. As they had come down here with the newly acquired trailer, it was possible for Brandon to get more trailer experience as we took all the assorted salvaged fencing and wire crap from the backyard to the transfer station recycling over in NW, (since the local recycling station closed down). While on the way home from there, a stop at Linnton Feed and Seed meant that new red wigglers for the worm bin were also acquired. While he and I were off doing that, Heather and Anna pulled gobs of weeds and cleared away the south side yard debris.

After lunch, a hole was dug near the south edge of the front yard, in the sunny spot carefully away from water lines, pavement, and house foundations. We removed the ornamental plum sapling in favor of making a new home for my fig trees.
I think that they will be much happier in the ground than in pots in the driveway, and my hope is that they will no longer need daily watering in the summertime, and that they will also enjoy the more abundant light. Now I just need to study up about how best to prune them to encourage a larger first crop...

Saturday night there were some misadventures in restaurant poor service*, but eventually we ended up at Wong's King for Chinese food, which was delicious, and piping hot!

Sunday was a trip to Costco, and some planning for what various kinds of SCA sewing projects will need to happen before camping season starts up again. It will be Brandon's first year of doing SCA things, so he needs some basic kit, Heather needs a warm wool hat, her daughter Genevieve needs some new clothing because tweens keep growing, and I lent young Anna a Viking Age apron-dress, in case she wants to try out the eventing along with them. I have a pile of wool and linen all labeled in the SCA closet waiting for me to get to all this sewing!
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Since I'm gradually transfering my most used TNT patterns to cardboard, it would be useful to come up with pattern hangers, and I saw these on a page of image searching... they seem to be pretty easy to make from heavy gauge wire, if I can find a source?

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WT(everlovin)F... the DSL internet was funky all Sunday morning, went out early afternoon, and apparently was related to no dial tone on any of the phone jacks which was discovered when I was doing troubleshooting. Then spent well over an hour on hold, only to have Century Link drop my call, go through the robot phone tree again twice, wait on hold again, and finally get a customer service person this evening who ran several tests on the phone lines from their end, and magically at that point everything started working again. I am baffled annoyed frustrated and confused, as well as relieved that I don't have to spend several hundred dollars on a service call. Am wondering if the outage was related to the high winds today, but it does seem peculiar that it would have coincidentally been fixed and as good as new at the very same moment that the worker was talking with me on the phone and "testing" the line... I'm just glad to have online access again!
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 leggings trim printed
Arlys circlet paper recycling
5 black/grey shirtAn Tir pennant metal recycling
6 x  leggings pattern
yard waste bin
7 x Karla sewing machine
x
8 x fig trees planted x
9 x
new worms for bin 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 am grateful that I have a cell phone and have speaker phone - I was able to get a bit of sewing done in the almost two hours I was on hold, with the speaker phone set at maximum volume to be heard over the sounds of the serger!

*we went to my current former favorite dim sum place, Ocean City over on 82nd for an early dinner at around 6ish. The restaurant was not yet full of dinner guests. The dishes we ordered were, (with one exception the steamed broccoli with garlic), put on the table cold or room temperature, when they should have been heated to serving temperature. This was both unappetizing and potentially hazardous. When we finally managed to get the attention of a server, they were confrontational rather than helpful.  While I will miss some of their unique dim sum offerings, I will not be returning there ever again.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday fragments, mostly textilia

in which our plucky heroine catches up on a few things...

Springtime seems to be a bit early this year, but these crocus are a welcome sight nevertheless...

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found a length of some tweedy (if thin) jersey knit in a medium grey in one of my fabric bins, and so cut out another pair of cropped leggings. They will be part of my SWAP 2020; despite the early flowers, it is still chilly enough that these will be a welcome addition to my everyday wardrobe. They will have a blockprinted trim along the hemline, using some recently carved counterchanged triangular blocks:

After several years, my pattern for leggings has been deteriorating, with the blue tape peeling up from the paper, so I transferred it to cardboard for future use. It would be great to get most all of the basic garment patterns in cardboard, which is ever so much easier to use than thin paper patterns. Cardboard is more difficult to store, but I suspect that space in a closet could be found, particularly with more decluttering
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the black/grey gingham flannel shirt is completed, and my guesstimate for how long to make the sleeves turned out to be just right. I will be making a note of that on the pattern for future reference, and foresee some additional shirts (as opposed to blouses) in my future sewing at some point...
The collar and neckline of the shirt, showing two different sides of the polkadot fabric (yoke facing, and bias binding along collar shirt seam), bias and straight-of-grain use of the gingham flannel.

The successful tower placket, both closed (above), and open (below)... again showing how I used the polkadot fabric to line the cuff and also to create the inner placket.

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started once again on the cuff embroidery for my rubakha... I'm more pleased with this iteration. Once I finish the embroidered arches, I will be outlining the printed motifs in the same metallic thread.

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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 leggings trim printed
Arlys circlet paper recycling
5 black/grey shirtAn Tir pennant -
6 x  leggings pattern
-
7 x Karla sewing machine
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful that I know enough to be of help to others, which contradicts my chronic imposter syndrome. I was able to help Karla with her sewing machine, which turns out to be a very nice commercial Singer, I am guessing from about thirty or forty years ago.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

sad in sunshine

In which our plucky heroine is sideswiped by songs...


An essay posted today, about being "friends first" in relationship, hit me most painfully. Because I always have failed to be in that sort of relationship, for various reasons. Just as when I was a young person, looking wistfully at those older than me who had sweet dearloves to walk with hand in hand (and more), I now look wistfully at my friends, and strangers on the street, who have another person by their side, some newly found, and some for many years. I just never got the hang of that sort of connection, but not for lack of wanting to, or for lack of awkward attempts, though less of those as years and decades pass. I know that well meaning people post that there are all sorts of love, and I greatly value my friends and parents and siblings, but there is none to know my inner stories, and no kindly hand when nightmares darken my dreamlands, none for me to know well enough that I can hear what they say in the quirk of an eyebrow, none for me to know enough that I can notice beauty and say "x would love this.."

I make do. I value all I do have. I write here. I share my knowledge in teaching. I create durable beauty in the work of my hands, that will long outlast my own lifetime. But oh how I wish that there was another who journeyed interwoven with my life.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

just keep sewing

in which our plucky heroine makes note of my SWAP progress...

I don't know what possessed me to write grey leggings into my SWAP plan when the only piece of knit fabric in my stash large enough for a pair of leggings is a thrifted brown jersey bedsheet intended for knitwear toiles... (The thing is, I could really use a few more pair of wintertime leggings... am tempted to order and so just ordered some lengths of cotton lycra, in various colors, from Girl Charlee)

So, with sewing of leggings on temporary hold until suitable fabric arrives, I turned to the grey/black flannel shirt. There is enough fabric to eke out most of the pattern pieces, if I cut the undercollar, inner cuffs, inner yoke, and the under placket from a complimentary fabric. Fortunately I found some remnants of quilting cotton fabric, black with grey polkadots (used for an everyday dress back in 2009).

The challenge of learning how to make the tower placket turned out very successfully, and I shall be able to use that technique on other future projects. If it was possible in the very thick cotton flannel, it will definitely be easier in thinner fabric. All that still remains is to finish the cuffs, and make the buttonholes and sew on the buttons...

That will have my SWAP sewing just a bit more than half done. I really need to start on a toile for the canvas chore coat soon; for some reason I always feel reluctant to take on a "deal with fitting" project, even though I know that once I get underway, the results will be well worth it...
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My neighbor Karla just put up a Little Free Library on the corner, which will prove a good place to drop off paperback books not wanted as part of my permanent collection. I rather love how there are these book repository and exchange spots continue to pop up all around the city, rather like delightful bibliographic mushrooms!
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
Arlys circlet -
5 xAn Tir pennant -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful that Karla built a Little Free Library. I had been considering adding that to my list of projects, as a good addition to these few blocks, and now all I need to is contribute to it from time to time...

Monday, February 17, 2020

For want of a nail...

in which our plucky heroine is fighting a cold...

It was most annoying to have a letter arrive from the state insurance board, letting me know that a subcontractor's carelessness, and a stolen computer, put my data, (and that of over 650K other folks) at risk. Annoying because it meant that now it was necessary to do a great deal of paperwork with various agencies...
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On Saturday while at Summits A&S, I was able to take a workshop on Coptic bookbinding. While there wasn't actually enough time to complete the stitching, I did my best to find some online tutorial to figure out how to attach the second cover. Not sure I did it right, but it is all assembled. I'd like to try making a few more...
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Last night I printed front neckline panels, cuffs, and the cuff edging for my rubakha. The pieces printed in gold on silk ikat will have the motifs outlined in embroidery with metallic floss. The cuff edging was printed in black on "Hug Snug" rayon ribbon. I decided to go with a combination of block printing and embroidery instead of solid embroidery fill for two connected reasons. My initial desire to create this more elaborate Russian set of clothing was to make good re-use of the non-cultural-specific embroidery I did for the collar and cuffs of my elevation gown. Being able to use those embroideries to decorate a navershnik means that they will have an active life instead of living on a now-too-small gown in my SCA closet.

It also means that my new garb will be a bit more on the "inspired by" rather than on the "re-create artifact" side of the fence. The block printing is a significantly faster way to fill the centers of the motifs. So I feel okay about choosing this combination of ways to get metallic trim (particularly knowing what sorts of embroidery techniques would have probably been used) and about choosing to slightly modify some of the motifs for trim (and for surface printing of the navershnik fabric in the future) to reflect aspects of my SCA heraldry.
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Yesterday as a very minor craft project, I added the An Tir checky background to my proof blockprint... Last year in July I carved a block to be used, one of several, to create site tokens for 12th Nigh. Before sending it off to Adiantum, I tried it out on a piece of linen as a proof that the design was as desired. My idea is that the proof, now hemmed and colored, will be a nice addition to camp decor.


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"The Day Democracy Died".... I was as impressed with this well done filk as I am continually appalled that it is such a sad and apt commentary:

I suppose I am dating myself to note that "American Pie" was a big hit when I was in high school...
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 rubakha trim printedbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
Arlys circlet -
5 xAn Tir pennant -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for my spare pair of eyeglasses. Once again I've misplaced my regular pair...

Sunday, February 16, 2020

challenge successfully met

in which our plucky heroine takes on an interesting job...

Circlets are a type of regalia headgear, similar to but different from crowns and coronets (and tiaras), and are worn as a formal indicator of having been given certain honors within the organization. The Order of the Laurel recognises excellence in the arts and sciences; the Order of the Pelican for high and ongoing service to the group.

A friend wanted to update her SCA circlet to reflect her current rank. It was originally made for her by a different artist, with a wide band of metal Laurel leaves, and a central medallion of her heraldry set in a Laurel leaf border. As she has also been a Pelican for many years, she wanted me fit symbols of that order into the already completed circlet. Challenge accepted!


(The challenge being complicated by my desire to have my additions done in a way that was complimentary to and congruent with the original artists work...)


I first did a sketch, based on her description and a photo of her circlet, fitting a pelican and chick into what looked like the right amount of space on either side of the central medallion.

However, when she brought the circlet to my studio, measurements proved that there was less space available, and so we decided to change the design to just the Pelican head with the iconic "drop of blood" being represented by these beautiful garnet cabochons. I also realised that the pelican heads could be anchored securely in place with just three rivets, and the neck could be neatly tucked underneath the open ends of the leafy Laurel wreath...
I slid paper into place between the central medallion and tucked under the leaves, carefully marked the available space, and drew facing pelican heads to fill the space. They were then cut from sheet silver, filed, polished, and the details stamped and engraved...

the bird heads are less than 1" tall

The next step was to make bezels for the garnets, and then solder the Pelican heads and bezels in the correct orientation to a backing of thin copper, to form a single unit...

Once the pieces are soldered, the edges of copper are mostly trimmed away, leaving a very narrow edge, both pelican heads are blackened and re-polished, curved to match the circlet curve. and then drilled in three places to be riveted to the circlet band. This was my first opportunity to use the riveting system acquired last year, and most useful it turned out to be...

Once the bird heads were both riveted in place, and the garnets set into their bezels, a bit more polishing was all that was needed to make the circlet ready to be worn...
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 xbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
Arlys circlet -
5 xAn Tir pennant -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for work to do that suits my skill

Thursday, February 13, 2020

try try again...

in which our plucky heroine makes a second beginning...

I intend to do a modest amount of SCA sewing for myself this year, to use some of the fabrics I have on hand, to decorate the fabrics with block printing and embroidery, and to look a bit more at some historical styles I've not yet attempted. My current efforts will be to create some Russian/Slavic clothing, because I love the bling, particularly the temple ring ornaments, because I can indulge my embellisher's heart with trimming the cuffs, necklines, hemlines and suchlike in various ways, and because I would very much like to use the embroidered neckline and cuffs from my elevation gown on some clothing I can wear nowadays.

Last week I started on cuff trim for a rubakha (a linen underdress with extra long sleeves, that are pushed up along the forearm for a sort of ruched effect; I've enough thin white linen on my fabric shelves for the project, though I will need to piece some of the fabric on the body). I am wanting to use what I have rather than buy more new fabric.


some trim motif sketches

My first attempt at the cuff embroidery was not entirely successful...

metallic floss on silk ikat, 1" wide
after beginning working on sleeve cuff embroidery (above) I'm thinking, looking more closely at a better scan of the line drawing, that the foliate shapes *between* the arches are done with a different technique than the arches themselves. (arches appear to be done in something like an outline stitch, see below)

I am considering three different options for the foliage: block printing with metallic ink, applique with metallic leather, or actual metal plaques (or I could fill them solidly with embroidery). My inclination is to go for block printing, because I have the supplies on hand, because my other plans for this particular set of clothing are more an interpretation than a specific reproduction, and because it is significantly faster than fill embroidery. I know, because I did a set of collar, neckline, and cuff trim for Marya's elevation.

So, I'm starting over on my decorative trim for my rubakha. My new plan involved a combination of block printing and metallic embroidery, possibly in addition to some seed pearls. I was very pleased to recently find just a few more of the small spherical brass buttons from India, which I will use for the cuff closures.

corbie and foliage blocks 1" tall, embroidery sample,
metallic block printing ink sample, tiny buttons, silk ikat
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 second pelican headdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 xbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for the random treasures in my unsorted stash boxes, which sometimes turn out to have just what I need. I thought I had used all the remaining metal sphere buttons on the Marya project in 2018, and was not particularly keen on the thought of DIY options. This uses up yet another bit of stash, (and the shirt they came off will be turned into a kitchen apron for wee Kestrel)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

rules are made to be broken

in which our plucky heroine adds another project to the homeplace...

I know that I vowed to no longer acquire "someday projects", but when a friend posted on the Buy Nothing group that there were two venerable dress forms that needed new homes, I put my name in the drawing, because I have wanted a dress form for years and years. Today this one arrived at Acorn Cottage, and will be hanging out as a sculpture in the living room, until the current open loop projects are completed and I can give her some attention.

She is looking rather Picasso-esque at the moment, but with some refurbishment, this will become my long-desired sewing accoutrement: a dress form, useful for both design work and for photographing projects... She needs both some additional but acquireable hardware, and then padding out to an appropriate shape and size.

Always better to start with a form that is smaller in dimensions than the body you are trying to duplicate, and since my shoulders, unlike the rest of me, are particularly narrow, this small form will be ideal! I know that there were some articles in Threads magazine about how to pad a dress form to match personal dimensions, so that is where I will start my search, later on this year...
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 one pelican head restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 xdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 xbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for Duchess D for starting the "Buy Nothing" group, and for L for both giving away the dress form, and for her also being willing to transport it here to Acorn Cottage

Sunday, February 9, 2020

in search of baby bear's plant food...

in which our plucky heroine has a mostly useless weekend...

(it was a mostly useless weekend because this is about the only useful thing I managed to accomplish, other than simple house chores like washing dishes and doing laundry. I am in a wretched funk, and seem to have misplaced my motivation and gumption and probably a whole bunch of other things that end with "tion"...)

The internet answered a question I had, which is why my seedling cilantro and arugula (which only have two leaves) are turning purple. I thought that maybe it had to do with the plant light, but no...They are starving, and need phosphorous in particular. I am a bad plant mother and will need to find them some plant food so I set off in the cold sunny afternoon on my bike to find plant food...

what I saw while riding my bike around the neighborhood...
unlike my poor sad herb starts, these are supposed to be purple!

The plant and pet food store on the corner only had huge bags suitable for garden beds, while I have just two 5" plant pots on the counter under lights. When I asked if they had anything smaller, their suggestion was that someone had read an article about using vegetable soup as fertiliser, and maybe ask Dr Google... (ummm nope, vegetable soup for food plants seems vaguely cannibalistic)

I then tried the new local store in Kenton that sells house plants and local artisan gifty things... the young woman there said that they didn't believe in plant fertiliser, and that maybe I should add some banana tea or coffee to the plant instead ... or else ride my bike over the bridge to Jantzen Beach where the big box stores are... (ummm nope, not going to drape my tiny plant pots in banana skin and wait for it to break down into compost)

Then I went to the local store that caters to those growing "herb", but their supplies were for plantings on a much larger scale than my two little tiny tabletop arugala and cilantro. The men behind the counter wanted to help, but I pointed out that the large bottle of plant food that was the smallest they had would probably last me decades at the scale I needed. (They were the ones that reminded me that there were some garden supplies at Fred Meyers, which would be more likely to have a smaller bottle, if not so excellent a quality...)

So I rode over to Freddies, which while not my favorite store in any way, had assorted tiny bottles of various compositions of plant food, as well as larger ones, and a whole aisle full of nasty smelling compounds, and many ugly plastic decorative planters. And I rode home again with a little bottle of plant food that is particularly high in phosphorus, and mixed it up half strength, and watered the baby plants. Hopefully in a few days they will start turning green again...
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 - restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 xdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 xbra elastics renewed bag to Goodwill
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for the tiny bathroom radiator, and to Young Heather for giving it as a holiday gift.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine is at loose ends...

But here is a pretty thing to look at:

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Bah, the new wall phone worked for one day, and sometime in the middle of the night, the handpiece slipped from the phone cradle and crashed to the floor, which seems to have caused the speaker to lose almost all sound. I didn't realise how imperfectly the two parts of the new improved phone fit together, until I tried to hang it back up in place again... back to square zero on the kitchen wall phone project. (Perhaps a more classic wall phone would be a better option) At least the other house land line phone is okay..
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I just found out that my weekend plans need completely changed as my helpful friend can't make it down here to lend a hand with declutter and yard efforts... now that I had carefully matched tasks to the weather forecast. I am sad, but will instead focus on getting commissioned metalwork done that needs ready before next weekend. No great loss without some gain.
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 - restrung grey beadspaper recycling
2 xdial tone regainedfrontyard prunings
3 xbra elastics renewed -
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for audiobooks... the library offers something that can read me stories while I do chores like washing the dishes...

Monday, February 3, 2020

tragedy narrowly averted...

in which our plucky heroine spins her wheels...

thyme for snowdrops.... I have no idea how they found a home in the middle of the herb bed in the front of Acorn Cottage, but I am just delighted to see them! And there are hints of spring growth on the branches of the quince, and my hellebore is flowering... (can I call it an Imbolc rose?)
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Ugh and gorram, what felt like a wasted day... Sunday morning my land line handset seems to have stopped working, no dial tone, but it still lights up. I don't particularly want to go phone shopping today, but may have to. Obviously it isn't the phone line per se, since the modem is still alive and, when I call the number, it doesn't ring through, which I assume is also the handset, but the answering machine also doesn't pick up... gah! (I am not even sure where to get a new basic phone + answering machine any more) After spending almost an hour on repeated phone tree and bot chat with Century Link with no results at all to finally be told that they have no way to know what may be causing the problem, and that if they send a tech out it will be a minimum of 95$... I had the idea to check all the pieces of the system a second time.

Okay, partial phone success, the vital part is sorted for now! When I removed the DSL phone line filter, I got a dial tone back, yay! Removing the filter meant phone sound quality was rubbish, but at least functional. Then spent the whole afternoon with Wanda (and her helpful auto) driving to various big box stores to find a replacement inline filter. Which took a while, but was eventually acquired. Also ordered a new corded wall phone for the kitchen, in the hope that it is the venerable wall phone that stopped working, and not the phone jack. I want to have at least one basic phone that works even when the power fails, because earthquakes...
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I think this could be the theme song for today's adventures:

(we were at this show)
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 - restrung grey beads-
2 xdial tone regained-
3 x- -
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for my friend Wanda being a transport angel today, and I am also grateful that my brain is enough of an engineer brain to sort out some possible things to check, and hence have a somewhat functional phone again...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

not exactly a huipil...

in which our plucky heroine has a tiny new idea...

So, while laying in bed this morning waiting for my SI joint to stop hollering at me, gradually waking up, I started thinking about the two online challenges: SWAP on Stitchers Guild, and Spring/Summer 6PAC on The Sewing Place. It occurred to me that rayon huipil-style tops (like my popover dresses, but shorter) would be a Very Simple rectangular construction garment that could both fill in the gaps in my plan, and also provide a "canvas" for various surface design embellishment...  such simple tops would make good use of smaller yardage pieces, could be color blocked, and allow me to indulge my enjoyment of stenciled or blockprinted decoration, or embroidery, or AC reverse applique, or whatever...

# SG SWAP
# TSP 2 3PAC's
1 grey chore coat 1grey chore coat
2 grey linen pinafore2grey linen pinafore
3 grey blockprint rayon top3 grey blockprint rayon top
4 grey cloud collar top


-
5 grey/black flannel shirt
1teal/blue linen pinafore
6 grey chambray dress?
2 indigotiger rayon popover
7 grey knit leggings
3 teal/multicolor rayon top
8 blue brown horses blouse


9 grey/black/blue dress



10 grey black wool capelet


11 black corduroy pinafore



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Earlier this week took a few afternoons to work on block printing a bunch of postcards, to send off to the folks participating in the sekrit valentine swap... this time I tried several different acrylic paints as print ink, wanting to use what is here on hand, so the colors vary from cobalt blue to a sort of metallic blue/grey, as I gradually mixed in more metallic copper with the blue paint. The back of the postcard, where the message and address goes, I stamped with a vintage commercial rubber stamp I've had for decades, in the very center it says in wee tiny letters around the shield "the mark of originality"...
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February SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 - restrung grey beads-
2 x--
3 x- -
4 x
- -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I am grateful for the break in the rain, and for the floral signs of spring here and there, despite the howling of the wind at night...