Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday snippets and sparks

in which our plucky heroine notices small bits of brightness...

Yesterday my pal Ursel came over for a nice long afternoon visit. I astonished the bus driver today by telling him that I grew (and ate) collards. The good folks at Artist/Craftsman were able to get the paint I needed sent over from their other store, for me to pick up this morning. Some silly people made amusing comments about my walking home carrying the box of a new weed whacker, and made both them and myself smile. From such motes, drops of resilience will slowly replenish me...
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~ creativity challenge ~
Yesterday spent some pleasant time playing with paints. Bathroom trim project is finally underway... and this will be an accent around the sink. I've had this in mind for years, and finally figured out how to make it happen. I might be slow, but I do get there...
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The Aunties had a brilliant suggestion for me during last nights Saturday Shindig ... I was whinging about yardwork, particularly the shaggy lawn of shame. Auntie B is rather significantly shorter than I am and they recently acquired a new (lighter, smaller, and incidentally less spendy) weed eater. I took the bus to the hardware store and picked up one of the same model today for myself. About half the front yard is now cut back to bearable (the half in the shade, since it is 80F) in well under an hour, and I should be able to get the rest done, and the side yard, maybe tomorrow morning early, before the heat...
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beauty in the time of isolation:
Campanula rapunculus, flowering... common names include rampion, and rapunzel. Was once widely grown in Europe for its edible leaves and roots.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
yard waste bin
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
recycle bin
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 Nandina striped knit dress repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 tiny red rucksack
epoxy canister handle
x
14 x end caps for cloches
x
15 x planted salad table
x
16 x repotted eggplant
x

today's gratitude - Lookit this lovely thing!...

An artist in Chicago made this block print, and thanks to the wonders of the internet, it now lives at my house, as a reminder it would do me well to heed. After much examining samples of colored paper, instead, this shot linen/cotton fabric was used to cover the mat for the print. I was also pleasantly surprised that my big jar of Yes Paste, which has to be well over 20 years old, is still perfectly useable!

fearful Friday

in which our plucky heroine is handed another (if minor) challenge...

so good news bad news... I am scheduled to have my periodontal surgery next Friday. However, I have to go in to the dental school on Wednesday to have a COVID test beforehand... this is good, because they are testing everyone who gets scheduled for surgery. This is bad because a. I have to make an additional trip on transit to get this done, and b. because I am a big weenie about how much the test is likely to be painful. I mean, I already know that the surgery is painful, and the recovery is both difficult and painful, and I well understand why all this is needed and a very good idea, but I am just so out of any spoons at all at this point, and can't figure out what will fill up my ability to be able to cope. I mean, it wasn't necessary for me to start crying on the phone to the nice person that called me to let me know I needed a COVID test. And I certainly will put on my big girl panties and just do what needs done, because that is what I do. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

not enough potting soil

in which our plucky heroine pretends to have a green thumb...

The salad table has been cleared and planted... There were a lot of older seed packets in my stash, so the idea I had was to just scatter them in each of the four trays: one of assorted radishes, one of assorted lettuces, one of assorted cilantro, and one of assorted purslane. With luck there will be at least some germination, and if nothing shows up in a couple of weeks, I will get fresh seeds and start again

the lil "Patio Baby" eggplant has been transplanted into a bigger pot and hopefully will enjoy its new digs and settle in for the future creation of little nightshade fruit (fingers crossed)

did some cutting back of the masses of new growth on feral grapevine, which had begun taking over my clothesline, and was reaching out into the yard. Next grapevine pruning will be to steal leaves and put up a few jars for future dolmas.

Definitely need more potting soil, as I have about ten more plants: tomatoes and peppers and squashes oh my... that must be put somewhere! I have assorted large pots and planters they can inhabit, and if I keep doing this each year, will need to start thinking about "crop rotation" so as to not grow tomatoes each year in the same pots
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~ creativity challenge ~
isn't this a clever thing? The cloches were a gift, and once I added end caps to them, they fit perfectly on the trays of the salad table! (and should, with luck, foil Dread Squirrels depredation)
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beauty in the time of isolation:
.

On Wednesday my friend Poni picked me up along with two other (also vaccinated) friends and we went to the Tsuru Island Japanese Garden. Was my first social excursion outside the house in 14 months. It was both good, and uncomfortable at the same time. I am unused to being around people...
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
yard waste bin
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
recycle bin
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 Nandina striped knit dress repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 tiny red rucksack
epoxy canister handle
x
14 x end caps for cloches
x
15 x planted salad table
x
16 x repotted eggplant
x

today's gratitude - My Olympia pals who continually remind me that I am not forgotten, by sending me garden plants and acoutrements...
day 74 - year 2

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine keeps making incremental progress...

Repairs and refurbishments: the biggest one is getting all four of the wire cloches fitted with end caps, so I can renew the salad table. Took me several days of faffing about with the extra-heavy plastic mesh, but with luck it will keep the contents safe from squirrel predation.

I dropped a knife while putting it away in the knife block on the wall, and it hit the lid of the beautiful ceramic canister and snapped the knob clean off! Fortunately I had some epoxy in the big box of glue, and was able to reattach it.
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~ creativity challenge ~
Somehow, I misplaced my otter face needle book, which has been a friendly helper for many a year. (and I am really sad about losing my favorite sewing needles, that lived inside the otter). So, I started making myself a new one, as seen above.
Had mostly the right colors of felt, decided to add a pocket to the back of the needle book, with some strands of kelp appliqued on, but alas, only had fairly large black buttons for the otter eyes. New needle book will be much more kawaii than old one. Completion is on hold until suitable snap fastener can be acquired, as the only ones on hand currently are the wee little dolly sized snaps

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I continue my efforts to learn to play the harp, today was online lesson #3. I have no inate musical ability, and despite being fairly dexterous with fine motor control, the needed hand coordination for playing music is entirely different than anything else I do, and my lack of anything resembling a lap makes holding the harp in place a challenge. Nonethesless persistence will be a good thing, and it is, fortunately, an instrument that cannot help but make lovely sounds, even when interfacing with the unskilled person.
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beauty in the time of isolation:

the heart of a poppy flower is a thing of great beauty
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I have had a walloping headache for most of today, for no reason I can divine. Ugh. No fever though. Been pushing water in case it was just me being slightly dehydrated, but nope. Thinking about taking Took some Tylenol, which toned it down a bit. I never get headaches, usually, unless I have a fever, which made this rather baffling, I am suspecting a combination of unrelieved stress and defective infrastructure
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 tiny red rucksack
epoxy canister handle
x
14 x end caps for cloches
x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I have a Useful Bicycle Pump, that also works well for the tire on the wheelbarrow. The pump has a little moveable arrow on the pressure gauge, so as to make it easy to get to the correct pressure and not go too far. I like this feature very much


day 73 - year 2

Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday miscellany

in which our plucky heroine perseveres and observes...

In the Before Times, my life was one of constraint and privilege combined. I well recognised the privilege of having a roof over my head, having experienced the alternative in my late twenties, and I am beginning to realise the other privileges I never noticed, like color and language, and my mostly functional body. The constraints of age and gender were a familiar harness, while the lack of intimate companions was a familiar grief... I'd built a life that (despite my best efforts to connect with people) had just barely enough contact with others of my species to maintain my equilibrium, and then the plague arrived. With a sudden snap closed, all my occasional informal interactions were gone, not to mention all the long awaited annual occurrences that structured to my year... Even now that I am vaccinated, my life will not immediately spring back to its former shape, maybe never. 
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beauty in the time of isolation:
European Black Elderflower is just covered with clusters of pale pink blossoms. Planted in the parking strip, it is a wonderful contrast to the lime green leaves of the persimmon tree, and it echoes the dark red leaves of the ornamental plum trees in the front yard. Originally planted in 2016, it is now much taller than I am.
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yard and garden news: so much to do, and always more tasks than I have stamina. My current efforts are to create end caps for the beautiful wire cloches I was gifted, that will fit perfectly atop the plant trays on the salad table. Once those are in place, the trays will have fresh potting soil added, and new seeds and seedlings will have a convenient home on the front porch.

It is also time to thin the apples (and remember this year to use the footie barriers!) and to cut back the rampant growth on feral grapevine. Maybe this year I'll put up some grape leaves for future dolmas...The lawn has gone berserk with first the warm weather, and now more rain, and is much too shaggy for my hand mower. Need to remember next year to try and stay on top of cutting back the grass. I hate lawns. I may try the string trimmer if my poor sore shoulders are able to handle it.
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~ creativity challenge ~
Last week I had the delightful opportunity to take "Drawing from the Deep", a workshop with Ray Troll sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Not only was it a chance to watch and learn from a renowned artist, and to also find out a bit of paleontological history of the Giant Spike Tooth Salmon, but was also a chance for me to play with some art media I never tried before. The Neocolor II crayons are a lot of fun, and I look forward to some more experiments with saturated color on black Bristol board.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 tiny red rucksack
x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - art supplies... I have all kinds of random bits and bobs stashed here at home, and will be using them to create postcards to send to my Mom. I found a bundle of blank post cards of heavy water color paper, and my hope is that getting frequent intermittent mail will add a bit of enrichment to her very boring current life. (I meant to take a photo, but headed off on my bike to the mailbox before remembering to do so) Our plucky heroine keeps trying to come up with ideas to ease in whatever way possible the very sad and untenable parental situation.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine finds some small ways to cope...

It has been both good and difficult these last few weeks to get daily reports from my sister, on her extended visit to see my Aged Parents. Their situation is not really improving, and my mom varies widely from day to day, even from moment to moment, with how rational or lucid she is.

When the "good" caregiver (Pam) is there, things go better, but she gets one week a month off, and luck of the draw who gets sent in to cover for her. The current replacement is not really working out well (understatement), my sister left to return home today, and today my daily phone call was in the middle of a huge blow-out. I feel so helpless, unable to do anything to improve the situation, and thousands of miles away
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~ creativity challenge ~
Sometimes the only thing saving my sanity is making tiny things. When I ran across this tutorial for a little felt rucksack, I knew the concept would be perfect for Nandina. I made a pattern from a bit of notebook paper, and used a cut up small hair tie for the elastic part. Even better, when rummaging around the sewing notions, I found some Very Small Buttons, one for the actual fastening. I like how the rucksack has a handle on the top, so it can be carried in hand as well as on the back:


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Somehow, my needle book disappeared from the worktable?!? Since this is in almost daily use, I have started new one to replace it... Fortunately there was a partially cut out WIP in the stack of felt, so no need to generate a new pattern. Unfortunately? there were no more tiny black buttons in the button box, so this one will have somewhat larger button eyes, for a slightly kawaii/anime appearance.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
These wacky spherical flowers are actually a variety of butterfly bush "Buddleia globosa" I had to look them up online, as I'd never seen the like before.
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this makes me happy, and also makes me cry...
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 tiny red rucksack
x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - While riding home from the library, I saw several large (black, nursery style) plant pots in a pile of "free" detritus in the parking strip of a house being remodeled. After putting my bike away and eating breakfast, another trip there, this time on foot with the wheelie cart, and four large planters are now sitting on the porch waiting for plants

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

dip my toes in

in which our plucky heroine braves the bus...

Got a call from the dental school, with a waiting list spot for a Tuesday afternoon intake appointment (this is the necessary hoop for getting reinstated as an actual patient, so I can get the periodontal surgery that was put off last March)...

Given the short notice, I decided to also take public transit, which has not been in my wheelhouse since going into isolation... re: my dental experience yesterday: in the Before Times, the dental school general clinic waiting room was pretty crowded whenever I went there, and all the treatment cubicles were full of folks getting care. This visit, the instructions were to not arrive any sooner than 15 min prior to appointment, so I simply walked around outside the building until it was time.

There were only four other people waiting, and we were quickly met and escorted in. The school is running at what seems like well under half capacity, with most of the cubicles left empty. All the students and staff I saw were masked, and those who actually interacted with me were also wearing face shields, and were vaccinated. I may have been asked during my prior online intake about my vaccination and/or any symptoms, but there wasn't any hygiene theater with temperature etc... I was pleased with how few people were there. I kept my double mask on the entire time except when they actually needed to be in my mouth, and everyone was totally okay with that. It was not as scary as I had feared, (or maybe I am just emotionally numb right now)

I also took transit there and back, and that was much less bad than I had feared. Exponentially fewer people on bus and MAX than in the Before Times, everyone being good about keeping distances, and the bus had a box of masks handy in case of people being clueless and/or illiterate
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~ creativity challenge ~
I just finished making Nandina a “schoolgirl style” pinafore in black linen, pattern adapted from this Hitty-size tutorial (Hitty is 6¼" tall, Nandina is just 5") . The fabric, while thin, was still a bit bulky for this style of stitched pleating, but I made it work… the hem and some of the inner stitching is done with herringbone rather than folding over twice, as a way to keep it all a bit more flat.

Here she is while accompanying me on my morning walk today, after she decided to clamber up on someones rock wall: she's wearing the new pinafore, with one of her older gowns turned inside out to function as a "blouse". I'm making her a blue checked linen dress with long sleeves next, and while I'm getting towards the end of the wardrobe challenge, there are also a few accessories I want to create... particularly the little red felt rucksack, and the red leather fringed vest.
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beauty in the time of isolation:

ornamental allium
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Garden news: removed the bungee cords holding the hanging planters low enough to see and care for, and substituted loops of paracord, simply tied to hold the tomato and strawberries just about a foot lower than they would be otherwise. It would be fun to get an additional several hanging baskets, and maybe even some wind chimes.

Today I assembled the wire mesh cloches, which fit perfectly on the salad table, and also walked up to Fang and acquired an additional bag of potting soil and a pot of chives (an allium that has not yet made it's home here). I'll need to fit mesh on the ends of the cloches, which may be a bit challenging. I think I will: a. make a pattern, and b. use the very heavy plastic mesh as a stopgap for now, so I can move forward with replanting the four trays with new things to grow and harvest.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 Nandina schoolgirl pinafore
paracord loops for plants
x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - When I asked at the coffee stand if they could suggest where to get the large size paper cups, and I explained I only wanted a dozen, they very sweetly just gave them to me. My little cucumbers are getting big enough that they need transplanted from the "loo rolls" into something larger, to tide them over til they can go outside.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Monday miscellany

in which our plucky heroine has a day of small if definite progress...

...after acquiring and cutting up the foraged cardboard, I then (purposefully) tipped over the compost bin full of wood chips (from back when there were hens here). Most of the chips were still basically wood, and so I was able to move them, taking several trips using the burden cloth, over to cover the cardboard pieces surrounding the alley gate, which should keep the cardboard anchored against the wind

...the kitchen always needs attention: more dishes washed and put away, and the rhubarb and strawberries from previous shopping are now washed, chopped, and macerating in some sugar in the fridge, to eventually turn into sauce and be jarred for shelf storage.

...tiny baby tomato is planted in a hanging basket, which should keep it safe from squirrels? we shall see...The strawberry is also planted in a hanging basket, and both are currently hanging from bungee cords on the front porch walkway, since I am lacking in heavy wire suitable for making extensions. I also repotted the two wee pepper plants into larger pots with room to grow, until I make them a place in the back yard
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beauty in the time of isolation:
So tempted to use this spectacular Icelandic poppy as inspiration for artwork...
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
recycle bin
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina repot tiny tomato
x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
repot strawberries
x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
repot peppers
x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - While I was out on my early morning sanity stroll, I found a Very Large Cardboard box set out for recycling (someone had purchased a bicycle) and made a mental note to go back after breakfast and scavenge it. Which I did, and whilst I was engaged in beginning to cut it up so I could bungee it to the back of my bike in pieces, the householder came out, so I asked if that was okay, if they were getting rid of it... Their response was "of course... and if you like, I can put it in the back of my car and drop it off for you" That was so kind, and saved me a great deal of effort! Large cardboard pieces went to finish filling in the alley gate zone, placed under the wood chip mulch

Sunday, May 16, 2021

back in the saddle

in which our plucky heroine climbs back on the horse...

...so, after a two week attempt to "walk every morning when I first get up" and "write down what I eat after each meal", compared to the Fell-Off-The-Wagon following two weeks when I didn't manage to get myself to do either of those things, I see a difference in the scale, and in my mood, and in my other metrics I track. Walking the first thing has a definite positive effect on my daily mood, though making myself leap out of bed is rough. Starting again from square zero today. Got up and walked this morning, and will walk again later today in the early evening. Going to write down what I eat. If I keep doing this, hopefully it will start to feel normal instead of annoying, but I want different/better normal for me, and that requires doing things differently than my old normal. Stress eating doesn't make the stress go away, instead it adds more stress... I'm not going to give up.
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~ creativity challenge ~
I've gone rather over the top in the last two weeks with making new clothing for Nandina. In part, because due to her petite size, making clothing for her is quite speedy, even with all the hand sewing needed, so I get the happy feeling of completion. And the Mix and Match challenge this month, from Tiny Rag Doll Nation, is a big incentive. In the last week I made her a pair of dark red linen trousers, a handknit red cardigan using wool I dyed with poke berries back in 2012, and two more reversible tops, one striped turquoise silk/Mod quilting cotton, and one navy/lavender print.

The lavender print fabric originally had a cream background, but some judicious use of Sharpie marker made it a better colorway for this project. Since Sharpies have alcohol based ink, they are quite safe for this sort of thing, and the needful ironing in making these tiny tops would help "set" the new color. I tried out several different colors of marker to see what would work best with the print skirt, and the lavender seemed best, it sort of blends in with the block printed pattern of the skirt fabric...


I also decided to take the opportunity to do some modification of Nandina's legs, detaching and reattaching them to her hips, but this time leaving a small section unstuffed, which will allow her to sit down more easily by creating a "hinge".  There are two more garments left to make in her wardrobe plan, a "hippie style" fringed red leather vest, and a black linen pinafore (using this tutorial for a Hitty pinafore, but scaled smaller, as Hitty is usually 6½" tall), and then I will turn my attention to a few pleasing accessories, and to making some progress on Caer Cardboard, which has been languishing for months unfinished sitting atop my dresser.  Just this morning realised that were I to find a new home for remove the unused mirror that sits next to Caer Cardboard, there would be space for an additional two room boxes!
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
taxes done
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
yard waste bin
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
Nandina's legs x
8 two more baprons
woodchip back gate zone
x
9 teal/Mod top for Nandina x x
10 striped knit dress for Nandina
x x
11 4 more Nandina clothes
x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - my dear sister, who is visiting my Aged Parents and doing her excellent best to improve things while she is there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Plusses and minuses

in which our plucky heroine stretches the comfort zone, just a bit...

Rode my bike to the bigger grocery store yesterday. It was weird to be there, and not entirely pleasant. Too many people. Plus when did they start having an armed guard near the entrance?...

I did see some interesting things while out and about, though... There are three new trees planted behind the elementary school, with fairly large cutouts made in the otherwise entirely paved playground which comprises the fenced area for children. I saw a young man with an odd backpack that had screened sides and a large "porthole" where the flap would usually be. As I rode past I asked if they had a puppy inside, but instead, it was for their cat! (who peered out through the side at me)
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~ creativity challenge ~
Finished making up the baby baprons as part of the gift package (handknit sweater, hat, and booties; baprons; squishy ball; rainbow beads; board book) for Future Child of Heather and Brandon... Next I think will be a blanket, once I figure out if it wants to be patchwork, or blockprinting, or ??? (fortunately the baby isn't due til October)
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Perhaps some unknown bug (I suspect tiny arachnids) has been biting me while I am sleeping, or while I am out in the yard, or something, ever since Monday. Nasty welts like mosquito bites, but different. I seem to recall this happening a few years ago, with inconclusive results. More welts showed up this morning.  Benadryl creme, and green clay, are my friends.
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beauty in the time of isolation:

a wee lil shroom, growing under the patio eggplant start!
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Ugh! taxes time... Found both the missing SS paperwork, and the missing accounts reciepts (not that there are many of them, 2020 was a year of minimal business, since most of what I do requires in person activity) Here's hoping that finding and downloading the forms will be reasonable and simple... well, a girl can hope, eh? ... and, in a fit of brilliance, I called the Library. They had most of the forms I needed, and the ones they did not have on hand, they made copies of for me. They are not open to patrons yet, but there is a clever interactive window-barricade set into the door frame there, where one can drop off books and pick up holds.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
-
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
-
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
backyard mowed x
7 three baby baprons
x x
8 two more baprons
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 - today the tiny 5mm snaps I ordered from Etsy finally arrived. And, an unexpected lagniappe, a package of tiny lace as well! I had been thinking about the new miniature wood stove tutorial from Ann Wood, and how I definitely have egg cartons and loo roll cores, but nothing at all like tiny decorative lace... I foresee a tiny wood stove for Caer Cardboard.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine breathes easier...

something very odd is drinking some cold water when half the mouth is still numb... the numb side does not register the coldness, so it feels like the water is half cold and half warm!
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~ creativity challenge ~

So, "troll dolls" were a thing when I was a child, and we made them outfits that consisted of clothing: a decorated strip of felt with two holes cut into it for their arms, and often a snap or button on the back to hold it closed, and a hat or headgear that was basically a decorated loop that slid down over their sheepskin hair. It was fun to use felt, beads, sequins, and floss to create troll doctors and nurses, cave people, and kings and queens. It didn't take much sewing skill, and often the decorations were merely glued in place. When I decided to make Nandina a felt apron, the memories came flooding back...

My textile skills are a bit better than when I was eight. Saturday night I knit Nandina a stripey wool dress in teal and cream, and decided it needed an apron, and on a whim I decided on white felt. I sure hope that the tiny snaps I ordered arrive soon, as I am almost out; used two sets to make the apron straps moveable rather than stitched in place. Now the pockets are properly sewn in place, and a bit of wool hand-embroidery for a floral spray at the upper edge of the apron; I rather like how the white pinafore over the blue stripes gives her almost an "Alice in Wonderland" look...
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I came home Friday from the Dental Urgent Care clinic... no abscess in the x rays, some additional bone loss but not tons, gum pockets still quite bad. In addition to the exam they did root scaling/planing on that tooth to remove some of the tarter/calculus from below the gums, so two shots of novacaine, and now my jaw and tooth are quite sore. It hurts to open my mouth, which is weird (wondering if that is from having the injection into the joint area?)

Dr Addapali came down from periodontal to help. Based on the findings, he put me in his schedule for surgery on June 4, that is assuming that the getting me re-enrolled as a patient can be sorted out. I am quite pleased, sore, and almost $200 out of pocket; this is about as good an outcome as was at all likely
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
-
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
-
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
x x
7 three baby baprons
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 pixel world, that lets our family keep in contact though far apart.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

embryonic cucumber (sounds like a band name)...

in which our plucky heroine plans ahead...

In the morning, I will go to dental urgent care, with many phone calls yesterday and today I was able to find out that although most everyplace I tried doesn't have appointments until June, if then, the symptoms I have are considered to be, in fact, as urgent as I was imagining... not great, but at least I should know more by this time tomorrow about what needs to be done. Doing my best not to borrow trouble, and simply and as thoughtfully as possible do the next thing. There are no good results for this situation, but at least I am not shrinking from moving forward to meet it.
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~ creativity challenge ~
Ariadne sent me some cucumber seeds earlier this year, and according to the internets, this is the time to start them indoors... I had been saving TP cores to use for starter pots, and the plant light in the kitchen is a good spot to also plug in the heat mat my pal Gwen gave me. The lid to a clear spinach box made a good waterproof tray. Once the pots were filled, and the seeds added, I then covered them with some sifted potting soil, and put the top half of the clear spinach box over them like an impromptu greenhouse. Fingers crossed it all goes well, this is my Learn Something New for the week; my thumbs are not green.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
-
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
-
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
started cucumbers
-
6 samara earrings
x x
7 three baby baprons
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 kindly friend Wanda who is willing on such short notice to give me a ride to and from the clinic tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

seeds of hope

in which our plucky heroine plants seeds, and perseveres...

Yesterday was so difficult, for reasons that have nothing to do with this photo. There were hours spent trying to deal with things, and finding out that a dear friend has been rehospitalised. I needed to just do something small and positive and most of all, possible.

I have been pulling my own self out of pretty dreadful pandemic isolation induced depression/languishing/dysfunction, and finally over the last month or so cleared off and refurbished my studio work stations, to allow for creativity to (hopefully) flourish again...

I picked up some small, fallen, maple samaras on my morning sanity stroll, to use as "models" for this simple fabricated pair of silver earrings. These were intended as a namesake birthday present for a tween-to-teen neighbor friend, and were a success both in giving me a much needed lift, and in giving her a bit of unexpected sparkle.

May seeds of hope take root and grow, and myself and others find the fortitude to continue...

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Yet more dismal dental news... finally managed to get through to the periodontal clinic, and while they have left a message for Dr Adapalli to contact me at some point, they cannot treat me until I have a primary care dentist. Which is the clinic that has no openings for at least six weeks or more. Or unless I find and sign up with a private practice somewhere. I'd be tearing my hair out if I had enough hair. This is such a stupid system. I may just call the emergency dental clinic. I hate gambling.
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Yesterday was also weird, because there were many huge houseflies buzzing in the house - not one, but like six different ones, despite care to keep the screen doors closed. I loathe flies. Eventually managed to trap them all between the windowscreening and the glass, in various windows, but ugh! I use the trick of making everyplace else dark and that way they fly towards the lighted rectangle that is the window, and it is usually possible to carefully slide the window closed before they fly away again.
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My old friend S, recently recovered from brain surgery to deal with a large abscess, had finally returned home after weeks of IV antibiotic therapy... She is now back in hospital again with a newly diagnosed bacterial infection in her shoulder bones, cartilage, and bone marrow! Looking at weeks and weeks of treatment and no way to know if she will regain the use of her arm. (this sort of problem is part of the reason why I am so concerned about dealing with the systemic infection that is in my tooth and jaw)
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beauty in the time of isolation:

springtime colors
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
-
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
-
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
pruned forsythia
-
5 setting for red Laurel
- -
6 samara earrings
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 - Today I petted a sweet ginger and white cat (with the most delightful gingery moustaches) while out on my morning sanity stroll. And I got a smile and a wave from a cute truck driver, when I bowed and flourished his truck past as I stepped out of the street to get out of the way. (I am still walking in the street, on all the side streets, for safety sake).

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday twinges and tidbits - day 53 (year 2)

in which our plucky heroine is very worried...

AAAAAAhhhhh! I am so screwed. Called OHSU dental school to get back on track to resume the needed care, now that I am fully vaccinated. Since I have not been seen for over a year (since last March) I am considered a "new patient!?!WTF?? I've been going there for years now

Most crucially I left a message at the periodontal clinic to please call me back. I've needed the surgery since before the pandemic. They did the other, less problematic tooth last March, with the intention of doing the worse one in April. Last April. I am quite worried about the systemic infection that is eating away at the bone, since that kind of infection is a cardiac risk... No way to know yet if Periodontal Clinic has any appointments available.

As far as regular cleaning and exams, they have NO appointments available anytime, though there may be some possible sometime in June? (apparently appointments dropped yesterday for the month of May, and they are all full) Plucky heroine is worried, I've been putting off dental work for the last 13 months while isolated, but now that I'm more protected, this needs to happen soon...
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~ creativity challenge ~
Completed the enamel Laurel medallion and setting for Nicolin's elevation later this month, and mailed it out this morning. Fortunately the weather was cooperative for a bike ride to the post office.
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...just a tiny tip I figured out yesterday. For applying "silver black" liquid to a setting I used a toothpick instead of a paintbrush. Hammered the tip of the toothpick to make it more brush-like. I hate how silver black quickly destroys paintbrushes, and since I usually only need to put a little bit around the edges of bezel decoration before polishing the setting, the toothpick worked better and best of all I don't feel sad about discarding it afterwards.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
This was the pleasant surprise in my mailbox yesterday... a tidy tool roll as a thank you for participating in the StormMaker scribal challenge last month. Hlutwige made this, and chose my favorite colors for the leather. It will be most handy when transporting various tools (like the examples I placed atop it to show the size).
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Finally managed to add the shelf above the long power strip, so I will be moving the laptop over back into the computer tower and reclaiming my dining table at long last.
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
repotted artichokes
-
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
computer zone shelf
-
3 red/grey top for Nandina
cardboard back gate zone
-
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
- -
5 setting for red Laurel
- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - all the cardboard I've been saving is now laid down over the back gate zone that I had Alan cut away last month. There will likely always be more cardboard, but after looking at the overgrown backyard, getting that area safe from immediate weed encroachment was necessary. I'll be laying some of the chips down over the cardboard soon. Incremental progress, etc...

Monday, May 3, 2021

Me-Made-Miniature-May - day 52 (year 2)

in which our plucky heroine returns to the world of the very small...

This weekend was the Technical Symposium for the Digital SCA, and I'd rearranged my schedule so as to take advantage of the some of the many various classes that seem relevant to my own interests. In between and amongst watching and listening and taking notes, it was pretty easy to also start working on my projects for the Mix and Match wardrobe challenge over at Tiny Rag Doll Nation.
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beauty in the time of isolation:

mysterious strange botanical
...is it a fruit, is it a flower??
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Continuing the effort to better health: writing down what I eat, in an informal way in my journal after each meal has been working well (the last time I tried this, using an online program, it quickly became impossibly tedious) and I've been posting the daily list to a friends group for accountability. Added daily steps and mood columns to my journal tracking, to see if that yields any useful data at the end of the month. Had an idea  after yesterday's meal fail, maybe swap breakfast with dinner... Museli is a default super easy meal I've been making for decades. Sometimes I get too tired or too busy to actually cook a "proper" dinner. If, instead, dinner was planned to be something super easy, this would be a good experiment to try, since there is no one but me to be perturbed by salad, or stew, for breakfast...
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~ creativity challenge ~
I made two garments for Nandina on Saturday, a teal knit tee shirt and a lined silk skirt. The top is made using the Placket Tee pattern, and the skirt is made from two rectangular scraps from old silk scarves, (one printed in red, turquoise and black on a greyish-lavender background, and one burgundy) layered together, gathered into a bit of Hug Snug for a waistband.

I’m using the printed scarf fragment as my colorway inspiration. I didn’t have any wee tiny snaps, so ordered some from Etsy... foolish me, should have asked my shindig pals, several of whom have some in their notion stashes, and no one other than me has any use for the tiniest of snaps.

4 garments (2 reversible) = 9 outfits
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May SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1  teal knit tee for Nandina
--
2 teal knit skirt for Nandina
--
3 red/grey top for Nandina
- -
4 red/print skirt for Nandina
- -
5 red Laurel medallion for Nicolin
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6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - there was a ripe fresh organic peach in the bin at the Zeeb today. Now it is in me, after being sliced atop a small bowl of Greek yogurt.