Wednesday, June 16, 2021

wistful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine has nostalgia..

A cartoon* came up on a friends FB feed, which made me think of the amazing graphic artwork of Ron Cobb which was so very much a commentary on the times I grew up within
this was the soundtrack that sprang to mind when I saw the cartoon...
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beauty in the time of isolation:
I have no idea what this pretty flowering succulent is, other than ubiquitous...
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Summer is icumen, the weather forecast for next week has it close to triple digits. I'm finally getting it together to get the plants into the backyard planters, and tonight I put all ten of the cucumbers into the SWP,  and plan on both setting up a trellis for them, and enclosing them with the former chicken hurdles for protection from squirrels.
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~ creativity challenge ~
Definitely creative, but couldn't figure out how to take a photo of the whole thing... now that the hasp adhesive is thoroughly set, I finished my prototype of a weight-based screendoor closing mechanism. Four small eye screws into the doorframe between the screen and the house door, guiding a length of paracord that is anchored at the top to the screendoor, and at the other end to a heavy steel weight. One pleasant surprise is that there is enough friction? that the door closes somewhat more slowly than I had expected, but very solidly. I plan on doing the same thing to the back screendoor, which doesn't stay closed when the weather is windy, and bangs annoyingly.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
rogue garlic plants
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table
yard waste bin
4 miniature sofa
single bulb garlic strings
recycling bin
5 Nandina Chinese food
repair broken bowl
-
6 garlic scape pickles
1 trim attached shower  x
7 6 mesh laundry bags
garlic pulled and strung x
8 BLM print
planted cucumbers
x
9 x screen door weighted
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 as the saying goes... "I may be old, but I got to see a lot of great bands"... *


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine does assorted housey activity...

After an unsuccessful attempt to attach a hasp to the aluminium screen door using the included screws (which the store clerk assured me would work on metal as well as on wood, ummm nope!) I decided to give the Gorilla Glue construction adhesive a try. My reason for such a peculiar action in the first place is to try and create a weight based door closure, as the former spring loaded closure mechanism broke years ago. My hope is that some small eye bolts, some cordage, and a robust weight will serve the same function. The adhesive needs to set for at least 24 hours or more, so further efforts on this particular project will wait until Monday, though I may try out the same idea of the back screen door...

Next step in the bathroom trim project is to cut more of the mouldings to the correct lengths, and to glue shims to the pieces that must bridge the uneven portions of the wall. The craft/popsicle sticks will be ideal for this use, as I have many more of them than needed for miniatures.
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~ creativity challenge ~
first trial proof printing of new Making Art For A Change block... I'm right pleased with how well the fine details in the border printed. Actual size of the block is 2 3/4" x 4 1/2". Design is inspired by the 15th c "Black Hours" manuscripts.

I am not "selling" these, but rather these are part of my "Making Art For A Change" series. They are available to people who make a donation to Don't Shoot PDX, which is a 501c3 organisation doing a variety of social good in the community... There is little I myself can do to effect change, I cannot march, but I can make art. And by encouraging others to donate to those doing work in the community, hopefully some resources go where I would wish to see them allocated, (and those who donate can deduct their donation and get some handmade block printed art.)
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there were only these few, and they needed picked a bit early, as the rain this late causes splitting of the cloves if they are left to their own devices... but once I peeled away the dirt and outer layers, I have eight good sized garlics! (I've now cut away most of the long and slimy stems, and strung the garlic on cord to dry down a bit.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
This morning, before opening the kitchen window shades, the plant light was somehow making these complex patterns on the countertop as it shone through the cucumber starts, which are patiently waiting for me to get them in the ground outside...
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
rogue garlic plants
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table
yard waste bin
4 miniature sofa
single bulb garlic strings
recycling bin
5 Nandina Chinese food
repair broken bowl
-
6 garlic scape pickles
1 trim attached shower  x
7 6 mesh laundry bags
garlic pulled and strung x
8 BLM print
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 were two people today that liked my blockprint #3 enough to make a donation. I will be packing those up and taking a bike ride to the post office later this week!

Friday, June 11, 2021

cooking, cleaning, and carving

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

Mt Dishmore has been mostly conquered, at least enough to allow for further cooking; the cool pleasant weather inspired some stuffed cabbage for dinner, which also allowed for putting three further meals in the freezer. I acquired wood filler and sorted out the remaining nail holes in the first bit of bathroom trim. Measured how thick the shims will need to be for the second bit of trim. And a bit more carving progress on the third block print is my after dinner treat... after that I'll do some image research to finish the design for the border foliage... I love the internet!
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~ creativity challenge ~
returned to my Making Art For A Change series of prints, and picking up where I left off. Black Lives Matter, done in the style of 15th c Black Hours manuscripts...

I'll need to finish my border design, and transfer it to the block using transfer paper. The new Flexcut v-gouge is a vast improvement over the Speedball gouges, and makes carving details a lot less frustrating, and a small wee drill bit to make dots

My intention with all my "Making Art For A Change" artwork is for rather than money go to me, that people donate to "Don't Shoot Portland". It is an organization that is working for change. I can't go to protests, but I can make art. Especially last year with all the police violence and murders,  and chemical toxins being spread throughout the residential neighborhoods here I felt so helpless to do ANYTHING to help... these sorts of artwork bits are my starfish... if you know the reference
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beauty in the time of isolation:
>
I saw the first tiger swallowtail butterfly of the year. And also I found a nearby family that is raising ducks in their yard... they had a group that were about a month old, and some that were only about a few days old. They also have rabbits. What fun to see something both new to me, and literally new.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
rogue garlic plants
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table
yard waste bin
4 miniature sofa
single bulb garlic strings
recycling bin
5 Nandina Chinese food
repair broken bowl
-
6 garlic scape pickles
1 trim attached shower  x
7 6 mesh laundry bags
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 - Less pain today, and it stopped raining in the afternoon, so I was able to ride my bike to the hardware store, and get some necessary random bits to move forward on a few other projects. Also yummy stuffed cabbage for dinner.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

not an imposter

in which our plucky heroine pokes at another internal knot...

Have decided that going forward will simply DO the artworks that come to mind instead of assuming that what I think of isn't any good. Not everything will please me, but if my gift is to bring things to the material world from the land of dreams and ideas, not doing that is wasting who I am... feeling like a fake and a failure has dogged me for years, and I feel like I have wasted much of my lifetime tying self in virtual knots. Cannot begin to do differently any earlier than right now, So begin.
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~ creativity challenge ~
>
after speaking with a worried friend, I was inspired to create this little artwork-of-healing for them, using my new NeoColor II crayons. Actual size 2½ x 3 ¾ inches.
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Yesterday went to the doctors office to try and suss out why I am having this peculiar new kind of deep pain in my lower right leg, lateral, below the calf and above the ankle. Nothing unusual showed up in the exam, and the x rays only showed some very minor calcified phelboliths and no bony abnormality. Usually phelboliths do not cause pain. Only recommendation was to apply warm compresses several times a day, and I am being sent to the vascular ultrasound lab today to hopefully make sure that I do not instead have a blood clot! Which would be terrible and dangerous. But I don't have much in the way of risk factors for that.

...later today: I do not in fact have a blood clot in my crankypants leg. The technician when she told me I could go home, responded to my comment of "I guess that means I don't have a blood clot" by saying "we aren't allowed to diagnose, but people with blood clots need to be admitted... you go home now" Still no idea what is causing my leg pain, but at least I am not about to die of stupidly ignoring symptoms.
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keep making small if steady progress in reclaiming my life, in completing or at least beginning on the myriad unfinished or not-even-started projects... this one is quite small, but useful - a set of a half dozen mesh laundry bags, suitable for masks, lingerie, or my compression socks in their journey through the washer.
At the beginning of the pandemic I purchased some from Amazon, but their flimsy mesh didn't even last a year! whereas the older one I have is at least 20 years old. I figured to combine the better type of materials from the older one (robust nylon mesh - thanks to Seattle Fabrics for their good advice and extensive line of good supplies) and the idea of using a tab of elastic to keep the zipper end in place while in use (the one good idea from the poorly made Amazon product) Fingers crossed that these will hold up well over time, and I also now have enough additional mesh and other ingredients to make up another half dozen...
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
rogue garlic plants
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table
yard waste bin
4 miniature sofa
single bulb garlic strings
recycling bin
5 Nandina Chinese food
repair broken bowl
-
6 garlic scape pickles
1 trim attached shower  x
7 6 mesh laundry bags
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 - another day with cooler air, another day with clean air outside, and a house full of art materials calling my name.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine does an assortment of small tasks...

so, yesterday I pulled out all the rogue mystery garlic, all single bulbs as far as I could tell. Black aphids gone, and I can prep the SWP* for transplanting. That also left me with a number of small garlics, which I then used needle and thread to string so that they could dry down enough for me to remove their dirty outer husks.

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~ creativity challenge ~
there weren't very many of them, but what garlic scapes the backyard yielded, I made two Very Small jars of pickle. Not much of a pickle eater, but these I like, and so do various friends of mine. Must remember to plant garlic for next year, and early in the autumn, not in the teeth of winter
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on my morning sanity stroll, I saw a Northern flicker. It was on the ground, less than ten feet away from me and obviously eating something. It was too absorbed with its meal to pay attention to me, and I hoped to get a good photo, but a zooming truck put paid to that idea when it roared past. Afterwards, I took a look at what it found so very delicious, and in the dry dusty dirt was a large ants nest. Formic acid isn't my favorite breakfast seasoning, but apparently is delightful for flickers...
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beauty in the time of isolation:

Sarracenia
Large pitcher plant flowers. Never seen the like before, as the plants aren't common
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Began the process of gluing the trim pieces into the bathroom. I'm always just a bit hesitant to dive into housey projects, always conscious that I really don't know what I am doing...  Used the sample of the Gorilla Glue Construction adhesive and boy howdy is that stuff hard to get out of the tube. It was a good thing that I had the heavy duty tube wringer on hand. The adhesive will be much more cooperative with the large tube and the caulking gun, but I don't want to start on that until I have ALL the other pieces ready to go. Using the assorted shower curtain expansion rods to hold the long piece of molding in place while the glue set worked really well.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
rogue garlic plants
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table

4 miniature sofa
single bulb garlic strings
-
5 Nandina Chinese food
repair broken bowl
-
6 garlic scape pickles
1 trim attached shower  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 love having everyday ceramics made by friends, it adds a layer of story to my daily life. I was so sad when I dropped the bowl I was washing and a big chunk of the edge broke off. Hopefully epoxy will allow it to have a continued life... I remember well the SCA event where Acantha had brought a bundle of her pottery and folks in our encampment were happily buying pieces to take home. The curve of the bowl edges is Just Right, and for several years the bowls not only had incised decorations, but also little loops just under the outside rim, like hanging bowls


*SWP = self watering planters

Monday, June 7, 2021

Monday miscellany

in which our plucky heroine...

Found my knife!! stuck inside a fold in the clothing hamper. So very glad it isn't lost! It'd been missing for about two weeks, and as it is my Favorite Pocketknife, and was a gift, and would be difficult to replace, I am quite relieved.

such a very odd dream... I was out and about at an airport!, like in the Way Before Times... only I forgot my phone charger, and then I somehow ran into C, M's brother, who I only know from online chat, and we were talking and I realised I had also left all my luggage and supplies at home, which would make my post-travel existence rather fraught, and I was trying to figure out how to deal with that after arriving at my destination. Then I woke up. Usually I can suss out what my brain is working on in the dreamlands, but this one was rather baffling...
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~ creativity challenge ~
nom nom nom - take-out Chinese food... my attempt for the Tiny Rag Doll Nation June challenge (food). I was really struggling with the concept, when suddenly remembered that there was an assortment of jewelers wax in various colors on one of the workshop shelves...

The noodles with pork and green beans is made from colored wax and snippets of thread, the chopsticks from cut down toothpicks and origami paper. I folded up a paper take-out container and drew pagodas on the sides (freehand), with a bit of beading wire for the handle. The soy sauce dispenser is part of an empty eye drops bottle with wax for the top and base, and the tumbler is from the lid of the same. The small iron teapot was a holiday gift.

I think that Nandina needs some trivets, and maybe a place mat. The coffee table is from the Dollar Store, in the Before Times, I reshaped and cut it down, then did some fun layered paint/marker/chalk, and wax to finish it off.



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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
-
3 baby blanket
dollar store mini table
-
4 miniature sofa
- -
5 Nandina Chinese food
- -
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 -  Yesterday I actually had tears of gratitude in my eyes... Angelique sent me a set of frozen popsicle molds, for when I am recovering from the surgery, and for the summertime. They make big frozen gemstones with the ring being the part you hold onto. So appropriate as we are both makers of jewelry, and so unexpected and thoughtful.


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Saturday snippets

in which our plucky heroine returns to the periodontal chair a state of frustration...

all Thursday there were attempts made to be prepared for surgery on Friday. There was much confusion at the local pharmacy, when my medication prescriptions were accidentally sent to a town in Illinois instead. Took a while to sort that one out.

Then on Friday morning when I arrived at the clinic I was told "no surgery today", grr... stupid last minute glitch put things off for weeks now: sudden change of supervising faculty dentist (I go to the dental school, and the perio clinic is graduate specialty clinic where new graduated dentists learn specialty work, so they are still supervised by faculty...) the new supervising faculty dentist didn't think they should go ahead with surgery and that my teeth should be cleaned first, and a new exam, new imaging etc, because the pandemic made getting dental care unsafe and the dental school shut down. 

Dr A had been expecting to do the surgery today; instead, I got a big exam, and a cleaning/scraping, and am back in the queue for appointments... four weeks wait for a recheck on the cleaning, and then queue again for surgery Grrrrr... That will be high summer heat/fire season...I am Big Grumpy
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I'm curious to try this recipe (since feral grape is growing like mad right now) which sounds like a kind of salady relishy thing, though I don't really know how grape tendrils would taste...
Recipe from Libro Per Cuoco , early 15th c. Venetian recipe collection

If you wish to make grape vine tips, take the curled tips and let them boil a little. when they are a little boiled, take them out and press the water out well, and then fry them well and fat, and then take verjus and water and spices and salt. temper them together and put put on [the vines], and let them boil well. Then take a little marjoram and temper it with water and put on [the vines] and it will be good.

Translation by Eden Rain.
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beauty in the time of isolation:

not sure what this is, looks like a dwarf foxglove?
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~ creativity challenge ~

miniature MCM sofa

This was a really fun and surprisingly challenging project, following a tutorial from Becca Wheeler who I follow on Instagram as @theoldthreadhouse. I used some indigo dyed linen scraps and had just enough to complete the sofa; the legs are aluminum push pins, and I also made a small cushion from a bit of vintage block printed scrap of fabric from India, that I colored in with my Sharpie markers. 
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whole cloth baby blanket

I don't really do any quilting, or patchwork, not because I don't appreciate the artistry and effort, but because I don't really enjoy the process enough to do it frequently. Always an exception though, for gifting to future children of the circles I am connected to. This time I tried a something different, and used cotton batting instead of polyester fluff. The batting is machine washable/dryable which is essential for baby gear, and the (alternative) instructions to assemble the blanket before preshrinking the fabric, then wash and dry, did exactly what I had hoped, giving a delightful gentle rumpled texture to the still very soft cotton lawn and cotton flannel.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
otterface needlebook
paper recycling
2 Nandina leather vest
cleaned iron soleplate
-
3 baby blanket
- -
4 miniature sofa
- -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - since there was no surgery yesterday, instead I treated Poni to lunch at Kashiwagi, and we both had an excellent outdoor sushi lunch at the place I had been wanting to try, and a pleasant chance to visit and chat while sitting outside at a picnic table in the shade of trees on the edge of the parking lot. As the restaurant is on a side street rather than a main thoroughfare, eating there felt spacious and fun, the sushi was just as wonderful as I remembered from Takahashi days, and I hope to be able to return there again at some point.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

hot town summer in the city

in which our plucky heroine is flattened by heat...

finished (slowly) hand stitching the baby clutch ball, and currently working on the baby blankie (which is not)... there is a reason I don't really quilt, as wrestling even something as small as 36 x 45 through the sewing machine over and over is rather challenging. Still, it is almost done, just in need of having edge binding cut and attached.
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~ creativity challenge ~
There's an extra week added to the Tiny Rag Doll Nation "Mix and Match Wardrobe Challenge", so I have a few more ideas for extra wardrobe items for Nandina. Last July I made her a "historical" outfit from the 60's (a dashiki and mini skirt that her mom Kenya Ogidni saved from her own youth) and I decided that adding a red leather fringed vest would both coordinate with her new wardrobe, as well as fit in with the previous made clothing.
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I'm not ready yet to go to indoor events, but if I do feel so later this year, depending on how the course of the pandemic continues to unfold, this exhibition at the Burke Museum is on my list of possible things to see... I love Ray Troll's artwork and really enjoyed the drawing workshop last month.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 baby clutch ball
--
2 Nandina leather vest
--
3 -- -
4 - - -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - My friend Poni kindly and unexpectedly volunteered to drive me to and from my dental surgery and also from the preliminary COVID test