Wednesday, January 12, 2022

old dog new tricks

in which our plucky heroine continues with small progress...

Which is better than no progress. Even though insomnia still has a strong grip on my brain, I was able to get started on various projects, despite only about five hours of sleep last night.

I started out by detailing two more of the calendar drawings, in the "begin as you mean to go on" mode of starting the day with a bit of focused creative action. Then I stitched the grey canvas into a tube, so it could be preshrunk. Ran it through the washer/dryer and it will be ready to play with have the basic pattern pieces cut out soon.

The other thing I am very pleased with today is that I finished bending all the wires for my current regalia commission. I always forget how satisfying it is. Tomorrow if all goes well, I plan on firing up the kiln and spending the day enameling. It has been quite a long time since I've sat down at the workbench... This will become a Pelican medallion, SCA regalia for an upcoming elevation. These cloisonne wires delineate the Viking Age style design, which will soon become a colorful pendant.


I am attempting to add extra coffee flavor to the crinkle cookies by sifting a bit of instant espresso powder into the confectioner sugar... it is an experiment. I made up a whole recipe of crinkle cookie dough, but rather than bake the whole batch up, simply rolled them all into balls and froze them. That way I can make a cookie or three at once and not have a housefull of cookies and me with no will power. Adding the coffee powder to the sugar did add just a tiny hint of coffee bitterness to the first touch of the tongue, nice but not essential. I think that when I make them again, I will add more coffee powder to the cookie dough instead.

Yesterday, my grocery order, instead of containing a pound container of ricotta cheese, intended for making a pan of lasagna, offered up three limes... Ummm just nope. I am not a fan of gin and tonic.

~ creativity challenge - "beverage" ~
"beverage" -Almandine is thinking about opening the tall bottle of honey mead, intending to drink it out of that wooden tankard. Nandina isn’t fond of alcohol, but wants to have just a sip… the little green pullover vest she is wearing is probably the oldest bit of knitting I have; I couldn’t have been more than seven when I knit that little rectangle in garter stitch and sewed up the edges. I remember that my mother had bought some green handwoven? wool fabric for a skirt, and matching yarn to knit a cardigan, and she let me have some of the leftovers for my dolls…

Since I am planning on adding a lining to my raincoat, and (maybe) sleeve linings to the chore jacket, I have gone ahead and ordered a used copy of the OOP "Easy Guide to Sewing Linings" from the Taunton Press Sewing Companion Library. The book has been mentioned with great enthusiasm on various sewing websites, including Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic I was able to find it on Alibris at a very affordable price, and I expect I will learn a lot.

January SMART goals (x=extra)
1 blue Almandine trousers
pruned feral roses
yard waste bin
2 tiny dominoes
mended turtleneck
recycle bin
3 tiny domino box
cleared dining table
4 Almandine ragg pullover
third jacket toile.
5 -ironing board cover
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 - Discord, where it is being really fun to connect so easily with my Sewing Nomad pals


  1. You're amazing! I love your lists of projects and completed things - great strategy!. I smiled over the ricotta. I have had similarly unusual substitutions or omissions in my grocery orders, but I stop and feel thankful that others are doing the work for me and so see the humour in it as you do.

    The story of the little green knit top is heartwarming. I have a similar memory of my mom giving me some leftover blue bemberg lining that I used to make a ballgown for one of the Barbie dolls a neighbour girl had given me (I was not much of a doll person, least of all Barbies, but I did love to make things FOR my dolls: a swimming pool; a car; a house; bridges for the car to drive over...)

    I'm so interested in the fact that you have a kiln and that you do so many different types of artwork. This is fascinating. I am more than a little bit envious and certainly admiring.

    And PS Sorry to hear about the insomnia. We can form a club. Although in the last week I have been sleeping much better.

    1. Awww thanks for the compliment! I've been logging my "SMART goals" for the last seven years... rather than setting specific action goals, I record whatever things I manage to complete, to repair, or to discard. It all started when I decided that at age 60 I would attempt to reach 60 things in those three categories. I have found it to be a very useful way of paying attention to how I am spending my time, and also really find encouragement with each years end post where I have recorded all of the columns.

      The kiln I have is for vitreous enameling, primarily cloisonne, which was for a quite a few years my primary self employment, making jewelry and regalia for people in the historic recreation group I am active in. I also taught workshops on enameling techniques, in the Before Times. I miss both of those things very much.

      I had a Barbie doll when I was young, but rather than make clothing for her, my best friend and I played a sort of "survivalist/science fiction" with our Barbies. We would scour the neighborhood for things they could eat, or build with, and would create whole habitats for them under the shrubs in her front yard, pretending that they were the only people left on Earth, or that they had been cast away on an alien planet