Wednesday, June 28, 2017

eye spy

with my little eye...

that I have an eye infection, bleah! woke up today with my right eye all swollen and red and bulgy and full of tears. Spent a good chunk of the day getting it seen to, so I now have antibiotic eye drops and the instruction that if it doesn't improve in 48 hours that I need to see the actual eye doctor, and I have an actual referral there, which is rare and precious. Hopefully I will not need it, and my eye will begin to heal by then.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday fragments and Saturday snippets


in which our plucky heroine attempts not to imitate the wicked witch of the west...

Current temperature on the front porch in the shade is 95+. I have been hiding indoors since about 9:30 this morning. After an unsuccessful ride to New Seasons first thing in the AM (their power was out, so store shut down), I went to Green Zebra instead and then went back to bed! Now I am really rested, and it is about twenty degrees cooler in the house than outdoors, maybe more! I am NOT going to enamel today,. but instead get further along on the commission sewing projects, as running the iron occasionally is less heat trauma than the kiln!
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Yesterday, Tullia came over for a workshop day, and made superb progress in her metalwork efforts. Her current project is to create "hercules knot" components to re-create a Roman necklace. This was her second attempt, and while her first efforts were amazing for a true beginner, she really improved both her soldering and her wire forming. Torch soldering is not an intuitive process, as I well know; the more time spent actually doing it the easier it gets, but studying up on how it is supposed to work is also helpful. T is nothing if not eager to learn, and has acquired several well regarded technical books on metalwork skills for home perusal. I fear that I am being spoiled and that future students may not be as adroit.

She had also decided, since the previous that the kitchen here at Acorn Cottage would benefit from some non-stick ceramic frying pans, so arrived with a boxed set of two. While I am entirely unwilling to use teflon, was willing to try these out, and was astonished at how the scrambled eggs literally slid out of the pan! The light weight of the pan seems also a plus; I may recommend these to my venerable parents as Useful Kitchen Tools.
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I continue to make gradual knitting progress on the knitted octopus baby toy... I found the chime ball that I have had since back in the late 80's, when they were first a "thing"... It occurred to me that a pleasant sounding baby rattle would be a nicer gift for my beloved friends than one that rattled like a spray can, (which is how the jingle bells sound inside the octopus head)so have set the chime ball aside to embed inside the octopus mantle when I am at the stuffing and sewing stage.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday musings and media


in which our plucky heroine maintains forward momentum...

because science comes in more than one flavor

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My pal Ariadne is going to have a baby due this October, and so I figured it was time to get started making things for a gift basket... This is going to be a handknit wooly rainbow octopus rattle, and I am quite amused by the eight multicolored tentacles.

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This is my first actual ever "harvest" of homegrown rhubarb... every prior year it was no bigger than a pipe cleaner, this one is about as big as a pencil. The strawberries are from the backyard. Not enough for a wee jar of jam, but I am thinking about stewing them into a spoonful of topping for some yoghurt...

It was a challenge to cook such a small amount, but this tiny bowl of rhubarb/strawberry sauce travelled zero food-miles in relation to Acorn Cottage. I intend to enjoy every teaspoonfull...

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelvingbag to Goodwill
2 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelvingbag of corks
3 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelving bag of corks
4 Thora undergown back for kiln table bag of wood
5 Asa undergownx floor lamp
6 Asa undergown x workshop lamp
7 Thora blue undergown x bag to Goodwill
8 Genivive undergown x bag to Goodwill
9 Vanya tunic x paper recycling
10 homemade homegrown
strawberry rhubarb sauce
x paper recycling
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday snippets...


in which our plucky heroine is pretty darn tuckered out...

I have basically been sewing like the wind all month so far. The most interesting garment this month is this custom SCA tunic commission, with Viking Age bears embroidered on the front yoke, and a simple border embroidered on the cuffs:

A closer view of one of the Viking Age style embroidered bears. Holding a hammer, because Vanya, the man the tunic is made for, is a blacksmith:


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The last several days with my Blue Cedar House pals up here to help with housey work has been really busy as well -

Farbjorn came down here first, on Thursday evening, and on Friday we worked on wall anchoring some of the Ivar shelf units in the workroom, the ones that hold the kiln, and the drill press, and the pickle pot - which entailed adding plywood panels to the backs and sometimes the sides, adding 2x ledger boards to the wall, and then the actual anchoring. This has been on my to do list for several years now, and I am very happy to be able to cross it off, and bring my space just a little closer to being earthquake safe.

Thora came down Friday evening after the work week ended, and she put in hours of work weeding and mowing the yard all day Saturday, and then today helped encourage my decluttering and reorganising efforts in the workroom, which were in part necessitated by how much got moved around in attaching the shelving, and in part because it is an ongoing effort.

The impressive list of "stuff gone" from Acorn Cottage this weekend - three bags of corks, a bag of wood pieces, two lamps that needed work, two random bags of stuff to Goodwill, and at least two bags of paper recycling!

Sent my Blue Cedar House pals home with a big pile of new basic clothing, which, while not particularly exciting, will add to the SCA wardrobe they already have, so that they will be able to make it through the week of ATWW with *enough* to wear - in the last month I have sewn for them 3 Farbjorn shirts, 2 Thora undergowns, 2 Asa undergowns, and a Geniveve undergown... (still have to sew a pair of Farbjorn pants)
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelvingbag to Goodwill
2 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelvingbag of corks
3 Farbjorn undertunic wall anchor shelving bag of corks
4 Thora undergown back for kiln table bag of wood
5 Asa undergownx floor lamp
6 Asa undergown x workshop lamp
7 Thora blue undergown x bag to Goodwill
8 Genivive undergown x bag to Goodwill
9 Vanya tunic x paper recyling
10 x x paper recyling
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday snippets


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

Since I was the only person to show up to the Scribal Night North Thursday night (other than Marya and Lawrence), we took that opportunity to do a critique of my first original scroll, with the aim of thinking about what aspects would be useful to focus on for future improvement on my next scroll... Jessica Smith-Carlock (Marya) had several good suggestions, including the obvious more calligraphy practice (since I am really a beginner at calligraphy, is why it is "obvious"), focusing on getting nice flat colors and using light and dark of the same color for shading, and trying out some of the pen flourishes that are extensions of the pointed spiny bits on the foliage. I am really looking forward to pushing my efforts a little bit further.
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It looks from the weather forecast to remain moderate through most of next week, which bodes well for the enameling I need to be doing soon, once I feel a bit better
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Busy sewing like the wind, and as I have now completed all six of the white/cream color garments, is now time to re-thread the machines to something a bit more colorful. Thora is getting a blue undergown, and Geniveve (Asa's "twin sister of different parents") is getting a peach color undergown similar to the one I made Asa last year, and a russet plaid wool apron dress. Farbjorn will be getting another pair of pants; from whatever fabric Blue Cedar House will be bringing down with them at the end of next week.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Farbjorn undertunic xbag to Goodwill
2 Farbjorn undertunic x-
3 Farbjorn undertunic x -
4 Thora undergown x -
5 Asa undergownx -
6 Asa undergown x x
7 Thora blue undergown 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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

some Thursday thoughts


in which our plucky heroine sews like the wind...

This month is all about catching up (on chores, and decluttering, and studiowork), about preparing to teach, and teaching workshops, about sewing eversomuch clothing for camping events later this summer, and on putting attention into self-care, without which none of the rest will be possible.

There have been some bike rides around the neighborhood, and an attempt to revisit cooked kale salad... which led to a surprisingly appealing and unusual morning meal, and my coach calling me a "breakfast badass"! I cooked the kale until it was quite softened, swapped out the bulgar wheat for kasha buckwheat, and sprinkled the salad not only with the recommended feta cheese, but with a small handful of raisins, and decided that not only is it delicious, but that it might be interesting to attempt other cooked crucifer "salad" mixtures.

Sewing has been at the top of my workdays for the last week, and will be so for quite a while to come. There are twelve garments for others that need done prior to the end of the month; An Tir/West this year is six days long, so the usual "garb for three days" Blue Cedar House weekend wardrobe is not enough, and I have another several pieces to make on commission for a friends adult son. So far, have finished three simple undertunics for Farbjorn Sindri, and a simple undergown for his wife Musa-Thora. Am currently working on on two undergowns for their young daughter Asa, who is of an age where every few months she grows another few inches taller! All of these are very basic, mostly machine stitched and sans embellishment. Thora and I will do any hand embellishment and all the hemming while we are on site in July.

I also have a few studio commissions to fit in, an enameling workshop at the end of the month, and somewhere in there I need to put some attention on my housecleaning/decluttering/reorgansation... Later this year, after the summer camping season, I am going to pull everything out of the SCA/camping/earthquake closet, and give it a good sort out. I have some ideas about ways to make it more useable, and make the whole event-going prep and put away an easier process, by setting up all that gear into grab-and-go bins and baskets instead of the current random situation that has not been organised since I moved here eleven years ago!
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Farbjorn undertunic xbag to Goodwill
2 Farbjorn undertunic x-
3 Farbjorn undertunic x -
4 Thora undergown x -
5 xx -
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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday snippets


in which our plucky heroine is visited by a giant moth...

I got up Saturday morning and there was something LARGE on the other side of the screen door to the backyard:

A new to me variety of large butterfly or moth was resting there, and allowed me to take several photos before my efforts were disturbing enough for it to move away. My finger pointing gives some idea of the scale of the creature, it is at least 2" long!
apparently it is a "White Lined Sphinx Moth", aka "Hummingbird Moth", aka Hyles lineata
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Just in case some of my readers may be curious about when I refer to the SCA - I have been an active participant in the Society for Creative Anachronism for the last 25 years. This video gives a bit of a glimpse into some of the various aspects of history through re-creation that our worldwide group encompasses -

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x xbag to Goodwill
2 x x-
3 x x -
4 x x -
5 xx -
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
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