Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine is rather tired...

Horrible nightmares early this morning of trying to escape wildfires, where what looked like rising fog turned into smoke just ahead of fires on two sides of a valley... Back in the late eighties, the year I lived in the hills north of Sandpoint, we had a level 2 evacuation alert for forest fire. As a child in SoCal the hills burned almost every summer, so it isn't surprising that fire is in my database as a danger, just not one that usually shows up in my Dreamlands*.
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Perhaps I am not the only one that feels ambivalent about the invasion of my kitchen by tiny sugar ants. It happens pretty much every year around this time, when the weather gets cold and wet. Suddenly they are all over my countertops, despite my efforts to keep the counters clean. And every year I wish I had some way to just ask them to not show up, but instead, every year I kill them. Mix together several common household pantry items, a spoonful or two of peanut butter, the same of sugar, and the same of borax (which I keep on hand both for occasional laundry use, and as a backup flux for soldering). After mashing those together, I add in just enough water to make a thickish slurry, so it will be both irresistible to the ants and easy for them to carry back to their colony, where it will also kill any other ants that eat it. This can be placed in small shallow containers where no children or pets can access them, and in a few days, the ants will be gone...
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Inktober continues...

21. furious


22. trail
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all the blustery weather has done a great job of knocking down lots of bay nuts from the local trees; I intend to collect some in the next few days. They do require quite a bit of processing, though. The last few years I have totally missed their very short season. I have a cunning plan, that hopefully will work out, if I can gather at least a pound or two...
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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2 puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedbag to Goodwill
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened bag to Goodwill
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe bag to Goodwill
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries bag to Goodwill
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 bag to Goodwill
7 four more Inktobers planted green onions bag to Goodwill
8 another three Inktobers wheelbarrow tire yard waste bin
9 three more Inktobers workroom wall patched x
10 two Inktobers studio shelf sides x
11 laser cut wreath x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x
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* There are specific and interconnected neighborhoods, places, and buildings that I return to again and again when I am asleep, I call them the Dreamlands, and someday I will draw a map of them in my bright world life... it would be interesting

Saturday, October 21, 2017

fun with laser cutting


in which our plucky heroine is out on a most blustery day...

while normally weather like this is perfect for indoor chores and creations, today was also the final day of the Intermediate Digital Design for the Laser Cutter workshop out at Rockwood Makerspace, which is about two hours each way on transit, fortunately with only one transfer, and that one has bus shelters! There was enough time this morning for me to not only cut out the tiny wooden box that was our assigned project, but to do a bit more with Illustrator and use what I had learned in class to create and cut out another piece:
This circular motif, which is intended to become another block for fabric printing, is about 5" diameter. It will need to be glued to a sturdy backing board first, as the openwork makes it relatively delicate. My inspiration for this design, which combines a leafy wreath with wee pomegranates, was this 4th to 6th C silk samite woven fabric. I took a drawing I made (that was a quarter of the circle) and then copied, mirrored, and joined it all together digitally to create this design and prepare it for laser cutting... I very much hope that there will be additional Library makerspace access granted to adults, as this is a wonderful resource as well as great fun.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine can barely look beyond the cottage walls...

IMHO Xandy Peters is a genius of a knit designer... just look at her newly released "Fly Away" scarf pattern... Later on this winter, I will dive back into the peculiar world of stacked increases and decreases. Fox Paws was one of the most unusual, satisfying, and challenging knitting projects, and this looks to be equally wearable and visually different than any of my other knitwear...
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More Inktober drawings:

13. teeming


14. fierce


15. mysterious


16. fat


17. graceful


18. filthy


19.cloud
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Just for the record, this is the progress so far turning the open shelving in the workroom into closed cupboards.  After removing the upper shelves, which were only accessible using a stepstool, and repairing the wall with spackle and paint, last night I attached the side panels to the shelving. Still need to create and attach blocking to the wall, and the front of the shelves, to make tracks for the masonite sliding doors. The doors will be latched, or rather lashed in place with cordage and cleats attached to the side panels, the whole plan intended as part of the ongoing earthquake safety efforts here at the cottage...
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I didn't realise til tonight that this song, long a favorite, was actually written by Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer...

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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2 puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedbag to Goodwill
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened bag to Goodwill
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe bag to Goodwill
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries bag to Goodwill
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 bag to Goodwill
7 four more Inktobers planted green onions bag to Goodwill
8 another three Inktobers wheelbarrow tire yard waste bin
9 three more Inktobers workroom wall patched x
10 x studio shelf sides x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday thoughts - the unholy wall and other tidbits...


in which our plucky heroine continues incremental improvements...

The west workroom wall had many holes remaining from removing the redundant shelving, ever since deciding that craft storage shelving taller than can be reached without a ladder was not ideal, both for reasons of convenience and for reasons of excess... It took, over the last few days, several tries with the gloppy spackle to fill the holes, but eventual success was not in question. Rather than sand down dried spackle, I simply use a very slightly damp sponge to smooth off any rough edges.

Today I found the most likely grey paint can, and after MUCH stirring, ended up with suitable paint to dab over the patched areas, and the wall is quite improved. Next up is continuing with adding in side walls to the remaining shelves, and then "tracks" to guide sliding door panels. Eventually I will have nice safe earthquake proof cupboards instead of open shelving, and then it will be on to a second pass of decluttering, and finally creating doors for the other shelves still needed to store supplies, materials et al...
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Library Makerspace saga: my struggles with Adobe Illustrator, while frustrating, were eventually successful, I hope. Will find out in a few days. Having to make an instructor chosen project is also frustrating, but I totally understand the rationale - that way we learn a bit about how to use the program, without also going all over the map, in the very very short time frame we have. The other assistant tech pointed out that she thought I would really enjoy the abilities of the petite CNC machine they have there for carving blocks for printing - I asked if there were any plans to make access available for adults (since I can't really masquerade as a teen!)...
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Look what showed up on my doorstep Tuesday!! Three wee maneki-neko, which had been wrapped up carefully with a card wishing me a happy day, the whole thing neatly sent with the most gorgeous decorated address label. Thank you eversomuch to my online pal Cricket!!
...while I am not usually one for collecting things, I do have a very *small* collection of maneki-neko that are less than 1" tall. And amazingly these three bring my count of unique and different wee maneki-neko to *sixteen*!!

Largest are just over 1" tall, smallest are just over 1/2";
made from paper, glass, porcelain, composition, and synthetic rubber

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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2 puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedbag to Goodwill
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened bag to Goodwill
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe bag to Goodwill
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries bag to Goodwill
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 bag to Goodwill
7 four more Inktobers planted green onions bag to Goodwill
8 another three Inktobers wheelbarrow tire yard waste bin
9 three more Inktobers west workroom wall 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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sunday snippets and media Monday

in which our plucky heroine tries for balance and fails...



Communication is an art form. There was not quite enough of it this weekend, and worm bin confusions ensued. There will be more building and woodworking to solve the Unfortunate Incident and create an object that is the correct size.

The good was getting useful tools and supplies readily available. I now have a vacuum accessory long desired, the round ended dust brush with horsehair bristles instead of plastic. Which was not spendy at all, being all of $8. Now I will be able to easily dust the outsides of the paper lanterns, which means the cloudlight and the bedside lamps. We also went to the Other art store, the one that has the best paper selection, and acquired two sheets of translucent decorative patterned paper (checkered, and unryu) to refurbish the window in the workroom. I like light, especially in the dark season, but dislike passers-by looking at me. Another lovely piece of rust red marbled paper will be an accent mat for the Chihiro print that Ariadne gave me ages ago, which has been patiently waiting for me to frame it and hang it on the wall.

There where six bags of unwanted fabric and other housey clutter sent to Goodwill over the weekend, and the yard waste bin filled with botanical detritus, and the big bedroom no longer has a table piled high with fabric scraps. The really good stuff was folded and organised, and the whyever is this here stuff went away. Bit by bit more breathing room in the cottage..
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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2 puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedbag to Goodwill
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened bag to Goodwill
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe bag to Goodwill
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries bag to Goodwill
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 bag to Goodwill
7 four more Inktobers planted green onions bag to Goodwill
8 another three Inktobers wheelbarrow tire yard waste bin
9 three more Inktobers 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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday thoughts


in which our plucky heroine has a slightly better day -

Last night I started taking an online class, taught by my pal Kaðlin (who is an actual scientist) on research techniques and skills, which is an area that I feel sadly weak in, considering all the years of education in my past. But still, never too old to learn more. My activity in the SCA involves not only making interesting things, but in studying what was done in the past, and sharing that information. Getting better at doing the research will allow me to also be a better teacher!

I also took a weatherisation workshop this evening, which involved riding over to the Old Kenton Firehouse in the rain. While some of the workshop was more like review (good to know all the things I am already doing "right"), I did learn a bit about weatherstripping I didn't know, and everyone eligible got weatherisation kits that include things like pipe insulation for water heater, outlet insulation, door weatherstripping kits, and nice sturdy window film kits that are reusable and removable (unlike the cheap ones that gets stuck on with tape and heated with a hairdryer). It was rather a challenge riding my bike home trying to keep the large bag full of useful supplies from falling out of my rear bike basket, but I made it home safely. Looking forward to some additional weather-proofing of the Very Drafty Cottage. Incremental progress is still progress...
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The pair of anti-tree-rat mesh cloches to protect my salad table plantings from the depradations of the nasty squirrels.. some bird netting, flexible plum branch whips, and a bit of hardware should let my efforts actually grow undisturbed....
Cut off the lower few inches of green onions, and replant them... I have been doing this for years on and off, and it is a great way to get more green onions pretty much indefinitely... The winter greens, kale and mizuna, which I replanted after they were torn from their first planting by tree rats, seem to have mostly taken root and started growing again. The bird netting has kept them safe!

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I am starting to look forward to drawing every morning...

10. gigantic


11. run


12. shattered
While #10 and #11 were really easy, #12 was really difficult for me to come up with an idea - I was pleased to finally combine various medieval figures to "tell a story" (the tale of the unintended vegans), and created the naughty dog who stole the whole joint of ham entirely out of my imagination.
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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2 puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedø
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened ø
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe ø
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries ø
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 ø
7 four more Inktobers planted green onions ø
8 another three Inktobers 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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday musings and some vintage media


in which our plucky heroine makes incremental progress...

the Inktober project has been turning out to be rather fun so far. Looking up medieval drolleries and marginalia, and drawing pictures first thing in the morning whilst I wait the hour between meds and breakfast is a lot more pleasant than doing chores while hungry... and doing chores after breakfast means I have more energy to actually get stuff done!

7. shy


8. crooked


9. screech

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Managed to put together a second "tree rat barrier" for the salad table, so the other half of the flats will be protected, and part of todays tasks will be to plant out green onion starts. It is no real trouble to cut off the white rooty ends of the green onions from the store and replant them, which gives many months of small amounts of allium goodness, which is often all I want at one time (a few bits to sprinkle atop soup, or eggs, or whatever) I read about this way of growing green onions years and years ago in Mother Earth News, and have been doing it ever since. (You can even grow them indoors, if you have enough light, and no cats)
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Times have changed, but techniques remain the same... this period piece from 1961 is fascinating for the glimpse of cuttlebone casting, a home studio of the period, and the amusing beatnik commentary. No one I know smokes tobacco while working; but I wish I had a vintage fireplace built in to use for a fume hood!

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October SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 fig cottage syrup (jam) repot lg spider plantwood scraps
2  puzzle ball toy pinafore mendedø
3 laser cut name pendant U-lock loosened ø
4 laser cut horses Sterret scribe ø
5 braided knit ball toydestem elderberries ø
6 five Inktober drawings treerat mesh cloche #2 ø
7 four more Inktobers x ø
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