"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Monday, June 29, 2015

Word for the Week = HOT

For the last week it has been swelteringly hot. Between 95 and 110 degrees. I love summer, but trying to get anything done in that kind of heat just makes people and animals wilt. I have to do things either early in the morning, or later in the evening. However, that doesn't always work, as the day it hit 110, at 7:00 at night it was still 95. Usually, this kind of heat wave in our area doesn't last long. Maybe two weeks, on average. However "They" say this year it could last, on and off, all summer. With this being the fourth year in a row of drought, our biggest fear is fire.

The heat also affects the plants in the gardens. The squash and pumpkin leaves collapse in self defense, the basil wilts, the flowers fade out, and leaves get crispy around the edges. The potted flowers on the deck must get watered every night, or within hours they are wilting. But, some plants, like the peppers and tomatoes, love the heat and thrive.

Last evening I picked our first tomato of the season. Kinda cute, doncha think?

Even though I really liked this photo, and thought is very zen-like, it didn't show how tiny the little guy was, so I stood a wine cork next to it to show scale, and took another photo.

The plant this little fella came from is loaded with fruit, so we will be eating lots of these. I plan to put them in a big bowl on the kitchen counter, and we'll grab them to snack on as we pass by. This one was very sweet, so we are looking forward to using these in salads as well.

Other than tending the gardens and yard, and trying to keep them all from withering in the heat, I have been working on the painting Gypsy 3 - Soul Mates. Here is a photo of it after I inked the drawing and then erased out the pencil. Currently the base coats of paint are on parts of it, but I don't have a photo of that yet. I want it a bit further along before I show it again.

The other thing I have been working on, besides riding my horse - which the other day was so miserably hot I felt like a fried piece of bacon - is a new costume project. Robert and I didn't compete in the Rogue Mounted Archers International competition this year. We sweltered as ground crew. Next year we want to ride (I did the previous year), and for that we need "warrior" costumes. The norm is for everyone to go black leather, corsets, medieval, or native (which could be from any country, as riders come from all over the world). I can't ride in a corset, I have NO desire to wear black leather when it's 90 degrees plus, and I wear medieval when I do SCA stuff, so wanted something different. Then we watched the new Mad Max film, and shazam! Road warrior! Robert and I have already trolled the Goodwill for bits and pieces of stuff, and got pretty lucky. The idea of ripping, shredding, and coffee dying all of this has me very excited. Also adding bits of flotsom, and metal hardware to the clothing, is going to be way fun. It's all so different than what I am used to working on, so that is the really exciting part for me. Here are the items, other than two belts, we picked up from the Goodwill, laid out on my work table. This is the "Before" shot. Every item is between 90 and 100% cotton, so even if it gets hot, it will breath. All of this has to be comfortable when riding a horse and shooting a bow, which influences the design. A fun challenge. So, let the ripping, shredding, and dying begin!

 I will post updated photos of these pieces as I go along.

So, that's what's happening in the heatwave of Southern Oregon. Well, at least at our place.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Finished Sewing Projects, A New Painting Started, and Garden Photos

This is pretty much a "catch up" post. So I'll dive right in.

First photos are of the finished riding jerkin that I made for my husband. This is for our medieval horse gaming events, but it is nice enough to wear to SCA non-horse events as well. He hadn't had a new costume in, oh, about 30+ years so I figured he was due.

The material was given to me by a friend, and is a deep maroon, heavy damask with a leaf design. I lined the piece with brown linen from my stash of fabrics. The trim looks kinda pinkish in the photos, but isn't. It does have a lot of gold metallic threads, however. The nice clasps are from JoAnn's Craft store. Oh, and the pattern was a modified Simplicity 4059. It turned out so nice, and was so easy to make, I plan on making him another one.

Apologies for the O-ring shadows. I had to hang this from my antique French iron plant holder, and didn't, I admit, realize they were in the photos until I uploaded them onto my computer. My bad. Also, once these costumes are done, I never iron them again. He wore this one last month, which is why it's a tad wrinkly.

The next one to be finished was one I started last winter, got partly done, set it aside, then pulled it out and wore it, which made me decide I really needed to finish it.

Lately I have become sorta obsessed with bohemian kimonos (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them), so when I found this light rayon blouse at the Goodwill, I fell in love with the pattern, the fact that it already had gold beads on it, and that it was all floaty and light (read that as baggy and floppy). I bought it for $3.99, even though it was an extra large. I just thought it would make a great shortish kimono/jacket. I cut it up the front, secured some of the beads that were coming off...they are still coming off and I try and catch them before I lose them...and wore it like that. But it needed something along the hemline. On Pinterest I saw examples of kimonos hemmed in fringe (my favorite), lace, beads, or left plain. I couldn't find any fringe, lace was WAY too expensive, so I opted for beads, since I already had ones that would work. The other day I sewed beads all along the hem. It worked out perfectly, and added just enough weight to the piece to make it hang nicely. And it adds that lovely clickity-click that beads make when they come in contact with, oh, chair backs, tables, etc. The only thing I haven't decided on is whether to shorten the sleeves. They hang below my wrists, which usually bugs the crap out of me, but as I was walking through the freezer section of the grocery store the other day, with this kimono over just a tank top, I was grateful to have those longer sleeves, otherwise I would have ended up with frostbite. So they may stay...for a while. After I make that decision, I will add beads to the hem of the sleeves. Also, it needs some kind of clasp for the top front. Not because I would ever wear it closed, but because it is so light and wonky, it falls of the hanger without being secured. Currently it is held in place with a clothespin. In the photos, I held it with a sewing pin, then took it out for the last shot, so you could see how it hangs, and how I wear it. It looked smashing with a black tank top and jeans.

Next in line is the preliminary drawing for another painting. This is number three in the Gypsy series, titled Soul Mates. Before I can ink this, and start the painting, I need to head to the art supply store and buy new ink pens and better brushes. Working on that first painting, with old supplies, some over 35 years old, was not fun.

Lastly are some misc. garden/deck photos I took about a week ago...before the temps hit 107, and a thunder storm came through and trashed a lot of the blooms. Look closely! Some of the blossoms have little guards posted!

This deck is where we spend a lot of time relaxing.

One last photo of the deck at dusk, fairy lights on, and Robert having his evening beer.

That's it, folks. Hope you are all enjoying your summer...or winter...depending on which side of the equator you're on.