M: Mandala, Map + Other Baskets, ShelleyB Weavings, Mystery

M_mandala

M is for mandala.
I love this shade of green outlined in white tracery, punctuated with thorns. And that a blue jay tucked an acorn inside. Good cache, jay!

VM_basket _01

M could be for maps woven into baskets.
I’ve been fooling around with taller/wider looms. This one is woven from a vintage map print of Berlin. Really liking the subtle colors and patterns.

VM_basket_00

Another view straight on, where the cream colored paper core catches the light less.

shelley_B_021218-1

M is for mind-boggling.
ShelleyB has continued to experiment with her fantastical weaving patterns as well.

Shelley_B_021218-2

More of her madness carefully plotted charts. Love the houndstooth!

black_and_whites

(I’m also working on a set of black and white storage baskets for the pavilion remodel, using black looms and plain old white weavers. And a jaunty circle-dot lining :)

rockaway_dollshouse_00

M is always for mystery.
Another of the Rockaway Beach abandoned dollhouses. Who or what is behind that open door?

 

 

H: Horizon

H_horizon

H is for the horizon.
Seen from Manor Bluff, late afternoon, very low tide. The jumble of dark in the lower left is riprap (huge granite boulders) the City has been placing in an attempt to protect the sandstone cliffs from inevitable (and natural) erosion. Two humans for scale. This view is directly across the street from the post office, which I visit most every day.

D: Dollhouse, Wheelie

D_dollhouses

Alongside a small apartment building in Rockaway Beach is an odd assortment of broken Talavera pottery, derelict lawn ornaments and abandoned dollhouses. It is thought-provoking, but not at all sad.

Wheelie_cappuccino_012518

In an effort to get out more, I’ve been auditioning various coffee shops around town. Current fav is Perfect Pour on Clarendon. Small, friendly, excellent coffee (they do their own roasts). Wheelie enjoyed making my cappuccino appear mustachioed. Little hipster.

B: Blade, Funk Protocols, Wheelie, Weavings!

B_blade

B is for BLADE: X-Acto X-Life No. 11, on an old silver-plated tea tray that lives outdoors atop my worm compost bin. Hmmm, maybe I should have saved this for X. Megan and over-achiever Keli, I’m looking at you.

Thank you for sharing your funk wisdom and protocols. I laughed, and cried a little, and felt deeply how truly kind you all are. It was helpful, and energizing. Some of my takeaways:

“Give it a little time and some sun; sun will break up a funk like nobody’s business.”
—Sheila

“Keep breathing through, keep walking, keep looking out and seeing that unexpected beauty, accepting that unasked for kindness.”
—Azteclady

“Having something to look forward to helps me to make the transition from funk to functional. Be kind to yourself.”
—Megan

“Punt.”
—Joyce

“Bring the Funk! (Dance!)”
—Jodi

“I know from experience that once in it, you just have to ride it out to the end… usually they’re just passing through.”
—Elizabeth S

“Every day is different, life is a wave, happily!”
—Ingi

“First I have to recognize The Funk. That always seems to take longer than it should.”
—Keli

“Hang in there, I have faith in you that we’ll see more wonderful creations. And get that cat out of your beautiful, tiny house!”
—Bennie

“… I also find doing a kit, following someone else’s instructions helps me to, at the least, get back a sense of accomplishment.”
—ShelleyB

“Take this time to pause and reflect, but trust your instincts.”
—Barbara W.

Wheelie_beach_012318

So Wheelie and I went to look at the waves and do salt air aromatherapy for a while, to “take it all in and savor the goodness”.

shelley_weaving

I returned home to find this brilliant rendition of the Toto2 picnic basket kit that ShelleyB was kind enough to share. This changes everything! and we’ve been pinging ideas back and forth. She says the proportions and shape of this basket makes good storage containers, with or without lids, and wondered if a kit of three might be made available. Maybe a taller version, too, as a laundry hamper? I can’t wait to get out some graph paper and chart monograms.

Also, I have not forgotten or given up on the protea flower kit. Really.

2018: In or Out?

2018

For every fish out, let’s have a fish in. May your ladders be sturdy. See clearly. See stars. Grow flowers. Spin the wheel. All in.

This is a collage made from Dresden trim, layered over a recent sunset here in Pacifica. I know the blessing is silly, but it is heartfelt. Welcome to 2018, friends.

The Solstice, Lighting

solstice_122117

Last night — Good Solstice, all! — I set to work installing the ceiling lights in the Sea Rise Pavilion kitchen.

lights_122217_00

Because I’m such a lighting electrics n00b, I used five 3-volt chip LEDs, set in mini eyelets. They are tragically insufficient to light the kitchen. But hey! I learn by doing. So I went to bed.

lights_122217_01.jpg

This morning, I ordered some larger (3mm) LEDs, then pulled the chip LEDs and eyelets from the ceiling installation. (Those are the holes you see.) Under-shelf lighting seemed like a good use of the sadly pale chips, so I plotted a layout in Illustrator to use as a template, and drilled new holes in the upper shelf. (Um, not an ideal construction protocol, the drilling of already-installed things.) I methodically undid all the twisty magnet wire connections from the ceiling — thankfully I had not set the heat shrinks — and reset the eyelets under the shelf. With my teensiest drill bit I made exit holes for the wires in the back wall, in line with each eyelet.

It is a good setup, but two of the chip LEDs did not fully survive. (Though they do work intermittently, argh, whygodwhy?)

sunset_122217

Then I walked out to see this sunset over the ocean. One can aspire.

 

An Idea Occurs

Some backstory: A long time ago, there was the Sea House Pavilion build. Good times.

SH_Pavilion_side

It surprise-won the Grand Prize in that year’s HBS contest. Then more stuff happened, and once again, we packed up and moved house. This time, up the coast to Pacifica. Time passed, and we got a new kitten. Whereas the older two boy cats had always ignored my work, Scarlett’s relentless depredations of all miniature endeavors, um, challenged my work flow. All the builds had to go live on top of tall bookcases.

image_090417psd

Here is the above-mentioned cat, now slightly less naughty, and a partial view of our north fence line, in the process of being demolished and rebuilt.

backyard

Late this afternoon, I sat outside on the retaining wall, looking at the back of our little blu house. We’ve had some very high temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area — like, tacky wax melting; all the miniature pictures and signs fell off walls in all the builds. Triple digits F° hot. Today was the first day it was cooler than the face of the sun possible, pleasant even, to be outside.

backyard2

Perhaps it was the temporary expansiveness of a fence-less suburban back yard… but an idea — a solution to something else entirely — occurred to me.

master.jpg

The idea began when I unearthed this lovely corroded Master lock, as I was weeding and tidying up some of the excavations before the fence guys return tomorrow. Kris Compas’s post about how she dilapidates upholstery, read earlier in the day, and the steady stream of Abandoned Miniatures in my FB feed no doubt contributed to my thinkings.

idea01

idea02.jpg

2+2=5 was playing as I wrote :)

So the idea to reimagine the Sea House Pavilion as “a post-sea level rise coastal squat” may be the solution — a transformation — to the problem of housing all these builds. Just keep remodeling them! And I get to do research and problem solving and learn by doing new techniques! My favorite things! There’s still Scarlett to reckon with, of course, but she may turn out to be my assistant disheveler.

Cutting 1/16-inch, New Basket, Erosion

new_base

After trying several different 1/16-inch materials — illustration board, mat board, chipboard — I finally found a cardboard I can get the Cricut machine to cut all the way through (on the 2mm thick leather setting, five passes with a deep cut blade). Unfortunately, it’s from my cardboard stash pile, and I’ve no idea what it is :\ These circles will make an easier base to work with on the soon-to-be released round basket kit.

sneak_011217

Here’s a peek at a new rectangular woven paper basket. Too bad the light is so poor; the two colors of this prototype are “Spice” accented with “Burnt Orange” and are very appealing. Still very early stages. Now that I can command shapes… ideas may expand.

manor_beach_trail_011217

Keeping things real, here in Northern California (in Pacifica, at least) we’re enjoying some drying out time, after a series of very wet, damaging storms. This is the remains of the already sketchy trail that leads to the sometimes-beach below the bluffs at the bottom of the hill. It’s the last super-low King tide, and a beautiful view stretching to the Marin headlands. Gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation.

S6A

box_112516

Supplies and materials flowing in at a steady rate. Got the next two kits prototyped and spec’d, therefore only needing specimens, photography models, and instructions. Easy-peezey. Mighty progress!

The Argo Wool Works build-in-progress has been moved back up onto the high shelf, to free the work table for kitting, photography and the rest. I’m also putting away the needlepoint frame, and about half a dozen other would-be, want-to-be, once-were projects. Deargod I may even dust.

shelf_112516

So sad.

studio

I’m surprised I get as much done as I do.

b_sharppark_112516

In other news, Brian and I headed out this morning for a beach walk and cleanup. Esplanade had no beach at all because of high surf, so we went to Sharp Park. So very many small bits of styrofoam, plastic bottle caps, straws, and miscellaneous plastic packaging, all washed down to the ocean with the recent rains :(

Still, the waves were booming, and there were many dogs and walkers out. I love the coast in winter.