Anthers, Easter, Stormy, Bunka, Scarlett

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The buds on the recently-noted succulent flower open out into pretty minimalist flowers, but look at all those tiny anthers! Nothing says Spring like pollen :)

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Of course, tiny Easter baskets. Undelivered because of a sudden plague at granddaughter’s house (resolved now).

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My husband was biz traveling for a long week, and we’re all very glad to have him back.

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I scored a one-gallon ziplock bag stuffed full of gorgeous, pristine (though moderately tangled) bunka for $5 at one of our local thrift stores. I’m not entirely sure of the implications. The colors are spectacular, and it untangles surprisingly easily. Fascinating stuff.

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At ten months old, Scarlett has mellowed considerably. She spends a lot of time outside exploring and “helping” me garden, and is still incredibly needy demonstrative with her affections and vocal interactions. I texted this pic to my daughter today with the caption, “So sad. My cat only has one leg.”

Cutting 1/16-inch, New Basket, Erosion

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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So sad.

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

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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.

Redirect

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First light, and we’re continuing to enjoy some much-needed rain here in Northern California. There’s bustle going on downstairs in the studio, but it’s uninteresting compared to Scarlett, sleeping off an early morning foray into the great suburban outdoors.

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In that respect, her explorations are not that different to my own, except I’m neither five months old nor a cat. No matter how much I wish.

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Still. She approaches her new domain with seemingly equal amounts of enthusiasm and caution.

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I want to be like Scarlett. Especially the perfect nap part.

Woods Class

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I’ve been taking a wood skills class through adult education at Westmoor High School. My neighbor Lynn got me interested. She’s been taking it for untold semesters. Basically what it gets you is access to a full wood shop, with all the giant, scary full-size machines, an accomplished instructor, and classmates of varying skills and experience.

It is awesome.

For us newbies (and others) our instructor had secured a very good price on a lot of rough lumber called Afzelia. I’d never heard of it before. Turns out it’s a very well-behaving (his words) and interesting wood. We’re all, I mean, we newbies (there are many serial takers of this class) are doing some variation of a table with four legs mortised-and tenoned into rails, and a top as yet to be determined…

Above you can see two of my 1.75-inch square table legs, after being rough cut, jointed, planed, re-sawn, and then planed to dimension. My professional woodworking friends, I beg your forbearance. Observe the color and grain diversity! My sneaking suspicion is that there is a reason this wood is not more widely know, but so far, for me it has been a revelation.

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At my level, woods class involves a lot of waiting, for machine time or instructor instructing. Fortunately, there is an awesome library in the classroom.

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These tips, from a book I’ll reference next time (Wednesday 6–9pm) are insight and solutions I thought directly helpful for us small-scale builders.

I approached this class with trepidation, but with a hopeful sense of cross-pollination? Miniature wood-working skills absolutely do not apply. Maybe other than artistry, attention to detail, tidiness, respect for sharp blades, and willingness to let glue dry. Anyway, I’m loving it.

+++++++++

November

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For no particular reason, I’m ready to move on to November. I woke this morning directly from a dream to this view of rapidly moving clouds and shadows cast on the ocean. This (next) month’s splash screen caption is a lyric from the band Real Estate’s 2014 song “Had to Hear”. (The full line being, “I don’t need the horizon to tell me where the sky ends —
It’s a subtle landscape where I come from.”) It’s not a great photo, but totally captures my mood, as enhanced by the song. You’re welcome.

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Tonight in Wood Skills adult ed class at at Westmoor High School, I noticed this display on one of the machines. We just don’t see enough graphic design as clean and untroubled as this any more. When I reached up to touch the opening between 200 and 300, the metal cleanly sliced my finger tip open. Powermatic!

Argo Wool Works, Plastic Litter Collage, Scarlett

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After serious depredation wrought between new kitten and granddaughter, I had to relocate the Argo Wool Works build from my worktable to a higher shelf. This made working on it difficult, and me sad.

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Frustrated, I’ve moved it back to the worktable, and hope to protect it from marauders by covering with a dropcloth when I’m not present to defend it.

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I made small progress with the lights.

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And spent considerable time thinking anew about the interior.

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In other news, the plastic litter collage is complete, and made its debut in the Pacifica Beach Coalition booth at the 31st annual Fogfest celebration. I noticed it suffered some depredation of its own, as it came back with some pieces missing. Seriously, who steals trash art?!

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Scarlett is three months old, and thriving. Our older boy cats have resigned themselves to her presence, tolerating, and even initiating play.

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Here she is complaining about a recent heat wave, from her in perch in another relocated (and depredated) build, my first-ever Loft (1)961.

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Wish me luck!