Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Can See the Top of my Sewing Machine Table!

Mostly.  I have a box of books and a 'zen' fountain still on it that need to be hefted up on top of the refridgerator next time I get in there, and of curse the sewing machine boxed up, but I am almost ready to start trying to sew for my dolls again!  We had a few wierd 'to rain or not to rain' days and I got a lot more stuff sorted.  Now the plan is to go through all the last boxes hastily packed and be merciless about lamps and knic nacks and so forth.  Plus there is a lot of stuff we can just replace later from the kitchen like plastic bowls and so forth.  

I have a project list of Volks 1/6, BJD 1/6 child, and BJD 1/3 girl sort of floating around in my head.  I don't know what one I want to tackle first.  I also have to find the box with the 1/6 anime doll aran sweater yarn and hat pin knitting needles in it, for this coming winter.  I want to redo the one I had made before to see if I can get a better size for the doll range.  With the Japanese smaller doll clothing books, I have all these cool basic patterns I really want to try and the Brother sewing machine can handle them much better than the old Singer did.  Those plans got side swiped with the rent hike and now I am starting to really feel like tackling them again.  As soon as I get my converter box back and can run the machine.

The WIFI at the library is going wonky again, and yesterday we had more tree branches come down.  Branches are falling all over Upland and some of them are taking out people's cars so we ware wary of parking under trees that look healthy but are dried out from nemotodes eating up the small roots and water starving the core of the branches.  We had all that rain but now our trees are drying up!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

More Progress.

I have managed to get the books off the dishes and framed photographs in the storage area.  All the kitchen stuff is now stacked in the back, all the sewing stuff in the front.  My sewing machine desk is getting cleaned off next.  This coming week is supposed to be in the high eighties rather than the high nineties.  I can do this!  Though before I found the extension cord for the fan, I nearly fainted a few times up in the heat at the top of the unit.

On the other hand, my smaller, less car battery demanding converter for the truck plug in has a frayed plug in cord and I turned it over to my boss to have it soldered back in.  This may take a while because he has hared off to the river for some R&R, but by the time he gets back, I should have my sewing area (such as it is) under control.  I may be able to use the machine after all for short bursts.  This makes me happy, because even if I can't put my dollies out on a shelf, I can open a plastic tub and socialize with them for a little while.  (Rather than the crazies in the park.)  

I want to work on a few persnal projects to get the feel of the work flow and then will start up the business again on a slow scale.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Progress, Slow Progress

I have been spending an hour every morning sorting out the storage unit.  I managed to turn a few labeled boxes around so I could see what was in them this morning!  Big help.  Considering that is why I labeled them and mapped out the stuffing of storage in the first place.  I donated a small bag of weird un-dolly stuff i was just keeping to hoard to the library craft project, and cleaned out two letter size boxes (the white ones from office supply stores) and ended up keeping two anyway.  Well, it is progress, damn it!  It was so hard to sort out fabric, just glancing at it and into the box without getting a case of the NOs! I only kept pieces I knew I would absolutely turn into an outfit for each of my dolls.

Now that they have their presents, I will show off the projects that have kept me sane the past year and months.

First, for Fishcake, inspired by the Atlantic Ocean, and my um--attempt to make a sunrise sunset on the ocean, this one.  The center is supposed to be the ocean, then the sides are a loose interpretation of the countries her 18th century sea captain might have written home about.



And because Aernath has a thing for Hawaii (you have to go see her Etsy shop for the hawaiian shirts and shorts she makes for bjd's), this thing which actually only took 6 weeks now that I have my brain sorted better on sewing again.  Shock will knock things out of your head and take some time to get back, you know.  So this is a waterfall into a pool, with a traditional Hawaiian quilt square in the middle.  Making that piece really gave me some serious respect for the people who make the full size versions by cutting out whole big pieces of color cloth and then minutely appliqueing them on a background.


Both doll quilts (72 cm size) were made 90% by hand and the flowers and compasses done by sewing machine, with patterns free from the internet.  My goal was to use fabrics I could not let go of and not buy any more to fill out the design.   I ended up cheating a bit on the Atlantic for water diamonds and the backings are cotton flannel.

So yeah, quite happy with myself and more than happy the ladies liked their surprises. ^_^

Eventually I will have the storage unit under control!  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You Know You Live in CA, AZ or NV When....

95 degrees Fahr feels cool.

I am working on another project that has been planned for a year and almost done, then I will have to make an effort to get up at like 5 am to get into the storage unit at 7 am when it opens and start throwing things away and sorting like oh, the visigoths sacking rome or something.  It has been an oven in there by 8 am!  Fortunately the weather is 'cooling down' for a few days.  How does  it know to go over 100 only on the weekends when the park is over crowded and shade is at a premium?  I bought a pop up awning on sale for like 1/3 the price last day of spring and will put it to use over the truck if necessary,  but right now, we have a lovely breeze and the cat has his own O2Cool fan on his shelf (spoiled beast) so he is happy most of the time.  He still tries to ride on the dash, though. >_<.

I am planning to get that miserable pile of STUFF organized much better, so that I can actually work on orders again if it takes all summer.   I just wish I would get more construction work, but the work being done now is tile laying and two people is too many on one floor.  We put a stove vent fan in last week that weighed a hundred pounds, I swear, and what a pain in the butt!  Stove vents should be put in BEFORE the chimney or cabinets are in place.  And the electric to plug it into should be in first, too!  Plus, it got damn near dropped a few times when we were shifting the boards supporting it and moving it into place, and I have a huge bruise on my upper arm that everyone keeps exclaiming in shock over (yes, yes my husband beats me) Eye Roll.  Seriously, the boss would have a broken neck if I had not been there to get that bruise.  That thing tried to kill us both.  I hate stove vents now.  Yet another inanimate object you simply can not trust.

The funny thing is this thing was so powerful it reminded me of the Tim Allen Tool Time ep where he souped up the stove vent and when his wife turned it on, it sucked the entire dinner up through it.

So yeah, maybe in a month or two, I will be ready to take orders again, with the stipulation that I take longer to do anything than before.  I can lay out patterning and things in the library, but not use pins there, but I have a folding table in storage, so it will take some figuring out how to work the work room.

I nearly forgot, Tama has moved up from chasing dogs to attempting to chase skateboarders.  Yesterday he was just laying there relaxed as could be on the grass at the park and a skater went by on the side walk.  He sat up, watched the guy skate along and as he went by, Tama rushed at him, Cheetah on springbok style.  Of course he came to the end of his leash, but I thought, what on earth?  Then this morning, he tried to chase a guy on a board in the parking lot at the store!  All this free range lifestyle is turning him into a mountain lion in his own mind?

And yes, dogs fear him for some reason.   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

After One Year

So, it's been over a year now, and despite everyone telling us oh you can't do that, and you have to do this, here we are.  The storage unit has attacked me about 3 times, avalanching on me, and I have to face the fact that I need to get in there and cut down my fabric and stuff by 1/2.  Because the apartment we are on the wait list for is about half the size of our last little one bedroom flat.  My plan is to eventually get a larger storage unit and reorganize better so that I can start working again taking doll orders.  The sub-contracting thing is so intermitant some times I get a little bummed out about progress, but at least we have a good sum saved up, enough to get us into the apartment if it comes available.  If not, we keep saving up for the new camper shell, and then get a larger storage unit.

I have finally finished a project I started the month we moved out. I would show it off, but it's a secret until further notice.  I am seriously considering taking orders again if I can sew the entire project by hand.  I just need to get that pile of boxes sorted through and donate the fabric to a lady at the library's project box.  Knowing that the fabric will go to a good use will make it much easier to part with.

 Tama is doing fine.  He likes to run in the park, despite his leash, and has lost the tummy fat he was getting.  I need to find the right cord to hook up the phone to the computer and then see if the upgraded computers at the library will let me upload the photos.





Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wow, Its Been That Long?

Sorry I have been non-communicative lately, but for a while there, we had intermitant library access (upgrades, upgrades to repair the upgrades, city hall deplored the state of the upgrades and hired a new guy, etc. and now we have just had three days of more 'out of service' computers and I kept thinking, when did I last post?

We had more rain, then heat, then rain.  We have been camping up in Azuza Canyon, minding the snake mating season.  It's so quite up there and only a little over an hour drive.  But it gets very cold at night if you don't watch the weather reports and prepare for it.

I have been getting my hand sewing and embroidery skill back in order, just for something to do (and a project that has been off and on since day one of the move out.  But then last week, a friend asked me if I wanted to do something for money, like learn to paint houses (interior so far).  I said hell yeah!  So while the work is intermitant, it got our savings back from the back brake fiasco (it had not been repaired back in 2012 when we thought it was, nothing that rotten could have been anything other than underwater archeaological), and now we have back brakes, new tires we needed, a spare tire, and a new car battery at last.   Yesterday I spend all day replacing the stupid ignition starter relay switch becaus apparently you can get a bad one out of the box, and the truck started trying to start itself, which was admittedly very spooky.  Lots of walking to the Pepboys, ouch.  Tiresome in new shoes I had not broken in yet.

But the handy person business should pick up soon, it goes in spurts and my friend is willing to put up with training me, so quite happy to have the extra to put into saving up for the eventual opening of the apartment wait list option, or the slide in camper option.  Either way, we intend to save up the money now that the truck is in much better shape.

If California does the falling off into the ocean thing one third of the people polled seem to want, (and I wonder what the hell the other 2/3 have to say about anything, since they seem to think 1/3 is enough for seccession) we have determined that Tennesee is as good a place as any to immigrate to.  Lots of people have family there and tell us it is beautiful and low cost compared to California.  It means starting all over again on the wait list, etc, but a friend just moved up to Washington with family to get back into housing and she said it is no worse than in California, just a load of paper work.  Basically, if California secceeds, I want to sue them for the cost of repatritation to my own country, damn it.

We are both in very good health, have a new, saner doctor, and the cat is doing fine.  I just really miss my sewing machine.  *sigh*