Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Now I Know What a 'Felt Mute' Is

I have a feeling this was originally some musician's beret that got shoved on a horn to change the tone.  So this is made from a piece of felt, with a cut out to 'let the sound out' and mutes the tone somewhat. There are various types of mutes, this is a felt one.  The trombone it is on is a beautiful vintage trombone with amazing chasing in a southwestern pattern reminiscent of Spanish work.  My phone is a lousy camera, but maybe it will show.  The library computers do not have photo editing programs so I have to just go with what shows, without being able to focus in, etc.

See how it looks like a beret with a hole in it?

It has to fit loosely so that the musician can pop it off and on one handed as needed. 
I was weirded out by how loose it had to be because I am used to fashion fitting, so the poor horn looks badly to dressed to me, but I am assured this it is.

We looked on YouTube for an example, and there are a number of strange mutes for brass instruments, but these are a few.

I guess it depends on what you are used to using and what preferences the player has, and in the music sheets it will state certain mutes to be used.  

So, I sewed this by hand, because the weather was too hot and I didn't feel like lugging the machine to the park. It is heavy! Plus the battery.  So yeah, still working on that.  

And while I have the phone hooked up:

How Tama spent his vacation at the beach!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Found Them!

Okay, crisis over, I found the Idealian, EID and SID boy jeans patterns, thank goodness!  I stil have not found the stuff I cut out for the big guy dolls, but the stuff must be in there some where.  I did find the Dior project box, which I wish I had been working on all this time, since it is a hand sewing job. 

Anyway, I have a machine sewing project to do, and this is is the perfect excuse to take the battery box to the park (if it doesn't rain in the next few days) and get it done.  It is an end cover or what ever the name is for it for a trombone.  The jaz musician and composer already has one of those plunger cup things, but he also wants this cover made from felt with elastic that does something to the tonals of the horn or something like that.  From dolls to big band, sheesh!  But I need to get over my shyness and get that machine to the park. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Storage, Gotta Love It

I am STILL  in the process of organizing storage and while I could find the majority of my doll patterns, I can not for some reason find the pattern folders for my big boys.  This is pretty horrible, because I have drafted jeans patterns that fit the EID and SID boys rather fabulously, and I will lose my mind if I have lost them.  It seems to me I had specific fabric set aside for the Dragon Doll Uncles, SID boys and EID boys, and may have put the patterns in with the projects?  The last time I saw the EID and SID jeans, they were taken out for Erics's David and Venetu (spelling? O-o) western outfits.  And my Dragon Doll guys suit patterns are probably in that Bermuda Triangle, too, because I had a whole bunch of stuff cut out for them that I never had time to sew.

So after my back stops hurting, I will climb up and lift down the heave boxes, hopefully this coming week, though they are closed on the weekend for Easter and drive myself nuts tearing through boxes for them. After that I can honestly say, I will be able to cope with being open for business again. 

Lovely day today.  Six miles drive with the oil warning light on, put a quart in, get to the Storage place and it's going drip, drip, drip.  Panic!  Went to the mechanic.  Oil sending unit.  A whopping 30$.  OMG, I was terrified it was the engine gasket or something horrific.  What a relief!   It was fixed in like five minutes after the parts driver showed up. 

The library lets you check out Chrome books now, and for 3 hours, so we can watch movies on line (naturally on the free sites, poor is poor) and I was lucky to get to see the live action versions of Gintama: Benisakura, as well as Full Metal Alchemist.  Both were awesome and the characters from the anime almost exactly portrayed by the actors, unlike that travesty of Kuroshitsuji.  Full Metal had me in tears at certain parts and the fight scenes in Gintama were freaking awesome.  And the COSTUMES!  One of my favorite part of doing Anime costumes is how tricky it is to get them exact.  So yeah, the costumes were fabulous!   The anime movie of Godzilla; Monster Planet was pretty incredible too, but post apocalyptic and a real downer.  Still, it has been an excuse to watch shows that have no sub-titles in English so that I can test my Japanese comprehension.  Right now I am mired down in verb conjugation, and getting the Kanji to stick is probably going to be a life long problem.

Does it strike anyone besides me that Easter being on April Fool's day means baskets of carrot and lettuce instead of chocolate?  

Monday, March 5, 2018

We're Getting There

Today we tried out the power box thing and it works.  We had to wait for the rain to go away so I could feel comfortable switching out the car batteries.  I tested it on our electric hair clippers rather than the sewing machine, just in case it did something, but it's fine.  Now I am waiting on another storage unit shelf to get more room organized so that I can get to things more easily.  I realized I could put another shelf on top of my sewing desk, and since I can't open the wings on the desk, I might as well go up. 

The next thing to do is find out how long I can run the battery before it will not start the truck.  It has an indicator for low power on the battery box, but I want to know how many hours we can get out of it.  Then I can just go to the park, sit at a picnic table in the shade and get a few hours machine work done.  The only sad thing is we still need a working laptop to make the embroidery patterns from scratch, so that comes after the truck gets past smog in July.  The exhaust is "rust held together by road dirt" LOL!  And I know with all the driving it means another 2 catalytic converters. So the faster I get the business up and working again, the better. 

So there we are, still on track for all the plans.  And still applying for "income based" housing, because we are "economically homeless".  These are the new terms for a couple of hundred thousand Californians right now.  Running into more and more people doing the same thing.  Pile everything in to storage, live in car or truck and go to work.  It is getting ridiculous.  And for a lot of people who are working, there isn't any help getting back into housing because they make too much money to qualify for any programs. 

And I have to wonder what exactly is going to happen with all these city Mayors who think they live in their own little barony, or fiefdom rather than a part of the USA.  People with any means of doing it are fleeing these cities, so who is left to pay the bills? 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Mailing Address!

Very long story.  We had signed up with a local church for a street mail address, because in California you can not register a car or get insurance without one.  Think of the thousands of people currently living in their cars out here right now.  Any way, I go in today to check our mail, and for the second time, I find a non-charity org person handling the mail!  A known con artist and scammer in the local homeless community.  I went ballistic!  I had told the organizers about this person before, and here he was sorting mail.  The problem with this mail thing is that after 3 weeks they throw the mail away.  He could just throw anything away and no one would question it.  Long story short, I went to the post office, canceled my PO Box to get my next 6 months payment in advance back and then went to change our address from the church mail box.  I was told at the other post office in that city that they could not reroute my mail to the new Mail Box store address. 


Because they can't stop my mail or they would have to stop everyone else's at that address.  And here is where the BS kicks in.  I have to put my name, and sign this card to have OUR mail forwarded.  By Name. 

So if you are a college kid or something sharing a house or flat, or living in a rooming house with others and you move back home, you can't have your mail forwarded?  Screw it, I mailed in the request anyway.  They are supposed to check the NAME on the mail, are they not?

So if you do not get an email with the new street address please contact me. 

The big problem is we ordered a handicap pass 2.5 months ago from California Park Services and they take 2-3 months to process it and it is either going to the PO Box, or to the old church street address so I don't know if we will ever see it in time for next month.  It will allow us to go camping for half price and we do so want to spend some time just relaxing a the beach or up at the lake on this enforced vacation!  So yeah, stress much.  But if it does not come, I now read in the tiny tiny fine print, we can apply again (and pay again) at the nearest park station (when the blasted place is open!) Because I paid with a MO thinking it would be faster than a check and yeah, kiss that 3.50 good bye.  It's a fabulous deal to get the state park camping pass, just the wait is living hell. 

In the mean time, we are still organizing the storage unit and getting rid of more stuff to make room.  Damn it, I will miss my old furniture, but yeah, what ever, we can always buy new stuff when we have a flat.  And we have solved the power problem, or will have in a month or two.  I have a converter for the truck plug in but this will stop us from having to occasionally get a jump start if I get lost in sewing and run the car battery down.  Pretty awesome.  To charge the battery, we just switch them out.  Because our truck is an 88, we can start the truck, leave it running and pop the battery out and put the drained one in to charge. 

Pure genius! 

And next week, we have 5 new places to apply for the wait lists for, but the big problem out here right now is that a lot of apartments are going up for sale, and the 'normal' ones are now using wait lists too!  It's getting like NYC out here, you practically have to haunt the obituaries for a flat.  

Saturday, December 30, 2017

End of The Year

Over all, we are much better off than we were health wise and sanity wise.  I am still fighting the battle of storage.  Lowes has a storage shelf on sale for around 26$, seven shelves, steel.  Awesome. Trouble is waiting a whole month to get it.  Worth it, though, since it will not only fit in the space I have, but the older one I have will stack on top of it.  That will get a lot of stuff up out of the way.  In the meantime, I have to rethink the pattern for the Volks 1/6 doll project, and try to find some pretty printed super thin cotton.  Polyester chiffon will not do.  Frays like hell.  

One intersting thing I noticed in the news today.  Just clicked on a link for apartments here in Upland out of morbid curiosity.  A lot of them are still at 1400 for 2 bedrooms when for a while there, they were in the 2000s.  But here is the big difference.  Whole apartment buildings are up for sale all across the board.  There are more apartment buildings/complexes for sale then there are apartments for rent!  I heard from a ex-neighbor (who helped us move) that the place we were in has been sold after all those years of being morgaged year after year.  Interesting.  I guess when they couldn't get or keep good tenants, the owners decided to pull the plug on their cash cows.

Tama has finally gotten used to riding in the camper, rather than insisting on being up front when we are driving.  Either that or he is too lazy to get out of bed!  

Here's for a happier New Year for everyone!