kareina: (BSE garnet)
2017-09-21 10:51 am

possible topics for that 2nd PhD

In an attempt to narrow down my choices, I have gone through all of the emails my potential supervisor and I have exchanged, and taken notes. I think this is everything we have discussed:

* We are looking at doing some sort of Provenance study using Laser-Ablation ICP-MS plus or minus other analytical techniques, plus or minus experimental archaeology.

* We have narrowed down the area of interest to be Scandinavia, with a possible emphasis on Swedish objects, plus or minus Faroe Islands, Island, and/or Greenland.

* We have narrowed down the time period to be Viking age (or earlier) (though Medieval has also been mentioned).

* We have mentioned the following types of objects, and I should choose only one as the focus of the project:

* Lead spindle whorls
* Steatite spindle whorls
* Steatite cooking vessels
* Glass vessels
* Glass in Viking beads
* Garnet in Viking beads
* Garnet in other jewelry
kareina: (BSE garnet)
2017-09-19 11:03 pm

In baby steps it goes forward

I am making tiny progress on preparing my application for a 2nd PhD through the University of Durham. Today I actually started filling in the on-line application form, so that the basics are ready when I finally have my project proposal and budget ready to attach. I have exchanged a number of letters with my potential advisor, who has written to various people in her network and forwarded me their replies. She sent me a copy of a very interesting PhD thesis by one of her colleagues who studied "war booty" from the Roman Iron Age, using LA-ICP-MS to study the weapons that had been deposited in a heap in a lake. What really amazed me about his thesis is that he did his data processing by hand, in a spreadsheet, since his department didn't have a licence for a program like iolite, which is what I use for my LA-ICP-MS data processing.

I also looked at the web page for the Swedish student financial aid people. It looks like it is possible for me to get a stipend from them to study in the UK, but only until I am 57, so I had better do it now and not wait. The stipend isn't huge, but it will make a difference in paying for lab work and possibly even getting to Durham now and then to actually see my advisor in person.

The only reason I don't already have a project proposal is that there are too many cool project ideas that we have been tossing back and forth at one another. The good news is that I will enjoy whatever project we settle on, the bad news is that I can only pick one. garnets? glass? soapstone? beads? cooking toys? Something Viking Age, anyway, and using Swedish artifacts. That much we know.

Some of you who have been reading this since I first got hired to run the LA-ICP-MS lab might remember that while waiting for the delivery of the machines I had contacted some archaeologists in Uppsala wondering if they might be interested in doing some collaborative research on some garnet-bearing sword hilts etc. It turns out that my potential advisor knows them, and is good friends with one of them.

The more letters we exchange, the more convinced I am that this is a chance of a lifetime, and I should go for it.

And, to make things even better, AMT was fun tonight, as always! I love the gymnastics training. Never mind that I am the worst kid in the class, I am showing improvement every week, and enjoying it.

I stopped by an open house today--one of the houses in our neighbourhood is for sale--the third since we bought our place (if you count ours). That house is slightly older than ours (1964 vs '66), not as big, weirdly laid out (who sets it up so that one has to go through the kitchen into and then through a bedroom to get to the garage and laundry area? Why did they take off the back door? They also have much, much, much less land than we have--just a small yard suitable for little kids to play in. I am so happy we got the house we did. The highlight of the house was a wall mounted can-opener in the kitchen, that, from the look of it, must have been put up when the house was brand new. but probably hasn't been used in years, since most "canned" food in Sweden comes in cardboard boxes, and those few items that are in metal cans have a self-opening lid.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-17 10:21 pm

a nice, easy day

Didn't get as much done as I had planed, due to an unexpected 2.5 hour nap after lunch (and thus didn't manage to get out the door on time to go to folk music), but I made some progress on my great colour-coding of sheet music to make it easier to learn to play the songs on the dulcimer project.

I had much fun at folk dance class tonight. A couple of my friends who normal play folk music and don't dance have decided to start dancing with us, and I am delighted that they did. Then I came home and checked registrations for Norrskensfesten, and we had two new sign up since yesterday--one is a friend from the Helsinki area of Finland, who is pretty much always playing music at events, so he will be a delightful addition to the event.

Does anyone know where to find "saved drafts" on Dreamwidth? When I pushed the "post" button a bit ago the page asked me "would you like to restore from a saved draft?" and gave me the title of yesterday's post (plenty of newcomers), and I was confused, as I remember actually posting that. I went to another tab, checked, and the post doesn't show, so I returned to the first tab, intending to click "yes" to the question, but it had vanished, and I can't find any buttons anywhere to find the draft...
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-15 09:54 pm

I love Fridays!

The best part about working half-time is that I get Fridays off (why work five 4-hour days, when I can work four 5-hour days?). This means that I get an extra day on the weekend to accomplish whatever needs doing. Today I:

*washed my bed sheets and underwear
*cleaned out the gutters on the house (boy, did that need doing)
*put the deck furniture into the shed for the winter (we are into rainy autumn weather now, we probably won't need it again before the snow flies)
*cooked a yummy lunch for myself (kale, broccoli, zucchini, broad beans, carrot, garlic, alfalfa sprouts, almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, eggs, butter, and a hint of curry spices)
*made a bread dough to bake tomorrow for the Frostheim picnic
*read an amazing short story (if you haven't read it yet, read the prequil first)
*cooked 7 liters of black currants down to 3.5 liters of jam
*finished the painting on the bridges of my hammer dulcimer

By the time I was done with that it was 17:00 and David was home from work, so we carried the extra desk downstairs, where it will have its top replaced with Caroline's nice table top before it is taken to the apartment so they will have a pretty table, with raise-lower legs. Then our friends Birger and Siv from the Luleå Hembygdsgille dropped by for a visit, and I showed her some of the wool fabric I have left after having used some for costumes for me, and she liked both the brown/indigo wool and the light blue/grey wool twill enough that she bought both. She plans to make a viking dress before Norrskensfesten to go with the broaches she bought at the Lofotr viking museum in Lofoten this summer. (I really need to go back there!)

After they left and David went to the other house took the time to clean up, package up the jam into plastic containers for the freezer, and then sat down to the computer to tell the world (via FB) how wonderful the story I read today was. Seriously, while I love all of [personal profile] hrj's writing, Hyddwen (and Hoywverch, which I read on Wednesday) were even more my cup of tea than usual. I think it was the delightful blend of very traditional story telling and classic tropes with a powerful loving relationship of a sort which might have been unexpected in such a time period, but instead felt totally natural, normal, and right. I wish I had read this story while still in high school. Sadly, she hadn't gotten around to writing it that long ago.

After that I updated the Norrskensfesten spreadsheet to show the latest registrations, and worried for a bit because we have only 22 people registered so far. Then I checked last year's spreadsheet, and as of 15 September we had only 21 people registered, but by the time the event happened that had grown to 100 people, so perhaps we will yet get enough to cover the cost of the hall (not that it truly matters--Frostheim can afford the site if we don't, but it is nice if an event doesn't lose money). Of course, the fact that this year the event is two weeks earlier than last year means that I can't really compare the same date, but I am trying to let these numbers comfort me anyway, since worry never helps.

Now I should do my yoga, gather a few things to bring to the picnic tomorrow (especially wool, as it is likely to rain, at least some), and get some sleep.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-10 10:44 pm

sometimes the fates reward us for doing it anyway

This morning I decided to run some errands, including buying some kitchen toys to replace ones that Caroline had brought with her that I liked, but then she took them with her when she moved to the apartment this month. I also needed to replace our broken staff mixer, which broke right after she moved in, so we have just been using hers ever since. We actually have two broken staff mixers, and both came with some accessories. Standing there in the store I was pretty certain that one of them was a Braun, and so I decided I would pick up one of that brand, but without any accessories, since we had some at home. But they had a variety of different ones in that brand, so after deciding what I wanted I decided to double check the display model to be certain that the one sold on its own still fit the attachments that come with the other. It did. Decision made I grabbed the small box containing just one mixer, on the shelf under the several different Braun mixers, paid, and went to the next stop for the day. Some time later, errands accomplished, I first went downstairs and grabbed the bag of broken mixers and accessories, looked inside, and was pleased to discover that my memory was correct, one of them was, in fact a Braun. Sadly, while my memory is functioning fine, my ability to actually read things in front of me or notice details wasn't, as the box I purchased was some other brand entirely, still starting with a B, but that was where the resemblance ended. I looked in the box, and it didn't fit either set of accessories. I didn't really want to head back out to the store, but decided that it was better to get it over with straight away, so I did.

On the homeward trip I decided that I had better get petrol while I was out, as I was down to a 1/4 tank. As I stood there, in the rain, filling the tank and nice looking young man came up to me and asked (in English) if I were by any chance heading south down the highway next, as he and his friend were trying to return to Germany after several weeks of hiking in the area. I explained that I was just heading home a couple of km away, and he asked if I had any suggestions for a better place to try to get a ride, as they weren't having any luck (indeed, mine was the only car at the station). My first reply was that I couldn't think of anything--none of the stations in the Luleå area are near the highway, and he agreed that they hadn't seen anything good on the map, and turned to walk back through the rain to join his friend, who had stayed with the packs under the overhang near the door. I thought about it a second, and then went after him and suggested that if they just wanted to get out of the rain for a bit, they could follow me home and have some food, and then I could take them with me to the station in Gammalstad a bit later when I went out for folk music and dance. They both thought this was a good idea, so they tossed their packs in the car, and off we went.

I had left over soup in the fridge, which I fed them with some home made bread rolls I pulled from the freezer, and then they helped me eat yesterday's nectarine and apple-walnut cobbler, which they liked so much they both had seconds. Then I packed up my dulcimer, dance shoes, and a sewing project and took them to the petrol station in Gammelstad, where I hope they had better luck finding a ride. They were happy as they were out of the rain for a while and got fed yummy, fresh, home made food (after three weeks of freeze-dried), and I got some pleasant (and cute) company and help eating the desert which was really a bit too big for just me to finish in a reasonable amount of time. And I got out the door early enough to actually attend the folk music session, for the first time in a very long time.

My first 1.5 years in Sweden David and I always went to music at 16:00, followed by dance (in the same room) at 18:30, and I loved it. But after we bought the house (and were thus closer to the site for music and dance) we started being so busy with other projects that we didn't make it on time for music, only dance. More recently David hasn't even had the energy for dance, so I am going to that on my own. But now that he is spending more time at Caroline's place than the house (which may change a bit once they finish getting stuff settled in there) I am free to do whatever I want, and I want to go to both music and dance. If I keep not bringing my dulcimer just because I don't know many songs yet then I won't learn more.

Tomorrow is nyckleharpa night, and this week I will bring the Dulcimer--it is already packed, and was in tune today, so it should be ok tomorrow.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-10 01:03 am

calling attention to a post with an edited date

I just posted an entry from 1988. Yup. 1988. A letter I had written to my mother then, which somehow wound up on my desk here among a bunch of other filing. I laughed so much reading it that I have taken the time to type it up before tossing the original into recycling. My writing style hasn't changed much, but my ability to use commas certainly has. Here is the link if you want to read it:

kareina: (Default)
2017-09-09 10:21 pm

more sewing and some furniture re-arranging

This morning I was motivated to start a new modern sewing project. I think I mentioned some time back that I had finally gotten around to cutting open the front of a modern sweater and putting in a zipper as it was a great weight for a summer/autumn jacket, but that it was still too big, and I ought to alter it. Today I finally did. It was another of those stupid modern shirts where the arms are not designed to be raised, and it was too big around for me, which meant that the sleeves hung just a bit too long. So I marked where the edge of my shoulders hit the sweater and cut straight down from there, giving me a central body rectangle (with a zipper in it for the front part). Then I cut the sleeves off of the bit that had been between them and the body rectangle. Then I cut the bottom of that bit into a triangle which I sewed to the body rectangles as gores from hips to waist, and the part that was left I sewed the straight bits together (that had been next to the body rectangle before being cut off), then trimmed the other edges to make that part a more symmetrical diamond shape, which I sewed in as under-arm gores that fill in the arm pit where the sleeves used to have a weird curved attachment to the body, making it hard to raise one's arms, and extending down from there to the waist. Actually, it was long enough to go past the waist, so I opted to leave both sets of gores as long as they could be, and they go past one other at the waist. The result is quite comfortable. This all took 6.6 hours of my day, not counting various food breaks.

When I was done I re-arranged the office furniture, which makes me happy. I love re-arranging furniture. However, David may not be so pleased, since he wasn't here to discuss my plans and had no input. However, he and Caroline dropped by today so he could work on a project in the shop and she could get some more things to take to the apartment, and even though they were here a couple of hours, he didn't make time to talk with me. I asked him to join me when I sat down to eat during a sewing break, but he didn't want any of the apple-nectarine cobbler I had baked*, so I suggested he sit down and talk with me while he ate, but he wandered off to do something else instead, so I returned to my sewing, and a short bit later they shouted from the door that they were leaving. If he didn't want to make time to talk, then he had better not be bothered when he notices I moved his desk without asking first. (I am fairly certain he will be ok with it.)

Tomorrow I hope to pick more berries, even if it is still raining (it has been since yesterday), but it all depends on how healthy I am feeling. I haven't gotten any sicker, but I still have that hint of soreness in my throat if I swallow. I also have another issue I have forgotten to mention--my left index finger has kinda swollen and hurting at the base if I try to do anything with it since Thursday evening, and I have no idea why. I didn't bump it, it has no cuts to be infected, I wasn't even doing anything that used it that evening--I was at the computer, but mostly reading instead of typing. Oh well, if it is still bothering me on Wednesday when I see my physical therapist I can ask about that, too.

*I had thought to make a fruit salad, but the nectarines were so insipid that I figured the only way to make them palatable was to bake them with the tart apples, a bit of sugar, and a topping of oats, walnuts, butter, yoghurt, and more sugar. No, UI didn't make it sweet, but I figured it needed a little to do something about the poor nectarines, who were picked before their time and sent who knows how far around the world to languish in the fridge till I noticed we had them. It worked, they were much tastier after baking and adding other yummy stuff to them.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-08 09:46 pm

two gentle projects for a lazy day

Still feeling not entirely healthy, though also not really showing much in the way of symptoms, either (slight hint of discomfort in my throat if I swallow, but other than that nothing). With luck I will just get over it without ever feeling worse, but to be certain, I have taken it easy today.

Project #1 was making a template for decorating my hammer dulcimer. I think I have mentioned before that in an attempt to learn to read music I am trying to colour-code it (A=red, B=purple, C=blue, D=green, E=yellow, F=orange, G=brown). At first I was doing the colouring of the music in a drawing program, but it turns out that the uni printers are calibrated way too differently from my monitor, so that the colours which are easy to distinguish on the screen are hard to tell apart when printed (especially the brown-purple-blue-green and the red-orange). Therefore I have given up on that and am instead just using colour pencils to write on printouts of the sheet music. I had had little coloured dots, printed from the computer, that I glued down to the bridges of the dulcimer, but the quality of glue stick is variable, and some dots were coming off, and see above about the difficulties in telling the colours apart. I could mostly manage anyway, since I know the sequence, so the one just above the yellow has to be the orange, but that sequence of several in a row that look nearly the same makes it harder.

Therefore I have decided to invest in some paint and do decorative little swirly bits on the bridges in the colours, and, while I am at it, make the ones that are sharp or flat look different from the ones that are natural. The first step was to order the paint. The other day I checked the Swedish art supply store that David orders from, and noticed they had some sets of acrylic paint, but none of them seemed to contain all of the colours I needed. Therefore I sent them an email explaining what I wanted, and why it was important to be able to tell the colours apart, and could they recommend to me which sets and/or individual colours I should order? I wrote in English, but included a sentence in Swedish at the end saying they were welcome to reply in Swedish if they like, as I have no problems reading it. Not much more than 24 hours later I got a reply, in English (the writer confessed that it is his native language) stating that since none of their sets actually contains purple, I would be better off ordering individual colours, and he gave me the list of product numbers to get the full set I need. As soon as I placed my order I also filled in their contact form thanking them for awesome customer service, and naming the guy who had written.

Since the paint has been ordered, it was time to decide exactly what I will be doing with the paint, so opened up an old drawing of my dulcimer, with strings labeled as to which is which, and added a new layer to actually draw the bridges (which I measured). Then I added another layer to design the swirly bits to paint onto the bridges, and coloured them on screen to see how it would look. I decided to go with making the sharps and flats have only a thin line connecting the top and bottom swirls, but the naturals have a wide bit in the middle, too. Easy to tell them apart, but not distracting, either.

Then I printed a black and white version of the bridges and swirls, coloured them in with my coloured pencils (which I can easily tell apart), and tried sliding them under the strings and onto the bridges. It turns out that my spacing of the bridges wasn't quite right, so I needed to print and colour a couple of times before I managed to have a perfectly sized strip to label the strings (I also had to scrape away the remaining old glued on dots). I have tried playing from sheet music with these swirls under the strings, and it works. It will look much better when I have replaced that paper with the painted swirls, though I am not looking forward to having to loosen all of the strings enough to push them off of the bridges to do the painting and then tightening them again to the correct note. I will need to do them only a few at a time, I think.

Once that was done I spent an hour curled up on the couch reading, took a nap, read some more, and then was inspired to do a long-procrastinated project. Back in about 1989 or so my then-boyfriend, George, had a pair of wool dress trouser that he didn't want any more (shrunk in the wash? wearing out? tired of them? I don't recall why, but he gave them to me). They were much too big in the waist (even in those days, when I was much chubbier than I am today), but with a safety pin to hold them on they did just fine as a layer over silk or wool tights for cross country skiing. I have used them for many years, and over time the fabric in the crotch wore thin and then gone. At some point, years ago, I kinda patched them from the inside with scraps of some other wool, but that wasn't working so well anymore, since the holes had grown. They got stuck into the mending closet some unknown amount of time back, and largely forgotten.

Till late this summer, when I wanted something to wear on my legs while working outside on a cool, rainy day. Then I remembered them, checked my clothes cupboard and couldn't find them, checked the mending cupboard, and there they were. Still too big, still with holes in the crotch, but over wool tights they were just fine for working outside in not so nice weather. This time as I overlapped the waist huge amounts before pinning them on it occurred to me that it might be possible to cut away fabric from the inside of the thighs to get rid of the holes and take them in to actually fit.

Today I remembered that, and thought I would give it a try. Sure enough, looking closely at the legs, the damage was concentrated in the crotch such that a straight line up the back of the leg, from the ankel to the waist would just miss the damaged area, and the part below the holes, but between that line and the original inner leg seam looked wide enough to make some triangle gores for the crotch. So I gave it a try, and three hours later I have a pair of trousers that fit. I might have liked the thighs to be a little looser, but that wasn't possible given the fabric I was starting with, and they aren't exactly tight. Much to my delight I was able to do the entire project on the treadle sewing machine. I had expected that I wouldn't be able to do the second pass of the flat-fled seams on the legs, but I managed it.

Thinking that I couldn't do the finishing of the legs, I decided to try part of it anyway, to reduce the amount of hand-sewing that would be needed, so I first finished the back seam from the waist to the crotch (I didn't do anything to the front seam--it still has the original zipper), then sewed shut both legs, the opened it up and, starting from mid-upper thigh, started finishing that flat-felled seam, expecting that I would be able to manage from there, across the crotch, and down to about the same spot on the other leg.

However when I reached that point I realized that I could managed to crumple up the fabric behind the sewing machine foot and smooth out the fabric in the path of the seam and do another couple of cm more. Then I realized I could smooth out the next 2 cm, and so on, right down to the ankel. Since that worked, I returned to the other leg, and gave it a try from the ankel up, and sure enough managed to smooth out and fold under about 2 cm of seam at a time till I reached the part that I had already done. This won't be at all surprising to those of you who sew by machine regularly, but for so many years I sewed only Medieval costumes, and then only by hand, so I didn't think I would manage.

Now it is 22:25, so I should go to my yoga, take another hot shower, and get some sleep.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-07 07:54 pm

no Frostheim tonight :-(

Last night I was feeling like I may be coming down with a sore throat, so I went to bed early. After nine hours of sleep I was feeling just well enough that I went in to work, but then needed another two hour nap this afternoon after working my half day, after which my throat had a hint of hurting when I swallow, but doesn't hurt if I don't, so I am clearly still fighting off some sort of virus or something. Therefore I contacted the people I had hoped to meet with to discuss Norrskensfesten stuff, and they are all either out of town or otherwise busy today anyway, so I contacted the other guy with the room key, and he and his wife can't make it because she is sick, so I announced on FB that the meeting is canceled and stayed home. Hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling better.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-06 03:13 pm

She believed me!

She has given me a referral to a psychiatrist who deals with gender misalignment isdues, I will get a letter in the mail with an appointment time.
kareina: (Default)
2017-09-03 10:34 pm

Kaarnemaa's Harvest Festival

On Thursday evening I asked GoogleMaps how long it would take to get to the event (three hours driving time), and I determined that I could get there by the time site opens at 19:00 if I were to leave by 15:00 (one loses an hour when one crosses the border to Finland). Therefore, if I wanted to stop by and visit my friend Å, who lives about 1/3 of the way to the event, and return his SCA stuff that he left here before heading south for a visit some months back, I should leave by noon, so I would have time to chat a bit before heading on. By that point in the evening I was kinda tired (I didn't look this up till getting home from the Frostheim social night), so I decided that I could just do yoga and go to sleep, and pack in the morning, since I planned to travel kinda light (but not as light as I will need to pack for Crown, to which I will be flying carry-on only).

This was a very good plan. I got up at a reasonable time Friday morning, and gathered what I wanted to bring with me. Right up to the point where it was time to put the food I was bringing into one of the soft-sided "ice chests". Everything else had been packed into period looking containers, but all of the soft ice chests we have look totally modern. No one but me will ever care, but I care. So I decided that it was time to make a wool cover for one of the medium sized ones which have the silvery metallic fabric outer layer. At that point it was 11:00, so I had an hour to spare if I were going to do the stop to visit Å, and, since it is just a cover for a modern item, I figured I could use the treadle sewing machine, and it would go pretty fast. And it did, too, right up to the point where I realized that it would be hard to make the attachment of the wool to the area next to the bag zipper with the sewing machine, so I decided to do that part by hand, and, while I was at it, the second pass of covering the bright red nylon webbing strap, too, so that no machine sewing would be visible.

Since I was putting in the extra time, I also took a sewing break to have some lunch, which meant that I didn't actually finish up, fill the bag with food, load the car, and start driving till 15:30. This meant that I arrived at the ferry about half an hour after site opened, which was still in very decent time.

The site is on an island, to which they are in the process of building a bridge--it is now possible to walk across the bridge to fetch the hand-crank car ferry, but it isn't yet possible to drive upon the bridge. Since I don't read Finnish the autocrat told me in advance that I should just come to the ferry landing, call him, and he would come help me get across the water. I am really glad that he did. While it turned out to be a fairly simple task to put in the lock so that one can drive onto the ferry, then unlock the ferry, and spin the wheel to drag the ferry across the river, then put in the lock on the other side so that the car can drive off the ferry, I wouldn't have wanted to make guesses as to what to do without someone there to show me.

The site was a lovely one--pretty in the same sort of way as our new Norrskensfest site--lovely old red building clustered together on the banks of a lake. This site is smaller--it has only 40 beds, but that was a generous plenty for the 23 of us who attended the event (8 of whom were small children who seemed to spend most of their time smiling). When I arrived the downstairs beds had been claimed, so I explored upstairs, and decided on the top bunk in the gable room at the back of the house that has a balcony in it (who can resist a balcony?). As it turned out, no one claimed the other bunk, so I had a room to myself, though I had to walk through a room with two single beds in it, both of which got claimed.

The event had been advertized and a low-key, relaxed event, and, indeed it was. The only things which were on the published schedule were meals, and the fact that the sauna would be available in the evenings. Everything else was optional "do it when/if you feel for it". I brought my dulcimer, and had it out to play with on four different occasions (once on Friday, and three times on Saturday), including providing tiny hints of music during the lulls in the Baroness'es court (sadly, the Baron, who had been looking forward to heading north for the event, got sick and couldn't come) while waiting for people to come forward). That was more playing than I had done in the past several months, and I feel inspired to do more of it.

I had brought with me a variety of projects, but only took out the nålbinding, which is much closer to done than before I arrived. Since the event was a harvest festival I made a point of doing some harvesting. I noticed that the red currant bush near the kitchen and parking area had berries on it, so I asked the kitchen if they wanted some berries to add to the lunch and/or feast. Of course they said yes, and handed me a large ceramic bowl. That first bush had lots of berries (compared to my poor bird-stripped red currant bushes at home), but they still barely covered the bottom of the bowl. However, I figured that there were plenty more bushes in the area, so I started working my way around the perimeter of the lawn, stopping to eat raspberries at each raspberry bush I passed (the raspberries wouldn't have been worth picking for the kitchen--they were a bit too juicy (too much recent rain) and often had mold or worms, so one had to actually look at them before eating, but the ones that passed inspection still tasted ok. Sure enough, I found another bush or two in that quadrant of the yard, but then, when I worked my way around behind the sauna I discovered the main red currant area--so many bushes that I quit picking berries because I was tired of it, not because I had run out of berries to pick (at that point the bowl was more than half full). The kitchen was pleased--they put berries out for lunch, and still had enough left to use as garnish for some of the feast dishes, which, combined with the fresh salad greens, meant that everything served was really pretty.

I didn't partake of the smithing workshop, nor the archery, but the others seemed to enjoy both activities. The only dancing we did was late in the feast--the children wanted to dance, so a handful of us adults joined them, and we did several bransles before the parents announced that it was bedtime. I let one of the Finnish speakers call the dances (I provided the music from my phone, projected through the CD player the autocrat provided), so that the kids would understand the instructions.

This morning I packed up my stuff and loaded the car, feeling somehow "wrong" to have the car so empty. Then one of the parents asked me if I had extra room. Their family has no car anymore, so they had gotten a ride from the other family, but between the two families there were too many people to all fit in the car at once, so the car had to do two trips. The driver did *not* want to have to go over the ferry two times to get all the people and stuff to the other side. Of course I was happy to help, and not only took the overflow stuff and extra people across the ferry, but all the way to the home of driver, so that her husband and kids could stay home while she took everyone else home. Then I set off north towards the border, while they went south to their home.

Even with that extra delay I was home by 14:30 (gaining that hour back at the border helps), which meant that I had time to unload, relax with a book and some food, take a nap, and put away most of the things I had brought with me before it was time to head out to the first Folk Dance night of the season. That was much fun, and since getting home I have had a chance to check mail, update logs, and write the above. Now I had better get my yoga done and get some sleep, since I work tomorrow.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-30 11:56 pm

why not both?

Today is the only day this week that I had time to do more harvesting of the produce of our estate, and I was torn between drying more nettles (so far I have one jar full, and we went through three or four jars last winter), or more black currants (the large jar is about 3/4 full and we went through the full jar and a small over-flow jar last winter). But I didn't want to dry both at once in the dehydrator. However, we don't yet have any of the black currants in the freezer, so when I went out the door at 18:00 to start harvesting, I decided to collect both and dry the nettles.

Since there are lots of tiny nettles starting to grow in in the areas we did landscaping this summer I started with them, and managed to fill one yoghurt bucket with tiny nettle leaves in about 45 minutes before I ran out of areas near the house that needed nettles removed. Then I went down to the black currant bushes, and in another 45 minutes filled 3 yoghurt buckets with berries. By that point I was out of empty buckets in my bag, and the light was starting to fade,so I went in to the house and washed up the nettles and popped them into the dehydrator. One well packed yoghurt bucket of leaves fills only 3.5 trays of the dehydrator, and the last time that I tried drying such small nettle leaves it was less than two hours to get them done. Since it was only 18:00 by the time I pressed the on-switch on the dehydrator I realized that I would have time to get those done and put the black currants in before bed. So I cleaned the berries and set them into the fridge for later and amused myself on the computer for a couple of hours (and an extra half an hour--I lost track of time). Sure enough, when I went to check on them the nettles were ready to come out, so I put them away, cleaned the racks, and then did the boiling treatment on the currants. I have found that if one puts the berries straight into the dehydrator without pre-treating them they take ages to dry, but if one pops them into boiling water for a minute first the skins crack, and they dry in only 12 to 24 hours.

When I did the last batch of berries, on Sunday, I saved the water in which I had boiled the berries, as it has turned a lovely shade of pink, and I decided that there was no point in throwing out that much nutrition, when I could use it. I had enough to fill two glass milk bottles with it, one of which I had used up before today (it is particularly nice as the liquid on my muesli in the mornings, instead of my usual water). But since I still had the second bottle full left, and we have only two glass milk bottles in the fridge, I decided to put that bottle into the pot for boiling the berries today, along with some fresh water. This time I also took the liquid that spun out of the berries in the salad spinner back into the boiling water. As a result the two milk bottles that just went into the fridge full of cooled and strained berry-boiled water are a much darker, more vibrant shade of pink than the last batch. It will be interesting to see how it tastes on my muesli in the morning.

In other news, I went to see my physical therapist for the first time in a very long time yesterday. I have had, over the past few months, a few occasions when I went to move one of my legs and something felt wrong in my hip and kinda hurt a little, but shaking the leg out made it feel better, and each time it happened, other than thinking "oh, that is kinda a bad sign", I didn't really think much of it, and didn't even bother to make a note of it. However, on Saturday night's yoga session while moving from one lunge to another, my hip gave a sharper flash of discomfort, accompanied by a popping sound that was loud enough that I heard it even though I wasn't wearing my hearing aids. It clearly wasn't something really major as I could still move my leg, but whatever happened was still enough of a problem that it kinda hurt to move the leg certain directions, even though there was no pain or discomfort when I hold still, but I had to be very careful which way I rolled over when sleeping that night so as not to engage that muscle/tendon, or it would hurt.

Therefore I emailed my physical therapist first thing Sunday morning to ask if he had any appointments available this week, or, at least, soon. Much to my delight, when I checked mail at 23:00 on Sunday evening, he had just replied saying "how about Tuesday?", so I promptly replied saying "perfect".

The hip continued to require careful, gentle movements during the day on Sunday, but by Monday was so back to normal that I didn't hesitate to do acroyoga with Ellinor, and didn't have any problems with the hip, either. But, of course, I went to the appointment anyway, as it wasn't something that I want to have happen again. Given that the last time I saw him about a hip issue he said the problem was underdeveloped muscles in my butt (when compared to muscles in my legs), I wasn't really surprised when he said pretty much the same thing this time--thought it is a different expression of the problem, and he gave me different exercises for it. Hopefully this time I will not only strengthen those muscles enough to keep this from happening again, but I will also learn how to use those muscles all of the time, rather than doing movements that should use those muscles with leg muscles instead.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-28 11:06 pm

What a wonderful day!

Working backwards of wonderful things from today:

Nyckleharpa night! Always a highlight--who wouldn't want an evening making progress on a sewing project while listening to Swedish folk music played by a room full of talented musicians?

Dinner! I lined a pie plate with bread dough, filled it with a mix of canned artichoke, black beans, tomato, and spices, then covered with more bread dough, brushed it with butter, and baked it. Yum!

Acroyoga! While the pie was baking Ellinor and I went outside and spent a delightful half an hour discovering that while we haven't had a chance to practice together pretty much all summer, the strength training she has been doing means that pretty much everything we tried we could do. So much fun to balance, upside down, my shoulders on the bottoms of her upraised feet, and then have her spin me around like a ball on a seal's nose. And then we practiced handstands going into forward rolls, and several times I managed to pause and hold the handstand for a number of seconds before rolling out of it.

Riding home! After a number of rainy and cloudy days in a row, it was really refreshing to leave work this afternoon to a clear blue sky paired with cool, comfortable temperatures, and it made for a really pretty tike ride home.

Good news from work! One of my colleagues, who is just back from a major geology conference in Canada tells me that she met people from the states who have developed a good sulphide standard that they are willing to sell, which will make analyzing sulphides ever so much easier.

Fun in the lab! The guy who fixed my laser last week, while I was on vacation, also made some adjustments to the system which makes it possible to get much lower power from the laser than hitherto, so today I had fun shooting at sulphides with really low powers (less than 1 J/cm^2). Tomorrow I will look at the craters in backscatter electron images on the SEM and see if we have solved the problem with too much melting under the laser beam.

Dried berries! When I woke up this morning most of the black currants in the food dehydrator were ready (and the last of them were done when I got home from work), so the container is now half full, and it should be pretty easy to get enough more dried before the berries quit being ripe so that they will last me till next summer.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-25 08:09 am

weird dream

I posted this on the FB group for my highschool just now. Copying it here because it was too weird not to record:

Brains are really weird--I just woke up from a dream wherein the me that exists now was at a Steller that (I think) never existed (much larger, more elaborate building, yet I knew it was Steller), standing in a crowded (by Steller standards--there could have been 10 to 25 students present) classroom, when Heath Spott (as he looked when we were at Steller) came up to me and handed me an aluminium baking sheet and made a comment that the moment it recorded was not his best, ever. I picked it up and tilted it, and realized that if one holds it just so that, instead of reflecting (poorly) the room and people present, the light would reflect something like a photograph out of the metal.
When I tilted it the image resolved into a yearbook-like photo of a classroom scene, with a number of students in the foreground, and, just visible behind them, was Heath, fully dressed, lying on the floor, arching upwards, his shoulders in the hands of the (older, bearded) man behind him, who was pulling them upwards. Heath's arms were stretched out to the sides, and upon his face was an expression of extrem joy or pain. Somehow I knew in the dream that what had been happening at the moment the image was recorded on the baking sheet was that Heath was getting a therapeutic massage, but because of the people in the foreground blocking part of the action, it could also look like the man was engaged in a sexual activity with Heath which would have been inappropriate for a classroom setting.
When I (and everyone who was gathered around me), saw this, there was much laughter, and then one of them (it might have been Andrew Berkowitz, also looking like he did when we were at Steller) asked who the man behind Heath was. Heath gave a name, which in the dream meant something to me (but which my waking mind can't recall), and when the others said "who", I explained that he was a substitute teacher we had had, who looked remarkably like an older, bearded version of Heath.
I have no idea where this dream came from--other than seeing his name mentioned here some weeks back I haven't even thought of Heath in decades. And baking pan metal that is not only reflective, but photographic, and happens to have recorded something that (probably never) happened in the 1980's?
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-24 11:02 pm

going to Crown

This evening I heard that there will not be a Höstdansen event in Umeå in October due to scheduling issues. This made me a little sad, as I love that event. Therefore, to cheer myself up, I have booked flights to Helsinki for October Crown. Their web page says that the beds are all reserved already, so I am on a waiting list in case there are cancellations. The page also says that some beds were reserved for fighters and their consorts, so if any of those reserved beds go unclaimed they will open up, so I will probably get a spot. Or, if I am lucky, some fighter will ask to fight for me, and then we would qualify for one of those reserved beds.

I would actually like it if I had a champion, since I grew up in the West, where it is pretty much one's patriotic duty to enter every Crown one is able to attend, so I sort of feel I should enter. However, my fighter authorization isn't current, so that leaves only the possibility of being someone's inspiration. My last champion found himself a girlfriend, which makes me very happy for him, but it means that I am once again without a champion of my own.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-23 10:09 pm

last week zipped by, and this one appears to be doing the same

Last week my SCA apprentice/real-world masters student got back from her summer geology/programming course in Italy, so she spent the week with me in the office and lab, which was, as always, fun. On Friday she went out to the new Norrskensfesten site to help me measure the rooms (which was so wonderful easy with that new laser measuring tool I recently blogged about, though drawing the lines on my phone screen did take a bit of practice to become efficient). It was really nice to have her company, and have her to put the tool against the wall and press the button, while I sketched the rooms on my phone, and dragged the numbers that appeared on my screen to the appropriate line.

That evening she invited me and a couple of other friends over for dinner and photo viewing. One of the fun things her summer course included was a trip to one of farms in the area for an Italian cooking class, so, of course,she practiced the recipes again on us. I particularly enjoyed the starter, which was little zucchini tarts (filling of egg, grated zucchini with the water squeezed out, feta cheese, mint, chives, salt and pepper, in a "crust" of sesame seeds sprinkled over butter). The sesame seed "crust" means that one can serve it to one's gluten intolerant friends. I have already suggested this option to my friend who is both allergic to gluten/wheat/several other grains *and* has a dairy allergy. I suspect that some other fat (such as sesame seeds) would work fine in keeping a tart from sticking to the pans (he thinks that he would replace the feta cheese with olives and sun dried tomatoes, which would probably go well, for those of you who like olives).

Her photos were much fun to look at, since they were full of geology and medieval history (such a delightful combination). She had prezzies for each of us. C. got a blank book, covered with hand-made paper in swirls of orange that exactly matched the scarf that she happened to to be wearing that evening, I got a cute little replica of a 14th century little painted ceramic dish (I don't remember what E. got), and she also showed off some of her own loot, including some nice late-period feast gear for herself, and a chunk of marble from the same quarry that Michael Angelo's David came from. She is looking forward to carving something from it, but hasn't yet decided what. I suggested that it be her Golden Egg project, which would give her an excuse to do some research about what she wants to do with it. She is also planning on getting some other marble to practice carving on.

Saturday we helped our friend M. get rid of some furniture. He got a job in Ireland about a year ago, but kept his apartment when he left in case it didn't work out for him in the long run (it being very difficult to get an apartment in Luleå, there being a shortage of them, presumably, in part, because some people don't give them up when they don't need them, as they know how tough it will be to get another if they need one later). The first month or three after he left he did have a friend staying in the apartment and paying him a contribution towards the rent, but that didn't last long, and it has just been sitting unoccupied awaiting his return. He is pretty happy in Ireland, so he flew back for a few days to clean it out and get rid of most things. He packed two (very heavy) suitcases of things to take back to Ireland, packed half a dozen boxes of things to go into storage, and the rest (by far most of it) was to be gotten rid of. So we brought over our big car, and David's brother's trailer (which has been at our place all summer), and took his furniture to the tip. It was as shame to just toss it, when much of it was still reasonably usable, but he only had a couple of days in town, and it wasn't worth his time trying to sell it or even give it away.

In the process of helping him we did wind up adopting a few items, including a dresser, a nice cast iron pot and lid, that he had never even had a chance to use (Christmas gift he got just before moving), a good cast iron frying pan with steel handle (that David wants to use to cook outdoors over a fire), a couple of good pots suitable for induction cooking (we don't have an induction stove, yet, but it is on the long-term wish list), a few bowls, a couple of good knives (can one have too many of those?), a bunch of board games, a solid wooden cane suitable for martial arts training, and several boxes of plastic bags, aluminum foil, etc (that will come in handy now that our household will have two locations). We resisted taking so many other things, because we have no wish to hord things that "might be useful", so we took only stuff that we will actually use (or, in the case of the games, at least try and see if we like them). We took away some of the stuff on Friday, and then returned on Monday to take away the items that had been emptied in the meanwhile. For me the delight of Monday's helping session was when he opened his balcony door to discover that growing in the balcony was a bunch of raspberry plants, with many ripe berries. I, of course, stopped being useful and devoted myself to eating berries till I had eaten all of them from the plants within the balcony walls, and then, standing on a chair to lean over the rail, all the ones that were within reach of the walls. I was tempted to go around the building so that I could reach more berries from the edge of the patch of bushes that grow along the building, but since we had much to do that evening, I resisted.

After we were done at his place I helped him drop off the boxes to be stored at the homes of the two different friends who had agreed to keep his stuff for him, then we came back to our house for the night, where he enjoyed a late dinner, I did my yoga, we all looked at his photos from a trip to Ethiopia for the wedding of a friend (and where he met his new girlfriend), then got a few hours sleep before I took him to the airport at 05:30 so he could return to Ireland.

Tuesday I mostly recovered from helping him move the day before, and David did some stuff for work, even though we are both on vacation this week, since it should have been done the week before, but he didn't have a chance to get to it with all of the other things that he had to do. By Tuesday early evening I was still feeling low energy and unmotivated to go anywhere. Which is why I forced myself to head out the door for the first session of the "Avancerad Motorisk Träning" class at the Luleå Gymnastics Association, since I remembered that attending that class pretty much always gave me energy last term. Sure enough, it did. I love that class--they keep us moving and doing fun (and challenging) things. I can often keep up with the others on the easier stuff, but the serious gymnastics stuff not so much so. I can manage a decent cartwheel, and have even learned to do one with the wrong hand first (though that still isn't as graceful), but it turns out that I don't (yet!) have the power to accomplish a cartwheel with my hands on a thick mat (perhaps 35 to 40 cm tall), though, by the end of the evening of alternating between trying that and trying all of the other stations they had set up, I was getting closer to managing it. It was easier (though still beyond me) when they set up one of the big foam blocks next to the mat, so that we had to get our legs all the way up if we didn't want to hit the foam block, yet I still couldn't manage to get my arms to stay straight, nor could I manage to get enough power to get my feet all the way past the mat and onto the floor after the cartwheel--instead I landed on my knee on the mat.

Today David and Caroline moved some of her big things to the apartment--shelves, her bed, etc., and I brought in that new dresser we got from M's place and put all of my projects in progress that had been living on her shelves into it. I also accomplished several loads of laundry and drying the first of this year's black currants. Tomorrow will also be a moving day for D&C, but we are hoping that this weekend we will accomplish some work on the framework for the earth cellar roof.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-16 11:17 pm

the produce of our estate

While this year is not a very good berry year compared to others I have seen since we bought this house, still I have been eating smultron (wild strawberry) daily since getting back from the Medieval days at Hägnan event in July, strawberries since a week or so later, the red currants came ripe this weekend while I was in Norway, but there were still enough left by the birds for me to freeze an ice cream box full of them, the raspberries are starting to ripen, and the black currants are getting close. (Ok, I picked enough black currant to make a small batch of jam yesterday, even though they aren't all ripe yet, as we were totally out of last year's jam, and I love that stuff--I make it by boiling fruit without any additional sugar, and it is nice and tart).

I have been eating fresh nettles all summer, and the kale and silverbeet I planted has been feeding me daily. I am also finally starting to dry nettles again--we ran out of last year's dried nettles early this spring, right after the fresh ones started growing. Since we have done so much major landscaping projects we have plenty of areas which were taken down to bare dirt which have new, tiny nettles growing in, so I am harvesting them--kind of like spring nettles, but they are available now, when I have a bit more time for harvesting than I did in the spring.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-14 10:04 pm


We arrived at the school which serves as the main base for the event at 16:00 on Friday, and spent some time hanging out in the entrance area waiting till the people doing check in were ready to take our money. (We got a really good deal on the weekend--not only is the Luleå Hembygdsgille paying for bus rental and petrol, they also organized us a huge discount on the entrance fee--instead of the advertised 950 NOK, we paid only 350 each.)

After checking in a couple of us hurried off to the concert that started at 17:00 at another venue, while the rest of us moved into our classroom, ate some dinner, and relaxed. I was disappointed to discover that the cute little loft play area that I slept in last time I was here (year before last) has had its stairs removed and the entrance nailed shut, so I had to sleep on floor level like everyone else.

The next official thing on the programme was the concert in the gym across the hall from our room, at 19:30. The performers were a trio I have seen and enjoyed on other occasions, and four of their numbers are songs I have heard before , and also the ones with choruses, so also the ones they encouraged the audience to sing along, so, of course, I did. Sadly, the guy running lights and sound turned off even the along the side of the hall lighting that I had been using to work on my embroidery project while waiting for the concert. Gee, I move a lot when not working on a craft project. I massaged my own feet, hands and arms, re-braided my hair, drimmed along to the music, etc. Luckily, I was sitting at one edge of a row (so I had the best pre-concert light for my sewing), and no one sat next to me, so my constant motion didn't disturb anyone.

After the concert I changed into my dancing skirt and grabbed the bag with my dance shoes and joined the folks out front of the building waiting for a ride to the dance hall. After what seemed much longer than it was the bus finally arrived and took us the 6 minutes up the road for the dance, arriving right at 22;00

I spent not quite three hours dancing (often with others, but occasionally alone when I couldn't find someone to dance with), till my feet were really hurting. Then I and one other from my party (and a few people I didn't know) got a ride back to the school where, having done my yoga before the concert, I went straight to sleep and didn't get up till 10:00! (Not counting going to the loo about every two hours all night, having drunk plenty of water whilst dancing.)

That gave me time Saturday morning for breakfast and paying for the song course (classes cost extra), before it started at 11:00. I really enjoyed the course, which was taught by a couple of the ladies in the group Kongero. I wound up buying one of their CDs and their songbook, since the songs they taught were featured therein. I am thinking that it might be time to try to find some friends to sing folk songs with regularly. I keep attending these workshops once or twice a year and then never singing those songs again (most have parts, so sound better with enough people to cover the parts).

After class was a long enough break for a quick lunch before the afternoon concert, which included performances by the talented school kids who have been doing music workshops over the course of the event (which had been running a couple of daus before we arrived). Another of the afternoon performances was a couple in traditional Sami dress performing some very nature inspired pieces. The first was the man playing an etheral tune on a flute while the woman sang sounds that managed to be both lovely to listen to and also sound like a mosquito. During that piece the littler school kids ran gleefluy through the audience prending to swat mosquitos between their hands, often pretty much right in the faces of the audience members. The kids sermed to really enjoy that. Another of the Sami nature songs the children paraded through the audiance with their faces covered by leaves/branches (a different sort for each kid).

Then there was another break before the next performance, which was part of the Family Day of the music festival. This was two women who portrayed a story through the use of song, words, interpretive dance and violin playing. My Norwegian isn't good enough to have followed all of the little nuances of the tale, but I had no problems following most of it (and could have understood a fair bit of the story even if I hadn't understood any of the words).

After that show I had a quick dinner and a half hour walk to enjoy the beautiful mountain views. I also laughed to notice the one peak with a flat top that kinda reminded me of Flattop mountain in Anchorage--what got me to laugh is that Flattop (and all of the peaks of the Chugach Range) are to the east of the city, which means that the sun rises either from behind them, or, in mid winter, to the right of them. To see something that looks kinda like Flattop with the evening sun just to its right was a bit disconcerting.

The concert Saturday evening started, as is traditional, with the allspel(everyone plays), followed by performances by pretty much every group on site, all of whom are good. Then, after intermission, was the performance by the featured group, MäSä Duo who had flown up from Finland just to perform for us, and perform they could! One plays violin, and the other a tiny accordion, both with amazing energy, tallent, and impressive speed. They tended to start many of their numbers slow and dreamy, and after a lovely intro, kick it up several notches in speed/energy, and then do it again a couple more times. I couldn't sit still, but was pretty much dancing in my seat for the hour they played. Then there was a short break to clear the chairs out of the way and set up some tables in the back half of the gym before the dance started. The Finnish duo played the first dance set, and were kind enough to keep the music at a medium tempo (for them, which meant nice, fast dancing). They also played more repeats of each dance tune than is customary in Norway, which I really appreciated. After there set all the other groups took a turn playing for dancing, which meant lots of beautiful music all night long. Once again I only managed not quite three hours of non stop (unless you count running to the loo when they changed bands) dancing before my feet couldn't take any more, so I walked across the hall and went to bed around 01:30.

I woke at 07:00, which gave plenty of time to pack up, have breakfast, do some yoga, and just hang out with my travelling companions before our bus picked us up at 09:00. The trip home took just over 10 hours, some of which I slept, of course, some of which I typed much of the above, and the rest we sang songs and just enjoyed the travel.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
2017-08-11 01:00 pm

On the bus to Norway

Ten of us from the Luleå Hembygdsgille(Folk music/dance/costume society) gathered early this morning and the bus departed at 06:00. Because we are so few this year we have only a small bus--large enough for those of us who want them to have a pair od seats to ourselves, but not big enough to have a toilet on board. Therefore we had a short stop around 08:00, and a longer stop in Kiruna. Everyone but me choose to eat there. The hotel restaurant wasn't open yet, but the Thai Arctic Grill was, and they all ate things like burgers and fries, over cooked fried spring rolls, and other things that simply didn't look like food to me. It was pretty much all monochrome pale brown fried food colour (even the hamburger buns had that shade, though they looked too soft to have been fried). Only the bus driver, whose plate was covered in a mound of meat that looked sufficient to satisfy a small wolf pack had something a bit darker than the fried startch that filled most of the plates. All in all I was relived that I had my own food in the bus, and happily worked on my embroidery project while they ate, then returned to the bus, had a short nap, and woke up to the pretty view of the cute little Swedish mountains that are the prelude to the more spectacular Norwegian mountains. With this lovely view out my window I just ate my lunch of home made egg noodles with fresh (grocery store) broccoli, silverbeet and kale and fireweed stems from our garden, red lentils, roasted cashews, and a bit of butter and curry ilke spices that the lentils had been cooked with. Then I ate a kiwifruit for desert. My bowl was a pretty mix of green and orange that looked and tasted so very much better than what the resturant had. I am so pleased that I am smart enough to bring along food from home.

Later when I get hungry again I have pasties. I have breadrolls baked around yummy home made spegetti sauce. I have lots more fruit, and cheese, and nuts and seeds, and home baked oat cakes made with real butter. Travel food doesn't have to taste horrid.
kareina: (Default)
2017-08-10 09:33 pm

much enthusiasm for a new project

Last night I tried sewing a single garnet bead in the center of a square on the beautiful 3-in-1 wool twill fabric. Today I decided that I hadn't managed to get it perfectly centered, and that the only way to do that would be to baste diagonal lines from point to point on all the squares, and while I was at it, around the outline of the neck facing.

Luckily for me, today at work my Master's student wanted to try driving the laser for this, her final lab session of her project, so I got to spend several hours basting lines while she did all the data collecting, and I only needed to remind her which task needed to happen when, and how.

lines basted

close up

Now the neckline is ready for beads (which will be *much* easier to center in those squares now that there is an X to mark the spot), and, while I am at it, some red embroidery around the beads, since I have remembered some lovely wool yarn that is the same colour as the garnets. I have also done the math and worked out that I have exactly enough of the white to edge the sleeves, hem and neck of the tunic I want to do. Looking forward to making progress on this project while on the Norway trip this weekend. There is enough embroidery and beading to do that I need bring only the white fabric, yarn, and beads. The blue can stay home and wait till the trim is ready to attach.

Now to finish packing, do my yoga, get a shower, and then leave for the bus in 7.5 hours. Plenty of time...