Friday, May 22, 2015

friday follow-ups

Just a few brief notes about
things that have been happening here this week.

Azalea and Campion had their first birthday!

Azalea is maturing very nicely:

And Campion is now taller than his mama!

Remember when they were born?

I sure do!

Azalea and Campion, one year ago.

The porch floor:
it's finished - five coats - and looks good.
Really good.
Now a thorough cleaning is needed, to get rid of the sawdust lingering in every nook and cranny of the porch.
And all the windows must be washed.

This will be an opportunity(!) to try
the extreme-housework-with-audiobook system.
So far, I have:
1) found the 5-foot stepladder, and
2) lugged it from the workshop to the house.
It's a start!

But I'm going to save this task until it's too hot to work outside.
Other than Quite Small Tasks, 
everything happens on a Priority basis around here
and most of my priorities are outside.


In the Quite Small Task category:
my unstained cherry table gets an occasional application of oil.
I took the opportunity of doing it outdoors this week.

This is a genuinely enjoyable task.

Then I put the little table on the porch.
The room immediately shrank before my eyes!

It will be difficult to decide what goes on the porch.

I'm thinking beloved and happymaking items only.
The cherry table probably stays.


In other cherry-related news:
I've started a bucket of black cherry soaking for dye. 

Prunus serotina

I've never used cherry before, but Annie Cholewa recently blogged about her experiences with it. I don't know what species Annie used, but probably not the one I'm using.
An interesting experiment anyway.

And in my ongoing efforts to avoid using mordants (which improve the colors but alter the fiber) either to pretreat fiber or as part of the dyebath, I've poked around online and found a mordant-free method involving two separate cherry dyebaths at different pH extremes.
Well worth a try!


And now, I'm heading back outside to shift some fence panels.
Have a lovely Friday, everyone!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

four weeks

You know how I mentioned yesterday that I am having trouble
getting decent snaps of Tansy and Fern?

Here's why:


Saturday, May 16, 2015

presto chango



I had to laugh when the kids struck the same pose
in the same spot, seconds apart!

Can you see the size difference in the two?
The silver girl has gotten heavier and bigger.
The black girl, by comparison, is still a peanut!
But only by comparison.
She is growing, fit, and active, and getting plenty to eat.

They are both very active.
One day I shot 327 images, trying (and failing) to get
a decent picture of each kid so I could do a special
"introducing" post to tell you their names.
(Which are NOT "Presto" and "Chango."
Nor are they "Bloodroot" and "Lungwort,"
but thanks, Tanya. HAH!)

Their names are:





Tansy knew her name the first time I used it.
Fern is taking a bit longer,
or else she has just been too busy to respond.
In the picture above, she is checking
to be sure she has tracked dirt into both compartments
of the mineral feeder.
Because any job worth doing is worth doing well.


And now, before the looming rain begins to fall,
I'm going to tale this girl for a run in the woods.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


The porch floor work was mysteriously delayed for two days.

I don't know why. That's the mysterious part.
But today, the gentlemen arrived on time and got busy right away. They left at 5PM, after sanding the floor thoroughly and putting down the first finish coat of a probable three.
Fingers crossed it will be done by the weekend.

I didn't take a wide shot of the entire floor before they began sanding, but here's a fairly representative section of floor - this is the area in front of the slider, looking south - taken on the day when I insulated the kneewalls:

And here is a detail of the floor in front of the slider
after the sanding was done today:

It was fun seeing the original colors reappear.
(It was especially fun since I was not the one
on my hands and knees, sanding.)
The wood has been darkening naturally since 1997.

I remembered finding the mahogany at two lumberyards,
laying out every single stick,
and choosing the ones I wanted.
This is not behavior that typically endears a person
to the lumberyard staff, by the way.

(This doesn't worry me. I mention it as general information.)

There is a lot of variation in this mahogany,
and I remember deciding how to arrange the colors.
Now those colors are more than coming back;
the wood is taking on new depth
as the clear finish goes on.

In this picture, the upper section has one coat of finish:

I suddenly remembered having a load of this lumber
tied to the roof racks of Brownie, my old wagon,
when I stopped at a dog show in NH
where a good friend was showing her Irish Wolfhounds.
She is gone now.
As are her Wolfhounds.
As are my Wolfhounds.
It was another lifetime.
But it's all there somehow, in the wood.