Raven slept well in the vardo after her dance last night.  We ate breakfast in the back yard table with a view of the mountain and vines to the river, beautiful. I want some coffee so we headed to town, Starbuck’s and across the street to the farmer’s market. Raven wants pomegranates for a Halloween alter. Wow, they have pineapple guavas, I love those, fill my pockets for a buck. The granitas are $3 most places but one has them for a dollar a pound, Raven picks up a bunch, some in pairs on the branch, pretty for an alter display.  Tomatoes for a buck a pound, score, I filled a bag for more sauce.

We head for town, there is a store I want to visit, secret until we get there. I’ve been cutting stencils at work after hours for the vardo cabinets. We arrive at the art store off Dutton, Raven enjoys that as she’s not been. She’s checking out the books as I’m looking for a good deal on some inexpensive acrylic paint, not obvious at $40 bucks a set. I look in the kid section, a plastic set of secondary colors for $3 bucks, perfect.


A couple more small $1 brushes, Raven picks out some cool Celtic stickers.

Next to the Viking Festival, it’s right around the corner, how convenient. The Norway Society puts it on, with battle enactments and well made armor, inside are many booths with food and trinkets. My friend Chris Botka is here with his family, his kids have grown. A lot.

According to the Harbin seamstress we need muslin inside the cushions , OK, next stop Joann Fabrics, 36″ is on sale, I crunch the numbers on my watch calculator, 7 yards should do it tight, I hope there is enough around the sides, should be.

Home, hungry, a sign on the way says BLTs at the heirloom tomato fest, that sounds good and we have tomatoes.  I have some good homemade bacon by my work friend Dougie, he’s Scottish, it’s loin meat, so good. Garden lettuce with some cucumber, O mayo too. Yum. Raven wishes for a spare cabinet door, Chin gave me some, granted.

Time to get working. I bring out the saw horses and maple counter with Raven’s help. We open up the fabric and fold it boat sail style zigzagged. I have a piece of tailor’s chalk and know where, in blue, perfect. I lay out the measurements on the fabric as Raven experiments with some stain, the stencils, paint. The red stain won’t penetrate the varnish, black paint she likes, with the new acrylics and stencil, she lays down a nice test picture. Oylofre is Chaucer for gilliflower, an ancient carnation.


This works well, she pulls a few cabinet doors and paints them black in the middle.

Meanwhile I finish cutting out all the fabric. We have just enough with an 8″ piece after the main panels and the sides have enough. There is a wee bit of scrap, not much. I rigged up a holder as I have a huge reel of red thread.

sewing machine

It works, a large dowel, a piece of step wood and a some PVC tube to reduce the friction.  I loaded up the lower bobbin to max, installed, threaded up the machine. There’s enough scrap to run a test. I tried it out, it all works, We have a small pillow cover, open on the end for hand sewing to make a mock mattress cover.


We’re ready, The real parts await, cut and ready.


The sewing machine is working, the fabric is cut, next we make cushion covers. This is cool, we can sew anything we need with a fixed machine. Raven wants a cover for her tablet, I have plenty of soft leather but not a machine task, needs to be hand sewn, she cut out a pattern, a loan of needles, my best waxed nylon thread and a three prong punch. Use 2 needles and sew it in and out with both needles to form a solid saddle stitch. That should keep her busy. A very productive and fun day as well.

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