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all that sewing’s finally getting somewhere

 

not that I’m remotely done with the sewing, mind you

I think a lot of you are familiar with what my booth usually looks like. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the top picture is what I’ve been running with for the last several years. It’s a pretty standard wedge tent, with one long side held up on poles instead of staked to the ground. It’s sturdy, not terrible to put up, & it works.

I got the idea a year or two back to use the bits that hang down from the side of the roof — you can just see one on the left side of the tent; they’d be part of the door if I were using it as a wedge tent — to extend the space the tent overs out to the side a bit. This spring I finally got the chance to try it out.

 

It works! I mean, I knew that I could add a couple of poles & _do_ it; what I didn’t know was if it would make enough extra space to be worth the effort. Once I had the thing up? Yeah. SO worth it.

I’ve _also_ needed new sidewalls for years. I’ve been using too-small pieces of canvas, extra tablecloths, & even a random spare shower curtain for that, & it. Hasn’t LOOKED good. It looks like crap, to be honest, & I’m lucky I haven’t had to deal with serious wind. I couldn’t do anything about it until I tried the thing with the flaps, though, so I’ve been waiting to get that started, too.

I still have to sew a bunch of ties & loops to the side walls, but they’re cut, they’re hemmed, & they more-or-less fit.

…they also still need some adjustment, but I’ll be putting another pole on the side that’s drooping, & shifting some things around, & I think they’ll be in pretty good shape by Battlemoor.

Y’all, it’s gonna look SO good, & I am SO excited that I’m finally in a place where I can work on this project.

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I don’t think this was what he had in mind.

But when I called the boys back inside before heading to the post office, Tom decided he’d rather stay in the van. So I grabbed his leash & off we went.

I mean. I went over to see if that’s where he was — I’d left the van doors open while I was loading up, as I often do — & he was sitting on the passenger seat, looking expectant. & then he SQUEAKED at me. So off we went.

A large grey tabbycat, Major Tom. He's wearing a green harness & red leash, & he's standing up, looking off to the side of the photo & leaning firmly against the leg of a white person.

He was unimpressed by the gas station parking lot….

Mom.

Major Tom, sitting next to a large vehicle tire & looking under the vehicle. His ears are forward but his head is down, showing that he's curious but wary.

MOM. Y u do this.

Major Tom is now giving the person holding the camera a look that is Very Fraught with Opinions.

MOM WHAT IS THAT.

Major Tom is sitting in the same spot, but is now looking over his shoulder, ears forward, looking VERY interested.

(I’m pretty sure it was a bird.)

Mom. I AM DONE HERE.

Major Tom is standing on the ground next to the van, but he's got his paws up on the running board. His ears are out to the sides.

(This is what I’m talking about, though, when I say I want them to learn that the van is a safe place. When he was done, he didn’t try to find a place under a dumpster or something to hide in — he went back into the van. Because it’s safe.)

Major Tom is back in the van giving the camera another Look.

He had a MUCH better time at the post office. By which I mean there was dirt to roll in.

Major Tom, rolling in a patch of dirt and grass. He's a little blurry with the motion. There's a LOT of pale belly fur showing.
He's still rolling, but on the other side now, front paws sticking up in the air.
He's even more blurry in this picture, but he's starting to stand up now.

EVERYTHING is better when you’re covered in dirt & twigs.

Major Tom sits facing away from the camera. He's COATED in bits of plant & his fur is distinctly browner than usual.

He got plenty of chinpettings on the way home, so he was pretty cheerful about the trip overall. But he still dashed back into the house quick once we were home. Little steps — he’ll get there.

Major Tom, back in the van. The photo is framed by the bottom curve of the steering wheel. He's got his head resting firmly in the hand of a white person who is gently scratching under his chin.
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A bit of progress

I’ve got SO MUCH going on but I _am_ getting through it. Little by little.

Check out my new banner! I am SO HAPPY with it. I’ve got to sew ties to the corners & it’s ready to go.

Tent sewing continues. And continues. And continues.

Plus I got to do custom soap for a client — Earl Grey Tea! Yes, all the obvious names for it have already been used. Alas.

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slightly better?

This week I took slightly more than zero cat pictures! Above is Loiosh, stretched waaaaaay out because of the heat.

… it was 72F, y’all.

Major Tom assisting me in my efforts to clothe myself properly for the Gallup art gallery tour I went on last Tuesday night. Fortunately I’ve long since accepted that there’ll be cat fur on everything I own.

Loiosh, comfortably ensconced on the bed with me, with bonus photobombing Hades in the background.

… it’s been a long week.

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it’s time

It’s honestly well past time, & I want to thank my friend OctopusGallery for giving me a poke towards using less plastic in my packaging.

I know, I know, look, there’s been Stuff. But I’m getting there.

Some of it’s easy enough — the bags I give out at shows are easy enough to replace with brown paper bags, although it’s gonna be a while until I use up what I already have in stock. It’s also pretty easy to switch to brown paper for the smaller bags I put products in when I ship out orders.

But the soap & bath salts? More of a problem, because people want to see what they look like.

Fortunately there’s a pretty decent solution. Compostable plastics have been around for a while, & they’re getting better & better. I had some fun sorting through competing claims about how WELL they compost, mind you — one site said their compostable plastics broke down as easily & quickly as a leaf, which is, it turns out, actually not the case. Needless to say I went elsewhere.

But what I’m finding is that a good compostable plastic will compost Just Fine in the sort of industrial composting center that a lot of big cities use to take care of leaves & such, & if you don’t live in the big city, they’ll still compost okay in your backyard compost pile, though it’ll take maybe a year or two.

Given how rarely I actually remember to do anything with my compost, that’s not a problem. If you’re running your compost through faster than that, it might be a bit trickier, but I sat down & thought about it, & you know, even if most of the compostable plastic I’m gonna start using still winds up in a landfill, at least it’ll sit there & compost, instead of breaking down into microplastic. So, you know? I’m good with it.

I’ve found compostable plastic replacements for most of the plastic bags I use. I haven’t ordered any of it yet — it’ll take a while to use up what I already have — but I’ll get there.

I haven’t started looking for compostable plastic lip balm tubes yet & I don’t know if there even is such a thing, but I can hope. I suspect I’ll be out of luck with finding compostable plastic in tubes like I’m using for the foot salts, but there are other options I can poke at.

& of course there’s still the plastic lids for all of my glass containers, but eventually I might be able to do something about those, too.

One little step at a time.

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a Retrospective

Because 1) I never post enough pictures of Hades, & also 2) I somehow have not taken any cat pictures in the last week.

I KNOW, OKAY

Anyway I knew from the moment I laid eyes on him that Hades would be an excellent leashcat, & it’s been a hella road. The pic at the top of this post is his first time out in the van with me & Loiosh. He did pretty well, but he was also REALLY glad to get back to the van.

Which is fine! One of the important parts of convincing cats it’s safe to go out on the leash is letting them know there’s a safe place to retreat to. The house is the first one; once they’ve got the hang of that, the van is the second one they learn is safe.

The third place they learn is safe? The booth.

…Hades maybe took a unconventional route to that realization.

But he got the hang of it just fine.

Since then he’s done a lot of wandering with me & he generally has a pretty good time. He’s not as bombproof as Loiosh, but then, who is?

(Answer: Mister Purcy. But I digress.)

But he’s still got those black cat Opinions. So many Opinions.

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up HIGH

I tossed Loiosh up on top of the tall cabinet in the bathroom…

& proceeded to take a bunch of fairly terrible pictures of him up there.

I think I didn’t have the flash on, which means the exposure time was long, which means, well, blur.

But he was having a pretty good time. He doesn’t often go up high on his own because of his knee, but he’s perfectly happy to _be_ up high if someone gives him a boost. Or if he just bolts up a tree cos he’s in a mood.

Eventually, of course, he got bored.

Ploop!

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sometimes you just need to walk

I was having a REALLY rough day Saturday, so my ‘run into town to ship a couple packages’ jaunt turned into ‘also accidentally drive to Crownpoint, do half the week’s grocery shopping, & find a really pretty canyon to almost fall into on the way home’ trip.

As you do.

(I did not, in fact, fall into the canyon, but I did climb through barbed wire twice, so there’s my store of bad ideas for the week.)

I found pretty flowers:

Also this cool plant that grew — flowers? Fruits? I do not know!

Some really excellent lichen.

Also Bones of Long-Dead Creatures in a more literal sense than usual.