New Zamos, rain, and dye jobs

Well, we got our first nasty rainstorm yesterday, with over an inch of it.

I’m sure the garden appreciated the water, we’ll see how much of a flush of new growth things get in the aftermath.

I bet Zamo would not be too thrilled with the return to sweater weather, though. Plus, I’ve kinda missed doing that podcast and I’ve had a chance to brainstorm a bit for it to freshen things up.

So… I’ve got 2 new episodes of The Zamo the Destroyer Show for tomorrow and next Sunday and I’ll get back on having that show be weekly again.

But back to the rain. I knew it was coming so I did haul my ass out there on Thursday afternoon to do some garden clean-up in the veggie beds, pulling the corn stalks and whatever random leftover tidbits were in what I now call the Swiss chard bed, because Swiss chard is perennial here, apparently, and the teeny 4″ pot I planted of it in May 2020 had become an overgrown behemoth with 2″ thick stalks at the base. I thought it died in the summer but it had a lot of new growth. I broke off most of the stalks and dried leaves to toss in the compost bins, but I bet it resprouts since I left a lot of the roots.

Then I seeded lettuce, kale, and mustard greens throughout those two beds, so in theory I should have lots of greens for the winter… if the slugs don’t devour things as soon as they sprout.

Note to self: leave the little fuckers a bounty of slug killer pellets.

I still have to clean up the tomatoes and I’ll plant more greens and radishes etc. There’s still 6-8 weeks until frost, and those are all cool weather crops anyway. Kales and mustards survive our winters just fine.

I’m debating whether to plant any garlic this fall as I plan to sell and leave in the spring before harvesting. Plus I grew it last time for my brother, who will most likely be living in Mexico by next summer.

I guess it wouldn’t hurt to plant some in case I’m still here and if I’m not, well, the new owner gets a free bed of garlic.

What else… During my neighborhood walk on Monday, I got yelled at by some off-his-meds lunatic screaming about the US government and my “murderer friends.” (He’d just finished screaming at someone in a car across the street who was foolish enough to roll down the window as opposed to peel out and run this psycho over as deserved.) Fortunately, this was a few blocks from where I live, and while the psycho did start to follow me when I turned around and walked away, I guess he thought he won the argument or he figured there were more complete strangers to scream at in the other direction, so I was able to get away from him.

Ain’t it great that the politicians dismantled the asylums decades ago?

Also, dumb fuck: yeah, the American empire is ending. Here’s the thing though: Canada ain’t any better, in fact it’s worse. And your other options for running the world are far, far, FAR worse than America. So maybe don’t gloat so goddamn much and definitely don’t come screaming at random strangers.

Also, fuck the scumbag local politicians who decided years ago to start subsidizing junkies and homeless and lunatics to turn this formerly peaceful small town into a haven for this sorta shit.

I used to have a jam space at Main and East 2nd in Vancouver, a short zombie shuffle from the notorious open-air drug market of Main and Hastings in Vancouver’s downtown east side, and I never had anything like this happen, especially not in broad daylight. I also used to go to shows at Lanalou’s in the heart of the downtown east side. This town is definitely worse.

Sigh… so… yeah… just makes me want out even more.

Let’s see here… more pleasant stuff: I mentioned last week about cross-stitching again (mostly whilst listening to YouTube lectures about Babylon and Egypt). I’ve finished two small WIPs this week:

“Yule: Winter Solstice” by The Primitive Hare. I swapped the thread colors to some variegated DMC I had on hand and I stitched it on 28 count Irish linen (the kind you get at Michael’s) that I hand-dyed.

This was one of the freebie charts from The Primitive Hare and you can get it here: There’s 7 others for the various witches’ sabbats, and I’ve finished 4 so far: Lammas, Mabon, Samhain, and now Yule. They’re all the same size and I intend to finish them in a manner similar to how Priscilla Blain finishes pieces in the same series that are seasonal: mount each piece of the stitching onto backing boards that have magnets on the back, then have one frame or whatever that has some metal on it and swap them out with the season.

One of the designs from “Tiny Tidings XXII” by Lizzie Kate, done on 22 count aida cloth that I hand-dyed.

For the Tiny Tidings pieces, these will become small Christmas tree ornaments. I have one already stitched (the Merry Christmas one) and so I have 3 more to finish stitching.

On a related note, I found the giant stash of Rit dye in the laundry room cabinet that I’d forgotten about along with a large hoard of 18 and 22 count aida (or hardanger cloth, which is kinda the same as 22 count aida) in the sewing room). I’ve mentioned before about trying to declutter/purge excess stuff, considering that I plan to be moving away next year, and I ain’t paying to haul all that Rit dye. Plus the fabric is sold in tubes which take up too much space.

So… I went on a dyeing binge this week and used up at least 6, maybe even 10 bottles of Rit dye and several cans of fabric spray paint. I still have a long way to go, but that’s still a fair improvement in terms of getting rid of stuff.

Bonus: the finished dyed cloth all neatly folded up into a small stack roughly 7″ long by 4″ wide by 7″ tall, which is a lot smaller than all the tubes.

I’ll actually have to buy more aida in order to use up the remaining dye, lol… and also, I might have to buy more blue and black Rit so as to use up the dye I have mixed into color combinations I’ll actually use.

Here’s a few examples from this week’s batch:

And 3 that I just happened to have stacked here on my desk:

As you can probably tell, I like things heavily mottled, especially for more “primitive” style patterns that have a lot of open space in them.

The lime green is more subtle, but I think I’ll save it for a Halloween pattern to do with witches spells and potions.

Of course, if I had two stitching finishes, I had to have two starts to balance them out. They were Tiny Modernist’s Land of the Free:

Doesn’t look like much, I know.

I’m using the called-for colors but might swap some around since my background is so heavily blue. (This is from a larger piece of 18-count aida that I used fabric spray paint on instead of Rit dye.)

And Satsuma Street’s Pretty Little Los Angeles:

I had started this on a piece of 28 count linen I had that was a plain color, but it quickly became clear that it was nowhere near evenweave, and the sun at the top was turning into an obvious egg shape, so I restarted it on this scrap of 22 count aida I’d dyed grey with the intention of using it for a Halloween piece.

This pattern is almost full coverage inside its boundaries, so the dark background kinda doesn’t matter, and I guess you could call it “Pretty Little Los Angeles Emerging From the Smog.”

I’ve started getting doll furniture showing up from orders I placed a month or so ago, so the time to get moving on the web series is drawing ever nearer:

The three studio rats. L-R: Jason the assistant engineer/go-fer, Richard the single platinum mix engineer, Martin the multi-platinum mix engineer
Studio receptionist Sally snuggling up with aging rock star/studio owner Nick.
But remember: Sally has a boyfriend and totally does not sleep with married men.
Nick’s soon-to-be-third-ex-wife Joanne with her “personal trainer” Hans
Denizens of the titty bar next to the studio. L-R: Paris the gold-digging stripper, Atlanta the weed-dealing stripper, Padraig the club DJ, Betty the strip club manager (and a great-grandmother in her late 50s)

So, yeah… we’re getting there, bit by bit. Now I gotta build a doll-sized SSL out of foamcore and paint some backgrounds, etc.

If you’re wondering what an SSL is, it’s a mixing board used in the music industry. Here’s a close-up detail of the one at Vogville Recording (photo I took in 2011 when assisting on mix sessions there).

Well, let’s wrap things up with a few garden pics.

Giant aster that was originally a 4″ baby a couple years ago. It will soon be solid purple as more and more blooms open.
A rose left by the previous owner has decided to bloom again
The witch hazel is starting to take on its fall colors
The neighbor’s honeysuckle that hangs over the fence is coming back into bloom and smells awesome.
This tree mallow is 6′ tall (after being cut down to the ground this spring as per usual) and will keep blooming until the frost hits in a few weeks.
The herbaceous peonies are turning fall colors (red in this case, others are more yellow) before dying back to the ground level for the winter and sending fresh new shoots in the spring.