Pacific Crest Trail SoBo

Sunday, July 23, 2017

OI000025
For those wondering, J set off on his 5-month Pacific Crest Trail adventure about a week ago. He's gone for ~4 months, while the cat and I hold down our new digs.
OI000024
OI000015
OI000026
Walking to a good hitching spot
Waiting in 97F weather for a ride
Starting gear, sans bandana and pack towel.
Camping ramen FTW
You can read more about that here.

How To: Packing Delicate Plants for Road Trips

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Plants in the car.

The Burro's Tail & Jade Plant have been through a lot. Such as one cross country drive...and now another. I'd say the first drive worked best, as they were rather short and could be stashed out of the way on the dashboard. The return road trip started with the burro's tail flying from the back toward the windshield. A dance move that the jade plant would follow a few days after.

So here's how I re-packed the Burro's Tail succulent for travel. It seemed pretty effective, although it's still in shock from its first nose dive. Hopefully it recovers. If I were to do start the road trip over, I'd trim the longer branches of the burro's tail and propoagate them giving me a short dense/stocky plant. And then I'd follow the packing instructions below.

  1. Materials
    1 cardboard box slightly taller than the plant. Scrap cardboard or packing materials. A plastic cup (optional). Shrink wrap (or Ziploc bag filled with holes, large enough to encase the cardboard box). Scissors. Delicate succulent/plant.
  2. Create cardboard foundational support
    Disassemble shallow cardboard box into strips, fold into zigzags, place in larger box.

    I suppose if you didn't have another cardboard box to cut into strips, you could probably use styrafoam, bubble wrap, newspaper, or other packing material. The point is just to put enough in their to hold the plant pot in place. I did this in a hotel room on the road, and happened to have a second shallow box to use. If you're transporting a vine-y plant, you don't want to fill the packing in all the way to the top of the box, the vines need somewhere to rest!
    1. Disassemble smaller cardboard box into strips, fold into zigzags, place in larger box.
  3. Place cup of dropped succulent leaves in zigzags
    Rearrange cardboard zigzag pieces to secure cup. Stuff is going to fall off your plant, it's nice to have a dedicated little cup to hold the odds and ends so they can be propagated later.
    2. Place cup of dropped succulent leaves in zigzags
  4. Place plant in middle of cardboard zigzags
    Zigzag/packing materials should be rearranged to hold the plant pot in place. If the plant shifts around in the box during transport, it may cut off/kill some of its vines.

    This burro's tail (in a small pot) is shorter than the walls of the box, which is key for transporting the plant.
    3. Place plant in middle of cardboard zigzags
  5. Shrink wrap middle of box.
    Don't airtight wrap it! You just want enough to keep the plant from falling out if the box goes flying. And to protect the plant from other things that may rest on it in the car.
    4. Shrink wrap middle of box.

The plant flew from its original resting place and I had to cut/propagate a bunch of vines. I'm expecting mixed success on rehabilitation. Looks about right.
Burro's Tail after 2 weeks on the road.

California: The Commute

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Caltrain

Having documented my work commute in Japan, I figured I'd share something similar from California. The commute took just about as long, and kept me pretty much exclusively in the South Bay suburbs, but the flowers were blooming nearly year round.

Walking to the Train.
Walking to the Train.
Walking to the Train.
Walking to the Train.
Walking to the Train.
Walking to the Train. Walking to the Train.
Caltrain
Caltrain
Caltrain
To the Bus.
To the Bus.
To the Bus.

Each day when getting off the train I had the choice of two options for getting to my office. The Meyer Green path...
Bus
Campus
Campus
Campus
Campus

...or the Main Quad path.
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Commuting from Palo Alto Station to Stanford
Office

The lovely commute really made up for many of the downsides of living in the South Bay. While the 45 minute commute wasn't ideal, the lovely scenery certainly was.

How To: Sew an Envelope Pillow cover

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Westie Envelope Pillow Cover
Pom-pom trim has been on my mind since Gertie's instructive post a couple years ago. And while browsing Spoonflower fabric I encountered this lovely Westie fabric and could not resist. A fat quarter and pom pom trim later, and here we are.

This tutorial is essentially a revamp of the 9 year old How to Make Pillow Covers With Welt Cording.

  1. Materials: Pillow form (mine was 16" square), Decorative fabric size of pillow form (I had a fat quarter), More fabric to cover the back (needs to be about 1.5X the length of the decorative fabric), Trim/Welt Cording (optional 16"*4+3), Scissors, Sewing Machine, Thread, Pins, Ruler, Iron + Board
    Materials: Kona Cotton + Decorative Fabric
    Materials: Pom pom trim
  2. Cut Front Fabric, size of pillow form. My pillow form is 16"X16", so is the front piece of fabric.
    1. Cut Front Fabric, size of pillow form
  3. Cut two backing pieces, Width of pillow form X (width/2)+5". I cut one of my pieces a bit shorter than the 13" the formula suggests. So I had one 13" piece and one 11" piece - you really want at least 5" overlap.
    2. Cut two backing pieces, Width of pillow form X (width/2)+5"
  4. Double-fold a long edge of each of the backing pieces
    3. Double-fold a long edge of each of the backing pieces
  5. (optional) If adding a sew-in label, should be pinned in now, on the wrong side of the [shorter] backing fabric.
    4. If adding a sew-in label, should be pinned in now, on the wrong side of the [shorter] backing fabric.
  6. Sew the double-folded hems.
    5. Sew the double-folded hems.
  7. Start pinning the trim along the side or bottom of the top pillow, not centered. Fabric should be right side up. The decorative side of the trim should be facing inward, and the trim edge should align with the pillow edge.
    6a.  Start pinning the trim along the side or bottom of the top pillow, not centered
    6b. Do not start pinning trim at the top of the pillow!
  8. When you get to a corner, make a 1/4" snip, 1/4" from the fabric edge. If doing wider seam allowances, snip seam-allowance, seam-allowance from fabric edge.
    7. When you get to a corner, make a 1/4" snip, 1/4" from the fabric edge
  9. Bend trim 90 degrees so that outer edge of trim aligns with fabric edge
    8. Bend trim 90 degrees so that outer edge of trim aligns with fabric edge
  10. Keep pinning trim and following corner directions until you get where you began.
    9. Keep pinning trim and following corner directions until you get where you began.
  11. When you get to end, cross the trim with about a 1" overhang, as shown. Pin. If trim is thick (like with welt cording) and you can't machine sew over it, machine-sew on either side and hand-sew the crossover.
    10. When you get to end, cross the trim with about a 1" overhang, as shown. Pin.
  12. Baste trim to fabric, with seam allowance smaller than 1/4"
    11. Baste trim to fabric, with seam allowance smaller than 1/4"
  13. Place first backing piece on fabric, right sides together. Double-folded hem horizontally in the middle. Orientation matters! Up-down direction of decorative fabric should match up-down direction of backing fabric.

    If your backing pieces are two different heights, put the shortest one down first. If using a sewn-in label, this should be the piece with the label attached.
    12. Place first backing piece on fabric, right sides together. Double-folded hem horizontally in the middle.
  14. Place second backing piece at other end, right side down with double-folded hem horizontal.
    13. Place second backing piece at other end, right side down with double-folded hem horizontal.
  15. Sew 1/4" from edge, around the pillow case. Turn corners as usual.
  16. Snip corners off, just before the seam.
    14. Snip corners off, just before the seam.
  17. (optional)Zig-zag (or serge) edges. Add a second seam for durability as needed (I do this on the sides to strengthen the envelope backing connections.
    15. [optional] Zig-zag (or serge) edges. Add a second seam for durability as needed (I do this on the sides to strengthen the envelope backing connections.
  18. Flip right side out, being sure to poke the corners out to a point.
    16. Flip right side out, being sure to poke the corners out to a point.
  19. Iron, or stuff a pillow form through the envelope closure.
    17. Iron, or stuff a pillow form through the envelope closure.
  20. Done!
    Envelope Pillow Cover - front
    Envelope Pillow Cover - back
Completed envelope pillow cover.
Envelope Pillowcase - pom pom trim detail
If I made my inseams the width of the pom-pom edging, the edging would be better hidden, leaving just the poms to poke out.
Envelope Pillow Cover - back with label

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