This was my spring. A lot of flowers had a chance to bloom–my career, my sense of adventure…my love for my family.
I moved a thousand miles away, and nearer in that last respect. It takes a plane to visit my parents now, but my sister is practically my neighbor! I thought I knew what city living was like, but Boston is a whole different speed for me. These days I take a commuter train in to work and nearly every morning it’s quieter than a library–50 people shuffling their shoulders in communal private time. Most people read on various screens but it’s given me time to make my quilt bloom as well.
I keep ending up with unfinished stacks.
Stacks of laundry, unread books, unfinished work, and the mental press of things I (should already have done) need to do.
There’s also a pile of fabric scraps and a cutting board that’s taken up semi-permanent residence on my living room floor. Did I mention I’ve taken up another crafting hobby?
This actually breaks a self-made rule I made about a year ago in an attempt to stay focused on the ones I’ve already got. I’m a dabbler, and my joy comes from the doing. But it would be nice to have something completely finished for once! From today’s count I have:
- 3 spindles half full of different yarns
- 1 draped, pinned, basted but not sewn nightgown
- A stack of mending
- 1 crocheted scrubby half finished
- Half a dozen cloth yo-yo’s to make into a necklace
- A drawer that I (attempted) to paint that needs to be re-done so it can be used in a display
On the the one hand it’s reassuring to have lots of projects going. If my wrist acts up from crocheting, I can switch to sewing, or take a break from cutting dozens of tiny squares out for English paper piecing. On the other, I feel almost…guilty? I don’t have expertise in any of the crafts I’ve taken up. I’ve got a beginner to intermediate skill level in each, with a broad knowledge of how they interconnect. Is it more rewarding to do a deep dive into one craft to get a feel for it? I’m debating taking a couple classes in garment construction so I can draft my own patterns, and I’m always on the hunt for folks who know how to use their antique Singer sewing machines and want to share.
The last thing I want to do is make it into work though, and start warbling about ‘subject matter expert’ this and ‘synergies’ that. Nah, I just…want to do a little more, better. And if making a quilt top out of 1.5 inch diameter hexagons doesn’t mean having a little more patience for the better part of a year I don’t know what does!
Posted in Crafti-mess, Uncategorized, upcycle
Tagged crafti-mess, crafting, dabbling, hexagones, jack of all trades, lazy crafting, procrastination, quilting, vintage fabric
It’s only Monday and I’ve already caught myself driving to the grocery store three times. I was able to roll on by without stopping, but it’s funny how you get in the habit of thinking that the things you want are necessities, or ‘staples’ that oh my god aren’t in the house and we’re. Gonna. Starve.
Personally I want fresh fruit and veggies in the house all the time…but it’s a house of one, and often my shopping leads to excess and waste. It’s all too easy to let a bag of apples spoil. The bag is more cost effective than buying loose apples, but if I let some go to waste is it really any better?
So this week I’m trying to clean out the cupboards a little, and use what I’ve got on hand. If only my solution didn’t mean eating my way through five cans of apple sauce
Isn’t there a way to make it disappear in sweet breads and such? More research is required. Anyway, today’s effort is a:
“Taco fusion” (add jazz hands)
I made hummus out of….
1 sad little lime
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can cannoli beans
Spices to taste
I put it on corn tortillas (re-hydrated by covering them with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 20 seconds) with fresh spinach…after removing the paper towel.
I fried up ground turkey that’s been hanging out in the freezer with a packet of taco seasoning, and allowed a rind of brie to melt all over it to top off the tacos.
After looking this list of ingredients, I’m questioning the flavor combinations, but hey! It’s filling, and pretty darn tasty for twenty minutes of effort.
It’s also the first time I’ve had to cook in quite a while. I went to visit my folks over the holidays, and brought back so much food that its lasted about a week–and that’s not even counting the dry goods my Granny sent home with me!
I’ve finally reached the point where I think I need to start rotating the canned goods in my cupboards so I use the oldest things first. Are there other standard kitchen cupboard related activities I should know about?
- I crocheted 10 kitchen scrubbies
- I met my financial savings targets
- I made it a priority to learn how to play again. My younger sibling definitely benefits from my world building skills when we pretend the apocalypse occurred and zombies are after us!
- I didn’t go on a single date. Instead I focused on important things like watching Hannibal and learning I could eat an entire pizza by myself. Take that Adam Richman! I also traveled to Richmond, VA by myself and had a grand time.
Sometimes letting life just happen brings its own rewards! Still, I feel like like making a list of things you want to get done, and breaking it down into manageable steps is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Bucket lists, resolutions, yearly goals…I honestly don’t care if your completion rate is 100% or zero.
Whenever I’m having a stressful day I write a list of to do’s for myself. Most often it’s just the everyday minutia of life. Heck yeah I got the dishes washed! I talked to the internet company and got my bill reduced! I got eight hours of sleep last night! Such an an adult, you go self 🙂
If I’m worrying, overwhelmed, bored…lists bring the satisfaction turning chaos into a semblance of order. Plus I like checking things off. AND they can be a physical reminder of success on days when I’m feeling down.
Bigger lists help me bring into focus how I want to be as a person too. I get serious. I make spreadsheets. Without them I would merrily turn into a complete hermit–actively planning how to reach out to people and setting goals for trying new activities is the best way I’ve found to combat feeling isolated.
- In a burrito
- On a grilled cheese sandwich (using potato bread and Havarti cheese)
- On a baked potato with sour cream and chives
- As a layer in a Mexican dip casserole
- Sprinkled over scrambled eggs
- By itself
I also found this cool blog called The Chorizo Chronicles, which doesn’t have a lot to do with chorizo, but does tell us about a dude named Daniel, and what he does as a language trainer while living in Madrid. Have fun!
That was a bad pun ya’ll. I fixed my house slippers. Have you ever noticed the way slippers are sold in whole sizes, or as a small/medium/large? Why is that? My feet are ‘Large’ but my large is a US 10.5, and in the slipper world Large equals a size 10. Cue sad face.
That’s all to say that I have one magical pair of slippers that fit and are comfy, and I refuse to let them go anytime soon. The rubber soles have been cracking and shedding all over the house, so I ripped those suckers off.
When I went to trace the outline of shoe onto the new sole, I realized I don’t actually have tailor’s chalk, which would be a crying shame except..
I found a way to make do.
Next go round I’ll try a sturdier material, but sewing two layers of felt together did the trick for now. I doodled around on the sewing machine to create traction on the soles, and then super glued it all together. Pro-tip: keep an eye on the proximity between glue and the carpet. Nothing happened! Don’t panic! Just an FYI. Ahem.
For about a month my earphones have been hanging on by a thread. Well, one cord because only one earbud works. Since they still function to a degree I’ve been keeping them in use and salivating over this colorful pair:
Maybe I’ll still get them at some point, but while I was de-stashing my craft room I actually found a pair of headphones! And dang, the bass sounds good 🙂
I’d like to get to the point where I’ve sorted through and trimmed down every room in the house–that’s a pretty big goal so I’m tackling one stack at a time for now. For my craft room, the end game is to make better use of the space I have and be able to display some of my vintage feather weight sewing machines. Plus, there’s fabric and materials that have been hanging around in excess of five years. “I might…make something out of/use/need that later!” That’s my eternal cry, but being able to donate craft and sewing supplies to The Scrap Exchange makes the process less fraught. Finding things I forgot I had is even better!
I’m beasting the crochet hook. Maybe besting is the better word? Whatever, the point is that I can now crochet a bullion stitch. BOOM. In a circle yo.
Up close and personal:
That is all.
Is the pattern boldly florid? Is it useful and colorful? Chances are I truly like it, or it’s ugly enough to be awesome. Case in point:
(Excuse the poor photo; the rug truly is rad)
I think this hand crafted rug is awesome. I was browsing a flea market near my parent’s house in the Appalachians Mountains, and I started talking to one of the sellers. As it turns out, she was downsizing and moving to Florida and her good friend hand hooked this rug about thirty years ago. At two dollars, and with that shade of avocado, I just couldn’t pass it up.
It makes me wonder about who decides what ‘good taste’ is or what ‘classy’ looks like. Does it look like this to you?
Yup, it’s Crate & Barrel.
I feel more comfortable in surroundings where my personality is given free range, and I place value in the history, color, and functionality of my selections. I’m waving my yo-yo bracelet-ed arm goodbye to that streamlined, sterile living room…
Heck yeah I made this bracelet, and I’ve worn it to work too.
…and picking up the next book on my reading list–Deborah Cohen’s Household Gods: The British and Their Possession. As discussed in this blog post:
But what interests me most here is the tension that she [Cohen] establishes between the home as site for self-expression and as a site for identification with others. To a large extent, I think this is correct. When we design our homes for resale value, we’re no longer thinking of our home as ours, but as an investment that will someday have to suit the needs or tastes of someone else.
I think it’s an interesting idea, but I’m still renting. There is no investment other than what I’m willing to spend on a wooden painted parrot to sit on a bookshelf. This house is a shell and when I leave all my goodies are coming with me! Would a doorknob shaped like a fish head put off the hypothetical buyer of my future house? Will the purpose of my decor change once I buy a home? Did yours?
I don’t believe we are defined by our possessions. I do think, however, that your life is enhanced when you can operate in an environment that makes sense to you on a personal level.
This is my sugar bowl.
Posted in aesthetic, aesthetics, bad taste, bracelet, classy, Crafti-mess, decor, fleamarket, good taste, handmade, needtoread, reuse, rug, tacky, upcycle, vintage