Category Archives: Uncategorized

Twenty Things You Can Do When The World Is Terrifying — I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog

Just about a year ago, I wrote a post called “Fifteen Things You Can Do When The World Is Shitty and Terrifying.” Last year, I was sad and angry about the death of Laquan MacDonald. I was outraged that a man with an assault rifle began to shoot up a Colorado Planned Parenthood. I was heartbroken about […]

via Twenty Things You Can Do When The World Is Terrifying — I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog

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Finding Treasures

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

I enjoy roaming the aisles of used book stores.  Over the years I have found some amazing HandweaversWorkbookbooks for very little money.  Recently I came across a 1956 edition of A Handweaver’s Workbook by Heather G. Thorpe (originally published 1936, reissued in 1974).  Not surprising given its age, the book is hardbound, and the pages are printed on heavy acid-free pages. It is also in perfect condition, nary a pencil mark! What a find!

Browsing through it, I was impressed by its thorough yet not overwhelming approach to introducing weaving.  I learned some interesting facts I’ve not seen newer weaving survey books or learned in a weaving class.

Did you know (I didn’t!) that …

PorteeCrossThere are different names for crosses on warps made withe a paddle dependent upon their position:  The first cross at the end of a warp is called a porrey cross; the second cross is called…

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A Little More Better

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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!

 

Not your Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

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
Tahini sauce
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?

Things I didn’t resolve to do but did anyway

In 2015…

  1. I crocheted 10 kitchen scrubbies
  2. I met my financial savings targets
  3. 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!
  4. 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.

Singer: Leather machine belt

Leather machine belt

Leather machine belt

Kind of looks like a goat chewed on it, right?

After a bit of google-fu, I have determined that the belt on my Singer would be fairly easy to replace. Essentially, it’s a four sided cord that can be purchased in lengths of 25 feet and cut down to size. The finicky bits would involve punching a hole in either end and clamping with what looks like an industrial strength staple into it so that a continuous loop is threaded through the wheels.

Today was not the day I replaced the leather belt.

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Oh yeah. I went there.

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Worked like a charm. But then I noticed the leather was pretty dry and flaking little pieces of leather/dust onto my work space 😦

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So I broke out some elbow grease and saddle soap and went to town. Bonus: had a little extra time and now my shoes look great too.

If feels a bit sacrilegious to be honest, like taping up an antique book cover instead of getting  a plastic protector (BTW NEVER GONNA DO THAT). But I’m satisfied that the materials to update it correctly are easily accessible, and that can be a project for a future to-do list.

A rogue wiener appears

I’d originally come for the beer and beautiful fall flowers, because I’m classy like that. But this weekend I saw so many wieners.

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I’ve never seen that many unchecked wieners in one place before. Apparently it’s even an annual thing now because I got to see the second annual Wiener Dog Race at Oktoberfest

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Wieners on their way!

There were so many little wieners running around they had to hold multiple rounds for the puppy category. Then came the junior’s category and then the race for Mature Weenies. Ahem. Wieners.

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The winning Wiener!

Altogether a lovely event, and a fine time was had by all! Definitely being added to the list of Things To Do on a semi-regular basis. And while we’re at it, here are a few more I’d like to go to at some point!

The International Rutabaga Curl  –  Learn to curl, and in the process toss a gross tasting vegetable as far away from yourself as possible.

Tacolandia  –  Where there are new and interesting  tacos every three feet or so to try.

Carolina FiberFest  –  What it says on the tin! Maybe I can pick up some more spindles here.