Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Friday

No photos this time, sorry. I'm currently watching the kid and using tiny laptop at his house. Forgot to bring my camera with me, but I do need to do a photo dump from there some time very soon.

I'm happy to be having sunshine again. Nobody around here has basements to speak of. Some houses have crawl spaces and I think I've seen maybe external two storm shelters in the last year we've been here, but there is an overall shortage of what my grandfather would have referred to as 'hidey holes.' Staying up all night watching the weather warnings for the last week has left me really, really tired but thankful that what we got here was nothing compared to what they got further south in Alabama. We had some power outages, downed trees and the like; oh, and the rivers got to flood stage this time around, but unlike last year the people managing the rivers around here were aware of how much rain was coming and started shutting down dams further upriver starting almost a week in advance so th3ere was no flooding to speak of.

I will be contacting giveaway entrants within the next week about shipping info. There ended up only being three people interested, but if you are interested and missed the original post I can still make up a couple more packages. Just let me know by leaving a comment here or on the original post.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Love Links

Here are a few cool, interesting, fun things I have found over the last week.

Faux Leather Sketchbook tutorial from Keepsake Crafts

Really awesome tutorials from Maggie Makes

Origami paper box tutorial from Pinecone Camp

Sewing book giveaway from Lark Crafts (open until 9pm EST May 3rd)

Rad scrap projects from Burda Style (I love the little birdie wings and needlebooks)

I am totally loving this hanging book shelf and can see it being very useful for sewing and crafting supplies and projects.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday, Muddy Monday

Yes, that was a U2 reference in the title there. I'm not a huge fan, but I liked the sound of it. This is a radar image from about 6pm yesterday.We had a very rainy, very windy and watchful-for-tornadoes Zombie Jesus Day here and it's supposed to continue like this for another 4-6 days. No delicious chocolate bunnies or prettypretty decorated eggs this year; too sick with flu/headcold to think about much other than sleep, keeping up with the laundry and dish washing, and making sure everyone is fed and watered properly. The only real celebratory activity was eating a bowlful of ice cream with homemade dandelion syrup (ooh, it was delicious! will be posting a recipe soon-ish) and watching some of Stephen King's The Stand via Netflix with Corey. I've never been much of a fan of King's writing (multiple false starts to reading several of his works and The Eyes of the Dragon has been the only one I've finished), but I figure I should at least watch this series since I have the chance. One of my best friends in St Louis references it no less than every few hours when anyone around him is sick so I figure at the very least I'll have a better understanding of what he's talking about when he's telling me to keep my Captain Trips to myself. Plus it only seems fitting with all the sneezing and snot and lack of ability to breathe that's been happening here lately.

I do have a kind of funny story about Easter, though, and it involves mud puddles. I remembered it this afternoon during a break in the rain when I took Zombie girl outside for a brief run around the yard and saw the huge puddle taking up literally 1/3 of the yard.

I absolutely adore jumping in puddles, muddy or otherwise. I did not know about this joy, however, until shortly after my 3rd birthday when Dad took me out to the end of the driveway at our house on Gennessee Road. It was early in the morning on Easter and we had just finished checking the oil and other fluids or something like that on Dad's truck. At the time I was an only child and spending time with Dad was the absolute best thing ever. Being that I was largely self-sufficient and super well-behaved (my parents were spoiled having me as a first child), I got a lot of Dad time in the form of working on his truck and even hanging out at the construction site with him at work and using the lumber cutoffs as building blocks. Mom was awesome and I loved hanging out with her, but Dad would do things with me that Mom would never have, like playing in mud and letting me ride the mastiff - named Bumper - at the junk yard. How much cooler can things get when you're 2 or 3 than getting to ride a giant dog around a junk yard!?

We had just gotten done doing something to Dad's truck and he instructed me to stand back while he closed the hood. I don't know if 1985 was an especially wet spring, but I remember not being allowed to play outside for a few days because of all the rain and mud. Mostly because of the mud I think. I really liked making mud pies and Mom really disliked all the laundry this activity could generate. Dad knew about this love of mine (heck, I'm pretty sure he was the one who first showed me how to make a mud pie) and when he told me to follow him I happily obliged. Normally I remember things like this in great detail, but this one is one that is a bit fuzzy. I don't recall the exact details of how Dad taught me to jump in the puddles at the end of the drive, but I do remember how amazingly awesome and fun it was!

The feel of the mud between my toes - I never wore shoes unless I was forced to, still don't - and the huge splash I could get were pretty much the most fun ever. I had soaked my clothes in fairly short order and splashed most of the water out of the puddle when Mom called to us that we needed to come inside and get ready for church. I'm not one much for organized religion, but at the time church was not something that was optional. I had to go and I had to be dressed up to do so. Most of you can probably see where this story will end from here knowing this.

Dad and I trudged up the drive and back into the house to shower and put on our Sunday Best. This week it really was Sunday Best for me, too, as I had a brand spanking new white Easter dress with lots of fluffy frills and trim and matching white patent leather dress shoes. They were the first dress shoes I ever remember owning. I used to love dressing up in frills and shinies, girly as all get-out. For a brief period of time prior to and including part of my kindergarten year of school, it was actually the only way my parents could keep me clothed. Except for shoes. They came off as soon as physically possible. Mom chose these particular patent white dress shoes with this fact in mind and they had buckles placed in such a way that I could not get them off by myself so once they were on I was stuck with them. Bummer.

Once we were all dandied up it was time to get in the truck and go to church. I don't recall what exactly happened or how, but I ended up heading out the door first and I think Mom asked Dad to help her out with getting a huge crock pot of something delicious out to the truck to take with us for a supper after the service. As I stood next to the truck unable to reach the door to get inside, I looked around the yard and spotted another mud puddle next to the back door. Now, at this time, we had the chicken coop right next to the house at the back door and the location of this puddle meant that it undoubtedly was made up of a good percentage of chicken poo and not just good old dirty mud. The fact that this was a chicken poo puddle and not an actual mud puddle did not occur to me; it was a puddle and Dad had just taught me how to jump in puddles for fun.

I don't think I have ever heard Mom scream with quite that much disappointment and confusion. I was standing there in utterly ruined brand new white dress and shoes now almost completely covered in chicken poo water and stained beyond repair. Boy howdy, was I proud of myself! The fun lost a bit of its awesome, though, when Mom started asking me why I would do such a thing and in a brand new dress at that. I was truly confused why she was mad because "Dad showed me how and it's fun, Mom!" He forgot to tell me that jumping in puddles was not something to do in good clothes or while wearing shoes. I ended up going to church that Easter Sunday in a regular frilly dress that was stained from mud and earthworm collecting and Dad got an irate lecture about giving me all of the rules beforehand. Eventually we decided that mud puddle jumping was something I could do only if I wasn't supposed to be wearing shoes and I continued with lots of happy puddle jumping for years following using that rule, but Dad still has not lived down the time he taught his little girl how to jump in mud puddles but forgot to tell her about not doing so when all dressed up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 2011 FNSI Results

People will be here any minute now, but I need to post photos of what I did last night for the Sew-In. So, here they are. In all their unedited glory. They're pretty self explanatory, but people are here like, right now. So I'll come back later and caption all the photos.I am also having a giveaway, so be sure to go there and put your name in the hat for a package of handmade and crafty supplies, jewelry, and a whole bunch of other possibilities.

Crocheted bikini top parts sewn together and button added.

It is plastic, but I really love the imitation tagua nut type look of this button.

Didn't get very far on this one before embroidering lost its appeal for the night.

Got a few more hexes added. It's slow going, but progress is being made and this will an absolutely amazing quilt when I get it finished.

Collage of some mending done to mouse-chewed pillowcases that my mom had in storage for almost 30 years (since she was pregnant with me). They're high-quality, super soft cotton and she says she forgets what she had originally planned on doing with them, but that she no longer had a use for them in their state. I think they're prefect for Found, Stitched and Dyed and will likely submit them there in the future after much more stitching and appropriate photographing.

It's giveaway time. Who wants a crafty/handmade care package?

I have accumulated a lot of stuff lately and I haven't been able to use things up or get them listed in my Etsy store. It's perfectly usable and pretty and nice stuff; and a lot of it is supplies-oriented. But right now I am basically drowning in crafty supplies with neither the space nor the inspiration to actually use them myself. I have a lot of eco-dyed fat quarter pieces and threads, handmade by me antler buttons, vintage fabric yardage and remnants, beads and buttons, batting and stuffing both natural and synthetic, ribbons and trims and tapes and cords galore, and commercial clothing and craft patterns that I don't think I really need anymore. (And Mom, if you're reading this, no, I am not talking about the patterns I borrowed from you. Those I will use and hopefully soon.)

The most sensible thing to do would be to list it all in my Etsy store and try to get some $ out of it all. Etsy, however, is a humongous time-sink as far as listing things, though, and I just don't have the patience for it right now. I'm also not happy with where Etsy seems to be going lately in privacy-policy land and actually taking care of its users, both sellers and buyers. I loathe the ubiquitousness of Facebook and its total disregard for security/privacy/etc. and Etsy seems to be using an identical business platform lately. So, ya, there's that, as well.

I think I need to get rid of some shit both literally and metaphorically in order for my crafting/creating life (and life in general) to get back on track. I am not willing, however, to just throw it all in the gar-bahj to get rid of it as it is perfectly usable, pretty and nice. I also, apparently, need to work on straightening out some sort of karmic imbalance as this week totally sucked for me. Here's where *you* come in. I am willing to pay shipping for up to five $5.20 flat rate USPS boxes (small box - 8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8") filled with a variety of crafty supplies to be mailed some time next weekend to awesome people who comment on this post. I will use to decide upon the winners depending upon how many comments I get here. All included items will be washed, clean and relatively neat and orderly (as in not a knotted, rolled up, wadded mess that you have to sort, but also not overly tidy unless I really get a bug up my butt about fitting as much stuff as I physically can into each package). I make no promises that any included fabrics will be pressed before mailing, though.If you are one of my friends who reads via my Facebook profile feed, you can also enter the giveaway by commenting there. Commenting both places will not garner more entries for you.

Items may include but are not limited to:

Completed jewelry, polymer beads and pendants, pretty jewelry bits (I have some pretty awesome mokume gane technique, cosmic looking beads and pendants I have never photographed but love to bits)

Embellished and/or dyed strips and pieces of fabrics similar to those below

Hand-dyed and naturally-dyed fabrics

Ceramics I have made (I may actually give away one or two of these as larger packages and stuff the vessels with odds and ends as well as the rest of the box, but it depends upon finances.)

Handspun fabric yarn

Possibly some handmade by me clothing items and/or accessories depending upon your style and size

Pretty fabric yardage both vintage and contemporary

Pre-cut patchwork quilt pieces

Butter-soft sueded leather pieces

Glass, wood, brass and bone beads

Old-fashioned, big cones of sewing thread

Sheet music and other paper ephemera

Various shells and bones and sticks and stones I have collected magpie-style over the last two years

Vintage dishware similar to what is currently available in my shop (heck, I might even pull some things from there to mail to you I am that unhappy with Etsy right now and that desperate to get things out of the house)

A lot more things that aren't readily coming to mind right now...
Seriously, this isn't just crap stuff. Which is why I won't just throw it away. But I need to get it out of my house, out of my headspace, and into the world to some other person(s) who will actually use it or just enjoy having it around. If you leave a comment and have a blog, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever-else I can use to pseudo-stalk you I will try to tailor what I include in your package to what I see that you like and use. 

Oh, also, each package will contain at least one hand-written, handmade thank you card or letter or postcard of either paper or fabric. 

Lotsa love y'all, I'm gonna go try to get some sleep.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April Friday Night Sew-In

Tonight is the April 2011 Friday Night Sew-In. Sign-ups are still open and if you are feeling at all stitch-ily inclined this evening, I encourage you to head on over and put your name down. There's also randomly-awarded prizes involved, too, if that's the kind of incentive you like.

After the week I have had some quiet sewing and movie-watching or loud-as-the-speakers-can-handle music-blaring is definitely in order. Without going into all the details, but still enough to get the point across - mouse traps with weak springs suck and mice can cry tears, bashing fat mama mice over the head with a serving spoon to put them out of their misery pretty much sucks ass in every horrible way possible, 3-4 hours sleep per night takes a tremendous mental and physical toll (how the hell did I manage to do that in college!?) and especially so when one is recovering from a cold/sinus infection, my body and brain react horribly to hormonal birth control (luckily this one will be remedied getting an IUD later this month), the dog is alternately sitting at the front window whimpering and waiting for Corey or Duncan to pull in the driveway or is constantly underfoot and cuddling me so hard I cannot stand/sit straight, she has also become so super paranoid that she bays/barks at cars pulling into driveways 2 houses down and people walking in the trailer park across the road, I accidentally left a load of towels and washcloths drying on the line overnight, said towels got rained on as did Corey's old comforter and the gajillion spools of thread and fabric scraps I had set up on the folding table while I was sitting outside chipping away at the mending said comforter needs. Practically a laundry list, I know, but still not even close to all of it. Seriously. And on top of it all I feel super selfish and super guilty for wanting Corey were here with me instead of visiting family and friends in MO (ideally I'd have been able to go with him and 1/2 this stuff wouldn't have been an issue at all, but my life doesn't work like that right now).

It hasn't all been dead rodents, crying and horribleness this week and, despite the overwhelming crap-itude, I'd be remiss not to mention a couple nicer things to balance out some of the above. I really do try to be an optimist, I swear,  but this week kicked my ass big time.

1. This post from my sister's blog. My sister is gorgeous and awesome and smart and I miss her a lot. Like whoa. I wish I could be in MI when her child arrives.

2. This post from Beth Terry earlier today about free Glass Dharma drinking straws for writing to restaurants about plastic waste from straws and getting restaurants to stop giving out plastic straws automatically. I've been wanting a glass or steel reusable drinking straw for a couple of years so this is totally awesome and you can bet yer sweet bippy that I will writing to at least a couple of places.

3. Finding Hannah Hart's My Drunk Kitchen on YouTube. lmao @ "Ok, cheese is trapped. So you can't have cheese."

As far as the Sew-In, I will be working on either baby items for my sister's due-any-day-now little one or embroidering a risque/profane phrase and image onto a fabric doily as a surprise gift for a certain awesome blogger, fat activist, pop culturist, and PhD student whose personal (some posts NSFW, so fair warning before you click over for this one) and academic blogs I really enjoy reading.

Also, I will be desperately attempting to get the house in enough order that I don't die of embarrassment if/when people come over. And they will as I am sitting the child tomorrow and with no transport to his house (other than a bicycle, but the roads around are dangerous and totally shit as far bike-ability, even by my standards), he will be coming here.     /sigh   I hate needing to have a car to do anything. I also hate this week and need it to be over with already, kthxbai.

until tomorrow,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glitter Fun Time

Cheap and childish though it may seem, I love glitter. The holographic kind is so much fun. Corey absolutely loathes glitter, though, so I can't play with it around him. He's visiting family and friends in Missouri for a few days so I have the house pretty much to myself. Lots of cleaning, organizing and (hopefully) experimenting to come over the next few days.

Any guesses what's happening in this photo? Probably not what you may think, though is will hopefully end with pretty, glittery jewelry bits on the cheap. You can't really see it, but there is a nondescript grey powder in there under the glitter. I'll post an update this evening or tomorrow with more info and photos.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Recipe Friday: Orange Salad

Orange because it's orange colored, not because it's made of oranges (though there is one of those in there).

This salad is really easy to put together; took me all of about 20 minutes from gathering the ingredients to putting it in the fridge for later. It's also easy to adjust the spices and seasonings to your own preference, although it is a fairly sweet salad (due to the main ingredient being carrots) so it may not be to some folks liking solely because of that. It is a favorite of mine since I was a kid and I like it with lots and lots of ginger added (way more than what I've added here today), but since I was making it for everyone in the house I had to tone down the ginger use. 

I recommend making this at least an hour before you want to eat it as the ginger flavor doesn't really start to come out until then. Toasted sesame seeds make a good garnish at serving time. It's also really good with raisins or sliced almonds added in addition to (or instead of) the seaweed and ginger.

Orange Salad Ingredients

3-6 carrots, shredded or finely julienned (super easy to do with a mandoline!)
1-2 apples (one if large, 2 if small)
1 orange
seaweed (soaked, rinsed and otherwise prepped for consumption)
pickled ginger (I used salt pickled ginger; not the sweet pickled ginger for sushi)
lemon juice (fresh or concentrate)
vinegar from the pickled ginger (or plain if you prefer)

plain yugurt
salt and pepper

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