Monthly Archives: September 2012

Something Different

One of my favorite modern composers.

Yeah, I know. I’m just full of little surprises. Give it at least three and half minutes before you start talking about cats being killed and washing machines falling down flights of stairs.

Quotes From Here and There

A neighborhood does not go downhill because so many members of Demographic A were replaced by members of Demographic B; a neighborhood goes downhill because people who give a damn were replaced by people who don’t.here

Are we women just sentenced to struggling with body image our whole lives? Must we be in bondage to matters of weight for a lifetime? Chained down by the desire to be something different than what we can realistically be?there

… what some see as “emptiness” is just “fulness” of a different type.here

I do not think explaining myself and the way I am is a waste of energy because storytelling in itself is a way to fight the apathy in this world.there

Of course, the only people it can possibly impress are other subadult males even more anxious than you are, but hey, we’re primates, we’ll take status where we can find it.here

” And for American public opinion, conservative evangelical politics may have been the worst marketing campaign for the word “Christian” since the Salem witch trials.”there

Random Linkage

Theories of Autumn – weird but nice

Summertime friends, heading south

Pumpkin bread – Mmmmmm… I must make both of these.

Mind the Gap – a blog dedicated to Britishisms in American English (indirectly via AMCGLTD)

Geninne’s Art Blog – Excellent!

Steampunk art and gadgets

Punched and Ruled – Interesting photographs

Bacon and eggs scarf – There’s a sushi scarf too.

More fall cooking – more yummy things I must try

Lovecraft For Beginning Readers

Weekly Questions

Each week Curious as a Cat posts three questions and a “Show and Tell” picture. So, I might start answering them every week. Or I might not. Or sometime I might answer previous weeks’ questions. You know how it goes. Here are this week’s questions.

1. Share what you enjoy most about today’s technology. Oh, that’s a tough one because I enjoy just about everything about today’s technology. Except for flying cars, which I don’t want anyway, and starships, we have caught up with and passed the science fiction I knew when I was a kid. If I had to pick just one thing though, it would be my smart-phone. That little gadget amazes me every day. (One thing I do not like about today’s technology: everything beeps at me. The microwave, the washer and dryer, the coffee maker… why does everything have to beep?)

2. Describe what you’d do with an extra four hours today. Well… I’m one of the lucky few who can do pretty much whatever they want with their time, most days, so I don’t know that I’d do anything special with an extra four hours. I don’t know… maybe I’d go shopping in Tulsa. I do hate driving in Tulsa but another thing that stops me from going is the time it takes out of my day so an extra four hours? Yeah, that would help.

Bedspread or comforter? A cotton bedspread in warm weather, hand-made quilts in cold weather.

And I’m not doing the “Show and Tell” picture this week because it doesn’t make me think of anything in particular.

My “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”

Wow. Samizdata linked to my smart-alecky little football post. That’s great. If ever I had an opinion that I wanted to share with more people than just my half-dozen fans that would be one of them. It sort of makes me wish I had written more of a rant but that’s really all I had to say. It’s always great to get a link from one of the big guys, and even more so when they pick up on something I really wanted to tell the world.

A Few Links

Ann Rowley’s Photostream – sewing, quilting, knitting, including tutorials

Snacktime – A fun blog post about low calorie snacks. No really. Fun. (BTW, she kinda uses the F-word a lot. Not judging, just thought I’d mention it in case anyone is bothered by that sort of thing.)

Great Observation Towers

Bamboo smartphone – The bamboo case is nice I guess but this is the part I like: …it has been specially treated to withstand horrible weather conditions, … water and the occasional meeting with the ground.

A Quick NFL Football Opinion

I have no idea what the problem is with the referees – my heart tells me to blame the NFL – but, as with most such situations, I think all parties involved in the negotiations should be locked in a room with no food, nothing to drink except tap water, only metal folding chairs to sit on, and NO modern facilities, and forced to stay there until they come to an agreement. That’s just my opinion, of course, but I happen to be right.

Bacon Day

Call Me Stormy has declared this A Day of Bacon. Unfortunately, I don’t have any bacon in the house right now. It is getting to be bacon season around here though. I know, I know… any time is a good time for bacon. Our problem is that we don’t have a proper exhaust fan in the kitchen. Our “vent hood” just sucks up the cooking smoke and, after allegedly filtering it, blows it back into the house so for certain kinds of food, like bacon, we try to wait until it’s cool enough outside to open the windows. We still usually manage to set off the smoke alarm and I don’t know if having the windows open actually clears out the smoke any faster than running the air conditioner but outdoor air seems more bacon friendly somehow.

Thanks.

Quotes From Here and There

I might as well just eat Twinkies….you can’t win. You try to be healthy and it’s all founded on lies.here (I want to believe it’s all just a conspiracy theory made up by the California olive industry.)

As a defiantly pale, vaguely Northern European person such environments make me feel rather like a frozen chicken trapped inside a red-hot rotisserie.there (Me too but I’m not a snow country person either. Somewhere in between for me.)

Turkish Rondo Arrangements

Last night I watched this week’s episode of Copper (BBC) and there was a fancy party, with the inevitable string quartet. This was a bit more realistic than most fancy party scenes. Usually you hear the same few bars of music over and over again for what is supposed to be an entire evening of partying. But in the Copper party the string quartet actually played a number of different pieces, including the Rondo Alla Turca from Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11. I still like the piano version better but sometimes it’s fun to hear different arrangements of familiar music.

Of course, Youtube being what it is, all sorts of bizarre, unorthodox arrangements came up.

Never before has a banjo sounded so good.

Random Linkage

Patterns from the newspaper – A nice bit of sewing and publishing history. I like this: “ Note that she wanted to make sure that her readers knew not to wear the playsuit to the grocery store.” Ah, the good old days, when people still cared about appropriate attire. How shocked my grandmother would be to see what people wear to the grocery store now!

Plan 59 – Mid-century illustration. You can buy prints in several sizes at reasonable prices. I might want this one (What?! I like trains.) There’s also a blog.

Calico Stretch – a sewing blog, from New Zealand, I think. I still have the pattern on the right somewhere. One of my all time favorites but it hasn’t fit me in over 20 years. Maybe I should test my pattern altering skills. I haven’t done much of that sort of thing, except for adding a little room in the hip area, which I always have to do with close-fitting tops and dresses.

Sew Busy Lizzy – And another sewing blog from Down Under, this one from Australia. I love to read about people sewing all over the world. That is such a cute fishing vest.

Better Book Titles – Heh. Yeah, I’d read some of those if they really existed.

Really nice photo

Fantasy Terrariums – Oooo! Nifty!

Hmmmm…. I’d have to think about that one for a while. I’m sure some of my highly imaginative readers will have some ideas.

Crazy and Surreal Vintage Images

Metaphysical Graffiti (via) is a fascinating Flickr set of vintage illustrations. A few are weird; most are merely quaint. The set owner’s captions mostly don’t do much for me. I think the images speak for themselves very well, although I must say I do really like, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” That is a really wonderful “philosophy of life”. Also, this – both the image and the caption are lovely.

I love this image. I don’t know why. There’s just something about it that sings to me.

Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says, hello.

Random Linkage

An answer to energy drinks?

The World Geography – a blog featuring lists of things from around the world, such as Star Shaped Forts and Water Castles

Unintentionally funny headlines – I like, “DRUNK GETS NINE MONTHS IN VIOLIN CASE”

Art contest – I’m not an artist (I don’t even play one on the Internet) but I do want to read that novel.

History: World’s first open sea lighthouse

A History of New York in 50 Objects

Unsung Sewing Patterns – Vintage patterns with a little history

Quotes From Here and There

At last count, at least 33 people in the world could tell you what they ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, on February 20, 1998.here

And I don’t care about your precious happiness. Lots of people deal with lots of unhappiness. Lots of us deny our baser urges on a daily basis… Your happiness stops where someone else’s unhappiness begins.there

… “a man like that oughta be hanged from the yardarm, right in the daylight, where he can be a warnin’ to ’is kind!”here

Writers write. Don’t assume you know what they think about what they write, or about themselves, or about anything at all.there

My Lunch

This is not my lunch today or yesterday. I took this picture several weeks ago but never got around to posting it. Then I found out about NIAFPHFPPW (“National Irritate a Food Pic Hater Food Pic Posting Week”) (originating here) Really? There are people who hate pictures of food? Strange.

I’m not sure this really qualifies, because it’s healthy, but it’s what I’ve got so here it is.

Sweet potato dish

I could only make this for myself. My other half doesn’t like sweet potatoes at all and my boys only like them two ways: topped with brown sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows or in a sweet potato pie. And none of them like onions either. The onion is a funny vegetable. Most people either hate it or love it and if you love it you think almost everything needs onions. I’m one of the latter kind of people so I’ve been thinking about putting onions in sweet potatoes for just about forever. So here’s how I made it for one.

I used one smallish sweet potato, julienne cut, (I did it the hard way, no food processor, just a knife.) one banana pepper, sliced, and a little bit of onion, say about an eighth of a cup. The sweet potatoes take longer to cook than the other two ingredients so I cooked them in the microwave for a little bit. (about 3 minutes but your microwave may be different) Then I put everything in a skillet with a little olive oil, a little sprinkling of chili powder and stir fried for just a couple of minutes.

I know that’s not a very exact recipe. So I could never be a food writer. This was delicious and easy to make so, if you’re the sort of crazy person who would mix onions and sweet potatoes, give it a try.

I Do Not Need Another Dress Pattern

Pretty Grievances keeps tempting me with patterns. First, a while back, it was McCall’s 6520. I’m looking at the view with the raglan sleeves. I don’t know about that neckline on me and I don’t like the shirt-tail hem but I’ve had such a hard time finding a good raglan sleeve pattern. Most of them these days are not quite a true raglan sleeve (or what I think of as a true raglan sleeve) but more something between a raglan and a saddle shoulder. I’m picky, okay?

Oh and isn’t that absolutely the cutest fabric that she used to make her’s? I’m happy to see that I’m not the only crazy person to use quilting cotton to make dresses. Although, I didn’t know it was all that crazy until just recently, when I started seeing certain comments about it.

Then there’s this. I think that’s also a McCall’s pattern? I love it and if the local Walmart still carried McCall’s patterns I would have it already. Of course I would make it a little longer than the one shown on the model and, as I mentioned in the comments over there, I’m sure I would have to cut it a little wider to fit over my big fat ass ample hips. (Actually, to be brutally honest, it’s not so much the butt as it’s the gut.) But anyway… don’t need it, must have it.

Who’s Next My Pretties?

Decisions, decisions. Have you ever wanted to start five projects at once? These are four of the top contenders for my next sewing project. I also have a piece of beige twill that I have literally (and I do mean literally) had for almost twenty years. It was originally destined to be pants but since then I have succumbed to Old Fat Woman Stretch Pants Syndrome so now, after ten years of wondering what the heck to do with it, I’ve decided that it’s going to be a blazer and I have to make it right now! (as with all these others that I have to make right now!)

Just some fabric

The solid color fabric on the right is stretch corduroy, for pants of course. The two florals are going to be long sleeved shirts and the brown sewing notions print is going to be a short sleeved shirt. That one would be the logical first choice since I could wear a short sleeved shirt right away. It might be several weeks before I want to wear long sleeves. The pants will go with about half of my fall tops so I’m in a hurry to get those done. It might be weeks before I need a jacket of any kind but now that I’ve definitely decided what I want to do with it (and I even have the pattern for it) I am itching to finally get that 20-year-old fabric made into something. And it will be useful. A beige blazer? What couldn’t I wear that with? And who knows… the weather can change quite suddenly. I might need any one these things at any time.

I have also been thinking, as fall approaches, that I really need some more sweatpants and I can never find any good ones ready-made so when Denver Fabrics put their already very reasonably priced sweatshirt fleece on sale I had to jump on it. So I have that coming, probably in about two weeks. (I can do at least two of the above projects while I’m waiting.)

I love Denver Fabrics for their unusual selection but I have to say I don’t entirely trust them. I have been more than satisfied about 95% of the time but I always worry a bit when I order from them. They don’t send swatches and their product descriptions are terribly inadequate. I have ordered different stretch twills with the same percentage of spandex and one was very stretchy and the other with barely any stretch at all. Some fabrics that they say is “suitable for dresses” is quite a bit heavier than anything I would normally use to make a dress, but was perfect for lightweight summer pants, which, fortunately was what I bought it for. I have learned something of their weird ways but it would be nice if they would tell us the fabric weight in ounces per square yard and the percentage of stretch. But I suppose that would be too much to ask of a discount fabric store. But swatches… why no swatches? They don’t even have to give them away as a few online stores do. One store I buy from occasionally sells swatches for 75 cents each. They could actually make money selling swatches.

Anyway, the sweatshirt fleece… They have some nice colors and I’m hoping it’s good quality, heavyweight stuff but even if it’s just okay I’ll still have better sweatpants than I could buy at a store.

Oh well… sewing… must get started. But which one?

Luck I’ll Never Have

Finding a Renoir at a flea market. That will never happen to me, which is probably all for the best. I would want to keep the painting but, being rather fond of money, I would also want to sell it. Of course my other half, being the practical type rather than the artsy type, would solve this dilemma by insisting on selling it immediately.

It could never happen to me but stories like this tempt me to start going to flea markets.

I Hate When Stuff Like This Happens!

Dammit! Drug Warehouse is closing. Now I hate Walgreen’s even more. Drug Warehouse is nice, big, but not too big, and spacious. Walgreen’s is cramped, crowded and confusing. The Drug Warehouse parking lot is easy to park in and easy to get in and out of. The Walgreen’s parking lot is narrow and very difficult to get in and out of.

I would like to say that I am going to boycott Walgreen’s but I know sooner or later I will have to shop there. I will probably go there to get my flu shot next month, like I did last year. There’s another drug store in town that I’ve never been in. I could try that one. And of course there’s always Walmart.* But Drug Warehouse was so convenient. I’m going to miss it. I’m considering writing a nastygram to Walgreen’s, not that it would do any good.

*I could even get a flu shot at Walmart but something about that creeps me out a little bit. I know it’s the same flu shot as anywhere else and it’s administered by professionals, not the regular Walmart employees, but… but… getting a flu shot at Walmart! [shudder]

“New” Colors

Every year the fashion industry gives me new reasons to be glad I know how to make my own clothes. Behold Pantone’s Top 10 Fashion Colors for Spring 2013. (via)

Actually, most of them are not all that bad. My first reaction was somewhat negative but I like the green, “Tender Shoots” and the “Lemon Zest” and “Nectarine” and of course the red. I suppose the “African Violet” is nice though it probably wouldn’t look very good on me. The blues are okay but don’t really attract me. “Grayed Jade” and “Linen” seem very dull to me. Though I suppose, they could look nice in the right style of outfit, with brighter accessories.

Finally, there’s “Emerald” which brings me to my biggest objection – not the color but the name. That is NOT emerald. Emerald is my birthstone so I think I know what it looks like and that is not it. Other than that it is a nice enough color, I suppose. I actually have a lightweight jacket that’s almost that color, if not exactly. (Their color “Linen” is also mis-named, by the way.)

I have to admit that making fun of fashion, especially Pantone’s colors, is almost a knee-jerk reaction with me. Something about the fashion authority thing. There shouldn’t be fashion authorities. But anyway…

I had to look up the Fall 2012 colors, which, as you might expect, came out in March. I’m behind as usual. They’re mostly not what I would consider “fall colors” but I actually like all of them. My favorites are… well… the first seven of them.

By the way, Design Taxi looks like a pretty interesting site – articles on a wide variety of topics.