I swear this should be my motto. I do not have any real craft related content this week, unless you count lack of progress. Remember how I was talking about blisters last week and walking gingerly? Well if you think you have blisters do NOT walk gingerly. When I got out of the shower and bent down to get a towel my back decided ‘nope’. I hobbled into work on Monday, right after the issue, thinking that I could walk it out. The pain was so bad I couldn’t keep it out of my voice and I had to admit I wasn’t going to make it. Thanks to door dash I was able to get icy hot pads and rub delivered to the house and those combined with the hot pad I purchased at a fiber festival I was able to feel better by Tuesday. I then tried to go to work again, I made it an hour, but that was about it. Fortunately my supervisors were very understanding, and by Wednesday I was able to make it a full day, mostly due to working at my desk for the most part and re-heating my pad whenever I needed to. Due to my working Saturday I had Friday off, so I managed Thursday as well, using a roller chair to keep an eye on my crafters.
It worked out really well, while everyone did wind up using the bird pattern at least one person also drew their own owl to add onto their pouches. I used this opportunity to expound on the other crafts we will be having, encouraging them to sign up for the desk organizer and reminding them that we would be having an Evergreen swag workshop on a Saturday in December. Everyone seems very interested in these projects, so I am very pleased with these responses!
Saturday did not work how I would have liked, I planned on going to the zoo with a friend after work. I went to work and spent 4 hours working at a front desk, it turns out that stretching and walking every hour was not enough to keep my back from seizing up again. During my lunch break I had to use my heating pad and even then I was still very stiff and sore by time work was done. I ended up going to dinner and a quick shopping trip with my friend. We then spent some time chatting on my front porch and having a tea tasting event. It was a pleasant evening.
With most of my energy going toward getting my back to loosen up and taking care of daily activities I have not had much energy to work on other projects, though I did manage to get the cat smelling carpet out of one of my closets. Imaging my chagrin when I went in with gloves expecting to have to yank this carpet out and then drag the pad out before figuring out how to get the nails out of the floor near to the walls, only to discover that this carpet had just been laid down and I simply had to roll it up. *Head Desk*. I then managed to bleach the floor and use my vinegar natural oil mixture to get some of the smell out. I plan on putting my photographs in there so I don’t keep tripping over them, but that is going to wait until the charcoal dehumidifiers arrive. Since the closet is deep, the photos will be stored in the back with a bookcase, the same plastic wood contraption is on sale from their already low price, in the front for storage. I plan on keeping the door open, as well as the doors for all of my closets, so that I will remember that there are items in those closets. Two of which I might have to consider taking the doors off altogether so that they do not block the only window in one room and a door to a balcony on the other.
I think that is enough rambling for right now, and I hope to have more crafty related content to report next week. Until then remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.
Active Crafting Content will start after the ***********.
I still need to get my new flooring installed, however I did manage to create a mini-Library in my home. I adore how this has turned out. The plastic and wood bookshelves were a quarter of the price of a standard shelf from Amazon, so I bought four. They are not ‘amazing’ quality, one of the plastic pieces did shear off, however they are working for what I need them. This is a great way for me to get out of my living room, it gives me an excuse/routine for me to begin using the rest of my home. A couple of weird things have come up that are setting me back, however I will persevere.
Upon installing daylight lights in my half-bath on the first floor I then tried to run my dryer…and the lights dimmed…and haven’t come back properly since. The, amazing, person that does things for me around the house is going to try to look at this next week to see if it is something to panic about. Yay, something else to worry about. The second thing is that I was a guide for the haunted house in my library last night…and I discovered that stretching shoes is not a substitute for breaking the shoes in. I now have a blister on the balls of both of my feet as well as 3 scraped up toes. To fix this I’ve put neosporin and bandaids on the scrapes and I have ordered some blister pads from door dash, along with soft socks I am hoping that these feel better tomorrow.
The lace knitting class went…about as well as I expected. Some patrons were interested however they had either not knit before or didn’t like the look of the lace, though one has continued looking into making the regular pattern without any of the lace flares. The Bengala Mud Dye class I taught went much better. Everyone enjoyed quite a bit, a few had even mentioned continuing to do this in the future and possibly use this in their business. I tried to use up the dyes on the scraps I had left over, then I took those scraps to turn them into a bit of a mini-quilt/mug rug type thing.
Despite spending time trying to square my blocks, this did not turn out correctly, however I am very pleased with how it looks. I will bring that along with my dyed squares to the quilt meeting tomorrow. I have also made significant progress on my halloween quilt/wall hanging thing, however with the blisters on both of my feet getting around is not easy. Since I cannot get around easily I find myself unwilling to mess around with pulling out the devices that I would need to properly finish the quilt. I am also re-thinking why I am quilting. Right now I like getting the finished project, however I also find myself rushing through the process to get an end project, which I not what I am hoping for from this craft. I also think that is why a couple of seams have broken on my first finished quilt, I do not want that to happen with my sister’s quilt, I am already a little embarrassed about how my first efforts turned out.
I think that is everything for right now, I will give more progress as things occur. I am teaching a crewel embroidery class this week, possibly getting my floors completed, and perhaps getting my leaves raked.
So, I have fallen behind on my Maiwa course, however I am not really worried about it. I will have some vacation days coming up to catch up on that. There have been some exceptional circumstances, which there always seems to be, as when the windows were installed I had to move all of my belongings around and well away from the windows. This, combined with trying to get some floors installed, means that any organization that I had created has gone to pot. I am trying to look at this as a way to improve my organization and the use of my rooms.
One of the steps that I have taken is to use plastic containers to box up my wool yarn to keep it safer. I also packed up my embroidery machine for right now, as well as having to clear out my quilting room since that is the last one that I needed to pull nails out of the floor and get new flooring put down. Since most of that equipment seems to fit in what used to be my computer room, I am contemplating changing that to my sewing room and the old sewing room into a mini library. I am keeping my computer but I’m using my laptop so there is no need for the PC to be plugged in all the time.
I do have some actual crafting content for this post. I cannot remember if I mentioned that I warped up my large rigid heddle loom with some Cascade 220 yarn to create a wool blanket. I have not gotten too far in actually weaving that off since last week was also Spin Together. The two fiber events I attended this fall were amazing and I had a ton of fun. I do not think I went too overboard in my purchasing and I love how the yarns I created turned out. While I did not spin as much as I would like, there were several long days at work, I did manage a decent amount of spinning.
I love how my art yarn turned out as well, though it is not as complicated as last years version where I added in locks and charms. My total is 1278 yards for credit, which includes the singles and then the plying. I was fortunate to get all of my spinning plied up by that Saturday Morning since I taught a needle felting class on 2-d felting with some mentions of 3-d felting. It went swimmingly since I invested in Living Felt supplies, and had the people purchase the kits from me so I was not too far out of. pocket. Someone from one of my earlier needle felting classes was there and mentioned the needles working better, I explained that the original were from Amazon, and so not bad, but these were from Living Felt and therefore fantastic.
Today I’m teaching a lace class, though I am going to have them create shawls using a formula rather than a pattern, and teaching them various increases and decreases to create patterns. Then on Saturday I will be teaching a Bengala Mud Dyeing class, also at work. This should be a busy couple of days and I look forward to seeing how everything turns out! Until next time, Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!
Much of my crafting is around some secret projects that I will review in late July once they’ve been gifted to the recipients. I also cleared off some bobbins so that I can take place in Tour de Fleece this year. It was so much fun plying up some random bits and bobs, as well as using my drum carder to open up a bunch of fiber to spin in July. I plan on giving my wheel a spa weekend and hopefully making a dent in my stash this year. *I did not manage to give my wheel a spa weekend, too many other tasks too up my attention, I did however manage to spin for the first few days in Tour de Fleece clearing up 2 of the 6 batts I have carded out.
As a demonstration piece for some of the classes that I’m running next week I spun up some flax to create linen yarn. I then boiled the yarn with cream of tartar for about two hours changing the water once after an hour. Judging by the lack of changing color I need to either do this for another two hours or find some soda ash and use that instead of cream of tartar. I also pounded on half of the hank with a hammer and the resulting product was much softer and somehow whiter.
In addition to secret projects and spinning things I have been working on a personal health experiment, I’ve been trying to get another hour of sleep every night. Ordinarily I go to bed at 10 PM and wake up at 4:30 AM giving myself a solid 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Recently I have been trying to wake up at 5:30 AM. I am capable of sleeping that extra hour, however, it leaves me feeling worse during the day and I do not accomplish as much as I do when I wake up at 4:30 AM. Since I’ve been running this experiment for about two weeks I have decided that it is an abject failure. I have tried to return to my usual sleep schedule, however things like TikTok and an inability to fall asleep have not helped. I think that I may try to shift myself to falling asleep at midnight for a 6:30 wakeup to see if that helps at all.
My washer and dryer have finally arrived! After 8 hours I was caught up on my laundry and ready to face another week! I also have begun to migrate more items into my third floor for storage and realized that I cannot keep the carpets in the carpet if I ever want the cat smell to be completely gone from my house. Large leaps forward and small steps back are what make up the dance of life.
I believe that’s it for the week, I will let you know more as things progress! Remember to live life a little more abstract.
For the past week or so I have felt blah. I have the supplies to make the next step on my quilts, however I wanted to lay them out before I do that. To lay them out I picked up a panel that will act as a design board, however I found out that command strips will not work to hang it, now I have to wait for the quilt hangers to be delivered and then I’ll install them. The other option is to lay it out on the floor I just cleared of nails for flooring to be installed, but I’d rather wait for the new, clean, flooring….well I just found out that isn’t going to be installed for a while. Which would leave that room essentially unusable for a while.
Okay, I’m done waiting for things to get done. The person that is doing stuff around the house for me is great, and I am only one of his clients, I get that. I’m honestly sick of living on the first floor, so I’m going to take my quilting frame up to the almost empty room and assemble it. Since it’s going to be at least another week before they can get to the floor, I’ll use the room to set out my quilts until then. If they need stuff moved they can move it when they install the flooring. I’m still apprehensive about dropping my air conditioner out the second floor window, but I also need to sleep in my room sometime this summer.
I did take the first 2/3rds of a Folk Embroidery class and I look forward to the last session on Sunday so my creativity has not ground to a complete halt. Work is going well, I am taking a few days off. I know where my blahs are coming from, I’ve accidentally scheduled 3 things during my 5 days off. Two I cannot avoid (my washer and dryer are being delivered) but I’m seriously thinking about calling off the third.
Okay, enough for now. I’m going to let the full-moon energy give me an excuse to chill out, organize my space, and recharge for a spate of creativity as the moon wanes. Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.
This month has been different since I stopped working my side hustle. I haven’t updated since my last day there, as the photos will tell it has been a busy month. The first photo above is an embroidery done on my new Baby Lock Flare (mine was half-off due to a sale). I am really enjoying the machine and believe it will greatly help my quilting.
The photo above is of my new balcony, the door that led out to an empty rooftop had railing put around the roof to create a balcony. I’m going to use this to put 4 flowerpots for my dye garden.
I finally finished the tapestry I started last July on my Saffron pocket loom. I love how it looks!
Finally the lovely people helping out with my home have taken out some cupboards to create a space for my washer and dryer. Fortunately the washer and dryer have not been delivered yet, the truck broke down. This is fortunate since there were some problems with the wiring in my wall.
Okay, thats going to be about it for this update. I’m planning several quilts in the near future and have bought the supplies for these projects.
I not only got the name of the contractor, I went to the quilt shop with my friend as well! This is the fabric I purchased, 1 yard each of 6 rainbow colors, 1/2 yard of a print that looks very Hungarian (Mom was Hungarian so my sister and I are 1/2 Hungarian), and an 1/8th yard of a cute purple that looks like it has black thistle plants on it. (One of my dad’s cousins married a very proud Scotsman, and they have been great so if I can make them a wall hanging I will). I will get into my crafting for the week after the **** but first an update on my prioritizing.
I called the mechanic recommended by a colleague and seconded by another colleague. They are going to do an oil change and look at my front bumper Tuesday morning. Yay! My friend that accompanied me to the quilt shop sent me the contact info for her contractor on Monday night, when I called him Tuesday he offered to come on Thursday to look into what I needed done. While talking with him on Thursday he kept saying, “Oh, that’ll take me a couple of hours and shouldn’t cost above 1k, no real reason to redo the entire bathroom I’ll see what’s going on underneath when I get there. Oh the flooring will cost X (less than the price that was quoted for finishing 1 room), we can get that done whenever. Your garage is under a $100 fix. The sliding glass door, I can get a door and get it installed and the house fixed up in a couple of hours. Your front porch, we’ll jack it up, figure out what is going on, and get it fixed.”
All of the fixes that I was planning on doling out over the course of the summer, because I thought the bathroom alone would be 5k, he is planning on having finished in 2 weeks, and for a lot less than I had planned. The flooring will take a little longer because I need to pull all of the staples out before he can put the flooring down. I think I have one room staple free but I’m working on my bedroom first because I would like that finished ASAP. So, he is fixing my toilet on Wednesday and maybe doing something else, this is my day off so I’ll be hanging around the house. Then on Friday I will let him in before I leave for work so he can take out the very drafty sliding glass door and install a working regular door. I am so excited because this, combined with a garage door, will allow me to actually use my backyard. This is all very exciting and a bit overwhelming. The overwhelm keeps going.
When I got home from work on Friday I had my garbage can on the sidewalk in front of my steps leading up to the house. To clarify, I did not put it there. Someone, likely a passive aggressive neighbor, did. Fine, the snow is likely done for a while, I’ll move my can back around the side of the house. This also prompted me to assemble my manual mower, just a huge cutting blade with a handle that rotates as you push it along, and mow my lawn. This is when I realized the damage the previous owners dogs left behind in the form of brown spots where no grass will grow. I bagged up the leaves left over from last year, realized I have a lovely flower bed in the back yard, and looked into disposing of the yard waste as well as how to repair my lawn. The city wants $3 per bag of yard waste and compost costs $7 a bag. With this in mind I looked into getting a rotating compost barrel, yes it cost me $80, however that is 8 bags of yard waste and compost. Considering how many plants I’m planning on growing this year the compost barrel will be paid off by the end of a season or two. Since I do not use most of my driveway, it is an old house and the driveway is at an angle to the garage, I am going to put the barrel near the garage. For repairing my lawn I discovered a Scotts brand product that claims it will repair and reseed my lawn. Last night, Saturday, after I was done with my day of shopping (more about that soon) I used a weed digger I purchased to aerate the brown spots. The product is supposed to be waiting for me at home so I hope to put that down tonight. Now, about shopping!
I’m going to go in reverse order since I went to the quilt shop first and I would like that to segue into the crafting portion of this post. So given that I’ll lead the shopping segment with: I found a living room chair! After going to three different furniture stores I finally found a chair that I don’t feel I have to heave myself out of and better yet it has both lumbar support and a separately adjustable headrest. I can recline, adjust my lumbar support for my lower back, and raise my head so that I can watch something on TV all at the same time! I didn’t even really know that is what I was looking for! Admittedly the gold/tan color is not my favorite but it might brighten up a bit against the background of my purple room, better than the dark chocolate color that was my other option. Before that I managed to find three dresses that I like and two shrugs that I can use (since I hate sleeveless I need something to cover my upper arms). This means that I have enough outfits that currently fit me to take me through until the winter when I can pull out my sweater dresses again. I plan on going to the laundromat on Wednesday so I can freshen my sheets, wash my quilt, and probably wash my wool dresses for storage. Before the dress and furniture shopping I hit a bookstore, I am a librarian (lol), and found a book I look forward to exploring titled: Sarah Payne’s Quilt School. This segues into the first part of the shopping on Saturday, the Quilt Shop!
A friend of mine is moving, she wanted to make sure I could find the local quilt shop before she moved. We had a lovely trip and I purchased too much fabric. In the picture at the top of the post you can see a rainbow of 6 colors of fabric, I purchased a yard each. I’m not too sure what I am going to do with this fabric, however I could not resist them. The 6 yards cost me what 4 would have from other retailers, so when there was a full rainbow I had to try. I’m going to look in the Sarah Payne book I purchased from a bookstore later in the day to see if there is a pattern that would look good in these colors.
I did not get much crafting done however I did realize that if the only thing stopping me from knitting up the hat is that I hate doing the ribbing then 3″ of ribbing is going to have to be enough so I can move onto the next part. Speaking of moving on, I did make some progress on the tapestery I have been weaving since last July (I had to look at when I bought the loom since I had it in my mind I had been working on this for a couple of years).
As you can see the edges are not very even and there is a wide mish-mash of different types of weaving in there. This is my sampler piece and I could not love it any more! It is amazingly colorful and has a lot of movement to it.
Okay, that is about it for me this week, so much exciting news!
Remember to take time for yourself and Live Life a Little More Abstract!
This is more of a realization post than a crafting one, other than finishing sewing a lunch bag, I have not made any progress on any of my crafts in the past week. Stay tuned for (hopefully) crafting content next week.
I want to do everything, I even have the skill to do most of it. What I really lack right now is time and motivation. Fortunately I know how to deal with both of these obstacles as soon as I get motivated to do that, lol. This week I need to call for an oil change in my car, and see if they can get the front plastic bumper to stop dragging on the ground when I turn corners, you can hear me from a mile away. This is with a new mechanic since I have moved, which is why I keep hesitating but I cannot justify an hour drive to go to a mechanic I trust…believe me I have tried justifying that but it doesn’t fly with gas prices the way they are. That is my easily solvable problem.
I was informed about an initiative that will help fund my new roof, when trying to contact someone about that I was informed it will be about July until they get applications created. I’m likely going to need someone to put some emergency shingles on my roof until then, I’ll fill out an application for the grant then minute I can because I would like a permanent solution rather than temporary. There is also an initiative about heating and cooling that I might have to go for even though the smart thing would be to wait a year or two since my furnace works alright however I am not sure the initiative will be valid by then and I would rather not risk an emergency heating and cooling problem. The main effort that I need to accomplish is getting the floor in my upstairs bathroom leveled and a new toilet installed, there was some mention of renovating the entire bathroom but I’m not sure how much more that would cost then fixing the toilet and installing shower doors. Tomorrow I am going to a quilt guild meeting and hope to get the name of a contractor I can contact then, if not I’ll have to go to the local home improvement store (that is not a chain) to find someone to do the work…not a chain because the chain does not do the work I need…I checked.
Once the floor is level and I have a working bathroom on the second floor I can begin to move myself up there and actually, well, live in my house rather than just the living room. Of course I also need to still pull the padding out of the third floor and pull up the tack strips from where the carpet was. When I was leaving my family home I jam packed a storage unit with everything I thought I wanted to keep, I was also (I thought at the time) pretty ruthless in what I wanted to keep. It turns out that I was probably pretty liberal in what I wanted to keep, yet I hesitate in getting rid of anything else until I feel settled in the house…but I am not sure I’m going to feel settled when an entire room is basically jam packed with storage totes. At present I am torn between taking them up to the third floor once I have that cleared out or trying to use the third floor as a quilting room. Since I am planning on trying hand quilting the first and third floors are the only two with enough room to consider putting a quilting frame. I’m still hand washing my clothes, though I did invest in a rack to try drying my clothes outside. To do that I need to get my back door fixed up so I can actually use it…..some days I love that I get to organize my house just the way I want it and others I feel like I made a huge mistake in purchasing something that needs so many little (and big) fixes. Only time will tell how I feel about the house in the long run, I believe that once I have these major events completed (the bathroom, the roof, back exit, and heating/cooling) I will feel more inclined to like the house.
Time, that is another constraint. I work 6 days a week, I know of people that work 7 without any real break, but at present I do not have to do that. In two weeks the semester will end on my side hustle, and I will ask my supervisor if she wants me to stay on the books until the new semester or put my resignation in at the end of this semester. I know she wants me to stay as an emergency contact, however it would take 5 hours of work to pay for the gas and an entire day off is worth more than a tank of gas and $30. While it feels selfish to have that attitude I am beginning to understand my self-worth as a person and as a librarian. An entire day off, 10 hours because the job is an hour away from where I live, is worth more than the gas it takes to get there and $30. By reclaiming this day I will be able to take a day to rest and a day to get things accomplished, or feel like I have more time to socialize and spend time on weekend jaunts around the city.
Three other priorities that I am working my way through are: Diet, Exercise, and wardrobe. Between November of 2020 and September of 2021 I lost 70 pounds. Since October of 2021 I have gained back 40. This means that the summer wardrobe I purchased last year does not fit me any longer, as well as meaning that I am better off trying to stick to my Nutri-System diet than do it on my own. As with everything that is easier said than done. I did join a gym, however I am being rather precious about when I go. If it is snowing and I will need to go to work afterwards, I’m not going to sweat at the gym, go out in the snow still sweaty, and shower for work. The last segment is wardrobe.
This is the hardest for me. I want to have a sustainable capsule wardrobe that fits me. Since my size is currently fluctuating, I cannot justify spending over $100 for a single piece that I am not sure will flatter me. This means that, in the immediate future, I am still contributing to Fast Fashion though I am still trying to ensure that my footprint is as light as I can afford to make it. I have purchased a skirt pattern with the intention of learning to sew my own wardrobe using eco-friendly fabrics…which cost about $20 a yard…and the pattern takes 6 yards…so we are back to $120 for a single piece that I am not sure will flatter me…wait I spend $11 on the pattern….so $131. This means that for now, until I have a better handle on my style and a steady figure, I am going to have to stick with second-hand and clearance options purchased in moderation. For the entire winter I cycled through my three wool dresses, tights, and two dresses that were heavy enough to wear with wool tights. This means that I essentially wore a uniform, which kept me from having to make any drastic decisions about wardrobe. With a limited number of pieces I will be able to do the same throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall. As soon as it looks like snow is no longer on the horizon I plan on running my wool dresses through the laundromat and packing them away in a vacuum sealed bag until Autumn.
I woke up this morning, at 11 pm, 2 am, and 5 am. I thought that my body was trying to reset my sleep schedule, however I now realize that I am using one or two days off strange sleep patterns to mess up my own sleep schedule. I plan on going to bed at 10pm and setting my alarm for 4:30am. This gives me time to do anything I need to do in the mornings before work. If the weather looks like it will hold out then I will try to go to the gym in the morning, if not the gym then I will try to go onto the third floor to pull up some of the carpet padding. This is where I have to figure out my priorities.
There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Right now I work 6 of them, in 2 weeks I will only work 5. At present my priorities are: Work, Me, Friends and Family, then House. I am going to spend the rest of spring and the summer figuring out what these priorities mean to me. Feeding my own soul involves spending time with my friends and family. I have made arrangements to spend a weekend at a family reunion, and there are 2 fiber festivals I plan to go to with a friend this autumn. I have invited another friend to come to Erie so we can visit a quilt shop next Saturday, if she says at the meeting she cannot make it then I will contact two of my other friends to see if they can make it. If no one else can come, I will still go to Erie, the quilt shop, and possibly some furniture stores. For myself, because it is alright to do something like that for myself. That is the lesson I need to get through, also that this diet is actually a good thing. That one is getting harder, I need to spend some time focusing on that concept.
That is the end of my self-reflection…hopefully for quite some time. These thoughts are exhausting, figuring out why I am doing what I am doing takes a lot out of me. Having an understanding to my motivations and a written list of what needs to get done and in what order is invaluable. Sharing it makes it more concrete to my mind. Hopefully by next week I can let some of the mundane go and get back to living my life in a way that is A Little More Abstract. (Thereby getting my creative mojo back!)
**** Will denote the crafty updates, house content until then. Today the person buying the house I grew up in will be doing their final walk through. The sale should be finalized tomorrow, with the disbursements happening from there. I hope that this means I can finally get myself settled on a budget that I can stick to. Of course, it is Holy Week (if you’re Catholic…which I am but lapsed), so things are going to be a little strange anyway. Even though it is a religious holiday the secular world seems to come to a bit of a slow down anyway. I did look into the roof grant, only to be told that they were working on finalizing the application and they would have the forms ready in about 90 days…well I’ve needed something done since October so waiting until June/July to fill out an application that could cover 3/4 the cost of it…doesn’t seem like a bad idea at this point in time. When I get someone in to look at the bathroom I imagine I can ask them about the roof as well.
I did start back onto Nutrisystem, only for my monthly concerns to rear their head setting my plans back for a few days. After tomorrow I should be able to go back to my original plan. I am debating if I want to spend my 3 day weekend next week hiding or if I want to go to the buffet next Sunday since I believe they will have lamb, I Love lamb, and don’t want to buy/cook/clean up after cooking lamb this week. Either way I hope to spend at least part of next weekend planting my seedlings in the pots I will use to put them outside in. Yay! I was going to pot the plants this weekend but did not, and I don’t feel bad about that. I need to rest for a couple of days, maybe finish some projects so I’m ready to start some new ones when I am back on an upswing. I have not been to the gym this week, Friday the weather was miserable and I was starting to feel poorly, then Saturday I started to figure out why I was feeling poorly, then today I had work and there was snow on the car so…no. I know it is weird, however I do not plan on going to the gym on days where there is snow, at least not when I am on a tighter schedule. If the weather is warmer and the gym is open at least 3 hours before I have to be at work that will work, 2 hours for the gym (getting there, working out, getting back) and 1 hour to clean up for work, then I will go to the gym. If not, then my iron and cutting board are upstairs, my sewing machine is downstairs, If I feel really good I’ll go up and down my stairs for 10 minutes at a time, that got me sweating the last time I tried that.
I took Friday and Saturday off, though I am working my other job today. I had made a ‘play date’ with a friend and former colleague to try out a solar dyeing technique, unfortunately the weather did not hold out, however we had a fun time anyway. She had some fabric she did not want to keep and offered it to me, one was a set of 5″ squares pre-sewn together into 4 patches. She told me that it might be good for a disappearing 4 patch, however I know I cannot machine sew the corners properly, no matter how much I try, so I believe I am going to edge the squares using a solid color and either make it into a baby quilt that I can practice my hand quilting on or as a pillow or something similar. She was also kind enough to gift me with a mat for my sewing machine to sit on with pockets in the front and her husband gifted me with a carved bunny that I will treasure. She has this upcoming week off and would like to show me to a quilt shop less than an hour away and I suggested next Saturday since I know I have that day off, not thinking that it was the day before Easter. Oops, I hope it happens but I understand if it does not.
This means that Saturday was a ton of fun, however I tend to drive myself mad sometimes. In preparation for Saturday (and to just get it done) I worked on getting my third quilt attempt finished. I like how it turned out, learned a lot of lessons, and think I am going to give hand quilting a try next.
Wrestling a quilt that fits the top of a queen sized bed through a domestic sewing machine that sits on one of those small square tables you can get from certain craft stores is NOT how I recommend quilting. It did the job, I have a quilted quilt with the binding sewn on the edges. I did a ‘wavy lines’ quilting pattern, which means I tried to do wavy lines and I’m just going with, “Sure, I wanted it to look like that” as my answer when I am questioned about the weird peaks, dips, and straight edges in my wavy lines. The quilting is about 5″ apart, the batting says that the quilting can be up to 8″ apart so I should be alright there. The binding is just the backing folded over like you would do for pot holders.
Yesterday, Saturday, was a Weaver’s guild meeting half-way between where I used to live and where I live now. I love the guild, and it was ironic that the meeting was held at their public library (where I had interviewed for a job 2 years ago). The meeting was lovely, I had a chance to pull out my spinning wheel and show some individuals how to spin. I also reminded myself how much I enjoy the quiet of spinning. I am presently thinking that I will spin on my front porch while watching the world go by. Of course in order to do this I need to get 2 things accomplished. I need to get the porch level again, it looks as though one board likes to swell in the rain which causes it to buckle the porch, and purchase a chair for my front porch. I have been looking online thinking that I would order one, however if I plan on using it for a spinning chair I really should get a good idea of how it feels before actually spinning in it for any extended length of time. I am hoping that this is a once every 30 years purchase. While in town I discovered that they have a quilt shop which I was thrilled to find out…until I looked at their selection. I know that I have particular tastes, and that I do not want to purchase fabric until I KNOW I like it and will use it. This means that I bought a small, simple, pattern and a bag of essentially colorful scraps and asked the owner to keep the change since that was the only way I could spend five dollars in the shop. I feel bad, but I am not buying fabric I cannot see a good use for. I do have plans to use the pattern as a sort of border for one of the panels I hope to create a quilt from next. I also have 3 jelly rolls, not to mention most of a black jelly roll, to still use. Well, I did not know until I was typing that up that I had really decided on the quilt panel next, however that makes sense. I am still working on my EPP Project.
I have started to figure out how I want to place the glued pieces for my first EPP quilt, I have 10 out of 25 pairs sewn for the second part and these bundles put together for the first part that I hope to start sewing soon. I am trying to get some long languishing projects worked on so that I feel a little more freedom to work on this huge project. I am about a dozen rows away from finishing the pillow that started with a new colorwork class that had me knitting what were almost quilt block pieces. I love how this looks and cannot wait to see it finished. I am a little apprehensive about how I am going to finish it since at present I am planning on knitting some extra rows of the back to create a flap that tucks inside the pillow. I thought about just seaming the pillow blank inside however if I ever need to wash it that would cause too many problems.
Next I hope to start getting projects ready for progress. I need to find a charm pack that will go with the panel I hope to work on so I can get that border started. My 16 shaft loom needs to be warped with the towel warp I wound so I can start weaving that up. I need to straighten out my Saori Loom’s warp so I can get back to using up some of that yarn. There is the possibility that we will be playing with weaving looms next month at the guild meeting so I should have my looms ready to be warped and played with, not to mention possibly finding the alpaca tweed yarn I bought to weave a blanket from. Possibly that got lost during the moth-ening though I hope not. Oh, on a not so fun note, I just realized with spring possibly on the way I should consider putting together the push mower I purchased so that when my lawn dries enough I can mow. yay.
I am honestly excited by all of the changes coming, to myself, my house, and my crafting. I have been finding by leaning into what I am feeling and what my body is trying to tell me I can get more done. Some of this is certainly down to having 1 full-time job, no person needing me to take care of them, as well as having the second house off of my shoulders. However I do believe by resting when I need to, finishing things when I have the urge, and starting (some) things when I also have the urge I am completing more than I ever have in the past. Normally I would have become overwhelmed by the quilt and stopped, instead I leaned into wanting to finish it, took it step by step and leaned into binding when I felt like it instead of waffling.
That is me for the week, it has been busy. I’m going to take the next couple of days to lean into recharging and see where the world takes me from there. I am uncertain if I will post next week, it will depend on how much I get done and how I am feeling. Until next time, Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!
Have you ever had one of those weekends where you realize that the universe has been whispering messages at you and you’ve been willfully ignoring them in favor of what ‘seems like the thing to do’?
That is what my weekend was like. I got off of work at 7:15pm and back to my new house about 7:30. I then started shoveling my driveway, I don’t have a snowblower because the big ones do not make sense for the size of my drive and the little ones wouldn’t go through the slushy/icy stuff anyway, so that the company could deliver my washer and dryer on Saturday. After about 30 minutes shoveling in the cold I had about 85% of the way to my cellar door cleared out, I would finish in the morning.
Setting 4 different alarms: Wake Up, You Can Shovel Now, Did You Shovel, and Seriously They’re Coming in 30 Minutes Shovel, I actually started shoveling at the second alarm. To clarify, You Can Shovel Now, is when the sun was high enough that I could see the driveway. After 10 minutes, and a decent amount of progress, my fingers were so cold they actually hurt. I decided to take a break. It only took me another 10 minutes after Did You Shovel to get the path cleared. I made sure I was presentable after Seriously.
The company called 15 minutes before they showed, he measured the area from the front door to the basement, that I told him was too small, and said that it was too small. Then he went to the basement to check the hookups, that is where we hit the first snag. The gas dryer hookup had the wrong…something to attach it to the dryer, and since the hose was copper and already kinked he wasn’t willing to hook that up. He said I’d have to get an electrician to come in to hook it up. I’m already thinking about not accepting delivery of the dryer at this point, but I need to do my clothes, so, okay, I’ll look into electricians. He brought the washer in and the dryer. He showed me the valve/flange/hookup thing so I would know basically what to tell the electrician. Then he starts hooking up the washer. The extension cord went over the top of the ceiling rails and dangled down, he asked if it had to go over, and I admitted I didn’t know. He moved it closer to the floor, I found out later why that was a bad idea, and hooked up the washer. I had to hold it angled while he leveled out the feet. I signed, he left. Then I started my first load of clothes, after looking at the instructions, etc.
Now things get interesting. This is an energy saver washing machine with high ratings on consumer reports, so it is not the washer’s fault. I started the load then went to the living room. It took a little bit of water flow and gentle agitation to get things started….then it sounded like the house was going to come down around me. When I mentioned this to my sister she told me to see if the noise carried all the way up to the bedroom, because if it didn’t then I could go up there when doing laundry. Alright, it’s a bit loud, I can deal with that. I went down to check and found out when it would be done, and put a bag of clothes on top of the washer to be ready when the first load was done. I tried to get a couple of things done upstairs and waited until the first load was complete. I expected a noise….but there wasn’t any things. I went down to check….only to find out that my washer had walked itself across the basement, dumping the load of clothes into the water that was leaking because the drainage hose had moved and the plug (remember the one that was no longer going over the rafter) was in the water. I unplugged everything and called the company that I purchased it from. They sent me to another person, who tried to talk me through leveling it (but I had found out that I only had 48 hours to make them take it back), and I finally found a person with the authority to get them to take it back, so they will be by the 16th to pick it up and refund me the money. Yay.
It was after 2 in the afternoon and I had two bags of sopping wet clothes, some dirty, some I didn’t know if the soap had been rinsed out. So I bagged every piece of clothing and most of my bedding up and went to the laundromat. There is a really nice one not too far from my house, right behind an Arby’s, and for about $20 I got everything washed and dried. Am I happy, no. Am I mad about this, not really. I will try to get one of the ‘off the grid’ camping washers and spin dryers to do my clothes for much cheaper. There was a little more.
My realtor called me to see if we could put off listing the house, I’d been having trouble getting my neighbor to plow like he usually would. I did find out that he had 2 losses in his family so he wasn’t in a good way. I agreed, we should show the house off to it’s best advantage, though I was quite disappointed. Remember about thinking with my head instead of what the universe was trying to tell me.
I’d been having minor problems with the old house four about 5 weeks now, nothing major but having trouble every time I went to check on it. This week was the last straw. I hadn’t realized that my neighbor did not do the driveway so I tromped through a couple feet of snow, thank goodness I wore two pairs of socks. Then once I got in things looked okay as I did the water test, but something made me realize that the house seems abandoned and that is going to cause too many problems if I’m only going once a week. It isn’t a big deal but I don’t want to write about it here and it isn’t anything that equals long term damage, but I noped out of the situation.
Long story short I called my realtor, asked her if she knew of anyone that could plow, deal with the situation and make sure that things are kept ‘lived in’ and list the place as soon as she could. I then called my sister, told her what was going on and that she was going to have to chip in (or pay for) whatever caretaker the realtor can find. So the universe was screaming at me and I hope that this is going to result in some positive change pretty soon (now that I listened). I’m waiting to hear if I’m going to need to do much more than check my mail each week, then I hope that this problem will resolve itself.
On my way home tonight I get a cheeseburger and a sundae. Not a great coping mechanism, but it will have to do. Hopefully I will get some motivation to do some kind of crafting this week, but even if I do not I hope you have a great week.