Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quilts in progress

Quilt tops mostly finished. I might put a green and pink border around one though.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hair style achieved

I always wanted to put my hair up in a coronet, peasant-style, whatever you call it. But it never worked. They always slipped or didn't stick and there were bits everywhere. But I finally figured it out! First, you have to use one braid instead of two (this does require very long hair). Secondly, clips not pins! I actually got the idea for trying it this way from a picture of an author on Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf. I can't remember her name at all, but she's got very thick, dark hair and had it up in a braided crown with bright pink clips that looked like butterflies. And I thought AH HA!! and it totally works. It's really comfortable and easy. I think it looks much better from the front than the back, but why are you staring at the back of my head anyways?
And all the four year old girls are drooling in envy of my hair. 
My life is complete.

It is not easy to take pictures of the back of your own head

and this is a horrible picture. whatever.

Quilts in progress

One section laid out

It probably won't look like this when I've actually sewed it together

So I took lots of pictures now!

If the squares don't match, I just chop off the edges. That's how I sew

Lots of quilt tops - still deciding to put them together or make separate mini quilts

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quilts in progress

Owl and leaf earrings

I've had these for a while, but they were just the owls. I didn't wear them much, because the owls are so tiny you can hardly see them and I felt like I'd made the chains too long for the tiny owls. So, in my fit of #sickbutproductive energy, I added leaves! I like them better now.

Clay flower earrings

My earrings tend to be super simple - either hook a cool bead directly onto the earring thingy, or maybe get fancy and add a little chain to make it dangly. However, I am experimenting! I hooked multiple beads onto a chain! It's new territory! I wore them today and, happily, the smell of Sculpey that has lingered about the beads the entire time I'd had them does not reach my nose when they are on my ears.

Hedgehog necklace

Not only did I make a necklace, I actually wore it! As opposed to hanging it on the wall, which is what I've done with my other jewelry pieces. This is super simple - it's just purple and natural wooden beads and a cute little hedgehog strung on red wire. I woke up my friend Sara to borrow crimps from her to finish it, but she was very good-natured about it.

Bead curtain; or, What you can buy me for the foreseeable future for all occasions

This is the beginning of what's going to be a bead curtain. It is almost impossible to photograph, especially with my poor photography skills, but the top 6-8 inches are crocheted copper wire with small fluorite gems and then the longer strands are oval fluorite (it's all in shades of green and purple). I'm going to need a LOT more rainbow fluorite....
Also, that bare white wall is just waiting for my newly ordered art to arrive and be framed.

Popcorn cake; or, Sometimes you can never go back home

I was talking with our circulation staff one slow evening and somehow we got onto the subject of food (well, that actually happens quite a lot) and from there I was talking about a bunch of recipes belonging to my grandmother that my mom had found and given me. And then I remembered when she made popcorn cake. I remembered this as a sticky and delightful confection, with peanuts and gum drops. The staff were eager to taste this delicacy, so I made it for the last leaving party of the year (seriously, we had 10 staff out of a total 16 leave this year, although not all had parties).

I found this recipe online, as it wasn't in the recipes my mom passed on to me. I replaced the M&Ms with gumdrops (I'm not going to admit how many I ate first). I don't have a Bundt pan so I just used a square tupperware.

It was gross. Like rice krispie treats but with stale popcorn (I swear it was fresh). Alas, childhood memories can never be relived.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Personality Leakage

This was a pretty good year. I've been working up to it for a couple years though. I had major personal and professional crisises in 2011, that bled over into 2012, at least major to me. I've always had crisis every three years, from minor things to major stuff, but I came out of this one stronger, happier, and more at home with myself than I've ever been before. I've spent the last three years expanding into my new life, and although this year has been exhausting and stressful at times, it's been pretty good. I always told myself when I was a teen that it didn't matter if I just conformed to everything around me as it wouldn't be long before I was out on my own and could be myself. I always felt like I just had to wait and then that core self could pop out and I would be the real me.

But once you're in the habit of following along with whatever is around you, even if it's not you inside, it's hard to break. Especially when everyone around you is a bit, well, cultish. It took me three years out of graduate school, and binge-reading Ursula Vernon's LJ (hey, this is me. I have epiphanies with Ursula Vernon) to suddenly realize that....that time is now and I can let all of that old, outer self go and be myself. It's very freeing to be thinking something and then suddenly realize "hey....that's a thought from old shell-self! Off it goes!" And I've been settling into Real Me ever since. She turned out to be a pretty fun person that I'm going to be happy to live with for the rest of my life.

2014 was pretty good. I think 2015 will be better. Just watch me grow - there's no wall around me anymore.